!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> Alty Files Archived News

an unofficial website

January, 2016

31 January 2016


News of our next league opponents comes from Welling United where for their trip to Halifax "New Welling United manager Dean Frost made four changes to the side that lost at home to Barrow. Chesmain and Ferry debuted for the departed Jefford and dropped Wellard, respectively. Fagan and Harris returned to the side for the injured duo of Osbourne and Porter. Lee took the captains armband as the Wings lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Welling managed to register a shot on target within the first minute as Kabba’a low shot from outside the box was held by opposition goalkeeper Johnson... before the Wings suffered a blow, as the injury prone Fagan limped off to be replaced at centre back by Nortey in the 9th minute.

The hosts spent most of the first half on top and peppered the Welling goal with several chances in quick succession... There was no doubt Welling had rode [sic] their luck to go in level at the break...

Welling came out for the second half with far more purpose... Just as the Wings had for a proper foot hold in the game they were undone in the 55th minute. Rodak fumbled Hughes’ shot and James bundled it in.

Unlike in recent weeks this wasn’t to be the signal for a collapse. Welling battled back and enjoyed a good spell of possession... [In] the 78th minute Daniel found half a yard on the edge of the box to curl a left footed shot into the top corner. Halifax went in search of a winner, but despite some late nervy defending the make shift back four held firm to claim a valuable point.

Welling: Rodak, Williams, Fagan (Nortey, 9), Chambers, Chesmain, Daniel (YC), Lee (c), Ferry, Vidal (Wellard, 78), Harris, Kabba (Bakare, 75). Att: 1407 (40 away)"

From the other side, FC Halifax Town conclude that "Kadell Daniel’s superb strike ensured The Wings would make the journey down south with a point.

Jim Harvey was forced into two changes to his starting eleven, Sam Walker and Shaun Tuton missing out with knocks. They were replaced by Richard Peniket and Dino Fazlic, who both made their first appearances of the season in the 1-1 draw at Woking.

On a day where the weather varied from blue skies to snow, Welling... certainly started the brighter... But it was Town who started to really control, and should have taken the lead through Nicky Wroe...

After the restart, Welling looked certain to capitalise on wasted chances... Welling came out looking a different side to the one who were lucky to go in goalless...

And after that promising spell, Town brought their opponents down to earth with the opening goal. Hughes saw a fierce drive parried by Rodak, into the path of Burrow. But despite the fact Town’s forward couldn’t connect, James added the finishing touch...

But the more the half wore on, the more threatening Welling became. And it was no surprise when they drew level. Having sat deep inside their own half since the opener, Town’s defence allowed Kadell Daniel far too much space, and he curled beyond Johnson from 20 yards to drag The Wings level".


Glossop North End beat Lancaster City 3-1 on Saturday with all three of North End's goals coming from ex-Alty players; Astley Mulholland, Thomas Bailey and Kieran Lugsden.


The National League review of Saturday's matches says that "Leaders Forest Green Rovers and second-placed Cheltenham Town both won on Saturday, meaning the gap at the top is still just one point. Charlie Clough scored an injury-time winner as Forest Green came from behind to beat play-off chasing Macclesfield Town 2-1 at The New Lawn.

In a game that Forest Green dominated, it was the Silkmen who broke the deadlock... But James Jennings equalised in the 77th minute... And in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Clough grabbed Forest Green's winner from Sam Wedgbury`s cross.

Cheltenham maintained their challenge with a comfortable 4-1 win at the World of Smiles Stadium against Bromley... The gap is growing between the top two and the rest of the chasing pack. Third-placed Grimsby Town's 1-0 defeat at the International Stadium by another play-off contender, Gateshead, means there is no a ten-point cushion for the leading pair.

Danny Johnson scored what proved to be the only goal of the game for the Tynesiders after just 3 minutes... Fourth-placed Eastleigh were held to a 1-1 draw at the Silverlake Stadium by Wrexham...

Tranmere Rovers are fifth after edging out struggling Torquay United 2-1 at Prenton Park. The star of the show was undoubtedly Tranmere’s veteran forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher. The 34-year-old former Blackpool and Leicester City striker hit a tremendous opener from 35 yards. He also set up James Norwood’s second for Rovers...

Torquay's new striker Shaun Harrad scored his first goal for the club 3 minutes later to set up a tense finish, but the Gulls couldn`t save themselves from another defeat which leaves them a worrying ten points adrift of the safety-mark.

Woking missed an opportunity to stay in the top five after being held to a 2-2 draw by Barrow AFC at Kingfield. The first-half was barely underway before one of the referee`s assistants was struck by the ball in the face and was replaced. When play resumed, 12 minutes later, Barrow took the lead 6 minutes on when Woking`s debutant left-back Scott Griffiths headed into his own goal.

But the Bluebirds’ advantage lasted just 4 minutes as John Goddard notched his 14th league goal, smashing in past Joel Dixon. However, Barrow regained the lead 7 minutes later, Andy Cook heading home... However, in the 8th minute of 15 minutes of added time, Woking levelled again. Griffiths’ made up for his earlier mistake, feeding a pass into Giuseppe Sole who finished first time.

Braintree Town made it back-to-back wins this week with a 2-0 victory against Chester FC at the Amlin Stadium... The Iron maintained a fourteenth clean sheet of the campaign against a visiting side who lacked bite in the final third.

Lincoln City brought their eleven-game run without a win to an end with a 1-0 victory over Guiseley AFC at Sincil Bank. The Imps took the lead on 26 minutes through Chris Bush... Despite a spirited second half from the visitors, the Imps held on to earn their first win since they beat Torquay back in November.

FC Halifax Town were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Welling United in a game they should have won... Kingsley James looked to have sent them on the way to a crucial three points with the opener after 56 minutes. But the Shaymen retreated into their shells following their goal, and Kadell Daniel equalised on 80 minutes with a superb effort from outside the box. The result extends Jim Harvey’s unbeaten run to a dozen games, but it will certainly feel like two points dropped.

Bottom-markers Kidderminster Harriers suffered an eighth straight defeat at the EBB Stadium against Aldershot Town. Harriers had the better of things in a largely uneventful first half but were punished for not creating enough chances when on top. Aldershot, who improved considerably after the break, took the lead through Charlie Walker in the 50th minute.

Despite a spirited response by Kidderminster, with Arthur Gnahoua and Ben Whitfield missing opportunities, their goalscoring problems continued. Harriers also stretched their winless away streak in the league to twenty-two games."


Saturday 6 February, Vanarama National League
  • Barrow v Cheltenham Town
  • Boreham Wood v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Lincoln City v Eastleigh
  • Tranmere Rovers v Southport
  • Welling United v Altrincham
  • Wrexham v Forest Green Rovers

Saturday 6 February, FA Trophy Round 3

  • Torquay United v Macclesfield Town
  • Grimsby Town v Havant & Waterlooville
  • Gateshead v AFC Fylde
  • FC Halifax Town v Chester
  • Woking v Oxford City
  • Dover Athletic v Guiseley AFC
  • Sutton United v Bognor Regis Town
  • Nantwich Town v Stourbridge


Stockport County announce that "The Hatters have signed striker Richard Brodie, who was released from his contract with Aldershot yesterday morning.

Brodie is a 28 year-old, six-foot-two, England C international with an excellent goal scoring record at National League level... He began his career with Whickham in Northern League Division Two in 2004...

Hatters' boss Jim Gannon said, 'Richard is an excellent addition to the squad and his goal-scoring record speaks for itself. He has won the Conference title twice and we are delighted to welcome him to Edgeley Park. He is dropping down a division to play for County, which reflects his confidence in our ambition'".


Sat 30th January
  • Att: 1768 Aldershot Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att: 727 Braintree Town v Chester FC
  • Att: 2662 Cheltenham Town v Bromley
  • Att: 1904 Eastleigh v Wrexham
  • Att: 1407 FC Halifax Town v Welling United
  • Att: 1617 Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town
  • Att: 2174 Gateshead v Grimsby Town
  • Att: 2265 Lincoln City v Guiseley
  • Att: 5053 Tranmere Rovers v Torquay United
  • Att: 1713 Woking v Barrow

30 January 2016


Sat 30 Jan.

FC Halifax Town move above Altrincham by one-goal of goal difference.

  • Aldershot Town 1-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Altrincham v Dover Athletic POSTPONED
  • Braintree Town 2-0 Chester FC
  • Cheltenham Town 4-1 Bromley
  • Eastleigh 1-1 Wrexham
  • FC Halifax Town 1-1 Welling United
  • Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Macclesfield Town
  • Gateshead 1-0 Grimsby Town
  • Lincoln City 1-0 Guiseley
  • Southport v Boreham Wood POSTPONED
  • Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Torquay United
  • Woking 2-2 Barrow


Today's match between Altrincham and Dover Athletic has been postponed. The pitch was inspected this morning by Premiership referee Anthony Taylor, who lives locally. Although the surface appears fine from the Main Stand side there are other areas of the pitch where the ball does not bounce.

It is understood that part of the pitch was waterlogged by an overnight downpour. Two areas, either side of the halfway line on the Popular Side and near the corner of the Golf Road end were affected. As the water-table levels around the ground remain high, there was nowhere for the water to drain to on the far side, hence the waterlogging.

Altrincham's next scheduled game is on Wednesday evening, away to Crewe Alexandra in the Cheshire Senior Cup (7.45pm).


Sunday's Alty Youth cup game against AFC Fylde is to be played on the 3G pitch at PartingtonSports Village, k.o. 1.30pm.


On Saturday, for the second time this week, Altrincham are entertaining a side in the top six, having beaten Woking 3-1 last Tuesday. Whilst The Cards arrived with a nine-game unbeaten run behind them, Dover have been more inconsistent in their previous six matches with wins and losses alternating in that sequence of fixtures. But Alty will know that they have tough opposition as they lost the reverse fixture this season 2-1, an 89th minute winner settling the match for the hosts. The winner was scored as Alty goalkeeper Stuart Coburn suffered what has proved to be a long-term injury.

In fact, for Saturday's match, Altrincham are without five of their most experienced players (Coburn, Densmore, Havern, Marshall and Clee) but will have been lifted by the performance of their four new loanees in Tuesday's defeat of Woking.

Mike Garnett provides the historical record between the two clubs,

  • At Home: P6-W3-D2-L1-F13-A6
  • Away: P7-W2-D2-L3-F13-A11
  • All: P13-W5-D4-L4-F26-A17

From the other side, Dover Athletic report that they "approach the final third of the 2015/16 season in a strong position, sitting in 5th place...

Whites' attacking options have been impressively strengthened in the build-up to the game, with the double capture of front-men Tyrone Marsh and Harry Crawford announced. Marsh joined from Torquay, where his 7 goals in just 14 starts made him the Gulls' top scorer, whilst Crawford is a hard-working poacher well-known to Whites' fans; he was on loan at Crabble in 2010, and has also played against the side for a number of clubs...

Like Dover, this is Altrincham's second season back in the top flight of non-league football... Alty are somewhat of a yo-yo club, who haven't finished above 14th place in their last 9 seasons in the Conference Premier/National League - but, when relegated, seem to bounce back up relatively quickly...

Coming into the game, Whites have a record of three wins and three defeats in their last six league matches... At home, Altrincham have the 14th best record in the league, with six wins from twelve games, and have both scored and conceded 16 goals in their home matches. On their travels, Whites have the 8th best record in the league, with six wins from sixteen matches, and have both scored and conceded 26 goals in their away matches".

Previous meetings [since both teams were re-promoted]

  • 22/08/15: Dover Athletic 2-1 Altrincham
  • 17/03/15: Dover Athletic 2-1 Altrincham
  • 20/12/14: Altrincham 2-2 Dover Athletic


Saturday's referee for Altrincham v Dover Athletic is Mr Richard Martin of Weston-super-Mare. His previous Alty matches include...
  • 16 January, 2016 Leamington v Altrincham
  • 29 August 2015 Altrincham v Tranmere Rovers
  • 16 September 2014 Kidderminster Harriers v Altrincham


TASC chairman Brian Flynn is delighted to launch Football Buster, which he informs us is "an online Football Pontoon type of game for Alty fans!" He explains that...
  1. Entry is just £5 per game and 40% of funds raised go to the winner.
  2. Register to choose 2 lucky numbers & get 2 teams from The Premier League, Championship & Football League. Registration is via an SSL secure payment gateway.
  3. Goals scored by your 2 teams are tallied daily, from all league games.
  4. The Football Buster Player League updates daily for our game. Land exactly on 21 goals to win, bust and drop to the bottom, but remain in the game.
  5. You can join at ANYTIME - each of your 2 lucky numbers allocates a team to you & the goals scored by those 2 teams are backdated immediately from the start of the game, to give you a league position and join in.
  6. Winnings are paid directly by the club to you.
You can join online by clicking on the image below

Join our game at Football Buster

Go to the 'HOW TO PLAY' tab & register via the 'REGISTRATION' button.

Join the game via the 'GAME ID NUMBER' button (Our Game ID is 515).

You will need to deposit a minimum of £10 (which allows entry to 2 games). You will receive an email confirming that you have joined the game and advising you of your 2 teams, generated by the lucky numbers that you have chosen. The first game has already started and you will see the number of goals scored by your 2 teams, since January 21st, on the game league table.

If you have any problems, please call Nathan Griffin for help on 07595 520449.

Good luck....have fun playing Football Buster and help support the mighty Alty!

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


Brian Flynn announces the Altrincham FC Easter Draw for 2016...

"Tickets will be on sale at the Dover game for the Altrincham Football Club ‘Easter’ Draw 2016, for which the prizes are as follows:-

  • Amazon Fire 7 Tablet Computer
  • The Complete James Bond DVD Box Set
  • Hudl 2 Tablet Computer
  • Multi-Function Printer/Scanner
  • Any item from the Altrincham F.C. Merchandise/Clothing Range
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • 2 Tickets for an England International Match at Wembley Stadium
  • Matchday Hospitality for 4 People at an Altrincham F.C. Home game & a signed home shirt.
  • Dolce & Gabbana, The One, for Men, Eau de Toilette.
  • Four Ball Round of Golf at Davyhulme Golf Club

Tickets are 50p each or a book of four for £2. The draw will take place on Easter Monday (March 28th) 2016 in the Community Sports Hall after the game with Southport".


Brian Flynn reminds us that "TASC is organising a reunion of the teams that played against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup 3rd Round ties in both 1979 and 1995.

This event will take place on Friday, February 12th 2016 at 7.30pm in the Community Sports Hall.

Tickets will be available at the Dover game and can be purchased at the TASC table in the Community Sports Hall between 2-3pm or from the club office from Monday-Friday during normal office hours.

Tickets are priced at £15 and include a two-course meal, provided by Club caterer, Richie Bentley.

This should be a great evening of nostalgia, commemorating two magnificent achievements in the history of Altrincham Football Club and attendees include Paul France, Ricky Harris, Steve Cross, Jeff Johnson, Tony Sanders, Noel White, John King and Graham Heathcote

For further details or information about this event, please contact Brian Flynn by e-mail or phone, (07860 561011), or call the club on 0161 928 1045 during office hours from Monday-Friday".


The BBC reports that Alty supporter and "Former Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore is interested in replacing outgoing chairman Greg Dyke. The former civil servant, 57, resigned in 2010 after just nine months in charge but is now thought to be considering a potential return.

Dyke announced on Thursday he would stand down as chairman in July over opposition to his governance reforms. Watmore, whose son Duncan plays for Sunderland, was a member of the England 2015 Rugby World Cup board. Dyke, appointed in 2013, had intended to stand for a further year".


Steve Foster provides an update on TASC's activities for the benefit of the Football Club.

Membership Push

All TASC memberships, apart from life memberships, expired at the end of last season, so, if you have not renewed so far, please can you renew your membership. This can be done by going to see Anthony and/or Mike at the TASC table in the new CSH, by seeing any of the TASC committee, calling in at the Club Office (Monday-Friday from 9.30am-5.00pm) or on the Supporters' Coach to any away game or by email as above. You can pay by cash, cheque, or by setting up a Standing Order.

Membership of TASC provides the following benefits:-

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

Membership rates are as follows:-

  • Adults: £10 per year.
  • Life Member £100
  • Over 65′s, Under 18′s and students in full time education - £5 per year.
  • Family membership £20 per year.
  • Corporate Membership £100 per year.

TASC want to try to increase our membership, so we are currently trying to approach lapsed members and asking them if they are aware that their membership has lapsed and, if they wish to rejoin. Due to the season being over half way through, we have decided that we will provide a discount for new members for the rest of the season, making the price £5 for the remainder of the season.

Race Night and Player of the Season Awards

TASC are pleased to announce that the traditional Race Night and Player of the Season Awards Presentations will take place after our final home game on 23rd April 2016, so please keep the date free!

Question of Sport Night

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding another Question of Sport quiz night, which was a great success last season. This will be held after the home game against Aldershot on the 19th March 2016.

TASC Raffle

We are delighted to launch the TASC raffle today. Tickets will be being sold at the TASC table in the ground, and hopefully there will also be ticket sellers going around the ground selling tickets. If you think you can sell tickets to family and friends away from the ground, please see Brian Flynn or Steve Foster and we will happily give you some tickets to take away and sell.

Please try to attend as many of these events as you can – they have always been great nights! Similarly, please try to support the raffle as much as possible – all these fundraisers are trying to provide funds to the club".


Macclesfield Town "are pleased to announce that Striker Reece Styche has rejoined the club and has signed on loan until the end of the season. The Gibraltar international joined on a short-term deal back in October and departed at the end of the spell, having had his playing time limited due to injuries

After returning to Kiddy, Styche ended his spell with the club last week and has now returned to Macclesfield on a deal until the end of the season."

At Lincoln City "Shrewsbury Town winger James Caton has joined the Club on loan until the end of the season. Widnes-born Caton is a product of the Bolton Wanderers' youth set up and turned professional there in 2010 but was released two years later having failed to break through into their first team.

The former England U16 international subsequently signed for Blackpool and after loan spells with Accrington Stanley and Chester he joined Shrewsbury Town in the summer of 2014... He went on loan to Southport in January 2015 and, just before the start of the current campaign, he spent a month with Mansfield Town. He had further experience of National League football this season with Wrexham, appearing four times for the Welsh outfit prior to Christmas, and joins the Imps following a successful week on trial.

The 22-year-old has been handed the number 28 squad shirt."

According to the Football Conference, "Forest Green Rovers have announced that Academy graduate and first-year professional Aden Baldwin has completed a move to Bristol City for an undisclosed fee. The 18-year-old... is now set to link up with City’s under 21s squad at Ashton Gate.

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said, 'We're very pleased for Aden; this is a great opportunity for him. It's also a milestone for the club and the Academy under manager Scotty Bartlett. Our plan is to continue to develop great young players and bring them through the ranks, it’s an essential part of being a truly sustainable football club. Our next step will be to develop an under-21 squad to bridge the gap between our Academy and first-team. Unfortunately, we can't do that until we are promoted to the Football League, but that can't be very far away now'".

Elsewhere, "Much-travelled striker Richard Brodie has left Aldershot Town after his contract was cancelled by mutual agreement. Brodie numbers York, Crawley Town, Gateshead and Southport amongst his previous clubs. The 28-year-old plans to return to the north of England for family reasons, after making twenty-six appearances and scoring 5 goals since joining The Shots in August 2015."

Nearer to home,"Southport have signed young midfielder Jonny Giles on a month's loan from Oxford United. Giles is a late entrant to the competitive game of football. An extremely able student, he read physics at Durham University, graduating in the summer of 2015. While at Durham, he excelled for the university's first-team during all three years.

An attacking winger with great delivery, dribbling skills and a sublime left foot, his student form prompted local Durham City AFC to sign him for his first senior men's football. Towards the end of his final year of university, Giles played for former England cricketer Stephen Harmison's side Ashington AFC.

Upon graduating and returning to his home in Windsor, he decided to try to turn professional, which would prove a remarkable feat, given his lack of football history. And on 21st September, aged 21, Giles signed for Oxford United. Oxford's head coach Michael Appleton said, 'Jonny has worked very hard on his fitness and earned a longer contract and now we need to see him in action on a regular basis as the next stage of his development'.

A week today Altrincham are away at Welling, where "United have confirmed that striker Kieron St Aimie has left the club with immediate effect. It ends an eighteen-month association with the Wings for St Aimie, who joined in the summer of 2014. During his time at Park View Road, St Aimie made thirty-eight appearances, scoring 4 goals."

In Hampshire, Eastleigh "are delighted to announce new record signing Luke Coulson on a 2½ year deal from Oxford City. Eastleigh beat off stiff competition from a number of clubs for the highly rated 21 year-old who can play right-back or right wing.

Coulson started out with the Manchester City youth system where he spent 10 years before moving onto Cardiff City, where he spent two years making one senior appearance in the FA Cup. He moved to Oxford City in January 2015 where he has blossomed into one of the most exciting prospects in non-league football".

29 January 2016


As announced yesterday (see below), Altrincham's away game against FC Halifax Town has been moved from Friday 25 March to Saturday 26th March to accommodate the television cameras of BT Sport who will be transmitting the game live. Also, please note that the kick-off time has been changed to 12.45pm.

Altrincham FC now announce that, for those unable to get to The Shay, the televised match will be shown in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium.


Joint Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC, John Edwards, interviewed Alty boss Lee Sinnott after the win over Woking on Tuesday night...

JE: You asked for a reaction after last Saturday, and you certainly got one, didn't you?

LS: After the final whistle at Grimsby, we stayed in the changing room for 50 minutes or so and had a frank and honest discussion. I said to the players exactly what I wanted from them, and, fair play to them, they have delivered. Woking are a good side. It's the first time we have beaten them since we returned to the Conference National, and no one can say we didn't deserve it. We started in a way that didn't allow them a foothold in the game, and when they pulled a goal back from a free-kick, we reacted well again so, all in all, it was very pleasing.

JE: You would probably expect an improvement in effort and application from the players, given what was said post-Grimsby, but was it a bonus that they played so well, too, and were such good value for the result?

LS: I know where you're coming from with that, because if we had played rubbish and won, it would still have been an important three points after the sequence of results we've had. The fact is we played well and won, but I'll be a bit guarded in what I say, because there was nothing out there I didn't already know these players are fully capable of.

There is a lot more work to do, but they have shown what is required and have to make sure now that they keep it going. It was certainly a win we needed to get ourselves going again, and with another tough home match coming up on Saturday, it's important we keep the approach right. It's every manager's aim to see his side make a quick start, so you can then go through the gears, and I thought we got out of the traps quickly. Football is a hard-running game. It's 20 per cent technical ability and what your players can do, 80 per cent sleeves up and a desire that the ball's not going to end up in the back of your net.

We worked very hard at that aspect. Dover will be tough on Saturday, just as they all are, so we have to go into it with a strong mindset, then it's up to your opponents to try and come up with an equally strong mindset.

JE: There were good individual performances in all areas, weren't there?

LS: I couldn't fault any of them. Individually and collectively, the back four looked secure. If you look at Marcus Holness, and consider he walked through the door a few hours before kick-off, how did he manage to slot in like that? It was seamless. He comes from round here and knows about half-a-dozen of the players, which helps, but, even so, he had no preparation time before stepping out on the pitch. He did really well and helped others around him, which can make such a difference.

In central midfield, for good parts of the game, we looked solid and were breaking things up and feeding others. On the flanks, I thought Ryan Crowther and Josh Ginnelly both looked dangerous, and up front, Michael Rankine and Jonny Margetts ran their socks off and asked questions of the Woking defence.

JE: When we signed Jonny (pictured right, courtesy of Mike Ripley), there were suggestions in some quarters that if he wasn't scoring, you wouldn't see much of him. That's hardly been borne out, has it?

LS: Whoever said that, I don't know which player they were looking at, but it couldn't have been him. I was watching him quite closely against Woking, and he was on the move all the time. If I was out there in the centre of defence, I know I'd be asked questions by him. Even if he wasn't in my vicinity, I'd be wondering what he was up to, because he's always on the move. He's a bit terrier-like, always after things.

There's a player at Leicester who's done all right with that approach, Jamie Vardy. His performance deserved a goal, and it was pleasing to see him get off the mark for us. Forwards always want to be on the scoresheet, and it will have done him good. We've got Damian Reeves to call on as well, so it's good to have that level of competition. Damian is fully fit, but competition for places never did any harm. Players should thrive on that.

JE: What about the run by Ranks near the end, when he looked to have no chance of getting to the ball first but did?

LS: I mentioned that when we got back in the changing room. It was part of my team talk. Michael was as frank as frank can be at Grimsby when we discussed things after the game. I like that, and the fact is, he has backed it up with actions.

If he wasn't bothered, he would never have set off for the ball. He gave their lad a 10 yard start and got there first through sheer desire. It's all about desire. Do you want to keep the ball out of your net? Do you want to make a 40-yard run when you might not get the ball at the end of it?

JE: What did you think of the goals, starting with the opener from the penalty spot?

LS: I thought it was a pretty clear penalty, and Michael certainly despatched it well. It was a great run by Simon Richman for the second and a good shot across the keeper that was unfortunately blocked. The good thing was, Josh was following up.

A few times in that situation, I've looked for someone to follow up and have thought: 'Come on guys, gamble.' Josh did that, and it paid off with a tap-in from a few yards. The third was a proper finish by Jonny, and I thought it was excellent the way he took an extra second to steady himself and settle himself before slotting it nicely past the keeper.

JE: So, the overall message, as we head for the game with Dover?

LS: The message is, quite simply, same again. It's your mindset, how you approach things. They did exactly what I asked of them. Come out of the traps really hard, and the rest takes care of itself".

Alty TV's highlights of the 3-1 win over Woking are available here.


Job description:


Altrincham FC Community Sports Trust.

Salary: Dependent on experience

Location: Altrincham and the surrounding local area, it would be desirable if the candidate can drive as some work will not be based at the football club.

Contract type: Casual hours

Closing date: Sunday 28th February 2016.

Job Description: Altrincham Football Club is seeking dynamic, reliable, punctual and enthusiastic coaches to work within the football club and local community. These coaches need to be able to lead sessions confidently, be pro-active in nature, adaptable and also be willing to learn.

You must have an FA Level 1 qualification as a minimum, but preferably a Level 2 badge. Coaching sessions include football and multi-sports. You would be delivering to a range of ages and abilities.

The coach will also have an up to date DBS (Formerly CRB), Emergency Aid and Safeguarding Children Certificate. Pay will be dependent on experience and qualifications.

This role is for a zero hours contract. Work will be on a casual basis, with a possibility to secure permanent hours in the future.

How to apply: For more information or to apply for an interview please email your CV here.


The Holker Street Newsletter reports that "After Barrow beat Welling on Saturday, the Welling boss, Loui Fazakerley was sacked, and Paul Cox has offered his support for Loui via the Mail, 'It's a horrible business and people pay a price, it's a result-based business and I don't like to see anybody losing their job. I think the lad has done a really good job down there and it's just unfortunate that this is the business we're in.

I'm sure he will bounce back, I'm sure he will pick up another job and will go from strength to strength. I learned more about the business when I was out of a job than I did when I was in it. It's just unfortunate. It's a cruel business sometimes.”

Elsewhere we learn that "Torquay United have completed the loan signing of highly-rated midfielder Josh Rees from Nottingham Forest until the end of the season. The 22-year-old began his football education with Arsenal, where he worked his way up through the ranks, playing for the youth team whilst still an under-16 player and signing professional forms before his 18th birthday, and also spent some time with Brentford before leaving the club in 2012.

He moved on to Nottingham Forest, where he... made his senior debut for the club at the end of last season. A midfield man who likes to get forward at every opportunity, he was on loan with Nuneaton Town last term."

The Torquay Herald Express reports that "Winger Shepherd Murombedzi is poised to become the latest player to leave Torquay United. Following this week's departures of strikers Tyrone Marsh to Dover Athletic and Waide Fairhurst for personal reasons, it has emerged that Murombedzi is not likely to be involved in Saturday's National League game away to Tranmere Rovers.

He is believed to be in talks over his current contract, and an announcement is expected after the weekend. United player-manager Kevin Nicholson, who recently signed ex-Gulls winger Toby Ajala, revealed that Murombedzi had asked for more game-time. 'I couldn't promise that to him,' said Nicholson. Former Reading starlet Murombedzi, 21, signed for United last summer... but his starts (9) have been outweighed by his substitute appearances (13)."

According to the Chester Chronicle "Nyal Bell is close to signing for Chester FC on a month's loan from Rochdale. The 19-year-old had been training with the Blues squad this week and manager Steve Burr hopes the forward will be available to face Braintree Town this weekend.

Chester will not have to cover the Manchester-born striker's wages meaning the move was a straightforward decision for Burr, who expects to finalise the deal before the end of the week. 'We've had a lad in this week called Nyal Bell who Keith Hill's let me have a look at from Rochdale', said Burr. 'He's only a young lad but there's a chance of him coming in for us to have a look at him for a month so that would be good as he'd be an extra addition but we need to try and get somebody in more permanent to enhance the squad so we can push on for the remainder of the season.

'Nyal's a big lad, a big centre-forward. He's had a couple of appearances in and around the first-team, he's just turned 19 but we've looked at him this week in training and he looks like he could be a handful but he's only a young lad.

Keith said 'Have a look at him and we're not looking for anything for him' so, in that respect, we can't lose out. He's a lovely lad, he's been training and he's possibly someone we'll be looking to get on loan for a month so we can have a look at him.... Bell progressed through Rochdale's successful academy and signed his first professional contract at Spotland in the summer. He made his senior debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Coventry City in September 2014. Following the game, manager Hill told the Manchester Evening News the teenager had turned his career around having veered off course.

Hill said, 'He was on the wrong track and, if he had carried on doing what he was doing up until we really got hold of him and I wouldn’t say that’s our fault, then come the end of the season, if he was doing what he was doing six weeks ago, then he would have been released. But we’ve really got a hold of him and we’ve made him a priority.'.

Bell had featured three times for Dale's first-team and had a spell on loan at Droylsden before Christmas."

We learn from the Yorkshire Evening Post that "Guiseley boss Mark Bower remains confident that the Lions will resolve their redevelopment issues with Leeds City Council regarding Nethermoor and that the club will meet a ground grading deadline to fulfil National League criteria.

Work has temporarily stopped at Nethermoor, which must meet ground grading criteria for 2016-17 by a league deadline of March 31, after the City Council posted a ‘stop notice’ at the ground amid concerns about protected trees. With the clock ticking regarding Guiseley’s work to complete a raft of ground improvements for the club to reach a minimum A grade, it represents an untimely development. If the work is not completed, with the capacity needing to be extended to 4,000, Guiseley could face being booted out of the division regardless of how they fare on the pitch.

But Bower believes that the delay in work will be temporary and is concentrating wholly on matters on the pitch and is not duly worried by the off-the-field situation. He said, 'The lads will concentrate on winning games and from what we are being told, there will not be any problem with getting the work done. A fair amount has been done already. The delay, while not ideal, should not be a significant one. I think it is not so much what we are doing, but how we are going about it and us needing to make a couple of adjustments.

'Obviously, everyone wants to get on with people who live around the ground and we will do what we need to do. Fair enough, if we have not quite done what we are allowed to do and it’s an honest mistake, then we will address that and get on with it. But we (management and players) can’t get affected by anything like that. There’s no point in us taking our focus off the pitch and we must make sure we are not relegated for where we finish in the league'.

Lions chairman Phil Rogerson has also moved to reassure supporters... 'We have had a meeting with our tree experts who are doing a report and there are a few issues. But, hopefully, we will see the (new) plans and I’d like to think that we will be back up and running by early next week. I don’t think it’s a disaster situation. I guess we have been slightly naive with the pre-set conditions and we need to go through and get those discharged as soon as possible and get the stop notices lifted.

'There’s probably a certain amount of work we have to do in terms of getting protection that we probably haven’t done as well as we could have. Hopefully, once we have done that, they will be happy and they will raise the stop notice and we can get cracking again. I’d like to think that if we can get started next week, we won’t have lost too much... If we need to throw labour at it by the middle of March, we will. It is absolutely essential in terms of where we are going, especially given that Mark is making a half-decent fist of it on the field at the moment'".

News of the next visitors to the J Davidson Stadium comes from Kent Online, which reports that manager "Chris Kinnear says Dover need to be more streetwise if they are to see-out their impressive campaign by claiming a play-off spot. The Whites boss admitted his side still show signs of naivety, despite being in their second term in the Vanarama National League and having been ensconced in the top-six since September.

Despite an accomplished display, Dover allowed a late 1-0 lead against title-chasing Cheltenham to slip to a 2-1 defeat in Sunday’s televised game and have now gone 12 games without a clean-sheet. Kinnear revealed, 'I watched it back, not the whole game, just the last four minutes. It was not to point fingers, we just want to make sure we don’t fall into those problems again.'

He added, 'Every game we try and win, maybe a little bit naively. We do throw people forward and maybe that’s why we haven’t kept a clean sheet in so long. We have got to be a bit more sensible.'

The Dover boss focused on the positives, adding, 'We’re playing decent sides and we’re still in the play-off positions. We want to win, win, win but Cheltenham are looking to win the league. It’s easy to always see the negatives but it’s important to see the positives. You can either feel sorry for yourself or take confidence from the way you’ve played and I hope that’s what the lads do.'

Weather-permitting Kinnear backed his players to bounce back at Altrincham on Saturday (3pm)... Kinnear admitted, 'It was a funny one. They will be coming into our game now off the back of a win (having lost 5-0 at Grimsby on Saturday) but it kept Woking behind us so it works both ways.' He added, 'We’re doing OK really, seeing as how we were one of the favourites to be relegated. If we were to make the play-offs, ahead of all these big clubs we’re competing with, it would be an amazing achievement'".

28 January 2016


Vanarama National League Press release:


"BT Sport will be showing three live matches from the Vanarama National League over the Easter weekend, followed by a crucial top-of-the table clash between two clubs battling to regain Football League status.

It all adds up to a sequence of four big games in eight days as the National League season heads into its final, decisive month.

Friday March 25: Tranmere Rovers v Lincoln City 3pm

Good Friday will kick things off with promotion-chasing Rovers hoping their recent good form will by then have catapulted them into a play-off spot. The Red Imps meanwhile may have slipped over recent weeks but will be seeking a change in fortune ahead of Easter. These two ex Football League clubs should provide a spectacular start to the weekend.

Saturday March 26: FC Halifax Town v Altrincham NB change of day from Friday and of kick off time to 12.45 pm

Easter Saturday has another game not to miss as Altrincham travel the short distance across the M62 to the Shay. It’s a game neither side can afford to lose, both having been at the wrong end of the table for most of the season. But the two sides have also proved they are a match for anyone on their day.

Monday March 28: Wrexham v Cheltenham Town 5.45pm

The Bank Holiday triple-header concludes on Easter Monday with a repeat of the first Vanarama National game screened by BT Sport at the start of the season – a cracker which the Robins came from behind to win 2-1. Wrexham, who still feel a late run can get them into the play-off positions, will be seeking to use home advantage to gain revenge and so the pressure will be on both clubs.

Friday April 1: Cheltenham Town v Grimsby Town 7.45pm

Next up is a potential title decider between two sides who have already scored well over 100 goals between them this season. Cheltenham won the reverse fixture at Blundell Park but Grimsby are likely to need all three points if they are to keep pace in the championship race.

Four LIVE matches in eight days is a tremendous offering from BTSport and their expert team of pundits and commentators. It should all make for great viewing".


Match report here

Right: Gavin Rathbone captures Michael Rankine's celebration after he netted his spot-kick on Tuesday. Gavin has more photos from the game here.

Brian Flynn has provided the recording of Tuesday's Radio Robins commentary, here.

From the other side, Woking report that "Defensive mistakes prove costly as Cards' unbeaten run ends.

A mighty second half strike from dead-ball specialist Giuseppe Sole was not enough to see off-colour Woking past lowly hosts Altrincham on Tuesday night, the Cards slipping to defeat at Moss Lane. Garry Hill’s side were second-best at times against Lee Sinnott’s strugglers, who seemed to grow in stature as the night wore on, clearly enjoying their first home league game in 66 days. The Robins pulled themselves out of the National League drop zone accordingly, and their Surrey visitors could have no real complaints...

An initial ball into the Cards’ goalmouth punched by Cole straight back to the hosts and a looping header beating the 'keeper but [was] cleared off the line by a scrambling Jake Caprice. Joey Jones then had to head away, but only found Tranmere loan striker Jonathon Margetts, who, while looking to regroup, was brought down by Andrade. The ref pointed to the spot, Michael Rankine blasting powerfully home on 13 minutes, giving Cole no chance.

Margetts and influential 18 year-old Burnley loanee Josh Ginelly remained a handful, the former further testing Cole with a stinging volley...

The hosts broke and doubled their advantage two minutes before the interval, Woking again caught out at the back. This time, Cole failed to hold Richman's effort, the ball falling kindly to unmarked Ginnelly, who tapped into an unguarded net from eight yards...

Swirling rain continued after the break and Altrincham looked sharper again, keen to kill the game off...

Left: Josh Ginnelly celebrates his goal against Woking with the Golf Road end supporters. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone

Norman cleared and set Andrade on his way, the pacy midfielder... this time curtailed 25 yards out by Ryan Crowther, who was cautioned. The resultant free-kick was in Sole territory, the lone Woking striker stepping up and making no mistake, his 57th-minute party-piece beating the home wall and finding the corner with Deasy left diving at shadows.

Altrincham fought back and Rankine netted at the other end, but the referee had already blown...

They were soon further behind, though, as Margetts got the goal he deserved on 71 minutes, finding himself in space on the left from Rankine’s headed pass before unleashing an assured finish beyond Cole... Garry Hill was in philosophical mood after the game, conceding that his team had been disappointing on the night and 'second best all over the park'".

You can hear the BBC interview with Garry Hill here.

And Get Surrey adds that "Garry Hill's Woking suffered their first league defeat since the end of November... Woking were very much on the back-foot in the opening exchanges, falling behind on 13 minutes against a home side that looked far sharper, despite not having played a league game at Moss Lane for seven [nine and a half] weeks...

For a 10-minute spell from the half-hour mark the Cards looked stronger, finally settling, but a killer second goal arrived two minutes before the break... The ball falling kindly to unmarked Josh Ginnelly, who tapped into an unguarded net from eight yards.

The Cards halved the deficit on 57 minutes... The Cards made changes but as they chased the game they looked vulnerable at the back, and were caught out on 71 minutes as Margetts found himself away on the left, keeping his cool and firing powerfully past Cole to seal the deal".


As things stand Altrincham have only one away trip in their next seven league fixtures and that is to Welling United on Saturday, 6 February. TASC is running a Hayton's mini-coach to the game (i.e. not a minibus but a larger and more comfortable vehicle). To book your seat on the vehicle please ring the club during normal weekday office hours on (0161) 928-1045.

Details of timings and fares are on the Away Travel page.


Keith Edleston confirms the details of this coming Sunday’s game (31 January) for Altrincham FC Ladies. It is at home at Mersey Valley Sports Club, Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL. Kick- off is at 2pm, against Mersey Girls. The social club will be open throughout the day from 12 noon. All spectators are very welcome.


  • Att: 826 Altrincham v Woking
  • Att: 484 Braintree Town v Wrexham
  • Att: 707 Southport v Forest Green Rovers


The National League confirms that "Dover Athletic have announced a double signing. Torquay United's top scorer Tyrone Marsh joins on an eighteen-month deal, whilst fellow striker Harry Crawford has also agreed terms with the club after leaving National League South side St Albans City.

Twenty-two-year-old Marsh, who stands at 5'11”, joined Oxford United at the age of 14, having previously played at youth level for MK Dons and Luton Town. United sent him out on loan to Aylesbury United, Staines Town and Welling United, and also made his professional debut for Oxford in 2012...

In December 2014, Marsh signed for Ebbsfleet United but moved to Torquay in June 2015, signing a one-year deal. This season, Marsh has scored 7 goals in eighteen appearances.

Fellow striker Harry Crawford, who spent time at the club on loan back in 2010, has been playing for St Albans after a spell at Boreham Wood... The former Southend United, Dartford and Barnet man is looking forward to getting out there and doing his business in a Dover shirt."


As well as allowing Tyrone Marsh to leave for Dover, "Torquay United have allowed striker Waide Fairhurst to leave the club by mutual consent for personal reasons. The 26-year-old started his career at Doncaster Rovers and went on to serve the likes of Shrewsbury Town, Southend United and Hereford United before joining Macclesfield Town on a two-year in the summer of 2011.

He had a brief spell at Lincoln City before returning to Moss Rose... The summer signing has seen his progress halted by injury this season" reports the National League.


From the National League comes news that "There was a major shock in the delayed FA Trophy Second Round replay at the World of Smiles Stadium where Vanarama National League high-flyers Cheltenham Town were beaten 3-0 by National League South play-off hopefuls Oxford City.

Cheltenham came into the game as leaders of the National League but, after being on top early on, found themselves a goal down on the half-hour mark with a 20-yard effort from Marlon Jackson... City now face a visit to Woking on February 6th in the last sixteen of the competition, while to make matters worse for the Robins, whose manager Gary Johnson fielded a side short of several first-team regulars, they got back into the dressing room to discover they'd also lost top spot to Forest Green Rovers!

The evening's other tie also produced an "upset" as Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division play-off chasers Nantwich Town hammered National League North outfit Bradford Park Avenue 5-0 at the Weaver Stadium... Nantwich will meet league rivals Stourbridge in the Third Round on February 6th at the Weaver Stadium".


In the Cheshire Senior Cup, First Round matches on Tuesday...
  • Attendance 75: Warrington Town 1 - 0 Northwich Manchester Villa AET
  • Att. 41: Cammell Laird 1907 1-0 Macclesfield Town

Second Round:

  • 16/02/16 Alsager Town v Northwich Victoria
  • Stockport County v Winner of Tie 12 (Crewe Alex. or Alty)
  • Chester FC v Warrington Town
  • Cammell Laird 1907 v Tranmere Rovers

27 January 2016


Altrincham lifted themselves out of the bottom four with a spirited performance and deserved win over Woking...

Match report here.

Apologies for the failure of the Matchday Updates mid way through the second half; this was due to a sudden failure of the computer battery.


Tue 26 Jan.
  • Altrincham 3-1 Woking
  • Braintree Town 1-0 Wrexham
  • Southport 0-1 Forest Green Rovers


Phil Taylor has kindly provided a match report on the Altrincham FC Ladies' 10-0 win over Chester City Ladies, last Sunday. It can be found here.


Alty's next away trip is to Welling where last season they played shortly after the appointment of Loui Fazackerley as the new manager. And history will repeat itself on 6th February as Welling United confirm that they "are delighted to announce Dean Frost has agreed to become our new first team manager. Dean took up the post on Tuesday morning and met the squad and took training. Dean will be well known to supporters, having been part of Jamie Day’s backroom staff.

'I’m delighted to have been offered the job, it’s one that was very difficult to turn down,' said Dean. 'Welling is a club that I have a long affiliation with, having supported the club during the late 1980s, then signing on as a youth trainee some 20 years ago and more recently as first team coach working alongside Jamie Day. So I know the club very well.

'It’s a great opportunity for me to now manage the team and I am very much looking forward to the road ahead. The aim is clear; survival. The club, players and most importantly supporters, want to remain in the division and that’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to, and one that me and my staff believe we can achieve.

'I do not underestimate the task ahead and how hard it’s going to be. It’s going to be a big test of character. However, there’s enough quality in the squad and, if we can lift the morale and mood, get the team better organised then I believe the situation will improve and team can start picking up the points that we need.'

Dean will be joined by Barry Ashby, who returns as assistant manager, and Jamie Turner as goalkeeping coach in his backroom staff."

CSC On Tuesday, we learnt that Macclesfield Town "begin their defence of the Cheshire Cup this evening when they make the trip to Cammell Laird.


The NL Paper reports that "BT Sport has announced that the top-of-the-table showdown between Forest Green Rovers and Grimsby Town will be broadcast live... And two of the National League’s heavyweights will go at it live on BT Sport with Rovers hosting Grimsby on Friday, March 7 with a 7.45pm kick-off."

According to the Football Conference, "Cheltenham Town have completed the loan signing of defender Cameron Burgess from Fulham. The 20-year-old, who has been part of the Australian under-23 Olympic qualifying squad, joins the Robins on loan until the end of the season.

Burgess made four first-team appearances last season for Fulham and can play in several positions across the back line or in a holding midfield role".

From the Liverpool Echo we learnt that "Manager Gary Brabin says he is confident the squad in place at Prenton Park is strong enough to take Tranmere into the National League play-offs, whether or not they are able to find reinforcements during the final week of the January transfer window.

Brabin said, 'f we can bring someone in who is going to improve the side then we will be delighted. But I’m happy I have the players here to do the job. There’s a good atmosphere among this group of lads. We feel we have everything'.

Rovers have until 11am next Monday to sign players from other clubs on a permanent basis. However, like all National League clubs, they’ll be able to make emergency loans from the second week in February until the end of March. Brabin said, 'The January transfer window is not the be all and end all for us. I like to take a bit of pride in the recruitment process. We started from scratch in the summer and I keep saying I’m delighted with the players we have brought to the club.

'The type of player to improve what we have already here is hard to find. We feel we could add a little bit more of a physical presence up front to help the load and preferably it would be someone who can score goals as well. Those kind of players are very hard to find.'

Much of Tranmere’s activity in the transfer window so far has been in converting loans and short-term deals into longer-term arrangements. Midfielder Jeff Hughes, signed on loan from Cambridge United until the end of the season, is the only new face in the dressing room since the turn of the year. Improving results and a receding casualty list mean Tranmere are under less pressure to gamble in the transfer market than they were a month ago.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 success at Bromley was the fourth win in five games since Christmas, moving Rovers to within two points of the play-off positions...

'We are improving as a team,' he said. 'It is helping we have a settled side. We had our fair share of knocks and bruises before Christmas but now people are staying fit and playing regularly.'

The manager is confident enough about Tranmere’s forward options to have allowed young striker Jonny Margets to go out on loan to Altrincham last week, a few days after Ben Tomlinson’s loan spell from Barnet was brought to an end. Tranmere have gone into the last six games deploying just one specialist striker, with James Norwood as first choice. They currently have Gary Taylor Fletcher and Cole Stockton as back up".

In Yorkshire, "In relation to the improvement plans at Nethermoor, Guiseley AFC have made the following statement. "The club can confirm the posting of a stop work notice at Nethermoor in relation to the ground improvements required to meet the minimum standards for the Vanarama National League. This relates to certain aspects of the building work that have been undertaken so far and the club understands that some adjustments to the management of the site will now be required.

We are in dialogue with Leeds City Council, as well as independent experts, to solve the issues and hope to reach a positive solution over the coming days and weeks. We will keep everyone up to date with the situation via the website and social media as and when things develop".

From the National League we learn that "After training and working with Wrexham for the past week, experienced forward Louis Briscoe has signed a contract until the end of the season." also, "Wrexham have signed striker Mark Beck on loan from Yeovil Town."

Our neighbours, Macclesfield Town "can confirm that Adam Anson and Louis Robles have returned to their parent club Wigan Athletic... Elsewhere defender Chris Chantler, who had joined Macclesfield on non-contract terms earlier this month, has left the Silkmen for FC United."

26 January 2016


With Luca Havern now sidelined for several weeks with a fractured nose, Altrincham FC have made their fourth loan signing of the past month with the arrival of centre-back Marcus Holness from Tranmere Rovers on a one-month deal. He will wear squad number 28.

Marcus, who was born in Swinton born on 8 December 1988, arrived at Prenton Park on a two-year deal from Burton Albion in summer 2014.

He started out with Oldham Athletic, before going out on loan to Rochdale in autumn 2007, a club he then joined in early 2008. Another loan followed, to Barrow ,in January 2009. He was an ever-present for Rochdale in 2010/11 season but after five seasons at Spotland he moved on and spent two more campaigns with Burton Albion.

He then joined Tranmere but, early in 2015, he was sidelined by a knee ligament injury. Ironically his first game back after that injury was on 29 August 2015 against Altrincham. Another injury then sidelined him once more in September.

Altrincham FC welcomes Marcus to the club and hopes he will enjoy a successful spell with us.

Above: Marcus is pictured in the game against Alty last August. Coincidentally, he is pictured here with Alty's earlier loanee centre-back, Andy Parry.


Altrincham play their first home league game for 66 days on Tuesday night against Woking (7.45pm).

And Woking report that "The Cards travel to Altrincham on Tuesday evening looking to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games, knowing a draw, at least, would move them up to 4th in the league. It won’t be easy pickings though against an Altrincham team who have good form at home and a win for them would take them out of the bottom four.

Woking will, presumably, be without Chris Arthur following the defender’s red card on Saturday against FC Halifax Town. This could see Jake Caprice returning to the starting line-up, or a debut for new signing Alex Smith who can play left-back.

The Robins finished in 17th place last season, well clear of the relegation zone, in their first season back in the Conference Premier. But, in spite of a reputation for playing good football under manager Lee Sinnott, it looks as if they may well have a relegation fight on their hands this time round. They haven’t played a league game since 2 January when they drew 1-1 at Chester. As a result they have slipped into the bottom four, with both Boreham Wood and FC Halifax Town climbing above them, although they do have games in hand on the clubs above them...

The Cards need to take note, however, that Alty’s home form is very respectable, with five wins, three draws and three defeats, in contrast to their away form, where they have won only twice in 16 outings".

Altrincham expect to be without five of last season's regulars through injury; Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore, Tom Marshall, Nicky Clee and Luca Havern.

In the reverse fixture, back in August "Woking made it two wins on the bounce thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from new loan signing Dan Holman, who had a hand in Giuseppe Sole’s opener and sealed the victory against Altrincham with a debut goal. Holman, whose loan from Colchester United had only been announced on the morning of the game, had instant impact in a dream debut which saw Woking fight off a spirited Altrincham side...

The 25-year-old’s first half long-range effort on 32 minutes was spilled by Altrincham goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, allowing Sole to prod home for his first goal of the season. In the second half, Holman impressively linked up with the Woking midfield and grabbed his debut goal with 15 minutes remaining... Despite a fightback from the away side, which saw James Lawrie hit the post and a late Damian Reeves effort cleared off the line by Brian Saah, the Cards looked largely untroubled as centre back pairing of Ismail Yakubu and Saah continued to flourish"

Writing about Woking's last match, the Halifax Courier says that "There were mixed feelings for FC Halifax Town boss Jim Harvey after his side drew 1-1 against 10-man Woking. The result extended the unbeaten run under the Halifax manager to 11 games against an in-form Woking tea... But Town had a man advantage for the majority of the match after Woking’s Chris Arthur was sent-off in the first-half.

Harvey said, 'I am disappointed. I thought we had enough possession to have won the game. Having said that, to come here and take a point from Woking, who are on a terrific run of form, is extremely good... We were very naive and got caught out for the first goal on the counter-attack. The boys didn’t know how to deal with it. They go gung-ho and the forget about defending and we let them in.

'At half-time we got them re-organised and I don’t think Woking showed a great deal of ambition to go get a goal, it was just a case of could we break them down or not and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that'.

The Town boss agreed with the decision to dismiss Woking full-back Chris Arthur for a crunching tackle on Halifax’s James Bolton midway through the first-half. 'In my day that wouldn’t have been a sending off but the letter of the law is that if you come off the ground, that’s what you get,' Harvey said. 'I don’t think he’s hurt our lad, he’s got the ball, but he did come off the ground and you’re always risking that (being sent-off)'...

Striker Richard Peniket could have won the game in the dying moments in what was his first Town appearance for 10 months, but scuffed his shot straight at Woking keeper Jake Cole from 12 yards... Midfielder Dino Fazlic came on for his Town debut after an hour, and Harvey says he has a chance to prove his worth between now and the end of the campaign".


Michael Ripley has photos from the Ladies' 10-0 win on Sunday.


Altrincham FC recently started a walking football session in the Community Sports Hall and, after just a handful of sessions, optimistically entered themselves into the FA People's Cup competition for thier first taste of compettive football. Given the lack of practice, the absence of several more players from the squad and the fact that they had never played the outdoor version of the game before, expectations were not too high. And so it proved as the team lost all three of its group-stage matches to more experienced teams.

But with this experience behind them, the team is aiming for big improvements during 2016!

Pictured right, courtesy of David Slack, we see the Altrincham squad with manager Neil Tolson before the start of the competition, which was held on Sunday at Bury College.

If you are interested in joining the walking football sessions at the Community Sports Hall, please contact the club on (0161) 928-1045.


Welling United "have sacked manager Loui Fazakerley after a poor run of results. The Wings are without a league win since mid-October and sit in the Vanarama National League relegation zone. Fazakerley took over in March 2015 and guided the team to safety at the end of last season.

Operations manager Barry Hobbins said, 'We’re disappointed that we’ve had to make a change but we felt we had to give ourselves the best chance possible of staying up. We enjoyed a good run in the FA Cup this season but the league is our priority and we need to get back to winning ways very quickly.

Loui has been a fantastic servant to the club, both as a player over a number of seasons and as a manager in the past year or so. We wish him all the best in the future.”

Fazakerley has made 219 appearances for the club".

The BBC adds that "The Wings are four points adrift of safety and without a win in 10 league matches, stretching back to 13 October... They have lost their last five games in all competitions.

Coaches Matt McEntegart and Paul Barnes have also left the club".

Fazakerley commented to BBC Radio Kent, "I'm very disappointed because I still believe we could still have turned things round. It has been a very intense few months and we gave it everything. With every game you fail to win your time runs out so we knew it was a possibility. It is the end of an era as I had some great years at Welling."

Later the BBC added that "Welling United are set to appoint Dean Frost as their new manager, BBC Radio Kent reports... Barry Ashby is expected to be appointed as Frost's number two. The duo were part of the coaching set-up at Park View Road when Jamie Day was Welling manager, Frost as first-team coach and Ashby as Day's assistant".

Before last Saturday's match, the Holker Street Newsletter reported that Barrow manage Paul Cox told the NW Evening Mail: "We're six points above the relegation zone... I'm the eternal optimist and I don't want to think negative in any way. We're out the Trophy, we'redisappointed, but now we have 18 games and quite a number of them are at home. That's a Godsend, because of the seven I have had, only two have been at home. It's a tough League and the sides at the bottom are picking up, but I'm more concerned with ourselves.

I want to make sure that we are concentrated and focused on our games now. There are a lot of games to be played and a lot of footballto be played. We need to pick up points as soon as possible and get what we deserve out of games, instead of looking back andtalking about missed chances...

It's about goals at one end and stopping them at the other - it's the simplicity of football. That's what we've got to be looking for, that little bit of quality in the last third. Ultimately, you always get what you deserve in football. It doesn't lie. Being ruthless in both boxes is what is letting us down and that comes downto that concentration level, that mental capacity to manage the game. That is what is costing us."

From the National League we learn that "Forest Green Rovers have swooped to sign teenage midfielder Charlie Cooper on a month`s loan from Birmingham City... A central midfielder by trade, he follows in the footsteps of father Mark, who made appearances in a Forest Green shirt and was most recently manager at Swindon Town. He’s also the grandson of former England international Terry, who earned great acclaim locally as manager of Bristol City and Bristol Rovers during the 1980s".

At the other end of the table "Kidderminster Harriers have released Joe Clarke and Reece Styche. Experienced former Wrexham midfielder Clarke made seventeen appearances as a Harrier after signing in the summer, but has spent much of the last few months out on loan at Brackley Town. Striker Styche`s contract was cancelled by mutual consent. He first joined the club in the summer of 2014 and departs having made thirty-six appearances and netting on 6 occasions."

Elsewhere "FC Halifax Town have announced the signing of midfielder Dino Fazlic until the end of the season. The 24-year-old was born in Banja Luka in Bosnia but has German nationality and started his career with Werder Bremen. He has also played for Swiss side Grasshoppers of Zurich and Croatian side NK Zadar. His most recent club, however, was the Shaymen`s league rivals Kidderminster Harriers".

Kent Online reports that "Despite their heartbreaking defeat to Cheltenham, Chris Kinnear says Dover can take confidence from outplaying the title favourites. Dover allowed a late lead to slip to a 2-1 defeat in the final three minutes at Crabble on Sunday...

Kinnear said, 'I am really pleased with how good we looked really. We showed we’re a good side and hopefully the lads take something from that. For 87 minutes we were the better side, it just came out of the blue'. The game swung when Aswad Thomas’s leg swung into sub James Dayton in the Dover box, with Danny Wright despatching the subsequent penalty past Andy Rafferty, who was beaten again less than 60 seconds later when a low Dayton cross found Wright at the back-post to slam home.

Kinnear said, 'When you’re at the top you get that bit of luck. The lad that came on and won the penalty and put the cross in for the winning goal was the substitute for their substitute who got injured. It’s the way it is. I don’t think Aswad saw him. He just had to clear it but the fella ran across the front of him as he was trying to clear it'. He added, 'Nick Deverdics scored a brilliant goal and there wasn’t anyone who didn’t do well for us. If it had been an 87 minute game, which it’s not, we’d have won quite convincingly, but that’s the way it goes.

'Maybe we were still trying to push forward too much, the lads get carried away, 1-0 and throwing people up at corners but it’s part of the learning process for them.'...

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter bemoaned the officiating on the day but Kinnear added, 'We don’t get a lot of refereeing decisions in general but, if we defend properly at the end and don’t give away the penalty, we win 1-0 and there’s no arguments. Afterwards (Cheltenham) were saying "Sorry about that, we’ve stolen it off you," but that’s the way it goes.”


On Saturday Altrincham travelled to Grimsby Town where the home club has completed the furnishing of a dedicated bar for visiting supporters (pictured, right). It is decked with other clubs' scarfs, including an Altrincham one near the television screen and the walls have paintings of famous footballers who have graced the Blundell Park pitch.

It is good to see a club making the effort to welcome travelling fans and this facility contrasts with several other National League clubs where there are either no bar facilities at all for away fans or they are charged an entry fee to access them.

Also at Grimsby, Alty supporters may have noted two unexpected names on the Altrincham squad list as printed in the matchday programme. According to that we have a no.13 called Martin Howe and a no.26 named Alex Holcroft, which will be news to manager Lee Sinnott and assistant Neil Tolson. Looking further into this, we find that the squad list was copied from Wikipedia rather than from Alty sources and the erroneous names appear there!

If you can bear to watch, the Grimsby Telegraph points us towards video of the five goals let in by Alty on Saturday. It adds that "Town hit a high five as they comfortably dispatched with Altrincham on Saturday... To watch the Mariners' goals skip to 8 minutes into the programme."

25 January 2016


After Saturday's game the Grimsby Telegraph reported that "Altrincham had an 'honest and frank discussion' that went on for long after the final whistle following their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Grimsby Town yesterday. Boss Lee Sinnott was far from happy with his side's display at Blundell Park...

Afterwards, the Robins' players remained behind the closed door of the away dressing room as Sinnott and his staff dissected what they had witnessed.

'You have to choose your words very carefully, don't you?' he told the Telegraph...

Altrincham rarely troubled Town's goal on an afternoon when Paul Hurst's side were very much on top. They [Altrincham] did, however, have two penalty claims turned down by referee Tom Nield, firstly, when Burnley loanee Josh Ginnelly went down in the box after a tangle with Toto Nsiala and then when the ball appeared to hit the arm of Josh Gowling as he went up for an aerial battle with former Town man Michael Rankine.

But Sinnott wasn't prepared to hide behind those incidents. 'We've got to put things behind us,', he continued. 'We have a 19 game season now and it's important that we do things the right way from now on in. We never got a footing in the game on Saturday and it cost us a lot, but as the manager, I'm responsible for that and I take that on the chin'".


Phil Taylor writes that "Altrincham Ladies secured their place in the draw for the Second Round of the Cheshire County FA Ladies' Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 10-0 victory over Chester City Ladies. Goals were scored by Lissy Taylor (3), Kye Brown (2), Jess Hartopp (2), Alisha Palmer, Kate Bryan and an own goal.


On Tuesday evening, Altrincham entertain Woking in the first home game in the National League at the J. Davidson Stadium for 66 days.

Mike Garnett provides the statistical record of matches between the two clubs:

  • At Home: P11-W3-D3-L5-F11-A18
  • Away: P12-W3-D1-L8-F8-A26
  • All: P23-W6-D4-L13-F19-A44

And Howard Watts's Through the Years receord previous Altrincham games played on Tuesday's date, 26 January.

In their last game Woking drew 1-1 with FC Halifax Town despite playing much of the game with ten men after the dismissal of Chris Arthur. There are highlights of that match here.

And Woking report that they "ground out a hard-fought draw against an improving FC Halifax Town despite playing with ten men for over an hour, as Bruno Andrade’s first half goal was cancelled out a few minutes later by Sam Walker’s precise free kick.

With the home side hunting a fourth consecutive win in all competitions, their strong start was halted after Chris Arthur was shown a straight red card midway through the first half. Despite the setback, Woking took the lead ten minutes later through Andrade’s mesmerising run and shot.

However, Woking were pegged back when Walker converted a curling free kick for Halifax five minutes before the interval but the Cards showed strong resilience to keep out the Shaymen and take a well-deserved point to make it nine games unbeaten. The draw sees Woking remain sixth in the Vanarama National League and one point shy of the play-offs after Eastleigh also drew....

Woking boss Garry Hill, who celebrated five years in charge of the Cards during the week, made one change to the starting line-up with Joey Jones slotting in alongside Brain Saah in central defence after recovering from illness. His return allowed captain Mark Ricketts to push into central midfield with Matt Robinson dropping to the substitute bench...

With the Yorkshire side deploying a 3-5-2 formation, Woking looked to penetrate through quick wing play with both wide players and full backs enjoying plenty of possession... Hill looked to reshape his 10-man Woking side with Sole being sacrificed for Robinson in midfield. As a result, Ricketts moved to right back as Norman switched to the left...

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Brain Saah, Joey Jones, Cameron Norman, John Goddard, Mark Ricketts (c), Keiran Murtagh, Bruno Andrade (Jake Caprice 67), Joe Quigley, Giuseppe Sole (Matthew Robinson 30). Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Godfrey Poku, Alex Smith".


Once again Altrincham FC Youth had a blank Sunday as their scheduled match was postponed.


Dover Athletic 1-2 Cheltenham Town


The NW Evening Mail tells us that at welling United, "Barrow came from behind to secure their first league win since November as two out-of-form sides battled it out in a scrappy but exciting game. Welling came into the match without a win in nine, while the Bluebirds had only won once in the league since Paul Cox was appointed as manager two months ago....

However, for large parts of the game... Barrow played with the ability and ingenuity of a side seemingly full of confidence... Welling took the lead midway through the first half via a coolly-taken penalty from Xavier Vidal. There was little complaint from the Barrow players when the referee pointed to the spot after Welling debutant Kadell Daniel was bundled over in the box by [ex-Alty loanee] Andy Parry...

The Wings have struggled to keep clean sheets of late and, true to form, they conceded an equaliser right on the stroke of half-time... However it would have been somewhat of an injustice if Barrow had not returned from South London with all three points...

The result was met with boos from the Welling faithful whose side have now lost five straight league games. The Wings’ National League credentials look increasingly shaky with the side currently sitting in 23rd place in the table and cut adrift four points from safety".

News of another club in the relegation places is to be found in the Kidderminster Shuttle as "Chief executive Colin Gordon admitted Harriers must find a goal-scorer after yesterday's 1-0 defeat at home to Guiseley. Kidderminster suffered a seventh straight defeat when substitute Liam Dickinson bagged a 79th minute goal from a corner.

While the caretaker manager lamented his team's inability to defend set-pieces, he also felt Harriers lacked a focal point up front. Matthew Barnes-Homer played his final game on-loan from Aldershot, a disappointing spell where the former Luton man has not scored any goals. Once again he produced a lacklustre and toothless display.

Gordon confirmed that the club would not be extending his stay at the club. 'We haven't got a target man, a focal point, someone who can actually causes defences problems and get on the end of something. We need the final piece of the jigsaw. I was so pleased with the way the midfield three combined but some of us were off colour. Ben Whitfield was off colour and we had to change that around'...

He added, 'There will be no discussion about Matthew. We've been looking for a goal-scoring every week. Matthew knew what we needed, we needed a goal threat. We've got to be ruthless and that's what will be.' Harriers handed start to new signing Ousmane Fane, Arthur Gnahoua and Keith Lowe but it was midfielder Elton Ngwatala who shone... Fane also looked solid in midfield.

'We haven't controlled games all season,' said Gordon. 'At half-time we had words, changed one or two things around and we did control the game. We were completely bossing the game and nobody could see Guiseley scoring. What we lack is killer instinct, turning possession into goals and a cool head... Ousmane Fane and Elton Ngwatala were fantastic... They have given us a stability in midfield we can play-off now we need to find some creativity in the final third'".

From the Football Conference we learn that "BT Sport will follow Sunday's live Vanarama National League clash between Dover Athletic and Cheltenham Town with another top-of-the-table showdown... when Forest Green Rovers welcome Grimsby Town to the New Lawn on Friday March 4 with a 7.45 kick off in the first of a series of fantastic games to be screened live during the month...

Although BT Sport have no live games scheduled for February, fans can still catch all the month's action in their weekly National League Highlights Show. And March will be ending with a blockbuster of an Easter weekend as BT Sport bring fans even more thrilling live action. Details of this exciting initiative will follow soon."

24 January 2016


After the game, manager Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "I don't think we made it difficult for Grimsby to win 5-0 and that's very disappointing.

We had a chat behind closed doors afterwards and the things said will remain private but everyone in the ground could tell that it was nowhere near good enough and there's no hiding from that'".

Right: Tim Deasy collects an aerial ball at Grimsby on Saturday.

Match report here.


Grimsby Town say that manager "Paul Hurst was delighted to see his side finally beat Altrincham and he was pleased to see his side add five goals to their goal tally.

He said, 'Nice to put that one to bed. Good victory. Good for our goal difference. It's a long way to go but you never know if that could come in handy as well. Without playing particularly, brilliant. In some ways I see that as a positive, to win five-nil and not be totally happy'.

And the Town boss isn't hopeful of seeing Gregor Robertson in action at Gateshead next week. The Town defender hobbled off in the 22nd minute of the win against The Robins.

Paul said, 'It's certainly not as bad as first thought. If I was a betting man I wouldn't say he would be available next Saturday'

Where are Scott Brown and Jack Mackreth with their proposed moves away from the club? Paul added, 'Both have interest but I think in Scott's case it's nudged closer'".

And the Grimsby Telegraph adds that "Town dispelled their Altrincham hoodoo with a convincing 5-0 victory over the strugglers today.

Having failed to get the better of Alty in five meetings, it took the Mariners just three minutes to break the deadlock at Blundell Park this afternoon, with Andy Monkhouse finishing off a flowing Town move.

Top-scorer Padraig Amond flicked on the ball to Nathan Arnold, who burst to the edge of the box before poking into the path of the onrushing winger and he duly slid past Tim Deasy to put the Mariners ahead.

On 20 minutes, Omar Bogle doubled the advantage... Referee Tom Neild was at the centre of attention three minutes after the restart when Joshua Ginnelly skipped past Nsiala before being brought down by the Town man in the box.

It looked a penalty, but the official waved play on – much to the bemusement of most in the ground.

The hosts made the most of that let-off five minutes later as, when Amond beat a shoddy offside trap, he clipped a cross into the box where Monkhouse scuffed a volley into the bottom corner - completely wrong-footing Deasy.

Not to be left out, Amond made sure he got in on the act when he headed home from a 60th-minute corner... Johnny Margetts did hit the bar with a header for the visitors, but Arnold underlined Town's superiority when he rifled home after a late corner had fallen to him in the box".


According to the Yorkshire Post "FC Halifax Town returned from Woking with a share of the spoils in the National League. The hosts were forced to play for 75 minutes when Chris Arthur was shown a red card for a foul.

Bruno Andrade had opened the scoring on 35 minutes to put a dent in Halifax’s recent revival. But just three minutes later, Halifax were level. Sam Walker fired in for the equaliser but the Shaymen could not find a winner in the second half."

From the other side, Get Surrey reports that "A controversial red card for Chris Arthur hit Woking 's hopes as they could only draw 1-1... [after] a run of five wins in the last seven Vamarama National games...

Arthur was given a straight red card in the 24th minute for a two-footed challenge on James Bolton. Having lost the ball, the left-back's challenge to recover it was met with unseemly screams of protest by the visitors and a melee but referee Adam Hopkins had already reached for his cards anyway.

That decision and several others met with stormy protests from the Kingfield crowd. Cards boss Garry Hill removed Giuseppe Sole from the attack, sending on Matt Robinson into midfield with Mark Ricketts having moved to right-back and Cameron Norman switching flanks...

Woking head to Altrincham on Tuesday having lost just once in 12 games."

The weekly review from the National League says that "Forest Green Rovers returned to the top... for the first time in two months on Saturday with victory over Braintree Town. Jon Parkin's 10th goal of the season in the 52nd minute made it seven home wins in a row for Rovers...

Grimsby Town kept up the pressure on the top two with a 5-0 win over relegation-threatened Altrincham... The Mariners were in control throughout the game...

Eastleigh are fourth, six points behind Grimsby after being held to a 1-1 draw at Meadow Park by fifth-bottom Boreham Wood...It looked as though Wood were going to hold on for three vital points – until the 2nd minute of stoppage time when, following Reason`s corner, Andy Drury slotted home the equaliser.

FC Halifax Town extended their unbeaten run under Jim Harvey to eleven games as they drew 1-1 against ten-man Woking...

Macclesfield Town`s top five hopes took a blow as they were beaten 2-0 at the Moss Rose by Aldershot Town, who are now fourteenth in the table...

Tranmere Rovers extended their good to four wins in five games, thanks to a solid 1-0 win at Bromley. The goal came from the unlikeliest of sources, as defender Lee Vaughan celebrated making his switch to Prenton Park a permanent one with his first strike in nearly three years...

Gateshead also extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions as they won 2-0 at the Launa Windows Stadium against struggling Torquay United.

Wrexham came from behind to secure their first win in five league games and extend Lincoln City's winless run to ten games...

Chester FC and in-form Southport were forced to share the spoils from a goalless home draw in their derby clash... Barrow AFC secured a much-needed victory against relegation-threatened Welling United at Park View Road... A late goal saw Kidderminster Harriers fall to a seventh straight defeat against Guiseley.


Sat 30 Jan.
  • Aldershot Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Altrincham v Dover Athletic
  • Braintree Town v Chester FC
  • Cheltenham Town v Bromley
  • Eastleigh v Wrexham
  • FC Halifax Town v Welling United
  • Forest Green Rovers v Macclesfield Town
  • Gateshead v Grimsby Town
  • Lincoln City v Guiseley
  • Southport v Boreham Wood
  • Tranmere Rovers v Torquay United
  • Woking v Barrow


  • Att: 406 Boreham Wood v Eastleigh
  • Att: 2219 Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
  • Att: 2228 Chester FC v Southport
  • Att: 1507 Forest Green Rovers v Braintree Town
  • Att: 4323 Grimsby Town v Altrincham
  • Att: 1431 Kidderminster Harriers v Guiseley
  • Att: 1515 Macclesfield Town v Aldershot Town
  • Att: 721 Torquay United v Gateshead
  • Att: 542 Welling United v Barrow
  • Att: 1484 Woking v FC Halifax Town
  • Att: 3853 Wrexham v Lincoln City

23 January 2016


Altrincham fielded all three of their recent loan-signing forwards but went down to their heaviest defeat of the season. Reeves, Lawrie and O'Keefe were all on the bench as Margetts, up front, Ginnelly on the left and Mottley-Henry on the right, all made their league debuts for The Robins...

Match report here.

Above: Omar Bogle nets Grimsby's second goal.


Apologies that it was not possible to provide the usual Matchday Updates from Grimsby owing to failings at the hosting service. However, the "emergency" updates page did function fully throughout the match, via the link on the desktop version of the Matchday Updates page. This was the first time that the emergency page has been necessary since the inception of the mobile version of the website and in future an explicit link will also be added to the mobile updates page.

The emergency updates page is here.


Sat 23 Jan 2016
  • Boreham Wood 0-1 Tranmere R.
  • Chester FC 0-0 Southport
  • Forest Green R. 1-0 Braintree T.
  • Grimsby T. 5-0 Altrincham
  • Kidderminster H. 0-1 Guiseley
  • Macclesfield T. 0-2 Aldershot T.
  • Torquay U.0-2 Gateshead
  • Welling U. 1-2 Barrow
  • Woking 1-1 FC Halifax T.
  • Wrexham 3-1 Lincoln City

Sun 24 Jan 2016

  • Dover A. v Cheltenham T. k.o. 12.15pm on BT Sport


Times and fares for the TASC supporters' transport to Grimsby on Saturday are on the Away Travel page.

Mike Garnett provides the record between the two clubs, which shows Altrincham unbeaten in the five meetings to date...

  • At Home: P3-W1-D2-L0-F5-A4
  • At Grimsby: P2-W1-D1-L0-F1-A0
  • All: P5-W2-D3-L0-F6-A4

The Grimsby Telegraph tells us that "Town host Altrincham at Blundell Park... The sides find themselves at opposite ends of the table going into tomorrow's clash, with the Mariners third and pushing for the title, while the Robins are struggling in the relegation zone...

Who should I look out for in the Altrincham team? Former Town loanee Michael Rankine is the Robins' top scorer with six league goals from 23 appearances this season...

Shaun Pearson is a doubt for the weekend, while Callum Bastock will definitely miss out after being ruled out for 12 months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The Mariners fell to a controversial 2-1 defeat at Moss Lane back in August. The hosts took the lead when the ball was poked goalwards from a corner from the left, and with James McKeown surrounded by bodies, the referee's assistant deemed that the ball had crossed the line, and the goal was credited to George Bowerman. Omar Bogle brought Town back on level terms just before half-time, but Bowerman struck again on the hour mark to earn the Robins their first win of the season."


Grimsby Town announce that "The club does not charge admission prices to supporters of a visiting club, which are higher than those charged to our own supporters for comparable accommodation. In particular our concessionary rates offered to senior citizens and junior supporters apply to supporters of a visiting club. Proof of concession must be provided on a Matchday, failure to provide proof will result in the full adult rate of £18 being charged.

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

The all seated Osmond Stand is reserved for away supporters, the capacity of which is 1954. Adult admission is by payment at turnstiles 5-18 inclusive unless otherwise advised. Concessions must be purchased from the ticket office.

Matchday Admission

  • Adults £18
  • Juveniles (1-14) £4
  • Students (15-21) £12
  • Senior Citizens (65+) £12

Humber Premier Football has further information on Grimsby Town.


The Liverpool Echo reports that "Tranmere forward Jonny Margetts has joined fellow National League side Altrincham on a month’s loan. The 22-year-old, who recently had a loan spell with Stockport County, makes a temporary move to the J. Davidson Stadium until the end of February.

Margetts, who joined Tranmere in the summer following a trial, has made nine National League appearances this season but has not been able to establish a regular first team spot. Rovers have parted company with two forward players since the opening of the January transfer window, with Andy Mangan sold to Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee and Ben Tomlinson recalled from a loan by parent club Barnet".


Alty Youth graduates John Bennett and Andrew Keogh have both joined Winsford United, according to the NW Counties Football League.


Colin Peake, Media & Partnership Support Director of the Football Conference, writes that "At the EGM of The National League held yesterday at Telford, amongst a raft of company related business, member clubs voted on a special resolution to amend Rule 24 which would incorporate a whole range of conditions and requirements in respect of playing surfaces, both grass and artificial.

Members gave their consent to the submission of Rule 24 to the Football Association seeking formal approval of all elements contained therein. This is the formal route to be taken when seeking changes to rules.

The purpose of seeking the consent of the member clubs on Rule 24 is to enable the amendment sought to be introduced in time for the 2016/17 season, thus allowing continuity for clubs already in membership and those seeking entry from Step3. (Isthmian, Northern and Southern Leagues) at the end of this current season.

If all the elements around playing surfaces are approved, importantly it will permit the use of artificial surfaces to be included at Step 1 (National) in addition to those already permitted at Step2 (North and South).

These amendments to rule will also clarify the standards acceptable for artificial surfaces, especially as terminology will change this year to only allow FIFIA QUALITY PRO surfaces for playing of fixtures at Steps 1 & 2. Such name change will nevertheless be in line with the previously set criteria of FIFA 2Star category definition.

CEO Michael Tattersall stated 'Managers, players and fans all wish to see football played on the best surfaces, whether grass or artificial, and, where either is permitted, they rightly be of the highest quality possible. Rule 24 opens up those choices and will permit both across all our divisions'.

Assisting clubs with general background information and to update them on the current position relating to the criteria of artificial surfaces, a presentation was given by Mr Mark Pover from The Football Association, He included a full explanation of the renaming of artificial surfaces, with confirmation that FIFA QUALITY PRO will be the standard for acceptance to play at Step 1 & 2. His overview was extremely helpful for the member clubs prior to the special resolution vote".


The National League tells us that "Max Crocombe has extended his loan with Southport from League Two side Oxford United until the end of the season. The 'U's stopper has enjoyed regular football, with Michael Appleton.... saying, 'I am very pleased with the amount of game time Max has been getting and the contributions he has made... in a very competitive league'.

Crocombe has made a dozen appearances this season for Port, keeping five clean sheets and helping his side to eight victories".

Elsewhere, "Aldershot Town have signed striker Ross Lafayette from league rivals Eastleigh on a loan deal until the end of the season. The 30-year-old... has 5 goals this season in a dozen starts since joining from Luton Town last summer."

And "Bromley have announced the signing of Adam Coombes. Coombes began his career at Chelsea in 2006. After almost eight years at Stamford Bridge he was released before joining Notts County...

Bromley manager Mark Goldberg said, 'We needed to fill the gap out wide with the departure of Anthony Cook and the injuries to Louis Dennis and Pierre Joseph-Dubois so I’m delighted to welcome Adam, who has been training with us recently, and like Pierre and Louis has played both as a striker and a winger for his previous clubs Chelsea and Notts County'".

We learn from NL Pitchero that "Wrexham`s goalkeeper Cameron Belford is set to start a loan period with Scottish League One club Stranraer, after signing with the Stair Park side for the rest of the season.

Having joined the Reds last summer from Swindon Town, Belford started twenty consecutive games, but following an FA Cup exit at the hands Gainsborough Trinity in late October, he has only played one match since. With Rhys Taylor extending his stay at the Racecourse for the rest of the season, he is looking forward to playing on a regular basis with the south of Scotland club. "

22 January 2016


As reported below, today has seen a new loan signing, a player going out on loan and, finally, an Alty player signing dual registration forms...

Press & Media Officer, Brian Flynn, writes...

"Bowerman Goes On Loan To Telford and Marshall Signs On Dual Registration With Stafford

Altrincham FC winger George Bowerman (right) has signed for AFC Telford United on a one-month loan. George joined the Robins in the summer and made an early impact, scoring in three successive Vanarama National League games in August. He has started 15 games and played the same number of games as a used substitute, scoring four goals in his thirty appearances.

He has not had a great deal of game time in recent months and joins AFC Telford United to maintain match fitness and, hopefully, to help the Shropshire side in their bid to avoid a second successive relegation, by maintaining their Vanarama National League North status.

Everyone at the club wishes George well during his stay with The Bucks.

Tom Marshall has signed dual registration forms with Stafford Rangers, who are currently 18 points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik League, First Division South. Tom (left) is still recuperating from a serious injury, sustained in August, when he dislocated his ankle and broke his fibula in a victory over Grimsby Town. His dual registration with the Staffordshire side will be beneficial in assisting his recovery to full match fitness".


Press release...

"Altrincham are delighted to announce the signing of 22-year old Doncaster-born frontrunner Jonny Margetts (right) on a month's loan from Tranmere Rovers.

The one-time Hull City youth academy graduate has only recently returned to Prenton Park after a temporary stay with Stockport County, where, despite their struggles in the Vanarama National League North, he was frequently on the scoresheet.

Indeed, loan spells have tended to be productive for the lively frontrunner.

His first was during his days on Hull's books, when he agreed to help out Gainsborough Trinity and scored a highly-impressive 10 goals in 13 league appearances for them, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 rout of Oxford City.

After adding more firepower to Cambridge United's attack for the final month or so of last season, he had a successful summer trial at Tranmere and was handed a one-year deal, following a run of form during the pre-season programme that prompted a feverish guessing game among Rovers fans.

Wary of alerting other clubs to the dozen trialists under review, Tranmere refused to name them on the team sheet and, instead, gave each one a letter. After banging in four second-half goals in a 7-0 win at Vauxhall Motors, Triallist H's identity became the subject of mounting speculation before finally being revealed on social media.

Scores of Rovers' followers posted messages on Margetts' Twitter account, and he eventually came clean by saying, 'Yes, that was me.'

He duly became Tranmere's fifth signing of the summer and, when he was loaned to Stockport towards the end of November, he wasted no time making his mark. He scored an equaliser against FC United of Manchester at the beginning of December, in a game Stockport went on to lose 2-1, and converted two penalties in a 4-0 win at Corby Town, each after he had been fouled.

A clinical 80th-minute finish at Stalybridge Celtic over Christmas looked like proving decisive and earning under-pressure manager Neil Young some breathing space. Instead, the home side snatched a point with an own-goal leveller in injury-time, and the luckless Young ended up quitting earlier this month.

Even so, no one could quibble with the impact Margetts made in his time at Edgeley Park, and everyone at The J.Davidson Stadium wishes him well in his quest to have a similar effect on Alty's scoring output".

Footnote: Jonny's arrival now means Altrincham have three strikers from Doncaster, as both Damian Reeves and Michael Rankine also hail from the Yorkshire town!


Following Tuesday's marathon trip to Sussex, manager Lee Sinnott reports that no further injuries were picked up at Bognor Regis in the FA Trophy match. At Bognor, Alty were without seven regulars. But both Luca Havern and Adam Griffin should be back on Saturday as will be Simon Richman, who missed that game owing to a clash with his University examinations.

As previously announced, Lee remains hopeful of completing his third loan signing of the New Year before the Grimsby game.


A coach of increased size has been booked for the TASC supporters' transport to Grimsby on Saturday. To book your seat please ring the club during office hours todsy (0161 928-1045). Times and fares are on the Away Travel page.

Supporters are reminded that they can purchase tickets for the game at Grimsby in advance and at a discounted price, either online, via the Grimsby Town website, or by telephoning the club on 01472 605050 during normal office hours. Match programmes can also be ordered at a £1 discount.


According to the Grimsby Telegraph "Mariners' defender Richard Tait has urged his team-mates to keep the pressure on Cheltenham by 'settling the score' with Altrincham.

Grimsby Town welcome the strugglers to Blundell Park on Saturday (3pm), after their 2-1 defeat in the corresponding fixture at Moss Lane... 'You could say that we owe them one, in that sense. It's definitely a chance for us to put things right, but the most important thing is to make sure that we win the game.

'Saturday's game is massive for us. Hopefully, we can go out there, play well and add three more points to the tally. Every game is crucial from here on in... If other teams around us drop points, it will come as a bonus'".


Our next opponents, Grimsby Town "are pleased to announce the signing of former Lincoln City midfielder Jon Nolan on a deal until the end of the season. A product of Everton’s youth system, he was at Goodison Park at the same time as Toto Nsiala and became good friends with the Town defender. The talented midfielder spent two seasons with Stockport County prior to his arrival at Sincil Bank in the summer of 2013.

He's said to have turned down better financial offers from other National League clubs to commit himself to the Imps and his impressive form earned him a contract extension at Sincil Bank. The 23-year-old has had time out on loan at National League rivals Wrexham this season, before recently having his contract at City cancelled by mutual consent".

Born on 22/04/1992, he is 5ft 11 inches tall.

The NL Paper adds that "free-scoring Grimsby Town striker Padraig Amond says the Mariners’ defence is giving him the platform for his hot streak. Amond, a free signing from Morecambe in the summer, took his tally to 24 for the season with a hat-trick at Welling United last Saturday...

'The last eight to ten weeks have been a dream for me', Amond told The NLP. 'Every time I go on the pitch I’m almost expecting to score. It’s not a cockiness or anything like that, but when you’re on a run like this there’s this confidence that you have. You’re used to hitting the ball in the back of the net...

'But the lads have been so good defensively it’s kind of taken that pressure off. Where we were free-scoring earlier in the season, we were conceding a couple of sloppy goals so we knew that every game we needed to score two to win. We’ve kept six clean sheets in the last seven games and that’s where our recent good form has been built from. It’s not just down to me scoring goals but complete team performances...

'At the end of it all it doesn’t matter if it’s me who scores the winner, Omar Bogle or James McKeown from a goal-kick. Who cares? As long as we win'".

Referring to manager Paul Hurst, Amond added, 'He’s put more effort in than anyone. At the minute he’s constantly on the phone trying to improve the team. I owe him a lot of because he took a punt on me at the start of the season and I’d like to think I’ve repaid him a bit so far'".


Grimsby Town advise that the referee for Saturday's match against Altrincham is Tom Nield. "The Huddersfield referee is in his first season as an official at this level and will take charge of Town for the first time against the Robins at the weekend, having spent the last two seasons as an assistant in the Football League. He has handed out 26 yellow cards and one red in eight games so far this season, with the sending off coming last time out when he dismissed Forest Green defender Aarran Racine in their 1-0 defeat to Lincoln City on Saturday.

Nield will be assisted by Dean Hulme and Lindsey Robinson, whilst Will Finnie will be the Fourth Official.

His last five games were:

  • 16/01/16 – Lincoln City 0-1 Forest Green – 7 yellow cards, 1 red
  • 2/01/16 – Southport 3-2 Wrexham – 2 yellow cards
  • 19/12/15 – Chester 4-1 Torquay – 1 yellow card
  • 28/11/15 – Barrow 2-1 Woking – 2 yellow cards
  • 14/11/15 – Kidderminster 2-0 Aldershot – 3 yellow cards

Mr Nield oversaw the 2-2 draw between Altrincham and Kidderminster Harriers on 13 October 2015.


The winners of the TASC Friends of AFC draw for January, made on Radio Robins at half time at Bognor Regis on Tuesday, were were as follows:-
  • 4th: #59 John Skelhorn £15
  • 3rd: #38 Niall Flynn £35
  • 2nd: #77 Martin Green £50
  • 1st: #45 Neil Faulkner £100


Brian Flynn has made available a recording of the Radio Robins commentary from Bognor last Tuesday night.


The National League reports that "Chester FC have announced the signing of goalkeeper Tony Thompson. Thompson, 21, was recently released by Morecambe after signing for the Shrimpers back in the summer. The goalkeeper made one start for the club, a 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town in the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy, having made his league debut a week earlier as a substitute.

Liverpool-born Thompson was previously with Rotherham United and last season had spells on loan at Chelmsford City and Southport. However, the Blues have confirmed that keeper Dylan Forth has left the club. Forth, 18, joined Chester in August after being released by Aston Villa in the summer".

In the Worcester News we read that "Kidderminster Harriers will use the windfall from Luke Maxwell’s sale to Birmingham City to help alleviate the club’s financial burden. The 18-year-old has joined the Championship side for an initial £75,000, which will be paid in two stages.

Maxwell, who is a product of Kiddy’s academy, has returned to Aggborough on a youth loan until the end of the season. It’s been a dramatic rise for the highly-rated midfielder, who sprang to prominence in the FA Youth Cup last season. He made his senior Harriers debut on December 28, 2014 against Southport and overall has appeared over 30 times for the club...

'Gary Rowett wanted to sign him', said Harriers' chief executive Colin Gordon. 'It’s a great deal for the club and we're delighted for Luke. Birmingham know he’s better playing senior football here than in their Under-21 set-up. Luke’s been carrying us really, he’s probably played too many times because we needed him...

He added, 'The money won’t change anything but it all helps. It goes into our general pot of money and will help pay off the club's debts. It means we might pay off a hotel bill, or a former manager or a player'...

Harriers are hopeful Saturday’s Vanarama National League home clash against Guiseley will go ahead. Despite rain and sub-zero temperatures, the hard work of groundsman Ade Ganderton and his team has ensured the playing surface remains in good shape...

Harriers, who are bottom of the table, could hand starts to Keith Lowe, Ousmane Fane, Arthur Gnahoua and Tyrone Williams against Guiseley. It will be the first game since Gordon took over as caretaker following Dave Hockaday’s departure.

Their last game was on December 28 against Forest Green Rovers. Gordon said, 'We’ve had a mini pre-season which has allowed the new lads to acclimatise and settle in'".

The Leader Live reports that "Manager Gary Mills [has] denied there is a drinking culture among the players at Wrexham. Mills addressed questions from concerned supporters at the club’s AGM at Glyndwr University and admitted he was 'gobsmacked' by the Reds recent dismal run.

Mills was forced to deny there is a drinking culture among the players, after off-field incidents this season involving Wes York and James Gray were raised by a supporter.

'There's no drinking culture at the club. Certain players have let the club down. Every football club has certain players who like a drink. You find me one football club where they have players who don't have a drink, it just happens in football', Mills told the audience of around 200 WST members at Glyndwr University.

'I don't mind if the players go for a pint. If they do it at the wrong time, they'll get sorted for that... anyone who thinks they train, go home, have their tea, go to bed, it's not realistic'...

Five straight defeats, the club's worst run since 2008, prompted fans to quiz Mills regarding the team's poor form, questioning the lack of defensive quality in the squad and the thought process behind bringing certain players into the club, such as Lee Fowler.

'We're all gobsmacked by what's happened these last few games,' Mills added. 'In a matter of a few weeks the whole picture has changed and we've left ourselves a mountain to climb... It's 40 points we need from our last 19 games. It's my job to rally the players and get them winning games.

'It's hard to answer the question of why it has gone wrong. The confidence is drained a little bit. The players need to do their job better, I need to do my job better and so does Darren. Lee Fowler simply has not been good enough from day one. He's come back and been a bit better, bit fitter.

'Lee's performances weren't acceptable and still aren't acceptable, and I've had to be brave and admit I made the wrong decision to bring him back to the club as my captain.'

Earlier in the evening, finance director Mark Williams delivered his report for the financial year 2014/15, where Wrexham made an operating profit of just over £11,000, for the first time since the WST took over the club. The club made £75,000 in ticket sales from the FA Trophy final at Wembley, however this was down from £200,000 compared to 2013 final, due to the drop in attendance. They also pocketed £70,000 for the FA Cup away tie at Stoke City.

Chairman Peter Jones told members... the club are currently £60,000 ahead of their budget for 2015/16, although are running at an operating loss of £3,000. Season ticket sales and gate receipts are expected to hit the WST's target in May, although retail income is currently below what the club aimed for."

Meanwhile, Gateshead "have re-signed goalkeeper Brendan Pearson on a 30-day youth loan from Newcastle United. The 18-year-old spent four weeks at the International Stadium earlier in the campaign, figuring in the Reserves’ 3-1 defeat at York City...

The youngster will travel with the first-team to Torquay United this weekend, with regular goalkeeping understudy Shaun MacDonald sidelined after sustaining an injury in training."

21 January 2016


There is a match report on the Bognor Regis Town v Altrincham game here.

It was good to see Joel Swift rewarded for so many games spent on the bench this season with an FA Cup substitute appearance at Bognor Regis. Here he is seen getting advice from Neil Tolson before joining the action.


Joint Press and Media Officer at Altrincham, John Edwards, writes...

"Six cars with their engines running helped guard against yet another postponement for travel-weary Altrincham but could not prevent their FA Trophy campaign stalling amid freezing temperatures at Bognor Regis on Tuesday night.

With fears growing that one frost-hit area of the pitch may be deemed unplayable, the vehicles were wheeled out in the hope the heat from their engines would counter the cold and soften the surface.

It did the trick, but Alty still bowed out at the second-round stage, following a late Bognor winner just moments after Alty had clawed their way back on to level terms.

‘It was an awkward surface but the same for both sides, and I thought both gave it the best approach they could to dealing with it,’ said manager Lee Sinnott. ‘It was a bit challenging, but not dangerous underfoot, so I’ve no qualms there.

‘I’m very thankful for the handful of supporters who travelled down, and for a long spell, I thought they would at least see us secure a replay. The real disappointment was not seeing it out after equalising.’

Unavailable trio Adam Griffin, Luca Havern and Simon Richman should all return at Grimsby on Saturday, and there could be another new addition after the recent loan signings of Josh Ginnelly and Dylan Mottley-Henry.

‘Maintaining our Vanarama National League status is the main priority, and I thought there were promising signs at Bognor that both Josh and Dylan can help us in that regard, given it was their first game for a few weeks,’ said Sinnott.

‘We know we have to score more goals to do it. We have to create opportunities and take care of them. That is the challenge, and we are all focused on making it happen.

‘I’m very hopeful we will be able to push through another loan signing in time for the Grimsby game. You don’t want to break cover until the signature is on the dotted line, but there is an agreement.

‘What type of player? Put it this way, the statistic that needs improving is goals.’".

And Brian Flynn also spoke to the Altrincham manager after the game at Bognor Regis. The interview can be heard here.


Bognor Regis Town report that "Bognor are moving on into the 3rd Round of the FA Trophy for the first time ever after overcoming National League side, Altrincham at a freezing Nyewood Lane with a wonder goal by James Crane on 85 minutes. It was a goal that put the game beyond doubt after a great display by the Rocks against their higher ranked opponents.

There was no change to the starting line-up with Alfie Rutherford again getting a start, but the subs bench was bolstered by the returns of Daryl Wollers and Lewis Boughton...

Cars were on the pitch an hour before kick off to heat the main stand side of the pitch as the frost had plagued the shadowed area in minus degree temperatures, but the referee agreed that the game would go ahead.

Straight away from kick off you could see it would be a tough game for the hosts as Craig Robson had to clear from a swift move down the left, which ended in Josh Ginnelly’s cross being scuppered by the Bognor centre back...

Altrincham looked uneasy at times at the back... Altrincham should have done better when Ryan Crowther’s driven pass into the box found Reeves but his instant shot was blocked.

Rutherford was causing all sorts of problems for the Alty defence, and turning his man, he almost broke through on 28 minutes but was soon closed down...

Altrincham would have been disappointed to not score on 34 minutes when Ginnelly’s cross found Rankine who, turning and shooting, could only see the ball rise high and wide of the goal...

In a rather worrying moment, Smith had to push the ball over the bar after Crowther’s high hanging cross dipped below his crossbar on 38 minutes...

The Robins rarely threatened but Crowther only just struck over the bar from around 25 yards out moments later... Things started to get more physical as time wore on... Rutherford received a booking for a late tackle on Crowther on 73 minutes on the halfway line.

But Bognor would deservedly take the lead on 76 minutes. Pearce found his man with a pinpoint cross that picked out Robson who rose above his defender nod a superbly placed header into the bottom right corner...

But to upset Bognor, the visitors equalised on 81 minutes. A simple ball through the middle over the defence saw James Lawrie scoop the ball over Smith and into the net. But Bognor were still in the game, and were determined not to travel to Manchester for a replay.

On 85 minutes Nyewood Lane erupted. Full back Crane made his way into the middle of the Altrincham half before firing a shot from over 30 yards. The ball seemed to hang in the air before curling onto the right post and into the net - bamboozling Deasy in the visiting goal. It was up there with the best ever strikes seen at Nyewood Lane...

The final whistle went and as such Bognor had made history - the first time they have ever reached the 3rd Round of the FA Trophy - the celebrations by the players and management staff afterwards showed how much it meant to the team".


News of Alty's next opponents comes in the Grimsby Telegraph, which says that "Sources close to York City say reports linking Michael Coulson with a January return to Grimsby Town are unfounded. The Telegraph understands the Mariners are keen on taking the forward back to Blundell Park, three and a half years after he left the club for Bootham Crescent on a free transfer.

The 27-year-old has seen his appearances at City this term limited to only 13 matches, predominantly due to injury, and is out of contract in the summer... Coulson started his career with home-town club Scarborough before joining Barnsley.

The winger played under current Grimsby boss Paul Hurst in his last spell at Blundell Park... After more than a century of appearances for the club, he rejected a new deal and moved to Bootham Crescent".


The NL Paper reports that "Lincoln City boss Chris Moyses says Barrow’s rejected bid for the Imps’ top scorer Matt Rhead 'might have bought his left leg'. The 31-year-old has had a fine season for Moyses’ men, scoring 18 times in all competitions after signing in the summer from Mansfield.

The man who signed him for Mansfield, Paul Cox, is now in charge at Lincoln’s National League rivals Barrow and chanced his arm with a bid on Saturday. The offer for the striker was dismissed out of hand by the Imps with Moyses laughing off Barrow’s interest...

'Matt’s been attracting a bit of interest, we’re playing to his strengths and I think this is the first time he’s hit double figures in a season,' said the boss. 'The offer might have bought his left leg, that’s about it! Obviously there’s a relationship between their manager and Matt... but Matt’s happy at Lincoln'".

On this, NL Pitchero also tells us that "The five-figure offer for the club's leading scorer was received on the morning of the Forest Green Rovers game last weekend and, following consultation with manager Chris Moyses, it was immediately declined by chairman Bob Dorrian."

Elsewhere, "Boreham Wood have announced the signing of Delano Sam-Yorke from Forest Green Rovers in a loan deal until the end of the season. Sam-Yorke began his career at Woking, making just shy of fifty appearances before moving on to Basingstoke Town in the summer of 2010... His goals catapulted Basingstoke into the play-offs...

His performances though had caught the eye of then-National League side Cambridge United... After his playing time became limited he signed on loan for Lincoln City until January, when he signed a permanent deal until the end of the season. At the end of the 2014/15 season he moved on from Lincoln and elected to sign for Forest Green on a one-year deal...

Wood boss Luke Garrard said, 'He will give us a real presence up top. We have for some time had one of the best defensive records and competitive midfields in the National League. However, goals have been a problem, so this signing will give me great options up top with Delano, Jordan Chedozie, Anthony Jeffrey and Jamie Lucas all very capable strikers at this level'...

And "Boreham Wood have announced that striker Mustafa Tiryaki, has left the club and joined Turkish side Manisa Büyüksehir Belediye Spor Kulübü for an undisclosed fee. Tiryaki signed for the Wood as a free agent in September... Due to a lack of fitness and niggling injuries, Tiryaki only managed ten appearances for the club, scoring twice".

NL Pitchero also says that "Subject to international clearance, promotion-chasers Forest Green Rovers have announced the signing of Kieffer Moore on a contract until the summer of 2017. Most recently having featured in the top flight of Norwegian football for Viking FK, the 23-year-old forward is set to bring new firepower up front at The New Lawn...

At 6`5”, the attacker brings with him plenty of presence having burst onto the scene at Yeovil Town as a fresh face back in 2013... Moore started his career at Truro City where his fantastic goalscoring record saw him transfer to then league rivals Dorchester Town in February 2013... Yeovil, who paid an undisclosed fee for his services...

On leaving Yeovil at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, he secured a move to eight-time Norwegian champions Viking... but returned to England at the end of 2015".

The National League reports that "FC Halifax Town will face league rivals Chester FC in the Third Round of the FA Trophy after a 1-0 victory at home against Barrow AFC on Tuesday night. Shaun Tuton fired the only goal...

It came in a game marred by fouls and yellow cards, where Halifax were certainly the more creative of the two sides...

The National League South says that "Truro City's FA Trophy adventure came to end as they were beaten in their Second Round replay at the Moss Rose by Macclesfield Town... Macclesfield now face another long trip to league rivals Torquay United in the Third Round."

The Western Daily Press reports that "Cheltenham Town chairman Paul Baker has called for a shift in attitude from the Football Association and the Vanarama National League in the wake of the postponement of last night's home match against Kidderminster Harriers.

Baker blasted the 'baffling' decision to prevent the Robins from playing twice in two days, with a home FA Trophy second round replay to contend with tonight. The rearrangement was initially approved on Saturday evening after the 2-2 Trophy draw at Oxford City. But a U-turn saw the game National League game against Harriers called off a little more than 24 hours before kick-off due to fears over it devaluing the Trophy.

'I am very angry' Baker said. 'We are members of the Football Association and we've never had issues with them, or the Vanarama National League, but I have to say this decision baffles me. We had an agreement that all parties were happy with and we had made arrangements with sponsors and caterers, and set our prices for the Trophy game to take into consideration two games in two days for the fans.

'Unfortunately, I don't think the FA have any comprehension of what it's like for a club in this situation and how much work goes into arranging a game, with volunteers giving up their Sundays, which turned out to be all for nothing.'

Baker stressed that Cheltenham went about it all methodically and were not in breach of any league or FA rules. He added, 'In Paul Godfrey we have one of the best football secretaries in the game, let alone the National League, and there is no way he'd do anything contrary to any rules,' he said. 'A lot of clubs will now face a situation where they have to play two or three games a week and it has the potential to be a nightmare in terms of fixture pile-up. In my opinion it's a silly decision and I think the National League need to look at how they organise their fixtures throughout the season.'

Cheltenham were aware any Trophy replay would have to take priority over the league fixture, but they were confident they had come up with a solution which suited everyone, with boss Gary Johnson deciding to field a young team in the Trophy. 'The FA were concerned it had never been done before and that it may damage the credibility of the competition,' Baker said.

'But in all cup competitions, managers have to pick and choose from a squad of players. We know how great the FA Trophy can be, having won it and reached the semi-finals in our last two appearances (1998 and 1999). But everyone is aware the overriding priority for us is winning the National League and gaining promotion straight back to the Football League so like any business we prioritise our resources and it's not right that the FA can dictate when games are played.'"


  • Alsager Town FC 2 - 0 Barnton FC
  • Chester FC 3 - 0 Hyde United FC
  • Congleton Town 0 - 2 Stockport County FC
  • Runcorn Linnets 1 - 5 Northwich Victoria FC

Second Round fixtures

  • 13/02/16 Alsager Town FC v Northwich Victoria FC
  • Stockport County FC v Crewe/Altrincham
  • Chester FC v Warrington Town FC/Northwich Manchester Villa FC
  • Cammell Laird 1907 FC/Macclesfield Town FC v Tranmere Rovers FC

The First Round games between Warrington Town and Cammell Laird is on 26 Jan, Crewe A. v Alty is on 3 February.

20 January 2016


The Altrincham v Wrexham game which was postponed on both 5th and 12th December, has now been rearranged for Tuesday 9th February at 7.45pm.

The home game with Gateshead which was postponed on 9th January is expected to be rearranged shortly.


Above: Bognor exhausted every avenue to get the game played on Tuesday night. Above we see six cars, with engines running, parked on the pitch, on a yellow line (of sand), to ward off the frost before kick-off.

The absence of seven first-choice players proved too much for Altrincham on a cold night in Sussex. Long-term absentees Coburn, Densmore, Marshall and Clee were joined by Griffin (hip), Havern (broken nose) and Richman (taking his University exams).

The match only started after half a dozen cars were parked on the pitch with their engines running to help warm up a frozen area.

In a fairly even first half, Alty had the better chances, the best falling to Rankine who blasted a lay-off from Reeves over the bar.

But the visitors rarely theatened after the interval. Bognor took a 76th minute lead when Robson headed home a cross from the right. Altrincham equalised when Lawrie lifted the ball over the keeper from O'Keefe's cross and found the net in the 81st minute.

Then, in the 85th minute, a fine 25-yard shot, off the upright by Crane, secured a win for the Rocks and an away tie at Sutton United.

Report to follow.


Tuesday 19 January 2016

  • Macclesfield Town 2-0 Truro City
  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Barrow AFC
  • Bognor Regis Town 2-1 Altrincham
  • Through the Years by Howard Watts

Wednesday 20 January 2016

  • Bradford (Park Avenue) v Nantwich Town
  • Cheltenham Town v Oxford City

~All of Tuesday's Vanarama National fixtures were postponed.

19 January 2016


Leamington has very good quality highlights, with commentary, of the game against Altrincham, here.


The referee for the Bognor Regis Town v Altrincham game is Mr Chris Powell of Poole, Dorset. Mr Powell's previous matches involving Altrincham include...
  • Gloucester City 0 Altrincham 0, 26 February 2013
  • Aldershot Town 3 Altrincham 1, 9 August 2014
  • Woking 2 Altrincham 0, 2 December 2014

The Bognor Regis Observer says that "Bognor play one of their biggest games in recent years on Tuesday night when they host National League side Altrincham in the second round of the FA Trophy.

The Rocks have reached this stage by beating East Grinstead, Taunton, Bath City and Maidstone, those last two opponents coming from the National League South. But Altrincham, even though they are struggling in the top tier of the non-league scene, are likely to provide tougher opposition still...

It’s more than five weeks since the Rocks reached round two, with a fine 1-0 win at Maidstone. Manager Jamie Howell is without winger Alex Parsons, who is still getting over a knee injury sustained in last week’s win over Needham Market. But, otherwise,he has a full squad to pick from.

Bognor are on a fine run of home form. They have won their past five games at Nyewood Lane in all competitions and, not since November 21 when Dulwich Hamlet beat them 3-2, have they lost in front of their own fans. The winners of the second-round game will visit National League South high-flyers Sutton in the last 16."


Tuesday 19 January 2016

  • Macclesfield Town v Truro City
  • FC Halifax Town v Barrow AFC
  • Bognor Regis Town v Altrincham
  • Through the Years by Howard Watts

Wednesday 20 January 2016

  • Bradford (Park Avenue) v Nantwich Town
  • Cheltenham Town v Oxford City

Cheltenham will be playing on consecutive days, fielding a second-string side on Wednesday in the Trophy after their first-team league match on Tuesday night against Kidderminster.


Crewe Alexandra "can confirm that our first round Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Altrincham has had to be postponed due to their continued involvement in the FA Trophy. The club would like to apologise to all supporters for any inconvenience caused by the lateness of the postponement, as a consequence of a delay from Altrincham in notifying Crewe Alexandra of a possible fixture clash occurring on Tuesday 19th January. We have made our displeasure known to the Cheshire FA, but their FA Trophy fixture takes precedent [precedence] over our first round fixture in the Cheshire Cup.

The game has now been re-arranged for Wednesday 3rd February with a 7.45pm kick off".


Sutton United report ""Sutton have been drawn at home in the third round of the FA Trophy against the winners of the second round game between Bognor Regis Town and Altrincham, who meet in Sussex on Tuesday for the first time after Altrincham overcame Leamington in a delayed first round replay on Saturday. Bognor are one place outside the Ryman League Premier Division play-off zone, behind East Thurrock on goal difference, while Altrincham are 21st in the Vanarama National League. The tie is scheduled for Gander Green Lane on Saturday 6 February."


Tuesday 19 January 2016
  • Bromley v Grimsby Town
  • Cheltenham T. v Kidderminster H.


The National League reports that "Tranmere Rovers have completed the signing of full-back Lee Vaughan until the end of the season after his contract with league rivals Cheltenham Town was cancelled. The right-back originally arrived at Prenton Park on loan from the Robins at the end of November and has made the position his own with eight appearances so far for the club.

As a youngster, Vaughan came through the academy system at his home-town club Birmingham City before joining Portsmouth, Walsall, AFC Telford United and Kidderminster Harriers. The 29-year-old joined Cheltenham in the summer of 2014 and made more than forty appearances for the Gloucestershire club, including eleven at the beginning of this season.

Manager Gary Brabin said of the signing, 'Lee is an experienced defender and has settled into the squad very well since his arrival in November. He gives us plenty of energy down the right flank and I’m really pleased that we've been able to prolong his stay here at Prenton Park'".

According to the Leader Live, "Manager Gary Mills admits Wrexham have got 19 league games to save their season following the disappointing FA Trophy exit. Wrexham were knocked out of the cup competition after losing 1-0 against Torquay United in Saturday’s second round tie at Plainmoor.

It was the fifth defeat in a row and Mills admits Wrexham, currently 11th in the National League table and eight points adrift of the play-offs, will have to improve in their remaining games if they are going to challenge for a top five finish.

'Regardless of whether it was the Trophy, the league or a friendly, we needed to win a game of football and we haven’t done it again', said Mills. 'For me it is not a blessing in disguise, I wanted to go to Wembley, I wanted to take the club to Wembley in May. Now we have got 19 games to save our season, if you like, and show that we are still capable of getting in that top five but, if we are going to get into that top five, it has got to be better than it has been in the last five games.'

When asked whether he was under pressure following Wrexham’s poor run of form, Mills responded, 'People can use the word pressure, I am a football manager and I have to win football matches and at the moment I am losing football matches, I don’t like it. I said last week it is the worst run I have had and it is another game on top of that now. It is my job to do something about it, I am not going to hide.

'But is pressure the right word? It is a concern because we need to win a game of football. I feel for everybody at the club at the moment, but as a football manager when you are winning games you take the praise and when you are losing games you take what comes with that. I have got to have a good week this week, get my players up for Saturday and we have got to beat Lincoln... There is possibly a player coming in, not an out and out striker, but somebody who is a wideman, can play down the middle', said Mills".

And on the same subject, the Daily Post adds that "Gary Mills is looking to bring former Torquay United winger Louis Briscoe to Wrexham AFC the club has confirmed. The 27-year-old is training with the Dragons as he looks to prove his fitness, with a view to penning a deal which would keep him at the Racecourse until the end of the season.

Briscoe, who can also play as a striker, had his contract with the Gulls terminated by mutual consent earlier this month after failing to find the net so far this season. Any move is likely to be completed later this week as the player looks to overcome an injury."

Kidderminster Harriers say that "There could be new faces aplenty in the Harriers line-up for Tuesday’s derby at Cheltenham Town. There is a potential for FIVE players to be given their ‘debut’ against the Robins.

Recent arrival Keith Lowe could make a second debut for the club, after having made 52 appearances several seasons ago. Meanwhile, defender Tyrone Williams has waited patiently for his first-team debut. The Academy graduate has been a professional here for the last two-and-a-half seasons but has been building up his experience with spells out on loan.

Fellow Academy starlet and defender, James Hancocks, has also been making a big impression. He’s now back and available to Harriers, as are January recruits Ousmane Fane and Arthur Gnahoua. Midfield enforcer Ousmane and winger Arthur have been chomping at the bit since being cleared to play earlier this month."

18 January 2016


The draw for Round Three of the FA Trophy has assigned Alty or Bognor an away trip to Sutton United. Before the draw, Sutton boss Paul Doswell said, "Yes, it would be nice to be at home in the next round but, actually, our away form has been better than at home in recent games". Sutton United defeated Curzon Ashton 1-0 in the Second Round.

The Third Round Proper draw

  • Torquay United v Truro City or Macclesfield Town
  • Grimsby Town v Havant & Waterlooville
  • Gateshead v AFC Fylde
  • FC Halifax Town or Barrow v Chester
  • Woking v Oxford City or Cheltenham Town
  • Dover Athletic v Guiseley
  • Sutton United v Bognor Regis Town or ALTRINCHAM
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) or Nantwich Town v Stourbidge

According to the FA in The FA Trophy Second Round... Winning teams receive £6,000 from The FA prize fund. Thereafter...

  • Third Round Proper winners £7,000
  • Fourth Round Proper winners £8,000
  • Semi Final winners £16,000
  • Final runners-up £25,000
  • Final winners £50,000


After Saturday's win at Leamington, John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, interviewed Alty boss, Lee Sinnott...

It was job done, but we made hard work of it, didn't we? What did you make of it?

LS: Poor. Really poor. Yeah, we're in the second round, but it was poor.

Why was that, do you think, after we made such a good start with Michael Rankine's early penalty?

LS: I don't think we organised properly, don't think we took responsibility and don't think we ran as hard as Leamington did. You are going to give yourself a problem when all that happens and, sure enough, we did give ourselves a problem. It was like pulling teeth from start to finish, and, let's face it, eight times out of 10, you lose those ties, whether in normal time or extra time.

So it's a relief to have got through, at least?

LS: Yeah, yeah. Of course you want to go through to the next round but there is a lot to digest from that performance. I have just been rather vociferous in the way I have spoken to my squad in the changing room about the rest of the season. OK, we played at Chester on January 2nd but, for me, after being confined to home through illness, this feels like the first game of 2016. Between now and the end of the season, we have got a lot of work to do, and if we work like that in league games, we are going to create a huge problem for ourselves, and I won't accept that.

How soon did you sense the players weren't really at it?

Right: Josh O'Keefe and Jake Moult in seemingly synchronised action at Leamington.

LS: I'm not going to give you an actual minute, but I could tell quite early on. I was seeing things in certain key areas we were not dealing with. We were not thinking our way round the problem. They were quicker and sharper to the ball, while we looked sluggish. You can bleat about the pitch being heavy, but it was heavy for both teams, so that doesn't come into the equation. No one wants a sob story. They can do a lot better than they did today. We are fortunate to be through to the next round.

When they equalised in the last minute, after exerting so much pressure, a lot of Alty fans must have been fearful of the outcome, so to win it with such a great goal by Michael Rankine must have felt good.

LS: Yeah, but apart from Michael's finishing, what else have we done?

Well, Sam Heathcote showed up well after going on as sub, with a crucial block, then a pinpoint pass for the winner.

LS: Yes, Sam has done well again. But any game time he gets this season is a benefit for him, working towards next season. That's the way we are looking at things. Could the senior players have done more? I've always held the view that it doesn't matter if you are 18 or 28. If you are a footballer stepping out on the pitch, you do the job expected of you. You don't have to be in your late 20s to have enough about you. Age doesn't come into it. I just thought, as a whole, we were second best.

The Leamington players were keen as mustard. They ran hard until they finally just ran out of steam a little bit in extra time. But, let's face it, anyone can run hard. I'm being positive towards Leamington in saying that, because they did themselves proud, but we are talking about the basics. It is a running game. Anyone can run, anyone can commit to a tackle or get bodies in the way of the ball, and Leamington did all that, certainly more than we did. I can't take anything out of that performance at all.

Were there some stern words at half-time and 90 minutes, as well as after the game?

LS: Yes, the same message. I have played in games like that and managed, and they are like pulling teeth. They just don't seem to change. You can't snap out of it. You try changing systems and personnel, but there are times when it has little effect. People wonder why you take so-and-so off or make another switch, but you can only make decisions as you see it from the side of the pitch. As badly as we played, we were a minute from going through in normal time, and we managed to get ourselves over the line in extra time. That's something, but the players are well aware of my feelings about today's performance, or lack of performance.

Do you think they realised how far off the pace they were?

LS: Well, if they are honest with themselves and they look in the mirror, surely none of them are going to say they have played brilliantly. They are deluding themselves if they do. The one exception would be Tim Deasy, who did well and made some vital saves to keep us in it. You are always thinking of outfield players when you assess a performance like that, but Tim does deserve an honourable mention. But everywhere else, we were second best.

We were not taking responsibility. That's the best way I can put it. We were not taking responsibility and, when that happens, and you fail to put the foundations in place, you will creak all game. That's why we struggled so much.

It has to be a one-off, hasn't it, given the way we've dropped a couple of league places, due to all the postponements?

LS: I don't know if you heard me when you were standing outside our changing room a few minutes ago, waiting to speak to me, but you wouldn't have had your tape running, that's for sure. Not with the language that was flying around. If we perform like that in the league, it won't need a rocket scientist to work out what will happen. I wasn't there at Tranmere and Chester, because of illness, but I listened on the radio, and it seems we played well and did this and did that, but no-one wants a sob story. You know, oh nearly the bride, oh went to Tranmere, big ground, big club, played ever so well, unlucky to lose 1-0. I'm not interested in sob stories. I'm interested in points, and the players have been made aware of that.

Were Leamington lucky to keep 11 on the pitch after the foul that led to our penalty and denied Michael a clear goal scoring opportunity?

LS: I wasn't surprised the penalty was given, but the incident had to lead to one of two things. Either a booking for Michael, if the referee felt it was simulation, or, if it's a pen, a sending off for the Leamington defender. It has to be one or the other because, if Michael had been able to stay on his feet, he would have got his shot away easily. That means it's a goalscoring opportunity. In the event, it was a pen but only a yellow card, but there you are.

Did you have any anxiety about a possible penalty for them?

LS: No, I think they were trying to put pressure on the referee a bit. I didn't see anything that looked an out-and-out pen, where your stomach lurches a bit and you sense you could be in trouble.

How are things looking on the injury front?

LS: Shaun Densmore has already explained to everyone how he is booked in for an operation on his knee and will be out for the rest of this season. Damian Reeves is back from his hamstring problem. We didn't want to throw a lot of minutes his way on a heavy pitch but he came through his sub appearance fine. Shaun's op is January 28, and Nicky Clee has now been booked in for surgery on his groin problem on February 2. Like Shaun, I don't think we will see Nicky again this season but it's good that he's getting everything sorted out.

Finally, what about the two loan signings, Josh Ginnelly and Dylan Mottley-Henry? They're both wingers, they won't both be vying for the same position, will they?

LS: They are both exciting players, both blessed with pace, so it's good to have them on board. No, it's not a case of both playing in the same position. They are both adaptable and the fact is Dylan predominantly favours the right and Josh the left, but they can chop and change. Hopefully, that's not the last of the signings, either. There could be another, but it's a case of getting the signature on the dotted line. I'm looking towards the Grimsby game next Saturday for that, so fingers crossed it will be done in time".


Altrincham's FA Trophy Round Two opponents on Tuesday are Bognor Regis Town, a club they have never previously played against. Situated between Brighton to the east and Portsmouth to the west, Bognor Regis Town are known as The Rocks and play at Nyewood Lane, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 2TY. They were in Conference South for five seasons until 2009, when they were relegated but, after dropping a further level the following season, they are now promotion contenders in the Ryman League Premier Division (step 3, like Leamington).

Bognor Regis Town have the best home record in their division, having won ten and drawn three of their fifteen home league games to date. Their team colours are green and white.

On Saturday they won 2-0 at home against VCD Athletic in front of 477 spectators. Their match report includes the following... "A goal at the start of each half by Jason Prior took him past 20 Ryman League goals for the season and earned the Rocks their fifth straight win in all competitions. Bognor started the day in seventh place, VCD second from bottom. And the Rocks were looking for a fifth straight home win in all competitions.

The Rocks couldn’t have had a better start, going ahead in the fourth minute when James Crane’s ball into the box went to Jason Prior, who controlled, turned and fired past keeper Robert Budd... It was a terrific up-tempo start by the Rocks...

The first scare for Bognor came in the 17th minute when Grant Smith was troubled by the sun in his eyes as he tried to claim a cross. He was fouled as he failed to gather it and needed treatment..

There was one change for VCD at the start of the second half, Ashley Probets replacing Mathias Bakare... The Rocks had scored a few minutes into the first half and they repeated the trick in the second. Fifty minutes were on the clock when Pearce got away down the right and squared it into Prior in the penalty area. He took one touch to steady himself then shot low past Budd at his near post to give Bognor a bit of daylight... The win took the Rocks back up to sixth spot - and they have games in hand on several of the top five.

Rocks: Smith, Nilsen, Crane, Tuck, Field, Robson, Green, Beck, Prior, Pearce, Rutherford. Subs: Charman, Warren, Whyte."

Their helpful website has a section entitled "Attending a Match at Nyewood Lane for the first time? Bognor Regis Town’s Nyewood Lane is renowned in the world of non-league football for its superb playing surface, excellent award winning catering and a warm and friendly welcome...

The ground is situated in Nyewood Lane, Bognor Regis, a short distance from both the seafront and the town centre and railway station. If coming by train, either take a taxi (approx. cost £4.50) or if walking, turn right out of station and follow these directions: -

Walk along Linden Road until junction with Hawthorn Road. Turn left at traffic lights. Walk along Hawthorn Road until you can turn left into Nyewood Lane. The entrance to ground will be found on your right after 250 yards.

There is limited parking within the ground for players, officials and disabled visitors. If disabled and in possession of a Blue Badge, please contact the club at least 24 hours before your visit to request a parking space. There is ample on-street parking in Nyewood Lane and surrounding roads. There is also free parking available within the Bognor Sports Club, via its entrance in Hawthorn Road. There is a turnstile giving access into the ground from this car park and you will also find a very attractive bar within the Sports Club which you are very welcome to use.

Admission Prices...

  • Adults £10
  • Under 18s £3
  • Transfer to grandstand £1
  • Please note we do not offer any other concessions).

“Seasons”, our bar and function suite will be open from... 6.15pm on midweek evenings. The Canteen will be open from 6.30pm (evening matches) for tea, coffee, soft drinks, burgers, hot dogs, chips, bread pudding, sweets, chocolate, and much more!

Match day programmes are available from the programme stall within the ground, priced at £2. The well-stocked Club Shop, run by the Supporters' Club, sells a range of scarves, hats, other clothing and replica kits, badges pens etc. and also features an impressive range of old programmes for you to add to your collection... The club can be contacted on 01243 822325."


Match report here.

Brian Flynn reports that a recording of Saturday's Radio Robins commentary from Leamington is available:

A wide selection of Michael Ripley's images from the Leamington game are here.


Saturday 23 January 2016
  • Boreham Wood v Eastleigh
  • Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
  • Chester FC v Southport
  • Forest Green Rovers v Braintree Town
  • Grimsby Town v Altrincham
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Guiseley
  • Macclesfield Town v Aldershot Town
  • Torquay United v Gateshead
  • Welling United v Barrow
  • Woking v FC Halifax Town
  • Wrexham v Lincoln City

Sunday 24 January 2016

  • Dover Athletic v Cheltenham Town 12.15k.o. on BT Sport.


The EvoStik League reports that former Alty striker James Walshaw has moved from from Bradford Park Avenue to Frickley Athletic on loan.


The Braintree & Witham Times reports that "Braintree Town chairman Lee Harding feels it will be money well spent having an expert opinion on the state of the Avanti Stadium pitch.

While Harding and the club recognise the main problem leading to the series of postponed home fixtures during the current and past seasons is the layer of clay under the pitch that prevents water draining away, he thinks it will be worthwhile having a fresh assessment. The club are paying for an expert from the Sports Turf Research Institute to conduct an independent survey, that is due to take place today (Sunday), that they can then present to the Vanarama National League to highlight the issues.

'We’re investing a bit of money into it,'said Harding. 'We’ve already spent over £20,000 on the pitch this season with the covers that we’ve bought and other work, but we’ve had a few chats with the league and they’ve been asking what our plans for it are and what we’re doing. They have recommended this chap, who comes from Scotland and will provide a thorough report that will go both to the league and to the club and we’ll then be able to decide which way forward to go.

'We have had enormous amounts of advice over the years and it’s mostly been that we need to get rid of the clay, but we have what we have and we have got to live with it... The league do have an ultimate sanction that they could close the ground, but we are not at that point yet. We had nine weeks without a home game a couple of years ago. We are behind with league games, but it’s not all our fault as the Torquay game at the weekend showed.

'However, the league want to know what is going on and this report will show them that there is clay under there... but we don’t want to put improvements in before we have professional advice... We will get the findings of the report and will then work with the league so they know what we are doing. I’m an advocate of getting advice from as many people as possible so that if you do something and don’t get it right then it’s not just Braintree Town at fault'...

Harding admits that only having had one home fixture since the end of November has impacted [on] the club’s finances... 'Not playing games has impacted us as a business, but we saw this happening two or three years ago,' added the Iron chairman. 'I don’t feel we’re as badly off as we were then, but ultimately, you need income coming in or you either have to stop spending or find other ways to get income in'".

According to the Lincolnshire Echo, "Lincoln City boss Chris Moyses admitted the topic of his future will be discussed when he speaks to chairman Bob Dorrian... The club's winless run has now reached 10 games with a 1-0 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers.

After the final whistle, Moyses unprompted brought up the subject of his position... 'I will speak to the chairman and we will take it from there,' said Moyses. 'I speak to him every Sunday... It will be about what his thoughts are and whatever is required, I will do it. The buck stops firmly with me and if it is time to go I will go. It is all down to the chairman but I always said that if I didn't think I was right, or I wasn't doing a decent job and things were wrong, I would walk away.

'At the moment we are having a run of bad luck, we are not getting a lot of help from referees, but I am not going to get into excuses. The results stand up on their own and 10 games without a win is an alarming run of form. It is down to small margins. But for me it will turn the corner. Whether I am in charge or someone else is, I don't know. I will not quit and I've never quit on anything in my life. I have to be realistic, though. This is a good football club and we've got to get out of this situation we are in. It's not a mess, because there is plenty of games to get us where we want to be. However, we cannot keep losing games like this.'

Forest Green Rovers [had] been reduced to 10 men when Keanu Marsh-Brown scored. Defender Aarran Racine had just been shown a straight red card for a challenge on Imps defender Patrick Brough...

'I'm not angry, I'm really pleased with how we performed,' said Moyses. 'The work rate, the effort and the commitment was all there. I don't feel we are getting done tactically, just getting done by switching off... If the form was poor and we were getting beat, then there would be a big problem... At the minute we are close and we will get there'".

17 January 2016


Above: Michael Ripley endured more than two hours crouched on the freezing touchline at Leamington and was rewarded with excellent images from the game. Above we see goalscorer Michael Rankine, this time being thwarted by Leamington's keeper and captain Tony Breeden.

After Altrincham had squeezed unconvincingly past their Leamington opponents in Saturday's FA Trophy replay, manager Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "We are fortunate to go through. I can't take anything from that performance at all, but as badly as we have played, we managed to drag ourselves over the line. The players are well aware of my feelings on today's performance, or lack of it".

Counterpart, Paul Holleran added, "It's a toiugh one to take when we have had so much control and so many chances".

The NLP stats show 24 shots by Leamington (12 on target) to 9 shots from Alty (5 on target) and the home side won the corner count nine to two.

Match report here.


Alty's win at Leamington has earned them a 500-mile midweek round trip to the Sussex coast this Tuesday (19th). They will take on Bognor Regis Town in Round Two of the FA Trophy, k.o. 7.45pm. This means that the schedúled trip to Crewe Alexandra in the Cheshire Senior Cup on that date has been postponed.

Since their last home league game on 21 November, Altrincham have played seven matches, six of them being away from home. In addition they have twice travelled fruitlessly to Leamington only to be hit by late postponements. So the Bognor trip will be Altrincham's seventh away game out of the last eight and will be followed by an away trip to Grimsby next Saturday in the Vanarama National League! Here is a summary of their recent and immediate itinerary with round-trip mileages...

  • Sat.21.11.15 at home to Boreham Wood 0 miles
  • Sat.28.11.15 away to Forest Green Rovers 278 miles
  • Sun. 6.12.15 away to Colchester United 456 miles
  • Tue. 15.12.15 home to Leamington 0 miles
  • Sat.19.12.15 away to Cheltenham Town 242 miles
  • Tue. 22.12.15 abortive trip to Leamington 220 miles
  • Mon.28.12.15 away to Tranmere Rovers 86 miles
  • Sat.2.1.16 away to Chester FC 66 miles
  • Wed. 6.1.16 abortive trip to Leamington 220 miles
  • Sat. 16.1.16 away to Leamington 220 miles
  • Tue 19.1.16 away to Bognor Regis Town 500 miles
  • Sat. 23.1.16 away to Grimsby Town 254 miles

50 UP

The game at Leamington was Jordan Sinnott's fiftieth for the club. He has made 44(+6) appearances for Altrincham FC, initially in midfield but, since the injury to Shaun Densmore, as a reliable right-back.


Saturday 16 January 2016: First Round Proper replay
  • Leamington 1-2 Altrincham

Saturday 16 January 2016: Second Round Proper

  • Dulwich Hamlet 1-2 Guiseley AFC
  • Dover Athletic 2-1 Southport
  • Havant & Waterlooville 2-1 Welling United
  • Truro City 2-2 Macclesfield Town
  • Braintree Town 0-1 Stourbridge
  • Chester 4-0 Hungerford Town
  • Eastbourne Borough 1-4 AFC Fylde
  • Sutton United 1-0 Curzon Ashton
  • Torquay United 1-0 Wrexham
  • Grimsby Town 3-1 Wealdstone
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Barrow AFC
  • Eastleigh 1-2 Gateshead
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) P-P Nantwich Town
  • Woking 6-1 Maidenhead United
  • Oxford City 2-2 Cheltenham Town

16 January 2016


Confirmation of Alty's loan signing of Dylan Motttley-Henry comes in this press release by Brian Flynn...

"Robins Sign Young Bantams' Winger On Loan!

Altrincham FC is pleased to announce the loan signing, late this morning, of Dylan Mottley-Henry (right) from Bradford City FC. Chairman Grahame Rowley says that "In order for Dylan to be eligible for any prospective game in the FA Trophy 2nd Round against Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday, he needed to be signed by 12 noon today. So, with a great rush, we managed it with five minutes to spare. Although the signing of Dylan Mottley-Henry on loan from Bradford City FC was leaked via social media yesterday, Altrincham Football Club will not announce new signings until all the paperwork has been completed and acceptance by the FA and the relevant leagues has been received". That process has now been completed and hence today's announcement.

Dylan has been assigned Altrincham FC squad number 26. Last week's loan signing, Josh Ginnelly, will wear shirt number 15.

Dylan was born on 2 August 1997 and is a right-winger for Bradford City, for whom he originally played at youth level. He graduated to the first team squad late in 2014 and made his first-team debut on 6 April 2015 as a Football League substitute and has been an unused substitute on various occasions. He signed a professional contract with the Bantams in May 2015.

Neither of the two loan signings is eligible for Altrincham's FA Trophy 1st Round Replay, which is scheduled to go ahead at the sixth time of asking at the New Windmill Ground (Saturday), as they weren't signed ahead of the deadline for FA Trophy 1st Round matches, which was noon on Friday, December 11th 2015".


Crewe Alexandra announce that "Alex Morris's side will be in action at Gresty Road on Tuesday evening. Crewe Alexandra will be hosting Altrincham in the first round of the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday 19th January 2016 with a 7.45pm kick off. Tickets are priced at £5 and £1 and Crewe have reached this stage after a comfortable 5-0 win over Witton Albion in the Preliminary Round at Gresty Road." This fixture is subject to Altrincham not being involved in the FA Trophy on the above date.


NL Pitchero reports various signings...

"Welling United have signed Slovakian goalkeeper Marek Rodák on loan from Fulham for the remainder of the season... Boreham Wood have announced that they have re-signed striker Jamie Lucas on loan for the remainder of the season from Bristol Rovers...

Tranmere Rovers have extended Gary Taylor-Fletcher`s stay until the end of the season.... Braintree Town have signed midfielder Harry Anderson on loan from Peterborough United for the remainder of the season".

Heading out of the National League is "Experienced defender Nat Brown has signed for Harrogate Town on a month`s loan from Lincoln City... [whilst] Paul Cox, manager of Barrow AFC, has brought Nick Wilmer-Anderton back to the club for the rest of the season".

The Daily Echo informs us that "Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald is considering banning the BBC's Football Focus programme from the Silverlake Stadium after again being denied live television coverage. The Spitfires' FA Cup third-round replay against Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium on Tuesday night has been overlooked for live coverage.

And, should they get through, the fourth-round tie at home to Leeds United will not be televised live either. Donald told The Times, 'One minute we have Football Focus down here talking about the romance of the Cup and the next they tell us we're not being shown live. The romance has been lost a bit for me. They want to have their cake and eat it and it would be a bit hypocritical to let the BBC in when we've criticised them'...

Donald added, 'We know that ,even if we managed to get through into the fourth round, where we would face a real David v Goliath tie against Leeds, we will not get the coverage'. Eastleigh striker James Constable tweeted, 'Just shows their lack of interest in non-League football, poor from them but not a surprise. Same old @BBC."

In the Yorkshire Evening Post we read that "Mark Bower believes Guiseley’s extended break will benefit his side after it allowed the Lions to clear up a spate of injuries. Bower’s side face Dulwich Hamlet in the FA Trophy tomorrow.

Their clash against Forest Green Rovers last Saturday was postponed after the rainfall left the Nethermoor Park pitch in an unplayable state. That means tomorrow at 3pm will be the first action Guiseley have had since the 1-1 draw against Grimsby on January 2, a gap of 14 days.

However, Bower... said, 'Having not played for a couple of weeks can leave you a little bit rusty. Really, it gave us a bit of time to clear up a few injuries. We may have had eight, possibly even nine players unavailable last Saturday, so it may have been a blessing in disguise. We have quite a few of those back for the Dulwich game this weekend'...

Dulwich have emerged as the hipster club of choice over the last few years and have attracted a committed and sizeable following. They tend to average over a thousand fans per game, a staggering total for a side in the Isthmian League Premier Division. Bower admits... 'They will have a decent crowd in,'he said... 'They are on a terrific run and we saw in the last round, playing against Burscough, a team from the leagues below on a great run, they can be tough to get past.'...

Guiseley were boosted by the return of Anthony Dudley on loan from Bury last week. Dudley had previously impressed in a spell earlier this season, scoring five times in seven games. Bower believes the 20-year-old will not take much time to find his feet again. 'I think Rob Atkinson and Ben Parker have been out for longer than he’s been away,' Bower joked... 'The players around him know him and he knows the players around as well. We brought him back because he did well for us and scored goals, and hopefully he can do the same thing between now and the end of the season.'

Bower also confirmed that Atkinson and Parker have returned to full training."


Runcorn Linnets report that "Dave Bettley, Trust Secretary of Runcorn Linnets FC, pays tribute (on behalf of the club) to John Carroll, who died peacefully in his sleep on January 5th aged 57. John managed predecessor outfit Runcorn AFC to two successive FA Trophy finals and made the sixth highest number of Conference appearances for the original Yellow and Greens.

'John Carroll didn't lift a trophy as manager of Runcorn AFC yet his achievements in reaching three major non-league finals as boss, two of these played at Wembley, amounted to victory in all but name... Getting to the second of these FA Trophy final appearances under John – or 'Cagsy' as John was affectionately known – in 1994 was achieved despite the Linnets being homeless due to their ground being closed after a pitchside wall collapse and a major fire, which destroyed the main stand at Canal Street...

John had built his Wembley teams around established non-league names like one-time Telford United striker McKenna, Karl Thomas (formerly with Witton Albion and Colne) and Gary Anderson, who had played against Runcorn in the '86 final for victors Altrincham. As manager, he helped to develop players such as Graham Hill, Jamie Bates, Paul Robertson, present Tranmere Rovers manager Gary Brabin and Ian Brady into key performers...

As a central defender initially for Heswall and South Liverpool in senior football... he moved to Dorset, joining Weymouth, before family reasons prompted a return North for the 1987-88 season, signing for then Runcorn manager John King..

John took over as player-manager at Canal Street in 1991... John paid the price for an 8-0 home defeat by Stevenage Borough on November 25th 1995... John Carroll [was] a man of honest character and true integrity, who just did not want to let people down; a devoted family man and a great friend to have; loyal to his players, club and its fans... John went on to manage Gateshead and Halifax Town while also assisting his former senior player McKenna when he took charge at TNS".

All at Altrincham add their condolences to John's family and friends.

15 January 2016


Altrincham FC is pleased to announce the loan signing, late this morning, of Dylan Mottley-Henry from Bradford City FC. Chairman Grahame Rowley says that "In order for Dylan to be eligible for any prospective game against Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday, he needed to be signed by 12 noon today. So, with a great rush, we managed it with five minutes to spare! Although the signing of Dylan Mottley-Henry on loan from Bradford City FC was leaked via social media yesterday, Altrincham Football Club will not announce new signings until all the paperwork has been completed and acceptance by the FA and the relevant leagues has been received". That process has now been completed and hence today's announcement.

Dylan has been assigned Altrincham FC squad number 26. Last week's loan signing, Josh Ginnelly, will wear shirt number 15.

Dylan was born on 2 August 1997 and is a right-winger for Bradford City, for whom he originally played at youth level. He graduated to the first team squad late in 2014 and made his first-team debut on 6 April 2015 as a Football League substitute and has been an unused substitute on various occasions. He signed a professional contract with City in May 2015.


Leamington FC report that "Following the postponement of our FA Trophy 1st Round replay tie [against Altrincham] on Thursday, it has been agreed that the tie will be played at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium [Leamington] on Saturday 16 January with a 3pm KO. The pitch has improved well over the course of Thursday afternoon and, with a dry weather forecast between now and Saturday evening, the club are confident the pitch will become playable. However we are looking at contingency measures should the forecast change and the pitch deteriorate".

Right: Leamington have issued the image, right, of the pitch today.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible to provide supporters' transport to Saturday's scheduled FA Trophy game away to Leamington. The ongoing bad weather, which has already caused five changes of date for this fixture, means that the risk of any further postponement would produce a significant financial loss to the TASC supporters' travel account. TASC apologises for any inconvenience caused but hopes that supporters will understand the predicament.


The Leamington v Altrincham tie, for which a sixth replay date has now been set on Saturday, will result in the winners travelling to Sussex on Tuesday (19th) to meet Bognor Regis Town. Should the winners be Altrincham, TASC will be unable to run organised supporters' transport. This is due to a combination of the short timescale between Saturday's First Round replay and Tuesday's Second Round match, the possibility of further weather-induced delays to the Leamington replay and the potential financial loss which would be incurred by any late change or cancellation of the arrangements. TASC apologizes for any inconvenience caused to supporters but by managing its finances it should be able to provide transport to other matches later in the season.

On this subject, Hereford's excellent Bulls' News said earlier this week that "AFC Fylde's FA Trophy replay tie against Skelmersdale United will go ahead at the home of Salford Reds rugby league side after the two teams agreed that the £5,000 prize money for winning the tie would go to pay for the rental of the stadium. Had they not found the money, with the game already four times postponed due to the weather, they would have faced a Tuesday night trip to the South Coast to face Eastbourne in the next round rather than a Saturday."


He was a loanee at Altrincham earlier this season, and now Luton Town report that "The Hatters' Andy Parry has joined Barrow on a month-long loan. The 24-year-old has joined the Bluebirds ahead of their FA Trophy tie with FC Halifax this weekend".


The BBC reports that "Middlesbrough have loaned defender Andre Bennett, son of former Sunderland skipper Gary, to Gateshead for a month. The 21-year-old is yet to make his senior professional bow for the Teesside club, but has played regularly for the development side. Bennett is predominantly a left-back but can also played in midfield".

According to the Daily Echo, "Eastleigh bright spark Yemi Odubade will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained against Bolton Wanderers last weekend. It means the 31-year-old forward will miss some pivotal games...

His replacement, Kaid Mohamed, impressed on his debut but he won't feature either on Saturday having played in the Trophy for Bath City. Asked if the Silverlake quagmire had contributed to Odubade’s injury, manager Chris Todd said, 'It’s hard to tell. Our pitch wasn’t great, but a hamstring can go at any point on any type of ground. I think he’s got a little tear in it but it’s at the side so it’s not as bad as it could be'".

From Boreham Wood we learn that "Having arrived as one of the club's big summer signings from Barnet in the close season, Striker Charlie Macdonald will now be loaned to St Albans City for the remainder of this season.

Director of Football Ian Allinson said 'it hasn’t quite clicked for Charlie in his time with us. He is a great guy who just wants to play football and now he’s fit, he was not getting the game time with us that he had hoped for. With that in mind we have decided to subsidise Charlie’s wages, while sending him to St Albans City on a long term loan and hopefully it will help Charlie, to get his season kick started'.

Chairman Danny Hunter commented, 'It has been clear for some time that we needed to freshen things up in the forward areas. Charlie simply wasn’t in Luke’s plans and, as such, we felt it the best solution for all parties to agree to this loan... Our goals for column shows we just needed to freshen up our forward line in this transfer window. As such there will be two or three player departures and three or four players coming in to balance off the squad.

We have already secured two of those in the permanent signings of Anthony Jeffrey and Jordan Chedozie and our supporters can now expect an announcement from us regarding two or three new arrivals in the next week or so', he concluded."

According to the Grimsby Town "boss Paul Hurst admits he had shown interest in Armand Gnanduillet, but wouldn't be drawn on whether or not he made a move for the striker... Hurst revealed the Chesterfield man 'fitted the bill' in terms of what he has been looking for in a frontman.

Ben Tomlinson, Alex Jones and James Alabi have all enjoyed loan spells at Blundell Park this season. But, as things currently stand, Grimsby Town only have three options, Padraig Amond, Omar Bogle and Jon-Paul Pittman, in attacking quarters. Gnanduillet, who has been on loan at Stevenage, has scored six goals in 27 appearances this season. The 23-year-old has netted ten times in 26 starts for his parent club, while also enjoying spells at Oxford United and Tranmere Rovers."

The Braintree & Witham Times reports that "Manager Danny Cowley feels playing just one Vanarama National League game in almost 50 days is a 'crisis' for Braintree Town that could stop them achieving what he knows they are capable of this season.

With an FA Trophy second round tie against Stourbridge at home on Saturday and Tuesday’s Essex Senior Cup fourth round game at Tilbury to come this week, the next time the Iron play a league game will be at Forest Green Rovers on January 23. That will be 49 days after their 2-1 win at Tranmere Rovers, with their only intervening league action being a 1-0 defeat at Boreham Wood on Boxing Day.

While a call-off of their game at Torquay United last weekend didn’t help their fixture backlog, the main contributor to the Iron’s problem has been the Avanti Stadium pitch, with Tuesday’s game against kidderminster Harriers being the latest to be postponed. Losing game after game has left Cowley having to constantly lift his players’ morale...

He said, 'No matter how you dress it up, we are at a point where it is a crisis; we’ve had one league game since December the fifth'".


The NW Counties Football League reports that "The FA has confirmed the list of clubs in Step 7 Leagues who have applied for promotion to Step 6. A total of 56 clubs have applied from across the country and the list [includes]...

Central Midlands League: Hucknall Town FC, Ollerton Town FC, Pinxton FC, Sherwood Colliery FC

Cheshire League: Sandbach United

Manchester League: Prestwich Heys

Northern Football Alliance: Blyth Town, Carlisle City

Staffordshire County Senior League: Uttoxeter Town

Wearside League: Redcar Athletic, Stockton Town, Whitehaven Amateurs

West Lancashire League: Charnock Richard

West Riding County Amateur League: Campion AFC, Huddersfield YMCA".


The Cheshire FA confirms First Round fixtures in the Cheshire Senior Cup.
  • 19/01/16 Runcorn Linnets v Northwich Victoria
  • 19/01/16 Congleton Town v Stockport County
  • 19/01/16 Chester FC v Hyde United
  • 19/01/16 Crewe Alexandra FC v Altrincham (subject to FA Trophy replay result)
  • 26/01/16 Warrington Town FC v Northwich Manchester Villa
  • 19/01/16 Cammell Laird 1907 FC v Macclesfield Town
  • 19/01/16 Alsager Town FC v Barnton

14 January 2016


Following a lunchtime pitch inspection the Leamington v Altrincham FA Trophy First Round replay has again been postponed. The new date, the sixth so far, is Saturday 16 January at 3pm. Leamington state "MATCH OFF (Again!). We will try again on Sat 16 Jan. Details to be confirmed".

Whoever wins the game on Saturday will be away at Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday, 19 January at 7.45pm, in Round Two. Therefore the Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Crewe would be postponed should we win at Leamington.


Having just played four successive away league games and with a fifth on the horizon on 23 January, not to mention a sixth planned trip to Leamington for our FA Trophy replay, news comes through that, in addition to our away trip to Crewe Alexandra in Round One of the Cheshire Senior Cup, we have now been drawn away in Round Two, should we win at Crewe. In Round Two, either Alty or Crewe travel to either Congleton Town or Stockport County. The full draw is here.


A pitch inspection at Leamington is expected at around 1pm on Thursday and its outcome will be reported here.

Leamington have announced that "It will come as no surprise with the rain falling Wed evening/Thu morning that a pitch inspection will again be required ahead of our FA Trophy 1st Round Replay scheduled for Thu 14 Jan. The inspection will take place at 1pm...

The club have taken extra precautions Wed by covering vulnerable areas of the pitch from the anticipated rainfall. Volunteers are therefore requested again from 9:30am Thursday morning to assist the groundsman with the removal of the covers and to aid with the preparation of the playing surface. Any help would be appreciated and the club would like to thank those who have already volunteered during the course of the week which has been extremely helpful".


The Warwickshire Courier, on Wednesday, reported that "Leamington manager Paul Holleran has paid tribute to the work that has gone on behind the scenes to get the New Windmill pitch playable after the FA Trophy saga with Altrincham rumbled on for another week.

Right: An image from the Leamington FC website of the work on their pitch.

Tuesday’s postponement meant the replay was rescheduled for a fourth time and drew criticism from fans of the Conference Premier side, some of whom have branded the whole saga a 'shambles'. However, Holleran was quick to defend Leamington from blame, saying every effort had been made to get the tie on, including extensive remedial work on the problem area close to the Harbury Lane End.

'It’s all right people throwing stones, but we’ve had six, seven, eight, nine, ten people there working every day on the pitch to get it right,' said Holleran, who also tweeted his support to the volunteers. 'We’ve been taking advice and I’ve sent a company up there to help out. We’ve put drains in to try and take the water away and there has been a massive improvement at the bottom end.'

Altrincham and Leamington were drawn together on November 30 and the much-delayed replay follows on from a postponement at Moss Lane and a 1-1 draw in which Rob Ogleby grabbed Brakes’ equaliser. However, if Holleran had got his way, the tie would have been done and dusted long before now.

'The two things I’ve always said about the Trophy; it needs to be more regionalised in the early stages. You could be going to one end of the country for one round and the other end for the next. And there’s no need for replays, it’s not the FA Cup where there are big gate receipts to be had. We’ve been talking about making changes for a long time. We are asked to give our opinions but the powers that be are not taking any notice'".


Wednesday 11 January 2016: First Round Proper
  • Skelmersdale United 0-4 AFC Fylde @ Salford Reds
  • Weston Super Mare 3-2 Wealdstone @ Paulton Rovers

Thursday 14 January 2016: First Round Proper

  • Leamington v Altrincham


The BBC confirms that "Torquay United have cancelled the contract of forward Louis Briscoe by mutual consent. He signed for the National League strugglers on a free transfer in July 2014, and scored 10 goals in 60 appearances. But the 27-year-old failed to hit the back of the net in 21 matches so far this season. Briscoe began his career at Port Vale and made more than 180 appearances for Mansfield before joining Torquay. "

From the Gloucestershire Echo, we read that "Jack Deaman has left Cheltenham Town to join Basingstoke Town on a permanent deal. The former Birmingham City trainee was one of seven players who were told they had no future at the club in December. The 22-year-old made 23 appearances in all competitions for the Robins after joining last summer after his release by the Blues.

He was told in the summer that he was not part of Gary Johnson's plans and joined AFC Telford United in National League North on a six-month loan. He has now left permanently to join Basingstoke, who are rock-bottom of National League South."

In the Liverpool Echo we learn that "Barnet have pulled the plug on Ben Tomlinson’s loan to Tranmere. The 26-year-old Yorkshireman joined Rovers on loan from the League Two club in October and has since made 11 senior appearances for Gary Brabin’s team.

But Barnet manager Martin Allen wants Tomlinson to return to his parent club on Monday, after discussing the matter with Brabin. Allen said, 'At lunchtime today (Wednesday) I’ve had a chat with Tranmere Rovers manager Gary Brabin... I’ve already had several enquiries for Ben, and we will be alerting all clubs this afternoon that Ben is available for loan or transfer... After scoring 14 goals for Lincoln last season I am sure that Ben can turn it around and take his career in the right direction'.

Tomlinson has played only five game for Barnet since joining the Bees last summer but spent time on loan at Grimsby as well as Tranmere. His previous clubs include Lincoln City, Alfreton and Macclesfield."

Reports in the Torquay Herald Express tell us that "Former Torquay United striker Alex Fisher has revealed that he left the Gulls to take up a trial offer at Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Fisher, 25, has now signed a deal to the end of the season with the Jags".

Hampshire's Daily Echo reported on Wednesday that "Eastleigh's FA Cup opponents Bolton Wanderers will not be going into administration today, raising hopes that a last-gasp deal can be struck to save the club... Wanderers... are seeking to raise some immediate cash with the sale of car parking land...

The High Court is due to hear a winding up order on Monday over Bolton's unpaid tax and VAT worth more than £2million... Meanwhile, Wanderers have been snubbed by the BBC for television coverage for the Eastleigh game and should find out today whether BT Sport have picked it above one of the other Third Round replays".

The Macclesfield Express says that "Macclesfield Town chariman Mark Blower believes his team are more than capable of securing promotion from the National League thanks to their transfer activity this month. The Silkmen have brought in a number of players on loan over the past week, including Rhys Turner, Adam Ansoh and Louis Robles.

David Fitzpatrick and Shwan Jalal have both signed new contracts with the Silkmen too, while Tony Diagne has extended his loan from Lincoln City. Midfielder Danny Whitehead has signed for Wigan Athletic but Macc won’t be losing him yet as he will remain with the club for the remainder of the season...

'We’re really happy with the business we have done so far this month'... he told the club’s official website... 'Obviously we were disappointed to lose Danny to Wigan, but we have managed to get a good deal for the club, especially with him returning on loan... and once again I’d like to thank the supporters for helping make his original signing possible back in the summer. On the back of that deal we were able to bring in Adam Anson and Louis Robles from Wigan who will both give the squad some depth, while we have also signed Rhys Turner from Oldham who will add competition for places up front after Reece Styche returned to Kidderminster...

'Curtis Haynes-Brown has also left the club at the end of his contract. There is a real togetherness at the club at the minute and the supporters are playing a huge part in the success of this team. The "Crowdfunder" that was launched in the autumn has significantly contributed to us being able to keep this squad together and we have some real momentum at the minute...

'I am confident that we can make this a year to remember for the club'".

13 January 2016


As things stand, Altrincham's next fixtures are...
  • Thursday, 14 January, 7.45pm: Leamington (away) FA Trophy 1 replay.
  • Saturday 16 January, 3pm: This date is assigned to the above match at Leamington, should it be postponed on Thursday 14th.
  • Sunday, 17 January, 3pm: Should Altrincham play Leamington on Thursday 14th and win the game, they will be away at Bognor Regis Town in the FA Trophy Round Two on this date.
  • Tuesday, 19 January, 7.45pm: Crewe Alexandra (away) in the Cheshire Senior Cup.
  • Saturday 23 January, 3pm: Grimsby Town (away) in the Vanarama National League.
  • Tuesday, 26 January, 7.45pm: Woking (home) in the Vanarama National League.
Needless to say, the above is all subject to change!


Should Altrincham win their FA Trophy replay at Leamington this week, they would have an away game on Saturday in Round Two of the FA Trophy at Bognor Regis Town. TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, advises that "As the date of this possible game is fast approaching we are forced to start considering travel there due to the need to make transport bookings, etc. (This fixture is, of course, subject to the outcome of the Leamington game).

Any game at Bognor Regis would currently take place on Sunday 17th January (3pm), assuming that the replay at Leamington takes place as scheduled on Thursday, 14th January.

Please contact the club (tel. 0161 928-1045) during normal office hours to leave your name and number to express an interest in travelling with us. Price and times will be confirmed nearer the time but it will be as cheap as we can do it. We will contact you if the match goes ahead to finalise details later in the week if the travel is required".


Alty travel to Grimsby Town on Saturday 23 January (3pm) in the Vanarama National League for what will be their fifth successive away league match. TASC is providing supporters' transport to the game and details are on the Away Travel page.


This Sunday, 17 January, Altrincham FC Ladies are at home at Mersey Valley Sports Club, (Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL) with a 1.00pm kick off against Chester City LFC. The social club will be open throughout the day from 11.30am and all spectators are very welcome.


Tue 12 Jan.
  • Braintree Town v Kidderminster Harriers POSTPONED
  • Torquay United v Welling United POSTPONED

Sat 16 Jan.

  • Lincoln City v Forest Green Rovers


The National League reports that "Torquay United have completed the signing of experienced striker Shaun Harrad on a deal until the end of the season. The 31-year-old started his career with his home-town club Notts County... as well as having spells out on loan at Gresley Rovers and Tamworth. He joined Burton Albion in 2005 and helped the club secure their Football League status... before being signed by Northampton Town at the turn of 2011.

His next move took him to Bury, from where he was loaned to Rotherham United and Cheltenham Town. Making a return to Notts County at the start of 2014/15, he spent the second half of last term out on loan back at Cheltenham... He has been turning out for Worcester City in the National League North this season.

'We’ve signed a proven player,' said player-manager, Kevin Nicholson. 'I’ve known him since his days coming through the ranks at Notts County and have always kept track of him... We have a real catch on our hands. Things maybe have not gone so well for him at Worcester this season but that only adds to the appeal as I have a good, experienced player on my hands with a point to prove. He’ll be with us for the rest of the season '".

Elsewhere, "Popular midfielder, Ben Whitfield, has re-joined Kidderminster Harriers from AFC Bournemouth. The 19-year-old has already enjoyed a positive spell with Harriers, making a dozen appearances for the club, including a goal on his debut in the draw at Altrincham. His energetic displays have seen the Aggborough faithful take to him swiftly, and CEO Colin Gordon admitted it was a boost to have him back in the camp.

'It was Ben's call and Ben wanted to be here,' he said. 'He absolutely loved his time here but he had options, as everyone can imagine, for the ability and endeavour he has. He wants to be here and we're delighted with that'".

And "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that defender Ben Clappison's loan spell from Hull City has been extended... The youngster originally joined the Shaymen at the end of November from the Tigers. He joins Sam Johnson and Shaquille McDonald in extending their loans deal this month so far."

Further south, the National League confirms that "Should Eastleigh manage to come through their replay at Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers next week, they have the massive incentive of a home tie in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round. The Spitfires could be at the Silverlake against another Championship outfit in Leeds United over the weekend of January 29th – February 1st".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Forward Andre Wright has extended his loan with Torquay United until the end of the season. After returning to West Bromwich Albion for an assessment, the striker has returned to the Gulls in a move that has worked out for both parties".

And "Experienced defender Keith Lowe has re-signed for Kidderminster Harriers. Lowe left Sky Bet League Two side York City by mutual consent in December."


Tuesday 12 January
  • Alsager Town v Barnton POSTPONED
  • Cammell Laird 1907 v Macclesfield Town POSTPONED
  • Cheadle Town 3 Tranmere Rovers 6
  • Chester FC v Hyde United POSTPONED
  • Congleton Town v Stockport County POSTPONED
  • Runcorn Linnets v Northwich Victoria POSTPONED
  • Warrington Town v Northwich Manchester Villa POSTPONED

Tuesday 19 January

  • Crewe Alexandra v Altrincham


The excellent Football Grounds Guide is well worth a visit as it now covers all of the National Conference Clubs, including the North and South leagues.


It is not just FA Trophy fixtures which are concerning some clubs but as the NW Counties Football League reports, "The League Management Committee have submitted a proposal to the FA regarding the rearrangement of FA Vase ties following a postponement.

The move has been taken in the aftermath of several midweek trips that our clubs have been forced to make in the FA Vase this season.

1874 Northwich were forced to withdraw from the competition after being unable to put together a squad of players who could undertake a near 400-mile round trip in midweek to Morpeth Town, and Northwich Manchester Villa, Runcorn Linnets and Runcorn Town have all had to make midweek trips to the North East on round trips of over 300 miles. Atherton Collieries also face a similar length of journey to Newton Aycliffe for their re-arranged Third Round tie.

The League Management Committee have submitted a proposal to the FA Vase Committee that they should consider a change of Rule concerning postponed, abandoned or replayed matches thoughout the competition. The proposed change is, 'Where the distance between home and away grounds is greater than 100 miles, any such re-arranged or replayed match shall be played on the following Saturday'. The request has also been made that this topic is fully discussed at the next Step 5-6 Focus Group meeting.

Following the submission of the request, an acknowledgement was received from the FA, and we have been informed that the topic will be on the agenda at the next meeting of the FA Vase Organising Committee, which is scheduled to take place in February."

12 January 2016


Leamington FC have held a pitch inspection today and the outcome is that tonight's FA Trophy replay against Altrincham has again been postponed. The new date for the match is Thursday 14th January (7.45pm). Failing that the game would be scheduled for Saturday 16th January at 3pm.

Should Altrincham win the replay on Thursday, they would be away at Bognor Regis Town in Round Two on Sunday 17th January (3pm).

Background: The original tie at Altrincham was postponed on 12 December but was played on 15 December. The replay was originally set for 22 December but was postponed and three subsequent dates, 5th, 6th and 12th January, have now also been called off.


Altrincham FC's official photographer Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography announces that he is producing a 2016 Altrincham FC calendar. It can be purchased via the the online shop or by ordering from the club office at the J Davidson Stadium. Above we see a sample page from the calendar.


The National League confirms that "Welling United have signed former loanee Harry Lee on a transfer from Leyton Orient. The popular 20-year-old midfielder has made over twenty appearances for the Wings over two loan spells and joins the club on a permanent basis subject to paperwork being finalised." Welling are the only team not yet to have played Altrincham this season.

According to the BBC "Ipswich Town goalkeeper Michael Crowe has joined Braintree Town on a one-month loan. The 20-year-old Wales Under-19 international had a recent loan spell at Stevenage, but did not make a first-team appearance. Crowe, who has yet to play for Ipswich, has been signed after Will Norris returned to Cambridge United.

Braintree are due to face Kidderminster at home on Tuesday after their weekend game at Torquay was postponed".

The Hertfordshire Mercury tells us that "Grimsby Town could gazump Stevenage in the battle for Stevenage's on-loan striker Armand Gnanduillet. The 23-year-old Ivorian has netted six goals in his three-month loan spell from Chesterfield.

New Spireites' boss Danny Wilson has not revealed whether he will keep the striker or sell him, now his loan spell has ended. BBC Radio Humberside claim the striker could join the Mariners but it is thought that Gnanduillet would not want to drop out of the Football League. Gnanduillet has struggled to earn a starting spot at Stevenage despite scoring five goals in Boro's last six games, securing five crucial points for Teddy Sheringham's struggling outfit."

From the BBC we learn that "Wrexham manager Gary Mills says he does not have the finances to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window. The Dragons' National League play-off hopes suffered a further blow when they lost 3-1 at home to Woking...

'I'm not in a situation where I can bring loads of players in', Mills said. 'We haven't got the finances there to do that'...

With Tuesday's trip to Altrincham postponed, their next league game is at home to Lincoln City on 23 January after a trip to Torquay United in the FA Trophy next Saturday. 'In football players lose a little bit of confidence and, maybe, lose a little bit of belief in themselves because it's not going too well', Mills added. 'But they've got to snap out of it, we've got to snap out of it and we've got to put it right. We're gradually working down that league and that's not what I want to be doing. I want to be going the other way'".

Up in Cumbria, the NW Evening Mail says that "Boss Paul Cox expressed his ‘hatred’ for certain elements of the Barrow AFC set-up after watching his team blow a 3-1 lead with six minutes remaining to lose against Tranmere.

Cox bemoaned a ‘poor mindset’ and a ‘soft underbelly’ after one of the most remarkable matches at Holker Street in years. The Bluebirds went 3-1 up in the 88th-minute when Andy Cook added to Jason Walker and Simon Grand’s earlier goals. But, instead of holding on for what seemed a certain victory, they conceded three times in the final six minutes to leave their manager aghast.

'We were 3-1 up in the 87th minute and totally in control of the game at that stage,' said a clearly disheartened Cox after the match. 'I think the lack of application, the lack of discipline, the structural organisation that has done us so well of late, that went missing. I’ve spoken heavily to the boys since I came to the club about mindset. We’ve talked about what is needed, not just to compete in the league, but to be successful. But the last 10 minutes was everything I dislike, I hate, about this place at the minute. There’s a soft underbelly and people switched off.

'I don’t want to be too hard, but I tell is as I see it. We shouldn’t have been in a position where we draw the game, never mind lose the game, when you’re leading 3-1 in the 87th minute.'

He added, 'There are no excuses. It’s just not good enough, as simple as that. Since I have come in, I’ve used words like consistency, game management, mindset, desire, application and a lot of people probably have a giggle at the continuous use of them. But it builds a foundation of a strong group of players, or of people. That strong group of people, if there is that strength of mindset, wouldn’t have lost that game today, or even drawn it. They would have won it.

'We weathered parts of a storm in parts of the game where I don’t think we played particularly well, especially with the ball. We had an off day. We ground our way into a fabulous position and then stop[ped] doing what got us into that position in the first place. That is all about consistency, mindset, desire and hunger; all the words I’ve said.

'If you want to be champions, you need that 46 times a year. Every time you walk out there, you overcome the conditions, you overcome the opposition and you win more times than you lose that way'...

Having failed to win in their last four matches, [Cox] faces some tough decisions over how to move forward, with AFC suddenly only six points clear of the relegation zone...

'It’s a lack of mentality,' he said... 'When I walk into a dressing room after a manager has got the sack, there is a reason why he got the sack. That’s why I’ve been so analytical, why I’ve taken a back step with how I am as a person. I’ve been watching, I’ve been listening, I’ve been learning... what the group is about... Even if we had won the game, I think I still needed to act on certain things.

'That’s something I need to do now... I’ve got to make some hard decisions. It’s not very nice sometimes... I’m willing to do that.'"

Another unhappy manager is to be found at Chester where the Chester Standard reports that "Steve Burr insists his Chester side must improve if the are not going to get sucked into a relegation battle....after suffering a 3-1 defeat at Aldershot Town...

Chester have only won once in their last nine league games... 'At the minute we're on a bad run and there's no question about that', Burr said. 'We're getting sucked into the relegation area and we need performances quickly. At the moment we're not doing the basics right'...

Meanwhile, on loan Burnley midfielder, Steven Hewitt, admits the referee's decision to ignore Chester's loud appeal for a penalty in first half stoppage time had a big impact on the match at Aldershot. Hewitt... said a 1-0 lead and a red card shown to the Aldershot goalkeeper would have changed the game...

'I'm hoping we can now bounce back with a win on Saturday at home to Hungerford in the FA Trophy because that should give us more belief and get us on a little run' [said Hewitt]. Hewitt was one of two Burnley loanees in the Chester squad to face Aldershot, with striker Jason Gilchrist being introduced as a second half substitute. And Hewitt... added, 'Jason is a natural striker. He has got really good movement and he has got an eye for goal. He's scored a lot of goals for the youth team and for the reserves'".

11 January 2016


Alty and Leamington are not the only ones involved in an FA Trophy saga. The National League tells us that "Following a pitch inspection, the FA Trophy First Round tie between Weston-super-Mare and Wealdstone scheduled for this evening [Monday] has been postponed yet again. The club have made arrangements to stage the match at Paulton Rovers on Wednesday,13th KO 7.45".

And the FA Trophy match between Skelmersdale United and AFC Fylde has again been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. The provisional new date is Wednesday, 13 January.


Alty are set to play at Leamington in fewer than 48 hours. Pictures of the Leamington pitch are on the Leamington FC twitter account. One, posted on Sunday, is adjacent.

In the meantime, Bognor Regis Town say that "As supporters will be aware, we are due to play the winners of the replay between Leamington and Altrincham in the FA Trophy 2nd Round and our match is scheduled to be played at Nyewood Lane on Saturday 16th January.

However, due to the recent wet weather and problems with Leamington’s pitch, their replay has been postponed on three occasions. It is hoped that it will be played this coming Tuesday, 12th January. If it is postponed again it will be played on Thursday 14th January.

Should it still not be played on Thursday, it will be played on Saturday 16th, which would mean the winners would come to Nyewood Lane to play us on Tuesday 19th January. Assuming however that the replay is resolved on Tuesday, we will play the winners as scheduled on Saturday 16th January.

If however the replay is not resolved until Thursday:

  • If Leamington win, we will play them here on Saturday 16th January
  • If Altrincham win, we will play them here on Sunday 17th January (3.00pm kick off)"

If Alty lose at Leamington, then, unless something is hastily rearranged for Saturday 16th, we would have no game till Tuesday 19th when we travel to Crewe Alexandra in the Cheshire Senior Cup!


Altrincham FC supporter Mike Garnett had the following excellent letter published in Sunday's Non-League Paper...

At the time of writing there are three unresolved 1st Round Trophy ties due to be played next Monday/Tuesday. Should the weather intervene again the FA have stated that these games will have to be re-arranged for Wednesday/Thursday. In the 'worst case' scenario, a club could travel on Monday or Tuesday, the game be postponed an hour or so from kick-off, have to arrange a further game for Wednesday or Thursday and then undertake a journey to the other end of the country, probably requiring an overnight stay, for a Saturday afternoon game. To require this of part-time clubs and players is frankly ludicrous.

Had someone at the FA shown a little foresight things might have been made a little easier. As soon as the decision was taken to make the Trophy Final a post-season (i.e. May) game the whole schedule should have been moved back to how it used to be, with Round 1 on January 16th and subsequent rounds at three-week intervals. This would have placed the semi-finals in April, a clear two weeks before the end of the League season (or three weeks if the semis were made one-off games rather than two-legged).

The combination of Christmas and New Year fixtures, which of course must not be moved for sound economic reasons, the weather problems which are becoming more and more common at this time of year and a national rather than regionalised draw for the round of the last 32 made for a potent mixture, labelled 'crisis waiting to happen'. To revert to the former schedule would have taken out the first of these issues at least.

I hope someone at the FA will have a serious look at this - otherwise a competition which has suffered severely from the impact of play-offs in League competitions and the perceived lack of interest in it on the part of a sizeable proportion of National League clubs may go even further down people's priority lists".


Altrincham FC expresses its condolences to the family of Garry Smith who died on Saturday. With his brother, Harold, Garry was a longstanding Altrincham FC supporter.


In case you had forgotten what it looks like, the above unfamiliar venue is the J Davidson Stadium, Altrincham. Alty's last three home fixtures have been postponed.

  • 66: Assuming Alty play Woking at the J Davidson Stadium on 26 January it will be their first league game at home for 66 days (nine and a half weeks).
  • 4: The number of times the Leamington v Altrincham replay has been assigned a date.
  • 5: the number of senior players currently ruled out for a significant period. Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn has played in just five games this season, defender Tom Marshall has played in only four, captain Shaun Densmore has figured in 12(+2), winger Nicky Clee has only started three games and now striker Damian Reeves is also sidelined.
  • 1: The number of goals Alty have scored in their last four league fixtures.
  • 60: The number of league points left to play for.
  • 8: The number of away league games still to be played by Altrincham
  • 12: The number of home league games still to be played by Altrincham
  • 12: The number of away matches out of the last 15 fixtures which have been assigned to Alty by the time they will have travelled to Grimsby on 23 January. That sequence comprises away league matches at Macclesfield Town, Bromley, Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Tranmere Rovers, Chester FC, Grimsby Town, plus cup trips to Colchester in the FA Cup, Crewe in the Cheshire Senior Cup and (by next week) three FA Trophy treks (two abortive) to Leamington. The only home games in that period have been versus Boreham Wood (league), Barnsley (FA Cup) and Leamington (FA Trophy). In addition, Alty might also have to travel to Bognor Regis Town on Saturday or Sunday, should they defeat Leamington in the replay, which would make it thirteen away trips in sixteen fixtures.


Alty Youth's away match at AFC Fylde on Sunday was postponed.


Hampshire's Daily Echo tells us that "Stewart Donald has poured in four years of blood, sweat and tears, plus a cool £3 million, to deliver a momentous occasion like yesterday's to Eastleigh.

But, as the tension cranked up towards the end of the Spitfires’ first ever venture into the FA Cup third round, the wealthy yet refreshingly down-to-earth Oxfordshire businessman could bear the suspense no longer. With his beloved Eastleigh leading by a 51st-minute own goal from hapless Bolton Wanderers defender Dorian Dervite, the chairman/owner left his seat in the Mackoy Community Stand, wandered round the ground and took temporary shelter in the clubhouse.

And when Donald did venture out again, he stood shoulder to shoulder with Eastleigh fans packed behind Ross Flitney’s goal, just in time to see Bolton skipper Darren Pratley break home hearts with a late equaliser from a corner.

It means the Spitfires, the last remaining non-League flag-bearers, will have a joint share of ball number 22 when the fourth round draw is made live on BBC1’s The One Show at around 7.15pm tomorrow evening (Monday). And there will be yet more nail-biting moments for Donald to endure next week when the Spitfires travel to Bolton’s Macron Stadium for the replay.

'With about 20-25 minutes to go I couldn’t watch anymore,' he confessed. 'I disappeared into the clubhouse and literally came out just as they scored. I couldn’t watch the last 20 minutes, which is shocking really because you spend all this time, effort and money to get games like this and then struggle to watch them! We were almost there, but the story continues.

'We’re in the draw and that will keep us in the spotlight a bit longer and, for me, that’s what it’s all about. It keeps people talking about Eastleigh and we’ve still got a chance, so that’s great. In one sense you’re happy because it could all have ended today but, in another sense, it’s tinged with a bit of disappointment because we were so close.

'But we’re going to a ground of a standard we would rarely ever go to and maybe there’s a chance this time, dare I say it, that we might be on TV, you never know. The tie’s not dead. We’re strong away from home. It’ll be on a better surface so the boys can play a bit of football. It’s not over.'

The TV stations who, in their wisdom, decided to overlook yesterday’s tie for live coverage, must be kicking themselves. The biggest game in Eastleigh’s history had everything, even a one-man pitch invasion thrown in for good measure. It was a proper old-fashioned cup tie played in monsoon conditions, making exhilarating viewing for a club record crowd of 5,025.

There was tense drama even before a ball had been kicked, waiting and wondering if referee Iain Williamson would give the game the go-ahead on a sodden Silverlake surface later described by Wanderers boss Neil Lennon as 'one of the worst pitches I’ve ever seen.'

In fairness to the former Celtic man, he had pushed as hard as Eastleigh to get the game played. The last thing the cash-strapped Wanderers needed was a wasted trek down south...

'I thought we’d pretty much done it but then I joined the masses behind the goal and saw Bolton pop the ball into the net,' said Donald. 'It was quite deflating but at least it was a goal to equalise and not to lose it'".

According to the Daily Post, "Gary Mills was scathing in his post-match assessment of Wrexham’s 3-1 home defeat to Woking, insisting the ‘overall performance has not been good enough’. Wrexham crashed to a fourth successive defeat in the National League to leave them in 11 place and eight points shy of the play-offs...

'My thoughts are probably what my thoughts have been after the last three games,' said Mills. We can’t keep a clean sheet, the actual overall performance has not been good enough to go and win a football match. That is my thoughts today, it is no different from what it has been after the last three (games). We’ve got to be better as a group of players, myself, everybody, we’ve got to be better at what we are doing.

'We can look and say we are not getting the rub of the green, but that is not the reason we are losing football matches at the moment, there will be no excuses from me on that, I am not going to look at it that way... We’ve conceded three goals again today, we conceded three goals last week and conceded three goals against Macclesfield here'" the manager said.

"Mills made two changes to his line up for the visit of Woking from last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Southport, new signing Simon Heslop coming straight in with Vose returning to the starting XI in place of Adriano Moke and Mark Carrington. The manager opted for a 5-3-2 formation in a bid to make the Dragons sterner at the back and admitted it may have ‘backfired’ after the defeat.

Mills added, 'I have got to get it right. Yes, I have changed the system a couple of times to get that result, to try and get that clean sheet to enable us to go on and win the game maybe 1-0, if that is what it takes. Unfortunately, that has backfired on us today. So it is four games and four loses and I think that is the first time that has ever happened to me. It is not a nice place to be but it happening at the moment, and I have got to address the situation, and address it quickly.

'We are going two weeks now without another league game [they should have been at Altrincham next Tuesday but the Leamington replay scuppered that], which isn’t ideal for us, but that is the way it is, maybe looking at it in a positive way it gives me two weeks to get it right in my head and out on the field, that when the next league game does come round that we are ready for it and we have got it right'".

Alty's next league opponents won't have a new manager when we travel there on Saturday, 23 Jabnuary as the Grimsby Telegraph confirms that "Notts County have named Jamie Fullarton as their new manager, ending speculation linking Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst to the vacancy...

He takes over from former manager Ricardo Moniz, who the club parted company with in December... Following his departure, a number of names were linked to the position at Meadow Lane, including Mariners boss Hurst. Despite appearing to be an outsider for the job after being installed as a 20/1 shot early last week, his odds were slashed on Thursday, and he overtook Newport County boss John Sheridan as the odds-on favourite.

But, with Fullarton now confirmed as the new County manager, Hurst will definitely remain with the Mariners".

10 January 2016


Alty are away at Leamington next Tuesday in the FA Trophy.

On Saturday the Leamington website announced that "Remedial work on the pitch and drainage issues has been ongoing these past few days with further work taking place in the next three days. Groundsman Idris Elms is requesting help from anyone who can spare a few hours of their time. He will be on site on Saturday from 9am-4pm, Sunday 10am-1pm and again on Monday from 10am onwards. Your support will be greatly appreciated by him so come on down and make our groundsman happy. Bring a spade or fork if you have one, please."

Leamington's Twitter account adds that in their game on Saturday it was "Disappointing to come away with no points today at Chippenham. Next up, we will try and host Altrincham again on Tue 12 Jan pitch permitting". Chippenham who had not won in ten games, beat Leamington 4-3 at the Wiltshire club's ground.


On Saturday, 23 January, Alty travel to Lincolnshire from where the BBC reports that "Padraig Amond's second-half hat-trick helped promotion hopefuls Grimsby ease to victory over relegation threatened Welling.

The Mariners forward headed past keeper Michael McEntegart to open the scoring just after the hour mark. Amond reacted quickest to Craig Disley's knockdown to add his second before latching on to Andy Monkhouse's cross to complete his treble. Disley then struck eight minutes from time to wrap up all three points.

Grimsby remained third in the table... Assistant-manager Chris Doig told BBC Radio Humberside, 'The first-half was pretty poor in our opinion. Obviously not easy conditions to play in. We probably didn't play to the conditions enough in the first half. We got caught on the ball a few times and we seemed to give them a chance to counter against us by sloppy play.

'Second-half we were a bit more positive. Slightly more direct without going long all of the time'".

Their line up comprised "1 McKeown, 2 Tait, 3 Robertson, 10 Amond, 8 Disley, 6 Gowling, 9 Bogle, 11 Monkhouse, 16 Clay, 20 Arnold, 22 Nsiala. Substitutes: 5 Pearson, 14 Marshall, 18 Pittman, 23 East, 28 Henderson".


Alty's match with Wrexham next Tuesday has had to be postponed because of the FA Trophy trip to Leamington for the fourth attempt to play our FA Trophy replay.

Meanwhile, the Daily Post advises that "Wrexham suffered a fourth successive defeat to round off what has been a disastrous Christmas and start to the New Year. Following defeats to Southport (twice) and at Halifax, Wrexham were desperate to rediscover their winning formula, but came up short against an in-form Woking outfit.

Wrexham started brightly but were behind after 11 minutes, Keiran Murtagh’s shot coming back off the post, hitting the back of Rhys Taylor to nestle in the bottom corner. The home side were back on level terms, and deservedly so, as Dominic Vose fired into the top corner of Jake Cole’s net from a free kick after a flying Wes York was felled.

But Wrexham failed to make their dominance count and went behind within five minutes of the restart as former Dragons loan striker Joe Quigley tapped home from inside the six yard box. And it got worse for the home side as Bruno Andrade collected Taylor’s poor clearance, advanced and slotted beyond the on loan keeper...

The manner of the Cards second and third goals will be a major issue for Gary Mills...

Maybe there might have been a few raised eyebrows after fans learned of the signing of Simon Heslop , but the former Torquay United midfielder put in a very good showing on his debut for the Dragons. Fans and pundits have been complaining of a lack of physical presence in the middle of the park, and Heslop certainly fits the bill, putting in a busy showing. Heslop did nothing spectacular, but he won the ball higher up the field than Wrexham have done in the past few games, looked to play the simply ball, and kept the home side on the front foot...

Verdict: Not good enough, simple as that."

In its Saturday review, the National League says that "Cheltenham Town had the chance to increase their advantage over their neighbours when they travelled to lowly Boreham Wood. However, Luke Garrard`s battlers held on for a priceless point which lifts them out of the drop zone on goal difference, with inactive Altrincham slipping into the bottom four.

Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson will be frustrated though as his side had plenty of opportunities but... the Robins registered their first blank for fifteen games as the game ended 0-0.

Grimsby Town moved to within three points of Forest Green in third after recording a comfortable 4-0 win at Park View Road against third-bottom Welling United. It was goalless at the break, with the Wings giving as good as they got. But the second half saw a totally different matter as a hat-trick from Padraig Amond did the damage for the visitors as they made it seven wins from their last eight games...

Dover Athletic show no signs of disappearing from the top five race and dealt a blow to Lincoln City`s own hopes of mounting a play-off challenge with a best-of-five win at Sincil Bank... On 65 minutes, the Whites grabbed the winner with a left-footed effort from Miller.

Woking moved up to sixth place after an excellent 3-1 win at The Racecourse Ground against a Wrexham side who are now eleventh and eight points behind the top five... It was the Dragons fourth defeat in a row, while it was Woking`s sixth game without defeat.

Woking moved above Macclesfield Town on goal difference after the Silkmen became the latest victims of in-form FC Halifax Town. The Shaymen moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at the Moss Rose.

The Shaymen are still unbeaten under Jim Harvey and produced another impressive display against a team who would have gone third in the table had they won... Shaun Tuton netted his third goal in three games when he slipped the ball under home keeper Ritchie Branagan from Kingsley James’s pass.

Tranmere Rovers are eighth after winning a seven-goal thriller at the Furness Building Society Stadium against Barrow AFC, who had a two-goal lead at one stage... But they then saw what seemed a certain victory destroyed as Rovers scored three times in the final 6 minutes to take the points. Maynard pulled the first one back in the 90th minute with an effort from 20 yards. Jeff Hughes equalised in the 2nd minute of time added on with a left-footed drive from 6 yards out.

And sub Jake Kirby won it for Gary Brabin`s side in the 5th minute of stoppage time with a strike from just outside the box.

Fortunately for Dino Maamria, the dreaded manager of the month 'curse' didn`t affect him or his Southport side too much on Saturday as they maintained their excellent run since he took charge with a point from a goalless draw at Hayes Lane against Bromley. The draw was Port's seventh game unbeaten and, from being relegation candidates, they are now fourteenth.

Aldershot Town recorded only their second success in fourteen matches with a 3-1 win against inconsistent Chester FC at the EBB Stadium".


Sat 9th Jan 2016
  • Att: 1617 Aldershot Town v Chester FC
  • 1766 Barrow v Tranmere Rovers
  • 647 Boreham Wood v Cheltenham Town
  • 1317 Bromley v Southport
  • 2402 Lincoln City v Dover Athletic
  • 2055 Macclesfield Town v FC Halifax Town
  • 1337 Welling United v Grimsby Town
  • 4030 Wrexham v Woking

9 January 2016


Saturday, 9 January.

Both Boreham Wood and FC Halifax Town moved above Altrincham today who fall into the bottom four for the first time since August 2015. However, Alty have games in hand over several clubs around them after today's match against Gateshead became victim of the wet weather.

  • Aldershot Town 3-1 Chester FC
  • Altrincham v Gateshead POSTPONED
  • Barrow 3-4 Tranmere Rovers
  • Boreham Wood 0-0 Cheltenham Town
  • Bromley 0-0 Southport
  • Guiseley v Forest Green Rovers POSTPONED
  • Lincoln City 2-3 Dover Athletic
  • Macclesfield Town 0-1 FC Halifax Town
  • Torquay United v Braintree Town POSTPONED
  • Welling United 0-4 Grimsby Town
  • Wrexham 1-3 Woking


Selected results...
  • Colchester Utd 2-1 Charlton A.
  • Eastleigh 1-1 Bolton Wanderers


Following overnight and morning rain and a pitch inspection, the scheduled Vanarama National League match between Altrincham and Gateshead, today, has been postponed. Heavy rain is forecast during this afternoon.

A new date for the fixture will be announced in due course. Alty's next scheduled game is away at Leamington in the FA Trophy on Tuesday (12th, 7.45pm).


Mike Garnett provides data on previous games between Altrincham and Gateshead...
  • At Altrincham P23-W11-D5-L7-F39-A27
  • Away P22-W9-D3-L10-F26-A30
  • All P45-W20-D8-L17-F65-A57

Howard Watts's Through the Years records show previous Alty games on 9 January.


Altrincham's last home league game was back on 21 November, since when they have played four successive away matches which have yielded a single point. In fact, there has been just one home league match played since 31 October!

Twenty league matches remain (including today's postponed fixture with Gateshead). Twelve of these are at home, of which four are against current top-eight sides. There are eight away games left, with four of them away at the current bottom four clubs.


"CJ Hamilton will remain with Gateshead until the end of the season after putting pen-to-paper on a fresh loan deal from Sheffield United. The 20-year-old became boss Neil Aspin’s first acquisition as Gateshead boss at the end of November, and has since made six appearances.

The winger had previously played under Aspin at FC Halifax Town earlier this term, where he struck 3 goals during a month-long stay...

He said, 'Hopefully I can play week-in, week-out. In some games I have made an impact, in others I haven’t. Hopefully I can make an impact more often from now on. On a personal level, it has been a good experience so far. The further north you come, the more different it gets! But it’s a decent area, and I like it here. Hopefully we can finish in the top-five; the point difference isn’t massive at the moment. It would be a good achievement to go further in the FA Trophy, as well.”


The EvoStik League tells us that "Radcliffe Borough have signed veteran striker Jody Banim to lead their bid for survival in the EvoStik Northern Premier League. The hot-shot signed on for the second half of the First Division North season on Thursday night. Weather permitting, the 37-year-old could play on Saturday when Danny Johnson's fourth from bottom side host Kendal Town at Stainton Park.

Banim kicked off his career as a trainee at Manchester United. Since then, he's played for a host of sides including Trafford, Altrincham, Flixton, Hyde United and Rossendale United before helping to fire Shrewsbury Town back into the After that he went out on loan to Accrington Stanley before turning out for Droylsden, Stalybridge Celtic, Torquay United, Burton Albion, Real Maryland Monarchs, Salford City, Ebbsfleet United, Clapton and Ilford.

In September 2015, Banim came out retirement following a spell working in Thailand to join Ashton United, scoring on his debut in a 5-0 win over Skelmersdale United at Hurst Cross in the EVO-STIK NPL's top flight."


The BBC reported on Friday afternoon that "Torquay United's game against Braintree has been postponed after heavy rain left the pitch at Plainmoor waterlogged. The decision to call off Saturday's fixture was taken following a 1500 GMT inspection...

It is the third postponement involving Braintree in recent weeks with home games against Wrexham and Welling United also called off".

According to NL Pitchero, "Macclesfield Town have signed young duo Adam Anson and Louis Robles on loan from Wigan Athletic until May 22nd. Anson, who turns 19 in February, joined Wigan from Liverpool as a 16-year-old after originally being on the books at Blackburn Rovers.

He has combined roles as a centre-half and a striker, with the ability to perform in both roles. He signed professional terms with the Latics in May. Robles, 19, was also signed from Liverpool as a 16-year-old. Last year`s under-18 captain, he is a striker whose form in front of goal has saw [seen] him named three times on the first-team bench last season".

Meanwhile, "Lincoln City have signed young striker Robbie McDaid on loan from Leeds United for the remainder of the season. The 19-year-old has been playing in the under-21 side for the Elland Road outfit... He is also a Northern Ireland under-21 international and has been with Leeds since signing from Irish League side Glenavon in 2014. He signed on a two-year deal... He has yet to make his debut for the first-team at Leeds".

Also, "Woking have signed young striker Gary Abisogun from Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Division One neighbours Cobham. The 19-year-old was originally on the books at AFC Wimbledon as a youngster before coming quickly through the ranks at Cobham. Last season he went on trial to, ironically, AFC Wimbledon, and made a number of appearances for the Dons` academy side...

Woking lost the services of on-loan striker Dan Holman, who was recalled by parent club Colchester and then released to join the Cards' league rivals Cheltenham Town, so a vacancy occurred in the squad, although Abisogun is looked at more as one for the future."

Elsewhere,"Aldershot Town have signed 20-year-old striker Alfie Pavey on a month`s loan from Millwall. Pavey has made six substitute appearances for The Lions this season, having made his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 2015".

8 January 2016


The Altrincham v Chester FC Vanarama National League match, postponed on Boxing Day, has now been rearranged for Tuesday, 16th February at 7.45pm.


John Edwards, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC writes that "Altrincham have made an exciting breakthrough in their quest for new recruits after completing a loan deal for flying Burnley winger Josh Ginnelly.

The 18-year old right-sided midfielder is joining Alty on an initial one-month agreement and arrives with impressive credentials after taking the eye at Shrewsbury and joining Burnley for an undisclosed six-figure fee last August. It is a timely development for manager Lee Sinnott, with the need for reinforcements becoming all the more acute after Shaun Densmore was booked in for an operation on his knee and forced the accept his season is over. Though naturally disappointed at having to delay his comeback plans, the Alty skipper was at least consoled by an assurance from his specialist that surgery would resolve the problem and enable him to return fully fit at the start of next season.

While Densmore will play no further part in the current campaign, there are high hopes that free-scoring winger Ginnelly will make an impact on Alty's fortunes after having his temporary transfer rubberstamped on Thursday evening and coming into contention for an immediate debut against Gateshead at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday.

Nuneaton-born, the 5ft 8in wide man spent seven years at Aston Villa's Academy before moving to Shrewsbury and earning himself rapid promotion to the senior squad with some scintillating performances for the youth and reserve teams. Sky Sports' online scout feature monitored him during the 2014-15 season, in which he scored a remarkable 24 goals from the right flank for the youth and reserve sides, and gave him rave reviews, describing him as 'an exceptional talent ... very much one to watch and someone who already has Premier League and Championship clubs tracking him.'

Rating various aspects of his game, they awarded him nine out of 10 for pace and estimated his potential transfer market value at £6million.

Many of his goals that season were from set-pieces, and one is currently being shown on YouTube, a stunning 20-yard effort that curled over the wall and into the top corner in a Development League game against Wrexham.

Shrewsbury manager Micky Mellon did his utmost to upgrade the youngster to a professional contract but eventually lost out to Burnley, who paid a six-figure sum for his services and put him on a three-year deal.

There was no bitterness from Mellon, though, who said: 'I just felt he would be better served staying at a club who care for him and with a manager who knows him, because he still has some developing to do. But the two clubs have come to an agreement after a long-drawn-out process, and I wish Josh well at Burnley.

'I hope he goes on to become a huge success there and shows everyone the potential he has. He is a lad of great promise, with fantastic potential, and there's no doubt in my mind he can go right to the very top.' Densmore, meanwhile, was able to cast a positive light on his latest setback, after being booked in for surgery on January 28.

'It’s a blow, but I was half-expecting it after the medial ligament injury failed to clear up as we hoped,' he said. 'The surgeon said three to four months, so we are looking at pre-season and making sure I have a really good summer to ensure I’m back in peak condition for the start of the next campaign.

'Evidently, we all have two medial ligaments, and one of them runs near the cartilage, which makes sense because initially we thought this injury may be a cartilage. It explains a lot really, because when I came back from the last one, I wasn’t in any pain but there did seem to be a weakness in that area.

'That’s because the fibres had not re-attached properly, but this operation will sort that out by pinning the ligament firmly to where it should be. That’s the one good thing - the surgery is a reconstruction, rather than just a clean-up, so there’s every reason to believe I’ll be back as good as new and a lot more confident about the knee withstanding the demands of a long, hard season. In a way, I’m almost relieved we may finally be close to sorting it out once and for all.'

*Read more of Shaun's thoughts on his recovery programme and some forthright views on Alty's latest FA Trophy replay postponement at Leamington in his Captain's Chat column in Saturday's Robins Review, on sale inside the ground at £2.50".

Footnote: Josh becomes Altrincham's second loan signing of the season. The other loanee was Luton Town centre-back Andy Parry, who enjoyed a successful, if injury affected spell, at the Club earlier this season.


News of Alty's next opponents comes from the BBC which says that "Gateshead extend the contract of Gus Mafuta until the end of the season, having initially signed a short-term deal".

And Gateshead themselves tell us that "Neil Aspin takes his Gateshead side to out-of-form Altrincham on Saturday as the Tynesiders hit the road for the first time in 2016. The Robins are winless in their last six games in all competitions, dropping to within two points of the relegation zone after three league defeats in four.

The Heed will know better than to underestimate their opponents, however, having needed an injury-time equaliser from Jimmy Phillips to salvage a point from October’s meeting between the two sides on Tyneside. It is the first of five away games in six weeks for Aspin’s men, with long-haul trips to Eastleigh, Torquay United and Dover Athletic on the horizon.

Their away record offers scope for encouragement, however, with only two sides in the division having won more games on their travels this season. Aspin... admits that an improvement in their home form is to be pivotal to their chances of closing the gap on the leading pack.

He said, 'It’s a confidence thing; when you’re getting results, you can go into a game with an expectation that you’re going to pick up points, whereas at home, there’s a bit of a doubt because of the results we have had this season...

'We’re not in a bad position but our level of performance across the season as a whole hasn’t been consistent enough to be in that top-five. There has to be a turnaround... If we were to improve, we’d find that we would be in contention, but there has to be a marked improvement between now and the end of the season.'

Left-back Jordan Cranston is a doubt for the trip to Moss Lane after coming down with a virus. Midfielder Jamie Chandler has returned to training this week, but will be unavailable for Saturday’s clash. The Heed will also be without James Marwood, Jimmy Phillips (both ankle), Josh Gillies, Adam Wrightson (both shoulder) and Simon Ramsden (groin)."

The Heed also report that "Defender Nathan Buddle has completed a 28-day loan switch to former club Blyth Spartans... Buddle has figured 16 times for the Heed since joining from Carlisle United last summer, scoring three goals. He has started just once under new boss Neil Aspin...

Aspin is hopeful that Buddle will get some game-time under his belt in the next month... He said, 'I feel that he needs to play games, and he hasn’t been a regular starter since he has been at Gateshead'".


The Leamington Courier reports that "Leamington boss Paul Holleran refused to apportion blame after last night’s FA Trophy replay at home to Altrincham was again called off at last minute, writes Paul Okey.

The original replay bit the dust 45 minutes before kick-off due to heavy rain and the affects of a prolonged spell of wet weather were still being felt last night with the referee deeming one corner unsafe and postponing the match at 6.30pm.

This was after the tie had been put back 24 hours to allow Leamington to carry out extra work on the playing surface and followed assertions from the club, both on Twitter and on their website, that the game was not in doubt.

The announcement of the postponement came too late to stop many fans travelling, including another contingent from Altrincham, but Holleran said as far as he was concerned the match could have gone ahead.

He said, 'The scenario with the pitch is that there were a couple of wet areas and there was concern about the bottom corner. But, when the referee takes 45 minutes to decide whether he plays the game, that tells you what you need to know. The referee had another think and obviously made his decision. At the end of the day the points Altrincham made were viable and the points we made were viable.

'We’d had dialogue with Altrincham and made them aware there were a couple of soft areas. We all thought we were singing from the same hymn sheet.'

A heavily sanded corner at the Harbury Lane End of the ground was the main cause of concern for the referee. However, Holleran said Brakes had played on far worse surfaces and reserved his sympathy for the away fans and those who had given up their spare time to try and get the game on.

'We’ve played at Bradford Park Avenue in the last few seasons and our pitch was ten times better. I’m not saying it was perfect, but was it enough to call off the game? No. I’m bitterly disappointed for the Altrincham fans who travelled down. As a football club, we looked at the pitch this afternoon and we thought there would be no issue with the game. These were experienced football people. We had a drainage company in and we’ve had umpteen volunteers down.

'I’ll be disappointed if people start pointing the finger at the football club. We’d had dialogue. If this pitch wasn’t playable... Bradford Park Avenue, that corner is like their whole pitch.'

Brakes salvaged something from the evening by holding a 90-minute training session on the pitch but Holleran said the knock-on effect of the epic first round tie, the original fixture at Altrincham also fell victim to the weather, will be felt for the remainder of the season. 'It’s cost us nine fixtures with the wind, the rain and now the sand.'

The replay looks set to be rearranged for next Tuesday evening... And, with rain forecast for the remainder of the week and a cold snap expected early next week, the tie again looks in jeopardy. However, despite his frustrations, Holleran could at least take one crumb of comfort from the long-running saga following a poor run of league form.

'I thought I’d be gone by now [i.e. sacked],' he laughed. 'This bad weather is keeping me in a job.'"


The BBC confirms that "Shrewsbury Town have re-signed striker Andy Mangan from Tranmere Rovers on an 18-month contract for an undisclosed fee. Mangan, 29, joined Rovers on a one-year deal in July after leaving Shrewsbury, who had offered him a new contract. But, after an early season run of seven goals in 22 games, he lost his starting place following injury and has not scored since 6 October.

'At 29, I want to be playing 90 minutes on a regular basis,' he said. 'The gaffer (Gary Brabin) could not guarantee that I would get that at Tranmere. Shrewsbury made an approach for me and offered an 18-month contract and the chance to be involved in League One. I had a long chat with the gaffer about it and he agreed that he would not stand in the way of me going. Any talk of there being a fall out is absolute nonsense'".

Meanwhile, Chester FC "have signed 21-year-old central defender Ryan Astles from Northwich. The defender actually featured for the academy at Chester in his younger years, also being on the books at Tranmere. Ryan has since gone on to play for Wigan reserves, Buckley and Rhyl before joining Northwich...

The tall, imposing defender played a key part in Northwich's FA Cup run this term, scoring at Boreham Wood in their shock away win in Round One, also playing the full 90 minutes in the 3-2 defeat at Northampton.

On the signing, Blues boss Steve Burr said, 'We watched him during Northwich's FA Cup run and we were very impressed. He's young and hungry to make the step up, and hopefully he can do just that. I'm very pleased to get him in, he knows the step up is big but he is capable'".

The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that "Dave Hockaday has left his head coach role at Kidderminster Harriers. Hockaday was appointed in October to help guide a youthful side at the Aggborough outfit.

But, while there some encouraging signs, Harriers have struggled and remain bottom of the Vanarama National League. Under his stewardship, Kiddy lost to Stourbridge twice in the FA Cup and FA Trophy. He did guide Harriers to wins over Woking and Aldershot, their only two of the season, but they had lost the last six games and were 12 points from safety and bottom of the Vanarama National League.

Chairman Rod Brown said, 'We’ve talked at length and both agree that this is the right move forward'”.

The National League reports that the national division Player of the Month is Jack Munns of Cheltenham Town and Manager of the Month is Dino Maamria of Southport.

7 January 2016


The FA has indicated that the Leamington v Altrincam replay in the FA Trophy First Round will now be played on Tuesday 12th January at 7.45pm. This means the Alty v Wrexham league game will have to be postponed again.

Also, the FA has issued an e-mail instruction "To: Clubs involved in matches still to be played in The FA Trophy 1st Rd Proper" which reads...

"This email serves to provide notice to clubs involved in postponed or replayed 1st Rd Proper match this week that, if a match is further postponed and is unable to be played this week, it MUST be rescheduled for either Monday 11 or Tuesday 12 January. Any match that is further postponed on Monday 11 or Tuesday 12 January MUST then be rescheduled for either Wednesday 13 or Thursday 14 January in order to provide every opportunity of it being played prior to the date of the 2nd Rd Proper on Saturday 16 January.

In the event that a 1st Rd Proper match is not played and completed by Thursday 14 January, then it MUST be played on Saturday 16 January which would mean the 2nd Rd Proper having to be played in week commencing Monday 18 January.

Finally, the FA would like to acknowledge the hard work and effort that is being put into making arrangements at short notice and hopefully co-operation will continue to ensure that matches can be played on the earliest available date, in order for the Competition to remain on track and prevent causing fixture congestion in the future".

In short, this appears to mean that Alty could end up playing at Leamington as late as Thursday 14th, a game which might not end till 22.30 hours, if a shoot out is required. The winners will then be expected to arrive at Bognor Regis Town for a 3pm Saturday kick off, having arranged in the intervening 36 hours, or so, for accommodation on the Sussex coast as well as transport etc, etc. And supporters would likewise have minimal time to arrange their own 500 mile return trip.

Already this replay has turned in to arguably the longest (and most expensive) ever away trip for Alty players and supporters. On 22 December they made the 220-mile return trip to Warwickshire only to have the match postponed at 7pm. It was rearranged for 5th January only to be moved back, on the day itself, to Wednesday 6th January. Fortunately the team and most (but not all) supporters will not have actually travelled on 5th January.

On 6th January the team and supporters again travelled to Leamington only to be informed at 6.35pm that the match had again be called off. So, by the time the match is played (according to the FA, this will be on 12 January), the players and many supporters will have clocked up 550 miles (220 x 2 + 110 miles) and not yet seen a ball kicked in anger.


At around 6.35pm on Tuesday evening, this FA Trophy First Round replay between Leamington and Altrincham was postponed for the second time; this was following a postponement which had occurred even closer to kick-off time on 22 December. In both cases waterlogging was the underlying cause, exacerbated by a damaged drain. Leamington FC explained that "Despite our best efforts, the match referee has postponed tonight's fixture at 6:30 deeming one corner of the pitch unsafe to play". The National League gives its explanation as, the "Match referee postponed [the match] one hour before kick-off due to unsafe state of pitch."

On Tuesday morning, Leamington FC had confirmed that the game was expected to go ahead as planned. They reported that the pitch had been sanded in places (as seen above at 6.40pm on Tuesday night) but, in their opinion, was considered playable and no pitch inspection was deemed necessary. However, when the match referee arrived he thought otherwise and so the Altrincham players, staff and supporters had made their second fruitless 220-mile round trip to the New Windmill stadium. A third trip will now be necessary, on a date to be confirmed.


Altrincham FC Ladies' next match is on Sunday (10th January) at 2pm at the Mersey Valley Sports Club, Banky Lane, Sale M33 5SL. Kick off is at 2pm and the opponents are Ellesmere Port LFC. Spectators are very welcome; entry is free.


Monday 11 January 2016 First Round Proper
  • Skelmersdale United v AFC Fylde
  • Weston Super Mare v Wealdstone

To be confirmed...

  • Leamington v Altrincham


The National League confirms that "Torquay United have agreed a deal with Wigan Athletic for the sale of highly-rated goalkeeper Dan Lavercombe. The 19-year-old will move to the DW Stadium for an undisclosed fee but one of the components of the deal is that he will return to The Launa Windows Stadium on loan for the remainder of the 2015/16 season.

The local lad has made excellent progress during his time with the Gulls and has established himself as first choice during the course of the current campaign with some assured displays that belie his tender years."

Also "Guiseley AFC have confirmed that the loan deals for Adam Smith and James Hurst have both been made permanent. Winger Smith has had a positive impact for the Lions since arriving on loan from league rivals Wrexham in early November, while full-back Hurst has also featured prominently following his arrival from another National League outfit, Torquay United, in the same month. Both Smith and Hurst will now remain with the club for the remainder of the season".

Elsewhere, "Macclesfield Town have signed former Manchester City defender Chris Chantler. Chantler started his career at Manchester City and appeared for the Citizens in a Europa League clash with Juventus in 2010. The following season he went out on loan to Carlisle United where he impressed the manager enough to be offered a permanent deal for eighteen months. He went on to make sixty-one appearances for the Brunton Park side before being somewhat surprisingly released at the end of the 2013/14 season.

Chantler earned a deal with Scottish League side Kilmarnock... and he made twenty-six apperances last season. But an old ankle ligament injury, from his Carlisle days, required surgery and he was released by Kilmarnock and has now joined Macc following recovery from that injury."

According to NL Pitchero "Conor Townsend has been recalled from his loan with Grimsby Town by his parent club Hull City and has joined Scunthorpe United. The 22-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal at Glanford Park. The left-sided defender was due to complete his second loan spell with the Mariners after Saturday's trip to Welling United".

In the Nottingham Post we learn that "Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst has emerged as a surprise runner for the vacant Notts County job. On a day of more twists and turns in the race to succeed Ricardo Moniz, Hurst was a fresh inclusion on the bookies' list of candidates.

Hurst was a team-mate of head of recruitment Guy Branston at Rotherham United when they won promotion to the Championship in 2001. Hurst led Grimsby to the Conference play-off final last season, which they lost to Bristol Rovers at Wembley, and Notts are understood to have monitored his progress."

The NW Evening Mail confirms that "Winger Benjamin van den Broek has left Barrow AFC after a four-month spell at Holker Street. The Dutch-born winger arrived at the Bluebirds in late August,but failed to fire in six league starts and six substitute appearances.

He has been given leave to terminate his contract by mutual consent for personal reasons. A club statement said, 'His wife and young child have failed to settle in the UK and the club have now allowed them all to return home to the Netherlands'. Van den Broek scored his only AFC goal in the 1-0 FA Trophy first round victory at Sutton Coldfield Town last month.

The New Zealand international played only once after that, in the 2-2 draw at Lincoln City on December 19. Barrow secretary Russell Dodd, who met van den Broek at the club's Lancaster University training base to sign the cancellation papers, said, 'Benji leaves with a heavy heart, but family is the most important thing, so we have agreed to let him return home. He has a Dutch club lined up'".

6 January 2016



Monday 4 January 2016 First Round Proper
  • Sutton United 3-1 Lowestoft Town


On Sunday, Chester FC "moved to the top of the North West Youth Alliance Premier Division after a resounding 3-0 victory over league leaders Altrincham. Reigning Champions Altrincham were undone by three second half goals from the Young Blues after a goalless first half in a thrilling encounter.

Coery Scarisbrick, Matthew Waters and Joe Savin scored the decisive goals for the hosts who lead the division on goal difference with a game in hand over Altrincham... Altrincham had chances of their own, James Jones twice blocking after the Blues failed to keep possession in their own half after a string of Alty set pieces...

It was to be from a set piece that the Blues edged in front. Nathan Brown’s inswinging corner was met by the head of Coery Scarisbrick, the captain heading into the ground as the ball bounced into the roof of the net to spark celebrations amongst the Blue shirts...

The visitors were reduced to ten men around the hour mark, Altrincham’s cautioned number 6 was dismissed for foul and abusive language after a foul on the left touchline. The numerical advantage gave the Seals the opportunity to dominate possession and a well worked move from the left appeared to be coming to nothing before left back Matthew Waters shifted inside to curl the ball deliciously into the top corner of the net to double Chester’s advantage.

With little over ten minutes remaining, Joe Savin put the game beyond all reasonable doubt, again Nathan Brown’s corner providing the assist as Savin sidefooted the ball high into the net via the underside of the crossbar...

Youth Team Manager Calum McIntyre said, 'Altrincham are obviously the team to beat this season given they won this division last year but we were first class this afternoon. To score three goals against the team at the top of the league is really pleasing but we are far more pleased with today’s clean sheet. We were rarely troubled and I thought we defended very well all round the pitch'".


Lincoln City say that "Tony Diagne has extended his loan with Macclesfield Town until the end of the season. Diagne has been a virtual ever-present for the Silkmen this season having linked up with them in July after manager Chris Moyses made him available for transfer. A clause in the loan agreement means that the Frenchman will not be able to feature for Macclesfield against City when the two teams meet in the National League on 12 March."

And Kidderminster Harriers "are delighted to announce the addition to their squad of former Macclesfield foward, Arthur Gnahoua, and tough-tackling midfielder, Ousmane Fane. Pacy wide-man or striker Arthur, 23, is familiar with the National League after spending the better part of three seasons at Macclesfield Town. Rising through the ranks at Stalybridge Celtic before making a first-team breakthrough and putting in some impressive performances, he signed for the Silkmen in the summer of 2012... featuring regularly last season with 21 appearances before spending the second half of 2014/15 playing in Spain.

Meanwhile, fellow Frenchman Ousmane, 22, is a robust midfield player who, like Arthur, has settled in to life at Aggorough over the last few months. The pair have been training with the squad at Aggborough while they’ve waited for their respective International Clearances to be issued at the start of this transfer window. To date, Ousmane has played most of his football in his native France with the likes of Red Star and FC Gobelins before moving to Norway and joining Lyn FK for the start of this season".

We learn from FC Halifax Town that "goalkeeper Sam Johnson has extended his loan deal with the Club until 30th January... He joined from Port Vale in December on a loan spell and has impressed so far between the sticks."

In addition, "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that 20-year-old midfielder Shaquille McDonald has extended his loan spell with the Club. McDonald joined the Shaymen from Derby County in December and will now be Town until the 1st February."

Elsewhere, Cheltenham Town "have completed the signing of Dan Holman on a free transfer from Colchester United. The striker, who has been on loan at National League side Woking this season, joins the club until the end of the season with the view to extend his contract in the summer. Holman is the league's fifth highest scorer with 14 league goals for Woking, along with three cup goals."

According to the BBC "Eastleigh have signed winger Kaid Mohamed from Bath City on a deal until the end of the season. The 31-year-old will be eligible to play in their FA Cup third-round tie against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. He played for Accrington earlier this season and his previous clubs also include Cheltenham, Bristol Rovers, Wimbledon and Northampton. Eastleigh are the only non-league side left in the FA Cup."

5 January 2016


The FA Trophy reply between Leamington and Altrincham has now been moved to Wednesday 6th January at 7.45pm.

Leamington report that "It is clear that the Leamington pitch will not be playable today (Tuesday), and the FA have agreed that the fixture can move to tomorrow evening (Wednesday 6 Jan). The club requests that any volunteers that are available this afternoon or during the day tomorrow that could help out with forking and sanding to give the fixture the best chance we can, to pitch up at the ground with a garden fork/spade. Even if only for a couple of hours, it would help the grounds staff enormously in an attempt to complete the fixture."

The alteration comes after Leamington FC reported late last night that "Following extensive works over the weekend and Monday by ground staff, it has become apparant that there appears to be a blocked main exit drain which carries excess water from the pitch. The club has been in contact with a drainage company in an attempt to rectify the problem".


TASC chairman Brian Flynn announces a "New date for the Tottenham Hotspur 1979 & 1995 FA Cup Reunion. It is apparent that, should we be playing at Bognor Regis Town in the FA Trophy 2nd Round on Saturday January 16th, it would be impractical, because of the travelling distance involved, for some supporters and Club staff to attend both the Spurs Reunion on the evening before an the game the following day.

We are, therefore, changing the date of the Tottenham Hotspur Reunion Evening from Friday January 15th to Friday February 12th".


Brian Flynn has kindly supplied a recording of the Radio Robins commentary from Chester last Saturday. It starts from about 35 minutes into the game but includes an interview with Shaun Densmore at half-time. It can be heard here.

Altrincham fans would not necesssarily agree with some of the comments below...

Chester FC "Midfielder Tom Shaw has praised his side's valiant first half display following the Blues' 1-1 draw with Altrincham on Saturday. Chester started the new year with a superb performance in the first forty-five...

The Blues' midfielder said, 'It's frustrating, being one-nil up puts us in a good position. We played fairly well in the first half, but I thought we just didn't carry it on on the second half. We started to do things differently than we did in the first... It's frustrating to concede a poor goal, although we should have been winning comfortably if you look at our first half performance...

'You're only as good as your strikers. It was a cheeky little goal he [Hannah] scored today, one like he'd score against his little lad in the garden'...

With only one win in the last six games, Shaw made it clear that the Blues need to start getting wins under their belt... 'Otherwise it's going to be a nothing season'".

More comes from the Chester Chronicle in which Chester "Captain Ian Sharps feels there were positives to be drawn from Chester FC's performance against Altrincham... Aside from the opening five minutes and an end-to-end finale, the Blues were the better side, creating numerous chances and forcing 11 corners but could not convert that dominance into a second goal and in the end had to settle for a point.

'It hurts and it's definitely two points lost but I thought the performance was better than against Macclesfield so it was a step in the right direction,' said Sharps... 'We were winning second balls, winning first balls and we're just really disappointed that we didn't win the game. It took us about five minutes to get to grips with the game but then I thought the midfield did really well for us. Luke George, Tom Shaw and Ryan Lloyd dominated the game in the first-half, we switched it well, we got it out wide well and I think they had to change formation to stop us doing that and that's testament to our play'...

Experienced keeper Worsnop has taken accountability [i.e. reponsibility] for the equaliser and Sharps, while not wanting to single out his colleague, admits individual misstates have cost the side this season. 'You can see when Ross gets in the box that the opposition are nervous...' said the 35-year-old. 'I thought on his chance he'd taken too many touches but, fair play to him ,he finished it well...

'We've made too many individual errors this season certainly and it's cost us but to be fair to Spider he did well at the end and saved two shots. It's two points dropped as I say'".


The BBC reports that "Boreham Wood have re-signed midfielder Clovis Kamdjo on loan from Forest Green Rovers for the rest of the season. The 25-year-old scored twice in 13 league appearances for Wood during a loan spell earlier this season.... 'I'm hopeful of adding one or two more of Luke's targets in the next few days', Wood chairman Danny Hunter told the club website". "

Elsewhere,"Torquay United have re-signed winger Toby Ajala from rivals Dover on a free transfer. The 24-year-old spent last season at Plainmoor, scoring six goals in 46 games for the Gulls. Ajala began his career at Bristol City and has also spent time at AFC Wimbledon and Welling. He has agreed a deal until the end of the season".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town have signed Conor Henderson until the end of the season following his release by Crawley. The midfielder had been on loan at Blundell Park, but hadn't made a league appearance for the club, only featuring against Solihull in the FA Trophy. However, following official confirmation of this release by the League Two club, boss Paul Hurst has moved quickly to secure the former Arsenal man's services."

The next visitors to Altrincham are Gateshead who report that "Midfielder Dean Briggs has cancelled his contract by mutual consent ahead of a move to Australian outfit Holland Park Hawks... The 19-year-old [is] set to join the Brisbane-based side next week".

Also "Gateshead's new recruit Alex Whitmore is hoping a loan spell with a second Vanarama National League side will serve as a huge boost to his own development... after joining from Burnley on New Year’s Day... having spent the last month with Steve Burr’s Chester. The youngster turned out for the Blues in their 1-0 defeat on Tyneside five weeks ago, impressing the Heed’s newly-appointed boss, Neil Aspin.

Whitmore revealed he had the chance to prolong his stay at the Deva Stadium, but has opted to return to his native Tyneside. Originally from Newcastle, he joined the Clarets at the age of 16 after catching the eye for Wallsend Boys Club...

Whitmore is targeting a play-off push with his new side, outlining how the chance to join the Heed came about. He said, 'The gaffer has a good relationship with my agent and, when I played up here in November, he had said that I had played quite well. There was a possibility of me remaining with Chester, but after a long hard think, I’ve decided to come here in the end. I’m 20 years old, I’m still developing, and experiencing life at a second club, rather than just one, is going to be more beneficial to me.

'It’s a chance to train alongside a different set of lads and get used to a different way of playing. The development aspect is key. I think the National League is excellent. I love the competitiveness and the physicality. As a player, I’m like any centre-half; I like to defend, to head it, to clear the box and organise the people around me. I didn’t know too much about Ben Clark and James Curtis at first but, straightaway, you can tell they’re experienced, they know what they’re doing, and they are two players I can look up to and learn from.

'There are four months of the season to go, and there is definitely time for us to climb the table. We have a few long away trips coming up, but there are games we can take points from, and I see no reason why we can’t push for a play-off place'".

According to the Tamworth Herald, "Tamworth loan midfielder Lee Fowler has returned to Wrexham. Lambs' boss Andy Morrell said: "Fowls has gone back now and wants to try and break into the Wrexham team... He has got himself a lot fitter... He is good enough to play at the higher level."

Kidderminster Harriers "can confirm the departure from the club of two players following the expiry of their contracts. Midfielder, Dino Fazlic, leaves Aggborough after making six appearances for the club, having arrived in October. Also leaving Harriers is full-back, Matt Young, the former Southampton youngster made nine appearances".

According to the Daily Post, from Southport 3 Wrexham AFC 2, there are "things we learned from Haig Avenue defeat. Wrexham suffered a third successive National League loss on Saturday...

Bit of steel in midfield... Robbie Evans has come on in leaps and bounds this season as a box to box midfielder, while Adriano Moke gives Wrexham an assurance in the deeper holding role, but what they have lacked is a defensive minded player in the middle; someone who can break up play higher up the park and take the pressure off the backline. Wrexham were all too often overrun in the middle of the park... Manager Gary Mills has already acted quickly in the transfer market to bolster his midfield, Simon Heslop signing until the end of the season after his contract at Torquay United ended on January 1...

Must defend better...

Dealing with poor pitches... They are just struggling at the moment to deal with some of the mud-patches they are being faced with. The Dragons like to get the ball, build from the back and move teams around, changing the focal point of attack to create space. But to do that the ball needs to be moved quickly...

Wrexham aren’t getting the rub of the green at the moment...

Javan Vidal has been a big loss for the Dragons this term, his bombing runs up and down the right flank created havoc for opposition defences, overlapping Wes York and giving Wrexham an excellent outlet on the wing. His loss has been felt, Manny Smith putting in an admirable shift during Vidal’s absence at right-back, but he doesn’t offer the same level of threat in attack, even if he is defensively sound at the back. But Ross White seems to be the answer in the short term for the right-back berth, the youngster impressing after a late inclusion in the loss at the Shay and earning a place in the starting XI at Haig Avenue".

From Port Vale we learn that "FC Halifax Town manager Jim Harvey has told the Halifax Courier that he wants to keep Port Vale goalkeeper Sam Johnson until the end of the season. Johnson joined the National League side in November and has made six appearances including one in Halifax’s 2-2 draw with Lincoln City.

After that game, Harvey told the media that he was was hopeful loanees Johnson and Nicky Wroe would be extending their deals until the end of the season.".

4 January 2016


John Edwards, joint Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC, reports that...

"Neil Tolson vowed to step up the quest for reinforcements after two more injury setbacks cast a shadow over a battling Altrincham performance at Chester.

Alty rallied strongly in the second half, after going behind to a 20th-minute Ross Hannah goal, and salvaged a valuable point with a Michael Rankine header on the hour.

But a further strain was placed on a squad already depleted by injury and illness when Damian Reeves hobbled off with a hamstring problem and Nicky Clee was stretchered off after seriously aggravating a long-standing groin condition.

Clee left the ground on crutches, and assistant-manager Tolson, again in charge in the absence of virus victim Lee Sinnott, said: 'We've already been looking at bringing players in but there's going to be even more urgency about it now. The same criteria applies, that they've got to be right for us, but, believe me, no stone will be left unturned, because we are low on numbers.

'We are constantly looking. We are actively looking and have been for a while, but we do feel it is important we bring the right type of person in. We have been stepping it up for the past few weeks. There have been a lot of conversations going on, with a view to strengthening, and hopefully we can get a couple of fresh faces in next week.

'We do believe some of the younger players here have the potential to go on and make their mark. We are not scared to throw Sam Heathcote on, we think there's something there with Joel Swift and then there's the likes of Harry Cain and Rhain Davis. These are all good youngsters, but are they ready to be pitched in against Dover, Welling, etc? Probably not.

'So we've got to do what's right for them and the club, because we are down to the bare bones. We can't bring anyone in for the FA Trophy replay at Leamington on Tuesday, so the young lads will be involved there, but we will be doing our level best to recruit before our next league game.

'Nicky (left) is genuinely struggling. He was due to see a specialist, anyway, about a hernia, and we were hoping he would be able to get through the rest of the season but it has now completely flared up.

'It's the same area, and he was just stretching for the ball when he felt it go. He said he felt something completely tear, so it's not looking very good for him at all. We'll have him assessed and take it from there, but it was always the case that he would need an operation, so maybe this has forced the issue. The quicker we get him in, the quicker we can get him back on the pitch. We need him. You could see that from the 20 minutes he was on as a second-half substitute.

'With Reevesie, we think it's a slight niggle in his hamstring, so we are going to have to closely monitor him over the next 24-48 hours. Hopefully, it's not as bad as we first thought, when he signalled he was in trouble and came off, but we will have to be very careful with him.

'It was a good point and certainly an important one. We've been playing some good stuff, but we all know the importance of having something to show for it. We started strongly, passing the ball and moving it around very sharply, and were unlucky when Michael Rankine hit the post. But we had to step it up in the second half, and I thought we did that really well. We were good value for the draw.'"

Footnote: With Stuart Coburn, Tom Marshall, Shaun Densmore, Damian Reeves and Nicky Clee all now sidelined - and Ryan Crowther ill this weekend, Alty are currently left with just twelve senior players including teenager Sam Heathcote. They are Bowerman, Deasy, Griffin, Havern, Leather, Heathcote, Lawrie, Moult, O'Keefe, Rankine, Richman and Sinnott. Youth and reserves' graduates Cain, Davis, Stouppis, Swift and Williams all have squad numbers but are yet to make a senior start.


Brian Flynn, joint Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC conducted a post-mtach interview with Neil Tolson after the draw at Chester. It can be heard here.


According to the National League, "Lincoln City have signed defender Patrick Brough on a month's loan from Carlisle United. A second year professional, Brough stepped up to the first-team ranks at the beginning of the 2013/14 season as cover at left-back and on the left flank. Tall and fast, he caught the eye with some excellent performances and was rewarded with a new one-year deal. His initial run of games in the squad earned him a new deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the summer of 2016."
3 January 2016


Above; Michael Rankine heads Alty's goal. Image courtesy of Michael Ripley photography

A spirited performance from Altrincham saw them deservedly share the spoils with their Cheshire neighbours. Altrincham started the game well and Michael Rankine, who was to have a fine game, smacked a shot against the upright in only the third minute. But it was the hosts who took the lead in the 20th minute. A fortunate deflection took the ball to Ross Hannah, who jinked past both Griffin and Leather to score from close range.

Altrincham brought on Nicky Clee for Josh O'Keefe at the break and the wingman sparked a revival. The equalizer arrived in the 60th minute when Michael Rankine got above his marker to head a Sinnott cross past Worsnop. But Clee's afternoon ended soon afterwards when he broke down as he attempted to cover a Chester attack.

In the six minutes of added time it was Altrincham who went the closer to scoring the winner as Worsnop parried a Rankine shot into the path of Bowerman but the Chester keeper managed to block Bowerman's follow-up.

Match report here.


The NL Paper statistics show that Altrincham (and Southport) had more shots (six) on target than any other team on Saturday in the National League and that, with ten shots overall, Altrincham and Chester FC had the joint most efforts on goal in the division.

However, in the NL Paper, Chester boss Steve Burr claimed, "It was definitely two points dropped today. The game should have been killed off at half-time... We had lots of chances [from] which we should have added to the one goal we did get".

Alty assistant manager Neil Tolson responded, saying "I thought we started well in the first ten minutes but, after that, we stopped playing. In a way I was pleased to be just one down at half-time. They edged the first half, I don't think there is any doubt about that. But I thought we edged it in the second period.

We felt as if we needed a bit more width and that is why we changed it at half-time. We are happy with a point but part of me says, in the end, we could possibly have had all three"

Chester FC report that "Chester began 2016 by sharing the spoils in a close encounter with Altrincham.

Ross Hannah opened the scoring in the first half but Michael Rankine bit back on the hour mark for the Robins... The Blues.. almost went behind early on when Rankine smashed a shot against the post just three minutes in...

Steve Burr’s side were growing in confidence, and Hattersley saw a header cleared off the line by Scott Leather – following sterling interplay between the Blues attackers. It was superb, flowing football and it was rewarded with a goal on 20 minutes.

Shaw’s shot took a wicked ricochet into the path of Hannah who kept his feet, skipped past a defender and slotted home from close range; 12 in 11 games for the forward...

Business was resumed in the second half, Shaw putting Hattersley’s cross over the bar from ten yards. Johnny Hunt was then denied inside the box by Deasy; the Blues were in full flow.

James Lawrie then skied a free effort from the edge of the box... before a lapse in concentration saw the visitors claw their way back level. A cross from the right was misjudged by Jon Worsnop, allowing Michael Rankine to sneak in and head home.

The visitors then almost went in front; Moult’s fake shot bamboozled two defenders, but Heneghan blocked Reeves from close range...

Jon Worsnop was called into action in stoppage time again, making a superb double save with hand and leg to deny Rankine and Bowerman in quick succession".

The BBC has a rather one-eyed interview with Steve Burr.


The National League reports that "Tranmere Rovers have signed Northern Ireland international midfielder Jeff Hughes on loan from Cambridge United until the end of the season.

An attacking left-sided midfielder, Hughes penned a two-year deal with Cambridge during the last close season. After playing his early football with Northern Irish side Larne, he moved across the water to join Lincoln City in 2005, racking up sixty-eight appearances prior to Crystal Palace snapping him up for the Championship campaign of 2007/08.

Either side of his ten matches for the Eagles that season, Hughes also enjoyed a nine-game loan spell with Peterborough United. Released by Palace in May 2008, he signed a three-year contract with Bristol Rovers... He scored 40 times in 140 appearances for the Gasheads but, surprisingly, was not offered a further deal.

Notts County then benefited from his experience during ninety-nine games at Meadow Lane, with Hughes adding another 24 goals to his career tally.

Also from the National League we receive confirmation that "Gateshead have signed defender Alex Whitmore on loan from Burnley until the end of the season. Whitmore... spent the last month with Steve Burr’s Chester FC...

From the North East originally, Whitmore joined the Clarets as a first-year scholar in 2012... Whitmore becomes Neil Aspin’s second loan signing since taking charge... He said, 'I needed a centre-half. The lads who are playing at the back at the moment have really been picking themselves, and they haven’t had a lot of competition. With Ben Clark and James Curtis both being in their 30s, and pace not being their biggest attribute, I feel we need to bring in someone a little younger and more mobile. And, that’s what I feel I’ve done'".

The review from the National League includes... "Grimsby Town had the opportunity to close the gap on the top two... when they hosted Guiseley... However, in front of a crowd of 5,093, the Mariners were held to a 1-1 draw by a Lions` outfit who fully deserved their point... five minutes before the interval Guiseley took a shock lead with their first attempt at goal...

And Grimsby kept pushing for an equaliser which finally came on 72 minutes...

Kingsley James’s late equaliser rescued a point for FC Halifax Town as they drew 2-2 with Lincoln City at The Shay... Tranmere Rovers` run of two wins and a draw came to an end at Prenton Park against a Macclesfield Town side who are now fifth.

It was a game dominated by Rovers, who bossed the possession stats 61% to 39% but weren`t able to do the crucial thing, which was to beat the Silkmen`s goalkeeper, who for 80 minutes was substitute Ritchie Branagan after Shwan Jalal received a 10th minute injury.

The visitors also lost forward Paul Lewis because of injury 10 minutes later, but managed to throw off those disappointments to take a 31st minute lead when Jack Sampson converted Chris Holroyd`s cross...

Woking moved up to seventh in the table after completing a fifth match unbeaten against Aldershot Town at Kingfield... Gateshead are now tenth, but had to be content with just one point from their game at the International Stadium against Barrow AFC... The Bluebirds equalised late on...

Southport claimed a sixth consecutive league win as they came from behind to beat Wrexham at the Merseyrail Community Stadium... Five minutes from time Jamal Fyfield brought Almond down in the area and the striker stepped up to score from the spot to win the game... over a Wrexham side who have now lost three in a row...

Horrendous conditions at Crabble meant that Dover Athletic's clash with Welling United was abandoned on 68 minutes with the score at 0-0".

The BBC says that "Wrexham have signed midfielder Simon Heslop from Torquay and extended Newport County goalkeeper Rhys Taylor's loan until the end of the season.

Heslop, 28, joins the side after his short-term contract expired on Friday. Taylor, 25, has kept two clean sheets in seven National League appearances since arriving on 29 October.

However, Lincoln City's Jon Nolan, Shrewsbury Town's James Caton and Notts County's Taylor McKenzie have all left to return to their parent clubs".

In the Daily Post as Southport beat Wrexham AFC 3-2, "Boos rang out at the final whistle from the travelling fans as Wrexham went down to a third defeat over the festive period, but this time they were aimed solely at referee Tom Nield.

The official became Wrexham enemy number one for what can only be described as a bizarre showing. Having denied Wrexham a clear penalty at one end as Kayden Jackson was crudely upended by Adam Blakeman, Nield then awarded the home side a spot kick moments later, Louis Almond going over Jamal Fyfield’s challenge and then sending Rhys Taylor the wrong way with the resulting set piece.

Cries of ‘cheat, cheat’ echoed down from the stands as Nield left the pitch having put in a showing below the standards of the National League. But Wrexham were the masters of their own downfall at times, unable to deal with a poor pitch that cut up badly...

The bench and the near 1,000 travelling fans called for a spot kick after Kayden Jackson raced onto a perfectly weighted through ball and was absolutely clattered into from behind by Adam Blakeman, referee Tom Nield theatrically waving away strong appeals...

On first glance the Haig Avenue turf looked to be in good condition, but within minutes of the kick-off it was clear the pitch was not conducive to passing possession football. Two patches in particular – either side of the centre-circle on the half way line – were not holding up well...

Indeed first time passing was almost impossible as the bobbly pitch ensured both sets of players needed to control the ball before being able to move it on...

At times the clash at Haig Avenue had the feel of a home game for the Dragons, a chorus of ‘Hymns and Arias’ before kick-off was unable to be drowned out by the home fans, who were only narrowly made up a little under a 50-50 split of fans".


  • Att: 2155 Chester FC v Altrincham
  • Att: Dover Athletic v Welling United
  • Att: 1932 FC Halifax Town v Lincoln City
  • Att: 892 Gateshead v Barrow
  • Att: 5093 Grimsby Town v Guiseley
  • Att: 2148 Southport v Wrexham
  • Att: 4923 Tranmere Rovers v Macclesfield Town
  • Att: 3708 Woking v Aldershot Town

2 January 2016


Friday 1 January, 5.30pm
  • Forest Green Rovers 3-1 Torquay United

Saturday 2 January 2016, 3pm

  • Braintree Town v Boreham Wood POSTPONED
  • Cheltenham Town v Kidderminster Harriers POSTPONED
  • Chester FC 1-1 Altrincham
  • Dover Athletic A-A Welling United ABANDONED AFTER 68 MINS
  • Eastleigh v Bromley POSTPONED
  • FC Halifax Town 2-2 Lincoln City
  • Gateshead 1-1 Barrow
  • Grimsby Town 1-1 Guiseley
  • Southport 3-2 Wrexham
  • Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Macclesfield Town
  • Woking 2-1 Aldershot Town


When Altrincham play at Chester on 2 January, we are advised that "Altrincham’s supporters will be located in the south Stand, Turnstiles 8 and 9. Admission prices are:-
  • Adults - £15.00
  • Concessions - £10.00
  • Under 21s - £10.00
  • 16-17 year-olds - £5.00
  • 5-15 Year olds - £3.00
  • -Under 5s – Free of charge

Please note that fans in wheelchairs will be located in the west stand – Turnstile 7".


Details of the times and fares for the TASC supporters' coach travel to Chester FC (Sat. 2 Jan, 3pm) are on the Away Travel page.

There is still space (as of Saturday morning) on the 49 seater coach to the match at Chester. If you wish to book, please e-mail Mark Eckersall, the TASC travel coordinator as soon as possible.

Staying on the subject of travel, TASC Travel Co-ordinator Mark Eckersall advises, "After discussions, we are sorry to advise that we will be unable to provide transport to Leamington on Tuesday night. The unavailability of a number of potential drivers plus some of the hardy souls who came to the postponed fixture means that the trip is not viable.

Whilst we all hope for good weather and the game to take place, the possibility of a postponement and subsequent late cancellation of the minibus booking and any associated fees also go against putting something on. Apologies to anyone who is unable to make the game by other means and we hope the team can do the business and we can put transport on to the next round".


Altrincham's opponents on Saturday Chester FC announce that "Following the signing of midfielder Steven Hewitt from Burnley, Burr described the type of player Blues' fans will expect until the end of season, with his praise being heavily strengthened by the support of Sean Dyche who spoke highly of the Blues' midfielder.

'We had him in just before Christmas after having been released from Burnley. We only had him in for a week but we are very impressed with him. Before Christmas we tried to do something with him but then he got an offer from Shrewsbury, so we thought we were going to lose him. Nothing happened there so now he's come back and we'll see how things progress with him. He's a central midfield player who can also play at right back so we are very pleased to have him.'

After the Blues' 2-0 defeat to Macclesfield in the week, Burr openly admitted that he would have liked to renew the loan of Burnley defender Alex Whitmore, who made five appearances in his one month spell at the club, but his parent club have instead decided to give the defender a new experience at another club. 'Alex has unfortunately gone back to Burnley and is going out on loan to another National League club. I'm disappointed that he's going to another club at this level, if it was from the League then I would have understood it a bit more'...

There was news of a move for Kane Richards which broke earlier this morning, and the Gaffer has now confirmed the destination of the midfielder. 'Kane's heading off to Gainsborough on a month loan, but until the league clearance has passed there's not too much more we can say about it.'"

Before the game with Alty the Chester Chronicle says "Altrincham's biggest concern is over boss Lee Sinnott, who missed the defeat at Tranmere Rovers with a virus. The Robins will be without veteran goalkeeper Stuart Coburn and defender Tom Marshall, who are long-term absentees, and are expected to be missing captain Shaun Densmore again. Ex-Chester loanee Josh O'Keefe is pushing for a recall in midfield having returned from suspension while Nicky Clee came off the bench at Tranmere as he continues to regain match fitness.

What has Jon McCarthy [ass't manager at CFC] had to say?... 'We’re looking for a performance and, if we get one, then we should beat them'..

Monday's 1-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers means the Robins have now lost three league games in a row and have dropped to 20th in the National League table. Along with Welling United, Altrincham have scored the fewest goals in the division with 22 from 25 games and have lost 10 from 14 matches on the road... The Robins have won the past three meetings with Steve Burr's side.

Assistant manager Neil Tolson, who older fans might remember from a short loan spell at the Deva Stadium back in 1995, believes the team are not getting the rewards their performances deserve at the moment...

What happened the last time the sides met? Do you really need reminding? Chester went down 1-0 having produced an uninspiring performance at Moss Lane back in October in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round... and the Blues could have no real complaint over the result with the Robins more deserving winners in a poor game...

What are the match odds? Chester 8/13, Draw 3/1, Altrincham 18/5 (Betfred). What is the weather going to be like? Expected to be cloudy with a good chance of rainfall throughout the afternoon. Temperatures of around 13°C."

1 January 2016


Altrincham FC sends its best wishes to all supporters and sponsors for the year 2016 and thanks everyone for their support throughout 2015.


Altrincham travel to Chester on Saturday, 2 January (k.o. 3pm) and the referee for the game is Mr Rob Jones.

Mike Garnett's records show the outcomes in previous matches between our clubs..

  • Home: P3-W2-D0-L1-F7-A5
  • P2-W1-D0-L1-F2-A2
  • P5-W3-D0-L2-F9-A7

The National League advises that "Chester FC have signed midfielder Steven Hewitt. Hewitt has recently been released by Burnley after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent. The former Burnley scholar, 22, made two first-team appearances from the bench, in April 2012 and December 2013, while his solitary start for the club came in the Capital One Cup in August 2012.

Hewitt enjoyed two loan spells while at Turf Moor, spending three months at Alfreton Town in 2013 before spending the remaining month of the 2014/15 season at Southport."

And Clarets Mad at Burnley report that "Chester were keen to extend the loan of central defender Alex Whitmore as his current youth loan comes to an end. However, reports on Deeside suggest that they've failed to keep the 20-year-old Geordie who, they claim, is set for a return home to his native Tyneside with a loan to Gateshead".

And the Chester Chronicle adds that "Chester FC winger Kane Richards has joined Gainsborough Trinity on a month's loan, subject to league clearance. The Blues made Richards available for loan in November after the 21-year-old, signed from Ilkeston in December last year, failed to nail down a regular spot in Steve Burr's side.

Richards, who began his career with Derby County, will now link up with Steve Housham's mid-table Gainsborough side, who include former Chester players Darryn Stamp and Nathan Jarman in their ranks. Richards has made 10 appearances so far this season and has scored once, heading home the third goal in the 3-2 win over cross-border rivals Wrexham in October."


Altrincham FC official caterer, Richie Bentley, announces that "I am doing the 'Dry January' of consuming no alcohol throughout the month to raise funds for Altrincham FC'c Community Sports Hall. If anyone else would like to do it, please e-mail or call me on 07542 193900 for sponsor forms. Alternatively, please contact me or the club office (0161 928 1045) directly if you would like to sponsor me or if you are sober enough to take on the challenge. You can also make a donation via Just Giving.

As you know, the fundraising target for the CSH is still not complete and it was almost two years since we did the Stalybridge Stomp on New Year's Day 2014. All donations will be gratefully received and I will look favourably upon those who help by secretly giving them larger portions of food in 2016!

Thanks... and Happy New Year to our amazing fans and customers. Cheers, Richie Bentley".


The National League reports that "Corby Moore and Tom Bender have today left Forest Green Rovers after their six-month contracts came to an end. Having joined midway through last season they were both offered new deals after impressing Ady Pennock in their short time at the club. However, it was decided to not to extend their current contracts".

Elsewhere, "Macclesfield Town have announced that goalkeeper Shwan Jalal and defender David Fitzpatrick have signed extensions to their current deals to keep them at the Moss Rose until the end of the season. Originally the pair's contracts were set to be up in January, after agreeing short-term deals back when they signed for the club".

According to NL Pitchero, "Liam Hearn has been recalled by Lincoln City from his loan with rivals Barrow AFC with immediate effect. Hearn linked up with Barrow on loan deadline day just over a month ago but a combination of the FA Trophy, a game between the two teams at Sincil Bank, the adverse weather and illness restricted him to just 80 minutes of first-team action during his time with the Bluebirds.

'Liam recognises that joining Barrow was a mistake on his part, not only in the way it was executed but also his failure to communicate with myself in my position as manager of Lincoln City Football Club' said boss Chris Moyses. 'After a meeting to map out the future, he has apologised for his actions and is looking forward to re-building his career here at Lincoln City. I urge all fans to support Liam on his return in our quest for success this season'...

'Looking back I accept I made the wrong decision,' Hearn said. 'When I decided to go out I had a lot going on at the time, both in terms of football and my personal life, and I let things get to me when I shouldn't have. It’s always important to learn from mistakes and I've certainly learnt from this. It’s time for me to look forward now. I've had a good chat with the gaffer and apologised for what happened. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise to all Imps' supporters'".

On The Wirral, "Tranmere Rovers have agreed a deal to sign 32-year-old Steve McNulty from Luton Town on a contract which will expire at the end of the 2016/17 season."

The bad weather is again a factor this weekend as on Thursday, Boreham Wood announced that "Braintree Town have this afternoon advised the club that an early morning pitch inspection will take place at their Cressing Road ground on Saturday".

More comes from the Essex Chronicle which says that "Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley is remaining positive after a month in which the Iron have only been able to play two league games. The pitch at the Avanti Stadium has succumbed to the winter weather and has only hosted two matches since the start of November. Postponements have meant Braintree have slipped down in the table, but Cowley has said his side will continue to work hard through the difficult period.

'We can't dress it up, everybody is frustrated because we've got certain issues with the pitch that have been well documented,' he said. 'As a consequence, we're not playing as much football as we would like. It's certainly a barrier at the moment and we're trying to find a way to overcome it which is all we can do. It's not ideal, by any stretch of the imagination, because we're getting behind on the fixtures at the moment.

'It's been a relatively mild winter over Christmas so the concern is that we have a really wet period through January and February and we could get caught up. That will make it extremely tough for what is a small part-time squad so it's unbelievably tough for us. We can either go under and let the circumstances beat us or we stay resolute and find a way to battle through'".

Further south, Leyton Orient confirm that they "have recalled midfielder Harry Lee from his loan spell at Welling United. The 20-year-old made 23 appearances for the Wings this season, however, [he] has picked up an injury in training and is ruled out of the game at Stevenage on Saturday".

Reports in Hampshire's Daily Echo say that "Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium has changed beyond all recognition since chairman Stewart Donald arrived at the club late in 2011. But Spitfires fans ain't seen nothing yet! Fingers crossed, the New Year will herald their biggest ground improvement project to date.

Planning permission will be sought for a 2,200-seater stand stretching from corner flag to corner flag on the Stoneham Lane side. It will replace the current main stand that was officially opened by former Saints chairman Rupert Lowe before the start of the 2004/05 season after Eastleigh had won promotion to the Conference South. Subject to council permission, Donald estimates the new structure, incorporating changing rooms, executive boxes, bars, offices, a shop/ticket office and a conference facility that can be hired out, will cost £3-4 million and take a year to build.

It has been designed so that work can begin during the season while the existing facilities remain in use and then the current main stand can be taken down during the summer months. Oxfordshire-based businessman Donald, who has already pumped upwards of £3 million into the club, said, 'It will be an extremely exciting development for the club and will hopefully generate a lot of non-footballing revenue which can go towards making the club far more financially independent and successful. The next phase will really take the club up to Football League standard and should encourage many more people to come along to games... The way it's designed means we can open it in stages. It will be in five sections and we can build as we go along. We don't want to be in a position where we've got no seats on that side of the ground'...

A new road closure came into operation for Monday's game against Aldershot which saw the Concorde Club end of the lane closed three hours before kick-off and an hour after the match to ensure pedestrians can walk safely to and from the ground. But Donald said, 'We've been trying to get a footpath for a couple of years, but it's taken us to get the Bolton FA Cup game (with a near 5,000 crowd expected) for people to realise there's a problem'".


Press release:

"The Vanarama National League is pleased to join with many in the world of football in receiving and welcoming the news that our President Brian Lee has been awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Brian, who is now 78 years of age, has had a distinguished career in football throughout his working life in a variety of roles and it is for his services to the game that he has been formally recognised with this prestigious award. A promising playing career in his younger days was halted due to injury and so he took up coaching which was to become a major part of his football career. He was the youngest ever FA Staff Coach and he left the National Recreation Centre at Lilleshall, Shropshire to preside over Bisham Abbey, in Buckinghamshire as its Director for more than 20 years.

Brian then became Manager of Wycombe Wanderers FC and, during his time with the club, went onto to serve the club as its Club Chairman and to oversee and project-manage the move from Loakes Park to Adams Park. He also appointed Martin O’Neill as their manager who took the club into the Football League in 1993. Brian’s involvement with the club stretches back over some 38 years and still continues to this day.

He also managed the England semi-professional team and often travels with England C alongside the current manager Paul Fairclough.

Brian became firstly Vice Chairman of the Football Conference in 1991 before taking up a role as a Vice President two years later; prior to his elevation to Chairman in 2007. Over the ensuing eight years he has lead the competition with an assurance and dignity befitting his experience in the game. He stepped down from that position in June this year and was offered and accepted to become President under its new operational name of The National League.

During his time as Chairman he worked tirelessly to enhance the position of the competition in many areas of the game and was often the coolest head around when the emotions of the sport often raised its head. His astute leadership qualities led to him being the founder of the very influential community scheme operating under the flagship of The Football Conference Trust, engaging support from both the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association in its aims and objectives.

A keen golf enthusiast he would undoubtedly confirm that behind every successful man is an even more astute woman; and many in the game and in particular our own member clubs, will resonate with that saying for alongside him at a match each week will be his wife Shirley-Ann.

Brian Barwick as Chairman of The National League commented on hearing the news, 'Brian has truly been a shining and inspirational light in his service to all of us in the game. Whilst that service has been over many many years we know he has enjoyed every minute. I proudLy join with all my fellow directors, staff and of course our member clubs in paying tribute to a selfless servant, who has been rightly recognised with this honour'.

Congratulations and well done Brian."