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February, 2016

29 February 2016


After a fortnight's lay off, Altrincham's next first-team game is on Saturday, 5th March (3pm) at home to Macclesfield Town.

Last Sunday, Altrincham FC Youth beat Hyde FC 6-3. Next Sunday (6th March) they are at home to Skelmersdale United in the Neil Thomason Cup.

On Saturday, Alty Reserves drew 1-1 away to Wythenshawe Town. Alty now lie second, five points behind Billinge.

Last Wednesday, the Altrincham youth education team had its match at Farsley postponed. Next up, according to the FA, is an away match this Wednesday against Crewe Alexandra.


On Sunday, the National League reported that "Tranmere Rovers moved into fourth place in the Vanarama National League after inflicting a 1-0 defeat on neighbours Chester FC at the Deva Stadium on Sunday. Gary Brabin`s Rovers were the better team for the majority of the game, despite the hosts having equal possession.

Chester rarely threatened visiting keeper Scott Davies and Tranmere earned the points, thanks to a 69th minute James Norwood penalty, awarded for a foul by Johnny Hunt on Adam Mekki. And the visitors were convinced they should have had another spot-kick near the end for handball against Ben Heneghan, but the referee waived play-on."

The Liverpool Echo adds that "Tranmere moved back into the National League play-off zone with a derby victory at the Deva Stadium that could have been more emphatic than the single goal they settled for... The result completed a double for Tranmere in the first league derbies with Chester in a quarter of a century.

Manager Gary Brabin introduced some additional pace into the Tranmere side by selecting Adam Mekki and Jake Kirby in the wide midfield positions... Chester's cause was not helped by the loss of defender Ian Sharps. The former Tranmere centre back limped out of the action after 10 minutes...

Tranmere finally achieved the breakthrough their superior football merited on 69 minutes via the penalty spot... When Mekki went around Hunt inside the box, the Chester substitute caught him with a trailing leg, promoting referee Ryan Johnson to point to the spot. Norwood stepped up to send Thompson the wrong way with a confident kick into the bottom corner".

The gate was 3,494 for this midday kick off. Curiously, this result means that Altrincham have beaten three of the current top four this season but none of the bottom four!

Braintree Town report how they were "denied by an outrageous equalizer" at Guiseley on Saturday.

"Iron were controversially denied a win and three points on their first ever visit to Nethermoor Park on Saturday when the home equalised with what manager Dan Cowley called 'unsporting behaviour and the worse thing I've seen on a football pitch.'

The Iron, well in command of the game and deservedly leading through a well-taken Michael Cheek goal on 42 minutes, saw the home side level on 73rd minutes with one of the biggest on-field controversies seen in non-league football. It all erupted when Cheek was crudely fouled on the half-way line and moments later Anthony Edgar put the ball out of play so he could receive treatment.

The normal sporting protocol would see the opposition take the throw-in to one of their players who would then kick the ball towards the visiting goalkeeper to allow play to resume.

But Guiseley's Ollie Norbury, on receiving the ball, hoofed it high into the top of the Iron net like a normal shot on goal as keeper Tom King waited on the penalty spot for the ball to come to him and restart the game. It also left referee Tom Nield in an embarrassing position because, after consulting both his assistants, he had to rightly allow the goal because legally the ball was in play.

It resulted in lengthy conversation between both sets of players and coaches from both benches as the game was held up for six minutes as the controversy continued. Referee Nield did ask the home manager Mark Bower if because of the nature of the 'goal', would he allow Braintree to 'walk-in' a goal from the restart, as has happened before in such rare circumstances in football, but he refused, even though several of his players told Iron players they should have done.

It all led to a few unsavoury moments in what up until then had been a thoroughly entertaining game with both side trying to play attacking football. An unrepentant Bower said afterwards, 'Their keeper stood there with his arms in the air and allowed the ball to into the net. It put us in a really difficult position whether we should allow them to score or not but we decided no,' he went on. 'I think their keeper was trying to be clever and had simply let the ball go in. For us it was a very uncomfortable position to be in.'

The point is that King had no chance of collecting the ball as in normal circumstances as it was sent twenty feet high over the keeper and high into the Iron net. But a bitter Cowley hit back saying, 'It's the worse thing I've seen on a football pitch and it was disgraceful unsporting behaviour on their part. It was a bounce-ball after we'd put the ball out for Cheek to get treatment but the boy simply turned, hit it first-time, high and long, into our net way beyond the reach of our keeper. In such circumstances you expect the other side to give the ball back to us appropriately - not chip it high and long into the top of our net.

'Disappointingly they had plenty of time to reverse that decision but they chose not to'.

With temperatures still running high for the remaining fifteen minutes of the game the Iron players still kept their cool and went in search of a winner... Cowley went on, 'I thought the way we controlled our discipline and the way we went about our business under intense pressure after the controversial equaliser was a credit to all our players... We feel we were badly treated'...

The Iron looked comfortable for a win until the controversial home 'goal' that gave the home side an equaliser and left a sour taste in the mouths of the Iron players and travelling fans".


Fri 4 Mar. Vanarama National League
  • Forest Green Rovers v Grimsby Town (BT Sport)

Sat 5 Mar. Vanarama National League

  • Altrincham v Macclesfield Town
  • Boreham Wood v Barrow
  • Braintree Town v Eastleigh
  • Chester FC v Bromley
  • Guiseley v Wrexham
  • Lincoln City v Aldershot Town
  • Southport v FC Halifax Town
  • Torquay United v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Tranmere Rovers v Gateshead
  • Welling United v Cheltenham Town

28 February 2016


According to the BBC "Ollie Norburn's controversial equaliser saw Guiseley come from a goal down to draw with play-off chasing Braintree. The midfielder netted with a 30-yard strike, but Danny Cowley's visitors felt the hosts should have returned possession after an injury.

A five-minute dispute followed, with security staff needed to separate the players and management of both sides, but the goal was allowed to stand. Earlier, Michael Cheek [had] put the Iron in front, slotting in a Kenny Davis pass."

In its weekend review, the National League reports that "Forest Green Rovers missed the opportunity to return to the top of the Vanarama National League on Saturday after conceding a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Holker Street against Barrow AFC...

On 36 minutes, a ball over the top picked out winger Elliott Frear beyond the far post and he took an assured touch to put his pass to the feet of Kieffer Moore, whose task from a yard out was an simple one...

But on the hour-mark, a moment of madness from skipper Simon Grand when he tried a back pass to Dixon, but missed the presence of Keanu Marsh-Brown, and he had all the time in the world to walk around Dixon and slot home...

But on 73 minutes the Bluebirds were back in the contest when Danny Livesey tapped in Jordan Williams's corner at the far post. Barrow kept pushing forward and they were rewarded 10 minutes later as a corner was only half-cleared to Williams 25 yards out. He turned his man and created space for an effort from the 18-yard line, firing into the far corner of the net...

Wrexham maintained their play-off challenge, despite being held to a goalless draw at the Moss Rose against Macclesfield Town...

Kidderminster Harriers` hopes of avoiding the drop took another serious blow as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat by mid-table Bromley. After having the majority of the better chances, an unfortunate error by goalkeeper Dean Snedker saw Harriers slip to another damaging defeat. With just 4 minutes to go, Snedker allowed Joe Anderson's free-kick into the back of the net...

Braintree Town could have moved into the top five with a victory at Nethermoor against lowly Guiseley AFC... Three minutes before the break, Danny Cowley's Iron took the lead when Cheek got on the end of a Kenny Davis pass to score... Guiseley equalised on 73 minutes with a fine strike by Norburn from 20 yards...

Boreham Wood did [i.e. gave] their survival hopes a massive lift as they moved out of the bottom four following a fine 3-0 win at Southport, who are slipping back into the dog-fight. The possession stats show 60% to 40% in Southport`s favour, but Wood converted three of their five shots on target to stun the hosts...

Another vital game at the foot of the table saw Welling United suffer a damaging 1-0 defeat at Park View Road against mid-table Aldershot Town... Fifteen minutes from time came the decisive moment in the game when Welling`s on-loan keeper Marek Rodak brought down Ross Lafayette in the box and Lafayette dusted himself down to duly convert the resulting penalty".

Kidderminster Harriers report that "Colin Gordon admitted Saturday's controversial defeat to Bromley at Aggborough was 'soul destroying', with his side having endured a rotten afternoon... Harriers never really looked in any threat of being beaten...

Visiting shot-stopper Alan Julian was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers... When Evan Garnett was hauled down from behind inside the area.. the hosts were not given a penalty kick when it seemed nailed-on; salt then rubbed into the wounds when an inexplicable goal from Bromley in the dying stages turned the game on its head.

An emotional and frustrated Colin spoke to the media after the game, saying, 'It feels like a conspiracy, only the league isn't big or worldwide enough for it to be so. How can their captain come off to me and say 'Sorry, it was a penalty', when he was the one who brought Evan down? The three assistants said it was a penalty but the referee says he thought [Evan] had overrun the ball.

'It's a shambles. We had a goal against us at Wrexham on Tuesday night that was nowhere near the line and I have said [?sent] video evidence of that to the linesman who promised to apologise. We had a penalty given against us against Chester when Langmead has got nowhere near the player. Do they not realise that these decisions cost people money, jobs and livelihoods?"

Colin went on to add, 'We've conceded a rubbish goal; our goalkeeper has apologised because it was a huge mistake... They didn't have a shot but their keeper has made two or three great saves. It's just soul destroying for all of us'".

On a more positive side, "We’re pleased to be able to confirm that forward Arthur Gnahoua has become the latest player to sign a new contract with the club. Arthur inked terms on a new 18-month deal that keeps him at Aggborough until the summer of 2017. After first signing with back in January, he’s scored three times in eight games to quickly become a popular figure with the Harriers faithful."

At Torquay United, "player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, has reflected upon our 1-0 defeat at Bognor Regis Town in the quarter-final of the FA Trophy. 'The performance was not good enough', he said. 'The better team won in the end... We looked nervous for some reason. We were missing a few players that have done well for us in the League, but it was a chance for others to step up to the plate...

'There are no excuses; this team should have been good enough to win the game and go through... It’s a case of making sure that we pick ourselves up quickly and be ready to go again on Tuesday when the battle for vital League points resumes at Macclesfield'".

From the Daily Post we learn that "Wrexham’s unbeaten run stretched to seven after a battling and hard fought 0-0 draw at Moss Rose on Saturday. More than 1,000 travelling fans were treated to a stern and stubborn showing from the Dragons as they held out against Macclesfield.

And Wrexham may feel this was two points dropped in their bid for the play-offs... That is now seven games unbeaten for the Dragons, and four clean sheets on the bounce, and keeps Gary Mills’s men firmly in the hunt for a place in the top five".

Macclesfield Town are Alty's next opponents and they lined up in a 4-4-2, comprising Jalal; Halls, Byrne (Diagne 77), Pilkington, Fitzpatrick; Holroyd, Turnbull, Whitehead (Styche 85), Whitaker; Dennis, Sampson (Phillips 82). Subs: Branagan, Sutherland.


Meanwhile, the National League also reports on the FA Trophy. "Dover Athletic... were stunned by an injury-time winner by Nantwich Town. The Dabbers... produced a terrific performance in front of their own fans at the Weaver Stadium. And they took a deserved lead 10 minutes after the break when Elliott Osborne fired in a low shot after a quick breakaway following a corner at the other end.

However, Dover pulled back on level terms after 70 minutes, thanks to a Richard Orlu header from a Nicky Deverdics free-kick... With a replay in Kent looking likely, Andy White's stoppage time cross was headed home from six yards by substitute Liam Shotton.

At Nyewood Lane in front of a good crowd of 1,821, Ryman League Premier Division side Bognor Regis Town carried on their slaying of teams from higher levels to reach the semi-finals. Snorre Nilsen got the all-important goal after 49 minutes to oust a Torquay United side who rarely looked like threatening the lead afterwards...

The other two ties were all-National League affairs. Grimsby Town, finalists in 2013, made it through against three-times winners Woking at Blundell Park. A slightly disappointing, lower than average crowd of 1,675 saw the Mariners go through 2-0...

The other tie requires a replay after a disappointing goalless draw between FC Halifax Town and Gateshead at The Shay... A replay was the last thing either would have really wanted."

Gates in the FA Trophy Round 4 were:

  • Nantwich Town v Dover Athletic Att 892
  • FC Halifax Town v Gateshead Att 1431
  • Grimsby Town v Woking Att 1765
  • Bognor Regis Town v Torquay United

Wed 2 Mar. FA Trophy 4 Replay

  • Gateshead v FC Halifax Town


Altrincham "old boys" on the scoresheet in the EvoStik League on Saturday includedDanny Mitchley for Marine, Andy Smart for Ramsbottom, and both Ben Deegan and Steven Gillespie (pen) for Warrington Town.


Sat 27th February. Vanarama National League

    Att: 1233 Barrow v Forest Green Rovers
  • Att: 788 Guiseley v Braintree Town
  • Att: 1539 Kidderminster Harriers v Bromley
  • Att: 2406 Macclesfield Town v Wrexham
  • Att: 815 Southport v Boreham Wood
  • Att: 704 Welling United v Aldershot Town

27 February 2016


Boreham Wood's win lifts them above Alty, who now drop to twentieth.

Sat 27 Feb.

  • Barrow 2-2 Forest Green Rovers
  • Guiseley 1-1 Braintree Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 Bromley
  • Macclesfield Town 0-0 Wrexham
  • Southport 0-3 Boreham Wood
  • Torquay United P-P Altrincham
  • Welling United 0-1 Aldershot Town

Sun 28 Feb.

  • Chester FC v Tranmere Rovers


FA Trophy, Saturday 27 February 2016, Fourth Round Proper
  • Nantwich Town 2-1 Dover Athletic
  • FC Halifax Town 0-0 Gateshead
  • Grimsby Town 2-0 Woking
  • Bognor Regis Town 1-0 Torquay United


Altrincham FC has no first-team game on Saturday but the Reserves are playing at 2pm at Wythenshawe Town. Their ground is next door to the Tesco superstore at Baguley. All support would be very welcome.


Brian Flynn writes "With five players within striking distance of landing on 21 goals, this weekend may see the conclusion of our first 'Football Buster' game. The current standings can be seen here.


As reported yesterday, Alty loanee Dylan Mottley-Henry has been recalled and subsequently loaned to Brtadford Park Avenue. According to NL Pitchero "Bradford Park Avenue have signed young striker Reece Webb-Foster and winger Dylan Mottley-Henry on a month`s loan from Sky Bet League One neighbours Bradford City...

Young winger Mottley-Henry has recently returned to Valley Parade following a loan spell with National League side Altrincham. Mottley-Henry has played once for City's first-team so far this season, coming on as a late substitute during the home match with Peterborough United back in September. He has also been an unused substitute for a number of City's games in the Capital One Cup and Emirates FA Cup during the 2015/16 campaign.

Prior to his loan move to Atrincham, Mottley-Henry has played most of his football this season for the Bantams in the Final Third Development League. The pacey wide-man, who signed his first professional deal with the club last summer, made his senior debut for Phil Parkinson's side last season as a second half substitute during the Bantams' home match with Preston North End last April."


According to NL Pitchero, "Southport have taken young defender Max Cartwright on a month`s loan from Fleetwood Town. Cartwright, 19, is a left-back with huge potential. He has experience in non-league football with Chorley, initially helping the Magpies win promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League in 2014... He then returned to the club on loan for a month in mid-October 2015. "

Elsewhre "Winger Adam Dawson has departed company with Kidderminster Harriers after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. Dawson, who signed for the club in the summer after being released by Leicester City, made eight appearances at the start of the season and has also spent time out on loan with league rivals Tranmere Rovers."

26 February 2016


Manager Lee Sinnott has confirmed that loan winger Dylan Mottley-Henry has been recalled by his parent club, Bradford City. Dylan (right) joined the club just before the FA Trophy match at Bognor Regis Town and made six appearances for Altrincham, all but one being from the bench. Recently he has been injured after picking up a knock whilst training at Bradford.

Meanwhile Altrincham are approaching Tranmere Rovers with a view to extending the stay of defender Marcus Holness, whose loan spell ends on Saturday.

The injured duo of Adam Griffin and Simon Richman are returning to training and the squad are getting together on Saturday for training in the absence of any competitive match due to scheduled league opponents Torquay United being involved in the FA Trophy.


Chairman Grahame Rowley writes, "Many thanks to the people who have stepped forward following the club's appeal for volunteers recently (see below).

We have acquired the services of 'litter pickers', a poster hanger, a gate person and a couple of multi-taskers as well as a painter and decorator, a skill which we forgot to ask for but whose help will be greatly received. A thought has come to mind with regard to the away turnstiles and I wonder whether anyone knows of a friendly builder who would have a few days spare in the close season to help us out. We have 3 pallets of bricks left over from the building of the Community Sports Hall and, with the help of Neil Faulkner with the woodwork, I'm confident we can refurbish this dilapidated area at minimal cost. If anyone knows of a builder who could give his time for this worthy cause it'd be great to hear from them.

Following the use of the covers acquired on loan from Lancashire Cricket Club the club was able to stage the game against Guiseley on Saturday but we know need to re-fold these covers to enable them to be stored safely. The plan is to do this on Friday morning at 10am when we need 6 volunteers to assist in spreading the covers out on the pitch and then to fold them back ready for storage pitchside. If you're able to assist please turn up for 10am on Friday where Neil Brown, our groundsman, will greet you with open arms!"


The Chester Chronicle reports that "This Sunday sees Chester FC host Tranmere Rovers in a league game for the first time in almost 25 years. It should be a packed to the rafters, regardless of the fact that it is no longer a Football League fixture and the two sides are now a part of non-league football's top tier.

But, as has been the case for the Blues' cross-border derbies with Wrexham in recent seasons, an overbearing approach to ensuring order between two sets of fans by the powers that be has ensured that, once again, a fixture that should be the hottest ticket in town on Sunday will be just another derby that has had the life squeezed out of it.

But why? This is the fifth tier of English football and a game between two teams from areas that aren't divided by deep-rooted political or religious differences. This is not the Old Firm derby, this is not Palmeiras v Corinthians or Fenerbahce v Galatasaray. It's a clash in the National League for crying out loud.

Right: Gavin Rathbone's image shows Marcus Holness winning an aerial duel against Guiseley last Saturday.

Thankfully, the ludicrous 'bubble match' that Chester and Wrexham fans have become so accustomed to in recent seasons hasn't been enforced this time around, but this week's statement from Cheshire Police that disorder won't be tolerated made for uncomfortable reading for me.

During the reverse fixture Merseyside Police, well versed in policing crowds much larger than those at a Tranmere v Chester match, had a presence, but that was all it was. There was no overzealous approach to policing and both sets of fans were able to mingle inside a 'fan zone' and we even able to eat from the same hog roast. Imagine that.

Merseyside Police should be commended on how they policed the game, they saw it for what it was and were firm but fair. Years of keeping a watchful eye over Liverpool and Everton derbies, Aintree Races, Creamfields and Saturday night's on Concert Square suitably prepared them for how to cope with crowds.

But Cheshire Police's warning to fans prior to this Sunday, for me, can only serve to heighten tension between two sets of fans and [is] needlessly officious. The suggestion of trouble and the limited amount of tickets allocated to the visitors has, as with the bubble match, created an issue that isn't really there.

Every single football club in the world has a minority with the propensity for causing trouble, but that is all they are, a minority. To offer up such heavy-handed measures where 99.9% of fans are only there to watch the action on the pitch is, quite frankly, embarrassing.

It's not even as if the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium is in the centre of the city, it is pretty much as far away from general weekend footfall in Chester's streets as it could possibly be without completely crossing the other side of the border.

I understand the worry about heavy numbers of 'rival' football fans in the centre of town before and after the game, but don't we already have experience of policing large numbers of alchohol-fuelled racegoers in the city centre following a Saturday meeting at the Roodee?

We are football fans, not hooligans. The powers that be need to realise this fact and treat fans like adults, not children being supervised on a school trip.

We have had visits from the likes of Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City over the past 15 years or so, but none of those fixture came under as much scrutiny as clashes between Wrexham and Tranmere.

A police presence at matches is, and always will be, a must. But it is time that these games, what should be hotly-contested clashes in a cauldron of noise, should be removed from the shackles of fussy and expensive policing before they are irrevocably damaged and their character lost forever. Sadly, that moment is edging ever closer. We are adults, please treat us as such."

From the Braintree Times we learn that "Chairman Lee Harding said Charlie Strutton has now made official contact with the club after a period when the Iron had not heard from him, but had still not attended any training sessions since Christmas. Harding had admitted to being bemused earlier this year when Strutton had not reported back to the Iron after a loan spell at Slough Town and repeated attempts to contact him had failed.

However, the chairman said the striker, who is in the second year of a two-year contract with Braintree, had now written to the club to appoint a representative to represent him in dealings with the club, although he hadn’t so far returned to training with the team".

In the Macclesfield Express we learn that "Macclesfield Town manager John Askey insists his team’s season is far from over despite four straight league defeats and being knocked out of the FA Trophy... They will look to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host Wrexham at the Moss Rose, and Askey is confident that they can turn things around.

'There is still a lot to play for and that’s what I said to the players', he said. 'Despite everything that’s happened, we’re seven points off the play-offs so, if we manage to get a win on Saturday, then it changes for them. We have got to realise there is plenty to fight for still, we’ve got a fight on our hands because at the moment we’re struggling to play but when we do get the ball down we play well....

Macclesfield fans have been frustrated by the run of results, with some supporters criticising the players for their performances... 'When you don’t do well people start to criticise but when you do well those people are silent... The problem is people can’t defend the crosses, but we work on it and keep working on it and training', Askey said... 'From open play we’re fine but set pieces are our Achilles’ heel'".

Gateshead say that "Following the completion of the transitional period at Gateshead, Graham Wood has taken up a new role as Club President. Wood’s total shareholding was acquired by Richard and Julie Bennett last summer, with the former taking up the chairman’s post after the first stage of the club’s handover process came to a close in September. Wood has since served as the club’s Director of Football, but will now step down from his role on the board.

The Bennetts and Managing Director Brian Waites will continue in their existing roles at the International Stadium. Richard Bennett feels that Wood's new position is a just reward for his accomplishments in recent years.... As President, Wood will act as an ambassador for the club and will remain an official of the club".

Bromley provide "A quick update from the Club on the Ground Grading works taking place. The first of two new rows of crush barriers have been installed on the ‘dugout’ terrace, no doubt seen by supporters at recent games, although a fresh coat of white paint is still required. The holes have been dug on the ‘car park’ terrace for the installation of the new crush barrier at the front of the terrace, which should be completed by Friday.

We’ve had a great response from supporters wishing to salvage the existing iconic white barriers, which will be removed shortly. We will be in touch with those supporters who have requested a barrier once the removal works have been completed. The work for the additional turnstiles at Exit 2 has began and is expected to be finished middle of next week.

Upgrading of the floodlights at Hayes Lane has begun with the installation of an additional lamp to each of the existing pylons. The upgrade of power and connection of these new lights will commence beginning of March. The Club remains happy with the progress made and is on target to receive its ‘A Grade’ at the end of March."


They knocked Altrincham out of the FA Trophy and now Bognor Regis, known as "The Rocks, are ready, on and off the pitch for one of their biggest games for many years. A crowd of around 2,000 is expected when they host Torquay in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy on Saturday. It’s already further than the club have ever gone before in the Trophy...

The Rocks have had just about the perfect build-up to the game by taking four points out of six from visits to two of their Ryman premier promotion rivals in the past week. A dogged display to earn a 0-0 draw at East Thurrock was followed by a superb 3-1 win at Tonbridge on Tuesday night and a bonus was that no new injuries were picked up.

Rocks' manager Jamie Howell said, 'We will respect them but if we do what we can do, and do it well, we will cause them a few problems... There will be a few nerves for all of us but that can be a good thing in getting you focused on the job in hand'...

Torquay, who are expected to bring more than 200 fans, head along the south coast in a bit of form themselves. They have won back-to-back National League games in the past six days... Boss Kevin Nicholson has added to his squad recently in a bid to pep up their season, but some of those brought in are Trophy-tied and can’t play on Saturday".

25 February 2016


Football Central reports that "With well over five million views on Youtube, Rhain Davis, became the most watched Australian footballer on the Internet. As a nine year old, he captured the attention of global media and the football public when his grandfather sent a highlights video to Sir Alex Ferguson that led to football giants Manchester United signing the precocious talent.

While everyone marvelled at the ability one so young possessed, it was also tempered by a degree of concern as to what that much pressure and expectation could do to a child. The now 18 year old though has no regrets and insists the positives outweighed the negatives, citing the support of his family as being important.

'To be honest it was a new adventure for me and my family and they supported me thoroughly', the Brisbane-born midfielder told Football Central. 'Of course I felt pressure but in a way it seemed to drive me further, knowing I had to perform is how I enjoyed it. I can truthfully say I have no regrets in the journey I have taken'...

Through his mother, Leah he was able to obtain a UK passport and he and his father Mark moved to Cheshire, England as he chased the dream of every young footballer. United came under fire too for signing a player so young especially from another country...

Davis would spend the next seven years with the Red Devils and with the outside attention dying down to a few 'whatever happened?' queries popping up intermittently on-line, the youngster was able to focus on his football. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Rhain with his resolve being tested after a shocking injury that eventually led to him being released.

'Breaking my leg and getting released after seven years was the lowest point I have had,' admitted Davis. 'Breaking my leg was the primary reason why I was let go but I’m not going to use that as an excuse... No, I never thought of quitting football', insisted the teenager...

'It’s important for all footballers to keep themselves motivated, it’s not all about external pressure. Players need to drive and keep themselves going. In my case my motivation comes from my family, the thought that I brought them here to England is enough to keep me motivated'. Now he finds himself still in Manchester but now the youngest member of the first team at National League side Altrincham FC. He says he has settled in well thanks to a great group of people at the club and is looking to establish himself in the first team before giving back to his family for all their support.

'The move from United to Altrincham was a simple one. The staff and players welcomed me and, being the youngest there, helped as they took extra care of me. I get along with everyone at the club and am looking forward to working hard and improving. My short term goals are to break into the current Altrincham team and really make a name for myself at a high level. My long term goal is to make a healthy living from the game to support my family and my parents through football'.

Having left Australia at such a young age he’d be forgiven for not spending too much time looking back but he still feels connected to his country of birth. He doesn’t rule out Australia as being a part of not only his footballing past but also his future. 'One day I’d love to come back and play in Australia,' said Davis... 'Of course I feel connected. That’s where I was born and I’ll always feel strongly towards Australia. Even after a lot of travelling, it’s still my favourite place'".


Jonny Margetts, who completed his loan spell with Alty a few days ago, scored twice (one a penalty) for his parent club Tranmere Rovers in the Senior Cup on Tuesday


  • 506 Braintree Town v FC Halifax Town
  • 2201 Cheltenham Town v Gateshead
  • 2874 Grimsby Town v Woking
  • 550 Guiseley v Forest Green Rovers
  • 1341 Torquay United v Welling United
  • 3899 Wrexham v Kidderminster Harriers


In the Cheshire Senior Cup second round this week, the results were...
  • Cammell Laird 1907 FC 0 - 5 Tranmere Rovers FC att.202
  • Chester FC 4 - 0 Warrington Town FC att.347
  • Stockport County FC 4-1 Crewe Alexandra FC
  • Alsager Town FC 0 - 3 Northwich Victoria FC att.81

And in the CSC Semi-Finals, the fixtures are...

  • Tranmere Rovers FC V Chester FC (date TBC)
  • 8/03/16 Stockport County FC v Northwich Victoria FC


According to the Harrogate Advertiser "Harrogate Town have signed defender Luke Foster after his shock departure from Southport. Foster has joined on a contract at the CNG Stadium until the end of the season... Foster was a popular figure at Southport and captained the National League side for two years...

However, he posted a message of social media to announce his departure from the club on Wednesday morning, sighting [i.e. citing] disagreements with manager Dino Maamria. The 30-year-old, who has previously played for York City and Oxford United, said, 'There's been a big change this week. I'm sorry to say I have officially left Southport football club. I have loved my last two years there as captain of the club... with a great set of players and staff from the chairman right down to the kit men. For the first time in my career I felt at home.

'This week has been the strangest in my career. Completely out of the blue, and after a few disagreements with the manager, I felt it was best to move on. (I have) enjoyed working with every manager that's been there and that's the truth'".

The Southport Visiter tells us that manager "Dino Maamria admitted his Southport side’s performance in their loss on Saturday was a 'step backwards', but targeted a return to winning ways this week...

Maamria was more disappointed with the way his side performed and felt that they were not giving 100%. He said, 'It’s not about the results sometimes, I was more disappointed with the performance. I thought it was a step backwards in terms of what I’m looking for from the team. We’ve addressed that this week and we’ve made the necessary changes to get back to winning ways. I think some of the players feel almost like it’s a job done. I don’t think it’s a lack of confidence; it’s a lack of work ethic, lack of work rate and lack of application which are costing the results we’re getting.

'When you’re at 60-70%, you can’t win games. We have to be 100% and that’s what I will be expecting from the players. We will be 100% for the weekend'. That result extends Southport's winless streak to seven games in all competitions...

Southport will have two chances to return to winning ways this week, starting with a home tie against a Boreham Wood side on Saturday who currently find themselves in the bottom four. Then, on Tuesday, the Sandgrounders travel to Dover...

Maamria said, 'You can’t look at the results and get sucked in to all that, you’ve got to look at each performance individually to find why we didn’t win... I think our performances have been good despite the results, apart from Saturday’s game'".

More from Haig Avenue comes from the the BBC "Southport have appointed Craig Madden as their assistant manager after Gary Finley left the National League side. Madden, 57, was a coach at Stockport for 13 years and also held the number two position at Fleetwood Town".

The Telegraph & Argus reports on FGR's 1-0 win at Guiseley on Tuesday. "A goal for the visitors eight minutes from time broke Guiseley hearts after they had put in a tremendous performance... It was tough on the Lions who had put in a solid shift and created chances. Emile Sinclair sent in a shot that hit both posts and there were chances for Anthony Dudley and Nicky Boshell in the goalless first half.

Guiseley keeper Dan Atkinson had to be at his best against title-chasing Rovers and he made some fine saves. Into the second half... Sinclair was denied by the woodwork yet again when his shot was deflected onto the bar".

According to the Worcester News, "Chairman Rod Brown has assured Kidderminster Harriers fans they are under no pressure to give their shares back to the club. The Aggborough outfit sent out a letter to all shareholders asking them to return their stake back to the Reds in a bid to help attract new investors. The most up to date records show that 4,787,865 have been issued for Kidderminster Harriers, which are split between hundreds of fans, former board members and those who have put money into the club.

While Colin Gordon took a controlling stake in the club when he purchased the shares from Barry Norgrove, Jane Murrant and Neil Savery in October, there remains a handful of groups and individuals who own large numbers as well as and many of supporters with tiny amounts. Brown said, 'There were nearly five million shares issued for Harriers to raise funds for the club but that has really been exhausted. We've got a situation where we've got lots of fans with small amounts that to all intent and purposes are worthless. We could issue more shares but that would devalue them even further. We've asked fans to give the shares back to the club and if we get enough it will help us find new investors.

'We've contacted all the shareholders and there's no pressure, it's up to them. I can assure them that there's nothing untoward going on. It's not about Colin Gordon [i.e. me] getting more shares, he's [i.e. I have] already got the controlling majority'.

According to the latest records, Kate and Ernie Lane own 703,668 shares, while board member Wayne Allen has 385,999. Former chairman Mark Serrell possesses 410,704, Dave Reynolds has 221,704, while Kidderminster Harriers Indepedent Supporters Trust (KHIST) also own a large chunk. Supporters may be unwilling to give away their part of the club and lose having a voice at the club's AGM."

Cconfirmation comes from the Hampshire Chronicle that "Eastleigh midfielder Ben Strevens has been hit with a seven-match ban following his sending-off in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers. The 35-year-old, one of the experienced ‘old’ heads in the Spitfires side, was shown a straight red for spitting in the direction of FGR's two-goal match-winner Jon Parkin during stoppage time at The New Lawn.

The offence carries an automatic six-match suspension and an extra game has been added because it is Strevens’s second red card of the season... Strevens, who has captained the side on occasion this season, is also walking a disciplinary tightrope where bookings are concerned. He has seen yellow nine times this term and one more would trigger an additional two-match ban.

His seven-match suspension begins next Tuesday... and he is not due back until the Easter Monday game at Torquay United... Strevens maintains he did not spit directly at the player, but nevertheless the club has opted not to appeal.

Chairman Stewart Donald confirmed, 'The club did not appeal as we had zero chance of success. We have dealt with the matter internally and taken what we feel is appropriate action, bearing in mind the circumstances'".

In the Halifax Courier, "Jim Harvey bemoaned his side’s sluggish start after FC Halifax Town lost 2-0 at Braintree. The Shaymen conceded after just 33 seconds to Kenny Davis’s goal before Kevin Roberts was sent-off in the second-half and Michael Cheek doubled the hosts’ lead...

'We didn’t start at all,' he reflected. 'They scored in the first minute, the first attack. We looked really sluggish. It was just a really poor, poor night for us. One to put in the bin and forget about... We had a long trip down here and I think we were still on the coach, weren’t sharp at all'...

Harvey was bemused at referee Alex Young’s decision to send-off Roberts for two bookable offences, and felt the official didn’t take the conditions into account... Said the Town boss... 'It’s a shame because our discipline has been very good and it’s not very often we pick up a booking never mind a sending-off. On a stinking, horrible pitch, to keep your feet is extremely difficult. I don’t think there was anything malicious throughout the whole game. That’s what happens, you end up talking about referees'...

Harvey also felt Town should have had a penalty for a foul on Jake Hibbs, instead of which the referee booked the Halifax midfielder for diving.. He said... 'Hibbsy’s been brought down, it’s blatant, it’s obvious, but we didn’t get it.' The Town boss also felt the Braintree pitch made things difficult for his team. He added, 'It’s the same for both teams but they play on it every other week so they know how to play on there. The pitch was a really poor standard, the boys are slipping all over the place. And I don’t think the referee’s allowed anything. I don’t know how many bookings and fouls he gave - it was just stop-start'".

In its review of Tuesday's matches, the Football Conference states that "Cheltenham Town`s lead at the top of the Vanarama National League was cut to just two points... after the leaders were held to a goalless draw by Gateshead and second-placed Forest Green Rovers won at Guiseley AFC... Gateshead also edged the possession statistics, so this one might just be one the Robins got away with being happy with a point.

Forest Green were also made to battle by a Guiseley side determined not to get sucked into the dog-fight at the bottom of the table. Indeed, the Lions had the better of the opportunities... The breakthrough finally came 8 minutes from time when sub Brett Williams fired past Atkinson from a Keanu Marsh-Brown cross....

Grimsby Town maintained their outside chances of the title, they still possess two games in hand on the top two, after a 3-1 win against a Woking side who are now six points adrift of the play-off places... Wrexham moved into fourth place in the table after recording a third successive win and a sixth match unbeaten against a Kidderminster Harriers side who returned to the foot of the table...

Kidderminster returned to the bottom of the table after Torquay United`s vital 2-0 win against fellow strugglers Welling United at Plainmoor. It was a hard-fought win for the Gulls, who certainly didn`t have it all their own way, especially in the opening 45 minutes... Torquay moved level on points with Welling, seven points adrift of the safety-mark.

Tuesday`s other game saw FC Halifax Town`s relegation worries increase after losing 2-0 at the Amlin Stadium against play-off chasing Braintree Town... The Shaymen, who beat promotion-chasing Grimsby last Saturday, are now only a point above the drop zone again."

24 February 2016


Chairman Grahame Rowley writes, "Many thanks to the people who have stepped forward following the club's appeal for volunteers recently (see below).

We have acquired the services of 'litter pickers', a poster hanger, a gate person and a couple of multi-taskers as well as a painter and decorator, a skill which we forgot to ask for but whose help will be greatly received. A thought has come to mind with regard to the away turnstiles and I wonder whether anyone knows of a friendly builder who would have a few days spare in the close season to help us out. We have 3 pallets of bricks left over from the building of the Community Sports Hall and, with the help of Neil Faulkner with the woodwork, I'm confident we can refurbish this dilapidated area at minimal cost. If anyone knows of a builder who could give his time for this worthy cause it'd be great to hear from them.

Following the use of the covers acquired on loan from Lancashire Cricket Club the club was able to stage the game against Guiseley on Saturday but we know need to re-fold these covers to enable them to be stored safely. The plan is to do this on Friday morning at 10am when we need 6 volunteers to assist in spreading the covers out on the pitch and then to fold them back ready for storage pitchside. If you're able to assist please turn up for 10am on Friday where Neil Brown, our groundsman, will greet you with open arms!"

Grahame wrote a few days ago that "Following on from my plea for additional volunteers to help out around the Football Club, I have drawn up a list of jobs which people could potentially assist with. They are:-

  • Matchday Stewards
  • Matchday Gate Persons
  • People to divot pitch at half time and full time on the pitch - forks provided.
  • Litter pickers to clear the ground following games
  • Bar staff
  • Catering assistants
  • Fund raiser co-ordinators to take on a fundraising project either via the internet or in person at games. This could be arranging a social event to just running a competition like "Pontoon" or "Goal Rush"
  • Person to put up posters around the ground advertising next fixture.
  • Advertising / sponsorship - anyone who can cold-call local companies to generate further opportunities to sponsor/ advertise at the club. Commission available on success.
  • Raffle ticket sellers - on matchdays

Please contact Karen or Grahame Rowley at the Football Club on (0161) 928-1045 or via e-mail"


The BBC confirms that "Scunthorpe United have appointed caretaker boss Nick Daws as manager until the end of the season. The 45-year-old will continue to be assisted by Andy Dawson, 37.

The duo were placed in temporary charge of the Iron in January following the sacking of Mark Robins and have led the side to four wins in five games. 'We've seen what they've done over the period they've been in charge and we have been impressed', chairman Peter Swann told the club website. 'They've worked very hard and the players are responding to them and we thought it was really important we kept that intact and it gives us a chance to still reach the play-offs. We've seen a natural course of events, with Nick leading the way with plenty of support from Andy and I think as a duo they work very well together'...

Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Fleetwood followed four successive victories, leaving them 13th in the table, but only eight points outside the play-off places".

In 1987/88 season Nicky became the first schoolboy to figure in the Altrincham first team for 20 years after being spotted playing for Flixton. He was a member of the 1990-91 Altrincham team which so nearly gained Football League status. However, he later enjoyed a successful career in the Football League with Bury and Rotherham United.


Tue 23 Feb.
  • Braintree Town 2-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Cheltenham Town 0-0 Gateshead
  • Grimsby Town 3-1 Woking
  • Guiseley 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
  • Torquay United 2-0 Welling United
  • Wrexham 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers


The Football Conference reports that "Gateshead have announced that Shaun MacDonald has joined Spennymoor Town on loan, while Brendan Pearson has extended his stay at the International Stadium. Both deals will last until the end of the current campaign, with MacDonald remaining eligible to play for the Heed’s reserve and under-19 sides.

MacDonald has made three appearances for the Tynesiders at first-team level, the last of which came against Woking at the International Stadium in December... Pearson, meanwhile, will see out the season with Gateshead after joining on an initial one-month deal from Newcastle United. He has made three appearances for the Heed’s reserve side in recent weeks, and will travel with the first-team to tonight’s clash at Cheltenham Town".

Confirmation comes from Tranmere Rovers that "Striker Jonny Margetts' one-month loan with Altrincham has expired and he is back at Prenton Park. The 22-year-old made six appearances for the fellow National League team and scored two goals during his short stay at the J. Davidson Stadium. He is expected to be involved against Cammell Laird 1907 in the Cheshire Senior Cup this evening (Tuesday)."

23 February 2016


Altrincham FC would like to thank Jonny Margetts for his services during his loan spell at the Club. In his one-month spell at the J Davidson Stadium, on loan from Tranmere Rovers, he started six games and scored two goals for Altrincham. All at Moss Lane wish him well for the rest of the season.


Make a date in your diary for the Altrincham FC Beer Festival; details are shown, right.


Alty Ladies' match beat the weather on Sunday but, unfortunately, they lost 3-2 at home in the Cheshire Cup to Ellesmere Port Ladies. The previous Sunday the Ladies lost in the league, 5-1, at Merseyrail Bootle.


From Boreham Wood we read, "I have, as most of you know, been the Chairman of Boreham Wood Football Club for over seventeen years and, of course, I am very proud of what we have all achieved together..

However I do have a heartfelt message for our very loyal home supporters, who after three promotions still only number around 250. I also have a message for my loyal, dedicated and hugely overworked staff and lastly I have a message to my often forgotten but incredibly loyal sponsors, council and councillors, who have remained with myself and Boreham Wood Football Club, through the pain of our relegations and of course the joy of our promotions..

My message is a simple one and I hope it will demonstrate to you all, that as a club our glass really is half full and is certainly not one that is half empty. In any season as a non-league football club, you will have troubles to overcome, especially if you are in a relegation battle.. As in life when your struggling, your troubles do seem to multiply as pressure, a lack of confidence and an anxiousness build.

This it appears is one of those seasons for us but that is when calmness and leadership is required. After last season’s promotion our struggles are perhaps more prevalent than normal this season. As we are far and away the smallest club playing presently in the National League and, of course, with the smallest support base by some way. So simply to be a part of this league is, I feel, an incredible achievement but one that we want to continue with and we certainly do not want to become one season wonders...

However I do feel that my management team and our dressing room are perhaps feeling the pressure at this moment in time far more, especially when we are playing at home. So I would like to share with you my thoughts on the reasons why. When we play at home it’s clearly a difficult environment for our players, as they know by the attendance figures, that we lack the overall town and surrounding areas' support towards its home town club. We have, in truth, just 250 or so regular home supporters to try and compete and play in a full time National League and that is one of the club's biggest problems that we are trying to overcome. It is also clear to me when we play at home, that our 250 loyal supporters or the ‘Wood Army’ as they are called, are more than doing their best to create an atmosphere but that is very difficult for them when our ground holds in excess of 4,000.

The fact is, we normally have more away fans, who are more vocal than our home supporters inside Meadow Park on a match day. That is not a complaint just a fact of footballing life here at Meadow Park. My position has always been not to moan about it but I do now have to highlight it. It is, in my humble opinion affecting the players, as they do seem nervous when playing at their home ground.

It is also a fact that the ‘Wood Army’ do seem to be far more vocal away from home and this could be a factor on why our away record is better than our home record? So I am asking our regular supporters to manage their expectation of what can be achieved over the next thirteen league games.

It’s not a complicated scenario; we are going in search of 18 points or more for survival, in the thirteen remaining league games and we don’t care how or where we get the points from as long as we succeed. We may lose more than we win but, as we go the length and breadth of the country, my message to everyone is simple. My manager, our dressing room and our 250 supporters must remain totally united no matter what setbacks we face and trust me in the games ahead we will face them.

If we can do that, and we need too, we will I’m convinced survive and prosper. For anyone to divide us now after a defeat or two, is the surest way to seal our fate. I know how these pressure battles go and how a relegation feels. I also know what it takes to deal with the pressures ahead and how to succeed in staying up and I need the club to remain positive from top to bottom.. We are a club who, in our 68-year history, had never played at any National League level before. As such we are learning a million lessons on just how difficult it is but we are learning and we will be better for the experience.

That said and very much for the record. If we did go down our club will not implode, it will not fall apart like many of the clubs in and around us. At BWFC I’ve ensured that there are no financial pressures on the club If we do got relegated and as your Chairman you need to know that [from me].

We are, I believe, very well run and we are a financially secure football club built from the bottom up. Should we go down, we will do so with a fight but absolutely no debt, as I have covered any potential losses personally and they will not suddenly appear as directors' loans on a balance sheet in the future of that I can promise you. So I’m asking you for your complete and utter support at each and every remaining game. No matter what the result, no matter what the performance and I know how hard that is going to be...

As the proud Chairman of BWFC for the last seventeen seasons, I’ve dealt with both the highest highs and lowest lows. So I’m experienced enough and ugly enough to deal with whatever gets thrown at me and strong enough to keep moving this club forward. My manager, his staff and our dressing room, don’t all have that longevity or experience in their locker and will need your full support both home and away over the next thirteen league games, so all I ask is that you give it to them.

To achieve survival this season with just 250 home supporters, would in reality be a footballing miracle, especially after losing 8 of our first 11 games. That miracle though is we believe more than achievable and that is exactly what I’m expecting Luke Garrard and his men to give us. With your help, with your belief and with your support, I know we can defy the odds and prove the doubters wrong but let’s ensure we do it the Boreham Wood way...

As a Chairman I love the underdog tag and I love my town. We are loyal to each other, we back our own and in adversity we defend our club and our town's working-class values. That to me is the perfect way to tackle any relegation battle but especially how we tackle this one. So I’m asking you to forget the opinions from a few of our new brand of supporter[s] who, it appears, have been with us two minutes and love to put themselves up on a soapbox, as your unofficial spokesmen.

In truth they do seem to have a different opinion every week, dependant on the amount they’ve drunk, what the result is and what player's parent, they have been having a drink with that day. Anyway it’s never about an individual it has to be about a togetherness.So let’s keep it simple, we are Boreham Wood Football Club and our strength is unity, it’s trust and it’s about each other. We have come a long, long way together'".

Colin Peake has written to all Vanarama National League clubs saying that "The National League has launched a Facebook Page, mainly to communicate to a wider audience to promote what we are doing on the event side of our operations. This will be vital in our attempts to make us more attractive to sponsors and to allow us to market our activities. It is not intended to operate it like a normal Facebook page for individual interaction. We retain Twitter to do that on a daily basis, though there will be times that Facebook will be a useful interactive and informative tool.

In a joint collaboration with Vanarama, for which we are most grateful, our drive starting this week will be to promote the Vanarama Big Day Out at Wembley on 15th May and to also create awareness not only for ticket sales re the Promotion Final at the stadium but to cover the North and South finals in a new way to attract greater support to those end of season occasions.

The link to Facebook is here.

Yet more player movement is reported from Aggbrough where Kidderminster Harriers "confirm that Tyrone Williams is the latest player to pen a new deal with the club after he signed a fresh contract on Monday. The first graduate of the Harriers' Academy, Tyrone was handed his first professional deal in the summer of 2013... He’s remained with the club since but has spent key spells out on loan with the likes of Sutton Coldfield and Stourbridge, before his most fruitful spell at Hednesford Town this campaign.

25 starts for the Pitmen in the first half of this campaign saw Ty return to the first-team camp looking stronger than ever, leading to a debut in the red and white at Aldershot in January. Williams, now 21, has started each of the team’s last three games and put in assured performances in the middle of the park, efforts that have contributed to his new deal that ties him at the club until the end of the 2016/17 season".

The Yorkshire Evening Post tells us that on Saturday "Guiseley gained a point in their bid to kick away from the National League drop zone with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at fellow basement battlers Altrincham. The Lions were dealt a blow before kick-off with first-choice goalkeeper Steven Drench ruled out due to illness.

But young ex-Leeds United keeper Dan Atkinson donned the gloves and delivered with a number of fine saves... The hosts got the first goal when Michael Rankine used his strength to get past two Guiseley defenders before powering an effort past Atkinson.

Guiseley started the second half well... and the away side were soon celebrating when Rob Atkinson was found by Smith from a corner and the big defender headed the cross into the back of the net. On a pitch that was cutting up badly, Guiseley went close to taking three points when Danny Lowe delivered a dangerous cross which was nearly put into his own goal by Gianluca Havern.

The Lions now sit 17th and return to action tomorrow evening at home to second-placed Forest Green.

FC Halifax Town moved out of the drop zone with Saturday’s 4-2 success at home to third-placed Grimsby Town... The Shaymen now sit fifth-bottom and return to action tomorrow evening at ninth-placed Braintree Town."

22 February 2016


Ian Senior of SKkits announces that there were 264 votes cast for the new Altrincham FC kit for next season. The winning choices of shirt were:

  • Number 5: 128 votes
  • Number 6: 114 votes
  • Others: 22 votes

Pictured above are the new shirt and shorts whilst the new sock are shown, left.

Ian wishes to thank everyone who took the time to vote.


Sunday's Non-League Paper picks up on Alty chairman Grahame Rowley's comments at last week's Club AGM in which he "made a passionate plea for more people to give up their time and help out".

The NLP reiterates that at Altrincham "This season's budget is estimated to lose a projected £36,000 which will eat into their cash reserves and leave it [sic] down to £38,000".

The NLP continues, "Rowley loves the Club and he loves non-League foptball but, so far, the response to his appeal has been underwhelming. 'I think the whole ethos of clubs has changed over the last few years. Maybe it's because there are more and more ex-League clubs in the National League, therefore there are a ot more full-time clubs'" said the Chairman.

"'The whole idea of volunteering and people's perception of it has changed as well. I always used to be proud that Altrincham could run games on volunteers. It hardly cost us a penny to open the gates'.

Rowley says it now costs nearer £300. It doesn't sound like much but, over the season, is around £7,500. Cash that has to come from somewhere...

'People say, "What can I do? I'm not very good at this or that" but there are always odd jobs that can be done by anybody in as much time as you want to give, to help take the weight off'.

Rowley does see it from the other side and appreciates the fans who argue they are supporting their club by going to a game, spending their entrance fee and buying a burger.

'I'm quite happy with that', he says, ' I suppose what bugs me sometimes is when you get a load of stick from some people, "I've got my right to say this" or "Why aren't the Club doing that?"

My question is this. "Who is the club? To me the club isn't me, it isn't the Board, it isn't the players. It's everybody. If you haven't got the fans watching the football on the pitch, you haven't got a club, ha e you? So, when they're criticising the club, they're actually criticising themselves because they are the club'...

'Personally, there's more and more pressure put on you to do things', Rowley says. 'I always said when I came to the football club that I love non-League. I love the friendliness, I love the people around the place. But when I stop enjoying it, I'll go. I'm not there yet but I'm getting to the stage sometimes where I'm not enjoying it, especially when you get verbals off people when we've lost.

'I can see why people do leave football clubs even though they love them. I always look at it from the other side. I would love people to look at it from the Board's point of view...

'I came in this morning and, when you see people like Pete Foster, from the community side, our assistant [manager] Neil Tolson and some of the other coaches, because we've got a Fun Week on, and you say "Do you know what? It's not a bad place.

'That's the atmosphere you get at a non-League club. People are there and doing their best'. The game just needs more of them".

21 February 2016


Following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Guiseley, Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott spoke to joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards...

"Michael Rankine scored one of the goals of the season but still ended up apologising to his Altrincham team-mates after missing the chance to wrap up a priceless three points against Guiseley.

With time running out and the game on a knife-edge at 1-1, Damian Reeves forced his way into the area and selflessly pulled the ball back to Rankine, who earlier fired Alty in front with an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

But the Alty target man was left holding his head after his first-time effort crashed back off the bar and bounced to safety.

'Michael apologised in the dressing room afterwards and was quite distraught, but I told him not to be so daft,' said Alty boss Lee Sinnott. 'I could tell at the time the ball was slightly behind him, and the chance was not as easy as it might have looked.

'He was attacking the box at pace when Reevesie rolled the ball back to him. That's what you want him to do, but it maybe didn't help when it came to readjusting his feet to stick it away. It could have made the difference, had it gone in, but he didn't do it deliberately. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't.

'You can gauge Michael's impact for us by the fact he's now scored 10 league goals in 10 different games. Everyone wants to score hat-tricks and braces, but I like the fact he has had a positive effect on the outcome in 10 games this season.

'It was a wonderful strike to put us ahead. I was saying to (assistant-manager) Neil Tolson we needed to be a bit more aggressive with our forward play in the final third. We needed that stronger surge. One minute later, Michael did exactly that. Cuts in from the left, strength to hold off challenges, one more touch, then bang. It was Michael at his best and something the game was crying out for.'

Above: Josh O'Keefe got into some good forward positions for Alty against Guiseley. Here Mike Ripley's camera shows him in the thick of the goalmouth action. More of Mike's images are here.

Rankine's late miss meant Alty failed to close the gap on Guiseley in the Vanarama National League, but Sinnott was still satisfied with their response to last Tuesday's 3-0 home defeat to Chester.

'That was much more like it,' he said. 'I told the players afterwards I'll take the draws against Wrexham and Lincoln and I'll take this one as well, because there were positive signs and they were performances that could have led to wins.

'They were much more at it on a pitch that was particularly difficult for forward play. Apart from sapping energy levels, the ball got stuck under your feet and was difficult to control. But I thought we coped well and produced some bright moments in the second half, after being pegged back by their equaliser. We came back strongly and went close a few times, particularly Josh O'Keefe's low shot that produced a smart save.

'It was close but not close enough, though I'd say a draw was a fair result overall. Looking at the balance of play, it was pretty even. We've got a fortnight now until our next game, and that should help with injuries. Simon Richman thankfully just has bruising on his foot, rather than a break, and has a chance of being fit in time. The same goes for Adam Griffin, who came off with a tight hamstring, and Jordan Sinnott, who felt his knee as the game wore on but will hopefully be ok.

'With a bit of luck, they should all be back up to speed for Macc, and I just hoped the pitch will be, as well. It took a real pounding and will need at least the next two weeks to recover.'"


Altrincham FC groundsman, Neil Brown, wishes to thank everyone who helped to get Saturday's game played at the J Davidson Stadium. That includes those who helped with the pitch covers (above) and the forking at half-time. He is also very grateful to Manchester United for verti-draining the pitch on Friday as, without it, the game could not have been played. Neil adds, "If anyone has got a magic wand to help me sort out the pitch next week, would they please drop it off at the Club during the week?"


With just one win in their last eleven league matches Altrincham remained nineteenth after this hard-fought draw with Guiseley...

Match report here

The BBC statistics claim...

  • Possession - Home 36% Away 64%
  • Shots - Home 17 Away 9
  • Shots on Target - Home 9 Away 5
  • Corners - Home 4 Away 6
  • Fouls - Home 10 Away 8


Guiseley report that "Rob Atkinson’s second-half header earned Guiseley a 1-1 draw with Altrincham.

At a sodden and drizzly Moss Lane, the Lions started brightly despite the absence of suspended midfielder Will Hatfield and unwell goalkeeper Steven Drench.

Adam Smith was lively on his return from injury and his deflected cross that almost looped in midway through the half was the Lions’ best opportunity early on.

However, Mark Bower’s side were behind three minutes before half-time when Michael Rankine cut inside a number of Guiseley defenders and fired past Daniel Atkinson from distance.

In a largely even contest, the Lions drew level just before the hour when Smith’s lofted cross was converted at the far post by Atkinson, the centre-back having also been on target in the 1-0 win back at Nethermoor in September’s reverse fixture.

Rankine should have earned the hosts all three points when he struck the crossbar with the goal at his mercy but the Lions were given a let-off ahead of Tuesday’s clash with high-flying Forest Green Rovers at Nethermoor."


The EvoStik League reports that James Walshaw has moved from Bradford Park Avenue to Shaw Lane Aquaforce (Barnsley) on loan. On Saturday he scored the only goal of the game at Stafford Rangers.


In Altrincham Today Altrincham FC manager Lee Sinnott says of the 3-0 defeat by Chester...

"We suffered a very poor 3-0 defeat at home. It was a substandard performance and we spoke frankly about it in the dressing room after the match. We can’t use injuries as an excuse as the players simply didn’t turn up. Your support was fantastic as we expected it would be in a local derby and I have to apologise, as you all deserved better from the night...

We were worried Simon Richman had cracked a bone in his foot after coming off against Chester but thankfully that’s not the case so we’ll have to see how fast that settles down... Both Jordan Sinnott and Dylan Mottley-Henry were missing on Tuesday due to similar knocks on the knee".


The National League reports that "The top two keep marching on in the Vanarama National League and Saturday saw leaders Cheltenham Town and second-placed Forest Green Rovers both win again to stretch their lead over third-placed Grimsby Town, who were beaten at FC Halifax Town, to a massive fifteen points.

Cheltenham lead the table by four points after a crucial 1-0 win at Prenton Park against a Tranmere Rovers side who had lost only one in their last nine matches.. The Robins extend their unbeaten league run to twenty-one matches – a new club record...

An 88th minute goal from Jon Parkin gave Forest Green another dramatic victory against fast-falling Eastleigh. After an uneventful first half the game really came to life just after the hour-mark when James Constable gave Eastleigh the lead only for Forest Green to hit back 3 minutes later with a stunning Parkin volley. And for the third time in four games Rovers scored a crucial late goal as Parkin bundled in from a corner ... To make matters worse for the Spitfires, who have dropped to tenth place in the table, they had Ben Strevens sent-off 5 minutes into stoppage time.

FC Halifax Town produced arguably their best win of the season so far as they brushed aside promotion-contenders Grimsby 4-2 at The Shay. Three goals in 20 first half minutes from Billy Whitehouse, James Bolton and Nicky Wroe put Town in control before Jake Hibbs added the late gloss to hand Halifax a huge boost to their survival hopes. It hardly seemed to matter that Jon Nolan and Padraig Amond scored for Grimsby.

Gateshead are fifth after edging Aldershot Town by the odd goal in five at the International Stadium... Wrexham beat struggling Welling United 2-0 at Park View Road to move within two points of the play-off places... Lincoln City stayed in the race for the play-offs after a good 3-1 win against Southport at Sincil Bank. The Dino Maamria factor seems to have worn off a little and this was Port`s sixth game without a win..

Woking`s top five hopes took a blow as they were beaten 2-1 at Bromley...

Chester FC came back from two-down to earn a point from a 2-2 draw with second-bottom Kidderminster Harriers at Aggborough. Chester and former Harriers` boss Steve Burr experienced a miserable opening half after conceding two goals in 4 minutes. Arthur Gnahoua broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute after controlling Ben Whitfield's assist on the left edge of the penalty area before smashing a low shot beyond Chester keeper Tony Thompson.

Keith Lowe then doubled Harriers' advantage in the 26th minute when he sent Thompson the wrong way with his spot-kick after Ryan Lloyd had handled a cross from Whitfield... But Ross Hannah pulled a goal back for Chester from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after he had been fouled by Kelvin Langmead.

And substitute James Alabi equalised in the 75th minute with a superb 25-yard effort that found the top corner.

Bottom-markers Torquay United pulled to within a point of Harriers, albeit still ten from the safety-mark, after a 1-0 'six-pointer' win at Meadow Park against fellow strugglers Boreham Wood, who are now back in the drop zone. The only goal of a tight game in difficult conditions came in the 58th minute when Nathan Blissett's header....

And with just one win in their last eleven league matches, Altrincham remain nineteenth and then Lions moved up to seventeenth after a hard-fought 1-1 draw. Guiseley had the better of the first half but fell behind in the 43rd minute... The Lions equalised in the 56th minute when Rob Atkinson netted with a free header".

Torquay United "player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, was a happy man after watching his side chalk up a deserved 1-0 win at Boreham Wood thanks to Nathan Bllissett’s winner just before the hour-mark.

'It was a good performance where we got exactly what we deserved,' he said... 'It was a real team display with everyone playing their part and doing their job, which is just what we need between now and the end of the season. We maybe made it a little harder for ourselves by not taking our chances earlier in the game...

'We created some good opportunities and maybe should have had a couple of penalties, so I don't think anyone could have complained had we won by a bigger margin, but when they hit the woodwork late on, my heart was certainly in my mouth!... We’ll enjoy the journey home and then our focus will turn to Tuesday and another massive game against Welling United.

'With so many home games to come, we need to turn The Launa Windows Stadium into a fortress'.

United’s travelling contingent of 249 made up almost half of the 555 crowd in attendance at Meadow Park. 'The fans were superb once again,' added Nicholson. 'They turned up in good numbers and were right behind us throughout'...

It starts with the visit of Welling United this coming Tuesday, February 23rd. Braintree Town are the visitors on Tuesday, March 8th and that is followed a week later by an encounter with FC Halifax Town on Tuesday, March 15th. We then host Altrincham on Tuesday, April 12th. We also welcome Chester on a Tuesday evening with the date for this one yet to be confirmed.

As a special offer, any supporter who purchases tickets for three or more of these games from The Launa Windows Stadium Ticket Office at the same time and in advance of matchday, will receive a 25% discount off the total price of their tickets.

We need your support now more than ever as we enter the ‘business end’ of the season, so show your backing to Kevin Nicholson and the team by taking advantage of this very special offer."


  • Att: 1137 Altrincham v Guiseley
  • Att: 555 Boreham Wood v Torquay United
  • Att: 1227 Bromley v Woking
  • Att: 3131 FC Halifax Town v Grimsby Town
  • Att: 2221 Forest Green Rovers v Eastleigh
  • Att: 1074 Gateshead v Aldershot Town
  • Att: 2067 Kidderminster Harriers v Chester FC
  • Att: 2581 Lincoln City v Southport
  • Att: 5418 Tranmere Rovers v Cheltenham Town
  • Att: 620 Welling United v Wrexham

20 February 2016


Saturday 20 Feb.
  • Altrincham 1-1 Guiseley
  • Barrow P-P Braintree Town
  • Boreham Wood 0-1 Torquay United
  • Bromley 2-1 Woking
  • FC Halifax Town 4-2 Grimsby Town
  • Forest Green Rovers 2-1 Eastleigh
  • Gateshead 3-2 Aldershot Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-2 Chester FC
  • Lincoln City 3-1 Southport
  • Macclesfield Town P-P Dover Athletic
  • Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Cheltenham Town
  • Welling United 0-2v Wrexham


In the above image, we see the rain-sheets down to protect the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium and the tractor in the process of "verti-draining" the surface. Thanks go to Nigel Bunce, Alan Ford, Bryan Ford, Peter Scotson, Paul Brady, Judy Henson, Graham Heathcote, Peter Foster, Karen and Grahame Rowley who all assisted groundsman Neil Brown in putting the sheets in situ. Many thanks also are extended to Manchester United for their help in verti-draining the pitch.


You can follow this fixture via this website's minute by minute text updates by clicking on the icon below. Alternatively, Radio Robins' coverage of the game is outlined below as well.

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game. The commentary team is Paul Salt and Brian Flynn with match summaries from Ian Watmore.

Coverage starts at 2.55pm, with the game kicking off at 3pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at

Howard Watts's "Through the Years" information is here.

Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Guiseley

  • Home: P6-W4-D1-L1-F12-A7                     
  • Away: P 8-W0-D3-L5-F8-A17 
  • All: P14-W4-D4-L6-F20-A24


Alex Sarwar writes, "Speaking two days before this Saturday’s home game against Guiseley in the Vanarama National League. Altrincham goalkeeper Tim Deasy (right) is still hurting from Tuesday’s defeat at home to Chester. 'There was no excuse really for what we came out with on Tuesday. We spoke at length in the dressing room and we’re all hurting just as much as the fans were at full time. We need to kick on now and points are a must'.

Despite Alty currently hovering two places above the relegation zone, Deasy is adamant the squad will pick up the points needed to remain in the division next season:

'I’ve got no doubt in my mind that this squad can do it. In my opinion we’ve had a lot of bad luck this season and are far better than the league position we currently hold. But that’s not being used as an excuse by anyone in this team! We know what we need to do to get ourselves out of it, it’s in our own hands and we’ll push forward to get those points that we need.'

Guiseley are the visitors to the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday and Deasy is determined to avenge the loss to the Lions earlier in the season. 'We owe them one after they beat us in August, so we need to turn up on Saturday, win the three points and show the fans more than anyone what we’re about.'"


Altrincham remain without Stuart Coburn, Tom Marshall, Nicky Clee and Shaun Densmore, whilst Simon Richman is also now on the injured list after his foot injury on Tuesday night. However, Luca Havern is back in contention after his lay off. Dylan Mottley-Henry remains a doubt after being injured at his parent club Bradford City.

From across the Pennines, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports that manager "Mark Bower believes Saturday’s clash against Altrincham is a more 'important' tie for his Guiseley side than the ultimately disappointing FA Trophy match earlier this week...

Bower saw midfielder Will Hatfield dismissed shortly after his side went behind. It summed up a poor first-half display, and the hosts also struggled in the second period, conceding two more to fall to a 3-0 loss. However, Bower has highlighted National League survival as his club’s 'priority', which explains his stressing of the significance of the Altrincham tie.

The Robins are 19th in the league, four points behind Guiseley. A victory would open up the gap to seven points, which would put Guiseley in a strong position going into the latter stages of the season.

'It’s the most important game out of the two because staying in the league is the priority', Bower revealed. 'We were poor against Dover; it was a poor performance from us. We started the game really poorly and against a very good side, if you don’t perform, you will be in trouble. It’s very important to bounce back, especially when it’s a big league game against one of the teams that are close to us in the table. I’m sure the lads will respond and put in a good performance on Saturday'.

It is not just the gap to Altrincham that Bower is keen to extend. Guiseley are currently seven points clear of the relegation zone after some good form in the league; victory could bring safety even closer. He continued, 'We have a little bit of momentum in the league; we have won two of our last three league games. We don’t want teams in and around us beating us. If we can get a result at Altrincham, it maintains that gap. The target is and the hope is that we can increase the gap between us and the bottom four, and that starts on Saturday at Altrincham.'

Guiseley’s position is even more impressive when a recent run of away fixtures are factored in. Altrincham will be the seventh and last trip the Lions have had to make in a row in the National League. With four home games coming up on the bounce, Bower has reason to be even more positive, but is refusing to count his chickens. “If you look at the records of every team in the league, the home record will be better than the away record,” Bower suggested. “You are always more likely to pick up the points there. Having some home games will certainly help, but we will have to play better than we did against Dover.”

Hatfield is an enforced absentee after his red card against Dover and will also miss the matches against Forest Green and Braintree Town... 'Unfortunately we have to do without him for three games, which is a big blow, but it’s an opportunity for someone else to come in'" said the Guiseley manager.

Saturday's referee is Mr D Eaton of Gloucestershire. he reffed our game at Boreham Wood back in September. Back in 2013 the Gloucestershire Echo reported that "Tewkesbury assistant referee Derek Eaton has been promoted to the Premier League. The 49-year-old could now run the line at high-profile matches involving the likes of champions Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal."


NL Pitchero reports that "Colwyn Bay, with a number of injury concerns for Saturday’s home game against top five side Barwell, have signed experienced goalkeeper Craig Ellison... Twenty-eight-year-old Ellison’s former clubs include Crewe Alexandra, Altrincham, Halifax Town, Burscough, Vauxhall Motors and Stalybridge Celtic and last year, after coming back from serious injury, he won the North West Counties goalkeeper of the month award with Congleton Town before joining Droylsden."

Another ex-Alty keeper on the move is Josh Samberg as the NW Counties Football League reports that he has moved from Cheadle Town to Chadderton.


Above Gavin Rathbone captures the excitement of the recent successful Altrincham FC Fun Week in the Community Sports Hall.


The FA announces that...

"Tickets are on-sale for Non-League Finals Day

  • FA Vase and Trophy Finals to be played on the same day for the first time
  • Under-16s tickets for just £1
  • The FA Non-League Finals Day will be supporting Sport Relief
  • Festival of football which will showcase the best elements of the grassroots game
  • BT Sport to broadcast both games /li>

Tickets to the first ever Non-League Finals Day at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 22 May are on sale now - with child tickets available from just £1.

The Wembley showpiece will host both The FA Vase and FA Trophy, with tickets priced at £25 for adults, £10 for concessions and just £1 for children under-16s. There is also a group rate, perfect for schools and clubs, of £12.50 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for children. Tickets are available from or call 0844 826 2010.

The day will provide an opportunity to showcase the world-leading English non-league system, recognise the 500 teams to have taken part in this season’s Vase and 276 in the Trophy, and celebrate the grassroots game, through activities and fan engagement during the day.

Fans will be allowed to pass in and out of the stadium to see exhibitions, information and examples of The FA’s work in the wider game including, FA Education, Refereeing, Women’s Super League and grassroots women and girl’s football, Skills, Disability and Walking Football, Facility Improvement, Club Development, League Development, Respect, County Associations, Technology and Volunteer Recruitment.

BT Sport will broadcast both fixtures with the FA Vase kicking off at 12.15pm and the FA Trophy at 4.15pm.

This year, The FA Non-League Finals Day will also be working closely with Sport Relief as charity partner for the day. For each booking (not ticket), the option will be given to donate £2.50 to Sport Relief.

Last March in The FA Trophy, in front of the BT cameras, North Ferriby United triumphed 5-4 on penalties against Wrexham, following a dramatic 3-3 draw. It was the Villagers’ first ever triumph in the competition in their history. Then in May Glossop North End and North Shields battled out The FA Vase in front of over 10,000 fans, with the side from the north-east being victorious 2-1 after extra time.


According to the National League, "Woking have signed striker Sam Smith from Brackley Town. Brackley originally signed Smith on loan from league rivals AFC Telford United towards the beginning of the season before making the move a more permanent one. Smith started his professional career with the sadly now defunct Rushden & Diamonds... He was then offered and signed a three-year contract, prior to the start of the 2008/09 season...

At the end of October 2009, he went on loan to Corby Town for one month,... He then went on a further month’s loan to Hinckley United in December... The following season, an injury during pre-season saw him sidelined until November 2010, and just as he had the opportunity to establish himself in the side, another injury in February meant he had to sit out the remainder of the season. He was released in May 2011 and in July he joined Lincoln City after their relegation from the Football League...

In August 2012 he transferred to Cambridge United for an undisclosed fee... In June 2013, he went out on a season-long loan to then league rivals Hereford United... He was released and signed for newly-promoted AFC Telford United in the summer of 2014... He played in the opening five games at the start of the season, but decided to take up the offer of joining Brackley on loan and then permanently."

Elsewhere, "Welling United have signed former Stoke City forward Tomi Adeloye from Leatherhead. New Leatherhead boss Mike Sandmann used his Dover Athletic links to good use and signed Adeloye from the Wings' league rivals last month. Striker Adeloye, who turned 20 earlier this week, is a former professional with Stoke, and had already gained experience with Macclesfield Town and Chelmsford City."

Confirmation is found in the Torquay Herald Express that "Torquay United's latest fixture rearrangement sees their home game against Altrincham set for Tuesday, April 12. The match had to be switched because it fell on Saturday week, February 27, when the Gulls will now travel to Bognor Regis Town in the FA Trophy quarter-finals.

United still have another outstanding fixture to rearrange, their home game against Chester FC, which was rained off last Saturday. Kevin Nicholson's men face a schedule involving at least 18 games over the next nine weeks, and it will involve even more matches if they beat or draw with Bognor."

From the Grimsby Telegraph we learn that "Grimsby Town Football Club was turned down in its bid to become a 'test bed' for reintroducing standing into English football stadiums. Club officials confirmed it contacted the Government asking to be considered for a trial-run of having standing at its 9,000-capacity Blundell Park ground, or at any newly-built stadium. But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) turned down the application.

The Department said any conversion to standing at Blundell Park, or elsewhere, would have to be reversed if the North East Lincolnshire outfit achieved promotion in the coming years. Stadium manager, Nick Dale, said he applied because he wanted to determine whether clubs with 'no money' could afford to bring back safe standing on the terraces. Many fans of The Mariners were 'massively in favour' of standing at matches, he admitted, but said there would be 'significant cost' involved if newly-created standing areas had to be put back to seating if the team were to secure promotion...

Successive governments have been wary of changing its blanket requirement for the stadiums of teams which have spent more than three seasons in the second tier or higher to be seated after the horrors of the Hillsborough disaster... Mr Dale said Grimsby Town's time outside of the Football League, having been relegated from the fourth division in 2010, and going to rough-and-ready grounds in the National League had given fans a fresh taste for standing.

'You get those intimate situations when you go away and the fans are in very close contact with each other and it is very difficult to replicate that in a seated area', he explained. 'People really like that "old school" football feel and being able to jump round a bit and cheer. My argument was (to the Government) that we are a non-league football club and that we could be a test bed for standing... If a club with no money can do it, that would set the standard for everyone else. I felt we were the ideal club to do it, having spent time in the Football League and given that we have a massive amount of fans who are in favour of standing', added Mr Dale...

Grimsby Town are currently looking to move from Blundell Park and have shortlisted six possible sites but, according to DCMS, any new ground would also have to be all-seated to comply with current stadium's licence conditions".


"Are you, or do you know anyone, who is seeking to work in a football and event environment?

The National League is seeking to recruit a new member of staff to work alongside our current executive staff. This position will be based in the Competition offices in the centre of Birmingham. This opportunity will enable the individual to learn and contribute to all aspects of football administration combined with event and organisational tasks.

Closing date: 7th March 2016

The National League is responsible for operating annual football league competitions for the fifth and sixth tiers of English football on behalf of its 68 member clubs: Vanarama National League, Vanarama National League North and Vanarama National League South.

Competitions & Events Assistant

The National League requires a new member of staff to join the executive staff team at its Headquarters in central Birmingham. The successful applicant will assist in the administration of National League competitions and associated events, and be eager to learn and contribute to the continual improvement of The League’s operations.

Based at: The National League Head Office, 4th Floor, Waterloo House, 20 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5TB.

Contract: Full-time (35 hours) permanent position, subject to a probationary period.

Job duties to include:

  • Assist the administration of National League competitions, including handling correspondence, processing team sheets, answering telephone and email inquiries.
  • Work as part of the events team for the Wembley Promotion Final and for General Meetings.
  • Assist with surveys of member clubs and production of the annual Handbook.
  • Maintain databases, computer and hard copy files and records.
  • Support and assist senior members of staff with administrative tasks as required.

Previous experience of working in an office environment and/or an events team will be advantageous. Proficient user knowledge of Microsoft Office applications Outlook, Excel and Word is essential. Some flexibility to work outside normal office hours and away from Birmingham will be required. To apply, please email an application letter and CV for the attention of the Chief Executive Officer. Closing date for applications is 7th March 2016".

19 February 2016


Brian Flynn, joint Press Officer writes, "With some rain forecast for the next two days the Club is preparing to get the covers on the pitch tomorrow morning as a precaution. Can you spare half an hour to assist? Please call the club on 0161 928 1045 around 10am for the latest information if you can. Your help would be much appreciated". .


The Torquay United v Altrincham game, postponed from 27 February owing to The Gulls's involvement in the FA Trophy at Bognor Regis Town on that date, has been re-arranged for Tuesday 12 April 2016 at 7.45pm.


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Lee Sinnott could barely contain his anger as Altrincham blew the chance to overtake Chester with one of their worst performances of the season at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

An unbeaten run spanning four National League games was meekly surrendered, as Chester missed a second-half penalty but still eased their way to a comfortable 3-0 win.

To make matters worse, midfielder Simon Richman hobbled off in the first half and has had an X-ray that is expected to confirm he has broken a bone in his foot.

'I’m aghast at the performance, but I have to be careful with what I say,' said Sinnott. 'People outside the dressing room will probably criticise me, because the easiest thing would be to come out all guns blazing and spitting fire. I’m fighting hard not to do that after 95 minutes that I wouldn’t even call a performance.

'I’m being guarded because I don’t want to go down the path of doing something that wouldn’t exactly be constructive moving forward, like venting my spleen. The hardest thing for me at the moment is not to blow my top, but I have to look after individuals and the squad'.

Alty face another side in the lower reaches, Guiseley, at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday, and Sinnott added, 'I’ve told the players the Chester game has to be put in a compartment and stored away, because our focus now has to be on working towards Saturday. It’s a test for them now. It’s a man’s game, individually and collectively.

'Once they walk over that white line, they have to show what they are made of. It will be a test on Saturday, so what are they going to do about it? Shy away or confront it head-on and push their chests out?

'That’s what was missing against Chester. You can’t dress it up any other way. You have to be a bit guarded and protective towards them, but the supporters could see it. With 14 games to go, it’s time for rolling up sleeves and standing up to be counted'".


Twelve volunteers (so far) are taking part in the Morrisons Great Manchester Run on 22 May 2016. They are Alan Ainsley, Judy Henson, Phil Taylor, Richard Parris, Mike Ripley, Neil Tolson, Stacey Rowley, Grahame Rowley, Barry Woodyatt, Richard Impey, Steven Foster and Steven Crane. They are raising funds for the Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall which, as confirmed at Friday night's Club AGM still needs to raise £110K to pay for its building costs.

Please help to raise this sum by pledging sponsorship on the venture's Just Giving page.


News of our next opponents is to be found in the Telegraph & Argus where it tells us that "Guiseley boss Mark Bower is seeking a major improvement when his side travel to Altrincham in a relegation six-pointer on Saturday.

The Lions were dumped out of the FA Trophy on Tuesday night in a third-round replay after a sluggish display saw them lose 3-0 to Dover. Attention now turns back to league matters and an Altrincham side who lie just one place and four points below Guiseley in the National League.

Bower, whose side would give their survival prospects a huge boost with victory at Moss Lane, said, 'A lot of players in the dressing room need to look at themselves and improve for Saturday in what really is a massive game for us against one of the teams in and around us. I thought the players pulled their fingers out and put in a better performance in the second half.

'They worked hard and kept going for us but, overall, it was a bitterly disappointing night. We will go there with confidence because we’ve showed we can match teams in this league. We’ve drawn twice at Dover this season, we had a good win at Woking recently and, yes, we are going to lose games because it’s a tough league.

'However, the important thing is that we bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat in the right way and look forward to Saturday'.

Midfielder Will Hatfield is facing a three-match ban following his dismissal in Tuesday’s defeat to Dover, although Bower is considering appealing the red card. Defender [ex-Alty man] Ryan Toulson also departed early on in the Dover defeat and Bower said, 'He felt something in his hip and started to feel a bit sick, so it was a bit worrying at one point.

'We will assess him in training. Emile Sinclair was carrying a bit of knock on Tuesday night, so we will get everyone patched up and see where we are. Adam Smith and Oliver Norburn are coming back into contention, which gives us the option to change things. When you see performances like Tuesday night, that’s something we will look to do'".


The National League reports that "Kidderminster Harriers have added another defensive option to their ranks with the loan signing of Lewis Kinsella from Aston Villa. The 21-year-old has penned terms for a one-month stay at Aggborough.

Most comfortable at left-back, Kinsella began his youth career with Arsenal before arriving in the Midlands with Villa at 16... He’s featured in the first-team squad as an unused substitute in the Premier League on several occasions...

Caretaker boss Colin Gordon said of his new arrival, 'It’s the area of the squad we haven’t got cover for and we need strength in numbers, certainly with the number of games we’ve got'".

Elsewhere, "Barrow AFC have signed 20-year-old midfielder Dan Rowe on loan from Wycombe Wanderers until March 19th. Rowe is based in Billingham and began his career with Rotherham United. Three loan spells with Wanderers resulted in the youngster landing a permanent move to Buckinghamshire and a three-year contract last summer.

The deal was arranged within hours of physio Sean Riley revealing that a scan on Niall Cowperthwaite’s knee, injured at Woking, had revealed a ruptured ACL. The pair see the club surgeon in Preston tomorrow to arrange a reconstruction operation which will see six months’ re-couperation".

According to NL Pitchero, "Woking have reported that its players and coaches have resolved their dispute over bonus payments with the club's Board of Directors. Bonuses were only going to be paid if the Cards finished in the top five in the National League.

Woking director of football Geoff Chapple said a meeting between the respective parties on Thursday had ended in 'agreement by all'. 'I am happy to report the issue of the players' bonus has now been resolved,' Chapple added in a statement... 'As this is a sensitive issue that is now closed, we will not be making any further statements'".

From the Daily Post we learn that "Gary Mills believes there has been a change of mentality at the Racecourse following a run of results that has seen the Dragons close the gap on the top five to just three points.

Wrexham endured a horrendous festive period and start to the New Year, losing home and away to Southport, away at Halifax and at home to Woking. The Dragons broke that spell with a home win Lincoln City, before a defeat at Braintree in a rearranged game. However, since that loss at the Avanti Stadium, Wrexham have gone four games unbeaten, being unfortunate to draw three, before claiming victory over Bromley on Saturday...

Wrexham will look to continue their unbeaten run on Saturday at a Welling United side in 22nd place.... Said the Racecourse boss, 'Come April 30th we’ve got to have enough points, whether that is from three or four draws and a few wins, or whichever way it takes, but certainly we are going there to win, and going there with confidence that we can win'...

Mills continued, 'I think a few weeks ago there were people writing us off, we had had a bad run, the confidence wasn’t as high as it is at the moment. But all of a sudden, within a couple of weeks and getting a few results and also a few results going for you, I think mentally the belief, and I am not just talking about in the dressing room, I am talking around the whole club has maybe changed slightly'"

More comes from the Daily Post to the effect that "Gary Mills has bolstered his defensive options after signing Stoke City under-21 player Ryan O’Reilly on loan until the end of the season... O’Reilly is a former Republic of Ireland U17 international... In addition, he spent November on loan with Barrow, playing in three games for the Bluebirds.

The 20-year-old centre-back/full-back will provide cover for the injured trio of Manny Smith, Ross White and Javan Vidal".

18 February 2016


Gavin Rathbone's images from the Chester game are here. One of Gavin's images is below in yesterday's news.

Mike Ripley's images from the game are here. Right, we see his photo of Damian Reeves in action against Chester.

The BBC statistics from the game assign possession as 49% to Alty, 51% to Chester. The shot count was 7 to Alty and 15 to the visitors with, it claims, Alty landing just one shot on target which is not correct. The BBC has Alty winning the corner count 7 to 5 but losing the foul tally 10 to 12.


The Southport Visiter claims that "Clubs such as Southport FC could suffer a huge financial loss if the Football Association decides to scrap FA Cup replays. The world's oldest domestic cup competition could be on the verge of a huge shake-up, as talks are held between Premier League clubs looking to trim the number of fixtures.

With two domestic cups in an intense Premier League, big clubs worry a busy calendar could damage their chances in European competitions. But, for teams such as Southport, replays are not only a good source of revenue, but offer up the chance for players to play at grounds such as Anfield or Goodison, and to prove themselves against top-flight clubs.

The FA are said to be open-minded on doing away with replays to streamline their premier competition. Discussions are at an early stage and any changes to the FA Cup would only come into force once the existing TV broadcast deal ends in 2018. The Football League would need to sanction any changes to the League Cup."

Macclesfield Town report that "Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy last night at the Moss Rose at the hands of Torquay United, who snatched a 1-0 victory... from a set-piece.

The defeat means Macc continue their recent disappointing run of form and have now gone five games without a win in all competitions. However, despite the defeat, manager John Askey believes the performance was an improvement... He said, 'It was very disappointing, we felt we did enough to win it, we created the chances, but again we’ve conceded from a set play, I don’t know how many shots they had today, but I wouldn’t think it was many. We’ve got to get a win from somewhere, because we're struggling at the moment but, as I say, it’s just not happening for us anymore. We can make the excuses, but excuses don’t win you games'".

Also, "Macclesfield Town are pleased to announce the loan signing of Gateshead midfielder Jimmy Phillips. The former Burton Albion midfielder has agreed an initial one-month deal with the Silkmen... He began his career as a youth player at Stoke City before joining the Brewers in 2009. Over a six-year spell he would make over 130 appearances for Albion before leaving for Gateshead in the summer.

He has been a regular for much of the campaign but a change in management has seen him made available for a loan move".

Torquay United report that "United made it into the last eight of the FA Trophy with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Macclesfield Town... as we earned ourselves a quarter-final trip to Bognor Regis Town...

Said player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, 'I thought that we were very strong defensively and restricted our hosts to only a few opportunities. We stayed strong and nicked a goal from a set-piece, something that we haven't done enough. It was a classic away team performance with everyone making a contribution.

'A massive thank you must also go out to the fans who made the trip... Our focus now turns to Boreham Wood and getting vital League points. We'll put the FA Trophy on the back-burner for the time being as we look to get a result at the weekend. The lads are raring to go for Saturday's game already...

'I want to see us build on the momentum now and string a run of results together'. Emerging youngster, Will Hancox, was handed a starting place at Moss Rose and gave a good account of himself... Our FA Trophy quarter-final at Bognor Regis Town will take place on Saturday, February 27th, meaning that our home League game against Altrincham, scheduled for the same day, will have to be rearranged. Details of the new date will appear here as soon as they are confirmed."

From the Worcester News we learn that "Colin Gordon believes Harriers' players must learn from their defeat to Cheltenham Town. Second half goals for Danny Wright and Dan Holman settled a close game at the World of Smile Stadium.

Cheltenham proved to be more muscular and used their experience to contain Kidderminster to end their three-match losing streak. 'Cheltenham are very well organised, they press very well, work very hard and are very professional. We are a young group and we weren't able to compete with that', said Harrier' caretaker manager and chief executive. 'I think it was a shock to the system because Cheltenham had an intensity that we hadn't really come across all season'...

However, Harriers were caught out in the 50th minute when Tyrone Williams handled the ball and Wright scored from the spot. Holman then finished from close range seven minutes later. 'They hit us with a sucker punch just after half-time with a penalty', added Gordon...

'Cheltenham are very good at what they do but I won't play that way. Will it be a good addition to the Football League? No. We need to be able to compete with their intensity and be a professional as they are'".

In the Dover Express we learn that "Dover made it through to the quarter finals of the FA Trophy for the second consecutive season with an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win over Guiseley in a replay...

A brace from Stefan Payne and another goal for captain Nicky Deverdics fired Whites to victory over their ten-man hosts...Around the half hour mark, Whites started to feel their way into the game and just like that, the visitors went 1-0 up. It was route one stuff – we've all seen it from Dover before – but it worked a treat yet again. A boot upfield was flicked on by Deverdics and put Payne in the clear and he did the rest, slotting past Steve Drench for 1-0.

And within a minute, the hosts found themselves down to ten men thanks to Guiseley midfielder Will Hatfield receiving a straight red card and an early bath for a reckless challenge on Ricky Modeste. Whites peppered the Guiseley goal for the remainder of the half – they had 15 shots and eight of them hit the target as Drench was kept very busy".

From the Guiseley side we read that "The game turned midway through the first half as Stefan Payne gave the visitors the lead following a lofted ball over the top.

Within minutes, Will Hatfield was then harshly dismissed for a strong challenge on Ricky Modeste... After a poor first half, Bower’s men were better after the break but failed to ask questions of a resolute Dover back line...

An uncharacteristic error from Steven Drench allowed Payne to complete the scoring with an open goal late on, leaving the Lions to focus on their league survival bid, which continues at Altrincham on Saturday."

In the NW Evening Mail we learn that "Paul Cox hopes to build up an extensive scouting network across the North West and beyond to help Barrow AFC be first on the scene when talented players become available.

The Holker Street manager appointed Paul Ogden as chief scout last week as part of a rejig of the club’s backroom set-up. He hopes there were further scouts added to the network, working on a part-time basis, to ensure Barrow cover as many teams at as many levels as possible and have a better view of which players are available.

The network is something Cox has felt was missing since his appointment as AFC manager in November...

'We go back to when I first came into the club', he said. 'There have been some hard decisions which have had to be made... Paul (Ogden) coming into the job, I feel that’s what Barrow has missed. We want to go and get the best players who are playing at this level, but also some of the better youngsters in the North West, North East, Midlands – even to an extent the South – spot them at an early age and bring them into our environment. We want to work with them, nurture them into the first team and produce good players who can be sold on for a profit for Barrow.

'We’ve got to be mindful of the fact that Paul Casson isn’t an endless pit of money. I think the long-term goal is to make the club financially sustainable and not just rely on Paul'...

Cox has already brought in a handful of new faces since taking over the reins at Barrow, with Jordan Williams signed from Northwich Victoria and both Michael Donohue and Ben Tomlinson joining on loan...

'We want to be the first to get to hear about good young players, players who might have missed the boat in the Football League and have dropped back into non-league football, or players who are being released', said Cox. 'We want Barrow to be the first club to know about that... I will have the final say on a player coming in, so I will have to be at the games anyway. There will be nothing changing with my circumstances, but we can cast the net a bit wider to try and bring in players who aren’t necessarily just in the North West'".

According to the Braintree & Witham Times, "Manager Danny Cowley was disappointed that Braintree Town team were unable to turn their first-half control into second-half points in their clash with Boreham Wood. Boreham became only the second side to do a home and away league double over the Iron this season...

It was a frustrating evening for the hosts as they saw a run of 688 minutes of league football without conceding a home goal come to an end when Scott Doe headed in in the 48th minute. The visitors then added a second in the 54th minute when Luke Howell hit a wonderful volley in from the edge of the box...

'It was a bad night for us', said the Braintree manager. 'I was really pleased with the first-half –performance as I thought we had good control of the game with good possession and territory. We had more shots on goal than we have all season at home but we needed to score when we had so much control...

'It was a poor goal for us to concede and it was from a catalogue of errors – a poor free-kick given away... The second one was certainly a great goal... Credit to Boreham, though, because they have good players and they are an ambitious club. They are trying to do things in the right way.

'They have gone full-time this season and are very keen to stay in this division so credit to them because they got two very good goals'...

'We don’t score many goals and we’re not free-flowing but defensively we have been outstanding. You have to remember that we’re Braintree Town and we’re in the National League... We’re more than punching above our weight.'

There was a further blow for Braintree as Matt Paine was sent off late on for a second yellow card".

Hampshire's Daily Echo reports that ""Eastleigh are working hard to get some new faces into the camp after tonight’s bitterly disappointing 2-1 Vanarama National League defeat at Gateshead.

It’s two months and counting since the success-starved Spitfires last tasted victory and chairman Stewart Donald admitted, 'It all feels a bit flat and the squad needs a lift. We need two or three new players in. We’re close to an agreement with one and we’re hoping for some good news'...

Another poor first-half performance gave Eastleigh a mountain to climb at the Gateshead International Stadium. Dire defending cost them two goals in the space of six disastrous minutes...

Eastleigh are down to eighth, having lost three on the bounce and gone seven league games, and ten in total, without a win. It’s the third time this season that Gateshead have beaten them, having won 2-1 at the Silverlake in the league and FA Trophy. The Tynesiders have leapfrogged Eastleigh into sixth...

Donald... admitted, 'If you’re ambitious and you want to achieve things, you can’t go on runs like this. We’ve got to turn it round, and turn it round quickly'".

17 February 2016


With Torquay United progressing in the FA Trophy last night at Macclesfield, Altrincham's league trip to Devon scheduled for Saturday 27 February is now postpooned as it clashes with the Trophy's next round. This means that Alty have now played their third game in what has become a sequence of six successive home matches.


Altrincham's hopes of climbing away from the relegation places were dealt a severe blow as they never looked like taking anything from this Cheshire Derby...

Match report here.

The Chester Chronicle also has a report on "a convincing 3-0 success at Altrincham. Prior to kick-off, one place in the table and two points separated the teams but there was a clear gulf between them on the pitch with the Blues full value for the one-sided scoreline".

Right: Courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, we see Sam Heathcote in action against Chester on Tuesday night.


Tuesday 16 Feb.
  • Altrincham 0-3 Chester FC
  • Braintree Town 0-2 Boreham Wood
  • Cheltenham Town 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Gateshead 2-1 Eastleigh


Tuesday 16 February 2016 FA Trophy Third Round Proper
  • Macclesfield Town 0-1 Torquay United (replay)
  • Guiseley 0-3 Dover Athletic (replay)
  • Nantwich Town 1-0 Stourbridge

Torquay United's win at Macclesfield in the FA Trophy means the postponement of Alty's trip to Plainmoor on Saturday 27 February with the long-distance fixture now likely to be in midweek.


Winners of the "Friends of Altrincham FC" draw for February took place at half time of the game, last Saturday. The winners are
  • No.4 Ian & Lisa Jones £100
  • No.50 Jenny Heslop £50
  • No.2 Steve Raftery £35
  • No.92 John Edwards £15


NL Pitchero reports that "Kidderminsters Harriers have confirmed that two more of their players have extended their stays at Aggborough by agreeing new contracts with the club...

Both Ousmane Fane and Elton Ngwatala have penned fresh terms to keep them with Harriers until the end of the 2016/17 campaign. The pairing have played a huge part in Harriers’ recent improvements in results and performances and have quickly gained popularity amongst the Aggborough faithful for their all-action displays at the heart of midfield...

Chief Executive and acting team boss, Colin Gordon, commented, 'These two lads have worked incredibly hard since coming into the team and whilst it’s great for the club to tie them down, it’s a good reward for them, too. It’s important to point out that a lot of credit should go to Dave Hockaday for identifying them as targets and doing a lot of work to bring them here. They’ve made a massive difference.'

The news is somewhat bittersweet for Ngwatala who is currently out with a knee injury. Set to see a surgeon shortly, the player could undergo minor surgery later this week with a view to returning as swiftly as possible.

Gordon added, 'Elton’s had performed terrifically so there was never a problem with extending his contract. We made a commitment to a player and we happy to see that through because it’s the right thing to do and because he’s a part of our future here'"

Alty entertain Guiseley next Saturday and the Yorkshire Eevning Post Cup progress would also ease the strain, with Guiseley able to book a quarter-final tie at Nantwich Town or Stourbridge if they triumph this evening. Ahead of what he hopes will be his side’s first home outing of 2016, Bower said, 'I think it is seven grand (prize money) for this one and it creeps up. Especially with the costs of going away and with so few home games, it is always nice to get such cash and it means a difference for us.

'The prize money would give us an extra game and a little bit of a gate and with the replay with Dover, hopefully given the fact that we have not played at home for such a long time will also mean a decent turnout. Everyone will be pushing for us and, if we can get through, then you are not too far off the final and that’s the incentive for both sides... I don’t think we have got the hardest draw. We got the hardest draw in this round with Dover, so we have got to get through that.

'If you get to the quarter-final, I think all teams will fancy their chances as lower-league teams have been beating those who are higher up. But with home advantage, ourselves and Dover will see it as an opportunity to play a lower-league team'...

'It just seemed that there has been no light at the end of the tunnel. We are actually lucky that we have had a couple of Trophy replays as, without those, it would have been longer. But I have said before that I don’t think the fixture list has been well thought out and it has been really poor on the part of the league. It’s been a difficult run'".

16 February 2016


At Monday evening's 94th Annual General Meeting of Altrincham Association Football Club Ltd, held at the J. Davidson Stadium, Chairman Grahame Rowley (below, right) made the following statement...

"Good evening and welcome to Altrincham Football Club’s AGM.

2014-15 was our first season back in the National Conference after 3 years in the Northern Division and, after finishing in 17th position, I believe the season can be seen as a successful one.

However, it came at a cost to the club and as the accounts show we made a £40k loss last season, following on from a £16k loss the previous season, despite bringing in substantial funds from the transfer of Duncan Watmore to Sunderland. These losses cannot be sustained on a long-term basis and we need to look at ways of addressing these losses.

Income streams improved with our position in the National Conference from gates, TV and central funding – all of which make staying in this league imperative if we are to progress the football club.

The club has 5 major income sources –

  • Gate receipts – 28%
  • Commercial activities – 22%
  • Donations – 8%
  • League/FA Receipts – 18%
  • Community Sports Hall Donations / Sponsorship – 24%

Payroll accounted for 65% of expenditure – 20% up on 2013-14.

The 2015-16 budget is projected to lose £36k and, as a consequence, the Club’s cash reserves will be down to £38k by the season end, leaving little room to manoeuvre, should unforeseen circumstances arrive – and we all know what’s happened this season!

The season (2014-15) also saw the biggest development ever at Moss Lane with the building of our Community Sports Hall for a cost of £750k. The project planning started over two years ago and the team was ably led by Ian Watmore, for whom great credit is due for his leadership throughout the build. McGoff & Byrne were the preferred contractor and I must say that they have produced a first class facility for the club, which is already producing benefits. The Hall is being run superbly by Stacey and Judy, who have exceeded all expectation in the first year since opening.

However, at the year end, we still owe £110k to complete the financing of the CSH – all the more reason why we need more investment into the Football Club.

On this point, the running of this Football Club is becoming more and more of a burden to fewer and fewer people and there are signs of cracks appearing in the infrastructure. With this in mind I have managed to persuade Neil Faulkner, a long standing supporter of this Football Club, to join the Board and I ask you to approve his appointment this evening. We need more people like Neil to come forward and assist in the running of this Club before the pressures become too much and action, however unpleasant, becomes inevitable.

'The Club' is each and every one of us and we must all do our utmost to promote it and use its facilities as much as possible. It’s all too easy to leave things to other people but, with an ageing volunteer base, we are heading for a potential crisis – and that’s not underestimating the situation.

I thank you for your time this evening and wish us every success for the 2015-16 season".

Grahame Rowley, Chairman.

Footnote: Neil Faulkner's appointment to the Board was approved by the shareholders later in the AGM. Also, current Board member, Paul Daine, was re-elected or a further three-year term.

Anyone who is able to help the Club by volunteering his or her services, (or help in any form), should please contact Grahame at the earliest opportunity, either by e-mail or by calling the Club on 0161 928-1045.

Volunteering can take many forms, both in terms of the nature of work and as regards the amount of time that can be offered. So, please do not hesitate to offer your services and help to share the burden with existing volunteers. We are very fortunate to have such a well-run Club but that situation can only be maintained by more people giving their time and effort for its benefit.


Before today's match, the Chester Chronicle reported that "Chester have Ryan Astles and James Alabi available again after the cup-tied pair sat out the FA Trophy exit at FC Halifax Town... but tonight seems certain to be too soon for Luke George and Ben Heneghan, who both picked up knocks in that defeat at Halfax. Heneghan (ankle) will return before George, whose hamstring could keep him out for a while.

There could be a debut for winger Danny O'Brien, who signed on loan from Wigan Athletic at the end of last week, while Ryan Lloyd and Sam Hughes are pushing for starts after decent contributions off the bench last time out. Astles would be a like-for-like replacement for Heneghan while the absence of George could see Alabi partnering Hannah in a 4-4-2 with Tom Shaw and John Rooney paired in midfield and O'Brien, Lloyd, Craig Mahon and Jordan Chapell in contention for the wide spots".


The Chester Chronicle claims that "Chester FC are good enough to get out of trouble but must prove it now. Two huge games this week provide the squad with a chance to redeem themselves and repair reputations. Chester have slid down the table, after a bright start, and risk being dragged into a relegation scrap

A month into the season there seemed no prospect whatsoever Chester FC would be in the relegation picture with 15 games to go... Chester entered September in seventh place... But a campaign that began with such promise has veered badly off-course...

Without question, defeats at Altrincham on Tuesday and Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday will leave the Blues in serious trouble. On the other hand, two victories will take Chester on to 41 points, which with 13 matches to go would put them within comfortable reach of a safe total...

It wasn't supposed to be like this and nor should it be. This is a squad with talent...

Jon Worsnop: an experienced number one and an accomplished shot-stopper. His mistakes have been punished... but we know from last season he has the character to respond. The defence includes Ben Heneghan, one of the division's most talented centre-backs, the promising Ryan Astles and Ian Sharps, with more than 500 games in the Football League to his name. Left-back Johnny Hunt has arguably been the most consistent performer and Ryan Higgins showed last term what a threat he can be on the opposite side.

Midfield, perhaps the area that has caused most headaches this season, appears to have everything required: Luke George was a sought-after holding midfielder, Tom Shaw knows the division inside out and, when on song ,John Rooney can be a match-winner. Out wide Craig Mahon and Jordan Chapell have the pace and skill to trouble defences, while Ryan Lloyd has been a smart addition on loan.

Up front Ross Hannah was brought in to be a 20-goal striker, a mission he's well on course to accomplish. He has lacked support but new signing James Alabi has the pedigree to address that. The individual components are there but collectively the team isn't functioning and hasn't done for some time: this is a Chester side that doesn't add up to the sum of its parts...

The players and management will be feeling as nervous as the supporters about the current situation, particularly with teams below them closing in... Forget what's happened, these players have the ability to get out of this position and Tuesday night is the time for them to prove it."


The Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Lincoln City boss Chris Moyses is confident his side can still make a push towards the top five, despite being held to a 3-3 draw at Altrincham...

'Things were a bit tense in the dressing room afterwards', said Moyses. 'It did mean a lot to them to get three points. They will tell each other what they think of the situation and I will encourage that. We need to be honest with each other so we can understand and work on the situation. We might have taken a point before the game because that is a tough place to go to and Altrincham are in good form at the moment. They have got a lot to do to avoid relegation and they are going about it well.

'While it is a draw, we are still only three points outside of the play-off places, it is all to fight for'...

However, a moment of madness from Farman saw [him] dawdle on the ball and his clearance cannoned off the back of Reeves and into the net to see the game end in a draw... Said Moyses, 'We were a bit lapse [lax?] on the defending, though, and we will have to look at that when we get a chance to review the match footage. I thought in the last 20 minutes of the first half that we were well in control and I could only see us going on and winning the match.

'I thought we started the second half really well. We got the goal from Jack Muldoon and we were looking to kill the game off. It is sad, how they got the goal. Greg Tempest has done a great bit of work to win the ball and roll it back to Farman. All he needed to do was put his foot through it. He knows what he did wrong, though. Farman made a great save in the first half anyway. He is really upset and I am not going to give him a hard time about it. I told him what I think and he knows how to respond to it.'"


The Yorkshire Evening Post tells us that "Guiseley produced a marvellous performance on the road as they moved eight points clear from the National League relegation places thanks to Saturday’s 1-0 win at Woking. The away side made the perfect start when Emile Sinclair worked his way into the area and unselfishly passed to Liam Dickinson, who was able to tap the ball into the empty goal...

Sinclair, who is currently halfway through a one month loan from York, ripped the Woking defence apart with a solid run but the goalkeeper was in his way... A third away win in the league this season put the Nethermoor outfit 17th. Guiseley manager Mark Bower was pleased with all aspects of the game, saying, 'It was a good all round team performance. We had chances and Emile Sinclair and Liam Dickinson deserve a lot of credit for the way they worked together'...

Guiseley return to action on Saturday at sixth-bottom Altrincham."

Kidderminster Harriers "are delighted to confirm that Ben Whitfield has extended his youth loan with the club from AFC Bournemouth until the end of the season. Ben has four goals to his name in 14 appearances for the club so far".

From Get Surrey we learn that "They might be in dispute about bonuses but there's one thing Woking FC's board and players are united on, they're not talking about it.

After the Cards suffered another poor result, when they lost 1-0 to struggling Guiseley AFC on Saturday at Kingfield, sinking three places to ninth in the Vanarama National League, the players remained locked in their dressing room for at least an hour. The root of the problem is a disagreement about whether they and the team's management will be paid bonuses at the end of the season, the Club's board having reportedly decided those will only come should the team finish in the top five and thus qualify for the play-offs.

Saturday's display, lethargic in the first half, gave them just two points out of the last 12 and made that even more unlikely. 'We had a sit down and chat and I don't really want to say any more than that about it,' skipper Mark Ricketts said to Get Surrey about the dressing room lock-in. Director of football Geoff Chapple added, 'It's never helpful when these things are discussed outside the club; it will be resolved as and when'.

A meagre crowd of 1,182 hardly helped the financial situation of a club which reported losses of £437,000 in the last financial year, the bitter weather and it being Woking's fifth Saturday at home in succession other prime contributory factors. An eight-match unbeaten run over the Christmas and New Year period now seems a long time ago...

Guiseley's winner in the 10th minute came as the impressive Emile Sinclair burst down the right, Scott Griffiths being horribly caught out of position, with the rest of his side seemingly waiting for an offside whistle which didn't come, the big striker storming into the penalty box and producing a neat square pass from which Liam Dickinson had little trouble finding the target.

The visitors might easily have added to their tally before half time... Woking suffered another setback when on-loan striker Shaun Jeffers suffered a back spasm on the half-hour, having to be carried off after a doctor had been called onto the pitch to take a peek, replacement Giuseppe Sole soon being in the action but horribly mis-kicking from close range...

Ricketts refused to dismiss chances that they can make the play-offs though, adding, 'We've got to play a lot of the teams above us and some, like Eastleigh, twice. So there's a long way to go'"

From the Daily Post we learn that "Lee Fowler is hoping to have a major part to play for Wrexham as they look to continue their fight for the play-offs, and hopes to have finally put to rest any talk of a rift between him and manager Gary Mills.

Fowler, who was made club captain at the start of the season, made his first start of the term at home for the Dragons on Saturday as they ran out 2-0 winners over Bromley, only his second start of the campaign...

'It might be fate, it might be timing, you know the right time, I came in but it was the perfect way to come back, to score and get man of the match', said Fowler. 'It was the whole team performance, I thought the lads behind me, because I had a bit of a free role, the gaffer (Mills) said I could go and play in the hole, but then pull out wide if I liked, and the lads behind me, Connor (Jennings), Hesy (Simon Heslop) and (Adriano) Moke, they have got the legs to do the other side of the game and the balance in there was perfect...

'I think it was the team performance, I know I will get the headlines with scoring and blah, blah, blah... but it was the manner we went about it. They were a poor side, there is no two ways about it, but we made them look poor at times, at times it was easy for us. But we weren’t playing silly balls where we were overplaying it, we played in the final third, where we kept the ball and waited for them to come out and played through the gaps, and on another day that could have been four, five, 6-0.

'You know me, I’ve been playing a massive part off the field with the lads, the discipline in the changing room, helping the young kids coming along with the reserves but now it is my time to do what I am paid to do, which is deliver on the playing field. I am doing it off the field, now it is time for me to deliver on the field'...

Fowler, who went out on loan to National League North side Tamworth before Christmas... added, 'We’ve had loads of conversations, myself and the gaffer, throughout the season, all respectful, all positive, no bitterness. I know why I wasn’t playing, and there has always been that mutual respect. The reason was I wasn’t fit enough to play at the time, I am getting myself in good shape, I know people will be saying you should be in shape all the time but, when you are not playing, especially the way I am and I balloon up and down, but I played and I did well...

'So it just shows people write a lot of nonsense about myself and Gary, saying I am a bad egg, and a bad trainer, etc, but you have seen the reaction at the substitution and the goal'".

According to the Yorkshire Post "Doncaster Rovers'... young forward, Billy Whitehouse, has linked up with FC Halifax Town for a month... and will remain at the Shay until March 12, having made four appearances for Doncaster this campaign."

We read in the Western Daily Press that "A groundshare deal has been agreed that will see Gloucester City remain as Cheltenham Town's tenants for a sixth, and final, season. Robins chairman Paul Baker said a deal has been agreed with the Tigers with 'more stringent conditions' and an 'increased rent'.

That increase will allow the Robins to invest in the Whaddon Road pitch in the summer to prevent the wear and tear that has made it look so poor this term... Baker said, 'This is likely to be the final season of this arrangement. We have all been disappointed at the state of our award-winning playing surface and will be investing quite significantly in the close season. This was something we failed do last season.'

Baker had earlier voiced a number of misgivings about the deal, given the strains it has placed on a pitch. He said that, had the Robins been in the Football League or had the security of banking on promotion this season, they would have ended the agreement at the end of the current campaign. But in terms of the cash boost, not renewing the deal was too risky'".

Up in Cumbria, the NW Evening Mail confirms that "Barrow AFC boss Paul Cox was able to run the rule over a pair of trialists as the Bluebirds enjoyed a rare Holker Street training session. The early postponement of Saturday's National League match at Eastleigh due to a waterlogged pitch allowed Barrow to take part in a 90-minute practice game.

All fit members of Cox's squad took part, including new loan signings Michael Donohue and Ben Tomlinson, as well as the two unnamed trialists. The youngsters featured in a full-sided game, watched from the sidelines by Cox, new assistant boss Gary Simpson and returning physio Sean Riley, as well as the families of the two prospective signings.

Cox would not reveal the identities of the duo, one of whom is a free agent and one of whom is with a club, but sai, 'It's very early with the trialists. They have come in, both from good backgrounds and neither of them have let themselves down. It was positive. We'll see what happens over the next week or so with them. They both have different circumstances'...

Saturday's session was the first time Barrow have trained on their own playing surface for some years. Cox was happy to have the opportunity to allow his men to become more accustomed to the surface, which has hardened up since the game against Gateshead and Cheltenham and is more bobbly in places, ahead of a run of three home games in 10 days, starting against Braintree on Saturday.

However, the AFC boss said it was highly unlikely the club would be moving their regular training base closer to home from their current Lancaster University venue. Instead, he said it was possible there would be a switch further away from Furness in the near future, although the long-term aim would be to establish a set-up in Furness.

'It's one of these things when taking the club forward we have to plan very carefully in terms of players travelling etc', he said. 'One thing I have noticed now, one of the things I have been analytical of with injuries, is the players being sat in cars for a long amount of time. That isn't going to be beneficial to keep them fit and healthy. It is what it is. I would love for the training ground to be on this pitch right next to the ground but, if that happens, then we would have a team full of Barrow lads and we've got to be realistic, I don't think I'm going to fill the side full of lads who are born and bred in Barrow, which is unfortunate.

'The dream long-term is to have that with the Academy and kids coming through but, at this present time, we might even have to become a little bit more southern-based to make sure that we attract players and are keeping them fit through not being stuck in a car for two or three hours a day... We got the two trialists in, mixed them in with the first-team squad, and had a good 11-versus-11, which told me a lot. I learned a lot, once again. I learned a lot about the new players who have come in and also about some of the other squad members we have got'".

15 February 2016


Altrincham's next game is on Tuesday night (7.45pm), at home to Chester FC, a fixture which was postponed on Boxing Day. Alty will be looking to extend their run of four unbeaten games as they play the third of four successive home games.


A match report from Saturday's 3-3 draw with Lincoln City is here.

Brian Flynn has provided a recording of the Radio Robins commentary on Saturday's game, here.

Michael Ripley's photos of the game are here.

Alty TV's highlights of the Alty v Lincoln City game are here.


The Lincolnshire Echo states that "Lincoln City were held to a 3-3 draw by Altrincham. It was a disappointing result as City were close to getting three valuable points. Echo sports editor John Pakey picks out five things we learned from the game.

ONE - Paul Farman is allowed an off day... He stepped out to face the press after the game. A lesser person would have hidden, Farman didn't and held his hand up to apologise to the fans...

TWO - Who needs Liam Hearn?... It was thought the team would miss him. However, it has opened the door for Jack Muldoon and the forward has revelled in the role...

THREE - Defence struggled with pace of Damian Reeves and Jonathon Margetts

FOUR - Matt Rhead shows he has guts. It was a shock when Rhead missed from the spot on 20 minutes... Alan Power was tempted to take take the second penalty. But the big number nine picked the ball up and slotted it home. Nobody puts Rheady in the corner.

FIVE - Alty have it in them to beat the drop... On the evidence of this display they should be able to do it. While their defence was pulled open by City several times, they had the firepower to counter that. They looked lively going forward and will without doubt have the goals to keep them up."


Tuesday night's game will be the 25th anniversary of Altrincham's memorable 9-2 league win over Merthyr Tydfil; Howard Watts's records provide the full list of previous Alty games on 16 February Through the Years.


As briefly reported yesterday, the BBC confirms that "Players and coaches at Woking are in dispute with its board of directors over bonus payments based on their league performance.

BBC Surrey understands players and management were told at the start of the season to expect bonuses as usual. But, Woking's board have since decided the bonuses will only be paid if the currently ninth-placed Cards finish in the top five promotion play-off places.

Director of football Geoff Chapple insisted the issue will be resolved. 'It's never helpful when matters such as these are discussed outside of any club,' Chapple added. 'In the meantime, the club will not be making any further statements.'

Woking's players, along with manager Garry Hill and his assistant Steve Thompson, locked themselves in the dressing-room after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Guiseley. They are understood to be increasingly unhappy as the club struggles financially after recording debts of £437,000 in the last financial year.

Surrey-based businessman Ashley Read submitted a 'statement of intent' in November to lead a consortium looking to buy a 75% stake in the club. But, the club confirmed last month that the 34-year-old had withdrawn his interest.

BBC Surrey's Tim Durrans adds, "Woking fans will simply be wondering whether the bonus issue is just one of those problems that can surface at any cash-strapped club, or a symptom of a greater financial concern for the Cards".

From the Gloucester Citizen we learn that "Halifax Town manager Jim Harvey was fuming with the penalty decision that led to Forest Green scoring the opening goal in their win at The Shay.

Harvey, who was coming up against Forest Green for the first time since his three-year spell came to an end in August 2009, confessed his admiration for his former club's performance as they ran out 2-0 winners in the National League clash but felt they were given a head start by referee Ian Hussin's controversial decision.

Jordan Burrow appeared to be punished harshly for a handball in the box and, although Jon Parkin's spot kick was saved, he followed up to score from the rebound. 'I thought the decision for the penalty kick had us all baffled,' said Harvey.

'There was a moment's pause and you thought, "What's that for, what's happened?", because he (the referee) was the only one who knew, nobody else knew what was happening, nobody was appealing, nobody knew what was going on and, all of a sudden, they've got a penalty. Forest Green didn't need that luck against us.

'This is what happens when you're at the top of the league, you do get luck and you do get decisions like that and you've got to take advantage and Forest Green did that. I'm just disappointed because for me this was going to be 1-0 either way and I think Forest Green are good enough, they didn't need the help they got from the referee today'".

closer to home, Macclesfield Town "conceded three goals in a 13 minute period in the first half as they lost 3-1 to Kidderminster Harriers...

Keith Lowe, Harry White and former Silkmen player Arthur Gnahoua gave the Worcestershire side a demanding [commanding?] lead after just 23 minutes. Kristian Dennis grabbed a consolation goal for Macclesfield in the 90th minute with a stunning free-kick...

[At 3-0] Askey took the decision to make a double substitution moments later and introduced Kristian Dennis and Danny Rowe in place of Reece Turner and Reece Styche. The change saw a more positive performance from the Silkmen in the latter stages of the first half...

Macclesfield did improve after the break... Macclesfield are now five points behind Dover Athletic who currently occupy the final play-off place with 52 points. Meanwhile Kidderminster remain in 23rd place but have cut the gap to safety down to seven points".

Macc have actually lost two games more than Alty but stand 14 ponts ahead of them as they have only drawn twice all season.

14 February 2016


This entertaining match started in quite crazy fashion. Despite kicking off, Alty, who were without the ill Michael Rankine, almost conceded inside thirty seconds...

Match report here.

Above, Damian Reeves celebrates his goal, as seen by the camera of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.

Alty TV also has a video clip of Damian Reeves's equalizer.

After the game, Lee Sinnott told Dave Stringer of the NL Paper, "I was worried every time the ball was in our box as we did not cope as well defensively as we can but I am pleased to take a point. My glass is half full and I have told the players to take the positives from the game, even though we must turn draws into wins".


Joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, John Edwards, writes that "Damian Reeves added another priceless point to Altrincham's survival campaign with a second-half equaliser - just as he was about to be substituted.

The numbers had already been handed to the fourth official for James Lawrie to replace Reeves when the Alty striker charged down an attempted clearance by Lincoln keeper Paul Farman to salvage a 3-3 draw.

Below, right, Mike Ripley shows Josh Ginnelly and Jonny Margetts celebrating the opening goal. More of Mike's images are here.

The 65th-minute substitution still went ahead, once the goal celebrations had subsided, and Alty boss Lee Sinnott, who promoted Reeves to the starting line-up after Michael Rankine went down with a bug grinned, 'You need a slice of luck sometimes, and you could say we had it then, with Reevesie scoring in the nick of time.

'I had already decided we needed a change, because Lincoln were looking more dangerous than us at the time and we had to do something to try and pull it round. Reevesie hasn't had much game time lately, and it was a heavy pitch. Add to that Michael's condition and the fact we play again on Tuesday against Chester, and I thought it was the right time to take him off.

'You make certain calls as a manager, and I just thought it was time for fresh legs. Players always want to stay on, but I'm sure when he reflects, Reevesie will settle for getting 65 minutes under his belt and a goal; that will have done him the world of good.

'The equaliser was calamitous from Lincoln's point of view but fair play to Reevesie for gambling and getting his rewards. I was pleased with the whole team for the character they showed to come back like that. I said to them afterwards to make sure they took the positives out of it, because it was a hard-earned, grafted point, and they should take pride in that.

'They stuck at it and refused to lie down, and that should be a big building block for the remaining games this season.

'The way the game started, it could have been four-all in no time. Neither defence got started, and it was a bit wooden at the back, with forwards getting free and in between people time and again. Defences were being opened up too easily, so for that reason alone, I'll settle for the point.'

Referee Richard Wigglesworth, who controversially awarded Alty a penalty then changed his mind in last October's FA Cup tie against Chester, twice penalised Jake Moult inside the area, Matt Rhead missing the first spot-kick but converting the second.

'Moulty said he was chasing their lad and just caught him for the first, and it probably was a penalty,' added Sinnott. 'But, for the second, he was actually fouled, and as he went down, his arm automatically went up. That's what happens if you get a nudge and fall, so rather than a penalty for handball, it should have been a free-kick to us.'

Sinnott will now monitor Rankine's condition, ahead of Tuesday's key home game with Chester.

'I got a call from him at half-seven this morning, and I could tell he was struggling,' he said. 'Typical Ranks, he said he was willing to give it a go, but it wouldn't have made any sense. He wasn't right, so his performance level wouldn't have been up to normal standards, and we would have risked it spreading through the squad. It was a no-brainer to miss him for one game than suffer those consequences, and we will see how he feels on Tuesday.'"


Lincoln City have a match report. It starts, "City boss Chris Moyses had the luxury of naming an unchanged squad for this game at Altrincham as the Imps looked to make it three wins on the spin".

The report adds that "Altrincham levelled with a fluke goal; Tempest's back pass to Farman bobbled on the tricky surface and after the City stopper was forced to control, he saw his subsequent clearance crash straight at Reeves with the ball flying into the back of the net".


In its Saturday review, the National League reports that "Cheltenham Town maintained their one-point lead at the top of the Vanarama National League table after a 2-0 win against third-bottom Welling United... The win sees Gary Johnson`s side maintain their slim advantage over second-placed Forest Green Rovers, who also won, but the Robins take on Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday in their game in hand.

Forest Green condemned Jim Harvey to his first defeat since taking charge at FC Halifax Town. Forest Green won 2-0 at The Shay... Both sides had opportunities after the break as tempers flared. And the game ended with a 20-man exchange following an alleged diving incident.

The gap between the top two and third-placed Grimsby Town stretched to twelve points after the Mariners were held to a goalless draw at Blundell Park by fourth-bottom Boreham Wood... Wood will be happy with a draw from a game in which they had equal possession, although the Mariners had more attempts on goal.

Fourth-placed Tranmere Rovers were also held to a 0-0 draw, this time at a very wet EBB Stadium against mid-table Aldershot Town. Despite the visitors dominating the game, it was the Shots who had more attempts, although the two teams could only manage one shot on target during the 98 minutes played.

Dover Athletic occupy the final play-off slot and they enjoyed an impressive 4-0 win over eleventh-placed Gateshead at Crabble. Dover recovered from a slow start to score three times in 20 minutes...

Braintree Town earned a useful point from their trip to Southport to keep them in sixth place... Dan Sparkes put the Iron ahead in the 30th minute when he converted a Matt Fry cross. Braintree had never conceded a goal on their previous four visits to Haig Avenue. However, they did concede on this occasion as they were pegged back by the hosts on 57 minutes when Paul Rutherford’s cross was fired home by Louis Almond.

Wrexham rose four places to eighth in the table with a 2-0 win at the Racecourse Ground against Bromley...

Woking's play-off hopes took a blow when they were beaten 1-0 by Guiseley AFC at Kingfield – the Cards first home defeat since November 14th. What proved to be the only goal of the game came after just 9 minutes and just after Lions` keeper Steven Drench had blocked an effort from Mark Ricketts. Woking were caught on the break and Emile Sinclair's run resulted in a square ball inside the box which Liam Dickinson tucked past Jake Cole.

Guiseley, who moved eight points clear of the drop zone as a consequence of these three points, actually bossed the possession stats, so it wasn`t a smash-and-grab result.

Lincoln City`s top five challenge also stalled as they were held to a 3-3 draw against Altrincham in a thriller at Moss Lane...

Macclesfield Town were another side whose top five challenge took a hammer blow when they became the latest victims of Kidderminster Harriers' revival. Harriers blew the Silkmen away in a tremendous first half performance to boost their hopes of an amazing escape.

Three goals in the opening 23 minutes for Keith Lowe (10), Harry White (16) and Arthur Gnahoua ensured Kidderminster made it three league wins in a row for the first time since December 2014".

Radio North Hampshire reports that management and players at Woking are in a dispute about bonuses, which may have affected their performance on Saturday as they lost 1-0 to Guiseley.

The BBC says that possession was 51% Alty and 49% Lincoln and that the visitors had 14 shots (8 on target) against Alty's nine shots, six of which were on target.

The Yorkshire Post tells us that "Jim Harvey suffered his first defeat as FC Halifax Town manager after they lost 2-0 to Forest Green Rovers at The Shay...

The run under Jim Harvey had to end sometime, and there’s certainly no shame in losing to a side with a budget as big or a team as talented as Forest Green. But there will be a sense of injustice at the manner of the defeat, with referee Ian Hussin making himself public enemy number one, just ahead of Parkin, with the award of a dubious penalty from which Town never recovered.

If you’d said after the horror show against Braintree that it would be another three months before The Shaymen next tasted defeat, most Town supporters’ reactions would have been a combination of hilarity and disbelief. But Town will need to be sharper against Grimsby next Saturday, and a different referee might help as well."

From the Liverpool Echo we learn that "Aldershot Town are hoping that a clutch of home games against the National League’s big hitters can push matchday revenue through the break-even point for the season...

Chairman Shahid Azeem told fans this month that the club’s break-even figure for attendances is 1,800. He added, 'At the moment our average, in league and FA Cup games, is almost 1,700 and we hope that increases when we play the likes of Tranmere Rovers, Grimsby Town and Torquay United at home in the coming weeks.”

Azeem says the club have no plans to go part time. 'At the moment we are one of only eight clubs out of the 69 [actually 68] in the whole of the National League to either break even or make a profit,' he said. 'On the pitch, obviously with more funding we could attract better players but we’re not going to spend money that we haven’t got. Off the pitch, the biggest thing we’d like to do is bring our lost supporters back, that is a big challenge.'"

The Kidderminster Shuttle we learn that "The impressive Harriers blew play-off chasing Macclesfield away in a stunning first half display to boost their own hopes of escaping relegation... It cut the gap to safety to just seven points as Harriers continue to pull off a surprising improvement in form.

Harriers were forced to make one change from the team which had defeated Eastleigh 3-2 in midweek. With Elton Ngwatala set to be out for six weeks with a knee problem, Tyrone Williams was drafted into provide solidity in midfield, while Luke Maxwell was pushed forward.

Macclesfield made a surprise selection as former Kiddy striker Reece Styche was picked ahead of 21 goal top-scorer Kristian Dennis... [at 3-0] Such was the shock that Macclesfield made two changes, taking off the out of sorts Styche and Rhys Turner for Dennis and Danny Rowe... Ousmane Fane was imposing in midfield with a series of strong runs that left the Macclesfield midfield struggling in his wake...

But there was a nervous end to the game when Macclesfield pulled a goal back in the 90th minute".


  • Att: 1882 Aldershot Town v Tranmere Rovers
  • 1293 Altrincham v Lincoln City
  • 2549 Cheltenham Town v Welling United
  • 638 Dover Athletic v Gateshead
  • 1329 FC Halifax Town v Forest Green Rovers
  • 3927 Grimsby Town v Boreham Wood
  • 1693 Kidderminster Harriers v Macclesfield Town
  • 827 Southport v Braintree Town
  • 1182 Woking v Guiseley
  • 3511 Wrexham v Bromley


Saturday 20 Feb.
  • Altrincham v Guiseley
  • Barrow v Braintree Town
  • Boreham Wood v Torquay United
  • Bromley v Woking
  • FC Halifax Town v Grimsby Town
  • Forest Green Rovers v Eastleigh
  • Gateshead v Aldershot Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Chester FC
  • Lincoln City v Southport
  • Macclesfield Town v Dover Athletic
  • Tranmere Rovers v Cheltenham Town
  • Welling United v Wrexham

13 February 2016


Sat. 13 Feb.

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


Assuming he starts today against Lincoln City, it will be acting captain Jake Moult's 150th start for Altrincham today. In addition he has made 24 appearances from the bench so it will also be his 175th appearance for The Robins.

In those games Jake has scored 16 goals. He has captained the side regularly this season in the absences of Shaun Densmore and Luca Havern.


On Friday night in the Community Sports Hall, Altrincham supporters were treated to a reunion of players and officials who had represented the Club in three of its most celebrated FA Cup encounters. These were the matches in 1979 and 1995 against Tottenham Hotspur; the 1979 tie went to a replay after Alty had drawn at White Hart Lane, hence there being three matches between the clubs.

The guests on the top table were drawn from those matches and are seen in the photo above. They are left to right, Jeff Johnson, Graham Heathcote, Tony Sanders, Noel White, Steve Cross, Ricky Harris, Andy Reid and Barry Butler. The evening was organised and compered by TASC Chairman, Brian Flynn. Brian's prodigious memory for Alty statistics included his remarkable recall of the final score in a friendly match between Alty and Benidorm c.1979! A video of the 1995 game was shown on the TV screens and copies of this are available as a DVD from the Club (price £5).

The contrast between football in those times and today was underlined by a number of stories. For instance, before the crucial FA Cup tie at Droylsden which had secured the tie against Tottenham in 1979, Alty's most successful-ever manager Tony Sanders recalled how players John King and John Rogers had gone missing, only to reappear shortly before kick off as the front and back-halves of a pantomime cow! John had a friend in the costume department at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool and had borowed the cow costume as an attempt to defuse any tension before the FA Cup match... and it worked!

Sadly John himself was unable to attend the evening of nostalgia, as he was unfit to travel from Merseyside, but his spirit was present in many of the tales that were told. For example, Graham Heathcote reminded supporters how "Kingy" used to hammer on the door of the away team dressing room at Moss Lane and shout "Get them out here" to intimidate opponents before kick off. A former Runcorn manager once told Tony how his team's faces went white when the hammering on the door had occurred!

Tony Sanders revealed that he had never seen Jeff Johnson play before he joined Altrincham as an unheralded element in a larger transfer deal. Yet Jeff, who still works in the steel fabrication trade, went on to net 241 goals for the club in some 500 appearances, one of his goals being the one that secured the 1979 replay against Spurs.

Tony also recalled the day he had emerged from the dressing rooms and made his way to the touchline as a Trophy match against Blyth Spartans kicked off. On the way out of the tunnel to go to the bench, he bumped into Graham Heathcote heading the other way. "What are you doing?" asked the manager; "I've just been sent off", replied the Alty midfielder who had lasted less than a minute on the pitch!

Alty Club President Noel White, now 86, was also in good form as he talked about the self-interested goings on of the Football League re-election process which deprived Altrincham of Football League status after they had twice won the Alliance (nowadays the Conference).

A former defender in the 1995 team, Steve Cross, had enjoyed his time at Moss Lane but regretted that his career at national level had been curtailed by the need to work shifts at Vauxhall's car plant at Ellesmere Port. Steve is still employed there and keeps fit by still playing football.

Ricky "Bomber" Harris is nowadays a surveyor with his local council but, unfortunately, he missed the 1995 game at White Hart Lane through injury, although he watched it as a spectator. Ricky had earlier been shown the door at Moss Lane on the arrival of then new manager John King. However, King's successor, Gerry Quinn, had brought him back to Altrincham. But then Quinn was sacked and his successor turned out to be... John King. This time, however, Kingy saw the quality of Ricky and retained him. "The Bomber" went on to enjoy seven years at Moss Lane.

Team-mate Andy Reid, who works in sales, recalled how his team-mate Paul France dogged every step of Spurs' Jurgen Klinsmann in the closing stages of the 1995 game - his real motive being to secure the German's shirt at the end of the ninety minutes! For his part, Andy got Terry Sheringham's shirt after the game.

It was Andy's throw in that was called a foul and deprived Alty of an excellent goal in the 1995 match, scored by Shaun Constable. Had that goal been allowed the score would have been 2-1 and Alty would have had their tails up. That refereeing decision, along with penalties awarded to Spurs and Everton (1975) in other Third Round matches against top-flight teams, prompted discussion of match officials' tendencies to favour the "big" teams as they knew they would have to visit those clubs again in their careers whereas they were unlikely to encounter Alty again.

Barry Butler had also greatly enjoyed his time at Altrincham but his career was ended by a bad leg fracture against Woking. However, Barry now runs a successful window-cleaning business.

Amongst the many amusing anecdotes it was revealed that the record latest time for a player to arrive home after a home match at Moss Lane on a Saturday afternoon was the following Tuesday afternoon... after the consumption of one or two beverages en route! Alty supporter Kenny Palin also recalled how his father had banned him for watching Alty for a month after he had only arrived home at 5am following the Spurs match in 1979 - his father had been so worried at his son's non-arrival, which had arisen because the supporters' train had broken down at Crewe, that he had already called out the police to look for his missing son!

Altrincham FC is very grateful to all of the players and former staff who attended this memorable event and also thanks everyone who attended and enjoyed an excellent meal provided by club caterer Richie Bentley. Many thanks also go to the volunteers who served the meal, staffed the bar and cleared up afterwards.


Alty goalkeeping coach and supplier, through his SKkits company of the Altrincham FC kit, Ian Senior advises that there will be a "supporters' vote for the design of the Altrincham home shirt for the next two seasons. Click on the adjacent image to enlarge it and use the incorporated form to send to the Football Club at the J Davidson Stadium or drop it off at any of the up coming home games. Votes will be counted after the Guiseley game and the winning option will be announced then".

Ian adds that "My designer has come up with 10 options, all featuring a "buttoned collar" with a full colour back to the shirt. Shirts will be available in sizes XSB to XXL, with additional sizes if required. Shirts will also be available in long or short sleeves. Forms will also be available at forthcoming home games, with the result announced after the Guiseley game."


Amongst recent changes of fixture date issued by the National League are...
  • Cheltenham Town v Gateshead was 27 February NOW 23 FEBRUARY
  • Southport v Boreham Wood was 8 March NOW 27 FEBRUARY
  • Dover Athletic v Welling United was 9 February NOW 8 MARCH
  • Grimsby Town v Southport was 27 February NOW 8 MARCH
  • Eastleigh v Bromley was 2 February NOW 15 MARCH
  • Guiseley v Grimsby Town was 16 February NOW 15 MARCH
  • Torquay United v FC Halifax Town was 16 February NOW 15 MARCH


NL Pitchero reports that "Braintree Town have signed winger Joe Gardner and goalkeeper Harry Palmer. Braintree boss Danny Cowley knows 25-year-old Gardner well from his time in charge of Concord Rangers. Gardner has left the Beachboys last month after saying he had 'lost his appetite for the game'... The midfielder, who has been a key player in recent seasons, made the decision over the New Year after struggling to nail down a permanent starting spot in the team this campaign.

But the chance to re-unite with Cowley and step up to the National League was too good a chance to pass by. The Iron have also signed goalkeeper Harry Palmer. The 20-year-old has gained plenty of experience in non-League football, having taken in spells with Hertford Town, Hillingdon Borough, Witham Town, Holmer Green, Maldon & Tiptree, Ware, Waltham Abbey and Heybridge Swifts."

According to the NL Paper, "Ian Allinson has left his role as director of football at Boreham Wood to become local rivals St Albans City’s new manager. Allinson led the Wood to promotion from the Conference South last season but resigned in October after the club moved to daytime training.

He returned a month later to assist new manager Luke Garrard as Director of Football but he was announced as the Saints’ new boss on Friday... They are bottom of the league and five points from safety after a run of eight games without a victory...

Boreham Wood chairman Danny Hunter added, 'I was taken back initially when Ian first told me he was leaving, especially as it was St Albans but, on reflection, I shouldn’t ever be shocked when it relates to football... We are great friends outside football'".

According to NL Pitchero, "Grimsby Town have signed former York City midfielder Anthony Straker on a deal until the end of the season. The 27-year-old, who can also play up front, has been training with the Mariners this week. He started his career as a youth player at Crystal Palace and was a trainee with the Eagles before going on trial with Yeovil Town.

Straker later went onto sign a one-year contract with Aldershot Town... During the January transfer window of 2011, Straker completed a one-month loan deal with Wycombe Wanderers. He then moved to Southend United, signing a two-year contract. Straker signed for York City in 2014 on a two-year contract, after rejecting a new deal with Southend".

From NL Daily we learn that "Matt Tubbs says he is surprised to have not been part of Portsmouth manager Paul Cook's plans.The former Bournemouth and Crawley striker, 31, joined Eastleigh on loan until the end of the season on Tuesday. Tubbs has not played for his parent club since the end of October following injury and not being selected.

'Paul Cook told me that I don't suit the Portsmouth system, which is surprising,' he told BBC Radio Solent. 'I did my maths and worked out that I had played eight games in total minutes on the field and scored five goals. That's quite a good return for someone who can't play that system... The last month has been really frustrating', he added. 'I've been fit and there have been times when I was training on my own (at Portsmouth)... People say I shouldn't have dropped down a division but I see this as a club with huge potential, who have a great chance of being in the Football League in a few months'".

Hereford's Bulls' News tells us that "Bromsgrove Sporting say that the installation of new turnstiles at their ground does not mean that Worcester City will become tenants there. City are mulling over other sites with Kidderminster Harriers seeking a large increase in rent on Aggborough".

The East Grinstead Courier is the source of information that "East Grinstead Town have lost another striker after teenager Goldy Capela signed for Torquay United. The 19-year-old has left East Court to join the Gulls...

In a statement, The Wasps said, 'He's the first of what we hope is a long line of young players who are given the opportunity to develop at the club and go on to play at a higher level'".

12 February 2016


The following Vanarama National League games had been postponed by Friday afternoon ...

Sat. 13 Feb.

  • Eastleigh v Barrow OFF
  • Torquay United v Chester FC OFF


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards writes that "Lee Sinnott saluted Altrincham’s battling qualities after they extended their unbeaten run to three games with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against promotion hopefuls Wrexham ...

Alty’s run of four straight home games continues with Saturday’s visit of Lincoln City, and they go into it in good heart after adding another deserved point to the four gleaned against Woking and Welling.

It could have been more, given Simon Richman hit the bar shortly before Josh Ginnelly opened the scoring, but there were no complaints from Sinnott after Scott Leather twice rescued his side with goalline clearances.

'It was certainly a hard-fought point, and I was pleased overall with the effort and endeavour in difficult conditions', said the Alty manager. 'Both sides huffed and puffed on a heavy pitch that wasn’t conducive to our normal passing game. We hit the bar and had a melee on their line when Michael Rankine nearly scored, but they could point to two goal-line clearances at the other end, so it balances itself out.

'Was there a lot of quality? Probably not that much, but it was an evenly-fought contest that ended in a fair result.'

Burnley winger Ginnelly has agreed to stay at Alty another month, and Sinnott is exploring the possibility of doing the same with fellow-loanees Dylan Mottley-Henry, Jonny Margetts and Marcus Holness.

'Josh is a great lad who’s enjoying playing first-team football with us, and it’s lovely to have him for another month,' he said. 'Dylan’s month is up after the Lincoln game, then it’s Jonny after that and finally Marcus. I will have a chat with the powers-that-be about whether anything can be done about extending their time with us, and we’ll take it from there.

'They’ve all done well and played a part in different ways. Marcus looked assured again. You can tell he knows his craft as a centre-back. It was my position as a player, and there were a couple of times in the second half where I noticed how he read the angle and snuffed out the danger. He is a calming influence'.


Saturday's referee for Altrincham v Lincoln City is Mr Wigglesworth of South Yorkshire. He officiated at our away games at Chester and Tranmere Rovers earlier this season as well as for various earlier matches, home and away.


Altrincham's home game with Dover Athletic, the sole match remaining to be rearranged in the fixture list, has been assigned a date of Tuesday, 5 April at 7.45pm. The game was postponed on 31 January 2016. Given the Kent club's continuing involvement in the FA Trophy it was felt sensible to play this league match later on in the season than would normally be the case with a rearranged match. Confirmation came this afternoon that the National League had agreed to this.


Alty TV has highlights from the Altrincham v Wrexham game last Tuesday, here.

Right: Simon Richman gets stuck in in the Alty midfield against Wrexham. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.


The Lincolnshire Echo states that "Goal machine Matt Rhead believes Lincoln City will be able to reflect on a satisfying season even if their National League play-off bid falls short.Questions about the Imps' chances of finishing in the top five were off-limits when manager Chris Moyses faced the media... Moyses jokingly replied 'No, no, no'...

Rhead was a little more forthcoming on the issue... 'Hopefully we'll get in the play-offs but, if we don't, I still think we've had a good season,' he said... 'Hopefully we can have a good push next season, if we don't make it this season. The football we're playing at the moment is quite positive. We're going out trying to win every game'...

His goal in the 3-0 victory over Eastleigh last Saturday, a chipped effort from around 25 yards, saw him reach the 20-goal mark.... 'My target before the start of the season was one goal; then you'll never disappoint yourself,' joked Rhead in his typical deadpan manner... 'I need to start scoring a few more headers. Headed goals seem to have dried up for me recently'...

Rhead is enjoying playing alongside new strike partner Jack Muldoon... 'He's doing all my work for me, which is a positive! Seriously, he's done well and he scored a good goal on Saturday and had an assist too,' added the Stoke-based striker. 'Everyone who is willing to do that amount of work is always a positive. Liam (Hearn) is the same. He (Muldoon) works hard, he gets in behind and stretches the opposition. I think Eastleigh were worried about him on Saturday and they dropped really deep. That meant I was able to take up positions where I could get the ball more often than if I was playing up front on my own.'"

In additon, the Lincolnshire Echo reports that "Lincoln City have handed a trial to Gibraltar international Anthony Bardon. The central midfielder played for the territory during their Euro 2016 qualifiers... London-born Bardon has played in the semi-professional Gibraltar Premier League, appropriately for a team called Lincoln Red Imps, and Manchester 62.

Before then he played for Tooting & Mitcham United and Bromley. His most recent club was Sheffield FC... The City boss has given trials to numerous players recently, including wingers James Caton and George Maris, who both subsequently joined the club on loan from Shrewsbury Town and Barnsley respectively. Nottingham Forest midfielder Josh Rees also trained with Lincoln, but ended up joining National League rivals Torquay United on loan instead."

Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Lincoln City.

  • Home: P3-W1-D1-L1-F4-A4
  • Away: P3-W1-D1-L1-F3-A7
  • All: P6-W2-D2-L2-F7-A11


The National League's National Scene assigns Altrincham a new unwelcome record this season. It states that Josh O'Keefe's yellow card, just one minute and 46 seconds after coming on as a late substitute against Woking, is the quickest booking of any player in the national division this season. Our next opponents, Lincoln City have another unwanted record as the team which has committed the most fouls this season, 382.


The BBC tells us that "Torquay United chief executive Steve Breed says he wants the club to continue being fully professional, even if they are relegated in April...

'There are no plans or thoughts at this moment to doing anything other than being a full-time club,' Breed said. Breed helped bring together a consortium of local businessmen, led by chairman David Phillips, who took control at Plainmoor in June. The lack of funds forced the new board to close the club's academy, leave their old training ground and saw newly-installed manager Paul Cox leave in September after a disagreement over his wages.

The club has since entered an agreement to share their Plainmoor home with National League South side Truro City, while the Gulls are in early talks about moving to a new ground on the outskirts of the town. 'We have to build plans for staying up and for going down,' Breed told BBC Radio Devon. 'It's not a defeatist attitude, but we need to be prepared if the worst happens and we are relegated this season. I still feel we should be a League club. Everything around this football club is geared to it being a professional, full-time football club'.

Breed continued, 'I would hate to think we would go part-time at this club, I really would, but finances dictate and I can't guarantee that we would stay as a full-time club.... I believe the only way we'd get up from the league below is to stay full-time'".

At the other end of the country, Barrow have now acquired two Tomlinsons as "boss Paul Cox has bolstered his attacking options with the acquisition of Barnet striker Ben Tomlinson until March 12th. The 26 year old former Lincoln, Alfreton & Macclesfield striker signed today on emergency loan after a temporary move to Holker Street on deadline day failed to materialise.

Tomlinson has already spent loan spells this campaign at Grimsby and Tranmere... The Sheffield-based frontman joins fellow new loanee Michael Tomlinson in the squad setting off for the South Coast tomorrow morning."

According to the Halifax Courier, manager "Jim Harvey said his side showed lots of character after FC Halifax Town beat Chester 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy. Jordan Burrow’s 14th goal of the season sealed Town’s passage into the last eight for the second consecutive year.

Harvey admits... 'Our focus really is on saving ourselves in the league but, all of a sudden, we now find ourselves one game away from the semi-final... The pitch was heavy and difficult to play on, really energy-sapping... but there was lots of guts an determination and character in that performance. Bolts (James Bolton) turned up with the flu, then Hamza (Bencherif) had to come off after 20 minutes as he was struggling with his lungs, so that knocked us around a bit... Our boys stood up and looked pretty decent with regards to desire for the game and that was enough for us to win.'

Harvey was forced into a defensive reshuffle seeing Kevin Roberts at centre-back and Jake Hibbs at right-back... 'When I managed Chester a few years ago, Kev (Roberts) played for me at centre-half so he’s not unfamiliar with it, although he hasn’t played a lot there this year,' Harvey said...

“Jordan [Burrow]’s work-rate and effort from the team has been first-class,' Harvey said. 'I’m disappointed for him that he hasn’t scored through that period, so for him to score tonight is just reward'".

In the Chester Chronicle, "Chester FC assistant Jon McCarthy admitted the FA Trophy loss at FC Halifax Town was 'bitterly disappointing' for everyone connected with the club. Despite having the better possession and territory for much of the game, the Blues drew a blank for the third straight game and conceded another poor goal...

Said McCarthy afterwards, 'We're incredibly frustrated in there and the manager clearly is. It's difficult because it's not a tired performance, it's not a performance without effort and there was some quality... We did feel there was a big hand from one of their players to knock Ryan Higgins out of the way which allows Kingsley to turn but... I'm not making excuses...

'We lost Luke George and Ben Heneghan, who are really significant for us. Luke going off after 10 minutes or so can affect your game-plan and Ben had a clear injury at the end of the first-half. That's our centre-back and our holding midfielder so that didn't help but actually there was a spirit and we kept going but it affected us...

'Ben's hurt his ankle. Kingsley James caught him and I think it's at least a yellow as he went right over the top of Ben and it looked a really nasty challenge but it goes unpunished. Luke's a hamstring and Sam Hughes, we think,has a lost a tooth so we'll have to deal with that.'"

The Chronicle adds that "The Blues must now shake off their disappointment because the next three games - Torquay United, Kidderminster Harriers and Altrincham - are massively important. The tie had been postponed at the weekend because of a waterlogged pitch and the surface wasn't much better on a bitter night in West Yorkshire".

Off the pitch, NL Pitchero reports that "Chester FC have signed midfielder Danny O`Brien on a month`s loan from Wigan Athletic. O'Brien signed on loan for Wrexham in November until last month and made four appearances...

The Leigh-born player moved to the DW Stadium in the summer of 2015 following his release from Aston Villa... He’s a winger with an eye for goal, having scored four in six starts for the Wigan Development Squad this season".

Also, NL Pitchero confirms that "Winger Courtney Cameron, who has been unable to impress under Dino Maamria, has left Southport and is joining Brackley Town.

Cameron was signed for Port by former boss Paul Carden... in August. Twenty-three-year old exciting winger Cameron started his career with his home-town club Northampton Town before transferring to Aston Villa for £35,000. He has League One and Two experience having been on loan at Rotherham United before joining Torquay United in the summer of 2013. He totalled fifty-one appearances for the Gulls, scoring three times."

11 February 2016


Altrincham FC is saddened to hear the news of the recent death of Graham Jackett, following a battle with cancer. Graham was not only a supporter of the Football Club over many years but also a fundraiser for the Club and for charities. One such instance of selfless fundraising was in 2007 when he ran the Macclesfield Half-Marathon for the Club saying, "I am now 58 and have supported Alty for over 50 years and spent many happy and occasionally unhappy hours in Macc. I wonder if supporters and friends of the club would be prepared to sponsor me with all money going to the club?"

Graham is pictured on the adjacent photograph helping out on the Club's float at the Altrincham Festival in 2010. Graham (in shorts) is on the right of the group which comprises (l. to r.) Dawn Abbott, Colin Mitchell and Steve Foster, with the Rocky Robin costume.

Those who knew Graham are invited to attend his funeral, which will take place at Howe Bridge Crematorium, Lovers' Lane, Atherton (Leigh), Manchester M46 0PZ on Monday, 15 February at 2.30pm.

All at the J. Davidson Stadium would like to express their condolences to his family and friends.


Altrincham gained a hard-earned point against play-off hopefuls Wrexham. It was Altrincham who took the lead in the 12th minute. In fact they might have done so as early as the fifth minute when Simon Richman's shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar. But it was a fine run up the right and into the box by Ryan Crowther which set up Josh Ginnelly for the opener.

Altrincham then played some excellent football but could not add to their score before Wrexham equalised, against the run of play, on 30 minutes. Jackson was allowed too much space on the left and his cross was met by an excellent looping header from former Barnsley man, Simon Heslop. After that the visitors had the better of play, though Altrincham still had their own attacking moments in the second half. Wastefulness in front of goal cost the Welshmen in the second period as, on three occasions, they fluffed their lines badly from close range.

Match report here.

Left, Mike Ripley captures Josh Ginnelly's celebration after he had scored against Wrexham. Mike Ripley has more images of the game against Wrexham here.

The BBC stats from the game show Altrincham enjoyed 54% of the possession and had nine shots to the Dragons' seven.


After Tuesday's game, Wrexham reported that "Two first-half goals ensured that this game ended all square, as the visitors passed up a number of chances to have helped themselves to all three points...

The home side took the lead on 12 minutes when they broke up a Wrexham attack and Ryan Crowther raced down the right wing before delivering a long cross that allowed Ginnelly to fire home from 12 yards with the Wrexham defence stretched...

The Welshmen were level on 30 minutes, when Simon Heslop scored with a lovely flick header, diverting the ball away from the keeper, after Jackson’s cross in from the left...

Leather headed off the line from Jennings chip, following a series players slashing at the ball but not making proper contact in the six-yard box. Then another defender cleared off his own goal line from Evans, with Hudson’s header at the ensuing corner flashing wide.

Rankine responded with a close range header that somehow ended up in the arms of Taylor!

Away: 335 [fans in the] away terrace, plus those on the main stand".

In the Leader Live "Manager Gary Mills admits it was two points dropped after Wrexham drew 1-1 against Altrincham... After falling behind following a poor start, midfielder Simon Heslop equalised for Wrexham in the 30th minute and the Reds had a number of good chances to win the game in the second half but had to settle for a third successive draw.

Blaine Hudson missed a golden chance to win the game, and twice Wrexham saw chances cleared off the line from Connor Jennings and Rob Evans.

'Going a goal down again and we didn’t start the game particularly well. We changed it and we were a lot better after that,' said Mills. 'You don’t get many games where you get chances like we had in the second half. Really good chances, we haven’t taken them and it has come back to bite us again. Another two points gone missing so, in a week, six points we could have had, should have had, is a massive difference and we haven’t taken them but we have given ourselves the opportunity to do that.

'But we know we have got to start winning games; but it is the first of 15 games left and we have got another point'".

And in the Daily Post there is an analysis of each Wrexham players contribution.


Wed. 10 Feb

  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Chester FC


The BBC says that "Eastleigh manager Chris Todd labelled his side's defending 'shocking' after they lost 3-2 at Kidderminster. The Spitfires... are without a win in nine games. And Tuesday's National League defeat by bottom-placed Kidderminster saw Eastleigh concede three goals for the second match in succession.

'It's not good enough,' Todd told BBC Radio Solent. 'Defensively, we were very, very poor and have to be better.' Eastleigh gave a debut to striker Matt Tubbs, who had earlier agreed a loan move from Portsmouth until the end of the season...

'I can't keep saying it, actions speak louder than words and we're deflated,' the manager added... 'We can't keep going out in games on a whimper'".

The next visitors to Altrincham are Lincoln City. The Lincolnshire Echo tells us that at the weekend "Lincoln City's win over Eastleigh has lifted the Imps to within two points of the play-offs. Have they left it too late to mount a challenge? Echo sports editor John Pakey gives... reasons why...

Two weeks ago... With no win in 11 games, life looked bleak for manager Chris Moyses and his team... However, the win over Guiseley finally saw a chink of light illuminating in the dark clouds which had shrouded Sincil Bank...

Lincoln City will need 80 points to secure themselves a place in the play-offs...

Lincoln's final 13 games all present their own challenges. They face two sides in the top five, with a trip to Tranmere Rovers and a final day at Whaddon Road where Cheltenham are likely to be lifting the Conference trophy. The rest are sides below them and are well out of the reckoning or, sadly in the case of Kidderminster, very much dead and buried.

'We know what we need to do over the course of the run-in,' said club captain Alan Power... Out of those 13 teams City have to play, they have already beaten five of them – Aldershot, Macclesfield, Kidderminster, Tranmere Rovers and Chester. They have drawn against two of them in Altrincham and champions elect Cheltenham....

Now they are in a regular rhythm of home-away-home... 'We've got one game a week from now until the end of the season, apart from the Easter period,' added the Imps boss. 'We've got nice recovery periods between matches and the lads are responding to it'...

City finally found a new route forward... in James Caton, who has brought more width to the team. Muldoon's own exceptional performances in the last two weeks have given the side more options up front. However, he has only been able to come into that role because Caton can take up his duties on the wing.

'I can see us sticking with Jack up front,' admitted Moyses. 'And we've got wide men like James Caton and George Maris, who have got pace. That was something we were possibly lacking earlier in the season'...

With investor Clive Nates already pledging to support the side, Moyses has money to work with, and he will make deals if he needs to find cover in the squad".

Everton "have agreed to loan young winger Michael Donohue to AFC Barrow on a one-month deal. The 18-year-old will join... on Thursday".

Barrow have "unveiled the new backroom team to the players at their Lancaster University training base. The move follows the exit of First Team Coach Alex Meechan, Sports Therapist Dan Anderton and Strength & Conditioning Coach Paddy Maher on Sunday as part of the support staff restructuring.

The new structure which features more experience at National League level, sees former Macclesfield & Lincoln Manager, Gary Simpson, 54, join the club as Assistant Manager. A familiar face is returning to the club to take up the position of club Chartered Physiotherapist. [Ex-Alty physio] Sean Riley, 49, who left after 4 years in the summer when the club reverted to full-time status, comes back after a short stint at Stockport County.

Chairman Paul Casson said 'It’s sad to have to move people on but we all believe that this is the best way forward as we strive to bring Football League Soccer back to Barrow”.

10 February 2016


Tue. 9 Feb.
  • Altrincham 1-1 Wrexham
  • Bromley 1-2 Grimsby Town
  • Dover Athletic P-P Welling United .
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 Eastleigh


FA Trophy 3rd Round matches and replays are as follows:

Tue. 9 Feb

  • Torquay United 3-3 Macclesfield Town
  • Guiseley P-P Dover Athletic (replay)
  • Bognor Regis T 2-1 Sutton Utd aet


We learn from NL Pitchero that "Ramsbottom United manager Garry Vaughan has added three new experienced faces to his squad as he continues to guide the club away from the bottom rungs of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division table... Andy Smart, 29, comes to the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium from the success[ful] Glossop North End side, and plays in the left-back position.".


According to NL Pitchero, "Eastleigh have boosted their promotion hopes by signing prolific marksman Matty Tubbs on loan from Portsmouth until the end of the season. The striker had been the subject of interest from the Spitfires during the transfer window.

However, with the opening of today’s emergency loan window, a deal has now been struck to allow the 31-year-old to move to Silverlake Stadium. Tubbs has scored 5 goals in seventeen appearances this season for Pompey, but hasn’t featured since the end of October, but is contracted to Fratton Park until the summer of 2017.

Tubbs had prolific spells with Dorchester Town, Salisbury City, where he scored 107 goals in 250 games and Crawley Town, where he notched 49 times in sixty-five games before joining AFC Bournemouth in 2012, moving along the south coast to Portsmouth in January 2015."

The 72 adds that "Eastleigh have signed Portsmouth striker Matt Tubbs on loan for the remainder of the season...

He joins an Eastleigh team that currently occupies the final play-off position in the top tier of non-league football but they are without a win in their last eight matches in all competitions... Eastleigh Chief Executive Mark Jewell believes the signing of Tubbs is a real coup for the football club and his past record at this level was a major factor in signing him,

'Hopefully Matt will do what he’s always done and put the ball in the back of the net. Hopefully he will be the kick-on the club needs for the run-in. I think he will be a very popular signing. He’s a name that’s been thrown up a lot over the last few years by our supporters, but sometimes it takes a while for the opportunity to come along.

'You do go a bit flat after FA Cup exploits, that’s well-known in football, so signing Matt will be good for morale. He sounds the right sort of character to come in and lift the dressing room.'

Jewell also revealed that the club tried to sign Tubbs on a permanent deal in the January transfer window but couldn’t agree a deal...

'We couldn’t broker a deal before the transfer window closed so we’ve gone back to them and agreed an emergency loan until the end of the season and then we’ll look at things again. Matt’s got another year on his contract and we’ll look at all parties in the summer, see how Matt’s enjoying it and see where we are, with a view to making him a long-term signing. At the moment there’s no commitment beyond the loan period'".

Reports from the BBC say that "Gary Simpson has joined Barrow as the club's new assistant manager. Simpson, 54, has previously managed at Macclesfield Town and Lincoln City but was sacked by the Imps in 2014.

He joins Paul Cox's side as replacement for first-team coach Alex Meechan, who was one of three backroom support staff to leave the club on Sunday. Barrow, who are currently 16th in the National League table, have won just one of their last eight league games."

In the Chester Chronicle we read that "Chester FC and FC Halifax Town will meet in the FA Trophy third round on Wednesday (7.45pm), weather permitting.

A waterlogged pitch at the Shay Stadium led to the tie being postponed on Saturday and, after originally rescheduling for Tuesday, the clubs agreed to push the game back another 24 hours to give the surface more time to recover. Rugby League side Halifax RLFC played at the ground on Sunday so, even if the rain in West Yorkshire relents, which the forecasts suggests will happen, the pitch probably won't be in the best shape.

If the game is postponed again, it is likely to be moved to Tuesday, February 16 which would mean Chester [would] need to reschedule their league visit to Altrincham, which was postponed on Boxing Day.

The winners have been drawn at home to Gateshead in the quarter-finals and will bank £7,000 in prize money... The hosts go into the tie protecting a 12-game unbeaten run under ex-Chester City manager Jim Harvey.

The postponement might have worked in Chester's favour as Ross Hannah (toe), Sam Hughes (illness) and Ryan Lloyd (ribs) were all doubtful for the original date. Blues' boss Steve Burr said, 'It's going to be a tough game, certainly tougher than when we beat them earlier in the season, because we are still stuttering. The players are the same but it's similar to Southport in that a new manager has gone in and that's given them a lift. It's amazing how that seems to happen but that's down to the confidence and belief that comes from winning football matches.

'Halifax have picked up and the players are playing with a lot more confidence and that's the one ingredient as a manger you wish you could give players'. Halifax will include ex-Chester pair Kingsley James and Matty Brown while former Torquay United striker Waide Fairhurst is available after signing non-contract forms last week. Fellow new signing Dino Fazlic is cup-tied having played for Kidderminster Harriers in the competition while leading scorer Shaun Tuton has been sold to Barnsley."

9 February 2016


With a successful outcome to the 2pm pitch inspection, Altrincham FC will need additional volunteer gate-people to staff the turnstiles at the J Davidson Stadium tonight, as a number of regular operators are unavailable for this rearranged match. If you can help, please contact Matchday Secretary, George Heslop, as soon as possible on either 07939 890503 or (0161) 718 0624. George asks volunteers to leave their numbers and he will contact them as quickly as possible, should the match be called off. No previous experience is necessary and your help would be greatly appreciated.


The Leader Live says that "Midfielder Adriano Moke is ready to grab his chance if he is recalled to the Wrexham side against Altrincham at Moss Lane tonight. Moke was introduced as a substitute for the second half against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday and he impressed as Wrexham drew 2-2 with the title chasers.

Manager Gary Mills revealed captain Connor Jennings is rated '50-50' after sustaining a calf injury at the weekend and, although Rob Evans is available, Moke hopes to be back in the starting line-up. 'I was happy just to get on the pitch and make a little bit of difference, speed up the tempo,' said Moke, who hasn’t started any of Wrexham’s last four matches...

'If I have to wait, I will do that and when my chance comes I will take it.'...

Moke, who joined Wrexham from Macclesfield Town last summer, has been pleased with his form this term. 'Personally I think I have had an all right season so far', said Moke. 'Everytime I have played I have given 100 per cent. Even though sometimes I have not been in the game or quiet, I still try to get the boys ticking and stuff'...

Disappointed not to have held on for three points [against FGR], Moke is targeting victory against lowly Altrincham to boost the play-off challenge. 'It was cruel but things like this happen in football', said Moke... 'When you look at these teams, no disrespect to them but you can tell that we can still be up there with them... We will just keep going to the end and see what happens. We will go to Altrincham and do the same, just keep playing our game'...

Right-back Javan Vidal picked up a groin injury against Forest Green and will be absent at Altrincham so Mark Carrington is likely to deputise once again in Wrexham’s defence."


Following a pitch inspection by a local referee at the J Davidson Stadium, tonight's scheduled Altrincham v Wrexham match is set to go ahead.

Earlier, volunteers helped to prepare the pitch and the Club is very grateful for their assistance...

Above, left, we see assistant manager Neil Tolson and club caterer Richie Bentley as they prepared to remove the pitch covers. Right, groundsman Neil Brown marked out the pitch.


Burnley have confirmed that "Development Squad winger Josh Ginnelly has extended his youth loan at Altrincham for a further month.

The summer arrival from Shrewsbury Town has made four outings for the National League side, scoring one goal".


TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes that "With just one game played at home since the turn of the year, ticket sales for the Spurs Reunion event on Friday, perhaps understandably, have been low to date. With the amount of rain that has fallen in the last 24 hours and the short term forecast looking distinctly wet, Tuesday night's scheduled game against Wrexham may well be postponed, which would deny us our best ticket sales opportunity in the build up to this event.

As we need to understand very quickly, for catering purposes, the number of people who are planning to attend, please could I ask you to let us know if you haven't bought a ticket but are planning to be there, via one of the following channels by tomorrow (Tuesday):-

  • Call the club on 0161 928 1045
  • Contact me by e-mail, ring/text me on 07860 561011 or send me a personal message on the Fans' Forum (Username: Brian Flynn).

Details of the event are below:-

Tottenham Hotspur Reunion Event

TASC is organising a reunion of the teams that played against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup 3rd Round ties in both 1979 & 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 Wrexham game &and can be purchased at the TASC table in the Community Sports Hall between 7.00-7.45pm 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, ring/text me on 07860 561011 or send me a personal message on the Fans' Forum (Username: Brian Flynn).


Following their game last Saturday, the Daily Post reported that "Wrexham suffered a second dramatic finish in the space of seven days, Brett Williams giving Forest Green Rovers a share of the spoils with a 94th minute equaliser on Saturday. That draw followed a 1-1 stalemate at Eastleigh last weekend, Connor Jennings hitting the top of the cross bar with an 88th minute penalty to deny Wrexham all three points.

Saturday’s draw sees the Dragons stay in 12th in the National League... Here Post sport writer Rob Griffiths [says]... Mills doesn't need to bring players... Hudson was indeed the ‘fox in the box’ for the Dragons, firing twice to give them a 2-1 lead... Hudson has often found himself as a scapegoat when things go back for the Dragons but he put in an outstanding performance on Saturday and, even without the brace, was the leading candidate for the sponsors' man of the match award.

It seems strange that a side sitting as low as 12th in the standings, and only on the fringes of forcing their way into the play-offs should be so disappointed after claiming only two points from matches against the league leaders and a team firmly ensconced in the top five. Yet Wrexham will know they have thrown away another four points to add to their tally in their last two outings...

After a hat-trick in midweek for the reserves Kayden Jackson certainly earned his place in the starting XI for the Dragons... The young forward has something you simply cannot teach, pure speed. He has always talked about his willingness to work hard for the cause, and that was clear for all to see in Saturday’s draw with Forest Green...

The performance of referee Ryan Johnson in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Forest Green Rovers was not up to scratch for the fifth tier. Johnson ‘bottled’ the chance to send off Rovers’s Aarran Racine, the centre-half already on a yellow card before crudely hauling down a flying Jackson, and had Racine not already been booked there is no question a yellow card would have been produced... Johnson did send off Sam Wedgbury in injury time, the midfielder walking a tight line throughout for some heavy challenges in the middle of the park before getting his final one completely wrong."

Wrexham add that "'Alty' had a tough Christmas campaign, results and weather wise! Between farcical postponement after postponement of their FA Trophy replay at Leamington, which they eventually played and won, and rearranging league fixtures to cope with this, Altrincham fell into the relegation places in the National League...

Altrincham visited The Racecourse Ground on the 12th of September in a game that The Dragons dominated. Scott Leather put into his own net on 20 minutes via a deflection from Connor Jennings shot. Blaine Hudson's header made it 2-0 at the break, but Altrincham came out swinging for the second half, and Michael Rankine split the defence and smashed the ball past Cameron Belford. Polarity[?] was restored however when James Gray netted in the 58th minute and the game ended 3-1 to Wrexham...

Altrincham come into this fixture occupying 19th place with 31 points having played two less fixtures than Wrexham. Wrexham sit in 12th place... It's tight, Altrincham sit just 3 points above the drop zone but only 4 points away from overtaking Chester who sit in 17th. Unfortunately for the Robins, goal difference isn't on their side, on a differential of -20, conceding 47 goals, only Torquay United (second bottom and on -27) and Kidderminster Harriers (bottom and on -20) can rival those stats".


Above: Michael Rankine gives thanks for his goal at Welling last Saturday, as his team mates (Jake Moult, Jonny Margetts and James Lawrie) gather to congratulate him.


The Chester Chronicle says that "The rescheduled FA Trophy third round tie between FC Halifax Town and Chester FC will now be played on Wednesday (7.45pm). Having been postponed on Saturday because of a waterlogged pitch at the Shay Stadium, the game was due to take place on Tuesday.

However, the clubs have agreed to move the fixture back a further 24 hours to ensure it has the best possible chance of going ahead. The prospects of the match taking place tomorrow were considered bleak because rugby league side Halifax RLFC, who share the ground, played at home on Sunday and heavy rain fell on Monday with more expected on Tuesday.

Drier weather has been forecast for Wednesday so the clubs are more hopeful of the pitch being declared fit, although an inspection is likely given the circumstances surrounding the weekend's postponement... Blues' boss Steve Burr and most his squad were also at the ground when Preston-based referee Michael Salisbury arrived at about 1pm. The official called the game off 10 minutes later having inspected the surface. Overnight rain had left the pitch saturated and it was clear from late morning there was little chance of the tie going ahead."


The FA Trophy Quarter-Final Draw was made on Mondaay, with ties to be played on Saturday, February 27th 2016.
  • Nantwich Town/Stourbridge v Dover Athletic/Guiseley
  • FC Halifax Town/Chester FC v Gateshead
  • Grimsby Town v Woking
  • Sutton United/Bognor Regis Town v Torquay United/Macclesfield Town


In the Worcester News we read that "Pete McKinney takes an in-depth look at Kidderminster Harriers' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Vanarama National League... The 2-0 success was only Kidderminster’s third win of the season and bucked a disastrous losing run of eight straight defeats.

Can Harriers pull off a miracle and somehow produce the greatest of great escapes? The statistics suggest the odds are against them. Harriers are bottom of the Vanarama National League after 29 games, with just 17 points. That’s an average of 0.59 points a match. If that trend continued then they would finish the season with approximately 26 points... If we assume that 45 points will be enough to ensure safety, the difficulty of Kidderminster’s task is clear and intimidating...

The matches in Kidderminster are key; they have nine games left at Aggborough and conceivably they would have to win almost all of those games to give themselves a chance. After Eastleigh tomorrow night, the visitors to Hoo Road are all beatable and include fellow relegation battles Halifax, Chester and Altrincham...

Away from Kidderminster, they have much tougher challenges, including title challengers Cheltenham as well Wrexham and Braintree... Harriers also go to fellow bottom four sides Welling and Torquay in no doubt season defining matches. Kidderminster’s hopes of survival are slim - the bookies have odds of 1/66 and 1/100 of escaping the drop...

The January rebuild seems to have left the squad more settled than it has been for this miserable, erratic campaign. There have been signs of improvement and they will pick up more points but it might be too little too late".

8 February 2016


Alty are due to entertain Wrexham at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday (9th at 7.45pm). This is the first of four successive home matches and a sequence of seven home fixtures in the next nine.

Last Saturday, according to the Daily Post, "Wrexham were denied at the death as Brett Williams struck in the fourth minute of added time to secure a share of the points for National League high flies Forest Green Rovers.

It was hard on the home side, who had seemingly wrapped up the points as they came from behind to take a deserved lead through two Blaine Hudson efforts. Darren Carter headed the league leaders ahead in the first half from a deep corner, before Hudson struck twice in quick succession from two Mark Carrington set pieces...

But Wrexham guilty of not being able to clear their lines in the dying embers of the game and Williams was on hand to fire home from close range to seal the draw...

Referee Ryan Johnson elected not to pull out a second yellow card and send Aarran Racine for an early bath... Racine should have gone, and will know it, so it was a little bit of justice as Blaine Hudson stabbed home from the resulting free kick to put the Dragons ahead...

But it was only after Mark Beck came on and added a physical presence up front that Wrexham looked a little more capable of scoring...

Given how much rain had fallen in the lead up to kick off, it was only down to the state of the pitch, and hard work of the Racecourse groundstaff that this game was able to go ahead...

WREXHAM (5-3-2): Taylor; Vidal (Moke 46), Smith, Hudson, Fyfield, Newton; Heslop, Carrington, Jennings; Jackson, York (Beck 59). Subs: Fowler, Briscoe, Gray".

Meanwhile, "Gary Mills said he did not feel forced into bringing any new recruits into the Dragon... but that money was available should he feel the need to bolster his squad. Mills brought in four players in the January transfer window; Simon Heslop and Louis Briscoe on permanent deals, while Mark Beck joined on loan until the end of the season and Rhys Taylor saw his loan from Newport extended until the summer.

The Dragons saw leading scorer Dominic Vose depart the club on transfer deadline day to join League One outfit Scunthorpe United for an undisclosed figure...

Said Mills, 'We have got a strength in the dressing room, and... sometimes you can’t buy that. That money you are talking about can’t buy that, and that is why my ex-club Leicester are sitting top of the league... Our pure passion for this football club deserved three points' [against FGR]...

Mills added, 'The money is there but, because it is sitting there, it doesn’t mean you have to spend it... So the people upstairs might be pleased to hear I am not going to spend it'".


John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Altrincham's Community Sports Hall will be awash with nostalgia next week when key figures from their halcyon days as FA Cup giantkillers relive two of their most memorable third-round encounters.

Twice Alty ventured south to White Hart Lane, in 1979 and 1995, and, each time, an upset was on the cards as non-League's most feared Cup battlers made light of star-studded Tottenham Hotspur line-ups.

A late Jeff Johnson equaliser reduced the home crowd to stunned silence in '79, and forced a replay Alty lost, while a Tottenham side containing the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham could only breath easy 16 years later after Shaun Constable had a goal controversially disallowed with the score 2-0.

To commemorate those two unforgettable occasions, Alty's supporters club, TASC, have organised a dinner at the Community Sports Hall next Friday (12th), 7.30pm, that will include the chance to quiz names that have gone into Moss Lane folklore. Former manager Tony Sanders, ex-chairman Noel White, midfield hard man and skipper John King, who famously flattened Ossie Ardiles inside the opening minute in '79, and Graham Heathcote have already given their word they will attend, as have Paul France, Ricky Harris and Steve Cross.

'Nostalgia will be very much to the fore, and it promises to be a great night,' said TASC chairman Brian Flynn. 'Apart from the dinner, there will be a Q&A with those involved, and it will be fantastic to be able to relive two major achievements in the club's proud FA Cup history.

'Tottenham had really high-profile players back then, but we really gave them a run for their money. The 1-1 draw in '79 was one of the stand-out results, and if Shaun's goal hadn't been contentiously ruled out in the '95 game, who knows what might have happened?

'There has been a really positive response so far. When I phoned Paul France, we were chatting for half-an-hour, and that's typical of how well received it has been.' Tickets, at £15 each, are still available from the club on 0161 928 1045".


After Saturday's game, Welling United report that "Sahr Kabba came to the rescue of Welling as they claimed a precious point in their quest for survival.

In his pre match interview manager Dean Frost urged his side to start on the front foot but, maybe due to nerves, a youthful Welling side very were tentative and it was Altrincham who were brightest with the away side almost taking the lead but Welling survived a goalmouth scramble... as a shell shocked Welling struggled to compete.

Slowly but surely Welling began to work their way into the game... But back came Altrincham and they went close when [they] hit the crossbar from close range...

Just before the hour mark though Altrincham took the lead and it was a howler from a Wings perspective. A long ball out of defence should have been a routine clearance for Rodak but he and covering defender Michael Chambers both hesitated allowing Rankine to nip in and touch the ball past a stranded Rodak and he tapped into an empty net.

It almost got worst but this time Rodak atoned for his error with a super save to deny Rankine... With the game seemingly drifting away from Welling and the game in the 89th minute. The Wings best move of the game resulted in them grabbing the crucial equaliser. Michael Bakare’ played a lovely weighted ball to Luke Wanadio whose goal bound shot was blocked on the line only for Sahr Kabba to react quickest and slam the ball home for an unlikely equaliser.

It was a goal that felt like a winner for The Wings. Whilst it leaves Welling with a lot of work still to do, there task would have been a lot, lot harder witout Kabba’s last minute strike".


Next Sunday (14th) Altrincham FC Youth are scheduled to have a home match against Curzon Ashton.

The next scheduled fixtures for Altincham FC Ladies are...

  • 14/02/16 v Merseyrail Bootle (away)
  • 21/02/16 v Warrington Wolverines (home)
  • 28/02/16 v Winsford (away)

For the Altrincham FC Football Careers, Scholarship & Education Programme team, the next scheduled games are...

  • 10/02/16 v MMU (home)
  • 24/02/16 Farsley Celtic (away)


Sam Wedgbury was sent off for FGR last Saturday


Dover Athletic "have moved to strengthen the backroom setup at Crabble with the appointment of former Welling United manager Loui Fazakerley as a coach.

31-year-old Fazakerley, until last month, had been in charge of the Park View Road side... and has now been recruited as part of Chris Kinnear’s backroom staff, as a coach, with a main focus on fitness.

Fazakerley said, 'I am very happy to join Dover as fitness coach as it keeps me involved in the game at the same level, albeit in a different role... I can see why the team is doing so well this season as Chris and Jake have put together a great group of lads. Everyone seems to get on well and they all work their socks off. There’s a great atmosphere around the place too...

With my background in sports performance I really think I can come in and make some improvements to the physical performance of the players".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "FC Halifax Town have announced the signing of 26-year-old striker Waide Fairhurst on non-ontract basis

The Sheffield-born frontman started his career at Doncaster Lovers and had loans spells at Shrewsbury Town, Southend United and Hereford United. He joined Macclesfield Town in the summer of 2011 and was at Moss Rose for two seasons before joining Lincoln City ahead of the 2013/14 season.

Fairhurst returned to the Silkmen initially on loan in January 2014 before making his move at the end of the season and joined Torquay United last summer, but left them by mutual consent at the end of January".

In its weekly review the National League reports that "Cheltenham Town returned to the top of the table on Saturday after a 2-1 win at the Furness Building Society Stadium against Barrow AFC, while Forest Green Rovers were held to a 2-2 draw at Wrexham...

A drama-filled game at the Racecourse Ground saw Forest Green rescue a late point against Wrexham...

Tranmere Rovers earned a 1-0 win against Southport at Prenton Park. James Norwood’s second half goal was enough to secure the three points... Gary Brabin’s side have now won six of their last seven games.

Lincoln City kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a comfortable victory over Eastleigh... Matt Rhead and new strike partner Jack Muldoon combined to give City the lead after 22 minutes... On-loan James Caton scored number two 5 minutes before the break when he blasted home from 25 yards.

Then, on the stroke of half-time, Rhead returned the favour by setting up Muldoon for the third...

Kidderminster Harriers gave their faint hopes of avoiding relegation as boost with a crucial victory over fellow strugglers Boreham Wood to bring an end to their eight-game losing streak. Harriers took the lead in the 21st minute against the run of play".

At Barrow "we learn that "After careful consideration and due process, Barrow’s Board of Directors and Manager Paul Cox have agreed to completely reconfigure the playing support staff both in terms of structure and personnel.

This means that First Team Coach [and ex-Alty winger] Alex Meechan, Sports Therapist Dan Anderton and Strength and Conditioning Coach Paddy Maher have left the club with immediate effect.

The club will announce Paul Cox’s new backroom staff in the next day or two. The club would like to place on record their thanks to Meechan, who has been at Holker Street since the summer of 2013".

In the Western Morning News we learn that "A weekend of waterlogged frustration, their FA Trophy third-round tie at home to Macclesfield Town has been rearranged for Tuesday night, may just have worked out well for Torquay United.

Not only did Saturday’s postponement give Torquay player-manager Kevin Nicholson a few extra days to get more players fit for the Trophy tie at the Launa Windows Stadium, but National League results elsewhere did the Gulls’ hopes of avoiding relegation little harm... The gap between Torquay and safety remains at ten points.

The Gulls now have a game in hand on most of their rivals in distress. They still have to transform their current form to have a chance of mounting a 'great escape', which will centre on a make-or-break month starting with Chester’s visit to Plainmoor this coming Saturday...

If the third-round game had gone ahead as scheduled, Nicholson would have been without five cup-tied players, including last week’s signing, former Millwall prospect John-Prince Rylah. Rylah, Shaun Harrad, Toby Ajala, Nathan Blissett and Sam Chaney are all still ineligible, but Nicholson would have been pushed to fill out a 16-man squad because of fitness worries over himself (ankle), right-back Durrell Berry (shoulder) and midfielder Aman Verma.

Verma spent last week recovering from a worrying collapse the night before the 2-1 league defeat at Tranmere Rovers nine days ago. Verma was examined in hospital and then released after feeling unwell and fainting... With four more days to recover, he is expected to be available tomorrow.

United officials are keeping everything crossed that the weather improves enough to allow the Trophy tie to go ahead. The Plainmoor pitch has seen three postponements already this season and, as things stand, it is due to stage six matches in the next 26 days. That is a demanding enough schedule at the best of times."

7 February 2016


Altrincham allowed two points to slip by conceding a last-minute equalizer at Welling...

Match report here

Right: Marcus Holness, on loan from Tranmere Rovers, has slotted in well to the Altrincham backline. Here he marks Welling's Luke Wanadio.

After the game, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper "It's not a nice feeling to concede so late on but we can only blame ourselves. We should have finished the game off but we really lacked a cutting edge at times".


Saturday 6 February, Vanarama National League
  • Barrow 1-2 Cheltenham Town
  • Boreham Wood 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Lincoln City 3-0 Eastleigh
  • Tranmere Rovers 1-0 Southport
  • Welling United 1-1 Altrincham
  • Wrexham 2-2 Forest Green Rovers

Saturday 6 February, FA Trophy Round 3

  • Torquay United P-P Macclesfield Town
  • Grimsby Town 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville
  • Gateshead 1-0 AFC Fylde
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Chester
  • Woking 1-0 Oxford City
  • Dover Athletic 2-2 Guiseley AFC
  • Sutton United 0-0 Bognor Regis Town
  • Nantwich Town P-P Stourbridge

6 February 2016


With four home league matches having been postponed this season at the J. Davidson Stadium, the Club is grateful to Lancashire County Cricket Club for the loan of some pitch covers to protect the most vulnerable areas of the playing surface at Moss Lane. Above, left, we see groundsman Neil Brown (centre) overseeing the unpacking of the covers, with (from left to right) Neil Tolson, Phil Taylor, Peter Foster, Judy Henson, Alan Ainsley and Karen Rowley. The right-hand picture shows the covers after they had been applied to the pitch at the Golf Road End on the Popular Side.


Mike Garnett provides the historical record between Altrincham and Welling United,

  • At Home: P13-W6-D3-L4-F17-A12
  • Away: P14-W4-D7-L3-F14-A14
  • All: P27-W10-D10-L7-F31-A26

Welling United report that manager "Dean Frost will be looking for his Wings team to beat Altrincham on Saturday at Park View Road as he takes charge of the team for the first time on home ground.

Frost was keen to turn Park View Road into the fortress it was under Jamie Day, when Frost and his assistant Barry Ashby were Day’s back room team.

The Wings' manager said, after Tuesday’s loss at Braintree, that he is looking for the Wings to press hard and be a ratty team and give the opposition no time to settle at PVR [Park View Road]. He also said his team have to learn fast over the next two or three matches to turn performances into wins.

The Wings failed to overcome a physical and savvy Braintree side on Tuesday and they will face a similar threat on Saturday through Altrincham’s target man Michael Rankine (right) who is often the target for Alty as they try to move up the pitch and play from there.

The Wings could have Ade Yusuff available up front after he was not selected on Tuesday, after his loan move from Dagenham, to give him a few more days to be over an injury.

If you are coming on Saturday, get behind the team and lets make PVR a fortress again and inspire the players to a vital 3 points, kick off is 3:00pm".


As reported on below, George Bowerman, who is on loan from Altrincham to AFC Telford United, is going on trial with Orlando in the USA. As things stand he will return from that trial to complete his loan at Telford. He therefore remains an Altrincham player at the present time.


From NL Pitchero, we learn that "Guiseley AFC have confirmed that winger Wayne Brooksby has left Nethermoor by mutual consent and has re-signed for North Ferriby United. Brooksby joined the Lions in the summer of 2012 and formed a key part of the Guiseley squads under both Steve Kittrick and Mark Bower.

The 25-year-old missed the North play-off final defeat to Altrincham due to a broken jaw but was part of the side eventually promoted to the National League last season. Brooksby struggled for game-time this term following an injury in October and was loaned out to former club North Ferriby for a month in November".

The National League reports that "The New Year has seen plenty of impressive performances and undefeated starts in 2016 and Vanarama are pleased to announce the winners for Manager and Player of the Month.

The Vanarama National League Manager of the Month award for January goes to Ady Pennock of Forest Green Rovers...

The Vanarama National League Player of the Month for January goes to Danny Wright of Cheltenham Town".

From The National League we learn that "Boreham Wood have announced the signing of our influential central midfield player Conor Clifford on a contract until the end of the 2016/17 season. Clifford has a fantastic pedigree, having started his career at Chelsea before loan spells at Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Yeovil Town, Portsmouth and Crawley Town.

When he left Chelsea he joined Southend United and played thirty-six games before being loaned out to Barnet, where he played a big part in winning the National League title.

Manager Luke Garrard said, 'Conor is a big part of my changing room and my future plans. We have ambitions at this club to not only move up the table this season but to get ourselves into a position where success becomes an expectation and not a dream. For that to happen, I first have to sign players with that mindset and Conor gives me that in abundance. I have no thoughts on relegation with this squad and I’m putting building blocks in place already for next season.'

Director of football Ian Allinson said, 'The chairman has done great for us to get this bit of business over the line and, I must say, with the minimum of fuss. Trust me when I say that Conor is as good as any in this division and he can certainly play higher. We are developing all the time as a club, as a squad and as a team. This signing tells our dressing room and our supporters that, of course, we need to concentrate on safety in the next seventeen games but we intend to push on again in the summer, having learnt loads this season about the level'".

At the division's most northerly club, "Former Hartlepool United defender Darren Holden has signed for Gateshead. The 22-year-old was one of six players released by Pools manager Ronnie Moore at the end of last season... But Holden [wasted] no time securing a new club, joining Ross County on a two-year deal. Holden made eleven appearances for Pools in 2014/15 but barely featured once Moore took charge. He made a total of sixty appearances for Pools.

However, he has made only a handful of League Cup appearances for County`s first-team this season, and has been mainly featuring in their under-21 side."

Last season the final fixtures in the division kicked off at 5.15pm to accommodate television coverage by BT Sport and, this season those matches will start a quarter of an hour later as we learn that "ALL Vanarama National League matches on Saturday, 30th April 2016 (the final day’s fixture programme) will kick-off at 17.30hrs, enabling the selection of LIVE coverage of a match or matches on BT Sport as part of the climax to the regular season.

Vanarama National North and Vanarama National South matches are not affected and will all kick-off as scheduled, at 15.00hrs."

5 February 2016


The Express & Star reports that "George Bowerman could be lining up alongside Kaka after being offered a trial in the MLS with Orlando City. The Sedgley-born 24-year-old had joined AFC Telford on loan from Altrincham less than a fortnight ago and made one substitute appearance. But he has already moved on after getting an offer from the Florida-based club, who currently have Brazilian World Cup winner Kaka on their books.

'To be fair to George, this was an opportunity he could not turn down,' said Bucks' assistant boss Larry Chambers. 'We spoke to him, to his agent and both parties agreed for him to go. This is something which could completely transform his lifestyle'.

Bowerman came through the youth academy at Walsall and made his debut for the club... in August 2011. The forward scored 11 times for the Saddlers in 59 appearances, although just 15 of them were starts. But he was released from the Banks’s Stadium in May, 2013, after then-boss Dean Smith said he felt Bowerman had lost his way.

Spells at Woking and Accrington Stanley followed and he had a loan spell with Stourbridge in the Evo-Stik Premier last season. A move to Vanarama Premier side Altrincham followed in July last year and he started well with four goals before the end of August. But he netted just once after that and was allowed to drop down a division with the Bucks".

George has made 15 (+15) appearances for Altrincham this season, scoring four times.


Following Thursday training, manager Lee Sinnott confirmed that winger Nicky Clee has successfully had his operation on his ruptured adductor and, like Shaun Densmore, is now recuperating from undergoing the surgeon's knife. Fellow injury victim, Luca Havern, is due to see his specialist again as he recovers from his broken nose.

With the one-month loan period of Josh Ginnelly ending next week and that of Dylan Mottley-Henry due to finish a week later, the club's attention now turns towards discussions over the continuation or otherwise of their initial loans from their parent clubs, Burnley and Bradford City.


For the second season running, Altrincham travel to Welling United soon after a new managerial appointment at the Kent club. The referee on Saturday is Mr C Hicks who officiated at the Dover Athletic v Altrincham game earlier this season.

On the topic of Welling the NL Paper says "I’m still a risk, admits new Welling United boss Dean Frost. Welling United have replaced a manager with no managerial experience for another and new boss Dean Frost accepts there’s a risk element involved for the troubled Wings.

The Kent club sacked long-serving Loui Fazakerley last Monday with the club without a win since mid-October and desperately struggling for form... But while the likes of FC Halifax have appointed experienced Jim Harvey and Southport went for former NLP Manager of the Year Dino Maamria with great success, Welling have opted for the relatively unheard of Frost. Although a well-respected coach, the 38-year-old is, like his predecessor, lacking in dug-out experience.

Fazakerley may not have worked but untried Jamie Day before him certainly did. Frost believes his appointment can have a similar outcome to that of the now Forest Green number two and his first challenge is getting shot- shy Welling firing again. The Wings have scored just 24 National League goals, with only National League North AFC Telford and Southern League strugglers Bideford scoring fewer times in Non-League’s top three tiers...

'I have an affiliation for the place', added Frost, who has unveiled Barry Ashby as his number two. 'I was a fan in the 80s before going on to play for Welling but it’s not an emotional thing. I’m here to do a job and that’s to keep the club up. Some people will see my lack of managerial experience as a little risky, and maybe it is, but I feel I have earned the right. Who’s to say someone who has been managing at a high level for years would do any better?'

Wings' owner Barry Hobbins said, 'Loui has been a fantastic servant but we felt we had to make a change to give ourselves the best chance of staying up'".


Altrincham are away at Welling United on Saturday 6th February. TASC is running a supporters' (mini-)coach, operated by Haytons with two drivers, to the game. Details of times and fares are here. To book, please ring the club during normal office hours on 0161 928-1045.


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".


After Wednesday's game Crewe Alexandra report that their "Under 21 side booked a second round Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Stockport County after defeating Altrincham with ease at Gresty Road. It was a dominant display by Alex Morris's side, with Joe Howell and Andre Brown notching in the first half before Charlie Kirk, James Baillie and a Callum Saunders brace completing [sic] the rout during the second period..."


We learn from NL Pitchero that "AFC Fylde have announced the appointment of Alex Hay as chief scout. Hay will oversee the introduction of a complete scouting network at the club, from watching games and producing match reports on opposition teams to highlighting potential targets for recruitment into the first-team.

The 34-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the role and is already well-known to manager Dave Challinor. Hay began his scouting career with Chester before moving into a full time role with Tranmere Rovers. On leaving Tranmere, he worked for Eastleigh in the National League and began this season as chief scout at fellow National League North club Stockport County."

The above does not mention that Hay was a first-team player with Tranmere Rovers and spent a period on loan with Altrincham.


Fourteenth-placed Bromley report that "The board of Bromley FC have agreed to part company with their manager Mark Goldberg. Club Chairman, Jerry Dolke, said, 'This is not a decision that has been taken lightly. The Club has new investors who have higher expectations than current performances on the pitch are showing'.

Mark has been the most successful manager in the club's history, and his record speaks for itself. Notable achievements include being promoted from the Ryman Premier Division and winning the Conference South Championship last year allowing the Club to compete at its highest ever level. In addition, Mark led Bromley FC to two Kent Senior Cup titles and a London Senior Cup. During Mark’s tenure the Club reached the First Round of the FA Cup on five separate occasions and produced a number of players that progressed on to play in the Football League.

Mark’s involvement and contribution span almost 30 years. From Bromley Reserve team player-manager in the late 80s, to starting the first Bromley FC youth team at Under-9 level, taking them all the way through to under-18 level and contributing to the growth of the Bromley FC Junior and Youth section to over 30 teams.

Mark Goldberg said, 'I am disappointed that the Board feel a change is required, as I believe we are performing to a realistic expectation, considering all circumstances. My belief and ambition have never waivered, however football is all about opinions and a decision has been made. As a patron of Bromley FC I will continue to support the club in every way I can.'

Assistant Manager Neil Smith has been appointed Interim First-Team Manager.

Jerry Dolke concluded, 'We would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank Mark for his professionalism and exemplary service to the Club and we hope to see Mark around the club at games and potentially involved with the Board in some capacity in the future. We will give Neil all the support we can moving forward. Now is not the time to speculate about a full-time appointment'.

The final word comes from Mark Goldberg, 'I am pleased that Neil Smith has the opportunity to take on the role and he has my full support and I thank everyone involved with me during my time at the club for the great team effort that has seen us grow from a Ryman League to a National League club.'

No fewer than ELEVEN National League clubs have now changed their manager this season, in some cases, more than once!

NL Pitchero tells us that "Torquay United have secured the services of pacey wide-man or striker John-Prince Rylah on a non-contract basis.

The teenager came through the ranks at Millwall, where his skill and attacking flair marked him out as one to watch and also saw him spend time on trial at AFC Bournemouth. He has also gained experience with Walton Casuals and, most recently, Chatham Town... As well as playing out wide, he can also feature in a more central attacking role if required."

Following yesterday's revelation that Torquay were looking at a possible new stadium, the Torquay Herald Express adds that "United are in talks with a major American development company and Plainmoor landlords Torbay Council over an ambitious new stadium scheme in the Barton area of the town...

The new ground, which could be called the Riviera Stadium, will be on part of a 42-acre site between the Willows retail and residential area and Torbay Crematorium".

The Southport Visiter says that "Southport manager Dino Maamria is fully focused on getting a win at Tranmere for the fans, amid some speculation that Stevenage may want the Sandgrounders’ boss as their new manager. Maamria has previously been a coach and an assistant manager at the Hertfordshire club, where he also made 95 appearances as a player.

Some rumour had arisen that Stevenage might be vying for his services after the sacking of their manager Teddy Sheringham on Monday. However, whilst Maamria admitted... 'Any manager or any players who is doing well is always going to get linked with jobs or with moves, it’s part and parcel of football. I’m not surprised by the link to Stevenage because I’ve been a big part of that football club, a big part in their journey taking them to the top six in League One.

But my focus is always on Southport Football Club and my focus is on the next game on Saturday. That’s all I think about and I’ll make sure that it’s what my players will be thinking about as well'".

Up on Tyneside, "Defender Nathan Buddle has cancelled his contract at Gateshead by mutual consent. The 22-year-old has spent the last month on loan at former club Blyth Spartans, having joined the Heed from Carlisle United last summer. Buddle made 16 appearances for the Tynesiders in all competitions, scoring three goals".

In the Daily Post we learn that "Javan Vidal said he was buzzing to be back for Wrexham, even if he did need the odd breather in his comeback match,and believes the Dragons have more than enough quality within their ranks to make up for the loss of Dominic Vose.

Leading scorer Vose departed the Dragons late on transfer deadline day after penning a two-and-a-half year deal at League One outfit Scunthorpe United.

Vidal, who made his comeback after a three-month absence through injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at high flying Eastleigh, admits... 'Of course it (losing Vose) will be a big blow,' said Vidal... 'There is more than enough quality in the squad to make up for him. Saturday (at Eastleigh) we were without him as well, and I think we coped admirably without him in the side'".

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Steve Burr accepts the criticism being levelled at him and his team as the Chester FC manager insists he’s working harder than ever to turn things around. Five league games without a win and two from the last 12 leaves the Blues facing up to the prospect of a relegation battle.

With the division’s bottom two, Torquay United and Kidderminster Harriers, next up in the league Burr’s side have the chance to relieve much of the pressure... A growing number of supporters are getting restless and, ahead of an FA Trophy trip to FC Halifax Town on Saturday...

'It’s disappointing for everyone because whatever is said we’ve lost another game of the football, that’s the crux of it,' said Burr, whose team went down 2-0 at Braintree Town last weekend... 'Mistakes are costing us far too often and that was the case against Braintree. We work every week on defending corners and all of the players know how we are going to set up. We knew with the pitch at Braintree there wasn’t going to be much football played and we said it would come down to set-pieces.

'We can give the players instructions and tell them what to do but the responsibility is with them to do their jobs once they are on the pitch and, at the momen,t we are making it very difficult for ourselves. I brought the players to the club and I’ll take responsibility for that because the results have not been what I expect... I can change personnel, and I think everyone’s had a chance, and tactics but I see what the players are capable of in training every week and for whatever reason we’re not taking that into the Saturday.

'Sometimes things blow up on a Saturday after a game so we had a meeting with the players on Monday when we went through things because I’m as disappointed as anyone... Jon (McCarthy) and I will keep lifting them and keep working hard in training until we get it right'".

The Worcester News states that a "Defiant Colin Gordon will remain in charge of Kidderminster Harriers’ team affairs until the end of the season while the club continues it search for a new head coach.

Fans are disgruntled with the chief executive’s second spell as caretaker boss. The club’s majority shareholder has yet to taste victory, overseeing two 1-0 defeats since succeeding Dave Hockaday. There were encouraging signs in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Aldershot, although it could not prevent an eighth straight reverse...

'We need to make sure the new head coach is the right person for the job, that he will be at the club for five years not five months', said Gordon. 'So I am happy to be in charge until the end of the season and take the flak from the fans. I hear the clamour to get a new man in now but this is an important appointment and we need to get it right. We are looking at a wide range of people and many of them are still in work. It will be easier to employ the person we want when their task is done and it makes sense to join in the summer when we know what division we’ll be playing in.'”

Gordon confirmed former Coventry, Watford and Derby midfielder John Eustace had visited the club several times, but the 36-year-old hopes to keep on playing... 'John is someone I used to represent at Key Sports Management,' commented the chief executive... 'I think there would be a very long queue of clubs wanting his services as a player and, if we signed him, it would be like winning the lottery!'

Meanwhile, Harriers bolstered their forward options with the signings of Evan Garnett and Harry White. Garnett has scored 19 goals for Belper Town... and has joined until the end of the season. White has signed on a month’s loan from Barnsley after a spell at Gloucester City.

'Harry is someone I wanted to sign from the start of the season,' said Gordon. 'We kept an eye on him when he joined Barnsley in the summer and I'm good friends with their chairman. Kevin Phillips also worked with him at Gloucester and he’s filled out since then. He’s a 6ft 2ins target man and can also bring others into play. Evan has a lot of potential. Gary Rowett had him at Burton and gave him a glowing reference. He’s had some health problems but has overcome them and he’s one for the future...

Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to do it section by section. We passed the ball the best we have done all season in the first half against Aldershot. But there’s room for improvement, we have to be more creative and have better movement in the box and hopefully Harry can help with that'".

4 February 2016


A young Altrincham side went down 6-0 to a Crewe Alexandra under-21 side in Wednesday evening's Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Gresty Road.

Match report here.

The Altrincham line-up (pictured above) was 1 Callum Williams, 2. David Brown, 3. Tom Westall, 4. Lawrence Taylor, 5. Tom Clarke, 6. Marcus Dibble, 7. Adam Saville, 8. Ryan Barry (capt), 9. Joel Swift, 10 Rhain Davis, 11. Harry Cain. Subs: 12. Jossef Faux, 14. Will Foster, 15. Dom Newton, 17. Boris Melingui, GK Daniel Havern.


According to the BBC "Torquay United are in talks about moving to a new stadium on the outskirts of the town. The club have been at their current Plainmoor home, which is owned by Torbay Council, for 105 years, but have been approached by an American firm about building a new ground.

Under the deal, the developers would pay for the stadium in exchange for council land to build housing on. The new ground would have a synthetic 4G pitch and a capacity of 6,000.

'The developers have met the council, it's at an early stage and it depends on what land can be built on', Torquay chairman David Phillips told BBC Sport. 'The land for housing would be wherever is available, the council have to build 10,000 houses in the next 20 years'.

Torquay opened a new stand at Plainmoor in 2012 and have agreed to share their ground with National League South side Truro City next season while the Cornish club builds a new stadium...

The planned site for the new stadium would be a 42-acre piece of land in the Barton area of Torquay which has already been earmarked for sport. It is unlikely that Plainmoor would be redeveloped for housing as the land it occupies is deemed to be a community asset for sport.

'We could be moving within 18 months or two years, the developers feel the building of the stadium would take no more than six months,' added Phillips.

Torquay manager Kevin Nicholson[said]... 'It would be a massive step forward for the club. Having your own new stadium, you only have to look at Shrewsbury Town, where they dropped to and where they are now and how their new stadium has played a part in that. I think the potential there is huge, it really would be a massive thing for the football club's long-term future'".

From the BBC we learn that "Wrexham boss Gary Mills says Dominic Vose should be 'grateful' to the club following his move to Scunthorpe United. Vose, 22, says he left because he and the club were on their 'last legs'.

Mills was disappointed with Vose's comments but insists he had no problem with the midfielder. 'I'm pleased he's now a league player. But he should be grateful for having that opportunity because of what he's done at Wrexham', he said. 'I haven't spoken with Dominic since he signed for Scunthorpe. But it would be nice to feel Dominic might pick up the phone and say "I've enjoyed working with you gaffer and thanks for helping me get to where I am now"'

Vose signed a two-and-a-half year deal with League One side Scunthorpe United on deadline day. Grimsby Town also wanted to sign Vose, who 'didn't see the point' of joining a fellow National League side and rejected the offer to speak with the Mariners. 'Accepting a bid from a rival club shows your intent', Vose said of his decision to leave Wrexham."

Also from the BBC we learn that "Lincoln have signed teenager George Maris on loan from Barnsley for the rest of the season. Maris, 19, who can play up front or as an attacking midfielder, is contracted to play for the Imps until the National League season ends on 30 April.

The academy product, who has made four previous first team appearances, has twice previously been out on loan. He played nine games for Nuneaton last season and had a month earlier this term at Guiseley, playing seven times. He becomes the second Barnsley player to go out on loan to a National League side on deadline day, following striker Harry White's move to bottom club Kidderminster Harriers... Lincoln last week signed winger James Caton on loan from League One side Shrewsbury Town until the end of the season."

In the Chester Chronicle we read that "Kane Richards has returned to Chester FC from Gainsborough Trinity while manager Steve Burr revealed a potential deadline day signing fell through.

The Blues lined up a loan switch for an experienced Football League forward but, despite looking like it could happen, the move collapsed at about 7pm on Monday. Burr... could look to add to his squad again when the emergency loan window opens on Tuesday.

'I was trying to get someone in and at one point I thought we had a deal sorted bar the paperwork,' said Burr. 'We were looking at a forward with a Football League club and it was close but at about 7pm there was a hiccup and it fell down, which was disappointing. The loan window opens in a week's time so we might be able to do something but we'll have a look at that next week.'

Chester have welcomed back Richards following the end of his temporary spell with Gainsborough. The 21-year-old, signed from Ilkeston in December 2014... has spent the past month at Northolme".

The Braintree & Witham Times says that manager "Danny Cowley was full of praise for his Braintree Town players as they passed another Vanarama National League test 'with flying colours'.

The Iron manager was delighted to see his team keep a 15th clean sheet of the season and it is now seven games since they conceded a goal at home in the league after their 1-0 win against Welling United. However, they had to do it the hard way this time.

After Dan Sparkes had given the hosts the lead in the ninth minute, the sending off of Sean Marks meant almost an hour of the game was played with ten men, but there was a resolute defensive display that left Cowley feeling very contented.

He said, 'It was a fantastic win as lot of the variables went against and to come out with a 1-0 win was very good. We went down to ten men in that first half and I thought the players were fantastic. The effort and the commitment that they showed was excellent. If you want to become a successful team, you have to overcome many trials and tribulations as the season unfolds and I thought we passed the test with flying colours... Credit to the players as we’ve had five or six games in a short space of time. The last two of them had been on a heavy pitch so their fitness levels were excellent to deal with that'".

NL Pitchero reports that "Twenty-four-year-old winger Matthew Whichelow has joined Oxford City on loan from Boreham Wood until the end of the season. Whichelow has recently been on load with City`s league rivals Chelmsford City. He gained experience at several Football League clubs including Accrington Stanley, Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City, prior to joining Wood, having started his career at Watford in their academy."

3 February 2016


Alty travel to Gresty Road for a Cheshire Senior Cup tie on Wednesday evening...

You can follow this fixture via this website's minute by minute text updates by clicking on the icon below. Alternatively, Radio Robins' coverage of the game is outlined below as well.

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Wednesday night's Cheshire Senior Cup 2nd Round game at The Alexandra Stadium.

Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at

The commentary team is Paul Salt and Alex Sarwar, with Ian Wilkinson as match summariser".


Tuesday, 2 February, Vanarama National League
  • Barrow 0-0 Gateshead
  • Braintree Town 1-0 Welling United
  • Eastleigh P-P Bromley

Wednesday, 2 February, Cheshire Senior Cup

  • Crewe Alexandra v Altrincham


John Edwards, joint Press Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Altrincham's Community Sports Hall will be awash with nostalgia next week when key figures from their halcyon days as FA Cup giantkillers relive two of their most memorable third-round encounters.

Twice Alty ventured south to White Hart Lane, in 1979 and 1995, and, each time, an upset was on the cards as non-League's most feared Cup battlers made light of star-studded Tottenham Hotspur line-ups.

A late Jeff Johnson equaliser reduced the home crowd to stunned silence in '79, and forced a replay Alty lost, while a Tottenham side containing the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham could only breath easy 16 years later after Shaun Constable had a goal controversially disallowed with the score 2-0.

To commemorate those two unforgettable occasions, Alty's supporters club, TASC, have organised a dinner at the Community Sports Hall next Friday (12th), 7.30pm, that will include the chance to quiz names that have gone into Moss Lane folklore. Former manager Tony Sanders, ex-chairman Noel White, midfield hard man and skipper John King, who famously flattened Ossie Ardiles inside the opening minute in '79, and Graham Heathcote have already given their word they will attend, as have Paul France, Ricky Harris and Steve Cross.

'Nostalgia will be very much to the fore, and it promises to be a great night,' said TASC chairman Brian Flynn. 'Apart from the dinner, there will be a Q&A with those involved, and it will be fantastic to be able to relive two major achievements in the club's proud FA Cup history.

'Tottenham had really high-profile players back then, but we really gave them a run for their money. The 1-1 draw in '79 was one of the stand-out results, and if Shaun's goal hadn't been contentiously ruled out in the '95 game, who knows what might have happened?

'There has been a really positive response so far. When I phoned Paul France, we were chatting for half-an-hour, and that's typical of how well received it has been.' Tickets, at £15 each, are still available from the club on 0161 928 1045".


In Hampshire, the Daily Echo reports that "It is the ambitious multi-million-pound masterplan aiming to catapult a rapidly growing Hampshire non-league football club into the big time. Not so long ago, Eastleigh FC’s home had no more than a clubhouse and a single covered stand for diehard fans to cheer on their beloved team.

Now the Daily Echo can reveal that club is boosting its march towards the Football League by launching a bid of up to £10 million for a multi-purpose, 9,000-seater stadium, nearly doubling its current capacity and creating scores of jobs.

The flagship plan comes just weeks after the National League team’s heroic FA Cup run climaxed with a clash with mighty Championship team Bolton Wanderers, in what was the biggest match ever held at the Silverlake Stadium.

Now business leaders and politicians have hailed the plans a 'fantastic' project which will put the town firmly on the map in the footballing world. The club, which has celebrated four promotions in 11 years, is already close to fulfilling the criteria for promotion to League Two, its capacity increased to 5,000-plus with last year’s addition of the 2,290-seat Mackoy Community Stand.

It hosted a stadium-record 5,025 for the recent FA Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers, but the long-term vision is to be able to double that.

Now chief executive Mark Jewell has confirmed the club is preparing a planning application for further expansion and said, 'We just need to make a few tweaks to have a stadium ready for the Football League, the main job being to improve the quality of the floodlights. But having a stadium that will be used by the community all year, not just on matchdays, is the long-term objective'.

Eastleigh were asked to submit a full-scale planning application by Eastleigh Borough Council after applying for a new, £3 million main stand. Mr Jewell added, 'The council have been very helpful but, now they’ve seen how serious we are about making the Football League, we need to provide them with our vision of where we want to be...

'What we’re looking for is facilities to enhance what we can offer the community as well as increase match-day revenue. We don’t want everyone to expect the Etihad [home of Manchester City FC] and are aiming at a cost of £5 million, but that may well rise.'

Eastleigh’s plans are currently being drawn up by designers, who have been given a generic image of a 9,000-capacity stadium to work to, believed to be Slovakian outfit FC VSS Košice’s Lokomotíva Stadium. 'It will be roughly in keeping with that model and gives us a general idea of how it could look but that’s a few years down the line', said Jewell...

Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald has already pumped more than £3 million into the club since taking over in December 2011 and will be funding the new stadium out of his own pocket. He is thought to have broken the club-record fee of £18,000 to sign defender Luke Coulson last week and plans a piecemeal approach to the stadium’s development to save ground-sharing costs.

Last April, Oxfordshire businessman Donald told the Daily Echo, 'When I said, three years ago, that I wanted to take us into the Football League and build them a stand, the fans must have been saying, "Yeah, whatever. Why does this chap from outside the area want to do this?" But I’ve put my money where my mouth is and we’ve done remarkably well to turn round a Conference South club who were struggling to stay in the league, a club that had had one budget cut already and were probably going for another.

'The club now runs on a profit, although bigger gates have also helped, but the sponsorship is at such a level now that my personal contribution can stop'.

Donald’s company, Bridle Insurance, is Eastleigh’s main sponsor and he also has a ten per cent stake in Oxford United. His vision for a stadium that enables the club to be self-sustaining at a higher level is not unlike what Rod Bransgrove has achieved down the road at Hampshire Cricket’s Ageas Bowl.

'It’s absolutely like the Ageas Bowl and we hope the local authority take the same view,' said Jewell... 'We don’t want to move, this is our historical home. It doesn’t have to be all-seater. A core of our support likes to stand so we’ll be looking for a mixture'...

Eastleigh currently... average crowds of 1,800-plus this season... and their catchment will also be boosted by the new housing development at North Stoneham Park...Says Jewell, 'The North Stoneham Park development involves the provision of sports facilities to replace the playing fields'...

The North Stoneham Park development will swallow up the home of AFC Stoneham of the Sydenhams Wessex League, a level Eastleigh were playing at just 13 years ago. But AFC Stoneham are due to be rehomed".

NL Pitchero has a list of "Signings made by National League clubs during the January Transfer Window". In summary...

  • Aldershot Town. 2 loanees
  • Altrincham. 4 loanees
  • Barrow AFC. 2 loanees and one signing Jordan Williams from Northwich Victoria.
  • Boreham Wood. 3 loanees, one dual registration and one signing, Jordan Chiedozie from Cambridge Utd
  • Braintree Town. 2 loanees
  • Bromley. 1 signing, Adam Coombes from Notts Co
  • Cheltenham Town. 2 loanees and one signing Dan Holman from Colchester United
  • Chester FC. 3 loanees and 3 signings, James Alabi from Ipswich Town, Steven Hewitt from Burnley and Tony Thompson from Morecambe
  • Dover Athletic. 2 signings, Harry Crawford from St Albans City and Tyrone Marsh from Torquay
  • Eastleigh. 3 signings. Luke Coulson from Oxford City, Kaid Mohamed from Bath City and Michael Poke from Portsmouth
  • FC Halifax Town. 3 loans and 1 singing Dino Fazlic from Kidderminster Harriers
  • Forest Green Rovers. 1 loanee plus 4 signings, Ben Jefford from Welling Utd, Anthony Jeffrey from Boreham Wood, Kieffer Moore from Viking FK (Norway) and Brett Williams from Stevenage
  • Gateshead. 4 loanees.
  • Grimsby Town. 2 loanees and 1 signing, Jon Nolan from Lincoln City
  • Guiseley. 4 loanees.
  • Kidderminster Harriers. 3 loanees and 3 signings, namely Ousmane Fane from Lyn FK (Norway), Arthur Gnahoua from Macclesfield Town and Keith Lowe from York City.
  • Lincoln City. 4 loanees and one signing, Jamie McCombe of Stevenage
  • Macclesfield Town. 5 loans and 2 signings, Chris Chantler from Kilmarnock and Reece Styche from Kidderminster
  • Southport. 3 loanees.
  • Torquay United. 4 loanees and 5 signings, who are Toby Ajala from Dover Athletic, Iffy Allen from Yeovil, Nathan Blissett from Bristol Rovers, Shaun Harrad from Worcester City and Danny Racchi from Tamworth
  • Tranmere Rovers. 3 loanees and one signing, Jack Mackreth from Grimsby Town
  • Welling United, whom we meet next Saturday have acquired 6 loanees and 2 signings, namely..
    • Noah Chesmain – Millwall (Loan)
    • Kadell Daniel – Woking
    • James Ferry – Brentford (Loan)
    • Ian Gayle – Dagenham (Rest of Season Loan)
    • Jake Green – Mickleover Sports
    • Harry Lee - Leyton Orient (Permanent)
    • Marek Rodak – Fulham (Rest of Season Loan)
    • Luke Wanaido – Staines
    • Ade Yusuff – Dagenham (Rest of Season Loan)
  • Woking. 3 loanees and 2 signings, Gary Abisogun from Cobham and Alex Smith from Yeovil
  • Wrexham. 2 loanees and 2 signings who are Louis Briscoe and Simon Heslop, both from Torquay

However, we also learn of a move put of the National League from NL Pitchero which says that "Wrexham [have] announced the late window departure of winger Dominic Vose to Scunthorpe United.

While sorry to see Vose depart the Racecourse, his brief stay in north Wales will be one well remembered... His amazing goal against Gateshead turned into a social media sensation... The player, who was out of contract in the summer, scored 11 times in thirty-one appearances in a Wrexham shirt. A product of the youth system at West Ham United, he also had a loan spell with Braintree Town before joining Tooting & Mitcham United.

From there it was onto Barnet in February 2013, being released to Colchester United in January 2014...and he joined Welling United in January 2015... A transfer to Wrexham followed last summer and his performances since have encouraged a string of Football League scouts to track his progress."

More detail of a loan move is to be found on NL Pitchero which says that "Torquay United completed a late deadline signing of Iffy Allen from Sky Bet League Two Yeovil Town on a deal until the end of the season.The 21-year-old joined the Glovers during the summer... He began his career with Fulham before moving on to Barnet in 2012.

He made seven appearances for the Bees as well as spells out in non-League football with Kingstonian, Redhill and Wingate & Finchley before moving to Somerset. Able to play out wide on the left wing or up front, he is a skillful performer who has appeared sixteen times for Yeovil this term."

And another National League player heading to the Football League is the subject of another NL Pitchero report. "FC Halifax Town have announced that striker Shaun Tuton joined Barnsley for an undisclosed fee just ahead of the transfer window shutting. The former Buxton frontman, who has found the net 11 times for the Shaymen this season, follows in the footsteps of Marc Roberts, who joined the South Yorkshire side last year."


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).

2 February 2016


Crewe Alexandra confirm that they are "to host Altrincham at Gresty Road on Wednesday night. Alex Morris will be taking charge of Crewe Alexandra FC for their re-arranged Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Altrincham on Wednesday evening. The first round proper tie... kick off is 7.45pm".

The Crewe Alexandra under-21s confirm that the match is on a "pay at turnstiles" basis...

  • Adults £5
  • Concessions £1"

With Crewe announcing this fixture as an U21 game, Altrincham also expect to field a youthful side, giving younger members of the first team squad valuable game time and also casting an eye over some of our reserve and youth set-up. >


In the NWYA Open Cup last Sunday, Altrincham's under-18 youth team lost 3-4 to AFC Fylde.


NL Pitchero reports that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that goalkeeper Sam Johnson has extended his loan deal with the club until 30th April. Johnson joined from Port Vale in December on a loan spell that has already been extended once, and has impressed so far between the sticks."

And there is news of another Valiant as "Ryan Lloyd has extended his loan spell with Chester FC until the end of the season. Lloyd, 21, arrived...back in November on loan from Port Vale and has impressed in midfield. Chester boss Steve Burr said, 'We spoke to Port Vale and they were happy for him to stay until the end of the season. Ryan actually picked up a rib injury but he has done really well since he arrived and he gives us great balance in left midfield'".

Another loan is the subject of another report from NL Pitchero which tells us that "Play-off chasers Grimsby Town have signed left-back Evan Horwood on loan from Northampton Town until the end of the season. Horwood arrived at Sixfields in 2014 after a successful loan spell from Tranmere Rovers."

According to the BBC, "Struggling Kidderminster Harriers have signed striker Harry White from Barnsley. White, 21, is the second young striker signed by the National League club's bottom club in four days. He follows Friday's arrival of Evan Garnett from Belper Town. Harriers, 16 points adrift at the foot of the non-league top flight, were in urgent need of more firepower up front, having not scored since Boxing Day.

White has made just two substitute appearances for the Tykes, but has featured fairly regularly on the Barnsley bench. He had spells with Banbury United and Gloucester City, for whom he scored nine goals in 17 start last season, before joining Barnsley on August deadline day... On Saturday at Boreham Wood managerless Harriers, still under the interim command of chief executive Colin Gordon, hope to end a run of eight straight league and cup defeats."

Elsewhere, "Guiseley have signed striker Emile Sinclair from York City a one-month loan deal. Sinclair has made 26 appearances for the Minstermen since signing for the League Two club 12 months ago, but he has not featured since November. The 28-year-old started his career at Nottingham Forest, and had spells with eight clubs before joining York".

Meanwhile, Stevenage confirm that "Aaron O’Connor’s loan spell from Forest Green Rovers has been made permanent. The pacey front man has played in all three games for Boro since initially arriving on loan. Aaron was Newport’s top scorer in two of his three seasons in South Wales and was Forest Green’s top scorer with 9 goals in 21 games prior to his arrival at Stevenage."

League-leaders Cheltenham Town say that "Ryan Jennings and Cian Harries have today returned to their parent clubs after their loans were not extended with the Robins. Ryan has been with the club since November and now returns to Wigan Athletic. Cian joined on a youth loan at the start of January and returns to Coventry City".

Up in Cumbria, the NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC will not be making a third bid for Margate FC striker Freddie Ladapo before the January transfer window closes.

Manager Paul Cox confirmed speculation that the Bluebirds were the National League club who had made two offers for the Kent club's front man. However, Cox say there would not be a third, believing AFC should now wait and see what happens with a player who is out of contract with the National League South club in the summer and attracting interest from a number of parties.

The 22-year-old former Colchester United striker, who has 10 goals for the Blues this season, has also been the subject of offers from an unnamed League Two side, but Barrow's was said to be closer to Margate's asking price. Cox said, 'We won't be going back. We offered what we thought was a fair price for a lad who is out of contract in the summer. He's the type we are looking for; he's young, he's got masses of potential and he is making not just clubs in the Conference, but clubs in the Football League sit up and take notice.

'These players under contract have a cost and any good player who becomes available, it will always be the case that it is not just us who is in for him. We have to be patient and we will look at it again in the summer.'

AFC have brought in [ex-Alty] loan man Andy Parry on a new deal until the end of the season, having previously signed him for a month from Luton Town. However, Barrow missed out on the opportunity to bring winger Jack Mackreth back to Holker Street last week... but he decided to make the move to Tranmere Rovers instead.

The Bluebirds were continuing to pursue several targets on Monday afternoon ahead of the 11pm transfer deadline."

In the Halifax Courier we learn that "Neither manager Jim Harvey nor chairman David Bosomworth would be drawn on the future of Town striker Shaun Tuton after he was left out of the matchday squad for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Welling.

The forward has previously been linked to a move to Championship clubs Birmingham and Cardiff, and had a spell on trial at Morecambe last year. He has scored 12 goals in 32 appearances for The Shaymen this season after joining the club from Buxton at the start of the campaign.

Harvey was tight-lipped about the reason for Tuton’s absence, but refused to comment on speculation about the striker’s future, as did Town chairman David Bosomworth. However, the Town boss did say he would be interested in extending the loan of Shaquille McDonald from Derby, and said forward Danny Hattersley could be set to leave the club either on loan or permanently having recently returned from a loan spell at Chester."

Over at Southport "The Merseyrail Community Stadium pitch was totally flooded last night (Sunday), the worst in living memory. Southport FC officials with regret have requested a pitch inspection via Everton and the Premier League as early as possible on Monday to call off tonight's prestigious Everton v Manchester United match as there are no prospects of play possible.

Directors Steve Porter and Haydn Preece both stated they had never seen the pitch so saturated and flooded in their memories going back to the 60s. This is very disappointing but the weather has dictated and the pitch needs several dry days to recover". The above link has a photo of the pitch taken on Sunday night.

1 February 2016


The BBC reports that "Gateshead winger Adam Wrightson has signed a new 18-month contract... The 19-year-old, who has made six appearances in the league this season, is likely to miss the remainder of 2015-16 with a shoulder injury. 'I'm delighted to sign and get it out of the way,', he told the club's website. 'Now I can focus on recovering and getting myself fit'".

In the Daily Post we read that "Gary Mills insisted his players will keep fighting to the very end after picking up a hard fought share of the points at Eastleigh, but were ‘on their knees’ after two disappointments inside a week.

Wrexham fought back from a goal down on Saturday at high flying Eastleigh to claim a draw, but missed a glorious chance late on to seal all three when Wes York was felled by Will Evans inside the area, only for skipper Connor Jennings to hit the bar with the resulting penalty. The draw at the Silverlake Stadium followed a ‘cruel’ defeat at Braintree in midweek when the Dragons deserved at least a draw, but were undone by a wonderful free kick from Taylor Miles late on.

Mills was pleased with the resolve shown by his side, and says they will keep fighting to the end of the season in search of a play-of spot.

'Of course we are disappointed', said Mills. 'A couple of minutes to go, we got a penalty and miss it. It is hard to take because we had to dig deep and fight. But the fight, desire and discipline within the side was magnificent. The lads are on their knees in there, it has been a tough week. We went into a week where we needed to pick up some points, we wanted to pick up a couple more. But we beat Lincoln, should have got something at Braintree, it was cruel on my players, and today we got a point where with two minutes to go we have got a chance to get three.

'We will keep going, we will keep fighting, we will keep doing what we need to do. Everybody knows coming to Eastleigh is a difficult place to come and get a result but we have got a hard earned point'"

According to the Lincolnshire Echo, "Lincoln City defender Chris Bush admitted he did not realise he had scored against Guiseley, because he was too busy moaning at the referee. The defender jumped up to meet Greg Tempest's corner on 26 minutes and clattered with a Guiseley defender as he connected with the ball. It hit the cross bar on way in, but Bush was oblivious to what had happened.

'When the cross came in, it hit my head and I was too busy moaning at the referee,' said Bush. 'I thought I had been fouled. I carried on shouting at the referee, saying I have been fouled. It has then hit the underside of the bar and gone in. By that point it was probably two seconds too late to run off and celebrate, so I had a calm celebration. It is nice to get on the score sheet and it was my first of the season. A clean sheet and three points is what we needed the most.'

Bush's goal was enough to earn the Imps a 1-0 win over Guiseley, their first win in two months... Said Bush, 'We have had some bad luck and some decisions that have not gone our way. The big thing the gaffer said to us was to keep on going at it. You cannot have bad luck forever. I think it changed for us against Guiseley. Our attacking play showed in the first half and our defensive play stood out in the second half'".

From FC Halifax Town we learn that "FC Halifax Town boss Jim Harvey admits that his side lacked [were lacking quality?] today as The Shaymen could only claim a point against strugglers Welling United.

'For me it is two points dropped for us today. That was probably as poor as we’ve played since I’ve been in charge but, having said that, I thought they came out strong in the second half and we were so lax today, it seemed we had no energy or urgency. They may well have gone on and got a winner but it should have been wrapped up earlier from ourselves. We had two golden opportunities where Nicky Wroe has somehow missed an open net, I can’t believe he’s put that one over the crossbar.

'Kingsley James has got through and he’s got a tremendous strike-rate but he’s hit this one straight at the goalkeeper, but we should have had this wrapped up in the first half. I don’t know why we were so poor today. Sometimes it happens in football, teams have bad days and it was just one of those days for us.'

Harvey brought off Dino Fazlic in the first half and dropped Kevin Roberts back to defence in order to counter Welling, a move he feels eventually paid off for Halifax. 'I think the changes I made helped us go on and get the goal but I shouldn’t have to be doing that, they should be able to react and do their job. Sometimes I have to make the substitutions for them if I feel they’re not coping well enough with what’s happening and that was the case today. It’s not a good sign when I have to do something like that. I think dropping Kevin back in defence definitely helped us though...

'In the attacking third, we’re just not finishing the opportunities that are coming our way... [Goalkeeper] Sam [Johnson]’s kept us in the game'...

There was a return to the side for Richard Peniket and Harvey was pleased with the striker’s progress as he returns from injury. 'Peniket did well I thought, considering he’s been out for a long time. Sam Walker was out today, he pulled up in training on Thursday night so he didn’t make it and Shaun Tuton was something different so he didn’t play either'".

In fact, Tuton is the subject of rumours of interest from a Football League club.

Meanwhile, News Shopper tells us that "Under new management, Welling earned a well deserved point that kept them in touch with the clubs above the relegation zone.

Dean Frost's first starting line up included new loanees Noah Chesmain and midfielder James Ferry... The two teams went into the break level. After the interval, Welling came out flying and the hosts were indebted to Johnson for an incredible double save from Daniel and Kabba.

Connor Hughes fired over for the Shaymen but Welling continued to press. Against the run of play, Halifax went ahead. Hughes' shot from 20 yards was skidded off the wet surface and Rodak could only push it out to Kingsley James and he bundled it home.

Ferry curled one over for Welling as they continued to enjoy the greater share of the possession without creating clear cut chances... Only looking to catch Welling on the break, Halifax invited Welling to shoot and Kadell Daniel obliged with an equaliser courtesy of a superb 20 yard shot into the top corner for Welling's first ever goal at the Shay Stadium...

The Wings travel to Braintree Town on Tuesday and will look to build upon their impressive performance.

Welling United: Rodak,Williams, Chesmain, Ferry, Chambers, Fagan (Nortey 8), Daniel, Lee, Kabba (Bakare 71), Vidal (Wellard 75), Harris. Unused substitutes: McEntegart, Adeyinka".

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."


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


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'".