an unofficial website

August, 2016

31 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes, "It's far and away the most eagerly awaited showdown of the Premier League season. Manchester United versus Manchester City. José Mourinho face-to-face with Pep Guardiola. Sky Sports wasted no time snapping it up for live coverage, when the fixtures were announced, and they are sure to send anticipation levels soaring among millions of armchair viewers between now and kick-off on Saturday, September 10.

There's nothing quite like being there, though, is there? Nothing to match witnessing first-hand the drama and excitement of a Manchester derby given extra spice by two of world football's most decorated coaches renewing their rivalry, not to mention Zlatan Ibrahimovic trying to outdo Sérgio Aguero in the scoring stakes and Paul Pogba mixing it with City's midfield.

The only guarantee is it will be a sell-out, and two lucky Altrincham followers could be among the 75,000-plus packed in to Old Trafford after chairman Grahame Rowley announced he has two hospitality tickets for the game and is putting them up for auction.

The winners will have a day to remember, with the package including a meal at the Hilton Hotel at Manchester Airport, transport to the match and good seats in the home section at Old Trafford.

All proceeds will go to the AFC Community Trust, to help expansion of the Club's community activities, and bids can be emailed to Grahame or texted to 07720 606897. Bidding is open now, and there will be regular updates on how it is progressing on the club's website, the Fans' Forum and social media outlets".

Bidding has now reached £275. Further bids can be placed up to midnight on 31 August, so place yours now!


Above: For Monday's game at Aggborough, Alan Goodall and Shaun Densmore occupied the technical area, with the third man in the acting management role, Jake Moult, busy in the Alty midfield. Visible behind them are Danny Hattersley, Nyal Bell, Billy Hasler-Cregg, Andrew Jones and Harry Cain, as well as goalkeeping coach Ian Senior and physio Alan Ainsley. Hidden by Alan is kitman John Skelhorn in an image taken just before the interval.

The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that "Matt Gardiner believes four points over the Bank Holiday weekend [were] a decent points haul... The Reds moved up to fifth following today’s 1-0 win over Altrincham...

'It was important that we won today,' said the Head of Coaching... 'We’re happy with the way we’re going but we always want more... It’s about getting the momentum, especially at home, so we’re happy with four point over the weekend. “I thought the fans were fantastic as well. I am sure they would have like the game put to bed earlier but it was nice to get over the line'".

The Worcester News has a video in which "Defender Tyrone Williams felt Harriers' all-round team display earned yesterday's narrow 1-0 win over Altrincham".


A surprising move is announced by NL Pitchero as former Alty striker "Ryan Brooke has decided to leave Vanarama National League North club Curzon Ashton. He has signed a deal with Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Nantwich Town, whom he represented for the first time on Bank Holiday Monday and scored in the first minute in their 3-3 draw at Stafford Rangers.

Brooke quickly became a fans` favourite at Curzon after joining the club in the summer of 2013... His final goal for Curzon came in his final appearance during last Saturday's 4-2 win over Altrincham. In total, Brooke played 121 times for the Nash, scoring 41 times."


NL Daily reports that "Harrogate Town have given an update on the facial injury suffered by Lloyd Kerry in their game against FC Halifax Town on Bank Holiday Monday... The statement... read, 'Following his 87th minute injury sustained against FC Halifax Town, Lloyd Kerry has been receiving treatment in hospital. We can now report that Lloyd Kerry has been assessed by medical professionals, and is awaiting surgery... The midfielder has sustained a double fracture to his cheekbone, and subsequent fractures to his eye-socket. At this stage, we are unable to ascertain how long Lloyd will be out of action, however everyone at the club would like to wish him a speedy recovery'.

Manager Simon Weaver commented 'It's a sad state of affairs. There was no malice in the challenge but quite how he's walked off the field is incredible. He's such a brave lad, and when you see someone like Lloyd, who gives everything for the cause go off in an ambulance it's a heartbreaker'".#

30 August 2016


Above John Cyrus rises to head clear during Monday's game.

It was a much more encouraging performance from Altrincham on Monday but it proved to be not enough to take anything from the game...

Match report here


Following Monday's game, Kidderminster Harriers reported that "Harriers made it back to back home wins as Arthur Gnahoua's fine goal was enough to beat Altrincham 1-0 at Aggborough... Both teams had managed a couple of chances on goal with less than ten minutes gone, Altrincham perhaps going closer through an angled Sinclair-Hutton drive that Reeves almost turned home, and a Moult shot that flashed over the target.

A Francis-Angol header and likewise from Williams saw the hosts go close, but visiting stopper Dawber was forced into the game's first real save with a dozen [minutes] played...

Dawber did well to hold on to Dieservwe's low shot on the line from a corner, after Lowe had stabbed one his way at close range that the visitors did well to clear. A fairly end-to-end half looked like it would end even with Harriers playing by far the brighter stuff, but that industry would be rewarded with seconds left of the period when the hosts took the lead; McQuilkin and Waite combining to play in Gnahoua who, from a tight angle and not much room to spare, fired the ball into the roof of the net...

Past the hour, Alty won the ball with a crunching ball in midfield and that enabled Lawrie to take aim at Hornby who'd come off his line with the play at the half-way line; the effort sailed towards goal but dropped mercifully on top of the net rather than beyond the stopper".

Kidderminster Harriers' Head of Coaching, Matt Gardiner "was a happy man after seeing Harriers shut-out Altrincham... Alty, without a manager after Neil Young's resignation on Sunday, made a mockery of their lowly league position and played their part in an entertaining game at Aggborough.

Harriers ended up deserved winners thanks to Arthur Gnahoua's goal, but the importance of three points against a rejuvenated Altrincham side wasn't lost on Gardiner as he spoke after the game...

'Altrincham have obviously had their changes with the management so it wasn't going to be easy. We are still a work in progress... It was nice to get over the line because I thought Altrincham played very well; they're a good team and if you look at the points they have picked up, they're all against teams at the top end'".

The unofficial Harriers Online adds that it was a "tough encounter with fellow relagees (could that be a new word?) Altrincham with a single goal from Arthur Gnahoua a minute before halftime but to be truthful we saw so many shots and half shots on goal it should have been far more than the single goal. For their part Altrincham defended like trojans to keep the attacking Red hordes at bay but could also have had a couple of goals of their own when twice they caught Sam Hornby off his line and tried to lob him...

As we have already found to our dismay this season not one of these Northern based referees are up to much with them so eager to dish the cards out. So it was when James McQuilkin was penalised for falling over an outstretched defenders leg in the penalty area. If it been Quilks intention to win a penalty then fair enough but on this occasion it was his momentum that carried him over and made him fall. He will now miss the Darlington game because of his five yellow cards but then again he has been stupid enough to pick up the four previous cards through his own fault...

A great passage of play from deep saw the ball eventually played to Waite out wide. He moved inside to bamboozle the defender and then scooped the ball to the waiting Gnahoua who struck first time to blast the ball into the roof of the net.

At the start of the second period Altrincham made a tactical change and replaced Sinclair with Billy Hasler-Cregg, a rookie striker from their youth team [ he isn't]. It seemed to work as they began to dictate the game and put pressure on the Harriers goal more and more. It was he who was the first to try a lobbed ball over the top of Hornby but luckily for us it went over the bar...

Again Altrincham saw a chance of a lobbed goal and again it was over the bar but this time James Lawries effort was far too close for comfort. Hopefully the warning took effect on Hornby and he'll be wise to it in future. He does tend to go on walkabout a little too much... Then Robert Stambolziev replaced Francis-Angol in a strange move with a winger replacing a defender. The Australian's first move was to get himself booked when he went in a little too hard on Simon Richman and caused the Altrincham wideman to be substituted. That was probably the only yellow card of the day for us that actually warranted the punishment".


The WOrcester News reports on Alty's next opponents, Stockport County. "Worcester City’s sorry start to the season continued as Stockport County inflicted a fifth defeat in their first seven games with a 1-0 home success... Manager Carl Heeley arrived at Edgeley Park hoping to see an improved performance from his side but the Hatters went ahead on 41 minutes thanks to a superb free-kick from Danny Lloyd. And Stockport had plenty of chances to add to their lead...

The loss capped off a miserable opening month for Worcester, who also slipped to the bottom of the league on goal difference. With Sam Oji out injured, centre-half Tom Sharpe was recalled to the starting line-up which featured midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy, returning from suspension, and goalkeeper Ethan Ross in for Nick Draper. Fit-again Richard Batchelor was also among four changes...

With four minutes left of the opening period, Stockport broke the deadlock with a superb 20-yard free-kick from Lloyd, which proved too good for Ross. The midfielder almost added a second moments later when he beat the offside trap but this time the West Bromwich Albion loan keeper was equal to his strike...

Stockport (4-2-3-1) Hinchliffe; Ross, Clarke, Smalley, Duxbury; Montrose, Minihan; Stopforth, Marsden (Meppen-Walter 91), Lloyd (Rule 81); Odejayi (Amis 56). Subs not used Ormson, Spencer".


Mon 29 Aug.:
  • Alfreton Town 2-5 Tamworth (att 547)
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-4 AFC Fylde (347)
  • Chorley 1-0 Stalybridge Celtic (1,011)
  • Curzon Ashton 0-2 Salford City (888)
  • FC Halifax Town 0-1 Harrogate Town (1,965)
  • FC United of Manchester 2-3 Darlington 1883 (2,731)
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Brackley Town (473)
  • Gloucester City 3-1 Boston United (469)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Altrincham (1,489)
  • Nuneaton Town 1-1 AFC Telford Utd (633)
  • Stockport County 1-0 Worcester City (2,514)


The National League reports that "AFC Fylde, Salford City and Harrogate Town maintained their unbeaten starts... The Coasters remain top on goal difference after an impressive 4-1 win at the Horsfall Stadium against a still win-less Bradford Park Avenue side. It proved to be a particularly good day for Fylde`s Danny Rowe. The striker netted a hat-trick...

A crowd of 1,965 saw Harrogate remain unbeaten by inflicting a second successive defeat on Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax Town at The Shay... Salford fans boosted Monday`s crowd at neighbouring Curzon Ashton`s Tameside Stadium to 888, and they saw the Ammies also remain unbeaten after promotion...

Darlington 1883 are fourth after edging a best-of-five thriller at Broadhurst Park against FC United of Manchester in front of a terrific crowd of 2,731. They saw the Quakers race into a 2-0 lead.... On 68 minutes FC United were level and punished Darlington for sitting back... But 9 minutes from time, another tremendous goal, this time a 25-yard Nathan Cartman effort that took a deflection on the way, won it for the Quakers.

Yet to record a three-point haul this season to date are now managerless Altrincham, Nuneaton Town and Worcester City... Nuneaton remain in the bottom two, despite doubling their points tally for the season at home to AFC Telford United...

Tamworth made it an incredible 10 goals over the holiday weekend. The Lambs hammered Bradford Park Avenue 5-1 at home on Saturday, and followed that up with a tremendous 5-2 win at the Impact Arena against Alfreton Town...

Gainsborough Trinity earned a vital point following a battling display against Brackley Town... Jason Walker bagged his first goal in a Chorley shirt as the Magpies secured their second 1-0 victory of the Bank Holiday weekend, this time against Stalybridge Celtic at Victory Park. The former Barrow AFC hitman struck the decisive blow in the 20th minute...

Boston United slipped to their fourth away defeat as Gloucester City romped to a 3-1 win Whaddon Road".

29 August 2016


Mon 29 Aug.:
  • Alfreton Town 2-5 Tamworth
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-4 AFC Fylde
  • Chorley 1-0 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Curzon Ashton 0-2 Salford City
  • FC Halifax Town 0-1 Harrogate Town
  • FC United of Manchester 2-3 Darlington 1883
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Brackley Town
  • Gloucester City 3-1 Boston United
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Altrincham
  • Nuneaton Town 1-1 AFC Telford Utd
  • Stockport County 1-0 Worcester City


Howard Watts's Through the Years data tell us that, on this date last year, we were beating Tranmere Rovers 2-1. Our only previous encounter with the Harriers on this date ended in a 3-0 defeat at Aggborough.

However, although recent visits to Aggborough have tended to be unhappy, Mike Garnett reminds us that our overall record at Kidderminster is not at all bad...

  • At Home: P24-W11-D5-L8-F34-A27
  • Away: P25-W9-D7-L9-F27-A40
  • All: P49-W20-D12-L17-F61-A67

KIdderminster Harriers report that "Harriers bring the Bank Holiday action back to Aggborough on Monday as they host Altrincham Despite being disappointed to only leave Boston United with a 1-1 draw on Saturday, the Reds can make it a useful four-point haul for the hectic weekend by making it a second home win on the spin.

To do that they'll have to contain an Altrincham side full of goals; while they've yet to record a win this season, Alty have scored at least two goals in four of the six games they've played, including one after a little more than 30 seconds in their Saturday defeat to Curzon Ashton.

Harriers' midfielder, Ryan Croasdale, knows that will be the challenge as he spoke after making his first start for the club at Boston... The former Sheffield Wednesday man commented, 'It felt like a defeat in the dressing room at Boston and the lads were disappointed. But we have to take the positives and go into Monday and get the three points there. We'll take the same game plan and try to pass and play but we have to be ruthless at both ends'..

Croasdale will be firm favourite to keep his place in the side after a first start. H e came in to replace the suspended Ashley Carter who serves the second of a three-match suspension against Altrincham on Monday".


Mike Ripley's images of Alty v Curzon Ashton are here.


On Saturday Stalybridge Celtic chairman Rob Gorski announced that "Yesterday morning I received a call from Liam [Watson] to tell me that, after considerable thought, he had decided to resign as Manager of Stalybridge Celtic. Liam has a couple of personal issues that must take priority and he feels that he cannot give the role the time and focus that it needs. He is happy to go on record confirming that 'You will never see me in the dug out again, I am retiring from management'.

If Liam were resigning to take another job, then I would have rejected it, but family comes first and it was with the greatest of regret that I accepted the situation.

After today’s defeat to Gloucester, there will be some who maybe won’t shed too many tears. I would personally remind everyone that, firstly, Liam has a unique record in delivering four non-League titles but, more pertinently for us, his man-management skills were there for all to see as he took a team who had won 1 point in 24, to play-off form and we survived absolute certain relegation on the last day of the season.

For that alone Liam will forever have my gratitude. In his short time with the club, he also took us to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup, a feat we hadn’t achieved for over a decade.

I will make a further statement in the coming days, but I felt that it was important for the fans to know via official channels before the players, who found out after today's game, started to post on social media.

On behalf of the whole club, I wish Liam the very best of luck in his career and I'm sure that he will still assist the club in any way that he can. Take care buddy."

28 August 2016


An announcement from Altrincham Football Club:

"Neil Young has resigned as manager of Altrincham after six Vanarama National League North games in charge. Appointed as successor to Lee Sinnott four months ago, the former Colwyn Bay, Chester and Stockport County boss began the season with three impressive draws against highly-rated opposition but took the decision to leave in the wake of three subsequent defeats.

With criticism mounting after yesterday's 4-2 home defeat by Curzon Ashton, he telephoned chairman Grahame Rowley this afternoon and told him he was stepping down, with immediate effect and without any kind of settlement, in the interests of the club. Alan Goodall, Jake Moult and Shaun Densmore will take temporary charge of team affairs, starting at Kidderminster tomorrow, while a replacement is sought.

Young also made it clear the Altrincham post would be his last in football management, in a statement that read, 'I would like to thank Grahame Rowley and his family, the board and all the volunteers who gave me the opportunity to manage Altrincham Football Club. Unfortunately, after a good pre-season and three opening draws against much-fancied opposition, the last three performances have not been at a level I would expect, even with the extensive injury list we have had.

'I believe it's in the best interest of myself and, more importantly, the football club that I step down with immediate affect, and I also believe it's the right time to ultimately retire from the dug-out. I've been lucky enough to manage four fantastic football clubs over the last 8 years and met so many selfless people who's commitment to their football club and to me has been remarkable. I would like to thank all my staff who have worked tirelessly over the last 3 months and wish them all the very best. I wish Altrincham Football Club, all its staff, players and Supporters, all the very best for the future.'

Applications for the post are invited, as Altrincham begin the task of finding a new manager, chairman Rowley stating, 'I would like to place on record my thanks to Neil for his dedicated approach to what was a very difficult job. Relegation had a big impact on our central funding from the league and meant an unavoidable reduction in the budget, which in turn led to players leaving and replacements having to be found.

'It goes without saying that's no easy task, when you consider the numbers involved. Looking at it realistically, it's a big ask to expect every signing to settle in straightaway and make the required impact, but, in his time with us, Neil never let up in his efforts to find the right blend.'"


Match report here.

ABOVE: Gavin Rathbone's image shows Emile Sinclair's goal against Curzon Ashton.
BELOW: Mike Ripley captures David Lynch working hard in the Alty midfield.


Sunday's Ladies' game has been changed due to Tranmere Rovers unable to field a team. Keith Edleston says "I have hastily arranged for us to play Curzon Ashton away. The game will be a 2-15ko and will take place at Curzon Ashton FC, The Tameside Stadium, Richmond Street, Ashton under Lyne, OL7 9HG".


Altrincham Reserves drew 2-2 on Saturday with Cheadle Linotype. The Alty scorers were Tom Westall and Harry Cain.


Alty's next opponents, Kidderminster Harriers drew 1-1 on Saturday at Boston. The Worcester News reports that "A late goal ended Harriers' 100 per cent away record in the National League North in a storm-hit game in Lincolnshire. A Joe Robinson own goal had fired Kidderminster into a deserved lead but Pilgrims skipper Joe Maguire headed in an equaliser...

The game could easily have been called off in the second half as a stormy raged above the Jakemans Stadium and the rain poured down in biblical proportions.

Harriers made the perfect start when they opened the scoring in the third minute... The goal summed up a frenetic first half, with the hosts picking up four yellow cards because of fussy referee Anthony Tankard. Harriers had dominated, forcing ten corners, but had not added to their lead.

With thunder and lightning raging around the ground, there was a stormy game developing on the pitch... But the home side made it 1-1 when captain Maguire rose to meet substitute Lewis Hilliard's free-kick and power a header into the back of the net...

Harriers: Hornby, Williams, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Lowe, Tunnicliffe, Waite, McQuilkin, Dieseruvwe, Ngwatala (Thomas, 78), Gnahoua (Austin, 85). Subs not used: Truslove, Stambolziev, Brown".

And Kidderminster Harriers add that "John Eustace claimed Saturday's 1-1 draw at Boston United gained the team 'a point in the right direction'...

The boss could be forgiven for being an angry man at the final whistle. Indeed he was disappointed to have not seen his team claim a deserved win but was satisfied with a draw at one of the division's most difficult venues...

'It was a great team performance and we're disappointed to not get the three points but it's a board on the board and in the right direction'" he concluded.


Next week Alty meet Stockport County report on "The Hatters deservedly gained a point - and chalked up a first clean sheet of the season for good measure, following an even game at the New Bucks Head that saw Telford edge the first half and County enjoy the better of things after the break...

Just as the greater share of opportunities had fallen the way of their hosts before the interval, so the Hatters created more when proceedings resumed...

Team: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Minihan, Meppen-Walter (Thomas, 54), Clarke, Smalley, Stopforth, Montrose, Amis (Duxbury, 77), Marsden, Lloyd (Carney, 67). Unused Subs: Ormson, Spencer".


Sat 27th Aug.:
  • Att: 1905 AFC Fylde 3 v 2 FC Halifax Town
  • Att: 1311 AFC Telford Utd 0 v 0 Stockport County
  • Att: 870 Altrincham 2 v 4 Curzon Ashton
  • Att: 1047 Boston United 1 v 1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att: 565 Brackley Town 1 v 0 FC United Of Manchester
  • Att: 1349 Darlington 1883 3 v 4 Alfreton Town
  • Att: 653 Harrogate Town 3 v 1 Nuneaton Town
  • Att: 1325 Salford City 3 v 2 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Att: 305 Stalybridge Celtic 1 v 3 Gloucester City
  • Att: 669 Tamworth 5 v 1 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Att: 623 Worcester City 0 v 1 Chorley


Altrincham FC official caterer Richie Bentley is always willing to respond to unusual requests in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge at the J. Davidson Stadium. On Saturday he baked a super-size pork pie as a birthday present for one of his guests. Here we see Alty's Shaun Densmore making the presentation.


Saturday`s Vanarama National League North Review says that ""AFC Fylde, Harrogate Town and Salford City all remain unbeaten... FC Halifax Town suffered their first defeat under new boss Billy Heath as they lost 3-2 at Kellamergh Park to league leaders AFC Fylde...

Bohan Dixon scored what proved to be the winner for the Coasters, even though they had substitute Matt Blinkhorn dismissed with a straight red card for stamping on Hone in the dying minutes of the game.

Harrogate beat a yet-to-win Nuneaton Town side 3-1 at the CNG Stadium... Salford were made to scrap for their fourth win in six games at Moor Lane against Gainsborough Trinity.

The visitors had only won once this term to date, but shocked their hosts by taking an early 4th minute lead through Ashley Worsfold. But two goals in a minute shortly before half-time from Simon Grand and then Mike Phenix saw the Ammies go into the break 2-1 up.

But it wasn`t until the 86th minute that Salford could relax a little when Billy Priestley added a third. And even then they were made to sweat a little after Adam Quinn reduced the deficit in stoppage time.

Darlington 1883, who came up with Salford as champions, suffered their first defeat at this level, being edged out in a seven-goal thriller at Heritage Park by Alfreton Town.

After dominating the first 20 minutes, Darlington conceded two goals in 8 minutes through Craig Westcarr on 24 minutes and then former Grimsby striker Liam Hearn. Josh Gillies pulled a goal back on 41 minutes, but the visitors went into the break 3-1 up after Andy Monkhouse grabbed a third. Hearn scored his second and the Reds` fourth after 64 minutes.

But there was a late fightback in which Quakers scored twice in a minute through Gillies again and Amar Purewal...

Kidderminster Harriers were 6 minutes from maintaining their good away record at the Jakemans Stadium against Boston United... But Pilgrims` skipper Joe Maguire headed in an equaliser in the 84th minute.

Worcester City, along with Nuneaton, are the only other team yet to record a win in 2016/17 [not so, e.g. BPA, Altrincham, see below] as they fell to their fourth defeat of the season against Chorley at Bromsgrove...

Bradford Park Avenue and Altrincham are also yet to find a win in the new season. Avenue were on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering at The Lamb by a Tamworth side who have won all their home games to date...

Brackley Town`s good start to the new season continued on Saturday as they won 1-0 at St James`s Park against FC United of Manchester. The officials took the players off the field for 15 minutes in the first half after a terrific storm hit Northamptonshire.

But the only goal of the game finally arrived 15 minutes from time when Gareth Dean`s effort seemed to be cleared off the line, but the assistant flagged for a goal.

Stalybridge Celtic have only recorded one win in 2016/17 so far and were beaten 3-1 at Bower Fold by Gloucester City...

There were no goals at the New Bucks Head between AFC Telford United and Stockport County".


Old boys who scored in the EvoStik Premier included George Bowerman and Kyle Perry (2) for Stafford Rangers in a 4-4 draw with Skelmersdale United. In Division One South Kieran Lugsden scored for Shaw Lane in a 1-1 draw at Stamford.
27 August 2016


Altrincham fielded three debutant starters with one of them, striker Emile Sinclair, giving them the ideal start with a goal after 35 seconds. But that was to be as good as it got as, for the fourth match out of six this season, an Alty lead did not translate into a win...

Match report here.

Right: Emile Sinclair (9) takes the congratulations of his team-mates after opening the scoring.


Sat 27 Aug:,
  • AFC Fylde 3-2 FC Halifax Town
  • AFC Telford Utd 0-0 Stockport County
  • Altrincham 2-4 Curzon Ashton
  • Boston United 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Brackley Town 1-0 FC United of Manchester
  • Darlington 1883 3-4 Alfreton Town
  • Harrogate Town 3-1 Nuneaton Town
  • Salford City 3-2 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Stalybridge Celtic 1-3 Gloucester City
  • Tamworth 5-1 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Worcester City 0-1 Chorley


Altrincham FC manager Neil Young has had a busy week as goalkeeper Callum Preston and midfielder Jamie Menagh left the club and three new faces arrived at the J. Davidson Stadium. Following last Saturday's game at Gainsborough, when Gateshead loanee Nyal Bell, full-back Adam Sumner and Jamie Menagh brought to sixteen the number of players to make an Altrincham debut this season, Alty acquired the services of teenage centre-back Joe Moran on loan from Forest Green Rovers.

And, on Friday, two more new faces arrived at Moss Lane. Experienced striker Emile Sinclair joined the club, having finished last season on loan at Guiseley, from York City, and Guiné-Bissau midfielder Fábio Bassangue also arrived, bringing experience in Portuguese and French football.

So, the Alty squad currently comprises 25 players (plus player-coach Simon Garner), of whom three have yet to make a league appearance (Callum Charlton, Billy Hasler-Cregg and Harry Cain). However, Shaun Densmore, Tom Hannigan and Craig Hobson remain sidelined by injury and it is believed that illness may be affecting one or more other players.


TASC is providing supporters' transport to Altrincham's game at Aggborough on Monday, 29th August. Full details are on the Away Travel page. Bookings can be made by ringing the club on (0161)928-1045 during weekday office hours.


Here at Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall, we are bringing to you FOUR exciting new events for adults and children. Check out the posters below and contact us for more information on 0161 928 1045 or by e-mail.
  • SATURDAY 29th OCTOBER 4.00-6.00pm (4-7yo), 6.00-8.00pm (7-11yo): Our Spooky Spectacular Halloween Party for children, including DJ, party games and prizes. Tickets are £3.00, tuck shop will be available and parents are welcome to stay if they choose.
  • FRIDAY 11th NOVEMBER 7.30pm: We bring to you 'Ladies' Night - Cocktail Masterclass'. Enjoy a three course meal, create three of your own cocktails to drink and spend the night on our dance floor alongside our resident DJ. Get the girls together, get your dancing shoes on, this is one not to be missed! Tickets £40.00. (Tables up to 8)
  • SATURDAY 10th DECEMBER 7.30pm: For the second year running, we are hosting a 'Christmas Party Night', with three course meal and a DJ. Whether you want to book with your friends, family or colleagues, this night is the perfect way to see in the festive season. Tickets £30.00.
  • SUNDAY 18th DECEMBER 6.30pm: For the first time ever, we have the amazing Chaplins Pantomines showcasing 'Dick Whittington' in December, fun for all the family. Tickets are £10.00 adult/£5.00 children, tuck shop will be available.


Before they entertain Altrincham, Kidderminster Harriers take on Boston United. Harriers Online say "It's a long time since we've had the 'pleasure' of playing Boston Utd. The last meetings between the two clubs were in our better days when we were in the Coca Cola League in 2005 but that wasn't a good time to be a Harriers fan with a 3-0 defeat at York Street following a 4-0 home defeat earlier in the season. We did beat them a few months later though when we went there for a LDV Trophy game and came away 3-0 winners.

Hopefully in these more modern times we won't be seeing that level of defeat again.

Boston dropped a long way down when they exited the League in 2007 after financial regulations took effect on the last day of the season and they were effectively demoted two divisions to the Conference North for one season but then relegated again to the Northern Premier following more financial mis-management. They were also the club at the centre of the famous Steve Evans 'brown paper bag' scam with players being registered after being handed one of the bags stashed full of cash.

Now, after nine years, they seem to have consolidated their ambitions at the Conference Premier level after gaining promotion back at the first attempt. This season, so far, they have struggled and sit in eighteenth place with one home win (against Tamworth) to their credit but three away defeats. The only other home game was a loss by one goal to Stalybridge Celtic, our opponents last Saturday.

It was last Saturday that we managed to scrape our first home win of the campaign and scrape could be the right word to use after we stormed into a comfortable first half lead then tried our best to chuck it all away in the second period by letting Celtic dictate the game, score, and then get a player sent off near to the end of the game. That dismissal was to Ashley Carter, following a senseless head butt on a Celtic man and earned the defender a three-match ban.

Yesterday we saw another fringe player sent out on loan. George Forsyth has joined up with Yate Town for a month and will be travelling down with keeper Jono Brown after he joined Yate on loan last week. Forsyth joins Nathan Millichamp and Richard Sho-Silva out on loan as well as the aforementioned Brown.

Our injury roster is ticking over with Jared Hodgkiss out with an ankle injury and Robert Stambolziev with a thigh injury. Stambolziev might be fit again for tomorrow but Jared looks very doubtful. Wayne Thomas will probably cover for Carter for the next three games...

Harriers from: Hornby, Lowe, Hancocks, Digie, Williams, W Thomas, Tunnicliffe, B Clarke, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Stambolziev, Gnahoua, Truslove, Austin, A Brown, McQuilkin, Sweeney, N'Gwatala, Dieseruvwe, Waite, Taylor".


Gloucestershire Live reports that "Bobbie Dale is set to remain with Gloucester City after putting pen to paper to officially join the club. The striker has been training with the Tigers in recent weeks following his release from Cheltenham Town and he helps fill the void left by Ethan Moore's season-ending injury.

It was thought he could go out to another club on a temporary basis to regain match fitness following a knee injury with Cinderford Town keen to snap him up but he will stay with the National League North side. 'I think where we are at the moment is for him to come off the bench for 10 minutes or 15 or 20 minutes, [which] would be ideal rather than going straight in to play 90 minutes', said Gloucester manager Tim Harris.

'Bobbie's trained with us now four or five times and he's looking sharper and sharper so hopefully now he's got over his injury worries and it won't be long before he will be knocking on the door to get into the squad and in the starting lineup so it gives us another string to our bow.'

It is unlikely that Dale will feature in this weekend's double header away to Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday and at home to Boston United on Monday but Spencer Hamilton returns to the squad following his suspension. Sam Avery partnered Jack Deaman in the centre of defence in Hamilton's absence against Darlington on Sunday to leave Harris with a dilemma, although he could rotate his side with two games so close together.

'Spencer's done remarkably well. He's been with us for the best part of 18 months, two years, and he seems to get better and better,' said Harris. 'He's a real competitor and it will be a difficult decision but it's about those who have got the shirt and if you get suspended or lose your shirt you can't expect to keep your place and we'll have a decision to make. Having two games in a short space of time gives everyone in the squad an opportunity if we need to freshen it up.'

Gloucester tasted defeat for the first time against Darlington, who have since gone top of the table, but Harris expects his players to react positively. 'I think we've got a different mentality this season for quite some time,' he said. 'We've spoken quite a lot about the togetherness and their attitude and their desire to work really hard and we've got a great opportunity on Saturday and again on bank holiday Monday to really set our stall out for the season. We're looking for a little bit more of an expansive game from ourselves because I didn't think apart from the second half we really got our foot on the ball and we didn't move the ball quick enough.

'Knowing the way we can play and some of the games we've played we can do a lot better than Sunday'".

SOuthport tell us that there "Joe Kearns and Keil O’Brien have been sent out on one-month loan deals. Kearns has joined Bradford Park Avenue while O’Brien FC Halifax Town.

O’Brien has made 4 appearances so far this season for The Sandgrounders while Kearns has appeared twice. Manager Andy Bishop feels both players would benefit from a spell of prolonged exposure to first team football and will continue to be in and around the first team squad upon their return."

According to NL Pitchero, "FC United of Manchester have signed defender Max Cartwright. Cartwright, 20, is a left-back who was released by Fleetwood Town at the end of last season. He has experience on loan 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 and spent the latter part of last term on loan with Southport."

Elsewhere, "Bradford Park Avenue have added Michael Monaghan and Joe Noblet to their squad. Midfielder Monaghan left league rivals AFC Telford United just five games into the season, citing a lack of game time. Monaghan only joined the Bucks in the summer, having impressed for Burscough... Monaghan, who is a versatile, energetic and tough-tackling midfielder, began his playing career with Marine AFC.

He then had spells with Skelmersdale United, Droylsden and Northwich Victoria. He joined Burscough last season and the 20-year-old netted 22 goals.

Avenue have also signed attacking midfielder Joe Noblet from Squire's Gate. Noblet attracted national media attention towards the end of last season when he `scored` a 40-yard against Ashton Athletic but it was missed by the officials! Noblet's effort cannoned into the goal after hitting the post, but bounced straight back into the penalty area after hitting the metal supports at the back of the net. Both the referee and his assistant appeared to completely miss that a goal had actually been scored and ordered for play to continue!"

26 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer John Edwards writes, "Neil Young has strengthened his squad with two more signings, ahead of a busy Bank Holiday weekend, by landing powerful striker Emile Sinclair and combative midfielder Fabio Bassangue.

Sinclair, for whom Football League clubs have paid transfer fees on at least two occasions, and 23-year old Bassangue, who made a favourable impression with clubs in Portugal and France before heading to this country, should both be available for Saturday's home game with Curzon Ashton and Monday's trip to Kidderminster.

Described as 'robust' by Alty boss Young, Leeds-born striker Sinclair launched his senior career at Nottingham Forest, where his early efforts were rewarded with a two-year contract midway through their League One promotion-winning campaign in 2007-08.

Peterborough paid an undisclosed fee for him in August, 2011, awarding him a three-year contract in the process, and he again moved for substantial money two years later, when League One Crawley splashed out £100,000 to sign him on a two-year deal.

Right: Emile Sinclair in action, against Alty, for Guiseley in February 2016.

His recent departure from York City, at the end of an 18-month contract, cleared the way for Alty boss Young to move in and complete a deal he feels will give his side more attacking potency.

'He is a robust centre-forward, and I am looking forward to working with him,' said Young. 'He is quick but strong as well, and can run in behind people, which is something we have needed and have been looking for.

'People may wonder about numbers but I have said all along this is a big transitional period, with signings coming in and some others going out on loan. It is also a fact that we are carrying a lot of injuries. There could be five missing tomorrow. We've got a couple doubtful with illness, and we are still missing some senior players through injury.'

Young was delighted to add Bassangue to his midfield options, after he had appeared bound for Airbus. The Welsh club were interested in him, but a deal was never completed, giving Young the chance to make him an Alty player.

'I have been aware of Fabio for a while, and spoken to others who have worked with him, and he comes highly recommended,' he said. 'Everything was agreed about 10 days ago, but we had to wait for international clearance, which does now seem to have come through. He has trained with us three times in the meantime and has shown up really well. He is a tough-tackling midfield player who has been looked at by a number of clubs, and it's good to have him here.'

After starting out with Odivelas in Portugal, Bassangue then signed professional forms for Portimonense on the Algarve. After a spell with French club Montpellier Arceaux, he decided to test himself in English football and will now be given the chance at The J.Davidson Stadium".


Chairman Grahame Rowley announces that "Radio 5 Live Commentator Alan Green has agreed to be our guest at a Sportsman's Dinner on Friday 21st October in the Community Sports Hall at Altrincham Football Club. Alan has had a long career in radio commentary and has ruffled a few feathers in his time, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce. His forthright commentary style has often divided opinion among radio listeners.

So why not come along, bring your friends, and ask those probing questions... What happened with Sir Alex, Why aren't you going to Russia for the World Cup in 2018, What are your memories of Hillsborough, and What are your thoughts on the Premier League? Ask these and many more questions to a man who has been involved in football for over 35 years.

Tickets are priced at £25 per head or £200 for a table of 8 (first drink free of charge) and include a three-course dinner, comedian and raffle. Dress code is smart casual".

Please us the attached booking form to reserve your place.


Right: Shaun Densmore, James Smith and Robbie Williams in action at Curzon Ashton in December 2010.

Mike Garnett provides the statistical summary of encounters between the two clubs...

  • At Altrincham: P1-W1-D0-L0-F3-A0
  • Away: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A0
  • All: P2-W2-D0-L0-F5-A0

The previous encounters were as follows...

  • In the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round in 1992/93 Altrincham beat Curzon Ashton 3-0 at Moss Lane in front of a crowd of 594. The scorers were Freeman, Hayde and Harris.
  • The other meeting of the clubs was in the FA Trophy, when the sides actually met twice, the first match on 11 December 2010 being abandoned at the Tameside Stadium owing to a half-time floodlight failure with The Nash leading 2-1. In the replayed game, on 14 December 2010, Alty won 2-0 as Robbie Williams volleyed home from close range in the 84th minute before a Chris Denham penalty, in injury time, saw the home keeper dismissed and Denham blasted the penalty home.

So, Curzon Ashton visit the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday for their first league match against Altrincham. In addition to Danny Hall, and substitutes Liam Tomsett and Ryan Brooke, who featured in Curzon's last game (see below), their website also includes two other players on the club's books who have worn the Alty shirt; they are Simon Woodford and Matthew Flynn.

In their last match, against AFC Telford United, Curzon Ashton report that "The Nash could not take advantage of numerous opportunities. Telford arrived at the Tameside with an identical start to the season as their hosts Curzon. Had this game been decided on chances created then it would have been a high scoring draw!

For the first 20 minutes both sides cancelled each other out in the midfield areas with no real efforts on target... Curzon started to take control of the game around the 30 minutes mark creating three headed opportunities in as many minutes but all failing to hit the target... But on 35 minutes, Curzon in their best move of the half broke the deadlock. Breaking well, the ball finally found Ryan Hall on the right and he found Cummins at the near post with a low cross with Cummins side footing home from 5 yards out...

Telford were getting a lot of joy down their right hand side through Evans... On 60 minutes, Evans, again attacking down the right produced the cross for Reynolds to strike home into Burton's bottom right hand corner to pull Telford level... In the last 10 minutes Curzon were presented with two golden opportunities, on 80 minutes Cummins headed down a Howard cross to the feet of Hazeldine who from 10 yards out blasted his effort well over the crossbar then 3 minutes later Cummins, again free in the Telford’s box, side footed wide!...

Curzon: Burton (C), Rowney, Guest, Hunt, D Hall, R Watson (Gorman), R Hall (Wright), Howard, Cummins, Hazeldine, Ennis. Subs: Tomsett, Mason (GK), Brooke, Wright, Gorman".


Alty travel to Aggborough on Monday to play Kidderminster Harriers. Harriers' last game was against Stalybridge Celtic who report that "Celtic went with a game plan, and it nearly worked, limiting Kidderminster’s chances to the bare minimum, though their class showed through with a decent goal and a gift... Celtic more than held their own against the Harriers... However, the hosts went ahead when last ditch defending blocked Keith Lowe’s initial drive from the edge of the box, the ball falling nicely for Mani Diesruvwe, who needed no first touch as he drove it back in with a powerful drive...

A needlessly conceded corner led to Kidderminster’s vital second, former Celt, Arthur Gnahoua took a penalty spot bound corner, and nobody picked up Tyrone Williams who raced into the box to plant his header past Tony McMillan.

Celtic came out in the second half, and looked the more determined team. With good link up play, it wasn’t long before Celtic were only a goal behind. Danny Pilkington’s deep free kick from the half way line was met by a crush of bodies at the back post, with Nick Ryan getting the telling touch to halve the deficit...

After an altercation in the centre circle, in which Ashley Carter did something serious enough for Celtic to sub Danny Pilkington, the Harriers' player was dismissed with a straight red. If anything, the sending off did Celtic few favours, as Kidderminster dug in, and pulled the game back into their favour".

Harriers' team was 1. Hornby, Sam, 2. Williams, Tyrone 3. Francis-Angol, Zaine 4. Carter, Ashley 5. Lowe, Keith, 6. Tunnicliffe, Jordan, 7. Waite, Tyrell, 8. McQuilkin, James, 9. Diesruvwe, Mani, 10. Ngwatala, Elton 11.Gnahoua, Arthur 12. Austin, Sam 14. Truslove, Liam, 15. Croasdale, Ryan, 16.Brown, Andre, 17. Thomas, Wayne

And Kidderminster Harriers report that "The FA have confirmed that Ashley Carter is to serve a three-match suspension for his sending off at the weekend... against Stalybridge. His suspension begins with this weekend’s trip to Boston United, meaning he’ll next be available to boss John Eustace for the journey to AFC Telford United on Tuesday, 6 September 2016.

The gaffer commented after Saturday’s game, 'I was disappointed with the manner in which he was sent off and we’ll be having a word with him about it. Both players were at it and Carts got caught by the referee. He’ll be dealt with; I was disappointed he reacted in the first place'".

Also "Harriers' midfielder George Forsyth has joined Yate Town on loan. George joins fellow Harrier, Jono Brown, at Yate, the shot-stopper is currently on loan there until January. Forsyth will spend an initial month with Yate".

25 August 2016


Airbus UK Broughton announce that their manager "Andrew Thomas has swooped for the signature of winger Jamie Menagh (right) from National League North outfit Altrincham. The Liverpool-born 22-year-old is a midfielder who can play centrally or out wide and is also a dead ball specialist...

[He was]re-united with manager Neil Young, who had brought him to Chester, by signing for Stockport County last December and then following Young to Altrincham in May."

Jamie made one appearance, from the bench, for Altrincham, at Gainsborough last Saturday.


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "Neil Young has landed the central defender he needs to cover for Tom Hannigan's injury absence after signing highly-rated Jon Moran from Forest Green Rovers on a one-month loan.

A Crewe Academy product who shone for Nantwich, Cheshire-based Moran became Rovers manager Mark Cooper's first signing of the summer after accepting a two-year deal with the Vanarama National League club at the beginning of June. Sensing the chance for the versatile 19-year old (d.o.b. 20 June 1997) to gain valuable experience at The J.Davidson Stadium, while Hannigan recovers from a knee ligament injury, Cooper consented to a request from Alty opposite number Young for the loan deal to go through.

Moran can operate at right-back, as well as centre-half, and he arrives at Alty with a growing reputation as a strong, reliable defender with a bright future. He was a member of the Crewe under-18 side that took the eye a couple of years ago, when they included Arsenal's renowned youngsters on their list of scalps en route top the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

It is a timely breakthrough for Young, in his quest to bolster an injury-hit squad, with two games in quick succession this Bank Holiday weekend. A trip to Kidderminster on Monday follows Saturday's home game with Curzon Ashton, and Moran will be availavble for both".


Darlington went to the top of the Vanarama National League North on Wednesday evening. Altrincham have already played four of the division's current top five teams.

Wed 24 Aug:

  • Darlington 1883 2-0 Chorley (att. 1,543)


Michael Ripley has images from Tuesday night's Alty Reserves' game at Knutsford.


Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies reports on last Sunday's friendly game against Leigh RMI Ladies.

In images courtesy of Keith Edleston, we see above (left) Megan hurdling the keeper and other action from the game. Below, we see Anna breaking forward from midfield.

"A lovely, sunny day dawned on Sunday down at Mersey Valley Sports Club, where our visitors for our third pre-season game were Leigh RMI Ladies. The pitch was looking well after a morning "Vets'" game on it and was a very lush green colour so it all bode well for a cracking game. I organized four tough games for the girls this pre-season, as I like to test them and pick stuff out to work on rather than just turn up and beat a team 6-0. I really think you don't learn anything about yourselves from doing that.

Well, after a chat on how we wanted to play, we witnessed some superb passing football, from the first whistle, all over the pitch (especially building up from the back). This was appreciated by a decent sized crowd.

A shot from the edge of the box from a corner saw Laura Dodds put us 1-0 up and set the tone for a high intensity game. Leigh played their part in it, as well, and an equalizer from them saw us go in 1-1 at the break. Second-half goals. one a fine debut goal for our young striker Megan Wright, a Laura Dodds penalty and a fine finish from Brogan Walsh eased us to a 4-1 win.

Both teams played their part in an entertaining game and I wish Leigh RMI Ladies the best for the new season. Plus-points for me were the way we asked the girls to play, which was taken on board and applied, Megan scoring her first goal and everyone in the squad that day got some quality game-time in preparation for the new season. Onward to our last pre-season game this coming Sunday, when we face a trip up the Wirral to face a stern final test against Tranmere Rovers LFC, with 2pm kick-off.

We're looking forward to the 2016/17 season and hope to see you down at Mersey Valley Sports Club to watch a game or two this season. I'm sure you won't be disappointed".


Stockport County says that the club "has received 1,500 terrace tickets and a very limited number of seated tickets for our all-ticket away match against Altrincham on Saturday 3rd September. As the allocation is limited we will be selling them strictly according to the process below. Once again, we have made the purchase of a ticket for this match as fair as we can whilst allowing us to control the sale of tickets to County fans only.

Wheelchair and Carer applications are explained further down this article.

FIRST DAY OF SALE - SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ONLY. Thursday 25th August at Edgeley Park Ticket Office from 7-8pm. Season Ticket holders must hand over voucher 'B' from their Season Ticket book. A maximum of two match tickets can be redeemed per voucher.

SECOND DAY OF SALE - SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ONLY. Friday 26th August at Edgeley Park Club Shop from noon-4pm. Season Ticket holders must hand over voucher 'B' from their Season Ticket book. A maximum of two match tickets can be redeemed per voucher.

THIRD DAY OF SALE (AND ONWARDS) - OPEN TO ALL SUPPORTERS. Saturday 27th August at Edgeley Park Club Shop from 9am to 11am. No limitations on the number of tickets purchased.

WHEELCHAIR DISABLED AND CARERS. There are two places for wheelchair disabled fans (plus one carer each) at Moss Lane. Wheelchair disabled fans are asked to phone the Club Shop to acknowledge their interest in match tickets between noon and 4pm on Thursday 25th August... A ballot will be drawn with Season Ticket holders given preference, and the two successful fans being notified on Tuesday 30th August.

SEATING IS VERY LIMITED AND AVAILABLE FOR CONCESSIONS AND FAMILIES ONLY... Be advised that any concessionary ticket purchasers are likely to be challenged for proof of age or appropriate supporting evidence for their concession at the turnstile. You may be denied access and have your ticket confiscated if you are unable to do so."


The Boston Target tells us that "Boston United boss Dennis Greene shuffles pack again as injury crisis deepens. Dennis Greene says he has never experienced such a severe injury crisis than the one currently derailing his side's start to the season.

The Boston United boss has welcomed a fixture-free midweek to give some of his players a chance of recovery...

'I have never come across anything like this as a player or as a manager,' said the frustrated Boston boss. I currently have eight players unavailable for selection. Six of those would be very probable starters, so it is really hurting us at the moment. What is also baffling is that a lot of them seem to be struggling with hamstring problems and we just can't understand why there are so many'...

Greene has ruled out going cap in hand to the United board... 'There are so many out with injuries that if I did that I would be knocking on the chairman's door every day,' said Greene. 'We are going through a tough time at the moment. The only thing we can do is hope that we can find pro clubs who will let their academy players come on loan for nothing. But, even then, you are asking a lot of an 18 or 19 year-old player to come into this environment and play at this level for the first time without making mistakes.'

Greene says there is some positive news. Defender Nat Brown was due to have a scan on his thigh this week, while striker Waide Fairhurst is thought to be two weeks away from a return... Two players injured in training, Callum Chippendale and Lewis Hilliard, are close to returning to action, while Herve Pepe-Ngoma and Jay Rollins could be back as soon as this Saturday when Kidderminster visit the Jakemans Stadium.

'If we could get those two back it would help the group enormously, especially in midfield,' said Greene. 'We have two very tough fixtures this weekend so, with so many out, it is going to be tough,' said Greene. 'But, looking on the bright side, there were no fresh injuries on Saturday, so that's a bonus'".

Darlington 1883 report that "The Vanarama National League have been in touch with the club to advise that they have received several tweets recently from Quakers fans about the usage of Darlington 1883 as the club’s name on the Vanarama National League’s website. The League advises us that, as far as it is concerned, it doesn’t have the authority from the Football Association to change the Darlington 1883 name and it is duty bound to continue using the Darlington 1883 name as long as it is the club’s legal identity that is registered with the Football Association, HMRC and other authorities. There will therefore be no change to the National League website."

The Chorley Citizen confirms that "Chorley FC manager Matt Jansen has been impressed by the Magpies work-ethic after an impressive start to the season. Back-to-back wins against Bradford Park Avenue (3-0) and then over Boston (2-0) have put the Chorley Group Victory Park outfit just outside the top five of the Vanarama Conference North by just two points.

Jansen has been pleased how the side had tightened up at the back in recent games. He said, 'We conceded three goals against FC United of Manchester on the opening game and they came from mistakes... In the matches since then [we have had] three clean sheets. We have made ourselves very difficult to break down... It is not just about ability, we have got a great team but you don't win titles or get success with players of the best ability'.

On Saturday, Dale Whitham opened the scoring... against Boston United. Josh O’Keefe converted from the penalty spot five minutes later following a handball in the box... Jansen insists he was delighted that his midfielders Whitham and O'Keefe were on target.

He said, 'That was Dale's second goal of the season and we want our midfielders to join in. With a midfielder sitting deep it means that that other one either Josh or Dale can get forward. Josh also scored a penalty so it was good to get that off our backs (where Chorley had missed efforts against Kidderminster and FC United of Manchester).... Ihave got two or three players missing out from the squad because we are so strong. But I have told the players that it is not about being in starting 11 now but they will be involved during the season'...

He said, 'It is a really strong league you have the likes of FC Halifax town, Kidderminster Harriers, Harrogate, Stockport and Salford City who will be up there'".

24 August 2016


Tue 23 Aug:
  • AFC Fylde 3-3 Salford City (gate 1,832)


Altrincham FC Reserves drew 1-1 at Knutsford on Tuesday night. Danny Hattersley netted the Altrincham goal.

The Altrincham starting eleven comprised: Andrew Jones, Harry Cain, Callum Charlton, Tom Clarke, William Foster, Sam Heathcote, Charlie Joyce, Billy Hasler-Cregg, Jamie Menagh, Danny Hattersley, Boris Melingui. The substitutes were Ryan Barry, Josef Faux and Joel Swift.


NL Pitchero reports that "Midfielder Michael Monaghan has left AFC Telford United, citing a lack of game time. A young attacking midfielder, Monaghan had only joined the Bucks in June 2016 after an excellent season with Burscough. The 20-year-old scored 22 goals for the Linnets having previously played for Skelmersdale United."
23 August 2016


In an interview with Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, manager Neil Young reflects on Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Gainsborough, reveals that goalkeeper Callum Preston (right) has left the club and outlines why he hopes to complete more transfer business in time for the Bank Holiday weekend games against Curzon Ashton and Kidderminster.

Q: You would have been looking for a positive reaction to the Fylde game, Neil, but the conditions didn't do you any favours, did they, with a swirling wind ruining it as a spectacle?

A: It wasn't ideal, but I don't want to make excuses, because it was the same for both sides. I thought we played the better football in the first half but they changed their system to match us up. Basically, there are three things going on at the moment. There's a rather large lack of confidence as a consequence of what happened against Fylde, we are struggling defensively in terms of experience at the heart of the back line and we are not creating a great deal at the other end. That's not a good recipe, and I fully accept the last two performances have not been good enough.

A lot can be made of that but the fact is we are missing some big players, such as Tom Hannigan, Shaun Densmore and Craig Hobson. Tom's injury has left us without a recognised centre-back who's got experience of playing at this level. We can't afford the luxury of having three or four proven centre-backs on contract, so injuries have really hit us.

Q: It was such a weather-disrupted game, with chances few and far between, it looked like ending 0-0 until we conceded goals you can't have been happy about?

A: They both came from mistakes by us. We had the ball for the first but gave it away, then let a cross come over from the left when it should have been stopped. Even when the cross came in, we didn't defend it well at all. The second came from a long throw down the line, and we just switched off. That was really disappointing. We still did enough to have got something out of the game. We had a great chance in the first half, when Damian Reeves headed Sam Patterson's cross wide from close in and, in the second half, Reevesy created his own opportunity for a left-foot shot that went wide and Sam Heathcote had a chance from a corner just before he came off.

But I'm not papering over the cracks; the second half wasn't good enough. We are not creating enough and we know it. We had three good performances and results to begin with but we've lost our way a bit since. We are assessing that and trying to put it right. In some areas, we are not quite right.

Q: How do you put it right, exactly?

A: We are desperately in need of at least one centre-back. Apart from Tom's injury, John Cyrus has been playing with a knock. It's nothing serious but he's not 100 per cent. Alan Goodall (left) had been playing really well in midfield alongside Jake Moult but I've had to move him back to provide that know-how and experience in defence. He's done that, but we've missed his input in midfield.

The schedule hasn't helped. I've said before it's ridiculous the amount of games we play at the start of the season. Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, and this weekend Saturday and Monday. The other managers say the same. Billy Heath at Halifax was saying he's short of numbers, even with the size of his squad.

Q: So what's the latest on injuries and possible comings and goings?

A: Well, Callum Preston has left the club. We had a chat about things and reached the decision it would be best for him to try and find another club, because he's travelling a fair way to be with us and isn't going to be number one. We will look for another keeper to challenge Andrew Dawber, particularly with a double-header this weekend but there aren't a lot out there who are prepared maybe to sit on the bench. That was one factor with Callum. Apart from the travelling, he wanted to be playing games. I have got great confidence in Andrew. He is going to be a top keeper. All it needs is a bit of patience.

Khuis Metz should be available for Saturday, though we will know more after an update from Burnley on Wednesday. Same with Craig Hobson, though we'll be better placed to judge on Thursday, and I would expect Sean Miller to be fit for the weekend as well. I'm still hoping we'll have a couple of new faces in shortly, at least one centre-back and some pace out wide. We are working on bringing in an injection of pace in at least one of the wide areas.

Q: Adam Sumner's debut at left-back was one of the bright spots at Gainsborough, didn't you think?

A: Considering he hadn't trained with us and was only introduced to the rest of the lads on the bus, I thought he did extremely well. We had him playing wing-back in the first half, when he's actually an out-and-out left-back, but he slotted in seamlessly. Just like Sam Patterson (right) on the right, he looked neat and tidy. It's easy to be negative, and rightly so in terms of our last two results, but we will work with the lads we've got and, at the same time, do our utmost to strengthen in absolutely key areas, up front and central defence. Those are the ones causing us the biggest problems".


Six of Altrincham's first-team squad will be getting game time on Tuesday evening as they take part in the Altrincham FC Reserves' The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Premier Division fixture away to Knutsford FC (k.o. 6.30pm). Spectators are very welcome to support the team; admission at Knutsford is £2. The ground location is here.


A report on Altrincham Youth's narrow defeat at home to Ashton Athletic is here.

Other results in the NWYA Premier Division were

  • Chester 3 Chorley 0
  • Morecambe 4 Warrington Town 5
  • Skelmersdale United 2 Curzon Ashton 3


The Gainsborough Standard reports that "Gainsborough secured their first win of the season as two second half goals capped a good performance from Dominic Roma’s men to beat visiting Altrincham 2-0... It was a much better display from the Blues and one that put to bed the three defeats in a row.

The Blues were defensively sound and finally got that rub of the green in front of goal that Trinity boss Roma said ‘would even itself out over the season’... Both sides started rather shakily after the defeats in midweek with misplaced passes being the common theme for the opening 20 minutes. The visitors arguably should have been ahead by then though as Damian Reeves glanced a header wide when unmarked in the area...

Trinity could not take advantage of all the positive work they were putting in and were almost caught out by the outrageous when James Lawrie tried to beat Jonathan Hedge from the halfway line, with the result too close for comfort... Thewlis controlled a deep cross to set up Wiles who’s shot ended up being the perfect pass for Rothery. Rothery managed to turn the ball goalwards and it squirmed out of the reach of Dawber and Worsfold prodded home...

The Robins did threaten the Gainsborough goal passed [past?] the hour mark. Firstly a cross fell at the feet of Heathcote and he could not rearrange them quick enough before poking over. Four minutes later, Reeves managed to turn Quinn in the box with the finish floating well wide... The game was won though with six minutes to go when substitute Jacob Hazel pounced on a defensive error, marauded into the box and squared Rothery to seal the three points."


The Worcester News reports that "Worcester City boss Carl Heeley admits he is still searching for his strongest 11 after a winless start to their season. City secured only the second point of their Vanarama National League North campaign on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester.

Returning full-back Tyler Weir and midfielder Danny Jackman made their first appearances of the season at the weekend. Defender Andy Gallinagh, forward Jordan Murphy and winger Chekaine Steele were recalled to the starting line-up after City lost 3-2 to Gloucester last Tuesday. City are expected to make further changes for Saturday’s clash against Chorley at the Victoria Ground (3pm) with attacking midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy suspended and full-back Cieron Keane likely to return.

Heeley believes his side have looked 'a little bit rusty' in the opening five games but he feels their inability to sign players earlier in the summer had not helped their cause. 'When we get all of our players available to us, I think we will be stronger,' said Heeley, who has been without Connor Gater (toe), Richard Batchelor (thigh) and Kieron Morris (hand) through injury. 'We are still looking around for our strongest 11 and formation. That comes as a result of not having the players in place early enough in pre-season... whereas when you get your players in early you work on those things in pre-season so you can hit the ground running'".

In the Shrospshire News we learn that "Boss Rob Smith is ready to dip into the transfer market again as he aims to make AFC Telford United a force in National League North. The manager has vowed he 'will not rest'” until the Bucks are challenging at the top end of the table and is eager to fill the space left by Friday’s exit of midfielder Lee Fowler.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton left Telford 14th, with five points from as many games. Smith believes... 'We are probably one or two or three away from being a very good team. I want to get up the right end of the table soon. I think Saturday was a game we should have won'...

Summer signing Fowler left by mutual consent less than a fortnight into the campaign... The manager was left fuming at what he described as a 'disgraceful' first-half performance on Saturday, which left the Bucks needing a resurgence in the second 45 minutes to salvage a point. It was not an afternoon without positives, however, with striker James Hurst seeing his first action in a Telford shirt. The 24-year-old appeared as a second-half substitute, less than three weeks after undergoing surgery on a groin injury...

Added Smith, 'He was miles off match fitness and you could see that. But it is half-an-hour into him and he has a full week of training ahead'".

Meanwhiles, "Captain Gianluca Havern has promised AFC Telford will get better... Danny Reynolds salvaged a 1-1 draw... But Havern accepted the first half was simply not good enough.

'We didn’t start the game right in my opinion,in everyone’s opinion,' he said. 'At half-time we changed things up, stuck together and got a point. That said, I can’t defend that first 45 minutes. The lads were a bit down about that. Something is not quite clicking at the moment, but we look solid at times and I think we will be OK', he said...

A fuming Smith had branded Saturday’s performance “'unacceptable' and apologised to fans who travelled to watch the team. 'The commitment level in the first half was disgraceful and I apologise to the supporters on behalf of the players,' said the manager".

22 August 2016


Above: Altrincham FC Youth team observe a minute's silence before the game on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, Altrincham FC lost their opening league match, 0-1 at home to Ashton Athletic. An 87th minute goal won the game for the visitors but, earlier in the second half, Alty had a penalty saved.

Report to follow.


Following their victory over Altrincham, the Gainsborough Standard says that "Gainsborough manager Dominic Roma was delighted with the victory over an Altrincham side he thinks will be up at the business end come the latter stages of the season...

Roma said, 'Obviously I’m delighted to get the three points... I’ve kept emphasising to the lads that we need to keep doing what we have been doing. Every one of them is believing in what we are doing. Every single player has been brought to the club for a reason, as have the staff, and we have to keep believing. We showed that today... We were up against a good team too, lets not make any bones about it, Altrincham have got a good team and they have a good manager so I’m delighted.'

Roma believes the movement of the ball in attacking areas was key to securing the win alongside a belief that their luck would turnaround. He said, 'Quick play around the box would be the key to breaking that back four down. Everything that we are doing in training is done for a reason and geared towards game situations. Personally, I think that we have been quiet unlucky... We knew that if we kept moving the ball around their box quick enough it would open up for us and it did'...

He said, 'I’ve bought in 12 new players to the football club so it’s not going to click overnight. A lot of them have been brought here for reasons beyond what is on the pitch now as we are not in position where we can pay a lot of money for players. So we have had to play Ioan, who I thought was tremendous today,and Alex Wiles who was brilliant. We have to use what contacts we have got to bring in players like [loanee] Darnell in. We have to blood these lads to give them enough experience and coaching to make them better players and that’s what I’m trying to do'".


Alty's next guests at the J. Davidson Stadium are Curzon Ashton. The Shropshire Star reports on Curzon Ashton 1 AFC Telford 1 on Saturday.

"A stirring second half display saw AFC Telford come from behind to earn a point at Curzon Ashton. Niall Cummins’ opener for the hosts had left the Bucks trailing... The draw was on balance, perhaps, a fair result, though Bucks boss Rob Smith will have been ruing a first half in which his team simply didn’t turn up... Smith made two changes from the team which beat Stalybridge in midweek, with Callum Gittings replacing the injured Jack Rea and [ex-Alty midfielder] Sean Williams coming in for Evans...

A shaky start saw the Bucks survive a number of close calls in the early stages. Indeed, they might have been behind inside the opening five minutes had [ex-Alty centre-back] Danny Hall been able to connect with Iain Howard’s corner, after being given the freedom of the box by the visiting defence...

Curzon had conceded 12 goals in their opening four league games but the Bucks' forward line of Dave Hibbert, Tom Peers and Josh Wilson found themselves living off scraps.. It was the hosts who were always slicker and... Cummins duly gave them a deserved lead...

Curzon (4-4-2): Burton, Rowney, Hunt, Hall D, Guest, Hall R (Gorman 80), Watson (Wright 80) Howard, Hazeldine (Brooke 83) Cummins, Ennis Subs not used: Tomsett, Mason".

Curzon Ashton also report that "New Curzon signing Ryan Hall has taken a slightly different route to the National League North than others who play at the level. While a host of players in the second tier of non-league have Premier League and Football League academy experience, Hall has worked his career in the complete opposite direction. He started from the bottom and he's well in the process of working his way up.

Hall, who has featured in all four of Curzon's opening league games, joined the Nash from Brighouse Town in the summer... Recalling how his career began playing for Moor Green, his local Saturday side, Hall said, 'I was just playing Saturday football for my local team and I was doing well, scoring lots of goals from the wing and people were telling me I need to move on up. I represented Huddersfield Minors, where you represent your town and play Leeds, Bradford and we won that. From that I got picked for trials to go and represent West Riding County FA at Under-18s.

'We got to the FA County Youth Cup final and my manager at West Riding told me to move on, I couldn't go back to Moor Green and rest on that. He told me that I need to go and get a semi-professional team. That's when I got a trial at Brighouse, got into the reserves and Paul Quinn (Brighouse manager) wanted me in the first team when they had a few injuries and it just went from there! I played at Brighouse for four seasons and I think that every season I improved. We won the Northern Counties East, went up to the Evo-Stik and I had a few injuries, started going in and out of the team. But I had a good solid year last season and Quinny told me that I needed to try and step up and go higher again, so I got in touch with John and he invited me for a trial with Curzon...

'People have said things like 'you could be the next Vardy' but I don't even think about anything like that or league football... I am confident that by the end of the season, I will become a good National League player'".


The Guardian reports that former Alty player "Duncan Watmore knows assumptions can be dangerous. The young Sunderland winger with the first-class honours degree in economics and business management from Newcastle University is a bit fed up with being portrayed as a rare brainbox in an intellectual desert.

It explains why Watmore seems constantly anxious to point out that 'You can’t get by in professional football without intelligence, of one form or another,' and why he is mildly irked to see his profession compared unfavourably with Britain’s all-conquering Olympians. 'The Olympians work very, very hard and sacrifice everything for four years in order to give it their best shot,' says the 22-year-old England Under‑21 international as he prepares for Sunday’s north-east derby at home to Middlesbrough.

'It’s a very intense regime and I’ve got a lot of respect for them. Can football learn from them? I suppose, yes, in some respects, if players aren’t working hard enough, you can learn. But from what I see here, our players are very dedicated and give up a lot to be as good as they can. The Olympians are people to look up to, but we’re working hard too. It’s a lazy stereotype just to say that footballers turn up, kick a ball for a couple of hours and then head home.'

One of the pleasures Watmore has sacrificed is staying up into the early hours in order to catch the action from Rio. 'Watching the Olympics is taking up a lot of my spare time,' he says. 'But I’ve had to miss all the athletics finals in the middle of the night because of training the next morning. Back in my student days I’d have been up all night.'

Watmore displayed intense personal discipline to combine his studies with life as a professional footballer after swapping non-league Altrincham for Sunderland in 2013 and is duly enjoying the luxury of finally having some free time after training. With his mother, Georgina, a rector, and his father, Ian, a former chief executive of the Football Association, Watmore, who may eventually return to academia and study for a master’s degree, could easily have been cast as the odd one out in the dressing room.

Instead he appears extremely popular with his Sunderland team-mates who attended a special ceremony organised last December by Sam Allardyce, the club’s former manager, to mark his graduation. England’s coach made a big show of assembling the entire squad and presenting Watmore with an elaborate scroll. 'You lads wouldn’t know what one of these is,' said Allardyce, attempting to impart an important lesson. 'But you should educate yourselves. Life’s about learning.'

Life at Sunderland in recent years has been mainly about turbulence and relentless change. David Moyes is the fifth manager Watmore has played under on Wearside where Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Allardyce have come and gone since his arrival.

'I was sad to see Sam go,' he says. 'He was really good, he gave me a lot of chances and we did well as a team. We were all sad to lose him, but the transition to the new manager has been absolutely fine. David Moyes has come in and everyone’s been very impressed. I’m enjoying it. He and Sam impress me in slightly different ways, but they’re two of the best managers I’ve worked with and David Moyes is already giving some of our young players a chance; that’s good to see.'

So far Moyes has proved extremely hands on. 'He likes to take a lot of the sessions himself,' says Watmore. 'It helps us get to know him and vice versa. We’re learning what he likes and what he doesn’t like.'

Despite starting last Saturday’s narrow defeat at Manchester City, he now faces competition from Wahbi Khazri and Adnan Januzaj... 'My best performances have probably been as an impact sub,' he says. 'My game’s quite well suited to that. Last season when we needed the game changing I could sometimes do that. If I’m impacting matches well from the bench I’m happy, but I want to start more this season. The goal is to play more football.'

Pacy, direct and possessing adhesive control, Watmore has been likened to a young Gareth Bale by Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe, but he knows he cannot afford to tread water. 'I’m no longer an unknown quantity,' he says. 'That provides a challenge as you can’t really surprise people very much. I’ve got to adapt, to change my game as much as possible and keep trying to improve'...

'I know we say this every year, but we’ve been playing well for most of 2016 and there’s a lot of confidence around the place that we can avoid another struggle,' says Watmore".

Danny Boshell had a brief spell at Altrincham but Guiseley report that "Following the run of poor results since the start of the season, the Board of Guiseley AFC have made the decision to part company with manager Mark Bower and his assistant Danny Boshell. The current run of five successive defeats sees the club struggling at the foot of the National League table and the Board felt that a change was necessary to address the position.

Centre-back Adam Lockwood has agreed to take interim charge of the team".

Former Alty loanee Jonny Margetts hit four for Lincoln City on Saturday. Scott Leather was named Man of the Match for Chorley in the NL Paper this Sunday.


On Bank Holiday Monday, Altrincham travel to Agborough which has been far from a happy hunting ground in recent years though we secured a 1-1 draw last season, conceding an 89th minute equalizer.

The Kidderminster Shuttle reported on saturday's 2-1 win for the Harriers at home to Stalybridge Celtic in which "Ten-man Harriers recorded their first home win of the season... The hosts had looked on course for a comfortable win after cruising to 2-0 in the first half thanks to goals for Mani Dieseruvwe and Tyrone Williams. But Celtic hit back after the break when Nick Ryan pulled one back.

To make matters worse, Ash Carter was sent off after losing his temper in the centre circle... Harriers were unchanged from the side that defeated Nuneaton 2-0 in mid week but they did welcome summer signing Wayne Thomas onto the bench after he overcame an injury. They faced a Celtic side with a slew of players missing because if injury, including Jimmy Ball, Paul Foy, John Shaw and Matty Hughes.

Such was the the away side's spies [?] they could only field four players on the bench. Harriers started the game brightly and faced a side content to sit back and put up two banks of five. Celtic had very little desire to go forward as they defended as if their lives depended on it from the first minute... Keith Lowe's long range shot ricocheted into the path of Dieseruvwe, who lashed home a fine effort from the edge of the box. Right-back Tyrone Williams made it 2-0 in the 35th, heading home emphatically from a well-taken Arthur Gnahoua corner...

Harriers looked in complete control but saw their lead halved against the run of in the 52nd minute... To make matters worse, Kiddy were reduced to ten men in the 66th minute when Ash Carter was given a red card after scuffling with Celtic substitute Farrell and squaring up to [ex-Alty trialist] Aaron Chalmers. Harriers handed a debut to new addition Ryan Croasdale, who had previously played for Celtic, when he replaced Gnahoua in the 70th minute...

Thomas was handed his competitive Harriers debut in the 84th minute when he replaced Elton Ngwatala in an effort to shore up the hosts. The big defender made several timely headed clearances...

Harriers: Hornby, Williams, Francis-Angol, Carter, Lowe, Tunnicliffe, Waite, McQuilkin, Dieseruvwe, Ngwatala (Thomas, 84), Gnahoua (Croasdale, 70). Subs not used: Austin, Truslove, Brown".


Alty play our neighbours Stockport County on 3rd September. County lost at home 2-4 to Brackley Town last Saturday and report that "The Hatters similarly slumped to suffer their first home defeat of the season... Three goals within nine first-half minutes for the visitors rocked County...

County's line-up featured two changes from that which had run out at Edgeley Park against Halifax four days earlier. Scott Spencer, making his first start since returning to SK3, and Lloyd replaced Thomas and Scott Duxbury...

Team: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Spencer (Thomas, 68), Meppen-Walter (West, 75), Clarke, Ross (Capt.), Stopforth, Montrose, Amis (Smalley, 46), Marsden, Lloyd. Unused Subs: Ormson, Carney...

Attendance: 2,529 (9 away)."

21 August 2016


Sun 21 Aug:
  • Gloucester City 1-2 Darlington 1883


Match report here.

During Saturday's match, at 3.20pm, the following appeared on the Gainsborough Trinity website. "Dominic Roma has moved to bolster his sides attacking options after a disappointing opening to the season which has so far seen the side fail to pick up a win. The move to secure the signature of teenage forward, Darnell Bailey-King is hoped to provide a fresh injection of pace in the final third and comes highly recommended by former Trinity manager, Neil Warnock and Rotherham United Youth Coach, Ciaran Toner a former Gainsborough favourite.

Of the signing, Dom had this to say, 'We tried to sign him last season, but were able to get it done this time round when we were alerted to the fact that he was able to go out on loan. He is an exciting player, able to operate on either wing and in the forward line, Bailey-King is blessed with blistering pace and an eye for goal having finished as the academy's top goalscorer in the 2015/16 season'".

Alty were certainly able to vouch for Rotherham United loanee Bailey-King's pace after he had come off the bench, late in the game.

Right: Courtesy of Michael Ripley we see Sam Heathcote in the thick of the action at Gainsborough. Also seen is Adam Sumner.


Gates on Saturday were...
  • Att: 440: Alfreton Town v AFC Fylde
  • Att: 301: Bradford Park Avenue v Harrogate Town
  • Att: 1009: Chorley v Boston United
  • Att: 261: Curzon Ashton v AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 1597: FC Halifax Town v Tamworth
  • Att: 2328: FC United Of Manchester v Worcester City
  • Att: 424: Gainsborough Trinity v Altrincham
  • Att: 1185: Kidderminster Harriers v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Att: 621: Nuneaton Town v Salford City
  • Att: 2529: Stockport County v Brackley Town


Sat 27 Aug:,
  • AFC Fylde v FC Halifax Town
  • AFC Telford Utd v Stockport County
  • Altrincham v Curzon Ashton
  • Boston United v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Brackley Town v FC United Of Manchester
  • Darlington 1883 v Alfreton Town
  • Harrogate Town v Nuneaton Town
  • Salford City v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Gloucester City
  • Tamworth v Bradford Park Avenue
  • Worcester City v Chorley


Altrincham Reserves beat Poynton 2-0 on Saturday, both goals coming from Harry Cain.


In its review, the National League reports that "FC Halifax Town looked determined to make a rapid return to the Vanarama National League after recording a 4-0 win at The Shay against Tamworth to sit top of the fledgling National League North table.

The game was virtually over at half-time when the Shaymen led 3-0, thanks to goals from Danny Hone after 25 minutes, Richard Peniket on 36 minutes and Jordan Sinnott 5 minutes before the break. Peniket netted again to make it 4-0 just shy of the hour-mark, his 13th goal in just five matches for Halifax.

The Shaymen`s Yorkshire rivals Harrogate Town joined them on 11 points after winning the derby at the Horsfall Stadium against Bradford Park Avenue by the odd goal in five... Warren Burrell made it 3-2 with a superb individual goal in the 88th minute to seal Harrogate`s win.

AFC Fylde, newcomers Salford City and Chorley remain unbeaten after Saturday`s games, with Darlington 1883 and Gloucester City also undefeated ahead of their meeting tomorrow.

The Coasters were involved in an eight-goal thriller at the Impact Arena against Alfreton Town. It was a great personal day for Fylde`s Danny Rowe, who netted four times... with James Hardy making it a nap hand...

Nuneaton Town are still looking for a first win of the new season after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to new boys Salford at Liberty Way... It was settled by a 15th minute Mike Phenix effort...

Boston United... were beaten for the fourth time in five games by Chorley at Victory Park. Goals from Dale Whitham after 34 minutes and Josh O’Keefe 5 minutes later guaranteed the points went to the Magpies...

Brackley Town recorded a fine 4-2 win at Edgeley Park against Stockport County in front of another fine crowd of 2,529. They saw the Northamptonshire visitors race into a 2-0 lead with goals from Lee Ndlovu after 19 minutes and Gareth Dean 2 minutes later.

Danny Lloyd reduced the arrears 5 minutes later, only for Ndlovu to send Brackley into the break 3-1 up.... Alex Gudger eventually made the game safe for the visitors with a fourth goal in the 78th minute, rendering Adam Thomas`s last-minute reply as just a consolation.

Ten-man Kidderminster Harriers recorded their first home win of the season in a nervy affair against Stalybridge Celtic at Aggborough. The hosts had looked on course for a comfortable win after cruising to a 2-0 lead, thanks to goals for Mani Dieseruvwe after 17 minutes and Tyrone Williams 10 minutes before the break.

But Celtic hit back after the break when Nick Ryan pulled one back just 6 minutes in. Harriers` nerves weren`t helped when they had Ashley Carter dismissed after losing his temper on the halfway line...

Worcester City are still to earn their first win, but produced a valiant display to earn a point from a 1-1 draw at Broadhurst Park against FC United of Manchester... Worcester`s Ebby Nelson-Addy was sent-off in injury-time after receiving a second yellow card...

AFC Telford United also came from behind to earn a point at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton... The visitors then had the better chances in an end-to-end finale but could not find a way past home keeper Hakan Burton."

NL Pitchero tells us that "Defender Dom Collins has been made available for permanent transfer by AFC Fylde. Collins began his career with Preston North End and had spells with Crawley Town, Chester FC and Hereford United before joining Southport.

The 24-year-old played in the National League for three seasons with Port before moving up the coast to join Fylde in the summer.

Collins, who started in the opening day victory over AFC Telford United, is keen to play regular first-team football and the club have accepted his transfer request."


In The Emirates F.A Cup Preliminary Round James Walshaw hit a hat-trick for Farsley Celtic who won 6-0 away at Congleton Town.
20 August 2016


Above: David Lynch and debutant left-back Adam Sumner are seen here in action at Gainsborough. Sumner is one of fifteen players to have made their debuts for Altrincham so far this season.

Bottom of the table Trinity deservedly beat a lacklustre Altrincham who scarcely troubled goalkeeper Hedge throughout this game, which was played in gusty conditions which deteriorated into squally rain. Alty started quite brightly but the hosts grew into the game. Trinity took the lead eight minutes after the break when Dawber was left exposed by his defence. He did well to beat away an initial shot but Worsfold was on hand to net the loose ball.

With Alty adopting a formation which often appeared more 5-3-2 than 3-5-2, they struggled to link up with front men Reeves and Bell.

After bringing on substitutes Menagh and Richman, Altrincham showed more attacking intent but rarely looked like breaching the Trinity backline. The hosts wrapped up the game six minutes from time when Hazel got round Cyrus in the right of the box and his pass set up Rothery to score from close range, despite Dawber doing well to partly block the ball.

Match report here.


Right: Nyal Bell, who was one of Altrincham's three debutants today; the others were Adam Sumner and substitute Jamie Menagh.

Sat 20 Aug.

Through the Years from Howard Watts.

  • Alfreton Town 3-5 AFC Fylde
  • Bradford Park Avenue 2-3 Harrogate Town
  • Chorley 2-0 Boston United
  • Curzon Ashton 1-1 AFC Telford Utd
  • FC Halifax Town 4-0 Tamworth
  • FC United of Manchester 1-1 Worcester City
  • Gainsborough Trinity 2-0 Altrincham
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Nuneaton Town 0-1 Salford City
  • Stockport County 2-4 Brackley Town

Sun 21 Aug.

  • Gloucester City v Darlington FC 1883


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "Neil Young's exhaustive search for reinforcements has paid dividends, with the arrival of Nyal Bell from Gateshead and AFC Fylde's Adam Sumner to The J.Davidson Stadium. Manchester-born Bell, a 6ft 2in striker, has been signed on loan, while highly-rated 24-year old left-back Sumner has become an Alty player on a non-contract basis.

Delighted to have strengthened his selection options ahead of Saturday's trip to Gainsborough, Alty boss Young said, 'We have brought Nyal in to give us more options up front, with the injuries to both Khuis Metz and Craig Hobson.

'We have been looking to fill the left-back area, and Adam has made 80 appearances in this league for Fylde and competed in two years of playoffs. That tells you something of his experience. Both players will be available for Saturday.'

A youth team graduate at Spotland, Bell made his first-team debut for Rochdale against Coventry City two years ago, and had a three-month loan spell at Chester, where he made a favourable impression. So much so, that Chester wanted to sign him when he left Rochdale, only for Gateshead to beat them to the punch by offering the frontrunner a two-year deal.

Sumner began his career at Fleetwood, where he was awarded a full-time contract. He joined Northwich in 2011, then became Dave Challinor's first signing for Fylde soon after. A virtual ever-present, he was credited with playing a key role in Fylde's subsequent rise to their current standing as one of the favourites for promotion to the Vanarama National League".

NL Pitchero adds that "Young forward Nyal Bell [d.o.b. 17 January 1997] has joined Altrincham on a month's loan from Gateshead. Bell joined Gateshead on a two-year deal in July. Nineteen-year-old Bell was released by Rochdale in June. He put pen-to-paper on his first professional deal with the Dale a year ago, having made his bow for the first-team the season prior.

In total, Bell made three appearances for Rochdale at senior level... He was loaned out to Droylsden and Chester FC last season, figuring three times for the Blues in the National League between February and March. Bell, who has yet to figure competitively for the Heed, could make his debut for Alty at Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow."

Also arriving at the J. Davidson Stadium is left-back Adam Sumner [d.o.b. 4 December, 1991] from AFC Fylde who state that "Sumner joined the club from Northwich Victoria. Sumner started his career with neighbours Fleetwood Town and was given a full time contract at the club... He then enjoyed loan spells with AFC Blackpool, Kendal Town and Northwich Victoria to aid his development. He promptly signed for the Vics in the summer of 2011... and Dave Challinor made him his first signing for the club in November 2011. A cultured defender with a great left foot Sumner impressed Challinor and was a key player in their Championship winning side...

His mazy runs down the left hand side are impressive and he had a really good season in 2013-2014. Some of his strong points are his crossing and his free-kicks. Sumner played a pivotal role in helping Fylde to finish second in the Conference North league table during the 2014-15 season".


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 Brian Flynn and John Edwards. Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.


As Alty's players will not have squad numbers or wear their names on their shirts next season, the Altrincham FC shirt sponsorship scheme will be a little different for 2016-17.

You are still invited to sponsor your chosen player's shirt, home and/or away for 2016-17. At the end of the season you will receive the signed shirt which bears the player's most commonly worn number.

To sponsor a player, please contact the club on 0161 928-1045 or e-mail your request.

It is just £150 to sponsor one shirt or £250 for two!

A list of the available players and of those already sponsored is here.


News of Alty's opponents comes from the Lincolnshire Echo which tells us that "Dom Roma is refusing to panic despite seeing his side hit rock-bottom following their midweek home defeat to Harrogate Town. The Gainsborough Trinity boss insists it is only a matter of time before the Blues add to their one point in National League North and start to move up the league table.

The Blues boss has seen his side plummet following three consecutive league defeats, but Roma insists the players will not be fazed... 'Being bottom of the table doesn't have any impact on me because I have been in this position before as a player', said Roma. 'I don't expect it to have an effect on the players either. We are just four games into the new season. If we are 25 games in and still at the bottom of the table then it might start to play on their minds a little bit.

'It looks bad at the moment but we are four games in, there are 38 games left. If we keep performing how we did for big parts of the game against Harrogate, we will beat teams and we will pick up points. You don't really get nerves with young players because they haven't really experienced this type of football so have nothing to compare it to. So I don't think it will affect their mind-set. We are not seeing any nerves from these lads. Obviously they are upset when they lose a game of football, but I thought we peppered Harrogate for 45 minutes. It is just not going for us at the moment.'

Despite Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at the Martin & Co Arena, Roma says he was not unhappy with how his side played... The Blues were on top during the second 45 minutes... However, with a home game against Altrincham next up on Saturday, Roma admits his side's task will not get any easier. “Altrincham is a tough challenge, but they are all tough challenges," added Roma. “We are coming up against a team which has spent big in the summer having come down from the Conference. They are probably one of 13 teams in our league that are spending like that. 'We have to keep believing in what we are doing and stick to our principles and we will come out of it. There are a lot of positives, especially after Saturday [when Trinity lost 4-1 at Gloucester], because I wanted a reaction. I am a big believer in things evening out over the season and we just have to keep believing and plugging away'".


For those not travelling to Gainsborough, there will be action at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday at 11am in the Barclays Under-18 League when Manchester United take on Liverpool. Alty's official caterer, Richie Bentley, advises us that "The kiosk on Golf Road will be open for refreshments and we look forward to seeing any Alty fans. It is free entry via the Moss Lane turnstiles".


Harrogate Town report that "Andy Gascoigne has today joined Frickley Athletic FC on a one-month loan deal. The attacking midfielder started Harrogate Town's opening two matches of the season, but will go straight into the squad for The Blues' clash with Stafford on Saturday".

At Boston United the club has "strengthened its selection options by signing Notts County midfielder Jack McMillan on a month’s youth loan. The 18-year-old, who turns 19 in October, will be available to feature in eight matches during his initial month with the Pilgrims following the signing and submission of paperwork on Friday afternoon. Subject to the necessary clearances... McMillan will be eligible to make his United debut at Chorley on Saturday".

According to the National League, "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed the acquisition of former Preston North End midfielder Ryan Croasdale ahead of tomorrow’s game with Stalybridge Celtic. The 21-year-old has penned non-contract forms at Aggborough in time to be available to boss John Eustace against Celtic...

Croasdale began his career with Preston after coming through their youth ranks, but left to join Sheffield Wednesday two years ago. He’s had loan spells with Stalybridge and Tamworth at this level and, having left Wednesday in the summer, comes to Aggborough as a free agent. Eustace commented, 'We’re a little light on midfield options and Ryan has done well in training with us recently. It’s only a non-contract arrangement for now'".

we learn from the Shropshire Star that "Lee Fowler has left AFC Telford United by mutual consent. The 33-year-old midfielder, who has played for the likes of Huddersfield Town, Oxford United and Doncaster Rovers, was signed by the Bucks over the summer. His last appearance for the club in the National League North was the 2-1 loss at The Lamb Ground against Tamworth last Saturday, in which he was substituted at half-time.

He was included in the squad for the 2-0 win against Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday night at the New Bucks Head, but he did not come off the bench".

Also from Kidderminster Harriers, we learn that "Goalkeeper Jono Brown has joined Yate Town on loan until January 2017. The shot-stopper, who earned his first Harriers contract in the summer, will stay with Southern League Division One South & West until the turn of the year".

19 August 2016


Altrincham travel to Gainsborough on Saturday hoping for a less eventful game than on their last two visits to The Northolme, which have yielded fifteen goals!

Last time, on Tuesday, 7 January 2014, the match finished 5-4 to the hosts in one of the two games played for Altrincham by former Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham. Above, the players are pictured lining up before kick off when the line up was 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Danny Higginbotham, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Tom Marshall, 7. Jake Moult, 8. Carl Rodgers 9. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs 12. Matt Doughty, 14. Greg Wilkinson, 16. James Walshaw, 15. James Lawrie, 18. Adam Reid. Damian Reeves, Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore and James Lawrie are the only four survivors at the Club from that 16-man squad.

Alty fell behind in under three minutes before Kyle Perry equalised in the 15th minute and they were 4-1 down by the hour mark. Alty got it back to 4-3, then conceded five minutes into added time before getting their fourth goal a minute later!

And the previous season, on 4 September 2012, the game kicked off an hour and two minutes late due to a partial floodlight failure at The Northolme. Alty then built up a 4-0 lead before securing a 4-2 victory.

Mike Garnett provides the statistical summary of encounters between the two clubs...

  • At Altrincham: P25-W9-D10-L6-F38-A22
  • Away: P28-W11-D4-L13-F37-A44
  • Neutral: P1-W1-D0-L0-F2-A1
  • All: P54-W21-D14-L19-f77-A67


When Altrincham travel to Gainsborough on Saturday, TASC will be arranging supporters' coach transport to the match. The timings and fares are here. You can book by ringing the Club during weekday office hours on 0161 928-1045.


Above, Altrincham FC's new fixtures mug (left) and team photo mug (right), which are for sale from the Club (0161 928-1045) at £6 each.

Below, are two new mugs produced by TASC (The Altrincham FC Supporters' Club). Jack Jolly writes, "Show your love for Altrincham FC in your office, or at home, with our new limited edition mugs. Two new designs have been produced by T.A.S.C: Altea and Ceefax. These are now available to pre-order ahead of their debut in the Club shop for the match against Curzon Ashton.

The Ceefax mugs (above) come are designed to celebrate our historic wins against Guiseley, Barnsley, and Birmingham. There are a limited number of each and they come with an individual number. The Altea mugs are as pictured (below). Order the new T.A.S.C mugs today. Priced at £10. All profits will be going to the Club". E-mail your name and order to Jack Jolly.


Gloucestershire Live says that "Gloucester City striker Ethan Moore has been ruled out for the rest of the season after a scan revealed he's torn his anterior cruciate ligament. The striker, who only joined the Tigers in the summer after helping Cinderford Town win Southern League Division One South and West last season, picked up the injury in training just two days before the start of the National League North campaign.

A club statement said, 'All at Gloucester City are devastated for new striker Ethan Moore following the news that he faces an operation to repair a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Ethan had shown fine form in pre-season but injured the knee in a seemingly innocuous training ground accident'".

This weekend Telford United play the next visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium, Curzon Ashton. "The Bucks took a solitary point last season against a Curzon side that recorded the highest ever finish in the club's history, finishing in an impressive 11th place in their first ever campaign in the second tier of the non-League pyramid. That point for Telford came in a goalless draw at the New Buck's Head last August, and the Nash recorded a second clean sheet against the Bucks when they won the reverse fixture 1-0 in December.

The Curzon defence wasn’t as tight in the opening throes of this campaign, the Greater Manchester club conceding 10 goals in their first two games. An opening day 6-1 mauling at home to Kidderminster Harriers was followed by an entertaining 4-4 draw at Bradford Park Avenue. However, manager John Flanagan has seen considerably better defensive displays since, his side winning 1-0 at Alfreton before slipping to a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Darlington 1883 on Monday night...

Along with Tamworth, Curzon were last year’s draw specialists, recording stalemates in 15 of their Vanarama National League North matches. And with both sides level on four points in the early season table, another close encounter looks to be on the cards this weekend".


The Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round is to be played in week commencing 31/10/16. Other Round dates are...
  • 1st Round: W/C 09/01/17
  • 2nd Round: W/C 06/02/17
  • Semi-Final: W/C 06/03/17
  • Final: April 2017 (Provisional)


As usual, it is ex-Football League clubs who feature in the latest televised National League games announced by BT Sport. Eastleigh supporters will be relishing their 310 mile trip up to Cumbria for a 12.15pm kick off.
  • Saturday, October 1st – Dagenham & Redbridge v Tranmere Rovers (5.30pm)
  • Tuesday, October 4th - Solihull Moors v Southport (7.45pm)
  • Saturday, October 8th – Tranmere Rovers v Wrexham (12.15pm)
  • Saturday, October 29th – Barrow AFC v Eastleigh (12.15pm)

18 August 2016


Altrincham manager Neil Young pulled no punches in a post-match interview with joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night, as he mulled over a 6-0 defeat by AFC Fylde that left everyone stunned. Here is the interview in full.

Q: We were more than a match for highly-fancied opponents in our first three games, but we just never got going tonight, did we?

A: They exposed us ruthlessly, but we were absolutely shocking. I've got to hold my hand up and say I probably got the team selection wrong. It wasn't a case of not paying Fylde enough respect, because I always respect Dave Challinor teams, but we were far too open. I don't want to use injuries as an excuse, but you can see Simon Garner has had to play and Sam Patterson has turned out despite not feeling well with flu. You can use excuses, but at the end of the day, there was not enough passion or commitment from us. The opening 10 minutes, we were OK. We were doing well, taking the game to them and finding some nice pockets, but once their first goal went in, we absolutely capitulated.

I will hold my hand up, because I probably left us too open from a team perspective in terms of the way we were going to play but lads were given instructions and did not carry them out. The first goal was a prime example. I have asked them to do a job but they have not done that job in a particular situation and they (Fylde) have got out on the right-hand side and crossed the ball and it's a tap-in. I'm embarrassed and can only apologise to everyone who has paid money to come and watch that tonight, because it was an absolutely woeful, woeful football performance from our side.

Q: That first goal set the tone, really, didn't it?

A: It was the first and then the second very quickly after that, and the way it was going, it could have been worse for us at half-time. We rejigged it a bit for the second half and told them they had to at least put a performance on for the following 45 minutes. I'm not sure you could call it that,but we were, at least, a bit more organised. Overall, though, there is nothing positive to say, only negative. Who would have seen that coming after the opening three games?

But we know we need to bring in two or three players. It was a harsh lesson for me as well, putting trust in a system to hopefully get us on the front foot but seeing the way it turned out. It's like any football manager. You pick the team, send them out there and trust it's going to prove effective. We know Fylde have good movement and, as a full-time team, are able to work on a lot of stuff under a good coach, but, from our point of view, you've got to have the desire to want to defend. You've got to want to track people, instead of letting them run off the back of you. There seemed to be a total lack of desire. I don't know whether it was fatigue. We looked a bit tired, but I'm not going to use excuses, because I'm sure the supporters feel cheated with that performance. I can only apologise.

I have said we've got good players with good attitude, and I have commended them for that often enough but, tonight, from senior players down, that attitude and commitment was nowhere to be seen. There was no appetite for competing. I said to them, at the end, this league is not what it was like five years ago. It is a totally different entity. You are up against much better sides and much better players. A lot of clubs are spending lots of money trying to get out of it, and if you don't want to go out there and do the horrible bits, you won't win football matches. That's where we fell down. We didn't want to get close to them. People didn't want to do their jobs.

Once that rot sets in, and you concede two or three and heads start going down, you've got a problem. I've never been involved in a 6-0 defeat before, and I don't want to be again. Every time they attacked, it looked like they could score. We were swiping at balls, miskicking, falling over. There was a bit of fatigue in there after using the same players so much of the time, but there are no excuses for any of us for that performance. It was absolutely shocking.

Q: What specifically would you put down to yourself?

A: It was team selection, really, and being a bit too open. Of course, losing Tom Hannigan the other night was big for us, and there weren't that many changes I could make, but really it was the formation. We're at home, and I wanted to go with two up front and James Lawrie as well. But the instructions were to lock up their full-backs, and we just didn't want to do that by the looks of it at times. Ultimately, though, I should probably have been a bit more conservative with the formation. That is the bit I lay squarely at my feet. I also lay the result squarely at my feet, because I'm the manager of this football team and I ain't ducking or diving from anything. That's my responsibility. I'm thoroughly embarrassed and apologise to the fans.

It's a difficult one, because when you've had three performances like we've had, something like this comes completely out of the blue. It knocks you for six. We've had a meeting about it in the dressing room. I don't like to talk with staff too much straight after a game, because emotions are running high, but there are obvious questions that need addressing, like what have we done in the previous three games that we haven't done tonight. The main one is work-rate, wanting to do things and wanting to do the horrible side of football, because gone are the days when you can get away with just doing enough, particularly against the best sides in the division.

Q: There needs to be a positive reaction at Gainsborough on Saturday, doesn't there?

A: We've got it in us to put things right. We showed that in the first three games. We've got to try and get key players on the pitch or bring players in who can be key for us. We are trying our best to do that. It's pointless just bringing someone in to fill a shirt if they're no better than what we've got, but we are looking hard. More importantly, looking at tonight, people have got to go on the pitch wanting to win the first ball and the second and wanting to work hard. That has to be the first tick in the box, because if you don't do that in this league against the majority of sides, you will get turned over good and proper, just as we have tonight.

Q: To make matters worse, Damian Reeves seemed to finish the game in a bit of discomfort after what looked like a bang on the hip?

A: Yeah, he took a bit of a knock near the end, but I think he will be all right for Saturday, as should Sam Patterson, despite his flu symptoms. I haven't really spoken to anyone else about injuries, because all the talk has been about attitude and the way things went this evening. If they are like me, they will go away and have a long hard think about what has happened. It's too early to say how they will respond, but it has to be positive. You could pick holes in individual performances all day long. There wasn't a single good one.

Collectively, from me down, tonight has been a disaster. These games come along every now and again and really bring you back down to earth. Clearly it has to be put right, and it's only us who can do that. We've got to get back together, train Thursday and be ready for Saturday. Every game is difficult, and this one will be no exception, but we've got to get confidence levels back up and go there being positive about winning the game.

Q: You named Andrew Dawber on the bench and gave Callum Preston [right] his debut in goal. Clearly a difficult night for Callum, but how do you think he did?

A: I just thought Callum was due an opportunity. Andrew has done really well for us. He is a young keeper who has made a couple or errors, but, equally, if you look at Saturday's game at Harrogate, he has made a couple of fantastic saves as well. We just thought it was time to give Callum a go, but unfortunately it has turned out the way it has.

Q: But would you absolve him of blame for the six goals? He didn't exactly get much protection, did he?

A: I'm not going to put blame on anyone for the goals at the moment. I'm still a bit shellshocked, to be honest. I'm sure before they (Fylde players) have got to him, others could have done a bit more. There was one in the first half where the lad pirouetted for about 20 seconds and then smashed it near post. Callum could have had more protection, there could have been more desire in front of him. Once I've seen the goals again and had a good look at the DVD, which I'll do tomorrow, I'll have a better idea of the rights and wrongs. I can slow it down and stop it and analyse it properly, and I'll be better placed then to make decisions on that".


After Tuesday's 0-6 defeat of Altrincham at home, Mike Garnett confirms that he "can find no other six-goal margins of home defeat in the history of Altrincham FC per se. A couple of sevens have been conceded at home, but with some reply from ourselves:
  • Alty 3 Slough 7 in the Conference in 1991
  • Alty 2 Chester 7 in CCL on 28.1.1928.

Going back into 'prehistoric' times, I have a record of Broadheath 1 Stretford 13 in the Manchester League on 4.11.1893. The biggest AFC defeat I can find anywhere is Chester 13 Altrincham 2 in the Cheshire County League on 30.11.1929".

Other major reverses include...

  • 5-10 away v Ashton National, 23.3.1929
  • 1-9 away v Crewe, 5.2.1921 and away v Whitchurch 15.12.1928
  • 0-8 away v Rhyl, 13.9.1947, away v Runcorn 24.3.1928 and away v Crewe A. 29.9.1926.

The worst margin of home defeats in the Alliance/Conference was 0-5 by Dagenham & Redbridge in 2005/06 and 2006/07.


Gainsborough Trinity are Alty's next opponents. They report on their 0-2 defeat to Harrogate on Tuesday. "Gainsborough fell to a third straight defeat as a clinical Harrogate Town ran out winners at the Martin and Co Arena. Two quality first half finishes was enough to separate the sides with the highlight a 25 yard thunderbolt from Lloyd Kerry. Blues boss Dominic Roma made four changes to the Trinity sides that suffered back to back defeats in their last two outings.

One change was enforced with Matt Wilson suspended after his red card at Alfreton last Tuesday with Ioan Evans coming in. The other changes saw James Reid and Jake Eastwood replaced by Jordan Thewlis and Jonathan Hedge... Trinity boss Roma almost got the response he desired after his half-time team talk with Alex Wiles coming very close to pulling one back within two minutes...

Trinity should have scored in the last minute of normal time when former Harrogate winger Jordan Thewlis jinked his way into the box, squared to Jake Picton who had the goal at his mercy but somehow shot wide.

Gainsborough Trinity: Hedge, Picton, Lacey, Scott (Wiles 42), Quinn, Evans, Thewlis, Thornhill, Worsfold (Reid 71), Jarman, Rothery (Hazel 71). Subs (not used): Beatson, Eastwood".


AFC Fylde hit "newly-relegated Altrincham for six in a stunning display at the J. Davidson Stadium. Striker Danny Rowe opened the scoring early in the match and the Coasters added a further four goals without reply in an unbelievable first-half showing. Andy Bond added a sixth immediately after the break and the visitors held on for the result of the National League North season so far.

Dave Challinor made two changes to the side that dropped points against Brackley Town last time out with Caspar Hughes and James Hardy replacing Richie Baker and Matty Hughes... After chasing the ball for the majority of the match, Altrincham were put out of their misery by the referee’s whistle without even a second of injury time".

Also from AFC Fylde we learn that"boss Dave Challinor was delighted with his side following their demolition of Altrincham last night... 'I can’t pick any holes in that performance, particularly in the first half. To get the amount of goals that we did, the game was over by half time. We set the challenge of not conceding in the second half and that was very pleasing. They tried to make it more difficult after the break by getting men behind the ball, but it was a really good performance from us. I’ve known their manager for a long time and you do feel sorry for people after a result like that but we have to be ruthless. Thankfully I’ve never been on the flip side of a result like that.

'This is a very tough division and we are still a work in process but we were outstanding. We were very effective too. We put the ball in to good areas, got people into the box and things just went right for us. When we are in that kind of form we are very hard to play against and we need to make sure it’s not a one-off and we continue it at the weekend against Alfreton'".


Paloma Ortiz-Lopez

Megan Wright

Keith Edleston, manager of Altrincham FC Ladies says "We have made two new signings over the last month to complement our squad. First up is Paloma Ortiz-Lopez. Paloma (27) is a Spanish midfielder who joins us from AFC Stockport. Paloma has a good footballing pedigree as, before she came over to England, she played for Villarreal. She is determined, has good technique and is a great passer of the ball. 'P' will wear the number 12 shirt.

Second up is Megan Wright (16), who is a forward who joins us from West End Girls and is a pacey, strong girl with a great eye for a goal. Even at such a young age she has a fantastic CV, having played for both Manchester United and City then latterly with West End, winning many trophies and accolades. Meg is certainly one to be excited about. She will wear the number 14 shirt".


Thanks go to those who contributed to the half-time bucket collection on Tuesday and, also, to the collectors who gave their time.


Right: Sean Miller, pictured in the Alty v AFC Fylde game by Mike Ripley of Michael Ripley Photography.

Mon 15 Aug.

  • Curzon Ashton 1-2 Darlington FC 1883 (att 482)

Tue 16 Aug.

Howard Watts's Through the Years records show that two years ago on Tuesday's date, Altrincham were beating Bristol Rovers!

  • AFC Telford Utd 2-0 Stalybridge Celtic (att. 1014)
  • Altrincham 0-6 AFC Fylde (850)
  • Boston United 3-0 Tamworth (965)
  • Brackley Town 2-3 Alfreton Town (272)
  • Chorley 3-0 Bradford Park Avenue (790)
  • Gainsborough Trinity 0-2 Harrogate Town (396)
  • Nuneaton Town 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers (667)
  • Salford City 1-0 FC United Of Manchester (1,966)
  • Stockport County 1-1 FC Halifax Town (3,086)
  • Worcester City 2-3 Gloucester City (527)


The National League has reported that "Suspensions in North/South now take effect after 7 days and not 14 days. National remain immediate".

The BBC reports that "Eastleigh have parted company with manager Chris Todd just four games into the new National League campaign... The Spitfires took four points from their first two league games, but have since suffered back-to-back defeats. Todd took charge at Ten Acres in September last year, initially on an interim basis, and led the club to seventh place in the table last season.

The former Exeter and Torquay defender's departure came only 12 days into the new campaign, almost three weeks earlier than last season's first sacking in the top five tiers...

'We might have thrown Chris in at the deep end too quickly,' Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald told BBC Radio Solent. 'The gut instinct is it is a big job and we need a more experienced manager. This season is only four games in, but we haven't started well. I thought I'd act early and get someone new in with fresh ideas.' Former Barnet, Dagenham and Wycombe striker Ben Strevens has been asked to take training...

'I would be very surprised if we didn't have a manager in place for Saturday,' Donald added. 'We have identified two or three people, but they have got to want to come. We are confident we can sell them the vision we have'".

17 August 2016


It was a night to forget at the J. Davidson Stadium as, after three broadly promising draws this season, Alty crashed to their heaviest home defeat for many a year. Altrincham gave a debut to former Crawley Town goalkeeper Callum Preston and coach Simon Garner also started his first match for the Club, at left-back, after two appearances from the bench this season.

It was all effectively over for Altrincham inside 17 minutes, by which time they were three down...

Match report here.


Beyond the Big Two has the folllowing Ben Collins article, "Altrincham boss Neil Young is confident his side can compete with the National League North’s big boys this season...

'We’ve played three of the so-called bigger teams in this division, in terms of budget and ability of players, and nothing’s been too daunting for us,' he said. 'In each game I think we’ve been the stronger team, and that’s with a number of players playing out of position, and we’ve still got lads trying to get up to speed. The resilience of the team, the effort and commitment, is something for me to be proud of. The lads never give up.

'The travelling support really got behind the team and gave the lads a fantastic ovasion when they came off. We’re not happy that we’ve only got three points from nine but I think they appreciate the effort and commitment of the players'.

Young had to field a patched-up side at Harrogate. Summer signing Tom Hannigan has been ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury so Alan Goodall had to fill in at centre-half. Sam Patterson and later substitute Simon Garner had to do likewise at left-back, and Young has been trying to bring a centre-half in since last week.

'It’s about getting the right person,' Young added. 'I’ve spoken to other managers and there aren’t a lot of centre-backs about. What I don’t want to do is keep throwing loanees at it. I think we’ve got a good group mentality and that team spirit is building so I don’t want to upset that by throwing players at it who are not really going to improve us'".


Brian Flynn has provided links to last Saturday's Radio Robins commentary from Harrogate...


A week on Saturday, Altrincham entertain Stockport County whose recent matchday programme said, "Welcome back for tonight's visit of FC Halifax Town... It is no secret that we did everything we could to entice Tom Denton to Edgeley Park but he decided to stick with the manager that he knows and we respect him for that. Throughout our conversations Tom was always honest and respectful.

We have had a good start to the season with two wins out of three. Jim has always maintained that we need to achieve two points per game and in this respect we are on target...

The win [at Stalybridge] was spoiled by the mindless actions of some of our fans lighting a flare in the visitors' section. This was embarrassing and I hope that whoever was responsible will be bold enough to come forward and accept responsibility when the FA impose their penalties. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to know that there are so many people working behind the scenes to get our club back on track only to see mindless idiots undermine our efforts by lighting flares or encroaching onto the pitch.

Let me be very clear. We love the enthusiasm and passion of our supporters but we will not accept the actions of those that transgress the accepted rules with regard to public safety... LET ME BE CLEAR. IF YOU ENCROACH ONTO THE PITCH YOU WILL BE BANNED FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE YEARS. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT WITH A FLARE OR SMOKE BOMB THEN YOU FACE A LIFETIME BAN.

We are spending a great deal of time and effort trying to restore our club to its former glories and we will NOT tolerate anyone who hinders this process. Similarly, we cannot condone the actions of our supporters pulling down the flags in the visitors' section at FCUM on Friday night.

Whilst I think it was unwise (and disrespectful) to put home team banners in the visitors' section I cannot condone the pulling down of such banners as this amounts to vandalism and we are better than that! Having said that, we are extremely proud of all our supporters who play such a major role in supporting our club and motivating our players".

The Worcester News reports that a "Leading figure within Worcester City Supporters’ Trust has rejected a surprise offer from Anthony Hampson to replace him as club chairman. Trust chairman Dave Wood revealed he received an email from Hampson saying he was 'ready to step down' and allow him to take over the reins.

He said the message came through to him and Trust Secretary, Rob Crean, just days after their bid to make City a Community Benefit Society failed to win the backing of shareholders. Wood said Hampson had told him that last month’s general meeting was 'one of the most uncomfortable nights of his life' due to an outcry of calls for him to quit. However, Wood refused to accept his proposal, insisting it was not the Trust’s intention to take over the running of the Vanarama National League North outfit.

'After the general meeting, people showed their passion,' he said... 'On the Saturday morning Rob and I received an email direct from the chairman, via secretary John Jordan, saying, "Dave, I am ready to step down if you will take over the football club". I made no answer apart from saying, "We need to sit down and talk".

Wood added, 'We have never beaten his door down saying, ‘We are going to take over’. All of this was never about the Trust taking over the football club. All this was about the club still running as a viable business but the Trust enhancing it with a much stronger group overseeing things. We never wanted to be chairman. It was about fans having a better say on the football club and our mantra has never changed.'

Trust member Jem Pitt... felt the board were looking for an 'easy way out'. 'I think it was pretty strong of us, Dave in particular, to say ‘"No, I am not going to just step into the breach"' he added.

'We believe the shareholders have voted, so directors have to act on those wishes and we will leave them to do that unfettered'.

Speaking after the meeting, Hampson confirmed he decided to make the offer to Wood in a bid to 'unify' the club. 'I could have responded to the calls for my resignation by stepping down,' Hampson said. 'However, I believe this would have been a dereliction of my duties... I take my responsibilities as chairman of the football club very seriously and it is my wish all parties move forward in a unified manner. With this in mind, I did make an offer to David to stand aside to enable him to take on the role. My offer was not borne out of a lack of commitment to the football club.

'I remain as committed as ever but I have no desire to retain power at any cost.... My offer was simply a desire to bring an end to the apparent divisions, which were having a negative impact on the football club, in the hope we could move forward with unity'".

Back on the pitch, the Nuneaton News says that "Boro boss Kevin Wilson is hoping his side can learn the lessons from their less than impressive start to the campaign as they welcome Kidderminster Harriers... Nuneaton endured a torrid first game in the Vanarama National League North as they went down 3-2 at home to title favourites Halifax. They then followed that up with a disappointing draw away at Bradford Park Avenue last time out, needing a last minute goal from Joe Ironside to take even that.

Wilson is hoping the solitary point out of six will serve as a wake-up call for his young side... 'What we have done on the whole this season has not been acceptable. They know that. Anyone who was near the dressing room at half time against Bradford will know that. There was some strong words said and I think the guys knew that they had not produced as they could; now it is about learning from that. I am sure they will, this is a young side after-all. But they need to learn the lessons quickly.

'They need to realise that you have to play at the top of your game week in and week out. There are no easy games at this level.'

Much has been made of the way Nuneaton have played in those opening two matches with an emphasis on long-ball football rather than the possession game that Nuneaton specialised in last season being deployed so far... Wilson added, 'There is a misconception at times that every long ball we play is a just that, a long ball... A long ball can be a long pass if it is into the right areas and into space. Every time the ball covers some distance it does not mean it is a negative pass. That is wrong. Sometimes it is the right pass to make.'"

According to Gloucestershire Live "The end is nearly in sight and Gloucester City chairman Mike Dunstan thinks that building the club's new stadium will be 'relatively easy' once full planning permission has been received.

The Tigers have been without a home for nine years and have experienced several delays and setbacks... However, Dunstan does not foresee any problems with it all going ahead at the next [Council] meeting on Tuesday, September 6 and says the club will move quickly to ensure they are in a redeveloped Meadow Park stadium for the start of the 2016/17 season.

He said, 'It's not just a case of dumping a load of documents on the council it's been a case of talking to them, talking to stakeholders, the Environment Agency, the Highways Agency, all these people and just toing and froing to make sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed... I'm sure the building will feel relatively easy compared to the planning.'

City currently play their home games at Cheltenham Town's Whaddon Road ground but Dunstan says it would 'mean everything' to be back in Gloucester... 'Don't get me wrong Cheltenham have been terrific hosts but it's not home so just to have our own ground and serve the people of Gloucester again would be absolutely fabulous'. With Gloucester currently playing at the highest level in their history in National League North, Dunstan also thinks that the city will have a team to be proud of when they return home.

There has been more of an emphasis on playing attractive football under manager Tim Harris this season... He said, 'I think Tim's done some incredible work in the summer with the budget we give him. I think if you can push on into mid-table anything can happen, good runs can suddenly put you in exciting positions but let's not get ahead of ourselves. We want to survive, get into mid-table and entertain the fans a little bit more'".

16 August 2016


AFC Fylde "manager Dave Challinor was satisfied with a point in the 1-1 draw against Brackley Town at the weekend, but admits his side must start to perform better. New Coasters signing Steve Williams equalised late on to claim a point for Fylde in the club’s first game at Mill Farm.

'It’s obviously good to not lose on a day like that. The ideal scenario was that we would have performed better and that we would have won the game but it wasn’t to be. I knew it would be a tough game and we started really brightly. For fifteen minutes, we were camped in their half but it just shows how difficult it is when you concede goals and you give teams something to hold on to.

'They were organised, they were difficult to break down and it became a very frustrating afternoon for us. We kept going. We missed two glorious chances in the first half, two open goals really and if you take them it’s a different story. We know that if we can get our noses in front then teams have to open up.

'It was a tough afternoon but we know we can play a lot better. We will play an awful lot better. We’re still adapting to a different training regime and we’ll continue to evolve. It may take a while but what I’ve said in there is that I accept that but I can’t accept that for long when we’ve got to pick up results.

'If we are a better team in two months’ time, which undoubtedly we will be, then fine but we’ll probably have lost fifteen games by that point. We need to concentrate on picking up results and look forward to Tuesday now. If we go to Altrincham on Tuesday and win then today will look like a decent draw so that’s where our mindset is. We’ll recover, look forward to Tuesday and go there and try and win'".


Campbell McLay advises Altrincham FC and visiting supporters that the programme shop at the J. Davidson Stadium has moved to the former stewards' hut in the same corner of the ground (at the Golf Road end). Campbell also tells us that "There is a new version of the Altrincham metal pin badge which will be available tomorrow in the programme shop and in the Community Hall".


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "The second Robins' Review of the season includes an interview with the club's Safety Officer, Darren Gregory, who recently agreed to take on the role for a second time and begins his duties against AFC Fylde at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

Darren talks about his previous stint in charge of matchday safety and security operations, why he agreed to come back and what he hopes to bring to the post in the coming months. All the usual favourites are also included in another packed programme, still priced at a bargain £2.50".


Harrogate Town have highlights of Saturday's game here.


NL Daily reports that "Curzon Ashton have signed young striker Max Hazeldine on a month's loan from Accrington Stanley. Hazeldine has come through the ranks with the Reds...

The exciting forward spent last season learning his trade in non-League football, impressing in a goal packed spell with... Stockport County and then with Skelmersdale United, and winning a new Stanley deal".

According to the National League, "FC United of Manchester have received international clearance and are able to announce the signing of promising 20-year-old, Zac Corbett.

The pacey, left-sided midfielder, who can also play in defence, has joined after a short spell with Welsh Premier side Rhyl. He moved down the coast to Rhyl from Colwyn Bay, where he had been since joining from Witton Albion in June 2015. He was also with Crewe Alexandra and Stoke City as a youngster".

15 August 2016


Brian Flynn conducted a post-match interview with Alty manager, Neil Young, at Harrogate. It can be heard here.


Keith Edleston describes Sunday's 3--3 draw between Altrincham FC Ladies and Rhyl as "a great advert for women's football. It was a great afternoon today down at Mersey Valley Sports Club, in an entertaining game that went from end to end and finished 3-3 with our goals coming from Jess Hartopp, Kye Brown and Kate Bryan. Both teams gave everything in the sunshine and performed well with both teams rattling the crossbar a few times. We have some things to work on but we are progressing well and should be ready for the start of the season. Also to be noted were some superb saves by Lizzie Brereton and some fine work from all the girls gave us some smiles and something to work on".

Player of the Match was Jess Hartopp and the attendance was 47.

Keith adds, "It's onto matchday 3 which is another home game down at Mersey Valley Sports Club, Banky Lane, M33 5SL this Sunday 21st August against Leigh RMI, 2pm kick off. Why not pop down and support the girls? We look forward to seeing you there".

Pictured, below (left to right) are Bliss Molyneaux leading the team out with Lucy from our Under-8s and trialist Amy Whittle taking on a Rhyl defender.


Altrincham FC Reserves came back from 3-0 down at home against Denton Town but lost 3-2 on Saturday. Harry Cain and Will Foster were the scorers.

The Reserves are away on Tuesday night (6.30pm) against Eagle Sports FC.


Michael Ripley's photos of the game at Harrogate are here.


Next Saturday, Altrincham travel to The Northolme, from where the hereGainsborough Standard reports that "Gainsborough Trinity conceded four goals away from home for the second time in four days as Gloucester City made Trinity pay for sloppy defending and a failure to take the chances they were presented with. Inside eight minutes, Trinity had the chance to settle any nerves left over from the Alfreton defeat on Tuesday. Nathan Jarman blazing his spot kick over the bar after Gavin Rothery had picked out the run of Ashley Worsfold, who turned the full back inside out before winning the penalty.

As it was, Trinity were to pay the ultimate penalty, falling a goal behind after a pulsating open thirty minutes or so where the game swung from end to end. Joe Parker was on hand to sweep the ball past Jake Eastwood to put the hosts a goal to the good after confusion in the visiting defence. Ed Williams winning the ball back, before squaring to Parker who netted his second of the season, unchallenged.

Moments later though and Trinity were back on level terms, a Matt Thornhill freekick deceiving everyone, including Jas Singh in the Gloucester goal to get the Blues right back into it.

Now with a foot hold in the game, Gainsborough began to dominate large periods of play, without really threatening Singh’s goal, but it was the hosts who went in at the break with their noses in front. The Gainsborough rear-guard getting caught out all too easily by a clipped Chris Knowles through ball, expertly diverted over Eastwood by the Man of the Match Ed Williams.

Dominic Roma looked to mix things up at the break, swapping the workmanlike Worsfold for the pace of Thewlis, but it was a Gloucester substitute who was to settle the game, only on for a matter of minutes before a mazy run by Luke Hopper put the game beyond doubt. Carrying the ball in from the right hand edge of Trinity’s box, he slalomed past several challenges before firing past Eastwood from a seemingly impossible angle.

As frustration in the Trinity camp grew, they looked to be thrown a life line, when Gloucester’s Spencer Hamilton was shown a second yellow card for handball, but despite being down to ten men, the side from Lincolnshire couldn’t find a way through. With Trinity still pushing forwards, Gloucester pressed high, won the ball back and wrapped the game up, with Hopper squaring for Williams, to take a touch before dispatching a composed finished past the exposed Eastwood.

Trinity now return to the Martin & Co Arena for two home games...

Gainsborough Trinity: Eastwood, Picton (Wiles 87), Lacey, Scott, Quinn, Wilson, Reid (Hazel 61), Thornhill, Rothery, Jarman, Worsfold (Thewlis 45). Subs not used: Hedge, Evans".

And the Gainsborough Standard adds that "Dominic Roma was left reeling after his side conceded four for a second successive away game... as they were left waiting for their first win of the season.

A furious Roma said, 'You can’t give yourself a chance to win games if you are going to concede sloppy goals and that’s what we have done. That is something that very much needs addressing and is what has done for us in each of the last two games. Although the score line perhaps doesn’t suggest an improvement, we did look a lot better and started a lot more positively.

'We got the penalty after a good start, missed it, but reacted well again after that. We have given away a sloppy goal, but reacted positively again and got back into the game immediately. Unfortunately we have switched off and let ourselves down just before half time. We haven’t been aware of our men and the run in the box. We have to be sharper…”

'For the fourth goal, we are chasing the game, but again we haven’t been good enough. We haven’t made a tackle, we haven’t influenced things as well as we could have. Ultimately, there is no point us showing grit and determination, trying to play the ball forwards if we can’t get the basics right. We’re just not going to win games of football. We’ve now got to regroup and go again on Tuesday.... The lads are under no illusions of what we want from them and the players collectively have two options as to which way our season goes from here'.

Trinity face Harrogate on Tuesday with Roma expecting a positive reaction from his side."

14 August 2016


Above: Damian Reeves heads the leveller, as seen by Mike Ripley.

Match report here.

After Saturday's draw, Harrogate Town report that "A 90th minute Damien Reeves header denied Harrogate Town all three points on Saturday afternoon... Town had lead for the majority of the second half after Simon Ainge’s 54th minute header, but were pegged back as stoppage time approached through Reeves’s flick.

Simon Weaver made one change from Tuesday night’s win over Boston United with Warren Burrell deputising for the injured Lewis Turner at right back. After an opening ten minutes only notable for Jordan Robertson being replaced by JP Pittman due to injury, Neil Young’s side took the lead...

Town were soon back on level terms when, after Lloyd Kerry had forced a corner with a stinging shot, Leesley’s delivery fell to the feet of Shiels who emphatically found the net from six yards... 11 minutes into the half Ainge gave Town the lead rising high above Dawber to head Leesley’s pinpoint cross into the back of the net...

The hosts had looked good value for their lead, with Altrincham limited to long range shots and Reeves heading wide with three minutes to go. Just as the fourth official’s board had signalled the added time, a delivery into the Town area was flicked towards Reeves who managed to find the top corner with his head to steal a point for The Robins".

Below, right, Craig Hobson in action at Harrogate before he had to go off, injured. Also seen is Damian Reeves, who netted Alty's equalizer.


  • AFC Fylde 1-1 Brackley Town (att 1365)
  • Alfreton Town 0-1 Curzon Ashton (att 457)
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Nuneaton Town (att 314)
  • Darlington FC 1883 4-1 Boston United (1445)
  • FC Halifax Town 3-0 Worcester City (1576)
  • Gloucester City 4-1 Gainsborough Trinity (338)
  • Harrogate Town 2-2 Altrincham (635)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Chorley (1339)
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-4 Salford City (752)
  • Tamworth 2-1 AFC Telford Utd (839)


Alty entertain AFC Fylde who "had to settle for a share of the spoils against Brackley Town in the first-ever game at their new home Mill Farm. The visitors looked like spoiling the party when they took the lead through Lee Ndlovu, however debutant Steve Williams nicked an equaliser in the final ten minutes.

Coasters' boss Dave Challinor made just one change to the side that beat Telford United on the opening day with summer signing Williams coming in for centre-half Dom Collins... The deadlock was broken on 15 minutes and it was in disappointing fashion for the hosts. Glenn Walker whipped in a dangerous cross to the far post and Ndlovu scrambled the ball home...

Fylde were struggling to find their feet early on at their new home and despite enjoying the lion’s share of the possession, they couldn’t create any real opening as the match reached the half-hour mark... Fylde looked out of sorts after the break and the visitors almost capitalised when Adam Walker latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area and fired narrowly over the top...

A well-deserved equaliser finally arrived when Daniels whipped in a typically dangerous corner from the left and Williams steamed into to head home with less than ten minutes remaining...

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Holmes, Langley, Williams, Kennedy, Bond (C. Hughes 60), Baker (Hardy 60), Dixon (Newell 77), M. Hughes, Daniels, Rowe. Subs not used: Collins, Blinkhorn".

13 August 2016


Above: Alty celebrate Damian Reeves's late equalizer...except for Sean Miller who is on the ground. Damian is in the centre with John Cyrus whose header created the chance.

Alty have now taken the lead with a James Lawrie goal in all three fixtures this season but ended up drawing each game 2-2! This time it felt better as they secured a point with a hard earned 90th minute equalizer after falling behind 2-1.

Match report here.

HARROGATE TOWN (Yellow & black striped shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Peter Crook; 2. Warren Burrell, 5. Simon Ainge, 6. Luke Shiels, 3. Ben Parker, 4. Andi Thanoj, 7. Lloyd Kerry, 18. Joe Leesley, 11. Andy Gascoigne, 9. Jordan Robertson, 10. Dominic Knowles. Subs 12. Chib Chilaka, 16. Danny Ellis, 15. Jack Emmett, 14. Jon-Paul Pittman, 17. Tom Platt

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts, red socks) 1. Andrew DAWBER, 5. Simon RICHMAN, 4. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (capt), 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Charlie JOYCE, 8. Jake MOULT, 11. David LYNCH, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Craig HOBSON, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Sean MILLER, 14. Jamie MENAGH, 15. Danny HATTERSLEY, 16. Simon GARNER, 20. Callum PRESTON


Howard Watts's Through the Years records show that Alty have only twice before played a game on the date of 13 August (this Saturday). And we lost both of those matches!

Friday 12 August

  • FC United of Manchester 2-0 Stockport County (gate 3,030)

Saturday 13 August

  • AFC Fylde 1-1 Brackley Town
  • Alfreton Town 0-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Nuneaton Town
  • Darlington FC 1883 4-1 Boston United
  • FC Halifax Town 3-0 Worcester City
  • Gloucester City 4-1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Harrogate Town 2-2 Altrincham
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Chorley
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-4 Salford City
  • Tamworth 2-1 AFC Telford Utd


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 Simon Ellis and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards.

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

Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record between our two clubs...

  • At home P6-W3-D1-L2-F12-A9
  • Away: P6-W1-D1-L4-F7-A12
  • All: P12-W4-D2-L6-F19-A21


Altrincham Reserves and Ladies are both in action this weekend.
  • Reserves v Denton Town (Home, Egerton Sports Club, Knutsford) Sat. 3pm
  • Ladies v Rhyl (Home, at Mersey Valley, Banky Lane, Ashton on Mersey) Sun. 2pm


Before Saturday's match, the Yorkshire Post reported that "Harrogate town boss Simon Weaver says he is 'not getting carried away” by his side’s excellent start to the Conference North campaign. Town, currently second, host recently-relegated Altrincham at the CNG Stadium...

He said, 'We are progressing nicely. It’s very early on in the season but the signs are good... You won’t see me getting carried away at all'.

Altrincham pose a real threat to Town and, on the back of successive 2-2 draws against Halifax and Darlington, are chasing their first win. Yet Town, whose only injury concern is right-back Lewis Turner, are unbeaten at home on their new 3G surface. With Town tipped for a top-three finish, Weaver will be given a better indication of his team’s chances in this early-season title-contender clash.

Elsewhere, Bradford Park Avenue entertain Nuneaton Town at the Horsfall Stadium with two draws from two... Halifax welcome Worcestor City to The Shay. Worcester are yet to win in the league, having drawn 2-2 with Harrogate on the opening day of the campaign, before succumbing to Tamworth in midweek".

According to the Football Conference "Alfreton Town have welcomed back former striker Liam Hearn. The 30-year-old had joined neighbours Ilkeston FC in the summer. However, he has now returned to the Impact Arena. Hearn started out at Hucknall Town in 2003 before moving to Eastwood Town, Chasetown and Quorn and scored over 30 goals in his time with these clubs.

He originally joined Alfreton in 2008 scoring 65 goals in ninety-four appearances. He then moved to Grimsby Town where he notched 33 goals from sixty-one appearances, Mansfield Town and Lincoln City, where he scored 10 goals in fourteen starts."

Reports from NL Pitchero confirm that "Stalybridge Celtic have signed goalkeeper George Willis. The 21-year-old England under-19 international was released by Sheffield United at the end of last season. Willis, who was a regular on the bench for the Blades the previous season and is a product of Sheffield United's academy, spent time on loan with Alfreton Town in 2014/15.

Willis then went on loan to Matlock Town on October 3rd 2015 and then extended his loan deal until the end of last season. The stopper impressed at the Autoworld Arena and was a near ever-present".

12 August 2016


Pending the release of Gavin Rathbone's official Altrincham FC team and management photo for 2016-17 season, above is a lower quality website image. Pictured, left to right are:

  • Back Row: Tom Hannigan, Jake Moult, John Cyrus, Callum Preston, Andrew Dawber, Danny Hattersley, Sam Heathcote, Craig Dobson.
  • Middle Row: Simon Garner (Player/coach), Alan Ainsley (Physio), Simon Richman, James Lawrie, Billy Hasler-Cregg, Harry Cain, Shaun Densmore, David Lynch, Jamie Menagh, Charlie Joyce, Ian Senior (Goalkeeper Coach), John Skelhorn (Kitman).
  • Front Row: Grahame Rowley (Chairman), Derek Wilshaw (Club Secretary), Callum Charlton, Sean Miller, Neil Young (Manager), Alan Goodall (Captain), Gary Jones (Ass't manager), Damian Reeves, Sam Patterson, Neil Faulkner (Director), Paul Daine (Director).


Brian Flynn, joint Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC conducted an interview with the team's new captain, Alan Goodall (right), on Tuesday night. It can be heard here.


Harrogate Town "welcome recently relegated Altrincham to The CNG Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking to continue their impressive start to the season. Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Boston United propelled Town up to second place in the National League North and, although still early days, Simon Weaver will be desperate to keep that momentum going against the Greater Manchester outfit.

The two sides last met during the 2013/14 season when Weaver managed Town to a 3-1 win at Moss Lane courtesy of goals from Ashley Worsfold, Chris Hall and Craig Nelthorpe.

In Neil Young, Altrincham have a Manager with a track record of success... Both of Town’s opponents’ opening two fixtures have ended in 2-2 draws, and both have seen Young’s men unfortunate not to pick up all three points. In the season opener at home to Darlington, only a 95th minute penalty prevented the win, while an 83rd minute equaliser at Halifax on Tuesday night further frustrated Robins' supporters.

Town’s Lewis Turner was forced off in the first half on Tuesday night with an injury we hope isn’t too serious, while Altrincham will be without Tom Hannigan who faces a few weeks on the sidelines".

Tickets can be bought in advance online or at the turnstiles on match day. The prices are the same, either way.

  • Standing: Adult £13 | Concessionaries £8 | Youth under-18 £3
  • Seated Adult £14 | Concessionaries £9 | Youth under-18 £4


Whaley Bridge report on the first game of the season, against Altrincham FC Reserves. They say that "In one of the most dramatic games ever seen at Horwich Park, Whaley’s season kicked off last night with, what seemed like, an unlikely win against new boys Altrincham Town Reserves. Lack lustre in the first half Whaley were second best to a young, quick and incisive Altrincham team who deservedly took the lead after 15 minutes. Quick movement in and around the box culminated in a shot into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

Things didn’t change much before the break and seemed to go from bad to worse immediately after when Broome received his marching orders on 50 minutes and then Tom Street followed a couple of minutes later! Darryl immediately threw Tom Scorer into the fray to add his usual 100% shear ‘bull-dog’ determination and five minutes later young Will Bailey added a bit more impetus.

Now down to 9 men Whaley could either capitulate or fight for it; they chose the latter. On 60 minutes Lee Morris, with the keeper off his line, fired in a 40 yard shot that was tipped over only for new boy Jake Burnham to head in from the resulting corner. The crowd went mad!

1 – 1. Could Whaley hang on for the next 30 minutes? It seemed implausible with 9 men but now galvanised like never before the crowd started to believe they might actually get something out of the game, probably the most we could expect?

What no one expected was that the home team would secure all the points but that’s exactly what they did! With Gregory now 'involved' and running the show a through ball found Scorer on one of his typical forward forays, he laid a perfect ball off to Lee Morris who jinked sideways to create space to shoot across goal and into the far corner.

The crowd went utterly bonkers; unbelievable; ultimately a fantastic spectacle and credit to all that took part in a remarkable event".


The Halifax Courier says that "Town boss Billy Heath is pleased with the attitude his players have shown in their first two games, but wants his defence to tighten up. Halifax have scored five and conceded four in their opening two games...

He said, 'The attitude and desire has been fantastic and I was pleased with us coming back into the game on Tuesday [against Altrincham]. I didn’t think we were getting the run of the ball throughout the game. The ball bounced in their favour and it always seemed to fall to their players. But we recovered twice and in the last 25 minutes the game was all ours. We pushed and pushed. We’ve scored five goals which is always a good sign and we’ve got goals in us'...

He added, 'I’m disappointed with the goals against tally. We’ve given away cheap goals in both games. We’ve got to tighten up but that’s not just down to the defence but the whole team.'

FC Halifax Town have a slideshow of the game.


In Wednesday's 4-4 draw between Bradford PA and Curzon Ashton, 334 spectators saw two of Curzon's goals being scored by players who have represented Altrincham previously. They were Liam Tomsett and Danny Hall.

Bradford Park Avenue "continue their unbeaten start to the season and, following Saturday’s loss (1-6) to Kidderminster, Curzon fans incredibly have seen a goal every 12 minutes across their two games so far".

Bradford PA boss and former Alty winger "Alex Meechan says his side must learn from their 4-4 draw with Curzon Ashton. Sanchez Payne rescued a point for Avenue in the 92nd minute, but Bradford had led 2-0 thanks to a brilliant start to the match, and Meechan said that was the aim.

'The first 20 minutes was exactly our game plan,' he stated. 'We’d worked on it and decided what we wanted to do, and going two-nil up it was a case of using our experience to finish the job. However we get into bad habits, we start doing things that are foreign to us, and their first goal changed the whole complex of the game. From around 25 minutes onwards, possession we became nervy and nowhere near what we are capable of...

The Avenue head coach said, 'Curzon are clever, they get in behind and get men between midfield and defence and cause problems but you’ve got to stick to basics at times. To be honest I’m far from happy, but we’ve scored four goals which is a positive, four good goals, but we’ve conceded four really really soft goals... As a defensive unit, which does start from the front, we were nowhere near what we should be at this level,' Meechan claimed.

'But you can’t dwell on it. It’s two-and-a-half days until we play again... We must learn quickly and going into the Nuneaton game with a better understanding and mindset... We just became too stretched and for 40 minutes they took the game to us, and for me, it was a good test of character and taught me a lot about my players'".

"One of Gloucester City's summer signings is likely to be out for at least six weeks with a knee injury" reports Gloucestershire Live. Striker Ethan Moore twisted awkwardly in training last Thursday and missed the opening day draw at Salford City.

He has undergone an MRI scan, with the results expected in the next 24 to 48 hours. It is thought he has damaged his lateral ligament. 'It's a real blow after Ethan had looked so sharp in pre-season, particularly in the matches against Cheltenham and Newport and he is a real threat,' City boss Tim Harris said. 'He had an injury last season but came back strongly for Cinderford so we have to take it on the chin'".

Meanwhile, "Former Cheltenham Town striker Bobbie Dale is training with Gloucester City after recovering from a knee injury. He took part in his first session on Tuesday night, with boss Tim Harris looking to strengthen his attacking options after the loss of Ethan Moore for six weeks with suspected knee ligament damage. Dale, 20, spent two seasons as a professional at Cheltenham, making three Football League appearances.

Worcester-based Dale has also played for Bishop's Cleeve, Bath City, Cinderford Town, Cirencester Town, Farnborough and Gloucester on loan. He picked up an injury while playing for the Tigers on loan last season, when he was kicked in the face and as he fell damaged his ankle. Dale worked hard to regain fitness, but then struggled with patella tendonosis and was told to find another club after his contract at Cheltenham expired this summer.

Dale, whose full first name is Robson, knows many of the Gloucester players, not only from last season's loan spell, but also from his time in the Robins' youth set-up."

According to the Worcester News "The procedure for players to gain international clearance should be 'quicker and smoother', according to frustrated Worcester City boss Carl Heeley. City's manager has been left to play the waiting game on three of his new signings.

Defender Sam Oji, striker Steven Craig and winger Nathan Olukanmi all require international clearance because they last played in Ireland, Scotland and USA respectively. The trio, who arrived at the Victoria Ground on the eve of the new National League North season, missed City’s 2-2 draw against Harrogate last Saturday and Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Tamworth. Heeley is hopeful Oji, Craig and Olukanmi will all be available for Worcester’s trip to FC Halifax Town on Saturday (3pm). But he admitted their request might not receive approval from the Football Association until the end of the month.

'It hasn’t (come through yet) but hopefully we will get it through prior to Saturday, which would strengthen us,' Heeley said. 'There are no guarantees, though, as it can take up to 30 days... It is a process which should be quicker and smoother than it is as it can take up to 30 days to get a player cleared after playing within the United Kingdom... For me, it should be no more than a two-day process and it has already been double, nearly treble that'...

Heeley added, 'Certainly, in two of the cases, they are very experienced and the other one has got lightning pace. They have all got different attributes that will add to the squad'".


The EvoStik League states that 'Following a breach of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League's Rules and Regulations, the Licence issued to Ilkeston FC has been suspended with effect from 5pm on Wednesday 10 August 2016. The club will not be able to participate in any footballing activity from this date until such time as all of the breaches have been resolved to the satisfaction of the EVO-STIK NPL...

Ilkeston FC do have the right of appeal to the Football Association and the EVO-STIK NPL will not be making any further comments at this stage".

11 August 2016


In a post-match interview with joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, at The Shay on Tuesday night, Altrincham manager Neil Young confirmed Tom Hannigan faces a possible six-week lay-off, revealed he will try his level best to sign a replacement on loan before Saturday's game at Harrogate and pointed an accusing finger at FC Halifax Town centre-half Danny Hone over a theatrical reaction to a Craig Hobson challenge that could have led to a red card for the Alty striker, who, in the event, escaped with a yellow.

Mike Ripley's images from the game at FC Halifax Town are here. Right, we see Mike's image of Sean Miller in action on Tuesday night.

Q: Plenty of effort and endeavour again, Neil?

A: I said from the moment I walked through the door at this club, and I said it again to the players tonight, that football fans will always give you a chance if you wear the shirt with pride and fight for the colours you're wearing. I can't knock these lads. We've lost probably our most consistent player (Hannigan) against possibly the title favourites, if you believe the bookies, and you look at their bench and players they've got who haven't even got changed tonight, and then you look at us using young kids, some of them having to play out of position. Yet we've gone in front twice, taken adversity in our stride and been unlucky not to win.

I went for three at the back after coming here to The Shay the Saturday before last, after we played Friday night, and having a good look at them. I just thought that was the way to go and, overall, it worked tremendously well for us. We were looking comfortable but, unfortunately, Andy Dawber has made a right Horlicks for their first goal. He knows that, but we've still shown battling qualities and not only worked our socks off but shown an ability to adapt to whatever is thrown at us. Jake Moult slotted into central defence to cover for Tom and was outstanding. We had that all over the park. We were perhaps a bit naive at times, but you can't knock any of them.

Q: What happened for that first goal of theirs? Andy seemed to be complaining about something to the linesman?

A: I think he was indicating he thought there was a foul but that wasn't the thing for me. It was the way the ball came back to him and he kicked it out for a throw, instead of picking it up. He thought it was a back pass but it wasn't. I think it was a case of being young and still learning the game and understanding how to react to situations. But we are going to get that at times with a young group of players.

Q: You are already trying to integrate a lot of new faces, how difficult is it implementing new systems as well?

A: We tried different systems throughout the pre-season programme, and the lads showed a capacity for adapting. We chopped and changed, and we have adapted again tonight.

I rang Alan Goodall on Sunday and had a good chat with him about what I wanted us to do at Halifax, what I had in mind. Though he has joined us primarily as a midfield anchor man, he has played in central defence before for Fleetwood. I knew all about Tom Denton and Jordan Burrow. They are two of the best in the league at what they do. I really like both of them, and they are going to cause you problems, but I thought we coped well and kept them fairly high up the pitch and kept Alan free a lot of the time.

When that threatened to unravel, with Tom's injury, Jake stepped back, and I thought Simon Richman was outstanding with whatever we asked him to do as well. It was a different system to Saturday, a different set of players, but they took to it like a duck to water. We've got two points from two games, but for me, we should be sitting here with all six. The positives far outweigh the negatives. The main negative is naivety, but we're leaving here tonight believing we should have won, despite Halifax being title favourites with an unbelievable squad, and that says a lot for us.

Q: There could easily have been a sense of deflation, couldn't there, after being pegged back and then losing such an influential player?

A: You've just taken the words out of my mouth. That's what I said to them at half-time; the easiest thing now is to feel sorry for yourselves, they've scored, we've lost Tom, the floodgates are going to open. I've seen that so many times, but not with this crowd. They rolled their sleeves up and got on with it. There were still a few things they got wrong, but the attitude and commitment that shone through was as good as you will get.

Q: Real persistence from Sam Patterson (left) and a great finish by James Lawrie for our first goal, wasn't it?

A: We worked on that. After seeing Halifax, it was clear how they like to press. Obviously, that's why we started Khius Metz up front, to get in behind them, and he did that a few times, and got down the sides, which stretches teams and gives you options. I thought James Lawrie was outstanding, like so many others, in that little pocket. His work-rate was phenomenal in doing all we asked him to do. We kept our shape and put so much effort and endeavour in, even after the disruption of losing Tom, and it was just unfortunate they pegged us back a second time with a fantastic goal by Jordan Sinnott.

Q: The defending generally has been good in both games, hasn't it, despite four goals being conceded?

A: We've just been talking about that in the dressing room, and John Cyrus told me he thought we'd conceded four sloppy goals. If you look at them, there was a mix-up over marking for Darlington's first, followed by a penalty that was hard to take, then tonight Andy knows he got it wrong for the first, and the second we can't be happy about because we've kicked the ball out due to Sean Miller needing treatment but haven't got it back.

Another thing I wasn't happy with was their centre-back going down like he did just a few yards from our dug-out. I was right on top of all the histrionics, and it was embarrassing. I'm all for battles and all that, but he was holding his face and laughing at me, just waiting for Craig (right) to get sent off. We don't need that in football, and I made the point to (Halifax manager) Billy Heath. Bill is a good friend and one of the top men in football. He didn't say much back, but I just said: 'Bill, that's a bit naughty.' I told the lad that as well.

Fortunately, it was just a yellow Craig got. I think the ref was trying to calm the situation down a bit, because the two of them had been at it all game. But their centre-half got away with a lot, and how they were awarded as many fouls as they were, compared to how many we got, is beyond me. I thought Craig worked hard and occupied their two central defenders. If his touch let him down a bit at times, that's because he hasn't played a lot of football in the last 18 months.

Q: We were under the cosh a bit near the end, weren't we?

A: We were against Darlington as well, when they had seven or eight corners one after another, but we stood firm again, won our headers and tackles and made sure we didn't lose. We threw bodies in the way when we needed to, and that was good to see. To come here to a buoyant Halifax side fresh from a really good win at Nuneaton and sticking six goals past a decent Morecambe side before that was always going to be a test. But we restricted them to very little, apart from balls into the box, which you are always going to get here.

Q: So what happened exactly with Tom?

A: I didn't really see it, but he was saying in the dressing room that as he went to clear the ball, their lad came to close it down and caught him and took away his standing leg. He was in real pain, and you know if Tom Hannigan is waving his arm and coming off on a stretcher, there are problems. As soon as I saw that, I got a sub stripped and ready to go on.

He's a warrior and will be back as soon as he can, but the initial assessment is he's done medial ligaments grade one and will be out four to six weeks, which is a big, big loss for us. We are down to the bare bones now, and as any manager will tell you, centre-halves are not easy to come by, so I will speak to our scouting team and see if we can get one from somewhere. We basically haven't got another one at the club. There is young Sam Heathcote, obviously, but what we don't want to do, and I spoke to him about it before the game, is put that much pressure on a young lad still learning the game.

I don't really want to play Jake Moult there unless I have to, even though he can do the job, so we will see what we can do. It's a shame, because anyone seeing us since the start of pre-season would have said Tom and John Cyrus are as good a centre-back pairing as any in our league, possibly even the league above. If not as good as any in the league above, then certainly right up there.

Q: There's a lot of responsibility on John (left) now, in Tom's absence, would you say?

A: Well, on the evidence of tonight, he's up to it. For some of the headers he won, it looked like he'd jumped about 8ft 3in in the air. He's another warrior. I don't have to speak to him. He just goes about his business in an effective and efficient way. When I talk in the dressing room, you can tell he is listening and taking it all on board, then he takes it out on to the pitch.

Q: Is there scope for another loan deal?

A: Do you mean financially? There will have to be. We are still very early on in the season, and there is money in the budget at the moment. There is still a lot of moving around to be done in terms of some of our players going out on loan, but we should be able to do a short-term loan for four to six weeks to cover for Tom. Hopefully I will be able to tap into some of our contacts and see if we can get someone a bit cheaper by getting the begging bowl out!

Q: Is the target to get someone in by the weekend?

A: Absolutely. It has to be the right person, but we will be working hard to make it happen in time. It's no good bringing in a kid who is not going to be strong enough for this level, but we will be working as hard as we can to get a suitable candidate in, because the games are coming thick and fast".


Congratulations go to Simon Richman (right), for whom Tuesday's match was his 200th appearance for Altrincham. He has started 170 games and been a used substitute in thirty more for The Robins. His Altrincham goal tally is fifteen. Simon joined Alty five years ago, being Lee Sinnott's first signing in 2011.

Only Shaun Densmore with 308 (299+9), Damian Reeves with 252 (248+4) and James Lawrie with 226 (187+39) games have made more appearances for Alty amongst the current squad. Jake Moult is likely to be the next to reach the landmark, having so far amassed 190 (166+24) appearances.


Full details of the TASC supporters' transport to our second away game at Harrogate Town (13 August) are here. You can book by ringing the Club (0161 928-1045) or by visiting the Club offices during normal weekday office hours.


  • Bradford Park Avenue v Curzon Ashton


The attendances on Tuesday night were...
  • Att: 445: Alfreton Town v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Att: 1836: FC Halifax Town v Altrincham
  • Att: 2124: FC United Of Manchester v AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 702: Harrogate Town v Boston United
  • Att: 1446: Kidderminster Harriers v Brackley Town
  • Att: 1601: Stalybridge Celtic v Stockport County
  • Att: 770: Tamworth v Worcester City


FC Halifax Town report that "Jordan Sinnott’s wonder-strike secured a point for FC Halifax Town against his former club Altrincham and the midfielder was delighted with his immediate impact at the MBi Shay Stadium. He said, 'As a new player at the club you want to try and make a mark. So, obviously, the best thing to do is score a goal. When I picked up the ball I never thought that would end up happening but it’s just opened up for me. I’ll always back myself in front of goal so I’m just happy to see it go in'.

With the Shaymen behind for a second time in their first home Vanarama National League North game of the season, manager Billy Heath turned to Sinnott, who revealed, 'He just told me to try and create something so I’m thankful for the chance. Hopefully I’ve repaid him. We’ve shown great resilience and character to come back from the goals behind and, if we had [had] a couple more minutes, we really had them backs against the wall, I think we’d have gone on and got the winner'.

Tom Denton was Halifax’s other goal scorer on Tuesday evening and Sinnott was quick to praise his teammate’s impact, already registering four goals in Town colours. 'He’s massive, as an out ball for us,' said Sinnott. 'I think we can play two types of football; we can get it down and play it but, obviously, if we’re under the cosh we can hit the big man and he can look after it for us like he has today against Altrincham and on Saturday against Nuneaton. He’s a well known goal scorer in these leagues so no one’s surprised to see him get four goals.'

Asked what we might expect from Town at the weekend with the visit of Worcester City, Sinnott added, 'Hopefully more of the same; that grittiness. If it’s not going well for us we dig in and obviously we have players who can come off the bench who are unlucky not to be starting to be fair. We’ve got the big crowd here and hopefully we can go for three points. They were fantastic, this side behind the goal they never stopped singing and, as a player when you hear that, even with going behind twice, that’s all you can ask for'".

The Shaymen also report that "boss Billy Heath believes that his team gave all that they could to try and secure the three points for the second game in a row, but it was just not meant to be for the home side. 'I think we pushed hard at the end, for the last 25 minutes we really were pushing. We maybe should have got the winner, I think we had a few chances to get the winner. (It was) probably (right to be) a draw, maybe because we started the game pretty slow, we didn’t have that verve that we had on Saturday. We looked probably a little bit jaded I think and then we concede a goal which, to be fair, I need to have another look at because from my angle, I’m not sure'.

Visitors Altrincham... provided a tough encounter putting the home side behind on two occasions... 'Once again we showed resilience, we got ourselves back in the game. Big ‘Dents’ reacts ever so well from off the keeper when he puts it in then we come out in the second half and, to be fair, I think we’ve only had three shots on goal in the full game, but it’s getting it over the line that counts. In the last 20 minutes we had them on the rack and once we got the equaliser there was only one team looking to go anywhere...

'If you look at it one way, we’re unbeaten in nine games with the pre-season games… At the end of the day we’ve got four points from two games which is not a bad return. It may have caught up with one or two of us because obviously these boys have got to go to work! We just looked a little bit on our heels but, like I say, it was very pleasing that in the last 25 minutes we pushed, we looked fit and we looked strong'...

After going behind again to a questionable [?] penalty, new-boy Sinnott produced a moment of magic to salvage the draw. A powerful right-footed shot from the edge of the area flew into the top corner and sent the home crowd into a frenzy... 'We know Jordan’s go that quality, like I say, he could easily start any of the games... The boy has got immense quality and the finish was just sublime'".

Halifax captain Kevin Roberts added, "I think we are frustrated with how the game panned out in the end. We’re also frustrated with conceding two goals again. We don’t want it to become a habit, we keep clean sheets and we’ve proven we score goals, we’ve scored five goals in the first two games, so if we can get that right. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the unit defensively. We had a few individual errors which can be easily cut out so hopefully we can sort that out before the next game...

"I wouldn’t say there were a lot of clear-cut chances but we were putting balls in the box, there were a lot of scrambles and we made it uneasy for Altrincham, and a lot of teams in this league won’t be able to cope with that... It was a brilliant goal by Jordan. Everyone’s obviously not happy when they’re not starting but the lads that have come on have shown a great attitude and they’ve all changed the game, and especially Jordan with a wonderful goal at the end".

"In the second half, we used him [Denton] well, got plenty of balls in the box, and if you put balls in the box he’s definitely a threat", he concluded.


The unofficial Up the Clarets site says that "All three of our loan players out at English clubs started last night with Josh Ginnelly getting a first start for Walsall and Metz making his debut for Altrincham...

Ginnelly had to settle for a place on the bench last Saturday... but he got his first opportunity last night when they came up against Yeovil in the League Cup. He played 63 minutes... Ginnelly will now be hoping to be involved when they travel to Oldham this Saturday.

It was a quick debut too for Khius Metz for Altrincham. He went straight into their team at The Shay and played for all but the last seventeen minutes of their 2-2 draw and, according to reports, equitted [acquitted] himself really well."


Brian Flynn has archived the Radio Robins commentary from Saturday's match against Darlington 1883, here.


News of Alty's next opponents comes from the Wetherby News which also has a video interview with manager Simon Weaver. "Harrogate Town got up and running on their new 3G pitch at the first attempt with a solid 2-0 win over the perennially dangerous Boston United. Dom Knowles put Town ahead in a frantic first half... the game was put beyond their reach by Lloyd Kerry's smart finish in the 69th minute.

The match marked Town's first competitive fixture at home since the implementation of the artificial 3G surface at the CNG Stadium. Simon Weaver made one change from Town's opening day 2-2 draw at Worcester City with Gascoigne given a start ahead of Joe Colbeck. More significantly, Town set up with a diamond shape to the midfield as opposed to Saturday's flat four...

Boston showed their intention to utilise the flat surface, which had been peppered by rain throughout, and Lewis Hilliard tested Peter Crook from 25 yards with a free-kick, which bounced dangerously in front of the Town number one. The first 15 minutes continued to produce a high quality of football...

As well as a frantic pace, the clash had a nasty edge to it with Town producing a number of rash challenges. Ainge, Shiels, Lewis Turner and Leesley all found their way into referee Simon Mather's notebook. Turner was then forced off through injury and Warren Burrell was made to fill in as a makeshift full-back from the bench...

The breakthrough was finally broken[?] with three minutes remaining until the interval when Knowles stole in behind the back four and clipped over the advancing Dibble...

The game went through its quietest phase with Town struggling to reach the heights of the first half. But it sprung to life on 65 minutes when a good advantage was played by Mather with Knowles on the floor and lively substitute Jack Emmett put Leesley through for a lash at goal, well saved by Dibble...

The second goal had been coming when it arrived on 69 minutes courtesy of a fine finish from Kerry on the edge of the box. The midfielder found a pocket of space on the right hand edge of the area and squeezed his strike under Dibble's body and into the bottom corner".

From the other side, Boston United report that "United had chances, with both Waide Fairhurst and Callum Chippendale striking the woodwork. Dennis Greene had opted to make three changes ahead of kick-off, with Fairhurst coming into the side along with Courtney Wildin and Grant Roberts...

United were bright from the off after the break and Crook excelled to keep out a Maguire header. The Pilgrims forced Town back for spells, but it was the hosts who held firm to eventually add their second goal...

Harrogate (4-1-2-1-2): Peter Crook; Lewis Turner (Warren Burrell 32), Simon Ainge, Luke Shiels, Ben Parker; Andi Thanoj; Lloyd Kerry, Joe Leesley; Andy Gascoigne (Jack Emmett 62); Jordan Robertson (Jon-Paul Pittman 84), Dominic Knowles. Subs (not used): Chib Chilaka, Danny Ellis.

Boston (4-2-3-1): Christian Dibble; Kalern Thomas, Joe Maguire, Herve Pepe-Ngoma, Courtney Wildin; Grant Roberts (Lamin Colley 72), Lewis Hilliard (Ollie Price 56); Jay Rollins, Callum Chippendale (Joe Burgess 84), Jason St Juste; Waide Fairhurst. Subs (not used): Liam Adams, Michael Emery (gk)".


The Lincolnshire Echo says that "Dennis Greene is backing his Boston United players to start delivering the results to match their endeavours following back-to-back defeats... United suffered a 2-0 reversal at the hands of Harrogate Town on Tuesday night, which followed up their 1-0 opening day defeat to Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.

'We have not had the breaks in the first two games', said Greene. 'We are a work in progress and everybody knows that. We had nil points at the same stage last season and made the play-offs with a solid season. It's hard to take, because we want points on the board, but there is a long season ahead and we will keep going... Harrogate are a decent side and they passed the ball around well in the first half', added Greene....

'We started the second half on the front foot and it was all us for 20 to 25 minutes. We had plenty of good wing play but for all of the possession we had, we did not really create a run of opportunities. That was disappointing'".

The National League rpeorts that "Stockport County won 3-1 at Bower Fold against neighbours Stalybridge Celtic... A goal in first half injury-time by Courtney Meppen-Walter put the visitors in front. And, despite conceding a Jimmy Ball goal in the 65th minute, further goals from John Marsden after 72 minutes and substitute Josh Amis 10 minhtes from time sealed the Hatters win.

Harrogate Town, FC Halifax Town, Brackley Town, Tamworth, Altrincham and FC United of Manchester are all also yet to taste defeat in 2016/17...

Relegated Kidderminster Harriers were brought down to earth by Brackley... Goals for James Armson after 36 minutes and Alex Gudger on 74 minutes ensured the Reds tasted their first defeat of the season. Tyrell Waite pulled one back from the spot 3 minutes later...

Jack Lane scored a late winner for Tamworth at The Lamb against Worcester City. Lane smashed home the only goal of the game just 9 minutes from time...

FC United made it two draws from their opening matches after sharing a goalless draw at Broadhurst Park against an AFC Telford United outfit who lost last weekend. Alfreton Town recorded their first win against a Gainsborough Trinity side who drew last Saturday... Sam Smith made it 4-0 with 5 minutes of normal time remaining".

10 August 2016


Above: Before the game, Tom Hannigan, Jamie Menagh and Khius Metz warm up at The Shay.

Just as on Saturday, Altrincham twice led in this game but ended with a draw. The night was marred by a serious injury to centre-back Tom Hannigan, who is set to be out for six weeks with medial ligament damage.

Match report here.


Surprisingly, six clubs do not have a midweek fixture in this first week of the season...

Tuesday, 9 August:

  • Alfreton Town 4-0 Gainsborough Trinity
  • FC Halifax Town 2-2 Altrincham
  • FC United Of Manchester 0-0 AFC Telford Utd
  • Harrogate Town 2-0 Boston United
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 Brackley Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic 1-3 Stockport County
  • Tamworth 1-0 Worcester City

Wednesday, 10 August:

  • Bradford Park Avenue v Curzon Ashton


Burnley confirm that "Young striker Khius Metz has joined Altrincham on work experience until January, subject to paperwork. The 18-year-old, who signed new terms at Turf Moor in March, has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level. And the pacy forward, who broke Darren Campbell’s 20-year school record in the 200m sprint, will go straight into Neil Young’s squad for tonight’s trip to FC Halifax Town at The Shay."

Clarets Mad adds that "Khius Metz has joined Altrincham... Josh Ginnelly, presently on loan at Walsall, recently experienced a successful loan spell at Altrincham. It's good to see the younger Burnley players getting a chance to play regular football and climb the Football League ladders".


Barry Pikesley writes...

"Neil Young's Alty starting XI last Saturday contained seven players who were all making their league debut for the Robins, thereby equalling the tally fielded by Gerry Quinn in his first match as Alty manager: a 1-0 victory in a GM Vauxhall Conference fixture at Kidderminster Harriers back on Saturday, 22nd August 1992.

For the record, the seven debutants on that particular afternoon comprised: Joe Paladino, Clive Freeman, Russell Green, Mike Farrar, Charlie Bradshaw, Ian Thompson and Mick Carmody.

However (in recent times, anyhow), the record for the number of Alty players making their league debut in the same fixture occurred in a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the 1998/99 Unibond League Premier Division on Saturday, 22nd August 1998, when Frickley Athletic were the visitors at Moss Lane.

After a pre-season of hectic transfer activity, the Robins' manager Bernard Taylor named the following eight debutants in his starting XI: Andy Dibble, Darren Lyons, Chris Timons, Brian Kilcline, Paul Ellender, Leroy Chambers, Phil Power and Nigel Gleghorn".


According to NL Pitchero "Defender Wes Harding has joined Alfreton Town on a one-month youth loan from Birmingham City. The 19-year-old's loan runs until September 9th 2016 and there is a recall clause after 28 days should Blues wish to use it. In addition, Harding, who made thirty-three appearances and scored 2 goals for Blues under-21s last season, will still be eligible to play in non-first-team fixtures for Birmingham."

From the Shropshire Star we learn that "Captain Luca Havern has urged AFC Telford to show no fear at FC United of Manchester tonight [Tuesday]. Broadhurst Park has a reputation as the noisiest ground in National League North and will no doubt be rocking to the tune of more than 3,000 United fans for their first home game of the season, writes Tim Nash.

United, who drew 3-3 at Chorley on Saturday, will also be gunning for revenge after losing three times to the Bucks last term. But Havern wants Telford to take the game to the hosts as they did in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to AFC Fylde. 'We’re going to a good stadium and they’ll naturally be up for it but we’ve got to take the positives from Saturday, especially the second-half performance, and get right on the front foot,' said the skipper.

'We showed on Saturday we’re more than capable of creating chances and look solid'... Havern is one of two Mancunians in the Telford squad with Tom Peers while they have three Scousers in Sean Williams, Michael Monaghan and Josh Wilson. And the Bucks' skipper believes the Liverpool-Manchester rivalry will help against FC United. 'We’ve got a lively bunch of Scousers in there so I’m sure there will be (an extra incentive),' he said...

'I think any game has spice really because of the league we’re in.' Havern was one of 11 summer signings but believes they have knitted together quickly. 'Fylde have been talked about (as favourites to go up) and before the game there was a lot of talk about them but the boys showed what we’re about,' he said... 'We had a few chances where we need to be more ruthless'".

The Boston Standard asked, "Can Boston United be fantastic on plastic? Tonight [Tuesday] the Pilgrims travel to face Harrogate Town... Over the summer Town have seen a £1 million investment transform their historically treacherous turf into a third generation pitch.

Dennis Greene admits he has no idea how his Boston United squad will adapt to the artificial surface, but he believes that playing there so early in the campaign may also catch the hosts out. He said, 'We’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be on a plastic pitch, a bit of an unknown. But, this year, we are a much better footballing team, whether we can be as effective on this pitch, we’ll see. A plastic pitch allows us to pass the ball, so we’ll see what we can do. Harrogate have been training on it and know it better than other teams, but it’s early in the season so we don’t know how they’ll get on in a competitive game'...

In their past seven visits to Wetherby Road, Boston have only won twice, the last of those victories coming almost five years ago in August 2011".

Up the Clarets confirms that "Striker Jason Gilchrist and midfielder Nathan Lowe, both released by Burnley last season, have signed for FC United of Manchester and made their competitive debuts as substitutes two days ago in a 3-3 draw against Chorley. Just under two weeks ago, the pair scored all the goals in a 4-0 friendly win against Mossley and although there has been no confirmation that either of them had signed, they are both now listed as members of the FC United squad and were both used as substitutes in Saturday’s opener.

They came up against two other former Burnley players on their debuts who were making their own debuts for Chorley. Waqas Azam, who signed for them last week, was used as a substitute while Stephen Jordan, who was with Burnley from 2007 to 2010, played the full game for his new club."

9 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes, "Neil Young has added blistering pace to his attacking options by signing teenage Burnley striker Khius Metz on loan. The 18-year old is described on Burnley's official website as being 'lightning quick' and could have pursued a career in athletics after smashing Darren Campbell's national schools record time in the 200 metres two years ago.

He opted for football, instead, and has made such a favourable impression at Turf Moor that, while seven other youngsters were released at the end of last season, he was offered new terms.

Burnley bosses sanctioned his loan move to Alty after feeling he would benefit from game time at a more senior level, and he goes straight into Alty manager Young's squad for Tuesday night's Vanarama National League North game against FC Halifax Town at The Shay.

Reflecting on his latest capture, Young said, 'With his exceptional pace, Khius will give us that added dimension in forward areas that we have been trying to bring in.'

Already capped at under-19 level by the Republic of Ireland, Metz signed new terms at Burnley in March, with youth coach Michael Jolley commenting, 'His biggest strength is obviously his incredible pace, and he has already played international football for his age group, which is another feather in his cap and can only aid his development. We feel he still has a lot of potential to improve, and more regular game time will help him do that.'"


The Halifax Courier reports that "Halifax boss Billy Heath praised his side’s start to the season after striker Tom Denton’s hat-trick helped them to a 3-2 win at Nuneaton. Denton’s three goals on his Town debut sealed a deserved win for The Shaymen at Liberty Way,

Heath said, 'It’s a great result and a great start for us. I thought we played really well... Heath was pleased with his side’s reaction to Nuneaton’s first equaliser...

'The set-piece was good, I was pleased about that, it was executed really well,' he said on Denton’s first goal. 'Then we commit the cardinal sin a couple of minutes later of conceding from a set-piece, which was disappointing. But the reaction was good after the goal. In the second-half the only difference was we scored the goals when we created the chances this time... But Nuneaton will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We’re not getting carried away, it’s the opening day of the season'".

As for Denton, Heath added, “When you deliver balls in, he will score goals, period.”


Following the retirement of Dave Johnson and Jim Vince, due to ill health, Altrincham FC is now looking for a person (or persons) to take over their duties at the main entrance door to the Football Club, (shown in above photo), on matchdays. Duties include greeting the match sponsors, the opposition, press reporters, match officials and others before the game. This requires attendance from two hours before kick off until half-time but you will be able to watch the match from the players' tunnel during the first half. If you are interested in helping the Club in this way, please contact the club on (0161) 928-1045 or by e-mail, at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much.

The Club would like to thank Dave and Jim for their service and wishes them both well for the future.


Keith Edleston, manager of the Altrincham FC Ladies' team, advises us that "This Sunday's (14th Aug) pre-season game v Rhyl LFC has been rearranged to our HOME venue at Mersey Valley Sports Club with a 2pm kick-off. We would love to see as many supporters as possible down to cheer the ladies on against our Welsh Premier League opponents. The usual bar facilities will be open from 12 noon. We look forward to seeing you there!"


The BBC series "The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook" continues its airing on BBC2 this Thursday (11th) at 9pm on BBC2. Part of the programme was filmed at Altrincham FC's J. Davidson Stadium, so don't forget to tune in! More details are here.


Saturday's bucket collection at the J Davidson Stadium raised £41.46, for which the Club thanks the donors and collectors alike.


Brian Flynn, Chairman of TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club), writes that "Alty TV celebrates five years of service this month but needs urgent help to replace its ageing equipment. Last year, supporters rallied round to raise funds to replace and upgrade the broken editing hardware. Unfortunately, the gantry camera used to film the high definition footage of Altrincham F.C. matches has failed beyond repair, seriously impacting on the provision of its highlights service.

We urgently need to raise around £5,000, not only to get Alty TV back to being capable of producing high quality match highlights and interviews, but also to take the opportunity to upgrade and future-proof the camera system. Exciting new functions could include improved picture quality, live-streaming (although, due to F.A. regulations, this is unlikely to include live broadcast of competitive matches) and increased camera angles.

Last season Alty TV’s YouTube channel attracted 370,000 views which equated to some half-a-million minutes watched in over 200 counties.

How you can help:

  • The Alty TV 100

    We are looking for 100 individuals to contribute £50.Your name will be displayed on a “Wall of Fame” on the end credits of each highlights package.

  • Site Sponsor

    Alty TV is also looking for a site sponsor - contact for details. If you can help by becoming one of 'The Alty TV 100', please email me here and I will let you have details of payment options for your £50 contribution.

    In the interim, we will attempt to provide a lower quality skeleton service but hope to return to the high quality of service you expect from Alty TV as soon as possible"


As chairman of TASC, Brian Flynn advises us that "The Friends of Alty July monthly draw took place on Radio Robins at the pre-season game against Crewe Alexandra and the results were as follows:-
  • £100.: Mick Taylor (Number 24)
  • £50: G & J Muir (Number 33)
  • £35: Alexander Raynal (Number 88)
  • £15: Caroline Wragg (Number 21)


The Staffordshire Newsletter reports that "Stafford Rangers have made a triple signing ahead of the new season. Striker Kyle Perry, defender Michael Townsend and goalkeeper Kieran Preston have all signed up for Neil Kitching's side, bringing the total number of new faces up to 11.

All three played in yesterday's 2-1 Mike Hughes Memorial Shield win over Leek Town, and signed after the game. Former England C striker Perry was a free agent after being released by Worcester City at the end of last season". Kyle joins fellow ex-Alty player George Bowerman at Rangers.

And former Alty loanee Dylan Mottley-Henry is now on loan at Championship club Barnsley. The Tykes report that "Dylan has already made a big impression in training by surpassing the likes of Marc Roberts and Kayden Jackson in the pre-season sprinting and fitness tests, becoming the current fastest player at the Club...

Bobby Hassell commented, 'Dylan has unbelievable pace while also being very athletic; he’s been able to slot straight in and train with the first team this past week. He also played 45 minutes against Stalybridge and showed fantastic potential. He fits the DNA of what the first team are looking for and I believe we have a top prospect on our hands'".


The Northern Echo says "Different division, new opposition, same old Darlington. The character which manager Martin Gray has instilled into his spirited team was evident again on the first day of the season at Altrincham. Twice a goal down, twice Quakers recovered, with the game reaching a thrilling climax...

'We showed great character,' said the boss. 'One thing I believe that we have in abundance at this club is character. The mentality we have is that we will not die and we will not lie down for anybody and that came through today. We’ve always done that. The players have that mentality and, as a club, we do too, we will not lie down. If we’re going to be beaten it has to be by the better team and, today, I thought we were the better team.'

Newly-promoted Darlington were better in patches, but Alty had their moments too, the draw a fair result between teams separated by two divisions last season... There were faults with Quakers, however, soft defending costing goals... Only two of Quakers’ new signings started, Liam Marrs at right-back and Josh Gillies just behind strikers Nathan Cartman and Amar Purewal, who were isolated and starved of decent service. Purewal played as Mark Beck has still not been cleared to play, having finished last season playing for Wrexham on loan from Yeovil.

Quakers expect he will receive international clearance by the time they face Boston United at Heritage Park this weekend, when Gray will have the holidaying Stephen Thompson back in the ranks...

'It was a tough start, playing against a club relegated from the Conference, one that will be challenging at the end of the season,' said Gray... 'Over the first half I thought we were the stronger team and we were disappointed to be losing 1-0 at half-time. We had eight corners in the first half, numerous balls into the box and long throws, two or three half-chances. Having failed to test keeper Andrew Dawber in the first half, despite Darlington having plenty of the ball, Gillies was not far off with a shot from nowhere early in the second period.

The remainder of the second half saw few clear Quakers chances, but never discount Darlington’s danger at corners, and on 81 minutes came the breakthrough which sparked a frenzied finale... With seconds to go they were trailing again, a penalty conceded by Jameson for foolishly tripping an opponent when trying to claim a loose ball. 'Peter came for the ball. He didn’t have to because their lad was going away from goal, but he’ll learn,' said Gray...

Galbraith netted the leveller to send the 600 travelling supporters barmy. Later still, Darlington should have had a second penalty, referee Anthony Tankard too weak to award another injury-time spot-kick despite Tom Portas clearly being tripped. 'Of the two penalties, the one on Tom was the easier one to give,' said Gray".

DarlingtonFC 1883 have extended video highlights of the match.

Also after the game, the Northern Echo has a column by Darlington captain Kevin Burgess...

'We’re pleased with the point but should probably have got the win against a very good team... We’re disappointed we didn’t win because of the penalty shout right at the end. I won a penalty, I got a kick on my foot, and Terry Galbraith scored from the spot to make it 2-2 in injury-time but, after that, Tom Portas was fouled and it was worse than mine... Their lad has completely taken out Tom, he didn’t get anywhere near the ball. Tom has got in front of him with his space, the defender hasn’t seen him. The referee had a choice to make, either award a penalty and give Darlington three points, or don’t give the penalty and end the game as a draw. It was a decision he didn’t want to make having just given us a penalty two minutes previously. If it had been 2-1 to Altrincham at the time he would’ve given us the penalty, no doubt about it, and that’s so frustrating...

The penalty he didn’t give was the talking point on the bus on the way home for about ten minutes, and then the new lads had their initiation ceremony; they all to stand up and sing to the rest of us...

The match was our first after getting promoted and the quality was better, both on and off the ball. That quality ball Altrincham put into the box for their first goal with a header, and I don’t know whether he meant to do that or intended to flick the ball on, we were punished for that one time we’d switched off. Last season that cross might not have made it in, or the player might not have got that header on target. You get punished if you switch off at any time in the game...

I was fouled for Tez’s penalty. It was the side of my foot that got kicked and I couldn’t walk after the match... I’ll probably not train Tuesday and then be back training on Thursday".

8 August 2016


Above: Mike Ripley shows the celebrations by Jake Moult and James Lawrie in the game against Darlington 1883 on Saturday.

Match report here.

Brian Flynn's post-match interview yesterday with Neil Young is here.

Darlington FC 1883 have video of all of the goals on Saturday.


Alty travel to The Shay on Tuesday evening, from where FC Halifax Town "manager Billy Heath has praised his sides 'courageous' performance against one of the 'better sides in the division', after a Tom Denton hat-trick saw Town beat Nuneaton 3-2.

'A little bit too excited, I'd have taken a boring 1-0 today', he laughed. 'The first half we could have had a couple more goals. The only negatives were the two goals we conceded. The first one was poor but let’s look at the positives. The lads were fantastic. It is an uncomfortable day in this heat against a side who are probably the best in the league at manipulating the football and we have come out winners. That takes a lot of endeavour, courage and hard work.'

Tom Denton's first of three gave Halifax the lead after just two minutes... 'The set-piece was good. Executed it really well with a great finish. Then we committed the cardinal sin of conceding minutes later. The reaction was good though after their goal though and we continued to create more chances. Second half we took those chances and that's the difference... It's a tough place to come here. Nuneaton will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season...

'Denton is a really good player. I don't understand why people don't give him the credit he deserves. What he does is the best in this league by a long way. Maybe it's because he isn't the easiest on the eye, let’s face it. He sticks to his strengths, so what we do as a team is stick to his strengths and, when he is in that mood, if you play to him he will score goals. Fair play to him, but I think there were plenty of brilliant performances out there. Richard Peniket was fantastic, he played a really good role. Josh MacDonald too'...

Halifax Town will next face Altrincham, another side fighting for promotion, at the MBi Shay Stadium on Tuesday night, but Heath reminded fans to stay grounded and take each game as it comes".


Altrincham are away at Harrogate Town next Saturday. The Club informs us that there is "free spectator parking at the Willow Tree Primary School, which is situated about 250 yards from the CNG Stadium", south of the ground on the A661, Wetherby Road.

Also, from Harrogate Town, we learn that last Saturday "JP Pittman was the saviour for Town on the opening day of the 2016/17 campaign, as his stoppage time equaliser sent Simon Weaver’s men back to The CNG Stadium with a point". Manager Simon Weaver said of Pittman "That’s what he’s been brought here to do! He’s getting fitter and fitter every day, because he’s had an injury and illness during pre-season... It’s great for me to be able to put that quality of player on in JP, Jack Emmett and Chib"...

Weaver added, "I think we are better than that, and we have to be better than that to sustain a challenge at the top, however the lads grinded [ground] out a point and we’ll take that. We’ll continue to take one game at a time and take incremental steps". Next up for Town is the first league game of the season on The CNG Stadium’s new 3G pitch as Boston United provide the opposition".


The draw for Altrincham FC Patrons was made at the weekend and the winners were...
  • 1 Alice Emburey, who wins hospitality for ten at the Altrincham v Curzon Ashton game
  • 2 Steve Murray, who wins hospitality for five at the Altrincham v Curzon Ashton game
  • 3 Harold Smith, who wins hospitality for three at the Altrincham v Curzon Ashton game.

Thanks go from the Club to all who have signed up for the Patrons' scheme.


Amongst the Altrincham "old boys" in action on Saturday were Michael Rankine, who scored for Guiseley. Nicky Clee was a used sub and Tim Deasy remained on the bench for the Yorkshire club.

Ex-Alty loanee Jonny Margetts was a used sub for Lincoln City, whilst Ryan Brooke and Liam Tomsett were substituted as Curzon Ashton crashed 1-6 at home to Kidderminster Harriers.

For Stalybridge, Andy Owens scored the winning goal and Tony McMillan kept goal on Saturday. Sean Williams played for AFC Telford United and, in the FA Cup, former youth and reserve player Tom Bailey scored the winner for Northwich Victoria against Barnton.


The Worcester News reports that "Manager Carl Heeley insists there was 'no finger pointing' in the dressing room after Worcester City were denied an opening-day triumph by a last-gasp Harrogate Town leveller. And Heeley has tipped City goalkeeper Ethan Ross to bounce back after the 19-year-old made two costly errors in Saturday’s 2-2 draw in Vanarama National League North at Bromsgrove.

A double from veteran Lee Hughes looked set to give City a winning start until Ross fumbled a free-kick and Harrogate substitute Jon-Paul Pittman equalised in stoppage time. Heeley said, 'You don’t want people to make mistakes but it is part and parcel of the game and Ethan is a young lad and all you can say is for him to dust himself down... Everyone is disappointed because we were in a winning position late in the game and it always feels cruel when you concede so late but that’s football. I have no doubt (that Ross will bounce back). He’s got the character...

'They were all sticking together in the changing room after the game. There was no finger pointing and no blaming of anybody and that’s a great trait to have in a squad'... Heeley admitted, 'We could have put it to bed and we would have got away with the late mistake... It was a point gained because we didn’t have any (points) at 3pm on Saturday', said Heeley... 'It could have been three... That was the first time we had all played together and you can’t be critical of them'".

7 August 2016


Alty boss Neil Young spoke to the NL Paper's Andrew Marshall after the game on Saturday. Neil said, "It was a difficult first game. They've just come up and, with the system they play, they're very effective. We need to be better on the break. I took Damian Reeves off because we felt we needed a big man against their defence but I can't fault the effort.

"We're a young side and we'll develop. We're not thinking about the expectations on us, we're just taking one game at a time".

Darlington manager Martin Gray added, "It was a very tough start to the season against a strong team that will be up there at the end".


Match report here.

Above Gavin Rathbone's image shows new Altrincham captain, Alan Goodall, in action against Darlington.< After the game Darlington FC 1883 reported that "A last minute penalty by Terry Galbraith gave Quakers a deserved point at Moss Lane. They were behind twice... They went behind on 14 minutes, when a cross from the left was met by James Lawrie, who beat Jameson with a looping back header into the net...

After Quakers had a penalty appeal turned down for a foul on Scott, they equalised from a corner. Terry Galbraith whipped the corner in from the right, and skipper Burgess, steaming in, headed into the top corner of the net! But with two minutes left, Jameson brought down Richman in a goalmouth scramble, and Jake Moult hammered the penalty into the roof of the net.

But in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Burgess was pushed in the area, the ref pointed to the spot, and Galbraith sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot for the equaliser".

And the Northern Echo adds that "Darlington started the season in dramatic fashion, scoring an 96th minute penalty to draw 2-2 at Altrincham... The point made it a good start for newly-promoted Darlington, against a team relegated from the National League last season, after what had been a largely even contest... With only two minutes to go they were trailing 2-1. It was conceded by Jameson after a corner, the goalkeeper tripping an opponent when trying to claim the loose ball, and Jake Moult blasted home the penalty.

It appeared to be a cruel end to the match for Quakers, yet there was still time for more drama. Burgess was tripped, the result of which saw him hobble out of the ground with a swollen ankle, and Galbraith fired home the penalty... And they might have had even more to cheer when Portas was bundled over in the box with almost 100 minutes on the clock, but referee Anthony Tankard decided against another spot kick.

Nonetheless, it made for a riveting close to the encounter, Quakers’ first in the National League North".


The Friends of AFC Monthly Draw for August was made at half-time of the match against AFC Darlington 1883. The winners were
  • £100 Caroline Wragg, number 21
  • £50 Steve Murray, number 58
  • £35 Karen Rowley , number 6
  • £15 Andrew Shaw, number 35


The National League reports that "Striker Scott Spencer has returned to Stockport County... "Spencer was released by the Hatters at the end of 2014/15, and returned to his former club Hyde United where he scored 24 goals last season. The 27-year-old almost retired from the game earlier this year, but after linking up with County during the summer, he has impressed the management team and earned his place back at Edgeley Park.

The former England C international re-joins the club on a non-contract basis... Manager James Gannon said, 'There is no doubt about Scott's qualities and he is a different type of striker to what we currently have... Towards the end of last season Scott faced a difficult time which challenged his love for the game. I'm glad that he's still hungry for football and excited about what he can now achieve here at Edgeley Park...

The popular front man has had an intriguing career, which saw him leave Oldham as a teenager to join Everton in a £650,000 deal, linking up with players such as Louis Saha and Mikel Arteta. He moved on to play for Rochdale, Southend, Lincoln City and Halifax before becoming something of a legend at Hyde".

Alty's next opponents, FC Halifax Town "opened their 2016/17 National League North campaign with a 3-2 win over Nuneaton Town, with Tom Denton scoring a hat-trick on his debut... The summer signing from North Ferriby gave the travelling Shaymen fans more to cheer about after impressive pre-season displays...

Halifax gained the lead just two minutes into the game, Denton connecting with Josh MacDonald’s corner ball and heading past Dean Snedker. However, the lead didn’t last long as Aaron Williams quickly equalised for the Boro... The control of the game soon fell into the hands of Halifax. MacDonald impressed the crowd on frequent occasions, bombing down the right wing, before floating numerous crosses towards the head of Denton, who was unlucky not to score again in the first half...

Roberts was lucky not to see his marching orders after a rash tackle on left-back Jordan Nicholson. The referee was lenient though, giving Roberts a yellow card only... With just the one goal in pre-season, Denton stamped his name down as one of Halifax’s star strikers in the league, with his blistering performance... FC Halifax Town now face Altrincham at the Shay on Tuesday night, with another win on the minds of Heath and his squad no doubt.

FC Halifax Town: 1) Drench; 2) Moyo, 3) Wilde, 4) Roberts (c), 5) Hone; 6) Garner, 7) MacDonald (Hughes 61), 8) Hotte, 11) Peniket; 9) Denton, 10) Burrow (Hibbs) Subs Not Used 12) Nicholson, 17) Kosylo, 15) Sinnott".

The National League tells us that "Relegated Kidderminster Harriers look determined to bounce straight back after opening the 2016/17 Vanarama National League North season with an amazing 6-1 win at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton on Saturday. It represented a great start for new boss John Eustace as his side were rampant in the opening 45 minutes.

A brace for Arthur Gnahoua after 34 and 41 minutes and strikes by Elton Ngwatala in the 7th minute, Mani Dieseruvwe 4 minutes later and Ashley Carter on 23 minutes saw Kiddy lead 5-0 by half-time! Substitute Liam Truslove added another in the 70th minute, with Curzon pulling one back through Joe Guest 3 minutes later...

Newly-promoted Salford City were held to a 1-1 draw at Moor Lane in their debut game at this level against Gloucester City...

Two clubs with much-changed squads, Gainsborough Trinity and Bradford Park Avenue, also shared the spoils at the Northolme... There was another draw at Victory Park between Chorley and FC United of Manchester. A crowd of 1,947 saw Sefton Gonzales give the Magpies a 10th minute lead that George Thomson cancelled out 5 minutes later. Jerome Wright then gave the Reds the advantage on 28 minutes only for Andrew Teague to send the home side into the break all-square with a 43rd minute leveller.

Thomson bagged his second of the game just past the hour-mark to restore FC United`s lead, but Scott Leather popped up with an 85th minute equaliser for Chorley.

Worcester City and Harrogate Town shared a 2-2 draw at Bromsgrove. Veteran striker Lee Hughes put hosts Worcester in front from the spot after 15 minutes. Luke Shiels levelled from close range 6 minutes later. Hughes added a second for the hosts 3 minutes into the second half. But Jon-Paul Pittman found himself in the right place at the right time to scramble home Joe Leesley's free-kick a minute into time added on at the end of the game.

Boston United suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Stalybridge Celtic in a game they shouldn`t really have lost. Boston United threw everything but the kitchen sink at 10-man Stalybridge but it was all to no avail... They had more chances, more of the play and far more ideas than the visitors, who seemed to make an early decision to defend their slender lead.

However, after 16 minutes, a mistake at the back by Herve Pepe-Ngoma allowed Andy Owens in to score what turned out to be the only goal of the game. The Pilgrims had a great chance to equalise just before half-time, but Lamin Colley`s penalty was saved by Tony McMillan. And even when Celtic went down to ten-men in the 57th minute after a second booking for Aaron Chambers, Boston were unable to break down the visitors.

There were seven goals for the 2,632 crowd at Edgeley Park to enjoy in the sun as Stockport County edged a 4-3 thriller against Alfreton Town. Having taken an early two-goal lead through Danny Lloyd after 4 minutes and John Marsden on 13 minutes, and then seen Kay Odejayi head in on the stroke of half-time to cancel out a Paul Clayton conversion moments earlier, County appeared well in control of proceedings, at 3-1 up at the break.

But the Reds hit back to draw level within 8 minutes of the re-start, courtesy of a Tom Allan flick from a long throw and an excellent effort from 25 yards by skipper Dan Bradley. Allan was later sent-off for a second bookable offence. But, just as it seemed that the drama was over, substitute Gary Stopforth volleyed home a Marsden cross from the left with 2 minutes of added time left on the clock.

AFC Telford United started the season off in disappointing style, going down to a 1-0 defeat at the New Buck's Head to another fancied outfit, AFC Fylde. The only goal of the game came 2 minutes in to the second half from Danny Rowe.

However, there were no goals at St James`s Park between Brackley Town and Tamworth".


  • AFC Telford Utd 0-1 AFC Fylde (Gate 1139)
  • Altrincham 2-2 Darlington FC 1883 (1506)
  • Boston United 0-1 Stalybridge Celtic (1023)
  • Brackley Town 0-0 Tamworth (360)
  • Chorley 3-3 FC United Of Manchester (1947)
  • Curzon Ashton 1-6 Kidderminster Harriers (494)
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Bradford Park Avenue (TBA)
  • Nuneaton Town 2-3 FC Halifax Town (993)
  • Salford City 1-1 Gloucester City (1074)
  • Stockport County 4-3 Alfreton Town (2632)
  • Worcester City 2-2 Harrogate Town (658)

6 August 2016


Above: Jake Moult puts Alty 2-1 up from the penalty spot.

It took a penalty in the fifth added minute for Darlington to take a point for this game but Altrincham could not really complain at the sharing of the spoils. Before Galbraith had rolled his equalizing spot-kick home, Altrincham had twice gone ahead. Their opener had arrived in the fourteenth minute when a fine cross from the left by Patterson, one of seven Altrincham debutants in the starting eleven, was met by a close-range header from James Lawrie.

Darlington enjoyed plenty of the ball but did not equalize till ten minutes from time when Burgess powered home a header from a corner. Then Altrincham went 2-1 up in the 89th minute when Jake Moult hammered home a spot kick following a melee in the visitors' box caused by a James Lawrie freekick. In the last of the minimum of four added minutes found by referee Tankard, Burgess was brought down and Darlington's penalty made it 2-2.

Match report here.


The first fixtures of the 2016-17 season in the Vanarama National League North are below.
  • AFC Telford Utd 0-1 AFC Fylde
  • Altrincham 2-2 Darlington FC 1883
  • Boston United 0-1 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Brackley Town 0-0 Tamworth
  • Chorley 3-3 FC United Of Manchester
  • Curzon Ashton 1-6 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Nuneaton Town 2-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Salford City 1-1 Gloucester City
  • Stockport County 4-3 Alfreton Town
  • Worcester City 2-2 Harrogate Town


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "A new season is upon us, and with it a new-look Robins' Review, packed with all the usual old favourite articles and columns, plus one or two new ones. Among the familiar features is chairman Grahame Rowley's boardroom dispatch and the manager's notes, penned this time, of course, by summer appointment Neil Young, while 'Captain's Chat' will reveal who has taken the armband in Shaun Densmore's injury-enforced absence.

New to the Review is a Q & A with the match sponsor, Alty director Paul Daine on this occasion, a five-way contest to be the season's top tipsters for forecasting results and a Happy Birthday slot that, on this opening Saturday of the campaign, features two smiling Alty fans. Don't forget, if you would like birthday wishes for yourself, a friend, relative or whoever to be included in the match programme, please email details to Robins' Review and John Edwards. The Robins' Review will be on sale inside the ground, still priced £2.50."


Brian Flynn interviewed Neil Young ahead of training on Thursday. You can hear the interview here.


Ian Senior advises that "All sizes of Altrincham FC replica shirts from XXSB to XXL will be available for purchase at Saturday's game. The shop will be set up to seel them in the Community Sports Hall from 1pm".


Altrincham kick off their 2016-17 season in the Vanarama National League North with a visit from Darlington 1883 on Saturday at 3pm. This will be the first time that Altrincham have met Darlington 1883 though, of course, we did play againt their predecessor club, Darlington FC on several occasions.

On police advice, the match will be segregated. The away terrace turnstiles will be reopened for this game after refurbishment over the summer and these are located at the Hale end of the ground (i.e. beyond the Main Stand as you walk from Altrincham town centre).

Admission prices are:

  • Standing: Adults £14 Concessionaries £9
  • Seating: Adults £15 Concessionaries £10
  • Disabled with Helper: Combined price £14
  • 12-16 year olds: £5
  • Under 12: £2

Only Neil Young and his management team know the Altrincham starting eleven at present but there will certainly be many new faces in the home squad. With Shaun Densmore injured, only Sam Heathcote, James Lawrie, Jake Moult, Damian Reeves and Simon Richman are currently available for selection from last season's squad. Amongst the new players, Danny Hattersley picked up a knock on Monday in the friendly at Witton and must be a major doubt.

The remainder of the 21-man Alty squad have all been seen in action in pre-season, except for newly signed keeper Callum Preston, who only signed last Tuesday.


Darlington FC 1883 report that "Darlington travel to Altrincham in Cheshire on Saturday for our first game in the Vanarama National League North. The Club is aware that there is likely to be a large number of supporters travelling to Altrincham. We are sure this fantastic show of support will help spur the team on to a great performance and, hopefully, three points! There are a lot of road works on the A1, M1 and M62 [and A56!], so it would be good practice to set off early.

DFC is proud of its community- and family-based support and cannot, and will not, tolerate inappropriate behaviour or crowd disturbance of any kind. The Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the Club’s supporters at all our football matches and, with your help, we will do everything possible to eradicate the very small minority, of either individuals or small groups, who purport to represent the Club in a manner that may result in the imposition of severe sanctions on the Club.

The Club will continue to work with the police and other authorities to investigate any reported incident of crowd disturbance and identify perpetrators and take the most severe sanction available to it. If you can help us, please e mail the Club.

So let’s all get behind the team in the proper way and make this a great day out for all the right reasons."

Meanwhile "Lee Gaskell has left Darlington to sign for Ashton United. The club would like to thank Lee for his efforts since arriving at the club in September of last year".


The BBC confirms that "Guiseley have signed left-back Marcus Williams, goalkeeper Tim Deasy [right] and striker Jordan Preston.

Williams, 30, left Scunthorpe in 2015 after playing over 200 games in two stints with the club, and most recently played for Indian side Kerala Blasters.

Deasy, also 30, made 41 league appearances for Altrincham last term but was released in May.

Preston, 20, was released by Blackburn Rovers in May, having failed to make an appearance for the Championship club. Details of the lengths of the trio's contracts with the National League club have not been disclosed."

Guiseley now employ three of last year's Altrincham squad, as Nicky Clee and Michael Rankine have also joined The Lions this summer.

The Worcester News confirms that "Kyle Perry [left] claims Worcester City’s shock decision to axe him on the eve of the new season will have an impact on his livelihood. The experienced striker says he is 'gutted' and 'disheartened' after manager Carl Heeley told him he was no longer part of his plans for the upcoming campaign.

Although part of a band that perform at weddings and functions, Perry, 30, who has a three-year-old son, admitted football was his main income stream. And, with two days before the season gets under way, he feels he has been left in a 'very difficult' position to find a new club. 'I am disheartened and gutted,' said Perry, who said he agreed to stay at cash-strapped City in May after a short stint last season but was waiting for a contract to be drawn up.

'I have planned the last four months to come to Worcester. I have had clubs interested in me in the summer but I would not even give them the time of day on the principle of Carl bringing me in at the end of last season. When he brought me in (in March), I said, "I am not fit". I said, "My ankle isn’t right" but he did everything he could to try to convince me to come to Worcester on the basis I was in his plans. But he now says the picture has changed.

'I am in a position now where most clubs at this level will have squads sorted with a few days left before the start of the season. This isn’t just football, this is mine and my family’s livelihood'. Perry added, 'I am a single dad and football is my number one wage. I do stuff on the side so I can see my boy on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.' After joining the National League North outfit in March, he scored once in eight games and helped City avoid the drop.

Speaking to the 6ft 4in, 18-stone centre-forward at the end of last season, he vowed to be 'fitter', 'sharper' and 'more mobile' in a bid to rediscover his goal-scoring touch. However, Perry failed to find the net in pre-season and spent most of it on the bench...

'(I was told I was going to play a) massive part,' he said. 'It was going to be me and Lee Hughes up top and I was told, "You would frighten other teams". I have spoken to other teams and they have said the same thing, saying, "Worcester would be all right with you and Lee up top". But what they have done is just get a load of kids in'...

When the Worcester News contacted Heeley, he refused to comment further."


Kidderminster Harriers "have been handed a boost on the eve of the season with the news that winger Robert Stambolziev has secured a contract with the club. The 25 year-old has impressed throughout pre-season over the last six weeks... After playing junior football in his native Australia, Robert first came to England with Bristol City for two seasons in 2007 before joining Greek side Panathinaikos.

Robert has since had trials with the likes of Stoke and Birmingham City before, over the last 12 months, settling back Down Under with A League side Sydney FC... He returned to England once more to turn out for Harriers in July".

At Nuneaton Town "goalkeeper Zeus de la Paz has had his contract terminated by mutual consent and has chosen to return to Holland".

Over at Tamworth "a youth loan has been agreed with Wolverhampton Wanderers for Irish left-back Anthony Breslin, subject to FA clearance. The Dublin-born player has featured in the last two pre season games... and will provide cover for the injured Stephan Morley, who will miss the start of the season.

Breslin joined Wolves as a Scholar, and signed his first professional contract last season. He has also represented his country at U16, U17 and U19 level so far...

Ex-Walsall Goalkeeper Dan Jezeph has also registered with the club to provide cover and competition for James Belshaw. Jezeph will travel with the squad for the Brackley Town fixture tomorrow, after initially joining the U21 set up at the club. Two more U21 players have also registered with the first team, before immediately heading out to gain valuable game time and experience in the Northern Premier League Division One (South). Defender Ishmael Dawson joins Sheffield F.C. while midfielder George Dixon joins Chasetown, both in dual registration agreements".

In the latest of its pre-season reviews of its opponents in the Vanarama National League North, Gloucester City addresses Stockport County.

5 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, interviewed manager Neil Young after Monday night's 5-0 win at Witton Albion. Here are Neil's thoughts on the pre-season programme and the forthcoming Vanarama National League North campaign. Q: As a final work-out, it couldn't have gone much better tonight, could it?

A: Overall it was pleasing, and there were some great goals. We tried two systems, and I'd say what you saw in the second half was more the level we are at. I'm trying to see if the players are understanding what is being asked of them in various situations, and I thought, particularly in the second half, we put together some decent football, topped off with some excellent goals.

Q: Would you say we are in good shape for the start of the league campaign?

A: Hopefully we are, but you never know until you get going. I still feel there is one position to fill, and I hope to be able to do that before the weekend. We're still working on that. It's one area I think we are still a bit short in, and we are talking to a number of clubs to see if we can fill the void. It may be a loan signing, and if we can do it, then great. We are OK overall. We are working hard enough. There were a lot of changes in the summer, and we've only been together eight or nine weeks. A lot of young players have come in but you could see tonight that when we want to, we can pop it around well and look organised. It's about putting it all together now. That's the aim. We will be starting off against a Darlington side who, in the main, have stuck together for the last three or four years, so we are in for a tough game first up. Q: Do you see signs that an understanding is beginning to develop between the players?

A: For the first half-an-hour, we were a bit slow and lazy in the mind, but you have to take into consideration that for much of the time in the first half, there were lads out there who have not played together that much. But for the last 15 minutes of the first half, and the majority of the second half, we played some decent stuff and can take a lot of good things from the evening.

Q: Have you seen much of Darlington?

A: Yes, we've had them watched, though they have signed two players since then. They are two you would expect to be in the team, as well, Mark Beck, a big centre-forward who had a few seasons at Carlisle, and another striker, Josh Gillies, who was at Gateshead. We know how they are going to play but, at the end of the day, we have to go and impose ourselves on the game. They will be hard working, get in your face, and be strong at set-pieces. We have to match them, at least, in those areas.

Q: On the subject of set-pieces, we're not doing too badly, are we?

A: No, it's three goals directly from corners or free-kicks so far, and Sam Heathcote hit the bar from another tonight. It's an extra string to our bow, but the scary things is, we haven't really worked on them yet! That's planned for tomorrow, but maybe we can just leave it now! When you've got big lads who want to go and attack the ball, it's half the battle, when it comes to being a threat at set-pieces. You will get teams who are quite inventive, but basically, at any level, if you put the ball in a decent area and you've got someone to go and attack it, you are going to cause problems.

Q: Is Danny Hattersley (right) struggling for Saturday after hobbling off near the end?

A: I'd say so. It's a hip problem, not groin, but there's not much time to get him right. We'll know a bit more later in the week, but he must be a doubt.

Q: It has been a busy schedule, leading up to the season. Will that stand the players in good stead fitness-wise?

A: Well, we won't do too much in training tomorrow night, but it's about instilling in them that if they want to do well, they need to stick together but also, and perhaps more importantly, put the work in. There are no nights off for me or Gary Jones. After playing on Friday night, I was at a game Saturday and Gary was at a game Saturday. So was Simon Garner. We are here tonight and will be training tomorrow, so it's about putting the effort and hours in. I'm a great believer that the more you work, the luckier you become.

There is a lot of truth in that saying. You have got to put the graft in. You don't want to come away from any situation, football or whatever, knowing you could have done more.

Q: Simon Garner made an appearance in the second half. Has he still got something to offer as a player?

A: I think he has, in terms of experience. I'm not saying he's going to be playing on Saturday, but we brought him here in that dual role, and you could see tonight that his experience, passing and talking can be invaluable, so I wouldn't say no to that one.

Q: Other positives?

A: We are starting to see Sam Heathcote (left), in particular, taking on board what we are trying to bring to the club and responding positively to it. You could see tonight a lot more aggression from him, a lot more get-up-and-go. The thing about Sam is, when you look at what he's got, 6ft 4in tall, all the ability in the world... He can go and be what he wants. But he has got to want to do it, and that means being a bit more aggressive. To be fair to him, he's got to be playing matches. He has not played a lot of football, but you can't help noticing that he came on at full-back the other week and did well, and then tonight he's played centre-half and been outstanding. He was probably our best player tonight, so it's essential we keep that aggression in his game.

Q: He does seem a laidback character, doesn't he?

A: Yes, he comes across that way. He's a great lad, though, so he's not laidback with a bad attitude. He's laidback with a good attitude. It is a step up for him now, a challenge, but there are not many 6ft 4in centre-halves around who are elegant on the football and can pass it with both feet. You look at him and young Harry Cain, and they have both come through the ranks and really benefitted from their time in the club's development squad. We are reaping the rewards of that now at senior level, which is fantastic.

Over the last 10-14 days, I've seen Sam's game starting to reach the level required, and that's important because, at 6ft 4in with feet like he's got as a central defender, the world's his oyster. He's just got to work on the physical side, but that will come.

Q: Have you a message for the supporters?

A: I would like to think people who have seen us pre-season will have seen an attitude and commitment to want to work hard and do well. Supporters pay good money. It is their team, and they want to see us winning football matches. We will be working as hard as we can off the field as well as on it to ensure the lads are properly prepared and in the best shape to deliver what is required.

There will be some tough battles, some tough times and some good times but, throughout the years I have seen Altrincham play, as an opposition manager, a scout or just spectator, it has been clear they want to see their team having a go. But I'm also aware that having a go and not winning matches is not acceptable. So it's a case of trying to get the supporters excited and enjoying their football. One thing we won't lack is effort, and we've also got a few special little players who can unlock doors. We've only won one pre-season game but only lost one, and overall I have been very impressed with the players' attitude.

Q: Any targets for the season?

A: Not specific targets. It's a very difficult league, but we will go out with the intention of trying to win every game we play. I'm sure the fans will have their own expectations, and others will have their views on who will end up where, but I'm just concerned about the players and making sure they are properly prepared and in the best shape they possibly can be. This isn't a short-term project, in my eyes. It's about trying to take the club forward, from a playing perspective, a professional perspective and a recruitment perspective, and that will continue.

There is a lot of potential in the players we have brought in, some of them from a lower division, and we aim to carry that on. But I'm also aware we've got to win matches. That's the name of the game, and we won't lose sight of that."


The National League reports that "Dean Snedker has signed for Nuneaton Town following a successful pre-season with the club. The 21-year-old shot stopper spent last season at Kidderminster Harriers, but has been training at the Coombe Abbey Arena for most of the summer.

He said, 'I'm delighted to have signed. This is a big club, particularly in this league, and I think we will do well'... Snedker, who was at Northampton Town before joining Harriers, wanted to continue playing full-time football. Manager Kevin Wilson said, 'Dean still has a lot to learn and he can do that with us, especially as we train all week. Now he has to push on, work hard and put himself in a position to be considered as our first choice keeper'".

Meanwhile, Snedker's former club "Kidderminster Harriers have completed the signing of midfielder Liam Truslove. The 20-year-old is a product of the Birmingham City Academy, spending seven years in their ranks before signing his first professional deal three years ago. The youngster, who has spent time out on loan at the likes of Leamington in previous seasons, has inked a contract for the forthcoming season. It brings to an end a successful trial spell this summer...

Boss John Eustace commented, 'Liam has done fantastically this summer; he’s someone who has got his head down and worked hard. He’s a goalscoring midfielder... We are hoping to get goals from all areas of the pitch but someone like Liam can do really well in creating and taking chances'.

Elsewhere, "Goalkeeper Laurie Walker has re-signed for club Brackley Town. The 26-year-old joins from neighbours Oxford City, for whom he appeared thirty times last season after signing from Hemel Hempstead Town in the summer of 2015. Walker has experience playing in the National League with Kettering Town and has good pedigree, having also seen service with MK Dons, Cambridge United and Morecambe. A commanding keeper and a great communicator, he had a brief spell at St James's Park [Brackley] in 2012/13 before moving to Hemel".

Closer to home, "Stalybridge Celtic have signed striker Kurt Sherlock after impressing on trial... The 24-year-old was with... Runcorn Linnets last season. Sherlock set a new club FA Cup goalscoring record last August when he netted five times in a 6-2 Extra Preliminary Round replay against Glasshoughton Welfare. Sherlock was previously with Linnets' league rivals Formby.

Also joining Celtic is former Salford City Player of the Year, Aaron Walters. The 29-year-old defender was named Ammies' Player of the Year for 2013/14 and then allowed to leave when the joint management team of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley arrived. Walters moved onto to Droylsden in January 2015".

Still at Stalybridge Celtic the club is "Delighted to announce the sale of striker Darius Osei to neighbours Oldham Athletic. The deal for Darius is made up of an undisclosed fee with further add-ons linked to appearances and also includes a sell-on clause. Latics will also send their First Team to Bower Fold for a pre-season game next July.

Chairman Rob Gorski said, 'I'm absolutely delighted for Darius. He has been a joy to work with and he's a great advert for our Academy system'... Manager Liam Watson stated... 'I think he has huge potential to carve a great career in the professional game'".

Over at Worcester City, there are "Three more signings... First to put pen to paper with City is pacy right winger, Nathan Olukanmi... who hails from Milton Keynes... His pace and trickery is exactly what we have been trying to add to the squad in the last 2 weeks. [His former clubs include Siena Saints in the USA].

The second new addition is centre forward, Colby Bishop. The former Notts County youngster has impressed with his work rate and energy during his trial...

Finally, joining Nathan and Colby at the club is left-back, Cieron Keane. Keane represented Nuneaton Town last season, playing 35 times...

Manager, Carl Heeley said 'It's great that we have been able to add the three lads to the squad. We have been incredibly impressed with their attitudes, work rate and ability during their trial period with the club... I am very optimistic of being able to announce up to three more signings in time for Saturday’s game although international clearance issues may prevent all three of them being available in time to take part this coming weekend”

At Nuneaton Town, "Kevin Wilson has added two more players to his squad by bringing in Peterborough United duo Aaron Williams and Jordan Nicholson on loan until 1st January 2017. Williams moved to the Posh last season after netting sixteen times for Boro in the opening months of the season. And Nicholson signed for United after showing his ability at Histon.

Kevin Wilson... said, 'We all know what Aaron is capable of. He's a goal scorer and has already proved himself at the club and in this league. Jordan is another player who can perform at this level and both of them are here to play games. Aaron grabbed two goals in the first five minutes in a friendly on Tuesday night and looked sharp. Jordan is a tenacious player with a turn of pace and a great left foot...

Now everyone in the squad has at least one person breathing down their neck, hungry to get in the starting line-up. Peterborough have been fantastic and this is a great example of the positive relationship we have with them, which was mentioned when Aaron and Callum moved there last season. They've allowed the lads to come to the Boro for six months and play games in the league, FA Cup and FA Trophy. The standard loan terms apply so there is no option to recall them and they won't go back to Peterborough until after the game with Tamworth on New Year's Day."

Gloucester City's latest preview of their opposition features Salford City.

4 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards has submitted the following article to The Sale and Altrincham Messenger. John's interview with manager Neil Young, reflecting on Alty's pre-season programme and the prospects for the forthcoming Vanarama National League North campaign will appear on the website in the next couple of days.

"Neil Young has further strengthened Altrincham's squad for Saturday's big kick-off after landing former Crawley Town number one Callum Preston. The 20-year old ex-Wales under-19 keeper trained with his new Altrincham team-mates within hours of signing on Tuesday and goes straight into the squad for Saturday's opening Vanarama National League North game against Darlington at The J.Davidson Stadium (3pm).

Alty boss Young made it clear it would now be a straight fight between Preston and Andy Dawber for the first-team jersey, saying, 'There's no number one or number two. The position is up for grabs, and whoever stakes the strongest claim will have it. Callum gained plenty of League Two experience with Crawley last season and has been signed to provide extra competition. We've got two good young keepers now.'

Judging by his response to being released by Crawley, after 10 League Two appearances last season, Stafford-born Preston expects to edge out Dawber in the battle to be first choice.

'I was told under (previous manager) Mark Yates that I would be getting a new deal, but the new manager (Dermot Drummy) came in, and I didn't fit what he needed,' he said. 'It has still been a positive year for me, given the amount of games I've played at my age. I've probably played as many Football League games, if not more, as any other young goalkeeper in the country.

'Now I look forward to seeing what I can get next. I've had about 10 clubs who have got back to me but it's just seeing what option suit me best, because I want to play games.'

In another move that will prove popular with Alty fans, up-and-coming youth team prospect Harry Cain has officially been drafted into the senior squad after impressing during pre-season.

'Harry has signed forms for the first-team, and it is well deserved,' said Young. 'He has done really well, and it just shows what we are trying to do with the younger element here. It doesn't matter about age; if they are good enough, they will be given an opportunity.'"


Surprising news comes from the NL Paper which tells us that "striker Kyle Perry has hit out at Worcester City, saying he has been 'bombed' out of the club just days before the start of the National League North season. The big target man signed for City in March from Hednesford Town and scored once in eight games at the end of last season.

He revealed he signed a deal with Worcester in May for the upcoming campaign but he will not be starting the season in Carl Heeley’s side.. The 30-year-old has been left searching for a new club just four days before the big kick off. Heeley said two weeks ago that his squad was 'nowhere near strong enough' but he has also left [let?] midfielder Sean Geddes, who only re-signed for the club two months ago, leave.

The boss has, however, added former Aston Villa and Hartlepool United midfielder Ebby Nelson-Addy following a successful trial.

On social media, Perry said, 'It seems my season at Worcester has finished before it has even started! Agreeing a contract in May and then bombed four days before the start of the season is a new one and not cool! But “That’s Football” as the numpties say.'

A Worcester club statement read, 'Centre forward Kyle Perry... Kyle Perry has been informed by manager Carl Heeley that he will not be part of the plans for the upcoming season. The reasons for this have been explained to Kyle".

The National League reports that cash-strapped "Torquay United have sold captain Angus MacDonald to Championship side Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. MacDonald started his career at Reading and joined a string of clubs on loan to gain playing time. The third in line of those particular clubs was Torquay, and he quickly returned to the club on loan for another spell after impressing under the tenure of manager Martin Ling.

Salisbury City was the next port of call for the young centre-back but that spell was to be a brief one. He returned to Torquay in July 2014 signing for manager Chris Hargreaves... On his appointment, one of the first matters player-manager Kevin Nicholson addressed was the role of captain and he placed his faith in MacDonald and he repaid it handsomely, getting better and better throughout the season, and showing a more mature mentality on the pitch...

Nicholson acted quickly to offer MacDonald a new contract this summer with the aim of building his defence around his captain this season... 'I though Gus was excellent for us', said Nicholson. 'I made him captain as soon as I came to the club as manager because I saw a lot of potential in him. He knew, and we knew that he needed to mature. Although I think he still has some way to go, I think he took that responsibility brilliantly. His performances towards the end of last season, when he was walking a tightrope on bookings, were magnificent.

'He bought in entirely with what I ask of the players. He stayed down here in the summer and work incredibly hard in the gym with me, Simon Jeffery, and Will Hancox. He’s getting his rewards now. It’s a shame for us as a club that he is going because he is our captain and a very good player. Now it releases a space for someone else to come into our programme and we make the next Gus. It is something we have to do. We have to pride ourselves on developing players and getting the best out of them. Someone else has to take that mantle but we also have Ben Gerring and Sean McGinty who have been improving every day in training'".

A report from the BBC which tells us that "Manager Gary Mills admits his playing budget could 'suffer' after Wrexham regained long-term control of its Racecourse Stadium home. The club's board signed a 99-year lease on the ground which has been Wrexham's home for most of its 152-year history. Glyndwr University has handed Wrexham owners, the club's Supporters Trust, control which has resulted in a financial shortfall of £200,000.

Mills said, 'It's about what's right for the club and the way forward. When you make the move, like the football club have, someone has to suffer a little bit and that's possibly me slightly. But that's not an issue to me'...

Wrexham's off-the-field difficulties were eased in 2011 when the local Glyndwr University bought the ground and fans group Wrexham Supporters' Trust took over the club in a partnership agreement. The Trust board signed the Racecourse lease after fans gave their backing in a vote in March, which will see the football club take operational control of the world's oldest international football ground still in use.

Wrexham Chief Executive, Don Bircham, confirmed regaining control of the Racecourse Stadium had resulted in a shortfall of £200,000. 'People talk about income streams from having the stadium and that's great,' Bircham said. 'Of course, there's some significant costs associated with it but we look forward to the challenge'".

And the latest review of Vanarama National League opposition by Gloucester City covers Nuneaton Town.

3 August 2016


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes, 'Neil Young has increased his goalkeeping options after landing former Crawley Town number one Callum Preston (right). The 20-year old ex-Wales under-19 keeper trained with his new Altrincham team-mates within hours of signing on Tuesday and goes straight into the squad for Saturday's opening Vanarama National League game against Darlington at The J.Davidson Stadium.

Alty boss Young made it clear it would now be a straight fight between Preston and Andy Dawber for the first-team jersey, saying, 'There's no number one or number two. The position is up for grabs, and whoever stakes the stronger claim will have it. Callum gained plenty of League Two experience with Crawley last season and has been signed to provide extra competition for the goalkeeping spot.

'We've got two good young keepers now, and I'm pleased with that. Callum will train again on Thursday and is in the squad for Saturday.'

Born in Stafford but raised in Welshpool, Preston joined Birmingham's youth academy in 2008 and signed professional forms with the Championship club in June, 2014. He accepted a one-year deal with Crawley last summer, but was not kept on at the end of the season, despite making 10 appearances.

In another move that will prove popular with Alty fans, up-and-coming youth team prospect Harry Cain has officially been drafted into the senior squad after impressing during Alty's programme of pre-season games.

'Harry has signed forms for the first-team, and it is well deserved,' said Young. 'He has done really well in the last few weeks, and it just shows what we are trying to do with the younger element here. It doesn't matter about age; if they are good enough, they will be given an opportunity.'"


Above: Alty mascot, Rocky Robin, with the Club's Associate Director, Barry Pond, and the team from Smart Storage Altrincham. Left to right are Barry Pond, Paul Whittaker, Rocky Robin, Mike Wilson and Gareth Newcombe.

Press release:

Smart Storage Altrincham has just announced a multi-season sponsorship agreement with Altrincham FC as the new season starts at the club. This is just one of a number of local initiatives to drive awareness of Smart Storage’s newest store opening in Altrincham, located on Craven Road.

Smart Storage are proud to be one of the new main sponsors of Altrincham Football Club sponsoring the club’s Mascot Rocky Robin and the family stand. This also marks the start of another partnership where Smart Storage and Altrincham FC will be working together later this year to support the long-standing charity work with CAFT (Children’s Adventure Farm Trust) and the Christmas Toy Appeal. The stadium will be a new collection point for gifts and the Craven Road storage facility a hub for the popular Annual Children’s Toy Appeal.

The new store boasts the best and most secure storage options in South Manchester, with units ranging from 10 to 10,000 square feet. The storage site close to Atlantic Retail Park has been designed to meet both individual and business storage needs with the flexibility of both long and short-term rentals.

Jon Gardner, the new store manager at Smart Storage Altrincham commented, 'The team are excited about bringing the best storage facilities yet to South Manchester. We have already let 80% of the rentable space and we are inviting fans of Altrincham FC, local businesses and residents to come see our impressive new premises.'

'We will hope to raise awareness of our local business to the fans at Altrincham FC and are thrilled to be on board with the club to run our successful charity campaign with CAFT this winter'.

With space increasingly in demand in this area, this brand new facility offers expertly managed, clean and well-lit storage that customers can enjoy.

Storage is not the only facility offered at this new location with office space and hot-desking available, perfect for small businesses running low on office space and needing comfortable workspace.

Barry Pond, Associate Director, welcomed Smart Storage to Altrincham Football Club and, after visiting the new facility at Broadheath, Altrincham, he is looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between Smart Storage and the Football Club. 'The Smart Storage Family Stand is a great example of real cooperation between local business and the Altrincham football community and is an exciting step forward. We would like to thanks the team at Smart Storage for choosing to invest in the football club. The support of local companies is vital to the plans the club has within the community as well as on the pitch and I hope that it is the start of a long relationship between us and Smart Storage' said Barry".


Altrincham FC photographer Gavin Rathbone was at Altrincham FC's training ground on Tuesday night, taking "head and shoulders" images of the players and staff involved in the session, prior to the official photo-shoot which will take place in the near future.

Pending Gavin's processing of his images, the website's lower quality efforts are shown below...

Harry Cain

Callum Charlton

John Cyrus

Andrew Dawber

Shaun Densmore

Simon Garner

Alan Goodall

Tom Hannigan

Billy Hasler-Cregg

Danny Hattersley

Sam Heathcote

Craig Hobson

Charlie Joyce

James Lawrie

David Lynch

Boris Melengui

Jamie Menagh

Sean Miller

Jake Moult

Sam Patterson

Damian Reeves

Simon Richman

Neil Young

Gary Jones

Ian Senior

Alan Ainsley


Barry Pond's updated chart of Matchday Sponsors for 2016-17 is here. If you would like to sponsor a game or a matchball or, indeed, a player, please ring the club on 0161 928-1045 or send an e-mail.


Altrincham's opponents this Saturday, Darlington FC 1883 are "delighted to announce our new travel partnership with Virgin Trains giving our season ticket holders, 500 club members and fan membership (the Darlington Football Club Supporters' Group) 25% off rail travel with Virgin Trains... The discount is available for journeys on its East Coast route... You can join the DFCSG for £25... Darlington will need to be the origin station and return destination...

Darlington director John Tempest said, 'This really is a fantastic offer from our main sponsors, Virgin Trains, and the club would strongly encourage all our supporters to take advantage of it'...

Claire Ansley, General Manager for Virgin Trains on its East Coast route, said, 'We’re delighted to work with Darlington Football Club as its main sponsor'".

Burnley's unofficial Up The Clarets site says that "Waqas Azam, the youth team captain at Burnley in the 2014/15 season, has signed for Chorley... When, last season started he found himself without a club. He eventually signed for Nelson where he played through to the end of the season. He’s been on trial with Chorley during the pre-season and he’s impressed manager Matt Jansen with his energy, desire and work rate as well as his ability".

According to the Shropshire Star, "Defender Gianluca Havern admits it’s a ‘privilege’ to captain AFC Telford United. The 27-year-old centre-back is one of 11 summer signings made by manager Rob Smith. He's been chosen to skipper the side for the new season to replace Jack Rea, who was another candidate.

Havern, who occasionally wore the armband at previous clubs Altrincham and Hyde, was delighted to be chosen to lead the team. He said, 'It doesn’t matter to me whether I am (captain) or not, because I’m still going to be organising and talking. But it’s a privilege to be asked by Rob and Larry (Chambers, assistant boss). It could have gone to a number of players and it’s always nice to be asked. I’ve been captain of Altrincham and Hyde at times, so I’ve worn the armband before.'

Elsewhere, fellow centre back Dan Preston has been cleared to play in Saturday’s big kick off at home to Fylde, despite his sending off against Birmingham City. The club claim the centre-back is suspended for a non-competitive game, as the incident happened in a friendly. Meanwhile, Rea continues to be described as ‘touch and go’ to be fit the weekend... with a badly bruised knee from the Market Drayton Town game 10 days ago".

In the Lincolnshire Echo we learn that "Boston United boss Dennis Greene is set to add winger Marcus Marshall to his squad after agreeing terms with the former Lincoln City and Grimsby Town winger. The expected the arrival of Marshall follows the signings of forwards Gregg Smith and Liam Adams, who have boosted his side's firepower...

Marshall started out at then Premier League side Blackburn Rovers and has played for Morecambe in the Football League as well as for the Imps and the Mariners in the National League... 'I am really happy to be able to bring Marcus in,' said Greene. 'We know he has the quality and we believe he has shown he has the desire'. With Smith and youngster Adams, Greene says he has injected more threat into his forward line. 'I have been aware of Gregg Smith for some time, but without wanting to be rude, I always thought he was too heavy,' said Greene.

'But he has gone from about 18 stone to 15-and-a-half-stone and he now really looks the part. Judging by what we have seen in pre-season, he has really sharpened up, he's a real handful. With Liam, I always like to give an opportunity to a local lad and I believe he is one for the future. He was released by Nottingham Forest, but has looked good in pre-season and he will get his chance in the first team this season'".

In the latest instalment of its series on Vanarama National League North opposition, Gloucester City profile Gainsborough Trinity".

2 August 2016


Above: Sam Heathcote, fourth from left, heads Alty's opening goal.

Right: In an image courtesy of Mike Ripley of Michael Ripley Photography, we see Billy Hasler-Cregg in action at Witton, where his corner and a cross laid on the first two goals.

Altrincham secured their first win of pre-season with this 5-0 victory at EvoStik Division One South club, Witton Albion.

Match report here


Altrincham Reserves' pre-season friendly against Middlewich Town ended in an 8-1 win for The Robins. This was their penultimate pre-season game, the final such match being away to Curzon Ashton's Development squad on a new date and time of Friday 5th August at 7.30pm on Curzon Ashton's 3G pitch, next to their Tameside Stadium. Alty Reserves' joint manager Chris Rowley said of the game, "In what ended a very comfortable result, it was a very clinical display, with goals from Josef Faux, Boris Melengui, Ioannis Stouppis (2), Ash Leather (2), Dom O'Gara and Ryan Barry".


Altrincham's joint Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes, "With another new season close at hand, we are eager to ensure The Robins Review match programme is as interesting, as well as informative, as possible for all Altrincham supporters. With this in mind, we are introducing one or two new items, one of which will be an opportunity to recognise someone's birthday by wishing them many happy returns. It could be a relative, a friend, a neighbour, anyone. It could even be yourself - you don't have to rely on someone else doing the honours. Just email a photo, name, birthday date and any other details you feel are relevant to the Robins' Review and to me, John Edwards, and we will do our level best to include it in the Review that's nearest the big day.

It's completely free, and it might just help make someone's special day even more memorable. Copy deadline for the Darlington programme is only a couple of days away so, if you know of a recent birthday or one that's imminent, don't delay".


As a follow-up to yesterday's sad news of the death of former Alty player Derek Halliwell, Alty's official caterer, Richie Bentley, has provided the above recent image of Derek (facing camera) tucking into a hearty meal, with his friend Jim, in the Community Sports Hall. The photo was taken on a matchday when a game was postponed and so Derek and Jim were the only supporters present!


The BBC reports that "Torquay United 'need a cash injection' to survive, according to chairman David Phillips. The Gulls are looking for new owners after a protracted takeover deal with Swindon-based Gaming International (GI) fell through on Sunday. Phillips, who led a consortium which saved the club last summer, is actively looking for new owners.

'We're open to discussions with anyone that's interested in coming into the club,' he told BBC Sport. 'We need a cash injection, that's pretty obvious to everyone... We're OK at the moment, but we do need a cash injection, that's the way football clubs are run'. Phillips said he had had interest from other parties in taking a stake in the club, but would not divulge how advanced any talks were.

'It's been very tough and I'm not the happiest man in the world,' he added. 'They (GI) may not have been the best bedfellows for us anyway but we certainly need someone to come in. We need to get discussions going as soon as possible because we haven't got time to waste, we need to get on with the season'".

According to Gloucestershire Live, "Gloucester City have made another addition to their squad ahead of their final friendly of the summer against Newport County at Cinderford Town on Monday night. Gloucester-born winger Zack Kotwica has signed on a non contract basis after a summer of trials up and down the country, including with Brighton Under-21s and Barrow.

Kotwica, who grew up in White City and now lives in Brockworth, was released by Cheltenham Town last season. Now 20, he spent last term on loan at Cirencester Town... and will now return to National League North with Tim Harris's Tigers, for whom he has appeared on loan during the 2013/14 campaign. He has also appeared for Bishop's Cleeve on loan. Kotwica made his Football League debut for Cheltenham... making nine starts and 26 substitute appearances for the Robins in League Two".

We learn from the Halifax Courier that manager "Billy Heath praised his Town side’s 'excellent' display as they drew 0-0 with League Two Accrington Stanley in their final game of pre-season.

Halifax could have won the match but Jordan Burrow missed a first-half penalty... 'We had a great chance to win it (with the penalty) but overall I thought it was an excellent performance and the boys were superb again,' he enthused. 'It was physical and competitive and that’s what you need'...

[Ex-Alty loanee] Liam King is set to take over penalty duties after Burrow’s miss, which followed a foul on the impressive Macdonald... Heath said on the winger’s performance, 'It’s just his directness. He asks questions of full-backs, that’s what we’ve asked him to do. He delivers a good cross... I don’t believe in pre-season games, the result matters and you could see that. You don’t want any losses in the column and that showed today'...

Town’s centre-half pairing of Danny Hone and Scott Garner drew particular praise from the Shaymen boss... 'The communication is really good between them. They’re experienced at this level'".

Hartlepool United confirm that "Ebby Nelson-Addy has completed a move to Worcester City following his release from Pools at the end of last season. The midfielder enjoyed a loan spell with the National League North side back in 2013/14 and also returned there on loan from Pools last term. Now he’s won a one-year deal with City after doing enough to impress boss Carl Heeley during a pre-season trial period."

1 August 2016


Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Monday night's game. The commentary team is Paul Salt and Brian Flynn with match summaries from John Edwards. Coverage starts at 7.25pm with the game kicking off at 7.30pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.


Witton Albion advises us that they "welcome Altrincham to The NetDec Stadium on Monday evening in the penultimate pre-season friendly, following the cancellation of the scheduled fixture against a Liverpool XI. The Robins have appointed former Cammell Laird, Colwyn Bay, Chester & Stockport County manager Neil Young, following their relegation to the Vanarama National League North at the end of last season which has also seen a number of changes in personnel on the pitch.

The fixture also sees the return of former Albion winger Jamie Menagh, who has teamed up with his former boss at Altrincham following his release from Stockport County. Pre-season has been consistent for Altrincham so far but they haven't registered a victory to date in six previous matches, drawing five of them. Their only defeat so far coming against a youthful Manchester United side, a game they lost by the odd goal in three. Witton will be looking to build on an impressive performance against higher-ranked Ashton United on Saturday and hoping to keep their unbeaten run going. Our sincere thanks go to everyone at Altrincham for agreeing to fulfil this fixture at such short notice. Kick off at The NetDec Stadium is 7.30pm".

"Admission Prices: Adults £6, Over 65s £4, Servicemen/Women & Under 15s FREE (On production of Warrant Card or Junior Pass ).

Matchday Programme: £2, a full-size edition covering all home pre-season friendlies. Please note, the programme went to print before the Liverpool game was cancelled so that information is still included rather than for the Altrincham game. The Social Club will be open from 6pm. Please note, the kitchen within the Social Club will be open but choice will be limited due to staff holidays. It is our understanding that the tea bar inside the stadium will NOT be open. Before the game, the Social Club is accessible by way of the main entrance ONLY. From half time onwards the Social Club is accessible from inside the stadium via a passageway within the main stand. Alcohol is permitted inside the stadium but MUST be in a plastic beaker".


Howard Watts, whose Through the Years records give us interesting insights into previous Altrincham ganes on this season's match dates, advises us that "The season is starting earlier and earlier every year! Seven league games in August seems crazy! As far as I can see we have never played a competitive game on August 6th before! The earliest date I see is August 7th 1999 for a Unibond League Challenge Shield game. The earliest league games I see are on August 8th (this happened in 2009 and 2015)".


Altrincham FC is saddened to report the death, from cancer, of Derek Halliwell. Derek had been a regular attender of matches at Moss Lane right up until last season. In his Legends profile of Derek, Terry Rowley wrote, "The Atherton born, solidly built, Ian Halliwell was an unsung but very important component in the successful mid-sixties Altrincham side but, unlike so many of his team-mates he did not have any extensive Football League experience. His previous experience was limited to playing for Atherton Collieries and having been on the ground staff at Blackpool for 7 months plus having amateur trials with both Bolton and Bury, which came to nothing.

Halliwell got his chance as a result of a charity match in which Altrincham manager Freddie Pye was also playing. Derek impressed Pye so much by his work rate and commitment that he invited him to Moss Lane for trials during which he played around a dozen matches for the reserves. He was so impressive that he broke into the first team quickly, making his debut (and scoring) in a CLC 2nd round replay against Hyde United, which Altrincham won 7-1 and he didn’t miss another game all season.

He signed professional forms just prior to Altrincham’s first ever appearance in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and finished the season with a Cheshire League winner's medal and a League Cup finalist's medal. The following season he was again ever-present, playing in all 50 league cup games and finishing the season with another Championship medal and a CSC winner's medal. The next season he missed only 4 matches as Altrincham finished second in the table. Injury in the 69/70 season meant that Halliwell missed much of the campaign and his career was on the wane".

Sincere condolences go to Derek's family from all at the J Davidson Stadium.


Right: Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures Craig Hobson in action against Burnley.


Chairman Grahame Rowley announces "We've made it to our target of 150 Patrons! Noel Shields has become our 150th Patron for the season. Thanks to everyone who has joined this year's scheme, which is a very important fundraiser in a very important season. The full list of Patrons is here".


Guiseley "completed their pre-season campaign with a 2-2 draw against Curzon Ashton... The Nash went ahead on nineteen minutes through Connor Hampson... [Curzon keeper] Cameron was not so lucky a few minutes later when he failed to collect Nicky Clee’s shot leaving Jordan Preston with an easy tap in just before the break.

Guiseley’s trialist left back fired one just over the angle after the break before Will Hatfield pushed a free kick to Michael Rankine who fired home from twenty yards to square matters". A second half sub for Guiseley was Tim Deasy.


There is uncertainty at Torquay United where a statement from TUFC chairman David Phillips says, "I can today announce that Gaming International (GI) and Torquay United are no longer working towards a purchase/sale of the club. We encountered a major stumbling block over GI’s instance [?insistence/ stance?] on the purchase of the freehold of Plainmoor which was not a part of the Memorandum of Understanding we had with them. I would like to thank Mr Osborne and Gaming International for their interest in our club.

As a consequence we are now actively talking to and inviting interest in TUFC from parties who share our vision and passion for this great club...

When I (and the Board) interviewed Kevin Nicholson for the manager’s post, Kevin presented his ‘blue and yellow print’ - a plan to rebuild TUFC and return the club to the former status it had in the community and with supporters. I and the other Board members have supported TUFC with all our hearts for many years, in my case over 60 years, in a number of capacities. I believe 100% that our biggest impact and legacy will be appointing Kevin and allowing him to rebuild this club a brick at a time.

This plan included achieving survival last season which we miraculously achieved despite incredible financial restrictions and other operational obstacles. When Kevin writes his book, and uncovers some of the madness and trials we all suffered behind the scenes, I am sure it will be a best seller, and maybe even a great TV series! We clearly need to return the club to the Football League, whilst building a sustainable and profitable business that operates without debt or the need for huge 'handouts' from an oil baron or sheik. This has to be done whilst all the time engaging with the community...

Ultimately to move this club up the leagues we need to develop our football facilities further and establish a conveyor belt of young, home grown talent...

Clearly, this football club can only excel with you, our supporters, helping us all you can. We need you to come to home games. Let's get 3000 inside Plainmoor every week... We have an exciting and inspirational journey ahead of us. We have mountains to climb and walls to knock down... The predicament we inherited last year meant decisions had to be made that we knew would affect the long term future of the club but the harsh reality was that there would not be a long term unless we somehow survived in the short term...

Without the incredibly generous contributions our fans made last year to the fund, we would have struggled to put out the team that saved us from relegation. The Great Escape was very much achieved through Kevin using the players’ fund money you donated... With the uncertainty of the takeover I understand totally that many of you may have been reluctant to contribute so far this season. In fact, last month’s donations were the smallest amount since the fund was set up. 100% of every penny you donate is used on players, nothing else. If you can help, we are all eternally grateful".

Gloucester City preview our first league opponents, Darlington 1883. "Formed from the ashes of Darlington Football Club in 2012, the inception of Darlington 1883 was not a straightforward one. Darlington 1883 applied to join the Northern League as a new club, after the collapse of Darlington F.C. Under FA regulations, new clubs are required to join with a different name from the club that they are replacing, and so the wish of the club to register under the name Darlington F.C. was not allowed.

A deadline imposed by the FA meant the board was unable to wait for the results of a poll of supporters, so the name Darlington 1883 (with no “F.C.” suffix) was chosen. Like ourselves, Darlington 1883 have played their home matches away from their spiritual home, having groundshared predominantly with Bishop Auckland FC. However, this season will see Darlo play their matches back in the town of Darlington as they have signed an agreement with Darlington RFC to relocate to Blackwell Meadows to ensure promotion to the National League North could be accepted.

Leading Darlo into their first season in the National League North will be Martin Gray, who twice managed the previous incarnation of the club on a caretaker basis... Leading the line for the Quakers this season will be towering striker Mark Beck, who joined up with the squad following his release from Yeovil Town in the summer".