an unofficial website

December, 2016

31 December 2016


Above are tables showing Altrincham's results record during the calendar year 2016 and data on the number of players used in the 2016 portion of the 2016-17 season (i.e from August to the 31 December 2016).


The 2016/17 season has already seen many arrivals and departures of players so the end of the calendar year 2016 is an appropriate time to catch up on the arrivals and departures...

Players who have joined or re-joined the Club since the end of 2015/16 season are listed below. The list includes seven loanees, plus youth/reserve graduates Will Foster and Laurence Taylor who had not been in a league squad till 2016/17 but had appeared in the Cheshire Senior Cup in 2015/16. Harry Cain is not listed as he had previously been named in a league squad (2015/16) although he had not actually played in a league match till this season.

Right: Tom Hannigan

  1. Fabio BASSANGUE
  2. Nyal BELL loanee
  4. Callum CHARLTON
  5. Nicky CLEE
  6. John CYRUS
  7. Adam DAWBER
  8. Tim DEASY
  9. Josh DOHERTY loanee
  10. Will FOSTER
  11. Simon GARNER
  12. Alan GOODALL
  13. Danny HALL
  14. Tom HANNIGAN
  15. Billy HASLER-CREGG
  16. Danny HATTERSLEY
  17. Craig HOBSON
  18. Andrew JONES
  19. Gary JONES loanee
  20. Charlie JOYCE
  21. Simon LENIGHAN
  22. David LYNCH
  23. Clayton McDONALD
  24. Andy McWILLIAMS
  25. Phil MARSH
  26. Jamie MENAGH
  27. Khius METZ loanee
  28. Sean MILLER
  29. Jon MORAN loanee
  31. Elliot NEWBY loanee
  32. Curtis OBENG
  33. Andy OWENS
  35. Callum PRESTON
  36. Emile SINCLAIR
  37. Adam SUMNER
  38. Laurence TAYLOR
  39. Wayne THOMAS loanee
  40. Greg WILKINSON
Of the above, 21 had already left the club by 31 December 2016.
  1. Fábio BASSANGUE (appearances 1)
  2. Nyal BELL loanee (2+1)
  3. Callum CHARLTON (0)
  4. Josh DOHERTY loanee (5+1)
  5. Simon GARNER (1+2)
  6. Danny HALL (3+1)
  7. Billy HASLER-CREGG (0+3)
  8. Danny HATTERSLEY (3+3)
  9. Charlie JOYCE (3+3)
  10. Simon LENIGHAN (3)
  11. David LYNCH (9+1)
  12. Phil MARSH (2+7)
  13. Jamie MENAGH (0+1)
  14. Khius METZ loanee (1)
  15. Jon MORAN loanee (5+1)
  17. Curtis OBENG (1+1)
  18. Callum PRESTON (1)
  19. Emile SINCLAIR (3+1)
  20. Adam SUMNER (3)
  21. Wayne THOMAS loanee (2)

Players who have been in a first-team squad this season by 31 December 2016 are listed below. The list comprises the six contracted players from last season (Densmore, Heathcote, Lawrie, Moult, Reeves and Richman) plus Harry Cain, plus 37 of the 40 players who have joined the club since May 2016, (i.e. omitting from the above list Andy Owens and Elliot Newby who signed in 2016 but did not play in the calendar year 2016 and Callum Charlton who was not named in any first-team squad).

  1. BASSANGUE, Fábio
  2. BELL, Nyal
  3. BROWNHILL, Kyle
  4. CAIN, Harry
  5. CLEE, Nicky
  6. CYRUS, John
  7. DAWBER, Andrew
  8. DEASY, Tim
  9. DENSMORE, Shaun
  10. DOHERTY, Josh
  11. FOSTER, WIll
  12. GARNER, Simon
  13. GOODALL, Alan
  14. HALL, Danny
  15. HANNIGAN,Tom
  16. HASLER-CREGG, Billy
  17. HATTERSLEY, Danny
  18. HEATHCOTE, Sam
  19. HOBSON, Craig
  20. JONES, Andrew
  21. JONES, Gary
  22. JOYCE, Charlie
  23. LAWRIE, James
  24. LENIGHAN, Simon
  25. LYNCH, David
  26. McDONALD, Clayton
  27. McWILLIAMS, Andy
  28. MARSH, Phil
  29. MENAGH, Jamie
  30. METZ, Khius
  31. MILLER, Sean
  32. MORAN, Jon
  34. MOULT, Jake
  35. OBENG, Curtis
  36. PATTERSON, Sam
  37. PRESTON, Callum
  38. REEVES, Damian
  39. RICHMAN, Simon
  40. SINCLAIR, Emile
  41. SUMNER, Adam
  42. TAYLOR, Laurence
  43. THOMAS, Wayne
  44. WILKINSON, Greg


FC United of Manchester tell us that they "are hoping to beat bottom club Altrincham twice in a week as we host our near neighbours at Broadhurst Park on New Year’s Day.

The Reds ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Moss Lane on Boxing Day against the struggling Robins and FC United manager Karl Marginson will be expecting his players to produce a similar performance and result as we get 2017 underway.

With four wins and a draw from the last five matches, FC United have finished 2016 as the form team in the Vanarama National League North. However, some tricky matches await in January, including a trip next week to league leaders AFC Fylde...

Altrincham meanwhile have suffered seven [sadly, it's eight] straight defeats in the league and have just managed one win and four draws so far this season. However, they have made it through to the first round of the FA Trophy where they face a replay with Macclesfield Town. The Robins will no doubt be hoping to transfer some of that cup form into the league, starting on New Year’s Day.

The Reds will definitely be without midfielder Sam Sheridan, who was stretchered off at Altrincham after sustaining ankle ligament damage. We will know more about the extent of the injury once the swelling has subsided and we hope it is not too serious but it could be a lengthy lay-off.

Goalkeeper David Carnell missed the Boxing Day win due to a back injury, so FC United gave a competitive debut to Adriano Basso, who signed for the club just hours before kick-off. The 41-year-old Brazilian has previously played for Hull City, Wolves and Bristol City, among others, and may continue in goal after keeping a clean sheet.

Margy was happy with the Boxing Day win. He said, 'It was a professional performance and a clean sheet. Very pleasing. You never know what you’re going to get on Boxing Day but the lads all looked after themselves over Christmas and it showed.'

And of the new signing he added, 'Adriano is an excellent goalkeeper and a top professional. He’ll be great to have around the club and he brings even more competition for the number one spot'".


As reported here, Altrincham recently attempted to re-sign former striker James Walshaw. Now NL Pitchero reports that "Scoring 20 goals before Christmas was always going to make James Walshaw the subject of a transfer rumour or two, but the striker who returned to Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North club Farsley Celtic for the current season, knows where he wants to play his football.

Walshaw played for Darlington in the Football League, as well as spells with Guiseley AFC, Halifax Town, Harrogate Town, and more recently Shaw Lane AFC.

Walshaw said, 'I was made an offer to move a back to the Vanarama National League North and I'm not going to lie, it was a tough decision. My decision to stay was down to a number of reasons. Ultimately, I'm back enjoying my football. We've assembled a good squad and the dressing room is great. My initial decision was to come to the club and help Farsley get promoted and I just .felt that shouldn't change. I also had to take into consideration things like the travelling as well.

'I am 100% happy here. Yes, we slipped up on Boxing Day and the Ossett game was a bad day at the office both as a team and personally. I had a couple of chances to get on the score sheet and should have scored. I'm a local lad who lives a few minutes away from the ground and I had friends and family at the game. When results and performances like that occur, the quicker you get the chance to right the wrongs the better'".


A number of Altrincham youth and reserve players have figured in the Hallmark Security (NW Counties) League registrations recently. These include Jude Oyibo, for Stockport Town, William Foster for Winsford United and Tom Westall for 1874 Northwich.


The next visitors to the J Davidson Stadium (7th January) are the subject of a report from the National League that "Gloucester City have taken young midfielder Ross Finnie on an initial month's loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 19-year-old will go straight into the Tigers' squad...

Scottish-born Finnie joined Wolves as an eight-year-old in 2006".

According to the Boston Standard, "Boston United have signed midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick. The 19-year-old has moved to the Jakemans Stadium from rivals AFC Telford United. The former Mansfield Town trainee has also featured for Worcester City".

30 December 2016


Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Striker Andy Owens has joined Altrincham from Stalybridge, as interim manager Matt Doughty looks to increase his side's firepower.

The 27-year old from Liverpool, son of former Alty player John Owens, has signed in time for Sunday's Vanarama National League North game at FC United of Manchester and is clearly relishing the chance to follow in his father's footsteps. On his twitter account, the England C forward wrote, 'Delighted to have signed for Altrincham. My dad's a happy man! Looking forward to the New Year'".

Footnote: Andy (d.o.b. 18 October 1989, height 6ft 3ins) joins Shaun Densmore as a current Alty player to have a father who also played for the Club. Andy himself has already played for Altrincham, having joined on 13 November 2009 as a centre-half or left-back and he is pictured, right, at that time.

Previously, he had joined Stafford Rangers in August 2009 from the Glen Hoddle Soccer School in Spain. However, he had started out as a youngster at Liverpool, before moving to Stoke City. In early 2008, a period of work experience was spent at Leek Town before he moved to Marston Road. After a period away with the Hoddle School, Andy was released in late January, 2010 and joined Rhyl. He made two substitute appearances for Altrincham.

After Tim Deasy, Danny Hall, Nicky Clee and Greg Wilkinson, Andy becomes the fifth former Altrincham player to rejoin the Club this season.


Altrincham Press and Media Officer John Edwards writes:

"Interim manager Matt Doughty has strengthened his attacking options by signing winger Elliot Newby on an initial one-month loan from Barrow.

Barrow-born Newby, who turned 21 last month, has made 19 appearances on loan at Workington this season and is available for Sunday's Vanarama National League North game at FC United of Manchester. The younger twin of brother Alex, Newby, an attacking right-sided midfielder, was on Bolton Wanderers' books as an Academy youngster before returning to his hometown club and is eager to make a favourable impression at the J.Davidson Stadium.

The pursuit of a new striker, as mentioned in Matt's post-match interview on Boxing Day, is continuing, with Alty's interim boss still hopeful of recruiting a proven finisher in the next few days".

Pictured above right, courtesy of Ian Senior, is a view of Altrincham FC players at training, under the guidance of Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton.


Alty TV has Brian Flynn's interview with loanee midfielder Gary Jones, recorded following the game with FC United on Boxing Day.


Before Thursday's tie was postponed, Macclesfield Town assistant manager Steve Watson said "that the FA Trophy replay is not something that Macclesfield needed in preparation for the New Year's Day fixture against their last opponents Tranmere at the Moss Rose...

'Unfortunately for us we’ve got a game between Tranmere again which is exactly what we didn’t need. It goes back to how important the Altrincham game was at their place, and how we should have done better in that game'.

A number of fringe players featured in the 1-1 draw at Altrincham last time around, and Watson has hinted that... 'We’ve got a few players who need a game, we might shuffle the squad. These lads have got to prove themselves to get back in the team for the next Tranmere game where we’ll go again'".

Macclesfield added that "The Silkmen are likely to make a couple of changes for the game. Richard Brodie is ineligible due to the terms of his loan... Elsewhere Richie Wellens could come back in to contention as could Ryan Boot".


NL Pitchero reports that "Striker John Cofie has joined Chorley on an initial month`s loan from Southport and will go straight into the squad for Sunday’s return game against AFC Fylde.

The Ghanaian striker came through the youth ranks at Burnley before being snapped up by Manchester United at just 14 years-old for a reputed £1m.

At Old Trafford he played in the same youth sides as Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Ravel Morrison and represented England at under-17 level on three occasions, but failed to make the grade with The Red Devils and, following loan spells with Royal Antwerp, Sheffield United and Notts County, he went on to sign for Barnsley, Molde (Norway), Crawley Town, Wrexham and AFC Telford United.

He trained briefly at Victory Park in the summer before opting to join Southport but, after just three starts and seven substitute appearances..., he moved on loan to Bradford Park Avenue in November, where he start one game, made two appearances from the bench and scored once."

We learn from Tamworth that "Louis Briscoe has extended his contract with The Lambs until the end of the 2016/17 season. The forward initially signed a short term deal in July...

The former Mansfield Town and Torquay United forward demonstrated his ability recently in the away victory at Altrincham, netting both goals in a 2-1 win.

Commenting on Briscoe, Manager Andy Morrell said... 'He has scored some crucial goals, and has contributed a lot to our current league position'".

Smoke bombs have blighted a number of Vanarama National League North matches this season and the Kidderminster Shuttletells us that "Harriers' bosses have condemned 'senseless antics' by a small number of fans at the Boxing Day derby.

Hundreds of fans made the trip to support Kidderminster Harriers at their match against Worcester City on Monday (December 26), but a small number of fans threw smoke bombs on to the pitch from the away terrace before the game and shortly after kick-off.

In a statement on their website, Harriers bosses have condemned in the 'stongest terms the senseless antics' of the fans involved and that the club's work and projects, including Give It 100%, are 'severely undermined' by these types of scenes.

Bosses are also asking fans with any information about the incidents at Monday's match to get in touch.

For New Year's Day's (Sunday, January 1) home game against Worcester City, random searches on the turnstiles will be conducted and CCTV will monitor potential trouble spots. The statement said...'We want to make clear that we are aware that the vast majority of the 1,000 fans supporting the team behaved impeccably and were a credit to the club...

However, both before the game and shortly after kick off, we had to watch as ‘smoke bombs’ were thrown on to the pitch from the away terrace. 'We witnessed similar actions by "supporters" at our first league game of this season. After this, two supporters were handed season-long bans by the club and others signed Acceptable Behaviour Agreements.

'Firstly and most importantly, use of smoke bombs is extremely dangerous from a health point of view and is also a criminal offence. But, in addition, it also runs the risk of serious action being taken against the club.

'This may take the form of a substantial fine or even a points deduction. At a time when we are making such great strides of progress, this is just madness...

'We could soon be in a position where we, collectively with our supporters, raise £10,000 to put towards the playing budget, only to have to give the same amount to one of the game’s bodies in fines...

Anyone found to be involved in antisocial behaviour will be receive a ban'".

29 January 2016


Tonight's Buildbase FA Trophy First Round replay, against Macclesfield Town at the Moss Rose, has been postponed following a pitch inspection by the match referee. There has been heavy frost in Cheshire overnight which has rendered the pitch unfit. The provisional date for the rearranged game is Wednesday, 4th January 2017 at 7.45pm but this is subject to FA approval.


The office at Altrincham FC will be closed until Wednesday 4th January at 9am, when normal office hours will resume.


Harry Cain, who has made one start and seven substitute appearances for Altrincham this season, is gaining match time with Prescot Cables under dual registration arrangements. Cables won 5-1 in their most recent game, with Harry netting one of the team's goals.


Macclesfield Town report that "In another tough match in the National League, it was Danny Rowe who impressed again for the Silkmen on Boxing Day, despite the game ending in a 1-0 defeat for hosts Tranmere. [Actually Tranmere WON 1-0].

There was very little to choose between the two sides at Prenton Park, and chances came few and far between for both teams. It was Rowe who arguably had the best scoring opportunity of the game, as he whipped the ball from Steve McNulty in the Tranmere box, before putting the ball on the wrong side of the post from close range.

Assistant manager Steve Watson, who spoke to the club’s media after the game, picked up on Rowe’s chance, saying, 'Some of the best players in the world have missed good chances, it’s not something where they can say they’ve scored every single one. It was just one of those things, Rowey doesn’t seem to trust his right foot, he’s a left footed player and he wanted to get it back onto his strong side and he probably just narrowed the angle a bit when he did it, but the lads have put in such a shift today against a very good Tranmere side and came away with nothing'".


The Worcester News reports that "Crocked Colby Bishop appears to have 'got away lightly' with his injury, according to Worcester City manager Carl Heeley... Heeley feared the young striker may have suffered “serious” knee ligament damage.

However, he said the 20-year-old, who has scored seven goals this season, remained in 'positive' spirits. City’s boss admitted... 'We were hoping to get him back into some light training, but he has gone down with a sickness bug and been ill for a couple of days. I told him to stay away, hopefully give him a week and we will see where he is.'

Heeley said he understands the ex-Notts County youngster, who joined City in the summer, had been able to do some 'static cycle work' and 'leg extensions'...

Heeley also seems to have ruled out dipping into the loan market to bolster his attack. 'At the moment, we have got numbers so we will go with what we have got for the time being,' he added. However, there are concerns over the fitness of captain Danny Jackman who was replaced on 34 minutes after getting a 'knee in the back'.

Centre-back Tom Sharpe (knee) missed the Boxing Day game, while winger Micah Evans (calf) failed a late fitness test. But Heeley was delighted to see experienced defender James Chambers on the pitch for the first time since September. The 36-year-old came on for forward Jordan Murphy shortly after centre-half Sam Oji was brandished a straight red card for a late tackle on James McQuilkin. Oji has been handed a three-match ban, but will be available for 16th placed City’s visit to Aggborough on New Year's Day (3pm).

'We got James on there, just for his experience and know-how,' Heeley said. 'I had to sacrifice a wide player for that, but it worked as he stepped in and looked like he had not been away when he has been out for a number of months... Once it got evened up (after Ryan Croasdale got sent off), we had another spell'".

28 December 2016


In a post-match interview with Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer John Edwards, interim manager Matt Doughty reflected on Altrincham's 3-0 Boxing Day defeat by FC United of Manchester and revealed he hopes to sign a 'pacey, powerful, strong' striker in the next few days. Here is the interview in full.

Q: Most people who saw the game would say the scoreline wasn't a true reflection, wouldn't they?

A: I have just said to the lads in there 'I don't think I could have asked any more of you with the ball, to be fair.' We put balls into the box, we had shots, we peppered their back four, but we've just not done enough to get that goal, that's all. That's all it was, a lack of penetration where it counts. I'm baffled really, when I look back over the 90 minutes. I was watching the game, thinking 'how are we getting beat here?' They (FC United) are supposed to be a footballing team, but we reduced them to booting the ball upfield, because we put them under so much pressure in their half. They had nothing else on.

Every time they did that, we picked it up and started another attack, and I thought we played some really good stuff. But when you are down there, the smallest margin of an error gets punished, and that happened twice in the second half. Shaun Densmore has played 300-odd games and been an absolute stalwart of a player for this club, but the ball just bounced up awkwardly for him, and we were punished with a goal that made it 2-0. Jake Moult has been brilliant for this club as well but took the wrong option and gave the ball away near the end. It was just the once, but we were punished for it.

Fair play to them, they had pace on the break, and it made a difference at times. I'm looking to bring pace in, hopefully in the next few days. We've got a lad hopefully signing for us who has got pace, and that's what we need. There were a couple of through balls today, and, no disrespect to Damian Reeves, but four or five years ago, he was getting on the end of them. It happens to us all. You age and get slower, it's as simple as that.

Damian (right) tried really hard today, and I can't ask any more than that. I'm just really baffled how that scoreline happened. When you are trying to get into a game and get on the scoresheet, you leave gaps. I understand that, but apart from the goals, they were not much of a threat to us, so 3-0 is hard to take.

Q: The player with pace you are trying to sign is a striker, I take it?

A: Yes, he is powerful, he is quick, he's strong. Another thing about him is, every time I've seen him play, he is 100 per cent committed. So he will hound the back four and take up both of them (centre-backs), not just one. They will both have to be aware of him, because he is big, 6ft 1 or 6ft 2, he's strong and he's quick.

Q: There's that old saying about luck going against you when you're down at the bottom, and we do need something to bounce our way, don't we?

A: The players are down, and I understand that. I would be after putting so much in for nothing. I am feeling down as manager, but there were some good signs, if only a break would go our way. When Damian went through, after an unbelievable pass from Greg Wilkinson, he tried to play it over the keeper, but it ricocheted to a defender who cleared it, whereas when Tim Deasy saved from their number 10, it ricocheted to one of them, and it's a goal. That's the difference, it happens when you are down there.

This year, they (Alty players) are used to losing. They are used to losing games, unfortunately. That's a fact there's no getting away from, and it leads to a mentality where the reaction to conceding is 'Ooh no, a goal's gone in, we're behind again.' It knocks something out of you, but that's got to stop. We need to get that out of them.

The togetherness in the dressing room is great and things we are doing in training are being taken out on to the pitch, but we have to be stronger mentally. Now their first goal was quality, and me and Robbie (Lawton) were standing there, saying 'Every time we get a goal against us, it's an absolute worldy', but we can't let that knock us back. It's easy for people to have a go and say '3-0, rubbish', but if you look at the bigger picture, and I do as a coach and now as a manager, there's more to it.

I will dissect it, but overall I'd say we've done well, we've played well, and I can't complain about that aspect. The scoreline hurts, but the overall performance had plenty about it.

Q: How do you go about getting that losing mentality out of their systems?

A: Well, it will be tough, because I have never been in a situation before where we've only won one game all season, going into the New Year. It's mine, Robbie's and Graham's (Heathcote) job, and, I'm not being funny, it's the job of all the players as well to get it out of their mindset, because you can't be going into games, thinking 'Ooh, we're going to get beat here.' That can't happen. I'll be honest, it's going to be tough, but I came here today with Robbie expecting us to win. I expected us to win, and that has to be the mentality for every game from all the players.

To be fair, on another day, we will play far worse than that and win 1-0. As I've said, I'm still a bit baffled at how that game finished the way it did, but they are giving me everything. They are playing for me and for the club. You can see that. Not one of them lacked any effort. It's hard to have a go at anyone when you consider that. It's hard.

Q: Is there a danger players will just get completely deflated when results keep going against them?

A: No, they are down at the moment, but I can tell you the spirit is great. I have been in changing rooms where that's not always been the case. I have played under a manager I didn't want to play under, and it showed on the pitch. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to train for him, but these past couple of weeks here, these lads have been up for training and up for games. It's been 'we want to play for Buzz, and we want to play for this club.' The quality will come through, because you could see today we were better than them individually and collectively.

It's just that, any level you play at, Sunday League or Premier League, goals win games. The one thing we lacked was penetration where it mattered, and it cost us. It really was that simple. The breaks do tend to go against you in our situation, but we can't mope about that, because we need to make our own luck. I get that. But I thought we deserved a bit of luck today, given the way we played and the way we got balls into their box. We deserved something to go our way.

Q: Nicky Clee (left) switched flanks midway through the first half, and from that point on, wherever he was on the pitch, he looked like the Nicky Clee of old.

A: For the first 25 minutes, I don't think he was in the game, but then something clicked, and it was the Nicky we all know from then on, especially in the second half. I thought he was fantastic. Everything that was good for us came through him. He put some great balls into their box, and on another day, Reevesie might have been on the end of one or two. One thing we are working on is flooding the box. If you don't do that, you don't score, so the aim is to get a minimum of four into the box every time. At times, we did that, but the ball just didn't fall for us.

Q: Would Kyle Brownhill count as another plus point - he seems a bright lad?

A: Yeah, he was good. I was made up with him. I spoke to him about what we wanted from him, and he responded really well. He has really impressed me in training, but Andy Mac (McWilliams) has done OK at left-back, so we couldn't really drop Kyle in there, where he normally plays. That meant handing him a role in midfield he's not really used to, but he's a fit lad and an aggressive lad, and he did well. I couldn't fault him. He's a good kid. He is a good, young, fit lad, and he will get another opportunity.

What I liked was, there were a couple of times in the first half where he had the chance to put the ball in the box, and he didn't even think about it. He just whipped it in, instinctively, whereas there were other occasions where we tended to hesitate instead of acting decisively, like he did. That was good to see from Kyle.

We've got Macclesfield on Thursday now, ahead of the return with FC United on Sunday, so I will speak with Robbie and Graham in the next couple of days and re-evaluate what we do in terms of selection, because we really need a win on Sunday now. It is a must-win, so I've got a headache deciding on Thursday's team. Do I play a weakened line-up, take the result and head on to New Year's Day, or do I go to Macc thinking we can do something with our strongest line-up?

It's a tough one, because we need the points in the league and it's a big ask expecting two big performances from all the players in three days. That's why Shaun Densmore didn't start today, he can't do three games in a week. Some will have to play, because we are low on numbers, but a few will need a rest.

Q: With that in mind, you could have done without Sam Patterson (right) picking up an injury, couldn't you?

A: We are looking at two to three weeks out for Sam, because he's gone over on his ankle, and it's very sore. He won't be playing Thursday, that's for sure, and neither will Sean Miller, Craig Hobson or Alan Goodall. Goody's problem is the groin, and he says it's quite bad.

Q: Just to wrap it up, Matt, what would your New Year message be to supporters who've had a pretty miserable time of it so far this season?

A: This is my fifth year here, and I know how great Alty fans are. They will come to the games and get behind the team, they will sing and stick with the players through thick and thin. I get that they are upset because we are getting beat, but it wasn't through any lack of effort today or lack of performance.

If you look through what happened, we played well but couldn't finish, end of. Now I get that they are upset, I get that, but I just ask that they keep coming and keep supporting, because at the end of the day, it's their club, it's our club. While I'm here, it's our club. We need all their support, and I know they will give it us. They have a right to be upset with another defeat, but the players are putting the effort in.

Q: Finally, when you look at the table and how many points we are away from safety, does the drop begin to look inevitable?

A: As manager, you can't look at it like that. When you are down there, battling to stay up, it's a game by game situation. You look at other results straight after you've played, of course, and if they've gone against you, it makes the task that bit harder. But the main concern is getting your own team on a winning run, and getting rid of the losing mentality I referred to is one of the priorities for me and Robbie, if we are to turn it round.

If we can do that and put some wins on the board, who knows? If we can get a good player in up top, and he starts knocking them in, think of the difference that would make. It's a tough one, but there is quality in that dressing room. People will probably look at the fact we haven't won at home all season and think 'what's he on about?', but we have got quality in there.

It's not like there are problems all over the park, far from it. We know the areas that need addressing, but we have individuals who can help improve our fortunes and get us winning games".


Altrincham visit the Moss Rose on Thursday evening for their Buildbase FA Trophy First Round replay. The winners will travel to AFC Sudbury in the Second Round on 14 January 2017.

Thursday, 29th December, 2016

  • Macclesfield Town v ALTRINCHAM 7.45pm

NL Pitchero reported that on Boxing Day, "Tranmere took over top spot, but left it late in front of a bumper 7,274 gate at Prenton Park. Macclesfield looked to have earned a point until Jeff Hughes got to a cross before goalkeeper Craig Ross to nod into an empty net 7 minutes from time."


FC United of Manchester report that "On Sunday 1st January, kick-off 3pm, FC United welcome Altrincham to Broadhurst Park in the National League North. Admission is pay on the gate: £9 Adults, £5 Conc, £2 u/18s.

Address: Broadhurst Park, 310 Lightbowne Road, Moston, Manchester M40 0FJ...

Segregation will be in place on New Year’s Day, with Altrincham supporters allocated standing at the Lightbowne Road End (capacity 650), together with 102 seats in the end block of the Main Stand, standing in the paddock area below (90) and 8 disabled places. Altrincham fans are required to enter turnstiles 9-12 at the Lightbowne Road End. Please note: alcohol will not be served in the away end...

Turnstiles will open at approximately 1pm. Supporters arriving between 12 noon and 1pm can gain access to the ground via the main entrance in the Main Stand...

The Match programme is priced at £2 and available to buy from sellers outside and inside the ground...

We have free WiFi at Broadhurst Park for all supporters to use. Supplied by local company Pennine Telecom, to access the service just search for FCUM-FreeWiFi, select it and set up a user account.


Parking is very limited at the ground and supporters using the Club’s car park should be aware of lots of youngsters who may be in that area. Also, supporters should be mindful that there is no parking on St Mary’s Road and the streets off St Mary’s Road; Nuthurst Road; the West side of Moston Lane and the streets off it.

For £3, there is safe parking at St Matthew’s RC High School, which is less than five minutes’ walk away from the ground.

Please note there is limited public transport services operating on New Year’s Day, however the shuttle bus from Moston/Newton Heath tram stop will be running as usual... Metrolink will be running a Sunday tram service on New Year’s Day. The nearest tram stop is Newton Heath and Moston on the Victoria to Rochdale line. It is a 15 or 20 minute walk up to the ground. Shuttle buses will be running from the Railway Pub (next to the Metrolink stop) to the ground at regular intervals on New Year’s Day...

The ground is approximately 15 minutes’ walk from Moston Train Station".


Mike Ripley's images from the game against FC United of Manchester on Boxing Day include that shown, above, of Nicky Clee on a characteristic run at the FCUM defence.

FC United report that they "ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at bottom of the table Altrincham on Boxing Day... Brown broke the deadlock with a wonderful volley midway through the first half, Gilchrist slid in the second with just under 20 minutes to go, and Greaves sealed victory in stoppage time with a powerful strike inside the box. The result means the Reds finish 2016 in the top half of the Vanarama National League North table, in 11th position.

FC United gave a competitive debut to former Hull City, Wolves and Bristol City goalkeeper Adriano Basso. The 41-year-old Brazilian signed for the club last week after making his debut against Hereford in a pre-season friendly back in July...

The second half began as the first had finished with Altrincham determined to find a way back into the match. However, The Robins looked pretty toothless. Basso was called into the action a couple of times and did well, making sure there was no way through...

Altrincham were throwing men forward in a vain attempt to get two goals but it never looked likely. In doing so, they left United with a huge amount of space to exploit at the back...

It was a good performance by FC United against a side that clearly have problems with just one win and seven points all season. The Reds will be hoping for more of the same when we host the same opposition at Broadhurst Park on New Year’s Day. Website man of the match: Kieran Glynn. Some very good performances by FC United. Honourable mentions for Jerome Wright and Harry Winter who could easily have taken the award but Glynn seemed to have a hand in all United’s best moments."


  • 3858: AFC Fylde 0 v 2 Chorley
  • 1230: AFC Telford Utd 1 v 1 Alfreton Town
  • 2490: Altrincham 0 v 3 FC United of Manchester
  • 1602: Boston United 1 v 1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • 517: Brackley Town 3 v 0 Gloucester City
  • 3000: Darlington 1883 3 v 2 FC Halifax Town
  • 1055: Harrogate Town 0 v 1 Stockport County
  • 1049: Salford City 1 v 0 Bradford Park Avenue
  • 558: Stalybridge Celtic 1 v 2 Curzon Ashton
  • 1304: Tamworth 1 v 2 Nuneaton Town
  • 1869: Worcester City 0 v 0 Kidderminster Harriers


The National League review tells us that "AFC Fylde will begin 2017 on top of the Vanarama National League North table, but not with as big a lead as they could have had after going down to a 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at Mill Farm to a Chorley side who are now third.

A terrific crowd of 3,858 saw Jason Walker break Coasters hearts with a brace in the 44th and 47th minutes. Dave Challinor`s side lead the table by six points after second-placed Kidderminster Harriers could only manage a goalless derby draw at Bromsgrove against Worcester City... The game became even more of an uphill battle for City when Sam Oji was shown a straight red card on 55 minutes. But on 77 minutes, Ryan Croasdale was shown a second yellow card for the visitors.

Darlington 1883 are now fourth after they edged out FC Halifax Town by the odd goal in five. Playing back in the town at Blackwell Meadows after four and a half years as tenants at Bishop Auckland, the occasion drew a 3,000 attendance... Mark Beck gave the home side an early 7th minute lead that new Shaymen signing Adam Morgan cancelled out 6 minutes before the break. Beck restored the Quakers lead 7 minutes after the break and Josh Gillies extended that to 3-1 just 3 minutes later.

Former Curzon Ashton striker Morgan bagged his second near the end, but the homecoming was to end in joy for the home fans.

Tamworth hold the final play-off spot, but they were beaten 2-1 at The Lamb by a Nuneaton Town side who are now six points clear of the drop zone..

Brackley Town show no signs of disappearing off the top five race and their 3-0 win against Gloucester City... Salford City are a point and a place further behind after Josh Hine`s late 85th minute effort proved enough to see off battling third-bottom Bradford Park Avenue at Moor Lane.

Salford`s neighbours, Stockport County, remain level on points with the Ammies after also winning 1-0 at the CNG Stadium against Harrogate Town... Gainsborough Trinity managed a point from their Lincolnshire derby at the Jakemans Stadium against Boston United...

Second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic lost their Tameside derby at Bower Fold to Curzon Ashton to leave them eleven points behind Trinity. Celtic put in the effort, but two lapses in defence gave Curzon a two-goal half-time lead courtesy of Niall Cummins after 29 minutes and Jamie Stott 4 minutes later...

AFC Telford United and Alfreton Town shared the Boxing Day spoils at the New Buck's Head".


NL Pitchero reports that "Tranmere Rovers will head into 2017 as leaders of the Vanarama National League after Lincoln City's long unbeaten run was brought to an end in dramatic fashion at struggling Guiseley AFC on Boxing Day.

It was 1-1 at half-time after [ex-Alty loanee] Luke Waterfall's 26th minute header cancelled out Will Hatfield's 12th minute opener for the Lions.

Both sides were then reduced to ten-men in the closing stages before Guiseley snatched their winning goal. Home striker Michael Rankine was first to see red following two bookable offences on 82 minutes. He was followed off by Imps midfielder Elliott Whitehouse...

Then in the 90th minute a powerful free-kick from Marcus Williams was spilled by City keeper Paul Farman and crept over the line amid a goalmouth scramble after which Hatfield claimed the final touch".

27 December 2016


Two goals in the final quarter of the game gave FCUM a slightly flattering margin of victory in the first-ever league clash between these two clubs. For this match Altrincham were without four regular players in the shape of Richman, Goodall, Miller and Hobson.

After Altrincham had started quite well, FCUM took a 22nd minute lead when, following a long throw, the ball came out to Brown who executed an impressive volley into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.

In the second half, with Clee and Jones particuarly impressing for Altrincham, the home side went forward but were unable to create clear chances. They paid the price for defensive errors when FC United netted twice in the final twenty minutes.

The first of this brace came after 77 minutes when Shaun Densmore mis-headed a clearance and FC got behind him up their left wing. The ball was played inside for Gilchrist to convert from close range. United's final goal came in the 90th minute when the otherwise reliable Cyrus was caught out and Greaves netted, again from close range.

Match report here.


Monday 26 December
  • AFC Fylde 0-2 Chorley
  • AFC Telford Utd 1-1 Alfreton Town
  • Altrincham 0-3 FC United Of Manchester
  • Boston United 1-1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Brackley Town 3-0 Gloucester City
  • Darlington 1883 3-2 FC Halifax Town
  • Harrogate Town 0-1 Stockport County
  • Salford City 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Stalybridge Celtic 1-2 Curzon Ashton
  • Tamworth 1-2 Nuneaton Town k.o. 1pm
  • Worcester City 0-0 Kidderminster Harriers

26 December 2016


With a larger than normal gate expected at the J. Davidson Stadium on Boxing Day for the visit of FC United of Manchester, volunteers are being sought to operate turnstiles and ensure that the entry procedures work smoothly.

No previous experience is required. If you can help, please contact Phil Taylor on 07976 898169, up to and including Sunday, or from Monday, via the Club on (0161) 928-1045. or by e-mail as soon as possible. Thank you very much.


Our opponents, FC United of Manchester announce that "On Sunday 1st January 2017 when FC United play Altrincham at home, we will once again be hosting our annual Big Coat Day, where we encourage people to donate coats and warm winter clothing or footwear (in reasonable condition of course).

Launched in 2005, FC United’s Big Coat, is the longest running part of our community programme and down the years we have worked with a number of charities to help acquire warm winter clothing to those most in need in the Manchester area.

So if you have any spare items that you would like to donate to this season’s Big Coat Day please bring them along to Big Coat Day on Sunday 1st January 2017".

Earlier FCUM had revealed that their "Broadhurst Park football ground will open on Christmas Day to help provide some Christmas comforts to the homeless in Manchester.

Over 30 volunteers together with FC United players and coaching staff will be helping out on Christmas Day... We would also like to say a huge thank you to the FC United players who served up food to the homeless on Thursday 23rd December in Manchester city centre in conjunction with SPIN (Supporting People In Need).

We would also like to thank all those who kindly donated Toys for children and families who may struggle at this time of year. The Frost Foundation, who we are working in partnership with, collected a huge amount of toys from Broadhurst Park this week...

We would however like to highlight our Big Coat Day initiative as a way that people can assist the homeless in Manchester. On Sunday 1st January 2017 at our home fixture against Altrincham we will be collecting warm clothing and shoes which will be distributed to four homeless charities in Manchester"...

Andy Cheshire, FC United’s Community and Education Manager... explains 'I thought that we should use our facility, as not only have we changing and shower facilities here at Broadhurst Park, we also have a large function room, kitchen facilities and access to a range of activities. I liaised with Lisa Roddy at Rough Sleepers Initiatives to get the message around the city...

The Midland Hotel has also donated 20 towels and L’Oreal have donated toiletries. Two local hairdressers have offered cut people’s hair for free and we have also received offers of help from four local nurses.

The club has also be overwhelmed by the amount of food that has been donated too".


According to NL Daily, "It was once of symbol of deep-running passion, it became a symbol of shattered dreams, but now Darlington's Tin Shed has become symbol of celebration as the club prepares to return to its hometown for the first time in over four years...

In 2003 Reynolds, a former chairman of the club, had instigated a move from their much-loved, spiritual home at Feethams to a new purpose build 25,000 capacity stadium... he move to a new home proved disastrous, with the Quakers restricted to using just 10,000 seats due to local planning regulations.

Although over 11,000 saw their first competitive game at the Arena... The stadium slowly drained the life out of the club, although the passion from the supporters remained...

The club were placed into administration, players left for nominal fees and contracts were paid up by the club's administrator. Moves were made to take the club into community ownership; the seeds of a revival were sewn. Despite this, the club were relegated four levels down the league pyramid and into the EBAC Northern League Division One...

A new name was to be given, Darlington 1883, a nod to the year the club was formed. This was the same club, but the Football Association insisted on a new name. The club’s perilous financial state saw them abandon the Darlington Arena and a new home was to be found, their only viable option being a ground-share with new Northern League rivals Bishop Auckland at the Two-Blues' Heritage Park home.

That left Quakers' supporters with a twenty six mile round-trip to "home" games. The Tin Shed, once home to a boisterous home support, lay lonely and abandoned at a now derelict Feethams until 2012, when the foresight of local company TM Ward saw it stored in their yard for safe-keeping...

Under the management of former Sunderland and Oxford United midfielder Martin Gray the club worked their way back up the pyramid.

On Boxing Day... their new home, Blackwell Meadows, sees the club groundsharing with Darlington Rugby Club... The beloved Tin Shed has been cleansed. The original steel still remains, much like the club's history, but now it is clean,..

Club director John Tempest [said]... 'It’s going to be quite a nostalgic day and Halifax [Town] have got 600 away fans coming... For younger fans it was very hard to go to Bishop Auckland and if you looked around the ground it was more of an aging population. My kids are 11 and 14 and I wouldn’t have let them go [to Bishop Auckland] but already they’re talking about coming down here with their mates...

'It’s a fan owned club, there’s no rich benefactor, the majority of the money has come from the fans – over £300k and the rest from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund... We have around 50/60 volunteers on matchdays'...

An application has been made to the Football Association for the club to drop their 1883 moniker, a return to their old identity could be closer than many think...

At the moment Blackwell Meadows has a 3,000 capacity... Malcolm Cundick, project manager of the move back to Darlington said, 'We need to get up to a 5000 capacity. We were in a Category C when we started four years ago and now we’re up to Category B and fortunately, we’ve planned for that and we’ve got permission to build additional stands and there’s capacity at that end [points behind goal opposite Tin Shed] to grow to the 5000 we need for Category A'".


According to NL Daily, "The price of supporting a local non-league club has on average dropped, an annual BBC 'Price of Football' survey has revealed...

The report found that on average, the price of season tickets across the top tier of the National League has fallen from £255.13 to 236.64, a year-on-year reduction of 7%. Newly promoted Sutton United boast the cheapest season ticket within England’s top five leagues, offering those renewing early 23 league home games for £85.

Fans choosing to purchase tickets on the day will be largely unaffected, with the most expensive National League ticket on average costing a reasonable £17.46...

Supporters of last season's play off semi-finalists Braintree will have the luxury of the leagues cheapest pie at just £2. Whilst followers of Forest Green, Maidstone and Tranmere will expect to pay £3.50 for a half time snack...

The league's cheapest programme prices are those of North Ferriby and Gateshead; both charged at £2...

The report does carry mixed reading for supporters of the 5th tier. Fans of Tranmere for instance, could attend 12 games in League Two, eight in League One, six in the Championship and two in the Premiership for the same price or less of the club's cheapest match day ticket.

While the National League’s cheapest ticket, that of Macclesfield Town, would allow entry to 10 of the selected European clubs included within the study, such as Valencia, Marseille and Bayern Munich.

Furthermore, there are 17 National League clubs charging the same price or more for a junior replica jersey than top flight clubs Burnley and Bournemouth".

25 December 2016


Altrincham FC sends its best wishes to all of the Club's supporters for Christmas and New Year and thanks them for their support over the past twelve months.


Monday may be the first time that Altrincham will have played FC United of Manchester in a league match (3pm) but it will be the 79th competitive game that the Robins have played in their history on Boxing Day, as is demonstrated by Howard Watts' Through the Years data.

Altrincham Today reports on the mounting injury list at the J. Davidson Stadium. Interim manager Matt Doughty says, "We were dreadful at Stockport last Saturday and deservedly beaten by three goals to nil, but I was pleased with the performance against a very good Macclesfield side in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Tuesday night.

We defended well and took the lead with an excellent Sean Miller strike just before half time. When Macc equalised after an hour, I smiled wryly at Robbie Lawton (assistant manager) because we were looking so comfortable and Tim Deasy hadn’t really had a shot to save up until that point.

To give the opposition credit, it [the equalizer] was a very well worked and executed goal, created by David Fitzpatrick and Danny Whittaker and finished expertly and very accurately by Kingsley James.

John Askey’s team pressed hard to get a winner but we really battled, defended well and did the right things, which seemed to be appreciated by the fans when the final whistle blew… that pleased me.

We trained on Thursday, but were very thin on the ground with nine players missing, which is not the ideal preparation for such a big game as we have on Boxing Day when FC United of Manchester make their first ever visit to the J Davidson Stadium for a competitive game...

We have just found out that Craig Hobson (right) has a double fracture of his foot, which says a huge amount about the lad, as it seems that he may have been playing with this for two to three months. Sadly, we will now be without Hobby for six to seven weeks.

Sean Miller will also be missing for two to three weeks with damaged toe tendons and Damian Reeves is struggling with a hamstring injury and can only be rated as having a 50% chance of making it for Boxing Day.

This means that we may not have a recognised striker available for Monday. I did try to bring a striker in yesterday, who has recently left a club, but was told by his agent that he had gone away for Christmas and New Year and wouldn’t be available until early January… so he’s not for us and I will not be following that one up in 2017!

One piece of good news is that Tom Hannigan has recovered from the hip problem that forced him off in the second half of Tuesday’s game, but Simon Richman is very much touch and go with his thigh injury.

Nothing came of the two players that I was interested in bringing to the club this week, but my priority now is to bring a quick striker to the club as soon as possible.

I hope that all Alty fans have a great Christmas and that we can bring you a massive post-Christmas present by beating FC United on Boxing Day, when I am sure that there will be a massive crowd at the J Davidson Stadium."


Alty TV has highlights from the FA Trophy tie against Macclesfield Town last Tuesday. They can be viewed here.

Alty TV also has Brian Flynn's interview with goalkeeper Tim Deasy here.


According to the EvoStik League, the following ex-Alty players have signed forms for new clubs...
  • William Hasler Cregg from Altrincham to Buxton
  • Andrew Owens from Stalybridge Celtic to Buxton
  • Alex Frost from Ashton United to Trafford


The EvoStik League reports some new registrations affecting players moving from the Vanarama National League North...
  • Johnny Gorman from Curzon Ashton to Ashton United
  • Benito Lowe from Curzon Ashton to Ashton United
  • Ryan Ellison from Stockport County to Clitheroe
  • George West from Stockport County to Clitheroe
  • Thomas Peers from AFC Telford United to Droylsden
  • Graeme McKibbin from Bradford Park Avenue to Farsley Celtic
  • Ryan Watson from Curzon Ashton to Farsley Celtic
  • Courtney Wildin from Boston United to Hednesford Town
  • Shaquille McDonald from Nuneaton Town to Sutton Coldfield Town
  • Daniel Sweeney from Kidderminster Harriers to Sutton Coldfield Town

24 December 2016


As previously announced a regular Altrincham FC Newsletter has been launched. The first issue, edited by TASC chairman and Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, Brian Flynn, is here in PDF format.


Right: Sean Miller celebrates his goal against Macclesfield Town last Tuesday. Image courtesy of Mike Ripley Photography.


FC United of Manchester announce that "It is with regret that we must inform supporters that the FA have written to us for a club response for the 4th time this season following the recent pitch invasion at Gainsborough by a small minority of supporters. This follows other pitch invasions at Broadhurst Park and other inappropriate supporter behaviour. This has now become a significant issue for the club and behaviour needs to improve or the club could face sanctions.

So where do we go from here? We have appealed earlier this season to those smuggling alcohol into the ground. There has been a positive response to this and we would like to thank supporters who have engaged with us over this and the situation has improved. We are now extending that appeal to others who are engaging in any behaviour which jeopardises the wellbeing of the club and its supporters. We have made it clear that united we can achieve so much and we ask every supporter [to] think hard about what this football club means to them and to act accordingly. We also ask that you read and understand our ground regulations...

The club board have instructed our CEO and Safety Officer that in light of recent developments they must put the necessary resources into ensuring these regulations are upheld. We will also look to initiate disciplinary proceedings which may result in a ban from attending Broadhurst Park against any supporter who is identified as continuing to breach our ground regulations.

We would also like to remind supporters that, as a National League North side, our matches are regulated under The Football Spectators' (Prescription) Order 2000. As such, incidents as entering the playing area, throwing a missile onto the playing area or into the crowd and possession of alcohol on entering the ground are offences which can lead to a criminal charge and/or a football banning order. The club will co-operate with the relevant police force should action be taken against our supporters for offences at our matches. You can read more about football offences here.

It is with great reluctance that the board has issued the directive that we must take greater action to uphold our ground regulations. Throughout the 11 years of our existence we have felt we were able to self-police with only minimal need for direction. Our supporters are also our owners and we hope that for the good of the club behaviour at matches will now start to improve. The next few months are crucial on and off the pitch and we thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

FC United Club Board".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Stalybridge Celtic have signed experienced striker Lee Gaskell, who left Ashton United earlier this week."

At Chorley, "Striker Sefton Gonzales has today been released by mutual consent. Sefton joined the club from Clitheroe during the summer, where he was a regular scorer in the Evo-Stik League, but [he] failed to discover his goal-scoring form in Black & White, netting three times in thirteen starts and seven substitute appearances...

Meanwhile midfielder Jack Lynch has had his loan with Colne extended until the end of the season. The former Carlisle player initially joined Colne in mid-October and his impressive form has prompted The Reds management team to request his stay be extended."

23 December 2016


Macclesfield Town "can confirm they will host Altrincham in an FA Trophy First Round replay at the Moss Rose... The sides will meet again to see who will travel to AFC Sudbury in the Second Round.

The replay will take place at the Moss Rose on Thursday, December 29th at the Moss Rose. Kick-off for the game is at 7.45PM. Admission is pay on the gate with tickets priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. U18s can attend the game for free.

The McIlroy Suite will be open for the game from 6pm with fans able to enjoy some pre-match 'pub grub' and a drink ahead of the game".

And Macclesfield Town have a gallery of images from the original tie at the J Davidson Stadium.


Altrincham FC is pleased to announce the winners of the December Robins' Draw, which was made at half-time of the FA Trophy game against Macclesfield. The winners, drawn by Gary Jones, are:
  • 6th prize: A club polo shirt..number 209, William Coe
  • 5th prize: A replica shirt..number 29, John Brennan
  • 4th prize:.Hospitality for 2 in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge..number 113, Linda Jackett
  • 3rd prize: £25..number 491, Mrs McKenzie
  • 2nd prize: £75..number 89, Paul Salt
  • 1st prize: £1000..number 296, Congratulations to P Prole.


From Macclesfield Town we learn that "Mitch Hancox has agreed to extend his stay at the Moss Rose. The former Birmingham City youngster has penned a new contract with the Silkmen, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2018.

Hancox has been a regular for the Silkmen during this season after his arrival in the summer and started the season at left-back where he competed for a place with David Fitzpatrick. But it has been in a new holding midfield role where Hancox has perhaps made the biggest impression".


Lincolnshire Live reports that "Dom Roma has revealed he has repelled two separate raids on his Gainsborough Trinity squad ahead of the festive double-header against fierce rivals Boston United.

The Blues' boss has been approached by a Football League club about two of his promising young players, while another approach for experienced midfielder Adam Chapman has also been rebuffed... The timing of the enquiries could have been better with their Boxing Day clash at Boston just days away.

'We have had some enquiries about two of our young players from a football club higher than League Two,' said Roma. 'But that's what a club like ours needs to do, find young talent and develop them and hopefully, down the line, they will do the club some good financially. Look at Altrincham and their former player Duncan Watmore, who went to Sunderland. A deal like that can be very beneficial to a small club like ours so we need to keep developing youngsters when we can.

'With Adam, the interest came from this level but he tells me he doesn't want to go anywhere and he will be staying with the club'...

With Boston showing signs of a recovery under new boss Adam Murray, Roma needs his best players available to him. 'Boston will have had a boost in confidence after a draw and a win but that can happen under a new manager,' said Roma. 'But I wouldn't say they will be tougher to play against than if Dennis Greene was still there because he took them to the play-offs two seasons running... This particular derby fixture hasn't been really stoked up of late because I never had an issue with Dennis. We will be going all out to win it but that doesn't mean there is any animosity between the clubs.'

The Trinity boss had a scout at the Pilgrims' 3-1 win over Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night and says he knows exactly what to expect from them... He added, 'This is the first time in a while we have played this fixture while the two clubs are close to each other in the table. If we can play well in both games it is a possibility that we could climb above them, so that has to be our goal'".

From the Shropshire Star, we learn that "AFC Telford United boss Rob Smith is hoping to extend the loan of John-Paul Kissock from Ebbsfleet United. The 26-year-old midfielder joined the Bucks on a six-week deal from the National League South outfit, and the last game of that agreement is the Boxing Day clash with Alfreton Town at the New Buck's Head.

Smith has been pleased by the contribution of the Everton youth product and said, 'I think John is keen on staying here with us for a little longer, so we will have some communication with Ebbsfleet later this week to find out and see where the ground lies.'

If Kissock’s loan is not extended, Telford will be left short in terms of midfield options. Jonathan Royle (groin) is a doubt for the Alfreton game, leaving vice-captain Jack Rea, 19-year-old Joe Fitzpatrick and Josh Wilson, who much prefers to play as a centre-forward. Kissock’s move from Ebbsfleet was to spend more time near his Liverpool home and Telford swooped to beat off competition from a number of other clubs... He was snapped up by former Bucks' boss Liam Watson, then of Southport, in 2010.

Spells at Luton and Macclesfield followed, where he proved a favourite with supporters due to his silky ability on the ball and was even dubbed the ‘non-league Lionel Messi’. He also played for Whitehawk before signing for Ebbsfleet."

Darlington 1883 "would like to announce that midfielder Adam Nowakowski has signed for Bradford Park Avenue on a permanent basis, after spending two months on loan with them".

The National League announces that "A further selection, for LIVE screening, from BT Sport in February will see another two of the teams still harbouring a play-off spot ambition in the Vanarama National, meeting each other...

[On] Saturday, 11th February cameras will be at Chester FC when they host Gateshead... The match will now be brought forward from 3pm to 12.15pm kick off to be screened on BT Sport1".


Confirmation somes from the EvoStik League that "Former Colwyn Bay and Clitheroe boss Paul Moore is back in the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League as the new manager of Northwich Victoria... Moore was named as the successor to Adam Lakeland at the EVO-STIK NPL First Division South club on Thursday morning.

Moore, who can name Portsmouth and Hull City among his former clubs as a player and also enjoyed managerial spells at Warrington Town and Ashton Athletic, will take charge of his first game on Boxing Day against local rivals Witton Albion at Wincham Park. Lakeland's number two Dave Wild, who took charge of the team at Stocksbridge Park Steels last weekend, has left the club after being offered the chance to continue in the assistant manager's role under Moore.

Northwich Victoria secretary Dave Thomas said, 'We are delighted to have secured Paul's services especially with him having just left Colwyn Bay in a strong position just a couple of points off the play off positions. Paul is experienced, local and appreciates the constraints we have on the club at the moment'.

Lakeland stood down last week after the club appointed an administrator on December 1 for the third time in little more than a decade. Talks on the sale of Vics with interested parties, including supporters who are currently campaigning to raise funds to keep the club going, are ongoing."


Welsh Premier claims that "If The New Saints can equal a world record by winning their next Welsh Premier League game and then beat it by securing a festive double over Cefn Druids, their achievement would be recognised by Guinness World Records.

TNS can smash the world record of 26 consecutive wins in all competitions currently held by Dutch giants Ajax, who won 19 Eredivisie games and four European Cup matches as well as securing three wins in their domestic cup in the 1971/72 campaign with a side that included the late Johan Cruyff.

But the Saints are not the first British side to eclipse Ajax - Scottish Lowland League club East Kilbride made headlines when they broke the record this year, an achievement which was not officially recognised by Guinness World Records as 'Kilby' don't play 'top-level' football. Nevertheless, Ajax made a special presentation to the minnows in November, delivering 27 crates of beer and a special video message from legendary goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. East Kilbride went on to rack-up 30 straight wins in all competitions before losing 1-0 to Spartans in a league match on November 19.

But Guinness World Records chiefs have confirmed that TNS will be recognised if they succeed in breaking the record. They have won their opening 19 league games this season as well as securing three victories in the Nathaniel MG Cup, one success in the Welsh Cup and two wins in the Irn-Bru Cup".

22 December 2016


As previously announced, TASC has judged that, as with the Stalybridge Celtic fixture earlier this season, it is not financially possible to offer travel to the next two local away league fixtures at Stockport County and FC United.

As previously discussed, minimum coach hire fees on such short distance trips mean that we are unable to provide a service at any sort of value to passengers and, as with Stalybridge and our last visit to Stockport, many supporters make their own way to local fixtures for that reason.

For the same reasons of geographical proximity and high coach-hire costs, it will not be possible to offer TASC supporters' transport to the Moss Rose on Thursday, 29th December, for the FA Trophy replay against Macclesfield Town.

We will be providing travel to the next scheduled away game after the above period, on Saturday 21st January, when we travel to Victory Park for the fixture against Chorley".


Radio Robins's commentary from Tuesday night's match against Macclesfield Town is here.


Above: Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography's image shows Altrincham's interim manager, Matt Doughty with his assistant Robbie Lawton during the match against Macclesfield Town.

Macclesfield Town report that they "were held to a draw by local rivals Altrincham on Tuesday evening at the Moss Lane in their FA Trophy first round tie.

A Kingsley James equaliser forced a replay after a Macc side including debutant Ryan Boot and Richie Wellens had fallen behind just before the break...

Debutant Ryan Boot was tested early in the Macclesfield net from range... The Silkmen prevailed, and continued to dominate possession... Unfortunately, for all the possession, the home side opened the scoring on the 42nd minute. Sean Miller struck the ball into the roof of the net in emphatic fashion to give his side the lead after a sharp break from Altrincham just moments before half-time... [39th minute]

It wasn’t long after the break however that Macc opened their account for the night, with Kingsley James scoring to level things for the Silkmen. He smashed in a left-footed effort on the 60th minute.

The game was once again all Macclesfield from then on".

In the crowd of 717, there were 202 Macc fans in the away end.

"John Askey believes that Macclesfield deserved to progress to the Second Round...

'We should have won it,'” Askey said. 'But it’s been a similar story the last few games really and we’ve struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. “I was disappointed with how we started off, we rarely controlled much of the game in the first half, but in the second half I thought we were better and it was a really well taken by Kingsley (James) and after that we could have had two or three more... It creates an extra game which is something we could do without'...

'It’s our own fault for not doing the job on the pitch so we can’t complain, but it’s crazy because by January we’ll probably end up playing two games which is a bit frustrating, but you’ve got to come here and win and we didn’t do enough today to win it'.

The replay against Altrincham has been scheduled for December 29th, right in the middle of a double-header against Tranmere Rovers, with the worry for Macclesfield being keeping the players in peak condition for the games to come.

'It’s a difficult one; again we need to try and use the squad, and tonight Danny Rowe was injured, Chris Holroyd was injured, George has played more games than anyone so he needs a rest, but I thought Neill Byrne came in and did really well so it’s making best use of the squad, but we want to win especially in the league and the Trophy'".


FC United of Manchester confirm that "On Boxing Day, Monday 26th December, FC United make the short journey to Altrincham... This will be the first time the two clubs have met in a league fixture, however we did play Altrincham in the FA Trophy in 2011...

Segregation will be in place and FC United fans have been allocated the Hale End terrace (capacity 1,434) together with some seats in the Main Stand...

In addition Altrincham can offer hospitality to FC United fans in their Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge at £35 per head...

Altrincham’s new Community Sports Hall situated at the ground will be open pre-match for both sets of supporters and will be showing all BT matches before and after our game...

Please be aware that Manchester United are at home kick-off 3pm, so please allow extra time for travelling to Altrincham...The trams will run a Sunday service on Boxing Day, however additional trams will be put on to cater for the Manchester United v Sunderland match... There are no buses operating between Manchester and Altrincham on Boxing Day".


From Gloucestershire Live we learn that ""The iconic T-End will roar no more - as the famous Gloucester City stand has been torn down this week as the club pushes forward with work on a new ground.

Demolition work is underway at Meadow Park in Sudmeadow Road ahead of the football club's long-awaited move back to their home city. All the main stands at ground have been taken down and all that remains is the old changing rooms, nine years after the stadium was destroyed by floods.

The club is now looking for funding to make their dreams of a brand new 4,000 seater stadium at Meadow Park a reality after plans were approved earlier this year. The site has been the club's home since it moved from Horton Road in 1986.

Eamonn McGurk, owner of Gloucester City AFC, said the demolition work has gone as far as it can go. He said, 'The main focus really now for all the people involved in the club is to get together and search for the best grant so we can get to move on as quickly as possible...

"Our aim is to get back there as soon as possible. I never dreamed it would take 10 years.'

No firm date has yet been given on when Tigers fans can expect to see their team back in the city. The club, which has been homeless since the floods of 2007, must have a groundshare arrangement for next season agreed by March if they are to keep their place in the Vanarama National League North...

The demolition of Meadow Park is the latest sign of progress in the Tigers' long-awaited return home. Mike Dunstan, chairman of the club, said... 'Raising the land is the next stage which will probably happen after Christmas'".

The National League reports that "Central defender Brad-Lee Gascoigne has joined Alfreton Town. Gascoigne returned to Corby Town for a third spell in May 2016.

He came through the youth ranks at Birmingham City and then joined Ilkeston Town following his release from St Andrews and also spent a loan spell at Shepshed Albion. He initially joined Corby in 2014 before leaving to join Greenock Morton in Scotland.

After that deal fell through, he joined Hereford United... He was then re-signed by Corby... Gascoigne has also had spells with Sutton United, Stalybridge Celtic, Rushall Olympic, Worksop Town and Stamford AFC."

According to the NL Paper "Gainsborough Trinity chairman Richard Kane has given manager Dominic Roma a vote of confidence... His Trinity side are currently one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Gainsborough have lost four of their last five National League North games... 'I have been contacted by a one or two supporters who believe we should change the manager and even some of the players, but I can tell you that the manager will be staying here', Kane told Lincolnshire Live.

'If we were halfway through the second year of the manager’s reign then I would understand the supporters’ frustration and maybe there would be something to think about. But here we are halfway through his first season and there are going to be ups and downs. We are building something here, it is an ongoing project and it won’t be done in one season.

'Results will pick up, I am sure of it, because I think Dom is working very hard and I like what he is doing. We are certainly playing better football.'"

21 December 2016


Two senior players (Hannigan and Goodall) unable to complete the game through injury and an unwanted replay in the New Year were not the ideal outcomes for Altrincham but they showed spirit to withstand the visitors' dominance of the possession statistics in this FA Trophy tie.

The Robins took a 39th minute lead when Sean Miller struck a fine shot past Ryan Boot. But good work from Fitzpatrick allowed Whitaker to feed Kingsley James for an equally well-taken equalizer just after the hour mark. With Alty largely on the back foot, Deasy made several vital saves to earn the sponsors' Man of the Match award.

Match report here.


Congratulations go to James Lawrie (right), who made his 250th appearance for Altrincham last night against Macclesfield Town.

James was initially signed from AFC Telford, on loan, on 31 August 2011, He has had made 211(+39) appearances and scored 48 goals for the Club.


Tuesday 20 December
  • ALTRINCHAM 1-1 Macclesfield Town (winners away at AFC Sudbury on 14 January, 2017)
  • Nantwich Town 1-2 Lincoln City
  • North Leigh 1-3 South Park


Tuesday 20 December
  • Boston United 3-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-1 Brackley Town


Manager, Keith Edleston, has forwarded a report, on his Altrincham FC Ladies' drawn match last Sunday, from his "roving Isle of Man reporter Paul Hatton...

Lady Robins sign off 2016 with a hard fought draw.


Altrincham FC women’s team finished the calendar year on an unbeaten note with a 1-1 draw against Ellesmere Port at Mersey Valley.#

Manager Keith Edleston who has described this season as a “work in progress”, saw Alty take a first half lead, however, Ellesmere Port’s second half equaliser was a tad questionable.

Memories were cast back to the reverse fixture earlier on in the season in a match that Alty dominated throughout but lost 2-1. However, on this occasion, it was the visitors who had more of the possession and, on the passage of play throughout the 90 minutes, a draw was a fair result.

With Alty winning their two previous fixtures, it was the visitors who looked the more settled outfit, the Robins had to be thankful to their goalkeeper Lizzie Brereton for pulling off two class saves. The visitors’ goalkeeper was

However when Alty were presented with a corner on 28 minutes, they took the lead. Laura Dodds’s corner was half-cleared to Heather Scott, she pushed to pass to Jess Hartopp, her cross picked out Laura Kelly unmarked at the near post, who turned to smash home from close range as the hosts entered the interval with a goal lead.

Ellesmere Port’s equaliser on 49 minutes saw a throw-in launched into the box, a lay-off to a player was clearly offside. Some Alty players stopped, expecting the referee to blow his whistle, but play was allowed to go on, the resulting cross picked out Hannah Perry to dispatch from close range.

Although Altrincham had promising passages of play, the nearest they came to scoring was when Wright was denied by a superb reflex save as they retained their sixth position within the North West Regional League Division One South, once the final whistle had blown.

There were also debuts for Tish Collins and Marcia Sacharewicz, two players who have recently signed for the club".

Pictured above, left, are Georgia Plant and Laura Dodds, and right, (no. 21) Marcia Sacharewicz and (24) Tish Collins, who came off the bench to make their debuts. Images courtesy of Keith Edleston.


Assuming he is involved in Saturday's match at Stockport County, James Lawrie will be making his 250th appearance for Altrincham.

James was initially signed from AFC Telford goals. Initially signed on loan from AFC Telford United on 31 August 2011, James has made 239(+10) appearances to date and scored 48 goals.


According to the Brighouse Echo, "FC Halifax Town have been allocated 600 tickets for the first of their two Vanarama National League North meetings in seven days with Darlington.

The Boxing Day away date has been made all-ticket because Darlington are expecting a bumper crowd for their return to playing in the town. Darlington have been in exile at Bishop Auckland’s ground since 2012, having suffered financial meltdown.

The Quakers, who formerly played at Feethams (now a housing estate) and Heritage Park, are moving into a new stadium at Blackwell Meadows, home of Darlington Rugby Club. Two stands have been erected and £750,000 spent at Blackwell, with £300,000 of that money raised by Darlington fans who will be keen to cheer their side to success on Monday.

The Boxing Day match got the go-ahead yesterday when Blackwell passed its inspection by the Football Association... They are fifth in the table, three places above Billy Heath’s Halifax, but neither side is in the best of form. Town haven’t won a league match since they beat visitors Kidderminster at the Shay on November 12...

Halifax, who host Darlington on New Year’s Day, had requested more tickets for the first meeting but the ground has a capacity of around 3,000 and segregation will be in operation."

NL Pitchero reports that "Boston United have signed defender Tom Batchelor from Grantham Town."

20 December 2016


Altrincham FC has now received copies of Football Manager 2017 and they will be on sale from the club shop tonight and from the Club office throughout the week, for a bargain £20.


Brian Flynn, Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC, interviewed Alty's acting manager, Matt Doughty after the match at Stockport. The interview can be heard here.

And Brian also interviewed Matt for Altrincham Today, an interview in which he confirms an unsuccessful approach for James Walshaw. The Alty boss also informed Brian that he is trying to make further "high calibre signings".

The interview took place, in Matt's words, "as we make the short trip to take on Stockport County in the first of two big derby games in four days. It’s Macclesfield at home on Tuesday night...

In the last 48 hours I have brought in two players. Kyle Brownhill is a left back, signed from Hyde United. I feel that we needed another left-sided defender with Andy McWilliams (left) being the only natural left back in the squad and Kyle fills that gap nicely and will give us better balance...

Nicky Clee returned to the club yesterday. We had tried to sign Nicky about a month ago, but he opted to join Harrogate. I recently became aware that things weren’t working out too well with the move there and to be fair to Harrogate, they have been superb in allowing Nicky’s contract to be cancelled and enabling him to join us. Nicky is delighted to be back at Alty and everyone knows what a great player he is and his signing should give everyone a lift.

I had also put seven days’ notice in for our former striker, James Walshaw, but he has opted to stay with Farsley Celtic, which I respect and understand. Hopefully, supporters can see the high calibre of player that we are bringing in and looking to bring in to the club and I will be speaking to two more players next week to try to further strengthen the squad.

On the back of a terrific win in the Buildbase FA Trophy at Blyth last Saturday, we return to league action at Edgeley Park without Greg Wilkinson and Simon Richman, who are both suffering with thigh injuries, and John Cyrus has still not fully recovered from an infection.

Craig Hobson and Sean Miller will both undergo fitness tests ahead of today’s game, but I am hopeful that both players will be OK. New signing Gary Jones, Clayton McDonald and Sam Heathcote, who has returned from his loan spell at Hyde United, are all available, so we have very good selection options for today’s game and we’ll need them as Stockport are going quite well this season under Jim Gannon and seem to have turned a corner, following years of disappointments".


Before the game on Tuesday Macclesfield Town reported that "Macclesfield look set to start a few fringe players for the game at Altrincham with Mitch Hancox returning after his two-match suspension. There are no new injury concerns for the Silkmen, only Ollie Norburn remains a long-term casualty...

The last time these two rivals met was last season in the National League where Altrincham forced the Silkmen to a 0-0 draw at Moss Lane...

Star Man: James Lawrie is known as a legend to many from our local rivals and has spent over five years at the club. Despite only being 25 years old, the striker has played over 180 games for Altrincham scoring over 30. The former Northern Ireland has three caps for his country after some impressive years at Port Vale where he managed to attract interest from David Moyes's Everton. Lawrie was offered a trial in 2009".

Tonight, (Tuesday), Macclesfield Town are the visitors for Alty's second Cheshire Derby in the space of three days, in an FA Trophy Round One match. Mike Garnett reminds us that "Discounting the wartime seasons (1914-15 & 1939-40) and those Cheshire Senior Cup-ties played when Macc, as members of the Football League, did not field a 1st XI in county cup matches, the statistics for competitive matches as I have them since Altrincham F.C. took its present name in 1903 are:

  • Home P107 W50 D27 L30 F221 A164
  • Away P96 W27 D26 L43 F135 A190
  • Neutral P7 W5 D0 L2 F15 A13
  • Overall P210 W82 D53 L75 F371 A367

NL Pitchero reports that "Macclesfield Town confirmed the signing of German midfielder Omri Perel ahead of Saturday`s disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Bromley. The attacking midfielder, who operates mainly on the flanks, has signed a deal with the Silkmen until the end of the season. Twenty-two-year-old Perel was with Israelian side Maccabi Tel Aviv as a youngster. He then had spells with fellow Israeli sides Maccabi Herzliya and then Hapoel Ramat-Gan, where he has spent the last four seasons before coming over to England."

At Macclesfield Town, "manager John Askey has hinted that he may make a few changes to the squad on Tuesday ahead of the club’s FA Trophy away tie at Altrincham. After playing on Saturday against Bromley at the Moss Rose, the players are now focusing on another cup competition...

'It gives some of the other lads a chance of getting in the starting line-up, Richard Brodie and Richie Wellens came on against Bromley so we can shake it up a little bit but our main aim is to progress in the competition'.

Macclesfield have been in good form against their local rivals over recent seasons, something which gives Askey a confidence boost going into tomorrow night’s game. 'It’s always tough when you go to Altrincham, the pitch will be heavy but it’s a game where, if we play like we can, then we should win'.

As for some of the less experienced players in the squad, Askey admits he is hopeful of including some of the fringe players in the starting XI against Altrincham. 'I think one or two of the lads need a breather, especially some of the older players, so we’ll see what everyone’s like during training and see who can play and who can’t. We’d like to change it up a bit but we’ve only got 18 players in the squad so it’s not the easiest, but the ones we know who need a rest we’ll try and give them a breather'".


Chairman of TASC, Brian Flynn, writes that "More than 60 people attended the TASC Over 50s' Lunch (pictured, right) on Thursday in the Community Sports Hall. This is the highest number that we have ever had at this event. Thank you to all of those who attended and donated raffle prizes to support this popular annual lunch.

Richie Bentley prepared a superb three-course lunch. Thanks also go to 'Richie's Little Helpers' who provided table service and organised the raffle (Anthony Dawson, Colin Mitchell, Carol Pond, Paul Brady, Karen Rowley, Judy Henson, Barry Pond, Stacey Rowley, John Skelhorn, Grahame Rowley & Brian Flynn).

The event raised more than £700 which has been donated to Altrincham Football Club by TASC".


Highlights of the Stockport County v Altrincham game may be seen here.


Before the match at Stockport on Saturday, this website and social media publicised that Alty fans would be made welcome at Ye Olde Vic pub before the game against County. After the match, landlord Dave Miller contacted Brian Flynn to say, "The result yesterday must have been a massive disappointment for Altrincham fans. It will be only the thinnest of silver lining, but can we at The Olde Vic, Edgeley say that Altrincham fans visited Ye Olde Vic in substantial numbers both before and after the game. They nearly drank us dry, they were (to a man and woman) exceptionally well mannered and just an absolute credit to the club. Although in terms of the current division things are looking somewhat bleak, we wish everyone at Alty well and hope that the fans will continue find reasons to come and re-visit us. They will be welcomed with open arms."


NL Pitchero tells us that "AFC Fylde have signed defender Emilio Oman Biyik, son of former Cameroon star François, who played in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups. His son is a tall, 21-year-old central defender who started his career with French side La Berrichonne de Chateauroux.

Born in Mexico City, he left Mexico before he was three years-old to move to France with his family. Oman Biyik, who has French, Cameroonian and Mexican nationalities, returned to Mexico in January to join second tier side Reynosa before coming over to England to try his luck.

Meanwhile, full-back Macauley Wilson has extended his loan deal with the club for another month. The 19-year-old, who is currently on loan from neighbours Blackpool, will now remain with the Coasters until 21st January, 2017. Wilson has started all four of Fylde’s league games since joining the club last month."

On the opposite side of the coutry, "Boston United [have] snapped up goalkeeper Ross Durrant on a permanent deal from Ilkeston FC... following an undisclosed agreement between the two clubs. The former Nottingham Forest youngster made his move to Ilkeston permanent in the summer, having previously had a loan spell with the Robins. He went straight into the team for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester.

Durrant is joined by 18-year-old Burton Albion defender Charlie Gatter, who enjoyed a loan spell at Spalding United earlier in the campaign. He has joined the Pilgrims on a month's youth loan and also debuted at FC United."

Darlington 1883 confirm that "Darlington Football Club and Darlington Rugby Club are pleased to announce that Blackwell Meadows has today passed its inspection by the Football Association, which means that Darlington FC’s home game in the Vanarama National League North with Halifax Town will go ahead at Blackwell Meadows on Boxing Day.

The FA inspectors spent two hours on Monday afternoon at Blackwell Meadows and, after expressing their satisfaction with the facilities, gave the green light for Boxing Day’s all-ticket game with Halifax to go ahead.

Darlington FC director Richard Cook, who has been one of the main driving forces of the project over the last twelve months, said 'I am very proud and absolutely delighted that we have been given the go-ahead to return to the town. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by so many people. I am sure that a lot of Darlington FC fans are, like me, greatly looking forward to the first game back in the town. We are also looking forward to a long and happy working relationship with Darlington Rugby Club.'

Darlington Rugby Club chairman Mike Wilkinson, who also expressed his great pleasure at the news, said 'We are delighted that we have now got to the point where rugby and football will be played at Blackwell Meadows. It is a good Christmas present for the supporters of both clubs and the town in general'...

Darlington FC director John Tempest... said 'We would also like to thank Bishop Auckland Football Club, who have been excellent hosts since we moved there to groundshare in 2012'...

The ground includes a new 1,000 capacity Tin Shed, which is named after the iconic stand behind one of the goals at Darlington’s old ground, Feethams. A new 250 seater stand has also been built, and with other standing areas, the ground will hold approximately 3,000 people.

Darlington 1883 were forcibly relegated from Step 1 to Step 5 of the national non league system in 2012 and, since then, under manager Martin Gray, the fan-owned club has won three promotions in four seasons."

At the other end of the division's geographical area, the Banbury Guardian reports that "Brackley Town met with their first Vanarama National League North defeat on the road as Matt Hill struck the stoppage-time winner for Bradford Park Avenue.

That meant the last remaining unbeaten away record in the top seven divisions of English football was ended in Saturday’s defeat. Kevin Wilkin’s side boasted that record following Arsenal’s midweek defeat at Everton... Their outstanding run of exciting, winning football ran out of steam conceding uncharacteristic late goals in both halves to go down to a narrow 2-1 defeat...

Park Avenue proved tough opponents belying their lowly league position and enjoyed the better of the first period. Emile Sinclair went close as Saints were caught out by a counter-attack... Saints were better after the break exposing some shaky goalkeeping from Worsnop but they were unable to take advantage... With five minutes of added-time to play both sides would probably have settled for a point apiece. But a deep cross from the right saw former Sheffield United defender Hill rise to make the header and direct it past a stricken Walker to the joy of Park Avenue supporters who celebrated their side’s continued revival with a fourth win in five games."


According to the BBC, "The English Football League (EFL) is 'confusing' clubs with its differing approaches to the selection of young players, it has been claimed. The EFL Futures project, worth £750,000 per season, rewards clubs every time an England-qualified player aged under 21, or Wales-qualified for Welsh clubs, starts a league game.

But in the EFL Trophy, 12 clubs have been fined for picking weakened teams. Luton chief executive Gary Sweet said the EFL's policy was 'bizarre'. He added, '"Clubs are rewarded for fielding young talent in one EFL competition but are punished for doing exactly the same in another'.

After the three matches of the group stage, League Two Luton were fined £15,000 for breaching the EFL Trophy rule that teams have to field five players who started the previous or following game, or five who had made the most appearances this season. Yet, if manager Nathan Jones had picked the same teams in the preceding league games, on current projections, the Hatters would have received around £6,900 from the governing body via EFL Futures, which was formally launched earlier this month.

Sweet added, 'EFL clubs are confused to say the least. There is an utter lack of joined-up thinking; completely devoid of any strategic framework... We were fined £15,000 for fielding young players yet those very statistics were included in the EFL's PR to promote the benefits of the EFL Trophy... It simply doesn't make sense.'

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey denied that his organisation was sending out mixed messages, saying the restriction on League One and Two clubs making changes to their EFL Trophy sides was to make sure their teams were of sufficient strength to 'address the principle' of younger players getting competitive football at senior level. He said, 'I don't think there is a mixed message. What there is, is two initiatives being run together with slightly different objectives that do not marry perfectly together. But they were never intended to.'"

19 December 2016


Pictured during Saturday's match, right, courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography, is Gary Jones, one of four players named in an Altrincham league squad for the first time this season at Stockport. The others were Shaun Densmore, who started the game following two appearances in the FA Trophy, Kyle Brownhill who was on the bench and Nicky Clee who came on during the second half.

However, Altrincham will be without both Nicky Clee and Kyle Brownhill for Tuesday's FA Trophy match against Macclesfield as both have already played for their previous clubs in this year's competition.

Forty-two players have been named in a league squad for Alty, so far, this season.


Altrincham FC Reserves' scheduled game against Crewe last Saturday was postponed. Their next scheduled fixture is on 7 January 2017 at Styal.

The Youth Team won their deferred NWYA Open Cup match 6-3 on Sunday and their next fixture is a league match on 8 January at home to Chester FC.

Meanwhile the Altrincham FC LAdies drew 1-1 at home to Ellesmere Port Town Ladies on Sunday and their next match is away to FC United of Manchester on 8 January 2017.

Altrincham's BTEC youth education team drew their game last Wednesday 2-2 against Preston North End (Myerscough College) and are in action again on 4 January 2017 when they entertain FC Halifax Town.

18 December 2016


Match report here.

Right: Tom Hannigan was arguably Alty's best player at Stockport. Here he clears his lines at Edgeley Park.

After the game, Matt Doughty told the NL Paper, "'Their two goals in the second half, if that was my team scoring them, I'd be raving about them, they were very good goals. I don't think any team could stop them'.

He went on to say he would be looking to add to his squad in the coming days".

Meanwhile Stockport County reported that they "signed off for Christmas in style, winning by a three-goal margin for the first time this season as bottom club, and Cheshire near-neighbours, Altrincham were put to the sword at Edgeley Park.

Danny Lloyd’s 15th goal in all competitions set the Hatters on their way, before a second-half header by Jimmy Ball and Sam Minihan’s late strike ensured them of their first ‘double’ for 2016/17.

Following a quiet start to the contest, the Hatters soon got into their stride... But after 25 minutes, County hit the target to go ahead. Jimmy Ball split the visiting defence to find Lloyd, who cut in from the left before slotting past ex-Hatter Tim Deasy...

Deasy continued to endure a busy afternoon following the break... But the Hatters deservedly went further ahead after 77 minutes, when a cross from substitute Mark Ross on the right was met by Ball, whose bullet of a header doubled the lead...

Minihan... found time to put the seal on a fine victory, firing home from just inside the box, to make it three".


Brian Flynn's interview with Robbie Lawton, conducted last week well after the Blyth game, is available here


The Radio Robins commentary from the Trophy match at Blyth last week is avalable below, courtesy of Brian Flynn.


In its Saturday review, the National League says that "AFC Fylde moved powerfully to the 50-point mark at the head of the Vanarama National League North table on Saturday after a comprehensive 5-1 win at Gloucester City. The Tigers gave the Coasters a shock when they took an early 3rd minute lead through Sam Avery. But goals from Dan Bradley after 13 minutes and Danny Rowe 5 minutes before the break gave the visitors a 2-1 interval lead.

The second half though saw Fylde be clinical in front of goal against a City side who had a good deal of possession, but didn`t do enough with it...

The other top five sides all met each other on Saturday, leaving Kidderminster Harriers second, seven points adrift of AFC Fylde, after they beat Darlington 1883 2-1 at Aggborough, while Chorley and Tamworth shared a 1-1 draw at Victory Park...

A decent pre-Christmas crowd of 1,050 saw Scott Leather give Chorley the breakthrough 4 minutes into the second half. But the Lambs shared the spoils when Jed Davies equalised just shy of the hour-mark.

Salford City had the chance to move to within a point of the top five, but they were also held to a 1-1 draw at... Alfreton Town

Altrincham`s hopes of avoiding what`s looking increasingly like being back-to-back relegations weren`t helped by third-bottom Bradford Park Avenue earning three points. Avenue hosted FA Cup heroes Brackley Town... It was stoppage time at the end of the game when veteran defender Matt Hill popped up with the home side`s winner.

A strike right at the death denied AFC Telford United their second away league win of the season as they drew 1-1 with a now eighth-placed FC Halifax Town at The Shay... Harrogate Town slipped further away from a top five spot when they were beaten 1-0 at the Tameside Stadium by Curzon Ashton... There was to be more disappointment for Harrogate in stoppage time as Andi Thanoj was shown a red card for a second bookable offence.

Nuneaton Town moved up to fifteenth in the table, but still only three points above the drop zone, after beating second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic 2-1 at Liberty Way...

Ashley Worsfold gave fourth-bottom Gainsborough Trinity a 10th minute lead at the Northolme against Worcester City. But the Lincolnshire side couldn`t hold out and Steven Craig equalised after 25 minutes to eventually see the points shared.

New Boston United boss Adam Murray also saw his side earn a useful point from a 1-1 draw at FC United of Manchester in front of a crowd of 2,393".


  • Att: 718 Alfreton Town v Salford City
  • Att: 270 Bradford Park Avenue v Brackley Town
  • Att: 1050 Chorley v Tamworth
  • Att: 232 Curzon Ashton v Harrogate Town
  • Att: 1406 FC Halifax Town v AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 2393 FC United Of Manchester v Boston United
  • Att: 469 Gainsborough Trinity v Worcester City
  • Att: 342 Gloucester City v AFC Fylde
  • Att: 1710 Kidderminster Harriers v Darlington 1883
  • Att: 503 Nuneaton Town v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Att: 3991 Stockport County v Altrincham


Our FA Trophy opponents Macclesfield Town "endured a difficult afternoon in front of the BT Sport cameras, suffering a 1-2 defeat against Bromley at the Moss Rose.

John Askey’s men were looking for a return to winning ways after Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat against Oxford United in the FA Cup Second Round Replay, and made one change ahead of the lunchtime kickoff, with Paul Lewis starting with Mitch Hancox unavailable through suspension...

With 11 minutes [of the first half] left on the clock... Blair Turgott’s shot fell to the feet of Sho-Silva, who finished from close range to give the hosts the lead, in what was the last real chance of the first 45 minutes...

With time ticking away, step forward Paul Lewis, whose long range effort found its way into the bottom left corner to put the Silkmen on level terms on the 84th minute. The celebrations were short-lived though, as Blair Turgott worked his way through the Silkmen defence and slotted home to put the visitors back in front.

There was no time for the Silkmen to find another equaliser though, with the attention for John Askey’s men now turning to Tuesday night, where they face Altrincham in the FA Trophy.

Macclesfield Team: Ross; Halls ©, Pilktington, McCombe, Fitzpatrick; Mackreth (Brodie, 56’), Lewis, James (Wellens, 81’) , Rowe; Whitaker, Holroyd. Subs not used: Byrne, Boot, Perel"

17 December 2016


Altrincham could have no complaints as they sank their seventh successive league defeat and are now 13 points away from safety in the table. Making just one change from the side that had played so well for much of the game at Blyth last Saturday, Alty gave new signing Gary Jones his debut in midfield in place of the injured Simon Richman.

Altrincham started fairly well but County soon got the upper hand, though their opening goal owed everything to a very dubious decision from the junior of the assistant referees who failed to flag what looked to be an offside Lloyd. The Stockport man was allowed to play on and finished well with a shot, from the left, past Deasy in the 26th minute.

Alty made a double change at the break with McDonald coming on for Goodall and Clee for Hobson, both the replaced players having received yellow cards in the first half. But the visitors failed to trouble the home defence whilst County wrapped up the points when Ross headed home a fine cross from Ball in the 77th minute. County could have added more before they finally did so in the first added minute when Minihan rifled home a shot from right of goal.

Match report here.


Sat 17 Dec:
  • Alfreton Town 1-1 Salford City
  • Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 Brackley Town
  • Chorley 1-1 Tamworth
  • Curzon Ashton 1-0 Harrogate Town
  • FC Halifax Town 1-1 AFC Telford Utd
  • FC United of Manchester 1-1 Boston United
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Worcester City
  • Gloucester City 1-5 AFC Fylde
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Darlington 1883
  • Nuneaton Town 2-1 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Stockport County 3-0 Altrincham


Alty's interim manager, Matt Doughty will have a welcome selection headache for Saturday's game at Stockport County. With the team having played well at Blyth Spartans in the FA Trophy last time out, the players who started there, (apart from the injured Simon Richman), will be hoping to transfer that good form into the league.

But, since Saturday's win in Northumberland, Altrincham have signed midfielder Gary Jones, left-back Kyle Brownhill and left-sided midfielder Nicky Clee, whilst central defender Clayton McDonald, who was ineligible to play at Blyth, will also be back in contention. Additionally, fellow defender Sam Heathcote (right) has now returned to the J. Davidson Stadium after completing his month's loan at Hyde United.

Mike Garnett's statistics reveal our record against Stockport County, who are our opponents next Saturday.

League match record v Stockport County (1st XI)

  • Home P2-W1-D0-L1-F5-A3
  • Away P1-W0-D1-L0-F0-A0
  • Overall P3-W1-D1-L1-F5-A3

Full record v Stockport County (1st XI)

  • Home P3-W1-D0-L1-F8-A7
  • Away P1-W0-D1-L0-F0-A0
  • Overall P4-W1-D1-L2-F8-A7

Howard Watts reminds us of Altrincham scores on Saturday's date Through the Years.


John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes, "Togetherness has been the Buzz word since Matt Doughty took interim charge of team affairs at Altrincham, and it will be evident again when the players convene for their annual festive night out.

With Christmas just a week away, Matt, or 'Buzz' as he is known by everyone, has given the go-ahead for his squad to venture out after Saturday's Vanarama National League North game against Stockport County at Edgeley Park. And, in a move entirely in keeping with the philosophy favoured by Alty's interim boss, since he took over and drafted in Robbie Lawton and Graham Heathcote to assist him, the players want to share at least some of their evening with the club's supporters.

They have let it be known they will be heading from Edgeley Park straight to the Community Sports Hall and would appreciate as many supporters as possible joining them there for a drink or two before they then head off for their night out. The invitation has also been extended to the Reserve side and the under-17 and under-18 youth teams, as well as their coaches, while, as an extra attraction, the tea-time Barclays Premier League fixture between West Brom and Manchester United, will be shown live on the big screens.

So, if you want to make a point over a pint or discuss how far the relegation trapdoor is still ajar over a jar, make your way to the Community Sports Hall for around 6pm. Buzz's boys should be there then or soon after, traffic permitting, and there is no pre-set limit on how long they will stay before venturing further afield".


Brian Flynn advises that "There is a real ale bub in Edgeley which will welcome all Altrincham fans on Saturday. 'Ye Olde Vic' pub in Edgeley welcomes all Altrincham fans on Saturday. The pub normally opens at 5pm but, following a request from F.C. United of Manchester, opened at 1pm when they visited Stockport. This was a very positive experience all round and the pub has extended the same invitation for our visit.

The pub is on the corner of Chatham St and King Street West and is a 10 minute walk from Edgeley Park, very close to the Edgeley approach to Stockport Railway Station), so it's an ideal location if you are travelling by train. More details are here.

All being well there will be six real ales on. The pub operates a no swearing policy, which might seem a little draconian, but they find it helps make the pub a 'safe haven' for all.

TripAdvisor Reviews are here.


Altrincham FC Juniors will be performing sponsored bag-packing tomorrow at Marks & Spencer, Altrincham throughout Saturday and Sunday. Proceeds will be split between the Juniors and Christies cancer hospital in Manchester. So if you are out shoppping over the weekend, please drop in and help the fundraising by having your purchases expertly packed!


Following his rejoining Altrincham, his former club Harrogate Town confirm that "Winger Nicky Clee has left the club in search of regular first-team football. Clee joined Town at the beginning of November, during an injury-plagued spell for Simon Weaver's men. The experienced wide man went on to start four times for Town, making a further appearance as a substitute.

Manager Simon Weaver commented, 'Nicky leaves us with the best wishes of everyone at the football club. He is genuinely one of the good guys in football and I thank him sincerely for his contribution whilst in a Town shirt... As players have started coming back into the frame [from injury], especially in wide areas, Nicky may well have found his playing time limited with us. The lad is a professional, and I understand his desire to go out and play matches. It's in the best interests of both parties to let Nicky move on at this time'".


Our opponents today, Stockport County confirm that "County defender Ryan Ellison has joined Clitheroe FC on a 28-day emergency loan. He's linking up with former County team mate Gareth Roberts, who is now a player/coach with the Blues. Ryan has just returned from a five-month injury lay-off, and it's hoped a month playing in the North Premier League will aid his rehabilitation.

The 19-year-old ended last season strongly playing as a defensive midfielder in Jim Gannon's side... The Liverpool-born defender joined the Hatters in August 2015, rejecting the offer of a new deal at Oldham Athletic despite spending nine years at Boundary Park. Last season he made 17 appearances for County".

Under previous manager Neil Young, Ryan struggled to make the match day squad on a regular basis, and ended up joining Witton Albion on loan for three months at the end of last year... He returned and fought his way into the squad under Jim Gannon and cemented a place in the starting eleven".

We learn from the National League that "Gloucester City have been told that 'the clock is ticking' as they look to secure a base for next season, following overtures made from current landlords Cheltenham Town that they do not wish to host their home games next season.

The Tigers have been in exile from Gloucester for just short of ten years, and have spent the majority of this time at Cheltenham Town's Whaddon Road stadium. However, it now looks likely that they will have to find a new temporary home ahead of their move back to Gloucester in 2018 to a fully updated and modernised Meadow Park.

Gloucester City do have options, a possible move back to Forest Green Rovers' New Lawn stadium or a ground-share at Hereford FC are the most likely. Cinderford Town, Cirencester Town and Evesham United have not been completely ruled out as potential temporary homes either, but these would all need substantial work done in order to get them up to the required standard if Gloucester City do not wish to be demoted to the Southern League.

Three grounds which have [been] ruled out, due to prohibitive costs, are Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium, Swindon Town's County Ground and Gloucester Rugby's Kingsholm Stadium. Smaller local grounds such as Lydney Town, Tuffley Rovers and Longlevens have also been ruled out due to the sheer expense of getting them up to the required standard as well.

Gloucester City will need to inform the National League management of their plans for next season by Friday, 31st March or risk possible demotion to the Southern League. It is hoped that a solution can be found for the Tigers early in the New Year."

The Telegraph & Argus reports that "A fortnight off from league action at the start of December was not exactly what Bradford Park Avenue had in mind, but the lay-off may have been timely and productive according to manager Mark Bower...

Just a week before Christmas Eve, they are hosting Brackley Town, another of the Vanarama National North’s leading pack. But Bower is content following the mini break, and said, 'I think that it’s possibly worked in our favour with the two lads going off on loan and us having a couple of injuries in the County Cup.' The loan spells of Oli Johnson and Adam Nowakowski, from Guiseley and Darlington respectively, ended after the Kidderminster game.

Avenue fielded a thin squad in the West Riding County Cup at Thackley just three days later and only edged the derby thanks to a late strike from assistant player-manager Danny Boshell. Bower added, 'The break in the league gave us a breather really because we were down on numbers. We couldn’t even fill the bench at Thackley because we didn’t have enough fit or available players...

'I think we’ve used the time well and I hope that we got the balance right between training, coaching and rest and recuperation. The players have a fresh mentality, and the extended period between games has helped with one or two of the injuries. We have got Jack Dyche in on loan for the rest of the season but we still haven’t sorted anything out with the players who went back. Oli was injured, so he’s gone back to Guiseley...

'Adam was fully fit when his loan ended and we’re still working on the possibility of bringing him back, either on another short-term loan or for the rest of the season. He did really well for us in his spell here. Either way, we are working around the clock on potential targets and I certainly hope that there will be a few more coming in over the next few weeks, but it’s a constant battle because there are still not enough players available due to the Football League rules that I think are restricting movement of players'".

Alty have a double-header with FC United of Manchester over the festive season. On Saturday FCUM host Boston United but manager Karl Marginson expects to be without the services of Chris Chantler, Kieran Glynn, and Dale Tonge. It’s envisaged that all three players will be out for just one match with minor problems. Chanter has been nursing a tight hamstring for several weeks and fellow fullback Tonge has a stomach bug. Meanwhile, teenager forward Glynn needs to rest a sore knee as a precaution.

As ever, Margy is confident that he has the players to come in to seize the opportunity of a first team place. Jake Williams will be hopeful of slotting into one of the fullback positions and Jerome Wright may drop back from his recent resurgence on the left wing. Matthew Wolfenden could see his first start in the league since... 5th November.

Margy is demanding a big improvement from last time out 10 days ago. FC United were on a fine run of four consecutive victories before being unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Trophy 5-1 by Nuneaton Town. Margy is confident that the defeat was a freak result... 'It was one of those nights. I think they had six shots on target and scored five goals. They caught us cold with two quick goals and were 2-0 up inside 10 minutes. We created enough chances to get back into the match but didn’t take them.

'Some of the players possibly got ahead of themselves due to the previous four results and thought they could just turn up and win. But they have to put the hard work in and earn that right. That’s what they have been doing in recent weeks, working hard, making themselves hard to beat and building from there. They have got to get back to doing that again tomorrow'...

The Lincolnshire club [Boston] are having a very poor season by their standards... Former Mansfield Town manager, 35 year-old Adam Murray is Boston’s fourth manager in as many years and Saturday’s match will be his first in charge".

Meanwhile, NL Pitchero says that "AFC Telford United have re-signed experienced defender Gavin Cowan. He has notably played as a professional in the Football League for Shrewsbury Town. He has also played for Braintree Town, Canvey Island, Nuneaton Borough, Grays Athletic, AFC Telford United and Gainsborough Trinity.

Cowan spent two loan spells with Nuneaton Borough before spending the 2007/08 season in Warwickshire. The demise of Nuneaton Borough saw him sign for AFC Telford for the first time, where he made eighty-nine appearances, and then briefly Fleetwood Town. He re-joined Boro in 2012 after leaving Gainsborough Trinity, where he was club captain.

In May 2015, Cowan signed for Solihull Moors as player-coach, but left at the end of the 2015/16 season."


The BBC reports that "Torquay United have been sold to Swindon-based Gaming International. The company pulled out of a bid for the club in the summer after they could not agree a deal to buy the freehold of their Plainmoor ground. But the deal was resurrected without that aspect going ahead.

GI hope to tie up contractual matters by 19 December with the takeover ratified by the National League soon after, which will see the current Torquay board step down. The cost of acquiring Torquay has not been revealed, but it is believed to be a 'substantial amount', the company having already given the Gulls a £125,000 loan which had been due to be repaid in January.

The deal, which was facilitated by Truro City chairman Peter Masters, will see a subsidiary of Gaming International, Riviera Stadium Limited, become the club's new owners. And Truro still have an agreement to share Plainmoor should their proposed new stadium not go ahead.

'I am pleased and relieved at the same time as the club's been in dire straits for quite some time now financially', outgoing chairman David Phillips told BBC Sport. 'We need a major investment into the club and that's what's going to happen. They've put a significant amount of money in already and are ready to put in a lot more as well', he added".

Bloomberg says that "Gaming International Ltd.... through its subsidiary, Stadia UK, manages and operates greyhound racing tracks with stadiums in Swindon, Poole, Reading, and Milton Keynes. These stadiums are multifunctional with motorsports promotions, indoor and outdoor markets, and sporting and leisure facilities. It also manages stadiums and greyhound tracks in Japan. In addition, the company operates National Bowl in Milton Keynes, which hosts live events".

16 December 2016


John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes, "Nicky Clee has spoken of his delight at rejoining Altrincham and admitted the club is 'in my blood.' The talented winger, a huge crowd favourite in his first spell at The J.Davidson Stadium, became an Alty player for a second time on Friday morning and goes straight into interim manager Matt Doughty's squad for Saturday's Vanarama National League North fixture at Stockport County.

Reflecting on a whirlwind 24 hours that began with Harrogate Town agreeing to cancel his contract and ended with Alty adding his attacking flair to their bid to escape relegation trouble, Clee delivered an upbeat assessment of his fitness, after persistent groin problems last year, and said, 'I just can't wait to get going again in Alty colours. It's like a lot of our supporters say, the club gets in your blood. Lots of them have told me that over the years, and it's clearly the same with me. Five or six clubs other were interested in signing me when I left Guiseley just over a month ago, but I haven't spoken to any of them. Once I knew Buzz (Matt Doughty) wanted me, that was it.

'It just didn't work out at Harrogate, which was a shame, but I'm not dwelling on that, because all I'm concerned about now is pulling on an Alty shirt again and helping us sort that league position out. It wasn't the 3G pitch. That wasn't a problem at all, and, to be fair, it's a well-run club with a great board and admin set-up. In fact, everything about my release was sorted in the space of a few hours, so I can't speak highly enough of them. It was just one of those things, really. I played the first few games but then there was a change of formation, which altered things a bit. On top of that, they had a lot of attacking options, so all in all, I wasn't playing as much as I want to or need to.

'After the injury problems I had last year and all I went through to put them right, I want to be playing. It's not good for me to be inactive, so I spoke to them about it yesterday. They agreed it would be in the best interests of both parties to take this decision, and we parted on the best of terms.

'I've now spoken to Buzz, and it came as no surprise to me that by the end of the conversation, I couldn't wait to play for him again. I know Buzz from way back, and it just strikes me we've got the right people in charge, with him, Robbie Lawton and Graham Heathcote, three Alty people through and through.

'Buzz said he wanted me back at the club, and there wasn't much chance I was going to say no. You don't say no to Buzz. I am coming back because of people like him and Robbie and Graham. They care about the club and have got Alty's interests and wellbeing at heart.

'As I say, I can't wait to get started again, and I'll be ready to play a part against Stockport, if selected. I had a couple of operations between February and April, had a good pre-season and have had no real issues at all since. It's just a case of looking after things and being sensible, but, touch wood, there have been no problems at all. The 3G pitch was a good test for how the joints and muscles were standing up to games, and honestly it was absolutely fine.

'The league position doesn't look good, but the only way is up, particularly with the organisation Buzz, Robbie and Graham will bring to the team. For me, the club looks like it's in good hands. We've got good players going forward, so with that improved organisation at the back, I'm confident we can start climbing the table.'

Nicky's arrival follows the recent signing of experienced midfielder Gary Jones and left-back Kyle Brownhill, but the striker the club put seven days' notice in for has decided to remain with his present club".

Footnote: Nicky first joined Altrincham FC in summer 2009, having previously been with Hyde United, Ashton United and Ossett Albion. He has made 220(+50) ppearances for the Club and has scored 36 goals.


John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes: "Altrincham are delighted to announce that Nicky Clee is returning to the J.Davidson Stadium to rejoin the club and bolster their bid to stay in the Vanarama National League North.

It came as a setback to everyone connected with Alty when their efforts to resign the popular, talented winger were thwarted by rivals Harrogate Town, who won the battle to land him from Vanarama National League side Guiseley just over a month ago.

But Harrogate agreed to a request to cancel his contract on Friday, leaving the way clear for interim boss Matt Doughty to move in and make him an Alty player for a second time. Clee completed the formalities late on Friday morning and is available for Alty's Vanarama National League North game with Stockport County at Edgeley Park on Saturday.


There could be at least five players making their first league starts of 2016-17 for Altrincham on Saturday. In addition to new signings, Nicky Clee, Gary Jones and Kyle Brownhill, there is also Shaun Densmore, who has yet to start a league game this season and Clayton McDonald's only appearance to date was from the bench against Tamworth.

So far, 37 players have been named in an Altrincham FC league squad in 2016-17 and 32 players have made their league debut this season after signing or re-signing for the club since summer 2016.


Altrincham FC have signed left-back Kyle Brownhill from Hyde United. Born on March 29, 1995, Kyle is a local lad whose previous clubs include Stockport County, where he was in County's academy, Burnley, Workington and Telford United (2015/16). He had two periods at Hyde the first being in 2014/15.


The following fixtures North West Womens Regional League fixtures for Altrincham FC Ladies have been amended and are now being played as follows....
  • SUN 12 MAR 2017 at 14:00 ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES -v- LIVERPOOL CITY LADIES COMMUNITY FC (was SUN 12 MAR 2017) Venue: Mersey Valley Sports Club
  • SUN 19 MAR 2017 14:00 EGERTON -v- ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES (was SUN 11 DEC 2016) Venue: Egerton Youth Club
  • SUN 26 MAR 2017 14:00 CURZON ASHTON FC (TAMESIDE) WOMEN -v- ALTRINCHAM FC LADIES (was SUN 12 MAR 2017) Venue: Tameside Stadium


Lincolnshire Live says that manager "Dom Roma insists there has been no pressure put on him by Gainsborough Trinity chairman Richard Kane due to the Blues' lowly position in the league table. The Trinity boss claims while there is regular dialogue between the pair, they have not discussed the disappointing run of results which have seen the Blues drop to 19th...

'There has not been a conversation about that at all,' said Roma. 'I have a really good relationship with the chairman. I know what my job is this season and I am still on course to deliver that. It is a process here and it might take longer than a season to get to where we want to be. In 10 weeks' time, if the position hasn't improved, I realise that conversation might take place. That's football, it is a results business. But at the moment both myself and the chairman know we are trying to build something here and it will take a bit of time'...

On Saturday they welcome Worcester City before they face county rivals Boston United home and away over Christmas and New Year. With the Pilgrims recently appointing a new manger in former Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray, Roma admits it may make the fixtures tougher... 'But it doesn't matter whether a club has a new manager or not, players are playing for contracts all the time, that's the nature of football.'

The Trinity boss will be without the services of Nathan Jarman this weekend due to suspension... 'We brought young Noel Burdett to the club on loan from Scunthorpe United, who can play in the striker's role,' said Roma. 'But we also have Jack McGovern who I would like to see more of. He has been training really well and we will certainly be seeing a bit more of him over the next few weeks'".

Across the county, Lincolnshire Live adds that "Adam Murray insists his inherited squad has reacted positively to his ambitious plans for Boston United's future. The new Pilgrims boss has revealed he plans to increase the level of professionalism at the club with extra training sessions through the week and an increased use of analysis...

The former Mansfield Town boss admitted he has had an eventful few days since accepting the role vacated by Dennis Greene, who left by mutual consent last month... 'The lads have responded really positively to what we want to do,' said Murray. 'They are buoyant, if a little frustrated about their results so far. But it is nothing a bit more self-belief won't help. I think, with one or two little tweaks, we can still have a very positive season. Those tweaks could see at least two new players arriving at the club within the next week.'

Murray revealed he has already put seven days' notice in on two of his targets... 'We feel the squad needs a little bit more experience and a little more leadership,' added Murray. 'If we are able to get the two we are looking at, it would see the addition of two players with a lot of experience at a higher level... There are some good players here but we need to step up. If they can't do that then they won't be here, unfortunately that's the nature of the beast.

'It is a part-time club but I have asked those that can to do more training sessions. It will be different to what the players are used to but their reaction to it so far has been very positive... The run of games over Christmas gives us a very good opportunity to pick up points quickly, whether that is against FC United or Gainsborough'".

The Nuneaton Town Supporters' Co-operative reports that "Buying a football club, is a bit like trying to hook up with someone...

First of all, there’s the eyeing up across the room, or in this case, football field. Then there’s the first few flirty texts, to test the water, and the excitement builds, and you prepare your big guns for the question. But then, what if you’re rejected? What if you don’t have the readies, and they’re after that little bit more? What if they don’t fancy you in the same way, and don’t see a future with you? Can you let the doubts get you down, or do you pluck up the courage, and go for it?

Well, tonight, after a passionate and productive meeting, we’re going for it, and after a few months back and forth with the club, we will be making the offer to the chairman to sit down and talk him through our vision and plan for the future of the club, and most importantly, how the money will be raised. This should then allow us to make the offer that will begin the process of fundraising, should the chairman be happy to continue, based on our proposals, which at this point include a five year plan for club operations.

Obviously, this has been a process that has taken time, and we’ll be finalising the necessary documents for this over the festive period...

We will be approaching businesses to try and get them to join our vision and plan, by clearly setting out our goals. We have a list of businesses we want to approach, and now a number of benefits that we can tailor to their needs, to create the sort of community partnerships we hope to foster for a long time...

We’re going to be taking our message out face to face as well now, and as such, you will see a far greater presence on our table on Saturday... explaining a little more about what we’ve done, and more importantly what we’re going to do...

We are hoping to have a few meetings lined up with Supporters Direct and other organisations within the town... I can’t make this post, without paying tribute to the change in the ethos of the club that [manager] Tommy Wright has brought in so far. It’s been the sort of start we could have only dreamed of, and it’s been great to see the fans' reaction".

According to the National League "The Board of Directors of Vanarama National League North club AFC Telford United met on Tuesday to consider the applications received from supporters for the proposed share issue.

Firstly, the Board of the football club want to express their extreme thanks to those supporters who have invested money and purchased shares in the football club... In total 139 supporters have purchased shares. All share applications were accepted...

The percentage uptake of the share offer was 32%, no individual shareholder has taken the 20% maximum of the authorised share capital. The Board are disappointed that the share offer was only at this level and will be reviewing its actions in the New Year... The Board were in lengthy discussions with two substantial investors up to the closing date for the share offer. Both of those investors are based overseas, but with an upbringing and background from Telford. The club were satisfied that both of those parties wanted to invest in the club for the benefit of the football club. One of those investors withdrew because the club had put in a maximum shareholding of 20% of the authorised share capital, the second party was concerned about being a major but minority shareholder.

The Board of the club considered that when the original proposal for the share offer was put to the Supporters' Trust to sell its shares, that if the 20% ownership clause had not been included in that proposal, that it was unlikely that the Trust members would approve the sale of the old shares back to the football club and the issue of new shares...

The football club Board..., advise that for the year to 31st May 2016 the football club did incur a small five-figure loss (£13,065). The club Board will be considering whether to put a motion to our shareholders to dispense with the 20% cap on individual shareholdings. The Board of the football club still consider that there is a requirement and need to get the share offer fully subscribed to the authorised share capital of £500,000 and will be working to succeed with this objective early in the new year".

The folowing fixture changes have been announced by the National league:

  • Tamworth v Nuneaton Town on 26 December NOW KO 1pm
  • AFC Telford United v Brackley Town was 13 December NOW 17 January
  • Brackley Town v Altrincham was 6 December NOW 24 January i.e. as previously announced
  • Alfreton Town v FC Halifax Town was 13 December NOW 31 January
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Kidderminster Harriers was 14 January NOW 7 February

From the Halifax Courier tells us that "Loanee Alex Simmons has extended his loan spell at Halifax until January 21. The Lincoln forward was due to have played his last game for The Shaymen... on Tuesday. He has scored eight goals in 17 appearances for Town this season."

15 December 2016


As previously announced, and...

"As supporters may be aware, the Club has commissioned a strategic review. This is being conducted by Nicky Watmore as a consultant to the Board, with Pete Foster providing day to day contact with the rest of the Club.

The objective of the review is to identify all the opportunities that could enable the Club to reach its potential over the next five years and to make sure the Club is structured and equipped to take advantage of these opportunities.

In order to do this, we need as many opinions of the Club as possible and so would like to invite all supporters to fill out this questionnaire.

Hardcopy versions can be picked up from the Club. Please send all completed questionnaires here, or to the Club (J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, Altrincham WA15 8AP) marked for the attention of Nicky Watmore. Questionnaires must be received by the Club by December 18th, please."

For those supporters who do not have the appropriate software to read MS Word documents, the questionnaire is here in plain text format.

Peter Foster adds that "Although all responses are confidential, we ask you to leave your name and email (or other contact info.) so that we may get in touch with you if any of your thoughts are particularly novel. As a rough guide, up to five points for each question will suffice, but feel free to put as many or as few as you like".


Altrincham FC has assisted longstanding supporter Alan Moorhouse, who now lives in Luton, with his football-related charity work for KitAid in the past and recently the Bedfordshire FA reported that "Bedfordshire FA Councillor and senior local referee Alan Moorhouse has recently returned from a charity visit to Lusaka, Zambia, where a number of surplus and used kits donated by Bedfordshire Referees along with kits from St Albans City Youth FC where Alan is a Trustee, and kits provided by charity KITAID, were given to local communities and youth football clubs in the Lusaka area. The visit was organised by Baraka Community Charity.

Alan was invited to attend a local match between Chawama United and Brave Warriors at the Chawama Community in Lusaka. The community market area was partly cleared and goalposts erected. The game was played with great skill and outstanding sporting spirit on a sandy surface with no pitch markings. Local interest was provided by a fair crowd of football spectators and interested market goers".

The match was refereed by local footballer Joseph Banda who wore kit donated by referees from Bedfordshire. This was the first time a referee in complete kit had been seen by many locals... A rural village tournament was subsequently held further afield in Central Zambia when further referee kits and team kits were distributed...

Alan also visited the Zambia Football Association and met Technical Director, Honor Janza, who was previously a Zambia International player and Manager of the National Team. A visit was made to the National Heroes Memorial adjacent to the new Zambia National Stadium, and a floral tribute laid, along with a moment of silent respect, in memory of the Zambia National football team which perished in an air crash in Gabon en route to a World Cup qualifying match on 27th April 1993. A total of 30 people perished including FA members, management, press and, the team of international players...

En route home, Alan visited the Football Association of Ethiopia at their Headquarters at the Yidnekachew Tessema Stadium in Addis Ababa".


The BBC reports that "Ambitious non-league club Salford City will leave Moor Lane if they realise their aim to reach the Championship.

Salford, part-owned by five former Manchester United players, will on Thursday seek planning permission for a multi-million pound upgrade. It will increase the capacity of their current ground from 2,163 to 5,172. Salford say the work would be adequate for League One, which requires three promotions, but anything more could not be accommodated at Moor Lane.

The club have been promoted in successive seasons since a high-profile takeover involving Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville in 2014 and last year reached the FA Cup second round for the first time.

They are sixth in National League North, four points off a play-off place. The club do not think they will be in a position to reach the Championship for between 10 and 15 years but Scholes has previously told BBC Sport that is their aim. If they leave Moor Lane, Salford intend to retain the ground and use it as an academy ground and training venue.

Salford's current plans have been recommended for approval by the local council, although among the 301 objections were some from the local Jewish community, which makes up 40.9% of the Kersal area where the club is based. If the plans are passed Salford have agreed not to carry out any construction work on Saturday in order to respect the Jewish Sabbath. The club have also been told an additional survey must be carried out between May and August on the main stand prior to its demolition to ensure there is no evidence of roosting bats."

According to NL Pitchero, "Bradford Park Avenue have taken Jack Dyche on loan from Scunthorpe United for the rest of the season. Leeds lad Dyche joined Scunthorpe in July 2014 after impressing at the Football League exit trials.

Initially seen as a striker, he can also play in midfield or at full-back and is equally as comfortable using either foot... He signed professional forms for Scunthorpe in 2016 after two successful years in their academy. He joined Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division side Ashton United on a three-month loan in September."

Also from NL Pitchero we learn that "Bradford Park Avenue’s main benefactor Gareth Roberts has released a statement quashing rumours he is interested in buying Bradford Bulls. Articles had been published this week linking Roberts with a move to purchase the Bulls, and while these are incorrect, he does see great potential for the two clubs to work closely together.

Roberts, who is in the oil and gas business and lives in Dallas, grew up in Holme Wood, Bradford, and was a life-long supporter of Avenue. He stepped in to buy the club last year and has since donated his majority shareholding to help convert it to a community benefits society owned by the fans. He is still actively involved with the club’s development and is working on plans for a long-term lease from the council to redesign the Horsfall stadium site.

He returned to the United States this week after a series of meetings to progress those ambitions. 'I’m aware of rumours that I am making a bid to buy the Bradford Bulls. That is not the case', Roberts said. 'We still have a lot to do to deliver on our plans for Avenue and that remains my main focus in the city. I do believe that there’s great potential for the clubs to work together in the future and we would welcome the chance to talk to whoever the new owner is going to be. Given how close our grounds are, there is definitely an opportunity for us to explore things like sharing some of our facilities and services, and for working together to expand multi-sport opportunities for young people in south Bradford'...

Elsewhere, "Fleetwood Town have confirmed that young defender Nathan Sheron has extended his loan at Chorley until 11th January 2017."


Shaw Lane AFC "has released the below statement following a decision by the FA Appeals Body in relation to its exclusion from the FA Trophy. The statement reads: 'We are extremely disappointed that the FA Appeals Body dismissed the club's appeal this afternoon at Wembley. The club put forward a strong case which was based on our firm belief that the club acted fairly, reasonably and in good faith before, during and after Alexander Bryne was found to be ineligible. We will await their written reasons before commenting further and deciding on the next appropriate steps to take'".
14 December 2016


Altrincham FC in the Community recently held a Winter Football Tournament at The Grammar (Altrincham Grammar School for Boys).

"On Friday 9th December, Altrincham FC Community Sports held a year 5 and year 6 football tournament in association with Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. Five local primary schools attended during the afternoon: Stamford Park, Oldfield Brow, St Vincent’s, Navigation Road and Broadheath. Around 90 children in total competed in matches throughout the afternoon, with the aim of being the first team to get their name etched on the new trophies.


St Vincent’s took a massive lead in the year 5 group stages, winning every game, scoring 9 goals. Which lead to a semi final against Broadheath and a tense final against Stamford Park. Stamford Park and Oldfield Brow took each other on in the other semi-final. Stamford Park and St Vincent’s faced off in the Summer tournament with the year 4 teams going head to head at the time, which St Vincent’s won back in May. However, Stamford Park were the victors this time around, winning 3-2 in extra time, after going behind 2-1 and playing for the golden goal.

Above, left we see Broadheath Year Six receiving their trophy from Alty chairman Grahame Rowley and coach Andrew Jones. Right, we see Stamford Park Year Five receiving their award.


Broadheath were the standout team in the year 6 group stages, winning every match and scoring 7 goals. St Vincent’s and Stamford Park both followed closely with 3 wins each to secure places in the semi-finals alongside Oldfield Brow. Stamford Park managed a second final showdown of the day, unfortunately losing out this time to the impressive Broadheath side late on.

AFC Community Co-Ordinator, Judy Henson, planned the tournament and said: “It was a fantastic afternoon and thankfully the weather wasn’t too bad. Myself and the other coaches were really impressed with the standard of boys and girls football on the day, it really is credit to the schools and coaching standards.”

The Summer and Winter tournaments will now become annual events for Altrincham FC Community Sports, with all local primary schools being invited to enter and participate".


Altrincham will have new signing Gary Jones available for Saturday's league match at Stockport County, as well as Clayton McDonald who was ineligible for the FA Trophy tie at Blyth last Saturday. However, Simon Richman will be sidelined by the injury he picked up at Croft Park.

Our opponents Stockport County confirm that Saturday's match will be "our last home game of 2016, so get yourselves down to Edgeley Park to cheer on Jim and the team.

County's prices for home league fixtures this season are:

  • Adults (18-64): £15
  • Concessions: £10*
  • 6-17 years: £5
  • Under 6: Free (with full paying adult - Under 6s require a FREE ticket from the Ticket Office to gain entry.)
  • * Concessions are Students**, Disabled fans***, and fans aged 65+.
  • ** Students must be in full time education - valid ID must be provided.
  • *** Disabled fans - proof of disability that may be required from supporters wishing to sit in any of the accessible areas, can be any of the following: i) A statement of high mobility/living allowance as issued by the Department of Work & Pensions; or ii) Receipt of either the Severe Disablement Allowance or Attendance Allowance; or iii) Blind or partially sighted registration certificate; or iv) Enhanced Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Some cash turnstiles will be provided for access to the Cheadle End and Danny Bergara Stand only. For quicker access, tickets should be purchased from the ticket office, preferably before 2.30pm on the day of the match."


Altrincham FC is offering "half-season" tickets to cover all the home league matches from Boxing Day (inclusive) when we entertain FC United of Manchester at the J. Davidson Stadium.

So, why not treat yourself or someone else to a Christmas present of one of the tickets?

  • Standing: £130 adults and £75 concessionaries
  • Seating: £150 and £80 concessionaries
  • 12-16 year-olds: £30
  • Under-12s: £15

They are available from the club offices during normal weekday office hours.


  • Barrow 4-2 Harrogate Town (after extra time)
  • Brackley Town 4-0 AFC Fylde
  • Chester FC 2-1 Witton Albion
  • Woking 0-1 Ebbsfleet United
  • Weymouth 1-2 Whitehawk
  • Royston Town 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet
  • Wingate & Finchley 1-2 Wealdstone (after extra time)
  • Dover Athletic 1-2 Dartford
  • Truro City 0-0 Forest Green Rovers (after extra time)
  • Maidstone United 2-3 Boreham Wood
  • Leiston 3-5 Bromley


  • Oxford U 3-0 Macclesfield Town
  • FC Halifax Town 0-2 Eastleigh
  • Stourbridge 1-0 Northampton T

13 December 2016


John Edwards, Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, writes, "Matt Doughty has adopted a Three Musketeers approach to rescuing Altrincham from relegation after asking club stalwarts Robbie Lawton and Graham Heathcote to assist him at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The coaching triumvirate began with a spirited 3-2 FA Trophy win at Blyth Spartans on Saturday, and there were echoes of 'all for one, and one for all' about the way interim boss Doughty explained what they hoped to achieve and how they would go about it.

'Everyone travelled to Blyth, and that's something we are going to do from now on,' he said. 'Whether you are in the 16 or not, you travel on the coach with the rest of the players. We are a team. We win as a team, and we lose as a team, end of.

'We need that togetherness. It counts for a lot. If you are going into a battle, you need everyone together. It's the same in football. If one individual goes on his own, you've had it. If you are together as a solid unit, you've got a chance.

'I brought Robbie and Graham in because they have an affiliation with the club. When new players come in, they need to be made aware of what it means to play for Altrincham. There's no one better than Robbie or Graham to do that. We need to instil it in them that we are battlers who are fighting for this club, and if they don't do the same, they don't get to wear the shirt.

'The first half at Blyth was the best I've seen since I got involved on the coaching side. It was always on the cards we were going to get tired, because I don't think we are as fit as we should be, but that is something Robbie will work on and put right. It's Macclesfield at home now next Tuesday, a derby to savour and a big crowd. I'm made up with that and the way we earned it. To a man, the players were fantastic. It was one of the proudest days I've had in football.'"


Altrincham FC Ladies' manager, Keith Edleston, confirms the details of his team's next match, this coming Sunday (18th December 2016) in the North-West Women's Regional League. The opponents are Ellesmere Port LFC and the match takes place at Mersey Valley Sports Club, Banky Lane, Sale, M33 5SL with a 2pm kick-off.

The social club will be open throughout the day from 12.30pm". All support will be very welcome - admission is free.


Manchester United under-18s meet Everton under-18s in a friendly at the J Davidson Stadium this Wednesday (14th) with a 7.30pm kick off. Entry is free and Richie Bentley and colleagues will be operating the refreshment kiosk.


The Suffolk Free Press reports that "Macclesfield Town or Altrincham, who both who ply their trade in the Vanarama National Leagues and have both won the FA Trophy twice before, will visit The Wardale Williams Stadium to take on AFC Sudbury in The Buildbase FA Trophy second round proper next month.

Macclesfield are currently seventh in the Vanarama National League Premier, while Altrincham are struggling at the foot of the National League North table...

AFC Sudbury, who knocked out higher-league National League South opponents Gosport Borough 2-1 with a Sam Bantick injury-time winner at home on Saturday, will play the winners of the first round proper tie between the two at Altrincham next Tuesday (December 20, 7,45pm), on Saturday, January 14 (3pm).

As well as the prospect of reaching the last 16 of the competition, which ends in a showpiece final at Wembley on May 21, the winners will also pocket £6,000 in FA prize money. Bantick’s goal ensured AFC made club history by reaching the second round of the competition for the first time in their history, having made the first round proper on four previous occasions only to be knocked out...

In terms of well-known players, Macclesfield Town, who appeared live on the BBC in the FA Cup this season, have just signed midfielder Richie Wellens, a one-time Manchester United appearance maker who is better known for long spells at Blackpool, Oldham Athletic and Doncaster Rovers as well as Leister [sic] City, where he went out on loan to Ipswich Town in 2012."

Altrincham do have a connection with Sudbury Town in the shape of former goalkeeper Dean Greygoose, who played for the Suffolk side who are currently lying 16th in the Ryman Premier division.


Brian Flynn, chairman of TASC (The Altrincham Supporters' Club) confirms that "The next TASC meeting takes place on Tuesday evening (December 13th) at 7.30pm in the Vice-Presidents' Lounge at the J.Davidson Stadium. All Altrincham supporters are welcome. This is a normal monthly TASC meeting. There will be a separate date advised for the meeting to follow up on the re-organisation and relaunch of TASC, which is likely to take place early in the New Year".


Altrincham FC is pleased to announce that the Robins' Draw for December, with its first prize of £1000, will take place on pitchside at half-time of the FA Trophy match against Macclesfield next Tuesday evening (20th).


Alty's opponents, last Saturday, Blyth Spartans report that manager "Alun Armstrong has praised the Blyth Spartans fans during what was a disappointing Buildbase FA Trophy exit at the hands of Altrincham, after the Croft Park faithful chose to stick with the players until the end of a frustrating 3-2 defeat.

Altrincham raced to a 3-0 lead at half-time, thanks to a brace from Sean Miller and then an impressive team move a minute before the break ended with Craig Hobson finding the net.

Blyth battled back in the second half through Luke Armstrong’s strike on the hour and an individual piece by talismanic skipper Robert Dale in the last minute. Richard Pell then thought he’d secured another 30 minutes of extra time with a powerful header, but Alty stopper Tim Deasy produced a fantastic save to deny Spartans another famous cup comeback.

And, while the game produced a number of frustrating moments for the Blyth fans in attendance, Armstrong senior appreciated the support that his players received from the stands and he has called on them to carry on in the same vein when his side return to Evo-Stik Premier League action against Barwell on Saturday.

Armstrong said, 'The crowd definitely played their part in trying to help the lads over the line at the finish. You could hear it all around the ground. To be fair to the crowd, they could have easily got on the players’ backs in the first half but they didn’t. They threw their support behind them and, once we got the first goal, you could feel it starting to turn and they started to lift.

'Robbie then gets the second one and they never shut up after that. I wish they could be like for the whole 90 minutes, as it really does help you. If we can get that noise from the crowd in the last ten minutes when we were on top, then the lads will respond to it. I know some people will say that the players need to do something worth shouting about first, but it works both ways. If we get the noise and the support from the stands, the lads will kick on. I have no doubt about that, as it’s six and two threes really.

'Hopefully, on Saturday, the crowd will be back on form and nice and loud once again. It would be good to get another 500 plus again through the gates and take it from there.'

While the 41-year-old was full of praise for the Spartans' supporters, he was less than thrilled with what his players served up in the first 45 and that was made even more apparent when he marched his players out early for the start of the second half. His players responded in fine style, but Armstrong revealed that, despite their late flurry, their performance wasn’t enough for them to deserve to go through.

The Blyth boss added, 'The lads know that we were nowhere near what we’re capable of in that first half and we never got started. I think it took us probably an hour to get started and it’s a shame, because I said that this was their chance to go out to set up a real test against Macclesfield in the next round. Again though, I thought the first half was nowhere near good enough. We never moved the ball, we never defended properly, we never closed them down, they worked a lot harder than us and we didn’t match them.

'You can look back to a number of interviews I’ve done since I’ve been here and I’ve always said that if we don’t match the other team’s work rate then we’ll get found out and we were. We weren’t at the races for the first half and I had a little pop at the lads at half-time and they took what I said on board. They knew exactly what was wrong and, to be fair to them, ten minutes after that, they got themselves going and we probably could have forced extra time in all honesty. Did we deserve it though? Probably not.'

Known to be very honest in his interviews during his time at Blyth so far, it was to be expected that Armstrong would tell his players exactly what he thought at half-time and not mince his words. While Blyth fell just short after a marked improvement after the break, he took some consolation that this performance had not come during Spartans’ league campaign. When asked what exactly he said during the half-time break, Armstrong revealed, 'It wasn’t rocket science, to be honest with you. They didn’t work anywhere near to the standard that they have been working at. They got great ability with the ball and, when they move it quickly, no one can get near us. For some reason, they were running straight over the top of us.

'I’ve got to be honest and just say that we got beat[en] because we didn’t work as hard as the opposition, which is really disappointing, as I’ve never seen that before, going all the way back to before I came to the club. I’d never seen them get turned over in any game and it was disappointing, but the big plus is that is wasn’t a league game and it hasn’t cost us three points.'

Dale set up a tense finale for the Robins with a superb solo goal, before Pell’s last-gasp header was palmed over the bar by Deasy during four minutes of added time. Even though it was a fantastic stop by the keeper, Armstrong couldn’t help but think that his side would have progressed had that chance gone in, after their opponents had seemingly played their hand too early, before holding on at the end.

Armstrong stated, 'If Pelly had scored right at the end, we would have won the game [in extra time]. I’m pretty confident and we all said that on the bench. They had thrown everything at it and gone really early. They couldn’t maintain their work rate from the first half, because of the intensity of where they were working at, and you could see that they were gone after an hour. We absolutely battered them for the last 30 minutes and that’s the Blyth side I know. They’d thrown everything at it and fair play to them but, had we nicked that at the end, I could have been standing here talking about a different game.'"


Our FA Trophy opponents, Macclesfield Town "are delighted to reveal an incredibly kind donation from our main sponsor Arighi Bianchi that will give the Silkmen first-team squad another added incentive to pull off an Emirates FA Cup scalp at Oxford United tomorrow evening.

If the Silkmen can make it through to Third Round of the competition with victory on Tuesday then Arighi Bianchi will provide each of the Silkmen squad with a King size Arighi Bianchi bed! The bonus is the brainchild of Nick Bianchi from Arighi Bianchi who said, 'The players are doing the town incredibly proud and as main sponsor we want to reward them for that!... I hope this can be a little carrot for the team when they are travelling down to the game. Fingers crossed on Wednesday morning the team are beating the doors of Arighi Bianchi down to get their new bed!'"


Having been on the wrong end of a player registration dispute ourselves in the past, the current fracas in the FA Trophy brings back unpleasant memories of the James Robinson affair at Moss Lane when a previous club's failure to gain his international clearance led to an 18-point deduction for Altrincham.

Now, Barnsley club Shaw Lane Association have issued a "Club statement regarding our removal from the FA Trophy. At 5pm last night Friday 9th we received confirmation from the FA that Shaw Lane AFC had been removed from the FA Trophy for playing an ineligible player (Alexander Byrne) in the game v Nantwich Town.

We were offered the opportunity to appeal the decision but our intention to appeal must be lodged by 10 am on Monday 12th December, this gives us just one working hour to get any kind of advice from our solicitor should we appeal. The hearing will be on Tuesday 13th, this gives us no time whatsoever to try and get any professional representation to support us at the hearing.

Having said this, we will be appealing the decision and will represent ourselves at the hearing, as a club we are devastated that the mitigating circumstances that we have already put forward have been ignored, our basis of appeal is for the following:

The player in question was registered with his previous club with an incorrect date of birth and as "Alex". When Shaw Lane registered him we used all details, full name and with the correct date of birth. This created in effect two players Alex Byrne and Alexander with two different dates of birth on the FA members' services portal...

Like all clubs, we use the FA's own members' services portal to monitor discipline for all players registered. At no time did Alexander Byrne show any cautions other than the ones he accrued whilst playing for Shaw Lane AFC. It is important to note that this is the only official system available to monitor discipline, For example another player we have signed mid--season shows his previous cautions accrued this season from both his previous clubs. Why did the system not highlight Alexander Byrne? Because he had a different identity within the system due to his incorrect date of birth from his previous club's mistake.

When Alex had accrued 4 cautions following the Nantwich game, we advised Alex that he needs to be careful as one more caution would result in a suspension, Alex advised that he believed he had a booking at the start of the season whilst playing for his previous club. It was at this point that we raised our concern with the FA who investigated this and found that there was another Alex Byrne with a different DOB who had actually received 2 cautions.

The FA also advised that we should suspend Alexander Byrne for our next fixture, which we did. They have since said he should serve a further ban for the same offence. The FA subsequently merged the two identities on the members system to create one identity and this then meant Alex should have been suspended for the Nantwich game. This was us bringing an issue to the FA that they were completely unaware of, no blame can be proportioned to us for this as we have followed all the correct procedures when registering the player and in monitoring his discipline on the system.

If we, as a club, had not raised this concern with the FA then this would never have come to light as there were 2 separate players in the system and the FA Trophy tie v Lincoln City would have been played as planned. The whole point of this system is to check discipline, if it can't be relied upon to find out a player's disciplinary history from his previous clubs then the system is flawed. The FA say you should ask the player and their previous club(s), in this case when the transfer is done acrimoniously then this is not credible and can't be relied upon, so the only way clubs have of finding out for sure is the FA's members' system.

Shaw Lane are a victim of a system with flaws and are being punished by The FA when we have taken all reasonable steps, and then some, to ensure we manage discipline correctly and professionally. Our club secretary is the most meticulous man I have ever worked with and thus why, as a clu,b we register the players with full and correct details and check the discipline members' system rigorously for our registered players.

I wholeheartedly apologise for the inconvenience this has caused Lincoln City and Nantwich Town. This tie was our cup final, our biggest ever game, and a game that all associated with our club were looking forward to. We don't deserve to be treated in [i.e. like] this when it is clear a system and admin failure and thus why we will be appealing the decision.

In the meantime The FA have announced that Nantwich will now play Lincoln on Tuesday evening, however this would be pending our appeal. How are clubs supposed to organise a fixture of this magnitude with no time? Playing Lincoln City becomes a regulated game and, upon police advice, has to be prepared for almost like a Football League game, with high level of policing...

Craig Wood (Chairman)".


According to Salford City, "On loan midfielder Nick Haughton has been recalled by parent club Fleetwood Town. Nick joined Salford City on a two-month loan and impressed Ammies' fans immediately with his touch and vision. Four starts, 3 appearances from the bench and a well-taken goal against Worcester City are the bare statistics but they don't do justice to a player who really caught the eye during his time at Moor Lane.

Injury problems at Highbury Stadium have prompted Town manager Uwe Rosler to recall the attacking midfielder".

12 December 2016


The winners of the FA Trophy First Round match between Altrincham and Macclesfield Town will be away to Suffolk team AFC Sudbury in Round Two on 14 January.

The full draw is:

  • Worthing v Sutton United
  • Tranmere Rovers v South Park or North Leigh
  • Bromley v Welling United
  • East Thurrock United v Braintree Town
  • Nuneaton Town v Guiseley
  • Boreham Wood v Alfreton Town
  • Barrow v Matlock Town
  • Southport v Wealdstone
  • Gateshead v Shaw Lane Association or Nantwich or Lincoln City
  • Dover Athletic v Chelmsford City
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Ebbsfleet United
  • Harlow Town v York City
  • AFC Sudbury v Altrincham or Macclesfield Town
  • Whitehawk v Dulwich Hamlet
  • Chester FC v Forest Green Rovers
  • Stockport County v Brackley Town


    Former Altrincham manager Jim Harvey was interviewed in this Sunday's NL Paper. He recalled how "I was at the Radisson Blu hotel in Manchester picking up an award from the football writers for the FA Trophy [win last season with FC Halifax Town]and the next morning I get the call saying my time is over at Altrincham...

    I do think that they have acted hastily. I wasn't given enough time and that really disappoints me. I think they should have allowed me more than ten league matches.

    I took over a team who had just been relegated and who had a poor start to the season. Things weren't going to improve just like that.

    There are too many players in the squad who have been at the club for too long, on good money.

    I was trying to change things but, when players are under contracts, good contracts, you can't move them on.

    It's their club, they can run it how they like but it's a shame because I felt I would have kept them in the league".

    Footnote: On appointment at Altrincham, Jim Harvey inherited six players who had been contracted from the 2015-16 season. Of these, Shaun Densmore was unfit to play at all in the Harvey era, whilst Sam Heathcote made just one league and one Cup start under his management. The other four players were Jake Moult, Simon Richman, Damian Reeves and James Lawrie.


    As the annual amnesty on cautions kicked in on 30 November, neither Simon Richman nor Craig Hobson, who received their fifth cards after that date, will face suspension. But they need to keep below a total of ten bookings for the next few months!


    Blyth Spartans have excellent highlights of Saturday's game on YouTube.

    After Saturday's match, Blyth manager Alun Armstrong told the NL Paper, "We weren't at the races in the first half. That was probably because we thought we had done it all down there [in the first match].

    We showed a bit of pride in the second half and almost got an equalizer but we got turned over and paid the price for a poor opening hour"


    Although they had only three working days' notice, the programme production team at Blyth Spartans produced an excellent 32-page full-colour programme with some interesting content for Saturday's FA Trophy replay against Altrincham. And they only charged £2 for it. Both the price and the content were far superior to the 28-page largely monochrome £3 effort, (including six pages alone on the home squad and their sponsors), that was proffered by one of our Vanarama National League North opponents earlier this season. So, congratulations to the Spartans and good luck for the rest of the season.


    Mike Garnett's statistics reveal our record against Stockport County, who are our opponents next Saturday.

    League match record v Stockport County (1st XI)

    • Home P2-W1-D0-L1-F5-A3
    • Away P1-W0-D1-L0-F0-A0
    • Overall P3-W1-D1-L1-F5-A3

    Full record v Stockport County (1st XI)

    • Home P3-W1-D0-L1-F8-A7
    • Away P1-W0-D1-L0-F0-A0
    • Overall P4-W1-D1-L2-F8-A7

    11 December 2016


    John Edwards, Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC, interviewed interim manager Matt Doughty after Saturday's 3-2 FA Trophy win at Blyth Spartans. Here is the interview in full.

    "Q: Where did that performance come from, Matt - it was like watching a different team?

    A: In training on Thursday, we worked on what we wanted from the players. We worked purely defensively - where to press, when to press, how to press. Not exactly all over the park, because we didn't want to play into their hands. We thought if we pressed too high up the pitch, they would just pick us off, so we thought let them come on to us, and we will press five yards in their half. It worked perfectly in the first half, because when we did that, and denied them space to play, they didn't have any pictures in their heads and just resorted to going long.

    Not only did we deal with that, we were the ones picking them off with some beautiful goals. They were really good goals, all three of them. All different, but all fantastic. I told the lads to play forward. That's not to say just smash it up the field. That wasn't me as a footballer, and it won't be me as a manager. But in the final third, go and express yourself, go and do what you are good at.

    They did that, and they did it in the right areas, and that's why we were three up at half-time. I couldn't be more proud today. It's one of the proudest days I've had in football. Those last five minutes, I don't know what was going on inside my head. I didn't know what to shout or who to. But that's why I brought Graham Heathcote in, and Robbie Lawton (right) to assist me.

    I knew it was going to come, and they would put us under pressure, because we had put so much effort in, and that's when your brain gets tired. That is when you need your clever players to come to the fore and say, 'Right, we are going to sit in, and we are going to play, and when we get the ball, we are going to turn them and play in their half.' That is the way to see a game out. They really stuck to their guns when the heat was on and were brilliant.

    Q: There were plenty of examples of what looks a new mindset, weren't there, not least James Lawrie sprinting back in the second half to see the ball out for a goal-kick when he sensed one of their players might latch on to it?

    A: I'm not being funny, but if you want to play for me or for Robbie Lawton, you've got to do that. It's as simple as that. For instance, I'll give you an example. Sean Miller was absolutely outstanding today going that way (points to the Blyth goal), but what I noticed more of him was going that way (points to the Alty goal), tracking back runners. He was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

    For me, James Lawrie (left) is great on the ball, very creative and can pick a pass, but he needs to get a little bit better at tracking runners and defensively getting a better shape. He will get that. We've got a full week to work on it now. We've only worked on it once, but you could see a difference already. People have told me, looking on from the stand, that the organisation was fantastic, and that's good to hear after only one session working on it. We will get better as we go along.

    Q: Another plus-point was the way everyone seemed to chip in and play a part. Were you encouraged by that?

    A: I can't fault a single individual. I tried to pick someone out at half-time for a word but couldn't. No one had put a foot wrong. I want to work on shape, organisation and playing it forward, getting it to our effective players, and by doing that, we will get better. Blyth are a very, very capable team. Their front three would get into any Conference North team, for me, and 10-12 Conference National teams. They are very, very good, and they like to play football, but we didn't let them.

    They were just booming balls into the box, because we wouldn't let them play the way they like to. To be fair, it was always on the cards we were going to get tired because I don't think we are as fit as we should be. That is something Robbie will work on and put right. It's Macclesfield at home now, a derby to savour, a big crowd. I'm made up with that and the way we earned it.

    Q: League points are the priority, and obviously there were none at stake today, but how important was it we hung on at the end and secured the result?

    A: It was very important. What was going through my head, I won't lie to you, was Alfreton. Those last few minutes, I was thinking 'please, no, not again.' {Altrincham lost to two late goals after leading at Alfreton recently]. I was screaming at the players to get at them, squeeze the pitch, don't give them space.

    I was hoping Tim Deasy would come for balls to help ease the pressure, and he did. It was nerve-racking, but character, spirit and desire to wear the club colours was evident. We have instilled that in them. If you want to play for us, you wear that badge with pride and passion, and you put your body on the line.

    Tom Hannigan was an example of that. For me, he was inspirational. He's had injury problems since joining us and inevitably picks up bumps and bruises because of how he plays, but he's fine. He was doing a bit with Robbie before the game, being put through his paces to get him prepared properly. He's one of those players who probably wouldn't tell you if he was struggling, because he would want to carry on and keep doing it for the team. He is brilliant. He played for Fylde all those years, and they wanted to keep him, so that tells you something about the level he's at. We need him on the pitch, and if it means wrapping him up in cotton wool, we will.

    These are the standards we have set and need to maintain. We are getting players in this coming week, and we have told them, in our dressing room, if you want to play for our team, that's what is required. These lads are not coming here to sit on the bench or in the stand, they are coming here to play, so show me and show Robbie you want to keep your shirt.

    Q: Was there something specific said in the dressing room to get that level of performance?

    A: I keep going on about this, but I brought Robbie and Graham in because they have an affiliation with the club. When new players come in, they need to be made aware of what it means to play for Altrincham. There's no one better than Robbie or Graham to do that. We need to instil it in them that we are battlers who are fighting for this club, and if they don't do the same, they don't get to wear the shirt. It's as simple as that.

    It's going to be difficult to change that team after the way they played, but we will see what happens in training this week and what new faces we can bring in. Obviously Gary Jones is here now, and he starts. Also, Ringo (Simon Richman) has unfortunately picked up an injury. It looks like he has pulled his thigh, which is a massive blow. But we'll see what we've got when we train on Tuesday and go from there.

    Q: Was what we saw today what's needed to get out of relegation trouble?

    A: 100%. The first half was magnificent. I couldn't fault them and, even in the second half, when we knew they would come at us, we still created some great chances. Sean Miller (right) went close, and Craig Hobson was only fractionally offside for the header he stuck away. Once they got back into it with a goal, it was all hands on deck, but we got the response we needed. We needed everyone to scrap and fight, and that's what we got.

    It was important we got through the round, and we did, but the main point for me, the message that comes across loud and clear, is if you want to play for my team, that first half is the standard required, and it doesn't drop. That first half was the best we have played since I got involved on the coaching side. It was absolutely magnificent.

    Q: What have Robbie and Graham brought to the coaching set-up exactly?

    A: Well, Robbie is a schoolteacher, as you know, so he has a way of putting his thoughts into words, and if you had heard what he said to the players before the game, you would realise that. It was inspirational. Even the players said wow when they were talking about it. That's the impact it had. He has played for Altrincham and been captain, and it's fair to say this club means the world to him. He's got a rapport with the club and a rapport with the fans, and he certainly makes himself heard on the touchline.

    What people might not know about Graham is his attention to detail. It's what struck me when I played for him. It is second to none. I played for a number of managers, like Steve Parkin, Graham Barrow and Chris Wilder. Steve Parkin managed in the Championship, and Chris Wilder looks like he'll be doing the same next season, the way it's going with Sheffield United at the moment. They ain't better than Graham for attention to detail, though, let me tell you. So to bring those two in was an absolute no-brainer.

    When new signings come in, they will think "'Ooh, right, I know what it means now. I need to wear the shirt with pride and show it in my performance.' I honestly think if they do what we are telling them to, we will be fine. It really is simple as that, because organisation is massive in this division, massive.

    Q: Can you give us an injury update, Matt?

    A: Well, though I said Ringo (right) had pulled his thigh, I'm not sure it is an actual pull. It might just be a twinge. You've got to be careful with injuries like that, and I think we are looking at two weeks minimum for him. I spoke to Greg Wilkinson before the game, and he said he hoped he might be ready to join in on Thursday. It's a thigh problem with him, too, and you can't be too careful, because thighs are delicate. You can strike a ball, and they can go again just like that. We'll have a look at him and see how he is. John Cyrus is coming to training on Tuesday to do some light work with Alan Ainsley, and I'm hoping he can then step it up and do a full session on Thursday, which would then put him in contention for Saturday.

    Q: There seemed to be a togetherness among the players. When there was a break for an injury to Craig Hobson and one of Blyth's defenders, our players all came over to the bench for drinks and to talk things over. Not one or two but all of them.

    A: Well, I can tell you that everyone travelled today, and that's something we are going to do from now on. Whether you are in the 16 or not, you travel on the coach with the rest of the players. We are a team. We win as a team, and we lose as a team, end of. It doesn't matter if you've got a knock or are suspended, you travel. That's 100% from now on, because we need that togetherness. It counts for a lot. If you are going into a battle, you need everyone together.

    Left: Matt Doughty

    It's the same in football. If one individual goes on his own, you've killed it. If you are together as a solid unit, you've got a chance of doing something. One thing I've told Robbie and Graham is I want to simplify things as much as possible. No disrespect to anyone, but we've not been good enough this season. We've been playing different formations from one week to another, and that's not good for the players. We'll work on 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 and organise it from there.

    Q: On the subject of reinforcements, seeing Shaun Densmore back in the starting line-up felt like a new signing in itself, didn't it?

    A: He's a leader. As soon as I saw him manage half-an-hour on Tuesday night, I thought, 'Right, he's starting on Saturday, and we'll get 45 minutes out of him.' Apart from the way we played today, I'd say Dens getting those extra minutes under his belt was the biggest plus for me.

    The number of times he got forward in the first half, and it was a typical Dens run and ball inside to James Lawrie that helped set up one of the goals. The lad is a colossus for this club. He's absolutely magnificent. He's a friend as well, but that won't stop him getting a rollicking, if he needs one. He will get more game time as we go along, and that can only be good for us.

    Q: Craig Hobson seemed to be in the wars a bit - is he all right?

    A: He's fine, just a bit tired after working his socks off again. I didn't know him before this season, but I can't imagine he has ever played a better half of football than in the first half today. He was magnificent and thoroughly deserved his goal".


    The FA reports that Alty Youth's home game today against Barrow has been postponed.


    Above: There was a welcome return as captain for Shaun Densmore, who was making his 300th start for the club. He is seen here as Alty took to the field at Croft Park.

    Altrincham deservedly advanced to Round One of the FA Trophy with this victory in Northumberland. Alty, despite losing Simon Richman to injury after only 15 minutes, put in a fine first-half performance, with Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore and Tom Hannigan, excelling.

    As a consequence, Alty went into the break 3-0 up. Miller fired the Robins ahead in the sixth minute with a superbly executed lob over keeper McHugh from a fine through ball from Densmore. Shaun, in his 300th start for the Club, was making his first start for more than a year after serious injury.

    Two goals in four minutes just before the break allowed Altrincham to go in for half-time with a 3-0 lead. The first of these came when, following a Densmore throw, the ball was worked via Hobson, then Lawrie, to Miller who scored from the edge of the box with a low shot in the 40th minute.

    The third goal arrived in the 44th minute when Moult found Lawrie, whose cross from the right was smartly converted with a first-time shot by Hobson after a dummy from Reeves.

    JUst after the hour mark Spartans pulled a goal back when Rivers fed Armstrong who scored with a low shot from the edge of the box. Alty weathered some further pressure and in the final minute the hitherto fairly quiet Robbie Dale jinked past three Alty defenders to score from right of goal.

    In the four added minutes Alty withstood severe pressure and were indebted to a fine tip over the bar from Tim Deasy from a close-range Reid header.

    Match report here.


    Saturday, 10 December

    Third Qualifying Round Replay

    • Blyth Spartans 2-3 Altrincham

    First Round

    • AFC Fylde 1-1 Brackley Town
    • AFC Sudbury 2-1 Gosport Borough
    • Alfreton Town 1-0 North Ferriby United
    • Boreham Wood 0-0 Maidstone United
    • Braintree Town 2-0 Torquay United
    • Bromley 1-1 Leiston
    • Chelmsford City 1-0 Hitchen Town
    • Dagenham 1-2 Worthing
    • Dartford 1-1 Dover Athletic
    • Dulwich H 2-2 Royston
    • East Thurrock United 1-1 Aldershot Town
    • Ebbsfleet United 1-1 Woking
    • Forest Green Rovers 1-1 Truro City
    • Gateshead 2-0 King's Lynn Town
    • Harlow Town 2-0 Eastleigh
    • Kidderminster Harriers 4-0 AFC Telford United
    • Nuneaton T 3-1 Stocksbridge PS
    • Shaw Lane Association v Lincoln City
    • Solihull Moors 1-2 Matlock Town
    • South Park 1-1 North Leigh
    • Stockport County 3-2 Marine
    • Sutton United 1-0 Bath City
    • Witton Albion v Chester FC
    • Farsley Celtic 0-4 Southport
    • Chorley 0-1 Guiseley
    • Harrogate Town 3-3 Barrow
    • Wealdstone 2-2 Wingate & Finchley
    • Welling United 8-1 Hythe Town
    • Whitehawk 2-2 Weymouth
    • Witton A 1-1 Chester FC
    • Wrexham 0-1 Tranmere Rovers (extra time & penalties agreed, no replay)
    • York City 3-1 Worcester City

    Tuesday 20 December 2016

    First Round

    • Altrincham v Macclesfield Town


    The National League has tweeted that the "Draw for @BuildbaseUK FATrophy 2nd Rd will take place Monday. And exactly half our clubs 34 will be in the hat". However, when asked "Is it regional?", their answer was "Not sure. The FA can keep it geographical in any round we believe."

    LIncoln City were supposed to play Shaw LAne Association in the FA Trophy this wekend but "Shaw Lane Association has been removed from the Buildbase FA Trophy following a breach of competition rules. At a meeting of an FA Trophy Sub-Committee today, a charge of a breach of FA Trophy rules relating to player eligibility was was found proven and as such Shaw Lane Association's place in the First Round Proper has been awarded to Nantwich Town, their opponents in the Third Round Qualifying.

    The members of the Sub-Committee also decided that Nantwich Town will now play at home to Lincoln City in the First Round Proper on Tuesday 13 December 2016 subject to an appeal being lodged by Shaw Lane Association which must be received by The FA by no later than 10 am on Monday 12 December 2016. With the proposed date for the fixture being at such short notice ourselves and Nantwich Town are in discussions with The FA to see if this could be put back."

    On the same topic, the Evostik League says that "The Northern Premier League is supporting a request by Nantwich Town to postpone their Buildbase FA Trophy with Lincoln City if Shaw Lane AFC are expelled from the competition... Subject to any appeal, the Dabbers are set to host the National League club on Tuesday night if they are reinstated. As a result of the timescales involved in preparing for the high profile fixture and advice from Cheshire Police, the EVO-STIK NPL's officials have written to the FA's Competitions Department to support the request of both clubs to put back the possible tie by seven days to Tuesday 20 December.

    As a result of the decision to support the appeal, the EVO-STIK NPL has also agreed to a further request by the club to host Skelmersdale United in the top flight on Tuesday night in order to reduce the backlog of league fixtures they have built up on the back of their run in the national cup competition."


    In its weekly review, the Vanarama National League says "There were a handful of 'shocks' in Saturday`s Buildbase FA Trophy First Round ties. Probably the biggest was Ryman League Premier Division strugglers Worthing`s 2-1 away win at Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road... Worthing went in a goal down. But a fine recovery helped them seal a place in the Second Round...

    New Spitfires' boss Martin Allen chose to field a youthful side and was made to pay the price...

    Matlock Town were another side to win at the home of a National League outfit in Solihull Moors. The Gladiators took a 19th minute lead when Nico de Girolamo headed in from a free-kick. The lead was eventually doubled on the hour-mark when Marcus Dinanga tapped in after completely outpacing the Moors defence. Four minutes from time, it got even worse for Moors when they had new signing Luke Rodgers red carded for violent conduct. They did manage a late consolation goal, however, when Harry White scored 3 minutes into stoppage time...

    Another National League side to fall by the wayside were 2015 winners North Ferriby United. The Villagers lost 1-0 at the Impact Arena against Alfreton Town...

    The 2013 winners Wrexham were knocked out after losing 1-0 against National League rivals and leaders Tranmere Rovers at The Racecourse...

    National League strugglers York City at least enjoyed some cup joy by going through to the Second Round after beating National League North side Worcester City 3-1 at Bootham Crescent...

    Another side facing a home banana skin were Nuneaton Town, who hosted Northern Premier First Division South side Stocksbridge Park Steels. But, despite going behind to a 42nd minute Harrison Biggins effort, Boro sailed through with goals from David Morgan, crucially right on the half-time whistle, and then Joe Ironside 5 minutes into the second half and James Clifton on 69 minutes.

    Nuneaton`s league rivals Stockport County left it late before eventually winning by the odd goal in five at Edgeley Park against NPL Premier Division visitors Marine AFC. [Ex-Alty striker] Danny Mitchley gave the Mariners an early 7th minute lead from the spot. Kayode Odejayi equalised in the 42nd minute, only for Mitchley to restore the visitors lead right on the half-time whistle.

    On the hour-mark, Marine’s task of defending the lead was made harder when Josh Brizell received his marching orders for a challenge from behind on John Marsden. That ultimately cost the Mariners dear as a Danny Lloyd free-kick on 85 minutes and a penalty by the same player sent the home side through.

    An all-National League North tie saw two teams with good Trophy records, Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Telford United, meet at Aggborough with the home side sailing through 4-0...

    Chester FC survived a scare at Wincham Park against NPL First Division South county neighbours Witton Albion after they clung on for a 1-1 draw... The visitors` Kane Richards was sent-off in stoppage time for a rash tackle on Andy Owens, earning him a second yellow card.

    National League North side Harrogate Town and in-form National League Barrow AFC produced a six-goal thriller at the CNG Stadium.. A red card for Lewis Turner saw Harrogate down to ten-men and Bennett scored the equaliser in the 89th minute...

    Blyth Spartans nearly completed a famous comeback with a late flurry in their delayed Third Qualifying Round replay, but three first half goals for Altrincham gave Blyth too much to do in this 3-2 defeat".


    Saturday's gates in The Buildbase FA Trophy were:
    • Att: 641: AFC Fylde 1 v 1 Brackley Town
    • Att: 198: AFC Sudbury 2 v 1 Gosport Borough
    • Att: 290: Alfreton Town 1 v 0 North Ferriby United
    • Att: 523: Blyth Spartans AFC 2 v 3 Altrincham
    • Att: 201: Boreham Wood 0 v 0 Maidstone United
    • Att: 301: Braintree Town 2 v 0 Torquay United
    • Att: 411: Bromley 1 v 1 Leiston
    • Att: 469: Chelmsford City 1 v 0 Hitchen Town
    • Att: 612: Chorley 0 v 1 Guiseley AFC
    • Att: 597: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 v 2 Worthing
    • Att: 813: Dartford 1 v 1 Dover Athletic
    • Att: 321: East Thurrock United 1 v 1 Aldershot Town
    • Att: 825: Ebbsfleet United 1 v 1 Woking
    • Att: 352: Farsley Celtic 0 v 4 Southport
    • Att: 626: Forest Green Rovers 1 v 1 Truro City
    • Att: 277: Gateshead 2 v 0 Kings Lynn Town
    • Att: 482: Harlow Town 2 v 0 Eastleigh
    • Att: 441: Harrogate Town 3 v 3 Barrow
    • Att: 1096: Kidderminster Harriers 4 v 0 AFC Telford United
    • Att: 346: Nuneaton Town 3 v 1 Stocksbridge Park Steels
    • Att: 336: Solihull Moors 1 v 2 Matlock Town
    • Att: 1411: Stockport County 3 v 2 Marine
    • Att: 524: Sutton United 1 v 0 Bath City
    • Att: 364: Wealdstone 2 v 2 Wingate & Finchley
    • Att: 355: Welling United 8 v 1 Hythe Town
    • Att: 253: Whitehawk 2 v 2 Weymouth
    • Att: 883: Witton Albion 1 v 1 Chester FC
    • Att: 2159: Wrexham 0 v 1 Tranmere Rovers
    • Att: 1033: York City 3 v 1 Worcester City

    10 December 2016


    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 commentators are Mark Simpson and Niall Flynn and the match summariser is John Edwards.

    Coverage starts at 2.55pm with the game kicking off at 3.00pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at".


    Altrincham's re-arranged away game at Brackley Town has been scheduled for Tuesday 24th January at 7.45pm and the Cheshire Senior Cup First Round game away to Runcorn Town will be on Wednesday 11th January at 7-45pm.


    Brian Flynn has made available the Radio Robins' commentary on last Tuesday's game with Blyth Spartans. It can be reprised here.


    The National League confirms that "Boston United have appointed Adam Murray as the club's new first-team manager.

    The 35-year-old has assumed control at The Jakemans Stadium with immediate effect following a successful spell in charge of Mansfield Town. United chairman David Newton said: "We went through a thorough process to find the right person for the job and we are delighted to unveil Adam as our new first team manager.

    'Adam was the outstanding candidate and certainly impressed during the interview process. Despite being relatively young in managerial terms, Adam has impressed at Mansfield Town and we are extremely pleased to have him on board.

    'He will get started straight away in a bid to engineer a climb up the table and we will give him every support possible'.

    Meanwhile, "The Vanarama National League North manager of the month for November is John Flanagan of Curzon Ashton" and "The Vanarama National League North player of the month for November goes to Brackley Town`s James Armson."

    9 December 2016


    "TASC are sorry to advise that it has not been possible to arrange supporters' transport to the FA Trophy game at Blyth on Saturday. With a number of regulars able to attend a home fixture but with work/social arrangements already made they are unable to attend a distant away game. This meant numbers were tight. However it has not been possible to source a small vehicle again, due to Christmas bookings which have made that immaterial. A number of potential travellers have alternative ways of getting to the game so we hope that not too many people will be inconvenienced. We hope as many as possible will still make the trip to support Matt's team as they look to build on the positive signs from Tuesday evening".


    John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes, "Following interim manager Matt Doughty's assertion on Tuesday night that he would be speaking to one or two players about their futures, Altrincham can now announce that Simon Lenighan, Luis Morrison-Derbyshire and Phil Marsh have all been released.

    Former Warrington Town midfielder Lenighan, 22, arrived a month ago, as did 22-year old centre-back Morrison-Derbyshire, following a spell with Greenwich Borough, while 30-year old ex-Bala Town striker Marsh was signed in September and made his debut the following month, after his international clearance came through. The club thanks them for their services and wishes them all the best in their future careers".

    Footnote: player appearances...

    • Simon Lenighan 3 appearances
    • Luis Morrison-Derbyshire 1 appearance
    • Phil Marsh 2(+7) appearances

    These departures bring to 24 the number of players or management to have both joined Altrincham and left the club since the summer. They comprise, 21 players (including 5 loanees), 2 managers and 1 assistant manager.


    John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes that "Matt Doughty has added drive and leadership to Altrincham's midfield by snapping up vastly-experienced former Bradford City captain Gary Jones from Southport on an initial one-month loan.

    After signing on Thursday, the 39-year old from Birkenhead joined his new team-mates for training a few hours later, ahead of Alty's FA Trophy replay at Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

    Though he is ineligible for that, he is lined up to make his debut against Stockport County a week later and could be joined by then by another significant new arrival.

    Explaining his reasons for making an immediate move for Jones, who has made 11 league appearances for Southport this season, Doughty dismissed any misgivings about the veteran central midfielder's ability to last the course, and said: 'The minute I was asked to look after the team, my first port of call was to Jonah to ask him about his fitness,' he said. 'He told me he had just played against Bury under-23s, done the full 90 minutes and scored two goals, so that tells you something.

    'He is a very fit lad who keeps himself in shape and takes pride in what he does out on the pitch. Southport are going down a youthful route at the moment and were prepared to sanction the loan, so that is our gain.

    'For me, we need men to get us out of the mess we are in. We need men, leaders and fighters, and Jonah is all three. He was my captain for two years at Rochdale, before he got a great move to Barnsley, and I know what he is about. He's got all that experience, and he's a leader. If someone isn't following instructions, he'll get hold of them and say "Hang on, what have you been told to do? Get it done."

    'He will drive players on, and we need that because it's clear to me, standing on the touchline, that we are a quiet team. That's why I did not hesitate to make Jonah my first signing as interim manager.

    'There'll be another coming in next week who also fits into the same three categories as Jonah, because in our situation, we need men who are going to give us that drive and organisation off the ball, as well as on it. We need leaders like Jonah and Shaun Densmore, who is coming back to full fitness and gave us so much when he went on as substitute against Blyth on Tuesday night.

    'Hopefully there will be more to come of the same ilk, because we need character in this team. It's a one-month deal to start with for Jonah, and hopefully we can progress it from there. Put it this way, as long as I'm at the club, Jonah will be. That's how highly I rate him as a player and character. He was man of the match when we played Southport at The J.Davidson not so long ago, so he won't have lost it in that short time.'"


    Two Altrincham FC Reserve team players, Laurence Taylor (20) and Will Foster (19), were in the squad for Tuesday's FA Trophy clash with Blyth Spartans, which was their first involvement with the first team this season. Central midfielder Laurence, left, played most of the game whilst centre-back Will (right) was an unused sub. Both players had previously played for Alty's first team in the CSC match against Crewe last season. They started out together in George Heslop's Altrincham FC Youth team, for whom Laurence was captain.


    The chairman of TASC, Brian Flynn, is pleased to announce details of the annual TASC "Over 50s'" Christmas Lunch. "In response to feedback received relating to last year's Pensioners' Lunch, TASC (The Altrincham Supporters Club) is opening up this year's event to a wider audience by inviting all Altrincham fans and their friends, who are 'Over 50', to this year's event, which will take place in the Community Sports Hall at The J.Davidson Stadium at 12.30pm on Thursday, December 15th.

    Our Christmas Chef is Richie Bentley and the menu is as follows:-

    • Cream of Fresh Vegetable Soup
    • Roast Cheshire Turkey (Chipolata Sausages/Chestnut Stuffing) with Sprouts, Parsnips & Roast Potatoes
    • Christmas Pudding & Cream
    • Traditional Mince Pies
    • Tea or Coffee

    Red or White wine and soft drinks will be served with the meal.

    All this for a remarkable pre-Brexit price of just £10!

    TASC is very grateful to Richie Bentley Catering and to Bidvest Foodservice who are sponsoring the costs of putting on this event, therefore all funds raised will be donated directly by TASC to Altrincham Football Club.

    To reserve your place at this festive culinary extravaganza simply pick up the phone and call the Football Club on 0161 928 1045 or send an e-mail".


    Altrincham's youth education (BTEC) team lost 1-0 to MMU on Wednesday. Their next match is away to FC United of Manchester on 12 December.


    Tamworth report that "Influential centre back Luke Jones has joined Ellis Deeney in committing his future to The Lambs until the end of the 2017/18 season. The defenders arrival has coincided with a promising run of National League North form, with just one defeat in nine games since since Luke debuted in September's home clash with FC United, including a run of five consecutive wins.

    Commenting on Jones's contract extension, Andy Morrell said 'He's been great for us so far this season and done exactly as we expected. He's a leader and a communicator, but most importantly an out and out defender. His fitness is improving week on week too. He had a few options on the table, but has bought in to what we are trying to achieve here, and we are delighted to have him.'"


    According to NL Pitchero, "Northwich Victoria has been handed over to its supporters by long-serving chairman Martin Rushe and his family. Rushe issued the following statement on behalf of the family.

    'Since 2007 it has been a great honour to be involved with the ownership of Northwich Victoria FC. During our tenure at this great football club, we have had some fantastic footballing highs in the league and FA Cup and some unfortunate lows but, at all times, we have strived to be the best we can. My family’s enthusiasm and efforts have been unstinting in driving this club forward. However in increasingly challenging times, we no longer have the resources to financially support the club.

    'It is with great sadness that I must inform you that we can no longer carry the club forward in the direction we would wish. Therefore, we have decided that it must be handed over to the supporters, in the name of Northwich Victoria Supporters' Association, and under the capable supervision of Brian Turner and Dave Thomas, both life-long club supporters.

    'We have been working tirelessly with our advisors in the last few months to ensure a smooth and solvent transition and hand over of ownership to the fans association, keeping this great club in existence. I am happy to announce that we have reached agreement with Brian and Dave who we feel are best placed to take the club forward. I know the new owners will do our family proud and continue the investment made by my father and the family these last nine years, I am satisfied that whilst we would have loved to have continued our ownership, the new Board and supporters' association will follow our dreams and achieve great success in the future.

    'I would urge all Northwich Victoria Fans to get behind the new owners and come down to support the club in the remainder of the season. With your help and the new structure put in place I know the club will grow and have success in the future. Finally, a big thank you to all the supporters and players over the last nine years who have shared our dream, as a family, the club will always be in our hearts and strive to be the best, and maybe one day achieve League Status".

    8 December 2016


    Following Tuesday's draw against Blyth Spartans, Brian Flynn interviewed Matt Doughty, Altrincham's acting manager. Matt displayed his passion for the job and indicated that one or two new faces can be expected in the near future on the playing staff. Click on the image below for the full interview.


    "TASC are hoping to run transport to Saturday's FA Trophy replay as Blyth Spartans subject to demand. If you would like to be travel please email Mark Eckersall as soon as possible so that numbers can be gauged. A decision will be made late on Wednesday night so please get in touch as soon as possible"


    John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes:

    Right: Courtesy of Mike Ripley comes the adjacent image of Jake Moult after he head given Alty an early lead on Tuesday night against Blyth Spartans.

    "For the second in our series of Q&As with chairman Grahame Rowley, we have received one question from long-standing supporter David Gale about facilities on the Popular Side at The J.Davidson Stadium.

    I put David's question to the chairman first, then added a few of my own to try and broaden the interview and expand on what David was asking. Don't forget, this is your opportunity to have anything that's on your mind answered by the chairman of your club. Just email your question here. and you will get a

    Q: Having stood on the Popular Side for almost 50 years, I do think facilities there are continuously forgotten and I know this view is shared by many of the supporters standing in this area. We lost not only our toilet block, when it was demolished several years ago, but also our tea hut and the middle address system speaker, which was removed when the cantilever stand was built.

    Although you can hear the speaker in an empty ground, it is impossible to hear what is said in this position on match days. The cantilever stand was of course a good step forward when built, but the view and capacity has been completely ruined by television gantries, protective nets, etc, which are now permanently in place.

    The new Community Hall was an excellent move forward, and, as someone who likes a drink before the match, I particularly appreciate this improvement. I know its other activities must be hugely benefiting to the club and community, but please consider the facilities for the poor folk on the far side of the ground, who never fail to turn up.

    A: I have great sympathy with David and others who make the same points about standing on the Popular Side. Many years ago, when I first started watching Alty, that is where I stood. My first memories of being an Alty fan are of standing on the halfway line on the Pop Side, right up against the barriers, so I do appreciate where you are coming from, David, when you talk about having a favourite spot for watching the games.

    With regard to the toilets, they were built years and years ago, and we found out that the actual drains from them didn't lead into the main drain, as they should, but instead went into some sort of cesspit. In the end it became some sort of environmental issue, and really it was in the best interests of everyone concerned with the football club that we got rid of them.

    We did look into replacing them at the time, but the nearest actual main drain was in the middle of Golf Road, and when we looked at it, the cost was quite excessive. Improving facilities on that side of the ground is one of the projects we need to put on our list, though. There are so many things round the ground we would ideally like to do.

    Away fans may well say the toilet and catering facilities at their end are insufficient, and they may have a point. They could do with improving, but the interests of our supporters come first, and I do take on board the need to make improvements on the Popular Side as and when we can.

    The strategic plan for the club is well underway, and facilities on that side of the ground, including catering, should be on the list of things to do. We will see what we can do about it. We have got enough volunteers at the moment to run the various catering outlets round the ground, and I would hope more would come forward and offer their services if we were able to build more.

    Q: So if finances permitted, it would be high on the list?

    A: I think so, yes. I can fully understand why people would not be enamoured with the idea of walking round the ground for a pie or whatever, queuing up to be served and then walking all the way back again, so it would be a win-win situation, because it would be appreciated by Pop Side patrons and encourage them to buy food and drink, which, in turn, would enhance the club's takings.

    Q: The scaffolding for Alty TV has caused some consternation, but it is a very popular service. There's no easy answer, really, is there?

    A: There isn't, unfortunately, when you consider Manchester United under-18s play here and MUTV cover the games. They have all got their safety regulations, which have got to be adhered to. People ask why don't we hang the gantry from the roof, but it comes down to cost.

    The way we are operating at the moment is the most cost-effective way to do it. I do understand what people mean when they say they have stood in the same place for 20 or 30 years and don't appreciate having to move to get a better, clearer view, but sometimes a compromise has to be reached when there is no easy solution that suits everyone.

    I would say, as well, we've got a great facility there, with Radio Robins and Alty TV. Unfortunately, it has meant a few people being inconvenienced over their preferred vantage point, and I am sorry that has happened.

    Q: To be fair to Alty TV, the coverage is appreciated by people who are at the game, anyway, isn't it, not just those who can't make it?

    A: Absolutely. It's amazing, really. I sit in the main stand, and it's funny, because when I watch the highlights later, provided by a camera on the opposite side of the ground, I suddenly realise something happened because of such-and-such a tackle or pass or mistake. It's a real eye-opener and so interesting, because it's like a different dimension.

    It gives you a different perspective on the game. When I was standing on the Popular Side all those years ago, I never imagined the day would dawn when I could watch an Alty game on TV, which effectively it is. I think Mark Bennett and his team do an absolutely superb job to make it available to everyone, including exiles who are not able to get to games. That's great, because it helps spread the word.

    Q: Apart from the cost element of suspending the gantry, would the roof be strong enough to take the weight, anyway?

    A: I'm not sure about that. I would have to ask the people involved in putting the structure up. I'm not sure the actual main bar across the top would be sufficient to hang the gantry from. You would probably need some sort of structural survey done to see if it could bear the weight, and that would probably be expensive in itself.

    Q: Money is tight, and you are in agreement with everyone else that the team is the priority, but better facilities are at least being given consideration, then?

    A: Yes, you are always looking at ways of improving things. For every plus, there's always a minus, unfortunately, and when you think of how the TV coverage is a massive plus for the club, you then realise it comes at a cost to some, and I would very much like to be able to address that at some point.

    If we could minimise those minuses, or even better extinguish them altogether, I would be delighted. That is certainly the aim, provided it is practical".


    Altrincham FC Ladies' manager, Keith Edleston, writes:

    "Here is a report and picture from our Manx reporter Paul Hatton who came over for the weekend (and also attended the first-team's Tamworth game)...

    'Lady Robins secure all three points in the Cheshire Derby

    A Brogan Walsh second half strike was enough for Altrincham FC women’s team to secure maximum points against Stockport County Blues, securing a 1-0 victory in the North West Regional Division One South at Mersey Valley, thus consolidating fifth place.

    Although the visitors turned up with the bare starting XI, they did frustrate the Robins. The hosts dominated for large periods but could not convert that possession into a more comprehensive score-line.

    With the match just over a minute old, Alty had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Laura Kelly crossed from the left, picking out an unmarked Megan Wright at the far post, but she steered an easy chance wide.

    The Robins continued to force the issue, Wright and Walsh had chances off target whilst, just before the interval, Kelly had an effort cleared off the line.

    After the break, Alty kept up the pressure. Two handball appeals were turned down in the penalty area, Laura Dodds fired a free-kick straight at the goalkeeper and Kelly drove a low shot narrowly wide.

    The breakthrough arrived on 62 minutes. Dodd’s corner was aimed at the far post, Louise Edleston pushed the ball onto Walsh’s path for her to steer home from close range.

    Chances still came Alty’s way. Wright embarked on a weaving run, but drove the resulting shot straight at the keeper whilst Bliss Molyneaux lifted an effort over the crossbar following a corner but Alty could not add to their score-line.

    Last Sunday also saw Megan Rowley make her senior debut for the team, replacing Walsh as soon as she scored. Rowley has came through the junior ranks. Manager Keith Edleston is keen to promote a pathway from the junior set-up through to the seniors.

    Players' Player of the Match went to Heather Scott, Management Player went to Louise Edleston".

    Above, right: Louise Edleston brings the ball out of defence. Image courtesy of Keith Edleston. .


    Blyth Spartans report that, on Saturday, "Spartans will now play Altrincham at Croft Park in a replay of their Buildbase FA Trophy tie. Kick off is 3pm"

    Spartans also eport that they "twice came from behind to force a replay in a compelling FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round tie as they held Vanarama National League North side Altrincham to a 2-2 draw...

    Both sides went close to securing a home tie against Macclesfield Town in the second half, but the pair will have contest a replay... Blyth were forced into three changes... as captain Robert Dale, Stephen Turnbull and on-loan David Atkinson weren’t available for selection. That meant Jarrett Rivers, Matthew Wade and Andrew Cartwright returned to a Spartans' side wearing their yellow change kit for the first time this season.

    Altrincham appeared to be desperate to put their disastrous league form to one side... and came straight out of the blocks early...

    Maguire scored two goals against Alty in the 4-1 Emirates FA Cup First Round between the two sides back in 2014 and he looked to be a handful for the home side once again as he had a good shout for a penalty when he was brought down in the box two minutes later...

    Blyth’s attacking spell really warranted an equaliser and it came on 23 minutes...

    Spartans continued to push forward and another error from Deasy nearly gave them the lead with 33 minutes gone. His parry from Pattison’s shot bounced off Armstrong and looked to be going in, but Deasy was able to atone for his mistake by finally gathering the ball on the line.

    Unfortunately for the visitors, they literally handed the initiative to their opponents with six minutes of the half remaining after Michael Liddle was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Moult stepped up and smashed in his second straight down the middle of the goal, which went in off the underside of the bar.

    With time running out before the break, Blyth were able to reply instantly with a second equaliser on 42 minutes. Armstrong’s header from Rivers’ cross forced another spill from Deasy and Reid was able to burst the net with a ferocious strike on the rebound from two yards...

    With 15 minutes to go... the Robins could, and probably should, have been ahead once more. Woolston dived to tip substitute Sean Miller’s curled shot onto the crossbar, which presented Harry Cain with a simple header to retake the lead. Showing a lot less composure than his England-playing namesake though, he headed the ball straight at the keeper".


    The Daily Mirror reports that "Managerless Altrincham FC forced to ban applications based on Football Manager achievements. Several hopeful gaffers have tried to secure real-life jobs thanks to simulation success in the past, but the non-league side aren't having it

    Managerless Altrincham FC have dashed the hopes of thousands of prospective gaffers by banning applications for their vacancy [which are] based solely on Football Manager achievements.

    The Vanarama National League North side, no doubt a popular port of call for those who start the game unemployed [?], have taken the move to root out timewasters as they seek a new gaffer for the second time this season.

    Jim Harvey was sacked as first team manager on Tuesday... but the Robins are in no mood to sift through the applications of people who've never sat in a dugout before".

    ESPN adds that following its announcement on social media ...

    'Please note, CVs for the vacant manager role must not be based on FM or CM achievements. Altrincham FC (@altrinchamfc) December 6, 2016'

    You'd think that having to include caveats such as these was largely unnecessary but this is a truly bizarre world in which we live. After all, it's not like actual professional football clubs hiring new staff on the basis of their computer game wizardry is entirely unprecedented."


    Colin Peake, Media & Partnership Support Director of The National League announces that "We are pleased to announce that tickets for the VNLPF 2017 will be available at preferred terms from 10am on Monday 12th December via the standard 'Early Bird Offer'. This will allow fans to have an opportunity to buy tickets for Christmas presents or that special occasion. Note the offer will end on 28th February and general ticket sales will not be available again until the actual finalists are known. Once purchased there is no refund".

    Details of the Vanarama Big Day Out are here


    The National League review says that "It was a night of surprises in the Buildbase FA Trophy ties on Tuesday. There were four original Third Qualifying Round ties and five replays and five teams from the Vanarama National League North and South were eliminated by teams from lower down the non-League Pyramid...

    In a delayed Third Qualifying Round tie, National League North club Boston United surrendered an early two-goal lead against Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South side Witton Albion...

    Witton`s league rivals Stocksbridge Park Steels pulled off a terrific 3-2 win at Bower Fold against another Nation[al] League North outfit, Stalybridge Celtic...

    Boston`s league rivals Darlington 1883’s hopes of a good run in the Trophy were dashed by a disputed stoppage time penalty at the Marine Travel Arena against Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit Marine AFC in their replay.

    The Quakers were two-up through Liam Hardy and Nathan Cartman, and even though Marine pulled a goal back through Obi Anorou, they still seemed in control until [ex-Alty man] Danny Mitchley fired the equaliser from 25 yards... And in a frantic 6 minutes of stoppage time, Marine were awarded a penalty for a foul by Darlington defender Chris Hunter on James Foley and Mitchley buried the spot-kick...

    FC United of Manchester suffered a 5-1 home defeat to National League North rivals Nuneaton Town in an original Third Qualifying Round tie, bringing an abrupt end to a recent run of four consecutive victories.

    Ironically, the two teams met in the league just over two weeks ago, with FC running out 3-0 winners...

    Chorley ensured they weren`t victims of an upset when they edged past two-times former Trophy winners, Stafford Rangers, at Victory Park...

    The all-National League North replay between Salford City and Harrogate Town emphatically went the way of the visitors at Moor Lane".


    Tuesday, 6th December...
    • Att: 276: Altrincham 2 v 2 Blyth Spartans AFC
    • Att: 466 Chorley 1 v 0 Stafford Rangers
    • Att: 262 Eastbourne Borough 2 v 2 Leiston (Leiston won 5-3 on penalties AET)
    • Att: 736 FC United Of Manchester 1 v 5 Nuneaton Town
    • Att: 198 Royston Town 2 v 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough
    • Att: 290 Salford City 0 v 3 Harrogate Town
    • Att: 140 Stalybridge Celtic 2 v 3 Stocksbridge Park Steels
    • Att: 194 Witton Albion 4 v 2 Boston United
    • Att: 308 Marine 3 v 2 Darlington 1883


    Emirates FA Cup Third Round televised games will be:
    • Manchester United v Reading
    • Preston North End v Arsenal
    • West Ham United v Manchester City
    • Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon
    • Barrow v Rochdale

    The following Second Round replays will also be shown:

    • Peterborough v Notts Co
    • Newport County v Plymouth Argyle

    7 December 2016


    Alty fielded an unfamiliar line-up on Tuesday night. Here we see (l. to r.) Goodall, Deasy, Taylor, Cain, Lawrie, Hannigan, Richman, Hobson, Reeves, Moult, McWilliams.

    On the day they parted company with manager Jim Harvey, Altrincham had to field a much weakened side with six players out, either through injury or ineligibility, (Cyrus, Lenighan, McDonald, Morrison-Derbyshire, Patterson, Wilkinson). And they lost Tom Hannigan before half time as well...

    Match report here


    Tuesday, 6 December
    • Altrincham 2-2 Blyth Spartans
    • Chorley 1-0 Stafford Rangers
    • Eastbourne Borough 2-2 Leiston
    • FC United of Manchester 1-5 Nuneaton Town
    • Marine 3-2 Darlington 1883
    • Royston Town 2-1 Hampton & Richmond Borough
    • Salford City 0-3 Harrogate Town
    • Stalybridge Celtic 2-3 Stocksbridge Park Steels
    • Witton Albion 4-2 Boston United


    Mike Garnett's article on Blyth Spartans and their previous encounters with Altrincham appeared in Tuesday night's "Robins' Review" and is reproduced here, courtesy of the author.


    There is bad news from the Daily Mail which tells us that "Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore has damaged his cruciate ligaments and will miss the rest of the season... The 22-year-old suffered the knee injury during Saturday's 2-1 win over Leicester City after tangling with Christian Fuchs.

    Watmore was forced off on a stretcher and a scan on Monday revealed the extent of the damage, keeping him out for the remainder of the campaign. It is a blow for the England Under-21 star, who is also likely to miss next summer's European Championships...

    The collision with Fuchs left Watmore in pain and he couldn't get up from the ground. [Sunderland boss, David] Moyes admitted to Sky Sports before Monday that Watmore's injury 'Doesn't look good for him... Duncan has been a big part of the first team and it would be a big blow'".

    6 December 2016


    John Edwards, Press and Media Officer, writes...

    "Altrincham have terminated the contract of manager Jim Harvey with immediate effect, exactly three months after he was appointed successor to Neil Young.

    The decision was relayed to the experienced former Morecambe, Forest Green Rovers, Chester City, Stalybridge Celtic and FC Halifax manager by chairman Grahame Rowley today, following a board meeting to discuss the club's perilous position at the foot of the Vanarama National League North.

    Assistant-manager Matt Doughty, a firm favourite with Alty fans from his days as a fiercely committed left-back, will take the reins for tonight's FA Trophy tie against Blyth Spartans at The J.Davidson Stadium and continue in interim charge while the club carefully consider their next move.

    Explaining the decision to dispense with Harvey's services, with the team 12 points from safety at the foot of the table after only one league win all season, Rowley said 'In common with most people, we felt we had the right person with the right pedigree to take us forward when we appointed Jim as manager at the beginning of September. From coaching at international level with Northern Ireland, as number two to Sammy McIlroy, to managing in non-League, he had a reputation for getting the best out of teams and players.

    'Last season at Halifax, all seemed lost when he got the job, yet he took them to Wembley in the FA Trophy and almost pulled off the great escape in the league, so he seemed the perfect fit for turning round our fortunes.

    'Unfortunately, it hasn't happened, and something had to be done. I accept he took on a very difficult task, but the plain fact is, three months down the line, there is no sign of progress, no sign we are at least heading in the right direction.

    'Jim was very disappointed when I told him the news but, when action is needed, it has to be taken. We have been waiting for things to improve, and desperately hoping they might, but there is nothing to suggest our fortunes are about to take a turn for the better.

    'There are no green shoots of recovery, which is the least you need to persevere with things as they are and give the manager more time. It hurts to say it, but we are drifting, and, as a board, we simply can't sit by and allow that to happen.

    'This club has a great tradition, with a fighting spirit at the very heart of it, and we want to get that back. That's why the next appointment is so important. We want to make sure it is the right one, rather than a rushed one. It will be a thorough process, to try and ensure we find someone who can put that fighting spirit out on the pitch.'"

    Footnote: After taking over following the 2-2 draw against Chorley, Jim Harvey presided over 10 league matches and four cup games. One league match was won and nine were lost whilst, in cup competitions, Altrincham won three and lost one tie.


    For tonight's rearranged FA Trophy match against Blyth Spartans, Altrincham FC has reduced its admission prices, as follows. Altrincham FC supporters are reminded that their season tickets only cover league matches and that the FA does not permit them to apply to FA Cup or Trophy fixtures, for which attendance revenue is split between the two clubs and the FA.

    Admission prices to all parts of the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, WA15 8AP...

    • Adult admission: £10
    • Concessionaries: £5
    • Under-12s £2

    Mike Garnett's records reveal the previous record between Altrincham and Blyth Spartans...

    • Home P7 W5 D1 L1 F14 A7
    • Away P10 W2 D5 L3 F14 A15
    • Overall P17 W7 D6 L4 F28 A22

    Howard Watts's records list previous Altrincham matches on today's date, in Through the Years.


    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 Tuesday night's game at The J.Davidson Stadium.

    The commentators are Alex Sarwar and Ian Wilkinson and the match summariser is Dave Stringer.

    Coverage starts at 7.40pm and you can listen to Radio Robins on the internet at


    Should tonight's FA Trophy tie between Altrincham and Blyth Spartans end in a draw, the replay would be at Croft Park on Saturday (10th). +


    Altrincham FC expresses its condolences to the family of Rev. Brian Chantler, who passed away very suddenly last week, aged 82. He had been an Altrincham fan all his life, having started going to Moss Lane just after the War.

    His daughter, Liz, told the Club "I had been bringing him to home games over the last few years, and he was still coming to matches this season, although we'd had to sit down in the stand this season rather than stand in our usual spot behind the goal. It's a pity results haven't been going so well this season but at least he got to see us win a couple of games in the FA Cup! He was thrilled to have got back in touch with one of his old schoolfriends with your help through the club and, although they never managed to meet up again, they corresponded quite often".

    Liz is continuing Brian's membership of the Altrincham FC Patrons' Club in memory of her father.


    Saturday's bucket collection raised £56.90 for which the Club thanks contributors and collectors alike.


    Blyth Spartans visit Altrincham tonight (Tuesday) for the re-arranged FA Trophy tie which had to be postponed both ten days ago and last Tuesday.

    "Alun Armstrong had hoped to claim all three points before Blyth Spartans' important Evo-Stik Premier League promotion “six-pointer” against Buxton before kick-off, but he was 'happy' to settle for a point given how the game turned out.

    Spartans had dominated much of the first half, but the momentum shifted to their Derbyshire-based visitors when Damen Mullen received his marching orders six minutes before the break, after receiving his second yellow card from referee Rebecca Welch.

    That setback didn’t prevent Spartans from competing in the second half and they nearly snatched a hard-fought victory... And while Armstrong had hoped to see off Blyth’s promotion rivals prior to the start of the game, he admitted that he was glad that his side had still been able to pick up a draw in difficult circumstances.

    The 41-year-old admitted, 'Before the game, I’d have said a draw at home would be two points dropped. However, you look at how the game panned out and, with Damo getting sent off, you’ve got to be happy with a point. I was chuffed to bits with the lads and their work ethic, as everyone worked for each other. If I’m being honest, I think we deserved to win the game.

    'You wouldn’t have thought that we had ten men in that game. It would have been an unbelievable three points if we’d ended up winning, but the most important thing was not to lose the game and they did that fantastically. The lads took everything on board that I said to them at the break and they all worked hard. Although it was one of those days and we couldn’t nick it in the end, I’m still happy with a point'.

    While Armstrong picked out midfield maestro Stephen Turnbull for special praise for his performance on Saturday, he was also delighted with all of his players and their ability to record a clean sheet despite playing with ten men for 50 minutes. Armstrong added, 'I thought Twinny [Turnbull] was outstanding and it’s the best game I’ve seen him play since I arrived. Patta [Matty Pattison] tucked into midfield and did really well'...

    Mullen was shown his second yellow card for a mis-timed tackle on Alastair Taylor. However, Armstrong thought Welch should also have reduced Buxton down to ten men as well. Armstrong added, 'The biggest problem I had was that she gave out yellow cards out to our lot, but she wasn’t giving them to Buxton for the same kind of tackles. There was no difference in the tackles, but she was just speaking to them. That’s what I was trying to get across to her, but she wasn’t listening. Everyone could see that, though, it wasn’t just me. Everyone in the ground could see that she wasn’t doing the same for both sides and, if she had, then they probably would have been down to ten men as well in the second half...

    After a confidence-boosting performance saw Spartans extend their unbeaten league run to nine games, Blyth now travel down to Vanarama National League North side Altrincham on Tuesday, as they set their sights on an appearance in the Buildbase FA Trophy First Round for the first time in six years. And after being impressed with what he saw at the weekend, the Blyth boss appeared to throw down the gauntlet to his players.

    He revealed, 'That result is a massive confidence boost for the lads. As I’ve already said to them that if we can get a clean sheet with ten men, then why can’t we do it with 11? We’ll also score goals when we’re attacking with 11 men. I’m quite confident that we’ll score goals against Altrincham and, if the lads can defend like that again on Tuesday, then I’ll be more than happy.'

    The winners of the tie will host Vanarama National League side Macclesfield Town on Saturday December 10 and, while he is very much focused on Altrincham, Armstrong revealed that he would love to test his players against the side from two leagues above. Armstrong said, 'I watched Macclesfield in the FA Cup on TV on Friday night and it was a really good game. I’d love to put our lads up against them, but we have to get past Altrincham first. They’re in the league above and, yes, they may be struggling, but they’re there for a reason. It’s going to be a really tough game, but the lads are really looking forward to it.

    Hopefully, we’ll get the result we want and it’ll be nice to get Macclesfield here'".


    Whichever club wins the Alty v Blyth Spartans tie, it will host Macclesfield Town in the next round of the FA Trophy.

    Macclesfield Town manager John Askey "is delighted to see the Silkmen in the draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup, after Friday’s Second Round tie with Oxford ended in a goalless draw... Askey said, 'It’s great to see our name in the draw, and it keeps the buzz around the town for a bit longer so hopefully we can cause an upset away from home'...

    He was also thrilled with the atmosphere around the Moss Rose on Friday night, and is hopeful that the turnout for Friday’s game will continue for the replay and the rest of the season. 'We haven’t had a crowd like that for years, and tonight has been a special night for the fans. I think this year people have got behind the club more than they have done over previous years. It’s terrific, and nights like this encourage more people to come... It was a bonus to have it on the telly as I thought it was a good spectacle. It might have finished 0-0 but it was a very entertaining game”.


    According to NL PItchero, "Young midfielder Kieran Dunbar has joined Stalybridge Celtic on a month's loan from Fleetwood Town. Dunbar came through the youth ranks at Birmingham City before joining the Cod Army, where he was handed a first-team deal last year. Dunbar joins the National League North side until January 2nd 2017 and was an unused substitute in Saturday`s draw against Boston United."
    5 December 2016


    Alty TV has video highlights of the Altrincham v Tamworth game here.


    Altrincham Today recently reported Jim Harvey as saying that the FA Trophy "holds particularly happy recent memories for me as I was the manager of FC Halifax Town who won the Trophy in May, beating Grimsby Town 1-0 in front of a fantastic crowd of 46,781 at Wembley Stadium... I lost my job within 24 hours of winning a trophy at Wembley Stadium!!

    Whilst surviving in the Vanarama National League North is very much the number one priority at Altrincham this season, the FA Trophy is still important and we are very keen to progress tonight and build on the very positive performance at Alfreton 10 days ago. I’m not sure how we didn’t manage to win that game but after getting over the shock of conceding two very late goals that meant that we ended up on the wrong end of a 3-2 score line, I felt very encouraged that these players can get us out of the mess that we are in at the wrong end of the league and that’s a feeling that I haven’t had too often since joining the club in September.

    Simon Lenighan and Luis Morrison-Derbyshire are Trophy tied, having already played for Warrington Town and Greenwich Borough respectively... I believe if we stay calm, that this existing squad of players has the talent to turn this season around.

    There is £4,000 prize money available to the winners so that’s also a sizeable carrot for us to go for, as is the home draw in the next round against Macclesfield Town… I know that a lot of Alty fans would be really looking forward to that game, should we progress.

    I am sure that Blyth will see [the] game as a big one for them and they are having a good season... In Robbie Dale, Daniel Maguire and Jarrett Rivers, they have three players who are all potential matchwinners, so we know that we are in for a stern test, but also that its one that we can pass".


    Altrincham FC Reserves beat Styal 5-0 on Saturday and now lie third in the table. Their next match is on Saturday (10th) away at Rudheath Social, who play at Lostock Gralam FC.

    Altrincham Ladies won on Sunday, 1-0 at home to Stockport County Blues and now lie fifth in the league. Their next match is away at Egerton on Sunday, 11th December.

    Altrincham FC Youth lost at home to Curzon Ashton 0-4 on Sunday. They now lie eighth in the league. Next up is an Open Cup match at home to Barrow on Sunday at 1.30pm.


    Boston United confirm that they have "parted company with manager Dennis Greene by mutual consent. Greene, who assumed control of first team affairs in March 2013, oversaw three hugely successful full campaigns at the United helm, culminating in missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the first season and reaching the top five in the subsequent two years.

    The club would like to sincerely thank Dennis for his excellent service... Martyn Bunce will take interim control of the first team".


    • Curzon Ashton 3-4 AFC Wimbledon (Curzon led 3-0 till the 80th minute)
    • Eastleigh 3-3 FC Halifax Town

    4 December 2016


    Mike Ripley's image (right) shows Alty's Craig Hobson bringing the ball under control against Tamworth on Saturday.

    Match report here

    Our opponents, Tamworth report that "With Tuesday night’s exit from the FA Trophy still at the forefront of everyone’s mind, The Lambs made the trip to Moss Lane to face bottom club Altrincham who, with seven points and a goal difference of -28 had not won a home game in the league all season, and only won once away.

    Andy Morrell made three changes to the side that suffered the humiliation against Farsley, bringing Ben Fox in on loan for a month from Burton Albion and restoring Clarke and Jones to the side at the expense of Davies and Opoku (on the bench) and Smith (on loan at Rushall Olympic)...

    Briscoe picked up the ball on the edge of the box and made a superb mazy defence-splitting run before slotting home past Deasy to open the scoring and net The Lambs first ever goal at Moss Lane. (1-0, 19 mins) After a booking for Taylor for foul and abusive language on 27, the ball popped up on the edge of the box and Briscoe pounced, teeing himself up and volleying past Deasy from 12 yards to double his tally and the advantage. (2-0, 28 mins) Belshaw made a good save from Lawrie’s driven effort from 18 yards on 30 showing there was fight in the home side despite the scoreline, and when Clarke fouled on 32, Wilkinson struck the deadball but it rebounded off the wall to Lawrie who wriggled through the left of the box and struck home past Belshaw in off the right hand post. (2-1, 32 mins)

    On 51, a deep freekick onto the head of Newton looked like it would put Tamworth 3-1 up but the post denied him... Belshaw made a brave save at the feet of Miller as the home side pushed forward from the ensuing play... Tamworth defended strongly to keep the home side away from the goal, hoofing the ball the full length of the field to clear any danger... Altrincham looked for a last minute equaliser but it wasn;t to be and The Lambs made it seven without defeat in the league".


    Watched by an attendance of 573 at Croft Park, Blyth Spartans, who visit Altrincham on Tuesday, drew 0-0 with Buxton on Saturday. Blyth played for 33 minutes with ten men after Damen Mullenwas sent off after accumulating two bookings.

    The EvoStik League reports that "Blyth Spartans' manager Alun Armstrong is planning to play David Atkinson at every opportunity in the league after signing the defender on a month's loan from Carlisle United on Thursday. Armstrong has told the club's fans that he is delighted to be reunited with Atkinson at Croft Park after working with the 23-year-old during his time at Middlesbrough's academy.

    Able to play across the back four and available for selection until December 31, the arrival of the England youth international, pictured, couldn't be better timed with Spartans facing key fixtures against fellow promotion contenders over the next four weeks, starting with Saturday's game against Buxton.

    The Spartans' boss said, 'I’ve known David since he was at Middlesbrough and everyone there knew how good a player he was. He’s such a talented footballer. He was unfortunate with injuries – otherwise – I’m sure he would have went on to play for Middlesbrough’s first team, without a shadow of a doubt'".

    He is presumably ineligible for the Trophy match on Tuesday as FA Rules state "All players must have been eligible to play in the original tie in order to play in a replayed or postponed match".


    Duncan Watmore was stretchered off with a knee injury in Saturday's clash between Sunderland and Leicester City.

    The National League adds that "Stalybridge Celtic have signed former Rochdale winger Billy Hasler-Cregg. Hasler-Cregg arrives at Bower Fold from Tameside neighbours Droylsden. He had signed for the Bloods in September from Celtic's league rivals Altrincham, who he had joined in May 2016".


    • Att: 835: Altrincham 1 - 2 Tamworth
    • Att: 379: Bradford Park Avenue 1 - 3 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Att: 1996 Darlington 1883 2 - 2 Salford City
    • Att: 762 Gainsborough Trinity 1 - 2 FC United Of Manchester
    • Att: 539 Gloucester City 0 - 1 Stockport County
    • Att: 645 Harrogate Town 2 - 1 AFC Telford Utd
    • Att: 465 Nuneaton Town 4 - 1 Alfreton Town
    • Att: 414 Stalybridge Celtic 3 - 3 Boston United
    • Att: 585 Worcester City 1 - 2 AFC Fylde


    The results of the Altrincham FC Monthly Draw for November are shown in the adjacent image. If you have not already joined, please do consider joining. Details are here.


    League fixtures
    • AFC Telford Utd v Brackley Town
    • Alfreton Town v FC Halifax Town


    The Saturday review from the National League says that "AFC Fylde moved seven points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North table after a hard-fought 2-1 win at Bromsgrove against Worcester City on Saturday. Danny Rowe was once again the Coasters main man. The league`s top scorer opened the scoring after 39 minutes... And right on the cusp of half-time, Rowe doubled the visitors lead when he headed home from close range...

    Kidderminster Harriers moved into second place in the table after winning 3-1 at the Horsfall Stadium against third-bottom Bradford Park Avenue, the home side`s first league defeat in four games....

    A crowd of just under 2000 were at Heritage Park for the clash between top five side Darlington 1883 and fellow play-off hopefuls Salford City... Salford took the lead twice during the first half, with Michael Nottingham scoring after 6 minutes and Mike Phenix during time added on for injuries. Darlington's equalisers came from Mark Beck in the 16th and 53rd minutes.

    Tamworth moved above Darlington into fourth place after a 2-1 win against bottom-markers Altrincham at Moss Lane... Stockport County moved into ninth and leap-frogged hosts Gloucester City after a 1-0 verdict...

    A brace from Jon-Paul Pittman helped Harrogate Town to a first league win since September against AFC Telford United at the CNG Stadium... Gainsborough Trinity dropped to fourth-bottom after losing 2-1 at the Northolme to FC United of Manchester...

    Tommy Wright saw his first home game in charge of Nuneaton Town end in a crucial 4-1win against Alfreton Town. Joe Ironside was Boro's hero on the day with all four goals, and that after Adam Smith had given the Reds a 13th minute lead. Nuneaton's only second home win all season came courtesy of Ironside goals in the 24th minute from the spot, 63rd, 73rd and 84th minutes.

    Second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic and managerless Boston United shared a six-goal thriller at Bower Fold. Boston, who sacked boss Dennis Greene in midweek, took an early 4th minute lead through Taylor Miles... Defender Nat Brown popped up with the Pilgrims` equaliser with just 4 minutes remaining".

    The National League confirms that "Boston United have parted company with manager Dennis Greene by mutual consent. Greene, who assumed control of first-team affairs in March 2013, oversaw three hugely successful full campaigns at the United helm, culminating in missing out on the play-offs on the final day of the first season and reaching the top five in the subsequent two years".

    3 December 2016


    Altrincham, without the indisposed defenders Sam Patterson and John Cyrus, again had to ring the changes. So midfielder Simon Richman played at right back and acquitted himself well, whilst Tim Deasy returned in goal. Greg Wilkinson also had to go off before the interval, prompting a further reorganization...

    Match report here

    Right: Alan Goodall competes with Tamworth's Danny Newton, with Simon Richman in the background.


    Vanarama National League North games on Saturday 3rd December 2016. Alty are twelve points from safety.
    • Altrincham 1-2 Tamworth
    • Bradford Park Avenue 1-3 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Darlington 2-2 Salford City
    • Gainsborough Trinity 1-2 FC United of Manchester
    • Gloucester City 0-1 Stockport County
    • Harrogate Town 2-1 AFC Telford United
    • Nuneaton Town 4-1 Alfreton Town
    • Stalybridge Celtic 3-3 Boston United
    • Worcester City 1-2 AFC Fylde


    Friday 2nd December:
    • Macclesfield Town 0-0 Oxford United

    Saturday 3rd December:

    • Blackpool 1-0 Brackley Town
    • Luton Town 6-2 Solihull Moors
    • Sutton United 2-1 Cheltenham Town

    Sunday 4th December:

    • Curzon Ashton v AFC Wimbledon
    • Bristol Rovers v Barrow
    • Eastleigh v FC Halifax Town
    • Millwall v Braintree Town
    • Stourbridge v Northampton Town
    • Woking v Accrington Stanley


    Altrincham FC Ladies' manager, Keith Edleston, announces...

    "I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome two new signings to the Club, both of whom have joined us from Cheshire League leaders, Chester FC.

    First up, is Marcia Sacharewicz (on the right of the picture). Marcia is a pacy prolific striker who was the Cheshire League's leading goalscorer last season and leads the way again with twelve this season, before her transfer over to us.

    Second up is centre-half/right-back Tish Collins. Tish (on the left of the picture) is a tough ball-winning defender who always wants the ball and has the quality to bring it out of defence to start the play, she has played for Stockport County LFC and, last year, played in Runcorn's title-winning Divison 1 team.

    Welcome to the Club, girls..."


    Altrincham FC have signed centre-back Clayton McDonald (27) from Redditch United of the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division. Clayton started out at Manchester City and went on to have a Football League careeer with his clubs including Walsall, Port Vale, Grimsby Town and Tranmere Rovers. He joined Southport in September 2014 before joining Redditch in February 2015 and then had a spell at Worcester City.

    And our opponents Tamworth have also made a signing, on loan, of "Burton Albion midfield player Ben Fox on an initial one month loan...

    Ben, 18, has progressed through the Burton Albion Academy, and is highly rated by Brewers Boss Nigel Clough. Clough handed the youngster his debut against Liverpool in the EFL Cup earlier this season... He goes straight into the squad for Saturday's fixture with Altrincham.

    On Fox, Manager Andy Morrell said 'He's a central midfield player who likes to get the ball down and play. He has a lot of energy, is a good size, and needs some first team football. He has a great attitude, and will be a valuable addition to the squad for the Christmas period'".

    2 December 2016


    Altrincham take on Tamworth on Saturday (3rd) at 3pm in a Vanarama National League North match. There will be the normal coverage from Radio Robins and via this website's Matchday Updates.
    1 December 2016


    Ian Senior, of SKKits, Altrincham FC's kit supplier, has come up with some Christmas "stocking fillers", pictured above. Any Alty player's image can be incorporated in the design (right) for £10, in all sizes (junior and adult). Orders can be made via the club shop or the club offices (0161 928-1045)