an unofficial website

March, 2017

31 March 2017


Keith Edleston, manager of the Altrincham FC Ladies team writes that "Due to the Manchester Marathon going past our home ground at Mersey Valley Sports Club we have had to find an alternative venue for this coming Sunday's game against league leaders, Merseyrail Bootle.

We are grateful to Jane Morley, Stockport County LFC and Stockport Sports Village for accommodating us at such short notice. The game is a 2pm kick off on Pitch 1 (astro) and the clubhouse will be open from 12.30pm for refreshments. Why not come down and cheer the girls on towards three points?"


Altrincham travel to Salford City on Saturday. City play at Moor Lane, M7 3PZ. As previously announced it is not economic for TASC to run supporters' transport to a match so close to Altrincham. Bus service 93 (from Shudehill) and X41 and X43 (from Chorlton Street) run close to the ground.

The Ammies advise that the game is not segregated but, owing to building works at the ground, there is no on site car parking. Supporters should enter the stadium via the Nevile Road turnstiles.


As previously announced, Altrincham FC has organised a sponsored walk to our match against Salford City on 1 April.

"In short, what is involved is...

  • A sponsored walk of 11 miles from AFC to Salford City on Saturday, 1st April.
  • The duration should be approx 3.5 hours, so we will be setting off around 9.30am for a 1.30pm arrival.
  • Hot baps and refreshments will be available at AFC from 9.00am (in the Vice-Presidents' Lounge).
  • Each walker who raises £50 prior to the walk gets free entry to the match".

Please join up by e-mail or, if you need a copy of the sponsorship form to be printed for you, please ring the Club on 0161 928-1045.


The Chronicle Live reports that ex-Alty and current "Sunderland star Duncan Watmore helped saved the lives of three holidaymakers while on holiday in the Caribbean. The England under-21 international was on a holiday with girlfriend Sophie last month and [they] were cruising on a speedboat off the coast of Barbados when they were hit by a speeding catamaran.

The impact of the collision sent the 23-year-old professional footballer overboard along with his partner and three elderly passengers. However, reports suggest that Duncan managed to grab all of the passengers before coastguards were able to rescue the group. And the heroic star also used his t-shirt to stop the bleeding to a severe cut on one of the passengers' leg.

One of those involved in the incident told The Sun, 'It was scary, life or death. I’m lucky not to be coming back in a box... Duncan helped everybody to get on to the boat, he couldn’t have been nicer.'

The incident happened as Watmore enjoyed a holiday with partner Sophie in February. The Black Cats' winger is currently out injured after rupturing his ACL and will miss the rest of the season as a result. The holiday was reportedly the idea of Sunderland manager David Moyes who believed it would help the player’s recovery.

Responding to the reports on Twitter, Duncan’s father Ian, a former senior civil servant under three prime ministers including Tony Blair, wrote, 'Happened in February. Sounded horrific when he told us, but typical Duncan he wanted to downplay it.'

He told Sky Sports News HQ on Thursday, 'One had a hip replacement, one couldn't swim and the other was over 80. It was real life or death'".


The National League reports that on Wednesday "It was quite a night in the three representative matches involving players from the Vanarama National League's North and South against The Army. The games took place at Eastbourne Borough`s Priory Lane, Tamworth`s The Lamb and Harrogate Town`s CNG Stadium and produced no less than 30 goals in total – 28 of them to the sides representing the National League!

The 'tightest' encouter came at Tamworth, where the National League side won 7-2 with four goals in the second half...

Over at Harrogate, it was 4-0 at half-time with the home club`s Marcus Day bagging two along with youngster Olly Crankshaw and Tom Greaves. Crankshaw and Greaves added to their own personal tallies in the second half and Alex Bruton with two and Alex Simmons rounded off a 9-0 verdict for Simon Weaver`s side.

Down in Sussex, the National League outfit were in rampant mood, running in TWELVE goals without reply. Hemel Hempstead Town`s on-loan striker Charlie Sheringham and Eastbourne Borough`s Nat Pinney produced a master class in finishing; Sheringham scoring a double hat-trick and Pinney three".


Altrincham complete their league season next month at The Lamb from where the Tamworth Herald tells us that "Tamworth FC boss Andy Morrell says there will be no let up in his side's pursuit of a National League North play-off spot despite their hopes fading this week. A 2-1 defeat at Stockport County on Saturday has left the Lambs seven points shy of the top five with just six games to play.

They entertain Harrogate Town on Saturday and Morrell said, 'We won't be throwing in the towel... You just never know what can happen but I accept that we may have to win all six games now to stand any chance. There can be no downing tools though. Any player who has that attitude wouldn't play.'

With Ellis Deeney and Luke Jones the only players under contract for next season, Morrell says, as well as trying to maintain their diminishing play-off dream, the squad are also playing for their futures.

'There is still a lot to aim for,' he said. 'There are a lot of players who are out of contract this summer and, if they want to stay here, they need to perform well. We also have the 70-point mark to drive for. We can still achieve that and that has to be the target. If we can get to that mark, then we will see what happens with regards to the teams above us.'

Morrell has a fully fit squad to choose from... He said, 'We have deserved more than we have got recently. I thought we played well against Kidderminster on the Tuesday night and then for 70 minutes against Stockport County on Saturday. We have ended up with nothing to show for it'".

30 March 2017


The National League reports that "There was only one game in the Vanarama National League North on Tuesday night, but it was a relegation `six-pointer` at Bower Fold between second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic and an out-of-form AFC Telford United outfit who started the game just three points above the drop zone.

Celtic had just one win in their last nine games, while the Bucks had suffered five defeats from their last six. Celtic`s pitch had suffered more than most with all the wet weather and they were forced to play their last `home` game at Altrincham. But they were back on their own patch on Tuesday but the state of the pitch made decent football difficult for both sides.

However, the deadlock was broken 7 minutes into the second half when the visitors took the lead when Ben Bailey headed home a Joel Dielna cross. Then, in the 77th, recent loan signing from Stockport County, John Marsden profited from good work from Connor McCarthy to double their lead...

Telford`s Shrewsbury-loanee keeper Callum Burton, crucially saved a penalty late on after he had brought down a Celtic forward, but managed to tip Danny Pilkington's spot-kick onto the post and it was cleared away".

And STalyrbdige Celtic admitted that "Telford ran out winner by two goals, against a Celtic side that looks to have little fight left in them. There were brief spells of brightness for the home side, but in general, they appear resigned to the drop.

Both keepers were warmed up early on with tame shots from Danny Wilkins and Lee Hughes at either end, with Celtic seemingly content to try and contain the visitors. Telford were unable to break down the Celtic defence through open play, but had a range of set pieces in their locker, including the dangerous long throws from Ben Bailey reaching well into the six yard box with accuracy....

[1-0 down,] Celtic had nothing to lose... the lack of a cutting edge up front once again told... but Telford took advantage of the stretched Celtic side, McCarthy reaching the by-line keeping the ball in amid the sand and pulling the ball back to the unmarked and in space John Marsden at the edge of the box. Marsden had all the time in the world to pick his spot and fire into the bottom corner. It could have been three moments later when Danny Westwood turned on the spot inside the six yard spot and fired home, but again, the offside flag was up.

With ten minutes to go, Celtic started creating chances, but could not find the back of the net... Gianluca Havern clumsily bundled Pilkington over at the near post as Burton was about to scoop the ball gifting Celtic a penalty. Pilkington took the penalty himself, but Burton guessed correctly and pulled off a good save.

From just a week ago, when a great escape looked within reach, Celtic are now five wins off safety, the same number we have had in the previous thirty-three games and with nine games to go relegation is rapidly becoming a certainty."

At the other end of the table, Kidderminster Harriers tell us that "Harriers are pleased to announce that goalscoring midfielder Liam Truslove is the latest player to commit to the club for the 2017/18 season. The former Birmingham City youngster joined Harriers this past summer having been released by Blues, and has had a big impact on the squad.

While the tall, powerful 21-year-old has made just five starts this term, he still boasts nine goals to his name as he consistently makes a contribution stepping off the bench... Liam has signed a new contract with Harriers that keeps him here until the summer of 2018".


As previously announced, Altrincham FC has organised a sponsored walk to our match against Salford City on 1 April.

"In short, what is involved is...

  • A sponsored walk of 11 miles from AFC to Salford City on Saturday, 1st April.
  • The duration should be approx 3.5 hours, so we will be setting off around 9.30am for a 1.30pm arrival.
  • Hot baps and refreshments will be available at AFC from 9.00am (in the Vice-Presidents' Lounge).
  • Each walker who raises £50 prior to the walk gets free entry to the match".

Please join up during this week by e-mail or, if you need a copy of the sponsorship form to be printed for you, please ring the Club on 0161 928-1045.

So far the following walkers have signed up...

Mark Simpson, David Lewis, Helen Randle, Grahame Rowley, Anthony Dawson, Michael Ford, Dan Jones, Richard Impey.


Wed 29 March

  • Darlington 1883 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue
The trio of matches arranged between National League represenbtative teams and Bris=tish Army teams all ended in heavy defeats for the military.
  • At Harrogate: National League 9 British Army 0
  • At Tamworth: National League 7 British Army 2
  • At Whitehawk: National League 12 British Army 0


Sat 1 April

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

29 March 2017


Sam Heathcote (right) has been named in the final squad for a representative match tonight (Wednesday) against an Army team. As previously announced by the National League, "In a unique series of representative matches, The National League will play The British Army at three differing locations on the same evening. These will take place on Wednesday 29th March 7.45pm at Eastbourne Borough, Harrogate Town and Tamworth, each match being supported in partnership with Vanarama and S & C Slatter.

Entry is £5 for Adults (including a programme) with Seniors & Juniors FREE. Extra programmes are £2.

The squad to play at Harrogate has been announced as shown below...


An Altrincham Reserves side, which started with seven players with first-team experience, (albeit totalling only 42 league appearances this season), was held to a 1-1 draw by second-place Wythenshawe Town at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night. The night started well for the Robins as Micah Evans scored a well-taken goal in just the third minute. But former Alty youth and reserve player, Ashley Leather, equalised for Town in the 32nd minute.

Match report here.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. A. Jones, 2. C. Jones, 3. Westall, 4. Taylor, 5. McDonald, 6. Hannigan, 7. Evans, 8. Milne, 9. Owens, 10. Swift (c), 11. Cain. Subs: 12. Palma, 14. Graham, 15. Kennerley, 16. Sheridan, 17. Rowley (gk)


Altrincham FC director Bill Waterson writes, "I would like to clarify the situation over the removal of access to the Altrincham FC twitter account for Jack Jolly and Andrew Flynn during the Stalybridge Celtic game on 18th March. Jack Jolly was one of the protesters who left the ground, and the club felt that, as a precautionary measure, we should revoke his Twitter access. This decision was the correct one in the circumstances.

However, we got it wrong with Andrew - he was at work at the time, and therefore the same imperatives did not apply to him as they did for Jack. Regrettably, Andrew resigned his position in the social media team in the days after the match. As I am responsible for Comms, I contacted him on behalf of the club to acknowledge his mail and to thank him for all his efforts. I contacted him again earlier today (Tuesday) to apologise for our mistake.

Social Media is a relatively new phenomenon and best practice around management of its use is still developing. It is relatively easy therefore to make mistakes. The important thing for us is to learn from them and make sure we can maximise the benefits that these new communication channels can bring us.

Finally, I would like to thank Jack and Andrew for their sterling efforts in building a strong Social Media presence for the club and wish them both well for the future".


Tue 28 March

  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-2 AFC Telford Utd 2


From the Boston Standard we learn that "Boston United have extended their lease at the Jakemans Stadium. The Pilgrims were supposed to end their tenure at the York Street ground in January 2018 but, as the Pilgrims continue to finalise funding for their new Quadrant community stadium, they have been allowed to extend their stay at the ground they have called home since 1933.

However, the club are yet to announce just how long the lease has been extended for... Chairman David Newton said, 'As many are aware, the lease on the current Jakemans Stadium at York Street was due to expire in January 2018. I am pleased to say that a new lease has been put in place which will give us a little more time to deliver the new stadium and meet League and FA requirements...

'We remain on track to leave the club in a new stadium, and at the heart of the community in accordance with our promise that we gave the fans almost 10 years ago. However we will need your help and will let everyone know the extent of that ‘help’ as soon as we can'.

The Quadrant developments plans to deliver a football stadium, community sports facilities, 500 houses and retail units. Mr Newton explained... 'f keen interest to Boston United fans is the construction of the new Community Stadium. We are still in the process of finalising costs. Unfortunately, we have hit a period where both costs of labour and materials have risen significantly over the past two years. We still wish to build the stadium in its entirety, but worse case it will have to be phased.

'Once costs have been bottomed out, we will seek help from fans and local businesses in trying to close any shortfall in costs and we will continue to look for additional funding from external sources... The bulk of money is coming from The Quadrant development and those funds will only be generated as houses are built and land is sold. I am pleased to say that we have had considerable interest in the retail/leisure sites and a number are now going through the legal process.

'We are close to securing finance for the construction of the Community Stadium, which will allow construction to press ahead, with the finance being repaid as The Quadrant development progresses. It was always going to be a challenge to deliver a new stadium for a club that has no assets and, until relatively recently, was insolvent but we are making good progress and I am still happy that construction will start this year...

'The roundabout on the A16 is complete, as is the first section of distributor road, the stadium access road and the road leading to the first three commercial sites. Construction is planned to start on the housing in April'".


The EvoStik League reports that "The fans, players and officials of Northern Premier League Skelmersdale United are facing the real threat of extinction following the club's relegation from the top flight on Saturday.

The 135-year-old football club and Amateur Cup finalists were fearing for their existence on Monday after the owner of their home at the URETEK Stadium refused to grant a new lease or extension to their current deal.

The blow to their hopes of bouncing back next season comes two days after Saturday's 6-0 mauling at home to Buxton... saw Skem relegated...

In a statement on Monday night, officials said there was no threat to the club's immediate future while Skelmersdale United chairman Paul Griffiths vowed to fight tooth and nail for their future... A spokesman said, 'The lease does not affect the club this season and we shall carry on until the season is out. The club and the social club will continue to function normally. We have been trying for almost two years to reach an agreement to remain in business at our stadium but the owners of the site, Chequer Properties, have refused to grant an official new lease or extension.

'Without this we will be thrown out of the league and the history of this great community club may be lost forever. We would appreciate support and help from anyone to resolve this matter and keep Amateur Cup winners Skelmersdale United alive and well for the West Lancashire community. It is unthinkable that one business should decide to close the club down by their unfair actions and unwillingness to grant this lease. This closure would be tragedy for Skelmersdale United, its fans and the wider community'".

28 March 2017


Tonight (Tuesday), Altrincham FC Reserves entertain Wythenshawe Town, k.o. 7.45pm. This match will be played at the J. Davidson Stadium, Moss Lane, and entry is free of charge.

The bar will be open from half-time so you can enjoy a pint and refreshments whilst watching the second half!


John Edwards, Altrincham FC press & media Officer, writes...

"The job of Altrincham manager is up for grabs after the club invited applications to take charge of the team from the end of this season.

The decision followed a board meeting at the J.Davidson Stadium to consider the claims of current manager Matt Doughty and his assistant Robbie Lawton, who replaced the sacked Jim Harvey on a caretaker basis in December and were appointed for the rest of the season on New Year's Day.

Despite a discernible improvement in performances that led to two wins and two draws in the last five weeks, Alty remain bottom of the Vanarama National League North and on the verge of relegation to the Evo-Stik League. It was felt prudent, therefore, to test the market for a manager capable of instigating a significant and lasting revival in the club's fortunes, though Doughty and Lawton have not been discounted and will be interviewed along with other candidates in the next few weeks.

Explaining their stance and underlining their eagerness to make an early and positive start to preparations for next season, Alty's board issued a statement, saying: 'The position of Altrincham manager beyond this season was discussed by the board of directors at their monthly meeting. The matter was given careful thought and consideration, and it was noted there has been an upturn in performances and, more recently, results since Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton took charge.

'Compared to the first half of the season, there have been welcome signs of greater organisation, spirit and endeavour on the pitch. However, it was felt by the board that this in itself did not justify the automatic re-appointment of Matt and Robbie for next season and that to give us the optimum opportunity of recruiting the best possible candidate to take the club forward, the position should be advertised.

'Applications are therefore invited for the post of manager of Altrincham Football Club. We are looking for driven and ambitious candidates with a proven track record of building and sustaining a team that delivers success. This is an exciting opportunity to restore the fortunes of one of non-League football's best-known names, and the successful applicant will be given a more than competitive budget, commensurate with our objectives for next season.

'It is hoped a shortlist will be drawn up from those who apply in time for interviews to be held early next month. That shortlist will include the current incumbents. Applications, with full cv, must be received by Monday, April 3rd and can either be posted to Altrincham Football Club, Moss Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 8AP or emailed here'".


Bradford Park Avenue have posted a video of the three goals in last Saturday's match at the Horsfall Stadium. These highlights can be viewed here.


Mon 27 March
  • Curzon Ashton 1-2 FC United of Manchester

27 March 2017


On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies played a goalless draw at home to Chorltonians and they now lie sixth in the table

Next Sunday (2/04/17) they host league leaders Merseyrail Bootle at Mersey Valley.


Altrincham FC Youth lost 1-2 in a home match against AFC Fylde, which was played at Flixton FC on Sunday.

Their next fixtures are...

  • 5/4/17 away to Curzon Ashton who are top of the league
  • 9/4/17 away to Chorley who are bottom of the league


Mark Bennett's Alty TV has match highlights from the match with Nuneaton Town last Tuesday, here.


Curzon Ashton "can regretfully confirm that Ryan Hall and Matty Warburton have been pulled out of the Vanarama representative squad to face an Army XI this week.

Ryan and Matty were selected to represent the National League North in a fixture at Harrogate Town on Wednesday evening.

Following the rescheduling of the game against FC United, which now takes place on Monday night, manager John Flanagan has made the decision to pull them out of the team.

Ahead of the final run-in before the end of the season, Flanagan does not want the pair playing Saturday-Monday-Wednesday-Saturday...

We also thank Simon Weaver, the manager of the team, for his understanding with the decision that we have made".


The Telegraph & Argus reports how Saturday's "Crucial win gives Bradford Park Avenue a bit of breathing space in survival battle

Park Avenue fell over the line against ten-man basement outfit Altrincham as they toiled to their latest win... They needed a tap-in from experienced defender Matt Hill ten minutes from time to snatch all three points, but the only detail that counts is that it was Avenue’s 11th league win of the season.

Mark Bower’s men now have a six-point cushion over the clubs in the drop zone with just seven games remaining.

Bower said, 'That was a big win, a massive three points... We made it more difficult for ourselves than we needed to but we got the win. They went down to ten men early in the second half but it’s always hard to play against ten.

'It’s always tough playing a side bottom of the league because they are battling for anything they get, but I thought that we played well and created chances but not enough to make it a comfortable win.

'We took the lead with a wonderful goal started by Jake Hibbs. It was a great break by him and a superb through ball into Oli Johnson’s path'...

It was Hibbs's last game of his loan spell before returning to FC Halifax Town...

With just a little over quarter of an hour on the clock, Avenue looked set to romp to a big win as the Robins’ main weapon appeared to be the long ball.

The only player causing Avenue any problems at all was Elliot Newby, another player making his final appearance on loan.

He produced a sublime piece of skill just before the half-hour as he chest trapped a raking long ball from Sam Patterson and stepped inside before sending a low drive into the corner of Jon Worsnop’s net from the edge of the area.

Unfortunately it was Newby who saw red just two minutes into the second half for an alleged elbow on Avenue winger Wayne Brooksby. Alti [sic] began to run the clock down from that minute on.

Their time-wasting tactics frustrated the home side and almost paid off, but ten minutes from time Johnson sent in a header that saw Robins’ former Avenue keeper Tim Deasy clatter into his post as he tried to claw it out.

The ball came back off the woodwork and Hill side-footed in on the half-volley from three yards".


Alty travel to Moor Lane on Saturday. NL Pitchero reports on Salford's game at Boston last Saturday.

"The imposing tower of St.Botolph’s church has been inspiring visitors to Boston for centuries but it didn’t do the trick for Salford City today as they slumped to a disappointing defeat. Against a side who hadn’t won a Saturday home league game all season. The Ammies underperformed during a scrappy first half and Brad Barnes was dismissed for a 2nd bookable offence just before the interval...

Despite dominating the second half they just couldn’t find a way past home keeper Ross Durrant. There were changes from the side that rescued a late point on Tuesday evening with injured Jordan Hulme and unavailable George Green replaced by David Norris and Richie Allen. Nick Haughton dropped down to the bench as Josh Hine was restored to the starting line-up...

For another healthy turnout of away support the breakthrough went the way of the Pilgrims.. [It was] the 3rd time in 8 days that Salford had conceded a game’s first goal...

With a touch more than 25 minutes left The Ammies sent on Barrow loanee Harry Panayiotou and Craig King, with Hine and Norris giving way...

Salford were going for it, committing men forward... It seemed like Salford just needed a spot of luck to grab the equaliser they now deserved, but a body blow came along in the 73rd minute. It was simple stuff, from a set piece as Chapman dropped in a corner from the right and Brown got up beyond the penalty spot to power in a downwards header...

[It was] a poor reward for a determined second half performance...

There’s no other way of saying it – this was a very disappointing afternoon for Salford City...

Bright spots? Debutant Panayiotou looked useful and his mobility certainly offers attacking options... Scott Burton put in an immense performance... patrolling a midfield where Salford were outnumbered...

On paper the visit of Altrincham to Moor Lane next Saturday seems like a very decent opportunity to get a win on the board but the Robins will be determined to cause an upset. Focus and unity will be the key…

SALFORD CITY: 1) Jay Lynch 2) Michael Nottingham 3) Patrick Brough 4) Scott Burton 5) Simon Grand (c) 6) Billy Priestley 7) Josh Hine 8) Brad Barnes 9) Mike Phenix 10) David Norris 11) Richie Allen 12) Steve Howson 14) Sam Walker 15) Craig King (for NORRIS, 64th min) 16) Nick Haughton (for ALLEN, 56th min) 17) Harry PANAYITOU (for HINE, 64th min)...

Attendance: 1,248 (67 Salford City)

26 March 2017


In a rearranged game, Altrincham FC Youth are playing AFC Fylde at Flixton FC today (Sunday) at noon.


TASC announces... "Congratulations to the following winners, whose names were drawn in the TASC Goal Rush Draw held before Tuesday night's home match v Nuneaton Town.
  • 10 Goals - No 36 Theo Langeveld
  • 20 Goals - No 72 John Laidlar
  • 30 Goals - No 7 Paul Salt
  • 40 Goals - No 47 Dan Jones
  • 50 Goals - No 82 Stan Riley

Each prize winner can choose one of three prizes and have been contacted direct".


The outcome of this match was decided by one of the assistant referees who, barely two minutes into the second half, prevailed on referee Khatib to show Alty loanee Elliot Newby a red card for an alleged elbowing offence which few, if any, people in the ground had seen.

Newby, who had equalised for the visitors with a finely taken goal, was distraught at his dismissal. In his fifteen previous games for the Club he had not previously even seen a yellow card. And Alty, who started the game with nine players unavailable through injury, then lost Kyle Brownhill to an injury picked up in the first half.

Right: Elliot Newby is congratulated on his goal.

Alty had fallen behind, after 16 minutes, and, once more, it was a goal conceded to a counter-attack. Heathcote had just launched an excellent long, diagonal freekick to Newby, deep in the opposition half, only for BPA to gain possession and advance unhindered through the central midfield. Johnson was then put clear and he beat the exposed Deasy with a low shot.

The equalizer came in the 28th minute when another fine Heathcote freekick from his own half was excellently controlled by Newby. The Barrow loanee brought the ball under control before firing a low shot past Worsnop.

BPA got the winner ten minutes from time when a long-range header by Sharp beat Deasy and came back off the top of the upright and fell for Hill to put into the net.

Match report here.


It has been confirmed that Elliot Newby is returning to Barrow as his loan period at Alrincham expires.

Altrincham FC would like to thank Elliot for his excellent performances on behalf of the Club and to wish him well in his future career. He netted five goals in 14(+2) appearances during his loan spell.


Bradford Park Avenue "made it two wins in a row with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Altrincham...

Just after the restart, Newby was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident, and eventually Matt Hill scored the winner with 10 minutes to play, knocking the ball home after a Tim Deasy save fell into his path... Bradford [took] the lead on 16 minutes, after some excellent play by Hibbs. The on-loan full back won the ball back on the edge of his own box and went on a great run through the heart of the pitch, before slotting a great pass through to Johnson who finished into the bottom corner when one-on-one...

The visitors drew level thanks to a well-taken goal from Newby. Ex-Avenue player Sam Patterson fired a long ball across the pitch which was superbly controlled by Newby, cutting inside before he curled a brilliant finish into the bottom corner from 18 yards. Bradford were shook [sic], but should have gone back in front when Johnson nicked past Andy McWilliams to get into the area, but with time and space he fired wildly over the bar..

Just after half time came the huge talking point of the match as goalscorer Newby was shown a straight red card. He and Brooksby were chasing a ball in the corner and the Newby appeared to swing an elbow into the face of the Bradford winger, the incident was missed by referee Billy Khatib but, after a conversation with the linesman, a straight red card was produced...

The hosts retook the lead though with 10 minutes to play, as substitute Chris Sharp sent a brilliant looping header towards the top corner, Deasy managed to tip the ball onto the post, but left back Hill followed in and knocked the ball into the unguarded goal. There was almost late drama as Altrincham were allowed time to take a corner six minutes in to the [minimum of] four minutes of added time, James Knowles having to head off the line from Sam Patterson’s looping effort. But ultimately a dominant performance earned Mark Bower’s side an important three points".


  • Att: 1242 Boston United 2 v 0 Salford City
  • Att: 367 Brackley Town 2 v 1 AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 516 Bradford Park Avenue 2 v 1
  • Att: 1146 Chorley 0 v 3 Curzon Ashton
  • Att: 3149 FC United Of Manchester 0 v 3 FC Halifax Town
  • Att: 744 Gainsborough Trinity 3 v 3 Darlington 1883
  • Att: 435 Gloucester City 4 v 0 Alfreton Town
  • Att: 2012 Kidderminster Harriers 1 v 0 Harrogate Town
  • Att: 480 Nuneaton Town 4 v 1 AFC Fylde
  • Att: 268 at Altrincham FC, Stalybridge Celtic 0 v 1 Worcester City
  • Att: 3349 Stockport County 2 v 1 Tamworth


Alty travel to Salford City next Saturday. Boston United report that the Pilgrims "ended their long wait for a Saturday home victory after claiming a 2-0 win over promotion-chasing Salford City... Their cause was aided by Brad Barnes's red card a minute before half-time, but the vibrant hosts turned in an excellent performance regardless to deny their high-flying visitors."

And the Boston Standard adds that "It was April 23 last year when the Pilgrims last managed [a home league win] but 11 months and 13 matches later those home supporters could finally pour out of the Jakemans Stadium knowing three points were finally in the bag... The win moved Boston 11 points clear of the drop zone...

There were no punches pulled in the opening stages, Ross Durrant called upon to make vital saves to deny former Pilgrim David Norris and Mike Phenix as the promotion-chasers looked for an early breakthrough... Boston were in front at home on a Saturday for the first time since April 9 last year, when they recorded a 3-0 win against a Bradford Park Avenue side forced to field keeper Liam Dickinson in goal.

The goal took took the sting out of the game, but Salford went close to equalising... A minute before the interval, Salford’s hopes of victory took another setback as Brad Barnes was sent off for his second booking in as many minutes. After picking up a first yellow card his second arrived for an outstretched arm which sent Vince to the floor.

The second half began with the Ammies on the front foot... Boston finally got that cushion of a second goal in the 73rd minute as Brown met yet another inviting corner from Adam Chapman, powering his header into the back of the net... Salford threw caution to the wind and created a flurry of late chances as they looked for a way back...

SALFORD: Lynch, Nottingham, Brough, Burton, Grand, Priestley, Hine (Panayiotou 64), Barnes, Phenix, Norris (King 64), Allen (Haughton 56); Subs (not used): Howson, Walker".


The Vanarama National League North reports that "leaders AFC Fylde suffered a first defeat in seven games on Saturday, an although second-placed Kidderminster Harriers won, the Coasters still hold a very healthy six-point lead at the top of the table.

The leaders found inconsistent Nuneaton Town in their best form as Tommy Wright`s side ran out unexpectedly comfortable 4-1 winners at Liberty Way. The game was all-but won in the opening half as Boro led through goals from Billy Daniels after 27 minutes, Kelvin Langmead on 40 minutes and Ashley Chambers a minute before the whistle. The Coasters could only manage a Bohan Dixon response on 66 minutes, with Coventry City loanee Devon Kelly-Evans adding the hosts` fourth in stoppage time.

Andre Brown’s 88th minute winner saw Kidderminster to all three points at Aggborough against Harrogate Town. Harrogate looked to be on their way to a seventh away game unbeaten, only for Brown to loop a finish over Peter Crook and in with just 2 minutes left to play.

The race for the play-off places is still extremely tight. FC Halifax Town are now third, level on points with Salford City, who suffered a 2-0 defeat at Boston United. The Shaymen won 3-0 at Broadhurst Park in front of a crowd of 3,149 against FC United of Manchester. New signing Dion Charles gave the visitors a 10th minute lead that Jordan Sinnott doubled after 42 minutes. And a third from Liam King a minute before half-time gave FC United a mountain they were unable to climb in the second half.

Amazingly, Boston United won their first Saturday game at the Jakemans' Stadium since April last year when beating Salford 2-0!...

Stockport County leapt into fifth spot after a defeat for Chorley and a draw for Darlington 1883. Stockport came from behind to beat another top five hopeful Tamworth by the odd goal in three at Edgeley Park in front of a crowd of 3,349...

Darlington had to make a late comeback to earn a point at the Northolme against relegation-threatened Gainsborough Trinity. It was the Quakers who took a 12th minute lead through Mark Beck. But the hosts led 3-1 with goals from Matt Wilson after 33 minutes, Ashley Worsfold a minute later and then Chib Chilaka 6 minutes into the second half. David Syers reduced the deficit to just one in the 76th minute, but it took a second from the same player 7 minutes into stoppage time to rescue a point for north east outfit.

Chorley are suffering a dip in form at just the wrong time as a disappointing 3-0 Victory Park defeat to mid-table Curzon Ashton was the Magpies third game without a win. In front of 1,146, Jamie Stott gave the Tamesiders an early 9th minute lead that Niall Cummins doubled 5 minutes later. And The Nash found themselves three-up with only 33 minutes gone on the clock with a second for Cummins. The Magpies tried hard to get back into the game without managing to trouble the scorers.

Brackley Town`s outside chances of making the top five were boosted by results above them and their 2-1 win over relegation-threatened AFC Telford United at St James`s Park. The Bucks, who have now lost their last four league games, were caught out by a two-goal burst just before the interval...

Gloucester City are also still just about in with an outside shout after a comfortable 4-0 win against Alfreton Town at Whaddon Road. It was a game to remember for Zack Kotwica as he struck a hat-trick for City...

Bradford Park Avenue moved six points clear of the drop zone after virtually sealing Altrincham`s fate in a 2-1 win at the Horsfall Stadium. Defeat means the Robins are sixteen points behind current fourth-bottom side Worcester City with only eighteen points left to fight for...

Worcester’s eighteen-match winless streak came to an end as they claimed a valuable 1-0 win against Stalybridge Celtic in a game played at Altrincham's Moss Lane due to problems with Celtic's Bower Fold pitch. Jordan Murphy scored the crucial goal 3 minutes into the second half".

25 March 2017


Sat 25 March
  • Boston United 2-0 Salford City
  • Brackley Town 2-1 AFC Telford Utd
  • Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 Altrincham
  • Chorley 0-3 Curzon Ashton
  • FC United of Manchester 0-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Gainsborough Trinity 3-3 Darlington 1883
  • Gloucester City 4-0 Alfreton Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-0 Harrogate Town
  • Nuneaton Town 4-1 AFC Fylde
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-1 Worcester City (at Altrincham FC)
  • Stockport County 0-3 Tamworth


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.

Coverage starts at 2.55pm and you can listen to Radio Robins here.


"We promised at the strategic review that we would make sure supporters are better informed of major developments. Therefore, the board of Altrincham Football Club have issued the following news release:

'The position of Altrincham manager beyond this season was discussed by the board of directors at their monthly meeting, held earlier this week. The matter was given careful thought and consideration, and it was noted there has been an upturn in performances and, more recently, results since Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton took charge in December.

Compared to the first half of the season, there have been welcome signs of greater organisation, spirit and endeavour on the pitch. However, it was felt by the board that this in itself did not justify the automatic re-appointment of Matt and Robbie for next season and that, to give us the optimum opportunity of recruiting the best possible candidate to take the club forward, the position should be advertised.

We will, therefore, be seeking external candidates to apply for the job, and we hope to draw up a shortlist from those who apply in time for interviews to be held early next month. That shortlist will include the current incumbents. Further details of this process will be released, once they have been finalised".


Today's opponents, Bradford Park Avenue "have signed versatile Jamie Spencer on loan from Huddersfield Town.

The central midfielder, who is equally comfortable in defence, joins Mark Bower’s Avenue until the end of the season.

The loan deal for the 19-year-old was completed yesterday, on deadline day for player registrations this season.

Spencer was captain of Huddersfield’s under-18 side last season, earning his first professional contract, lining up for the under-23s this term.

He joins Avenue not in unfamiliar surroundings, with his mother Jayne the club’s Community Development Manager.

The tough tackler is available to make his debut in Bradford’s home match with Altrincham on Saturday (March 25).

Meanwhile, Tom Davie has made his switch to Gainsborough Trinity permanent.

Davie had been on loan at Trinity until the penultimate game of the season, but he now joins them permanently".


As previously announced the Stalybridge Celtic v Worcester City match will be played at the J Davidson Stadium today (Saturday) at 3pm. NL Pitchero explained that "Stalybridge Celtic have moved tomorrow’s fixture against Worcester City to Moss Lane. This is due to the pitch at their own stadium, Bower Fold being unavailable ahead of the relegation six-pointer.

Moss Lane, home of Altrincham FC, will play host to tomorrow’s fixture with supporters paying normal Stalybridge Celtic admission fees of £12 for Adults and £7 for Concessions.

Fans wanting to attend the match can get a coach from Bower Fold to the game tomorrow which the club are putting on for free thanks to funding from the Golden Goal. It will depart from the ground at 1:30 pm...

The club’s General manager Michael Beech explains the reason behind the move. He said, 'We’ve moved the game to Altrincham because the whole club firmly believes we have a chance of staying in the National League North.

'To have any chance of achieving that, we have to play on a Saturday instead of calling another game off at Bower Fold and rearranging it for a Thursday night in April, due to playing on all available Tuesdays now.

'We’ve had some shocking weather since November. It’s felt like every time I look out of the window at Bower Fold it’s raining. That’s played a big part in calling our games off.'

While the club have seen some games being called off, Oldham Rugby League Football Club side has played its matches at Bower Fold. Beech believes their matches are important to Stalybridge Celtic.

He said, 'Of course rugby has an effect on the pitch. Any activity does. We’re not a rich club, though. We cannot afford to turn away valuable income, which would be remiss of the club to do so'.

Beech went onto say that over the close season the club will be carrying out extensive remedial work on the playing surface."


Next Saturday, Altrincham travel to Moor Lane and the NW Evening Mail reports from Barrow that "Fringe forward Harry Panayiotou has joined Salford City on loan for the remainder of the season.

The 22-year-old St Kitts and Nevis international has been unable to break into the Barrow AFC first team since joining on a two-year deal in September.

Panayiotou has played just 17 minutes in the National League... Added to that are two appearances from the bench in the FA Trophy against Harrogate Town and Matlock Town and a single start, in the 3-1 Lancashire Senior Cup defeat to Rochdale last month.

The former Leicester City youngster joins a Salford side... with former AFC defender Simon Grand also part of the squad."

The Vanarama National League tells us that "Boston United have completed the signing of highly-rated utility player Jack Broadhead from Mickleover Sports on a contract until the summer of 2018. Meanwhile, midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick has left Boston by mutual consent after terminating his non-contract registration with the Pilgrims".

And "Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver added Adam Porritt to his squad ahead of the deadline to go with his earlier signing, James King on loan from Bradford City"

In the North-East, Darlington Football Club "have allowed keeper Pete Jameson to go out on loan for the rest of the season to Northern League club South Shields... who have reached the finals of the FA Vase, Northern League Cup and Durham Challenge Cup, and are second in the league."

24 March 2017


Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger that "Matt Doughty has launched a bold bid to hang on to Elliot Newby (right) and turn his highly-successful loan spell into a permanent transfer.

Newby is due back at Barrow next Friday after scoring four goals in his last six Altrincham appearances and impressing with his pace and direct approach in a three-month stay.

But, after being encouraged by his response in talks over his future, Doughty is seeking permission from Barrow boss Paul Cox to make the livewire winger a fully-fledged Alty player.

'I'll hopefully find out one way or the other in the next 24 hours, but I want to keep Elliot 100 per cent, and I'm doing everything I can to make it happen,' said the Alty manager. 'I have already spoken to Elliot about it, and he won't take any persuading. He has loved it here. I've given him the freedom to do what he wants in the final third, and he has been scoring goals and playing well.

'It won't be a further loan, if I have my way. We'll take his contract over, and he will become an Altrincham player but I need their manager to pick up his phone first! He's been blanking me, not picking up or answering my texts but I will get through to him, because I need to know what his plans are for Elliot.

'If he's not going to play him, I hope he'll let us keep him, because he has been a positive influence from day one and would be a real asset for us.'

Alty's injury problems continued to mount in Tuesday night's 3-1 home defeat to Nuneaton Town, with Sam Heathcote stretchered off, though keeper Stuart Tomlinson (groin) and striker Micah Evans (tonsillitis) should be available again at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday.

'Sam took a whack on the leg and can't feel his calf,' said Doughty. 'As things stand, he doesn't seem to have much chance for Saturday. That's not how we've been the last seven or eight games, the way we defended tonight, but it's a blip we'll get over.'"


From Tuesday's Robins' Review, the recent "Edlines" column by chairman Grahame Rowley is reproduced below...

"In welcoming Nuneaton Town to The J.Davidson Stadium for tonight's Vanarama National League North fixture, I would like to send a message to the 29 supporters who left the ground after 15 minutes against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday in protest against my chairmanship of this football club.

Firstly, I would like to reiterate, as stated last week, that I fully respect your right to take this course of action, but more importantly I want to take a positive step towards restoring harmony between us and ending the discord that so clearly exists.

Let me make it clear I fully intend continuing as chairman, with the full support of my fellow-directors, but let me also stress I want to do something about this sense of disenchantment that has taken root. I know grievances have been aired in various guises, but I want to hear them in person to see if we can find some common ground, settle any differences and move forward in unison.

As a supporter of this club, first and foremost, that is my dearest wish, so I am issuing an invitation here and now to members of the protest group to sit round a table with myself and perhaps some other board members, so we can listen to the issues you have, discuss them openly and honestly and do our utmost to resolve them.

Conflict can never be good for any business, football clubs included, and the last thing I want, as a fellow-Altrincham supporter, is for it to continue here any longer. Let's get together and sort things out. Someone get in touch, and we'll arrange it.

As a board, we are working extremely hard to turn around the predicament that we have found ourselves in, and there are signs at last that a recovery may finally be starting to take shape, given the way the players have responded to the promptings of Matt and Robbie in recent weeks.

Mistakes have been made - I'll hold my hands up to that and apologise for them - but the most important thing is to look to the future, and, with this in mind, we need the backing of every supporter if we are to attain our aims. I implore the disenchanted fans to put aside their grievances, continue to support the team which you do so fantastically well and let us achieve harmony throughout the club - it'll be a lot better place for everyone concerned. With that in mind, I look forward to hearing from you".


The Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Bradford Park Avenue’s National League North survival bid was stalled in midweek following the late call off of their clash with promotion-chasing Darlington 1883 due to a waterlogged pitch.

Now Mark Bower’s men face a totally different test as they host bottom team Altrincham. Avenue had endured three league defeats on the spin before last weekend’s 3-1 away win at fellow strugglers AFC Telford United, where Wayne Brooksby netted a hat-trick.

Saturday’s match kicks off a run of important games which sees them tackling Alfreton Town and FC United of Manchester, two teams who are both within reach in the table... Following last Saturday’s return to winning ways... Avenue boss Bower said... 'It’s vital for the club to stay in the National League set up and then look towards next season'.

Bower has transformed Avenue’s prospects of achieving that short term goal since his arrival and his side have double the points total of their visitors who have played one game more at this stage. Altrincham are 13 points below the current safety line but have beaten both Boston United and Worcester City, clubs either side of Avenue in the table, in their last six games.

The visitors have two former Avenue men in their ranks, keeper Tim Deasy and striker Damian Reeves".


The Vanarama National League confirms that the postponed league match, Stalybridge Celtic v Worcester City, has been rescheduled for 25th March, kick-off 3pm and "is now taking place at Altrincham FC."


The National League has announced that there will be a one-minute silence at all matches played on Saturday to honour those killed and injured in this week's terrorist attack at Westminster.

The National League tells us that "FC Halifax Town have signed midfielder Joel Logan on loan from Guiseley AFC until the end of the season. Logan came through the youth ranks at Rochdale and has had loan spells at Stalybridge Celtic, Southport and Wrexham...

Meanwhile, Town youngster Isaac Baldwin has joined Spennymoor Town on loan until the end of the season."

At AFC Telford United, "It has been a busy Transfer Deadline for AFC Telford United with the Bucks making four additions to the squad. The club have completed the signing of Daniel Westwood from Wolverhampton Sporting CFC. The 25-year-old plays in the West Midlands Regional League Premier Division for Wolverhampton Sporting but has an impressive goal scoring record having scored over 100 goals during his 18-month stint with the club...

The Bucks have also completed the loan signing of 24-year-old forward John Marsden from Stockport County until the end of the season. John started his career with Wrexham before joining Scottish giants Celtic at the age of 16, but he was unlucky with injuries in Glasgow, which hampered his progress at that time. Marsden enjoyed spells at Stoke City, Shrewsbury Town, and Southport before joining Macclesfield in 2015. During the 2015/16 season, John scored 11 goals in just 22 appearances, despite only arriving at Stockport County midway through the campaign from Colwyn Bay.

Joe Fitpatrick has rejoined the club following his release from Boston United.

The club have also agreed the loan extension of Callum Burton from Shrewsbury Town till the end of the season. Marsden, Westwood, Fitpatrick and Burton will all join the squad for training this evening".

More on this comes from Stockport County which confirms that "Striker John Marsden has today joined AFC Telford on loan for one month" and adds that "Also leaving on loan for a month is Ryan Ellison who is taking the opportunity to get game time at Trafford FC".

According to Kidderminster Harriers, "Boss John Eustace has added two new versatile faces to his squad on what has been a busy day of activity at Aggborough Stadium. A deadline on all new registrations for clubs outside the standard transfer window passed at 5pm toda...

Coming into Aggborough is Emmanuel Sonupe, a 21-year-old winger who joins us on loan for the rest of the season from Northampton Town. He’s joined at the club by another new face in versatile defender, Josh Webb. Josh is also 21 and joins us having parted company with Kilmarnock...

Meanwhile, leaving Harriers on loan are Tom Palmer and [ex-Alty loanee] Wayne Thomas.

Teenage goalkeeper Tom joins Stourport Swifts on loan until the end of the season as he looks to pick up some first-team experience, while Thomas is linking up with Stratford Town for some game time. Thomas will continue working with our U19s side and Academy set-up while adding some more experience to the Town side, where other Harriers players George Forsyth and James Hancocks are also on loan. Additionally, midfielder Ben Clarke is to remain at Halesowen Town until the end of the season".

23 March 2017


With the tagline "A Fiver Off" Bradford Park Avenue is running a promotional offer for this Saturday's game against Altrincham. So, admission prices will be just £6 for adults, £3 for over-60s and £1 for under-18s and for students (on production of ID).

Timings and fares for TASC supporters' travel to Bradford trip are on the Away Travel page. Please book by ringing the club on (0161) 928-1045 during normal office hours.


Above: As ever Simon Richman battled for everything on Tuesday night. Here he is seen by the camera of Michael Ripley.

Nuneaton Town report that they "returned to winning ways on Tuesday evening with a 3-1 success at Altrincham.

'We were all disappointed about our second half display in the previous game at Curzon Ashton,' said manager, Tommy Wright. 'The beauty of football is that you get an opportunity to put things right and I asked the lads for a response at Altrincham. As in the previous game, we started really brightly and went in at the break deservedly two goals to the good following some pleasing play.

'Again we started slowly after the restart and conceded an early goal to make it nervy, but we rolled our sleeves up and worked hard to get back into it and grab a crucial third goal.

'It was a deserved win in the end. There were plenty of positives to come out of the game, particularly the performance of Billy Daniels, who has been outstanding since his return to the team'".


Vanarama National League North.
  • Darlington 1883 P=P Bradford Park Avenue (waterlogged pitch).


According to NL Pitchero, "Relegation battlers Stalybridge Celtic have signed former Southport player-manager Andy Bishop. The former England C international striker started his career in the youth team at Walsall, taking loan spells with Kidderminster Harriers, Rochdale and Yeovil Town.

He was released by Walsall in 2004 and joined York City ... before signing for Bury... Following this he enjoyed a successful spell at Wrexham and was player-manager of Southport before losing his post and joining Hyde in September 2016. Stalybridge have also signed striker or midfielder in Liam Tongue on dual terms with Cheadle Town... He began his playing days with Manchester League club Stockport Georgians before joining Cheadle for the first time.

He was snapped up by Mossley AFC in March 2016 but re-joined Cheadle last summer and has scored 7 goals this season to date."

In its midweek review, the Vanarama National League North reports that "AFC Fylde were held to a draw at Mill Farm on Tuesday night to give fresh hope to the chasing pack.

In front of an excellent crowd of 2,489, including a good number from Stockport County, an end-to-end encounter surprisingly finished goalless to leave the Coasters nine points in front of second-placed Kidderminster Harriers, who won a thriller at Tamworth...

It was an amazing game at The Lamb where the hosts... raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Dan Newton after 25 minutes and Reece Styche 7 minutes later... But new signing from Nuneaton Town, Joe Ironside, gave Harriers a lifeline seconds before the half-time whistle.

Just past the hour-mark, Tyrone Williams pulled the visitors back on level terms and with 15 minutes left, Ironside scored his second to give Harriers a 3-2 lead.But in the 87th minute, Ellis Deeney grabbed what looked like being a valuable point for the Lambs. However, Harriers went in search of a winner and found [one] as a James McQuilkin delivery was powered home by the skipper Keith Lowe in the second minute of stoppage time.

An equaliser in the 4th minute of time added on was probably more than third-placed Salford City deserved following an undistinguished performance against the team immediately below them, Chorley, but Michael Nottingham’s dramatic leveller might just turn out to be one of the key goals of the season...

FC Halifax Town moved into the top five after a 2-1 win at The Shay against third-bottom Gainsborough Trinity. However, the strugglers made it tough for the Shaymen and took a 21st minute lead through Jordan Thewlis. And they held that lead until 8 minutes into the second half when the home side`s four-and-a-half-hour wait for a home goal finally came to an end and ironically it was an own goal attributed to Trinity debutant Chris Salt. Then 9 minutes from time, Adam Morgan’s late strike means the Shaymen retain their place in the play-offs.

An early 2nd minute goal from Lee Ndlovu and a 67th minute winner from Matthew Barnes-Homer were enough to give Brackley Town the three points at the Victoria Ground against fourth-bottom Worcester City....

Boston United left Alfreton Town empty-handed on after failing to convert their supremacy into goals at the Impact Arena. The Pilgrims went down to Liam Hearn's 41st minute header after seeing numerous chances go begging".

Before the match was postponed, the National League reported that "Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett will make his debut for promotion-chasers Darlington 1883 after joining from Hartlepool United.

The experienced keeper left Pools to take up a role coaching in Middlesbrough’s academy, but the 31-year-old is to continue playing for the Quakers... Bartlett, who has been on the Pools bench in recent weeks having lost his place to Joe Fryer, has racked up a career total of 343 games with the likes of Blyth Spartans, Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford United and was with home-town club Gateshead for three years before joining Hartlepool in 2015, making twenty-nine appearances for the League Two outfit.

Bartlett will become the fifth goalkeeper Darlington have used this season."

And, the National League confirms that "Tomorrow [Thursday] afternoon on 5'clock the door shuts on ALL player registrations".


"Workington AFC has retained its B Grading after completing work recommended following the latest ground inspection. Reds had to have the work completed by 31st March to retain B status which is the requirement for Level 2.

The work carried out included:

  • Extra seating in the Directors’ and press box area
  • Several areas of the perimeter fence needed infill replacement
  • Removal of tin sheeting on one of the Town End entrances
  • New path from the Town End turnstiles to the terraces
  • Old floodlight bases removed
  • Additional exit signs installed in the Town End area of the ground
  • To ensure the Derwent End toilets were functional after recent vandalism.
News from our next opponents appeared before their Tuesday game at Darlington was postponed...

Bradford Park Avenue states that "manager Mark Bower says he wanted a reaction from his side after last week’s disappointing defeat at Stalybridge.

Bower certainly got that, as a Wayne Brooksby hat-trick led Bradford to a 3-1 victory away at fellow strugglers AFC Telford United. The win opened up a four point gap between Bradford and the bottom three...

Bower said, 'Prior to Saturday, we’d been disappointed with the last three results... We’ve got to just keep chipping away, making that gap between us and the bottom three bigger. The gap is the biggest it has been all season, we’re progressing and we’ve got to keep that going...

'I don’t think anyone expected us to play like we did at Stalybridge but these things can happen... It’s how you bounce back and the lads performed brilliantly on Saturday...

'It’s a difficult job we’ve come into. When you’re progressing, you don’t just progress in a straight line, you get ups and downs along the way... We are moving in the right direction but I’m sure there will be a few more setbacks before the end of the season'...

Brooksby netted a well-taken treble... 'We got him on the ball a little bit before weathering a little bit of a storm from them... He’s probably been a little bit unlucky in his time with us so far, but four goals in a week shows what he’s all about. Like a lot of wingers, he’s a confidence player, and he’s playing with a lot of confidence at the minute...

'We chose to play Adam Nowakowski in front of the back four and he did a big job for us stopping the ball getting to their strikers, and Emile Sinclair came in up front. He was vital to us at the weekend, when Telford put pressure on us Emile was our outlet, getting us up the pitch and playing in their half.

'It was a big performance from Emile I thought he was outstanding for us, probably another one who thrived on the space from the pitch and the room he had to get in behind...

'The Stalybridge game was a different type of task for our defence,” Bower explained. We came up against something rare in this league, small lads who had pace and got in behind us and caused us problems that way... I thought Hibbsy (Jake Hibbs) especially did excellently for us, coming in at right back...

'And Hilly (Matt Hill) as well, doing an 80-yard run tracking back in the 93rd minute, everyone defended superbly'...

Hibbs came in at right back for the previously ever-present Ryan Toulson, and the manager explained his decision. 'We had to make some changes after Tuesday night,' Bower stated. 'To be honest, if we had another 11 players we’d probably have changed all of them... We just freshened the side up a little bit.

'Tully is a player that I’ve had for a while and I know that I’ll get a good reaction from him... Sometimes a game or two out of the side will do you a world of good and I’m sure Tully will come back in before long'" added Bower.


The Vanarama National League North Play-Off dates are, as follows:

Play-Off Semi-Finals

  • Wednesday 3rd May: 1st leg: 5th place vs 2nd place and 4th place v 3rd place - Kick Off 7.45pm
  • Sunday 7th May: 2nd leg: 2nd place vs 5th place and 3rd place v 4th place - Kick Off 3.00pm

Promotion Final

  • Saturday 13th May on the ground of the club finishing highest in the League - Kick Off 3.00pm

22 March 2017


After a decent run of form (eight points from six games), Altrincham were brought down to earth with this very disappointing defeat by Nuneaton Town. The evening started badly with seven players out injured and it got worse. Before kick off, goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson had been added to the casualty roll-call, joining Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy and Micah Evans on the list of those sidelined. And although Nicky Clee was fit to play tonight, Sam Heathcote was to be stretchered off before half-time...

Match report here.


Tue 21 March
  • AFC Fylde 0-0 Stockport County
  • Alfreton Town 1-0 Boston United
  • Altrincham 1-3 Nuneaton Town
  • FC Halifax Town 2-1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Salford City 1-1 Chorley
  • Stalybridge Celtic P-P Harrogate Town (waterlogged pitch)
  • Tamworth 3-4 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Worcester City 1-2 Brackley Town

Wed 22 March

  • Darlington 1883 v Bradford Park Avenue


On Tuesday, the Vanarama National League confirmed that "Jordan Nicholson has been recalled from his loan spell with Nuneaton Town by Peterborough United.

'He has another year on his contract at Peterborough and, with his form here, they have decided that they want to have a look at him', admitted manager, Tommy Wright. 'He has been outstanding for me since I took charge with 13 goals in my nineteen games at the helm.

'His character is infectious and he is very popular in the dressing room. He’s one of those players that you love going into work every day to see play football. Characters like him are so important for morale at clubs and, as such, he will be missed both on and off the field.

'This news is a blow to us, especially after losing Joe Ironside to Kidderminster Harriers as well, and we need the players and fans to stick together and pull as one, especially heading into tonight’s game at Altrincham.

'We wish Jordan well for the rest of the season. He’s a player that I will be keeping in touch with and I’ll be closely monitoring his situation at Peterborough. There is still a lot of quality in the squad; there are a few of the lads under-performing at the moment and now is the time for them to stand up and be counted'".

Meanwhile "Kidderminster Harriers have announced the signing of striker Joe Ironside from league rivals Nuneaton Town. The 23-year-old forward has inked a long-term deal at Aggborough that ties him to the club until the summer of 2019.

The hit man already has 18 goals to his name so far this campaign in all competitions and goes straight into the squad for tonight’s match at Tamworth.

A former Sheffield United youth prospect, Ironside spent three years with the Blades, picking up non-League experience with the likes of FC Halifax Town and Harrogate Town before moving to Afreton Town and, just over year ago, Nuneaton...

Despite attentions from teams above Harriers in the National League North and National League, Ironside has opted to make the switch to Aggborough.

The transfer has been completed only thanks to the 'Crowdfunder Give It 100% Campaign' held earlier this year, raising £10,000. This has enabled Harriers to pay a five-figure fee to Nuneaton for Ironside’s services.

Chairman Colin Gordon added, 'As a football club we are not cash-rich and as such, without the Crowdfunder money, we wouldn’t be able to bring Joe here. A lot of work has gone into signing him and our supporters should be in no doubt as to how much they’ve made this possible'".

Over at Boston United, "Defender Joe Maguire has joined Buxton on loan for the remainder of the season.

The 25-year-old, who has not played for the Pilgrims since December 17, will remain at Silverlands until the completion of the campaign, including the play-offs if Martin McIntosh’s side qualify. Maguire has three goals to his credit in 23 appearances for United."

21 March 2017


Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes, "In his Edlines column in tonight's Robins' Review, chairman Grahame Rowley has a special message for the supporters who left the ground after 15 minutes of Saturday's Vanarama National League North game against Stalybridge Celtic.

Also in the Review, Shaun Densmore reflects on the goalless draw against Stalybridge, in his Captain's Chat column, while a legendary name from Alty's recent past makes a guest appearance for the Players' team in the What's The Score? predictions competition. The Robins' Review will be available inside the ground prior to kick-off against Nuneaton Town, priced £2.50.


Nuneaton Town will be without two players tonight. Jordan Nicholson has been recalled by parent club, Peterborough United, whilst Joe Ironside has been transferred to Kidderminster Harriers for a five-figure sum... More on this in tonight's update.

Despite the rain of recent days, the pitch at the J Davidson Stadium does not require a pre-match pitch inspection and the game, tonight, against Nuneaton Town is therefore will go ahead as planned (7.45pm).


TASC's Paul Salt writes that "Altrincham's recent one goal victory over Boston took Altrincham's total goal tally to 51 in all competitions. As a consequence, TASC will be conducting the draws for each 10-goal benchmark achieved so far this season.

The draws will take place in the Community Sports Hall, prior to kick off, before Altrincham's next home game against Nuneaton Town on Tuesday evening.

Each winning entry will be able to chose from one of three prizes, namely

  • Two tickets for a forthcoming Altrincham FC home game
  • Free away travel on the TASC organised coach travel
  • A signed photograph of your favourite Altrincham player.


Nuneaton Town tell us that "Boro have an immediate opportunity to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Curzon Ashton as we travel to bottom of the table, Altrincham, on Tuesday evening.

Having taken an early lead at the weekend courtesy of a fine goal from Ashley Chambers, we failed to take advantage of being on top for the majority of the opening period.

'You need to make it count when you are on top,' said manager, Tommy Wright. 'We created plenty of chances during the first half but we failed to take them and were made to pay after the break. We were well on top during that first half and should not have let them have any chance of getting back into the match, but we were poor after the break and conceded two very sloppy goals.

'To concede from a set-piece is even more disappointing, but we have a young group here who will learn from this and I have every faith in them to bounce back in the right way. We have an instant opportunity with our game at Altrincham. It’s a chance for us to show that we are learning and moving in the right direction.'"


  • Curzon Ashton P-P FC United of Manchester. Waterlogged pitch.


The recent game against Brackley Town was Darlington 1883's "seventh game back in Darlington and since Boxing Day the Board has been continuing to work hard to improve the match day experience. I know a lot has been said on social media over the last few weeks about the football club’s relationship with the rugby club, unfortunately most of it is false and baseless, and some of it comes from people who should know better and unfortunately don’t know the facts.

'What everyone has to remember is both the board of Darlington FC and the committee of the rugby club are all volunteers, so we are all time-precious, arranging meetings whenever we can afford the time to discuss the key issues and build on the relationship. Getting everybody together in one place on a regular basis is not that easy. Since the first match on Boxing Day both clubs have worked together to try and improve the experience whilst not alienating some people who have called Blackwell Meadows their home for over 25 years. Comparing the first game and where we are now... progression is not any different to that in business and in our personal lives if we think hard about it.

We have lots of further ways we will improve the relationship but we need your help to cement it. Please do not snipe, it’s not helpful...

We are now also planning for next season with the launch of our season tickets. We have launched the season tickets in March in line with many other football clubs so we can estimate the demand and start to set budgets for next season. We have looked to reward fans who commit early and have frozen the price of standing tickets for the third year running. Once the 15th April deadline passes we will be applying pricing for next season which will be dependant on which league we are playing in.

Martin’s budget for next season... will be based upon our season ticket receipts as we look to consolidate our finances after a number of challenging years... We need your help, we continuously need volunteers to run our club both on a match day and through commercial and other off the field activities".

At Gainsborough Trinity, "captain Matt Wilson has issued a rallying call to his teammates... Central defender Wilson spoke out after the National League North side lost 1-0 at Tamworth on Saturday to leave Trinity in the relegation zone...

Wilson said, 'We need to believe. As a team we need to regroup. We can’t dwell on the past. We have got to keep going and we have got to get out of this dogfight... We had a good game last week against Fylde, but today we slipped back into bad habits and those bad habits are not going to get us higher in the league...

'We don’t seem to be creating many chances, but the one or two we do create we need to be putting away... We found it difficult to keep hold of the ball and it kept on coming back at us', he added...

'I suppose we are getting more solid at the back. We just need to squeeze those lines a little bit better, not just between defence and midfield, but between midfield and attack, get the banks of four in and go back to basics'".

From Alfreton Town we learn that the Reds "won their second home game in a row on Saturday with an excellent win over FC United of Manchester to move seven points clear of the relegation zone and move up to 16th place in the Vanarama National League North table... The Reds are at home again this Tuesday when Boston United visit the Impact Arena kick off 7-45 pm."

20 March 2017


Mark Bennett's Alty TV has match highlights from the match with Stalybridge, here.

There is also a post-match interview with Robbie Lawton below...


"TASC are running a coach to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday 25th March. Book your place in the CSH at Tuesday's game or by calling 0161 928 1045 during normal weekday office hours.

Supporters are advised that, as with other short distance trips this season, it is not financially viable for TASC, or passengers, to provide transport to the games at Salford City and Curzon Ashton. Both games are within 30 minutes' drive of Altrincham. We hope to be able to provide transport to the final away game at Tamworth.

TASC would like to thank all the people who have supported the coach travel under often difficult circumstances this season and hope that this support can continue for the final two away trips".

Timings and fares for the Bradford trip are on the Away Travel page.


In Saturday's Robins' Review Altrincham FC therapist Alan Ainsley provided a fitness update on a number of players.

"Tom Hannigan (right) has reached a stage where he would be better managed by inclusion in the squad, whilst still building up his strength in the pelvic area, After managing a two-hour training session, the resultant reaction left him unable to be included on match day. We had a chat and feel he would be better served if we converted that into match [time] and then managed the resultant fatigue during the following days...

Jake Moult's bursa has reduced to the point of it not restricting his movement. Frustrated at missing the past two matches, Jake is 'chomping at the bit' to leave the changing room with his shirt on. I'm sure he'll be in the management's ear to end his frustration at not playing...

Micah Evans, Tim Deasy and Craig Hobson will be continuing their workouts for the time being. Micah will probably be the first to return, from the calf tear he suffered, and, if all goes well with Craig, we should be sending him back for a last x-ray next week to confirm his bone has completely repaired.

Tim will continue training and match day warm-ups but will take no part in kicking until the muscle has had a sufficent time to build the strength required.

Both Shaun Densmore and Sean Miller are making progress. After Shaun's recent visit to the consultant, he has been given permission to kick-on. Gym work is going well and this week we have started to increase the distance and power of his kicking.

Sean Miller has also stepped up his exertions with no pain being felt in the ankle. Our main concern is the amount of swelling after exercise; everything seems to be moving in the right direction"


Just like the men's first team, Altrincham FC Ladies played out a goalless draw, away to Egerton Ladies on Sunday. The Ladies remain in sixth place. their next fixture is at home to Chorltonians, next Sunday (2pm at Mersey Valley).


Stalybridge Celtic report on Saturday's game at the J Davidson Stadium says, "When every point is vital, a draw is better than a loss, but, truth be told, this was a very poor game, with both sides so eager to avoid defeat, chances to win were slight, and mainly around Grant Shenton’s goal.

Right: Courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography we see Kyle Brownhill in action on Saturday, when he made a welcome return from injury.

In the first half, the only real events were James Lawrie’s powerful shot that was deflected wide and a miscued shot from Gary Gee that went the wrong side of the post. The second half saw more chances, but they were mainly from the hosts, with them twice going close to snatching the three points.

Lawrie’s first effort was well parried by Shenton, and the Celtic keeper got lucky when Andy Owen’s header hit the bar and came out. Damian Reeves, for years a thorn in Celtic’s side, also forced a good stop from Shenton almost with his first touch after coming on, whilst Simon Richman snuck in onto a cross that he diverted onto the post with Shenton beaten...

Celtic defended well, but despite Altrincham being there for the taking, Celtic cannot win matches if they don’t force the opposition goalkeeper into doing some work... The draw wasn’t a disaster, but it could have been a major success".


Mike Garnett had the following article published in last Saturday's Robins' Review...

"Some people appear to believe that Alty’s impending relegation represents the end of the world as we know it. It doesn’t.

Again, there are people who seem to think we are sinking to a level far below what we deserve. Again, I beg to differ. The truth might be unpalatable to some – it might be news to others; but it needs to be told in the form of a short history lesson.

Altrincham FC last earned a promotion in 1999, as champions of the Unibond League, but were relegated from the Nationwide Conference a season later.

In 2004 they qualified for the newly-created Conference North by virtue of a win on the last day of the season (1-0 v. Runcorn FC Halton), finishing 12th in the NPL table (13 clubs qualified, plus the winner of a play-off series).

In 2005 they qualified for the Conference National by winning a play-off series, the final of which involved the two sides which had finished 5th in the regional divisions (Altrincham and Eastbourne Borough), therefore in effect finishing 9th/10th overall. This promotion was therefore achieved rather than earned.

In 2006 they avoided relegation because Canvey Island resigned and Scarborough were demoted, although it may be argued that their playing record (18th place) entitled them to remain in the National division – it was the deduction of 18 points after the “Robinson affair” that placed them in a relegation position.

In 2007 and 2008, having finished in a relegation position (21st in each season) they avoided that fate as first Boston United were placed in the Conference North due to financial irregularities and then Halifax Town were removed from the Conference.

After finishing 15th and 14th in the following seasons they were eventually relegated in 2011 after finishing 22nd.

In 2014 they finished 3rd in the Northern Division and subsequently qualified for the Conference National by winning a play-off series. To this writer, promotion via any play-off system is a reward achieved rather than earned.

Having finished 17th in 2015 they were again relegated in 2016, finishing 22nd, and are likely to be further relegated in 2017, quite possibly finishing 22nd again.

It can therefore be reasonably argued that since 2000 the club has earned a place in the Northern Division of what is currently known as the Vanarama National League but has never earned a place in that league’s National Division. If that argument is accepted it must be the case that the club has punched above its weight for about half that period of time.

If one accepts that the club’s natural place over that period is in reality the division in which we currently play then the risk of relegation to the level below – the Northern Premier League Premier Division – is one that should always have been recognised as real, and the current disaster of a season brings that into sharp focus.

I seem to remember a football club based in Moss Side playing in the third tier of professional football within the last 20 years, while another based in Stockport played in the second. The subsequent histories of Manchester City and Stockport County need not be recounted here.

The fact of the matter, to this writer at least, is that this club has over-achieved in the last 13 years or so and its followers need to trim their expectations to reflect that unpalatable truth.

Mike Garnett".


Terry Surridge reminds supporters that if they have missed any matches this season the Club's programme shop has copies of most of the Robins' Review programmes for matches at the J Davidson Stadium this season.


Nuneaton Town have issued a chairman's statement...

"I would like to go on record and personally thank the Nuneaton Town Supporters' Co-operative for standing by the football club this week.

For as long as the problems with the rugby club have been occurring, it has felt at times that I have been an army of one.

But now, with the support of the Co-operative now behind the club, we have become an army of many.

With the football club and the Co-op standing together it shows unity and hopefully that unity will help the club grow while building new platforms and relationships.

I do need to clarify the situation with the rugby club at the moment and, as it stands, I have passed the process of discussing how best to repair the access road areas with the Nuns' chairman Mark Mitchell, his vice-chairman and their main shirt sponsor, Neil Robinson, over to the Co-op.

The repairs to the access road historically have been undertaken by the Co-op free charge to the rugby club but, due to the current situation, the Co-op is unwilling to carry out the work.

Many selective extracts from the TP 1 document have been quoted recently but one that has not been mentioned is that the hard-standing covering to the car parking areas was to be done by the rugby club as expeditiously as possible.

However, this obligation remains unfulfilled.

The football club has tarmacked and funded two thirds of the access way, as well as the footpath to the away turnstiles, with no contribution from the rugby club.

These are now both included in the area the rugby club believes we have no rights of access to.

I shall endeavour to publish the TP1 document via the club website this week so that you can all be fully informed of the clauses and covenants contained within it."

19 March 2017


Match report here.

Right: Gary Jones battles for midfield possession in Saturday's match against Stalybridge Celtic. Image courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.


The winners of the Altrincham FC Monthly Draw, made at Saturday's game, are as follows...
  • 1st £500; #236 Paul Bent
  • 2nd £75: #81 Gary Sewell
  • 3rd £25: #82 John Gothard
  • 4th Hospitality for two in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge: #517 Graham Smith
  • 5th AFC Replica Shirt: #349 B Wood
  • 6th AFC Polo Shirt: #190 Mrs J Wilson

You can join the scheme here, where details of how it operates are also to be found


Altrincham host Nuneaton Town on Tuesday night.

From the Nuneaton News we learn that "Nuneaton Town were once again found guilty of being one-half wonders as, for the second successive week, they failed to emerge in the second half, in the process surrendering a 1-0 lead – and all three points, in a bottom half of the table battle against Curzon.

Last week Nuneaton looked comfortable at home to Worcester City at the break, but were found wanting after the restart as the strugglers rescued a point.

This time the Boro went a step further as they once again took a 1-0 lead into the break, but Curzon came out firing in the second period and turned things round to take all three points.

The game was less than two minutes old when the Boro showed there is life after leading goalscorer Joe Ironside, who is set to leave the club this week, as Ashley Chambers scored what could be described as a goal of the season contender, chipping the keeper from outside the box with a simply stunning effort...

Curzon were simply not in the game at this stage and would have been happy to go in the break just the one goal down...

For where Curzon were a non-existent threat before the break suddenly their attack found its teeth, Nuneaton being forced to defend with purpose...

They were soon level. Matty Warburton glancing a near post header past Ty Belford...

Nuneaton have been guilty of putting in 45 minute shifts of late and that showed no sign of abating after the Curzon equaliser as the home side continued to press.

That pressure was always going to tell and so it did in the 75th minute as Joe Guest picked up a loose ball in the penalty area before jinxing [jinking?] round his man and sending an unstoppable shot past Belford and into the back of the net".

NUNEATON TOWN: Belford, Mutton, O'Hanlon, Langmead, Gascoigne, Mills (Gould 77), Elliott, Scott (Glover 83), Daniels (Wheatley 71) Chambers, Nicholson. Subs not used: Bangura, Dibble".


  • Att: 2359 AFC Fylde 2 v 2 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att: 1028 AFC Telford Utd 1 v 3 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Att: 898 Alfreton Town 2 v 1 FC United of Manchester
  • Att: 1236 Altrincham 0 v 0 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Att: TBA Curzon Ashton 2 v 1 Nuneaton Town
  • Att: 1547 Darlington 1883 1 v 0 Brackley Town
  • Att: 1572 FC Halifax Town 0 v 1 Gloucester City
  • Att: 972 Harrogate Town 2 v 1 Chorley
  • Att: 1735 Salford City 1 v 1 Stockport County
  • Att: 553 Tamworth 1 v 0 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Att: 504 Worcester City 0 v 2 Boston United


The National League Saturday review says that "Darlington 1883 were the only side in the top six in the Vanarama National League North to win on Saturday!

The Quakers moved into fifth spot after edging out a Brackley Town side whose own top five hopes are probably gone now...

Leaders AFC Fylde remain eleven points clear at the top of the table, despite being held to a 2-2 draw at Mill Farm by third-placed Kidderminster Harriers.

However, in front of a good crowd of 2,359... they found themselves 2-0 down with only 8 minutes to go before producing a terrific comeback... Seven minutes into stoppage time, sub Matt Blinkhorn headed Tom Kennedy's cross into the top corner top record his first league goal of the season...

Second-placed Salford City weren`t able to put pressure on AFC Fylde though as they were also held to a draw, this time 1-1 at Moor Lane by sixth-placed neighbours Stockport County...

Fourth-placed Chorley completed an indifferent day for the top sides when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the CNG Stadium against Harrogate Town... 4 minutes into time added on at the end of the game, Branagan saved a spot-kick to prevent a heavier defeat.

FC Halifax Town missed the chance to move into the top five after suffering a 1-0 defeat at The Shay to a Gloucester City side who are now tenth and only five points behind the Shaymen.

The only goal came 15 minutes from time when Zac Kotwica was brought down by keeper Sam Johnson in the box and Joe Hanks duly converted the resulting spot-kick.

That result maintained Tamworth`s interest in the race for a play-off place as they won 1-0 at The Lamb against third-bottom Gainsborough Trinity...

Fourth-bottom Worcester City suffered a 2-0 defeat at Bromsgrove against a Boston United side who are now fifteenth, nine points clear of the drop zone...

Bradford Park Avenue won their `six-pointer` at the New Bucks Head against AFC Telford United to move four points above the relegation places and level on points with their hosts.

Hero for Avenue was on-loan forward Wayne Brooksby. He netted a hat-trick with goals in the 35th, 79th and 90th minutes.

The Bucks' reply came from the penalty spot in the 70th minute...

Alfreton Town pulled seven points clear of trouble after edging past FC United of Manchester at the Impact Arena...

Ashley Chambers put Nuneaton Town in front at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton inside the opening 2 minutes... Matty Warburton eventually equalised in the 63rd minute and Joe Guest won it for The Nash 15 minutes from time."

FC Halifax Town "are happy to announce the signing of Dion Charles on a season-long loan from Fleetwood Town.

The Preston-born 21-year old who can play up front as well as in midfield, started his career at Blackpool before joining AFC Fylde for two years and scoring 18 goals in 52 appearances.

The Coasters were confident of keeping Northern Ireland U21 international Charles, but instead he opted to join the Seasiders".

The Shropshire Star reports that "Goalkeeper Matt Urwin has had his loan spell at AFC Telford United cut short and is now back at Fleetwood Town.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper, who made three appearances in National League North for the Bucks, has been recalled by the Cod Army because of injuries".


The EvoStik League reports that Jamie Menagh has moved from Airbus UK Broughton (Wales) to Marine and Steven Gillespie has gone from Warrington T to Skelmersdale Utd on a "Rest of Season Loan".

As Rushall Olympic beat Buxton 1-0, George Bowerman netted the goal.

Likewise, at Sutton Coldfield Town, Warrington Town's Daniel Hattersley netted the only goal of the match.

18 March 2017


Altrincham came the closer of the two sides to winning this match but neither manager will be happy with a single point as these two basement clubs fight the threat of relegation. A James Lawrie header hit the post and Celtic keeper Shenton was the busier of the two goalkeepers in a game played for the most part in light but steady rain.

Match report here.


Details of the TASC supporters' travel to the match at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, 18 March, are on the Away Travel page. Places can be booked in the Community Sports Hall on Saturday, or by ringing the Club (0161 928-1045) on weekdays during normal office hours.


Right: Simon Richman, Kyle Brownhill, Gary Jones and Sam Heathcote in action against Stalybridge.

Sat 18 March:

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


Unfortunately, the previously announced Q&A with Altrincham FC "legend" John King, scheduled to take place on Saturday, has had to be cancelled as John is now unable to attend the match against Stalybridge Celtic. He hopes to be able to take part in a similar event at another match in the near future.


The National League reports that "Alfreton Town have signed 23-year-old midfielder or defender Callum McFadzean from Kilmarnock until the end of the season.

Having come through Sheffield United's youth ranks... he went on to make twenty-three appearances... and also had loan spells with Chesterfield, Burton Albion then, last season, Stevenage.. McFadzean has been capped three times by Scotland at under-21 level after winning five caps for England at under-16 level. He is the younger brother of current Burton Albion defender Kyle McFadzean, who played for Alfreton between 2007 and 2010 before being sold to Crawley Town."

Elsewhere, "Tamworth's Louis Briscoe has been allowed to join league rivals Boston United on loan for the rest of the season. During 2016/17, Briscoe made fourteen starts for the Lambs and also appeared from the bench sixteen times. He also scored 4 times, including a match-winning brace away at Altrincham.

Commenting on the departure, Lambs' boss Andy Morrell said, 'We had a chat with Louis earlier in the week and he was disappointed by the amount of playing time he'd had recently. We've therefore allowed him to join Boston on loan'"

In the Worcester News, we read that "Experienced striker Steven Craig has left Worcester City due to his Manchester-based football coaching business 'taking off'. The former Wycombe Wanderers forward has scored just one goal in 12 appearances since joining last summer.

But caretaker boss John Snape said the 36-year-old’s increasing work commitments would 'cause him delays' in getting to training. Craig, who has played for a string of Scottish clubs, including Motherwell and Aberdeen, owns Planet Soccer which teaches football skills to youngsters...

Snape said... 'We have decided to call it a day. “He had come down from Scotland and now lives in Manchester where he has picked up some contracts which causes him delays especially on Tuesday and Thursdays to get down to training, so we have mutually agreed to terminate his contract'... He has struggled with injuries this term and went out on loan Stafford Rangers. On his return, Snape challenged him to score the goals to fire City to safety, but Craig failed to add to his tally...

Snape added, 'Goals are his forte, but it did not quite happen for us this season'. Craig is the third striker to leave Worcester since the turn of the year, with Lee Hughes joining AFC Telford United and Colby Bishop moving to Boston United. But with Pa Sulay Njie arriving last week and Jordan Murphy scoring three times in his last two games, Snape believes he has got enough options available.

'We have got Pa Sulay, Junior English who has been playing as a striker and Jordan,' he said. 'We have also got Callum Devlin, Bailey Beddows and little Chay Scrivens can play up front as well, so maybe it is time for others to have a chance now'".

17 March 2017


TASC's Paul Salt reports that "The Altrincham FC Monthly Draw will be conducted prior to kick off against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday. First prize is £500.00, Second prize £75.00, Third Prize £25.00 as well as three other prizes of hospitality for two in the Manchester Glass Sponsors Lounge, an Altrincham FC replica shirt and an Altrincham FC Polo Shirt".


Mike Garnett's data tells us that previous matches against Saturday's Opponents, Stalybridge Celtic, can be summarised as follows...
  • Home: P65-W36-D15-L14-F129-A80
  • Away: P71-W20-D12-L39-F112-A148
  • Neutral: P5-W1-D1-L3-F5-A7
  • All: P141-W57-D28-L56-F246-A235

Last time out, Altrincham had eight players sidelined through injury (Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy, Kyle Brownhill, Micah Evans) and Tuesday's "meet the managers" session did not suggest that any of these would be fit to start this Saturday.

And Stalybridge Celtic add that "Between the start of the season and the end of February, Altrincham won one match, beating us at Bower Fold. In their last five matches, though they have won two and drawn one... They have had twelve losses at home, more than any other team – including Celtic!

Altrincham usually start brightly and a third of their goals have come in the opening quarter of an hour. Their top scorer is James Lawrie, who has seven. They have scored twenty-nine goals this season (fifteen at home), at a rate of 0.9 per game, whilst they have conceded seventy-two goals (thirty-five at home) at a rate of 2.2 goals per game. Only Alfreton have conceded more. They have kept four clean sheets (two at home) and failed to score fifteen times (eight times at home).

We have played Altrincham a lot over the years. The most recent match was the 2-0 loss at home to them earlier in the season. Our last visit to Moss Lane was in March 2014 when we went out of the Cheshire Senior cup there, losing 2-1, with Sean McConville getting Celtic’s goal. They’d already beaten us 5-0 home and away at that season. The last time we beat Altrincham was October 2011, when we won 5-1 at home.

The last time we won at Moss Lane was a 2-0 win back in 2003 in the Cheshire Senior Cup! The Celtic website records do not go back far enough to see the last time we won in the league over Altrincham at Moss Lane. In our last twenty visits, Celtic have only won twice at Moss Lane (the other was the Trophy), whilst Altrincham have won twelve times.

Altrincham have former Celts Andy Owen, Chris Lynch, Andy McWilliams, Tom Hannigan and Craig Hobson in their squad...

Celtic will need to do something that they’ve not done in at least thirty years, beat Altrincham at Moss Lane, if they are to continue their momentum. Altrincham, too, will be out for a win, with both teams having won their most recent match".


Gateshead report on their 8-1 victory over an inexperienced Altrincham youth education (BTEC) team last Wednesday. Altrincham's Oliver Spratt scored the game's first goal but things went downhill afterwards. Heed youth manager Jon Shaw said, "We were up against an Altrincham side made up of first-year college students... a side less experienced than ourselves".


From Lincolnshire Live we learn that "Adam Murray revealed he may take a gamble in his bid to find a goalscorer... The Boston United boss says he is working hard behind the scenes to increase his options up front...

'We are low on numbers, that's a fact,' Murray added. 'It feels like we have been searching the globe to get someone in, but it's not easy. We're not looking for someone just to help with our current situation, but to be part of the bigger picture. But, with nine games to go, clubs don't want their better players to leave and, if we have to get players who are not in their first XI, then there are other issues that come with that.

'We have to work on their fitness and their confidence because they have not been playing, so there is certainly an element of risk. It is a bit of a gamble'.

The Pilgrims' boss says the need for fresh faces at the club was highlighted last Saturday, when his side dominated their home clash against Altrincham but failed to find the target. 'It's fine that we are creating those chances, but it is getting to the point now where we are missing chances we can't afford to miss. As time goes on in games and we don't score you can visibly see the confidence drain from the players. If we had taken one of those chances early in the game on Saturday, it would have lifted the whole team and I am sure the floodgates would have opened.'

Murray says, with his side's next two games being away from home, he believes results will improve... 'It is not just my feeling that we are better away from home, it is a fact,' said Murray. 'We have had five away games since I have been here and only lost one. That speaks volumes about our confidence and form and I have my own thoughts on that. But we just need a little belief, confidence and maybe some luck'".

The newspaper adds that "A mountain of injuries throughout the season has been amajor factor in United's struggles this year. But, with just one win in the past seven games, the writing is now really on the wall... A defeat on Saturday with other clubs around picking up up points by Saturday night [means that] we could be facing the darkest days for the club's since that last dreadful Football League days. So much work and investment has been put in by Mr, Newton & Co., to revive the club, it must not be lost. But with gates down around 14.70% there's bound to be a knock-on in next season's budget. When Adam refers a to a gamble on a striker, what about giving on goal scoring on form Liam Adams a chance. United have a great youth set up, but progress from it has been rare in recent years".

Huddersfield Town confirm that their "Development Squad defender Fraser Horsfall has joined Salford City on a Youth Loan until the end of the 2016/17 season. The 20 year-old centre back joins Salford, upon the conclusion of his two month loan spell at Stalybridge Celtic. Fraser started five games during his time at Stalybridge and helped the side that sits bottom on the National League North table win five points out of a possible 15, only losing two matches...

This will be Fraser’s third loan spell of the season as he continues to move up the football pyramid. His first loan of the season was at Trafford FC, where he made 11 starts and helped the Club keep six clean sheets".

From the National League we learn that "Kidderminster Harriers have confirmed that striker Andre Brown has signed an extended contract with the club. The former Crewe Alexandra youngster joined Harriers back in the summer aged just 19.... [He has] already hit 10 goals this season despite having made just fifteen starts for the team".

16 March 2017


Altrincham FC Youth team manager, Paul Fay, writes, "Altrincham Youth team trials are being held on Sunday 28 May 2017 for the 2017/18 season. If you were born between 1 September 1999 and 30 AUgust 2002 please e-mail me with your name, date of birth, full address, playing position, experience and current club to register your interest".


Ex-Alty players who were on the mark on Tuesday night in the EvoStik League included Kieran Lugsden, who netted for Shaw Lane AFC in their 3-2 away win at Romulus. Meanwhile Kyle Perry scored for Stafford Rangers in their 2-1 win at Ilkeston FC.


Altrincham entertain Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday before travelling to the Horsfall Stadium to take on Bradford PA the following week. Those two clubs met on Tuesday night, with Celtic winning 4-3.

Stalybridge Celtic said that they "climbed off the bottom of the table with a win over Bradford Park Avenue in a see-sawing match. Celtic had the best of starts thanks to a curling free kick from Danny Pilkington that curled over and down past the wall and beyond the fingertips of Jon Worsnop. Celtic did not try and hold onto the one goal lead...

As is Celtic’s wont, there was the customary defensive blunder, and Bradford took advantage after a corner wasn’t cleared properly, the ball was put back into the mix, Shane Killock poking the ball through the crowd and Grant Shenton’s hands to just about cross the line. Worse came when Bradford pressed their advantage, Jake Hibbs producing a good reaction stop from close range by Shenton, but the rebound ball fell to Wayne Brooksby who’d come streaking in from the corner of the box to knock the ball past Shenton and give Bradford the lead.

That lead didn’t last long, three minutes to be precise, when Danny Morton made a power run, shrugging off the challenges to get to the by-line and pull the ball back for James Roberts to poke the ball under Worsnop and restore equality just before the interval.

The second half saw the game continue to see-saw, with neither team in a position to drop points and both going for it... A corner came out to Aaron Chalmers, twenty yards out from goal, he twisted his body in the air and connected with a scissor kick that had enough power to reach the far bottom corner and put the scoreline at 3-2 for Celtic.

That lead lasted four minutes, before a cleared free kick came out to Nicky Wroe, twenty-five yards out who got a perfect connection on the ball to send it flying into the back of the net and put the scores level.

With twenty minutes left, Bradford ran out of steam, and Celtic stormed towards the finish line. Keano Deacon’s shot came back off the post, before Porya Ahmadi came on for a limping Chalmers, raced up the field in time to meet an inch perfect penalty spot cross from Danny Wisdom, a graceful leap and he powered his header past Worsnop.

With a slender lead, Celtic continued looking for goals... The result leaves Celtic twelve points behind Gainsborough and Worcester, and thirteen behind Bradford, with three games in hand on them all. A win on Saturday, with other results going our way, would leave Celtic nine points behind, with three games in hand, though our goal difference is currently a worry."

From Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford Park Avenue remain just one point above the drop zone after slipping to a narrow but costly defeat at basement outfit Stalybridge Celtic... a seven-goal game that could not be described as a thriller or, for that matter, a classic...

Avenue were looking to steer themselves further away from danger but ended with a third consecutive league defeat... Avenue boss Mark Bower made a change at the interval as defender Matt Hill came on for recent signing Gavin Rothery, but the momentum soon swung back in favour of the home side.... Aaron Chalmers put the Celts back in front with a stunning volley. Avenue responded on the hour when Nicky Wroe struck with another splendid volley.

The home side had the last word, however, when substitute Porya Ahmadi netted the winner with his first touch".


Lincolnshire Live tells us that "Gainsborough Trinity boss Dave Frecklington has shown the ruthless side to his management with a mass clear-out of players.... As the former Spalding United manager attempts to stop a poor season from becoming a disastrous one, he has allowed six players to either leave the club or paved the way for their departure.

Adam Quinn and Laurie Wilson have been released, while Matt Thornhill has joined Basford United. The club is also close to an agreement for James Reid to leave while Jake Picton has been placed on the transfer list. Gavin Rothery left Trinity last week after joining Bradford Park Avenue.

To fill the holes left by the departing players, Frecklington has brought in Chib Chilaka, Callum Chippendale, Greg Tempest, Cecil Nyoni and Michael Jacklin.

'Results and league positions don't lie,' said Frecklington... 'Sometimes you have to be ruthless... Players are different from how they were 10 or 15 years ago and they can also be ruthless. You either let them rule the roost or you put your marker down straight away. There is no point in having people around the club if they are not going to play. It's never easy to do these things because it brings some difficult conversations.

'But this is part of my job and I have to do what I think is right for the football club. I can't carry passengers. We have to get results and I have to make sure that everyone who walks through the door is prepared to give everything for the cause. If they are not, I don't have any need for them'.

Frecklington wants his new-look team to build on what he says was an improved performance against league leaders AFC Fylde last weekend... 'Straight away the dressing room was a more positive place and you get a feeling that there was a different mood in there,' added Frecklington... The Trinity boss revealed injured striker Chilaka was back in training this week and could return to action on Saturday. However, there are question marks over Tom Davie who pulled up in training on Tuesday evening."

According to the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Billy Heath says he is hoping to add to his squad before Saturday’s home game with Gloucester. The Town boss says he has just 16 players available for the game, with Richard Peniket suspended for the next three matches after his red card at Bradford Park Avenue last Saturday.

That leaves Town with only Adam Morgan and Tom Denton as recognised strikers, while they are still lacking a natural left-winger in the squad. The transfer deadline is next Thursday at 5pm...

'At this time of the season bringing in the right players is difficult', he said. 'I don’t want to bring in someone for the sake of it if they’re not going to improve us. No one wants to let anyone go. We were close to signing someone last week but it didn’t happen. We’ve got 10 targets but it’s getting them out of their clubs that’s the difficult part. But we’re hoping to get someone in for Saturday'...

Heath says Josh Macdonald is still another month away from fitness, but that Danny Clarke should be available despite suffering a thigh strain at Bradford Park Avenue. Jake Hibbs cannot be recalled from his loan at Park Avenue, while Heath says Scott McManus isn’t quite ready to join in full training yet.

On the absence of Peniket, the Town boss said, 'He’s been playing well, getting goals and he works so hard for the team, so he’ll be a big miss'. Morgan has netted just once in his last seven games after scoring seven in his first six appearances for the club... 'It’s not quite happening for him at the minute,' said Heath."

15 March 2017


About fifty supporters attended a question and answer session on Tuesday night, convened by Altricnham FC manager Matt Doughty and assistant manager, Robbie Lawton, in the Community Sports Hall at the J Davidson Stadium.

What follows is necessarily a summary of the meeting and not a verbatim record. Any errors of transcription are the website's and, given that those who asked questions were not asked to identify themselves, all supporters have been anonymised rather than name some but not others.

About fifty supporters attended a question and answer session convened by Alty manager Matt Doughty (MD) and assistant manager Robbie Lawton (RL) in the Community Sports Hall at the J Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

MD (right) explained that when he and RL had taken over in January, the major issue facing them had been the "mindset of the players" and their "total lack of confidence".

RL believed that, in terms of ability, the current squad is "good enough. Those who were good players last season have not become bad but some of them have lost form this season and that is why certain players have not been starting games. And, if a few of the 'big players' have a dip in form together, overall productivity of the side will decline too.

Our job is to maximize the players' potential" added RL.

Asked if he and RL would be here next season, MD indicated they they did not know. They would like to be here but they had been given no indication whether they would be or otherwise. Nevertheless, MD explained that, whether they were here or not next season, they are not just trying to get to complete this season but are trying to ensure that, whoever is in charge, will have the best possible players available for next season.

RL added that it was not so much he and MD who were pressing for a decision on the managership as those players who wanted to know who would be in charge next season before committing themselves for 2017-18.

MD explained that when he and Robbie had taken over in January it had been "the worst dressing room I'd seen in twenty years in football". Also, training had become predictable and repetitive.

MD explained that now it was RL who oversaw the actual training. So far as Graham Heathcote (GH) was involved, he had control of dead-ball training. GH did not talk to the players before or at half-time during matches but did have his say after games.

RL went on to explain that players today are of a different type from when he played ten or so years ago. "They are wired differently" he stated. By that he meant that they might be more technically able than in the past but "some of them were not wired up to get us out of relegation. We needed bigger characters. It is better as a team to take a dip in quality to get players who will give you 9 out of 10 for their performances every week rather than being satisfied with a 6 or 7 out of 10".

Questioned why Nicky Clee had been deployed at left-back in some rceent games whilst Andy McWilliams had been on the bench, RL explained that team selection comes down to players carrying out their instructions. But Andy had done very well in recent games and the management duo hoped he would start regularly in future. It was also explained that opponents had been doubling up against Nicky when he played on the wing and that he could be more effective when coming forward from the back.

Asked about injuries, MD said that of the nine players who were out injured last Saturday, seven would have been starters if they had been fit.

Discussing Damian Reeves, RL explained that Damian would accept that "on current form, one or two have been ahead of him". He added that the way the team played now did not help Damian as "we've had to be more combative and safer at the back". He added that "other than James Lawrie, there are not many players in the team who can slide the ball through for Damian" as he had been used to in his more prolific seasons.

Asked about possible survival in this division, MD indicated that he thought "eight wins from the last nine games" would probably be the target required.

RL (left) went on to say that, especially for those players who faced long journeys for training and then played in defeat after defeat, it would have been "easy to give up" but "virtually everyone" had not done so and he praised them for that.

There was also praise for Elliot Newby who, although a loanee, has "given everything for the club". He was the man who travelled furthest to train for us, coming from Barrow. Gary Jones's fitness was also praised - and he never missed a training session.

Responding to a query, MD indicated that there was a board meeting in late March after which more might be known about the management situation. In response to another supporter, who told the management duo that "You can't be given the job now because if you lost the next six games the chairman would look ridiculous", MD reiterated that "I want to do my best for the club whether I'm here or not. This is a fantastic club".

Director Neil Faulkner underlined that past decisions had been made by the Board as a group and not the Chairman alone and fellow director Barry Pond expressed his view that Grahame Rowley was the most hardworking chairman he had worked with.

It was stated by a supporter that "A lot of fans more hostile to the club are not here. It's a divided club, hundreds of fans want the chairman out". Discussion later turned to a planned "walk out" by some supporters at next Saturday's game. MD indicated that he did not think the players would be affected as they should be concentrating on their game.

Asked about next season, MD indicated that six or seven players had already agreed to stay. RL and MD also explained that, since they had taken over in January 2017, they had brought in seven new players (Clee, Owens, Newby [on loan], Gary Jones, Brownhill, Chris Lynch and Evans) but, in that same period, twelve potential signings had refused offers from the Club and three of those were from lower leagues. "Recruitment is the hardest part of management" concluded MD and he also indicated that building a team in January was a thankless task for any manager to have to do as you were starting with someone else's choices and availability of better replacements was limited.

MD pointed out that he had tried to bring in players who "were good characters, the likes of Gary Jones, Chris Lynch (right) and Nicky Clee".

When it was suggested that Altrincham would benefit from a sports psychologist, RL responded that he actually taught sports psychology himself so that was an area that was covered.

MD gave an update on injuries. Sean Miller's ankle is improving but he still needs at least a couple of weeks. Shaun Densmore is a "few weeks" away from fitness, whilst Craig Hobson is having another x-ray on his fractured foot. Jake Moult is expected to train this week, but Tom Hannigan had experienced a reaction to his injury last week. Kyle Brownhill is back running to regain fitness.

RL acknowledged that it has been difficult for supporters watching a losing side and he could understand why some may "boo, call us or stay away". At least he and MD could express their feelings to the players directly in a way that supporters cannot.

Questioned about the role of Rob Esteva, MD expressed his enthusiasm for this addition to our scouting and performance assessment capabilities of the club. MD also wants Rob to analyse the opposition as well as our own players. He added that input from Rob had already been helpful for the games against Telford and Boston.

Turning to the reserve players, MD indicated that Harry Cain and Will Foster are doing well at their respective dual registration clubs, Prescot Cables and Winsford. MD also spoke highly of youth teamer Darius Palma and of goalkeeper Andrew Jones who had stepped in well at Darlington.

As for continuity, RL pointed out that you can only have a settled team "if you are getting consistent performances out of the players", as had been the case in recent games where team changes had been minimal.

Ian Senior was acknowledged for his role in getting Stuart Tomlinson to the club when Tim Deasy got injured.Tongue in cheek, RL explained that Stuart had simply turned up and said "I'm playing" and "Matt and I weren't going to argue with him" as a former professional wrestler! And Graham Heathcote's links with Barrow had been an important factor in Elliot Newby's arrival.

Without naming names, the management duo confirmed that there had been approaches from other clubs for one or more of our players.

The management duo concluded the meeting and went off to join the players at their Tuesday night training session. The audience appreciated the opportunity to question the management directly and the openness of their responses.


Keith Edleston, manager of Alty Ladies, has kindly forwarded Paul Hatton's report on Sunday's game which ended Liverpool Feds 1 Altrincham 3.

"Two goals in the closing stages saw Altrincham Fc register an impressive 3-1 away victory against Liverpool Feds at I M Marsh Sports Centre, Aigburth.

Right: Megan Rowley shields the ball from a Feds' defender.

Although the result was about the superb all-round-team performance, it was the first-team start of Megan Rowley, who recently came through the junior ranks, which really impressed, chasing every lost cause in the attack and giving the Feds’ defence a torrid time.

The match was a tight affair in the opening stages, before eventually opening up. Liverpool had the first chance when a Feds’ player’s low effort beat goalkeeper Lizzie Brereton. Full-back Kyeshia Brown raced back to make an important clearance of the goal-bound ball.

Megan Wright twice went close with efforts, just off target, for the Robins. However, it was the Feds who took the lead on the half-hour mark. Following a cross from the right, Amie Hands nipped in to tuck the ball inside the right post.

After the break, Alty got the much much-needed equalizer on 52 minutes. They were awarded a penalty following a handball, Laura Dodds dispatching the resulting spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

Altrincham dominated the match thereafter. Kate Bryan had an effort that hit the crossbar and Wright had two more chances off-target. Victory appeared to be slipping away for the Robins until they struck on 89 minutes. Following a corner that was half-cleared, Alty recycled play, Dodds passed a ball behind the Feds’ back-line for Wright to sweep home from close range.

With the match in added time, Altrincham scored the deserved third. Full-back Tish Collins intercepted a Feds’ free-kick and played a ball over the opposing back-line. Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz latched onto this and expertly placed the ball into the net for her first goal for the club and wrap up a memorable afternoon for Altrincham FC women’s team.


Barry Pond's updated chart of Matchday Sponsors is now available. If you would like to sponsor a match or a matchball, please contact the club on 0161 928-1045.


Before Tuesday's match the Telegraph & Argus reported that manager "Mark Bower will look to get Bradford Park Avenue's survival bid back on track as he takes his side to Bower Fold to face fellow strugglers Stalybridge Celtic.

Avenue are just one point above the National North drop zone after back-to-back home defeats, while tonight's hosts dropped to the foot of the table after a 1-0 defeat to promotion-chasing Darlington on Saturday. Steve Burr's side ... would climb off of the basement with a home win, although their confidence will be low. They have endured three consecutive losses during a tough run against Stockport County and Salford City before Darlington's visit.

Following Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to neighbours Halifax, Bower said, 'Our form has been better away from home and we have three games on the road now where we'll be looking to kick on and start pulling away again. Saturday's defeat was a hard one to take because I thought we had played well against a side pushing for promotion. It wasn't our performance that was the problem and I'm sure if we keep working hard that we'll start picking points up again'".

And, also before Tuesday's match, from Bradford Park Avenue we learned that ""New BPA winger Gavin Rothery says that Tuesday’s game at Stalybridge is huge as the club aims to avoid relegation from the National League North...

'We’ve got Stalybridge on Tuesday then we go to Telford on Saturday before Altrincham the week after, so you’re looking at three very winnable games. We should hopefully be able to pick up a few points over the next few weeks, but I think the Telford game is the biggest for us as a group. You look at Stalybridge and Altrincham and think they’re probably just too far away to get out of trouble.

'But with the Telford game, if we can get a win there, that will obviously give us a big boost in the table'.

Rothery joined Avenue on a season-long loan deal two weeks ago, making his first start in Saturday’s loss against Halifax... The 29-year-old said, 'I thought, first half, we were the better team... I thought we were quite comfortable up to around 60 minutes. But that goal gives them a bit of momentum then and we kept getting deeper and deeper and we just couldn’t really get out...

'I’ve settled into the club really well, and it certainly helps that I know quite a few of the lads, having played with them before. Obviously I know Bowser (Mark Bower) and Bosh (Danny Boshell) and the way they like to play suits me, getting on the ball and trying to pass it and play good stuff... You’ve got to perform to stay in the team'...

Rothery has made the switch from relegation rivals Gainsborough Trinity until the end of the season, meaning he is now competing against his parent club to avoid relegation. 'Obviously Gainsborough have dropped into that bottom three, while we’re a point ahead with a game in hand', he explained. 'You look at our fixture list compared to theirs and I think ours is a lot kinder'".


Tue 14 March:
  • Stalybridge Celtic 4-3 Bradford Park Avenue

The result puts Altrincham back at the bottom of the table.


Tuesday 14 March:
  • Nantwich Town 0-0 Warrington Town (Nantwich won a.e.t., 5-3 on pens)

Nantwich now meet Crewe Alexandra in the Final.

14 March 2017


John Edwards writes, "Manager Matt Doughty (right) and his assistant Robbie Lawton have organised a fans' forum at The J.Davidson Stadium to give supporters the chance to quiz them on any aspect of Altrincham's current plight at the foot of the Vanarama National League North and how the team's fortunes might be turned round.

Both Matt and Robbie stress it is entirely their own initiative and that they checked the Community Sports Hall's availability themselves before settling on a date for the meeting.

It will be held next Tuesday, March 14, in the Hall, starting at 7pm and lasting an hour. 'Graham Heathcote will take the first hour of training at Newall Green, and we will shoot over at 8 o'clock for the remainder of it,' said Robbie.

'Matt and I initiated this opportunity for supporters, not the club, because we want to meet them and have an open and transparent conversation about all matters relating to the first team.

'The rationale behind it is simply to try and provide answers to anything that's on people's minds. If you've got a question, come along and air it. If you can't attend, feed it through to someone who can. Let's get things out in the open.

'It was important not to distract from the strategic review, but now that's out of the way, we felt the time was right to get together with the fans and see what they're thinking. We know there's a lot of frustration at the way this season has gone, and we share it, so feel free to ask anything about us taking over and what we are doing to try and put things right.

'There will be no compere. I may just say a couple of words to get things going, then it will be straight into questions for me and Matt. We are big lads and can take it, so fire away. If we can explain some of the reasons why things have or have not happened and try and change a few fans' minds about the current situation, then all well and good.

'The main objective is to have an open, honest and transparent conversation about the team, but I also hope the message will come across that we are one club here. It's not about separate components; board, players, supporters. It's about everyone pulling in the same direction. We are doing our best to recreate that, despite all the problems, and I hope, during the course of the meeting, people will see how we are going about it.'"


Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes "In an enterprising move aimed at helping create a new generation of Altrincham supporters, the club's community officials have teamed up with a national sports equipment supplier to forge even closer links with schools in the area.

Alty's community programme already includes extensive coaching and ticket distribution among local schools, but their latest initiative promises to attract more youngsters than ever to The J.Davidson Stadium.

Mindful of the ongoing demand for better and more modern equipment in education, they have joined forces with Sports Directory UK to launch a scheme that will effectively reward schools who register with a £2 voucher for every pupil who attends Saturday's Vanarama National League North home game with local rivals Stalybridge Celtic.

Initial contact with Sports Directory, a Dartford-based sports goods store, was made three weeks ago, and full details have now been circulated to 17 local primary schools, ahead of Alty's return to The J.Davidson Stadium after three successive away games.

All schools that register can apply for tickets on a first-come-first-served basis, with an overall limit set at 2,000, due to stadium capacity constraints. Each child attending the game will be admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult, whose admission cost will be just £5, rather than the usual £14. Additionally, Alty's community staff will be able to identify which school each child goes to and will allocate a £2 voucher per pupil for the school to spend on equipment from Sports Directory UK.

'The link with Sports Directory UK comes from when the Community Sports Hall was built,' explained Community Co-ordinator, Judy Henson. 'They were the company whose equipment we bought and we were so impressed with the quality and incredibly competitive pricing of everything we had from them, they were the first ones we thought of when we came up with this idea.

'We just thought why not give them a go, and fortunately they were up for it. Basically, we are donating £1 and they are matching it for each pupil at the game from a school who have registered for the scheme. That's £2 per child, and we will tally it up after the game and send out a voucher for the full amount to each school as soon as we can.

'It's a win-win situation for everyone really. It's a fantastic incentive for schools to really engage their children in it, because the more who come along, the more they will have to spend on the latest sports equipment. For the club, every adult accompanying a child may well buy food and drink, as well as paying £5 in when they might not otherwise have attended, so there are benefits on the day, as well as beyond.

'In the long term, the hope is the children will enjoy their day, want to come again and become Altrincham fans. We'll see what the response is. It would be nice to get a take-up of 100 or so, maybe even 200. That would be a good start and would encourage us to try it again. We certainly intend monitoring it and repeating it, if it proves successful.

'We have also taken the opportunity to give some upcoming Fun Weeks a push. We have included leaflets with all the packages sent out, promoting the Easter and Whit fun weeks, and the summer ones after that, just to remind parents to start booking places.'"


In a post-match interview with Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, manager Matt Doughty reflected on a 1-0 win at Boston United that lifted Altrincham off the foot of the Vanarama National League North and examined the reasons behind an upturn in fortunes that has brought two wins and a draw in recent weeks. One of the main factors behind a marked improvement in performances and results, he maintained, was keeping a settled side, after months of players coming and going at an alarming rate.

Q: You said performances have been coming for a few weeks, and that was further evidence of it, wasn't it?

A: When me and Robbie first took over, it was difficult, because of the mindset and players were low on confidence. There were loads of things that were not right, loads of things wrong in that dressing room. We thought it would take a few weeks, maybe a month, before performances started coming. We promised results would come as well, and we're getting both now. The willingness to work for each other was fantastic and made all the difference when we were under the cosh a bit in the second half.

I thought Stuart Tomlinson (right) was fantastic. He was coming for crosses, punching a few, catching a few, and he was making good saves. Even allowing for that, we still had chances to score ourselves, so it's been a positive weekend.

Q: We certainly looked solid and secure - is that down to organisation as much as anything?

A: I think it's a continuation of trying to play the same players as much as possible and keep a settled side. Organisation is something we have worked on from week one. We had got through too many players during the course of the season. Far too many. If you are playing with someone different every week, you don't really know how they are going to play or what they are likely to do in certain situations. That's not the way to develop an understanding.

Now you can see a decent partnership building up between John Cyrus and Sam Heathcote, because they've had a few games alongside each other. Chris Lynch has made a massive difference on the right of them as well and was fantastic again today. We've kept the line-up as settled as possible, and you can see the benefits. Ringo (Simon Richman) full of energy again, Jimmy Lawrie causing problems and Elliot Newby immense. Elliot has to be the fittest lad I have ever come across. He's got an eye for goal as well, as his recent scoring record shows, and I've nothing but admiration for the way he has knuckled down and contributed throughout his time with us. You come across loan players sometimes and wonder whether they are really bothered, because we're not the club they belong to, but no one can level that at Elliot. He has given it a right good go.

For me, I think he probably could play at a higher level, because he's got talent, two great feet, quite tricky and he works so hard. I'm seeing that attitude from all of them now. I said to them from day one, if you work hard for each other and give everything you've got, I will swallow the result. I knew, if they did that, results would get better, and they are doing. I thought we were good value for the points today, and it was a great goal that won it, a really good finish by Elliot (left) after Nicky Clee did brilliantly to pick him out.

Nicky had a great first half but looked a bit leggy after that. He didn't train during the week, so that was why I brought him off, but it was good to have the aggression and physical approach of Andy Owens in his place. That kept their back two fully occupied.

Q: Elliot's loan spell is up on March 31st - any chance of keeping him, do you think?

A: I would love to, but I'm not sure we can. I will certainly look into it, because if there was any possibility, I would 100 per cent do it. Hopefully, by the time he goes, if he does, we might at least have the likes of Sean Miller, Craig Hobson and Jake Moult back.

Q: It was important to build on last week's performance at Telford and make sure we had something to show for it this time, wasn't it?

A: Confidence levels could have been down a bit after last week, because, well though we played, you can be left wondering what you need to do to get what you deserve. I thought we actually played a lot better last week than today, but here we are with all three points. That happens in football, and the good thing was we showed no adverse effect from being denied what even their manager said we deserved at Telford.

Today, I thought we were the better team in the first half. There was a lot of confidence about our play. They probably edged it in the second half, because they had to throw bodies forward. We stayed strong, though, and that was great to see, because the Telford result was tough to take.

It's not often you lose but still get a standing ovation from your supporters as you go off. To all those who were here today, thanks for travelling. I'm glad you are heading home with a victory, because it's a long drive back. You were brilliant again, and we all appreciate that.

Q: We certainly stood firm during those spells of pressure in the second half, didn't we?

A: We did. We were strong. We've got John Cyrus (right) in there, doing what he does well, and young Sam is adding aggression to his game. He is getting more physical. When we first took over, some of the decision-making was poor, especially in central defence. They would look to pass when it was never on, so we said to them to play as safe as they possibly could. If a pass isn't on, don't do it. You can't be at fault that way, you won't get caught out.

Q: Was there a problem with Stuart Tomlinson near the end, when he let Sam Heathcote take a goalkick?

A: Yeah, he just hurt his groin a bit, but it's nothing serious. That was why he threw it out late on and then didn't take the goalkick, but he'll be all right. His groin is bigger that my head, so there's nothing to worry about there!

Q: Talking of groins, was that the problem Simon Richman had when he came off?

A: Close; it was actually a kick in a painful area nearby! When he went down on the far side of he pitch, I thought he had pulled his groin, and that's why I got the sub ready straightaway, but it turns out he took a painful one down below. He said he could probably have played on, so he will be OK for next week.

Q: How about other injuries?

A: Tom Hannigan trained on Tuesday but felt a reaction, so he's not right yet. Jake Moult is a week or two away. Craig Hobson is running in straight lines but not ready. Sean Miller isn't running at all at the moment, so not ready either. Micah Evans might be OK after a calf problem. If he is, he will probably come back into the squad, because he has done well for us. His pace troubles defenders, and he is strong and physical as well, and we need that up front.

Q: Just to wrap it up, Matt, you are seeing signs that things may be taking a turn for the better, are you?

A: It's a great group of lads, and all I want is for them to fight for each other. I haven't come across a team yet who have passed us off the park and looked great. It's all route one, and we'll fight you for second balls. That's all this league is about, so I've told the players to go and match them for that. We've got the ability.

The front four have got ability, so if we match our opponents for fight, that ability is going to give us the upper hand. I thought Laurence Taylor was great again, as was Gary Jones, but really I couldn't fault any of them".


Altrincham FC Ladies' manager, Keith Edleston, writes, "Great result on Sunday up at IM Marsh Liverpool. Everytime you go to Merseyside you know you are in for a tough game and Sunday proved to be just that.

In an even first half, where chances were at a premium, it was was a suprise when a cross into the box somehow managed to sneak into the net to give Feds a 1-0 lead.

It was a much improved second-half performance and, with our stamina and fitness wearing the Feds' players down, (well done John McManus - your fitness work is paying off), we equalized through a Laura Dodds penalty on 50 mins after a handball in the box.

After that, it was all one-way traffic and wave after wave of attacks finally payed dividends when a Megan Wright goal on 88 minutes finally put us in front and the icing on the cake was when Marcia was put through on a one on one and she finished in style to make it a final score of 3-1 to the Lady Robins.

Megan Rowley got her full debut today and played very well and deservedly got Opposition Player of the Game and also our Management Player of the Game, for such a young player stepping up from the Juniors she has an old head on her shoulders, which is fantastic. Good luck for the rest of the season to Colin and his girls at Feds". The Gaffer


The National League reports that "Maidenhead United`s Dave Tarpey's two goals at Weston-super-mare on Saturday saw him break the record for the most scored in a Vanarama National League South season... The record was previously held by Adam Birchall, who hit 34 for Dover Athletic in the 2010/11 season...

Whilst Tarpey has already surpassed Birchall`s record, it`s going to be very tough task to overhaul the National League`s top division goalscoring record which has stood since the 1983/84 season when Paul Culpin netted 41 times in just 42 matches.

However, there`s a much better chance of the North division record being beaten this season. League leaders AFC Fylde's Danny Rowe already has 40 goals to his name and needs only 4 more to beat Altrincham's Damian Reeves who, ironically, scored 43 in the same season as Birchall set his record in the South for Dover".


Alty's next away game is at Bradford Park Avenue. The Halifax courier tells us that "Town boss Billy Heath praised the character of his team after they came from behind to beat Bradford Park Avenue 3-1. After a dour first-half, Oli Johnson put Avenue ahead against the run of play before goals from Richard Peniket, Tom Denton and Matty Kosylo earned Halifax their first win in three games.

Heath said, 'I think the first-half was a typical game where there’s a lot at stake for both teams, for different reasons. It was a difficult surface. It may look OK from off the pitch but it’s a difficult surface. It was a scrappy affair first-half, not a massive amount of quality in it. but second-half it livened up. Their goal came totally against the run of play...

'I thought the boys showed fantastic character because what we didn’t do when we conceded was panic... and start losing our shape and doing things off the cuff, thinking they’ve got to do a little bit more to make things happen. We kept doing the same things and we knew, if we kept putting the balls in the right areas with the players we’ve got, we’d get something from the game' said Heath.

Heath wasn’t impressed by referee Simeon Lucas’s performance... 'Let’s just say there were some bizarre decisions, and that’s putting it mildly. I honestly didn’t know if he was coming or going'...

He added, 'We’re at the business end of the season so flowing football might not be the key every week because there’s a lot at stake every game. The surfaces aren’t great at the minute, so sometimes it’s a war of attrition, putting the ball into the right areas and playing the percentages'".

FC United of Manchester "are delighted to announce that before Saturday’s home match against Tamworth, Nathan Lowe signed a contract with the Club until the end of 2017/18 season. He then rounded off the day with a 94th minute, 35 yard screamer to give the Reds a vital 1-0 victory.

Nathan Lowe, who turns 21 later this month, joined the club in the summer of 2016 having been released from Burnley... Lowe appeared in all but 3 of FC’s first 16 matches, but a cartilage injury kept him out of the side for the following 13 games".

13 March 2017


Altrincham FC Ladies won on Sunday, 3-1 away to Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves and lie sixth in the league. Their next fixture is away to Egerton on 19 March.


Altrincham FC's Youth Education team is away to Gateshead next Wednesday. The under-18s Youth team is at Curzon Ashton next Sunday.


Boston United have highlights They also have an interview with manager Adam Murray and with player Marcus Marshall


Stalybridge Celtic reported that they "slipped to the bottom of the league with Altrincham winning away at Boston, the gap to safety remains the same, after Celtic’s mini-league all suffered reversals. However, there is now one game less to do it in.

The game itself was combative without being dirty, on a pitch that was finally playable after nine weeks without seeing a game. And it was fairly even... The decisive moment of the game came when Aaron Chalmers brought down David Furguson with a lunging tackle in the box. No question about it, it was a penalty. Mark Beck took the penalty, sending Grant Shenton the wrong way...

With stoppage time looming, Celtic had a stab at finding an equaliser, and with 87 minutes on the clock, finally registered a shot on target when Keano Deacon swept in from the wing, forcing a very good stop from Ed Wilczynski and Porya Ahmadi’s follow up drive blocked on the line by Kevin Burgess. Despite six minutes of stoppage time, Celtic simply couldn’t register another effort.

There’s a simple fact in football, if you don’t shoot; you don’t score. With twenty-four goals this season, Celtic are the lowest scorers in the league because we don’t shoot. Darlington were... beatable."

Alty have still to visit the Horsfall Stadium this season and from there the Telegraph & Argus reports on "Bradford Park Avenue 1 FC Halifax Town 3. BPA remain just above the National North relegation zone after defeat in a local derby with FC Halifax Town which was marred by crowd trouble...

The game was an absorbing contest and one without a malicious challenge, although both sides ended the afternoon with ten men. Yet the game was overshadowed by a large group of supporters being ejected after scuffles before kick-off, although they remained in the area, which led to fights outside the ground after the final whistle. For the genuine supporters of these two clubs, long-term West Yorkshire rivals separated by just six miles, it was the last thing that anyone wanted to see.

Relegation-threatened Avenue played well but the promotion-chasing Shaymen ran out deserved winners, although they will know that they were in a game and that the margin of victory was flattering... {At 1-1] the two scorers were then the two players shown red cards. Johnson was dismissed in the 79th minute for a second bookable offence and Peniket was sent off in the closing stages after appearing to catch home skipper Ryan Toulson with an elbow.

The Shaymen had just taken lead before Peniket's dismissal as substitute Tom Denton converted a Matty Brown cross, nodding past Worsnop as the ball bounced up... Avenue were pushing for an equaliser when Town opponent Matty Kosylo broke clear from the halfway line and rounded Worsnop before slotting home.

Avenue boss Mark Bower was happy with the effort and commitment from his side but far from satisfied with the officiating. He said, 'We gifted them an equaliser and then the sending off made it difficult for us. But how their second goal was allowed to stand totally escapes me. There was a clear foul on James Knowles as the cross was played in. He was being held down like something you'd see in a wrestling ring. I thought the referee was very poor for both sides. He has sent players off and on his last visit here, he denied us a clear penalty for a worse offence. I thought that the game was too big for him and some of the decisions were shocking.

'Obviously, after allowing Halifax back in it, we were pushing up looking for an equaliser when their lad breaks for the third, so it looks one-sided."'

12 March 2017


Above, left, Alty salute their goal, scored by Elliott Newby (far right). Above, right, Alty's management duo, Robbie Lawton and Matt Doughty, salute the travelling supporters at Boston after the final whistle. Behind them are Laurence Taylor, Nicky Clee and Sam Patterson.

Match report here.


  • Att: 1026 Boston United 0 v 1 Altrincham
  • Att: 738: Brackley Town 0 v 1 Salford City
  • Att: 1192 Bradford Park Avenue 1 v 3 FC Halifax Town
  • Att: 1131 Chorley 2 v 1 AFC Telford Utd
  • Att: 2407 FC United of Manchester 1 v 0 Tamworth
  • Att: 469 Gainsborough Trinity 1 v 2 AFC Fylde
  • Att: 374 Gloucester City 1 v 1 Harrogate Town
  • Att: 1542 Kidderminster Harriers 3 v 0 Alfreton Town
  • Att: 485 Nuneaton Town 1 v 1 Worcester City
  • Att: 712 Stalybridge Celtic 0 v 1 Darlington 1883
  • Att: 3495 Stockport County 3 v 1 Curzon Ashton


Altincham FC Reserves won 3-0 against Rylands on Saturday.


Two ex-Alty men at Lancashire club Longridge are defender George Melling and Kieran Walmsley, the latter being Assistant Manager.

The EvoStik League reports that Alty Reserve Josef Faux has signed for Prescot Cables.

As Marine beat Ashton United, Daniel Mitchley netted twice whilst both of Warrington Town's goals in a 2-1 win over Frickley Athletic were netted by ex-Alty men, James McCarten and Daniel Hattersley.


After Saturday's game, Boston United report that they "succumbed to a frustrating home defeat at the hands of Altrincham on Saturday afternoon... as their winless streak continued.

Elliott Newby's 32nd minute strike settled the encounter in the Robins' favour despite a dominant start from the Pilgrims.

Harry Vince had rattled the post while Lewis Hilliard was denied twice by visiting keeper Stuart Tomlinson as United's bright opening went unrewarded".

The Boston Standard adds that "Boston United’s home form hit a new low for the campaign as the Pilgrims were beaten 1-0 by basement boys Altrincham...

But come full time they had won at the Jakemans Stadium on a Saturday afternoon more times than their hosts this season. Adam Murray had previously talked about his young side needing to meet the expectations of the York Street crowd. But it was the same old story for the hosts: a strong start, missed chances and a goal conceded the first time their opponents looked to threaten.

From then on, the performance was off the pace and, despite Altrincham mustering just one more attempt at goal, and that was hopeful at best, Boston barely looked like pulling themselves level.

Elliott Newby’s 32nd-minute finish proved the difference in a game where United lost skipper Adam Chapman to injury and Josh Robinson completed the match up front, nursing a hamstring injury.

Murray stuck with the starting XI which recorded a goalless draw at FC Halifax Town the previous week and, buoyed by that point against the promotion chasers, the Pilgrims began high on confidence...

Boston, however, have a habit of showing a weakness and allowing themselves to be hit by a sucker punch. This time Newby was afforded far too much freedom to roam in the Pilgrims’ half, collecting the ball and slotting beyond Ross Durrant...

Tomlinson continued to frustrate the Pilgrims, denying Clarke from close range with an outstretched leg before holding onto Colby Bishop’s header and beating the striker to a bobbling ball.

In stoppage time that golden opportunity finally arrived, but after Tomlinson denied Alex Simmons, Jay Rollins’ follow-up from close range was placed straight at the keeper... Att: 1,026 (29)."


In its Saturday review the National League reports that "AFC Fylde maintained their eleven-point lead... after winning 2-1 at relegation-threatened Gainsborough Trinity. The Coasters took the lead... But Trinity, with three debutants in their starting line-up, equalised 9 minutes after the break when Jordan Thewlis was brought down in the box and he got up to convert the resulting penalty.

Fylde scored what proved to be the winner 14 minutes from time with a goal that just showed the difference between top and bottom as a Rowe effort took a wicked deflection off Trinity`s Ioan Evans to wrong-foot the home keeper...

It was a good day for all of the play-off chasing sides, with wins for second-placed Salford City, third-placed Kidderminster Harriers, Chorley, FC Halifax Town and sixth and seventh-placed Stockport County and Darlington 1883 respectively...

FC Halifax returned to winning ways with a 3-1 win at the Horsfall Stadium against struggling Yorkshire rivals Bradford Park Avenue in a game which saw both sides end with ten-men. After a forgettable first half, with Oli Johnson put Avenue ahead after 64 minutes before he was dismissed for a second booking.

The Shaymen fought back through Richard Peniket on 70 minutes, and then substitute Tom Denton put them in front with 4 minutes remaining.

Matty Kosylo made sure of the win when he netted the visitors' third in stoppage time, although there was still time for Peniket to also see red for elbowing former Shayman Ryan Toulson.

Stockport attracted another excellent gate of 3,495 as they entertained neighbouring Curzon Ashton at Edgeley Park.

Danny Lloyd gave the Hatters an early 5th minute lead that he doubled 5 minutes before the break. Jimmy Ball`s penalty 11 minutes into the second half made it an uphill struggle for Curzon, who could only manage a last-gasp spot-kick reply which Matty Warburton converted.

Tamworth's top five hopes took a blow when they were beaten 1-0 at Broadhurst Park by FC United of Manchester. It`s unclear how many of the 2,407 crowd were still in the ground to witness an amazing 35-yard strike by Nathan Lowe to win it for the Reds in the 4th minute of stoppage time!

Harrogate Town`s play-off hopes look over as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the team immediately below them in the table, Gloucester City, at Whaddon Road...

Jordan Murphy's 83rd minute equaliser was enough to earn Worcester City a point on the road against Nuneaton Town, moving them clear of the relegation zone on goal difference".

More on Alty's next opponents, Stalybridge Celtic, comes from the Northern Echo which tells us that "Mark Beck's penalty was enough to give play-off chasing Darlington a win at Stalybridge Celtic... Not since April last season had Quakers not conceded in an away game, but they managed it today against the second-bottom opposition who were competitive but, only briefly in the closing stages did they really threaten.

It was Grant Shenton, Celtic’s goalkeeper, who the hosts had to thank for making three top saves which stopped Darlington from winning by a greater margin...

A third terrific save by Shenton came when he kept a Beck shot out after Cartman had headed the ball back across goal...

Stalybridge Celtic (4-3-3): Shenton; Morton, Hughes, Horsfall, Wisdom; Dunbar (Ahmadi 62), Regan (Bakare 73), Chalmers; Roberts, Wilkins, Pilkington (Deacon 58). Subs (not used): Bourne, McKnight".

11 March 2017


Altrincham lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with this deserved win at Boston, where home supporters have yet to witness a league win on a Saturday this season.

Although Boston had more of the first-half attacking momentum, and hit the post through Hilliard, Alty took a 32nd minute lead when Elliott Newby finished well from a smart feed by Nicky Clee.

Boston laboured after the break and were hampered further for the final stages of the game by an injury to Robinson who had to limp on after all three substitutions had been made. But, above all, it was a good team performance by Altrincham which earned the three points.

Match report here.


Saturday 11 March
  • Boston United 0-1 Altrincham
  • Brackley Town 0-1 Salford City
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Chorley 2-1 AFC Telford Utd
  • FC United of Manchester 1-0 Tamworth
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-2 AFC Fylde
  • Gloucester City 1-1 Harrogate Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 Alfreton Town
  • Nuneaton Town 1-1 Worcester City
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0-1 Darlington 1883
  • Stockport County 3-1 Curzon Ashton


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 Ian Wilkinson and the match summariser is John Edwards.

Coverage starts at 2.55pm and you can listen to Radio Robins here.


Manager of Altrincham FC Ladies, Keith Edleston, reports a new signing.

"The Gaffer is seen (right), on Thursday night, welcoming our new signing to the squad, Spanish goalkeeper Esther Henandez Rodriguez. Esther is a goalkeeper who has been training with us for a few weeks, (courtesy of Elina Parker who brought her down).

She comes with a fine pedigree at League 2 level (League 1 has Barcelona, etc in it). She will have to wait a few weeks though for her international clearance to come through but will still be involved in matchdays with current No.1 Lizzie Brereton in the warm-ups and also to help her bond with the squad. Esther will take the No.22 shirt.

Welcome to the club Esther".


From Boston United we read that "Altrincham are Saturday’s visitors to The Jakemans Stadium as Boston United plot a return to winning ways. The Pilgrims chalked up a creditable point at FC Halifax Town last weekend and will now be aiming for a maximum haul on home soil against the division’s bottom side...

Adam Murray will check on the fitness of Jay Rollins and Karl Hawley, but neither is expected to return against Altrincham, with long-term injury victims Joe Burgess, Herve Pepe-Ngoma, Grant Roberts, Gregg Smith and Jason St Juste ruled out too. Burton Albion loanee Charlie Gatter could return to the squad after missing out at The Shay.

The Pilgrims emerged victorious from this season’s reverse fixture at Moss Lane, winning 1-0 courtesy of Liam Agnew’s second half strike. The last meeting in Lincolnshire ended 3-2 in United’s favour (in October 2013). Saturday’s match referee is Alan Dale".

And the National League tells us that "Boston United midfielder Callum Chippendale has joined neighbours and rivals Gainsborough Trinity on loan until the end of the season. The 20-year-old has made twenty-four appearances for the Pilgrims since arriving from Bradford Park Avenue".


Crewe Alexandra report that manager "David Artell has praised the judgement of his goalkeeping coach Fred Barber after signing trialist stopper Andrew Dawber until the end of the season. The Wigan-born goalkeeper has been training with Crewe Alexandra under the guidance of Barber for the last few months and when it was discovered that reserve goalkeeper Dave Richards had suffered a broken finger against Hyde on Tuesday evening, the vastly experienced coach recommended the 22-year-old.

After slipping out of the game, Dawber (right) had asked Crewe if he could train at the Football Club and has impressed the coaching staff with his attitude and ability.

The Crewe boss said, 'We have signed Andy and that should go through once we get clearance from the various associations. With Dave out injured, we were without another professional goalkeeper at the club, and we know Andy. He has been training with us and working with Fred for a while, and we know he is a competent goalkeeper. You don’t play in the Football League if you are not. He has trained with us and we have seen him. He has been training on a Monday and a Friday and it was a chance for him to get fit.

'On the back of being a good goalkeeper and having an attitude to improve himself has paid off for him. It is unfortunate what has happened with Dave and him getting injured but Andy’s luck has been in a bit and he now has an opportunity to show us what we can do'.

The former Fulham goalkeeper is not eligible to play in the Cheshire Senior Cup Final but he is likely to feature in our U-23 fixture against Charlton next Wednesday. Artell says that fitness levels should not be a major problem. He says, 'A goalkeeper has to have a different type of fitness to an outfield player. Keepers are usually blowing after six laps of the pitch! What we do know is that he has been training with us twice a week and doing extra work with Fred away from here, so we don’t think fitness will be a major concern.'"

Andrew's departure from Altrincham was announced at the end of January 2017.


Alfreton Town "have released Brad Gascoigne and Cecil Nyoni... after a mutual agreement between ATFC and the two players... We can confirm that Brad Gascoigne has joined Nuneaton Town and Cecil Nyoni has moved to Gainsborough Trinity."

From the Worcester News we learn that "Worcester City's 'unacceptable' display at rock-bottom Altrincham could be a 'turning point' in their fight to avoid relegation from Vanarama National League North, admits Jordan Keane...

But John Snape’s side bounced back with a vastly-improved performance in a 2-2 draw with play-off chasing Darlington last Saturday. The result at the Bromsgrove’s Victoria Ground appears to have gone some way to erasing the memory of their sorry showing at Alty. But Keane insists it is important he and his teammates 'keep hold' of the emotions felt that day and use the loss to fuel their bid for survival.

'We went into the game at Altrincham as favourites for the first time in a long time and we didn’t deal with it,' said the 23-year-old. 'We let everyone down as it was unacceptable, but I think it could be a bit of a turning point for us... We are still bitter about the Altrincham game and I think we have got to keep hold of that feeling', Keane continued.

'We wanted to bounce back and I think that’s the reason why we played so well against Darlington'...

The draw extended City’s winless run to 15 matches and denied them the chance to move out of the bottom three... 'If we continue to play like that, I think a win is just around the corner'".

Nuneaton Town report that they "have added to our defensive options with the capture of Brad Gascoigne from Alfreton Town. Coming through the ranks at Birmingham City, he moved on to Ilkeston Town having found his path to the first-team blocked at St. Andrew's...

'With the injury to Conor Anderson, we felt that we needed extra options at the back,' said Tommy Wright. 'I have worked with Brad before and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with him again. He’s tall, technically-gifted and works hard. With game time he will prove everyone his capabilities'".

According to the National League "In a unique series of representative matches, The National League will play The British Army at three differing locations on the same evening. These will take place on Wednesday 29th March 7.45pm at Eastbourne Borough, Harrogate Town and Tamworth, each match being supported in partnership with Vanarama and S & C Slatter.

Each of the three squads [is] drawn from players who play in The National League North and South ONLY... Entry is £5 for Adults (including a programme) with Seniors & Juniors FREE. Extra programmes are £2.

At Eastbourne, manager Tommy Widdrington, players...

  • Ben Herd St. Albans City
  • Danny Green Wealdstone
  • Danny Mills Whitehawk
  • Elliott Romain Eastbourne Borough
  • Ian Sempemba Eastbourne Borough
  • Jake Robinson Hemel Hempstead Town
  • Jordan Parkes Hemel Hempstead Town
  • Kiran Khinda-John Eastbourne Borough
  • Lewis Carey Eastbourne Borough
  • Mark Hughes Eastbourne Borough
  • Nathaniel Pinney Eastbourne Borough
  • Scott McGleish Wealdstone
  • Sekani Simpson Bath City
  • Sergio Torres Whitehawk
  • Steve King Concord Rangers
  • Steve Phillips Bath City

At Harrogate, manager Simon Weaver

  • Chris Elliott Harrogate Town
  • Chris Hunter Darlington
  • Gary Brown Darlington
  • Greg Hartley Salford City
  • Jake Williams FC United of Manchester
  • James Reid Gainsborough Trinity
  • Josh Amis Stockport County
  • Josh Gillies Darlington
  • Liam Agnew Harrogate Town
  • Marcus Day Harrogate Town
  • Matt Warburton Curzon Ashton
  • Ryan Hall Curzon Ashton
  • Sam Heathcote Altrincham
  • Sanchez Payne Bradford Park Avenue
  • Stephen O'Halloran Salford City
  • Tom Platt Harrogate Town

At Tamworth, manager Andy Morrell

  • Billy Daniels – Nuneaton Town
  • Ciaron Keane – Worcester City
  • Craig Weatcarr – Alfreton Town
  • Fabien Speiss – Alfreton Town
  • Freddie Grant – Oxford City
  • Gareth Dean – Brackley Town
  • James Belshaw – Tamworth
  • Jordan Keane – Worcester City
  • Kailan Gould – Nuneaton Town
  • Luke Jones – Tamworth
  • Reece Styche – Tamworth
  • Sam Avery – Gloucester City
  • Scott Davies – Oxford City
  • Tom Allen – Alfreton Town
  • Tom Webb – Gloucester City
  • Zac Kotwica – Gloucester City

10 March 2017


Altrincham's third successive away game takes them to Boston United on Saturday (11th).

TASC is pleased to confirm that it is running supporters' transport to Boston. If you have not already given your name for the trip and would like to book a seat, please ring the Club on (0161) 928-1045.

Timings and fares are on the Away Travel page.


Our opponents on Saturday are subject of a report from Lincolnshire Live, which tells us that "Boston United's long-term walking wounded will get the opportunity to earn a new deal, even if they don't play again this season. The news comes from Pilgrims' boss Adam Murray...

Midfielders Grant Roberts and Herve Pepe-Ngoma and defender Sam Burgess have all been told they will get their chance to impress. 'Those three lads were injured due to circumstances beyond their control,' said Murray. 'I have told them all they will get their chance to show me what they can do. I intend to be going for promotion next season and, if those lads want to be a part of it, they will get their chance to earn a new deal. Even if they find they are not ready to get minutes on the pitch in our remaining matches this season, they will be welcome to come back in pre-season and they will have an opportunity show me what they can do...

'They have all worked so hard to get back to fitness, it is the least we can do as a club. Having been a player, I know what it is like to be unable to play and be out of the group. I have made sure they know they will get their opportunity'.

Midfielder Roberts, however, is hoping to impress the manager a lot sooner... the former Gainsborough Trinity man is hoping to be back in contention within two or three weeks...

'It has been a very frustrating season' [said Roberts]. 'I had a season and a half where I really felt my game was progressing at Boston... But I like what I have seen from the manager. When you hear him talking in the dressing room even if you're not playing you get drawn into what he is saying and you want to go out there and do it on the pitch. I am sure he has made us a tougher team to beat and I would like to be a part of what is happening here next season'".

In the Boston Standard we learn that "Duncan Browne heaps big praise on the smallest player on the pitch... Midway through the second half of Boston United’s draw at FC Halifax Town on Saturday the ball was cleared for a throw-in. Harry Vince, the 17-year-old Pilgrims midfielder, looked over his shoulder, spotted an unmarked rival and sprinted to him. That rival was Tom Denton, the home side’s 6ft 5ins striker and general Pilgrims' botherer...

‘Outstanding’ was how manager Adam Murray, himself a player who made a career out of refusing to be bullied by often taller opponents in the middle of the park, described the teenager’s first start for the Pilgrims... Vince, the younger brother of one-time United keeper Sam, refused to be overawed. Playing his own game he chased and won balls that looked to be lost, threw himself into tackles, showed more experienced teammates how it’s done and generally made a massive nuisance of himself...

He brilliantly outsmuscled big Shaymen defender Matty Brown off the ball in the first half... His stature only emphasises his ability when on show against bigger, more experienced rivals".


According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United are hoping to bring in some new faces prior to the trip to in-form Chorley on Saturday. Fresh from a 6-0 humiliation at the hands of Brackley Town, the Bucks' management want to freshen things up...

Boss Rob Smith and assistant Larry Chambers were hugely let down by the performance on Tuesday night, and the latter said, 'If there is a possibility, we will look at probably bringing people in because we can’t put up with that. As I have said throughout the season though, it’s always easier said than done... We can’t put up with that. This is a great football club and we say to the players week in, week out that it’s a privilege to play here. And some of them know that. Some of them have been at other clubs and know this is a great club to play for, good support, good facilities.

'The club deserves better. Not just the supporters, but the club deserves better than that'.

In terms of injuries, striker Lee Hughes is set to miss out on the trip to Victory Park with a groin problem... Left-back Luke Higham (ankle) is also expected to be on the sidelines while skipper Luca Havern had been struggling with a calf injury...

Chambers... said, 'I think Lee is going to be out for another two weeks'".

From the Chorley Citizen "Boss Matt Jansen wants his side to bounce back from their shock Lancashire Challenge Trophy semi-final defeat when AFC Telford visit... The Magpies, defending champions and heavy favourites for the Trophy, lost on penalties to Ashton Athletic at the County Ground in Leyland on Tuesday night after a 1-1 draw...

Jansen admitted... 'I was thoroughly disappointed' said Jansen. 'We want a reaction on Saturday. It is a rude awakening to a few and it will have hopefully given them a bit of a shock. We have 10 monster games left now and to start with we need to put it right against Telford on Saturday... In all honesty the penalties were the best part of the game, there was only one missed and they were very well executed penalties. They came with a game plan and it worked. They let us have the ball and we played too much in front of them.

'They scored a good goal on the break and maybe could have had another. They dispatched their penalties incredibly well and good luck to them in the final. We didn't break them down we didn't make the right decisions... If you let a team defend deep and you don't threaten them in behind or through the lines then they can soak up all the pressure they want if you are going to play in front of them. We were passing for the sake of passing and we were not ruthless enough...

'You also need to make the right decisions, be decisive, be clever and have a football brain... I thought we lacked a bit of football intelligence'"

The Tamworth Herald reports that "Tamworth's Danny Newton praised the Lambs for their victory against a physical Salford City side... taking the Lambs within reach of the play offs...

The striker said, 'It was great to get the goal... We knew it was going to be a tough game, they are a very physical side and they are flying at the moment... We did really well defensively too and they struggled to get a real foot in the game'...

He said... 'We still have a lot of work to do, but if we keep doing everything like we did in this game against Salford, there should be no reason why we cannot push for a play-off place'".

The National League adds that "Tamworth manager Andy Morrell has boosted attacking options ahead of this weekend`s trip to FC United of Manchester. Speedy winger Callum Powell, who recently turned 21, joins on loan for the rest of the season from Wrexham... Powell was a graduate of the Northampton Town academy before heading to Canada. He returned to the UK last season, starring for Rugby Town...

He has featured for parent club Wrexham on twenty-four occasions so far this season, scoring twice. Morrell said, 'He's a player who we were monitoring closely over the summer, but he had the opportunity to go full time with Wrexham, and rightly decided to take that. He is sharp, quick, direct, and will get people off their seats. He is something different to what we have got'".

9 March 2017


On Saturday 25th February, for the game against Worcester City, Altrincham FC welcomed the Guide Dogs Charity to The J.Davidson Stadium. As part of the Altrincham FC In The Community (AITC) work, a recent initiative has been to help local charities raise awareness of their causes...

For the full story, click here.


Altrincham had Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy and Kyle Brownhill all missing through injury last Saturday and our next opponents, Boston United are also hit by injuries. According to the Boston Standard, "Adam Murray is seeing the positives as Boston United’s walking wounded take steps closer to fitness. In a season blighted by injury, Marcus Marshall and Joe Maguire both returned to the bench for Saturday’s draw at FC Halifax Town...

Leading scorer Jay Rollins is ‘touch-and-go’ ahead of Saturday’s arrival of basement side Altrincham, while Grant Roberts and Joe Burgess, who haven’t made an appearance between them since September, are both showing positive signs of recovery. Striker Karl Hawley is also nearing a return, while Gregg Smith has finally ditched his compression boot following his New Year’s Day ankle fracture.

'On a positive note, in terms of the injuries, something we haven’t said this season a lot, the injured are coming to the end of the rehab process,' Murray said...'Burgey’s getting closer to joining in every session and Jay’s only going to be a few more days, touch-and-go for the weekend. Karl’s only going to be a few weeks away... We’ve got a lot of bodies out, but we’re now on the front foot and moving in the right direction'".


The Worcester News says that "Two 'ambitious' Worcester City brothers have secured places in Jamie Vardy’s academy aimed at unearthing non-league gems.

Jordan and Cieron Keane are among 42 players to be selected for the new project set up by the England and Leicester City striker. They will attend the V9 Academy at Manchester City’s Etihad Campus in June where they will get the chance to impress representatives from a host of professional clubs.

The five-day course will also be broadcast for a Sky Sports documentary to be shown later this year... Jordan believes Vardy’s scheme, which attracted more than 1,500 applicants, will help them to realise their dreams of playing in the Football League.

'I decided to sign up because I want to play higher. I don’t want to play in the National North my whole career,' said the 23-year-old who is an academy coach at Notts County. 'After I applied I didn’t think too much about it because only a select few get in but they watched us play and picked us. I think it is good (exposure) for Worcester as well as it gets their name out there'.

Jordan came through Stoke City’s youth set-up but failed to make a senior appearance as he went on loan to Tamworth before being released in 2014. The versatile defender or midfielder had spells at Alfreton Town, Lincoln City and Nuneaton before following his younger brother to Worcester in November...

Said the Nottingham-based player...'It doesn’t matter who you are playing against there are always one or two who you think are better than players you watch in the Football League. They are obviously there for a reason so it is up to you to get there. When you come down to non-league you see a lot of players who spend two or three seasons there and then give up'...

Cieron, an ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers trainee, featured in League One, making two outings for Notts County... The 20-year-old left-sided player was released and signed for Nuneaton before City came calling last summer".

Wrexham report that "Following a loan stint with Leamington Town, Callum Powell has started a new loan period with Tamworth. He joins up with former Wrexham boss Andy Morrell at the Lamb, after almost signing for them last summer.

'I had been training with Tamworth at the start of this season and they were quite keen for me to sign for them,' said Callum. 'That was before Wrexham showed an interest and I decided to come to the Racecourse. Now I’m looking forward to playing with Tamworth for the rest of the season'...

Other loan news sees full back Mitchell Lund return to his parent club Doncaster Rovers, following a successful month at the Racecourse. And striker Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls has joined Redditch United for the remainder of the season... Khaellem returned from a recent loan spell at Nantwich with a dislocated shoulder, but he has recovered quickly and now joined Redditch with a view to playing games".

from the National League we learn that "Simon Ainge of Harrogate Town wins the player of the month for the Vanarama National League North... For a defender to be sent 'up top' he has been a revelation and after a number of goals in January he followed this up with four more in February, so it was not a fluke".

Bradford Park Avenue "manager Mark Bower has been awarded the Vanarama National League Manager of the Month for February. It was a 100% record for Bower throughout the month, as Avenue won all three of their league games to take them out of the bottom three for the first time this season.

The three victories were all equally impressive, a 5-1 rout over Gainsborough Trinity sandwiching two hard-earned away wins at Curzon Ashton and Nuneaton Town...

Bower said... 'It’s a team award. It reflects the good work going on at the club from the players, management team, staff and volunteers'. The award comes as a deserved reward for the Bradford manager, who has managed to turn around a team who looked certain to be relegated in September. Bower took charge of Avenue when they were rock-bottom and without a win...

The club hadn’t won any of their 12 games at the start of the season, and were on a 10 match losing run before a win at Altrincham in October. Since then, Bradford have won eight out of 15 league matches".


Semi-Final: Hyde United 0 - 4 Crewe Alexandra (Att. 212)

The other semi-final is next Tuesday:Nantwich Town v Warrington Town.


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Altrincham Grammar School for Boys' first XI football team has reached the final of the English Schools' Football Association Cup. The team will take on Millfield School in the final at Doncaster Rovers' ground on March 29...

More than 500 schools entered the competition. Headmaster Tim Gartside said 'We have reached the quarter final and semi final in previous years but this is the first time we have reached the final. The squad is full of very strong players in all areas of the field so we have coped well with a few injuries on the way'".

8 March 2017


"In a post-match interview with Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, at Telford on Saturday, Altrincham manager Matt Doughty spoke of his pride at a dominant performance that even rival boss Rob Smith admitted should have been rewarded with three points, rather than an unfortunate 1-0 defeat.

While making no attempt to disguise the shortcomings that prevented Alty turning possession and chances into goals, Matt insisted there were further signs of the players responding positively to the input of himself and Robbie Lawton, following a draw with promotion-chasing Harrogate and convincing win over Worcester City.

He also saluted the travelling Alty fans, who were situated in the corner near the changing rooms and stood and applauded as the players and coaching staff walked by at half-time and full-time. Here is the interview in full.

Q: I can't believe we didn't win that game, let alone draw at, after spending so much time in their half. What are your thoughts?

A: It's a hard one to take, that's for sure. Once again, the opposition keeper has won Man of the Match. That's happened a few times in recent weeks, and it says a lot about how we are going about things. We are going for the win every time, home or away. That was evident at Darlington, when we were in the game for long spells, and there's no room for argument about what the outcome should have been today. We know we need to improve in the final third, and we are working on that, but there's no negativity about the overall performance.

Everyone played their part, and we should have three points in the bag. It's a sickener to finish empty-handed. It was Halifax all over again for the goal that settled it, a shot deflecting off someone's backside into the bottom corner when it was going nowhere. We had eight or nine shots, but any block or deflection fell to one of theirs. That's how it's going for us, but I can't complain about anyone today. They gave their all.

Q: We had by far the best chances, didn't we?

A: Listen, we've signed a keeper and put him straight in, and he hasn't had a thing to do. I don't think he's touched the ball. He hasn't had to get his hands on a cross or shot once. He hasn't had a touch, so that should tell you how dominant we were. For six or seven weeks, the performances have been coming. We have been getting better and creating chances, and that's why the opposing keeper has been given Man of the Match three times in the last four games. It's so frustrating not pressing home our advantage, but we must be doing some things right.

Q: We seemed to have a real stranglehold in midfield, didn't we? The balance looked right, with Gary Jones keeping things ticking over, Simon Richman covering every blade of grass and Laurence Taylor (left) again looking composed.

Left: Laurence Taylor

A: It was good to have Gary Jones (below, right) back in there. I thought he played really well and made sure we kept possession and built attacks by never wasting a pass. It was a good balance of youth and experience. Young Laurence looked great again, a real plus for us. He is still learning the game and can get even better as he gains experience and takes on board what he's told. At the moment, he's a bonus for us, coming into the team at a young age and doing so well. I've no qualms about throwing him into these games.

Q: When you see a performance like that, even if we still need more of a cutting edge, does it suggest the players are buying in to what you and Robbie are telling them?

A: They are, but it has taken time, and it was always going to. When we took over just after Christmas, we were taking over someone else's mess, and the first thing we had to do was clear it all up. It's not easy coming into something like that. You can't step into a situation like we were in and think you're going to start winning games straightaway. What comes before performances and wins is identifying little things that are wrong and putting them right.

This is a super club, and I don't mean off the field. I mean on it. On the pitch, there was so much that needed sorting out, and we have been giving that our full attention to give ourselves the best chance of winning games. That's beginning to show itself. You look at performances and, apart from sticking the ball in the net, which we're striving to improve on, I can't ask any more than what the players have given.

Q: It was a gluepot of a pitch, not exactly conducive to passing, but you must have been pleased with the way we got the ball down and knocked it around?

A: I have said to the players from day one, be safe in your own half and don't take unnecessary chances but, if you're in the opposition half, express yourself and show what you are good at. That's getting the ball down and passing it around.

I am proud of the players and the way they have responded to me and Robbie. The fact of the matter is we are bottom of the table and seemingly heading for the Evo-Stik League, yet the desire and hunger to pick up points and try and improve our position couldn't have been greater. They are showing they want to play for me and Robbie, and that's a starting point for an upturn in fortunes.

They are going to feel flat naturally enough after putting so much in for no return, but I've told them I'm proud of them. Some people might say you've lost again so how can you be, but anyone who was here at the game would say the result bore no relation to what happened in the 90 minutes.

Q: Those who made the journey appreciated the performance, didn't they?

A: Spot-on, and it was great to hear that appreciation. I don't mind admitting I felt quite emotional, seeing our supporters on their feet, applauding like that. Hearing them praise the players to the hilt but knowing we hadn't given them the result they wanted was a tough one. They are fantastic fans, travelling far and wide to support us and always giving us 100 per cent. They are all the more special in my eyes when they can set aside the disappointment of the result and acknowledge how well the team had played. That was the best performance we've produced in my time here, and they clearly saw it the same way, judging by the reaction at half-time and the end. I thank them for that.

Q: Nicky Clee stayed off at half-time. How is he?

A: He took a whack on his knee, and we'll have to see how he is during the week. That was unfortunate but fair play to the subs who came on at various stages - I thought they all did really well and made a positive impact".


Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "The long-standing rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool will be resumed at The J.Davidson Stadium this Friday night when the clubs' under-18 sides do battle for Merit League points.

The attacking flair traditionally associated with United youth sides made a favourable impression on around 200 fans when their under-18s lost 2-1 to Altrincham in a friendly at the end of January.

Now the same under-18 team will be going all out to put one over their Liverpool counterparts at the start of the second phase of this season's Merit League competition, with the game kicking off at 7pm and admission free of charge.

Alty are delighted to be staging what is sure to be an extremely competitive, evenly-contested fixture, given the eventual winners of the Merit League will be crowned Barclays under-18 Premier League champions.

As an added attraction, the bar and food will be available both before and during the game, so why not make a night of it and judge for yourself who's likely to be gracing the Premier League proper in the not-too-distant future?"


Altrincham FC's sixth annual Beer Festival will take place from Friday 28th April to Monday 1st May.

The Club is looking for volunteers to staff the Real Ale pumps and the token table.

If you, or anyone else you know, is able to help for a shift please inform the Club and your name will be added to the master copy of the rota".


Tuesday, 7 March
  • AFC Telford Utd 0-6 Brackley Town. Att 844
  • Alfreton Town 1-0 FC Halifax Town. Att 499
  • Stalybridge Celtic P-P Kidderminster Harriers


According to NL Pitchero "Manager Jim Gannon has praised the generosity of the fans at Stockport County who have boosted his playing budget by a further £5,000 this week.

The 'Players' Fund' has made the contribution to the manager with the transfer window due to close in less than three weeks.

Gannon said, 'I really appreciate all the support that is coming from the fans at this stage. At every game we're feeling the support around the ground, but the `Players' Fund` highlights the hidden work that goes on behind the scenes to go above and beyond the normal duty of fans.

'I am a big fan of the members and volunteers of "Help the Hatters" and the Stockport County Supporters' Cooperative, who contribute so much to the club, and I wish to thank them very much for everything they're doing to improve our stadium, its atmosphere and its feel. The fans are heavily involved across a wide spectrum at the club from the pitch to the `Players' Fund`...

The Board have given me great backing this season, and with this extra lift from the fans it shows the part we are all playing in bringing success back to the club".

More news from Edgeley Park is that,"FC United of Manchester have announced that midfielder Harry Winter has left Broadhurst Park to sign for Stockport County.

Twenty-seven-year-old Winter played sixty times for FC United, scoring 6 goals since signing from Chorley in November 2015...

FC United boss Karl Marginson said,'I was delighted when we signed him last season... and he immediately made the role of midfield general his own... We’re extremely sorry to see him go...

Winter was a non-contract player at FC United, as Marginson explained, 'Both parties were happy to continue the arrangement on a pay-as-you-play basis. However, the offer that Stockport made was something that Harry could not turn down and as a club we will not stand in anyone’s way if a player wishes progress their career elsewhere".

At another local club, "Midfielder Kieran Dunbar has made his loan move to Stalybridge Celtic a permanent one and stays at Bower Fold until the end of the season.

Dunbar came through the youth ranks at Birmingham City and then Fleetwood Town... He joined Stalybridge on loan in December and has made ten appearances and scored 2 goals to date".

Elsewher, "Liam Hardy has today completed a permanent move from Darlington 1883 back to Buxton. The transfer follows a recent loan spell with the Bucks.

Hardy signed for the Quakers in February last season... The 29-year-old scored 7 times in Darlington’s opening fifteen league games this season on his way to notching 9 goals in total.

In January he re-joined his former club Buxton on a month’s loan... He returned to Darlington briefly and scored his final goal for the club in the recent home match against Harrogate Town."

NL Pitchero says that "Brackley Town have signed forward Jordan Hempenstall from Stamford AFC. Hempenstall had only re-joined the Daniels in February 2017 from league rivals Lincoln United. He had returned to United after a long road back from injury...

He has been a prolific scorer for Coalville Town, Spalding United and Grantham Town as well as Lincoln United and Stamford."

Meanwhile, "Joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have agreed full-time deals with Salford City and the playing staff will turn professional in the summer.

Johnson said,'The opportunity we've been given is beyond our wildest dreams. To be doing this so early in our careers is fabulous'...

Morley added, 'I'm not ashamed to say how I feel; we've worked hard and done well and we're both made up'".


The FA confirms that "The match official appointments for this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup quarter finals have been made...

Anthony Taylor will referee Arsenal’s tie with Lincoln City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening". As well as Altrincham-based referee, Anthony Taylor, one of the Assistant Referees will be Merseyside official Ian Hussin, brother of the former Altrincham captain, Eddie Hussin.

7 March 2017


The Nuneaton News reports that "The feud between two of Nuneaton's premier sporting clubs has ignited again, after a food caterer was blocked in a kiosk by a concrete block.

Nuneaton Rugby Football Club has admitted being behind the unsavoury incident prior to Nuneaton Town Football Club's game versus Gainsborough Trinity FC on Saturday afternoon (March 4). But the Nuns have said that its actions, which led to a woman being blocked in a food kiosk, were as a result of repeated ignored requests to the 'Boro not to use the Nuns-owned side of the land to access the Boro stadium, a claim the football club have contested.

Many had thought that the on-going row about use of the pitch at the Coombe Abbey Arena had reached a stalemate following 'skipgate' at the start of the year. The feud surfaced once again at the weekend, though, after a sub-contracted food provider was locked in her kiosk, only managing to escape after police intervention. A spokesperson from the Football Club said, 'We were disappointed with the actions that were taken on Saturday and disappointed that a third party was drawn into things. The actions were not conducive towards a club looking for a resolution and it left us as a football club flabbergasted'.

A statement from the Nuns' committee, reads 'It has been well documented that in the absence of a ground-share agreement. Nuneaton Rugby Club has, reluctantly, decided to enforce its rights over land which was retained (and not transferred to the football stadium owners). The retained land is very clearly defined in the lease (dated 2 August 2006) and in the Transfer of Part filed at the Land Registry. The documents very clearly show that the land owned by the rugby club runs right up the stadium wall on the south side. Surveyors have confirmed this position.

'Pending any ground-share agreement, the Rugby Club is not prepared to allow unauthorised access across the retained land to the stadium. We have therefore insisted that the football club and those accessing the stadium cease any unauthorised access across Nuneaton Rugby Club retained land. We have made this clear in writing to the ground owners on several occasions including last week. Last week we specifically requested that the stadium owners immediately notify all those wishing to enter the stadium, including catering staff, that they may only do so on the authorised access way to the football stadium.

'We continue to be prepared to sit down with the stadium owners to agree a new fair ground-share agreement which can include access. In the meantime we believe our stance is reasonable and understandable given the situation we presently face of our 1st team being refused use of the stadium pitch. We hope for resolution to this for the good of the town of Nuneaton as soon as possible'".


After Saturday's win over Altrincham, AFC Telford United said that "It wasn’t the performance that either the crowd nor Bucks' boss Rob Smith was looking for but, nevertheless, both saw the result that was needed when Dave Hibbert’s redirection of Joel Dielna’s shot took the spoils against basement dwellers Altrincham. The visitors could feel that the fates had treated them harshly, but the Bucks have similarly lost out this season when they’ve deserved more. Boss Rob Smith wasn’t happy with the performance but wasn’t about to turn down the victory...

Altrincham featured two former Bucks in their starting eleven, James Lawrie and Micah Evans, and had another, Andy Owens, on the bench... Poor set piece delivery characterised this game, with both sides wasting dead ball kicks, Sam Heathcote and the Bucks’ Joel Dielna especially culpable.

Callum Burton, preferred in goal to fellow loan keeper Matt Urwin, was being called upon occasionally, but wasn’t forced into any serious action. At the opposite end, Stuart Tomlinson, on his Altrincham debut, was similarly untested. Tomlinson, who has appeared in wrestling’s WWE, looked a little rusty and although an imposing figure wasn’t the most mobile presence between the sticks; as such, the Bucks failure to really test him was disappointing...

Just after the half-hour, Alty’s Nicky Clee appeared to twist awkwardly with no one near him and went down grimacing and holding his left knee. Bucks fans were a little unsympathetic but, after treatment, Clee continued. .. The previously injured Clee fouled Hodge on the touchline. It was one too many for the referee, who booked Clee, but worse news for the visitors was that the winger-cum-full-back aggravated his injury... and the whistle came as something of a relief, ending a fairly uninspiring half of football.

Nicky Clee didn’t emerge for the second half, replaced by Andy McWilliams...

Alty were still trying to get forward and Newby drove a shot wide when given space on the left then, with 10 minutes left, Burton denied them a golden chance when Richman anticipated a ball that left the Bucks’ back-line a little flat-footed. From no more than 6 or 8 yards Burton smothered his effort, to huge sighs of relief...

The Bucks were awarded a free-kick 40 yards from goal; Dielna’s ball in was headed back to the Frenchman, who speculatively struck it back towards goal. It wasn’t a hard shot, and may not have tested Tomlinson but, from around 15 yards from goal, Dave Hibbert deliberately stuck out his right foot and diverted the ball past the keeper’s right hand and in right at the base of the post. Alty’s heads and hearts sank, and a wave of relief swept all but the visitors' section of the New Buck’s Head...

The final chance of the game came when Simon Richman took the ball on his chest superbly and swivelled to hit a rising left-foot shot. It was possibly the best bit of skill in the game, but his shot rose too sharply, and cleared the bar with Burton grasping thin air. Within seconds the whistle blew and ended what had been a pretty poor game... It’s not a game that will live long in the memory".

6 March 2017


Following Saturday's fortunate victory over Altrincham, the Shropshire Star tells us that "Fuming boss Rob Smith branded AFC Telford United an 'absolute shambles' after they sneaked a 1-0 win against rock bottom Altrincham. Rob Smith slammed his team's performance despite gaining all three points.

The visitors, who arrived at the New Bucks Head having won just twice all season, were only kept at bay by the brilliance of home keeper Callum Burton who denied both Micah Evans and Simon Richman.

Dave Hibbert then snatched victory for the Bucks with three minutes remaining but...Smith was left frustrated by the performance. 'I thought we were an absolute shambles, I really did,' he said. 'Don’t get me wrong, I was sick of people saying it was an easy game. You just don’t get them in this league and they are as good a side as I’ve seen. A lot of that was because we were so poor. Our application wasn’t there, the commitment wasn’t there, our passing wasn’t there.

'How on earth we have come away with the win... We will take it all day long but we didn’t deserve it. I’ve made it clear in the dressing room that is not acceptable. Whether we have started to believe in ourselves a little too much but we never did the dirty side of things. We never did enough. I just could not see where we were going to score from'.

Altrincham fielded Stuart Tomlinson, who had spent the past three-and-a-half years as a WWE wrestler, in goal. Smith added, 'They had a goalkeeper who has not played for three years. He is not the most mobile but we did not test him enough. The one thing we said was ask the question. We did not put a single corner on him. Maybe we have earned the right to have a bad performance and have an ugly win but that was not good enough. We were absolutely atrocious. Maybe it will be the kick up the backside we need'...

'It was a massive three points', continued Smith. 'The whole aim is to get safe'".

A further report added that The Bucks "managed to clinch a late three points from rock-bottom Altrincham FC after a fairly lifeless game with few chances...

After several passages of play from the away side were broke down [sic] The Robins’ full back Nicky Clee seemed to suffer a knee injury off the ball in the 34th minute holding up the proceedings for some time. But the defender shortly returned to the pitch...

Telford continued in their trend of being unable to test Tomlinson in goal and the remaining highlight of the first half included a rash challenge by Clee on Hodge resulting in a booking for the still hobbling defender. After the interval Clee was substituted... Personnel wasn’t [sic] the only factor that changed the opening minutes either as a quick flurry of rain had caused the pitch to become evidently greasier...

Altrincham were close to causing an upset with a counter attack. Sam Heathcote managed to make his way to the left hand side of the pitch and swing in an early cross where Micah Evans, who was in Telford colours as recent as the start of the season, managed to latch onto the ball and direct it into the corner. Luckily Callum Burton managed to shift himself over and push the ball around the post and out for a corner...

It was Altrincham who looked most likely to score. Yet Burton proved to be Bucks’ saving grace with only five minutes to go when he consecutively denied both Simon Richman at point blank and Heathcote’s header from a corner....

Dielna fired the ball from ranged [sic] into a crowded penalty area where it took a deflection and found its way into the net"

Also "AFC Telford United are set to be without Lee Hughes for 'at least' two weeks after the striker suffered a recurrence of a groin injury. The 40-year-old was passed fit to start the Bucks home clash with Altrincham on Saturday but had to be substituted at half-time... 'He will be out for two weeks now at least I imagine. It’s disappointing,' said Smith, after watching his team sneak a 1-0 win... 'Let’s be fair if you have Lee on the park you have to give him some service. I don’t think he touched the ball. You have to play to his strengths'".


Alty travel to Boston next Saturday. Last Saturday the Pilgrims had an away goalless draw against FC Halifax Town. Boston United report that "The Pilgrims shared the spoils at The Shay... Alex Simmons came closest for the Pilgrims in the opening minute, with teenager Harry Vince excelling on his full debut in United colours.

United boss Adam Murray had opted to make four changes ahead of kick-off, with Vince among those coming into the side... Halifax had started as firm favourites but United keeper Ross Durrant was on hand to repel long-range free-kicks from Matty Kosylo and Richard Peniket during a tight first half...

Boston (4-5-1): Ross Durrant; Kalern Thomas, Josh Robinson, Tom Batchelor, Jan Yeomans; Alex Simmons, Harry Vince, Adam Chapman, Lewis Hilliard (Callum Chippendale 90), Ben Gordon; Colby Bishop (Marcus Marshall 86). Subs (not used): Shane Clarke, Joe Fitzpatrick, Joe Maguire".

After the game, "Adam Murray claimed his Pilgrims ‘nailed it’ after securing a point at FC Halifax Town... 'It was a very good performance, very professional,' Murray said. 'I felt the players and the staff tactically nailed it. At times we had to control the game without the ball. When I first came in we did that really well, and we got back to that today... A very good performance at a very tough place to come'...

'If you’d have said to anyone before the game we’d have took a point', Murray added. 'They’re going for promotion, we’re at the other end. If you look at it as two points dropped then you’re a very miserable person. We’ll look at that as a point gained'".

From the Halifax Courier we read that "An out-of-sorts FC Halifax Town were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw in a dour game at home to Boston United. Town again struggled to impose themselves on the contest akin to similar performances against Worcester, Altrincham and Nuneaton.

There’s a nagging sense that, given the lion’s share of possession and a defensive-minded team to break down, The Shaymen are at a loss to know how to go about it. Their performances, and the quality of the games, seem to rise to the occasion against better opposition... Halifax will need to learn how to negotiate obstacles like Boston...

Both teams started in lackadaisical fashion... In terms of pace, the first-half rarely broke out of a trot which was never going to be enough to break through a Boston side clearly happy to take the sting out of the contest from the off... Boston were good value for the draw at half-time, with Harry Vince firing wide from the edge of the box and Josh Robinson heading just over from a corner. Colby Bishop had their best chance yet just after the interval when he was put through after Kevin Roberts’ sloppy clearance, but Matty Brown’s block took the sting out of his shot...

Boston: Durrant, Thomas, Yeomans, Vince, Batchelor, Robinson, Chapman, Gordon, Simmons, Bishop (Marshall 85), Hilliard (Chippendale 90). Subs not used: Clarke, Fitzpatrick, Maguire".


Later in March Alty visit the Horsfall Stadium and the Telegraph & Argus, reports on the latest game there, which ended Bradford Park Avenue 0 Gloucester City 1

"A strike ten minutes into the second half settled a poor game in favour of visitors Gloucester City as Mark Bower’s 20th Vanarama National League North game in charge of Bradford Park Avenue ended in a tame home defeat. The former City skipper has led Avenue out of the drop zone but his side failed to improve on their position...

Avenue had new signings Jake Hibbs and Gavin Rothery, both on loan from league rivals, on the bench as both made debuts in the second half... Rothery, who joined from Gainsborough Trinity on Friday, was introduced for the last 30 minutes while Hibbs got just 13 minutes as he joined his former FC Halifax Town team-mate Nicky Wroe in central midfield.

The changes were needed after Gloucester striker Zack Kotwica was presented with the simple task of picking his spot from six yards... Keeper Jasbir Singh was tested in the 67th minute but ensured his side stayed in front with an excellent double save, parrying [ex-Alty man] Emile Sinclair’s shot and then reacting superbly to stop Oli Johnson's follow up....

That left Bower deflated, and he said, 'I was disappointed with the result but more disappointed by the performance. Gloucester showed a lot more desire and determination in the first 20 minutes of the second half... We’ve got an important period coming up with five games in 15 days [including the visit of Alty], so there are a lot of points to be won or lost. It’s all about how we react to this result now'".


NL Pitchero says that "Hyde and Farsley were involved in a nine-goal thriller that also saw three red cards – all great entertainment for the 438 crowd at Ewen Fields... At 2-1, Hyde`s Paddy Miller was dismissed for violent conduct and he was followed for an early shower by Farsley striker James Walshaw for a kick out at the home keeper...

Six minutes from time, Hyde went down to nine-men when James Burke conceded a penalty as last man and Richard Marshall made it 3-3. Aidan Savory made it 4-3 to the visitors 3 minutes later, but credit the nine-men, who levelled through Lawrence Hunter as stoppage time approached. But they couldn`t hang on, and Farsley won it [4-5] in time added on through Adam Clayton."

5 March 2017


Match report here

Even a non-partisan source in the NL Paper concluded that "Basement side Alty would have been worthy winners" about the game at Telford on Saturday.

Right: Telford captain, Luca Havern, chatted with former team-mate, Simon Richman, as the teams emerged for the match on Saturday at the New Buck's Head. Once again, Chris Lynch captained the Altrincham side, and he is seen leading out the players.


Former Alty goalkeeper, Andrew Dawber is subject of an article in the NL Paper.

"While admitting this season hasn't panned out as he'd hoped, the young stopper is determined to come back strong.

He's one of a selection of non-League stoppers who will be at a three-day residential training camp at Cambridge University with Leyton Orient goalie coach, Martin Brennan, and England C's Mick Payne, at the end of June.

With tactical sessions, fitness work and classroom analysis, Dawber believes it will pay off....

'I was with Martin at Fulham and I went on a camp with him in Portugal last summer', Dawber said. 'It's brilliant. He's so modern. You're not working for work's sake. It's all geared up for your game.

'It's good to be with other keepers too'".

Elsewhere in the Hallmark Security (NW Counties) League's Reusch First Division Cup Semi-Final, 1st Leg, Boris Melingui netted twice in a 3-1 away win for Sandbach United against Holker Old Boys.


Saturday's attendances were:
  • Att: 1105 AFC Telford Utd 1 v 0 Altrincham
  • Att: 296 Bradford Park Avenue 0 v 1 Gloucester City
  • Att: 222 Curzon Ashton 0 v 0 Brackley Town
  • Att: 1752 FC Halifax Town 0 v 0 Boston United
  • Att: 2456 FC United Of Manchester 1 v 0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att: 1018 Harrogate Town 3 v 3 AFC Fylde
  • Att: 474 Nuneaton Town 2 v 1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Att: 4073 Stockport County 0 v 0 Chorley
  • Att: 1301 Tamworth 2 v 0 Salford City
  • Att: 589 Worcester City 2 v 2 Darlington 1883


The National League tells us that "Bradford Park Avenue have signed winger Gavin Rothery on loan from league rivals Gainsborough Trinity until the end of the season.

Rothery links up once more with Mark Bower who managed him at Guiseley AFC for almost all of his three-year spell in charge. The 29-year-old has spent the majority of his career at Nethermoor, making 196 appearances in a six-year spell.

The left-sided player made thirty-three appearances in the National League last season though, before moving to Gainsborough in the summer.

He has made just fifteen appearances in an injury-hit season however...

Rothery appeared for Carlisle and Barrow, and played internationally for England under-19s. Rothery comes in with Avenue left winger Nicky Boshell set for a longer spell on the sidelines than first expected after picking up an ankle injury...

On this side of the Pennines, "FC United of Manchester have re-signed centre-back Cedric Krou upon his return to England after a year with Latvian side BFC Daugavpils.

Krou, 25, began his career at FC United... He then took in a spell at Trafford before returning to FC United".

In its weekend review, the National League says that "AFC Fylde were held to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling encounter at the CNG Stadium by play-off chasing Harrogate Town, but the Coasters actually increased their advantage at the top to eleven points after none of the chasing pack managed a win on Saturday... Matty Hughes’ 87th minute equaliser showed why they are run away leaders.

Second-placed Salford City were beaten 2-0 at The Lamb by a Tamworth side who are now only a couple of points adrift of the play-off places themselves...

Tamworth keeper James Belshaw wasn't called on to make a save after the break as the Lambs comfortably saw out the game.

A crowd of 2,456 saw third-placed Kidderminster Harriers also lose, at Broadhurst Park, to a FC United of Manchester side who needed the points to prevent them dropping further towards the drop zone.

George Thomson’s 24th minute strike was enough to give the Reds a league `double` over Harriers.

A fantastic crowd of 4,073 saw fourth-placed Chorley held at Edgeley Park by sixth-placed Stockport County... County were dominant in the second and the Magpies registered no attempts on goal after the break - but ultimately held firm, despite losing former Hatter Kieran Charnock when the defender was sent-off in added time for a second bookable offence.

Fifth-placed FC Halifax Town were also held to a 0-0 draw at The Shay by a Boston United side in need of points to keep them clear of being drawn into a relegation fight. The point leaves the Pilgrims seven points above the bottom three.

Seventh-placed Darlington 1883 were another play-off chasing side unable to make much progress on Saturday as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Bromsgrove by third-bottom Worcester City after late drama...

Six minutes were shown on the fourth official's board when Murphy was sent free in the 93rd minute, somehow bundling the ball over the line, sending City in front... but the Quakers found an equaliser 2 minutes later when Harvey Saunders headed in to the back of the net.

Brackley Town really needed a win at the Tameside Stadium to push towards the play-off places with their games in hand. But the Saints were held to a goalless draw by mid-table Curzon Ashton.

Gloucester City got back to winning ways and, with results going their way at the top, kept their slim play-off chances alive with a resilient performance at struggling Bradford Park Avenue.

The only goal of the game at the Horsfall Stadium came 10 minutes into the second half...

Worcester's point against Darlington leaves them just a point behind fourth-bottom Gainsborough Trinity, who lost 2-1 at Nuneaton Town, who are now nine points clear of the bottom three".

4 March 2017


An injury-ravaged Altrincham deserved at least a point, if not all three, but were robbed of any reward at all for a good performance by a heavily deflected goal in the 87th minute.

The visitors paid the price for missing a number of half chances and also saw an Evans's effort pushed away along the goalline by keeper Burton.

Right: Stuart Tomlinson lines up between Gary Jones and James Lawrie.

With goalkeeper Tim Deasy injured, new signing Stuart Tomlinson made his debut and, apart from a couple of saves, he had relatively little to do.

In a match riddled with petty fouls and played on a soft surface, there was too much scrappy play to make it a great spectacle but Altrincham, with John Cyrus again excelling at back, put together some good attacking moves. But the injury jinx struck again as Nicky Clee had to come off at the interval after a late challenge on him in the first half.

In addition to the Evans effort, they came closest when Richman's shot from three yards was blocked by a defender and when the same player lifted a late effort over the bar.

Match report here


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


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.

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Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Saturday's game...

Coverage starts at 2.55pm and you can listen to Radio Robins here".


Assuming new goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson makes his debut on Saturday at the New Buck's Head, he will be the fiftieth player to appear in an Altrincham league match this season and the 53rd in all competitions. Stuart has previously played against Altrincham for at least three different clubs, (Stafford Rangers, Barrow, Crewe Alexandra), one of the most memorable of those games being the match against Stafford on a snow-covered pitch on Boxing Day 2004.

After Wednesday's game at Darlington, Altrincham had ten players injured, but there is hope that, at least, Kyle Brownhill may recover in time for the match on Saturday.

From the New Buck's Head, the Shropshire Star reports that "Assistant boss Larry Chambers has admitted AFC Telford will not take any risks over the fitness of Lee Hughes as the striker continues to battle a groin problem.

The 40-year-old former Albion ace has netted twice in three games since joining the Bucks from Worcester, but may sit out tomorrow’s home game against Altrincham with the club’s management prepared to give him as long as possible to recover. Skipper Luca Havern is also a major doubt to face his former club with a calf problem while goalkeeper Matt Urwin is available after a hip problem, with Telford hopeful John-Paul Kissock and Josh Wilson will also return.

Chambers said, 'The last thing we want to do with Lee is risk making the problem worse. There are some big games coming up, he is an important player and we need him available so, if it means him sitting out on Saturday, that is what we’ll do'...

While players will be warned to take nothing for granted, Chambers admits... 'This is a game the Bucks should be taking three points from to ease their own relegation fears. There are no easy games in this league but, if we want to stay up,this is the kind of game we should be winning,” he said. 'The fact Altrincham are so far behind makes them dangerous in a way because there is no pressure on them. Ultimately it is all about us and how we perform...

'In recent weeks performances have been good. We came away from a defeat at Salford City last week feeling we should have won the game. If we keep performing like that we will be fine but words count for nothing, we have to do it on the pitch'".

The same source newspaper says that "With their visitors bottom of the National League North table and already resigned to relegation, the most obvious danger for AFC Telford tomorrow may well be complacency... Altrincham have won just twice during a tumultuous campaign which has already included two managerial changes and their team tomorrow will be close to unrecognisable from the one beaten 2-0 by the Bucks at Moss Lane back in October.

According to Telford midfielder Jack Rea, that in itself creates a challenge. 'Their team seems to have changed a great deal since we last played and the lads there now are effectively on trial, which is a source of motivation for them', he said. 'It’s a different team and they won’t necessarily have the mentality of players who have been down there all season. You never know quite what you are going to get and, though this is a game where we will be looking for three points, we can’t underestimate them'...

Though Telford themselves remain in trouble just three points above the drop zone, albeit with two games in hand, recent performances have give cause for encouragement...

Rea, who has been with the Bucks since January 2015, believes players have begun taking added responsibility with new arrivals like veteran striker Lee Hughes and defender Joel Dielna having added a layer of experience and leadership".

Footnote: For the record, Alty's squad for the reverse fixture this season is below. Only four of the squad that day also started last Wednesday at Darlington and one of those (Tim Deasy) will miss this Saturday's game. 1. Tim DEASY 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Greg WILKINSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Craig HOBSON, 14. Phil MARSH, 15. Danny HALL, 16. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 20. Andrew DAWBER.


Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Matt Doughty has moved to fill the gap left by Tim Deasy's injury by signing experienced former Crewe and Port Vale keeper Stuart Tomlinson.

The 31-year old has signed in time for tomorrow's (Saturday) Vanarama National League North game at AFC Telford United and, with Deasy's thigh injury expected to keep him out for up to a month, is likely to go straight into the starting line-up.

While Deasy's latest thigh problem is a concern for Alty, there was better news of in-form midfielder Kyle Brownhill, who also hobbled off at Darlington on Wednesday night but could yet be available for Telford and will have a fitness test prior to kick-off.

Tomlinson's arrival at The J.Davidson Stadium represents an opportunity to revive his career after he announced he was quitting football to train as a professional wrestler on a development contract with WWE. Appearing under the ring name Hugo Knox, he made his debut at an event in November, 2014, but was released from his contract last September, enabling him to accept Alty's offer of a fresh start in football.

Born in Chester, he graduated from the youth ranks at Gresty Road and, after signing his first professional contract in 2003, made a total of 20 appearances for Crewe's first team in a six-year stay that included loan spells at Stafford Rangers and Port Vale.

Above: Stuart Tomlinson is third in the Barrow line as the teams come out before the game against Alty at Holker Street in August 2009.

A season at Barrow in 2009-10 saw him sharing goalkeeping duties with, ironically enough, Tim Deasy before he embarked on a successful two-year stint with Port Vale, where a tally of 74 appearances fully vindicated an early assessment of his worth from manager Micky Adams.

'Stuart is a keeper with tremendous agility who is renowned for his shot-stopping, and we have the benefit of knowing all about him after working with him for a short spell (on loan) last season,' said Adams. 'He is aware he will have tough competition for the number one spot from Chris Martin, but he is ready for the challenge and looking forward to being back in the Football League.'

During his time at Vale, he was reportedly a £250,000 target for Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers, though Adams was quick to stamp down on the speculation by saying: 'That amount of money would not buy Stuart's left hand.' A move to Burton Albion in September, 2012 preceded his venture into the world of professional wrestling, but he is now ready to re-establish his goalkeeping credentials after Deasy's latest misfortune left Andrew Jones as the only senior number one at Doughty's disposal".


According to the Worcester News, "Worcester City’s financial position is 'worse than expected' after figures revealed the cash-strapped club had recorded a loss of more than £150,000 from 2015 until 2016.

According to City’s latest abbreviated accounts the club lost £155,362 in the last financial year, which was £34,955 more than the forecast figure. It means the net worth of City, in exile since 2013, has gone down from £652,076 to £496,714 between May 2015 and May 2016 which includes £155,155 of shareholders’ money. The club’s losses have been mitigated by successful runs in the FA Cup, reaching the second round in 2014 and the first stage last year...

Supporters' Trust secretary Rob Crean said: “The trust have called a board meeting to look to push forward the community ownership model with the club... In light of the worse-than-expected financial results which have just been released we will also be considering what due diligence we may have to go through to understand the full financial position the football club are in.”

Worcester-based auditors JFA Chartered Accountants said in the accounts the club remained a 'going concern'. 'The company has sustained a loss on its operations during the year under review and further losses are expected to be incurred in the current and future years,' it said. 'Although the company received the balance of sale monies from the disposal of its ground last year, the directors feel it is important to highlight the fact these funds are being depleted quite rapidly as they provide the only means of covering ongoing losses year upon year in the absence of new sources of sponsorship or other income.

'These factors represent material uncertainties which cast doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern in the years to come. But, after making full enquiries and considering these uncertainties, the directors consider it appropriate to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis for this year'".

From NL Pitchero we learn that "Salford City have signed Manchester-born goalkeeper Greg Hartley from United States side Chattanooga FC.

Hartley, 26, has played with Chattanooga since 2012. He has won the National Premier Soccer League's 'golden gloves' award twice (2013-2014), has been a Southeast Conference champion, South Region champion, NPSL finalist and US Open Cup Veteran several times over. He was honored by fans nationwide as the NPSL Supporters' XI Goalkeeper in 2014.

After training with Manchester City academy from the age of seven and being a member of their 2008 FA Youth Cup winning side... Hartley moved to the United States and played collegiate soccer... Among his impressive honors are Athletic Achievement Award from the Kentucky House of Representatives, NAIA All-American, SSAC Defensive Player of the Year, SSAC All-Conference Team, NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week, and SSAC Defensive Player of the Week."

And finally, the National League says that "There will be a pitch inspection for Gainsborough Trinity's away match with Nuneaton Town at 10am".


Our neighbours Trafford report that they " have signed defender, Anthony Griffith from Glossop North End".
3 March 2017


As previously announced, TASC is running supporters' transport to Telford for next Saturday's game with Altrincham. Full details are on the Away Travel page. Please book by ringing the Club on (0161) 928-1045 during normal office hours.

Don’t forget that, as well as coach travel to AFC Telford this Saturday, "TASC are hoping to run travel to Boston on Saturday 11th March. If you haven’t already done expressed your interest in this trip, please call the club on the above number as soon as possible. A decision will be made on Monday evening if we can run the travel and we will update all as soon as the outcome is known".

Meanwhile, for those travelling by car to Telford, don't forget that, as the Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports, "The new A556 dual carriageway will finally open for the first time on Monday but motorists must brace for one more weekend of closures.

The M56 junctions 7 and 8, M6 junction 19 and the existing A556 will all be closed this weekend as work to open the new £192 million Knutsford to Bowdon dual carriageway nears completion. The 56-hour weekend closure will run from 9pm on Friday March 3 to 5am on Monday March 6.

This weekend’s closure will allow the old road to be finally sealed off to through traffic and for the motorway junctions to be tied into the new dual carriageway. The new road will then be opened to motorists on Monday March 6...

Motorway users will be diverted to alternative junctions to leave or join the M6 or M56 during the closure. Drivers on the northbound M6 heading for Manchester and Manchester Airport will need to stay on the M6, join the westbound M56 at Lymm Interchange (M6 junction 20) and then join the eastbound M56 at junction 10 (Stretton).

Drivers on the westbound M56 heading away from Manchester and wanting to join the southbound M6 will also need to travel to junction 10 at Stretton – joining the eastbound M56 from there to travel back to Lymm Interchange and access the southbound M6.

Over the weekend, only the northbound exit slip at junction 19 of the M6 will remain partially open – allowing drivers to access the southbound, local authority section, of the A556 towards Northwich... Highways England provides live traffic information via The new road and the motorway junctions will be closed for finishing works during the project’s third and final full weekend of closures between 9pm on Friday March 10 and 5am on Monday March 13.

Construction of the new A556 link road, between the M56 and the M6, started in November 2014".


Altrincham's press and media officer John Edwards writes, "A former UEFA data specialist who runs a flourishing Hale-based sports analysis business has placed his expertise at Altrincham's disposal in a major boost to the club's hopes of a swift and significant revival in the team's fortunes.

Rob Esteva (right), founder, owner and managing director of The Stats Zone, attended the strategic review presentation at The J.Davidson Stadium on Sunday as an interested onlooker and offered his services free of charge to the club in a meeting with chairman Grahame Rowley three days later.

The partnership begins with immediate effect, and as Rob said, in an interview with Alty's press department, he is 'here for the long haul' and 'determined to make a material difference to the club's on-field fortunes.'

In essence, it means Alty will have constant access to an extensive network of scouting reports and information on teams, players who could become transfer targets and managers who could be shortlisted for a vacancy from a company who have established themselves, inside two years, as one of the market leaders in performance evaluation.

Underlining his eagerness to hit the ground running, Rob has already started analysing footage of an AFC Telford game in the hope it might benefit manager Matt Doughty's preparations for Saturday's Vanarama National League North fixture.

Explaining why he has aligned himself with Alty, despite coming from Leeds and spending six years at UEFA and three as a director of Brentford, the 37-year old said: 'I'm not going to try and hoodwink anyone into thinking Alty have always been my team, but they do feel like my team now.

'After my time in Switzerland with UEFA, I returned to the UK and founded The Stats Zone about two years ago. We initially moved to Altrincham, then Hale and have bought a house there. We have a five-month old daughter, so this is home and we are here for the long haul.

'For me, Alty are the local team. I may not have arrived in the area as an Alty fan, but I love football, and if you love football, you know all about Altrincham and their famous Cup exploits down the years.

'I have been to games this season, and it has been painful to watch. There is so much off the field that sounds positive and is positive, but there's no hiding from the fact this season has been a disaster. That doesn't put me off one bit, though. I really want to help the club now, when it's at rock bottom. I want to make a difference, and I firmly believe my experience on the board at Brentford and professional expertise can help me make a significant contribution to turning the team around.

'There is no secret recipe to make it happen overnight, but there is plenty that can be done, like improving the infrastructure to support the manager and players for the rebuilding job that is needed. Right now, plans have to be drawn up for next season. It has to be promotion, and the planning has to start now.

'One of the first things is analysing Alty's own performances, because player retention is one of the big decisions for the manager ahead of next season. I'm waiting for Alty TV footage of some recent games, so we can analyse them and provide feedback for the manager, and that's something we intend doing on a regular basis moving forward.

'The guys who work for me are not just scouts who provide detailed form reports but performance analysis specialists and sports science graduates who are absolutely in tune with the latest cutting-edge technology for getting the maximum out of players.

'They will analyse videos of each Alty game and provide feedback and opinion for the manager to digest at the following training session. Not just the manager and his coaching staff, but any players who want to study clips of themselves,

'Whenever the manager identifies areas of the team that need strengthening, we can dip into a data base that has been developed thanks to a nationwide scouting network. Admittedly, the amount of data available for the level we look like playing at next season is limited, but I'm quite prepared to send a guy to an Evo-Stik game to film future opponents or run the rule over a player who may be of interest to us. Of course, the higher we go, the more we'll have already to hand.

'In terms of recruitment, stats alone don't give you the whole story. We will provide qualitative analysis and research to provide an insight into a player's injury record for example, which can be quite telling. Also, when a manager moves on, he takes the knowledge he's built up of the club with him, but not if we build a database, like I intend doing. It will all be stored, ready for the next manager to access, so there are processes in place for a transfer of knowledge.

'Ultimately, what all this does is minimise risks and increase the likelihood of successful player recruitment and in turn, improved performance levels. There is always an element of risk, and mistakes will be made, as indicated by the incredible turnover of players this season, but the service we provide undoubtedly reduces it.

'It's very easy to get caught up in the emotion of a game, and a second set of eyes is often useful. We have got a great team, so many good, experienced performance analysts and scouts, and I'm excited at what we can do to help Altrincham get back to where they should be.

'We have done so well, and gone from strength to strength since launching less than two years ago, because I pay for the services of people who work for me. League clubs use these guys because it's a vital service in the modern game, but they only pay expenses and, accordingly, don't get the same level of commitment as I do.

‘We’ve worked with clubs in this country and abroad as far as Mexico, and we work a number of major international sports organisations as their data services arm, giving meaning to their data by translating it into layman's terms.

'I believe in embracing all concepts surrounding getting the best out of players. I'm flying out to Boston shortly to look at some of the innovations in American sport and see if any can be adapted to our game here. They are very advanced in their thinking over there. When I get back, I'll be meeting the manager and his assistant to start formulating some plans and ideas.

'I want to make a difference for this club. It is part-time, so maybe the manager and players don't have the time to do all the research and checking we can do. It is crucial we come straight back up next season and then keep going in the same direction, as outlined in the five-year plan.

'I'm all for planning but, ultimately, the people who turn up every week want to see an improvement now. They want to see evidence the club is being turned round from the start of next season, and that's what we have to work towards. I do think my time at Brentford will help. I knew the owner of the club and he invited me on to the board in 2006, when I was only 26.

'They were struggling at the time and went down to League Two before gradually fighting their way back to League One, and it was an invaluable learning experience that should stand me in good stead for a not dissimilar situation here at at Alty. I was at the meeting on Sunday, and I just felt the club could do with a bit of energy and a bit of youth. I'm still only 37, and I'm hungry to do well.

'As to whether I might join the board in due course, I think I need to build some trust with the club first and vice-versa. Let's focus on improving things for now, and I'm confident I can contribute importantly to that, then see where we are.'

A delighted Grahame Rowley said: 'There has always been talk about the need for a proper scouting network, but the costs involved are considerable, and there is also the problem of finding the right people to run it. It is something we've been keen for a while to address, so I was overwhelmed when Rob made his generous offer to help us in this way.

'It is one of the highlighted areas we need to improve on, so the offer has come at exactly the right time, Many thanks to Rob for that, and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship that will hopefully be of enormous benefit to the club.'"


Overnight we published the initial part of the story about how a local teacher, who tauught the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, has used an advertising board in the J Davidson Stadium to highlight awareness to prostate cancer. Now we are delighted to tell the full story. Written by Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, it is an extended version of a news story he submitted to The Sale and Altrincham Messenger this week.

Above: The new Bowel Cancer UK advertising board at the J Davidson Stadium.

"An Ashton-on-Mersey schoolteacher has taken time out from shaping the academic development of future Manchester United stars to launch a personal crusade aimed at raising awareness of cancer.

John Canny, who can count Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard among those he has helped as a form tutor at Ashton-on-Mersey Secondary School, was diagnosed with bowel cancer shortly before Christmas.

Rather than put everything else on hold while he underwent chemotherapy, however, he threw himself into a campaign that began with the purchase of an advertising hoarding at Altrincham Football Club's J.Davidson Stadium.

Explaining why he chose Alty's famous Moss Lane venue as a launchpad, he said, 'My niece goes out with Kyle Brownhill (right), and when he joined Alty, we decided to start watching their games. The first was on Boxing Day, and I noticed a prostate cancer advert on the far side and a gap just to the right of it.

I just thought, what a great opportunity to get the message across about bowel cancer and the importance of catching it early. Ever since being diagnosed, I've been looking for ways of raising awareness about early detection.

'It needed paying for, of course, but one of my pals Billy West suggested a weight loss competition for January, with each competitor putting in £25 and the winner getting as bottle of champagne. Family and friends donated as well, and we raised £265. The sign should have been £350, but the guy who did it, Joe Faulkner of Sign and Display in Gatley, came up with a wonderful gesture by kindly letting us have it at cut-price.

'It is ready to go up now, over on the Popular side, near the TV gantry, and my hope is Alty fans, and away fans for that matter, will see it and just think for a moment about the importance of recognising the symptoms and acting at the first sign of anything amiss.

'I didn't have a clue about it and thought I was absolutely fine. But then I started to have irregular bowel movements and to feel slightly restricted in that area, so I went for a colonoscopy and a tumour was discovered. Even then, when I went to the doctor's initially, I had to ask for a colonoscopy. It wasn't offered to me. I said something's not right, and the doc said ok we'll arrange it for you. You have to be proactive about it and insist on getting properly checked out.

'I'm halfway through my chemotherapy treatment, and hopefully we've got it early enough for me to recover from it, but I can't stress enough the importance of being vigilant and doing something the minute you notice anything untoward. I've had personal experience of that after my best friend died of prostate cancer three years ago. He never went to the doctor's. He had a bad back for a year and thought it was nothing. When he did finally get it checked out, the cancer was so far advanced, there was nothing they could do for him. If he'd made an appointment earlier, it could have been so different.

'That just illustrated how the symptoms aren't always obvious. With bowel cancer, it's not just a change in bowel movements or traces of blood, important though it is to look out for those. Unexplained weight loss or tiredness or the sort of restriction I felt are others. It could be something, it could be nothing, but get checked out straightaway.

'We had to get the wording and appearance right for the board, and now that's been done, I can't wait to see it in place. I didn't come to Alty games before Kyle signed, but I do now. Kyle is made up with what we are doing and is right behind us, which is great.

'I'm proud of the board and all the effort my mates put in to getting it done, but this is just the start. My wife Kath and her brother Dave Ryder are doing the Trafford 10k run for bowel cancer. They've already raised £1100 and would welcome more donations at

'On top of that, United send their scholars to our school, which is how the likes of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard came to spend time with us while they were at the Academy, so I'm hoping to go to Carrington and put some signs up and get the lads to wear our t-shirts, to generate more publicity.

'I just want to get the message across that early detection is paramount. I'm really throwing myself into this, because I've seen for myself the difference it makes if you act quickly. Do that, and you can beat it. Ignore it, and you won't. That's it in a nutshell, and if people start taking it on board, it will all have been worthwhile.'"


Following Wednesday's match, the Northern Echo has video highlights of the match and adds that "The first of series of games against relegation-threatened clubs saw Darlington overcome Altrincham and emerge as unconvincing 3-1 winners.

They laboured to victory somewhat, only adding a third goal ten minutes from time from the penalty spot, by Terry Galbraith, after a tense second half in which the bottom-of-the-table visitors threatened to salvage a point...

'All that was important tonight was getting back to winning ways,' said a relieved manager, Martin Gray... 'It was a difficult game. Altrincham are bottom of the league, but they’re a club that was in the Conference last season. People might expect you to win these games but it’s not as easy as that, certainly not in the division we’re in. “Nobody gives you an easy game and that was proven in the second half when they dug in and had a good 20-25 minutes and made it difficult for us.

'It was a very strong first-half performance and, if we had gone in 3-0 up, it would’ve been a bit more comfortable in the second half'. Gray’s team stagnated after the break, but they had enough chances before the break to build a healthy lead...

The two-goal platform was deserved, Darlington having been well on top, yet saw their advantage halved due to typical sloppy defending. The Robins exploited space on the right of Quakers’ rear, James Lawrie getting a shot in, parried by Wilczynski, but Newby was on hand to convert for 2-1... Darlington have still kept only two clean sheets. Newby’s goal meant Darlington became the first team Altrincham have scored against home and away in league matches this season...

At the other end, reserve keeper Andrew Jones came on for former Gateshead No. 1 Tim Deasy, replaced due to injury, in one of the few moments of note during an uneventful second half...

Beck was booked for what appeared to be an accidental clash with Kyle Brownhill, though the Altrincham player later required crutches and he will have stitches on a cut foot. For the third game in a row Turnbull, last season’s player of the year, was substituted midway through the half, the uneven Blackwell surface hardly ideal for his style of play".


Altrincham travel to the New Buck's Head on Saturday to play AFC Telford United. By the end of Alty's game at Darlington last Wednesday they had ten players unable to play through injury, (Jake Moult, Gary Jones, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Andy Owens, Alan Goodall, Tim Deasy, Kyle Brownhill).

Mike Garnett's data shows previous outcomes in matches between the clubs. Alty have yet to beat AFC Telford United though, of course, they did beat their forerunners, Telford United.

    Home: P3-W0-D1-L2-F2-A5
  • Away: 2-0-0-2-2-5
  • All: 5-0-1-4-4-10

AFC Telford United report that "The Bucks are hunting for back to back home wins... With the Bucks sat three points above the relegation zone in 16th, Rob Smith will want his side to pull further clear of danger this weekend.

October’s 2-0 victory at Moss Lane remains the Bucks’ only league win to have come away from home this season, with only Stalybridge Celtic and this Saturday’s visitors, Altrincham, picking up fewer points on the road.

Since we last met, the Robins have appointed their third manager of the season. Matt Doughty took the reins in December after Neil Young and Jim Harvey had both failed to arrest the club’s slide following relegation...

It’s been a tough learning curve for rookie manager Doughty who has seen his side lose eight of the 12 league games for which he’s been in charge. However, the Robins have won 6 of their 13 points with Doughty at the helm and last weekend earned a first victory in seventeen league games, as they recorded a crucial 2-0 win over Worcester City. Defeat at Darlington on Wednesday, however, leaves Alty without an away win since the beginning of October.

The Bucks meanwhile have impressed at home of late with just one defeat in six at the New Bucks Head, while Telford’s former Alty man Luca Havern has led a defence that has conceded the joint fewest goals at home this season. Havern may miss out through injury but there will be plenty familiar faces in the Alty ranks. Long-time Robins James Lawrie and Damian Reeves have been joined this season by Andy Owens, Kyle Brownhill and Micah Evans.

Rob Smith will want his current crop of players to maintain the performances of recent weeks as the Bucks look to extend an excellent record against Altrincham, which has brought four wins and a draw from our last five games with the Robins."

Admission Prices

  • £14 Adults
  • £10 Concessions (over 60)
  • £5 for 16 to 19 year olds
  • Kid for a Quid (U16s Only)


From NL Pitchero comes confirmation that "David Morgan has today left Nuneaton Town to rivals and leaders AFC Fylde for an undisclosed fee. The former Northern Ireland under-21 international joined the club in the summer of 2015 from Ilkeston FC...

'Part of me is disappointed that we have lost a key player and the other part is pleased that we have been able to play a big part in his development to get this move,' admitted manager, Tommy Wright. 'For the past three weeks or so we have tried to get him to commit to the football club for another two years. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that this wasn’t about money, it was about the player wanting to go and play as high as possible. At that point the club simply has to get the best deal possible as he would be out of contract in three months, and I feel that we have achieved that'"...

Later the National League claimed that "AFC Fylde complete signing of midfielder David Morgan from Nuneaton Town for a five-figure fee".

NL Pitchero tells us that "Burnley are delighted to sign two non-League players and say the grassroots market is where they want to do more business in the future. Defender Harry Flowers, 20, has signed on at Turf Moor from Midland League side Brocton. Harry Limb, who is only 17, last week switched from ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League outfit Wisbech Town.

It’s all down to former Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law, who left the Impact Arena to take care of Burnley’s recruitment.

Development squad boss Michael Jolley said, 'Everyone is looking at the non-League game as well so it’s a highly competitive market. Having Nicky on board is a big help to us because he’s got the experience, he knows the level and knows a lot of players. I think that’s a really strong appointment for us and already some of the players he has brought in have hit the ground running'.

A number of new fixture dates have been confirmed by the National League, including...

  • Stalybridge Celtic v Bradford Park Avenue was 25 February NOW 14 March
  • Stalybridge Celtic v AFC Telford United was 28 February NOW 28 March
  • Brackley Town v FC Halifax Town was 25 February NOW 4 April
  • Nuneaton Town v Gloucester City was 28 February NOW 4 April
  • Curzon Ashton v Altrincham was 15 April NOW 14 April - as previously announced

From the Shropshire Star we learn that Telford "Chairman Ian Dosser insists lifting the limit on the amount of shares that can be bought by any individual in AFC Telford United has not been done with ‘anyone in mind'. A 20 per cent cap was waived at the club board’s AGM this week, and the remaining 68 per cent of shares in the New Buck's Head side are expected to go on sale as early as next week.

The club could soon find themselves with a majority owner, but Dosser said, 'It has not been taken away with anyone in mind. It is just taking away a barrier. We will launch the share offer (for the remaining 68 per cent) in the first part of March'.

The club have announced their early bird season ticket prices for next season. Available for purchase until the end of the month, an early bird is priced at £199 for adults, £156 for concessions, £89 for 16 to 19-year-olds and £45 (including a home or away shirt) for under-16s. Initially, the prices are higher than last term but provided the uptake surpasses that of last year (425), the prices will be lowered to match those previous, with fans refunded the difference.

'The season ticket prices for this season, 2016/17 were significantly reduced in price from the 2015/16 season', said Dosser. 'The adult price was reduced by 24 per cent. We are holding the 2016/17 prices for 2017/18, providing we reach the same volume of early bird sales which was 425. Under-eights, accompanied by an adult, will continue to be free for next season'.

For the rest of the season, a six-game adult ticket is priced at £55 and a six-game game concession ticket £45. Family tickets at £20 per match are available, as is a ‘Kids for a Quid’ initiative.

'That is doing as much as we can to get support in for these last six games, and you will see for the first time we have offered a six-game concession ticket',” said Dosser".

Lincolnshire Live says that "Dave Frecklington has revealed he is in advanced talks and hopes to bring in a new player ahead of Saturday's trip to Nuneaton Town. The Gainsborough Trinity boss said he was close to agreeing terms with one of his targets, but said there was also a strong possibility of a player leaving the club this week...

'When a new manager comes in to a club inevitably there are going to be casualties,' said Frecklington. 'With the best will in the world, not everyone will see eye to eye... We are close to agreeing a deal with a player to come to the club and we are also close to concluding a deal with a player moving in the other direction. It is not a nice thing to go through and I have always found it difficult to tell people they are moving on. I have been a player myself and it happened to me, so I know what it is like'

The Blues boss says the differences between his own style and that of the previous management means some players will not be needed. 'Since coming here I have found the squad to be top heavy,' added Frecklington. 'We have a lot of midfield and attacking players'".

In the Worcester News we read that "New-look plans for a new football ground in Worcester can today be revealed, with a decision over bringing 'City back home' now due as soon as May.

A revised planning application for a new Worcester City FC stadium at Perdiswell Park has been submitted to council chiefs, with the opinion-splitting development moved further away from the canal. These first-look images show how the 4,400-capacity site could look... The ground has been moved 51 metres north, further away from the Birmingham to Worcester Canal, after heritage experts raised concerns about the impact on the Conservation Area.

The appearance of the stadium has also been 'redesigned' to closely match the appearance of the leisure centre, with brickwork on its lower walls and striking aluminium cladding featuring colours ranging from white to light blue. It will have 15-metre high floodlit columns and a separate 3G all-weather pitch, with extra landscaping around it to limit the impact on the rest of the park, off Bilford Road...

Rob Crean, from the Supporters' Trust, said, 'A lot of work has gone into it, we're relieved because it's been a very long process'... The final planning application includes room for just 82 parking spaces, despite club officials estimating 823 fans will attend matches on average. But the proposal includes the use of some of the leisure centre's 415 parking spaces on matchdays...

Worcester City Council has now launched a fresh 21-day consultation on the revisions... It could be voted on by councillors in May or June... Petitions both for and against the stadium have attracted 1,000 names each."

2 March 2017


Altrincham went into this game with eight players already out, injured; they ended the evening with ten men sidelined, after goalkeeper Tim Deasy and midfielder Kyle Brownhill were injured during the second half.

Darlington dominated the early stages and took a third minute lead when Falkingham got the ball off Lynch and Cyrus had to slice the ball out for a corner. From the right-wing corner, Brown headed the ball forward and Beck netted from close range.

The second goal arrived in the 29th minute when Cartman outpaced Lynch and scored with a well-struck, low shot past Deasy.

However, Altrincham got back into the game five minutes later. Clee, once again deployed at left-back, now got forward and fed Lawrie, whose blocked shot fell to Newby who netted for the second successive match.

Seven minutes after the break Tim Deasy had to go off and Andrew Jones came on for his league debut in goal. Then Kyle Brownhill was clattered and had to be chaired off the pitch. However, Altrincham were then enjoying a decent spell and the home crowd was growing restless.

But the game was settled when Richman was judged by the referee to have tripped an opponent and Galbraith netted the resulting penalty (80 mins). After that, despite Clee being moved forward and Cyrus being deployed up front, there was no way back.

Match report to follow...

1 March 2017


Before tonight's game, the Northern Echo reported that "Five of Darlington’s next six matches are against the division’s current bottom five, starting this evening against relegation-bound Altrincham at Blackwell Meadows...

Altrincham provide the opposition in Darlington’s first evening game at Blackwell Meadows, where Martin Gray’s men lost 3-2 on Saturday to Harrogate Town. The result means Darlington have now won only three times in 14 league matches.

'These next three are must-win games, all the home games are,' said Gray, whose team have 12 matches to play. 'We’ve got six home games and we’re going to need maximum support from the fans. For us to reach the play-offs we need to maximise our home advantage. If we play like we’re capable of playing we’ll win these games'...

They have lost three of their five fixtures at Blackwell, a statistic in stark contrast to Heritage Park, where it took Darlington until their 36th match to reach three league defeats.

'The pitch hasn’t been exactly as we would’ve liked,' admitted Gray. 'It hasn’t helped. I’m not using it as an excuse, but it doesn’t allow you to play passing football and it means you have to look at certain styles of playing. It has become frustrating. We’re not saying it’s an excuse, but we’re having to look at certain personnel and formations because of it.'

Darlington have plans this summer to work on the Blackwell pitch, where rugby has been played since Quakers’ game at the weekend. Leon Scott will be available this evening, but begins a four-match ban on Saturday for the red card received against Harrogate".


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

updatesPC updatesMOBI radiorobins

Brian Flynn announces that "Radio Robins, sponsored by Ashley Mowers Garden Machinery, is providing full live commentary of Wednesday night's game.

The match commentary sponsor is Sale Fencing & Surfacing, a driveway and fencing company providing FREE, no obligation, quotes for any sized jobs., with options to suit all budgets.

Whether you are looking for a new driveway, beautiful patio, garden fencing, walls or gates, make Sale Fencing & Surfacing your first choice for exterior home improvements.

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The commentators are Niall Flynn and Ian Wilkinson and the match summariser is John Edwards.

Coverage starts at 7.40pm with the game kicking off at 7.45pm.and you can listen to Radio Robins here.


Alty TV has a post-match interview from last Saturday with Matt Doughty and Chris Lynch...


Tuesday 28 February

  • Brackley Town 2-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Nuneaton Town P-P Gloucester City
  • Stalybridge Celtic P-P AFC Telford Utd

Buildbase FA Trophy

  • Macclesfield T. P-P Dulwich Hamlet

Wednesday 1 March

  • Darlington 1883 v Altrincham


John Edwards, Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, has put together an extensive report on Sunday evening's open meeting about the Club's strategic review. It can be found here.


John Edwards, Press & Media Officer at Altrincham FC, has submitted the following article for inclusion in this week's "Sale & Altrincham Messenger".

"Altrincham were quicker out of the blocks than Usain Bolt as they finally registered their first Vanarama National League home win of the season against Worcester City at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday. While Bolt took 9.58 seconds to set a new 100 metres world record seven years ago, Alty needed just 9.26 seconds to record a sensational opening goal in a 2-0 win.

Straight from the kick-off, Sam Heathcote (right) launched a pinpoint pass to the left flank, where James Lawrie set up Micah Evans (left) for a low cross that Elliot Newby swept past a stunned Worcester keeper.

'Sam still needs to get better physically, and he knows that, but there is no better striker of a ball at the club,' said manager Matt Doughty. 'He is only 19 and still learning the game, but he has great technique. He did really well, as did everyone.

'This win has been coming, because, for the past couple of weeks, we have been committed and shown real desire. The final third hasn't been great, but it all clicked against Worcester, and I'm really pleased for the fans, who turned out in numbers again, the players, the chairman, everyone.

'Simon Richman was fantastic in midfield. We told him, when we haven't got the ball, get it back for us, and he covered every blade of grass in the first half. That was the Simon of old.'

Recent signing Chris Lynch scored the second goal for an Alty side who travelled to Darlington on Wednesday night and are away to AFC Telford United on Saturday.

'I put myself in a good area and was hoping the ball might drop to me,' he said of his close-range finish. 'Confidence was a bit low when I arrived, but there is a good feeling around the place after that. It only takes a win to get you going.

'It's great to be back. I only left in the first place because of a job offer. I've unfinished business here, and when Matt contacted me, I snapped his hand off.'"


Darlington 1883 report that for the game against Altrincham the articles "In Wednesday’s matchday programme (which will include a four page insert) include...
  • Martin Gray: We won’t be settling for a midtable finish
  • Ed Wilczynski: I want to return to the Football League
  • Where are they now: Ian Clark
  • Memory match: The visit of David Frost in 1973
  • Looking Back: Bury 0 Darlington 1 in 1986
  • Previous meetings: Remember Smudger’s handball?
  • And loads, loads more in Wednesday’s official programme, price £2.50 from the usual outlets"


Altrincham FC thanks all those donated or acted as collectors for Saturday's Bucket Collection, which raised £25.66.


Accprding to NL Pitchero, "The following two Vanarama National League matches have been scheduled for screening on BTSport1 to get April off to a flyer, as the battle for promotion becomes more intense.

Wrexham v Tranmere Rovers - Saturday 1st April 2017 - 12.15pm

Lincoln City v Dagenham & Redbridge - Monday 3rd April 2017 - 7.45pm".


The Shropshire Star confirms that "AFC Telford have scrapped the limitations on the percentage of shares that can be bought by investors. The motion was passed in the clubs AGM at the New Buck's Head stadium in Wellington last night [Monday], effectively opening up investment opportunities...

The new round of shares will go on sale in March, and the club could find themselves with new majority owners. The move will help the club to bolster its finances, and annual accounts which were also set to be approved at the AGM show that the Bucks made a loss of £13,065 in the year to last May.

The figures, covering the first season back in the National League North following relegation from football’s fifth tier in the 2014-15 season, show that turnover fell by 21 per cent to £691,683. In response the club slashed its wage bill by more than £103,000 to £528,583 last season".