August 2018

31 August 2018


For the third successive away game, Altrincham are travelling to the North East next Saturday (1 September) as they seek to extend their unbeaten record on the road this season.

TASC is providing coach transport for supporters for the game at Croft Park, against Blyth Spartans. Details are on the Away Travel page. You can book your seat by ringing the club on 0161 928-1045 during normal office hours.


Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records remind us that on Saturday, when we visit Blyth, it will be six years since we last played a fixture on that date. Back in 2012 Alty defeated Histon at Moss Lane, 5-0, thanks to goals from Carl Rodgers, James Lawrie, Damian Reeves (2) and Duncan Watmore, who was named Man of the Match. It was Altrincham's first clean sheet since Bonfire Night 2011 and their first home win in eight league games.

You would not guess it from his demeanour but, above, we see Duncan Watmore just after he had scored against Histon.

As for Altrincham's record against Saturday's opponents, Blyth Spartans, Mike Garnett confirms the data:

  • At home P8-W5-D2-L1-F16-A9
  • Away: P11-W3-D5-L3-F17-A17
  • All: P19-W8-D7-L4-F33-A26


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Lethal striker Jordan Hulme continued his prolific form but added to Altrincham’s frustration at being held to a draw by picking up his fifth booking of the season at The J.Davidson Stadium on Monday.

Right: Jordan Hulme and Sean Williams leave the pitch at half-time against Guiseley.

Alty’s free-scoring frontrunner reinforced his position as National League North’s leading marksman by heading them in front with his seventh goal in seven games so far.

But Alty’s dismay at being pegged back by a deflected long-range effort from Guiseley defender Andy Halls was compounded when Hulme talked his way into the referee’s book to earn himself a one-match suspension.

Reflecting on a 1-1 draw, manager Phil Parkinson was delighted with a performance that took their Bank Holiday tally to four points, following an impressive 3-0 win at Darlington on Saturday, and philosophical about the impending loss of Hulme.

'The only negative aspect was not taking all three points, because we deserved to win by a country mile,' he said. 'On the positive side, we looked really strong at the back. They were a big, physical side, but we dealt with set-pieces extremely well and generally really tightened up. If we had just added that second goal when we were in the ascendancy, we would have won comfortably, but there were still a lot of positives.

'Jordan is certainly proving he can do it at this level, just as I knew he would. He is becoming a bit of a cult hero here. It was frustrating to see him booked again, but no one is more frustrated than him because he knows he’s going to be sitting watching us play and that will hurt him.

'It’s a balancing act, because I don’t want to take that fire out of him. We need him on the edge. He’s very passionate and plays with his heart on his sleeve, but while that’s one of his biggest assets, it’s also an issue because we are going to miss him. He is aware I’m concerned about the bookings and that he has to try to control it and manage it, so that passion is used in the right way'".


Alty TV's extended highlights of last week's draw against Guiseley can be found here.


We learn from Lincolnshire Live that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott is confident that his side can bounce back from their double Bank Holiday weekend disappointment when they entertain Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday afternoon.

The Pilgrims followed up their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Spennymoor Town on Saturday with a 1-0 reversal at Bradford Park Avenue on Monday... Unbeaten Kidderminster, with two wins, four draws and a game in hand to their name, are Saturday’s visitors and Elliott is expecting another testing afternoon at The Jakemans Stadium.

Elliott said 'It’s another difficult game. They play a different way to the last two teams we have played but we have got to dust ourselves down and go again. Bradford and Spennymoor are good teams so first and foremost it was never going to be easy. I do not think that in general we are too far off. I hope I'm not kidding myself. I think we need a few tweaks but in general I think we have competed in both games and been more than a match for the opposition. Both teams have been better than us in being clinical.'

United won four of their first five encounters and Elliott is confident that the wheels have not fallen off for the Pilgrims who were toothless in attack in their Bank Holiday double-header...

'We are a couple of points off where I wanted to be, if I am being honest, but we are not a million miles away,' added Elliott... 'I am a big believer in performances and then results taking care of themselves.'

Elliott will hope to be able to call upon the services of winger Nathan Arnold, who sat out Monday’s trip to Bradford with a knee injury while full-back Ashley Jackson serves the final match of his three-match suspension. Ben Davies made his full debut on Monday after completing his move to York Street while Cieron Keane emerged as a substitute having sealed his move from Alfreton Town [and completed] his own ongoing three-match ban."

The National League reports that "Billy Heath has been thrilled with his side recently... The Reds have won four in five and are currently on a three match winning streak".

Last time out, "'We were totally dominant first half,' he told the club's website. 'We could've been two or three up but we only got the one... When you're under pressure, you find out what spirit and desire you've got. But we've responded again. It's been a fantastic week, the players have been magnificent once again. They've worked so hard today'".

The Shropshire Star tells us that "Boss Gavin Cowan plans to sit down with AFC Telford United chairman Andy Pryce to discuss a possible extension to Ryan Sears's loan from Shrewsbury. Right-back Sears has looked the part for the Bucks but his one-month stay finishes after the home game against Ashton United on Saturday.

It is understood Cowan would like the 19-year-old to remain at the New Bucks Head for at least another month, but it has to suit everyone at Telford – and parent club Salop. 'I'm really not sure. I haven't spoken to John (Askey) or anyone at Shrewsbury,' said Cowan...

Meanwhile, progress on a loan move away from Telford for fellow defender Zak Lilly has slowed.Cowan initially wanted to get the 20-year-old, who has gone from a forward to a centre-half over the summer, out to get some game time by the end of last week... If Sears does not stay after the initial month, Cowan may be reluctant to let Lilly leave temporarily as, with Steph Morley dealing with a calf problem, it would potentially leave Telford light at the back".

At Leamington "The club can confirm that summer signing Chekaine Steele has dual registered with Stourbridge. Manager Paul Holleran said 'Chekaine did well in pre season and got himself match fit, but he has struggled to get game time due to our good start to the season. He needs to be playing and will link up with Stourbridge in order to gain some much needed game time. He is still registered with Leamington Football Club however, so we will monitor how he gets on, you can never say never.'"

The Chester Standard advises that "Kingsley James has lifted the lid on what he has called a 'bizarre experience' during his second spell at Chester. James will line-up against The Blues for his new club Guiseley on Saturday and he knows he'll get stick from the Chester fans, who he claims don't know the full facts of his last few months at The Deva Stadium.

'I know I'll get a bit of stick but having long hair and a beard, I'm well used to it', said James. 'I've been used to getting call a s**t Robbie Savage everywhere I've gone and I'm [sure that] Chester fans will have a go on Saturday. I think some see me as a money-grabber but that was nowhere near what last season was all about. The club didn't want me and that was their decision not mine.

'We were in a relegation fight when they let me go to Barrow, a team who were fighting to stay up like Chester and we were only three points behind them. I'm not saying Chester would have not got relegated if I'd have stayed but the club made a decision to let me and others go when we wanted to stay, play football and try and help them stay up. We didn't want to leave them in the lurch but that was the way it was being painted.

'I think the likes of me, Paul Turnbull, John McCombe and Ross Hannah were blamed wrongly. We were the scapegoats when all we wanted to be was good pros and treated with a bit of respect.'

James re-joined Chester on a two year contract 15 months ago after spending a couple of seasons away first with Halifax and then Macclesfield Town...

'The decision I made to re-join Chester was definitely the right decision,' added James, who still played 31 times for the Blues last season before finishing with a 14-match stint at Barrow, who stayed up at Chester's expense... James... had his 24-month contact terminated in July with Blues joint-boss Anthony Johnson praising the Rotherham-born midfielder for accepting his settlement...

It was ironic that he found himself back under Marcus Bignot, his last boss at Chester. 'I enjoyed playing for Marcus, he's a good man,' added James. 'He wasn't give a chance to keep Chester up and it was good to see him get the Guiseley job jointly with Russ O'Neill. They work well together and we're just getting things right on the pitch and are unbeaten in five games. Despite what some people might think, I've never gone to clubs for more money...

'I'm based in Selby now and do academy training in Wakefield. Last season at Barrow, I couldn't join up with team on a Friday because of my coaching commitments. I ended up driving to away games after coaching and with so many teams down south, it starts to take his toll. So Guiseley suits me down to the ground and I'm enjoying my football'".

Off the pitch, Chester FC provide "another update to supporters and members alike on the progress made at the Swansway Chester Stadium following the water damage which occurred over two weeks ago... It is with regret we can announce that the FA Youth Cup tie scheduled for Wednesday 5th September at the Swansway has now been moved to our opponents ground at Sandbach.

This decision had to be taken early to support both club[s] in preparation for the game... Progress continues to be made with some amazing work going on behind the scenes with work being completed around the clock, across 7 days a week, to ensure that the stadium is returned to a state whereby it can host matches at the earliest opportunity...

The Board of City Fans United are still doing everything possible to ensure our game at home to Bradford PA on the 8th September goes ahead at the Swansway Chester Stadium and we are confident of being able to do this... If this is not achievable then contingency plans are in place for the game to be played at an alternative venue."

More news from Chester is to be found in the Chester Chronicle which says that "Marcus Bignot believes that stability would be Chester FC 's greatest success this season... 'Obviously my time there was difficult and didn't end how I would have wanted it to. There were obviously a lot of factors going on behind the scenes which made things difficult and I'd be hard pushed to work under more difficult circumstances...

'Chester's a club that has been part of my journey and a club that I want to see do well for the fans... The management duo [Johnson and Morley] was a great appointment but you have to remember that this is a rebuilding job. There was loads of positivity around the place and that was great to see, but there has to be an element of realism about this season and that making sure that the club gets settled again and gets some continuity and stability...

'Chester wasn't a club that was equipped for the National League, on or off the field. At least the National League North can offer a chance to rebuild so that when they get back there, and they will, that they are in a better position on and off the field'...

Bignot is enjoying his new role at Nethermoor alongside joint-manager O'Neill and has brought two familiar faces to aid their cause with ex-Chester players Kingsley James and Andy Halls both part of the Guiseley set up...

[Bignot added that] 'Last year's budget here ran into six figures and there were 40-plus players on the books,' said Bignot. 'They have more liabilities than Chester and there has had to be a rebuilding job here. It is a similar situation to what there is at Chester as the aim for us is to make sure we stabilise the football club and then give ourselves a platform to build on.

'We want promotion and to do as well as we can, but we know, the board know and the fans know that we have to get the club on a firm footing on the pitch. If we approach things like that then we give ourselves a great chance of doing well, but there is a longer term strategy at play. We've had a decent start so far and we're hard to beat...

'Despite what some people might think, I've never gone to clubs for more money and the decision to sign for Guiseley was the right decision for me'"

Still in Yorkshire, York Press says that "Talented York City teenager Fergus McAughtrie has admitted he was considering a switch to part-time football despite interest from Championship clubs and Scotland over the summer. McAughtrie, 18, was invited for a number of trials following his release from Sunderland at the end of last season, but the ex-Archbishop Holgate School pupil was still a free agent when approached by his home-town club last month.

He went on to train with then youth-team manager Sam Collins’ under-19s but... was called up for a shock senior debut in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Brackley... On the circuitous journey that has taken him back to his dad Dave’s old club, McAughtrie said... 'I played men’s football and the training was really hard, so it was good experience and it prepared me for coming to York City and competing with older players. After Scotland, I still wanted to play football, but I was looking to go part-time because nothing was coming up. Then, I got a call from (former York City manager) Martin Gray and he told me to get my bum off my bed and come and train here. I told myself "This is the last opportunity to try and play full-time football," so I’ve given 100 per cent and it’s worked out".

The Leamington Observer reports that "Leamington's fine start to the National League North campaign continued over the Bank Holiday period after they picked up four points from two games.

Paul Holleran’s men enjoyed a 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table FC United of Manchester on Saturday, thanks to goals from Kieran Dunbar and Matt Stenson. The Brakes then followed that up with a 2-2 draw at home to high-flying AFC Telford United".

30 August 2018


Blyth Spartans report that "A furious Alun Armstrong lambasted referee Ben Speedie for his decision to award York City a contentious 80th minute penalty, that was duly converted by Jon Parkin.

The official awarded the hosts a spot-kick when a David Ferguson cross struck the chest of Connor Oliver, Speedie taking a few seconds before awarding a baffling penalty decision that gave the Minstermen all three points.

'The official made it all about him,' commented an irate Armstrong, 'I’m quite well known for being honest and that might get me in trouble but that was never a penalty in a million years. He’s gone off the shout of the crowd, everyone can see that. He delayed his decision and thought about it, waited two or three seconds and he gave [it]; it’s not a penalty.'

The 43-year-old’s frustration was compounded when Robert Dale was scythed down by Kallum Griffiths five minutes later and Speedie just waved play on...

'If that’s not a penalty on Robbie we’re not going to get one, it was a stonewaller, yet they get a ridiculous one. Yes officials can have bad game but it’s happening every single week, decisions going against us; we just aren’t getting the luck...

'I can’t fault the lads, I thought every single one of them was outstanding considering they just played 48 hours ago, I’m really proud of them. We are playing a team that has cost a lot of money compared to the team I’ve been able to put out there, we’ve probably got a fifth of the budget York have. I am extremely proud even in defeat. It could have been a lot different if the referee had given our blatant penalty'...

Goalkeeper Peter Jameson... 'made some great saves, but in all honesty if Pete doesn’t save them I’d be disappointed; he’s that good he makes those type of saves look routine'... [added Armstrong].

Kieran Green was sent off for a foul on Griffiths late in the first half, with York midfielder Russell Penn following soon after and Armstrong had no qualms about those decisions.

'Greenie’s was a bad tackle, it’s a red card simple as that, and I don’t think they can have any complaints about their’s either. But his other decisions were baffling, and the officials don’t want to listen. They tell you to talk to them, but don’t like it when your honest with them. I’d accept decisions like that if they came to me after and said I made a mistake but they don’t, they just blank you and are arrogant about it. He told me Connor had his arm out for the penalty, that’s a lie.'

[Footnote: Mr Speedie also officiated at the Altrincham v Salford City pre-season game at the JDS on Saturday, 28 July 2018].

With Green now facing a suspension, and Jamie Holmes missing for up to six week through a fractured rib, the former Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough striker admits... 'During the game I’ve got to think ahead to the next one. I shouldn’t have to think like that but because of the state of the squad at the moment with all the injuries we’ve got I’ve got to think ahead; I can’t keep managing like that.

'These injuries aren’t because they aren’t looking after themselves now, because they have been doing work, knee injuries, ankle injuries, fractured ribs, it’s just mad, all football related injuries rather than soft tissue, there’s nothing we can do. We have 7/8 first team players, proper first teamers who’d make the starting XI or definitely [be] on the bench [who] are not available and in non league you can’t succeed with that, especially us and the budget we have.'

Blyth also report that "Jordan Watson is enjoying his loan spell at Sunderland RCA... as he nears a full recovery from a THIRD anterior cruciate ligament injury. The defender featured briefly in Blyth’s pre-season schedule, however, [he] joined the Northern League Division One club on loan early last month in order to step up his recovery and begin playing competitive football again following NINE months out...

He believes he’s 'definitely improving' and is keeping in frequent contact with manager Alun Armstrong. 'The first few sessions were definitely the hardest but, once I played again, it’s [the injury] completely out of my head now,' said Watson... 'I’m definitely improving. I can last 90 minutes finally so I’m glad I came here'...

'I knew what the Northern League was like,' he admitted. 'Everyone talks about the Northern League; it’s probably harder than our league to be fair [National League]!'...

With centre-backs Aaron Cunningham, Sam Brotherton and Ryan Hutchinson all sidelined, Armstrong may have no choice but to throw Watson straight back into the starting 11 when he returns within the next few weeks... [Watson] said 'I speak to the gaffer every week and obviously we’re struggling for lads now because we’ve got that many injuries so I’m dying to get back and get a game!'"


As shown, right, Altrincham FC is officially in good health as the FA has confirmed. The FA website states, somewhat ungrammatically, "This Health Check helps make sure club officials are holding the relevant in-date qualifications as we as continuing to satisfy the original document & policy criteria they met when applying for Charter Standard".

As the FA also states elsewhere, and a little more coherently, the Health Check "Annually informs clubs of their current status in relation to meeting FA Charter Standard criteria".


The NWYA has Altrincham AFC playing at home to Chorley FC this Sunday (2 September). According to the league, Altrincham's "Registered players" this season are:
  • Louie Barrett
  • Elliot Coleman
  • Ben Elliott
  • Dontai Gabidon
  • Lloyd Gardner
  • Callim Graham
  • Billy Hadfield
  • Sam Harding
  • Max Lewens
  • Billy Matthews
  • Josh Mehta
  • Ronald Mensa
  • Curtis Miller
  • Cade Preston
  • Bailey Richardson
  • Jack Ryan
  • Patrick Savage
  • Luke Sowerby


The North West Regional League reports that Altrincham FC Ladies opening fixtures of 2018-19 are both at home (Mersey Valley) against Chester FC Women (2 Sept.) and, a week later, versus City of Liverpool.


The National League reports that "Nuneaton Borough have announced the postponement of their upcoming fixture with York City, writes Tom Scott. The game was due to be played on September 8.

But Harry Panayiotou, Theo Wharton and Kairo Mitchell have been called up by their respective nations for the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers. The Boro’s games against Chester (October 13) and Alfreton (November 17) have also been postponed".

Meanwhile, Hereford FC announces that The Bulls "will travel to Chester FC on Tuesday 2nd October. The original fixture was postponed due to ongoing issues with the Swansway Chester Stadium following extensive water damage that led to the postponement of two other matches."


The Hallmark Security League reports that "First Division South newcomers Wythenshawe Town and Rylands have been withdrawn from this season's Buildbase FA Vase competition following a meeting on the FA's cup sub-committee.

Both sides were due to meet each other in Saturday's 1st Qualifying Round tie, but the FA has removed both sides from the competition due to both sides not meeting the minimum ground grading requirement for entry. This was due to floodlights not being installed by the deadline for Vase entry and the FA acknowledged both sides should not have been accepted into the draw".

Also "Premier Division Litherland REMYCA have been removed from this season's FA Cup competition following a meeting of the FA Challenge Cup sub-committee held yesterday. Committee Members considered the charge raised against Litherland Remyca FC by The Football Association on Thursday 23 August 2018 for an alleged breach of FA Cup Rule 15(d) in relation to Warren Jevons playing in the Extra Preliminary Round match against NWCFL side Charnock Richard whilst allegedly under suspension.

Having given all the evidence before them due consideration, the Members found the charge of a breach of FA Cup Rule 15(d) proven, insomuch that Warren Jevons played in the above match whilst under suspension.

The Members ordered that Litherland Remyca FC shall be removed from this season's Competition and the tie be awarded to Charnock Richard FC. The prize fund payment due to the winning Club shall be paid to Charnock Richard FC. The prize fund payment due to the losing Club shall be withheld by The FA."

29 August 2018


The Altrincham FC official site has a match report from Monday's draw against Guiseley.

The National League has highlights from the game.

From across the Pennines, the Yorkshire Evening Post adds that "Guiseley joint-manager Marcus Bignot insisted he was pleased with his side’s efforts after a battling 1-1 draw at rivals Altrincham...

The start of the second half saw Altrincham continue where they had left off and they soon took the lead when a corner was hooked to the back post where Hulme was allowed a free header to score. This game could have been done for the Lions, but Andy Halls had other ideas and equalised in memorable style. The defender took possession before running into the Altrincham half and unleashing an unstoppable low strike into the bottom right-hand corner of the net from 35 yards out.

The equaliser seemed to open the game up as both sides went for the winner, but, with chances at either end, a draw was a fair result.

'Andy Halls has gone and scored the goal of the season already,' said a delighted Bignot afterwards. 'We ended the game strongly and we went for the win. I’m pleased with how we played, it could have been a win, but it’s a good point.'"

The Post also reports on Alty's next opponents, Blyth Spartans, saying that "Late goals from substitutes Jon Parkin and Adriano Moke gave York City a 2-0 win against ten-man Blyth Spartans at Bootham Crescent. Parkin broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 80th minute after Blyth midfielder Connor Oliver handled a cross from David Ferguson. Moke added the second in stoppage-time.

Blyth were reduced to ten men on the half-hour mark when midfielder Kieran Green was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Ferguson".


Alty last met Blyth in December 2106 in an FA Trophy 3rd Round Qualifying match. Following a 2-2 draw at Moss Lane, Alty won 3-2 at Croft Park, thanks to goals by Sean Miller (2) and Craig Hobson.

Right: Alty take to the field at Croft Park in December 2016. Alty's squad comprised 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Alan GOODALL, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT, 7. Sam PATTERSON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Sean MILLER, 10. Craig HOBSON, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs 12. Damian REEVES, 14 Harry CAIN, 15. Laurence TAYLOR, 16. Will FOSTER, 20. Andrew DAWBER.

Alty's hosts on Saturday, Blyth Spartans report that "Nathan Buddle was in a subdued mood after Spartans fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of York City [on Monday], but the central defender, who’s made 199 appearances for Spartans, praised the effort of his teammates during the match.

'We did everything we could out there, we all put our heart and soul into those 90 minutes, like we did on Saturday, and once again we don’t [get] the reward today in thanks to a stupid decision by the referee.'

Referee Ben Speedie awarded York City a penalty for a handball with the score at 0-0 on 80 minutes when Connor Oliver clearly chested the ball. 'To give a penalty for that is baffling. Connor is gutted in their [there], he had his arm by his side and six second[s] later the ref give [sic] a penalty.'

And to couple [double] the referee’s mistake, Robert Dale was brought down in the penalty area with the referee waving play on five minutes later. 'Even their players said it was a blatant penalty,' stated an irritated Buddle... It was a similar story during last season’s visit to Bootham Crescent when some Aidan Connolly theatrics conned the official into a penalty.

It’s becoming a familiar theme for Spartans when they face big teams away; last season saw penalties awarded at Stockport County and Salford City which were rather comical.

'You don’t like saying it but the big name teams always get decisions going for them, especially at home. On a couple of occasions the ball goes out and their manager is telling the linesman which way to point and then they laugh about it after. We deserved a point; we hit the bar and Bartlett makes a stunning save to keep them in it. We’ve just got to suck it up though and go again on Saturday [against Alty]. Hopefully our luck will turn around'".

Also from Blyth Spartans we learn that "Peter Jameson says the Blyth Spartans dressing room was 'gutted' following their highly controversial defeat at York City but is determined to put things right after it ended in a fifth defeat of the season for Alun Armstrong’s side.

The former Darlington keeper, who also admitted he is 'desperate for a clean sheet', was making his 50th appearance for the club...

'All the lads are gutted, all the staff, the players, we’re gutted,' Jameson said. 'Obviously we’re not on a good spell at the moment but the best thing is, we do want to turn things around and make things right... I think all the fans can see that we are playing well but at the end of the day, especially at the beginning of the season, we were kind of digging our own grave because we were giving daft goals away, and in this league, you can’t'...

'I’m desperate for a clean sheet, really desperate, but hopefully we can put it right on Saturday,' he said... 'We’ve just got to move onto Saturday now, keep our heads up and takes the positives from this game. The fans have been brilliant coming down in their numbers as well.'"


On Saturday, 8 September, Curzon Ashton will be the next visitors to Altrincham. And from Curzon Ashton themselves we read that last Monday "John Flanagan’s side picked up their first away defeat of the season as table toppers, Chorley ran out 2-0 winners at Victory Park... courtesy of two second half goals from Louis Almond and Marcus Carver. It was the hosts who piled on the pressure in the early stages, however the Curzon defence stood firm...

As the first half went on chances were few and far between for both sides... [with] the score level going into the break.

Despite this, the Nash number one was unable to keep the scores level for long after the restart as Almond finally broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half. The Chorley front man was allowed time to bring down the ball in the box and hit a fierce effort from 15 yards past Mason into the bottom corner, netting his first goal of the season...

As the game entered the final half hour Curzon began to fight back in search of an equaliser... John Flanagan and his side would live to regret these missed opportunities as Chorley made it two on the stroke of the 90-minute mark. Some good build-up play by the home side found Carver, who drove home past Mason to all but end any hope of a Curzon equaliser. The result means the Nash drop to 14th in the National League North".


The National League confirms that "Tom Greaves has announced his resignation as manager of FC United of Manchester. Greaves took the helm after the departure of Karl Marginson, who had been in charge since the club’s inception in 2005.

A statement on the club’s website read, 'Tom Greaves has resigned as manager of FC United of Manchester following the club’s disappointing start to the season'...

Greaves added, 'It has been an absolute honour, not only to play for the club but to captain and then manage it... The opportunity to play football all over the world has been incredible and I will walk away with literally hundreds of special memories and that is largely down to the amazing fans of this club'. Dave Chadwick will take temporary charge of the Red Rebels."

Although only half a dozen games into the season, FCUM are the second club already to have parted with their manager, following the change at York City.

According to the Chester Chronicle "Chester FC chairman David Harrington-Wright remains hopeful that the work to repair the damage at the Swansway Chester Stadium will be completed in time for the Bradford (Park Avenue) game on September 8... following severe damage to parts of the football club’s infrastructure...

'Everything is dried out now and work has started and we’ve got power up and running now,' said the Blues' chairman. 'The new PA system is being built as we speak and we have the CCTV people coming in from 4pm to midnight each day until the work is complete and we would hope to install that on Friday. It has been a massive job, it really has.'

The damage at the football club is set to reach well into the tens of thousands, with all the work covered by the football club’s insurers. The damage has hit Chester hard in August, losing games against Kidderminster Harriers (twice), FC United of Manchester and Hereford FC, all three of whom would have brought a big following on a Saturday afternoon. Those games will now be played on Tuesday evenings, with the FC United and Kidderminster games rearranged for September 11 and 18, respectively...

'New wiring needs to go in throughout the building and that is a job that basically needs plenty of bodies to get it done quickly as it is a case of pulling wires through,' he said. 'We’ll be working hard down here late into the night over the next week and I’ll certainly be down here myself in the evenings and helping to get the job done as quickly as possible... We remain hopeful of everything being ready for the Bradford (Park Avenue) game on September 8'".

The Lancashire Evening Post reports that "Chorley made it the ‘Magnificent Seven’ courtesy of two fine second-half goals and a sixth clean-sheet. Although Curzon were competitive enough, they did not look like finishing some lively approach work with a goal...

Louis Almond gave Chorley the lead on 50 minutes... Curzon fought hard for an equaliser but the Magpies’ defence was in its usual uncompromising mood, with centre-back Scott Leather (right) outstanding... Carver ended the contest in style in the first minute of added time".

The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Guiseley gave a debut to one of their promising academy players in Saturday's home win over Nuneaton Town. The 17-year-old prospect Tabish Hussain signed first team forms on Friday and was called into the squad the next day... and he was in the thick of the action as Guiseley netted a late winner...

Hussain kept his place in the squad for the game at Altrincham on Monday, as the Lions secured a 1-1 draw.

Guiseley’s new joint managers, Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill, are keen to give youth a chance and already had academy graduate Will Thornton in their squad. Teenager Hussain played a big role in Guiseley Academy’s successful campaign last year and is set to be just as pivotal when they start their new season on September... Goalkeeper Fletch Paley, defender Luke Hogg and midfielder Jack Lazenby have also signed first team forms this season".

We learn from the Derbyshire Times that "Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath praised his players following three straight wins and declared 'We fear no-one'. The Reds boss was speaking after seeing his side overcome Southport 3-1...

He said 'We were totally dominant first half and could have been two or three up. We knew what was coming second half; they were going down the slope and we knew they were going to be direct, that we’d have to tough it out and we didn’t get going second half for 25 minutes. It’s tough when you’re coming up the slope'...

'It’s been a fantastic week,' said Heath. 'The players have been magnificent and worked so hard again today... back-to-back wins and three wins on the trot. We didn’t want deja vu with Curzon again [lost in the last minute on August 14th]... we just need[ed] to be a little bit more clinical, but the good thing is when we were under pressure, when they got their goal at 1-1 then you find out what you’ve got; the spirit, desire and determination and we’ve responded again.'

And added 'It’s a difficult league. We’re never looking to be second best, we don’t fear anybody. The balance of the team will get better with a full squad to select. We’ve got some really good players not in the 16 at the minute, some really good players, but that’s a good position to be in'".


The EvoStik League tells us that in the Emirates FA Cup "The First Round Qualifying is scheduled to take place over the weekend of Saturday 8 September with winning clubs set to bank £6,000... double last season's prize money, after those who came through the weekend's preliminary round ties collected £2,890".

Local clubs involved in the Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round draw include...

  • Radcliffe v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Squires Gate or Droylsden v Glossop North End or City of Liverpool
  • Lancaster City v Trafford
  • Warrington Town v Burscough
  • Runcorn Town v Irlam
  • Colne v Hyde United
  • Atherton Collieries v Kidsgrove Athletic or Ramsbottom United
  • Congleton Town v Consett
  • Witton Albion v Bottesford Town
  • Sunderland RCA or Clitheroe v Mossley or Ossett United
  • Ashton Athletic v Morpeth Town
  • Nantwich Town v Worksop Town
  • Barwell v Buxton

28 August 2018


Altrincham are still seeking their first home win of the season after letting a hard-earned lead slip to a workmanlike Guiseley.

Altrincham had got themselves ahead in the 57th minute when Hulme hooked the ball home after Jones had won a header from a deep corner from Daniels and directed the ball back across goal for Hulme. The hosts looked to be in control after that until out of the blue a rasping 25-yarder from Halls found the back of Elliot Wynne's net. That goal and some substitutions sparked a better spell from the visitors who will have been the happier side with the draw.

A needless blow to Altrincham was the fifth booking of the season for Jordan Hulme.

Right: Alty celebrate their goal..


Guiseley have an interview with manager Marcus Bignot and player Scott Garner.

Also Guiseley report that they "extended their unbeaten run to five as Andy Halls's equaliser midway through the second half cancelled out Jordan Hulme’s opener to give the visitors a well-deserved share of the points at newly promoted Altrincham this afternoon. The Lions starting eleven was the same as finished the victory against Nuneaton on Saturday with the exception of Jack Dyche who started in place of Tas Hussain.

The first half was an even affair with Guiseley shading the possession while Altrincham created the better openings... Max Harrop should have put Altrincham ahead on the half hour as a cross from the left wing evaded everyone but he put his shot into the side netting with the goal gaping...

The first goal came on 56 minutes when a corner from the right was headed back into the mix where the League’s leading scorer Jordan Hulme glanced the ball home. The lead lasted just fifteen minutes as Andy Hall made his way into the visitors half before showing his shot-shy strikers how it was done with a powerful daisy cutter from twenty five yards that fizzed past Elliott Wynne into the bottom corner.

Paul Clayton and Reece Thompson replaced Odejayi and Dyche in an effort to clinch the three points, the nearest they came being Cliff Moyo’s curling shot that was marginally wide".

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reports that "Defender Andy Halls scored a spectacular first goal for Guiseley to earn them a point at Moss Road [Lane] today. The former Chester player stunned the home crowd midway through the second half when he picked up the ball on halfway, beat two defenders, and fired a low shot into the net from 25 yards which helped the Lions to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

It was a stunning strike and cancelled out Jordan Hulme's 56th minute goal. Joint-managers Marcus Bignot and Russ O'Neill will be pleased with the point, but disappointed by the way that their side defended the corner which enabled the unmarked Hulme to score.

The Lions showed their attacking intent in the closing stages when strikers Paul Clayton and Reece Thompson were thrust into the action, but despite some late pressure they were unable to snatch a winner.

Altrincham had been the better side in the first half with Max Harrop proving a real handful for full back Cliff Moyo, but Guiseley stood firm. Halls was a strong presence in defence and the only real scare came when Harrop fired in a cross which Hulme turned into the side netting.

Guiseley had plenty of possession but failed to fashion clear-cut chances. Their delivery from set pieces didn't help their cause, but another point away from home and seven from their first seven games, represents a reasonable start for the new-look side."


Vanarama National League North
  • Att. 546 Alfreton Town 3 - 1 Southport
  • Att. 1149 Altrincham 1 - 1 Guiseley
  • Att. 456 Ashton United 2 - 2 Darlington
  • Att. TBA Bradford Park Avenue 1 - 0 Boston United
  • Att. 1571 Chorley 2 - 0 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 1756 Kidderminster Harriers 2 - 1 Stockport County
  • Att. 812 Leamington 2 - 2 AFC Telford United
  • Att. 480 Nuneaton Borough 1 - 3 Brackley Town
  • Att. 863 Spennymoor Town 2 - 0 FC United Of Manchester
  • Att. 2696 York City 2 - 0 Blyth Spartans


Alty travel to Blyth on Saturday, from where Blyth Spartans report that "A tireless performance by an injury-hit Blyth Spartans was undone after Jon Parkin dispatched a highly contentious penalty, 11 minutes from time to break the deadlock at Bootham Crescent.

Referee Ben Speedie adjudged Connor Oliver handled the ball from David Ferguson’s cross, much to the disbelief of large sections of the ground, allowing Parkin to fire York into the initiative [lead].

Frustration further flowed for Alun Armstrong and his backroom staff after Robbie Dale saw a penalty appeal turned down, despite it seeming more of a spot-kick to [than] the one that was awarded to Minstermen. Substitute Adriano Moke then secured the three points in the final minute.

This followed from what was already a drama-filled first-half after Kieran Green was shown a straight red for a poor challenge on Ferguson before Russ Penn’s second yellow made it 10v10 on 37 minutes.

Armstrong was forced into one change from the side that suffered a narrow loss to Chorley, Lewis Horner starting his first game of the campaign in place of the injured Jamie Holmes.

Holmes joins Bradley Fewster, Aaron Cunningham, Sam Brotherton, Ryan Hutchinson on the injury plus a few of the squad carrying slight knocks from Saturday. Peter Jameson was in fine form on his 50th club appearance, with the first of three outstanding saves, following on 13 minutes...

Spartans were starting to settle, but momentum hit a standstill when Green received his deserved red card just after the half-hour mark... But just as York got into gear, Penn was shown his second yellow...

Armstrong’s men worked tirelessly throughout but unfortunately, their efforts were to be undone by another dubious penalty decision at Bootham Crescent. It appeared Oliver had his hands down by his side but a few shouts from the home supporters behind the goal saw referee Speedie point to the spot, several seconds after the incident had happened.

Parkin, on as a second-half substitute, sent Jameson the wrong way... With Spartans giving every last breath in order to force a leveller, that left them vulnerable at the back, and the fresh legs of Moke secured three points for the hosts when [he] latched onto a long ball, chipping the ball over Jameson before scoring into an empty net...

Blyth: Jameson, Nicholson (Butler, 86), I. Watson, Green, Buddle, Reid, Rivers (Wrightson, 81), Oliver, Maguire, Horner (Mullen, 77), Dale ©. Subs not used: Ardelean, Wrightson, Mullen, Butler, Skirpan... Spartans' Man of the Match: Peter Jameson".


According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has mixed emotions following their draw at Leamington. A topsy-turvy encounter at the New Windmill Ground finished 2-2, with the ball-playing Bucks having to deal with a robust Brakes side.

'I think when you come to Leamington, knowing the battle you're in for, you come away with a point and I suppose you take stock. You're happy,' said Cowan, whose side remain unbeaten and sit third in the table. 'But I felt as if we deserved the three points, a few slight adjustments here and there would have helped that.'

Adam Dawson and Andre Brown got the goals for Telford. Brown then missed a penalty which would have won it in the second half. 'Had Andre converted his penalty I think we would've gone on comfortably but it wasn't to be', added Cowan. 'Leamington try to unsettle you, stamping on the penalty spot, the old school tricks. Their goalkeeper has just guessed the right way'".

27 August 2018


Monday 27 August 2018
  • Alfreton Town 3-1 Southport
  • Altrincham 1-1 Guiseley
  • Ashton United 2-2 Darlington
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-0 Boston United
  • Chester P - P Hereford
  • Chorley 2-0 Curzon Ashton
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 Stockport County
  • Leamington 2-2 AFC Telford United
  • Nuneaton Borough 1-3 Brackley Town
  • Spennymoor Town 2-0 FC United Of Manchester
  • York City 2-0 Blyth Spartans


Today (Monday), Altrincham welcome Guiseley to the J. Davidson Stadium (3pm). Now managed by former Solihull Moors and Chester FC boss, Marcus Bignot, the Lions secured their first win of the season with an injury-time goal on Saturday against Nuneaton Borough at Nethermoor.


Above: Altrincham players, in their purple kit, salute their travelling supporters at Darlington last Saturday.

This season, wearing their purple away kit, Altrincham are unbeaten and have amassed seven points as well as scoring ten goals in three matches. In their red and white home kit, a single point has been earned from three games and three goals have been scored.

So, if you don't want to miss another potentially high-scoring game, why not book your seat on the TASC supporters' coach to Blyth next Saturday? Details are below...


Those associated with Altrincham FC and with local amateur football in the area will be saddened to hear of the death, last Thursday, of former Altrincham Football Club director, Kevan Guiney. Kevan, born in August 1954, was a Hale newsagent who served on the Board at Moss Lane under the chairmanship of Mark Harris from January 2001 to May 2002.

On 24 January 2001 the Altrincham FC website stated that the Manchester Evening News had reported that "Kevan Guiney, a knowledgeable and long-time supporter of Altrincham is a welcome new addition to the Board. Mr Guiney, who runs a newsagent's business, already sponsors amateur football leagues in the Altrincham area".

In August 2001, Kevan was given "responsibility for stadium affairs at Moss Lane, including disabled access".

Kevan died of multiple organ failure in Wythenshawe Hospital last Thursday. He had been in hospital for six weeks. Condolences go to Kevan's family and friends.

Kevan is pictured, right, at Moss Lane, presenting Ian Craney with his Man of the Match Award (versus Accrington on Sunday, 25 March 2001)


Video highlights of the Darlington v Altrincham (and all other matches in the division) are on the National League website.

Darlington provide "Statistics from our 3-0 home defeat on Saturday, against Altrincham.

  • Corners 9-13
  • Free kicks 10-10
  • Offsides 1-2
  • Penalties 0-1
  • Yellow cards 0-3
  • Shots on target 2-10
  • Shots off target 7-8
  • Shots blocked 1-5"


Mike Garnett and Howard Watts's Through the Years records indicate that the Robins have failed to win on any of the last four occasions that we have played on Monday's date, 27 August. The last win was, however, an excellent one. It was a 2-0 victory at Aldershot Town early in Alty's second season back in the top-flight of non-League football for the club's third spell at that level in 2005-6.

Right: Action from the 2005 win at Aldershot. Peter Band, left, hits the deck, as Chris Adams, arm raised, appeals for a goalkick.

Two headed goals in a seven minute period in the second half by James Olsen (71 mins) and Colin Little (78 mins), both from Colin Potts crosses, allowed Altrincham to take the points after soaking up plenty of Aldershot Town pressure. This was Alty's first league game against The Shots, the last previous encounter being a Trophy game at The Rec. which Alty won in 1999.

Alty were without ten first-team players, not counting Marcus Hallows, who was recovering from his broken leg. Eddie Hussin, Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Lutel James, Kieran Lugsden, Rod Thornley, Richard Norris, Kirk Hilton, and Karl Munroe were all injured or not yet fully fit after injury, whilst Mark Maddox remained suspended. In addition, Gary Talbot was playing with an injury. So, manager Graham Heathcote brought on to the bench last season's youth team leading scorer, Lee Hendley.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Stuart COBURN, 12 Steve HAWES, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 21. Stephen ROSE; 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 16. James OLSEN, 24. George MELLING, 25. Nehru McKENZIE, 26. Lee HENDLEY.

In the return fixture with Aldershot on 28 January, 2006, Alty demolished The Shots with a 5-1 win. Two goals came from James Robinson and Rod Thornley with Colin Little adding the fifth. The issues surrounding Robinson's registration led to Altrincham being deducted 18 points - including those gained against Aldershot so the win on this date 13 years ago was ultimately pointless!


Next Saturday, Alty travel to Northumberland, from where Blyth Spartans report on Saturday's home defeat to Chorley.

"Blyth Spartans were defeated 2-1 by league leaders Chorley in what was a feisty affair, with the visitors reduced to 10-men when substitute Courtney Meppen-Walter was sent off. Chorley opened the scoring in the 66th minute when Watson brought down [ex-Alty loanee] Elliott Newby in the box and a penalty was given. Alex Newby put the penalty away.

Chorley scored again five minutes later as Newby flicked on a header for Josh Wilson to chase, Wilson then sent a thunderous strike into the top left hand corner of the Blyth goal.

In the 75th minute, Meppen-Walter fouled Dale inside the box receiving his second yellow of the game. Dale then stepped up to take it and scored but it was only a consolation goal in the end although it did end Chorley’s record of not conceding this season...

Blyth’s attention turns to York as they travel there on Monday in what could be York’s first game with a new manager.

Spartans – Jameson, Nicholson, Watson (Horner, 80), Green, Buddle, Reid, Rivers, Oliver (Ardelean, 88), Maguire, Holmes (Wrightson, 70), Dale (C). Subs not used: Fewster (injured in the warm-up), Skirpan (GK)


Boston United report that "Ben Davies could make his first start for Boston United when the Pilgrims travel to Bradford Park Avenue on Bank Holiday Monday. The 37-year-old emerged from the bench during the closing stages of Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Spennymoor Town and could come into consideration...

Cieron Keane is also in contention to make his United debut after completing a three-match suspension from his Alfreton Town days... Avenue climbed above the Pilgrims on Saturday courtesy of their impressive 2-1 win at Hereford FC. Mark Bower's side have collected seven points from nine on home soil. "

At Brackley Town "A first half of few chances gave way to a second period of even fewer goal scoring opportunities as Brackley and York cancelled each other out in a tight, tactical, tense encounter at St James Park. It was nevertheless an absorbing game for the 580 spectators.

'It was a close contest,' Kevin Wilkin said. 'I am a little disappointed with the result but the clean sheet is a real positive, our first of the season, we defended well but did not work their goal-keeper enough despite lots of possession.'

York City caretaker manager Sam Collins, in charge for a first game, will have felt the happier at earning a draw but neither team did enough in front of goal to warrant the three points".

For their part, York City say that "Sam Collins's reign as caretaker-manager got off to a promising start with a goalless draw against last season's beaten play-off finalists Brackley Town.

Youth team manager Collins, who has stepped into the breach following the departure of Martin Gray, made three changes and switched to a 4-3-3 formation. He handed a surprise debut to teenager winger Fergus McAughtrie, who has joined the club after impressing on trial, and gave first starts of the season to left-back David Ferguson and midfielder Josh Law.

There was also a change in captaincy with Joe Tait given the armband ahead of Russ Penn in the absence of the injured Sean Newton.

With Penn sitting just behind Simon Heslop and Law in the centre of the park, City played a patient possession game and looked to play the ball out from the back."

Meanwhile, another Yorkshire club Bradford (Park Avenue) "jumped to third in the National League North table after seeing off Hereford at Edgar Street. It was Bradford’s fourth win in six games, and the West Yorkshire side swept aside the fancied hosts with another encouraging display.

Mark Bower made two changes from the side that held Stockport County, reinstating Nicky Wroe to the starting eleven and handing Lewis Knight his first start. Ben McKenna withdrew from the squad altogether with an injury and Chris Dawson had to settle for a place on the bench. In a formation that would infuriate kit number traditionalists, Wroe lined-up in central midfield despite sporting the number seven shirt and Knight operated on the right flank whilst wearing number eight".

Chester FC "suffered a difficult trip to the New Buck's Head, as they were handed a three-one defeat by AFC Telford United. Goals from James McQuilkin, Amari Morgan-Smith and Daniel Udoh fired the hosts into a three goal cushion, before Simon Grand got a consolation for the Blues.

Chester made three changes for their first match since the heavy defeat at Blyth two weeks ago. Scott Burton, Matty Waters and Craig Mahon all came into the team, replacing Dan Mooney, Steve Howson and the suspended Gary Roberts...

After being sent out from the half-time break a few minutes early, the Blues looked much better in the second half, but struggled to create clear-cut chances".

They beat Altrincham at the JDS but FC United of Manchester suffered "A 2-0 defeat to Leamington at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon [which] meant it was three consecutive home defeats to start the season for FC United, leaving just Nuneaton below them in the league table after six games played.

The Reds had not played for over a week and half since their morale boosting victory at Altrincham and looked slow coming out of the blocks as they aimed to bag their first home points of the season...

The defeat makes it three from three home games in the league this season. Having had such a strong home record last season it’s something that Tom Greaves and his staff will want to look at immediately".

From Hereford FC comes news that "A 90th minute Harry White penalty wasn’t enough for the Bulls to take anything from the sixth National League North match of the season, as Mark Bower’s Bradford Park Avenue inflicted Hereford’s first home defeat of the campaign...

New recruit Jordan Lam was heavily involved in the Hereford attacks in the first half, seeing a lot of the ball on the left wing... After a spell of heavy pressure on the Hereford goal, it was the visitors who took the lead in the twenty-third minute. Defender Conor Branson headed in to put Bradford in front, losing his marker from a corner...

Bradford went two-nil up in the 78th minute thanks to striker Oli Johnson burying a penalty Mike McGrath had conceded for a foul on Danny Boshell. The Bulls did eventually find the net thanks to Harry White’s excellent finish from the spot in the 90th minute, energetic forward Jamie Bird was the man felled in the Bradford box". Nicky Clee again played at left-back for Avenue.

Kidderminster Harriers "were again forced to settle for a draw in a dramatic game at Curzon Ashton that ended 1-1 and saw three penalties missed. Curzon had opened the scoring in a close first half, but not before Brandon Hall had thwarted them from 12 yards. Joe Ironside then saw his own spot kick saved.

Harriers dominated the second period and levelled through Ashley Chambers, and looked set to win it from the spot only for Kane Richards drag wide".

Southport report that "Ryan Astles and Jason Gilchrist led the comeback to earn Southport a draw against Ashton United after recovering from a half-time deficit. Two goals down inside the opening 14 minutes, the Sandgrounders had barely featured as an attacking force when the teams left the pitch at the interval, but by the time the final whistle sounded, they were able to reflect on a point which could so easily have been three.

In many ways, this match of contrasting emotions was typical of what has been a patchy start to the season from Southport... The lack of productivity from Southport was a real concern but having failed to make any impression on the first half, their changes at the break helped alter the course of proceedings.

Within nine minutes, they had a goal back through Astles, steering the ball home from inside the area after the ball broke into his path from Devarn Green, before Gilchrist equalised with a poacher’s finish, peeling away at the far post as a corner from Stefan Mueller was touched on by Jack Sampson".

Closer to home, Stockport County say that "County suffered a first home reverse in a regular league match for over five months, and a first-ever defeat at Edgeley Park by Alfreton Town... The outcome of a fixture which, on three of the four previous occasions, had been settled by a single goal in County’s favour was again determined with one decisive attempt, but this time courtesy of leading Alfreton scorer Tom Denton, who headed home after just eight minutes.

The Hatters took to the field in a 4-3-3 formation... The only goal of the contest came from Alfreton’s first attack...

The Hatters spent the latter part of the second half as they had done after falling behind in the first – applying some pressure, but ultimately in vain as the Reds’ defence, now five-strong, as opposed to a mere back four, held firm."

26 August 2018


Without Hampson, Goulding, Richman, Poole, Peers and Harrison in their squad, and fielding two debutants in goalkeeper Elliot Wynne and winger Owen Dale, who is on loan from Crewe, Altrincham were certainly good value for this win at Blackwell Meadows. Despite creating nine decent openings in the first 45 minutes, Alty had only one goal to show for a dominant first-half, and that came from the penalty spot rather than open play. Johnstone converted a spot-kick, which had been awarded for handball, after 30 minutes.

Altrincham's finishing improved after the break when Jordan Hulme netted twice in a ten-minute spell, each time with a low shot, after the home defence had opened up (51 and 61 mins). Darlington did not muster a serious shot on target till the ninetieth-minute when Wynne produced a magnificent save to push the ball onto the woodwork.

The only downsides to a fine performance, which resulted in Alty's first clean-sheet of the season and featured a fine midfield performance from Sean Williams, were an injury to John Johnston which led to his hobbling off early in the second half and Jordan Hulme's fourth booking of the season, when he needlessly showed dissent with his side already three goals to the good.

Right: James Jones (4), Jake Moult (6) and Sean Williams (8) keep a close watch on Darlington's Simon Ainge.

DARLINGTON 1. Jonathan MADDISON, 2. Luke TROTMAN, 3. Ben O'HANLON, 4. Liam HUGHES, 5. Jonathan BURN, 6. Terence GALBRAITH, 7. Jordan NICHOLSON, 8. Tom ELLIOTT, 9. Reece STYCHE (c), 10. Simon AINGE, 11. Stephen THOMPSON. Subs: 12. Mitchell GLOVER, 14. David SYERS, 15. Dominic COLLINS, 16. Harvey SAUNDERS, 17 Kieron DUNN

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Elliot WYNNE, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Brendon DANIELS, 15. Bay DOWNING, 16. Liam GOULDING, 20. Tony THOMPSON.


After Saturday's defeat to Altrincham,Darlington report that a "Below par performance costs Quakers. Altrincham had an early chance when a Darlo clearance was headed forward for Josh Hancock to try his luck from 35 yards, but Maddison got down well to his right and held on to his shot...

Altrincham scored on 30 minutes. Stephen Thompson was ruled to have handled the ball as he tried to block a cross from the left. It looked a harsh decision, and the referee pointed to the spot from where Johnston sent Maddison the wrong way. Johnston was then booked for over-celebrating...

Alty continued to threaten, and Burn made a couple of timely interceptions, while Hulme turned quickly and fired just over the top.

Altrincham went 2-0 up after 49 minutes when Jordan Hulme picked the ball up in the inside left channel, ran towards goal, and stroked the ball right footed past a defender and Maddison into the net.

It was 3-0 on 58 minutes when Hancock won possession inside the Darlington half, and set up Hulme, who ran through and slotted the ball past Maddison...

Quakers were denied right at the end when Trotman crossed from the right for Saunders to head powerfully towards goal, but the keeper pushed his effort against the bar, but by then the game was lost".

Darlington "manager Tommy Wright speaks following the 3-0 home defeat to Altrincham. See what he had to say on the club's Official YouTube channel".

The Northern Echo adds that "Darlington suffered their heaviest home defeat since November and it could have been worse when they lost 3-0 at home to Altrincham.

It was one-way traffic, particularly in the first half, as Altrincham recorded their second victory of the season and their only regret will be that they did not win by a greater margin.

They were on top from an early stage but wasteful in front of goal... John Johnston gave Phil Parkinson’s side the lead with a penalty on 30 minutes conceded when Stephen Thompson handled Josh Hancock’s cross.

By that stage Darlington had lost centre-back Terry Galbraith to injury, but his replacement, Dom Collins, lasted only until half-time when he said he was unable to continue due to an ankle injury. Quakers sent on striker Harvey Saunders, dropping Simon Ainge to the centre of defence, but Altrincham made it 2-0 six minutes into the second half when Hulme netted.

After Luke Trotman lost the ball in the middle of the pitch, Hulme was sent away down the left and the striker stroked home for his fifth goal of the season.

He had his sixth on the hour. When gave the ball to Hancock who and played in Hulme and, with Jonny Burn backing off, the striker made it 3-0.

He came close to his hat-trick when he hit the bar, and goalkeeper Elliott Wynne tipped a Saunders header onto the woodwork".


Above: Elliot Wynne, making his debut in the Alty goal, awaits a Darlington corner in the first half.

  • Att. 1886 AFC Telford United 3 - 1 Chester
  • Att. 725 Blyth Spartans 1 - 2 Chorley
  • Att. 1210 Boston United 0 - 2 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 580 Brackley Town 0 - 0 York City
  • Att. 353 Curzon Ashton 1 - 1 Kidderminster Harriers (Ryan Brooke netted the Curzon goal)
  • Att. 1450 Darlington 0 - 3 Altrincham
  • Att. 1727 FC United Of Manchester 0 - 2 Leamington
  • Att. 528 Guiseley 2 - 1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Att. 2601 Hereford 1 - 2 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Att. 881 Southport 2 - 2 Ashton United
  • Att. 2868 Stockport County 0 - 1 Alfreton Town


With goals from Reece Coley and Rhain Davis (right), Altrincham FC Reserves consolidated their position at the top of the Cheshire League Premier Division, defeating Daten FC 2-0 on Saturday.

The Altrincham squad for the match comprised Andrew Jones, Tom Clarke, Reece Coley, Rhain Davis, Fergus Grogan, Sam Heathcote, Curtis Miller, Shaun Muscroft, James O'Hara, Dylan Scanlon, Stavros Tserpes. Subs: Ryan Barry, Max Pouncey.

Next Tuesday (28th), the Reserves are scheduled to play Denton Town, away, with a 6.30pm kick-off.


Alty's guests on Monday, Guiseley, secured their first win of the season on Saturday, but left it very late against Nuneaton Borough who report that they "fell to a fourth consecutive defeat at Guiseley, despite holding a 1-0 lead at half time, their first lead of the season.

Enoch Andoh had put the Boro’ ahead after a neat one-two with Dior Angus as Nicky Eaden’s side utilised their pace to hit the Lions on the break. Second half goals, both as a result of set-pieces, from Alex Purver and Kaine Felix saw the hosts come from behind for a 2-1 win as Boro’ Captain Ash Carter was dismissed in a lively final few minutes...

Cam Belford, making his debut between the sticks was the busier keeper, saving well from Rowan Liburd a couple of times...

Andoh was at the heart of the action, this time he gave Green no chance, sliding the ball past him and in to the bottom corner. The goal came from a Guiseley free kick as Boro’ cleared and Andoh and Angus broke, the latter playing the former in to score his second of the season...

The hosts made a double substitution at the break, introducing Purver and Kayode Odejayi, to give them more options going forward, and the change paid dividends as Guiseley controlled the opening 20 minutes of the second half, culminating in Purver’s strike as Boro’ struggled to clear a long throw. The ball dropped kindly for the sub on the edge of the box and his rasping low strike found the bottom corner.

There wasn’t another shot on target in the match until Felix scored almost a carbon copy in the 94th minute, just 30 seconds from the end of the match. Carter was sent off in the aftermath as Boro’ were left to travel home, rooted to the foot of the table".


  • Samuel Grimshaw from Leek Town to Hednesford Town
  • Andrew McWilliams (right) from Buxton to Leek Town


A number of local teams were playing on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round, as were our freinds at Shildon.
  • AFC Darwen 1 Trafford 4
  • Droylsden 4 Squires Gate 4
  • Hyde United 5 Sheffield FC 1
  • Tadcaster Albion 4 Shildon 1

25 August 2018


Bay Downing (right) was used a sub for Altrincham at Darlington on Saturday but, before that, Salisbury, the Wiltshire side which plays in the Southern League South, announced that "The Whites have signed 22 year-old midfielder Bay Downing on dual registration with Vanarama National League North Altrincham. Downing signed for Alty on his return to the UK after having played for Tampa Spartans, and had trials with Macclesfield Town and Salford City... He will be available for Monday’s match against Swindon Supermarine, but not for the Whites’ FA Cup and FA Trophy matches."


Saturday 25 August 2018

Vanarama National League North

  • AFC Telford United 3-1 Chester
  • Blyth Spartans 1-2 Chorley
  • Boston United 0-2 Spennymoor Town
  • Brackley Town 0-0 York City
  • Curzon Ashton 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Darlington 0-3 Altrincham
  • FC United of Manchester 0-2 Leamington
  • Guiseley 2-1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Hereford 1-2 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Southport 2-2 Ashton United
  • Stockport County 0-1 Alfreton Town


On Saturday, Alty head to Blackwell Meadows seeking their first clean-sheet of the season whilst Darlington ask whether "After a thrilling 1-1 draw with Blyth, can Quakers go one better? We are looking for our first home win of the season at home to Altrincham on Saturday. We were so unlucky not to record that first win at home to Blyth Spartans when we played some terrific football, but were denied by two disallowed goals, the woodwork and some good goalkeeping.

Since then, we [have] lost 5-2 at Kidderminster, but midfielder Joe Wheatley was dismissed when the scores were goalless, and manager Tommy Wright had to reshuffle the side, and Kidderminster took advantage.

Altrincham are currently one place above us, but haven’t won in their last three matches.

Quakers will be without midfielder Joe Wheatley, who was sent off last week at Kidderminster and is suspended for three matches".

The Quakers' leading scorers have both previously troubled Altrincham; ex-Forest Green man Reece Styche has five goals, whilst former Guiseley defender-cum-striker Simon Ainge has three goals.

As usual, the match will be covered by Radio Robins.

In addition, Darlington announce that the game's matchday programme will include a feature on "The first and last time we met Altrincham...And loads, loads more... on sale from the usual outlets, price £2.50!"

Darlington add that "The last time we played Altrincham was in March 2017, when goals by Mark Beck, Josh Falkingham and Terry Galbraith gave us the points. Watch the action here."

Meanwhile, in advance of the trip to Darlington, Altrincham FC report that the club has signed Owen Dale, a winger/forward, on loan for a month from Crewe Alexandra. There is more on this signing on the Altrincham FC official website.

Crewe Alexandra report that Owen (d.o.b. 1 November, 1998) is a graduate of the Alexandra youth system. "The 19-year-old made his first team league debut in the 1-0 defeat at Grimsby in September 2017 after also featuring in the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Newcastle among his six senior games in 2017/18. Comfortable on the wing or as a striker, Dale was a regular scorer in the U18 [side] in 2016/17 and carried that form on when selected for Alex Morris’ U23 side.

He enjoyed a useful loan spell at Witton Albion last season".

In fact, Owen played for Witton against Altrincham on New Year's Day, 2018, an EvoStik Premier match played in very wet conditions, which Alty lost 3-4 at the J. Davidson Stadium. He is pictured, right, as Witton's no.7 that day as Alty's no.8, Simon Richman, moves infield.

On the eve of the match the Northern Echo reported that "Darlington,... having suffered a chastening defeat last weekend, will make changes for Saturday's game with Altrincham.

Tommy Wright will recall Ben O’Hanlon, the left-back having been a substitute last Saturday when Quakers lost 5-2 at Kidderminster Harriers. It was 0-0 when Joe Wheatley was sent off after 17 minutes, the dismissal having a major impact on the game, though Kidderminster had already asserted their authority on a match they went on to win comfortably.

By half-time, when it was 2-0 to Kidderminster, Wright withdrew centre-back Dom Collins, and he will not be in the starting line-up at Blackwell Meadows. 'Dom didn’t do himself any favours, but that’s football, everyone has a bad day at the office, it happens,' said Wright, who will pair Jonny Burn and Terry Galbraith at the heart of defence. 'It is no secret how highly I rate Ben, and everyone at the club from boardroom level down to the fans, everyone rates Ben. If you picked our best XI you would put him at left-back. He’ll be back in the team, there’s no point beating around the bush.'

It will be the first time Burn and Galbraith have started a competitive game as a pairing, the latter having been at left-back for the two league matches in which they have both been in the starting line-up.

Wright added 'It is a pairing that hasn’t had much game time, but it’s the same defensive unit as last season but with Jonny instead of Josh Heaton. Burn and Galbraith deserve an opportunity and it’s up to them to hold on to them shirts. Terry gives you great balance on that side of the pitch, he was great last year, very consistent and he’s carried that on'...

Replacing Wheatley will be Wright’s other decision, with Liam Hughes, Dave Syers and Jordan Nicholson all in contention. Hughes came off the bench soon after Wheatley’s dismissal, Nicholson scored as a substitute while Syers is yet to start this season.

Wright added '“The shape won’t change for the weekend, but we have been working on things defensively. Jordan Nicholson came on and scored, and we’ve got Hughes and Syers, we’ve got options. Hughes has come out of the team, Syers and Nicholson have been out too, these lads want them shirts and that message will keep getting sent around the changing room.'"

One player who won't be facing Alty is the subject of a report from Darlington as they confirm that "Darlington defender Jack Vaulks has today gone on loan to Whitby for a month. Jack, who signed for us almost a year ago, has yet to start a game for us this season, and manager Tommy Wright said...'He is desperate for some game time. The work on the training pitch has been done and now he needs to go and put what he has learned into practice... Jack is highly- rated here and he will come back stronger for the experience'".


Following a 0-5 home defeat to Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town, former Alty player Nicky Daws has been relieved of his managerial post at Scunthorpe United.


The Magpies may be top of the league but off the field the Chorley Guardian reports that "Three directors of Chorley FC have stepped down their positions at the football club at the same time, citing personal commitments. Documents filed to Companies' House reveal that Roy Miller, Michael Finnigan, and Jeremy Lee have all had their positions as directors at the Magpies terminated by the club.

Chairman of Chorley FC, Ken Wright, said 'All three of the previous directors are still very supportive of the club, but due to personal commitments have had to step down'... All three documents are dated back to June 30. Lee had held the role of director since 2012, Miller since 2016 and Finnigan since 2017.

The departures follow months of off-field turmoil, beginning with the shock resignation of Chorley FC manager Matt Jansen on June 22.

Jansen’s representatives said 'The professional working relationship between Matt, his personal representative and the owners and chief executive officer of the club has irretrievably broken down.' And last month the Magpies’ chief executive Dave Riche stepped down from his role with immediate effect. His resignation came after he was forced to apologise in June after he shared a photo ‘fat-shaming’ two sisters snapped from behind in Blackpool before posting the photo on to Instragram."

Back on the playing side, NL Daily confirms that "Goalkeeper Cameron Belford (pictured above playing for Wrexham against Alty in 2015, as George Bowerman shapes to shoot at goal) has been released from his Chorley contract with immediate effect. The 29-year-old was The Magpies’ first summer signing at the end of May, playing five pre-season games before starting the opening two matches of the campaign. 'Cameron has been an excellent professional,' manager Jamie Vermiglio told 'He’s opted to find first team football. I respect his decision and wish him all the best for the future.'

Another player on the move, albeit temporarily, is striker Wes Fletcher. The 27-year-old, who’s been a substitute in four of The Magpies’ first five games, is joining Lancaster City for a month. 'Wes is going to Lancaster to regain match fitness and will be back at the end of September,' Vermiglio explained. 'He’ll be a big player for us once he returns.'”

Boston United "have clinched the signing of vastly-experienced defender Ben Davies. Davies has a long and distinguished Football League career behind him... The 37-year-old, who can operate in either full-back position or in midfield, left Grimsby Town at the end of last season and has notably played for the likes of Derby County, Sheffield United and Portsmouth in recent years.

The Pilgrims have, meanwhile, registered teenagers Seth Greeves and Taylor Gray ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend. Both players are 17 and featured on the bench for the first team last season. Greeves is expected to feature (on dual registration) for neighbours Boston Town in their derby fixture with Holbeach United on Saturday".

According to the Chester Chromicle "Shaun Tuton has completed a move away from Chester FC and signed for rivals Spennymoor Town. The 26-year-old former Barnsley striker joined the Blues prior to the start of the National League North campaign on non-contract terms... He played against his new side for the Blues on the opening day of the season in a goalless draw in which he was named man of the match, as well as featuring in the 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton.

But with Tuton being on non-contract terms with the Blues, Spennymoor were able to put seven days notice in on the striker’s services, after which they were formally able to offer him a deal. And Jason Ainsley’s side have now confirmed Tuton's signature and he has penned a deal at The Brewery Field. It is understood that Chester offered Tuton a permanent deal to stay but were unable to match the terms on offer by Spennymoor.

And Tuton has explained why he has made the move to Ainsley’s side. He told Spennymoor’s YouTube channel 'When I spoke to the gaffer, how they wanted to play is how I play, so it felt right to make that move. It’s nothing to do with Chester or anything like that, but I played against these in the first game of the season, so it made it easier to come to be fair... My agent got in touch saying that they were interested. My best position is up top or playing as a front three. I like getting in behind and using pace. That’s how I’ve always played, getting in behind. Don’t get me wrong, I can drop in deep and receive the ball, but it’s been mainly getting in behind and stuff like that.

'I just need to get back playing, to be fair'".

Alty's visitors on Bank Holiday Monday are Guiseley and in the Yorkshire Evening Post manager "Marcus Bignot insists that the last thing Guiseley will be caught doing is panicking, despite the club’s winless start to the new National League North campaign.

Five games into the season and the Lions have yet to chalk off a maiden league victory of the Bignot and Russ O’Neill era... The perfect opportunity to shred that particular statistic arrives at Nethermoor [on Saturday] against Nuneaton, who currently prop up the table. It is the first part of a Bank Holiday double-header for the fourth-from-bottom Lions, who visit Altrincham on Monday.

Despite their sequence without a win, Guiseley head into tomorrow’s game on the back of a three-match unbeaten streak... of successive draws...

Bignot said 'For us, there is no panic and we know it is around the corner. But just in terms of the feel-good factor in the club and for the fans, the most important people, you want to be winning your home games in front of them and we will be doing all we can to do that on Saturday. The performances are improving game on game in terms of elements... This is a strong group where the mentality and togetherness is good. The confidence is all there, but a win would just lift the whole place'..

A week’s break between games has allowed several players to work towards getting themselves back into contention, including the likes of Will Hatfield, with those only involved on the bench last week such as Louis Swain and Terry Kennedy also afforded extra time to work on their fitness. 'Having no midweek game has definitely worked well and it was a much-needed midweek break', Bignot admitted...

Guiseley face a Nuneaton side who have taken just two points from five games thus far and are currently on a three-match losing streak, including a 4-1 home reverse to Southport last weekend... Bignot said 'I watched their game back and I think the scoreline flattered Southport a little bit'".

From Nuneaton Borough we learn that "Callum Coyle joins on loan from Solihull Moors. The highly-rated 19 year-old started out at Walsall Academy, before being released at 16. He signed with Solihull Moors and thrived in their Academy, signing first team forms in March 2017. Callum is a technically-gifted midfielder and already has a handful of first team appearances to his name with Solihull."

24 August 2018


TASC supporters' transport is running to Darlington on Saturday. For full details of times and fares, please visit the Away Travel page. Please ring the club on 0161 928-1045 to book your seat.

TASC Travel Coordinator Mark Eckersall adds "Thanks to all who joined us for the trips to Southport and Spennymoor. Great to see a mix of the usual loyal faces but also some new travellers with us. We hope you will join us again, remember we welcome travellers of all ages and provide a welcoming family atmosphere. We will again charge everyone the lower rate to encourage numbers on these early trips as it's important we get the numbers to keep things going.

A reminder again that we don't permit alcohol on the outgoing or return journeys but always aim to get there in time for a drink for those who wish to partake".

For those making their own way to Darlington, Darlington FC advises that "Matchday car parking at Blackwell Meadows is available on a first-come-first-served basis, at £5 per car. There are also a number of Blue Badges spaces available, and we recommend you arrive early.

Alternatively, you may wish to use the numerous town centre car parks. Situated within 20-25 minutes stroll of Blackwell Meadows, charges will apply. Visit for further information on locations and charges for parking.

This is the second time that Alty have visited Blackwell Meadows, a venue shared with Darlington Rugby Football Club. This will be our first daylight visit to this venue as the previous match was an evening game.

For those travelling by public transport, Darlington FC advises that "There are six buses leaving Stand M outside the Town Hall in the hour leading up to kick-off on Saturday. The standard adult fare is £1.70 and is free for those with a bus pass. For full details of all public transport services in the Darlington & Tees Valley area please visit:". The service numbers for the six buses are X26, X27, 12, or 34.


Hopefully, there will be no need for pitch covers on Bank Holiday Monday, when Guiseley visit the J. Davidson Stadium. On their last visit, in February 2016, only hard work by groundstaff and volunteers got the game "on", as seen in the above image from before the game. The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Michael Rankine, who later joined The Lions, netting Alty's goal.

Alty's line-up that day was 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 10. Damian REEVES, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE.

Back in the present, Guiseley "manager Marcus Bignot is not fazed by Guiseley's slow start to the season, insisting that a win is just around the corner for his side... Saturday's home game against rock-bottom Nuneaton Town seems to be the perfect opportunity to pick up their first victory.

However, Bignot dismissed any suggestion that the match would [be] comfortable for his side, laughing, 'If football was that easy to predict, we'd all be millionaires... It's questionable whether Nuneaton will still be bottom at the end of the season. We've played five of the top seven so far but again it's debatable whether they'll all be in the promotion places come April'...

Bignot is pleased to have two games in quick succession, with the Nuneaton clash followed by a trip to Altrincham on Bank Holiday Monday. He said 'If we can achieve back to back victories, the landscape changes and we can start looking at the top half of the table after that. Saturday is our primary focus for now though, and getting that win at home.'

The Lions boss is hoping to have a strong squad to select from at the weekend, with several players set to return from injury. He said 'We were missing key players last week, like Joe Green, Andy Halls and Will Hatfield. Kayode Odejayi played but he wasn't fully fit and Terry Kennedy is still working his way back. We're hoping they'll all be in contention on Saturday, which will mean there will be good competition for places, which makes the team stronger.'"


Monday 27 August 2018

Vanarama National League North

  • Alfreton Town v Southport
  • Altrincham v Guiseley
  • Ashton United v Darlington
  • Bradford Park Avenue v Boston United
  • Chester v Hereford
  • Chorley v Curzon Ashton
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Stockport County
  • Leamington v AFC Telford United
  • Nuneaton Borough v Brackley Town
  • Spennymoor Town v FC United Of Manchester
  • York City v Blyth Spartans


According to York Press "York City caretaker manager Sam Collins has declared that he would 'definitely' be interested in the Bootham Crescent hot-seat on a permanent basis. Youth-team chief Collins, who has taken temporary charge of Hartlepool on three occasions in the past, will be at the Minstermen helm for Saturday’s trip to Brackley and the bank holiday Monday home clash against Blyth Spartans.

City Sporting Director Dave Penney has insisted that Collins is 'very much' in the reckoning for the full-time vacancy caused by Martin Gray’s dismissal and the former Huddersfield and Bury defender, who arrived at Bootham Crescent in the summer, has confirmed he would like to be considered for the position. 'I’d definitely be interested,' Collins said of the chance to succeed Gray. 'I’ve played against York City in League One when people I know, like Jon McCarthy, were here, so I know what a big club this is and there aren’t many better at this level that you could get an opportunity to take over as manager.

'I’ve been coaching for more than 12 years now and it has always been in my mind, going back to my playing days, that I’d like to be a manager one day so, hopefully, it goes well, and we can have another conversation and, if I get asked the question, I’ll have a decision to make.'

Collins, 41, did admit to hesitating, however, before accepting the caretaker role, feeling a little reluctant to move up from working with the club’s junior players. 'I had phone calls late Sunday afternoon from the chairman and Dave (Penney), telling me what had happened and that they wanted me to step in,' he explained. 'Initially, I asked if I could have a bit of time to think about it, because I’ve been working with the under-19s and I’ve really enjoyed it. We’d just beaten Newcastle 4-1 the day before, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it. But I had a chat with my wife and, then, my dad and he, more than anyone, persuaded me that I should give it a crack.

'I’ve seen what a good club this is in just the five weeks I’ve been here, with the training facilities and the way you’re treated every day. There’s also some good, experienced players and a lot of young ones to work with.'

Collins went on to confess that being able to call upon City’s strength and conditioning coach Stuart Parnaby as his number two is a big bonus. The pair have been in this position together at Hartlepool, where they were also team-mates... 'We had to retire at a similar time at Hartlepool and he then did the strength and conditioning, whilst I went into coaching. The last time I was a caretaker, Stuart was also my assistant, so we know each other really well and know how we like to work and the environment we like to create, which is really important, but the tell-tale signs will be seen on Saturday and Monday.'

While Jon Parkin is the only current City player Collins has worked with before, having been in the same Hull City side back in 2006/07, the Pontefract-born coach reasoned that he is familiar with most of his new charges, having moved in similar circles during recent years... 'I’ve played against Russ Penn a few times and I’ve also seen a lot of the lads play, even the young ones, so I know quite a lot about them, which helps in this situation. I’ve seen all the home games this season as well and watched the others on scout7, which is a software package that we use.'

Collins added that former City midfielder and free agent James Berrett is no longer training with the club".

More comes from the Hartlepool Mail which tells sus that "Serial Hartlepool United caretaker manager Sam Collins is preparing for another temporary spell in the dugout, this time at National League North York City... The former defender, who left Pools in 2017...was handed the reins on Monday ...

Collins told the club's official website, 'Every player starts again with a clean slate. It is a fresh start and it doesn’t matter how they have done in the past. That’s gone. They all have an opportunity to play this weekend and I am looking for them to impress in training and show me that they deserve to play... I don’t care whether they are 16 or 36 – if they are good enough, they will play. I am not afraid to put them in, if I think it is the right thing to do.'

Collins had caretaker spells in charge of Pools on three separate occasions".

Nuneaton Borough report that "Defender James Hurst has left the club by mutual consent. Hurst joined the club late in pre-season and had been an ever-present part of the backline that got off to a great start. Hurst started all five games for the Boro’ so far this season."

Southport "announce that Australian defender, Reagan Ogle, has joined the club on a one-month loan deal from Accrington Stanley. The 19 year-old played against the club in pre-season and is a fast, attacking fullback with a bright future ahead.... He joined the Reds in 2015 and made his debut for the club in the Checkatrade Trophy competition in November 2016. From there he has continued to make a handful of appearances for his parent outfit. This will be his third loan spell after spending time at Ramsbottom United in 2017 and with Wealdstone six months ago on a similar deal."

We learn from the Chester Standard that "Chester midfielder George Green has promised to repay the faith joint-bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have shown in him as he continues his battle back to full fitness. Green has yet to make an appearance for Chester since his move from Nuneaton Borough earlier this summer, but despite the 22-year-old openly admitting to suffering in the past with depression and drug and alcohol addiction, he has assured Blues fans that his latest spell on the sidelines is not connected to his previous issues.

'I think the fans are getting quite annoyed because they don't know if I'm going backwards or why I'm not playing,' said Green, who has revealed he is suffering from a slipped disc in his back which requires surgery. 'The truth is, it's down to an acute injury and it's one that I need to sort out and, unfortunately, going for an operation is the fastest way to do it. I want to be back fast so I'm willing to go through this surgery which shows how willing I am to get back. There's nothing going on in my life apart from me wanting to be a footballer so no one has anything to worry about.'

In an interview with the Daily Mail in April, Green, who came through the ranks at Everton before joining Tranmere Rovers on-loan, revealed he had tried to take his own life while at Salford City where he had a brief spell under Morley and Johnson during the 2016/17 season, making eight appearances. Johnson described Green as 'a hell of player' after he penned a one year deal at the Swansway Chester Stadium and the Dewsbury-born midfielder has pledged to reward his new club with the kind of performances that saw him represent England from Under 16 to Under 18 level as well as spells with Burnley, Kilmarnock and Norwegian outfit Viking.

'My first reaction when Salford came in for me was "They're in Conference North and I don't want to play there", remembered Green. 'I'd just been playing in the Scottish Premier League for Kilmarnock so it felt like a massive drop, but I'd seen the TV documentary and seen the managers and liked how they were, so when they came in for me and Burnley told me, I thought it would be a challenge that I would like... They were part time and I'd not done that before and the facilities were not as good but, regardless of that, you still play on a grass pitch which is how I look at it'...

Despite a good start to life at Salford, things quickly began to unwind as Green began suffering with the kind of demons which had derailed his career and forced him into rehab aged just 18.... He said 'It was complacency and I went on a little bender, missed a game and Salford sent me back to Burnley.' Despite the setback, Green maintained a relationship with Johnson and Morley, who had first tried to sign him when he was turning out for Ossett Albion following his departure from Goodison Park.

'My relationship with them when I first went to Salford on loan from Burnley was very, very good,' said Green... 'I didn't really expect a second chance. We were speaking throughout the summer and when I heard they'd put a bid in for me it was something I was never ever going to turn down. It was just something I couldn't do with those two; it has become like a personal vendetta. It's not that I want to prove them wrong because they've never spoken that badly about me, but I do want to show them that I'm not that lad I was two years ago and I have changed'...

'The managers have never sat me down and spoken about what happened before and it's never been mentioned,' he said...

'I didn't travel to Blyth [where Chester lost 8-1] because of my back but that was a one off let me tell you. That won't happen again under these managers and with these players'".

We read in the Shropshire Star that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan says that an extension to Ryan Sears’s loan from Shrewsbury Town is not a foregone conclusion. Nineteen-year-old Sears has impressed at right-back over the past few weeks, but Cowan believes there is still work for him to do to continue his New Bucks' Head spell.

His month-long loan from Salop expires following the game against Ashton United a week on Saturday.

'I need to speak to John Askey about that, but we’ve got him for a couple more games yet,' said Cowan on Sears, who was sent off after two bookable offences in the 3-2 win at Spennymoor Town on Saturday. 'He misses the next one which is unfortunate and we’ve got Dom Smith back from suspension so it’s up to Ryan to carry on doing well. He needs to impress in the last couple of games of his loan in order for us to go out and extend it. That being said, he has fitted into the squad very well, he’s a good lad, and he’s performed well in the games for us so far. It’s about continuing that.'

Cowan felt Sears’ dismissal at Brewery Field was ‘particularly harsh... I didn’t think it was a sending off but he’ll learn from that; how to run down the clock, away from home, and not put yourself at risk'...

It is understood Town... would prefer to have to him stay with the Bucks and be playing regularly as opposed to being a bit-part player under Askey. Sears spent last season at Welsh Premier side Newtown and ended up winning their Players’ Player of the Year award".

23 August 2018


Details of the TASC supporters' transport for the game at Darlington on Saturday are here.

As reported yesterday, you can obtain tickets at a £1 discount from the Darlington website in advance of Saturday's game against Altrincham, albeit for standing only. However, Altrincham FC has been assured that there is seating for away supporters despite the fact that Darlingtpn advise that "Altrincham fans will not have access to view the game from the East Stand (main home support stand". Nevertheless, Darlington add that "The game at Blackwell Meadows will not be segregated and Altrincham fans will enter via the home turnstiles at the east of the ground. Blackwell Meadows is a no smoking/vaping ground".

Darlington state that "For the 2018/19 season, ground admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults: £14
  • Concession: £10*
  • Children Under 16: £5**
  • Children Under 11: Free of charge (must be accompanied by an adult, maximum of three children per adult)

* Over 62s as at 1 September 2018, full time students (student card required), registered disabled persons, armed forces personnel

** Children aged 11-16 years old. Please note proof of concession rate entitlement may be requested on entry".

Also Darlington announce "Out with the old, and in with the new! We will be launching our exciting, brand new website early on Thursday morning, which means that there is going to be a crossover period of data between Wednesday night and Thursday morning".


The National League reports that "Altrincham have announced they intent to look into a possible transition to full-time football and will discuss the idea at length with their supporters...

Director Bill Waterson has outlined the next stage for the Evo-Stik NPL Premier champions as they consider the move... 'A move to full-time status may be necessary... It will happen when the time is right, and when all the necessary prerequisites are in place'" he said.

For more on this, see the Altrincham FC official website.


With their fifth win in six matches, Altrincham FC Reserves went to the top of the Cheshire League Premier Division on Tuesday. They beat Whaley Bridge Athletic 4-0 at Alty Reserves' home at Egerton Sports, Knutsford.

The Altrincham line-up included Elliot Wynne, Lloyd Bannister, Shaun Densmore, Bay Downing, Ben Harrison, James Jones and Tom Peers from this season's first-team squad. Alty's goals were scored by Tom Peers (2), Bay Downing and Rhain Davis.


NL Today reports that "Glossop North End [have] made a handful of new signings... The Hillmen [have] brought in Joel Bembo-Leta... Bembo-Leta joins Glossop from JD Welsh Premier side Bangor City, who he signed for in February 2018. The versatile Bembo-Leta (right) is an imposing 6'2" defender who can play across a range of positions including centre-back, defensive midfield and right-back. Congolese-born, he began his career with Stalybridge Celtic where he made over 150 appearances, scoring 6 goals. The 26-year-old has also enjoyed spells with Curzon Ashton, Colwyn Bay, Marine, Buxton and Droylsden before signing for Altrincham in July 2017. Bembo-Leta made 20 appearances for the Robins last season before transferring to Witton Albion in December and then Bangor two months later".


The Chester Chronicle tells us that "Having seen four National League North games postponed in the past 10 days, Chester FC chairman David Harrington-Wright insists that the club is doing all it can to get home games back on at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Torrential rain 10 days ago wreaked havoc at the club, with water leaking into the control room and PA room and causing irreparable damage to critical areas of the club's infrastructure, most crucially the CCTV systems, with the cost to repair the damage likely to be well into the tens of thousands. Without full functioning CCTV and PA systems there can be no safety certificate in place for the football club, a requirement to host home matches, and that has resulted in the postponement of the home games with Kidderminster Harriers, twice, FC United of Manchester and Bank Holiday Monday's scheduled visit of Hereford FC.

The postponements have meant that Chester have been without a game since their 8-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans on August 11, with the club also losing the financial boost that the home games would have brought this month, with all three visitors likely to have brought a considerable away support. Temporary power is back on in some parts of the stadium after the East Stand had to be closed last week, allowing the main office to be open. But the damage caused by the water upstairs has seen driers and de-humidifiers brought in so as to allow electrical repairs to take place.

There is no quick fix for the football club and they will today learn whether the CCTV equipment is a write off or whether it can be repaired. Should it need to be replaced then the club will have to wait while a bespoke system is built, but the aim ,at present, is to try and get the home game on with Bradford (Park Avenue) on September 8.

'I can't tell you 100% that we will get that game on but that is what we are working towards,' said Harrington-Wright. 'There is a youth team game here on the fifth and we would ideally like to have the repairs and the new equipment in place by then so that we can use that game as a dummy run and test all the equipment appropriately. But we are bound by other things. We will know today whether or not the CCTV system is a write-off and if we need new kit. If we do then that is something that can't just be bought off the shelf, it is something that has to be custom made and then installed. It's not a small job.

'I can assure everybody that we are working as hard as possible to sort this situation out as quickly as possible and postponing games is not something that we or the National League take lightly. I know some have mentioned that we could just get temporary power in but it isn't as simple as that and we wouldn't have a valid safety certificate in place. We also have to satisfy Cheshire West & Chester Council as to the safety of the ground. We will not take risks with the safety of fans in this stadium, it won't happen.

'The cost of the damage is not a small amount and it is a sizeable claim. We are working closely with our insurers, who are the biggest insurers of football clubs in the country (AIG) and they know the pressures on football clubs as businesses... People aren't going to drop everything because we are Chester FC and come and get things sorted today...

'For various reasons we have not been able to switch the games. We tried with Kidderminster, FC United and also with Hereford. The Hereford game would have been all-ticket and there would have been a logistical issue with turning that around. But West Mercia Police wouldn't entertain us switching the clash on Monday, and that is the fact of the matter. There is little you can do about that'...

Chester play their first game since the defeat at Blyth when they make the relatively short trip to Shropshire this weekend to take on AFC Telford United at New Bucks' Head".

According to the Boston Standard, "Jordan Gough believes Boston United’s squad is strong enough to make a serious title challenge. The defender knows a thing or two about success at National League North level, having been part of the Solihull Moors team which won the title in 2016...

'You’ve got to be really consistent in this league because there’s no easy games,' he told The Standard... 'But I think we can be up there if we carry on.' The secret to Boston’s early success has centred around remaining solid in defence, the side keeping three clean sheets from their opening five matches...

'We’ve got individuals who can win games. We’ll be fine in the long run,' he added... 'I know we’ll be good at home all season'...

The depth of the squad means that Gough has had to bide his time from the bench, making his first league appearance as a late substitute in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Altrincham... 'I think we’ve got a great squad, to be fair,' he said. 'The depth shows, the people we’ve got sitting on the bench have got good names in this league... We’re keeping clean sheets and winning, that’s the main thing.'

Gough, however, could be in line for his first start this weekend as Ashley Jackson begins his three-match suspension after picking up a straight red in last week’s win over Nuneaton Borough... The Bank Holiday double includes the arrival of winless Spennymoor Town on Saturday and the trip to Bradford Park Avenue on Monday"

The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United are close to sending defender Zak Lilly out on loan, after lending midfielder Jud Ellis to Sutton Coldfield Town for a month. Boss Gavin Cowan is a big fan of both players and they remain ‘very much’ in his plans....

'We’re in talks with a club for Zak and hoping to get that all finalised this week while Jud is going out to Sutton Coldfield for a month,' said Cowan.... 'They just need some game time, that’s all it is. Both of them did well in pre-season.'

Lilly has been converted from a striker to a centre-half by Cowan... Ellis, formerly of Market Drayton Town, signed over the summer after an impressive trial spell and is yet to feature competitively...

'We’ll only send them out for a month at a time as we don’t want them out of it for too long,' said Cowan. 'They’ll continue to train with us as well, they’re still a part of it.' Ellis will be playing in the Southern League Division One Central, two tiers below Telford, for the Royals.

It is understood Lilly, who has previously had loan spells at Rushall Olympic, Leamington and Romulus, will be dropping down a level...

Meanwhile, the Bucks will continue to assess the progress of striker Jason Cowley. He has signed for Telford and Bromsgrove Sporting, where he caught the eye last campaign, under dual-registration... Cowan added, 'We’ll send him back out to Bromsgrove, to get him up to speed'".

On Bank Holiday Monday, Guiseley visit Altrincham and they report that "The Lions return to Nethermoor on Saturday after two games on the road with Nuneaton Borough the visitors on Saturday. Both sides are yet to win a game this season...

Borough who returned to their former name this season currently sit bottom of the table... They also name former Lions James Hurst and James Wesolowski in their side, both joined the club this season.

Following Saturday’s third draw on the spin Joint First Team Manager Marcus Bignot said 'I am really pleased with the players today getting two goals but the two goals we conceded are poor at any level. At the moment if the back line are doing well the front line hasn’t clicked, all three units are yet to click but we are getting there.'

A number of changes were made at Leamington on Saturday with the majority forced upon the Joint Management Team of Russ O’Neill and Marcus Bignot to which Marcus said 'We haven’t had Joe Green, we lost Andy Halls, Will Hatfield, Kayode Odejayi and Curtis Morrison who had to come off. Jon Worsnop and Will Thornton came in, you are always judged by your bench and you will only be as strong as it, I am really pleased by the boys who came in today and those who came on as well.'

Rowan Liburd’s 89th minute leveller came at the end of an 11 pass move involving seven different players 'For us that second goal is the levels we want to get to on the ball'...

'We want to create a coach-led environment but it has to be driven by the players... We have lost a few players, having a week off will give players the time to come back, we have players on the return and this will give them a chance such as Louie Swain and Terry Kennedy as well as Scott Smith...

We are three games unbeaten and we have a Bank Holiday weekend which can change the landscape massively. Let’s not forget the remit for this season is to consolidate and build it up again on and off the pitch, there is still a massive jobs to be done the results will come there is no desperation or anything like that. We know where we are heading and are pleased with the direction we are taking.'”

At York City "Sporting director Dave Penney has spoken about the departure of manager Martin Gray and the appointment of Sam Collins as caretaker-manager.

'It was a tough decision for the board and a tough one, personally, because I have had a working relationship with Martin for 15 years,' he said. 'It was a culmination of results and performances.'

Penney revealed that Collins, who joined the club as youth team manager this summer, is likely to have a minimum of five games in charge. He will be assisted by Stuart Parnaby who also joined the club this summer as strength and conditioning coach.

'We didn't plan for this happening and we hoped it wouldn't happen,' said Penney... 'We are eight points off the top, which we are not happy about, and eighth in the league, which we are not happy about. It's up to Sam, Stuart, and the players to do something about it and start picking points up and we will all be happy.'"

On the other side of the Pennines, Southport, "After a 4-1 victory over Nuneaton, earned their much-needed first win of the season. Liam Watson will hope his side can build on that, starting with Saturday’s game against Ashton United... They could be in for another good win when they take on The Robins, who have the joint worst defensive record in the league, conceding 13 goals in the opening five...

The warning signs were present during Ashton’s pre-season, conceding 15 goals in five games".

From Leamington we read that on Saturday against Guiseley, "The fact that everybody of a Gold and Black persuasion was disappointed at the final whistle was a sign of the contrast between the start Leamington have made to this season, and where they were this time last year.

A point against a Guiseley side newly relegated from the National League and full of seasoned performers is not to be sniffed at, but the fact that Brakes were in front twice made it feel a little like a defeat. That can be marked as a sign of the progress Paul Holleran’s side have made in the last 12 months...

The visitors were using their long throws to cause Leamington problems in the penalty area...

Two injury time goals had left things shaky before Anthony Dwyer’s intervention against Bradford last Saturday, while an 85th minute goal deprived Brakes of a deserved point at Hereford on Tuesday, and they were to be denied two more here as Guiseley plundered an 89th minute leveller...

'We’ve worked hard again today, we’ve done all right and I think we’ve edged it but we’ve probably not got what we deserved, but if you look at it another way, if we defend like that so late on we probably don’t, deserve to win games,’ said Brakes boss Holleran afterwards...

‘We’ve played five games so far and we’ve performed in five games. We’ve probably edged three of them. We threw away a point at Hereford on Tuesday, we got a bit tired and too deep... and then today we’ve let another two points slip late on. Really I think we’ve got enough about us to see it through, but on the whole I think the players deserve a lot of credit. When you compare us to this time last year we’ve competed really well. We’ve got eight points on the board, we should really have ten but it gives us a platform to build on'".

Guiseley's team was Jon Worsnop, Cliff Moyo, Niall Heaton, Alex Purver, Scott Garner ©, William Thornton, Kaine Felix (16 Kayode Odejayi, 74), Kingsley James, Paul Clayton (17 Rowan Liburd, 74), Reece Thompson, Curtis Morrison (12 Jack Dyche, 63). Subs not used: 14 Terry Kennedy, 15 Scott Smith."


The National League "are delighted to announce no fewer than four more live matches will be broadcast on BT Sport...

  • Eastleigh v Dagenham & Redbridge, Saturday September 22 KO 12.35pm
  • FC Halifax Town v Chesterfield, Saturday October 13 KO 5.15pm
  • Braintree Town v Solihull Moors, Saturday November 17 KO 12.30pm
  • Hartlepool United v Barnet, Sunday November 18 KO 3pm"

22 August 2018


On Saturday 25th August, Altrincham travel to Darlington and TASC is providing coach transport for supporters. Pick-up times and fares are on the Away Travel page. You can book your seat by visiting or ringing the Club offices during weekday office hours on 0161 928-1045.

Darlington FC announce that they "take on Altrincham at Blackwell Meadows on Saturday August 25th, kick off 3pm. Purchase your ticket before midnight on Friday August 24th to qualify for the discounted admission price". The offer is £1 off a ticket for the game.


Altrincham FC has announced that on Bank Holiday Monday, "The Robins welcome Yorkshire outfit Guiseley to The J.Davidson Stadium for a 3pm kick off.

We welcome fans of any Premier League or Football League clubs to come along and sample non-league football for themselves. Whether you’re a Manchester United or Tottenham fan with a ticket for the Premier League clash on Monday at 8pm or a season ticket holder of any other Premier League or Football League club, you can join us at The J.Davidson Stadium for just £5".

For details, see the Altrincham FC official site.


On Saturday, Alty travel to Darlington. Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records reveal that you have to go back fifteen years to find Altrincham's last win on next Saturday's calendar date, 25 August. In 2003 Alty won 4-1 at the Butcher's Arms against Droylsden and in four subsequent matches on that date, Alty have recorded three defeats and one draw.

Right: In Alty's pale blue kit Stephen Rose (no.4) and ex-Alty striker Leroy Chambers challenge for an aerial ball as Paul Robertson, Ged Murphy (Droylsden) and Steve Aspinall look on in the 4-1 win over Droylsden in 2001.

Following the 2003 match Altrincham moved up to eighth in the UniBond NPL with their first win of the season and their first win at the Butcher's Arms since relegation from the Conference in 2000. They took the lead after 32 minutes when Rob Matthews's header smacked against the crossbar from Robertson's cross but Rod Thornley controlled the rebound and drove it home. The game was decided by ex-Alty defender Adam Farley's failure to deal with a punt forward from Stephen Rose, which allowed Rod Thornley to get to the ball and be brought down by Droylsden keeper Phillips, who was inevitably sent off. He is now assistant manager at Ashton United.

The Alty no.6, Steve Aspinall, converted the penalty [left] against stand-in keeper, Wright. Alty then threatened to run riot as Matthews got through to drive home a third (56 mins). However, Droylsden threw everyone forward and Alty suffered some uncomfortable moments with Kilheeney pulling back a goal after 63 minutes. But a minute from the end substitute Dave Gardner beat Wright from 25 yards to make it 4-1".

Alty had Mattie Hughes missing, suspended for an offence committed before he came to Moss Lane, whilst Mark Maddox was sidelined by a hairline fracture to his heel sustained at Alfreton Town. Also out of the squad was Barry Shuttleworth and this allowed Steve Lunt to join the substitutes. Dave Gardner dropped to the bench whilst Rob Matthews and Paul Robertson came back into the starting line-up. Peter Band joined Rod Thornley up front.

Droylsden had six recent ex-Robins at the club - Steve Porter, Adewale Ajetunmobi, Adam Farley, Leroy Chambers, Carl Furlong and James Glendenning. There was no sign of Furlong but "Ajet" and Glendenning were both involved in the warm-up but did not figure in the playing squad. Glendenning sported a nasty scar under his right eye, which presumably explained his absence, whilst Ajet sported a dodgy piece of woollen headgear, which presumably did not account for his exclusion.

Farley came in to the back four to start his first game of the season, whilst Chambers and Porter also started against their former team. Up-front was Droylsden's new signing from Mossley, Ciaran Kilheeney and The Bloods' captain was veteran ex-Northwich centre-back, Gary Burke.

DROYLSDEN : 1. Paul PHILLIPS, 2. Neil HALL, 3. Danny WARNER, 4. Adam FARLEY, 5. Gary BURKE (capt.), 6. Alex KEVAN, 7. Ged MURPHY, 8. Steve PORTER, 9. Leroy CHAMBERS, 10. Darren WRIGHT, 11. Ciaran KILHEENEY. Subs: 12. Chris O'BRIEN, 14. David KERR, 15. Gavin SALMON.

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Stephen ROSE, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Rob MATTHEWS, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Paul ROBERTSON. Subs: 12. Dave GARDNER, 14. Steve LUNT, 15. Neil RYAN.


Following the Cheshire Senior Cup draw which has pitted Altrincham against Congleton Town, Mike Garnett reminds us that the most recent Altrincham v Congleton Town CSC tie, likewise in the Premliminary Round, on Tuesday November 7th 2012 attracted just 172 spectators to witness a 4-0 drubbing by The Bears. The Alty line up comprised 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Sam GRIMSHAW, 4. Oliver RILEY, 5. Matt DOUGHTY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Derryn OFORI, 8. Patrick LACEY, 9. Danny MITCHLEY, 10. Ryan BROOKE, 11. Duncan WATMORE, Subs: 12. James LAWRIE, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Nicky CLEE, 17. Jake MOULT

Mike will be providing more information on our previous clashes with Congleton to readers of the Robins' Review when the match is played.

Hopefully, this time around, the gate may be a little better than 172, which was the lowest gate of the season for Altrincham in 2012-13.


Alty Youth lost 4-0 on Sunday to AFC Fylde. There is a report by Graham Houghton on the official website of Altrincham FC.


News of Alty's visitors on August Bank Holiday comes from the National League. "Guiseley joint manager Marcus Bignot thinks getting all areas of the field performing together holds the key to securing their first win. The Lions have yet to win but have drawn their last three. Their latest point was a well earned late draw at Leamington in a match which ended 2-2.

Bignot can sense improvement... 'Three points from five games isn’t what we wanted but we are seeing progress,' he said. 'We need all three units of the pitch to come together at the same time. I am pleased with the players but when the frontline have done well, maybe the defence has made mistakes. When the midfield is clicking maybe the forwards haven’t been. That’s probably the issue so far. But we are getting there. We’re showing improvement and we are going in the right direction.

'We now have Nuneaton next. We’ve got time for the players who we have had out to come back... But we are three games unbeaten and we now have a Bank Holiday double header coming up where we can hopefully get that first win on the board.'"

According to NL Daily "Striker Daniel Udoh has vowed to knuckle down in a bid to continue his hot streak in front of goal for AFC Telford United, reports The Shropshire Star. Udoh has scored three goals in the Bucks’ last two games, victories against Spennymoor Town and Brackley...

'I’m getting to that age where I really need to get my head down,' said Udoh. 'Luckily for me, I’ve got a manager here in Gavin (Cowan) that allows me to go out there and play, as long as I work hard and take on the messages. I feel free when I’m out there playing at the moment and that’s something which I haven’t felt for quite a long time.'"

Alfreton Town report that they "registered a first home win of the season, as a Tom Denton brace fired the Reds to victory over Blyth Spartans on Saturday. Billy Heath made just the one change from Tuesday's defeat to Curzon with Callum Chettle replacing Craig King...

With 11 minutes gone, Alfreton broke the deadlock, a corner swung in from the right found Denton who nodded into the corner at the near post to give the Reds the perfect start... The Spartans were then awarded a penalty on 23 minutes after Jamie Holmes looked to round Sam Ramsbottom, the Reds keeper looked to have brought the Blyth player down in the box and Robbie Dale gladly stepped up and sent Ramsbottom the wrong way to level the score...

With 65 minutes gone the Reds regained the lead as Denton peeled off his man in the box and powered a header into the corner past Jameson. It was then 3-1 on 67 minutes as Tom Platt glanced a header into the bottom corner from an excellent delivery from Chettle".

The Chester Standard says that "The loss of striker Shaun Tuton to one of their league rivals will be a ‘blow’ for Chester, according to joint manager Anthony Johnson... Tuton now looks set to make the switch to Spennymoor after they put seven days' notice in last week.

Blues bosses Johnson and Bernard Morley were left disappointed after the player declined contractual terms with the Blues in favour of a move to the north east. Johnson said, 'I’m really disappointed with the Shaun Tuton scenario. We found out about 18 hours before the Blyth game that he was leaving. When he came here we shook hands with an agreement that he’d be with us until at least the end of August but it seems as though the first offer he’s had from another club he’s taken. We hadn’t had any notice of Spennymoor, we just got a call off his agent saying he was signing for them. He was on a non-contract deal here initially due to budget restrictions, but he had agreed to stay with us for the month of August at least.

'After we heard from Spennymoor we went to the board and explained the situation that they had come in for him and the board said "Right, okay, let’s make him an offer", but we got blown out of the water. I think Shaun was a bit disappointed that he wasn’t offered the contact to start with and obviously that’s bitten us on the backside a little bit. 'It is a tough one because nobody else was really willing to take a chance on him during the summer. Obviously, that’s the risk you run when you’ve got a player on non-contract terms, but it still feels like a blow to lose him so early in the season, but we’re not going to lose too much sleep over this.'

Tuton’s imminent departure limits Chester’s options in attack with George Green still sidelined with injury and registration issues delaying Deane Smalley’s first start. On-loan duo Anthony Dudley and Dan Mooney are both available, but the Blues managers remain keen to recruit a new centre forward.

Johnson has played down the club’s rumoured interest in Southport striker Liam Martin, who was keen on a move to Chester according to his boss Liam Watson. 'There was contact from the player', added Johnson. 'There were a few messages he sent asking if he could come in and train with us, but the lad is still making his comeback from serious injury. He picked up an ACL injury six months ago and needed surgery. So he’s desperate to get back to playing football again and approached us. I’ve spoken with the Southport manager and he knows the situation, but I don’t think either of us ready to risk him returning to playing just yet and aggravating his injury.

'He wants to prove his fitness and is yet to get any minutes under his belt. I understand that, but we’re loath to take that risk and think it’s still a bit too soon for him. With Shaun leaving we are looking to replace him with a forward of similar quality. There are a couple of players we’ve identified, who can maybe inject a bit more pace and power to our attacking play. We have to see what’s out there and whether it’s something we can get over the line relatively soon.'"

21 August 2018


The draw for the Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round, to be played in week commencing 29 October 2018 is as follows...
  • Alsager Town v Barnton
  • Runcorn Linnets v Vauxhall Motors
  • ALTRINCHAM v Congleton Town
  • Warrington Town v Stockport County
  • Northwich Victoria v Tranmere Rovers
  • Crewe Alexandra v Cheadle Town
  • Camell Laird v Hyde United
  • Macclesfield Town v Linotype Cheadle NH
  • Chester FC v Witton Albion

The clubs receiving byes to the last sixteen (First Round) are Sandbach, 1874 Northwich, Runcorn Town, Winsford United, Nantwich Town, Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport Town.


Above: On their only previous visit to Blackwell Meadows, a ground shared with Darlington RUFC as the signage shows, Alty line up before kick off in March 2017.

Alty last played at Darlington after a Wednesday evening trip to the North East on 1 March 2017 and they were beaten 3-1 in Vanarama National League North. Coincidentally, given his sacking this weekend by York City, the Quakers' manager for the 2017 game was Martin Gray.

Altrincham went into the game in 2017 with eight players already out, injured, and they ended the evening with ten men sidelined, after goalkeeper Tim Deasy and midfielder Kyle Brownhill were both injured during the second half.

Darlington dominated the early stages and took a third minute lead when Falkingham got the ball off Chris Lynch (who played for FCUM against Alty last Tuesday) and John 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 Tim Deasy.

However, Altrincham got back into the game five minutes later. Clee, deployed at left-back, got forward and fed Lawrie, whose blocked shot fell to loanee Elliot 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. But the game was settled when Simon Richman was judged by the referee to have tripped an opponent and Galbraith netted the resulting penalty (80 mins). After that, despite Nicky Clee being moved forward and Cyrus being deployed up front, there was no way back.

Alty's line up for the match was 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. John CYRUS 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Micah EVANS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Sam PATTERSON, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Darius PALMA, 16. Andy McWILLIAMS, 17. Andrew JONES.


The Times, on Monday, reported that Manchester City "in their past seven league matches have, in no particular order, hit 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 goals". Altrincham, similarily, in their five matches this season have, in no particular order, hit 0,1,2,3,4 goals so can we expect 5 and 6 goals for Alty against Darlington and Guiseley, our next opponents, to emulate the Premiership champions?


The National League's "North Team of the Weekend is:
  • Goalkeeper: Steven Drench (Bradford PA)
  • Defenders: Jonathan Hunt (Curzon Ashton), Ben Middleton (Boston United), Matt Challonor (Chorley)
  • Midfielders: Dion Charles (Southport), Alex Newby (Chorley), Jimmy Armson (Brackley), Declan Weeks (Kidderminster)
  • Strikers: Tom Denton (Alfreton), Jack Sampson (Southport), Daniel Udoh (AFC Telford)
  • Substitutes: Sam Minihan (Stockport County), Martin Horsell (Hereford), Nathan Arnold (Boston United), Lee Ndlovu (Brackley Town), Joe Ironside (Kidderminster)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Liam Watson (Southport) He’s unlikely to admit it, but defeat from their first four games would have shocked the Southport boss, who has promotion ambitious. But a 4-1 win at Nuneaton could signal a change of fortune" says the League.

According to York Press "Youth-team manager Sam Collins has been confirmed as York City's caretaker chief following the departure of Martin Gray. He will be assisted by City's strength and conditioning coach, Stuart Parnaby.

Collins, 41, played nearly 600 senior games as a defender for clubs including Huddersfield Town, Bury, Port Vale, Hull City, and Hartlepool. He arrived at Bootham Crescent in the summer after previously working as professional development coach at League One outfit Bradford City. Previously, Collins has stood in as caretaker-manager at Hartlepool on three occasions. Former England under-21 international defender Parnaby, 36, played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough and Birmingham City before joined City this summer.

The pair accepted the roles this morning and are now prepar[ing] the players for the Bank Holiday weekend fixtures against Brackley Town and Blyth Spartans".

The Chester Chronicle adds that "The Minstermen sit eighth in the table with two wins, one draw and two defeats from the opening five games and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Curzon Ashton on Saturday. But that result was unable to convince the Bootham Crescent hierarchy that former Darlington manager Gray was the man to lead them forward and they parted company with him over the weekend...

There are already a number of names in the frame for the vacancy, with former Chester FC manager Jon McCarthy among them. McCarthy, sacked as Chester boss in September last year, is currently number two to Liam Watson at Southport and remains a hugely popular figure at Bootham Crescent owing to his stint there as a player in the 1990s. He is at 33/1 with bookmakers BetVictor. Among the front runners are former Doncaster Rovers boss Dave Penney (8/1), Paul Dickov (16/1), ex-Blackburn Rovers boss Owen Coyle (25/1) and one-time Chester City manager Keith Curle (25/1).

Adam Murray, who made the shortlist for the Chester job in the summer, and Liverpool Ladies boss Neil Redfearn, who had been offered the Blues post before turning it down, have both been linked with the post at York."

Meanwhile, at Blyth Spartans "Alun Armstrong was left ruing 'the worst injury list' he’s ever seen after Aaron Cunningham suffered an ankle injury in Saturday 3-1 defeat at Alfreton Town. The Hartlepool United loanee... was forced off... forcing a re-jig of the side.

'It’s looks like he’s rolled his ankle,' suggested Armstrong in his post-match interview, 'I’d expect him to miss a few weeks at least.' He’s not the first centre-back to go down with injury this season, Sam Brotherton suffered an injury in the season opener against Hereford and only now has the full extent of the injury been disclosed. 'Sam had a scan earlier in the week and it looks like he’ll be out for at least two months. He’s suffered some ligament damage... I’ve never known such an injury list at any club I’ve been at as a player or a manager. We’ve got four central defenders out.'

Cunningham and Brotherton join Ryan Hutchinson in the treatment room, with Jordan Watson still returning from an ACL injury with a loan spell at Northern League side Sunderland RCA. With Nathan Buddle the only recognised fit central defender on the books, like he was during the summer, Armstrong discussed the possibility of bringing someone else in. 'It’s all about the money,' Armstrong stated with [an] exasperated expression on his face, 'We simply don’t have it, I could bring in a central defender rather easily, but would they be capable of playing at this level? Not a chance? The defenders I wanted in the summer had a price on their head. We simply couldn’t afford to bring those players in and I was left to bring in loans. We are now back to square one.'"

Bulls' News reports that "The average attendance across the matches on Saturday dropped below 1000 for the first time this season, with the largest crowd (2192) at York, and just over 1500 at both Chorley and Kidderminster. The only other gate over 1000 was at the J Davidson, [Altrincham]. The NLN lowest crowd of the season so far was the 180 at Ashton United for the Brackley game".

20 August 2018


Alty manager Phil Parkinson has given his views on Saturday's defeat by Boston to the Altrincham FC official website.

The National League has highlights of Altrincham v Boston United.


In terms of goals scored per game started, Jordan Hulme leads the way amongst current players at Altrincham with 35 goals from 58 starts and two sub appearances. But second in that ranking is Tom Peers, who made his 50th appearance for the club when coming on against FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night. In his 27 starts and, now, 24 sub appearances after coming on against Boston United on Saturday, Tom (22) has netted eleven goals.


Darlington are Alty's next opponents and they are one of no fewer than three clubs who Alty will meet this season under a different name from when we last met. The Quakers were previously known as Darlington 1883. We have already met Spennymoor Town, a location we last previously visited to play their forerunners, Spennymoor United. And later this season we will play Nuneaton Borough who have readopted their forerunner club's name, having traded recently as Nuneaton Town.

The National League has highlights of the Quakers' game last Saturday, a 5-2 defeat by Kidderminster.

From the Northern Echo comes news that "After a mixed week in which his Darlington team displayed its good, bad and ugly characteristics, Tommy Wright’s post-match analysis sought to keep things in perspective.

'We weren’t a bad team last week and we weren’t a bad team on Wednesday so, three days later, we aren’t a bad team,' he said, after seeing his team lose 5-2 at Kidderminster Harriers... 'We’ll move on quickly from it,' he said. Clinical finishing was the difference when beating Brackley Town 4-2 a week ago, and their attacking instincts were abundantly evident in midweek against Blyth Spartans.

Those matches brought out the best in a Darlington side living up to Wright’s commitment to forward-thinking football, his desire to excite fans coming to the fore, particularly against Blyth when his team deserved to win comfortably despite drawing 1-1. Yet, they also conceded cheap goals in both fixtures, the one against Blyth being particularly poor; a long pass through the middle catching out a flat-footed defence...

Darlington could have done without making life difficult for themselves. Joe Wheatley did just that, however, the young midfielder shown a red card after an ugly lunge in the 17th minute on Declan Weeks... The first goal was a penalty by Joe Ironside after half an hour, conceded when Dom Collins pushed Fraser Horsfall, and 2-0 when Ironside was given space to head in...

Quakers were on the back-foot before Wheatley’s red, and after the second goal Wright replaced Collins with Ben O’Hanlon, Terry Galbraith moving to the centre.

'You could dissect every goal and somebody will be at fault,' said the manager... 'But the first two goals we’ve really handed them on a plate. We’ve made it hard for ourselves. To leave their big No. 9, who will score 20-25 goals for them, free at the far post for a tap-in is where the frustration comes in for me.'

Replacing Collins was Wright’s second change of the half having already sent on Liam Hughes for Alex Henshall when Wheatley saw red. It was a bold move as it meant both strikers, Reece Styche and Simon Ainge, stayed on, with Darlington switching to 4-4-1, Styche going wide left.

Wright added 'I’ve been on the receiving end when a team-mate has been sent off early and I’ve been subbed. Alex will be gutted that his game has been cut short through no fault of his own. You end up losing two players from a system that has been working for three games on the spin, so you have to think on the spot, but ultimately that’s my job.'

Quakers rallied, showing spirit to remain in the contest and twice had the ball in the net during a second half in which the teams traded five goals...

Wright added... Individuals have probably let us down a little bit and let themselves down more importantly... There’s not going to be a dressing down as such and a case of dissecting it too much detail... We need to get back on the training pitch quickly and get smiles back on faces. I don’t want the lads to lose heart after everything they’ve done so far.'"


News of a former Alty loanee comes from NL Daily which says that "Chesterfield boss Martin Allen has not put a time frame on how long injured Sam Wedgbury faces on the sidelines, reports the Sheffield Star. Wedgbury sustained a knee injury and was stretchered off during the Spireites’ 3-2 defeat at Barrow on Tuesday night. And Allen, who saw up close the pain the midfielder was in, admitted 'It’ll be a long time' before he returns to action... 'He’ll be out for a long time... I’ve never been on the pitch to see a player before but it wasn’t far from me and I could see the pain he was in.'"


On Sunday it was announced that York City Football Club "has parted company with manager Martin Gray. The club has informed Martin that his contract will not be renewed and he has now left his post with immediate effect...

The Board of Directors provided Martin with all the necessary financial support to rebuild his squad this summer after the team had missed out on last season's promotion play-offs. Regrettably, it is felt that a change is now needed.

Assistant-manager Sean Gregan is also leaving with immediate effect".

The National League reports that "Jamie Vermiglio says nobody could’ve believed the start his Chorley have made after a fifth straight win saw the Magpies move clear at the top. Vermiglio’s side have secured maximum points so far this season and overcame a Hereford side who themselves had started impressively.

The National League’s Oli Osborn caught up with the Magpies boss after the game...

'I’m made up, not just with the victories, but the manner of the victories as well,' he said. 'We’ve gone to some tough places and played some good teams and today, Hereford are a good side and they will certainly be up there come the end of the season. We had to keep going today to get that goal and we finally got it and overall, I think we just shaded it but to get that goal in the last few minutes, what a feeling. I’m absolutely made up'.

He continued, 'When I first joined here, we were playing in front of 156 supporters and now it’s 1500 at home against ex-league times like Hereford, York, Guiseley. This is amazing for this club and we just want to keep riding the quest [crest] of the wave and by the time it comes to the end of the season, hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts.

'I look at the table all the time. I don’t know if I would if we were getting beat but generally I think you’ve got to look at the table and see where you are. It makes happy reading at the moment for me, the players, the staff and most of all, the supporters.'”

Alty travel to Croft Park on 1 September, from where Blyth Spartans report that "boss Alun Armstrong is baffled by the ‘longest injury list he’s ever seen after Spartans lost a fourth centre-half of the season in side’s 3-1 defeat to Alfreton Town.

Hartlepool United loanee Aaron Cunningham, who put in a man of the match performance on Wednesday evening at Darlington, suffered an ankle injury early in the second half with Spartans level with The Reds... Ryan Hutchinson is a long term absentee, with Sam Brotherton now out for two months due to ligament damage, Jordan Watson still recovering from an ACL injury and Damen Mullen recovering from a pre-season injury.

Armstrong was forced to move midfielder Sean Reid into the centre-back role, and he believes that was the catalyst for Spartans' downfall... 'Moving Reidy cost us the game, no doubt about that,' exclaimed Armstrong moments after the final whistle. 'Aaron rolled his ankle which meant I had to move Reidy into centre-half, that killed our midfield, which is no disrespect to those who came off the bench, but the three in the middle were playing some great football, it was a joy to watch'...

'In the second half I’m not sure where the commitment was, and when Aaron went off, heads seemed to drop for some reason, I can’t explain why. To be fair the lads put in a hell of an effort on Wednesday, we have a few tired legs out there'...

Giant striker Tom Denton netted twice from headers... 'He’s a problem,' Armstrong stated, 'a six-foot-seven problem.... It’s all about the second ball and other than the goal and a stunning save from Pete Jameson, they didn’t create much. But we aren’t learning from basic errors, defenders in this league kick the ball out of play when they are in trouble, we for some reason try and hook it and that’s how they take the lead, simple stuff'...

'We know it’s going to be tough with the amount of players we have unavailable, but the lads have just got to put in a shift.'"

Also from Blyth Spartans goalkeeper "Peter Jameson admitted Blyth Spartans cannot keep making mistakes or they will get punished... Blyth should have gone 2-1 up as Dan Maguire witnessed his effort hit the post from inside the area.

Another factor was the injury to Aaron Cunningham in the 53rd minute. With Nathan Buddle now the only fit centre-half at the club, Blyth lost the attacking threat of Sean Reid as he dropped into the heart of the defence...

Jameson said, 'It was a poor start going 1-0 down then I thought the lads did really well, we got ourselves back into it. The majority of the first-half, I thought we were the much better team but in second-half, that changed... I honestly thought we’d come out in the second-half and really kick on but we give away two mistakes which resulted in two goals for them'...

Perhaps it was one game too much for the Spartans defence, who had to contend with two tall and physical strikers for the second time in four days. Having battled superbly against Darlington’s Simon Ainge and Reece Styche, Blyth failed to stop Denton and former Gateshead player Richard Peniket from dictating the play".

The Chester Standard reports that "Chester FC's players will have to wait two weeks to right the wrongs of their 8-1 hammering at the hands of Blyth Spartans...

An update from the Blues read 'Specialist examination is currently being undertaken to estimate repairs required and the timeline needed for the stadium to be safely opened to meet forthcoming fixtures.' The postponements mean that Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's men will next be in action on Saturday as they visit AFC Telford United."

Brackley Town tell us that "Kevin Wilkin reflects here on his side’s win at Ashton United and the opening five games of the season.

'The most important thing today was to get the three points. It was the result we needed. We applied ourselves in the right way, we created opportunities and we took them when they came along...

'Lee Ndlovu has done very well in the four games as a lone striker. We try to get Shep and Jimmy higher up the pitch in support but Lee has shown he can do that role for us. Connor Hall and Luke [Fairlamb] have come in. They are terrific guys and have shown me enough to know that they can compete at this level and on this stage. But with all due respect they’ve come from a different level where you might get away with a lapse but this is an intense league. At this level if you switch off for one moment you will be punished. They will continue to learn and to progress I have no doubt but at the same time we have to be still winning games. I have no doubt that over the coming months they will progress and play at that good and consistent level but we need to be mindful that we need to be achieving results now.

'We have had a difficult start to the season with some uncharacteristic individual errors that have cost us. We eradicated them today so it is no surprise we came out with a quite convincing victory. It’s the poorest start to a season I have had as a manager...

'We have not found the cohesion we had last season yet. It is not down to losing a couple of big players. That happens to teams every season. It is about getting on with it...

'So it has been a frustrating start. There is good reason to believe we could be six or more points better off than we are at this time. We have not been out-passed by any team. Doing the job in both penalty areas is something we need to do better... I need everyone to take a step back and to appreciate how hard it is to win a game and pick up three points...

It might be the case that we need to bring in some new players to the fold to strengthen what we are. I am still looking for other players. We have to progress the squad and continue to find players who can make the difference'".

From the other side of Saturday's game, Ashton United report that "Last season’s losing play off finalists inflicted Ashton’s second home defeat of the week with a convincing performance at Hurst Cross. The first period was a tight affair... The visitors were gifted the opening goal on 16 minutes as Aaron Chalmers miscued a clearance and then both he and Matty Hill tried to clear the resulting ball leaving James Armson time to slot the opener...

After the interval... Armson almost got his second ten minutes into the half as he picked up Matt Lowe’s pass and hit the left hand post but the reprieve was short lived as Lee Ndluvo hit a shot across goal which Hill could only help into his own net...

Ex-Alty man Craig Hobson just missed the near post from Bakare’s cross but with 16 minutes left Armson reached the by line and delayed his cross long enough for Glenn Walker to arrive and volley it home and 5 minutes later Town won a penalty as Mathias Bakare brought down Murombedzi with Ndluvo converting. With time running down sub Gregg Smith headed home Shane Byrne’s free kick at the far post and the Robins got a consolation as Hobson did similarly with [ex-Alty midfielder] Sam Sheridan’s delivery".

19 August 2018


Altrincham could have no complaints about the result of this match in which they failed to land a shot on target. A well-organised Boston side efficiently closed down an Alty team which lost possession too often and, at times, too easily. After a goalless first half, Alty went behind in the 49th minute. Harrop opted to pass rather than clear the ball, 35 yards from his goal. Thanoj gained possession and fed Marriott who thumped home a fine, low shot from outside the box.

Altrincham's attempts to build from the back were frustrated by Boston but it was not till the 88th minute that the Pilgrims sealed the game. Moult was dispossessed in midfield and substitute Westcarr fed Arnold. From left of goal, the former Lincoln and Grimsby man's rising shot beat Thompson.

Right: Second-half action against Boston.

The Altrincham FC official site has a report on the game from Press & Media Officer, John Edwards.

Altrincham are now thirteenth in the table in advance of their trip to Darlington on Saturday.


Boston United report that "Adam Marriott and Nathan Arnold scored the all-important goals as Boston United chalked up a second successive away victory on Saturday afternoon.

The former Lincoln City duo were on target at different ends of the second half as the Pilgrims made it three wins from three in the last week with victory at Altrincham.

Marriott's 49th minute opener was supplemented by Arnold's 89th minute strike as United bossed proceedings at the J Davidson Stadium.

Chances were at a premium in the first half... Walker had been handed a start, while Toby Lees was included in the starting XI for the first time with Ryan Qualter missing through injury.

United took the lead four minutes after half-time when MARRIOTT crashed home a low 20-yarder after working himself some space outside of the Altrincham area...

Altrincham remained in the contest and Daniels sent another drive narrowly wide from 20 yards. United did not need to be too concerned though and sealed the points with a minute to play when substitute Craig Westcarr slipped ARNOLD into the clear and he beat Tony Thompson in the Robins’ net."


  • Alfreton Town 3 1 Blyth Spartans att.465
  • Altrincham 0 2 Boston United att. 1067
  • Ashton United 1 5 Brackley Town att. 180
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1 1 Stockport County att. 825
  • Chester P P FC United Of Manchester
  • Chorley 1 0 Hereford att. 1542
  • Kidderminster Harriers 5 2 Darlington att. 1522
  • Leamington 2 2 Guiseley att. 485
  • Nuneaton Borough 1 4 Southport att. 459
  • Spennymoor Town 2 3 AFC Telford United att. 600
  • York City 1 1 Curzon Ashton att. 2192


The Altrincham FC official site explains that Pete Baker, the husband of the late Jacqui Forster (right, pictured with Nicky Clee), "is attempting the Manchester ‘100’ Mile bike ride on the 2nd September in aid of both The Christie & The Macmillan charities". For details of Pete's venture and how you can support such a worthwhile cause, please follow the above link.


With Ben Harrison regaining fitness in their line-up, Altrincham FC Reserves won 3-0 away at Poynton on Saturday. Alty lie joint top of the Cheshire Leagfue Premier Division, with their landlords Egerton FC leading them by dint of a single-goal on goal difference.


The Northern Echo reports that "Ten-man Darlington suffered a 5-2 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers on an afternoon in which they struggled from the moment they went down to ten men early in the contest at Aggborough.

They had been looking to build on last week’s impressive 4-2 win at Brackley, which was followed by an encouraging performance in midweek. But they conceded five at Kidderminster, who were well worth their win.

Joe Wheatley was red-carded on 17 minutes for a lunge on Declan Weeks in the middle of Kidderminster’s half, and thereafter the hosts were on top, finishing the first half 2-0 ahead...

After the second goal Tommy Wright replaced Collins with Ben O’Hanlon, his second change before half-time having sent on Liam Hughes for Alex Henshall after Wheatley’s dismissal, when Quakers switched to 4-4-1.

Quakers had hope soon after the restart when Simon Ainge pulled one back. He scored a close-range header, his third goal of the season, after a Stephen Thompson corner was headed back across by Terry Galbraith on 52 minutes.

But it was 3-1 when on 63 minutes... It was not long, however, before sub Jordan Nicholson gave ten-man Quakers a glimmer of hope when he executed a calm finish on 68 minutes, keeping his cool to score after being played in by Reece Styche, skipping past a defender and shooting beyond Brandon Hall to score his first goal for Darlington.

But the sixth goal of the day finally finished off Quakers on 73 minutes, Fraser Horsfall with a header after a free-kicked was pumped into Darlington’s penalty area by Weeks. Weeks had just been named as the sponsors’ man of the match when he completed Quakers’ misery with the fifth goal."

Darlington (4-4-2): Maddison, Trotman, Collins (O’Hanlon 40), Burn, Galbraith; Thompson, Elliott, Wheatley, Henshall (Hughes 19); Styche (Nicholson 64), Ainge. Subs (not used): Saunders, Syers"

The Northern Echo adds that "Quakers can have no qualms with Joe Wheatley’s red card today at Kidderminster Harriers, says boss Tommy Wright, though he pointed out there was no malice in the challenge...

The ball had run loose after Reece Styche had been tackled, Wheatley looking to immediately win back possession. But his 17th minute tackle was deemed dangerous by referee Barry Lamb, who showed the youngster the first red card of his career. Wright watched the incident back after the match, and said... 'I don’t think there was any intent to harm, it’s not like he’s reckless and tried to hurt somebody. He’s gone to win a tackle and he has hurt the lad... He’s devastated by that and we’ve lost a player that has been on fire for three games.'

Wheatley will miss the home game with Altrincham on Saturday, the Bank Holiday trip to Ashton United and the contest at home to Alfreton on September 1."


Bradford (Park Avenue) say that "A late equaliser from substitute Adam Nowakowski salvaged a point for Bradford (Park Avenue) after Matty Warburton’s moment of magic had given Stockport County the lead.

Stockport supporters travelled in their numbers and were treated to a first-half display full of attacking intent from their side. This didn’t faze Bradford, who did excellently to nullify the threat of the visitors’ attacking contingent...

Bradford did have opportunites of their own but didn’t trouble Ben Hinchliffe and failed to register a shot on target in the entirety of the first-half... Nicky Clee felled Kirby inside the 18-yard box to give Warburton the chance to convert from 12-yards, but Drench dived to his left and held the tame effort...

Defensive lynchpin Luca Havern did excellently to thwart Minihan after the break, steering his cross behind for a corner as Sam Walker lurked...

With twelve minutes remaining, the Hatters took the lead as Warburton found the top corner with a sensational strike from distance.

Bradford responded by piling bodies forward, and deployed the towering Adam Nowakowski as a makeshift striker. The decision was rewarded when Nowakowski put the hosts back on level terms, steering home after meeting a Beesley delivery from the left".

According to York Press "York City boss Martin Gray would welcome a switch to Friday-night football but admits that any change might have to wait until the move to Monks Cross.

Members of the Bootham Crescent faithful reacted with great regret and sadness on learning that the 1-0 midweek victory over Stockport last week is currently scheduled as the final evening contest to be staged at the much-cherished 86-year-old ground.

That, of course, could change given potential postponements or cup replays but Gray feels the club will not be in a position to rearrange any Saturday afternoon fixtures by choice, as a means of creating more matches under the lights before the gates are closed for a final time this summer.

Over the last three-and-a-bit seasons, when the club have sunk to their lowest ebb in the football pyramid, midweek home matches have delivered a respectable win rate of 50 per cent, as opposed to the significantly less successful 37 per cent figure that can be attributed to 3pm kick-offs on Saturday afternoons.

The game against ex-Football League foes Stockport was played out amid a cauldron of noise that all involved agreed served as a 12th man for the hosts, but the club’s board have stressed that Friday night games are not under consideration and Gray does not believe National League North rivals would be in favour of such a move.

Promotion into the largely full-time division above would, seemingly, present the best chance of changing to Gray’s preferred kick-off time when the next challenge would be to recreate that unique Bootham night-time atmosphere at the new community stadium.

'I love the night games here and, as a player or manager, it’s just a different atmosphere and seems better,' Gray said. 'I’d love to play on Friday nights, because you’d have everybody coming in looking forward to the weekend and I think it would be brilliant.

'We’d probably also get a lot of floating fans – maybe 200 or 300 – who might watch their football somewhere else on a Saturday. We’d need the agreement of other clubs to do it, so I don’t think it will happen this season, because part-time clubs would regard it as giving us an advantage if they’re coming over from Lancashire after a day’s work but, going forward, it would be great to play on Friday nights at the new stadium.'

Macaulay Langstaff’s opening goal during Tuesday night’s 2-0 triumph at Ashton United, meanwhile, ended a club drought on the road that had equalled the worst sequence for 42 years. The Minstermen had failed to net during five successive contests at Nuneaton (0-1), Gainsborough (0-1), FC United of Manchester (0-1), Brackley (0-2) and Chorley (0-1).

Another barren scoresheet would have seen City match the six away games without a goal that Wilf McGuinness’ 1975/76 side suffered from September to November during the club’s second division relegation campaign, although Chelsea and Southampton were among the host teams during that sequence...

City’s class of 2018/19 also avoided the worst run of away defeats on the trot since Jackie McNamara oversaw the club’s second relegation from the Football League in 2016, returning from eight trips without any reward... Summer signing Joe Tait heads both The Press Player of the Month and Year contests four fixtures into the new campaign".

The Shropshire Star reports that at Spennymoor Town "A Daniel Udoh double across three second-half minutes laid the foundation for a terrific Bucks away win, but only after harsh words from manager Gavin Cowan at half-time.

The Bucks made three changes to the team that defeated Brackley Town in midweek; goalkeeper Max Bramley returned in place of Sheridan Martinez, whilst Jonathan Royle and Amari Morgan- Smith replaced Henry Cowans and Andrew Brown.

With Spennymoor presenting a more robust physical challenge on a sloping playing surface, the thought was that Royle and Morgan-Smith would add a little more muscle.

Mark Anderson put the home side ahead on the half-hour, as his team started to find their rhythm...

Manager Cowan admitted that his half-time team talk was probably his most animated so far this season, but it worked, and his side looked far sharper in the second half, aided by kicking down the slope...

A cross from the right was met by the head of Amari Morgan-Smith, forcing a full-length save from Moors keeper Matt Gould; unfortunately for Gould he parried it straight to Daniel Udoh, who tapped into an unguarded net. Amazingly, within two minutes of that the Bucks led. It was again a duel between Udoh and Gould, the former put through on goal, and the keeper saved the forward’s effort but saw it rebound off Udoh and run into the net.

The Bucks were now in control, and the Moors were rocked back on their heels by the quick one-two they’d been hit with. Things got worse for them on 77 minutes, when the Bucks established a two-goal lead...

That should have been it for the Bucks, but on 81 minutes Ryan Sears, who had just been fouled by Glen Taylor, delayed the restart of the game and was shown a second yellow card. Cowan sacrificed Morgan-Smith up front to bring on Dom Smith at right back, but the Moors sensed just a hint of a chance...

On 89 minutes home substitute David Foley lashed home from six yards after Max Bramley couldn’t hold a Moors effort... [before] the referee ended the agony for the 40 Bucks fans in attendance".

18 August 2018


Saturday 18 August 2018
  • Alfreton Town 3-1 Blyth Spartans
  • Altrincham 0-2 Boston United
  • Ashton United 1-5 Brackley Town
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Stockport County
  • Chester P-P FC United of Manchester
  • Chorley 1-0 Hereford
  • Kidderminster Harriers 5-2 Darlington
  • Leamington 2-2 Guiseley
  • Nuneaton Borough 1-4 Southport
  • Spennymoor Town 2-3 AFC Telford United
  • York City 1-1 Curzon Ashton


Boston United announce that they "travel to Altrincham on Saturday afternoon as the new National League North campaign reaches the five-game mark. The Pilgrims, who are currently third with nine points to their credit, travel to an Altrincham side beaten for the first time in midweek (by FC United of Manchester)...

United manager Craig Elliott is expected to select from a similar squad to the one on duty for Tuesday evening's victory over Nuneaton Borough. Full-back Ashley Jackson is eligible to play as his three-match suspension [for a midweek red card] will not kick in until August 25...

Saturday's match referee is Matt Corlett."

Mr Corlett has previously refereed Altrincham. He was in charge of the 1-1 draw with Buxton at the J Davidson Stadium on Saturday, 4 November 2017. More recently, he sent off Southport's Billy Priestley in their match against Stockport County last weekend.

Above: When Mr Corlett last officiated at Moss Lane, James Poole was the Alty captain, as shown above. Jake Moult and Simon Richman were both suspended for that game.

As well as the referee, a number of the Pilgrims' players have been to the JDS before as the Boston Standard tells us that "Ryan Qualter is heading to Altrincham looking for revenge. The Boston United defender was on the losing side twice when he faced the Robins with former club, Shaw Lane, last season.

'I lost twice. So let’s hope it’s better on Saturday,' said Qualter, who didn’t have the best of times against the eventual Northern Premier League champions. 'They were a good side last year. They’re a close-knit side with lots of quality going forward. They concede a lot of goals but they’re very dangerous going forward, so that’s something we’re going to have to be aware of'...

He added, 'It’s obviously a long season but... if you stay up the right end of the table all season you’re going to be there or thereabouts. You don’t want to be dropping down. There are big teams in this league and tough tests to come.'"

The visitors' line-up for their most recent match this season was: (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton, Ryan Qualter, Spencer Harris, Ashley Jackson; Nathan Arnold (Toby Lees 84), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Jonathan Wafula; Adam Marriott (Craig Westcarr 76), Andre Johnson (Nicky Walker 46). Subs (not used): Jonny Margetts, Grant Roberts.

Boston's unused subs last Tuesday included Jonny Margetts who had a brief loan spell at Altrincham in 2015-16 season. The 24 year-old came to Alty on loan from Tranmere Rovers on 22 January 2016. He had started out at Hull City from where he had loan spells with Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town and Cambridge United before moving on to Tranmere Rovers in summer 2015. A spell on loan at Stockport County followed before he joined The Robins. In his month at the club Jonny scored twice in his six starts for Altrincham.

He then had spells at Lincoln City and Scunthorpe United from where he signed for Boston this summer.

The Boston Standard adds that "Boston United sit third in the National League North, but Craig Elliott admits his squad are still a long way off delivering the performances he wants. The Pilgrims boss believes that his team’s defensive robustness so far this season has been a necessity because the side aren’t doing enough in the final third.

'At the moment we’re lacking creative spark,' he said. 'So you have to go from the other angle and work on the defence and grind results out. Further down the line we need to find a different way of playing, be it a bit more creative or other people upping their game. You have to play to your strengths and we’ve got a lot of determination not to lose a game of football'.

Elliott wants more from his impressive roster of attackers. Jonny Margetts [seen right, in his Alty days], who has suffered injury problems the previous two seasons, hasn’t featured in the past two matches while his replacement Andre Johnson was subbed off for winger Nicky Walker at half time during Tuesday’s win over Nuneaton Borough. New signing Craig Westcarr has made two late arrivals from the bench and Adam Marriott is yet to get off the mark...

'I think they’ve all got their own back story, there’s different reasons but there needs to be more to come for them,' added Elliott... 'But it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. It is a marathon and it’s about gradually geting better. Your best team doesn’t always start that first month of the season.'"


The National League says that "It doesn’t matter if you are four games in or 40, there’s something in the air when it comes to a first vs second match up. It’s only August of course but there’s no doubt all eyes will be on Victory Park to see which fast-starter gathers even more momentum.

Chorley have shocked everyone by beginning like an express train with four straight wins and, while many suggested Hereford should be able to adapt to the National League North, their ten-point haul represents a better than expected start.

Another side who have got off to a flier is Boston United, but Craig Elliott’s side are sure to be put to the test at Altrincham who are still smarting from derby defeat to FC United on Tuesday.

Three wins from four is Bradford Park Avenue’s impressive form - they have an intriguing home game with Stockport County. Kidderminster Harriers have drawn all three of their games and will be well-rested after a midweek break. They need to take full advantage, especially as Darlington played on Wednesday night. Will fresh legs win through?

York City’s morale boosting win at Ashton United has them looking up but they need to follow that up with a home win over Curzon Ashton. Alfreton’s late hammer blow against them in midweek means victory at home to Blyth Spartans is needed to lift the mood. Two teams who badly need spirits raised meet at Liberty Way. Not a win between them so far has Nuneaton Borough and Southport wondering when fortunes will turn.

Spennymoor Town manager Jason Ainsley says their first three points [are] coming. He will be hoping it appears in their fifth game, at home to AFC Telford United. Ashton United haven’t looked out of place so far and if they can get past Brackley Town boss Jody Banim will classify it as a very promising start".


NL Daily tells us that "FC Halifax Town have released the following statement after the signing of Simon Lenighan, who pleaded guilty to assaulting three women on a night out in Harrogate in 2015.

'Following some public comment this week, the club feels it’s only appropriate to give an honest account around the decision-making process into the short-term signing of Simon Lenighan and provide some clarity over the move to bring him back to FC Halifax Town. We fully understand and appreciate the feedback and comments that have been shared with us by our supporters. We’ve sometimes been accused of a lack of communication but feel this situation deserves an explanation of our decision so that we can be as open and frank as possible.

'The club is aware of Simon Lenighan’s past and a decision to give him a short-term contract was fully discussed by all parties. The decision was based on a number of more recent factors including, Simon clearly and sincerely being extremely remorseful for his previous mistake. The incident happened three years ago, and he understands the severity of the mistake he made, but he’s now trying very hard to turn his life around, avoiding any further misdemeanours and he’s now settled with a partner and young son.

'In the past our Club has supported numerous players, both reported and unreported, who have found themselves in similar difficult situations. Those players proved to themselves, their families and our supporters that they were able to turn their lives around through being given another opportunity. Some in very spectacular ways. The club does not endorse or condone this previous behaviour in any way. However, we believe that Simon Lenighan is deserving of another chance, as other clubs have given him. We hope and trust his football will be what is judged upon going forward.

'So our plea to our supporters is to continue to support the team and the manager and not let this issue derail what has been a really positive start to the season, so that we can continue to build on the momentum we’ve already established'".

Simon (24, pictured above right), joined Altrincham on 4 November 2016 from Warrington Town. He started out with Leeds United (2012-15). From Elland Road he had loan spells with FC Halifax Town (February -June 2014) and Alfreton Town (February to April 2015). He then joined Rotherham United on a free transfer. Simon made his Alty debut on 5 November in the FA Cup at Lincoln City but he was released on 8 December 2016 after making three appearances.


The National League reports that "Following the postponement on Saturday’s fixture between Chester and FC United, the National League can confirm the decision has been taken to also re-arrange Tuesday’s match with Kidderminster. Severe storm damage has left the Swansway Stadium damaged, and after pushing the Harriers game back a week it has been decided following an inspection that the ground needs more time before football can return".

The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan fears nobody as he believes his side can win anywhere in National League North this season. The Bucks are unbeaten after the first four games of the campaign and head to Spennymoor Town tomorrow.

Cowan... said 'We go to win every game. That’s what I believe in. With the greatest respect to what we had last year, we felt as if we needed to go to places and try to get a draw. But with all due respect to the other teams in this league, because I’m sure they’re feeling the same, I have a real belief in my group that we can just go and win. “People were looking at those first seven games and I’d like to think these last three teams are looking at us thinking "Bloody hell, I’m not looking forward to playing them".

'I’m always that positive person, I think a little outside the box. Some might be thinking "I’d love to get a point there" but that’s the minimum we’re expecting. We’re expecting to go and win the game and we’ll be set up to do so. These lads know what their expectation us, they’ve set themselves a target for the month, and they’re on track for that at the moment so it’s good.'

Telford finished 14th last term, 17th in 2016/17 and 18th in 2015/16. They were relegated from the National League in 2014/15. Cowan wants to be in the top half after around 10-15 games...

'You’re going to see a split in the table,' he said. 'At the moment it’s very tight but you will see a split at some point. I just want us to be in the top half of that split, initially. We not going to go unbeaten for the whole season but for the here and now, the aim is to stay unbeaten.'

Cowan, who won promotion from the division with the Bucks as a player, added 'We’re going to Spennymoor and we want to get a result; three points as opposed to a point. We’ll prepare right, the lads are meticulous in their preparation. I force them to be, really'".

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post "Guiseley may have scored just twice in four league outings so far and remain without a win, but the bigger picture is in full view for co-manager Marcus Bignot. The Lions changed their shape in the tough midweek trip to Stockport County and were rewarded by virtue of a bright attacking performance, led by veteran targetman Kayode Odejayi, who was well supported by scorer Kaine Felix and Curtis Morrison in an encouraging 1-1 draw.

Given a difficult start to the season in terms of selection issues and opponents faced, allied to the fact that a new-look Guiseley side have taken the field, the midweek performance at Edgeley Park, especially going forward, represented an upgrade and augurs well for the weeks ahead. Bignot, whose side visit Leamington tomorrow, said 'What gives us real encouragement is that you have got Rowan Liburd, Reece Thompson and Paul Clayton as well. Teams are judged by their top end and it makes a lot of difference. It is good to have the options and we were able to go and set up differently (at Stockport) and get those outcomes. Now, it is about consistently doing what we did on Tuesday on a regular basis.'

A long trip to the South Midlands to face seventh-placed Leamington represents a continuation of the Lions’ demanding start to the campaign. It has been made all the more problematic by the sight of midfielder Will Hatfield coming off with a hamstring issue at Stockport, putting his participation in doubt tomorrow. Louis Swain, Terry Kennedy, Will Thornton and Scott Smith will miss out once again.

Bignot added, 'Yes, it is disappointing to lose Will. Hopefully, he will be okay for Saturday... Coming to Stockport on a Tuesday under the lights with a point is something to build on. We are a work in progress. We want to get them to play in a certain way and that is going to take time... We are going to be one of those teams who are only going to get better, get fitter and stronger. Tactically, we are going to get better in the weeks and months to come...

'It is two games unbeaten for us. Our performances are getting better and there is a greater understanding between the players'".

From the Chester Standard we learn that "Chester bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will keep faith with their tactical approach despite their side's defensive horror show at Blyth Spartans. Operating with a three-man defence with wing-backs to good effect in their opening two league games, Chester's side looked settled in the managers' preferred formation...

Johnson said, 'We have tried to impose a shape on the team that can get us playing how we want to play. As with any shape there are ways the opposition can beat you and exploit you. Blyth exploited us in a massive way, they tore us to pieces and that's because some of our play was suicidal at times... we weren't doing our jobs properly and it just became catastrophe.

'But when the system we've implemented here is executed properly it can be a success. It's worked for us at the start of the season and this week has been isolating where things went wrong and eradicating those mistakes quickly... Of course it hurts and it will do for a while, but we want to see a response from the players, and a quick one too', said Johnson.

'After a pasting like that we've had to lick our wounds a bit this week, but what we don't want is for the players to clam up on the back of that kind of result... There have been a few harsh words spoken since the game and we've shown the players various clips from that game and highlighted all the weaknesses we've found. To be fair, Bernard and myself are hyper-critical of the players even when we've won games... It's the same process win or lose as far as we're concerned, because there is always room to improve and the players know that...

'We need to prove to the fans that last weekend was a one-off and play like a team they can be proud of again. Now we're looking for leaders and characters out there on the pitch. Players who can pull some of the younger lads through and show the qualities we're asking for'.

Chester will be without Shaun Tuton... with the forward set for a move to league rivals Spennymoor Town. Earlier this week the north east club provided the Blues with seven days notice as they attempt to lure the 26-year-old former Barnsley striker."

From Hereford FC we learn that "The Hereford FC Board of Directors have a responsibility to ensure that behaviour both on and off the pitch meets an acceptable standard laid down by the Football Association and by the Club. Andrew Graham, Director for Community Engagement & the Hereford FC FA Respect Director gives a briefing on what is required from the club and fans...

'This season, we already see Hereford FC on report at The FA with a reminder that further disorder/behaviour incidents could result in severe sanctions for the club... I would like to place on record our thanks to the vast majority of our supporters who attend matches and behave impeccably and a particular thank you to those supporters who ensure that their friends or others do not bring this fantastically supported Club into disrepute....

'Occasionally, Directors are engaged in matters where we are called upon to explain or defend our supporters' actions. When this takes place, we are scrutinised by The FA, the Police, our Community and the media. The time taken to respond and protect us from damage is significant and could quite simply be put to more productive use.

'For the avoidance of confusion I will publish the below requirements that the FA have of me:

  • To report to the Club Board without due delay any incidents or conduct which may bring discredit upon the Club, to any individual or generally to bring the game into disrepute, whereby financial penalty may be imposed or suspension could be imposed from the game or any football activity.
  • Ensure any use of flares or pyrotechnics is reported to the League Office after a match, Home or Away.
  • To oversee how supporters or anyone at a match behave and where this falls below the standards set by the Club, to deal robustly with such actions, using the Club Safety Officer, Police Liaison Officer or any other nominated person in the club; and to apply action in compliance with Ground Safety Regulations.

I am appealing to all supporters to play their part and ensure that they, and their friends continue to represent HFC positively".

At Bradford (Park Avenue) "Goalkeeper Steven Drench has claimed that he and his team-mates are relishing the prospect of another tough game ahead of Stockport County’s visit. The experienced stopper has kept clean sheets in both of the club’s home wins so far...

'We came unstuck against Leamington on Saturday, so we wanted to put in a performance against Spennymoor and we have done,' explained the goalkeeper. 'We started the season by playing against sides that we’d like to think will be up there at the end of the season, but Leamington was a tough place to go as well. People assume, because of where they finished last season, that we had a right to go there and win but no team does. Anyone can beat anybody in this league and some of the results have showed that. With the exception of Chorley, no team has set the world alight and it just shows how tight the league will be this season.

'It’s still early days and a lot of teams are still sussing out their best eleven. It’s a case of feeling each other out, but we’ve won three of our first four games and we’d have taken that if it was offered to us at the start of the season'".

Nuneaton Town's "rebranding of its social media platforms has now been completed thanks to the support of the Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Co-operative. The premium website domain name was made available to the club recently by the Co-op.

Club Secretary Adam Etheridge said 'we’re extremely grateful to the Co-op for their generous donation, and for the massive help that they’ve given the Club in what has been a very difficult period. We look forward to working closely with them over the coming weeks, months and years as we continue to rebuild our relationship with the Boro’ faithful.' Speaking on behalf of the Co-op, interim chairman Mark Axon said “ the Co-op are glad to be able to assist the club with this new website domain name... The Co-op will be working with the Club to bring all areas of the website up to date over the coming days.'"

17 August 2018


The National League reports that on Tuesday "Tommy Wright believes Darlington did enough against Blyth Spartans last night to win five matches! The night’s only National League North game ended all square as the 1-1 draw frustrated the Quakers.

Manager Wright, the club’s former striker, could only watch on as Darlo spurned chance after chance. 'We said the game would have goals and the only reason it didn’t have more is because we have not taken the numerous chances we have created,” he told the club’s video service. "I lost track of the number of opportunities we had. It’s really disappointing that we have failed to take all three points. We did more than enough to win five games. What they did to Chester at the weekend we have just done to them but the difference is they have escaped here with a 1-1 draw and Chester didn’t.

There’s no point having all the attacking talent we have and then sitting back to defend. The players have been clapped off by the supporters because they know they have seen a real performance'".

Darlington: Maddison, Trotman, Galbraith, Elliott, Burn, Collins, Henshall (Syers, 75), Wheatley, Styche, Ainge, Thompson. Subs not used: O’Hanlon, Nicholson, Hughes, Saunders.


Courtesy of Mike Garnett and Howard Watts, the Through the Years data remind us that the last time Altrincham played a game on this Saturday's date, 18 August, was in 2015 when Alty hosted Grimsby Town on a Tuesday night at Moss Lane.

Alty went into the game pointless whilst Grimsby arrived as top scorers in the new season. But it was Alty who emerged victorious, thanks to goals by Michael Rankine and George Bowerman in front of a crowd of 1,680.

A packed away end watches the match against Grimsby Town in 2015

However, the match was overshadowed by a bad injury to Altrincham centre-back Tom Marshall who suffered a fracture to his right leg. Tom is nowadays back in action, playing for Stafford Rangers. Ten minutes of added time were announced which were actually extended into the thirteenth added minute, due to a late knock to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 17. Tim DEASY, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE.


Boston United have "Video highlights of Tuesday's victory over Nuneaton Borough", last Tuesday. "Check out the action here with Nathan Arnold and Jonathan Wafula firing the Pilgrims to three points, despite Ashley Jackson's red card and Enoch Andoh's reply for Boro."


From NL Daily we learn that "Chorley Councillor Danny Gee has clarified some points in his letter about football supporters visiting his town. Originally Gee wrote that ‘travelling away fans will no longer be welcome in Chorley Town Centre’.

However he told Phil Williams on Five Live last night that he didn’t want coach loads of travelling supporters coming into the town because they tended to spill out of pubs onto the pavement. Instead he suggested any coach with supporters should find a pub well away from the town centre instead.

'We’re not banning any football supporters from coming into Chorley, we welcome football supporters. What we are concerned about is coaches.'

Takings in the town centre drop when coachloads of football supporters are about said the councillor. Williams then asked if he turned up with ten of his friends in a mini-bus would they be okay? 'Yes as long as you went in the pub and stopped in the pub.' Read more on Bulls' News.

Above, on their last league visit to Chorley, the Alty players greet their counterparts before kick off at Victory Park.

The BBC adds that "Chorley Council has reversed its position on football fans not being welcome in the town and apologised for any offence caused to supporters. The Lancashire town's local authority sent a letter to local clubs stating supporters were "intimidating" when coaches stopped in the town... But Chorley Council now says it does 'welcome football fans' and that the 'vast majority' boost local business.

'What we can't have, and which is what triggered the concerns from traders, is a situation where large groups of fans are gathering in pubs, spilling out on to the streets and intimidating, or being seen to be intimidating other people using the town centre,' a council statement read. 'In the letter it stated that travelling away fans would not be welcome in Chorley; this is not the case we do welcome football fans and we apologise for this comment and any offence this may have caused.'

In reacting to the council's initial letter, local resident Craig Riding said he had 'never been more embarrassed as a Chorley resident and as a football fan'... The town is a regular stop-off for fans on their way to games at Bolton, Blackburn, Preston, Burnley and Wigan. Local Parish councillor Malcolm Allen... told BBC Sport fans are 'dumped' on the town as they are unable to easily access alcohol "'near the ground they are going to'".

The National League confirms that "Chester’s National League North match with FC United of Manchester on Saturday has been postponed... Severe storm damage has left the Swansway Stadium damaged and on Tuesday the club’s match with Kidderminster Harrier was also called off.

With no improvement in the situation, the decision has been made to re-arrange this weekend’s league fixture with FC United...

A statement read, 'Chester have acted on the advice to fully close the East Stand Admin block until a full and thorough assessment can be made to the state of the electrical system, which can only be completed once the drying out process is complete... Commercial driers are due on site today to assist the drying out process.

Following the completion of this a full assessment of the electrical system will be made with appropriate repairs made to restore power before an assessment can be made on any additional damage caused to the Public Address and CCTV system.

Whilst the playing surface remains in excellent condition, CCTV, Public Address System and Turnstile monitoring systems (which are all contained within the Control Room and other areas impacted by the water damage) are an essential requirement of the Club's Safety Certificate which is a requirement for us to host games".

Blyth Spartans "drew for only the third time this year, throwing their bodies on the line to deny Darlington a second-half winner and earn a point their commitment merited.

There was perhaps an element of luck to Alun Armstrong’s side dogged performance as the second period saw both Stephen Thompson and Reece Styche hit the woodwork. However, no one could fault the visitors as they dug deep to withstand Quakers’ pressure...

The Quakers finished the opening 45 minutes strongly, as Styche, who witnessed a goal disallowed in both halves, equalised a few minutes before the break as the two sides shared the spoils.

Armstrong was forced into two changes from the side that beat Chester 8-1 on Saturday. Robbie Dale and Michael Liddle, were replaced by Ian Watson and Connor Oliver. And in place of the injured Dale, Maguire captained Blyth at Blackwell Meadows, and led by example – opening the scoring early on...

A PROPER team performance by Spartans".

After travelling to Darlington a week on Saturday, Alty travel to Blyth seven days' later. Their squad comprised: Jameson, Nicholson, I. Watson, Green, Buddle, Cunningham, Rivers (Wrightson 45), Reid (Horner, 70), Maguire (Ardelean, 80), Holmes, Oliver. Subs not used: Butler, Horner

NL Daily tells us that "Spennymoor Town’s Craig Ellison and Lewis King, who recently signed contracts with the first team, have been loaned out to Shildon and Ashington respectively. Both players, along with Cieran Jackson, have been involved with Jason Ainsley’s squad this season...

Manager Jason Ainsley [said]... 'Lewis and Craig going out for a month will take them to the next step of their development'".

NL Daily also tells us that "After a trial with the club, forward Andrei-Vasile Ardelean has joined Blyth Spartans from Team Northumbria. The young forward has impressed Spartans boss Alun Armstrong in training... Ardelean came on for the last ten minutes of last night’s 1-1 draw away at Darlington."

We read in the Telegraph & Argus that "A 26th-minute strike from Ben McKenna was enough to earn PA a 1-0 victory over Spennymoor Town on Tuesday night; their third win in four games. This result puts Bower's men up to fourth on nine points ahead of the visit of Stockport County...

Bower said, 'I thought we were good tonight, coming up against a side who will be right up there at the end of the season. They have quality and the players they have signed, shows how ambitious they are... We were comfortable for the last 25 minutes, when we dominated the game. We were playing with a lot of composure and quality. We made so many good decisions...

'We knew a lot of Spennymoor's players. The experience in our team helps us... We are pleased with our start'...

Bower added he was pleased with striker Lewis Knight's debut against Spenny moor, but frustrated with the delays as the red tape was sorted out... Following his exit from Leeds United's academy, the forward moved to the USA to study at Marshall University and was prolific for the University’s football team in the Conference USA league...

Bower added... 'He makes excellent work-rate and had had to wait for the ridiculous international clearance to come through, so he could play for us'".

York Press says that "York City boss Martin Gray is backing goal-less strikers Jordan Burrow and Jake Wright to hit the back of the net sooner rather than later. Wright netted three times in pre-season when Burrow also converted a penalty, but the pair are still waiting to get their names on the scoresheet after starting the first four fixtures of the National League North campaign with the latter having another spot kick saved during the 1-0 win against Stockport.

But City boss Gray has praised the duo’s industry during the opening fortnight, as well as Wright’s willingness to sacrifice his attacking instincts for the team after he filled in on the left side of midfield during Tuesday night’s 2-0 win at Ashton United...

Gray said, 'Jake Wright’s a centre forward, but he put a shift in for the team on Tuesday night. He stopped their full-back from playing by working hard and that was important'...

Sean Newton and Alex Kempster could both be back in contention for Saturday’s home match against Curzon Ashton after their respective knee injuries kept them sidelined in midweek, meaning Wright could be restored to an attack, where two-goal Maculay Langstaff, Burrow and Jon Parkin are also vying for a starting place.

Midfielders Russ Penn and Adriano Moke have recovered, meanwhile, from the problems that saw them replaced in Greater Manchester, although Simon Heslop (ribs) is still believed to be doubtful.

Having won Tuesday night’s game with goals from a throw-in and a free kick, Gray has called on his team to continue capitalising on their dead-ball threat, reasoning: 'I don’t want to be an ugly team and we will pass the ball when we can, but we’ve got to be relentless in what we do. We’ve got five big players in the box for set-plays in Tom Allan, Joe Tait, Hamza Bencherif, Jordan Burrow and Jon Parkin, as well as a long throw and, at Darlington, I won leagues by getting 15 free kicks a game and scoring two goals from them, so you have to maximise what you’ve got.'

Having suffered last season’s biggest defeat at Curzon when City were humbled 4-1 and been knocked out of the FA Cup by the same opponents the previous campaign, Gray went on to insist it was time for the club to set the record straight...

He added, 'They are a good, footballing team who look to pass the ball and, if you sit off them and let them play, they’re as good as anybody in this league. They have done ever so well during the last few years and the manager has done a great job without a massive budget'...

Gray added that Tom Allan, who made his second debut for City against Ashton at left back, will be in contention for two positions in the back four. 'He did that at Alfreton and he’s very dominant as a centre half,' Gray explained. 'He has goals in him at set-plays as well, because he’s very strong in the air, as you’d expect and it’s great to see a local boy out there'".


According to the National League on Thursday, "History will be made this afternoon when English sides Boreham Wood and Sutton United discover who they will be facing in the Scottish IRN-BRU Cup. For the first time ever, clubs south and north of the border will be joined in a domestic competition...

Sutton United manager Paul Doswell says being in the IRN-BRU Cup offers so many advantages having qualified alongside Wood as the teams finishing the highest last term having not earned promotion...

'It’s going to test us in terms on the competitions we are in but the players prefer to play and not train! It’s something we’re delighted to be involved in... It will be a team bonding exercise as well but we want to go as far as we can.'"

It later emerged that "Wood have been drawn at home to Dunfermline Athletic in round two. Sutton... will visit Airdieonians".

16 August 2018


As previously announced, Alty supporter John Henderson has been raising funds for the Alzheimer's Society. On 11 August he and co-walker Julie Lee completed a 26-mile walk along Hadrian's Wall. They are pictured, above, on completion of their walk. John is in a York City shirt and Julie is wearing the Alty strip, reversing their footballing allegiances.

At Tuesday's match against FCUM, John was collecting for that great cause and he writes, "I can confirm the total figure raised was a fantastic £246.88. As agreed, the collection was restricted to the Golf Road and 'Chequers' turnstiles areas, snack bars and CSH bars. We didn't collect during the game or inside the ground; as you know, I didn't want to deflect from any of the club's fundraising efforts.

Here's the link to our justgiving page confirming the donation".

Don't forget that you can help John and Julie with their fundraising via the above link.


Altrincham FC manager Phil Parkinson's post-match views of the game with FC United of Manchester are to be found on the Altrincham FC official site in an article by Press and Media Officer, John Edwards. And there is also a match report on the Altrincham FC official site


Wednesday 15 August 2018
  • Darlington 1-1 Blyth Spartans


Saturday will witness Altrincham taking on Boston United at the J. Davidson Stadium. The Lincolnshire side currently lies third in the league table, following their win on Tuesday night, 2-1 against Nuneaton Borough.

Their last league game at the J. Davidson Stadium was almost exactly two years ago, on Saturday, 24 September 2016, when the Pilgrims won 1-0, thanks to a goal from Boston captain Agnew in the 70th minute. However, Boston was to be the venue of one of just three away wins in the league for Altrincham's relegation-bound team that season.

Both teams have new managers since 2016, with Dennis Greene having been replaced by Craig Elliott at the Jakemans Stadium and Phil Parkinson installed at Moss Lane, whereas it was Jim Harvey in charge of Alty in the 2016 game.

Above: Alty line up before kick off aginst Boston in 2016. The squad that day was 1. Andrew DAWBER 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Josh DOHERTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Greg WILKINSON, 9. Craig HOBSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Harry CAIN, 15. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Danny HATTERSLEY, 20. Tim DEASY (gk)

After the 2016 match, speaking to Altrincham FC's John Edwards (Press & Media Officer), Jim Harvey said "We've got great qualities going forward, but we need to sharpen up defensively".

Boston United report that "Nathan Arnold and Jonathan Wafula scored the goals as Boston United chalked up their third win... Arnold's 45th minute opener and Wafula's 73rd minute strike sealed United's victory despite a later red card for full-back Ashley Jackson and a subsequent reply from Boro substitute Enoch Andoh.

The Pilgrims were once again good value for their three-point haul but were made to sweat in the closing stages after Jackson's dismissal ahead of seven minutes added time... Wafula was at the heart of the action as the Pilgrims took the lead on the stroke of half-time with a driving run at the heart of the Boro defence and the ball landing kindly for Arnold to drill home from 20 yards...

Walker was instrumental in United’s second goal with 17 minutes remaining. Arnold’s deep crossfield punt was retrieved by the Boston sub and his sublime pass inside allowed Wafula to smash the ball home from an angle. United were well in control but the match swung in Boro’s favour in the 78th minute when Jackson was dismissed for a challenge on Michael Tweed. With the Pilgrims still reshuffling, Boro took full advantage and Andoh tucked home Curtis Obeng’s driven ball from the Nuneaton right... but United managed the rest of the game well and claimed all three points despite near to seven minutes of additional time.

Boston (4-4-2): George Willis; Ben Middleton, Ryan Qualter, Spencer Harris, Ashley Jackson; Nathan Arnold (Toby Lees 84), Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Jonathan Wafula; Adam Marriott (Craig Westcarr 76), Andre Johnson (Nicky Walker 46). Subs (not used): Jonny Margetts, Grant Roberts".

The Boston Standard adds that manager"Craig Elliott had ‘not too many complaints’ about Ashley Jackson’s red card, but plenty about the amount of added time after Boston United beat Nuneaton Borough last night... The board announced a minimum of three minutes to be played, only for referee Amy Fearn to finally blow the full-time whistle almost seven minutes later. The match official later confirmed she had signalled for seven extra minutes to be played and a mix-up had seen the wrong number shown to the Jakemans Stadium but boss Elliott was still fuming that the contest had not been finished earlier.

'I’m not happy about it. I know we won the game but it’s ridiculous. Seven minutes,' he said. 'You don’t see it unless there’s been a major incident'.

Boston defended their lead a man short following Ashley Jackson’s straight red card for a foul on Michael Tweed. And despite the left back protesting his innocence to coaching staff long after both teams were down the tunnel, Elliott chose not to condemn the decision. 'I felt, from where I was, that he didn’t go in with two feet, but some of the lads in the team said it were reckless,' the manager said. 'You know what, if it were against me I’d probably be calling for a red. So I’ve got not too many complaints. I’m more angry about the added time. I thought the referee was very inconsistent, but it is what it is'...

He was pleased with the dogged nature of his defence... 'The sending off changes things in your head and it’s a bad time to concede but in the end we managed it well and these are the experiences you need to come through'...

The half-time arrival of Nicky Walker, who replaced Andre Johnson and set up Wafula’s goal with a wonderful reverse pass which cut through the Nuneaton defence, was another plus for the manager. 'I wasn’t happy with the first half, it just felt flat,' he added. 'I thought Nicky came on and changed the game for us. I thought we were poor up front and lacked a lot of movement, and the ball kept coming back to us. This is what you want from forwards, effort'".

And Lincolnshire Live adds that "Match-winner Jonathan Wafula believes that Craig Elliott constantly driving standards is reaping its rewards for Boston United...

'Craig wants us to push on this year and maintain our standards and we are attempting to do that,' said Wafula... 'The manager warned us at half-time not to get complacent. We got it together and held on. I was happy to get a goal but I was not that happy with my game overall'...

Wafula’s goal was assisted by fellow winger Nicky Walker and the summer signing from Gainsborough Trinity is now pushing hard for a starting place. 'It’s a good thing for us because it keeps us on our toes,' added Wafula on the competition for his and fellow goalscorer Nathan Arnold’s places".


  • Att. 1097 AFC Telford United 2 - 1 Brackley Town
  • Att. 421 Alfreton Town 0 - 1 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 1704 Altrincham 1 - 2 FC United Of Manchester
  • Att. 545 Ashton United 0 - 2 York City
  • Att. 1200 Boston United 2 - 1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Att. 392 Bradford Park Avenue 1 - 0 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 1368 Chorley 4 - 0 Southport
  • Att. 2781 Hereford 2 - 1 Leamington
  • Att. 2923 Stockport County 1 - 1 Guiseley


Having gone to the top of the Cheshire League Premier Division by winning their opening two fixtures of the 2018-19 season, Altrincham FC Reserves had mixed fortunes this week.

On Saturday, they won 2-1 away at Eagle Sports, before suffering a 1-3 home reverse against Pilkington First on Tuesday night. They now lie third in the league table.

Against Eagle Sports the scorers were first-team squad member Bay Downing and youth team graduate Tom Clarke. Shaun Densmore (right) and Tom Hannigan played in this game as they recovered match fitness after injury.

The Reserves' next fixture is on Saturday, away to Poynton First.

Meanwhile, Altrincham FC Ladies kick off their league season on 2 September, away to Chester FC Ladies.


The Chester Chronicle reports that "Chester FC look set to lose striker Shaun Tuton to rivals Spennymoor Town after the North East club put seven days notice in on the 26-year-old. Tuton signed for the Blues on the eve of this season having been on trial with the club during pre-season, and he impressed in his opening two games against Spennymoor and Curzon Ashton.

He did pick up an injury last week and didn't travel with the squad for the 8-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans but his performance against Spennymoor alerted Moors manager Jason Ainsley and, with the striker only on non-contract terms at Chester, Ainsley put seven-days' notice in on the forward earlier this week. After the seven days has passed Spennymoor will be able to formally offer him a deal.

Chester signed Tuton on non-contract terms initially owing to a tight budget and moved out some players on loan with a view to offering him a permanent deal. It is understood that Chester offered Tuton a permanent deal to stay but were unable to match the terms on offer for the former Barnsley striker at Brewery Field.

Tuton was released by Barnsley in the summer having spent two seasons at Oakwell, making seven appearances for them in League One during the 2015/16 season. Prior to Barnsley he enjoyed prolific spells for Buxton and FC Halifax Town but spent time out on loan at Grimsby Town, Barrow and Halifax during his time with Barnsley.

Chester are now planning for life without Tuton and managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are keen to add another striker to their ranks in the coming weeks."

Meanwhile from County Durham the Northen Echo says that "Spennymoor are without a win in four games after going down to a first half goal at Bradford Park Avenue. But Moors came away wondering how they didn’t pick up a point in a purple patch at the start of the second half, when Bradford keeper Steven Drench pulled off some excellent saves...

Bradford... took the lead on 26 minutes when Oli Johnson found space on the left and put the ball into the box where McKenna beat keeper Jonathan Gould... Moors had some great chances at the start of the second half... As Moors pressed forward, they left themselves open at the back, and Bradford broke away again when McKenna got through, but his effort hit the post. And the woodwork rescued Moors again a few minutes later, this time Branson hit the post from the edge of the box".

The National League reports that "Hereford manager Peter Beadle believes his players passed a big mental test on Tuesday night. The Bulls went 1-0 down to Leamington and fears were growing about a first defeat... But Hereford are made of tough stuff and they came back and secured an impressive three points against a side who have also started well.

Now on Saturday it’s Chorley, and an early first vs second game.

'We gave away a poor goal but in the second half we came roaring back,' Beadle told the club’s video service. 'When you leave it late it adds to the excitement! Overall I thought we deserved to win the game... Everybody has left the ground bouncing and it’s another good night.... Every game is a challenge', said the Bulls boss after. 'As long as the players are up for the challenge then we will be fine.'"

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post "Guiseley gained a credible point away at Stockport County after a 1-1 draw... After the game, Guiseley joint-manager Marcus Bignot said 'It is a point against a good side, it is something we can build on'...

Guiseley took the lead with just under half an hour gone when a fine piece of hold-up play by Kayode Odejayi, and his pass, found Curtis Morrison who put in an inch-perfect cross to Kaine Felix, who turned and shot in.

County levelled on the hour when Sam Walker hit a free-kick from 20 yards out that nestled in the bottom right-hand corner".

15 August 2018


Bottom club FC United of Manchester condemned Altrincham to their first defeat of the season as the Robins for the second time this week failed to capitalise on a winning position, having conceded goals three times after taking the lead at Spennymoor on Saturday.

With knocks to White, Richman, Jones and Goulding, Alty started the game with three of their back four, (Densmore, Harrison and Hannigan), making their first start of the season as they returned from injury. In addition, Hancock was sidelined by a toe injury and Poole, likewise, was not yet fit enough to be involved.

In the first half Altrincham enjoyed more of the attacking momentum without causing the visitors' keeper, Crellin, any serious trouble.

The hosts took the lead after 54 minutes when Hulme netted from close range after a Hampson shot had been beaten out by Crellin. But Alty failed to press home their advantage and after a good spell for the visitors, they equalised when veteran striker Liam Dickinson headed home a corner in the 65th minute. And when Harrison stood off the advancing Willoughby, the FC man drove a fine shot high into the net from outside the box to win the game (81 mins).

ALTRINCHAM 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Sean WILLIAMS, 11. Brendon DANIELS. Subs: 12. Tom PEERS, 14. Bay DOWNING, 15. James JONES, 16. Liam GOULDING, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Tuesday 14 August 2018
  • AFC Telford United 2-1 Brackley Town
  • Alfreton Town 0-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Altrincham 1-2 FC United Of Manchester
  • Ashton United 0-2 York City
  • Boston United 2-1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-0 Spennymoor Town
  • Chester P-P Kidderminster Harriers (storm damage)
  • Chorley 4-0 Southport
  • Hereford 2-1 Leamington
  • Stockport County 1-1 Guiseley

Wednesday 15 August 2018

  • Darlington v Blyth Spartans


On Saturday, 18 August, Altrincham welcome Boston United to the J. Davidson Stadium.

Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's data show the following historical record in games with The Pilgrims.

  • At home: P35-W16-D12-L7-F71-A33
  • Away: P36-W11-D10-L15-F58-A64
  • All: P71-W27-D22-L22-F129-A97

The teams last met at Altrincham in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 24 September 2016, which the visitors won 1-0. It was the twelfth game since the start of that season and it was the twelfth time that Alty had failed to win, and defeat left them in 21st place.

The line-ups that day comprised:

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Andrew DAWBER 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Josh DOHERTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Greg WILKINSON, 9. Craig HOBSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Harry CAIN, 15. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Danny HATTERSLEY, 20. Tim DEASY (gk)

BOSTON UNITED: 1. Dion-Curtis Henry, 2. Kalern Thomas, 3. Ben Gordon, 4. Marcus Marshall, 5. Joe Maguire, 6. Joe Robinson, 7. Jay Rollins, 8.Liam Agnew, 9. Lamin Colley, 10. Gregg Smith, 11. Jason St Juste. Subs: 12. Waide Fairhurst, 14. Lewis Hilliard, 15. Joe Burgess, 16. Courtney Wildin, 17. Cameron Johnson.

Boston are nowadays managed by Craig Elliott, the former Shaw Lane manager.


Bradford (Park Avenue) "have completed the signing of forward Lewis Knight after the 19 year-old was granted international clearance. Knight joins having featured as a trialist throughout pre-season, making an instant impact with a goal against Silsden on his first outing in a Bradford shirt. He continued to impress manager Mark Bower in a series of friendlies, earning a contract with the club and becoming the eighth new addition to the squad.

He is a product of Leeds United’s academy and featured regularly for the club’s under-18 and under-23 sides as a scholar before being released in 2017. Following his Elland Road exit, the forward moved to the USA to study at Marshall University and was prolific for the University’s football team in the Conference USA league".

14 August 2018


According to the National League "Chester’s home match with Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday has been postponed, we can confirm tonight. Water damage after a recent storm means the National League North fixture will not go ahead as planned...

A Chester FC statement read, 'Heavy rain on Sunday evening and throughout the night has caused extensive damage to critical areas of the stadium and its infrastructure. Following assessment today and consultation with the National League and Kidderminster Harriers the decision to postpone the match was made to ensure the safety of all those who would be in attendance'".

The Chester Chronicle adds that "David Harrington-Wright insists there is nothing that could be done to avoid postponing tonight's Chester FC home clash with Kidderminster Harriers after water damage wreaked havoc at the Swansway Chester Stadium. A torrential downpour on Sunday night saw Blues staff arrive at the stadium on Monday morning to be met with an electrical outage, sodden carpets and severe water damage to the control room, PA room and mains electrical board.

And with the club unable to even think about clearing up and getting the power back on in critical areas of the ground until insurers have a assessed the damage and the water has dried, the Kidderminster game this evening has been postponed and Saturday's home encounter with FC United of Manchester cast in some doubt too.

Above: Chester's Swansway Stadium when Alty played there in January 2016.

The Chronicle had a walk around the affected areas of the stadium and spoke to Chester chairman Harrington-Wright on the extent of the damage and what happens next....

'When I got that phone call yesterday my heart just sank. Some of the stuff out there on social media, 'It's all a conspiracy and Chester have done this and Chester have done that'. You've had a walk around yourself now and you can see that there is no way anybody, even with a big kettle can do that kind of damage. It's horrendous, it really is bad.'

The main reason for the postponement is the damage to the mains board at the stadium which means that CCTV and the PA system do not work...

Harrington-Wright added, 'It is the life blood for the club on a match day. The CCTV has to work, the PA system has to work otherwise you don't have your safety certificate. There is nothing we can do about that and that equipment is not easy to replace, if it needs replacing, and it's not easy to repair if it needs repairing. On top of that it is the damage that has been done to the internal wiring. There is water inside the distribution board that controls all that area, so we have got no power up in that part of the building. That wiring and that distribution board are 25 years old, plus. They were put in when the stadium was built. They can't be repaired, they have got to be replaced.

'It is not a domestic insulation. It is not something that you can do it half an hour, it is a good couple of days work once it's dried out. It's sopping wet up there so that has got to be ripped out, dried out and then the work can start. We're not talking a five-minute job here.'

The work that needs to be done also casts doubt over Saturday's scheduled home game with FC United of Manchester... 'I've been walking around with the insurance assessor, they are dealing with the insurance company. They have got to get their cleaning company in and we will have a better idea later today or tomorrow with where we stand... We have got an emergency board meeting tonight. If needs be we will have to approach the league and the teams we have to play, FC United particularly...

'There is nothing you can do, it's weather, it's happened, it's horrendous... Just when you think things are starting to go well you get beaten 8-1, you get water pouring through the ceiling that wrecks your PA system, wrecks your control room. What else is there? Let's move on'".


In addition to the eleven players on the pitch at Spennymoor on Saturday, there were twelve other Alty employees or volunteers on the bench at the Brewery Field last Saturday, who all did their bit to help the team. Pictured above, left to right, we see Mark Bushell (sports analyst), Chris Parkes (coach), substitutes Ben Harrison, Brendon Daniels, Tom Peers and Max Harrop, Tommy Uda and Ryan Murray (sports therapists) Neil Sorvel (assistant manager), Steve Foster (kitman), Elliot Wynne (sub 'keeper) and manager Phil Parkinson.


Although only travelling 21 miles to play Altrincham on Tuesday night, FC United of Manchester are, perhaps surprisingly, only the fourth closest club to Moss Lane in the Vanarama National League North division, with Stockport County, Ashton United, Curzon Ashton all being nearer to the J Davidson Stadium.

FCUM report that last Saturday "FC United suffered their third defeat from three games with a 3-0 home defeat to Boston United as the Reds’ dismal start to the new Vanarama National League North season continued unabated. A brace from Brad Abbott on 23 and 85 minutes and another goal from Andre Johnson with 13 minutes to go gave the visitors a comprehensive victory, leaving FC United rooted to the bottom of the table with Southport the only other team yet to get any points on the board".

FCUM's earlier fixtures comprised a 5-1 defeat at Stockport County and a 4-3 loss at home to Ashton United after they had been leading 3-1.

Over the summer, FCUM played no fewer than ten friendlies and even travelled to Europe for one of those...

  1. Irlam FC Away won 3-0
  2. SV Austria Salzburg Away won 3-1
  3. Shelley CFC (Huddersfield) Away won 4-0
  4. FC Winterthur (Switzerland) Home 1-1
  5. Thackley (Bradford) Away lost 0-1
  6. Oldham Athletic XI Home lost 0-2
  7. Scarborough Athletic Away won 3-2
  8. Hyde United Away won 2-1
  9. Airbus UK Broughton Home won 4-3
  10. Rochdale XI Home lost 2-4

The National League reports that "FC United player-manager Tom Greaves doesn’t feel the club’s players are rewarding the fans for their support. Despite a 3-0 home reverse to Boston United, a large number of Red Rebels stayed behind to applaud the side from the field...

Three back-to-back defeats has seen the team concede 12 goals inside the new season’s opening week... Boston hardly broke sweat on Saturday... 'Just want to say a massive thanks to the fans that stayed behind and applauded the team and chanted until we was back down the dugout yesterday,' Greaves wrote. 'We certainly didn’t deserve that after the performance we gave. We are having a tough time on and off the pitch at the minute but things must and will improve. We will be working hard to put it right and get back to putting in performances that our fans deserve to see week in week out'".

Right: Sean Williams in action at Spennymoor on Saturday.


The EvoStik League reports that "Ramsbottom United manager Mark Fell is backing striker Ben Deegan to add more than goals to his squad's upcoming EVO-STIK League campaign. The tall targetman drew a blank in a 0-0 draw with Lancaster City after signing last week but Fell is certain he will soon find his shooting boots as well bringing some vital experience to the Rams in EVO-STIK League West.

The 30-year-old former Altrincham, Ashton United, Droylsden, FC United of Manchester, New Mills and Warrington Town forward played for both Glossop North End and promoted Hyde United last season and Fell said 'We’ve not had this type of striker since Gaz Seddon, he’s good on the ball for a big man, he can win the flick-ons and bring others into play. He’s a good lad to have in the dressing room and knows what this division is all about.'"


From the National League we read that "There were just the 46 National League North goals on Saturday, so we’ll make few apologies for our attacking 4-3-3 formation!... It’s down to us to piece together a side worthy of being Saturday’s best.

The official National League North Team of the Weekend is out; the 11 starters, five subs and the top manager from the opening day ha[ve] been picked... Managers, club officials and journalists help us to construct together a team who shone brightest...

National League North Team of the Weekend:

  • Goalkeeper: Josh Ollerenshaw (Ashton United)
  • Defenders: Sam Minihan (Stockport County), Aaron Cunningham (Blyth Spartans), Andy Teague (Chorley)
  • Midfielders: Curtis Bateson (Alfreton), Jarrett Rivers (Blyth Spartans), Lewis Hall (Hereford), Brad Abbott (Boston United)
  • Strikers: Dan Maguire (Blyth Spartans), Matt Stenson (Leamington), Reece Styche (Darlington)
  • Substitutes: Lee Vaughan (Kidderminster), Jack Lane (Alfreton), Josh O’Keefe (Chorley), Andrew Johnson (Spennymoor), Simon Ainge (Darlington)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Alun Armstrong (Blyth Spartans)
Perhaps the easiest selection we’ll make all season!"

Curiously not only do no Alty players make the grade, but the one Spennymoor man who is named was actually substituted after just 56 minutes - bizarre!


The National League reports that "Alfreton Town have secured the services of defender Josh Gowling from Torquay United. The central defender moves to the Impact Arena on a month’s loan.

Manager Billy Heath has moved to enhance his backline having let in seven goals already in the National League North. Towering Gowling joined Torquay in the summer of 2017 after leaving Grimsby Town."

Alfreton Town report that, on the pitch, "Alfreton Town produced a fine display of counter attacking and crucial defending as the Reds claimed a brilliant win at York City... Billy Heath made just the one change from the Brackley defeat with Curtis Bateson replacing Bobby Johnson who missed out through a groin problem. Danny Clarke returned to the bench...

The Reds were looking immediately for Tom Denton as Tait and Bencherif struggled to deal with the Reds' giant up front. The opening goal came on 13 minutes from a gorgeous set piece from James Clifton which found Denton unmarked at the far post and he powered a header into the corner to silence the home crowd.

It was soon two when a slip from Tait allowed Curtis Bateson to run clean through and the winger showed excellent composure to roll the ball past Bartlett and into the empty net.

The two goal lead out of nowhere sprang alarm bells in the York players as the contest took a heated turn, Denton appeared to be elbowed challenging for the ball with no card showed for Sean Newton in the process...

The second half saw frustration gradually increase amongst the home fans and the City players... On 58 minutes the Reds were awarded a penalty when Bateson was tripped in the box. Peniket stepped up but was denied by Bartlett who guessed the right way.

The miss rallied York and rallied the home fans... before City did pull one back... in City's first meaningful attack of the game.

Billy Heath introduced Danny Clarke to close things up... York's approach turned direct with crosses late on looking for Parkin".

We learn from NL Daily that "Hereford FC boss Peter Beadle has bought in an experienced goalkeeper, with French-Cameroonian goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi joining The Bulls. The 31-year-old goalkeeper was formerly with Wrexham, and most recently played with Royal Eagles in South Africa.

Mayebi had signed for Nuneaton Borough a few weeks ago but, like ex-Swansea City midfielder Kemy Agustien, he recently departed the club".

Also from NL Daily we read that "Darlington gained their first win of the season in style thanks to a magnificent hat-trick by skipper Reece Styche, yet his treble cost him £50, reports The Northern Echo.

On Saturday morning on social media Styche said he’d match a supporter’s pledge to the club’s Sponsor a Goal scheme if he scored a hat-trick at Brackley Town.

By half-time he was £50 down, the hat-trick having been completed by the 23rd minute, Darlington leading 4-1 at the break with Simon Ainge also chipping in during a remarkable first half. The game ended 4-2, and Styche said 'It’s a pleasure to pay out, it was good that somebody came up with the idea'".

"Three games into the new season and Southport find themselves still looking for their first points of the campaign... heading into Tuesday’s match against table-toppers Chorley...

[In] a 1-0 defeat to Stockport County, Connor Dimaio’s late goal denied the ten-men of Southport what would have been a hard-fought draw. Meanwhile for opponents Chorley, they have enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign. They are the only team in the league to enjoy a 100% record...

[Manager] Jamie Vermiglio... stepped into the role this summer after the shock departure of Matt Janson... Vermiglio had a perfect start to life as manager. His side recorded a 5-0 win over Euxton Villa... That would be a rare high to pre-season, with a flourish[?] of defeats against Blackburn Rovers U23s, Trafford, Morecambe and Tranmere all following... With one win, one draw and five defeats, Chorley endured a contrasting pre-season to the Port, whilst the two have endured contrasting starts to the season for different reasons."

At Kidderminster Harriers, "Neil Macfarlane hailed the response of his players as they fought back from 2-0 down to claim a result against Ashton United on Saturday. Kane Richards netted in the 95th minute to seal a 3-3 draw for Harriers, who had twice been behind at Aggborough.

It was a true contrast in halves for the home side, who were far from at the races in the first period as the visitors stole ahead...

'It was an incredible ending to the game, but the first half was unacceptable from our perspective,' he said. 'It’s the first time I have seen that from the group, even through all of the training sessions and into the matches; we just didn’t start properly. We let them get a foothold into the game which gave them something to hold on to.

'We made a number of chances at half time but I’ve said to the players... the manager can make tactical changes, but it’s about the players and their mindset. Their mindset was totally different in the second half. Even when we lost a man, which was disappointing, I thought we were outstanding and our attitude was incredible, to find a way back into the game at the death'".

Across the Pennines, Guiseley report that "In a game that struggled to get going AFC Telford were fortunate to return to Shropshire with a share of the spoils courtesy of the officials deeming what seemed like goalkeeper Jon Worsnop pulling out of a challenge as a foul in the area.

Andre Brown sent Worsnop the wrong way from the spot on 76 minutes to give the visitors an undeserved lead after referee Paul Brown had consulted long and hard with his assistant who had flagged up the supposed misdemeanour.

Justice was however served with virtually the last kick of the game when substitute Curtis Morrison’s shot across the six-yard box from an acute angle was deflected in to the net through a forest of legs to give the Lions a deserved share of the points with their first goal of the season.

Prior to this the first half had been a turgid affair... Kaine Felix on his home league debut proving to be the home side’s most potent threat with his three crosses from the right flank providing the openings that should have unlocked the visitors defence... The home side suffered a blow on the stroke of halftime when Kingsley James had to leave the field with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Jack Dyche."

Chester FC "suffered their first defeat of the 2018/19 campaign in disappointing fashion as they were beaten 8-1 against... 21st placed Blyth Spartans.

Their [sic] was one change from the 3-0 victory over Curzon Ashton on Monday night, with Matty Hughes making his first start of the season replacing Shaun Tuton... The Blues simply hadn’t got going in the opening half hour and... Four minutes before the half time break the hosts got that third goal...

It got worse for Chester just before the hour mark as captain Gary Roberts was shown a straight red card after a late tackle in the middle of the park. From the resulting free kick Blyth made it 5-0", with the match ending 8-1.

Still in Yorkshire, Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "Leamington condemned Bradford (Park Avenue) to their first defeat of the season despite a late rally from the West Yorkshire side...

Leamington began to grow into the game as the half wore on... With half-time looming, the Brakes found another gear and took the lead with a devastating counter-attack. Toulson challenged Callum Gittings but the deflection was picked up by Stenson, who accelerated and tucked the ball away in the bottom corner.

The hosts started the second-half in similar fashion to how they finished the first and doubled their lead just four minutes after the restart" before go ing on to win 4-2.

Last season's play-off contenders Brackley Town lost 2-4 at home to Alty's next away-game hosts, Darlington.

"A six-minute blitz of three goals midway through the first half won this game for Darlington as The Quakers recorded a first win of the season on a day for the strikers at St James Park. Reece Styche notched a hat-trick, his first coming in only the second minute of the game, a long range effort that found the top corner. Brackley were level within minutes as Jimmy Armson headed in unmarked from Shane Byrne’s corner...

Styche completed his hat-trick with goals in the 21st and 23rd minutes... Simon Ainge scored the fourth goal in the 26th minute finding a sharp finish from the edge of the penalty area to leave Saints shell-shocked...

'Our defending in the first 20 minutes gifted them the game,' Kevin Wilkin said... 'Their front players used their physicality and it has paid real dividends for them... In both penalty areas we’ve been poor today, that is the reality of it.'"

The Quakers' team was: Maddison, Trotman, Galbraith, Elliot, Collins, Burn, Henshall (Nicholson 67), Wheatley, Styche (Hughes 79), Ainge, Thompson (Saunders 85). Subs unused: Syers, Vaulks.

13 August 2018


Those who witnessed Saturday's 4-4 draw at Spennymoor will have seen something not previously witnessed by many current Altrincham supporters, namely a 4-4 draw in a league match. The last time this happened was more than 46 years ago, on 5 March 1972 at Canal Street, Runcorn, when Alty drew by that score in the Northern Premier League. More recently, of course, Alty fans will remember that bonkers 5-4 defeat at Gainsborough Trinity in January 2014 which was the closest approximation to the result at the Brewery Field to have occurred in the last few years.

However, as Mike Garnett points out there was a 4-4 draw, after extra time, in a cup competition on 16 March, 1987 at Ewen Fields against Hyde United. This was a Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final, when Frank Carrodus netted Alty's equaliser.


Brian Flynn's interview with Phil Parkinson, after the draw at Spennymoor, is on the Altrincham FC official site.

John Edwards's match report is on the Altrincham FC official site.

Eight goals have been compressed into fewer than three minutes in the video highlights of Saturday's 4-4 draw at Spennymoor.

Spennymoor Town report that "Glen Taylor rescued a point for Spennymoor for the second time in five days to conclude a remarkable game at The Brewery Field against Altrincham.

In a contest which, at times, defied belief, Moors fought back on three occasions to seal their third consecutive draw and remain unbeaten this season. Mark Anderson, Adam Boyes, Shane Henry and Taylor grabbed the goals for Spennymoor, while Andrew White, James Jones and a second half double from James Hancock rounded off the scoring for an impressive Altrincham outfit.

Jason Ainsley made one change from the side who drew 2-2 with Darlington on Tuesday, opting to bring in Boyes for his first start alongside Taylor at the expense of David Foley...

[At 1-1] as Moors began to lose control of the contest following the equaliser, Altrincham smelt blood, and, when Stephen Brogan conceded a free kick on the right of the area, Johnston’s delivery was met by Jones as the game was flipped on its head.

Left: James Jones and Connor Hampson in action at Spennymoor.

The dynamic Sean Williams went close for the visitors soon after as they looked to put the game out of sight, but after riding a sustained spell of pressure, Spennymoor showed their class to equalise six minutes before the break...

After the players, managers and crowd drew breath following a relentless first half, the high-octane action continued straight from the restart as Phil Parkinson’s side retook the lead...

[At 3-3] Henry’s goal sparked Spennymoor into life... Moors were left to rue those missed chances when Altrincham showed their counter attacking ability to score a fourth. Johnston, who was the game’s standout player, threaded a ball to Hulme, and when Gould parried at the feet of the striker, Hancock bundled a shot in from six yards to regain the lead for the visitors.

However, the action was yet to cease, as Taylor once again had the final say, collecting a long free-kick before burying a low shot past Thompson".

At Spennymoor Town we learn that manager "Jason Ainsley believes his Spennymoor side did well to get a point following an eventful afternoon against Altrincham...

Speaking to Moors TV after the game, Ainsley said 'As a manager you are picking the bones out of everything after that. They are a good side and they passed the ball very well, so take nothing away from them, but we started the game very well, scoring another great goal. But we’ve then dropped off them and they started to find space. Every time they went forward they looked like they were going to score, and every time we went forward we looked like we were going to score.

'We showed great character again to get back in the game twice [they actually equalised three times], but we can’t gift goals like we did today. When we equalised to make it 3-3 we had some great chances, and I think if we had gone in front we would have eventually won the game. But, we didn’t deserve to win the game and we did well to get a draw. If you score four goals at home, you need to be on the winning side and we haven’t done that.

'The goals we conceded we really poor and Altrincham were getting in far too often. We addressed the issues at the break and everybody knew their jobs for the second half. But we shot ourselves in the foot again after five minutes and another goal has gone in from nobody getting tight. After the real high of Chester and Darlington playing in front of big crowds, it was back to reality.'"


FC United of Manchester visit Altrincham on Tuesday, having lost their three league fixtures this season, so far. A curious statistic about Tuesday's game is that the supporters of the two sides have seen the most goals scored this season in Vanarama National League North fixtures. Both sets of fans have seen 16 goals in their respective club's three fixtures to date. In Alty's case the total includes nine goals for and seven against, whilst FCUM's breakdwon is four goals for and twelve against. Expect a goalless draw on Tuesday!

Last Saturday FCUM went down 0-3 at home to Boston United who, coincidentally, are Alty's opponents next Saturday at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Boston United reported that the Pilgrims "served up a dominant performance to dismantle FC United of Manchester at Broadhurst Park on Saturday afternoon. Two Brad Abbott strikes sandwiched a sublime Andre Johnson effort as the Pilgrims notched up their first away win of the National League North campaign at the second time of asking... Johnson had been handed his first league start ahead of kick-off, with Jonny Margetts the man to miss out...

FC United substitute Liam Dickinson, lucky still to be on the pitch after catching Spencer Harris with a flailing arm, clipped the top of the crossbar with a header in the closing stages but the hosts were well beaten".

The FCUM squad last Saturday comprised: 1 Billy Crellin, 2 Joel Senior, 3 Stephen O'Halloran (capt), 4 Daniel Racchi, 5 Luke Ashworth, 6 Chris Lynch, 7 Jamal Crawford, 8 Elliot Jorge Simões Inácio, 9 Tom Greaves, 10 Kurt Willoughby, 11 Samuel Tattum. Subs: 12 Samuel Baird (for 6, 74 mins), 14 Liam Dickinson (for 11, 57 mins), 16 Brodie Litchfield, 17 Jack Banister.

Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's records provide Alty's historical record Through the Years on Tuesday's date.

Mike Garnett also kindly provides the historical record in games between Altrincham and FCUM.

  • At home: P1-W0-D0-L1-F0-A3
  • Away: P2-W0-D1-L1-F2-A3
  • All: P3-W0-D1-L2-F2-A6


Southport report that "As the clock counted down at the Merseyrail Community Stadium and full-time approached, Southport must have thought they were closing in on a result to kick-start their season. Despite playing two-thirds of this game at a numerical disadvantage, the Sandgrounders had given an excellent account of themselves having needed to regroup following the dismissal of Billy Priestley.

If anything, it was the home team who appeared the most likely to carve out a winning goal as the second half went on, applying good pressure and creating clear chances against a Stockport County team regarded as one of the favourites for promotion... In the circumstances, even a point would have been a good reward for their considerable efforts, so for Southport to concede with only five minutes to go was a huge source of disappointment.

Things have not gone the Sandgrounders’ way during the opening week of the new campaign but there was more than enough here to suggest that it will not be long before they start to climb the table...

The dismissal of Priestley divided opinion, as referee Matt Corlett deemed his foul on Frank Mulhearn worthy of a straight red card... Although the decision seemed harsh, manager Liam Watson acknowledged that his defender had given the referee a decision to make by committing himself in such a way".

Off the field, Southport Football Club "are aware of instances that took place during the Southport v Stockport County league fixture on Saturday 11 August and would like to provide some clarity to supporters... On the day of the game, the police advised the club that a cash only away turnstile needed to be an option for safety reasons due to the intel received regarding a large crowd were attending. Merseyside Police in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, assigned the appropriate number of uniformed officers to the game for this reason.

As a result, working with Exclusec, there was an increased number of stewards within the ground. The 28 deployed to the game were briefed pre-match... The fixture was segregated but the club are aware that a designated gate was opened during the game. This was not part of the operational plan and a thorough investigation is currently taking place to find out the reason why and to ensure this doesn’t happen again...

Southport Football Club would like to apologise to those who attended and felt threatened by the behaviour from a small minority of Stockport County supporters".

Elsewhere NL Today tells us that "Chorley sit top of the early table thanks to a 1-0 win at Nuneaton Borough with a Marcus Carver goal a minute before the break proving decisive. Still to taste defeat in 2018/19 are Leamington, promoted Hereford FC and Altrincham, AFC Telford United, Kidderminster Harriers and Spennymoor Town.

Leamington inflicted a first defeat on Bradford Park Avenue, winning 4-2 at The Phillips 66 Community Stadium... Hereford won 1-0 at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton, courtesy of a 79th minute Harry White effort...

AFC Telford shared a 1-1 draw at Nethermoor Park against relegated Guiseley AFC – their first point to date. And it was almost a third defeat as the Bucks led through Andre Brown`s 76th minute effort until time added on at the end when Curtis Morrison grabbed the Lions a share of the spoils.

Like Spennymoor, Kidderminster have now drawn their three games after it finished 3-3 at Aggborough against promoted Ashton United. The visitors got off to a terrific start as Matty Chadwick after 3 minutes and Matt Regan 3 minutes later put them two-up...

It's three out of three for Southport and FC United of Manchester. But sadly for their fans, it`s three successive defeats!... FC United suffered a 3-0 Broadhurst Park defeat to Boston United – meaning they have conceded 12 goals in three games

Alfreton Town`s first win was York City`s second defeat as the Reds won 2-1 at Bootham Crescent, thanks to two goals in 2 minutes from Tom Denton and Curtis Bateson inside the opening 14 minutes – Macauley Langstaff replying on 68 minutes. And Darlington`s first win was also Brackley Town`s second defeat as Reece Styche netted a hat-trick for the Quakers in a 4-2 success at St James`s Park"

12 August 2018


In a hugely entertaining match Altrincham three times let a lead slip to return to Cheshire with just one point when three might well have been amassed.

The Moors started the better side and deservedly took an 11th minute lead. Their opening goal came after Hancock lost possession; the ball was worked to Anderson, who made space before slotting a low slot into the corner of the net to Thompson's left.

But Alty settled and equalised ten minutes later when White fired home from the edge of the box from Hulme's lay-back from near the byline, right of goal. Next, a foul on Johnson gave Alty a freekick, which the victim of the foul took himself from the right. Jones rose to head the freekick impressively home to make it 2-1 to the visitors (33 mins).

Above: Altrincham celebrate their second goal at Spennymoor.

Alty were playing some excellent passing football but they allowed the Moors to score an equalizer against the run of play before the interval. Williams lost the ball near halfway and Ramshaw advanced on the right. He fed Boyes, to his left and he cleverly lobbed the exposed Thompson (41 mins).

For the third game in succession this season Alty scored early in the second half. This time, following a short corner, a low cross from the right was converted by the incoming Hancock to make it 3-2 to Alty (48 mins). After the hour mark the Moors got back into the game and following a foul by Hampson, Alty defended the resulting freekick poorly, allowing substitute Henry to level for a second time for the hosts (68 mins).

The excitement continued as Alty scored a fourth in the 77th minute when Johnston found Hulme, whose shot was blocked but fell for Hancock to record his second goal of the match. Three Alty substitutions followed before Hulme committed a foul forty yards out from his own goal. Once again Alty failed to defend the resulting set-piece and the Moors' freekick was headed back from beyond the back post for Turner to net another equalizer.

There were periods of excellent Altrincham play in this game but, ultimately, they were pegged back by defensive and midfield errors. Nevertheless, five points from three games are an encouraging total with which to start to the league campaign.

SPENNYMOOR TOWN (Black & white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks): 1. Matthew GOULD, 2. Callum WILLIAMS, 3. Stephen BROGAN, 4. Jamie CHANDLER, 5. Kris THACKRAY, 6. James CURTIS (c), 7. Adam BOYES, 8. Robert RAMSHAW, 9. Glen TAYLOR, 10. Mark ANDERSON, 11. Andrew JOHNSON. Subs: 12. Shane HENRY, 13. Chris ELLIOTT, 14. David FOLEY, 15. Jacob HIBBS, 16. Kevin HAYES.

ALTRINCHAM (All purple): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Sean WILLIAMS, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12.Max HARROP, 14. Brendon DANIELS, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Ben HARRISON, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Saturday 11 August 2018
  • Blyth Spartans 8-1 Chester
  • Brackley Town 2-4 Darlington
  • Curzon Ashton 0-1 Hereford
  • FC United of Manchester 0-3 Boston United
  • Guiseley 1-1 AFC Telford United
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-3 Ashton United
  • Leamington 4-2 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Nuneaton Borough 0-1 Chorley
  • Southport 0-1 Stockport County
  • Spennymoor Town 4-4 Altrincham
  • York City 1-2 Alfreton Town


The Chester Chronicle says that "Nobody saw this coming. Chester FC suffered their heaviest defeat for many a decade as they went down 8-1 at Blyth Spartans after a shambolic display at Croft Park.

Back in 2000, Chester went down 7-1 to now Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion in the Football League, on this occasion it was a National League North encounter against a side who had lost their first two games - and they went one worse.

Impressive in their first two games, Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley could only watch as their Chester side produced a bafflingly bad performance where a Dan Maguire brace and goals from Jamie Holmes, Kieran Green, Sean Reid, a Steve Howson own goal, Adam Wrightson and Nathan Buddle handed the home side a simply jaw-dropping win. Gary Stopforth netted a consolation for Chester in a performance so bad it had to be seen to be believed.

The task was made even more difficult after a straight red card for Gary Roberts midway through the second half after he was adjudged to have gone in over the top of the ball when challenging Holmes...

With one of last season's most prolific strikers in the North, Dan Maguire, in the [Blyth] line up there was certainly the quality to hurt Chester going forward... Chester saw much of the ball in the opening 10 minutes but Blyth were looking dangerous going forward on the counter, if a little suspect at the back... But the Chester defence that had looked so solid in the opening two games and hadn't been breached was looking fragile and was cracked on 14 minutes when a mistake from Dominic Smalley set Maguire free, with the Blyth front man, under pressure from Steve Howson, driving a low angled effort from 15 yards that crept under Grant Shenton and hit the back of the net.

Chester looked shell shocked and Blyth continued to come forward... The Blues were getting overrun in midfield and the home side looked like adding to their tally with every foray into the Chester half... Blyth were getting in behind Chester almost at will, with Maguire and Rivers causing them problems time and time again.

And it wasn't just defensively they were falling below the standards they had set in the opening two games as the midfield looked almost non existent and Blyth having almost free reign across the pitch...

Half time: Blyth 3 Chester 0... There were no changes at the break from Johnson and Morley... And the misery continued just before the hour mark [when 4-0 down] when Blues skipper Gary Roberts was shown a straight red card for being deemed to have gone in over the top of the ball on Holmes, getting his marching orders from referee Richard Aspinall.

But Blyth weren't in any mood to make do with their lead and added a fifth in farcical circumstances 60 seconds later when a ball into the box was turned past Shenton by Howson as he attempted to hook it clear from close range...

Chester searched for a consolation, which did arrive on 71 minutes through a Stopforth strike from distance... Blyth soon added another... And the misery was compounded in injury time when Wrightson broke free in the box, laying it off to Maguire to tap home.

It was miserable end to a shocking afternoon. The Blues have hit the earth with an almighty thud...

Chester Star man: You must be kidding."

Altrincham visit Blyth Spartans in three weeks' time. Sparatans' team versus Chester was : Jameson, Nicholson, Liddle, Green (Oliver 62), Buddle, Cunningham, Rivers (Wrightson 65), Reid, Maguire, Holmes (Horner 67), Dale. Subs: Watson, Skirpan.

Another club with aspirations to win promotion also met defeat on Saturday as York Press reports that "York City manager Martin Gray lectured his players on the need for leadership and consistency following a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Alfreton Town at Bootham Crescent.

The Minstermen followed up a rousing 1-0 midweek victory against Stockport with a poor first half against Alfreton, who forged in front courtesy of two badly-conceded goals in as many minutes from Tom Denton and Curtis Bateson.

Home keeper Adam Bartlett then saved Richard Peniket’s penalty on the hour mark, before City sub Macaulay Langstaff reduced the deficit, but it only proved a consolation and an irritated Gray said 'You’re left scratching your head after going from such a strong second-half performance on Tuesday night to gifting Alfreton a two-goal start and that’s a real concern and disappointment. We’d done so much work on how to deal with Denton, but people didn’t take responsibility to mark him right for the first goal and we’ve had to speak in depth to certain individuals about leadership and the need for consistency in their play. The second goal was a mistake by Kallum Griffiths; there’s no hiding away from that.. He slipped and it was a basic error that cost us, which you can’t do much about as manager...

'We’ve got to get back to that clean sheet mentality because, if you let in cheap, sloppy opportunities, you give yourself an uphill battle whatever level you’re playing at.'

Gray was also unimpressed by his team’s efforts in the opposition box, particularly at corners, where Hamza Bencherif and Jordan Burrow both failed to convert a couple of chances apiece. Former Algerian under-20 international Bencherif has not scored now in 68 competitive matches for the Minstermen, while Burrow is yet to open his account since a summer move from Gateshead...

Gray was encouraged, though, by the performances of subs Jon Parkin and Langstaff, who combined for the hosts’ goal, after replacing Burrow and Jake Wright... Despite a smattering of boos at the interval and full-time, Gray also thanked City’s supporters for their backing...

'I don’t want to chop and change the back four and I think Sean Newton has been great in the first three games, so we’re looking to work with him there,' Gray explained. 'David Ferguson can be a full back, but I feel he’s better going forward than playing deeper and he also gives natural balance out there, being a left-footed player.'"

11 August 2018


Altrincham travel to County Durham today to take on Spennymoor Town for the first time. All the previous meetings between Altrincham and a Spennymoor football club were when the Moors were known as Spennymoor United.

Spennymoor United had 24 points deducted in 2004-05 for failing to fulfil their fixtures and effectively folded. However, the club was reformed as Spennymoor Town for the 2005-06 season, after merging with another local club, Evenwood.

Mike Garnett reminds us of Alty's historical record against the Moors:

  • At home: P5-W4-D1-L0-F15-A4
  • Away: P4-W2-D0-L2-F8-A4
  • All: P9-W6-D1-L2-F23-A8

Following today's game, Altrincham host FC United of Manchester on Tuesday at the J. Davidson Stadium.


Spennymoor Town "will be aiming to secure their first win of the 2018/19 season at home to an Altrincham side who have claimed four points from their opening two fixtures.

Glen Taylor’s 89th minute equaliser against Darlington on Tuesday evening means spirits will be high around The Brewery Field on Saturday afternoon despite the forecast looking gloomy after The Quakers had seemingly rode [sic] a second half blitz from Moors.

It was the least Jason Ainsley and his side deserved following a game packed with incident, brilliant goals and flare-ups. The performance of Mark Anderson, who was deployed on the right of midfield after David Foley was selected to play alongside Taylor upfront, was a major standout, and his angle-defying strike was the icing on the cake.

Two points from two games doesn’t tell the full story as the season reaches its week milestone. Anderson accepted that two points was a good return with the nature of the fixtures, but, also stressed that it was frustrating not to have claimed at least four from six when examining the missed chances in both matches.

Ainsley will be prepping his side accordingly as Moors aim to make it five points from a possible nine against newly promoted Altrincham... In Jordan Hulme, they possess a striker who netted 26 goals last term, 25% of Alty’s overall total in 2017/18, and he is the early front runner for the golden boot after two rounds of fixtures with three goals.

Ainsley spoke of similarities between the two clubs... Both sides have enjoyed a couple of eye catching campaigns in recent times and are both on the crest of a wave, so Saturday’s meeting is one which will no doubt live long in the memory.

Much like Spennymoor at the start of the 2017/18 season, Altrincham have began [sic] the season with a major spring in their step following promotion... Phil Parkinson’s side will make the trip to the North-East full of confidence and belief.

The bulk of their title winning squad has been retained, but Parkinson has added Elliot Wynne (right), Liam Goulding and Sean Williams... It’s undoubtedly exciting times at the club, with an industrious and skilful squad and a forward thinking manager at the helm. Could they be the surprise package of the season, and, in many ways, become the Spennymoor of 2018/19?"


Saturday's journey up the A1 to Spennymoor is the first of three successive journeys to the North-East for Altrincham. In a fortnight, Darlington will be the destination, and a week later Croft Park, Blyth is the venue.


Before Saturday's games the National League reported that "Two games in and just two sides go into the second Saturday of the season with 100 per cent records. Few expected Chorley and Bradford PA to be those unblemished teams, but what a start they’ve made to the new campaign.

The Magpies travel to Nuneaton Borough looking to make it three in a row, while Mark Bower’s Park Avenue are at Leamington...

Beaten Promotion Finalists Brackley Town got back on track on Tuesday and they’re looking to continue Darlington’s winless start to the new season this weekend at St James Park.

AFC Telford have “really impressed” new manager Gavin Cowan in their two games against Southport and Kidderminster...

Newcomers Hereford have looked comfortable so far. They face a trip to Manchester where Curzon Ashton need to put a 3-0 home defeat to Chester on Monday firmly out of their minds.

Altrincham have also stood out since promotion. They looked excellent at Southport on Tuesday night and go from the north west to the north east on Saturday with Spennymoor expecting them this weekend.

York City face Alfreton looking to build on the tense midweek victory over Stockport.

County themselves head to Southport with both sides hopeful of promotion. But so far it’s not gone well for Liam Watson and his side, who were under par at Telford and at home to Alty and are looking to register their first point of the season".

According to NL Daily "Nuneaton Borough have announced the signing of Jonathan Onyeaka... The powerful centre-back impressed when playing for Barwell against the Boro’ in a pre-season friendly between the two sides...

His previous career has seen a stint in the U.S. with the Jersey Express, before a move to Solihull Moors earlier this year."

Elsewhere "Boston United have parted company with experienced defender John McCombe by mutual consent. The 33-year-old centre-back, who joined the Pilgrims from Harrogate Town in the summer, has departed after cancelling his contract at The Jakemans Stadium...

McCombe’s exit was preceded by the arrival of Harrogate centre-half Toby Lees, 21, on a month’s loan on Tuesday... Lees will remain with the Pilgrims until September 8 initially. Goalkeeper Dylan Parkin, meanwhile, has joined Evo-Stik Division One East side Cleethorpes Town on a two-month loan deal... but the Pilgrims do have a 24-hour recall clause in the deal."

Stockport County confirm that "boss Jim Gannon has signed 20 year old left-back Josh Askew on a one-month loan from Salford City. Josh Askew made 37 appearances for Salford last season, having joined the Ammies last summer after nine years at Blackburn Rovers.

Naturally a full-back, the pacy defender can play as a wing-back and also made a number of appearances as a left winger during Salford’s promotion campaign last season...

Josh arrives to provide cover following a poor challenge on Scott Duxbury during the first half of Tuesday night’s narrow 1-0 defeat at York City... The tackle looks likely to keep the unfortunate 23-year-old full-back out of action for several weeks.

Jim said 'It should have been a red card... we need to go straight to a red card and get people like that off the pitch and out of the game'".

At Leamington manager "Paul Holleran has announced that summer signing Matt Stenson has agreed to sign a one year deal with the club.

Having joined from Barwell early in the close season, the powerful striker is already attracting envikid [envious?] glances after just two games for Brakes, and the manager was delighted to reveal that 'After talks that have been ongoing throughout pre season I am delighted to announce that Matt Stenson has agreed to sign a one year contract with the club,' said Holleran."

Hereford FC say that "A trip to Greater Manchester awaits for the Bulls’ third match of the season against ‘The Nash’ – Curzon Ashton F.C

With only two matches of the new season having taken place so far, it is still too early to really take recent form in to account when going in to these opening matches of the season. The Bulls will definitely be feeling that way going in to this match, with tomorrow’s opponents Curzon beating Darlington 2-1 on the opening day of the season away from home, before getting thrashed at home to Chester, 3-0. A mixed season so far for the Manchester outfit.

Finishing just two places above the relegation zone last season in 19th, Curzon’s Manager John Flanagan will be hoping for a much improved effort this term in the National League North...

Star Man – Ryan Brooke [a former Alty striker]. 27-year-old Ryan Brooke is a tall, powerful, quick forward player who could well cause a few problems for the Bulls defence this weekend.

Starting his career at Oldham Athletic, Brooke made an instant impact... Several loans then followed to National League sides Barrow and AFC Telford before the Holmes Chapel-born man made the permanent switch to Altrincham following his release from parent club Oldham.

Brooke made the move to Curzon after a stint at Nantwich Town and has now played over 39 times for The Nash, scoring 10 times in total."

In three weeks' time, Alty travel to Croft Park but for Chester FC "It’s the longest away trip of the season for the Blues this weekend, as a trip to Northumberland to face Blyth Spartans beckons...

At Curzon on Monday, the Blues were ruthless in a 3-0 victory... The boys in Blue sit third in the table.

Matty Hughes is in line to make his return following suspension, and Scott Burton might be in contention, although he will have to uproot Gary Roberts and Gary Stopforth who received lavish praise for their performances in the heart of midfield on Monday night.

On the other hand, Blyth are yet to get off the mark. Two games have seen two defeats for Alun Armstrong’s side... The last time the two teams met was all the way back in October 2003, and an FA Cup tie which the Blues won 1-0... This is a first ever league meeting between the teams".

Boston United "have completed the signing of experienced striker Craig Westcarr. The 33-year-old, who bagged 34 goals during two seasons with Alfreton Town, has linked up with the Pilgrims following a brief pre-season stint with Kettering Town.

Westcarr began his playing days at Nottingham Forest and has played for a variety of clubs during a long and distinguished career."

Alfreton Town "face York City... The Reds were dealt a set back on Tuesday night after a 3-1 defeat at Brackley which boss Billy Heath labelled as the poorest performance from his side since he joined the club...

Another tough away trip comes next with a possible last trip to Bootham Crescent before York move to a new stadium...

York have started the season with a 1-0 defeat at Chorley on the opening day, followed by a 1-0 home win over Stockport County on Tuesday... York City manager Martin Gray said, 'I was delighted with Tuesday's performance but it is one win and now it is back to business. This will be a real tough test and a different type of game, Billy Heath has been successful as a manager and he has brought in some good players over the summer. We need a strong mindset and we will need to match their physical presence.'"

10 August 2018


Details of the TASC supporters' travel to Spennymoor this Saturday are on the Away Travel page.

Information, from the Moors for visiting supporters to the Brewery Field, is to be found on the Altrincham FC official site.

Earlier this week, Spennymoor Town announced that they had "added two more new faces as Jason Ainsley puts the finishing touches to his squad for the 2018/19 campaign. Goalkeeper Chris Elliott and attacker Kevin Hayes signed over the weekend... Elliott, 26, left Alfreton at the end of 2017/18 and has been training with Spennymoor for weeks...

Hayes (19), meanwhile, joins fresh from his unforgettable FA Vase experience with Stockton Town in May, where he walked out onto the hallowed turf at Wembley Stadium. The tricky and versatile attacker is at home anywhere across the front line but was predominantly used out wide in his two seasons with the Anchors.

Jason Ainsley is pleased with the additions... 'Kevin is someone we have watched several times and he has impressed every time we have seen him play. We watched him during pre-season and it looked as though we might miss out after he really impressed on trial with Harrogate Town. Fortunately for us that didn’t pan out. Paul Midgley was instrumental in bringing Kevin to the club, having worked with him at Stockton. Kevin can play across the forward line and just behind, so he gives us a great option. He can go both ways and is very quick'...

Goalkeeper Elliott started his career with Bradford City, before having spells with Harrogate Town and Alfreton last season. With Matt Gould the only ‘keeper in the squad, Elliott represents both cover and another option to provide competition. Ainsley said 'It was important to bring in a goalkeeper who I believe will provide competition for Matty and in Chris I believe we have just that. He has National League North experience and he’s very vocal'".

Right: Rod Thornley and Steve Aspinall (with Mark Maddox in the background) leave the pitch at half-time at Spennymoor in February 2004, whilst manager Graham Heathcote discusses the match with the referee, Mr Curry. Altrincham's disappointing performance meant they could not complain too much about a 2-1 defeat, despite having taken the lead through an Ian Craney goal. At 1-1, the referee awarded a penalty against Mark Maddox for deliberate handball, when the ball was driven unavoidably against his arm; Cullen converted the spot-kick to win the game. Later, Gary Talbot was sent off following a melee, prompted by a challenge on Chris Adams. The Alty squad that day was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX (capt.), 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen ROSE, 7. Ged KIELTY, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Peter BAND, 11. Stuart WRIGHT. Subs: 12. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 14. Stephen LUNT, 15. Rod THORNLEY.


Mirroring an article on the Altrincham FC official site, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger has John Edwards's post-match interview with Alty manager Phil Parkinson following the victory at Southport...

'The lads were absolutely superb and thoroughly deserved the victory,' he said. 'I take great pleasure in it, because we all worked ever so hard for it in pre-season and are reaping the benefits, in terms of physical condition... To maintain those sort of fitness levels is phenomenal.

'Jake (left) was just exceptional. It was a real skipper’s performance, getting in blocks, tackles and headers but also being outstanding in possession... It was the complete holding midfielder’s performance. If the lads continue to play like that, they are going to be a real force this season...

But really do hope people will keep their feet firmly on the floor and maintain a sense of perspective, because we are new to this division and there will be twists and turns.'"


Highlights from Southport of their match against Altrincham on Tuesday are here.


According to NL Daily, "Blyth Spartans manager Alun Armstrong did not hold back when speaking to the club’s official website after Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bradford (Park Avenue).

The 43-year-old was particularly critical of the first half performance which he described as ‘disgusting’ and ‘unacceptable.’ Spartans fell behind after Jake Beesley, on loan from Salford City, beat the offside trap with relative ease before rounding Pete Jameson, midway through the first half.

'The first half was disgusting, we went through them at half time as the performance was unacceptable. At the moment we seem to be a little bit fragile and lack match fitness, we’ve worked them hard in pre-season but players have been missing for one reason or another and we haven’t been able to gel as I would have liked. We’ve also brought in a few players late in the day, which isn’t ideal...

'The lads need to take better care of themselves away from the club. I’ll do everything I can here to help them as players, but they need to take it on themselves to work at it away from training...

'We were really good in the second half, Jamie Holmes was exceptional after the break. We gave the lads a good bollocking and it did the trick, maybe that’s something we’ll have to do more of to get the guys to play. If we play like we did in the second half we’ll be fine, if we play like the first we’ll get a few hidings.'”

Alfreton Town report on their defeat at Brackley Town, when "Alfreton Town endured an awful Tuesday night in Northamptonshire when they had no answer to an onslaught from Brackley Town that frankly could have been much worse than the 3-1 score-line suggests.

Hopefully Billy Heath's newly assembled team will have suffered an early season blip and will be able to quickly rectify this set-back, but they certainly had keeper Sam Ramsbottom to thank for numerous saves on a night that saw Alfreton lose to Brackley for the first time in seven meetings; it was also the first time in four visits that the Reds had not won at St. James' Park...

There were injury worries for the Reds to contend with ahead of their next game away at York City, with Bobby Johnson picking up a groin strain midway through the game and defender Josh Wilde assisted off the pitch with 15 minutes remaining".

The Boston Standard reports that "Spencer Harris is happy to be Boston United’s utility man, as long as he has a place in the team. Harris was touted as a combative midfielder on his arrival at the Jakemans Stadium this summer, but found himself kicking off the campaign in central defence...

'I played centre back when I was younger at Huddersfield, but the last two seasons I’ve played midfield, scored a few goals and thought I would play there,' Harris told The Standard. 'But Craig (Elliott) has asked me to play centre half and I took up the chance. I’d rather be in the team, so I’ll play anywhere for the team. Right back, centre back, striker, I’ll give it a go.'

Manager Elliott has brought in defender Toby Lees since the opening day, but Harris took his place in the back four for Tuesday’s defeat at Leamington.

'But I will be loyal if you put performances in,' Elliott said... Harris took his place in defence at the expense of out-of-favour John McCombe, who was an unused substitute... When asked if he remains in the manager’s plans, Elliott said, 'Yes, for now... Even the lads who started, I expect more from. I’m not coming away thinking we’re the real deal yet by any means.'" said the former Shaw Lane manager.

In West Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus says that "Guiseley joint-manager Russ O'Neill says his team need to 'wise up' after his side lost their second successive game of the new season. The Lions crashed to a 2-0 home defeat against Chorley, following a 1-0 reverse at Boston United on the opening day...

Now O'Neill hopes his side can bounce back when they host Telford United at Nethermoor on Saturday, followed by a trip to Edgeley Park... The joint boss says his players were devastated after Tuesday's defeat, which he said was an improvement on their opening day display...

O'Neill said, 'Chorley understand what it takes to win in this division. They kept a clean sheet. Fair play to them. They looked physical and strong and the goals went against us at critical times. Chorley had lots of experience. They played the game right and played the game well...

'Their goal came against the run of play... The manner of the defeat on Tuesday, was different to Saturday... The lads were devastated after Tuesday night's game but they will bounce back...

'We have got a couple of key injuries at the moment... but we move on and we look forward to Saturday'".


The Chester Chronicle tells us that "Changes have been made to how yellow cards shown to players will impact suspensions this season in different competitions. Chester FC [and Altrincham] are plying their trade in the National League North this campaign, the sixth tier of English football and at step three of the pyramid.

The FA has sent a memo to clubs in step five and below of the system saying that yellow cards will only count towards suspensions in the competition they were issued in. It means that cautions issued by matchday referees in the likes of the FA Cup and FA Trophy... will only apply to those competitions and not have an impact on others, such as the league.

The memo said, 'For the FA Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase, the accumulation of yellow cards will be competition specific. This will operate similar to the Champions' League and Europa League, where a player accumulates two yellow cards in the competition will miss the next game in that competition. The caution count will only apply up to and including the quarter-finals for each competition. Cautions received in these competitions will therefore not count in the caution tally for the 5/10/15 sanction process.

'It should be noted this regulation is for cautions only and dismissals remain unaffected'.

Chester [and Alty] enter the FA Cup at the second qualifying stage, with a game due to take place on Saturday, September 22. They will join the FA Trophy later on this year at the third qualifying round with a match date pencilled in towards the end of November."

9 August 2018


With their second successive win, Altrincham FC Reserves went to the top of The Cheshire Football League Premier Division on Tuesday night, with a 3-1 win in an away fixture at their landlords, Egerton Football Club.

First-team squad member Bay Downing (right) was in the Alty starting eleven and he scored twice, with Tom Westall netting the other goal. The squad comprised (A/Z order) Madison Davis, Bay Downing, Matthew Graetzer, Fergus Grogan, Andrew Jones (gk), Callum Jones, Shaun Muscroft, Dylan Scanlon, Joel Swift, Tom Westall. Substitutes: Tom Clarke, Harry Swift, Joseph Wyers-Roebuck


John Edwards's match report on the game at Southport is on the Altrincham FC official website.

The Sandgrounders have a post-match interview with Southport manager Liam Watson here, in which he laments John Johnston's goal as "such a poor, poor goal to give away" and he also regrets not exploiting the fact that JJ "has obviously got weaknesses in his game and we did not make the most of them"!

Above: Alty line up at Haig Avenue. Left to right: Johnston, Hampson, Hulme, Daniels, White, Goulding, Williams, Harrop, Jones, Thompson, Moult

Meanwhile, Southport also tell us that Port "arrived at the Merseyrail Community Stadium looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat, but in the end it turned out to be a frustrating evening for Southport.

The Sandgrounders conceded three times in the second half to lose against Altrincham as a squad with many new summer additions continues to try to find its feet.

Having conceded shortly after half-time before levelling through Jordan Richards’ excellent 25-yard free-kick, the biggest regret for the home team was probably that they failed to capitalise on the pressure that followed their equaliser and an apparent position of strength... but just when it looked like Southport were forcing the issue, they conceded again to John Johnston and were unable to recover.

Apart from the pressure after their goal, the Sandgrounders will be disappointed that they were unable to give a good crowd of 1,268 something to cheer. Their team included four changes to the team defeated at AFC Telford United on Saturday but again they struggled to settle into the game...

Altrincham were the brighter team in the first half, Connor Hampson dragging a shot across the face of the before the talented Johnston, with a glimpse of what was to come from him, hit a bouncing ball viciously from the right which flashed narrowly wide... In Jordan Hulme, Altrincham possess another gifted attacker and the Sandgrounders were grateful to goalkeeper Dan Hanford for a splendid save to turn over his powerful shot...

Five minutes after the re-start, Hanford produced another fine stop, displaying his reflexes to deny Brandon Daniels. This time, however, the ball broke loose and the quickest to react was Liam Goulding, who stabbed home a shot to put Altrincham in front.

Southport’s response was good and there was quality to the equaliser from Richards seven minutes later, bending a free-kick into the left side of the goal and past the reach of goalkeeper Thompson.

It was the cue for the Sandgrounders to push forward, as an effort from Gilchrist was scrambled off the goal-line... Yet it was Altrincham who would seize the initiative, Johnston restoring their advantage with a brilliant strike from outside the area before Hulme added a third with a shot that squirmed over the line".

Southport aso report "Now the National League North campaign is underway, Southport Football Club can provide some clarity to supporters on the following injuries to first team players.

Elliot Osborne (toe impact injury) trained all week before the opening league game without any problems after bruising and swelling from the Barrow friendly. Unfortunately, in the Telford game he sustained a blow to the toe again in the first few minutes which caused significant pain and discomfort. Swelling continued and an x-ray was taken at the weekend. He will return to training once it settles to avoid any further problems, hence why he didn’t feature for the club against Altrincham.

Dean Winnard (groin pain) From a previous sportsman’s hernia surgery in May 2018.

Andy Parry (hamstring) Suffered this injury in the open, public pre-season friendly at Radcliffe back at the start of July. Andy has had problematic issues with his right knee before this injury and is being addressed through gym based rehab and agility-landing drills... There is a view to phasing him back into training over the next few weeks.

Brad Bauress (left knee)... suffered pain after a running session.. A mild sprain has happened.

Liam Martin (ACL) It’s now been nearly six months after his reconstruction and he is progressing really well

All other squad players are fit and available for training and selection this week".


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to County Durham, where Spennymoor Town will be their opponents. Details of the TASC supporter's coach to this game are on the Away Travel page.

From there, Spennymoor Town report how "Rivals Spennymoor Town and Darlington played out a blood-and-thunder 2-2 draw at The Brewery Field on Tuesday evening. A stoppage time Glen Taylor header earned Moors a share of the spoils after Darlington looked to have done enough to take three points home thanks to a Reece Styche strike and a Stephen Thompson penalty.

Mark Anderson capped his man-of-the-match performance with a peach of a goal for the first of Moors’ equalisers.

Jason Ainsley named an unchanged starting 11 following the 0-0 draw at Chester the previous Saturday, hoping for a repeat of the defensive solidity the Moors showed at Swansway... Those who deny the fixture’s derby status certainly haven’t spoken much with the players. Tempers flared throughout, but never more so than in the 13thminute when a late Wheatley challenge on Taylor sparked a bout of pushing and shoving, mainly involving Ramshaw and Styche, who renewed hostilities throughout the game...

But the game was too open for either manager’s liking and the breakthrough came... when Stephen Thompson’s sumptuous pass into the right hand channel carved the Moors defence open and played Styche through on goal. He elected to dribble around Matt Gould, who brought him down to give Darlington the chance to open the scoring from the spot. Thompson made no mistake...

Darlington were happy for the game to stop and start with niggling fouls and slow set pieces. Their fans even joined in by throwing a red flare into Gould’s goalmouth, slowing progress further.

The pace seemed to be slowing, but the ever-dangerous Anderson had other ideas, dribbling across the face of the box and looping a seemingly impossible shot into the far right corner completely out the blue. It was an early goal-of-the-season contender which will take some topping. Moors were enjoying themselves and went hunting for a second...

Another great ball down Moors’ right saw the speedy Trotman reach the byline on 39 minutes and, after sending Johnson the wrong way, he found Styche. The broad-shouldered frontman dummied a shot, before tucking home from 14 yards.

A flurry of yellow cards followed, including one apiece for Ainge and Curtis as they wrestled on the floor on the edge of Moors’ penalty area... The second half had slightly less incident than the first as Darlington managed their way through the game effectively...

Wave after wave of Spennymoor attacks failed to create a clear cut opportunity and the hosts looked to be out of ideas... It wasn’t until the third minute of injury time that Moors finally found the breakthrough and it was last season’s top scorer Glen Taylor who opened his account at the perfect moment. Brogan’s deep delivery saw Taylor dominate at the back post and direct an inch-perfect looping header into the top left corner.

It was the least Spennymoor deserved after having the lion’s share of the attempts on goal"...

Spennymoor: 1 Matthew Gould, 2 Callum Williams, 3 Stephen Brogan, 4 Jamie Chandler, 5 Kris Thackray, 6 James Curtis, 7 Andrew Johnson, 8 Robert Ramshaw, 9 Glen Taylor, 10 Mark Anderson, 11 David Foley. Subs: 12 Shane Henry, 13 Christopher Elliott (gk), 14 Kevin Hayes, 15 Jake Hibbs, 16 Adam Boyes.

Alty also travel to Darlington this month, (August 25th) and their line-up was: 1 Jonathan Maddison, 2 Luke Trotman, 3 Ben O’Hanlon, 4 Tom Elliott, 5 Dominic Collins, 6 Terrence Galbraith, 7 Alex Henshall, 8 Josef Wheatley, 9 Reece Styche, 10 Simon Ainge, 11 Stephen Thompson. Subs: 12 David Syers, 13 Matthew Bancroft (gk), 14 Jordan Nicholson, 15 Jack Vaulks, 16 Harvey Saunders


From the Chester Chronicle we read "A round-up of all the action from Tuesday night's Vanarama National League North games.

Chester FC 's convincing 3-0 win at Curzon Ashton on Monday night... lifted Chester to the summit of the National League North, if only for 24 hours.

Last night (Tuesday) saw the rest of the division head into battle... with plenty of interesting scorelines emerging from the evening. After last night's results the Blues sit in third place...

  • Blyth Spartans 1 Bradford (Park Avenue) 2: Chester's opponents this weekend have two losses from two games and sit second bottom after a home defeat to the Yorkshire side on Tuesday night. Jake Beesley netted a brace for Park Avenue, opening the score on 11 minutes before adding his second five minutes from time... Sean Reid pulled one back for the home side...

  • Brackley Town 3 Alfreton Town 1: Two teams who are tipped to do well this season met at St James Park where a brace from one-time Chester midfielder Shepherd Murombedzi inside the opening 15 minutes sent Kevin Wilkin's men on their way to the three points. Richard Peniket pulled one back for Billy Heath's men just before the break but Lee Ndlovu sealed the points 10 minutes later.
  • FC United of Manchester 3 Ashton United 4: FC United [the next visitors to Altrincham] prop up the table after two games after throwing away a 3-1 lead to go down 4-3 at home to promoted Ashton. Having been beaten 5-1 in their opening game by Stockport County, FC United looked like bouncing back at Broadhurst Park after Matt Chadwick's early penalty was cancelled out by goals from Kurt Willougby, Harry Winter and Jack Banister to have the home side in control at the break.

    But they crumbled after half time when Liam Tomsett, Nic Evangelinos and Dom McHale netted for Ashton to help them record their first three points since earning promotion...

  • Guiseley 0 Chorley 2: It hasn't been the best of starts for former Chester boss Marcus Bignot and his co-manager Russ O'Neill at Nethermoor. Bignot was a spectator on Monday as Chester beat Curzon Ashton but 24 hours later his side, which included ex-Blues players Kingsley James and Andy Halls, were beaten by a Chorley side who have taken an early lead at the top of the National League North table. A goal in each half from Alex Newby and Adam Blakeman bagged the points for the visitors.
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0 AFC Telford United 0: Harriers visit Chester on Tuesday and remain in search of their first win after a second draw in succession. A dogged and resilient Telford side, who opened their season with a win over Southport on Saturday, earned themselves an impressive point on the road at Aggborough...
  • Leamington 2 Boston United 0: Possibly the surprise result of the evening. Leamington have been tipped to struggle this season while Boston, who made some eye-catching signings over the summer, are expected to be battling at the right end. But 10-man Leamington, who had Callum Gitting sent off just after the hour mark, netted through Matt Stenson and Junior English to ensure they picked up their first three points of the season.
  • Nuneaton Borough 0 Hereford FC 0: It was defences on top at Liberty Way...
  • Southport 1 Altrincham 3: It has not been a good start for Liam Watson and his assistant, former Chester manager Jon McCarthy. Expected to be challenging for a National League return at the end of the season the Sandgrounders were beaten at Telford on Saturday and were on the wrong end of a 3-1 result at home to promoted Altrincham...
  • Spennymoor Town 2 Darlington 2: Spennymoor were impressive at Chester on Saturday when they earned a 0-0 draw. But they left it late to snatch another point on Tuesday when Glen Taylor netted an 89th minute leveller in an entertaining clash at Brewery Field...
  • York City 1 Stockport County 0: Two teams who are expected to go hammer and tongs at the title this season met at Bootham Crescent where a goal from ex-Wrexham winger, the aptly named Wes York, settled the points for the home side with 14 minutes remaining. Chester managers Johnson and Morley, with a free evening having played 24 hours previous, were in attendance to cast their eye over two of their rivals this season."
Tuesday gates in the Vanarama National League North were as follows...
  • Att. 661 Blyth Spartans 1 - 2 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Att. 505 Brackley Town 3 - 1 Alfreton Town
  • Att. 1562 FC United Of Manchester 3 - 4 Ashton United
  • Att. TBA Guiseley 0 - 2 Chorley
  • Att. 1778 Kidderminster Harriers 0 - 0 AFC Telford United
  • Att. 656 Leamington 2 - 0 Boston United
  • Att. 895 Nuneaton Borough 0 - 0 Hereford
  • Att. 1268 Southport 1 - 3 Altrincham
  • Att. 1768 Spennymoor Town 2 -2 Darlington
  • Att. 3218 York City 1 - 0 Stockport County


The National League tells us that "Kidderminster manager Neil MacFarlane says his side totally dominated against AFC Telford. But the Harriers boss wasn’t too down that they still haven’t got a win on the board. Their 0-0 draw at home to the Bucks followed Saturday’s 3-3 thriller at Alfreton...

'It was a typical derby in that it was frenetic at times and we just needed to be a bit calmer in that final moment,' he said. 'But in terms of the other side of the game, we gave up no chances really; our organisation was very good, and our work ethic was very good. We just need to tidy up that final moment, but the clean sheet is a positive. “At the start of the match we started with the energy and tempo that I want to see from the side and, as the game went on, we were really on top and the second half was total domination'".

The Hereford Times tells us that "A goalkeeper has turned down an offer to play for Hereford FC just as manager Pete Beadle thought a deal was going to be done.

'It was a change of heart a little bit,' said Beadle. 'We made him an offer and he didn’t want to do anything about it, he then had a think about it on Saturday and thought "what am I doing sat here on my sofa with all the football results coming up?".

'He did a bit of u-turn on Sunday and drove down to Birmingham on Monday; as far as I was aware, it was all agreed. Unfortunately, he had a change of heart. It’s disappointing for us because we spent so many days trying to do it but it happens sometimes. He feels he will get another offer to go back into full-time football sooner rather than later. Once you’re out of the game and become non-relevant and nobody knows where you are you get soon forgotten.'

On the pitch Hereford were held to a goalless draw by a full-time Nuneaton Borough side and Beadle thought his side should have taken their first half chances. 'We’ve played a full-time team and that showed in the second half as they still looked strong,' Beadle added. 'I thought first half we totally dominated the game but in the second half there was no way they were going to let us do what we did in the first half. Martin (Horsell) hasn’t had a save to make so we were a little bit disappointed we didn’t take most of our chances in the first half and possession but [we have] two clean sheets and four points on the board.'

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Here's why Chester FC's longest away day of the season has come at the perfect time. Anthony Johnson believes that the season’s longest away day this weekend couldn’t have been better timed for he and Bernard Morley’s Chester FC squad. The Blues bosses take their side a near eight-hour round trip this weekend to take on Blyth Spartans, buoyed by a four-point haul from their opening two games after a 0-0 draw at home to Spennymoor Town on the opening day was followed by a 3-0 win at Curzon Ashton on Monday night .

The Chester squad has already become a close knit group, but with 16 new players and two new managers there is still a closer bond that can be forged. And for Johnson, hours on a coach to the North East at such an early stage of the season has come at the perfect time.

'Me and Bernard were saying the other day that the fixtures had been kind to us early on in terms of location and having the chance to travel as a squad on the longest away day of the season is a big plus,' said Johnson. 'Because we are part time we don’t get as much time together as a group, which is why it is so important that we forge that spirit when we are together. A coach trip up to Blyth will be a bonus for us. We don’t have lads banging in their headphones, putting on music and ignoring their team-mates for the journey. That doesn’t happen.

'We’re a team and we make sure that we bond and we have a giggle on the way up and make sure the lads are relaxed. It’s never ideal spending hours on a coach to away games but me and Bernard have a good record when it comes to long away days. Hopefully that can continue this weekend.'

Johnson and Morley’s side sit third in the National League North after two games after Tuesday night’s results threw up some surprises , with a number of teams tipped to do well having struggled to get on the board as yet. But Johnson ... said 'It’s a cliché but you can’t read anything into who might do what until 10 games in. There are a few sides who haven’t got a point yet who should do well... If someone would have given us the results in the first two games at the start of the season then I think we would have taken it as we’ve been solid and given ourselves something to work on and that has meant that the buzz around the place that was evident through pre-season has continued for that little bit longer.

'Blyth is a tough place to go but they have lost their first two games and will keen to get up and running. We can’t be complacent'".

Alfreton Town report that "Cieron Keane has left the club by mutual agreement. Keane departs the club after making 29 appearances last season with two coming from the bench, scoring three goals".

Meanwhile, the Boston Standard reports that manager "Craig Elliott has been left demanding more from his strikeforce as Boston United were beaten at Leamington...

'Really frustrated,' said Elliott. 'We started well but in the end we got non-leagued, if that’s a word. They managed the game a lot better than we did. No excuse, we should have done better.'

Boston created chances but failed to really test home keeper Tony Breeden, leaving Elliott wanting more from his attackers. 'I thought we looked weak in attacking areas, we got brushed off the ball a lot', he added. 'Their desire levels, unfortunately, were a lot greater than ours. We had the best chances of the game, we started really well. But we didn’t test the keeper enough'.

Commenting further on his attack line, Elliott added 'They’ve got to be accountable. We need more. On paper we’ve got some good players but I think they need to show more, if I’m being honest about it. They need to be more clinical, lively and harder to play against... The reality of the league is it’s going to be very up and down', he said. 'We’ve just got to take the bumps along the road really'".

Across the country, the Shropshire Star says that "Boss Gavin Cowan has hinted he is aiming to mount a play-off push with AFC Telford United this season. The Bucks picked up a point at Kidderminster Harriers...

'I had a question for the lads at the start of the game, before we went out,' said Cowan after the 0-0 draw at Aggborough. 'I said "what do you want to be this season, a team struggling against relegation, in mid-table or in and around the play-offs? Where is it you want to be?".

'If you want to be anywhere outside the play-offs you’ll come here and get turned over. If you have aspirations to do well, you have to come to places like this and win or get something out of it. It’s early days. We’ve got four points out of six, it’s a great start, but I’m more optimistic about the performances... and hoping results take care of themselves.'

It was not an action-packed affair at Aggborough but Telford had Shrewsbury Town loanee Ryan Sears to thank for a goal-line block in stoppage time.

On the performance, Cowan said... 'We decided to go all out, instead of coming and sitting back and letting them play. We decided to press them really high and ask questions of them, which I feel like we did. They had a lot of possession and they’re clearly a very good team'...

Sears came in for Steph Morley, who is dealing with a slight knock. Addressing the left-back’s condition, Cowan added 'He picked up a calf problem on Saturday and it’s precautionary... It probably wasn’t Steph’s forte. We wanted to combat Lee Vaughan and I wanted to play Ross White up against him.'"

NL Today has a post-match interview with manager Jim Gannon after his Stockport County side lost at York City on Tuesday night.

8 August 2018


Altrincham moved up to fifth place in the Vanarama National League North with this well deserved win, their first at Haig Avenue for more than 20 years. Altrincham had much the better of a goalless first half in which they won the corner count 6-2 and troubled the home keeper far more than Tony Thompson was disturbed in the Robins' goal.

The visitors took the lead five minutes after the break when Liam Goulding scored from close range after the Port keeper had been unable to hold a Brendon Daniels shot from a free-kick lay-off. But Southport equalised seven minutes later when Richards's freekick, for a dubiously awarded infringement by Jake Moult, left Thompson flat-footed in the Altrincham goal.

Port then enjoyed their best spell of the evening before Alty restored their lead with a wonderful goal by John Johnston, who finished off his advance into the box with a flicked shot across keeper Hanford, following a feed from Hancock (71 mins). Five minutes later Jordan Hulme settled the outcome when he turned well and got in a shot which Hanford fumbled into his own net, with Hancock following-up to make sure that his team-mate's effort had crossed the line. It was Hulme's goal.

After that any Port resistance crumbled and Altrincham emerged comfortable winners.

Above, right: Alty celebrate their opening goal.

Altrincham made one change from last Saturday's line-up, with Williams starting in place of Hancock, who came on in the second-half as a substitute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Brendon DANIELS. Subs: 12. Josh HANCOCK, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Ben HARRISON, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Tuesday 7 August 2018
  • Blyth Spartans 1-2 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Brackley Town 3-1 Alfreton Town
  • FC United of Manchester 3-4 Ashton United
  • Guiseley 0-2 Chorley
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 AFC Telford United
  • Leamington 2-0 Boston United
  • Nuneaton Borough 0-0 Hereford
  • Southport 1-3 Altrincham
  • Spennymoor Town 2-2 Darlington
  • York City 1-0 Stockport County


Altrincham's next match is on Saturday, away to Spennymoor Town. You can book your seat on the TASC supporters' coach to County Durham by contacting the club offices during normal working hours. Timings and fares are on the Away Travel page.


Altrincham supporter John Henderson informs us of "a sponsored walk I'm doing for the Alzheimer's Society". More on this will appear in due course in the Altrincham FC matchday programme and their social media channels but as John explains, the walk has "got an Alty FC theme and the club has agreed to make the home fixture against York on 17th November an Alzheimer Society Charity day. Part of that will see Julie and myself presenting the shirts (washed and framed) back to the clubs as a memento. I did something similar a few years ago when I went to China (see below). The club has also agreed for us to hold a collection at the home game vs FCUM a week on Tuesday".

This time around, in 2018, as a press release explains, "Julie Lee and John Henderson are uniting two football rivals by walking a marathon length of Hadrian’s Wall for Alzheimer's Society.

Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging us all to be 'United Against Dementia' so, Vanarama National League rivals York City FC and Altrincham FC are doing just that by helping raise sponsorship for the charity.

Both live in York but, for the full 26 miles of the trek, lifelong “Alty” fan John will don a Minstermen shirt, whilst Julie, a native of the City, will wear the Robins’ famous red and white stripes.

They aim to raise more than £1,000 by walking the iconic Wall on 11th August.

Alzheimer’s Society is transforming the landscape of dementia forever. Until the day we find a cure, we will create a society where those affected by dementia are supported and accepted, able to live in their community without fear or prejudice.

Above: Julie receives her Altrincham shirt from Club captain Jake Moult and John is given his York City top from Foundation Manager, Paula Stainton.

John said, 'I have decided to take part in this challenge for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my late Dad who lived with the condition, Julie adding 'It’s great to think that we’ll be raising funds to help support people living with dementia now and to fund research to one day find a cure.'

Alzheimer's Society, Community Fundraiser Stephanie Larkin welcomed Julie and John’s decision to help raise money for the charity. She said:

'It’s wonderful that Julie and John are giving their time to support Alzheimer’s Society. Dementia devastates lives, but dementia won’t win. Until the day we find a cure we will be here for anyone affected by dementia, where they are, whatever they’re going through. We need more people like (name) to join us now and unite against dementia.'

To sponsor Julie and John please visit their Just Giving site.

Alzheimer's Society has a fantastic range of events both in the UK and abroad. Unite with us now here".

Pictured right is John in November 2013 when, as a volunteer with The Alzheimer’s Society, he had just returned from China. He and a group trekked 100km along The Great Wall in 6 days to increase awareness of the work the charity does and to raise donations for this very worthy cause. A number of football clubs, including Altrincham FC, were delighted to sponsor John including donating a shirt, which he wore on this mission. He even managed to arrange a 7 a-side game on The Wall itself, an historical first and all in Skrill North shirts!

Above, right: John is pictured with the much travelled shirt and Altrincham FC chairman, Grahame Rowley.


Alty TV has highlights of the draw between Altrincham and Leamington, here.


The Altrincham FC official site reports on the Altrincham FC Ladies' 5-0 away win against Boltonians Ladies in a pre-season game.


After Monday's fixture, Chester FC reported that "Chester climbed top of the National League North, for 24 hours at leastm with a clinical and organised display at [Curzon Ashton's] Tameside Stadium. First half goals from Simon Grand and Anthony Dudley set the tone for an excellent night's work for ‘Bern and Jonno’, before John Pritchard struck on the hour mark to make it three goals and three points.

It was an unchanged starting XI from Saturday’s curtain-raising goalless draw with Spennymoor and it was the hosts who started brightly. It might have been a different game had Chris Sharp taken his chance on nine minutes...

Simon Grand escaped his marker to bullet a header home at the near post... This game is all about being ruthless and Chester were exactly that in front of goal. Salford City loanee striker Anthony Dudley was the man to double the advantage. Gary Roberts’ clipped ball forward got round the Curzon defence, with the help of Gary Stopforth, allowing Dudley to rifle a low volley in at the near post from a tight angle.

Two became three on the hour mark. A dart into the box from Captain Roberts allowed to him tee up Dominic Smalley – who sent a dangerous cross from the right to the back post. Pritchard was lurking as the ball hit the back of the net – possibly off a defender... The Blues looked solid and organised at the back...

Chester FC: Shenton, Dom Smalley (Thomson 81), Howson, Grand, Livesey, Pritchard, Roberts, Stopforth, Mooney (Brown 72), Tuton (Mahon 69), Dudley."

Darlington announce that "striker James Caton has gone to EvoStik League Warrington Town on a month’s loan. James has not been part of Tommy Wright’s plans in pre-season".

Off the pitch, Southport "have recently partnered with Ainsdale Fine Chocolate and are proud to announce they have become the official supplier of fine chocolate. [The company has a] boutique chocolaterie, patisserie café in Ainsdale, Merseyside. All chocolate work is hand crafted onsite using traditional methods of tempering chocolate, moulding and filling pralines, by chocolatier Robert Swinden... The company have put a British twist on chocolate recipes, having already prepared and supplied chocolate work for numerous sporting projects including the popular Everton Toffee Mint Chocolate, Liverpool FC Chocolate, LFC Easter eggs and Aintree & Haydock racecourse jockey caps chocolate..

For the 2018/19 season Southport FC have two very special treats for fans to enjoy whilst at the match. They have commissioned Sandgrounder Caramel Chocolates and Mini Chocolate Footballs exclusively for the club. Available to buy from the Club Shop and around the ground, as well as being an important part of the corporate hospitality offer to club guests, there is no doubt the chocolates will be a great addition to the match-day experience".

However, Southport Football Club "can confirm that David Broadbent has left the club in the role of Business Development Manager, by mutual agreement... The vacant full-time position is currently being advertised".

Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "At the request of F.C. United the visit to Broadhurst Park has been moved from Saturday 1st September, to Sunday 2nd September".

7 August 2018


Altrincham travel to Southport on Tuesday evening, with both teams looking for their first win of the campaign. Alty shared the points at home with Leamington whilst Southport lost by the only goal of the match at AFC Telford United. As Mike Garnett's data show, Haig Avenue has not been a happy hunting ground for the Robins with just three wins in fourteen visits.

  • At Home: P19-W10-D5-L4-F27-A22
  • Away: P14-W3-D3-L8-F16-A25
  • All: P33-W13-D8-L12-F43-A47

Southport's sqaud on Saturday comprised (4-3-3): Hanford, Richards, Langley, Astles, Priestley, Lowe, Osborne (Morgan 59), Lynch, Phenix (Gilchrist 71), Sampson, Green (Charles 59). Subs not used: Mueller, Winnard.

The Port's manager this season is Liam Watson, with his assistant manager being Jon McCarthy.

In their squad, as listed on their website is former Alty player David Lynch (right), who had a spell with AFC Halifax Town after leaving Moss Lane, and loanee Andy Parry. Other well-known faces now at Southport include former Chester defender Ryan Astles, and former Salford City forward Mike Phenix.


Southport proclaim that "The moment has nearly arrived where we can welcome everyone to our newly refurbished Merseyrail Community Stadium for our opening home league fixture". The Stadium is at Haig Avenue, Southport, PR8 6JZ.

"In partnership with Kaizen Ticketing, Southport Football Club now operates cashless turnstiles. This means the following options are available to gain entry:

  • Buy online. Online sales close at midday on Tuesday 7 August. Once purchased your ticket can be scanned from your phone at the turnstile.
  • Visit the Club Shop to buy a ticket prior to going through the turnstile. The Club Shop, situated on Haig Avenue, is open from 12pm on Tuesday 7 August.
  • Altrincham FC received 250 tickets to sell in advance of the fixture. Any remaining tickets and details are available through the visiting side.


  • Adults – £15 Main Stand, £13.50 Terracing
  • Concessions (O65/Student ID) – £11 Main Stand, £10 Terracing
  • 12-18 – £5 All Areas
  • U11 – Free with a paying adult/concession for all areas.

The match-day programme is priced at £2.50.

The club has a small car park that is for players, guests and officials only. Therefore supporters have to park in the surrounding streets... For more secure parking, home and away supporters are able to use the off-road parking facilities at KGV College... a short five-minute walk along Scarisbrick New Road from Haig Avenue.

The newly refurbished [lounge] area will be open to supporters for pre and post-match drinks from 5pm after an official unveiling... In addition to this the club have also improved the catering offer inside the ground. Working with Willow Catering there are vans/kiosks at both ends of the ground for people to take advantage of your usual hot and cold match-day food and drink, including alcoholic beverages and fish finger butties!"


Monday 6 August 2018
  • Curzon Ashton 0-3 Chester, att 977


The National League says that "Big scorelines, shock wins, great crowds and entertainment by the bucket load. It’s like it’s not been away. The National League North was brought back to life this weekend, and now we need a team to go with it. It wasn’t easy, but we think this side would be quite formidable going by the feedback we’ve received.

We talk to those involved in the game to make sure our select side is on the money each week as we give the standout stars the recognition they deserve. Managers, club officials and journalists help us to piece together a team to be proud of".

The Team of the Week includes Alty's Jordan Hulme (right), for his two goals against Leamington. The full list is below...

  • Goalkeeper: Matthew Gould (Spennymoor)
  • Defenders: Adam Blakeman (Chorley), Theo Street (AFC Telford), Danny Livesey (Chester)
  • Midfielders: Nathan Arnold (Boston United), Ben McKenna (Bradford Park Avenue AFC), Paul Turnbull (Stockport County), Dan Bradley (Kidderminster)
  • Strikers: Harry White (Hereford), Jordan Hulme (Altrincham), Matt Warburton (Stockport County)
  • Substitutes: Scott Leather (Chorley), Chris Rowney (Curzon Ashton), Aaron Chalmers (Ashton United), Eliot Richards (Hereford), Jack Edwards (Leamington)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Stockport County’s Jim Gannon just pips AFC Telford boss Gavin Cowan and Curzon’s John Flanagan.


The Yorkshire Evening Post tells us that "Guiseley marked their return to the National League North with disappointing a 1-0 defeat away to Boston United. Their first game back in the division for three seasons since their relegation during the last campaign saw the Lions lose to another side who will be aiming for promotion...

While not many key chances were created, there was almost an opening goal for the Lions when a long throw by Niall Heaton caused problems for Boston... Both sides made substitutions that helped restore the flow of the game, with one of the fresh players coming on and winning the game for the hosts. United took the lead with a quarter of an hour to go, when substitute Andre Johnson picked up a pass by Marriott and made no mistake with a smart finish...

After the defeat Guiseley joint-manager Russ O’Neill said 'It was disappointing to lose in what was a tight game'".

The Stoke Sentinel reports that "Port Vale midfielder Mike Calveley went in goal for Nuneaton Borough in their game at Ashton United on Saturday. The 19 year old took over between the sticks for the final ten minutes after goalkeeper Louis Gray was sent off. But the Vale youngster kept a clean sheet as Nuneaton held on for a goalless draw...

Calveley came through the youth system at Vale to sign his first professional contract 12 months ago. He didn't get a chance in the first team last season but manager Neil Aspin felt the teenager hadn't had much opportunity to show what he can do and, having been impressed with his attitude, offered him a new 12 month deal this summer.

Calveley has joined Nuneaton on loan, as has Valiants' forward Dior Angus. Both players started Saturday's game, but Angus was substituted 20 minutes from time for former Vale winger Enoch Andoh who signed a deal with Nuneaton last week."

According to the Chester Chronicle "joint-manager Anthony Johnson says Monday's clash at Curzon Ashton may come too soon for club captain Scott Burton. Owing to a calf injury, Burton was ruled out of Saturday's season curtain raiser at home to Spennymoor Town where the Blues were held to a 0-0 draw by the North East visitors .

Also absent on Saturday was new signing Deane Smalley, with the striker forced to sit out the clash due to an 'admin issue'. He could come into contention for this evening's encounter at the Tameside Stadium, although impressive performances at the weekend from front two Anthony Dudley and Shaun Tuton in particular could mean he has to settle for a place on the bench.

Matty Hughes will serve the second of a two-game ban carried over from last season tonight while George Green could be a couple of weeks away from fitness as he overcomes a lower back injury...

'Scott Burton will probably be next week (at Blyth Spartans)... probably. There is a possibility for Monday night but it will probably be Saturday, and then the same with Matty Hughes (banned for one more game). 90 more minutes and we should get a few more bodies back into the squad." said Johnson.

6 August 2018


Last Saturday's game against Leamington saw two Altrincham players make their fiftieth starts for the Club.

Goalkeeper Tony Thompson has made exactly 50 starts, whereas Josh Hancock (right) has additionally made three appearances from the bench. Both men joined the Club in summer 2017.

John Edwards's report on Saturday's draw with Leamington is here.


You can follow Alty to their two away fixtures in the coming week by booking your seat on the TASC supporters' coach. Alty travel to Southport on Tuesday and to Spennymoor next Saturday. Full details of these trips are on the Away Travel page


On Tuesday, Alty travel to Haig Avenue, where Southport are one of nine former (or reincarnated) Football League clubs in the National League North this season. Mike Garnett provides data on our previous encounters...

  • At Home: P19-W10-D5-L4-F27-A22
  • Away: P14-W3-D3-L8-F16-A25
  • All: P33-W13-D8-L12-F43-A47

Southport report that "After an unsuccessful start to the new campaign, the Port will be hoping to turn things around as they welcome Altrincham for the first home game of the competitive season.

A single goal from Morgan-Smith condemned the Sandgrounders to an unwanted result...

To prepare for life back in the sixth tier of English football, Parkinson’s side have had a busy pre-season, with mostly positive results...

One of the standout players for Altrincham last season was forward Jordan Hulme, popping up with 26 goals in the league and playing an integral part in promotion. The former Salford man looks like continuing this form heading into the new campaign, getting seven goals in pre-season as well as getting two on opening day against Leamington...

The last time these two sides met in the league was back in 2016 [at Moss Lane], when they both played in the National League. The game finished in a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming within two minutes of each other. That season would end in relegation for Altrincham, finishing five points from safety.

Above: On their last league visit to Haig Avenue, Alty lost 3-0 to Southport in August 2015.

The following season Southport would suffer a similar fate, whilst the Robins fell again.

After suffering defeat on the opening day, Liam Watson’s men will be hoping their opening home game will produce a better outcome...

Altrincham also have 250 tickets at their ground for away supporters to purchase in advance of the game. Contact The Robins for details on any remaining tickets.

Please remember the club operate cashless turnstiles. So if you don’t have an online ticket, ticket in advance or Season Ticket, you will have to visit the Club Shop on Haig Avenue to purchase a ticket before entering through the turnstile."

Southport have a post-match interview with Liam Watson.

Port add that "The new campaign still promises one of great excitement for the Sandgrounders but the start was not what anyone had wanted, as they slipped to defeat at AFC Telford United in subdued fashion...

The Southport manager opted for an attacking trio of Devarn Green and Mike Phenix, who both supported Jack Sampson as the main striker, but the Sandgrounders struggled as an offensive force...

The deciding goal came on 66 minutes, Morgan-Smith getting a run on the Southport defence as he broke into the area, allowing him to pick up a low cross from Henry Cowans to prod the ball past goalkeeper Dan Hanford.

Southport had already tried to vary their options, sending on a double substitution in David Morgan and Dion Charles before looking to Jason Gilchrist with 19 minutes to go, but Telford dealt with everything that was asked of them..

Telford have undergone a significant rebuild themselves during the summer and McQuilkin and Streete are among a raft of players recruited with significant experience of the National League North...

Southport (4-3-3): Hanford, Richards, Langley, Astles, Priestley, Lowe, Osborne (Morgan 59), Lynch, Phenix (Gilchrist 71), Sampson, Green (Charles 59). Subs not used: Mueller, Winnard".


A week on Tuesday, FC United of Manchester are the next visitors to Altrincham. On Saturday, FC United "started the 2018/19 season in the Vanarama National League North with a six goal thriller at Stockport County but, unfortunately, the hosts scored five of them.

The Reds had looked good in pre-season with six wins, one draw and three defeats, two of which came against clubs in the Football League.

However, that was all spectacularly undone in 45 minutes as Tom Greaves’ side were 3-0 done at halftime. The Reds got a goal back through Kurt Willoughby with 20 minutes to go but it proved to be a mere consolation as County added two more in the final five minutes."

Above: FCUM and Alty line up on Boxing Day, 2016 at Moss Lane.


On Saturday, Alty travel to County Durham following their hosts goalless draw at Chester from where the Chester Chronicle reports that "Spennymoor Town boss Jason Ainsley admitted he had mixed emotions after his side’s goalless draw against Chester FC and felt they could have sneaked a victory...

Both sides had chances, with the Blues just shading the first half.

But the second half saw Chester disjointed in periods and Blues stopper Grant Shenton had to be alert to deny the visitors, as did Spennymoor keeper Matthew Gould who kept out efforts from the impressive Shaun Tuton while Anthony Dudley struck the crossbar midway through the period.

And after the stalemate, Moors boss Ainsley was pleased with his side’s performance and believed they could have nicked a win on another day. He told the club’s YouTube channel, 'I’ve got mixed emotions really. Before the game you’d have probably snapped your hands off for a point coming here, but we had some great chances. Three really good chances, one-on-ones, they’ve cleared one off the line, but they’ve hit the bar as well, so it probably had everything for a 0-0 draw.

'I’m delighted with the performance, delighted with the energy levels of the players, I thought they were sensational today... We’ve done that many, many times where we’ve played really well and haven’t got the three points'...

Ainsley said... 'I think their chances have come from individual errors where we’ve made mistakes at the back and got in, so they haven’t really opened us up... The pleasing thing is we’ve created them chances at a place like this, because it’s quite an intimidating atmosphere and they’re on a high.

'Big Bernard and Jonno have come in and you can see it’s galvanised the place and they were right up for it from the start.'”

Admission prices at Spennymoor are:

  • Adult: £14
  • Concessionaries over 60: £9
  • Juniors Under 18s: £4
  • Under 10: Free, accompanied by paying adult
  • ll disabled supporters will be charged as age applicable however a carer will be submitted free of charge however proof must be shown at the turnstile.


On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves kicked off their season with a 4-0 home win over Congleton VR.

Upcoming fixtures are...

  • 7/08/18 Egerton Football Club (A)
  • 11/08/18 Eagle Sports (A)
  • 14/08/18 Pilkington (H) at Egerton Youth Club 6.30pm
  • 18/08/18 Poynton (A)
  • 21/08/18 Whaley Bridge (H) at Egerton Youth Club 6.30pm


  • 19/08/18 AFC Fylde v Altrincham
  • 2/09/18 14:30 Altrincham v Chorley @ Manchester Health Academy M23 9BP
  • 09/09/18 14:30 Curzon Ashton v Altrincham
  • 16/09/18 19:30 Altrincham v Tranmere Rovers
  • 23/09/18 14:30 Altrincham v Hyde United @ Manchester Health Academy M23 9BP
  • 23/09/18 19:30 Altrincham v Chester FC @ Boughton Hall Cricket Club CH3 5EL


The National League reports that Alfreton boss "Billy Heath was happy after his side rescued a point against Kidderminster Harriers but was disappointed with the manner in which his side conceded three goals, writes Tom Scott.

The Reds came from behind twice in a six-goal thriller at the Impact Arena and Heath told the club’s website... 'The disappointment of the day was the goals we conceded and the way we conceded them because we’ve switched off for two goals, but I think 3-3 is a fair result', he said.

'When you score three goals at home, that should be enough to win the game, but we were under no illusions when we kicked off, we knew Kidderminster were going to be one of the best teams in this league, so I think it’s a decent point today'".

5 August 2018


It is now five years since Altrincham won an opening match of a league season after this 2-2 draw in a game in which Altrincham dominated the second half. Alty had fallen behind in the 28th minute when a foul by Harrop gave the Brakes a freekick from which Stenson's header hit the post and Edwards converted the rebound.

Alty responded very early in the second half when Hulme headed in a towering cross from the right. But, a minute later, Leamington re-took the lead when Breeden's freekick was only cleared out to Gittings who scored from 18 yards with a low shot (48 mins).

Alty regained parity again, six minutes later, when Johnston advanced and Hancock threaded the ball through for Hulme to score with a shot, from right of centre, which went in off the inside of the upright. Despite spending long periods in the visitors' half Altrincham were unable to break through for a winner.

Right: James Jones and Liam Goulding were Altrincham's central defenders against Leamington.

The full line up was: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Liam GOULDING, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Brendon DANIELS. Subs: 12. Sean WILLIAMS, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Ben HARRISON, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Leamington report that the "Brakes emerged with a well earned point from a pulsating opening day clash with newly promoted Altrincham at the J Davidson Stadium... Manager Paul Holleran described the game as ‘as tough an assignment as we could have on the opening day.’

Holleran kept faith with the players who had served him so well last season. Of his summer signings only Matt Stenson was in the starting eleven... Chekaine Steele travelled but was not involved due to a tight hamstring..

Liam Goulding was inches from giving The Robins the perfect start to life back in the National League North when his initial shot was cleared straight back to him and he drove a whisker wide of the post. John Johnston was relishing the chance to run at Connor Gudger at every opportunity, and when he couldn’t get past appeared to attempt a shot which was helped over the bar by Jordan Hulme under pressure from Hood.

Brakes hit the front on 28 minutes probably slightly against the run of play. A free kick was won down the right channel and was nudged by Joe Clarke to Kieran Dunbar, who flighted a perfect ball into a congested penalty area. Stenson rose superbly to power a header against the far post but Jack Edwards was lurking to nod into an empty net.

One very nearly become two soon afterwards, Ahmed Obeng chasing the ball down as it was passed back towards the Altrincham goal and keeper Tony Thompson could only half clear it to Callum Gittings, whose first time strike from just outside the box clattered the outside of the post, possibly with the aid of a deflection.

Altrincham lost their discipline briefly, picking up two yellow cards in the space of 60 seconds...

Brakes were caught napping two minutes into the second half, Jordan Hulme coming out on top to squeeze a close range header inside the far post after some fine work out on the right to keep the ball in play following a left wing corner, the ball being hooked back into the danger area to devastating effect.

However, there was barely time to blink and Leamington were back in front, Gittings striking an absolute screamer from just outside the box that nestled in the back of the net off the inside of the post.

The game had really come to life now and a third goal inside the opening ten minutes of the second half arrived when Hulme drove his second of the afternoon low across Breeden and in off the post to level things up for a second time...

Hulme was at the centre of everything the home side were doing...

Although a little frustrated at twice giving away a lead, Paul Holleran was satisfied to take a point from the game, saying ‘Altrincham have got a way of playing through the pitch and they do it well. I thought we managed it really well in the first half, we had two or three great opportunities. We’ve had two or three players missing throughout pre-season and this was a tough one to start with; sun beaming, playing against a side that are possession based, and it told after half time. What disappointed me was the first ten minutes of the second half. One or two players were arguing about the corner and when it was overhit one or two think it’s gone out of play. You’ve got to be better at this level, we’ve allowed a cross to come in and they were queuing up at the back post. When you get in front in this division you’ve got to work hard and there’s key periods in the game that you’ve got to manage better.’

‘When we broke in the first half we were getting our wide men into the game, we looked a threat, we got plenty of shots off. Second half there was too much hitting areas, too much looking to get rid of the ball quickly. We were tired, we looked tired, but I think Connor (Taylor) and Anthony (Dwyer) gave us something different when they came on. We were facing a club back on the up today which made it difficult for all sorts of reasons, so we’ll take the point. In the first half if we’d got that second goal when we were on top it might have been a different afternoon. We’re disappointed with that spell after half time and we’ve had to hang on a bit at the end, but any point won is a good point in this division. We scored a couple of good goals, our set plays looked a threat today, and I think that for one or two players who have missed the last few games of pre-season, that’ll have done them the world of good today.’

On his new frontman Matt Stenson the manager had words of encouragement. ‘He got smothered a bit but it’s a learning curve for Matt. He’s stepped up to this division, he’s had a good pre season, he did well for the first goal I thought but he got a little bit isolated at times today, and he’s probably tried a few times to do too much. He’s trying to impress but he doesn’t need to, we know we’ve got a good player there, he’s settled in really well, he’s got a good work ethic and he was unfortunate not to score.’"


Vanarama National League North
  • Att. 1274: AFC Telford United 1 - 0 Southport
  • Att. 754: Alfreton Town 3 - 3 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Att. 1047: Altrincham 2 - 2 Leamington
  • Att. 273: Ashton United 0 - 0 Nuneaton Borough
  • Att. 1231: Boston United 1 - 0 Guiseley
  • Att. 369: Bradford Park Avenue 1 - 0 Brackley Town
  • Att. 2191: Chester 0 - 0 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 1520: Chorley 1 - 0 York City
  • Att. 1488: Darlington 1 - 2 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 2836: Hereford 3 - 0 Blyth Spartans
  • Att. 4577: Stockport County 5 - 1 FC United Of Manchester

4 August 2018


The 2018-19 season of Vanarama National league North kicks off on Saturday (4 August) with the following fixtures...
  • AFC Telford United 1-0 Southport
  • Alfreton Town 3-3 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Altrincham 2-2 Leamington
  • Ashton United 0-0 Nuneaton Borough
  • Boston United 1-0 Guiseley
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-0 Brackley Town
  • Chester 0-0 Spennymoor Town
  • Chorley 1-0 York City
  • Darlington 1-2 Curzon Ashton
  • Hereford 3-0 Blyth Spartans
  • Stockport County 5-1 FC United of Manchester


Altrincham kick off their league season today (Saturday) on the earliest date in the year that they have ever done so. The Alty squad for this season comprises twenty players plus one loanee...


  • Anthony THOMPSON (d.o.b. 4 November 1994). Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 49. Pictured, right.
  • Elliot WYNNE Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 0.


  • Lloyd BANNISTER (d.o.b. 29 September, 1996) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 0.
  • Shaun DENSMORE (d.o.b. 11 November 1988) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 341(+21), 26 goals.
  • Liam GOULDING (d.o.b. 28 April, 1996) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 0.
  • Connor HAMPSON (d.o.b. 23 August, 1992) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 24, 1 goal.
  • Tom HANNIGAN (d.o.b. 30 June 1988) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 52(+5), 5 goals.
  • Ben HARRISON (d.o.b. 29 October 1990) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 44, 2 goals.
  • James JONES (d.o.b. 13 March 1997) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 31(+4), 3 goals.
  • Andy WHITE (d.o.b 8 October 1992) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 16(+3), 1 goal.


  • Brendon DANIELS (d.o.b. 24 September 1993) On a one-month loan from Port Vale, Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 0
  • Bay DOWNING (d.o.b. 16 May, 1996) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 0.
  • Josh HANCOCK (d.o.b. 5 September, 1990) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 49(+3), 21 goals
  • Max HARROP (d.o.b. 30 June 1993) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 26(+13), 5 goals.
  • John JOHNSTON (d.o.b. 28 September 1994) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 50(+3), 20 goals.
  • Jake MOULT (d.o.b. 10 February, 1989) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 260(+27), 29 goals.
  • Simon RICHMAN (d.o.b. 2 June 1990) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 232(+49), 22 goals.
  • Sean WILLIAMS (d.o.b. 20 January 1992) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 25(+12) 0 goals.


  • Jordan HULME (d.o.b. 23 November 1990) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 53(+2), 31 goals.
  • Tom PEERS (d.o.b. 23 October, 1995) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 27(+20), 11 goals.
  • James POOLE (d.o.b. 20 March 1990) Altrincham appearances to June 2018: 34(+2), 13 goals.

Their opponents are Warwickshire side, Leamington, who finished nineteenth in the National League North last season.

Last season also started with a home match at the J. Davidson Stadium but ended in a disappointing 0-3 defeat to Stafford Rangers. The squad that day comprised 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME 10. Sam SHERIDAN, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Laurence TAYLOR, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Max HARROP, 16. Chris LYNCH, 20. Tony THOMPSON.

With Shaun Densmore injured, at most seven of that starting eleven could start again against Leamington.

Meanwhile, the Altrincham FC official site has an interview with Sean Williams, who rejoined the club this summer, from Warrington Town.

Above: Alty line up before kick off against Stafford Rangers on 12 August 2017.

The Altrincham FC official site has manager Phil Parkinson's interview with Press & Media Officer John Edwards, in which he looks forward to the new campaign.


Former Alty midfielder "Jordan Sinnott’s future apparently lies away from the Proact, as Chesterfield await ‘the right figures’ from an interested club, report The Sheffield Star. The midfielder, who has a year left on his contract, cannot be guaranteed first team action according to [manager] Martin Allen.

'One club is asking questions about Jordan (right),' he said. 'We’re waiting for answers from their owner. He’s done really well in training, he’s a really good lad, I really like him but I’m just not sure I can get him enough first team games or get him onto our bench. He’s a good player but at the moment it’s difficult for him. I want to try and help him get fixed up with another club.'"


The National League announces that "Highlights of the Vanarama National League will be available to view free to air on Monday nights after each round of fixtures on FreeSports. Highlights of English football’s fifth tier will begin on FreeSports this Monday, 5th August featuring the best of the action from all 24 teams including the season opener between Salford City vs Leyton Orient.

National League chairman Brian Barwick said 'The Vanarama National League is delighted to team up with FreeSports to broaden the reach of the highlights show by placing it on free to air television'...

FreeSports is available free on Sky Channel 422, Virgin Media Channel 130 & 553, on Channel 95 on Freeview and BT and on Freesat Channel 252".


Players graduating to the Football League are saluted by the National League which says that "We’ve seen a never-seen-before number of players swap the National League for the Football League over the past two-and-a-half months". It goes on to list the players in question and that includes the following from National League North...
  • Jordan Archer – Chester to Bury. Archer has been dreaming of playing in the Football League for a long time and now finally gets his chance to prove why, under Ryan Lowe at Bury.
  • Jason Oswell - Stockport County to Morecambe. Netting 29 times for the National League North side last season, Oswell moves to the Shrimps and has signed a two-year deal with the League Two club.
  • Michael Nottingham - Salford City to Blackpool. The 29-year old moves to the League One club after helping the Lions to winning the National League North last season.
  • Tom Crawford - Chester to Notts County. On the pitch things haven’t been going well for Chester but they continue to produce. Crawford is the latest to get a good move"


Nuneaton Borough "have signed Welsh goalkeeper Louis Gray ahead of the new season... The 22-year-old started out in the youth side at his hometown Wrexham, before loan spells with Rhyl and Cefn Druids in 2014 and 2015.

Gray was snapped up by Everton and was part of their under 21 squad before sealing a loan move to Colwyn Bay later that year. After promotion to the under 23 side at Everton, Gray sealed a loan move to Carlisle United in January this year and became a free agent in July."

Over at Bradford (Park Avenue) "Following a lot of work behind the scenes, the club are delighted to introduce a series of improvements to the match day experience...

Following a series of issues with the quality and reliability of the former sound system, it has been replaced with a brand new system that the club has purchased. The sound at the Horsfall will now be crisp and undistorted, making announcements clear to understand. The match day playlist will be making a return having not been played during pre-season friendlies, and a much-requested song now features on it. Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ will ring out around the ground as Mark Bower’s side make their entrance before kick-off!

The ground will also see the introduction of card payment facilities and supporters will now be able to pay by card at the turnstiles and in the clubhouse, tea bar and clubshop on match days.

The club have also teamed up with Shipley-based Saltaire Brewery to provide a new range of fantastic alcoholic beverages for the clubhouse bar...

Outside the clubhouse, parked cars have made way for brand new pop-up marquees. Curry and pulled pork sandwiches will be available and plans are in place to introduce a second bar alongside the food stalls.

The club will also be pushing the use of the car park to try and ease congestion on the surrounding roads. A £2 charge will be introduced to use of the car park; however, as a bonus for season ticket holders, parking will be free. Access to the car park will be from Cemetery Road gates only.

The final change will see a newly revamped match day programme designed by new shirt sleeve sponsors Peardrop Creative. The new programme will have a fresh new look and lots of new content".

From Bulls' News we learn that "Blyth Spartans have signed two players ahead of tomorrow's game at Hereford. Connor Oliver, a 24 year old defensive midfielder, spent last season at Halifax. Previously he had a spell at Blackpool. 21 year old Sam Brotherton joins Blyth from Sunderland on a season long loan deal."

Meanwhile, Chester FC "are pleased to announce the signing of striker Deane Smalley following a successful trial period. Smalley is a physical forward who has a plethora of Football League experience. He made over 100 appearances for Oldham Athletic and also featured 81 times for Oxford United.

The 29-year-old was part of the Ashton United squad that won promotion last season, alongside Dom Smalley, John Pritchard and Dan Mooney".

From Durham, the Northern Echo tells us that Saturday "is a new dawn for Darlington, the season will start at home to Curzon Ashton with a new-look team including a strikeforce that few defenders will relish playing against.

Simon Ainge, one of seven summer signings, has joined from Harrogate Town and will partner Reece Styche, the pairing expected to provide a physical presence in the National League North.

Right: Simon Ainge (right), pictured playing for Harrogate Town at Altrincham in February 2017. Ainge and Alty defender John Cyrus both ended up with head bandages after a clash of heads in a goalless draw.

The pair are both seasoned players in non-league and Ainge is glad to be on Styche’s side...

'We’ve got a few good strikers here but hopefully it will be us two playing and we will start firing straight away,' said Ainge. 'I’ve played against Reece a lot over the years, I remember being up against him when I was a defender. I’ve got to be honest, what I remember most is him trying to wind people up, but then you get to know him and he’s a completely different guy to what he is on the pitch.

'Off the pitch he’s a really nice guy but, on the pitch, you might think something else! I’m glad he’s on my team now'...

[For Ainge] "A groin injury hampered him last season. After recovering from a five-month lay-off, during which time Harrogate brought in Mark Beck from Darlington, Ainge ended 2017-18 on loan with Wrexham, but did not score in his time there...

He said, 'I scored 35 goals in six months from February 2017 until the end of August, and there were a couple of sendings-off in there so I missed a few games. It was a period where everything I touched seemed to be a goal. We had good players who were putting crosses in, we were strong on set-pieces and they played to my strengths, they put the ball in the box for me. We’ve got players here who can do the same.'

He added, 'I started last season with 12 goals in seven games, and then I had my injury. It was my adductor, and that kept me out until February... Hopefully I can go from strength to strength now and get back to where I was... I’ve got no restrictions now'...

Ainge played a full part in pre-season, a time spent getting to know new team-mates... 'It’s a good set of lads, we’ve gelled together and the weekend in Eindhoven did us some good,' added Ainge. 'We were sat on the plane next to people you might not normally be sat next to, you get to know people on a personal level, we had a few drinks, spent a bit more time than we normally would with each other...

'It was a lot of running in 30 degrees heat against a team that passed all day, so for fitness it was really good, but we had the socialising too, which you don’t usually get when you have to get back home to see the Mrs'".v

3 August 2018


The Altrincham FC official website has Gavin Rathbone's Altrincham FC squad photo for 2018-19.


Leamington visit Altrincham this Saturday with an in-form striker in their team.

According to the Leamington Courier, "Matty Stenson has hit the ground running after joining from Barwell in the summer and admits it is a big weight off his mind.

Coventry-born Stenson, whose 42 goals in 25 games for Leicester Road brought him to the attention of the Canaries, continued his prolific form last season, netting 20 times for the Evostik Northern Premier League side.

It encouraged manager Jimmy Ginnelly to tie him to a contract in March, only for the lure of the Conference North to tempt him to make the switch to the Phillips 66 Community Stadium two months later.

The 24-year-old has continued his prolific form into pre-season with Brakes, netting six times in five appearances.

And, after a meteoric rise which has seen him move from Step 6 to Step 2 in just over a year, the former Coundon Court pupil admitted the early run of goalscoring form has helped him feel comfortable in his new surrounds...

He said, 'Coming into a new team at a higher level the first thing you want to do is get off the mark. It’s nice to score six times which has given me a lot of confidence coming into Saturday.'

After signing Stenson [pictured above, as no.11 for Barwell when they took the field at the J. Davidson Stadium last season], Brakes boss Paul Holleran drew comparisons with the playing style and career progression of Danny Newton, who is now at Stevenage having also stopped off at Barwell and Leamington along the way.

And Stenson, who came through the Academy at Coventry City before leaving due to family reasons and joining Hinckley United, says the similarities have given him confidence...

'He won’t remember but I played with Danny at Hinckley when I was just breaking into the squad as a youngster. I am quite similar to him with his work rate and the way he heads the ball...

'My aspirations have always been to play in the league so hopefully I can follow his footsteps.'

Stenson has had to do it the hard way, however, after a rare hip problem threatened to derail his footballing career in its infancy... and he faced the very real possibility of never kicking a ball again. He was eventually offered an operation with just a 50 per cent chance of success but he knew it was a risk worth taking...

'Basically, at the top of my femur I had extra bone growing on the side so every time I lifted my leg the extra bit of bone was scratching the cartilage of my ball and socket joint,' explained Stenson. 'It eventually got shaven off and my cartilage was pinned back down. The reason I was out so long was because no one could find the problem.'

Restored to full fitness the former midfielder made the move forward at Leicester Road and has not looked back since. After topping the goalscoring charts in his previous two campaigns, the qualified ground surveyor sees no reason to temper his ambitions at Step 2".


The Sale and Altrincham Messenger reports that "Phil Parkinson believes he has signed a player who will ‘lift Altrincham fans off their seats’ after landing Port Vale forward Brendon Daniels on a month’s loan....

'I’m really excited about Brendon,' said the Alty boss. 'He is just what I was looking for. We didn’t see the best of him against Salford, because he hasn’t played many minutes, but there were still glimpses of quality. He is someone who is going to be really creative for us, and he will score goals.

'If he shows the right attitude and endeavour, as well as ability, that one month will probably be as far as it goes. But if the attitude is there and we somehow have a chance of extending his stay, we will do it. I really believe in him, but it is down to him to show what he is all about.

'It is an opportunity for him to showcase his talents. It is something I was looking for, in terms of the quality needed for this level. He is a proven goalscorer, and he will excite people. I wanted to do that for our fans, bring someone in who will lift them off their seats.

'He can play anywhere across the pitch – left, right or in the number-10 role – and that means we don’t have to rush James Poole’s return from injury.'

Parkinson has also ended his quest for a keeper capable of challenging Tony Thompson for a starting place after signing Elliot Wynne, who impressed for Abbey Hey against Alty in last season’s FA Cup, on non-contract forms.

'I’m glad Elliot is here, and I think he is going to put some pressure on Tony,' he said. 'I didn’t think someone like Elliot was going to come along, so it’s a bonus. He has looked very competent.'"


The Evostik League confirms that Theodore Bailey-Jones (right) has moved from Altrincham to Stafford Rangers whilst Lewis Short has moved on from Bala Town (Wales) to Leek Town.


In the Chester Standard, "Bernard Morley says it was 'inevitable' that expectations about Chester's prospects next term would rise after he and Anthony Johnson took charge...

Morley said, 'After we left Salford I think there was always gong to be big expectations at our next club, wherever it was that we ended up. When you've had success at another football club, there's a tendency to expect managers to replicate that in their next role.

'As far as we were concerned, when we found out about Chester's interest we saw the club as sleeping giants, really'...

Since arriving at The Deva, the duo have overhauled the Blues squad and recruited heavily from their former clubs. Of the seven summer arrivals, five have played under the duo previously with former Ramsbottom keeper Grant Shenton joining Salford quartet Scott Burton, Steve Howson, Anthony Dudley and Danny Livesey at the club.

Building a squad that blends youthful attacking talent with extensive experience of the division has signalled the Blues managers' ambitions for the season ahead. Bookmakers have reacted accordingly, installing Chester as second favourites for the National League North title next term.

Now Morley insists... 'Pre-season's done now and I think we can be reasonably happy with how things have gone... What's important is that we've set some high standards in terms of what we expect from the players. Hopefully the fans are seeing their team working hard and playing with a high intensity in every game...

'I's been 'heads on' time this week, where we try to take all of the things we've done well in pre-season and implement them in the games that matter'.

Nuneaton Borough "are pleased to welcome Danny Burns to the club ahead of the 2018/19 season. The 21-year-old centre back has featured as a trialist in Boro’ pre-season games...

Burns started out in the academy at Cambridge United before making a move to Gateshead in 2016 before a loan spell with Buxton. Last season, Burns spent more time out on loan to Buxton, Blyth Spartans and Frickley Athletic and has been impressive in partnering with Ash Carter so far."

Also the club announces that "Boro' capture Courtney Richards. The former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder has joined the club.

The 24 year-old central midfielder, who can play as a holding midfielder, is the latest player to sign, alongside James Hurst, after impressing Nicky and Lee during two trial games against Coalville Town and Kettering Town.

Richards started out with the Brighton & Hove Albion academy and spent time during the 2013/14 season on loan with Whitehawk in the National League South. The Jamaican dual national then signed for Torquay United in 2014 and played alongside new signing Hurst the following season for The Gulls.

After three seasons at Torquay, Richards was snapped up by Macclesfield Town last season, making six league appearances before spending time on loan at Solihull Moors".

Also, Nuneaton Borough report that "Adriano Basso joins the Boro' as Goalkeeping Coach".

Another Whitehawk player, "Former FC Porto Academy midfielder Enoch Andoh has agreed a deal to join Nuneaton Borough. The 25-year-old pacey left midfielder is the latest player to sign after last playing for Whitehawk in the National League South.

The Ghanaian-born winger was first spotted by Portuguese side FC Porto after impressing in the Ghanaian Premier league with King Faisal Babes in 2011, before making the switch to Cypriot side AEL Limassol in 2012.

Andoh played 35 games for the Cypriot Premier Division side across two seasons, before a move to Port Vale in League One in 2014, in which an impressive breakthrough in 2015-16 season saw him linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur.

He left Vale in 2016 before a move to Whitehawk in September 2017, in which he made seven league appearances".

Furthermore, Nuneaton Borough confirm that "Jos Mayebi has left the club".

"AFC Telford United defender Dom Smith will miss the first three games of the season through suspension" says the Shropshire Star.

Meanwhile the Banbury Guardian says that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin hopes his side can back up last season’s memorable FA Trophy success by achieving the ‘ultimate aim’ of promotion this season.

Right: Brackley boss Kevin Wilkin watches his Brackley team secure a 1-0 win at Altrincham in April 2017.

Saints begin their sixth successive season in the National League North with a trip to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday...

Wilkin hopes his side can launch another promotion challenge. 'The ultimate aim is promotion,' Wilkin said... 'We want to be as competitive as last season and try to build on it league-wise. We know it’s not going to get any easier'...

Brackley will have to fight for promotion without the services of striker Andrew Williams, who top scored with 24 league goals last term, after he made the switch to play-off conquerors Harrogate. While highly-rated defender Alex Gudger has also stepped up a level having signed for Solihull Moors and club stalwart forward Steve Diggin has joined neighbours Banbury United.

But Wilkin has made some signings, including new striker Greg Smith, signed from Boston United, and midfielders Connor Hall and Luke Fairlamb, both of whom joined from clubs down the non-League ladder. Otherwise, the Saints boss has the same squad that finished third and boasted the best defensive record the previous season as well as keeping influential midfielders Shane Byrne and Jimmy Armson...

Despite the presence of relegated duo Chester and Guiseley in the division this year, plus the newly-promoted Ashton United, Saints are fifth favourites for the title at 14/1, behind the much-fancied Stockport County (13/2)."

York Press reports that "York City boss Martin Gray has insisted veteran striker Jon Parkin won’t be restricted to substitute cameos this season.

In the run-up to Saturday’s National League North curtain-raiser at Chorley, 36-year-old Parkin has been limited to half-hour outings from the bench during the club’s final three pre-season friendlies.

New striker Jordan Burrow, meanwhile, has started all of those matches and fellow summer recruit Jake Wright has made the first XI for three of the last four warm-up games.

Along with that pair and last season’s 25-goal leading marksman Parkin, Macaulay Langstaff is also competing for an attacking place, with Gray maintaining all four will get their opportunity to impress this campaign.

He said, 'I see Jon as part of the four forwards we have got at the club and he will start many games, as will the rest. We’ve got competition now, which we never had last season'...

Gray revealed Saturday’s starting line-up to his players at the end of training today but stressed that those not selected will also be needed during a busy schedule of seven matches during the opening 24 days and beyond.

'There were some sad faces when I announced the team and I’d expect that, because they should be disappointed, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be involved on Tuesday night or during the weeks going forward,' the City chief reasoned...

With Tom Allan returning to action this week during a youth-team friendly, the City boss has the rare luxury of kicking off the new campaign with a fully-fit squad and he added 'Stuart Parnaby has come in as our strengthening and conditioning coach and, along with the physio (Ian Gallagher), helped keep everybody fit.'

Gray went on to confirm that 4-4-2 would be his favoured formation this season, but... 'That doesn’t mean we won’t adjust during matches,' he explained...

There’s a brand-new feeling around the building in terms of togetherness and a real winning mentality, which we have enforced in pre-season and on the training ground,' he declared. 'I’m glad we did all our recruitment early and are not chasing around for players in the last week like some clubs and it was set in stone from the first team meeting on day one what this season is about and what are priorities will be'...

Gray also welcomed the appointment of Peter Whinham at Bootham Crescent, following his replacement of Harry Dunn as chief scout.

'We’ve had a look at things and decided to make a change on the recruitment side,' Gray pointed out".

Off the pitch, the National League reports that "New images of York City’s new stadium have been shared online by the club. The Minstermen leave their historic Bootham Crescent home at the end of the coming season. Their Monks Cross site is progressing well, with steel in place as work begins on the stands.

Left: Alty in action at Bootham Crescent on Sunday, 5 November 2006, in a match which they lost 1-0. Pictured is Stephen Rose making a clearance.

It won’t just be a football stadium. Some leisure facilities will also include a swimming pool, gym, indoor and outdoor climbing areas and a sports hall are also going to be included. On the site will be a cinema complex with IMAX screen, plus five restaurants and retail space.

York are excited about the move to their impressive new home but desperately want to be a National League club when they cut the ribbon.

They have helped their cause by signing central defender Joe Tait from Spennymoor. City manager Martin Gray told the club’s website, 'I had Joe for a few years when I was manager of Darlington and gained promotions with him'".

According to NL Daily "Pacy winger Kallum Mantack has signed a short-term deal to begin the new season with Stockport County. 20-year-old Mantack scored two goals in ten appearances for the Hatters last season after arriving on loan from Oldham Athletic...

Unfortunately, the Wythenshawe lad saw his loan spell cut short after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win against Alfreton, when a horrific tackle left him with a broken fibula and dislocated ankle last December.

Manager Jim Gannon said 'I asked the Board for additional resource to accommodate Kallum, because I always felt it was a terrible way for his time with County to come to an end. He will give us options in both the wide areas and as an attacking full-back, so I’m glad to have him back with us. He’s worked really hard on his rehabilitation and looks strong as we start the new campaign.'

Mantack left Oldham in the summer after three first team outings, and having previously played for both Alfreton and FC United on loan."

NL Daily reports that "Guiseley manager Marcus Bignot has insisted that size does not matter as, despite having a small squad and a small budget, he is very happy with the club’s recruitment this summer.

One of those new signings, Scott Garner, has been named as captain for the season too...

Bignot showed his confidence ahead of the new season, saying 'here was a mass overhaul this summer and recruitment was key but I’m very happy with the squad... It's only a small squad because of our tight budget but there are still options and competition for places'”.

2 August 2018


The Altrincham FC official site has a John Edwards' interview with Phil Parkinson about Brendon Daniels (right), his recent signing on a month’s loan from Port Vale.


Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator, writes...

"Welcome back to a new season as we look to continue the road to recovery with Phil and the lads who did us proud last year and rewarded our support. We will once again be running transport to as many games as we can with the aim of breaking even and providing people with a family friendly way to get to the games.

We now have details of our first two fixtures at Southport and Spennymoor and hope as many people as possible will support the coach.

We must remind passengers that we do not allow alcohol on the outbound or return journey of our trips in order to preserve the family atmosphere as we welcome fans of all ages. Please respect the volunteers who run the coaches by adhering to this rule which is enforced without exception.

For at least the first two trips we will offer the TASC discounted price to all our travellers as we look to appeal to as many people as possible and we have managed to keep the prices around the same level of the last two seasons for similar journeys.

Bookings will be taken on Saturday in the CSH at the match against Leamington and also by calling the club (0161 928-1045) in the week to secure your place. We look forward to seeing you soon..."


From the Shropshire Star we learn that "Skipper Shane Sutton insists there are no excuses for AFC Telford United if they fail to make significant progress this coming campaign. The 29-year-old centre-half is gearing up for Saturday's National League North opener against Liam Watson's Southport at the New Bucks Head...

'The gaffer has just brought in some unbelievable players', said Sutton. 'We've got a really settled squad; even the first session back we had 12 or 13 already signed. Everything has been very detailed and we've pretty much got two players in each position, and everyone knows their jobs... and everyone really is on the same wave length.

'I feel confident. It took me until about Christmas last year to get going and that may have been playing with a lot of different defenders in different formations, or just because it was all new, but I'm used to it now. I'm confident in my team-mates as well so there's no excuses this year for us...

'I can't wait for a league game to be fair... Pre-season is pre-season. Some players don't like it. I don't mind it but sometimes you're playing games in front of about 50 people so it doesn't compare. It wasn't perfect, you always want more, but we got some good results and got to know each other really well which was brilliant. I think, hopefully, we can go out and surprise Southport and then do that to a lot of teams...

'Before Christmas, I think we were a team that sides thought they could come to and roll over... Maybe Southport will underestimate us a little bit.'"

Meanwhile, the Bucks' opponents, Southport "are very pleased to confirm that Dean Winnard will join the club in the role of Player-Coach for the 2018/19 season. Dean has spent pre-season in Southport and brings a wealth of experience to the side ahead of the new campaign. The 28 year-old defender has amassed nearly 300 Football League appearances with Accrington Stanley and Morecambe after starting his career at Blackburn Rovers...

Manager Liam Watson said 'Dean is a player who I have always admired, his desire to win and his ability to play in any position across the back four was the main factors along with his character. He has already got his UEFA B coaching qualification and is keen to keep progressing as a coach. He will benefit from the learning of the current staff whilst being an instrumental part of the playing squad... He is a really important signing for the club as we progress.'"

Dean added, “When I found out Southport wanted me, early on, it was too good to turn down. The club have ambitions and want to win things, something I’ve always tried to do in my career. I’ve still got a few years left playing the game, but it doesn’t last forever, that’s why I’ve decided to do my coaching qualifications. The chance to learn first-hand from Liam (Watson) and Jon (McCarthy) who have so much knowledge of the game is such a good opportunity for my development, so I’m very grateful to be given this role at such an important stage in the history of the club.”

Barnsley report that "Amir Berkovits scored a later winner for Barnsley U23s as they came from behind to beat Guiseley AFC 3-2 on Tuesday evening. Former Reds striker Kayode Odejayi had given the hosts an early lead before a Tai-Reece Chisholm double swung the tie in Martin Devaney’s side’s favour.

Harry Flowers headed the Lions level after the interval before Berkovits struck with six minutes remaining to seal victory at Nethermoor Park...

GUISELEY XI: Green, Kennedy, Halls, Thompson, James, Odejayi, Heaton, Purver, Smith, Felix, Liburd. Subs: Hatfield, Harvey, Worsnop, Paley, Morrison, Flowers, Clayton".

NL Daily reports that "Former Swansea City and Crystal Palace midfielder Kemy Agustien has left Nuneaton Borough before making his competitive debut for the club. The 31-year-old, who represented the Netherlands at Under-21 level before playing senior international football with Curaçao, signed for Boro just over a month ago...

Agustien’s exit was announced as being by mutual consent. Club secretary Adam Etheridge said 'It’s disappointing to lose a player of Kemy’s experience and ability, but we have a number of signings that we are close to that we think will soften the blow.' Agustien, who initially came to England with Birmingham City on loan in 2008/09, featured in three Premier League seasons for Swansea City".

From Lincolnshire, the Boston Standard reports that "Serial-winner Nathan Arnold (pictured below) says he’s arrived at Boston United to earn another promotion... Arnold has won promotions with Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Cambridge United and Alfreton Town, and also had a brief spell on loan at Salford City during last season’s National League North title triumph...

Above: Then at Grimsby Town, Nathan Arnold places the ball for a freekick in a National League game against Alty, in January 2016. Grimsby won that match 5-0 with Arnold netting the final goal, in injury time. Manager Lee Sinnott played all three new loan signings from the start in this game; wingers Josh Ginnelly and Dylan Mottley-Henry and striker Jonny Margetts all made their league debuts for the club in this match and, with Simon Richman, they comprise the Alty defensive wall, with Jake Moult to the right.

'My mindset, my attitude, whichever club I’ve played for, it’s always been to leave the club better than I found it. That’s what happened at Grimsby and Lincoln,' the summer signing told The Standard. 'It’s no different now. I’ve played for three Lincolnshire clubs, Grimsby, Lincoln and Boston now, and the potential this club has is the same as those clubs... If we can get this stadium packed week-in, week-out, there’s no reason we can’t do well. We’ve got to dream big and look at challenging this season.'

Following a summer rebuild, manager Craig Elliott is expecting big things this season... When asked what he wanted from the campaign, Elliott said 'To be competitive and win games of football. That’s what I’m used to and what I want to do... We want to be in the mix in terms of winning games.'"

At Alfreton Town "ATFC are delighted to announce the signing of goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom from Macclesfield. [He was the Silkmen's goalkeeper against Altrincham recently]. Sam signs a one year deal at the Impact. The 6ft 5in shot-stopper spent his youth career at Tranmere Rovers, before moving on to Witton Albion and Galway United in Ireland.

Ramsbottom then joined Barrow on a short-term deal earlier in 2017 before joining Macclesfield in September 2017...

Manager Billy Heath on signing Sam [said]...'He has a massive presence, not only because he is six foot five! He is a top keeper and played many games for Macclesfield last season... He is a commanding player, always vocal and always looking on the front foot. He is still at a young age but has plenty of experience at National League level. We are delighted to have him and it gives us the strongest options all over the park.'"

More on The Reds comes from the NL Paper which says that "Alfreton Town have continued preparations for the new season by bringing in two new signings. It has announced that both Harry Middleton and Sam Ramsbottom will begin the new campaign at North Street.

Middleton arrives at Alfreton after leaving Port Vale at the end of last season. Prior to joining Vale, the 23-year-old spent five years with Doncaster where he was part of the squad that won promotion from League Two in 2017. The young midfielder spent part of last season on loan at FC Halifax Town.

Meanwhile, Ramsbottom has joined Alfreton after leaving last season’s National League winners Macclesfield Town".

From Hartlepool United we hear that "Young Pools defender Aaron Cunningham has joined Blyth Spartans on a half-season loan deal. The versatile 20-year-old, who is also comfortable slotting in to midfield, will look to gain further senior experience during his stay at Croft Park.

Cunningham suffered with an ankle problem last season but is now back to fitness and boss Matthew Bates was keen for him to get some senior football under his belt... Cunningham was handed his First Team debut against Torquay United at the end of last season though it was marred when he was shown a very harsh red card.

The youngster will now link-up with the National League North outfit until the New Year though he will have to wait to make his debut as he completes a three-game suspension for his sending-off".


The National League confirms that "From the start of the 2018/19 season, yellow and red cards will be issued by match officials for misconduct committed in the technical area in the National League.

This trial follows a review by the English game’s stakeholders of the pre-existing Technical Area Code of Conduct, which was established in 2015 and sets out the behaviours expected of occupants of the technical area and establishes how the match officials will implement the Code.

Disciplinary action will now be taken for accumulated Stage 1 Warnings for technical area occupants in the following competitions [first team competitive matches only]:

This is similar to the current system that operates for players with automatic touchline bans imposed for accumulated yellow cards, however, unlike accumulated player cautions, there is no cut-off date for yellow cards issued for technical area misconduct. An automatic suspension will be triggered when an individual reaches the following thresholds:

Number of Stage 1 Warnings:

  • 4: 1 match
  • 8: 2 matches
  • 12: 3 matches
  • 16: Misconduct Charge (sanction to be determined by a Regulatory Commission)

What is a Stage 1 Warning?

As outlined in the Technical Area Code of Conduct, for any activity considered to be irresponsible the Match Referee has the authority to issue a formal warning to the individual concerned.

Irresponsible behaviour includes but is not limited to:

  • Inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials;
  • Kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent;
  • Sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials;
  • Entering the opponents’ technical area in an inappropriate manner;
  • Gesturing waving an imaginary yellow / red card.

The formal warnings are reported to The FA using the same process as player cautions and dismissals."

1 August 2018


Leamington, the first opponents of Altrincham this coming season, announce that "Manager Paul Holleran has today announced that the club have released midfielder Kurtis Revan in order to allow him to seek more regular first team football.

'Having had a chat with Kurtis we came to a mutual decision,' said the Brakes boss. 'His opportunities were limited last season and we both felt that he needs to be playing first team football... He has been a super young man to work with and he played a big part in helping us win promotion into the National League North, but I appreciate that it is important for his development for him to be playing more often and that was not something I was able to guarantee him. We wish him all the best in the next stage of his career'...

Kurtis may have only scored one goal for us but it is a goal that is unlikely to be forgotten by Brakes fans as it was the winner in the 3-2 victory at Salford City last season".


Manager Phil Parkinson has told the Altrincham FC official website that he intends to make Alty's three youth graduates at Trafford FC, (Harry Sheridan, Darius Palma and Laurence Taylor [right]), part of his future plans at the J. Davidson Stadium. For details see his interview on the official site


FC United of Manchester report that the club's "The Development Fund (DF) raised a total of £137,377 last season.... As well as the redevelopment of the SMRE concourse, you will see other ground improvements at BP this coming season including new permanent facilities such as a laundry under the main stand, a toilet block in the Lightbowne Road stand and catering facilities in the Nuthurst Road/Saint Mary's Road corner. These features mean that the club will not have to hire temporary facilities, subsequently saving the club money, paid for with the help of the DF.

This coming season we are launching a new initiative called BP BOOST that in conjunction to further ground developments to improve our match-day experience will specifically help offset the ground-build debt that needs to be repaid over the coming years".

Meanwhile, the Chester Chronicle reports that "Chester FC joint-manager Bernard Morley says that George Green and Scott Burton won't be risked if they are not 100% right. Club captain Burton and fellow summer signing Green were both absent from the 4-2 loss to Everton under-23s on Saturday, with Burton nursing a tight calf and Green a muscle strain in his lower back

Burton pulled up early in the 2-2 draw with Morecambe last week while Green has yet to make an appearance for Chester since his move from Nuneaton Borough earlier this summer... after aggravating an injury...

'It was a tight calf (for Burton) and he has struggled through pre-season with that but got himself through the first five or six weeks but broke down last week (during the Morecambe game),' said Morley... 'We're hoping he'll be OK as the squad looks stronger with him in it. Whether he starts, or whether he is on the bench, he is a leader and that's the reason we gave him the captaincy... It's touch and go with George... But it is a marathon and not a sprint and we don't want to get these lads in first couple of weeks and then they're out for six or seven weeks.

'We might have to bite the bullet with one or two, make sure they are 100% and not 90%'...

Chester could add to their squad this week ahead of the visit of Spennymoor with the signing of a striker a possibility. Morley and co-boss Anthony Johnson have been running the rule over three trialist strikers during pre-season, with former Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle striker Deane Smalley and young Fleetwood Town forward Mamadou Djabi among the trio".

Also from the Chester Chronicle we reads that "Chester FC have taken a big step forward with the introduction of a new online ticketing system. The Blues have been working with Daresbury-based software firm SportsBuzz to launch the new system after an introduction from Stuart Murphy, the man behind the £1m donation into the football club .

The club have now launched a new site where fans can pre-book match tickets for home games throughout the 2018-19 National League North season... Fans can pick their preferred stand and block when choosing and tickets will be sent via email. Supporters can then either print off the ticket and show it at the turnstile or bring it along on their phone to show at the appropriate gate."

From York Press we learn that "York City winger Vinnie Steels has confirmed his move to Burnley. Steels, 16, announced that the transfer had been completed on his Twitter account... City are not entitled to a fee for Steels, who they recruited from Darlington in February, having lost the compensation protection enjoyed previously prior to their withdrawal from the EPPP system because of funding issues.

League rules also prevented the Minstermen from signing Steels on professional terms before his 17th birthday a week on Thursday. In a statement on Twitter, Steels said 'I am so thankful to everybody at York City... and especially Martin Gray who believed in me when others didn’t. He signed me at Darlington and then York and gave me my first-team debut at 16'...

Steels made one start and three substitute appearances for the Minstermen last season".

At Hereford FC, the club is "delighted to launch a new online shop in partnership with Macron Neath. The new online store has been designed to give Hereford FC a wider range of bespoke goods which are not available at the Edgar Street Club Shop or on the club’s website".

According to the Lancashire Evening Post, "Chorley FC are encouraging supporters to get behind the Magpies and ‘Pack the Park’ ahead of the season’s opening game on Saturday.

Above: Alty on their last visit to Victory Park, Chorley.

After a whirlwind summer that included the resignation of chief executive Dave Riche and Jamie Vermiglio step[ping] into departing manager Matt Jansen’s shoes, one thing high on Vermiglio’s agenda is forming a deep connection between the team and fans. The 36-year-old said 'We want a massive turnout for the game on Saturday and I’d encourage everyone to #PackThePark... We are a club that prides itself on passion, loyalty and grit. One thing we can’t guarantee is the result but I can guarantee that any player who wears our shirt will give their all for our badge and if they don’t, they won’t be here for long.

'Looking ahead we pride ourselves on working hard for the team and the supporters of our community club. We want success and we will do whatever we can to get it.'

The Magpies are at home on Saturday, playing host to York City... Club commercial manager, Josh Vosper, said 'The first game of the season is always an exciting fixture... Chorley as a town is continuing to grow and we’d love to see new faces come down, show their support and join our Magpie Family. Over the years our fan base has significantly improved and that has been eclipsed with success in the dressing room'".

And, likewise, at Blyth Spartans their manager "Alun Armstrong wants to reassure Blyth Spartans supporters, and has pleaded for fans to get behind their team ahead of the new National League North campaign. Blyth begin their competitive season away to Hereford on Saturday with summer signings, Alex Nicholson, Jamie Holmes, Kieran Green and Bradley Fewster, all expected to make their debuts.

However, with Ryan Hutchinson set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the lack of depth in the centre-half area has been highlighted and Armstrong hopes to bring some positive news before the weekend...

'All I will say to the Blyth fans is that I am working hard,' Armstrong said. 'I’m trying to get people in to boost the squad. They [the fans] just have to help us as much as they can by getting behind the lads. We’re still looking for a few players ourselves, I think everyone knows that. I’ve been battling out for three months now trying to get a centre-half in. It’s just really difficult but I’ve got to keep going and hopefully I’ll get a couple in, in time for Saturday but it doesn’t give me much time to work with the lads.

'We’ll do OK this season. I will say to the fans "Don’t get too worried about it"...

Spartans were without key players Sean Reid and Holmes in the defeat to Gateshead on Saturday, and Armstrong is now looking forward to being able to work with his full squad, rather than having to deal with players missing for various reasons.

‘Frustration’ is the keyword for Armstrong: 'I’ve said before I’m not a big fan of pre-season games. [Sean] Reidy and [Jamie] Holmesy were both away; two massive players for me. That’s the thing in pre-season, I’ve never had the full squad yet. Reidy was a big miss because of the way we play and Holmesy, he’s come in and been different class but he had a holiday booked because he thought he was still going to be at South Shields because they start two weeks later.

'That’s what I get frustrated about in pre-season for part-time clubs, you never get to work with what is going to be your full team in pre-season. That’s the frustrating thing but it’s about getting minutes for the lads and getting them as fresh as they can be. It’s just frustrating how you can’t get everyone together. We haven’t got a bad squad when everyone is here. I know we’re short but it’s something I’m working on.'"

Next Tuesday, Altrincham's first away trip of the season is to Haig Avenue, from where Southport report on the new players appearing for their first opponents of the campaign, AFC Telford United. Southport confirm that at Telford "McQuilkin joins from Kidderminster, alongside forward Andre Brown, and will play a huge role in how Cowan wants his team to play this season. As well as that, the club have also welcomed new goalkeeper, Sheridan Martinez, from Solihull Moors and another striker, Darryl Knights, from Tamworth. Former Wigan Athletic and Notts County player, Adam Dawson, is another new addition, joining on a free from Southport... The winger made 17 appearances last season for The Port after signing in December."

Nuneaton Borough "have announced that Kemy Agustien has left the club by mutual consent. 'It’s disappointing to lose a player of Kemy’s experience and ability', stated Club Secretary Adam Etheridge 'but we have a number of signings that we are close to that we think will soften the blow.' Contrary to speculation, Etheridge also stated that 'no other players have left the club.'"

31 July 2018


Pictured, right, is the Altrincham supporters' flag which honours the club's iconic supporter Kenny Palin, who died earlier this year. "Zigger zagger", the words which appear on the flag, were Kenny's trademark chant at Alty games. At home matches now, the flag is one of an impressive array of supporters' flags which adorn the Golf Road End, at the J. Davidson Stadium, ensuring that Kenny is never forgotten.


For Altrincham, Saturday's match will evoke memories of when the Robins met Leamington at Moss Lane in an FA Trophy Round One tie, which ended 1-1 on 15 December 2015. Arguably, this original tie would have been decided in Alty's favour but for an effort by James Lawrie sticking in the soft pitch, as it was about to cross the line after evading goalkeeper Breeden, and a Jordan Sinnott effort which hit the post.

This drawn game prompted a replay which became a saga, with the game finally taking place a month later, after no fewer than five changes of date, including a postponement after the team and supporters had reached Leamington. Alty eventually won the replayed match 2-1, thanks to a brace from Michael Rankine, the first a penalty.

From the 16-man squad for the original tie at Altrincham, only Jake Moult and Simon Richman remain at Altrincham now.

Altrincham and Leamington last met in a league match at Moss Lane on Saturday, 4 January 2014 when Alty won 3-2 in a Skrill North Match, which was Danny Higginbotham's debut game for Altrincham and Damian Reeves's 150th start. Altrincham scored early in each half but then laboured for substantial periods of the game as Leamington deservedly got level. Higginbotham conceded a penalty to allow Leamington back into the game before Magunda made it 2-2. But an 85th-minute wonder goal by James Walshaw got the three points which lifted Altrincham into third place in the league table.

Above: Altrincham line up before kick off against Leamington in January, 2014. Left to right: Reeves, Moult, Richman, Griffin, Higginbotham, Clee, Marshall, Perry, Leather, Coburn and Havern.

Last season was Leamington's first back in the National League North after relegation in 2015 and they finished nineteenth in 2018, three points ahead of 20th-placed Gainsborough Trinity, who were relegated.

This Saturday, Leamington are likely to include Anthony Dwyer in their squad. He actually joined Alty earlier this summer only to be released by mutual agreement when travelling from the Midlands to Altrincham proved an issue.

Their line-up last week when they lost to a Birmingham City under-23 side was: Tony Breeden, Shay Nicholson (Junior English), James Bowen (Tom James), Jack Edwards, Joe Magunda, Kieran Morris (Connor Gudger), Chekaine Steele, Kieran Dunbar, Matt Stenson, Connor Taylor (Taylor Morrison), Anthony Dwyer. Sub not used: Brad Caswell.

Altrincham's first league clash with a Leamington side came in the inaugural season of the Alliance Premier League (1979-80) when AP Leamington were one of Alty's rivals. The AP in the club's name referred to Automotive Products, a Leamington-based automotive firm; hence the club's continuing nickname of "The Brakes". They were relegated in 1982 but won the Southern League Premier the following year only to be denied promotion on ground-grading criteria. In 1985 they were relegated to the Midland division from the Southern Premier. Following another relegation, they lost their ground and effectively folded at the end of 1987/88 season.

It was not until 2000 that the new Leamington FC rose from the ashes, competing in Division Two of the Midland Combination. Via the Midland Alliance they reached Division One Midlands of the Southern League. From 2009 they were in the Premier Division and in 2013-14 reached the Skrill (Conference) North. However, at the end of 2014–15 season they were relegated but in 2016-17 they won back their place in that division, where they now renew acquaintance with Altrincham.


As announced recently on the official site of Altrincham FC, the main stand at the J. Davidson Stadium is now to be known as the ' Stand'. Accordingly, the former Carole Nash logo has now been replaced by the new sponsors' branding, as can be seen in the adjacent image.


According to the Chester Chronicle, "There were a number of positives from Chester FC 's 4-2 home loss to Everton under-23s on Saturday, certainly in a hugely impressive first half. One such positive was the performance of trialist striker Mamadou Djabi, with Chester bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley allowed to run the rule over the 20-year-old Fleetwood Town man during the last three friendlies with a view to taking him on loan.

But with fellow trialist Deane Smalley also vying for a spot in the squad along with a third hopeful with Football League experience who has featured during pre-season, Morley admits that a decision needs to be made soon on who will add to a strikeforce that now contains Anthony Dudley, who netted on his Blues debut against the Toffees.

Djabi, who spent time on loan at Lancaster City last season, signed a new deal with the Cod Army earlier this year but Joey Barton's side are keen for him to get more first team experience during the coming campaign.

'I think it is wrong to make signings when you have not seen enough of them. Managers fail because they rely on others,' said Morley, speaking to the media after Saturday's defeat. 'Mama's a good player. We've seen 120 minutes of him. Is he the finished article? Probably not and we can't just go off one game. Fleetwood are pushing us to make a decision but we would keep all four if we could. I think we have got the balance and got a bit of everything in them four.

'It's going to be tough and we're going to have to make a decision in the next 48 hours on who we are keeping and who we are not, which won't be easy.

'I don't think they'll let Mama come out unless the thought is that we are going to play him. But nobody can be guaranteed a shirt, whether you're at Premier League or Unibond level. But I understand the reasoning in not letting him come out on loan if he is just going to be a squad player'...

Chester had held the lead at the break on Saturday thanks to Dudley's debut goal. But after being so impressive in the opening 45 minutes the wheels came off somewhat in the second half... after [ex-Alty loanee] Jon Moran had briefly restored parity just after the hour mark."

Bradford (Park Avenue) report on their "fascinating history. Whilst their story isn’t shared as widely as perhaps it should be, it provokes intrigue from anyone fortunate enough to stumble across a supporter or article that explains the story.

The club have been represented by the first-ever footballer to receive the Victoria Cross, Donald Simpson Bell, the ‘Clown Prince’ Len Shackleton and former England manager Ron Greenwood. They have been watched by crowds in excess of 20,000 many times, and a remarkable 82,771 turned up to watch a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the 1948/49 campaign.

For a club as steeped in history as Bradford are, landmark dates and anniversaries of significance come around often. The beginning of the 2018/19 season, however, marks an unforgettable anniversary that symbolises the great strides that the club has made. Fourteen years after shareholders agreed to liquidate the company with debts of £57,652, the club was reformed and joined the West Riding County Amateur League. Although a Sunday side had been born out of the ashes of the original club, it disbanded when Bradford reformed, and business was resumed.

This marked a new era for the club, and despite having to move out of Bradford to find facilities, the club remained resolute and continued to operate. A move to the Horsfall Stadium was eventually made and progress continued. Despite suffering successive relegations in 2005 and 2006, the club bounced back with promotions in 2008 and 2012.

The 2018/19 season will be Bradford’s seventh since their return to what is now known as the National League North, and the future has never looked brighter. In a division swamped with full-time sides and sizable budgets, manager Mark Bower recently guided the club to a 7th place finish, allowing Bradford to compete in the play-offs for the first time since their promotion to the division.

Despite falling to a 1-0 defeat to Brackley Town in the semi-finals, the evident potential in Bower’s side has given supporters a reason for optimism. Season ticket prices remain great value for money and the club recently made the momentous decision to adopt a modern version of the club’s former badge, whilst reinstating brackets to the club’s name. The move was described by CEO Rob Stanley as a case of ‘stepping back to move forward’ and the change is symbolic of yet another new era for Bradford.

Bradford (Park Avenue) are no longer just a football club. Despite no longer being known as a ‘community football club’, they remain one in spirit. The Horsfall College of Sport is now in full operation, ensuring that young people in Bradford have opportunities to better themselves and forge bright futures. Some prospects have already featured in the first-team as teenagers but the club’s providing of educational opportunities ensures that those who don’t are not left behind. The ‘BPA in the Community’ scheme works in tandem with the College, sharing its ethos of being more than a football club and being at the heart of the community. The team has a constant presence in Bradford, giving as many young people in Bradford the opportunity to be a part of the club as possible.

Horsfall Stadium is called home but Bradford (Park Avenue) are wherever the city of Bradford and its young people need them to be. The club’s owner, Gareth Roberts, is keen to leave a legacy in Bradford and it is in the process of being established. Bradford (Park Avenue) are providing a football team, community team and College that the city can be proud of."


Droylsden remind us that former Alty midfielder Ged Murphy is now a Player / Coach at the Butcher's Arms. He is described as "A right sided midfielder or defender; he is a great motivator and strong character with a good knowledge of the game".

Another player for The Bloods is former Alty reserve Scott Metcalfe. Droylsden report that "Scott joined us mid-last season from Warrington Town; he is an attacking midfielder with bags of vision and a good engine; should fit in well with our style of football".