September 2018

30 September 2018


Above: James Jones receives a bear-hug, but no penalty, against Kidderminster.

Altrincham's unhappy run in league games at Aggborough continued but their play for substantial portions of this game deserved a better outcome. They were undone, however by three poorly conceded first-half goals, the first arriving just 42 seconds after kick-off when Elliot Wynne spilt a shot which Kidderminster's Williams comfortably netted from close range.

Altrincham top scorer Jordan Hulme was only fit enough for the bench, whilst Simon Richman was sidelined by a hamstring problem. However, Conor Hampson returned from injury at left-back with Josh Hancock moving to the bench.

After their early setback, Alty had much the better of the middle portion of the first half and deservedly equalised after 24 minutes. Loanee Owen Dale did well on the right wing and his low cross saw Peers barged over in the box, only for the ball to run on to John Johnston who scored with a well-placed low shot, in the 24th minute.

But, ten minutes before the interval, Altrincham allowed Kidderminster's Johnson to advance and feed Bradley. From left of goal the striker hit a low shot across Wynne and into the far corner of the net.

Above: Max Harrop's freekick is diverted into the net. Max is off the picture, to the right.

And, in the 45th minute, the Harriers breached the centre of Altrincham's defence with Williams's threaded ball presenting Chambers with a straightforward chance which he took to make it a flattering 3-1 to the hosts at the interval.

Horsfall's foul on his opposite number, Hannigan, gave Altrincham a 53rd minute freekick, right of goal. Harrop's freekick diverted off a defender and wrong-footed the keeper to make it 3-2. The hosts held on to their lead despite Jones hitting the post and very strong appeals for a penalty when Hancock went down in the box but Kidderminster full-back Vaughan's mocking "victory" finger gestures to the visiting supporters after the final whistle did no credit to his otherwise friendly club.

Altrincham dropped to fifteenth in advance of their FA Cup clash with Bradford (Park Avenue) next Saturday.

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


Contrary to a previous public announcement, Altrincham's Second Round Qualifying match away at Daisy Hill has been arranged for Weednesday 1 October 2018 (not Monday).


Kidderminster manager Neil Macfarlane says that "Both teams were fantastic" and that Altrincham "maybe deserved a point" in his post-match interview.

Kidderminster Harriers report that "Harriers netted three first-half goals to ensure their league campaign got back to winning ways with a 3-2 success over Altrincham.

The Reds struck as early as the first minute as Ed Williams pounced for his seventh of the term, before a lively Robins side struck back through Johnston’s finish.

The hosts then added further goals through Bradley and Chambers to leave themselves 3-1 up at the break, the arrears reduced by a deflected Max Harrop free-kick. Harriers held off amid late pressure to ensure the points stayed in Worcestershire...

The visitors, lively going forward, caused their share of problems all afternoon and they really came into the ascendancy after the quarter hour, a Sean Williams shot going wide before the equaliser, on 23 minutes, saw Dale’s energetic run and ball into the area slotted home clinically by Johnston.

Harriers netted twice more before the break, the first coming on 35 minutes when Bradley, latching on to an expertly-timed pass from Johnson, fired across the keeper and home. Johnston and White then both went close for the visitors before, a minute before the break, Chambers raced on to a loose ball after dangerous work from Williams to net his fifth of the campaign.

The Robins began the second period looking dangerous; within three minutes they’d forced a save from Hall through Harrop, before pulling another goal back through the same player as his low free-kick found the net with the help of a hefty deflection.

As the hour mark came and went this became a relentless, end-to-end affair with chances flying all over... There was stern defending needing to be done in the dying minutes as Altrincham pushed; Hall parrying a shot into the air that Johnson headed over his own bar with perfect timing, a Jones attempt then clipping the post with virtually the last kick of the game."


Saturday 29 September 2018
  • Alfreton Town 0-1 Bradford Park Avenue (gate 487)
  • Ashton United 2-1 Leamington (192)
  • Blyth Spartans 1-0 AFC Telford United (590)
  • Brackley Town 2-0 Southport (590)
  • Chorley 0-0 Chester (2028)
  • Curzon Ashton 1-3 Boston United (305)
  • Darlington 0-1 Stockport County (1507)
  • Hereford FC 0-3 Spennymoor Town (2159)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 Altrincham (1517, 116 from Altrincham)
  • Nuneaton Borough 1-0 FC United of Manchester (n/a)
  • York City 4-2 Guiseley (2331)

29 September 2018


The unofficial Harriers Online says that "Aggborough welcomes back Altrincham after a one season break following their relegation from the National North in 2017. Sadly we were one of the clubs to help them on the way with a 4-1 win over them in the April of that year.

To bounce back at the first time of asking isn’t easy and all credit to them for that. At the present time they’ve made a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season and sit in mid-table with three away wins under their belts. Amazingly they have yet to record a league win at home and have only accrued two points from five games at Moss Lane. So with their away form record we’ll need to be ready for them tomorrow.

We both won 5-0 in our FA Cup games last Saturday. Our victory over Atherstone being matched by theirs at home to Whitley Bay FC with their final two goals coming from substitute Tom Peers twenty minutes from the end of the game. They’ll be without Robbie [Shaun!] Densmore (long term injury) and Ben Harrison (knee) for the game but expect Peers [right] to now start.

We should have no injuries to speak of with Joel Taylor's eye infection and Billy Daniels ankle knock cleared up by now. Dan Bradley will be hoping to get a start after walking off with the matchball but who will it be in place of? It’s doubtful that Ashley Chambers or Ed Williams will be dropped so it looks likely to possibly be Joe Ironside. Neil MacFarlane has a tough decision to make.

Three points tomorrow will keep us in touch with the leaders Chorley FC and, with them facing an improving Chester FC, we might even close the gap to just six points. We do have a good history at home results wise against Alty with our last league defeat coming way, way back in May 1994 when we were both in the Vauxhall Conference. We have suffered two cup defeats though having lost out in the FA Trophy in 1995 and 2015.

Here’s to three points for the Harriers then.

Harriers from: Hall, Palmer, Taylor, Horsfall, O’Connor, Digie, Vaughan, Johnson, Baxendale, Weeks, Austin, Bradley, Chambers, Daniels, Richards, E Williams, Ironside.

Referee: Mr James Bell. Sheffield".


The NL Paper reports that "Peterborough Sports will welcome the BBC Sport cameras to Lincoln Road next weekend when they take on Chorley in the FA Cup third round qualifying. The Southern League Division One Central side stunned Chorley’s league rivals Boston United in the previous round and will now hope to cause another huge shock against the Step 2 leaders. Their tie has been chosen by the BBC to be live streamed on their website and is accessible on TV via the red button with kick-off brought forward to 12.30pm."


According to the National League "Chester have a no excuses policy this weekend, despite being away to the run-away leaders and with an injury list which would make any manager wince. The improving Seals are on the march after wins over promotion hopefuls Boston United and Kidderminster Harriers... But those wins have come at a cost.

Crucial Gary Roberts is ruled out of the game with a swollen foot. The hamstrung Anthony Dudley also won’t play while joint manager Anthony Johnson says George Green and Dominic Smalley are out. Struggling Scott Burton and Deane Smalley are also both big doubts, he has announced. But even with their issues, not to mention Chorley’s inspired form, Johnson is expecting a positive result in Lancashire.

He told the website, 'It's not ideal to be missing players as we want the strongest squad possible because it affords us more chance to change things from the bench. But we know what we possess in this group and the lads have shown in the past few games what they’re all about. We’ll be missing some big players on Saturday, but that has been the case for a lot of the season. We are one team here, not a first XI and then some lads on the fringes'"...

The National League adds that "We might only be on matchday 11, but could we have a relegation six-pointer already? It’s not where either of FC United of Manchester or Nuneaton Borough would’ve liked to be at this stage. But with just two league wins between them, this game promises to be a huge result for whoever comes away with the win.

Alfreton had lost two on the bounce before their FA Cup games this week. Billy Heath’s men remain in the top seven but face a stern test from Bradford (Park Avenue). After parting with long-term manager Peter Beadle, Hereford’s on the field fortunes have showed no signs of improving. [Er? They won away in the FA Cup in midweek].

And they’re in for a tough time this week as they host high-fliers Spennymoor Town...

Speaking of fine form, Kidderminster Harriers will be looking to reignite theirs after their first defeat a fortnight ago. Harriers entertain an Altrincham side who seem to like playing away. Can they add to their fine win at Bradford (Park Avenue) last time out?

Boston are on the road after a torrid time in the FA Cup. They head to Curzon Ashton having scored just two goals in their previous five outings.

After a superb August, Leamington have struggled to get going this month and will be fancied despite being the away side for their clash with Ashton United... Despite losing only once this season, AFC Telford find themselves nine-points off the top... but the Bucks can close the gap if they overcome Blyth Spartans and other results go their way.

Brackley may have surprised many so far, but their recent form shows no signs of letting up and they will head into the home game with Southport full of confidence."

NL Daily tells us that "Southport have announced the signing of Morgan Homson-Smith. A right-winger, he joins the club from the Football Development Agency (FDA) Academy, where he has spent 15 months playing for the setup who aim to give young players who have been released from the professional game a competitive environment to showcase their ability.

An ex-Morecambe scholar, the left-footed attacking player is confident on the right-wing or in a forward position and is another addition with a promising future ahead. Since March 2018 he has spent time at Prescot Cables... after moving from Harrogate Town. His other clubs also include AFC Fylde and Kendal Town. The Preston-based 20-year-old has trained with the club recently and impressed the management team immediately".

From the Liverpool Echo we read that "Former Southport FC Operations Manager Steve Haw has left his role at the club. Haw, who set the club’s record for most goals scored in a season during his playing days, confirmed he has left the Sandgrounders by mutual consent.

The former fire fighter, who also runs the Vital Signs Foundation, says he left the role for personal reasons... Haw re-joined the club late in 2017 following his retirement from the fire service and his responsibilities included overseeing the major renovation of the Merseyrail Community Stadium’s main stand and bar areas. He was also responsible for ensuring the match day safety for each home fixture.

He said, 'It was a mutual decision to leave. I’m still a massive fan and wish the best for the owners and the club'... Of the stadium development, he added 'It’s a massive improvement and it’s great for our supporters. It’s really important that their experience is improved and we’ve done that with the modern stand, the mobile bars. the new catering and the 1881 Lounge'... The club is now advertising for a match day co-ordinator to take on some of Haw’s previous responsibilities".

28 September 2018


Altrincham travel to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday where arrangements are as follows...

"For the vast majority of matches at Aggborough, away fans will be seated in the East Stand, an all-seated stand that runs the length of the pitch, offering fantastic views of the pitch. Where a large travelling contingent is expected, away supporters will also then be housed in the South Stand terrace, which is behind the goal to the right hand side of the tunnel as you enter the pitch.

As stated above, away fans will most times be housed in the East Stand seating only. In accordance with league rules this means you’d pay:

  • £15 – for adults
  • £9 – for Over 60s
  • £3- for anyone under the age of 16.
  • FREE for youngsters aged five and under.

In the event that away fans are given the choice of either seating or standing, the price for seating increases to £17 and £12 respectively with U16s at £5, those under 5 still being free".


Travel Coordinator Mark Eckersall writes.. "TASC are running a coach to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday 29th September with the details on the Away Travel page. We've managed to keep prices the same as our last visit two years ago, in 2016, but we can only do this with your support. If you've considered coming to an away match before then we hope you might join us on this trip.

We offer a smart, modern vehicle with a family friendly atmosphere suitable for all ages and we have travellers old and young come with us. We don't allow alcohol to make sure we preserve this but always arrive in time for a drink before the game or to have a wander and see the local area if you prefer.

We'll be stopping at the services for thirty mins on this trip on the way down, with a toilet stop on the way home to get you back for evening arrangements.

You can book your seat by calling the club in the week on 0161 928-1045. We've had some enjoyable trips this season already so why not join us and support the coaches and team as we push on together?"


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards reports Altrincham FC assistant manager Neil Sorvel's views after the Whitley Bay game.

Right: Neil Sorvel and Connor Hampson leave the pitch before the game at Southport in August.


According to the EvoStik League "Runcorn Linnets FC fans are checking out improvements to the club car park, sponsored and carried out by Tesco. One of the supermarket chain's key strategies is 'Every little helps' and as part of this, the company is committed to making a difference in local communities.

Tesco offered to realign the kerb at the entrance to the car park, making access easier for team coaches transporting opposition officials and players to the Millbank Linnets Stadium in Murdishaw, Runcorn. The work was organised through Sean Gaskill, assistant manager of Runcorn Linnets Blues Under 14s and a member of Tesco's Maintenance Team...

Linnets chairman, Mike Bignall said, 'The car park, which opened last year as part of our new clubhouse development, is used by hundreds of players, fans and parents every week. While there has been no problem accessing it by car, we have encountered some difficulties getting visiting team coaches on to the site because of the way the entrance was configured. The realignment and resurfacing work carried out has been done to remedy this and we are indebted to Tesco and their Maintenance Team for their much-welcomed support.'"

Quote of the season comes from Macclesfield Town manager Mark Yates after the Silkmen's 8-0 reverse at West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, "It was not the result we were looking for", he said, according to The Times newspaper.


The next scheduled game for Altrincham FC Reserves in this Saturday (29th) at Egerton Youth Club in the J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup 2018 - 2019 at Egerton Youth Club. The opposition is Billinge whose registered players include two former Alty Youth goalkeepers, Daniel Havern and Joshua Samberg.


The next scheduled game for Altrincham FC Ladies is on Sunday (30th) away to Liverpool Feds Reserves, who lie fourth in the league. Alty Ladies are the league leaders on goal difference.


FC United "can confirm that central defender Sam Baird has gone out on loan to Droylsden until December and central midfielder Scott Kay has left the club. Baird, who featured regularly in the starting 11 at the start of the season, has joined Droylsden on loan until December to gain match fitness.

Midfielder Scott Kay however has left the club on a permanent basis. The former FC captain returned to the squad for a short stint after the team was injury hit in the middle of the park and struggling for numbers.

On the departure of Kay, Interim Manager David Chadwick said 'Scott came to me a few weeks back and said he wasn’t enjoying his football and wanted to stop playing. He made the point he wouldn’t leave there and then as we were struggling with injuries in midfield, so he agreed to stay until we had the numbers back. Considering he didn’t want to play football he put some great performances in and deserves credit for helping the team out on his return to the squad'".

And the EvoStik League adds that "Ramsbottom United have signed former FC United defenders Tom Eckersley and Kyle Jacobs. Eckersley, 26, can also play in midfield... He had loan spells with Stockport and Barrow. Standing at 6’4”, Eckersley played 32 times for FC United in 2016/17 and also counts Tamworth, Rushall Olympic, Fylde, Witton Albion, Curzon Ashton and Ashton United amongst his former clubs.

Jacobs, 31, played 140 games for FC United and has also played for Macclesfield, Stockport, Chorley and most recently, Ashton United".

The National League confirms that "Chorley [have] had a visit from an ex-England international; David Platt was in town to support the Magpies’ promotion charge... Their next game is a huge clash with fellow promotion candidates Chester – a game that could draw huge crowds on its own.

But as the club made an announcement about ticket sales, they posted a picture of Platt whilst he dropped into the ticket office at Victory Park... The 52-year-old's visit is sure to rally the troops ahead of their showdown this weekend."

The Boston Standard tells us that "David Norris’s career went full circle as he returned to action for Boston United on Saturday, but the midfielder believed his chance had been missed.

It was 18 years ago that the midfielder left for Bolton Wanderers, beginning a career which included appearances for clubs such as Hull City, Plymouth Argyle, Peterborough United, Ipswich Town and Leeds United. But the 37-year-old was delighted to be back in amber at the weekend, despite his side losing 2-0 to Peterborough Sports.

'To be honest, no I didn’t think I’d be here again,' Norris said. 'I thought my chance had passed once it hadn’t happened in the last two, maybe three, years when I had dropped down and played semi-professional. I didn’t see it coming but I’m back and delighted. There’s a lot of nostalgia for me and history for me here but, at the same time, that’s not why I’m here... I know the manager wouldn’t bring me in for any other reason than thinking I can help the team,' he added.

'Obviously, I have an affinity with the club. It’s where I started and it set me on my way, so I’ve got a a lot of time for the club, it’s got a place in my heart. If I can come back and help out then that’s perfect.'"

From the unofficial website Bulls' News we find a Hereford FC Board Statement...

"Ahead of the Fans' Forum, the club’s Board feel it is only right to explain to supporters that while they will be happy to answer any other questions on the night, they will be limited in terms of what they can say about the recent departure of Peter Beadle and Steve Jenkins... because they must respect the legal aspects of an employer-employee relationship... However, as the Directors completely understand that the situation is an emotive one, they would like to try to explain some of the rationale behind the decision...

Over the course of three fantastic seasons, Pete Beadle, working with both Bish (Matt Bishop) and subsequently Jenks (Steve Jenkins), achieved three championships and a Wembley appearance for Hereford Football Club, an exceptional performance from the management staff and their teams... Their achievements during the three-year period will never be underestimated by the club’s current Board...

Several months ago a review panel was established to look at the club’s football strategy. The panel included people who are well qualified to advise on this subject... external experts were approached to be part of the review panel. As a result of that review... it was decided that when the time was right we would implement the recommended structural changes that had been put forward. Essentially, this involved moving away from the more usual non-league coaching team of a Manager and an Assistant Manager, to an experienced Head of Football working closely with a Head Coach with support from an experienced player as assistant player-coach.

One of the many advantages put forward by the panel was that this structure, as well as bringing a wealth of football experience, would introduce a clear separation of responsibilities, but still with a close working relationship between the two. For example, having worked together to identify the type of players required... the two would work together in the more practical elements such as training and tactics...

While the decision to go down this route was made some time ago, at what point to implement it was a different matter. There was probably never going to be a ‘right’ time... The Board was unanimous in the view that having secured promotion to the National League North, the players and the club itself deserved to have the best opportunity possible to be competitive at this higher level and beyond...

There was never going to be an ideal time to implement such a change... We decided to act now as opposed to delaying until later in the season when it may have been too late to affect this year’s finishing position... We can offer complete reassurance that it was not a knee-jerk reaction based on any single thing that has occurred. We do, however, understand that unless you were aware of the background that we have tried to set out in this statement, the decision will have come as a very big shock to all fans. To be perfectly clear, there was and is no ulterior motive for this move, but we recognise that we will never be able to prevent others coming up with unsubstantiated theories and allegations".


From the EvoStik League we learn that "Of the 62 EVO-STIK League clubs that entered the FA Cup this year just nine are through to the 3rd Qualifying Round... This is the second lowest number of NPL clubs to progress this far in the FA Cup...

Two Premier League clubs had to begin their FA Cup campaign a round earlier than historically would have been the case. Hyde United were defeated by Division One West side Colne in the 1st Qualifying Round, whilst Bamber Bridge suffered their heaviest ever FA Cup defeat in their 2nd Qualifying Round replay at home to Cleethorpes Town.

Cleethorpes Town are one of only two Division One clubs still standing in the 3rd Qualifying Round after posting what was also their record FA Cup 5-0 win over Bamber Bridge in their 2nd Qualifying Round replay... They will host Guiseley from National League North.

The other Division One side, Kidsgrove Athletic, are just one round away from equalling their best FA Cup run but have to overcome Premier League opposition away from home in the shape of Workington if they are to do so.

Mickleover Sports are already equalling their best ever FA Cup run and they have a home tie against National League North Alfreton Town... Sports had never met a club beginning with the letter ‘A’ in the FA Cup before this season. Alfreton will be their second in successive rounds after defeating Anstey Nomads.

Hednesford Town will become the record 182nd different opponent for Kettering Town in FA Cup history whilst Marine have to travel to National League North outfit Brackley Town.

Also travelling to National League North opposition is Witton Albion who go to FC United of Manchester... Witton will be hoping that the charm of their 100th FA Cup campaign will help them avenge the 3-1 defeat from that day.

Gainsborough Trinity take on National League North outfit Blyth Spartans having beaten them on both previous occasions when they’ve met in the FA Cup. Finally, Warrington Town will host a National League North club, too, when they face AFC Telford United for the first time."

27 September 2018


There are Alty TV highlights of Altrincham 5 Whitley Bay 0 here. There is also a post-match interview with Neil Sorvel here.


Altrincham are away to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday. Despite Altrincham's dreadful recent record at Aggborough, (seven defeats and three draws in the last ten league meetings there), historically the picture is much more even as Mike Garnett's data show:
  • At home: P25-W11-D5-L9-F35-A31
  • Away: P26-W9-D7-L10-F27-A41
  • All: P51-W20-D12-L19-F62-A72

Above, Alty line up at Aggborough on their last league visit, in August 2016. Kidderminster won the game 1-0. The line-up that day was 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. Adam SUMNER, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 5. John CYRUS, 6. Jon MORAN, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. David LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE, 9. Emile SINCLAIR-HUTTON, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Danny HATTERSLEY, 14. Nyal BELL, 15. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 16. Alan GOODALL, 17. Harry CAIN .


The official Altrincham FC website has a report on the Youth team's 5-3 win over Hyde United


Cheshire Live tells us that "The injuries may be mounting up at Chester FC but Anthony Johnson says there will be no room for excuses as he and Bernard Morley’s side head to National League North pace-setters Chorley on Saturday. After a difficult start to the season on and off the field, Chester have started to find their groove in recent weeks and have lifted themselves up to ninth in the table as well as booking their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup at the weekend courtesy of a 4-0 win over North West Counties League side City of Liverpool .

That win made it five unbeaten for Johnson and Morley’s Blues...

Gary Roberts is ruled out of the game with a swollen foot that forced his early withdrawal in the FA Cup, although initial fears that it was a broken bone have since been allayed . Striker Anthony Dudley (hamstring) is missing for the weekend, as is George Green (lower back) and Dominic Smalley (dislocated shoulder), while Scott Burton (calf) and Deane Smalley (hamstring) are both doubts. But despite the injury situation and taking on a team who have won nine and drawn one of their opening 10 games, Johnson still believes he and Morley’s side possess the necessary quality to leave Chorley with a bloody nose and inflict their first defeat of the campaign.

'It’s non-stop with injuries and, just as we appear to be getting back to something like a full-strength team ,then it seems to hit us again,' said Johnson. 'We’ll be missing some big players on Saturday, but that has been the case for a lot of the season. We are one team here, not a first XI and then some lads on the fringes. If a chance presents itself then lads know that if they take it the shirt is theirs to lose'".

From NL Daily we learn that "Chester FC midfielder Gary Roberts hasn’t broken a bone in his foot but remains a major doubt for this weekend’s trip to leaders Chorley, report Cheshire Live.. Joint-boss Bernard Morley stated that it looked like a broken bone in his foot initially, with plenty of swelling...

But he was told that there has been no break, but plenty of severe bruising has seen his foot remain swollen, with the midfielder ensuring he keeps the injury iced to help reduce the swelling".

Also from NL Daily we learn that "Boss Gavin Cowan believes vice skipper Ellis Deeney could do a stellar job in any position for AFC Telford United, reports the Shropshire Star. Twenty-six-year-old Deeney usually plays in central midfield but impressed at left-back at the weekend.

'Ellis is just someone who can play anywhere,' said Cowan... 'It’s another option for us. It’s one that came out of the blue. Credit to Phil Trainer, my assistant, as he’s the one who gave me the idea.'

Deeney was signed from Tamworth on an 18-month deal in January. He is the younger brother of Watford striker Troy Deeney and was a left-back in his youth days at Aston Villa, before enjoying spells at Worcester City and Tamworth as a midfielder".

According to NL Daily "Solihull Moors have announced the signing of central defender Harry Flowers from Guiseley for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old joined the Lions from Burnley in January 2018 and went on to make 13 appearances... Prior to joining Burnley, Flowers played for Midland Premier Division side Brocton but departed for the Clarets in March 2017. He signed a contract until June 2018, before moving to Guiseley.

The defender is the grandson of former England and Wolves legend Ron, but has no relation to Moors manager Tim!"

The Shropshire Star says that "AFC Telford United have signed teenager John McAtee on loan from county rivals Shrewsbury Town again. The 19-year-old attacker is due to stay with Gavin Cowan's Bucks for a month. He enjoyed a loan spell at the New Bucks Head last season, scoring once in seven games, and netted against Telford while on loan at Ashton United earlier this month.

The Bucks have been granted permission by Salop to feature McAtee in the FA Cup. Town boss John Askey said 'It didn’t quite work out for John at Ashton, they were struggling in the league. I think it will do him good if he can get playing for Telford. With the club being local as well, it’s a good one for him to go to. The fact that they want him back, he must have done well'".


Wednesday 26 September 2018
  • Truro City 3-4 Hereford (a.e.t., Hereford were 3-0 down after half an hour's play!)

Tuesday 2 October 2018 Second Round Qualifying

  • St Albans City v Corinthian Casuals (subject to appeal)


Tuesday 25th September 2018, Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round
  • Cammell Laird 1907 3-0 Hyde United

26 September 2018


Right: Jake Moult wins a header in the match against Whitley Bay last Saturday.

Altrincham FC captain Jake Moult is the club's only player to have started every one of the eleven games played, so far, this season.

Only two other players have played a part in all eleven games, they are Max Harrop and Sean Williams. Max has started eight matches and appeared from the bench in the three fixtures, whilst Sean has started nine times and been a used substitute twice.

So far, in the league, 22 players have been used. Only five of the eleven who kicked off the league season against Leamington also started the most recent league game, at Bradford (Park Avenue); they were Josh Hancock, John Johnston, James Jones, Jake Moult and Andy White.

Jordan Hulme leads the goal-scoring charts with eight (7 in the league), followed by Josh Hancock, John Johnston and Tom Peers with three goals apiece in all competitions. Ten different players have netted goals this season whilst 18 yellow cards have been received in total by eight different players.

The average home gate in the league this season is currently standing at 1,184.

In terms of goal timings in the league, Alty have scored just five first-half goals and thirteen in the second half. Only four goals have been scored at home and fourteen away in the league, five games apiece having been played home and away. Altrincham have yet to score a first-half league goal this season at the J. Davidson Stadium!

And, finally, congratulations to Max Harrop for whom last Saturday's game was his fiftieth appearance for the Club. He has made 34 starts and 16 substitute appearances and has netted six goals.


Damian Reeves (right) netted the only goal as Gainsborough Trinity, managed by Lee Sinnott, overcame North Ferriby United in the EvoStik Premier. Trinity now lie fourth in the table.

In the same division, James Walshaw netted Scarborough Athletic's goal in a 1-1 draw at Mickleover. Kyle Perry scored as Stafford Rangers defeated Basford United and Danny Mitchley netted for Marine, who drew at Workington.

In Division One West, Sam Heathcote scored the only goal as Trafford won at Ramsbottom United.


Tuesday 25 September 2018 - northern ties only
  • Bamber Bridge 0-5 Cleethorpes Town
  • Blyth Spartans AFC 1-0 Nantwich Town
  • Brackley Town 2-0 Nuneaton Town
  • Warrington Town 2-0 Consett AFC
  • Alfreton Town 3-0 Sutton Coldfield Town
  • Grantham Town 0-2 Nuneaton Borough
  • Coalville Town 4-1 Buxton


The Shropshire Star tells us that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has refuted Bedford Town boss Jon Taylor’s claims that he made ‘derogatory and disrespectful’ comments in an interview following Saturday’s FA Cup win. Taylor released a statement on the club’s website after they were beaten 3-1 in the FA Cup second qualifying round on Saturday suggesting Cowan had not acknowledged his side’s display.

The Bedford boss was unimpressed by Cowan’s claim that his side could have won by more goals, claiming 'it made a mockery' of his side’s performance. Cowan countered Taylor’s views, which also brought into question the homework carried out by the Bucks' boss ahead of the tie. 'I felt I was very respectful towards them and could not have done any more research,' said Cowan. 'Their players were excellent and did a brilliant job. Bedford came to spoil the game and I say that as a compliment, they did it really well. We did not take them lightly and put out a very strong team. I had two reports of them from teams they played and people I know.

'We made it difficult for ourselves as four of my players did not play to the expected levels. My comments were all meant in a positive manner.'

The statement also accused a member of Cowan’s backroom staff of listening outside the dressing room to Bedford’s half-time team talk and taking notes, which Cowan strongly denied.

'I felt we were very complimentary to them,' Cowan added. 'When they arrived we made sure they were getting looked after'...

The Bucks are now just two wins away from the First Round Proper".

Over at Boston United, "defender Cieron Keane has linked up with Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division high-flyers Basford United on dual registration. The 22-year-old full-back, who joined the Pilgrims from Alfreton Town at the end of August and has featured twice as a substitute to date, has moved to Greenwich Avenue in pursuit of regular football".

According to the Hull Daily Mail, "Leeds United and Aston Villa are thought to have joined the race to sign Kidderminster Harriers' former Cheltenham Town and Gloucester City midfielder Ed Williams. He has been in fine form for the National League North club, who he joined on a one-year deal after leaving Gloucester City in the summer, GloucestershireLive report.

Cheltenham-born Williams has scored six goals in seven games and National League side Salford City are thought to have made an approach for his signature. Scouts from Leeds and Aston Villa watched the former Prestbury St Mary's school pupil in action for Kidderminster during Saturday’s FA Cup second qualifying round win over Atherstone Town. Derby County and Ipswich Town have also shown an interest in Williams along with several League One and League Two clubs and the 23-year-old looks set to make a January move higher up the football pyramid".

Complementing this story, Kidderminster Harriers add that "Harriers are proud to announce that Ed Williams is one of just two Step 2 players to be named in the latest England C squad. England C are back in action in October, hosting an Estonia U23s team at Leyton Orient’s Breyer Group Stadium. Three Lions C manager Paul Fairclough has selected a 16-man squad for the game, which will take place at the East London venue on Wednesday 10 October.

It’s a new-look group too, with the squad evolving since their last international against Wales earlier this year in March and picked from players aged 23 and under who represent clubs from the National League and below, effectively England’s non-League XI.

Williams joins FC United’s Kurt Willoughby in being the only Step 2 players to named in what is otherwise an all-National League line-up...

The Squad:

  • Goalkeepers: Ryan Huddart (Boreham Wood), Ben Killip (Braintree Town)
  • Defenders: Jerome Binnom-Williams (Chesterfield FC), Marvin Ekpiteta (Leyton Orient), Laurence Maguire (Chesterfield), Jon Mellish (Gateshead), Robbie Tinkler (Gateshead)
  • Midfielders: Ryan Croasdale (AFC Fylde), Wesley Fonguck (Barnet), James Hardy (AFC Flyde), Joshua Taylor (Sutton United), Edward Williams (Kidderminster Harriers)
  • Forwards: Luke James (Hartlepool United), Josh Koroma (Leyton Orient), Kurt Willoughby (FC United of Manchester), Thomas Wright (Sutton United)"

25 September 2018


Altrincham will play Bradford (Park Avenue) at home in the Third Qualifying Round on 6th October. The sides have already met in the league this season, with Altrincham winning 3-2 in Yorkshire. However, this will be the first ever FA Cup encounter between the two clubs. The sides did meet in the FA Trophy Second Round, in 2002-03, when Altrincham won 1-0 on a match played in poor conditions at the Horsfall Stadium (see adjacent image of manager Graham Heathcote peering onto the gloom and rain).

On Saturday, Bradford (Park Avenue) "advanced into the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup with a narrow win over Darlington. Mark Bower’s side came into the game on the back of two consecutive defeats but edged past their National League North counterparts with an impressive display...

Forward Jake Beesley was a source of frustration for Darlington defenders throughout... 18-year-old goalkeeper Jack Atkinson was introduced for his debut between the sticks and displayed maturity beyond his years...

Bradford were eventually rewarded for their persistence and took the lead through Danny Lowe. The defender intercepted a pass intended for Luke Trotman before unleashing a vicious strike that flew past Maddison, opening his account for the season in style. The attacking intent of the visitors didn’t relent and Maddison was forced to beat away a diving header from Nicky Clee on the stroke of half-time.

Pressure eased on the Quakers after the break as they gained a grip on the game but Atkinson was unassailable in the Bradford goal... As the game entered its latter stages, Darlington desperately hunted for an equaliser but found that their direct style was dealt with comfortably by the Bradford backline...

Bradford (Park Avenue): Atkinson, Ross, Lowe, Wroe, Killock (c), Havern, McKenna (Toulson 79′), Branson, Beesley, Dawson (Spencer 69′), Clee (Johnson 62′). Unused substitutes: Knight, Nowakowski.


Alty travel to Kidderminster on Saturday. Like Alty, the Harriers won their FA Cup tie on Saturday 5-0. Their line up for the win over Atherstone was 1 Brandon Hall, 2 Lee Vaughan, 3 Sam Austin, 4 Jimmy O'Connor 5 Fraser Horsfall 6 Ryan Johnson 7 Declan Weeks 8 James Baxendale 9 Joe Ironside 10 Dan Bradley 11 Ed Williams. Substitutes 12 Kane Richards Ironside 67, 14 Ashley Chambers, 15, Harry Stratford Williams 76, 16 Reiss Taylor-Randle Bradley 81, 17 Kennedy Digie, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Declyn Cummings.


On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies beat Didsbury FC 3-2 at Mersey Valley in the North West Regional League, Division One South.


Altrincham players, like most teams these days, wear a wide variety of footwear. The above image shows some of the boots worn on Saturday against Whitley Bay, and also illustrates the propensity for cut-away socks these days, where the sock-foot is removed and another short (usually white) sock is separately worn to ankle height. A true Alty fan would be able to identify the two players wearing the same make of footwear in the image above! Answer below...


The Shropshire Star reports that "FC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has hailed cool customer Daniel Udoh after he reached double figures for the campaign in fantastic fashion. Udoh netted a hat-trick, his eighth, ninth and 10th of the term, as the Bucks beat Bedford Town in the FA Cup on Saturday.

It was a stunning showing from the 22-year-old, in Telford’s 11th game of the term, and Cowan said 'When he’s got that bit of time, he’s cool, calm and calculated. He’s very clinical. He just wants to be the best he can be. He’s got all the ability that he needs, and he can still be better. I’m really pleased with him.'

Telford snapped up Udoh during the summer after his release from Crewe Alexandra and Cowan has been impressed by his ‘desire and eagerness’ to make a mark. 'I’m driving through Lilleshall and I’m having to get out of my car and stop him from doing parachute runs on a Friday, before the game. That tells you exactly about his desire and eagerness,' he said. 'I thought he could have had a couple more, if he’d have been a bit more decisive. Maybe where he needs to brush up a bit is when it comes at him sharp. But he’s getting in the right areas.'

Cowan also reserved praised Udoh’s strike partner Andre Brown, who has gone four games without a goal and is on two for the season. 'Credit goes to Andre for being such a nuisance and creating those opportunities for him,' he said. 'I’m just desperate for Andre to get a goal as well'...

The Bucks will receive £9,000 in prize money following Saturday’s 3-1 win... There were places on the bench for defender Zak Lilly and midfielder Jud Ellis, both yet to play this season. On that pair, Cowan said 'They’re very much a part of it, they’re involved. What they’re a victim of is the fact that we’re doing so well. They’re very much in my plans... very close to it'".

Boston's manager has not got over his side's FA Cup exit as Lincolnshire Live confirms. "Boston United manager Craig Elliott blasted his side for being dumped out of the FA Cup on Saturday, but also paid tribute to visitors Peterborough Sports...

'I am hurting,' raged Elliott. 'I am in shock, particularly with the first half. However, I would like to say full credit to Peterborough Sports. I thought they were fantastic and congratulations to them and their manager. They thoroughly deserved it and did not look out of place. I am obviously going to concentrate on us because we were horrendous in the first half...

'I am absolutely gutted with some of our performances in the first half,' continued Elliott. 'We gave away two horrendous goals. Two players should have done a lot better and they have got to be accountable. There is no hiding place when you watch them back. They are two mistakes which should not happen. It gives you an uphill battle. Players are not performing, as simple as that. There are players out there who should be better than they are and whether that’s me not motivating them or those players not listening to me, they ultimately owe a performance to the fans...

'We are carrying too many individuals. There are too many players who do not want to be here. They are not putting their bodies on the line. Their body language suggests they want to be elsewhere.'...

Gregg Smith was introduced at half-time, having completed his return to the club from Brackley Town the previous day, while David Norris emerged from the bench too for his first United appearance since January 2001.

Pilgrims: Willis, Davies, Jackson, Harris, Middleton, Qualter, Wright, Abbott (Norris 46), Rose (Marriott 67), Walker, Arnold (Smith 46). Subs (not used): Wafula, Johnson, Gough, Margetts".

Chester FC "will face Dunston UTS in the Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round... Dunston won the FA Vase back in 2012, and play in the Northern League Division One, the ninth tier of English football. ‘The Fed’ as they are known are currently the lowest ranked side remaining in the FA Cup and are based in Gateshead."

According to NL Daily A player who impressed recently against Alty, "Young Curzon Ashton winger Oliver Crankshaw, is undergoing a trial at Wigan Athletic. The 20-year-old has joined up with the Championship team this week and is set to train with the first team as well as play in a game tomorrow. The former Colne player arrived at Curzon Ashton this summer and made an instant impression as he scored on his first two starts for the Nash. He had been prolific from his wide role at Colne in the Evo-Stik North, attracting interest from a number of professional clubs."

The next league visitors to the J Davidson Stadium are Alfreton Town who report that they "fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Coles Lane against a game Sutton Coldfield side in a tale of two halves in the FA Cup on Saturday. Billy Heath brought Tom Platt, Curtis Bateson and Craig King back into the side with Danny Clarke making the bench.

However the game started in the worst fashion for the Reds as they trailed after just two minutes... It got even better for Sutton after just six minutes when Lee Smith turned well inside the box and flashed a shot into the bottom left corner to leave Alfreton stunned.

The Reds were yet to settle into the game and a lack of concentration at the back resulted in a huge mountain to climb after such little time played...

The second half saw a totally different Alfreton, who no doubt would have been given harsh words from Billy Heath and immediately came out with impetus. With 53 minutes gone, we pulled one back; Clifton's long throw from the right caused problems and the ball fell nicely for Peniket who stabbed home from a few yards out...

After 61 minutes the Reds levelled, Declan Bacon, who was introduced at the start of the second half hit a wonderful effort into the top corner from outside the box... Alfreton hunted for a third goal. Shiels narrowly missed connecting with a Sinnott free kick... The Reds huffed and puffed but had to settle for the draw and a replay on Tuesday night...

ALFRETON: Ramsbottom, Wilde, Clifton, Platt, Gowling, Shiels (C), King (Bacon 45), Hotte, Peniket, Bateson, Sinnott (Clarke 86). Subs Not Used: Chettle, Nicholson, Clackstone, Riley".


Answer: Andy White and Josh Hancock. The five players' feet shown are, left to right, Jones, White, Harrop, Hannigan and Hancock.
24 September 2018


The draw for the Third Qualifying Round, to be played on 6 October, has assigned Altrincham a home tie against Bradford (Park Avenue).

Other ties include:

  • Stourbridge v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Stockport County v Corby Town
  • Hereford FC v Welling United
  • Brackley v Marine
  • Warrington Town v AFC Telford United
  • Peterboro Sports v Chorley
  • Dunston UTS v Chester FC
  • FCUM v Witton Albion
  • Cleethorpes Town v Guiseley
  • King's Lynn Town v Ashton United
  • Gainsborough Trinity v Blyth Spartans
  • York City v St Ives Town
  • Mickleover Sports v Alfreton Town
  • Kettering Town v Hednesford United


Saturday's win over Whitley Bay was Altrincham's biggest FA Cup victory since since 1965/66 when Alty beat Scarborough 6-0 at Moss Lane. However, in the period since then Alty have themselves twice lost 5-0 in the FA Cup and, on another occasion, 6-1. The five-nils were away at Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1965/66, away at Rotherham United in 1976/77 season and the 1-6 reverse came at the hands of Burnley at Turf Moor in 1981/82.

The Altrincham FC official site has John Edwards's match report on Saturday's win.


To say that Aggborough has not been a happy hunting ground recently for Altrincham would be an understatement as recent results at Kidderminster have been poor and compounded by disasters...

Above: It's August 2008 and Alty's Young, McGregor, Doughty and Lawton watch Kidderminster Harriers' Barnes-Homer try to reach an aerial ball.

  • 1-1 26.12.05 "After the supporters' coach suffered a puncture near Hilton Park services on the M6 [something which has never happened since!], many Alty fans arrived at Aggborough just as the home side were taking the lead with a dubious penalty awarded against Mark Maddox for handball when a ball was driven against him from close range (23 mins). But, with their vocal support in place, Altrincham enjoyed the better of the second half and deservedly equalised after 80 minutes when Kieran Lugsden was brought down by Jackson in the box and Steve Aspinall, making his first Conference start, drove the resulting penalty home".
  • 2-3 9.12.06 "Altrincham lost their second successive game 3-2 and were still without an away win after this game but it was a very controversial penalty awarded by referee Vaughan which ultimately cost Altrincham the points"
  • 1-1 5.4.08 "Kidderminster's goal depended on a refereeing decision as Mr Creighton awarded them a questionable penalty just before the interval from which Christie scored. It was the third successive time that a spot-kick had been won against Alty at Aggborough - and all three have been converted by Christie. Alty had held a deserved lead from the eighth minute "
  • 0-4 23.8.08 "It was referee Simpson from Middlesex who determined the outcome of this game by adjudging Chris Lane to have deliberately handled the ball on the line after 33 minutes, when the defender had been hit on the body from point blank range by a Harriers shot" Lane was sent off and Richards converted the penalty.
  • 0-3 29.8.09 "For the second year running, Altrincham had the better of the opening stages only to fall behind after having an early goal disallowed for offside... When Dale Johnson was tripped by last man Riley, the Harriers' man saw a red card. But after 36 mins Densmore was sent off and it got even worse for Alty when Chris Senior was stretchered off with ankle ligament damage".
  • 1-2 12.2.11 "Altrincham were very unlucky to take nothing from this game which they finished with eight fit players on the pitch.Just before the break Carl Piergianni was controversially sent off when he made a fine covering tackle which the referee judged to be a foul. It seemed that Piergianni had been dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity but it later emerged that the reason given by the referee was "foul and abusive language". Dootson made a fine save from the penalty kick, however James Smith then got himself sent off for a petulant spat in injury time, again the reason given was "foul and abusive language". To cap the afternoon Densmore finished the game lame after being fouled, leaving Alty with eight fit men at the final whistle".
  • 0-4 16.9.14 Simon Richman was sent off after 50 minutes.
  • 1-1 2.4.16 Altrincham let in an 89th minute equalizer against bottom of the table Harriers, following a superbly taken tenth-minute goal by Reeves.
  • 0-1 29.8.16 A late tackle led to Simon Richman hobbling off.

However, there was a moment of joy for Alty at Aggborough in the above period when Alty won 1-0 in an FA Trophy Round Two match on 10 January, 2015, with Damian Reeves the scorer.


As Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data show, it will be six years on Saturday since Alty last played on the 29 September date when, this year, we visit Kidderminster. On the 2012 occasion Alty travelled to the Conference North outpost of Bishop's Stortford, close by Stansted Airport.

Right, we see, Stuart Coburn giving friendly advice to his defence at Bishop's Stortford. In the foreground, we see Shaun Densmore.

The dismissal of Simon Richman, 13 minutes from time was the deciding factor in the outcome of this match; he was dismissed for two second-half fouls. In the first half Alty had gone ahead against the run of play when Richman was fouled and he took a quick freekick, setting James Lawrie free. Lawrie scored impressively from the edge of the box after 22 minutes.

In the second half, Alty dominated and had a goal from Reeves disallowed. But, once Alty were reduced to 10 men, Bishop's Stortford got forward, though they were fortunate to survive several threatening counter attacks in which Duncan Watmore played a prominent part, after joining the game as a substitute.

The Blues levelled when Sappleton scored from close range five minutes from time.

Alty's line-up comprised 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN (capt), 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Patrick LACEY, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Duncan WATMORE, 17. Danny MITCHLEY.

A connection between the games in 2012 and 2018 comes in the form of Freddy Ladapo, who played for the Bishops in the 2012 game against Alty and later joined Kidderminster in 2014. After 2012 he went on to have a sustained Football League career, which has currently taken him to Plymouth Argyle.


Despite losing 1-0 at Knutsford on Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves remain top of the Cheshire League with 25 points from 11 games. Second are Billinge who have played one game more and have one point fewer. By chance, the two clubs meet in the J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup next Saturday at Egerton Sports Club.

Altrincham's next league game is on 6 October away to Whaley Bridge Athletic.


On Saturday, Altrincham FC Youth beat Hyde United 5-3. Their next match is on Tuesday 26 September at home to Chester FC Youth who are the league leaders with 18 points from six games, having won every match to date. Alty lie fourth with 12 points from five fixtures.


Altrincham's dually registered Bay Downing again played for Steve Claridge's Salisbury FC on Saturday. In the Emirates FA Cup they drew 2-2 at Weston Super Mare. The game ended 1-1 with the opposition goal being scored whilst Bay was off the pitch being treated for an injury, from which he recovered to resume playing.

As for his fellow summer arrival at Altrincham, there is sad news that Lloyd Bannister is out of action for the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury playing for Atherton Collieries.


The National League reports that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott didn’t hold back as his side became the story of the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. The Pilgrims tumbled out to Step 4’s Peterborough Sports on Saturday at York Street.

There will be no cup run this year following the 2-0 home defeat to the Southern League Division One Central side...

'I can’t and I won’t stand up for the players,' Elliott said... 'The only description I can offer is that it was totally and absolutely shambolic. We got what we deserved, we were nowhere near good enough. I’m embarrassed and so are the players. That was horrendous and it won’t be allowed to happen again... We didn’t put up a fight or match them in any way.'”

23 September 2018


Above: Jake Moult's fine header was kept out by the woodwork but Tom Hannigan was to be on hand to net the rebound at the back post, making it 3-0.

Altrincham advanced into the Third Qualifying Round with a comfortable win against their Northern League opponents who kept going to the end, despite playing for more than half the game with ten men.

Alty took a 28th minute lead when Richman and Moult did well to get the ball to Jordan Hulme. He slid the ball past the advancing keeper, Flynn, to make it 1-0. Alty were unable to build on their lead but Whitley Bay were reduced to ten men in the 41st minute when Hassan felled Max Harrop, just outside the box, as the midfielder advanced up the middle after winning the ball.

In first half added time Alty had a great chance to double their lead when Flynn brought down Hulme in the goalmouth but John Johnston's penalty hit the base of the post and rebounded off the keeper, who then grabbed the ball.

The second half was one-way traffic. Moult made it 2-0 after 55 minutes when he scored from close range with help from Jordan Hulme in the build-up. The third goal came from Tom Hannigan at the back post after a Moult header had been kept out.

Substitute Tom Peers made it 4-0 when fellow sub, James Poole, laid on a chance for him and Peers added a fifth with a superb lob from a long ball forward by Harrop in the 84th minute.

Above: Tom Peers turns away as his shot hits the back of the net to make it 4-0.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Simon Richman, 3. Andy White, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Max Harrop, 11. Josh Hancock. Subs: 12. Owen Dale, 14. Tom Peers, 15. Liam Goulding, 16. James Poole, 17. Joseph Thompson, 18. Connor Hampson, 20. Tony Thompson

WHITLEY BAY 1. Thomas Flynn, 2. Adam Redford, 3. Lewis Walton, 4. Karl Ross, 5. Luke Taylor, 6. Ibrahim Hassan, 7. Peter Glen-Ravenhill, 8. Ryan Redford, 9. Stephen Ramsey, 10. Oliver Martin, 11. Luke Salmon. Subs: 12. Liam Anderson, 13. Kieran Brannen, 14. Sam Disley, 15. Ben Christensen, 16. James Proctor, 19. Liam Powell.


In the FA Youth Cup, following their walkover against Lancaster City, Altrincham FC Youth have been assigned another away ficture, this time at Bolton club Daisy Hill in the week commencing 1st October.


Altrincham's hosts next Saturday, Kidderminster Harriers, report that "Harriers produced a thoroughly dominant showing to ease themselves through to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a 5-0 win over Atherstone Town. Dan Bradley netted a hat-trick while goals from Joe Ironside and Kane Richards added to the tally.

The home side dominated their visitors and showed zero signs that they'd be taking their task lightly, racking up well over 30 attempts at goal through the afternoon, with Atherstone managing just a couple.

The first half was as one-sided a half as you'll see... The pressure finally told on 34 minutes with the opening goal; Bradley on hand to finish after O'Neill had parried a Weeks shot...

Harriers quickly set about adding to their tally after the break and had the chance from 12 yards with just eight minutes gone - Ironside picking himself up after being fouled by Bilic to tuck away from the spot... A couple of minutes later, it was 3-0 as Weeks and Ironside and Bradley combined superbly for the latter to finish into an empty net...

On 67 minutes, Baxter struck over with the visitors' first chance of the day, before Bradley wrapped up his treble by sticking away yet another superb pass from Weeks... Harriers completed their scoring 13 minutes later... when Richards was quickest to meet Vaugan's driven cross to find the net."

More comes from Harriers Online who add that "The Harriers boss Neil MacFarlane was keen to avoid a shock and named a strong side with just four changes made to the team that were defeated by Chester on Saturday. Ryan Johnson, James Baxendale, Dan Bradley and Sam Austin all received the nod whilst the bench was warmed by U23 and Academy prospects Declyn Cummings, Harry Stratford and Reiss Taylor-Randle...

A professional performance from Harriers saw them progress into Monday’s third qualifying round draw. The final word must go to the visitors though who were well supported by 179 vocal fans and a credit to themselves and their league as their great cup run came to an end. They can rightly be proud".


The EvoStik League tells us that Alty Youth product, defender James O'Hara has signed forms for Skelmersdale United


Attendances in the Emirates F.A Cup 2nd Qualifying Round on Saturday include...
  • Att. 1806: Chester FC 4-0 City of Liverpool
  • Att. 367: Dunston UTS 2-1 Irlam
  • Att. 1020: York City 5-0 Ashton Athletic
  • Att. 306: Farsley Celtic 0-3 Southport
  • Att. 371: Nantwich Town 3-3 Blyth Spartans (James Lawrie got two for the Dabbers)
  • Att. 1708: South Shields 1 - 2 Stockport County (Nyal Bell scored a 90th minute winner)
  • Att. 322: Witton Albion 2 - 1 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 240: Ashton Utd v Trafford

22 September 2018


Above: Hulme nets the opening goal.


The Northern element of the Second Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup, to be played this weekend, is as follows...

  • 1 Chester FC 4-0 City of Liverpool
  • 2 Ashton United 3-0 Trafford
  • 3 Radcliffe v Curzon Ashton
  • 4 Farsley Celtic 0-3 Southport
  • 5 Mossley v Kidsgrove Athletic
  • 6 Staveley MW 0-4 Guiseley
  • 7 South Shields 1-2 Stockport County
  • 8 Knaresborough Town 1-4 Workington
  • 9 Cleethorpes Town 3-3 Bamber Bridge
  • 10 York City 5-0 Ashton Athletic
  • 11 Marine 1-0 Frickley Athletic
  • 12 Dunston UTS 2-1 Irlam
  • 13 FC United of Manchester 2-0 Colne
  • 14 Nantwich Town 3-3 Blyth Spartans
  • 15 Darlington 0-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • 16 Chorley 3-0 Leek Town
  • 17 Witton Albion 2-1 Spennymoor Town
  • 18 Altrincham 5-0 Whitley Bay
  • 19 Consett 3-3 Warrington Town
  • 20 Sutton Coldfield Town 0-2 Alfreton Town
  • 21 Boston United 0-2 Peterborough Sports
  • 22 St Ives Town 1-1 Grantham Town
  • 23 Kidderminster Harriers 5-0 Atherstone Town
  • 24 Stourbridge 3-2 Leamington
  • 25 Rugby Town 1-3 Hednesford Town
  • 26 St Neots Town 4-3 Romulus
  • 27 Nuneaton Borough 1-1 Brackley Town
  • 28 Alvechurch 1-4 Corby Town
  • 29 Kettering Town v AFC Mansfield
  • 30 Anstey Nomads 1-7 Mickleover Sports
  • 31 Halesowen Town 0-3 Gainsborough Trinity
  • 32 King’s Lynn Town v Stafford Rangers
  • 33 AFC Telford United 3-1 Bedford Town
  • 34 Buxton 0-0 Coalville Town
  • 74 Hereford FC 0-0 Truro City


Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup tie at home to Congleton Town will take place on Tuesday, 6 November at 7.45pm.

Mike Garnett reminds us of the previous record against The Bears.

  • Home P44 W26 D8 L10 F96 A54
  • Away P41 W16 D7 L18 F80 A107
  • Neutral P2 W2 D0 L0 F5 A1
  • Overall P87 W44 D15 L28 F181 A162


Above: John Cyrus heads clear during Alty's last visit to Aggborough in September 2016, which ended in a 1-0 defeat.

Alty travel to Aggborough next Saturday, from where Kidderminster Harriers state that "Jimmy O’Connor is demanding Harriers maintain their high standards as they enter the Emirates FA Cup against Atherstone Town [this] Saturday... While sitting four levels below Harriers in the pyramid, the team have begun their season strongly, particularly in this competition where they have already successfully negotiated three rounds...

He said 'With any draw in the FA Cup, you always ask for a home tie, that’s what you want first and foremost. We’ve got that, against a team who are a couple of divisions lower, and that presents different challenges'...

'We’re at home and we always fancy our chances against anybody,” added the former Walsall man. “If we prepare right, do what we’re supposed to do and stick to our game plan, I’d fancy us against anybody... Saturday presents a different challenge and they have earned the right to be in this round of the FA Cup, so fair play to them but we have to focus on ourselves on Saturday and make sure we keep hitting those levels and maintain those high standards. If we do that I’m sure we’ll get a positive result.'"


According to the National League "It’s been another frantic Friday of transfer deals as managers take the opportunity to fine-tune their squad ahead of the weekend...

Southport manager Liam Watson is 'absolutely delighted' to sign towering Coventry City midfielder Bouwe Bosma has agreed an initial two-month loan...

Elliot Osborne is meanwhile back at Stockport County after an agreement was reach[ed] for the 22-year-old midfielder to leave Southport until January 5".

And still at Edgeley Park, the National League "Jim Gannon admits he takes his Stockport County side to South Shields in the FA Cup fearful of a difficult day...

'We have to be concerned about the opposition as they are top of the Evo-Stik Premier, they’re at home and they’ve got a lot of experience,' he said in the build up to the game. 'They’re the next wave of Darlingtons and Spennymoors. They’ve attracted a lot of players from the National League North. They are a big, strong side and it’s obviously a tasty one for them, they’ll be relishing Stockport County coming to their place. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from the likes of Blyth and Darlington last season, Spennymoor - they were all tough games.

'Travel has an effect on it, you’re on a coach for three or four hours, you’re having to feed lads. It’s a tough fixture but we’ll deal with all that and make sure we are ready... Then you just pick your strongest side in terms of having the physicality and mentality to be aware it will be a hard game.'”

Across the Pennines, the Ilkley Gazette tells us that "Big defender Shane Killock has netted three goals already for Bradford (Park Avenue) this season, and manager Mark Bower is delighted with his side's current set-piece prowess.

Killock volleyed home Avenue's opener in Saturday's defeat against Altrincham, and Bower has been pleased with the defence's attacking contribution so far. He enthused 'With Adam Boyes leaving, we lost a big chunk of goals, so we knew we had to score from different areas. We've been strong from set-pieces this season, with Shane Killock scoring three and (his centre-back partner) Conor Branson also netting on Saturday. When you're on top in games like we have been, you get more free-kicks and corners and the delivery has been excellent over the last few weeks'...

Avenue visit Darlington in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round and Bower... joked 'I've always had a nightmare in the FA Cup but I just say I'm saving myself up for one big cup run. There was one year (2000/01) at York City when we beat Reading in the second round and landed an away tie at Leicester City but that's about it. The prize money has doubled this year though which is an incentive and hopefully we can have a bit of luck and get a big first round draw.'

Bower spent one season as a Darlington player in League Two but the club has changed a lot since his departure eight years ago. He said 'They've been through a tough time after administration but they're still a big club at our level. Their manager Tommy Wright has turned them round and they're a really hard team to beat, although we have done better against strong sides this year. It's not the draw I would have chosen though. I've come up against Darlington three times as a manager and lost on every occasion.'"

York Press asserts that "Sean Newton believes he is due a spot of FA Cup fortune having endured an 'abysmal' time in the world-famous competition...

The Liverpool-born utility man, who turns 30 on Sunday, was a member of the City side that lost 3-2 at eighth-tier South Shields last season... Newton was also in a Telford team that were dumped out of a first-round tie 4-0 by Chelmsford , whilst his biggest moment in the Cup – a 2008 match-winning brace for Droylsden against League Two Chesterfield– was tarnished because he should have been suspended for the tie and the Greater Manchester outfit were subsequently expelled from the tournament, missing out on a trip to Championship outfit Ipswich.

On his nightmare FA Cup record, Newton admitted 'I’ve not really had the best of draws in the competition... With Newton one of six players in the current squad that endured the ignominy of defeat at South Shields, the others are Hamza Bencherif, Simon Heslop, Adriano Moke, Jon Parkin and Dan Parslow, the former Wrexham left back reckons that experience should serve as a painful lesson learned ahead of tomorrow’s second qualifying round home tie against the North West Counties League’s bottom club Ashton Athletic.

'For the lads that were here, it’s a game to look back on and realise you can’t take teams for granted,' Newton reasoned... 'It’s all about mentality... Ashton will be treating it as their cup final... If we don’t win the game, it won’t be because they have got the better players, it will be because we have under-achieved and not treated the game with the respect it deserves. We’ve got to start with a good tempo and get the ball down and play good football like we did against Brackley and Blyth,' he said.

'If we do that, without being disrespectful, they shouldn’t be able to live with us. We’ve got to look to kill the game off early doors and then let our fitness levels take over'...

Newton returned to the team against Kidderminster last weekend after missing four matches due to medial ligament damage. During his absence, the captain’s armband has been handed to Joe Tait, but Newton has accepted that decision...

He added 'If I could pick a position, it would be left-back but, wherever the manager tells you to play, all you can do is try your best.'”

Off the field news from York City is that "The possibility of safe standing or rail seating at the new Community Stadium is currently being explored with key stakeholders. The club is due to leave Bootham Crescent, its home since 1932, at the end of the 2018-19 season and will re-locate, along with the York City Knights Rugby League club, to the new 8,000 all-seater stadium provided by the City of York Council at Monk's Cross.

A statement released on behalf of the club's board of directors states: 'It is widely documented that the conditions of the club's Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) loan stipulate that the new stadium should be all-seater. Those conditions will need to be met in order for the loan to be converted into a FSIF grant. Any changes to the plan for an all-seater stadium will require an amendment by the FSIF to the terms of their loan.

The club is aware that the introduction of rail seating and safe standing is a topic of great debate among football fans and in the football industry which has gained momentum in recent times. Discussions have taken place with various key stakeholders about this as a possibility at the new stadium"

According to the Hereford Times, "Dean Holdsworth is one of the names being hotly linked to the vacant manager’s job at Hereford FC. The Edgar Street club appointed Tim Harris as Head of Football yesterday but are still looking for someone to replace Peter Beadle in a new role of Head Coach.

The Hereford Times understands that Holdsworth, a former Wimbledon striker, has applied for the position and is being considered by the Bulls' board. Holdsworth succeeded Beadle as manager of Newport County in 2008 and has also managed Aldershot Town, Chelmsford Town and Brentwood Town... The Hereford Times has also been told that Lee Clark, the former Newcastle United midfielder and Birmingham City manager, is another name being considered by the Hereford FC board."

And the Hereford Times adds that "Head of Football Tim Harris said that he wants Hereford FC to turn full-time ‘sooner rather than later’ as he prepares to spearhead a new era at the club. The 58-year-old former Newport County manager... took on his role this week. His first job will be to sift through between 60 and 70 applications for the Head Coach role...

'As much as momentum is great reality tells me there comes a stage when you've got to plateau and, without being unkind, that's where Hereford are at this present moment in time,' said Harris. 'We all know what we want, but it is going to take time, fans don't want to hear the words being patient but I will say look at York City. It took them eight years to get out of the National League they got into the Football League and two years later got relegated and another year relegated again.

'It's not a case of boom and bust but there has to be a plan and a development and everybody has to grow. I've experienced the transition from part-time to full-time as if this club is going to get back into the Football League it needs to be full-time. Because when you train, at this moment in time, once a week at the level we are playing at it is not acceptable'...

Harris said that he needs to be able to work closely with the new Head Coach. 'We've had 60 or 70 applicants now and looking at the calibre of applicants who have applied is superb. The problem is what are they thinking of Hereford FC? What are their expectations?... It's managing their expectations and making sure we find the right fit for this football club where it is today. Ideally we would like somebody with the experience of this level and the levels above. Ideally we would like someone who can develop players so that we can look down the route of developing those...

'The most important thing is that I've got to be able to work with them. I worked with three manager at Newport in Dean Holdsworth, Anthony Hudson and Justin Edinburgh. We had a terrific relationship and a very successful period so that's the key to it... There's no time-scale on it and we don't want to rush in but if we can get it done quickly then it's important for the football club where it's currently situated... I'm not precious about being in the dugout but what I am conscious of is that we need to look at recruitment and get a chief scout in looking and finding the little gems out there that we can bring in and help develop and hopefully get success on the pitch and then sell them to progress the club'...

He added 'Momentum is one thing and reality is another and where we sit in this moment in time is a big league. You can't just throw money at it... The important thing now is that next step. When you look at Stockport County and the history behind them they have really struggled to get out of this league'".

On the field, Hereford FC "have bought in youngster Tom Harrison from Bristol City on an initial month-long loan deal. The powerful defender who plays for the City U23 squad can play anywhere across the back four. He comes with a reputation for being a player who leads by example. Interim Head Coach, Gareth Davies told the official Hereford FC website... 'He’s got a good level of aggression that he channels in the right way, and I feel that he will really add something to the squad.'"

Nuneaton Town advise that "Michael Tweed and Obaro Edobor have joined Romulus FC on an initial month-long loan".

Southport report that "Bouwe Bosma has signed on an initial two-month loan from Coventry City. The 6’4” tall midfielder had a one-month loan spell at Lewes FC recently where he impressed again after joining the Sky Blues from the Rooks originally in the summer following their promotion.

Bouwe makes the move back North, after also having spells at Eastbourne Borough and Peacehaven, as he continues his development away from the League One club, who have a track record of promoting young players with potential into their first team. Born in Liverpool, the 22 year-old is of Dutch descent and is a powerful presence in the middle who is strong on the ball and can find the net when needed."

Also, "Southport Football Club can confirm that Elliot Osborne has joined Stockport County on loan until the start of January 2019. The former Fleetwood midfielder will link up his new team mates this weekend... The 22 year-old made his league debut for the Port against Stockport at the start of 2018 and scored recently in the away fixture at Alfreton from range."

Up at Spennymoor Town the Moors "travel to Witton Albion in the Emirates FA Cup, looking to build on their impressive form in September. Moors’ scintillating league performances, which have heralded 13 points from a possible 15, will have to be put on hold as Jason Ainsley takes his in-form side to Wincham Park, where they won 2-1 on their last visit in October 2015...

Both sides have enjoyed substantial success since that meeting, with Albion earning promotion from Division One South in 2017, the same year as Moors sealed their place in the National League North... [Witton] are yet to taste defeat at home".

21 September 2018


In the run-up to Saturday's FA Cup tie with Altrincham, Whitley Bay report a "New signing! With Jack Cooper expected to be out injured for 4-6 weeks, we have signed experienced defender Ben Christensen from Ashington. He is not cup-tied so is available for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Altrincham".

Above: Ben Christensen, second from left in the row of defenders, playing for Shildon against Alty in 2012.

Alty fans may remember Christensen who Ashington report is a "Solid and experienced defender, who signed from Shildon in October 2013, Ben is a reliable player who attackers find difficult to get the better of. Can play anywhere across the back and is a real leader in the team. Date of Birth 16th November 1986". Christensen was Shildon's right-back when they played Altrincham in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round Match played on Saturday, 22 September 2012, which Alty won 3-0.


Our FA Cup opponents, Whitley Bay report on their FA Vase exit last week against Tyneside club, Whickham.

"Whitley’s recent good form deserted them as they suffered an early exit from this season’s FA Vase, beaten by an unfortunate own goal in extra time at Whickham. Making their first ever visit to The Glebe ground, they failed to come to terms with a difficult sloping playing surface and were a pale shadow of the side that only seven days earlier had created one of the upsets of the FA Cup in beating Whitby Town at Hillheads.

This game brought together two former Vase winners, Whickham having been the first north east side to lift the trophy back in 1981 and despite having been promoted this season to the Northern League First Division they came into the game as clear underdogs...

Foalle had a great opportunity to give Whitley a 35th minute lead, but hesitated when clear on goal allowing Clayton time to block his attempt. Whitley were getting on top... The pressure finally paid off in the 41st minute when Olly Martin raced away along the left wing before cutting in and playing the ball across goal where Foalle drilled it home from eight yards. Three minutes later the lead might have been doubled when Salmon played a corner up the slope and Dan Taggart’s header flew inches over the bar. Whitley looked to be ending the half well on top but deep into added time, Whickham got an equaliser out of nothing... a tremendous shot that flew into the top corner of the net leaving Flynn helpless.

The second half developed into a largely scrappy affair with neither side creating much and passes frequently going astray...

In extra time, Foalle twice had chances... Two minutes before the end of the first period came what proved to be the decisive goal. Mole crossed up the slope from the Whickham left into the Bay goalmouth, the ball hit defender Luke Taylor and crept into the net at the near post.

Five minutes from time, Jack Cooper was injured by a bad challenge that went unpunished and when play was eventually stopped to allow treatment, he had to be helped from the field unable to continue...

WHITLEY BAY: Flynn, McFarlane, Cooper (Gillesphey 117mins), Richardson, Taylor, Anderson, Glen-Ravenhill, Salmon, Taggart (Ramsey 78mins) Foalle, Martin (Walton 84mins). Subs not used: Ross, A Redford...

[Manager] Andy Gowens reflects on Whitley’s disappointing exit from the FA Vase at Whickham “I thought we were very bitty today. We didn’t retain the ball well... I think it should really have been ‘game over’ by half time. Then Jack scores and we think we’re on our way now, so let’s settle down. We were on top, really in control of the game then we gave the ball away and they scored a ‘worldie’ just on half time which gave them a lift. Tom had no chance with it...

'It was a bit like a basketball game at times, end to end and totally open which wasn’t the way we wanted to play. At the end of the day we didn’t control the ball when we had it, we gave it away too many times in the last third. Decision making - we made the wrong pass and when we actually got people in we didn’t take the chances. They worked really hard trying to stop us playing which worked'".


From the EvoStik League website, we read that "Warrington Town have released striker Richard Brodie, manager Paul Carden has confirmed. Brodie, 31, moved to the Yellows in the summer having scored 16 goals for Rushall Olympic in the Premier Division last season. He scored twice for Warrington, but was sent off for a second bookable offence against Marine on Saturday, having only come on as a late substitute.

Carden told the Warrington Guardian 'Richard Brodie’s left us. He said he wanted to play more football. That’s him done, so we’re possibly in the market for another forward'".


Bradford (Park Avenue) report that their "Academy [were] in FA Youth Cup action, welcoming Harworth Colliery to the Horsfall Stadium". Before the game it added that former Alty forward "Alex Meechan’s youngsters advanced into the First Qualifying Round with an impressive win over Staveley Miners' Welfare and will be looking to pick up where they left off against Harworth". However, BPA lost 4-2.


The National League reports that "Tim Harris is Hereford’s new Head of Football, the club have confirmed. The news comes less than a week after Peter Beadle left his position as the National League North club’s manager. Harris, who stepped down at Tamworth recently, is now looking to recruit a head coach.

Hereford announced they are going in a new direction in an attempt to take the club into the Football League. Harris told the club’s website 'I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity. My father and my uncle were big Hereford United fans and they took me many years ago. I will give everything to help this great club progress to where it deserves to be.'

Chairman Ken Kinnersley thinks ... 'He is a perfect fit in the new structure. He impressed every member of the board greatly when we met him but most of all he has great experience'".

Harris may be known to Alty fans as a former Forest Green Rovers manager.

From Spennymoor Town "Forward Kevin Hayes has joined Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One East side Marske United on a one-month loan deal. Hayes, 19, who moved to The Brewery Field from Stockton Town in the summer, has made three substitute appearances this season... Spennymoor Town manager Jason Ainsley feels the current form of the side has been a big factor in Hayes’s limited opportunities; 'Due to the current form of the lads playing in Kevin’s position, we feel a month of getting regular games will benefit both parties when he comes back... Kevin has been excellent in training and is going to play a big part in the season.'”

One player who won't be facing Alty at Aggborough next Saturday is the subject of a report from Kidderminster Harriers who tell us that "Ed Wagner has today linked up with Redditch United for a one-month loan spell. The American defender was a summer signing at Aggborough after spending time with Alfreton Town last term. ‘Ned’ has yet to make his Harriers bow, though, and will join United for some key first-team game time over the course of the next few weeks".

Brackley Town have a "New signing. Shaun Jeffers joins us from Boreham Wood. Striker Shaun previously played on loan for us when he was with Newport County, scoring two goals".

From Derbyshire we learn that Alfreton Town confirm earlier reports from Devon that "the loan signing of centre back Josh Gowling has been extended until the end of the season. Josh joined the Reds in mid-August on an initial one month loan from Torquay United and has been a stand out performer in the back-line since his arrival. Gowling has made seven appearances so far for Billy Heath’s side.

Manager Billy Heath on Gowling staying with the Reds for the rest of the season [said], 'It’s a fantastic move for us to have Josh stay with us until the end of the season. It’s massively important to keep him here; he’s settled so well and has been excellent since he came to the Reds. When Josh initially joined we were always looking to extend it. He has come in with valuable experience and his stand-out performances show that. We are delighted to have him until the end of the season now and it’s a brilliant signing'".

20 September 2018


The Whitley Bay website provides a list of the club's players, in advance of their visit to Altrincham in the Emirates FA Cup this Saturday...
  • Goalkeepers: Tom Flynn (d.o.b. 23 Nov 1990), Liam Powell
  • Defenders: Adam Redford (d.o.b. 13 Jan 1997), Jack Cooper (d.o.b. 1 May 2000), Craig McFarlane (d.o.b.4 Sept 1987), Lewis Walton, Callum Anderson (d.o.b. 1 Jan 1991), Ibby Hassan (d.o.b. 2 Mar 1988), Gavin Caines (d.o.b. 20 Sep 1983), Luke Taylor (d.o.b. 2 Jan 2000), Ben Christensen (d.o.b.16 Nov 1986).
  • Midfielders: Liam Gillesphey, Olly Martin (d.o.b. 8 Jan 1998), Ben Richardson, Ryan Redford (d.o.b. 17 May 1994), James Proctor (d.o.b. 9 June 1999), Karl Ross, Luke Salmon (d.o.b. 28 May 1991), Kieran Brannen (d.o.b. 25 Apr 2000), Kevin Carr (d.o.b. 30 Apr 1988)
  • Forwards: Peter Glen-Ravenhill (d.o.b. 23 Oct 1993), Michael Bell (d.o.b. 17 June 1991), Jack Foalle (d.o.b. 17 Jan 1994), Stephen Ramsey (d.o.b. 11 July 1989), Dan Taggart (d.o.b. 23 Sep 1994), Liam Anderson (d.o.b. 6 Aug 1989)

One Whitley Bay player needing no introduction to Altrincham is Gavin Caines. The defender has played against us for Kidderminster Harriers (2009/10), (from where he had a loan spell at Luton Town), Forest Green Rovers (2010/11) and Eastwood Town (2011/12). He has also played for Hednesford Town.

Fellow defender Ibby Hassan spent seven years at Whitby Town and experienced goalkeeper Tom Flynn, who was Man of the Match in the last round of the Cup, spent three years playing in Scotland at Cowdenbeath and also had a spell at Alfreton Town.

Whitley Bay's squad in the last round of the FA Cup was: Flynn, A Redford (Walton 69mins), Cooper, Anderson, Hassan, Caines, Martin, Glen-Ravenhill, Taggart (Ramsey 78mins), Foalle, Salmon. Substitutes not used: Carr, Brannen, R Redford, Taylor, Powell.


Altrincham FC director, Rob Esteva, has written an update on developments at the club on its official website.


Kidderminster Harriers' "Boss Neil MacFarlane says Chester were worthy winners over Harriers on Tuesday night but has backed his team to respond in style. A 3-1 win for The Seals inflicted on Harriers their very first defeat of the new season. Ed Williams had reduced a two-goal deficit to 2-1 with around 15 minutes to play but the hosts responded with another goal...

'I thought Chester deserved their win,' he said. 'We’re obviously disappointed as a group that the unbeaten run has gone but we have to bounce back, and I am convinced that this group will. We’re ten games in and this group has come so far in that ten games and we can’t lose sight of that. Tonight, it just didn’t happen for us; not through a lack of effort, but the touches and the moments that were so good for us at the weekend just didn’t happen for us tonight'...

Harriers now go into the Emirates FA Cup this coming weekend when they meet Atherstone Town at Aggborough".

And the following Saturday (29th), Altrincham are the guests at Aggborough.

Right: Damian Reeves is congratulated on his goal when Kidderminster last visited the J. Davidson Stadium in April 2017. That goal made it 1-1 but the Harriers won the game 4-1

The Harriers' team at Chester comprised Hall, Vaughan, Taylor, O’Connor, Horsfall, Digie (Richards 63), Weeks, Daniels, Ironside (Bradley 46), Chambers, Williams. Subs: Baxendale, Austin, Johnson.

Kidderminster Harriers add that "Chester did a sound job of keeping Harriers at arms length with only distance efforts from Daniels to speak of... Harriers had their first big chance seven [minutes] before the break when Chambers, played in by Weeks, saw a firm shot blocked, Vaughan then almost catching the goalkeeper off target with a looped cross that almost found the net.

The second half, frustratingly for Harriers, began in much the same way as the first; an early goal for the home side. A dangerous corner from Mooney loop[ed] up into the air where Hughes was on hand to turn it home... A handball inside the area gave Harriers their lifeline on 73 minutes – Livesey penalised and Williams stepping up to net his sixth of the campaign. Two minutes later, a flurry in the area saw Bradley and Chambers both have shots blocked at close range.

The final word would be with the home side, though. They added their third with nine left to play when Hughes got in at the by-line, holding up the ball for a team mate in the middle before deciding to go for it himself, slamming in a tight finish into the far corner".


Hereford's unofficial Bulls' News reports a "statement...from Pete Beadle and Steve Jenkins. Like many people we were shocked and disappointed on Thursday 13th September with the news that Hereford FC was terminating our employment with immediate effect.

On reflection over the weekend we still feel that it was a little rash or harsh. We both knew that the block of games we’d just come out of was always going to be tough and, after them, we felt we knew what was needed. Sadly we never had that opportunity and instead we sat having coffee reflecting on what has been an incredible journey.

# We have so many people to thank for playing a part and sharing in our journey. Along that course there were 3 Championships, a Wembley Final, an amazing FA Cup run in which we got to the 2nd Round proper, 3 HFA final wins, a League Cup win and a Champion of Champions win. There were also three Club of the Year awards and Non-League Team of the Year last season.

Our first thanks go to the players who, despite many people's thoughts, were right behind what we were doing and the way we were doing it. Our changing room was as strong and together last Saturday as it was in the first season, something we’ve been very meticulous about is, whatever happens, the changing room must "always be together". So we would like to thank every player that has pulled on a Hereford shirt during our tenure and always given nothing less than 100%.

Next, we thank the "behind the scenes" volunteers... We salute you the supporters... I know there are some supporters out there, who for whatever reason didn’t like the way I did things but, rest assured, every decision made by myself and Steve was always in the best interests of the club. We had a job to do and did it to the best of our ability every single training session and match day. So we thank you all for your incredible support'".

The National League reports that "Chester are finally becoming what their new managers knew they would after taking Kidderminster’s unbeaten record last night.

Joint boss Anthony Johnson says finally the club have laid to rest the ghost of their August 8-1 humiliation at Blyth Spartans... 'We are now starting to see signs of what we talked about we would bring here in the summer,' Johnson said. 'We are starting to put that Blyth Spartans result [an 8-1 defeat] to bed now finally. We’re picking up and that was great to watch. We really rate Kidderminster as a team; they are the benchmark as a club of where we want to be. We watched them back against York, they demolished them really. We knew how hard this was going to be but the way we went at them was fantastic.

'The players’ work rate was phenomenal. They are really starting to take the information we’re giving them on board... I can’t believe how many chance we created. We talked about playing on the front foot and it was so pleasing. They came here to play and we knew that would create gaps and we exploited that. We kept our shape and we have set a benchmark.'"

Chester FC add that the team "put in a sublime performance to see off a previously unbeaten Kidderminster Harriers... An Anthony Dudley penalty got things rolling, before Matty Hughes added a brace, with an Ed Williams penalty in between as the Blues looked confident against the league's second-placed side.

Chester’s pre-match preparations were thrown into disarray as captain Scott Burton pulled up with an injury, resulting in Iwan Murray making his senior debut, while [ex-Alty loanee] Jon Moran replaced Dominic Smalley who picked up an injury at the weekend".

19 September 2018


All three of Altrincham's most recent signings (Joe Thompson, Callum Harris and Ross Woodcock) were in action for Trafford FC in the Integro Cup on Tuesday night (as seen on the teamsheet, adjacent). The Shawe View side beat Skelmersdale United on penalties, following a 3-3 draw, with Joe Thompson netting the winning spot-kick as well as scoring in the match itself. Former Alty man Laurence Taylor also played whilst Aaron Burns was on the bench.

The same Alty trio also played for Altrincham FC Reserves last Saturday, with Thompson scoring in a 4-1 win over FC St Helens.


This season's fixtures have thrown up some interesting sequences. It looks as if the fixture computer devised the first half of the season then attempted to replicate it as closely as possible for the second part of the campaign.

So, by way of evidence, we note that Alty's first four fixtures of the season were against Leamington, Southport, Spennymoor and FCUM. We then meet the same four clubs in consecutive games for a second time in January/February 2019, albeit in slightly different order.

Similarily our next six league fixtures in September to November 2018 are against Kidderminster, Alfreton, Chorley, Ashton, Nuneaton and Hereford; our last six consecutive league fixtures of the season are against the same six clubs, with just a minor change in the sequence of clubs.

And in November/December we play Chester FC, York City and Brackley in successive fixtures, only to have the exact same treble in March 2019.

Another sequence which was not planned is that, so far, whenever Alty have won a game this season, (all away from home so far), they have drawn the next match then lost the following two fixtures! Thus the win at Southport was followed by a draw at Spennymoor and defeats against FCUM and Boston United. Likewise the win at Darlington was followed by a draw with Guiseley and defeats against Blyth Spartans and Curzon Ashton.


Tuesday's win for Chester means that Altrincham drop to thirteenth in the table.
  • Chester FC 3-1 Kidderminster Harriers (att. 1,512)


The official site of Altrincham FC reports that "Press and Media Officer John Edwards has submitted [an] article for inclusion in this week's Sale and Altrincham Messenger... [in which he says that] Phil Parkinson has revealed how the axe was hovering over some Altrincham players ahead of a battling 3-2 win at promotion-chasing Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday". Follow the above link for the full story...


Above, Sean Williams's shorts seem to be a source of humour for Jake Moult and his team-mates before the match at Bradford last Saturday.


The Hallmark Security (NW Counties) League announces that "1874 Northwich have announced a ground share agreement with Barnton, commencing at the start of next season. Since joining the league in 2013, 1874 have played home games at Winsford United's Barton Stadium, and also staged home FA Vase games at Wincham Park, home of Witton Albion, last season.

A statement on the club website said 'The Board of 1874 Northwich FC are pleased to announce that in line with the clubs stated aim of playing football within the Northwich area, an agreement has been reached with Barnton FC for the club to play home matches at the Townfield ground from the start of the 2019/2020 season on an initial two year agreement.

'A core ambition of 1874 Northwich FC is to achieve a permanent home base for the club within Northwich, this is the first step towards that ambition'.

Meanhwile "Barnton have announced that for the remainder of their 2018/19 season, their ground at Townfield Lane will now be newly named as ‘The Offside Trust Stadium’. The unprecedented move is designed to fully support the organisation that has highlighted child abuse through sport, and is led by ex-footballer Steve Walters and former professional golfer Chris Unsworth...

Steve Lloyd, Chairman of Barnton FC commented,'With the introduction of our Junior section at Barnton FC we felt the timing was right for us make this move and we are extremely proud to throw our full support behind such a noble and brave appeal'”.


The EvoStik League tells us that Lee Sinnott, the former Alty boss, now managing Gainsborough Trinity has "announced the signing of centre-back Kelvin Lugsden. Lugsden spent the majority of his career at Glossop North End, making 420 appearances for the Surrey Street club. He has since played for Shaw Lane and Droylsden, and goes straight into the squad for Gainsborough’s Integro League Cup match away at Gresley on Tuesday night."

Right: Under the watchful eye of Alty Club secretary Derek Wilshaw, former Alty defender Kelvin Lugsden (no.4 in blue shirt) helps Shaw Lane to defend an Altrincham corner in the match between the two clubs at Athersley in April this year.

The EvoStik League also record the following new registrations...

  • Lloyd Bannister from Altrincham FC to Atherton Collieries
  • Cameron Terry from Altrincham to Clitheroe
  • Ashley Woods from Trafford to Colwyn Bay
  • Joel Bembo-Leta from Bangor City to Glossop North End


Boston United "have completed the signing of experienced midfielder David Norris. Norris played under United boss Craig Elliott at Shaw Lane last season and went on to finish the campaign with 49 appearances to his credit. It completes a spectacular homecoming for the 37-year-old who launched his career in style with the Pilgrims in 1999-2000, securing a move to Bolton Wanderers in the process.

He subsequently enjoyed a seven goals in six matches loan return to York Street the following season to take his overall United tally to 18 goals in 37 appearances. Norris has since represented the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Leeds United and played against the Pilgrims for the first time in March 2017 for Salford City".

According to the National League "Hereford’s board of directors have expanded on their decision to part company with Peter Beadle last week and outlined the new direction they are about to take...

Their statement read 'As a board we understand concerns raised by supporters over the past few days, but can offer reassurance that the Directors unanimously believe the decisions that have been made are in the best interests of this football club. Over time we have been taking the opportunity to speak to a number of respected figures from within the game to try to understand the type of structure that will best suit the club as we look to continue our progress up the football pyramid.

'We have spoken to people with a long track record in the game, who clearly have far more knowledge and experience in football than we do, so we can give Hereford FC the best possible chance of further success through maximising the resources we have available. We believe we cannot just focus on the here and now, and that we have to start to develop a scouting network that will help us secure the services of players with bright futures in the game by attracting them to Edgar Street and giving them a chance to perform and develop to their full potential.

'We not only want to recruit players for our first team, we also want to bring our own players through our academy and feel we need greater expertise at the club to do that. In addition, we also need to consider when we might be able to go full time, which in itself is a huge project for us to be thinking about. With all that in mind, as a board we feel we need to go down a different route in terms of the football leadership and will therefore be recruiting a Head of Football to manage all aspects relating to the playing side of the club.

'A Head Coach will be brought in to focus on the management of the first team squad, and he will report to the Head of Football and work closely with him to ensure all football areas are pulling in the same direction. The recruitment process for both these positions has started in earnest and supporters will be provided with updates as soon as they are available. While the directors understand that the recent changes to the management structure here at Edgar Street have come as a shock to many, the board all agree the new direction is the best approach to give us success on the pitch and ensure we become as professional as the clubs we are now competing against.

'Rest assured the board are under no illusions about how important this football club is to its supporters, but we also feel that the club cannot stand still and that making changes now, from a position of strength, will potentially have enormous benefits for the long-term success of the club.'”

The National League tells us that "A year is a long time in football. Just ask Leamington manager Paul Holleran. Last September the Brakes were wondering just how long they would be a part of the National League North having just earned promotion. Languishing near the bottom of the table, Holleran feared the worst. Some 12 months on, they are wondering if they have a chance to escape the division via a more dignified route...

'Ten games in, we have competed in each of them so far, which again is pleasing because at times in the first ten games last season we looked out of our depth,' Holleran told the club’s website. 'The squad was a little stretched but it was an excellent performance against Blyth, I’m delighted. There were some massive individual performances but more importantly a massive collective team performance'".

The Boston Standard reports that "Grant Roberts has linked up with Hyde United on a dual registration. Manager Craig Elliott wants the midfielder to get game time under his belt as he returns to full fitness. Knee problems have sidelined the 27-year-old for most of the past two seasons".

From York Press comes news that "York City caretaker boss Sam Collins has admitted he is carefully managing Jon Parkin’s workload to avoid the veteran striker breaking down during the season again. Parkin, 36, netted 25 times last term in 30 starts before a long-standing knee problem flared up and meant that he missed all but the final match of City’s eight-game run-in to the end of the campaign. The Minstermen subsequently took five points from a possible 24 and alarmingly fell out of play-off contention.

This season, Parkin has only started a third of the Minstermen’s first nine fixtures, but the side are still to score a goal in 2018/19 without him being on the pitch. Under Collins, meanwhile, the ex-Stoke and Hull forward is yet to start consecutive matches, with the temporary boss adding, 'I understand the team hasn’t scored without Jon being on the pitch this season and he’s got goals throughout his career. When he came on for us (at half-time during Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Kidderminster), he had some good moments as you’d expect, but one of the things we are trying to do a little bit is to protect Jon.

'He’s not getting any younger and we’re trying to manage the situation with him. Ideally, if he was a couple of years younger, you’d play him in every game and for 90 minutes, but we have to think about the bigger picture, because we’ve got to get him through the season and we don’t want to kill him.'

With Parkin starting on the bench, Collins opted for a youthful front three of Jake Wright, Macaulay Langstaff and Fergus McAughtrie against the Harriers, but admitted that decision might require a rethink as the hosts failed to muster a first-half on-target effort. 'We wanted to get our three quick forward players in one-on-one situations against their centre-halves,' Collins reasoned. 'But Kidderminster set little traps to stop us playing out and we went a bit direct at times, which was difficult for the players up there when there was no big presence.

'Everything’s easier in hindsight, but we decided to go that way as we thought it would get us a good result. Now, we’ve got to look at it again and think about what things we can do a bit better.'

McAughtrie, the son of former City defender Dave, was replaced 45 minutes into his home debut, but Collins has told the teenage winger to keep his spirits up, saying '“He never really got into the game and that can happen. We didn’t get the ball up to him as we did against Brackley, who are a different type of team. Sometimes, your forward players can get isolated when they don’t see a lot of the ball, but he’s still a young kid who has done great for us so far and I told him at half-time not to be disappointed because he’d been substituted, because we just had to make changes to get back into the game and he was fine with that.'

Sean Newton, meanwhile, made his first appearance following five games out with medial ligament damage as McAughtrie’s replacement. The former Wrexham utility man lined up in midfield, having started this campaign at left-back, with Collins still deciding where he might best fit into the current 4-3-3 formation.

'He’s probably a victim of his own versatility and it’s quite tough for him because, maybe, he sees himself playing in a particular position,' Collins pointed out. 'He’s comfortable on the ball and, with us wanting to control possession in midfield, I thought playing there would suit him but, if we do change things and think about something else, we’ll look at that. The main thing is he’s back fit. He’s been out for a few weeks, so we’ve got to get him up to speed... We wanted to see if his left-foot deliveries could get us back in the match. The third goal killed us though.'"

18 September 2018


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records tell us that when we meet Whitley Bay this Saturday, 22 September, it is exactly six years to the day since Altrincham played another Northern League side in the FA Cup. On that occasion the opposition came from Shildon, with Alty winning 3-0 up in County Durham. By coincidence, last season, it was Shildon who gained revenge as they knocked us out of the FA Cup, likewise in the Second Round Qualifying round as is this Saturday's tie.

Before our 2012 trip to Shildon, Alty had not played an FA Cup match on Saturday's date for exactly fifty years, when they defeated Ashton United 4-2 in 1962, also in the Second Round Qualifying round.

Right: Damian Reeves caused his marker a headache at Shildon in 2012.

The 2012 game at Shildon was settled by three Alty goals inside the opening twelve minutes; two of them were scored by Damian Reeves and these sandwiched a goal by James Lawrie. Reeves then missed a second-half penalty as the hosts had to play the final quarter of the game with ten men, having used their substitutes before injury deprived them of another player.

Altrincham wore their teal and grey shirts for the game, for which their line-up comprised 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Patrick LACEY, 19. Sam GRIMSHAW, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Adam REID (gk), 17. Duncan WATMORE.

Whilst only three Alty players remain at the club from that match (Densmore, Richman and Moult), a further four still ply their trade at National League North level (Havern, Clee, Leather, Brooke).

As previously reported this will be the first time that Altrincham have met Whitley Bay though manager Phil Parkinson has encountered the North-East team previously, when at Nantwich Town. In 2008 Nantwich beat Whitley Bay 5-1, also in the FA Cup, when Phil was at the club. But in 2010 the Bay gained revenge as they won 3-2 against the Dabbers.


Highlights of the Bradford (Park Avenue) v Altrincham game are on the National League website.


The Shropshire Star reports that "Boss Gavin Cowan has thanked the AFC Telford United fans for making the New Buck's Head such a delight to play at. The Bucks have flourished at home so far this season, going five games unbeaten. They drew 1-1 with Stockport County there on Saturday, grabbing a late leveller...

'You look at the supporters behind the goal, banging the drum, they just didn’t stop,' he said. 'I want to highlight that. It’s so important for any team to have that belief (from supporters). I believe in energy and the energy that they bring, banging the drum and singing, massively helps the team. And, sub-consciously, it can drive the opposition nuts. That’s what they did, they were superb. Thanks to them for sticking with us.'

Telford rode their luck slightly at a 1,415-strong Bucks Head. Stockport hit the woodwork and went close on a few other occasions.

'When it’s not quite going for a team, some fans can get on the players’ backs,' said Cowan. 'We didn’t get any of that, not one bit. I don’t think there was one moan or groan. When the performance is there, the fans stick with you. They believe in this team. They believe in our process and my outlook, and that is really flattering. That’s why I’m very privileged to be the manager of this football club, because the supporters believe in what I’m doing.

'That comes from results, but it also comes from being here and watching what the players are doing. I can’t knock the players either. Yes, we’ve got to tidy up in areas but you can’t knock them for that. I think they got the minimum they deserved and I felt like we could’ve won it.'"

The National League Team of the Week includes Altrincham's John Johnston (pictured in action, right, at Bradford last Saturday) but only as a substitute!

  • Goalkeeper: Jonny Maddison (Darlington)
  • Defenders: Matty Regan (Ashton United), James O’Connor (Kidderminster), Adam Blakeman (Chorley)
  • Midfielders: Kieran Dunbar (Leamington), Ed Williams (Kidderminster), Jake Hibbs (Spennymoor), Jack Edwards (Leamington), Matt Chadwick (Ashton United)
  • Strikers: Rowan Liburd (Guiseley), Dan Mooney (Chester)
  • Substitutes: John Johnson (Altrincham), Scott Leather (Chorley), Connor Dimaio (Stockport County), Will Hatfield (Guiseley), Henry Cowans (AFC Telford)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Neil MacFarlane (Kidderminster) An 'easy' 3-0 victory at York City is a sit-up, take notice type of result. Kiddy are still unbeaten."

According to Lincolnshire Live "Second-half goals from Steve Howson and Dan Mooney handed Chester FC a deserved 2-0 victory over Boston United... The Cestrians became the third visiting team in succession to leave The Jakemans Stadium with a 2-0 success following previous victories for Spennymoor Town and Kidderminster Harriers.

The result left United boss Craig Elliott bemused by his side’s inability to deliver on home soil during their last three encounters. 'I am really disappointed and it’s hit me hard,' admitted Elliott. 'I did not see it coming at half-time and the fans deserve better than that... We were not too bad in the first half. We created one or two good moments but they came out and put us under pressure at the start of the second half and we panicked after going a goal down. We need[ed] to have a bit more about us to get back into the game.'

It was the 10th match in succession involving the Pilgrims which has gone the way of the team scoring first.

Elliott continued 'Teams sit deep and physically they were fantastic. They soaked up any pressure that we had. We have not got the players to play at home when teams sit deep and we were pretty weak in the final third, if I am being brutally honest. Away from home, there is a lot more space in behind the back four. We got into decent areas and put decent crosses into the box, but there is no desire to get in front of people and make something happen. We perhaps lack the size or the nous to trouble the opposition.

'The energy levels seem to drain from us as soon as we go a goal down. Instead of coming back stronger and with more aggression or confidence to get back into the game, it seems to have the opposite effect on us. I am really disappointed that the fans have had to see that again because away from home, we have been really good.'".

From the Chester Standard, "Bernard Morley hailed an 'unbelievable' performance from his players as the Blues stretched their unbeaten run to four games with victory at Boston United. Second half goals from centre-half Steven Howson and forward Dan Mooney clinched a 2-0 victory...

Victory was bittersweet for Morley, who suffered a family bereavement on Friday but took charge alongside joint-manager Anthony Johnson for the trip to Lincolnshire... Morley said 'I got some bad news last night, and obviously we got here. I always want to be around the lads and I think they dug in that extra 5 or 10 per cent. It wasn't just about me, but I asked them to dig deep, try and remember that they play for me, and to be fair they’ve rewarded me with that - unbelievable [performance?]...

'We came out second half and we just said at half time if we can add a little bit of quality to the game, we’ll win the game, and we’ve gone and done that and we could have scored a few more... I thought we looked solid. It’s a shame, I don’t like bringing it up, but we had a strong defence and were defensively strong and we’ve got to have a continuity of that... We haven’t made any mistakes at all and have been rewarded with another clean sheet which is four in total.'

Morley and Johnson made two changes to the side that played out a goalless draw with FC United of Manchester on Tuesday night, with the return of Gary Roberts to a three-man midfield, as well as Danny Livesey in defence... United spent the final 10 minutes and stoppage time throwing everything at Chester, but a resilient defensive performance yielded a deserved clean sheet.'"

According to York Press "It’s never too early to make changes. In his post-match analysis, City caretaker chief Sam Collins admitted he was planning his half-time double-substitution before the first period drew to a close. Ed Williams’ second goal in the 45th minute, though, meant the changes were made with the game very differently balanced than if the score had been 1-0 at the break.

After half-an-hour’s play, the decision to pair diminutive duo Jake Wright and Macaulay Langstaff in attack already looked flawed as attack after attack broke down when the ball was played up to the final third where neither forward was able to retain possession, as the side failed to muster a single on-target shot in the first half. Tactical substitutions before the break are often frowned upon, given the perceived impact it could have on player morale, but managers live and die by making brave decisions and, whilst everybody can make a mistake with their choice of a starting XI, that can be remedied at any point in a game – not just when the oranges are dished out in the dressing room.

With Jake Wright and Macaulay Langstaff struggling to lead the line against Kidderminster, fitness question marks concerning 36-year-old veteran Jon Parkin and Jordan Burrow, seemingly out of favour after failing to net in his first seven matches, first-year professional McNaughton could feel somewhat unfortunate not to have featured in a matchday squad as yet this term, given his encouraging displays for the senior team at the difficult tail-end of last season..

The promising 18-year-old... is possibly the biggest victim of the decision to dispense with organised second-string football. Sam Collins is a confessed promoter of youth, as evidenced with his decision to start untried teenager Fergus McAughtrie in two of his four matches as caretaker boss and McNaughton must come under consideration soon if National League North’s second-lowest scorers continue to misfire.

Under Sam Collins, Joe Tait and Hamza Bencherif have been assigned with the responsibility of starting off attacking moves from wider positions, but both found it more difficult at Bootham Crescent against forwards who were quick to close down the space in front of them. Tait looked as harassed as he has been at any point during an otherwise strong start to his City career, while Bencherif was particularly uncomfortable on his less-favoured left side when given less room to carry the ball forward...

Despite away boss Neil MacFarlane later attributing Sam Collins’ pre-match quotes as motivation for his team’s impressive performance, there was little wrong in the City caretaker chief expressing his view that he had the stronger squad of players. In truth, he will have been under no illusion at the challenge his inherited team faced against the undefeated visitors, who have been widely regarded as the best football team in this division during the last two seasons and he will have been attempting to boost his own players’ confidence...

All the pre-season talk was of the Minstermen targeting the title, but that just never seemed realistic, given the number of players retained from a roster that finished 11th last term. Runaway leaders Chorley now lie 16 points ahead of 13th-placed City with Kidderminster likely to be on their coat-tails should they hiccup at any point and, whilst everybody at Bootham Crescent understands the desperation attached to getting out of this division as quickly as possible, automatic promotion can, in all likelihood, be discounted.

The one redeeming feature of National League North is that a play-off spot is open to almost a third of the division and, for any team getting their house in order during the second half of the campaign, the rewards are clear to see. That is now the challenge for the club’s next manager, whether that be Collins or another candidate, and will seemingly require some surgery to the squad.

Many would argue that wholesale changes are required but that remains financially imprudent and the perils of drafting in another raft of panicked wholesale additions can be documented far too painfully in recent times anyway."

17 September 2018


The Altrincham FC official site reports on the win at Bradford on Saturday. And there is an interview with Phil Parkinson by Brian Flynn here. Phil is seen, right, at Bradford on Saturday.


Following Saturday's win for Altrincham, the telegraph & Argus, in a rather partisan account, reported that " A leaky defence caused Bradford (Park Avenue) to drop points for a third consecutive game as Altrincham hit two goals inside a seven-minute second-half spell to win 3-2 at Horsfall Stadium.

There was more than a touch of fortune about the Robins’ sixth-minute opener and their second-half equaliser, but Avenue were still undone by them, which was frustrating as they had looked good going forward and created chances. Manager Mark Bower said 'Every defeat is disappointing, but to lose a game when you have been the better side hurts a bit more. I thought we played some good football throughout and unlike some games they didn’t have spells of pressure. Altrincham had a good five or six minutes in the second half and that has won them the game because we haven’t dealt with it well. We could have been three up at half-time; we’ve hit the post and their keeper has made three or four very good saves. I thought we started the second half well and we scored a good goal to go in front and had a great chance to make it 3-1.

'But they go straight down the other end and all of a sudden they're level and within minutes they have the lead. That’s just the way it has been going for us recently. Even then we kept playing and created chances but we couldn’t take them and we shouldn’t have to keep scoring four or five goals to win games.'

Avenue almost broke the deadlock before Altrincham’s early opener... The visitors took the lead just two minutes later when a low ball into the goalmouth by John Johnson caused problems. The ball hit a divot and bounced up as Danny Lowe looked to hack it clear. As Lowe attempted to re-adjust, the ball hit his toe and went back across the six-yard box. Avenue keeper Steve Drench pushed it out as far as Tom Peers who stabbed it back towards goal and the close-range shot somehow slipped under the home keeper.

Avenue came back and their pressing play was rewarded in the 40th minute when skipper Shane Killock netted a superb goal. The big centre-back was forward for a set piece and, when Nicky Clee’s free-kick was not cleared by the Altrincham defence, Killock spun to lash in a volley from an angle, giving Wynne no chance.

The home side were dominating the early stages after the interval and deservedly took the lead with a well-worked goal, Conor Branson picking the ball up on the halfway line and racing forward, playing a neat one-two with Jake Beesley, before slotting past Wynne at the second attempt. The game slipped away from Avenue soon after as Johnson’s hopeful ball in hit a defender and looped over Drench. Robins’ boss Phil Parkinson made a change after the goal, Max Harrop replacing Owen Dale, and it took the substitute just minutes to make his mark as he netted the winner with a low, angled drive."


On Sunday, Altricham's Youth team beat Prescot Cables 8-2. The goals came from substitute Max Lewens, who hit a hat-trick, and from Ben Elliott and Curtis Miller (two apiece), Dontai Gabidon.

The Alty team (in a/z order) was Louie Barrett, Elliot Coleman, Oliver Culkin, Ben Elliott, Dontai Gabidon, Callum Graham, Josh Mehta, Curtis Miller, Jack Ryan, Patrick Savage, Luke Sowerby. Substitutes: Sam Harding, Max Lewens, Billy Matthews, Cade Preston, Robbie Leigh.


Bay Downing, who is dually registered with Altrincham and Steve Claridge's Salisbury FC, scored for the Wiltshire club on Saturday but they lost 3-2, at home to Staines Town.

However, fellow summer arrival at Moss Lane, Lloyd Bannister (right), was on the winning side for Atherton Colieries against Kidsgrove Athletic but he suffered an injury which sidelined him after just five minutes of the game.

According to the Kidsgrove match report it was a head injury but a later club tweet provided an "Update on Lloyd Bannister leg injury. Nothing broken. He is having a MRI scan next Thursday and more will be known then".


Our guests on Saturday in the FA Cup, Whitley Bay, currently occupy 11th place in the EBAC Northern League's top division. They have won three and lost three of their opening six fixtures, scoring 13 goals and conceding 15.

In cup matches they have been more prolific. Before Saturday's defeat to bottom of the table Whickham in the FA Vase, they had won the previous Round 6-0, away at Esh Winning, with goals from Martin, Foalle (3), Ramsey and Brannen.

In the Emirates FA Cup they have also found the net frequently:

  • Extra Prelim Round: Thackley (Away) 3-2 (Foalle, Glen-Ravenhill, Salmon)
  • Preliminary Round: Barnoldswick Town (Home) 6-1 (Martin, Foalle (2), Taggart, Glen-Ravenhill (2)
  • 1st Qual Round: Whitby Town (Home) 1-0 (Foalle)

In this week's Non-League Paper, it reports that striker "Jack Foalle is quickly making a name for himself... The striker has made a blistering start to his second spell with the Hilheads club... with 12 goals from his opening ten games ... since rejoining from Bedlington Terriers in the summer...

'We go to Altrincham with no fear because we are the underdogs' explained Foalle, 'But we will attack because that's how we are set up to play. They will go at us because they have to do so but we won't hold back either.

'We have some experienced players in our defence... The confidence they give us spreads throughout the team... We are confident, our form is good and we have a great team spirit in the dressing room.

'We won't be scared of the challenge that lies ahead of us...

Now it's a case of focussing on Altrincham and, yes, I am dreaming about getting a winner'"

Meanwhile Whitley Bay add that "Seven days after the excitement of their dramatic FA Cup victory, Whitley suffered the disappointment of going out of the FA Vase as they lost 2-1 after extra time at Whickham.

Jack Foalle had put Whitley in the 41st minute but a stunning 25-yard shot levelled the score in first half stoppage time. There was no further score in the second half as both sides struggled to get shots on target.

13 minutes into extra time, a cross from the left deflected into the net off Luke Taylor to put the hosts in front and this goal proved to be the winner.

The Supporters' Club coach to next Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Altrincham game is now fully booked".


Altrincham travel to Aggbrough on 29 September.

The National League tells us that "Kidderminster manager Neil MacFarlane says York City did his team talk for him ahead of Saturday afternoon's “easy” win. Harriers are up to second following an impressive 3-0 victory at Bootham Crescent.

In the build up to the National League North match, Minstermen caretaker boss Sam Collins told the York Press that he thinks his team are better than Kidderminster. MacFarlane says those comments contributed to their downfall as York’s tough start continued. 'We were exceptional for the whole 90 minutes, with or without the ball we were superb,' he told the club’s YouTube service.

'Everything we worked on came to fruition and it was a wonderful performance from my players. I think York showed a bit of naivety before the game, telling our players that they thought they were better that ours. On that performance I think most people can tell that they’re nowhere near us. The team talk was done for us.'

MacFarlane added 'It was an easy win for us and we’re moving along nicely. It’s five wins from six and we’re still unbeaten. But what’s pleasing me most is that we’re dominating matches. I couldn’t be happier with the players, they’re an unbelievable group.'"

Kidderminster Harriers add that "It was also another impressive win against tough opposition at a tough venue... [The manager said that] 'With and without the ball, everything we had worked on came to fruition and it is a magnificent three points, to come here and win so comfortably. York are a massive football club at this level but we came here with a game plan'".


York Press reports that "Six months have now passed since York City supporters last toasted a Saturday success. That weekend woe has encompassed 11 matches with a paltry five points taken from 33 in the regionalised sixth tier of the game.

Not since March 10, when Ben Middleton’s own goal secured a 1-0 triumph over Boston, have City fans been able to truly enjoy their footballing weekend. It was little wonder, therefore, that the latest disappointment, a comprehensive 3-0 loss to undefeated Kidderminster Harriers, prompted a familiar chorus of boos at the final whistle.

The result represented a first significant setback for caretaker chief Sam Collins during his four-match temporary tenure, even if the Saturday statistics confirm that City’s problems firmly pre-date his stint at the helm. Collins boldly claimed his players were better than those at Kidderminster’s disposal prior to this contest, but that assertion lost its credence during a difficult 90 minutes.

With just eight goals scored this term, only bottom-of-the-table Nuneaton, on six, have netted fewer times than City in National League North, suggesting that previous boss Martin Gray fell short in his close-season priority to end the team’s over-reliance on 19-stone, veteran forward Jon Parkin. During the club’s last 15 games, in which Parkin has started just three and not featured at all in five, the Minstermen have only managed to score in one match without him on the pitch.

Parkin has been in and out of the starting XI under Collins and, by the time he was hauled off the bench following the interval during this contest, the hosts were trailing 2-0 following Ed Williams’s first-half brace. The Barnsley-born behemoth went on to force Harriers keeper Brandon Hall into his first save of the afternoon within seconds of the restart, but City’s dependency on the 36-year-old is looking all the more imprudent another season on and he could not inspire a comeback, with Joe Ironside’s 55th-minute effort settling matters despite there still being a big chunk of the second period still to play.

Earlier, City forwards Macaulay Langstaff and Jake Wright had made no inroads whatsoever in the first half and attacks repeatedly broke down in the final third of the pitch, while teenage home debutant Fergus McAughtrie was often a peripheral figure on the right flank...

The Minstermen went on to fall further behind, though, on 45 minutes when Kidderminster broke down the right... It was the Harriers who grabbed the all-important next goal to wrap up matters on 55 minutes...

Away boss Neil MacFarlane even enjoyed the luxury of resting first-choice, front-two Ironside and Chambers for the final 16 minutes... The margin of defeat was City’s heaviest at home in sixth-tier football, while not only were Kidderminster’s players better than their hosts in this match, they have now been for some time, with this result making it seven matches unbeaten for the Midlanders in this fixture.".

16 September 2018


A run of one win in their last seven games and the absence from the starting line up of Jordan Hulme, James Poole, Shaun Densmore and Connor Hampson did not augur well for Altrincham as they took to the field at third-placed Bradfprd (Park Avenue). But the injury-hit visitors put in a good performance to emerge with three points which lifted them to twelfth in the table.

Altrincham took a seventh-minute lead when an Owen Dale effort was beaten out but rebounded off a defender for Tom Peers to bundle home at the back post. But, just before the interval, a freekick from the left by Nicky Clee, one of four ex-Robins in the Bradford squad today, was helped on by a team-mate and Killock got to the ball before goalkeeper Wynne to level the scores.

The Avenue started the second half well and deservedly led after 52 minutes. Branson was allowed to advance up the middle, play a one-two with a team-mate, and score from close range after Elliot Wynne had done well to beat out his first attempt. Just three minutes later John Johnston dribbled towards goal but was blocked. However, the ball came back to him and his deflected shot beat Drench to restore parity.

Bradford were then hit with a third Alty goal in the 61st minute. It came when Johnston fed substitute Harrop, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes. From wide left of goal, the midfielder drove a superb low shot across Drench and into the far bottom corner of the net to make it 2-3.

Altrincham then kept BPA at bay and despite a sequence, towards the end of the game. of six corners in as many minutes for Avenue, and the introduction of the tall Nowakowski to add height up front, the hosts had to settle for a second successive defeat following their 5-3 loss against Chester FC last week.

Right: Josh Hancock keeps his eye on the ball as he goes for a header at Bradford on Saturday. The BPA no.11 is former Alty man, Nicky Clee.


After Saturday's game, Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "Altrincham condemned Bradford (Park Avenue) to back-to-back defeats at the Horsfall Stadium. Both sides suffered bitterly disappointing defeats last week but it was Altrincham that produced a response with an impressive win over Mark Bower’s side...

It was the visitors that took the lead after six minutes. John Johnston’s cross caused a scramble to ensue in the box and Thomas Peers eventually poked over the line. The lead was almost doubled shortly after, but Steven Drench produced a vital stop when Joshua Hancock struck with venom inside the 18-yard box...

As pressure continued to mount on Altrincham, Wynne made an excellent save to deny Shane Killock, who struck from close-range after meeting Toulson’s long-throw.

The Robins’ opener had proven that goalmouth scrambles can be dangerous and Thomas Hannigan was forced to blast clear when a sea of bodies contested a corner delivery from Wroe. Bradford eventually drew level through Killock, who got the better of Wynne following his early denial by volleying into the roof of the net.

Seven minutes after the restart, Bradford took the lead. Jake Beesley advanced down the left before pulling back to Conor Branson, who fired past Wynne.

However, it took just four minutes for the visitors to respond and they were back on level terms when Johnston’s long-range piledriver took a deflection and was taken beyond Drench. With the wind in their sails, Altrincham remained on the front foot and edged themselves ahead when substitute Max Harrop found the bottom corner with a low drive from the left-hand side of the box.

Frustration was etched on the faces of the Bradford players and both Wroe and Luca Havern went into the referee’s book for needless fouls shortly after conceding.

The hosts hunted for an equaliser but failed to carve Altrincham open in the late stages Wynne punched a Branson header away from danger and Adam Nowakowski flicked a header wide after connecting with Nicky Clee’s long-throw...

Phil Parkinson’s side even had an opportunity to extend their lead in stoppage time but Johnston’s powerful strike was beaten away by Wynne[! Drench]".


Altrincham Reserves retained their position at the top of the Cheshire League with a 4-1 home win over F.C. St. Helens. Alty have 25 points from ten games, with Billinge, who have played 11 matches, having 21 points.

Next Saturday they are at home to Knutsford.

Alty's new signings Callum Harris, Joe Thompson and Ross Woodcock were not at Bradford with the first team as it was planned for them to be involved with the Reserves.


Right: A determined-looking Altrincham stride out before the kick off at Bradford on Saturday. Left to right we see, Simon Richman, Sean Williams (8), Andy White (background), Tom Peers, Tom Hannigan, Josh Hancock and James Jones.

  • Att. 1415 AFC Telford United 1 - 1 Stockport County
  • Att. 596 Blyth Spartans 0 - 2 Leamington
  • Att. 1188 Boston United 0 - 2 Chester
  • Att. 454 Bradford Park Avenue 2 - 3 Altrincham
  • Att. 1298 Chorley 3 - 1 Alfreton Town
  • Att. 220 Curzon Ashton 1 - 1 Brackley Town
  • Att. 907 Guiseley 3 - 0 FC United Of Manchester
  • Att. 2195 Hereford 0 - 2 Ashton United
  • Att. 1019 Southport 0 - 0 Darlington
  • Att. 725 Spennymoor Town 3 - 1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Att. 2404 York City 0 - 3 Kidderminster Harriers


Alty's next league opponents are Kidderminster Harriers. The Worcester News reports that "Harriers put together a complete performance to dismiss York City on their own patch with a fine 3-0 win.

A superb Ed Williams brace had the visitors in firm control at the break with Joe Ironside adding a third in the second half to down a City side who rarely threatened, forcing Brandon Hall into just one serious save.

Boss Neil MacFarlane opted to stick with the same starting eleven that had defeated Blyth Spartans seven days beforehand; that meant that although Ryan Johnson returned to the fold after missing that fixture through his exploits with the Northern Ireland U21s, he had to make do with a space among the day's substitutes...

MacFarlane’s men took the lead in sublime style with a little over a dozen minutes played; Williams latching on to a ball outside the area and driving a rising finish beyond Bartlett and into his top corner...

Harriers wrapped up an ideal half with another goal from Williams as his jinxing run ended with a shot across the face of goal that found the far bottom corner.

With Jon Parkin on at the break, York had a little more forward impetus... On 55 minutes it was 3-0; coolness personified from both Weeks and Ironside as the former played in the later who edged past his man before turning an accurate finish past the palm of Bartlett and into his bottom corner...

HARRIERS: Hall, Taylor, Vaughan, Horsfall, Digie, O’Connor, Weeks, Williams (Baxendale 80), Daniels, Chambers (Bradley 73), Ironside (Richards 73). Subs not used: Austin, Johnson".


Altrincham host Whitley Bay next Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup. On Saturday, Bay were playing in the The Buildbase FA Vase but lost away to Tyneside club Whickham FC 2-1 after extra time.

Whitley Bay report that "Last week we were giant killers, celebrating an 89th minute winner in the Emirates FA Cup. This week we suffered an extra time defeat in the Vase The highs and lows of football! Congratulations to Whickham, deserved winners today".


Altrincham Youth are at home today to Prescot Cables (2pm) in the NWYA Premier Division, at Manchester Health Academy M23 9BP. Their next fixture is on Wednesday 19th against Tranmere Rovers (7.15pm) at Solar Campus, Leasowe Road, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 8RE.

Meanwhile, the Youth team awaits the draw for the next round of the FA Youth Cup after their prospective opponents in the First Qualifying Round, Lancaster City, withdrew from the competition this week. The second Qualifying Round is scheduled for the week commencing 1st October.


Tuesday 18 September 2018
  • Chester FC v Kidderminster Harriers


As Buxton beat Stafford Rangers 4-1, Jude Oyibo scored one of the Bucks' goals. In the same division (NPL), James Lawrie scored a brace, and Joe Mwasile one, for Nantwich Town who beat Whitby Town 4-1.

Closer to home Trafford beat Skelmersdale United 5-1, with Aaron Burns one of the scorers.

15 September 2018


Right: Tom Peers takes his team-mates congratulations after opening the scoring.


Saturday 15 September 2018
  • AFC Telford United 1-1 Stockport County
  • Blyth Spartans 0-2 Leamington
  • Boston United 0-2 Chester FC
  • Bradford Park Avenue 2-3 Altrincham
  • Chorley 3-1 Alfreton Town
  • Curzon Ashton 1-1 Brackley Town
  • Guiseley 3-0 FC United of Manchester
  • Hereford FC 0-2 Ashton United
  • Southport 0-0 Darlington
  • Spennymoor Town 3-1 Nuneaton Borough
  • York City 0-3 Kidderminster Harriers


Altrincham may include all three recent acquisitions in their squad at the Horsfall Stadium on Saturday. Midfielder Callum Harris featured last week as a late substitute whilst this week he moved up the seniority list as two young players brought up in the Crewe Alexandra academy system joined Altrincham. They are defender Ross Woodcock and forward Joe Thompson.

Meanwhile, Bradford's Telegraph & Argus says that "Oli Johnson and Jake Beesley have starred up front for Bradford (Park Avenue) this season and attacking midfielder Ben McKenna has proved to be the perfect compliment for the pair.... and manager Mark Bower was full of praise for the playmaker's contributions.

He enthused 'Ben makes things happen because he takes people on. He's good in different areas and he's popped up with a few vital goals this season. He's a really exciting player, and although he's had a niggle over the last couple of weeks, we're hoping he'll be fine for Saturday.'

Avenue take on a confident Altrincham side at Horsfall on Saturday and Bower warned 'They've been very good away from home. They had excellent wins at Southport and Darlington and they were unlucky to lose against Blyth Spartans. They've got a winning mentality after promotion last season and they're a good footballing side. They like to play out from the back and pull you about but, if we keep our discipline, we could find space in attack.'

Avenue are finally back on home soil this weekend, having not played there since their 1-0 win over Boston United on August 27. Bower said 'It was hectic with the August fixtures but it's slowed down now and it does feel like a while since we've played here. Our home games have been quite tight whereas our away games have been high-scoring. We'll learn our lessons from last week's 5-3 defeat but we're still third in the league so we'll look back and work on what we've done well this season.'

Bower was honest about the Chester reverse, saying 'We played badly all round. We gave the ball away in a bad area for their third and fourth goals and kept making collective bad decisions. We weren't under any spells of great pressure but we allowed Chester opportunities and they were clinical. Everyone should be fit for Saturday, which is always good, but we might change things up this week after that performance.'"


Altrincham visit Bradford today (Saturday). One of Altrincham's most memorable visits to the Horsfall Stadium was on 30 November, 2002 when Altrincham won with an eighth minute goal by Rod Thornley, which earned the visitors a 1-0 win in an FA Trophy match played in appalling conditions. Similarily to this year's encounter, Bradford were riding high (in second place) whilst Altrincham lay 16th in the UniBond Northern Premier League. This time around, BPA are third and Alty fifteenth in the league.

But it was not events on the pitch which were particularly noteworthy in the 2002 game.

The match was played in steady rain more or less throughout and, in the second half, the visibility closed in quite markedly whilst the pitch became very heavy. However, the incident which stuck in the minds of most of all those present was the Alty bench's encounter with Ronnie Bottomley, BPA's equivalent to Altrincham's Kenny Palin. Ronnie's running commentary on the game, shouted from the stand, induced Alty physio Gary Thompson to offer Ronnie a chair by the touchline so that he could more easily get his message through to the players. The adjacent picture shows Ronnie taking up Gary's offer as the Alty "bench" looks on.

Sadly, Ronnie died in 2010 and the main stand was later named after him.


Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records remind us that the last time Altrincham played on today's date, 15 September, was in 2015 when Eastleigh faced a midweek trek to Moss Lane for a Vanarama National League match, which ended 1-1. Eastleigh arrived at the ground at 6.50pm following motorway problems and the referee delayed kick off till 8pm.

Altrincham came within three minutes of defeating the ambitious visitors from Hampshire but substitute Yemi Odubade drove home an 87th minute leveller. Altrincham took a 29th minute lead. The goal arrived after Adam Griffin had won the ball well and set James Lawrie running up the inside-left channel. From outside the box he fired an excellent left-footed shot past goalkeeper Noice.

The second half developed into a bad tempered affair with five bookings in an eight-minute spell early in the half. Altrincham came under late pressure and eventually the pressure told as Eastleigh brought on forwards Midson and Odubade. Following three corners in quick succession, the ball was lashed home from right of goal by Odubade.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 7. James LAWRIE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE


Bradford PA remind Altrincham supporters that they "are holding a beer/gin festival next weekend including match day against Altrincham. We will have 12 different beers, 3 ciders and a selection of craft gins available, the bar opens at 12 noon, and we hope to see some Alty fans in attendance!"


Press release:

"The National League is delighted to announce Prostate Cancer UK as official charity partner. In celebration of this partnership, for the first time in English football history, a rebrand of the competition name will take place mid-season. Title sponsors of the league Vanarama has changed its name to MANarama throughout the month of September, and to support this initiative the name of the National League will rebrand as the MANarama National League until October 13th.

Changes to the competition will largely focus on The National League’s digital assets, and the two televised matches within the next month (22/9: Eastleigh versus Dagenham & Redbridge, and 13/10: FC Halifax Town vs Chesterfield).".


NL Daily reports that "Alfreton Town have snapped up ex-Chesterfield midfielder Jordan Sinnott. Sinnott has signed a one-year deal with the National League North club after recently leaving the Spireites.

The son of Lee Sinnott, who now manages Gainsborough Trinity, Jordan had joined Chesterfield in June 2017 on a two-year contract but was deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Martin Allen.

Alfreton boss Billy Heath said of his new signing 'Jordan is pure quality; he is a central midfielder at the highest level. He is great on the ball and I had him at Halifax during the promotion campaign and he was outstanding. He was an integral part of that team and scored nine times. He is good on the ball, has a great delivery from set-pieces and crosses in general. Jordan is a good all-round footballer and can score goals from midfield. He is a fantastic signing for us, another strong addition to the squad and we are delighted to have him here at Alfreton. He brings more quality to us.'"


From Devon Live we learn that "New Torquay United manager Gary Johnson has agreed to extend defender Josh Gowling's current loan at Alfreton Town to the end of the season. Transfer-listed centre-back Gowling has just completed his first month at Alfreton, and both he and Town's manager Billy Heath wants to continue the arrangement.

'Josh is going to stay at Alfreton for the rest of the season,' said Johnson... 'Josh wants to live in that area anyway, I think it's gone well for him and he wanted to stay'".

The National League says that "Saturday will herald a completely new era for one of our sides in the National League North. For the first time since the club was formed, Hereford will line-up without club stalwart Peter Beadle in the dugout. Despite three title wins on the bounce, the Bulls parted company with Beadle with the team sitting mid-table...

Alfreton fans will be eager to see how their side will fare without the firepower of Tom Denton. They face a testing trip to high-fliers Chorley... Chester haven’t lost in three after a poor start and they face a Boston side who are looking to rediscover their early season form.

Dave Chadwick has reviatalised FC United of Manchester. A trip to Guiseley is next up for the Reds who will be looking to give their interim manager his first win.

How Curzon Ashton would love to replicate their away form at home. John Flanagan’s men boast the second best away form in the league but also the joint worst home form. They entertain a Brackley side who will be buoyed by last week’s win against Hereford.

Leamington’s early promise has faulted recently but they’ll be confident of a positive result against a Blyth Spartans who have only two wins all season. Nuneaton Borough desperately need a result to boost their points tally and travel to Spennymoor Town... York City have the chance to put some pressure on the top four as they face Kidderminster Harriers...

New Bucks Head has been somewhat of a fortress for AFC Telford and Stockport County are next up to try and take points back to the North West with them. After a first win in six, Darlington travel to Southport looking extend the Port’s wait for a home win this season".

The Hereford Times tells us that "The Welsh duo of Ryan Green and Gareth Davies will lead Hereford for tomorrow's match against Ashton United. Green will assume the role of player-manager while Davies, a former Hereford United defender, will take up the role of Head of Football...

Green and Davies, the current Welsh Football Trust Senior Coach Educator, took charge of training last night and will lead The Bulls until a permanent management team is announced. Davies, from Talgarth, told the Hereford Times this morning that, in being totally respectful to Beadle and what he had achieved, he would not be doing press interviews until after tomorrow's match."

According to Nuneaton Borough the club "have further boosted their attacking options with the signing of striker Adam McGurk. McGurk signed for Aston Villa in 2004 making seven appearances for the reserves and scoring four goals before suffering a serious knee injury that briefly derailed his career. After being released by Aston Villa he joined Hednesford Town before earning a contract at Tranmere Rovers...

After suffering a collapsed lung McGurk left Tranmere and signed for Burton Albion... The former Northern Ireland youth international later signed with Portsmouth... A spell with Cambridge United followed before spending last season with Morecambe. McGurk has U16 and U17 caps and has also represented Northern Ireland at U21 level".

14 September 2018


This Saturday (15th), Altrincham travel to the Horsfall Stadium to play Bradford (Park Avenue). Supporters' coach transport to this game has been arranged by TASC and the times and fares are here. You can book your seat by ringing the club during the week on 0161 928-1045 during normal office hours.


The official Altrincham FC website reports that the Club has signed two youngsters.

First of the duo is Joe Thompson, born on 11 January 2000, a forward who has been on the books of Crewe Alexandra.

The second new face is defender Ross Woodcock, who was released by Crewe Alexandra this summer. He was born in Scotland on 25 September, 1998.

Back in May 2017 Crewe Alexandra reported that "Defender Ross Woodcock has become the latest Crewe Alexandra academy graduate to sign professional terms with the Club after successfully graduating from the academy. The 18-year-old has penned a 12-month deal, with the Club's option of a further year, after impressing in Lee Bell's Under 18 side this seas

He has enjoyed a brief loan spell with Alsager Town towards the tail end of this season to gain some invaluable experience of playing senior men's football".

Above: Manager Phil Parkinson gives instructions to Bay Downing and Lloyd Bannister in pre-season.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Bannister, who joined Alty in the summer but has not made a competitive appearance, has joined Atherton Collieries on a dual registration basis. As previously reported here, Bay Downing has, likewise, a dual registration arrangement with Salisbury.

The National League adds that "Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson has responded to his team’s lack of form and injury issues by signing two new players. Alty have only won once since August 7 and their 2-0 home loss to Curzon Ashton means it’s just one point from a possible nine.

Unavailable players have also caused problems so the manager has taken action. Forward Joe Thompson and full-back Ross Woodcock have won Parkinson over following recent trials.

The Alty boss wants an improvement after recent poor results. 'Yes there have been mitigating circumstances but we need to be better,' he said after defeat to Curzon... 'We need to come up with a reaction', added the former Nantwich Town manager".


The official Altrincham FC site has given details of a new deal with Manchester United whereby several of its teams will play their matches at the J. Davidson Stadium.


The EvoStik League reports that Crosby side "Marine have appointed former Chester boss Neil Young [right] as their new manager. Young, 43, has won five promotions during his career, including three consecutive league titles with Chester.

He said, 'I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to manage Marine Football Club. There is great potential here and recent results... show the players are determined to improve results and move up the table'...

He became the first manager of the newly formed Chester FC in summer 2010... He has also had spells as Manager at Stockport County and Altrincham and more recently was Head of Scouting at FC Halifax Town with a spell also as caretaker manager until February 2018.

Marine Chairman Paul Leary said 'This is a great appointment for Marine Football Club. Neil has a wealth of managerial experience and has been a very successful non-League manager, especially at Chester FC and previously at Colwyn Bay... I am very pleased that caretaker manager Ian Johnson, who has done so well in the last three games, is to be retained by Neil'".


Hereford FC "have announced that the club has this morning parted company with manager, Peter Beadle. The announcement comes following a lengthy Board meeting at Edgar Street last night.

Speaking about the club’s decision, Chairman, Ken Kinnersley, said ‘This is not a decision the Board has taken lightly and it is one made with a heavy heart. However, the Directors are in unanimous agreement that now is the right time to make a change. While recent results have been disappointing, this is a decision taken more with the long-term goal of progressing to the Football League in mind and we feel it will give the club the best possible chance of continuing the positive progress it has made so far.

‘We’d like to sincerely thank Pete for all his hard work over the past three seasons and no one here will ever underplay his achievement in securing three championship wins in three seasons and a Wembley appearance having had to build a squad from scratch. We will always be grateful for all the happy memories he has given everyone who cares about this club...

‘In terms of what happens next, we will provide an update to supporters via the club’s official website as soon as plans are finalised.’"

Later, Hereford FC added "that assistant manager Steve Jenkins has also left the club following the departure of first team manager, Peter Beadle".

And then Hereford FC announced "the interim management team that have taken charge of first-team affairs with immediate effect. Senior player Ryan Green and former Hereford United defender, and current Welsh Football Trust Senior Coach Educator, Gareth Davies will lead The Bulls on a temporary basis following the departure of Peter Beadle and Steve Jenkins earlier today.

Green will assume the role of player-manager whilst Gareth Davies, who is a senior qualified coach, will take up the role of Head of Football... Saturday sees Hereford entertain Ashton United in Vanarama National League North action, with The Bulls looking to end a run of five games without a win".

According to York Press "York City caretaker manager Sam Collins believes he has the better squad of players ahead of Saturday’s home clash with undefeated Kidderminster Harriers. The in-form visitors took four points from a possible six against the Minstermen last term and knocked the Bootham Crescent outfit out of the FA Trophy...

But Collins reckons his side can now match Kiddy in the style stakes... He said 'I think they’ll be in and around the top places at the end of the season... and they’re still a good footballing team. A few players have moved on, but others have come in and their style is very similar. They’re maybe a bit more direct at times, but I’m expecting a really good footballing game with how we are playing as well. They’ve got three or four good players at this level but there are areas we feel we can exploit to cause them problems. They’ll be thinking the same about us, but I feel we have better players than them all over the pitch and on the bench, so we’ll be ready for them'...

'We’ve really knuckled down and done a lot of hard work with and without the ball in terms of how we want to play,' the temporary chief reasoned... 'The two weeks without a game could prove a blessing in disguise even though we wanted to play to keep our unbeaten run going, as it’s also given our injured players like Sean Newton and Alex Kempster time to get back and we’ve just about got a clean bill of health.'

Collins went on to reveal that no further talks had taken place concerning the length of his caretaker reign... 'It’s no big thing that nothing has been decided yet and I’m really enjoying doing this, as I was working with the under-19s... At some stage, I’m sure there’ll be some sort of conversation, but I’m not worried about that and I’m just cracking on'...

Collins, meanwhile, is continuing to dedicate long hours in an attempt to keep moving the Minstermen in the right direction, adding 'I’m pretty obsessive and find it very difficult to switch off, but I also have a wife and children at home and we did have family time together on Sunday... When it comes to the working week, I’m usually up at 4.30am about three hours before the kids go to school watching DVDs of matches, as I’m not a good sleeper anyway'".

13 September 2018


Well-known Altrincham FC supporter, programme-seller and historian of the Club, Terry Surridge, recently located the newspaper article, (shown right), which relates to Altrincham AFC's early history. As it demonstrates, player recruitment in Altrincham's early days was somewhat different from nowadays when football trials and scouting reports identify most new signings.

However, as the accompanying image from the Athletic Times of 13 July 1903 shows, prospective players were invited to respond to newspaper advertisements. The date of the advert, summer 1903, was precisely when Broadheath FC, a club founded in 1891, changed its name to Altrincham F.C. so this is one of the earliest known printed references to the current club.

Interestingly, smartness and acceptance of a wage limit are the only explicitly specified requirements of players in the 1903 advert.

The advert also shows that our neighbours and current league rivals, Stockport County, were recruiting in similar fashion, as were other current English Football League clubs, like Barnsley.


After a fifth failure to win at home this season when Curzon Ashton defeated the Robins 2-0, John Edwards's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson is to be found on the official Altrincham FC website.


The National League reports that "FC United of Manchester have looked a different proposition under Dave Chadwick; they’re now unbeaten in three after their goalless draw with Chester.

Chadwick is in temporary charge since Tom Greaves left the club last month and has overseen three draws in three games.

Although he doesn’t have his first win yet, the Red Rebels look to have got their confidence back and the boss... told the Chester Chronicle, 'Three undefeated and on another day the centre-half scores two headers, we've hit the post, we've cut them open and I thought we did enough to win the game. We got the ball out wide and we started getting the results and we got to the pace of the game and we took it on the front foot and we scared them and cut them open quite a few times.

'We got a tempo and we didn't want half time to come and we felt like it was all us... We defended amazingly. It was my kind of defence there,' he added."

On the same match, the National League says "Chester missed a big opportunity last night according to their joint manager Anthony Johnson...

'We have got to be winning these type of games, especially at home so we’re disappointed', Johnson said after the 0-0 draw... 'We have got to be breaking teams down. We need more of a cutting edge... We need more graft and more guile.'”

From NL Daily we hear that "Southport have confirmed that Billy Priestley will join fellow National League North side FC United of Manchester on loan until the start of January 2019.

Born in Burnley, the central defender signed for Southport from Alfreton in December 2017 and the 29-year-old will link up with his new side at Broadhurst Park immediately... Priestley has currently made 22 appearances for the Port, four of which have been during the 2018/19 season"

NL Daily reports that "Walsall midfielder Jordon Sangha has joined Ashton United on loan until January. The 20-year-old, who has previously had loan spells at Telford and Leamington, joins United with immediate effect...

'I just wanted to get some minutes,' said Sangha, who has made one appearance for the Saddlers this season... 'I went to training and they said they would have me. I just want to play football. Their gaffer has said that I will play for them and that is all Dean Keates wants, for me to get games and hopefully it will be good for me'".

According to NL Daily "Craig Elliott is backing his trio of Boston United loan signings to add the excitement factor that he has been craving, report Lincolnshire Live.

The United supremo recruited Grimsby Town youngsters Max Wright (20) and Ahkeem Rose (19) on loan ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stockport County, with Blackpool’s former Alvechurch winger Yusifu Ceesay (23) following suit at the end of the week.

All three featured at Edgeley Park, with Rose scoring United’s opening goal in their 2-0 success...

'They are direct, they are hungry and they want to do well,' said Elliott. 'They have got pace and young kids like that can go out and play with freedom. That’s what we have been lacking but I saw it after only five minutes in training. You could see the freshness they brought but there has not been too much else wrong with the team'".

12 September 2018


Altrincham are away to Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday (15th). Mike Garnett's data shows previous outcomes in matches between the clubs:
  • Home: P11-W7-D3-L1-F19-A8
  • Away: P12-W4-D4-L4-F18-A21
  • All: P23-W11-D7-L5-F37-A29

The last time that Altrincham played a league match at the Horsfall Stadium was in the 2016-17 season when the Robins lost 2-1 in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 25 March 2017. The sides did play a friendly in summer 2017 which Alty won 4-2 at Bradford.

As reported at the time of the league fixture in 2017, "The outcome of this match was decided by one of the assistant referees who, barely two minutes into the second half, prevailed on referee Khatib to show Alty loanee Elliot Newby a red card for an alleged elbowing offence which few, if any, people in the ground had seen. Newby, who had equalised for the visitors with a finely taken goal, was distraught at his dismissal. In his fifteen previous games for the Club he had not previously even seen a yellow card. And Alty, who started the game with nine players unavailable through injury, then lost Kyle Brownhill to an injury picked up in the first half.

Right: Elliot Newby being congratulated on his goal.

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

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

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

Altrincham were without Stuart Tomlinson, Shaun Densmore, Alan Goodall, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Gary Jones, Laurence Taylor, Clayton McDonald and John Cyrus, but there was a surprise return in goal for Tim Deasy and Micah Evans, and on the bench for Tom Hannigan. Sam Heathcote, who had been stretchered off in last Tuesday's game, had recovered to join the starting eleven... Alty had four ex-BPA players in their squad (Deasy, Patterson, McWilliams, Reeves). BPA included ex-Robins, Toulson, Boshell and Sinclair".

Altrincham's line up was 1. Tim Deasy, 2. Sam Patterson, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Jake Moult, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Chris Lynch (c), 7. Simon Richman, 8. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Andy Owens, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Elliot Newby. Subs 12. James Lawrie, 14. Nicky Clee, 15. Micah Evans, 16. Tom Hannigan, 20. Andrew Jones.


Tuesday 11 September 2018
  • Chester FC 0-0 FC United of Manchester


Alfreton Town "confirm that striker Tom Denton has joined National League side Chesterfield, for an undisclosed fee. Denton joined the Reds in May 2018 on a one-year deal ahead of the new 2018/19 season, he was Billy Heath’s first summer signing. Tom fired six goals in the opening nine games of the National League North campaign.

Manager Billy Heath [said] 'We’re extremely disappointed to let Tom go. we know what he brings to the table, know what he offers. It’s a loss for us but when an opportunity like this comes for a player, I’ve always stood by the fact that we have to let the player take it. Tom is 29 now, it’s a chance for him to join a full-time club and what many would consider a Football League side. It’s his last chance to be involved in full time football. Tom wanted to speak to them and the move back into the National League also attracted him, he’d be moving into a higher level and he was keen to do that...

'He has been fantastic at all three clubs I’ve had him, we’ve been good for each other and we wish him well. We won’t rush into anything; we have fantastic forwards at the football club, all with bags of quality, and we will take our time. Yes it’s disappointing but you look at where we are after nine games, we’re in a great position in the league and we want to continue that. The squad is strong and remains strong'".

NL Daily reports that "Harrogate Town defender Toby Lees has returned to the CNG Stadium at the conclusion of his loan spell with Boston United. Lees had been with Craig Elliott’s Pilgrims on a month-long deal. The 21-year-old made five appearances for Boston United".

Boston United also report that "striker Craig Westcarr has linked up with Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division side Matlock Town on a dual registration deal. The Pilgrims will retain the 33-year-old's National League registration... Westcarr made six appearances for the Pilgrims between August 11 and September 1, including five outings from the bench.

Harrogate Town defender Toby Lees, meanwhile, has returned to the CNG Stadium at the conclusion of his month-long loan spell with the Pilgrims. Lees (21) made five appearances for the Pilgrims".

The National League reports that "Gavin Cowan fears he may have been too nice to his AFC Telford players. The Bucks have started the National League North season superbly after their struggle last season. But they came undone 3-0 at Darlington on Saturday after taking 13 points from a possible 15 before it.

In an interview with the Shropshire Star, Cowan says... 'Maybe I have to take responsibility myself, maybe I’ve praised them too much and they’ve received too much adulation and thought they were going to come to Darlington and roll over a team that haven’t been doing well,' he told them as he looked ahead to Saturday’s game with Stockport County. 'We’re going to find out a lot about them. If I was an AFC Telford supporter, more than ever, I’d want to get down and watch that game because they’re going to see a reaction.

'I knew at some point this would happen, and I’m excited now to see what happens, I’m excited to see that reaction. I’m the coach, and I’ll make sure they’re fired up more than ever to make sure we get back on track.'".

11 September 2018


Although Altrincham and Whitley Bay have never previously met, Mike Garnett reminds us of Altrincham's previous encounters with other teams from the North-East in the FA Cup...
  • Morpeth Town (h) 3-0 3Q 2016
  • Newcastle Blue Star (a) 2-1 4Q 2008
  • Shildon (a) 3-0 2Q 2012; (a) 0-1 2Q 2017
  • Tow Law (a) 0-2 4Q 1989

Mike adds that "Other Northern League clubs we have met down the years are

  • Ashington (NPL 1968-9)
  • Bishop Auckland (UniBond Premier League 2000/01, 2001/02 and FA Trophy 1984/85, 1985/86 1996/97 and 2000/01)
  • Crook Town (FA Trophy 1986/87)
  • (Sunderland) Ryhope Community Association (FA Trophy 1985/86)".

And it should not be forgotten that Altrincham FC Youth played Newcastle Benfield (away) and emerged with a 2-1 win in the FA Youth Cup 3rd Qualifying Round, on 22 October, 2015.


Altrincham's FA Cup opponents on 22 September overcame Whitby own 1-0 in the previous Round. The victors, Whitley Bay report that "In a dramatic climax to a gripping cup tie, Whitley scored an 89th minute winner to produce one of the upsets of the round as they knocked Evo-Stik Premier Division side Whitby Town out of the FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round. The Yorkshire club, ranked two divisions above Whitley in the football pyramid, came to Hillheads in excellent form and as firm favourites but the bumper crowd of 680 fans were treated to an epic cup tie in which it was the battling underdogs who emerged victorious...

While Whitby were creating the better opportunities, chances were coming at both ends and with no score at the interval Whitley were still very much in the tie...

A key moment in the game came with 75 minutes on the clock when Olly Martin was deemed to have tripped Mondal just inside the box and referee Samuel Ross pointed to the spot and cautioned the Bay youngster. Hopson confidently stepped forward to take the penalty but he was denied by Flynn who made a tremendous diving save, pushing the ball away with strong hands. Moments later, frustration seemed to get the better of Sukar who received a second booking and a consequent red card.

These two incidents going in their favour boosted Whitley, and urged on by their fans they attacked with increased vigour. Callum Anderson sent a glancing header from Cooper’s cross narrowly wide then with five minutes remaining, Glen-Ravenhill played a corner short to substitute Lewis Walton, whose cross was headed wide by fellow sub Stephen Ramsey. Whitby were coming under increasing pressure and they conceded a free kick 20 yards out when Foalle was fouled, but the ball was cleared.

It was looking increasingly like a replay would be required but then in the 89th minute, Glen-Ravenhill made a foraging run down the left and on this occasion managed to get behind the Whitby defence before delivering a perfect cross to the edge of the six yard box where Foalle came in and headed powerfully past McHugh to spark scenes of jubilation both on and off the pitch... Apart from a place in the next round and the prestige of defeating a higher ranked club, the 1-0 victory earned Whitley a hugely valuable £6000 in prize money. It also extended their winning run to five games, something they last achieved three years ago.

Goalkeeper Tom Flynn was deservedly named h2o Bathrooms man of the match, not only for his penalty save, but also for some excellent saves earlier in the game that kept Whitley in the tie.

WHITLEY BAY: Flynn, A Redford (Walton 69 mins), Cooper, Anderson, Hassan, Caines, Martin, Glen-Ravenhill, Taggart (Ramsey 78 mins), Foalle, Salmon Substitutes not used: Carr, Brannen, R Redford, Taylor, Powell... Attendance: 680"

Founded in 1897, Whitley Bay have won the FA Vase four times (2002 and three years running 2009-11).


A 7-0 home win by Altrincham FC Ladies against City of Liverpool Ladies, on Sunday, left the lady Robins top of Division One South of the North West Womens Regional League after two fixtures.

They join Altrincham FC's Reserves men's team who also top their league table. The Reserves won again on Saturday, this time in the Cheshire County FA Amateur Cup. They defeated Mersey Royal 4-2.


Altrincham travel to the Horsfall Stadium on Saturday (15th) to play Bradford (Park Avenue), who coincidentally we entertained at Moss Lane exactly six years to the day ago. In a Blue Square North match Alty won 3-1 thanks to a brace from Damian Reeves and a goal from Nicky Clee, who now plays for the Yorkshire club.

In their last league visit to Bradford, Altrincham lost 2-1 on Saturday, 25 March 2017. Jake Moult is pictured, right, leading out the team for that game.

However, the sides met later in a pre-season match on 29 July 2017 when Altrincham beat their higher-level opponents 4-2 at the Horsfall Stadium, despite falling behind in the opening minute. Alty's goals were scored by Jake Moult (penalty), John Johnston, John Disney and Josh Amis.

League admission prices at Bradford are

  • Adult – £12
  • Concessionaries – £9
  • Student – £7
  • Under-16 – £2

The Yorkshire Evening Post records that "Bradford Park Avenue stayed third in National League North despite conceding five goals on the road for the first time since August 2016.

Mark Bower’s men were beaten 5-3 at Chester... Replies from Ben McKenna, Jake Beesley and Oli Johnson had the visitors level early in the second half, but poor defensive play would prove Avenue’s downfall.

The away team had got off to a dream start when McKenna steered home following good work down the left by Beesley. Chester were ahead, though, by the 11th minute... The hosts went on to forge further in front when Mahon darted past Nicky Clee before beating Steven Drench.

Avenue did manage to reduce the deficit, though, going into the break with Beesley following up to net after home keeper Grant Shenton could only parry a Johnson attempt.

Johnson was then quickest to pounce after the interval when Shelton repelled a powerful Conor Branson header.But Matty Hughes signalled a warning for Chester when he rattled the frame of the goal, before Mooney capitalised on a Mark Ross mistake by finishing with composure.

Victory in an enthralling contest was subsequently sealed when Luke Jordan was fouled by Branson and Dudley converted from the penalty spot".


NL Daily says that "The Derbyshire Times reports that the player Chesterfield have bid for in the past few days is Alfreton Town striker Tom Denton. The giant targetman, who scored six goals in his first seven games for the National League North side this season, is a player Martin Allen worked with previously.

It was Allen who gave the 6ft 6ins frontman his Football League debut, during a loan spell at Cheltenham. Denton, who won promotion to the National League with Halifax and lifted the FA Trophy at Wembley with North Ferriby United, is currently a part-time player with the Reds."

Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Borough have announced that Lewis Freestone’s loan from Peterborough United has been extended until January. The 18 year-old played in every game during the first month of his loan, appearing seven times in the starting line-up...

'We’re happy to extend the loan,' said assistant manager Lee Fowler. 'He is willing to learn and has good qualities. He shows that players are willing to drop down and play games at this level. It’s great for him with (manager) Nicky (Eaden) being a full-back in his career'".

Elsewhere, "The Blackpool Gazette say that Blackpool have confirmed the signing of non-league youngster Yusifu Ceesay, and have immediately sent him out on loan to Boston United. As The Gazette reported last week, the winger was due to sign for the club after impressing on trial during the summer. The Alvechurch youngster trained with the Seasiders during pre-season and performed well in Blackpool’s 2-1 friendly win at Nantwich Town...

The pacey forward, who was born in Spain, impressed for Alvechurch last season, helping them win promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division One South. The 23-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the Seasiders with the option of a further 12 months."

And "Guiseley have announced the signing of Lewis Walters, a player brought up through the Leeds United Academy playing for the Under-18s and Under-23s alongside Guiseley midfielder Alex Purver. Walters, 23, joined Nottingham Forest in July 2016. Last season, Walters played for National League side Barrow on a season long loan from Forest.

The winger or striker was at one time on the fringes of the Leeds United first team but injuries have affected his career... At the end of last season Walters was released by Forest and at the start of the current season he was on trial at Carlisle United."

Elsewhere, "Forward Marlon Jackson is training with Hereford after being released by Newport County in the summer, reports the Hereford Times. The 27 year-old, who plays as a striker or a winger, made five appearances for Hereford United in 2009 before playing for a host of other clubs. Most recently he made 28 appearances for Newport County between 2016 and 2018 scoring no goals.

Said Hereford manager Pete Beadle, 'We’re just waiting to see what we can do with one or two things first. He’s training and trained well but that’s as far as it’s gone so far.'"

Closer to home, "Chester FC have announced the signing of Luke Jordan from Ramsbottom United. The 19-year-old made seven EFL appearances for Morecambe, alongside a loan spell with Kendal Town last term, before joining ‘Rammy’... Jordan is known for being a speedy winger".

The National League reports its Team of the Week as being

  • Goalkeeper: Dan Hanford (Southport)
  • Defenders: Adam Blakeman (Chorley) Cliff Moyo (Guiseley) Kris Thackray (Spennymoor)
  • Midfielders: Dan Mooney (Chester) Ed Williams (Kidderminster) Jimmy Armson (Brackley) Oliver Crankshaw (Curzon Athletic) Liam Hughes (Darlington)
  • Strikers: Louis Almond (Chorley) Ahkeem Rose (Boston United)
  • Substitutes: Gaz Dean (Brackley) Anthony Dudley (Chester) Dave Syers (Darlington) Adam Boyes (Spennymoor) Max Wright (Boston United)"

10 September 2018


In today's FA Cup second Qualifying Round draw, Altrincham have been awarded a home tie against Whitley Bay of the Northern League. The game takes place on 22 February. On Saturday Whitley Bay knocked out Whitby to earn their place in the Second Round. They currently lie ninth inthe Division One of the Northern League but have a game or more in hand on several of the teams above them.

Before last Saturday's Cup win they had scored 21 goals in their previous four matches!


Press and Media Officer, John Edwards's report on the game is on the Altrincham FC official site.

Meanwhile, Curzon Ashton say that "It was more away day delight for Curzon as John Flanagan’s side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Altrincham at Moss Lane... another impressive win on the road, their third in five away trips... After knocking on the Altrincham door for the majority of the first half, John Flanagan’s side were finally let in two minutes before half time. A deflected Crankshaw cross from the right fell to Hughes, who smashed home into the roof of the net giving Curzon a well-deserved lead at the break.

After the restart, it was more of the same as the Nash kept control of the game... Nash netted their second goal of the game, and what a goal it was. Crankshaw cut in from the right, beating his man with ease and curled a stunning effort into the top corner giving Wynne no chance, netting his first goal in a Curzon shirt in style... Flanagan’s side continued to look a threat going forward and came close through Guest and Niall Cummins, however, both had their efforts saved by Wynne. The win ends a four-game run without three points and leaves the Nash just three points off the play-off places."


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to the Horsfall Stadium from where the Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower is pleased with Jake Beesley’s start to the season, and he has praised the young striker’s work rate and determination. Beesley, who is on loan from Salford City, grabbed Avenue’s second goal in last Sunday’s draw at FC United of Manchester and Bower felt that was the least the 21-year-old deserved.

He enthused, 'Jake’s done well because he works so hard. He gets himself chances that aren’t really there, either latching on to long balls or just through his sheer effort and work rate... He can still improve in certain areas of his game, although he’ll get that with the experience of playing. He’ll settled in well here and the team really appreciate his efforts. He’s a great lad.'".

"Bradford (PA) report that "A catalogue of defensive errors cost Bradford (Park Avenue) dearly as they were beaten 5-3 by Chester. The Blues hadn’t hosted anyone since early August due to stadium damage but marked their return to the Swansway Chester Stadium with an impressive win.

Bradford headed into the game as one of the league’s most in-form sides and made a dream start. Jake Beesley accelerated down the left flank before squaring to Ben McKenna, who steered past Chester goalkeeper Grant Shenton to fire the visitors ahead.

Chester, however, produced the perfect response... The momentum shifted in Chester’s favour after the equaliser... Both sides looked nervy in defence and looked to capitalise on each other’s defensive fragilities...

[At 2-1] Chester were eventually rewarded for their pressure when Mahon darted into the box before skipping past Nicky Clee and poking past Drench... With half-time looming, Bradford clawed one back as Shenton saved a strike from Johnson and Beesley stabbed the rebound into a vacated net. HALF-TIME: Chester 3-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)..

It was Bradford that drew first blood in the second-half. A powerful header from Conor Branson was saved by Shenton but the goalkeeper pushed the ball into the path of Johnson, who tucked away... Chester regained their lead with fifteen minutes left on the clock through Mooney, who found the bottom corner... Jordan then tangled with Branson in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Dudley stepped up to convert the penalty and wrap up the three points for Chester. Chester 5-3 Bradford (Park Avenue)...

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Lowe, Wroe, Killock (c), Havern (Nowakowski 77′), McKenna (Knight 73′), Branson, Beesley, Johnson, Clee (Spencer 63′) Unused substitutes: Boshell, Dawson."


Reflecting the hard work of the commercial team at Altrincham FC, a new client (Basements North West) has acquired the prominent advertising position on the Popular Side at the J. Davidson Stadium, as seen in the above photo.

The above image of Altrincham lining up before last Saturday's game also shows the re-vamped media gantry at the ground, from where Radio Robins and Alty TV provide their excellent coverage of Altrincham's games. This has allowed spectators to resume occupation of the prime viewing spots near the half-way line.


It was recently reported that Alty's summer signing, Bay Downing (right), had signed dual registration forms with Salisbury FC in Wiltshire. York Press now tells us that on 1 September "Salisbury were stunned by a injury time equaliser at Harrow Borough, which denied them a deserved three points... A Fitchett cross from the byline saw debutant Bay Downing’s diving header hit the post... The Whites opened the scoring after 72 minutes... Then a minute into added on time, Harrow scored".


The National League reports that "As days go, it’s safe to assume Chorley supporters have had worse ones. Not only did their highflying side thrash Ashton United 5-0 away from home ... but others' dropped points mean the Magpies are already an incredible seven points clear. There was another big bonus - boss Jamie Vermiglio avoided the Manager of the Month curse! 'I’m made up because this was a big potential banana skin for us,' he told the club’s twitter account. 'The waves just keep coming and at the moment we are riding the crest! We are showing a real togetherness on the pitch; we were organised and we were disciplined... It’s even more pleasing when you come off the pitch and see one or two of the other sides have dropped points... and now we are seven points clear it’s fantastic.'”

Blyth Spartans "have secured the signing of midfielder Daniel Pybus on a non-contract deal. The midfielder has been signed to help with the current injury crisis, with Kieran Green also suspended for three games. The former Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue man went straight into the squad".

Closer to home Stockport County report that "The Hatters slipped to their third defeat in four matches, and to a second home-reverse in three consecutive Saturday games at Edgeley Park, as a goal in each half deservedly earned the points for the visiting ‘Pilgrims’ from Boston.

County could, in truth, have few complaints about the result, following a game in which the side, unchanged from the victorious 4-3-3 starting line-up against Leamington a week previously, offered little before the break, and, despite an improved performance after it, too often lacked a cutting edge in the final third".

From the other side, Boston United "chalked up their third away victory of the campaign with a 2-0 success over Stockport County on Saturday. A fine looping header from debutant Ahkeem Rose in the 23rd minute and Nathan Arnold's third goal in four appearances in the 71st minute secured all three points for the Pilgrims... with Nicky Walker particularly prominent in attack and the recalled Ben Middleton outstanding at centre-half.

Middleton’s inclusion from the start was one of five changes made by manager Craig Elliott, with Spencer Harris and Grant Roberts ruled out through injury and Jordan Gough through suspension. Rose and fellow Grimsby Town loanee Max Wright were included from the start and both players contributed heavily to United’s vibrant start...

County, switching to three at the back, were a stronger proposition after the break... United suffered a double injury blow when Rose left the field with cramp and Andi Thanoj followed with a hamstring niggle. Blackpool loanee Yusifu Ceesay and Jonathan Wafula deputised from the bench".

Up at Southport "Devarn Green scored with nine minutes remaining to earn Southport a draw at FC United of Manchester. Having let points slip during the closing stages of recent games, this was the Sandgrounders’ turn to score late, but they still left Broadhurst Park with a sense of what might have been.

By the time Green earned the visitors a share of the spoils in the closing stages, they had already missed a series of chances, including a first-half penalty, meaning that a draw was the least they felt they deserved.

On another day, Southport could certainly have made things easier for themselves, the sight of Jason Gilchrist sending his penalty against the base of a post summing up what has been a frustrating start to the season for the Sandgrounders, but in the end they were grateful for a point.

This was an important game for reasons either team would have wanted. With just one win each, they occupied two of the bottom three places in the Vanarama National League North at kick-off and a draw does little for either side in their attempts to kick-start their campaign.

As manager Liam Watson reflected afterwards, the fact that his players were able to recover from the frustrations endured earlier in the game was a reason for encouragement.

Southport continued their recent progress defensively, the return of Dean Winnard to the team at right-back bringing increased solidity to what now looks like a resolute back four, and Green’s equaliser extends their current run to only one defeat in five games.

There have been signs of improvement during that run and the task now for the Sandgrounders is to translate those points into wins... Southport felt that their return could have been greater but in the end they were grateful for the point."

Hereford FC confirm that they, like Alty, "will enter this season’s FA Cup in the second qualifying round, the draw for which takes place at Monday lunchtime (expected to be around 1pm). Second qualifying round matches will be played on the weekend of 22nd September, with £9,000 up for grabs for each of the winning sides"

Over at Guiseley "Joint manager Russ O’Neill returned to his old stamping ground [Alfreton] and together with Marcus Bignot masterminded Guiseley’s first away win of the season as they extended their unbeaten run to seven and moved up to thirteenth in the table. Town went into the match on the back of four straight wins that had propelled them up amongst the early contenders in third place.

The Lions starting line up showed several changes due to a lengthening injury list with Will Thornton starting in the back four and Andy Halls moving into midfield where he was joined by Alex-Ray Harvey who was making his first start. New signing Lewis Walters also made his Guiseley debut after being released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season...

Town were relying on balls up to Denton but the Lions defence was standing firm and getting the ball down through hte midfield... The second half continued in much the same vein with the Reds lumping balls up to Denton that usually ended up in the possession of a blue-clad defender... Any hopes Alfreton had of salvaging something from the game all but disappeared when substitute Harry Middleton, who had only been on the field for twenty minutes, was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Kingsley James."

"FC United is delighted to welcome Blackburn duo Lewis Thompson and Lewis Mansell on short-term loan deals. 18 year-old Thompson will add some cover to the backline following the departure of Luke Ashworth to Ashton United... Mansell (20 years-old), who plays as a striker, will provide more competition upfront alongside Liam Dickinson and Kurt Willoughby. Both players have signed for a 28 day loan deal before they return to Rovers on 6th October.

FC can also confirm Dave Carnell has returned to us as short-term cover for [goalkeeper] Billy Crellin".

Down at Brackley Town the home side beat Hereford 2-0 as "Kevin Wilkin’s side recorded a convincing win against visiting Hereford who finished the game with nine players, moving Brackley into 7th position in the table. Saints dominated the game with a goal in each half and further scoring opportunities. Meanwhile The Bulls rarely threatened Danny Lewis in the Brackley goal...

Hereford’s task became all the harder when Eliot Richards was red-carded just before the break after an ugly fracas... Substitute Calvin Dinsley received The Bulls’ second straight red card of the afternoon in added time in a moment of petulance.

'When we move the ball as we did today we can ask questions of other teams,' Wilkin said".

Ashton United report that ""League leaders Chorley were unextended to continue their impressive start to the season as they strolled to victory in this Lancashire Derby. With [ex-Alty] Josh Ollerenshaw restored in goal, Ashton gave full debuts to Jak Hickman and Luke Ashworth and Curtis Jones was recalled into defence but it was the visitors who were first out of the blocks as a... cross was blocked with Josh O’Keefe on hand to head home Adam Blakeman’s delivery from the resulting corner with 11 minutes on the clock.

[At 0-2] O’Keefe then saw yellow for bringing down [ex-Alty loanee] Liam Tomsett whose corner was fired into the side netting by [ex-Alty trialist] Aaron Chalmers but six minutes before the break Carver guided home the third with a precise header from O’Keefe’s cross... The visitors moved further ahead as Almond placed his effort in at the near post in the opening minute of the second half...

The leaders were comfortable for the rest of the game and finished their tally as Ollerenshaw could only palm Carver’s lobbed effort to [ex-Alty loanee] Elliot Newby who was left with an open net."

9 September 2018


Altrincham's search for home win continues as Curzon Ashton secured all three points against their hosts, who scarcely troubled visiting keeper Mason. Alty were without injured defenders White, Hampson and Harrison as well as suspended striker Hulme. As a consequence, midfielder Richman played at right-back and the bench had only three outfield occupants, including a new signing (Callum Harris) and Crewe loanee Owen Dale.

Above: Tom Hannigan's back-header goes narrowly wide of the Curzon Ashton goal.

The Nash took a 42nd minute lead when the impressive Crankshaw got the benefit of a ricochet against Shaun Densmore to advance on the right. Following a resulting cross by Samizadeh, Hughes netted with a rising shot from close range at the back post. To compound Alty's defensive injury problems Densmore had to give way at half time after seemingly picking up a knock.

The match's outcome was settled in the 58th minute when Crankshaw netted impressively from outside the box as Alty stood off the advancing Curzon player. The nearest Alty came to a goal was when a Johnston freekick hit the top of the crossbar in the fourth minute of added time. Alty drop to fifteenth.

ALTRINCHAM: Wynne, Richman, Densmore, Jones, Hannigan, Moult (c), Johnston, Williams, Peers, Harrop, Hancock. Subs: Dale, Goulding, Harris, Thompson


An unexpected name on the Alty teamsheet on Saturday was that of Callum Harris, who was named as a substitute. He is pictured, left, against Curzon Ashton.

Born on January 20, 1996 he is a midfielder who has recently played for the same Belgian club as a summer arrival at Moss Lane, Lloyd Bannister. But with Lloyd now having left Alty without making a competitive appearance, Callum has already done so.

More on Callum came, three years ago, from the Express and Star "Wolves have handed teenage midfielder Callum Harris a second chance in professional football by signing him on a 16-month deal. The 19-year-old Welshman has been snapped up by the Molineux club after impressing as a trialist for their under-21s. Harris... was a youngster at Manchester City but was released...

He was spotted for Wolves while with the Nike Academy... Wolves Head of Football Development and Recruitment Kevin Thelwell said 'He has been with us for the last three or four weeks and done really well. He's got a good personality and is a very good footballer, and we think he has got the potential to being an important part of that Under-21 squad going forwards.

'He is a central midfield player, who can play as a number four, eight or ten, and has operated in all of those positions while he has been here'... Harris completed his medical last Friday and has signed a contract tying him to Molineux until the summer of 2016, with a further year's option in the club's favour."


Sam Heathcote played at centre-back for Trafford as they won at Lancaster City in the FA Cup. In the league, Josh O'Keefe scored again for Chorley as they won at Ashton United, for whom Craig Hobson played. Elliot Newby also scored for Chorley and Scott Leather was at the heart of their defence.


Altrincham enter the FA Cup on 22 September in the Second Qualifying Round for which the draw takes place on Monday. Results from the First Qualifying Round ties affecting northern clubs on Saturday were:
  • Haverhill Rovers 0 - 0 Long Melford
  • Radcliffe 1 - 0 Stalybridge Celtic
  • Squires Gate 1 - 5 City of Liverpool
  • Lancaster City 0 - 2 Trafford
  • South Shields 5 - 1 Garforth Town
  • Warrington Town 4 - 0 Burscough
  • Runcorn Town 2 - 3 Irlam
  • Whitley Bay 1 - 0 Whitby Town
  • Marine 1 - 1 Scarborough Athletic
  • Colne 2 - 0 Hyde United
  • Newcastle Benfield 1 - 1 Workington AFC
  • Dunston UTS 4 - 1 North Ferriby United
  • Knaresborough Town 7 - 3 Kendal Town
  • Atherton Colleries 1 - 2 Kidsgrove Athletic
  • Guisborough Town 0 - 4 Farsley Celtic AFC
  • Congleton Town 0 - 1 Consett
  • Witton Albion 5 - 0 Bottesford Town
  • Clitheroe 2 - 5 Mossley AFC
  • Ashton Athletic 1 - 1 Morpeth Town
  • Maltby Main 1 - 2 Frickley Athletic
  • Bamber Bridge 3 - 1 Tadcaster Albion
  • Highgate United 1 - 2 Stourbridge
  • Cleethorpes Town F 4 - 1 Walsall Wood
  • Romulus 4 - 0 Belper Town
  • Nantwich Town 5 - 2 Worksop Town
  • Sutton Coldfield Town 2 - 2 Rushall Olympic
  • Quorn 0 - 1 Atherstone Town
  • Coalville Town 2 - 1 Racing Club Warwick
  • Hednesford Town 2 - 0 Tamworth
  • Grimsby Borough 1 - 2 Stafford Rangers
  • Matlock Town 1 - 2 Halesowen Town
  • Barwell 2 - 5 Buxton
  • Daventry Town 0 - 1 Grantham Town
  • Mickleover Sports 6 - 0 Haughmond
  • Anstey Nomads 2 - 1 Oadby Town
  • Chasetown 1 - 1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Redditch United 2 - 4 Rugby Town
  • Stratford Town 0 - 1 Alvechurch
  • Leverstock Green 0 - 0 Hadley
  • St Neots Town 2 - 1 Bishop's Stortford

Right: Tom Peers and Jake Moult kick off the second half against Curzon Ashton with Josh Hancock in attendance, too.


  • Att. 634 Alfreton Town 0 - 1 Guiseley
  • Att. 955 Altrincham 0 - 2 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 425 Ashton United 0 - 5 Chorley
  • Att. 830 Brackley Town 2 - 0 Hereford FC
  • Att. 1693 Chester FC 5 - 3 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Att. 1212 Darlington 3 - 0 AFC Telford United
  • Att. 1967 FC United Of Manchester 1 - 1 Southport
  • Att. 1570 Kidderminster Harriers 3 - 1 Blyth Spartans
  • Att. 545 Leamington 0 - 2 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 3050 Stockport County 0 - 2 Boston United


The Chester Standard reports that "Chester's much anticipated return home proved worth the wait after an absorbing 5-3 victory over Bradford Park Avenue at the Deva Stadium...

The visitors took a third minute lead. Bradford forward Jake Beesley made good progress down the Blues' left before cutting the ball back across the face of goal for midfielder Ben McKenna to side-foot beyond Chester keeper Grant Shenton.

The setback was only temporary as the Blues restored parity three minutes later when Dan Mooney prodded home from close range... The hosts went ahead in style on 12 minutes when a swift breakaway from a Bradford corner freed Mahon, who sped forward before finding full-back Simon Grand whose superb measured delivery was headed home by Dudley at the far post...

Sustained Blues pressure was rewarded further on 33 minutes when Mahon received the ball 25 yards out and surged towards goal before nutmegging defender Mark Ross and squeezing his shot past drench to make it 3-1... Bradford capitalised on increasingly ragged Blues defending as Jake Beesley made it 3-2 just before the interval, firing into an empty net after Shenton saved from Johnson's initial strike.

There was no improvement in the home side's defending after the break, with Bradford emerging the brighter and netting a deserved equaliser within seven minutes of the restart. Conor Branson's flicked header from a corner was parried by Shenton only for Johnson to poke home to make it 3-3.

The obvious frailties in both teams' defences saw the game take on an ebb and flow feel... But the hosts... punished the visitors with a fourth goal on 74 minutes when the impressive Mahon intercepted a loose ball in midfield and freed Mooney who ran on before sweeping a fine left-footed effort into the far corner.

Refusing to let their lead slip again, Chester exerted more control over proceedings late on and ensured victory in the 89th minute when Dudley fired home his second of the contest from the penalty spot after substitute Luke Jordan was upended in the Bradford box."

After the match, the Chester Chronicle said that "Bernard Morley believes Chester FC broke down the most organised side in the National League North by putting five past Bradford (Park Avenue)...

Morley was pleased with the performance he saw from his side... But the joint-Blues boss also expressed concern over their defensive frailties and the mistakes made by some in the squad.

'It’s a great performance, the fans have got their money’s worth. We scored five goals, we conceded three, 14 goals in three or four games and it can only get better for us,' he said. 'You’re not going to play against a side all season that was [as] organised as them. They’ve got great experience, with age comes its positives but there’s also negatives to it.

'We had five or six lads that really pushed on in that last 20 minutes and the attacking stuff we’ve displayed in that last 20 minutes was really good and it’s those fitness levels that are showing. We’ve not had as many games as what other sides have had so there’s signs there that we can improve on.

'They’ve won five games before today, drawn two, and lost one, so it was always going to be a tough game. But they’ve lost as many as we have now, so it’s important that we have that belief. Forget the mistakes that we’ve made today, rectify them like I said in training or from now until the next game, and try and put that right and get another three points on Tuesday night.

'Unfortunately, one or two had great games last week and you just don’t see the same players that put that performance in this week. But I think collectively, as a back five, it weren’t good enough. There’s one or two players we’ve seen today that we’ve not worked with before, it might be daunting for them. They might not be able to play for the crowd, they might not be able to play the occasion.

'I ain’t making excuses for them, I’m just saying what I see. They know that, I’ve just said to them in there, there’s no point in screaming and shouting at players that actually know and acknowledge that they’ve made mistakes. If they continue to make the same mistakes, they won’t be a Chester player for long, they know that, we all know that'".

Hereford's Bulls' News tells us that "Two sendings off in Hereford's 2-0 defeat at last season's FA Trophy winners Brackley Town will see them without two midfielders for three games.

Manager Pete Beadle says that incidents change games, and not only did his side get two men sent off, but Brackley's opening goal proved controversial.

Lee Ndlovu seemingly elbowed Ryan Green in the side of the head in the build up to the goal, before he crossed to James Armson to fire home. Green was left in need of treatment but the officials didn't see the incident.

'Incidents change games,' Beadle told BBC Hereford and Worcester's Keith Hall. 'Up until the first incident, the goal, I thought we were well in the game. We're away, we're against a team that won the Trophy last year and got to the play-off final. They're no mugs... Incidents change games, and like that first one with Ryan [Green], the lad threw a blatant elbow. I've just seen it on the video, but the linesman who was two-yards away said he didn't see it. And the referee also said that he didn't see it either.

'After that people fall asleep, Billy [Murphy] loses his runner and the lad runs through and gets a clear shot on goal. But it's a foul, at the end of the day it's a foul'...

Eliot Richards then got sent off before half time for allegedly stamping on Gareth Dean seemingly in reaction to a foul Harry White... 'You have the second incident where Eliot gets sent off,' Beadle added. 'Again, the referee feels that the six's was more of an act of aggression rather than violent conduct, that's why he only got a yellow and says Eliot stamped on the six. Eliot says he was falling over and didn't deliberately stamp on him, so we'll need to have another look at the video to see properly. Unfortunately the one here isn't good enough to see it'...

A second red was to follow for the Bulls as substitute Calvin Dinsley was shown a straight red card for head-butting Ellis Myles right in front of referee Lewis Smith. Beadle said Dinsley's apologies wasn't good enough and he can't defend the midfielder.

'And then right in the 90th minute, Dins. You can't condone it, you can't stick up for him because it's a foolish thing to do. Now we're going to be without him for three games, and probably Eliot for three games as well. So we're going to miss two key players for three games. I've just asked him "what were you thinking?" but unfortunately it's the red mist and then it's difficult for him to give you an answer then.

'He's apologised, but an apology isn't acceptable because it's going to be a difficult couple of weeks when we lose him and Eliot...

'Today we looked like a team that had just turned up and played for the first time together. I don't understand why, when we trained on Thursday they looked so bright and sharp... Whether it was the first incident with the goal and it knocked us off our duck a little bit. Then with the sending off, people start going the other way when it's more of a hanging on job'".

8 September 2018


Saturday, 8 September:
  • Alfreton Town 0-1 Guiseley
  • Altrincham 0-2 Curzon Ashton
  • Ashton United 0-5 Chorley
  • Brackley Town 2-0 Hereford
  • Chester FC 5-3 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Darlington 3-0 AFC Telford United
  • FC United of Manchester 1-1 Southport
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3-1 Blyth Spartans
  • Leamington 0-2 Spennymoor Town
  • Nuneaton Borough P - P York City
  • Stockport County 0-2 Boston United


Curzon Ashton, Altrincham's visitors today (Saturday), are one of the youngest clubs in the division, having only been formed 35 years ago, when local Tameside clubs Ashton Amateurs and Curzon Road amalgamated and started out in the Manchester Amateur League. By 1978 they were in the Cheshire League, followed by joining the newly formed North West Counties League (NWCL), in 1983/4. they gained promotion to the Northern Premier League in 1986, where they competed for a decade.

They were forcibly moved to the Northern Counties East League under the rules of a football pyramid reorganization but they were moved back to the NW Counties Football League in 1997.

Curzon vacated their ground at National Park and were hosted for a season at the Bower Fold home of Stalybridge Celtic, before becoming tenants, in 2005, of the brand new Tameside Stadium, where they remain.In 2006 they were moved back to the NPL (Unibond League).

After four successive promotion play-off defeats, long-serving manager Gary Lowe left and current manager John Flanagan was appointed for the 2011-2012 season. They yet again reached the play-offs and successfully gained promotion. And by 2014-2015 Curzon had reached the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division where they won promotion via the play-offs to reach the Vanarama National League North. In their three seasons at this level, to date, they have finished 11th then 14th and, last season, 18th.

Curzon Ashton report that "The Nash return to action this Saturday, as they make the short trip across Greater Manchester to face Altrincham. Curzon go into Saturday’s clash on the back of a defeat, as they recorded a 1-0 defeat at home to Nuneaton Borough. The visitors also fell to defeat last time out, as they were beaten 2-1 away at Blyth Spartans. In the table, two places and one point separate the two sides, with Altrincham in 13th on nine points and the Nash in 15th on eight points. The Nash will be hoping to pick up their first win since they dramatically defeated Alfreton Town in August, after going four games without a victory (two draws, two defeats) since. The Robins have also struggled to find three points in recent weeks, picking up just one win in their last five, with three defeats and one draw also coming in that time.

Last time the two sides locked horns they produced a five-goal thriller at the Tameside Stadium, as Altrincham edged a 3-2 win over John Flanagan’s side back in April 2017. Goals from Matty Warburton and Jonothan Hunt were not enough to salvage the Nash a point, as two Jake Moult penalties, and a last minute winner from Simon Richman snatched all three points for the Robins.

Recent Form: Curzon Ashton: LLDDWL, Altrincham: LDWLLD"


Brian Flynn interviewed Alty keeper Elliot Wynne (right) after the defeat at Blyth Spartans. The interview can be heard here.


On Saturday (7th), Altrincham FC Reserves are away to Mersey Royal in the Open Cup.


Last Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies won 3-0 at home to Chester FC Women. Thus Sunday (9th) they are at home to City of Liverpool at Mersey Valley Sports Club.


The Chester Standard reports that "Luke Jordan has strengthened Chester's squad ahead of their return to action at the Swansway Stadium. The 19-year-old winger goes straight into contention for the home encounter with Bradford Park Avenue after signing from Ramsbottom United. Jordan featured in a pre-season friendly against the Blues and joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley liked what they saw from the former Morecambe man [playing for their former club].

Speaking to on the signing, Johnson said, 'At 19 years of age he fits the profile of player we’re looking to recruit, he played seven times for Morecambe in EFL last season and when his contract expired he was brave enough to drop down the leagues to start his career again. He’s a very, very quick and direct winger who will offer us something totally different to any of our other wide players.'"

Nuneaton Borough report that "Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge has joined Stratford Town on an initial month-long loan... Stratford play at level seven, one step below the Boro’, in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Central... Etheridge has made one appearance for the Boro’ so far this season, the 1-0 defeat at home to Chorley".

The Chester Chronicle tells us that "Bradford (Park Avenue) boss Mark Bower insists the previous uncertainty of where tomorrow’s game against Chester FC could have been played has not had an impact on his side. The Avenue will be the first visiting team to the Swansway Chester Stadium in more than a month... following a succession of away games after water damage following a heavy downpour affected the club’s PA and CCTV systems...

Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Bower said 'All we’re focused on is their team. A lot of them have knocked around at this level for years, so we know what to expect'. On their previous outing, the high flying Avenue drew 2-2 away against bottom side FC United of Manchester... Bower added 'We were by far and away the better team and should have picked up three points... We’ve still got a strong squad available. Danny East is our only absentee and our bench was so strong on Sunday that I could have put any of the substitutes on'".

From Hereford FC comes confirmation of the month's leagu awards with the Manager of the Month going to "Jamie Vermiglio (Chorley)... Not only did the Magpies finished August top of the table by five points, they did so in emphatic style, winning all seven of their games, conceding only once. It’s an unbelievable opening month given the turbulent summer at Victory Park. Vermiglio had huge shoes to fill after the surprise resignation of Matt Jansen...

Player of the Month is Matt Stenson (Leamington). The Brakes' brilliant start is no small part down to the goals of striker Matt Stenson. The 24-year-old has taken to the National League North like a duck to water since signing from Barwell in the summer and scored six goals throughout August...

Volunteer of the Month was Anne Hall (Stockport County)... There isn’t anything that Anne won’t do to help Stockport County... She can be found during the season cleaning the changing rooms, referee’s room, showers, players’ lounge and boardroom. Over the summer, Anne painted the Players & Officials’ entrance, the Boardroom and office corridors and the Directors’ Box, as well as the admin office, ready for the new campaign".

NL Daily reports that "FC United of Manchester have confirmed the departure of defender Luke Ashworth to Ashton United. The 28-year-old former Wigan Athletic youngster re-joined FC United ahead of the 2018/19 season, but has now left Broadhurst Park following a short second spell at the club. He moves to a fellow Vanarama National League North side in Ashton United".

According to the Lancashire Telegraph Blackburn "Rovers have announced that Academy duo Lewis Thompson and Lewis Mansell have joined National League North side FC United of Manchester on loan".


Altrincham enter the FA Cup on 22 September in the Second Qualifying Round, the draw for which will be on Monday. This Saturday's Emirates FA Cup 18-19 First Round Qualifying ties affecting northern clubs are...
  • Ashton Athletic v Morpeth Town
  • Atherton Collieries v Kidsgrove Athletic
  • Bamber Bridge v Tadcaster Albion
  • Barwell v Buxton
  • Basford United v Staveley Miners Welfare
  • Brantham Athletic v Spalding United
  • Chasetown v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Cleethorpes Town v Walsall Wood
  • Clitheroe v Mossley
  • Colne v Hyde United
  • Daventry Town v Grantham Town
  • Dunston UTS v North Ferriby United
  • Great Wakering Rovers v Wisbech Town
  • Grimsby Borough v Stafford Rangers
  • Guisborough Town v Farsley Celtic
  • Knaresborough Town v Kendal Town
  • Lancaster City v Trafford
  • Maltby Main v Frickley Athletic
  • Marine v Scarborough Athletic
  • Matlock Town v Halesowen Town
  • Mickleover Sports v Haughmond
  • Nantwich Town v Worksop Town
  • Newcastle Benfield v Workington
  • Radcliffe FC v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Romulus v Belper Town
  • South Shields v Garforth Town
  • Warrington Town v Burscough
  • Whitley Bay v Whitby Town

7 September 2018


Blyth Spartans report that "Alun Armstrong was in a jubilant mood yesterday evening after goals from Sean Reid and Jarrett Rivers secured Spartans’ second win of the season against a very competitive Altrincham side...

'Today was a must win for us,' admitted Armstrong moments after the final whistle, 'Our performances over the last two games deserved something, and unfortunately we came away with nothing. It was a different story this afternoon, we were nowhere near out best, especially in the first half,but we’ve got three points on the board and that is all that matters'...

Left: Josh Hancock is congratulated on scoring the goal which so annoyed the Blyth manager.

But it could have been so different, with Altrincham dominating the opening half an hour. 'I was fuming,' exclaimed the 43-year-old manager, 'It looked like we had packed in after two hard to take defeats. I was really annoyed with our first-half display and at half-time we got into them and said things had to change and, to be fair, we got the reaction we wanted.'

Reid’s first half finish ended a memorising move, but Armstrong laughed when it was suggested the attacking midfielder... meant his effort. 'Not in a million years has Reidy meant that, he’s tried to control it and we’ve got the first bit of luck we’ve had in a while. But it was the move that impressed me. It’s the first time we’d moved the ball quickly through the middle with one-touch passing and some combinations; Horner and Reid worked the opening fantastically.'

And Armstrong praised his goalscorer's work ethic for the team, having spent the last two games at centre-half. 'He played well in those two games but we lost both. When he plays centre-half we don’t win. It shows his importance in the middle of the field, he’s a massive presence for us going forward.'

As happy as the former Middlesbrough striker was about the first goal, he was as equally disgusted with the equaliser 60 second later. 'It was simply embarrassing, every one stood back and watched the goal happen, I was fuming at that'...

Tom Peers missed a golden chance to level when he skied an effort from three yards out, after Pete Jameson parried the ball straight to him from a routine save. 'My heart was in my mouth, they way Pete is playing you never expect him to do that. We got away with one there but, once again, we’ve deserved a bit of luck.... Our lads saw the free-kick go in and thought ‘Pete’s got that.’ 99% of the time he has, but we need to be prepared for the one time that he hasn’t, and it’s not just in those situations, it’s all over the park'...

'It was ugly. I think the game could have gone either way. They probably deserved something from the game. That’s football, we’ve played a lot better and lost'"


NL Daily reports that "Chesterfield have confirmed that Jordan Sinnott (left) has left the club. The Spireites say that the midfielder’s contract has been cancelled by mutual consent. The 24-year-old’s exit from the Vanarama National League side was something manager Martin Allen recently said the club was working on. The former Huddersfield Town youngster had joined the Derbyshire side from FC Halifax Town in June 2017."

Jordan first played for Altrincham in a six-game loan spell from Huddersfield Town, which started against Gainsborough Trinity on 8 December 2012. (Coincidentally Jordan's father is now the manager at the Northolme). Jordan had been captain of Huddersfield's under-18 team in 2011-12 and made 2(+3) appearances for their first-team. He also had a loan spell at Bury before his release by the Yorkshire club. He signed for Altrincham on non-contract terms on 13 February 2015.

Following several appearances in pre-season in summer 2015, Jordan signed again for the club on 24 July 2015. He made 62(+7) appearances for Altrincham, scoring 4 goals.

Hallmark Security League reports on the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Month Awards, saying that August's winner was Craig Ellison, the former Alty reserve keeper, now at Congleton Town. "Craig helped set a new record for the Bears, who began the season with six successive victories in August and did not concede a goal in all of the 540 minutes".

Alty will meet Congleton in the Cheshire Senior Cup and the Hallmark League reminds us that this season their "Opening match was a narrow 1-0 win against newly promoted Litherland REMYCA, and with the score standing at 1-0 with 10 minutes to go, Craig pulled of an outstanding save, diving full-length to turn aside a goal-bound free-kick from Colin Quirk that the player and many other thought was a certain goal...

He went one better in the next match, a 3-0 home win against Ashton Athletic, saving a penalty late in the first half with the score at 2-0. An FA Cup tie at home to Eccleshill United ended 1-0 to the Bears with Craig making an early save acrobatically diving across goal to tip over a great effort. As with all games up to this point, Craig had built confidence by competent handling, clear and confident calling and great positional sense.

He carried on the form in the remaining matches in the month, which saw the Bears win away at Squires Gate and Handsworth Parramore before rounding off the month's fixtures with a 3-0 win at home to Bootle.

In a record breaking start to the season for the club, Craig has more than played his part in a fine run of six victories and six clean sheets, and is a worthy winner of the August award."

Also the Macron Club of the Month Awards for August 2018 went to Congleton Town.


Chester FC "are delighted to confirm Saturday’s fixture at the Swansway against Bradford PA WILL go ahead after our safety certificate was granted following an inspection today, [Thursday]".

The Northern Echo reports that "Reece Styche is in line to become the first Darlington player to receive an international cap for ten years. The striker is in the Gibraltar squad for two UEFA Nations League games this week, the first at home to Macedonia this evening and then away to Liechtenstein on Sunday.

Styche qualifies to play for Gibraltar via a grandparent and is hoping to add to the solitary international cap he gained in 2014 against the Faroe Islands. Should he make an appearance at the Victoria Stadium or on Sunday he will become Quakers’ first international footballer since Franz Burgmeier in the 2008-09 season. Midfielder Burgmeier became the first Liechtensteiner to play in England and during his single season with Darlington made several appearances for his country...

Styche’s international call-up means he misses Darlington’s game on Saturday at Blackwell Meadows against AFC Telford United. If Terry Galbraith returns from a calf injury then manager Tommy Wright will feel able to return Simon Ainge to the front line having filled in the at the back lately. Wright said 'It’s not something you would choose to happen, you wouldn’t choose to lose your captain and top scorer, but you do miss players through injury and suspension over the course of the season. There are times when you cannot select the team you would like... as we have seen lately with the injuries and the suspension for Joe Wheatley, so I’m just thinking of it in those terms.'

Quakers are aware they may qualify for compensation from UEFA due to losing Styche for Saturday and have made initial inquiries over the matter. League games below Championship level are postponed if a club has three or more players called up for international duty."

Nuneaton Borough's match against York City on Saturday has been postponed for the above reason, as they have three men on international duty. Indeed, Nuneaton Borough tell us that they "have agreed to play Alfreton Town at the Impact Arena on Tuesday the 6th of November. The match, originally scheduled for the 17th of November, will kick off at 19:45 after being rescheduled due to Boro' trio Kairo Mitchell, Harry Panayiotou and Theo Wharton being called up for international action.

'We're still working towards rescheduling the home clash with York City and the trip to Chester, but we hope to announce those dates soon as well' said Club Secretary Adam Etheridge".

At Boston United "manager Craig Elliott has strengthened his squad by capturing two highly-rated EFL youngsters on loan. Grimsby Town pair Max Wright (20) and Ahkeem Rose (19) have arrived on initial month-long deals. Wright is a winger who starred during a loan spell for Scarborough Athletic last season while Rose is a powerful centre-forward who emerged as a second half substitute for the Mariners in their Checkatrade Trophy victory over Notts County on Tuesday evening".

More on the Pilgrims is to be found on Lincolnshire Live where it is reported that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott is backing his side to come out all guns blazing at the weekend as the Pilgrims prepare for Saturday’s trip to Stockport County... [where] Elliott comes to terms with losing three successive matches as a manager for the first time.

Elliott, who has managed the likes of Glasshoughton Welfare, Ossett Town and Shaw Lane on his way to the United hotseat, has presided over consecutive defeats to Spennymoor Town, Bradford Park Avenue and Kidderminster Harriers during a nightmare seven-day period for his players. The 40-year-old is not daunted by Saturday’s 3pm kick-off at Edgeley Park and is confident that United will respond, saying 'It does not get any easier. We have got to come out fighting. I have said to the players that there is no point trying to hide under a rock. We need to stick our chests out, be positive and proud and come out fighting for Boston United...

'It’s the first time I have had three defeats on the trot as a manager, so I am hurting... It’s all about how you get through those times and we will be fine if we stick together and tweak a few things. We have got to come out fighting.'

United suffered a 2-0 reversal at the hands of Kidderminster on Saturday... Jordan Gough was red-carded during the second half for a second bookable offence and he will miss Saturday’s trip to Stockport. Meanwhile, fellow left-back Ashley Jackson is now back in contention after completing his own three-match suspension. Elliott also hopes that Nathan Arnold will return to the fray following two matches on the sidelines with a knee injury."

The Leamington Observer reports that "Furious Leamington boss Paul Holleran hit out at match officials after a ‘bizarre’ decision led to goalscorer James Mace being sent off in the 3-1 defeat to Stockport County... County took the lead after 26 minutes through [ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell before Brakes equalised six minutes prior to the break, with Mace heading home from Kieran Dunbar’s cross.

Mace then turned villain, at least in the eyes of the officials, when he was given his marching orders on the stroke of half-time for a tackle on Bell, despite winning the ball...

'There was a good tempo to the game and you’re thinking which way’s this one going to go, but then everything changes because of a bizarre decision,' said Holleran.... 'I had a perfect view of it... and when you’re as mobile and quick-footed as someone like James Mace is, he makes good, clean tackles. I don’t need to see it again because I saw it clearly. It’s a good, fair, clean, hard tackle. It’s low, it’s one-footed, but the decision has changed the complexion of the game.'"

Over at York City "Stadium Development Director, Ian McAndrew, has confirmed that Persimmon Homes will hold a public consultation event on September 20 for residents living in the Bootham Crescent area. In a statement, Mr McAndrew said 'The consultation event is an essential part of the planning process if permission is to be granted for development on the Bootham Crescent site. The club, however, is surprised and disappointed that little notice has been served, especially as any future application for planning permission will need to be made under the joint names of Persimmon Homes and York City Football Club.

Alty's first league visit to Bootham Crescent, York's historic ground, was in 2005 when the Minstermen thrashed us 5-0! Above, we see action from the game taking place in front of the visiting Alty supporters.

The club feels that supporters, as well as residents, should be given an opportunity to comment on proposals for the future development of the site, which has been home to York City Football Club since 1932. The club has recently instructed Savills property consultants' specialist residential development team to act on its behalf to ensure that Persimmon's proposals maximise the benefits of a site which occupies an important location close to the city centre...

Persimmon Homes have an option to purchase the site, agreed in February 2005, when negotiations took place between the developer and Bootham Crescent Holdings Ltd (YCFC) to buy back the freehold of the site which had been controversially sold, previously, to Persimmons and which only granted a short-term lease to York City Football Club. City supporters will remember the protests that took place in York and at games... demanding action when the club's very existence was at stake.

At that time, there was not the minimum ten-year lease in place, as required by the football authorities, to enable York City to continue as a professional football club. It was essential, therefore, that ownership of the site was returned to the club. The eventual outcome saw Bootham Crescent successfully bought back by the club with Persimmon having the benefit of an option to buy the site once the club had relocated...

Bootham Crescent has been the club's home for 86 years and, whilst we are looking forward to relocating into new and exciting facilities at Monks Cross, the future use and redevelopment of our current home remains very important to us'".

At Stockport County, "Chairman Richard Park joined Directors Steve Bellis and Jon Keighren for the Board of Directors’ latest meeting with the Stockport County Supporters' Cooperative. One of the main topics, as expected, was the current situation with regard to the possibility of investment...

It must be noted that the current major shareholders continue to provide the necessary investment to ensure that we can provide a strong budget for the manager, as they have done for many seasons. It is no secret that the club has been in discussions with more than one party interested in investment for some months... Discussions with two potential investors are ongoing... It is too early to say whether agreement will be reached with either party but the club is and always has been open to the ‘right’ investment...

In the meantime, we will continue to manage the club sensibly to ensure that we remain an attractive proposition to potential investors. It is worth noting that sincere investment interest has only materialised during the last ten months and this is a reflection of the fact that we have made great strides in terms of making the club an attractive proposition, by reducing debt and operating the club in a responsible manner".

Southport report that "As 2018 is Sefton’s ‘Year of the Volunteer’, we think it’s only right to continue recognise our superb volunteers once again this season. That is why the Southport Football Club Volunteer of the Month award is back for the 2018/19 season! August’s Winner is Conor Hartwell (AKA Sandy the Lion)".

Kidderminster Harriers report that "Lee Vaughan says boss Neil MacFarlane continues to drive the team forward... The experienced defender brushed aside any talk of form or positions but did concede that the Boston win [last Saturday] helped the team continue a 'good' start.

MacFarlane continues to demand more, however, and that’s something Vaughan keeps in mind... He reflected, 'We would like to have won at home with the Ashton draw but, apart from that, I think we have done very well. The gaffer keeps asking questions of us on Saturday it was to keep a clean sheet [at Boston], and he’ll keep driving us forward'".

6 September 2018


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records for Saturday's date (8 September) when we play Curzon Ashton, remind us that our last fixture on that date was in 2012. Curiously Oxford City, only some 40 miles from London, were then in the Conference North division and Alty travelled there for a match watched by just 257 spectators.

Alty played took the lead shortly before the break, when Reeves was brought down by Wilmott as he was about to shoot from close range. Reeves himself converted the penalty (as seen above) and Wilmott was sent off. Earlier an Oxford own goal had been ruled out for offside against Altrincham.

Against the ten men, disaster struck for Altrincham when, after half time, first Benjamin equalized with a shot across Coburn from the right and, within a minute, Basham curled a shot past a motionless Coburn also from the right/centre (52 mins). However, Reeves was then tripped as he received a fine pass from Richman and another penalty resulted which, once again, was converted by Reeves (57 mins).

Alty then had a lot of the ball against the ten men and Oxford lived dangerously especially when Lawrie hit the post and Rodgers had a header cleared off the line but the visitors just could not score a third goal.

For Damian Reeves this game was the fifth in a sequence of six league matches in which he netted a remarkable twelve goals!

The Altrincham squad for the match was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Scott LEATHER, 3. Matt DOUGHTY 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN (capt), 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE Subs: 12. Sam GRIMSHAW, 14. Patrick LACEY, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Adam REID (gk)

Coincidentally, the next game for Alty in 2012 came on 15 September when they were at home to Bradford Park Avenue. And which team do we meet on that date in 2018? yes, it is once again Bradford (Park Avenue), albeit this time the match will be at the Horsfall Stadium rather than Moss Lane.


NL Daily reports that "Phil Parkinson boldly declared Altrincham have ‘nothing to fear’ after a dominant performance went unrewarded in an unlucky 2-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans on Saturday, according to [John Edwards in] the Sale and Altrincham Messenger...

'We should have put the game to bed in the opening 10 minutes, then they score the luckiest of goals against the run of play, but that sometimes happens when you don’t take your chances,' said the Alty boss... 'The only point I made to the players was if you don’t capitalise when you’re in the ascendancy, you are going to be susceptible to something like that. But we do feel extremely hard done to, because we played exceptionally well and worked our socks off right to the very end'".


In the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has hailed veteran Matthew Barnes-Homer for acting as a big brother to top scorer Daniel Udoh and the club’s other forwards. Thirty-two-year-old Barnes-Homer has been ‘immense’ in training, offering advice to seven-goal Udoh as well as Andre Brown and Amari Morgan-Smith.

He was said to have been a mentor to the Bucks’ younger players last year too and Cowan said 'He plays that role, but he’s also a player himself. His attitude, his character, he is an absolute pleasure to have around the place... He’s kept himself in brilliant shape; he’s half the size he was last year. He wants to get in the team himself but it’s that unconditional side, he doesn’t want to get into the team at the cost of others. He wants to get in there on his own merit. What he’ll do along the way is make sure the other lads are firing.

'Andre is playing well, Dan is and Amari has been, and they can put a percentage of that success down to Matthew and his application towards them, helping them out.'

Barnes-Homer has an impressive CV, having played for Wycombe Wanderers, Luton Town, Rochdale, Forest Green Rovers and Cambridge United. He was prolific for Kidderminster Harriers and had a spell at Wilmington Hammerheads across the pond, as well as a stint at Swedish side Ostersunds. The targetman made his first appearance of the season on Saturday, coming off the bench as Telford beat Ashton United 2-1 at the New Buck's Head.

'He is sharp. Let me just tell you, in training, at the moment, he is absolutely unreal,' added Cowan...

Barnes-Homer featured heavily for the Bucks over pre-season. It was originally thought the club would not be able to afford to sign him for this campaign, but Cowan was able to get him on board in the end, understood to be on non-contract terms. He scored once in seven appearances last season and was sent out on loan to Halesowen Town. Meanwhile, Morgan-Smith is currently dealing with a knee problem, explaining why he has not been in the last two matchday squads."

At FC United of Manchester "Damian Chadwick has resigned as Chief Executive after nearly two years at the helm. He took charge in November 2016 having joined from Bolton Wanderers FC... It was quite a coup at the time for the club to find someone of this calibre to step into the Chief Executive role who was also steeped in the history of FC United. Damian was a founder member of the club and was on the pitch on that famous day at Leigh RMI in 2005.

He joined with the club at a very low ebb; less than a month into Damian’s tenure the board issued a statement that outlined in stark terms the perilous financial position of the club barely half way through the second season in our own ground. Damian immediately got on with getting the basics right and overhauled the club’s staffing structure to establish a more professional operation befitting a sixth-tier football club with its own multi-million pound facility.

At the same time, he looked to boost the club’s non-match day revenue by reaching out to local and national businesses to maximise the use of the function room and pitches and also generate much needed sponsorship and advertising revenue. As a result the club now not only operates at a profit... but has a robust, carefully prepared, business plan...

In addition there have been a number of other significant successes; last season saw a renewed focus on bringing through young players in the United tradition that allowed the likes of Jason Gilchrist, Nathan Lowe and Kieran Glynn to move on and further their careers and also generate transfer revenue for the club...

Later this week the redeveloped space under the St Mary’s Road End terrace will be officially re-opened allowing the club to significantly expand its already extensive community work in Moston and across north Manchester by providing a facility for meetings, events and a range of activities...

A review of the club’s structure and governance arrangements is currently being carried out by three of the club’s members but, in the meantime, Damian has concluded that it is in the club’s best interests if the structure changes without him... Hhe said... 'As the club reviews its structure and looks to set out its strategic vision I feel that this is an opportune moment to step aside to allow the club to move forward with an operating structure that supports its growth both on and off the pitch'...

Damian will leave the club in the next few weeks after a short handover period and a recruitment process will commence".

According to the Chester Chronicle, "Chester FC made a loss of £45,672 after tax for the financial year up to May 2018. In a period that saw the Blues suffer a financial crisis in January of this year and come close to going out of business, the money raised by fans helped the club fight on and the 'special reserve' that had been around £100,000 at the start of last season was severely dented at the start of 2018.

But the accounts of Chester City Supporters' Society Ltd show that the reserve is now back up to £95,000, with the club having £214,604 cash in the bank, up from £150,304 for the previous year. Fundraising and donations totalled £123,682 for the year, an increase of £96,000 year on year, after fans dug deep to help the club following the January revelations. Transfer fees came in at £95,000 thanks to money recouped from the remainder of money owed for Sam Hughes and James Alabi's transfer to Tranmere Rovers.

In comparison to the period between 2016/17, staff costs rose significantly year on year from £605,000 to £736,614, while matchday income fell from to £236,026 for the year to May 2018 from £274,000 for the 12 months previous. Crucially[?], commercial revenue was down year on year from £164,000 to £159,387 for the year ending May 2018. Expenditure on the youth team was down from £12,000 to £9,799 for the year to May 2018. The youth team ended the season as National League Alliance under-19 League Cup winners."

The Chester Chronicle tells us that "Chester FC chairman David Harrington-Wright is confident that the Blues will be able to play their home game with Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday at the Swansway Chester Stadium. It’s now over a month since Chester last played a home game at their home ground after water ingress at the Deva caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage...

With the Safety Advisory Group due in tomorrow [Thursday] to inspect the work, chairman Harrington-Wright is confident that a safety certificate will be in place in time for the National League’s imposed deadline and that the game this weekend can go ahead at the stadium as planned, not at an alternative venue...

'You can never be 100% certain on something, just as you can’t be 100% certain a new TV you buy will work when you switch it on. But we’ve had professionals come in and install all the new equipment, guys who know what they are doing. All the wiring is new and we are confident that we’ll be in a position to play the game against Bradford (Park Avenue) here on Saturday. There are cosmetic things that won’t get done before then but that won’t see a game postponed. All the necessary work has been done and now we just need it to be signed off.'

The National League... set a deadline of Thursday afternoon to be notified of Chester’s safety certificate approval, but the Blues have still had to make sure that they have contingency plans in place".

Meanwhile, the Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue) have announced that manager Mark Bower and his assistant Danny Boshell (seen, right, in his Alty days) would like a portion of their salaries to be donated to the Players' Fund for the 2018/19 season...

Chief executive Rob Stanley stated 'Mark and Danny’s gesture is fantastic and definitely the first time I have ever come across such generosity from managers. Last season the Players Fund definitely assisted the team to reach the play-offs and we owe a massive thanks to you, the fans, for all your contributions. We are now re-launching the Players Fund and all monies donated will be ring-fenced for Mark and his playing budget... Fans are told not to worry if they cannot afford a regular donation, as there will be a bucket in the club shop at home games'".

Coventry City confirm that "defender Jak Hickman has joined Ashton United on loan... for a month. Hickman, who travelled to Spain with the first-team squad on the pre-season tour, has been a regular in the Sky Blues' Under-23s' side and moves to the Greater Manchester club on loan until 5th October."

5 September 2018


In the F.A. Youth Cup Preliminary Round, at Ashton Town, Altrincham led 4-0 by the interval thanks to goals by Gabbidon (19 mins), Barrett (24 mins) Ryan (42 mins) and an own-goal off Powell (44 mins).

Gabbidon got his second (56 mins) to make the final score 5-0 to the visitors.

In the next round, Lancaster City will host Altrincham at The Giant Axe, in a fortnight's time (exact date TBA).


Curzon Ashton are the visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday (8th). One familiar face in their squad is expected to be former Alty striker Ryan Brooke, pictured (left) in his Alty days.

Now 27, the six foot one inch striker joined Alty following his release by Oldham Athletic at the end of June 2012. Ryan had spent much of 2011/12 season on loan, firstly from September 2011, at Barrow, where he played six games and scored twice. In January, 2012, Ryan went to AFC Telford United on a season-long loan and scored on his debut, against Braintree. At Telford, he made 7(+5) appearances in all, scoring twice. He had previously made 30 Football League and FA Cup appearances for Oldham Athletic.

Ryan was released by Altrincham at the end of the 2012-13 season and after trials with Stockport County, he joined Curzon Ashton. He had a brief spell in 2017-18 at Nantwich Town before returning to The Nash. His Altrincham appearances comprised 9 starts and 30 appearances from the bench; he scored six goals.

Mike Garnett reminds us of the historical record against Curzon Ashton...

  • At home: P2-W1-D0-L1-F5-A4
  • Away: P2-W2-D0-L0-F5-A2
  • All: P4-W3-D0-L1-F10-A6

Curzon arrive at Moss Lane in fifteenth position, with one fewer point than 13th-placed Altrincham. Goal scoring has been a problem this season for The Nash with only five goals netted to date but they have a tighter defence than Alty with ten goals conceded in their eight fixtures to date, compared with Alty's 14.

The sides last met at Moss Lane, in their only previous league clash, on Saturday, 27 August 2016. Curzon won that match 4-2 despite debutant striker Emile Sinclair giving Altrincham a first-minute lead. Sinclair is pictured, right, being congratulated on his goal by John Cyrus and Nyal Bell. That game was to be manager Neil Young's last match in charge of Altrincham.

Sinclair's goal, timed at 35 seconds, was to be as good as it got for the Robins as, for the fourth match out of six played up to that point, an Alty lead did not translate into a win.

Indeed, the home defence fell apart in a seven-minute spell in which they conceded three times. Former Alty striker Ryan Brooke equalised from close range after 17 minutes after Altrincham had failed to defend a corner. Three minutes later Altrincham were carved open up their left side, Brooke got clear and Ennis converted the chance. Curzon took a 3-1 lead on 24 minutes when Ennis advanced in the inside-left channel and Rowney's shot got past Dawber in the Altrincham goal.

The final nail in the coffin arrived in the 62nd minute when debutant centre-back Jon Moran [now at Chester for whom he scored the winner on Saturday] tripped an opponent and Ennis converted from the spot. Alty belatedly introduced Damian Reeves to the game and he got a well-taken goal five minutes from time. Alty remained nineteenth but seemed little nearer to a settled side as the three debutants in this match increased the number of players used that season, in just six games, to 25, with 20 of them debutants for the club.

Altrincham's line-up was 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Adam SUMNER, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Joe MORAN, 6. Fabio BASSANGUE, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT (capt), 9. Emile SINCLAIR, 10. Nyal BELL, 11. David LYNCH. Subs: 12. Danny HATTERSLEY, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. Simon RICHMAN.


Our neighbours Trafford report that "We have some important squad updates to tell you about.‬ ‪The first thing we have to announce is the departure of keeper [ex-Alty] James Coates...

‪The first of three new signings to announce is the arrival of Sam Heathcote from Hyde United. ‬‪Sam, a young centre back, has also played at Altrincham F.C...

Here is what the Gaffer (Tom Baker) has to say on his new signings. '“I am really happy to bring all three of these lads in and they will be important additions to what is already a strong squad. Competition for places is a must if we’re going to continue to progress and move forward. ‪Not only are they good players, they are also good characters'".


NL Daily tells us that "Chester FC have provided their latest update on the state of their stadium following water damage sustained after inclement weather a few weeks ago. The club say that they remain hopeful of hosting this coming Saturday’s match with Bradford (Park Avenue). The Blues say the fixture is subject to National League ratification".

On the pitch, the Chester Standard tells us that "Anthony Johnson has hailed the adaptability of Chester’s players, admitting that injuries have left the Blues with a ‘threadbare’ squad. The extent of the club’s selection problems were laid bare in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Guiseley, where the visitors fielded a makeshift starting XI.

Johnson and joint manager Bernard Morley abandoned their preferred wing-back system in favour of a four-man defence for the fixture. Injuries to Matty Waters, Danny Livesey and John Pritchard limited the Blues defensive options with Steve Howson, Dan Mooney and Jon Moran drafted into an unfamiliar line-up that saw Simon Grand deputise at left-back.

Johnson was left impressed by the quartet’s resilience in the Guiseley clash, with Moran excelling by heading a 93rd minute equaliser after being ushered upfield. Chester’s selection problems were exacerbated further by captain Scott Burton suffering a recurrence of a calf problem in the game, leaving Johnson to reflect on an unprecedented injury list.

He said 'I’ve never known anything like it in terms of the injuries we’ve picked up at this stage of the season. We’re not offering it up as an excuse for how the first month has gone, but it’s felt like it’s never-ending at times. There are niggling injuries right throughout the squad and I suppose it’s down to the stop-start nature of how things have gone so far. We’ve lacked that match intensity you get from playing regularly. It’s taken a toll and left us with a threadbare squad for the Guiseley game.

'But it’s a credit to the lads who played on Saturday, because defensively we dealt with everything Guiseley could throw at us. We knew how strong they are from set pieces and that they’d be direct. Our lads have stood up to a barrage of long balls and only been undone in the 88th minute by one great delivery. We’ve then thrown Jon up front and he’s popped up with a brilliant header to get us a point. Seeing all the lads adapt in difficult circumstances to what we’ve asked of them has been really pleasing for me and Bernard.'

Chester could be forced to play Saturday's scheduled encounter with Bradford Park Avenue at a neutral venue as the fallout from the severe water damage at the Swansway Stadium continues... Talks with Bradford PA regarding the reversal of the fixtures are said to have been positive, but the league is thought to be against the game being switched".

Later the Chester Chronicle reported that "Yesterday it looked like the Blues would be heading to Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose ground for this weekend's clash after the National League rejected the proposal of the teams reversing the fixture to Bradford's Horsfall Stadium, which had been agreed by both clubs. The League were keen for a quick decision from the Blues on the state of play with regards to work on the stadium and Chester had held positive talks with Macclesfield Town to play the game there as a last resort.

But it is understood that the League have now afforded the Blues some extra time to get the work completed, tested and for a safety certificate to be in place, giving the Blues a healthy chance of getting the game on at the Deva on Saturday".

York Press reports that "Joe Tait might have been handed the captaincy and won an individual award during his first month at York City, but he still feels he needs to get fitter. The 28-year-old defender was given the armband during Sam Collins’s first game as caretaker manager, the 0-0 draw at Brackley, before going on to claim The Press Player of the Month honours for August.

But Tait believes he must now work hard during the Minstermen’s fortnight break from action to get fully up to speed fitness wise. The ex-Spennymoor centre-back missed a month of pre-season training, prior to being invited to Bootham Crescent for a trial by former City chief Martin Gray... earning himself a full-time contract... and has since completed every minute of the club’s opening eight fixtures, an outfield record only matched by fellow defenders Kallum Griffiths and Hamza Bencherif.

But, with City’s planned trip to Nuneaton this weekend postponed due to international call-ups for the home team, Collins has promised a punishing two-week schedule before the next game at home to Kidderminster a week on Saturday and Tait is hoping he can benefit from the extra work on the training ground, reasoning 'The last thing we want is to miss a game because we’re on a decent run of form, but we have no control over international fixtures and we just need to be ready for Kidderminster. The manager has said training will be tough throughout this two-week spell and so it should be. I’m still playing catch-up having not had a pre-season, so that will help me'...

City kicked off the campaign with Sean Newton as skipper, before injury meant Russ Penn assumed the role...

'I absolutely love playing for York City and I’m so proud to be representing the club,' the Middlesbrough-born sentinel enthused. 'To be given the privilege of the armband and leading the lads out is an honour and I’m hoping to make the club and fans proud by having a successful season. I think we’ve looked solid so far and believe we’ve got a cracking squad, so I’m hoping I can add value on and off the pitch'...

A tally of just five goals conceded can only be bettered in the division by table-topping Chorley (three), while the team kept four clean sheets in August, having only managed the same number during the final 40 fixtures of last term...

Tait pointed out 'Sam (Collins) played centre-half himself and we pride ourselves on being hard to beat, so it was disappointing to concede a goal at Hereford (in Saturday’s 1-1 draw), but we’ve only let one in during our last three games, which gives us a good platform to kick on this season now'...

Collins has also encouraged Tait and fellow centre-back Bencherif to occupy wider positions on the pitch as the launchpads for attacking moves by playing the ball put of defence. It is a tactical switch that has been welcomed by the squad with Tait declaring 'It’s a bit different to what I’m used to, but the manager has told us to go out and play because we’re good players and we’ve embraced what he’s trying to implement. Hereford made it a bit more difficult by pressing higher up the pitch'...

Tait went on to suggest that his role bringing the ball forward as the likes of Simon Heslop and Josh Law occupy deeper-lying midfield positions brings out the best in his attack-minded former Spennymoor team-mate, right-back Griffiths. 'Kall’s more effective the higher up the pitch you get him, so it makes perfect sense to do it,' Tait admitted".

Meanwhile at Alfreton Town the Reds "can confirm that defender Jack Lane has left the club by mutual agreement. Jack, who joined the Reds this summer; featured throughout pre-season ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and made three starts this season. However since the arrival of Josh Gowling and his outstanding displays since joining the Reds, Jack has struggled to break back into the side".


The EvoStik League reports that "Frickley Athletic's fans, players and officials are looking forward to the BBC streaming their all-Yorkshire Emirates FA Cup first qualifying round tie with Maltby Main on Saturday. BBC Sport's cameras will be at the Muglet Lane home of the Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division club to screen the lunchtime kick-off after the EVO-STIK League East Blues routed Liversedge 10-1 in the preliminary round.

Millions of fans of the world's oldest cup competition are expected to watch thanks to the BBC kicking off their coverage at the very start of the competition in the extra-preliminary round instead of the first round proper for the second season running.

Radcliffe FC triumphed 2-0 at Prestwich Heys in front of BBC Sport's cameras in the last round and Saturday's 12.30pm kick-off will be once again streamed live across the corporation's digital platforms, allowing audiences to watch the game live on their PCs, mobiles or via the Red Button on connected TVs. The tie will also be available live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer."

4 September 2018


Cheshire Business magazine has a four-page interview, well illustrated by photos of Alty in action, with Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley, in which he reflects on his role at the football club.

Grahame says of the club, "We had got a bit stale, and we needed new impetus on the board from people who could all bring something different to the table," Grahame continues. "I believe that’s exactly what we have achieved. We have a much broader skill-set now and are much more dynamic."

The article goes on to explain that "It costs between £500,000 and £600,000 a year to keep the current Altrincham FC on a level financial playing field, and that’s achieved through a combination of gate receipts, sponsorship, fundraising, and some cash from the Vanarama League".


Above: There cannot be many stadia in the world which boast a quotation from a King of Sparta, who died around 400BC, but Croft Park, the home of Blyth Spartans, does so, as shown above.

The National League has highlights of Saturday's Blyth Spartans v Altrincham game.


As reported here on 19 August, Altrincham supporter Pete Baker was undertaking a charity bike ride on 2nd September to raise funds for charities in memory of his late wife Jacqui Forster, who died earlier this year.

Pete has now successfully completed the Manchester ‘100’ mile bike ride to thank the two main charities who helped Jacqui during her cancer treatment, namely The Christie and The Macmillan charities. Peter, pictured right, thanks everyone who has donated so far to these great causes. He adds that "There is still plenty of time to donate via Just Giving.

Pictured with Pete (who is on the right) is his good friend Chris, who also did the ride, and they are seen with Jacqui’s "special" Alty shirt.


One Vale Fan has a "round-up of Port Vale’s loanees’ progress this weekend...

Striker Dior Angus scored the winning goal [for Nuneaton] and midfielder Mike Calveley played in a valuable 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton in the National League North...

At Altrincham, winger Brendon Daniels's month’s loan has now come to an end, so he did not feature."

The National League says that "It’s never an easy task selecting the National League North Team of the Weekend, even after reading all the match reports!...

  • Goalkeeper: Sam Ramsbottom (Alfreton)
  • Defenders: Ryan Astles (Southport), Aaron Cunningham (Blyth Spartans), Jimmy O’Connor (Kidderminster), Jon Moran (Chester)
  • Midfielders: Simon Heslop (York City), Carl Baker (Nuneaton), Bobby Johnson (Alfreton), Josh O’Keefe (Chorley)
  • Strikers: Daniel Udoh (AFC Telford), Nyal Bell (Stockport County),
  • Substitutes: Ed Williams (Kidderminster), Scott Garner (Guiseley), Dior Angus (Nuneaton), Mike McGrath (Hereford), Glenn Taylor (Spennymoor)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Nicky Eaden (Nuneaton). The only team in the National League North without a win finally have one. The 1-0 success at Curzon Ashton was inspired by Nicky Eaden’s new signing Carl Baker."

In the Northern Echo we read, "For some reason things just aren’t clicking at Blackwell Meadows [Darlington]. Like the Blyth game last month, we had plenty of the ball but unlike that game chances weren’t as free-flowing. Some fans have questioned the tactics, some have highlighted the spate of injuries to affect our leanly resourced squad...

I got a good view of the woeful defending that afforded Alfreton their early winner. I also got to see how deep Alfreton’s defensive line dropped almost immediately after the goal. The visitors seemed pretty happy to allow us all the possession we wanted, throwing down the gauntlet to see what we could do. Sadly, initially, it wasn’t much. From my vantage point in the first half, you could see Alfreton were a big side defensively but didn’t seem too keen on being dragged around out of position...

They made little effort to get anyone near to their beanpole striker Tom Denton. At times, he was 30 or 40 yards from a teammate and yet that made little difference...

After a month of the season, it’s hard not to be a bit disappointed about the start we’ve made... However, injuries and suspensions have taken their toll. Defensively, there’s a lot of work still to be done... We’re crying out to find a settled back four... I fancy our first choice starting XI will be strong enough to kick-start our season".

Also at Darlington "Everyone connected with Darlington FC would like to wish Reece Styche all the best in his adventure with Gibraltar this week! Reece has been called up for the Gibraltar squad to play Macedonia at home on Thursday night, and in Lichtenstein on Sunday night in League D Group 4 of the new UEFA Nations League".

The Chester Chronicle reports that "Chester FC could be forced to play this weekend's scheduled home clash with Bradford (Park Avenue) at a neutral ground after being frustrated in their attempts at finding a suitable resolution.

For the past two weeks work has been underway at the Swansway Chester Stadium to repair the damage caused by the water ingress at the ground nearly a month ago. A new PA system, new CCTV system and two miles of wiring around stadium have been installed, with workmen working until midnight and over the weekend to try and complete the work in time.

It is anticipated that the work will be completed by Thursday this week at the latest, but with assessment needed and a safety certificate required following sign off to host games, the National League are not prepared to play the waiting game with the Blues.

The League had requested that the Blues make contingency plans for the game should there be any issues, with Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose home, where Chester spent two seasons in exile between 1990 and 1992, believed to be a front runner with positive discussions held between the two clubs."

The Chester Chronicle reports that former Alty loanee "Jon Moran (right) believes Chester FC can use the 1-1 draw at Guiseley on Saturday as a stepping stone to fire themselves up the table.

The 21-year-old centre back made his first start for Chester since his summer move from Forest Green Rovers and put in a man-of-the-match display at Nethermoor, salvaging a deserved point for the Blues with a header deep into injury time.

The result stopped the mini rot for the Blues that had seen them lose 8-1 at Blyth Spartans and 3-1 at AFC Telford United, with the performance light years better than what had been on offer in the previous two games...

And Moran says... 'We needed that and as anyone who was there and who saw the performance will know it was miles better than the past two games and that a point was the least we deserved,' said the former Crewe Alexandra and Nantwich Town man.

'The past three weeks or so have been tough and if I'm honest the Blyth game really knocked us for six and we never had the chance to get back and put it right quickly enough. But on Saturday we showed the intensity from the off... They came at us in the second half and they were physical, but we stood up to it and we got something from the game which was absolutely vital to us'...

Said Moran "The gaffers made the call to send me up front and try and get on the end of something and when Grandy sends it up I just jumped and expected to get clattered and completely wiped out, I was just waiting for it. But I got my head to it and thought it would drift over but when it went in I just ran. It was an amazing moment'...

Danny Livesey's concussion and an injuries to Matty Waters and John Pritchard saw Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley forced to field a makeshift back line, with Steve Howson partnering Moran in the heart of defence with Grand playing left back...

'If Danny comes back in and plays and I make way then that is fine and I will get my head down and keep working hard to make sure that I'm ready to take my chance when it comes along again'".

"FC United’s turbulent week, which witnessed the emotional departure of player-manager Tom Greaves, ended on a happier note with an injury time equaliser to draw 2-2 against Bradford Park Avenue on Sunday afternoon at Broadhurst Park.

The West Yorkshire visitors were two-nil up just before the hour mark thanks to captain Shane Killock and a Joel Senior own goal after a calamitous defensive mix up. However, the Reds fought back to take a share of the spoils with hardworking Brodie Litchfield scoring United’s first and Kurt Willoughby getting the equaliser from the penalty spot...

During the halftime break, [ex-manager Tom] Greaves took to the pitch to address both sets of fans, with added significance as Bradford are his local club where he spend many years. Warm applause filled the air as FC United’s all-time leading goalscorer thanked the fans and reminisced about his time at the club".

From Lincolnshire Live we learn that "Craig Elliott bemoaned the proverbial games of two halves as Boston United slipped to a third consecutive defeat on Saturday afternoon. Ed Williams and Ashley Chambers both struck within a seven-minute period in the first half as visitors Kidderminster Harriers left The Jakemans Stadium with all three ponts.

It was the third match in succession that the Pilgrims had lost and failed to score and Elliott acknowledged that the damage had been done before half-time.

'I thought we were way off it in the first half,' reflected Elliott. 'Kidderminster really came out strongly and took the game to us. I asked for a reaction in the second half and, in fairness, I felt the lads reacted really well but we could not get the goal to get us back into the game.

'I will give the players total credit for the second half because we came out and pinned them back and had four or five good chances. I got it wrong in the first half. I will take accountability for that. I tweaked things and they did not work. I will take the blame for that...

'I am the manager and I need to sort it and I will sort it,' claimed Elliott. 'It’s not going to be easy but obviously there is something that is not right. We are not exciting enough at the moment but we will get back on track as soon as possible. We played a very good, full-time outfit so let’s not kid ourselves'".

York Press has a lengthy analysis of "five things we learned from York City's draw at Hereford". The five things are:

  1. Josh Law’s quality is coming to the fore.
  2. Jon Parkin could claim more assists than goals.
  3. Jake Wright is better suited to a central role.
  4. Macaulay Langstaff demonstrated a potential to grab poacher’s goals.
  5. Hereford might have hit a ceiling – for now.

3 September 2018


Altrincham fans at Croft Park on Saturday were taken aback by Jordan Hulme's transformation into a blond (see images). But Blyth supporters will, likewise, have been surprised at the transformation in Max Harrop's appearance. In 2011-12 season Max spent some time at Blyth Spartans, on loan, and he is pictured (below) in those days and as at Croft Park last Saturday

Back in early 2012 Blyth wrote about Max that "The young midfielder has been a shining light as the side have put in some of their best performances of the season in the last few games". Max actually played for the Spartans against Altrincham in our clubs' most recent league clash before Saturday's game; that was in January 2012.

Jordan MkI

Jordan MkII

Max MkI

Max MkII


Altrincham are in a respectable mid-table position (13th) but their position could have been so much better. Dropping points has been something of an unwanted habit this season with, already, eight points having been dropped from winning or drawing positions, namely versus Spennymoor (2 pts), FC United (3), Guiseley (2) and Blyth(1), whilst only one (v Leamington) has been accrued from a losing position.


  • FC United of Manchester 2 - 2 Bradford Park Avenue, att 1814


Blyth Spartans report that "Match-winner Jarrett Rivers hailed the togetherness of the Blyth Spartans squad after securing their second victory of the season against Altrincham... as he fired Spartans into a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

It was all-square at the break when Sean Reid put Alun Armstrong’s men in front, though it took the visitors just a minute to equalise through Josh Hancock.

Blyth, who Rivers admitted weren’t at their best, survived an unbelievable miss from substitute Tom Peers following a rare error from Peter Jameson to grind out the result and see luck go their way for a change.

Rivers... said 'Altrincham are a good footballing side; they played us off the park in the first-half but sometimes you just need to grind out the result and that’s what we did today... Obviously we did get a bit of luck at the end but you sometimes need that to get three points'...

Above: No. 14 Tom Peers's 88th minute chance against Blyth, which came after no. 12 James Poole's shot had been parried by goalkeeper Jameson.

'First-half, we weren’t very good at all but second-half, we played higher up the pitch, got the ball down in their half more.'

After Altrincham squandered three half-decent chances in a nervy 10-minute spell for Spartans, Rivers ‘unexpectedly’ announced himself as the match winner when his shot travelled through a load of bodies and into the roof of the net...

'I wasn’t expecting the ball to get through to me! It got stuck under my feet a bit but I just tried to get it out my feet quickly and get a good contact on it; luckily it has flown into the top corner!'”

The Altrincham FC official site has a report on the game at Blyth.


On Saturday Altrincham FC Reserves drew 0-0 against Crewe FC. Alty remain top of the league, two points clear of their landlords Egerton Football Club. Their next match, on Saturday 8th, is again away, this time against Mersey Royal in the Cheshire County FA Amateur Cup First Round.

The Reserves return to league action on 15th September at home to St. Helens at Egerton Youth Club, Knutsford.


On Sunday, Altrincham Youth played their second league game of the season, at home, and beat Chorley 6-2.


. Altrincham continue their quest for a first home win of the season next Saturday, 8th September, when Curzon Ashton visit the J. Davidson Stadium. Last Saturday The Nash lost 0-1 at home to Nuneaton Borough and they have produced a match report.

"Nuneaton Borough picked up their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton at the Tameside Stadium. Nuneaton who sat bottom of the National League North table heading into this clash kicked off the game and had the majority of possession early in the game and it took only nine minutes for them to take the lead. A free kick for the Nash came to nothing and Nuneaton quickly countered with fullback Mike Calverey playing a great ball down the right flank for Dior Angus who rifled a shot into the roof of the net clipping the crossbar on its way in.

The goal seemed to liven up the Curzon attack as they quickly responded with several good chances. Connor Hughes intercepted a poor pass on the halfway line and lofted the ball to Alex Samizadeh who cut inside to cross for Ryan Brooke whose header was just wide...

There were limited chances early in the second half as the Nash pushed for an equaliser [and] brought on Cummins, Crankshaw and Fawns in the process. Curzon were creating chances but not getting many shots away... The result meant Curzon Ashton dropped to 15 and wasn’t enough to get Nuneaton out the relegation zone.Teams:

Curzon Ashton: Mason, Rowney, Morton, Hunt ©, McJannet, Shaw, Guest, Marshall (Fawns 65’), Brooke, Samizadeh (Crankshaw 58’), Hughes (Cummins 60’). Subs: Cummins*, Crankshaw*, Fawns*, Ali, Baillie".


Whilst Altrincham are visiting no new stadiums in the league this season, having played all their league opponents in previous years, they are meeting three clubs who have subtly changed their names. Darlington1883 have reverted to Darlington; Nuneaton Town likewise have become Nuneaton Borough. Alongside these two we can bracket Bradford Park Avenue who have made the subtlest change, rebranding themselves as Bradford (Park Avenue).

From the Telegraph & Argus we learn that "Bradford Park Avenue[!] failed to hold onto a two-goal lead as they conceded an injury-time penalty to draw 2-2 with FC United of Manchester at Broadhurst Park. The hosts had banked just three points from their first six games [by beating Altrincham!] and manager Tom Greaves had stepped down in midweek.

The former Bradford Park Avenue crowd favourite took to the pitch at half-time to address the home fans, but was also warmly applauded by the visiting faithful in the 1,814 strong crowd.

When the match re-started for the second half, Avenue were in a strong position and going into the last half hour were looking set for another three-point maximum but their sixth win of the season will have to wait.

Ben McKenna returned to Avenue’s starting line-up following a niggling groin injury, which meant Lewis Knight made way in the only change to the squad following the Bank Holiday Monday home win over Boston United...

The breakthrough came midway through the first half from a set-piece. Avenue had forced a free-kick just wide of the area, the ball was driven in low and Shane Killock converted it...

Luca Havern picked up a yellow card for a foul on FC United centre forward Kurt Willoughby early in the second half but the visitors were two goals to the good before the hour mark. Some poor defending by the home side allowed Beesley to use his presence in the area to good effect and net from close range.

McKenna, who was short of match fitness, made way for Knight just after the hour mark and two minutes later FC United halved the deficit... Avenue had two more half chances... before they conceded a stoppage-time penalty which Willoughby slotted past Drench".


According to the Derbyshire Times, "Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath doesn’t mind how the points come after seeing his side beat Darlington 1-0 on Saturday, stating 'It’s about winning football matches'. The Reds scored early through Bobby Johnson and had to withstand some late pressure after going down to 10 men after Luke Shiels was given a second yellow card and his marching orders...

He said 'We scored really, really early and we never really hit the heights after we got the goal. It was so early that we were never really stretched first half and we didn’t really get going... I don’t think Sam [Ramsbottom] had a save to make... They’ve not really had a shot... Then Shielsy gets sent off with a second card when I thought he won the ball.

'The referee deems it differently and suddenly we’ve got our backs to the wall but the boys have rolled their sleeves up and we’ve managed to get a result... I’ve no real problem how we get the points, it’s about winning football matches and that’s what we’re doing at the minute'".

Since beating Alty Boston United have been on a poor run as the Boston Standard reports that "Craig Elliott has vowed to get the excitement back into his Boston United side’s performances. Today’s 2-0 home defeat to Kidderminster Harriers saw the Pilgrims suffer three straight defeats in a row for the first time under the manager’s stewardship...

'I’m used to my teams being pretty exciting to watch, to be honest,' he said. 'I feel like it’s not been to the level I want if I’m being totally honest. Going back to pre-season. I’ve told them in there, it’s not their fault. I’ve got to find the right blend. I want to be excited, as well as winning games, and I don’t feel that general buzz at the minute. But it’s a long season and I’ll get it right'...

'Sometimes you have a dodgy month and you’ve got to get through it,' he continued... 'I’m more concerned that we’re not taking our chances or being a bit more exciting to watch... So I need to bring in players that excite myself, the fans and people around us... In hindsight I wish I’d never tweaked a formation'".

The Lancashire Evening Post reports on Chorley's 2-2 draw at Brackley Town where "A stirring second-half fightback and two priceless goals by Josh O’Keefe saw league leaders Chorley preserve their unbeaten National League North... But the Magpies can thank their lucky stars that this game was not completely beyond them at half-time.

Brackley...outplayed the visitors in a rampant first half. They might easily have been four or five up at the break. But a tactical change by manager Jamie Vermiglio breathed much-needed fire into his team who proceeded to play with greater composure and ultimately merited a share of the points...

Chorley were a different and more purposeful side after the interval and pulled a goal back in the 66th minute. Matt Challoner worked the opening down the left flank and O’Keefe was on hand to convert the inviting centre...

Clever work and a superb cross by Elliot Newby set up the chance and O’Keefe stole in at the far post to plant a firm header past keeper Danny Lewis" to make it 2-2.

"Chorley boss Vermiglio [said] 'We can’t afford to start like we did today if we are to keep this superb run going,' he said... 'We were lucky to go in at half-time only two down but the difference in the second half was incredible. We were outstanding'".

From the opposition, Brackley Town "boss Kevin Wilkin was left with mixed feelings...

Wilkin said, 'The way we performed in the first half, we created so many chances, you’d take coming off at half-time at 2-0 and we could have been home and dry in the first half. Then young players switch off and let the game go on around them to encourage them to get moments in the game, that’s disappointing. We gave them a life-line back into the game.. We knew we needed a third goal to make the game safe. Individually and collectively we have to do better'".

2 September 2018


After having the better of the opening stages, Altrincham fell behind in the 26th minute when Reid and Horner exchanged passes before Reid's instinctive lob beat Wynne and found the back of the net. But it took just three passes from the re-start of play for Altrincham to level the score with Hancock hitting a low shot into Jameson's bottom right-hand corner (27 mins).

The Spartans improved after the break, though a 1-1 draw looked to be on the cards until the 83rd minute. Then Williams's attempted clearance from the left of his own goal struck an opponent. Blyth worked the ball left to Rivers, who had time to get the ball out from under his feet and direct a rising shot into the upper part of the net from the edge of the box.

Despite this setback Altrincham should have equalised in the 88th minute when substitute Poole's shot was parried by Jameson into the path of the unmarked Peers. Somehow he contrived to hit the ball comfortably over the bar from just a few yards out.

Alty dropped to thirteenth and next face Curzon Ashton on Saturday, 8 September at the J. Davidson Stadium.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Elliot WYNNE, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Owen DALE, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Liam GOULDING, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Tony THOMPSON.

Right: A new-look Jordan Hulme at Blyth.

BLYTH SPARTANS: 1. Peter Jameson, 2. Michael Liddle, 3. Ian Watson, 4. Kieran Green, 5. Nathan Buddle, 6. Aaron Cunningham, 7. Jarrett Rivers, 8. Sean Reid, 9. Daniel Maguire, 10. Lewis Horner, 11. Robert Dale (c). Subs: 12. Andrei Ardelean, 14. Adam Wrightson, 15. Connor Oliver, 16. Jack Butler, 19. Bradley Skirpan


Above: Max Harrop goes for the ball at Blyth as Owen Dale awaits the outcome.

Saturday 1 September 2018

  • AFC Telford United 2-1 Ashton United (att. 1148)
  • Blyth Spartans 2-1 Altrincham (635)
  • Boston United 0-2 Kidderminster Harriers (1129)
  • Brackley Town 2-2 Chorley (530. Both Chorley goals scored by Josh O'Keefe)
  • Curzon Ashton 0-1 Nuneaton Borough (221)
  • Darlington 0-1 Alfreton Town 1269
  • Guiseley 1-1 Chester TBC
  • Hereford 1-1 York City (2558)
  • Southport 1-1 Spennymoor Town (821)
  • Stockport County 3-1 Leamington (2680)

Sunday 2 September 2018

  • FC United of Manchester v Bradford Park Avenue


As announced earlier, former Altrincham FC director Kevan Guiney sadly died in hospital last Thursday. His family advises that his "funeral will take place at Altrincham Crematorium on Thursday 20th September 2018 at 2pm and then back to the Cresta Court at 3pm. Family flowers only, please, but donations for Wythenshawe Hospital may be sent to Ashton Brookes Funeral Directors, Church Street, Altrincham, WA14 4DB. Tel: 0161 928 7816".
1 September 2018


Altrincham make their twelfth visit to Croft Park on Saturday, seeking their fourth win (or to avoid their fourth defeat!) against Blyth Spartans on their own patch. As reported earlier this week, Altrincham's most recent visit was successful as we emerged with a 3-2 win in an FA Trophy replay, thanks to a brace from Sean Miller (of whom there is more recent news on this page) and Craig Hobson, who now plies his trade at Ashton United.

You have to go back to Tuesday, 24 January, 2012 (as shown above) for our last league visit to Croft Park, which was for a Blue Square Bet North match which followed the departure of Jack Redshaw to Morecambe hours before kick-off. With an illness ruling out Simon Richman and injuries to Stuart Coburn and Marlon Broomes, Alty boss Lee Sinnott was forced to make changes to his starting line-up. Nicky Clee continued in the left-back role, which he had only adopted a couple of games earlier, Kieran Walmsley moved forward to right-midfield as loanee Matt Flynn returned at right-back. Michael Twiss started his first game after injury, illness, and a spell on the bench, which collectively had seen him out of the starting eleven for the previous eight games. In goal, 17 year-old Adam Reid continued in place of the injured Stuart Coburn.

The Altrincham squad comprised 1. Adam REID, 2. Matt FLYNN, 5. Adrian HAWES, 6. Mark LEES, 3. Nicky CLEE; 7. Kieran WALMSLEY, 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Chris LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE; 9. Michael TWISS, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Adam FLYNN, 14. James HOLDEN, 15. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 16. Neil TOLSON, (four subs only were named).

A penalty, in the fourth added minute at the end of the ninety, saved Alty from defeat in a 1-1 draw. The spot-kick was converted by Damian Reeves, after James Lawrie had been fouled. The result left Altrincham seventh in the table whilst Blyth ended the season 21st and were relegated.

This time around, Blyth start the game in 18th place with a win and a draw from their seven fixtures, whilst Altrincham lie eleventh with two wins, two defeats and three draws.


Sean Miller was Alty's top scorer in 2016-17, despite missing the latter part of the season with injury. He remained at Altrincham as he recovered and, in all, made 22(+15) appearances and netted eleven goals. However, after pre-season trials in 2018, Phil Parkinson did not re-sign him and now Chester FC report that "Chester FC’s new signing Sean Miller is happy to be back where senior football kicked off for him five years ago.

Miller joined the Blues thriving Youth Academy as an Under-18 and his hard work was rewarded with a first team contract back in 2013 alongside Tom Peers. Speaking to on his return, he said 'I’m feeling very good. I’ve been away for four years now but I’m delighted to be back. Some of the people have changed, but there’s still some familiar faces around the place... I’m very happy being here...

'When I was here I was in the Youth Team and then I got signed up by Youngie (Neil Young) but I didn’t really see much game time. They sent me out on loan at the time and that benefitted me well playing adult football. It was the same at Altrincham and Connah’s Quay, really beneficial playing week in week out in adults football. I feel like I’ve come on a lot since I was a kid and I want to keep progressing and show everyone here what I can do.'

Sean was signed originally to the first team fold by Neil Young, and since then three more Managers have come and gone. Now it’s the turn of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley and the wide man is looking forward to working under the duo.

'I’ve seen a lot of them at Salford when they were on the TV and stuff and they seem like they are really determined managers. They are the type of people I want to be playing for. I feel like they will be able to get the best out of me.'

The 23-year-old from Liverpool may get his chance tomorrow as the Blues face a trip to Guiseley...

'I’ve seen the lads in training and I’m well aware there’s lots of tough competition here with some of the players we have. But I want to be here and I want to play football. I’ve just got to bide my time and then when I’m picked I’ll show what I can do'".

Footnote: Now 23, Sean joined Altrincham in early June 2016 from Connah’s Quay Nomads, where he had been Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year as well as being top scorer. He was also named Welsh Premier League Young Player of the Year in 2015. He made his Alty debut in a friendly against Witton Albion on 1 August 2016 and his competitive debut as a substitute on 9 August 2016 at FC Halifax Town.

With 10 goals in 19(+5) appearances up to the point where he signed an extended contract on 14 January 2017, he then missed several months of the season through injury and remained in rehabilitation into September 2017. After returning as a substitute he went on a month's loan to Colne, to regain full match fitness, from the start of November 2017. In February 2018, Sean went to Trafford on loan.


The Hallmark Security League reports that Sandbach United have signed ex-Alty man, Harry Cain.


News of someone who played against a number of times for Southport, and now will do so again, comes from Coventry City Former Players' Association which tells us that "Former Sky Blue skipper Carl Baker has found a new challenge after only a short time considering his options. Released by the Sky Blues by mutual agreement early in this new season after his second CCFC spell ended, Carl has chosen local neighbours Nuneaton Town to restore his playing career...

Carl had returned to Coventry hoping to regain full fitness for top-level football after injury whilst attached to top Indian outfit ATK... Former CCFC coach (2006-08) Nicky Eaden is gaffer at Liberty Way and former Sky Blue midfielder in his youth Lee Fowler (1999-2003) is his assistant. Former Sky Blue forward and fellow CCFPA member Devon Kelly-Evans was also signed by Nicky this summer and ex CCFC youth goalkeeper Cameron Belford (2006-07) is also on their playing staff.

Carl first joined the Sky Blues in January 2010 from Stockport County following an earlier spell with Morecambe. Chris Coleman put him straight into City’s Championship side and he was a regular for the next 4 ½ seasons and became the Sky Blues skipper.

In total ‘Bakes’ made 182 appearances for the club and scored 28 goals. Released by City in 2014, Carl joined MK Dons and helped them win promotion to the Championship in his first season. The following season he did it again being part of Portsmouth’s League Two promotion team... Carl runs his own Academy locally".

The Chester Chronicle confirms that "Chester FC have confirmed damage was caused to the away end during last weekend's defeat against AFC Telford United and warned any Blues' fans involved in the incident face the prospect of a stadium banning order. On the pitch last Saturday, the Blues lost 3-1 against Gavin Cowan's side...

The Blues have now released a statement confirming they have been contacted by AFC Telford regarding damage caused in the away terrace where 535 Chester fans were located. The club have confirmed that providing funds to repair the damage caused at the New Bucks Head, allied to the work currently being undertaken at the Swansway Chester Stadium to being it back to a state where it can host matches again, is something the Blues 'cannot easily accommodate'.

The Blues have also vowed that any fans found to have been involved in the incident, or if there any repeats of similar actions in the figures, have the prospect of being dealt with through the appropriate authorities and face the potential of being subject to a stadium banning order. A club statement said.. 'It was identified that there had been several areas of damage which occurred during the game. This was within the away terrace where the Chester fans were located and requires cost [sic] to repair'".

Chester FC "are pleased to announce two new signings... Goalkeeper Connor King has joined the Blues after being with the club throughout the summer on trial. 19 year-old King is a former England schoolboy keeper and came through the ranks at Burnley. Last season he had a loan spell at Barnoldswick Town.

Our second signing is a familiar name to Chester FC fans. Wide player Sean Miller". For more on Sean's signing see above...

Hereford FC are "pleased to confirm that Harvey Smith has extended his loan from Bristol City after the initial month ended... He will now be available for The Bulls up to and including the Chester FC match on October 2nd. The loan includes permission for him to play in the FA Cup."

According to the Leamington Courier "Leamington boss Paul Holleran says Monday’s 2-2 draw with AFC Telford illustrated the improvement his side have made over the past year... Holleran said it came from a belief which has spread right through the club.

'There’s a better feel than last year, in the changing rooms in the stands, we’re feeling more confident and the players believe they can come back from 2-1 down against a good side like Telford,' said Holleran. 'That wouldn’t have happened last year... We need to keep the levels where they are. Once they drop we will be punished. We need to keep this run going as long as we can as it sets us up nicely for when we do get a sticky patch.

'We know in this division you can have spells when you don’t win a game for a month and then the next month you pick up the Manager of the Month award.'"

We learn from the Telegraph & Argus that "Oli Johnson tucked away a penalty in both of Bradford (Park Avenue)'s excellent Bank Holiday victories over Hereford and Boston United, but manager Mark Bower is convinced that the experienced forward can offer the side even more...

Bower said, 'Oli was missing at times through suspension last season and he's always struggled with getting regular games in the past. You could see he was getting stronger by the end of last season though and three in seven games this year is decent going from out wide. Unfortunately, he missed most of pre-season and he knows he can improve to get up to match speed. I'm pleased with his start but there's more to come from him in terms of scoring and creating chances.'

Avenue travel to FC United of Manchester this Sunday... He said 'It's probably the first game of the season where we are the favourites. FC United tend to blow hot and cold, though, and if they play well they could cause us problems... Their manager resigned this week so it's difficult to predict what they'll do on Sunday... It's no easier than our other games so far... All the changes that we made last weekend were tactical and we're also hoping to have Danny Lowe and Ben McKenna back on Sunday. It's a great position to be in with 18 players fit and available and it gives us good options'". Alty visit the Horsfall Stadium in a fortnight (15 September).

Meanwhile, "Southport midfielder Nathan Lowe could be heading to the EvoStik League after being transfer listed. The Sandgrounders invited clubs to land the 22-year-old former FC United of Manchester and Spennymoor midfielder in a statement on Thursday confirming his availability for a permanent transfer. No fee is required... [for] the Wigan-based player who's made 20 appearances for the National League North club."