October 2018

31 October 2018


After as poor a first-half performance by Altrincham as has been witnessed at the J Davidson Stadium this season, the hosts took an unconvincing lead in the last of two added minutes before the interval. Johnston's cross from the right was converted at the back post by Owen Dale. The game was then wrapped up barely a minute after the interval when Johnston's speculative effort from the right somehow went through the hands of goalkeeper Etheridge to make it 2-0.

Right: Owen Dale receives the congratulations of team-mates after opening the scoring.

A fine run by Johnston, as he drifted in from the right, culminated in a fine shot into the far corner of the net from right of goal to produce a 3-0 scoreline shortly before the hour-mark. Altrincham then took their foot of the gas and allowed the visitors plenty of possession before Hancock wrapped up a 4-0 win in the final minute of added time. The win lifted Altrincham to ninth in the league with a game in hand on six of the teams above them.

From the other side, Nuneaton Borough reported that "Nuneaton Borough dropped to a disappointing 4-0 defeat away to Altrincham on a bitterly cold Lancashire [Cheshire!] evening.

The first half looked to be drifting towards a goalless conclusion when the hosts found the breakthrough before adding another three in the second half. There was almost no action to speak of in the first half...

Altrincham broke the deadlock in the second minute of first half stoppage time, Owen Dale meeting a ball across goal at the far post and smashing it home with what was almost the final kick of the half. Things got considerably worse immediately after the re-start, Ross Etheridge failed to block John Johnston’s effort and saw the ball squirm past him for a 2-0 lead to the hosts.

The third came shortly before the hour mark, Johnston weaving around the edge of the area and working some space to lob Etheridge in the Boro’ goal. Nuneaton attempted to get back in to the match but were frustrated by a resolute Altrincham defence...

Josh Hancock added a fourth in stoppage time with a well-worked goal as Boro’ pushed to find something from the match...

Altrincham: Thompson, White, Hampson, Jones, Hannigan, Moult (c), Johnston, Harrop (Richman 61), Hulme, Hancock, Dale (Peers 73).

Nuneaton Borough: Etheridge, Calveley, Addison (c), Carter (Davies 75), Kelly-Evans, Wesolowski, Wharton (Panayiotou 46), Obeng, Richards, McGurk (Benjamin 67), Angus".


Tuesday 30 October 2018
  • AFC Telford United 1-1 Hereford (att. 1804)
  • Altrincham 4-0 Nuneaton Borough (695)
  • Boston United 1-3 Brackley Town (922)
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) 2-2 Darlington (625)
  • Chester FC 4-1 Ashton United (1646)
  • FC United of Manchester 1-1 Alfreton Town (1531)
  • Guiseley 1-3 Blyth Spartans (613)
  • Leamington 0-4 Kidderminster Harriers (782)
  • Southport 2-2 Curzon Ashton (580)
  • Spennymoor Town 3-0 York City (1063)
  • Stockport County 3-0 Chorley (2653)


The mobile version of this website remains available but is currently not updatable thanks to a unilateral and unannounced change by the web-hosting company 1&1. It had been my intention to run down and close this mobile version during November in a managed way but, as things stand, it looks as if the plug has been pulled by 1&1 without warning. I apologise for any inconvenience that this causes. Users of the mobile site are advised to use this desktop version instead.


In advance of their visit to Altrincham on Tuesday night, the Stoke Sentinel reported that "Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite has released a solicitor’s letter in a bid to clarify his relationship with troubled non-league club Nuneaton Borough. The Vale chairman bought Nuneaton’s Liberty Way ground earlier this year, but there is confusion about who owns the football club, which is in serious financial trouble.

The deal for the ground went through in June after Smurthwaite was approached by former Boro chairman Lee Thorn, but he insists he does not own the football club too because that would break strict FA and Football League rules about dual ownership. Confusion about who owns the club arose after Thorn told the BBC he no longer owned Boro Leisure Limited, the club’s holding company, and had not been involved since June.

With the National League now asking Nuneaton for evidence of the club’s ownership, Smurthwaite has released a letter sent by his solicitor to the original sellers of the Liberty Way ground.. It reads 'My instructions throughout were that the properties would be transferred in exchange for the acquisition of the complete shareholding of Boro Stadium Company Ltd, and nothing else. Mr client did not acquire any interest in Boro Leisure Ltd, and never intended to do so. It is confirmed that my client has no interest in Boro Leisure Ltd and this did not form any part of the agreement between our clients'...

Smurthwaite issued a statement on October 12 in which he spelled out his concern for the future of the club, revealing that the Boro monthly payroll is around £25,000, up to £19,000 more than income from gate receipts. He also said he had agreed with Thorn to act as a 'facilitator' to try to find a buyer for the club. He added 'Lee Thorn was and is the 100% beneficial shareholder of Borough Leisure Limited'...

A league spokesman added: “Mr Smurthwaite provided the EFL with a series of undertakings when he received approval from the EFL Board to acquire the freehold to the Nuneaton Borough FC Stadium. This was to ensure that he was acting purely as a landlord and none of the current regulatory protections were contravened.

Vale players Dior Angus and Mike Calveley are both on loan at Nuneaton".

Boston United confirm that "Northern Ireland under-21 international striker David Parkhouse has joined on an initial month's youth loan from Sheffield United".

The Shropshire Star informs us that "Top scorer Daniel Udoh is ready to use Tuesday night’s quick turnaround to further boost his healthy Telford goals tally. The Bucks hot-shot returned from an absence, caused by bruising around the knee, to help fire Gavin Cowan’s side to a fine 2-1 home win over York on Saturday.

And the New Buck's Head is likely to be bouncing tonight for the visit of Hereford FC, who are struggling in 19th and are winless in nine National League North games. Razor-sharp Udoh, 22, feels back up to top speed despite 90 goalless minutes against The Minstermen and plans to take advantage against phoenix club Hereford.

'I was gutted to be missing [against Curzon] but as soon as I found out I was in the starting XI, I thought, "Let me show them what they were missing and get the win", said the 11-goal hitman. To have Saturday-Tuesday matches is really good for people like me because I’m young and defenders are getting older. There’s more chances to get goals and stuff like that, especially at home; even draws aren’t good enough for us, we just need to keep winning. We need to change our away form. Then we’ll get ourselves up the table.'

The victory lifted Telford into sixth, just three points off second in a tight front pack. Former Crewe frontman Udoh... added 'I would’ve liked to have got on the scoresheet but at the end of the day it’s a results game and we won. We hadn’t won since the start of the month... We tried to use Chorley as a springboard but it didn’t happen. The next game we weren’t at the races. As a team we’ve spoken and know what we need to do'...

The Bucks are definitely without defender Zak Lilly who came off early against York with a suspected fractured hip that will see him out sidelined for some time."

From the Yorkshire Post we learn that "Jason McGill, however, only has eyes for what is laid out directly in front of him. The Yorkshire Post has joined the 52-year-old on the roof of the block that will house a state-of-the-art leisure centre and there is no mistaking the look of pride on the York City chairman’s face.

The framework for three of the four stands that will make up the new York Community Stadium is already in place below us, while the concrete steps of the main stand are being lifted into place by a crane that towers over the Monks Cross site. The base of the South Stand, which backs on to the cinema, has also been laid. It does not need too much of a leap of imagination to visualise what McGill and the club will be enjoying once the keys are handed over on May 14 next year.

'This is my fourth visit,' said the Minstermen chief with a smile. 'Every time I come something new has happened and, for me, it is really exciting times. The city of York is going to benefit immensely from this project. Not just the stadium, but the entire facility, from the leisure facilities to the largest cinema complex in Europe, swimming pool and a community centre with NHS Outpatients. For the city, the boost is immense. Watching the team run out here for the first time will be a proud moment for all of us who have been involved in this saga of a project. And it has been a saga'...

McGill has four-and-a-half million reasons to bemoan the various hold-ups that include planning wrangles, a change of contractor and a judicial review, this being how many pounds he has loaned the club interest-free to bridge the gap from the original planned move in 2011 to next summer. The sale of Bootham Crescent, together with the claims of creditors, is unlikely to cover such an outlay, leaving McGill out of pocket...

'The plan is getting to a position where the football club can wipe its face without needing extensive external investment,' he said about a club that lost £1.16m over the three years to June 2017, the last set of accounts available. 'Personally, I feel it will be very tricky not to need some funding on an annual basis, at least early on after the move. But, certainly, the revenue this facility generates will reduce the money that will be needed. Be it JM Packaging (McGill’s company) or whoever. This will put the club on a stronger financial footing.'

As McGill speaks, work continues across a project that, once completed, will have cost £64m. The stadium and leisure centre account for £39m of this outlay... The pitch is expected to be laid early next year, soon after the seats have been installed in the four by then completed stands. A Fans’ Zone is also planned, complete with a roof after JM Packaging stumped up an extra £50,000 to cover the cost.

'We hope fans will come down early, have a few beers and watch the Sky or BT game on a bank of TVs,' said McGill. 'We want to get the atmosphere going with local bands, but the original plan had no provision for a roof. That was no good as if it rains then the fans would have got wet. So, my company, and not the football club, has paid the money.'

It is hoped the traditional uplift in attendances at a new stadium, often around 30 per cent, will be repeated, not least because both York City and York City Knights rugby league club will benefit from all income generated when either is playing at home. Then there will be two non-matchdays a month, typically a Friday and Saturday night, when the Minstermen can stage events such as dinners or boxing bouts in the hospitality areas that will see all proceeds go to the club.

'The business plan is to increase the income of the football club,' added McGill. 'Bootham Crescent has next to no facilities. For a start, the hospitality boxes face on to the car park. Here on the top floor there are three dining experiences. Left-hand side from the pitch is a room for 200 people, a pie and pea facility. The middle is more a carvery for 100. Then the directors dining room has scope for another 100. We can also open up the whole area to make one large venue, catering for 400 at a time. At Bootham Crescent, we can probably do 50 maximum'...

McGill, as chairman, has come in for plenty of flak from the terraces. He put the club up for sale in April after the Supporters Trust voted against handing their 25 per cent share to JM Packaging only for no serious bidders to come forward...

'Moving here will be a watershed moment for me. I would certainly want to have a season here, where I can enjoy the fruits of those labours. I am 52 and this saga has been a big part of my life... I was spreading myself too thinly, and so there will be a year here. Then, after that, let’s see what happens'".

30 October 2018


In advance of tonight's match at Altrincham, the visitors from Nuneaton Borough announced that "It is with a great deal of regret that Nuneaton Borough Football Club have had to withdraw our Academy from competition for this season.

With such a small number of scholars, as well as two season-ending injuries, it was becoming increasingly difficult to field a team. It has also become clear that we would be unable to fund the Academy for the remainder of the year due to the current uncertainty surrounding the Club".

And Nuneaton Borough add that "After a fan appeal last week the Boro' Faithful have stepped up and backed the majority of the squad. 'The response has been fantastic', said Club Secretary Adam Etheridge. 'We've gone from four players sponsored last week to fifteen today with offers still coming in.'

Mark Grimes fronted the campaign and has taken on three sponsorships himself 'I read about the Club's plight in the Non-League Paper the other week and was desperate to do something to help', said Mark"

Altrincham are expected to be without James Poole, who injured his hamstring on Saturday.


Alty TV's highlights from the Ashton game are now on YouTube and there is also a post-match interview with James Jones here.

And Ashton have an interview with manager Jody Banim, here.


At Edgar Street, Hereford FC advises that "away supporters are to be placed in Block E of the Len Weston Stand and the terrace underneath with associated catering and toilet facilities in easy reach. Away supporters are welcome in our bars around the ground. We operate cashless ticket only turnstiles so tickets must be purchased from the Matchday Ticket Office before attempting to enter the ground. Current League prices for the 2017/18 season are:
  • Seats - £15 Adult, £14 Concession, £8 16-18, £2 Under 18
  • Terrace - £13 Adult, £12 Concession, £7 16-18, £2 Under 16


At the age of 39 and nearly 18 years after leaving Moss Lane, Kevin Ellison netted for Morecambe on Saturday, to earn a draw at Newport County. The fact is marked by The Times which states it is sixteen years since Kevin scored his first league goal, for Stockport County.

And Sefton Gonzales netted twice for Droylsden in their FA Trophy draw on Saturday.


Above: John Johnston (left) nets the opening goal against Ashton United on Saturday.

John Johnston has been named in the official National League North Team of the Weekend, which comprises

  • Goalkeeper: Steven Drench (Bradford Park Avenue)
  • Defenders: Ben Davies (Boston United), Miles Addison (Nuneaton Borough), Stephan Morley (AFC Telford United), Aaron Cunningham (Blyth Spartans)
  • Midfielders: John Johnston (Altrincham), Gary Roberts (Chester), Adam Thomas (Stockport County), Callum Gittings (Leamington)
  • Strikers: Lewis Knight (Bradford Park Avenue), Reece Styche (Alfreton Town)
  • Substitutes: Henry Cowans (AFC Telford United), Mark Ross (Bradford Park Avenue), James Armson (Brackley Town), Alex Purver (Guiseley), Robert Dale (Blyth Spartans)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Mark Bower (Bradford Park Avenue)


Across the Pennines, the EvoStik League reports that "Farsley have signed forward Jack Dyche on dual-registration terms from Guiseley. Dyche, 21, joined Guiseley at the start of the season and spent last season on loan at Boston and Ashton United.

Farsley manager, Adam Lakeland, said 'Jack is a player I have liked for quite sometime, so I'm delighted he has joined us. Jack is young, versatile, has great pace and is a goalscorer. He offers us a number of options as he can operate in wide areas, play as a striker, and also at full back...

The Leeds-born forward was previously with Scunthorpe before being released in the summer and has made six appearances in National League North this season."

The Derbyshire Times informs us that "Furious Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath slammed man in the middle Benjamin Speedie... in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Chester.

The Reds, who had lost their four previous National League North games, had come from behind to lead, but they were shot down as referee Speedie showed a red card to James Clifton and then, in the fifth added minute, awarded Chester their second contentious penalty of the game as they stole a late victory.

Heath seethed, 'Things have transpired [?conspired] against us today; you had to be here to believe it. In my 18 years of management that is probably the worst refereeing display I’ve witnessed. There was the sending off, a penalty at the start of the game and a penalty at the end; it was beyond belief.

'He couldn’t wait to give that first penalty and at the end he (Josh Gowling) had won the ball cleanly. It was never a penalty. I couldn’t criticise the players, but we’ve had two penalties awarded against us away from home that are just bizarre'.

He added, 'Clifton’s sending-off was also bizarre, the ball just spun off him on the edge of the area and it was just an honest challenge. To give a red was just beyond belief, it was just bizarre. I’m lost for words; the penalty in the last minute just summed up the referee’s performance, he’s won the ball as clean as a whistle.'

Asked about the debut performance of Reece Styche, Heath said, 'l thought he was excellent. His finish was quality It was difficult for him when we went down to 10 men, he had to feed off scraps. But he causes problems and asks questions. It’s just unfortunate that we had to play with 10 men for almost 70 minutes.'"

According to Lincolnshire Live "Boston United manager Craig Elliott praised the impact of full-back Ben Davies following Saturday’s 3-1 home victory over Hereford FC.

Davies took the captain’s armband for the day with goalkeeper George Willis beginning a three-match suspension and provided two pinpoint set-piece deliveries for the Pilgrims’ opening two goals scored by Gavin Allott and Josh Hine after half-time. The Pilgrims wrapped up all three points four minutes from time when substitute Jordan Slew netted his first goal for the club...

'They are both [Gavin and Josh] good, honest lads and they put themselves in where it hurts... I was really happy to win because we were not great in the first half. That’s what pleased me the most by sticking in the game and then in the second half, we turned it on and deserved to win in the end'...

Hereford were the better side before half-time and missed a number of chances early on... The visitors were searching for their first league win since mid-August."

NL Daily tells us that "Boss Gavin Cowan insists AFC Telford United should not even be thinking of the play-off places, the Shropshire Star report.

The Bucks climbed up to sixth in National North, three points off second-placed Kidderminster Harriers, after a dramatic late win over York City on Saturday. It was Telford’s first win in five league outings, after a purple patch in the early weeks of the season had seen them rising high at the summit.

Cowan admitted... 'We started the season with consistency but since then we have not been consistent. We can’t even think about the play-offs, we will take each game as it comes. That is an old cliche that people will laugh at but it is what we need to do.

'Top half is a realistic success for this club with the finances it has, so we can’t shout our mouths off about the play-offs. Anyone can beat anyone, and the consistent teams will be successful'".


The Hull Daily Mail reports that "North Ferriby United owner Carl Chadwick says he will make a decision at the end of the season over a controversial proposal to take the club out of the Village.

Speculation has grown over the weekend that Chadwick plans to follow through with the idea of previous owner Jamie Waltham in taking the club to Dunswell Park after details emerged a that name change application has been lodged with the Football Association.

The current Ferriby owner denies there is an immediate plan to relocate the club, but has admitted for the first time it is under consideration and a name change application has been made by Waltham on the club’s behalf.

With gates reduced and Chadwick having to fund the shortfall in money, the owner says he shares Waltham’s vision that ending the club’s long history in the village and taking them to Hull would significantly grow attendances. And he has suggested people who live in the village actually oppose the football club.

However, he insists it is a decision which will be taken at the end of the current season and his preference remains to keep Ferriby where they are.

'Last season Jamie started the process of moving the club closer to Hull and renaming it East Hull. This was down to the fact that North Ferriby, despite attaining an excellent level of football, have never been well supported by the people of Hull,' Chadwick told Hull Live.

'Jamie believed this was due to the fact Hull is a very working class area and North Ferriby is viewed by a lot of the working classes as elitist and where the rich people live. This coupled with the fact 90 per cent of the village don’t attend and actually oppose the club has resulted in historically low attendances.

'He told me this when I took control but he knows I am my own man and told me to find out for myself which I am in the process of doing. Any application needs to be in before early December so he asked me if I wanted him to continue the work he started last year as an option when I’ve decided what the best thing to do with the club is.

'I agreed to this as it’s an avenue we need to explore to get the best out of the level of football for the area. Personally, we are both working class and both from East Hull and while there has been a mass of good players and some good teams over the years from East Hull like Reckitts and more recently Crown, it’s a bit of a shame East Hull has never had a team above Humber Premier League level especially with over 200,000 residents, so yes it’s an option the club are exploring with the FA but I haven’t made my final decision on it...

The name change application is set to be considered by the Football Association at a council meeting in early 2019, with the application by Ferriby to change ground at the end of this current season and playing their games in Dunswell at a ground owned by Waltham...

A petition to keep the Villagers in North Ferriby has already been set up with close to a thousand people having already signed in protest against the proposal.”

29 October 2018


The official Altrincham FC site has a match report on Saturday's victory over Ashton United.


Only two teams in the Vanarama National League North are currently averaging two goals a game; one is Kidderminster Harriers and the other is Altrincham, with 26 goals from 13 outings. The Harriers have 29 from 14 matches.

Sixteen of Alty's goals have come from their six away matches whilst the seven home games have only yielded ten successful strikes. Eight of Altrincham's eighteen points have come from those home games whilst, away from home, ten points have been gleaned from the six matches on the road.


They may be in financial difficulties but Altrincham's opponents on Tuesday, Nuneaton Borough, achieved a draw at Stockport County on Saturday, just a week after Altrincham had lost 2-0 at Edgeley Park in the FA Cup.

Nuneaton Borough report how "Ten-man Boro' fight back for deserved point in dramatic draw at Edgeley Park.

An 80th minute equaliser from Boro' captain Miles Addison was enough to secure a point for the away side despite Curtis Obeng’s second-half red card. Nuneaton dominated the first half and took the lead early on, as the Boro' caught Stockport on the counter-attack and forward Adam McGurk drove the ball home beautifully from 18 yards.

The Boro' almost doubled their lead minutes after the opening goal as a Dior Angus header was well saved by Stockport ‘keeper Ben Hinchliffe. Addison could have scored after half an hour, as he found himself unmarked, following a well-rehearsed corner routine, but Hinchliffe was again on hand to deny the Boro' as they would have been disappointed to only be a goal up at half-time.

The Hatters came out in the second half a different side and equalised in the 58th minute... Just ten minutes later, Stockport took the lead as Obeng handled on the line, resulting in a sending off and Walker slotting away the penalty.

Despite the setback, Boro' didn’t give up and Addison’s near-post header from a Devon Kelly-Evans corner with ten minutes ago sealed a well-fought point. The draw wasn’t enough to move Nuneaton out of the relegation zone, but the gap is now two points following Hereford’s 3-1 loss to Boston United.

The draw follows yesterday's positive news that director’s loans had been written off, paving the way for the club to be more attractive to prospective new owners. The Boro' return to Greater Manchester for Tuesday’s away fixture at Altrincham and will look to push on following today’s point."


On Saturday, the Coventry Telegraph reported that "Troubled Nuneaton Borough FC has been thrown a lifeline as former directors have agreed to write-off debt of almost half a million pounds in a bid secure the club’s future.

The 'Boro issued a statement... It says that Ian Neale and Lee Thorn, former owners of Borough Leisure Ltd, the company that owns and operates as Nuneaton Borough FC, have confirmed that they will write off any rights to the repayment of their director's loans, either now or at any time in the future, in a bid to secure the club’s future... The club said 'Both ex-chairmen Ian Neale and Lee Thorn have committed in writing to remove all rights for the repayment of more than £450,000 of loans they made during their tenures in a bid to attract more potential parties and to preserve the long-term future of the football club'...

This may help in the desperate hunt to find a new owner amid reports that the club is in financial trouble. Confusion still surrounds who actually owns the club. Former chairman Lee Thorn has distanced himself from the Borough, selling the ground and reportedly saying he no longer owns Boro Leisure Limited, the club’s holding company. Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite bought the ground but says he does not own the club and is acting as a facilitator to try to find a new owner...

Nuneaton Borough Supporters Co-operative said it would step in and try and buy the club, with the help of Supporters Direct, as a last resort but only if due diligence could be provided and the buy-out was feasible".


Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record against Tuesday's visitors Nuneaton Borough. Nuneaton last visited Altrincham, also on a Tuesday, on 21 March 2017. They were playing then under the name of Nuneaton Town, having been liquidated and reformed in 2008 and obliged to change their name. This season they have been allowed to revert to their Nuneaton Borough name.

Altrincham went into the 2017 game with seven players out injured and it got worse. Before kick off, goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson had been added to the casualty roll-call, joining Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy and Micah Evans on the list of those sidelined. And Sam Heathcote was to be stretchered off before half-time.

Nuneaton took the lead in the 25th minute, against the run of play, when Geoghagon was allowed a free header from a corner but the goal was credited to Chambers amongst a melee on the goal-line.

After 32 minutes, Alty's goalkeeper, Andrew Jones, making his first league start, came out to kick clear. The ball rebounded off the back of team-mate Sam Heathcote and left Billy Daniels with an open goal and he doubled the Boro's advantage.

Shortly before the break, Alty lost Heathcote to injury after he had apparently been fouled, off the ball.

Four minutes after the interval the Robins did get back in the game when Richman converted Nicky Clee's low cross from the left byline. But the outcome was settled when Nuneaton, on the counter-attack, made it 3-1 thanks to a firm 20 yard shot from Ashley Chambers in the 64th minute.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and socks) 1. Andrew Jones, 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Jake Moult (c) 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. John Cyrus, 7. Elliot Newby, 8. Gary Jones, 9. Simon Richman, 10. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs 12. Kyle Brownhill, 14. Laurence Taylor, 15. Andy Owens, 16. Damian Reeves, 20. Alan Goodall

NUNEATON TOWN (Blue shirts and socks, white shorts) 1. Tyrell Belford, 2. Alan Penny, 3. Ben O'Hanlon, 4. Brad Gascoigne, 5. Kelvin Langmead (c), 6. Exodus Geohaghon, 7. Greg Mills, 8. Tom Elliott, 9 Ashley Chambers, 10. Kristian Scott,11. Billy Daniels. Subs: 12. Jordan Wheatley, 14 Mitchell Glover, 15. Jimmy Mutton, 16 Kailan Gould, 17 Christian Dibble.


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data show that Tuesday night will be our first game on the date of 30 November since 2012 when we lost 3-1 at home to Guiseley.

And Mike also provides the data on historical matches with Nuneaton. Firstly, matches against Nuneaton Town...

  • P3-W1-D0-L2-F3-A4
  • P3-W0-D0-L3-F3-A8
  • P6-W1-D0-L5-F6-A12

And in matches against the previous incarnation of Nuneaton Borough:

  • P12-W7-2D-L3-F23-A15
  • P12-W2-D5-L5-F10-A17
  • P24-W9-D7-L8-F33-A32


Despite a 1-0 reverse at West Didsbury & Chorlton, Altrincham FC Ladies remain top of their league by three points from Curzon Ashton and Liverpool Feds Reserves, who both have a game in hand.

The scheduled next game on Sunday 4 November is at home to Wythenshawe Amateurs.


In Sunday's NWYA Open Cup tie, Altrincham FC Youth beat Tranmere Rovers 4-1. Their next fixture, on 4 November, is away in the Open Cup against Witton Wanderers. On 11 November, they are at home to Southport.


Tue 30th Oct 2018: Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round
  • Alsager Town v Barnton
  • Macclesfield Town v Cheadle Heath Nomads
  • Runcorn Linnets v Vauxhall Motors


York Press reports that "York City boss Sam Collins admitted his team did not play 'anywhere near as well' as they can during a second-half surrender at Telford.

The Minstermen led through a 36th-minute Macaulay Langstaff header in Shropshire, but Daryl Knights levelled the scores with a second-half strike before Stephan Morley’s stoppage-time free kick secured a 2-1 triumph for the hosts.

It was City’s first defeat in seven games, but Collins made no excuses for a lacklustre second 45 minutes, saying 'It was disappointing to concede the goal right at the end but, in the second half, we didn’t play anywhere near as well as we did in the first half.

'We stopped playing football and let them back into the game and we’ve got to learn from that. Once we started giving the ball away, it pinned us in a bit and Adam (Bartlett) had already made a couple of good saves prior to their equaliser.

'We didn’t get the ball out to our wing-backs in the second half and just sat in and let them dictate the game. We didn’t get up the pitch at all and, if you keep giving the ball away, it’s difficult to create a chance or score a goal'.

Sean Newton hacked down home sub Andre Brown for the foul that led to Telford’s last-gasp winner, but Collins absolved the City skipper of any blame for the defeat, arguing 'It was a good foul by Sean. He used his experience to do what he needed to do because, if he had let their player go through, we would have had an overload on the edge of the box. But the goal came from us not being organised on the edge of their box and their lad had showed he has got a good left foot and it was a sucker punch for us.'".

From Bulls' News we learn that "After a gloriously warm October the thermometer kept on dropping as Hereford headed east to Boston. A community in many ways like ours with the kindly tractors and trailers pulling potatoes and cabbages to let the swede worshippers overtake. Lengthy traffic jams were not for hordes of locals going to the game as less than a thousand home supporters turned out for a team challenging at the top. One of the more awkward journeys in the most awkward period of Hereford FC, saw a respectable turnout of about 150 Bulls fans.

Boston have a wonderful mish mash of a stadium, better than Edgar Street with four sides open. We were placed in a corner with terracing and joy of joys bench seating with a great view at no extra charge. You had to be careful where you sat as several holes in the roof saw water pouring in. Bitterly cold, many fans wished they had brought an extra layer and a pair of gloves...

This was the clash of the Dirty Northern Bad Boys with Hereford’s four dismissals against five red cards for the Pilgrims...

Boston had a big front unit. All front four players were six feet and front pairing Allott and Smith big lads with Smith showing potential to take up sumo wrestling as a hobby... At half time the consensus was that this had been the best half Hereford had played for a couple of months...

With a team full of young likely lads Hereford needed to be managing the weak referee better and Boston won this battle comprehensively...

Unchallenged headers were allowed in the box so there’s plenty of work to be done on the training ground. Hereford did not let their heads drop but brought on another newcomer Evans Owen for Thomas who had been clattered a couple of times. Wassall moved to right back and Hereford chased the game going to 4-3-3...

This was a promising performance by Hereford’s Likely Lads but a combination of quality dead balls and Hereford losing markers lost the game.

Of the new players, Yates made good saves but will want to organise the defence better from dead balls and got away with an awful mistake. Lloyd looked promising in open play but struggled to get free when marked up in closer positions. Roberts ran all day, he's not afraid to miss made a difficult finish look comfortable and offers a pacy threat. Owen-Evans looks to have an exceptional first touch and showed signs of being another South Walian to excite...

Best of all was O’Sullivan, finding space, running comfortably with the ball, some great passes and making the goal, this was a top-class debut, my man of the match. However promising this attacking talent is Hereford are still giving goals away too easily...

Hereford: Yates, Thomas, Greenslade, Green, Wassall, Smith (C), Dinsley, O'Sullivan, Roberts, Lloyd, Richards. Subs: White, Owen-Evans, McGrath, Liburd, Jackson".

28 October 2018


On Saturday, against Ashton United, Altrincham kept their first clean sheet at home in the league this season. Above we see them defending their goal in the first half.

Despite Ashton being one of our closest neighbours, Saturday's gate of 930 was the lowest of the league season to date at the J. Davidson Stadium. Coincidentally the next lowest was also against an Ashton club in the shape of Curzon Ashton.

On Saturday, Altrincham went ahead in the 13th minute when John Johnston netted after Andy White's effort had been blocked. After losing James Poole to injury after just 25 minutes of his first start of the season, Altrincham doubled their lead in the second half. A foul on Harrop, led to Johnston's freekick, which was deflected into his own net by Chalmers to make it 2-0 after 53 minutes. Substitute Owen Dale completed the scoring in the 88th minute when he swept the ball home from just outside the box.

John Edwards's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson is on the official Altrincham FC website.


Centre-back James Jones's next appearance for Altrincham will be his fiftieth for the club. still only 21, James (right) joined Altrincham in summer 2017 having spent the previous three seasons with Welsh Premier club The New Saints. His first season at Alty was slightly curtailed by a hamstring injury shortly before the end of the campaign. But 2018-19 has seen him as regular partner for Tom Hannigan at the heart of the Alty defence. To date he has made 45(+4) appearances and netted five goals.


Following Saturday's game, Ashton United reported that "Altrincham turned out to be the best of the two teams promoted from the Evostik League last season with a clear cut victory at the J Davidson Stadium.

The visitors gave a debut in midfield to Scott Kay on a chilly afternoon in Cheshire and Luke Pilling immediately got away with miscontrolling Kay’s back pass after 3 minutes...

On 13 minutes Poole’s clever pass released White and his cross was tucked home by Johnston despite Pilling getting a hand to the shot...

Just before the hour the hosts doubled their lead as Johnston’s free kick into the area was deflected past Pilling by an Ashton defender... With a minute left the ball broke to sub Owen Dale who fired a low effort to Pilling’s right from the edge of the area".


The next three opponents for Altrincham (Nuneaton Borough, Hereford FC and Chester FC) are all "phoenix clubs" who have hit the financial buffers before reforming.

Nuneaton Borough visit the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday with more financial worries but they arrive on the back of a fine draw at Stockport County on Saturday. The draw came despite ex-Alty man Curtis Obeng seeing a 67th minute red card.



On Saturday, in the J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup, Altrincham FC Reserves drew 1-1 at home to Whaley Bridge Athletic but lost the resulting penalty shoot-out 7-6.

Their next match is in the league, at home to Eagle Sports next Saturday.


Bulls' News reports that "Head Coach Marc Richards praised the three new signings he made this week afters side fell to a disappointing 3-1 loss at Boston United this afternoon.

Of the three new players to have joined Hereford this week, James Roberts and Tommy O'Sullivan were both handed starts and Tom Owen-Evans came off the bench late on. Richards says that Hereford will always try to win the game, but urges supporters to get behind his side when they return to Edgar Street next Saturday,

'Every game we’ll go into we’ll try and put a game plan into place that we will try and win the game,' said Richards... 'Stick with us, just stick with us over the next two or three weeks while we get this sorted and get this team playing like you saw in spells today, hopefully the results will follow. Please come and watch us, hopefully the supporters that travelled today, and again great in terms of the noise that they make and the players and staff are so appreciative of that, but come and watch us.

'I think it’ll be exciting stuff that’s going to be happening over the next couple of months, so come and watch us. Yes it's a disappointing result, but hopefully these performances will then get the right results.'

As for the newcomers, striker James Roberts and midfielder Tommy O’Sullivan were both 'excellent' today according to the Head Coach and very comfortable in possession... Richards added... 'Tommy O’Sullivan just gives you that class. They were very composed in possession and with Tom Owen-Evans coming off the bench as well just showed you what he can do in the short spell that he was on.'

Tom Owen-Evans joined the club yesterday after being released from Scottish-side Falkirk and Richards says the move has worked out 'perfectly'... 'He doesn’t live too far away, he’s Chepstow-based so it just worked out perfectly really in terms of having availability to take him... He probably needs a few training sessions to get him up to speed, but you saw the sort of quality that he does bring in the final third today.'

As for the rest of the players, Richards said they were naive today which was the difference between the two sides. He said 'I can’t question any of their attitudes, application or their work ethic, anything like that, that was not in question today. It’s just a bit of naivety, it showed the levels of the acuteness of some of the players they’re going to come up against, which I thought we were a little bit naive at times and that was the difference today.'”


Sat 27th October
  • AFC Telford United 2 1 York City att 1384
  • Altrincham 3 0 Ashton United att 930
  • Boston United 3 1 Hereford att 1137
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) 0 0 att Chorley 554
  • Chester FC 3 2 Alfreton Town att 1619
  • FC United of Manchester 1 1 Brackley Town att 1858
  • Guiseley 0 0 Kidderminster Harriers att 697
  • Leamington 2 2 Darlington att 765
  • Southport 0 1 Blyth Spartans 620
  • Spennymoor Town 0 0 Curzon Ashton att 564
  • Stockport County 2 2 Nuneaton Borough att 2802


Hereford FC are Alty's hosts next Saturday and the Boston Standard reports how "Boston United moved to within six points of league leaders Chorley with a 3-1 victory over Hereford.

Gavin Allott made it two goals in two home games in front of the Town End as he headed home Ben Davies’s delivery before Josh Hine made it two following another assist from the stand-in skipper.

George Lloyd’s finish gave the Bulls hope but a classy finish from Jordan Slew secured the points which moved the Pilgrims up to fourth in the National League North...

Sebastian Malkowski made his home debut for Boston, as did loanee James Jones, who arrived from Salford City yesterday, the two replacing the suspended George Willis and Ben Middleton.

The game was less than five minutes old when Bulls midfielder Calvin Dinsley had to be replaced by Mike McGrath following a head clash with Brad Abbott.

But despite that early switch the visitors made the early running, the unmarked Elliot Richards somehow volleying wide from six yards out...

The second half was only four minutes old when Allott rose highest to meet Davies’s whipped free kick and power his header into the Bulls net... Hine made it 2-0. Another Davies free kick from the right saw the attacker react quickest and head low beyond Yates.

HEREFORD: Yates, Thomas (Owen-Evans 63), Greenslade, Green, Wassall, Smith, Dinsley (McGrath 5), O’Sulliven, Roberts, Lloyd, Richards (White 75); Subs (not used): Cullinane-Liburd, Jackson."

A week on Saturday, Alty play away at Chester FC who report that they "extended their unbeaten run in the National League North to eight games, as hat-trick hero Gary Roberts scored a dramatic 94th minute rebound to beat Alfreton Town 3-2 at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Gary Roberts’ fourth minute penalty was quickly cancelled out by Reece Styche, before Bobby Johnson converted a free-kick on the edge of the box to give the Reds leeway.

The Blues, though, were handed a lifeline as James Clifton was shown his marching orders for a late challenge on Gary Stopforth in the Chester area and this finally proved meaningful in the second half as Roberts secured his brace with a beauty of a top-corner volley from 20-yards.

Steve Howson provided a late scare for Chester as he tangled with Craig Hobson late in the second half, reducing the Blues to 10-men, but a foul on debutant Mani Dieseruvwe in the 18-yard box gave Roberts the golden opportunity to net this hat-trick. Despite having his penalty saved, he tapped home the rebound to win the home side a most valuable three points.

Dan Mooney and Deane Smalley were recalled to the lineup in place of Luke Jordan and John Pritchard, with Dieseruvwe on the bench. The Reds, on the other hand, featured a familiar name to Chester ears in Craig Hobson on their substitutes bench, as top scorer Johnson earned another start...

With four minutes added on, Chester were dramatically granted a last-minute penalty. Roberts stepped up, four goals this season, three from the penalty spot, two today. Incredibly, Ramsbottom was down low to save his spot kick but the midfield general turned hat-trick hero as he tapped his rebound into an empty net to complete the most unbelievably dramatic of league fixtures, and secure the Blues a hugely important three points. The Seals are back in league action this Tuesday night as they square up to newly-promoted Ashton United at the Swansway, having now extended their league unbeaten record to eight, and remain without defeat on home soil.

CHESTER: Shenton, Dom Smalley (Pritchard 64), Grand, Roberts, Moran, Howson, Mooney, Stopforth, Dudley (Thomson 90+7), Deane Smalley (Dieseruvwe 64), Mahon. SUBS NOT USED: Murray, Jordan".

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford United left it late again as Steph Morley's 92nd minute free kick handed them all three points against in form York City.

The Bucks were without a win since since early September, and it looked as if they were in for more home disappointment when Mcaualey Langstaff headed the visitors in front in the first period...

The second period was a stark contrast, as the Bucks went close on multiple occasions before the York defence finally cracked when Daryl Knights lashed home from the edge of the box 17 minutes from time.

Then two minutes into added time, the impressive Steph Morley stepped up to curl a free kick into the top corner to lift the Bucks up the table and three points off second place.

After disappointment on the road at Curzon Ashton last week Gavin Cowan opted to ring five changes to his side, with the decision to include goalkeeper Andy Wycherley the most surprising one. The stopper, signed from The New Saints in the summer has watched from the side with on loan Max Bramley dominating the number one jersey so far this campaign.

He was given the nod with Amari Morgan-Smith, Jon Royle and Henry Cowans also coming into the line-up in place of last week's scorer Andre Brown, Ross White and James McQuilkin.

Arguably the most important change was the inclusion of top marksman Daniel Udoh, who returned from injury to replace the suspended John McAtee".

"New FC United of Manchester manager Neil Reynolds began his reign at Broadhurst Park with a creditable 1-1 draw at home to highflying Brackley Town with a wonder strike on his debut from Mike Potts...

But a volley from James Armson on the hour mark meant the points were shared... Much of the talk before the game was positive and it soon became clear that the new man in charge; looking every bit the man in charge in his club suit on the side-line, had brought his style of play to Broadhurst Park.

The Reds looked more organised, confident and, most importantly, dangerous when attacking. New signings Mike Potts and Josh Wallen sat deep in the midfield and impressed on their debuts for the club. Potts came with Reynolds from Bamber Bridge and is obviously a man the new boss trusts as he gave him the captain's armband on his first start.

Potts repaid that faith with a sublime strike to open the scoring on the half hour mark... The visitors began the game in a play-off spot but it was the men in red who looked more dangerous throughout and it was clear the best chance the visiting side had of getting a goal would be from a set piece.

This was the case on the hour mark as a low free kick from the right was flicked into the FC United goal by James Armson to level things up...

It’s a sign of how well FC played on the day that you came away from the match feeling we could have easily taken three points from a game against the team that now sits seveth in the league. Certainly, there’s an exciting buzz around Broadhurst Park again and with the next three games coming against teams all in the bottom half of the league it’s certainly going to be an interesting two weeks coming up."

Bradford (PA) report that "Chorley were condemned to their first defeat to the season by a spirited Bradford (Park Avenue). The two sides cancelled each other out in the first-half, failing to showcase the attacking flair that both promotion-chasers possess...

The hosts are renowned for being resolute in their defending and frustrated the Magpies’ array of attacking talent...

But Bradford eventually found a way through. The hosts protested fiercely to the referee after Conor Branson was felled and the referee judged the incident to have taken place outside of the box. Mark Bower’s side, however, made the most of the opportunity. Knight’s free-kick delivery found the head of an on-rushing Beesley, who steered past the Magpies goalkeeper to edge Bradford ahead and silence the travelling supporters".

The National League adds that "Chorley may have finally surrendered their unbeaten start to the season but there’s not a more measured man around than Jamie Vermiglio...

'We were always going to be beaten at some point; the season was never going to be won and lost by what happened this afternoon,' he said on the club’s twitter account. 'Do they need roasting? Do they need a kick up the backside? I don’t think they do. They need galvanising and to get ready for Tuesday night. We’re still top of the league. If you would have given us this opportunity at the start of the season anyone would have taken it'...

'Yes it’s disappointing to lose for the first time but I’m also still very excited,' he added".


The FA Trophy 18-19 - First Qualifying Round
  • Att. 106 AFC Mansfield 1 - 1 Hednesford Town
  • Att. 285 Buxton 3 - 3 Kings Lynn Town (Greg Young netted two for Buxton)
  • Att. 173 Farsley Celtic 4 - 1 Brighouse Town
  • Att. 286 Marine 0 - 2 Lancaster City
  • Att. 371 Stafford Rangers 2 - 1 Rushall Olympic
  • Att. 247 Stalybridge Celtic 1 - 0 Nantwich Town
  • Att. 316 Warrington Town 0 - 1 Prescot Cables
  • Att. 181 Whitby Town 0 - 1 Witton Albion
  • Att. 363 Workington 1 - 0 Scarborough Athletic

27 October 2018


Above: Altrincham's second goal is deflected into the net from a Johnston freekick.

The result took Altrincham up to eleventh in advance of the visit of Nuneaton Borough on Tuesday night.


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


NL Daily confirms that "Altrincham midfielder Sean Williams has sustained a broken fifth metatarsal. Williams suffered the injury in the first half of Alty’s game with Stockport County and he will now face around six weeks out".

In addition, defender Ben Harrison continues his loan spell at Trafford, which will last into 2019.


Saturday's guests at the J. Davidson Stadium are Ashton United who, like Altrincham, were promoted to the Vanarama National League North in the summer.

Ashton United report that they "travel to Altrincham in the battle of the Robins as only two points separate the teams in the Vanarama National League North. Jody Banim’s side have won two of their last three league games, but their opponents have been boosted by the loan extension of promising youngster Owen Dale.

The hosts won their last home game convincingly against Alfreton Town but, with a fit and healthy squad, the visitors know that they can come away with the three points. Banim knows his side will be in for a battle on Saturday and when speaking about the fixture, he said 'Altrincham is a tough tough game for us. Altrincham are a good side, as we saw last season, and they have got good players. We need to pick ourselves up.'

The sides met three times last season, once in the cup and twice in the league. Banim’s side failed to win any of the three matches, with the league clashes ending in a 3-3 draw and a 3-2 victory for Altrincham. Ashton lost the cup match on penalties so will be looking for revenge this time around. A victory for Banim’s men will see them leapfrog their opponents in the league table as the fight to avoid slipping down into a relegation battle intensifies.

Both sides’ FA Cup adventures were cut short earlier this month, with Ashton narrowly losing to Southport and Altrincham being defeated by Stockport County."


The Altrincham FC official site reports that "Smart Storage’s latest Christmas Toy Appeal is about to hit the streets of Altrincham, and The J.Davidson Stadium has been chosen for its launch this the home game against Ashton United, which they are sponsoring, and are hoping as many Robins fans as possible are able to bring a toy or gift with them to drop off inside the ground before kick-off and give the initiative a bumper start". For more details, please follow the above link.


The Hallmark Security League reports that Ashley Stott has moved from Charnock Richard to Daisy Hill.

As reported yesterday, ex-Alty man Jerome Wright has moved from Ramsbottom United to Hyde United and now the EvoStik League confirms that "Ramsbottom United have confirmed the departures of six players plus goalkeeping coach Andy Robertson". In addition to Wright's move "Ben Deegan, Phil Dean and Tom Brooks have also left the club...The club will be making a further statement in the next few days.'

Mark Fell resigned as manager at the start of October to take the job at Lancaster and was replaced by Chris Willcock".


According to the Hereford Times, "Hereford FC have brought in attacking midfielder Tom Owen-Evans ahead of their trip to Boston United. The former Bristol City Academy youngster made 50 senior appearances for Newport County. Owen-Evans left Scottish Championship side Falkirk earlier this week.

Hereford Head Coach Marc Richards told the Hereford FC official website 'I know Tom pretty well and when we had the opportunity to take him it was a bit of a no-brainer. We’ll add quality, we’ll add goals, we’ll add that attacking threat [with his arrival], he’s an exciting player and I think the fans will enjoy seeing him play. He’s a bit all-action, he plays in midfield, but probably more attacking midfield, he likes to get forward and make things happen, he likes to score goals, but can also do the more ugly side of it when needed.

'He’s also a really good character, I’m really excited in having him in the changing room and getting the boys going.' Earlier this week the Bulls signed triallists James Roberts and Tommy O’Sullivan. "

Bulls' News adds that "National League bosses are monitoring the situation at Nuneaton Town with the club's future in doubt. Earlier this month, the owner of Nuneaton's Liberty Way stadium Norman Smurthwaite, who also owns Port Vale, said time was running out to find a new board in time for the National League board meeting on November 1. Smurthwaite can't own two clubs at once as it would be in breach of FA rules, but he is trying to find a new owner.

Stoke-on-TrentLive reports that the league has asked the club to provide evidence of who the current owner is as former chairman Lee Thorne [is] saying he no longer owns Boro Leisure Limited, the club’s parent company...

Boro boss Nicky Eaden had nothing but praise [for] everyone connected with the club. 'Let’s not mess about, last week was a tough week for all of us,' Eaden said. 'I’ve had some frank discussions with the players about the future here and it has been more than hard but to see the effort they put in last week, plus the support they got, it was great to see... I know the result wasn’t great, it was a bad defeat, but we gave it everything out there and the fans came to see that. We will need more of that going forward this season.'

Nuneaton face a tough-looking trip to Stockport County tomorrow, which could be their last game if a new owner isn't found. Should the worst happen and Nuneaton not meet the league's demands, their results will be expunged - similar to what happened to Hereford United in 2014".

Nuneaton are due at Altrincham next Tuesday night.

Boston United report that they "have completed the initial month-long loan signing of Salford City defender James Jones. The towering 19-year-old, who played 15 times for Chester FC in the National League last season, has arrived at The Jakemans Stadium on a youth loan basis... and arrives with fellow defender Ben Middleton beginning a three-match ban."

According to the National League, "Marcus Bignot has warned the rest that Guiseley are really starting to get things right now in the National League North. The Lions face title chasers Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday having won three of their last four league games.

There’s been FA Cup progress too in that time. They will earn £12,500 after the BBC confirmed their match with Cambridge is set for single-camera coverage...

'We were absolutely delighted,' said Bignot in the Yorkshire Post. 'We are now getting results and and are getting performances. We have back-to-back home games and an opportunity to follow up the Brackley result and in the league. If you get back-to-back wins, it is massive and changes how a league looks,' he added".

Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC forward Matty Hughes has had an operation on his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The 26-year-old suffered the injury during the Blues 3-0 win over Hereford FC at the Swansway Chester Stadium last month...

Hughes, who rejoined the Blues from Chorley over the summer for a third spell with the club, is facing potentially missing the rest of the season... Hughes believes it will be at least six months before he is able to kick a ball again but took comfort from the support shown by both the football club and the bosses in his day job, a labourer in heavy duty which sees him work with concrete.

He said, 'The small positive is that I get to spend more time with the family and with the kids but I can't deny that the injury has shocked me. I'm pretty devastated about it all. The football club have been supportive. The managers want me to be in and around the squad as much as possible and I'll be there with the boys as part of the team throughout this season and giving them the backing... I've never had a serious injury and now I'm going to miss the rest of the season just when I was starting to play my best football. I felt I was absolutely flying so this has come at the worst possible time.'"

Also from Chester FC we learn that the club is "delighted to announce the signing of forward Emmanuel Dieseruvwe on a one-month loan deal from Salford City. The 23-year-old Leeds born forward won the National League North title last season under Blues' Joint Managers, Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, and has scored three goals in 26 games for the Ammies.

He arrived from Kidderminster Harriers at the Peninsula Stadium back in May 2017, and has football league experience with Chesterfield and Mansfield Town... Anthony Johnson said, 'Myself and Bernard are delighted to bring him in for a month to help ease the pressure on Anthony (Dudley) and Deane (Smalley). Mani won the league last season so has the requisite experience that we’re looking for'".

FC United of Manchester state that "Ahead of Saturday’s game, new FC United manager Neil Reynolds now has his backroom staff in place after joining the club from Bamber Bridge. Jamie Milligan and Mike Faulkner are the two new additions to the team as they join as Assistant Manager and Head of Player Development & Analysis, respectively.

Milligan, who is a UEFA A qualified coach, started his playing career for Everton in the Premier League before turning out for Blackpool in the Football League... Most recently he has been a player coach at Bamber Bridge and runs the Milligan & McCann football academy in Lytham St Annes with Gavin McCann.

On his two new additions to the coaching team, Reynolds said 'Over the last few years Jamie has taken his UEFA badges and developed his coaching and now runs his own academy... Mike and I have grown up together and go back 25 years. He is someone I trust completely. He is a Level 2 coach, has a deep knowledge of football and knows everyone in the game. Mike will be spending time working one-to-one with players on specific areas to develop them.'

Elsewhere, David Chadwick will remain at the club in a new role as Head of Coaching after being interim manager since the departure of Tom Greaves earlier on in the season".


The National League tells us that "The BBC’s single-camera coverage matches for FA Cup First Round weekend have been announced. After yesterday confirming the live games, there have been a number of matches moved to the Sunday. This gives clubs an extra financial boost and added exposure, with £12,500 heading to all sides selected.

Weston-super-Mare’s match with Wrexham is one of the game[s] moved back a day. Hitchin Town’s tie at home to National League Solihull Moors is also picked, as is Chorley's match with League One Doncaster Rovers.

Alfreton Town['s] tie with Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town will also be on the Sunday. Shrewsbury Town’s game against current National League leaders Salford City has also made the cut, alongside Guiseley’s game with Cambridge United".

26 October 2018


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Phil Parkinson was left ruing a missed opportunity after Altrincham failed to capitalise on a dominant first-half performance and bowed out of the FA Cup at Edgeley Park on Saturday.

Despite being camped in their opponents’ half for 40 minutes, Alty could not find a way through and were up against it when Stockport County went in front from their first scoring opportunity just before half time.

Right: Andy White in the match at Stockport on Saturday.

A second goal late on booked County’s place in the first round proper, much to the frustration of Alty boss Parkinson, who said 'When you are playing as well as we were in the first half, you have to make it count. We absolutely dominated them and should have scored but, when they went ahead against the run of play, you could feel it was going to work in their favour. It knocked the wind out of our sails, and it was hard to go again after that and perform to the same level. That was still the big disappointment, though, not getting anywhere near the heights we reached in the first half.

'We spurned some good chances, and when that happens you are always susceptible to a sucker punch.'

A storming performance from full-back Andy White [right] and remarkable turnout of 652 travelling Alty fans were the two bright spots for Parkinson, whose side returns to league action at home to Ashton United on Saturday.

'Andy was outstanding,' he said. 'Everyone is seeing this season what he is about. He is a top full-back, and that is why I fought so hard to get him to this club. He was brilliant for me at Nantwich, and he will be a brilliant player for Altrincham. I can’t praise our supporters enough; talk about travelling in numbers. That’s an away support that would be the envy of clubs at a higher level than us and, once again, they did their level best to make it feel like a home game for us.

'They were brilliant and I’m just sorry we couldn’t give them the result they deserved. We are all devastated, but congratulations Stockport and we wish them all the best in the next round.'"


According to NL Daily "Hyde United have announced the signing of Jerome Wright [right] from Ramsbottom. The former FC United of Manchester player adds experience and competition for places. Wright plays across the midfield but can also slot in at left-back. He made 400 appearances for FC United, scoring 82 goals before joining Altrincham for a brief spell prior to the 2017/18 season. He signed for the Rams at the beginning of the 17/18 season, making 45 appearances and scoring 18 goals."


The National League reports that "There will be two National League clubs on show in the FA Cup First Round weekend. Following the draw, the two broadcasts [broadcasters] have picked these live matches.

At lunchtime on Saturday November 10, Maidenhead United’s home match with Portsmouth will be shown on BT Sport. Then on Monday, a fourth live game of the weekend comes to TV. Hampton & Richmond Borough’s home match with Oldham Athletic will be broadcast, kick-off 7.45pm. The FA’s live broadcast fee is £75,000 per club, while the winners will bank a cheque for a further £36,000 from the FA prize fund.

There will be a feast of football with two other games shown. AFC Wimbledon’s game with Haringey Borough will be on the BBC on the Friday night, with Sunderland’s trip to Port Vale on the Sunday".


The National League informs us that "Solihull Moors have secured the services of one of the National League North’s most highly-rated strikers. Leamington forward Matty Stenson arrives at the club for an undisclosed fee. He signs an 18-month contract.

The 24-year-old has six league goals already and he makes the short move, having won the Player of the Month for August... 'I’ve been quite excited over these last few weeks,' said the forward, who has been added to Tim Flowers’s striking options. 'The club’s going in the right direction. I’ve met with the gaffer, the assistant and Mark Fogarty and they’ve really sold it to me, where they want to go and what their plan is, so I’m looking forward to it. Everyone wants to play as high as they can, so I’m going to come into the National League and hopefully carry it on. I can’t wait to go out there and show what I can do.'"

The National League summarises recent activity at Edgar Street, which is Altrincham's next away destination, a week on Saturday. The National League confirms confirming that "Hereford have signed two and moved two on, and that is unlikely to be the end of the Edgar Street movement this week. The Bulls have signed James Roberts and Tommy O’Sullivan, while midfielders Jordan Lam and Jamie Bird have been allowed to leave.

New manager Marc Richards is re-shaping the side with Hereford winless since August. The club said in a statement they 'expect to make another one or two signings before the end of the week'.

Roberts is a striker who spent two years in the Oxford United youth set up before signing his first pro-contract for the Us in May 2014. He has also spent time on loan with Chester, Oxford City, Barnet, Stalybridge and Guiseley. The 22-year-old has featured in the Football League, National League, National League North and National League South. Most recently the front-man has featured for Halesowen Town in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central, and has scored eight times for the Yeltz so far this season so far.

Also arriving at Edgar Street is midfielder Tommy O’Sullivan. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder has featured for Championship side Cardiff City where he played in the FA Cup and Capital One Cup. He has also featured for Newport County and Port Vale. O’Sullivan has been training with the Bulls for the last couple of weeks and featured as a trialist during the recent training game versus Cinderford Town."

York Press reports that "York City boss Sam Collins wants his team to underline their promotion potential during a 'really important week' for the club. The ninth-placed Minstermen kick off a Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday schedule this weekend with a trip to Telford, who lie two positions above them.

Tuesday night then sees Collins’s men visit fourth-placed Spennymoor, before Bradford Park Avenue, in third, visit Bootham Crescent four days later.

City’s previous matches this season against teams currently in the top seven have resulted in a draw against Brackley (0-0) and defeats to Chorley (1-0) and Kidderminster (3-0), but Collins, who has won six, drawn three and lost one of his ten games in charge, believes the team are now in better shape ahead of the hat-trick of consecutive clashes against higher-placed clubs.

He said, 'We know this is a really important week, with Telford, Spennymoor and Bradford Park Avenue all a little bit higher than us in the table. We’re looking forward to it and, first, we’ve got to come away with a really good result from Telford. We’ve worked really hard over the last ten weeks to put ourselves where we are now and know two or three strong results will put us in a good position. We know we are capable of giving anybody a really good game and, even in the defeat to Kidderminster, we caused them a hell of a lot of problems but didn’t take our chances and we’ve learned and improved a lot since then.

'Barring injury, I’ve got a plan for what can get us through the three games and we are lucky with the options we have got, because we can go with pace, big players, technical skill or two up front, so we can change whatever we need to do from game to game.'

Telford take on the Minstermen having only taken two points from a possible 15 in the league, but Collins is not underestimating the Shropshire outfit, adding 'They started the season really well. Recent results wouldn’t have been what they wanted, but they’ve got some decent players and it will be a tough game. They’ve also been playing a couple of really, interesting formations, so we will be trying to think of ways to cause them problems.'

Wes York has suffered an adverse reaction to an insect bite on his leg this week, but Collins is hoping he will be available at the New Buck's Head Stadium, declaring 'Wes is a really important member of the group, because he gives us something completely different.'

Scottish attacker Alex Harris, meanwhile, is set to make his seventh successive start since his move from Falkirk, although Collins is unable to reveal the terms of his Bootham Crescent contract, simply pointing out 'He’s done great for us and is a good kid, whose always practicing his free kicks, his finishing and doing his fitness work.'

First-year professional Harry Thompson, meanwhile, will be in Billingham Town’s squad for their home clash against Heaton Stannington, having joined the Northern League second division side on loan, with Collins set to monitor his progress closely. 'Harry can play in the under-19 games, but you can’t beat experiencing men’s football at his age', the City chief declared. 'He will be playing with lads who are trying to pick up their £50 win bonus, because that’s really important to them and it’s good to experience that environment. There’s also a big difference in Billingham’s infrastructure and training ground to what he is used to here and he’s got to think about how much he wants to be a York City player. Players at this level would do well to get a better place than York City, because some of the facilities are Championship standard, not National League North, especially with the new stadium coming along.

'He will experience things at Billingham that he has never done before and he’ll be playing against lads who have been at that level for 15 years, so it’s a question of how you can deal with that. If you can’t, then you’re no good to me. We’ll make sure we watch him and keep contact with him and, if he takes everything on board and does well, there’s always the opportunity to come back here and progress, because I will always put young players in if they’re ready.'"

25 October 2018


NL Daily reports from Altrincham FC that the club has "extended the loan of talented youngster Owen Dale [right] for another month from his parent club Crewe Alexandra.

Dale has played ten matches since joining the club, scoring one goal and providing three assists in 632 minutes of football in the red and white shirt. After making his debut in the 3-0 win over Darlington, the 19-year-old immediately impressed with his work rate, pace and technical ability, and the club say they look forward to seeing more goals and assists from him over the next month".


On Saturday (27th October), Alty welcome Ashton United to the J. Davidson Stadium. Alty's last home game on the 2th October was in 2001 in the FA Cup when Alty beat higher-ranked Nuneaton Borough (who coincidentally visit Moss Lane next Tuesday). Alty won the 2001 game, a Fourth Qualifying Round match, 3-0. For full details of games on this date see Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data.

Altrincham went into the 2001 game with a very thin squad, both as a result of the Club's financial restraints and because of injuries. Nuneaton had never beaten Altrincham in a Cup match before today's game and that record was to continue.

Rod Thornley nets the first goal against Nuneaton.

The first half of this game had everything; two penalties, a sending-off controversy and plenty of goalmouth action. Stuart Coburn produced some magnificent saves, even keeping out a penalty, to keep Alty in the game. Although Nuneaton had numerous corners and attacks, Alty had their moments and took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Hulme was fouled in the box and Nuneaton defender Michael Love was sent off. Thornley scored well from the spot. Two goals in as many minutes killed off Nuneaton. First, Hulme finished superbly after 61 minutes before Thornley went round keeper MacKenzie for the third. Altrincham rode out the remainder of the game without too many alarms as Nuneaton rued their scorned first-half chances.


The website has been advised of the death of longstanding Altrincham supporter Brian Pikesley, in Wythenshawe Hospital on Thursday, 20th September 2018 at the age of 88. Condolences go to his son, Barry, and the other members of his family. Brian began supporting the Robins in 1971 and was a season ticket holder in the main stand, with a seat located just in front of the press box, until he ceased attending matches in 2002.

The arrangements for his funeral are as follows:

  • Venue: Altrincham Crematorium, Whitehouse Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 5RH;
  • Date: Tuesday, 30th October 2018;
  • Time: 11:30am.

Anyone who knew Brian is more than welcome to attend the service.


The Shropshire Star informs us that "Steph Morley believes this AFC Telford side is one of the most united he has been a part of. Morley recently returned to action following several weeks out with a calf problem. But the 31-year-old left-back insists the camaraderie in the squad helped keep him in good spirits while he was unable to play.

'I’ve played in lots of teams, as I’m 31 now, and in this team there’s no bad eggs,' said Morley. 'It’s one of the strongest squads I’ve been in as well. We could field any 11 and it’s be strong. It’s good to have that competition. The team spirit is class. Everyone mixes together, there’s no cliques. Everyone feels involved, whether they’re in the starting 11, on the bench or even not in the squad. Sometimes you can have players sulking if they’re not playing but there’s none of that here. We all know we won’t play every minute of every game but we support each other.'”

Alty's next away trip is to Edgar Street from where Hereford FC report that "Following discussions at training last night, both Jordan Lam and Jamie Bird have been allowed to leave Edgar Street in order to find first-team football. Bulls' Head of Football, Tim Harris, spoke to the official website about the decision. 'We’ve had a good look at all of the players since Marc and I arrived, and we both feel that it is in the best interests of Jamie and Jordan that they go and find first-team football... It is a tough decision, but we want to look to do what is best for both the players and the club. It certainly isn’t a case of the door being slammed shut. If they can go away and get a good number of games under their belt, then the door will be open for a possible return if the circumstances are right'".

From Chester Live we learn that "In terms of priorities this season the Cheshire Senior Cup is pretty low down the list for Chester FC. But they progressed to the first round of the competition at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Tuesday night as Craig Mahon's strike and a Gary Roberts penalty five minutes from time saw them claim a 2-1 win over Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Witton Albion .

Chester named a strong starting XI... And, while the performance itself was far from vintage stuff and the game descended into a pretty turgid affair in the second half, it was a welcome run out for the Blues.

Chester first-team coach Derek Egan said 'It was a good exercise for us to get some minutes into some of the legs out there having not been in a competitive match for a couple of weeks. From that point of view, it was a good run out for us. I don’t think we’re really happy in terms of the way it went. We sort of lost our tempo in the second half. I thought we played well in the first half and knocked it around well and played with a decent tempo until about the 35th minute.

'They started to get into it then, but I think it was more down to us rather than them stopping us, I think we just stopped playing. We lost our tempo and that’s our game really, both in possession and out of possession, playing with a high tempo. It is tough coming back and that’s why this game was good for us to get some of lads some minutes in their legs. After a couple of weeks out, you lose that momentum and we’ve been in a good place really, so from that point of view, it was disappointing to have that break.'

The game allowed the likes of Jon Moran, Dominic Smalley and Anthony Dudley the chance to get some playing time after recovering from injuries and all three are set to feature when the Blues host Alfreton Town in the National League North on Saturday (3pm).

The Reds have added Southport midfielder David Lynch for an undisclosed fee this week and are also set to add to their striking options. Egan says the Blues have done their homework on Billy Heath's side and doesn't think that the enforced break will have killed the momentum they built up in the league that propelled them into the play-off places after their 3-0 home win over Hereford earlier in the month, the last time they played in the league.

Egan said, 'We’ve seen them play. I think we know what to expect from them. There’s whispers of another couple of players coming in for the weekend as well. But, if we concentrate on what we’re good at, both in possession and out of possession, especially at home we should be okay'...

[As for the CSC] 'You make one or two changes, you try one or two things out, you play one or two players maybe in positions that you want to have a look at them in and it doesn’t quite work always'".

Confirmation of earlier news comes from the National League to the effect that "Alfreton Town have announced the signing of frontman Reece Styche for an undisclosed fee. It comes after the Gibraltar international announced he was leaving Darlington last week and the prolific striker now links up with the Reds.

The forward scored 21 goals in the National League North last season and already has five to his name this campaign. Speaking to the club's website, Billy Heath says he knows exactly what he is getting with Styche.

'We are delighted to have signed Reece, he is another experienced addition to the squad and he has always scored goals. He’s always scored goals at whatever level he has played and especially at this level. He had a big impact on Darlington and he will bring goals to us and added quality to the squad. Reece is another competitor and it’s a big signing for us and a quality addition'".

At Southport, "After victory over Ashton United to secure a coveted place in the Emirates FA Cup first round, the Port know how important it is to use the motivation from the game to secure a much-needed league win. The 2-1 victory against league rivals shows Liam Watson’s side are capable of getting the results and with two home games in four days, it provides an perfect opportunity to secure valuable points.

On Saturday the lads in Old Gold come up against a team who knows too well how positive a run in the cup can be for a club, as the Merseyrail Community Stadium welcomes Blyth Spartans. The Green Army are also suffering a tough league campaign so far, sitting only three points off Southport in 19th. The Spartans won’t be having a successful Emirates FA Cup run this season though, as they lost against York at the weekend to see them crash out.

Victories have been difficult to gather for Alun Armstrong’s side, with only three so far. One victory does stand out, a massive 8-1 win over Chester... A 2-1 win over Altrincham and 1-0 win over Telford are the Spartans only other victories... Their form will have to see an upturn if they are going to replicate last season’s tenth place finish.

Manager Armstrong has done a good job so far at the club, leading the Northumberland outfit to the league title in his first season after being appointed in 2016. This is his first big rocky patch, with Liam Watson being able to sympathise with him. Saturday can be seen as another six pointer. If Southport lose, the gap between relegation and safety could be up to six points."

And the Bolton News tells us that "Wanderers have allowed development squad midfielder Marcus Wood to join Southport on loan. The 20-year-old joins the Conference North club until January 2 after impressing during a behind-closed-doors friendly against Huddersfield Town. The combative former Manchester City midfielder earned a one-year professional deal after a good summer with David Lee’s Under-23s and has featured nine times this season.

Southport boss Liam Watson said 'We’re really excited to attract a player of Marcus’s quality, he’s a young lad with enormous talent and we’re delighted he’s signed... We’re still looking to strengthen the squad. We’ve highlighted a number of players who we want to add, Marcus being one of them'".

We learn from the Boston Standard that "Poland international keeper Sebastian Malkowski has three games to convince Craig Elliott he should be Boston United’s number one. The 31-year-old, whom Elliott attempted to sign from Frickley last season, joined the Pilgrims last week and was expected to be George Willis’s understudy.

However, the former Lechia Gdańsk and Bytovia Bytów stopper, who earned a full international cap for his country against Lithuania in 2011, was handed a late debut during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Darlington following Willis’s red card. And with Willis and defender Ben Middleton both preparing to serve three-match bans after being sent off in that game, Malkowski has an instant chance to impress.

'He’s been a top keeper over the last two or three seasons for Frickley,' Elliott said. 'I tried to get him last year but we couldn’t agree a deal. He’s been training with us for three weeks and done really well.'

Malkowski has recently returned from an ACL injury, playing three times this season for Wombwell Town. While Elliott has been full of praise for skipper Willis, who has kept five clean sheets so far this campaign, he is pleased to have an established back-up as Boston host Hereford on Saturday (KO 3pm) and Brackley on Tuesday (KO 7.45pm) before travelling to face Ashton United the following weekend.

'George was fully aware he was still my number one. George has been fantastic for us on and off the pitch,' Elliott added. 'But it’s funny how things work out in football and now Seb has got three games to show what he can do. It’s a bit of a baptism of fire with Hereford and Brackley at home, but he’s a good keeper.'”


The National League reports from Barrow that "A club statement from the Texan [owner, Paul Casson] has informed supporters of changes at Holker Street.

'After careful consideration, it is time for me to end my ownership of Barrow AFC,' he said. 'The plan was for this to take a bit more time but, when Paul Hornby stepped up to take over, I knew it was right. Hopefully, the timing is correct that my time as chairman of Barrow AFC should now come to a close. It is unfortunate that the final decision follows Saturday's painful defeat, but there are moments in time that are precipitated by events, and perhaps this is one. This was most likely going to be our final year and so we had been planning a suitable transition.

'My feeling now is that it’s execution should come sooner than later, in order for new leadership to get up and running in time for planning the second half of the season and next year. I will dispense with all the normal self congratulatory cliches, history will decide if our custodianship had merit or not. It is time for the town and the club's supporters to embrace the new path forward, guided by Paul Hornby. His vision is, I believe, one that is worthy of support, but I will leave it to him to spell that out. It feels like the right transition at the right time.

'Running a football club is interesting. It is something akin to a combination of spiritual adulation, married to a perpetual public flogging. It is however, addictive in that it is rarely boring, and there are always many subjects for debate. It is far more complex than I ever imagined. Paul has already seen a lot of the mistakes we made in close proximity and so hopefully he will begin with an advantage.' He added 'As time passes, I will realise how much I truly loved the experience, though it is a little soon for that at the moment.'"

24 October 2018


Ashton United visit Altrincham next Saturday. Action from their last outing, an FA Cup defeat at Southport last Saturday can be viewed on here.


As he returns to fitness, Altrincham centre-back Ben Harrison (right) made his debut for neighbours Trafford on Tuesday night, having joined the Shawe View club on dual registration arrangements. He would have known several of his team-mates as Trafford's starters included Darius Palma and the bench included Sam Heathcote and Laurence Taylor. Another former Robin, Aaron Burns, scored the second goal in Trafford's 2-0 away win at Chasetown.


Bulls' News has the latest attendance data for the National League North which shows Altrincham lying tenth, with our visitors next Saturday, Ashton United, bottom despite a huge percentage increase in their home attendnaces.


In Tuesday's replay to decide who would play Morecambe in Round One, the result was:
    • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Warrington Town

    Before Tuesday night's replay, the EvoStik League reported that "The Yellows held their National League opponents to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, with many concluding that they deserved victory with a terrific performance... Warrington are the last EVO-STIK League representative in the competition after Marine, Witton Albion and Kidsgrove Athletic bowed out at the weekend.

    The Yellows famously beat Exeter City 1-0 in 2014, the first and only time they have ever reached the first round proper, before losing to Gateshead in the second round."


    More on a story reported here yesterday comes from the NL Paper which tells us that "Southport have terminated the contracts of Mike Phenix and Zac Corbett with immediate effect due to 'serious issues' involving the two players.

    Striker Phenix, 29, re-joined Southport in the summer from Salford City while Corbett signed from FC United of Manchester. But their time at the National League North club has been cut short with Phenix announcing his retirement from the game.

    On his Instagram, Phenix posted, 'Unfortunately it’s not good news. Let’s see what life after football is all about'... And then, replying to a comment on why he has hung up his boots, he responded, 'Been tested for a so called sports enancement.'"

    A former Alty midfielder is on the move from Southport who report that the club "can announce that David Lynch [left] has completed a transfer to fellow National League North side, Alfreton Town for an undisclosed fee.

    Making 34 appearances in the league and half-a-dozen in cup competitions, the current Captain has been at the club for just short of twelve months...

    As part of the agreement, the 25 year-old will not be able to feature for the Reds against Southport this season. An announcement on the new Club Captain and Vice Captain will be made in due course."

    From the other side, Alfreton Town tell us that "Alfreton Town are delighted to confirm the signing of midfielder David Lynch from Southport, for an undisclosed fee. David started his career at Burnley and has featured at Clitheroe FC, Altrincham and FC Halifax Town.

    Lynch played 31 times for the Shaymen after signing from Altrincham, including 13 appearances in the National League during the 2017-18 campaign. David would then move to Southport in November 2017 for an undisclosed fee, where the current Port captain made 34 appearances in the league. Lynch has made nine starts so far this season for Southport.

    Billy Heath on signing David [said] 'David is a brilliant central midfield player, he’s a great competitor all over the pitch and he works really hard. He is very experienced, he’s been promoted from this league before and it will add more experience to us, it’s another strong addition to the squad and another quality signing. We are delighted to have him here.'”

    Back at Haig Avenue, Southport, "Following the signing of Morgan Homson-Smith last month, the club are proud to announce that the young attacking player has signed a full-time contract to May 2020. Originally signing non-contract forms from the Football Development Agency (FDA) Academy, in recent weeks during training and matches, Liam Watson has seen enough to offer him a permanent deal.

    On the new deal, Liam said, 'He has a bright future ahead and has already created a strong bond with the fans.'”

    Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC joint-manager Anthony Johnson isn't expecting to be able to bolster his strike force in the wake of Matty Hughes's season-ending injury.

    The Blues were landed a blow last week when scans revealed that Hughes had torn his anterior cruciate ligament during the 3-0 win over Hereford FC at the start of the month and was likely to need surgery, with a six to nine-month lay-off expected.

    That means that Hughes, in his third spell with Chester after joining from Chorley in the summer, is set to miss the remainder of the National League North season.

    And with the striker looking back to his best prior to his injury and getting himself among the goals, his absence will hurt the Blues and limit the options of Johnson and co-boss Bernard Morley to just Anthony Dudley and Deane Smalley as out and out strikers, although there will likely be the chance for Academy prospect Lloyd Marsh-Hughes to stake a claim...

    'The budget is the budget and we are at the limit with it now so there isn't anything we can do in that respect,' said Johnson, who confirmed that Dan Mooney had extended his loan deal with the club from League One side Fleetwood Town until the end of the season.

    'We're managers and we're always looking and obviously we'd like to bring in another striker because of Matty's injury, and we have an idea who we would like, but we were happy with the recruitment we made and that still stands. This is one of those unfortunate occasions which you can't really plan for.

    'If you would have asked us before Matty's injury then I don't think we would have looked to add anything in that department because we felt we had everything we needed in Matty, Duds (Anthony Dudley) and Deane. But now we have just Duds and Deane we'll have to keep our fingers crossed that we don't suffer any major setbacks injury wise with them as it could really affect us.

    'But we have some great options in attacking areas with the likes of Mahony (Craig Mahon), Dan Mooney, John Pritchard, Luke Jordan and Iwan Murray so we have that creativity, and then we have George Green who is making good progress to come into the mix.

    'Injuries happen in football and we'll just have to cope and manage as best we can. We've had plenty thrown at us in the first two or three months but we are a point outside the play-offs and have two games in hand on the teams above us. We've lost twice in 11 games so we've shown we've got plenty about us as a group...

    'Matty was flying and he was looking sharp and looking like he was going to be a massive player for us,' said Johnson".

    We learn from the Boston Standard that ex-Alty loanee "Striker Jonny Margetts [right] has joined Gainsborough Trinity on a three-month loan deal.

    The former Lincoln City and Tranmere Rovers attacker has fallen out of favour at Boston United following his summer move, with manager Craig Elliott telling Margetts he was free to find another club. Margetts, who has made four starts and two appearances off the bench for the Pilgrims but is yet to score, will link up with the Holy Blues for a third time.

    He has had two previous loan spells at Trinity when on the books of Hull City."

    Lincolnshire Live adds that "Jonny Margetts is back at Gainsborough Trinity after joining the Blues from county rivals Boston United on a three-month loan deal. The former Lincoln City striker joined the Pilgrims in the summer following his release by Scunthorpe United.

    Margetts arrived at the Jakemans Stadium along with fellow ex-Imps players Adam Marriott and Nathan Arnold, but all three have now left the club. Marriott recently joined King’s Lynn, while Arnold departed by mutual consent earlier this month.

    Margetts [is] no stranger to the Northolme having enjoyed two previous spells at the club. And Trinity boss Lee Sinnott knows all about Margetts having managed the player at Altrincham.

    'I worked with Jonny for a month when I was at Altrincham,' recalled Sinnott. 'He's a bright forward who works angles to get shots away. He's aggressive in the way he wants to score goals. He's hungry and still only 25 years of age. He has a good pedigree and he'll supplement what we have already really well.'"

    Bescot Banter confirms that left-back Callum Cockerill-Mollett has returned after making just two appearances for AFC Telford United.

    23 October 2018


    Promoted alongside Altrincham last season, Ashton United are the visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday. Altrincham and Ashton met twice at Moss Lane last season, both times the game being on a Tuesday night.

    And taking into account the away league fixture, spectators saw a remarkable 24 goals in the three meetings between the clubs last season!

    Thirteen of those goals came on 17 October, 2017, when Altrincham squeezed through 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in the Integro Cup. Harrop, Peers and Walsh netted in normal time before penalties were converted by Harrop, Densmore, Davis and Omotola.

    The most recent clash at the JDS was in the league match on 6 February 2018. 3-0 up with eight minutes to play, Altrincham were on the verge of a comfortable and deserved three points. Jordan Hulme had cleverly netted the third Alty goal with a run along the byline in the 72nd minute only for him, and injured centre-back James Jones, to be subbed a minute later.

    So, left-back Connor Hampson, who had played well, was shifted to centre-back and it was he who conceded an 82nd minute penalty against Evangelinos, which Aaron Chalmers converted to prompt the visitors' revival. Then, in added time, Max Harrop's foul led to Pritchard hitting a superb freekick against the underside of the bar before Alty then blocked a follow-up on the goal-line. But, just a minute later, a Ben Harrison foul on the front edge of the box, gave Pritchard another freekick and this time he beat Tony Thompson and the crossbar to make it 3-2, which became the final score.

    In the first half Altrincham had made an impressive start with Harrop scoring a fine 25-yard goal after just ninety seconds. Then James Poole's header from a Hampson cross had made it 2-0 after just 15 minutes. Ashton came a little more into the game in the second half but Hulme's goal seemed to have wrapped up proceedings before Alty's lapses allowed Ashton to make the outcome much closer than it should have been.

    Last season Ashton United had at least seven players with Altrincham connections. Player-manager Jody Banim, player-coach Simon Woodford, ex-loanee Liam Tomsett, ex-trialist Aaron Chalmers, keeper Josh Ollerenshaw, Cavell Coo and Mark Lees had all turned out for Altrincham previously as had Ryan Crowther, who was sadly long-term injured.

    The sides for the 2017 league match were -

    ALTRINCHAM 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Sean MILLER, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Sam SHERIDAN, 20. Cameron TERRY

    ASHTON UNITED 1. Dave Carnell, 2. Cavell Coo, 3. John Pritchard, 4. Josh Granite, 5. Aaron Chalmers, 6. John Roberts, 7. Mark Lees (c), 8. Liam Tomsett 9. Matthew Chadwick, 10. Daniel Mooney, 11. Nic Evangelinos. Subs 12. Jamie Hinchliffe, 14. Richard Smith, 15 Alex Johnson, 16. Nicky Platt, 17. Josh Ollerenshaw.

    The away league match, on 24 February 2018, ended 3-3, with Alty pegged back three times after going ahead.

    Ashton's most recent match this season was last Saturday when they, like Alty, bowed out of the FA Cup. The Tameside Reporter reports on that game saying that "Southport put an end to Ashton’s FA Cup adventure and therefore denied them a [first] place in the First Round proper since the 1950s.

    Luke Ashworth continued as stand-in centre forward for the Robins who welcomed back Luke Pilling in goal and Matty Chadwick on the wing.

    Unfortunately for the visitors they fell behind after just three minutes as the ball was returned from the right touchline allowing Devarn Green to make space for a shot which was deflected on its way through to Bradley Bauress who was left with an open goal... Sam Sheridan then blocked Bauress’s shot after Liam Tomsett had miscontrolled a clearance and at the other end Ashton’s first effort on goal saw Ashworth’s header from Chadwick’s cross tipped over by Hanford...

    The Robins were relieved to reach the interval just one goal down...

    Right at the start of the second period Chadwick’s cross- shot just evaded Ashworth at the far post and Sheridan’s free kick bounced across the goal before being cleared for a corner. Within eight minutes Southport’s captain David Lynch was dismissed for pulling back Sheridan and receiving a second booking and nine minutes later the visitors drew level as Sheridan fired home from 25 yards after Astles had blocked Chadwick...

    The game was now up for grabs and Sheridan was given a clear run on goal by Chadwick’s pass but put his effort past the far post but the decisive moment arrived as a ball into the box saw Morgan win a header, the ball dropping for Green to sweep it into the far corner".

    Mike Garnett summarises the record against Ashton United:

    • Home: P34-W22-D5-L7-F103-A55
    • Away: P33-W10-D8-L15-F61-A83
    • All: P67-W32-D13-L22-F164-A138


    The FA Cup First Round draw has pitted Altrincham's conquerors, Stockport County, against Yeovil Town, with the match to be played down in Somerset. Selected other northern clubs have come out of the draw as follows...
    • Alfreton Town v Fleetwood Town
    • Chorley v Doncaster Rovers
    • Guiseley v Cambridge United
    • Harrogate Town or Wrexham v Cambridge United
    • Maidstone Utd v Macclesfield Town
    • Morecambe v FC Halifax Town
    • Shrewsbury Town v Salford City
    • Southport v Borehamwood or Dagenham & Redbridge
    • Swindon Town v York City
    • Tranmere Rovers v Hemel Hempstead
    • Weston-super-Mare v Harrogate Town or Wrexham


    Above: Altrincham bade farewell to the FA Cup and to their 600+ supporters at Edgeley Park on Saturday.

    The Altrincham FC official site has a report on Saturday's FA Cup defeat for Altrincham at Stockport County.


    Altrincham FC Ben Harrison, who started all of the first 37 games last season before being sidelined by injury, is to regain fitness at Trafford on dual registration, reports the Altrincham FC official site. Ben is pictured, right, warming up at Stockport last Saturday, followed by Shaun Densmore and Simon Richman, who were both named on the bench.

    Meanwhile, two players with Alty connections are leaving the Shawe View club as Trafford FC tell us "We have a couple of departures to let you know about. Firstly Harry Sheridan has left us. Secondly & very sadly it is with regret that Tom Schofield has also left the club.

    Here are the thoughts of our Gaffer, Tom Baker. 'It’s always tough when lads leave the club but sometimes it has to happen... It has to be what’s right for the club and also the player. Young Harry [an Alty Youth graduate] was sent to us by Phil at Altrincham FC with a view to developing him further and getting him game time but it’s not quite worked out for a few reasons. We wish him all the best in the future and thank Altrincham for continuing a good relationship between our two clubs.

    Tom [a former Alty trialist] really needs to play games to continue his progression since returning to football after a full year out. Currently, we couldn’t get that game time week in week out for him. We all know what a great footballer Tom is but 12 months out is a long time and Tom needs to play week in and week out to get back to his best. I’m sure he will do that.”


    "Southport Football Club have terminated the contracts of Mike Phenix and Zac Corbett with immediate effect. The club has co-operated fully with the relevant authorities regarding separate yet equally serious issues that involve the two players and having a zero tolerance policy towards such issues, there was no other option than to part company. No further comment will be made on this matter."

    From Cheshire Live we learn that "Chester FC have extended the loan deal of winger Dan Mooney to the end of the season. The 19-year-old has been an impressive performer for the Blues so far this season after signing on loan in the summer from Fleetwood Town. He has netted five times in 11 games for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's men this term but was recently recalled for a brief spell to Joey Barton's Cod Army...

    Mooney, who was runner-up in the FA Cup's Goal of the Round competition earlier this month... was signed on loan initially until the start of January, with the Blues having the option to extend if both parties wished... The Blues and Fleetwood have now come to an agreement that will see Mooney remain at the Swansway Chester Stadium on loan for the remainder of the season. Mooney will be able to play for Fleetwood's development side during the loan and the League One side have a recall clause on him.

    Chester are in action in the Cheshire Senior Cup tomorrow night when they welcome Witton Albion".

    According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan admitted Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Curzon Ashton was 'hard to take,' say the Shropshire Star.... 'It’s pretty difficult to put into words and to try to understand, if I’m honest. With the performance last week, how we’ve trained and the detail we’ve gone into. I felt like today was set up for us; the pitch, the way we play, the formation.

    'On tactics I have to hold my hands up a little bit; I anticipated that they’d go slightly differently. Over the last two games they’ve played three different formations and I imagined they’d try and match us up, but they didn’t.'"

    Kidderminster Harriers say that "Ryan Johnson knows full well Harriers 'weren’t good enough' in their defeat to FC United of Manchester on Saturday. Harriers surrendered their unbeaten home start to the season with the 2-1 defeat, despite having taken the lead.

    The concession of two poor goals was compounded by an uncharacteristic response from the home side... Speaking after the game, the defender on loan from Stevenage said, 'It’s a result you never want to accept [because] we conceded two really rubbish goals and we really didn’t come back from it. We knew the circumstances before the game but we said we had to stick through it and get the result, no matter where they are in the league, and we just didn’t do that. Next week we’ll react to that and hopefully get the win. We set high standards for ourselves and [on Saturday] we just weren’t good enough.

    'Once they scored the second goal we really went into our shells and that’s really not like us. It’s the first time that’s happened and it’s not good enough.'”


    Cheshire Live reports that "Former Chester City chairman Stephen Vaughan Jnr says that if anyone wanted to buy Bangor City then they would be willing to listen. The Citizens finished last season in second place in the Welsh Premier League but suffered relegation to the Huws Gray Alliance, the league below, after failing in their bid to obtain a tier one domestic licence for this season .

    In the summer they moved to appoint former boss of The New Saints and Hartlepool United, Craig Harrison, as the new manager at Nantporth with his remit to lead the club back among the elite of domestic Welsh football. But Harrison, who had expressed an interest in the Chester job during the summer prior to the appointment of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, resigned on Friday to take up the post of first team coach at Connah's Quay Nomads under Andy Morrison.

    Bangor were expected to fly out of the traps this season but find themselves falling below expectations and sit fifth after nine games, losing three of them so far despite what Bangor director of football Vaughan Jnr described as a 'massive' budget. And speaking to Bangor City's fan-led podcast 'The Casual Citizen' , Vaughan Jnr said...

    'If somebody wants to buy the club then it is like the manager's position, send in your CV, show the money and then we'll see if VSM will do a deal with them,' said Vaughan Jnr. 'The message is what it always is. You get all this negativity on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, how "He's this, he's that". At the end of the day Monday comes for us every Monday and we are just keeping it going. The message would be that we are just trying to do the best for the club. I think my mum and my sisters and my Mrs would be delighted if someone wanted to come and buy it and buy VSM shares. It's not going to happen is it? We've just got to try and get the club back into the Welsh Premier'.

    With the Huws Gray Alliance season just nine games old for Bangor and Harrison penning a two-year deal in the summer, Vaughan Jnr was at a loss to explain why the former Airbus UK Broughton boss would depart. 'I can't understand it. I don't know why anyone would leave Bangor. He's saying it's because they are practically full-time now, Connah's Quay. It's on his doorstep and takes 15 minutes to get there. I don't think anybody expected the news. Never in a million years did I think he would leave the club to go to Connah's Quay.'

    Son of disgraced former Chester owner and chairman Stephen Vaughan Snr, Vaughan Jnr made 83 appearances over six seasons as a player for Chester. He eventually became chairman of the football club during it's dying embers, with Chester City Football Club folding under the watch of the Vaughan regime in 2010 before Chester FC rose out of the ashes as a fan-owned phoenix club".

    22 October 2018


    Alty's next opponents are Ashton United, who visit the J. Davidson Stadium next Saturday.

    Last Saturday, Ashton bowed out of the FA Cup at Southport, losing 2-1. From Haig Avenue, Southport report that "Devarn Green struck with eight minutes remaining to secure a place in the Emirates FA Cup first round for ten-man Southport... to complete a rollercoaster of an afternoon for Liam Watson’s team, who took an early lead through Brad Bauress before captain [ex-Alty man] David Lynch was sent off at the start of the second half.

    Southport’s progress owed much to a display of fortitude, and they will hope that Green’s late goal, securing a dramatic win and a coveted place in Monday’s draw, provides the platform to kick-start their season. Just as they did against York City the previous weekend, Southport struck early but were unable to extend their lead. By the time Ashton equalised, the Sandgrounders were at a numerical disadvantage and the game looked to be turning.

    Yet whereas seven days earlier, Southport were on the receiving end of a late twist, this was their time to profit. As Regan Ogle launched a long throw into the centre of the penalty area from the left, the second ball was directed into the path of David Morgan at the far post. He did well to reach it under the challenge of Aaron Chalmers, nudging the ball into Green, who was able to swivel and steer home a shot from six yards.

    By grinding out a victory in the face of adversity and with the scenes of celebration that followed, it is the type result that should give Southport the confidence needed to embark on a climb up the Vanarama National League North table...

    Southport proceeded to control the play but they were dealt a setback when Lynch was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Sam Sheridan on 52 minutes. It was Sheridan who drew the visitors level soon after, finding the bottom left-hand corner with a superb strike from 25 yards, but Southport were undeterred... This time it was Southport who had the final say.

    Ashton United (4-4-2): Pilling, Lees, Chalmers, Baines, Regan, Chadwick, Sheridan (Hill 77), Sangha (McHale 83), Jackson, Ashworth, Tomsett. Subs not used: Anghel, Hendes, Martin, Roberts, Howarth.


    As Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's data show in their Through the Years files, next Saturday (October 27th), when Ashton United visit Altrincham, will be only the second time that Alty have played a league match on this date in more than 30 years. The last encounter on 27 October was a 2-1 away defeat at Solihull Moors in 2012 in Blue Square Bet (Conference) North.

    Above: Scott Leather wins an aerial duel at Solihull on 27 October 2012, watched by Jake Moult, Simon Richman and Nicky Clee

    In the 2012 game Alty led till the 88th minute. They had started the game without the injured Hall and Rodgers but led by half time thanks to a well-placed freekick from Densmore (19 mins), after a foul on Reeves. But Altrincham then lost Clee at the interval with Mitchley replacing him.

    With the three points looking safe, Junior English hooked an equaliser into the net for the Moors, following a corner, in the 88th minute. Alty then threw the game away when Angus scored from another corner. And, to compound it all, Densmore saw red for arguing about the goal.

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 7. Duncan WATMORE, 4. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Patrick LACEY, 14. Ryan BROOKE, 15. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Jamie GREYGOOSE.


    In the FA Youth Cup First Round Proper, Altrincham will host Oldham Athletic on Thursday, 1 November at 7.45pm.


    Altrincham FC Ladies beat Warrington Wolverines 2-1 on Sunday to go six points clear in the North West Womens Regional League Divison One South. With 18 points from seven matches, they lead three clubs which all have twelve points from six matches.


    According to the Northern Echo, "Darlington supporters could be forgiven if they are unsure what to think of their club’s current situation. Are they showing signs of a revival on the field while making prudent decisions off it, or are they so challenged financially to the extent they have had to cash in on leading scorer Reece Styche?

    The truth, usually, is somewhere in between and that’s perhaps where the fans would be best served looking in this instance... Quakers have climbed six places recently and are four points outside the play-offs after stringing together some improved results. Beating Boston United 1-0 made it three wins in five league matches... Boston scored an own goal, but Quakers were comfortable.

    Remarkably, just as at FC United of Manchester last week, the opposition again had two men sent off, the goal coming when it was 11 versus 11. Victory meant back-to-back wins for the first time this season and it came a day after appointing a full-time commercial manager in Craig Morley, most recently with Durham County Cricket Club... While Morley’s arrival may have been among the talking points before the match, supporters were soon digesting news of Styche’s shock exit which emerged an hour before kick-off.

    The charismatic striker today completes a move to Alfreton, the Derbyshire club filling the gap created by selling Tom Denton to Chesterfield, and it is a tough one to take for fans and manager Tommy Wright. They are losing someone who scored 18 goals in 33 games, who played a major role in the club avoiding relegation last season, who helped secure a money-spinning pre-season friendly with a unique goal celebration, plus the £20,000 prize, while he also netted a further five goals this season including a hat-trick at Brackley.

    Though an exact figure has not been revealed, the transfer will pocket Quakers a fee higher than the one they paid to Tamworth last November. There are those who would suggest it smacks of a lack of ambition. Perhaps the same people have already forgotten the financial scrapes Quakers have gotten themselves into in recent years.

    In light of their customary early exit from the FA Cup, astute management of finances means tough decisions such as these are necessary if Darlington are to avoid another calamity.

    While a shame to see Styche leave, he and Simon Ainge had not struck up an effective partnership up front. Now elevated to first-choice selection, this is Harvey Saunders’ opportunity to make a name for himself. The 21-year-old set up the only goal on 11 minutes... And on 19 minutes Boston were given their first red card... Said Wright, 'He was reckless, he had been warned twice already and then does that.'

    Boston switched to 3-4-2 and the set-piece delivery of Ben Davies was their most potent weapon with tall strikers Gregg Smith and Gavin Allott the targets. Quakers coped...

    Wright explained, 'We were 3-5-2 to try and hit them in the wide areas and with Jordan Nicholson in the middle it was always going to cause their back four a problem. Jordan was lively, it was the best Stephen Thompson has played for a while and the two centre forwards are striking up a relationship, so I was happy with them. Having a solid base of three at the behind them with two holding midfielders, I didn’t feel threatened and I felt we could hurt them in the right areas'...

    Midway through the second half Quakers changed formation to close out the contest. Wright explained 'When we went 4-4-2 we didn’t look as fluid, but we did look more solid and I was pleased with the game management when the lads were running the clock down and killed any flow Boston had.' Five minutes from time Boston goalkeeper George Willis charged out of his area and clattered into Saunders, a red card the inevitable consequence. 'The goalie knew what he was doing, there was no way he was going to let Harvey go past him', said Wright".

    The National League adds that "It's been a rollercoaster week for Reece Styche who has announced his Darlington departure. The forward played a part in his national side's history during their internationals with Armenia and Liechtenstein...

    'To everyone associated with Darlington FC... Unfortunately, and I emphasise this, I'm gutted that I am moving on but sometimes we forget that football is a business and with Darlington being a fan-owned club, any additional money that is bought into the club is a positive. I have had one of the best years playing for the club and leaving like this wasn't the plan. The fans have been the best I have played for. Scoring a goal every two games, getting a call up back to Gibraltar national team and creating history, bringing near £60,000 into the club and helping the club nearly getting into the play offs last year; I can look back and be proud of what I have contributed to this brilliant club'".

    Lincolnshire Live reports that "Boston United boss Craig Elliott had mixed feelings following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Darlington... courtesy of Ashley Jackson’s freak own goal and suffered the double dismissal of defender Ben Middleton and goalkeeper George Willis to compound their woes...

    Reflected Elliott, 'We limited them to scraps and I do not remember them opening us up. We created some little opportunities that on another day we could perhaps have taken. Ben is accountable. I do not like to point the finger but he knows my views. It was a sloppy opening 15 minutes and a bad decision from him to make that challenge. He gave the referee no option. The idea was to try and frustrate and slowly creep into the game...

    'We did not have a recognised centre-half on the bench but I thought Ben Davies and Ashley Jackson were superb alongside Ryan Qualter'".

    We learn from the Telegraph & Argus that "A thumping win took Bradford (Park Avenue) back up to third in the Vanarama National League North as they won 6-0 at struggling Nuneaton Borough, who ended the game with nine men.

    The 'Boro lost goalkeeper and captain Cameron Belford to a second-half red card after using all three substitutes and Jack Blackham, who came on from the bench, picked up a bad injury with five minutes remaining.

    The Warwickshire club is in a perilous financial position and they sit third from bottom, but the players continue to give their all... The visitors were suffering from injuries with Ben McKenna and Chris Dawson both missing, while Nicky Clee was back on the bench following a strain. Nuneaton started well and Enoch Andoh had seen an early effort thwarted by the woodwork and a penalty claim turned down before Avenue had produced a serious effort on Belford’s goal.

    Belford was dismissed after kicking out at Jake Beesley and the referee pulled out a straight red card before pointing to the spot. Boro boss Nicky Eaden had made a double change at half-time and his third substitution came when Ash Carter limped off just after the hour mark. That meant defender Mike Calveley had to don the gloves after Belford's dismissal and Beesley drilled his penalty high into the net...

    Bradford manager Bower said 'It was a difficult one for us because we didn’t know if there was going to be any electricity or hot water in the dressing rooms, what state the pitch was going to be in and who we would be coming up against on the pitch. But we talked at training on Thursday about the need to be professional because they (Nuneaton) had beaten a strong Burton Albion side in midweek and have had some good recent results in the league. Coming down here was never going to be a ‘gimme’ so we just wanted to maintain professionalism and keep performance levels up...

    'We gradually took control and looked the more streetwise team. Things happened in the second half; they had a lad sent off and an injury late on, so it became a bit of a farce really, but we did our job. It’s not nice to see a club going through what they are and I just hope they can sort themselves out and recover from it.'"

    21 October 2018


    Right: John Johnston in action at Stockport.

    Despite dominating most of the first half, Altrincham failed to score and paid the price when County took a 41st minute lead decidedly against the run of play. Having brought everyone back for a Stockport corner, Alty made three successive half-clearances but the ball came back in from the right and, at the back post, Palmer headed it back for Mulhern to poke the ball into the net. Alty then lost Sean Williams to injury before the interval.

    County improved after the break and continued to look solid at the back. In the 68th minute, a slip-up between Hampson and Hannigan allowed Warburton to get free on the right byline. He drew Thompson and slotted the ball home to make it 2-0.

    After that, Alty did not look like getting back into the game and so the £25,000 prize money and a place in Round One went to the Hatters.


    • 447 Brackley Town 4 - 1 Spennymoor Town
    • Att. 299 Curzon Ashton 2 -1 AFC Telford (Ryan Brooke netted one for Curzon)
    • Att. 1345 Darlington 1 - 0 Boston United
    • Att. 1860 Kidderminster Harriers 1 - 2 FC United Of Manchester
    • Att. 911 Nuneaton Borough 0 -6 Bradford (Park Avenue)


    On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves drew 3-3 away at bottom club Malpas FC. The Alty goals came from Reece Coley, Rhain Davis and Joel Swift. League leaders Billinge lost at Whaley Bridge so Altrincham remain second but just a point behind Billinge, with two games in hand, in the Cheshire Football League.


    • Att. 2703 Hartlepool United 1 - 0 Kidsgrove Athletic
    • Att. 1734 Chorley 3-2 Barrow
    • Att. 1709 Marine 1 -2 Salford City (Danny Mitchley scored Marine's goal)
    • Att. 770 Southport 2-1 Ashton Utd
    • Att. 2931 Stockport C. 2-0 Altrincham
    • Att. 929 Warrington Town 2 - 2 FC Halifax Town
    • Att. 681 Witton Albion 0 - 2 Solihull Moors


    The National League reports that "Curzon Ashton finally recorded their first home victory of the season but it seems the club’s players can forget about not getting an earful from their manager! John Flanaghan was thrilled with the 2-1 victory over AFC Telford which takes them up to tenth in the National League North...

    'It’s fantastic to get that monkey off our backs, it really is,' the experienced manager told us. 'The lads are delighted. We knows we’ve lost games here this season. Sometimes it’s been of our own doing but a lot of the time we’ve lost matches we haven’t deserved to...

    'It wasn’t perfect, but it’s a great three points. Telford went down to ten men and they really upped their work rate. I’ve played in games like that. A team loses a player and you can’t put your finger on why but it improves their performance.

    'There are things we can’t do as we’re part-time of course and you have to respect that. This is fun for them remember, they come to enjoy it,' added. 'The players work full-time then come to us on their days off and we beast them for 90 minutes and shout at them when they’re not moving the ball quickly enough!'"

    National League North players who have signed EvoStik League forms recently include:

    • Josh Stachini from Ashton United to Glossop North End
    • Darren Thornton from Ashton United to Glossop North End
    • Joel Bembo-Leta from Bangor City to Ramsbottom United
    • Daniel Burns from Nuneaton Borough to Stafford Rangers


    In the EvoStik League, Tolani Omotola netted for Buxton as they drew 2-2 at home to North Ferriby United, and one of the six unaswered goals from Scarborough Athletic at Lancaster City was scored by James Walshaw.


    Tuesday, 23rd October, Preliminary Round
    • Chester FC v Witton Albion

    20 October 2018


    Alty defend in the first half.

    TEAMS :

    Stockport County: 1.Hinchliffe, 2. Minihan, 3. Duxbury, 4. Osbourne, 5. Palmer (c), 6. Stott, 7. Thomas, 8. Walker, 9. Mulhern, 10. Warburton, 11. Stephenson. Subs: 12. Cowan, 13. Ormson, 14. Keane, 15. Dimaio, 16. Bell, 17. Smalley, 18. Mantack.

    Altrincham: 1.Thompson, 2. White, 3. Hampson, 4. Jones, 5. Hannigan, 6. Moult (c), 7. Johnston, 8. Williams, 9. Hulme, 10. Harrop, 11. Dale. Subs: 12. Poole, 14. Hancock, 15. Peers, 16. Richman, 17. Densmore, 18. Goulding, 20. Wynne (GK).


    Saturday 20 October 2018

    The northern-section ties were:

    • Guiseley 3-1 Stourbridge
    • Warrington Town 2-2 FC Halifax
    • Chorley 3-2 Barrow
    • Hartlepool Utd 1-0 Kidsgrove Athletic
    • AFC Fylde 1-3 Chesterfield
    • Southport 2-1 Ashton Utd
    • Blyth Spartans 0-1 York City
    • Harrogate T 0-0 Wrexham
    • Dunston UTS 0-4 Gateshead
    • Stockport Co 2-0 ALTRINCHAM
    • Marine 1-2 Salford C
    • Witton A 0-2 Solihull Moors
    • Alfreton Town 4-0 St Neot's Town

    Prize money for winners in this round is £25,000.


    Altrincham dropped two places as a result of today's league results. They are now fifteenth.

    Saturday 20 October 2018

    • Brackley Town 4-1 Spennymoor Town
    • Curzon Ashton 2-1 AFC Telford United
    • Darlington 1-0 Boston United
    • Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 FC United of Manchester
    • Nuneaton Borough 0-6 Bradford (Park Avenue)


    When Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park on Saturday for their FA Fourth Qualifying Round match, Stockport County have advised that "Visiting supporters will be accommodated in our all-seated, covered Vernon (South) Stand. Due to the conditions of our Safety Certificate, supporters will be segregated. No transfers will be permitted once inside the ground. Cash-only turnstiles.

    Admission via Railway End (East) Stand Turnstiles (3 & 4, Hardcastle Road)

    • Adults (18+): £10
    • Concessions: £7 i.e Students in full-time education, over 65s, disabled supporters (wheelchair helper/carer free)
    • 6-17s: £4
    • Under 6s: £2 with a paying adult

    Anyone requesting disabled tickets must contact the ticket office prior to the game on 0161 266 2700 Ext 251

    Supporters should be informed that there will be no parking at the ground and they can use nearby ‘Booth Street’ car park (SK3 9DF) for which a charge of £4.00 is payable. This is a secure car park which will be staffed throughout the match from noon to 7pm".


    Before Sarurday's game, Stockport County quoted manager Jim Gannon on their last outing "the draw at home to Hereford [and] the challenge ahead in the FA Cup against Altrincham... 'It was very disappointing. I knew they’d be a tough nut to crack, but I didn’t expect Hereford to be as negative as they were. It nearly worked for them, they made it difficult for us and we made it difficult for ourselves.'

    It wasn’t just the resilience of Hereford that was frustrating Stockport County at the weekend, but also their own cutting edge in front of goal. The Hatters, despite dominating possession, rarely threatened the Bulls goal.

    'I don’t think we really worked the keeper. We’ve got ourselves into some really good positions and I think the final ball was lacking. In terms of crossing the ball into the right areas, which we’ve practised, and the set plays were poor or over hit, which was just really disappointing'... Despite huffing and puffing, until the late penalty, the Hatters weren’t really able to carve any openings'.

    Jim Gannon on Altrincham and the FA Cup 'It will be a test, you only have to look at their recent form' says Jim, acknowledging Alty’s goal tally in recent weeks. 'They’ve beaten Whitley Bay 5-0 and Bradford Park Avenue 4-0 {actually 4-2], so they’re a side showing courage in their convictions in the FA Cup'".


    Droylsden now include at least half a dozen ex-Alty players in their squad list, following the arrival in late September of Sean Miller. "23 year-old Sean joins on a dual registration with Chester FC and has had previous spells with Connah’s Quay Nomads and Altrincham".

    Also at the Butcher's Arms are Alex Frost, Kelvin and Kieran Lugsden, Sam Madeley and Sefton Gonzales, who has been "named Player of the Month for September, sponsored by Bowland Brewery. Sefton was presented his beers by last month’s winner, Domaine Rouse".

    Meanwhile, Tolani Omotola (right), who had a brief career at Altrincham last season, is now playing for Buxton, alongsode former Alty Youth Jude Oyibo.


    Bradford (Park Avenue) "have completed the signing of versatile teenager Alex Hurst from Matlock Town... Manager Mark Bower revealed that a new arrival was imminent and a deal has been agreed for the talented 18-year-old. Hurst, who will turn 19 on Monday, joined The Gladiators at the beginning of the 2018/19 season after impressing as a trialist during pre-season.

    He ascended the ranks of Crewe Alexandra’s academy, which is renowned for the high calibre of player it produces. Whilst with Crewe, he represented the club’s under-18 and under-23 sides before departing for Matlock.

    Mark Bower’s squad has been plagued by injuries in recent weeks and Hurst’s versatility will be crucial as Bradford look to remain in the play-off picture. He can operate on the left-hand side of midfield or at left-back, as well as being able to play as an attacking midfielder or forward".

    In the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "Former Hartlepool United defender Louis Laing has completed his move to Blyth Spartans. Last week, the 25-year-old centre-back saw his Pools contract, which was due to run out at the end of the season, cancelled by mutual consent.

    Laing made 43 appearances for Pools after arriving in the summer of 2017, and his only goal for the club, in a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient, secured the club's National League status. However, Laing had played just once for Matthew Bates's side this campaign, and it is thought his departure will free up room in the budget for a new striker.

    Spartans were quickly linked with a move for the defender, who reportedly turned down a move to Croft Park in the summer, in the hope of recovering his Pools career... Laing came through the academy at Sunderland and featured for the first team under Steve Bruce. He also represented England Under-19s, and played for Notts County, Motherwell and Inverness CT before moving to Pools."

    Meanwhile York Press tells us that "Blyth Spartans have defensive headaches ahead of their FA Cup fourth qualifying round home tie against York City tomorrow.

    Skipper Nathan Buddle is suspended after picking up his second yellow card in this term’s tournament during the team’s 2-1 triumph at Gainsborough Trinity, meaning he will join injured fellow centre-halves Ryan Hutchinson and Sam Brotherton on the sidelines this weekend. Left-back Jordan Watson, meanwhile, limped out of last weekend’s 4-0 National League North defeat at Boston, although Michael Liddle is believed to be fit enough to return to the first XI in his place.

    Midfielder Kieran Green will also be serving a one-match ban, though, for picking up his second FA Cup caution at Gainsborough, meaning boss Alun Armstrong’s resources will be stretched, with Aaron Cunningham and Connor Oliver in line for recalls to the starting line-up.

    In attack, Dan Maguire is this term’s joint five-goal leading marksman with midfielder Sean Reid, while former City striker Bradley Fewster is still struggling to reproduce the goalscoring form he showed during his 2015/16 loan spell at Bootham Crescent or, indeed, the potential expected of him as an England under-19 international and Middlesbrough reserve.

    Fewster, who netted eight times in 24 matches for City and won a League Two Player of the Month award at the age of 20, has only hit the target once... in 13 appearances for Blyth, having failed to score in 24 outings for Spennymoor last term. Blyth could soon turn instead to 18-year-old hopeful Jack Butler, who has plundered seven goals in six games whilst on dual registration terms with Ashington in the Northern League...

    At home, Spartans are bidding to rack up three consecutive wins for the first time since last November... Armstrong’s men are also their division’s third-top scorers at home with 13, placing them behind Spennymoor (18) and Kidderminster (16), even if Blyth’s tally is somewhat swollen by their freak 8-1 victory over Chester in August. The rest of the season had been more of a battle, with no side having lost more than the eight defeats fourth-bottom Spartans have suffered... Their results in the tournament during the past three seasons have been poor".

    According to the EvoStik League "Bamber Bridge have confirmed that manager Neil Reynolds will leave the club to join FC United. Reynolds has been in charge at Irongate since December 2016 and led them to promotion to the EVO-STIK League Premier Division last season. He will take charge of Brig for the final time this weekend at home to Basford United, before joining the National League North club.

    Club chairman, Fran Doyle, said, 'The speculation arose following an approach by FC United of Manchester for Neil to become their manager. This approach was turned down by Bamber Bridge FC as Neil was under contract to this club. Discussions between Neil and both clubs continued and following the approval of a compensation agreement with FC United of Manchester, Bamber Bridge Football Club have reluctantly agreed to release Neil from his contract with the club.

    'Neil has served Bamber Bridge Football Club as both a player and manager with great skill, dedication, integrity and passion for over two decades. Under Neil’s management the club has won the Integro cup and were promoted to the NPL Premier Division".

    Nuneaton Borough report that "Danny Burns has left the Club and has joined Stafford Rangers. Burns impressed during a pre-season trial and signed on a permanent basis. He was an ever-present fixture in the side until the FA Cup replay with Brackley Town when he picked up an injury."

    According to the Shropshire Star "Boss Gavin Cowan has urged his AFC Telford United charges not to underestimate Curzon Ashton despite their home struggles. The Bucks head to the Tameside Stadium tomorrow, where Curzon are yet to win in National League North this season.

    Cowan's side have not won any of their last three trips there though, and lost their last three games on the road.

    'It's a good surface and never an easy place to go to,' said the Telford chief. 'Curzon are a very good footballing side with a lot of experience at this level and they cannot be taken lightly. It's about us and making sure we get it right. We're playing against ourselves, really. Momentum is a big thing for us and we want to go up there and put on a really good show.'

    The Bucks, after a blistering start to the season, are on a four-game winless run in the league. Their last outing, though, was a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with top-of-the-table Chorley at the New Bucks Head.

    'A lot of character was on display but the performance was excellent as well,' said Cowan. 'Chorley, credit to them, are the league leaders and they're a very good team but we matched them and a point was the least we deserved'...

    Meanwhile, goalkeeping coach Darren Acton has gone back to Solihull Moors after leaving Telford. The former Bucks shot-stopper joined Cowan's coaching set-up from Moors in the summer due to work commitments, but now has more flexible hours so has returned to Damson Park...

    'Not to have him by our side is going to be a huge blow,' added Cowan... 'As a group, we will move on. I believe we have the quality within the group of staff and players to continue to thrive.'"

    We are informed by the Yorkshire Post that "A quartet of Yorkshire teams will compete for a place in the FA Cup first round proper this weekend".

    [They include] York City, "[who] have been unable to manoeuvre themselves past this stage of the competition since dropping out of the Football League two years ago. They face a trip to fellow National League North side Blyth Spartans...

    Guiseley, who are just two points behind York in National League North standings, will fancy their chances of reaching the first round proper for a second consecutive campaign. The Lions, who host seventh-tier side Stourbridge, made history last season by reaching the second round for the first time in the club’s history... Guiseley fell 3-0 in the second round at Mansfield, but another money-spinning run would certainly not be sniffed at by the Lions."

    19 October 2018


    According to the National League, "Without form, football is nothing. Especially if you’re gunning for promotion or trying to avoid the drop. So we felt it was high time we produced another National League North table to illustrate who’s red hot and who’s not.

    Spennymoor Town are in sensational form - the Manager of the Month award doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact on Jason Ainsley! Kidderminster have also won five of their last six and look well positioned to challenge for the title in the month ahead.

    The guide shows leaders Chorley may not be losing games, but they have only won two of their last five matches in the league. Who would have had Hereford and Southport in the bottom two of the form guide come August? They’re got their work cut out to get moving.

    National League North last six - latest result appears last.

    • 1.Spennymoor Town W-D-W-W-W-W - pts 16
    • 2.Kidderminster Harriers W-W-W-L-W-W - pts 15
    • 3.Chester FC W-D-W-W-D-W - pts 14
    • 4.Chorley W-D-W-W-D-D - pts 12
    • 5.Brackley W-D-W-D-W-L - pts 11
    • 6.Guiseley D-D-W-W-L-W - pts 11
    • 7.York City W-D-L-W-D-W - pts 11
    • 8.Boston United L-L-W-L-W-W - pts 9
    • 9.Darlington D-L-W-D-L-W - pts 8
    • 10.Stockport County L-W-L-D-W-D - pts 8
    • 11.Altrincham D-L-L-W-L-W - pts 7
    • 12.Bradford PA W-D-L-L-W-L - pts 7
    • 13.Curzon Ashton L-L-W-D-L-W - pts 7
    • 14.Nuneaton L-L-W-L-W-D - pts 7
    • 15.Ashton United D-L-L-W-W-L - pts 7
    • 16.AFC Telford D-W-L-D-L-D - pts 6
    • 17.Alfreton Town W-W-L-L-L-L - pts 6
    • 18.Blyth Spartans L-W-L-L-W-L- pts 6
    • 19.Leamington D-L-L-W-L-L - pts 4
    • 20.FC United of Manchester D-D-D-L-L-L - pts 3
    • 21.Southport L-D-D-D-L-L - pts 3
    • 22.Hereford FC D-L-L-L-L-D - pts 2


    NL Daily reports that "Nuneaton Borough say they would like to clarify a report that emerged on Twitter yesterday, with regards to a donation of £500 from one of the club’s fans. The Vanarama National League North club, currently in the headlines as the club battles with its financial situation, posted the following statement:

    ‘At the time that the fan in question arrived at the Club, there were no members of staff present as it was an off day. We have confirmed, this morning, that the fan still has the money and that it has not been donated to the Club. Whilst we’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of our wonderful supporters we don’t think it would be right for us to accept this donation. We would urge fans to hold off on donations at this time until the situation becomes clear and our future is far less uncertain.

    'Once again, we’d like to say how thankful we are for the enormous show of support that we’ve had in the past week. There’s an incredibly dedicated group that have stuck with us through thick and thin and we’d like to assure you all, that the staff here will fight, tooth and nail, for the Club that we all love, to ensure that we all have the Club that Nuneaton deserves, a Club that we can all be proud to stand behind. Up the Boro’".

    Meanwhile Nuneaton Town also report that "Chesterfield based company donate 10 double sided A1 posters featuring 82 league grounds on one with 62 non-league grounds on the reverse. The club would like to say a big thank you to Football Ground Maps for their kind donation of their National League ground posters to the club.

    Football Ground Map is the brain child of web developer and Sheffield United supporter Rob Clarkson, who was looking for a way to document how many different grounds he'd been to whilst watching his beloved Blades. After searching the Internet, Rob found nothing and set about building a ground mapping tool for himself.

    The site was completed in under a month and was launched in November 2007 as a Facebook application. At first the app contained only the 92 English league grounds, but as it gained in popularity more and more grounds from England were added and soon requests for new grounds were coming in from all over the world. As the application grew, Rob and designer Phil Baker decided to create a stand-alone website and so was born.

    The main website was launched in September 2009 with the hope of attracting an even wider audience than the Facebook application. The website and Facebook application have a total of 142,088 users. There are currently 13,333 grounds on the system from 13,511 different teams from 850 leagues in 233 countries around the world.

    These posters will be available from the club shop on Saturday when we host Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC, the posters are also available to buy from their company website."

    At Hereford FC, "Tom Harrison has returned to Bristol City following the conclusion of his one-month loan stay. The 18-year-old was brought in by Gareth Davies to bolster a squad depleted with injuries and suspensions ahead of the FA Cup matches with Truro City. He started both games, and was named on the bench three further times during his stay at Edgar Street."

    From tne Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United youngster Zak Lilly is out to prove his conversion from a striker to a centre-half is no flash in the pan. Lilly enjoyed an impressive first start in his new position as the Bucks drew 1-1 with leaders Chorley at the weekend. The 20-year-old was challenged by boss Gavin Cowan to kick-start his career by making the switch to the other end of the pitch in the summer.

    Lilly was a little apprehensive at first but has keenly taken up the task and said 'Honestly, I have really enjoyed the transition. At first I wasn’t sure but that quickly changed once I’d had a few training sessions and pre-season matches in that position. I realised it is actually a position that suits me better. The gaffer has been very helpful. He has been very good to me, believing in me and trusting me to go out and do a job, and not many gaffers would have done.'

    The clash with the Magpies was Lilly’s first league appearance for Telford in 18 months. He had a few loan spells away from the club last season which were hampered by injuries.

    'I was really pleased to get that first start,' added Lilly. 'It was a good experience, playing out in front of the fans for the first time in a long time'...

    Meanwhile, Telford football operations manager Luke Shelley has shared his pride at having 3,144 at the New Bucks Head on Tuesday night as England Under-17s beat Brazil 3-1. 'It was a wonderful occasion with so many new faces and families coming to the stadium for the first time,' he said".

    Lincolnshire Live tells us that "Boston United have clinched the signing of a Polish international goalkeeper. Sebastian Malkowski, who has one full cap for his country, against Lithuania in 2011, has joined the Pilgrims after recovering from a serious knee injury.

    The 31-year-old suffered the injury playing for Frickley Athletic last season. This season, he has played three matches for Barnsley-based Wombwell Town to rebuild his match fitness. He has now been picked up by the Pilgrims, where he will provide competition for regular number one George Willis. The club’s other senior keeper, Dylan Parkin, is currently out on loan at Cleethorpes Town.

    Malkowski counts Polish trio Lechia Gdansk, Bytovia Bytow and Zawisya Bydgoszcz among his former clubs."

    York Press informs us that "York City boss Sam Collins is weighing up the pros and cons of persisting with a 3-5-2 formation for Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Blyth Spartans. Collins switched to a four-man defence after 32 minutes of last weekend’scontest at Southport when his team were lucky to be only trailing 1-0.

    The Minstermen subsequently went on to win 2-1, although Simon Heslop’s 84th-minute winning strike was the only effort on goal the visitors mustered in the second half. When he started his caretaker reign, Collins secured the club’s first back-to-back clean sheets for more than a year with a fluent 4-3-3 formation during the 0-0 draw at Brackley and 2-0 home win over Blyth.

    Prior to Southport, though, City had plundered six goals in consecutive contests against Guiseley (4-2) and Nuneaton (2-2) and, with Blyth having changed their formation slightly since the August triumph, Collins is still considering his tactical approach for this weekend’s fourth qualifying round tie.

    He said, 'We looked more comfortable and solid when we switched to a back four at Southport, but we created chances and scored a few goals with 3-5-2 and we’ve watched Blyth a few times, so we’ve got to decide which is the best way to go to get us a result. But, however we line up, we can’t be as wide open as we were from the start against Southport because, with 3-5-2, I wanted us to be a back five without the ball. We were just a three, though, too many times last Saturday and found ourselves man for man back there.'

    Centre-back Joe Tait remains a doubt due to a tight hamstring, while Hamza Bencherif (infected mouth), Jake Wright (ankle) and Macaulay Langstaff (hip) all have minor concerns that will need assessing before team selection is finalised.

    Heslop, meanwhile, will play his last game before serving a one-match suspension and, after the ex-Oxford and Stevenage midfielder scored his first goal of the campaign at Southport, Collins admitted... 'We’re trying to get him scoring because, otherwise, his all-round play has been excellent for me... We won’t be setting out to go and draw the game,' the City chief declared...

    Collins also expects Blyth to respond positively to their 4-0 league defeat at Boston last weekend, reasoning... 'Nobody wants to get beaten 4-0 and I’m sure there will be a reaction to that. The manager won’t be happy with the result and, if the players have anything about them, they won’t be either... We didn’t play well but won the game last weekend and we’ve played well previously and won games, so we’re on a bit of a roll... We’re nowhere near where I want us to be. It’s only a start and we have to be a lot, lot better all-round'...

    With his sizeable squad, Collins welcomes the chance to name seven substitutes again for the Cup clash... Whether he includes Ryan Whitley in the dugout for goalkeeping cover, though, will depend on the perceived threats Blyth pose. 'I thought the way Southport played, we needed Ryan on the bench and, in another situation with the penalty, Adam (Bartlett) might have got sent off, so we look at the opposition every time we decide who the substitutes are going to be,' Collins explained. 'I also can’t see why we can’t have seven subs in the league. I don’t think it’s a cost issue, as there are no overnight stays at this level as such and I’d like to have two more lads involved in the squad to keep everybody happy.'"

    18 October 2018


    TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, advises that "The FA Cup takes us on the road on Saturday with the short trip to Edgeley Park, the home of Stockport County. As with all previous visits and other close games, due to minimum coach hire prices it isn't possible to provide coach travel at a competitive fare compared with other methods of getting there.

    Right: Alty's last league visit to Stockport was on 17 December 2016 when County won 3-0. Pictured,right, Tom Hannigan heads clear. 3,991 spectators watched that game.

    There are a number of ways of getting to the match, where we hope a good number of Robins will give their usual excellent backing. Various supporters have provided the following information, collated here, which may be of use:

    • By Car: Stockport County is 19 mins and 9.8 miles away from Moss Lane, the postcode for your sat nav is SK3 9DD. Full directions are here.
    • By Train: Please note that there is a Northern Rail train strike on this day. Trains will still run to Stockport but not from Altrincham; there is a service from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly and back out to Stockport or you can catch the hourly 88 bus to Wilmslow station and then take a train to Stockport from there.
    • By Bus: The Stagecoach no.11 from Altrincham Interchange goes to the ground but does take a while. Another option is to take the X5 from Sale to Edgeley Park - full bus details can be found here.
    • By Taxi: Sharing a taxi is another cost effective way of getting to the ground, please support local company Passenger Cars who sponsor the club.

    Our normal coach service for the next away game to Hereford will be provided as usual.

    Thanks, Mark".


    A former Alty loanee is the subject of a report from Barnsley who tell us that "In League Two, Dylan Mottley-Henry [right] is enjoying his second loan spell with Tranmere Rovers... The 21-year-old winger has featured 12 times in all competitions for Rovers as he continues his development at Prenton Park."


    The National League reports that "The ground-breaking #MANarama campaign came to an end on Non-League Day and raised a total of £150,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. The campaign, which saw the fifth and sixth tiers of English football make history through a mid-season re-brand, came to an end on Non-League Day and raised a total of £150,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

    Vanarama, the UK's leading commercial vehicle leasing company, powered the fundraising drive by sacrificing its naming rights for the National League, together with a vehicle leasing initiative (lease a van save a man) which ran throughout September and October.

    A cheque for £150,000 was presented at the flagship BT Sport televised game for Non-League Day between FC Halifax Town and Chesterfield. The presentation took place ahead of the game when ultra-marathon hero Kevin Webber, who had just completed seven walking marathons in seven days, was given a guard of honour by both sets of players.

    A total of £150,000 was raised by Vanarama in just 43 days by donating £50 for every vehicle it leased from the start of September until Non-League Day on October 13. Within that time a staggering 688 men would have died from prostate cancer, highlighting just how important it is that more men are made aware of the most common cancer in men. Prostate Cancer UK became the National League's first official charity partner for the 2018-2019 season and this year's Non-League Day was given added significance by the presence of Webber.

    Diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer in November 2014 and told he could have as little as two years left to live, the remarkable Webber has raised thousands for the charity in a series of epic endurance events and in the build-up to Non-League Day he walked more than 180 miles from Blyth Spartans to FC Halifax Town.

    In total, he visited 10 National League clubs, hand-delivering unique captain's armbands to be worn by all MANarama teams on Non-League Day. The bright orange band, which includes the iconic Prostate Cancer UK logo, illustrated the clubs' united stand against the most common cancer in men.

    Also joining the fight was Sky Sports television pundit and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Jeff Stelling, who posed with one of the armbands alongside Hartlepool United skipper Andrew Davies ahead of their away clash at Leyton Orient.

    Andy Alderson, Vanarama CEO and founder, said 'At Vanarama we're thrilled with the amount of money we've been able to raise for Prostate Cancer UK. The MANarama campaign brought together three great organisations with one main goal, to raise awareness and funds in the fight against the most common cancer in men. We've managed to get to this total because of our wonderful Vanarama customers and, if you've leased a van from us in the last 45 days, you have helped save a man. Hopefully the money donated to Prostate Cancer UK can play a small part in one day beating this truly terrible disease'".


    The official Altrincham FC site has a report on last Sunday's Ladies' game, which they lost 3-0 against Stockport County Blues.


    According to the Coventry Telegraph, "Praise has been heaped on Burton Albion Football Club for waiving their share of the gate during a thrilling cup tie against Nuneaton Borough. The Brewers’ chairman Ben Robinson agreed to let the ‘Boro keep all of the money taken on the gates during the Birmingham FA Senior Cup match at Liberty Way.

    It was a gesture that touched the hearts of not only the ‘Boro fans but also the town’s MP, Marcus Jones, who took to Twitter to praise the club... Earlier in the day, Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson issued a rallying call for its fans to turn out to the game to help support the ‘Boro... He said, 'We have got a long association with Nuneaton Borough, going back to our early days in the Birmingham League... Our players and officials will be travelling to the game at their own expense and we will be donating our share of the gate receipts to Nuneaton Borough'.

    The Boro were the victors in a thrilling 4-3 win at Liberty Way, which attracted 291 fans... The hunt for a new owner or owners continues as the Boro continues to battle against well-documented financial troubles. It is ground owner, Norman Smurthwaite, who lifted the lid on the dire situation at the club and how a new board needs to be formed before the next National League North meeting on November 1".

    Altrincham's next away trip in the league is to Edgar Street and the National League reports that "Marc Richards believes his Hereford players are getting really close to turning a corner. Former Gloucester City boss Richards took over a side badly out of form two weeks ago today. They may have limped out of the FA Cup but on Saturday showed real National League North promise in his first league game at the helm.

    The 1-1 draw at Stockport County represented progress for the new Bulls boss, whose side have not won a game since beating Leamington on August 14. He feels they are getting closer to putting that right after seeing Stockport deny them ten minutes from time. 'The players are really taking on board what I want to put across to them,' the new manager said. 'I’m really pleased with what they’re doing and how they have reacted in these past few weeks. On Saturday we were gutted not to come away with three points. We played well, but it wasn’t quite enough to win it. We’re not far away. You can see we’re getting nearer but it will come.'"

    17 October 2018


    Tadcaster Albion have highlights of their defeat by Altrincham in the FA Youth Cup on Monday night. As previously reported, Altrincham are now at home to Oldham Athletic Youth in the First Round Proper on a date to be arranged.

    Altrincham have previously reached this stage in 2001-02, 2003-04, 2013-4 and 2015-16, under George Heslop's managership.

    A 3-2 home win over Leek Town started the 2001-02 cup run, followed by another home win, 3-1, against Scottish club Gretna who were playing in the English pyramid at the time. A 2-1 away win at Morecambe led to a trip to The Racecourse Ground where the Dragons overcame Alty 2-1.

    The 2003-04 run in the FA Youth Cup ended in a 4-0 defeat at Oakwell to Barnsley. In earlier rounds Alty had squeezed through 4-3 after extra time at Radcliffe Borough before being granted a walkover against Louth. Home wins against Yorkshire clubs Pickering Town and Hallam followed before the clash with a third Yorkshire club in the shape of Barnsley.

    In 2013-14 in the First Qualifying Round a Max Pouncey goal in the sixth added minute saw them home at Runcorn Town. A 4-1 win over Vauxhall Motors followed before Nostell Miners' Welfare were beaten 10-3 at Moss Lane, with Pouncey netting five times. That win earned a home tie against Wrexham which Alty won 2-1. However, a Second Round Proper match at the Bescot Stadium saw Walsall beat Alty 4-0. The Saddlers' team that night included Amadou Bakayoko, who nowadays is in Coventry City's first team in League One. (Action from the Walsall game is seen, right).

    In 2015-16 season, wins in three successive away ties earned Altrincham a First Round home match against Rochdale which they lost 2-0. In the three previous rounds Alty had disposed of FC United of Manchester 3-1 in the First Qualifying Round before a long trip to Cumbria saw Workington beaten 4-2. Another lengthy trip followed, to Newcastle Benfield, where Alty won 2-1.


    The National League reports that "Chester have been dealt a huge blow with news that striker Matty Hughes looks set to miss the rest of the season through injury. The 26-year-old went off injured in the Blues’ 3-0 win against Hereford two weeks ago, the striker initially thinking it was a minor knock.

    But an MRI scan has since revealed that the summer signing had in fact torn his anterior cruciate ligament. 'I turned and just felt it pop and I knew that something wasn't right, but I was expecting it to be something minor,' Hughes told Cheshire Live. 'I went for an MRI and the results got sent back to the club and they told me it was really bad news and that I've torn my ACL. It looks like I'm going to need surgery and that means six months before I can even start thinking about kicking a ball again. I was in a bit of shock and it's so gutting as I've never had a serious injury and now I'm going to miss the rest of the season just when I was starting to play my best football. I felt I was absolutely flying so this has come at the worst possible time.''"

    Also from the National League we learn that "York City manager Sam Collins paid homage to his players after a dream start to life as permanent manager of the Minstermen... Collins was confirmed as the club’s new boss last week after impressing since the departure of Martin Gray just five games into the season.

    And after Simon Heslop’s stunner ensured City took all three points from Southport on Saturday, Collins said... 'I spoke to the players on Friday because they’ve played a massive part in me getting the job without a doubt... It’s been very difficult for them because everything was up in the air and I’ve been trying to get my ideas over and they’ve just bought into it and I really do appreciate that. They’ve been excellent, and we actually thanked them on Friday because of that. This is just the start. Now we really want to try and kick on.'"

    Also, from York Press we learn that "York City match-winner Simon Heslop will be free to play in the FA Cup at the weekend despite incurring a one-match suspension at Southport on Saturday. Heslop's ban was triggered after he received his fifth yellow card of the season just two minutes before rifling in the spectacular winning goal that clinched a 2-1 triumph on Merseyside.

    But, with all the cautions coming in National League North contests, following a summer rule change, Heslop is not ruled out of this Saturday's fourth qualifying round trip to Blyth Spartans. Instead, he will miss the October 27 league trip to Telford.

    Under the new law, yellow cards received in the league do not apply to knockout competitions, with two bookings leading to a one-match ban in the Cup, although a cut-off point has now been reached in the tournament, meaning only future cautions, received between Saturday's ties and the quarter-finals, will count towards that punishment.

    City chief Sam Collins, meanwhile, reasoned that suspensions can be an occupational hazard, but he would clamp down on any unnecessary yellow cards. 'It’s a fine line, because I want everybody to be on the front foot and aggressive, especially midfielders,' he pointed out. 'Sometimes, you have to commit a professional foul as well when it’s a good time to do it, as Tom Allan did (at Southport) but, if people get booked for a needless free kick or a silly foul, then you feel differently.'

    Teenager Nathan Dyer, meanwhile, has been hailed for his attitude after impressing Collins again during his second senior appearance. The 17-year-old apprentice kept his place in the side at Southport after a promising debut the previous weekend against St Ives Town in the Cup. That decision meant The Press’ Player of the Year leader Kallum Griffiths was kept out of the squad for back-to-back fixtures as Dyer fulfilled right-wing back duties, before being asked to operate in a more advanced role on the flank following a tactical first-half reshuffle.

    He was later replaced by Jon Parkin, but Collins enthused 'I thought he was great again and I wasn’t surprised by that. The longer the week before the game went on, I wanted to see how he reacted after his debut because, sometimes, with the euphoria and adrenalin surrounding that, you can get a big low afterwards. But he trained really well and it was him all over when he did well after being asked to play out of position when we changed the system. With his attitude, he just kept going and going and he was one of our better players in general play.

    'We only brought him off because we wanted to try and win the game and, if we’d have been happy with a point, we might not have changed anything, but we had the likes of Jon Parkin and Adriano Moke on the bench who I knew could help us get three.'

    Skipper Joe Tait, meanwhile, was conducting running exercises on the pitch before the Southport game as he looks to recover from a tight hamstring muscle and Collins expects to have him back this weekend".

    In the Boston Standard we learn that "Jay Rollins could be back in action for Boston United next month. The winger has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the end of last season. However, Craig Elliott was delighted to hear the attacker... may soon be able to feature again.

    'We’ve had some positive news this week. We’re hoping four to six weeks to get him back playing,' Elliott said. 'For me he’s one of the best right wingers in the league. We’ve been missing him.'"

    The Coventry Telegraph reports that "A rallying cry has been made for the whole of Nuneaton to back the Boro as it enters a crucial period. This weekend’s match versus Bradford Park Avenue is crucial to Nuneaton Borough Football Club’s history according to Marcus Jones, the town’s MP...

    'The Boro has a fantastic history and a hard core of some of the most loyal fans in non-league football,' he said. 'The club is clearly in massive difficulty and could be lost if something is not done. Fresh ownership needs to be found, but local people also need to give their support to show any potential owner that the people will back the club. A town like ours should have a team in the higher echelons of the non-league pyramid at the very least.

    'Like many I don’t go often enough, but I will be there on Saturday and as many times as I can in the future. We are very much at a "use it or lose it" moment. I hope people will come out in numbers and show they want a team we can be proud of in our town.'

    Lifelong Boro fan and businessman David Parnell said that at least 700 fans are needed to turn out to the game this Saturday and versus Leamington on November 3 if the club has any chance of survival. 'It is not the supporters’ fault for this saga, but we are where we are,' he said. 'For the club to carry on in the short term a big noise must be made, and disgruntled supporters need to return and this Saturday versus Bradford Park Avenue is just the first D Day.'

    Concerns about the future of the club have hit the headlines, with a need for a new board to step in and take over...

    Mr Parnell... is one of several names that have been linked to forming a board to take over the club, something he has denied, but... 'I have no desire, finances or especially time to be a director or owner of the club at present, I am just an ordinary bloke trying to save the club,' Mr Parnell stated".

    16 October 2018


    On Monday night, Altrincham FC Youth played their FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying tie at Tadcaster Albion and won 4-2. Three Alty goals just before the interval determined the ultimate outcome.

    The prize for Altrincham is a home tie in the First Round Proper against Oldham Athletic Youth.


    On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves won a shoot-out to progress in the CCFA Amateur Cup Second Round. The game had ended 1-1 before Alty won the shoot-out 4-2, thanks to the saves of Andrew Jones.

    The Alty squad comprised, Andrew Jones, Ryan Barry, Reece Coley, Matthew Cook, Rhain Davis, Callum Jones, Shaun Muscroft, Harry Sheridan, Joel Swift, Tom Westall, Stavros Tserpes. Subs: Harry Swift and Joseph Wyers-Roebuck.

    Next Saturday the Reserves are away at Malpas.


    On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies lost 3-0 to Stockport County Ladies Blues. Nevertheless, Alty remain top of the North West Womens Regional League, Division One South. Next Sunday the Ladies entertain Warrington Wolverines at Mersey Valley FC.


    TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, advises that "The FA Cup takes us on the road on Saturday with the short trip to Edgeley Park, the home of Stockport County. As with all previous visits and other close games, due to minimum coach hire prices it isn't possible to provide coach travel at a competitive fare compared with other methods of getting there.

    Right: Alty's last league visit to Stockport was on 17 December 2016 when County won 3-0. Pictured,right, Tom Hannigan heads clear. 3,991 spectators watched that game.

    There are a number of ways of getting to the match, where we hope a good number of Robins will give their usual excellent backing. Various supporters have provided the following information, collated here, which may be of use:

    • By Car: Stockport County is 19 mins and 9.8 miles away from Moss Lane, the postcode for your sat nav is SK3 9DD. Full directions are here.
    • By Train: Please note that there is a Northern Rail train strike on this day. Trains will still run to Stockport but not from Altrincham; there is a service from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly and back out to Stockport or you can catch the hourly 88 bus to Wilmslow station and then take a train to Stockport from there.
    • By Bus: The Stagecoach no.11 from Altrincham Interchange goes to the ground but does take a while. Another option is to take the X5 from Sale to Edgeley Park - full bus details can be found here.
    • By Taxi: Sharing a taxi is another cost effective way of getting to the ground, please support local company Passenger Cars who sponsor the club.

    Our normal coach service for the next away game to Hereford will be provided as usual.

    Thanks, Mark".


    Alty TV has highlights of Altrincham v Alfreton Town and a post-match interview with Jordan Hulme.

    Above: Jordan receives his team-mates' congratulations after scoring on Saturday against Alfreton.


    The Derbyshire Times tells us that "Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath ordered his players to roll up their sleeves and work harder after a first half horror show at Altrincham saw them slump to a fourth National League North defeat in a row.

    The Reds will host St Neots in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday (3pm) with Heath’s words ringing in their ears...

    'We’ve got to roll our sleeves up now and go back to what we were doing earlier in the season; really wanting to work hard,' said Heath. 'The first 25 minutes was poor to say the least. We didn’t compete anywhere on the park. We didn’t seem to have any presence about us anywhere on the park. We got what we deserved. It was too easy to come through us, too easy to break on us, too easy all round. The game was more or less finished at half-time.'

    He added, 'Before the game the warm-up had been good. I always ask certain individuals how the warm-up has gone and they said it had gone well. But we just didn’t do the easy things, not passing the ball, not closing men down, not closing spaces nor just competing. The last four league games have been really poor, but we can turn it round. We’ve had a couple of FA Cup games sandwiched in that’s given us a couple of wins....

    'But the League remains massively important... We need to be better; we’ll have a good look at St. Neots in midweek.'”


    Glossop North End "have moved swiftly to fill the managerial vacancy following the departure of Mark Canning and Andy Bishop.Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison have been appointed and will take up their posts immediately. They will be planning to meet the players on Tuesday and prepare for the next match away at Ramsbottom.

    Chairman Dave Atkinson said... 'We are determined to get the club moving up the table and feel that the experience and know-how of Pete and Lloyd is the best way to ensure that we retain our Evo-Stik status. Fortunately, there are no midweek games for the next two weeks, so the new managers will have the chance to assess the team and make their plans for the rest of the season.' The managerial duo join the Hillmen after being in charge of neighbours Mossley for almost five full seasons, leaving in March this year."


    The National League reports that "Alun Armstrong described Blyth Spartans’ defeat at Boston United as the worst performance he has seen in his three years in charge. The manager was furious after the 4-0 hammering at York Street and vowed improvement is on the way...

    'It was abysmal from start to finish,' he said. 'I can’t understand the thinking of the lads, I am a little bit shell shocked, I never saw that coming. The last three weeks you think we have turned the corner, you think we can stick with the same team. It might be my fault for sticking with the same team, but it was baffling and the worst performance since I have been here. The biggest thing that we got them to recognise was that we need to work hard to earn the right to win a game.

    'There wasn’t any workrate. We are in a really precarious position and we have got to make sure we get clear of it because confidence is a big thing in this group. Not one of them can put their hand up and say they gave 100%, and that’s worrying. We could barely muster three passes together... Too many out there had the FA Cup next week on their mind when, quite frankly, we are in a dire position in the league. I absolutely hate the mindset. Everyone knows Blyth Spartans love the FA Cup and it’s a big deal to everyone up here, but we can’t have performance like this.

    'I have no doubt everyone will show up next week in the cup game, and that’s baffling.'”

    NL Daily reports that "Droylsden have announced the signing of FC United of Manchester’s experienced frontman Liam Dickinson. The 33-year-old first made his name in the EFL with Stockport County. Joining County from Woodley Sports in 2005, he went on to score 21 goals in County’s 2007/08 campaign, which ended in promotion to League One...

    He went on to sign for Derby County following their relegation from the Premier League but his game time would have to come at Huddersfield Town, Blackpool and Leeds United. Dickinson last scored goals in the EFL for Southend United in 2011/12 before moving into non-league".

    The National League "team of the week" comprises -

    • Goalkeeper: Tony Breeden (Leamington)
    • Defenders: Daniel Shaw (Curzon Ashton), Jamie Curtis (Spennymoor Town), Ben Middleton (Boston United), Cameron McJannett (Curzon Ashton)
    • Midfielders: Kingsley James (Guiseley), Edward Williams (Kidderminster Harriers), Mark Anderson (Spennymoor Town), Simon Heslop (York City)
    • Strikers: Harvey Saunders (Darlington), Gavin Allott (Boston United)
    • Substitutes: Jamie Chandler (Spennymoor Town), Calvin Dinsley (Hereford), Jordan Hulme (Altrincham), Henry Cowans (AFC Telford United), Josh Law (York City)

    At Kidderminster Harriers "With Ed Williams among the names attracting big headlines this season, Chairman Colin Gordon says Harriers fans can remain confident about the future of Aggborough’s top talent. Williams, who took his tally for the club to ten for the season with a brace at Bradford on Saturday, has made a blistering start to new campaign, form that has not gone unnoticed.

    With media reports ‘linking’ the former Gloucester man with an imminent move away from Aggborough, the Chairman has moved swiftly to ease supporters’ fears... Harriers were, after all, named a top developer of footballing talent in non-league by a Scout 7, part of Opta Pro, earlier this year. It’s this kind of accolade, and the years of work that goes into recruiting new talent that gives the club a very unique position within football...

    Colin insisted Harriers supporters should put faith in the club to ensure they’re always looked after... 'The fact that players like Ed Williams are doing so well for us at the moment is the result of the fact that we had been looking at him for 18 months before signing up and because he’s working with a good manager and a good group of players.... That’s the entire philosophy of what we are doing here; to identify that young talent that we think we can further improve and give opportunities to. They don’t go on to bigger and ‘better’ things unless its right for everyone, and that won’t change.

    'Never in my time here have we been forced to cash in on a player or to sell them for less than we think they’re worth, and the only instances have moved on in that regard are when we have no control over it; the likes of Arthur Gnahoua and Elton Ngwatala who moved on for free because of their age and contractual situation. When it comes to developing young, talented footballers, we don’t ‘cash in’ and never would'...

    He added 'We won’t be losing Ed Williams in the January or the summer unless everything about a deal for him is right; it’s that simple... He knows we’ll do what’s best for him and best for the club. The fact he’s attracting big interest, and isn’t by any means the only player at the club to do so, is a great thing and long may that continue'...

    He went on to say '“I remember reading comments when Neil was appointed that we’d gone for someone with no managerial record and who was unproven, but he’s again a perfect example of us being able to identify the right kind of people. He’s had a good start here and works tirelessly, just as John Eustace did before him who everyone else thought was too risky a gamble and look where he is working now. We’ve lost analysts to the EFL and one of our groundstaff to the Premier League, all because we’ve created a platform whereby we can identify people, bring them in, and allow them to do what they’re good at, while we keep on doing what we’re good at'".

    Hereford FC tell us that "The new management team of Tim Harris and Marc Richards have been quick to implement some additional sessions to the first team training nights. One of those additions is a strength and conditioning session in the gym at Hartpury, led by Matthew Banks, the resident lead on Strength and Conditioning at the college.

    Head of Football, Tim Harris spoke about the new training sessions... 'It’s about building up their core and basically preventing injury.... hopefully we will get a major benefit in the weeks and months to come. It’s another part of the jigsaw, and it’s a very important part in making sure we can protect the hamstring injuries, the groin injuries and the calf strains and the things like that'.

    The Bulls are limited to a set time out on the training pitches at Hartpury, so it’s all the more important to get the most out of each and every training session, as Harris explains 'When the lads go out on the football pitch, the players have got maximum time, they don’t have to do the warm-ups because they’ll be ready to go and maximise the time that we’ve got available on training nights.'"

    Lincolnshire Live reports that "Boston United boss Craig Elliott hailed the impact of new signing Gavin Allott after the Pilgrims thumped Blyth Spartans 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.

    The 32-year-old newcomer from Frickley Athletic marked his debut with United’s third goal in their 4-0 victory and formed a powerful attacking duo with fellow goalscorer Gregg Smith. Elliott said he had no qualms about bringing in the experienced Allott and was confident that he could deliver the goods over a longer period for the Pilgrims. 'Defensively we did really well and we created good chances in the attacking third... I was slightly worried at half-time because we were worthy of being 2-0 or 3-0 in front... There were two objectives; we wanted to score a goal and we wanted to win the game. It was nice to get the goal early and to get a clean sheet was a bonus too'".

    A report from the Northern Echo tells us that "Darlington striker Reece Styche played as Gibraltar made history, winning a competitive game for the first time. They beat Armenia 1-0 in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday... with Styche coming off the bench at the weekend to win his fourth cap.

    He came on after 70 minutes against Armenia, who had Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in their side. Styche, who missed Quakers’ 2-1 win at FC United of Manchester in order to represent his country, qualifies to play for Gibraltar through a grandparent... Darlington's most capped international is Franz Burgmeier, who made seven appearances for Liechtenstein during the 2008-09 season.

    Gibraltar play at home to Liechtenstein tomorrow when they hope to record another win... Meanwhile, Gibraltar say they received an apology from Armenia officials after the wrong national anthem was played before their match. The anthem of Liechtenstein was mistakenly used."

    15 October 2018


    Alty TV has Phil Parkinson's post-match interview, with John Edwards, after the victory over Alfreton Town. And John's match report is here.

    And the official Altrincham FC site has a brief summary of the above.


    Before Saturday's match Alty winger John Johnston (JJ) showed how he has joined Elliot Wynne as a rival for the goalkeeping gloves of Tony Thompson (TT). Pictured, right, JJ saves a fierce effort as Simon Dow, Community Development Officer at Altrincham FC looks on with amusement.


    In Saturday's ten matches in the Vanarama National League North, six grounds witnessed more than 1,000 spectators, with Stockport County v Hereford FC attracting 3,646. That gate was bigger than all but one match (Leyton Orient v Hartlepool) played on Saturday in the National League's national division. The Edgeley Park gate was also bigger than the attendance at two matches in League Two and, more remarkably, larger than four gates in League One.

    Gates at the ten National North matches attracted 12,928 spectators, averaging 1,293 per game.

    In the South division, four of the ten matches had gates which exceeded 1,000 spectators, whilst Truro City v Hemel Hempstead (at Torquay) attracted just 86 paying customers. The aggregate attendance in the south division was 8,824 or 882 per game.

    In the national division of the National League, eleven games attracted 24,744 spectators or 2,249 per game.


    Altrincham travel to Stockport County next Saturday, 20 October, in the Emirates FA Cup. Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records indicate that, if you believe in such things, 20 October is a "lucky" one for Altrincham. In nineteen previous games on that date Altrincham have lost just three times and, as there has never been a drawn game on October 20, they have won all the other sixteen matches.

    By coincidence, the last outing on that date was, like this Saturday's impending encounter, a match in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round. On that occasion, in 2012, Altrincham were looking to extend an eight-game unbeaten run and travelled to Boston United where they won 3-1 in an eventful match.

    In that 2012 encounter Alty trailed at the interval, despite playing against ten men for more than half an hour of the first half. Jones had put Boston ahead in the 12th minute when he got a fortunate rebound from a defensive block. But, moments later, an awful challenge on Matt Doughty by Fairclough saw the Pilgrims' man dismissed.

    Above: 20 October 2012 at Boston; Danny Hall goes for the ball as Duncan Watmore and Luca Havern look on, with James Lawrie in the background.

    However, James Lawrie levelled after 58 minutes after good work by Nicky Clee. Then, a minute later, Weir-Daley saw a straight red after laying out Jake Moult. So Alty faced nine men for the final half hour. And it was Jake Moult who fired Alty ahead from 20 yards or more. Altrincham then played a passing game but Clee finally got a third goal (89 mins).

    ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Duncan WATMORE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Patrick LACEY, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 17. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Jamie GREYGOOSE.


    Following next Saturday's FA Cup trip to Stockport, the next scheduled away trip in the league is at Edgar Street, against Hereford FC. County and the Bulls met last Saturday.

    Stockport County reported that "The Hatters returned to National League North action at Edgeley Park for the first time in five weeks, and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to as many games but will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points in a match they largely dominated.

    Instead, they had to settle for a share of the spoils against the visiting ‘Bulls’ from Hereford and, even then, could have finished the contest empty-handed but for Frank Mulhern’s equalising penalty 10 minutes before the end.

    County took to the field on a blustery, autumnal afternoon in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and showing two changes from the FA Cup starting line-up against Corby a week previously. Both goal-scorers in the Corby tie, namely, Mulhern and Matty Warburton, were handed starts, replacing Jordan Keane, who was still suffering from a hamstring injury sustained in that match, and [ex-Alty trialist] Nyal Bell...

    The Hatters started off with plenty of brightness about them... Hereford, deploying five in defence, offered relatively little in attack...

    Just six minutes later, the visitors, without an attempt on goal to their name, made a set-piece count. And Dinsley again played his part, heading in Eliot Richards’ delivery from the left to give Hereford the lead.

    The visitors proceeded to defend in even greater numbers, as much of the remainder of play was concentrated in their half. But, for all County’s possession, a cutting-edge was still needed in the final third...

    With 80 minutes played, the Hatters were thrown a lifeline courtesy of another dead-ball situation – after Stephenson’s cross from the left was handled by Billy Murphy, and Referee Aaron Jackson pointed to the spot. Mulhern stepped up, slotted his kick down the middle as Yates dived right, and a County penalty was successfully converted for the first time in nearly nine months.

    More importantly, it had drawn the Hatters level. But try as they might to take the game by the horns in the closing stages, they were unable to hit the Bulls-eye for a second time.

    Team: Hinchliffe, Cowan (Minihan, 76), Duxbury, Osborne, Palmer (Capt.), Stott, Thomas, Walker, Mulhern, Warburton (Bell, 55), Stephenson (Dimaio, 82). Unused Subs: Smalley, Ormson.

    From the other side. Bulls' News tells us that "Hereford came away from Edgeley Park today with a hard earned and well deserved point. Despite Stockport having 70-80% of the possession, and most of the game being played in Hereford’s half, the Bulls managed to score with their only serious attempt on goal and defended well, if sometimes desperately, throughout the game...

    This week’s loan signings definitely made a difference. Yates is one of the smallest goalkeepers I’ve seen for quite a while, but he looked composed and confident... The other Derby County youngster, Ethan Wassall also looked impressive. .. Wassall played as part of a back three along with Smith and Green, with the full-backs pushed up a bit. This seemed to work fairly well... Dinsley and Murphy played in the middle with White and the other new boy, George Lloyd up front. Richards played in behind the front two, a bit more advanced role than previously.

    Stockport dominated possession throughout the first half and the Bulls were constantly pressed back. They kept their shape and worked hard... After the chaotic display against Chester it was good to see a team that seemed to understand their roles and were doing the basic things right. If only they could muster an attack...

    The second half was more of the same, although Hereford did seem to get forward a bit more, and Stockport, although keeping the pressure up, didn’t get any shots on target. Then something remarkable happened. The Bulls took the lead. A fairly soft foul on White resulted in a free kick out on the left. Richards produced a great delivery which was met by a thumping header from Harvey Smith into the net.

    From that point on it was backs to the wall defending as Stockport came forward in waves... Eventually Stockport were awarded a penalty following handball by Green. There wasn’t much protest from Hereford, and Mulhern scored from the spot rolling the ball into the net as the keeper went the wrong way. After that it was ten minutes of last ditch defending... It was an infinitely better performance than the last league game against Chester. If there is to be a recovery it has to be built on sound defending, good organisation and hard work. If that sounds a bit dour, then so be it. It’s hard to know what to think about the new manager, but you have say that he got the tactics right today...

    Hereford FC: Yates, Thomas, Wassall, Green, Smith(c), Greenslade, Dinsley, Murphy, White(Jackson), Lloyd, Richards(Liburd). Subs (not used): Bird, Lam, Franklin


    The Lancashire Evening Post informs us that "Chorley were denied at the death in horrible conditions in their trip to New Buck's Head. Telford’s injury-time substitute Henry Cowans struck from outside the box to cancel out Josh Wilson’s 83rd-minute header.

    'It feels like a loss,' said Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio after the final whistle. 'But we have to take the positives from the game. We’ve produced a superb goal and our unbeaten run is now at 14 games.'

    The result was a fair one for a game spoiled in large parts by a swirling gale and a bog of a pitch that seemed intent on sabotaging any quality football. For 70-odd minutes this was the case, with concentration etched on the players’ faces over even the most simple of tasks... The Magpies were slightly fortunate to keep 11 men on the field after Matt Challoner stopped United’s top scorer Daniel Udoh from getting in on goal.

    But once Vermiglio released Louis Almond and Alex Newby from the bench midway through the second half the tide turned... And when Almond held off the attentions of Theo Streete to cross superb for Wilson to glance home with seven minutes remaining, it looked like the visitors had done enough for league win number 10. That was until the third minute of stoppage when Cowans was allowed space 20 yards out to fire through a crowd, past Matt Urwin, to earn the hosts a share of the points."

    From the Telegraph & Argus we learn that "Bradford (Park Avenue) were downed by two flashes of individual brilliance inside the last eight minutes from Kidderminster Harriers’ Ed Williams, whose side won 2-1 at Horsfall Stadium.

    It was third hosting second in the National League North and, after 61 minutes of the contest on Non-League Day, Avenue had leapfrogged their visitors in the table. But Williams is rumoured to be being tracked by Aston Villa and Leeds United and he showed why as his two strikes saw Mark Bower's men slip to sixth place, while Kidderminster remain in second...

    Park Avenue boss Bower was visibly disappointed after the game and said, 'I thought we played really, really well for large spells and against a very good side that I think will be up there. We didn’t just match them, I thought we were the better side and created more chances. We were a little unlucky in the second half with some of the chances. We’ve hit the post and been close another couple of times and if we had gone 2-0 up then it’s a different game. But in the last 10 minutes, their full-time fitness probably told to be honest and Ed Williams, the lad has been doing it all season, and at times you’ve just got to acknowledge the individual quality of a player.

    'His first one was a brilliant goal and he’s got himself into position for the second but that one got a big deflection and that’s happened a lot to us recently. Deflected shots seem to go in at our end but not at the other when we’re attacking. I felt if anyone had done enough to win it was us but a draw would probably have been a fairer result. We didn’t get the draw, we’ve been beaten but there are enough positives to take from it.'

    Avenue suffered a blow days before the game when Nicky Clee and Ben McKenna both picked up injuries in Thursday’s training session. Bower was already aware that Chris Dawson had not recovered from the hamstring strain that forced him off in the previous weekend’s FA Cup exit at Altrincham. Despite being depleted, Avenue had an attacking line-up".

    Still in Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus adds that "A wind-assisted late winner from assistant player-manager Paul Clayton took the Lions [Guiseley] to within one point of their opponents, who were one of the title favourites in pre-season... The home side took an early lead with a well-worked goal but Brackley... were level soon after.

    A good move by the Lions saw Kayode Odejayi in a good position and his final ball picked out Kingsley James, who fired a superb shot past Saints’ keeper Danny Lewis... [A Brackley] corner kick, delivered by Luke Fairlamb swung in on the wind and ended in the net. Guiseley were rocking, in the breeze and from the onslaught by the Saints... Clayton was the home side’s third substitute, replacing Odejayi in the 70th minute, but he made his mark. An 88th-minute free-kick was caught by the wind which wrong-footed the Brackley defence and outfoxed Lewis.

    The stopper could not gather it and Clayton pounced to bundle the ball home. Guiseley joint manager Marcus Bignot said 'The wind was awful and it’s obviously played a massive part in two of the goals, their equaliser and our winner, and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s evened out. It’s a big win for us and I’m delighted... Brackley are a good side with some serial winners in their team... So it’s a good gauge as to where we’re at. With the players we have coming back from injury and the players still out, it bodes well".


    According to the Daily Star, "Manchester United manager José Mourinho fears Salford City owner Peter Lim is trying to force him out of Old Trafford. The Portuguese boss feels he is being chased out of the club and recently hit out at the 'manhunt' against him after the 3-2 win at Newcastle. And Mourinho's close friend Eládio Parames has now explained why the United boss fears for his job.

    In his column for the Portuguese newspaper Record, the United boss's confidant claims Peter Lim wants to buy the Red Devils but feels he would land the club easier if Mourinho was not in charge. 'It is the money-man from Singapore who is managing, controlling and supporting this campaign trying to discredit the man from Setúbal and then buy the club,' Parames wrote. As well as owning 50 per cent of Salford City, Lim also owns Valencia".

    14 October 2018


    After some impressive play had got Altrincham 3-0 ahead inside 24 minutes, the second half was a far less entertaining spectacle as the visitors attempted to get back into the game.

    Alty had not scored a first-half goal at home in the league in five previous attempts this season but in this match they were 2-0 up inside nine minutes.

    As the game went into its fourth minute Jordan Hulme looked anxiously to the linesman as he latched onto a pass and, with no flag raised, he advanced and put in a low cross from right of goal which loanee Owen Dale converted at the back post to make it 1-0. (Owen's goal is pictured above, whilst Josh Gowling's reaction is shown below, right, as Alty celebrate in the background).

    Five minutes later it was 2-0 as Dale found Harrop who scored from the edge of the box.

    With the visitors offering nothing in the way of an attacking threat, the score became 3-0 when Dale and Harrop combined to prompt a shot from Hulme which found the back of the net from the edge of the box.

    The second half was a disjointed affair with numerous petty fouls and bookings. Somehow Alty picked up four of them, most of them questionable. Alfreton got a goal back after 61 minutes when Peniket got the better of substitute Goulding as they chased a through ball, before beating Thompson with a low shot into the far corner.

    Alty defended well after that and emerged deserved winners.


    When Altrincham FC Youth meet Tadcaster Albion in the FA Youth Cup, the prize will be a place in the First Round Proper at home to Oldham Athletic.


    It was good to see former Altrincham captain and joint manager, Robbie Lawton, at Saturday's game against Alfreton Town. Robbie is still keeping fit, but nowadays concentrates on cycling whilst doing well in his lecturing role.

    And congratulations go to Altrincham FC's long-term volunteer and former commercial director, Barry Pond, who celebrated his eightieth birthday recently and who sponsored Saturday's game.


    • Att. 1258 AFC Telford United 1 - 1 Chorley
    • Att. 1123 Altrincham 3 - 1 Alfreton Town
    • Att. 1081 Boston United 4 - 0 Blyth Spartans
    • Att. 529 Bradford (Park Avenue) 1 - 2 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Att. 1978 FC United Of Manchester 1 - 2 Darlington
    • Att. 751 Guiseley 2 - 1 Brackley Town
    • Att. 705 Leamington 0 - 1 Curzon Ashton
    • Att. 1149 Southport 1 - 2 York City
    • Att. 708 Spennymoor Town 5 - 0 Ashton United
    • Att. 3646 Stockport County 1 - 1 Hereford


    Bulls' News reports that "Bristol City loanee Harvey Smith was made captain for this afternoon's 1-1 draw at Stockport County, but apparently only found out just before today's game. He's a leader according to Head Coach Mark Richards, and stepped up to the role as Jordan Cullinane-Liburd was dropped to the bench. He also scored the goal for Hereford, initially incorrectly reported as Calvin Dinsley."

    According to York Press "York City boss Sam Collins admitted he has rejected approaches from clubs for Tom Allan after using the defender for the first time in his nine-game tenure.

    Allan was introduced as a 32nd-minute substitute during the Minstermen’s 2-1 victory at Southport, despite not even making the seven-strong bench for the previous weekend’s FA Cup win against St Ives Town. In fact, the 23-year-old centre back, who netted nine times for Alfreton last term, had only made one of Collins’s last seven matchday squads, prior to the Merseyside trip.

    But the former Huntington Secondary School pupil helped shore up a City defence side that had fallen behind to an eighth-minute Dion Charles penalty, as the team switched from a back three to a four-man defence and subsequently claimed maximum points following Jordan Burrow and Simon Heslop efforts.

    On Allan’s return from the cold, Collins enthused, 'He was outstanding and it’s really difficult for defenders to come into games. They’ve got to get used to the speed of the game and we weren’t playing very well either when he came on. He’s had to bide his time and we’ve had quite a bit of interest in him from clubs, but I think there’s a player in there, because he’s still young, he’s 6ft 5in, has good pace and is left-sided, so what I’ve told him is that I will batter[?] him in terms of defensive work, as I think I can turn him into a player.'

    Wing-back David Ferguson was sacrificed in the first-half reshuffle, but Collins also praised the former England C international for his reaction to that decision. It’s not nice when that happens to you and Dave has done really well for me so far, but we had to do it because, if we hadn’t, we could have been in for a really tough day as we didn’t look organised,' Collins reasoned. 'I spoke to Dave at the end of the game and he said "It didn’t matter, because we won the game," which is exactly what I wanted him to say.'

    Ex-Hull and Huddersfield defender Collins went on to confess his team were not at their best against the Haig Avenue strugglers... 'We produced our only two really moments of quality for the goals. But it was a great result to dig out and the biggest thing was we won the game by just hanging in there'...

    Heslop’s 84th-minute winning goal, meanwhile, was the kind of spectacular strike that Collins declared is his trademark in training... The result saw Collins’ reign as a permanent successor to Martin Gray get off to a winning start...

    'The players played a massive part in me getting the job and it was a very difficult period for them as everything was up in the air,' he pointed out".

    Elsewhere, Blyth Spartans "suffered their ‘worst performance’ under the stewardship of Alun Armstrong in a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Boston United. Coming into the fixture on the back of three straight wins, confidence was high in the Spartans' ranks, but it would be fair to say all that confidence will be gone after a display that mustered just three attempts on goal, none of those testing Willis in the Pilgrims' goal.

    Gregg Smith gave the hosts the lead on 13 minutes, with the hosts adding three more in the second half thanks to Nicky Walker, Gavin Allott and Brad Abbott.

    Spartans now sit just one point and one place outside the relegation zone and now must prepare for an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against York City next Saturday.

    Blyth looked to pick up their first away victory of the season in the National League North on the back of three straight wins in all competitions, naming an unchanged lineup for the third successive game. But it was the hosts – who hadn’t scored at home in four straight games, losing them all 2-0, who dominated from start to finish...

    An appalling performance from Spartans".

    On the other hand the Boston Standard tells us that "Craig Elliott was full of praise for his Pilgrims as Boston United ended their home hoodoo...

    'There were two objectives today; one was to score a goal at home and the other was to win the game,' he said. 'We did both. It was important we worked and improved today, a lot of pressure but the players handled it... We’ve had a half decent start,' Elliott added. 'As much as I’d like us to have more points, we have a decent points total and it’s another win. I’ve always targeted 20 wins for the season, so we’re getting closer to that.'”

    In the Shropshire Star manager "Gavin Cowan insisted his Bucks won't be getting too excited after more than matching unbeaten leaders Chorley in today's 1-1 draw.

    Despite Telford arguably having the better of the play, former striker Josh Wilson headed home in the 83rd minute and it looked as if the leaders would take the spoils back to Lancashire. However Henry Cowans fired home from the edge of the box in injury time to rescue a point.

    Boss Cowan heaped praise on his side... He said, 'Pro clubs would struggle to match our work in the week and the result was for the lads they deserve that. We've gone up against what is the best team in the league and more than matched them. We had a game plan and had to stick to it, but we don't get too excited when we do well and don't get too down when we don't.'

    The Bucks converted their formation today, switching to a back three with young Zak Lilly slotting in on the left side. Daryl Knights and John McAtee played behind Daniel Udoh, and Cowan admitted he may look at the system again in the coming weeks.

    He said, 'We wanted to match them up and get Daniel spinning in behind. I've been looking at it for a couple of weeks, and we played two tens and told them to drive and dribble and they did but the final ball evaded us in the first half'".

    The Stoke Sentinel informs us that "Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite has explained his role in Nuneaton Borough amid fears the non-league club could fold.

    Smurthwaite bought Nuneaton Borough's Liberty Way ground in the summer, but the FA, EFL and National League rules restrict the involvement he can have in the running of the club because he is already owner and chairman of the Valiants. He has spelled out the possibility of Borough closing, says he believes the next week to ten days is the most critical time the club has ever faced and has appealed to the Nuneaton community for help as the football club looks for investment.

    Nuneaton club captain Cameron Belford has spoken out about the club's problems this week, saying there has been no training kit, no training facilities and no hot water. He also says he understands there is no money for staff or players' wages at the end of the month.

    Now Smurthwaite has spoken about the situation in a statement to the Nuneaton Borough Supporters Co-Operative... Smurthwaite said 'In the absence of anyone being able to or choosing to I thought it appropriate that I clarify the position of both myself and the football. I was originally approached in April this year by Lee Thorn to see if I would consider buying the stadium, as an option to save the football club to stay within the Conference North competition.

    'The other two interested parties at the time were Nuneaton Rugby Club and The Nuneaton Borough Co-Op. I was approached again just before the National League AGM that those two options could not or would not be completed within the timescales. I then agreed to and purchased Borough Stadium Limited, with the sole intention of enabling Nuneaton Town, as was, to continue to play their fixtures at that venue.

    'I also agreed with Lee Thorn that I would endeavour to act as a facilitator to try to bring together a new body to acquire Borough Leisure Limited, the holding company of the football club, in order that Lee could extract himself from his involvement. At that time we agreed that all directors’ loans would be cancelled. He also requested and gave me authority to approach and negotiate with the existing unpaid creditors of Nuneaton Town which has been a work a progress since that time.

    'Lee Thorn was and is the 100% beneficial shareholder of Borough Leisure Limited. Due to undertakings provided by myself to the EFL with regard to purchasing Borough Stadium Limited and the stringent rules laid down by the EFL, National League and the FA regarding dual ownership, I could not and will not be able to have any shareholding in any existing or new business or provide any financial support to such a business.

    'However, it was agreed and understood that I can help and use my experience gained over the past six years of owning an EFL member football club as long as I do not breach any rules or regulations laid down by any of the aforementioned bodies.

    'One of the biggest challenges I encountered in dealing with the above was the non-desire of the obvious key business parties within Nuneaton, with the true interests of the club at heart, who would not engage with Lee Thorn, even with me acting as an intermediary, in order to satisfactorily conclude the transfer of ownership to a new entity.

    'As time went by Lee decided that things were not progressing quickly enough for him and he ultimately resigned as a director and severed all contacts with the regulatory bodies, creditors and the football club. This resulted in the Club being unable to access the bank account, operate the payroll and other obvious legal requirements of running a limited company which resulted in the National League placing an embargo on Nuneaton Borough FC on the 3rd October 2018.

    'I have had several meetings and numerous discussions with the National League and latterly with the FA... The rules of both bodies allow certain changes to enable the transferring of the membership of the National League to a new company or body, subject to meeting all the necessary rules and requirements laid down. This enables new parties to now become involved, create a board and produce the necessary financial budgets to take the Club forward. Sadly over the last few days the appetite for this has become splintered amongst several of the people who were to become involved.

    'The amount owed to existing creditors is quite small, which is unusual in this situation and, in fact, the biggest creditor is Borough Stadium as no rent has been paid, but this would be waived in the current circumstances. The current monthly payroll of the players is circa £25,000 per month but with the gates as they are the monthly shortfall of the Club is between £17,000-£19,000 per month. Here lies the major operational issue of Nuneaton Borough in whatever guise going forward.

    'Having now established a process to save the football club the new board was to be interviewed by the National League next week, pass the appropriate fit and proper tests and be in situ, having met all necessary requirements before the 1st November being the next board meeting of the National League. On leaving the meeting on Monday I was confident that this timescale was achievable but, at the time of writing this statement, I am far from confident that this will now be the case.

    'For my part, I purchased the stadium to give a lifeline to the football club in an area to which I have a personal affinity. I have had very healthy dialogue with the Chair of Nuneaton Rugby Club and, although a ground share agreement was not taken up by them, we have tried to work as neighbours as best as possible in the circumstances. I am still pursuing the legal process of obtaining the appropriate access within the stadium currently being denied by the rugby club and this will become clear in due course.

    'As you are no doubt aware there is a skeleton staff employed at the football club who have done an unbelievable and admirable job to try and deal with both the administration of running a football club and the challenges which appear to be raised to deflect that on a daily basis. Understandably the players are concerned regarding their livelihood but the contractual position is that they remain players registered until Nuneaton Borough FC defaults on its contractual obligations, i.e. not meeting the payroll; 14 days after such a breach they are free to terminate their contract.

    'I now turn to the fans and the wider Nuneaton community. The next week to ten days is the most critical time I believe this club has ever faced. I feel that the club needs to engage you all in trying to avert the sad closure of the football club's doors. As I now do not believe that the parties who originally expressed an interest in wishing to create a new board and take the club forward on their own, there are both the operational issues of still creating a new vehicle and trying to find funding to meet the club's financial obligations.

    'If the town wishes to keep the heritage and the football club alive it now needs your immediate assistance. I will endeavour to help within the constraints the regulatory bodies have imposed upon me and hope that a solution can be found to what are some serious challenges in front of the Club and the town as a whole'...

    Since Smurthwaite bought Nuneaton's ground, the Valiants have played a friendly there and loaned the National League North club midfielder Mike Calveley and striker Dior Angus".

    In the EvoStik League, the following players have recently moved out of the Vanarama North...

    • Liam Dickinson from FC United of Manchester to Droylsden
    • Nic Evangelinos from Ashton United to Ramsbottom United
    • Daniel Singleton from Southport FC to Skelmersdale United
    • Jake Whiley from Southport FC to Skelmersdale United

    13 October 2018


    Saturday 13 October 2018, Vanarama National League North

    • AFC Telford United 1-1 Chorley
    • Altrincham 3-1 Alfreton Town
    • Boston United 4-0 Blyth Spartans
    • Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-2 Kidderminster Harriers
    • FC United of Manchester 1-2 Darlington
    • Guiseley 2-1 Brackley Town
    • Leamington 0-1 Curzon Ashton
    • Southport 1-2 York City
    • Spennymoor Town 5-0 Ashton United
    • Stockport County 1-1 Hereford FC


    Alfreton Town arrive at the J. Davidson Stadium four points ahead of Altrincham but having lost their last three league fixtures. For their part, Altrincham are looking not only for their first home league win of the season but their first first-half goal at the J. Davidson Stadium in this season's Vanarama National League North campaign.

    Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in previous matches against Alfreton Town, the outcomes have been as follow. Strangely, not only do both teams have a better record on their opponent's ground when playing against each other but both Alfreton and Altrincham have better records this season when playing in the league away from home.

    • P5-W1-D1-L3-F7-A5
    • P6-W3-D2-L1-F10-A4
    • P11-W4-D3-L4-F17-A9

    The visitors, Alfreton Town, report that they "travel to the J Davidson Stadium to face Altrincham... on Non League Day.

    It's been another successful week in the FA Cup for the Reds who banked another £15,000 following progression past Mickleover Sports last Saturday. The Reds led 2-0 at half time thanks to goals from Jordan Sinnott and Richard Peniket, a late Sports penalty set up a tense final ten or so minutes, but Alfreton defended well and progressed into the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

    Attention turns back to the league where the Reds will be looking for an upturn in form. After three straight league defeats (Bradford PA, Chorley, Guiseley), Alfreton head to Altrincham looking to change their recent league fortunes and avoid that number becoming four. The Reds away form in the league has seen us win three of the last four away league games and, including the FA Cup away trips, the Reds have tasted defeat just once (Chorley) in their last six away outings in all competitions.

    Although all three defeats have seen fine margins, where a lack of goalscoring touch failed to see off Guiseley, mistakes cost us at Chorley and one laspe in concentration also proved vital against Bradford, the Reds will be looking to iron out mistakes and get back on the winning trail in the league.

    Alty also progressed last weekend in the FA Cup after a 4-2 home win over Bradford (Park Avenue). League form has seen just one win in the last five league games although form at the J Davidson Stadium has been mixed with the hosts yet to register three points in the league at home, the two home fixtures in the FA Cup have seen two wins however."

    Twitter has an interview with Reds' manager, Billy Heath.


    The Coventry Telegraph tells us , "No kit, no hot water, no training facilities, player reveals situation at Nuneaton Borough Football Club. Club captain Cameron Belford has lifted the lid on what it is like at troubled Nuneaton Borough Football Club...

    It follows the announcement that the club, which has been in the town since the 1930s, is on the verge of folding. Much has been played out on social media but, in a post on Twitter, the Nuneaton-born player has explained how the team fear not being paid at the end of the month and how they have been advised to look for other clubs.

    It reads, 'I've had a few people message me and seen many more fans asking on social media what is going on at the club so I feel it's only right to let them know what I know from a players point of view. From what we understand, there is no money for staff and players wages at the end of the month or the foreseeable future, so effectively we are continuing to give our all for this club with the uncertainty of not being paid for it. For everyone, it's been difficult from day one and the signs have always been there!...

    'There has been no training kit, no training facilities, no hot water and constant talk of the money situation. The playing squad have also been told that it would be in their best interests to seek employment elsewhere for the good of themselves, their families and their long term future due to there being zero security from the club. We feel that we are building something special on the pitch, the lads and the staff have been in this together from the start and will continue to do so until the day comes when we are told otherwise.

    'I have fond memories and a stronger connection than most with this club having been born and raised in the town and I certainly don't want this club to die! It's at a critical stage now and I hope somebody or even better a group of people can be found who can help save the club and the community as this town without football is a travesty. Football is more than just a game, it's people's lives and passions'...

    He is not a lone voice from the club, assistant manager Lee Fowler has claimed in a tweet that the club is under a transfer embargo... He says 'Another embargo again when it rains it pours'...

    Even former players have joined the call to save the club, including [Jake's brother] Louis Moult. The Preston North End striker tweeted 'Hope Nuneaton Borough can pull through, a great club that helped me get my career started'...

    A campaign has been mounted to try and save the club by the Nuneaton Borough Supporters Co-operative".

    Boston United "made their second attacking acquisition of the day with the capture of versatile performer Josh Hine. The 27-year-old, who has been a regular against the Pilgrims over the years, has linked up with Craig Elliott's side following stints with Chorley and Marine.

    He has also appeared for the likes of Salford City and Southport".

    And "Boston United have completed the signing of former Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Slew. The 26-year-old, who commanded a £1.1 million transfer fee in 2011, has linked up with Craig Elliott's side following a successful trial spell at the club. Slew has other Football League experience with the likes of Chesterfield, Cambridge United, Plymouth Argyle and Rochdale".

    In addition, "Boston United manager Craig Elliott hopes to have playmaker Andi Thanoj back in contention for the visit of Blyth Spartans on Saturday afternoon... as they chase a first home victory since August 14 against Nuneaton Borough. Thanoj's anticipated availability will be a major boost for Elliott who has three gaps in the matchday squad on duty at Curzon Ashton a fortnight ago following the departures of substitutes Ahkeem Rose, Jordan Gough and Adam Marriott.

    All eyes will be on who fills the other slots with Nathan Arnold and Yusifu Ceesay also on the move since the Curzon clash. Jay Rollins remains United's only definite absentee with adductor and hip issues. "

    Elsewhere, Hereford FC "have strengthened the squad ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Edgeley Park... We’re delighted to confirm that goalkeeper Matt Yates and defender Ethan Wassall have both arrived on loan from Derby County... on initial one-month loan deals.

    Yates, formerly on loan at Gloucester City this season, is the son of former Derby County defender Dean Yates. The 19-year-old ‘keeper joined The Rams Academy at the age of nine, and has progressed through to the U23 squad. Matt has been a regular starter for the County Academy sides up until his loan spell with The Tigers at the start of this season.

    Wassall, a 20-year-old central defender previously captained the Derby County U18s before progressing into the U23 squad. Ethan is the son of former Hereford United loanee Darren Wassell who made six appearances for The Bulls in 1987."

    Over at Bradford (Park Avenue) "The owners of two of Bradford’s iconic professional sporting clubs have today announced an innovative strategic partnership. Gareth Roberts, owner of Bradford Park Avenue, and Andrew Chalmers, owner of Betfred Championship Rugby League Club The Bradford Bulls were excited to announce the Partnership:

    'We’ve been in positive dialogue for a number of months regarding our respective clubs and how best to serve our supporters and the community in future,' said Gareth Roberts who has provided substantial financial support to Bradford Park Avenue over the past few years. He continued, 'Our management team and players have done a tremendous job to reach deep into the playoffs last season and have begun the 2018/2019 season strongly again. Like many National League clubs, however, we have required constant underwriting financially to fund our endeavours and that is not a sustainable model in perpetuity. By utilising the expertise of the Bulls management we can get a best practice evaluation of our off-field and front office operations and access their wider resources and experience in raising our game commercially and operationally'.

    Andrew Chalmers added 'There is a wonderful synergy in returning to a partnership which was in place from 1863 to 1907. Our two clubs are traditionally family, and with both on a strong growth and performance trajectory there is so much common sense in sharing our services and resources to reduce costs and improve performance'. In 1863 Bradford Football Club was formed and in 1907 the club split when the Bradford Northern was formed in order to continue playing Rugby League whilst the slight majority of members chose to pursue Association Football forming Bradford Park Avenue AFC...

    The concept of multi-sport shared management and services models, and the associated cost and efficiency benefits it brings is something that both Club Chairmen are interested in exploring further. The Partnership will see Damian Irvine from The Bulls take on the wider remit of overseeing the day to day operational and strategic management of Bradford Park Avenue. Irvine, who is a vastly experienced Football and Rugby Chief Executive, led the financial turnaround of top-tier Cronulla Sharks in his native Australia before delivering commercial success and award-winning engagement and marketing campaigns at EFL clubs Notts County and Wycombe Wanderers".

    The Shropshire Star informs us that "With their confidence knocked from back-to-back defeats, AFC Telford United are in for a huge test tomorrow. National League North leaders Chorley are visiting the New Buck's Head and, given how things have gone for Gavin Cowan’s charges recently, it would be fair to state the clash has come at a bad time...though, it could be a blessing in disguise for the Bucks.

    Inflicting a first loss of the term on the Magpies would make up for the previous couple of games... Chorley have won nine and drawn two so the vast majority expect them to bag the win... Bucks' keeper Max Bramley insists that...'There is pressure on them, of course, but I’d say that most of the pressure is on us as we’re the ones at home... We just haven’t been quick out of the gate. The mood among the squad, naturally, hasn’t been as good as it was when we were winning but it’s nothing negative'...

    The big positive for the Bucks ahead of the encounter is that they are unbeaten at home... And they have everybody fit and available. Top scorer Daniel Udoh should lead the line after taking his tally to 11 in all competitions last time out. But it is a toss-up as to who will partner him in attack. Amari Morgan-Smith, Andre Brown and Matthew Barnes-Homer have all had game time up top as of late, but none have managed to get on the scoresheet.

    Cowan may be inclined to hand Shrewsbury loanee John McAtee a start as a second striker, to support Udoh when Telford have possession and help out the midfield when off it in an attempt to stifle the dominant Magpies.

    Chorley have a few former Bucks players in their ranks. Winger [and ex-Alty loanee] Elliot Newby joined them from Telford in the summer for an undisclosed fee while Josh Wilson, who was the under Rob Smith two seasons ago, and shot-stopper Matt Urwin have been a regular starters for Jamie Vermiglio, another ex-Buck."

    Huddersfield Town "Academy has formed a new working relationship with Southport FC. The clubs have come together over the last few months to exchange ideas on best practice and to discuss how the development of Town’s promising young players could potentially work in tandem moving forward.

    Huddersfield Town fan Phil Hodgkinson is the link between the Town Academy and The Sandgrounders. Phil is Chief Executive Officer of the Academy... and is also a Director at the highly ambitious non-league club... A delegation led by Southport Chief Executive Natalie Atkinson recently visited the John Smith’s Stadium to meet with their Town counterparts to learn about Premier League operations and take lessons back to their Club.

    That process will continue, whilst Southport’s football staff will meet regularly with Town Academy Manager Leigh Bromby to discuss best practice and the potential for Town’s promising young talents to move to the Merseyrail Community Stadium to experience senior men’s football...

    Southport Director and CEO of PURE Business Group Phil Hodgkinson commented... 'We have huge ambition at Southport FC and to be able to share the knowledge of a Premier League club like Huddersfield Town in all areas with their incredible staff will help to accelerate our own journey up the football pyramid... I am incredibly proud to have been able to put together with Sean, Leigh and the team what I believe is a ‘non-league first’ and to be able to do this with a Premier League club of Huddersfield Town’s stature demonstrates both our ambition for Southport FC, but also Town’s belief and trust, in our ambition and methods.'"

    From the Lancashire Evening Post we learn that "Neil Reynolds is determined to push all the off-field distractions to one side this weekend when Bamber Bridge travel to face top-of-the-table Scarborough Athletic. The Brig boss has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the past week after news broke that FC United of Manchester had made him their No.1 target to become the new manager at Broadhurst Park.

    The Red Rebels’ approach for Reynolds was rejected by the Brig board, who are determined to hang on to him. Reynolds has admitted he is extremely flattered by FC United’s interest in him, but will not break the three-year contract he signed in May. It remains to be seen whether FC United return with a new and improved offer to tempt Brig into parting with Reynolds...

    'To be mentioned in the same breath as FC United is a huge compliment to me,' said Reynolds. 'But I am Bamber Bridge’s property and that is what it is. I am contracted and I have a job to do'".

    12 October 2018


    Two of Altrincham's recent signings, Joe Thompson (right) and Callum Harris, have joined Winsford United on a dual registration arrangement. For more on this see the official Altrincham FC website.


    A sizable congregation attended St Vincent's RC Church in Altrincham on Thursday for the funeral service for former Altrincham FC manager Bernard Taylor, who died on 26 September, aged 78.

    Tributes, which included several humorous recollections of episodes in Bernard's life, were delivered by Vic Green, a great friend of Bernard and a former Alty kitman, by Bernard's nephew, Dean Grayson, and by former Altrincham FC chairman, Mark Harris, currently the chairman of Witton Albion.

    The coffin was borne by members of the extended Taylor family, all wearing replica shirts of Bernard's other footballing love, Manchester City. On its way to the Church, the funeral cortege paused outside the J. Davidson Stadium in Moss Lane. Amongst the mourners were former Altrincham manager, John King, and the club's record appearance-maker, Stuart Coburn.

    JAKE'S 300

    The official Altrincham FC site has John Edwards's piece on Jake Moult's recent 300th appearance for the club.


    York Press tells us that "Sam Collins has been confirmed as York City’s new permanent manager. The Minstermen have moved to install Collins as the club’s full-time successor to Martin Gray following seven weeks in temporary charge, during which time he has overseen four victories, three draws and one defeat.

    City have spoken to other 'high-quality' interested candidates during the last ten days but have decided to promote the former youth-team coach, who has also been caretaker boss of Hartlepool three times in the past. Collins, 41, has been at the Bootham Crescent helm since mid-August following Gray’s dismissal five games into the National League North season. During that period, he has won four home matches out of five, while drawing all three of his fixtures on the road....

    A 3-0 reverse to Kidderminster has proven the biggest disappointment under Collins...

    A statement from City’s board of directors read, 'We are delighted to appoint Sam Collins as first team manager of York City Football Club. Over the past few weeks, Sam has displayed the ability to take the club forward and fully warrants the opportunity.... This important decision was reached after conducting a lengthy interview process. There has been significant interest in our vacancy and the board has interviewed some high-quality candidates. Sam Collins has impressed with his organisational skills and work-ethic, his tactical flexibility, and his ability to implement an attractive style of play.

    'He has also shown a willingness to promote youth and has galvanised the club's playing staff. We firmly believe that Sam has all the necessary attributes to develop into a top young manager and the board will support his efforts in every way possible as he strives to lead the club to success this season.'

    Former Middlesbrough defender Stuart Parnaby, who has been acting as Collins’ assistant during his temporary tenure, has also been unveiled as the full-time number two."

    Unconfirmed reports say that Nuneaton Town have advised all of their players that they are free to look for other clubs.

    11 October 2018


    Saturday, when Altrincham entertain Alfreton Town, is Non-League Day, and Altrincham FC is marking the event by offering discounted entry to the J Davidson Stadium and a free drink for three categories of spectator. See the official site for details.


    Altrincham supporters are reminded that the funeral for Bernard will be held today (Thursday 11th October) at 1.45pm at St Vincent's Church, Bentinck Road, Altrincham WA14 2BP, followed by cremation at Altrincham Crematorium at 3pm. The funeral reception will take place at the Masonic Hall, Clay Lane, Timperley WA15 7AB. The Taylor family has indicated that all friends and acquaintances of Bernard will be welcome at all three parts of the afternoon and they would be delighted to see as many people as possible attending on the day.

    The funeral cortege will pause for a minute at the J. Davidson Stadium at 1.30pm, on its way to St Vincent's Church.

    Above: Bernard and his team enjoy an open-top bus parade through Altrincham with the many trophies won during the 1998-1999 season. And, of course, Kenny Palin had a front-row place on the bus, too!


    When Alfreton Town play at the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday it will be eighteen months since their last visit. That was for the penultimate game of Altrincham's disastrous 2016-17 campaign.

    Right: Former team-mates Jake Moult and Craig Hobson warm up before Alty's game with Alfreton in April 2017. They will oppose each other on Saturday.

    For that game, "A draw was ultimately a fair outcome in this battle between the division's two most porous defences. The visitors had the better of the first half against an Alty side which had recurrent difficulty in clearing its defensive lines. Alfreton took a deserved lead in the 39th minute when Westcarr's cross was met by Monkhouse's header past Deasy.

    The goal had arrived just minutes after Altrincham had made a tactical change, replacing left-back McWilliams with Shaun Densmore. Densmore initially slotted into a left-sided midfield position but, after the break, he assumed a central role and he was a significant factor in the improved second-half performance by the hosts.

    But, although Densmore was instrumental in scoring the 56th minute equalizer, the goal might well be credited to Alfreton keeper Spiess. The keeper fumbled the Alty midfielder's whipped-in cross from the left and, in attempting to retrieve the situation, only succeeded in carrying the ball over the goal-line.

    Until the closing stages, when Alfreton got forward again, it was Altrincham who had the better of the second half but the final whistle left the hosts with just one home win in their league campaign this season".

    The line ups were:

    ALTRINCHAM 1. Tim Deasy 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Laurence Taylor, 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. Jake Moult (capt), 7. Simon Richman, 8. Kyle Brownhill, 9. Micah Evans, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 14. James Lawrie, 12. Shaun Densmore, 15. Clayton McDonald, 17. Craig Hobson, 16. Sam Patterson.

    ALFRETON TOWN 1. Fabian Spiess, 2. Jordan Richards, 3. Ryan Wilson, 4. Niall Heaton, 5. Callum McFadzean, 6. Paul Marshall, 7. Mark Shelton, 8. Wesley Atkinson, 9. Adam Priestley, 10. Craig Westcarr, 11. Andy Monkhouse (capt). Subs: 12. Liam Hearn, 14. Jordan Wright 15. Ellis Evans, 16. Oliver Cox, 17. Thomas Allan.

    This time around Altrincham go into the game lying 15th whilst the Reds are five places and four points ahead of their hosts.

    As previously reported, ex-Alty players likely to figure for Alfreton on Saturday are striker Craig Hobson, for whom the match would be his club debut, and midfielder Jordan Sinnott.

    Alfreton will also renew acquaintance with two of their former players. One of these is Alty captain Jake Moult. Jake was signed from Alfreton by Altrincham by Jordan's father Lee Sinnott, initially on a 93-day loan in late August 2012. The other Alty man who has turned out for Alfreton Town is John Johnston who had a loan spell there, from Crewe Alexandra, in late 2014 before he signed for the Derbyshire club in January 2015.


    Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC chairman David Harrington-Wright hopes that the vision for how businessman Stuart Murphy's generous £1 million donation to the football club will be spent will be revealed by February 'at the latest'.

    Murphy, founder of Chester-based business rates firm Exacta Plc, approached the Blues earlier this year, following the news of their financial trouble in January, and pledged £1m over a three-year period to be invested into the club's infrastructure. With the club so heavily reliant on match days for income Murphy wants to help the fan-owned club be sustainable and avoid financial situations such as those that arose in at the start of the year when the club was brought to its knees before fans rallied around to raise the necessary funds.

    When Murphy, who splits his time between Majorca and the UK, spoke to the Chester Chronicle earlier this year he stated that the donation could even surpass the £1m pledged depending on what the projects were, and the businessman has been presented with ideas from the club as well as working on his own vision, with the plans hopefully unveiled to fans in the coming months.

    Said Harrington-Wright 'We have an infrastructure working group as we wanted to sit down with Stuart and give him some ideas of what we think about the business case for the club and developing additional income. His mantra is that for every pound invested there should be a return of £2 to £3 back to the club in sustainable income. Obviously things like resurfacing the car park have been mentioned but that is a big job and it's not going to generate us money in the short term.

    'We need to look a whole range of things, from redeveloping parts of the ground, possibly filling in some of the corners of the stadium to redeveloping the Blues Bar, the Legends Lounge and the shop. We're well underway with that and some plans were presented to Stuart earlier this week which he has gone away to look at. He has got his own team coming up with his vision. They are big capital expenditure and build[ing] programmes and he is wanting to get on with that as we are already six months on from when we first started to talk to him.

    'He was talking about a three-year timescale so, if there is planning to be done and building work to be done, an ideal time to do that is during the close season or towards the end of the season, but how quickly can these things be done to start generating an income? We are also looking at what other uses are there for the land around the stadium. Yes there was Stagecoach once upon a time that was talked about that never went very far and we were approached by another company that probably isn't going to go anywhere because of the amount of work required on the car park for something like that.

    'Is there an opportunity to put some buildings on the car park that could be rented out? I don't know but these are all in the mix with Stuart to look at to generate income for the club... I would hope... that we would be in a position by January/February at the latest to be saying to the fans this is the blueprint and what we are going to do first, second and third and that we are underway, we're going to planning and come down and have a look and we'll do a presentation on it so that everyone can see and have their say and get behind us'...

    One blueprint that has stood out is that of AFC Fylde, whose Mill Farm complex and the additional revenue streams they have available give the Coasters a sustainable model despite their limited crowds. Fylde's home came about thanks to heavy investment from their owner, David Haythornthwaite, and cost several million to come to fruition. And while imitating that model will be beyond the resources Chester have available there are elements of what they have at Mill Farm that could be implemented at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

    Harrington-Wright said, 'Stuart has looked at AFC Fylde himself along with us and it is a brilliant model. £1m is fantastic but when you start building it doesn't go as far as you'd think and then you start looking at £2m, £3m or £4m. If we are looking for a return of £2 for every £1 spent then where would we generate £8m to £10 from in a five-year period? How are we going to get people here? It's not for the 25 match-days a season, this is a massive piece of estate here and we have to have the facilities so that the bar and the lounge is used away from matches so that we aren't relying on them so that we can generate £100,000-£200,000 a year that doesn't rely on football.

    'If you go to other stadiums like the Britannia Stadium (Stoke City) or Bolton Wanderers then those stadiums are used for conferences. We have a great venue here for that and we have a big car park, a massive resource with the estate around us but we could offer something completely different on that side of things'".

    Meanwhile, on the playing side, Cheshire Live adds that "In-form Chester FC winger Dan Mooney has been recalled by parent club Fleetwood Town. The 19-year-old has been excellent for Chester in recent weeks and netted a brace in the FA Cup third qualifying round loss to Dunston UTS on Saturday to take his total five goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.

    Since joining on loan during the summer, initially until January, Mooney has established himself as a key part of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's starting XI and impressed with his direct approach in the final third. He has been recalled by parent club Fleetwood, but it's anticipated that his return to Highbury will be a short one. Fleetwood had a Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Rochdale last night and wanted Mooney involved as they have one eye on an important home clash with Shrewsbury Town on Saturday... But he is set to resume his loan spell at Chester on the agreed terms of the original deal following the last night's game and will be available for the Blues, who are without a game for the next two Saturdays, when they get back to National League North action at home to Alfreton Town... Mooney's loan deal at Chester is set to run until January with the option of an extension."

    According to the Shropshire Star "Boss Gavin Cowan has told out-of-luck AFC Telford United striker Andre Brown to back himself as he bids to solve his goal woes. The speedy 22-year-old, signed from Kidderminster, has gone five matches without finding the net... The Bucks were beaten 2-1 at Warrington Town in the FA Cup on Saturday.

    'He’s got to find a way,' said Cowan. 'On Saturday, as a team, we needed to find a way to win but we didn’t. With Andre, we can’t do that bit for him. We’ve given him all the tools, like all the players, to go out there and do it. It’s up to them when they cross that white line. It’s very difficult to control that (as a manager). You can tweak it but it’s up to them at the end of the day. It’s the same with Andre. He’s got to find it within himself to get that goa'...

    Brown joined Telford from National League North rivals Kidderminster Harriers in the summer, having turned down fresh terms at Aggborough, and has scored twice for the Bucks. Daniel Udoh has been the main man up front for Cowan and is the top scorer having struck 11 times across all competitions. Brown, Amari Morgan-Smith and Matthew Barnes-Homer have been battling it out for a starting spot alongside Udoh. All three have had game time in recent weeks but have not netted.

    Brown’s last goal was at Leamington on August 27. Morgan-Smith’s one and only strike came in the season-opening 1-0 win against Southport. Barnes-Homer is goalless. Brown has now made seven starts and five appearances as a substitute, and Cowan added 'Initially, you’ve got to find the courage, haven’t you? It’s the courage to keep getting in positions when it’s not quite coming off. Obviously we really want that for him, but he’s got to go and earn it.'

    Brown was released by Crewe Alexandra, where he played alongside Udoh, a couple of years ago and has also had spells at Worcester City and Rushall Olympic. He had a trial at Premier League outfit Leicester City a couple of campaigns ago as well."

    Boston United "have completed the signing of experienced striker Gavin Allott. The 32-year-old has arrived at The Jakemans Stadium from Frickley Athletic, having previously played under United manager Craig Elliott at Shaw Lane. Fellow striker Adam Marriott, meanwhile, has linked up with King's Lynn Town on a permanent basis. The 27-year-old scored once in nine outings for the Pilgrims".

    KIng's Lynn News adds that "The capture of Marriott on a two-year deal represents a real coup for the Linnets... The 27-year-old has been snapped up hot on the heels of Chris Henderson's arrival from Lowestoft Town after having his contract cancelled by the Pilgrims."

    Bradford (Park Avenue) "take on fellow high flyers Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday... The club are confident that with the game coinciding with Non-League Day, and with the absence of any Premier League or Championship fixtures, they will be able to double their average attendance on the day. To encourage attendance on the day supporters who present a season ticket at the turnstile – regardless of club or sport – will get in for just £5.

    Chief Executive, Rob Stanley, said 'Hopefully we will have around 800 people here cheering the team on, as Kidderminster look like one of the teams to beat this year.'

    In a further boost, Bradfordian Gareth Roberts, the club’s owner who now lives in Texas, will be flying over for the game at Horsfall Stadium. The club would also like to announce that after the game in clubhouse there will be an open fans' forum with club owner Gareth Roberts and Chief Executive Robert Stanley."

    On Tuesday night Guiseley "were made to fight for the right to host Stourbridge in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup by a resilient Cleethorpes Town side at Nethermoor this evening with a Will Hatfield penalty and a Kayode Odejayi header cancelling out Jon Oglesby’s stunning equalizer.

    The Guiseley management kept faith with the eleven that had started on Saturday but with the addition of Kaine Felix and Tabish Hussain on the bench. Belying their bottom of the table position two divisions below Guiseley Cleethorpes, having learnt from Saturday’s encounter, chased and harried the home side to try and disrupt their flow and for the first twenty-five minutes it worked as the Lions struggled to sustain any rhythm and produce a final killer ball.

    During this spell Town forced a series of corners that culminated in Paul Walker’s shot being cleared off the line and Brody Robertson struck the base of the post with Joe Green beaten before the ball went behind for a goal kick.

    As the Lions finally found some momentum... Curtis Morrison replaced Kingsley James on the restart... The home side's pressure finally paid dividends just before the hour as the lively Scott Smith was felled in the area and Hatfield stepped up to take the resulting spot kick which Parkin parried only for the midfielder to follow up and tuck the loose ball home... The home side suffered a setback on 72 minutes when Ogelsby conjured an equalizer out of thin air, firing home with a low shot from the apex of the penalty area that gave Green no chance.

    However, the lead [?parity] lasted all of four minutes as Morrison, marauding down the left delivered a pinpoint cross for Odejayi to power a header past Parkin and restore the Lions' advantage. The visitors were then reduced to ten men as Oli Donald was shown a second yellow card... Stourbridge now stand in the way of the Lions and a place in the First Round Proper for the second successive season".


    According to the NW Evening Mail, manager "Ian Evatt is hoping Astley Mulholland can kick on with Barrow AFC after the midfielder finally made his debut for the Bluebirds against Sutton last weekend.

    Mulholland returned at the beginning of last week from a one-month loan spell with Hyde United, where he picked up some much-needed game time after struggling for that at Holker Street, following his summer arrival from Colwyn Bay. Now back in the fold, he was given his bow by Barrow boss Evatt when he replaced Tyler Smith in the 88th minute of the 2-1 victory over the U’s.

    Evatt said, 'We’re a tight group, small squad and with injuries, suspensions and illnesses, etc. throughout the season, people are going to get chances. It’s down to those players to take the chances because there’s no God-given right to wear the shirt. You have to earn the right to play for that badge... Astley came on and did OK on Saturday and it’s good to have him back involved; it’ll give him a boost and hopefully he can kick on now'".

    FA CUP

    Wednesday 10 October 2018, FAC3Q Replay:
      Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 Workington a.e.t. (Kidsgrove are away to Hartlepol United in the next round).

    "Gateshead will feature live in the FA Cup later this month, and it’s a very important tie financially. Their 4th Qualifying Round match away to Dunston UTS of the Northern League is the BBC’s feature[d] game. The game will be broadcast on the BBC Sport website and via the red button.

    While this is the Heed’s first game in the famous competition this year, the Step 5 club have already come through four rounds... They beat Chester 4-3 last weekend... Fourth Qualifying Round winners now get to bank a cheque for £25,000."

    10 October 2018


    Goalkeeper Tony Thompson's impressive standing-jump grabs the attention of one of the mascots before kick-off last Saturday at the J. Davidson Stadium.


    The Altrincham FC official site has a report from Jordan Tyms, (Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator at Altrincham FC), on how the club's supporters joined forces with Altrincham and Hale Muslim Association to take part in a Fans for Diversity tournament held at Curzon Ashton FC on Sunday.

    Pictured, right, is the Altrincham team which participated in the tournament.


    Third Round Qualifying replays in the northern section of the draw are listed below.

    Tuesday 9 October 2018:

    • Guiseley 2-1 Cleethorpes Town - winners at home to Stourbridge
    • Coalville Town 3-3 St Neot's Town - St Neot's won 4-3 on penalties aet. Winners away to Alfreton Town


    NL Daily tells us that "Hyde United have added... two midfielders to the first team, James Georgaklis and [Alty youth graduate] Osebi Abadaki. Abadaki has joined from Stafford Rangers. He has previously had spells at local rivals Stalybridge, Mossley and Ashton United, as well as FC Halifax Town and Salford City".


    Lincolnshire Live reports that "Ex Lincoln City and Grimsby Town winger Nathan Arnold lifts the lid on surprise Boston United departure...

    Nathan Arnold claims broken promises are the reason his time at Boston United has come to an end. The Pilgrims announced on Friday, October 5, that the 31-year-old had agreed to leave the club by mutual consent, a little over four months after he joined the club...

    He said 'I have enjoyed my time at Boston – obviously things haven’t worked out the way I would have liked. In the summer I was told I would be the assistant manager, but that hasn’t proved to be the case. 'I am not the type of player to make the manager’s or the club’s life difficult. I am an honest and respectful person who wears his heart on his sleeve. I thought it was beginning to have an impact on me playing well so I thought this was the best thing to do.'

    After arriving in the summer on a free transfer from Lincoln City, Arnold went on to score three goals in ten appearances for the Pilgrims. The team as a whole has struggled for consistency... And while Craig Elliot has questioned the performances of some of his players, including Arnold, the wide-man says he holds nothing against the club.

    'When I signed, I was looking forward to the challenge,' he said. 'It is what it is. There are a lot of good people at the club. I was the joint-top goal scorer upon leaving. I don’t feel I have to justify myself to anyone as I have had a fantastic career and there is more underneath the surface.'

    The player is currently enjoying visiting schools to give talks and run workshops on topics such as mental health...

    'I have got an agent and have had a few offers, but I want to take my time. I don’t want to go club-to-club; I want to be in control. I don’t want to go somewhere where I am doing myself, football and the club a disservice'. He added 'In the last few years or so in football a few people from the outside looking in have wondered whether my heart is still in it. I am completely happy with where I am in my life and the career I have had. I want to re-evaluate myself and weigh up my options, but right now I am enjoying investing in myself.'”


    The Hallmark Security League, formerly the NW Counties League, has started a series of articles on member clubs' emblems. "Many were derived as works teams from organisations both large and small across the country, and the name of Vauxhall Motors tells you all you need to know in this context. But the purpose of these short articles is to look at the emblems of member clubs and here there is quite a story to tell".

    The series starts with Vauxhall Motors, a club which "not surprisingly adopted the Vauxhall badge as their emblem". The story however covers the legendary Fulk's griffin, a cross between a lion and an eagle, and explains how "Fulk's Hall, became corrupted over time to “Vauxhall”.

    9 October 2018


    Edgeley Park may be only ten miles from the J. Davidson Stadium and both clubs are well over a century old but they had never previously been paired in the FA Cup until today's Fourth Qualifying Round draw.

    Mike Garnett's records reveal the historical record in other competitions since County's CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) in 2009:

    • Home: P3-W1-D0-L2-F8-A7
    • Away: P2-W0-D1-L1-F0-3
    • All: P5-W1-D1-L3-F8-A10

    Altrincham have not scored at Edgeley Park since County's post-CVA reformation, having drawn there 0-0 in April 2014 and lost 0-3 in December 2016.

    One of the familiar faces at County this season is 21 year-old striker Nyal Bell (right), who joined Altrincham on a month's loan from Gateshead on 19 August 2016. A 6ft 2in. forward, Bell had earlier in summer 2016 joined Gateshead from Rochdale and penned a two-year contract with The Heed. He had made three appearances for Rochdale's first team but was also loaned to Droylsden and Chester FC in 2015-16. He made three appearances for Chester, just as he did for Altrincham.

    Another player to have worn both County and Alty shirts is midfielder Paul Turnbull (29), who turned out six times for Altrincham whilst on loan from County. He is pictured, left, in Alty colours in 2008. He had joined County at the age of 11 and had made his first-team debut for County as a 16 year-old near the end of the 2004-05 season. He was thus the youngest player ever to appear for the club's first team in a league match. He made his Altrincham debut in central midfield against Torquay United on 29 March 2008.

    The sides last met in a pre-season friendly played under the floodlights at Moss Lane on 11 July 2017, when County won 2-1. In that match James Jones made his home debut as an Alty trialist, whilst playing against his former club were Alty striker Josh Amis, now at Warrington Town, and midfielder Sam Sheridan.

    Alty's squad for that friendly comprised: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. John DISNEY, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Chris LYNCH, 5. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Jake MOULT (capt), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Josh AMIS, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Lewis SHORT, 14. James JONES, 15. Laurence TAYLOR, 16. Jerome WRIGHT, 17. Shaun DENSMORE (second-half captain), 18. Joel BEMBO-LITA, 19. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 20. Tony THOMPSON (gk).


    Former Altrincham striker Craig Hobson (right) has left Ashton United and signed for Altrincham's next opponents, Alfreton Town. Following the Reds' recent loss of tall striker Tom Denton to Chesterfield, the six-feet-two-inch Hobson would appear to be a replacement.

    Alfreton Town add that they "are pleased to confirm the signing of forward Craig Hobson...for the rest of the 2018/19 campaign. Hobson has had spells at Stalybridge Celtic and Stockport County in 2012 where Craig made 26 appearances for the Hatters, scoring six times.

    A brief spell at Guiseley followed in 2014 before making the move to Chester where Craig remained until 2016 and the expiry of his contract. Hobson scored 14 times in 82 games in all competitions for Chester. Further spells at Altrincham and Aberystwyth Town came in 2017 before Craig moved to Ashton United ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and has featured throughout the Robins start to the National League North season.

    Manager Billy Heath said 'Craig is an experienced striker who has been at a wide variety of clubs all at a high level, he is a good age for the role we have and he gives us a focal point and excellent competition for places. Craig comes in to strengthen our forward line and he is a great character to have at the club, he’s the right kind of player for us; he works hard and will fit straight into the group. He is an honest individual who will work hard and strengthen our attack".

    Craig (30), joined Altrincham in early June 2016, from Chester, a club he had joined in March 2014 from Guiseley two years previously. Before that he had been with Lincoln City and Stockport County in 2012-13. He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington but missed much of the season through a broken foot so made only nine starts and a further eight appearances from the bench. He scored just one goal but racked up seven yellow cards and was released at the end of the season.

    Also likely to be facing Alty next Saturday is Jordan Sinnott who joined Alfreton this season from Chesterfield.


    Alty TV has highlights from last Saturday's FA Cup win over Bradford (Park Avenue). Whilst criticising the referee after the match, BPA manager Mark Bower failed to mention the penalty scored by his team when their on-loan Salford City striker Jake Beesley threw himself to the ground - as the video highlights clearly show.


    Business Manchester newspaper reports that "Following Footy Accumulators' recent sponsorship of Altrincham FC's main stand, at the J. Davidson Stadium, Footy Accumulators has also joined the club in a mission to support Motor Neurone Disease [charity]. Former Robins' captain, Mark Maddox, was told at the age of 37 that he was diagnosed with the disease but that hasn't stopped him going and achieving incredible things. He ran the London Marathon on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) back in 2013, raising an incredible £5,000.

    Now Footy Accumulators, together with Altrincham Football Club want to help the MND Association in their battle against the illness with a current Robins' hero.

    Altrincham director Lawrence Looney, who was a key player in setting up the sponsorship deal, said, 'This innovative collaboration is the first of its type for Altrincham Football Club and represents a very real opportunity to create, develop and grow commercial opportunities for both partners'.

    For every goal that Jordan Hulme scores this season, Footy Accumulators will donate £50 to the MND Association via their official JustGiving page".

    Footnote: Pictured, right, Mark Maddox featured in an MNDA campaign to draw attention to the disease.


    Alty's guests this Saturday, Alfreton Town won 2-1 away at Mickleover Sports in a tempestuous match in the FA Cup on Saturday.

    First half goals from Jordan Sinnott and Richard Peniket proved enough, as Alfreton Town navigated the challenge of local rivals... Billy Heath made just the one change from the previous weekend's defeat to Bradford PA in the league, James Clifton came in with Declan Bacon dropping to the bench.

    With a brilliant atmosphere at the Don Amott and FA Cup fever in the air, the hosts started with expected brightness and both Josh Gowling and Luke Shiels had to be alert to deny ex-Red Garnett through on goal... With the local derby descending into congestion in midfield, the Reds were looking to utilise the flanks... There were some tasty tackles coming in with Shiels fouling Cribley on the touchline before Bobby Johnson was bundled down in the centre of the park.

    Sinnott tested King from range but the effort was saved well by the Sports goalkeeper... With 24 minutes gone, the Reds were given a penalty as Curtis Bateson was tripped in the box. Johnson stepped up but a fantastic save from King denied the Reds midfielder before the Mickleover keeper denied the follow up shot also.

    But with 32 minutes gone, a second penalty came the way of the Reds when Peniket appeared to have been tripped on. Although the striker didn't go to ground, contact was made following Peniket's movement on the ball and the Referee gave the penalty. Sinnott stepped up this time and sent King the wrong way.

    The game soon reached boiling point with Ramsbottom denying Garnett in the box before Peniket went down under an apparent elbow, the Mickleover players were furious and protested to the officials which included pushing and shoving with Reds players.

    With the arguments subsiding and the first half entering the last seconds, Alfreton extended the lead when a short corner from Bobby Johnson found Sinnott whose effort across goal found Peniket who toe poked in a second...

    With ten minutes to go, the hosts were given a penalty themselves when Gowling looked to have dragged down Garnett in the box. Marselia stepped up and converted to set up a grand-stand finish.

    But the Reds held on and defended solidly throughout the last nine minutes, defending crosses and Sam Ramsbottom providing safe hands in late moments of pressure. A toughly fought cup tie saw the Reds through...

    ALFRETON: Ramsbottom, Clackstone, Wilde, Hotte, Gowling, Shiels (c), Sinnott (Clarke 87), Clifton, Bateson, Peniket, Johnson (Platt 75). Subs Not Used: Nicholson, Chettle, Bacon, Riley, Middleton."

    After the match the Derbyshire Times reported that "Alfreton’s FA Cup progress will help to improve the squad, much to the delight of manager Billy Heath. His side overcame Mickleover Sports at the weekend to book a fourth qualifying round spot at home to either Coalville Town or St Neots Town...

    Heath was, mostly, a happy man after the 2-1 derby cup victory on Saturday. 'Happy in patches, first half was decent, happy to be two up, overall happy that we got through, which is the main thing,' he said...

    Beating Mickleover handed the Reds £15,000 on top of the £9,000 they had already earned. Heath said...'The FA have doubled the prize money, so it goes into the coffers and will help improve the squad, so that can only be a massive plus'.

    Cup glory aside, it hasn’t been an easy period of late for Alfreton, without a win in three National League North games, and Heath wants a return to form in that competition this weekend at Altrincham.

    'For the first time in a while l’m enjoying a Saturday at five o’clock because we’ve won,' said Heath. 'We’re still a fledgling team coming together, we went on a great run early on, found ourselves in a great position in the league, but last three games we’ve lost by the odd goal, nothing in it. We know it’s fine margins, so next week we’ve got to get back on the winning trail in the league. We want to be in and around the play-offs. Hopefully, this time next week we’ll be sat back in the play-offs.'"


    Following their poor start to the season, Macclesfield Town have sacked manager Mark Yates.


    Chester Live tells us that "Chester FC will have to wait 19 days before they can get their shock FA Cup defeat to Dunston UTS out of their system. The Blues were on the wrong end of the result of the third qualifying round as the Northern League First Division side belied their status as underdogs and claimed a 4-3 success over 10-man Chester in what was a thrilling Cup clash.

    The defeat, as well as denying Chester £15,000 in prize money and a place in the fourth qualifying round, means that Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's side now have a near three-week break between matches. Chester's scheduled National League North clash with Nuneaton Borough had already been rearranged owing to international call-ups for Nuneaton, and the following weekend (October 20) is when the next round of the FA Cup is set to take place.

    Chester had been pencilled in to travel to York City initially, but the Minstermen saw off St Ives in their Cup clash on Saturday meaning that it will be the home encounter with Alfreton Town that will be the next time the Blues take to the field. The break does at least give the management duo chance to get some more players back in contention after they suffered more injuries in the build-up to the Dunston trip.

    Jon Moran was sidelined while Anthony Dudley is still not 100% despite having come off the bench. Dominic Smalley (dislocated shoulder) is another couple of weeks away while George Green (lower back) remains on the casualty list.

    Said Johnson after the Dunston loss, 'There would have been a bit of a break anyway. If we would have got the result we'd have been playing the FA Cup in two weeks... We were looking forward to the two-week break and getting some of the injuries back as we picked up another couple this week. It's an enforced break now and we've almost lost that momentum, but the result has killed our momentum anyway. Let's not be saying that the break of two or three weeks is what will kill it, it's the result that has done that today.

    'The important thing is we don't want to stand here and say we're going to rip everything up and start again. As I said, the result is the most disappointing thing. But in terms of where we at in the bigger picture and somebody would have offered us that at the start of the season then we would have snatched people's hands off. But that doesn't take anything away from what has happened (at Dunston)'...

    Johnson insisted that there was no complacency on Chester's part on Saturday in terms of the way they approached the game and the mindset of the players. And the Blues joint-manager... said, 'You can't be 2-1 up at half time and question complacency about it. We believe we did our due diligence and we've had the scouts up here. What has done us is 10 minutes of the second half where our own poor play has cost us... We walk away with our tails between our legs. It's not good enough from us as a football club'".

    Ashton United report that "A single moment of quality was enough to send Ashton into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup after an entertaining encounter in Norfolk where finishing was at a premium. The decisive strike came on 72 minutes as Ramirez Howarth, making his debut from the bench just 8 minutes earlier, swept home Matty Chadwick’s square pass after a combination with Bradley Jackson.

    With Craig Hobson departed, Chadwick was leading the line for the Robins and captain Mark Lees was restored at right back...

    Team: Pilling, Lees, Regan, Baines, Chalmers, Sheridan, Sangha (Ashworth 74), Jackson, Chadwick, Anghel (Howarth 64), McHail (Hill 72). SNU: Jones, Turner".

    NL Daily reports that "York City are hoping skipper Joe Tait will recover from a hamstring problem in time for next weekend’s trip to Southport, say York Press. Tait was substituted in the first half of the weekend’s 3-0 FA Cup third qualifying round home victory over St Ives Town, with Russ Penn replacing him and Josh Law moving back into defence after starting the game as a midfielder.

    A second Jake Wright goal in as many games had earlier given the hosts a ninth-minute lead, while Jordan Burrow bagged a second-half brace to put the tie to bed.

    On the prognosis regarding Tait, City caretaker boss Sam Collins said 'I think it was more tightness in his hamstring than anything else, but we’ll need to assess it. We’ve got good options though and I thought Russ Penn did really well when he came on.'”

    Bottom of the table FC United of Manchester, whose only win this season came at Moss Lane, "are pleased to confirm the extension of loan signings Lewis Mansell and Lewis Thompson. The Blackburn duo, who have featured regularly in the first team since their arrival, are set to remain at the club until Saturday 10 November".

    At Darlington "striker Reece Styche is training with the Gibraltar squad this week ahead of their double header in the UEFA Nations Cup. The club's top scorer came on as a sub twice last month, and he's in line for possibly more caps against Armenia (away) on Saturday and Liechtenstein (home) next Tuesday 16th October in the new competition".

    AFC Telford United went out of the FA Cup to lower level opposition as "The Bucks were bundled out of the Emirates FA Cup by Evostik League leaders Warrington Town in a display where they failed to put the home side under any real pressure until the game was effectively decided.

    Gavin Cowan made four team changes, with Steph Morley and Amari Morgan-Smith restored to fitness and also the starting eleven. The early stages of the game were cagey. Warrington looked to use the early ball to utilise former Buck Tony Gray’s ‘little and large’ partnership with Bohan Dixon, whilst the Bucks' closest efforts came from John McAtee... with the Bucks not creating much to test Tony McMillan...

    Just before half-time. McQuilkin was involved in a nasty incident, home full-back Alex Whittle using unnecessary force in a challenge which saw the Bucks midfielder thumped against the perimeter boards, taking a blow to the head. The Bucks collectively took issue with Whittle, and after the flashpoint died down referee Richard Aspinall booked the Warrington man... The home side won a corner in first-half injury time, and although initially dealt with they were able to return the ball from the right where Dixon leapt highest to connect and loop a back-post header back over Max Bramley and into the far corner...

    On 64 minutes, the tie was effectively sealed. Warrington’s Robbie Evans, a midfield dynamo, burst forward to win a corner on the left; the Bucks didn’t clear it effectively, and when the ball found Evans’s midfield partner Ben Garrity around the penalty spot he somehow was able to wriggle free of a crowd of Bucks to turn and beat Bramley to his left. Collectively the Bucks’ heads dropped a little, facing an exit at the hands of a lower league side... The prospect of an inglorious defeat, sparked the Bucks’ best spell of the afternoon...

    Already into injury time. McMillan spilled a catch from a corner, when he appeared to have matter under control, and in the resulting scramble Daniel Udoh poked the ball home from within the six-yard box... The visitors despondently applauded their followers... To say the Bucks performance was flat would be to take credit from the home side, who aren’t top of their division without good reason. Whether they raised their game on the day is something that’s hard to judge, but the Gavin Cowan’s side didn’t match them".

    8 October 2018


    Former Altrincham manager Bernard Taylor, whose death was reported last week, was remembered with a minute's applause before kick-off against Bradford (PA) on Saturday, as shown right.

    The funeral for Bernard will be held on Thursday 11th October at 1.45pm at St Vincent's Church, Bentinck Road, Altrincham WA14 2BP, followed by cremation at Altrincham Crematorium at 3pm. The funeral reception will take place at the Masonic Hall, Clay Lane, Timperley WA15 7AB. The Taylor family has indicated that all friends and acquaintances of Bernard will be welcome at all three parts of the afternoon and they would be delighted to see as many people as possible attending on the day.


    Talksport report that "The FA Cup’s famous velvet bag is returning to talkSPORT 2 when the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round takes place this Monday from 12pm, live on Football First. Broadcasting legend [sic] Ray Stubbs will host the draw from Wembley Stadium".

    Nine clubs from our Division remain in the draw for this Round at which the National League national division joins the competition. The draw is still regionalised at this stage.


    There is post-match reaction from Jake Moult and Phil Parkinson on Alty TV. Match highlights are included in the above.

    From across the Pennines, the Telegraph & Argus says that "There will be no FA Cup run this season for Bradford (Park Avenue) and no potential dream tie against Football League opposition next month after a 4-2 defeat in the third qualifying round... For a second time this season, the Robins beat Avenue..

    The visitors broke the deadlock before the half hour mark. Avenue striker Jake Beesley was fouled in the area by Tom Hannigan [as the match video shows, Beesley dived as Jake Moult came in to challenge] but he got up to take the resulting penalty and fired it past Thompson... Connor Hampson forced home the Robins’ first equaliser after a 35th minute cross was not cleared.

    Left: A smiling Phil Parkinson with Tom Hannigan and Elliot Wynne at the end of last Saturday's game.

    Avenue re-took the lead when skipper Shane Killock converted a Nicky Wroe corner at the back post but Alty responded just before the break when a speculative shot from Jake Moult took a big deflection and looped over Drench.

    Avenue manager Mark Bower was forced into a half-time substitution as centre back Luca Havern succumbed to an injury... Bower was re-jigging his side again just seven minutes into the second half as Chris Dawson limped off after treatment.

    The home side were back in front just after the hour mark when James Jones converted a 62nd minute corner and a wonderful strike from Jordan Hulme six minutes from time ensured their place in the fourth qualifying round draw.

    Bower was far from impressed with a tight call that went against his side when they were ahead and he said 'We were 2-1 up, looking pretty comfortable and an appalling refereeing decision has done us again. Ben McKenna is breaking and we’re two on two when he gets pulled down but we got nothing and that kind of sums it up at the minute. And then they go on and a deflected shot ends up in the back of our net. I thought that was a real turning point.

    'Obviously losing two players to injury, one at the break and one early in the second half, didn’t help us, but I’m disappointed because we didn’t play as we have been playing recently.'"


    Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in previous matches against next Saturday's opponents, Alfreton Town, the outcomes have been as follow. Strangely both teams have a better record on their opponent's ground.
    • P5-W1-D1-L3-F7-A5
    • P6-W3-D2-L1-F10-A4
    • P11-W4-D3-L4-F17-A9

    The match on Saturday will be Altrincham's sixth attempt to win a home league match this season and also to score a first-half goal in a league match at the J. Davidson Stadium.

    If the above data suggest that Altrincham face a tough time on Saturday, Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records, (which give us the details of previous matches played by Altrincham on Saturday's date, 13 October), are more encouraging. We have not lost any of the club's last nine fictures on this date.


    Altrincham FC Ladies beat Northwich Vixens 4-2 on Sunday in Division One South of the North West Womens Regional League. Alty Ladies remain top of the division.


    Sunday's NW Youth Alliance Premier Division fixture at Prescot Cables was postponed with the visitors, Altrincham FC Youth, being awarded a walkover.


    Altrincham have certainly been delivering on the entertainment front, as there have been 21 goals in their last four matches!

    So far this season, in thirteen league and cup matches, Altrincham have netted 29 goals, but have also conceded 23. Nine of the goals scored by the Robins have come in two FA Cup matches; five against Whitley Bay and four versus Bradford (Park Avenue). The only two goals conceded in the FA Cup this season are seen below, in images from the match against Bradford (Park Avenue).

    Above: Tony Thompson goes the right way but cannot quite reach Jake Beesley's penalty, won by the BPA striker's dive, as the match video clearly shows (link above).

    Above: Shane Killock (no.5) nets Bradford's second goal, despite a heavy presence of Alty players. The ball can be seen just behind the Alty keeper in the above image.


    James Lawrie netted for Nantwich Town as the Dabbers beat Farsley Celtic 2-1. In the Stafford Rangers game against Scarborough Athletic, Theo Bailey-Jones hit the post twice for Rangers whilst James Walshaw netted for the victorious Yorkshiremen.

    Jerome Wright netted a penalty for Ramsbottom United, whilst our neighbours Trafford beat Clitheroe 2-1 with Aaron Burns scoring for the Shaw View club past visiting goalkeeper Cameron Terry, who was an Altrincham Youth keeper.


    Bulls' News reports that "Both Martin Horsell and Mike McGrath have been released from Hereford hospital after suffering injuries during the game against Welling. Horsell lost consciousness after a collision between himself and a Welling player whilst McGrath suffered a deep cut to his face, which needed nine stitches, in the same incident."

    In the Chester Standard, "Paul Carden hailed his 'outstanding' Warrington Town as they upset higher league Telford United to reach the Fourth Qualifying round for only the third time in their history. Goals from Bohan Dixon and Ben Garrity handed the Yellows, who featured ex-Wrexham trio Rob Evans, Jack Mackreth and David Raven, as well as former Chester duo Tony Gray and Luke George, control of proceedings...

    The former Chester captain said 'It’s up there with our best displays of the season. To a man, we were outstanding at both ends of the pitch. We supported each other, made blocks and there was no question about who deserved the win. You can see there is a fit, strong organised bunch of lads here. Whatever changes we make, they understand what is needed and they all back each other. They are running through brick walls for each other and they know everyone at the club is behind them.'

    Former Chester boss Neil Young also pulled off a cup upset as Marine defeated Kevin Wilkin's Brackley 3-2. Young, who saw his side race into a 3-0 lead, said 'I would just like to thank all the fans that travelled to the game for their magnificent support, all the staff and players really appreciate it. A special mention must go to all the supporters behind the goal who never stopped singing from the minute they entered the ground until after the final whistle.'

    Ex-Wrexham manager Wilkin was brutally honest about his side's display. 'The way we played in the first half and the attitude we showed from the outset was really poor,' he said. 'It is one thing being confident and another being arrogant and I thought we were in the first half. It’s a strong word to use but credit to Marine because they were sharper than us, they made better decisions, their finishing was sharper.'"

    And after another upset, Kidderminster Harriers manager "Neil MacFarlane admitted in the wake of Saturday’s FA Cup exit at Stourbridge that the team should never have 'gifted' the hosts a way back into the game at 2-0 down. Harriers, looking to exorcise some Cup demons at the War Memorial Ground following two horror shows three years ago, looked to be well on their way to a victory this time around.

    By the time they’d gone 2-0 up thanks to an Ed Williams goal and Joe Ironside’s penalty, they’d had enough chances to have been out of sight... After costly errors presented the Cup specialists with a way back into the tie, the surge of momentum carried the hosts over the line as they saw out the final stages with alarming ease at 3-2 up.

    'Ultimately I’m really disappointed with the result, it’s a really sore one for us,' said the boss, speaking at full-time. 'We had total control of the football match and had the game won, and we just gifted them a way back into it. It’s a harsh lesson for our young defenders today... We were cruising at 2-0 and had numerous chances to put the game to bed... but we gave them a moment that enabled them to get back into the game.'...

    Harriers were backed by around 600 supporters at Stourbridge. MacFarlane knows how they’ll be feeling... 'I’ll stand up to it and take the responsibility as that’s the Manager’s job, but I have said to the group that we are all together, as we have been when we’ve been winning, it’s the same when we’re losing'".

    From Bradford's Telegraph and Argus comes news of another club which let a two-goal lead slip. However, "Guiseley will be in tomorrow’s draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup but only just, after they were held to a 2-2 draw by a side from two divisions below them.

    The Lions’ third qualifying round hosts were Cleethorpes Town and they too will be in the hat after coming back from two goals down inside the last six minutes at the New Linden... The Vanarama National League North outfit had taken a firm grip of the tie with two goals in a five-minute spell midway through the second period. The home side booked a replay at Nethermoor this Tuesday though with strikes in the 84th and 89th minutes...

    Lions’ joint manager Russ O’Neill said, 'We’re absolutely devastated; they feel like they have won the tie and we feel as though we’ve lost it but we do live to fight another day and we go to Tuesday. But, with six minutes to go, we were 2-0 up and cruising and we could have been three or four up. We had created chances but, similar to the York City game last weekend, we didn’t take them and when you’ve got to stand up and be strong, they change their shape, go long and hit things more direct and they get their reward.

    'If it had gone on another five minutes I think they might have got a winner but hopefully we’ll get the job done on Tuesday.'”

    The EvoStik league reports that "Managerless National League North strugglers FC United of Manchester were dumped out by Northern Premier League Premier Division side Witton Albion at Broadhurst Park. The visitors took the lead in the 9th minute through James Foley... It was 1-1 just past the half-hour mark when Jack Bannister tried his luck from 20 yards and the ball flew past Albion 'keeper Greg Hall.

    But on 38 minutes, FC United were reduced to ten-men when Kurt Willoughby was adjudged to have elbowed Billy Smart. The visitors went 2-1 up after 63 minutes when Rob Hopley poked home after a goalmouth scramble. The on 85 minutes, the home side were reduced to nine-men then Harry Winter was shown a second yellow card. And in stoppage time, FC United ended the game with only eight on the pitch as sub Elliot Simoes was shown a red card, seemingly for two yellows after kicking the ball away".

    7 October 2018


    Altrincham came from behind to advance to the 4th Qualifying Round after an eventful game at the J. Davidson Stadium. After a bright opening from Alty, the visitors got into the game and took the lead after 30 minutes. Jake Moult's alleged trip on Beesley allowed the BPA striker to convert the resulting penalty past Tony Thompson, who had been restored to the Alty goal. However, video evidence shows Beesley clearly dived as there was no contact whatsoever with the Alty captain.

    Max Harrop is chaired by Jake Moult after the Alty captain had scored on his 300th appearance for the club. Director Bill Waterson watches from behind the goal.

    Altrincham levelled three minutes later when Hampson advanced and fed Hulme, who was clearly being held in the box but kept going. His ball across the goal was turned in at the back post by Hampson who had continued his run forward. Five minutes later Alty fell behind again when, despite having all ten outfield players back to defend a corner, they left defender Killock unmarked and he scored with a low shot.

    Moult made amends for his lapse over the penalty, in the 44th minute, when he scored with a deflected shot from the edge of the box.

    Altrincham finally got their heads in front in the 62nd minute when James Jones emulated Killock by scoring with a low effort from a corner. The score became 4-2 in the 82nd minute when Hulme battled past a challenge before planting the ball past Drench. Altrincham dominated the closing stages to secure the £15,000 prize money and a place in Monday's draw.

    A consequence of the result (and Chorley's win) is that Alty's league clash at Chorley, set for 20 October, will now be postponed as that is the date for the Fourth Qualifying Round.


    After Saturday's match, Bradford PA reported that they "were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup by National League North counterparts Altrincham.

    After a first-half that failed to separate the sides, the visitors leaked two... Altrincham had two early opportunites to open the scoring, but Steven Drench held on to a flicked effort from Jordan Hulme and Sean Williams’ deflected effort struck the post. After the ball cannoned off the woodwork, it fell at the feet of John Johnston but the winger was thwarted by the Bradford stopper.

    Drench remained busy in the early exchanges and his palms were stung by a long-range piledriver from Max Harrop... [BPA] began to ask questions of their opponents... McKenna rattled the post with a thunderous effort... They were soon rewarded for their pressure when Beesley was hauled to the ground by Jake Moult inside the 18-yard box. The forward stepped up and converted, giving Bradford a thoroughly deserved lead.

    An acrobatic effort from McKenna then drew a magnificent save from Tony Thompson... However, Bradford were sucker-punched as Hulme found Hampson with a low cross, enabling the defender to bundle over the line in the midst of a scramble.

    Despite the blow, it took barely two minutes for the visitors to regain the lead. Wroe delivered a corner that found Shane Killock, who struck past Thompson.

    The drama continued as stunned supporters witnessed another goal on the stroke of half-time. Jake Moult’s speculative strike from distance took a deflection that wrong-footed Drench and put the Robins back on level terms.

    Mark Bower was forced to shuffle his pack during the interval as Gianluca Havern was forced out of the action with injury... Bradford then made another enforced change, replacing Chris Dawson with veteran Danny Boshell.

    The second-half didn’t quite reach the entertainment levels of the half that preceded it... Drench was unable to prevent James Jones steering home from Moult’s corner delivery and edging the Robins ahead.

    Despite having a deficit to overturn, Bradford struggled to break the hardy hosts down... With just six minutes remaining, Altrincham extended their lead and deflated their opponents. Hulme cut in from the left before unleashing a vicious strike that rendered Drench helpless."


    Altrincham's CSC opponents, Congleton Town, were playing Padiham in a league match on Saturday, which had to be abandoned in bizarre circumstances. Congleton Town reported that "The game today was abandoned by the referee. The club have reported an incident of alleged racial abuse and theft to Cheshire Police. The club takes this matter very seriously and is committed to working with the league on this matter. No further statement will be made at this time."

    Their opponents, Padiham added that "Our players were removed from the pitch today due to racial abuse aimed at our goalkeeper and several players' wallets being emptied in the changing rooms during the game. The players and staff at Congleton FC have acted with class and we’ll act together to ensure this is eradicated from our game".


    Cheshire Live reports that "The ten men of Chester FC were dumped out of the FA Cup after going down 4-3 to the lowest ranked team left in the competition, Dunston UTS, in a thrilling game in the North East.

    And you couldn't begrudge the Ebac Northern League Division One side their success as they went toe to toe with the Blues to end the National League North's eight-game unbeaten run in a game where everything that could go wrong for the Blues did.

    Liam Brooks's early goal, a Mark Fitzpatrick brace including one from the spot, and an Andrew Grant-Soulsby header booked Dunston a place in the fourth qualifying round.

    Chester came back from 1-0 down to lead at the break thanks to a Deane Smalley header and a Dan Mooney strike, with Mooney making it 3-3 in the second half after Danny Livesey saw red for tripping the excellent Fitzpatrick when through on goal...

    Dunston had yet to taste defeat this season, just like City of Liverpool in the last round... Chester's last trip to the North East was one that ended in abject failure after they were trounced 8-1 at Blyth Spartans back in August...

    Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made three changes from the team that beat Hereford 3-0 on Tuesday with Matty Thomson handed his first start of the season in place of the injured Jon Moran who dropped to the bench, and Deane Smalley also started for the first time with Matty Hughes ruled out and there was a return to the starting XI for Gary Roberts in place of Iwan Murray.

    Luke Jordan was cup tied but winger Dan Mooney was included despite the Fleetwood Town loanee being ruled out of the last FA Cup clash at the request of his parent club. That situation had now changed and the Cod Army agreed to Mooney appearing for the Blues in this year's competition".

    According to the Grimsby Telegraph "Scott Vernon strikes late as Cleethorpes Town earned [an] FA Cup replay against Guiseley. The former Grimsby Town striker denied his former boss Marcus Bignot as the Owls came from 2-0 down at the Linden Club.

    Cleethorpes Town are set for an FA Cup replay after a 2-2 draw... Marcus Bignot's side did take the lead in the 62nd minute, as Hatfield tapped into the empty net after a good ball across goal from Smith. The visitors doubled their lead in the 66th minute thanks to a powerful effort from Kingsley James...

    In the 84th minute, the Owls managed to pull one back... The Owls then pressed for an equaliser and they managed to find it with just two minutes left on the clock. The goal was largely to do with the quality of North; the striker took the ball into the box before finding Scott Vernon with a perfect ball who headed in the equaliser".

    Bulls' News tells us that "Hereford crashed out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 loss at home to Welling United. Injuries to Lewis Hall, Martin Horsell and Mike McGrath scuppered the game plan and the Bulls miss out on £15,000 in prize money.

    The ever-present Harry White was dropped to the bench along with Jamie Bird to make way for Calvin Dinsley and Billy Murphy. Nasty-looking head injuries to Mike McGrath and Martin Horsell saw the pair taken to hospital before the end of the first half...

    In the 28th minute Welling broke the deadlock, at the same time as a nasty clash between McGrath and Horsell saw Hereford's keeper leave the field on a stretcher... In the midst of trying to defend the free kick, Horsell and McGrath collided. Hereford's keeper was carried off after several minutes of medical attention, with McGrath able to walk off in a blood-stained shirt. The injury to the Bulls' stopper led to a baptism of fire for Brandon Powell, who's International clearance only came through earlier this week.

    It had already been a tough afternoon for Hereford's new Head Coach Marc Richards after going his side went a goal down and then being forced to use all three substitutions before the break, but then in the 70th minute Welling doubled their lead".

    In an afternoon of upsets, Kidderminster Harriers also bowed out of the FA Cup as the Stourbridge News reports. "Glassboys boss Gary Hackett was full of pride after his players fought back to beat Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup. Stourbridge came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the War Memorial Ground.

    A Kaiman Anderson double and a Aaron Forde penalty sent their neighbours from National League North crashing out.

    Hackett said 'It was an amazing cup tie. Don’t get me wrong, first half Kidderminster were excellent and they play some great football but I said at half time that I was absolutely delighted to come in only one down. I said at half time that I was going to change my formation completely and I did and we matched up their two wing-backs, who were getting far too much space, and Luke Benbow came on and he was fantastic.

    'When he’s on it he’s as good as anything around. I though Kaiman Anderson was excellent all game and we got ourselves back in the game. Once we had gone 3-2 I think we rode out the last 15-20 minutes pretty comfortably... It’s an amazing achievement... When you get moments like this you’ve just got to enjoy it.'”

    Another Midlands team not in Monday's draw are the subject of a report in the Shropshire Star."A below par AFC Telford United display saw them dumped out of the FA Cup at one-division-lower Warrington Town.

    The Bucks did not get going in this third qualifying round tie at Cantilever Park until the final few minutes. It was too little too late. Bohan Dixon and Ben Garrity struck for the Northern Premier leaders. Daniel Udoh scored in second half added-on time for the Bucks but, ultimately, the Yellows were well worth the win and the £15,000 prize money.

    Warrington enjoyed the lion's share of possession early on. Telford, whenever they got the ball, went direct, looking to find top scorer Udoh or his strike partner Amari Morgan-Smith with high balls downfield...

    The Bucks, probably following some harsh words from boss Gavin Cowan, began the second period with a bit more energy, but still could not cause the Yellows any significant problems. And the hosts doubled their advantage shortly after the hour mark. They were caught cold from a clever corner, Garrity taking advantage with a powerful drive...

    The Bucks then pumped several balls into the box in search of a leveller, but the crosses lacked quality".


    In The Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, the following attendances were amongst those recorded:
    • Att. 780: Altrincham 4-2 Bradford (PA)
    • Att. 371: Brackley Town 2-3 Marine
    • Att. 255: Cleethorpes Town 2-2 Guiseley
    • Att. 1234: FC United of Manchester 1-2 Witton Albion
    • Att. 428: Gainsborough Trinity 1-2 Blyth Spartans
    • Att. 505: Mickleover Sports 1-2 Alfreton. (Jordan Sinnott scored one of Alfreton's goals)
    • Att. 543: Warrington Town 2-1 AFC Telford United
    • Att. 558: Workington 0-0 Kidsgrove Athletic

    6 October 2018


    Jordan Hulme is submerged under his team-mates after scoring his goal.


    Games of local relevance in the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup include:
    • ALTRINCHAM 4-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)
    • Stourbridge 3-2 Kidderminster Harriers
    • Curzon Ashton 1-2 Southport
    • Stockport County 3-0 Corby Town
    • Hereford FC 0-2 Welling United
    • Brackley Town 2-3 Marine
    • Warrington Town 2-1 AFC Telford United
    • Peterborough Sports 0-3 Chorley
    • Dunston UTS 4-3 Chester FC
    • FC United of Manchester 1-2 Witton Albion
    • Cleethorpes Town 2-2 Guiseley
    • King's Lynn Town 0-1 Ashton United
    • Gainsborough Trinity 1-2 Blyth Spartans
    • York City 3-0 St Ives Town
    • Mickleover Sports 1-2 Alfreton Town
    • Kettering Town 4-0 Hednesford United


    The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Avenue manager Mark Bower hopes his team can continue their FA Cup run with a win at Altrincham tomorrow, as he expressed his love for the world's oldest national football competition.

    He enthused, 'It's not a distraction from our league form because it breeds confidence. There's teams at our level without a game this weekend, which isn't ideal this early in the season. Maybe further down the line with FA Trophy and County Cup games it could prove difficult, but the FA Cup is massive and we know how important it is. A good run will raise the profile of the club and boost our finances, while the players would love to get through to the first round and maybe face a league club. It's been our number one priority this week and the only thing we're thinking about.'

    Avenue lost to Altrincham 3-2 in the Vanarama National League North last month, but Bower insists that tomorrow's third qualifying round tie offers a new challenge.

    He said, 'Football works in funny ways. You could play the same team twice in two days and end up with a totally different game. Altrincham probably felt fortunate to beat us in the league but then they played well at Kidderminster last week and lost 3-2. They're confident on the ball and they don't mind passing it around in tight areas. They have a good pitch which suits their style of football too. They have a decent FA Cup tradition but if we play like we have in the last two games, we'll have a chance.'

    Bower's side won 1-0 at Alfreton Town in the league on Saturday, with Steven Drench making some fine saves, Shane Killock a rock at the back and defender turned midfielder Conor Branson netting the winner... Bower opined 'We've been a bit up and down defensively but we've tightened up and kept teams out in the last couple of games. It's not just the defenders. It all starts with Jake Beesley up front working his socks off. Conor actually got our winner playing in midfield but he has that sense for defending as he naturally plays as a centre half'...

    The game itself at Alfreton was a close one... He said 'It was a tight game and with the long grass at Alfreton, it's difficult to play good football... I felt we deserved to win'".

    Altrincham FC has pre-match news.


    In the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup, Altrincham FC will be away to Tadcaster Albion in the week commencing 15th October. The two clubs have never previously met at any level.

    Tadcaster Albion, founded in 1892, play at a stadium behind the Joihn Smith's Brewery in the Yorkshire town. Indeed the club is believed to have been originally formed as John Smith's FC with the Albion name not being adopted till 1923. Before 1960 they played at the Ings ground, close to the Samuel Smith Brewery before moving to the nearby ground at The Park..

    From 1982 they were members of the Northern Counties East League. They remained in Northern Counties East Football League Division One before earning promotion to the Premier Division in 2010.

    For another club in our division there was a remarkable Youth Cup match this week as NL Daily reports that "Nuneaton Borough crashed out of the FA Youth Cup despite five goals from Luis Corcoran and holding a 7-2 lead with less than 30 minutes to play. Halesowen Town came from behind and progressed 9-8 thanks in part to two Emlyn Tudgay goals in stoppage time.

    At 7-2, Dan Danks bagged his second for Halesowen just after the hour mark, and the visitors made it interesting with two goals in the 70th minute through James Griffiths and Tad Mutasa.

    Bruce Tsinonis was punished for a handball with 20 to play and Danks sealed his hat-trick from the spot as a result. Corcoran added an eighth for the Boro’ with seven minutes to play to give the hosts some breathing room but it wasn’t enough as Josh Beard pulled it to 8-7 in the 86th minute and two goals from Emlyn Tudgay in stoppage time put the visitors through."


    The funeral for former Altrincham FC Manager Bernard Taylor will be held on Thursday 11th October at 1.45pm at St Vincent's Church, Altrincham WA14 2BP, followed by cremation at Altrincham Crematorium at 3pm. The funeral reception will take place at the Masonic Hall, Clay Lane, Timperley WA15 7AB. The Taylor family has indicated that all friends and acquaintances of Bernard will be welcome at all three parts of the afternoon and they would be delighted to see as many people as possible attending on the day.

    Right: Bernard is pictured with Chris Timons after the match at Guiseley which concluded the title-winning 1998-99 season.


    The National League reports that "No fewer than 30 games involve our sides in this round of ties including six all National League meetings.

    We start our preview with Kidderminster Harriers who travel to Stourbridge looking to avoid the kind of upset the home side inflicted on Leamington in the previous round. After putting seven past their last opponents, local side Mickleover Sports could spring a surprise against Billy Heath’s Alfreton Town.

    An early kick-off for the National League North’s runaway leaders Chorley, who make the journey to Peterborough Sports for the BBC’s featured live match. Guiseley travel to the Lincolnshire coast but won’t have time for sand or sea as they look to overcome Cleethorpes Town.

    Staying in Lincolnshire, Blyth Spartans are also in the county as they face relegated Gainsborough Trinity... Chester travel to Dunston UTS in fine fettle... Witton Albion are in town for FC United of Manchester with neighbours Stockport County also at home as they face Corby Town.

    Hereford faced a seven-goal thriller to beat Truro in their replay... Ashton United have three wins on the spin and will head to King’s Lynn in good spirits. The same can’t be said for Curzon Ashton and Southport who face each other with just one league win between them in September. AFC Telford are in the north west looking to end Warrington Town’s FA Cup dream...

    One of six all National League ties takes place between Phil Parkinson’s Altrincham and Bradford (Park Avenue) with both sides looking to improve on recent league results".


    The National League says "Of course it’s still far too early to be talking about the destination of the National League North Golden Boot...

    It’s been a great start by some of the newboys to the division who are already showing they know where the net is. Altrincham’s Jordan Hulme has seven to his name, as does Kidderminster midfielder Ed Williams, playing in the South last season. Ashton United were in the Evo-Stik League last term but having earned promotion, Matt Chadwick has taken it by storm with six so far.

    National League North scoring charts:

    • 7: Jordan Hulme 7 (Altrincham), Ed Williams (Kidderminster), Daniel Udoh (AFC Telford), Glenn Taylor (Spennymoor)
    • 6: Matthew Chadwick (Ashton United), Adam Blakeman (Chorley), Tom Denton (Alfreton), Jimmy Armson (Brackley), Lee Ndlovu (Brackley), Matthew Stenson (Leamington)
    • 5: Mark Anderson (Spennymoor), Dior Angus (Nuneaton), Ashley Chambers (Kidderminster), Reece Styche (Darlington), Kurt Willoughby (FC United)


    The National League tells us that "Jason Ainsley may have been in charge for 12 years, but even he won’t have had too many months better than the last. After an unconvincing August, he masterminded a Spennymoor Town revival in September. Now fourth in the National League North, Town actually started last month slowly...

    Perhaps their best performance and result of the season came against Hereford last weekend. Ainsley said the 3-0 away win against the Bulls would live long in the memory. The National League’s longest serving manager was quoted earlier in the month saying 'We are always likely to score goals'. How right he was. They averaged over two goals per game in their September fixtures and are now the third highest scoring side in the division."

    And the National League also says, "What a month it’s been for Harriers’ midfield maestro Ed Williams. With Kidderminster sitting proudly in second, the 23-year-old’s form also piqued the interest of England C manager Paul Fairclough, who selected Williams for their upcoming friendlies this month.

    Harriers may have lost for the first time this season during the past few weeks, but elsewhere it’s been a perfect month. An impressive 12 points from 15 has been backed up with a resounding win in the FA Cup. Williams has more than contributed with six goals in five games throughout September".

    Hereford FC "confirm that Jennison Myrie-Williams has been released. Jennison joined Hereford in February 2018 and went on to make a total of 23 appearances for The Bulls, scoring eight goals during his spell. The former Bristol City, Hereford United and Newport County player picked up the Hereford FC Goal of the Season award last term...

    However, this season he has seen his first-team opportunities limited, having made just 9 league and cup appearances so far. The attack-minded player, has yet to find the net this term."

    And NL Daily tells us that "Former Lincoln City man Nathan Arnold, 31, has left Boston United. "He joined the Pilgrims in June after spending the latter part of last season on loan at Salford City. The club say he signed his cancellation papers... and is now free to pursue other opportunities. Arnold... netted three times in ten for Boston."

    It is reported by NL Daily that "Hyde United manager Darren Kelly has turned down the chance to manage FC United of Manchester. The former Oldham Athletic boss spoke to officials at the Vanarama National League North club yesterday, Hyde have confirmed, but Kelly has opted to stay with the Evo-Stik Premier newcomers. FC United have been without a permanent manager since player-boss Tom Greaves left last month. Greaves then went on to sign as a player for Hyde.

    The Tigers say that Kelly is committed to building a team that is successful in both the short and long-term."

    Boston United "Full-back Jordan Gough has left The Jakemans Stadium to join Tamworth. The 28-year-old, who arrived from Chester FC in the summer, has linked up with the Lambs following the submission of a seven-day approach from the Staffordshire club.

    Gough made six appearances in amber and black."

    According to the Lancashire Evening Post "Jamie Vermiglio could utilise the full depth of his Chorley squad this weekend when they travel to Peterborough Sports in the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

    In the last round against Leek Town at Victory Park, the Magpies boss gave run-outs to several players who had been on the fringes...Players like Dale Whitham, Jake Cottrell, Steve Jordan and Adam Anson were handed starts while young Jordan Lussey, signed from Bolton, came on as a substitute in the second half... and Vermiglio admitted he will have no qualms about giving his fringe players another chance against Peterborough, who are two levels below them in the football pyramid...

    'I don’t see them as fringe players, so I don’t like using that word. I just see it as a strong squad; lads who have maybe not had as many opportunities as other players. I said to them before the game, the most difficult decision for a manager is to leave players out and I said to them before the game to make it hard for me'...

    Last year’s run to the First Round Proper, where they were ultimately beaten by Fleetwood Town 2-1 live on television, earned the club a six-figure sum. And as Vermiglio knows full well... 'Winning breeds confidence, so we want to win every game we play no matter what the competition is,' he said. 'I think Peterborough will be a bigger test for us than Leek.'”


    Stockport Town have signed Gavin Salmon, who was a pre-season trialist at Moss Lane and is pictured, above, scoring for Alty in the friendly at Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, 23 July, 2005.

    Also in the Hallmark Security (NW Counties League), former youth keeper Daniel Havern has joined New Mills.


    The National League reports that "Chris Kinnear has been relieved of his duties at Dover Athletic. The Whites have started the season slowly and are second from bottom of the National League. Dover just missed out on the play-offs last year having got in the season before.

    The 64-year-old has been in charge since 2013, his second spell at the helm. But chairman Jim Parmenter says he couldn’t allow their struggle to continue and confirmed he took action. Parmenter said, "He has been highly successful with us, but football is changing. There have clearly been some poor player recruitment decisions taken during closed season, which is something we will be addressing. There are also a number of issues around training and our ways of working, which we will be looking at. We have a good setup at the club, a decent playing budget and supporters who want to be proud of their team".

    5 October 2018


    For the second time in three weeks, Altrincham meet Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday, this time in the Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round. Altrincham's last match at this stage of the competition came in 2016 when they beat Morpeth Town 3-0 at Moss Lane.

    In front of 658 spectators, Reeves, Miller and Richman were the scorers against Morpeth. That match was Damian Reeves's 300th appearance for the club whilst, coincidentally, this Saturday's game should witness Jake Moult's 300th appearance for the Robins. Jake also played in the match against Morpeth but he and Tom Hannigan are likely to be the only survivors from the 2016 match to play for Altrincham on Saturday, as Simon Richman was ruled out of Altrincham's last fixture with a hamstring problem.

    Alty's squad against Morpeth comprised 1. Andrew DAWBER 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Alan GOODALL (c), 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Charlie JOYCE, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Greg WILKINSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Craig HOBSON, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Phil MARSH, 16.Harry CAIN, 17. Danny HATTERSLEY, 18. Josh DOHERTY, 20. Tim DEASY (gk).

    Right, we see Charlie Joyce in action against Morpeth Town in October 2016..


    The Coventry Telegraph reports that "A supporters' group claims Nuneaton Borough is at real risk of folding if a new owner cannot be found. Management and members of the Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Co-operative say a new owner desperately needs to be found to help steer the club. It has been on the market since May when former chairman Lee Thorn said he would be stepping down as chairman and selling the Boro....

    Without someone stepping in, the Boro is at real risk according to Mark Axon, acting chair of Nuneaton Borough Supporters' Co-operative. He had a meeting with Norman Smurthwaite, the Port Vale owner and Coventry-born businessman, who owns the ground, on Monday...

    'Norman felt that the Boro was at a critical stage in its future,' Mr Axon said. 'There is a sizeable interest in the Boro in the town and area, however the football club needed clear leadership and to re-engage with the town, its businesses and community,' he added... 'He [Norman] said that any potential new owners/investors would need to see an increase in support coming through the turnstiles on Saturday (October 20) versus Bradford Park Avenue'...

    Lee Fowler, Boro’s assistant manager, agrees they need leadership at the helm but insists he and boss Nicky Eaden will not walk away... 'If things keep going on the way they are, I genuinely don’t know what the future is for the club,' Fowler said. 'Things are looking bleak right now and the fans deserve better, the players deserve better and Nick and myself deserve better. The fans have invested financially and emotionally into this football club over the years. I feel for them. I am not sure they realise the severity of the situation we are in.'

    Fowler says, without anyone at the helm, the management has already taken steps to turn the club part-time. 'The previous regime, full-time football with a buy-to-sell policy, is just not sustainable,' he said. 'The reality is we can’t even pay part-time wages, which limits your recruitment strategy. We have to take some steps by having the players in part-time on a Tuesday, Thursdays, Friday and for games. We are doing our best to manage things between the four of us to keep things going...

    'Something needs to happen quickly at the top. Right now, we are working on a day-to-day basis and I genuinely don’t know what the future is,' he added. 'But Nicky and I will not walk away. We will keep going'...

    CoventryLive contacted Lee Thorn but he was not available for comment."

    According to the Leamington Observer "Boss Paul Holleran slammed sloppy defending as Leamington handed Ashton United their first home victory of the National North season at the weekend. Brakes took the lead after just 30 seconds... Ashton levelled in the 18th minute when Bradley Jackson thumped a first-time strike into the roof of the net from the edge of the area after Leamington’s defence failed to clear Matthew Regan’s cross.

    With the game heading for a 1-1 draw, Ashton snatched all three points in added time when Liam Martin bundled the ball home from close range when a seemingly harmless cross was allowed to reach him through a sea of bodies in the penalty area.

    Brakes followed their league defeat with a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Sutton Coldfield Town in the Birmingham Senior Cup on Tuesday night after the two sides were locked at 1-1. Goals in the final few minutes against Hereford and Spennymoor (twice) have seen Brakes lose games they should have taken a point from, while a late goal for Guiseley turned a potential three points into one.

    Also, two late goals for Bradford Park Avenue made a three-goal cushion briefly look very precarious. It is certainly becoming a big headache for the manager and he will be growing tired of reinforcing the point concentration needs to be maintained right until the final whistle if his side are to fulfil their potential this season.

    'To end up with nothing on Saturday, it’s hard to put into words,' said Holleran. 'We struggled with the conditions but we needed a bit more quality at times. You then get to a point where you’re thinking, it’s a tricky away trip, let’s just take the point and get back on the bus. However, to get to the 92nd minute again (and concede). We were sloppy. It’s not a good cross and it’s gone through so many people. It’s just difficult to understand how we haven’t dealt with it... To say we were disappointed it an understatement'".

    4 October 2018


    Altrincham FC Youth beat Daisy Hill 4-3 on Wednesday night in the FA Youth Cup. After Dontai Gabidon (right) had put Altrincham ahead they fell behind to the hosts, 3-1, by early in the second half. However, further goals by Gabidon, Matthews and Savage clinched the tie for Alty.

    Altrincham's starting eleven was: Culkin, Sowerby, Savage, Menta, Preston, Butchart, Barratt, Ryan, Elliott (c), Evans, Gabidon.


    On Saturday, Altrincham have their first ever FA Cup meeting with Bradford (Park Avenue).

    Altrincham may have seventeen Football League scalps in their FA Cup history but the only defeat of a League club in the last 24 years was that of Barnsley in 2015/16.

    Last season Alty went out at the Second Qualifying stage with a 1-0 defeat at Shildon of the Northern League. That followed the need for a replay to overcome Abbey Hey in the First Qualifier after a 3-3 draw in Gorton.

    Ironically, it was in the disastrous league season of 2016-17 that Altrincham last reached the First Round when they were unfortunate to go out 2-1 at Lincoln City, after overcoming Matlock Town, Morpeth Town and Gainsborough Trinity in earlier rounds.

    Above: A section of the Altrincham support at Colchester in December 2015.

    In 2015-16 Alty last reached Round Two and were very unlucky to lose 2-3 at Colchester United having overcome Barwell in Round One and Chester FC before that.

    2014-15 witnessed a win at Barwell before Alty suffered a 4-1 thrashing at Blyth Spartans.


    Former Alty manager Neil Young's Marine report on how "Marine beat Stafford Rangers 1-0 in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division on a chilly Tuesday night in Crosby.. Martin Fearon saved Marine in the 80th minute by refusing to be beaten by a Kyle Perry (right) penalty.

    With only a minute left on the clock, Marine were awarded a penalty of their own after Danny Mitchley appeared to be elbowed. Craig Carney converted the spot-kick... Credit simply has to fall on the shoulders of Neil Young who took the pressure off Mitchley by telling Carney to take the penalty after the skipper failed to convert the last couple he’s taken".


    Hereford FC "are delighted to announce that Marc Richards has been appointed the club’s new Head Coach. Richards joins the Bulls having left his role as first-team manager at Gloucester City in the National League South and his first game in charge at Edgar Street will be Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Welling.

    Speaking about this important appointment, Hereford FC’s Head of Football, Tim Harris, who has played a key role in the recruitment process, said, 'We were inundated with excellent applications for this role and drew up a shortlist of four candidates to interview. All of them were very impressive and had skills which would fit with the new football strategy that the club is moving forward with. However, after lengthy discussions, it was felt that Marc was the best candidate overall and that he would be offered the role. We are delighted he has accepted it.

    ‘Marc is a highly respected coach and an intelligent, progressive, forward-thinking young man. I believe he will prove to be an excellent fit for this football club and for all we are looking to achieve.

    ‘As well as his most recent role managing Gloucester City FC in the National League South, he has considerable experience in the National League North, and is also Assistant Director of Elite Sport at Hartpury University and Hartpury College. Marc has a Masters in Coaching Science, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Further Education, a BSc (Hons) in Sport & Exercise Science and holds the UEFA A Licence.

    ‘He has helped develop many players over the last decade who are now playing professional football. These include Ghanaian international, Abdul Majeed Waris, who played in the 2014 World Cup for his country and is currently on loan at Nantes from FC Porto, and David Accam, who has so far been awarded 10 international caps for Ghana and is currently playing for Philadelphia Union in the MLS after previous spells with Ostersunds FK, Helsingborgs and Chicago Fire.

    ‘Closer to home Marc also featured heavily in the development of Jimmy Oates, who he first met when playing out in Australia, and Mustapha Bundu, two names that will be very familiar to Bulls fans. Ed Williams at Kidderminster Harriers and Scott Wilson at Macclesfield Town are two other players who have progressed into the professional game following spells under Marc’s leadership at Hartpury.’"

    The National League tells us that "Sam Collins says it’s the mark of a good side to come away with something when they haven’t played well. York City’s caretaker manager watched his team twice come from behind to pinch a point at Nuneaton Borough. Jon Parkin salvaged a 2-2 draw for the Minstermen...

    'In the end I’m happy with the point,' he told the National League’s Oli Osborn. 'We didn’t play as well as we did recently, so to come away with a point after twice being behind? We’re pleased with that. It’s probably a good result. We weren’t great, but we showed character and I am delighted with that. We didn’t create anything in the first half so we decided to change the style. I have been working on us trying to adapt when we need to adapt. We know we’ve got goals in the team and we showed we can pull something out of the bag.'

    He says a strong bench can make all the difference and added 'I’m really fortunate to know we’ve got those kind of options to come on... People call me inexperienced as a manager, but I’ve been coaching for 12 years. Since day one the players have been great with me.'"

    According to the Shropshire Star "Boss Gavin Cowan admits finances played a part in the decision to let goalkeeper Sheridan Martinez leave AFC Telford United. The 25-year-old seemed on course to be the Bucks’ No.1 before the start of the season but Leicester loanee Max Bramley has been first choice. Andy Wycherley came in too and, due to an injury, Martinez ended up behind him in the pecking order.

    Cowan was firmly of the belief he needed to get minutes under his belt and, explaining the decision to let him depart the club rather than go out on loan, the Telford chief said 'Our budget will be one of the bottom five in the league, we have to remember that. Ultimately, having three keepers just isn’t feasible. With Shez, we’ve got to be cruel to be kind. He needs to play games. He could easily be our No.1 but he picked up an injury and we’ve got two other very good goalkeepers in Max and Andy. It’s just been unfortunate for him.'

    Martinez re-joined Telford in the summer after a spell last campaign in which he did not play at all. He made two appearances for the Bucks this term; the 1-1 draw at Guiseley and the 2-1 victory over Brackley Town, dislocating one of his fingers in the latter...

    'His attitude has been excellent, he’s been a credit to himself,' he said.... 'I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shez go out and prove himself, and come back. He’s proved he’s good enough for this level so the door is certainly not closed on him. If he goes anywhere, I’d like him not to sign a contract. An opportunity could come up again for him here.'

    Telford have also cut Dan McKenna’s loan spell from Wolves short. The midfielder was due to stay with the Bucks until January but has returned to Compton after failing to make an appearance. 'He’s another fantastic young man. He came in and worked really hard,' added Cowan. 'He just couldn’t get near the squad because of the form we’ve been in. We’re not in the business of killing careers, harming the development of a young player. He needs to go back to an amazing environment at Wolves and continue to be nurtured.'”

    Southport confirm that "Non-League Day returns on the club’s first home game for a month when York City visit on Saturday 13 October 2018, and Southport Football Club are pleased to announce that the fixture will be dedicated to the work of Kick It Out.

    Scheduled to coincide with the upcoming international break, Non-League Day has been an annual event for nine years, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs to get fans to support the local community through visiting their local non-league side. The event is also a platform for the club to promote the importance of affordable volunteer led community football.

    As Kick It Out marks its 25 years of campaigning for equality in football seven teams, including Southport FC, will be dedicating fixtures to football’s equality and inclusion organisation, a record number, which is also the same number of years the organisation has supported this initiative".

    Nuneaton Borough "were pegged back twice by mid-table York City in an entertaining encounter at Liberty Way. Dior Angus twice gave Boro’ the lead only to see the visitors respond and hang on for a scarcely deserved point.

    Angus broke the deadlock with a spectacular bicycle kick from close range that left Adam Bartlett no chance in the visitor’s goal. The chance came from a corner that York City couldn’t clear, Mike Calveley won a header that presented Angus with the chance to score his fourth of the season... Boro’ had chances to extend the lead... It should have been 2-0... McGurk headed powerfully in to the back of the net, only to see the Assistant Referee raise his flag...

    Jake Wright punished Boro’s lack of ruthlessness with his header from a ball from the right hand side in the 74th minute.... An early candidate for goal of the season came when Angus twisted in and out on the left and drove to the edge of the box before curling a beautiful strike inside the right post. There was more drama to come though as Jon Parkin’s shot took a wicked deflection that diverted in to the bottom corner".

    FC United of Manchester "are pleased to announce signing of goalkeeper Jordan Perrin on loan from Wigan Athletic. Perrin, who is 19 years old, will join FC for a short 28-day loan period to act as cover for the first team. Having signed for Wigan, from Arsenal in 2016, having also represented Charlton Athletic, the Kent-born keeper has already demonstrated great potential".

    At Chorley "Jamie Vermiglio has given an injury updated as eight first teamers continue to nurse a knock or two. Matt Challoner (fractured hand), Stephen Jordan (calf), Josh O’Keefe (wrist ligaments), Dale Whitham (head), Kieran Glynn (head), Louis Almond (hamstring), Alex Newby (calf) & Wes Fletcher (ankle) are all doubts ahead of the weekend, but the gaffer remains upbeat about the team’s chances.

    'It’s a little unfortunate with the amount of injuries we are carrying at the moment,' he explained. 'Some of these issues have been going on for a while, and although it’s not ideal, the players have been dealing with it and doing their best to either play their part regardless, or with the more difficult injuries rest up and let them heal. Not that we want to make the injury list an excuse. We see it as an opportunity for other players to come in and show what they’ve got. Our entire squad has been doing that since day one, which is why we’ve been able to maintain our unbeaten start into October. Our aim is for our excellent start to continue and we’re looking forward to the challenge Saturday gives us.' [Chorley meet Peterborough Sports in the FA Cup on Saturday].

    The Magpies aim to make it 13 games without defeat on the season in front of the BBC Sport cameras... Hit your Red Button at 12:30pm."

    Chester FC report that "Three goals, three points, and eight games unbeaten for the Blues as efforts from Matty Hughes, Jon Pritchard and Deane Smalley saw off Hereford FC... No changes from the weekend’s draw at Chorley, as Johnson and Morley kept faith with the same XI who brought a sterling point back from Victory Park...

    Craig Mahon found Matty Hughes inside the box, and after a drop of the shoulder, his effort deflected past Horsell to give the Blues an early advantage on 15 minutes...

    The second half saw the Blues kick on and take things up a level... The Blues’ were dominant and could’ve made it two on 59 minutes... Hereford made a fist of things from that point, as Mike McGrath came close twice with headers on goal, but... McGrath’s evening went from bad to worse as two yellow cards in 12 minutes, a first for simulations saw the visitors down to ten after 69 minutes, with a mountain to climb...

    From that point, the Blues took control of the game and doubled their advantage three minutes later through substitute Jon Pritchard... The Blues pulled firther clear with a third goal three minutes from time".

    3 October 2018


    A new mural has appeared on the Popular Side at the J. Davidson Stadium (pictured above). Below are our "initial" thoughts on the subject.

    Red and white paint has been applied to the rear of the Popular Side terracing in alternate bands of colour.

    In advance of Saturday's FA Cup match against Bradford (Park Avenue) the mural alludes to the Club's proud FA history - albeit little has been seen of FA Cup success in recent years

    Catering to the modern vogue for social media, the mural advertises the hashtags #Alty and #FACup.

    How and when the piece of artwork was completed remains shrouded in mystery but it is believed someone cooked up the idea earlier this week.

    It is now nearly three years since Altrincham last reached the First Round Proper, at which stage non-League clubs have the chance of a giantkilling against an EFL club.

    Eventually, whether this season or next, Altrincham hope to add to their seventeen FA Cup victories against Football League clubs, which are listed below

    • 1921/22 Tranmere Rovers
    • 1965/66 Rochdale
    • 1973/74 Hartlepool
    • 1974/75 Scunthorpe United
    • 1979/80 Crewe Alexandra and Rotherham United
    • 1980/81 Scunthorpe United
    • 1981/82 Sheffield United and York City
    • 1982/83 Rochdale
    • 1984/85 Blackpool
    • 1985/86 Blackpool and Birmingham City
    • 1988/89 Lincoln City
    • 1992/93 Chester
    • 1994/95 Wigan Athletic
    • 2015/16 Barnsley


    Following the clash between Altrincham and Bradford (Park Avenue), less than a fortnight ago, the statistics of all previous competitive encounters between the two clubs, who meet again this Saturday, read as follow:
    • At Home: P11-W7-D3-L1-F19-A8
    • Away:P13-W5-D4-L4-F21-A23
    • All: P23-W11-D7-L5-F40-A31

    Right: Owen Dale and Ryan Toulson clash in the recent game at Bradford

    The last time BPA visited Altrincham was on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 and, by a strange coincidence, that match also ended in a 2-3 scoreline, like the encounter betwen the clubs this season, though this time it was the Yorkshiremen who won the match.

    As the website reported, "Playing against bottom club, winless Bradford Park Avenue, Altrincham got off to a good start as James Lawrie's fine goal put them ahead in only the eighth minute. But it was BPA who enjoyed the majority of the first-half momentum... For their part Alty barely threatened the Avenue goal.

    The Yorkshiremen drew level six minutes after the break when, following a quick BPA throw, conceded unnecessarily by Cyrus, the visitors won a freekick. A rehearsed routine was not read by Alty and McKenna fired home from the edge of the box.

    Ex-Alty striker Sinclair who, two minutes earlier, had missed a sitter when he rounded Deasy but fired well over the bar, then waltzed through the weak Alty defence and netted BPA's second in the 62nd minute. During the second half the home defence had looked shaky almost every time BPA attacked and the score got worse after 75 minutes. Alty lost possession 30 yards out and the ball was played for Wroe to convert comfortably and make it 3-1.

    Belatedly Alty did show a bit more urgency and Miller scored with a fine shot from outside the box but with only seven minutes remaining, plus five more of added time, Alty could not get level.

    Line ups: ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Danny HALL, 6. Alan GOODALL (capt), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Phil MARSH, 10. Damian REEVES, 11, Sean MILLER. Subs 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Billy HASLER-CREGG, 15. Sam HEATHCOTE, 16. Harry CAIN, 20. Andrew DAWBER.


    Following the announcement yesterday of the death of Bernard Taylor (right), the Altrincham FC official site has tributes to the former Altrincham manager.


    On Wednesday evening (7.45pm), Altrincham FC Youth take on Daisy Hill in the FA Youth Cup.


    • Chester FC 3-0 Hereford FC
    • Nuneaton Town 2-2 York City


    On Saturday, 6 October, Altrincham are at home to Bradford (Park Avenue) in the Emirates FA Cup. The match comes just a fortnight after Alty won 3-2 at the Horsfall Stadium in a league match.

    However, this time around some of the omens are not good. Firstly, BPA won on their last visit to Altrincham in 2016, their only ever victory at Moss Lane (see above) and, secondly, on that occasion in 2016 BPA arrived as the league's bottom club, which was a similar scenario to that in Alty's last match played on the 6th October date when, as as revealed by Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years, the visitors were another struggling West Yorkshire club, FC Halifax Town. Alty also lost that day, 1-3, at Moss Lane.

    As the website reported at the time, "Having lost 3-0 at previously winless Southport, FC Halifax Town arrived at Moss Lane on the back of a 7-1 home mauling and with just one win all season yet they deservedly won this match... Altrincham brought in Nicky Clee for his first start of the season to replace the injured Ryan Crowther. Michael Rankine was also still missing, with injury, as were long-term absentees Stuart Coburn and Tom Marshall...

    Halifax took the lead in the 22nd minute after Jake Moult had lost the ball 40 yards from goal. The resulting cross, from the right by Roberts, was headed home, unchallenged by Burrow... Things got no better in the second half, for which Alty introduced Densmore and switched to a back three. After a spell of particularly abject play from the home side, they suddenly scored an equalizer in the 56th minute. A deep cross from Griffin [left] on the left was met by an excellent header, back across goal, by Damian Reeves to make it 1-1. It looked as if Altrincham had got out of gaol.

    But, barely three minutes later, they fell behind again when a long ball was again headed home, unchallenged by the impressive Burrow... In the dying seconds of added time the already booked Havern was judged to have tripped an opponent inside the box. It was a very debatable decision for which the linesman flagged vigorously but, bizarrely, the already booked Havern, who was also the 'last man' escaped a second yellow or a red, to Alty's relief. James hammered home the resulting spot kick to complete Altrincham's evening of woe".

    Altrincham's line-up for the 2015 match was 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 21. Joel SWIFT.

    BRADFORD PARK AVENUE: 1. Jon Worsnop, 2. Ryan Toulson (capt), 3. Matt Hill, 4. Adam Nowakowski, 5. Shane Killock, 6. Luke Dean, 7. Nicky Wroe, 8. Ben McKenna, 9. Emile Sinclair, 10. Chris Sharp, 11. Nicky Boshell. Subs 12. Joe Kearns, 14. Sanchez Payne, 15. Lee Spires, 16. Jack Ryan, 17. Dan Eccles.

    Two of Alty's players in the 2015 match, who are likely to be in the opposition line-up this time around, are Nicky Clee and Luca Havern who both featured against us a fortnight ago for the Avenue. Another ex-Robin in the BPA side for the 2018 game was defender Ryan Toulson, whilst former Alty midfielder Danny Boshell was an unused substitute.


    The Altrincham FC official site has Phil Parkinson's assessment of the game at Kidderminster Harriers and a fitness update on the playing squad.


    From Cheshire Live we learn that "Chester FC have recalled winger Nathan Brown and defender Alex Downes from their loan spell at Ramsbottom United, the Evo-Stik West Division side have confirmed. Brown, 20, and Downes, 18, were due to stay at Rammy until the end of October, although Chester did have a 24-hour recall on both the players as part of the deal.

    And Blues bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have decided to activate that clause to bring the duo back to the club as the battle with injuries ahead of Tuesday night's home encounter with Hereford FC (7.45pm).

    A statement on the Ramsbottom United website read... 'Nathan Brown has featured regularly during his time with the club, whilst defender Alex Downes has spent some time on the substitute’s bench'... Chester are set to be without Gary Roberts, Anthony Dudley, Dominic Smalley and George Green this evening, while Scott Burton will be hoping to get through another 90 minutes after playing at Chorley on Saturday following time out due to a niggling calf injury."

    According to Cheshire Live "Neil Redfearn, who almost took over as manager of Chester FC in the summer, has joined the coaching staff at Newcastle United....Redfearn has been drafted to assist reserve team boss Ben Dawson and goalkeeping coach Steve Harper with the Magpies, with Peter Beardsley's future with the club unclear.

    Former Barnsley player and Leeds United manager Redfearn was offered the Chester job in the summer after an interview process, beating off the likes of Kevin Nicholson, Ian Sharps and Adam Murray to the role. But, after being offered the job, the 53-year-old Yorkshireman decided against taking the post with the Blues, citing travel as the reason. Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley would go on to be named as Chester's joint-managers.

    Weeks later Redfearn joined Liverpool FC Women's side as their manager but stepped down after just one game in charge last month".

    The Shropshire Star reports that "Wolves loanee Dan McKenna has returned to his parent club early. The 18-year old was set to stay at the Bucks until January 1st but has been sent back to train with Wolves' under-23s side by Telford boss Gavin Cowan in the interest of the player's personal development.

    The Irishman enjoyed a successful loan spell with Bray Wanderers in the League of Ireland last season but has failed to nail down a regular spot in the Telford side this campaign."

    Also, "AFC Telford United goalkeeper Sheridan Martinez has left the club by mutual consent. The 25-year-old returned to New Buck's Head in June for his second spell but, after failing to hold down a first team spot, he will now leave the club. Martinez has struggled to find game time in Shropshire since picking up an injury in Telford's 2-1 win over Brackley in August and has faced fierce competition for the number one shirt with fellow shot-stoppers Max Bramley and Andy Wycherley ahead of him in the pecking order".

    York Press tells us that "Nuneaton are set to be boosted by the return of four players to their squad against York City, having been forced to name assistant-manager Lee Fowler as a substitute at the weekend.

    Fowler, 35, was one of only four players on Nuneaton’s bench for the 1-0 home triumph against fellow strugglers FC United of Manchester, despite the former Championship midfielder having not played a minute since ending last term at Cymru Alliance outfit Holywell Town. But Nicky Eaden’s men are expected to have fit-again trio Carl Baker, Danny Burns and James Wesolowski back among their ranks, while Harry Panayiotou is available after suspension.

    Injured left-back Lewis Freestone will still be unavailable, though, as will fellow defender Miles Addison, who serves the second of a three-match ban against the Minstermen. Former City pair Curtis Obeng and Theo Wharton will feature, though.

    Another Bootham Crescent old boy Ashley Chambers, meanwhile, has been sorely missed, following his summer switch to Kidderminster after netting 25 times for the Warwickshire team last term. Since his departure, Nuneaton have failed to hit the target more than once in any of their dozen contests during 2018/19. Ex-Port Vale pair Ebo Andoh and Dior Angus are Borough’s top scorers this season with three goals apiece, while former Leicester under-23 hopeful Kairo Mitchell, with two, is the club’s only other marksman.

    Saturday’s 1-0 victory was also Nuneaton’s first on their own soil since Chambers got the only goal of the match against his old club in April. In between, the Midlanders had endured a run of eight matches without success at their Liberty Way stadium. Ex-Rotherham caretaker manager Eaden took over from Gary Charles in the summer, becoming the club’s fourth boss in eight months, with Tommy Wright and Dino Maamria the others."

    From Lincolnshire Live comes news that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott is hoping to extend the loan spells of Grimsby Town pair Ahkeem Rose and Max Wright. The young Mariners duo both stepped off the bench to score in Saturday’s 3-1 National League North victory over Curzon Ashton but with a blank weekend coming up due to the Pilgrims’ early FA Cup exit, the pair’s initial loan spells are virtually at an end.

    Both players have made four appearances for the Pilgrims, three apiece from the start, with Rose scoring twice and Wright once and Elliott praised the duo’s impact from the bench at the Tameside Stadium at the weekend.

    'I knew they would be a good plan B,' reflected Elliott. 'It was not a matter that they played poorly last week as such but I knew that if the game was tight, they could come on with their pace and have a real impact. They have done well for us but I think it is obvious that they still need games. Hopefully we can help them become better players.'

    The pair were borrowed from the Football League strugglers in early September and Elliott will be speaking to Mariners’ boss Michael Jolley in a bid to keep the youngsters with the Pilgrims for a longer spell. United... return to action next Saturday at home to Blyth Spartans... Elliott said [of the enforced break], 'I think it’s come at a good time. I know that we need to tweak things and I know we need to be better but we are on the right track'...

    Elliott had words of praise for striker Gregg Smith, who returned to the United starting XI for the first time on Saturday following his return to the club from Brackley Town almost a fortnight ago. 'We have missed that character because he has been great off the pitch too and adds that bit of spice in the dressing room,'added Elliott. 'I am really pleased with him. Like a few other players, he wanted assurances in the summer that he was going to play games and I was not in a position to do that. He wanted to go and find football elsewhere and he got a great move to Brackley, but obviously it has not worked out. He’s a fans’ favourite, a good player at this level and I am really pleased to have him back.'"

    2 October 2018


    Above: Bernard and his squad celebrate.

    The death has been announced of former Altrincham FC manager Bernard Taylor, who passed away last Wednesday. Bernard was manager of Altrincham FC from March 1998 to May 2000 and also in 2001-02. He first took on the first-team manager's role after the resignation of John King and Graham Heathcote, which had taken place on 5 March 1998. This had followed the club's first ever relegation in 1996-97. Prior to his appointment, Bernard had been the Altrincham FC Reserves' manager.

    Despite being in charge, in his first spell as manager, for only two years, Bernard oversaw a number of notable successes for the club. His first managerial achievement came as early as May 1998 when Altrincham won the UniBond League Cup defeating Gainsborough Trinity at Chesterfield's Saltergate stadium.

    And, before the start of his first full season in charge, (1998-99), Bernard was in charge as the club won the Northern Premier League's Peter Swales Shield, an annual game between the League's champions and League Cup winners. That was away at Barrow, where Alty won 2-1.

    Above: Bernard Taylor with the CSC trophy and the Peter Swales Shield in the car park at Moss Lane before the victory parade through Altrincham in 1999.

    1998-99 season started with Bernard assisted by joint-player/coaches Nigel Gleghorn and Kevin Kilcline, both of whom had played at the highest level of English football. But, by the time Alty had failed to win any of their opening eight fixtures, the two player/coaches had moved on. Graham Heathcote then returned to assist Bernard and the club went on to win the NPL title and thereby regain their Conference status. And, to add to that success, the club also won the Cheshire Senior Cup in April 1999, defeating Northwich Victoria 1-0 at Wincham Park. The town rewarded its local club for its successes with an open-top bus parade around Altrincham.

    Pre-season of 1999-2000 saw Altrincham again lift the Peter Swales Shield after a victory over Stalybridge Celtic at Moss Lane. Bernard and Graham's team Alty started the 1999-2000 season quite well. However, by the end of the campaign, although the team had only lost 14 of its 42 games, a total of 19 draws meant that Altrincham had not gathered enough points and they were relegated back down to the Northern Premier League. Few teams can ever have been relegated from the Conference after a season which had included a 14-game unbeaten run but that was to be the Robins' fate.

    Bernard resigned at the end of that season (April 2000) and was succeeded by Mark Ward. However, following the dismissal of Ward as manager in March 2001, Bernard had a second spell as Altrincham boss but that tenure ended in October, 2002.

    Bernard's later roles in football included managing Kidsgrove Athletic.


    The official site has a report on Sunday's win for the Ladies' team.


    It is only ten years since Nuneaton Borough were liquidated and subsequently re-born as Nuneaton Town, only to revert back to the Borough suffix this season. But the Stoke Sentinel reports on more financial woe for the Warwickshire club as "Nuneaton Borough manager Nicky Eaden has appealed for an investor at the club whose ground is owned by Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite. Smurthwaite is Vale's owner but was allowed by the football authorities to buy Nuneaton's Liberty Way ground in the summer. However, under FA and Football League rules he is limited in how much involvment he can have in the running of a second club.

    So, although selling the ground to Smurthwaite got Nuneaton through financial difficulties in the summer and allowed them to continue playing in the National League North, Eaden has revealed the extent of the club's problems in an interview with this weekend's Non-League Paper.

    He said 'The club needs help. There is money to pay the wages, but beyond this month, who knows? They need a local businessman or whoever to come in and either try to take over the running of the club or put some money in... There's no direction at the club. We're basically going week to week, game to game, and now we can't look beyond the next month really.'

    The Non-League Paper reports that the club has no chairman or directors so is being run by manager Eaden, his assistant Lee Fowler, club secretary Adam Etheridge and general manager Carly Morris. Eaden added 'You're asking the lads to be professional and give their all but you can't even give them a hot shower, you can't give them any training kit. There are pub teams who have got that.'

    Eaden says the club had been declining for years before Smurthwaite injected money in the summer by buying the ground. He added, 'You thought after the summer, obviously Norman bought the stadium, it was going to be financially stable and on the up but it's not changed that much.'

    The Valiants [Port Vale] have loaned forward Dior Angus and midfielder Mike Calveley to the non-league side and also played a pre-season friendly at their ground. Calveley and Angus both played on Saturday as Nuneaton won 1-0 at home to FC United. Former Vale winger Enoch Andoh scored the goal and was man of the match in a victory which lifted his team up to third from bottom in the final relegation spot."

    On the field Alfreton Town confirm that their "re-scheduled league fixture with Nuneaton Borough on Tuesday 6th November has reverted back to the original date of Saturday 17th November. The fixture was initally scheduled for Saturday 17th but was moved forward to Tuesday 6th due to Nuneaton's international commitments.

    But with our Derbyshire Senior Cup tie at home to Glossop North End now being on Tuesday 6th, the Nuneaton game has gone back to the original date".

    According to the National League "Boston United manager Craig Elliott said he was pleased for the fans more than anyone after ending their recent poor run of form. Before the weekend, the Pilgrims had won only once in six, a run that saw them crash out of the FA Cup last week to Peterborough Sports.

    But after a second-half turnaround saw them overcome Curzon Ashton, manager Elliott [said]... 'I am pleased for the fans that they could enjoy their Saturday evening... I know I had a terrible week, so it must have been horrendous for them. It’s not nice having to tell people that you have lost in the manner we did. I have told the players to enjoy these highs, because game in this league are hard to win'".

    According to Cheshire Live, "Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio admitted that his side were fortunate to escape with a draw from their 0-0 home encounter with Chester FC. The Blues became the first team to take a point at Victory Park... as Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's side extended their unbeaten run in the league to six, seven in all competitions.

    And were it not for a superb stop from the Magpies' Matt Urwin in goal from substitute Deane Smalley, it could have been all three as the Blues proved more than a match for a side who had won nine and drawn one of their opening 10 games so far this campaign and who had netted in every single one of them before facing a resurgent Chester.

    And Vermiglio delivered an honest appraisal of the 90 minutes. He told the Chorley website 'It was one of the toughest games we've had and we're happy to come out with a draw to be honest. We've seen it as a real positive to come up against a side who have hit a good bit of form, they've come here and set their stall out and I think they deserve a lot of credit for the way the game's gone. I thought they attacked well, they defended well, they won a lot of the battles in there and a lot of our lads are disappointed with their performances but, at the same time, we're not going to be too downhearted. We've got a point, we've kept a clean sheet and we're still unbeaten and we're still in a very fortunate position.

    'Credit to them, they are a good side. They've lost a few players but they are able to come here and compete and to compete well against us. We'll roll our sleeves up, dust ourselves down and go again for the next game this week. They wanted to come here and make it a bit of a battle and go toe-to-toe with us and that meant we couldn't pick up any pockets like we'd normally do. We couldn't do our overlaps like we normally do. They played well, played the system well and made it into a battle. It took us a while to come to terms with it'...

    The Blues [Chester] are back in action tomorrow night (Tuesday) when they welcome Hereford FC... The game could come too soon for midfielder Gary Roberts (foot) and Anthony Dudley (hamstring), although Scott Burton did manage 90 minutes in the draw at Chorley while striker Deane Smalley made a welcome return from the bench."

    The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan was left dissatisfied by what he saw as his side’s failure to adapt to the conditions [led to] a 1-0 defeat at Blyth Spartans on Saturday... Cowan felt his side went into 'panic mode'.

    'I felt really good about our preparation. We travelled the night before, stayed in a hotel and the lads had the use of the amenities,' said the Bucks' boss. 'The energy before the game was spot on and I really felt that we were going to go out there and terrorise Blyth. Credit to them (Blyth), they certainly weren’t having any of that'.

    Strong winds off the North Sea made the game at Croft Park a challenge, and it was one the Bucks failed to meet, taking a first-half pounding and perhaps fortunate to only go in one goal behind, to Dan Maguire’s injury-time header. 'I felt that, with the weather conditions, we went into panic mode a bit and didn’t adjust accordingly,' added Cowan. 'I don’t know whether it’s as windy as that all the time here, but we can’t use that as an excuse'...

    'Blyth were completely dominant in the first half and we were in panic mode. It seems we’re not adjusting in the right manner should the conditions not be suitable to how we want to play football. You’re not going to be successful if you go down that route... There was a lot of talk about preparations this week, it was meticulous I felt, no stone left unturned, but you can do all the talking you want, you have to go out there and do it, and we didn’t.'".

    1 October 2018


    The next time he takes to the field will be captain Jake Moult's 300th appearance for Altrincham. So far he has made 272(+27) appearances and netted 30 goals, making him the second highest scorer currently at the club.

    Right: Jake Moult at Kidderminster on Saturday.

    Now 29, Jake was initially signed, by Lee Sinnott, on a 93-day loan from Alfreton Town in late August 2012. Previously, Jake had been a summer trialist at Altrincham in 2007. Born in Stoke on Trent, he had joined Alfreton on 1 July 2010, before which he had been with Stafford Rangers. His earlier career had been with Port Vale and Plymouth Argyle.

    In early November 2012, Jake formally moved to Altrincham on a free transfer, signing a contract to the end of 2013/14 season. He is the brother of former Wrexham, Motherwell and now Preston North End striker Louis Moult and Jake himself has a powerful shot. He was rewarded for his consistently good performances in central midfield with the 2014-15 Players' Player of the Season accolade.

    Jake captained the side for much of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and was confirmed in that role when Phil Parkinson took over as manager in summer 2017.

    Following the resignation of manager Neil Young on 28 August 2016, Jake, along with Shaun Densmore and Alan Goodall, was briefly appointed to a caretaker-management role before Jim Harvey took over.


    Following Saturday'sgame at Aggborough, Kiddermisnter Harriers have produced their statistics of the game. And the National League has video highlghts of the match.

    The unofficial Harriers Online The game couldn’t have started any better if Harriers had tried; Declan Weeks taking aim from distance and seeing his strike parried by a suspect Elliot Wynne directly to Ed Williams who finished at the near post with only thirty seven seconds on the clock. This woke the visitors up; John Johnston and Sean Williams both having efforts on goal as Phil Parkinson’s men grabbed a foothold in the game.

    At the midway point of the first half, with Harriers consistently sitting ten yards off their opponents, Altrincham struck. Owen Dale created the opportunity by getting to the byline before pulling it back for Johnston to sweep home past Brandon Hall. Truthfully, it was what the Robins deserved.

    With ten minutes to play the Harriers retook the lead, perhaps against the run of play. Moments before the goal Dan Bradley had flashed an effort wide but when Ryan Johnson brought the ball out of defence and bisected the Alty backline with a great through ball, he would make no mistake by firing across Wynne.

    On the stroke of half time Chambers made it 3-1. Excellent intricate football from Harriers saw the ball laid into Williams with his back to goal. His touch was perfect for the onrushing Chambers, who swept home from the edge of the box with glee.

    The half time scoreline was admittedly flattering Harriers somewhat and with less than ten played in the second half, the deficit was halved. Max Harrop struck a low free kick which appeared to deceive Jimmy O’Connor, who could only offer a toe to divert the ball past Brandon Hall...

    The visitors then began to throw the kitchen sink and more at Harriers but their search for a point was in vain. Quite how the ball didn’t fall for them will take some explaining though with a heart stopping goalmouth scramble ensuing following a succession of corners. A header came in from one of the many purple shirts which hit the post, beating Brandon Hall’s desperate dive.

    With the keeper stricken on the deck we expected heartbreak as Altrincham equalised. Only they didn’t, as the ball hit Hall on the back and stayed out allowing Ryan Johnson to find the East Stand and the referee his whistle to signal the end of an open and entertaining game of football. A game of football that last year we probably would’ve caved in and drawn".

    Left: Andy White in action at Kidderminster.

    After the match, Kidderminster Harriers report that "Manager, Neil MacFarlane, was delighted with the level of football shown by both teams during Harriers 3-2 win over Altrincham at Aggborough. The Reds came out on top but were put to the test by an Altrincham side who had a number of chances to grab a share of the spoils late on...

    'It was a great game of football and a real credit to this level,' he said. 'I thought both teams were fantastic, it was brilliant to come out on the winning side. I was over the moon with the start of the game because we were on the front foot and, as the half progressed, we were a real threat with the front three'...

    Though some clinical first-half finishing put Harriers in a commanding position, it was the visitors who pushed hard at the end to try and take something back to Moss Lane. The gaffer added that they probably deserved as much, too, but said Harriers got the rewards their drive and work-rate deserved."

    From the Alty side, the official website report by John Edwards says that ""Altrincham were pipped by the post, as well as at it, after a rousing, drama-filled finale came within a whisker of salvaging the point Phil Parkinson’s side so richly deserved at Aggborough Stadium on Saturday... One of the Vanarama National League North’s biggest wage payers and among the favourites for promotion, were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief".


    Alty Reserves secured a 3-0 home win on Saturday against Billinge in the JB Parker Challenge Cup 1st Round. Meanwhile Altrincham Reserves remain top of the Cheshire League Premier Division.


    On Sunday, Altrinchgam FC Ladies won 2-1 away against Liverpool Feds Reserves and so remain top of the table. Next Sunday they entertain Northwich Vixens at Mersey Valley.


    Altrincham FC Youth warmed up for Wednesday evening's FA Youth Cup clash at Daisy Hill with a 7-1 win on Saturday against Avro. Their next league game is away to Prescot Cables, who they then meet again the following Sunday (14th) in the NWYA Neil Thomason Cup.


    The National League reports that manager "Liam Watson says Southport will stick together as their troubled start to the season continues. The club are second bottom from of the National League North after two months to forget. They lost 2-0 at Brackley on Saturday meaning they now haven’t won since beating Nuneaton in the middle of August...

    He said 'There was a gulf between the two teams, they were better than us. But our workrate was poor. We made errors, it was a bit of a shock because I thought we had been improving. The two goals we let in were shambolic. We were second best in the first half, we got better in the second but by then the game was gone. We’ve come across all the teams in the top six or seven and we haven’t been close to any of them.

    'We have been in good form but this was a set-back to us. We need to dust ourselves down now. Now we’ve got to stick together and work really hard to start climbing the table.'”

    Altrincham's next cup opponents are Bradford (PA) and our next league opponents are Alfreton Town. They met on Saturday and the Telegraph & Argus reports that "A hard-earned win from a game of few chances at Alfreton Town lifted Bradford (Park Avenue) up one place and into third in the Vanarama National League North.

    It was always going to be a tough afternoon against Billy Heath’s side at the Impact Arena but Avenue remained disciplined and determined, coming away with a 1-0 win...

    Avenue’s Nicky Clee fired over after Jake Beesley had cut the ball back for him before the home side ended the first half with three half-chances. Jordan Sinnott volleyed over before Beesley made a good block to a shot following a corner and Sinnott headed over the target just before the break...

    Avenue should have broken the deadlock in the 68th minute but after rounding Ramsbottom with the goal at his mercy, Beesley lifted his effort over the bar. That miss proved not too costly as the visitors netted the game’s only goal less than three minutes later. They had forced another corner and Branson met Wroe’s flag kick with a powerful header.

    Avenue manager Mark Bower was delighted with the win and the performance, albeit a sterling defensive one. He said 'Chester apart, all five of the last games have been very tight and I thought we deserved to win as we had the better chances. The first half was difficult, playing up the hill. They had a bit of pressure but we still had the two clearest chances. The second half we were comfortably dealing with what they had to throw at us...

    'I thought we defended well, it was a good clean sheet. It was probably different to the others we’ve had; we’ve been fortunate not to concede in some games but this was a solid clean sheet.'”

    And Bradford (Park Avenue) add that... 'A bizarre incident took place just three minutes after the restart, when Reds goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom blatantly picked up a pass from defender Josh Gowling. Controversy followed as the referee refused to blow his whistle, causing an incensed Mark Bower to vent his frustration on the touchline...

    Bradford were provided with two injections of energy as the game approached its final twenty minutes and the introductions of Jamie Spencer and Lewis Knight were the catalysts for an increase in the visitors’ tempo... Branson connected with a corner delivery from Nicky Wroe and powered a header past a helpless Ramsbottom...

    Alfreton Town: Ramsbottom, Clackstone (Clifton 79′), Wilde, Hotte, Gowling, Shiels (c), Bateson, Johnson, Bacon (Clarke 89′), Peniket, Sinnott. Unused substitutes: Nicholson, Platt.

    Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Lowe, Wroe (Nowakowski 83′), Killock (c), Havern, McKenna, Branson, Beesley, Dawson (Spencer 65′), Clee (Knight 67′). Unused substitutes: Toulson, Boshell".