November 2018

30 November 2018


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer John Edwards reported on an interview with Altrincham assistant manager, Neil Sorvel. Altrincham "return to league action this Saturday brimming with confidence but with a warning from assistant manager Neil Sorvel that there can be no let-up in their eye-catching output. A testing trip to a Brackley side they recently dislodged from the play-off positions is followed by a home game with third-placed AFC Telford United the following Saturday, and Sorvel said 'We dominated and were worthy winners, and I particularly enjoyed watching our second and third goals.

'They were two outstanding moves and, for the third one, we must have strung together 20 passes before Josh Hancock stuck it away. That’s what we base our game on, keeping possession of the ball and moving it at tempo and not many teams have lived with us when we’ve got it right. The aim now must be to keep doing it on a consistent basis because, when we are on it, we are more than a match for anyone in this league. We are in a really good spell at the moment. We are looking really solid defensively, we are moving the ball well and we are creating chances and being clinical about converting them...

'There is a tough run of games coming up, so we can’t take our foot off the gas.'

Winger Kallum Mantack rounded off the scoring moments after going on as substitute for his Alty debut, and Sorvel added 'He’s here to increase competition for places. We wanted another quick player in wide areas, and to score with virtually his first touch will do him no harm.'"


TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, writes "Thanks to all who came with us for a most enjoyable afternoon in Chester. Great to see so many new faces on the coach and we hope that you will consider joining us again. We didn't hit any traffic at all in Chester and arrived early but were made welcome in the bar. The support was clearly appreciated by the players who put on a great showing.

We now turn our attention to a tough trip to Brackley Town and hope that you can once again support the lads to keep this league run going. We'll be stopping for 30 mins on the way and we look forward to seeing you".

Details of times and fares are on the Away Travel page; please book as soon as possible by calling the club on 0161 928 1045 during weekday office hours.


NL Daily reports that "Attacking player Astley Mulholland has announced he has agreed to leave Barrow. Mulholland signed for the Vanarama National League club in the summer after a standout season with Colwyn Bay in the Evo-Stik North last year.

His time at the Bluebirds has been blighted by frustration, though, and he recently spent time on loan at Hyde United. Mulholland... tweeted 'Top bunch of lads and staff; both agreed to part ways. Shame I couldn’t get more game time but that’s football".


The Shropshire Star reports that "Boss Gavin Cowan is happy with the size of his AFC Telford United squad, despite their disciplinary record being a cause for concern. The Bucks have both Theo Streete and Steph Morley banned for this weekend’s clash with top-of-the-table Bradford Park Avenue.

Centre-half Streete will miss out because of accumulating five yellow cards while Morley will not be involved in the next two games due to his red card for dissent in Friday’s 2-0 FA Trophy triumph at Darlington.

Morley’s upcoming absence will leave Telford without an out-and-out left-back, but Cowan is not overly concerned... 'We have had suspensions, but I am happy with the level of the squad,' said Cowan. 'We have suspensions coming up, but we have 19 players and that is optimal. When you have more you can’t keep them all happy, but we have 19 and we believe in the group.'

Ryan Sears, John McAtee and top scorer Daniel Udoh have also been sent off for the Bucks this term.

We have had a few sending offs, and that may be something we need to look at, but that can lead to opportunities for youth-team players to come in and take a chance,' said Cowan. 'Also, we have togetherness and I don’t think you can keep that with a group of 22.'

One youngster who could be handed an opportunity in the event of more bans is Jack Downing. The teenage striker recently signed first-team forms after impressing for Telford in their run to the first round of the FA Youth Cup, where they lost to Scunthorpe. On his progress, Cowan added 'He isn’t part of the squad but is part of the group. He has four strikers ahead of him, but he is calling himself the fifth striker.

'He is not someone who will shy away from anything, and he understands that he has a lot of work to do. He has to get on the first rung of the ladder and that ladder is in the distance at the moment. But anything can happen, we have seen in football a thousand times that one minute you can be in the youth team, and the next minute you can be the next star striker'".

And AFC Telford United confirm "the signing of [ex-Alty loanee] winger, Brendon Daniels on a month’s loan from Port Vale. Brendon Daniels, well known for his left foot on free kicks, joins the Bucks on loan until the 1st January.

Daniels, born in Stoke on Trent, started his career with Crewe Alexandra signing a two-year professional contract... The winger has since gone onto play for Chester, Tamworth, Harrogate Town and AFC Fylde & Alfreton before he signed for League Two side Port Vale at the start of the 2018/19 season".

Hereford FC report that "Mike McGrath has been allowed to leave Edgar Street by mutual consent, the midfielder is now free to find a new club."

According to the Chester Standard "Chester winger Craig Mahon has urged his teammates to keep calm and start winning again ahead of Saturday's home clash with Darlington. The Blues have hit an alarming slump since their 11 game unbeaten run ended with defeat to Altrincham on November 10 with just one point from a possible nine and four consecutive games with[out] a goal.

Tuesday's disappointing FA Trophy exit to Southport only added to the sense of worry surrounding the Swansway Stadium...

'No one likes to lose because the gaffers have built this winning mentality into us so when we do lose it hurts that little bit more,' said Mahon... Long serving Mahon was one of Chester's standout players during their recent spell of results but he was dropped for the FA Trophy replay against Southport.

'Obviously I want to play every game, regardless of what round it is or what competition, so it was disappointing but it has given me that hunger to work hard, get back in the team and show what I can do,' he said. 'We went on an 11 game unbeaten run and you don't do that by fluke. We earned it and worked hard so we've proved that we've got the lads good enough to do it. I think if we get our mentality right, work hard and be positive we can get that form back again...

'We're sitting sixth in the league so I don't think we need to hit the panic button too early,' said Mahon... Mahon, 29, admitted that the Blues' recent workload has taken its toll on a few members of the side with Chester looking increasingly tired against Southport on Tuesday.

'It's been tough but that's football,' he added. 'You know you're going to play twice a week for a long time and it's one of those things that can hinder you or it can help you and for the first few weeks of the run it helped us because we had that momentum. Now, since we've lost a few, it will be nice to get back to games on a Saturday and get a few more training sessions under our belt. Football is fickle; one minute you're the worst player and the worst team in the world and the next minute you get a win and you think you're the best'".

The Boston Standard reports that "It’s the nature of non-league football, with its non-contract deals, that players come and go more more frequently. That has certainly been the case at Boston United this season, with Craig Elliott currently using 38 squad members this campaign.

Five of those have just one competitive appearance to their name. But over the past 10 seasons a total of 38 players have made a solitary appearance for the Pilgrims".

By way of comparison, Altrincham have named 26 players in league squads this season but only used 23 of them. Langley, Mantack and Scott are the three named in a league squad but yet to play. A further five players have appeared only in cup matches (Coley, Scott, Mantack, Joe Thompson, Woodcock). Ten Alty players have just made one start this season, most of them figuring only in the Cheshire Senior Cup. They are Coley, Downing, Gabidon, Harris, Harrison, Callum Jones, Poole, Scott, Joe Thompson and Woodcock. Some of these ten have also made sub appearances, however.


Rushden and Diamonds's phoenix club "AFC Rushden & Diamonds have agreed in principle with the Duchy of Lancaster to lease 11.6 acres of land adjacent to the B645 Chelveston Road. The proposed lease, which includes an initial 30 year term, also contains a provision for the future expansion of AFC Rushden & Diamonds facilities into a further parcel of adjacent land.

Chairman Ralph Burditt told the club’s website, 'This is wonderful news for the club. Matters have reached this stage following years of hard work in searching for a permanent home for AFC R&D... As we are supporter-owned and supporter-run, sustainability is key...

'There is a long path ahead, however and AFC R&D are fully committed to the new lease which has been agreed to secure the club’s immediate future at Hayden Road'".

29 November 2018


Once again Altrincham FC is organizing an Over-50s' Christmas lunch for both supporters and local residents. Full details of the event, which will take place on 19 December, are on the official Altrincham FC website.


The official Altrincham FC website announces two departures from the club. They are loanee Owen Dale (left) and recent signing Charlie Scott.

Owen, who turned 20 at the start of this month, has certainly been a most successful loanee, having arrived from his parent club Crewe Alexandra, initially on a one-month loan, in time to make his debut in a 3-0 win at Darlington on 25 August 2018. His loan was renewed and his success at Moss Lane has prmpted Crewe to take him back to Gresty Road.

In all, Owen made 13(+3) appearances for Altrincham, ten of his starts and two of his substitute appearances being in the Vanarama National League North. He scored three goals, which arrived in three successive home league matches, against Alfreton Town, Ashton United and Nuneaton Borough.

Twenty-one year-old defender/midfielder Charlie Scott (right) has also left Altrincham, in search of game-time. Before arriving at Altrincham, he had been released by Manchester United in summer 2018, having enjoyed a brief spell in early 2018 on loan at Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premier, where he made two appearances. He joined Altrincham on 2 November 2018, having earlier trained with the club. His only appearance for Altrincham came at centre-back in the Cheshire Senior Cup defeat to Congleton Town. Otherwise, he was an unused substitute in the league games against Heerford FC, Chester FC and York City.


The National League reports that "Even with a big chunk of the season already gone, it's still too early to tell who will win the Golden Boot....

After four in his last three games, Spennymoor Town's Glen Taylor boosted his tally to 11 for the season and leads the current table. Altrincham's Jordan Hulme shares second place with Kidderminster Harriers' Ed Williams, both have ten goals apiece. On Saturday five of the top scorers are likely to be on the pitch as, in addition to Hulme, Hancock and Johnston, Brackley have two of the top scorers in Armson and Ndlovu.

The goals have certainly been shared out at Alty; Hulme is one of three Alty players in our top ten.

National League North top scorers:

  • Glen Taylor 11 Spennymoor Town
  • Jordan Hulme 10 Altrincham
  • Ed Williams 10 Kidderminster Harriers
  • James Armson 9 Brackley Town
  • Jake Beesley 9 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Daniel Udoh 8 AFC Telford United
  • John Johnston 8 Altrincham
  • Mark Anderson 7 Spennymoor Town
  • Josh Hancock 7 Altrincham
  • Anthony Dudley 7 Chester
  • Kurt Willoughby 7 FC United of Manchester
  • Lee Ndlovu 7 Brackley Town
  • Daniel Maguire 7 Blyth Spartans"


Brackley Town have informed Altrincham supporters that the normal route from J11 of the M40 is not possible as "the A422 from Banbury to Brackley is now closed for the foreseeable future". Instead they suggest, "From, or crossing the M40 at Junction 10, follow the A43 towards Northampton. (The road is a dual carriageway all the way to Brackley – 9 miles). At the large roundabout at the bottom of the hill as you approach the town, take the second exit signposted Brackley (South).

After approximately 100 metres, take the 2nd exit at the mini roundabout (Tesco store on the left, Mercedes / Petronas Formula One Racing on the right), and follow the road towards the town. The New Locomotive public house is almost immediately on the left-hand side and Churchill Way is the next turning on the right as you go up the hill. (Signposted Football Club). Turn into Churchill Way and follow this road, which leads directly into the Club car park".

The last time Alty visited Brackley in the league (January, 2017) it was a night game played in fog; fortunately on the previous league trip in March, 2014, the sun was shining as we see, above. Pictured (in blue) are Kyle Perry and Adam Griffin (no.3) as Alty won 2-1.


The Stoke Sentinel reports that a former Alty loanee, "Port Vale winger Brendon Daniels is admired by Telford. AFC Telford have revealed they expect Port Vale winger Brendon Daniels (right) to join them on loan.

The 25 year old, from Smallthorne, joined the Valiants on a free transfer in the summer, signing a six-month deal, but hasn't featured in the first team at Vale Park. However he has been on loan at Altrincham and impressed for Vale's reserves at Rotherham last week.

Telford manager Gavin Cowan announced the agreement at a fans' forum. He said 'We have been in discussions with Port Vale and we have agreed to bring in Brendon until January. He has phenomenal ability and has maybe fallen out of love with the game a little bit, and I want to mentor him. If we can get him playing we have a serious player on our hands. He has got phenomenal delivery, and he will be training with the lads this week'...

Cowan added, “He is looking forward to playing here, and we have him until January 1. It is a brilliant move, and he has the quality to play on the right and left, and as a ten.'".

Daniels made 4(+3) appearances for Altrincham earlier this season but failed to score.

Cheshire Live states that "Chester FC could well have two new bodies in the squad for this weekend’s National League North clash with Darlington. Joint-manager Bernard Morley confirmed that he and Anthony Johnson were close to landing targets following their disappointing FA Trophy exit at the hands of Southport on Tuesday night, with a striker with a goal-scoring pedigree understood to be close to an initial loan move.

The Blues, who remain in the play-off places, have stuttered of late and are winless in five and goalless in four and their lack of incision in the final third was all too evident again in the 2-0 loss to the Sandgrounders on Tuesday.

The managers have been working hard in the past fortnight to address the situation and have stressed the need to freshen up the squad, and with Dominic Smalley heading out on loan to Hyde United and John Pritchard also expected to make a loan move elsewhere, it now looks like Chester have the capacity to make changes".

And Chester FC report that "Two goals in three second-half minutes saw the Blues bow out of the Buildbase FA Trophy. A stunning strike from David Morgan and a simple finish from Jordan Archer condemned Chester to defeat at the Swansway...

In a half of little chances, it was a three minute second half spell which brought the visitors two goals.

Firstly, David Morgan broke the deadlock in style with a fizzing effort into the top corner from 30 yards.

Moments later, a Gary Stopforth backpass was pounced upon by Archer who took his time, one-on-one with Shenton, and slotted home...

Chester FC: Shenton, Thomson, Grand, Roberts, Livesey, Howson, Mooney (Mahon 66), Stopforth, Dudley, Dawson (Smalley 66), Jordan (Marsh-Hughes 66). Subs not used: King, Noble. Attendance 654".

From the other side, Southport confirm that the Trophy game at Chester "saw Southport register a fifth straight away win to book their place in the FA Trophy first round... After a goalless draw in the original tie on Saturday, there was again little to choose between the teams during the first half, but Southport re-emerged from the break with renewed intent, showing a clinical side to their play before closing the game out with authority.

As on Saturday, there was little in terms of chances during the first half. Southport started well, forcing a succession of corners, but a route to goal was not always easy to come by.

Archer did well to release Devarn Green, who sent a shot wide, but it was Chester who played the more progressive football as half-time approached... Yet Southport took control with two quick-fire goals after the re-start and from that point, there was no looking back... This was Southport’s fifth clean sheet in six matches and although the result was never in jeopardy, they needed goalkeeper Dan Hanford to be at his best to preserve another shut-out...

There as more good news with the return to action of [ex-Alty loanee] Andy Parry for the closing stages, providing further proof of the competition now building within the Southport squad.

With progress in another knock-out competition, the Sandgrounders have not lost in eight matches in all competitions and they will travel to Tranmere Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend with a spring in their step.

Southport (4-4-1-1): Hanford, Richards, Winnard, Astles, Ogle, Charles (Homson-Smith 76), Morgan, Wood, Bauress (Parry 76), Green (Mueller 87), Archer. Subs not used: Tibbetts, Sampson".

Whilst Chester entertained Southport on Tuesday, over the Pennines at Guiseley their "FA Trophy replay has been called off due to substantial rainfall in the last hour. The heavy rain has waterlogged the Nethermoor Park pitch making it unplayable...

The Buildbase FA Trophy replay with Lancaster City will now be played on Tuesday 11th December at Nethermoor... Just four days later the winners of the replay will host Blyth Spartans in the first round".

Off the field, the Shropshire Star informs us that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan and interim chairman Andy Pryce have insisted Chester should have known better in the saga over Adam Dawson’s transfer. Dawson left the club earlier this month, prompting the Bucks to complain to the FA about an illegal approach, something Chester strenuously deny.

Chester insist they have done nothing wrong, however at the Telford fans’ forum at the New Buck's Head, Cowan said 'We didn’t see him as someone who would play every week, however he would start getting his chance. He was starting to get frustrated, and he was hard to bear in training. He stormed out at Alfreton and after the Boston game, when the players have to stay until 6pm, he broke that rule.

'He then told me he wanted to leave and it was going down that road. He told me he had already signed a form at Chester, which I told him he shouldn’t be telling people. I had a conversation with Adam and he was apologetic about it. He isn’t a bad lad and he maybe didn’t understand the seven days process, and didn’t know better. But Chester do know better, and the club has to deal with it in the right way. We don’t want clubs thinking they can just come and take our players. The issues now will be dealt with by the club, and I want to move on.'

Pryce added 'When things are done underhand we have to do the right thing for the club. We have reported it, but probably nothing will happen, they will get a slap on the wrist.'

Chester have previously released a statement saying they strenuously deny the allegations and have followed FA guidelines.

At a positive forum on Wednesday evening, Pryce told fans the club’s finances were OK, but a lot of hard work was taking place behind the scenes to keep things going. He said attendances were improving and the club was moving in the right direction. Asked about potential bids for the players in January due to the club’s success, in particular top scorer Daniel Udoh, Cowan added 'When we are doing well players will attract attention, and we have to take that as a compliment. But we worked hard to get him in the summer, he is our player and there is no movement on that'".


One of our rivals last season is the subject of a report from the EvoStik League which tells us that "Hednesford [Town] have confirmed they have accepted the resignation of manager Rob Smith and assistant Larry Chambers. The pair are set to move to Halesowen Town having spent the past eight years at Keys Park.

Smith, who recently passed 350 games in-charge of the Pitmen, said 'It is with a heavy heart that with immediate effect Larry and I have tendered our resignations as managers of Hednesford Town Football Club. We have had six [sic] wonderful years with this fantastic club, and have made some lifelong friends along the way. The supporters have always been fantastic with us but the time is right now for the Club to give someone else the opportunity and for us to start a new chapter in our careers.

'The gates have been low this season, so I would urge all supporters to get behind the Club more than ever now, and get behind the people at the Club who continue to do so much. The time we have had at Hednesford will live with me forever.'"

Meanwhile, former manager Lee Sinnott and striker Damian Reeves are at Gainsborough Trinity and the EvoStik League reports that "Gainsborough boss Lee Sinnott was delighted with his side’s win at table topping Scarborough Athletic at the weekend. Second half goals from Simon Russell and Ashley Worsfold tightened the picture at the top of the table with a 2-0 win, lifting Trinity up to third in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division... With games in hand taken in to consideration there is little to choose between the pack which Scarborough still lead.

Gainsborough’s win avenged their 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture, and they are now five games unbeaten in the league.

Sinnott told Gainsborough TV 'Delighted is putting it mildly! Every man put in a magnificent performance, we asked the players to bring their A game and I didn’t think there were any weaknesses at all. It was a very disciplined and polished performance. There is a hell of a lot of football still to be played, but as performances go we can use this as a template and we can draw on this in the future, that we came to top of the league and secured the points, kept a clean sheet and take a lot of positives.

'We’ve come to Scarborough and won, if it had been the reverse result they’d be stretching even further away. We’re overjoyed.'".

28 November 2018


This season, Altrincham have drawn two different clubs from their own league division twice in different cup competitions; Bradford (Park Avenue) and Stockport County have both been drawn against Altrincham in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy.

Mike Garnett reminds us of some other occasions when we have drawn the same club in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy in the same season:


  • FAC1Q v Buxton (A) 0-0 (H) 4-1
  • FAT2 v Buxton (A) 0-2


  • FAC4Q v Runcorn (A) 1-2
  • FATSF v Runcorn (H) 0-0 (A) 1-0


  • FAC4Q v Morecambe (H) 0-2
  • FAT2 v Morecambe (H) 2-0


Chorley report on their match against our FA Trophy First Round opponents. "The Magpies suffered a second defeat at Edgeley Park within a month, falling out of the FA Trophy at the first time of asking against rivals Stockport County. County swapped in Jamie Stott and [ex-Alty loanee] Paul Turnbull for Sam Walker and Sam Minihan following their 3-2 defeat at Blyth Spartans in midweek.

The Magpies made two changes from Tuesday’s FA Cup loss at Doncaster with Stephen Jordan and [ex-Alty loanee] Elliot Newby returning in place of [ex-Alty defender] Scott Leather & Alex Newby.

Stockport: Hinchliffe, Cowan, Duxbury, Keane, Palmer, Stott, Thomas, Turnbull (c) (Walker, 60′), Mulhern (Bell, 81′), Osborne, Warburton (Stephenson, 67′). Subs not used: Minihan, Ormson.

Chorley: Urwin, Anson, Blakeman, Teague (c) (A.Newby, 66′), Meppen-Walter (Lussey, 46′), Jordan, Cottrell (Carver, 73′), O’Keefe, Almond, Wilson, E.Newby. Subs not used: Whitham, Noble-Lazarus.

The Magpies started the game with purpose and had the chance to take the lead with only six minutes gone, after Louis Almond was fouled in the box. Unfortunately, top scorer Adam Blakeman saw his spot kick saved by Ben Hinchliffe...

Then, an Osborne corner eluded everyone only to hit defender Ashley Palmer and deflect in from a yard out, putting the hosts a goal to the good... The half, already very scrappy, petered out...

The visitors upped the ante in search of an equaliser, only for County to go right down the other end and double their lead. Another corner from the left was again bundled home from close range at the back post, this time by Jamie Stott. The third and final goal arrived just two minutes later when Adam Thomas sent a looping header beyond Urwin from 8 yards.

Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio said, 'I thought we were the better side on the ball but we gave the ball away too much and conceded too many goals. For some reason today we didn’t defend well at set pieces and it cost us".


Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records show that it is six years since we last played on next Saturday's date, 1 December. On that occasion we beat Boston United 3-2 in Lincolnshire. All five goals came inside a twenty-minute period in the second half.


The official Altrincham FC website has John Edwards's post-match interview with assistant manager, Neil Sorvel.


He kept a clean sheet against Alty in the CSC recently and now the Hallmark Security League reports that "Congleton Town's Craig Ellison won the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Month award in the Premier Division for October. He was presented with his award by League Management Committee representative Gary Johansen prior to the game against City of Liverpool on Saturday."

Namesake Kevin Ellison, who is 40 in February, netted for Morecambe last Saturday whilst, at the other end of the age spectrum, 21 year-old Josh Ginnelly scored a screamer for Walsall.


FA Trophy replays in the northern half of the draw in the Third Round Qualifying on Tuesday:
  • Chester 0-2 Southport
  • Guiseley P-P Lancaster City - waterlogged pitch
  • Ramsbottom United 2-1 Pickering Town


Kidderminster Harriers "have re-signed former striker George Waring on loan from Tranmere Rovers. The forward arrive[s] on a deal for the next six weeks or so, and is eligible for a second debut when Harriers travel to Spennymoor Town this weekend. Standing 6ft 5, George enjoyed a productive loan spell here last season in which he scored four goals in two starts and 13 further appearances from the bench. He has not been a part of plans at Prenton Park this season and returns to Aggborough relishing the chance to rejoin the Reds and get games and goals once again."

From Lincolnshire Live comes news that "Boston United manager Craig Elliott is delighted to have winger Jay Rollins back in contention as the Pilgrims head to Chorley on Saturday afternoon...

Chorley’s scintillating early season form has waned slightly, but the Magpies will pose a stiff challenge for Elliott’s Pilgrims, who were 5-0 victors at Ashton United in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday.

Rollins’s 15-minute cameo from the bench particularly pleased United chief Elliott, who said 'It fell nicely to get him on and I said to him that it’s not a case of trying to impress. He needed to get on there and get the feeling back again. He’s a quality player who we have missed. I am a massive fan of Jay Rollins and he is as good as it gets at this level. He loves the club and he knows the league, so he ticks all of the boxes.

'He’s a strong and reliable winger and slowly we need to get him fitter'...

Rollins last featured competitively for the Pilgrims at Chorley in March and has since been sidelined with a persistent adductor injury which required various scans, considerable rest and a gradual return to training during the ensuing eight-month period.

Saturday’s win at Hurst Cross booked the Pilgrims’ place in the first round, where they will travel to National League high-flyers Wrexham... but the Pilgrims have two important league matches to play in the meantime, starting at Chorley on Saturday. York City will subsequently be the visitors to The Jakemans Stadium on December 8 as Elliott seeks to get his side back on track in league action following just one win and four defeats in their last six National League North encounters.

Elliott, who brought Liam Agnew back to the club for a third spell last week on loan from Harrogate Town, is seeking defensive re-inforcements following the expiry of James Jones’s initial loan spell from Salford City and a freak foot injury sustained in the gym by Ben Middleton. Jones could well yet return to Lincolnshire, but was denied permission to play in the FA Trophy by his parent club, who also stopped Josh Askew appearing for opponents Ashton at the weekend."

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has vowed to do his homework on Farsley Celtic in a bid to avoid falling victim to an FA Trophy upset... Cowan’s charges are favourites as Farsley play in the Northern Premier... The visitors cannot be underestimated though, as they beat the Bucks’ rivals Alfreton Town 2-0 at the weekend to progress.

'I don’t know a massive amount about them at the moment, but I’ll know more soon,' said Cowan... 'We are determined to do well in the Trophy. Some people say it’s a big jump between our division and theirs, but anything can happen in cup competitions. We could be playing Celtic from Scotland, it doesn’t matter who you play, what level they’re from, if you are not at 100 per cent, you will most likely get punished'...

Telford have now got to at least the first round of the Trophy for the past nine seasons. Cowan was at the heart of the defence for Canvey Island as they got to the final in 2004, which they lost 3-2 to Hednesford Town.

'Farsley, after beating Alfreton, might be thinking this is the year that they go far in the competition, but we’re thinking the same,' added Cowan. 'There’s prize money at stake and we’re going to be at home'...

The winners in the first round will receive £6,000."


Macclesfield Town "are delighted to announce that former Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell is to become our new First Team Manager, after agreeing an eighteen-month deal with the club. A born winner, Sol enjoyed a glittering twenty-year career in the Premier League and commanded a place within the England defence for over eleven years...

Sol's time under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger saw him become one of the most reliable and versatile defenders in Premier League history and with this came an array of further honours over a thrilling five year period. Campbell would go on to make 195 appearances for The Gunners, during which time he claimed two Premier League winners medals and two FA Cup winners medals... Departing North London in August 2006, Sol headed down to the south coast to join Portsmouth.

Two years later, he would secure a third FA Cup winners medal as he captained Pompey in a Wembley victory over Cardiff City. In 2009 Sol moved to Notts County, before concluding his career at Newcastle United after a brief Arsenal return. In addition to this, Sol made his England debut as a substitute against Hungary on 18th May 1996. He would go on to accumulate a further seventy-two caps and in 2006, became the first player to represent England in six consecutive major tournaments.

To this day, Sol is regarded as one of the best English defenders of his generation and we are delighted to announce him as our new First Team Manager."

27 November 2018


As already chronicled on this site (21 November), Altrincham's last visit to Brackley was on a foggy Tuesday night, 24 January 2017, when the sides drew 1-1. Prior to that, Alty played at Brackley on 8 March 2014 and emerged with a 2-1 win in a Skrill North match. Brackley, who had played three more games before kick-off, started that fixture sixth and Altrincham were seventh.

In the match, Brackley took a 17th minute lead. Alty substitute Damian Reeves levelled after 83 minutes as he converted a fine Clee freekick. Two minutes later James Walshaw's excellent shot made it 2-1 to Alty. Brackley thought they had levelled in added time but Diggins's shot against the underside of the bar was judged not to have crossed the line.

The sides that day were:

BRACKLEY TOWN: 1. Billy Turley, 2. Remy Clerima, 3. Dominic Langdon, 4. David Bridges, 5. Tom Sharpe, 6. Ryan Austin, 7. Izak Reid, 8. Brett Solkhon, 9. Stefan Moore, 10. Stephen Diggin, 11. Glenn Walker. Subs 12. Eddie Nisevic, 14. Steven Towers, 15. Owen Story, 16. Gary Mulligan, 17. Ben Mills

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Carl Rodgers, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. James Walshaw, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs. 12. Tom Marshall, 14. Matt Doughty, 15. Joe Mwasile, 16. Damian Reeves, 17. Jake Moult


The draw for the First Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy was made this afternoon (Monday). Altrincham have been drawn to play Stockport County at Moss Lane on Saturday, 15 December. So, just as with Bradford (Park Avenue) who we have met in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, we now meet Stockport in both competitions, having lost to County in the FA Cup. Altrincham and Stockport have never previously met in the FA Trophy.

Alty and County are also scheduled to meet each other twice in the league over the Christmas period.

The previous record against County, as provided by Mike Garnett, is:

  • Home: P3-W1-D0-L2-F8-A7
  • Away: P3-W0-D1-L2-F0-A5
  • All: P6-W1-D1-L4-F8-A12

The northern section of the draw follows. It has provided Altrincham with a fifth home draw out of the six cup competition draws in which they have been involved so far this season.

  • Southport/Chester FC v Solihull Moors
  • Lancaster City/Guiseley v Blyth Spartans
  • AFC Fylde v Stratford Town
  • Salford City v Gateshead
  • Chesterfield v Basford United
  • Wrexham v Boston United
  • Barrow v FC Halifax Town
  • Harrogate Town v York City
  • Leamington v Hartlepool United
  • Workington v Pickering Town/Ramsbottom Utd
  • Spennymoor Town v Stamford/Barwell
  • ALTRINCHAM v Stockport County
  • AFC Telford Utd v Farsley Celtic


At the end of last week, Nuneaton Borough "confirmed that Manager Nicky Eaden has left the Club by mutual consent. Assistant Manager Lee Fowler will take over the reins with immediate effect...

Eaden came in during the summer, with virtually no staff in place, and had to build a squad two months after his counterparts had concluded their pre-season plans. What looked like a positive start, with draws in the opening two matches, quickly fell off as the Boro’ consistently failed to find the net. A run of seven League matches without a win, plus elimination from the FA Cup, ultimately had new Chairman Nick Hawkins looking to move in a different direction.

'With a heavy heart, myself and Nicky have agreed, that a change of direction is best for Nuneaton Borough Football Club at this time. Nicky and his team have worked in difficult circumstances throughout his tenure and I appreciate, as do the fans and players alike, his efforts and commitment to the cause... He has so much to offer and I know in better circumstances he will excel'".

The National League reports that "Lee Fowler has made his first move as Nuneaton’s new manager, signing a [former Altrincham FC] Love Island star! Central defender Luis Morrison, who was in the ITV hit show three years ago, has plenty of experience in the National League North.

He has appeared for Alfreton and Altrincham and also played for Hereford, Maidenhead, Canvey Island and Farnborough.

Fowler has taken over at Nuneaton after Nicky Eaden’s departure before the weekend. He has a big job on his hands with the basement boys six points from safety.

'I’m really excited to be here at Nuneaton, the club has seen a lot of turnover lately and hopefully with Fowls and Nick Hawkins driving things we can see some stability,' Morrison said on the club’s website. 'It’s an exciting place to be, we want to, and need to, perform better, Lee’s very positive and I’m looking forward to the challenge.'"

Luis Morrison-Derbyshire (d.o.b. 22 July, 1994, height 6ft 3ins) joined Altrincham in November 2016, his previous club being Greenwich Borough. He had been on schoolboy forms at Arsenal and Stevenage before a spell with Jalkapalloseura FC YPA in Finland (2014) and he also played for Umea in Sweden before returning to England for trial spells at Leeds United, (where he turned out for the Development Squad), Derby County, Wrexham and Newcastle United. He joined Farnborough in January 2014 and also played for Maidenhead United, Hampton & Richmond, Grays and Concord Rangers in 2014 to 2015 before joining Canvey Island. After ten appearances for the Essex coast team, he joined Greenwich Borough in September 2016. After one appearance for Altrincham he was released on 8 December 2016 and by New Year 2017 was at Buxton.

And Nuneaton Borough add that "Nuneaton Borough can confirm that midfielder James Wesolowski has left the Club to join Hereford. The combative Aussie made 11 appearances for the Boro' since signing in the summer", whilst Nuneaton Borough also confirm that a "Midfielder leaves to negotiate deal with a host of interested clubs... Theo Wharton has left the Club. The St. Kitts & Nevis international made 8 appearances for the Boro' since signing in the summer".

At Chester FC "Players have rallied round the injured Matty Hughes in an effort to raise funds for the Blues' striker. Matty suffered a serious injury in the 3-0 win over Hereford at the start of October, and has been unable to work his day job due to the injury. Captain Scott Burton tweeted out that the players will be selling raffle tickets at £1 a ticket to win a signed shirt or a signed ball"

Guiseley joint-boss "Russ O’Neill is grateful The Lions have a game on Tuesday night following Saturday’s draw at Lancaster City thanks to Will Thornton’s last minute header...

'If I am being totally honest I think we live to fight another day and we’re lucky to be able to do that', were the first words out of Russ O’Neill’s mouth following the draw at Lancaster... 'My overwhelming thought is that we have got away with one there and we need to put things right on Tuesday. 100% I would rather be in it and have a replay than be out.'

Rowan Liburd struck his second goal in two games in the first half and the Joint First Team Manager was full of praise for the striker, 'I thought Rowan was outstanding today, especially in the first half, he was a proper number 9 for us.. I think we need to match their endeavour more than we did and play our football. I liked the way they played at times with their aggression, we have been on the other foot with the game against Cambridge.'...

Will Thornton spoke us... The academy graduate said 'There are only three lads in our squad who have played at Wembley in their lives and it doesn’t come round often. We want to win every game we play in it is massive for us that we win on Tuesday and take it forward from there.'"

From York City we learn that "Captain Jordan Burrow says City must now maintain the standards set during Saturday's FA Trophy victory at Kidderminster Harriers. The Minstermen progressed to this afternoon's first round draw courtesy of an impressive 3-1 victory...

Burrow said 'Talk is cheap and what we say, sometimes, is irrelevant. It's about going out there and showing it with actions. Going forward, I thought we were excellent (against Kidderminster). They are the standards, especially in the first half, that we need to stick to... We need to do it in the league and that's what we will keep striving to do'...

Burrow, who retained the captain's armband despite the return of defender Joe Tait from a three-match ban, took his tally for the season to eight goals with a double in the weekend victory. 'Every striker has goal targets and I just want to play in every minute of every game and do well for the club,' he said".

26 November 2018


There are some 13 minutes of highlights from the Altrincham v Bradford (Park Avenue) game on Alty TV.


Following a 4-0 away win against Pilkington FC, Altrincham FC Reserves are top of the table, with 33 points from 15 fixtures. Second are Middlewich Town, with the same points but inferior goal difference, from 18 matches. Next Saturday Altrincham host Middlewich Town.


On Sunday, Chester FC Women beat Altrincham FC Ladies 2-1, leaving the Alty Ladies in fourth place. Next up, the Ladies are away at bottom-placed City of Liverpool who have yet to take a point from six fixtures.


In Sunday's Open Cup home match, Altrincham FC Youth defeated Newton Heath Locos 6-0.


Above: Alty line up before the game against Bradford (Park Avenue) last Saturday. With James Jones wearing no.4, Tom Hannigan flexes his muscles with a standing jump and Tony Thompson carefully waters the pitch!.

In their last six league games Altrincham have conceded just three times, thanks in no small measure to the good understanding between centre-backs 21 year-old James Jones and 30 year-old Tom Hannigan.

Tom's first two seasons at Moss Lane, after signing from AFC Fylde, were badly disrupted by injuries. In August 2016, he picked up a knee medial ligament injury in only his second competitive game and was ruled out for a substantial period.

His season was further disrupted by suspension and another injury, in Spring 2017, which terminated his season prematurely. In 2016-17 season he started just 12 league matches.

However, he recovered to start the 2017-18 campaign and put in some assured performances before injury again sidelined him, in late October 2017. Once again, he recovered and his consistency and experience were important factors in Alty's strong run-in for the league title. That season he started 29 of the 46 games in the league.

This season, after missing the opening three games of the league season, he has started all fourteen of the club's league fixtures since then. That is his longest successive sequence of league starts for the club.

Likewise, James (left) is also enjoying his longest run of successive league starts, currently standing at twelve. He has actually started 15 of Alty's 17 league fixtures this season. In pre-season Phil Parkinson might have been expected to view James as his third or fourth choice, given that he was the youngest of the four centre-halves on the club's books. But, with the ever reliable Ben Harrison's recovery from last season's injury taking longer than expected, and new signing Liam Goulding going out to Witton Albion for game-time, James has seized his chance to establish himself at the heart of the defence.

It might have all turned out very differently at Altrincham for James. Having left TNS to play as a trialist for Alty in July 2017, in August, he decided to try his luck elsewhere in the hope of regular starts. However, he returned to Altrincham in time to make his debut on 23 August 2017. His first season at Alty was slightly curtailed by a hamstring injury shortly before the end of the campaign but in 2017-18 he made a total of 23 league starts and four more from the bench.

Last week's Trophy win over Bradford (PA) was James's fiftieth start for the club, and he has scored five goals in the process.


When Alty play Brackley Town next Saturday not only are two of the top four goalscoring clubs in the division meeting but so, too, are two of the division's most potent goalscorers in opposition to each other. According to the NL Paper, Alty's Jordan Hulme has only netted eight league goals but he has actually scored ten times in the Vanarama North this season.

In opposition, 28 year-old midfielder James Armson of Brackley Town is credited with ten league goals, though the listing on the Brackley website only credits him with nine. Either way, the Northamptonshire side carry a serious goal threat with their haul of 34 league goals only bettered this season in the league by Kidderminster's 35 and Alty and BPA's 36.


Altrincham resume their league campaign on Saturday with a trip to Northamptonshire to meet another in-form team, Brackley Town, who won their FA Trophy tie on Saturday 3-0 at home, against Nuneaton Borough. Like Alty, The Saints are currently unbeaten in their last six league matches, albeit four of Brackley's games in that sequence have finished as draws, including their three most recent fixtures. At home, Brackley have lost just once in nine league outings. That home defeat was to Darlington but they did also lose at home in the FA Cup, 2-3, to Neil Young's Marine. At St James Park they have beaten Spennymoor Town, Southport, Hereford FC and Alfreton Town in the league and drawn with Blyth Spartans, Chester FC, Chorley, York City.

Brackley have finished seventh and third in the past two seasons at this level.

Altrincham's last six league matches have featured four fixtures at home and just two on the road. Whilst all four home matches have been won comfortably, with a goal margin of thirteen goals for and just one against, away from home the two matches, at Hereford and Chester have been closer and have yielded a draw and a win with three goals scored and two conceded.

Mike Garnett's records reveal that in previous encounters between the two clubs Altrincham have only lost once in four visits to St James Park.

  • Home: P4-W2-D0-L2-F5-A8
  • Away: P4-W2-D1-L1-F4-A5
  • All: P8-W4-D1-L3-F9-A13

This time, the clubs go into the match with virtually identical league records...

  • Position 7th: ALTRINCHAM P17 W8 D4 L5 F36 A24 GD12 PTS28
  • Position 8th: BRACKLEY TOWN P18 W7 D7 L4 F34 A22 GD12 PTS28

In Sunday's Non-League Paper, there is a full-page interview with Brackley's manager, Kevin Wilkin. He said of this season, "We need to turn more draws into victories... We are in and around the play-offs but it could have been much better. When we took over, I think teams maybe looked at us and thought it would be a given they would win; they saw us as three points but now they see us in a slightly different light'.

The article adds that "For Wilkin the task of building on last year... has been made even tougher with a depleted squad that is down to just 15 players. Indeed, the cupboard is so bare that Wilkin's assistant, Mark Noon, is a regular on the bench and, after losing a number of players in the summer, the manager is remaining 'realistic' about his side's fortunes. 'It has taken us a little while to get going', he says, 'as well as losing a few players in the off-season, we changed the formation and the way we had played last season... With such a small squad, there is an obvious concern'...

Wilkin led his troops... to lift last season's FA Trophy... 'Some people will say the reason we didn't get promoted was because of all the games we had in the FA Trophy last season. But I would have to disagree... Our players coped very well with the league and cup run... Players want to play games... In the play-off final against Harrogate... they were just too good for us and they were at home... on their 3G surface'" concluded the Brackley manager.


Altrincham travel to Brackley Town next Saturday, who report in their 3-0 win over Nuneaton Borough in the FA Trophy.

"Trophy holders Brackley successfully negotiated the first defence of their title beating fellow National League North Nuneaton comfortably at St James Park. Lee Ndlovu scored all three second half goals in a 12 minute spell to take his season’s tally to 13.

'We played well today but didn’t find those moments of extra quality in the first half that make the difference,' Kevin Wilkin said. 'We did in the second half and Lee has done fantastically well to take those chances. He missed a good chance just before the first goal but he carried on and it’s good to see he didn’t get down about it but has scored a terrific hat-trick in the end.'

After a first half of few goal threats at either end, the second half was a different story as Saints dominated from the re-start...

Nuneaton’s Ryan Jennings got a late, straight red card for a challenge on Shepherd Murombedzi but the tie had been long settled.

'As the holders in this competition we are there to be shot at and teams will want to beat us,' Wilkin added. 'But it’s part of the challenge we need to meet and to deal with. It’s a good challenge to have'...

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Hall, Dean, G.Walker, Armson (Nti 72), Ndlovu (Jeffers 74), Lowe (Murombedzi 78), A.Walker. Subs unused: Fairlamb, Noon... Attendance: 350"

The Banbury Guardian adds that "Borough held Saints to a replay in this season’s Emirates FA Cup and, for long periods in Saturday’s tie, they looked capable of repeating that. But Ndlovu’s second half hat-trick finally ended their resistance...

Wilkin said 'We took the game to them and didn’t show any complacency despite their problems. They made life difficult for us in the first half by getting a lot players behind the ball and we lacked that bit of quality in the final third'".


Following Saturday's game, Bradford (Park Avenue) report that they "crashed out of the Buildbase FA Trophy following a 4-0 defeat to league rivals Altrincham. In a first-half that yielded little quality from either side, Altrincham provided the cutting edge that separated them from the visitors.

Robins' defender Connor Hampson surged forward before forcing Steven Drench to produce an impressive save in the opening five minutes and it wasn’t long until the hosts were ahead. Danny Lowe bundled Jordan Hulme to the ground, handing John Johnston the opportunity to step up and send Drench the wrong way with a penalty... The Robins continued to look most likely to score and went close through Andrew White...

Altrincham’s lead was then doubled when Josh Hancock rolled [the ball] into the path of Hulme, who tucked away [the ball] in the bottom corner in a composed manner. The visitors did register a shot on target before the half-time whistle blew, but McKenna’s thunderous volley was palmed away from danger by Robins stopper Andrew Thompson.

Altrincham added to their advantage shortly after the restart when Johnston teed up Josh Hancock and the midfielder curled [the ball] past Drench from the edge of the 18-yard box. Johnston then came very close to adding a fourth in similar fashion to how Hancock netted the third, but his curling effort was held by Drench.

A golden opportunity fell Jake Beesley’s way after Oli Johnson darted to the byline and squared, but the forward poked wide from 5-yards out... Despite having a comfortable lead, the Robins continued to threaten and almost added a fourth through Owen Dale.... They carved Bradford open again with twelve minutes remaining on the clock and substitute Kallum Mantack become the fourth Robins player to etch his name on the scoresheet. He arrived at the back post to meet Hulme’s delivery before miscuing his first attempt at a shot but made amends by retaining possession and steering past Drench.

In the final ten minutes, the Robins sat deep within their own half and sprayed the ball around with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they had a comfortable lead. Mark Bower’s side chased relentlessly but failed to cause the hosts any problem in the latter stages".

The Telegraph & Argus adds that "Altrincham continue[d] to hold the psychological edge over Bradford (Park Avenue) as they romped to a 4-0 home victory to make it three out of three over their rivals this term...

There is no logical reason for the Robins’ dominance over Avenue but they rubbed it in at the J Davison Stadium.... Robins’ keeper Tony Thompson had his first save of the first half to make a little over three minutes before the interval when he parried a volley from McKenna.

It was no better for the visitors in the second half as Altrincham scored twice more without conceding... Avenue manager Mark Bower tried to turn his side’s fortunes with a double substitution just before the hour mark. Nicky Wroe and Oli Johnson were introduced from the bench with Lowe and Jamie Spencer making way. Johnson laid on great chances for Beesley and Alex Hurst but both went begging as neither player troubled Thompson".


The Lancashire Evening Post confirms that "Chorley’s FA Trophy interest ended abruptly as they failed to negotiate their first hurdle... For the second time in a month the Magpies were beaten 3-0 at Edgeley Park, and the Hatters must have been surprised at this second comfortable victory over a Magpies side until recently viewed as County’s ‘bogey team’.

Last Saturday’s emphatic success at Kidderminster suggested that Chorley had emerged from the doldrums of the past month. But this match was a wake-up call for a side that seems to have lost the defensive solidity which has brought it so much success in recent seasons. Admittedly injuries have begun to take their toll but too many goals at present are being conceded from set-pieces, as were two in this match.

In addition, the Magpies missed a crucial opportunity to take an early lead when Adam Blakeman, usually so reliable from the penalty-spot, saw his well-struck effort brilliantly saved by Ben Hinchcliffe. The award in the fifth minute followed a foul on Louis Almond but Hinchcliffe must have done his homework on Blakeman’s deliveries and, flinging himself to his left, he tipped ball for a corner at full stretch.

It was County who took the lead in the 18th minute when Ash Palmer reacted the quickest to bundle home a corner from close range... Stockport effectively wrapped up the tie with headed goals in the 53rd and 55th minutes...

Manager Jamie Vermiglio pronounced himself ‘frustrated’ at the result. He sais, 'We started very well and if we had scored the early penalty it could have been a different game. Their goals all came from corners and crosses and that’s not what Chorley are all about, which is to be solid defensively.'"

From Kidderminster Harriers we learn that "Neil MacFarlane wants Harriers to start taking their chances after being knocked out of the FA Trophy despite 'total domination' in the second half against York. The Reds, the manager felt, edged must closer to being more like their usual selves going forward against the Minstermen.

The showing did yield one goal and numerous chances after the break, not least an Ed Williams penalty that was saved. And so despite the 3-1 defeat, the boss was encouraged, saying 'In recent weeks, some of that free-flowing football that was there at the start of the season hasn’t been in evidence. But it was certainly there today. I’ll always call it as I see it, and some of the attacking play was fantastic. It was just the final moment. Some of the intricate football within it to get to that position was there, but we just didn’t take those chances.

'The second half was total domination, but what we must do is start doing it when it is 0-0... The wounds were self-inflicted on the day, says MacFarlane, who added of the goals conceded 'They are avoidable; there’s not many times this season that someone has stepped inside and put it in from 25, 30 yards'".

Boston United report that "boss Craig Elliott admits he may have to bring in another defender, after losing two centre backs in a week. Ben Middleton was ruled out of Saturday’s FA Trophy victory at Ashton with a foot injury while James Jones’ loan spell from parent club Salford City has ended.

Ryan Qualter and Spencer Harris played in the heart of defence during the 5-0 win at Hurst Cross, but Qualter was playing through the pain barrier and the Pilgrims are in need of some cover at the back.

'It’s not been a great week. We’ve lost two centre backs in Ben and James and Ryan’s had a bit of a knee problem coming into the match,' said Elliott, who has already used 38 players in competitive action this season... 'I need to loook to get us some cover in that area'", he concluded.

25 November 2018


Jordan Hulme and John Johnston celebrate the opening goal, with Jake Moult.

League-leaders Bradford (Park Avenue) looked a pale imitation of a potential championship-winning side as they were swept out of the FA Trophy by Altrincham who recorded their third win over the Yorkshiremen this season. Altrincham had already got the upper hand when they were awarded a 13th minute penalty after Hulme had gone down under a challenge from Killock, whilst jinking into the penalty area.

From the spot, John Johnston sent Drench the wrong way to make it 1-0. Jordan Hulme himself made it 2-0 in the 36th minute when a fine pass from Johnston set Andy White running into the BPA box. His cross was relayed by Josh Hancock to Hulme, who netted from six yards.

Alty's third goal, in the 54th minute, was the impressive culmination of some twenty or more passes. At the end of the move, Johnston ran forward and fed Hancock who scored.

BPA enjoyed their best spell of the game, for a few minutes, after substitutions had been made and, had Beesley not missed a sitter and Hurst not spurned another good chance, the outcome might have been closer.

But Alty wrapped things up at 4-0 when debutant Kallum Mantack [right] netted, at the second attempt, in the 78th minute, having only joined the game three minutes earlier. After that it was exhibition stuff from Alty as BPA ended the afternoon well beaten. The visitors won one aspect of the game, however; they picked up five bookings to Altrincham's clean sheet in the disciplinary count.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. Kallum MANTACK, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Josh LANGLEY, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.

BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE): 1. Steven Drench, 2. Mark Ross, 3. Danny Lowe, 4. Jamie Spencer, 5. Shane Killock (c), 6. Gianluca Havern, 7. Ben McKenna, 8. Conor Branson, 9. Jake Beesley, 10. Alex Hurst, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Ryan Toulson, 14. Jack Atkinson, 15. Nicky Wroe, 16. Oli Johnson, 17. Adam Nowakowski.


According to the FA "Fans will be able to tune into the Buildbase FA Trophy first round draw on Monday 26 November, via live coverage on talkSPORT 2.

And the first round proper sees clubs from the National League join the competition too, so there will be no shortage of tasty ties to look forward to. The draw will take place at Wembley Stadium from 2.30pm as part of the Ray Stubbs Show and you can listen live here."


The EvoStik League reports "Player movements registered with the EVO-STIK League from Sunday 18 November to 11am on Saturday 24 November 2018" which include "Ben Harrison from Altrincham FC to Trafford, Short Term Loan".


Selected FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round gates:
  • Att. 214 Alfreton Town 0-2 Farsley Celtic
  • Att. 187 Ashton United 0-5 Boston United
  • Att. 267 Basford United 2-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 642 Blyth Spartans 4-1 Marske United
  • Att. 259 Lancaster City 2-2 Guiseley
  • Att. 222 Pickering Town 0-0 Ramsbottom United
  • Att. 344 Stalybridge Celtic 1-2 Workington
  • Att. 378 Stratford Town 2-1 South Shields


Tuesday 27 November 2018-Third Round Qualifying
  • Barwell v Stamford AFC
  • Chester v Southport
  • Ramsbottom United v Pickering Town
  • Guiseley AFC v Lancaster City
  • Hemel Hempstead Town v Lewes
  • St Albans City v Weymouth
  • Wingate & Finchley v Chippenham Town
  • Dartford v Eastbourne Borough
  • Needham Market v Royston Town
  • Brightlingsea Regent v Hayes & Yeading United

Wednesday 28 November 2018-Third Round Qualifying

  • Dulwich Hamlet v Welling United


The EvoStik League reports that "Radcliffe have appointed former FC United manager and Head of Football Karl Marginson as the club’s new Head of Football Operations. Marginson, 48, is no stranger to the club having made 58 appearances as a player between 2003 and 2005, and he joins the club in the newly-created off-field role.

Radcliffe chairman, Paul Hilton said 'The Club are constantly striving to improve all areas of the organisation and bringing consistency, organisation, sustainability and growth to the football operation which is a must if the Club is continue progressing and capitalise on our great start to the season. “The role will have a wide remit across the Club, tasked with putting in place strategies and processes that ensure that the Club continues to progress and prepare for the future, add a further layer of support for our valued employees and volunteers and build manageable goals to realise the vision of the Board; to build a Club that is successful and progressive on the field, developing young players and opportunity with the community of Radcliffe at its heart.

'In appointing Karl we have secured one of the few men in football who have traversed the path we wish to follow. Karl brings a wealth of expertise in the operational development of football at this level'"


Vanarama National League North, Saturday 1 December:
  • AFC Telford United vs Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Brackley Town vs Altrincham
  • Chester vs Darlington
  • Chorley vs Boston United
  • Hereford FC vs Alfreton Town
  • Nuneaton Borough vs Blyth Spartans
  • Spennymoor Town vs Kidderminster Harriers
  • York City vs FC United Of Manchester


According to the Northern Echo "After Darlington were dumped out of the FA Trophy on Friday evening, manager Tommy Wright admitted he wonders whether he has done the right thing in not adding to his squad recently.

He has not signed any players since pre-season, when he oversaw wholesale changes. Ten senior players left in the summer, plus James Caton went out on loan, with seven arriving.

However, the adjustments have not had the desired affect with Quakers 15th in the table and on Friday they fell at the first hurdle in the FA Trophy, limply losing 2-0 at home to AFC Telford United. There were boos at full-time from the supporters, who have seen their team win only four of 19 games this season.

'I get offered players on loan, probably daily, and I keep sticking by these group of players, but today I feel let down,' said Wright. 'It puts questions in my head; have I made the right decisions by being loyal to them? They’ve got the weekend now and the next time I see them will be Tuesday. They’ve got time to reflect and look at themselves in the mirror and analyse not only their performance today, but their performance the whole season.

'Are they backing up the reason why they were signed? Are they doing their job? Can they hold their head high and say "I’ve been brilliant"? There’s been good performances, but I expect better. We’re well below where we should be in the league, and we’ve been knocked out of both cup competitions without laying a glove, or even a finger, on our opponent.'

Wright was admirably frank in his post-match assessment at Blackwell Meadows, where Quakers have won two of their 11 games this season. He also apologised to the fans via his media interviews, and suggested his players should do likewise.

He said 'I’ve got a lot of respect for the lads, screaming and shouting in their faces is not really my style... The fans are disappointed and a lot of them are angry and rightly so because we’ve just served that up. It’s not good enough and I apologise...

'The time for talking is done. We could talk all day about what we’re going to do and what needs to be done, but the proof is in the pudding... Today wasn’t good enough and it’s not the first time it’s not been good enough. Anyone can talk a good game, paper over the cracks and make an excuse. I’m not making excuses, that wasn’t good enough. The time for talking is over now, it’s time for putting things right.'"

Curzon Ashton "are delighted to announce the signing of Rachid Balde on loan from Stoke City. Born in Guinea-Bissau, the central-midfielder moved to Portugal in 2010 and signed for SL Benfica two years later.

After trials with Brentford and Watford, Rachid signed a three-year professional contract with Stoke where he is currently playing in the club’s U23s' squad. The eighteen-year-old was part of the Stoke U18s side which reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2017...

Manager John Flanagan... said 'He’s a talented, mobile midfielder who is very comfortable on the ball and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the squad.'"

From Bulls' News we learn that "Head Coach Marc Richards has guided Hereford to their first win since he was appointed at the beginning of October. After eight games without a win under his control, Hereford progressed to the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy with a 3-1 win over FC United of Manchester.

It was a much-improved performance compared to when the two sides met in the league two weeks ago".

From the other side, FC United of Manchester confirms that "FC United are out of the FA Trophy after losing 3-1 at Hereford on Saturday afternoon in a classic game of two halves. The Reds had been 1-0 up at the break but we’re blown away by the hosts in the second half".

The Northwich Guardian informs us that "Witton Albion should not dwell for long on how their run in the FA Trophy has come to an end. It would make them wince. Substitute Anthony Dwyer’s swerving strike in the third minute of added time was Leamington’s only shot on target in the entire second-half, but it was one that decided the outcome.

The Brakes could scarcely believe it... Manager Carl Macauley admitted... 'We’re hurting, but I’m immensely proud of how we played,' he said. There was frustration too.

Referee Greg Rollason provided the game’s most controversial moment when, with Witton 1-0 up and threatening to double their lead, he showed a yellow card to Leamington goalkeeper Tony Breeden as a punishment for handling outside of his penalty area. Albion felt it ought to have been red after James Foley had scampered onto Liam Goulding’s chipped pass before attempting to steer the ball past the custodian.

The irony of Breeden becoming a one-man barrier between Witton and a victory later in the afternoon was lost on nobody."

In a North-East clash, Blyth Spartans report on how "Daniel Maguire’s perfect hat-trick was overshadowed by a historic Robert Dale penalty during a 4-1 Buildbase FA Trophy win over Marske United, as the Blyth Spartans skipper became the club’s second top all-time goalscorer...

Looking to record a third win at Croft Park within the week, Alun Armstrong made a number of changes for the visit of Evo-Stik League First Division East high-flyers Marske United. The most notable of those saw the reintroduction of Nathan Buddle... after missing the last few games through a concussion... Blyth will look to extend their three-game winning run, when they return to Vanarama National League North action at Nuneaton next Saturday".

Meanwhile, Kidderminster Harriers reflect on how "Harriers were knocked out of the FA Trophy by a 3-1 defeat at the hands of York City... The Reds’ afternoon got off to the worst start as Burrow put York ahead after a minute, Lewis Hawkins doubling the advantage with a far-post finish.

A penalty from Burrow after the break added a third before the arrears were reduced by a smart Lee Vaughan finish. Harriers had the chance to make it 3-2 late on but Ed Williams saw a penalty saved.

In the main, the performance was a definite improvement for Harriers on recent weeks and certainly on recent games played at Aggborough".

Elsewhere, the Boston Standard says "Call it a good day at the office! Boston United got back to winning ways with a 5-0 victory at Ashton United in the FA Trophy.

Nicky Walker and Max Wright both grabbed first half braces while Gavin Allott, who chalked up three assists in the opening 29 minutes, also got on the scoresheet. And there was further good news for the Pilgrims as Jay Rollins made a late cameo off the bench, his first outing since March following a long injury lay-off.

Craig Elliott’s side ended their four-game winless streak in style at Hurst Cross... Liam Agnew was handed a start in midfield following his return for a third stint at the club, this time on loan from Harrogate Town.

Also returning to the line-up were Brad Abbot, back from suspension, Walker, who had shrugged off an injury, and Spencer Harris and Wright, with James Jones, David Norris, Danny Rowe and Jordan Slew making way

And the least said about the following game the better... as the Chester Standard reports how "Chester FC drew a blank for the third successive game as their Buildbase FA Trophy third qualifying round tie with near neighbours Southport finished goalless in a dreadfully dull encounter".

24 November 2018


£5,000 is the prize money for the winners in the FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round today. The northern half of the draw finished as shown below...
  • Altrincham 4-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Blyth Spartans 4-1 Marske United
  • Alfreton Town 0-2 Farsley Celtic
  • Spennymoor Town 8-2 Halesowen Town
  • Hereford FC 3-1 FC United of Manchester
  • Brackley Town 3-0 Nuneaton Borough
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-3 York City
  • Southport 0-0 Chester FC
  • Leamington 2-1 Witton Albion
  • Darlington 0-2 AFC Telford United played on Friday; bizarrely the official FA website gives the final score as 1-7 and claimed ridiculously after the game that this result was "AET (0 - 2 at the end of normal time)".
  • Ashton United 0-5 Boston United
  • Basford United 2-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Lancaster City 2-2 Guiseley
  • Stockport County 3-0 Chorley


Altrincham entertain Bradford (Park Avenue) today in the FA Trophy Third Round qualifying. Prize money is £5,000 for this Round. For subsequent Rounds the winners will earn...
  • First round (32 clubs) £6,000
  • Second round (16) £7,000
  • Third round (8) £8,000
  • Fourth round (4) £10,000
  • Semi-Final (2) £20,000
  • Final runners-up (1) £30,000
  • Final winners (1) £60,000

In the past three seasons, Altrincham have been involved in four replays in the FA Trophy and have not got beyond Round Two.

In 2015-16, Altrincham drew 1-1 in Round 1 at home to Leamington. Over the next month a replay date was set numerous times but serial postponements meant that the game was only played on the sixth of those rearranged dates, on 15 January 2016, when Alty won 2-1. The Second Round draw despatched Altrincham all the way to Bognor Regis on the Sussex coast where, on a Tuesday night in a game made memorable by the host-club parking six cars on the pitchside to thaw out frost before kick off, Alty lost 2-1.

Above: The road to Wembley? Bognor exhausted every avenue to get the game played in January 2016. Above we see six cars, with engines running, parked on the pitch, on a yellow line (of sand), to ward off the frost before kick-off.

The 2016-17 campaign started in the Third Qualifying Round with a 2-2 home draw against Blyth Spartans. So, once again, a long trip was undertaken, but this time northwards, for the replay, which Altrincham won 3-2. That result earned them a home tie with Macclesfield Town which finished 1-1. The Silkmen won the replay 2-1 at the Moss Rose.

For 2017-18 Altrincham started the competition in the First Qualifying Round. They beat Clitheroe Town 3-0 at home before progressing to the Third Qualifying Round with a 4-1 win against Ramsbottom United. In that Round a trip to Alfreton Town was decreed, where a 2-0 win led to a tie with Warrington Town. Following a goalless draw at Cantilever Park, Alty lost the replay 1-2.


The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Mark Bower hopes for third time lucky when his Bradford (Park Avenue) comeback kids face a tricky FA Trophy test. His side travel to Altrincham in the competition's third qualifying round, buoyed by a superb late comeback in their previous league clash last weekend.

Avenue turned around a two-goal deficit inside 10 minutes as they overcame 19th-placed Ashton United 3-2. They were 2-0 down in the 83rd minute, but a brace from skipper Shane Killock and Lewis Knight saw them stay top of Vanarama National League North. Avenue will be looking for a cup tonic, after having already lost twice to seventh-placed Altrincham; 3-2 in the league in September and 4-2 in the FA Cup a month later.

Avenue will be strengthened by the return of striker Oli Johnson and attacking midfielder Chris Dawson for their side's Trophy encounter.

Bower said 'It's going to be really hard. Altrincham and ourselves are the two form teams in the division this season. They have beaten us twice this season already and the games have produced 11 goals. I really admire the way that they play football. They have a real identity in how they play. It's the toughest game we could have got. I am expecting a really tough game. We will have to play to the best of our ability to beat them.

'Playing in the Trophy is a little change-up, a different mentality. There is no settling for a point. Both teams will want to win the game. It would be brilliant if we got to Wembley but all we are looking at is Saturday. Wembley and the final seem like a million miles away. It is a nice incentive and we have seen teams like Brackley do it, so it is achievable. Whichever side, out of us and Altrincham, goes through will be capable. We will be the strongest we have been for a few weeks tomorrow. Having players back gives me food for thought too.'

Bower was buoyed by the late Ashton victory, despite not playing well. He said 'It was not the greatest performance, but we can't play well every week. I'm really happy with how the lads stuck at it. The game had a memorable end, even if the first 80 minutes of it were very forgettable. Over the last two weeks we have come away with four points. We have things to improve on, but I am pleased with that return.'"


From FC United of Manchester we learn that "Lewis Thompson has been recalled to his parent club Blackburn Rovers, due to an injury to Rovers’ regular under-23 left back. The young full-back made his debut for FC United in the 1-1 home draw against Southport in September and has gone from strength to strength since then. Thompson has been a first team regular, making 14 appearances and scoring a goal at Hereford...

Rowan Roache, a young midfielder, is joining us from Blackpool on a month’s loan. It is hoped that the paperwork can be completed in time for him to be available for selection tomorrow at Hereford in the Buildbase FA Trophy.

In a further development, goalkeeper Dave Carnell is joining Trafford on dual registration. FC United wish Dave all the best at Trafford whilst keeping the door open for a return to FC United."

Boston United "have completed the loan signing of Harrogate Town midfielder Liam Agnew. The 23-year-old, who has previously enjoyed two successful spells with the Pilgrims, has arrived for one month, initially, from the National League high-flyers. Agnew has permission to feature in the Buildbase FA Trophy and could be set to add to his 28 appearances for the club at Ashton United on Saturday. He has scored five goals to date for the Pilgrims."

In the Lancashire Evening Post, "Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio has hailed the fans for their support in the 7-0 loss at Doncaster Rovers... The fans stayed until the final whistle and cheered throughout...

And he thanked them ahead of another away trip in the FA Trophy to their fellow National League North side Stockport. He said 'They were great.They did not stop singing on Tuesday night and that is when you want them most. A game like that. We have been used to being on the front foot and getting the first goal and we have a good record this season. When you are three, four, five down that is when you see where your supporters are and what they bring they were exceptional all the way through on Tuesday night....

'They could have left after 20 minutes but they stayed, they enjoyed the overall experience of being at Doncaster so massive thanks to them.'

Alex Newby, Scott Leather and Courtney Meppen-Walter were all in the wars on Tuesday, Meppen-Walter having to come off after Vermiglio had used all of his subs...

He said 'Once the goals started going in it was not a risk we wanted to take with the injury that he has had. Alex was a bit more of a precaution taking him off on and to give Dale an opportunity... Unfortunately for Dale he has gone on when he will have minimal impact on the game but at least he got onto the pitch. Mepps is just a little twinge... The other one is Scotty Leather. He has had a back problem. We rested him for the Kidderminster game he felt really good but unfortunately the way he fell was just a little unorthodox. He is struggling a little bit with that.'

Marcus Carver and Elliot Newby will return from suspension".

Chester FC "confirm that Dominic Smalley has joined Hyde United on loan for one month. The full-back joined in the summer from Ashton United, and has made 11 league appearances this term for the Blues. Hyde sit 12th in the Evo-Stik Premier League".

According to the Shropshire Star "AFC Telford defender Zak Lilly has joined Tamworth FC on a one-month loan. The young defender has recently undergone a change of position at the New Buck's Head, with boss Gavin Cowan converting him from a striker to a centre back, a position in which he has impressed. He's now headed to Tamworth on-loan as they look to contend with a number of defensive injuries. Lilly's temporary switch will come to an end on December 22, unless Tamworth and Telford can agree to extend his move."

Hereford FC "have completed the signing of experienced midfielder James Wesolowski, the 31-year-old will be eligible for Saturday’s FA Trophy game against FC United of Manchester. Wesolowski started his career with Leicester City rising through the academy before signing a professional contract with the then Championship side. James made 46 Championship appearances for The Foxes between 2005-2008. The Sydney-born player has also featured for Peterborough United, Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town, making over 140 Football League appearances in total.

After picking up a serious knee injury whilst at Shrewsbury, James joined Guiseley in 2016 as he completed his rehabilitation. Most recently he has been playing for Nuneaton.

Now fully fit, James spoke to the official Hereford FC YouTube channel... 'You know you’re going to get 100% out of me', James said. '“I’m going to go out on that pitch and give everything I’ve got. I think I’m a leader in terms of working hard, and I hope that has an effect on the other guys as well. I hope I can help the boys out. It’s just a case of maybe just having that savvy at certain times in games. You switch off for a second and you’re punished.'

Head of Football, Tim Harris, also commented, 'James is the sort of player that we need, he’s very good in winning second balls and asserting his authority on the game. He’s got [bringing?] an awful lot of experience to ourselves so we’re delighted to get him over the line.'”

Nuneaton Borough "have confirmed that midfielder Courtney Richards has left the Club and signed with Braintree Town. Courtney joined the Club after impressing during pre-season and made 20 appearances for the Boro'".

23 November 2018


This Saturday (24th) Altrincham take on league leaders, Bradford (Park Avenue), in the FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round. As chronicled earlier, it will be the third meeting between the two sides with Alty having won at Bradford in the league, 3-2, and at home in the FA Cup 4-2.

Supporters of the two clubs have witnessed a total of 121 goals in 35 league matches this league season, with 61 coming in BPA's 18 games and 60 in Altrincham's 17 league outings. Currently, Bradford have 34 points from their eighteen league matches whilst seventh-placed Altrincham have 28 points from seventeen matches.

Altrincham will have Max Harrop available again after he served his one-match suspension last Saturday against York City but James Poole, Ben Harrison and Sean Williams are all expected to miss out once again.

Bradford's recent results have seen 14 points accrued in their last seven matches.

  • November 17: (H) Ashton United 3-2 W
  • November 10: (A) Curzon Ashton 1-1 D
  • November 3: (A) York City 4-1 W
  • October 30: (H) Darlington 2-2 D
  • October 27: (H) Chorley 1-0 W
  • October 20: (A) Nuneaton Borough 6-0 W
  • October 13: (H) Kidderminster Harriers (A) 1-2 L

Altrincham, likewise, are in good form, having taken 16 points from their previous seven fixtures. By coincidence, Altrincham's last league defeat was, like Bradford's, seven games ago and also as with BPA, it was against Kidderminster. In Alty's case they lost 2-3 at Aggborough.

Since then Altrincham, at home, have beaten Alfreton Town 3-1, Ashton United 3-0, Nuneaton Borough 4-0 and York City 3-0. Away from home during this period, Alty have drawn 1-1 at Hereford and won 2-1 at Chester.


A week on Saturday, Alty travel to play Brackley Town in the league. Before that both sides enter the FA Trophy this coming Saturday, with the Northamptonshire side being the defending holders of the Trophy..

From the Banbury Guardian we read that "Brackley Town begin their defence of the Buildbase FA Trophy and should get the job done at the first attempt. The holders entertain lowly Nuneaton Borough in Saturday’s third qualifying round tie.

But boss Kevin Wilkin knows his players have to be more ruthless in the final third if they are to get past the Vanarama National League North basement boys. Saints have squandered chances in recent games, meaning they have drawn four of their last five league outings, three from winning positions, at the cost of crucial points.

But now Saints must focus on the FA Trophy and Wilkin said 'In the run to the final last season we conceded only three goals in 11 games to win it. There were several clean sheets and that’s something we need to improve on this time. Players understand they need to get back to keeping clean sheet[s] for us to have a positive season. I’ve got players who can go to another level but we want to be successful here and now. Once you’ve had a taste of Wembley you want to have more of it but as holders we’re there to be shot at and that’s something the players have to got to deal with. I remember the day vividly and we want to try and get back there again.'".


On Saturday (24 November), Altrincham entertain Bradford (Park Avenue) in the FA Trophy. Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records reveal that Altrincham's last game on Saturday's date was also against Yorkshire opposition in the FA Trophy, and it did not end well, as the Robins lost 5-2 at The Shay against FC Halifax Town in 2012.

Right: Alty's top scorer, Jordan Hulme, will be hoping to reduce more defenders to tears on Saturday.

Ironically, the scorer of Alty's second goal on 24 November, 2012, was Nicky Clee who is likely to play against Alty this time around. And Nicky was also involved in Altrincham taking a fifth-minute lead when his shot was beaten out and Damian Reeves converted the loose ball. After that, Halifax dominated most of the first half.

In the 31st minute the impressive Lee Gregory advanced on the right and fired past Coburn from an angle to make it 1-1. Although Town were applying pressure and Alty were defending in depth, half time was almost reached all-square. A hat-trick in 197 seconds by Gareth Seddon changed all that, starting in the 43rd minute. His first came after Moult had cleared a team=mate's effort off the line, his second from a Gregory nod down and his third came from a Moult mistake (45+2 mins).

With torrential rain now falling, Alty centre-back Danny Hall was sent off just after the interval for a "last-man" offence of denying a goalscoring opportunity and ex-Alty striker Dale Johnson made it 5-1 soon after. But Clee scored well, directly from a freekick, in the 53rd minute, making it 5-2.

Curiously, for this heavy defeat, Altrincham were unchanged from the side which had beaten Hinckley 8-0 last time out!

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


Altrincham FC "are appealing to our generous supporters to back stallholders at Altrincham Market in their campaign to collect coats and jackets to donate to Manchester’s growing homeless community by bringing donations to our upcoming FA Trophy match at The J.Davidson this Saturday 24th November against Bradford (Park Avenue)...

As well as coats and jackets you can also donate clean sleeping bags, blankets, warm winter clothes, thermal underwear, socks, vests, socks, boots, hold-all bags, and other cold-weather items. All donations will be distributed to those who need them across Greater Manchester by the volunteer team at Homeless Project Manchester".


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger quotes John Edwards as follows. "Seven days after their best performance of the season, Altrincham were credited with producing the best 45 minutes of Phil Parkinson’s entire reign as manager at The J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday. Outclassing in-form Chester on their own pitch and winning 2-1 was hailed as Alty’s most impressive 90 minutes so far in the National League North, but, for one half at least, they scaled even greater heights against York City.

After an even, goalless first-half, Alty overwhelmed their former Football League opponents with wave after wave of attacks to run out 3-0 winners and leave assistant manager Neil Sorvel admitting 'That second half was the best we’ve played this season. In fact, it’s as good as I’ve seen from us in all the time Phil and I have been here...

'We have been a match for pretty much everyone so far and haven’t once come off thinking we couldn’t live with someone... It’s the style of play we want from them. I’m not interested in wasting a couple of hours on the touchline watching football that doesn’t grab me and, if we get it right like today, you can see what we are capable of, even against a full-time team."


Elliot Rokka, a trialist at Alty last summer, is a regular in the Radcliffe FC team this season.


According to Cheshire Live, "A Chester FC director has warned that the club is facing a ‘massive crisis’ as it struggles to get new people to come forward for the Blues board...

And while Morris paints the picture of a worst-case scenario he highlighted just how crucial it is for new people to come forward for the board, stating that should they lose any more directors they would not be able to fulfil the fan-owned club’s constitution. Morris said, 'I don’t want to be melodramatic over it but I would say it is an absolutely massive crisis and almost as big as the one we had earlier this year. OK, it’s not financial but the time and the effort that goes into the board of directors is significant.

'Without the board of directors, if we were to lose additional members, there is the possibility that we wouldn’t fulfil our constitution and the club could fold. That is the worst case scenario, we can’t operate without a board of directors. We need individuals who have skills and competence. It’s not just about people who have degrees in business and degrees in marketing and all those great and wonderful things, it’s people who have the time and passion and who want to get involved and who can commit to helping our club to improve.

'If they have a specific skillset then that’s absolutely brilliant, let’s get them in. But if it [is] just people who have the time, then please put your name forward. If it is joining the working group or the board of directors then you are absolutely welcome'...

Following the revelations of the financial crisis back in January the supporter base and the wider community came to the rescue of the football club and over £100,000 was raised to help the club through the darkest period it has endured under fan ownership...

'Crisis brings out the best in people,' said Morris. 'Last January there were meetings in the Blues Bar and 30 to 40 people were there looking to help out the various working groups but that seems to have tailed off. Apathy is a strong word but perhaps that is what it is. People feel almost a hesitance to put their hands up and get involved because they think they might not be able to bring something to the table.

'I think from a personal viewpoint that was something that almost stopped me getting involved... Contributions of time and skill set are just as important as financial contributions.'

Businessman Stuart Murphy’s £1m donation to the football club’s infrastructure to help it stand on its own two feet for years to come has provided the Blues and the fan base with hope. But Morris warns... 'Stuart Murphy’s donation is an interesting one as what that can’t do is breed apathy so that people feel they don’t need to get involved in the commercial working groups or raise funds. If you look at Stuart’s donation it was all about growing income streams, so what we can’t do as a club is get lazy and stop doing it'".

According to NL Daily "Midfielder Kieran Glynn returned to parent club Salford City this week following a two-month loan spell at Chorley. The 20-year-old made nine appearances for The Magpies during his stay... Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio said 'Kieran has been called back by Salford because they’ve had a couple of injury issues'"

Following a midweek win over Stockport County, the National League reports that "Blyth Spartans boss Alun Armstrong said his side have to keep playing to their strengths if they are to succeed. The Spartans ended Stockport County's 12 game unbeaten run on Tuesday night and Armstrong admitted the result was more than they had hoped for...

'We had to match them up better than we did against Curzon Ashton on Saturday. We had to nullify their threat and I thought we did that. Our best form of defence is attack because of what we’ve got. Even our full-backs are attack minded, so we’ve got to play to our strengths. I can’t just keep telling the lads we’ve got to sit back and defend because we’ve got to get at teams. If we don’t, we end up dropping off far too deep and inviting pressure.'"

The EvoStik League informs us that "Basford United are looking to create a cup upset when Curzon Ashton visit on Saturday...for an FA Trophy third qualifying round clash at Greenwich Avenue.

Basford are eight games unbeaten at home and have won nine of their 11 home games this season and are hoping a bumper crowd will get behind them this weekend. Chairman Chris Munroe said 'The way the fixtures have fallen means all three professional clubs in the county [Nottinghamshire] are away this Saturday. We are promoting high value and low admission prices, with £9 adults and £6 concessions. The family offer at £15 for families of four is high value.'"

The Hereford Times reports that "Hereford FC have pushed back the possibility of relocating from Edgar Street. Specialist consultants commissioned to look at refurbishment options for Edgar Street had estimated the cost of moving the stadium to a greenfield site to be around £10m. But Herefordshire Council’s growth programme director Richard Gabb said...

'Consultations with Hereford FC confirmed that there is no appetite, at this stage, for considering the relocation of the stadium and the improvement of the ground would represent a positive contribution to the gathering pace of regeneration taking place in this area of the city,' he said in a council report. Mr Gabb said the council’s strategy... would make the stadium a focal point at the heart of the city of which the club, its supporters and the city can be proud.

The preliminary assessment report commissioned by the council identified a £15m four-phased redevelopment of the entire ground which included the need to improve the Blackfriars Stand. Council chiefs have now included the redevelopment of the Edgar Street stadium in their regeneration programme and have given the go-ahead to spend up to £120,000 to develop a business case and identify the costs of replacement stands at the Blackfriars and West stand.

Mr Gabb said... 'The West stand has been identified in need of improvement to ensure the ground is suitable for the future needs of the club and to improve the visual appearance of this significant structure at its frontage with Edgar Street'"

Also from the Hereford Times comes news that "The agent of Hereford FC defender Jordan Culinane-Liburd has criticised those running the Edgar Street club. Matthew Halford wrote a letter to the Hereford Times in which he attacks the board for a lack of investment in the playing budget.

Claiming that 'confidence can manifest itself into arrogance and arrogance can delude', Halford believes this led to a thinking that 'consecutive promotions are sustainable going into new leagues without having to increase budgets'. While fans and players are best placed to feel confident, at board level, there should be due diligence conducted at all times,' he said.

'It is clear that the board have been overwhelmingly arrogant and somewhat disrespectful to the National League North, in thinking Hereford would find success without having to equip the manager with the necessary tools to cope in such a league.'

Halford criticised the board's dismissal of Peter Beadle... 'Unlike some managers, Peter was heavily invested in Hereford FC and, despite being underpaid and clearly undervalued, he pushed ahead with dogged determination to make this team and the budget work,' Halford added... 'The moment the ship appeared to go through some rough waters, they snapped off the rudder, to allow it to float into dangerous waters. Like any structure, the buck stops at the top and that's the board... Hereford is a sleeping giant and needs to be awoken by the right people'".

22 November 2018


Alty TV has ten minutes of excellent highlights of the 3-0 victory over York City last Saturday.


Ben Harrison's period of dual registration with our neighbours Trafford has been extended. Meanwhile, Trafford FC announce that "Departing the club are Sam Heathcote and Lee Wilshaw, who have been released". Just before his release, Sam scored the opener for Trafford last Saturday in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle Town in a match Trafford led 3-0 till the 80th minute.


The Chester Standard reports that"Newly-signed Chester midfielder Adam Dawson has accused AFC Telford of 'sour grapes' after the Shropshire outfit reported the Blues to the FA for an alleged illegal approach following his controversial move to the Swansway Stadium earlier this month.

Telford have claimed Chester made contact and held talks directly with Dawson without making an official seven-day approach prompting the Bucks to accuse their rivals of wrongdoing but, after impressing in his two appearances so far for the Blues, the 26-year-old has shrugged off the complaints...

'Whatever went on in the press was a load of lies and sour grapes on their part,' said Dawson following the Blues' 1-0 defeat at Leamington. 'It was all done properly and I'm not bothered because I know Bernard (Morley) and Johnno (Anthony Johnson) and Chester did everything right and I'd been given the green light to speak to other clubs. I know both of them and I know they can get a certain side of the game out of me. I have a lot of respect for them because they're from the same place I'm from so I want to work hard for them so it's all good for everyone'...

Despite his move coinciding with Chester's recent loss of form, Dawson has looked the part so far...

'We knew it would be a struggle at Leamington because you've got to deal with the conditions and the way they play,' he said. 'You know the game is going to be a battle rather than a game where you play football on the deck but we expected that. We created enough chances to win the game and put it to bed but we haven't taken them and they've gone down the other end and scored when we're on top. I played there earlier in the season with Telford so I knew what it was like but you're going to get a lot of pitches like that now coming up to Christmas and into January so you have to scrap for wins.

It's those away games in the winter when it's cold and raining that you've got to win to push up in the league.'

With Johnson and Morley expected to play a strong side against Southport in Saturday's FA Trophy tie...

He added 'I hadn't played much apart from coming on as an impact sub so it's good to start feeling myself again and getting sharper... We should have had two or three against Leamington and should have got a couple against York; we've got to start taking those chances'...

Chester FC Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre has hailed his side's FA Youth Cup run an 'unbelievable experience'for himself and his players ahead of their tie with Mansfield on Wednesday evening... in the Second Round Proper having registered five wins in the competition already with Premier League AFC Bournemouth awaiting the winner in Round Three".

Off the field, Chester FC "confirm that, following a number of issues that have come to the club's attention over the past 24 hours, Stephen Jones has left employment with the club with immediate effect. As part of the recruitment process significant checks and due diligence were completed based on the information provided upon application. The issues, however, only came to light following his commencement in post and the club has acted swiftly once they came out to resolve these matters".

An explanation comes from Hereford's unofficial Bulls' News which says that Chester FC have dismissed their General Manager just a day after he started work at the National North club. 60 year old Stephen Jones began his new job yesterday but was shown the door this morning... The Non-League paper suggested that there were historical issues with 'his employment history relating to the mortgage industry'.

Some of the background to why Jones was dismissed can be found on the Financial Conduct Authority site. On 25 August 2009... the FSA would have imposed a financial penalty of £100,000 on him pursuant to section 66 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("the Act") but for his bankruptcy. Mr Jones entered information which he knew to be false on seven of his own applications in relation to mortgages on properties he owned, or wished to own, and submitted each application to lenders. As a result, he obtained the benefit of mortgage offers, more favourable terms on mortgage offers than he would otherwise have received, and procuration feess...

He also failed to be open and co-operative with the FSA by for example failing to comply with statutory requests... He produced fact find documents for completed sales, and arranged for the customers to sign and back date them, so that it would appear to the FSA during the visit that he had created contemporaneous sales documents. Also, he gave a false residential address to the FSA... He also caused the business of Jones & Poole Independent Mortgage Specialists to fail to comply with regulatory requirements aimed at treating customers fairly. In December 2010 he was sentenced to two years six months in jail after a mortgage fraud trial."

According to the Leamington Courier "September and October may have proved slim pickings for Leamington, but they are certainly making up for it in the month of November. A third consecutive National League North win is making this a very productive month for Paul Holleran’s men, who had to withstand a great deal of pressure both before and after Jack Edwards headed the opener, before responding superbly to conceding an equaliser, with ten minutes to go, by scoring the winner almost immediately through Kieran Dunbar.

The manager stuck with the same XI that had performed so admirably against Chester on Saturday and once again they did not let him down. The opening half hour was controlled mainly by Billy Heath’s side... Set-pieces at either end were always likely to play a large part in this game, with both sides’ strengths from dead-ball situations always in evidence. However, a string of corners and a free-kicks for the hosts failed to pay dividends...

The stats were not kind to Leamington as half-time approached but they mean little if they do not lead to goals and it was Edwards who took advantage of a superb free-kick delivery from Reece Flanagan to steal in front of Reds keeper Sam Ramsbottom and head into the net three minutes before the break.

Alfreton emerged from the dressing room on the front foot as they searched for an early leveller... Again there were plenty of free-kicks for both sides... Chettle curled another shot wide of the upright as Alfreton turned up the heat and, after English headed yet another free-kick behind for a corner, they scored a deserved equaliser, skipper Luke Shiels giving Breeden no chance as he connected with a powerful header into the far corner.

The hosts were hit with a sucker punch less than two minutes later, the outstanding Connor Taylor piercing the Reds defence with a perfect through ball for Dunbar to tear on to and finish low under Ramsbottom... Brakes have now hoisted themselves eight points from the dreaded drop zone with this victory, their fourth away from home and the way they have responded since being thumped at home by Kidderminster has been hugely impressive".

Nuneaton Borough announce that "Joe Lyne and Nat Kelly join the Boro'. The Leicester Road duo will make their debut in the Solihull Moors Cup tie this evening". Leicester Road FC is the club set up after Hinckley United folded in 2013 and they play in the Midland League Division One. Their home is the Leicester Road Stadium, formerly De Montfort Park, which is the new stadium built by Hinckley United shortly before its demise.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports on an evening when Doncaster Rovers "threatened to run up a cricket score. Six days on from being eliminated from the Checkatrade Trophy by the Magpies of Notts County, Grant McCann's side comprehensively avoided anything resembling another cup knock-out to a lower-division side boasting that very same nickname in poor Chorley.

Sixty-six places separate sixth-tier Chorley... and League One play-offs hopefuls Rovers, but the egalitarian nature of the world's most enchanting domestic cup competition was most definitely absent last night. The Lancastrians may have caused plenty of problems in a 2-2 draw across the Pennines ten days ago, but this was a completely different story. It saw Rovers record their biggest win since October 1999 when they walloped Crook Town 7-0 in a similarly one-sided FA Cup affair...

Alfie May took his season's tally to nine goals this season, despite only starting six games, with, incredibly, none of his strikes having yet arrived in the league. The only sour point to the evening saw home defender Tom Anderson dismissed for two bookable offences, but otherwise it was sheer torment for Chorley.

Managed by a Warrington-based primary school headteacher in Jamie Vermiglio, the Magpies were handed a stark footballing lesson during a torrid first half... Vermiglio watched on helplessly from the touchline with his arms folded as his bewildered team capitulated... [The] first-half which saw Rovers plunder five unanswered goals, although in truth it could, and perhaps should, have been several more... The gulf in class was a chasm, although Chorley's decision to persist with two strikers up front and not support a midfield and defence which was simply besieged in the first half was reprehensible.

Rovers were in no mood to pass up such naivety... the only surprise in a completely dominant half being that top-scorer Marquis was not among the scorers. Marquis finally had his moment late on with a fine curler to complete the scoring, but his celebrations were somewhat muted, with the striker earlier seeing a penalty saved by Matt Urwin after being brought down by the Chorley custodian...

Chorley's 599-strong contingent arrived in raucous voice... The only worthy discussion point at the interval was just how many Rovers would register...

Chorley: Urwin; Anson, Teague, Leather (Jordan 64), Meppen-Walter; A Newby (Whitlam 59), O'Keefe, Cottrell, Blakeman; J Wilson (Noble-Lazarus 71), Almond. Substitutes unused: Lussey, O'Brien, Lenehan, Eccles".

Meanwhile, the National League adds that "Jamie Vermiglio insisted he is still proud of his Chorley side after their FA Cup dream was ended by Doncaster Rovers...

'It's obviously not the result we were looking for or what we prepared for,' Vermiglio told the club's website. 'But it's one that we'll take and one where 7-0 is probably a bit steep and it didn't reflect the game. We started well the first few minutes and I thought we would have some decent opportunities but credit to [Doncaster Rovers], they were excellent tonight and we were far off it... Overall there's an overriding feeling of pride for the lads and how they've done, particularly taking a team like Doncaster to a replay.

'We could dwell on things we did wrong but we need to take the positives because we've had a good run. The bigger picture is, we've got a league to play for and we really need to fully focus on that now.'"

According to NL Daily, on Tuesday "Blyth Spartans manager Alun Armstrong believes his side caught Stockport County 'at the right time” after seeing off the Hatters at Croft Park. Spartans started brightly and were two goals ahead after half an hour thanks to an own-goal from County defender Dan Cowan and a stunning long-range effort from Sean Reid.

Adam Thomas halved Spartans’ lead ten minutes with a header before half-time but Connor Oliver restored the hosts two-goal advantage in the early-stages of the second-half. A deflected effort from County striker Frank Mulhern got the Hatters back into it midway through the second-half but Spartans held on for a deserved win.

Armstrong said 'Stockport County have a special place in my heart because it’s where my career really started as a player. I am delighted to get a win against them, but I think we have caught them at the right time. They have a tough game against Chorley in the FA Trophy on Saturday, they’ve just played Brackley last weekend and they have the FA Cup game against Bristol Rovers coming up too. It sounds daft but they will already be looking at that game. We did the same for the York City FA Cup tie, we looked ahead, we didn’t turn up in our game at Boston United and we got turned over.

'I am sure Jim (Gannon) will be disappointed with the performance from his team tonight... The win tonight puts us in a nice position and we needed it'...

The win against County means that Spartans have won four of their last six National League North games. That run of form has taken them out of the relegation zone and up to just below mid-table... and intriguingly are just five points behind the play-off places...

'Success is staying in this league', explained the Spartans' boss. 'That’s what I said my target was at the start of the season and it stays the same now. After the budget cut in the summer and losing players like David Atkinson and Dale Hopson, it has to be the target. They are quality players that could play a lot higher. I had to replace them with young lads that we are having to try and develop, so we have to show patience. We have had injuries but we need the fans to be patient and I am hope they will be'".

And Blyth Spartans add that "Spartans made it back-to-back 3-2 wins in the Vanarama National League North in monsoon like conditions at Croft Park" against Stockport.

Spartans made two changes to the side that beat Curzon Ashton on Saturday; Aaron Cunningham replacing the unwell Louis Laing, with Connor Oliver replacing the unlucky Bradley Fewster, who moved to the bench... Spartans' opener was created by the irrepressible Dale. He picked up the ball in midfield and found the run of Maguire with a defence splitting pass, the England ‘C’ International couldn’t slide the ball past Hinchliffe, but the rebound bounced off the shin of Cowan and into the back of the net.

If the first goal was a bit fortuitous, the second was as equally delightful. Maguire the catalyst this time... With 10 minutes to go before the interval, the Hatters responded. Thomas rose highest from an Osbourne corner to head home at the near post... Two minutes after the break, Spartans did find their third. Another telling Dale through-ball found Oliver in stride before lifting the ball over the leg of Hinchliffe and finding the bottom right hand corner...

With Spartans in control, it was their own gung-ho mentality that allowed County back into the game on 66 minutes... 531 brave souls at Croft Park in the hardy rain witnessed a tense final 10 minutes, plus six more added after that, but Stockport couldn’t muster that final golden chance".

21 November 2018


Last time Altrincham travelled to Northamptonshire to play Brackley Town was on a foggy Tuesday night, 24 January 2017, for a twice-postponed game in the Vanarama National League North. In an otherwise disastrous season for Altrincham, the visitors, despite the loss of two centre-backs to injury, nevertheless picked up a creditable draw against a team which went on to complete the season in seventh place, a massive 52 points ahead of Altrincham!

Above: Foggy conditions prevailed on our last trip to Brackley.

In the 2017 game, Nicky Clee's fine chip gave Altrincham a sixth-minute lead after keeper Laurie Walker had elected to punch away Heathcote's freekick when he could have gathered it. However, following a Moult foul, Brackley were awarded a spot-kick but Armson's penalty smacked the bar and Byrne's follow-up went narrowly wide. Four minutes later Armson atoned for his miss when he headed home Glenn Walker's cross, from the left, to make it 1-1.

Tom Hannigan failed to emerge for the start of the game, a hip injury meaning he had to drop out to be replaced by midfielder Simon Richman who started the game wearing number 14. So Jake Moult, available after a three-match ban, was drafted into the back line alongside John Cyrus and Sam Heathcote. In addition, Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were all missing through injury. Things got worse during the game when Alty lost Heathcote to a throat injury which necessitated a lengthy stoppage in the second half.

As fog descended ever more thickly on a, by now, freezing St James Park, it was difficult to see what was happening on the far side of the pitch. Although Brackley had more of the second-half attacking play, Altrincham could have snatched a win at the end when substitute Adeloye was brought down and Brackley captain Dean received his marching orders for a second cautionable offence. But Adeloye's freekick was blazed over the bar.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Sam HEATHCOTE, 4. Jake MOULT (c), 5. John CYRUS, 7. Kyle BROWNHILL, 14 Simon RICHMAN, 8. Gary JONES (c), 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. James LAWRIE, 9. Andy OWENS. Subs 12. Oluwatomisin ADELOYE, 15. Damian REEVES, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 17. Elliot NEWBY.

Mike Garnett's records reveal that in previous encounters between the two clubs Altrincham have only lost once in four visits to St James Park.

  • Home: P4-W2-D0-L2-F5-A8
  • Away: P4-W2-D1-L1-F4-A5
  • All: P8-W4-D1-L3-F9-A13

Although just nine goals have been seen during our four previous games at Brackley, we can hope for more goalmouth action on 1 December as the two teams are amongst the highest league scorers this season. Alty have hit 36 goals in 17 matches and Brackley have netted 34 in eighteen matches. Those two additional Alty goals mean that, with the clubs having the same number of points and identical goal difference, it is Altrincham who lie eighth and Brackley, ninth before kick-off.

Just like Altrincham, Brackley started this season poorly with just one win in four games but, again like Alty, they are currently unbeaten in their last six league matches, albeit four of Brackley's games in that sequence have finished as draws, including their three most recent fixtures. At home, Brackley have lost just once in nine league outings. That home defeat was to Darlington but they also came a cropper in the FA Cup, losing 2-3 at home to Neil Young's Marine. At St James Park they have beaten Spennymoor Town, Southport, Hereford FC and Alfreton Town in the league and drawn with Blyth Spartans, Chester FC, Chorley, York City.


The death, on 19 November, has been reported of former Altrincham player, George Yardley (76). A former East Fife goalkeeper but later a striker for Tranmere Rovers (1966-70), he joined Altrincham in 1973/74 season from St George Budapest, an Australian side. As Terry Rowley recorded in his Altrincham A to Z, "George Yardley, the former Tranmere Rovers and Altrincham forward played both centre-forward and goalkeeper for East Fife; in his first season (1960/61) he played two games in goal and 20 as centre-forward (scoring 10 goals); in 1961/62 he had 4 games in goal and 29 outfield appearances, scoring 13 goals; in 1962/63 14 games in goal and 9 outfield (scoring 2 goals). In 1963/64 he played 5 games and scored 2 goals, all as an outfield player. He was capped as an amateur goalkeeper whilst with Fife junior side Francis Colliery".

In Tuesday's FA Cup replays, Josh O'Keefe and Scott Leather played as Chorley lost 7-0 at Doncaster Rovers who played with ten men for much of the second half. Dylan Mottley-Henry was a used sub for Tranmere Rovers in their 2-0 win at Oxford City. Kevin Ellison was a very late used substitute for Morecambe who lost 1-0 at FC Halifax Town, also in a First Round replay in the FA Cup.

Oluwatomisin Adeloye (right), who made 1(+3) appearances for Altrincham in 2016-17 has since been playing at Hartlepool United and, this season is contracted at Dagenham and Redbridge in the National League national division. He has made 14 appearances for the club so far this season.

Droylsden's Clayton McDonald is on dual registration with Whitchurch Alport where a team-mate is ex-Alty keeper Dave Parton.

Former Altrincham FC coach and manager, Neil Tolson, is now working at FC Wisconsin in the USA.

Wisconsin FC say that "Tolson will join the staff after having a playing career unmatched by any other coach in the Midwest. Tolson played in the first ever year of the English Premier League in the 1992-1993 season with Oldham Athletic... Tolson would go on to play over 300 professional games within the English Football League scoring 92 goals in the process.

After finishing his playing career Neil would undertake his English Football Association (F.A.) coaching badges and currently is on track to complete his UEFA A License which is the seconnd highest coaching qualification in professional soccer worldwide. Tolson has been the Manager (Head Coach) of professional clubs such as Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic FC, and Altrincham Town [sic] where he was serving as their Head Youth Director until he accepted his position with FC Wisconsin.

'From when we took this club over five years ago, I don’t think we would have ever envisioned being able to make a hire of this magnitude. Not only is this an exceptional hire for FC Wisconsin but also the state of Wisconsin in general. To be able to entice a coach with the background that Neil has will greatly impact so many young players within this area. Neil has played at the highest level possible within the most coveted professional league in the world and we are absolutely thrilled to have him as a part of the FC Family', said Co-DOC Ben Shepherd.

Tolson (left) has helped produce countless players that have gone on to play professionally within England. The most notable being Duncan Whattore [Watmore] who currently plays for Sunderland and has captained the England National Team at the U21 level.

'After being involved in professional football in England for over 25 years, I’m looking forward to an exciting new challenge with a forward thinking soccer club. Both Billy and Ben are a huge reason why I have joined the club. Their philosophy and ambition to continually improve players made my decision very easy. The collaborative coaching model that FC Wisconsin has in place was also a big draw for me, as I enjoy working in an environment with like-minded coaches who want what’s best for their players. Hopefully, my coaching and playing experience can help add to the already excellent coaching staff in place at the club'... shared Coach Tolson.

'This is by far one of the biggest hires in the state of Wisconsin. Neil is the perfect fit for our staff and players. He will not only help the players develop, he will also help the club and coaches. His knowledge of the game, his style of coaching, his ability to push yet connect with players, and his ability to help raise the entire program is beyond exciting... This hire now gives us someone with the highest experience possible having played in the English Premier League and coached at the professional level, which no other club in the state has to offer. For Neil to have done his research and to choose our club to be with is a massive honor' said Co-DOC Billy Solberg.

'When Altrincham discovered me, I was only playing at high school level, and Neil introduced me to the world of professional football. Without Tols, I would have struggled to be discovered and therefore not gone on to have the Premier League and England career I have had so far. As an ex-League player, Neil has considerable experience of playing the game at professional level. As a coach he is tactically aware and a very good communicator and motivator', [said] Duncan Whattmore [Watmore]....

'I have had the pleasure of playing with Neil at Bradford City and also having him as my assistant manager at Altrincham FC. A good honest man with a wide range of knowledge in football matters. Neil played a pivotal part in the success we had at Altrincham FC. Neil has all the tools to succeed at FC Wisconsin'... Lee Sinnott".


Tuesday 20 November

Vanarama National League North

  • Alfreton Town 1-2 Leamington
  • Blyth Spartans 3-2 Stockport County

Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper replay

  • Doncaster Rovers 7-0 Chorley


Assistant-manager Neil Sorvel said of last Saturday's match against York City, "That second half was the best we’ve played this season". For the full article on this subject, by John Edwards, visit the Altrincham FC official website.


Altrincham travel to Brackley next Saturday in the Vanarama National League North. From Northamptonshire, Brackley Town report on their 1-1 draw at Stockport last weekend...

"A tight first half of few chances gave way to a second half dominated by the visitors and only a 95th minute leveller denied Brackley what would have been a deserved win at in-form Stockport County.

'We were terrific today,' Kevin Wilkin said. 'The first half was even, though they had more possession without creating chances, then we scored a fantastic goal and really should have put the game to bed. When you don’t, then moments like that can come back to haunt you and today it has done and we have taken one point when it should have been three.'

Lee Ndlovu put Saints ahead on the hour with a beautifully worked goal. Ndlovu was involved in the build-up as the ball was worked to the left for Connor Franklin to drill low and hard into the centre where Ndlovu finished neatly.

The lead was nothing less than Saints’ attacking second half play warranted. Chances to increase the lead came and went with County pegged back before an explosive finale raised the temperature inside Edgeley Park to boiling point.

Connor Hall’s header was cleared off the goal-line, Matt Lowe slalomed the length of the pitch like a high-speed towed caravan only for his shot to be deflected wide and Ben Hinchliffe saved well from Ndlovu, put through by Jimmy Armson, as Saints had County on the ropes.

Stockport’s manager was dismissed to the stands after an 87th minute touchline skirmish and the vocal support for the home team spurred a few late moments of pressure that brought a corner. Left-footed Scott Duxbury hit the in-swinging corner-kick to the near post and substitute Frank Mulhern’s run from the back post created the chance that his glancing header converted into a late, late equaliser to the raucous delight of Hatters supporters.

'To have played so well and with good game management for 90 minutes and then to concede as we did so late is disappointing of course,' Wilkin said. 'But if that is all I have to gripe about then we are moving in the right direction. Lee got a real striker’s goal today, our work-rate and the organisation we showed today was right up there. But it has happened on too many occasions now where we have outplayed a lot of sides and created a lot of chances and not finished the job so it has come back to haunt us. That is something for us to work on.'

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Hall, Dean, G.Walker, Armson, Ndlovu, Lowe, A.Walker (Murombedzi 90). Subs unused: Fairlamb, Nti, Jeffers, Noon".

Stockport County reported that last Saturday "The Hatters returned to league action for the first time in a fortnight and, in doing so against the ‘Saints’ of Brackley at Edgeley Park, extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in all competitions. But they left it late, as substitute Frank Mulhern headed an equaliser in the dying seconds of added time, after the visitors, continuing their good record in SK3, had taken the lead on the hour.

The drama of the afternoon was very much confined to the contest’s latter stages, and off the pitch as well as on it, with County boss Jim Gannon being sent to the stands, following a clash with Brackley’s assistant manager Mark Noon in the 86th minute.

The afternoon had got under way more peacefully, with the unveiling, by the magnificent 103-year-old ex-Hatter George Haigh, of a plaque to honour the 13 former County players who lost their lives as a result of the First World War – and, immediately before kick-off, with a minute’s silence for all the fallen. The Hatters, by then, had taken to the field with a 4-2-3-1 starting line-up unchanged from that at Yeovil in the FA Cup a week earlier.

The Saints are nothing if not a test of County’s patience at EP, where they have won on three occasions and the Hatters just the once. And the advent of the second half signalled a change in momentum, as Brackley, having sat deep in defence to absorb County pressure before the break, went on the offensive after it to force three corners within 12 minutes of the resumption. As the contest reached its hour-mark, the visitors got their noses properly in front, with Lee Ndlovu flicking home at close range Connor Franklin’s delivery from the left.

Their lead was almost doubled seven minutes later, courtesy of a looping header from Connor Hall that evaded the grasp of Ben Hinchliffe but was nodded off the line by Ash Palmer... A couple of minutes following Gannon’s dismissal, Hinchliffe brilliantly tipped behind a shot by Ndlovu.

So to the final, fourth minute of added time and the award to County of a late, late corner on the right. Scott Duxbury delivered it, and Mulhern, in a manner of which his manager would both approve and, as a former player, relate to, ghosted towards the near post before glancing a textbook header into the far corner of the net for his eighth goal of the season.

Edgeley erupted. The draw felt like a win. And this ensured County, four points away from the play-offs with two games in hand, stayed in touch... Attendance: 3,449 (50 away)."


At Leamington "An ‘Open Meeting’ relating to the potential stadium relocation will be held in the clubhouse on Wednesday 21 November...

Good progress has been made in recent months and you can hear the latest from both club directors and also Warwick District Council representative Paddy Herlihy, WDC Leisure Development Programme Manager, who has a Sports England background and experience in delivering Leisure and Sports related infrastructure developments. This is your chance to ask questions and air your thoughts on this potentially exciting development so make sure you take the opportunity to be there." An illustration of the proposed new stadium is adjacent to the above announcement.

Kidderminster Harriers boss "Neil MacFarlane lamented the poor goals conceded by his team as Harriers fell to a heavy home defeat to Chorley at the weekend. A thumping 4-0 defeat to Chorley was the Reds’ third consecutive home loss and a second time in succession they’ve shipped four on their home turf.

The manager’s disappointment at the end of the game was evident, particularly as he felt his side had actually begun the game well... the boss admitting 'I felt that the game was changed on moments. We started the game really well with a new system, but we lost a poor goal [and] then I thought we came back again. We then fell to a real hammer blow before half time to fall 2-0 behind.

'The players showed real courage at the start of the second half and then lost another poor goal, and from there it was hard work.'

MacFarlane, who has now seen his side win just once in six matches, added 'We’re going through a little tricky period at the moment and these things happen, as in giving goals away and also in our attacking play, the moments where, for instance, Ed gets away from people or Chambo puts it in the top corner, it’s just not happening for the players at the moment'".

From FC United of Manchhester we learn that "The wait for our first home win of the season goes on after a narrow defeat to Telford on Saturday, but the performance showed we are still moving in the right direction. Whilst there was a familiar sense of frustration at the full-time whistle on Saturday, there were plenty of positives to take away from the narrow loss against a strong Telford side.

Since the appointment of Reno [Reynolds] last month, the players have quickly adapted to an expansive, attacking style of football that was once again on display on Saturday afternoon. Coming into the game on an unbeaten run of five games, Reds supporters have had plenty to be excited about following impressive away wins at Hereford and Blyth Spartans.

Telford, who have been somewhat a bogey side for FC over the years, came into the game in a 6th place, and showed glimpses of their quality in the the early stages of the game. Defensive errors resulted in a goal for the visitors, with striker Darryl Knights slotting the ball past Lloyd Allinson. However, it only took 10 minutes for us to equalise after a calamitous error from Telford keeper Andy Wycherley, who gifted Tom Peers his third goal in three games.

Neil Reynolds will have been delighted with his side’s response, [as they] really dug into the game throughout the second half, making it difficult for an organised, counter-attacking Telford side... Reynolds’s free-flowing philosophy has clearly rejuvenated the players, but it was ultimately Amari-Morgan Smith’s goal in the 55th minute that proved decisive.

The result has seen us drop to 19th in the table, but the feeling is that we are very much heading in the right direction despite this blip. A strong number of the 2,211 crowd stayed behind to clap off the team at the end".

Before their FA Cup match on Tuesday, Chorley reported that "The Magpies get a second bite at the Emirates FA Cup first round when they travel to South Yorkshire for their eagerly anticipated replay with Doncaster Rovers.

Off the back of their 4-0 routing of Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday, Chorley will fancy their chances of causing a massive upset and with it a place in round two for only the third time in Club history...

Nine days ago at Victory Park. A classic FA Cup encounter, full of excitement and intrigue, that finished 2-2. 'Confidence is high among the players and there is a buzz around the football club at the moment. We are looking forward to facing Doncaster again and although we know they’ll be a different proposition on their own patch, we’ll be up for it, as will our terrific travelling support' said manager Jamie Vermiglio.

The Magpies have faced four FA Cup replays over the last decade, with their only victory coming last season at Boston United (4-3, aet)... Chorley have lost only six times on the road this year, winning 11 of their 23 away matches while scoring 36 goals".

The Lancashire Evening Post adds that for Tuesday's replay, "Chorley will, however, be without four key players at Doncaster, after Kieran Glynn was recalled by Salford City, while Matt Challoner, Elliot Newby and Marcus Carver are suspended. Vermiglio has hailed the patience of Jake Cottrell, with the midfielder set to step into the side. Since the arrival of Newby and Glynn, the 30-year-old has only made six starts, having been a regular for six seasons.

He replaced the injured Josh O’Keefe just 20 minutes into the first clash with Doncaster and impressed in Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of promotion rivals Kidderminster".

According to Bulls' News "Hereford FC have reported a pre-tax profit of just under £45,000 in the year to May 31st 2018. This compares with a £5K profit in the previous year. Turnover increased from £711K to £988K. However the cost of refurbishment and general repairs to the stadium rose from £50K to £105K. Their AGM will take place on December 6th."

The NL Paper says that, "When Marcus Bignot arrived at Nethermoor Park to take the managerial reins alongside Russ O’Neill in the summer, the Lions were living off scraps that would normally be left to the vultures. Relegated from the National League in May, the club’s finances were in disarray as they fought to maintain their Non-League top-flight status. With an over-inflated budget and no fewer than 44 players on the books, the task ahead for the managerial duo looked bleak with the decks needing to be cleared before an assault on the league could begin.

'When we arrived it was tough, but it’s why the Cup run means so much to clubs like us,' Bignot told The NLP. 'The money that has been generated by getting to the Second Round is huge.'

Guiseley’s 4-3 victory over Cambridge United last Sunday meant the club had netted a combined £97,500 since entering the famous knockout competition in second round qualifying. And with another £75,000 set to land in the coffers before a ball has been kicked in their clash against Fleetwood Town, with the match selected for TV coverage on BT Sport, the injection of funds will go a long way as the club seeks to turn things around both on and off the pitch.

But Bignot is in no mood for the ride to stop and is eyeing a date with the big boys come third round time on January 5. 'I said to the players when we entered the FA Cup back in September just how life-changing a good run could be,' said the former Chester, Solihull Moors and Grimsby boss. 'We are never going to win it, but our final is the Third Round, because that is where the big money-spinning ties are. That is what it’s all about for clubs like us. You draw one of the big six away from home and it sets you up for years to come. This Cup run has presented the board with an opportunity to clear some of the debt we had from the summer, and the TV money from the second round is also a massive help.

'We are now in a good place but let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the money the Cup run has brought in will help with finances; we have all done the maths. But it won’t allow us to go out there and buy players at will as we look to climb the league. At the moment it is a nice return, but it won’t keep us going forever'...

'This is a very young group and the Cup is so important because they can put themselves in the shop window, while for the older guys in the team, it’s a chance for them to enjoy some much-deserved glory'" added the joint-manager.

20 November 2018


Josh Hancock's brace of goals on Saturday earned him a place in the Vanarama National League North team of the week but, despite keeping a clean sheet, none of the Alty defence was included in a squad which included three defenders whose teams all conceded at least one goal!
  • Goalkeeper: Tony Breeden (Leamington)
  • Defenders: Ross White (AFC Telford United), Connor Gudger (Leamington), Shane Killock (Bradford Park Avenue), Reagan Ogle (Southport)
  • Midfielders: Callum Chettle (Alfreton Town), Tom Owen-Evans (Hereford), Shane Byrne (Brackley Town)
  • Strikers: Josh Hancock (Altrincham), Josh Wilson (Chorley), Bradley Fewster (Blyth Spartans)
  • Substitutes: Elliott Simoes (FC United of Manchester), Rowan Liburd (Guiseley), Adam Dawson (Chester), Elliot Newby (Chorley), Bobby Johnson (Alfreton Town)
  • Manager of the Weekend: Liam Watson (Southport). Watson's men are in a rich vein of form of late and continued their charge with a brilliant away win against Boston United with the winning goal coming in the dying seconds".


As previously reported, Altrincham FC supporter John Henderson, with his York City supporter and partner, Julie, has raised a significant sum for the Alzheimer's Society through a sponsored walk along Hadrian's Wall, during which John wore a York City shirt and Julie was in Alty attire. On Saturday, Julie's daughter Charlotte was the mascot for the game between the clubs and she is pictured with John (left) and Julie on the touchline at half-time.

Before the game, John and colleagues were again collecting for this good cause and, together with a representative of York City, there was a presentation on the pitch (right).


According to the Hereford Times, "Hereford Head Coach Marc Richards said that he hopes to bring experienced players into his side ahead of next weekend’s game against FC United of Manchester.

His side saw Darlington deny them a vital three points as they remain without a league win since the middle of August.

Richards said '“I’m hoping we will be able to bring in some reinforcements in terms of adding quality to the squad as we’re not good enough at the moment, simple as that. We need to get better players in and a better squad together to be competing week in week out. We are hoping to bring a couple of bodies in for next Saturday. You saw that today that lack of experience we have got out there. We need that experience, we need men. We need that sort of physicality to deal with the oppositions that we have got.'

Tom Owen-Evans scored in each half for Hereford as they looked on course for a vital win, but Richards was disappointed with the mistakes which allowed Darlington to equalise and almost win the tie.

'It was pleasing being 2-0 up but frustrating that we’ve let it slip with some of the same mistakes and naivety,' Richards added. 'I’m not going to be happy until we’re consistently putting performances together and wins together and we’re still waiting for that illusive win but again there are some positive signs. The big positive from today was Mike Symons. We know it’s a difficult time and there is frustration at the moment but we know what we’re doing and will sort this out but ultimately we’re not good enough at the moment and we need to sort that.

'It doesn’t change over-night there have been some positive signs but massive areas of improvement and we need to sort it. If you’re 2-0 up in a game you need to see it out and we didn’t. We’ve had words in there and told them that we can’t keep making the same mistakes. I’m glad we got a point out of it but disappointed that we didn’t get all three.'"

In the Lancashire Evening Post "Frustrated Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio has called for a review into the ‘pathetic’ yellow card rule that will see two of his key players miss Tuesday night’s FA Cup first round replay at Doncaster Rovers... As his side head to the Keepmoat Stadium they will do so without four key players.

Kieran Glynn has been recalled by parent side Salford City, with Matt Challoner suspended. Challoner was sent off for a bad challenge on Rovers’ two-goal hero Herbie Kane. Vermiglio says the Glynn recall is understandable, due to the National League side’s injury issues, and has no qualms about Challoner’s suspension. Though Vermiglio feels his side are at an unfair disadvantage, given two of his players who picked up yellow cards in that Victory Park clash striker Marcus Carver and midfielder Elliot Newby will now miss the replay. The duo picked up yellows in the fourth round qualifying win over Barrow and due to a new rule for the 2018/19 season just two bookings in the Cup will see a player miss the next game.

And Vermiglio believes the rule needs changing to avoid hampering non-league sides who have already played more games than the Football League sides who enter in the first round. He said 'It is difficult for non-League teams when you have played more games in the Cup. They have had one game in, and we have had four, so we have had more opportunity to pick up the yellows. Now we are missing key players.

'Chally was sent off, which is fair enough, but Marcus Carver and Elliot Newby will miss one of the biggest games of their career because of a pathetic rule. These are all players that would be involved. We are down four players and all of those started the last game. We were already up against it but now we are up against it more. That (yellow card) rule needs looking at.'

But despite missing those players Vermiglio says his side head to the Keepmoat Stadium full of confidence having dispatched title rivals Kidderminster Harriers 4-0 at the weekend... Vermiglio made changes at Aggborough bringing two-goal hero Josh Wilson, midfielder Jake Cottrell and defender Stevie Jordan into the starting line-up. And with Alex Newby also chomping at the bit Vermiglio is confident his side can cause Grant McCann’s League One side problems tomorrow night."

We are informed by Cheshire Live that "Chester FC are working on bringing in new additions ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy third qualifying round clash at Southport. The Blues, who sit sixth in the National League North, were beaten 1-0 at Leamington on Saturday and joint-manager Bernard Morley stated post match that he and Anthony Johnson would be looking to freshen the squad up...

The Chester Chronicle understands that the club have seven days notice in on a player and are working towards bringing in a striker, with targets identified. A full-back, midfielder and striker are all on the agenda for the Blues but, should players arrive, then it would mean that some would have to head for the exit door.

Morley said after the loss to Leamington 'As a management team we have certainly highlighted where we want to improve. We have been working tirelessly this week to try and do that but it is not easy. There are players available but they are not better than what we have got. We have a full week now to try and get something in to freshen it up and iron out what is causing the problems at the minute. You have got to be ruthless. If I am being honest then there are one or two who will want to go out anyway because they need games, and they have got to be brave and say they need games and minutes, and if they aren't going to approach us then we will approach them and let them know that aren't going to be in our plans short term and we'll have to bring something in that is a little bit different to what we have already got.'

One player who has been linked with a switch to the Blues on social media is that of Altrincham striker Jordan Hulme. Hulme, who netted a brace for Alty in their 2-1 win at Chester earlier this month, played for the Blues' bosses while at Salford City and Ramsbottom United and is someone they rate highly but it is understood he is not being pursued."

After defeat at Altrincham, York Press asserts that "City’s defence and midfield needed to be 15 yards further up the pitch out of possession The first half in Cheshire was a passive affair with the ball almost passed to death as neither side committed the necessary numbers forward to unlock two deep-lying defences. But, after the break, whereas Altrincham exerted more pressure on City in the final third, the visitors seemingly continued to prioritise a containing game that eventually and, somewhat inevitably, saw the back-line buckle.

Disturbingly, the Minstermen did not manage one single goal attempt after the break and that statistic can largely be explained by the manner in which, off the ball, City formed a square line of three midfielders sat right on top of a back four that should have been brave enough to push further up the field and instruct the likes of Kallum Griffiths, Lewis Hawkins and Adriano Moke to advance the same number of yards in front of them. Instead, it was far too easy for Altrincham to carry the game to the visitors whilst, on the ball, City’s front two of Jordan Burrow and Joe Ironside were all too often left isolated and outnumbered when asked to fend off scraps.

The team are desperately in need of an all-action, box-to-box midfielder... The long periods of games that pass without a Minstermen midfielder setting foot in the opposition’s 18-yard area, never mind getting close to the goal-line... are telling... City do not threaten sufficiently attacking wise from the centre of the pitch.

Only two goals... have been scored by recognised central midfielders this season. Moke gives the impression that he has the stamina levels to provide forward thrust, but... plays as if he has a string attached to his back that constantly draws him back to the security of those middle areas of the pitch...

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat represented the seventh successive league game that the Minstermen have failed to muster more shots on target than their opponents and that period includes contests against fellow bottom-six strugglers Southport and Nuneaton... Since City’s 4-2 September success over Guiseley, Bartlett has had to contend with 40 shots at his goal, compared to the 26 his team-mates have mustered at the other end. Familiarly, Bartlett was left as the only man to beat on four occasions in the second half at Alty, thwarting John Johnson and Josh Hancock brilliantly, but also succumbing to free shots at his goal from the latter twice.

During those last seven National League North games, Bartlett has managed to save 62.5 per cent of the opposition’s on-target efforts, but City’s conversion rate at the other end of the pitch is still a modest 23.1 per cent...

[At this level] Joe Ironside has plundered 39 league goals, a tally only bettered by Danny Rowe who, incredibly, rattled in 45 during just one campaign as Fylde were crowned champions. Still only 25...With his proven track record at sixth-tier level, it is to be hoped that Ironside will be at the fulcrum of City’s attacking plans on the return to league action...

Jon Parkin is having little success as an impact sub... Reduced to a bit-part role at Bootham Crescent since he last started a game at Hereford on September 1, Parkin’s influence at the club has immeasurably waned. By his own admission, the former Championship campaigner needs to be playing regularly to attain the fitness levels he needs to be at his most effective... He has now failed to net in his last seven appearances from the bench and, in total, has only managed to hit the target twice all term in 14 appearances as a substitute.

Both player and club must now be considering whether, if Parkin is not deemed first-XI material, it is in either’s best interests to have him sat in the dugout."

Southport "confirm that Bouwe Bosma’s two-month loan from Coventry City has now finished and will not be renewed. The 22 year-old midfielder made four appearances in total, three starting and one off the bench".

The Shropshire Star reports that, "Telford extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 2-1 victory away at FC United of Manchester, who were themselves on a six-game unbeaten run. It moved Cowan’s side into third place of National League North and the manager thanked his side for following his instructions.

'They did everything I asked them to do when they went over the white line,' he said. 'That was both in possession and out, tactically and their game management. The lads deserve a lot of credit. The three points is everything we came for; the bonuses are that we played brilliantly well, and that we’ve put a plan into place. If I asked them to go out there do a roly-ploy then they’d do it. Similarly, I trust them to manage things right, that’s what this group’s about.'

Telford took the lead through Darryl Knights before a mistake from Andy Wycherley allowed FCUM to join level.

'Because we’ve won the game, we can use it as a positive,' said Cowan. 'A development tool for Andy. It’s good for him to get that kick up the backside, to let him know he can’t take his eye off the ball, pardon the pun.'

Amari Morgan-Smith restored Telford’s lead in the second half, but Cowan was disappointed referee Amy Fearn didn’t show the home side’s keeper Lloyd Allinson a straight red for handling the ball out of his area late on.

'I feel it was a sending off', said Cowan. 'I don’t want to speak badly of anyone (the referee) but it’s a sending off, of course it’s a sending off, I think she’s got that one wrong.'"

19 November 2018


The Non-League Paper interviewed Alty boss Phil Parkinson about next Saturday's third clash of the season with Bradford (Park Avenue), the upcoming match being in the FA Trophy. Mixing up Alty's Phil Parkinson with the Bolton Wanderers' manager of the same name, it describes Alty's Phil as a former Reading and Port Vale player.

Alty's Phil is quoted as saying of the game with Bradford, "[There'll] be no need to size each other up or for mind games; we know each other too well for that... They are top of the league for a reason, because they have been the best team and we have a lot of catching up to do.

"But we probably hold the psychological edge having beaten them in the league and knocking them out of the FA Cup. If Bradford were my team, I would be doing everything to ensure they did not lose a third game and I'm sure that would be Mark [Bower]'s thinking".

The article continues, "Parkinson has already tasted success in the FA Trophy, having taken Step 3 Nantwich Town all the way to the semi-finals just two years ago... [and] National League North clubs have won three of the last four FA Trophy finals...

'At Nantwich we showed that it's doable. The FA Trophy is all about consistency and learning as a group and we are showing good signs of both at the moment. We are very ambitious but we don't want to give fans false hope.

'We're not going to get carried away; the first port of call is still making sure we have enough points to stay in this division. But we are heading in the right direction and, if we can get some success in the league and get a nice little run in the Trophy, then that would constitute a good season'".


Above: Tony Thompson marshals his defence.

The official Altrincham FC site has a match report and interview with Josh Hancock.


Altrincham Ladies' 2-1 home win over Warrington Wolverines on Sunday took them back to top of the North West Womens Regional League Division One South. Previous leaders Liverpool Feds Reserves lost 6-1 at home.


Ian Senior's SKkits company was one of the sponsors of the game against York City on Saturday. Pictured, right, we see company owner, Ian Senior, receiving his sponorship memento from fellow ex-Alty custodian, Stuart Coburn.

In the Vanarama National League North yesterday the following former Alty players or loanees netted goals: Craig Hobson (Alfreton Town), Ryan Brooke (Curzon Ashton), Tom Peers (FCUM) and Elliot Newby (Chorley), whilst in opposition to each other both Curtis Obeng and Jordan Sinnott were sent off for Nuneaton and Alfreton respectively.

Sam Heathcote and Aaron Burns both netted for Trafford on Saturday and our neighbours led 3-1 until the 89th minute at Newcastle Town before drawing 3-3.


Whilst the NL Paper is right to list three Alty players in the top ten National League North goalscorers this season, the numbers quoted are wrong. According to the NLP, Jordan Hulme has eight league goals and both John Johnston and Josh Hancock have seven. However, the reality is that Hulme has 10 league goals, Johnston 8 and Hancock 7.

The career records of Hancock and Johnston at Altrincham are remarkably similar. Josh Hancock has played 62(+8) games for the club and netted 28 goals, the same total as Johnston has amassed from 68(+3) appearances.


York Press also has the manager's views.. "City boss Sam Collins has insisted this season’s squad must break the cycle of failure at Bootham Crescent. A 3-0 National League North defeat at Altrincham saw the Minstermen drop into the division’s bottom six, just three points above the relegation zone, and Collins did not mince his words afterwards.

Since Jackie McNamara’s disastrous managerial reign and reckless recruitment conspired to relegate the club two divisions from their hard-fought position in the Football League, Gary Mills, Martin Gray and, now, Collins have struggled to string together any sustained run of good form in the English game’s regionalised sixth tier, despite benefitting from a sizeable wage budget.

The Minstermen’s latest defeat mean[s] the team have now taken only one point from a possible 15, with the one exception to four losses the encouraging 0-0 home draw with Chester in midweek, but Collins lamented his players’ familiar inability to build on that performance during a defeat at Moss Lane...

Right: Josh Hancock wins possession from York.

Pulling few punches at the final whistle, Collins declared 'I’ve asked the players to tell me if they think there’s anything I’m doing wrong and, if they can, I’ll do something different but I like to think I’ve been around long enough to understand players and be respectful to them and, then, you hope you get something back in return. One of the players in the changing room after the game said ‘There’s been more than 80 players at the club over the last two or three years, so what is it? What’s wrong?’ I said to that ‘Well, why wait for the next lot? Why can’t we be the ones that change that cycle, instead of a different 20-odd players? They just need to go out and do it. I don’t know whether it’s about taking the shackles off, but something needs to change.

'It’s up to us to do that and there’s no reason why they can’t play like they did against Chester on Tuesday every week. You need consistent levels of performance from everyone, but we only got that from two or three people like Kennedy Digie, Kallum Griffiths and Adam Bartlett and that gets you nowhere at any level of football. There are no excuses for that, because we are a professional football club and we do the right things every day. Teams that do well perform week after week, and the players get everything they need to prepare them to win football games.'

Summarising where he felt the game was lost, Collins added 'I thought we were quite solid defensively in the first half, but a bit flat and, then, the second half was nowhere near good enough. They had a lot of possession and we invited them up the pitch. We looked a bit better for a spell after we conceded the first goal but that has set alarm bells ringing for me too, because people are then playing under a different type of pressure, having gone behind. I see what the players can do in training but, when it really matters on a Saturday and you’re fighting for your bonuses, you need people to stand up, be brave, take the ball, win headers and fight and scrap, but we didn’t do that in the second half.

'With Joe Ironside and Jordan Burrow in the team, we were also putting balls up to them that they had to chase around with their heads, but I don’t want that. I want the ball to be put up there with quality for them.'

Following Hancock’s 90th-minute third goal for the hosts, there were unsavoury scenes when a City supporter ran on to the pitch and aggressively confronted Collins in front of the visitors’ dugout. In the absence of any stewards, physio Ian Gallagher forcibly led the offender off the pitch with Collins commenting 'I don’t know what he said, and I didn’t hear anything. Being honest, I understand everybody’s frustrated, because I am more than anyone, but what happened does not look good on us as a football club. If people want to shout and show their frustration that way that’s absolutely fine, but what was he going to do?

'He’ll get himself in trouble doing that and I’m quite a big lad as well, so he’s got to be careful.'"

York Press assigned marks and notes to each York player after Saturday's game.

  • Adam Bartlett 8 – made an outstanding save to deny Hancock at 0-0 and two or three more fine stops
  • Josh Law 5 – often seen back-pedalling towards his own goal as Altrincham raided down his flank
  • Joe Davis 6 – relatively solid before being somewhat wrong-footed for the opening goal
  • Kennedy Digie 6 – showed good powers of recovery to rescue one risky moment in possession, but generally combative
  • Sean Newton 5 – looked uncomfortable when right-winger Johnston charged at him
  • Kallum Griffiths 6 – put his foot in when required, although flew into a cautioned challenge that had home crowd baying for a red card
  • Lewis Hawkins 6 – broke up play with a series of interceptions without taking control of game
  • Adriano Moke 5 – busy in middle areas of the pitch, without ever really making presence felt in defensive and attacking thirds
  • Jordan Burrow 5 – industrious and willing in the air but largely contained by home defence
  • Joe Ironside 5 – didn’t waste many passes, while failing to threaten the Altrincham goal
  • Alex Bray 5 – could not meet the same standards he had shown in midweek and lacked penetration
  • Substitutes: Macaulay Langstaff 5 – quiet (for Ironside, 59), Alex Harris 5 - peripheral (for Bray, 62), Jon Parkin (for Hawkins, 72). Subs not used: David Ferguson, Nathan Dyer.
  • Star man: Bartlett."
A reader's comments to York Press were "As pointed out on radio York the club have a 27 man squad when most Premier League teams operate with 22 or 23. It's ludicrous. For various reasons yesterday's squad didn't include Tait, York, Parslow, Bencherif, Kempster, Wright and Heslop; all probably earning a min of £500/600 per week which accounts for about £14,000 per month for players not even on the pitch. That is just not sustainable.

80 players have come and gone yet no one would object to another full clear out. Recruitment of players has been awful but it seems to be when they pull on the York shirt that they go bad. Harrogate fans were gutted to lose Jake Wright yet he has yet to score for us and we are middle of November. Josh Law came from League One yet has had a couple of OK games in one and a half seasons. Bencherif was a goalscoring centre half who hasn't hit a barn door in three seasons."


Altrincham take on Bradford (Park Avenue) for the third time this season next Saturday when the Avenue contest an FA Trophy tie at the J. Davidson Stadium. Last Saturday Bradford (Park Avenue) report that the team "staged a late comeback to clinch a stunning victory over Ashton United. The hosts suffered an early setback when Bradley Jackson wriggled away from his marker and rifled past Steven Drench...

It didn’t take long for the Robins to double their lead and send the travelling supporters into a frenzy. The outstretched glove of Drench touched Liam Martin’s effort, but he couldn’t prevent the ball nestling in the bottom corner... Drench couldn’t keep Martin’s shot out, but he did deny Liam Tomsett, producing a spectacular save to thwart him at point blank range. Drench had to be alert again as half-time approached, scrambling across his line to hold Matthew Regan’s flicked header.

Bradford started the brightest after the interval but Nicky Clee’s cross was intercepted after he weaved his way past three defenders. The makeshift left-back also drilled a free-kick into the wall...

Bradford eventually made a breakthrough [85 mins] when Alex Hurst teed up Lewis Knight, allowing the forward to rifle past Pilling from distance and reduce the deficit. An equaliser followed almost immediately as the ball fell to Shane Killock inside the box and the captain steered into the bottom corner. A shellshocked Ashton backline were carved open again in stoppage time and Killock netted his second to clinch victory.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Clee, Wroe (Lowe 45’), Killock (c), Havern, Spencer (Nowakowski 71’), Branson, Beesley, McKenna, (Hurst 71′), Knight. Unused substitutes: Toulson, Atkinson".

18 November 2018


A superb second-half performance from Altrincham blew away York City after a fairly even and goalless first 45 minutes.

The first half saw both sides playing decent football but defences were on top and there was little goalmouth threat at either end. But, after the break, Altrincham dominated and took a deserved 57th minute lead. They had advanced on the left through Dale before Davis failed to clear the ball and Hancock hooked it home.

Right: Josh Hancock is submerged under team-mates after his and the team's first goal against York.

York were rocked for the next few minutes before getting back into the game but without landing any serious shots on goal. The visitors' third and final substitute was the veteran Jon Parkin but he was unable to change things for the Minstermen. Altrincham wrapped up the game with two goals in the final ten minutes. They went 2-0 ahead after Hulme had won a corner. Taken by Johnston, this came out to Moult who drove home a fine shot from just outside the box (83 mins).

And, as the game went into added time, Hulme laid on a chance for Hancock and his well-strick low effort from the edge of the box made it 3-0. The win lifted Altrincham into the newly expanded play-offs, in seventh place.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. Kallum MANTACK, 14. Charlie SCOTT, 15. Josh LANGLEY, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.

YORK CITY: 1. Bartlett, 2. Law, 3. Newton, 4. Digie, 5. Davis, 6. Griffiths, 7. Hawkins, 8. Moke, 9. Burrow, 10. Ironside, 11. Bray. Subs: 12. Langstaff, 14. Harris, 15. Ferguson, 16. Dyer, 19. Parkin

The National League has video highlights of the goals.

From York City we read that "City suffered a 3-0 defeat at Altrincham... Manager Sam Collins had named an unchanged side for the first time since taking charge and was looking to build on positive displays against Swindon Town and Chester in the previous two fixtures.

However, after a goalless first half, Josh Hancock broke the deadlock in the 57th minute and City conceded two further goals in the final eight minutes of the game.

Goalscoring opportunities had been thin on the ground in the first half although goalkeeper Adam Bartlett tipped a shot from Altrincham's John Johnston onto the crossbar and City striker Jordan Burrow had a header hacked off the line by Connor Hampson.

Play-off chasing Altrincham took command after the interval... Altrincham took the lead... as Hancock volleyed into the roof of the net following a deflected cross from Owen Dale.

Collins sent on substitutes Macaulay Langstaff, Alex Harris, and Jon Parkin but the changes failed to unsettle Altrincham who scored two further goals in the final eight minutes of the game.

Moult drilled a low shot into the bottom corner of the net after City failed to clear a corner and Hancock added the third in the 90th minute when curling a 15-yard shot round Bartlett after exchanging passes with Jordan Hulme".


On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves beat Malpas 3-0. Alty are second, three points behind Middlweich but with three games in hand. Their next game is away to Pilkington, who lie fourth in the table.


As reported recently, ex-Alty striker Kyle Perry has joined Coalville Town. The BBC now reports that "Non-league side Coalville Town were 'delighted' to welcome big target man Kyle Perry to the Leicestershire-based club on Thursday.

Right: In November 2014, Kyle Perry and Aristote Nsiala compete for an aerial ball as Alty and Grimsby Town draw 1-1..

However, it quickly dawned on those at the Ravens that getting the 6ft 4in striker to 'fit in' would be more than just a technical football question, it would potentially need a tailor. Such is Perry's physical presence that the Southern League Central Premier Division club didn't have a shirt big enough for the 32-year-old to wear against Banbury United on Saturday. Not even their kit suppliers could help out at such short notice, with a special order needed to have one sent from Italy.

Long-time supporter Damien Trown, however, came to the rescue with a special delivery, answering the club's social media call for a 'well-built' supporter to donate their shirt.

Coalville Town chairman Glyn Rennocks said the joy of finally getting 'big lad' Perry had quickly posed unforeseen issues. 'He's a good size for a good centre forward,' Rennocks told BBC Radio Leicester. 'The kit that we have is not that big, even if you have a large shirt they tend to come quite small. We had a look at them and thought, this isn't going to work. We just put a little message out to our supporters as we knew there might be one or two of the larger ones out there somewhere. They came up with it, badged up and everything.'

While Rennocks isn't sure if the shirt already has a name on the back, he is grateful that the generous fan came up with the right-sized solution.

'He follows us all over the place, home and away, as do the group he knocks about with,' added Rennocks. 'It's just typical of their actions that they have done it, they are a great bunch'".


Over the years, Carole Nash and her family have been signifcant benefactors to Altrincham FC as well as to many other local causes. On 13 November, the Insurance Business Magazine now reports that "Philanthropist Carole Nash OBE, founder of her namesake motorcycle insurance broker, was recognised as ‘Centenary Woman of the Year’ at the inaugural 'This is Manchester' awards.

Right: The Carole Nash and Family Terrace at the J. Davidson Stadium, seen as Alty took on Ashton United in October, 2018.

Introduced to celebrate 100 years of female suffrage, the recognition was bestowed upon Nash at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate for her work in the region. Known for supporting a number of charities in the area, the awardee is patron to both the Alderley Edge Music Festival and Bowdon Music Festival.

'Carole made an immense contribution to both the insurance industry and her home city, so this award is a fitting tribute to reward her achievements,' commented Carole Nash chief executive Ian Donaldson. 'Many of the staff who worked with Carole remain in the business today, which is testament to the amazing work she did building the company up from her kitchen more than 30 years ago'...

The business, which has grown to a workforce of more than 400 people, was sold by Nash in 2006. With offices in Altrincham and Dublin, the broker provides cover for over 300,000 motorcycles in the UK and Ireland.


  • Att. 481 Alfreton Town 3-1 Nuneaton Borough
  • Att. 1673 Altrincham 3-0 York City
  • Att. 1146 Blyth Spartans 3-2 Curzon Ashton
  • Att. 1146 Boston United 1-2 Southport
  • Att. 1427 Bradford (Park Avenue) 3-2 Ashton United
  • Att. 2211 Darlington 2-2 Hereford
  • Att. 964 FC United of Manchester 1-2 AFC Telford United
  • Att. 2090 Guiseley 1-1 Spennymoor Town
  • Att. 925 Kidderminster Harriers 0-4 Chorley
  • Att. - Leamington 1-0 Chester
  • Att. - Stockport County 1-1 Brackley Town

17 November 2018


Saturday 17 November 2018, Vanarama National League North
  • Alfreton Town 3-1 Nuneaton Borough (Craig Hobson scored; both Curtis Obeng and Jordan Sinnott sent off for Nuneaton and Alfreton respectively)
  • Altrincham 3-0 York City
  • Blyth Spartans 3-2 Curzon Ashton (Curzon led 2-0 at the interval, with Ryan Brooke netting one)
  • Boston United 1-2 Southport
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) 3-2 Ashton United (Three late goals won the game for BPA)
  • Darlington 2-2 Hereford
  • FC United of Manchester 1-2 AFC Telford United (Tom Peers scored the FCUM goal)
  • Guiseley 1-1 Spennymoor Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-4 Chorley (Elliot Newby scored Chorley's second goal)
  • Leamington 1-0 Chester
  • Stockport County 1-1 Brackley Town (A very late equalizer saved County)


On the morning of their game at Altrincham, York City reported that "Defender Sean Newton spoke to the media... 'Competition for places is healthy', he said. 'You know now that if you don't turn up or don't play well you are out the door because there is someone waiting to take your place. We took the momentum from our performance against Swindon into Tuesday night and the new lads that have signed have made a big difference in and around the place.

'After three defeats in the league, it was a good point, especially with Chester having the chance to go top. We just need to take it into Saturday's game now'.

Newton also revealed details of a 'karaoke-style challenge' that loan signings Joe Davis and Alex Bray accepted prior to the Swindon FA Cup tie! 'It gave the lads a chance to get know us when we stayed over,' he said. 'A few of them sang and it got them in with the lads straight away! Joe was decent, Alex was a bit nervous.'".

Meanwhile, York City also report that "Defender Tom Allan has today re-joined Alfreton Town on loan until January 1. Allan spent three years at Alfreton before leaving in the summer for his second spell at Bootham Crescent. He has started only four games for City this season".


Before today, York City may not have visited Altrincham since 2011 but they are likely to include most if not all of the same squad which featured, in midweek, against Chester FC. That squad included several familiar faces who have appeared (and in a number of cases scored) against Altrincham previously. In fact some of the players will, by Saturday, have played against Altrincham for at least five different clubs!

The following non-exhaustive list of familiar faces includes...

Adam Bartlett, (aged 32)

A goalkeeper who started out at Blyth Spartans. His games against Alty include:

  • Kidderminster Harriers 4 Altrincham 0, 23 August 2008
  • Altrincham 2 Kidderminster Harriers 2, April 2009
  • Gateshead 1 Altrincham 0, April, 2015.

Sean Newton (aged 30)

An experienced defender whose games agains the Robins include

  • Chester City 1 Altrincham 1 - Chester City won 4-2 on penalties, 6 September 2006
  • Altrincham 1 Lincoln City 2, 12 August 2014
  • Lincoln City 1 Altrincham 2, 4 November 2014
  • Wrexham 3 Altrincham 1, 12 September, 2015
  • Altrincham 1 Wrexham 1, 9 February, 2016

Adriano Moke (aged 28)

A winger who, by Saturday, will probably have featured for at least five clubs against Altrincham

  • FC Halifax Town 3 Altrincham 4, 6 April 2013
  • Altrincham 3 Stockport County 0, 24 August 2013
  • Stockport County 0 Altrincham 0, 18 April 2014
  • Altrincham 1 Macclesfield Town 0, FA Trophy, 13 December 2014
  • Macclesfield Town 2 Altrincham 1, 10 February, 2015 - he scored
  • Wrexham 3 Altrincham 1, 12 September, 2015
  • Altrincham 1 Wrexham 1, 9 February, 2016

Whilst York City have not been to Altrincham since 2011, their new striker Joe Ironside was here as recently as April 2017. Above we see him as Kidderminster's no.9 entering the pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium before the league game in which he scored in the Harriers' 4-1 victory.

Joe Ironside (aged 25)

Ironside is a striker who, like Moke, by Saturday, will probably have featured for at least five clubs against Altrincham and has scored against them for at least three of those teams

  • Altrincham 1 Harrogate Town 3, 11 March 2014
  • Alfreton Town 1 Altrincham 1, 9 September 2014 -scored
  • Altrincham 0 Alfreton Town 1, 1 November 2014 - unused sub
  • Nuneaton Town 4 Altrincham 1, 13 September 2016 - scored
  • Altrincham 1 Kidderminster Harriers 4, 17 April 2017 - scored
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3 Altrincham 2, 29 September 2018

Jordan Burrow (aged 26)

The forward is another York player who, if selected, will be turning out against Alty for his fifth different club on Saturday

  • Altrincham 6 Boston United 1, 8 October, 2011
  • Altrincham 0 Morecambe 0, Pre-season friendly, 17 July, 2012
  • Altrincham 1 Lincoln City 2, 12 August 2014
  • Lincoln City 1 Altrincham 2, 4 November 2014,
  • Altrincham 1 FC Halifax Town 3, 6 October 2015 - scored twice
  • FC Halifax Town 1 Altrincham 0, 26 March 2016
  • FC Halifax Town 2 Altrincham 2, 9 August 2016

Jon Parkin (aged 37)

The experienced ex-Football League striker scored twice in his most recent encounter with Altrincham.

  • Forest Green Rovers 1 Altrincham 1, 6 December 2014
  • Altrincham 2 Forest Green Rovers 2, 14 February, 2015
  • Altrincham 0 Forest Green Rovers 1, 8 August, 2015
  • Forest Green Rovers 2 Altrincham 0, 28 November, 2015 - scored twice

Kennedy Digie (aged 21)

Recent York signing, Digie has twice been an unused sub against Altrincham.

  • Kidderminster Harriers 0 Altrincham 1, FA Trophy , 10 January, 2015 - unused sub
  • Kidderminster Harriers 3 Altrincham 2, 29 September 2018 - unused sub


Altrincham now have two successive home games against Yorkshire opposition. In fact, by next Saturday, Altrincham will have faced Yorkshire clubs five times in just over eleven weeks in league or cup matches. This Saturday, York City return to Moss Lane for the first time since 2011 whilst, on the following Saturday, Alty have their third encounter of the season against Bradford (Park Avenue). For more on the latter game, see below...

As for this Saturday, York Press says that "York City will face National League North’s most-potent striking duo when they visit Altrincham. The Robins boast the division’s leading marksman in Jordan Hulme, who has netted 11 times in the league this term, as well as hitting the target twice in the FA Cup.

Hulme’s former Salford City team-mate, right-winger John Johnson (right, in action against Ashton United), has also contributed eight league strikes this season, placing the pair two ahead of their nearest rivals for the division’s deadliest duo, Spennymoor’s Glen Taylor and Mark Anderson, who have notched ten and seven times respectively.

Last month’s 3-0 defeat for the Minstermen at Spennymoor saw Taylor score twice and the visitors’ hopes for a positive result at Moss Lane could rely on keeping a Robins’ side at the bay, who have plundered 19 goals and conceded just three during five consecutive home victories.

Alfreton (3-1), Ashton United (3-0) and Nuneaton (4-0) have all been seen off during that time in the league, although Phil Parkinson’s men are still to see anybody off in this term’s bottom seven in front of their own fans. FA Cup visitors Whitley Bay (5-0) and Bradford Park Avenue (4-2) have also been sent packing since Alty last failed to defeat a visiting team.

The eighth-placed Greater Manchester outfit’s overall tally of 33 league goals is only bettered, meanwhile, by Kidderminster, who have managed two more but have played a game extra.

At the other end of the pitch, though, Alty have shipped 24 goals, which is the second-worst tally outside the bottom six, aside from Chester, who have conceded one more. The Robins face City, having taken 13 points from a possible 15, although they have lost 2-0 to league neighbours Stockport in the Cup during that sequence.

As the division’s form team, Alty have moved to a position just two points outside the play-off zone and are six points behind leaders Bradford Park Avenue with a game in hand.

Former Bury midfielder Max Harrop is missing, however, for tomorrow’s match having been shown his fifth yellow card of the season against Chester, earning him a one-match ban. One-time Salford striker James Poole is not expected to recover from a hamstring problem either, joining midfielder Sean Williams (broken metatarsal) on the sidelines. Former Nantwich boss Phil Parkinson, a sports science lecturer, will be managing a team against the Minstermen for the first time, having guided the Robins to the Evo-Stik Northern League title in his first full season last term."


On the eve of Saturday's game against York City, Altrincham announced that a new signing and a new loan player had joined the club. They are defender Josh Langley and winger Kallum Mantack. Details of these are on the official site.

Langley is seen, right, leaving the pitch at Southport after Alty's win there in August.

Kallum Mantack has also played against us. In his case he was the Alfreton Town right-back in a 3-2 victory for the Reds at the Impact Arena on 19 November 2016.


The Telegraph & Argus informs us that "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower is thrilled to have led his side to the top of the Vanarama National League North, and he says that it is nothing less than the dedicated fans and volunteers deserve... Bower enthused, 'It's nice to do it for everyone who has worked tirelessly here, long before I came in a few years ago. It means a lot to the volunteers and supporters and getting into this position allows us to keep creating headlines and get some attention and publicity.

'I know it's a cliché but for the management and players, we've still got to take each game as it comes. We know there are teams below us with a game or two in hand but we should still enjoy it while we're there.'

Asked about the contributions of his younger players this season, Bower said 'Obviously, Jake Beesley has signed on loan from Salford and scored goals and Jamie Spencer has continued to improve from last season. We knew these players had talent but now they're adding a level of consistency which is really encouraging. It's not just the younger players either. Conor Branson, for example, has come in and performed very well, despite being new to this level.'

Bradford's opponents at Horsfall this weekend, Ashton [United], have conceded more goals than any other team in the division, but Bower warned 'They''re still a good team who like to get the ball down and play. They've had great results in their last two games too, with a draw against Boston United and a win over Guiseley. They were only promoted last season, so you could argue there's less pressure on them. We'll be looking to win and score goals, so our approach will be no different to usual and we'll have every chance of winning if we perform like we have over the past six weeks.'

Bower expects full back Danny Lowe to return to the side this weekend, while he is hopeful that Chris Dawson will be back in action too. He said the club will have to assess Oli Johnson closely to see whether he can make the game, the forward having limped off with a knee injury in last week's 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton.

Meanwhile, Bradford will face Altrincham for the third time this season in next Saturday's FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying clash. They lost both of those previous two games to the Greater Manchester outfit and Bower groaned 'We were unlucky to get drawn away against the other real form side in the division. This game gives us a chance to put things right, though, and hopefully we can win and get an easier draw in the next round.'"

Also at Bradford (Park Avenue) "Club shop Manager and fundraiser Dave Stordy would like to provide the following update...

'Our supporters' players' fund, due to a couple of substantial donations, has now risen to over £5,110... As the majority of you will be aware the fund was started to help Mark and his management team compete with some of our wealthier rivals by possibly bringing in couple of additional signings, be they permanent or loans. Whilst we have not set any targets I would at this stage like to propose we target to reach the end of the year with the target of £10K. To achieve this I’m suggesting that if, say, 250 of our regular fans could commit to paying £10 each in the months of November and December then that would see us reach that target to enable Mark to hopefully make a couple of new signings to help our promotion push. I know not everyone might be able to afford this but those that can, will you please consider making the donations?"

NL Daily, "Stockport County striker Szymon Czubik has joined Mossley on a one-month loan following a successful spell at Stockport Town. The teenage front man has scored seven goals for Town this season. Winger Adam Etches has also been recalled from the Lions.

County boss Jim Gannon said, 'I am very grateful to Alan Lord and all at Stockport Town FC for the part they have played in giving Szymon valuable experience in men’s football. He has shown his ability to play effectively at that level with his goal scoring exploits. Szymon, along with Adam Etches, were both recently recalled from their loans at the Town for our last two games. It was a great experience for both players to appear for the first team in our recent win at Warrington Town FC and also to be a part of the overnight trip and FA Cup first round 18-man squad for the Yeovil Town game.

'Despite these positive experiences we feel that the current strength of the squad allows us to consider the opportunity for the younger players to gain further valuable playing time outside the club. For Szymon, a move to the Evostik West Division seemed the next natural step. Szymon was subject to interest from several clubs but decided on a move to Sell Park.'

Szymon signed his first professional contract with the Hatters in January. The young striker joined Alan Lord’s academy three years ago after impressing during a friendly against Goole Town."

Hereford FC "have confirmed that both Callum Sainty and Marlon Jackson will be leaving the club, with both players set to join new clubs this weekend. Jackson has made three starts and three substitute appearances for The Bulls since his arrival in September whilst Sainty has made just two appearances for The Bulls since joining in the summer.

Jackson is set to join a National League South side this weekend. Sainty, who hasn’t featured for The Bulls since his sending off against Spennymoor in September, is set to join a Southern League side...

Head of Football Tim Harris said 'We have to reshape the squad, so, unfortunately, changes need to be made. We will continue to work hard to bring quality players in'".

Cheshire Live reports that "Fourth in the table and just a point off top spot in the National League North after an unbeaten run which lasted 11 games, things are going well for Chester FC this season. Under Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson, the Blues are firmly in the mix at the top end of the table and could even move to the summit of the division tomorrow should they beat Leamington on their travels and other results elsewhere go their way.

The league campaign is approaching its halfway point and we thought it would be a good idea to ask our panel of Blues fans for their take on the season so far and what they have made of Chester under Morley and Johnson...

Matt Nickson: 'The fact that we had two opportunities to be top of the league this early in the season speaks volumes. "When you consider the disjointed season we have had and the overturn [turnover] of players, it is a true reflection of the management duo’s ability to put together a strong side that are competitive in a very tough league... The team are exciting going forward, strong in defence and high energy in midfield. This makes the team very good to watch...

'You can park on the ground, get a drink in the bar or refreshments in the stands, watch an entertaining competitive football match and all for around £20. This is currently great value especially when you consider that on average a Premier League game costs around £40-£50. You also have the travel involved, this is on our doorstep'...

Kieron Shiel: 'Clearly the congestion of constant Tuesday and Saturday games for a part time team caught up with us and reared its head initially against Nuneaton, but we still didn’t roll over. The Altrincham game was hard luck in my opinion and, on another day we could have got a draw in that game as we were just starting to come on top when we got hit with a second, but a fair result on reflection.

'To then turn to York away with their new found signings and get a hard fought point showed grit and spirit which clearly hasn’t left the team'"

16 November 2018


Altrincham will be without suspended midfielder Max Harrop [right] on Saturday, when York City visit the J Davidson Stadium, as he has acquired five yellow cards in league matches this season. After the end of November 2018, players with five cautions in league matches do not suffer a suspension unless a total of ten is reached before the second Sunday in March 2019, when a two-match league ban applies. Fifteen yellow cards attract a three-game league ban.

The Altrincham FC official site has a match preview.

As for the opposition, York City have an interview with manager Sam Collins, discussing their midweek draw with Chester and their forthcoming game at Altrincham. He is very complimentary about Alty.

The National League reports that "Sam Collins thinks his side's performance against Chester could be the catalyst for another good run of form. The Minstermen could perhaps count themselves unlucky not to take all three points from their clash with the Blues, a game that eventually finished goalless.

Collins' men are now without a win in four league games but the manager thought there were good signs on show... The Minstermen recently put together a superb run of form following Collins' appointment but have faltered recently. But their boss, Sam Collins, is confident they can put together a similar string of results again soon".

The York Press reports that "The Minstermen chief has recruited loan quintet Lewis Hawkins, Joe Davis, Alex Bray, Joe Ironside and Kennedy Digie since being given the green light by chairman Jason McGill to bolster the ranks following the 4-1 home defeat to Bradford Park Avenue a fortnight ago.

Better displays have since been evidenced during the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at League Two Swindon and Tuesday night’s 0-0 home draw against a Chester team who would have moved to the top of the National League North table with a victory.

But Collins still feels there are departments of the team that could benefit from new faces and he said 'We’re still looking and still think we can be stronger in certain areas so, if it’s the right time, that might be something we look to do. We’ve just got to be careful, though, with the number of players coming in both financially and to make sure the group is happy.'

With the club having only managed back-to-back clean sheets once in the last 15 months, during Collins’ first two games at the helm back in August, the former Port Vale and Hartlepool defender is now hoping new centre-half pairing Joe Davis and Kennedy Digie can help the team secure another shut-out on Saturday at Altrincham, following their starring roles against Chester.

'It’s difficult when you don’t really know each other, and they’d only met the day before the Chester match, but they both looked really assured,' Collins enthused. 'They fitted together well with the balance between their different styles and that was really pleasing. I know Chester hit the post but, apart from that, they didn’t really have anything else in the game and, if we start keeping clean sheets again, it gives you something to build on and, having been a defender myself, I pride myself on that.'

At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, Collins believes it will be only a matter of time before striker Ironside hits the goal trail, despite the ex-Sheffield United striker saying sorry to his new team-mates for not taking two chances that would have secured maximum points in midweek. Ironside has netted 24 and 23 times at National League North level during the past two seasons and also has six to his name this season for parent club Kidderminster despite falling out of favour at Aggborough, with Collins reasoning 'When we played Kidderminster at home in September, he would have probably scored a couple of goals with the chances he had (on Tuesday night), and we’ve got to get him back to that.

'He has been getting frustrated at Kidderminster but, with his record, I think we will get him up to speed quickly. He apologised to everyone afterwards because he felt he should have scored, but that’s fine, because we’re pretty sure he will score a lot of goals for us, which is great.'

Collins also went on to praise Kallum Griffiths for the transition he has made from right-back to midfield anchorman during the last three games in the absence of an injured Simon Heslop. The former Spennymoor defender had been left out of the City squad twice and an unused substitute during the five previous matches but has been likened to a 'bull' for his determined displays against Bradford, Swindon and Chester since making the positional switch.

'He’s been absolutely outstanding, and he has a really good attitude,' Collins said of the 28-year-old former Sunderland academy hopeful. 'You could tell him to do anything out on the pitch and he would give it a go, but he looks really comfortable there getting about people and breaking play up. He also wants to get on the ball and play and it’s been a real positive him playing there. It came about because we did a few different types of training sessions and he caught the eye after we put him there, so we just thought let’s go with it.

'It suits him because of the way he goes about the game and his endeavour. He’s like a little bull the way he gets around the pitch and he’s all over people like a rash. I like that and playing him there also gets him more involved.'

Having taken one point from a possible 12 in the league, Collins is now calling on his players to ensure the improvements witnessed in the last two fixtures are now translated into wins, starting at an eighth-placed Altrincham team, who lie just three points behind table-toppers Bradford with a game in hand.

The City chief added 'They are a good footballing team who had a good result against Chester at the weekend, with a 2-1 away win. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ve got to meet the levels we have shown during the last two games and turn them into wins'".


As already covered on this site, the last Altrincham home league game against York City was in 2010-11 season and ended in a goalless draw.

And the encounter before that, on 13 March 2010, was also a goalless draw.

In fact, in eight games at Moss Lane, there have been four draws between the teams and Alty have only beaten the Minstermen once on home turf, as Mike Garnett's statistics (below) demonstrate.

  • At Altrincham: P8 W1 D4 L3 F8 A16
  • At York: P8 W1 D2 L5 F5 A16
  • All games: P16 W2 D6 L8 F13 A32

Like the 2010-11 game at Moss Lane, the fixture in 2009-10 season originally had been scheduled for 28 December of the previous year. But, this time, the game took place on a Saturday rather than under floodlights in midweek.

Both teams went into the re-arranged game in wretched form.

After a record-breaking run, which had included eight successive league wins, York had endured a wretched sequence of form which had seen them lose four and draw one of their previous five league matches. Likewise, Alty had not won themselves in five league games but had drawn four of those games. York started the game sixth in the table, with Alty eleventh.

In 2010 Alty fielded a self-selecting squad as they only had 16 fit players and they secured their fourth successive draw. James Smith was with a hamstring injury, Robbie Lawton was also sidelined and Tom Kearney had suffered a broken leg at Wrexham the previous midweek.

York's pantomime villain, Richard Brodie, who was the league's leading scorer, had a poor afternoon, missing two sitters and being booked for a blatant dive.

Above: Alty attack the York goal in the first half. It's not snow behind the goal but rolls of paper, thrown onto the pitch by York supporters.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG, 27. Ryan BROWN, 21. Peter DORAN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE; 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Chris SENIOR, 9. Colin LITTLE, Subs: 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 18. Michael WELCH, 8. Clive MOYO-MODISE, 17. John McALISKEY, 24. Adam CARDEN

YORK CITY: 24. Michael Ingham, 5. David McGurk, 3. James Meredith, 26. Graham Luke, 2. Ben Purkiss, 17. Levi Mackin, 16. Richard Brodie, 25. Jamie Clarke, 21. Djoumin Sangare, 28. Courtney Pitt, 9. Michael Gash, Subs: 6. Daniel Parslow, 15. Michael Rankine, 10. Richard Paquette, 29. Paul Harsley, 27. Kevin Gall.


Former Altrincham FC Youth midfielder (2013-14), Jeff King (pictured, right, in his Alty days), is the nephew of Alty's former manager and captain, John King. Since leaving Moss Lane he has played at a Championship club in England and a Premier club in Scotland.

After making his Alty debut in the CSC, Jeff had a loan period at Prescot Cables in the latter part of the 2013-14 season but then moved on to Nantwich Town in September 2014 before a further relocation to Kendal Town. By early 2015 he was playing for Trafford and early in 2015-16 season he was at Ashton United. Later that season he was at Witton Albion but in April of 2016 he faced an FA charge for alleged use of abusive, race-related language whilst playing for Ashton United and served a ban as a consequence.

At the start of 2016-17 he joined Droylsden but, by November 2016, he had been signed up by Bolton Wanderers where he earned a professional contract for 2017-18 and became a first-team squad member. He made his debut against West Ham United in the EFL Cup.

In summer 2018 Jeff joined St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on a two-year contract, having previously had a brief loan spell at FC United of Manchester whilst at Bolton.

NL Daily reports that "Coalville Town have announced that striker Kyle Perry has today signed for the club. Perry, 32, will need no introduction to Coalville fans, having scored against the Ravens multiple times during his two spells at NPL side Stafford Rangers, where he now joins from.

Standing at 6ft 4 tall, he is well recognised as one of the best target-men around at this level of football with plenty of experience having playing higher in past years for the likes of Mansfield Town, AFC Telford, Port Vale, Lincoln City, Nuneaton, Altrincham and Worcester City. In between his two Stafford spells he also played for local neighbours Barwell and Stourbridge FC."


The National League confirms that "Four FA Cup Second Round games have been selected for live television coverage.

  • Solihull Moors v Blackpool - Friday November 30 - 7.55pm - BBC Two
  • Morecambe or FC Halifax v Wimbledon- Saturday December 1 - 12.30pm - BT Sport 1
  • Wrexham v Newport County - Saturday December 1 - 8pm - BT Sport 1
  • Guiseley v Fleetwood Town - Monday December 3 - 8pm - BT Sport 1

Bradford's Telegraph & Argus adds that "Guiseley, who shocked League Two Cambridge in the last round, will receive a live broadcast fee of £75,000". An additional £54,000 is available to the winners of the games in Round Two from The FA Prize Fund.


According to the National League Kidderminster manager "Neil MacFarlane is hoping his side can forget their recent rocky form and put in a performance against Chorley. The Magpies dropped off top-spot last week for the first time since August and the Harriers missed a chance to replace them when they dropped points against Nuneaton Borough.

They've won just once in their last five outings, dropping ten points from a possible 15...

'It's a massive game,' he told the club's YouTube service. 'It's one we're looking forward to for sure. Hopefully we can make amends for the past couple of weeks because I'm pretty positive that the group can move on from this. It's a long season and I'm confident that come the end of it that we'll be up there.'"

Cheshire Live reports that co-manager "Anthony Johnson says that he and Bernard Morley are looking to freshen up their Chester FC squad to ensure they maintain their promotion push. With 17 games of their National League North season gone the Blues are exceeding expectations and sit fourth, just one point of league leaders Bradford (Park Avenue).

The Blues missed the chance to go top on Tuesday night after they were held to a goalless draw at York City. Johnson and Morley handed a debut to Adam Dawson from the bench in that game after he joined the Blues following his release from AFC Telford United, and Johnson stated post match that there could well be more comings and goings as they look to improve the squad to ensure they remain in the hunt for promotion back to the National League...

'We’ve still got lads trying to find where they fit into the team. I think one of the important things is that me and Bernard need to make sure that we keep freshening the group up. We’ve had the same group of lads now for a little bit and, if it means one or two of them have to go out the door to be able to do that, then we’re prepared to do that... It’s important that we push on now.'

When the managerial duo arrived at the Swansway Chester Stadium in the summer they had won the National League North title just weeks before with Salford City. But while at Salford they had a budget the envy of the league, at Chester they are having to operate with a lower-half budget and have little room for manoeuvre. But with his and Morley’s side further on down the line than they anticipated, Johnson didn’t rule out comings or goings from Chester before the weekend to aid their cause, with the Blues heading to Leamington on Saturday...

He said 'We’re always looking. We’re at that stage now where we are two or three games away from being at the halfway stage of the season and we’re in a really good position. We’ve got to think about what that looks like, not just for Saturday, the week after but long term. We’ve done the short term stuff, we’ve got to where we wanted to be but what does that look like now going forward? If that means improving the team, if that means one or two things we might be able to do off the field to help us cement that place then they are discussions that are being had. As a club we are much further on than we anticipated to be back in May and it is so important that we stay in this type of position now.'

Midfielder Gary Roberts is available for the trip to Leamington after it was confirmed that he had received four bookings in the league, not five... The cards accrued reset at the end of November."

From NL Daily we learn that "FC United have confirmed that former Bolton Wanderers and Bamber Bridge player Ryan White has signed from AFC Blackpool, and David Chadwick has returned to the first-team squad, seven years after his last match.

Winger Ryan White, who turned 20 last week, has already made an instant impact, scoring on his debut in the Manchester Premier Cup on Tuesday night. White, along with [ex-Alty Youth] Jeff King (who played on loan for FC last season) and Cole Lonsdale (who joined FC a few weeks ago) were all part of Bolton Wanderers Under-23 side last season.

And in a week that sees Wayne Rooney return to the England set-up for one last hurrah, former FC United captain, interim manager, and club legend David Chadwick (aged 41) has gone one better, signing up to Neil Reynolds’ squad to provide defensive cover, a full seven years after leaving FC United in search of more regular football. ‘Chaddy’ came on as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s match away at Mossley, making his 210th appearance for the Reds".


Cheshire Live reports that "The first round draw of the Cheshire Senior Cup has handed Chester FC a trip to Winsford United while Crewe Alex take on nearby Nantwich Town. The Blues will travel to the North West Counties Football League side after coming through the preliminary round by beating Witton Albion 2-1 last month at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

The Railwaymen meanwhile will take on the Dabbers in a south Cheshire derby at Gresty Road in a repeat of the 2017 final.

Fellow League Two side Macclesfield Town will host Runcorn Town, while National League North side Stockport County will take on 1874 Northwich at Edgeley Park.

Stockport Town will face either Northwich Victoria or Tranmere Rovers, while Runcorn Linnets have a clash at the Millbank Linnets Stadium against Stalybridge Celtic.

Cammell Laird 1907 will take on Alsager Town and Congleton Town will play Sandbach United. The ties are scheduled to take place the week commencing Monday, January 7".

15 November 2018


Alty entertain York City on Saturday.

York Press reports that "York City boss Sam Collins believes Alex Bray can be an 'electric' addition to the Bootham Crescent ranks. The on-loan Rotherham winger won the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award during his home debut, a 0-0 draw with Chester, having made his first start at the weekend against Swindon in the FA Cup.

Bray, 23, tormented Chester right-back Dominic Smalley to the point where he had to be replaced at half-time having been lucky not to receive a second yellow card for felling the ex-Wales under-19 international just outside the penalty box. He also troubled sub Jon Moran after the break and an impressed Collins said 'For somebody who hasn’t played too much football for a while, Alex was really good. Their player should have been sent off just before half-time because Alex was going into the penalty area.

'The ref told me he thought his first booking was worse, but I can’t see how that can be the case as that one was on the half-way line. They then took their player off, because they knew he should have been sent off. Alex is a really talented boy and he came recommended by a lot of people I know and trust in the game and what we’ve seen from him in his first two games for us matches their feedback. Hopefully, he can keep improving because, when he gets going, he’s electric.'

Full debutant Kennedy Digie, recruited on loan from Kidderminster, also caught the eye at centre-back, as the Minstermen kept their first National League North clean sheet since August bank-holiday Monday with Collins admitting that he even advised higher-division clubs to scout the 21-year-old defender prior to bringing him to Bootham Crescent.

'I thought Kennedy was excellent,' Collins enthused. 'When we played Kidderminster at home (in September), I was so impressed with him that I spoke to a lot of clubs at higher levels and told them that they should be watching him. It was some debut and I hope that continues. He’s only a young kid, but there’s definitely a player there. He’s a strong boy, who is really comfortable in possession and I want my players to be like that. It was a really composed debut alongside Joe Davis and I was delighted with them both.'

City denied Chester the chance to move to the top of the table and also improved their own position by three places, moving up to 12th, with Collins arguing...

'I thought we played really well throughout the game,' he declared. 'We were really solid and well-organised defensively and the players matched how we performed on Saturday at Swindon, which is what I asked for. The only thing that was missing was a goal and we had so many good situations in the game, but I can’t fault the lads because we were really, really good. Chester were lucky to go away with a point, so it was bit disappointing not to get a win, but there were so many positives to take and, hopefully, this can be the start of something now and we can go on a good run.'

Collins went on to suggest that some of the players currently on the squad’s fringes could now be loaned out to lower the rising squad numbers. 'There are a couple of things happening, because I can’t guarantee some players first-team football and it’s the right thing for them and the club to get them games somewhere else,' he explained.

Also from York Press we read that "York City kept a first National League North clean sheet since August following a keenly-fought 0-0 home draw with Chester. Both defences were on top with City’s new centre-back pairing of Joe Davis and Kennedy Digie deserving huge credit for ending the hosts’ nine-game wait for a league shut-out. During that period, the Minstermen have shipped an average of more than two goals a game, but keeper Adam Bartlett was only called upon to make two saves all evening...

On-loan debutant Joe Ironside headed the home side’s best two opportunities off target... City flank patroller Alex Bray was... bright... from the off... Bray went on to send in a left-wing cross that was... inviting for Ironside but the ex-Sheffield United striker somehow headed across the goal and wide from three yards out...

The hosts made a positive start to the second period with Josh Law sending an excellent right-wing cross into the box, only for Ironside to mistime his header, resulting in the ball bouncing wide...

City ratings: Adam Bartlett 7, Josh Law 7, Joe Davis 8, Kennedy Digie 8, Sean Newton 7, Kallum Griffiths 7, Lewis Hawkins 7, Adriano Moke 8, Alex Bray 8, Joe Ironside 6, Jordan Burrow 6. Substitutes: Macaulay Langstaff (for Ironside, 83), Jon Parkin (for Burrow, 88). Subs not used: Alex Harris, David Ferguson, Nathan Dyer.

Star man: Digie – commanding and athletic performance at the back on his debut... Attendance: 2,319 (174 from Chester)

  • Shots on target: City 2, Chester 3
  • Shots off target: City 4, Chester 5
  • Corners: City 6, Chester 3
  • Fouls conceded: City 14, Chester 10
  • Offside: City 2, Chester 0

NL Daily adds that "York City boss Sam Collins is targeting a strong run in the FA Trophy despite a tough draw at Kidderminster Harriers, The York Press say.

The Minstermen have failed to win any of their last seven contests against Kiddy, who also knocked them out in the first-round proper of last term’s competition. That match ended 2-1 in the hosts’ favour with the two sides now scheduled to meet again at Aggborough one stage earlier a week on Saturday...

[Collins] said 'I just want to win every game, whatever competition that may be in. I felt that way going to Swindon on Saturday and, as players, you need to feel like that in every training session as well.'"


With Radio Robins broadcasting to the nation (top left), Ryan Murray (centre) puts the players through a pre-match warm-up at Kidderminster, as members of the Altrincham FC Board and a number of club volunteers (top right) take their seats, shortly before kick-off of the game in September.

On Monday evening, shareholders gathered for the 97th Annual General Meeting of Altrincham Football Club. This covers the 2018-19 period. At the start of the meeting, Chairman Grahame Rowley opened his introductory address to those present...

"Good evening and welcome to the 97th AGM of Altrincham Football Club

The 2017-18 season was a highly successful season resulting in promotion back to the Conference North at the first time of asking – the first time any team has managed this.

This achievement can be attributed to everyone associated with the club, who pulled together in times of adversity and brought about a strength within the club from Board to first-team management, to the supporters and volunteers..."

For the full text, see the Altrincham FC official site.


Wednesday 14th November 2018 - Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round
  • Northwich Victoria 1 Tranmere Rovers 2 (at Wincham Park)


According to the National League, "Chester may have missed two chances go top of the table this week, but it doesn't faze Anthony Johnson.

The Blues' joint boss says... 'It's been a tough few weeks with the lads we've had missing and the amount of games we've had,' he told the club's Twitter after the goalless draw with York City. 'Thankfully, now the Saturday - Tuesdays have finished we can start to replicate what we looked like a few weeks back. We're in a brilliant position and we've said since the start, if we were three or four points off the play-offs around halfway through the season, we'd have been really happy.'

The Blues were on an incredible run of form before losing at home for the first time this season to Altrincham last week...

'We're still a work in progress because we're still trying to work out where we are but we're not happy to just fall away. We've stablilised our position in the league and it's important that we push on now'".

Also from the National League, we learn that "Hereford manager Marc Richards is urging fans to keep the faith as the club's poor form continues. The Bulls are without a win since August 14, a run that saw Peter Beadle leave the club. Richards was the man chosen to turn the ship around and, although he hasn't won a game yet, he's adamant that will change soon.

'It's a results business and we're not getting results at the minute so that's something we need to sort out,' he told the club's official website. 'We're going to continue working hard on what we need to do and the preparation for every single game. Hopefully we can turn this around because we need to. Pressure is part and parcel of being a football manager and that's the same at any level. I've got no problem taking all the pressure because I want the players to play with freedom.'

The Bulls are second bottom of the National League North and face a tough trip to Darlington on Saturday. Ahead of the game, Richards assured fans that their faith will be repaid.

'I get it, I get their frustrations,' he said. "All I'll say is, stick with it. Because we know what we're doing. I know the fans don't feel like that at the minute but we will turn it around and when the good times do come, we can all enjoy them together.'"

Also down at the wrong end of the table, NL Daily reports that "Nuneaton Borough have confirmed that striker Shane Benjamin has left the club. Benjamin has returned to Heather St. John's. The bustling centre-forward made eight appearances for the Boro’ and was very popular for his no-nonsense style and aerial prowess".


The NL Paper confirms that "BT Sport have selected two FA Cup first round replays involving Non-League sides to be televised next week.
  • TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2018: Oxford City v Tranmere Rovers (7.45pm) – Live on BT Sport 1
  • WEDNESDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2018: Salford City v Shrewsbury Town (7.45pm) – Live on BT Sport 1"

14 November 2018


York City pay their first visit to Altrincham since the clubs played out a goalless draw in the Conference's national division at Moss Lane on 22 February, 2011. That was a Tuesday night match which replaced a fixture postponed on 28 December 2010. 1,143 spectators saw the game, of whom 444 were from York.

This time around it is Altrincham who start the game in a higher league position; eighth in comparison with York's fifteenth (before Tuesday's results).

Back in 2011 York were pushing for promotion back to the Football League whilst Altrincham started and finished the game in 22nd position (out of 24). Nevertheless, Altrincham dominated the last 25 minutes and only failed to win because they failed to convert a hatful of chances during the game and were denied as blatant a penalty as you will ever see when Damian Reeves was pushed over on the line as he was about to put the ball in the York net. The ironically named referee, Mr Wright, later said he was unsighted.

York only seriously threatened to score once, when Man of the Match, Marc Joseph, cleared off the Alty line in the first half. Alty ended the season, still 22nd, and they were relegated whilst the Minstermen finished eighth.

For this match, Altrincham defender James Smith [right] returned after suspension but Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury. However, new loan signing from Fleetwood, Steve Connors, started despite picking up a knock the previous Saturday. Unfortunately, loanee Sam Wedgbury was playing his last game before returning to his club, Macclesfield Town. Alty were also without centre-back Greg Young, who was not allowed to play against his employers in this fixture.

Statistics of previous encounters are provided by Mike Garnett: At Altrincham: P8 W1 D4 L3 F8 A16 At York: P8 W1 D2 L5 F5 A16 All games: P16 W2 D6 L8 F13 A32

The line ups in 2011 were:

ALTRINCHAM: 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 2. James SMITH, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, 8. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS.

YORK CITY: 24. Michael Ingham, 2. Liam Darville, 5. David McGurk, 30. Chris Smith (capt), 3. James Meredith, 8. Peter Till, 19. Ashley Chambers, 27. Daniel Racchi, 28. Andre Boucaud, 29. Scott Kerr, 15. Michael Rankine. Subs: 4. Jonathan Smith, 25. Leon Constantine, 6. Daniel Parslow, 7. Jamie Reed, 11. Chris Carruthers


The official Altrincham FC website has John Edwards's post-match interview with Phil Parkinson, following the win at Chester last Saturday.

The National League adds that "Phil Parkinson said his Altrincham side showed bravery and character as they ended Chester’s unbeaten home record this season... They haven’t lost in the league since the end of September, something that delights their manager.

'We’re delighted to come to Chester and win given that they were unbeaten at home and unbeaten in 11 games before this,' Parkinson told the National League’s Oli Osborn. 'We were really up for it today, as we are every week and the biggest thing was the bravery we played with. We were outstanding in the first half with the football we played. We’ve shown real depth of character to get a result here and if we can be as good in possession as we are out of possession, we can be successful'...

'The Manager of the Month award sits uneasy with me because it’s a team effort. It’s not about me, it’s about the club and the direction we’re turning'".


Tuesday 13 November 2018, Vanarama National League North
  • Hereford FC 0-3 Southport

    Hereford played with ten men from the 22nd minute when they conceded a penalty which was converted. Southport exchange 20th and 21st places with the Bulls who conceded three at home for the second time in three days to teams who started the match below them. Attendance 1,512 (30 away); Bulls' News reporter says "I'm pretty sure that's Hereford's lowest ever attendance for a home league game".

  • York City 0-0 Chester FC

    Attendance 2319. York move up three places to twelfth with their point. Chester are now fourth, the top four being covered by a single point.


According to the Shropshire Star, "Furious AFC Telford United chiefs have reported rivals Chester to the FA for an alleged illegal approach for Adam Dawson following the winger’s departure from the club.

Dawson yesterday quit the Bucks in order to join their National League North rivals, having informed boss Gavin Cowan over the weekend of his desire to find a club closer to his Manchester home. Telford claim Chester then made contact and held talks directly with Dawson on Monday, without making an official seven-day approach. That has prompted the Bucks to report their rivals to the FA and the National League.

A statement said 'The club received information to suggest Chester had already made contact with the player regarding a move and that Adam was meeting them to agree terms without club receiving an official seven day approach to allow permission.'

Dawson, who joined the Bucks in the summer, scored one goal in 14 appearances for the club".

In response Chester FC stated that they "are aware of a statement made today by AFC Telford United regarding Adam Dawson. As a club we strenuously deny any wrongdoing and believe we have acted within all FA guidelines throughout the transfer negotiations with both Adam and his previous Club. We await FA ratification of this deal".

Meanwhile, Chester FC reported before Tuesday's game that they were "looking to bounce back from a first defeat in 12 games on Saturday, as tonight they face a trip to York City.

It is likely to be the final time ever they make the trip to Bootham Crescent, with York all set to move into their new stadium for the 2019-2020 campaign. They sit 15th in the National League North, ten points behind the Blues.

Manager Sam Collins recruited Kennedy Digie and Joe Ironside on loan from Kidderminster yesterday, and would have been encouraged on Saturday as the Minstermen were just edged out 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup to League Two side Swindon Town. They will look to build on that this evening.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side were on a superb run of 11 unbeaten before defeat to Altrincham on Saturday. A tough period with games coming thick and fast saw Gary Stopforth miss out due to injury, he is 50/50 for tonight’s match".

And the Chester Standard said that "Joint manager Bernard Morley has urged his weary players to seize their opportunity at York City on Tuesday night in the knowledge that a win for the Blues will take them top of the National League North for the first time this season...

'It's really hard to be negative with this group of players with what they've done this season, especially from those dark days early doors,' said Morley. 'To go 11 games unbeaten with some of the sides we've taken points off is brilliant. We don't become a bad team overnight. We've not gone in the changing room at the end of the game [against Altrincham] for a reason because sometimes emotions get the better of you and you say things that you don't really want to say, so we've been coy about that today.

'We let the lads speak about it and get it off their chest. They don't need us to tell us they weren't good enough today, they know that'...

The joint managers face an uphill task on Tuesday to get 11 fit players on the pitch and Morley admitted that the side they put out against Altrincham suffered from the loss of injured midfielder Gary Stopforth with winger John Pritchard and striker Anthony Dudley forced into unfamiliar midfield roles.

'We played a winger and a centre forward in central midfield,' said Morley. 'You can get away with it in certain games but we didn't get away with it today. We had enough quality on that pitch to go and win the game. I look at the fact that when we are in possession we have got those extra two players in centre midfield who should have been better on the ball, especially going forward. We looked a little bit disjointed at times, but we have got players who can play in different positions. We have got no excuses whatsover'...

'Players have got to run through brick walls to get top of the league. I never had that opportunity as a player at this level so personally I think we need more out of them. It’s a chance to put the wrongs of Saturday right when sometimes you have to wait a week or 14 days but good sides drop points, every side does and we’re not the only one... When you’re top you become that side that everyone wants to beat so sometimes it’s nice to stay off the radar but the proof will be in the pudding because if we win Tuesday night we go top of the league and if that doesn’t give the lads an incentive I don’t know what will.'"

According to NL Daily, "Blackburn Rovers youngster Lewis Thompson has extended his loan spell at FC United of Manchester until Saturday 15th December. The youngster joined in September for a month before the deal was extended for a further 30 days. Following some impressive displays, with Thompson scoring one of the goals in the side’s victory over Hereford at the weekend, the teenager will remain with the Greater Manchester side for a further month...

Meanwhile, fellow Rover Lewis Mansell will return to the club following the end of his loan spell with FCUM. The forward scored a couple of times during his stay with the club".

The Lancashire Evening Post informs us that "If Chorley win their FA Cup replay at Doncaster Rovers next Tuesday they will secure a second round clash with either League Two side Mansfield Town or League One club Charlton...

And Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio sees a good cup run as a way to emotionally, mentally and financially tee them up towards their main goal: promotion.

The Magpies held League One Doncaster to a 2-2 draw in the first round of the FA Cup on Sunday in front of a bumper 3,000 strong crowd at Victory Park. They now face a trip to the Keepmoat Stadium to attempt to clinch a place in the second round for the first time since 1990...

The Chorley boss... said 'To look around and see the local Chorley people here savouring the moment has been wonderful. I tell the story now and again, one of my first games for the club playing at Rossendale in front of a 100 supporters. Now we are here in front of 3,000. The club is moving in the right direction at the moment. We are very stable. We probably plateaued over the last few years, despite getting to the play-offs.

'We want to get to that extra yard and try and get that promotion. A good cup run will prepare us emotionally and mentally but also financially. To non-league clubs you cannot help but thinking of the finance.'

And Vermiglio... said [of Doncaster] 'Credit to them, they are a very good side, probably the best side we have played over the last six or seven years. But we are a good footballing side. We have had a bit of a reputation over the years of being big, dominant, a bit of a snotty type of team. People new to the team on Sunday will have seen we can put the ball on the ground, move it around a bit and play some decent patterns.'"

At Southport "After an excellent week for the Port, which has seen three wins including an Emirates FA Cup victory, the lads return to league action to face Hereford. With a victory over higher league opponents, Boreham Wood, in the cup, as well as last week’s 4-1 league win over Kidderminster, there’s more positives for Liam Watson’s side.

Of course, recent good results can’t gloss over the fact the side still sits in 21st place in National League North, but can certainly add a boost.

The game against Hereford could give the team another huge push, as The Bulls also sit in the bottom three. After getting promoted last season, adapting to a higher division has proved difficult for the side, which included their first managerial sacking in mid-September. Starting the season with three wins in their opening four games, they have failed to win a single league game since.

A shortage of firepower is certainly a huge reason behind their lack of victories this campaign, with only 13 goals in 16 games. Whilst they are the worst attacking side in the league, they have still have a better defensive record than Southport, conceding one less".

From Curzon Ashton we learnt on Tuesday that "The Nash make the short journey across Greater Manchester tonight, as they travel to the Peninsula Stadium to face Salford City in the Manchester Premier Cup.

Curzon go into tonight’s’ clash on the back of a solid home draw, after a 1-1 stalemate with Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Tameside Stadium. Park Avenue opened the scoring just after the break through Salford loanee, Jake Beesley, however the Nash hit back shortly after as Oliver Crankshaw’s fourth goal of the season made sure the table toppers only left Ashton with a point...

Form wise, the Nash go into the game having lost just once in their last seven games in all competitions, with the only loss coming at home to Stockport County two weeks ago".

13 November 2018


The National League confirms that "The draw for the FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round has been made... National League North and South teams have entered the competition and our clubs stand to pocket a cool £5,000 if they win their ties... All ties will be played across the weekend of Saturday November 24". The northern half of the draw is below...
  • Altrincham v Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Blyth Spartans v Marske United
  • Alfreton Town v Farsley Celtic or Carlton Town
  • Spennymoor Town v Halesowen Town
  • Hereford FC v FC United of Manchester
  • Brackley Town v Nuneaton Borough
  • Kidderminster Harriers v York City
  • Southport v Chester FC
  • Leamington v Witton Albion
  • Darlington v AFC Telford United
  • Ashton United v Boston United
  • Basford United v Curzon Ashton
  • Lancaster City v Guiseley
  • Stockport County v Chorley

Whilst Altrincham have already met their Trophy opponents in the league and FA Cup this season, Nuneaton Borough report, likewise, that they "have been drawn away to Brackley Town in the 3rd qualifying round of The Buildbase FA Trophy. The two sides have already met at Liberty Way twice this season, once in the League and once in the FA Cup. The visitors won the first clash but Boro' came from behind in the second encounter leading to a repl[a]y at St. James's Park".

And another coincidence is that Hereford FC v FCUM is a repeat of last Saturday's league fixture.


Goal highlights from the Chester FC v Altrincham game last Saturday are here.


The Football Supporters’ Federation "is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2018 FSF Awards in partnership with Virgin Media; voting is open now, and fans can back their favourites at Ninety six shortlisted candidates will battle it out across 16 categories, recognising everything from the best players of 2018 to fans’ favourite away days.

National Game Community Award nominees: Altrincham FC, Boston United FC, Curzon Ashton FC, Eastbourne Borough FC, Hartlepool United FC and Wrexham AFC".

Curzon Ashton add that "The award is new for this year and aims to showcase the community outreach work undertaken by non-league football clubs. The award will acknowledge best practice and innovation, and will particularly recognise those clubs that involve supporters and community delivery partners to make a positive impact in their local community."


Altrincham FC have announced that goalkeeper Elliot Wynne (right) has signed a contract with the club.

21 years-old last week, Elliot has made eight starts this season, six in the league and two in cup matches, having joined on non-contract terms from Gorton club Abbey Hey this summer. He has been named in every matchday squad so far this season.


As rumoured yesterday, confirmation comes from York City, who visit Altrincham this Saturday, that "Striker Joe Ironside and defender Kennedy Digie have today completed loan moves from Kidderminster Harriers.

Subject to league approval, both players will be in the squad for tomorrow night's Vanarama National League North game against Chester at Bootham Crescent...

Ironside, 25, joined Kidderminster from Nuneaton in March 2017 and scored 23 goals last season as his club finished fourth in Vanarama National League North. He started his career at Sheffield United and has also played at Halifax, Harrogate Town, Alfreton Town, and Hartlepool United,

Digie, 21, signed his first professional contract with Kidderminster four years ago and has gained first team experience on loan at Hednesford Town, Stourbridge, and Worcester City. He made 10 appearances for Kidderminster last season."

When Alty played at Aggborough earlier this season both Ironside and Sigie were on the bench but Ironside came on as a second-half substitute. The previous season Ironside scored against Alty at Moss Lane in a 4-1 mauling by the Harriers. And earlier that season he had again netted against Altrincham whilst playing for Nuneaton Town, who sold him to Kidderminster for a "five-figure fee"..


According to the EvoStik League "Nantwich Town moved to within two points of leaders Scarborough Athletic.... after a 4-1 win at bottom-markers North Ferriby United... A second [goal] for Glover, this time from open play in the 67th minute, completed a comfortable win for Phil Parkinson's side."

Footnote: They have since deleted the reference to Phil.


The unofficial Harriers Online reports that "In an ironic twist of fate the Harriers drew York City out of the hat in the FA Trophy draw at lunchtime today. Ironic because, only an hour or so earlier in the day, we had sent two key players to Bootham Crescent on loan for two months.

With the game due to be played in two weeks time on November 24th it’s to be hoped that neither player will feature for them whereas Russ Penn, who signed for us from York on Friday, should have no such bar to him turning out for us due to it not being a loan.

Also ironically we played City in the Trophy last season, too, beating them 2-1 at home in the 1st round.

So earlier today it was confirmed that striker Joe Ironside and defender Kennedy Digie are to join up with fellow league side City for the next two months. This seems to be part of the deal that has bought Russ Penn back to the club. A deal that was done last Friday in time for the game at Nuneaton Borough the following day.

At the time of Penn's arrival it was being rumoured that Ironside would be joining City on a permanent basis following a short loan spell but that wasn’t mentioned in the press release put out by KHFC earlier today. That may change at a later date but, with his contract ending at the end of this season it looks unlikely that we’ll recuperate any of the £25,000 fee that we are believed to have paid Nuneaton for [him], following his initial loan spell with us that started in March 2017.

Joe has lost his place in the starting eleven in recent weeks due to the form of both Dan Bradley and Ed Williams. His twelve starts and seven sub appearances have still netted him six goals though so it could be said that those are future goals that we could miss out on.

Digie hasn’t featured as much as was expected this season after finally making it into the first team following four years with the Harriers. Most of his time with us has been spent on loan with other clubs and now he’s gone out on loan again. This move makes more sense to the fans than the Ironside loan due to the fact that it would be more beneficial to Digie to get game time and hopefully improve him as a defender for when he returns to Aggborough.

For the moment though we now have a severely weakened team with the loss of these two bench stalwarts. Russ Penn replaces one of them but we’re still short on numbers for cover and hopefully we may see more new faces soon. Just don’t cross too many fingers."

In its weekend review, the National League says that "We have new National League North leaders as Bradford PA took over top spot - but someone should probably tell their players!... Having taken the lead at Curzon they were cut up they didn’t see the win through but the Bradford boss called for them to look at the bigger picture...

Said Bower, 'I don’t think we played well but we were on top. I think Curzon were set up for the point and they’ve got it... We’re five unbeaten now but it’s mixed emotions really.'"

Nuneaton Borough have posted a "Response to Racist Abuse During Leamington Match. Following our match with Warwickshire neighbours Leamington on the 3rd of November, it was brought to our attention that a member of the opposition staff was subject to racist abuse. This incident has been reported to the Warwickshire Police...

As a club, we are fiercely committed to stamping out all types of discrimination within the game and will work with Warwickshire Police to investigate all allegations of racist abuse. Anyone found guilty of such behaviour will be ejected and the Club will seek prosecution. We urge fans to report any incidents that they witness and help make this kind of abhorrent behaviour a thing of the past."

FC United of Manchester tell us that "After securing a second successive away win at the weekend against Hereford we take a look how the squad is applying to new boss Neil Reynolds’s attacking style of football. So far, the FC players seem to have adapted quickly to Reynolds’ free-flowing style of play...

Having achieved his first win the week prior at Blyth Spartans, Reynolds has now overseen FC United achieve more league away wins than in the whole of last season with the victory over Hereford. He is also unbeaten in his first four games, with the club themselves on a five-game unbeaten run.

Against Hereford on Saturday that attacking play proved too much for FC’s opponents to handle. Within five first-half minutes, Hereford found themselves go from being level to three goals behind.

Tom Peers opened the scoring in the 25th minute, adding to the debut goal he scored the week before at Blyth. Hereford captain Harvey Smith then put Lewis Thompson’s cross through his own net three minutes later, before Kurt Willoughby wrapped the game up just a minute after.

The home side got a late consolation...

The FC squad in on a brilliant run of form under new boss Reynolds... Reynolds will now be targeting his side’s first home league win of the season. We now look ahead to a midweek away trip to Mossley in the Manchester Premier Cup (13th November) before welcoming Telford to Broadhurst Park on Saturday."


In Monday's FA Cup Round Two draw, the surviving Vanarama National League North clubs were assigned the following ties...
  • Guiseley v Fleetwood Town
  • Mansfield or Charlton Athletic v Chorley or Doncaster Rovers
  • Barnet or Bristol Rovers v Stockport County
  • Tranmere Rovers or Oxford United v Southport

12 November 2018


The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round draw has replicated the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round draw by handing Altrincham a home tie against Bradford (Park Avenue) on Saturday, 24 November.

The two clubs have already met twice this season. Alty won the league match at the Horsfall Stadium 3-2 before defeating Avenue 4-2 in the FA Cup tie at the J. Davidson Stadium.

The sides have met previously in the FA Trophy. That was in 2002/03 season when Altrincham won 1-0 at Moss Lane.


Altrincham FC Ladies now lie joint top in their league with Liverpool Feds Reserves. Their next fixture is away to Chester FC Women, next Sunday.


Altrincham FC Youth hammered Southport 6-1 on Sunday in the NWYA Premier Division. They currently lie third in the division behind Chester and leaders Hyde. Hyde have played three more games than both Alty and Chester.

On 25 November in the Open Cup, Alty entertain Newton Heath Locos.


Next Saturday, York City pay their first visit to Altrincham since they played out a goalless draw in the Conference at Moss Lane on 22 February, 2011 [pictured, right].

York Press reports that "York City are believed to be lining up a double swoop for Kidderminster Harriers pair Joe Ironside and Kennedy Digie.

Former Sheffield United striker Ironside, 25, rattled in 23 goals for the Harriers in National League North last term but has lost his place in the first XI this term.

Centre-back Digie, 21, has also been on bench duty in recent times and, while City boss Sam Collins did not want to reveal the identity of his latest targets following the Friday loan arrivals of Alex Bray and Joe Davis from Rotherham and Port Vale respectively, The Press understands that the two players were expected to make the switch to North Yorkshire, as part of the deal that saw Russ Penn return to Aggborough at the end of last week.

Collins was pleased with the full debuts of Bray and Davis during this afternoon’s 2-1 FA Cup first-round defeat at Swindon and is understood to have alluded to the possible loan additions of Ironside and Digie afterwards when he said: 'The two new lads had good debuts, especially having not played as much first-team football as they would have liked going into a game like that one and they were a big plus for us. We’ve strengthened a little bit and I’m hoping for more good news over the next few days. I don’t want to say anything until we’ve got them over the line but the two players we’re hoping to bring in would be really positive additions for the club and the group to the extent that I’m a bit surprised that it’s going to happen, because I’m sure the two players we are talking about would be really important players for us.'

Swindon opened the scoring at the County Ground through teenager Scott Twine, before David Ferguson levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time. An even start to the second half then saw home fans start to turn on manager Phil Brown and his players, before Steven Alzate grabbed a timely winning goal on 76 minutes.

The visitors’ performance, though, represented a significant improvement following a run of three defeats in eight days and Collins insisted the same attitude and commitment levels must now be displayed in all future National League North contests, starting with Tuesday night’s home game against Chester...

Collins said 'It should be a given, but the attitude and determination was what I’m looking for and we also had some really good spells of football. We didn’t get off to the best of starts, as they caught us off guard a bit by changing formation... At half-time, there was a lot of belief in the dressing room and the players were saying we can win this game. We then started the second half well and, for 25 minutes, it looked like we might get another goal to hold on to. Then, they had a little spell with the ball and got their second goal.

'The goals we conceded were the most disappointing aspects of the game, as they both looked like they came down to similar things, but I don’t want to be over-critical, because the character the players showed was somewhere near what I want all the time, which I think was seen in the reaction of our fans at the end. I’m sure they were pleased with what they watched in terms of the commitment and willingness to run for 90 minutes and work hard, but you can’t just raise your levels for the FA Cup.

'That has to be the standard for every game we play, because we go back to the bread-and-butter now and we really need to kick on and win matches in the league'...

The City boss ventured 'As you go up the leagues, everything is done quicker, and the fitness levels are higher, but I want that from our players at the level we are playing and there’s no reason why they can’t play at the same tempo by improving another 20 or 30 per cent.'

Josh Law will now be assessed ahead of the Chester game, having limped out of the action on the hour mark with Collins explaining 'His toe got stamped on and he was struggling'".


Above: Altrincham celebrate one of their goals against Hinckley. Left to right we have Nicky Clee, James Lawrie, Jake Moult, Shaun Densmore and Damian Reeves

Altrincham host York City on Saturday (17 November). Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records show that the most recent game played on that day of the year was a memorable one.

On 17 November 2012 Altrincham recorded an 8-0 home win over Hinckley United in the Blue Square Bet North. James Lawrie put Alty ahead as the game went into its eighth minute. A superb goal from Jake Moult made it 2-0 after 29 minutes when he chested down a ball from the right before swivelling and volleying across the keeper into the net. And, just before half time, Shaun Densmore scored from a freekick just outside the box (45 mins).

Nicky Clee scored a fourth as his shot was half stopped but looped over the line (60 mins). A Densmore freekick made it 5-0 (69 mins). When substitute Ryan Brooke was felled he got up to convert a penalty past an outfield player after the Hinckley keeper had been sent off for his offence. Duncan Watmore added a seventh and eighth at the end.

For Matt Doughty, it was his 100th appearance for Altrincham (96+4 games).

17 November 2012 was also the date of an evening with Mark Maddox's band, Last of a Dying Breed [right].

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

And the first time Altrincham ever played on 17 November was in 1917 and, appropriately for this year of World War I commemorations, that game was against a team called Canadians, who Terry Rowley has identified as the Canadian Army Medical Corps, who were based in Buxton. Altrincham won the away game 2-0 but in the first league game of that wartime season at Moss Lane, Alty had lost 2-1.


  • Chorley 2-2 Doncaster Rovers
  • Alfreton Town 1-4 Fleetwood Town
  • Guiseley 4-3 Cambridge United


Jordan Sinnott [right] (Alfreton Town), Josh O'Keefe (Chorley) and Josh Ginnelly (Grimsby Town), were all goalscorers in the FA Cup this weekend. Ironically, loanee Josh made his debut for Altrincham in a 5-0 win over his current employers!

Lance Key, a former Alty loanee goalkeeper from Northwich Victoria, is now manager of Histon. He is subject of a lengthy article in the NL Paper in which he looks forward to a run in the FA Vase. His team are currently the league leaders in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division.


Nuneaton Borough report on a "‘Stalemate’ at Liberty Way stadium as Boro' gain crucial point.

Nuneaton Borough substitute Rhys Davies cancelled out Harriers’ skipper James O’Connor’s header to ensure that the points were shared in an exciting showdown. The hosts entertained a Kiddy side which knew that a win for them, would have lifted them to the summit of the table if other results went their way. The visitors, however, met a brave and positive Nuneaton Borough who, on the afternoon, looked anything but a team struggling at the foot of the table.

Kidderminster had the better of the chances in the first 45 minutes... The visitors showed why they’re the highest scoring team in the division; captain O’Connor heading past Belford from a great Edward Williams set-piece in the 66th minute, sucker-punching Boro’ fans. Nevertheless, the hosts replied, 11 minutes after the Harriers’ goal; Davies smashing the ball in to the back of the net after some confusion in the Kiddy 18-yard box.

Both teams felt like they could have won this game. Nuneaton Borough showed that they can face anybody at the Liberty Way stadium whilst Kidderminster Harriers failed to capitalise on Bradford P A’s draw against Curzon Ashton to jump to the top of the National League North standings. Overall, Nuneaton gained a valuable, morale-boosting point to take in to next Saturday's tie at Alfreton Town".

They have twice been beaten by Altrincham this season but Bradford (Park Avenue) "claimed top spot in the Vanarama National League North despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Curzon Ashton...

Bradford made an early substitution in the twelfth minute, introducing former Curzon winger Ben McKenna to the action in place of Johnson... but the two sides headed into the break level...

The deadlock was eventually broken when Beesley connected with a free-kick delivery from Knight and directed a header past a helpless Mason. Curzon, however, were back on level terms just four minutes later when Crankshaw latched on to Ryan Brooke’s pass and poked past Drench. With the wind in their sails, the hosts began to pile bodies forward and Hughes was unlucky to see his strike from the left-hand side fly wide... Neither side could find the spark required to unlock the opposition’s defence.

With three minutes remaining on the clock, chaos descended on the Tameside Stadium as all 22 players and staff came to blows. Bradford’s coaching staff and players alike were infuriated to see a foul on Spencer go unpunished and Curzon were incensed when the midfielder reacted by fouling Daniel Morton. Shane Killock, Spencer and Morton were all booked for their involvement in the fracas.

According to the Telegraph & Argus "Bradford (Park Avenue) are top of the Vanarama National League North after gaining a point in a 1-1 draw against Curzon Ashton at the Tameside Stadium and, although it might only be a temporary visit to the summit, the table makes for good reading. Mark Bower’s men were joint top with Chorley... Chorley trail the new leaders by a point, but now have two games in hand on them.

Following their stalemate against Curzon, who are old rivals, Bradford manager Bower was deflated. He said 'Over the course of the game we were the better side and should have won. You could see from the way they set up that they would be happy with a draw as they were slowing the game down. We had them camped in for the first 20 minutes of the second half and, even into injury time, they were messing with substitutes because they wanted to protect what they had.

'What’s disappointing is that having got ourselves into a winning position, we have given a poor goal away. We’ve gone top of the league but looking around our dressing room you wouldn’t think it... We’ve come away from home to a side in the top ten of the league and we’re disappointed to come away with a draw... We’re pleased to get a point but we should have won.

'We got in good areas but we lacked that quality in the last third and that’s fine, because we’re not going to play like we did at York last week or at home against Chorley the week before every time... with a part time squad at this level of football.'

Avenue suffered an early setback as Oli Johnson lasted just 12 minutes before his recurring knee injury forced him off, Ben McKenna coming off the bench to replace him".

11 November 2018


A two-minutes' silence, to mark Remembrance Day, was impeccably respected by all on Saturday.

The NL Paper quotes Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson after Altrincham won 2-1 as saying "I thought we deserved the win. We knew that this was always going to be a difficult place to come to but, for periods, we did dominate proceedings. We were disappointed to concede the goal we did. We knew that they would be strong at set-pieces".

He added, "We are on a good little run at the moment but we know... you have to be on the top of your game to collect any three points".

Chester co-manager Bernard Morley conceded "I thought they (Altrincham) deserved it. we didn't win individual battles in key places". The NLP includes Jordan Hulme and John Johnston in its team of the day.

Chester FC recorded 355 supporters in the away end at the Swansway Stadium on Saturday.

For more on the match, and more images, see below.

After the game, Chester FC reported that "Chester’s eleven-game unbeaten run in the National League North came to a close as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Altrincham. The visitors’ top scorer, Jordan Hulme, opened the scoring as he slotted a low effort beyond Grant Shenton in the eleventh minute.

Right: Jordan Hulme is congratulated on his second goal at Chester.

On the opposite side of half-time, the Blues equalised through Simon Grand but Altrincham won the game... as Hulme scrambled [?] home his second of the afternoon.

National League North Player of the Month, Gary Roberts, was without his usual partner in the middle of the park. Gary Stopforth sustained a thigh injury in midweek and was replaced by John Pritchard. Also injured in Tuesday’s clash with Nuneaton was Anthony Dudley, although the Blues’ top scorer made the lineup.

Altrincham started the better of the two, a vicious volley towards goal from Andy White was saved well by Grant Shenton with the resulting corner, their third in five minutes, nullified.

The visitors then took a well deserved lead on 11 minutes as Hulme, Altrincham’s top scorer this season, pounced on a misplaced pass, surged forward and placed his low effort into the corner beyond Shenton...

At the turn of the half, Altrincham were initially the stronger until Roberts’ inswinging free-kick found the diving head of Grand. The Chester centre-half was able to escape his marker and nod below Thompson, to bring the Blues level!...

Then, against the run of play, Altrincham regained the lead through Hulme. Despite appeals for a push on Jon Moran, Alty’s star man managed to bundle a 62nd minute corner across the line at the back post...

The visitors became the first side to leave the Swansway Chester Stadium with three points this season. Chester next travel to York City on Tuesday night in an attempt to bounce back".


On Saturday, Altrincham Reserves won 4-1 away at Blacon Youth Club in the Cheshire County FA Amateur Cup, Third Round.


Duncan Watmore's rehabilitation after injury continues as he enjoyed taking part in a training friendly for Sunderland recently.

Tom Peers netted his second goal in as many appearances for FC United on Saturday.


Vanarama National League North
  • Att. 1146 AFC Telford United 1 - 0 Boston United
  • Att. 415 Brackley Town 1 - 1 Blyth Spartans
  • Att. 2388 Chester 1 - 2 Altrincham
  • Att. 314 Curzon Ashton 1 - 1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Att. 2473 Hereford 1 - 3 FC United Of Manchester
  • Att. 549 Nuneaton Borough 1 - 1 Kidderminster Harriers


They knocked Alty out of the FA Cup recently and now the BBC reports that "Stockport pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the FA Cup first round as they beat League Two side Yeovil at Huish Park.

Alex Fisher headed the hosts in front early on before Matty Warburton's curling free-kick made it 1-1. [Ex-Altyloanee] Nyal Bell then tapped in to give the visitors the lead at the break. The Hatters extended their lead midway through the second half as a defensive mix-up allowed substitute Frank Mulhern to walk the ball into the net...

'For the club this is a great day because it shows we're perhaps on the up and working our way back,' said manager Jim Gannon. 'More importantly for these players, who are trying to establish themselves as full-time professionals or work their way back into the game, for them it's a massive day.'"

And the BBC also reports that "Steven Alzate scored his third goal of the season to fire Swindon to an FA Cup first-round win over non-league York at the County Ground. York were 14 minutes away from taking their League Two hosts to a replay when Alzate struck.

Swindon took the lead in the 12th minute... York equalised two minutes before half time when David Ferguson scrambled home from six yards...

Alzate settled an entertaining tie in Swindon's favour in the 76th minute with a close-range shot after Keshi Anderson had crossed."

Elsewhere, the BBC stated that "Dean Winnard and Jason Gilchrist scored as Southport reached the FA Cup second round for the second time in three seasons with a 2-0 win over Boreham Wood.

Goals in either half from Winnard and Gilchrist meant the National League North strugglers go into Monday's draw...

Southport finally made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark, with Winnard powering home a header from Jack Sampson's corner... The Yellows picked up where they left off after the break and... Southport sealed their passage into the next round on 70 minutes as Gilchrist rose highest to head home Bauress's deep free-kick."


York City are the next visitors to Altrincham, on Saturday (17th).

On Saturday, York City reported that "City's FA Cup campaign is over despite a gutsy performance against League Two side Swindon Town.

David Ferguson's equaliser just before the interval raised hopes of a possible first round upset after Scott Twine had put Swindon ahead just 12 minutes into the game. But Steven Alzate won it for Swindon with just under 15 minutes to go - hitting a deflected shot past City goalkeeper Adam Bartlett in a crowded penalty area.

Loan signings Joe Davis and Alex Bray had made instant debuts and Ferguson and Nathan Dyer had both been recalled as manager Sam Collins made four changes to the side beaten 4-1 by Bradford Park Avenue in the last league game seven days ago.

Striker Jordan Burrow was handed the captaincy in the absence of the suspended Joe Tait and midfielder Reiss Harrison, 17, was a surprise inclusion on the bench...

Although Swindon had enjoyed the majority of first half possession, City were back on level terms just before the interval courtesy of Ferguson's second goal of the season...

City soaked up more Swindon pressure at the start of the second half before beginning to push back the hosts... However, Alzate's goal rocked the Minstermen who had been defending bravely during another spell of Swindon pressure...

City's travelling supporters showed their appreciation for the performance by applauding the players off the pitch at the final whistle.

York City: Bartlett; Law (Harris 60), Davis, Newton, Ferguson; Dyer (Parkin 79), Hawkins, Griffiths, Moke, Bray (Langstaff 79); Burrow (C). Unused substitutes: R.Harrison, Wright, Bencherif, Whitley".


The Worcester News tells us that "Harriers failed to capitalise on another chance to go top of National League North when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Nuneaton Borough.

With midfielder Declan Weeks sidelined with illness, Harriers were forced into one change to their starting eleven for the game, with James Baxendale in to replace him and earn his first league start of the season.

The home side had undoubtedly had the better share of the first half chances...

Six after the hour Harriers were ahead, O’Connor found by Williams at a free-kick and the ball crashing into the net with the aid of a deflection.

Nuneaton responded well... before the leveller arrived on 77 minutes, Davies left free to stab home a ball in the area after Vaughan’s clearance lacked conviction."

The EvoStik League reports the following "player movements"...

  • Tyrell McKenzie from Curzon Ashton to Buxton
  • Jonathon Margetts from Boston United to Gainsborough Trinity (Short Term Loan)
  • Cole Lonsdale from FC United of Manchester to Lancaster City
  • Tom Greaves from FC United of Manchester to Ossett United

10 November 2018


Above: Jordan Hulme hits the opening goal. (The ball is behind keeper Shenton's hand).

Altrincham ended Chester's eleven-game unbeaten run and moved themselves to the top of the form-guide with this well deserved victory. Alty started the game brightly and took an eleventh-minute lead. The goal came up the left, via Dale and Hancock, to Hulme who fired a fine, low shot past Shenton from just inside the box.

But for the rest of the first half Altrincham were unable to translate their superiority into a second goal. And, eight minutes after the break, some woeful defending from a freekick taken by Roberts allowed the unmarked Grand to advance inside the box to direct a downward header past the exposed Thompson.

Chester were on top for the next ten minutes before Altrincham regained the lead. The visitors' second goal came from a Johnston corner from the left. Moult, who had an excellent game, leapt highest at the back post to direct the ball back across goal to Hulme who headed home his second goal of the match.

After that Chester offered little and Altrincham finished well-deserved winners. They move up to eighth in the table with a game in hand on several of the teams above them.

Above: Alty celebrate at the end of the game..

The only blot on the afternoon was a fifth league booking for Max Harrop, which will attract a one-match suspension.


After Saturday's game, Cheshire Live reported that "Chester FC joint-manager believed the [better] side won as the Blues saw their 11-match unbeaten run in the National League North and unbeaten home record this season ended by Altrincham.

Jordan Hulme netted a goal in each half for the visitors, who extended their winning run in the league to four games [not so, it's four in five as we drew at Hereford] with a 2-1 win, and while Simon Grand levelled on 52 minutes to offer some hope of an extended unbeaten run in front of the biggest home crowd of the season, it was hard to argue against Altrincham being worthy of the three points.

A win would have sent Chester top of the league, a feat they could still achieve with victory at York City on Tuesday, but missing Gary Stopforth through injury, key men in the treatment room and the recent flurry of games taking their toll the Blues' lack of depth meant Alty was a bridge too far.

Said Morley 'All good things come to an end but it’s important we start that run again. I wouldn’t say we were poor but I think Altrincham deserved the win. They were the better side over the 90 minutes and took their chances. It was one of those games where we were beaten by the better side on the day. Did we really look like scoring late on? No we didn't. They have done their work and diligence on us and have been rewarded for it.'

Morley was unhappy with the defending that allowed Hulme to open his account for the afternoon on 11 minutes as the former Salford City striker galloped into space before applying the finesse with a curled finish into the corner of the net from 18 yards. And Morley was incensed for his second, believing the referee should have blown for a foul in the box in the build up to Hulme bundling home from a corner.

'It was just easy for him,' said Morley. 'It was a great finish by the lad and I'm not taking anything away from him but I don't ever see our centre forward in that much space. He took his goal really well but he will be surprised he had so much room. I’m really disappointed with the second goal. It’s a stonewall foul if you ask me; incompetent. Why he’s not given it I do not know. And I know it looks like I’m making excuses but I’m not. I can only say what I see. Giving offsides from goal kicks*, it’s not right.'

[*This alludes to an offside which was actually given after a freekick for offside in the Chester goalmouth and not for a goalkick].

Chester were landed another blow after Gary Roberts was booked, his fifth of the season... That leaves Chester threadbare in midfield, something the managers want to address.

'Gary's shin is a mess', said Morley. 'How he has got through the last two games is beyond me. I've seen broken legs and the bruising is worse than a broken leg. He has a big heart and will be disappointed that he didn't play today. Your stand-on skipper is suspended, Scott Burton's had the result of his scan and it doesn't look good. Things look good out there but in the back its not looking good.

'We have to do something from now until Tuesday. We hope the club supports in that way, whether it us a short-term loan or an emergency loan or whether we give an opportunity to one of the young lads.'"

For this game Altrincham were also without key players as James Poole, Sean Williams and Ben Harriaon all remain unavailable.


Saturday 10 November 2018
  • AFC Telford United 1-0 Boston United
  • Chester FC 1-2 Altrincham
  • Curzon Ashton 1-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Hereford 1-3 FC United of Manchester
  • Nuneaton Borough 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers


Saturday 10 November 2018

Ties in the First Round Proper include:

  • Swindon Town 2-1 York City
  • Southport 2-0 Boreham Wood
  • Yeovil Town 1-3 Stockport County


The National League reports that "As a Sports Science lecturer, Phil Parkinson (right) knows it’s not just about someone’s strength of character, it’s their strength of mind, too.

After a September which saw Altrincham defeated in three of their four National League North games, the Robins boss and his players certainly summoned something from within. October was a totally different story as four wins from five cast aside concerns after re-joining the division following on from their Step Three title success.

Victories in the league against Nuneaton Borough, Alfreton Town and Ashton United were supplemented nicely by FA Cup success against Bradford (Park Avenue), even if they did fall short in the following round at Stockport County. They are now only a win away from a play-off place as Alty attempt to make it back-to-back promotions. Ambitious? Well, Parkinson is all about the power of positivity".


TASC Travel Cooridnator, Eckersall, writes "We've had a great response for the coach to Chester and we upgraded the vehicle size yesterday and it has now sold out. Great to see new names on there and we look forward to welcoming you. A reminder that we don't allow alcohol on board at any time and promote a family atmosphere, please help our volunteers to run the day by adhering to this and we look forward to a good trip. Despite no direct trains from Altrincham to Chester due to strike action, many fans are still going via Manchester and other routes by rail and with a good number driving it promises to be a great turnout. Thanks for your support."


Saturday's game at Chester brings together the top and joint-second-top form teams in the division over the last six league games.

Chester have won four and drawn two of their last half-dozen games, whilst Altrincham have won four, drawn one and lost one of their last six fixtures in the league.

Alty's record places them level with Bradford (PA) and Spennymoor in terms of points gained over the previous six league fixtures. However, Altrincham are the leading scorers in the division over that six-match spell, with sixteen goals.

Chester FC add that "Eleven games unbeaten, Altrincham are the next side to test Chester FC at the Swansway Chester Stadium. They’ll be a tough test too. Newly promoted into the division, Alty have made a very promising start and sit 10th, seven points behind the 5th placed Blues.

16 goals shared equally between them, Jordan Hulme and John Johnston will be a big threat to the Blues defence tomorrow afternoon.

But Chester have firepower of their own, Dan Mooney has three goals in his last two games, and they’ve been absolute stunners, to move on to six in the league. Anthony Dudley increased his tally to seven goals for the term on Tuesday but was subbed off at half time in the Nuneaton win and taken to hospital for stitches required on a nasty head cut. With no Man United, Man City, Liverpool or Everton games tomorrow, it is the perfect chance to spread the word and get down the Swansway to make it an atmosphere to remember."

Right: Jordan Hulme and James Poole.

Curiously, four of the last five opponents for Chester FC and Altrincham have been the same! Chester have played Hereford FC, Alfreton Town, Ashton United and Nuneaton Borough, all at home , whilst Alty have likewise met those four clubs in their last five fixtures, the only difference being that our game with Hereford FC was away from home!

Chester FC "confirm that Gary Roberts has been selected as the Vanarama National League North Player of the Month for October 2018. The local midfielder has been in scintillating form in the centre of the park this term, and has been rewarded with being recognised with this accolade.

Gary has been wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of Scott Burton and celebrated this in style on 27th October, putting in a real leader's performance by scoring a hat-trick in a 3-2 stoppage time win over Alfreton Town. The second goal was a 25 yard stunner, which was voted Chester FC Goal of the Month for October."

The Chester Standard reports that "Chester's Craig Mahon has seen it all in his time at the Deva but, after becoming the first player to make 200 appearances for the club since its reformation, the Irish winger believes this is the happiest he's ever been. Mahon signed for the Blues from Vauxhall Motors in May 2013 and since then he's watched the likes of Steve Burr, Jon McCarthy and Marcus Bignot all occupy the Chester hot seat.

But, according to the 29-year-old, none of them have impressed him as much as current incumbents, Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley...

Said Mahon, 'We put 100% into each game and it caught up with us a bit on Tuesday but we still had enough in the tank to get the win so we're going away happy'...

'There have been lots of up and downs and too many downs if I'm honest. But this season has been fantastic so far... I'm absolutely loving it', he grinned. 'It's fantastic under the two gaffers now because they just let me go out and express myself and do what I want to do on the ball... Obviously last season I had my differences with the management so it's nice to be back out there and playing football... It's down to the two gaffers and down to the team that I'm able to go out and express myself'...

Chester face Altrincham... 'It's a massive game and Alty are a very good team,' said Mahon. 'When they bring their A game they can be a fantastic team so we've got to make sure we're not complacent and that we put in the same amount of effort we do in every single game. Hopefully if we go 3-0 up we'll be able to manage the game a bit better than we did against Nuneaton... After the Nuneaton game we've come into the dressing room a bit upset and down that we've conceded two goals which is a good sign,' he added".


Chester FC will house Altrincham supporters in their West Stand, with supporters being asked to use turnstile 7.

Admission prices are:

  • £12.00 - Adults
  • £10.00 - Concessionaries (i.e. senior citizens/students with current NUS cards*/unemployed with proof of unemployment*/Armed Forces*) – *the categories asterisked should purchase a ticket from the ticket office, whilst OAPs may pay at the turnstiles
  • £10.00 – 18 to 21 years of age
  • £3.00 – 5 to 17 years-old
  • Free - Under 5 years-old
  • Disabled supporters are charged at the prices stipulated above. Carers, if required, are free of charge. Please purchase a ticket from the ticket office. Wheelchair supporters will be located in the West Stand, entrance next to turnstile 7.

Chester FC announce that "Prior to kick-off, Chester FC will pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty as part of the Remembrance Weekend commemorations... Service personnel and representatives of Chester Armed Forces and Veterans' Breakfast Club will be guests of the club for the game and will perform a pre-match tribute including presenting the referee with the match ball and a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.

Before the game, supporters are encouraged to head to the Community Trust gazebo where there will be free football activities available including table football and an inflatable speed shot along with free sweets for children and the chance to sign up for City Fans United memberships and the Seals Lottery."


At Southport, "the club are very pleased to announce that Jordan Archer has joined Southport FC on loan from Bury FC until January 2019. The 24 year-old signed for the EFL League Two side in July 2018 on a two-year deal and has spent the first two months of the 2018/19 season on loan at National League side Maidenhead United".

The NL Paper reports that "Two leagues separated Chester and Altrincham last season but these two famous club go head-to-head at the Deva Stadium tomorrow as the two in-form sides of the Northern division. Chester, unbeaten in 11 matches, can go top with a win, while Altrincham will be hoping to continue the kind of promotion form which has earned Phil Parkinson the Manager of the Month award for October.

With Chorley in FA Cup action, their leadership in the North looks precarious to say the least with high-flying Bradford Park Avenue looking to capitalise when they go to Curzon Ashton, similarly Kidderminster Harriers from their trip to bottom club Nuneaton Borough.

It’s probably a bit early to describe any match as a 'six-pointer', but at the other end of the table, big guns Hereford and FC United will want to use this crunch Edgar Street clash as a springboard to climb the table."

According to the Boston Standard "Boston United have signed striker Danny Rowe. The 21-year-old attacker, who can also play on the wing, has linked up with the Pilgrims after leaving Braintree Town. Rowe was formerly with the QPR and Leicester City academies.

Manager Craig Elliott brought the forward to the club following the departure of Gregg Smith, who has moved to Tamworth".

York Press reports that York City, who visit Altrincham next Saturday (17th) "have signed Port Vale defender Joe Davis on a short-term loan, according to reports. A second new recruit is also imminent, The Press understands.

Meanwhile, Kidderminster Harriers have now confirmed the signing of Minstermen midfielder Russell Penn.

Davis, 24, has made 52 appearances for the Valiants but has not featured for their first team this season. He now link ups with former Vale captain Sam Collins, the City manager, with the deal to be completed prior to tomorrow's FA Cup first round match at Swindon Town. The centre-half came through Port Vale's youth system before leaving for Leicester City in the summer of 2014.

After a spell at Fleetwood Town he returned to Vale Park in 2017, but has since slipped down the pecking order... York boss Collins played 149 games for Vale...

Meanwhile, Kidderminster have confirmed that Penn has now returned to Aggborough on a free transfer from City.

Kidderminster Harriers confirmed that "Russ Penn has signed an 18-month deal and goes straight into the squad... "Russ, who turned 33 yesterday, began his senior career with Harriers in 2005 after leaving Scunthorpe where he’d been a youth prospect. He went on to make 178 appearances for the Reds... and reached Wembley in the FA Trophy Final of 2007 before departing two years later.

Since then, he’s gone on to feature extensively for the likes of Cheltenham Town, Burton Albion and York City to name a few, but has now returned to Worcestershire... Penn has had two spells at York. He made 109 appearances between 2014 and 2016, helping the club qualify for the League Two promotion play-offs in 2014.

Spells at Carlisle, Wrexham and Gateshead followed before the former Minstermen captain returned to Bootham Crescent in May this year. He made 12 appearances this term, and was named The Press Player of the Month for October".

9 November 2018


Altrincham are away to Chester FC on Saturday. Mike Garnett's records show the outcomes of games between the two clubs...
  • Home: P5-W2-D1-L2-F9-A10
  • Away: P3-W1-D1-L1-F3-A3
  • All: P8-W3-D2-L3-F12-A13

Cheshire Live reports that "Chester FC co-boss Anthony Johnson hopes Chester FC fans will come out in force this weekend when they welcome Altrincham for a crunch National League North clash. The Blues welcome Alty... on the back of an 11 game unbeaten run in the league...

Tuesday night’s 3-2 home win over Nuneaton Borough was the latest success... But a disappointing crowd of 1,462 was in attendance, with crowds a good 1,000 below Chester’s average attendance when they were last in the sixth tier back in the 2012/13 season. The miserable performances over the past two years and the financial crisis of January has lingered...

Johnson said 'There has been loads made about it this week in the press about the crowds and people keep telling me that keep winning and they will come back. But we are 11 unbeaten, we have a side they can be proud of down here and I’m sure anybody who has been down this season will tell the stay away supporters that they are missing quite a bit because this is a side who will put absolutely everything out on the pitch for them.

'With Liverpool and Everton not playing it is a chance for a good crowd, an entertaining game, a good away following and hopefully the right result again.'"

The same source adds that "Phil Parkinson’s Altrincham... currently sit 10th, three points off the play-offs. And with dangerous players such as eight-goal striker Jordan Hulme and flying winger John Johnston, the Robins have the ability to cause real problems, something that Johnson and Morley are well aware of.

'They are a good side and I’ve seen them myself three or four times and I know a few of the players who have played for me and Bern in the past,' said Johnson. 'I know what they are capable of, they play a good brand of football but they are organised with it as well out of possession.

'It will be a tough game but the important thing is to rest and recover because I have never seen this group of lads like that after a game. And that is the only thing at this moment in time. But me and Bern will get down to watching the last performance of Alty and we’re looking forward to it.

'It’s a tough game but I think it will be exciting as there are two attacking sides who have scored a lot of goals between the pair of them but we concede a few as well. It makes for an attacking game but it will probably be 0-0 now!'"

And Cheshire Live also states that "Anthony Johnson was non-committal over the prospect of extending the loan spell of striker Mani Dieseruvwe at Chester FC. The 6ft 5ins 23-year-old joined Chester on a month-long loan spell from National League side Salford City on October 26 and has made four appearances for the Blues so far.

Dieseruvwe, who played for Blues co-managers Johnson and Bernard Morley when they were in charge at the Ammies last season, has started the last two games and while he hasn't managed to find the back of the net as yet, he has made an impression. Chester have the services of Dieseruvwe free of charge for the month while the striker builds up his fitness following a knee injury. He completed his first 90 minutes since last season during the 3-2 home win over Nuneaton Borough on Tuesday night.

He was brought in to aid the striker situation at Chester, with Matty Hughes sidelined for the season with a torn ACL that left just Anthony Dudley, also on loan from Salford, and Deane Smalley as the only recognised strikers. Money is tight for the managers at Chester and they have little room for manoeuvre as things stand, although the chance of extending a deal for Dieseruvwe wasn't out of the question.

Johnson said 'The initial length of the loan was a month and it has been well documented that they have looked after us and not taken any money out of it... We're in a dilemma that we've got another lad who is on loan from them (Dudley) who is now injured (gashed head). We've got three forwards at the club who are injured and the other lad is Deane Smalley who is sat there on the bench waiting for his turn. But we'll just have to see what happens.'

Dieseruvwe is likely to be handed another chance to impress for Chester this weekend when they welcome Altrincham".


Chester FC host Altrincham this Saturday. When the sides last met in the league, on Saturday, 2 January, 2016, they were in the national level of the National League. The fixture was Altrincham's sixth successive away match at that point in a season which was to end in relegation.

Above: Altrincham defend their goal in the match at Chester in 2016.

A spirited performance from Altrincham saw them deservedly share the spoils. Altrincham started the game well and Michael Rankine, who was to have a fine game, smacked a shot against the upright in only the third minute. But it was the hosts who took the lead in the 20th minute. A fortunate deflection took the ball to Ross Hannah, who jinked past both Griffin and Leather to score from close range.

Altrincham brought on Nicky Clee for Josh O'Keefe at the break and the wingman sparked a revival. The equalizer arrived in the 60th minute when Michael Rankine got above his marker to head a Sinnott cross past Worsnop. But Clee's afternoon ended soon afterwards when he broke down as he attempted to cover a Chester attack.

In the six minutes of added time it was Altrincham who went the closer to scoring the winner as Worsnop parried a Rankine shot into the path of Bowerman but the Chester keeper managed to block Bowerman's follow-up.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Joel SWIFT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE..


Altrincham's next away game is at Chester on Saturday. As usual, TASC is operating a supporters' coach to this match, and details of times and fares can be found on the Away Travel page.

Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, writes "We hope you can join us on this trip. Please remember that, as usual, this will be a family-friendly coach and we welcome fans of all ages; no alcohol is permitted and we always make new travellers welcome.

Seats can be booked by calling the club on 0161 928 1045 during normal weekday office hours".


The next league visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium will be York City. York Press reports that "York City manager Simon Collins has called on his squad players to fill the hole left by the injured Simon Heslop. The midfielder, who has sat out the last three games, is now sidelined for around eight weeks following knee surgery.

Collins had praise for loanee Lewis Hawkins, who stepped into a central role against Bradford Park Avenue, but wants others to step up to the plate as well.

He said 'The key is obviously not to rush him, and to get him back when he’s right, because we need him. He’s a big loss to us and, in some ways, the last two or three games have shown that... It’s down to players that are here to step up and replace him and hopefully do as well as he was doing'".

8 November 2018


Anthony Taylor is seen officiating at an Altrincham v Manchester United XI pre-season game at Moss Lane in July, 2016. The United captain, James Weir (in blue), has obviously just realised that Anthony is an Alty fan! But the visitors won 2-1.

Wednesday's Manchester Evening News reports that "Anthony Taylor will referee the Manchester derby this weekend... The decision has caused some controversy, given the fact that Taylor hails from Wythenshawe, genreally more of a United area than City... But the 40 year-old is an Altrincham fan...

Professional Game Management Officials (PGMOL) are the body that make refereeing appointments for the Premier League and all officials must declare to them who they support, with Taylor revealing his backing for the National League North outfit, which is his local club.

Keith Hackett is the former head of PGMOL and he explained... 'At the beginning of every season, the referees' background information is audited. They complete a form that includes who they support... with the addresses where they are residing'".


Altrincham travel to Chester FC this Saturday.

Chester FC report that on Tuesday night they "extended their unbeaten run to eleven games with a hard-fought victory over Nuneaton Borough. The Blues were coasting at three-nil up, with goals from Livesey, Dudley and another stunning strike from Dan Mooney before the Boro pulled two back to set up a tense finale.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley named an unchanged side from the team that drew 2-2 away at Brackley on Saturday, which meant that Craig Mahon made his 200th Chester appearance.

It was Nuneaton who started the game brightly though, passing the ball around nicely on the edge of the Chester penalty area... The Blues started to grow into the game though and took the lead just after the quarter of the hour mark. Nuneaton failed to deal with a ball into the penalty area, Simon Grand headed it across goal, Steve Howson’s header hit the crossbar and Danny Livesey was on hand to head it into the back of the net.

One quickly became two as Nuneaton again failed to clear their lines, Mahon’s cross was deflected to Anthony Dudley, who rifled home from the edge of the penalty area... With Anthony Dudley forced off at half time, and taken to hospital after sustaining a nasty cut near to his eye, the Blues brought John Pritchard on at the break.

The change didn’t affect their flow though and within five minutes of the half starting had their third, and it was another stunning strike from Dan Mooney, following on from his heroics at Brackley at the weekend. The on-loan Fleetwood winger picked the ball up in the right channel, cut inside onto his left foot and fired an unstoppable effort into the far top corner.

Nuneaton kept on battling though, and pulled a goal back on the hour mark as former Coventry City midfielder, Carl Baker, burst into the Chester penalty area, and saw his shot deflected beyond the outstretched arm of Grant Shenton... Nuneaton’s pressure paid dividends with just under ten minutes to go, Chester failed to clear their lines and a cross in from the left was met by Adam McGurk, whose goalwards header deflected against Simon Grand on the way in.

Dan Mooney was Chester’s shining light in the second half and almost managed to forge an opportunity for a fourth goal...

Chester: Shenton, Moran, Grand, Roberts (c), Livesey, Howson, Mooney (Dom Smalley 90+3), Stopforth, Dieseruvwe, Dudley (Pritchard 46), Mahon (Murray 76). Subs: Deane Smalley, Dom Smalley, Jordan".

After the match, the National Lague asks "What is it they say about the sides who go on to do something special not playing well but finding ways to win? Chester fans won’t be getting carried about but [?displayed] a hallmark of a champion as they dug deep to beat Nuneaton... But it’s 11 games without defeat now and the Blues go to within a point of National League North leaders Chorley.

'11 unbeaten? It’s absolutely unbelievable,' said joint manager Anthony Johnson. 'Considering the season the club had last year, it’s fantastic. We’ve come away with the win. We’ve talked about about finding a way and we found a way. They’ve not come back and equalised, we had to show a different type of mentality. We were under a lot of pressure, it’s been tough. We’ve been Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday for a while, and maybe we didn’t quite have the legs at the end to find that fourth goal.

'We should have put it to bed a 3-0, but they played like they haven’t got a care in the world. Had the weather been a little more even we may not have had the same issues in the second half. The wind was so so strong against us, but it was quite difficult to understand the second half. The sides at the bottom come here and play. We’ve got the walking wounded and we’ve had to play through it.'”

From the other side, Nuneaton Borough tell us that "Nuneaton Borough lost for the third straight time as their battling performance away to Chester came up just short. The hosts will feel a little fortunate to escape with a 3-2 victory after the Boro’ dominated the final thirty minutes with goals from Carl Baker and Adam McGurk...

The second period started with a bang as Dan Mooney cut in off the right wing and smashed a stunning drive in to the top left hand corner in the 49th minute. Nicky Eaden’s side refused to fold though and took complete control of the match for the remainder... Boro’ were flying with 10 minutes to play and went in search of the equaliser... but Boro’ ran out of time in what was a tremendous second half fight back".


In a Cheshire Senior Cup Preliminary Round match played this week, Warrington Town lost 1-2 at home to Stockport County. Ex-Alty striker Josh Amis netted the Wires' goal.

Meanahile a couple of our league rivals were in action this week in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy Second Round:

  • Chorley 0 - 1 Bamber Bridge
  • Southport 6 - 0 Clitheroe


The next visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium are York City. York Press reports that "York City's bid to pull off an FA Cup shock and climb back up the Vanarama National League North table has been dealt a sizeable blow with Simon Heslop set for a two-month spell on the sidelines.

The former captain was suspended for the league game against Telford on October 27 after picking up five yellow cards, and he has since sat out the next two matches against Spennymoor and Bradford Park Avenue due to a knee problem, with the team losing all three encounters and shipping nine goals in the process.

Boss Sam Collins has revealed the 31-year-old has now undergone 'clean-up' surgery on his knee, which will likely rule him out for eight more weeks, starting with Saturday's trip to Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round. He also praised the midfielder for playing through the pain prior to being sidelined.

The Minstermen currently languish in 15th place in the league.

Collins said, 'He had an operation on Saturday on his knee. He's been struggling and we've not had him for the last few games. After seeing the surgeon and a specialist, it was decided the best thing to do was to get it seen to straight away'. Heslop was found to have a 'loose body' in the knee joint so has had that removed and the cartilage repaired.

'It's disappointing because he's done great for us so far... It's part of the game... He's been playing through it for a while, which says a lot about the lad. He's done really well, but it's got that point where the best thing all-round is to get it seen to properly'.

Meanwhile, City were expected to field a youthful team in the North Riding County FA Senior Cup tie away to Northallerton Town (7.30pm), with the first-team focus much more so on Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at Swindon Town. Northallerton currently sit fifth in division five of the Northern League, with eight wins and three draws from their 15 league games".

Chester FC announce that "The Chester FC Player and Goal of the Month have been decided by fans over on Twitter for October 2018...

Player of the Month: Craig Mahon. A fantastic month for the Irish Wizard who received 38% of the 606 votes for the Player of the Month award. Gary’s Roberts and Stopforth were joined second with 27% apiece of the vote.

Goal of the Month: Gary Roberts v Alfreton Town. Gary’s rocket strike, the second goal of his hat-trick, came at a crucial time.

7 November 2018


The lights went out on Altrincham's Cheshire Senior Cup campaign, literally and metaphorically, at the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night. But, a four-minute stoppage in the 86th minute, for partial floodlight failure, only delayed the inevitable outcome.

Right: Striker Joe Thompson was kept quiet by the Congleton defence.

An Altrincham side which included just three first-teamers (Shaun Densmore, Simon Richman and Elliot Wynne), with a total of only 15 league starts between them this season, lost 0-2 against a Congleton Town captained by Anthony Griffith. Griffith's 68 minutes on the Moss Lane pitch in this game far exceeded the nine minutes he spent in action for Altrincham in his abortive stay at the club as a player in 2015.

Alty's side for this match also included five players who had joined the club this season but who had not made a single start between them for the first team (Bay Downing, Ross Woodcock, Charlie Scott, Joe Thomposn and Callum Harris).

Congleton proved themselves the stronger side with no Altrincham player making a case for immediate elevation to the first team. The Bears went ahead after eleven minutes when Burey got past Downing, who played most of the game at right-back, and he fed Henderson who netted to Wynne's right. The lead was doubled in the 40th minute when handball was given against Woodcock. From 30 yards out, right of goal, Cope hit a superb left-footed freekick into the far corner of the net. His double-somersault celebration was equally impressive.

Although Altrincham enjoyed a lot of the forward momentum in the second half they barely tested Craig Ellison, the former Alty reserves' goalkeeper.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Bay Downing, 3. Ross Woodcock, 4. Charlie Scott, 5. Callum Jones, 6. Shaun Densmore (c), 7. Reece Coley, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Joe Thompson, 10. Callum Harris, 11. Dontai Gabidon. Subs: 12. Louie Barratt, 14. Ben Elliott, 15. Patrick Savage, 16. Matthew Cook, 17. Jack Ryan.

CONGLETON TOWN (Yellow and black hoops, yellow shorts and socks): 1. Craig Ellison, 2. Dominik Williams, 3. Richard Peters, 4. Joshua Ryder, 5. Thomas Morris, 6. Anthony Griffith (c), 7. Bevan Burey, 8. Dean Warburton, 9. Daniel Cope, 10. Saul Henderson, 11. Steve Foster. Subs: 12. Emini Adegbenro, 14. Tom Schofield, 15. Jack Disney, 16. Matthew Jamieson, 17. Thomas Stephens.


Altrincham travel to Chester on Saturday but before their Tuesday fixture,Chester FC reported that there was "A chance to gain ground on the teams above tonight for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side as they welcome bottom club Nuneaton Borough to the Swansway. Victory this evening would take the Blues level on points with Spennymoor and Kidderminster in 3rd and 4th place in the table respectively with a game still in hand on both. Three points would also leave Chester FC just a point behind league leaders Chorley.

A 2-2 draw against 5th placed Brackley Town on Saturday may prove to be an absolutely pivotal point. Dan Mooney’s brace of stunning goals, the second in the fifth minute of stoppage time, meant it became ten matches unbeaten for the Seals.

Nuneaton Borough sit bottom of the table – but the positivity around the club suffered a significant boost late last week when the takeover of the club was completed by Nick Hawkins. A defeat at home to Leamington was the start of his tenure on Saturday, but the long term outlook at their club looks a lot brighter."


Tuesday 6 November 2018
  • Ashton United 1-0 Guiseley
  • Chester FC 3-2 Nuneaton Borough

Five teams are now covered by a single point at the top of the league table.


At FC United of Manchester, "After a fantastic win at the weekend against Blyth Spartans we take a look at how the squad is starting to embody Neil Reynolds’s attacking style of football... The team has quickly grasped his free flowing style of play...

Kurt Willoughby continued to make his presence felt after scoring his first goal since his return in the opening 20 minutes of the game... Debutant Tom Peers proved to be a new contender for the starting XI, extending the lead just one minute after Willoughby, making no mistakes in heading the ball home, a dream debut for the new recruit.

It’s also worth noting that Reynolds first three signings have all now scored; certainly not a bad record. The decision to bring on Lewis Mansell to replace Peers was a wise one. He made up for his misses against Alfreton in the week by securing the win in the 89th minute, to the delight of the travelling supporters. This crucial win moved us out of the relegation zone into 19th place, which is thoroughly deserved after the strength and sheer determination this side has shown in recent weeks".

Meanwhile, the NL Paper tells us that "Ossett United have made a big signing in FC United of Manchester’s record goalscorer Tom Greaves... Greaves, the FC United legend, scored 103 goals for the club in 273 appearances before becoming player-manager.

He stepped down at the end of August and left to join Hyde United, but ambitious Ossett have moved to sign him. Manager Andy Welsh said 'Tom is a great player and someone I have personally played alongside'". The National League reports that "Southport’s season can be turned by their incredible victory at Kidderminster. That is the hope of Liam Watson, who watched on shocked like the rest of the National League North at the weekend. Bottom club Port rocked title chasing Harriers 4-1 at Aggborough for their first win since August 18.

'It had been coming,' said the manager. 'You go back to the York game, the Darlington game or the Curzon game. I actually think we outplayed them and not many sides come to Kidderminster and actually do that. We did. I think it was about belief for the players more than anything. We managed to score that first goal and it wasn’t that long before we got the second one to add to it. In recent games we’ve scored one and not been able to do that. It was a really strong performance and we’ve got to try and push on from this now.'"

According to the Boston Standard Gregg Smith has joined Tamworth. The Boston United striker has made the permanent move to the Lamb Ground, where he will link up with former Pilgrims manager Dennis Greene. Smith returned to York Street earlier this season after linking up with Brackley in the summer, scoring once in six appearances before moving on."

And Lincolnshire Live adds that "Boston United boss Craig Elliott is relishing his selection dilemmas ahead of the Pilgrims’ trip to AFC Telford United on Saturday. Elliott’s side travel to the New Bucks Head off the back of their first draw of the National League North campaign at Ashton United last weekend and will welcome goalkeeper George Willis and defender Ben Middleton back into contention following their respective three-match suspensions.

Midfielder Brad Abbott, on the flipside, will begin a two-match ban after being dismissed for foul and abusive language at Hurst Cross on Saturday.

It is the battle for the number one jersey which will attract the most interest with Sebastian Malkowski recovering from a poor showing against Brackley Town last Tuesday by producing an excellent display at Ashton. Malkowski was culpable for all three Brackley goals but was in commanding form in his third start for the Pilgrims at Ashton.

'Seb had a difficult game on Tuesday but came back well and played his part,' said Elliott. 'I am really pleased for him. As a keeper, it’s difficult to hide away when you make mistakes like that. He came back well, being nice and strong, and had a superb game so I am really pleased for him. He has shown great character. We welcome back George and Ben so there are a few decisions to be made. We lose Brad but we want a healthy squad and competition for places.

'It will be a difficult game going to Telford. They have not been beaten at home yet but somebody has got to beat them there and hopefully that can be us.'

'I thought Ashton played well so they probably deserved a point,' added Elliott. 'An away point in this league is always good and you have to be respectful. On reflection of the whole game, I thought a draw was probably a fair result.'

Ryan Qualter scored a 35-yard wonder goal to hand the Pilgrims the lead at Ashton and Elliott was both delighted and ‘amazed’ with his centre-half’s contribution, with fellow defender James Jones attracting praise too. Elliott continued 'I have managed Ryan for a few years and have never seen him strike a ball like that. It’s as good a goal as you will see this season. It was an amazing strike. I thought our two centre-halves were superb. They have a great lad up top in Chadwick who I have seen over the last few years. They both played really well.'"

From the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United midfielder Jon Royle has come into his own after fans’ doubts over whether he should have stayed, boss Gavin Cowan believes. Welshman Royle is the Bucks’ longest-serving current player, having joined them in September 2016.

The 24-year-old failed to nail down a regular starting spot under Rob Smith and Rob Edwards but Cowan, who has previously likened him to a non-league Steven Gerrard, decided to give him another season to impress and feels he has now silenced the doubters. Royle excellently marshalled the midfield in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Alfreton and the Telford chief said 'He’s been like that for the last three games. I think people were almost expecting me to release him, maybe, at the end of the season. He’s been here, he was one of them that looks like he’s got everything but doesn’t ever deliver. I had a good conversation with him about that, being very honest and transparent.

'I just feel like if he can concentrate on his own job, which we’ve got him doing, give him clear instructions and objectives of how to go about his business, I don’t think that there’s many better than him'.

Royle has played 13 times in National League North this campaign, just six less than the whole of last term. Cowan feels his upturn in performances is down to better decision-making and application.

'Jon has shown that over the last three games,' he added. 'He’s making good decisions, he’s breaking up play, he’s pressing a lot higher up the pitch. I’m really pleased with him at the moment. But he’s got to continue that as well.'

Royle initially joined the Bucks on loan from Southport, with the deal being made permanent a few months later... He has made a total of 46 league appearances for Telford and scored once... Royle rose through the ranks at Wrexham and has also played for Colwyn Bay and Hednesford Town."

In the Yorkshire Evening Post we read that "Marcus Bignot insists that Guiseley have the capacity to ‘over achieve’ in this campaign and surpass the club’s stated seasonal aim of National League North consolidation. The Lions, who currently reside in 13th place, make the trip over the Pennines to lowly Ashton United this evening [Tuesday] on the back of a fine weekend performance in a 0-0 draw at Darlington, which should have yielded three points.

It was a dominant display in keeping with the Nethermoor outfit’s strong late-summer and autumnal form, which has seen them lose just twice in their past 13 league matches and also reach the first round of the FA Cup. On the debit side, their league sequence has featured seven draws when a few more victories would have propelled mid-table Guiseley towards the fringes of the play-offs. Victory at Hurst Cross tonight would see them draw level on points with tenth-placed Altrincham, who are currently three points behind the side who occupy the final play-off berth in Boston United.

Bignot said, 'It is a must-win for us. That is how we are approaching it as we want the point at Darlington to be a good point. If we don’t, after Saturday’s result and performance, we will just be a mid-table team. As the club set the remit, it will be consolidation and that kind of points return would suggest that. But we believe that we can over-achieve with this group and the finances that we are working within. Every game is massively important.

'The players understand the importance of our points return and the mentality that you have to bring to get these points.'

The weekend sight of Guiseley re-producing an in-character performance at Darlington was augmented by a number of impressive personal displays. Pride of place went to recent addition Louis Walsh, with the teenage Barnsley winger, brought in on loan until the start of December, enjoying an eye-catching debut, whetting the appetite for the weeks ahead. Bignot observed 'I think everyone can see the reasons why (he was signed)... He has just turned 18 and the boy is a talent... We want wide players who can affect teams with pace and ability and he showcased that talent. We have a lot of these type of players and it is a welcome addition. We have been running really thin on the ground in terms of the squad and it is nice we have got exciting wide players in the building.'".

Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "A makeshift side suffered a heavy defeat to Brighouse Town in the second round of the West Riding County Cup. Bradford’s starting eleven featured three scholars from the Horsfall College of Sport and four were named as substitutes. It took just four minutes for Brighouse to take the lead... The lead was doubled shortly after... The energetic hosts then added a third when Ibrahim fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard box. The third goal seemed to rally Bradford, who pulled one back just a minute after conceding. Danny Boshell delivered from the left and Nowakowski escaped his marker before steering a header past Smith...

Full-time: Brighouse Town 5-1 Bradford (Park Avenue).

Bradford (Park Avenue): Atkinson, Toulson, Ridley, Rowntree, Holmes, Spencer (Knight 45’), McKenna (Botwood 60’), Boshell, Nowakowski (c), Dawson (Ockerby 66’), Hurst. Unused substitutes: Garside, Mayfield."

Better news is that Bradford (Park Avenue) "announce that forward Lewis Knight has signed a new contract with the club. The 20 year-old’s new deal will run until the end of the 2019/20 campaign. A summer signing, the former Leeds United prodigy has made an impressive start to the season... He initially joined the club as a trialist, but Mark Bower moved quickly to secure his services after a string of outstanding displays during pre-season..

Knight has been operating on the flank in recent weeks, registering several assists and helping the club move within four goals of top spot".

6 November 2018


Altrincham goalkeeper Tony Thompson is named as the no.1 in the Vanarama National League North Team of the Weekend. Tony is pictured, right, during the game at Edgar Street.

The National League says of its selection, "We pick the brains of club officials, managers and reporters around the grounds to make sure our team is as close to perfect as possible"...

  • Goalkeeper: Tony Thompson (Altrincham)
  • Defenders: Luke Ashworth (Ashton United), Stephen Brogan (Spennymoor Town), Luke Trotman (Darlington)
  • Midfielders: Elliot Osborne (Stockport County), Elliot Simoes (FC United of Manchester), Jack Edwards (Leamington), Dan Mooney (Chester FC)
  • Strikers: Kurt Willoughby (FC United of Manchester), Lewis Knight (Bradford (Park Avenue), Jack Sampson (Southport)
  • Substitutes: Jake Beesley (Bradford (Park Avenue), Chris Lynch (FC United of Manchester), Carl Baker (Nuneaton Borough), David Morgan (Southport), Cliff Moyo (Guiseley)


Tonight, (Tuesday), Altrincham entertain Congleton Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

The sides last met in the CSC on 7 November 2012, when the Bears won 4-0 at Moss Lane. Congleton's Jack Graham scored a hat-trick in a game watched by 172 spectators.

With an FA Trophy match on the following Saturday and an FA Cup replay the following Thursday, Altrincham made changes to their normal line-up and started with six teenagers in the line-up and a further player who had only just turned twenty. There were four players making their first-ever start, Danny Mitchley, Derryn Ofori, Sam Grimshaw and Ollie Riley. Riley and Ofori were current members of the Altrincham FC Youth team.

The line-ups comprised...

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Sam GRIMSHAW, 4. Oliver RILEY, 5. Matt DOUGHTY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Derryn OFORI, 8. Patrick LACEY, 9. Danny MITCHLEY, 10. Ryan BROOKE, 11. Duncan WATMORE, Subs: 12. James LAWRIE, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Nicky CLEE, 17. Jake MOULT

CONGLETON TOWN: 1. Michael Langley, 2. Dan Schwartz, 3. Louis James, 4. Ian Willis, 5. Andy Alston (capt), 6. Matthew Woolley, 7. Kurtis Gill, 8. Matthew Worrall, 9. Christopher Smith, 10. Mike Koral, 11. Jack Graham. Subs: 12. Dan Doherty, 14. Geoff Basford, 15. Jamie Turner, 16. Liam Newman, 17. Gareth Creswell.

Mike Garnett has kindly provided the historical record of games between Altrincham and Congleton Town:

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


Hereford FC have some eleven minutes of highlights from Saturday's draw with Altrincham.

Altrincham FC have John Edwards's post-match interview with Alty manager Phil Parkinson.

The unofficial Bulls' News reports that "Rob Purdie feels that Hereford lack two or three players that would give them the threat they need in front of goal after he watched Saturday's 1-1 draw with Altrincham. It's the third draw in as many games for Marc Richards's side, all of which were tough games on paper. Stockport County is always seen as a difficult place to go, Telford are unbeaten at home and Altrincham went into Saturday's game on the back of four wins from their last five games.

But the retired Hereford player says 'I think overall it was probably a fair result, the game in general lacked a little quality especially in the final third,' said Purdie. 'I think if Hereford had won Altrincham would've felt hard done by, so I think a draw was probably the right result. I made sure I saw all the lads that were here last season, it's great to see them... because, come Christmas, there won't be many left that I played with... I think they've got some good players, but they just haven't got the attacking threat yet. I thought the back five were really solid, the midfield worked their socks off and Roberts worked as hard as he could, he got his goal which he deserved.

'But they're just two or three players off getting that real goal threat, and if they'd had that then they could've comfortably won. The same with Altrincham, I think they evened each other out'".


Altrincham's next two hosts in the league, Brackley Town and Chester FC met last Saturday and drew 2-2. Chester FC have "All the action as the Blues pick up a valuable point on the road courtesy of a Dan Mooney masterclass."


York City are the next league visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium and, for the Minstermen, York Press reports that "Bradford Park Avenue can provide the blueprint for a successful recruitment drive

Having been given the green light to reinvigorate a struggling squad with new faces, Sam Collins might be best advised to study the transfer market activity of title-challenging Bradford boss Mark Bower. The former City defender has seemingly followed a similar policy to that adopted by ex-Bootham Crescent chiefs Martin Foyle and Gary Mills during the respective Conference play-off campaigns of 2009/10 and 2011/12 by making high-calibre signings from the same division.

Improvements in playing fortunes at Bootham Crescent were quickly achieved when Foyle brought in the likes of Alex Lawless, Michael Rankine, Luke Graham, Neil Barrett and Chris Carruthers from rival clubs, while the seeds for Mills’ double-Wembley winning heroics were sewn after he identified the likes of Jason Walker, Lanre Oyebanjo, Matty Blair, Andre Boucaud and Chris Smith as his chief targets...

In Bower’s first XI against the Minstermen, two-goal striker Jake Beesley won the National League North title with Salford last season, keeper Steven Drench and Nicky Clee are both previous play-off final winners, while Mark Ross captained Stockport before joining Avenue and Luca Havern was Telford’s Player of the Year. All five looked comfortable and confident in their ability at a level where too many City players seem unsure of their capabilities and the team’s potential.

Chorley – the only side now ahead of Bradford in the National League North standings – also boast a group of players who are, in the main, well-versed in what is required at the sixth tier of the English game. There are, of course, the odd exception to that general recruitment rule and a couple of well-scouted, promising youngsters from higher divisions can prove inspired additions, as the examples of Ben Gibson and Nick Pope proved for Mills and Worthington respectively.

Bower has not neglected that market either, on Saturday’s evidence, with ex-Leeds United under-23 attacker Lewis Knight the best player on the pitch and former Huddersfield youth-team winger Jamie Spencer crashing in the goal of the game. As Yorkshire neighbours, City should be patrolling a similar catchment area to Avenue and have access to the same players.

With both Collins and his predecessor Martin Gray both emphasising how well Minstermen players are paid in the regionalised game too, this should be borne out very differently in terms of the club's recent transfer market fortunes. Collins now faces the biggest test of his three-month managerial reign, as he looks to strengthen his ranks and, with seven of the current squad still contracted to the club beyond the end of this season, the Minstermen can ill afford any unwanted burdens on their wage bill.

It must be hoped that a small number of appropriate, proven recruits can be targeted, rather than the scattergun approach most recklessly adopted by ex-boss Jackie McNamara and also witnessed under Gray last term...

The claims of club stalwart Dan Parslow cannot be ignored any longer. Somewhat puzzlingly, although he was ruled out with a knee niggle at the weekend, Parslow has remained marginalised at Bootham Crescent this season, limited to just the one substitute outing... It is hard to believe that the former Welsh under-21 international has declined to the point that he couldn’t offer something better to the back line than was evidenced against Bradford and at Spennymoor in midweek. Facial scars, earned on the pitch in action for City, also tell more than words could about his willingness to 'fight and scrap' for the club he has represented 380 times...

The goals-scored column is the 16th-lowest in National League North. Saturday’s marksman, defender Sean Newton, remains the only City player to have netted more than once in any of the club’s 15 league games this season... Three of the division’s four bottom teams now have a leading marksman who has netted more league goals than their City counterpart Macaulay Langtstaff, who has hit the target five times in 2018/19... Last season, the Minstermen could rely on veteran Jon Parkin to score the goals... Parkin is seemingly no longer a first choice in attack but, with three league goals, has still mustered more than fellow forwards Jordan Burrow (two) and Jake Wright (one).

Sam Collins... has barely uttered a critical word when discussing individual players during his time at the Bootham Crescent helm, but he pulled few punches concerning skipper Joe Tait’s red card for striking Jake Beesley with a flailing arm and giving away the penalty that led to Bradford’s opening goal, insisting the player would receive the maximum fine possible... Sam Collins’ post-match comments suggested some form of overdue watershed moment at Bootham Crescent, with certain players whose displays have consistently failed to hit the required standards unlikely to be given further opportunities".

Also from York Press we learn that last Saturday "York City staged their own horror show at Bootham Crescent... City chief Sam Collins, meanwhile, is now in desperate need of a plan as cunning as Fawkes’s Gunpowder Plot, as he looks to ignite some fire into a squad of players who he is pleading to fight and scrap for a common cause.

Home fans endured a new low in the sixth tier of the English game, as their team conceded four times on their own soil for the first time in National League North and slipped to 15th in the standings... Joe Tait’s 27th-minute sending off for striking away forward Jake Beesley with a flailing arm in the penalty box proved the decisive act in a low-key derby contest... On-loan Salford striker Beesley swept the subsequent penalty past Adam Bartlett and, like an out-of-control Catherine Wheel, City’s defence were in a spin from that moment on.

Beesley went on to net his ninth goal of the season just after the break with Jamie Spencer adding a screamer shortly afterwards. Left-back Sean Newton banged in a free-kick just past the hour mark as a consolation for the 10 men, before Bradford put the seal on a crushing victory with Ben McKenna’s 82nd-minute strike".

York Press's marking and comments on the team included the following:

  • "Adam Bartlett 6 - left exposed like a sitting duck for all four goals
  • Josh Law 4 – very difficult to recall City’s right back laying a single tackle on an opponent
  • Joe Tait 4 – daft swinging of an arm gave struggling team a numerical disadvantage and gifted visitors their first goal
  • Tom Allan 4 – culpable for fourth goal and didn’t always react to danger as swiftly as required
  • Sean Newton 5 – excellently-taken goal, but found going tough defensively against the threatening Knight
  • Alex Harris 5 – ineffectual and natural choice to be sacrificed when team went down to ten men following Tait’s dismissal
  • Kallum Griffiths 6 – distribution was sometimes wayward but, generally, gave it his best shot in unfamiliar midfield anchor role
  • Lewis Hawkins 5 – went close with a couple of shots, but not the easiest of debuts playing with ten men for more than two thirds of the match
  • Adriano Moke 6 – always looked to cover yards when given ball and drove team forward more than anybody else
  • Jordan Burrow 5 – huffed and puffed, but failed to convert best chance of a goal soon after visitors’ third
  • Jake Wright 5 – sensible decision when substituted as had already picked up obligatory yellow card for leaving his boot in on Wroe
  • Substitutes: Hamza Bencherif 4 – lumbering (for Harris, 28), Jon Parkin 5 – cumbersome (for Wright, 46), Macaulay Langstaff (for Griffiths, 78). Subs not used: David Ferguson, Nathan Dyer.
  • Star man: Moke "

According to the Birmingham Mail, "Aston Villa, along with Leeds United and Derby County, are all thought to be tracking Kidderminster Harriers hotshot Ed Williams. The midfielder has scored ten times for non-league Harriers this season... His displays in the last couple of months have also earned him a call-up to the England C side...

The 23-year-old, who was born in Cheltenham, originally came through the ranks with his hometown club. He only arrived at the Harriers from Gloucester City this past summer, but has already impressed and is now being tipped to make the jump back into the Football League".

5 November 2018


Altrincham enter the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday (6th November, 7.45pm) when they host Congleton Town. As Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records show, this is the first time Alty have ever played a CSC tie on this date.

The Bears, as Congleton are known, have at least four players who have worn the Altrincham shirt in recent years. They are former Alty Youth and Reserves' keeper Craig Ellison, Billy Hasler-Cregg, a winger under managers Neil Young and Jim Harvey; Anthony Griffith [right], who left Alty in controversial circumstances after making just one appearance, as an 85th minute substitute, and then having his career at our level terminated by a hip injury; and Tom Schofield who was a summer trialist at Alty but who moved on without playing a competitive game for the Robins but enjoyed several seasons with our neighbours, Trafford FC.

As regards Griffith's post-Alty career, Wikipedia tells us that "He returned to football in September 2016 after signing for Glossop North End. He was voted the club's Player of the Month for November 2016 by supporters. He signed with divisional rivals Trafford in March 2017... Griffith signed with Colwyn Bay as a player-coach in May 2017. Six months later he joined Congleton Town. He made 19 appearances for the "Bears" in the second half of the 2017–18 campaign".

Last Friday, Congleton won 3-0 away at Ashton Athletic in the Hallmark Security (NW Counties) Premier Division, a match in which Griffith was suspended.

The previous Saturday they had another away win, 3-1 against Northwich Victoria. Congleton Town report that "The Bears visited in-form Northwich Victoria who were on a five game winning run. Several changes again to keep the squad fresh but once again another well deserved three points... On nine minutes though it was the Bears who took the initiative. Dean Warburton picked up the ball in the centre of the Northwich half. He looked up and played a perfect through ball for Dan Cope to run on to and shot into the corner of the net from 15 yards. 1-0 Bears...

The home side were level on 37. Ellison made a good save from a header, tipping the ball over the bar but, from the resulting corner, the ball bounced around inside the Bears area and, unfortunately, it came off Jameson and into the net. 1-1.

Left: Billy Hasler-Cregg. Just before the interval the Bears went back in front. Pressure was being applied by the visitors and Schofield found Warburton who let fly from 25 yards, giving the keeper no chance... The second half belonged to the Bears...Morris [hit a] perfect pass to the far post [which] allowed Adegbenro a fairly easy tap-in to make it 3-1 to the Bears .

Team: Ellison, Stephens, Morris, Jamieson, Ryder, Griffiths, Hasler-Cregg (Main 86), Schofield, Cope (Burey 65), Foster (Adegbenro 65), Warburton. Unused subs: Williams, Peters

Chris Rowley, Bears' Senior Football Director had this to say after the game 'Fantastic performance from the Bears today who stuck to Pritch’s game plan perfectly. Cope the lone man up top who worked tirelessly with the ever creative Dean Warburton just behind him. Defensively solid, Town were put under pressure first half and Vics deserved their equaliser. Second half saw the Bears dominate in all areas'".

The Hallmark Security League also recently reported that "Congleton Town’s Dajour McIntosh-Buffonge is the latest player from our league to return to action after being on international duty. After coming on as a second half substitute for the Bears in their home defeat to 1874 Northwich on the 9th October, Dajour flew out to the Caribbean and was on the bench for Montserrat in their CONCACAF Nations League game against Belize on Sunday.

It turned out to be a good day for the team from the small Caribbean island, as they recorded an impressive 1-0 win... Under the guidance of national coach Willie Donachie, the former Manchester City, Oldham Athletic and Scotland defender who took charge of the national side earlier this year, and captained by Lyle Taylor of Charlton Athletic, Montserrat then built on that performance with their fine 1-0 win at the Blake’s Football Complex at the weekend.

Congleton Town Secretary Ken Mead said... 'We also have former Port Vale player Anthony Griffith in our side, and he was with Dajour in the Montserrat squad for the last World Cup qualifiers, although he wasn't selected this time. Griff does a great job for us, so we are the beneficiaries there...

The Bears would like to wish Ryan Hibbert good luck for the rest of the season as he moves to Winsford Utd".

In addition, during the past week Congleton Town have signed six-feet six-inches former Stafford Rangers, Ashton United and Northwich Victoria striker Saul Henderson from West Didsbury and Chorlton.


Above: Connor Hampson positions Max Harrop at the near post whilst Jordan Hulme, Tony Thompson and Andy White await developments, during the first half at Hereford on Saturday.

For more on the match, click here.


Playing at home is normally viewed as being advantageous but on Saturday in the Vanarama National League North, not only did no home team win a game but by half-time not one of the host teams had scored a goal! However, eleven away goals went into the net before the interval. In the second half, eight home goals were scored and a further eleven were netted by away teams!


As previously mentioned it has not been possible to update the mobile version of this site at due to the incompetence of the hosting company 1&1. The software by which that site has been updated for the past several years was scheduled to be replaced in January 2019 as clearly stated by 1&1 in an e-mail to users in September 2018. However, unilaterally and without any warning whatsoever, the software was withdrawn on 28 October and hence the mobile site is frozen.

As it had been the intention to run down the mobile version of the site, given that this desktop version is viewable on mobile devices, I have decided to terminate the contract with 1&1 for the mobile version of the AltyFiles. Whilst I do battle with 1&1 for recompense for their incompetence, the frozen mobile version may remain in existence for a little while but all former users of that site are now requested to use the desktop site instead at

The Alty Files apologise for any inconvenience but this situation is beyond our control.


The National League has announced that "Six National League clubs have been nominated for the prestigious National Game Community Award. The accolade honours clubs for their outstanding efforts in their local area.

The Football Supporters’ Federation have announced the shortlist for the 2018 award and there is no shortage of National League interest... There are no fewer than three National League North nominees with Curzon Ashton and Boston United in contention. They will do battle with Evo-Stik League champions Altrincham, who are back with us after just one season away...

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said 'Fans are a huge part of the game at all levels, and the FSF Awards in partnership give the fans the chance to have their say on the very best in all aspects of the game'".


Ben Harrison scored the only goal for Trafford who won at Colne on Saturday, whilst fellow dual registrant Liam Goulding was involved in the build up to Witton Albion's match winning goal. Bay Downing again featured for Salisbury, whilst Sefton Gonzales netted two penalties for Droylsden.


On Sunday Altrincham FC Youth were awarded a walkover against Witton Wanderers in the NWYA Open Cup. In the same competition Curzon Ashton Youth beat St John's Chorlton 25-1!

Next Sunday at 2pm Alty Youth are at home to Southport at Manchester Health Academy, M23 9BP.


Altrincham FC Reserves drew 2-2 at home on Saturday against Eagle Sports. They now lie third in the league but with games in hand. Next Saturday they are away at Blacon Youth Club in the Third Round of the CCFA Amateur Cup.


Altrincham FC Ladies match on Sunday against Wythenshawe Amateurs was postponed after the opposition was unable to raise a team.


Next Saturday the two teams which top the form-table over the last six games in the Vanarama North meet as Chester FC entertain Altrincham. And our next away league game after that is at Brackley, to where Chester travelled last Saturday.

The teams drew 2-2 in Northamptonshire and Chester FC report that "A brilliant Dan Mooney strike saw the Blues make it ten games unbeaten in the National League North... The Blues twice went behind, goals from Connor Franklin and Shane Byrne, but Mooney’s sublime brace secured a point.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made one change to the side that defeated Ashton 4-1 in midweek, as Academy graduate Iwan Murray made way for Emmanuel Dieseruvwe...

Brackley had the advantage in terms of chances in the opening half... In between those opportunities, Shane Byrne’s set piece deliveries caused problems... The game then suddenly sprung [sic] to life in the second half. The hosts took the lead on 50 minutes, a cross clipped in from the left was headed goalwards by Ndlovu, forcing Shenton into a stunning save, but he could do little about Connor Franklin lashing the rebound into the net.

The Blues needed to muster a response and got one on 58 minutes. Nice link up play saw Dieseruvwe set it up for Mooney to strike from 25 yards and the Fleetwood loanee found the top corner and his sixth of the season via a slight deflection.

Nevertheless, they committed a footballing cardinal sin and switched off from the restart. 60 seconds later Matt Lowe did well on the right and cut it across for Byrne to charge into the area and stab home.

The Blues threw bodies up the pitch in search of a, perhaps undeserved, leveller; and they got it in the fifth minute of stoppage time. It was the magic of Mooney again, a loose ball in the air 25 yards out saw the Fleetwood loanee swivel and volley into the goal...

CHESTER FC: Shenton, Moran, Howson (Deane Smalley 83), Livesey, Grand, Mooney, Stopforth, Roberts, Mahon, Dudley (Pritchard 78), Dieseruvwe (Jordan 88). SUBS NOT USED: Dom Smalley, Murray.

4 November 2018


Above: To mark the approach of Remembrance Day, Hereford organised a pre-match playing of 'The Last Post' by an army bugler, with British Legion standard-bearers in attendance.

On their third visit to Edgar Street, Altrincham deservedly maintained their unbeaten record at the ground. But it took an 89th minute equalizer from Josh Hancock to secure the point.

With the departure of Tom Peers to FCUM, the dual registration with Witton of Liam Goulding, and the injury induced absences of James Poole and Ben Harrison, the Alty bench included two new faces. They were new signing Charlie Scott and youth team winger Dontai Gabidon, who had played 90 minutes less than 48 hours earlier in the FA Youth Cup. The game was played in a gusty wind with second-half rain which made conditions difficult for both sides.

Altrincham were the better side in the early stages of this game but, as on their last away outing at Stockport, they failed to convert their possession into a meaningful shot at goal. Eight minutes into the second half, Hereford broke the deadlock. The Bulls' first serious shot at goal, from Danny Greenslade, prompted a fine save by Tony Thompson but this was at the cost of a corner. Following the corner kick, the ball was played aerially from the left to the back post where James Roberts headed firmly home.

The goal lifted Hereford after their below par first-half showing but Alty withstood one or two risky moments before getting forward themselves without still being able to trouble the Bulls' keeper. But, just when time seemed to have run out, a foul on Connor Hampson gave the visitors a freekick near the left touchline. Johnston's freekick landed in the crowded box and Hancock was able to slot it home from six yards (shown, right).

The draw meant Alty dropped a place to tenth but, with a game in hand on most of the clubs above them, a win in that additional game would lift them into the play-off places.


Saturday 3 November 2018
  • Alfreton Town 1-1 AFC Telford United (Jordan Sinnott scored for Alfreton) (att.545)
  • Ashton United 1-1 Boston United (Liam Tomsett scored for Ashton) (att. 227)
  • Blyth Spartans 0-3 FC United of Manchester (Tom Peers scored for FCUM) (att.832)
  • Brackley Town 2-2 Chester (att. 650)
  • Chorley 1-2 Spennymoor Town (Elliot Newby scored for Chorley) (att. 1212)
  • Curzon Ashton 0-2 Stockport County (att. 1487)
  • Darlington 0-0 Guiseley (att. 1307)
  • Hereford 1-1 Altrincham (att. 2220 inc. 93 away fans)
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1-4 Southport (att. 1513)
  • Nuneaton Borough 0-2 Leamington (att. 662)
  • York City 1-4 Bradford (Park Avenue) (att. 2289)

3 November 2018


Altrincham FC have announced the signing of midfielder/defender Charlie Scott. He is pictured, left, warming up before Tuesday night's game against Nunenaton Borough.

Charlie, (aged 21), was released last summer by Manchester United and had a subsequent spell with Scottish Premier club Hamilton Academical.

Meanwhile, 22 year-old Altrincham centre-back Liam Goulding has gone on loan to Witton Albion. Having started four of the first five fixtures of this season, Liam has subsequently only made two more league appearances, both from the bench.

The Northwich Guardian reports that "Witton Albion have borrowed Liam Goulding from former Northern Premier League rivals Altrincham for an initial month-long loan spell. The 22-year-old, who can play in midfield or defence, returns to Wincham Park after impressing during a temporary stay in the 2014-2015 season while still on Accrington Stanley’s books...

Goulding, who is available for selection when Witton host Lancaster City tomorrow afternoon, made 19 appearances while Tony Sullivan was in charge at the Northwich club. He scored three goals".


Hereford FC announce that "Saturday’s game vs Altrincham is our annual Remembrance Match, to honour and remember all those who have fought in conflict across the world. This year our support for the Royal British Legion continues.

For the fourth year running we’re proud to support the incredible work of the Royal British Legion and, in particular, that of the Herefordshire Branch. The total that we have helped raise so far through bucket collections and shirt auctions is closing in on the £10,000 mark. A big thank you to everyone who has donated in the past.

Once again we are delighted to welcome the team of bucket collectors from the Royal British Legion who will be busy raising vital funds for the Poppy Appeal, if you see a bucket collector around the ground today, please dig deep and donate as much as you can.

We’re also proud that our players will be wearing the Poppy on their shirts for today’s game... Those shirts will then be auctioned off, with the proceeds being donated to the Herefordshire branch of the Royal British Legion...

Members of the Royal British Legion will once again be in attendance, leading the teams out onto the pitch, before standing on ceremony during the minute’s silence ahead of kick-off. Youngsters from local uniformed groups will also be providing a guard of honour as the standard bearers and players enter the pitch. In hospitality we have invited eleven Hereford fans who are either current or ex-servicemen or women, the group will enjoy the very best of our pre-match hospitality, before taking part in the minutes silence pitchside."


Recent form can be used to induce optimism or pessimism about Altrincham's chances at Hereford on Saturday.

On the negative side, Alty have lost both of their most recent away games this season, 2-3 at Kidderminster and 0-2 at Stockport County.

But, on the positive side, Alty have won their last three league games and in all competitions they have netted an impressive 24 goals and won five times in their most recent eight fixtures. They have also kept clean sheets in their two most recent games. And Edgar Street is somewhere Alty have never lost ...but neither have they ever won there, as both previous visits have produced draws as Mike Garnett's data show:

  • At home: P2-W1-D0-L1-F2-A2
  • Away: P2-W0-D2-L0-F2-A2
  • All: P4-W1-D2-L1-F4-A4

The most recent visit, in 2005, was detailed below. The first visit arose in 1999/2000 season on 22 January 2000. That game ended 2-2 in a match in which the Bulls twice led. Alty's equalizers came from Scotsman Gavin Price and, at the death, from Richard Landon.

The match was the 12th in a remarkable 14-match unbeaten run in the Conference for Altrincham. Nevertheless, they were relegated at the end of that campaign.

Alty's squad for the fixture in 2000 comprised: Dean Greygoose, Simeon Hodson, Mark Maddox, Gary Talbot, Chris Adams, Wilson, Steve Hawes, Phil Power, Kevin Ellison, Leroy Chambers, Gavin Price. Subs: Chris Timons, Richard Landon, Chris Senior, Neil Doherty, Wayne Hulston.

For this year's game, Altrincham are expected to be again without James Poole, Sean Williams and Ben Harrison, whilst Liam Goulding has gone out on loan and Tom Peers has moved to FC United of Manchester. But new signing Charlie Scott is likely to feature at some point in the match.

For Hereford manager Marc Richards (appointed in September after leaving his managerial role at Gloucester City), Saturday represents another opportunity to secure his first three points as the Bull's boss. Like FC United of Manchester, (who beat Alty at the JDS this season!), Hereford have found their sequence of quick-fire promotions has stalled at National League North level.

In its previous incarnation Hereford FC were known as Hereford United (founded 1924). Unlike Alty who were twice deprived of promotion to the Football League by the old boys' network known as the re-election process, Hereford were voted into the League in 1972 and went on to enjoy more than thirty years in two spells in the Football League. During that time, the Bulls enjoyed one season at what is now Championship level but otherwise competed in the third and fourth tier.

Hereford's most recent spell in the League ended with relegation at the end of the 2011–12 season. Finanical irregularities led to their expulsion from the Conference in summer 2014. They started in the Southern League Premier Division for 2014–15 season but the club was wound-up, following an HMRC petition for unpaid tax, in December 2014 and a "phoenix club", Hereford FC was formed. Despite these travails, the club still plays at its original stadium in Edgar Street.


The unofficial Bulls' News reports that "Hereford FC entertain Altrincham at Edgar Street tomorrow, 3pm kick off, in what many will see as a must-win match for the home side.

New head coach Marc Richards has masterminded a return of two points from his first three league games in charge. Admittedly these have all been away from home against strong opposition, and there were positives to be taken from each match, but it's hardly a start to his tenure to set pulses racing. Another battling draw played mostly in our own half won't cut the mustard this time around, and a loss doesn't bear thinking about.

Richards has commented on the travelling support following the club in those three matches, and the noise they generate. He'll realise that this is a following he's inherited, of course, not earned, and it's a following who will start to question the club's direction with too many more men-behind-the-ball defensive draws. Hereford FC isn't Gloucester City, with due respect to the Tigers.

Head of Football (still not entirely sure what that means) Tim Harris has reportedly suggested a need for the team to set up to be 'tough to beat'. Common sense on first glance of course, but, as everyone knows, this is straight from the first chapter of the [ex-Hereford manager] Martin Foyle playbook, along with hitting the channels early and playing the percentages. Supporters will recall how this looked on the pitch, and it wasn't pretty. Let's hope the others in the management team (the head of performance analysis and the head of not being a very good striker) like a team to attack like crazy to give a bit of balance to the club's footballing ethos on that heavily populated HFC bench.

Thinking more positively, and leaving aside the frankly unforgivably bad defending for two of Boston's goals, there's evidence of late to suggest improvement is in the offing. George Lloyd and James Roberts up front look lively and potent, new midfielders Tommy O'Sullivan and Tom Owen-Evans bring better quality and more creativity to the team, with Kyle Finn also challenging for a place in midfield having come in from Coventry on an initial one-month loan. There also seems to be a togetherness to the group, a feeling that, despite some batterings recently, they still 'bullieve'. This surely reflects a galvanising influence from Richards behind the scenes, and possibly the self-belief and determination in his own personality which comes through in his musings to the media.

It's also been the case recently that players are virtually having to learn each others' games in matches. Having had a training session yesterday to further develop the understanding that's been evolving on the pitch, further improvement can surely be anticipated.

Also, having played all of the top eight apart from Kiddy so far, there's a relatively winnable look to the fixtures between now and Christmas.

Since getting promoted last season Alty, that grande dame of the non-league scene, found life difficult at first, but things have now settled down, with the team winning four of their last five games, and now sit just three points outside the play-off positions in ninth place. So, it's not going to be easy, but the Bulls really do need to win this one. A big crowd fully behind the team and management would help massively."


The National League reports that "It's really hotting up in the National League North and we're not even halfway through the season yet! We've got intensifying battles at both ends of the table which is making for a great card yet again.

After two straight defeats, Chorley are looking to bounce back and hope their barren spell won't last too much longer. Jason Ainsley brings his Spennymoor Town squad to Victory Park and could go within one point of the leaders with a win. Hot on the heels of the Magpies are Kidderminster Harriers and Bradford (Park Avenue).

The Harriers host Southport at Aggborough whilst Mark Bower's men travel up to York City, who are hurting after two consecutive defeats.

Things seem to looking up off the field for Nuneaton Borough; the Liberty Way club have announced their new owner. With just two wins all season, they'll be hoping for a win against Leamington to spark a turnaround in their fortunes.

Hereford are still searching for a long overdue win and face Altrincham who have maximum points from their last three.

Brackley Town host in-form Chester whilst Guiseley are in County Durham to face Darlington. Neil Reynolds may not have his first win for FC United of Manchester yet, but the feel good factor is certainly back. The Rebels will be in for a tough test against Blyth Spartans who have lost just once in their last four outings.

Stockport County will have the play-off places in their sights when they face Curzon Ashton. John Flanagan's men have taken just five points from a possible 24 at home this season. AFC Telford United haven't won away since August and travel to Alfreton Town. Consitency is what Boston United have been lacking recently and they travel to Ashton United."

Nuneaton Borough report that the club "has a new owner, Nick Hawkins. The former semi-professional centre half has been given the all-clear from the National League to take sole control of the Liberty Way club.

He said 'I am delighted to be able to be part of such a brilliant and proud football club. I came here with Chasetown in a play-off final. I was injured that day but, watching with more than 3,000 fans, showed me the love the town has for its football club. I will be working hard to rebuild links between the club and the people of the town, as well as between the fans and the players. There is lots of work to do to off the pitch, and it has already started. We have been working hard on getting the club back on to the electricity grid, as well as refurbishing the dressing rooms and offices.

'I know we cannot make everything perfect straight away, but I think it is better to start by making 100 things 1% better than make one thing 100% better. I am the sole owner of the club and will be the Chairman, but I will be hoping to bring in several other people, as well as repairing links between the club and local businesses.

'We have already started improving things on match days, and will be looking to have man of the match presentations in the bar after games, as well as Boro legends talking to fans about their memories of the club. I want fans to be very open with me, I will be at the game on Saturday and I am looking forward to meeting as many fans as possible....

'I'm under no illusions, we have lots of hard work to come. The next few months will be hard for everyone as lots of things will change, but hopefully by Christmas fans will see the benefits of our new direction.'

Nick, 33, comes from a football-mad family from Nottingham and has played for clubs such as Leicester Road, Gresley Rovers, Long Eaton United and Hucknall Town, as well as having spells as manager of Eastwood Town and Bedworth United. He's married to Hannah with five children; Ruby, Rhodes, Jonah, Saylor and Maddox."

More comes from the Coventry Telegraph which says that "Nuneaton Borough supporters have shared their relief as a new owner was announced at the Liberty Way club. They have welcomed Nick Hawkins in a statement and said they will continue to support the 'Boro through their volunteer initiatives...

Nuneaton Borough Supporter's Co-operative is fully backing the new man behind the 'Boro. A statement from the group said 'We want to reach a point where fans and the community are at the heart of the Boro and we will be working with Nick and the Club to see how we can achieve this together'".

According to Cheshire Live "Chester FC joint-boss Anthony Johnson believes tomorrow's trip to face Brackley Town will be a good indicator of where the Blues stand... The Saints are one of the division's more seasoned sides and finished last campaign in third place, before losing the play-off final 3-0 against Harrogate Town.

They did however have a high at the end of last season by beating Bromley 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw to lift the FA Trophy. Kevin Wilkin's outfit once more sit in the play-offs this season heading into tomorrow's clash, sitting just ahead of the Blues in fifth on goal difference.

And Blues joint-manager Johnson believes the trip to St. James Park will give a true indication of where the current crop of Blues players, who are unbeaten in the National League North since August and have won the last three games in the division on the bounce, stand in the grand scheme of things.

Following Tuesday night's 4-1 victory over Ashton United, Johnson said 'It’s going to be a yardstick for us and we’ve just said that to the lads. We don’t get carried away because Saturday will again tell us what we can expect against another different type of opposition. I wouldn’t say they’re a direct side because they’ve got some very good individual players, but they can mix it up and if you give them time, they can really hurt you.

'They’ve been in this league for a few years now and always at the top end, won the FA Trophy last year. It’s mainly the same team with a good manager, so Saturday will be a good yardstick for this group. We’re impressed at the minute with the lads. They’re starting to see what we’re all about'...

The Blues have been boosted ahead of the game after the club's appeal to the FA to overturn defender Steve Howson's red card from last Saturday's 3-2 win against Alfreton Town was successful and is free to play tomorrow."

The Chester Standard reports that "Chester pulled off another shock in this season's FA Youth Cup after reaching the second round proper with a superb win over Barnsley. After previously dispatching Sandbach United, Marine, Wrexham and Hartlepool United, the game with Barnsley U18s saw the young Blues come up against a side whose senior team play in Sky Bet League One.

But thanks to two first half goals in four minutes at the Swansway Stadium from Will Goodwin and Cain Noble, the Blues gained a 2-1 lead over their Yorkshire opponents at the break after the Tykes had gone in front through Kareem Hassan-Smith on the half hour mark.

A red card for Barnsley’s goal scorer midway inside the second half gave the Blues a man advantage and they saw the game out in front of a crowd of 648 to add Barnsley to a list including Fleetwood Town, Bolton Wanderers, Wrexham and Hartlepool United, who have fallen to the young Chester side in recent seasons. The Blues will now travel to Mansfield Town in the final stage of the competition before clubs from the Premier League and Championship enter at the third round proper stage".

And the Chester Standard adds that ex-Trafford goalkeeper "Grant Shenton was still fuming hours after Tuesday’s impressive 4-1 win over Ashton United at The Deva Stadium. The Blues' keeper was furious at conceding a soft-stoppage time goal...

'I didn’t stop moaning on the way home,' said the former Ramsbottom keeper. 'And it had nothing to do with the fact that I missed out on by clean sheet bonus because we don’t have individual bonuses at the club. It’s all about the team. I was just gutted that we let one in and so were the rest of the defence. It was as if we’d lost when we came off the pitch at the end'...

That was the 19th goal Shenton has conceded this season, although eight of those came in one game, the infamous 8-1 battering at Blyth Spartans. 'It was a crazy result, a weird game all-round and in a way maybe it was a wake-up call', added Shenton. 'I still think that it was the last-minute goal at Guiseley that turned our fortunes around. The Blyth game was bad, then when we came back from the break we lost at Telford and it was becoming a bit of a tricky situation. But that late goal at Guiseley seemed to give us that belief and we’ve kicked on from there.'

Shenton has praised the joint-management team of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley for rescuing the Blues season. 'They know how to win matches and they know they’re stuff too,' he added... 'They gave me my chance at Ramsbottom as an 18-year-old, taking over from an established keeper and gave me so much confidence as a young goalkeeper'"

From the Banbury Guardian we learn that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin says the victory at Boston United proved his players have the resolve... A dominant first half performance was followed by a battling second half display. And it was that gritty second half performance which delighted Wilkin.

He said: “It was a really strong performance from start to finish. We looked dangerous and managed the game well and the win is no less than the boys deserve. It is nice for some of our younger players to come to places like this. We conceded in the second half and it rocked us back a bit but we were strong and came back from that, it is an important experience for them.

'The performance was strong, as they have been most of the season, but results have not always mirrored that. We have to learn from that and we need now to continue to show the effort levels and the quality about our play.'”

2 November 2018


Above: Alty line up before kick-off.

On Thursday night Altrincham hosted Oldham Athletic in the FA Youth Cup with an away tie against Sunderland the prize in the next round. But it was the visitors who secured a comfortable 6-1 victory.

Altrincham were up against it as early as the third minute when Oldham took the lead. It was 3-0 to the visitors by the interval and after the break Norman completed his hat-trick for Oldham. By 90 minutes it was 5-0 to the Latics. In added time, from outside the box, Dontai Gabidon scored a fine consolation goal off the underside of the bar but Oldham had the last word as they swept straight to the other end to make it 6-1.


As well as announcing a new player pathway at the club, the official Altrincham FC site announces that "Tom Peers has left the club to join National League North rivals FC United of Manchester".

Before joining Altrincham in summer 2017, 23 year-old Tom had graduated through the Chester FC youth system (2013-16) where he had made 3(+21) first-team appearances under then manager Neil Young. Tom then went on loan to 1874 Northwich FC and, in January 2015, he started a month's loan at Marine. In December 2015 he had a further month's loan to Salford City, with a similar loan stay at Hednesford Town following that. In 2016 he briefly joined Hednesford before a summer 2016 move to AFC Telford United. However, he soon moved on to Warrington Town (Sept. 2016) and then Droylsden (Dec. 2016 to Feb. 2017). At that point he joined Nantwich Town under Phil Parkinson.

By mid-November 2017 he had participated in more Altrincham games than any other member of the squad and had weighed in with some important goals. During 2018-19 his role has continued to be primarily from the substitutes' bench, with 3(+9) appearances and three goals. In all he made 30(+29) appearances and netted 14 goals. Ironically he has left Moss Lane whilst top of the chart for goals scored per minutes played in 2018/19 season!


Alty TV has highlights of Tuesday's win for Altrincham over Nuneaton Borough


The Hallmark Security League announces that "The skies over Wythenshawe will now look a bit brighter on winter afternoons and evenings, as both Wythenshawe Town and Wythenshawe Amateurs have now unveiled their new floodlights.

In the past week, both clubs have hosted their first games under their new lights, and the idea of midweek floodlit football certainly seems to have captured the imagination of the locals, as both clubs attracted their highest attendances of the season for their respective games.

Town started the ball rolling last Thursday with their first midweek game under lights against Stockport Town, which they won 2-1. The game attracted Town's highest attendance of the season, with 177 people coming down to Ericstan Park.

Former Chairman, Kenny Hope, who stepped down last week after being at the helm for four years, said 'The achievement throughout the four seasons I have been Chairman has been incredible, blessed with so many caring and ambitious volunteers who have a belief that we would achieve the target we had set, North West Counties within five years. Achieving this was a historical moment, and the icing on the cake was our first ever game under the floodlights at Ericstan Park...

'Four years ago we announced Wythenshawe Town as a sleeping giant. Now the sleeping giant has been woken by a big bang'...

On Tuesday evening, Wythenshawe Amateurs followed suit, and again the turnout was impressive, with a club record attendance of 308 set for their game against Maine Road, which the Ammies won 3-1. Club Chairman Basil Kabbani was delighted with the evening's events... 'Everything has happened quickly for us but was all part of the plan. We planned to build a ground in 2 to 3 years, and top it all off with floodlights, and we've done that... It could be that a game on a Friday night is a possibility if the appetite's there. It looks like it really worked, everyone's happy and enjoyed a drink and enjoyed the football, we won and the club made a bit of money'".


NL Daily reports that "Southport have decided to recall defender Billy Priestley from his loan spell at FC United of Manchester. Priestley joined the club two months ago and was set to stay with FC until the start of January 2019. The Burnley-born central defender signed for Southport from Alfreton in December 2017 and has currently made 22 appearances for the Port, four of which have been during the 2018/19 season".

From York Press we learn that "York City boss Sam Collins insists his team are capable of beating National League North’s leading sides ahead of this weekend’s home clash with third-placed Bradford Park Avenue.

The Minstermen have failed to score against any of the division’s current top-seven clubs this term and have taken just one point from a possible 12, with a 0-0 draw against Brackley the only exception to losses against Chorley (0-1), Kidderminster (0-3) and Spennymoor (0-3).

Defeat on Tuesday night to Spennymoor saw City drop into the bottom half of the table and fall five points adrift of the play-off places but, ahead of the derby clash with in-form Park Avenue, Collins maintained 'The players are more than capable of beating these teams, but it’s all right saying that; we’ve got to go out and produce that on the pitch. We played Guiseley a few weeks back and beat them when they’d gone nine games without losing. We were also told we couldn’t score without Jon Parkin being on the pitch before then and these are all things you have to deal with and put right.

'At some stage, we have got to go and beat a team that are above us in the table and it’s up to me and the staff to work with the players to try and make that happen.'

But, with Bradford lying just three points behind league leaders Chorley, Collins knows his players must demonstrate the right attitude to buck this season’s trend against higher-placed opponents, pointing out 'They are full of energy and work really hard for their manager, so it won’t be an easy game at all. We will need to scrap, fight, dig in and hang on in there and, hopefully then, we’ll have enough quality to come out of the game with a good result. They have had a good start to the season and are right in the mix at this moment in time, so we’ve got to be mentally and physically ready for a tough game'...

Simon Heslop remains doubtful for the match with a knee problem, while striker Jake Wright did not incur a one-match ban following his yellow card at Spennymoor. The caution was the former Harrogate Town forward’s fifth of the campaign, but one was received in the FA Cup, which no longer counts towards league tallies".

NL Daily informs us that "Boss Gavin Cowan says the fight for AFC Telford United’s No.1 shirt is far from settled, report the Shropshire Star. Local lad Andy Wycherley was handed his first start as the Bucks beat York City last weekend and kept his place for Tuesday’s draw with Hereford. The 21-year-old from The Rock, who has supported Telford since the age of six, has Leicester loanee Max Bramley breathing down his neck though.

'Andy has got the jersey at the moment but Max is chomping at the bit to come back in,' said Cowan."

And, from NL Today we learn that "Shildon have appointed Martin Gray as sporting director. Gray, who was manager of Vanarama National League North side York City at the beginning of this season, achieved three promotions with Darlington, taking them to National League North from the Northern League. Gray’s move to the Dean Street club comes just over a year since he left Quakers to become York boss, where he was sacked in August. Daniel Moore remains as Shildon’s manager, with Gray working on building the club’s academy".

1 November 2018


Altrincham FC Youth take on Oldham Athletic tonight (Thursday) at the J. Davidson Stadium in the First Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup, k.o. 7.45pm. At stake is an away tie at Sunderland who knocked out FC Halifax Town on Wednesday.

Admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults: £3
  • Concessions (65+, Students, U17s): £1
Hot food will be available and the club's bar will be open for home and away supporters.


Altrincham travel to Edgar Street for the second part of their league trilogy against "phoenix" clubs. Following a clash with the reformed Nuneaton Borough, and a visit to Chester FC (formerly Chester City), this Saturday's trip brings Alty their first meeting with Hereford FC (formerly Hereford United).

Mike Garnett reminds us that we met Hereford United four times, as summarised below:

  • At home: P2-W1-D0-L1-F2-A2
  • Away: P2-W0-D2-L0-F2-A2
  • All: P4-W1-D2-L1-F4-A4

As the above statistics confirm, both of Alty's previous trips to Hereford have ended in draws. The most recent clash was on 3 September 2005, in a season in which the Bulls gained promotion back to the Football League via the play-offs whilst Alty were docked 18 points over the James Robinson affair. The season ended in a shambles as, firstly, Canvey Island resigned, following the departure of their main financial backer, at the end of the season and the Essex club dropped three divisions. This reprieved second-bottom Tamworth from relegation. Then, at the Conference AGM in Birmingham on 3 June 2006, Scarborough were demoted for allegedly breaching Conference rules relating to their financial arrangements, thereby reprieving Altrincham.

Meanwhile, Crawley Town lost just three points for breaching the wage cap and other financial irregularities. Crawley announced that they would go into administration during the close season. But at the top of the table, Hereford won the play-off final against Halifax Town to join Accrington Stanley in League Two.

The clash between Hereford United and Altrincham in 2005 was an unusual affair in that it was a Saturday match which kicked off at midday! This was because of a clash with the Wales v England match in Cardiff. So Alty's supporters' coach had to set out at 7.20am and the club had had the expense of an overnight stay for the players, which its finances could ill afford. Still, it was good practice for a repeat of the same problem, a clash with England 's game with Austria on October 8, which promoted a 1pm kick off at Canvey Island!

Alty had twice previously played Hereford United in the Conference, in season 1999-2000. Alty had won 2-1 at Moss Lane and had salvaged a 2-2 draw with a last-minute goal at Edgar Street from"super-sub" Dickie Landon.

An acrobatic Stuart Coburn tips this freekick over the bar at Hereford in 2005.

In the 2005 clash at Edgar Street, a battling performance by an Alty side lacking ten first-teamers earned them a point, their third successive clean sheet and their fourth game in a row without defeat against one of the title favourites. Although the Bulls had most of the attacking play, the Alty defence and midfield were resolute, with Val Owen clearly Alty's man of the match but, once again, it was a fine team performance. For the last half hour Maddox came on for Williams and played in deep midfield, in front of the back four, and though this reduced Alty's outlets, Hereford got few clear sights of the Robins' goal and wasted those that they had with woeful shooting. The gate of 2,318 included 141 in the away enclosure.

Alty were without ten injured players; Eddie Hussin, Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Lutel James, Kieran Lugsden, Rod Thornley, Richard Norris, Kirk Hilton, Nehru McKenzie and Karl Munroe. However Colin Potts and Gary Talbot were fit enough to start after their injuries and "Talbs" was captain today. Mark Maddox returned to the bench after being suspended.

For The Bulls, ex-Chester keeper, Wayne Brown, made his home debut, as did Darren Blewitt.

HEREFORD UNITED: 14. Wayne BROWN, 21. Rob PURDIE, 28. Dean BECKWITH, 20. Alex JEANNIN, 19. Darren BLEWITT, 6. Tony JAMES, 7. Jon BRADY, 11. Andrew FERRELL, 15. Craig STANLEY, 18. Daniel CAREY-BERTRAM, 9. Adam STANSFIELD. Subs: 1. Craig MAWSON, 4. Stacy COLDICOTT, 5. Tamika MKANDAWIRE, 8. Jamie PITMAN, 12. Graham EVANS

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 21. Stephen ROSE, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 12. Steve HAWES, 16, James OLSEN; 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 4. Mark MADDOX, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 24. George MELLING, 26. Lee HENDLEY.


The Shropshire Star tells us that "Only one team turned up at the Buck's Head to play football according to a frustrated Telford manager Gavin Cowan as his side was held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Hereford.

Telford dominated possession throughout, but were punished for a string of missed early chances when George Lloyd scrambled the ball home mid way through the first half.

The Bucks, in front of the second biggest home crowd of the season, 1,804 in total, battled back with chances, before Daniel Udoh fired in off the post from 20 yards...

Hereford banked up with ten men behind the ball for large parts and earned a gritty point. Cowan was disappointed... 'It was was a missed chance... But it was a brilliant footballing display again, we were excellent without possession... It is a compliment to use that they played the way they played, with ten men behind the ball. There is a lot of things I want to say about it, but it is not up to me to comment about that".

Meanwhile, Bulls' News says that "Hereford's management team have utilised the loan market since they arrived at Edgar Street and last night five of the match day sixteen were on loan, the maximum number allowed.

Head Coach Marc Richards says... 'In an ideal situation you bring in permanent players but in terms of a quick fix sometimes you need loan players to add that extra little bit of competition and quality. It also gives you a bit more flexibility, but I'm not concerned at the moment. We've got five in at the moment which is the maximum you can have in a match day squad'

Of the current loanees, goalkeeper Matt Yates and defender Ethan Wassall are from Derby County... Richards says Hereford are in constant contact with clubs with loanees and make use of video analysis to keep track of their progress, with the Bulls now having an analyst as part of the set up.

'We're in regular contact and the good thing is they (parent clubs) are at the games,' added Richards. 'Even up at Stockport there was [sic] three or four representatives for the Derby boys, and again at Boston there were people there coming to watch. They do a lot with our video analysis so they get the videos back, so there's a lot of communication between the clubs'...

He said 'We go into every game trying to get three points, there was never an intention to settle for a point. As the game goes on, you're thinking maybe a point is a good result. I think with any opposition in this league it's really difficult to go "That'll be a gimme because they're not very good" because it just doesn't happen at this level".

According to the Hereford Times "Teenager George Lloyd netted his second goal in two games as Hereford held AFC Telford United to a 1-1 draw...

The 18-year-old Cheltenham Town loanee, who also scored during their 3-1 defeat at Boston United on Saturday, netted the opening goal... Goalkeeper Matt Yates, on loan from Derby County, made a triple save from Darryl Knights early in the second half but Telford failed to make their possession count and Marc Richards side earned a vital point.

'It feels good and it was a great shift for the boys to get a 1-1 draw in the end as it was backs against the wall for most of the second half so to get the draw was brilliant,' said Lloyd... 'The new management have changed the game a bit and it’s all helped so we have got a good spirit'...

Marc Richards’ side battled through the second half... 'Away from home in this league is extremely tough and the first 15 minutes showed that. When we settled down we started creating chances and didn’t have the bulk of possession so away from home against a very good team a point is a good result. It’s all well and good playing nice attractive football at Boston at times but to show that other side with the grit and determination defending our box and putting bodies on the line...

'Our back-line were excellent but also look at George Lloyd and James Roberts up top in terms of the work-rate they showed. I think everybody has worked their socks off today'

Before the tie Hereford signed their fifth loanee in the form of Kyle Finn, who is on a month loan from Coventry City...

Hereford: Yates, Thomas, Greenslade, Cullinane-Liburd, Wassall, Smith (c), McGrath, O'Sullivan, Roberts (White 86), Lloyd, Owen-Evans. Unused subs: Jackson, Murphy, Finn, Horsell"


On Tuesday night in the Vanarama National League North, Nicky Clee netted for Bradford (Park Avenue) and Ryan Brooke scored for Curzon Ashton.


The Yorkshire Post reports "Why this city is big enough for both of us. Bradford Park Avenue on the rise under former Bradford City star Mark Bower. 'Bradford's Bouncing Back.’ So claimed a bold marketing campaign during the Eighties designed to both raise spirits within a city down on its luck and also attract visitors.

Three decades on and no one can surely claim Bradford City are bouncing anywhere but backwards. A toxic fallout between owners and supporters, allied with some shocking results since the turn of the year, have left the Bantams rock-bottom of League One.

Mark Bower spent a dozen years as a player at Valley Parade so feels the pain of the club’s dramatic slide as keenly as any fan. But as City continue to struggle he is busy bringing a smile to the faces of supporters on the other side of his home city.

Park Avenue, despite an average attendance that is bettered by all but two of their peers in National League North, are riding high with last night’s hugely entertaining 2-2 draw with Darlington leaving Bower’s men in the play-off places.

'There is a real sense of optimism surrounding the club,' said 38-year-old Bower. 'Growing up in Bradford I know the potential that exists here and there are some great people working so hard to take the club forward'...

But a new regime, led by financial backer Gareth Roberts, at a club now registered as a community benefit is fiercely ambitious... This time around Bower’s men are impressing in a division featuring a trio of full-time clubs in York City, Kidderminster and Southport.

'The league is much more evenly matched this season,' he said. 'I would say there are as many as 16 teams who have their eyes on the play-off positions. There is no standout team either unlike last year when Salford City and Harrogate Town were both full-time and had big budgets'...

Avenue’s lofty position is made all the more impressive by last season’s top scorer Adam Bowes [Boyes] having been sold to Spennymoor last summer. Bower used the funds to bring in eight new signings and his squad, on last night’s showing against another club who have risen from the ashes of a former League outfit, looks much more balanced...

In front of 625 hardly souls who braved a bitterly cold night, up slightly on the crowd who had watched Bower’s side inflict a first defeat of the season on leaders Chorley at Horsfall on Saturday. Darlington raced into a two-goal lead inside 17 minutes... Oli Johnson, once of Norwich City, pulled one back for the hosts with a close-range header before Nicky Clee levelled six minutes before the break with an arrowed drive from the edge of the area.

Avenue goalkeeper Steven Drench then saved a Steven Thompson penalty to ensure honours ended even.

Away from the pitch plans are afoot to improve the atmosphere at a venue where a running track stands between the supporters and the action. 'A perimeter fence will be installed right next to the pitch in the next couple of months,' added Bower. 'That will allow fans to be almost able to sniff the grass. This is especially the case with kids. We want to bring in more youngsters and they don’t want to watch from the other side of a running track... There is a big potential to increase the fan base here. I look at our opponents last Saturday. Chorley had crowds similar to us a few years ago, but now get 1,000 plus every week.'"

Also in Yorkshire, York Press tells us that "York City fans were left drowning their sorrows following a poor display by their team at the Brewery Field. An opening goal from Stephen Brogan, followed by Glen Taylor’s brace, meanwhile, meant hosts Spennymoor were toasting their first-ever victory against the Minstermen.

The visitors were seen off 3-0 and the defeat provoked angry scenes at the final whistle as a group of City fans gathered around the players’ tunnel to hurl abuse at manager Sam Collins and his inherited players...

The final margin of victory didn’t flatter the fourth-placed home team...

Defeat means the Minstermen have now lost to three of the division’s top-four teams – Chorley, Kidderminster and Spennymoor – without scoring a goal, ahead of third-placed Bradford Park Avenue’s visit to Bootham Crescent this weekend."

A week on Saturday Alty travel to Chester, from where Cheshire Live reports that "Anthony Johnson believes the words that he and joint-manager spoke at the start of the season are now ringing true at Chester FC. The bosses spoke of how they would demand a high work rate from their sides, how they would be pragmatic and how they would deliver results when they took on the job in the summer...

The 8-1 defeat to Blyth Spartans and the 3-1 loss at AFC Telford United may have lead [led] some to question if their success could be replicated, but nine games unbeaten in the league, three wins on the bounce and a team up to sixth has shown that the words spoken at the start of the season weren't empty ones.

Tuesday night's thoroughly convincing 4-1 success over Ashton United lifted them to sixth in the table and was a job well done for the Blues without ever really having to move through the gears. It was a performance of the like we haven't seen since our last stint in the National League North.

Johnson was pleased with what he saw. 'It was a contrast to Saturday's opposition but everyone has their own way of doing things,' he said. 'I thought with the way Ashton played it probably fell into what we do best and a lot of the time that is on the counter... Out of possession tonight we killed the opposition and in possession we were incisive. It felt like a good night's work and that everything we did was right. It wasn't a blow away performance, it was quite an easy performance'...

Anthony Dudley's double and goals from Steve Howson and Craig Mahon delivered the three points for the Blues... Chester are now just five points off top spot with a game in hand while they have two games in hand on the teams around them in the play-off places...

'There are still one or two little things that we need to work on,' said Johnson. 'We are only going to get better and more cohesive with all the players coming back. Using 13/14 of the same players always helps. The understanding that Gary Stopforth and Gary Roberts are getting with playing with each other, the wide players are playing most weeks, Dan Mooney and Mahony. The full backs are understanding when to step in with the ball, when to give, when to hold, when to play fowards. We are starting to see now the lads understanding each others games...

'I am probably doing the lads a disservice as I call them dogs at times, but that's what they are and they understand their jobs. Danny Livesey was unbelievable tonight and just repelled everything. I thought Steve Howson was outstanding. Gary Roberts and Gaz Stopforth were relentless in their with their work rate, absolutely relentless, and that's without even touching on how good they are with the ball. And when you've got Anthony Dudley looking after the ball up top it gives you that platform to play from. The spine is the similar spine every week now.

'We are where we expected to be (in the league) but in terms of performances I think we're ahead of where we expected to be. We've had bad injury runs, bans and all sorts but they are buying into what me and Bernard and Derek (Egan) are as a coaching staff. Our work rate has been phenomenal.'

The Telegraph & Argus informs us that "The Lions crashed to a 3-1 reverse to Blyth... their first defeat at Nethermoor since leaders Chorley won 2-0 on August 7.

This was after a Kingsley James's penalty had cancelled out Aaron Cunningham’s third-minute opener but, with hosts Guiseley unable to impose themselves on their opponents, it was the Spartans who went on to take advantage of some slack defending and secure the win...

Guiseley joint-manager Russ O'Neill said 'We are bitterly disappointed with the manner of the result and the performance. Blyth had more intensity than us, they were more physical than us and they were more aggressive than us and it pains me to say it. They deserved to win... There were one or two things said in the dressing room after the game, but we didn't go overboard'".