September 2019

30 September 2019


Halesowen Town report that "On Saturday 5th October, Halesowen Town take on Altrincham in the FA Cup 3rd qualifying round in front of the BBC cameras at the Grove...

The kick off time has been moved to 12.30pm to allow the game to be streamed live on the BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer. The turnstiles will be open from 10.30am and turnstiles will be open at both the Old Hawne Lane and Stourbridge Road ends of the ground. We would recommend that you get to the ground early. The James Grove Lounge and café will be open inside the ground before and during the game with the lounge remaining open after the game for a post-match drink. Admission will be pay on the gate only; no tickets will be issued for this particular game and season tickets are not valid.

Admission prices are as follows: Adults £10, Concessions (60+) £7, 13-18 yrs. £4, U-12 free with paying adult / concession.

On the day there will be our usual stewards along with a number of stewards from a local Premier League team, there will also be a Police presence on the day for your protection. The stewards and police have the right to search anyone coming into the ground and reserve the right to eject or refuse entry to anyone who they feel has or will cause unsociable behaviour. Bringing a pyrotechnic device into any arena in England is a Criminal Offence, and we simply do not understand why any individual would choose to do so, given the potential dangers they possess; not only to other supporters within the ground, but also to the safety of ground infrastructure.

Anyone entering the ground who is found to be in possession of, or indeed discharging any pyrotechnic will be ejected from the ground and could find themselves subject to prosecution. This could also have serious implications for both clubs.

Above: In front of their supporters, Alty warm up on their only previous visit to Halesowen in March 2018, when they won 3-0.

The consumption of alcohol purchased within the ground is allowed to be taken on to the terracing and seating areas. This however must be in a plastic glass. No bottles or cans of alcoholic drink will be allowed to be taken on to the terracing and stand and no alcohol will be allowed to be brought into the ground as per FA rules.

The car park at the Grove is for players of both teams, officials and team coaches only. There is parking in town which is approximately 10 minutes’ walk from the ground and on-road parking around the ground. We would please ask that you respect our neighbours if you park on residential streets and ensure you park legally as parking enforcement teams are usually in force on match days.

We hope both sets of fans enjoy what promises to be a great game of football and the presence of the BBC give great exposure for both clubs...

The BBC visited the Grove today to ensure that the facilities were up to their expected standards and, in a meeting with General manager Neil Broughton, it was quickly decided that the Grove was without a doubt a very suitable venue. As a result of the coverage the game will be moved to a 12.30pm kick off.

We caught up with Director of Football Keith McKenna who was obviously delighted with the BBC’s decision. 'This is a great day for everyone associated with Halesowen Town FC and helps raise the profile of the club and the town of Halesowen itself. We are very much looking forward to the game and can only thank the BBC for choosing us to feature on their famous FA Cup football channel. 'The Yeltz' were already anticipating a bumper crowd for this game and the added bonus of the TV cameras will only serve to highlight its importance with both teams battling to be in the draw for the 4th qualifying round and just one game away from the lucrative 1st round proper.

We would also like to go on record to thank Altrincham FC for agreeing to the kick off time switch."


The Ladies' scheduled away league match at home to Didsbury was postponed. Next Sunday the Ladies are in the SSE FA Women's Cup away to Northwich Vixens.


Altrincham FC Youth's fixture at Southport on Sunday was postponed. Next Sunday (13/10/19) second-place Altrincham are at home to Prescot Cables FC who lie tenth.


Mike Garnett and Howard Watts's Through the Years data tell us that it is six years since Altrincham last played on next Saturday's date, 5 October. On that occasion, in 2013, they beat Guiseley 4-1.


Following their 8-0 defeat at Brackley, Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "Bradford manager Marcus Law was very candid in his assessment of the performance...

Marcus said, 'I felt the level of fitness amongst certain players I was assured about wasn't where I felt it should be, or expected. I hold my hands up to the fact I feel I made a couple of selection mistakes.'

Marcus went on to thank the fans and stated;

'I wish to apologise profusely for that display.'

Following the final whistle Marcus and Lee, accompanied by the players, made their way to the travelling green army to apologise for the performance and thank the fans for making the journey. Avenue Assistant Manager Lee Fowler commented that the level of desire and, in particular, 'the fight for every tackle, wasn’t there. He went on to say 'It's my worst day in football'.

On moving forward both the Manager and Assistant re-affirmed a desire to work even harder to make the changes necessary for the club to positively move forward."

Leamington drew 3-3 at Chester and afterwards reported that "Brakes turned in a performance that was a tremendous follow-on from Tuesday evening’s energy-sapping extra time FA Cup victory at Chasetown as they came within minutes of a famous victory over promotion chasing Chester.

In an absorbing afternoon’s entertainment Brakes edged themselves ahead twice only for the hosts to come back twice and take the lead themselves. There was plenty to cheer both sets of supporters in what was a great advert for the league.

Boosted by the return of Reece Flanagan and the on loan George Carline, Paul Holleran was able to make four changes to his starting eleven from Tuesday, bringing in Junior English and Kaiman Anderson while Connor Taylor made his first start of the season and Carline was named in midfield. Callum Gittings, who had suitably recovered after being on the wrong end of a horror challenge against Chasetown last Saturday, was among the substitutes.

There was precious little to whet the appetite in the opening fifteen minutes... but Leamington temporarily silenced the Deva Stadium crowd on the quarter hour as English’s long throw was headed on by Jack Edwards for Josh March to stab home his eleventh goal of the season from close range.

The lead was short lived however, James Mace putting a dangerous looking cross behind for a right wing corner which Joel Taylor delivered perfectly into the six-yard box, James Jones giving Jake Weaver no chance at all with a powerful header to give Chester parity less than three minutes later...

Leamington were handed the chance to go back in front on twenty nine minutes when March was fouled inside the box. The confident front man stepped up to the spot once more but was left frustrated as his kick struck the outside of the post... before Taylor’s afternoon came to a premature end as he was forced off injured, a real shame for the luckless midfielder after he had impressed coming off the bench on Tuesday...

The second half got off to the worst possible start as Chester took the lead with little over ten seconds played. George Glendon drove in a powerful shot from the edge of the box that Weaver looked to have covered but the ball spun underneath his body and up into the net.

Brakes are nothing if not resilient however, and had squared things up once more within five minutes. Anderson was fouled in front of the dugouts and Joe Clarke delivered the free kick into the Chester penalty area, Jack Edwards connecting with a marvellous looping header that deceived everyone and dropped into the net...

Leamington did not pass up their next opportunity, Anderson outmuscling a defender in the penalty area as the Chester defence made a mess of Weaver’s long punt upfield to poke the ball past Griffiths to the delight of the travelling supporters.

The hosts inevitably pushed hard for a leveller, and got one on 89 minutes, Waters thundering a perfect free kick in off the underside of the bar to level a topsy turvy game for the second time... This was a really encouraging display from Leamington".

At Spennymoor Town, "Jason Ainsley revealed the extent of the growing injury list following yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Kidderminster Harriers at The Brewery Field.

As well as seeing Stephen Brogan and James Curtis forced off with injuries, Andrew Johnson had to be stretchered off the pitch after the final whistle.

In his post match interview with Moors TV, Ainsley said 'It’s a recurrence of his groin injury that he picked up last year, and that just typifies AJ as he did it tracking back in the last minute to get a tackle in. It just sums our luck up at the moment. It’s devastating news for him because it looks like it’s going to be long term.

'Callum Williams is still out, Shane Henry has a long-term injury and Scott Harrison will be out for the season. The lads who have been missing out of the team will now get a chance and they have to take it.'”

Darlington report that "Two goals in a frantic minute from Tyrone O'Neill and Justin Donawa gave Quakers the points at North Street, and their first away league win of the season.

After a low key first half, Quakers put their game together in the second half, and their persistence paid off with a two goal burst that sent everyone wild. They created and missed several chances as they dominated the game, and it looked as if it wouldn't be their day until Tyrone O'Neill equalised.

The Boro loanee was heavily involved in the winner, the keeper palming his powerful effort out for Justin Donawa to sidefoot in.

The players showed a huge amount of character, none more so than defender Michael Liddle, who played more than half the game with a broken nose, sustained in a first half clash...

It was Quakers' first away league win of the season, hot on the heels of the FA Cup win at Trafford. Alfreton took the lead with their first attack on 3 minutes, when Josh Clackstone crossed from the right for Connor Branson to head firmly past Chris Elliott from six yards...

The second half was a big contrast to the first... It looked as if the goal might not come, but suddenly it all fell into place.

Quakers kept going and levelled on 85 minutes. Wheatley was fouled on the edge of the box, Liddle stepped over the ball, Wheatley’s right footed free kick was palmed away to Campbell, who chipped the ball back into the middle for O’Neill to head in at the far post.

With the travelling fans roaring them on, in Quakers’ next attack, O’Neill burst through the middle, had a low shot blocked by Andrew, and sub Justin Donawa followed up to sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner for the winner! It was the Bermudan's second goal in as many games".

29 September, 2019


Altrincham travel to Halesowen Town next Saturday in the FA Cup. Whilst Alty were out of action yesterday, The Yeltz were in East Anglia in the FA Trophy. They won 2-1 at Dereham, thanks to goals from Gibson and Wright.

In the next round Halesowen are away at Evesham United on 12th October.


The BBC announces that "The FA Cup third qualifying round tie between Halesowen Town and Altrincham will be shown live on the BBC. The match takes place on 5 October (12:30 BST) and will be streamed on the BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer.

There are 40 ties over that weekend, with the winners one victory away from the first round proper. Halesowen play in the eighth tier of English football, while Altrincham are in the sixth-tier National League North and have a rich FA Cup pedigree."


Altrincham Reserves lost 1-0 at Whaley Bridge Athletic on Saturday.

On Saturday, 5 October, they have a local derby, away to Broadheath Central.


Two former Alty Youth players have been reistered with NW Counties' clubs recently. Winsford United have signed Sam Madeley, whilst Wythenshawe Town have signed Liam Brownhill.


"Ten-man Bradford (Park Avenue) suffered an eight-goal drubbing at the hands of goal-hungry Brackley Town. Marcus Wood was shown two yellow cards inside half an hour for Avenue, who could simply do nothing to stop a rampant home side.

Brackley enjoyed a lot of pressure early on... Brackley did manage to open the scoring on 19 minutes, as a result of Wood’s first booking. The midfielder put in a poor challenge out wide and was duly cautioned, with Byrne delivering and the ball ending up in the back of the net following a flick from Glenn Walker, though the final touch may have come from an Avenue head...

Just before the half-hour though, Avenue went down to ten as Wood was sent off, shown an unquestionable second yellow card for a very poor challenge in the centre of the pitch. It took the hosts just two minutes to make the extra man count, as Matt Lowe grabbed the second...

Brackley had the ball in the back of the net on 36 minutes as Lowe’s cross was touched in by Armson, but the flag was up on the far side. However Armson only had to wait five more minutes to get in on the act, as he made the simplest of near post runs and nodded in Byrne’s corner for his side’s third.

And as Avenue were begging for the relief of the half-time whistle, Brackley struck a fourth, Ndlovu getting in behind before working some space and lashing home off the underside of the bar... The impressive Byrne netted a fifth on 54 minutes, latching onto Ellis Myles’s through ball before rounding a helpless Taylor and slotting home...

Another free kick proved Avenue’s downfall again on 67 minutes, as centre back Thierry Audel rose highest to head home from Baker’s delivery... The seventh finally came with 10 minutes to play, Ndlovu getting a deserved second as he touched home an excellent Luke Fairlamb cross.

Substitute Holman rounded off the scoring with just over five minutes on the clock, Ndlovu beating Taylor to a long ball over the top before squaring to his strike partner to add his name to the extended list of scorers on a sorrowful afternoon for Bradford".

Spennymoor Town "winger Rees Greenwood has joined Northern League Division One side West Auckland on a permanent basis.

Greenwood, 23, joined Spennymoor Town in the summer following spells with Sunderland, Gateshead and Falkirk.

After featuring in pre-season, he was loaned to West Auckland in August in order to get more game time".

On Saturday, Spennymoor Town "scored another late goal to claim all three points against a dogged Kidderminster side courtesy of Glen Taylor’s bullet header.

Rob Ramshaw cancelled out Ashley Chambers’ first half opener, before the midfielder drove down the left before finding the head of Taylor to seal a vital three points.

However, injuries to Stephen Brogan, James Curtis, Jamie Chandler, and most worryingly, Andrew Johnson, who had to be stretchered off the field after the full time whistle, dampened the scenes at the end.

Jason Ainsley made one sole change to the side who beat Lancaster 5-0 in the FA Cup last weekend, opting to start Taylor instead of Adam Boyes following his quick fire double at Giant Axe...

Kidderminster, who came into the clash on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Stafford Rangers in the cup, settled into the match after a nervy opening... Harriers continued to grow into the game... That pressure from the visitors eventually resulted in the opening goal midway through the half. A lofted ball forward found the unmarked Chambers who took a wonderful touch before drilling a shot into the top corner past Gould...

[There] was another flare up in the centre of the field, with Milan Butterfield and Jamie Chandler going head to head before Moors were incensed with the behaviour of the Kidderminster midfielder, but the referee was unmoved. Fired up by that incident and with a renewed sense of confidence, Moors drew level when Rob Ramshaw expertly lobbed a header over Palmer from a pinpoint Brogan cross, the midfielder’s first goal of the campaign.

That was to be Brogan’s last action of the game as he was forced off with an injury, depleting an already injury hampered defence, before Curtis was forced off with a head injury following a clash of heads with Berti-Brandon Diau.

With Dan Ward now playing right back and Jake Hibbs operating as a makeshift left back, the game looked destined for a draw as the full time whistle approached, but, after a powerful run by the imperious Ramshaw, he found the head of Taylor who scored his fourth league goal of the campaign."

Blyth Spartans "got their first three points of the season and made it back-to-back wins this week.

Spartans had hat-trick hero Callum Roberts to thank as his three stunning solo goals were the difference for Lee Clark’s side. Roberts opened the scoring after 10 minutes with the first shot of the game.

Roberts got his second amazing solo goal of the game on 65 minutes to double Spartans’ lead. AFC Telford cut the deficit with 15 minutes to go as Darryl Knight headed past Mark Foden.

Roberts got his second hat-trick in a week as he picked up the ball on the halfway line and squeezed through two Telford players before racing through and finding the bottom corner via the post with three minutes left."

Chester FC report that "The Blues were forced to settle for a point at the Deva Stadium in a dramatic six goal thriller against Leamington.

Matty Waters’ 89th minute free kick shared the spoils in a game that ebbed and flowed.

Leamington had the lead twice, at 1-0 and 3-2, thanks to Josh March and Kaiman Anderson. But the Academy Graduates Waters and James Jones had got the Blues square.

George Glendon had bagged his first Chester goal to make it 2-1, before Jack Edwards’s header moments later pegged the Blues back.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made five changes from Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup exit [at Altrincham].

Jones’ return into the team was enforced, with Danny Livesey ruled out due to injury. Also into the starting line up were Joel Taylor, back from a knock, as well as Anthony Dudley, Matty Hughes and Akwasi Asante. Gary Roberts, George Waring, Craig Mahon and Danny Elliott all dropped to the bench.

The Blues started the game slowly against a side who had lost their last two league games prior to this match... But the warning signs turned into an opening goal on the quarter hour mark. Junior English’s long throw was flicked into the path of Brakes’ top scorer Josh March who turned the ball beyond Russ Griffiths.

Nevertheless, Chester’s response was lightning quick. Taylor’s corner was inch perfect to match the run of Salford City loanee Jones, who nodded in his maiden goal for 2019/20.

Paul Holleran’s side continued to threaten though and won a penalty on 30 minutes when March was dragged down by the busy Jones. March took the responsibility but dragged his penalty wide of the post...

It took just 14 seconds from the break for the Blues to hit the front for the first time in this encounter. Joel Taylor worked well with Anthony Dudley, who laid the ball off for Glendon to strike home his first Deva goal from 20 yards.

But the game continued to sway and Leamington were back level less than three minutes later when Jack Edwards nodded the ball into the top corner of the net... [Chester] were undone by a sucker punch with 12 to play. A route one ball forward by keeper Jake Weaver bounced, was not dealt with by the Chester defensive unit, and Kaiman Anderson snuck in to toepoke the ball past Griffiths and into the net.

This crazy game was never going to end without drama though as Waters kept his composure to fire a perfect free kick in off the underside of the bar from 19 yards out. A sublime goal to ensure the spoils were shared."

Leamington report "Paul Holleran’s reaction. 'Let’s be honest, the last two league performances against Altrincham and Farsley haven’t been where they’ve needed to be. We’ve had good spells but we’ve been really sloppy. We found a way of getting through the cup tie but again, the performance wasn’t where it needed to be, but then you look at today.

You’re going to be disappointed with conceding on 46 and 89 minutes, but to come to Chester and probably be the better side for long periods, and create more chances against a really good side... I think it’s probably, since being back at this level, one of our best away performances...

You have to give them credit as well because they put us under a lot pressure; this is a good side we’re talking about". Gloucester City "confirm that we have now received the written formal offer from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

City Co-Chairman Alex Petheram commented 'We are delighted to have received written confirmation from the FSIF that our funding application has been successful. We’re unable to give full details of the amounts we have received because of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements we are currently in, but it’s going to be a huge help...

'We are really pushing forwards and it’s an exciting time. Ideally and with best endeavours, we would like to be working on site in mid-November... We would love to be there for a game there this season but, realistically, it is looking more and more unlikely. We have permission from both the FA and the National League to move if we are ready. All we would need is a safety certificate once the work was completed. Let's see what we can achieve, but for now our attention moves to the legal process, which is a bit of a minefield'...

Over the course of this year, the groundwork at Meadow Park had already been completed with the site successfully raised and settled and ready for work to begin. With the return back home progressing, the search for staff will start to begin".

Guiseley "confirm that Sam Scrivens has linked up with Matlock Town for a loan spell.

The striker signed last month from Penistone Church has joined Scott Smith on loan at the Derbyshire side for a month...

Joint Manager Russ O’Neill spoke about the loan move and said 'Sam has fit[ted] in really well since coming in, having chased him throughout the summer he joined the group late and he was behind the starters who have done excellently. His attitude has been outstanding and he totally understands that now we have got through the busy part of the season and we’re down to one game per week, this gives him the opportunity to go out and get some valuable game time'".

At Hereford FC "The Bulls were made to work hard to secure the three points courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Kettering Town.

We looked to attack from the off... The closing stages of the opening period saw Joel Carta fire over from distance for the visitors to bring the curtain down on a half of few chances for either team...

The visitors thought they had taken the lead on 64 minutes as Marcus Kelly swept home but there was a foul on Jordan Cullinane-Liburd in the build-up.

It saw our opponents create a couple of chances in quick succession, but we managed to take the lead shortly afterwards when Brad Ash, who recently was introduced into the action, did well in the build-up to feed Nicholson who cut inside and curled home with a sweet strike."

Farsley Celtic "shocked Curzon Ashton late on, as goals from Akeel Francis and Will Hayhurst were enough to seal a home victory for the Celts.

It was an even affair for the majority of the game... On the half-hour mark though Curzon Ashton were awarded a penalty by referee James Westgate after Tricket-Smith was brought down in the area. Callum Saunders stepped up to take the spot-kick but Farsley goalkeeper Kyle Trenerry got across well to make the save to ensure that the half-time score was 0-0.

However, Curzon Ashton did take the lead in the second half, with Tricket-Smith’s long-range strike on 69 minutes silencing the Citadel.

Celts manager Adam Lakeland decided to use all three of his substitutions as soon as the goal went in, and his choice paid off on 88 minutes when substitute Akeel Francis was played through one and one, and he made no mistake in poking the ball past an oncoming Calderbank-Park and into the far right-hand corner of the net.

Curzon Ashton saw themselves go a man down as Mohamed Ali was shown his second yellow and a red card, all but ending the visitors' hopes of finding a winning goal. Farsley pushed on in the little time that remained and they found a winning goal deep into injury time, with Will Hayhurst latching onto a loose ball to fire a shot into the back of the net.

After a difficult afternoon for both sides in the heavy rain, it was the Celts who claimed all three points.

Head coach Adam Lakeland spoke to us after the game, saying 'We made hard work of it, I wasn't pleased with how we played. It was really cruel on Curzon, certainly with the second goal being so late'".

According to York Press "Steve Watson has hailed the 'professional, solid team performance' from his York City side as they moved three points clear at the top of the National League North table with a 3-0 win over King’s Lynn.

David Ferguson created the opener for Andy Bond and then scored the second before Joe Tait’s late header added to the margin of victory.

King’s Lynn were third in the table before the game and despite being competitive throughout the 90 minutes, York came away as decisive winners.

'In an ideal world, you’d win and play well every week,' said Watson of his side’s display. 'I thought it was a really professional, solid team performance... A few weeks ago we were struggling to fill the bench because of injuries and people out on loan.

'But we’ve got three lads who’ve done absolutely nothing wrong in Tom Allan, Wes (York) and Macaulay Langstaff, who haven’t made the bench... Those lads need to be mentioned alongside the lads on the pitch.'

King’s Lynn had the majority of the ball during the game but York always retained a sense of control throughout with their division-best defence fighting to a third straight clean sheet.

We didn’t have as much possession as usual,' added Watson. 'But, we knew that (was going to happen), we had a game plan. We knew how King’s Lynn would play. We knew that they were a possession-based team that like to play out from the back and like to have a lot of the ball.

'We allowed them to do that in their own half. We kept our shape really well and we didn’t get impatient. I think in the stadium sometimes people were getting impatient because we didn’t have the ball. But really we were allowing them to play, but only in front of us. They’re a technically good side with a lot of quality. We penetrated and took the chances when we got them.

'We were clinical when we needed to be. We stuck to our plan and it’s worked for us. It’s frustrating when you do realise that people are getting frustrated that we haven’t got the ball because we do work all week on a way to play without the ball. I picked a side and I look at how the opposition plays. I think about how we can be solid, first of all, which I always try and start with.

'We’ve done enough work on us going forward and we’ve scored another three goals... Maybe they will feel a bit hard done by by the final score, but I’m not too bothered about that'".

28 September 2019


Saturday, 28 September
  • Alfreton Town 1-2 Darlington
  • Altrincham P-P Gateshead
  • Blyth Spartans 3-1 AFC Telford United (Blyth's first league win of season)
  • Boston United 2-0 Southport
  • Brackley Town 8-0 Bradford Park Avenue (BPA, ten men from 27th minute)
  • Chester FC 3-3 Leamington
  • Farsley Celtic 2-1 Curzon Ashton
  • Gloucester City 3-1 Guiseley (Guiseley, 10 men from 41 minutes)
  • Hereford FC 1-0 Kettering Town
  • Spennymoor Town 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • York City 3-0 Kings Lynn Town


In advance of today's fixture against Gateshead, Altrincham FC held a pitch inspection this morning, conducted by a local referee. The early timing was to allow Gateshead to know the outcome before their scheduled 9.30am departure time.

The result of the inspection was that the match has been postponed. The pitch is very wet, particularly towards the Popular Side after a lot of rain in recent days.


Altrincham are expected to include new signing Lewis Archer in their squad for the game with Gateshead. Having played for Alvechurch in the FA Cup, Lewis was ineligible to participate in the Cup matches against Chester FC last week. Yusifu Ceesay and Steven Drench remain sidelined but, hopefully, Connor Hampson [right] will be fit after being injured in his substitute appearance on Tuesday night.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Gateshead:

  • Home: P24-W11-D5-L8-F41-A30
  • Away: P22-W9-D3-L10-F26-A30
  • All: P46-W20-D8-L18-F67-A60

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years file for Saturday's date reminds us that last time Alty played on 28 September they bowed out of the FA Cup at Trafford.


The Alty TV highlights from Tuesday's FA Cup replay against Chester are now available.


Last Sunday, Altrincham Ladies won their place in the next round of the SSE FA Women's Cup First Qualifying Round with a 4-2 win over Didsbury.

Ian Langford has kindly supplied the following report...

"Altrincham edged an exciting see saw contest that saw the Lady Robins reach the Second Qualifying Round for the first time in their history.

Alty reached this stage by beating Accrington in the previous round while Didsbury caused a surprise defeating West Didsbury and Chorlton.

Despite the heavy rain in the morning the pitch was in excellent condition. Didsbury had the first chance on two minutes when Lizzie Brereton made a good save. Both sides had a couple of half chances until the 43rd minute when Alty took the lead when Graciela Diaz-Thorpe received the ball 10 yards out, she turned and fired it into the roof of the net.

Didsbury equalised on 51 minutes with a good finish. Didsbury took the lead on 64 minutes with a near post header from a corner.

Alty responded on 71 minutes when Jess Hartopp made it 2-2 with a fine one-on-one finish after being sent clear by Aimee Hopkinson.

81 minutes saw the home side win a penalty when Summer Breed was fouled in the area. Jade Hesketh calmly slotted the penalty away to make it 3-2.

The 90th minute saw Didsbury inches away from equalising from close range from a fine low cross. Alty then counter-attacked when Jade Hesketh broke clear and sealed the victory for the Lady Robins.

Altrincham LFC now travel to Northwich Vixens in the next round which is due to be played on Sunday 6th October."


More details have emerged of the court case involving former Alty midfielder Callum Dolan who made one start and three appearances from the bench for the club. Over the summer he had trials with Burton Albion before being signed by Oldham Athletic.

The Mirror reports that "Teenager Callum Dolan, now on the books at Oldham Athletic, has been sentenced to eight months behind bars after a high-speed car chase...

Midfielder Callum Dolan, 18, had just signed for a new club but borrowed a friend's Renault Clio when he found himself late for training.

Traffic officers spotted the ex-Old Trafford Academy player texting at the wheel of the vehicle as he drove along the M60 near Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester but he sped off in a bid to shake them off.

He tried to exit along a slip road but lost control of the car and ploughed into some railings. He was arrested after a short chase on foot.

When detained Dolan [right] who was wearing his club tracksuit said 'I'm f****d, how long will I get for this?'

Inquiries revealed he was already banned from driving after another police chase when he was caught drunk at the wheel of a car. At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Dolan who signed as a trainee for League two club Oldham Athletic in August admitted dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified.

He attributed his behaviour on a disruptive childhood in which his jailbird father took him on raids when he was only 11. The teenager now faces being axed by Oldham from his year-long £1,000 a-month contract. Sending him to a Young Offender Institution Judge John Edwards told Dolan 'You are your own worst enemy. The ink was barely dry on that professional contract you signed when you attempted to outrun a police BMW. It was crass stupidity and a highly dangerous piece of driving.

'You have the whole world at your feet literally and metaphorically, and I recognise you are a talented young man, but driving in that way can only mean immediate custody. I just hope the sentence I impose does not jeopardise your future.'

The incident occurred at 11am on August 10 this year only nine days after Dolan, who left United in 2017, was unveiled as Oldham's latest signing after a spell at Blackburn Rovers.

Justin Hayhoe prosecuting said 'Officers were in a patrol vehicle on the M60... The defendant [was] travelling in lane two and three at speeds of about 75mph and the[y] drew alongside his vehicle and noticed he was holding a phone and they could see his thumb using that phone. They decided to stop the vehicle and pulled behind but the car didn’t stop and they activated their emergency equipment. The Clio then straddled between some of the lanes and accelerated at speed.

'It moved towards junction 23 at 85mph and then went up the slip road but the defendant lost control of the vehicle and it collided with some street furniture. He ran from the vehicle but [was] pursued and detained.

'During the incident the car reached speeds of 98mph on the motorway and went through a red traffic light at 72mph on the slip road. The vehicle was still moving when he ran off. When officers detained him the defendant made a number of comments saying that he was "f*****" and asking "how long will I get?"...

'He said he knew he was being stopped because he was on his phone. When he ran away he dropped the device and he asked the officer if they had picked it up.'

The court heard Dolan, from Offerton, Stockport, had been previously banned from driving for 12 months after being caught drink-driving following an incident in which he tried to outrun another police patrol'.

His lawyer Iain Johnstone said in mitigation 'Oldham Athletic are prepared to stand by him but only if the sentence doesn’t result in custody. The club are very impressed with him and he is a young player with huge amount of potential. On that day it was his desire not to let the club down which led to him borrowing the car to try and get to training without being late...

'He shows genuine remorse about what has happened and accepts the risk he has caused to other people'...

Mr Johnstone added 'He didn’t have the best upbringing. He was abandoned by his mother aged four and that left him [in] the care of his father who was an active criminal who took young Callum on jobs with him from time to time. Although he may not have discussed it with detail it’s had a profound effect on him and his father ended up up in prison when he was 11. He was fostered by his uncle but, due to space with property, it led to him then going into care and into a children’s home at one point.

'But from an early age what has kept him focused has been football'".


Despite being managerless, Kettering Town "announce that forward Tre Mitford has signed for the club and will be available for selection against Hereford on Saturday. Tre, has previously played for Hanwell Town, Beaconsfield Town, Hayes & Yeading United, Barnham, Staines Town, Aylesbury United, and Bedford Town where he he scored 6 goals (including 2 against Corby Town in the 2-2 draw) for the Eagles this season".

We learn from the Northern Echo that "New signing Alex Storey is in line for his Darlington debut [on Saturday]. Quakers are at Alfreton and, as well as being without several players due to injury, Jordan Watson will be attending a wedding and his absence creates an opportunity for Storey to make his mark.

Storey, 21, a centre-back, has been playing for Sunderland RCA in the Northern League, but has previously been in Sunderland’s youth system and was on trial at Middlesbrough in pre-season. 'He played against us for Middlesbrough in the summer,' said manager Alun Armstrong. 'A few weeks ago Craig Liddle recommended him, but we had four centre-halves at the time. He’s a good footballer, has got good pedigree because he was at Sunderland... so I kept him in mind in case anything happened.

'Since then Josh Heaton left, David Atkinson needs an operation, I probably can’t risk Louis Laing and Jordan Watson is away on Saturday. So in the space of a few weeks I’ve gone from having four or five centre-halves to one.'

Storey has joined on a dual registration basis, and Armstrong said 'Alex has played a few games for RCA to keep his fitness up, but you always listen when someone has been recommended... If it gets to a point when Laingy and Jordan come back and he’s not getting a game then he might want to play for RCA to keep his fitness up.'

Darlington had thought Watson would serve a one-match ban tomorrow after collecting his fifth caution of the season in the FA Cup at Trafford last weekend. However, Armstrong said 'We thought he was suspended, but I’ve been told the FA have changed the rules and suspensions are competition-specific now.' That would rule Watson out of the FA Cup match at Leamington in a week’s time. Laing sustained a hamstring injury a fortnight ago in the defeat to York City...

Explained the manager, 'I can’t risk him pulling his hamstring again... but I can’t risk anyone given the amount of injuries we’ve got'...

Luke Trotman ruptured an Achilles tendon in the first weeks of the season, Jamie Holmes is scheduled to have surgery to repair his cruciate ligament in the first week of October, while Atkinson will be sidelined for three months once he has had an ankle op.

'As a player or manager I’ve never seen anything like it,' said a frustrated Armstrong. 'Yes you get injuries, hamstrings, thighs and groins, it happens, but not three major injuries in the space of a few weeks, not at this level. Financially it makes it very difficult. We were struggling to cope anyway. On Saturday we’ll have five players missing. It’s mad, but we just have to get on with it.'"

The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue)'s assistant manager Lee Fowler has called on his side to be more ruthless, saying that 'they can't always be mates'.

There was an angry reaction from many fans on social media after the woeful 4-2 FA Cup Second Qualifying Round home defeat to Morpeth Town last Saturday but Fowler urged supporters to get behind them. He insisted that loss was only the side's third really poor performance since he and Marcus Law (Avenue's manager) took charge last month, and feels sure they can bounce back, despite a difficult assignment at Brackley Town tomorrow.

He said '(Aside from the Morpeth game) we were disappointing against Alfreton Town and Farsley Celtic but we should have beaten Spennymoor Town and Boston United. We only lost 3-2 at Telford United too. We've shown we can defend by keeping clean sheets against Blyth Spartans and Darlington but we do need to be more ruthless. We can't always be mates and we need to change being so nicey. That starts in training.'

He added 'Football's not about tactics, it's about having desire. That said, the lads have to take responsibility and retain the information we give them, and be hard to break down... The fans pay for their ticket so they're entitled to their opinions. I understand their frustrations but we're not competing against each other and they have to realise where we are at as a football club too'...

'"We are hoping to make more signings but it's difficult. We can't hide behind it but Brackley have one of the most competitive budgets in the league. If you say we can pay x, they can triple x amount. I know their managers Kevin Wilkin and Jon Brady well. Over the last three years they've played the same way and kept everyone together. You could argue they have better players than us and they're really strong in midfield with James Armson and Shane Byrne. They'll be a threat at set pieces too.

'But we've watched them in the video room this week so we know the strengths and weaknesses of their side that we have to look at'...

Fowler mused 'We dominated the ball, so we had more possession and were more open than usual. So when we lost the ball, there were gaps and space. They only had two shots in the first half and scored two goals and the manner of those was not great. Marcus and I told them to keep up the tempo in the second half but we didn't and then we got a red card and they scored from the free-kick...

'There's no point in over-analysing as it will only drag us down.'"

Lynn News says that "King’s Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse has described tomorrow’s trip to table-topping York City as a ‘freebie’ for his high-flying side...

Culverhouse said 'It’s a freebie for us. We’ve got nothing to fear going to York, who are top and should win the league easily. We will go there and give it a real go and if they’re better than us on the day then so be it... It’s a beautiful old stadium, but these boys will relish going to play there. We will try to get on the ball as much as we can and try to cause them a problem.

'We know it will be difficult but our season won’t be defined by playing York City away.'

The Lynn chief may again be forced to shuffle his pack with striker Michael Gash, who missed the FA Cup replay victory over Alfreton in midweek, a huge doubt. 'His ankle is very swollen,' admitted Culverhouse... 'It will be touch-and-go... The quality of those players in that changing room is very high,' he said. 'Their football intellect and insight is very good. You can talk to some players and it goes three feet over their heads, but this lot take it in and listen and you get a response.'”

Also from Lynn News we learn that "Town’s Ryan Jarvis is relishing his first visit back to York City tomorrow after leaving the club four years ago. The 33-year-old spent two seasons at Bootham Crescent... He was released by the Minstermen in May 2015 after registering eight goals in 43 appearances...

Jarvis said... 'It’s a shame that they are actually at this level as they were in League Two back then... but obviously they are rebuilding again... They are doing well this season and you expect that, but we are really looking forward to it.

'We know it will be a very tough game, but the pressure will be on them being at home. We’ve got the belief that we can go there and upset them'...

Jarvis, who holds coaching aspirations once he calls time on his playing career, admits he is learning under current boss Ian Culverhouse. 'I have a group of players that I coach throughout the week and obviously it is stupid of me to not take any tips from Ian because he is a fantastic coach and probably one of the best, if not the best, I have worked under to be honest. He shouldn’t be at this level...

'I’m taking sessions and listening to his team talks and his knowledge is great. He is fantastic.'"

York Press informs us that "Adriano Moke says that he’s enjoying his football and believes he’s hit the peak years of his career.

Moke has been a regular for York in the heart of their midfield this season, playing alongside either Andy Bond or Paddy McLaughlin in City’s predominant 5-3-2 formation. The Portuguese midfielder is somewhat of a rarity in the National League North, a composed, agile midfielder with exceptional dribbling and passing qualities. At 29, Moke thinks he’s hitting the best years of his playing career.

'I’m not too sure where I’d say my style of football has come from really,' said Moke. 'They say that when you get to a certain age, you reach your peak and your best form comes out. I think that’s what’s happening with my game. I do watch a lot of other football, whether that be the Championship, Premier League or La Liga. I look at how they’re playing and I look to add that to my own game.

'There’s still improvement in my game to come. But, I’d say my best attributes or when I run with the ball and open up space for our attacking players to do what they are best at doing. I feel like I’m getting better and better. But, I don’t want my performances or standards to drop. I think that confidence on the ball comes from myself. I don’t want this to sound arrogant but, during a game and even in the warm-up, I will say to myself that I am the best player on the field.

'That’s the mentality that I’ve got now. I’ve been happy with my performances this year as a result of that and hopefully I can keep helping the team out.'

The 5-3-2 formation that manager Steve Watson has predominantly deployed this season has also seemed to benefit the playing style of Moke.

'I’m loving playing in this new system,' added Moke. 'Personally, I’m the type of player that just loves to get on the ball. I’ll run into space if I see it and hopefully I can create chances for our forwards. I love to keep the ball as well and keep possession for the team and I think that’s one of my strengths. There’s always sides to my game that I can improve upon, probably the defensive side of my game.

'I’m loving the formation and it makes my job so much easier when I’ve got players like Joe Tait and Sean Newton behind me. They’re big leaders in the team. Fergie (David Ferguson) is the same, he’s a real leader and he’s been fantastic for us this season'...

Asserted Moke... 'We don’t tend to focus on other teams, we’ll just be looking at ourselves... It’s a nice feeling to be sat at the top of the table. We’re not getting carried away with it as a group... If we were to get three points against King’s Lynn, that would be massive for us'".

"It is with disappointment that Blyth Spartans announce the cancellation of Jake Orrell’s contract by mutual consent. Orrell, after signing from Newcastle Benfield in the summer, appeared in 10 of Blyth’s 13 games in all competitions this season.

The decision to release him from his contract was made reluctantly at the player’s request...

Manager Lee Clark said: “Jake came to see me about leaving. 'I was disappointed but, if anyone wants to play at a lower level, then they have not got the ambition I want'".

S 27 September 2019


Gateshead were surprise additions to the National League North this season when their financial issues led to their enforced demotion from the National League proper. It could have been worse for The Heed as, initially, they were jettisoned from the National League altogether but an appeal got them reinstated, albiet in the North rather than National level.

Gateshead are one of the few clubs at Step Two who employ a player-manager, in the shape of 35 year-old former Newcastle United and Wycombe Wanderers' defender, Mike Williamson.

He joined Gateshead in summer 2018 as a player before becoming player-coach in January 2019. After Steve Watson left to manage York City, Williamson took over the reins in the summer. Williamson gave a video interview to Gateshead's website in which he previewed the club's visit to Altrincham. Referring to Alty, he said "They play good football and have a game plan".

The Heed started the season with a series of four draws, (at home to Southport and BPA, and away at Darlington and Telford), before securing a first win of the season in game five at Kettering. They then lost 0-3 at home to Farsley, secured an away draw at York and beat Brackley 2-0 in the North-East. Two more home wins followed, against Spennymoor and Boston before losing a midweek game at Hereford FC.

Including a 6-0 win last week at home to Ramsbottom United in the FA Cup, Gateshead have secured four wins out of five matches, a run which has included four clean sheets. However, all of those four wins have been at the International Stadium.

Gateshead currently lie eighth with a record of 4 wins, 5 draws and 2 defeats. They have scored 12 league goals in their eleven outings and conceded 9 times. Alty go into the match with 12 points, lying sixteenth with three wins, three draws and five losses and a goal tally of 16 for and 19 against.


The last time Gateshead visited Alty was when both clubs were at the national level. That was on a Tuesday night, 8 March 2016, when The Heed won 3-2.

After that match Altrincham slipped further into an ultimately unsuccessful relegation fight as they completed a run of six successive home league fixtures, none of which they won. In fact, they had secured just one win in a sequence of 13 National League games.

In the match itself, Gateshead went ahead in the 11th minute when they broke upfield after an Alty attack had been ended by a foul by Josh O'Keefe. Hamilton got up the left and his cross was converted by Johnson.

Two minutes after the interval Altrincham got level when a Ginnelly [left] freekick was whipped in and fumbled badly by Heed keeper Russell. Holness arrived to bundle the loose ball home at the back post.

But, just five minutes later, a goalkeeping slip at the other end allowed Johnson to restore Gateshead's leak. His innocuous looking shot from the edge of the box seemed to skid on the soft surface past Deasy's waiting hands and carried on into the net.

Alty went close, especially with a shot from Reeves which fizzed past the wrong side of the post, but the visitors wrapped up the game, five minutes from the end of normal time. CJ Hamilton broke free up the inside left channel and finished impressively past the exposed Alty goalkeeper.

Deep into added time Alty won a penalty for a foul on Reeves. Moult's firmly struck spot kick had enough power to get through Russell's hands to make it 2-3.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 15. Josh GINNELLY, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 19 Ryan CROWTHER 23. Callum WILLIAMS

GATESHEAD: 1. Sam Russell, 30. Andre Bennett, 3. Matthew Pattison, 5. James Curtis, 29. Alex Whitmore, 6. Ben Clark (capt), 26. Patrick McLaughlin, 12. Gus Mafuta, 28. Christopher Hamilton, 9. Jon Shaw, 20. Danny Johnson. Subs: 25. Brendan Pearson, 2. Craig Baxter, 4. Jamie Chandler, 14. Darren Holden 8. Robert Ramshaw,


Back in August, GM Police announced that former Alty player "Callum Dolan, 18yrs of Offerton has been charged with Dangerous Driving, Disqualified Driving, Driving whilst on Mobile Phone, No Insurance & FTS [Failing to Stop for] Police following a pursuit earlier on the M60 in which the driver failed to stop after being seen texting".

It is now reported that he has been sentenced to eight months in gaol and sacked by Oldham Athletic. Dolan made 1(+3) appearances for Altrincham last season.

Altrincham's most recent signing, Lewis Archer came to Moss Lane from Alvechurch FC and the Midlands club have now apparently replaced the young forward with a former Alty veteran as NL Daily tells us that "Alvechurch have brought in frontman Kyle Perry [right] from Bromsgrove Sporting".


The Manchester Evening News reports that "The Manchester Sports Awards are returning for 2019, and you can have a say in who takes home one of the top accolades.

The awards are a celebration of the achievements of the city’s people, clubs and community organisations, with a big emphasis on the volunteers who give countless hours to sports. The shortlist for the M.E.N. People's Champion has been revealed and voting is now open to decide who will win.

The People's Champion award celebrates a person who has made an impact over a number of years on people, a club, a school or their community".

One of the four nominees from across Greater Manchester is Altrincham FC volunteer and an expert on the club's history, Terry Surridge. Many supporters will encounter Terry at every home game, selling matchday programmes.

"Terry [left] first came to Manchester in 1963 as a teacher, and began a long history of success in sports coaching and administration in Wythenshawe and across Manchester. Since 1973 he has worked in Gorton, where he first started coaching weightlifting in school and his club, Team Manchester.

In 1981 he was appointed Deputy Head at Wright Robinson College to where he transferred the programme in 1982. Terry’s achievements within weightlifting are extensive; he organised the British Schools' Championships which were held at the college and has coached youngsters who have successfully competed across the globe.

Individuals under Terry’s tutelage took part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2004 in an all-Mancunian England Team. His club was voted the British Weightlifting Association 'Development Club of 2013' and became the first weightlifting club to achieve the Governing Body’s Club Mark.

In recent years, Terry has established a highly promising girls' squad and, in retirement, his commitment hasn't waned, travelling several times a week and at weekends to Gorton to coach young people and adults in the sport he loves".

You can vote for Terry here!


With the season fewer than eight weeks old, already three managers have been relieved of their posts in the National League North. Following the departures of the Hereford and Bradford (PA) bosses, Kettering dipensed with the services of their manager this week. From there, the Northants Telegraph tells us that "Luke Graham is ready to do his bit to help Kettering Town in the short-term but insists he 'won’t be the next manager of this club'.

The hunt is now on for the Poppies’ next permanent boss after Nicky Eaden was sacked following the humiliating 2-1 defeat at lower-ranked Sutton Coldfield Town in Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round replay. That added to what had already been a poor start to life in the Vanarama National League North with Kettering winning just two of their first 11 matches.

Player-coach Graham and former Poppies' captain and ex-Corby Town boss Steve Kinniburgh have been appointed caretaker joint managers while the club conduct a search for the next permanent boss and they will take charge of the team for Saturday’s league clash at Hereford...

'I think Steve and I will complement each other well while the club does what it needs to do', Graham said. 'We already work together on a daily basis. I know the squad and he has his recent experience of first-team management at Corby. All anyone will ever get from me is honesty, I will tell people what they don’t want to hear. And I can tell you now, I won’t be the next manager of this club. I don’t want to be.

'As a player or as a coach, this will be my last club. I have my main role and that is my future. Steve will have my full support and what he wants to do in his career is up to him. But, for the time being, we both have to do what is right for the club and that’s what we will do.'

Graham, meanwhile, insists the Poppies players will have no choice but show their character this weekend and in the future. 'It’s easy to point the finger at the manager but there are always 11 players out there as well the substitutes and the reality is that, as a group, we haven’t been good enough,' he added. 'It’s clear that personnel changes will have to happen but we are in a situation at the moment where you really find out about people’s characters.

'People will look at us and say that we are already in a relegation battle and that may well be the case. I have been in four of them in my career so I know what characters you need. The one thing I would say about the players is that on Saturday there will be people watching. The next manager might be watching. And if these players want to be at this club for any length of time to come then they need to get out and perform for it.'"

York City "announce that midfielder Elliott Durrell has signed for the club on a free transfer. 30 year-old Durrell puts pen to paper after his release from League Two side Macclesfield Town in the summer and links up again with Steve Watson, who was previously assistant-manager with the Silkmen.

Speaking on the new signing, Watson said 'He played a huge part in Macclesfield winning the National League and he spent a lot of that year injured but, even his appearances when he came off the bench, he was a complete game-changer. Elliott is a little bit different to what we have got, he is someone that can pick locks and score out of nothing.

'He has been training at other clubs this summer without finding anything that really appealed to him and he’s another player who I thought we’d struggle to get because of the level we are at. He’s had a look at the City, stayed overnight a couple of times, trained with the boys, seen the training facilities and he knows that this is a big club which is ready to go places.'

Durrell made 55 appearances for Macclesfield over his two seasons with the club, and was notably named in the National League ‘Team of the Year’ for 2017-18 after winning promotion back to the Football League with the Cheshire-based side. Injury hampered his time in League Two last term, but Durrell still managed to find the back of the net four times in 18 games from midfield.

Watson added 'Until we ascertain where he is at fitness-wise in terms of 90 minutes I think he will be a player to come on and make an impact at first. But he won’t want to hear that and he won’t want to be that so the Buxton game in the FA Cup might be a good time to see where he is at and unleash him on that day rather than this weekend'.

Durrell now brings the total number of senior pros to 26, and goes straight into contention for the game against King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Watson explained, 'I’m always looking to make us better and give us something different to what we've got. I think with Elliott we’ve done that. We have four very good centre midfielders and four or five very good strikers but he is unique in the fact that he can play between the two and find those gaps where when we have been struggling to create, he can help with that.'"

According to the National League, "Gavin Cowan believes time could be the best healer for AFC Telford's fledgling season and insists things can only get better. After a tough start to their league campaign, the Bucks crashed out of the FA Cup to Nantwich Town last week, something Cowan says is a low point...

'Saturday was a real low point but sometimes, when you’ve had such good success, you’ve got to hit rock bottom to start to pick up again,' he told the Shropshire Star. 'We need to get to Saturday and put in a performance more than anything. Hopefully the result looks after itself. I think they are hurting,' he added. 'With the conversations we have, we have a very open floor for people to say how they feel.'

The Bucks head to Blyth Spartans on Saturday afternoon, a side who have yet to record their first league win of the season... 'We’re just staying positive,' Cowan said. 'We retained 90 per cent of players and brought quality in. They don’t turn into bad players overnight, it doesn’t all fall apart. It could be a completely different conversation in a month.'"

Spennymoor Town "return to National League North action following last weekend’s FA Cup exploits searching for a third home win of the campaign. This weekend’s visitors, Kidderminster Harriers, come into the game on the back of a damaging 3-0 loss at Stafford Rangers...

Moors are in a hot streak of scoring form following 13 goals in their previous four games in all competitions, and having extended the current unbeaten run last Saturday, confidence is high in the camp. A big part of those scoring figures has been down to the partnership of Adam Boyes and James Roberts, with both strikers scoring three times each since leading the line at home to King’s Lynn earlier in the month.

Jason Ainsley will have decisions to make after the return of Glen Taylor from injury against Lancaster, with the striker taking just ten minutes to score a brace from the bench in the second half at Giant Axe. Harriers sit 14th in the division and four points above Moors, boasting a strong away record. It’s at home where their problems have been, collecting just four points from a possible 18." Three of the Harriers' home haul were at Altrincham's expense!

From the other side, Kidderminster Harriers report that "Manager John Pemberton was left understandably disappointed with his team’s FA Cup exit at Stafford Rangers. Following the 3-0 defeat, the boss felt the first half cost his side the tie after two mistakes led to the opening goals.

He gave the hosts their due, though, saying 'Fair credit to Stafford they played really well, showed a lot of spirit and we couldn’t quite get to grips with it first half. The second half was better, but the damage had already been done by then. We played Stafford, over two legs we weren’t good enough, and the buck stops with me.. We made two mistakes which has [sic] cost us the game'".

Southport's "Zehn Mohammed is confident that Southport can continue their improved run of form as they prepare for Saturday’s visit to Boston United. The Port are currently unbeaten in five games, winning four, as they have climbed to ninth place... and progressed in the Emirates FA Cup.

Mohammed has scored in the last two games... The on-loan Accrington Stanley defender has featured regularly for the Port during the early part of season after returning following his time at the club last campaign...

'My personal goal for the season is to get as many games as I can and try to keep clean sheets as a defender. It’s a bonus if I get a goal. As a team I think the play-offs is a more than reasonable target'...

He has featured at right back and in the centre of the defence and is happy to make a contribution at both ends of the pitch... He added 'Liam [Watson, the manager] has told me to stand in the six-yard box rather than taking a run up and ever since I’ve started doing it it’s been working for me. “In training we’re always working on defensive set pieces so we’re used to being in a crowded area and I think it’s starting to show in the offensive set pieces too.'"

The Telegraph & Argus states that "A 370-mile round trip awaits Guiseley this weekend as they look to transfer their FA Cup form into the league.

The Lions roared into the FA Cup third qualifying round against Peterborough Sports next month following a 1-0 win over Stockton Town in the previous round. Now they look to maintain their good run of form when they face a long road trip to Gloucester City...

Guiseley are fourth following six wins from their opening 11 games of the season, which has [sic] seen them collect 20 points. Meanwhile, Gloucester, new to the division this season, are 15th with 14 points after winning four of their first 11 matches...

Guiseley joint-manager Russ O'Neill says confidence is high within the camp. He said 'We're on a good run. We go to Gloucester not looking to get just one point, but for all three. We've got to keep as physical as we have been and intensity [sic] and then we can be a threat to anybody at our level.'

Meanwhile, Guiseley striker Kaine Felix says Gloucester City will pose equally as hard a challenge as any other side in the division... He said 'Last weekend was the cup out of the way for now. We can concentrate on the league, that is our main priority... It was a good team performance against Stockton Town. We deserved the win. We created more chances... We won as a team, that's the main thing'"

And Guiseley "fan Joe Priestley previews Saturday’s trip to Gloucester’s Evesham home. "They face unpredictable Gloucester who will look to move up the table following a 5-0 win in the FA Cup last week...

There’s no major concerns for The Lions going into this one in terms of player availability. Kaine Felix will be looking to continue his good form following a battling performance in the cup last weekend. Aaron Martin will look to score his 15th goal of the campaign... whilst a strong performance from Kennedy Digie could create a positive selection dilemma for Marcus and Russ.

Like the lions, Gloucester mix youth and experience. They boast midfielder Joe Hanks on their books and he’s certainly performing having scored 9 goals. Gloucester are new to the league but not the tier having plied their trade in the southern section in most recent years but the club as a whole will certainly be boosted as plans for their new ground begin to take shape".

Curzon Ashton "exited the FA Cup at the first attempt after being overpowered by Blyth Spartans in their 2nd qualifying round replay.

Michael Sweet's goal less than two minutes into the second half was the difference, although the scoreline could easily have been more comfortable in the hosts' favour were it not for a superb performance in goal from Curzon debutant Kai Calderbank-Park. Forced to make the 300+ mile round trip to Northumberland on Tuesday night after Saturday's 4-4 draw, the Nash struggled to impose themselves in a sluggish performance from start to finish...

There were four changes to the side that started that thrilling game on Saturday. Luke Wall was given the nod after a bright appearance from the bench with Liam Davies and Jack Banister also called in at the expense of Josh Askew, Isaac Sinclair and the injured Matt Regan. And with Nash number one Cam Mason set to undergo an operation on Friday, he wasn't risked meaning 18-year old Calderbank-Park, on loan from Burnley, was given a first start.

He was busy from the start, cutting off Blyth striker Sweet as he tried to round him... Wrightson and Callum Roberts had given the Nash defence a torrid time in their first meeting and they continued in a similar vein here with the latter drilling a low effort wide from 20 yards and the former bringing an excellent save from Calderbank-Park low to his right hand side...

After a half-hour dominated by the hosts, Curzon grew into the game in the last quarter of an hour and almost sneaked a goal as Daniel Trickett-Smith found space in the area only to be denied by a last ditch block from Blyth centre back Lewis Ritson.

Spartans didn't have to wait long in the second half for the breakthrough their play merited as Sweet found space behind the Curzon defence and... beat Calderbank-Park with an accurate effort into the far corner".


The NL Paper says that "Wrexham have run out of patience and sacked Bryan Hughes only days after giving him the dreaded vote of confidence. Hughes was shown the door late on Wednesday night as the Red Dragons parted company with their fifth manager in the space of 18 months.

The 43-year-old was under mounting pressure from fans at the Racecourse Ground with his side in the relegation zone and without a win in eight games. After being backed by the club’s board publicly last Monday, a statement announcing his departure was released at 11.30pm after directors finally lost patience following back to back defeats at Aldershot and a 3-2 reverse at AFC Fylde on Tuesday night. There was no news of a successor or caretaker and it remains to be seen who’ll be in charge on Saturday when Wrexham host Ebbsfleet.

A club statement read... 'All parties decided that a change was needed. The outcome is that Bryan has left his position of First Team Manager with immediate effect. Following on from a promising end to the 2018-19 season in which the club finished with its third highest points total in its history under Bryan’s control, the club currently finds itself at the wrong end of the table and without a win in eight league games. We are fully focused on improving upon this situation going forward'...

The 43-year-old former Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic midfielder kicked off his career at Wrexham, making nearly 100 appearances in the 1990s. Appointed in February on a three-and-a-half-year contract as the successor to Graham Barrow, Hughes steered Wrexham to a fourth placed finish last season before losing to Eastleigh in extra-time in the play-off quarter-finals.

After making a promising start to the club’s 12th campaign in Non-League, Hughes was sacked with Wrexham fourth from bottom having not won since a 1-0 home victory over Halifax on August 13."

26 September 2019


Match report here.

Manager Phil Parkinson's post-match interview with press and media officer, John Edwards, is on the Altrincham FC site. Phil also comments on the injury to Yusifu Ceesay and the signing of Lewis Archer in his interview.

Also on the club's official site, Brian Flynn's post-match interview with goalscorer James Jones [right] is here.


Following their FA Cup defeat on Tuesday night, Chester FC reported that "Altrincham advanced in the Emirates FA Cup replay this evening at Moss Lane as a 2nd minute header proved to be the difference.

The Robins’ James Jones glanced in at the near post inside the first 100 seconds and it proved to be the only goal, but the Blues would feel hard done by as a George Waring header was chalked off early in the second half.

The Blues made four changes from the first game at the Deva on Saturday... Nevertheless it was the visitors who made the perfect start. A corner whipped in from the right found the head of James Jones (Altrincham’s James Jones) to glance into the net at the near post.

But the Blues were quick to respond and create, as crosses from Jackson and then Mahon from a corner almost found unmarked men in the middle...

On 39 minutes, [a] lovely interchange between Josh Hancock and Jordan Hulme presented the former with a chance but Russ Griffiths did brilliantly to sprint off his line and make an acrobatic reaction save before Roberts cleared the rebound off the line.

Controversy shrouded the first few minutes of the second half. A well worked free kick saw the excellent George Glendon clip a cross in for Waring to nod home and send the Blues' fans in the way end delirious. However, after a delay of about 30 seconds, the goal was ruled out. A good spell followed for Bern and Jonno’s side....

Danny Elliott and Waring both wasted good chances in front of goal late on, and the home side held on to advance to face Halesowen in 3QR".


Following this Saturday's home game with Gateshead, Altrincham potentially have five of their following six matches on the road.

First up is a trip to Halesowen Town in the FA Cup 3Q on 5 October.

And the following Saturday is assigned to a league trip to Guiseley. The Saturday after that, if Alty are out of the FA Cup, they travel to Kettering Town in the league; or, they could have an FA Cup tie which may, or not, be away.

October 26 does witness a home game, when AFC Telford United visit Altrincham. However, on the following Tuesday (29th), Alty are travelling to the Bower Fold for a Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Stalybridge Celtic.

To round off the sequence, Altrincham take the long road to King's Lynn Town on 2 November.


On Saturday, Altrincham entertain Gateshead at the J. Davidson Stadium as the teams return to National League North action.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Gateshead

  • Home: P24-W11-D5-L8-F41-A30
  • Away: P22-W9-D3-L10-F26-A30
  • All: P46-W20-D8-L18-F67-A60

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years file for Saturday's date reminds us that last time Alty played on 28 September they bowed out of the FA Cup at Trafford.


Kettering Town announce that "First-team manager Nicky Eaden has left the club with immediate effect. This decision has been made following our poor start to the league campaign and early exit from this year’s FA Cup. The board accept that the step up, to the National League structure, was always going to be challenging but recent performances and our FA Cup elimination were not acceptable.

Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham will take the role of joint caretaker manager, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, permanent manager".

This came after Kettering Town reported "The Poppies were dramatically knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup 2nd round (replay) 2-1 in a disappointing night at Sutton Coldfield Town. Despite taking an 11-minute lead through Gary Stohrer, The Royals came back with two goals (one a penalty) to knock the stuffing out of Nicky Eaden's beleagured side. The West Midlands outfit fully deserved their victory over the Poppies, defying their two division difference over the FA Cup leading scorers."

The unofficial Harriers Online reports that "Following Saturday’s goalless draw the Harriers made the short trip to Marston Road looking to progress to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup and yet another game vs Stourbridge.

Alex Prosser was handed a start as Richard Peniket failed to shake off the hamstring injury from Saturday while Ryan Johnson returned to the side at the expense of Harry Higginson. Also missing, somewhat surprisingly, was Ed Williams who had picked up a hip problem and was rested with Shane Lowth coming in for his debut in place of him...

Just short of the half hour mark the deadlock was broken. Alex Prosser pulled out of an aerial tussle and conceded a foul. The resulting free kick in the centre circle was worked out wide where the ball was fizzed in with Dan Burns turning home at the back post...

With five minutes to go until the halftime break Stafford doubled their lead....Rangers broke, with Evan Garnett meeting a cross and heading the ball off the post. Recycling the chance, the ball found its way to Josh Green, who bent a great effort into the top corner from twenty-five yards out.

Around the hour mark Harry Higginson and Jaiden White entered the fray with the latter looking to get involved... Indeed, it was the youngster who created the next couple of chances for Harriers. Firstly he swung in a dangerous ball... He then beat the goalscorer Green all ends up, with the defender going down and blocking White with his hands. Penalty Harriers!

Chambers stepped up and duly dispatched it in the general direction of Eccleshall.

As we entered the final ten minutes the Harriers shape had been well and truly abandoned and Butterfield and Moyo both seemed to be playing up front. The captain had an effort blocked for a corner that was wasted before Stafford trebled their lead. Having ducked past a pair of defenders Charles was unceremoniously hacked down by Rhys Williams before rifling his penalty into the roof of the net.

Stafford go through to play Stourbridge whilst the Harriers fans’ apathy continues to deepen, as do the depths to which the club drop. We never really wanted to play Stourbridge anyway".

Happier news comes from Blyth Spartans where "Blyth Spartans recorded their first win of the season and progressed into the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup after beating Curzon Ashton 1-0.

Lee Clark’s side peppered the visitors goal in the first-half before getting their just rewards after Michael Sweet’s 47th-minute goal, his first in Green and White colours. Clark named an unchanged starting 11 from the first meeting with Joe Robson returning to the bench following a one-match suspension. Meanwhile, Curzon opted to field four changes.

And it’s fair to say you wouldn’t see a more one-sided half an hour of football as Blyth squandered chance after chance to take the lead... While opportunities on goal were frequent, Spartans showed their composure in possession, exampled by Robbie Dale, Sweet and Roberts...

You felt it was never going to happen for Clark’s side when Wrightson smashed his effort onto the post. The rebound found to Dale, who horribly blasted over the rebound. As Curzon began to find their feet in the game in the final 15 minutes of the first-half, Blyth were dealt an injury blow as Rhys Evans hobbled off with Robson replacing him.

However, while the visitors went into the break with some momentum, Sweet, the man of the moment, deservedly broke the deadlock for Spartans in the 47th minute... lacing his attempt into the bottom left corner, leaving the inspired Calderbank-Park with no chance".

King's Lynn Town "fought back from going a goal behind to beat Alfreton Town and progress to the third qualifying round of this season’s FA Cup.

In the third encounter of the season between the two teams it was little surprise that the two teams found themselves locked together at the interval as both enjoyed good goal possession but were unable to carve out clear cut chances.

That all changed shortly after the restart as the visitors Shane Killock nodded home from close range following a corner. The lead was to last only five minutes however before the in-form Adam Marriott levelled things as he drove the ball home from just inside the area. Marriott then turned provider when he set up substitute Nathan Fox to drill home the winner with 16 minutes remaining following a quick Town break.

The Linnets will now travel to Leek Town on Saturday October 5th in the third qualifying round".

25 September 2019


Following a pitch inspection at the J. Davidson Stadium, Tuesday night's FA Cup replay against Chester FC went ahead and, in just the second minute, James Jones headed home his fourth goal of the season and what proved to be the only goal of the night, from a corner.

Chester had, likewise, taken a second-minute lead last Saturday but they had been unable to hold it. And when Waring headed home in the 49th minute it looked as if the pattern was repeating itself albeit in reverse. But the intervention of the linesman persuaded referee Watson to overturn the award of a goal.

Right: Despite being cup-tied, Alty fans had a glimpse of new signing Lewis Archer in the warm-up.

Playing with a much better tempo than in several games of late Altrincham had chances to extend their lead, with Hancock spurning the best chance in the second half. Despite Mr Watson somehow allowing the game to extend into its 98th minute Altrincham deservedly earned a tie at Halesowen Town in the next round on 5 October.

Match report here.


Second Qualifying Round replays affecting National League North and other local clubs are:

Tuesday 24 September 2019

  • Altrincham 1-0 Chester FC
  • Blyth Spartans 1-0 Curzon Ashton
  • Ossett United 0-4 Colne
  • King's Lynn Town 2-1 Alfreton Town
  • Chasetown 1-2 Leamington
  • Sutton Coldfield Town 2-1 Kettering Town
  • Witton Albion 0-1 Belper Town
  • Stafford Rangers 3-0 Kidderminster Harriers


The Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round has produced the following ties affecting National League North or other north-west teams. The ties are taking place over the weekend of 5 October. Winners get £11,250 and losers £3,750

  • Halesowen Town v ALTRINCHAM
  • Ashton United v Spennymoor Town
  • Hednesford Town v Blyth Spartans
  • Nantwich Town v Morpeth Town
  • Peterborough Sports v Guiseley
  • Leek Town v King's Lynn Town
  • Whitby Town v Gloucester City
  • Kidsgrove Athletic v Gateshead
  • Stourbridge v Stafford Rangers
  • Belper v Rushall Olympic
  • Buxton v York City
  • Tamworth v Hereford FC
  • Dunston v Colne
  • Farsley Celtic v Southport
  • Leamington v Darlington
  • Sutton Coldfield v Boston United
  • Brackley Town v Warrington Town

Altrincham's only two previous meetings with The Yeltz (Halesowen Town) were in season 2017-18 when Alty won 3-0 at the JDS and 2-0 in the West Midlands.


The scheduled league fixture for Altrincham FC Ladies on Sunday 6 October, away to Liverpool Feds Reserves Women, has been postponed


The Northwich Guardian reports that "Witton Albion chairman John Salmon has highlighted an improving financial position for the club, which includes a groundshare extension plan with Northwich Victoria.

Four months ago Salmon asked supporters for their help to pay bills because not enough money was being made by the Wincham Park club. Manager Carl Macauley and his number two Gary Martindale agreed to a pay cut and most of the players were asked to do the same. More than £10,000 support was pledged by a small group of supporters almost immediately.

'Our financial situation has improved dramatically in the last three or four months,' said Salmon in a statement this week. 'It needed to. Sixty club pledges have been a godsend and have steadied the ship. A lot of historic debt has been cleared although there is some way to go.'

Prize money from the club’s continuing run in the FA Cup, which would rise to a minimum £10,000 with victory over Belper Town in tonight's second qualifying round replay at Wincham Park, will be a help, as will deals close to being confirmed. Salmon, referring to terms that go beyond the current arrangement that sees Vics as tenants at Wincham Park until the end of this season, added 'We are finalising a two-year extension to the ground share with Northwich Victoria, which is worth a lot to the club in rental income, bar takings and other benefits.

'The agreement will be signed over the coming weeks and sent to the league to ratify... Our social club has taken off massively under Jackie Beasant’s stewardship,' he said. 'We did outstandingly well over the bank holiday weekend when we hosted a rock festival. They have booked an even bigger event next year. Slimming World and Kiddy Dribblers are about to sign rental agreements for the year as we negotiate the small print. Sky Sports and BT complete the revamp.'

Salmon has hailed the work that has seen the Academy, under 21s and youth team feed players through to Macauley’s side.”


According to the Shropshire Star, "Gavin Cowan has called for perspective at AFC Telford United as the boss insisted ‘It’s a marathon not a sprint’.

The Bucks chief revealed he was at the lowest ebb of his tenure after Saturday’s 3-0 home FA Cup exit against lower-ranked Nantwich Town. Telford are 13th in the National League North after four wins from their first 11 games, but while the boss understands fans’ expectancy for his side after last season’s success, Cowan does not accept everything is doom and gloom.

'It’s sheer disappointment. But ultimately we’re trying to put things into perspective,' Cowan said. 'Even though it’s not been an accelerated start, we are still four points off the play-offs after 11 games. Going out of the FA Cup is not ideal but we have to put a little perspective on it. There’s an expectation on us now and we have got to live up to that.'

Cowan added a reminder that the priority for his side this term is to secure their status in the middle of the division’s pack. The boss added 'It’s a marathon not a sprint. It’s always great when you’re winning football matches, but they don’t all have to come in the first 10 games of the season. It’s better to finish well, look at Blyth last year. They finished well and ended up in the play-offs. I’m not saying that’s what we want; I’d rather start winning from Saturday, but ultimately I expect to be mid-table and assess from there.

'As soon as mid-table points arrive then we can start looking at the next stage. But we have to put things into perspective.'"

24 September 2019


Tonight (Tuesday), Alty take on Chester FC in a replay of their Second Qualifying Round tie, following the protracted 1-1 draw on Saturday. And this match could go on even longer, if extra time and even penalties are required.

Altrincham have injury doubts over Josh Hancock [right], who scored the equalizer on Saturday. Yusifu Ceesay is now reported to be sidelined till November and Steven Drench also remains long-term injured.

Alty's last game on this date, 24 September, was a 0-1 defeat to Boston United at Moss Lane.

Chester FC add that "After a lengthy and physical draw at the Deva Stadium on Saturday, Chester and Altrincham will do battle once again tonight.

The 1-1 draw down CH1 in the Second Qualifying Round has brought about a replay tonight at Moss Lane. Matty Hughes’s early goal got the Blues off to a super start, but injuries and half time changes harmed momentum and brought an equaliser for Alty scored by Josh Hancock. Russ Griffiths, Danny Livesey and Scott Burton all took nasty knocks as well as left back Joel Taylor being forced off at the break due to injury.

Altrincham’s scorer Hancock was also forced off with injury, and may miss tonight’s game."


Should they overcome Chester FC in tonight's FA Cup replay, Altrincham will travel to Halesowen Town on 5 October or thereabouts as the FA pointedly says ties are to be played over that weekend.

Alty line up at Halesowen in March, 2018. Left to right: Moult, Deasy, Harrison, Hancock, White, Hulme, Hannigan, Densmore, Richman, Johnston and no.10 Poole.

Altrincham's only previous visit to Halesowen Town came on 24 March, 2018, when goals by Jordan Hulme and Simon Richman clinched a 2-0 league victory. That game was in the EvoStik Northern Premier League. Since then the leagues' reorganization moved Halesowen to the Premier Central division of the Southern League for the 2018-19 season. After again finishing second-bottom in 2018-19, the Yeltz were relegated to the Southern League Division One Central where they currently lie seventh with a game or more in hand on most of their competitors.

Last Saturday, Halesowen Town beat Stratford Town, from the division above, 4-1.

For the 2018 match at Halesowen, Alty arrived in the West Midlands after a rocky sequence of home games which had produced two defeats and a draw. But they were back to much better form at Halesowen in what was only their second away match in ten weeks, thanks to postponements and a run of home fixtures assigned by the league. But for wayward shooting, especially in the second half, Altrincham would have won by a wider margin against a Halesowen side which kept going to the end.

Alty took the lead in the eleventh minutes after attacking relentlessly from kick off. Jordan Hulme netted the goal after a superb jinking run into the box by John Johnston. Despite losing Tom Hannigan to injury after 32 minutes, Alty doubled their lead seven minutes later when Simon Richman scored from close range, following a pass from Hulme.

Alty kept their first clean sheet for ten weeks but failed to add to their own score in the second half as they extended their lead at the top of the table to four points.

The reverse fixture in Altrincham had taken place on 14 October, 2017 when Alty had won 3-0 to go top of the division for the first time that season, a place they maintained until the end of the campaign. Halesowen finished the season in 23rd place but would have been a place higher but for a four points' deduction.


"Chester Football Club are aware of an incident involving one of our players Gary Stopforth which resulted in him attending court on 23rd September 2019 in relation to a charge of Drink Driving following an incident which occurred earlier this month.

As a club, Chester Football Club take matters such as this very seriously and the incident has been dealt with and concluded internally. Gary is aware of the expected standards of behaviour from him and that his actions fell well below this.

The Club have been asked to pass on the following comment on behalf of Gary who states 'I am very conscious of the fact that I have let down a lot of people by my actions, which I deeply regret, I have to try to make up for a terrible error of judgement and I intend to do so, first by accepting the fine and punishment handed down by the court and subsequently by my actions. Drink driving is a very serious offence and there is no excuse for what I have done.

'The club has been very supportive throughout this process and I want to concentrate now on my responsibilities to the Club and work hard to get back in the team'".

The Chester Standard adds that "Chester FC player has been fined £850 after he admitted drink-driving. Gary Stopforth, 32, was found to be almost three times the legal limit for alcohol when he was stopped by police officers in the city on September 6.

Chester Magistrates Court heard on Monday (September 23) that he had been driving a VW Caddy van on Princess Street, just yards from the police station. A breath test revealed the Blues’ midfielder had 100 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35.

Stopforth, of Burnley, Lancs, was handed a fine of £850 and must pay prosecution costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Meanwhile, Chester FC "Leading drug and alcohol charity, WDP and Chester Football Club are teaming up to give people who access substance misuse services the chance to obtain tickets for home matches at the Deva Stadium... and help them to bolster their recovery journey...

Chester Football Club are donating 20 tickets to each game as part of this pilot scheme".

According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan took full responsibility for his side’s disappointing exit from the Emirates FA Cup. The Bucks lost 3-0 to Cheshire side Nantwich Town, who play one division below in the Northern Premier, as their struggles in front of their own fans continued.

Some of them voiced their frustrations and Cowan didn’t hide afterwards, saying 'They’re my players, they’re players I’ve recruited and players I’ve put out on to the pitch, so the buck stops with me. I want to apologise to the supporters. I’ve set a level of expectation since I’ve been at the football club, so the bar is very high. I understand their frustration.

'Some of the supporters were amazing at the end, and I took the time to offer my apologies. Some of them were really encouraging, and some were pretty damning and frustrated and I appreciate that. I don’t take it personally because they just want the club to do well, the same as I do.'

Cowan wasn’t prepared to say where he felt his team’s problems lay. 'I’ve got to go away and look at it,' he added. 'It’s extremely disappointing, for me, the staff and the players, because no one goes out there to lose football matches. It’s hard to go into detail about what went wrong without criticising others, but ultimately it’s my responsibility and mine only.

The Bucks' boss was adamant he hadn’t underestimated Nantwich. 'We knew they would be a good side, we certainly didn’t take them for granted, because a lot of their players have played at this level and higher', he said. Acknowledging the defeat as perhaps his lowest point in his tenure, Cowan remained bullish, adding 'I’ll maintain my beliefs, and perhaps we are suffering a bit of a hangover from last year... I’d ask people to stick with me, because I will get it right.'”

We learn from the Eastern Daily Press that "King's Lynn Town will travel to Leek Town in the FA Cup third qualifying round, if they can negotiate their replay against Alfreton Town at The Walks on Tuesday night.

The Linnets drew 1-1 with the Reds at the weekend as Adam Marriott's strike was cancelled out by Danny Lynch and both sides know the prize at stake for the winner. Leek ply their trade in the BetVictor Northern South East Division, two steps below the Linnets, and booked their place in the next round thanks to a 4-0 win at Boston Town."

Less happy with their draw are Kidderminster Harriers' supporters as the unofficial Harriers Online tells us "We get bloody Stourbridge in the FA Cup again. Groundhog Day struck again earlier this afternoon when, yet again, Kidderminster Harriers were given the possibility of playing Stourbridge FC in a cup game. It’s become something of a joke amongst Harriers fans that we always seem to draw our neighbours at one stage or another in these games but now it’s becoming a tradition.

A tradition that none of us want.

In the last four seasons we’ve played them in the FA Cup twice and lost twice and in the FA Trophy once. We lost that one too. In October four years ago we went out in the 4th qualifying round 3-0 then only two months later we met the same fate in the Trophy losing 2-1. Thankfully the FA gave us a three year breather until we met once more in the FA Cup 3rd qualifying round and lost yet again by a 3-2 scoreline. Now, only a year later we have to go back there again.

First we have to beat Stafford Rangers tomorrow evening. Can’t we just give them a bye? Let them have it, please."

Altrincham have not won in the league at Aggborough for 25 years so their players could do with taking a lesson from Stourbridge!

23 September 2019


Altrincham FC press officer, Brian Flynn, spoke to Neil Sorvel after the Robins fought back at Chester on Saturday to gain a fully deserved 1-1 draw at the Deva Stadium. The interview can be heard here.

On Tuesday, 22 September, Altrincham travel to Chester for the third time this season, the previous two gamnes being at Chester. Having been denied a 1-0 win in the league match by a very late equalizer and having themselves come back from 1-0 down to draw the Cup tie last Saturday, both games ended 1-1.

Mike Garnett's data on previous encounters is below.

  • Home: P6-W3-D1-L2-F13-A10
  • Away: P6-W2-D3-L1-F7-A6
  • All: P12-W5-D4-L3-F20-A16

Above: Jake Moult almost gets his head on a cross at Chester, on Saturday.

The last time that Chester FC visited Moss Lane was in 2015 when, as this time around, a 1-1 draw at Chester brought both clubs to the replay. 1,603 spectators saw Altrincham defeat Chester FC 1-0 thanks to Damian Reeves's 51st minute effort.

Twenty years earlier, the BBC cameras had seen Chester City contest another replay at Moss Lane, also after a 1-1 draw. On this occasion, Alty won again, 2-0. The first goal was the memorable long-range goal of the season by Clive Freeman with a second goal following from Ricky Harris. 3,000 watched that match.

Chester FC report that "Chester will have to contest an away replay on Tuesday night after a 1-1 draw with Altrincham in the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. Stoppages amounting to almost 20 minutes over the course of the game slowed its pace, but the Blues were already in front with just a couple of minutes gone as Matty Hughes slammed home from the edge of the box.

Alty responded in the second half, and deservedly so, as Josh Hancock nodded them level but the spoils were shared.

Chester made one change to the lineup that won at Telford last weekend, Jamie Morgan’s suspension and the injury to Kevin Roberts meant Matty Waters had to slot in at right-back, away from his favoured left...

After an action packed opening five minutes, very little happened for the next half an hour. The Robins saw the majority of the ball and the Blues struggled to get a foothold in the rest of the first half.

Then as the game entered a lengthy period of first half added time, the away side should’ve levelled things up. A flurry of corners culminated in a scramble from the last and the ball came off the unsuspecting Jordan Hulme, trickling wide.

The hosts switched to a 3-5-2 at the break with a first-half injury to Scott Burton in mind, James Jones was introduced at right-back with Waters moved to his favoured left as Joel Taylor was withdrawn and Iwan Murray came into the midfield...

A stoppage of nearly ten minutes saw Russ Griffiths have to change his top after taking a blow to the face. With no substitute goalkeeper it was crucial that he was able to restart and so the pause was required. [How does this failure by CHester FC to have a reserve keeper amongst SEVEN subs, justify such a stoppage?]

With a hefty amount of stoppage time on the cards, Chester finally began to pick up the pace in a scrappy affair. However after Anthony Dudley was denied in the air, Altrincham broke down the other end and Hancock’s header brought the visitors level. 75 minutes had been played though the game was effectively on the hour mark...

One of the most bizarre games of football you’re likely to see comes to an end".


Altrincham's away match at Stalybridge Celtic has now been assigned the date of Tuesday, 29 October. Presumably this will be a 7.45pm kick off.


Gateshead report that Jordan "Preston [was] pleased to find the net on first home start of the season. The striker returned to the starting 11 with a goal following his second injury lay-off of the season

After a cagey opening to the game, Greg Olley and Jordan Preston scored before the half-time whistle to hand the Heed the initiative. Second-half strikes from Liam Agnew, Toby Lees, Josh Kayode and another from Olley meant the hosts advanced to the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Preston was in a fine mood following his side’s 6-0 victory over Ramsbottom United. 'I’m very pleased. I think games like this can be a bit of a banana skin but we’ve got through it. We’ve won convincingly, got people on the scoresheet and gave lads minutes who needed them so it’s a good day out all round.'

Josh Kayode was brought down in the box in the 39th minute, and Preston stepped up to the spot to slot home for his first goal of the season in what was only his second start due to an unfortunate early period with injuries keeping him out of the squad.

'I always fancy myself for penalties!' Preston exclaimed. 'Josh [Kayode] told me that he’s only scored one penalty out of his last seven so I thought that I would do him a favour and slot it in for him! It was a very long time coming, I’ve had a very frustrating start to the season but I was ultimately happy to be back out there.'

The Heed next face Altrincham away before returning to cup action on October 5th, with the opponents decided in Monday's draw, which takes place at 1:30pm.

'We’ll go to Altrincham and want to get our league form back on track,' he said".


Last Tuesday, Altrincham FC Youth beat Stockport County FC Youth 3-2, which included a brace of goals from Mercurius. The side comprised Joel Torrance, Sonny Dean, Joshua Finlay, Daniel Gavaghan, Joe Haggerty, George Howarth, Robert Hughes, Alfie Johnston, James Matthews, Raheem Mercurius, Abuyomi Shitu. The subs were Theodore Donachie, Ben Glendon and Matthew Sumner.

On Sunday, Alty drew 2-2 at Curzon Ashton, with the goals scored by Howarth and Mercurius. Curzonhad a man sent off.

Alty's squad comprised, Joel Torrance, Sonny Dean, Theodore Donachie, Joshua Finlay, Daniel Gavaghan, Joe Haggerty, George Howarth, Robert Hughes, James Matthews, Raheem Mercurius, Luigi Mongan. The substitutes were Ben Glendon, Abuyomi Shitu, Matthew Sumner

Next Sunday they are away to Southport at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk.


The Ladies' scheduled away league match at Curzon Ashton was postponed.


Alty "old boys" in action on Saturday included ex-loanee Owen Dale who played in Crewe Alexandra's thrashing of SAaford City in League Two.

Although Trafford lost 1-3 at home to Darlington in the FA Cup, Darius Palma netted the Traford goal.

Omotolasin Onotola scored for Barwell but they lost 3-2 at Hednesford Town, whilst former Alty Youth Osebi Abedaki laid on one of the Pitmen's goals. Harry Cain played for Northwich 1874 as they exited the FA Cup against Whitby Town.

James Walshaw scored for Scarborough Athletic who lost 5-2 at Southport. Luis Morrison netted for Stratford Town who lost in the FA Cup 1-4 to Halesowen Town. Jeff King was a used sub for FC Halifax Town in the National League and Josh O'Keefe played for Chorley whilst Scott Leather was a used sub.


Mike Garnett and Howard Watts's Through the Years data tell us that "Alty's last eleven games on Tuesday's date, 24 September, have been at home but an FA Cup tie has nevere been played previously by ALty on that date.

The most recent fixture was in 2016 when Alty lost 0-1 at home to Boston United.


Player movements registered with the BetVictor Northern Premier League from Sunday 15th September to Saturday 21st September 2019 which involve National League North clubs are:
  • Nelson Digbeu from Bradford Park Avenue to Ashton United
  • Harry Walker from AFC Telford United to Market Drayton Town Short Term Loan
  • Lloyd Allinson from Guiseley AFC to Matlock Town

22 September, 2019


In a scheduled 90-minute cup tie, which the referee allowed to last for 108 minutes, Altrincham secured a well-deserved draw at Chester. Alty made a poor start, conceding a goal inside two minutes after the kick off. Delaying a clearance, Hampson lost the ball which allowed Glendon to feed the ball inside, to his left, for Hughes to drive home a low shot from the edge of the box.

Right: Ashley Hemmings congratulates Josh Hancock on his goal..

However, Alty went on to enjoy the lion's share of possession before the interval without seriously looking like scoring.

After the break, at which two Chester substitutions were made, Alty once again went to sleep in the opening stages just as they had done in the first half.. This time they were fortunate as Thompson saved a strong shot from leading-scorer Asante, his sole contribution of note to the game. But, with Altrincham again dominating a match which had already endured almost seven minutes of first-half injury time, play was then halted for ten minutes in the 52nd minute.

Chester keeper Griffiths sat down for treatment and after a few minutes was led off the pitch with an apparent blood injury. Instead of enforcing a substitution or a resumption of the game, referee Westgate allowed play to be suspended for what ultimately became a total of more than ten minutes from the moment the keeper had sat down. The bemused crowd was left wondering what on earth was happening. Eventually Griffiths was allowed to return to the game. Why the man in black allowed this farce to happen awaits a convincing explanation.

The lengthy break in play allowed Chester to regroup and they then enjoyed a better spell than they had been having prior to it. However, Altrincham then reasserted themselves and got the equalizer they deserved. This came when Hulme chased an overhit pass and just caught the ball near the byline, left of goal. His cross was met by an excellent looping header from Hancock which found the back of the net (75 mins).

Eleven added minutes were proclaimed, which was too short given the lengthy stoppage for the Chester keeper and the fact that there were other injury stoppages and two substitutions.

And so, Altrincham will go into the replay on Tuesday with confidence, having twice had the better of encounters with Chester at their own ground this season.

Match report here.

Chester FC have brief highlights of the match.


Altrincham FC have signed Alvechurch striker Lewis Archer (21) on non-contract terms. Last season he was at Hednesford Town and, on loan, at Guiseley whilst the season before he played for Rushall Olympic. (Older Alty fans may recall that Alty striker Keith Russell, who helped inspire the club's return to the Football Conference in 1999, also played for Olympic).

On 24 September 2018, the Express & Star reported that "Hednesford Town have turned down Albion's offer to take promising youngster Lewis Archer on trial. The non-league club have held firm despite advances from the Championship club for their 20-year-old attacker.

Archer has been impressive for the Pitmen in the Northern Premier League this season, scoring a stunning solo goal against Whitby Town a few weeks ago that first grabbed Albion's attention. He also netted in Saturday's 3-1 FA Cup victory at Rugby Town. However, he is under contract with the Pitmen until January 2020 and they have turned down the Baggies' bid to take him on trial.

It is believed the Keys Park side want a fee for the highly-rated 20-year-old, who can play as a centre forward or out on the wing. But the Baggies are unlikely to make an offer".

Later, Hednesford Town "confirm[ed] that Lewis Archer has joined Guiseley AFC on loan. The striker has joined the National League North side on loan for the remainder of the season".

On 22 August 2019 , NL Today added that "BetVictor Southern League Premier Division Central club Alvechurch have signed forward Lewis Archer. Archer spent the latter part of last season on loan with Vanarama National League North side Guiseley AFC from league rivals Hednesford Town.

The Pitmen turned down an offer from SkyBet Championship side West Bromwich Albion to take Archer, who can play as a centre forward or out on the wing, on trial in the early part of last season... Archer joined Hednesford in August 2018 from Rushall Olympic. He made his breakthrough into the Pics' first team the previous season, after impressing in their under 21 side".

And NL Daily added that "Alvechurch have confirmed the signing of Lewis Archer. The young forward spent the end of last season on loan at Guiseley in the National League North, joining Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s side from Hednesford Town. The former Rushall Olympic player now links up with Darren Byfield’s team in the BetVictor Southern Premier League Central Division".


Cheshire Live reports that "Chester FC and Altrincham... couldn't be separated in their FA Cup second qualifying round clash.

Matty Hughes had handed Chester a dream start on two minutes before the visitors came on strong without managing to ask enough questions of Blues 'keeper Russ Griffiths but who managed to earn a replay thanks to Josh Hancock's header on 75 minutes.

There were several injuries, notably a six-minute [sic] delay while Griffiths received treatment for a bloody nose, and a mammoth 11 minutes of added time was held aloft, neither side able to find a winner.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley made one enforced change to the side that won so convincingly at AFC Telford United in the league seven days previous with Matty Waters coming at right back in place of the suspended Jamie Morgan...

Chester are developing something of a habit of making a quick start in games and they made a flying start against the Robins and found themselves a goal to the good inside two minutes...

But any hopes of Chester dominating proceedings and enjoyed [sic] a field day were soon quelled as the visitors settled themselves quickly and began to enjoy plenty of possession, happy to have the centre backs on the ball and make Hughes and Akwasi Asante make all the running... Altrincham, buoyed by a strong away contingent, looked to finish the half strongly and enjoyed a succession of corners...

The Blues had the first chance of the half when Jackson's cross from the right was turned goalwards first time by Asante, Thompson spilling the ball before gathering at the second attempt.

But Altrincham then started to press... A lengthy amount of added time was destined to be added at the end of 90 minutes after Griffiths suffered what looked like a nosebleed, his top covered in blood and the Chester 'keeper requiring treatment on the touchline, the game paused for a good five minutes [going on ten], much to the annoyance of away fans and directors...

Hulme managed to find space down the left and crossed into box from the byline where Hancock rose highest to meet the ball with his head and found the back of the net...

The Blues had a let off 10 minutes into time added on when Livesey appeared to handball in the box, referee James Westgate waving away the protests and pointing for a corner instead, swiftly surrounded by angry faces in red and white shirts. From the press bench it looked like Chester had got away with one".

And Cheshire Live adds that "Eleven minutes of injury time and more casualties than an episode of Holby City made for a quite bizarre FA Cup second qualifying round clash between Chester FC and Altrincham... With players dropping all over the pitch during the 90 minutes, with Scott Burton and Joel Taylor both subbed at the break through injury, the match, which finally came to a close at 5:08pm, was a strange affair...

'It was one of the most bizarre games of football I've ever been involved in,' said Chester joint-manager Morley after the game. 'I felt we showed them a little bit too much respect first half in terms of how deep we were, but they weren't hurting us in possession. We got them in at half time and, totally against what we were going to say, you get forced with two injuries and it alters your team talk a little bit.

'I thought second half we showed some desire, determination and professionalism and we dug deep to get a result when we've not been at our best. It was bizarre, it was a mad game of football. We were always going to have a bad game, it was always going to happen. For the simple fact that we have been average today and we've not lost which shows you how far we've come'".


Saturday's FA Cup tie at Chester was the first match in their twelve fixtures this season in which Altrincham have not had a player booked. To date they have already seen an exceptional three red cards in their first nine league games without in any way being an overly physical side.


In Saturday's J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup match at Egerton Youth Club, Altrincham FC Reserves lost, at home, to Blacon Youth 2-1.

Next Saturday sees the Reserves away at Whaley Bridge Athletic in the Cheshire Football League Premier Division.


Gateshead visit the North West for the second week running next Saturday, when they visit Altrincham. Yesterday "Gateshead eased into the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round with six goals from five goalscorers against eighth tier side Ramsbottom United.

After a quiet opening half hour, Gateshead went into the break 2-0 up after goals from Olley and a Preston penalty. Liam Agnew, Toby Lees and Olley helped Gateshead kill the game off with three goals in five minutes just after the hour mark, before Josh Kayode rounded off the scoring with 15 minutes to play...

Ramsbottom looked to be growing in confidence as the half went on, with 20 minutes played Nic Evangelinos saw a shot from close range saved by Brad James after Gateshead failed to clear a succession of high balls. Moments later, Mike Williamson headed off the line to deny Evangelinos, whose corner was heading in without a touch.

Gateshead started to grow into the game with half an hour played... Gateshead did take the lead 32 minutes... It didn’t take long for the Heed to add a second with Josh Kayode going down under a challenge from Ramsbottom keeper Stewart, winning a penalty in the process...

Ramsbottom then thought they’d pulled a goal back after [ex-Alty man] Mason Fawns converted from close range, but he was deemed to have been offside. Ramsbottom started the second half at a higher tempo as they looked to get back into the game...

The Heed extended the lead just after the hour mark... Two minutes later the game was put beyond doubt with Lees heading in... Olley then added his second of the game and Gateshead’s fifth in the 68th minute... Josh Kayode made it six in the 75th minute...

Gateshead XI: James; Nicholson, Lees, Williamson (Nelson 67’), O’Donnell; Deverdics, Olley, Agnew; Tear, Kayode (Blackett 82’), Preston (Thomson 60’). Unused subs: Guthrie; Forbes, Blackett, Greenfield, Cranston".


On Saturday, Darlington beat our neighbours Trafford FC, 3-1, at Shawe View in the FA Cup. Darlington have goal highlights of the game at Shawe View.

After beating Altrincham last week, Harriers Online reports that "The Harriers welcomed old rivals Stafford Rangers to Aggborough in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. For Rangers a plethora of former Harriers were present in both the starting lineup and on the bench whereas Harriers made one change, Harry Higginson coming in for Ryan Johnson who missed out due to a family bereavement it was revealed post-match...

It took half an hour for Stafford to muster an effort on Tom Palmer’s goal... With ten minutes to go until half time Peniket was withdrawn and replaced by Alex Prosser. It was revealed later that the target man had an issue with his hamstring and is probably doubtful for Tuesday night’s replay... King’s goal continued its charmed life with the woodwork coming to the visitors rescue after Chambers struck a ferocious volley off the outside of the post.

You always felt that no matter how much Harriers had dominated the break would help Stafford more than it would Harriers and that was borne out as Rangers entered the ascendancy. It has to be said though that chances were somewhat at a premium though as the game became a scrappy affair... Rangers wasted a golden chance. A diagonal back pass into the box found its way to Dan Burns but, rejecting the opportunity to head across goal, the defender brought the ball down and checked inside before trying to square for a team mate but Harriers scrambled away".

In the Northants Telegraph we read that "Kettering Town were left frustrated by struggling Northern Premier League Division One South East side Sutton Coldfield Town in the FA Cup at Latimer Park.

The 1-1 draw came off the back of a victory over high-flying Alfreton Town last Saturday and a dominant display against Cogenhoe United in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup...

Nicky Eaden’s team took a while to settle into the game but, as the Royals tired, the Poppies gained control and will be disappointed with the 1-1 scoreline...

The first chance of the game led to the first goal of the game when, on 12 minutes... Isai Marselia was played through on goal and slotted the ball under Paul White, making it 1-0 to the visitors...

On the half-an-hour mark, Stohrer was shoved over by James Mutton in the area, allowing Nti to step up and place his penalty to the bottom right...

Kettering were presented with the chance to go in front when Beresford tripped Nti in the box after O’Connor had played him into space. A second penalty was awarded... but this time Nti’s spot-kick was saved to the left of Gwilliams...

Although Kettering had chances, the match, in truth, was poor. Sutton Coldfield played well and matched their stronger, on paper anyway, opponents for much of the match".

Bradford (Park Avenue) "crashed out of the FA Cup with a frustrating home defeat to Morpeth Town. Riccardo Calder had equalised after Joe Walton opened the scoring, but new signing Dan Sweeney missed a crucial chance, with Sean Reid firing the visitors in front moments later.

Josh Heaton was sent off for two yellow cards just after the hour, and Reid fired his second from the resulting free-kick to sink Bradford. Walton added his second late on before Brad Dockerty, who twice struck the woodwork, added a consolation, his third goal in three games...

With their first foray into Bradford’s third, the visitors took the lead through Sean Reid... Finally all Avenue’s possession and pressure paid off as Calder levelled the scores on the end of a fantastic move...

Morpeth regained the lead... [as] Reid powered into the net with his head... [Then] Reid brilliantly fired the ball into the top corner, giving Taylor absolutely no chance. The goal and sending off killed off Avenue’s hopes of a comeback, with quality dropping as Marcus Law threw players on, chasing a goal...

Walton added his second and his side’s fourth with two minutes to play... Pretty much straight from kick-off, Avenue pulled one back, Dockerty doing well on the left before angling a shot into the corner across the goal with his weaker foot, but it was a mere consolation".

For Blyth Spartans "Callum Roberts scored his first career hat-trick but it was not enough to seal Blyth Spartans’ first win of the season in a FA Cup second round qualifying tie.

Spartans and Curzon Ashton played out a barmy 4-4 draw at the Tameside Stadium...

Curzon took the lead through Callum Saunders inside five minutes... Saunders looked at least a yard offside. Blyth responded well... but they did find their deserved equaliser in the 26th minute... Olly Scott, the young midfielder, lashed a fine first-time effort into the far corner for his first goal for the club. Lee Clark’s men were well on top now and could have taken the lead on the half-hour mark... Blyth edged the first half, but it was Curzon who went in at half time with the lead... [as] Luke Merrill whipped a fantastic effort into the top corner.

However, the second half, however, belonged to Roberts as he scored three beautiful goals. The first of which was a free-kick from 25 yards... Spartans got their noses in front for the first time as Callaghan rolled a ball into the path of Roberts who turned and advanced at the Curzon backline before unleashing a thunderous left-footed drive that nestled in the far corner.

Blyth’s lead, though, barely lasted two minutes as Merill grabbed his second of the game ... With the game tied at 3-3, both teams had chances to regain the lead... Roberts sealed his hat-trick in the 85th minute... Blyth looked like they would hold on, but there was controversy at the end that resulted in a Curzon equaliser.

A corner was swung into the box and appeared to be cleared off the line by Scott but after a lengthy consultation with his assistant, the referee decided that the ball had crossed the line".

The Boston Standard reports on Boston's "comfortable 4-0 victory at Lincolnshire rivals Stamford.

Jordan Thewlis took his season’s tally to seven goals in 10 games with a brace, while Dominic Knowles and Jay Rollins also got in on the act. United looked even more comfortable than in their 3-1 Lincs Senior Cup victory over the Daniels in August, overcoming what could have been seen as a potential banana skin at the Zeeco Stadium, keeping the dream of a final FA Cup game at York Street alive.

Craig Elliott made two changes to the side which was beaten 3-0 at Gateshead the previous Saturday, Nicky Walker and Ben Middleton replacing Andi Thanoj and the injured Karl Byrne...

Thewlis put the Pilgrims ahead in the sixth minute with his sixth goal of the season... Thewlis was United’s danger man as the Pilgrims began at a pace the hosts struggled to cope with...

Knowles twisted and turned on the edge of the box before doubling United’s advantage with a well-placed curler... Thewlis’s second of the game owed plenty to the hard work and selflessness of Walker... Haystead denied Thewlis a hat-trick with a low save in the 86th minute, but Rollins pounced to tap home the loose ball".

Guiseley "confirm that Scott Smith and Tabish Hussain have both signed loan deals away from Nethermoor Park.

Scott Smith’s loan at Matlock Town has been extended for a further month until 12th October 2019... Former boss Steve Kittrick has used Smith regularly with the 20 year-old becoming popular with the Gladiators faithful... Matlock also name former Lions Jack Rea and Spencer Harris in their squad.

Meanwhile Tabish Hussain has joined Yorkshire Amateur until 9th October. Hussain is heading out on his first loan to build up his experience of men's football... There is a familiar face at The Ammers for Tabish with Niall Heaton having joined in the summer, they also have former Guiseley players Luke Sharry, Ryan Serrant, Steve Smith and Leon Henry in their squad."


On Saturday, Altrincham entered the Emirates FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round, where the winners earn £6,750 whilst this year even the losers are rewarded, to the tune of £2,250. The prize is a place in the Third Qualifying Round where winners earn £11,250 and losers £3,750.

The Draw includes:

  • Marine 1-2 Dunston
  • Southport 5-2 Scarborough Athletic
  • Chester FC 1-1 Altrincham
  • Curzon Ashton 4-4 Blyth Spartans
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) 2-4 Morpeth Town
  • Irlam 0-2 York City
  • Ashton United 1-0 Pontefract Collieries
  • Colne 0-0 Ossett United
  • 1874 Northwich 0-1 Whitby Town
  • FC United of Manchester 1-2 Warrington Town
  • Trafford 1-3 Darlington
  • Gateshead 6-0 Ramsbottom United
  • Guiseley 1-0 Stockton Town
  • Kidlington 0-5 Gloucester City
  • Lancaster City 0-5 Spennymoor Town
  • Runcorn Town 0-3 Farsley Celtic
  • Alfreton Town 1-1 King’s Lynn Town
  • Stamford 0-4 Boston United
  • Leamington 2-2 Chasetown
  • Kettering Town 1-1 Sutton Coldfield Town
  • Belper Town 0-0 Witton Albion
  • Loughborough Dynamo v Tamworth
  • AFC Telford United 0-3 Nantwich Town
  • Boston Town 0-4 Leek Town
  • Buxton 5-0 Corby Town
  • Matlock Town 1-2 Kidsgrove Athletic
  • Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Stafford Rangers
  • Hereford 5-2 Truro City
  • Brackley Town 4-0 Cinderford Town


Sat 28th September.
  • Alfreton Town v Darlington
  • Altrincham v Gateshead
  • Blyth Spartans v AFC Telford United
  • Boston United v Southport
  • Brackley Town v Bradford Park Avenue
  • Chester FC v Leamington
  • Farsley Celtic v Curzon Ashton
  • Gloucester City v Guiseley
  • Hereford v Kettering Town
  • Spennymoor Town v Kidderminster Harriers
  • York City v Kings Lynn Town

21 September, 2019


Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson was not at Chester today as his wife had gone into labour. They are now proud parents of a new son.


Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Chester FC. Altrincham have not lost at Chester on their last four visits.
  • Home: P6-W3-D1-L2-F13-A10
  • Away: P5-W2-D2-L1-F6-A5
  • All: P11-W5-D3-L3-F19-A15

Chester FC report that "After a storming start to the new National League North campaign, attentions shift across to the Emirates FA Cup. The Second Qualifying Round is three wins from the First Round proper and what would be an opportunity to face EFL opposition. The Blues have been handed a home draw, however it promises to be a tough test as Altrincham visit.

Last season's play-off semi-finalists, the Robins have made a slow start to the new National League North season but their quality is apparent and it could be a close match. Should it be a draw, a replay would take place this coming Tuesday at Moss Lane. The draw for the Third Qualifying Round is this Monday.

Chester made it three successive victories, all by a scoreline of 3-1, in September last weekend. AFC Telford’s New Buck's Head saw a 775-strong Blues following and a sublime Akwasi Asante hat-trick. The only downside to the game was a red card and suspension for Jamie Morgan. With fellow right back Kevin Roberts sidelined through injury, there is a big decision for Blues' bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley to make for this match.

Kick off tomorrow is 3pm at the Deva Stadium. The postcode for the ground is CH1 4LT.

This game is simply is simply pay on the gate. Admission prices are the same as NLN matches, which are as follows:

  • (Standing) Harry McNally Terrace: Adult £12, Concessions* £10, Aged 18-21 £8, Aged 5-17 £3, Under 5s FREE
  • (Seating) Swansway Chester (East) Stand and Swettenham Chemists Community (West) Stand: Adult £15, Concessions* £12, Aged 18-21 £10, Aged 5-17 £3, Under 5s FREE

Please note supporters aged 5-17 and 18-21 should pay on turnstiles as normal, however are requested to have proof of identity or age if asked by the turnstiles operator. Disabled supporters’ carers will be admitted free of charge.

We will have a special 16-page Emirates FA Cup edition of The Cestrian programme on sale for the game. Featuring the thoughts of the managers, a look at the opposition, the story of the season so far in pictures and our recent history in the FA Cup. Lots of content, and just £1.50".


The Telegraph & Argus informs us that "Bradford (Park Avenue) assistant manager Lee Fowler has urged his players to be 'cuter' ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup Second Qualifying Round clash at home to Morpeth Town.

He felt that they were not subtle enough with their game management in last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Spennymoor Town, with the large chunk of time added on enough to see the visitors equalise in the 95th minute through ex-Bradford man Adam Boyes. They will hope to shake off that disappointment when Morpeth visit. The North-East outfit are in the tier below Avenue, in the Northern Premier League...

He said 'It will be tricky because they’ve got some good players, and they even had David Carson move to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the summer. They have five or six players who are over six foot four so they’ll be a threat from set plays. They have a strong defence and Liam Henderson and Joe Walton are brilliant finishers. But we need to start winning games, whether that’s in the FA Cup, the league, the County Cup or whatever.

'There’s a level between us and Morpeth so we’ve got to be on the front foot, while making sure we don’t give away many corners or free-kicks.'

They also don’t want to give away any last-minute equalisers like last week against Spennymoor, something Fowler felt 'was naive because this was the first game since Marcus (Law, Avenue’s manager) and I arrived that we had a gameplan in place where we felt we had a good chance to win. We asked the players if they could delay throw-ins and free-kicks but they overdid it and it bit us. It alienated the referee. He added a lot of time on and they got the equaliser. We just need to be cuter with our game management.'

Bradford also need to improve their finishing but Fowler is hopeful of a new signing up front. He mused '“He would take the pressure off Lewis Knight, Alex Hurst and Brad Dockerty. A number nine is the key ingredient we’ve been missing. We should have been 3-0 up on Saturday... Avenue announced yesterday that Frenchman Nelson Digbeu, who joined the club in August, has left."

And the Telegraph & Argus adds that "Riccardo Calder is fully embracing his second chance... Jailed in November last year after being found guilty of assaulting a 24-year-old woman following a minor car accident, he was released 10 weeks into his nine-month sentence.

Despite being sacked by his then club, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Bradford (Park Avenue) interim manager Marcus Law, who already knew Calder, came to his rescue, offering him a footballing lifeline... After previous stints with Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers and a loan spell at Dundee, he has also played on the international stage, winning four caps for England's Under-17s in 2012.

Since his move to Avenue last month Calder has provided a much-needed sprinkle of class for a struggling young side.

He said 'I've just come back to play football, trying to do my best. I just want to forget about it all. I'm here and I'm here to impress... Every team I've played for, I have always given 100 per cent. I have to do better than everyone else...

'Starting off, a lot of teams, not just us, have had a bad start. I feel like Lee (Fowler, Avenue assistant manager) and Marcus can turn things around... I want to go as far as I can with this club. I want to get promoted at Bradford. It's a lot to ask at the minute. They have given me that platform. They understand what I've been through. They have taken me in. I want to give back to them'...

The former Aston Villa academy product, who joined them aged nine but failed to make a first-team appearance for the Premier League side, has taken inspiration from one of his youth team-mates at the club who has recovered from off-field problems to make a name for himself. Calder cites Jack Grealish as a role model in his footballing comeback".

But Bradford (Park Avenue) "have some news that might make a tough start to the season taste a little bit sweeter... There are a few stories to tell of years gone by that prove the season might be about to turn a huge corner – let us explain.

This time last season, Blyth Spartans found themselves in a similar position. They were fourth from bottom with ten points to their name; where did they finish? In the play-off places!... Last season also showed that the Avenue absolutely love back-end of the calendar year. From the end of September until the very end of 2018, Mark Bower had masterminded eight wins, four draws and just a single defeat.

If Marcus Law can get that that same tune from his players, it could be about to take off in West Yorkshire".

Hull City Tigers tell us that "Charlie Andrew has joined Alfreton Town on a month’s loan. The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who signed a new one-year deal with the Tigers this summer, will go straight into the Alfreton squad for their FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie against King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Andrew impressed between the posts in a five-month temporary spell at Bradford Park Avenue last term, making 15 appearances and keeping four clean sheets to help Park Avenue reach the National League North play-offs after securing a seventh-place finish.

The custodian has also previously experienced time on loan at Pickering Town, playing 60 times in two spells with the Pikes during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 campaigns."

Alfreton Town add that they "face King's Lynn Town in the FA Cup...

The Reds suffered a shock league defeat last weekend at Kettering Town, handing the Poppies only their second league win of the season. It was a performance which was far below the standards set in the ten games prior to last weekend's defeat.. The game started in the worst possible way with Alfreton conceding two in the opening four minutes, the first a penalty after just 20 seconds...

We never gained momentum and we fell to a poor defeat with the performance disappointing and Billy Heath stating the defeat was a deserved one for his side. However we have made a positive start to the new campaign with the Reds in 5th place after 11 games and attention now moves to the FA Cup tomorrow. We head into the game having lost two of our last three games but we remain undefeated at the Impact Arena this season, which bodes well ahead of tomorrow's tie.

The Reds are aiming for a fifth straight win in all competitions at home... The Linnets head into the fixture off the back of two straight draws in the league but they are unbeaten in their last ten games. Tomorrow's tie pits two of the National League North's highest scorers with the Reds bagging 23 goals this season and Kings Lynn scoring 24."

Macclesfield Town's "midfielder Peter Vincenti has agreed a loan deal with Hereford FC.

The 33-year-old heads out to Edgar Street in a deal which initially runs until January 2020".

And at Edgar Street, Hereford FC add that "Russell Slade has added to his squad ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup game against Truro City, bringing in midfielder Peter Vincenti on loan from League 2 Macclesfield Town...

Slade said 'Peter is comfortable in a number of positions, which is a real bonus for us. He can play on the left, in the middle or on the right of midfield and he can also be a threat in the box as well. He’s someone with a lot of experience in the Football League and he will bring us some added composure on the ball. Peter has played with Jarrod [Hodgkiss] so they will know each other’s game inside out. I am sure he is the type of player who will be able to forge partnerships quickly whichever position he plays in, but it is certainly a positive that he has played with Jarrod before'...

Vincenti said 'This is a good club, it obviously had its troubles in the past but is now working it’s way back up the leagues. I’ve been keeping an eye on the results and I’m really excited to be here. I’ve not really got a preferred position, I’ve played in a number of roles through the years, I don’t think I’m nailed down to one to be honest with you. I’ve predominantly been in midfield areas and I had a bit of success out wide for Rotherham, but I’m just happy to play anywhere that the manager wants me to play'".

Boston United face an FA Cup "trip to county neighbours Stamford AFC. Saturday's encounter... will pit Craig Elliott's side against a Daniels outfit they have already beaten (3-0) in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup this season.

Graham Drury's side have since made a strong start to life in the BetVictor NPL South East Division... Elliott has a full squad to select from, with the exception of striker Jake Wright who is continuing his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.

On-loan Mansfield Town defender Lewis Gibbens could come into contention to start having emerged as a substitute during last weekend’s defeat at Gateshead. Stamford could include former Pilgrims Dan Haystead, Harry Vince and Liam Adams, plus Pearson Mwanyongo, who signed for United in the summer of 2017 but left without making an appearance."

At Brackley Town The Saints "take on Southern League Division One South side Cinderford Town...

Saints come into the game after a fine win at Curzon Ashton last Saturday and a 6-1 win on Tuesday in the Hillier Cup. After Gateshead’s defeat at Hereford in midweek we lie in 7th place in the National League North table, two points off fourth-placed Guiseley.

Cinderford are currently tenth... but yet to win away from the Causeway Ground, their Gloucestershire home... The Foresters finished fifth in the league last season and exited the FA Cup at this stage...

Brackley’s FA Cup record is a proud one in recent seasons reaching the first and second rounds no fewer than three times in the last six seasons and coming agonisingly close to reaching the third round draw."

And Darlington "are hoping to progress in the FA Cup when we travel to Trafford in Manchester on Saturday. We are overdue some FA Cup success, but this will be a tricky game against a team that plays two levels below us, and has won twice at home already in the competition this season...

Team News: Right back Luke Trotman is ruled out for the season with an achilles problem, while striker Jamie Holmes is out for some months with a cruciate injury. Defender David Atkinson is out for at least two months with an ankle injury. Defender Louis Laing will have a fitness test on a hamstring injury. Striker Tyrone O’Neill has been cleared to play by his parent club Middlesbrough.

Defender Michael Liddle suffered no reaction to his injury last week when he came on as sub against York, so he’ll probably start...

Trafford manager: Tom Baker – former player at Barnsley, Altrincham, Gainsborough, Halifax and Droylsden. Now in his fifth year of management having retired from playing because of injury. Guided Trafford to the Integro League Cup last season". Darlington's list of Trafford players includes "Harry Sheridan, Darius Palma, Tom Schofield, Dontai Gabidon, Lewis Salmon, Laurence Taylor" who have all worn the Alty shirt as players or trialists.

Meanwhile, King's Lynn Town "hit the FA Cup trail for the first time this season on Saturday with a tough looking trip to rivals Alfreton Town.

The hosts are unbeaten at North Street to date this season having scored an impressive 13 goals in five games and conceding only three in the process. Lynn though will take great heart from the hard-earned 3-2 victory over Saturday’s opponents achieved at The Walks in early September...

The Linnets will have to make do without Rory McAuley who serves the second match of his three-game ban for the red card received ironically against Alfreton. It is understood that striker Harry Limb is still unavailable for selection following illness."

20 September 2019


Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator, advises that "TASC are running coach travel to Chester FC for Saturday's FA Cup tie. Thanks to all who have supported the travel so far. Please book as early as you can so we can ensure we book the right-sized vehicle for the trip. Please call the club on 0161 928 1045 from 10am to book your place".

Details of fares and pick-ups are on the Away Travel page.

Chester FC will be opening two turnstiles for away supporters. They will have the option to enter via turnstile 8 and sit behind the goal, or via turnstile 7 and sit at the side of the pitch, towards the corner, which is the same area that was utilised for away supporters in the league fixture in August.


ALtrincham's FA Cup opponents on Saturday, Chester FC remind us that they "have made a great start to the season but, to maximise our chances of gaining promotion to the National League, we need help from fans to boost the playing budget!

We want to more than double the amount raised by Squadbuilder last season and hit £20k. This is YOUR chance to help Bern & Jonno to #PushForPromotion. YOUR chance to make a difference!"

Meanwhile, Cheshire Live tells us that "Chester FC won't be appealing the red card shown to right back Jamie Morgan in the 3-1 win over AFC Telford United at the weekend. Morgan, 21, was shown a straight red by referee Ed Duckworth at the New Buck's Head on Saturday with nine minutes of the contest remaining after a needless challenge on Telford winger Chris Lait.

Morgan was clearly attempting to win the ball but the challenge was deemed too reckless by Duckworth who handed the summer signing his marching orders to sour what had otherwise been another impeccable performance by the ex-Crewe Alexandra and Nantwich Town man. Lait was visibly hurt after the challenge, which occurred near to the halfway line by the touchline, with the winger left limping around for the remainder of the game after Telford had used all their substitutes.

Telford manager Gavin Cowan wasn't convinced himself that it was a straight red card and neither were Chester bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley after they reviewed the footage. The bosses had considered making an appeal to the FA but Johnson understood the call the referee made, even if he wasn't in full agreement. Johnson said 'You have to be careful sometimes and you don’t want to be appealing everything, there will be times when you have a real case,' said Johnson.

'Jamie’s challenge was aggressive but I’m not sure that it was a red card, although I can see why the referee gave it, as Jamie gave him a decision to make. It was a needless tackle and I think Jamie will learn from that. It’s a massive shame for him because he was having another superb game. We’ll get by and whoever we put there will be more than able to do a job.'

Morgan's ban and Kevin Roberts' hamstring injury mean that Chester have issues to contend with at right back for this weekend's FA Cup second qualifying round clash at home to Altrincham. Matty Thomson is struggling with injury and the Blues are reluctant to utilise Brad Jackson in the position given his superb form on the right wing so far this season, so the door could open for Gary Roberts, James Jones or Matty Waters to operate in the right back role."


According to Chronicle Live "Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has enjoyed his first taste of management so far, despite a summer of turmoil which pushed Gateshead FC to the brink of extinction.

'Iron Mike' enjoyed a spell as player-coach at the Heed last season as the club defied the odds to secure a ninth-place finish in the National League. But the centre-back's return to Tyneside looked to be cut abruptly short as the club faced the very real prospect of going out of business... but the Heed suffered relegation to the National League North as a result of breaching financial rules.

Williamson says it was 'no-brainer' when he was offered the chance to take over as player-manager in the summer... He said 'I've always been intrigued by the tactical side of it. When you're playing games where you're getting the run around or you're under performing, you try to look at different elements of the puzzle as to why. Obviously I've been very fortunate to work under some very successful managers, and it's always intrigued me how they've handled themselves, and their strengths they bring to the team'...

The 35-year-old defender enjoyed playing under a host of managers such as Tony Adams, Brendan Rodgers, Chris Hughton, and Alan Pardew in a career which included stints at Portsmouth, Watford and Wolves...

He said: 'I think anybody who goes in to management and coaching is basically an amalgamation of all of their experiences. You pick up personality and character traits off people that you respect... I wouldn't really describe my style as anything other than I do my best, and I'm open and honest with the lads as much as I possibly can. I would never ask them to do anything I wouldn't do. I try and keep the people's levels as high as possible, try and keep raising that, and if anyone comes away from doing the basics we require as a group for the team then I'll get on their case'...

Williamson was left with a "complete rebuild" to build a squad up from scratch. A number of key players such as JJ O'Donnell were quickly re-signed in an attempt to retain an element of the club's identity... Williamson added 'We were starting two or three weeks later in terms of the recruitment, and we had zero players and staff... The fact you've got no players is not filled people full of confidence... When lads were seeing the quality of players we were signing it kind of built the confidence in further targets'...

The player-manager admits his long-term goal is to return to the Heed to the National League. Williamson finished 'It's a brand new squad, it does take time to adapt and to build in that philosophy we want to get'".


The BBC reports that "When Southport played Tranmere Rovers in a televised FA Cup replay last season, Russell Benjamin was in prison counting down the days to his release. Sentenced in 2015 to nine years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, the non-league midfielder was nearing his release date after serving half his time, having remained in custody since his arrest in July 2014.

This summer, Benjamin was handed a one-year contract by Southport, a club whose manager Liam Watson is all about giving players a second chance. After spending 18 years working at Ashworth high security hospital near Liverpool, which treats some of the UK's most disturbed criminals, Watson has learned how to help people turn their lives around.

As well as Benjamin, Southport's squad to face Scarborough Athletic in the FA Cup second qualifying round on Saturday is likely to include [ex-Alty midfielder] Paddy Lacey, jailed in July 2017 for possessing Class A drugs and counterfeit money at the Glastonbury Festival.

Last season, Watson had former Liverpool academy keeper Michael Kinsella, who has spent time in prison for drug offences, as Southport's goalkeeper coach. 'People make mistakes,' Watson, 48, told BBC Sport. 'Those who show genuine remorse, realise they've made a mistake and want to make amends, I think they should be admired. They deserve a second chance'...

Watson started work at Ashworth in 1995 after his career as a forward at Preston was cut short by injury at the age of just 23... Watson worked in the hospital's intensive care unit, rehabilitation ward and high-dependency unit until 2013, when Telford offered him the chance to go into full-time management after leading Southport to two sixth-tier titles.

By then Ashworth had become an 'extremely dangerous place to work', according to Liverpool-born Watson. 'One member of staff had his throat slashed when I was there,' he added. 'I was assaulted. I think everyone who has worked there has been assaulted. A lot of the patients were extremely volatile, committed criminals who had a mental illness or a personality disorder. There were high-profile patients, infamous murderers.'

Liam Watson is in his third spell as Southport's permanent manager and takes charge of his 496th game at the Merseyside club on Saturday... 'Working at Ashworth gave me an insight that even good people can make mistakes,' said Watson. 'I've stayed in touch with one former patient, I speak to him regularly. Whether it was drugs or whatever, he had issues. I'd take him with me to matches at Telford or Southport. He'd stand behind the dugout while I was managing. I liked him and he's since gone on to do really well for himself.'

Benjamin, now 27, was 22 when he was arrested following a dawn raid by police. He had just joined Stockport County from Telford, then managed by Watson, and had yet to make an appearance for his new club. During his trial, at which he pleaded guilty, Benjamin was described as the ringleader in a Merseyside drugs gang.

'I don't think I've ever been so shocked when they were telling me he was involved,' added Watson, who had rushed to Widnes police station where Benjamin was being held following his arrest. Having known him since he was a 16-year-old at Southport and brought him back to the club as a 19-year-old after he was released by Rochdale, Watson felt compelled to support Benjamin, even though the midfielder was no longer his player. That support continued throughout Benjamin's four-and-a-half years inside jail...

Right: Paddy Lacey, who made 12 (+21) appearances for Altrincham before joining Barrow in summer 2013.

'Russell held his hand up, he pleaded guilty and showed remorse,' said Watson. "He's served his sentence and deserves another chance'... Watson used his contacts in non-league football to arrange for him to train and play at nearby Warrington Town on day release from prison... Benjamin continued to play for the Northern Premier League part-timers before linking back up with Watson this summer at Southport, where he has been one of the club's most consistent performers...

Benjamin says he had been left 'playing catch-up' in life by a combination of failing to secure a contract in the Football League and 'seeing some lads up to no good driving nice cars... Going to prison was a shock to the system... When I heard the judge say nine years, I asked myself "Is this the end of the road?" Liam kept in contact and let me know that it was not the end of the world because I'd made one mistake... Liam sorted it for me to go to Warrington Town.

'I don't think they wanted the public to see that I was out playing football, having fun, when I was supposed to be serving a sentence... Towards the end of my sentence, they started letting me go to away games as well. I couldn't have asked more of Liam. I owe him because I feel like I have been given a second chance........ I try to help others who I see going down the same path I did', he said...

Like Benjamin, Lacey is also benefiting from being given a second chance by Watson. In May 2017, the midfielder was sacked by Accrington Stanley after being given a 14-month drugs ban by the Football Association. Two months later, Lacey was jailed after being caught with Class A drugs and counterfeit money.

'When things go wrong, people often turn their back on you,' added Watson, who signed Lacey in January. 'I know Paddy is a good person. When Paddy was going through his FA ban, I did a character reference for him'...

Southport's average crowd in the sixth tier of English football this season is 930. Some of those remember when the club fell out of the Football League and replaced by Wigan Athletic in 1978. Will signing former prisoners harm Southport's image as a family club, which the club has worked hard to achieve? 'I've made mistakes in my life,' added Watson... 'Both Russell and Paddy know this is last-chance saloon.'"

In the Telegraph & Argus, "Marcus Bignot says Guiseley can only reap the rewards from his appointment onto the England coaching staff. The former QPR defender has been named as one of two specialist coaches for the nation's Under-18s' side, working under head coach Ian Foster this season.

Bignot has just returned from helping to oversee an unbeaten start to his time with England as they hosted a mini-tournament. This saw England grab a 2-0 win over Korea Republic, a 1-1 draw with Brazil and a 3-2 victory against Australia, all played during the recent international break. His appointment is part of the next phase of an Elite Coach Placement Programme working across England men’s teams throughout this season. The programme initially rolled out in 2018 to help solve the challenge of under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches.

Now back preparing for Guiseley's home FA Cup second qualifying round clash with Stockton Town on Saturday... the 45-year-old said 'I got all of the encouragement I needed to put my name forward. I had to go for an interview. I'm pleased I got the role. It is a massive honour to be able to work for the country and work for the Football Association. For my career point of view it is a really good opportunity to gather a whole lot of knowledge and can be a springboard for me.

'I've been blessed to have stayed in football since the day I left school... I want to go in there and impact it and effect [sic] and it to be productive... I'm now working on the world stage. I am working with players from the best teams in the country... The work and time spent with England can only benefit the club. I'm coming back a better coach with better knowledge and what that can bring. I can see it having plenty of positives for Guiseley.

'We are after producing our own, people can see the direction we are going in. A younger group... Everyone knows about the success we got last year in the FA Cup. It only brought attention to the football club and helped us financially. It had an effect on our league form'...

Following a 3-0 victory over Hereford, which included an Aaron Martin hat-trick, Bignot added 'The encouraging thing was that, even though we won 3-0, we were disappointed in our performance.,"

AFC Telford United "begin season’s FA Cup campaign with a second qualifying round tie against Nantwich Town at the New Buck's Head. The Dabbers finished 4th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division last season, subsequently succumbing 4-1 to Warrington Town in the playoff semi-final. And the Cheshire club look like they’ll be in and around the promotion picture again. Nantwich won their opening three games this campaign before then losing their next three league games. However, a 3-1 home win over Grantham Town in the first qualifying round has seen the Dabbers progress in the FA Cup, while last weekend saw the Cheshire side score three goals in six minutes to record a seemingly improbable win over Scarborough Athletic; Nantwich were 2-0 down with 16 minutes to go.

Former Northwich Vics boss and Shrewsbury Town assistant Dave Cooke is the man in charge at the Weaver Stadium. And Cooke’s squad includes former Bucks Sean Cooke, James Lawrie, Ben Harrison and player/coach Steve Jones...

Gavin Cowan’s men have conceded three goals in each of their last four home games so will be looking to put in a solid defensive display next weekend".

The Chad informs us that "Lewis Gibbens was devastated when a shoulder injury brought last season to an abrupt end but now the defender believes his time on the sidelines will be the making of him. The Mansfield Town teenager has returned to Boston United on a three-month loan, looking for the match experience...

It was while playing for United that he dislocated his shoulder in the 1-0 defeat at Spennymoor Town last January.

'When I dislocated my shoulder I was in the gym for six months and that developed me a lot. I’m seeing the benefits now,' said the 19-year-old. 'It was horrible (the injury). I was playing some of my best football at the time, feeling very confident and improving... I’ve reacted positively and I’m in a better place now.'

Gibbens now finds himself competing with experienced National League North campaigners Luke Shiels, Simon Ainge and Ben Middleton for a place in the heart of the Pilgrims’ defence.

'There’s good centre backs here already,' Gibbens added. 'The competition’s healthy so I’m looking forward to it. I want to get more minutes and develop more as a player. This level’s very good. Hopefully, it can get me ready for League Two football.'"

19 September 2019


Altrincham FC fans were saddened to hear, last month, of the death of steward and long-time supporter Steve Murray. Steve died on 30 July but, as his family requested a quiet funeral, his many friends and colleagues at Moss Lane did not attend when Steve was buried at Brooklands Cemetery, Sale, on 9 September.

So, as a permanent reflection of the affection in which he was held at the J. Davidson Stadium, a commemorative plaque is being ordered to be added to the Wall of Memories beside the main stand at Moss Lane. Once this has been installed a further update will be provided.


On Saturday, Altrincham visit Chester FC in the Second Round Qualifying of the Emirates FA Cup. Simon Richman will be available after suspension but centre-back James Jones had to go off in the first half at Kidderminster on Saturday so must be a doubt for Saturday. Also not expected to be fit for the Cup tie are loanee winger Yusifu Ceesay and long-term injured goalkeeper, Steven Drench.

Earlier this season Alty were unlucky not to win at Chester in the league, a late equalizer allowing Chester to snatch a point. Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Chester FC...

  • Home: P6-W3-D1-L2-F13-A10
  • Away: P5-W2-D2-L1-F6-A5
  • All: P11-W5-D3-L3-F19-A15

In advance of the game, Cheshire Live reports that "Chester FC are selling a vision to their talented group that sticking with the Blues for a little longer will help them achieve their football ambitions. The Blues currently sit second in the National League North after a super start to the season under bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, Chester losing just once in the opening 11 games of the season and improving with each passing game.

The fine form has seen the supporter base re-energised and dreaming of a promotion push this season.

Key cogs in Chester's success thus far have been a number of their younger players, players who were deemed fairly low-key signings when they arrived but who have kicked on a notch or three since pulling on the blue and white stripes. Players like Brad Jackson, Joel Taylor and Anthony Dudley are all 24 and under and have enjoyed a new lease of life under Johnson and Morley.

All three, like the managers, are out of contract at the end of this season and, while no talks have taken place as yet over extending any contracts, it is something that is on the minds of club officials and something that they are moving towards.

'In terms of planning for next season then things have already started with talks with kit suppliers for next season and we're not even that far away from looking at pre-season friendlies,' explained club vice-chairman Andrew Morris. 'In terms of the playing staff and managers then it is a really difficult situation. This club itself has learned about giving contracts too early and deals now would tie people in until May 2021, which seems like a lifetime away at the moment.

'But at some point, and it will be some point soon, we need to start planning the long term strategy from the playing side of things. There are players out there for us who are absolute assets to this club and you can see how well they are playing. We need to have conversations with those players about where they see their futures.

'It's never as simple as "let's just give the lad a contract". Some of these lads may not want to tie themselves down for another year but we need to be selling the vision and the dream about the managers and the club."'

Chester have been burned for acting too fast and too slow in the past when it comes to handing out contracts. The decision to extend Jon McCarthy's deal by a further two years proved a major millstone around the club's neck after the team's form declined massively just a few short weeks after the deal was signed, and Chester's inability to spot a loophole in Scottish football allowed Motherwell to swoop and land Ben Heneghan for nothing, the defender going on to make a £500,000 move to Sheffield United, Chester unable to receive a cut.

But there have been success stories. Antoni Sarcevic and Sam Hughes both moved for in excess of £100,000 to Fleetwood Town and Leicester City, respectively, proof that Chester can be a fine move for younger players, something also demonstrated by the loan spells of Oli McBurnie and Matty Taylor.

'My personal view is for a club like us, to sell a player to a higher level like we did with Sam Hughes to Leicester City, that is a success and an achievement,' said Morris. 'It's not even about just selling lads that come through our Academy, there are examples of guys with us now who have dropped out of the professional game and are building themselves back up again. If we sell them for money in the future then that is a success story...

'We want to sell a vision to the lads who are here with us that it is not about a short-term move or moving to another National League North or National League team for a bit more money, you've got to aim higher and by staying with a team like us for a bit longer where they are thriving and playing the best football of their career then it will work out better for them in the longer term.'"


The next visitors to Moss Lane, baring an FA Cup replay, are Gateshead, who lost 2-1 at Hereford on Tuesday night.

"It took just over an hour for the deadlock to be broken when Josh Kayode put the Heed ahead, only for Jordan Nicholson to level the game up four minutes later for Hereford. Tommy O’Sullivan struck deep into injury time to hand the visitors their second defeat of the season, despite a positive performance.

Mike Williamson opted not to alter a winning side too much and made just the one change from Saturday’s win over Boston; a straight swap between himself and Michael Nelson. In truth, the opening half-an-hour of proceedings offered up very little in the way of entertainment for the crowd at Edgar Street... with Hereford on the back foot for much of the opening 45...

The Heed looked to open the second half on the front foot and again saw the first sight of goal... It would be Kayode, who had been lively all night, who put Gateshead in front with just over an hour gone. The forward cut in from the left and beat his marker with raw pace, before sending a shot crashing off the post and back off Bulls 'keeper Hall before nestling in the net.

Unfortunately, the lead would last just four minutes as Hereford drew level with their first real chance of the half. Kieran Thomas’s ball in from the left wing was missed by Williamson in the box, and Nicholson was able to slot home unmarked at the back post to bring things back to square one...

But there was a twist in the tale to come and, at the death, Hereford found a second goal to steal the three points from under Gateshead noses. A defensive mix-up saw the ball fall the way of O’Sullivan with only Brad James to beat, and the Bulls' substitute slotted home from close range to ensure the points stayed in Hereford...

Gateshead XI: James; Nicholson, Lees, Williamson, Barrow (c) (Blackett, 85’); Deverdics, Agnew (Forbes, 80’); Tear (Preston, 73’), Olley, O’Donnell; Kayode. Unused subs: Guthrie, Nelson".


According to York Press, "New York City signing Kyle McFarlane could be in line for a debut start for Saturday’s FA Cup visit to Irlam, manager Steve Watson has said.

On Saturday, York announced that McFarlane had penned a short-term deal with the club after his release from Birmingham City in March...

'It is a chance for a few lads to make an impression,' said Watson of the cup tie... 'Josh King, Nathan (Dyer) and Paddy (McLaughlin) need 90 minutes and then you’ve got Kyle (McFarlane), Macca (Steve McNulty) and Wes (York). There are lads that need games. I’ll have a look at it and make sure that we’ve got a strong side that we can rely upon. We can’t just make 10 changes and hope it goes well.'

McFarlane, 22, spent 12 years at Birmingham, scoring 11 goals in 21 in his final season with the club’s under 23s' side. Watson, a former coach at Birmingham, explained... 'I remember Kyle from Birmingham when I was there... Kyle is someone that we nearly got last season. He was meant to be coming to us for a Friday session and he hurt his knee on the last training session with Birmingham on the Thursday, which put him out for the rest of the season.

'We’ve had him in for two or three weeks now, off and on. And, I’ve seen enough to know that he’s back to somewhere like he was previously. He’s different to what we’ve got at the moment. Dan (Maguire) is not going to be available for us for another three or four weeks... It’s just a short-term deal for both us and him, to see where he’s at.

'We really need to organise a couple of training ground games to have a proper look at him. There’s very little that you can tell about a player when you’re doing possession (drills) and five-a-side games, particularly players that play on the shoulder and have really good pace, like Kyle...

The York manager... made it clear that he won’t be thinking of Irlam as a light touch. 'We’ve got to find that happy medium,' he said about his team selection for the game. 'The club deserves to have a good cup run. It’s important for us, not only financially, but the club and our fans... But, there may not be another opportunity to give these lads the rest and recuperation that they need. But, make no mistake, we’re focused on getting through to the next round of the cup, we have to be.'"

Lynn News informs us that "Manager Ian Culverhouse has urged King’s Lynn Town fans to remain 'realistic' about their National League North position... After back-to-back 2-2 draws against Spennymoor Town and Gloucester City, the Linnets chief has issued a stark warning about the difficulty of the club’s new surroundings.

Culverhouse said 'I think we need to get some realism about the place, because we haven’t got a right to beat anyone in this league. We are going to play 42 games and in 42 games we will be underdogs. So we have no right to beat Gloucester; we have to earn the right in every single game, and fair play to Gloucester, they took their chances and we didn’t.'

Culverhouse, whose side preserved their unbeaten home record with a last-gasp equaliser against the Tigers on Saturday, added 'What we are doing at the moment is unbelievable, it’s unbelievable what they are doing. And the character they showed at the end, and they could have given up halfway through because it wasn’t going right,but to actually get the goal in the end showed the immense character of this squad of players'...

'We have to lay foundations and small building blocks. The first 10 games everyone is just "wow, unbelievable start", but this is about building things for next year. If we can stay in this league this year we will only be better next year... we will know what it is about, the foundations will have been laid to push it on further...

We have got out of one league we are dipping our toe into the next one and we are enjoying it at the moment. Can we sustain it? That is the challenge for this group of players now.'”

At the other geographical end of the league, Blyth Spartans Chairman Tony Platten says "I’m a little surprised by the start to the season, it’s a bit strange. Pre-season went well with some good results and we were scoring goals, so there were positive signs. But the step up from the Northern League for some of our younger players is a big jump.

Stitching a side together, virtually from scratch, is never going to be easy but we are bringing in more experienced players now when they become available. Last season we started poorly and improved, plus there are still eight months of the season to go. At the moment, we’re getting no luck.

We played reasonably well for the first ten minutes against Southport and then new signing Jack Hunter was injured, quickly followed by Ryan Hutchinson who was just back from an injury. It meant two of our most experienced players were off the pitch early on.... For 60 minutes or so, we played some good attacking football but lacked punch right up front and in the penalty area. We conceded a goal from a free header; we weren’t concentrating and didn’t attack the ball.

Their other goal was the penalty which, depending if you’re a Southport or Spartans fan, was either stitched on or dubious...

We started the season with a poor hand of cards as a result of what happened at the end of last season [they lost their manager and numerous players went with him to Darlington or joined York City] and it’s hard to rebuild things overnight... Crowds have held up very well and they’ve been good recently in getting behind the side. That helps a lot.

We remain confident in Lee [Clarke] and his management staff to turn things around. We can’t start chopping and changing things. Lee must be given time to gel the team and get the best from them. He has some great connections in football which can be very useful to us. Budget wise, we are currently operating within [it] and increased sponsorship from the likes of Texo has helped. In addition, Lee himself has been responsible for some new deals too".

18 September 2019


Following Tuesday's midweek game, Altrincham dropped to sixteenth in the league table. Hereford's late win took them up five places to eleventh.
  • Hereford FC 2-1 Gateshead


Alty travel to Chester FC in the FA Cup on 21 September and Howard Watts's and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records tell us that it is 56 years since Alty played an FA Cup game on next Saturday's date. Back in 1963 Alty won 2-0 at Skelmersdale United which was, like this Saturday's tie, a Second Qualifying Round match.

In fact, Alty have played six FA Cup ties on that date since their first such fixture in 1907 which was an 8-0 win over Hyde. Two of the other FA Cup matches have been wins over local rivals Macclesfield Town, which both ended 4-3 (in 1935 and 1957).

The last Alty league fixture played on Saturday's date was a less happy occasion, a 2-1 defeat at North Ferriby United in the Skrill North in 2013.


Altrincham are away at Chester FC on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup. From there, we learn that Chester FC "confirm that highly rated midfielder George Glendon has opted to extend his stay for a further few months with the Blues. The 24-year-old joined on a short-term basis at the end of last month after the Blues lost Garys, Roberts and Stopforth, to injury.

Nevertheless, Glendon, who has been in demand from EFL sides since the end of last season, has rejected offers, to stay with the club for the near future. George was released from Carlisle United at the end of last season. From Manchester, he was previously at Fleetwood Town where he made close to 50 appearances for the Cod Army. Glendon started his career at Manchester City and captained their Elite Development Squad as well as playing for England at Under 16 and Under 17s' level.

Blues' Joint Manager Anthony Johnson said 'After having a number of offers of clubs higher up the pyramid, George has decided that his immediate future lies at Chester. Even in the small amount of time he’s been here you can see the impact he’s had on the group. For us to tie down the calibre of player George is shows that he believes in what we’re doing'".


As reported earlier, Altrincham FC Ladies drew with Chester FC last Sunday. Chester FC report that "Rachel Lever was on target again as Chester FC Women gained a point with a 1-1 draw at Altrincham. Despite creating a number of good chances throughout, the Blues were unable to make the pressure count and manager Martin Fitzsimons admitted it was a frustrating result.

Lever fired Chester ahead in the first half with an excellent long range strike, however Alty levelled things before the break and defended well to earn a share of the spoils...

Fitzsimons said 'On paper it was a good result, however we should have taken all three points. In the first half we used the ball and created a few chances, looking particularly dangerous down the left hand side. The pressure on that side of the pitch paid off when Rachel Lever hit the top corner from 25 yards to make it 1-0. The next 10 minutes were more even and Altrincham drew level but that seemed to wake us up and for the rest of the half we were camped at their end.

'The second half was much the same. The midfield controlled the game but despite our best efforts and a number of chances we couldn’t find that second goal. Overall it was another promising performance but it felt like a defeat because it was a game we should have won... We need to be a little more clinical in front of goal'".


It is the under-19 Manchester United team and not the under-23s (as was originally announced by AFC) who are playing tonight at the J. Davidson Stadium...

Altrincham FC has announced that "Wednesday, 18th September will see the J Davidson Stadium host a double header of Manchester United youth team games. At midday Manchester United U21 Ladies face Ipswich Town Ladies. Entry is free.

Later, at 7pm, Manchester United's U19 side host Hertha BSC II in a friendly game. Entry is free. Please use the turnstiles next to the Sponsors' Lounge, where you will also find full bar and catering facilities. The Community Sports Hall will not be open for this game".


Altrincham FC announces that on 28 September "Altrincham take on Gateshead here at the J. Davidson Stadium, and we’re delighted to announce that this game is dedicated as our ‘Cancer Research UK matchday’, supporting the UK’s only charity funding research into all 200 types of cancer.

As our dedicated matchday we are calling on supporters of both teams to come together and help us blow the whistle on cancer.

One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives so there’s no better time to play your part in the fight against the disease which kills over 160,000 people in the UK every year.

We’re proud to welcome an army of Cancer Research UK volunteers who are collecting donations at various points around the stadium. We encourage fans to give generously and help thousands of scientists, doctors and nurses to deliver life-saving work and accelerate progress".

By way of background the charity advises that "Cancer Research UK is the only UK charity funding research into all 200 types of cancer. Today, thanks to progress, as many people survive cancer as die from cancer. But there’s still much more work to do, to bring forward the day when all cancers can be cured.

Supporters are encouraged to donate generously to Cancer Research UK, with several ways to do so.

  • Simply pass your cash donation to one of the Cancer Research UK volunteers who are at the stadium.
  • Fans can make a £3 donation by text message. Text the word BEAT to 70200*
  • Fans can donate online at Cancer Research UK.

Every pound donated, and every gesture of support will play a vital role in beating cancer, supporting ground-breaking research which is taking place right here in the North West and across the UK".


The BetVictor NPL reports that "Star players across the BetVictor Northern Premier have been collecting the first Bowland Brewery Player of the Month awards for 2019/20.

Throughout the campaign, Bowland Brewery will sponsor the awards presented to the respective player from each of the 62 clubs, with clubs encouraged to decide themselves how they select their best player, be it a manager choice, fans' vote or another method.

Clubs are to publish their choices on social media, with the players receiving a crate of cask ale. Here are some of the winners from August.

  • Bamber Bridge - Adam Sumner [pictured, right]
  • Ashton United - Nicky Clee"

Also from the BetVictor NPL we learn that "It’s all change at Buxton with injuries and recalls forcing them in to two new signings. They remain winless in the BetVictor Northern Premier, having gone down 2-1 at Morpeth Town on Saturday, with... defensive midfielder Aaron Chalmers making his debut. Chalmers joined on loan from rivals Ashton United."

Also at Buxton, Alty's rivals, "Spennymoor Town have recalled Jake Hibbs early from his own... Jude Oyibo was absent, and missed the trip to Morpeth. The Bucks have managed three draws and five defeats from their eight games so far, leaving them languishing in the relegation zone". Also reportedly on loan at Buxton is Lewis Walters though he was not in the squad at the weekend.


Gateshead "announce the extension of Dom Tear's loan deal until October 15th, 2019.

The Huddersfield loanee originally joined the club on a one-month deal in August, and has been handed the extension after impressing against Boston United on Saturday. The 19-year-old netted his first goal for the Heed in his first start, and has also made two appearances as a substitute."

Cheshire Live reports that "Ben McKenna is a picture of positivity in 2019. Healthy, happy and rarely seen without a smile on his face, the former Chester FC winger is an infectious personality and even a few minutes in his company can't help but lift your mood.

He left Chester in the summer on good terms and he's back in the National League North and enjoying his football at Spennymoor Town. Life is pretty good at the moment for the Burnley native, the future brimming with possibility.

And while the smile and the bubbly personality has always been there it is only this past year where behind the grin there hasn't been a secret that he had been battling to keep from bubbling to the surface...

At its best, McKenna's relationship with gambling was losing the odd £10 or £20 here and there. At its worst he was pawning jewellery, lying to loved ones, thousands of pounds in debt and using pay day loan companies to survive month to month. It's been just over a year since McKenna had a bet and, true to his personality of wanting to be the best he can be and help those around him, he now feels it is a story he can share.

'I knew I needed to do something, it was getting out of control,' said McKenna. 'I had a problem with gambling, not with alcohol, but the two would kind of go hand in hand. I'd go out and get hammered to try and forget how much trouble I was in with my gambling and it was a vicious cycle. I thought that if I can stop drinking for six months and stay in and save up then I would be able to pay off my debts by January. I stuck to it and I did it by December and I've not looked back since".

17 September 2019


Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator, advises that "TASC are running coach travel to Chester FC for Saturday's FA Cup tie. Thanks to all who have supported the travel so far. Please book as early as you can so we can ensure we book the right-sized vehicle for the trip. Please call the club on 0161 928 1045 from 10am to book your place".

Details of fares and pick-ups are on the Away Travel page.


Chester FC announce that "This Saturday, the Blues kick off what is hopefully a fantastic adventure in the oldest cup competition in the world.

It’s an all National League North affair at the Deva Stadium as Altrincham make the trip to CH1 for the second time this campaign. These two sides met in the league last month and the shares were spoiled [spoils were shared?] thanks to a Gary Roberts injury time goal.

Prize money at the Second Round Qualifying Round stage sees the winners pocket £6,750 and losers receive £2,250.

This game is simply pay on the gate. Admission prices are the same as NLN matches, which are as follows:

  • (Standing) Harry McNally Terrace: Adult £12, Concessions* £10, Aged 18-21 £8, Aged 5-17 £3, Under 5s FREE
  • (Seating) Swansway Chester (East) Stand and Swettenham Chemists Community (West) Stand: Adult £15, Concessions* £12, Aged 18-21 £10, Aged 5-17 £3, Under 5s FREE

*Senior citizens / Student card holders / Unemployed with proof of unemployment / Armed Forces. Please note supporters aged 5-17 and 18-21 should pay on turnstiles as normal, however [they] are requested to have proof of identity or age if asked by the turnstiles operator. Disabled supporters’ carers will be admitted free of charge.

We will have a special 16-page Emirates FA Cup edition of The Cestrian programme on sale for the game, featuring the thoughts of the managers, a look at the opposition, the story of the season so far in pictures and our recent history in the FA Cup. Lots of content, and just £1.50."


Altrincham travel to Chester FC on Saturday as they start their FA Cup campaign.

From there, Cheshire Live tells us that "Chester FC were able to hand minutes to some of their squad on Monday afternoon in a behind-closed-doors clash with AFC Fylde.

The Blues sent some first-team members to Kellamergh Park, the former home ground of the Coasters, for the clash, with the home side prevailing in an entertaining 5-3 win.

The game provided Chester managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley with the chance to give some fringe players valuable minutes, with Danny Elliott, Iwan Murray and first-year senior Stuart Crilly all on the mark in the defeat.

Jamie Morgan, Matty Waters, Gary Roberts, James Jones, George Waring and Cain Noble joined Murray, Elliott and Crilly as well as a number of trialists on the Fylde coast.

Chester were 3-1 up at the break but the home side, who fielded a number of first team regulars, came on strong in the second half with a brace from ex-FC United of Manchester man Kurt Willoughby...

Chester: Trialist, Waters, G Roberts, Jones, Trialist, Morgan, Crilly, Trialist, Waring, Elliott, Murray. Subs on: Noble, Trialist."


Kidderminster Harriers have "Extended highlights of the 2-0 home win over Altrincham at Aggborough Stadium."

After the game Kidderminster Harriers "Manager John Pemberton praised the “outstanding” performance of his players in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Altrincham... the side recording a much-needed first home win of the term in the process...

The boss gave mention to attacking duo, Richard Peniket and Ashley Chambers, who he described as 'magnificent'. 'It’s nice to get the monkey off the back as they say,” he said, the win being the team’s first Aggborough league win since early April. I thought [it] was an unbelievable performance. [On Friday] we trained, and I didn’t have a team, due to a couple of the lads being ill, and one or two were carrying knocks.

'So, to say that they’ve done that this afternoon is massive, massive praise to every one of them, they’ve been magnificent. We could have scored four or five goals, but I was pleased to see the two go in to be fair as we got that bit of luck that we’ve needed.

'Off the ball, we were fantastic and that was the main thing that pleased me because they’re a good side'".


One of the fundraising schemes to raise funds for Altrincham FC is the Bonus Ball competition. This week the initiative will see the 691st draw since the Club started the scheme more than 13 years ago!

Members of the scheme invest £1 a week and, based on the Lotto (National Lottery) Bonus ball drawn each Saturday, the person holding the same number wins £25! The remaining monies go towards the Club's funds.

Currently, the following numbers are available - 7,12,21,30,33,34,35,36,42,46,47,and 49.

Participants can pay as many weeks ahead as they wish, by standing order, cash, cheque or card.

So why not give yourself a chance to win some money whilst helping the Football Club? To join the scheme, please either e-mail or visit the Club offices.


The News Post Leader reports that "Spartans’ slow start to the season continued as they suffered another defeat in a game that was hampered by injuries.

Southport took the lead in the 66th minute when Zehn Mohammed got his head on the end of a corner. Southport then doubled their lead in the 71st minute when they were awarded a penalty after Correia was brought down in the box. David Morgan stepped up to take it and hammered it past Harker into the bottom corner.

The defeat, Blyth’s ninth in 11 games, came on the back of a 5-0 loss at the hands of Spennymoor in midweek.

Spartans have yet to win a game and the now find themselves at the bottom of the National League North table with only two points, Bradford above them on six.

Manager Lee Clark is naturally frustrated at the situation and says 'We need to be better in possession and we must keep working at our game. We need to rekindle the desire and passion we showed in the recent Kidderminster fixture, get some luck and just keep going.

'We had a lot of changes in the squad over the summer and have had to make more recently, so it’s difficult, but we are what we are.'

Last week Clark made a new addition to his squad in the shape of former Newcastle United central defender Jack Hunter. The 21 year-old was released by the Magpies last summer despite captaining the U23s and was quickly snapped up by Gateshead, where he made 37 appearances as The Heed just missed out on the play-offs".

According to Lincolnshire Live "Boston United boss Craig Elliott was ‘shell-shocked’ after watching the Pilgrims concede three times inside an eight-minute spell after half-time at Gateshead on Saturday.

United were good value for the 0-0 scoreline at the interval, but imploded after the break to concede quickfire strikes to home attackers Nicky Deverdics, JJ O’Donnell and Dominic Tear.

It left Elliott ruing dropped points as the Heed extended their impressive start to the campaign to just one defeat in 10 contests to date.

'I am a bit shell-shocked,' reflected Elliott at the final whistle. 'I thought we were excellent in the first half and went in at half-time ticking all of the boxes of where we wanted to be in the game against a strong wind. We defended really well and had probably the two best chances so I was looking forward to the second half because I felt with a bit of wind [in our favour] that we would go on and win the game.

'We came out as a different team and I cannot put my finger on it too much. We were very poor and there is no denying that'...

He added, 'The reaction from going a goal down was what hurt because we should have allowed the game to settle down and slowly work ourselves back into it. It was a bizarre sequence of goals because that is not like us. We have been looking solid and I thought we were outstanding in the first half because Gateshead are a good team.'”

Bulls' News says that "A brightish start to the season followed by a slide down the table, a lack of midfield bite leaving the defence exposed, and a manager hinting that he’ll have to take time to bring his own players in to arrest the slide. This season is becoming a mirror image of the last.

Supporters will be hoping that this situation doesn’t continue for too much longer because another winter bumbling about in the bottom six wasn’t in the script when the board were looking at a season in and around the play-off positions in their pre-season pronouncements.

Admittedly that slide is partially explained by the two postponed games, but no win in four matches, and only four goals scored in the last five, has contributed more significantly.

The Bulls host full-time Gateshead on Tuesday evening... with Gateshead only beaten once in ten games this season... They finished 17th in the division above last season following a nine-point deduction for financial skullduggery, but without that deduction would have been an impressive ninth. They were also demoted...

As for the hosts, it was something of a surprise to see Slade exclude Simeon Maye from his starting XI in the timid capitulation to Guiseley on Saturday, so hopefully one of the more promising new recruits this season will get his place back for this one...

There are clearly issues at the back, with a belief among fans that the Bulls were lucky to avoid cricket scores against both Chester and Guiseley. New loanee Jack Bodenham looks like a solid presence, but despite some last-gasp goal-line clearances on Saturday Jordan Cullinane-Liburd has looked unsettled of late.

Playing capable right-back Jared Hodgkiss out of position at left back merely compounds the problem. With Raheem Hanley looking like a lost sheep in that position when tried there, some news on a date for Danny Greenslade’s return would be welcome. Club captain Josh Gowling looks like a logical replacement for Cullinane-Liburd...

Up front, Rowan Liburd continues to Brexify fans, leaving them seemingly divided fairly equally between believing him to be either languid or lazy, although the lazy lobby does now seem to be edging the vote".

Welearn from Gloucestershire Live that "Gloucester City boss Mike Cook was proud of his team after they came agonisingly close to pulling off a shock win at King’s Lynn.

The Tigers were leading 2-1 in stoppage time against the side that started the day top of National League North but they were denied victory by Adam Marriott’s 94th minute equaliser.

'I can’t be too disappointed to be honest,' said Cook. 'For us to come to the top of the league and for large portions of the game we’ve done brilliantly, we’ve been the more dominant team, particularly in the first half...

'They were knocking on the door for a few minutes and possibly a draw is a fair result on reflection.'"

The Shropshire Star reports that "Angry boss Gavin Cowan summed up AFC Telford's 3-1 defeat to Chester, admitting 'They wanted it more than us'...

Chester, with just one defeat in 10 before Saturday, put the Bucks firmly in their place, Akwasi Asante scoring a hat-trick.

Cowan said 'I don’t like losing, but certainly not in the manner in which we lost. I don’t want to stand here and say we were competitive, because I don’t think we really were for a big course of the game. We lacked that desire, and it pains me to say it but Chester wanted it more than us. They had more energy, were first to every ball, and we just didn’t have that...

'This see-saw type of season isn’t what I enjoy... I don’t want to get too emotional about it, because Chester are a very good side and they’ve come and been the better team,' he added...

'Everyone was doing just enough, and sometimes they weren’t even managing to do that'”.


NL Daily announces that "Buildbase is giving away £100,000 worth of building materials as it launches its programme to renovate non-league football clubs for the fourth year.

This season (2019/20), the “£100k Transfer Deal” will give away £25,000 worth of building materials to four clubs taking part in the Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase competitions.

The first round of the programme is now open and clubs taking part in the competitions are invited to apply through until 17 November 2019. Buildbase will re-open for the second round of entries from January 2020.

Judges, including those from Buildbase and the FA, will be looking for clubs that demonstrate a feasible renovation project that benefits players and supporters as well as the local community.

Clubs will be encouraged to get fans to support their application through the Buildbase website and social media. The club with the most votes will score a 'golden ticket' with automatic entry to the final. Six clubs will be shortlisted in total and they will be invited to pitch their renovation plans to a panel of judges at Wembley Stadium...

The Buildbase “£100k Transfer Deal” has been running since the builders’ merchant became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and Vase in 2016".

16 September 2019


Above: Tony Thompson awaits developments as Toby Mullarkey attempts a clearance in the second half at Aggborough. Also seen are Jordan Hulme (left), Tom Hannigan and Jake Moult..

Match report here

Assistant manager Neil Sorvel was interviewed by Brian Flynn after the defeat at Aggborough; the conversation can be heard here.

The unofficial Harriers Online says that "The Harriers welcomed one of last year’s high flying teams, Altrincham, to Aggborough today with John Pemberton’s side still searching for their first home win, whilst Phil Parkinson’s Robins were looking to avoid a fourth consecutive away defeat. Rumoured to be signing for Harriers at numerous points throughout the last two months, Ashley Hemmings, the former Wolves left-sided attacker, took his place in the visiting starting lineup hoping to show Harriers just what they allegedly missed out on.

Pemberton made four changes from the draw with Blyth Spartans with Tom Palmer replacing the crocked Cameron Gregory in goal, whilst Milan Butterfield and Rhys Williams returned from international duty and to the first eleven; Ed Williams the other change at the expense of Ollie Shenton...

In a fast paced game the Harriers looked to dominate and put the visitors onto the back foot. It came as no surprise, therefore, when the hosts broke the deadlock with just eleven on the clock; Correy Davidson playing the ball into Ashley Chambers who stepped onto it and lobbed Tony Thompson in the Altrincham goal.

For the visitors Jordan Hulme was trying to be a nuisance, backing into the Harriers centre halves and drawing questionable free kicks...

Approaching half time Peniket again was involved... embarking on a slaloming run, beating two defenders, but was sadly denied an effort on goal by an excellent covering tackle. Four minutes later he was again denied, this time by the post after he curled an effort from just inside the box through a melee of legs.

The second half started where Harriers had left off with the high press employed to full effect... Such was the domination for Harriers that even Sam Austin almost got in on the act... As we passed the halfway mark in the game the lead was finally doubled. A long ball forward from Austin [Weeks] picked out Chambers who expertly controlled the ball and raced away from the chasing defenders before firing a venomous effort in via the near post. It was just what Harriers had deserved and after the travails of the season thus far it was refreshing to see the freedom in their play. It was like a weight had been lifted.

Thompson was forced to Altrincham’s rescue, time and again".


Six-foot plus goalkeeper Joel Torrance [right] became the youngest player to be included in a first-team matchday squad this season when he was named on the bench at Kidderminster on Saturday. It has been a busy time for Joel in recent weeks. He starred in the youth team's FA Youth Cup match against Curzon Ashton on 5 September, making several impressive saves during the match which went to extra time and ended 2-2.

He further excelled in the penalty shoot-out, making fine saves to three of the Nash's seven spot-kicks. Sadly, Alty still lost the shoot-out 3-4.

Joel is not yet seventeen and a half years of age. With Steven Drench out long-term with an Achilles injury, Joel may well feature again in the matchday squad as cover for first-choice custodian, Tony Thompson.

In recent decades the youngest player in the Altrincham first-team squad has probably been striker Mario Daniel who, on 11 November 2000, broke into the first team as a 16 year-old sub in a home defeat by Gainsborough Trinity in the Northern Premier League.


On Saturday, 21 September, Altrincham travel to Chester for the second time this season, having been denied a 1-0 win in the league match by a very late equalizer.

Right: 5 August 2019, Alty celebrate their goal, which was designated an own goal by a Chester player.

Altrincham have not lost at Chester on their previous four visits. Mike Garnett's data on previous encounters is below.

  • Home: P6-W3-D1-L2-F13-A10
  • Away: P5-W2-D2-L1-F6-A5
  • All: P11-W5-D3-L3-F19-A15

Altrincham should have Simon Richman back from suspension but centre-back James Jones must be a doubt after being injured on Saturday. Steven Drench and Yusifu Ceesay will miss the match through injury.

Since the league draw back in August, Chester have risen to second in the league table, whilst Alty go into the Cup match in fifteenth, though that could be sixteenth if Hereford FC win their midweek game.

Last time out, Chester FC report that "Akwasi Asante’s hat-trick moved Chester up to second after a commanding 3-1 victory at the New Bucks Head over AFC Telford United. A first-half brace from the Dutchman was coupled with a close-range finish after the break to put the Blues out of sight after just an hour on the clock.

However this wasn’t without drama. Substitute Lewis Reilly nodded the hosts back into it and a late red card for Jamie Morgan [who will therefore miss the Alty clash] had the visitors worried briefly, though they held on and showed great strength.

Asante moves to 11 goals... The Blues made two changes to the side that beat Guiseley 3-1 last weekend. Danny Livesey returned to the fray in place of James Jones, having served his suspension, whilst Morgan replaced the injured Kevin Roberts...

A floated ball from Matty Hughes on the right side of the penalty area gave Asante a headed opportunity at the near post which he nodded across Andrew Wycherley to give Chester the lead after just eleven minutes... The loud, proud support were in tremendous voice and well behind their side.

Forget groundhog day, it was groundhog minute as, in a mirror image of the first goal, Asante found himself in front of goal and tucked an effort wide shortly before adding yet another to his tally. The Dutchman was sent through one-on-one by full-back Taylor, his pass opening up the Telford defence. He dinked a woodwork-bound shot beyond Wycherley but slammed home the rebound to recommence the raptures in the packed away section. Two up on 22 minutes...

Chester were still in control with an hour gone, despite Telford needing to chase the game. On his goals-to-minute average, Asante was predicted to complete his hat-trick on 61 minutes. Just 11 seconds out, he netted his third. Great work from Jackson down the right channel saw the winger beat two white shirts and cross. Wycherley made a mess of gathering the ball and parried towards the Dutchman who, on the half volley, found the back of the net and his 11th of the campaign...

Eventually the home side got their breakthrough with 20 left to play, as Chris Lait crossed for Lewis Reilly and his headed effort couldn’t be kept out.

A tremendous travelling support of 775 Chester supporters was confirmed as a poor challenge on Lait from Morgan saw referee Ed Duckworth forced to dismiss the youngster on 81 minutes... Still, despite the one man deficit, Chester looked dangerous on the counter with substitutes George Waring and Danny Elliott leading the line...

A game that looked beyond reach for Telford suddenly felt a lot closer and a challenge from Simon Grand on the edge of the penalty area gave the hosts a questionable free-kick. Brendon Daniels stepped up and smashed [it into] the left corner of[f] Griffiths’ crossbar...

The Blues begin their FA Cup journey on Saturday with a tough game at home to Altrincham...

CHESTER: Griffiths, Morgan, Taylor, Burton, Livesey, Grand, Jackson, Glendon, Asante (Waring 70), Hughes (Roberts 67), Dudley (Elliott 73). SUBS NOT USED: Mahon, Jones".


Gateshead are the next league visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium (28 September). And from south Tyneside, Gateshead report that "Greg Olley felt the Heed proved their point with a scintillating second half display in Saturday’s win over Boston... Three goals in eight minutes from Nicky Deverdics, JJ O’Donnell and Tear saw Gateshead run out 3-0 victors.

Midfielder Greg Olley was delighted, 'In the first half we were a bit sluggish, we didn’t really get going or pass the ball very well... We came back out in the second half and wanted to prove a point, obviously scoring three goals shows that.'

Olley, who has been deployed both on the wing and behind the striker this season, was back into his favoured role with the introduction of Tear on the right-wing.

'I prefer it in the middle but, if the gaffers want me elsewhere, I’ll happily play there,' he admitted. 'Today I felt more comfortable getting on the ball in the centre and trying to get through the gaps, and it eventually worked in the end'. The 23-year-old also praised the 1,143-strong crowd at the International Stadium, adding 'It’s great when you see the fans flooding in! Now that we’ve not lost in a while, hopefully they’ll come back and we can put on a show like we did today'"


On Sunday, Altrincham FC Youth secured a 2-0 home win over Chester FC Youth. This followed a 0-3 home defeat by Hyde on 11 September.

Next Sunday they are at home to joint leaders Curzon Ashton at Manchester Health Academy, M23 9BP.


Everybody at Alty is playing Chester these days; the first team travel there in the FA Cup next Saturday, the Youth team beat Chester on Sunday and the Ladies had a 1-1 home draw against Chester FC Ladies, also on Sunday, at Egerton Sports Club.

The League website tells us that the Ladies are at home to Didsbury FC Ladies at Egerton Youth Club on Sunday, 29 September. Before that the Ladies compete at home next Sunday in the FA Women's Cup against... Chester FC.


Conor Branson, who left Altrincham last week, was an unused sub for his new club, Alfreton Town, on Saturday. Lewis Walters, who went on loan to Buxton recently, was not in their squad as they lost at home to Morpeth on Saturday.

Last season's loanee striker Joe Piggott, now on loan from Wigan Athletic at Stockport, came on as a sub and netted for County in their defeat on Saturday. Former Alty striker Aaron Burns turned out for Droylsden, whilst at Shawe View summer trialist Lewis Salmon netted a late leveller for Trafford.

In the FA Vase, Cheadle Heath Nomads, with Ashley Stott in their side, lost 2-1 to Vauxhall Motors.


Tuesday, 17 September.
  • Hereford FC v Gateshead


The Hereford Times reports that "Hereford manager Russell Slade said that defensive lapses cost his side as the Bulls suffered a third away defeat of the season. Guiseley striker Aaron Martin capitalised on a Jordan Cullinane-Liburd error to put his side ahead after just 10 minutes.

As the Bulls tried to find a late leveller Jared Hodgkiss was beaten by Andrai Johnson, who pulled it back for Martin’s second. With the points settled Cullinane-Liburd was judged to have fouled Johnson inside the box, [conceding a penalty] which Martin dispatched.

The defeat meant the Bulls slipped to 16th...

'Overall you’ve got to be disappointed as I asked them afterwards in terms of scoring themselves out of 10 and there wasn’t [sic] many scored themselves over a five or six to be honest,' said Slade. 'The three goals we conceded were very disappointing today as we’ve actually had, for the away team, a fair amount of the ball, but we were toothless in terms of final third play and at the back we made crucial mistakes which proved costly.

'They (Guiseley) are a big, physical team and I think we struggled against that at times today for sure... There’s a lot to do, there’s a lot of work to be done'...

Slade admits... 'Do I know my best team at the minute? Probably not, I’m learning about them and I’ve got to learn about them very quickly. At the same time if I feel they’re not going to get to the level required to push us up the table then we need to look at the recruiting side a lot closer than we are right now. We will improve there is no doubt about that, but we’ve got to do that very quickly...

'They’ve got a striker who has scored 14 goals which is a tremendous return... So it was a tight game but, when you’ve got a striker on the pitch who can just do that at the minute and just finish a game off or turn a game on its head it makes a huge difference. We need that and we need one or two stepping up to the plate. There are players capable of better performances than what I’ve seen today, from what I’ve seen in training and on the clips.'"

Meanwhile, Guiseley report that "Another hat-trick from Aaron Martin eventually ensured a comfortable win for Guiseley against a Hereford side that had not played for two weeks due to international call-ups... The Bulls performance this afternoon will have shown him the size of the task that lies ahead.

In a scrappy first half punctuated by a flurry of stoppages, primarily from the visitors as they did everything they could to disrupt Guiseley’s flow, it was another goal from Aaron Martin that separated the two teams at the break...

The second period saw the visitors finally try and play some football and although they had plenty of possession, they hardly troubled the Lions’ defence... Martin was on hand to steer the ball into the bottom corner for his and the Lions’ second.

Minutes later Guiseley were awarded a corner and as it was floated in referee Sam Mulhall pointed straight to the spot having seen Johnson being pulled back by Cullinane-Liburd. Martin stepped up to dispatch the penalty and complete his hat trick in the process with his fourteenth goal of the season."

The Telegraph & Argus adds that "Guiseley and Farsley Celtic both moved up one place in the play-off zone after earning 3-0 victories in differing circumstances.

The Lions were home to Hereford and the Bulls had their tails between their legs as they headed back down south following a hat-trick from Guiseley’s red-hot striker Aaron Martin. The summer signing from Brighouse Town was the first in the division into double figures and that earned him the August Player of The Month accolade...

Farsley followed suit as their 3-0 win, arguably a harder-earned one as they were away at Leamington who were five places higher than Hereford, saw the Celts climb to sixth... Adam Lakeland’s Celts finally broke the home side down five minutes before the interval.

A flowing move saw Jordan Richards find Tyler Walton and he spotted Jimmy Spencer in a better position and laid it off for the former Huddersfield Town and Notts County striker to slot home... and eventually the Celts doubled their lead.

On-loan York City defender Tom Allan sent in a low drive and his fellow centre back Adam Clayton steered it past Leamington keeper Jake Weaver.

Nathan Cartman was sent on in a double substitution by Lakeland in the 70th minute and less than two minutes later the striker wrapped up the scoring".

Shropshire Star tells us that "The Bucks’ frailties when playing in front of their own fans were writ large when faced by opposition who have lost just once this term and who looked a formidable unit throughout.

Although visiting striker Akwasi Asante claimed the match ball with a hat-trick, it was by no means a one-man show from these performing Seals... and afterwards Cowan lamented his side’s lack of desire to match their visitors...

Chester fans chanted 'We are going up', perhaps a little prematurely for mid-September, but based on this display it was easy to understand... Chester’s high-energy approach seemed to induce panic when they had possession...

Cowan stuck with his starting eleven until an hour in, when Chris Lait replaced Theo Streete, the Bucks changing shape from four to three at the back... They were even given a helping hand when a needless and crude challenge from right-back Jamie Morgan from behind on Lait brought a straight red card. The extra man brought more possession but the Bucks lacked conviction... In truth, any reward would really have been an injustice; Chester were as good as the Bucks were poor".

Blyth Spartans' "slow start to the season continued as they suffered another defeat in a game that was hampered by injuries. Southport took the lead in the 66th minute when Zehn Mohammed got his head on the end of a corner.

Southport then doubled their lead in the 71st minute when they were awarded a penalty after Correia was brought down in the box. David Morgan stepped up to take it and hammered it past Harker into the bottom corner.

The home side started strong[ly]... The first of the injuries came in the 9th minute when debutant Jack Hunter was forced to come off and was replaced by Tom Devitt... Spartans then suffered another injury blow when Ryan Hutchinson was forced to come off and was replaced by Ursene Mouanda.

It was Southport’s turn to be dealt an injury blow in the 24th minute when Dean Winnard was forced off and replaced by Zehn Mohammed... Southport won 2-0 and dealt another blow to the Spartans slow start to the season."

15 September, 2019


The wait goes on. It will now be at least 26 years and 16 attempts before Altrincham record a first win in the league at Aggborough since 1994 after this lamentable performance.

Right: Ashley Hemmings was again Alty's best player on Saturday, at Aggborough.

Kidderminster started the game as a club in some turmoil. One point gleaned by the Harriers from five previous home matches this season and an inability to pay some of their staff their earnings suggested that Altrincham might record their first away win of the campaign against a dispirited outfit. But the afternoon showed that it was the Harriers who had the spirit and organization to run out comfortable winners.

The hosts took the lead in slightly fortunate circumstances when Davidson's attempted cross rebounded off White into the path of Chambers. But there was nothing fortunate about the way he expertly curled the ball over Thompson into the upper reaches of the far corner of the net, to Thompson's left (12 mins).

Just six minutes later Alty lost ever-present centre-back Jones to injury. With Altrincham frequently surrendering possession cheaply they then needed a great block by Thompson to stop Williams making it 2-0, after Peniket had outmuscled Hannigan (32 mins).

A couple of minutes after Kidderminster had hit the post, just before the interval, Harriers' Johnson scythed down Hancock from behind and was merely shown a yellow card. It was clear the visitors could expect no help from the man in black in this fixture.

At Southport earlier this season a woeful first half had been followed by a much improved second half but there was no such silver lining here. Mispass followed mispass, players were outmuscled and there was a lack of creativity.

With the game being played largely in the Alty half, Harriers made it 2-0 in the 66th minute. Following a rare Alty incursion into the Harriers' end, a Harriers' throw deep in their own half led to a long ball over the top of Moult, which set Chambers in on goal and his low shot hit the inside of Thompson's left post before crossing the line.

For Alty only Hemmings emerged with much credit and he prompted a late but ineffectual flurry from the visitors. How virtually the same squad which reached the play-offs last season can be playing so poorly away from home this season is a problem to which an answer is needed as soon as possible.

Match report here


Kidderminster Harriers report that "Harriers picked up their first Aggborough victory of the season with a deserved 2-0 win over Altrincham.

Ashley Chambers netted a brace, scoring a goal in each half as the Reds dominated from start to finish.

The home side racked up almost 20 attempts at the Alty goal and, although Robins chances were kept to a premium, the visitors were denied by some sound defending by John Pemberton’s charges, including a fantastic block by Rhys Williams and some good saves and handling by goalkeeper, Tom Palmer.

Chambers’ goals took his tally for the season to eight; a deft chip lofting into the top corner on 11 minutes, before a fantastic run and finish on the angle made it 2-0 in the second half.

The tireless Richard Peniket, Declan Weeks, Ed Williams and Sam Austin all had attempts to try and add a third for Harriers during an impressive performance. Peniket in particular went closest, hitting the post in the first half and firing wide in the second."


Vanarama National League North, 14 September.
  • AFC Telford United 1-3 Chester FC
  • Bradford Park Avenue 1-1 Spennymoor Town
  • Curzon Ashton 0-4 Brackley Town
  • Darlington 0-2 York City
  • Gateshead 3-0 Boston United
  • Guiseley 3-0 Hereford FC
  • Kettering Town 2-1 Alfreton Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 Altrincham
  • Kings Lynn Town 2-2 Gloucester City
  • Leamington 0-3 Farsley Celtic
  • Southport 2-0 Blyth Spartans


On Saturday, Altrtincham Reserves lost 1-0 away at Crewe FC, who now lie second in the Cheshire League. Altrincham lie ninth in the 16 -team division, having played eight games and earned 10 points.

Their next game (21/09/19) is against Blacon Youth Club in the J B Parker Premier Division Challenge Cup, at Egerton Youth Club, Mereheath Lane, Knutsford WA16 6SL


Alty youth graduate Curtis Miller has signed dual registration forms with Trafford after an injury ravaged 2018-19.

Aaron Chalmers has moved from Ashton United to Buxton on a short-term loan. Jonathon Margetts has moved from Tadcaster Albion to Frickley Athletic.


The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Following a winless run of nine games lasting since the opening day, Kettering Town defeated in-form Alfreton Town 2-1 at Latimer Park.

Nicky Eaden’s team made a flying start to the match when, after 23 seconds, Daniel Nti chased his own heavy touch, beating Reds goalkeeper Jack Atkinson to the ball before being upended and tucking the resulting penalty into the corner.

Moments later, a loose clearance by Josh Wilde was intercepted by Ben Milnes, who played in Marcus Kelly to his left before the experienced midfielder found the bottom corner, giving the Poppies a surprising early 2-0 lead...

One minute before half-time, a free-kick was given away by Stohrer 19 yards out. Daniel East laid it off and the ball was placed into bottom corner by Morgan-Smith, cutting Kettering’s lead down to 2-1 at the break...

Kettering defended their slender lead well in the final moments of added time, earning a well-deserved three points against a team towards the top end of the table. A draw for former Kettering manager Marcus Law’s Bradford Park Avenue means that Eaden’s side are two points ahead of the relegation zone and in high spirits".

We learn from Cheshire Live that "Akwasi Asante's hat-trick sealed a deserved three points for Chester FC at AFC Telford United. The Dutchman bagged goals nine, 10 and 11 of the season at New Buck's head, with his head, left foot and right foot, to hand the Blues a big three points to take them second in the National League North.

And while Lewis Reilly's header on 69 minutes and a red card nine minutes from time for Chester's Jamie Morgan may have taken the sheen off and made for a nervier than needed final few minutes, anything other than victory for the Blues would have been unjust... Blues supporters turn[ed] up in their droves to back a side who had given them renewed hope for this season.

Two changes were made from the side that won 3-1 at home to Guiseley last weekend, Jamie Morgan handed a first start for the Blues following his impressive substitute appearance last weekend, Kevin Roberts's hamstring injury ruling him out. There was also a recall for centre back Danny Livesey at the heart of defence after his one-match ban, James Jones dropping to the bench.

Telford had made a slow start to the season under Gavin Cowan but had turned a corner of late, winning two and drawing one of their last three games...

Asante rose highest, guiding his header beyond the grasp of Andy Wycherley and into the far corner to send the visiting fans at the other end into raptures. Chester then started to totally dominate, outworking and outhinking their opponent, Asante's hold-up play a joy to behold...

Chester made it 2-0 and it was that man again... Asante glided through, seeing his initial effort hit the post before following up the rebound for goal number 10 of the campaign so far...

Chester came out for the second half looking to finish the job... [Asante] didn't have to wait too long for his hat-trick... [as he] hooked a left-footed effort beyond the Bucks' stopper... Telford seemed determined to make some kind of fist of it and a goal did arrived on 69 minutes when Reilly, on as a substitute just 60 seconds before, nodded home a Lait delivery...

With nine minutes remaining it then became much harder than it needed to be when Morgan, excellent all afternoon, rather foolishly left the ground for a rash tackle with Lait and was shown a red card by referee Ed Duckworth... Telford came forward and Brendon Daniels struck a bar late on with a free kick".

And Cheshire Live adds that "AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan admitted that Chester FC had simply been too good for his side... Akwasi Asante continued his rich vein of form as he netted a hat-trick to take his tally up to 11 in five starts and three substitute appearances...

Cowan didn't go for excuses... 'We were poor today,' Cowan told BBC Radio Shropshire. 'Chester had more energy, they wanted it more and it was more of a desire thing, I don't think it was a tactics thing or a formation thing. I just genuinely believe that Chester on their day came and had a lot more energy and desire than us... To question the players' desire is difficult. But it was there for everyone to see...

'We were the second best team by quite a way and I've just said to the players there that it is not really acceptable'...

But Cowan gave a rather back-handed compliment to the Blues' 'professionalism', citing Simon Grand's 'feigning a head injury' as an example. Said Cowan... 'It didn't look like a great challenge but I'm not sure whether it was a sending off. It's probably not very PC of me to say so but if I was a full back and the winger had skinned me twice then I might do the same. Little elements like that, their centre half Simon Grand goes up for a header and doesn't get touched but goes down with a head injury. Everyone can whinge and moan about that but, for me, that is professionalism. You're 3-0 up and you go down feigning a head injury because the opposition have a bit of momentum. We miss a bit of that.

'Our bench was moaning about it but I have a little bit of admiration for it and respect for that, it's the kind of thing I wish my players did. It's about winning and they came as a bunch of winners and we just weren't.'"

Talking to York Press "York City manager Steve Watson has lamented his side’s second half performance against Darlington, despite them scoring both goals in that period in their 2-0 win in the North East.

Heading into the break scoreless, a pair of stunning strikes from Alex Kempster and then Paddy McLaughlin in the last 45 minutes secured York’s return to the top of the National League North table. York were on the back foot for large spells of the half with Darlington striking a post and creating several other dangerous chances...

'For me, the second half performance wasn’t good enough,' said Watson... 'Obviously, I’m delighted to have come away with the three points. But I said to the lads in the changing room, "let’s not kid ourselves, if we can’t improve on that performance then we can’t get where we need to be". The lads know that and they’re accepting of that. In the second half, we couldn’t get any spells of play with the ball...

'Everything that they did quickly, we weren’t ready for it. It was a really tough hard-working win in the end... I wasn’t disappointed with the first half at all, we were up against quite a strong wind and we were penned in our own half for long periods... As has been our way of late, we didn’t manage to make the most of that situation'...

Once again victory came at a cost for York, with Kieran Green forced off after just 25 minutes due to injury and wing back Kallum Griffiths ruled out only on Friday because of an ankle problem. They join an ever-increasing injury list for York with striker Dan Maguire still around a month away from returning and captain Steve McNulty still sidelined.

'We’ve not had any luck with injuries lately, but we’ve found a way through it,' Watson said... 'People like Paddy, Newton and McNulty, they know their body and they’ll know when something’s not right... We need to educate the young lads about that, about what’s an injury that you can play through and what isn’t.'"

Boston United "were undone by three second half goals in quick succession as Gateshead strolled to a 3-0 victory... The Pilgrims were excellent during a tight and well-contested first half at the International Stadium but imploded inside an eight-minute period after the break.

Nicky Deverdics, JJ O'Donnell and Dominic Tear struck on 53, 57 and 61 minutes respectively to send Craig Elliott's side home empty-handed...

Tear supplied the ammunition for Gateshead’s breakthrough eight minutes after half-time when he laid the ball off for DEVERDICS to arrow an effort low into the corner of Crook’s net. Olley then drilled in a cross from the left which was deftly flicked home by O’DONNELL at the near post four minutes later. Four minutes further on, Gateshead killed the contest when TEAR rounded off a fine team move with the Heed’s third goal in the blink of an eye.

Lewis Gibbens and George Green were both thrown on as United went 3-5-2".

Gateshead are the next scheduled visitors to Moss Lane, on 28 september. On Saturday they played "(4-3-3): Brad James; Alex Nicholson, Toby Lees, Michael Nelson, Scott Barrow; Liam Agnew, Nicky Deverdics, JJ O'Donnell (Jordan Preston 80); Dominic Tear (Elliott Forbes 88), Josh Kayode (Paul Blackett 90), Greg Olley. Subs (not used): Danny Greenfield, Sam Guthrie (gk)".


Recent moves involving National League North players include:
  • James Baillie from Curzon Ashton to Mossley
  • Thomas Clare from Boston United to Frickley Athletic, youth loan
  • Alexander Laird from Bradford Park Avenue to Pickering Town
  • Matthew Clarke from Bradford Park Avenue to Workington AFC

14 September 2019


Altrincham will be without suspended midfielder Simon Richman today at Aggborough but defender Tom Hannigan is now available after sitting out his three-match ban. Conor Branson left the club yesterday, becoming the sixth player to leave since the summer (after Arnold, Chadwick, Harrison, Poole and Wynne departed). With Lewis Walters out on loan at Buxton, that leaves the first-team squad numbers at seventeen, plus two loanees.

One of those loanees, Yusifu Ceesay is out injured after being stretchered off last Saturday and left-back Connor Hampson must also be a doubt after also going off injured in last Saturday's fixture. Goalkeeper Drench also presumably remains sidelined too.

So, potentially, that leaves just 14 players available. These are Densmore, Hancock, Harrop, Hannigan, Hulme, Johnston, Jones, Moult, Mullarkey, Peers, Thompson, White and Williams, plus loanee Hemmings.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and Kidderminster Harriers

  • At home: P26-W12-D5-L9-F37-A32
  • Away: P27-W9-D7-L11-F29-A44
  • All: P53-W21-D12-L20-F66-A76


Altrincham FC has announced that "Conor Branson has signed for Alfreton Town after Altrincham accepted an offer from their rivals for the experienced 27-year old.

In what represents a good piece of business for Alty, Alfreton agreed to pay an undisclosed fee for Branson after manager Billy Heath identified the Robins' combative summer capture from Bradford (Park Avenue) as the ideal candidate for strengthening his squad".

Conor made 5(+3) appearances for Altrincham but had not started any of the three most recent games.

The 27 year-old had joined Altrincham in mid-June 2019, after he had been the Manager's Player of the Season at Bradford (Park Avenue) in 2018-19, for whom he made 40 appearances that season, netting twelve goals. His career started at Barnsley. After his release by The Tykes, he joined Guiseley, for whom he played eight times and, then, he joined the Nike Academy in 2011 before spending time in the USA (2015-18). In The States he played for Pittsburgh Riverhounds and he acted as assistant coach at Charleston Golden Eagles and Marshall Thundering Herd.

He then returned to the UK and joined Bradford (Park Avenue) for 2018-19.


In advance of today's match Kidderminster Harriers reported that "Altrincham are the next visitors. Harriers head into the game after last weekend's long trip to Blyth Spartans. The Robins travel to Aggborough following a statement 5-0 victory over Leamington a week ago.

Ollie Shenton [midfielder, said] ahead of Altrincham test, 'Every game is tough in this league, Altrincham being one of the toughest but we've just got to watch the clips, which we already have done, so we know what they're about and we've just got to stand up to it. It's about us, not them, and if we perform how we think we should be performing then we will be fine.

'I don't think we're panicking, we just need to stay calm, with a few cooler heads... I think results [at home] will change. As soon as we get that first win, I think it will carry on and we can start going on a run.'

Harriers will welcome back Rhys Williams and Milan Butterfield to the fold this weekend. The duo have been on international duty with England U19 and Bermuda respectively. The Reds will be without Jamie Sharman (ankle), who is back at parent club Chesterfield receiving treatment after sustaining an injury at Blyth. Goalkeeper Cameron Gregory has responded well to treatment back at Shrewsbury Town and should be able to rejoin the squad shortly.

Declan Weeks came through his 90 minutes at Blyth unscathed, having missed time himself through injury.

Admission is pay-at-the-turnstile at Aggborough Stadium... At the time of writing, Harriers are 6/5 to record a victory against Altrincham, and 8/1 to pick up a 2-1 success".


Saturday's match at Kidderminster is the first of four away trips in Altrincham's next five scheduled fixtures. Indeed, it could be five away matches in six if Alty progress in the FA Cup and are drawn away from home.

Next Saturday (21st), Altrincham travel to play Chester FC in the Emirates FA Cup second Qualifying Round.

The following Saturday (28th), the Robins entertain Gateshead at the J. Davidson Stadium in a Vanarama National League North match. Should Alty progress to the next round of the FA Cup, that tie will be played on Saturday, 5 October.

After that, on Saturday 12 October, Alty travel to Guiseley in West Yorkshire before another away match in the league at Burton Latimer, where Kettering Town now play.


The NW Counties Football League reports that "The FA Cup second qualifying round tie between Premier Division side Irlam and York City will be shown live on the BBC. The match takes place on 21 September (12:30 BST) and will be streamed on the BBC Sport website, app and iPlayer."


Boston United "have completed the three-month loan signing of Mansfield Town centre-half Lewis Gibbens.The 19-year-old, who will turn 20 during the loan spell, enjoyed a successful stint with the Pilgrims last season before suffering a dislocated shoulder in the defeat at Spennymoor Town on January 29.

Gibbens scored once in nine appearances for the Pilgrims last season and manager Craig Elliott is delighted to have him back onboard. 'He was superb for us last season and somebody I was always keen to bring back,' said Elliott. 'He has developed even more physically over pre-season at Mansfield and he brings great balance as a left-footed centre-back that is comfortable on the ball. He loves to be aggressive in his defending and this signing will give us good options during the months ahead.'

Also at Boston United the club has "allowed striker Tom Clare to join Frickley Athletic on a month's loan. The 20-year-old will link up with Dave Frecklington's side until October 12 initially after struggling for game time...

United boss Craig Elliott said 'Tom still has a major part to play at this club and he will only get better. It's quite obvious in the last few seasons that he's not had many 90 minutes of football. I want him to go away and play five or six back-to-back games to get fit and confident so, when he comes back to play for us, he's ready to kick on and deliver.'"

The Boston Standard informs us that "Two of the National League North’s best defences will be looking to out-do one another as Boston United face Gateshead tomorrow... The Pilgrims and their hosts have both conceded seven goals so far this season, the joint-second best record behind York City (six).

'We’ll go up there looking to get the three points', said United defender Ainge... 'Keeping a clean sheet is always good, but you don’t always win'...

'I should have scored more', he added....' We’re looking a threat off set-pieces now, which is a good thing. I think it probably is down to Nicky (Walker), he’s got a good delivery. He’s taking the corners and we’ve stripped it back. We’re doing more simple routines rather than trying things that aren’t always working out.'"

At Hereford FC "The Bulls have bought in former Coventry City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Oxford United player Andy Whing as first-team coach. 34 year-old Whing, who holds his A Licence, has coaching experience with Oxford United, Kidderminster Harriers and Coventry City.

Bulls' manager, Russell Slade said 'He’s played for me at Brighton and Leyton Orient so I know him well, he’s a really good type. Hopefully the balance between an older manager and a younger coach will work'...

Whing made close to 400 Football League appearances and played under Slade at both Brighton and Leyton Orient. After retiring through injury at the age of 31, Whing immediately joined the Oxford United Academy set-up, and has also had spells coaching with Kidderminster Harriers first team and U23s. Most recently Whing has been a part of the Coventry City Academy.

Whing said 'I enjoy being out on the grass in the week working with the players and then seeing the results on a Saturday. I’ve played at Edgar Street a few times in my career and I know that the atmosphere can be really rocking. This is a really big club and I’m looking forward to getting going. I’ve worked with Russell in the past and I have a really good relationship with him'".

York Press reports that "Manager Steve Watson insists York City 'will not be daunted' when they go to Darlington... York were on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline on their last visit to Blackwell Meadows. But it is a refreshed regime in place at York, with players and staff yet to taste defeat this season...

Watson said 'It's a completely new set of players, new system, new manager, new philosophy and new confidence hopefully... They won't daunted by going there and we'll approach it the same way as we have every away game'"

As for Darlington, "He said, 'They've got good options going forward and dangerous players... In this league I've never come across a comfortable game, especially for York City. People relate you as one of the biggest clubs in the league and people want to get one over on you. Players lift their game, especially at Bootham Crescent. We've combated that quite well this season... Southport was the first game where I look back slightly disappointed," he added.

'Guiseley was a good draw but Southport was a bit below the standards we have set... My job's to keep demanding more'...

Striker Jordan Burrow missed the Southport game but could be back in Watson's thinking for Darlo. Steve McNulty, meanwhile, has had a scan to ascertain how close to recovery he is, but is unlikely to be risked for either Darlington or Irlam in the FA Cup. Paddy McLaughlin had his first full training session on Thursday since injuring his posterior cruciate ligament, but again, will probably miss out.

'We've been unlucky this year', said Watson... 'This summer we went for quality over quantity but we always knew that if we got two, three, four injuries at the same time it would be tough. Luckily, touch wood, we've got through that spell'".

The National League reports that "Gloucester City have revealed club legend and first team coach Mike Green is about to make the ultimate sacrifice. The 30-year-old is taking a step back from football after announcing he is to donate a kidney to his sister...

Gloucester City manager Mike Cook thinks the decision made by the former goalkeeper, a key part of his managerial team, speaks volumes for him. Green won’t be around the National League North club for three months but he signed off in style last Saturday, helping the team to a 2-1 win over Darlington.

Manager Cook has spoke about a big moment in his right-hand-man’s life... 'I hope it works well and he recovers okay from it. Some of the fighting spirit the lads have shown in the last few games, that’s what he was renowned for as a player so he will be a miss for us... We’re sorry to see him go but he’s doing a courageous and selfless act and hopefully he will come back fighting fit.'"

In the Telegraph & Argus we read that "Lee Fowler says Bradford (Park Avenue) are beginning to change their fortunes slowly but surely... Avenue remain second-from-bottom of Vanarama National League North, with just five points from their opening 10 games.

But assistant Fowler says he can see the green shoots of recovery in place as he and interim manager Marcus Law look to steer their side up the table. This follows a 2-1 defeat at Boston United last weekend... Fowler hopes they can add four new additions to their squad ahead of the visit of fourth-from-bottom Spennymoor Town...

Fowler said 'The minimum we expect is hard work. We want them to play with freedom. We are being more competitive in games. We are creating chances. It's getting better, but it still needs to be a lot better. We are asking a lot of the players, we need to. They are a young group... It's turning slowly. We need a little bit more Conference North know-how...

'We didn't have a pre-season. We need to give the players short, sharp sessions in training. We need to make it fun too. They are taking it all on board. We are still looking to bring in new players...

'We want a settled team, not fill gaps'... He added 'Spennymoor... will be full of confidence. They have not really clicked into gear yet. They have a threat from the back with set pieces'...

Fowler also paid tribute to former Aston Villa trainee Riccardo Calder who has made an immediate impact since joined the club last month. Fowler said... 'He has scored one and set up three for us. He is buying into everything we have done... We have a decent defence and a good midfield and just need to add more up front.'"

Meanwhile, Bradford (Park Avenue) "have moved to add defender Josh Heaton and striker Andre Johnson to their squad. Central defender Heaton joins from rivals Darlington, while Johnson last featured for Boston United last season.

Heaton, who has featured seven times for Darlington this term, in fact became St Mirren’s record signing last summer, following his participation in Jamie Vardy’s V9 academy. The towering defender, now 22, never settled north of the border and spent the second half of last season on loan at Kidderminster, before returning to Darlington in the summer...

Johnson, meanwhile, has been brought in to fill a big void in the attacking area, with centre-back Ryan Cresswell playing in attack for most of last weekend’s defeat at Boston. The 23-year-old actually last lined up for the Pilgrims, making 16 appearances last season while also spending some time at Hednesford Town. He joined Boston from Alfreton last summer, having also played in the National League North for Corby Town before that...

Meanwhile, defender Alex Laird has left the club by mutual consent".

From the Northants Telegraph we learn that "Nicky Eaden believes everyone at Kettering Town needs to 'step up to the mark'...

The Poppies have endured a nightmare opening month following their promotion... Last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Farsley Celtic was their fifth loss in six matches and Eaden’s team remain without a win since their opening-day success over AFC Telford United.

The poor run of form has left Kettering in a lowly 20th position... The pressure has also been growing on Eaden who was appointed in the summer following the resignation of title-winning boss Marcus Law...

'Alfreton will be another big, physical side with quite a direct style of football and we have to make sure we start finding a way to deal with that,' the Poppies boss said. 'Farsley were another team who played quite direct and we just didn’t seem to be able to deal with it. And, to be honest, it is basic stuff we are talking about like marking in the box. I don’t see other sides giving us easy chances and free shots on goal. We have to improve on that...

'The most disappointing thing was that the lads didn’t seem to have a go until they were losing the game... I don’t think we are a million miles away at all... It’s true that I probably don’t know my best XI at the moment and that’s because when players come in and do well in some cases it has only been for a game or two and then mistakes are being made... We need to step up to the mark in terms of performance.'

Midfielder Michael Richens, meanwhile, has joined Nuneaton Borough on a month-long loan deal".

Confirmation comes from Port Vale that "midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith, has [joined] Curzon Ashton on a two'month loan deal."

13 September 2019


Having managed their first clean-sheet last time out against Leamington, Altrincham's next target is consecutive wins as they travel To Kidderminster on Saturday, in search of a first league win at Aggborough in their last fifteen attempts.

Although Tom Hannigan is likely to be restored to the back-line after completing his three-match suspension, midfielder Simon Richman sits out this game after his dismissal against Southport, eleven days ago. Yusifu Ceesay is out of action with a hamstring problem and news is awaited about left-back Conor Hampson who had to be subbed last Saturday during the first half.


Travel coordinator Mark Eckersall writes that "TASC are again offering coach travel to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday 14th September and we need your support to keep these coaches running and financially on track.

We try and keep the prices as low as we can, despite increased coach hire costs and provide the most comfortable trip we can. We had a great turnout for Boston and hope for the same on Saturday, particularly as we hope this will be the start of a good run after the excellent showing against Leamington.

Everyone is welcome, we'll have a 30 minute service stop on the way down and 15 minutes on the way back to get people home for evening arrangements. Why not take the coach, save on the car parking at Kidderminster and enjoy the excellent setup there as well as some of the league's best catering, which is always popular with Alty fans?!

Call the club from 10am each day on 0161 928-1045 to get booked on and let's get behind the boys".

Details of coach pick-up times and of fares are on the Away Travel page.


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger carries John Edwards's interview with Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson who "hailed his ‘cut-throat’ Altrincham players after they responded to two successive away defeats with their biggest win of the season on Saturday. Beaten 5-0 at Boston United and 2-1 at Southport, Alty look to be back on track in National League North after hammering Leamington 5-0, man-of-the-match Josh Hancock leading the way with two goals.

'It was certainly the reaction we were looking for,' said Alty boss Parkinson. 'It was an extremely controlled, really good all-round performance, and the players were cut-throat in the way they executed everything we asked them to do. That’s three wins on the bounce now. [Actually the three home wins have come over a run of four matches at the JDS], and while we know our away form has to pick up, that can be the catalyst for us to kick on.

'The build-up to the goals was the most satisfying aspect. We looked calm and composed, and when we are like that, we are very difficult to stop. Josh was always likely to get man-of-the-match for his goals, but Ash Hemmings was outstanding as well. At times, he was running the game on his own. It’s great for Tony Thompson and the back four that they’ve notched up a clean sheet... I’m probably more pleased with that than scoring five...

'The crowds have been great, but I would like to think we have given value for money with our home performances.'

There was concern when on-loan winger Yusifu Ceesay [right] pulled up in full flight with a hamstring problem and had to be stretchered off, but Parkinson eased fears of a lengthy lay-off. 'It looked worrying, but thankfully it’s nothing worse than a grade two injury, and we think he should only be out a couple of weeks,' he said."


The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that "Harriers have been handed a double injury blow with the news that goalkeeper Cameron Gregory and defender Jamie Sharman face long spells on the sideline. On-loan Shrewsbury stopper Gregory injured his knee in the warm-up at Blyth Spartans on Saturday and could be out for up to a month, while on-loan Chesterfield defender Sharman has returned to his parent club after picking up an ankle injury.

Kidderminster had only just welcomed back midfielder Declan Weeks following injury but now boss John Pemberton faces more tough times as he looks to manage his already thin squad.

Pemberton said 'Cameron felt a lot of discomfort before the game and his knee locked on him. He has had a scan and it's actually not as bad as we first thought but he could still be out for three weeks or even a month. We liked him in pre-season and he's done well this season so it's another blow for us. Tom Palmer stepped in and is more than capable but it just sums up where we are at the moment. Jamie has hurt his ankle, was due a scan this week and has gone back to his parent club for treatment.'

Harriers had to settle for a 1-1 draw at struggling Blyth Spartans and now welcome Altrincham to Aggborough this Saturday.

'It wasn't ideal before the Blyth game but given the disruption I thought we did all right and coped with it well... We'll keep plugging away and keep going. Given everything, I think we have actually done unbelievably well this season. We are asking the players to keep going and they are doing that for us... We have some young players on the bench who are academy lads at college that don't get paid anything for playing. They have come in and trained with us and are standing up and being counted and I can't fault that.'"

The Harriers's last game at Aggborough was a 1-3 reverse against Brackley Town who report that "A superbly struck goal on 20 minutes by Shane Byrne set Brackley on the path to a first away win of the season and three richly deserved points. Goals from Thierry Audel and Jimmy Armson settled the result ...

'It was a pleasing performance and obviously a good result', Kevin Wilkin said. 'It’s a tough place to come and scoring three goals away from home is encouraging and we could have added to that tally in truth hitting the post late on'...

The home side started the second period well but could not find the equaliser and Saints were soon in the ascendency again...

Kidderminster Harriers: Gregory, Austin, Davidson, Sharman, Moyo, Johnson, Prosser (White 63), Shenton (Freemantle 81), Chambers, Williams, Peniket. Subs unused: Palmer, Higginson, Lowth. "


According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan has told midfielder James McQuilkin to remain positive in his search for a first-team place.

The former Hereford and Kidderminster man, 30, has not been involved in any of the matchday squads as Cowan’s side have put a three-match unbeaten run together. Though Cowan revealed McQuilkin, who travelled to Brackley, is not far from a return and could feature in Saturday’s visit of Chester.

'Players like James are probably closer to the XI than he is the bench,' said Cowan. 'The bench is all about balance. Darryl (Knights) was carrying a bit of a knock so James could’ve gone in at Brackley. He’s closer to the team than he is the bench [sic] because we balance it up and that’s dependent on the opposition. He could be in against Chester and we’ll measure it and see how we do. He needs to stick with it. I’ve been in his position, it’s hard, really difficult, but the attitude is very, very good.'"

AFC Telford United add that "The Bucks face another of the promotion favourites this weekend when Chester come to town... The Blues ultimately finished 9th last season – one place and three points behind the Bucks.

However, after back-to-back 1-1 draws to begin the season, the Blues have really started to motor; 19 points from the last 24 available has seen the Seals leap up to 3rd in the table, just two points off top shot. Propelled by the goals of dangerman Akwasi Asante (eight goals), Chester have lost just once so far this season and rank among both the league’s best defences and best attacks.

If Chester have shown any weaknesses so far this season, it’s been on the road. The Blues have picked up eight points on the road from 15 available. And it was a similar story last season too, when Chester picked up 38 points at home, compared to just 24 away...

Both sides go into Saturday’s game in good form; the Bucks having picked up ten points from 15; Chester grabbing 12 points in the same time. Cowan’s men are three unbeaten though and will be looking to keep that run going this weekend."

Darlington report that a "Defender leaves the club. Josh Heaton has signed for Bradford Park Avenue.

Because Josh was a non-contracted player, Bradford submitted the necessary seven days' notice of approach last week, and held talks with him at the first opportunity".

From the Boston Standard we learn that "Nicky Walker believes he is back to his best following his lengthy spell on the sidelines. The winger picked up a serious knee injury last April in the 3-0 defeat at Blyth Spartans.

The suspensions of Jordan Thewlis and Jay Rollins saw Walker handed his first league start since then almost five months later in the loss at Gloucester City, also a 3-0 scoreline... He believes he has regained the spark which saw him end last season as the club’s leading scorer.

'I knew the lads coming back from suspension meant I had to put a good shift in. I want to keep my shirt,' said Walker, who has started the past five games. 'It was five months from when I got the injury to coming back playing, and only in the last few weeks I’ve felt fully right. I got a knock on it the other day and it was all right. Before it was just reccurring and I knew it was a problem... All the lads were getting fit in the summer and running I couldn’t do that,' he added...

'I’ve always felt my fitness was up there, but it’s that match sharpness. Now I’ve played games I’m happy where I’m at.'"

The Banbury Guardian says that "With ten games gone, Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin is able to make an early assessment of his side’s progress. Saints sit eighth in Vanarama National League North ahead of Saturday’s trip to lowly Curzon Ashton.

Wilkin said, 'It’s been a similar start to last season, we’ve not yet hit the levels of consistency which we need to. There hasn’t been a lot of changes in the squad, the starting line-up is very similar to last season, we’re just lacking consistency. There have been small moments that have cost us again at both ends of the pitch. The competitive level in this division is getting higher every season, my squads know that and what they need to do.

'We’d have liked a few more points at this stage but it’s still very tight from top to bottom. The players have done fantastic for me so far with the levels they have set and I have to be sure if I bring anyone in that they are going to improve the squad. We’ve got a strong group here already.

'There was a loan player we considered bringing in but that won’t happen at the moment because the player in question is injured with his parent club. There are a couple of more loan options which we considered but the players in question look as though they will go to a higher level than us, if they don’t then we’ll have another look at them.'"

The Chester Standard reports that "Chester boss Anthony Johnson believes any success this season will be down to the strength in depth of the current squad. The in-form Blues head to Telford United on Saturday and could feasibly go top of National League North this weekend if results elsewhere are favourable.

Injuries and suspensions have forced Johnson and joint-manager Bernard Morley into personnel changes in recent weeks, but the club’s upward trajectory has continued unabated...

'Bernard and I have made it clear that if we’re going to be successful we’ll need 16 or 17 players all making big contributions over the course of this season', said Johnson. 'The players who’ve come in, when they’ve got their opportunity, so far have excelled. We’ve seen it already with James Jones and Jamie Morgan coming into the side last week. But it’s not just in defence, it’s all over the pitch. Scott Burton’s been outstanding in midfield since the injuries we’ve had to Gary Roberts and Gary Stopforth

'Then there’s the partnership between Akwasi Asante and Matty Hughes up top. Those two weren’t starting games at the beginning of the season, but we’ve rotated and all of a sudden they look superb together. Even the lads who aren’t starting at the moment, know why they’re not playing and appreciate how hard it is to break into a winning team. For us as managers these selection options are the most brilliant headache to have. We didn’t have those options last year when injuries took hold but,hopefully, with the additions we’ve made, we can be more competitive now.'

The Blues will chase their seventh league win of the season at New Buck's Head, facing a Telford side who’ve found form after a sluggish start... 'They’ve kept the bulk of the team they had there last year and that continuity will only help them this season', added Johnson. 'They’re a very strong and direct side and are usually quite compact in terms of their set-up.

'We’ve had a lot of success in wide areas this season, with our full-backs over-lapping to get us those overloads that allow us to hurt teams. But we’re not naive enough to think we can just turn up there and impose our style of play on them for 90 minutes. We’ve got a good idea of their strengths and weaknesses and we’ll go there with a plan... We’ll have to make sure our defensive shape and workrate are high again for this one.'

Kev Roberts is expected to be out for another week with injury, with Morgan will likely [sic] deputise at right back again for the visitors. A knee injury will keep central midfielder Stopforth out for the next month, with Lloyd Marsh-Hughes the only other absentee for the otherwise full-strength Blues.'"

King's Lynn Town's "Head of Media, Mark Hearle, has urged supporters to 'embrace and enjoy' the club’s lofty position ahead of Saturday’s Walks encounter with Gloucester City. Town... currently enjoy a 100% home record ...

'The football that has been served up by the team to date on home soil has been nothing short of exceptional' continued Hearle. 'Ian, Paul Bastock and the lads have put in a tremendous amount of hard work and are rightly reaping the rewards at present. We are now seeing that our supporters are really buying into the product we have on offer on a Saturday afternoon and I would urge them all to continue to enjoy and embrace every moment of it. The crowd levels to date have been fantastic and I have to thank them for turning out in their increased numbers and long may that continue.

'Of course it’s very early days and nobody here is getting carried away with anything'...

The Tigers have had a mixed start to the season, scoring and conceding goals in abundance. They have two away league wins under their belts at present including an eye catching 3-2 success at Kidderminster Harriers. Town manager Ian Culverhouse will have to make do without centre back Rory McAuley who begins a three-game suspension following his recent red card in the encounter with Alfreton Town."

At Hereford FC "The Bulls get back into action for the first time since the end of August on Saturday as we head to Guiseley AFC. International call-ups for Rowan Liburd and Raheem Hanley (St. Kitts and Nevis) plus Reece Styche (Gibraltar) have meant that our last two scheduled game... have had to be rearranged.

The enforced break has at least given new manager, Russell Slade, the opportunity to work with the team and get to know the players better... We face a Guiseley side that has started the season well and sit fifth after ten League games... Their last two games have seen them play out a goalless home draw with York City before falling to a 3-1 reverse at Chester last weekend.

Meanwhile we will be looking to end a run of three games without a win which has seen us play out home draws with Brackley Town and Boston United with a defeat at Chester sandwiched in between. Our lack of recent action has seen us slip to 15th place in the early League table but, with games in hand over everyone, it is hoped that we can start moving in the right direction again."

Meanwhile, Bradford (Park Avenue) "are looking to build on the positives as they return to action against Spennymoor. Avenue were unlucky to come away with nothing to show from last weekend’s trip to in-form Boston, a quickfire double for the hosts sinking Marcus Law’s men to a 2-1 defeat. It was a third loss in a row, following home defeats to Telford and Farsley, which followed on from Bradford’s sole win of the season at Darlington.

[Ex-Alty loanee] Jon Moran sat out the defeat with tonsilitis, while goalkeeper Rhys Taylor was still absent as he treats an ongoing calf problem which had been affecting him during a number of matches... His replacement Jack Bennett made up for his Farsley error with a controlled performance at Boston, and it remains to be seen whether the youngster will be called upon again this Saturday.

Law has been busy reshuffling his squad, with a number of departures last week, and is hoping to add at least one name ahead of the weekend. A striker is high on his priority list, after Ryan Cresswell was deployed in an attacking role at Boston last week.

For Saturday’s visitors, however, they come armed with ex-Bradford striker Adam Boyes and winger Ben McKenna... After work on their Brewery Field ground overran from the summer, The Moors have been playing catchup following a handful of postponements".

12 September 2019


On Saturday, Altrincham visit Kidderminster Harriers, who lie sixteenth on eleven points. Altrincham start the game fourteenth, with twelve points.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and the Harriers...

  • At home: P26-W12-D5-L9-F37-A32
  • Away: P27-W9-D7-L11-F29-A44
  • All: P53-W21-D12-L20-F66-A76

It is 25 years since Altrincham won a league match at Aggborough, despite 14 attempts to do so since 1994.

Whilst Tom Hannigan is available to return to action after completing his suspension, Simon Richman serves his one-match ban at Aggborough. Connor Hampson and Yusifu Ceesay were both injured last Saturday, with Ceesay definitely missing on Saturday.


Altrincham travel to Kidderminster on Saturday, from where the Kidderminster Shuttle reported on Wednesday that "Cash-flow issues at Kidderminster Harriers Football Club meant some academy coaches received only half of their salary last week.

One staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, said some coaches at the Harriers Academy are looking for new jobs after being paid half of their monthly salary for August,five days after pay day. The coach said on Tuesday 'Most months we get paid late but this time they have gone too far. We were meant to be paid on the last day of the month and I only received half of the money five days late and I'm still waiting for the other half.

'I've got bills to pay and I've got to put food on the table. Enough is enough. We've got 120 boys and girls at the academy and the club receives funding for every one of them. We want to know where that money has gone. The club is in a mess. This is the worst it's ever been.'

Club director David Seddon said coaches were paid the other half of their salary this morning, and said the cash shortage was a result of a creditor not paying up. He told The Shuttle 'Part of the issue is cash flow. I'm not excusing it but we had a problem with a creditor and it put us in a position where we weren't able to pay everyone.

'This coincided with an away game so we didn't have any cash coming in. I had to make a decision on who should be paid and I made the assumption, perhaps wrongly, that these part-time coaches had other incomes coming in from other employment. That's been rectified after a couple of days and I can only apologise that it wasn't on time.'"

The Halesowen News adds that "Fans are still awaiting a statement confirming the club's new owner, and were told last week the delay is a result of 'legal process and procedure' beyond the club's control. Mr Seddon added 'We're in the process of a takeover and it is having a knock-on effect. People are a bit jittery about where they stand and so am I.

'There are lots of things that need to be addressed; the club living beyond its means and paying too much for players for example. Everyone bears the responsibility for that within the club.'"


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records show us Altrincham's previous results on this Saturday's date, 14 September 2019.


Guiseley "announce the return and signing of Marcus Dewhurst on a season-long loan from Sheffield United. Young goalkeeper Marcus Dewhurst has returned from international duty with England Under-19s in Germany and became a big favourite with the Lions' fans last season in a loan period which lasted from Christmas to the end of the campaign...

He said 'I can’t wait to get playing at Guiseley again. I am excited to be coming back to Nethermoor to play and I am looking forward to training with the lads there and to playing in front of the Guiseley supporters. Guiseley have had a good start to the season and it will be good to be battling at the top of the table for a play-off place rather than at the bottom end of the table where we were last season.'

Joint Manager Russ O’Neill was happy to welcome the young ‘keeper back to Nethermoor saying 'We all saw the potential he has when he was with us last season. His loan was a positive all round, not only for us at Guiseley but for Marcus personally. His impressive performances helped him to earn a new long-term contract at Sheffield United and we are proud to have played our part in his development.'

Dewhurst sees another loan spell at Guiseley helping to further his career saying 'The England coaches are quite happy for me to play at National League North level with Guiseley. It progresses my game more to play men’s football than to play youth and Under-23 football.' The 18 year-old, who started his career as a striker, has previously represented England at Under-17 and Under-18 levels but recently got his first call up to the England Under-19 squad and played for the second-half in the 3-1 defeat of Greece at St George’s Park.

He then travelled to Germany for Monday’s game but was an unused substitute as England lost 1-0. Dewhurst scored a late goal in England U18s' 1-1 draw with Spain in Slovakia in the summer showing he still has his shooting boots when required. Marcus is the son of Burley-in-Wharfedale raised Rob Dewhurst who signed for Blackburn Rovers on leaving school. The centre-back later moved on to Hull City and settled in the Hull area where Marcus was raised.

Meanwhile we can confirm that George Sykes-Kenworthy has been recalled by Bradford City... Russ said 'George had a real positive loan with us but his loan agreement was such that he could be called back at any point by Bradford City if an injury occurred to their first choice goalkeeper'...

He also [added] 'We are extremely lucky to have both Marcus and former Huddersfield Town ‘keeper Lloyd Allinson at our club. Lloyd made his debut at Chester last week.'”

Emanating from the United Arab Emirates, The National carries Andy Mitten's article "Living in the shadows of Manchester's big two, Curzon Ashton is a small football club engaged with its community. With no benefactor and a small fan base, Curzon is the perfect example of a lower league club that is well run on and off the field...

Without any benefactor or large fan base, Curzon Ashton rose to England’s sixth division on crowds of 350. That figure includes significant numbers of away fans from the likes of visitors Darlington. Curzon’s core home crowd is just 220. They are now in their sixth season at that level, surviving when far better supported clubs including FC United of Manchester and Altrincham (considered the Manchester United of non-league football in the 1970s and '80s) have been relegated.

Curzon is the perfect example of a community football club that is well run on and off the field. The National paid a visit to the club which used to play at National Park until 2005. Ashton, a working class town of 40,000, 10 miles east of Manchester, gave the world three World Cup winners in Geoff Hurst, Simone Perrotta and Jimmy Armfield. A statue of the trio stands outside the £4 million Tameside Stadium. Tameside is the administrative area which has no less than eight non-league clubs: Stalybridge Celtic, Droylsden, Ashton United, Hyde United and Mossley [and three others?]. Most have over 100 years of history. Curzon was only formed in 1963 after two local amateur clubs merged, one of them a church team based on Curzon Road, hence the name.

One man was there from the start. 'I’d raise money to buy kits by collecting and selling firewood,'” explains the man who is now financial director Harry Twamley... Another Harry, Galloway, is the club president. They chugged along for decades watched by crowds of 150 but this millennium has been good to them.

In 2014 Curzon reached the National League north. Favourites for relegation, they have stayed there ever since. They have had some epic cup runs, including an FA Cup match against Wimbledon where they led 3-0 with nine minutes to go … but eventually lost 4-3.

'That devastated us,' recalls chairman Wayne Salkeld, a director of an engineering company, 'We stood to make £75,000 from TV money for the next round. That was money which we would have put into our facilities rather than the team. If we have no facilities then we have no team.'

Right: Alty at the Tameside Stadium last season: Sean Williams is congratulated after netting his first goal for Altrincham.

So what's Curzon’s secret? Firstly, they make good use of the grant system from the Football Foundation to improve their facilities, facilities which then improve their revenue.

Overheads are pared right down, Salkeld points out. '“This club is run mainly by 10-15 volunteers including the board.' There are no major shareholders, no benefactors... The local council own the ground but Curzon have a 99-year lease. The ground is a key to their success. As well as the well-groomed main pitch and tidy stands holding 4,000 which surround it, there’s an impressive clubhouse and offices, plus a 3G training pitch... 380 junior players, all of them paying subs, are affiliated to Curzon Ashton. All those young players receive a free season ticket to support the first team. Plenty come to games and buy food and add support. The car park is packed every night. Players bring families, families buy food and beverages from the club...

Explains Wayne 'This is a very working class area, we know what people can and cannot afford... Burnley’s Under 23s team use our facilities'...

'We’re always trying to promote the club – we even have a stall on Ashton market'...

Curzon’s total annual revenue is £500,000. Their playing budget is the second lowest in a league where players earn around £300 a week.

Mark Bradshaw is their current manager – and only the third to hold the role in 20 years... Bradshaw is full time but his role also means he coaches the youth team, takes bookings for pitch hire, buys biscuits and sweets for his own players and coaches the club’s junior teams... 'We’re up against full-time teams like York City who will have players on £1,000 a week,' Bradshaw says. 'They have 26 full-time players, we have one. We can’t compete financially, we can’t buy established players at this level because they cost too much... With FC United [who play close by] going down and Stockport going up we’ve lost a couple of big away followings and around £15,000...

'Slowly, slowly is the reason this club is successful,' adds Gary Lowe, Curzon’s manager from 2000 until 2011... 'Money from cup runs is invested into the club rather than splurged straight on players,' explains Lowe. 'They’ve had breaks; the council wanted their old ground for housing and so built this new one for example, but I was manager for over a decade and my successor John for over seven years. Other clubs change their managers but when you bring in a new manager you bring in six or seven new players... That upheaval is costly and unsettling. We don’t have it at Curzon because there’s patience. I signed a five-year contract. I made better, more qualified decisions. I never felt under any pressure. Even if results didn’t go our way, I wasn’t under pressure to sign ready-made footballers. I could continue with younger lads who came from local football but had fine careers.'"

On Tuesday night, Blyth Spartans "were put to the sword by Spennymoor Town as the Moors put five past the away side. Spartans were down to 10-men after 13 minutes which set the tone for the remainder of the game as Blyth still look for their first win of the season...

After 13 minutes Blyth were reduced to 10-men when Joe Robson pulled down James Roberts just outside the penalty area. From the resulting free-kick, Brogan bent one away from Foden and into the top corner to give Spennymoor the lead.

Hanani Amantchi looked to lay the ball back to a team-mate but instead played in Adam Boyes from the halfway line and Boyes was left with a simple task to finish past the onrushing Foden. Johnson cut in from the left-hand-side before curling an effort beyond Foden from 23-yards out to put the game beyond doubt. Ten minutes into the second-half and Spennymoor had doubled their first-half lead as Boyce crashed a header off the bar before Roberts fired home the rebound on the volley.

Gavin Cogdon almost made it five for the Moors when he struck a side volley from the edge of the box ten minutes from time, thankfully Foden saw it smash back out off the post. However, the hosts did make it five through Johnson as he reacted quickest to a loose ball in the area before smashing home emphatically for his second of the evening."

From/A> the other side, Spennymoor Town add that they "claimed a much needed victory and their first clean sheet of the season with a comprehensive win over the ten men of Blyth.

Jason Ainsley was forced to make one change to the side who began the draw against King’s Lynn Town on Saturday, with Stephen Brogan coming in for the stricken Shane Henry. There was further injury concern early on again when Dan Ward collapsed to the floor clutching the back of his leg after taking an early corner.

Moors looked to build on an impressive performance against the leaders and began brightly, and they were handed the initiative as early as 13 minutes when Spartans were reduced to ten men. James Roberts’s pace, which was a constant nightmare for the visitors all evening, raced clear on goal and was hauled back by Joe Robson. The referee had no choice but to send off the defender, and things went from bad to worse for Blyth...

It was one-way traffic... during a half dominated by Spennymoor but, despite creating a number of chances through James Curtis and Rob Ramshaw, Moors were unable to add to their 2-0 advantage.

However, that changed just five minutes after the break... Moors could smell blood at this point and went close to a fourth when Roberts was inches away from turning in Boyes’ pass across the box... But there was nothing Foden could do just moments later when Roberts kept his composure to place the ball in the corner after Boyes’ header struck the bar and rebounded back out.

A fifth always looked like arriving, and it came seven minutes from time when the alert Johnson slid a low effort in, six yards out".

According to Cheshire Live, "Influential Chester FC defender Kevin Roberts looks set to miss this weekend's trip to AFC Telford United with a hamstring injury. The 30-year-old right back, a summer signing following his release from Wrexham, was substituted with just eight minutes gone of Saturday's 3-1 win at home to Guiseley .

His replacement, Jamie Morgan, another summer signing, came in and made an positive impression on his Blues bow, catching the eye of fans with his workrate and energy and his willingness to get forward, even winning a penalty for his side to make it 2-0.

Chester make the relatively short trip to New Buck's Head this weekend... the Blues lying in third place after 10 games... Bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley have no qualms about handing Morgan a chance from the start if needs be.

Morley said on Saturday 'He (Roberts) had a slight (hamstring) twinge on Thursday night on training but, with his experience, we trust him to be honest. He said he was fit in the warm up but, as soon as he opened up, he felt it. But like for like it’s not the end of the world with Jamie Morgan coming on to replace Kevin Roberts. I’m a little bit gutted for Kevin because he has been one of our better players and maybe that 10-12 days may do him some good.'

One man who could return for Chester this weekend is centre back Danny Livesey. The 34-year-old served a one-match ban for the win over Guiseley, James Jones impressing when standing in for the experienced defender alongside Simon Grand."

Southport "confirm the signing of former Bolton Wanderers and Motherwell striker George Newell. The 22-year-old, who began his career in the youth set-up at Everton, joins the Port subject to international clearance.

George, born in Formby and the son of former Blackburn Rovers striker Mike Newell, has also had time with AFC Fylde and Albion Rovers.

Manager Liam Watson said 'George is a hard-working striker with an eye for goal. He’s got a lot of ability and is at a really good age, so he’s an exciting signing for us. George will bring a lot to the team and it’s even better that he is a local lad... He’ll complement what we already have in the squad.'

Newell was at Everton from the age of 12... before spending two years at Bolton, where he progressed from the U21 side into the first-team squad. He spent the first half of the 2016/17 season on loan at AFC Fylde before moving to Motherwell at the start of the following campaign. He spent two years north of the border, playing an important role in Albion’s good form at the end of last season".

11 September 2019


Why not sponsor an Altrincham FC player? For just £150 you can select the player of your choice and your name will appear under his photograph in each matchday programme of the season. The selected player's shirt will be signed personally by him at the end of the season, to your specifications, and given to you. For £250 you can sponsor two players's shirts.

The list of those players sponsored so far is here.


On Sunday 22 September, Altrincham FC Ladies' league match at Failsworth against Curzon Ashton FC Women has been postponed as Altrincham are playing in the Women's FA Cup, at home to... Chester FC, whose men's first team also face Altrincham, in the Emirates FA Cup.


Saturday, 14 September 2019.
  • AFC Telford United v Chester FC
  • Bradford Park Avenue v Spennymoor Town
  • Curzon Ashton v Brackley Town
  • Darlington v York City
  • Gateshead v Boston United
  • Guiseley v Hereford FC
  • Kettering Town v Alfreton Town
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Altrincham
  • Kings Lynn Town v Gloucester City
  • Leamington v Farsley Celtic
  • Southport v Blyth Spartans


  • Spennymoor Town 5-0 Blyth Spartans (Blyth reduced to ten men after 14 minutes).


Cheshire Live tells us that "Chester FC are in talks with George Glendon with regards to making his Blues' stint a more permanent affair.

The 24-year-old former Manchester City youth skipper has impressed enormously in his three-game spell with the Blues, signing on a short-term deal prior to the Spennymoor Town game to provide cover for injuries to Gary Roberts and Gary Stopforth. Glendon, who made over 60 appearances in the Football League for Fleetwood Town and played 16 times in League Two for Carlisle United last season, demonstrated his quality on the ball in the centre of the pitch, playing a key role in the wins over Curzon Ashton and Guiseley.

The midfielder, speaking to Cheshire Live last week , said he would be keen to stay at the Deva Stadium if a deal could be reached, something which bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are also keen to see happen.

As ever, finance will dictate what can be done but it is understood that Chester are hoping to tie up permanent deals to the end of the season for both Glendon and Matty Hughes, who has been playing on a non-contract basis so far this season, impressing on his return to the side following an ACL injury that ended his season prematurely last campaign. Hughes is already a paid member of the squad but the Blues are keen to reward his good form with a more permanent solution, despite the striker and managers insisting that he would be going nowhere.

'We just try to keep convincing George that this is the right team for him, whether he agrees with us I don't know,' said Morley after the win over Guiseley. 'It is the financial situation with things like this as he has come in and he has helped us out over the last three games. He's done really well, which he should be, but his fitness levels are incredible for someone that has not had a club for the past couple of months.

'He's been here and there on trial and not really given himself a platform to build on but he's come here, he's getting on the ball and he's enjoying his football so we'll try everything in our will to keep him.'"

Spennymoor "will be aiming for maximum points this week ahead of a double-header against the bottom two sides in the National League North, starting with Blyth Spartans [on Tuesday] evening... They are the only side without a win this season.

However, they claimed a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday thanks to Robbie Dale’s superb free-kick.

Moors come into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw with league leaders King’s Lynn Town on an afternoon where missed chances cost Spennymoor in the second half. Headers from Adam Marriott and Rory McAuley salvaged a smash and grab point for The Linnets...

Both fixtures [with Spartans] last year, over the festive period, ended 2-2. Jason Ainsley’s side are in desperate need of three points as well as a clean sheet, with Moors yet to record a shutout this campaign".

From Blyth Spartans we learn that "Latest signing Levi Amantchi is pleased to be back in the North East and hopes to help Lee Clark’s side climb the table. The former Wallsend Boys' Club man joined on loan from Chesterfield on Friday before being handed his debut less than 24 hours later.

The 18-year-old impressed on his first outing, leaving the field to a standing ovation after helping Spartans earn a point against Kidderminster Harriers.

'I thought it was a good debut; all of the boys were good,' said Amanthci. 'And I thought that in the first half we should have had a few goals. Second half I thought we started a bit slow but we stuck together and, in the end, we got a good point. It is good to be back home, and I just want to see what I can do for the team and get some confidence.'

Amantchi, who made 11 National League appearances for Chesterfield last season, also revealed how a move to Croft Park came to light. 'I spoke to Lee before I came here, and he was full of praise for me; he just told me to get my head down and work hard for the team.'" Meanwhile, the Eastern Daily Press reports that "King's Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse is one of the early favourites to take over as the new Lincoln City manager. He has led the Linnets to the top of National League North defeating big name sides including Darlington and Hereford, losing just once.

Lynn's success hasn't gone unnoticed with League One side Lincoln reportedly looking at the former Norwich City player to replace the outgoing Danny Cowley who left the club for Huddersfield Town yesterday. Culverhouse has been made second favourite for the job at 9/4 by Skybet behind Newport County manager Michael Flynn at 5/4, other potential candidates include Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth, former Bolton manager Phil Parkinson and former Hull City manager Nigel Adkins.

A King's Lynn Town spokesman said the club had not yet been approached by the League One side."

Also, from East Anglia, Lynn News reports that "Although they still remain top of the National League North, King’s Lynn Town’s Rory McAuley hopes the players can put Saturday’s poor performance at Spennymoor Town firmly behind them.

The Linnets were outfought, out-thought and outplayed during 2-2 draw in the North East and looked a shadow of the side that has taken the league by storm in recent weeks. McAuley, who rescued a point thanks to his first goal of the season from a corner, said 'When you don’t play well, it’s always a bit of a wake-up call and we need to get back to what we are good at. The gaffer has said that there will be bumps along the way and, if we can go through those games still picking up points, then even better.

'We know that we weren’t good enough and want to play to our levels every week, so that’s what we’ll work on in training this week. It’s a very tough league and the Northern League [sic] has always had a bit of a reputation for being a bit more rough and tumble. Every game is difficult. If you start picking and choosing who you might pick up points against, you can come unstuck. You should never underestimate anyone...

'In the second half, we had a little bit more quality but we were still way below our normal standards. But what we perhaps lacked in quality we showed in resolve'...

On a personal level, the defender, who now faces a three-match suspension for his red card against Alfreton, was delighted to get off the mark for the season".

Curzon Ashton report that on Saturday "An Amari Morgan-Smith hat-trick condemned Curzon Ashton to a fifth defeat in six games despite a late fightback against Alfreton Town... The game would have been over by half-time were it not for Cam Mason's penalty save from the same player. Alfreton's main man was not to be denied his hat-trick though as he took advantage of a defensive mistake to make it 3-0 with 20 minutes remaining.

Luke Wall pulled one back from the penalty spot, an incident which saw Alfreton's Danny Clarke sent off, and Matt Regan nodded in a second in injury time, but it was too little too late for Curzon.

Things are not quite falling the Nash's way at the moment and the pre-game news of Sean Miller suffering a stress fracture to his left foot during the week and Olly Thornley failing a late fitness test was further bad news for manager Mark Bradshaw who is already without key players Mo Ali and Robbie Evans. That meant two changes to the team which lost to Chester with Luke Merrill back in the starting line-up and Liam Davies making his first competitive start for the Nash.

Alfreton are unbeaten at home this season under Billy Heath, a manager who has previously experienced plenty of success in the National League North with North Ferriby United and Halifax Town. And they showed why they will be a threat to any team with their direct style of play causing early problems for Curzon's centre-back pairing of Regan and Danny Shaw...

Having barely threatened all game, Curzon forced their way back into contention in the final two minutes. Alfreton's Clarke was shown a harsh second yellow card for blocking a Curzon shot with his arm and Wall found the bottom right corner with his spot-kick. Regan then reduced the deficit to one when he headed in Michael Elstone's superb cross, but Alfreton managed to hang on to move up to fourth in the table with Curzon dropping one place to 18th".

10 September 2019


This Saturday, Altrincham make their 28th away visit to Kidderminster to take on the Harriers. Although the overall historical record, provided by Mike Garnett, does not look too bad, it does narrowly favour the hosts.
  • P27-W9-D7-L11-F29-A44
But the above statistics mask the fact that it is now more than 25 years since Alty recorded a league victory at Aggborough! That last Altrincham league win was 1-0 on 7 May 1994, thanks to a Stuart Terry goal. Ironically that was an end of season game in which the Harriers had won the Conference title but were to be denied promotion on ground-grading rules. At that point, the overall record between the two clubs was very heavily in Altrincham's favour, and read as follows...
  • P11-W8-D0-L3-F15-A11

Since then, you would struggle to invent the tales of woe that have afflicted Altrincham at Aggborough during their last sixteen visits, 14 in the league and two cup ties. The following extracts from the website's match reports record the grim sequence...

Right: Damian Reeves is congratulated on his goal in the April 2016 drawn game at Aggborough.

  1. 2-2 DRAW 19.11.94 Alty's goals came from Terry and Morton.
  2. 1-1 DRAW 21.10.95 For the third year running, Stuart Terry scored for Alty at Aggborough.
  3. 1-1 DRAW 15.2.97 Danny McGoona's goal secured the draw.
  4. 1-1 DRAW 11.3.2000 "Only the fact that Altrincham dropped a place, to eleventh, marred an otherwise excellent and deserved draw away to the League leaders and the team with by far the best home record in the division. Altrincham became only the fourth of the Harriers' seventeen league visitors to come away with a point or more". Kiddy won promotion to the Football League that season, whilst Alty were relegated by a last-day draw at Moss Lane against... Kidderminster Harriers!
  5. 1-1 DRAW 26.12.05 Kidderminster took "the lead with a dubious penalty awarded against Maddox for handball when a ball was driven against him from close range (23 mins). But, with their vocal support in place, Altrincham enjoyed the better of the second half and deservedly equalised after 80 minutes when Lugsden was brought down by Jackson in the box and Aspinall, making his first ever Conference start, drove the resulting penalty home".
  6. 2-3 DEFEAT 9.12.06 "Altrincham lost their second successive game 3-2 and are still without an away win this season but it was a very controversial penalty award by referee Vaughan which ultimately cost Altrincham the points"
  7. 1-1 DRAW 5.4.08 "Kidderminster's goal depended on a refereeing decision as Mr Creighton awarded them a questionable penalty just before the interval from which Christie scored. It was the third successive time that a spot-kick had been won against Alty at Aggborough, and all three were converted by Christie. Alty had held a deserved lead from the eighth minute "
  8. 0-4 DEFEAT 23.8.08 "It was referee Simpson from Middlesex who determined the outcome of this game by adjudging Chris Lane to have deliberately handled the ball on the line after 33 minutes, when the defender had been hit on the body from point blank range by a Harriers shot" Lane was sent off and Richards converted the penalty.
  9. 0-3 DEFEAT 29.8.09 "For the second year running, Altrincham had the better of the opening stages only to fall behind after having an early goal disallowed for offside... When Johnson was tripped by last man Riley, the Harriers' man saw a red card... After 36 mins Densmore was sent off ... It got even worse for Alty when Chris Senior was stretchered off with ankle ligament damage".
  10. 1-2 DEFEAT 12.2.11 "Altrincham were very unlucky to take nothing from this game which they finished with eight fit players on the pitch... Just before the break Piergianni was controversially sent off when he made a fine covering tackle which the referee judged to be a foul. It seemed that Piergianni had been dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity but it later emerged that the reason given by the referee was "foul and abusive language". Dootson made a fine save from the penalty kick, however... Smith got himself sent off for a petulant spat in injury time - again the reason given was "foul and abusive language". To cap the afternoon Densmore finished the game lame after being fouled, leaving Alty with eight fit men at the final whistle".
  11. 0-4 DEFEAT 16.9.14 Simon Richman sent off, a decision later rescinded.
  12. 1-1 DRAW 2.4.16 "Whilst an 89th minute equalizer was a cruel way for Altrincham to lose two points, Kidderminster were deserving of their point. Despite their precarious position at the bottom of the table, it was the Harriers who played the better football, particularly in the second half. At half-time, Alty sat 18th in the table, by the end of the afternoon they were 21st!"
  13. 0-1 DEFEAT 29.8.16 "After two successive heavy defeats this was a much improved performance from Altrincham. Harriers took the lead after 44 minutes when, out of nothing, a ball rebounded in the penalty area and Gnahoua pounced to drive a rising shot into the net from close range... A late tackle led to Simon Richman hobbling off to add to Altrincham's injury concerns".
  14. 2-3 DEFEAT 29.9.18 "Altrincham's play for substantial portions of this game deserved a better outcome. They were undone, however by three poorly conceded first-half goals, the first arriving just 42 seconds after kick-off".

There have also been two FA Trophy meetings between the clubs at Aggborough.

The first meeting was disastrous for Alty as they lost 5-0 in Round Four on 25 March 1995.

However, there was a notable cup success for Altrincham at Aggborough in the FA Trophy on 10 January 2015 when they won 1-0. "After Damian Reeves had scored a fine goal in the 20th minute, and Craig Reid had blasted a Kidderminster penalty over the bar, just before the interval, Alty retained their deserved lead. But Harriers dominated the second half with goalkeeper Coburn being Alty's hero with a series of outstanding blocks and saves".

So, surely it's time for Altrincham to record a first league win in 25 years at Aggborough on Saturday!

And why not help them achieve just that by catching the supporters' transport to the game!


When Altrincham travel to Chester on 21 September, it will be the third time that the clubs have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup.

The first encounter came at Chester in 1992-3 in the First Round Proper, when Altrincham drew 1-1 thanks to a Comstive own goal. 4,033 spectators watched that game, when Chester operate as Chester City before their financial meltdown. The replay of that game has become famous for the magnificent long-range goal by Clive Freeman, which was featured on BBC TV at the time. His goal wrapped up a 2-0 win after Ricky Harris had put Alty ahead in front of 3,000 fans at Moss Lane.

The two clubs also met in 2015-16 season in the Fourth Qualifying Round when Damian Reeves's goal settled the affair, 1-0, at Moss Lane, watched by 1,603 spectators.

Above: 24 October 2015, Altrincham 1 Chester FC 0. Here, Jon Worsnop beats out Jordan Sinnott's freekick but Damian Reeves is on hand to net the rebound.

In 2015 it had been a long wait since Altrincham had last won a home FA Cup match; back in 2004 they had defeated Farsley Celtic 4-1. In six home FA Cup matches since then Alty had drawn twice and lost four times.

Reacting to the 2019 draw, Cheshire Live says that "Chester FC face a tough test in the FA Cup second qualifying round after being paired with fellow National League North side Altrincham. The Blues have, at least, been handed a home tie in the competition at this stage for the second season running but a clash against the Robins represents one of the stiffer tests that they could have been presented with.

Chester have already faced Alty at the Deva Stadium once this season, a 1-1 draw in August where a Gary Roberts strike in injury time salvaged a point for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's men...

Chester's form so far this season, however, means that they shouldn't fear any side in the draw, certainly not at home where they have won four and drawn one of their opening five games so far. The clash will take place at the Deva on Saturday, September 21, with any replay to take place on the Tuesday evening following the game."


The following announcement from the club has been corrected as it is now undesrtood that the United team will be their under-19s and not the uner-23s...

Altrincham FC has announced that "Wednesday, 18th September will see the J Davidson Stadium host a double header of Manchester United youth team games. At midday Manchester United U21 Ladies face Ipswich Town Ladies. Entry is free.

Later, at 7pm, Manchester United's U19 side host Hertha BSC II in a friendly game. Notable first team fringe players that could feature in this fixture include Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and James Garner. Entry is free. Please use the turnstiles next to the Sponsors' Lounge, where you will also find full bar and catering facilities. The Community Sports Hall will not be open for this game".


The Bet Victor NPL confirms that "Scarborough have signed experienced forward Paul Walker from the reigning NPL champions Farsley Celtic on a month's loan.

Walker, 32, has been with the Celts since 2015 where he previously worked with Boro boss John Deacey, helping them to promotion to National League North last season.

He made his debut for the Seadogs in the 2-0 defeat to Whitby Town last week."

At Gateshead "JJ O'Donnell has officially been voted your Gateshead Player of the Month for August following an impressive start to the 2019/20 campaign.

The midfielder netted twice in August and has since added another against Spennymoor Town to become the club's top-scorer at the time of writing".

The Shropshire Star reports that "AFC Telford United have been handed a home fixture against Nantwich Town as their journey in this season's FA Cup gets under way...

The Bucks join the competition at the second qualifying round and will welcome The Dabbers... to the New Buck's Head on Saturday, September 21.

Nantwich play in step three, the division below Gavin Cowan's men. They have started the season with three wins from five games and are ninth. They beat Grantham Town 3-1 in the first qualifying round to make this stage.

Telford, who are three matches unbeaten in National League North, progressed through this round last season by beating Bedford Town 3-1 at home before losing at Warrington Town in the third qualifying round."

9 September 2019


The draw for the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup was made today. Altrincham have been drawn away at Chester FC! The sides drew 1-1, at Chester, in the league earlier this season.

The sides last met in the FA Cup in the Fourth Qualifying Round in 2015-16 season, when a Damian Reeves goal earned the Robins a 1-0 win.

Ties in the Second QR are to be played on 21 September.

The Draw includes:

  • 1 Marine v Dunston or Sunderland RCA
  • 2 Southport v Scarborough Athletic or Marske United
  • 3 Chester FC v Altrincham
  • 4 Curzon Ashton v Blyth Spartans
  • 5 Bradford (Park Avenue) v Morpeth Town
  • 6 Irlam v York City
  • 7 Tadcaster Albion or Ashton United v Pontefract Collieries
  • 8 South Shields or Colne v Thornaby or Ossett United
  • 9 1874 Northwich v Whitby Town
  • 10 FC United of Manchester or Atherton Collieries v Warrington Town or City of Liverpool
  • 11 Trafford v Darlington
  • 12 Gateshead v Ramsbottom United
  • 13 Guiseley v Stockton Town
  • 14 Lancaster City or Northwich Victoria v Spennymoor Town
  • 15 Runcorn Town v Farsley Celtic
  • 16 Alfreton Town v King’s Lynn Town
  • 17 Stamford v Boston United
  • 18 Leamington v Chasetown
  • 19 Kettering Town v Sutton Coldfield Town or Redditch United
  • 20 Belper Town v Witton Albion
  • 21 Loughborough Dynamo v Tamworth
  • 22 AFC Telford United v Nantwich Town
  • 25 Boston Town v Leek Town
  • 26 Buxton v Corby Town
  • 27 Matlock Town v Kidsgrove Athletic
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Stafford Rangers
  • Hereford v Truro City
  • Brackley Town v Cinderford Town /li>

For the first time, in 2019-20 losing clubs get some prize money in the Qualifying Rounds. Why this practice is only implemented for that part of the competition is one of life's mysteries. It means that non-League clubs losing in Round One Proper or beyond get no additional prize money but those defeated in the 4QR get £6,250.

  • Second Round Qualifying winners (80) £6,750 Second Round Qualifying losers (80) £2,250
  • Third Round Qualifying winners (40) £11,250 Third Round Qualifying losers (40) £3,750
  • Fourth Round Qualifying winners (32) £18,750 Fourth Round Qualifying losers (32) £6,250
  • First Round Proper winners (40) £36,000
  • Second Round Proper winners (20) £54,000
  • Third Round Proper winners (32) £135,000


Right: Josh Hancock is congratulated by Andy White (left), Tom Peers (no.14) and Simon Richman (right) on his second and Alty's fifth goal on Saturday..

As well as being Altrincham's biggest margin of victory this season, Saturday's 5-0 win over Leamington was also the team's first clean sheet of the season, at the tenth attempt.

There is more on the match, and another image, in yesterday's news, below.

Phil Parkinson's interview with John Edwards is on the Altrincham FC website.


On Saturday, 14 September, Altrincham travel to Aggborough. Mike Garnett's records reveal the historical record between Kidderminster Harriers and Altrincham:
  • At home: 26-12-5-9-37-32
  • Away: 27-9-7-11-29-44
  • All: 53-21-12-20-66-76

On Saturday, the Harriers drew at bottom club Blyth Spartans. The unoffical Harriers Online reports that "The Harriers had to be content with a draw at Blyth Spartans today after pre-game problems saw keeper Cameron Gregory being replaced by Tom Palmer after Gregory fell badly during the warm up.

Ed Williams also pulled up with a suspected twisted ankle but luckily for us he had worked it off to take his place on the bench because that’s where he had been dropped to by the manager John Pemberton.

Declan Weeks returned to the side following injury with Alex Prosser moving over to the number eight position while Oliver Shenton was the one keeping Williams out. Just over midway through the first half we then went and lost Jamie Sharman to injury leaving us even weaker in numbers.

Blyth are a team in big trouble with just the one point to their credit before the start of the game and, with the Harriers coming into the game on the back of a poor defeat at the hands of Brackley Town on Tuesday evening, it was expected that the home team would want to make sure they got something from this game at our expense.

It was a slow start to the game with both sides playing a cautious game. The Harriers had again dispensed with the passing game and frequently lobbing balls forward for Ashley Chambers and Richard Peniket to chase after...

It was once Sharman went off and Ed Williams took his place that we started to pick our game up a bit without threatening the Blyth goal still... <> The Harriers took the lead in fine style... when thye fired home from dead centre of the area after Williams opted to pass the ball on rather that score for himself... We then took control of the game for a while...

On sixty six minutes the home side drew level after Robbie Dale went down easily on the edge of the area and claimed a penalty. The ref said no and pointed to a spot just outside. Dale himself stepped up to take the free kick and gave Palmer no chance with a curving kick that went just inside the joint of crossbar and upright...

With time beginning to run out the Harriers started to play again and could have scored... I suppose a draw is better than nothing but, frankly, most were expecting us to go up there and give them a thrashing. I don’t think we’re capable of that anymore".


On Saturday, in the CCFA Amateur Cup, 1st Round, Altrincham FC Reserves won 3-0 at Christleton.

Next Saturday they are at home in the league to Crewe FC.


One former Altrincham player who is now playing at a higher level is Jeff King, the nephew of the legendary Alty player and manager, John King. The midfielder was first named in the Altrincham first-team squad on 12 April 2014, against North Ferriby United, and he continued to play for the Altrincham FC youth team at that time, having joined during the 2013-14 season. After being on the bench for several games he went to get match experience at Kendal Town before leaving Altrincham and ending the 2013-14 season at Trafford FC.

He made his one senior Altrincham appearance in the Cheshire Senior Cup at Tranmere Rovers on 18 March 2014.

Jeff is now at FC Halifax Town, who lie second in the National League. As FC Halifax Town report, Jeff is "Much travelled despite being 23. Between 2014 and 2019 he has taken in spells at Altrincham (a loan to Prescot Cables from Alty), Nantwich Town, Kendal Town, Trafford, Witton Albion, Droylsden before getting a big break at Bolton Wanderers in 2016 (loaned to FC United 2018). King then moved to SPL St. Mirren before joining Town this pre-season".

An Altrincham FC loanee last season, Joe Piggott of Wigan Athletic has joined Stockport County on a month's loan. Joe made his mark at Altrincham with a hat-trick at Curzon Ashton but a back injury ended his season in late March, by which time he had made six Altrincham appearances and scored four goals.


The fifth and final part of Mike Garnett's fascinating Forty Years On series, written to mark 40 years of the national division of non-League football, looks at where the founder-member clubs came from and where they are now. The series is reproduced, courtesy of the author, from the Robins' Review matchday programme.


On Saturday, 14 September, it will be six years since Altrincham last played a game on that date as is confirmed by the Through the Years data compiled by Howard Watts and Mike Garnett. On that occasion Altrincham were at home to that well known northern club Oxford City in the then termed Skrill North division. The outcome was a 2-2 draw.

Coincidentally in 2013 the match against Oxford came immediately after a previous Saturday clash at home to Leamington, who coincidentally have just visited Moss Lane on the same date (7 September) in 2019.

Right: Action from the 2013 game against Oxford City.

In the 2013 game, Altrincham had started the match as the league leaders and, having taken a 2-0 lead, should have had the game wrapped up by half time but a headed own goal by Scott Leather from Clifton's right wing freekick got Oxford back into the game.

Alty had taken a 17th minute lead when Matt Doughty's quick throw found Nicky Clee, who made two great turns to feed James Walshaw. The striker's first shot was blocked but his second was lashed into the roof of the net. Clee was tormenting the visitors and, when he was upended, the freekick led to Jake Moult having a shot blocked before Simon Richman found the net from close range at the back post (22 mins).

But, just a minute later, came the own goal and half-time arrived with Alty just a goal ahead at 2-1. Alty failed to add a second goal before Oxford equalised, out of the blue, from the spot after a trip on Malone. Pond was the scorer (69 mins). Aside from the own goal and penalty, Oxford scarcely had a shot on target.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Brian SMIKLE, 18. Adam REID.


The fourth part of Mike Garnett's "Forty Years On" series to mark the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the Football Alliance (later Football Conference) is here. It reminds us of the demise of many of the clubs in that League's original make-up.


Altrincham FC Youth put their FA Youth Cup penalty shoot-out defeat on Thursday night behind them on Sunday, when they won 7-0 away at Egerton FC.


At Alfreton Town, against Curzon Ashton, "Amari Morgan-Smith hit a hat-trick to take his tally to 10 for the season as the Reds bounced back to secure a fifth win in six and remain unbeaten at the Impact this season...

Danny East was tripped in the box and Morgan-Smith converted the penalty with the ball hitting the crossbar and bouncing over the line. The Reds forward completed his hat-trick in the second half reacting to a stray back-ward header to finish past Mason.

We conceded two goals in the final five minutes of the game to set up a nervy few minutes in stoppage time but the reaction came too late for the visitors... The Reds held on and despite the result being 3-2, Alfreton could have been well out of sight throughout the game with the chances created. However we returned to winning ways to record a fifth win in six and remain unbeaten at the Impact this season."

King's Lynn Town report that "League leaders King's Lynn Town stretched their unbeaten run to nine games after twice coming from behind to secure a battling point at Spennymoor Town.

The Linnets were second best for long periods of the contest at the Brewery Field, but second half headers from Adam Marriott and Rory McAuley from corners earned the Linnets a valuable point on their travels.

Spennymoor completely dominated the first half, but only had one goal to show for their efforts of the first 45 minutes. It arrived after 26 minutes when a throw-in was flicked on by Rob Ramshaw into the path of Adam Boyes who drilled a volley past the arm of Lynn goalkeeper Alex Street.

A bad as they were in the opening half, both Michael Gash and Marriott both hit the woodwork for the Linnets in the space of two minutes.

After a scrappy start to the second period, it was Ian Culverhouse's side who forced their way back into the game when Marriott headed home from a few yards out after McAuley had flicked on the original corner.

Spennymoor regained the lead when Boyes turned provider, to play in James Roberts who slotted past Street from a tight angle. But Lynn refused to lie down and McAuley rose unmarked to head past Matt Gould to draw the visitors level for a second time.

Lynn remain a point clear of second-placed York City".

The Eastern Daily Press adds that "King's Lynn Town remain the leaders in the National League North after earning a battling point in a 2-2 draw at Spennymoor Town.

The Linnets were second best for long periods at the Brewery Field but twice came from behind to preserve their unbeaten run, which now stretches to nine games...

Manager Culvershouse said that they were disappointed to draw. 'The dressing room was like a morgue after the game and that shows what it means to this group of players even though we are going home with a point'".

Yorkshire's Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Farsley Celtic moved back into the play-off places with a home win, but Guiseley dropped from fourth to fifth after they suffered a heavy defeat at third-placed Chester.

The Celts should have broken the deadlock early against Kettering Town as they were awarded a fifth-minute penalty, but Ben Atkinson missed the target from 12 yards at the Citadel. It didn’t stall them for too long, however, as former Bantams midfielder Dave Syers headed home a Jordan Richards cross in the 16th minute.

Farsley took that slender lead into the break but Syers didn’t reappear after being clattered by the Poppies’ keeper Paul White late in the first period, Will Hayhurst coming on as a second half substitute.

Farsley’s on-loan York City defender Tom Allan doubled their lead when he steered home another Richards cross midway through the second half.

The struggling Poppies hit back soon after when substitute Marcus Kelley netted a superb free-kick... It was Hayhurst who added the Celts’ third after White could only parry a Luke Parkin shot.

That should have been job done but Kettering pegged another goal back when Brett Solkhon converted a 79th-minute cross. That left Farsley boss Adam Lakeland feeling frustrated, he said 'It should have been an easier win'...

Meanwhile, Chester won the battle of the promotion hopefuls at a canter as Guiseley suffered a 3-1 defeat at the Deva Stadium.

The Blues led 2-0 at the break after a first half brace brought a seventh and eighth goal of the season for Akwasi Asante...

Guiseley had chances in the second half but former Lions loanee Anthony Dudley netted Chester’s third. Dudley had a loan spell at Nethermoor when he was a Bury player and he sidefooted past Lions keeper Lloyd Allinson after seizing a loose ball.

The Lions' Aaron Martin is outscoring Asante so far this term and he added another to his tally when he headed home a late corner to sully Blues’ keep Russ Griffiths’ clean sheet...

Guiseley’s joint-manager Russ O’Neill said 'It was a fair result. We didn’t deserve anything from the game and if we had done it would have been unfair on Chester... They (Chester) didn’t play the Guiseley that had played the first nine games of the season. We didn’t do ourselves justice.'”

Leamington "Club physiotherapist Pete Denham and manager Paul Holleran [have] confirmed that sadly Connor Gudger sustained an ACL injury in the win over Kettering Town two weeks ago, and is unlikely to play any further part this season.

'We've had the scan reports back and sadly the disappointing news is that Connor has ripped his ACL', said Holleran. 'He's due to see a surgeon a week on Monday and hopefully the operation can happen sooner rather than later. Sadly it's a long hard road back for him now'".

Elsewhere the National League reported that "The back of the net was hit 35 times in Saturday afternoon's National League North games.

The top two sides both failed to win so there was a chance for the chasing pack to make some ground...

Darlington's miserable form on the road continued as they slipped to their fourth away defeat of the season at Gloucester City...

Max Lowe put Brackley in front against AFC Telford but they shared the spoils for the visiting Bucks who were put level from the spot by Marcus Dinanga."


The NW Counties Football League says that "Saturday saw the return of the Emirates FA Cup...for NWCFL sides...

Six sides from the NWCFL top flight were left in the Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round, and after 90 minutes of play, four sides were still left in.

Irlam dispatched fellow NWCFL side Charnock Richard 4-0 whilst Runcorn Town came from behind to defeat Newcastle Benfield 3-2.

Additionally, Northwich Victoria are still in the competition but required a replay after a goalless draw away at Lancaster City and Scott McGowan netted twice as 1874 Northwich beat Northern Premier League side Pickering Town two-nil.

A club record attendance of 797 at Whitchurch Alport saw a narrow two-nil defeat by Leek Town on a superb day for the club despite the result".

Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Gianluca Havern netted for Ashton United, whilst at Trafford, summer trialist Lewis Salmon and Alty graduate Dontai Gabidon both scored in a 3-0 win over Bamber Bridge.

At Warrington Town, Joshua Amis's last minute goal secured a replay against City of Liverpool.

8 September, 2019


Above: Jordan Hulme, on the ground (left) slots home the opening goal.

Altrincham paid a substantial price for their best win of the season, losing both Yusifu Ceesay and Connor Hampson to injury inside the first half hour.

By then, however, Alty had taken the lead, following a spell of several minutes' almost exclusive possession of the ball. The opening goal came as Jones threaded the ball through to White, whose low cross was turned into the net by Hulme (15 mins). But almost immediately Ceesay had to be stretchered off with an apparent hamstring injury and this disrupted Alty's flow. It got worse when Hampson also had to go off injured (30 mins).

Despite these setbacks, Alty struck a second time in the second added minute of the half. Hemmings, who had a fine game, found Johnston, whose clever chip forward was matched by Hancock's intelligent run and the number ten nodded the ball into the net.

Altrincham's third goal arrived on the hour mark after Hulme had won a freekick on the right byline. Hemmings's freekick ended up in the net courtesy of a Gittings own goal, although Jordan Hulme did his best to claim it.

A very disappointing Leamington had hit the post in the first half but failed to suggest they would be able to retrieve anything in the second half. Alty rounded off the afternoon with two late goals. In the first added minute after the ninety, Peers tapped home a Richman ball from right of goal. And then, with the last kick of the match, Hancock scored a smart goal at the near post after good work from substitute Johnston on the left.

Match report here.

Leamington report that "As good as August had been for Leamington, September got off to the worst possible start as they shipped five goals at Moss Lane on a disappointing afternoon...

Paul Holleran named the same starting eleven that had kicked off against Blyth the previous Saturday while welcoming Jordan Murphy back into the squad after the on loan Solihull Moors man had completed his three-match suspension for his red card at Boston...

The hosts... made a bright start, which was rewarded on 14 minutes when a fine ball out to the right cut out the challenge of Cieron Keane, the ball being driven low across the box by Andy White for Jordan Hulme to slide in at the far post.

The Robins were forced into two changes inside the opening half an hour, firstly when Yusifu Ceesay, a former team mate of March at Alvechurch, went down awkwardly with no-one near him, and was subsequently stretchered off the field. Simon Richman then replaced Connor Hampson after the left back received lengthy treatment in his own half.

Leamington almost capitalised immediately, Kieran Dunbar cleverly making space for himself inside the box off a lovely flick from March before cracking a low shot against the near post, Callum Gittings stinging the palms of Tony Thompson with the follow up...

Brakes had arguably had the better of proceedings since [after] the goal, but they gave themselves the proverbial mountain to climb as they went in two goals behind at half time, Johnston being given time to lose the ball and get it back again before delivering a great cross for Josh Hancock to head home.

The second half almost began on the worst possible note when Ashley Hemmings bent a rocket of a shot towards goal that crashed back off the underside of the bar with Weaver statuesque on the other side of his goal.

Altrincham were clearly boosted from doubling their lead before half time however, and extended it further following a debatable free kick awarded on the right edge of the Leamington box on the hour mark. The ball was played in low and bundled into his own net by Gittings for an unfortunate own goal...

Their misery was compounded in the final minute when Alty substitute Tom Peers slotted home a low right wing cross from close range, followed by Hancock slamming in a fifth with the last kick of the game.

This was a bit of a reality check for Brakes after such a promising opening to the season".

And "Paul Holleran gave his reaction to a hugely frustrating afternoon shortly after full time:

‘It was a really difficult afternoon for us. We didn’t start the game well at all and fell behind to what was from our perspective a poor goal defensively to concede, because we vacated an area that we shouldn’t have done and didn’t deal with the cross.

'After that we grew into the game and had a good spell from 20 to 40 minutes where we could have got back into it, we played with a bit more intensity and did well, but then with 47 minutes on the clock and half time looming, it’s a quick free kick and we haven’t stopped the cross and one of the smallest players on the pitch has got in between everyone and it’s 2-0.

'When you come to a team as good as Altrincham that’s always going to be enough. The third goal was always going to be important...

'I think at 3-0, you’ve got a good possession side that are full of beans, and we looked deflated which is disappointing, and the two goals at the death are disappointing, so it’s a bad day all round. It’s the first time this season that the players have dropped their standards, and this is what happens in this division if you do... and the late goals were so sloppy. It’s very frustrating.’"


York City "managed a 1-1 draw against Southport, the Minstermen coming from a goal behind to extend their unbeaten run to ten games...

Southport drew first blood at Bootham Crescent; David Morgan firing a thunderbolt high into the back of the net from far out...

Both Raul Correia and Joe Tait had a clash of heads on 40 minutes and City were down to 10-men whilst the centre-half received treatment. Despite being low on numbers City managed a vital equaliser on 44 minutes, the ball landing to Alex Kempster in the box and the top goal scorer slotting home to level the game...

It was apparent throughout that Southport were happy with a draw as the Sandgrounders dropped like flies, the physio getting a good run out in the second half...

York [are] still the only team in the division to have not lost a game this season".

For their part, Southport added that "A superb first-half strike by David Morgan was not enough for Southport victory... Despite looking the more likely after the break, Watson’s side failed to breakdown the York resilience and came away from Bootham Crescent with a 1-1 draw."

Spennymoor Town report that "Moors were forced to settle for a point after conceding two second half goals from corners in an entertaining clash with King’s Lynn Town.

Adam Boyes and James Roberts both scored after being handed starts, but headers from Adam Marriott and Rory McAuley either side mean Moors have won just one of their opening eight games.

There were four changes from the side who began the game at Gateshead, with Carl Magnay, Shane Henry and strikers Roberts and Boyes coming in.

The absence of Glen Taylor, after he was ruled out for three to four weeks due to an ankle injury, meant Jason Ainsley opted to play two strikers in a 4-4-2 formation...

From the first whistle Spennymoor were sharp and alert... Boyes was involved on the fifteen minute mark as King’s Lynn, who looked miles away from their status as league leaders, struggled to clear a corner, but the Moors striker couldn’t get a decisive touch...

Moors got a deserved opener after 25 minutes of constant pressure. A throw-in was flicked on by Rob Ramshaw into the path of Boyes who drilled a volley past the arm of Street for his first of the season. It was no more than a superb Moors performance to that point deserved, but the visitors, despite not creating anything almost equalised as Michael Gash and Marriott both hit the post in the space of two minutes...

After a scrappy start to the second half it was the visitors who forced their way back into the game when Marriott flicked in from a few yards out following a corner. Moors, who were down to ten men for the set-piece after Henry collided with his own teammate, once again conceded from a set-piece, a recurring theme this season.

But that equaliser only spurred Moors on and they retook the lead when Boyes turned provider, slipping in Roberts who kept his cool and slotted past Street from a tight angle...

Despite seemingly wrestling the play back from the visitors, the same set-piece issues were awoken when McAuley rose unmarked to head past Matt Gould."

Farsley Celtic "earned another important three points in an action-packed afternoon at the Citadel, with a 3-2 victory over Kettering Town.

Goals from Dave Syers, Tom Allan and Will Hayhurst were enough for Farsley to secure the three points, with efforts from Marcus Kelly and Brett Solkhon not enough for the visitors.

Farsley Celtic Manager Adam Lakeland... commented 'It should have been easier, I thought we were the better team... Once we got that second, I thought we’d kind of go on then, I felt we were great value, but the referee, it’s a soft free-kick for me that he’s given them.

'The game was closer than I felt it should have been, I felt we were the better team and obviously with it being 3-2 then it causes a bit of pressure, tension in the last 10 minutes'.

Just five minutes in the Celt Army had the chance to take the lead after being awarded a penalty as Tom Allan was brought down by Mick McGrath, however the opportunity was squandered as Ben Atkinson dragged the spot-kick wide...

Farsley then broke the deadlock as Jordan Richards whipped in a simply sumptuous cross for Dave Syers who was able to run onto the ball and firmly head past Paul White in the Kettering goal...

Farsley controlled the game after the interval and Jordan Richards was the provider once more as the Celt Army made it 2-0 20 minutes into the second-half, Tom Allan heading his excellent delivery into the goal...

With just over 15 minutes remaining the Poppies halved the deficit as substitute Marcus Kelly curled a fine free-kick from the right-hand side into the far top corner. Farsley soon re-established a two-goal advantage as Spencer slipped in Luke Parkin, and his low effort was parried straight to the feet of Will Hayhurst by White who rolled home.

Kettering once again pulled a goal back, almost immediately from the restart, as Connor Kennedy squeezed a low cross into Brett Solkhon who was able to bundle home from close range".

At Chester FC the hosts "continued their dominant home form, recording an emphatic three-one victory over a Guiseley side who were placed fourth in the league going into the game.

An Akwasi Asante brace and a superb strike from Anthony Dudley saw the Blues go three up, before league top scorer Aaron Martin pulled one back for the Lions.

The Blues made one enforced change from the side that beat Curzon Ashton 3-1 on Monday, with the suspended Danny Livesey replaced by loanee James Jones.

Chester got off to the perfect start, taking the lead in the third minute as Bradley Jackson got in down the right hand side, his cross evaded Hughes but Akwasi Asante was on hand to tap for his seventh goal in seven games.

The Blues were forced into an early change as Kevin Roberts went off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, replaced by Jamie Morgan for his league debut...

Chester were absolutely dominant in the opening twenty minutes, with Guiseley barely able to get out of their own half... The pressure for the hosts paid off as Bradley Jackson played in Jamie Morgan, and he was brought down inside the penalty area. Akwasi Asante stepped up and sent Allinson the wrong way to double the advantage after half an hour...

The pace slowed down in the second half and it suited Guiseley... The third did come as Anthony Dudley picked up a loose ball, shrugged off the attentions of two Guiseley defenders before finishing really well into the bottom corner for a classy strike.

Guiseley did pull one back inside the last ten minutes as top goalscorer Aaron Martin rose to meet a corner and headed in from close range."

Bradford (Park Avenue) "fell to a third successive defeat despite significant improvement away at in-form Boston.

Marcus Law’s men were the better side for much of the afternoon, defending admirably and creating the best chances, but two goals in two second half minutes led to an unfortunate defeat.

Brad Abbott and Jordan Thewlis capitalised to hand Boston their third win in four, substitute Brad Dockerty giving Avenue hope by pulling one back with six minutes to play, but the visitors just couldn’t find another goal to come away with what would have been a deserved point...

Law’s men were struggling once more with discipline, Riccardo Calder booked early on before a poor Nelson Digbeu foul nearly cost them... Avenue... should have gone ahead moments later on the end of a great move...

The visitors continued to defend admirably into the second period, Ainge firing high and wide once more, but after a double substitution led to a dangerous spell, Boston took the lead... And moments later is was two as Avenue heads went down...

With six minutes to play, Avenue brought themselves back into it... The goal caused a late rally from Avenue and Boston looked nervous... In the end it wasn’t to be, but there were plenty of positives for Law’s men following a handful of disappointing performances".

Also at the bottom, Blyth Spartans say that "A stunning Robbie Dale free kick was enough for Blyth Spartans as they came from behind to gain their [first] home point of the season in a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers.

The visitors went ahead two minutes into the second half as Alex Prosser drilled home an Edward Williams cross from 12 yards.

Spartans then levelled on 63 minutes as Dale rifled home a stunning free kick to earn Spartans a point.

Lee Clark handed 18-year-old Levi Amantchi his debut after he signed from Chesterfield during the week. Meanwhile the visitors were landed a blow as first choice stopper Cameron Gregory went off with an injury in the warm up and was replaced by Tom Palmer...

The match lacked any real chances in the opening period, and there were 20 minutes on the clock before the game’s first shot on target...

In the end Spartans hung on for a valuable point".


Altrincham enter the FA Cup on 21 September in the Second Qualifying Round, for which the draw is expected to be made on Monday.

In the First QR, some northern results on Saturday were as follow...

  • Att. 305 1874 Northwich 2 - 0 Pickering Town
  • Banbury United 2 - 2 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Att. 329 Belper Town 1 - 0 Alvechurch
  • Att. 237 Chasetown 1 - 0 Staveley Miners Welfare
  • Att. 1216 FC United of Manchester 2 - 2 Atherton Collieries
  • Att. 222 Glossop North End 1 - 3 Pontefract Collieries
  • Att. 193 Kidsgrove Athletic 2 - 1 Cleethorpes Town
  • Att. 261 Lancaster City 0 - 0 Northwich Victoria
  • Att. 115 Maltby Main 1 - 5 Ramsbottom United
  • Att. 431 Matlock Town 2 - 1 Basford United
  • Att. 551 Morpeth Town 3 - 1 Hyde United
  • Att. 359 Nantwich Town 3 - 1 Grantham Town
  • Romulus 0 - 2 Buxton
  • Att. 259 Rushall Olympic 3 - 1 Sheffield FC
  • Att. 698 Scarborough Athletic 1 - 1 Marske United
  • Att. 272 Seaham Red Star 0 - 1 Witton Albion
  • Att. 1157 South Shields 0 - 0 Colne
  • Att. 519 Stafford Rangers 3 - 0 Mickleover Sports
  • Stalybridge Celtic 0 - 2 Marine
  • Att. 241 Stamford 1 - 0 Witham Town
  • Att. 218 Sutton Coldfield Town 1 - 1 Redditch United
  • Att. 361 Tadcaster Albion 2 - 2 Ashton United
  • Att. 204 Thornaby 2 - 2 Ossett United
  • Att. 298 Trafford 3 - 0 Bamber Bridge
  • Att. 602 Warrington Town 2 - 2 City of Liverpool
  • Att. 797 Whitchurch Alport 0 - 2 Leek Town
  • Att. 153 Widnes 0 - 4 Whitby Town
  • Att. 255 Wisbech Town 1 - 2 Hitchin Town

7 September, 2019


Match report here.


Vanarama National League North, 7 September.
  • Alfreton Town 3-2 Curzon Ashton (Att. 473)
  • Altrincham 5-0 Leamington (1,025)
  • Blyth Spartans 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers (796)
  • Boston United 2-1 Bradford Park Avenue (1,110)
  • Brackley Town 1-1 AFC Telford United (545)
  • Chester FC 3-1 Guiseley (1,989)
  • Farsley Celtic 3-2 Kettering Town (525)
  • Gloucester City 2-1 Darlington (644)
  • Hereford P-P Gateshead (Hereford players on international duty)
  • Spennymoor Town 2-2 Kings Lynn Town (1,063)
  • York City 1-1 Southport (2,748)


Altrincham entertain Leamington this afternoon. Despite having a game in hand on most other clubs, The Brakes nevertheless lie in a strong sixth position in the table, with 14 points, after winning four and drawing two of their eight fixtures.

In contrast, Alty lie 18th with nine points. They continue to have centre-back Tom Hannigan sidelined by suspension, but Simon Richman remains available after his dismissal at Southport as his ban does not kick in till Tuesday. Goalkeeper Steven Drench also remains sidelined, of course, by his Achilles injury.

Last season, this clash was the opening game of the season and saw Alty draw 2-2.

And Mike Garnett's and Howard Watts's Through the Years show that the last time Alty played on today's date was also, coincidentally, against Leamington, at their New Windmill Ground, in 2013.

Right: Danny Boshell hits the deck with a Leamington opponent but referee Mr. Radford waves play on and Carl Rodgers makes away with the ball.

In that 2013 clash, Altrincham played some good football in the first half and were good value for a 20th minute goal by Damian Reeves from a Matt Doughty feed. The goal came immediately after the Brakes' Stefan Moore had fluffed a great close-range chance. Alty lost James Walshaw to injury in the first half with Kyle Perry coming on. Leamington finished the second half strongly but Alty held a 1-0 lead at the break.

Leamington were on top for much of the second half, in which Alty lost Mike Williams to injury. Despite intense pressure on them, Altrincham hung on, through six minutes of injury time. Sadly, Williams left the ground in an ambulance. In hospital he was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles heel, the injury currently being endured by Steven Drench.

The win in 2013 restored Altrincham to the top of the league table and left them unbeaten after six matches.

For the 2013 match, only Shaun Densmore and Simon Richman from the Alty squad remain at Moss Lane. Jake Moult was out, injured, but Carl Rodgers returned in midfield. Kyle Perry and Scott Leather were both on the bench after injury whilst Leamington were unchanged from their last game.

LEAMINGTON: 1. Tony Breedon, 2. Paul McCone, 3. Stephen Morley, 4. Joe Magunda, 5. Liam Daly, 6. Josh Green, 7. Matt Dodd, 8. Elliott Sandy, 9. Stefan Moore, 10. Jamie Towers, 11. Lee Chilton. Subs: 12. Ricky Johnson, 14. James Mace, 15. Lee Moore, 16. Alex Taylor, 17. Lewis Fenney

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Scott LEATHER, 15. Brian SMIKLE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. James LAWRIE 18. Adam REID.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and the reformed Leamington.

  • Home: P3-W1-D2-L0-F6-A5
  • Away: P3-W2-D0-L1-F3-A4
  • All: P6-W3-D2-L1-F9-A9


Southport manager Liam Watson gave a truculent post-match interview to Southport FC after his side's victory over Altrincham.


On Tuesday night, Altrincham FC Ladies lost 0-2 at home to Curzon Ashton in their opening league match of the season.


The Boston Standard tells us that "Craig Elliott is desperate to record his first victory against Bradford Park Avenue. Since moving to York Street the Pilgrims' boss has seen his side pick up just one point against the Avenue, two late goals costing him dearly...

But, after securing his first-ever win over Leamington this season, Elliott is hoping he can do similar as BPA arrive at York Street on Saturday.

'I got the monkey off my back with Leamington and they’re a bit similar to them,' he said...

After making the play-offs in the past two seasons, Bradford, complete with ex-United defender Ryan Cresswell in their ranks, have struggled so far this campaign. Management team Garry Thompson and Shaun Gardner departed after just two games... Since then, Mark Bower [not so, the manager is actually Marcus Law] has steadied the ship, although Bradford remain near the foot of the table.

'They’re a different opposition this year, not the same team,' added Elliott, whose side are unbeaten at home in their past seven competitive matches... 'We’re keeping clean sheets and I think that’s what it’s about in this league. You saw how Chorley did last season with those clean sheets, a bit of resilience and showing that mental strength. We’ve got a bit more to us this year. These are good signs for me; we can become a really good team over the season.'"

The Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue)'s interim assistant manager Lee Fowler blasted Tuesday's 'damp squib' of a derby against Farsley Celtic and urged his players to start retaining tactical information ahead of a tough trip to Boston United.

He also admitted that Avenue were finding hard to compete financially at present, with potential new signings frequently falling through due to wage demands. He suggested that he would even be seeking feedback and advice from former manager Mark Bower. Referring to the 3-0 midweek defeat at Farsley, Fowler moaned 'It wasn't much of a derby. There was no atmosphere or tackles flying in. It seemed subdued on the pitch and the fans were too, with the league position we're in.

'Farsley deserved to win, even if the result did flatter them, with goals in the 86th and 89th minute. But that just shows that the players have to switch on for the full 90 minutes

'Marcus (Law, Avenue's interim manager) and I are working our balls off in training and we were telling the players all week that Farsley were dangerous from set plays, especially their big striker Jimmy Spencer. But he bullied our back line all night, Thomas Allan scored from a corner and they got another from a throw-in.

'Boston this weekend are a good team. I know their chief scout and they recruit well. They've got pace up front with Dominic Knowles and Nicky Walker, physical centre-halves and quick wide-men so we know their strengths and our players have to learn to retain this information, like sponges. We need a reaction this weekend. Like Chris Wilder (Sheffield United manager) said the other week, the minimum the fans deserve is for the players to care'...

Fowler said 'Against Telford last weekend (a 3-2 defeat) and Farsley, we showed a lot of youthful naivety. There's a lot of over-zealous, misspent energy, where the players are good at running with the ball but they don't know what to do with it. They have to learn what I call the 'hot and cold' technique. So they're hot while pressing, but showing cold composure when it comes to that final through ball, cross or shot.

'We're going to build on that and I might start training again, rather than coaching from the sidelines, just to show them what we're after. It's a massive transition this season, and we do need more 'men' in the side. I'll be giving [ex-manager] Mark Bower a call to get some feedback too. But it is different to when he was here last season, the wages are a lot different. Boston for example can offer £500 a week and we just can't.

'We're desperate to bring in a striker, a target man, but the ones we're after want £750 or £1,000 a week and you wonder where they think we're going to get that kind of money from.'

A big miss over the next couple of weeks will be experienced goalkeeper Rhys Taylor. Fowler said the club had discovered he had a back problem this week, and want him to take time off to recover. His replacement, 21-year-old Jack Bennett, made a bad error for Farsley's second goal on Tuesday, but Fowler was keen to advise rather than criticise the youngster. He said 'Rhys had a hip operation in the summer and didn't do much in pre-season so we knew he'd feel the effects at some point.

'He'd been struggling to walk though, so he went to see a chiropractor this week, who found that a disc had popped out in his back. We've given him two weeks off now to try and get himself fit. Jack's come in for him and I thought he was great against Gateshead. He made a mistake against Farsley but I thought he dealt with the rest well, even if his kicking was a bit erratic.

'He didn't actually have that much to do against Farsley and the mistake came late on (in the 86th minute when he allowed Jordan Richards' shot to trickle through his legs) so I'll be giving him a ring to tell him to make sure he always keeps himself in the the game... Marcus gave him a rollicking after the game but I felt I had to go the other way.'"

One of the curiosities of recent weeks has been the postponement of two Hereford FC fixtures as they have two players on international duty. Meanwhile other clubs in the National North, such as Darlington and Kidderminster, are in the same boat as regards call-ups of their players but have no postponements.

Indeed, Kidderminster Harriers report that "Two Harriers players are in the midst of international duty, with Rhys Williams and Milan Butterfield flying the flag for their countries.

Williams, on loan from Liverpool, was an unused substitute for the England U19s clash with Greece at St George’s Park, which the hosts went on to win 3-1.

Butterfield, meanwhile, played the last 20 minutes or so as Bermuda were beaten 3-1 in a CONCACAF Nations League tie against Panama."

From Lynn News we learn that "King’s Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse says he is not even thinking about being top of the league on the eve of his side’s trip to Spennymoor Town...

Culverhouse is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite Lynn’s dream start, saying 'It’s only nine games, but it just goes to show what a good group we’ve got in that dressing room. I think the surprise element has gone now and I think everyone is noticing that we are a decent team. To be where we are is a phenomenal achievement and I can’t speak highly enough of the players...

'It’s all about us staying in the league, we’re not getting carried away,' admitted Culverhouse. 'For us, it’s all about small steps. If we can get a foothold in this league, we’ll only be better next season.'

Culverhouse is expecting few favours from a Spennymoor side who lost out in the play-offs last season. 'They are a very good side',he said. 'They’ve been playing a lot of games away from home because of their ground. With a lot of home matches to play, I can see them really kicking on now'...

The Lynn boss hinted that the club may appeal Rory McAuley’s red card against Alfreton. 'I thought there was a foul on Rory leading up to it, so we’re going to have to have a look at the tape and see if there’s an appeal. Rory said that he didn’t catch him, it might have been a flailing arm but I don’t think it was enough to send the man rolling down on the floor.'

Lynn were forced to show a different side to their game against the Reds and Culverhouse said 'I don’t think we played much football, it was more of a battle. The lads were exceptional. We stood up to what Alfreton threw at us and I never thought we were really stretched at any time.'".

Unsurprisingly, the National League reports that "Steve Watson has won Manager of the Month for York City... August seems to have offered hope that this year might be the one which sees the Minstermen back on the right road again.

Steve Watson made a number of shrewd summer signings and they made an instant impression. A tricky opening day game at Altrincham was easily negotiated. Then they won against Brackley Town, Blyth Spartans, Leamington, Spennymoor Town and Gloucester City. It was an undefeated month, even if they may have hoped for more than a point against Farsley Celtic and Gateshead.

Watson now has his feet under the table and York City may not have to look on enviously for much longer if they build on their great start".

Farsley Celtic welcome Kettering Town to the Citadel on Saturday, hoping to earn another important three points...

The Celt Army will be hoping to find some consistency with the visit of Kettering Town, following a mixed start to the season which has seen four wins, four defeats and one draw. Adam Lakeland will be pleased with how his side have settled into life at step two, sitting 10th in the division, and head into Saturday’s game on the back of a 3-0 victory over Bradford Park Avenue.

Kettering Town have had a difficult start to the new season, picking up just five points from their opening nine games. The Poppies defeated AFC Telford United 2-1 on the first day of the season, but have been winless since then and on Tuesday evening they were defeated 2-0 by Boston United. Kettering have picked up just one point in their four games on the road this season, and have conceded 20 goals in total, the second most in the league.

Farsley Celtic's Jack Higgins and Elliot Wynne are both doubts after missing Tuesday’s victory over Bradford Park Avenue with injuries sustained in the defeat to Altrincham, whilst Lewis Turner and Nathan Turner remain sidelined.

Kettering Town's Jahvan Vidal returned to the Poppies’ squad on Tuesday evening after recovering from a concussion, however Aaron O’Connor has been told he can leave the club and Michael Richens has been left out of the squad for the previous two matches.

The [Farsley] gaffer’s thoughts... 'Everybody told me that (Bradford) Park Avenue were struggling but they caused us a few issues on Tuesday and stayed in the game until the latter stages... We’ve been inconsistent in terms of results albeit we have had a tough run, but that’s gone now. You can win two or three games in this league just as easy as you can lose two or three and, by winning a couple you can shoot seven, eight places, and the same if you lose a couple, you can drop seven or eight places.

'The league is so condensed, bar a couple of clubs at the top, that the fact Kettering have got off to a not so great start is absolutely irrelevant, it’s all about the players on the day and we’ll fully respect them as we do any opponent.'

[As for Kettering], "In 2011/12 the club went into administration and finished bottom of the Conference, before being demoted to the Southern League Premier Division. Kettering then suffered relegation to step four, returning to step three after promotion in 2014/15 and promotion was once again secured last campaign."

Gloucester City "entertained Darlington previously in our last season in the North, in 2016/17, and that game played at Whaddon Road saw the North East side leave with all three points after a 2-1 victory... This will be their first ever appearance at Evesham.

New Quakers' manager Alun Armstrong had a superb season with Blyth Spartans and his departure from Croft Park over to Blackwell Meadows also saw six Blyth players go in the same direction, along with a host of new faces with the club looking to go better than last season’s 16th placed finish under Tommy Wright. Darlo are currently 14th after a midweek 2-1 home win over struggling rivals Blyth. However they are still searching for their first victory on the road...

The last three games have seen Darlington pick up three points... This is in comparison to the home side who have picked up no points, scored five but conceded ten...

Darlington come into the match missing several key personnel. England C international Luke Trotman ruptured his achilles against Gateshead and is likely to be out for the season. Forward Jamie Holmes, who signed in the summer from Blyth, has a cruciate injury and will also miss tomorrow’s clash and a large proportion of the season. Another of the Blyth additions, defender Michael Liddle, is ruled out with a ligament injury whilst David Atkinson is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury against his former side on Wednesday.

Osagi Bascombe and Justin Donowa are both away on International duty with Bermuda. Defender Ben Hedley was signed this week to bolster up the squad for these absences.

For the hosts, City will be looking to bounce back after narrow defeats against then League leaders York and then away in midweek at Telford. Captain Spencer Hamilton is unavailable again due to illness so Tom Harrison will partner Sam Avery in central defence. Jennison Myrie-Williams was named on the bench at Telford and may feature for the first time competitively tomorrow. Marlon Jackson however remains out. Keeper Zach Jeacock, who made his England Under-19 International debut yesterday, is absent due to his international commitments and so Birmingham City teammate Josh Bradley-Hurst will again replace him in goal."

According to the Telegraph & Argus, "Guiseley played out an absorbing 0-0 draw with fellow high-flyers York City at Nethermoor on Tuesday, and joint-manager Russ O'Neill said his players need to perform at that level when they visit Chester... The game also sees O'Neill's fellow joint-manager Marcus Bignot return to his former club, having managed them during the 2017-18 season...

O'Neill has certainly been impressed with what he has seen so far from Chester... He said 'I went to watch them at Curzon Ashton (a 3-1 win) the other night and I was really impressed with them to be honest. I said to the lads when they were laid [sic] on the floor in the middle of the centre circle at the end tonight that they'd better pick themselves up get ready to go again because it'll be no different on Saturday...

'I don't know how it was 0-0 [v York]. It was a fantastic spectacle for Conference North level of football. We feel disappointed not to have won but I'm sure they'll feel they've had a few chances too. It's the best York side I've seen for a few years and we matched them. We stepped up another gear in the second half. It's a testament to our lads given that we're part-time and they're full time'...

Asked about forward Lee Shaw's efforts, O'Neill said 'Both the front two just ran and ran, exactly the same as when we were at Blyth Spartans the other week. They don't know when they're beat. Aaron Martin was exactly the same. That gives everybody the catalyst behind them to go and express themselves'".

6 September 2019


Above: Alty line up before kick-off against Curzon Ashton.

In Thursday's Preliminary Round Qualifying of the FA Youth Cup, Altrincham played Curzon Ashton at the J. Davidson Stadium but lost, after extra time and a penalty shoot out. After a slow start, Mercurius put Alty ahead in the 42nd minute with a good finish from left of goal following Donachie's advance up the middle. But a handball decision gave Curzon an equalizing penalty just before the break.

Three minutes after the interval Mulvey turned and shot past keeper Torrance to give Curzon the lead. In the 66th minute Alty equalised when Donachie netted folllowing a corner. The score remained unaltered at 2-2, even after extra time and so a penalty shoot-out ensued. Despite Torrance making three fine saves from Curzon spot-kicks, Alty spurned the chance to win the shoot-out at 3-3 when they put a kick over the bar and then put their seventh effort wide, for Curzon to win 4-3.

Match report here.


Last season's visit from Leamington was the opening game of the league season and ended as a 2-2 draw. It was a game in which Altrincham dominated the second half but had fallen behind in the 28th minute when a foul by Harrop gave the Brakes a freekick from which Stenson's header hit the post and Edwards converted the rebound.

Alty responded very early in the second half when Hulme headed in a towering cross from the right. But, a minute later, Leamington re-took the lead when goalkeeper Breeden's freekick was only cleared out to Gittings who scored from 18 yards with a low shot (48 mins).

Alty regained parity again, six minutes later, when Johnston advanced and Hancock threaded the ball through for Hulme to score with a shot, from right of centre, which went in off the inside of the upright. Despite spending long periods in the visitors' half Altrincham were unable to break through for a winner.

Right: James Jones and Liam Goulding were Altrincham's central defenders against Leamington.

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


Southport have goals-only highlights from their win over Altrincham last Tuesday.

At Southport "Kieran Glynn says he felt ‘euphoria’ when he scored his goal against Altrincham in the 2-1 win... The 21-year was pleased to score, especially after ignoring calls from team mates around him to pass the ball.

'It was pure shin pad', oked Glynn. 'It was one of them where you catch it sweet and you think it’s got a chance, but when it dropped onto the bar it was euphoria. I could hear Morgs (David Morgan) shouting set, but I thought it was perfect to hit first time and that would’ve been everyone’s first thought; if it had gone miles over he would’ve screamed at me.'

After a strong first half performance, Glynn says the squad had their game plan ‘spot on.’ 'We talked about pressing from the front because Altrincham are a team who take chances at the back. We were spot on tactically, and even towards the end of the game I think we managed things well and put in a great team performance.'

The second half was tough for the Port as the Robins fought back and grabbed themselves a goal. 'I think it’s called squeaky bum time,' laughs the 21-year-old. 'I feel at 2-0 up we should’ve pushed on and put them to the sword. But when they pulled one back I think we controlled things well and everyone defended perfectly. Defending is something that I need to improve on personally and I felt every substitution was spot on. It was an all-round perfect night from the management and the players'...

'It’s good to have the Saturday and Tuesday games in a week out of the way... There was a bit of luck with the first one, with ball coming off Raul’s (Correia) face, but that’s what we needed. We will hopefully push on now and start to dominate teams. The performances recently haven’t been up to scratch and we all know that.'

After a month at the club, the 21-year-old feels that he has settled in well, and praises captain David Morgan in particular for their relationship with on and off the pitch... 'Morgs helps me out and picks me up from the train station because I can’t drive; whilst on the field he’s one of those players who provides an out ball if you’re in danger. He’s class and I’m shocked he’s never played in the Football League because he’s got everything a midfielder needs. It is the same with Russ (Benjamin), he sat a bit deeper and did his job perfectly well by breaking up play.'"


Shaun Goater has been to watch Altrincham before but Bermuda's Royal Gazette explains that "he turned up at Altrincham’s ground on August 24 for their National League North match against a Darlington team featuring Bermudians Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa. Goater met up at the ground with fellow Bermudian Larry Dunlop who has been living in Manchester the past year while his son Ty, a Bermuda national youth player, attends school.

Goater made his way around the ground to stand among the away fans, acknowledging a shout of 'Feed the Goat' from a fan as he walked past spectators. At half time and at the end of the 1-1 draw, more fans, some of them Manchester City supporters, took the opportunity to chat with Goater and have pictures taken with him.

Bascome was in Darlington’s starting line-up before being replaced midway through the second half as Donawa, a substitute minutes later, came on and made an immediate impact down the left side, cutting in and forcing a near post save from the Altrincham goalkeeper to his firm shot...

After the game Goater got the chance to speak to the Bermudian pair before they boarded the team bus for the trip back to Darlington. 'It was an awesome reception and purely out of nothing', Dunlop said of the reaction by the fans at the non-league ground. The previous weekend Dunlop drove up to Darlington with former runner Steve Burgess, who was visiting from Bermuda, to watch the match against Southport which Darlington won 2-0.

'The UK football fans love legends of the game and Shaun is among them,' Dunlop said. 'Shaun is a legend and they love him in Manchester, even the Manchester United fans still respect him. Many of them [sic] who greeted him were Manchester United fans who remember his performance against United when City beat them 3-1. Shaun’s loved in the UK, he’s a City legend and legends never go without someone noticing them, respecting them and giving them praise and honour'.

Dunlop gave the Darlington pair encouragement as they pursue their footballing ambitions... 'What Steve and I experienced at Darlington’s ground was the fans have embraced both of them. One or two commented on Donawa’s pace and his athleticism. They really appreciate having both of them in the team and feel those two lads have strengthened the team this season.

'At the Altrincham game I saw some of the Darlington fans who remembered me from the week before at Darlington’s ground so that was very special.'

Goater was due back in Bermuda yesterday, in time for Bermuda’s Nations League match with Panama".

Non-League Daily reports that "Darlington have signed midfielder/right-back Ben Hedley. He joins Alun Armstrong’s side after he was released by Bradford (Park Avenue).

Hedley, 20, is from the North East, and was previously at Morecambe, where he was reserve team player of the season on one occasion.

After four years at the club he moved on in the summer".

At Gateshead say that Nicky "Deverdics believes winning performances are breeding confidence. The Heed midfielder spoke of a happy dressing room following Tuesday's win over Spennymoor Town. Both sides came into the local National League North clash following wins on Saturday over Brackley Town and Chester respectively

JJ O’Donnell found the net with just three minutes on the clock, heading home Deverdics’s free-kick from close range, which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

The midfielder spoke of a satisfied dressing room following the Heed's second consecutive win. 'Everyone’s happy! Back-to-back wins, back-to-back clean sheets, seven points out of the last three, it’s great! You watched us against Farsley and we’ve come a long way in a short space of time. I think the fans were a bit worried at the time but they stuck by us and went to York in good numbers, and now we’re starting to change a few minds.'

The former Hartlepool midfielder now has two assists in two games... He said 'I just try to get the delivery right, then it’s up to the boys to get on the end of it... Early goals are important because they give us a foothold in the game and make the opponents chase the game... We knew there were going to be a few [supporters] here with it obviously being a derby, but they’ve stuck by us and the lads really do appreciate it'".

From Blyth Spartans we learn that "Lewis Hawkins made his debut against Darlington on Wednesday night but was unable to stop Blyth Spartans falling to a 2-1 defeat. The former Hartlepool United man admitted that it wasn’t the result he wanted for his debut... The 26-year-old, from Middlesbrough, became the second player in as many days to join Lee Clark’s side last week after Callum Roberts, formerly of Newcastle United, arrived.

Following a loan spell with Whitby Town, Hawkins made his Pools debut in 2011... although [it] took a few years to establish himself as a first-team regular...

Hawkins spoke after the defeat to Darlington, he said 'It’s not the result we wanted, we got off to a cracking start with Callum’s goal. We’ve got to keep hold of that 1-0 lead for a while and then we’ve made a bad decision and it should’ve just got cleared. It was then back against the walls for us but we’ve got to move on and get ready for Saturday... There are things we need to improve on. We need to keep hold of the ball a little bit better and make the right decisions, but there’s enough in there to go on and get results...

'We have to be confident of getting a win and when it comes hopefully we’ll get on that run and get us up and running.'”

Following defeat at Altrincham, Farsley Celtic "returned to winning ways as an excellent second-half performance saw Bradford Park Avenue defeated 3-0. Tom Allan, Jordan Richards and Ben Atkinson all struck after the half-time break to earn the Celt Army all three points against their local rivals.

Adam Lakeland was delighted... as he said 'I thought we controlled and dominated the entire first-half of the game, I thought we came out and started really well, really quick, obviously had a lot of possession. I was disappointed at half-time not to have got our nose in front but then, in the second-half, we’ve obviously come out with a quick corner and we’ve got our noses in front, big Tom (Allan) getting a goal which he thoroughly deserved...

'I think there’s a few things that have just not quite gone our way in the last couple of games at big moments. You can either feel sorry for yourselves or you can put in a good performance and work hard, and eventually that little bit of fortune will change, and obviously we got that little bit of fortune with the goal of Jordan’s'".

A week on Saturday, Altrincham travel to Aggborough, from where Kidderminster Harriers state that "We would like supporters to be assured that we are very much aware of the desire for further information to be made public about the club’s ownership situation.

We’d like to reinforce the position of our statement a few weeks ago, which made clear that we will issue a further statement, as soon as anything concrete is agreed and completed. Any delay is as a result of legal process and procedure, much of which is beyond our control.

Most importantly, we again remind supporters that they should ignore any further conjecture and rumour they may hear or read elsewhere, concerning possible announcements and the roles and positions of any individuals. We will relay the full facts of the matter as soon as it is legally possible to do so, and not before.

We thank fans for their patience, and support of the team at what is, we appreciate, a difficult time."

Cheshire Live informs us that "Chester FC bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will have to shuffle their defensive pack this weekend as they get set to face high-flying Guiseley without key defender Danny Livesey.

The experienced 34-year-old has been in superb form at the heart of defence alongside another stalwart, long time friend Simon Grand, the duo dubbed 'the best centre back pairing in non-league football' by Johnson. Livesey serves a one-match ban against the Lions after he was shown two yellow cards in the space of two minutes at Spennymoor Town at the weekend, the second in bizarre circumstances after referee Dean Hulme gave him his marching orders after the defender had come back onto the field after receiving treatment for a head injury, Livesey believing the referee had beckoned him on and given him the OK.

His sending off turned the game for Spennymoor, the home side coming back from a goal down to win it at the death at Brewery Field, inflicting Chester's first defeat of the season in the process.

This weekend sees Guiseley visit the Deva, the Lions joint-managed by Russ O'Neill and former Chester boss Marcus Bignot. No Livesey could see Kevin Roberts, so impressive at right back this season, slot into the centre of defence alongside Grand, a position he occupied during the second half of the Spennymoor game. That could mean a first taste of action in a Chester shirt for Jamie Morgan, the summer signing from Nantwich Town having to be patient to make his Blues debut.

But Johnson hinted that he and Morley did not want to make too many changes to the backline which could mean a place in the XI for James Jones, the loan signing from Salford City yet to make his debut for a second time for the club after the former Chester Academy graduate has been battling injury during the early weeks of the season...

Said Johnson 'If you look at Saturday, Kev Roberts went at centre back and looked brilliant in all fairness, but what we don't want to do and what we have to be careful of is making two or three changes to the back line for one person, so we'll have a look at that.

'We've obviously got a centre back in on loan (James Jones) who has come through the last two weeks in training (following injury). It is a massive loss because of how good he (Livesey) has been. We can fill the void, no danger, it's just one game, but I don't think we're ever going to (replace Livesey's experience) unless we go and sign Steve McNulty or that type of player but what a brilliant player to have next to you in Simon Grand. I've said it before and me and Bernard bang the same drum all the time, we think we have got the best centre back pairing in non-league football. It might sound like I'm exaggerating but I've always said that.

'They've not been done for those lack of legs yet, that might happen at some point, but to lose one half of that and still have the other one there makes it much easier'...

Whoever gets the nod in defence for the visit of the Lions will have a tough task on their hands to contain the league's most prolific marksman, Aaron Martin, the Guiseley striker having netted 10 goals in nine games so far this season, enough to have bigger clubs taking an interest'".

Alfreton Town lost 3-1 at King's Lynn Town as "Town's four-game winning run in the National League North came to an end in frustrating fashion as the Reds were unable to find their form despite second half goals from Ben Tomlinson and Amari Morgan-Smith in a rocking Walks Stadium on Tuesday night.

The defeat against the new league leaders sees us slip to fifth place in what proved to be a difficult contest for the Reds who never really grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. The game started in the worst possible manner for us as we fell behind after just two minutes when Culnan bent one with the outside of his foot into the corner from the edge of the box. It was a goal which lifted the crowd who played a huge part and didn't allow the Reds to settle into the game...

The crowd continued to cheer every mis-placed pass, stray clearance and breakdown in attack from the Reds... With 27 minutes gone it was 2-0 when Payne found the corner from 20 yards... King's Lynn were playing neat attacking football and moving the ball well throughout our midfield... With 63 gone the Linnets were sent down to ten men when McAuley was shown a straight red card for a trailing elbow on Amari who was chasing behind him...

Then with 79 minutes gone we did pull one back when Ben Tomlinson bundled home from Wilde's ball in. But a body blow arrived just three minutes later when Marriott strode forward and hammered one into the bottom corner past Jack at his near post. We made it 3-2 in stoppage time when Clackstone's free kick wasn't cleared and Amari was on hand to fire home past Street. However there was no time left as the first half damage was done for the Reds in what proved to be a disappointing defeat".

5 September 2019


This season, after just nine league fixtures, Altrincham have already had three players red-carded.
  • Sean Williams, in Game 1, was shown a second yellow at home against York City, a fixture which Alty lost 1-3.
  • Tom Hannigan was shown a red, in the 40th minute, in Game 6 at home to Darlington; result 1-1.
  • Simon Richman, in Game 9, was shown a second yellow in the 82nd minute at Southport, where Alty lost 2-1.

In addition they had Josh Hancock banned for the first three games of this season following his dismissal in last May's play-off match at Chorley.

The last time Alty had three red cards so early in a season was in 2007 when three players were dismissed in the first eight fixtures in the National Conference. These were:

  • Robbie Lawton in Game 2 at Halifax Town. He picked up two yellow cards and was dismissed two minutes from the end of a match which ended 2-2.
  • Colin Little, in game 4 at home to Grays Athletic. Little was shown a red card after 86 minutes. The striker had been blocked off as he entered the box; he reacted to the situation to earn a red card. Alty lost 0-1.
  • Karl Munroe, in game 8, at home to Oxford United. In the 89th Karl Munroe was sent off for throwing Robinson to the ground, though the muscular Oxford substitute was guilty of grappling with the Alty defender in the lead up to the incident. Alty lost 1-3.


Right: Altrincham spent much of the first half defending aerial balls launched into their goalmouth from Southport's long throws

Match report here.

Press and media officer John Edwards's interview with assistant manager Neil Sorvel is to be found on the Altrincham FC website.

"Neil Sorvel admitted he and Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson were concerned after an error-strewn first-half performance condemned them to another Vanarama National League North defeat at Haig Avenue on Tuesday night... But there were no complaints from Sorvel after Southport took full advantage of a disjointed first-half Alty display to inflict their fourth defeat of the season...

Said Alty’s assistant-manager,...'That’s four defeats from nine games now, and that’s just not good enough. We are fully aware of that fact, and the lads need to get it right. They need to get it right more consistently and be more reliable in what they are doing... The fact is, though, we didn’t deserve anything from the game, because of how poor we were in the first half. We were really disappointed with the first 30 minutes, in particular. There were too many basic, unforced errors - poor decision-making and being too loose in possession put us under a lot of pressure.’"


From Southport we read that "A stunning Kieran Glynn volley helped Southport to return to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Altrincham... The superb strike from the midfielder helped Liam Watson’s side to their first victory in four games, but it was far from smooth sailing.

Despite going into the break with a healthy 2-0 lead, the Port had to hold on to the three points in the final moments of the game, after an improved second half performance from the visitors...

Southport enjoyed a bright first half, controlling the game and creating plenty of chances... The breakthrough finally came in the 32nd minute, as Raul Correia headed home from close distance, after Sampson had flicked a Reagan Ogle throw into the box.

Altrincham were restricted throughout the opening 45 minutes, with a speculative over head kick effort from Simon Richman being a rare attempt.

With a minute left of the first half, Southport doubled their lead through a superb Kieran Glynn volley on the edge of the box. The midfielder struck the Sampson cross excellently past the keeper from the edge of the box to send the Port into the break in a comfortable position...

Altrincham did begin to create more chances of their own and would’ve had a goal but for a goal line headed clearance from Jack Doyle from a corner... After an improved second half performance, the Robins got their first goal of the evening as Jordan Hulme headed past the keeper to get his side back into the game to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute.

With nine minutes remaining, the visitor’s comeback took a hit after Richman was sent off for a second yellow card worthy offence, after a poor challenge on Morgan. They did continue to heap pressure onto the Southport defence, with Hemmings coming close with a header just wide. Fortunately, Watson’s side were able hold on to the 2-1 victory".


On Thursday evening (7.45pm), Altrincham entertain Curzon Ashton in the FA Youth Cup at the J. Davidson Stadium.


On Saturday, Altrincham welcome Leamington to the J. Davidson Stadium.

Mike Garnett's records reveal the past record in matches between Altrincham and the reformed Leamington.

  • Home: P3-W1-D2-L0-F6-A5
  • Away: P3-W2-D0-L1-F3-A4
  • All: P6-W3-D2-L1-F9-A9

Last season this clash was the opening game of the season and saw Alty draw 2-2.


After just 2(+2) appearances since joining Altrincham in the summer, winger Lewis Walters [right] has gone on loan to Buxton as NL Daily reports that "The deal for the 24-year-old is for an initial one month, as he links up with Paul Phillips’ side in the BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Walters was confirmed as a new signing for Phil Parkinson’s Alty at the beginning of last month, having spent pre-season with the National League North club. He had left AFC Fylde in the summer. Buxton, who made the play-offs last season, are looking to kickstart their campaign after taking two points from the opening six fixtures."

And Buxton were thumped 4-0 on Tuesday night. "A game of disappointing quality, especially in the second half, was goal-less because both sets of forwards couldn’t convert several clear openings... [Ex-Alty Youth player] Jude Oyibo, who was Buxton’s most creative player all afternoon, chipped a cross come shot onto the bar". The Bucks are managed by former Droylsden goalkeeper Paul Phillips".


Altrincham dropped to eighteenth in the league table after Darlington's win on Wednesday night lifted them above The Robins.

Monday 2 September 2019

  • Curzon Ashton 1-3 Chester FC

Tuesday 3 September 2019

  • AFC Telford United 4-3 Gloucester City
  • Bradford Park Avenue 0-3 Farsley Celtic
  • Gateshead 1-0 Spennymoor Town
  • Guiseley 0-0 York City
  • Kettering Town 0-2 Boston United
  • Kidderminster Harriers 1=3 Brackley Town
  • Kings Lynn Town 3-2 Alfreton Town
  • Leamington P-P Hereford FC (Due to international call-ups)
  • Southport 2-1 Altrincham

Wednesday 4 September 2019

  • Darlington 2-1 Blyth Spartans


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records show us Altrincham's previous results on this Saturday's date, 7 September 2019.

Coincidentally, the last Alty fixture on this date was also against Leamington, back in 2013 when Alty won 1-0 away from home.

VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH NEWS The Northants Telegraph reports that "Nicky Eaden knows the pressure is on him to turn Kettering Town’s fortunes around. The Poppies’ poor start to the Vanarama National League North season continued last night (Tuesday) as two second-half goals saw them beaten 2-0 by Boston United; a third home defeat in a row.

Kettering haven’t won since beating AFC Telford United 2-1 on the opening day of the season and, despite the campaign being just nine games old, boss Eaden is already coming under fire from the club’s fanbase. Eaden looks set to ring the changes within the squad as he revealed experienced striker Aaron O’Connor has been told he can leave the club while midfielder Michael Richens has also been left out of the squad for the past two matches.

The Poppies' manager is keen to add some fresh faces to his struggling squad but he knows time is of the essence as a clash at Farsley Celtic approaches at the weekend...

Eaden said, 'The owner (Ritchie Jeune) has been really good, he knows what I came into and what I have got to work with. But I am not different to anyone else. If you keep losing games, eventually you will go.'"

Altrincham's next away trip, on 14 September, is to Aggborough from where Kidderminster Harriers tell us that "Boss John Pemberton was frustrated by a 'lack of fight' shown by his side after Harriers again fell to defeat at Aggborough against Brackley...

Brackley ran out 3-1 winners and, in truth were never truly tested.

The manager was full of praise for his captain, Cliff Moyo, and applauded his attitude and commitment this season. On the whole, though, Pemberton refused to defend the team’s performance, calling for them to show more fight in their upcoming fixtures.

'I thought we were poor tonight,” said the boss, who had to go into the game without Rhys Williams and Milan Butterfield, who’re on international duty, and Declan Weeks who is injured. We have our three best players missing, and tonight showed where we are as a team and as a football club. The frailties are there and tonight it was men against boys - half the team are finding it a little too much.

'It’s hard, you want everybody to show a bit more, but the players that let us down today have been here a while, they’re the experienced ones. I’m having to move my captain all around the pitch because we’re not strong enough. Give me eleven of him [Cliff Moyo], he’s unbelievable in his attitude and commitment. He could go and play anywhere. Unfortunately, I haven’t got enough of him; I haven’t got enough men and that’s the problem.

'I’m not defending that, and I’ve told them that in the dressing room because what that was at times was embarrassing; I’m not accepting it.'"

In advance of Wednesday's match, Darlington reported that "We’re looking to end a run of three games without a win when Blyth Spartans visit Blackwell Meadows. We’ve dropped down to 18th in the table, while opponents Blyth, are bottom of the table.

Manager Alun Armstrong will be facing the club he left during the summer, as are assistant Darren Holloway and several players...

Right-back Luke Trotman is ruled out for the season with an Achilles problem, while striker Jamie Holmes is out with a cruciate injury. Defender Michael Liddle is out for another week with a ligament injury, defenders Terry Galbraith and David Atkinson will have fitness tests. Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa are unavailable, they’re on duty with Bermuda in the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Blyth will include two former Darlington players, Michael Sweet and Scott Fenwick, while they will probably give a debut to midfielder Lewis Hawkins, signed last week from Northern League club Guisborough. They have also recently signed winger Callum Roberts, who was released by Newcastle during the summer".

The Shropshire Star informs us that "After a misfiring start to the season, a few Bucks' fans had been asking 'where are the goals coming from?' The answer, on a crazy night at the New Buck’s Head, was quite simply ‘everywhere’.

After a nervous and frankly wretched opening half hour, in which the Bucks went 2-0 down within 18 minutes, it looked as though the home hoodoo that has seen the Bucks disappoint in dismal showings against King’s Lynn and Leamington was going to strike again. However, a typical Brendon Daniels free-kick just before the half-hour mark started the fightback and, in the second half, they simply dominated and bullied the Tigers, taming the Gloucestershire visitors who looked shell-shocked at the final whistle.

The visitors struck early, after just three minutes, a fine finish from Luke Russe in their first attack. The Bucks and their fans seemed edgy, and when the home side conceded a free-kick 20 yards out to City’s dangerous counter-attacking, Joe Hanks struck a peach of a free-kick over the defensive wall and past Andy Wycherley’s right hand.

Two goals adrift and looking listless, the Bucks needed someone to rise to the occasion, and in Daniels the Bucks have a man capable of doing that. When Marcus Dinanga was fouled 20 yards from goal, Daniels left foot did the rest, beating the Tigers wall and keeper Josh Bradley-Hurst to his right... They levelled the game on the hour, and it was a picture-book goal; Daniels beat his man on the right and when Aaron Williams headed his cross back to Marcus Dinanga from the far post, the Bucks striker opened his account for the season, hammering the ball off the underside of the bar and in from 8 yards...

On 72 minutes, a corner from the left-hand side was met by a soaring captain Shane Sutton, and his header was adjudged to have crossed the line, arrowing towards the top corner. The goals were raining in now, and the Tigers contributed to their own demise when Tom Harrison’s back header to Bradley-Hurst went past the stranded custodian, and Williams won the race to turn the ball into the empty net.

There were some late nerves when referee Kristian Silcock bizarrely awarded a penalty for the Tigers, and their stand-out performer, Joe Parker, buried the spot-kick past a diving Wycherley. It was too little, too late for the visitors."

4 September 2019


A very poor first half cost Altrincham this game but, having got back into it with an improved second half showing, Simon Richman saw a red card for his second cautionable offence which left the ten men with too much to do.

From Southport's seventh long throw into the Alty box, Correia bundled the ball home at the back post (32 mins). Glynn then doubled the lead with an impressive volley (45 mins).

Right: During a break in play for repairs to the goal-net, Phil Parkinson gives instructions to his concerned players.

After Alty had brought on Hancock and Ceesay in the second half Alty pulled a goal back when Hulme headed in a Hemmings freekick. With Mohamed inexplicably not sent off for a second bookable offence, Richman did suffer that fate for Alty (82 mins), which was their third red this season.

Match report here.


The Altrincham FC Monthly Draw for August produced the following winners:
  • AFC Polo Shirt: #494 Mrs Blow
  • Replica AFC Shirt: #395 Peter Leigh
  • Hospitality Package: #110 Malcolm Riley
  • £25: #178 S J Conway
  • £75: #461 Andy Holt
  • £500: #217 L. Anderson

If you are not already in the Draw, why not join? Contact Altrincham FC for details, or ring the club office on 0161 928-1045.


Before Tuesday's game, the Boston Standard said that "Andi Thanoj’s drive home from Kettering Town is short. But the Boston United midfielder hopes it will also be sweet. Leicestershire-based Thanoj is hoping the Pilgrims can pick up their first away win of the campaign as they visit Latimer Park tonight.

'I’ve played at Kettering a few times, a few years ago,' he said. 'I know a few of their lads. They’re a good team but we’ve got a lot more about us this year and hopefully we’ll get a first away win. It’s 20 minutes from my house, so it’s like a home game for me.'

The Poppies’ return to the National League North sees them currently sitting 20th in the table. They know where the net is, having scored 10 times in their opening eight matches, once more than United, but having played a game more. However, they have conceded 18 times, the league’s second-worse record behind Bradford Park Avenue.

Kettering kicked off the campaign with a 2-1 home win against AFC Telford United, but have not won in any of their seven games since".

The Boston Standard adds that "Craig Elliott is delighted to have Jordan Thewlis and Jay Rollins available for selection again. Club captain Rollins and fellow attacker Thewlis both served three-match suspensions for their part in the brawl as the Pilgrims beat Leamington.

Their time on the sidelines coincided with striker Jake Wright suffering a torn hamstring, but they are eligible for selection again...

'We’ve missed our three strikers,' Elliott said. 'It’s been hard and I knew when they got sent off that night we’d miss them. They’re not only good players in our team but some of the best players in this league, so of course we’ve missed them'".

On Tuesday night Curzon Ashton lost 1-3 at home to Chester FC. "Curzon Ashton’s sloppiness at the start of both halves cost them dearly as Chester inflicted their fourth defeat of the season at a murky Tameside Stadium. Matty Hughes gave the visitors the lead after five minutes only for Matt Regan to equalise with a superb header in a first half largely dominated by the Nash. But they were undone by Chester’s fast start to the second half as goals from Akwasi Asante and Kevin Roberts within six minutes of the restart gave the promotion hopefuls an unassailable lead.

Mark Bradshaw made one change from Saturday’s late defeat at Guiseley. Robbie Evans, who had been ever-present in the Nash midfield, faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after fracturing his ankle in that game and was replaced by Jack Banister, who had looked lively in his brief appearances so far this season. The visitors were coming off their first loss of the season in a 2-1 reverse to Spennymoor Town on Saturday and got off to the perfect start to put that result behind them when Hughes pounced on Simon Grand’s knockdown to give them an early lead.

Chester were well on top, but the momentum swiftly altered 20 minutes in when Regan met Andy Halls’ cross and directed a terrific looping header into the corner. Curzon were transformed from that moment, looking like they could score again at any moment, but will rue not making their pressure pay as Chester hung on until half time.

After some no doubt testy words from co-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, The Seals started the second half much more aggressively and Asante took advantage of some sleepy Curzon marking to drill home his sixth goal of the season from Bradley Jackson’s cut back. And their one-goal advantage was quickly doubled as Roberts evaded his marker to meet Joel Taylor’s corner with a firm header which flashed past Mason at his near post...

Curzon head into Saturday’s trip to Alfreton Town without a win in their last five games".

On Tuesday, the Shropshire Star asserted that "National League North is a relentless division; tonight’s game is AFC Telford United’s fourth in just 10 days. And Gavin Cowan’s side are aiming to keep up the momentum after winning at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday as they welcome Gloucester City to the New Bucks Head.

Looking at the stats, this seems set up to be a tight encounter. Telford enter the clash having picked up three wins, a draw and four losses, leaving them 13th in the table. Gloucester go into it having also got three wins, a draw and four losses, leaving them a place below with a slightly worse goal difference...

Brendon Daniels was the difference maker for Telford against Avenue, grabbing two goals, so is expected to be in from the off again. Adam Walker also got on the scoresheet, so should retain his place in the middle of the park. Young striker-turned-defender Zak Lilly was given a chance to impress at the weekend too, and is hoping he has done enough to keep his place in the heart of defence.

Gloucester city boss Mike Cook, meanwhile, said 'Thankfully, we have another day’s rest with it being a Tuesday game and we might have a couple more (players) fit by then, so hopefully, it’s all good'".

Cheshire Live confirms that "Gary Stopforth's knee injury isn't as bad as Chester FC had first feared. The influential midfielder, 32, was forced off in the 4-1 win over Hereford FC on Bank Holiday Monday after going in for a crunching tackle that injured the same knee that he had surgery on last year.

Stopforth's injury last season kept him out for the second half of the campaign and his loss was felt keenly by Chester... He has missed the last two games and Chester moved to bring in George Glendon on a short-term deal to act as cover, and Stopforth underwent a scan last week to determine the severity of the injury... Thankfully for Chester and Stopforth, who tore his meniscus last season, the injury isn't as bad as it could have been, but he does look set to miss the next six weeks.

Chester joint-manager Anthony Johnson said 'Gary Stopforth has a grade two strain on his medial ligament, which is looking like anything between four and six weeks... so it's actually good news. He doesn't need a op and it's a better time to get it. Gary Roberts (ankle) is looking a maybe for Saturday, we could have thrown him in the squad tonight (at Curzon) but it wasn't worth the risk."

In Lynn News we learn that "They haven’t lost a league game on home soil for more than a year – but Ian Culverhouse believes there is still more work to do before King’s Lynn Town can start labelling the Walks a fortress.

The Linnets boss has seen his side win their opening four home fixtures of the National League North season, adding to a 21-game unbeaten sequence from last term, heading into [Tuesday] night’s mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash against Alfreton.

Culverhouse said... 'We are going to be playing some full-time clubs that are really going to test us and that’s why the support of the fans is so crucial to us. It’s important that we make this place our base and other sides come here and fear us, that’s what we need to do.'"

NL Daily tells us that "Guiseley joint-boss Bignot earns England role. It is part of The FA’s (alongside the PFA) next phase of an Elite Coach Placement Programme, which also sees Chris Powell join Gareth’s Southgate’s senior staff.

Bignot, who works alongside Russ O’Neill at Guiseley, will link up with Under-18 head coach Ian Foster".

The Telegraph & Argus states that "Bradford (Park Avenue) winger Rod Orlando-Young has joined Ilkeston Town on a permanent transfer.

Orlando-Young lined up for The Robins as they won promotion from the Midland Football League Premier Division under the guidance of now-Avenue assistant Lee Fowler. The 24-year-old, who had previously won the chance to train with Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig, played just once in a short stint at the Horsfall Stadium, coming off the bench at half-time of the 4-0 defeat to Alfreton.

Meanwhile, fellow forward Myron Gibbons has returned to parent club Doncaster Rovers. Gibbons made two appearances for Marcus Law's Avenue, starting the goalless draw at home to Blyth, before coming off the bench during the club's only win of the season so far, away at Darlington. The striker, who turns 19 in November, returns to the League One club following the conclusion of his short loan spell."

At Brackley Town's board says that "Following the fire in June that destroyed the clubhouse we have had two key work-streams. Firstly, to get a new clubhouse built as quickly as possible so that supporters can once again enjoy a social facility. This is a major undertaking with significant capital costs and is a medium to long term project...

We have now appointed architects to take this work forward... As a club we are ambitious and wish to make the very best provision for supporters and for wider community use that we can bearing in mind both current and future needs. However, we have to balance ambition with financial prudence and no decisions will be made that put at risk the long-term future of the club.

The second piece of work following the fire has been to put in place temporary provision to get us through the difficult months ahead. Supporters have shown understanding and patience in the immediate aftermath of the fire and during these early weeks of the season. The temporary bar arrangements have worked well and thanks must go to our bar staff who have laboured under difficult conditions to provide a service for supporters. We have also pushed ahead with the cabin at the front of the ground so that we have usable space for a temporary ticket office and club shop, and hospitality for visiting officials and directors, a requirement of the league....

The next phase is to construct a large canopy to provide supporters with greater protection from the elements. This canopied area will run from the end of the main stand along to the food outlet and provide cover for the full depth of the hard standing to the edge of the pitch. It will be high enough not to impede the view of the pitch for spectators in the stands. When the new clubhouse is ready, this canopy will no longer be required, and it has been designed in such a way that it can be re-located to the opposite side of the ground to provide sheltered standing accommodation there, in the long term enhancing facilities. Work on the canopy is ready to begin this week".

For Gloucester City, "A midweek trip to Shropshire awaits the Tigers when they travel to AFC Telford United. Both teams have ten points from eight games so far...

One area Telford will be keen to replace is the goals of forward Dan Udoh, who left in the Summer for rivals Shrewsbury. The striker netted 17 times last season. Both Aaron Williams and Brendon Daniels lead the way in the goal scoring department for the Bucks this season with 2 apiece... Telford also added young forward Lewis Rilley in from Crewe on loan to boost their firepower. Adam Walker was undoubtedly the 'marquee' signing, with the highly rated midfielder arriving from Brackley... but Telford have lost their last two home matches, 3-1 to Leamington and Kings Lynn.

Telford have no real injury concerns, although regular goalkeeper Corey Addai (on loan from Coventry City) missed the BPA match and was replaced by Andy Wycherley who was recalled from his loan at Barwell.

City will be without goalkeeper Zach Jeacock due to England U-19 International duty, so fellow Birmingham City teammate Joshua Bradley-Hurst is in line to make his debut between the sticks for the Tigers. Central defender Tom Harrison, who joined on loan yesterday from Bristol City, is available for selection and may start dependent on Spencer Hamilton’s availability. Marlon Jackson is not far from returning from injury but is unlikely to be selected whilst Jennison Myrie-Williams remains out. Meanwhile defender James Unwin has signed for Pershore Town on dual registration forms."

York City "City are still unbeaten and sit top of the table after a hectic eight games to start the season. On the other hand, [midweek opponents] Guiseley sit in fourth after 5 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses.

The Lions are seen as City’s toughest test so far in the National League North; however, York will feel confident after a one-hundred percent record away from home this season...

[Guiseley's] Prolific forward Aaron Martin is the man the watch, the former Brighouse Town man has already notched double figures this season in the sixth tier after scoring 30 goals last term in the NPL Division One East.

Furthermore, former City players Kaine Felix, Hamza Bencherif and Kennedy Digie all turn out for Guiseley and are expected to feature... Steve McNulty is doubtful for the clash in West Yorkshire whereas Paddy McLaughlin and Dan Maguire are both still unavailable as they recover from long-term injuries."

3 September 2019


In their fifth away game of the campaign, Altrincham will be looking for their first win on the road this season at Southport tonight (Tuesday). Following 1-1 draws at Chester and Evesham (Gloucester City), Altrincham have fired blanks in their last two away outings. At Brackley they missed a penalty and lost 0-1 before crashing 0-5 at Boston United on Bank Holiday Monday.

In six of this season's eight games Alty have taken the lead, but only won twice, and they failed to score at all in the other two matches. However, The Robins' confidence will be high after a 3-1 win over Farsley Celtic on Saturday, with Jordan Hulme netting twice and Ashley Hemmings scoring the other goal.

For the visit to Southport, they will again be without the suspended Tom Hannigan and, presumably, the injured Josh Hancock.

Although Alty won 3-1 at Haig Avenue last season, Southport has not been a particularly happy hunting ground for Altrincham as Mike Garnett's records indicate:

  • Home: P20-W11-D5-L4-F28-A22
  • Away: P15-W4-D3-L8-F19-A26
  • All: P35-W15-D8-L12-F47-A48
  • Above: Alty line up at Haig Avenue in August 2018. Left to right: Johnston, Hampson, Hulme, Daniels, White, Goulding, Williams, Harrop, Jones, Thompson, Moult. Only Daniels and Goulding of the eleven starters are no longer at the club. .

    Although Altrincham have had a mixed start to the season, so too have Southport. Following Saturday's results, the two clubs lay 16th and 17th in the table with identical records of two wins, three draws and three defeats. But Port had the better goal difference. However, Curzon Ashton's defeat on Monday night meant that Southport went up a place, on goal difference above The Nash, so the Sandgrounders start tonight's game two places above Altrincham.

    However, Southport are in worse form than Altrincham having lost three successive matches before an own goal secured them a draw at home to Kettering Town on Saturday. Port have only scored seven goals this season but their defensive record of conceding just six goals is bettered only by league leaders Yotk City. In contrast Alty have conceded 13 goals, a tally only exceeded by Kettering Town and Bradford (Park Avenue).

    Southport have a short clip of the goals from their draw with Kettering Town last Saturday.


    TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, announces that "TASC will be running a supporters' coach to Southport on Tuesday 3rd September and would once again welcome your support. We had a great turnout for Boston on what was a disappointing day for everyone. That's gone now and we must stick together and move on to helping the lads get three valuable pounts at Haig Avenue.

    As ever we welcome fans of all ages and hope you can join us. Book by calling the club on 0161 928 1045."

    Details of timings and fares are on the Away Travel page.


    Altrincham Ladies defeated Accrington Girls & Ladies 3-1 in Sunday's FA Women's Cup preliminary round tie. Jade Hesketh scored twice and Meg Rowley netted the other goal.

    The line up last Sunday was Lizzie Brereton, Summer Breed, Bliss Molyneaux (c), Lucy Smith, Jess Hartopp, Gail Simpson-Scott, Hannah Shufflebotham, Melissa Williams, Jade Hesketh, Molly Kane and Sophie Carolan. Subs: Meg Rowley, Aimee Hopkinson, Evie Chard, Eva Hopkinson, Emily Boulton and Natalie Thornley

    The FA adds that "The draw for the Women’s FA Cup first round qualifying was made on Monday afternoon. Forty-nine ties were pulled out of the hat with every fixture scheduled for Sunday 22 September. This season's Final will take place at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 9 May 2020...

    First round qualifying draw: Altrincham v Didsbury".


    Amongst the former Altrincham players in action last weekend was Craig Hobson, who was sent off whilst playing for Stalybridge Celtic.

    At Ashton United, Callum Dolan and Nicky Clee were on the same side, whilst Theo Bailey-Jones turned out for Stafford Rangers. James Walshaw was in action for Scarborough Athletic whilst, elsewhere, Matt Chadwick netted the only goal of the game for his Warrington side, from the penalty spot.

    In the NW Counties Football League First Division South club New Mills AFC report that "Coaches Daz McConnell and Nehru McKenzie [pictured, right], appointed in the summer as assistants to [manager] Riley have both left the club in recent weeks due to other commitments".


    From the Shropshire Star we learn that "Happy boss Gavin Cowan believes a frank dressing room discussion played a key part in AFC Telford's 3-2 success at Bradford Park Avenue. The Bucks bounced back from Monday's disappointing defeat to Leamington with a much improved display on Saturday.

    And Cowan revealed how he decided to hold an honest exchange of views in training during the build-up. 'We had to have a bit of a lock-in on Thursday where words were said and a few conversations amongst the group,' he said. 'That wasn’t just me, as I’m a big believer in having characters in the dressing room, people who will stand on the shop floor and have their say. A lot of things were aired. Not issues as such, but a few things needing addressing and it felt like a cloud lifted.

    'Three points is three points, but I was also really pleased with the performance for the most part. Last week I went away from the Southport game (a 1-0 away win) pleased with the result but less so the performance, but today it felt more like we were our old selves, certainly of last season.'

    The Bucks were in charge of the game in the first half but saw their slender one goal advantage, given to them by Brendon Daniels, wiped out just before half-time. Adam Walker replied with his first goal for the club to put them ahead at the interval and, although Avenue drew level, Daniels' second goal of the game clinched the three points.

    'I love people who are characters and Brendon’s one of those,' added Cowan. 'He has that air of arrogance that I absolutely love; it just means he has that belief in there. He gets into those areas and scores two goals inside the six-yard box, but the other sides of his game were excellent too... Credit to the lads; the performance as a whole was excellent,' he added.

    'But probably the most pleasing thing for me was when we scored the first goal I turned around and everybody, the substitutes and also those lads not in the squad, were all jumping up and celebrating. That for me is a sign that we are getting back to what we want to be.'"

    From the Northern Echo we learn that "Slack defending led to Darlington sinking to another away defeat, this time losing 2-0 at King’s Lynn Town. There was not a great deal between the sides this afternoon in Norfolk, where King’s Lynn have now not lost in the league for 12 months.

    The high-flying Linnets were allowed to score twice early in the second half to take the points. It was their fourth win from as many home games this season, while it was Quakers’ third defeat from four on the road, the other result being last week’s 1-1 draw at Altrincham.

    King’s Lynn started on top, but Darlington dealt with what they had to offer though only after Chris Elliott escaped with a howler. With the ball at his feet and Michael Gash closing him down, Quakers’ goalkeeper miskicked his clearance but he just caught enough of the ball to inadvertently nudge the ball past the onrushing striker and then give it a good whack at the second attempt...

    Quakers had been second best in the first 20 minutes, watching the Linnets play keep-ball for the most part... Thereafter the match was more even...

    Darlington’s other change to the starting XI saw the not-fully-fit Terry Galbraith replaced by Josh Heaton... Having started the game on the back foot, Quakers improved as the half progressed. Early in the second half Darlington were looking well and there was nice play from Jarrett Rivers, getting to the byline on the left and delivering a cross that was hooked over by Campbell. But from nowhere Chris Henderson gave King’s Lynn the lead after 51 minutes, making the most of hesitation in Darlington’s defence when latching on to a through-ball...

    This was Darlington’s eighth game of the season and that was the sixth time they have conceded the first goal... [The exact opposite of Altrincham's record!]

    It was 2-0 just before the hour mark and again it is Henderson, the hosts catching Quakers flatfooted before dribbling away from the defence and passing the ball into the bottom corner. Both goals were scored way too easily, Darlington leaving gaping holes at the back for King’s Lynn to exploit.

    Quakers are missing the injured Luke Trotman, Michael Liddle and Galbraith from their first-choice defence, but their replacements are not kids and they should not be conceding goals like they have".

    Lincolnshire Live informs us that "Boston United boss Craig Elliott felt his side were ‘excellent’ against Hereford FC on Saturday and his only tinge of disappointment was not being able to find a winning goal.

    The Pilgrims dominated for long spells at Edgar Street but were kept at bay by the Bulls in their first fixture under the management of former Grimsby Town and Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade...

    'I thought we were excellent,' reflected Elliott. 'I am fairly happy with the performance to control the game for large periods. We just needed a bit of luck and I think that will come. I expected a lot more from them (Hereford) but we played like the home team. We expected a bit of a backlash but we started the better team. We dominated the second half barring some long throw-ins and a couple of corners.'

    On Ainge’s effort being thwarted, Elliott added 'It was a great header which was cleared off the line. It’s another clean sheet from a difficult place to come so there is not too much to grumble about... I think we did enough to win it.'

    With Jay Rollins and Jordan Thewlis now suspension-free, Elliott is confident about the Pilgrims’ chances over coming matches... 'We need them back,' said Elliott... 'The lads that have come in have done well but it’s all about options off the bench as well... When you draw a game, you try and follow it up with a win. It’s a difficult league with different sorts of opposition and challenges to come.'"

    Lynn News reports that "Saturday's latest win kept Lynn's 100 per cent home record intact and provided Lynn with their first clean sheet of the campaign, but Henderson admitted that Lynn were far from at their best in the first 45 minutes.

    'The gaffer came in at the break and said that he'd rather us lose the game playing how we normally do. We weren't really at it in the first half and the consensus at the break was to keep a clean sheet and get that monkey off our backs. It was also to turn a slightly disappointing first half performance into the a good one in the second half and once we scored we were able to kick on.'

    Ian Culverhouse's side created very little in the way of clear-cut opportunities in a scrappy first-half display... After the break it was a different story as the Linnets took full control of the game.

    Henderson gave Lynn the lead after 51 minutes, making the most of hesitation in the visiting defence... It was 2-0 just before the hour-mark and again it was Henderson who caught the Quakers flat-footed before dribbling away from the defence and passing the ball into the bottom corner after being played in by Michael Gash".

    According to Cheshire Live "George Glendon is a player Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson would like to keep at Chester FC but they know that it might not be possible. Former Manchester City youth player Glendon, 24, signed a short-term deal with the Blues on Friday to provide some much needed cover in the centre of midfield owing to the injury absences of Gary Stopforth and Gary Roberts.

    Glendon, who made over 50 League One appearances for Fleetwood Town before spending last season at League Two Carlisle United, had been without a club since the Cumbrians released him in the summer. The Manchester-born midfielder, who skippered City's youth side and picked up caps at England under-16 and U17 level, had been on trial at Dutch outfit Roda JC during the summer before spending that past few weeks at stricken Bury, one of a host of trialists who had been expecting to be offered a deal only for the Gigg Lane club to suffer expulsion from the EFL last week.

    Chester moved swiftly to bring in Glendon and, while he impressed in the controversial defeat at Spennymoor, a defeat where the decision of referee Dean Hulme to hand Danny Livesey two yellows in quick succession after a bizarre incident changed the game, quite how long his stay at the Deva lasts isn't yet known, with other clubs monitoring his situation. Morley and Johnson, however, would like to keep him if it is at all possible.

    'Once you're playing well and you're up at the top then you've got to strengthen then, there is no point waiting until you start losing and then strengthen,' said Morley. 'Obviously with Gary Roberts and Gary Stopforth coming out through injury we had to add a bit of quality, somebody had to come in and replicate the quality and the workrate that those two bring you the table. George is an unbelievable footballer but in the first 15 seconds of the game he goes in for a tackle and the ref books him. For what? The kid's never thinking 'I've never played at this level before and I'm one tackle away from getting sent off.

    'But, with George, you see he oozes class in possession and that is something we have maybe lacked in games in terms of quality and game management. He'll be disappointed that he's come in and we've lost on his debut. We'll do everything we can to try and keep George but we don't know what will happen between now and next week in terms of his future.'

    Glendon will likely line up in central midfield alongside an in-form Scott Burton at Curzon Ashton (on Monday) evening as Chester look to get back to winning ways and maintain what has been a strong start... Roberts was named on the bench initially at Spennymoor before being replaced by Jamie Morgan, but he could come into contention after an ankle injury. For Stopforth, though, the wait on the sidelines will be longer as he awaits the results of a scan following a knee injury picked up in the 4-1 home win over Hereford FC on Bank Holiday Monday...

    Said Morley 'I think (a reaction) is important. I've had my say, I know what we've seen (at Spennymoor) but we need to clear our minds and go to Curzon and apply ourselves like we have done in the last eight games and hopefully come away with a win.'"

    Middlesborough have two players loaned out to National League North clubs. In all, "Three of Boro's youngsters played [a] full 90 minutes for the loan clubs over the weekend, with a win, a draw, and a defeat to report.

    Goalkeeper Brad James was the one celebrating victory as well as a clean sheet as Gateshead picked up a 2-0 success over Brackley Town... Tyrone O'Neill was the man on the losing side on Saturday, he played up front in Darlington's 2-0 away defeat to King's Lynn".

    Gloucester City "have secured the signing of Bristol City’s centre-half Tom Harrison on an initial one-month loan deal. Tom spent last season on loan in both the National League North and South, first in the North with Hereford on a one month loan where he started two games before joining Weston-super-Mare later into the 2018/19 campaign in the South and remained there for the entirety of that season in 2019.

    Harrison has been ever present for Bristol City’s Under-23 side so far this season... His move to the Tigers sees him reunite with several familiar faces; Vince Harper and Kieran Smith at Bristol City, Marlon Jackson and Jennison Myrie-Williams whilst at Weston where he was also managed by City first-team coach Marc McGregor.

    Also joining the club as short term cover is goalkeeper Josh Bradley-Hurst. He arrives from Birmingham City’s development squad to replace fellow club team mate Zach Jeacock who will miss both the Telford United and Darlington matches due to his England Under-19 International call-up. The Scottish keeper was previously at Celtic and also has appeared for his country on the International stage at Under-16 level."

    Gateshead "face local rivals Spennymoor Town at the International Stadium on Tuesday evening with the chance to put together back-to-back wins on offer.

    The Heed secured their first home win of the season on Saturday afternoon with a 2-0 triumph over Brackley Town, thanks to goals from Michael Nelson and Joshua Kayode. Mike Williamson’s side currently sit eighth in the National League North table following a start that has seen them defeated once in eight games.

    The Moors meanwhile haven’t started the season as they’d hoped, earning five points from six games and currently sitting 19th in the table... Spennymoor arrive with a number of former Heed favourites in their ranks with James Curtis, Jamie Chandler and Rob Ramshaw regular fixtures in the starting 11 among others.

    Connor Oliver is the main doubt for tomorrow’s game after being withdrawn due to injury early on against Brackley, while a few others are due to be assessed ahead of kick-off.

    First-team coach and defender Michael Nelson stresses Gateshead are focused solely on their own game, 'They’ve got a lot of players who’ve played for the club, so they’ll be coming back looking to try and get a positive result. They just got their first win as well so they’ll be a little bit buoyant. We know what they’re about and we know a lot of their players but we go into every game doing our homework on the other teams'...

    Speaking following Spennymoor’s win over Chester on Saturday, manager Jason Ainsley said 'We scored two of the scrappiest goals you’ll ever see and got some luck, but at least we picked up the points'".

    2 September 2019


    Last season, Altrincham again had an evening journey to Haig Avenue but, for once, they emerged successful, winning 3-1. It was their first victory at Haig Avenue for more than 20 years.

    The victory moved Alty up to fifth place after they had had much the better of a goalless first half in which they won the corner count 6-1 and troubled the home keeper far more than Tony Thompson was disturbed in the Robins' goal.

    Right: Sean Williams may have seen his penalty saved on Saturday against Farsley Celtic but he had a hard-working match in the Alty midfield as shown, right.

    The visitors finally took the lead five minutes after the break when ex-Sandgrounder Liam Goulding scored from close range after the Port keeper had been unable to hold a Brendon Daniels shot from a free-kick lay-off. But Southport equalised seven minutes later when Richards's freekick, for a dubiously awarded infringement by Jake Moult, left Thompson flat-footed in the Altrincham goal.

    Port then enjoyed their best spell of the evening before Alty restored their lead with a wonderful goal by John Johnston, who finished off his advance into the box with a flicked shot across keeper Hanford, following a feed from Hancock (71 mins). Five minutes later Jordan Hulme settled the outcome when he turned well and got in a shot which Hanford fumbled into his own net, with Hancock following-up to make sure that his team-mate's effort had crossed the line. It was Hulme's goal.

    After that, any Port resistance crumbled and Altrincham emerged comfortable winners.

    SOUTHPORT: 1. Dan Hanford, 2. Jordan Richards, 3. Stefan Mueller, 4. David Morgan, 5. Ryan Astles, 6. Josh Langley, 7. Zac Lowe, 8. David Lynch (capt), 9. Jason Gilchrist, 10. Mike Phenix, 11. Dion Charles. Subs: 12. Devarn Green, 13. Billy Priestley, 14. Zac Corbett, 15. Jack Sampson, 17. Elliot Osborne.

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


    On Tuesday when Alty take on Southport, it will be the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. It will also be 25 years since Altrincham last won a game on that date, having lost or drawn six attempts to secure a victory since 1994, as is confirmed in the Through the Years data compiled by Howard Watts and Mike Garnett.


    The fourth part of Mike Garnett's "Forty Years On" series to mark the fortieth anniversary of the formation of the Football Alliance (later Football Conference) is here. It reminds us of the demise of many of the clubs in that League's original make-up.


    Altrincham FC Youth played their first league match of the season on Sunday, and secured a 1-1 draw at AFC Fylde. Alty lie eighth in the NWYA Premier but several other clubs have played two or three fixtures already.

    On Wednesday they play in the FA Youth Cup at the J Davidson Stadium against Curzon Ashton (7.45pm).


    Guiseley report that they "maintained their impressive early season form with this victory by the narrowest of margins against a more than useful Curzon Ashton side.

    Kaine Felix coming [came] off the bench to grab the vital goal with just five minutes remaining of a tight contest that always looked as though a single goal would settle the outcome.

    Curzon included ex-Lion Andy Halls in their starting lineup at right back but it was from the opposite flank from where the home side created their best chance of the first half as Gabriel Johnson’s cross was met by Lee Shaw with the striker putting his shot just the wrong side of the post...

    Meanwhile visitors Curzon created several half-chances which either finished up in the crowd or in the hands of George Sykes-Kenworthy.

    The second half continued in much the same vein with the Nash looking the more likely to break the deadlock; as the game progressed went on Sean Miller and Matthew Regan went close.

    But it was substitute Felix who got the decisive touch at the far post on 85 minutes after Sam Scrivens slid in only to see his shot hit the upright but when Aram Soleman’s follow up came back off the bar Felix was on hand to apply the finishing touch at the far post, much to the relief of his team mates and the home support.

    Scrivens then thought he had opened his Guiseley account and doubled the home side's advantage in the process with a smart finish but he was deemed to have been in an offside position".

    Bradford's Telegraph & Argus adds that "Guiseley edged a close game at Nethermoor to bank a second win on the spin while neighbours Farsley Celtic suffered a second consecutive defeat as the clubs endured vastly differing fortunes.

    The Lions climbed one place to fourth spot thanks to a late strike from substitute Kaine Felix in a 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton. The Nash played their part as both teams showed plenty of attacking intent but struggled to carve out really clear openings...

    Curzon’s Sean Miller was lively and he troubled the home defence in the second half before the Lions snatched the three points five minutes from time.

    A concerted attack saw the ball come back off the post and then the bar of the Nash goal before Felix, who had replaced Johnson just before the hour mark, pounced to rifle the ball past visiting keeper Cam Mason.

    Guiseley joint manager Russ O’Neill said 'We’re delighted with the three points but we didn’t hit the heights of recent games. The changes were all positive, with the substitutes that came on affecting the game, but we know there’s work to be done. We’ve got leaders York City on Tuesday and we know that performance won’t trouble them so we need more.'

    Two goals in quick succession from Jordan Hulme just after the hour mark took the game away from Farsley at Altrincham as the Celts lost 3-1. The Robins had taken an early lead as Ashley Hemmings had beaten Farsley’s former Alty keeper Elliot Wynne with a super strike. The ball was played to him just two yards outside the area and he lashed a shot high into the corner.

    The home side held that narrow lead at the break and they should have doubled their lead early in the second half. They didn’t because of the heroics of Wynne, the keeper saving Sean Williams’ 47th minute penalty.

    The game looked to be over as a contest in the 67th minute after Hulme’s quickfire brace put the hosts in a strong position. He got free in the area to steer home his first and he lashed in his second after good work from Hemmings.

    Celts manager Adam Lakeland made a triple substitution with a quarter of an hour remaining and one of the incomers was former Bantam Dave Syers. He pulled a goal back with just minutes to go when he did well to convert a Jordan Richards cross with a near post header. It led to a late spell of pressure from the visitors but chances went begging."

    Altrincham travel to Southport on Tuesday where the Sandgrounders drew 1-1 on Saturday with Kettering Town who report that "The Poppies earned their first away point of the season at The Pure Stadium on Saturday, despite going 0-1 down from an unfortunate own goal by Michael McGrath, who was making his debut. Mike later became the hero, also becoming the first ever Poppy to score at both ends on his debut, stabbing in the equaliser with the Southport defence all at sea".

    The Northants Telegraph adds that "Nicky Eaden was content with the performance and result after Kettering Town picked up their first point on the road this season. The Poppies claimed a 1-1 draw at Southport to snap a run of three defeats in a row as they bounced back from the disappointing 5-3 home defeat to Kidderminster Harriers on Bank Holiday Monday.

    It’s been a tough start to the season in the Vanarama National League North. But boss Eaden was happy with what he saw from his team as debutant Michael McGrath scored at both ends, equalising for the Poppies after he had put through his own net to give Southport the lead.

    'I think we have to be happy,' Poppies' manager Eaden said. 'With the position we are in, and given that we hadn’t picked up a point away from home, then I think we can be satisfied. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But, performance-wise, we were good and, result-wise, we will take it even though you never really want to settle for a point. We had a good chance to go 1-0 up and then we conceded and that was of our own making.

    'But we responded really well, we got the goal and we got ourselves back into the game. To be honest, we probably had the better chances to win after that but it’s a point on the road and we will take it and move on.'

    Experienced defender McGrath completed his move to Kettering on Friday and had an eventful debut as he scored at both ends... 'Overall, it was a good debut for him, he did what I brought him in to do,' Eaden added. 'He was physical, he was calm in possession and he was aggressive. The most important thing is that he has played at this level, he knows what is required and hopefully he will play a big part in helping us'".

    According to NL Daily, "Leamington boss Paul Holleran has confirmed that summer signing Reece King has returned to his former club Hednesford Town.

    Holleran said 'After discussions with Reece he has decided to go back to Hednesford. He has found his opportunities limited here and at his age he wants and needs to be playing regularly. He has suffered a bit from the good form of the other midfielders at the club, and has found himself down the pecking order. Despite this, he has been a pleasure to work with in the short time he has been at Leamington and I am sure he will continue to be an asset for Hednesford.'

    The Banbury Guardian tells us that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin will be looking for his side to bounce back at Kidderminster Harriers in midweek.

    Saints will want to quickly forget the first ever visit to Gateshead’s International Stadium, the 470-mile round trip a fruitless endeavour on a frustrating afternoon. Saints lost 2-0 in Saturday's clash thanks to a goal in each half from Michael Nelson and Josh Kayode.

    'We conceded a crucial early goal but there was not too much else between the sides in the first half,' manager Kevin Wilkin said. 'We had our own chances that we didn’t take but conceding a second made it difficult and we lost our way a bit towards the end of the game. Gateshead made life difficult for us, kept it tight and worked very hard.'

    Michael Nelson took full advantage of a free header to put The Heed ahead in the ninth minute in the only real threat on Danny Lewis’s goal in the first half... Greg Olley nearly doubled the lead immediately on the restart...

    Jimmy Armson’s shot squirmed just wide from close range on the hour mark but three minutes later Gateshead were two goals to the good, a weak defensive clearance setting up Josh Kayode who finished neatly. Saints never really got going and the comeback did not materialise with the hosts enjoying an ultimately comfortable first home win of the season leaving Wilkin’s side with just one point from four away games."

    A report from the Eastern Daily Press informs us that "It says a lot about the rude health of this King's Lynn side that, even without injured hitman Adam Marriott, there are players of the quality of Chris Henderson to make forced readjustments look seamless.

    Marriott, scorer of five goals in the first seven games of the season and last season's golden boot winner, watched from the sidelines as he nursed an ankle injury. What he saw was a remarkable shift from his fellow striker Michael Gash, who occupied the minds of the visiting defenders until they were sick of the sight of him, while man of the match Henderson won the game with two classy, almost delicate, finishes.

    It stretched Lynn's unbeaten run to seven games, five of them wins, and kept their 100pc home record intact as they remained second in the table, a point behind York City.

    It wasn't all plain sailing; Lynn ceded control of the first half and were indebted to keeper Alex Street, keeping a clean sheet for the first time this season, after he tipped over a volley by William Hatfield, who then spoiled the moment not long after with a shocking tackle on Lynn skipper Michael Clunan for which he was fortunate to see just a yellow card.

    But Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse likes nothing than a tactical challenge and, again, he came out on top, this time against the Darlington manager, former Ipswich Town player Alun Armstrong.

    Henderson,perhaps unlucky to be dropped for the Bank Holiday Monday win at Farsley Celtic, was central to the plans and on 51 minutes he latched on to a lovely pass by Alfie Payne and slid the ball past the keeper. Eight minutes later, Gash was the supplier, Henderson producing a similar finish to put Lynn in the driving seat...

    'He (Henderson) makes great runs,' said Culverhouse. 'First half we didn't do that. I changed the shape at half-time a little bit; we were always playing in front of them and the two goals he scored the ball was just running in behind so it was excellent... I thought we were a bit slow in the first half, a bit ponderous, a bit pedestrian and that isn't like us,' added Culverhouse."

    Blyth Spartans' "wait for a first league win continues as Lee Clark’s men were beaten 2-0 by Leamington. The game was finely poised until Olly Scott was adjudged to have fouled Josh March and the striker stepped up to slam his penalty past Mark Foden.

    March then doubled his tally 10 minutes later as Blyth failed to deal with a corner and the loose ball was tucked home by March. Blyth pushed to respond, but they could not find a way through Leamington’s defence.

    Blyth replaced Nathan Harker in goal with Foden. Callum Roberts also made his debut. The visitors started the better of the two sides and could have taken the lead on nine minutes... This was, unfortunately, the only clear-cut chance Spartans created all afternoon and Leamington should have taken the lead before half time...

    The second half started very slowly until March got the better of Scott on the left and the 18-year-old pulled his man to the ground, and the referee pointed to the spot. March dusted himself off and smashed his penalty into the top corner.

    Clark responded by bringing on Scott Fenwick and Michael Sweet, but it was Leamington who looked the more threatening, and they doubled their lead soon after. A corner was not cleared properly, and there was March to tap the ball in.

    Once hosts scored their second, the game fizzled out, and Blyth did not create another chance of note. Blyth now travel to Darlington to face former manager Alun Armstrong knowing that they need to start winning games of football".

    The Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Bradford (Park Avenue) scored their first two home goals of the season but they still failed to bank a point after Telford United edged in front three times in a 3-2 win at the Horsfall Stadium.

    It was a setback for Avenue after they had just begun to build some momentum and the loss dropped them back into the bottom two but on goal difference only, as two of the three clubs below them at the start of the day picked up points...

    Park Avenue’s interim manager Marcus Law said 'I thought our performance was a bit erratic to be honest, especially in the first half. We struggled against the wind in that first half and that was down to poor game management. The effort the players put in has never once been in question but in the first half they fell below the standards they have set themselves and that was brought to their attention at half-time.

    'The second half was much better from our point of view, to the extent that we’re disappointed not to get anything from the game. I was disappointed with the way Telford’s goals came about. I think we could have defended them better, but we created chances going forward. I’m pleased with the overall improvement and with the performance because I thought the game could have gone either way. But we’re not happy scoring two goals at home and losing'...

    The Bucks kept asking questions and they had a touch of fortune as they netted a 78th-minute winner. Daniels bagged his brace with a header that came off the post and ran behind Taylor as he scrambled to keep it out but the ball ended up over the line."

    The Northern Echo says that it was "Painful to watch and instantly regrettable. Darlington’s defending was as bad as the clips of them singing that spread across social media the night before the game.

    Friday night in Norfolk saw Quakers’ newest signings undergo a team bonding session by way of an initiation ceremony that worked a treat for morale, but it was followed by Saturday afternoon’s dispiriting showing at King’s Lynn Town.

    Quakers had held their own for the most part against in-form opposition, there was little between the teams, until two aberrations early in the second half led to two goals that inflicted defeat.

    Another one. That’s four in eight games, with defensive errors now part and parcel of Darlington matches. Such have been his regular laments about slack defending, Alun Armstrong admitted he has begun to sound like a broken record, and he was not referring to any of the tracks murdered by his players on Friday...

    That a frank exchange of opinion took place in Darlington’s changing room at least demonstrates the players’ emotional investment; they’re not going through the motions, they know they can do better.

    Armstrong added 'You need that. It’s no good just sitting in there just moping and accepting it. I want them to have a go at each other, I want them to tell each other that they’ve done something wrong, that’s what they should be doing. And they’ve got to take it in the right way to make themselves a better player. I don’t mind, it shows that they care. They hate losing, they really do, but they’re feeling sorry for themselves and it’s my job to pick them up for Wednesday.'

    Wednesday sees bottom-of-the-table Blyth Spartans visit Blackwell Meadows when anything other than a home win would be a poor result...

    Error-prone but also injury-hit, three of Saturday’s back four were stand-ins. Terry Galbraith missed out due to a hamstring issue that will probably keep him out of Wednesday too, Michael Liddle is in the same position while Luke Trotman is out for the season. Current centre-backs Josh Heaton and Laing both came close to scoring with headers at first-half corners, while Will Hatfield saw a volley saved.

    'First half, I didn’t think there was much in it,' said Armstrong. 'They’re a good side, they rotate their midfielders really well, Michael Gash up front is a handful, but I don’t remember them having that much of a chance in the first half... It was probably a good away performance, we looked solid, but then we switched off and got punished'...

    King's Lynn are now unbeaten at home in the league for 12 months...

    Thoughts now turn to Wednesday, a fixture with a team that have drawn one and lost six of their seven games, and as well as the squad’s various injury concerns Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa are now on international duty.

    'We’re down to the bare bones unless I can get a couple in,' added Armstrong. 'We know we need a fullback and a target man. It’s still a work in progress'".

    Cheshire Live says that "A furious Bernard Morley felt his and Anthony Johnson's Chester FC were 'robbed' after a contentious refereeing decision contributed to them suffering their first defeat of the season on Saturday. The Blues suffered injury time heartache at Spennymoor Town when Glen Taylor tapped in the winner, but for the whole second half Chester were forced to play with 10 men, performing admirably, after experienced defender Danny Livesey was shown two yellow cards in quick succession before the break in a bizarre turn of events.

    Livesey was booked for a challenge on the Spennymoor striker Taylor, one that saw Livesey himself need to receive treatment on the sidelines after a bloodied head. Livesey, believing the referee had beckoned him back into play then returned to action only for the man in black, Dean Hulme, to blow up when he saw [him] win a header again against Taylor, showing him a second yellow card, much to the bemusement of home and away fans alike, the Blues' bosses visibly furious on the visiting bench.

    Chester had led through Akwasi Asante's fifth goal of the season on seven minutes before a Russ Griffiths gaffe saw a tame Mark Anderson effort squirm through his legs on 52 minutes. And Griffiths was at fault for the Moors winner, unable to get a loose ball in his grasp allowing Adam Boyes to square to Taylor who tapped home from three yards into an empty net three minutes into injury time.

    It was a result that was cruel on a Chester who, even with 10 men, had proved more than a match for their hosts and who had been seemingly cruising their way to three points before Livesey's sending off changed the game.

    Morley told Cheshire Live 'I have to be careful what I say. We've been robbed. What happens to a (referee) performance that I've watched today? Does he get a fine? Does he get suspended? I can't tell him he's had a bad game because he'll send me off, Jonno can't tell him he's had a bad game (for the same reason) and certainly the lads can't criticise what he's done because he gets his cards out...

    'If you're a centre half with a 6ft 5ins centre forward backing in and you come off with a massive gash on your eye, how is that a foul the other way? He goes off the pitch, gets treatment and gets strapped back up. He then believes the referee waved him back on, he then comes on the pitch, play then starts and the referee obviously hasn't noticed him and gives a foul against him again and thinks "wait a minute, I've not asked you to come back on" and then sends him off. It doesn't make sense what's happened.

    'Not only has he let the play go on he's sent him off. An experienced centre half like Danny Livesey isn't going to come back on the pitch unless he's been invited to. I don't want to stand here and say it's all about the referee but I can't go in the changing room and say to the lads we've not played well because we've been inbelievable. We've just lost 2-1 without them doing anything. They were poor today and we outplayed them with 10 men and Russ hasn't had to really make a save, yet the two goals, I don't need to dig him out he'll hold his hands up himself'...

    Morley added 'Did the red card lose us the game? Well it didn't help. But the second half, our shape was unbelievable and the work Akwasi and George Waring were doing out of possession was incredible for two lads who probably haven't been asked to do that before. For 94 minutes I watched a performance that 12 months ago we wouldn't have been able to identify with a Chester shirt. From one to 16 we were very good.

    'Spennymoor are a very good side, they're as strong as anything in this league'"

    1 September, 2019


    At the J. Davidson Stadium on Thursday (7.45pm), Altrincham FC kick off their FA Youth Cup campaign, at home to Curzon Ashton.


    Where's the ball gone? Farsley keeper Elliot Wynne is wrong-footed by Jordan Hulme's second goal on Saturday. Alty's no.9 has steered the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net.

    Altrincham secured a deserved second home win of the season but they still seek a first clean sheet of the campaign after allowing Farsley to dominate the final fifteen minutes.

    Match report here.

    There is more on the game and another image below.

    Phil Parkinson's post-match interview with Altrincham FC press and media officer, Brian Flynn, is on Alty TV.


    Farsley Celtic report that they "lost a second consecutive game as Altrincham ran out deserved 3-1 winners... David Syers’s late strike wasn’t enough for Farsley to take anything from the game, as an Ashley Hemmings strike and Jordan Hulme brace saw the Robins to victory.

    A disappointed Adam Lakeland said 'I thought there were moments in the game really that had a big bearing on the score line; at 0-0 Jimmy (Spencer) has had a header from six-yards out, put it wide and, within a minute, they’ve put one in the top corner.

    'It’s a very difficult place to come when you’re behind here, they’re a good side and I actually felt in the remainder of the first-half we kind of got to grips with them. Our shape and our organisation was a bit better, and we had a lot more possession until the break, but we didn’t really create anything of note.

    'The players are disappointed, they’ve had, certainly 18 months of winning pretty much every week and, when they lose, they don’t like it, as does nobody.'

    After a quiet start to the game Farsley had an excellent chance to break the deadlock a quarter of an hour in, Nathan Cartman playing a terrific ball into Jimmy Spencer who could only guide his header back across goal and wide.

    Within a minute Farsley were left to rue that missed chance as Altrincham took the lead when Ashley Hemmings collected the ball 25-yards from goal and curled a terrific strike past Elliot Wynne...

    Just two minutes into the second-half the hosts had a chance to double their lead when they were awarded a penalty as Jordan Hulme went down under a challenge from Jack Higgins. However, Elliot Wynne got down well to his left to excellently save Sean Williams’s spot-kick.

    Altrincham had a couple of half chances as Yusifu Ceesay and John Johnston had efforts blocked, but after the hour mark they struck for a second time as Jordan Hulme got free in the box and headed home from six-yards out. Just minutes later the Robins extended their advantage and all but secured the three points, Hemmings holding the ball up well for Hulme to rifle home from inside the box.

    Adam Lakeland then made a triple substitution as Dave Syers, Ben Atkinson and Danny Ellis were introduced, and the Celt Army struck back with eight minutes remaining as Syers got across his man at the near post to head home Jordan Richards’s cross... Despite the late resurgence Farsley were unable to find a way through the Altrincham defence for a second time, as the Robins held on to secure all three points".


    Vanarama National League North

    Saturday, 31 August 2019

    • Altrincham 3-1 Farsley Celtic
    • Bradford Park Avenue 2-3 AFC Telford United
    • Gateshead 2-0 Brackley Town
    • Gloucester City 2-3 York City
    • Guiseley 1-0 Curzon Ashton
    • Hereford FC 0-0 Boston United
    • Kidderminster Harriers 0-1 Alfreton Town
    • Kings Lynn Town 2-0 Darlington
    • Leamington 2-0 Blyth Spartans
    • Southport 1-1 Kettering Town
    • Spennymoor Town 3-2 Chester FC


    On Tuesday night, Altrincham travel to Haig Avenue, from where on Saturday Southport "were held to a draw at home to Kettering Town as a goal at each end of the pitch from debutant Michael McGrath saw the teams share the points.

    It was a slow start to proceedings as spectators had to wait until the 20th minute before either side saw a glimpse at goal...

    Kettering were first to come close... But seconds later Port would break the deadlock. Brad Bauress swung in a dangerous cross from the left wing towards Jack Sampson but it was Sampson’s marker McGrath who turned the ball into his own net trying to stop the striker from getting to the ball.

    Just seven minutes later McGrath would make up for his error as Southport failed to clear a corner, the ball bouncing around the penalty box before falling at the feet of McGrath as the defender poked beyond Dan Hanford and levelled the scores.

    Although Southport had periods of possession, it was the visitors who created the clearer chances... The Port tried to press in the second half, but both sides struggled to carve out any major chances...

    Fans will be encouraged by Liam Watson’s post-match interview where he stated that the club were looking to add a new striker saying 'We need to bring a striker in but it’s easier said than done to make sure you get the right one.'”

    Southport: Hanford, Ogle, Doyle, Mohammed, Astles, Morgan, Green (Glynn 46), Benjamin, Correia, Sampson, Bauress. Subs not used: Albinson Woods, Parry, Homson-Smith."


    The death on 27 August has been reported of former Altrincham player Ronnie Taylor, who was with the club in the mid-1960s and who was involved in the club's first big FA Cup clash, away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ronnie was eighty years of age.

    Ronnie's daughter, Joanna Taylor-Coburn, has informed the club that "Ronnie [pictured, right,] had some wonderful memories and stories of his time at the club. His grandson is now following in his granddaddy's footsteps and plays for the under-8s Altrincham team.

    "For anyone that knew my dad, his funeral will be held on Friday, 6th September at 10am at Blackley Cemetery, Victoria Avenue, Manchester M9 8PJ, with any floral tributes to be sent in advance to 32 Moston Lane, M40 9JS".

    Before that 1966 cup tie, Barry Pikesley's "When We Were Kings" reminds us that Ronnie scored the winner in "The first ever meeting between the Robins and Morecambe back on Monday, 22nd November 1965 in the Semi-Final of the Macclesfield Floodlight Competition staged at the Moss Rose, an invitation tournament that was the precursor of the North West Floodlit League.

    Watched by 1,612 spectators, this game unfolded amidst extremely treacherous and difficult conditions on a pitch that resembled a skating rink. The Robins eventually capitalised on their supremacy after 66 minutes, when Derek Halliwell’s overhead kick finally broke the defiant resistance of the in-form Morecambe goalkeeper Bert Gebbie.

    Stuart Holding’s 81st minute equaliser duly forced a period of 30 minutes of extra time, during which Jackie Swindells restored the Robins’ lead in the 94th minute and then Ronnie Taylor’s corner kick deceived Gebbie to put Alty 3-1 in front with just six minutes left on the clock. Arnold Timmins reduced the deficit a minute later but the Robins prevailed to advance to the Final".

    Later that season, having beaten Scarborough 6-0 and Rochdale 3-1, Altrincham reached the Third Round of the FA Cup for the first time in 1965/66, in which they drew Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were lying joint second in the old Second Division [Championship nowadays]. The programme from that game at Molineux included the following in its brief pen pictures of the opposition; "Outside right Ron Taylor was signed a year back from Colwyn Bay, an improving player".

    Altrincham's eleven at Wolves were: goalkeeper George Smith, who also sadly died recently, Jimmy Brown, George Forrester, Frank Peters, Neil Dewar, Derek Halliwell, Ronnie Taylor, Les Campbell, Pat Connolly, Jack Swindells and Clive Colbridge. The crowd of 30,475 saw Wolves score three times in the first-half in a 5-0 win.


    On Saturday, Altrincham FC Reserves lost 2-0 away to Eagle Sports.

    Next Saturday Altrincham have a cup match which sees them visit Christleton.


    Atherton Collieries beat Nantwich Town 3-1 on Saturday but James Lawrie netted the Dabbers' goal. For Warrington Town, Matt Chadwick scored the only goal of the match against Mickleover Sports, from the penalty spot.


    Former Alty loanee Callum Dolan's recent move to Ashton United has been confirmed as a short-term loan from his now parent club, Oldham Athletic. In August Oldham Athletic were "pleased to announce the signing of midfielder Callum Dolan on a one-year deal with an option of a further year. The 18-year-old progressed through Manchester United's academy, before spells with the youth team's of Blackburn Rovers and Bury... At the end of last season, he put pen-to-paper on a deal with Altrincham FC.

    Dolan scored against Oldham Athletic for Ashton United and featured for Latics against Stockport County this pre-season".

    Another ex-Alty man on the move is Curtis Obeng [right] who has moved from Nuneaton Borough FC to Ashton United on a short-term loan.

  • Other recent moves or dual registrations between the Bet Victor NPL and National League North clubs include...
    • Kwame Boateng from Farsley Celtic to Ossett United
    • Flynn McNaughton from York City FC to Pickering Town
    • Lewis Rathbone from Bradford Park Avenue to Pickering Town Short Term Loan
    • Paul Walker from Farsley Celtic to Scarborough Athletic Short Term Loan
    • Dontai Gabidon from Altrincham to Trafford
    • Matthew Clarke from Bradford Park Avenue to Workington AFC


    The Eastern Daily Press tells us that "Two goals from Chris Henderson helped King's Lynn Town stretch their unbeaten run to seven and maintain their 100pc home record with a 2-0 home win over Darlington.

    Henderson took over scoring duties after marksman Adam Marriott was ruled out because of an ankle injury. It was scoreless at the break, but Lynn turned on the afterburners in the second period and were full value for a win which keeps them second behind York in the National League North table.

    'I thought we were a bit slow in the first half, a bit ponderous, a bit pedestrian and that isn't like us,' said Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse. 'We can't play that way, we are full throttle. But the response was excellent and we thoroughly deserved it in the end.

    'The crowd were excellent. They were a bit quite first half but we didn't give them anything. Once we give them something they make some noise and it is up to us to give them something to get behind the boys. I thought the whole place was a bit flat first half but certainly second half they made some noise'.

    The Linnets were well worth their victory, although after a good start they allowed the visitors into the game. Although Michael Gash tested visiting keeper Chris Elliott, it was Darlington who had the best of the first-half chances...

    But Lynn came out much more determined after the break and went ahead on 51 minutes when Henderson latched on to a lovely pass by Alfie Payne and slid the ball past the keeper... Henderson struck again on 59 minutes, this time benefiting from Gash's pass to again slide the ball past Elliott."

    Boston United "extended their positive start to the season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Hereford FC. The Pilgrims had the better of their trip to Edgar Street but were unable to find a way through a Hereford side under the guidance of new manager Russell Slade for the first time...

    United boss Craig Elliott had named an unchanged XI ahead of kick-off and the Pilgrims made a bright start in the Herefordshire sunshine...

    United pressed hard for a winning goal but were kept at arm's length by Hereford to earn their first 0-0 draw since April 2018"'

    At AFC Telford United "The Bucks earned all three points on the road with a 3-2 win over Bradford (Park Avenue). A game that saw a brace from Brendon Daniels and Adam Walker’s first goal for the Bucks".

    Blyth Spartans report that the club is "pleased to announce the signing of former Hartlepool United midfielder Lewis Hawkins.

    The 26-year-old, from Middlesbrough, becomes the second player in as many days to join Lee Clark’s side after Callum Roberts, formerly of Newcastle United, arrived on Friday morning. Following a loan spell with Whitby Town, Hawkins made his Pools debut in 2011 during a 0-0 draw at Walsall when the club was in League One, although took a few years to establish himself as a first-team regular...

    For the next two seasons, Hawkins was a usual name on the team sheet... He made 35 outings in Pools’ opening season in non-league but spent the majority of last season at Blyth’s National League North rivals York City and Spennymoor Town on loan".

    Chester FC claim that "Some controversial refereeing decisions saw the Blues lose for the first time this season as an injury time strike saw Spennymmoor take the points.

    Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side led at the break, with Akwasi Asante firing home his fifth of the season. But, after Danny Livesey’s red card, second half Andy Johnson and Glen Taylor goals saw Jason Ainsley’s men take the points.

    The Blues had to make one enforced change, with Gary Stopforth out of the squad due to injury. New signing George Glendon was his replacement and, in the thick of the first bit of action, booked for a late tackle on Ramshaw.

    Moments later though, Chester hit the front and Asante was back on the mark. Simon Grand’s long ball was flicked on brilliantly by Matty Hughes allowing the composed forward to round up Gould and slot home...

    Then, a few minutes of madness took over as Referee Dean Hulme took centre stage. He firstly booked Livesey for what appeared to be dissent as the centre back was going off the pitch for treatment for a bloodied head, despite being penalised for a foul in the air.

    It appeared to be all okay as the defender was back on the pitch winning a header in the next passage of play, but Hulme was quick to blow up and award him a second yellow card, with confusion surrounding the Brewery Field.

    After the break, owing to that red, the home side dominated proceedings and equalised on 52 minutes... Mark Anderson, Glen Taylor and Johnson all dragged late shots wide as the ten men held firm.

    However, the resistance was broken in stoppage time when sub Adam Boyes battled with Griffiths, won a loose ball and squared for Taylor to tap into an empty net."

    learn from Bradford (Park Avenue) that "Matty Clarke, Jake Croft, Zayn Hakeem and Sam Wright have all departed by mutual consent.

    Interim manager Marcus Law is continuing to shape his Avenue squad, and following the arrival of a number of new signings, the four players have been allowed to find new clubs.

    Meanwhile, midfielder Lewis Rathbone has joined Pickering Town on a month’s loan. The former Nebraska Bugeaters midfielder has struggled for opportunities in Avenue’s young squad...

    Fellow midfielders Clarke and Wright have hardly been involved since Law took charge... Both players started the 5-0 defeat at home to Guiseley, Garry Thompson’s final match in charge, and have since been unable to force their way into an increasingly strong side.

    Full-back Croft also last appeared in the defeat to Guiseley, but has seen the arrival of Riccardo Calder and the return of Jaheim Headley limit his opportunities.

    Forward Hakeem, who started in Law’s first three matches in charge, has suffered a similar fate, as the interim manager has strengthened in his position with the likes of Myron Gibbons and Joseph Chidyausiku."

    Also we learn that Bradford (Park Avenue) "have signed right-back Isaiah Bazeley-Graham on loan from Aston Villa. The 19-year-old full-back has joined Marcus Law’s side until January...

    Bazeley-Graham has featured heavily for Villa’s under-23 side since the start of last season, without managing to break through into the senior set-up... Right-back was a position Law knew he needed to strengthen in, especially after Mitch Lund was forced off at half-time in the win over Darlington on Monday with a groin injury."

    Gateshead tell us that "Goals from Michael Nelson and Joshua Kayode ensured Gateshead secured their first home win of the season over Brackley Town.

    The Heed handed themselves the initiative after just nine minutes as Michael Nelson headed into the bottom corner for his first Gateshead goal.

    Kayode doubled the lead from close range after withstanding Brackley pressure early in the second period...

    Mike Williamson made just one change to the side that drew 1-1 at York City on Bank Holiday Monday, dropping himself due to injury and bringing Nelson into the middle of defence...

    After nine minutes Nicky Deverdics’ free-kick into the centre of the box was headed into the bottom-right corner by Nelson, who found himself unmarked in the box...

    The game’s pace depleted somewhat shortly afterwards however with neither side able to create a chance on goal until just before the half-hour mark.

    The Saints had two opportunities to haul themselves level early on... Their profligacy proved costly moments later as Kayode doubled Gateshead’s lead from close-range".

    We learn from the Northern Echo that "Alun Armstrong lamented Darlington’s defending which led to defeat at King’s Lynn Town.

    He identified Josh Heaton has being involved in both of the goals in Quakers’ 2-0 defeat, the third time Armstrong’s side have lost in four away games this season. And not for the first time lapse defending was central to Darlington’s downfall.

    A frustrated Armstrong said, 'If you look at the goals it’s basic errors, I keep going over it. The lads are shouting and arguing in there. At the end of the day King’s Lynn didn’t have to do anything to score those goals.

    'First one, Josh has just got to put his foot through it, I don’t know why he’s waiting for Chris Elliott, Chris didn’t say anything. The second one, he’s stood square and let the runner go.

    'We never get opportunities like that, we’ve got to manipulate the ball, switch it to try and get them openings, but you can’t give goals away like that. I sound like a broken record, it’s ridiculous'...

    The Linnets’ Chris Henderson scored twice inside the first 15 minutes of the second half. 'It’s a long punt up the field and a runner, not dealing with the ball. If you can’t get the basics right you’re not going to win a game of football,' added Armstrong.

    'We should be coming away with a point at least. It wasn’t a great game, I think we cancelled each other out and there wasn’t much football played'".

    In the York Press manager Steve Watson praises his team after their 3-2 win at Evesham against Gloucester City.

    York Press also has a match report on the game.