November 2019

30 November 2019


This morning (Saturday), the Portsmouth News reported that "Pompey welcome Altrincham to Fratton Park in the FA Cup third round today. Kenny Jackett's men are firm favourites to defeat the National League North side.

Kenny Jackett will name a strong side to face Altrincham. The Blues boss can afford to give his fringe players a run-out in next week’s EFL Trophy clash against Northampton and aims to continue the momentum his side have recently built. Sean Raggett is back from an adductor injury he picked up in the first-round win over Harrogate. Tom Naylor and Ross McCrorie (both hamstring)... Jack Whatmough [and]... Bryn Morris remain sidelined...

Likely line-up: Craig MacGillivray, Brandon Haunstrup, Christian Burgess, Oli Hawkins, Lee Brown, Ben Close, Anton Walkes, Ryan Williams, John Marquis, Ronan Curtis, Ellis Harrison. Subs: Alex Bass, Paul Downing, James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Marcus Harness, Gareth Evans, Brett Pitman".


On Friday, the Manchester Evening News quoted Alty captain Jake Moult as saying of the FA Cup game today (Saturday) against Pompey, "It's a massive occasion for everyone at the club. I'll be a very proud man to lead the team out against a side who have won the competition twice.

"For us the FA Cup is a huge competition and to play in front of fans at a great stadium like Fratton Park is something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life.

"This kind of game does not come around too often, so I'm certainly going to take the opportunity with both hands and do the best that I can.

"Momentum is crucucially important and we're on a good run at the moment. I don't think we could be going into the game in any better form so, hopefully, we can get a positive result.

"We're all just so excited to go and showcase our strengths and give it a real good go.

"The game against Colchester [in 2015, see below] was another big occasion for us all and we came so close to progressing to the Third Round.

"My early goal really settled us down but I've never felt so deflated after a game of football because I thought we were the better team.

"I remember sitting in the changing rooms thinking how have we lost this but it comes down to fine margins and I thought we were unlucky on the day.

"I'm not too sure I can get that high up the pitch nowadays but I'll definitely be giving it a go", he concluded.

Alty TV also has a 25 minute press conference. However, the sound quality is, sadly, not good as regards the questions being posed.



Before today's clash at Portsmouth, the last time Altrincham reached the Second Round of the FA Cup was four years ago when, as in 2019, they faced a long away trip. On that occasion their opponents were Colchester United. Having defeated Barnsley in the First Round and, as in 2019, Chester FC, in an earlier round, Alty arrived on in Essex, 6 December 2015, with two players suspended (Josh O'Keefe and Luca Havern). In addition Stuart Coburn and Tom Marshall were missing, long-term injured, and Shaun Densmore, who had missed the previous nine matches through injury, was also ruled out. So five of Alty's seven subs were youth or reserve players.

Right: Jake Moult is buried under his team-mates after opening the scoring.

Altrincham were the better side for much of this game but paid the price for defensive lapses, losing to a goal in the fourth added minute at the end of the match.

They got off to a great start when Jake Moult expertly lobbed the United keeper from outside the box in just the third minute. But 11 minutes later Alty gifted the hosts a leveller when Leather dwelt on the ball and lost possession, Harriott going on to score.

The start to the second half was even more electric as Michael Rankine scored after 16 seconds but, again, the lead could not be held. When goalkeeper Tim Deasy slid to collect the ball, low down near his right post, the ball escaped his grasp. The resulting cross was headed in by Lapslie at the back post.

Late on, Deasy made a couple of fine saves and, at the other end, Nicky Clee had a great chance to net a third for Alty. But when Scott Leather's clearing header came to Harriott, the United man lashed a shot past Deasy to clinch a very late winner in the fourth and final minute minute of added time.

For the 2015 tie, Alty took 398 supporters to Essex, a total that will be exceeded today in Hampshire.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 21. Joel SWIFT, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS, 22. Harry CAIN.


The Telegraph & Argus says that "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower accepts that on paper, there is a huge gulf between themselves and tomorrow's opponents Chester FC...

Bower said, 'You just need to look at Chester’s first team and bench on Saturday, and compare it to ours (at Gloucester), when we basically only had one sub. They have a massive squad, with good resources, and they’ve been really tough to beat all season. They've scored goals all over the pitch recently and they’ll want to come out on the front foot, as they’ll think they can have the game won in the first 15-20 minutes.

'We have to go in with that underdog siege mentality again, just like how no-one gave us a chance at Gloucester (City) on Sunday. The longer we can keep a clean sheet, and be as solid as can be, without just sitting back for the full 90 minutes, then we’ll stand a chance, as our players are capable of getting something.

'People might look at us and think because we’re the team at the bottom, we’re all useless but that’s not the case here. We’ve got some good players.'

One of those is 19-year-old Isaiah Bazeley. The full-back is on loan from Aston Villa Under-23s and is starting to get a run of games after impressing his manager in the West Riding County Cup. Bower said 'He’s done well. I went with more experience when I first came in, but I’ve introduced the younger lads over time. Isaiah and Isaac Marriott both put in good performances against Harrogate in the County Cup and have earned their places since.

'I played Isaiah further forward at Gloucester. He used that chance well, got his goal, and speaking to him after the game, he told me he’d enjoyed the role.'

Bazeley would have been grateful for the guidance of experienced midfielder Ryan Toulson. The club's former player-coach re-signed for them last week. He made a first appearance of the season at Gloucester, with Bower saying 'Tully (Toulson) is on the coaching staff and he's mainly here to help us off the pitch. But the young players need direction and he knows this level well. He's a presence on the pitch and it also gives us another voice in the dressing room.'

That voice proved vital at Gloucester, with Bower arguing it was Avenue's best performance of the whole season. He said 'We were hanging on when we beat Hereford (3-2) and the Darlington win before I arrived (1-0) sounds like it was backs against the wall at times.

'This was a proper win, we were the better team and we deserved it. It was a solid performance and a standard we need to keep."'

Bower, who expects to welcome Jonathan Royle and Liam Hughes back into the starting line-up tomorrow, added 'We now have to make sure we concentrate for the full 90 minutes... The last seven minutes against King's Lynn and the first nine against Leamington cost us both matches."

Also from Bradford (Park Avenue) we learn that "Towering striker Tom Clare has put pen to paper to join the Avenue. Clare joins the Avenue after he mutually departed Boston United yesterday... Tom is no stranger to Bradford having joined Boston from neighbours Bradford City, initially joining Boston on loan in March 2019 then signing permanently when he was released by Bradford City in July 2019.

Clare came through the youth ranks at Barnsley and has also had loan spells at Frickley Athletic and Ossett United.

The club can also confirm that following [ex-Alty loanee] Jon Moran's short-term loan deal to Stafford, he has now opted to join Stafford on a permanent basis".

According to Lincolnshire Live "Boston United boss Craig Elliott believes he has found chinks in Rochdale’s armour ahead of their FA Cup showdown.

In their first appearance in the second round as a non-league club since 1996, the Pilgrims will attempt to cause one of the shocks of the round at Spotland on Sunday.

Elliott has done extensive homework on Brian Barry-Murphy’s side and, while he respects the League One outfit, he believes they can be unsettled...

'I’ve watched their games, I’ve spoken to players, managers, scouts; I’ve tried to cover as much area as I can,' said Elliott. 'The same messages are coming back about their strengths and weaknesses. I’m respectful of the fact they’re a League One side. I know it’s going to be hard because they’ve got some good players.

'But if we get our tactics right, if the players can raise their game and if we can stay in the game into the second half, we’ve got a chance.'

On Rochdale’s approach, Elliott added 'I’m surprised how they play for a League One team. They’re very expansive, a bit like Manchester City. We’ll have to play in a certain way against them. In their last game [against Portsmouth] they had 68 per cent possession and lost 3-0. That shows how they like to play football. We’ll need to try and control game without the ball, if that makes sense. We need to keep them in areas where they’re not hurting us.

'We need to acknowledge that we’re going to go long periods without touching the ball. But when we do we need to take our opportunities.'

Keeping experienced forward Ian Henderson quiet could be key to the Pilgrims’ chances of causing an upset... Said Elliott... 'If we stay disciplined, we could exploit the areas where they are weak. I would rather play a team like that rather than a team that bullies you and puts long balls into the box. Sometimes that’s hard to defend against'".

Meanwhile, Chester FC "announce the signing of Elton Ngwatala... The midfielder left AFC Fylde earlier this week after just three substitute appearances for the Coasters this season.

Prior to this, the 26-year-old had a spell in Scotland with Dundee and scored on his debut away at St Mirren. Elton played just under 90 times for Kidderminster Harriers, and scored 15 goals for the club before his move to the Scottish Premiership...

Anthony Johnson had this to say, 'This is a major coup for our club. To get a player of Elton’s ability shows our progression both on and off the pitch. He was wanted by numerous clubs but chose Chester as he can see our ambition and what we’re building here.'"

Kettering Town "Manager Paul Cox dips into the loan market to sign defender Matthew Taylor on loan from Harrogate Town.

Matt has played for Derby County U23’s, Gainsborough Trinity, Banbury United and Oxford United, having been a scholar at Wigan Athletic. He will be at Latimer Park until January 2020".

Kidderminster Harriers "would like to assure all supporters that considerable work is continuing to help strengthen the club and on and off the field.

The club’s current owners assumed control at Aggborough with many procedures, personnel and cultures in place. Committed to creating a long and stable future for the club, we will rightly take responsibility for everything that comes in future but cannot control what has gone before.

While there has been much speculation and public comment about the apparent state of the club and mistakes that have been made in the past, we feel we are at a time where we must stop focusing on what has gone on before and instead channel our energies into the future.

Purely to give supporters an insight, since taking control, the club’s current owners have worked tirelessly to:

  • Reduce the club’s long-established, significant and debt, which is slowly being cleared
  • Ensure all ongoing liabilities in respect to all personnel, as well as football and non-football creditors are met as a matter of course without delay
  • Ensure the first team remains as successful as possible on the field by encouraging a positive, supportive and inclusive working environment built on trust, hard work and commitment
  • To support the first team, where appropriate, with signings and transfers to add to the squad, but not at a level that conflicts the work being done to secure the club’s long-term future
  • Develop ideas and initiatives to better engage and reward the club’s fan base for their support with a review of pricing structures, the match day experience, communication and more
  • Improve the club’s commerciality with the addition of a commercial manager who is already making excellent progress
  • Continue the work being done within the local community by introducing new initiatives to support local people and workers, some of which we hope to confirm shortly

All of this work is being undertaken by a very small number of people. We are committed to investing in the right areas and are making real inroads, but it is not work that can be completed overnight, and we have to remain patient...

Creating and sustaining a stable, and inclusive football club and football team remains our sole priority, but this can only be realised with the support and encouragement of everyone involved. As such we’d again ask supporters to stay behind the team, and Russ". [Russ Penn, the caretaker manager].

At Southport "Striker George Newell has joined Marine on loan until 6 January.

George has made two league appearances from the bench for Southport. He made his debut, coming on as a sub, against Scarborough in the FA Cup and scored with his second touch.

He then picked up a bad injury in the game against Brackley in mid-October and has been out of action since then.

The 22-year-old, who played last season in Scotland with Motherwell and Albion Rovers, will join the BetVictor Division One North West side in order to gain game-time."

29 November, 2019


24 hours before the tie today at Fratton Park, Portsmouth reported that "Pompey have been steadily climbing the League One table in recent weeks to close in on the play-off spots. But the focus switches to FA Cup progress this weekend, with National League North outfit Altrincham visiting the south coast.

Kenny Jackett... said 'It’s important you don’t overestimate or underestimate any opposition, while realising you have to set your own standards. The team you’re playing against will obviously have an effect, but you need to take ownership of your own performance.

'It might be a little bit more low-key than Rotherham on Tuesday or Peterborough the following Saturday but that doesn’t matter. It’s something we have to overcome and make sure that we get the crowd on board. We know a lot about Altrincham and I’ve got friends who work in that league and have played them recently. We’ve done our due diligence...

We want to get through to third round. We won’t be messing with the team too much. I might feel that someone needs a break, but I don’t want the rhythm to change for the sake of it.'

Pompey go into Saturday’s contest having suffered just one defeat in their past 12 fixtures in all competitions.

Jackett said 'Recent results and performances have encouraged everyone and it means our season is ahead of us and that’s an exciting prospect. You look at the table and we’re within touching distance of the top six, but what matters now is what we do moving forward'".

Portsmouth News reports that "Kenny Jackett once lived in Altrincham, now he's facing them in the FA Cup...

Jackett has history with Altrincham, having lived in Timperley, a village within the Manchester town, during 2007. At the time working as under-23s boss with Manchester City, he stayed for seven months before [being] installed as Millwall’s manager. Ironically, Jackett’s maiden game in charge was an FA Cup first-round trip to Altrincham, the town where he was still residing.

Above: Kenny Jackett's Millwall and Altrincham run out onto the pitch at Moss Lane in November 2007, and in the queue of players Alty's Colin Little greets his former Crewe team-mate, Millwall's Marcus Bignot now the joint manager at Guiseley.

It was a fixture safely negotiated, albeit Millwall fighting back from a 1-0 half-time deficit to triumph 2-1. And, 12 years later, he once again encounters the club from his ex-home town.

Jackett told The News, ‘Altrincham is a nice place. I used to live in Timperley, which is a village in Altrincham. For a season I worked with Stuart Pearce at Manchester City, I was number three with my role involving taking the under-23s... Then when I got the Millwall job, my first game was Altrincham away in the FA Cup three days later. I was still living there at the time, half a mile from the ground. I travelled from Millwall to Altrincham on the coach that day, we trained on the way up'...

And Jackett has been picking the brains of others to get the low down on the 15th-placed side. He added ‘We have done our research. A good friend of mine, Russell Slade, is manager of Hereford and they played them a few weeks ago. Hereford lost 5-1, but some people at that level will always help you.’"

Given Slade's Hereford team had no answer to Alty, hopefully his advice will not have been much help to Jackett!

Portsmouth also report that "Pompey are aiming to take their total earnings from this season’s FA Cup to £165,000 on Saturday... While Kenny Jackett’s side won’t be underestimating their opponents, it’d be a major giant killing should the National League North side advance into the coveted third round.

The Manchester-based side sit 66 places below Pompey in the pyramid. The Blues have already banked £110,000 from the Cup. They received a £36,000 windfall for the 2-1 victory at Harrogate Town earlier this month, along with a £75,000 broadcast fee from the game being aired on BT Sport.

Should Jackett’s troops prevail into the next stage, an additional £54,000 in prize money will be added to the PO4 coffers... as the January transfer window approaches. Then that would mean the Blues are in the hat for the third round, meaning there’d be the chance of drawing a big Premier League side. Of course, Pompey could have accrued even more cash had they took [sic] up the option for the game to be broadcast by a overseas TV company.

However, the offer was turned down as the club were keen to ensure a Saturday afternoon fixture for the Fratton faithful". In fact, the game IS being televeised overseas.

In addition, Portsmouth have a preview which states that they "will look to avoid being victims of an FA Cup upset when they face Altrincham... Their opponents have enjoyed plenty of past giant-killings, most notably in the 1980s, and upset Barnsley four years ago...

And they head to the south coast on the back of an impressive 10-match unbeaten run in all competitions... It means there will be two in-form sides meeting on Saturday, with Pompey losing just one of their past 12 fixtures...

Pompey have no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s win, while a fit-again Sean Raggett is back in contention. Ross McCrorie (hamstring) and Tom Naylor (hamstring) are both expected to return to full training next week. Jack Whatmough is not ready for selection after recovering from a serious knee problem, while Bryn Morris (groin) is still sidelined...

This will be the first competitive meeting between the two clubs... The match has been selected for live overseas television coverage and supporters should check local listings to see if it is being televised in their region... Pompey are the 1/5 favourites with Sky Bet to progress on the day, while the visitors can be backed at 12/1."


In advance of Saturday's FA Cup clash...


The Portsmouth News reports that "Kenny Jackett reveals Portsmouth selection plans for [the] Altrincham FA Cup game".

The article says that "Pompey won’t make wholesale changes for this Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Altrincham. Kenny Jackett wants the Blues to carry on their momentum and make it eight games unbeaten in all competitions..

The hosts are firm favourites to be in the hat for Monday night’s third-round draw and are looking to avoid a banana skin. The Blues have built impetus in recent weeks after a stuttering start to the season, with their 3-2 victory over Rotherham moving them to within two points of the play-offs. Despite playing an Altrincham side 66 places below them in the pyramid, Jackett is set to name a similar side to the one that beat the Millers.

The boss said ‘We won’t be messing with it too much. If I do feel someone needs a break or a change then I’ll be looking for like for like. I don’t want the rhythm of the side necessarily changing for the sake of it or give people minutes. It is an important competition, winning is a good habit and we have to do everything we can to win'...

He added, ‘Sean Raggett will be added to the group – he's been training this week. For the likes of McCrorie and Naylor, a realistic target for them to come back is next Saturday against Peterborough.’"


Travel Co-ordinator Mark Eckersall writes "Thanks to all who have booked with us for Saturday's trip to Portsmouth. We are on our way to filling our third and final coach now and it's going to be a great day down there for everyone with such good numbers travelling.

We are looking for a supporter on each coach to help on the day by counting people back on the coaches before we leave Fratton Park and the services and arrange a collection for our drivers on the way home.

You'll be a point of contact for passengers but will also have the spare driver on each coach to liaise with and my phone number if you need any help at all.

The coaches are alcohol free and as all tickets have been paid in advance, it will just be a ticket check rather than cash collection so it's nice and easy.

As a thank you we are happy to reimburse your coach ticket and you'll be really helping us to make the day run smoothly.

It's a responsible job so we are looking for someone over 21 who will take it on for us, there will be very little impact on your trip and full instructions and support will be given.

Can you help? Please drop me an e-mail as soon as possible and we will make plans."


The BetVictor NPL reports that "Ashton United have appointed Michael Clegg as their new manager.

The Premier Division side recently parted ways with Jody Banim... The club have announced that he will take charge of training from next week...

‘Despite broad interest in our vacancy from a number of outstanding individuals, Michael fits the ethos and ambition of our club perfectly,' said joint chairmen David and Jonathan Burke".

"The main headlines of the NWCFL midweek action were the return of former Wales and Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage to competitive action as he turned out for NWCFL First Division South side Stockport Town after signing just 24 hours previously.

Monday saw the 45-year-old turn out for Adam Jones side and with the Sky Sports cameras there, they ran out 3-2 winners against league leaders FC Oswestry Town".


On Tuesday in the North West Division of the NPL, 120 spectators saw Colne lose 1-2 at home to Trafford, for whom the goals came from Lewis Salmon and Lewis Walters.


Bradford (Park Avenue) "owner Gareth Roberts has confirmed that the club have agreed terms on a 30-year lease to take control of Horsfall Stadium from the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

The proposals have been in the pipeline for months, but now the paperwork has finally been completed and the lease will be effective once it is approved by Fields in Trust which has already indicated that it should be a formality. Roberts and The Horsfall Community Trust, which he helped found two years ago, have ambitious plans and are looking to install a 3G pitch, improve lighting, fencing, roadways and parking, and some building work, with help from funding partners.

The improvements would provide a space to extend and improve existing uses, provide a better experience, and allow more opportunity for the public, especially children, to play a range of sporting activities at the ground every day, something the owner feels is vital for the Bradford community.

Roberts, who is from Bradford but now lives in Texas, flew over from America at the end of last week to help finalise the deal.

Gareth said 'We’ve been working hard on the lease for a long time... We have created the conditions for the community to come together and invest in what I believe can be a fantastic sports hub and a whole set of varied facilities for decades to come. In anticipation of the signing of the lease, we have appointed Colin Wilson as our Consultant Director of Development to add to our existing team and help pull everything together...

Gareth also said, 'We’ve got plenty of pictures of what the ground should look like in future... In the works are security fencing around the site, a 3G pitch and get some proper lights fitted around the ground, as the current lights are pointing all over the place! We couldn’t apply for financial help from the FA Stadium Improvement Fund until the lease was signed.

The project is close to Gareth Roberts’ heart. His family is originally from Wibsey and feels that there is not enough on offer for youngsters in the city, despite the best efforts of the council...

'My goal is to help kids in Bradford. So many of the local grass pitches are in poor shape. Our proposed 3G pitch could be used every day and the new, modern lights cost less to run too...

'We need to get the 3G pitch laid, with a crash pad underneath, so it suits both rugby and football, before we can have rugby played there... There will be play on the 3G pitch during the week and on weekends. We could stage amateur rugby league games if teams want to use it, and we could potentially look at enabling or creating another rugby league team to play there, up to Rugby League Championship standard. To come up to those standards we would need a few things doing, but not too much. And our official capacity is about 3,500 but with a few changes, we could quickly expand that to 5,000.

'These improvements will not come cheap and, unfortunately, the 3G pitch is not eligible to get any funding from the football powers that be. That means that we will need to find partners to help with its funding'".

The Telegraph & Argus adds, regarding rugby, that "Roberts is not thought to have held discussions with the Bulls' new owners over a potential ground share but had previously pledged support to accommodate the club following their decision to leave Odsal...

Roberts dubbed the Bulls' move out of the city to play at Dewsbury 'a sad day for Bradford' when their decision was announced... Bulls will play their 'home' games in 2020 at Dewsbury's Tetley's Stadium but the new ownership have made it their priority to return the club to Bradford.

Odsal has been mothballed by the RFL, who own the lease and estimate it will cost £130,000 to maintain the empty stadium next year with the hope Bulls will return to Odsal in 2021".

Bulls' News informs us that "Hereford have confirmed that Tuesday's game with York City will take place as planned after their suggestion to move the fixture was turned down by the Minstermen.

As reported here, there was talk that the match could be moved to December 14 due to both clubs now being free on that date.

But York turned down the request to move it, stating that changing the date would be detrimental to any of their fans who have booked non-refundable travel and/or accommodation."

Gateshead report that "The Heed travel to Norfolk to face the league leaders on Saturday in search of a big result following a rough patch of form

Gateshead face the Vanarama National League North leaders, King's Lynn Town, on Saturday in search of a return to form.

The Heed were defeated twice at Altrincham and Halesowen Town last week, but now have the opportunity to get things back on track by claiming a big result in Norfolk."

28 November 2019


Another managerial casualty in their North division is reported by the National League which confirms that "John Pemberton has left his role as manager of Kidderminster Harriers".

The Kidderminster Harriers statement says that the club "can confirm the departure of John Pemberton from the club with immediate effect.

Discussions were held with John earlier this week in light of the team’s current league position and early exit from the FA Cup and FA Trophy. While managing the club has had its challenges this season, we feel strongly that, with the players at our disposal and with what is a considerable budget for this division, we should be in a far better situation than we currently find ourselves.

At the end of these discussions, John offered his resignation which was accepted by the club. We would like to thank John for his effort while in post and wish him well for the future.

The club feels it is still well placed to achieve this season, and as such, the owners will take their time in appointing the team’s next manager, an appointment which will be crucial.

In the interim, Assistant Manager Russ Penn will take charge of the team for at least the next three or four matches, with our full support. It is clear that Russ, is extremely popular with both players, staff and supporters and we are confident they will respond accordingly during a busy period of fixtures".

However a different slant is to be found in the Halesowen News which says that "Ex-Kidderminster Harriers boss John Pemberton has launched an astonishing attack on the club in a row over his resignation.

Pemberton claims a statement from the Harriers announcing his departure was fake news designed to blame him for the club's poor form. He claims when he was hired he was told he would get cash to buy players but, two weeks later, the club said it was in administration and the coffers were empty.

Pemberton said 'I was given a blind horse and asked to win the Grand National. All I've been told is lies. The statement made it clear they have taken no responsibility. I found the position untenable, I cannot carry on in the circumstances, for six months it's been a firefight.

'I have had no backing at the club, all they have done is move the goalposts, I was promised the Earth but they cut budgets'...

The former boss says budgets were so tight he was not sure if there would be a team bus for an away match at Blyth Spartans. He added 'I had nine players for pre-season, I signed Ashley Hemmings and thought that would start a turnaround but I was told I couldn't bring in any players.'

Pemberton, who has previously worked for bigger clubs including Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City, says he was willing to go quietly until he read the statement. He said 'I found it difficult to read, I thought that is not right. I walked away and was happy to keep my mouth shut but they are pushing it under my door. I wish they had been honest from day one so I knew what I was walking into.'

Harriers declined to make further comment."

The Leamington Observer reports that "The Brakes have been rewarded for their slender victory over Spennymoor Town with a trip to another National League North rival in AFC Telford United in the first round of the FA Trophy.

A 2-1 win at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium, courtesy of goals from Connor Taylor and Jack Edwards, continued Leamington’s recent revival as they extended their winning run to three games... The result against the division high-fliers was made all the more impressive given that Paul Holleran was without George Carline, Jordan Murphy, Dexter Walters and Callum Maycock due to administration problems, while Josh March was rested despite passing a late fitness test.

After a lacklustre start to proceedings, Leamington took an 18th-minute lead when Taylor fizzed a shot into the bottom corner of the net from Kaiman Anderson’s lay-off... Spennymoor were made to survive for extended periods without possession but went close through Glen Taylor’s effort...

After a slow start to the second half, the visiting Moors threatened to level the tie... Chances continued to be wasted as Edwards failed to trouble Spennymoor keeper Matt Gould with a header, a miss that looked to be crucial as the visitors levelled 11 minutes from time through Taylor...

But just five minutes later the Brakes were back in front, following a goalmouth scramble from Junior English’s cross that was poked home by Edwards past the helpless Gould. Leamington managed to see the game out with relative ease, meaning they go into Saturday’s trip to Guiseley on the crest of a wave."

King's Lynn Town "secured their passage into the first round of the FA Trophy with a stunning replay victory at Edgar Street, Hereford on Tuesday evening.

With both teams locked in a Walks stalemate at the weekend this time they [King's Lynn] made no mistake in front of goal and early strikes from Rory McAuley and Ross Barrows, both from set pieces, saw Town ease into a two goal lead with only seven minutes played.

As was to be expected the hosts came more into the game in the second spell and Lynn had keeper Alex Street to thank for preserving their two goal advantage when he produced a fine penalty stop to prevent the hosts reducing the arrears. With five minutes remaining substitute Sonny Carey made sure there was to be no sniff of a home comeback with a goal from close range to complete a memorable evening for the Linnets.

Lynn will now host National Conference side Dover Athletic on Saturday December 14th."


According to NL Daily, "Six clubs that have been playing in this season’s Buildbase FA Trophy or Buildbase FA Vase are in with a chance of winning a share of the Buildbase £100k Transfer Deal 2019 to renovate their facilities.

The six-strong shortlist includes Stowmarket Town FC, Bridlington Town AFC and Cottesmore Amateurs S&S from the Buildbase FA Vase and Barton Rovers FC, Basford United FC and Hendon FC from the Buildbase FA Trophy.

The clubs will pitch against each other and present their plans to a panel of judges at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Monday 9 December 2019. Two winning clubs will each walk away with a £25,000 product bursary, which includes building, electrical and hire products to renovate their club facilities.

Judges from Buildbase and the FA will be looking for the clubs to demonstrate how feasible their renovation plans are as well as how far they go to benefit the club and fans as well as wider community.

As part of the application process, clubs have been working with local Buildbase branches to plan and cost out their projects from enhancing the spectator standing area at Stowmarket Town to creating a professional kitchen at Hendon FC.

Paul Roche, Managing Director of Buildbase said 'Many non-league football clubs desperately need support to improve their facilities and every year we’re inspired by the passion and vision of those applying. It’s a competitive programme and those shortlisted have done exceptionally well to get this far. We look forward to hearing more about their projects at Wembley.'

The Buildbase renovation programme has been running since the builders’ merchant became the title sponsor of the FA Trophy and Vase in 2016. The latest winners are Weymouth FC and Barnoldswick Town FC".

27 November 2019


Altrincham Football Club "announce that local businessman John Coyne has accepted our invitation to join the board of the football club, which will come into effect following our next board meeting in December and is subject to passing the Football Association’s Fit and Proper Persons test...

We hope to make further announcements of this nature in the coming months." For the full story, follow the above link.


Altrincham FC Ladies' Reserves/Development team won its first game of the season. As the Ladies first team game was postponed, the Development squad was boosted by a number of dual signings. Next Sunday they are at home to Mersey Valley Ladies at Egerton Sports Club.


Tuesday's FA Trophy replays which affect National League North and other "northern" clubs are:
  • Alfreton Town P-P Blyth Spartans AFC - waterlogged pitch
  • Hereford FC 0-3 King's Lynn Town

Third Qualifying Round

  • Stourbridge 1-1 South Shields


The NW Counties Football League reports that "Northwich Victoria have announced that an agreement has been reached between both Witton Albion Football Club and the football club to extend the ground share agreement until the end of the 2021/22 season.

The deed of variation was signed by John Salmon, Chairman of Witton Albion FC and by Brian Turner, chairman of Northwich Victoria FC. This extension is of great benefit to both clubs going forward."

And from the BetVictor NPL we learn that "Scarborough Athletic have parted company with manager John Deacey after their disappointing start to the season continued with a 3-1 defeat at Bamber Bridge.

A club statement said 'We would like to inform our supporters that our manager John Deacey has today left the club by mutual consent. We appointed John based on his excellent track record of getting teams promoted from our current league and the league above. Sadly both for John and ourselves we are not seeing the progress we had anticipated'...

Deacey managed just four wins from 18 league games in charge, and the Seadogs have only earned seven points from eight home games. He took over in April following the departure of Steve Kittrick."

Other recent sackings in the North West have seen former Droylsden players Jody Banim leave Ashton United and his former team-mate at the Butcher's Arms, Paul Phillips depart from Buxton.


From the BetVictor NPL we learn that former Alty loanee "Liam King made his return to action for Gainsborough in the FA Trophy defeat to Darlington on Saturday.

King, 31, cancelled his playing contract by mutual consent back in February following injury problems, but soon after was appointed caretaker manager after the departure of [ex-Alty boss] Lee Sinnott. After winning his first three games in charge, King was put in charge until the end of the season and made permanent in the summer.

Last month, Curtis Woodhouse was appointed as manager with King stepping down to coach. Earlier in his career, he played for Matlock Town, North Ferriby United and Halifax Town."


There has been further player-movement at Gloucester City, where "City have signed Daniel Sweeney from Solihull Moors on loan until the 2nd of January.

Sweeney came through the Kidderminster Harriers Academy and signed a professional contract with the Aggborough side aged just 17. After loan periods at Halesowen Town and Stourport Swifts, he joined Solihull in 2018.

He later went on to appear for Hednesford Town in the Southern Premier League where he scored seven goals in ten loan appearances. He made eight appearances, scoring once, in the National League for the Moors in the 2018/19 season.

There were further loan moves this campaign to Leamington and then most recently to Bradford (Park Avenue) where he scored in their 3-2 win over Hereford and put in several impressive performances in the National North.

On his arrival at the club, James Rowe added 'Dan is a versatile attacking player and he has got huge potential. He is initially joining us on a short-term loan deal. His performances during this period will determine what happens after that.'

The 21 year old can either play in midfield, on the wing or as a forward and becomes Rowe’s third new addition to the squad."

Lincolnshire Live says that "Craig Elliott is backing his Boston United side to bounce back from their FA Trophy elimination ahead of Sunday’s eagerly-awaited FA Cup trip to Rochdale.

The Pilgrims, who made eight changes prior to their FA Trophy clash at Atherton Collieries, head to Spotland looking to reach the coveted third round when the Premier League and Championship big boys enter the draw.

Sunday’s clash (kick-off 2pm) is being featured on BBC’s Final Score programme, earning the Pilgrims £12,500 in the process, with a further £54,000 on offer for the winners.

Reflecting on their FA Trophy exit and responding at Rochdale, Elliott said 'That is what football is all about. You have got to move on quickly and you cannot dwell on it. I never like losing games. We have got a great week to look forward to and it’s an exciting period for us.

'You have got to look at the positives. It resets your mind that this is what can happen if you are not at it. It will focus us a bit more in the league to ensure we maintain our standards. We will train three times this week and start to prepare for Rochdale. We know how hard it is going to be going away to a League One club but we will look forward to it and embrace the challenge.'

Despite losing to Atherton, the Pilgrims pocketed £1,250 in the process.

Notts County loanee Pierce Bird joined the Pilgrims on Friday but lasted just 32 minutes on his debut at Atherton after sustaining a facial injury which required extensive treatment. Elliott was left cursing his luck after Bird joined fellow centre-halves Lewis Gibbens (groin), Simon Ainge (hamstring) and Alex Penny (concussion) on the sidelines.

'It’s crazy,' added Elliott. 'I have never known anything like it and to lose four centre-backs over the last four or five Saturdays is ridiculous. Pierce gives you great balance as a left-footed centre-back and he has got a bit of experience playing in the league above for a big club.

'He should be a great signing for us but we just need a bit of luck in that department. We have had nobody settled (alongside Luke Shiels) and it’s an important part of the pitch.'

The Pilgrims, who moved up to fifth in National League North following their 2-0 win over Blyth Spartans last Tuesday, are back in league action on Saturday, December 7 at Kidderminster Harriers."

At Gateshead midfielder "Elliot Forbes offered his thoughts on a ‘frustrating’ Buildbase FA Trophy third qualifying round tie at Halesowen Town as Gateshead exited the competition.

Chances were at a premium for much of the game, although the clearest fell the way of the Heed, but Simeon Cobourne struck in the 86th minute to send the Southern League Division One Central side through to the first round.

'We’re very disappointed to be fair,' Forbes said. 'I thought we controlled the game first-half to be honest. In the second half, I feel as if we didn’t play as much football but we had more chances while they’ve had a couple of chances all game. I thought our build up play was very good at some points, we just lacked a bit of tenacity in front of goal and a bit of ruthlessness and that’s what has killed us.

'I probably should have done better for the goal, I should have won my header. I just felt it was a frustrating game overall to be honest.'

The 20-year-old was deployed in a central defensive role as part of the back three alongside Toby Lees and Michael Nelson, and revealed that the coaching staff have been keen to see him in a deeper position.

'I’ve been doing a bit in training for the past couple of weeks at the back,' he continued. 'Mike, Busted and Nelse wanted to see how I play at the back, it’s good seeing the game from different positions so I was up for it. Recently the lads have been doing well so it’s been hard to get back into the team to be fair.

'I enjoyed the centre-back role because you see a lot of the ball, you can step in and you see the game in a different way.'

The Heed face another long trip next Saturday with an away clash at leaders King’s Lynn Town".

And Tribal Football has a "Mike Williamson exclusive"...

"'Iron Mike' was a moniker made famous two decades ago by former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, known for his strength and ferocious nature in the ring. While Mike Williamson didn't slug people in the jaw, he was awarded the same title by Newcastle United supporters for the courage and selflessness he displayed commandeering the backline at St. James' Park for five Premier League seasons.

Now 36, Williamson faces a completely new challenge in his footballing career as player-manager of National League North side Gateshead F.C. Not only did the Englishman enter his first full season in management this past summer, but he did so with a club teetering on the brink of extinction. The tumultuous single-year ownership of Hong Kong-based Indian businessman Rangan Varghese ended with Gateshead demoted one league, their playing squad completely bare, essentially evicted from their stadium and a reputation in tatters...

He told 'It actually wasn't as worrying to come in and takeover because I knew what the club were capable of and they promised certain things and they followed through with that straight away. I knew that I could trust them and as soon as I built that trust with them it was just a case of accepting the challenge, which I'm all about'...

The unstable situation lead to a mass exile of the playing squad in the summer, except for Williamson, who took on the unenviable task of piecing everything back together... 'We had a lot of people very doubtful and didn't want to commit to a club or a team that wasn't secure. And the fact that we had zero players, nobody signed on, it made it a little bit more difficult... With the club remaining full-time and a return to the International Stadium, a number of old players were quickly brought back. Williamson then filled out the squad with a mixture of free transfers and loan signings from clubs in the Football League, including Dom Tear (Huddersfield Town), Brad James (Middlesbrough) and Joshua Kayode (Rotherham).

Williamson says much of the credit must go to his assistant for Ian Watson, who he calls the "heart and soul" of Gateshead. "Basically it was just a case of selling our vision and get them to buy into what we are doing, and once we got a couple to come in and re-signed a few players from last season so they already knew how we operated and how we worked and how we were looking to build. "Once we got a few to commit it was easier to sell because the momentum started building and people were buying into to what we were doing. '[Ian Watson's] been brilliant, he is like an unsung hero at the football club. He's the heart and soul. And because he's a North East lad he's got a lot of connections. 90 per cent, probably 95 per cent of the recruitment was him. Having just moved back to the area and not being so familiar with the lower leagues, it was difficult for me so...

'It's a completely different set of skills to be honest, playing and managing... making sure you're physically and mentally right to go out and perform on a Saturday and making sure you've got everything else covered behind the scenes and you're making the right decisions'"

We learn from Cheshire Live that "Chester FC revealed an operating loss of £15,343 for the year ending May 29, 2019, it was revealed [sic] at the club's AGM.

Members were updated as to the finances for the 2018/19 period at a meeting in the Blues Bar at the newly christened 1885 Arena on Thursday evening, where entrepreneur and club donor Stuart Murphy was also present to pitch his plans for a multi-million pound sports village on Bumpers Lane.

There had been some considerable belt tightening at Chester since their well publicised financial struggles that came to light in January 2018 and the loss this past financial year was largely attributed to the struggles of a financial firm, Richmond Sports, who provided educational funds for the Blues' scholars' programme.

The passing of the owner of Richmond Sports had caused the company to fall into financial difficulty, it was explained at the AGM, with club not expecting the £11,000 that it was owed.

Richmond Sports' role with the football club was to distribute funding from the Department for Education, retaining some funding for the educational services they provided and passing a proportion to the football club for the parts they provide.

Chester chairman David Harrington-Wright, whose professional expertise lies in debt recovery, told members 'The (Richmond Sports) business is currently being liquidated, its asset base is nil, it has a debt to HMRC and it has a debt to a finance company who are now trying to recover some of the equipment we have here (which was provided by Richmond Sports). I'm not a betting man but I wouldn't put anything on us recovering any of that money now, we are at the bottom of a very long list.

'It is one of those situations. We couldn't foresee it as a club. I don't expect us to receive the monies and we have had to make provisions to write it off.'

Total income for the 2018/19 period came in at £858,890, down from £1,041,185 for the 12 months previous. Matchday income was actually up very slightly (£751) with a total of £236,777 for the 18/19 period although money generated from season ticket sales was down with £160,502 compared to £185,663 the previous year.

One of the biggest driving factors in the income being down was the money generated from the loss of central funding following relegation from the National League as well as a lack of progress in cup competitions. In 17/18 the combined figure stood at £113,344 but was down to £33,813 for 18/19. Commercial revenue was up around £5,000 at £164,603 while around £158,000 was brought in through fundraising, the Seals Lottery and donations, a large chunk of the sizeable £118,131 figure coming via Stuart Murphy.

CFU Membership brought in £20,198 while the club recouped transfer fees to the tune of £28,000 via the sales of Jordan Archer to Bury and James Jones to Salford City. Staff costs were down £233,295 from 17/18 with the 18/19 figure standing at £503,319 following relegation to the National League compared to £736,614 for the 17/18 period. Match costs, which include pitch hire for training, were £142,804, down £2,435.

Rent and rates were up £8,381 to £53,231 for 18/19 while travel costs were down to £4,012 from £11,159 the previous year due to the regionalisation of the National League North compared to the National League."

26 November 2019


"It is with great sadness that Skelmersdale United announce that the Amateur Cup Winner Stan Allan sadly passed away today

Stan joined United from Kirkby Town at the start of the 1968-69 season and won numerous medals with the club, none more so than the triumpant Amateur Cup winner's medal in 1971. During the 1969-70 season, Stan was an ever present playing more than 60 games in the season

After leaving at the end of the 71-72 season Stan joined Altrincham first as a player and later as manager, whilst on the playing staff, Stan who made over 600* appearances for Alty, won the FA Trophy becoming the first player to win both the top non-league honours".

Terry Rowley's "Legends" profile of Stan Allan, who was 73 years of age, states...

"Stan is one of that select group of players who will always be associated with Altrincham's glory days as a player. He joined Altrincham in the summer of 1972 from Skelmersdale at the age of 26 and had already a winner's medal, having won an Amateur Cup winner's medal at Wembley with Skelmersdale.

Over the next ten seasons he played in over 600 first team games and made the right-back position his own in the Altrincham line-up. A born winner, he was gritty and tenacious, tackled hard and read the game well but was prone to flashes of temper.

Above: Stan is pictured in the Altrincham squad of 1975-76.

He made a piece of history when he played at Wembley in the 1978 FA Trophy final where he became the first player to win both an FA Amateur Cup and FA Trophy medal. He went on to play just as consistently in the early years of the Alliance Premier League, winning a Championship medal in 1979/80 and the league and league cup double the following season.

He eventually moved onto the coaching staff at Altrincham, first under Tony Sanders, followed by John King and finally under John Williams. He moved on into management with Witton and Accrington Stanley before returning for what would be a disastrous spell back at Altrincham in season 1991/92 which saw the previous season's nearly successful Conference side dismantled and almost resulted in the Robins being relegated. This eventually saw Allan sacked at Easter, after a particularly humiliating defeat at Witton Albion. He is credited with 'finding' Kevin Ellison and selling him to Altrincham, whilst manager at Conwy and then had a spell assisting Bernard Taylor as unofficial coach during our one season back in the Conference (1999-2000) after Graham Heathcote had resigned as coach.

What Stan should be remembered for is not his career in management but for his role as one of the best right-backs this club has ever fielded and the essential part he played along with John Davison, John Owens in making Altrincham such a hard team to break down".


The Altrincham FC club shop will be opening tonight (Tuesday) from 5pm till 8pm. Scarves, hats and replica shirts will all be available to allow fans to get ready for Saturday's FA Cup trip to Portsmouth. The club has thanked kit supplier Ian Senior for his help.


Altrincham travel to West Yorkshire to face Farsley Celtic in the FA Trophy First Round on 14 December. The sides have never met in the Trophy but Alty did play Farsley's forerunners in the FA Cup in 2004 when Alty ran out 4-1 winners in the 2nd Round Qualifying, thanks to goals from Hallows (2), Hussin and Little.

Mike Garnett provides the data on previous encounters with the current manifestation of Farsley Celtic, Altrincham's next opponents in the Buildbase FA Trophy.

  • Home: P2-2-0-0-9-1
  • Away: P1-1-0-0-1-0
  • All: P3-3-0-0-10-1

Farsley currently lie seventh in the table with six more points than Altrincham but they have played two more league games.

Farsley Celtic report that they "defeated Workington 1-0 in the third qualifying round on Saturday to reach the first round proper for a third time since reforming, with an all-National League North tie awaiting.

Altrincham have already seen off National League North opposition after defeating York City 1-0 in the previous round, and have showed [sic] their cup pedigree this season, reaching the FA Cup second round.

The Robins have got one over on Farsley already this season after a 3-1 victory at the J. Davidson Stadium back in August, so Adam Lakeland’s side will be seeking revenge as they look to reach the second round for the first time. The tie is set to take place on Saturday 14th December at the Citadel."

1 IN 256

I am reliably informed that the chances of a team being drawn in eight successive away cup ties is 1 in 256! But that is what has happened to Altrincham this season.

Between mid-September and mid-December, Altrincham have twelve away games out of sixteen fixtures (75%).

  • Sat. 14.9.19 AWAY Kidderminster Harriers LOST
  • Sat. 21.9.19 AWAY Chester FC (FA Cup) DREW
  • Tue. 24.9.19 HOME CHESTER FC (FA Cup replay) WON
  • Sat. 5.10.19 AWAY Halesowen Town (FA Cup) WON
  • Sat. 12.10.19 AWAY Guiseley DREW
  • Sat. 19.10.19 AWAY Southport (FA Cup) WON
  • Sat. 2.11.19 AWAY King's Lynn Town DREW
  • Sat. 9.11.19 AWAY York City (FA Cup) WON
  • Sat. 16.11.19 HOME HEREFORD FC WON
  • Tue. 19.11.19 HOME GATESHEAD WON
  • Sat. 23.11.19 AWAY York City (FA Trophy) WON
  • Sat. 30.11.19 AWAY Portsmouth (FA Cup)
  • Tue. 3.12.19 AWAY Stalybridge Celtic (CSC)
  • Sat. 7.12.19 AWAY Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Tue.10.12.19 HOME BLYTH SPARTANS
  • Sat.14.12.19 AWAY Farsley Celtic (FA Trophy)

The silver lining comes over Christmas when Alty currently have five home games out of six league fixtures:

  • Thu.26.12.19 AWAY Curzon Ashton
  • Sat.28.12.19 HOME SOUTHPORT

But then, after New Year, it's a familiar story with four out of six games away from home. There's also an away trip to Spennymoor Town to be slotted in some time too!

  • Sat.4.1.20 AWAY Leamington
  • Sat.11.1.20 HOME GUISELEY
  • Sat.18.1.20 AWAY Gateshead
  • Tue.28.1.20 AWAY Kettering Town
  • Sat.1.2.20 AWAY AFC Telford United


Details of supporters' coach travel and ticketing arrangements for the Portsmouth v Altrincham FA Cup tie on Saturday, 30 November, are here


Portsmouth "are hopeful Sean Raggett will be available for the FA Cup second-round tie against Altrincham.

The on-loan Norwich defender limped off with an adductor injury during the Blues’ 2-1 victory at Harrogate in the opening round of the competition earlier this month. Raggett missed the 3-0 victory at Rochdale on Saturday, along with hamstring-victims Tom Naylor and Ross McCrorie.

All three will remain sidelined for Rotherham’s visit to Fratton Park tomorrow night.

But while Naylor and McCrorie are earmarked to return for Peterborough’s trip to the South Coast on December 7, Raggett may be back to face the National League North outfit this weekend.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett said 'We’ll be working with the same group we had on Saturday. We had no injuries from that game. Raggett has a chance for that (Altrincham) of being available. For McCrorie and Naylor, with the nature of their injuries, I think it’s more likely to be next Saturday.’"

As mentioned here yesterday, Raggett is a familiar face to Altrincham having played against the club some half a dozen times for Dover Athletic and Lincoln City.

Off the field, Portsmouth report that "Hospitality packages are available for the visit of National League North club Altrincham... including a five-course meal in our Chairman’s Lounge, four-course meal in our Chimes and Montgomery Lounges, and a two-course carvery in the recently-refurbished Legends' Lounge.

With prices starting from just £45 for adults and £30 for juniors, it is the perfect opportunity to experience our first-class matchday hospitality".


Altrincham beat York City 1-0 in the FA Trophy last Saturday and now York Press tells us that "Steve Watson has urged his York City players to find confidence within themselves following Saturday's defeat to Altrincham.

The 1-0 FA Trophy third qualifying round tie loss was another in which commentors have noted an apparent lack of self-belief in the side. But at National League North level, he explains, there are not as many people around to 'help as much with that' and so it is up to City to find it within.

The Minstermen return to Bootham Crescent this Saturday, when they face Alfreton Town in the league, a game Watson has said City will aim to go into 'all guns blazing'.

With Tuesday evening's North Riding County FA Senior Cup match against Pickering Town the exception, it was City's third defeat in four, a run which also included their first National League North reversal of the season. Curzon Ashton's win at the Tameside Stadium cost York their leadership of the division, though they are still second in the table and two points off table-toppers King's Lynn Town with a game in hand.

Watson said 'It frustrates me hearing people say "were your team lacking a lot of confidence" when you're sitting second in the table with a game in hand? Without having a go at my players, a lot of these lads maybe aren't mentally strong. It's a big club to play for and sometimes, when things aren't going your way, that's a side of football at these levels you don't have people around to help as much with that.

'It's something we need to find among ourselves, that confidence, that belief and that mental strength to brush this off, learn from it and concentrate on one thing only and that's to try and get out of this league, which is what everybody wants.'

He added 'To get promoted or have a chance of winning the title, you've got to have good home form, and at the moment, the players are not showing enough confidence at home. We all need to address that. I've no doubt we're good enough and we've got a strong enough squad to win the next two league games. If we do that, then everything changes again. It's finding the right blend of players to come out against Alfreton all-guns-blazing, front-foot football and force the win.'"


Ashton United report that "The board has decided to part company with manager Jody Banim by mutual consent.

The club wishes to place on record our thanks to Jody for his commitment and work over the past few years, both as a player and manager, especially in achieving promotion to The National League North".

Banim's assistant at Hurst Cross was former Alty winger Simon Woodford whilst on the playing staff of the Tameside club are ex-Robins, Sam Sheridan, Nicky Clee, Curtis Obeng and Luca Havern, as well as former loanee Liam Tomsett.

In other NW news, In Cumbria reports on National League leaders Barrow's need to upgrade Holker Street.


Last Saturday in the FA Trophy, King's Lynn Town reported that "They say charity begins at home - and King's Lynn Town may well have done rivals Hereford a big favour after their goalless draw at The Walks.

While it was FA Trophy third round qualifying business rather than the more important matter of National League North points, the draw was greeted more enthusiastically by the visitors.

Hereford are having a tough time of it in the league, in 13th place, so an away stalemate at the leaders was something of a feather in their caps, and gives them a more than decent opportunity on Tuesday night against a team who face a midweek trip of at least four hours with a playing squad considerably smaller than Hereford's.

That the Bulls held free-scoring Lynn to a blank will be another fillip; it was actually the first goalless afternoon Lynn fans had seen at home since December, 2018, in a league game against Kettering.

That was in large part due to Hereford keeper Brandon Hall, who pulled off a string of quality saves to keep Lynn at bay in the second half, and partly to sub Taylor Allen who, late on and with the goal gaping and from just a few yards out, hoisted a low cross from the right high, wide and ugly.

The first half was a game of few chances... The second half, perhaps with the growing realisation of the need to ask the boss for another half-day off, saw more urgency from Lynn... Hall's heroics almost got their reward at the other end but Allen fluffed his lines and midweek plans were quickly being rearranged".

Also in the FA Trophy, Alfreton Town earned a draw at Blyth Spartans where "Harvey Grice's superb volley eight minutes from time salvaged the Reds FA Trophy ambitions as we fought to a 1-1 draw at Croft Park, earning a replay with Blyth Spartans at the Impact on Tuesday night.

Second half substitute Grice reacted instinctively to a punch away by the Spartans keeper, to volley in an effort sending the travelling Reds wild as we earned a draw and remained in the hat for the first round of the FA Trophy...

The contest became end to end with Alfreton growing into the game as the first half progressed... before the hosts took the lead on 27 minutes. A short free kick was partially cleared by the Reds and the ball fell to Sweet who cut inside and finished low into the near corner past Jack Atkinson...

The second half we started far better and arguably should have equalised with 49 gone... The game seemed to be edging away from the Reds as Blyth wasted a few good openings as we continued to defend well, we had good periods on the ball but we were still looking for the elusive chance.

And the chance came on 82 minutes when Qualter's long ball towards Amari was met by the Spartans goalkeeper, the ball went as far as Harvey Grice who volleyed into the corner with a stunning instinctive finish."

Gloucester City "forward Jake Jackson has signed for Southern Premier League side Taunton Town on loan until the 2nd of January.

Jackson, who is 25, made a substitute appearance in the FA Trophy defeat on Sunday and joins Taunton to build up his match fitness and to recover from a dislocated shoulder injury".

Also from Gloucester City we learn that "both Luke Russe and Vincent Harper have returned to their parent clubs.

Luke returned to the Tigers for a second spell with the club on loan from Bristol Rovers and the midfielder was an ever-present during his time in the National North, scoring once in the 4-3 defeat at AFC Telford United and again in the 3-1 win over Guiseley.

Vince arrived at the beginning of the season from Bristol City. His eye-capturing runs forward from the left-back position saw him win several Man of the Match awards. His only City goal came in the 5-1 away defeat at Spennymoor Town...

Also departing the club are defenders Jack Spark and James Unwin, both of which were dual-registered to Lydney Town and Pershore Town respectively."

25 November 2019


The draw for the First Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy was made on TalkSport2 today (Monday). Alty are away for the eighth cup draw running this season; they travel to Farsley Celtic who they have never met in the Trophy previously. In 2019-20, so far, Alty have had five away ties in the FA Cup, two in the FA Trophy and one in the Cheshire Senior Cup!

The clubs from the National League enter the competition at this stage.

The draw is regionalised. Below is the northern section. Ties in the First Round are scheduled to be played on Saturday, 14 December.

  • Solihull Moors v Darlington
  • South Shields v Southport
  • BPA v Halesowen Town
  • Harrogate Town v Hartlepool Utd
  • Stockport County v Blyth Spartans/Alfreton Town
  • Chesterfield v Notts County
  • Hednesford Town v Chester FC
  • FC Halifax Town v Wrexham
  • AFC Telford United v Leamington
  • Farsley Celtic v ALTRINCHAM
  • Matlock Town v Chorley
  • FC United of Manchester v Kettering Town

In the south: Kings Lynn Town v Dover Athletic.


Following the win at York on Saturday, Altrincham FC has Phil Parkinson's interview with the Club's press and media officer, Brian Flynn.


Assuming he plays at Portsmouth on Saturday, centre-back James Jones will become Altrincham's ninth current player to have made 100 appearances for the club. At 22 years of age, he is also the youngest player to reach that number.

After spending 2016-17 at Welsh Premier club The New Saints, James played as a trialist for Alty in July 2017 but, in August, decided to try his luck elsewhere. However, he returned to Altrincham in time to make his debut on 23 August 2017.

Right: James Jones in action against AFC Telford United on 8 December, 2018

Before joining Altrincham, James had spent three seasons with The New Saints, moving through from their Academy to first team. His first season at Alty was slightly curtailed by a hamstring injury shortly before the end of the campaign. 2018-19 saw him as regular partner for Tom Hannigan at the heart of the defence.

In 2018-19 he was a virtual ever-present after reclaiming his position from new signing Liam Goulding and in 2019-20, once more, James has been first choice in the right-sided centre-back role. He was weighed in with several important goals, with three of his current haul of ten goals having come this season.


The death of former Altrincham FC chairman and chairman of the Football Conference, Bill King, has been announced.

The NL Paper quotes Altrincham's current chirman, Grahame Rowley, as saying "Bill joined the club in 1986 and his clarity and vision for the game soon led to him becoming chairman.

'In 1994 he stepped away to spend more time leading the Football Conference and he was instrumental in making it what it is today, a major player in the football industry. What a great job he did.

'He will be remembered with much fondness by all at Alty and, to the end, he remained a true and loyal friend with us'"


From the Through the Years data of Howard Watts and Mike Garnett, we learn that when Alty travel to Fratton Park on Saturday, 30 NOvember, it will be Altrincham's first-ever FA Cup tie on that date.

They have, however, played FA Trophy ties on that date and their three most recent games on 30 November were all in that competition. In 2013 they lost 1-2 at home to Leek Town, in 2004 they beat Gainsborough Trinity 1-0 at Moss Lane and in 2002, which was their most recent away game on that date, they overcame Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Horsfall Stadium, also 1-0.

In that last away game on 30 November, in 2002, it was an eighth-minute goal from Rod Thornley that secured the victory. BPA lay second in the Northern Premier League table at the time whilst Alty lay 16th at kick-off.

The game was played in steady rain more or less throughout and, in the second half, the visibility closed in quite markedly whilst the pitch became very heavy. Curiously, Altrincham supporter Angus Loughran ("Statto") sponsored the game.

Left: Alty manager Graham Heathcote peers into the second-half gloom and rain.

A fine all-round performance by Altrincham saw them come away from the Horsfall Stadium with victory. Rod Thornley's decisive goal arrived from 12 yards after a pass by Gallagher from the right, which had followed good work by Craney.

The second half was played in dreadful conditions with heavy rain making the pitch a gluepot and visibility being seriously reduced. Despite a lot of Bradford pressure Alty had the better chances and twice struck the crossbar as they played a breakaway strategy with marked success.

For this game, Altrincham welcomed back Gary Talbot to central defence, which allowed Peter Band to play further forward behind Rod Thornley, who was supported by Ian Craney. Also returning to the starting line-up was Sean Smith, for his first start in five games on the left of midfield. Simon Woodford and Andy McDonald were missing from the side that played on the previous Saturday, though Woodford was on the bench. Still out injured were Danny Murphy, Vernum Rowland and Neil Ryan. Kurt Edginton, who was last season's cover keeper, made his first appearance in an Alty squad this season.

In the pouring rain, all of the crowd huddled in the main stand, leaving the other three sides vacant apart from a small number of Bradford officials in the changing room complex on the far side of the pitch.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen ROSE, 7. Jason GALLAGHER, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Peter BAND, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Sean SMITH. Subs: 12. Steve LUNT, 13. Kurt EDGINTON, 14. Jon McEVOY, 15. Andy TUNNICLIFFE, 16. Simon WOODFORD.


Last Saturday, Portsmouth beat Rochdale at Spotland, 3-0, and they now lie eleventh in League One. They are unbeaten in their last six league and cup games.

They won the League One game at Rochdale after making just 290 passes compared with Rochdale's 625 and the Lancashire club enjoyed 68% of the possession. Portsmouth's pass accuracy was only 74% against Rochdale's 85%. However, the Hampshire club mustered 16 shots, four on target, to Rochdale's eight shots (2 on target).

Portsmouth themselves reported that "Ronan Curtis continued his run of fine form by bagging a brace to help secure all three points for Pompey against Rochdale.

Ryan Williams was also on target at Spotland, as the Blues displayed a clinical edge that has been lacking at times this season. The hosts saw plenty of the ball, but did not do much to threaten their visitors, while Curtis made the most of dangerous deliveries from John Marquis and Williams either side of the break...

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that won at Harrogate Town to progress in the FA Cup. Skipper Tom Naylor and Sean Raggett were injured in that game, with Anton Walkes and a fit-again Oli Hawkins replacing them. Gareth Evans dropped to the bench to make way for Ellis Harrison, while Lee Brown wore the captain’s armband.

The hosts looked lively and dominated possession in the early stages... Pompey did have the lead on 15 minutes, though, and it was largely thanks to the good work of Marquis. He collected a pass from Williams and spun beautifully on the ball before cutting it back for CURTIS to fire home...

Blues were clinical when they went up the other end moments later and a low Williams delivery was slammed home by CURTIS. Jackett wanted his men to build on that, screaming at them from the sidelines to keep pressing and make life uncomfortable for their opponents.. The Blues were resolute at the back and a real menace on the break.

And they finally made sure of the points late on, with Pitman unselfishly passing to the unmarked WILLIAMS, who coolly slotted home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Haunstrup, Hawkins, Burgess, Brown (c); Walkes, Close; Williams, Marquis, Curtis (Harness 90+1); Harrison (Pitman 75) Goals: Curtis 15, 47, Williams 88. Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Downing, Cannon, Evans".

Although he did not play on Saturday, a familiar face at Portsmouth, as well as manager Kenny Jackett who used to live in Altrincham and managed Millwall to an FA Cup win at Moss Lane in 2007, is defender Sean Raggett, who has faced Alty more than once for Dover Athletic and Lincoln City.

On Tuesday (26th) Portsmouth entertain Rotherham United at Fratton Park


The NWYA reports that the next fixture for Altrincham FC Youth is at home to Atherton Town on 8 December. The fixture on Sunday (24 November) at home to Southport was postponed.


According to the Telegraph & Argus "Bradford (Park Avenue) have re-signed former player-coach [and ex-alty right-back] Ryan Toulson and have registered assistant manager {and ex-Alty midfielder] Danny Boshell for the squad ahead of today’s third round FA Trophy qualifying match at Gloucester City.

Toulson re-joins after having originally left with his contract expiring at the end of the 2018-19 season. He first signed for the Avenue in the summer of 2016 and captained the side throughout the 16-17 season. He eventually joined the club’s coaching staff for the 17-18 season and spent the season as a player-coach.

Before first joining the Avenue, Toulson spent two seasons under Avenue manager Mark Bower at Guiseley, making 34 appearances to help the club gain promotion to the National League. He has also had spells at FC Halifax Town, where he started his career, as well as Harrogate Town and Gainsborough Trinity.

Boshell has also re-registered for the squad alongside his duties as assistant manager. He first joined the Avenue in 2016 from Guiseley and has spent three years at the club, making 60 appearances and scoring three goals."

The Telegraph & Argus says that "Bradford (Park Avenue) advanced to the first round proper of the FA Trophy after a fine 2-0 victory at Gloucester City. Rock bottom of the Vanarama National League North table, Mark Bower's men will hope this welcome cup victory can boost their poor league form.

Goals from Isiah Bazeley and Alex Hurst ensured Avenue enjoyed their long trip back from Gloucestershire following their third qualifying round tie. Reece Staunton, on loan from Bradford City, had a debut to remember for Avenue, commanding at the back and winning the man of the match award for the visitors at The Jubilee Stadium...

It was Avenue who took an early advantage... A free-kick from Lewis Knight hit the post and the rebound found Bazeley who fired it home... Gloucester had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute. Joe Green was judged to have connected with Marlon Jackson as he went for a header. But Green subsequently saved the penalty from Joe Hanks before saving the header on the rebound...

Gloucester came close to an equaliser on 63 minutes. Myriel-Williams attempted a speculative effort from around 20 yards out, the ball looked to be dipping in but hit the top of the crossbar. But it was Avenue who took the spoils when they doubled their lead seven minutes from time. Hurst cut inside and slotted the ball into the net...

Avenue will hope to transfer this good form in their next league game when they travel to Chester next Saturday."

The Gazette Live informs us that "Young Boro keeper Zach Hemming joined Blyth Spartans on loan on Saturday and didn't have to wait long to make his debut.

The 19-year-old's switch was confirmed by the club at 2pm on Saturday and an hour later he was in goal for Spartans in their FA Trophy tie against Alfreton. Hemming couldn't prevent Alfreton snatching a late equaliser to force a replay but Blyth boss Lee Clark praised the keeper's 'terrific' debut.

Hemming will link up with his former manager at Spartans. Paul Stephenson was in charge of Hemming in the Boro Under-23 ranks but left the club in the summer. After his exit, Lee Clark wasted no time in snapping Stephenson up and appointing him as his assistant at Blyth, who play in the National League North. Hemming was previously on loan at Hartlepool this season but was recalled by Boro because he hadn't made a first team appearance.

He's now joined up with Blyth until the end of April, though Boro have again inserted a recall clause."

Curzon Ashton report that "Mike Calveley and Charlie Jolley scored their first Curzon Ashton goals as they swept into the first round of the FA Trophy with an assured victory over Kidderminster Harriers.

Calveley got the ball rolling with an unstoppable 30-yard strike which nearly broke the net as it thundered into the top corner... Cam Mason had a serene afternoon for the Nash as his defence didn’t allow Kidderminster a sniff at goal and it was then left to new attackers Jolley and Connor Dimaio to wrap up the win in the second half.

It means Mark Bradshaw’s side are in Monday's draw for the first time since 2015 after extending their winning run to three games.

Only one change was made to the starting line-up which so impressively saw off York City with captain Nicky Wroe restored to the team. Robbie Evans dropped out from the squad entirely as a precaution having just returned from a long-term ankle injury, but he is expected to be fit for next Monday’s meeting with Kettering Town...

With the game done and dusted, Bradshaw was afforded the opportunity to hand youth team player Jack Worrall his Curzon debut as a late substitute".

In the Banbury Guardian we read that "Substitute Anthony Dudley struck the only goal of the game as Chester overcame Brackley Town in Saturday's Buildbase FA trophy tie.

A first half stalemate matched the dreary Northamptonshire weather as the teams cancelled each other out in Saturday's third qualifying round tie at St James Park. But the second half was altogether brighter as Saints enjoyed the better of possession and chances, yet it was Chester who made the breakthrough that proved decisive to send the Blues into the next round.

The sides met three weeks ago in a drawn Vanarama National League North game and the first 45 minutes had another draw written all over it. The half was almost devoid of goalmouth action or goal chances until Saints rallied to end the half on the front foot, Shep Murombedzi and Shane Byrne denied.

After the break Saints seized the initiative... The deadlock was finally broken in the 73rd minute when Saints conceded possession cheaply allowing Jackson to find Dudley well placed and he gleefully slammed the ball into the net. Chester managed the remainder of the game well".

The Northern Echo advises us that "Justin Donawa set Quakers on the way in another cup competition when his winner put them into the first round proper of the FA Trophy.

With Quakers’ legs almost gone after their midweek exertions in the FA Cup, he came on as sub and scored the winner against Gainsborough Trinity. The victory earned £3,750 in prize money, saved Quakers a midweek replay... Donawa had missed the FA Cup replay with Walsall, instead had a tiring journey to Mexico and back with Bermuda team-mate Osagi Bascome, taking seven flights in the process.

Quakers manager Alun Armstrong said 'At this moment in time, Justin is massive for me. People say that I should start games with him, but he is what he is. He knows what his part is at this moment in time. Why start him when I know what I’ve got coming from the bench? He got back Friday, and that was another reason why I didn’t start him and Osagi, because they went through just as much as the other lads did on Wednesday.

'Justin looked fresh when he came on, his composure was really good. He’s chomping at the bit to play, but it’s a matter of managing him properly. To see him improving week by week is great, training every day with Bermuda while he was away has helped him.'

Quakers started the game at a fast pace and almost got an early goa... before Quakers took a deserved lead when Thompson cleverly helped on a through ball by Will Hatfield for Jack Lambert to run through and slot past Allinson into the net. Lambert is on loan from Scunthorpe, and Armstrong said 'Jack’s a really clever player, but it wasn’t the best game for him to come into because of the pace we were playing at times.

'For the first 25 minutes he was getting into some good positions and they couldn’t deal with him. Ability-wise, he’s top drawer, we just need to work on the other side of his game'...

Donawa came off the bench to score the winner on 69 minutes. Thompson helped on a long clearance for Donawa to latch on to in his stride, race into the box, and fire past Allinson for his fourth goal of the season...

This was Quakers’ first win five league and cup matches; the two Walsall games, a defeat at Brackley and the home draw with Hereford,and Armstrong added 'Winning was all that mattered, I knew what sort of game it was going to be. The lads were right down to the bare bones, they were shattered. It was so pleasing to get back on track...

'Half of them were running on empty, but they just kept going. For some reason though when we were 1-0 up, the foot came off the gas, we let Gainsborough back in, which made it an extremely difficult afternoon. I’ve got to find out why that happens. We have the chance to really nail teams, but we don’t do so'".


The NW Counties Football League confirms that "Crewe Alexandra, Leicester City, Birmingham City, Derby County, Brighton & Hove Albion and NWCFL First Division South side Stockport Town; what do they all have in common?

Well we can reveal that Adam Jones's side have announced the signing of former Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage. The 45-year old made 623 professional appearances during his career, scoring 41 times in his 15-year career, and now he is set to make his debut tomorrow evening when they face FC Oswestry Town in the league.

Manager Adam Jones is delighted with the signing, 'Sav is well involved with Pro Football Academy (owners of Stockport Town) and we've spoken a couple of times about the prospect of turning out for Stockport Town. I am trying to create a blend within the dressing room of young hungry lads and experience, and who can be better placed to guide and support the young lads than Sav. So when he said he'd be interested in putting his boots on it was a no brainer for me'".

24 November, 2019


Above: Tom Peers heads clear early in the game at a very damp York.

Altrincham deservedly repeated their FA Cup win at York with another excellent performance in this FA Trophy tie which extended their unbeaten run to ten games.

On a dank afternoon at Bootham Crescent in front of a much smaller crowd than witnessed the FA Cup tie, York were again unimpressive as they sank to a third 1-0 defeat in a fortnight, having also lost at Curzon Ashton last time out.

The goal in this Trophy game arrived in the 22nd minute after a White cross, with Hulme having an effort blocked by the keeper before Peers netted the loose ball from close range.

York improved at the start of the second half, but Alty defended well and grew increasingly dangerous on the counter attack. Hulme celebrated his birthday with an excellent performance and he might have added a second goal after jinking his way into the goalmouth late in the game.

Clearly next week's game at Portsmouth will be a tough test but Altrincham go to Fratton Park in good form.

Match report here


York Press report that "York City were dumped out of a cup competition by Altrincham for the second time in less than a fortnight... York’s chances were limited and the Altrincham defence seemed comfortable enough to see out the Peers opener in a subdued second half.

Excluding the North Riding County FA Senior Cup, it’s a third straight defeat for York who hadn’t lost since April at the start of the month.

Steve Watson made wholesale changes to the side which breezed past Pickering Town in midweek... The only surprise being the absence of captain Steve McNulty, likely rested, with Jordan Burrow instead taking the armband...

Altrincham... dominated the majority of the ball in the opening quarter, slickly keeping the ball in midfield, with York very much second-best. The Manchester-side didn’t pose a huge threat to the York goal though...

Altrincham worked the ball to the York area and, in spite of Andy Bond looking as if he’d been fouled, the visitors played on and crossed to the far post for Jordan Hulme. The number nine had his header back across goal blocked but Peers was on hand to smash it in from close range...

The away team remained by far the most likely side to score though... Watson saw enough in the first period to decide that personnel changes needed to be made as Harry Spratt made way for Kieran Green. It ensured a formation change as York went to a 4-3-3 with Green joining Adriano Moke and Andy Bond in a three-man midfield...

Altrincham settled into the half and looked defensively accomplished enough to deal with the attacks that York conjured. Watson again looked to his bench for some impact as Dan Maguire and Elliott Durrell replaced Burrow and Langstaff. But, Alty again seemed composed in the face of the constant and typical pressing of Maguire and Durrell...

A late York surge was expected, but it never came."


York Press reports that "Steve Watson called for reflection on how far the club has come in such a short space of time following York City’s 1-0 defeat to Altrincham in the FA Trophy.

Tom Peers scored the only goal of the game at Bootham Crescent to knock City out of the competition, having done the same in the FA Cup only 13 days earlier.

Those two defeats, with a first National League North loss to Curzon Ashton sandwiched in between, means York have lost all of their last three games 1-0, excluding the North Riding Senior Cup.

After such a fine start to the season, which saw York go unbeaten in their opening 16 league games, the run threatens to derail a campaign which seemed heading for promotion...

'It was another frustrating afternoon as part of a frustrating 10 days, there’s no getting away from that,' reflected Watson.

'I think we’ve started the season better than anybody would have ever envisaged and sometimes you’ve just got to step back and realise that we’ve been here less than 10 months and only six or seven months football-wise. We’re sitting second-from-top of the league with a game in hand.

'I said to the players in there (the dressing room), if we’d have done it the other way round and we were in the top eight and then crept up into the top four and then to the top of the league, everyone would be a cock-a-hoop.

'I’ve tried my best to manage expectations and maybe the players and the fans got that excited that they thought that it was going to be easy. These last three games have proved that it isn’t'...

'The game wasn’t a million miles away from how last week panned out,' he added. 'We tried something something different by playing 3-4-3 and we wanted to press them higher up the pitch. When we did well against them (Altrincham) at the start of the season, it was because we pressed high and we thought that would work (again).

'There wasn’t a lot in the first-half and I’m certainly not trying to use any excuses of luck. But nothing has dropped for us in the past three or four games. It was a bit like last week as we moved to a back-four and, if anything, we looked less open, which gives me food for thought'.

Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Watson brought Kieran Green on for Harry Spratt and switched from 3-4-4 to 4-3-3.

Watson added...'We thought that going to a (back) four was the only option to get a foothold back in the game. We did that and again, like last week, we had them on the back foot for large spells. To simplify it, the reason we haven’t won is because we’ve scored one goal in four games...

'Did we play brilliantly? No. But there were a lot of games at the start of the season where we didn’t play brilliantly, like against King’s Lynn but we had that quality when we needed to. We haven’t got that quality at the moment, no matter what system we play...

'Altrincham are a very good side at keeping the ball but, at the start of the season, we soaked up that pressure and we were ruthless when we had the ball... We’ve got away from that. A lot of that is down to confidence. It’s not easy to soak up pressure at home, because the supporters get frustrated and impatient, even though there is a game plan, like there was against King’s Lynn...

'I think we got frustrated, our midfielders were just going forward without any game plan of how to get on the ball.'


As Ashton United crashed 0-4 at home to Nantwich Town, James Lawrie netted a penalty. Witton Albion defeated Scarborough 3-1 with James Walshaw netting for the Seadogs.

Trafford thrashed Pickering Town 8-1 with dual-registered Curtis Miller (2), Lewis Walters netting as well as a brace coming from Darius Palma.


Blyth Spartans "announce Middlesbrough goalkeeper Zach Hemming has joined on a youth loan until the end of the season.

Hemming, 19, was recalled a month early from his loan spell at National League side Hartlepool United on Friday in order to finalise a switch to Croft Park. The Boro youngster had a brief loan spell at Darlington last season before stepping up a division to join Pools in the summer...

Due to the good form of Ben Killip, Hemming failed to make an appearance in his four months at Pools."

Bulls' News reports that "A much improved Hereford have earned a replay against King's Lynn in the FA Trophy following a 0-0 draw.

Considering the Bulls lost 5-1 away from home [at Altrincham] last week and free-scoring National League North leaders King's Lynn have netted 25 league goals at home, many fans were fearing the worst. But Hereford more than matched their hosts and could even have won it at the death through Taylor Allen.

At the other end, Hereford keeper Brandon Hall had to make a number of saves to keep his side in the tie."

At Chester FC "Super sub Anthony Dudley fired the Blues into Round One of the Buildbase FA Trophy at a wet St James Park.

The Blues had three changes from the game against Alfreton 14 days ago, with Scott Burton, Gary Stopforth and Jamie Morgan all coming into the side...

The second half livened up as Brackley piled on the pressure... But on 73 minutes, the Blues clinched it. Gary Stopforth pressed high up the pitch, Jackson cut inside and then slotted it through for Dudley who timed his run to perfection and fired home the winner.

Brackley piled on the pressure but it amounted to nothing, as the Blues became the first side to win at St James Park this season and advance into Monday’s First Round draw."

From the Shropshire Star we learn, that, at Guiseley, AFC Telford put in a "resounding performance that fully warranted their passage to the next round.

A first goal of the season for defender Zak Lilly, imperious in a terrific display, was followed by two goals for Aaron Williams and a fourth from strike partner Marcus Dinanga, playing in place of the unavailable Matt Stenson. The Bucks looked good in every department, and for a second time in five weeks put four goals past a Guiseley team who had few if any answers...

Cowan’s team selection raised a few eyebrows, with three loan players sitting this one out. Stenson had been refused permission to play by his club Solihull Moors, whilst incomplete paperwork meant Ryan Barnett and Billy Sass-Davies had to sit this one out. Into the side came Lilly, Marcus Dinanga and Darryl Knights, and Cowan will have been given something to ponder, with Lilly the pick of the three.

On a damp and misty afternoon in West Yorkshire, the Bucks started brightly, and with purpose...

The visitors continued to dominate possession, with home fans venting frustration at their team’s inability to match the Bucks at referee Simeon Lucas...

A free-kick led to the Lions conceding a corner and when the ball was only half-cleared to Lilly 12 yards out, the former striker, converted to defence by Cowan, showed he had lost little of his predatory instinct, swivelling to shoot home low past Marcus Dewhurst to the keeper’s right...

The Bucks deservedly led at the interval, but the Lions showed signs of a revival early in the second half... Guiseley showed little invention in their approach, with long balls forward dealt with by Streete and Lilly...

Having soaked up what the Lions could muster, it was Bucks forward Aaron Williams whose clinical finishing put the Bucks firmly in control. Played in behind the home defence, Williams was driven wide and to the left in the penalty area, before cutting back inside to look up, choose his spot and thrash a powerful shot across goal and into the far side of Dewhurst's net...

On 77 minutes Williams sealed the tie. With Guiseley leaving gaps, Knights’ pass from the left found Williams in acres of space and he was coolness personified, beating the advancing Dewhurst from the edge of the penalty area...

Williams turned provider, locating Dinanga with a ball from the left of the penalty area. The Bucks no.9 controlled and then scored from 10 yards, Dewhurst hopelessly exposed".

23 November, 2019


Right: Alty captain, Jake Moult, seen last Saturday in the match against Hereford FC.

Saturday, 23 November 2019.

  • York City 0-1 ALTRINCHAM
  • Curzon Ashton 3-0 Kidderminster Harriers
  • Workington 0-1 Farsley Celtic
  • Hednesford Town 2-1 Coalville T
  • Runcorn Linnets 0-3 FC United of Manchester
  • Darlington 2-1 Gainsborough Trinity
  • Blyth Spartans 1-1 Alfreton Town
  • Brackley Town 0-1 Chester FC
  • Guiseley 0-4 AFC Telford United
  • Matlock T. 2-0 Redditch U
  • Colne 2-3 Southport
  • King's Lynn Town 0-0 Hereford FC
  • Atherton Collieries 1-0 Boston United
  • Peterborough Sports 0-3 Kettering Town
  • Halesowen Town 1-0 Gateshead
  • Leamington 2-1 Spennymoor Town

Sunday, 24 November 2019.

  • Gloucester C v Bradford (Park Avenue)


Altrincham have already beaten York City at Bootham Crescent this season, having won there 1-0, just a fortnight ago in the FA Cup First Round, thanks to Tom Peers's goal. Peers should be available for selection again on Saturday, after sitting out the midweek league game with Gateshead with a slight groin strain. With left-back Connor Hampson getting some game time in that match, Alty are expected to have everyone available apart from long-term injured keeper Steven Drench.

As previously reported, the game at York on Saturday should be the club captain Jake Moult's 350th appearance for Altrincham.

Mike Garnett provides the historical record against York City

  • Home: P9-2-4-3-11-16
  • Away: P10-3-2-5-7-16
  • All: P19-5-6-8-18-32

Above: Alty salute their supporters after the final whistle at York on 10 November, when they knocked the Minstermen out of the FA Cup.

From York Press we learn that "City have 'a lot to think about' with their attacking options, believes Micky Cummins, ahead of Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Altrincham.

The assistant manager has praised striker Macaulay Langstaff and midfielder Elliott Durrell following their involvement in Tuesday's 5-0 win over Pickering Town. Langstaff, who also featured as a second-half substitute at Curzon Ashton, played a starring role, scoring two of the goals. On from the start for both Saturday and in midweek, Durrell was a lively midfield presence...

Cummins said 'We’re always thinking about Macaulay as he’s someone who scores regularly in training. He’s a threat. He had a good half-hour spell when he came on against Curzon. It’s nice to have the option. Duzza [Durrell] played and did pretty well the other night. In terms of attacking options, we’ve got a lot to think about and look at.'

Should this third qualifying round game be level after extra time, it will go to a penalty shoot-out, as agreed by the clubs, who want to avoid a midweek replay with both facing long away journeys the following week.

Speaking on Thursday, Cummins said 'We haven’t as of yet (practised penalties). We’ll probably implement it into a little game tomorrow. The lads stay back and do their own bits and pieces, supervised by myself and the gaffer, their free kicks and penalties. They’re conscious of what could possibly happen.'

York have lowered ticket prices for the cup match. Adults are £10 and concessions £5."


Alty TV has video highlights from last Tuesday's game at the JDS against Gateshead.


Altrincham FC announces that "Altrincham's Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round tie at Portsmouth has been selected as the Live Overseas FA Cup Broadcast on Saturday November 30th. Altrincham FC will receive a broadcast fee of £6,750".


The official Altrincham FC website has the full story concerning the appointment of Samm Lewis as the club's Disability Officer. Samm is well known to Alty supporters as a volunteer in numerous capacities at the J. Davidson Stadium and her role at the Club, as well as her expertise as an international-level para-swimmer, are outlined via the above link.


Saturday, 23 November 2019.
  • Lancaster City v Stourbridge. (Winners at home to South Shields)


Cheshire Live says that "Stuart Murphy has unveiled his ambitious plans for a multi-million pound sports village that he hopes will propel Chester FC to League One. The entrepreneur, who has been a donor to the Blues for the past 18 months, presented his vision for the 1885 Sports Village on land at the Deva Stadium and surrounding areas at the club's AGM on Thursday night.

The ambitious plans include developing the main stand at the Deva, which will be known as the 1885 Arena for at least the rest of this season after Murphy's bought the naming rights to tie in with the project, to include an increased capacity to 4,000, improved bar and VIP facilities, improved disability viewing platforms as well as a '40/50 bedroom' hotel and spa.

Also on the land, Murphy proposes to build a theatre space for a specific show he wishes to bring to the city, two indoor 3G pitches and a music venue that will double up as a conference centre for large scale conferences and exhibitions.

Murphy, founder of city-based business rates firm Exacta Plc, aims to raise the capital with five investors, one of them being himself, who he says will only seek interest on their money and who will have no influence over the football club, which will remain fan-owned, with a percentage of profit coming back into the football club.

He also claimed that they would seek to buy the land from Cheshire West & Chester Council and hand the club a 999-year lease with no rent payable, with a completion date earmarked for 2022.

Murphy told members at the AGM in the Blues' Bar at the Deva Stadium 'You're talking two, three or four million pounds a year coming into this football club to help us get out of this league and the next league and we could support ourselves in League One easily. The Championship might be a pipe dream so let's not lose faith in where we are, League One/League Two is where we want to be.

'This city deserves it. This city gets 10 million visitors every year and there is [sic] only so many Roman artifacts that you can look at. We'll have a lot of things down here that people that will want to get involved with. We want to have it ready by 2022 and it is going to cost a lot of money. Investors won't be a problem, I will be one of them and I will be looking for four more people to put the same amount of money in that I am.

'We don't want to own a football club, we don't want to run a football club, we want to provide an amazing sporting village that benefits the football club. Investors will earn an in interest on their money, but they won't be lending us any money, they can't take their money back out. They can sell their shares but it does not impact on the football club. We may want a voice on the board but we won't be running a football club, that will remain as it is.

'There is nobody who will be coming onto this consortium to make money, a small amount of interest on their money but it is about what it can do for the community and what it can do for this football club.'

Murphy, who first pledged to donate £1m over three years to the club for infrastructure development when he first became involved in May 2018, said he had already had positive discussions with the Council over the acquisition of the land. 'We will buy all the land and give the football club a 999-year lease with no rent, as long as the club want it without any repayment,' he said. 'We have discussed it with the Council who are 100% behind it, as is Chris Matheson the MP. I would think we would get planning by the spring of next year.

'We will not ever lose [i.e. miss!] a home game here during development, we cannot have what happened when you had to travel to Macclesfield, there will be games continuing to be played here while development is ongoing. As soon as the land is acquired we will launch our own website where the plans can be viewed in full.'

The question was raised about how this would affect plans for the Chester FC Community Trust-led King George V Sports Hub plan in Blacon. The £1.3million development, which is receiving a donation from Murphy, was presented earlier this year as a community hub that would benefit the club and the city and surrounding areas.

'We're still doing King George, that is still in our plans,' said Murphy. 'The two things can exist side by side, there is a need for pitches in Chester. There is room for both and there is no reason why we wouldn't do both.'

At the meeting Chester chairman David Harrington-Wright stressed that the plans were Murphy's vision and that, ultimately, it would be the supporters who determined what road would be taken... Said Harrington-Wright, 'At least now a lot more people have seen where Stuart is coming from. He does not want to own the football club or run the football club. He wants the best for the football club and if it provides the funds to get back to the Football League then that warrants further discussion.

'It is Stuart's vision and we would not do anything to jeopardise the future of this club. This is what he would like to do and we wouldn't entertain any discussion that involved us having a less favourable deal'".

According to the Telegraph & Argus "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower wants to ‘upset the odds’ when his side travel down to Gloucester City in the FA Trophy third qualifying round on Sunday.

Avenue will be hoping the cup can offer some light relief after being on a dismal run of form of late, losing five on the bounce, meaning that they sit at the foot of the Vanarama National League North table. Bradford were knocked out at the first hurdle in the competition last season after suffering a 4-0 defeat at Altrincham, while Gloucester were also victims of an opening round loss at the hands of Biggleswade Town, 3-1.

Bower believes a cup run could aid in the club’s battle to avoid relegation... He said 'It is an opportunity to start a run, confidence is such a fragile thing in football. If we can get a win down there and get through we can bring back a bit of feel-good. Hopefully it will be the beginning of starting a run in the league. The prize money is massive for us.

'We went down to Gloucester a few weeks ago and had a narrow defeat in that game, so we can go down, compete, and get a win. Who knows, cup competitions are filled with stories of teams who have upset the odds, hopefully we can be one of those this year.'

Signings are also on the 22nd-placed side’s agenda... He added 'We need more players in to help out, we have got something to work with but we need more additions. We find it very difficult to get players at this time of year when it is near the Christmas period, a lot of games, and teams are reluctant to let players out. We are not in a great position in the league, so we are not the most attractive club.

'We have to keep working to find the right characters, who can turn some of these close games into our favour.'

Bower said 'Three years ago we were in a similar situation, ultimately we managed to get the right players in to keep us safe. We can’t afford to waste money on people who aren’t right for us so we will make sure that we do the best we can.'

Since Bower’s re-appointment at the end of September, the former Bradford City player’s sole success remains a 3-2 win over Hereford in his first game in charge. The poor start continued last weekend, when an early red card led to a 3-0 defeat to the hands of Leamington at Horsfall. Bower was not impressed by the referee’s performance but thinks the result has taught his squad that in football those things can happen.

He said... 'We conceded after eight minutes, then the penalty and red card incident after nine minutes effectively ends the game. With 10 men, 2-0 down and bottom of the league, it is a long way back. The referee’s explanation of why he sent the player off bears no resemblance with what we have seen on the footage'".

The Northern Echo reports that "As his side switches focus from FA Cup to FA Trophy, Alun Armstrong has reiterated his desire for a new striker, but admits he has hit a 'brick wall' in his attempt to replace Tyrone O’Neill.

Middlesbrough recalled O’Neill two weeks ago... since when Boro have had one match for which he was an unused substitute. The 20-year-old scored seven goals for Quakers, and was at Blackwell on Wednesday when his former team-mates controlled their replay with Walsall but they lacked a cutting edge and succumbed to a second-half set-piece goal.

A frustrated Armstrong has had no joy from contacting various clubs... and he admitted 'I’m getting a bit of sick of saying "if we had scored". We’re not scoring enough goals. Everyone can see why we’re not scoring enough goals, we haven’t got a natural scorer, a number nine. I wish I was playing in this team! I think I would’ve scored loads of goals!

'Finding a striker is really difficult. We’ve been killed by Tyrone going back. He was at the match and gutted he couldn’t play. It would’ve been great to have someone like him playing because he would’ve caused them problems. I’ve been on to David Johnston (chief executive), I need a striker. I’ve tried for around dozen strikers, and that’s going back to before the first Walsall game when Tyrone went back.

'I’ve never stopped on the phone but I’m hitting brick walls. Some clubs won’t let their player out on loan, some want them in a higher division; my opinion is they should let them play. Financially we cannot go out and buy one, there’s no way I would want the club to do that, but we need to help this team progress. At the minute we’ve got a good team but we’re lacking a focal point, the lads need it'".

The Northants Telegraph relays the news that "Paul Cox has warned his Kettering Town players that they need the right 'mindset' when they get their Buildbase FA Trophy campaign under way at Peterborough Sports on Saturday.

It looks set to be an extremely tricky test for the Poppies as they make the short trip to take on a Sports team who have made an encouraging start to life in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Central having won the Division One Central title last season.

For their part, the Poppies’ recent change of fortunes in the Vanarama National League North continued as they fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 down to earn a point against fellow strugglers Blyth Spartans in a dramatic 4-4 draw at Latimer Park last weekend.

Cox is yet to taste defeat since being appointed as Kettering manager... 'I think last weekend is a bit of a warning to the players ahead of this game at Peterborough,' the Poppies boss said.

'If you turn up for these games and you are not 100 per cent focused and you aren’t 100 per cent ready to match people’s desire and application then you will lose the game.

'They have already knocked Guiseley out of the FA Cup and they will class it as a local derby. I rate the FA Trophy really highly. It’s a wonderful competition, it’s one the supporters will get behind. But to do that we have got to go to places like Peterborough and look at it as a proper, big game for us.

'If we go there with any arrogance or delusions of grandeur then we will get exactly what we deserve, which is nothing. Our mindset will have to be right.'

Sports will have some familiar faces in their squad with former Kettering players Paul Malone, Josh Moreman and Avelino Vieira all set to be involved at the weekend."

Meanwhile,, at Boston United the club "begin their Buildbase FA Trophy campaign... with a trip to face Atherton Collieries...

With a prestigious Emirates FA Cup trip to Rochdale to follow next weekend, United boss Craig Elliott could make changes to his side. Six players are definitely sidelined, with Demeaco Duhaney and Martyn Woolford suspended, Simon Ainge and Alex Penny injured and Tom Clare and Karl Byrne cup-tied. The likes of Jay Rollins, Jake Wright and Shaun Tuton could all feature having stepped off the bench in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Blyth Spartans.

Defender Ashley Jackson will be hoping to retain his place after helping the Pilgrims to a valuable clean sheet on Tuesday evening... Collieries have disposed of Scarborough Athletic and Morpeth Town in previous rounds".

Southport "take on Colne at the Sovereign Play Stadium. Liam Watson’s side head into this game on the back of a 2-1 defeat to King’s Lynn Town.

Meanwhile opponents Colne, were victorious in their last outing, beating Mossley 1-0 away from home in Division One North West of the Northern Premier League. The two sides will be familiar to each other from last season, after coming head-to-head at the University of Bolton Stadium in the Lancashire FA Partners Challenge Trophy final.

A Dion Charles hat-trick helped the Port to a 3-1 victory, to finish last season with some silverware. So far this season, the Reds have been in mixed form and currently sit in 16th place... Their position in the table is slightly misleading, as they have played six fewer games than some of the other teams in the division...

The Port will be hoping to return to winning ways and start a strong cup run."

In the Shropshire Star, we learn that "Upbeat boss Gavin Cowan believes AFC Telford are further along in their development than last season’s high-riding campaign.

The Bucks' chief feels that, while not currently reflected in the National North table, the club as a whole is in a strong position after recent changes. Telford are preparing to get their FA Trophy campaign under way with a trip to league rivals Guiseley...

'If you were to ask me to swap being flying high like last year to where we are now I would not change,' Cowan said. 'We’ve moved forward a long way, it’s not reflected in the league table but I see all of the football club. I get to see the changing room and how the players in there have developed.

Cowan was impressed with his side’s performance last time out in the 2-2 home draw against in-form Spennymoor. Shane Sutton and Brendon Daniels are not fit to feature and midfielder Henry Cowans also remains out.

Cowans, 23, has not featured for almost three months, since the hugely disappointing August Bank Holiday home defeat to Leamington. Telford boss Cowan says the former Villa youngster faces a long road back... 'Henry is back to full fitness but he’s going to have to work hard because I believe all players have to earn the right to play. Results have not quite gone our way but certain players in that position have performed admirably... Whoever performs best in games and training will play and I’m a big believer of that'”.


Hyde United report that "It is with great regret and reluctance that the Hyde United Board have accepted Darren Kelly’s resignation as Sporting Director.

Darren joined the Club on a permanent basis in the Summer of 2016 and, as First Team Manager, was responsible for steadying and re-building the playing side into a successful one... Darren also left an indelible mark off the pitch, with both officials and supporters alike, due to his strength of personality, character and good humour...

His leaving of Hyde United is purely down to family and logistical reasons."

22 November 2019


Alty FC Press and media officer, Brian Flynn, interviewed Alty centre-back Toby Mullarkey [right] after Tuesday's victory over Gateshead. The video interview may be seen on Alty TV. Toby made his thirteenth appearance and scored his first goal for Alty on Tuesday, following his summer move from Nantwich Town.

Aged 23 this month, Toby is a product of the Crewe Alexandra youth system. After a year at Leek Town he joined Nantwich Town before moving to Altrincham.


Following two home wins after a run of away games, the Sale & Altrincham Messnger carries Brian Flynn's update on Altrincham FC's fortunes.

He quotes manager Phil Parkinson as saying of Tuesday's victory, “It was a thoroughly professional performance against a full-time Gateshead side who we knew were going to sit deep defensively and be a tough nut to crack.

“We are now unbeaten in nine games over more than two months, most of which have been away from home, and the players have responded superbly to overcoming the sluggish start to the season.”


Assuming he plays on Saturday at York, Jake Moult will be making his 350th appearance for Altrincham.

30 year-old Jake originally joined Altrincham, on loan from Alfreton Town in late August 2012. Previously, he had been a summer trialist at Altrincham in 2008. Born in Stoke on Trent, he joined Alfreton on 1 July 2010, before which he had been with Stafford Rangers. His earlier career was with Port Vale and Plymouth Argyle.

In early November 2012, Jake formally moved to Altrincham on a free transfer, signing a contract to the end of 2013/14 season. Winner of the 2014-15 Altrincham FC Players' Player of the Season accolade, Jake captained the side for much of the time from the 2015-16 season, taking over when Shaun Densmore was long-term injured. Phil Parkinson confirmed him as captain from 2017-18.

Having missed the start of 2019-20 following a summer operation, Jake's return to the side has been a major factor in the club's subsequent upturn in form this campaign.


The Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Peterborough Sports manager Jimmy Dean is adamant his team can claim another big scalp when they take on Kettering Town at the Bee Arena on Saturday [in the FA Trophy].

Kettering play in the division above Sports, but then so do Guiseley who were knocked out of the FA Cup by the rampant city side earlier this season. And Dean's team will start the game full of confidence for the Buildbase FA Trophy third qualifying round clash after moving to within a place of the play-offs positions in the Southern League Central Premier Division...

'I really fancy us to beat Kettering,' Sports' manager Jimmy Dean said. 'I’m not going to try and hide that fact. Of course they are favourites. They won our league last season and they are currently in a good place having found some form under a new manager. They will be pumped to beat us as I guess there is little love of Peterborough in Kettering, but my lads will relish the chance to beat them. They certainly won’t be afraid of the challenge.

'We have been so strong at home and I have a front four who, if they repeat their form of last weekend, will give any defence problems. We definitely have players capable of playing higher. They can be proud of what they’ve achieved already this season, our first at step three level.

'Considering we’ve had long runs in two FA competitions reaching sixth place in the league is incredible, but we haven’t finished yet.'

Dean is checking on the availability of marquee signing Tresor LuaLua, although he might struggle to get selected ahead of Dion Sembie-Ferris, former Kettering man Josh Moreman, Mark Jones and Maniche Sani based on last weekend’s win. Another new recruit, centre-back Charlie Jemson, the son of form Nottingham Forest player Nigel Jemson, is available, while central defender Marshall Willock is back after making his international debut for Montserrat last weekend.

With 200 visiting fans expected Sports are confident of breaking their attendance record of 435, set at the Guiseley game."

According to the Shropshire Star, "Ryan Barnett is focused on replicating his scintillating AFC Telford form of last season to catch the eye at parent club Shrewsbury again.

The silky attacker... recently sealed a loan to spend the rest of the campaign at the New Buck's Head. Barnett, 20, was a big hit at his hometown club last season, where he was a regular on the wings for Gavin Cowan’s side...

'It got to a point where I was just training and chances were limited, that’s where you get a bit frustrated and your head goes a little bit,' Barnett admitted. 'That was the time to try to push for something. The option came up to come back here, it was definitely the best option I had. I knew I’d come here and play, and backed myself to play well, the supporters were good to me last year and there’s a manager in Gav who believes in you. That’s the main thing you want.'

Barnett, who was born in Shrewsbury but raised in Telford, made 31 appearances in all competitions for the Bucks last term."

From Cheshire Live we learn that "Anthony Johnson feels that Chester FC are ‘in a good place’ as they head into December.

The Blues take on Brackley Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday before a home clash with Bradford (Park Avenue) rounds off November.

Johnson and co-boss Bernard Morley’s Chester side sit third in the National League North as it stands... The Blues were denied the chance to close the gap on the top two at the weekend owing to the postponement of their trip to Gateshead due to a waterlogged pitch...

'We’re happy, we’re in a good place, so much better than we were last season,' said Johnson. 'Touch wood at the moment we’ve got a near fully fit squad heading into December and we’ve got a lot of tough away games out of the way. If we would have played Gateshead on Saturday, and after Darlington in a couple of weeks, we would have nearly done all the long ones. We’ve been to Boston, Spennymoor, Blyth, King’s Lynn, Kettering and Brackley and we’ve taken points in all but one of those games.

'To head into the New Year knowing that you’ve got big games at home with a good home record and a lot of your long away trips out of the way is a big thing for us. We just want to try and build some momentum heading into the Christmas and New Year period now.'

On several occasions in the past Chester have suffered dismal post-Christmas form, with last season being one of those seasons...

'We’ve got a bigger, stronger and more experienced squad than last year and we haven’t had to deal with all the problems we had last year with all the injuries and playing loads of games on a Tuesday night and long trips late in the season,' he said. 'We’ve tried to learn lessons from last season, what we did right and what we did wrong and we feel we are so much better in every department this time around.'”

On Wednesday night Darlington's "fantastic run in the FA Cup came to an end against Walsall at Blackwell Meadows. Quakers gave everything throughout the game, especially in the first half but, in a tight encounter, it always looked as if a setpiece would decide the outcome, and unfortunately Walsall scored from one midway through the second half and shut up shop after that...

The players gave everything in the first half, and put Walsall under a lot of pressure, forcing them into mistakes... The Darlington players left the field at half time to a standing ovation from the fans.

Walsall had more of the game in the second half, and stretched the Darlington defence, particularly down the right hand side. Quakers couldn’t get on the ball as much as they did in the first half... Walsall took the lead on 69 minutes from a right wing corner, that was curled in for Lavery to head firmly past Connell. Walsall pulled everyone back after that in order to defend their lead, and even withdrew a striker for a defender".

In the Telegraph & Argus we learn that "Bradford (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower hopes the legal case against Ossett United does not have a knock-on effect throughout non-league.

The Northern Premier League club owe £135,000 in damages and legal fees after a court in Manchester ruled in favour of a Radcliffe Borough player who suffered a broken ankle in a fixture involving Ossett Town... United... are now in real trouble with worries that they may have to sell their ground to enable them to fund the cash required...

Bower still has his concerns on how the situation could affect his club. He said 'It’s a very difficult situation, I don’t know too many ins and outs to it. You would like to think the leagues and FA will look into this urgently to make sure clubs are protected from this in terms of insurance procedures and what needs to be in place...

'You don’t want erratic claims like this because it could damage the reputation of non-league football'...

Ossett appointed former Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford City player Wayne Benn as their new manager this week. Benn, who has also been assistant-manager at Avenue and Guiseley, takes over the 19th-placed club after moving from Northern Counties East League Premier outfit Hemsworth Miners Welfare".

21 November 2019


A fine performance from Altrincham secured a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 win over a Gateshead side which had only let in twelve goals in its previous league games this season...

Match report here.

Right: Toby Mullarkey is congratulated on his goal.

The visitors, Gateshead report that "The Heed's player-manager spoke to in the wake of Tuesday night's defeat at Altrincham. Mike Williamson felt that naivety proved to be the Heed’s downfall as his side were defeated 3-0 at Altrincham on Tuesday evening....

'I think overall, from top to bottom, we weren’t good enough in every department,' said Gateshead’s player-manager. 'I don’t think both keepers had much to do, they dominated possession in the first half and we dominated possession in the second half but I felt, on the grand scale, they were better than us and we were just possibly a little too naïve.

'We lacked in too many areas, we carried too many players and, like I say, from top to bottom we weren’t good enough.'

The defeat sees the Heed lose back-to-back games for the first time this season having lost at home to Oldham Athletic last time out...

'We’ve got to stick together, we’ve got to make sure that this makes us a stronger team and that we learn from it. That’s where our focus is going now, to study and identify what went wrong, and make sure when we line up next game that we rectify the things we didn’t do right today. I’d never question this group’s honesty but today it was a naivety and a ruthlessness that we lacked.

'They’ve all ran [sic] their socks off and were trying individually to get back into the game and do what they could, but collectively we didn’t all pull in the same direction.... What was pleasing was that we came out with character in the second half and dominated the ball, but without really threatening their goal which is the disappointing thing.

'We conceded from a set-piece, a penalty that was never a penalty, and an individual mistake but it is what it is, we’ve got to learn from it and move forward.'

The squad will be hoping to put tonight’s defeat behind quickly, with another away trip next on the agenda in the form of an FA Trophy third qualifying round tie at Halesowen on Saturday... Continued Williamson 'Back-to-back defeats shouldn’t happen and it’s all about the reaction now'".

Also from Gateshead their number seven, Dominic Tear "pulled no punches... following Tuesday’s heavy defeat at Altrincham...

Tear admitted... 'It was a tough night for us, they kept the ball well. I thought our shape defensively was good but, again, another set-piece cost us and an individual error for the second. Attacking-wise we weren’t good enough, we didn’t keep the ball well in certain areas and it cost us tonight.

'They’re a really good side, they had a good win on Saturday so they could take a little bit of momentum from that but there’s no excuse, we weren’t good enough one to 11...

'The fans who came here were great and we let them down I think, so we need to show them a reaction.'”


Altrincham FC has announced that Saturday's FA Trophy tie at York "will be decided on the day. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, then 30 minutes extra-time will be played and, if the tie is still level, penalties will decide who progresses into the next round.

FA Trophy rules allow games in this round to be decided on the day if both teams agree and both York City and Altrincham were keen to avoid a replay...

Ticket prices will be reduced for this game as they were for the recent Emirates FA Cup tie".

  • Adults | £10
  • Concessions | £5 (Over 65 | Students | Under 18s)


Wednesday 20 November

FA Cup First Round Proper replays

  • Lincoln City 0-1 Ipswich Town
  • Darlington 0-1 Walsall
  • Newport County 2-0 Grimsby Town
  • Wycombe Wanderers 1-2 Tranmere Rovers


According to the National League "Jason Ainsley believes the quality in his Spennymoor Town side meant they had to end their poor start to the season at some point. The Moors failed to win in their opening five games of the new season, taking just one win in their first seven. But since then, they've been on a red-hot run of form that's seen them shoot up the table to fourth.

They're now 11 games without defeat in the league and have only lost once in all competitions since September 3.

'We had a bad start to the season, like we did last year. We’re playing catch-up now,' Ainsley explained. 'We didn’t win a game in the first five which was disappointing. Football is about momentum regardless of the level you’re at. But we’ve got a good group here and we knew we’d turn the corner at some point because our luck had to change.

'There’s going to be some tough battles in this league. We’ve had some good battles over this run but we’re not getting carried away, we’re just happy to be where we are at the moment as we push on.'

So what has been the secret to their purple patch? Ever-present striker Glen Taylor is on nine goals while at the other end of the field, just six goals have been conceded since mid-September.

'We’ve got a solid back four but plenty of goals at the other end too,' Ainsley added. 'That’s been the key, we’re not leaking as many goals and, with the quality going forward, we know we’re always likely to score at least once. When you’ve got a forward like Glen Taylor, he’s worth his weight in goal. But the team isn’t all about him, the lads put it on a plate for him at times.

'The lads have got a good team spirit and if you’ve got that mixed with good players, it’s a recipe for success really.'"

The Northants Telegraph reports that "A memorable FA Trophy run culminated in 14,000 Poppies fans heading down the M1 to see their team take on Kingstonian in the final. But the day was to end in heartbreak as, despite goals from Colin Vowden and Craig Norman putting them 2-1 up, Kingstonian fought back to win 3-2 and lift the Trophy.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, not least for current Kettering manager Paul Cox. Cox played a full part in the majority of that famous run to the Twin Towers, only to see his dreams of playing on the hallowed turf ruined when he tore his calf between the first and second legs of the semi-final against Telford United.

The current crop get this season’s Buildbase FA Trophy campaign under way on Saturday with a tricky trip to BetVictor Southern League Premier Central outfit Peterborough Sports...

'We want to emulate all the stuff the club has done in the past and they are are amazing memories,' Cox said. 'I was absolutely gutted, I think I played right up until the second leg of the semi-final at Telford United. I had been playing with an Achilles injury and then tore my calf and I was absolutely heartbroken'...

The Poppies head into the tie at Peterborough on the back of a 4-4 draw with Blyth Spartans in the Vanarama National League North last weekend as they fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 down to earn a point against their fellow strugglers at Latimer Park.

A much-changed line-up then claimed a 4-1 victory against Wellingborough Town in the quarter-finals of the NFA Hillier Senior Cup on Tuesday night. Brett Solkhon stole the headlines by scoring a hat-trick while Mo Sebbeh wrapped things up late on with his first goal for the club."

Gloucestershire Live confirms that "Gloucester City have appointed James Rowe as their new manager, one year after the first attempt.

The former West Ham and Birmingham City academy coach has signed a deal until the end of the 2021-22 season, becoming the club’s first full-time boss after Gloucestershire Live revealed on Monday that he emerged as the frontrunner for the job. Rowe will be based at Meadow Park and oversee the football department ahead of their return home with the new stadium planned to be in place for next season.

The 36-year-old was first interviewed for the Tigers' managerial role when Marc Richards left the club to join Hereford and was the first choice candidate but they could not come to a compensation agreement with Aldershot, where he was assistant manager at the time.

While Gloucester ended up giving the job to Chris Todd before turning to Mike Cook in January when they were in serious relegation trouble in National League North, Rowe left Aldershot not long after due to a budget cut.

Following on from the shock sacking of Cook on Saturday, Gloucester quickly identified Rowe as the man they wanted to take over. Rowe told Gloucestershire Live 'I had two-and-a-half fantastic years at Aldershot and when I came to see Alex in 2018 I was really impressed with his vision and the potential here is huge coming back to the city'...

Rowe becomes Gloucester’s fourth manager in 13 months but co-chairman Alex Petheram insists he is looking long-term with the appointment. He said 'We first interviewed James, probably a year ago. We were keen on James at the time... so we eventually got the guy we tried to sign.

'If you look in our league the clubs that are naturally at the top of the pecking order and looking to push for promotion from our league are the ones that have got a different model to us. Since I’ve been involved in the club we’ve been looking to go about things a bit differently and be more professional. We see James as the first part of that. We see him very much as the missing piece of the puzzle for the long-term. James is a young manager so different styles, different types of thinking, different types of management.

'The key thing for us was someone who’s used to full-time football and gone through the transition of part-time to full-time, someone that’s been involved in the highest level of English football in some form of capacity and James has got that from his days at Birmingham and West Ham. The Premier League link for us is huge because it means we can grow our community programme. He’s the first manager to be based at Meadow Park ever full-time and he’s the first manager to be at Meadow Park in 12 years.

'The whole reason James has got an office at Meadow Park is because this is going to be his home. It’s going to be a bit noisy, especially after Christmas.'

Rowe was set to meet the Gloucester squad for the first time at training tonight and has spent the last two days watching videos of games... Said Rowe, 'I’ve got a platform called Wyscout and also Hudl as well so I’ve seen a lot of games in the last 48 hours. At the moment everyone gets an opportunity that’s in the squad. It’s a completely clean slate. It’s not just for now, it’s, "okay do you want to be part of something going forward here", coming back to Meadow Park especially for the city and the club’? So there’s something to play for, for everybody.'

Rowe will appoint the rest of his coaching staff this week and take charge of Gloucester City for the first time when they face Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy at the Jubilee Stadium in Evesham on Sunday."

Also at Gloucester City the Gladiators are "pleased to announce that Rob Freeman of Malvern Tyres has joined the board of directors. The Malvern Tyres Group have been a commercial partner for the club for some time and Rob’s further involvement sees him appointed as the Commercial Director. Following this, former Commercial Manager Rob Ellis leaves the post but... remains a committed supporter of the Football Club."

Ahead of Wednesday's replay, the Express & Star informed us that "Walsall manager Darrell Clarke wants his side to put in a ‘professional’ performance when they travel to face Darlington in the FA Cup first round replay. The non-league side scored a 96th minute equaliser in the 2-2 draw in the Black Country to earn a replay against the Saddlers...

'We go there, the TV cameras are there and everyone wants the underdog to win,' he said. 'Our backs are against the wall in that aspect. For me, it’s about going up there and doing a job professionally... I’ve been the underdog and the ones that are expected to win. Both of them are not easy things to do... It’s 11 men vs 11 men with two goalkeepers a referee and two linesmen, that’s all it is...

'If they raise their game 10 or 15 per cent and we dip below that, that’s why you see non-league teams beat Premier League teams'...

'The FA Cup is a big competition for us. The more money you can gain through revenue, the more I can buy myself some new toys'".

Meanwhile Lincolnshire Live tells us that "Boston United climbed into the National League North play-off positions with a 2-0 win over Blyth Spartans on Tuesday.

Craig Elliott’s side prevailed courtesy of goals from Dominic Knowles and Andi Thanoj to move fifth in the standings... The United boss did not feel his side were at their scintillating best, but was happy they 'found a way to win' against Lee Clark’s in-form Spartans.

'You want to be in the play-off places and it has been a long time coming because we have been catch-up,' said Elliott. 'It was a good performance. Over the last three or four weeks, we have been playing really well. I would argue this was an average performance but the pleasing thing was that the players found a way to win the game. We won comfortably in the end and they deserve a lot of credit for that'...

'I thought the first goal was exceptional,' added Elliott... 'We took our foot of the gas and seemed to think the game was won. We did not do the basics well enough. We upped our game after half-time and dominated a bit more'...


The BBC reports that "A non-league club have said that a legal ruling against them has put their future at risk and could have ramifications throughout the game, down to a recreational level.

Last week a court in Manchester ruled in favour of a Radcliffe Borough player who suffered a broken ankle in a tackle in a match against Ossett Town, now Ossett United. The club say they may have to sell their ground in order to raise the £135,000 they now owe in damages and legal fees.

'It's really serious. We don't have that kind of money in the bank. We run week-to-week,' director James Rodgers told BBC Look North. 'We had the recommended insurance, we did as we were advised but it doesn't cover player-to-player cases. If we have to sell the ground it would be significant because this is our home. We have set up a GoFundMe page and we are trying to avoid selling the ground.'

Ossett Town merged with Ossett Albion to form Ossett United in 2018 and play at Ingfield, where Town played their home matches. The West Yorkshire club play in Division One of the Northern Premier League, the eighth tier of English football.

They said in a statement on Sunday 'This not only puts the entire club and the future of football in the town in jeopardy but also opens up the floodgates for all injured sports participants to successfully sue and win substantial money from the person who injured them and their club. This can then filter down to recreational sport like five-a-side football where an individual can sue an opponent should they receive an injury during a game. This will change not only football but sports participation throughout the country at every level.'

Northern Premier League chairman Mark Harris said all clubs at that level were required to have public liability insurance, covering spectators and their own players. However, the cost of clubs insuring each individual player on a player-to-player basis at that level were 'prohibitive' and could amount to about four weeks of their yearly running costs, he added... He told BBC Look North 'In the Football League, if you get relegated to the National League you get £650,000 in central funding. Three leagues lower, you get nothing'...

He added 'If you think about it just through non-league football, not touching any other sport, there are 900 clubs outside the Football League up and down the country. Multiply that by the number of teams within each club, normally six or seven, and then each with 12 to 15 players you are talking about a very substantial problem.'"

20 November 2019


Alty TV has its customary excellent match highlights, this time from the Hereford game last Saturday.


The National Football Museum in Manchester reports that Altrincham FC’s LGBT+ rainbow shirt, as worn in February against Bradford (Park Avenue), [as pictured above], will be included in its new exhibition, "STRIP! How Football Got Shirty", which opens on Friday 22 November.

There is more about this on the official site.


Tuesday 19 November

Vanarama National League North

  • Altrincham 3-0 Gateshead
  • Boston United 2-0 Blyth Spartans

FA Cup First Round Proper replays

  • Gillingham 1-0 Sunderland AET
  • Rochdale 1-0 Wrexham
  • Exeter City 1-0 Cambridge United
  • Eastleigh 3-0 Stourbridge
  • Burton Albion 4-1 Salford City
  • Bromley 0-1 Bristol Rovers
  • Doncaster Rovers 2-0 AFC Wimbledon
  • Bradford City 0-1 Shrewsbury Town
  • Swindon Town 0-1 Cheltenham Town
  • Peterborough United 2-0 Stevenage


News comes of a number of recent National League North players who have just moved on. The most striking are several of the fourteen or more new signings made last week by Romford FC. Romford escaped relegation last season due to another club's demise and have fought againt the odds for a number of years to stay at Step Four of the pyramid despite having sold their ground and having to play in exile at various grounds in Essex, attracting home gates which regularly dipped below 100.

Last week Glenn Tamplin, the man who formerly owned Billericay Town and brought them up to the National League South, announced he was taking over at Romford. He has vowed to build a new stadium in Romford and, after appointing himself to replace the long-serving Romford manager, he brought in a raft of new players. Last Saturday the club attracted 524 spectators to a home game. They lost 2-3 to a top-four team but as NL Daily reports the new recruits included several well-known names from the north of England, including at least two ex-National League North players.

"Romford have announced further new signings, with former Liverpool prospect Adam Morgan and experienced former EFL centre-half Ryan Cresswell among the additions. Striker Morgan has recently been with Widnes and Mossley, while Cresswell began the season at Bradford (Park Avenue)... along with ex-Boston United midfielder Jake Hall".

Adam Morgan [above, right] actually played for Altrincham last summer as a pre-season trialist, whilst both Cresswell and Hall have featured against Alty for BPA and Boston respectively.

The BetVictor NPL reports that "Nantwich Town have welcomed back striker Callum Saunders on a dual-registration from Curzon Ashton.

Saunders left the Dabbers in the summer to join the National League North outfit, and returns to the club where he scored 17 goals last season, [as] the top goal scorer.

He could return to action in their Integro League Cup tie with Widnes."

Likewise, the BetVictor NPL tells us that "Scarborough Athletic have announced that Connor Thomson has extended his loan with the club.

The attacker will remain at Scarborough until the middle of January 2020 from Gateshead FC."

Gloucester City "are delighted to officially welcome Steve Harvey of SMR Forestry and Lets Plant ( to the club’s board of directors. Steve has been a fantastic sponsor for the football club and his involvement already this season has been a massive asset to the club both on and the off the field.

Steve will become the new Vice-Chair and his financial assistance and time investment into the club will directly benefit and support the club this season, allowing Co-Chairmen Eamonn and Alex to focus on Meadow Park.

Following this announcement, previous Vice-Chair Jody Gooding vacates the post but remains a dedicated supporter of the club. Everyone at Gloucester City would like to thank Jody for his hard work in his role. But don’t worry, Jody isn’t going far! You’ll still see him in and around the club and no doubt singing in the stands back at Meadow Park!

We will hopefully be announcing another new investor at the club very soon, as we prepare for the next chapter and our return home".

According to Cheshire Live "It was a result that probably bust a fair few accumulators at the weekend. In a long and testing season you would expect York City to drop points, as you would everyone else in the National League North title race, but a 1-0 loss at Curzon Ashton raised plenty of eyebrows, not least that of Chester FC managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley who were present at the Tameside Stadium on Saturday.

Sixteen games unbeaten is some feat but it was a run that had to be snapped at some point. Will it knock York off course and take them into choppy waters? Probably not. What it has done, however, is remove the mask of invincibility, they are now viewed through a slightly different lens, not seen now as the beast that cannot be slayed.

Last season Chorley were runaway leaders early on, winning nine and drawing three of their opening 12 games before Bradford (Park Avenue) put paid to that record. Stockport County were, at the time, off the radar somewhat after a solid if unspectacular start to the campaign. The Hatters would, of course, go on to win the title while Chorley had to navigate their way through the play-offs, something that they succeeded in doing.

At the start of the season I thought there were seven or eight teams who could genuinely make a run at the title this season. A couple of those have dropped off and are battling at the wrong end of the division and fighting on more than Spennymoor Town had a rough start but it was false. They are an excellent side, a side who have kept a core group of players over a period of time, like Brackley Town, and who will be in the play-offs come the end of the season, like Brackley Town.

Southport are doing enough to keep themselves in the pack but whether they have the ability to stay there now their financial muscle has been weakened remains to be seen. They have their own style and at this level it should be enough to see them at least hang onto the coat tails of the top sides.

Then there is King's Lynn Town. I'd heard they were a decent side from last season but nobody really thought they would be leading the division at this stage did they? I didn't... They play the right way and are at the summit on merit...

Blues' boss Johnson stated last month that he felt that the league was York's to lose after they had built up an eight-point gap at the top of the league. They now sit second and a point behind King's Lynn, albeit with a game in hand. FA Cup involvement is a wonderful thing. The money it brings in, the publicity and the chance to visit bigger clubs, it's something every non-league football club wants to be involved in. But it is hard to fight on both fronts at this level."

Given that Alty have already knocked both York City and Chester FC out of the FA Cup, the last paragraph, above, is a little difficult to fathom.

Also from Cheshire Live we learn that "Stuart Murphy will be delivering a presentation to Chester FC fans prior to Thursday's City Fans United AGM.

Businessman and Blues donor Murphy will address CFU members... It is expected that Murphy will deliver an update on his proposals for his development of the infrastructure at Chester, something that has been on the cards since he first declared his intention to donate £1 million to the cause back in May 2018.

Murphy has been working on plans to develop additional revenue streams for the Blues alongside the club and key stakeholders including Cheshire West & Chester Council and it now appears that plans are at a stage where supporters will be able to see what is proposed. The enterpreneur and founder of former Blues' sponsor Exacta plc has seen his influence aid the cause this season and last, with his financial aid helping the club move to a hybrid structure from the start of this campaign.

Murphy has also pledged a substantial sum to help Chester FC Community Trust realise their ambitions to raise £1.3million for the King George V Sports Hub in Blacon. The Blues are also set to unveil their new stadium sponsor at the AGM as well as reveal the financial state of the football club following the previous 12 months."

Before Tuesday's fixture, Boston United reported that "The Pilgrims play host to Blyth Spartans in their first home fixture, barring the Lincolnshire Senior Cup, since their 2-0 win over Southport on September 28.

Craig Elliott's side have since played eight away matches, five in the league and three in the Emirates FA Cup, with three more league, FA Cup and Buildbase FA Trophy encounters to come before their next home action.

Elliott will be without the services of injured duo Simon Ainge and Alex Penny for the visit of Lee Clark's Spartans, who drew 4-4 at Kettering Town on Saturday. Demeaco Duhaney and Martyn Woolford are eligible to play ahead of their impending suspensions.

Spartans are unbeaten in their last five matches, following a difficult start to the season, with former Newcastle United youngster Callum Roberts starring for Clark's side over recent weeks".

The Shropshire Star tells us that "boss Gavin Cowan heaped praise on ‘re-energised’ Ellis Deeney after the all-action midfielder battled back from a severe bug.

Deeney missed two games through the illness, back-to-back defeats against Boston and Curzon Ashton, but returned to put in a ‘wonderful’ performance, according to Cowan, in the 2-2 draw with high-flying Spennymoor. The Bucks chief revealed club staff were concerned about the midfielder’s well-being after the 4-1 win over Guiseley exactly a month ago.

'What I would say is the midfield were just awesome,' said Cowan. 'Ellis was re-energised. Supporters won’t know this but Ellis has been suffering for three or four weeks with quite a bad bug. He probably played a couple of games where he was under the weather but didn’t want to come out because he has that loyalty to his team-mates. But he’s back at it and it’s great to have him back to full health and fitness.

'I think the last game he played was Guiseley, where he played well and, afterwards, he came in to the physio room and was really struggling. Something wasn’t quite right with fatigue. We were concerned for a while. But we got over a couple of weeks and he’s come back all clear. Everybody is happy'...

Deeney, 28, has made 72 appearances in his two years at Telford, and wore the captain’s armband in place of Shane Sutton against the Moors."

Leamington "report that our fundraising efforts in hitting our £1,000 target towards Connor Gudger's medical bill has been reached.

Connor, who sadly damaged his anterior cruciate ligament six weeks ago, requires an operation which will now take place on Friday. The operation has been costed at £7,000. He is getting support from the PFA of £6,000 and the difference has been made up from the generosity of fans at last Saturday's match v Alfreton Town as well as online contributions through the JustGiving page.

Connor thanks everyone for their fantastic support, which will allow the operation to now go ahead sooner rather than later."

In the Northern Echo we learn that "Being underdogs will give Darlington an edge in their FA Cup replay, believes manager Alun Armstrong having enjoyed some of his best days as a player when his side was not expected to win.

Quakers host Walsall with two divisions and 42 league places between the teams, the potential for a shock being why it has been selected by BT to be broadcast live, plus Darlington’s fan-owned background bringing extra interest.

A televised tie brings with it increased exposure, a consequence of which is that Armstrong has been in demand with various national media wanting his time, and something which usually comes up in such circumstances are his goals against Inter Milan for Ipswich Town... They faced the Italian giants over two legs in 2001-02, yet Armstrong scored in both games, winning the first 1-0 and losing the second 4-1 at the San Siro.

'It was surreal. Being where I’m from I never thought in a million years I would get to that level, you dream of it,' he says... 'I have said to the lads that I’ve been involved as a player as underdogs and you give so much more, it’s really strange but you have that extra bit of energy and extra pace... When I was at Stockport I scored a lot. When we were in League One we got to the League Cup semi-finals and I scored in two games against Everton...

'I scored against Arsenal for Ipswich, so I scored a few goals against decent teams'...

Right-back Ben Hedley has served a one-match ban so will return tomorrow, Armstrong expects Terry Galbraith to recover from a knee injury in time, and he is keeping his fingers crossed that Michael Liddle will be available after a groin problem".

19 November 2019


As previously announced, TASC is running supporters' coaches to the FA Cup tie at Portsmouth on Saturday, 30 November.

TASC Travel Coordinator, Mark Eckersall, is now pleased to announce that "The tickets for our family supporters' coaches to Portsmouth will be available at the Gateshead league game, tonight (Tuesday). Tickets are priced at a subsidised cost of £25 for adults and £20 for concessions, under-16s and those in full-time education, and must be purchased in advance.

The tickets will be available in the Community Sports Hall, along with match tickets, from 6.30pm tonight (Tuesday) and payment is available by cash or card.

Tickets will them be available from the club offices as detailed below. Please book early to allow us to judge numbers. Thanks for your support".

Details of the coach times, fares and pick-up points are on the Away Travel page, whilst details of ticketing and matchday arrangements are on Portsmouth FA Cup Match page.

Altrincham FC advises that sales of tickets for both the game and coach travel will be available from the club offices during the following times...

  • Tuesday 19th - 9.30am till 12.30pm then from 6.30pm at the Gateshead game
  • Wednesday 20th - 9.30am till 8pm
  • Thursday 21st - 9am-4pm and 6pm-8pm
  • Friday 22nd - 9am - 4pm
  • Saturday 23rd - Offices closed
  • Sunday 24th - 1pm- 4pm
  • Monday 25th - 9am-5pm
  • Tuesday 26th - 10-2pm and 6-8pm
  • Wednesday 27th - 9am-8pm
  • Thursday 28th - 9am -8pm
  • Friday 29th - 9am-12 noon No further ticket sales after this time.


Gateshead visit Altrincham tonight for a fixture which had to be postponed on 28 September, owing to a waterlogged pitch at Moss Lane.

Mike Garnett provides the data on previous encounters with The Heed...

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

Before the game, which features the two teams who have played the least number of league games this season (14), Gateshead reported that Michael "Nelson keen to make games in hand count ahead of Altrincham trip. The defender and first-team coach is looking to return to form on the road on Tuesday night

Michael Nelson stressed that Gateshead's games in hand only matter if they make them count ahead of Tuesday night's trip to Altrincham.

The Heed sit 11th in the Vanarama National League North but have played the least games in the division alongside the Robins, with both sides having played 14 games".

Whereas Alty have played the joint fewest home games in the league this season (six), Gateshead have played the fewest away games of any team in the division; just five matches, with nine games being completed at home.

Gateshead's last four games have been at home and before an FA Cup defeat by Oldham Athletic, they beat Curzon Ashton 3-0, lost 2-3 to Guiseley and defeated Gloucester City 1-0. Their last away game in the league was way back on 17 September when they lost 2-1 at Hereford FC.

Gateshead currently lie eleventh and they have six more points than Alty but as indicated above their tally is aided by more home games tham on the road whereas Alty's suffers for the opposite reason!


Just under a fortnight from their visit in the FA Cup, Alty return to Bootham Crescent on 23 November to play against York City, this time in the FA Trophy.

Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator writes, "Huge thanks to all who supported the coach for the excellent FA Cup Sunday at York. Our transport was a little novel as a one-off as we didn’t have enough demand for two vehicles so opted for a double-decker. This allowed us to get everyone to the game and be part of a superb support there without incurring losses.

We are aware that seven out of the last eight games have been away from home and this does get expensive, so your support has been excellent.

Normal coach service will be resumed for the return trip to York in the FA Trophy on Saturday 23rd November 2019.

Details of timings and fares are here.

Hope you will join us for York as we look to push on again on a slightly more realistic route to Wembley. We’ve matched the FA Cup journey's prices which, in turn, were discounted to the same rate as when we visited in 2010; so we hope it makes it a little easier on your pocket.

Seats can be booked by calling the club on 0161 928-1045 from 10am Monday to Friday or in the Community Sports Hall on Tuesday at our home fixture against Gateshead"


The sides last met at Moss Lane when both clubs were in the National League, from which Gateshead were demoted last season for financial reasons. But the last time we met, it was Alty who were in disarray on the pitch.

Gateshead's last visit to Altrincham was, as in 2019, on a Tuesday night. The match was on 8 March 2016, when the Tynesiders won 3-2. The following day, manager Lee Sinnott left Altrincham.

The result meant that Altrincham slipped further into an ultimately unsuccessful relegation fight as they completed a run of six successive home league fixtures, none of which they had won. In fact, this defeat meant that they had secured just one win in their last 13 National League games.

Gateshead went ahead in the 11th minute when they broke upfield after an Alty attack had been ended by a foul by 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 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".


Altrincham's away league game against Kettering Town has now been rearranged for Tuesday, 28 January, 2020, at 7.45pm

The match had already been twice-rescheduled and was set for Tuesday, 26 November, before today's announcement that it had again been postponed. This latest change is to allow preparation time ahead of Altrincham's Emirates FA Cup Second Round clash at Portsmouth on the following Saturday, 30 November.

The match was originally scheduled for 19 October but was postponed then due to FA Cup involvement at Southport. It was then moved to Tuesday, 12 November but that, too, had to be postponed as Altrincham's FA Cup tie on the preceding weekend at York was moved to the preceding Sunday leaving only two days between scheduled games. The next assigned date was 26 November which, itself, has now also been postponed!


York Press carries a report that "Steve Watson has indicated that York City's fringe players are likely to get an extended run-out against Pickering Town on Tuesday evening.

The sides, who played out an entertaining six-goal encounter in pre-season, meet at Bootham Crescent (7.30pm) in the first round of the North Riding County FA Senior Cup.

Sandwiched between York's first defeat of the National League North season last Saturday, and the FA Trophy third qualifying round this coming weekend [v. Altrincham], the Senior Cup would not appear to be high on Watson's priorities list.

There have been suggestions that the Trophy tie against Altrincham would be similarly low down the list, but Watson has insisted otherwise.

With York out of the FA Cup, beaten by upcoming opponents Altrincham, the Trophy is the sole remaining cup competition in which the boss could realise his stated dream to take City to Wembley this season. And following the 1-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton, Watson implied that Saturday would not be the day to tinker with his side.

He said 'We've got a game on Tuesday where I'm hoping to get 90 minutes into as many as I can of the lads who need minutes and have been on the peripheries, playing bit parts. I'm hoping to put a strong side against Pickering. Saturday, I was always going to try and win the game.

'We never think beyond the next game and we would never have thought beyond Ashton until now actually. It's a game I wanted to win regardless of losing (on Saturday)'.

Though able to put out a strong and familiar-looking team at the Tameside Stadium, there were a couple of absences to be accounted for. Adriano Moke was a notable missing name due to illness, the first time this season he has been left out of the matchday squad. Dan Maguire, meanwhile, had not fully recovered from the knock to the base of his spine from last Sunday. The only player Watson had to make a decision on was centre-back Josh King. Harry Spratt made the journey instead and replaced Joe Tait at half-time.

Connor Dimaio's first-half strike was the difference between the sides come the final whistle. It looked like it had given a disappointing York side a mountain to climb in the second period....

By the hour mark, Watson had made all three substitutions as City picked up in intensity and intent, but the attacking introductions of Kieran Green and Macaulay Langstaff did not yield the desired result...

Watson said 'We were playing a 3-4-3 in the end but sometimes when teams have something to hold on to and are happy with what they've got in a game it's very difficult. The only way we looked like scoring was balls into the box but their keeper did very well today. I thought today on a good pitch, it would have been tailor-made for Elliott, but we moved the ball so slowly in the first half that by the time we had the ball in and around the areas we wanted Elliott on the ball in, they'd all got their bodies back in.

'All the possession we had was with the back three, and that's because we moved the ball so slowly and were playing with a bit of negativity first half. I wish I had the answers, and I'll find them, but I wish I had the answers as to why they should be seen to be lacking in confidence.'

Tomorrow night's match against Pickering could be a good chance to restore some belief after back-to-back defeats in cup and league."


Mike Garnett and Howard Watts's Through the Years records remind us that the last time that Altrincham played on today's date, they were at Alfreton Town for a National League North match in 2016 which they lost 3-2, having led 2-1.

Back in November 2016, Altrincham supporters had become accustomed to seeing their side lose that season, with 12 losses in the league before this game, but this thirteenth defeat was the hardest to take as the Robins largely dominated the game only to concede three poor goals in the closing 14 minutes after making substitutions.

Wilkinson's deflected shot had given Alty a 31st minute lead before they dominated the second half. But the nearest they came to a second goal was when Miller hit the post.

Right: Alty celebrate Greg Wilkinson's opening goal.

With Altrincham in control, Jim Harvey brought on Marsh for Reeves (68 mins) and then Obeng for Lawrie on 75 minutes. A minute later, McGowan nodded down a freekick taken from near the centre circle and Monkhouse poked the ball home, much against the run of play to make it 1-1.

An excellent Moult header from a Miller cross made it 2-1 to Alty and a second league victory of the season looked on the cards (82 mins). Alty then made a further change as Goodall replaced McWilliams at left-back. Then two scrambled goals, both credited by the tannoy to Monkhouse, (though the winner was later correctly assigned to Hearn), in the 86th and 90th minutes from balls into the Alty goalmouth stole the points for Alfreton. It was an unlikely outcome to the game given what had happened over the first 85 minutes".


The Hereford Times reports that "Hereford manager Russell Slade says that he will be looking at his squad after their 5-1 defeat at Altrincham .

'You can’t make excuses and I can’t dodge it as well', said Slade. 'Okay I’ve inherited some of those players but they’re my team as well. I feel totally responsible and I’m not dodging that. When they cross that white line they’ve got to want to do it and have a strong mentality to see it through right from the first minute until the last minutes'.

When asked if some players would depart from his squad and others brought in, Slade added 'I think that has to be a conversation going forward. You can’t keep giving people opportunities to deliver, we have to look at it.'"

According to the National League "Mark Bower tells league sponsors Vanarama his return to Bradford (Park Avenue) isn't a fleeting visit - he's back for good. The script is usually written for a football manager who goes back to a club for a second crack of the whip. Some managers just love the thrill of it all as they put their neck on the line and risk past success to do it all again.

Bradford (Park Avenue) fans have a familiar name back in the Horsfall dugout, popular boss Mark Bower. Bower spent three successful seasons at his hometown team which led to two play-off campaigns against all the odds. Something feels the same this time around too. The club are struggling beyond their wildest nightmares, beleaguered, bottom and written off.

But he's has heard it all before.

'I came in two years ago in a similar position when everyone said we were doomed and going down,' said Bower who returned following an 8-0 thumping to Brackley last month. 'Slowly but surely, we turned it around and got ourselves safe that season and built some strong foundations to have two very successful seasons following that; that’s what we’ve got to try and do again.

'Confidence was very low when I came in. We had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by a lower league team and then been beaten 8-0 so the dressing room was very low.

'We’re not just down there,' he continued. 'We’ve had some heavy defeats and look well short of the mark at times. If we can stay up this season, it will give us a bit of a clean slate to start again and build again from next summer.'

Bower is the Avenue's third manager of the season, following short spells from Garry Thompson and then Marcus Law. So is he back for good? Or is he simply playing the knight in shining armour role? Both, actually.

'There’s a lot of work to do and we need all the help we can get. But I've never been one to shy away from a challenge and I won't start now', he said. 'I want to do my best for the club for as long as that lasts for. If you do the job well then, you’re more likely to stay around so obviously that’s what I’m trying to do.

'We’ve had a really good reaction to us coming back but I’m more interested to what people will think when we’ve finished the job. Hopefully people will think well of us when it comes to an end.'”

Gloucester City report that "Following the news of Mike Cook’s departure, the club has been inundated with applications for the now vacated manager’s role.

Whilst, naturally, focus is on the here and now, we must also be looking ahead to next season with the club preparing for the change to a full-time manager and different operating model. This change was always planned to happen at the end of the current season, ready for our return home to the City.

We are pleased with the calibre of candidates showing interest and we can confirm that the interview process has already begun. With the Buildbase FA Trophy game this Sunday, we are confident of having a new manager in place for this fixture ahead of a very busy and important Christmas period.

We would like to express our thanks to everyone that has applied for the role so far. One of the key requirements is that the new manager must have worked in a full-time club in the National League as a minimum.

Gloucester City is a fantastic club with big ambitions, a new stadium that is about to rise with a committed fanbase that have travelled all over and outside of the County to back it. The successful candidate will need to be someone who matches our ambition and can lead the club forwards."

Chester FC report that "Akwasi Asante and Cain Noble (2) were on the scoresheet as the Blues beat an Accrington Stanley XI 3-0 at the Deva Stadium in a behind closed doors friendly match.

Asante tapped home after 22 minutes following Danny Elliott’s effort which was saved by the keeper, as the striker got 30 minutes under his belt as he steps up his recovery from injury.

Two headers from substitute Cain Noble in the second half came from a pinpoint Matty Waters cross and a superb Regan Rubin delivery.

Rubin, Jake Hampson and Tom Ruffer, all from the Youth Team, played the last half an hour. Meanwhile, first-year scholar defender Harrison Burke played the full 90 minutes at the back."

Wigan Athletic inform us that "Under-23 striker Charlie Jolley made it a winning start on loan in the National League North with Curzon Ashton, as the Nash won 1-0 against then leaders York City.

Jolley, who has scored four goals for Latics' Under 23s so far this season, including a hat-trick against Watford at Vicarage Road, joined Curzon Ashton earlier last week and immediately made a starting berth.

The victory saw the Nash lift out of the relegation zone into 19th place on 16 points, a full three points clear of the drop."

Meanwhile, Cheshire Live says that "A decision has been made on whether Chester FC and Brackley Town FA Trophy clash will finish on the day. The Blues head to St James Park this weekend looking to progress to the first round

Chester FC and Brackley Town will go to a replay at the Deva Stadium next week if the two sides cannot be separated this weekend. The Blues meet the Saints at St James Park on Saturday in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy and the clubs were given the chance to finish the tie on the day via a penalty shootout or go to a replay on Tuesday (November 26) should the game end a draw after 90 minutes.

With Chester forced to make a lengthy trip to Northamptonshire on Saturday the Blues wish to have home advantage in a replay should the game end in a draw, the financial benefits tipping the scale. The prize for the winners this weekend is a place in the first round and a cheque for £3,750, the losers receiving £1,250.

The draw couldn't have been much tougher for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley's side with National League North rivals Brackley unbeaten at home in the league this season and coming into the clash on the back of a 5-1 demolition of Darlington at St James Park on Saturday afternoon in the league. But the Blues can take heart from their point earned their at the start of November when Brad Jackson's curling effort helped Chester to a deserved share of the spoils against Kevin Wilkin's men."

And Cheshire Live also reports that "Chester FC and Gateshead will wait until after this weekend before deciding on a rearrangement after the weekend clash was postponed due to the wet weather.

Torrential rain put paid to the scheduled clash at the International Stadium on Saturday with the Heed's home pitch waterlogged, a sensible early call made on Friday morning .

The postponement leaves Chester facing the prospect of a Tuesday night trip to the North East in December or January, but a call won't be made until after both sides have played in the FA Trophy this weekend... Should Chester and Gateshead exit the Trophy this weekend then it has been mooted that the Saturday (December 14) would be a more sensible date to hold the rearrangement.

If either Chester or Gateshead progress on Saturday then the game will have to be replayed on a Tuesday night, the rearrangement having to take place within 42 days of the original postponement".

18 November, 2019


Match report here

Above: Tony Thompson makes a fine save in the first half against Hereford FC on Saturday.


The Portsmouth News reports that "Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson believes his players can cause an FA Cup upset and dump Pompey out of the FA Cup... Parkinson told the club’s official website ‘It's going to be an absolutely fantastic occasion and we're really looking forward to it and we've got a great group of players who are more than competent of causing an upset and playing above themselves, which they are going to have to do.

'We're not stupid, we know we're going to have to have the best game ever. We said that about York [Round One] and the lads always step up to the plate on these occasions. So whatever happens we'll put a real good account of ourselves across.’"


The Hereford Times tells us that "Hereford manager Russell Slade said his side let the fans down during their 5-1 defeat at Altrincham. The defeat was Hereford’s fourth in five games and followed Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss at home to Alfreton...

'It was certainly not good enough and I was so disappointed because we started the game so well in the first 15 to 20 minutes when we could have gone one in front,' said Slade. 'There’s not a strong enough mentality because the moment they get a goal it seemed to knock the stuffing out of us and the energy out of us.

'We needed half-time at 2-0 to try and regroup, which we did, and then the start of the second half we started okay but couldn’t keep it going. We managed to get a goal but that was when we were three down. In both boxes simply not good enough...

'At the minute we are letting the football club down and the fans down. They need to be honest enough whether they can give what is required week in and week out, not just for 20 minutes, for 40 odd games are you good enough? Are you going to give us what we require? Ask yourself and be honest, that’s the same for me. The second thing is, if that answer is yes, I’m definitely the man for the job, then what are we going to change? Because we can’t keep doing this away from home.

'Where we go a goal down or two goals down and we can’t recover. We’ve conceded far too many goals on the road and that needs to stop. We’re not giving ourselves a chance to stay in the game and that’s disappointing because at times we have got quality, but we need to be ruthless with it'.

The Bulls had started brightly with Tommy O’Sullivan, returning from a one match suspension, rattling the post in the opening minutes...

'I don’t think he (the goalkeeper) would have got near Tommy O’Sullivan’s he just watched that and that was a little bit unlucky,' added Slade... 'Look we’re creating, we need to create more, more consistent with it and we need to be finishing, we need to be ruthless. Whilst that process is going on we need to be defending and make it very difficult not to concede. It was a worry every time the ball went forward, down the side and into the box it was a worry'"


On Sunday, in the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup 2019 - 2020, Alty Youth won 7-0 at Atherton Town. The goals came from Joe Haggerty, James MAtthews (2), Raheem Mercurius, Abuyomi Shitu, Robert Hughes and Manasse Roman.

The startng eleven comprised (A/Z order) Niall Butchart, Sonny Dean, Theodore Donachie, Daniel Gavaghan, Joe Haggerty, George Howarth, James Matthews, Raheem Mercurius, Sam Moser, Abuyomi Shitu and goalkeeper Joel Torrance.

The substitutes were Claudio da Costa, Robert Hughes, Manasse Roman, Daniel Ross and Brandon Albati.

The next listed league match is on 8/12/19 at home to Atherton Town.


To date, Alty Ladies have only played three league games. Next up is an away game at Burscough Dynamo First Women on Sunday, 24 November.


The, Gloucestershire Live reports that "Mike Cook says his departure from Gloucester City is purely down to a 'clash of personalities” with joint chairman Alex Petheram.

Cook took over as manager in January [and] led the Tigers away from relegation trouble in National League South last term. They ended 17th and... for 2019/20 they lie 12th after 17 games, four points off the play-off places. But the 51-year-old's reign came to an abrupt end on Saturday as an issue he says has been brewing since the club’s exit from the FA Cup on October 7 came to a head.

'Our goals at the start of the season were to try and finish mid-table and hopefully get back to Meadow Park,' Cook said. 'We lost the replay to Whitby on a Monday night and Alex had a rant, which is fair enough as we’d been knocked out of the FA Cup. It would have been £12,000 (in prize money) for going through, which is handy for a club like Gloucester City, even if it was not budgeted for.

'But what upset me the most was him then phoning around the players over the next few days, asking them what he should do about my position as manager. I was astonished when I was told about this and, in a team meeting after our game at Gateshead the following Saturday, I did make reference to it.

'Emotions were high and some strong language was used as I told the players to ignore all the noise from outside and concentrate purely on matters on the pitch.'

Gloucester put in a positive performance at Gateshead, but were beaten 1-0, with Petheram not in attendance.

'I knew Alex was going away on holiday to California on the Wednesday, so we had a discussion on the Tuesday and I told him I felt what he’d done was inappropriate and unprofessional,' Cook said. 'I said I’d had a few words with the players about it and he wasn’t happy, but I felt I needed to stand up to him. We agreed to draw a line under it and we didn’t have a problem come the end of the conversation.'

Cook continued to go about his business, picking up a point at home to Curzon Ashton and then away to Farsley Celtic in their most recent game, after a defeat by Spennymoor Town.

'Team spirit was great, the lads were fantastic and we just cracked on with things while Alex was away for three weeks,' Cook said. 'But he came back and obviously wasn’t happy about things. I had actually been contemplating resigning before the Gateshead match because I don’t suffer fools lightly. If you are putting things like that in the players’ heads after what we’ve achieved on the pitch, it’s totally unprofessional and inappropriate. I will pull people up on stuff like that all day, every day.

'He’s obviously been chewing over it for a couple of weeks and my departure is purely down to him and the personality clash between us.'

Cook was informed he had been sacked during a 45 minute phone conversation call with Petheram on Saturday, having been unable to attend a meeting to which he was invited. He says he has been left 'devastated' after spending time with his coaching team of Andy Hoskins and Marc McGregor, putting together a three-year plan to reach the National League. Assistant manager Hoskins and first team coach Marc McGregor both resigned from their positions on Saturday.

'We had earmarked a couple more players to come in to help us really have a go at getting into those play-off spots and we’ve all moved on, so it’s massively disappointing what’s happened,' Cook said. 'With the coaching we have, the loans we could attract and the other players we had on the radar, we had a really good chance over the next couple of years and I was totally not expecting this.

'It’s still very emotional and raw and it’s starting to hit me now that I won’t be going to take training on Tuesday night. I am just so, so, so disappointed with the way Alex has gone about things,' he said. 'But I hope everyone at the club cracks on now because we’ve left them in an extremely good place, with some brilliant players capable of finishing in the top 10'...

Another member of the coaching set-up, Mike Green, is currently recuperating, having donated a kidney to his sister. 'Greener has been in touch with his support and if he had been working with us, he’d have resigned too,' Cook said. 'I’ve heard from pretty much all the players saying the decision is a disgrace. We are £4 under budget for this season, which is unheard of for this club in recent years. I also reckon we saved the club £500,000 last season by keeping us up, which had massive implications on funding for the new stadium.

'We’ve also saved the club a lot more money with several loans who have cost nothing. It’s a shame it’s all come down to an issue between Alex and myself, but I am nobody’s fool.'

Former Cambridge United midfelder Cook says last season’s successful battle against the drop ranks as his best achievement. 'I recently finished my Pro Licence and there aren’t many more qualified coaches than me in the county,' he said... 'Thanks to Chris Knowles at Hartpury we have brilliant facilities and they allow us to be more professional than a lot of clubs, despite clubs like York City having a budget 10 times bigger than ours'...

City have been without a ground since the 2007 floods, playing at Forest Green, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and now Evesham United as part of their nomadic existence for 12 years... Cook had one final message for the club. 'I’d be disappointed if they don’t start next season at Meadow Park and they have a realistic chance,' he said. 'To be fair to Alex, he’s probably best person to drive that because that’s his forte, with the building company and it’s what he does. I just hope he sticks to that rather than interfering with the football side of things for whoever the next manager is.'"

Meanwhile, the Stroud News claims that "Former Hereford FC boss Peter Beadle is the early frontrunner to take over as the next manager of Gloucester City after the surprise departure of Mike Cook....

The Tigers, who play in National League North are understood to be seeking a full-time manager and Stroud-based Beadle is a firm favourite to land the post.

Beadle, who led the phoenix Edgar Street club to three straight titles, was replaced at the helm by Marc Richards but the club’s board chose to relieve the ex-Gloucester City boss of his duties just three games into this season. Richards is also in the frame to make a return to City."

According to the Telegraph & Argus "A ninth-minute red card for Liam Hughes put the skids under Bradford (Park Avenue) as they slid to their 13th league defeat in 18 games, losing 3-0 at home to Leamington.

It was a controversial dismissal and, as Leamington slotted in the resulting penalty, it was a double whammy for the National North bottom side. That left Avenue 2-0 down and a man down with ten minutes on the clock and time ticking down on their hopes of escaping the drop, even though the season is not yet at the halfway point.

They are four points adrift at the foot of the table after this loss to a side who were struggling themselves, having lost their last four league games prior to their Horsfall visit.

Disappointed boss Mark Bower said 'The game was gone after nine minutes. I asked the assistant referee what it (the sending-off) was given for and he didn’t know. I had looked right at him when the whistle went and he hadn’t flagged so it must have been something the referee saw.

'I think their lad has been very clever and used a bit of contact to go to ground and the ref has bought it. That’s the bit that’s subjective, the decision itself, but that leads to the sending off because if it is a foul then Liam has denied a goal scoring opportunity and the punishment for that is a red card.

'It took us a while to settle down after that but when we did, even with ten men, it was a close game. They weren’t cutting us open and creating chances. I don’t think Joe (Green) had a lot to do apart from the goals. We got the lads in at half-time and we just said keep going, keep the concentration levels and continue to work hard for the team. I can’t fault the players for their effort... Leamington had one ball over the top and got the third goal.

'I think the defeat was partly self-inflicted though as we keep giving soft goals away which means, when you’re not scoring goals yourself, you’re always climbing mountains. We can’t do anything about the second goal, that’s a refereeing decision, but the first was a free header from a corner and the third was long ball over the top that has caught the defence out and let their lad through on goal.'

It had been a positive opening eight minutes for Avenue before the Brakes took the lead".

Eastern Daily Press says that "King's Lynn Town returned to top spot in the National League North after Chris Henderson's winner made it four straight league wins in a row with a 2-1 win at Southport.

Despite an early Southport goal from Devarn Green, the never-say-die Linnets replied with a wonder goal from Adam Marriott before Henderson popped up with the winner just before the hour mark.

[At 1-0 down], it looked like it could be a difficult afternoon for the visitors. But these days Lynn are a resilient squad and with their first notable chance Ryan Hawkins, stepping in for the suspended Michael Gash, saw a deflected shot cleared from his line by Zehn Mohammed, with keeper Charles Albinson beaten.

Town levelled moments later with a goal that will be talked about for years to come. Alex Street began the move which resulted in 21 passes being made before Marriott found the top corner of Albinson's net from the edge of the box...

Town weathered the expected early home second-half storm and got the points as Sam Kelly's delightful lobbed pass picked out Henderson, who drew Albinson before sending the ball back beyond the keeper. Marriott had the ball in the net again but was ruled offside. Lynn had a let-off when Mohammed hit a post with Street beaten and deep into stoppage time Marriott did the same".

We learn from the Northern Echo that "Darlington manager Alun Armstrong blasted his players after a first half horror show against Brackley, branding it 'abysmal'.

His team lost 5-1, Brackley scoring their goals before half-time, the performance coming hot on the heels of the battling 2-2 draw at Walsall last week and was certainly unexpected.

But at least Armstrong can now use the failings as part of his team talk ahead of the replay against the League Two side on Wednesday. And if Walsall had somebody at the game, they might go away thinking that they only have to turn up on Wednesday, which would be a mistake as Quakers won’t perform this badly again, certainly if the manager has his way.

Armstrong has been badly hit by injuries, a suspension and two international calls ups, but he didn’t use those as excuses.

'That first 45 minutes was one of the worst I’ve ever managed,' he said. 'The first thing I said to the lads during the week at training was that they shouldn’t drop their levels or the intensity that they play and that they can’t just switch performances on or off. We didn’t deserve anything from the game; that first half was pretty abysmal.

'After 15 minutes, we capitulated. I didn’t expect that at all. If we’d scored early on at 0-0, then we could have gone on to win the game. I’m extremely disappointed, and I’m absolutely gutted for the fans. I told the players that they had let every single fan down who had travelled. Me and the staff included, we let everyone down.

'Yes, I’ll take responsibility because we played a back five, but that was all we had left. I had four centre halves on the pitch, but their centre forward got a free header in the box to score their third goal. It was just baffling – for the second goal, our defence looked like a bunch of strangers'. The match had started with plenty of promise and Quakers playing with three at the back. They knocked the ball around confidently, and nearly scored when Stephen Thompson found wing back Jarret Rivers, who cut inside from the right and hit a left foot shot that took a slight deflection and went just past the post. And from his corner that followed, Louis Laing headed against the base of the post.

But then it all started to unravel against some clinical finishing...

As Armstrong said afterwards 'I won’t need to say much to the lads on Wednesday, they know that they have to be better... The players probably had their minds elsewhere, and that’s something I’ve been re-iterating into them all week. They can’t be thinking of that Walsall game, they can’t just switch a performance on and off. I didn’t want to go into the Walsall game after something like this, it’s not what you want...

'It looked as though they were saving themselves for Wednesday in that first half, and that was something I was trying to get hold of. It was just so annoying, and I ripped into them at half time. We got a response, but Brackley took their foot off the gas. We were still nowhere near good enough'...

Terry Galbraith suffered a knee injury near the end, limping off leaving Quakers with ten men for the last few minutes as all subs had been used. Armstrong said 'We thought it was a twist, but it’s a kick on the back of the knee. There was no point in risking it because the game was gone.'"

17 November, 2019


For the second successive home league match Altrincham found the net five times, albeit with a ten-week gap between those matches! And you would have got very long odds on the final score today after the first 25 minutes of this game, during which Hereford FC were comfortably the better side.

Right: Tom Hannigan is congratulated by John Johnston on his opening goal.

So, it was against the run of play when an Alty corner was deflected into Tom Hannigan's path and the centre-back stooped to head home from close range and put his side ahead (26 mins). To compound the visitors' misfortune it was 2-0 barely a minute later when Jordan Hulme scored with a clever back-flick from Andy White's low cross from the left.

And it could have been even worse for Hereford shortly afterwards as Hulme hit the bar with a clever flick from a Densmore feed (32 mins). The visitors remained second-best for the rest of the first half.

After the interval, Altrincham did make it 3-0 in the 57th minute as Hulme drove the ball home after a Johnston advance up the right. But Peter Vincenti made it 3-1 after 63 minutes when he sidefooted home after Josh Gowling had nodded down a freekick.

However, three minutes later, Alty restored their three-goal lead following another Johnston raid. This time, the striker slotted the ball home from near the penalty spot.

Another two minutes had elapsed before Shaun Densmore swept home a fifth goal for the hosts, from a Hulme feed. The final twenty minutes were relatively uneventful as Altrincham remained eighteenth but with games in hand on virtually everybody else.

Match report here


Brian Flynn's post-match interview with Saturday's Man of the Match, Jordan Hulme, is on Alty TV.


Following Saturday's 5-1 defeat at Altrincham, Bulls' News reported that "An honest Russell Slade [manager] admitted that him and his players are letting the club down after the Bulls were thrashed 5-1 at Altrincham today.

The defeat came on the back of Tuesday's very abject performance against Alfreton, which Hereford lost 2-1.

The Bulls have conceded three or more goals on six occasions away from home this season, with Slade overseeing four of them.

He says that his players have to be honest with themselves and ask if they can put on the level of performance required throughout the season and admitted that player requirement is a subject that needs to be discussed at the club.

There is a fuller audio interview with Slade via the above link to Bulls' News.

Bulls' News goes on to say it was "A new low as Hereford are hammered 5-1. Considering Hereford put in such an abject performance on Tuesday, you would think they would have bounced back strongly today. But instead, the Bulls were hammered 5-1 by Altrincham.

Yes, Hereford were well on top prior to the first goal, but football is about taking your chances and keeping it tight at the back. And the Bulls failed miserably on both counts today. The home side meanwhile were clinical up top and punished Hereford for the mistakes they made.

Hereford went close through Tommy O'Sullivan and Jason Pope in the first half and were playing well. But Altrincham punished them for their missed opportunities by striking twice in as many minutes through Tom Hannigan and Jordan Hulme.

And the second half got worse with Hulme scoring a second in the 57th minute; his shot somehow going under the normally reliable Brandon Hall.

Peter Vincenti gave Hereford brief hope by getting on the scoresheet six minutes later, but sadly the Bulls didn't have enough goal threat to truly take the game to their hosts. A mistake from Josh Gowling was punished by Hulme for his hat-trick, with Shaun Densmore adding a fifth".


The Portsmouth News reports that "Pompey turned down an offer to play their FA Cup second-round tie with Altrincham on Sunday, December 1.

The News understands an overseas TV company was keen to broadcast the Fratton Park game against the National League North outfit. A 2pm kick-off time had been earmarked, with a fee included in the deal.

However, it is believed the Blues rejected the approach, preferring instead to play the tie on Saturday, November 30, at 3pm.

The club were keen to ensure a Saturday afternoon fixture for the Fratton faithful, with Pompey having so far played only five home games in the traditional match-day slot all season"


Gateshead visit Altrincham for their rearranged match on Tuesday night. The Heed's match on Saturday at the International Stadium was postponed on Friday due to "adverse weather conditions".

Gateshead report that "Connor Thomson and Danny Greenfield have both had their loan deals at Scarborough Athletic and West Auckland Town extended until January 18.

Thomson, who has been a regular fixture in the Seadogs' side, scoring one goal, started this afternoon's 1-0 defeat at home to Lancaster City in his first home appearance. Greenfield was also in action on Saturday afternoon for West Auckland, playing 62 minutes of their 2-2 draw away to Billingham Town."


According to York Press, York City manager Steve Watson has expressed his disappointment at defeat against Curzon Ashton, which he believes was sealed by an 'awful' first half.

The Minstermen's unbeaten start to the National League North came to an end in the 1-0 loss at the Tameside Stadium, as has their leadership of the division, which is now topped by King's Lynn Town.

Despite last week's FA Cup defeat, York did not look like a side whose previous competitive loss had come more than six months ago, nor did they look like recovering from the Altrincham reversal.

Instead, Watson cut a frustrated figure on the touchline...

'The first half was awful,' Watson admitted after a pause. 'I'm trying to think of a better word for it but it was an awful performance. We were almost waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen. This week was about putting last week behind us but we looked like we were lacking in confidence, and I said to the lads, "How could that be?"

'Second half, I thought we were camped in their half, their keeper made some saves, but that's easy to do when you're behind. The first half was a huge disappointment and where the game was lost. Like last week, we moved the ball very slowly in the first half, went backwards so many times and that really is a lack of confidence. I'd rather players lose the ball on the edge of the box trying to be positive but that wasn't the case.

'They were all frustrated and angry with themselves at half-time but these are the games where, if we'd nicked a point, we'd have kept our unbeaten run going, but it's completely flummoxed me the first-half performance today. That's why sometimes you throw the floor open [in the] dressing room and you want answers from the players. I didn't respond to last week badly, the fans didn't particularly respond to last week badly. We all agreed it was a below-par performance but everything this week suggested we were going to kick back on.

'For 45 minutes, we looked almost shell-shocked. I didn't recognise a lot of the players in the first half'...

The decisive strike came just after the half-hour. Keeper Pete Jameson punched a cross away from goal and it dropped kindly for Stockport County loanee and Curzon debutant Connor Dimaio to fire high into the unprotected net... Watson added, 'He's held his hands up in the dressing room. I'll certainly not be hanging Pete Jameson out to dry this season, so that's that forgotten about... We're just looking for a response.'"

York Press adds that "The Tameside Stadium remains an unhappy hunting ground for York City...

Mark Bradshaw made two changes to the Curzon Ashton side who registered their first win in 14 last weekend, beating AFC Telford United 2-1. Charlie Jolley and Connor Dimaio came in for Nicky Wroe and Isaac Sinclair.

Scorer of the dramatic 93rd-minute winner, Andy Halls retained his place in the starting line-up alongside five-goal scorer for the season Sean Miller. Salford City loanee Joshua Askew was in the side as well.

There were three changes for York following the FA Cup defeat to Altrincham last weekend. Adriano Moke was left out of the squad for the first time this season while there was a first league start for Elliott Durrell. Jordan Burrow and Paddy McLaughlin returned to the 11 after starting last week on the bench. Kieran Green dropped to the bench and Nathan Dyer was restored to the substitutes...

Curzon were playing like they had a point to make. They were winning the midfield battle and York’s attackers had found themselves very isolated by the midway point of the half, while Miller and captain Evans led by example down the defensive left, putting in some crunching but legal tackles...

Debutant Dimaio put Curzon ahead just after the half-hour... Curzon, to their credit, did a fantastic job of shutting York down in the centre and with, at times, six at the back, the occasionally dynamic Durrell and Kempster could not wriggle through."


Despite not playing on Saturday, Gloucester City lie twelfth in the National League North. In that context, it is all the more surprising that, in a terse statement, Gloucester City "confirm that Mike Cook has left his position as first team manager within the club. The board would like to express their thanks to Mike for everything he achieved last season and wish him every success for the future. Comments are closed".

Later the club stated "Following today’s news, the board directors have attended a meeting in Gloucester at 15:00 this afternoon to finalise and confirm the requirements for the now vacant manager's position. The club re-confirms the intention to appoint a full time manager to assist in bringing the club back to both ‘Meadow Park‘ and the ‘Gloucester community’.

The board would again like to express their thanks to the departing management team and now concentrate their efforts into returning back to Gloucester next season with intent, by ‘Prorsum Semper‘ (Clubs motto) delivering the dream of ‘football league‘ into a reality.

Our commitment to the community and to the City of Gloucester, is to have a club that plays in the ‘football league’ back home in Gloucester".

The National League reports that "A quick glance at the form table before this afternoon and not many would’ve given Curzon Ashton a sniff against the leaders. One win in 12 for the Nash but they improved to stun York City into a first defeat courtesy of Connor Dimaio’s winner.

It was high fives for Brackley Town and Altrincham who both notched impressive wins. Brackley halted Darlington’s purple patch with five first half goals. Lee Ndlovu hit a brace while Matt Lowe, Wes York and Shane Byrne added...

[with Kettering] Three down at half time, a win looked all but secure for Blyth Spartans. Callum Roberts got a treble at Latimer Park but it wasn’t enough as resilient Kettering fought back to keep their unbeaten record under new boss Paul Cox.

King’s Lynn are the new leaders after coming from behind to beat Southport, Adam Marriott hitting goal number 19 on the way.

Spennymoor Town blew a two-goal lead at AFC Telford who levelled things up just after the break through [ex-Alty loanee] Billy Sass-Davies.

Struggling Bradford (Park Avenue) had another afternoon to forget, this time at the hands of Leamington, the Brakes ran riot thanks to a hat trick from Josh March.

Boston United had nine men on the field when Brad Abbott wrapped up the points against Farsley Celtic. The Pilgrims had seen Martyn Woolford dismissed before Demeaco Duhaney also saw red."

At Southport, "Manager Liam Watson has completed the signing of young defender Charlie Oliver. The 21-year-old, who spent ten years in the Manchester City Academy... [is] naturally a central defender. Oliver progressed through the ranks at City, turning professional at the age of 18. He became a regular for their Elite Development Squad, representing the club in PL2 and the EFL Trophy.

The Manchester-born player also helped City to the 2016 FA Youth Cup final, spending the second half of the 2017/18 season on loan at Fleetwood Town and the start of the following season with Brentford B...

Said Watson, 'He’s an extremely promising player with a really good pedigree. He can play right across the back four and as a holidng midfielder, so he gives us strong variety and good options'".

Spennymoor Town "surrendered a two-goal lead accumulated inside the first 25 minutes as Telford battled back to claim a point in an engrossing encounter.

Goals from Glen Taylor and James Roberts put Moors on course for a third win in the space of a week, but a cool finish from Adam Walker and a header from Billy Sass-Davies earned The Bucks a share of the spoils.

Jason Ainsley made one change from the side who defeated Boston 2-1 at The Brewery Field on Tuesday night, with Ben McKenna replacing Mark Anderson on the left wing...

Roberts was heavily involved as Spennymoor took the lead just after the ten minute mark. After beating Riccardo Calder with a nifty flick over the defender’s head, a burst of pace took him past the former Bradford (Park Avenue) man, forcing the full back to slice down Roberts.

The referee did not hesitate and immediately gave the spot-kick, presenting Taylor with the chance to take his tally for the season to 15 in all competitions and 96 for Spennymoor overall...

[The] second... arrived with ease after 24 minutes when Roberts ran on to Taylor’s well won flick on, before chipping the ball over Yates and tapping into an empty net.

The home side, despite trailing by two and on a baron [barren] run of form, never looked out of the game...

The Bucks finally had their goal [when] Ryan Barnett tried his luck from the edge of the box, which Chandler got in the way of, but when the ball fell kindly for Walker, the former Brackley midfielder clipped the ball past Gould with the outside of his boot...

The relentless nature of the game carried on after the break, and it was the home side who began the better, clearly carrying the momentum after their rally at the end of the first half. That momentum saw them claim an equaliser two minutes after the restart, and after being unsuccessful with a high number of corners in the first 45 minutes, McQuilkin found the head of Sass Davies who nodded in...

It was anyone’s game as the game drew to its conclusion".

Farsley Celtic "have now gone four league games without victory as nine-man Boston United left with all three points following a 4-2 victory.

The Celt Army twice fought back from a goal down, however [they] failed to make their numerical advantage count as the visitors struck twice in the final 20 minutes against the run of play.

Farsley Celtic Manager Adam Lakeland cut a frustrated figure after the game, as he said 'I have to say our defending in that second-half was terrible, the goals were too easy, I’ve spoken about them with the players in there. It’s nowhere near good enough defending, letting them get in with ease, because I’ve actually felt we’ve played really well there over 90 minutes, and in the second-half we were certainly the better team.

'When it went to 2-2, you felt like we were the team in the ascendancy and that we’d go on and win it, there’s still 25 minutes to go at that point. They’ve obviously made a change and brought (Jay) Rollins on, with a bit of extra pace up top. If you concede four goals you don’t deserve to get anything out of a game of football, we’ve been a bit naïve there.

'We’ve lost the game because our defending wasn’t good enough in the second-half, but the referee’s performance was embarrassing, and I feel sorry [for] the assessor!'

After a scrappy opening to the game, the visitors were awarded a penalty midway through the first-half as Will Hayhurst was adjudged to have handled in the box, with Jordan Thewlis converting. Within three minutes Farsley had struck back through Jimmy Spencer, the forward finding space in the box and superbly heading home Will Hayhurst’s delivery...

The Pilgrims then retook the lead against the run of play, Jordan Thewlis flicking the ball on for Dominic Knowles who kept his cool to slot home.

The Celt Army hit back once again just minutes after falling behind, as Adam Clayton was felled in the box by Crook, with Will Hayhurst firing home the equaliser from the spot.

What appeared would be a decisive moment came just minutes later, as Boston’s Martyn Woolford received his marching orders after lashing out off the ball. However, Farsley were unable to take advantage of the extra man and it was, in fact, Boston who went in front when substitute Jay Rollins went down under the challenge of Tom Allan in the box. The referee pointed to the spot, and Jordan Thewlis converted his second penalty of the afternoon.

Adam Clayton collided with the advertising hoardings with around five minutes remaining and was unable to continue as his side were forced to finish the game with 10 men, before the man advantage was reinstated when Boston’s Demeaco Duhaney received a second booking for kicking the ball away...

And the Pilgrims wrapped up the three points in the third minute of added time as they caught Farsley short at the back, with Brad Abbott slotting home when one-on-one with Kyle Trenerry".

Before their win over York City, Curzon Ashton reported that "Two new signings will be in contention for Curzon Ashton on Saturday as they prepare to take on league leaders York City.

Forward Charlie Jolley (Wigan Athletic) and midfielder Connor DiMaio (Stockport County) have both been brought in on a month’s loan as manager Mark Bradshaw looks to capitalise on last week’s win over Telford United and climb away from the relegation zone.

Lewis Reilly will hope to overcome an injury problem and make his first start since returning to the club on loan from Crewe Alexandra.

They couldn’t face a much tougher task to follow up on that morale boosting win in the shape of unbeaten York... The Minstermen’s success has been built on a solid foundation rather than a flashy attack. Alex Kempster leads their top goalscorer list on seven goals, only one more than the Nash’s Sean Miller."

At Bradford (Park Avenue) "[former Alty loanee] Jon Moran and Brad Dockerty have both left the club on loan, joining Stafford Rangers and Pontefract Collieries respectively. Both players joined the club in the summer, but have struggled to force their way into the side recently, with injury and illness hampering their progress.

Dockerty in particular impressed fans over the summer and has grabbed three league goals so far this term, with his move to Pontefract coming due to a change in personal circumstances.

Avenue boss Mark Bower explained 'Brad’s work patterns have changed recently and he has been struggling to commit to training over the past couple of weeks... Together with Brad we will re-assess the situation when his loan spell ends'

Dockerty will join Pontefract until January, while centre-back Moran has signed an initial one-month loan deal with Stafford. The defender has been out injured after starting the season with a string of appearances, but is yet to feature under Bower.

'Game time will be of great benefit to Jon,' the Bradford manager said. 'He hasn’t featured over the past few weeks due to a minor injury, and he needs to now get back on the pitch.'

Meanwhile, Cieron Keane and Kemy Agustien have both left the club following short spells at Avenue".

16 November, 2019


Saturday 16 November

King's Lynn have gone to the top of the table; Alty remain 18th.

  • AFC Telford United 2-2 Spennymoor Town
  • Alfreton Town P-P Gloucester City
  • Altrincham 5-1 Hereford FC
  • Brackley Town 5-1 Darlington
  • Bradford Park Avenue 0-3 Leamington
  • Curzon Ashton 1-0 York City
  • Farsley Celtic 2-4 Boston United
  • Gateshead P-P Chester FC (postponed on Friday, waterlogged pitch)
  • Guiseley P-P Kidderminster Harriers (international call-ups)
  • Kettering Town 4-4 Blyth Spartans
  • Southport 1-2 King's Lynn Town


The Portsmouth News reports that "Phil Parkinson told That's Manchester, ‘It means everything to everyone in non-league to have a good FA Cup run. We've managed to do that this season. To get to the first round is a great milestone to achieve but ultimately getting to the Holy Grail of the third round would be unbelievable.

‘It's every manager and every player's dream to be able to pit yourselves against those better teams and better players but ultimately come out on top. That's the beauty of the FA Cup because you have the potential to do that and cause a Cup upset.

‘Harry Redknapp has managed there, Paul Merson has played there. It is a massive, massive club and is something for the players to be really excited about.'"


One player to have turned out for both Altrincham and the club's impending FA Cup opponents, Portsmouth, is Trevor Ross, who played for Alty in 1987-88.

The midfielder, born in Greater Manchester, had the unusual distinction of having represented two countries in international football; England at schoolboy level and Scotland at under-21. He began his career with Arsenal and, after over 100 first-team games, was transferred to Everton for £175,000. He made over 150 appearances and played in Europe with them before spending seven months in Greece with AEK Athens, after short loan spells at Portsmouth and Sheffield United.

He spent a short spell with Sheffield United on returning to this country before moving on to Bury, for whom he made more than one hundred appearances before joining Hyde United in the close season. He joined Altrincham in December 1987.


Today's visitors, Hereford FC, arrive at the J. Davidson Stadium lying twelfth in the league table. However, The Bulls have played three more games than Altrincham in the process of earning 22 points from 16 fixtures. Alty lie eighteenth with 14 points from 13 matches, but only five of their league games have been at home, where their only defeat was on the opening day of the campaign against current league leaders York City.

Mike Garnett provides the historical record against Hereford FC

  • Home: P1-0-1-0-1-1
  • Away: P1-0-1-0-1-1
  • All: P2-0-2-0-2-2

The informative Bulls' News tells us that one well-known face won't be facing Altrincham today as "Hereford FC striker Reece Styche is in the Gibraltar squad for two games in the next three days.

The double-header starts with a trip to Copenhagen, where the side face Denmark tonight at Telia Parken, before facing Switzerland at home on Monday night".

Hereford report that "Tuesday’s home reverse at the hands of Alfreton Town made it four League games without a win...

One of the bright spots from our first home League defeat of the season was the performances of Victor Sodeinde and Stephen Dawson on their home debuts.

The on-loan Sodeinde looked lively and caused the visitors problems with his pace and energy, whilst Dawson was an assured head in the engine room of the side.

Manager, Russell Slade, was without several players through injury for our last game and he will be hoping to have increased options as we head north to face a side that find themselves in 18th position with three victories, all at home, from their 13 outings to date.

They enjoyed an excellent 1-0 victory at York City on Sunday to make progress in the Emirates FA Cup...

The Robins have not tasted victory in the League since the beginning of September when they beat Leamington 5-0, whilst our last League success also came at the expense of The Brakes at the turn of October."

Off the field, Hereford FC "Chairman Andrew Graham has praised the dedication, commitment and determination of outgoing Commercial Director, George Webb.

Following the announcement yesterday of the decision made by Webb to stand down from the board at the forthcoming AGM, Graham said '“I feel that it is only right to extend our thanks and gratitude for what George has helped us all to achieve. When Hereford United ceased to exist we all felt a massive void in the City and, whilst some quarters feared that the padlocking of the Edgar Street gates would result in the death of football at our Club forever, George, along with considerable support and goodwill from many others, dedicated himself to ensuring that this was not to be the case and that we would once again have a Club to be proud of...

"George has undoubtedly been a major catalyst to our years of success on and off the pitch. George has created many fond memories at Edgar Street... There continues to be a considerable amount of work to be undertaken if we are to achieve our long-held vision of creating a sustainable club that can ultimately reach the Football League and, importantly, be the Club that all fans feel a part of and be proud of!

“We must all continue to pull together to achieve this vision, to maintain and grow relationships with our partners, and to carry on providing for the whole Community. We must ensure that Edgar Street remains a welcoming place for all fans but also a challenging place to visit for all visiting teams... I firmly believe that we have the foundations in place to go on and create something special".


Hereford FC are the visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium today (3pm).

The forerunner club, Hereford United, last visited Moss Lane on 15 April 2006 in a Nationwide Conference game, which Alty lost 0-1 in front of 1,251 spectators.

The last time Hereford FC played at Moss Lane, on 22 April 2019, was therefore also their first visit to Moss Lane as a phoenix club.

Right: Hereford keeper Yates tips a fine shot from Matt Chadwick (no.7) over the bar for a corner in the first half on Easter Monday.

That was a Vanarama National League North match, played on Easter Monday, and the game ended 1-1. By coincidence it was Hereford, rather than Alty, who lay eighteenth at the time of the game last season. Since then, the Bulls have changed their manager and now play under the guidance of the experienced Russell Slade.

There were five regulars missing from Altrincham's starting eleven (White, Johnston, Williams, Hancock and Jones) as Phil Parkinson, with an eye on the play-offs, did not risk a number of first-teamers who were carrying minor knocks. Back into the side from injury came Yusifu Ceesay whilst James Poole, Connor Hampson and Max Harrop also returned to the starting eleven. Matt Chadwick continued on the right wing after his full debut 48 hours earlier.

Altrincham led a lead slip for the third time in five games (losing seven points in the process) but mathematically confirmed their place in the play-offs with this point...

After a goalless first half against draw specialists Hereford, who had having racked up six draws in their last twelve matches, Altrincham took a fifty-fourth minute lead when Poole got possession and was fouled just inside the Hereford half. The referee, who had earlier denied Alty a stonewall penalty, this time allowed Alty the advantage as Hulme broke forward before smacking the ball into the net.

The Bulls equalised ten minutes later when, 35 yards out, Hannigan tried to clear but the ball rebounded off Owen-Evans who advanced to shoot past Tony Thompson.

Despite an impressive cameo from substitute Callum Dolan, Altrincham could not get a winner and Hereford themselves also looked a threat.

Only four of the Alty line-up in April also started their most recent game at York City, (Thompson, Densmore, Hannigan and Moult).

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. Ben Harrison, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. Matt Chadwick, 8. Max Harrop, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. James Poole, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. Josh Hancock, 14. Sean Williams, 15. Callum Dolan, 16. Simon Richman, 20. Elliot Wynne.

HEREFORD FC : 1. Matt Yates, 2. Jak Hickman, 3. Danny Greenslade, 4. Kieran Thomas, 5. Jordan Cullinane-Liburd, 6. Josh Gowling (c), 7. Eliot Richards, 8. Tom Owen-Evans, 9. Rowan Liburd, 10. James Waite, 11. Mike Symons. Subs: 12. Louis Ezewele, 14. Theo Wharton, 15. James Wesolowski, 16. Kyle Finn, 17. Tommy O'Sullivan.

This time around Yusifu Ceesay will be missing after pulling up with a hamstring problem last weekend, having come on as a substitute, but left-back Connor Hampson appears to be nearing a return having been on the bench recently after his injury.


It's not just Altrincham who have been strangers at their own stadium but at least Boston United's last league game at the Jakemans Stadium was on 28 September, a mere seven weeks ago, compared with the ten weeks that have elapsed since Alty last welcomed a league team to their J. Davidson Stadium. Boston United go on to say that they "will contest their eighth successive away match in National League North and Emirates FA Cup action on Saturday afternoon.

Barring the Lincolnshire Senior Cup semi-final against Grantham Town, the Pilgrims have played their last seven on the road and will now head to Farsley Celtic in pursuit of valuable league points.

In addition to three FA Cup wins away from home during that sequence, the Pilgrims have collected only three points from their four league matches, courtesy of a 3-1 win at AFC Telford United on November 2. They have suffered narrow 2-1 defeats to Darlington, York City and Spennymoor Town and manager Craig Elliott will be keen to see his side come out on the right side of the scoreline when they head to The Citadel.

Elliott will be boosted by the return of midfielder Tom Platt following a one-match suspension, but defender Simon Ainge (hamstring) is likely to miss out once more.

Opponents Farsley, who enjoyed a strong start to the season, are currently five places and four points ahead of the Pilgrims, albeit having played a game more".

The Boston Standard adds that "Squad strength will be key to Boston United securing a top-seven finish, according to Craig Elliott. The Pilgrims travel to face Farsley Celtic on Saturday...

'We’ve got some tough games coming up, but we go into them with confidence,' Elliott said. 'We’ve got injuries and suspensions at the minute, so it’s all about the squad. We’ve got good players and everyone will be needed'.

Farsley have hit an unpredictable patch of form, but are unbeaten in their past three home games... The Pilgrims... saw their three-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 defeat at Spennymoor Town on Tuesday."

The Northern Echo reported on Friday that "Darlington have added to their squad ahead of tomorrow’s match at Brackley. Midfielder Jack Lambert has joined on loan for a month from Scunthorpe United.

The 20-year-old suffered an injury... and has yet to make a senior appearance for Scunthorpe having joined them in the summer. Last season he was at Dundee but Quakers manager knows him from his time in Middlesbrough’s youth set-up.

'He’s only 20, totally different to what we already have, a clever, technical footballer,' said Armstrong. 'It’s a loan for a month. He was injured at the start of the season and hasn’t been able to force his way in, so I spoke to Russ Wilcox on Wednesday and managed to get him in.'

Armstrong is aware that Lambert is not eligible to play in Wednesday’s FA Cup replay with Walsall. Only those who were available for the first tie last Saturday can play in the replay at Blackwell Meadows but, first and foremost, is a league fixture against a Brackley.

Quakers will be without the suspended Ben Hedley, Michael Liddle remains injured, Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa are on international duty with Bermuda, plus the three long-term injured; Luke Trotman, David Atkinson and Jamie Holmes."

The Chester Standard reported on Friday that "Chester's clash at Gateshead this weekend has been called off.

Adverse weather conditions in the north east have forced the postponement of the fixture which was scheduled for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday.

A club statement, published via Gateshead's social media team on Friday, said 'The Seals were scheduled to face the Heed at the International Stadium at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, but the decision has been taken to postpone the clash following a pitch inspection at the International Stadium this morning.”

King's Lynn Town have issed a "Club statement.

Following a meeting between the King’s Lynn Town football club safety advisory group and representatives of the local authorities, including Norfolk Police, a person has been given a banning order from attending all fixtures at The Walks stadium for the remainder of the 2019/ 20 season. This is in relation to an incident that took place during the fixture with Chester, played at The Walks on Saturday October 12th 2019 and another incident prior to this date. A second person has also been issued with a 'final warning' letter in relation to events that took place, again during the match with Chester.

During the fixture at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday November 9th 2019 two King’s Lynn Town supporters were ejected from Bradford’s stadium for incidents that occurred during the first half of the game. These two individuals have been identified by the club and are also (in the process) of receiving ‘final warning' letters in relation to their actions. All three persons issued with ‘final warning’ letters have been told that further repetition of their actions will also result in banning orders from attending all fixtures at The Walks.

The actions of the persons above has seen the club being fined by the Football Association and warned of their future conduct. Indeed an investigation regarding last weekend’s incidents are still ongoing. It is with all of these factors taken into account that the club are now adopting a 'zero tolerance' stand on such misbehaviour and actions. The club also wishes that all supporters read and are aware of a 'safeguarding statement' that appears in every home match programme covering supporter behaviour whilst in the ground.

As a club we value and appreciate your support of the club and team greatly. However we do ask that your support is given correctly and not in a way that could cause offence to others. We will be monitoring behaviour even more closely from now on... Further incidents and allegations this season could see serious consequences for the club in the future".

We learn from the Shropshire Star that "Defender Ross White is insistent that the attitude of the AFC Telford United squad will turn their season around.

Boss Gavin Cowan re-shaped his Bucks squad over recent weeks to help arrest a disappointing run of results and long-serving White revealed the new signings have made a big impression. Arlen Birch, Riccardo Calder, Matty Stenson, Matt Yates and Ryan Barnett are all recent recruits at the New Buck's Head.

Cowan’s men welcome fourth-placed Spennymoor Town... [as they seek] to respond from last weekend’s defeat at Curzon Ashton.

'Even looking on paper, you can tell by people's records, histories and promotions won it’s a good group,' said White, 23. We know because we see it in glimpses in matches, not often enough, but a lot in training.

'After spending a couple of weeks with certain people you know what people are capable of and see what they do. The main thing is the attitude. At this level there’s a lot of talent dropping down from the higher leagues. Little things like individual mistakes happen from time to time but, when we look back at the end of the season, the thing they will have kick-started us is attitude.

'Sometimes you can’t help individual mistakes but one thing you can do is make sure your attitude is spot on and work hard every training session. But the main thing that is different about this group is everybody has got the right attitude in wanting to achieve more, be better, getting on to each other about standards if someone’s not keeping the standard off the pitch they’ll be told. That’s the main difference I’ve noticed about this group'".

In the Telegraph & Argus we learn that "Bradford (Park Avenue) take on Leamington... with manager Mark Bower calling it their 'biggest game of the season'.

He is happy to be taking on the Warwickshire outfit at Horsfall, where he says his team have played well since his return, but he also warned that his players can't keep using hard luck as an excuse any more, after some battling defeats. They do not get much more narrow than Avenue's heartbreaking loss at home to King's Lynn Town last Saturday either. Leading 2-1 with eight minutes to go against the league's second-placed side, they let in two late goals and were beaten 3-2.

Bower is hopeful of bouncing back, saying 'We've done well in my three home games so far. But we've got to make it count against Leamington, as it's our biggest game of the season. Against the likes of Gloucester (a 1-0 defeat) and last Saturday (King's Lynn) we've been unfortunate, but we can't keep using hard luck as an excuse. We need a result.'

They will fancy their chances against 18th placed Leamington, who have lost four league games on the bounce and let in nine in their last two.

Bower warned that the visitors will be thinking exactly the same about them though. He said 'They'll look at how we've conceded three or more in each of our last three games so both teams will be looking to exploit those weaknesses. We're keen for a clean sheet as we've not had one yet since I've arrived. We want to keep it tight because I think in all those games, we've got into good areas in attack.

'If we can take our chances, get one goal in front, then keep that back door shut, that will give us a good chance.'

That back door was eventually broken down by King's Lynn late on last week, but Bower said 'We did well and coped with their threats for the majority of the game. But we suffered injuries as the game wore on, which left us disjointed and having to change our system. We ended up running out of players in certain positions... and I think late on we maybe got nervous as well, as we've not won many.

'We certainly showed more than we did at Kettering (a 4-0 defeat) but there's still plenty to improve on.'

One of the major positives was on-loan AFC Telford United midfielder Jonathan Royle, who performed excellently on his debut. Bower said 'He's a fit young lad and he slotted in well. He broke up the play and showed good quality. I think he's been the missing ingredient in that part of the pitch'".

15 November 2019 .


In around a fortnight's time, Altrincham make the long journey to Hampshire to face Portsmouth in the FA Cup Second Round.

Left: Mark Maddox in action against Darlington in Round Two in 2001.

Altrincham's last appearance in the FA Cup Round Two was in 2015 at Colchester United, when a last-minute goal overcame Alty 3-2. That season Altrincham had entered the competition at the Fourth Qualifying Round.

Before that, in 2001, Alty reached the Second Round Proper, after entering the competition at the Second Qualifying Round, as was also the case this season. The opposition in 2001 was Darlington, then a league side, who won 2-1 at Moss Lane, despite a Mark Maddox goal for the Robins (att. 3302).

Since World War Two, Altrincham have reached Round Two of the FA Cup seventeen times. Ten of those 17 ties have been away from home and Alty have only lost twice on those trips. Only one of those two away defeats was to a League club, Colchester United in 2015, the other being at non-League Telford United in 1986.

Before the Darlington defeat in 2001, the most recent appearance in Round Two had been in 1994/95 when Alty beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Moss Lane in Round Two, thanks to Sharratt's goal witnessed by 3,020 spectators. Two seasons before that (1992-93) Alty had lost 1-4 at home to Port Vale at the same stage of the competition. That was Alty's ninth match in the Cup that season, having started in the First Qualifying Round that season.

When Alty lost to Colchester United they were two steps in the Pyramid below the Essex club; when they travel to Portsmouth in 2019 they will be three steps lower than their opponents. However, Alty fans will not need reminding that when Alty won at Birmingham City in Round Three in 1986, they were four levels below their opponents!


Altrincham have had five successive away ties from this season's FA Cup draws, which is an unwanted record for the club in a single season.

They did once have seven successive away ties but these were spread over the three seasons from 2012 to 2015. Before 2019, the most away ties in succession in one campaign was the four-match sequence in 2012-13. That season the four successive away ties led to a home replay defeat against Burton Albion.

Back in 1985-86 Altrincham also endured four successive away ties before losing the last of those games, at York City, in Round Four, having defeated Birmingham City of the First Division (i.e. the top-flight), away, in the previous round.

To compound Alty's misfortunes this season they have also been drawn away in the FA Trophy and the Cheshire Senior Cup this season.


Portsmouth News announces that "Pompey look set to host Altrincham in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday, November 30.

That’s after details of the broadcast fixtures for the next stage of the competition were revealed by the FA.

The Blues’ game against the National League North outfit was not selected by either the BBC or BT Sport for live coverage, meaning the Robins’ trip south will most likely take place on the final Saturday of the month (30 November).

The TV companies have the choice of four games to be shown live between November 29 to December 2."

The games selected for TV coverage are:

  • Friday, November 29: Maldon & Tiptree v Grimsby Town or Newport County (7.55pm), BBC TWO.
  • Saturday, November 30: Stourbridge or Eastleigh v Crewe Alexandra (5.30pm), BT Sport 1.
  • Sunday, December 1: Wycombe or Tranmere Rovers v Chichester Town, BT Sport.
  • Monday, December 2: Solihull Moors v Rotherham United (7.45pm), BT Sport 1.

The FA live broadcast fee is £75,000 per club and the winner will also receive £54,000 and a place in the third round. Matches selected for extended highlights and overseas broadcast coverage will be announced later. Altrincham were selected for overseas coverage when they beat Barnsley in the FA Cup in 2015.

Meanwhile, Brian Flynn, press and media officer at Altrincham, writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger that "Altrincham Football Club have landed a plum FA Cup second-round tie at Portsmouth, as a reward for a magnificent 1-0 victory at National League North leaders, York City, in Sunday’s first-round game.

The Robins fully deserved to make progress in what turned out to be the last ever FA Cup tie at York’s iconic Bootham Crescent ground. The only goal of the game came in the 82nd minute. Jake Moult’s magnificent long, looping diagonal ball from inside his own half was perfectly measured for substitute Jordan Hulme, who picked out Tom Peers [above, left] just inside the area and the in-form striker lashed a superb left-foot strike high into the corner of Peter Jameson’s net to send almost 400 travelling Alty fans into FA Cup dreamland.

Assistant manager, Neil Sorvel, was delighted with the finish and said '“We have been encouraging both Tom and Jordan to use their left foot more when in on goal and Tom has done that really well with his strike to give us our just rewards'...

Remarkably, Monday night’s televised draw gave Alty their fifth successive away tie in this FA Cup campaign. Portsmouth are a huge football club, who were FA Cup winners as recently as 2008 and the game, which will be played between November 30-December 2, should provide a big boost financially for Alty, as it will draw one of the largest crowds in the second round".


According to Lynn News "King’s Lynn Town were in no mood to surrender a long unbeaten run on home soil as they put on a five-star performance to defeat Leamington on Tuesday night.

Ian Culverhouse’s side moved to within a point of top spot in National League North after goals from Adam Marriott (2), Sonny Carey, Jordan Richards and Michael Gash against the Brakes... Culverhouse said 'We were very good. We went into a good lead in the first half but then it became a little bit too easy for us. We became sloppy and gave away a couple of silly free-kicks and created a little bit of pressure on ourselves.

'But we responded well again and the first goal in the second half was always going to be important. That’s three wins in a week which is unbelievable. Some of the link-up play where Sonny (Carey) and Chris (Henderson) were feeding off the front two was excellent'...

The visitors brought a little more respectability to the scoreline when Jack Edwards poked the ball home from close range after a free-kick... But Lynn soon restored their three-goal cushion after Michael Gash rifled home between Weaver and his near post with two minutes left".

At Leamington, "The club is pleased to announce that agreement has been reached with Coventry City to extend the loan of Dexter Walters until January 4th.

The Sky Blues' youngster was only able to make 3 appearances for Brakes in the first month of his spell with us, due to postponed games, so we are looking forward seeing a lot of more of him in the next month or so".

Meanwhile, the Chester Standard reports that "Chester boss Anthony Johnson expects plenty more twists and turns before the National League North title race is decided. Sat third in the table ahead of this weekend’s clash at Gateshead, the promotion-chasing Blues are five points behind leaders York City.

The Minstermen held an eight-point advantage at the summit just a fortnight ago, a lead that has been slashed to a solitary point by title rivals King’s Lynn Town... and Johnson is relishing the battle for top spot.

'I was cheering King’s Lynn Town on,' he said. 'It keeps York looking over their shoulders at the teams coming up behind them. What you don’t want is a situation where any team finds themselves eight or nine points clear at the top without getting challenged. It’s been a good couple of weeks in terms of league results and it’s good that there’s more pressure on those top teams now'.

Last weekend's 3-0 home victory over Alfreton Town ended Chester’s five-game winless run in the league. The hosts laboured in a disjointed game in which Alfreton barely threatened the home goal. While Johnson accepts that his side were below-par... he said '“People look at the Alfreton result and say "okay you’ve got three points but Alfreton were poor". But then, in midweek, they go and beat Hereford who hadn’t lost at home in the league this season.

'We’ve had a good habit of beating the teams around us this season and, even when we aren’t at our best like against Alfreton, we’re still creating chances. We’ve also matched all of these teams at the top when we’ve played them; we’ve come away from tough away games with a point when we could have taken more.

'The onus is on us now to build on the result against Alfreton and string another couple of wins together.'

Chester now come up against a Gateshead side, who ran Oldham Athletic close in the FA Cup last weekend... Johnson was impressed by the quality on show from Mike Williamson’s Heed side, who have won all of their last three home games. Johnson said 'Oldham were poor but, take nothing away from Gateshead, who were unlucky and should have won the game. It’s another tough game for us and one of those away fixtures that no one really looks forward to. But we’re going there with a positive mindset and looking for another win.'

Chester have no fresh injury concerns... Johnson says that top scorer Akwasi Asante has ‘trained well’ this week and could be in contention after missing the last four games with a groin strain".

The Boston Standard informs us that "One day: two cup draws. If it was televised on Sky Sports it would have been billed as Mega Monday. There would probably have been fireworks.

But as Boston United fans tuned into BBC Two to discover who the Pilgrims would be facing in second round of the FA Cup, having already discovered they’d be away at Atherton Collieries in the FA Trophy, there weren’t any, were there? It felt more like a tiny spark than an eyecatching pyrotechnic display.

Away to the winners of Wrexham and Rochdale, no disrespect to either, isn’t quite the stuff of dreams. Not really the Hollywood-esque David and Goliath battle a day out at former Premier League sides Sunderland, Ipswich Town or Portsmouth would promise.

Yes, Rochdale ply their trade three divisions higher up than Boston. Yes, they are only one very good month away from catching the likes of Portsmouth and Sunderland. Yes, Wrexham are also a bigger club, playing higher up the ladder and enjoying larger crowds.

But for the supporters old enough to remember watching United during their Football League years, they’ll remember those regular trips to both Spotland and the Racecourse Ground without fondness. And not just because they were stadiums where, collectively, Boston have failed to claim a single victory in nine visits since 2002. It was at Rochdale where [ex-Alty man] Paul Ellender was dragged from the dressing room to explain why the unpaid players were threatening to strike.

It was at Wrexham where Boston were relegated and promptly entered a CVA quicker than you could say '“Steve, the Majeeds are on line one.'

The fact is that National League North Boston should be thoroughly delighted with the prospect of their first second round appearance as a non-league club in 23 years. The truth is, wherever they play, they’ll be given a grim reminder of a truly abysmal period in the club’s history (which, it should be pointed out, is not the fault of either Wrexham or Rochdale).

While United fans watched the draw unfold on the TV, chairman David Newton and manager Craig Elliott got to witness the action first hand at Chichester City, among representative from a number of non-league clubs. In a sea of tracksuits the duo, looking dapper in their suits and easy-to-spot-on-the-box club ties, stood out like doormen at a 90s' rave... But neither Newton nor Elliott, however, looked visibly thrilled. But just seeing those two representing the club at a televised cup draw itself was a huge positive, a step forward, that Boston haven’t experienced for a long time.

Elliott and Newton have faced huge tasks in building successful squads and stadiums in recent years. Both have been questioned, both are delivering. Perhaps that’s worth remembering when feeling miffed about a cup draw".

14 November 2019


Saturday's match against Hereford FC marks ten weeks since Altrincham's last league game at home, a 5-0 win over Leamington on 7 September. Since beating Leamington on 7 September, Alty have had just one home game and that was a midweek FA Cup replay win over Chester FC.

Alty now have gone seven games without defeat; six of the fixtures being away from home. The seven unbeaten games comprise five FA Cup matches and two draws, both on the road, in the league.


On Saturday, 16 November, Hereford FC become the first league visitors to the J. Davidson Stadium for ten weeks.

Indeed, by this Friday, 15 November, Altrincham will have completed just thirteen league fixtures this season, only five of which have been at home. This is the lowest total of league games played in the first fifteen weeks of any season since at least the turn of the millennium. Likewise 2019-20 season has witnessed the lowest number of home league games at this stage of any season for at least twenty years.

In previous seasons, by 15 November, Alty had completed the following number of league fixtures. The 2019 total is all the more remarkably low, given that this season started on 3 August, the earliest date compared with all of the previous seasons listed below. In the only season to match the total number of games played so far this season, that campaign (2011-12) had started more than two weeks' later than in 2019-20.

Right: It's been all quiet in the players' "tunnel" at the J. Davidson Stadium recently.

  • 2018-19: 16 (8 at home)
  • 2017-18: 19 (10 at home)
  • 2016-17: 17 (9 at home)
  • 2015-16: 21 (10 at home)
  • 2014-15: 21 (11 at home)
  • 2013-14: 14 (8 at home)
  • 2012-13: 13 (6 at home) The season started on 18 August, 2012 compared with 3 August in 2019.
  • 2011-12: 16 (8 at home)
  • 2010-11: 19 (10 at home)
  • 2009-10: 18 (10 at home)
  • 2008-09: 18 (9 at home)
  • 2007-08: 17 (9 at home)
  • 2006-07: 18 (9 at home)
  • 2005-06: 16 (8 at home)
  • 2004-05: 16 (8 at home)
  • 2003-04: 18 (9 at home)
  • 2002-03: 20 (11 at home)
  • 2001-02: 14 (8 at home)
  • 2000-01: 18 (9 at home)
  • 1999-2000: 15 (7 at home)


Altrincham's FA Cup opponents in Round Two, Portsmouth report that "The scrappy manner of the FA Cup win at Harrogate wasn’t enough to please all Pompey fans. But the victory at Wetherby Road continued a strong run of form which now makes it just a single defeat for Kenny Jackett’s side in their past 10 games.

A significant element of supporters remain unhappy with Jackett but, since the Carabao Cup defeat to Southampton, the stoppage-time goal at AFC Wimbledon has prompted the only Blues' loss. That can be seen in the League One form table over that period, with Jackett’s men sat fourth.

The run covers four victories, three draws and a single defeat stretching back to the 1-0 win over Bolton on September 28...

Looking at the form over the past six games, Pompey drop to 10th in the table. That encompasses a period of two wins, three draws and a defeat harking back to 0-0 draw with Gillingham at Fratton Park on October 12...

The only table fans really care about is the league, however, which shows Pompey still have plenty of ground to make up in 13th. And with the game against Fleetwood on Saturday falling foul of international call-ups, they could drop another couple of places".


The Eastern Daily Press reports that "King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve says he has 'few friends' at the club he owns. The Linnets are flying high in the National League North under the management of former Norwich City player and assistant manager Ian Culverhouse. But that relationship has come under strain again in recent weeks, with Culverhouse publicly showing his frustration at the inability to bring in a central defender to cover for injuries.

For Lynn fans it is an unwelcome reminder of the split between the two which saw Culverhouse leave the club at the end of the 2017-18 season, before returning just over a year ago to mastermind promotion. While gates are up, so are expenses, and Cleeve has gone public to argue his case.

'As a chairman I have noted how few friends I have at the club,' he wrote in his programme notes for Tuesday's 5-2 home win over Leamington. 'I do not even need to use the fingers on one hand to count how many people support my corner and have my back. I get a lot of nice platitudes to my face, but a lot of chat which is not so good when my back is turned.

'As lots of other club directors tell me, you need a skin like a rhino to survive, which is a shame as I would much prefer everyone to pull together in the same direction. In addition, I have always tried to be respectful to everyone I deal with, irrespective of whether or not I agree with their views, and often I find that the same courtesy is not afforded back to me.

'Not only is there the financial commitment, but the number of hours that it takes is enormous. Many clubs in our league have full-time non-football staff; we can't afford it and so most of the workload comes back to me. On average I put in at least 40 hours a week.'

Cleeve urged Lynn supporters to do what they can to support the club financially. 'If you would like this club to grow please do what you can if you can afford it,' he said.

With York City and Boston United already at an advanced stage of constructing their new stadiums, according to Stadium DB, "After over 12 years of exile, Gloucester City are now preparing to return home. Their new stadium will be built exactly on the site of Meadow Park, which was famously destroyed in the 2007 flood.

Gloucester today remains a city without a proper football stadium. There's one for athletics, rugby is even stronger here. But local football ground was lost in 2007, during the famous flood that nearly covered the crossbars at Meadow Park... To this day only the building with changing rooms remains of what used to be Meadow Park.

Since 2007 GCFC had to use stadia outside their town, dividing that over 12 year-long period between Cirencester, Nailsworth, Chaltenham and Newsham. Thankfully, the club managed to remain active and its executives have some great news for the fans: construction will begin soon!

The planning permission has been in place since May but only in recent days a subsidy from the Football Stadia Infrastructure Fund (FSIF) has been secured. Now Gloucester City have commissioned the production of two prefabricated steel stands. Their capacity will be modest, at just 350, but it's a starting point.

Both new stands will be built on the two sides of old changing rooms building of Meadow Park. The field will also be built as it was, except it's been raised by 3.5 meters in order to never again be flooded. It's also going to be covered with synthetic surface in order to enable year-round training of several teams ran by GCFC.

At present it's expected that actual construction will begin before Christmas. The new ground at Meadow Park should be ready before the 2020/21 season."

More comes from Gloucestershire Live which says that manager "Mike Cook believes that Gloucester City are on course to return home in a strong place on the field.

The club have now been given the green light to begin work on their new stadium at Meadow Park after meeting conditions of an offer of funding from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund. Manager Cook led a great escape last season as Gloucester narrowly avoided relegation from National League North and the level of funding they received would have been impacted if they went down.

With Gloucester currently sitting comfortably in a mid-table position of 13th after 17 games, they are also on course to be in a healthy position ahead of their expected return date next year.

Welcoming the news, Cook said 'It’s a massive lift because one of the main attractions why myself and Hosky were keen to come back was to be part of the new stadium. It’s brilliant for everybody. For this season the goal is to get back in the stadium and not be in a relegation battle; so far, so good.

'If we can add a couple more players and get through this season we can go out to the community and raise the profile and they can have a decent team to watch. Hopefully we can achieve both things over the next six to 12 months.'

He added 'If we went down last season we wouldn’t have the extra funding so hopefully we can make use of the extra cash.'"

Meanwhile he added, "Gloucester recovered, conceding a first minute goal against Farsley Celtic on Saturday ,when Dave Syers headed in to earn a point with Sam Avery equalising in the 18th minute.

'It was outstanding from where we were at Spennymoor (5-1 defeat) where we played badly and our discipline was poor but we were disappointed to concede an early goal. It’s been going on now a number of weeks but and we put certain things in place to eradicate that. I don’t want to blame individuals but certain players didn’t pick their men up and we told them what they do.'

Cook decided to leave former Swindon and Forest Green midfielder Fabien Robert on the bench but explained the decision was tactical. 'He played quite well the week before so he was a bit unlucky but we knew speaking to other people the pitch would be terrible and we didn’t think it would suit his game,' said Cook.

Swindon Town goalkeeper Will Henry made his first appearance after rejoining Gloucester on loan. Cook said, 'He was great... It makes a difference having that experience and he calms everyone down a bit'. There was an injury concern for Gloucester as striker Marlon Jackson went off".

The Shropshire Star says that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan is looking for his side to put a run together before the end of the year, after suffering back-to-back losses.

The National League North side fell to a 2-1 defeat away at struggling Curzon Ashton on Saturday, a week after a 3-1 loss at home to Boston United. The Bucks now sit 16th in the league with only one win in their last five games.

Cowan was left devastated after throwing away their lead against Curzon and is now calling on his players to string together positive results between now and Christmas.

'We’ve got a good thing going at the club and there’s a lot of positivity,' he said. 'We're going to hopefully put a run together between now and Christmas, that’s the lads’ words. That’s come from them, they’re committed. I think that will galvanise them.'

Next, Telford welcome high-flying Spennymoor Town...

He added... 'We have to be more ruthless in the box with defending by heading the ball clear. We aren’t dominant enough defensively, someone’s got to release themselves and head the ball over the halfway line. When it comes to the crunch, you have to be ruthless in front of goal and when you’re defending.'”

Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC "are pleased to announce that the ownership of the club has now been officially transferred to a Community Interest Company (CIC) following approval of the transfer by the FA.

The club was previously governed as a community benefit society which proved too restrictive for future investment. This transfer will allow the club to attract other stakeholders and conduct business like a private company.

The CIC is still community focused and so there will not be any obvious changes.

Gareth Roberts, the principal shareholder, said 'This is an important technical change for the club which allows us to move forward and secure a long term lease at the Horsfall Stadium which, in turn, allows us to attract FA funds to improve the ground. We plan to expand our academy enrolment next year and base it entirely at the Horsfall. Meanwhile we will expand our community activities alongside our associated charity, the Horsfall Trust, which will become much more active in the future...

The new CIC structure will also allow us to attract additional investors, so please contact the club if you are interested!'...

Bradford play host to Leamington in the National League North, and the club would like to invite supporters of teams not in action due to the international break to come along and enjoy the game, with entry reduced to just £5 for season ticket holders of any club from any sport".

At Alfreton Town "Amari Morgan-Smith’s second-half close-range finish claimed a first ever win at Edgar Street for the Reds and moved us back into the play off positions.

Amari reacted to a half-cleared corner on 52 minutes, to hammer the ball into the roof of the net to the delight of the 19 travelling supporters...

The winner came after a first half which saw two goals in the first 12 minutes, Danny East hitting a sweet low volley, after just four on the clock, with Hall rooted by the shot from 25 yards.

Hereford equalised with 12 gone when Sodeinde’s cross on the left took a glance off Ryan Qualter’s head and nestled in the bottom corner".

13 November 2019


Altrincham FC assistant manager Neil Sorvel was interviewed by press and media officer Brian Flynn after the win at York City on Sunday. The interview can be heard via the Altrincham FC official site.


Altrincham's guests on Saturday, Hereford FC, will arrive at Moss Lane for the home side's first league match at their home ground for ten weeks. And before Tuesday's game, Hereford FC reported a not dissimilar story as they stated that "The Bulls will finally get back into home Vanarama National League North action on Tuesday evening as we play host to Alfreton Town. Believe it or not, this will be our first home League encounter since the end of September when we overcame the challenge of Kettering Town courtesy of a goal from Jordan Nicholson".

Since then we have succumbed to Tamworth in the Emirates FA Cup following a replay and also faced four League games on the road, the latest of which saw us battle out a point from a goalless draw at an in-form Darlington at the turn of the month.

There will be a number of players vying to make their home debut. Experienced midfielder, Stephen Dawson, brings a wealth of Football League know-how to the engine room, whilst Taylor Allen, Victor Sodeinde and Kelsey Mooney add plenty of skill and energy to the options that Russell Slade has at his disposal.

We go into the game in 12th place in the table, level on points with our opponents having played a game less. We are undefeated in our six home League games so far, having won three and drawn three, whilst Alfreton have won three and lost five of their eight League games on the road.

Their last outing at the weekend saw them fall to a 3-0 set-back at Chester, making it three League defeats in a row amidst a run of only one win from their last six games in The National League North."


The death, on Sunday, 10th November, of former Altrincham FC player Les Campbell, has been reported. Born in January 1935, Les was an important member of the team in the mid-1960s.

Terry Rowley's "Legends" profile of Les reminds us that he "started out as a left winger with his local club Wigan Athletic before being signed by Preston North End as an 18 year-old in June 1953. He went on to spend 7 seasons at Deepdale playing 64 league games and scoring 6 goals but never fully established himself in the first team. In July he moved to the coast for a season with Blackpool but played only 11 League games. July 1961 saw him signing for Tranmere Rovers where he spent 3 successful seasons, playing a total of 99 League games and scoring 9 League goals.

At the end of the 1963-64 season he left League football and re-joined Wigan Athletic (then in the Cheshire League) for a season and won the first of three consecutive Cheshire League championships. Freddie Pye persuaded him to move to Moss Lane and immediately converted him from left-winger to midfield play-maker.

Slightly built, Campbell proved to be an instant success in his new role providing the ammunition for Swindells and company up front. By all accounts nearly everything constructive stemmed from the boot of Les Campbell during the three seasons he played at Moss Lane, a period that saw him win two Championships medals, a runner-up medal and a Cheshire Senior Cup winner's medal. Tragically, he broke his leg twice during the 1966-67 season, the first time in a friendly against Manchester City and the second time towards the end of the season when he attempted to come back a little too early to help Altrincham’s run-in to the championship.

The following season, injury continued to affect the number of his appearances in the side but whenever he played he was influential and made a difference. He was allowed to leave at the end of the 1967/68 season as Altrincham moved up to the newly formed Northern Premier League, Les moving on to Netherfield. Later he could be seen on match days at Deepdale, where he helped out".


Tuesday 12th November
  • Hereford FC 1-2 Alfreton Town
  • King's Lynn Town 5-2 Leamington
  • Spennymoor Town 2-1 Boston United


Altrincham FC has been saddened to hear of the death of Fred Nash who, with his wife Carole, has been an important sponsor and friend of Altrincham FC for many years. The couple's local company, Carole Nash Insurance, grew from humble beginnings in the family home into the country's leading insurance company for motorcyclists.

In recognition of Carole and Fred's generosity to the Football Club, over the years Alty's Moss Lane stadium has boasted a Carole Nash main stand and currently the Carole and Fred Nash Terrace at the away end of the J. Davidson Stadium (pictured, above right).

The condolences of all Altrincham supporters are extended to Carole at this time of her loss.

Fred's funeral notice states that he "passed away peacefully on 3rd November 2019, aged 88 years, surrounded by his family. Beloved Husband of Carole, loving Dad of Malcolm and Jane, cherished Grandad of Alex, Christian, Francesca, Emily, Bob, Joseph, Amelia and Esme. Funeral service to be held at Altrincham Crematorium, Thursday 28th November 2019 at 11.30am. Family flowers only please and donations, if desired, to The Children's Adventure Farm. As Fred was a life long Manchester City fan we are asking for people to wear something blue. All enquiries to Kenneth Dewey and Sons, 2 Grove Lane, Hale. WA15 8JE. Tel: 0161 980 7010".


Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records that the last time Alty played on next Saturday's date, 16 November, the game was abandoned in unusual circumstances.

Right: Referee Ackerman is surrounded by players as he goes down, injured.

It was in the FA Trophy 3Q match played at Colwyn Bay on Saturday, 16 November 2013.

In the match, Altrincham gained a 24th minute lead when James Walshaw converted a low cross from the left. But in the build-up to the goal Bay felt that Simon Richman had committed a foul, which was not given. Richman had been lucky only to see yellow for an earlier challenge which ended in Bay's on-loan marksman Royle leaving the game on a stretcher.

The referee left the field at half time to a chorus of home supporters' booing. Alty had the better of the second half and went 2-0 up through Greg Wilkinson's shot from the edge of the box after 66 minutes. Inside the final ten minutes play halted as referee Ackerman suffered a leg injury. Chaos ensued as arguments went on on the pitch, with Bay manager Frank Sinclair involved. The match was then abandoned at a time which was 17 minutes beyond the expected 90. It was belatedly announced to spectators that the FA would have to sort out the outcome of the game.

Facing Alty for the Bay were two men who later joined the Robins, Sean Williams and Charlie Joyce.

Alty's line up comprised, 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Greg WILKINSON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Carl RODGERS, 14. Junior SMIKLE, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 18. Adam REID.

Ultimately, without giving their reasons, the FA ordered a replay on 18 November 2013. Alty won that game 2-0.


The FA Cup second Round draw has pitted Altrincham away to League One Portsmouth.

But Alty supporter and historian Mike Garnett tells us that "Avid students of Altrincham FC’s history will be aware that in 1911 we joined the Lancashire Combination, gaining promotion from its Second Division to the First in our first season and remaining members until the Cheshire County League was formed in 1919, except for the 1917-18 season which we spent in the Manchester Amateur League.

What they may not know is that, at the same time, a club by the name of Portsmouth Rovers joined the Combination’s Second Division and Alty played them both home and away in 1911-12. This isn’t a geographical aberration, nor does it actually refer to the city in Hampshire we are soon to visit. There is another Portsmouth, a village just north-west of Todmorden, on the main road to Burnley, which is nowadays part of West Yorkshire but was then firmly Lancastrian.

The Rovers stayed in the Combination Second Division until 1915 but then faded from the scene. Alty recorded a double over them in our only encounters, 3-2 at home and 4-1 away. Either score-line would be most acceptable in our upcoming meeting with the club from the south coast!"

The "real" Portsmouth's manager is, nowadays, Kenny Jackett who oversaw the Millwall win over Alty in the FA Cup in 2007.


At Farsley Celtic manager "Adam Lakeland takes us through an impressive start...

Many had already written the script for Farsley Celtic before a ball had even been kicked but the Celts didn’t learn their lines. Darlington were first up back in August, a baptism of fire, some said. Try telling that to Adam Lakeland. Within half an hour they were three to the good and coasting. Never mind, a midweek trip to York would put them in their place, right? Not likely.

A goalless draw against the title favourites got tongues wagging. Now a quarter of the way through the season, things show no signs of slowing just yet.

'It’s certainly been better than the bookies had us down for. I think we were favourites for relegation,' Lakeland explains. 'We are by no means at the point where we think we’re safe yet, but we’re on course to achieve our first, and main objective which was to stay in the league. It’s been an excellent start and the players have been fantastic. There’s been one or two games where we’ve fallen short and been well beaten but, more weeks than not, we’ve been very competitive and that’s enabled us to win plenty of games.

'The challenge now is to keep pushing forward and keep our points tally ticking over to edge towards staying in the league'.

Continuing the theme of doing things a little differently, the Northern Premier League winners didn’t rush out for a raft of new additions like others have in the past. Instead, they’ve kept faith with the bunch who saw off the likes of full-time outfit South Shields...

Lakeland adds 'We were mindful in the summer that we wanted to keep the group that got us here together. We only wanted to add bodies to give us a bit more strength in depth in one or two areas. We wanted to carry over the momentum from last season because we had great team spirit and organisation. In doing that, that has enabled us to be competitive in a lot of games...

'Anybody who knows me knows it’s not in my nature to settle for survival or mid-table', he said. 'But at the same time, I’m realistic and I know that could be where we finish. But I’m ambitious and I want to win. We’re taking it game by game; we don’t think about where we’re playing or who we’re playing... We are looking to try and stay in and around the top end of the division as long as we can. Going up again would be an unbelievable achievement, that has to be the ambition of both mine and the players. First and foremost, we want to stay in the division.'"

Boston United reported that they were resuming their campaign on Tuesday evening with a re-arranged trip to face Spennymoor Town.

The Pilgrims, fresh from Saturday's Emirates FA Cup heroics at Carshalton Athletic, begin a cycle of three league matches inside seven days ahead of two more cup away days at the end of the month. The Spennymoor fixture was postponed on August 10 due to the Moors being advised against playing on their brand-new playing surface ahead of schedule.

United boss Craig Elliott will check on the bumps and bruises picked up in southwest London at the weekend, with centre-half Simon Ainge a particular doubt after limping off at half-time. Jordan Thewlis will be aiming to resume where he left off in the Pilgrims' last league encounter where he netted a hat-trick at AFC Telford United.

Spennymoor have picked up considerably after a slow start to the season and moved into the play-off places for the first time at the weekend".

At Alfreton Town on Tuesday they were making "the journey to Edgar Street tomorrow night to take on fellow mid-table side Hereford...

The Reds will be looking to bounce back again after defeat, with Chester handing us another league loss on Saturday... In a game in which both sides looked out of form and the theme of the contest was a scrappy one; Chester took the lead after we made a mess of clearing the ball in the box... But the second half saw two poor goals conceded... Elliott scored a bizarre third in the 89th minute in which he capitalised on a free kick within the Alfreton area to plant a shot past Charlie Andrew. Initially the Chester corner went straight in with the hosts celebrating the goal, however a foul was given on Charlie Andrew, the Reds took it quickly and with only half the players really aware of the decision, Elliott capitalised with his interception to finish.

The Reds will be desperate now to find form and quickly to avoid dropping off the race, although we are only two points off the play-offs, three points tomorrow will get Alfreton back on track... We head into tomorrow night's game with just two wins in our last nine in all competitions. We have lost our last three league games and have not scored in our last two league fixtures. Alfreton will be aiming to avoid a fourth straight league defeat tomorrow night.

On the road, we have won just once in our last five in all competitions... Hereford's last win came on the 1st October at Leamington (0-2), we'll face as expected a difficult test at Edgar Street tomorrow with Hereford unbeaten at home in the league so far this season. The Bulls will be looking for a third win on the bounce in the league at home".

At Curzon Ashton, James Baillie is interviewed. He "suffered a horrific leg break against Southport, but Baillie was back on the pitch in a Curzon Ashton strip as they were knocked out of the Manchester Premier Cup by Wythenshawe Town.

'After 11 and a half months out, I was buzzing to be back in the team, but then the game itself just didn’t go to plan,' he admitted... 'The match and atmosphere was really flat and we ended up losing when we really shouldn’t have.'

The incident early in the game at The Pure Stadium on October 30th last year was an innocuous one and can only be described as a 'freak accident' according to Baillie. 'I went to block a cross and my foot got caught in the ground,' he said. 'The way the bone fractured, diagonally, made it even worse meaning I needed to have a metal plate with bolts and screws put into my leg which may be there for life now.'

Baillie’s journey back from there has been a long and arduous one... 'I had another setback in May when my ankle came out of place. I was just getting back to the running stage when it was discovered that, because of the injury, a bone had calcified in my ankle so that needed another operation'...

Key in his long battle back was the support of manager Mark Bradshaw, whose trust in Baillie was evident in the fact that he ensured the full back was given another deal for the new season.. 'The loyalty Mark showed me was something I wanted to repay and I gave him my word that as long as he wanted me I would be coming back'...

Before making his return to Curzon’s first team this month, Baillie had two profitable fitness building loan spells with Abbey Hey and Mossley... 'I scored twice in four games at Abbey Hey and then scored on my debut at Mossley too. I was playing in a more attacking role there and getting forward has always been my forte'...

Baillie is now one of the longest serving and more experienced players in the squad, despite having only signed from Crewe Alexandra in 2016... 'We’ve got a pretty young squad and it can be quiet in the dressing room so I want to take it on myself to be more of a leader and get the team going'".

12 November 2019


The Manchester Evening News reports that Phil Parkinson "has faith in his methods", with the Alty boss saying, "We're only two points away from where we were last year last year so we've had an almost identical start".

However, the manager [pictured, right] continued, "I truly believe we will climb the league if we can keep everybody on the pitch and get that bit of luck.

"I'm certainly not panicking. I can see on the pitch we're functioning as we should be. At this point last year people would not be happy but would be expecting this position but, because we finished so well last season, finishing in the play-offs and as top scorers, expectations go up".

The article then quotes Jordan Hulme saying, "We're getting there. We're not new to this league any more. Every team knows what we're about. We've still got faith in what we do. It'll come, I'm confident in the lads".

And Neil Sorvel, assistant manager, added, "Hopefully, we can go on a bit of a run. We're three or four games behind most of the other teams. If we can win those games, we'll get ourselves in and around the play-off positions".

Footnote: After 13 league games last season Altrincham had won 18 points and lay eleventh whereas this time around they have 14 points from 13 fixtures and lie eighteenth, though that position is very adversely affected by having played fewer matches than all the other teams in the division and by having played only five home matches, compared with seven at this stage last year.


In Monday's FA Cup second Round draw, Altrincham were assigned a tie at Harrogate Town or Portsmouth who played their televised tie on Monday night, a game which Pompey won 2-1. The game was delayed for almost an hour by floodlight and power problems at the Wetherby Road ground of the hosts. It is Altrincham's seventh successive away cup draw this season; five ties in the FA Cup, one in the FA Trophy and one in the Cheshire Senior Cup.

Round Two is to be played over the weekend of 30 November.

Monday, 10 November, k.o. 7.45pm

  • Harrogate Town 1-2 Portsmouth

The full Round Two draw comprised:

  • Blackpool v Maidstone United
  • Portsmouth v ALTRINCHAM
  • Shrewsbury Town / Bradford City v Mansfield T.
  • Coventry City v Ipswich Town / Lincoln City
  • Kingstonian v AFC Fylde
  • Tranmere Rovers / Wycombe Wanderers v Chichester City
  • Walsall / Darlington v Oxford United
  • Cambridge United / Exeter City v Hartlepool United
  • Stourbridge/ Eastleigh v Crewe Alexandra
  • Forest Green Rovers v Carlisle United
  • Solihull Moors v Rotherham United
  • Sunderland / Gillingham v AFC Wimbledon / Doncaster Rovers
  • Wrexham / Rochdale v Boston United
  • Stevenage / Peterborough United v Dover Athletic
  • Oldham Athletic v Salford City / Burton Albion
  • Malvern & Tiptree v Grimsby Town / Newport County
  • Crawley Town v Fleetwood Town
  • Cheltenham Town / Swindon Town v Port Vale
  • Northampton Town v Notts County
  • Bristol Rovers / Bromley v Plymouth Argyle


The draw for the Third Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy was made on Monday and it includes the following "northern" ties. Matches are to be played on 23 November.

  • York City v ALTRINCHAM !!!
  • Curzon Ashton v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Workington v Farsley Celtic
  • Hednesford v Nantwich Town /Coalville T
  • Runcorn Linnets/ Prescot C v FCUM
  • Darlington v Gainsborough Trinity
  • Gloucester C v Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • Blyth Spartans v Alfreton Town
  • Brackley Town v Chester FC
  • Stourbridge / Lancaster City v South Shields
  • Guiseley v AFC Telford United
  • Matlock T. v Barwell/ Redditch U
  • Colne v Southport
  • King's Lynn Town v Hereford FC
  • Atherton Collieries v Boston United
  • Peterborough Sports v Kettering Town
  • Halesowen Town v Gateshead
  • Leamington v Spennymoor Town

For Altrincham, this is a repeat of last Saturday's FA Cup tie. It also comes after last season's double-double-header in the FA Cup and FA Trophy when Altrincham met both Bradford (Park Avenue) and Stockport County in both of the competitions!


Before Sunday's win at York City, the Non-League Paper spoke to Altrincham manager, Phil Parkinson.

Alluding to Altrincham's historical success in the FA Cup, in which they have more League scalps than any other current non-League club, Parkinson said of his 2019 team, "We've got to make our own bit of history".

Referring to York City the Alty boss added, "They're the most improved team from last year, a new manager and new players coming in but also getting the best out of what they had previously, which should have been a lot better anyway....

They've probably got a bigger budget than everybody else and they've got better players".

As for his team selection policy he said "We don't really rotate too much. Whoever has been playing well keeps the shirts, we stick to that philosophy".


Saturday's FA Cup win at York City affected two of Altrincham's league fixtures. The result helped to create a strange statistic as just six of the 37 First Round ties played up to Sunday night ended in home wins, the lowest tally for more than ninety years (since 1925).

The date of the FA Cup Second Round, 30 November, was supposed to be the date for the league match away at Spennymoor Town. That has now been postponed and Alty will face the long journey to County Durham on a midweek evening.

And, by avoiding a replay against York by beating them at the first attempt on Sunday, Alty's previously rearranged league match on 19 November at home to Gateshead should now definitely go ahead on that date.

The postponement of the trip to Spennymoor brings to five the number of Altrincham's league fixtures that have had to be rearranged, so far, this season. Two of these games were called off because of waterlogged surfaces at Altrincham and the other three have been due to cup clashes taking precedence over league fixtures.

Altrincham have currently played fewer games(13) than any other team in the National League North.

After Monday's FA Trophy and FA Cup draws, Altrincham's current sequence of away games is twelve in a run of fifteen fixtures! Next Saturday's league fixture at home to Hereford FC is the first Saturday match at the J. Davidson Stadium for ten weeks, since Leamington were beaten 5-0 on 7 September.

  • Sat. 14.9.19 AWAY Kidderminster Harriers
  • Sat. 21.9.19 AWAY Chester FC (FA Cup)
  • Tue. 24.9.19 HOME CHESTER FC (FA Cup replay)
  • Sat. 5.10.19 AWAY Halesowen Town (FA Cup)
  • Sat. 12.10.19 AWAY Guiseley
  • Sat. 19.10.19 AWAY Southport (FA Cup)
  • Sat. 2.11.19 AWAY King's Lynn Town
  • Sat. 9.11.19 AWAY York City (FA Cup)
  • Sat. 16.11.19 HOME HEREFORD FC
  • Tue. 19.11.19 HOME GATESHEAD
  • Sat. 23.11.19 AWAY York City (FA Trophy)
  • Tue. 26.11.19 AWAY Kettering Town
  • Sat. 30.11.19 (or thereabouts) AWAY Portsmouth (FA Cup)
  • Tue. 3.12.19 AWAY Stalybridge Celtic (CSC)
  • Sat. 7.12.19 AWAY Bradford (Park Avenue)

The silver lining comes over Christmas when Alty currently have five home games out of six league fixtures:

  • Tue.10.12.19 HOME BLYTH SPARTANS
  • Thu.26.12.19 AWAY Curzon Ashton
  • Sat.28.12.19 HOME SOUTHPORT


When he next appears on the pitch for Altrincham, Josh Hancock will be making his 100th start and 111th appearance in total. He has netted a commendable 46 goals in the process.

Close on his heels is goalkeeper Tony Thompson for whom his next game will be his 99th start for Altrincham. And making up a trio of impending centenarians is defender James Jones whose next game will be his 98th appearance, having made 92+5 appearances so far. As a central defender he has popped up to score an impressive ten times.

Existing members of the "100+ appearances club" are Shaun Densmore, Tom Hannigan, Jordan Hulme, John Johnston, Jake Moult and Simon Richman.

Right: We see Josh Hancock in Altrincham's special poppy-crested Remembrance shirt worn for the away FA Cup match at Bootham Crescent last Sunday. Based on the grey away-shirt, with red and white sash, previously worn in a number of away league games this season, the new version features a blue and white sash on a yellow background.


York City has highlights from Sunday's game against Altrincham. More revealing about Dan Maguire's theatrical fall to win the York penalty is this YouTube footage.

York Press reports that "York City boss Steve Watson has explained his team selection on Sunday and lamented that 'nothing worked'.

The Minstermen scarcely registered a shot on target as fellow National League North outfit Altrincham knocked them out of the FA Cup first round with a 1-0 win at Bootham Crescent.

Striker Jordan Burrow was left out of the starting 11 against a team at the same level or higher than City for only the second time this season, with Dan Maguire up front alongside Alex Kempster. Behind them in midfield was Kieran Green, who was the sole personnel change from the Kidderminster Harriers draw the previous weekend.

The idea to start with Maguire over Burrow, he said, was because he felt the latter's physical presence encouraged York to go route one too often against Kidderminster.

'Nothing worked today,' Watson said. 'When we put Jordan on up front with Kempster, it didn't work. When we put Jordan on up front with Maguire, it didn't really work. Standards in training are a huge thing for me and Kieran Green has been unbelievable all week.

'We wanted to have a chance to put the two lads up front together. They have both been brilliant when they've been up top with Jordan but that, alongside everything else we tried today, didn't seem to work.'

Andy Bond had possibly York's best chance to get on the scoresheet from the penalty spot with the sides still 0-0... Burrow... is ironically York's designated spot-kick taker.... It was decided before kick off that penalty-taking responsibilities were either to fall to Sean Newton, who cracked the crossbar with a superb free kick, or Bond.

'Both experienced players,' Watson said. 'Both lads who can put a penalty where they want when they set their mind to it. Dan was going to come off anyway, it just so happened it coincided with the substitution,' he added. 'I think it was a knee in the bottom of his spine. Anyone who's had one in the coccyx knows how painful that can be'

Ferguson's runs were snuffed out by the Altrincham midfield and Kempster was well controlled and rendered ineffective by a well drilled back four. Maguire tried hard but too often ran-up against dead-ends. We created nothing from open, attacking play and two set-pieces; a great free-kick from Sean Newton that deserved a goal and a tame penalty-kick and follow-up, together with a scramble at the end, was about it! Their keeper was hardly worked and came off at the end with his kit looking like an advert for Persil.

The midfield needs working on and improving when we attack/counter-attack and to effectively link-in with the strikers and to create far more goal-scoring opportunities"


Altrincham have been given an away tie at York City in the FA Trophy on 23 November.

Mike Garnett reminds us that the two sides have previously met once in the Trophy. That was in Round 1 at Moss Lane in 2007-8 when York won 3-1. Colin Little was Altrincham's scorer in front of a gate of 752.

FA Trophy prize money is:

  • Third round qualifying: Winners receive £3,750, losers receive £1,250
  • First round: Winners receive £4,500, losers receive £1,500
  • Second round: Winners receive £5,250, losers receive £1,750
  • Third round: Winners receive £6,000, losers receive £2,000
  • Fourth round: Winners receive £7,500, losers receive £2,500
  • Semi-Final: Winners receive £15,000, losers receive £5,000
  • Final runners-up: £30,000
  • Final winners: £60,000


The National League stated, before the above games.. "A number of our sides are back in league action...

Spennymoor Town are the form side, having last tasted defeat all the way back in September. Jason Ainsley's side can apply pressure to the top three if they can overcome tonight's visitors Boston.

King's Lynn haven't lost a home game since last September which might be bad news for Leamington, who have lost four on the spin. Travel-sick Alfreton Town make a trip to Hereford with both sides looking to stay in touch with the top seven. The Reds have lost four of their last five games on the road after a decent start to the season."


According to the Northern Echo "Darlington's FA Cup first round replay with Walsall at Blackwell Meadows will be broadcast live on BT Sport. It will take place on Wednesday, November 20 (7.45pm).

A Quakers' statement read 'We would like to thank BT Sport for their interest, and look forward to welcoming them - and our friends from Walsall, dignitaries and fans from both clubs, to Blackwell Meadows.'

Clubs taking part in televised replays at this stage of the competition receive £33,750 each. The teams drew 2-2 in a thriller on Saturday at Walsall, Quakers equalising in the seventh minute of injury time... Darlington say they will announce how to obtain tickets for the replay soon, but prices will be £12 and £6. It will be the 13th time Darlington have had a match chosen to be broadcast live on television, and the first time since they became a fan-owned club in 2012. Also chosen by BT for live television coverage is Bromley's home FA Cup replay with Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, November 19".

Northern Echo we learn that "When Darlington welcome Walsall for an FA Cup replay next week they will be met with an intimidating atmosphere, believes Quakers' boss Alun Armstrong, who wants his club’s fans to be 'the 12th man'...

Armstrong wants a repeat performance from his players and fans, 1,229 having travelled to Walsall where they were vociferous in their support...

Armstrong said 'I never wanted to come here and just have a day out, that’s not me. We’ve had the day out, now we’ve got to go and finish the job, but it’s going to be tough. The fans are going to be our 12th man. Walsall will not want to come to Blackwell, it’ll be intimidating and it’s not really a football place in all honesty. It’ll be tough for them and we’ve got put in a performance like that again.

'People say you only get one bite of the cherry for an upset, but I’ve got belief in that changing room. I’m not going to change the way we play when they come to Blackwell. We’ll play with the intensity and energy that we normally do...

'A lapse of concentration when they followed the shot in, that’s all it was and the game changed on that,” added the manager. 'The lads were deflated then and it was difficult to get a message across to pick them up. The second goal, Liam held his hands up afterwards and he is devastated about it. You think you’ve lost the game at that point, but the lads showed exactly what I wanted to bring to this club; character, desire, workrate and quality.

'Will Hatfield typified us. He’s winning free-kicks and he’s grafting still in the 96th minute.'

However, the game at a cost. Right-back Ben Hedley was sent off in the 90th minute so will serve his second suspension of the season, the previous one being for reaching five bookings, while Michael Liddle now has a groin strain. On the bench Armstrong again named his 16-year-old son Rhys Armstrong to boost the numbers, though Quakers were two short of the maximum permitted seven substitutes in FA Cup ties.

The manager added 'I’m probably going to have to stop my two Bermudans going on international duty on Monday, they are meant to go away this week. Now Ben is suspended I’d only have one outfield player left on the bench. Rhys is 16 and he’s on the bench because the other young lads are out on loan learning their trade.'

Liddle had a fitness test at Walsall, but was deemed unable to play with Jordan Watson replacing him. Armstrong explained 'He pulled his groin in training on Tuesday he said, but didn’t say anything because of the massive importance of the game. He might be ready for the replay'".

According to Oldham Athletic they "picked up a 2-1 win away against Gateshead... and Head Coach Dino Maamria gave his thoughts on the game...

'Well we've gone through and that's the most important thing, let's not forget that. I expected a tough afternoon and we got a tough afternoon and I think they gave us a tough game, but a bit of quality paid off at the end and I thought the second goal probably sums us up...

'I expect to take the lead and we expected us to win the game, with no disrespect to them we're two divisions above, we are expected to win it and win it well. Obviously, they're a good team and they have been riding high in the league and I know that they've got a couple of games in hand, but they're a good team and they have got experienced players and it's always a difficult place to come....

'We didn't match their work rate, as they worked a little bit harder than us which is unforgivable, so we're going to have a good look at the game. We had to win the game and dig deep'".

The Eastern Daily Press confirms that "King's Lynn Town will entertain fellow National League North side Hereford in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy... with the winning club picking up £3,750 in prize money.

They will be familiar opponents for Ian Culverhouse's side after beating them 3-1 earlier this season thanks to goals from Michael Gash, Chris Henderson and Aaron Jones. The two sides fought out a thrilling title race in the 2017/18 season, [in] which Hereford ultimately prevailed as the Linnets finished second before losing to Slough Town in the play-off final".

The Chronicle Live claims that "It may have ended in defeat but Sunday was about more than that for Gateshead FC. Players, staff and fans were disappointed to see their FA Cup journey end at the first-round stage after dominating a side two divisions above them. But the bigger picture was seeing a club united, with a positive future, a matter of months after they almost ceased to exist.

From the ashes of Joe Cala and Ranjan Varghese's odious regime have [sic] risen a young, vibrant team befitting of the club's passionate supporters and the local community. 2,199 fans packed into the Gateshead International Stadium and they made one hell of a racket from the first minute to the last.

Chants like 'We're just a stop on the Metro' and 'Gateshead's a s**thole, but I call it my own', rang out from the 'clothesline' and while they may seem lighthearted, it symbolises the tribal support the club's core group of fans have given to Gateshead through the good times and the bad. Last season, the soul of the club was almost ripped out but it was those supporters who wrestled it back and saved the club in its current guise.

If things had gone differently, they could have been playing Wearside League football this weekend. Instead, they were welcoming former Premier League opposition to the International Stadium and going very close to beating them.

It felt like a proper occasion at Gateshead International Stadium. It felt like the seminal moment when Gateshead fully moved on from the struggles of the past and embraced the exciting new era as a fan-led club that is once again a vital pillar of the community.

'It is bittersweet at the minute because it was a fantastic day,' Gateshead manager Mike Williamson told Chronicle Live... 'I wanted to get the result more for the lads and the people behind the scenes who have worked incredibly hard to get the football club to where it is at now. We can take a lot away from this game. Most teams can hit top levels on occasions but the good teams replicate it and build consistency...

'The lads, you can see the togetherness and they want to fight with each other and that is all you can ask for.'

Gateshead dominated for large periods of the game and Oldham would have felt very fortunate to head back to the North West with their name in the hat...

'The lads were gutted and so down about the result but it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch as a spectator, not so much as a manager. But I was delighted with the performance' said Williamson. 'We have got to make sure we don't have any hangover from this but we have touched the levels we can get to today and if we can replicate that state of mind every game it is going to take us a long way.'"

The unofficial Harriers' Online states that "The Harriers will be travelling to a familiar ground in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy this season and thankfully it won’t be the War Memorial Ground in Stourbridge. We have, at last, managed to avoid them for now and instead we’ll be off to East Manchester to take on Curzon Ashton. It would have been nice to go somewhere new, though.

This will be the ninth time that we’ve faced them and, to date, we haven’t lost yet... They did get a very good win at home to AFC Telford Utd on Saturday but by all accounts the defeat was of Telfords own making.

This Trophy game against the Nash will make a welcome break from all our called off games but sadly being away from home isn’t much help to our financial coffers with only two games at Aggborough this month. The next home game, barring a Trophy replay, will be against Southport on the last day of the month."

The BetVictor NPL tells us that "Reigning NPL champions Farsley Celtic will travel to Workington in the next round of the FA Trophy... There are 11 NPL clubs still left in the competition...

Colne's fine run in the FA competition this season continues, and they welcome National League North side Southport in the next round. Winning clubs at this stage will pick up £3750 from the competition's prize fund, while the losing clubs will take home £1250."

In the Shropshire Star we learn that "AFC Telford United boss Gavin Cowan felt his side didn’t get what their performance deserved in a 2-1 defeat at Curzon Ashton on Saturday...

The hosts hadn’t won a league game since August, but an injury-time goal after some poor handling by goalkeeper Matt Yates literally handed them the victory. The Bucks had taken the lead but the National North strugglers levelled before the late sting in the tail.

'Credit to Curzon', said Cowan. 'They’ve been having a tough time and have been searching for that for a while, but I think they’d agree that it’s not a result they deserved. We were completely dominant in our performance but punished for not taking our chances.'

The Bucks led in a scrappy encounter, through an own goal, but were pegged back by a penalty and then, despite having the lion’s share of the second half, couldn’t put the game to bed...

'I knew that we’d wear Curzon down,' added Cowan... 'I’m not sure Curzon got out of their own half too often (in the second half), but then obviously Yatesy’s dropped the ball and their lad has passed it into an empty net... but the performance was in general, ironically, a good one... But in both penalty boxes we’ve not been good enough and we have to take responsibility for that.'"

11 November 2019


A goal eight minutes from the end of normal time by Tom Peers secured Altrincham's place in Round Two of the FA Cup and condemned York City to their first defeat of the season.

Above: Alty salute their supporters after the final whistle at York.

Alty had started the game well before York settled and the first half ended goalless.

Maguire's theatrical fall over Tony Thompson convinced referee Bell to award a penalty, which was probably a correct decision. But Thompson saved Bond's spot kick and a follow-up hit the bar (57 mins). Despite losing Ceesay to injury soon afterwards Altrincham raised their game in the final stages.

Peers fired home Hulme's feed from about 15 yards to put Alty ahead before they saw out the closing stages fairly comfortably despite the home keeper going up for three corners.

Match report here


With four away draws in the Emirates FA Cup this season, Altrincham have nevertheless advanced through four rounds of the competition. Victories over Chester FC (after a replay), Halesowen Town, Southport and York City, have earned the club £72,750 so far, with a further £54,000 on offer for winning a Second Round tie, for which the draw will be made tonight at 7pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

Altrincham have been assigned ball no.9 in the draw and the games take place over the weekend of 30 November.

TV coverage via the red button for the Halesowen tie and the appearance on the highlights show against York will have added further modest amounts to Alty's prize kitty.

Alty last reached the Second Round Proper in 2015-16 season, when they were unlucky to lose to a very late goal at Colchester United.


From the opposition, York City report that "Tom Peers scored late in the second half for Altrincham to knock City out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first round stage. Tony Thompson also saved an Andy Bond penalty with the scores level.

Altrincham came into this game in good form, having not lost in their last six games in all competitions. York won 3-1 when the sides met on the opening day of the season.

Steve Watson made one change to the side that drew with Kidderminster Harriers last time out; Kieran Green coming in for Jordan Burrow. Altrincham also made one change to their side with Jordan Hulme dropping to the bench in place of Yusifu Ceesay.

The first 20 minutes of the game was scrappy, with no side having a clear cut chance...

Sean Newton then smashed the crossbar from a free kick on the edge of the box. His thunderous left footed strike had beaten Tony Thompson in goal but rebounded back out off the bar and Green smashed the follow up over... as City began to grow into the game...

City tried to break down a very well organised Altrincham side before the break but the away side stood firm, as the two sides went in at the break level.

The second half started similarly to the first, with neither side dominating... City were awarded a penalty ten minutes into the second half. Dan Maguire was taken down by goalkeeper Thompson inside the area and the referee took his time before awarding the penalty. Thompson then made amends, saving Bond’s penalty. A goalmouth scramble then followed, with City smashing the bar in the process before the away side eventually got the ball away.

With ten minutes to go, Altrincham took the lead. Hulme played in Peers who curled one into the corner from just inside the area, leaving Jameson with no chance in the City goal".

York Press reports that "City suffered their first defeat in 27 games as they were beaten 1-0 by Altrincham in the first round of the FA Cup...

It was an entertaining enough first half, but clear-cut chances were few and far between, and composure lacking in a few forward areas. On balance, goalless at the break was a fair reflection of the game.

The composure in front of goal did not make much of an appearance in the second period, Bond's penalty a case in point. Soft and low, Thompson saved relatively comfortably, and Bond could not bury the rebound.

Peers's was the clearest of the sides' chances - and he buried it with aplomb...

In goal was Tony Thompson, who has kept three clean sheets this term, two of which have come in the Cup. James Jones, who scored at both ends in City’s 3-1 season-opener at Moss Lane, started alongside Everton Academy product Shaun Densmore, who is the longest-serving player on Alty’s books.

Steve Watson was able again to name a strong starting 11, to which his only change from the Kidderminster Harriers draw was Kieran Green in place of Jordan Burrow. Andy Bond and Dan Maguire both recovered from minor niggles.

Altrincham looked up for the tie and were at City from the off, looking lively on their incursions into the attacking third...

Peter Jameson had to make a brave early block at the feet of Tom Peers, who had beaten the offside trap to get beyond McNulty...

As the half wore on, Altrincham’s pure attacking verve faded and York began to look more in control, though the visitors still posed a threat. Densmore was causing trouble down City’s left...

York went the closest yet midway through the half. Jones was cautioned for a tackle on Kempster on the edge of the area. Sean Newton rattled the crossbar with a powerful left-footed free kick and Green fired over from the follow-up...

York hearts were in mouths eight minutes after the restart when a Tom Peers header grazed the crossbar with Jameson beaten – only for the offside flag to be raised.

Straight up the other end, Maguire won a penalty when, moving away from goal, Thompson foolishly tripped him. The keeper made amends by saving Andy Bond’s spot kick, before Bond then struck the crossbar with the follow-up and a Green overhead kick was blocked.

The travelling fans were certainly galvanised by this, and it briefly translated onto the pitch...

Altrincham took the lead with eight minutes remaining through Peers. A York counter-attack was broken down on the halfway line and the ball was played out to Hulme on the left. With the York centre-backs in disarray and space between McNulty and the backtracking Newton, Peers was able to drive home.

Jameson went up for late corners as City, roared on by the home support, pushed for the equaliser."

And the Yorkshire Post adds that "York City ended a club record undefeated run of 21 games by crashing out of the FA Cup to Altrincham.

In the competition’s final tie to be held at the Minstermen’s Bootham Crescent ground... Tom Peers’ 82nd-minute goal settled an underwhelming first-round contest.

York had their chances to extend their interest in this season’s tournament with Andy Bond seeing a penalty saved and Sean Newton rattling the crossbar.

But, despite sending keeper Pete Jameson upfield for three late corners, all attempts to give the 87-year-old venue a fitting Cup farewell fell flat.

Alty were unlikely spoilers, having failed to win in the league on their travels during a season that sees them sitting 17 places below Steve Watson’s National League North leaders.

York were bidding to make the second round for the first time since 2010, but it was the visitors who made a more confident start...

A disappointed [manager, Steve] Watson admitted the team’s first loss since Good Friday should now serve as a reality check, insisting 'If anybody felt this season was going to be easy, then this should serve as the proverbial kick up the backside.'"


Sunday, 10 November, k.o. 12.45pm unless stated otherwise
  • Dover Athletic 1-0 Southend United
  • York City 0-1 Altrincham
  • Wrexham 0-0 Rochdale
  • Leyton Orient 1-2 Maldon & Tiptree
  • Chippenham Town 0-3 Northampton Town
  • Bristol Rovers 1-1 Bromley
  • Gateshead 1-2 Oldham Athletic
  • Barnet 0-2 Fleetwood Town
  • Macclesfield Town 0-4 Kingstonian
  • Hayes & Yeading United 0-2 Oxford United


Altrincham FC Reserves defeated Crewe FC 6-2 on Saturday. Next Saturday they are away to Billinge FC.


On Sunday, Altrincham FC Ladies beat Wythenshawe Amateurs (Juniors) Women 4-2.

Next Sunday, 17 November, they are away to Burscough Dynamo, who lie eleventh in the table. Altrincham lie eighth but have only played three league games compared with some others who have completed as many as eight or nine fixtures.


Altrincham FC Youth had no league fixture on Saturday. Next Saturday (17th) they are away to Atherton Town in the Neil Thomason Memorial Cup, a competition named after the former coach of Altrincham FC Youth under George Heslop's managership.


Grahame Rowley's announcement yesterday that he will step down as chairman at Altrincham FC by the end of the 2019-20 season means that he will complete ten eventful years as chairman of Altrincham FC. However, his service on the Club's board dates back to a brief spell in 2001 followed by an unbroken period as a Director of the Club from September 2002.

However, his involvement with the Club goes well beyond that, having been brought up in the town and, with his brother Terry, he has edited the Robins' Review matchday programme at Moss Lane for more than twenty years and continues to do so.

Having been relegated from the national level of non-League football in 2000, Altrincham had finished respectably seventh in the UniBond Northern Premier League at the end of 2000-01 season and ninth in 2001-02. But by May 2002, off the field, Altrincham FC was in a mess. Historical overspending had come home home to roost as the then Board issued a press statement stating that,

It is with regret that we need to announce that we have now received the final demand for payment of our Inland Revenue liabilities of £43,000 with immediate effect, the result of non-payment in the near future will result in a winding-up order being issued without prior notification... We told all present that the club needed £50,000 to survive within the next few months. This time period has now expired and the predicted outcome is now upon us.

Right: Geoff Goodwin, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw, October 2002

On 18 June, 2002 the official website reported that "A new Board of Directors were elected for Altrincham Football Club at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders held last night (Monday 17th). The new Board comprises Grahame Rowley, Geoffrey Goodwin and Andrew Shaw". As well as the financial turmoil, things also started to go wrong on the pitch and, by early October 2002, the club lay twentieth in the NPL which, at that time, was step two in the non-league pyramid. Manager Bernard Taylor was replaced in that role by Graham Heathcote in mid-October, 2002 and he went on to steer the club to a fourteenth-placed finish.

Aided by the Council's sale of the Club car-park for the Chequers building development, Messrs Goodwin, Rowley and Shaw implemented a regime of living within the club's means and, with Graham Heathcote's canny managership, Altrincham returned to the top-flight of non-League football in 2005. Despite being part-time side with limited resources, Alty remained in the top flight for six seasons as other less well-run clubs went into financial meltdown, underlining how important Alty's financial self-restraint had been.

The Nationwide Conference in 2005-06 included Hereford United, Grays Athletic, Halifax Town, Canvey Island and Scarborough to name just some of the clubs that subsequently hit the financial buffers. Subsequent seasons saw other clubs at the same level as Altrincham finding themselves in financial turmoil, such as Weymouth, Rushden & Diamonds, Northwich Victoria, Histon, Farsley Celtic, Nuneaton Borough, Salisbury City, Kettering Town and Chester City, to name but a few.

After five battling seasons in the top flight of non-League football, including three reprieves from relegation through other clubs' mismanagement, the 2010-11 season saw Alty gain just a single point from their opening nine games. And, off the field, chairman Geoff Goodwin resigned on 13 September 2010. With the club rooted to the bottom of the league, Grahame Rowley took on the chairman's role, having previously been vice-chairman.

Left: The Community Sports Hall under construction, July 2014

Ken McKenna managed the club till the end of that season but, despite an upturn in form, a disastrous final-day home defeat to bottom club Eastbourne Borough saw Altrincham relegated to the North division.

Off the field, things were looking better as the Board agreed a significant deal with local metal processing company, J Davidson, and that company has remained major sponsors of the club to date. From 23 May 2011, Lee Sinnott was appointed as team manager. Under his guidance Altrincham regained their national status in 2014 but, following his departure in the spring 2016, his assistant Neil Tolson was unable to prevent the club being relegated at the end of that season.

Away from the first-team, important developments took place at the Club with the creation and growth of the Altrincham FC Juniors which has attracted hundreds of local youngsters to play for the clubs' numerous age-group teams. A thriving Ladies' team and development squad have also been set up and a youth education programme has operated successfully for a number of years, based at the J. Davidson Stadium.

At Moss Lane 2015 saw the opening of the impressive Community Sports Hall at the football ground, a facility which has enhanced the Club's standing and relevance to its local community and proved to be an important source of income. Allied to this, Ritchie Bentley's enhanced catering provision around the stadium has added positively to the matchday experience.

Back on the field, in summer 2016, the Club appointed Neil Young as manager. He had previously enjoyed managerial success at Colwyn Bay (with whom he won prompotion to the NPL), Chester FC (where he enjoyed three promotions, including reaching the Football Conference) and had a brief, less happy spell at Stockport County. After three draws at the start of the 2016-17 season, Altrincham lost the next three fixtures disappointingly and on 28 August 2016 Neil Young resigned.

Just over a week later, the appointment of the experienced Jim Harvey offered hope of a revival, given his legendary work at Morecambe and, more recently, with Halifax Town whom he had saved from seemingly certain relegation the previous season. But Alty's poor form continued and, before the end of 2016, Harvey's assistant and former Alty player Matt Doughty took caretaker charge and was joined by former club captain Robbie Lawton. But the die was cast and they were unable to prevent a second successive relegation.

The fall-out from the relegations was a difficult time for the Chairman, his family and the Board, and the appointment of a new manager in summer 2017 was to be a crucial decision.

Despite the outcome of Neil Young's appointment, the Club again looked to a locally successful manager and appointed Nantwich Town manager Phil Parkinson to lead the team for 2017-18.

Phil and his assistant Neil Sorvel followed up on promotion with an impressive 2018-19 campaign which got them as far as the promotion play-off semi-final.

So Grahame Rowley's chairmanship and directorship at Altrincham has been an eventful and, at times, very stressful time not only for Grahame but also for his wife, Karen. She, along with their children Chris and Sarah, has given years of unpaid service to the Club.

As Grahame prepares to step down from the helm, he can reflect that despite the ups and downs of the club's promotions and relegations and its financial difficulties, the Club is now financially sound, unlike a large number of its previous rivals. Whilst the period since 2002 has included the hugely disappointing drop into in Step 3 in 2017, it has also witnessed eight seasons competing at Step 1 under Graham Heathcote and Lee Sinnott. Moreover, today the Club has a popular and successful manager and a team that plays an attractive brand of football, as well as possessing an extensive Juniors' and Ladies' set-up and a well-used Community Sports Hall.


The National League reports that the League's "clubs are still going strong in the FA Cup after an exciting weekend of action...

Dover produced one of the shocks of the round by beating Southend on Sunday afternoon...

Bromley showed their mettle... after falling behind with little over ten minutes left, Chris Bush pounced on a goalkeeper howler to level it up five minutes later.

Also in the hat are Wrexham who held League One Rochdale to a goalless draw at the Racecourse.

Altrincham are safely through after inflicting a first defeat in all competitions on York City, Tom Peers with the crucial goal seven minutes from time.

It wasn't such a great day for Chippenham, Barnet and Gateshead, however. The Heed's Liam Agnew equalised in the second-half against Oldham but Jonny Smith's strike for the visitors halted their cup run...

Boston United... won at Carshalton to storm into the second round. They did it in style too, winning 4-1 in south west London with Andi Thanoj at the double for the Pilgrims.

Ryan Croasdale was AFC Fylde’s hero - they survived a scare to win 1-0 at Nantwich Town.

Darlington fans won’t know what to make of their afternoon. Leading 1-0 against ten men with four minutes to go, they seemed to have thrown it away as Walsall made it 2-1 late on.

But after losing a man themselves, the Quakers found a second wind and FA Cup specialists Jarrett Rivers made it 2-2 seven minutes into time added on...

There was no luck for Chorley, they went down 1-0 at Mansfield "


The Boston Standard tells us that "After four away victories in this season's FA Cup, the Pilgrims boss would love to see the stadium host one final game in the competition before the club move out this summer.

'The point of this run is to create a big memory back at York Street,' he said. 'We all know what this means to the club and I think it'll be fitting now to have a big occasion at home. The fans were unbelievable today. I was a bit emotional at the end with people telling me about the big occasions and moments at Boston.'

Elliott added 'It's a long journey home and I'm really happy. They're amazing, the fans. My team talk was based around that. I knew they'd give us everything and we had to give them everything back. This is why we do it, they're the heartbeat of the club. Now they've got the excitement of waking up Monday morning and looking forward to an FA Cup draw.'"

Meanwhile, Gateshead inform us that "The Heed couldn't prevent an Emirates FA Cup exit despite a valiant performance on Sunday. Gateshead were knocked out of the FA Cup First Round by League Two Oldham Athletic at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Gateshead dominated the first half but were behind at half time with Felipe Morais scoring a rare Oldham chance. The Heed continued to dominate after the break and were deservedly level in the 52nd minute thanks to a Liam Agnew strike.

Gateshead had plenty of chances to take the lead after that but chance after chance went begging and Oldham again went ahead with a Jonny Smith effort...

Oldham scored with their first chance of the game. A Tom Hamer long throw was headed on to the far post where it was met by Filipe Morais, who headed home... Oldham came close to doubling their lead five minutes after the break...

Gateshead’s first chance of the half came on 52 minutes when Olley’s shot from 20 yards was tipped wide by De La Paz. A minute later the Heed were level. Deverdics saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box but the ball fell perfectly for Agnew to rifle home from 25 yards...

Oldham then again took the lead against the run of play when Smith picked up the ball on the right-hand side, cut inside and curled an effort in at the far post".

10 November, 2019


Altrincham will be wearing a unique yellow kit for Sunday's game at York. It is essentially a yellow version of the grey away kit previously worn this season, with the special addition of a Remembrance Day poppy motif. For details see the Altrincham FC site.


Altrincham goalkeeper Tony Thompson [right] has been interviewed by press and media officer, Brian Flynn, and this can be heard via the Altrincham FC site. Tony speaks about last week's game at King's Lynn in which he was named as one of the Team of the Week by the National League.

He goes on to discuss the York match which takes place today.


The Yorkshire Post says that "Steve Watson is looking to write another chapter in Minstermen’s rich Cup history. A reminder of of York City’s proud and glorious cup pedigree greets Steve Watson whenever he walks through the doors into Bootham Crescent’s Main Stand.

Iconic images from an ecstatic League Cup night at Old Trafford in 1995, when the Minstermen registered a scarcely believable 3-0 victory en route to an aggregate success over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, instantly catch the eye and they have clearly touched the soul of Watson in the process...

Watson said 'I am a bit of a football traditionalist and I like the FA Cup. It is ‘the’ quintessentially English knock-out tournament and the one that you were all wanting to watch and I remember FA Cup finals... I have loads of memories of the FA Cup, although I don’t have fantastic ones as a player. So I am hoping that my memories as a manager are a lot better.

'I have been involved in two cup finals and not won a trophy. So to get to the third round with York would be my biggest FA Cup achievement.'

Stories of the Minstermen’s prowess in both the FA Cup and League Cup are legion among York supporters,... 1954-55 season saw Spurs famously beaten at Bootham Crescent, with their North London foes Arsenal gloriously downed in front of the Match of the Day cameras on a raw day in January 1985...

Watson added 'I have read about the cup history and see a lot of it on the walls... The plan is to add to that history. In an ideal world, it (FA Cup run) will take us into January. With the exception of a few League One clubs, that is the realistic dream. Although you do not even think about going any further. Getting a third-round tie is our dream and we are two games away from that.

'With this game being at home, it will certainly give us an edge with it being an FA Cup game with the atmosphere.'

With the TV cameras in attendance, Sunday’s game against opponents with a historic penchant for giant-killing themselves in Alty will showcase York to a wider audience... York, befitting of a city which has had a long-standing association with the railway industry, are getting back on track, with Watson’s side yet to see their colours lowered so far this season in 19 league and FA Cup matches...

Watson said: “There was enough negativity when I started here and it was enough for a lifetime. From my point of view, I want as much positivity going forward as possible. I have days where I have been disappointed with what I have heard from behind me in the stand and I was sometimes outspoken about it at the time.

'Only because since I have came [sic] in, I have tried to be on the front foot and tried not just to lift the players, but everything. I have tried to lift the profile and the fans’ mentality as what has gone, has gone. I cannot do anything about that. I can only affect the future...

'It has been a fantastic run, who knows where it can take us. Nobody wants to think about it ending.'”


York City state that "Away fans enter Bootham Crescent through turnstiles 14 to 23 in Grosvenor Road, with visiting supporters housed predominantly in an uncovered terracing which is situated behind one goal. It can hold 1,785 spectators.

There are an additional 332 covered seats available to away fans in section U of the Popular Stand, immediately to the left of the Grosvenor Road End and running along the side of the pitch... Cash sales are only accepted at the turnstile. A programme seller will usually sell the matchday magazine inside the ground at the top of the stairs leading up from the turnstile. Each programme costs £2.50.

There is a food kiosk inside the away section of the ground selling a selection of hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks, including burgers, pies and hot dogs.

There is no access to the away end for supporters in wheelchairs. Away supporters in wheelchairs will be able to use the dedicated wheelchair enclosure used by home supporters. Access to this covered enclosure is via turnstile 13, located near the food kiosk just inside the entrance of the car park.

There is no car parking available inside Bootham Crescent and limited on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium".

York City are apparently reducing admission prices on Sunday and these will now be £10 for adults and £5 for concessionaries.


Saturday's match at Shawe View saw Trafford secure an unconvincing 1-0 win against Ossett United. Lewis Salmon, on dual registration with Altrincham and Trafford, was sent off midway through the second half for a second yellow-card offence; one of ten or so cards in the match.

But ten-man Trafford then took the lead, against the run of play against the lowly visitors. The scorer was Alty youth graduate Darius Palma, with a deflected shot. Former Alty midfielder Laurence Taylor was a second-half substitute for the hosts.

A much-changed Ossett side, following a managerial change, did not include former Alty ace, Damian Reeves, who appears to have moved on.


The Shropshire Star says that "On their last visit to Curzon Ashton, a defensive calamity led to a scrambled, close range winner for the hosts, and it was to be the case again this season.

A winner deep into injury time from Andy Halls, after an expensive error from keeper Matt Yates, condemned the Bucks to defeat on a ground where they have collected just one point in five seasons.

To rub salt into the wound, this was Curzon Ashton’s first victory since August, an opening sequence of four games without defeat being followed by eleven games without a win.

Set against that backdrop, it shouldn’t be a surprise that for some fans, their faith in manager Gavin Cowan is being tested, and the Bucks boss has been in football for long enough to understand how it works.

For all that the Bucks were the better footballing side in the second half, their inability to convert their own chances and failure to manage the game to its conclusion scripted a scenario that too often ends in the same way, and so it proved...

The first half was a scrappy affair, with Curzon seeking to turn the Bucks defensively by getting the ball to their forwards as quickly as possible, then seeking to pick up the pieces.

Their up-and-at ‘em style meant the Bucks were guilty of conceding free-kicks that gave the hosts another avenue from which they sought to put the Bucks under pressure. Cowan’s side were in a metaphorical street-fight, and it took them a while to adjust to the reality of the situation.

Brendon Daniels and Ryan Barnett, the latter having returned for a second loan spell from Shrewsbury Town only this week, looked the Bucks most likely avenue of success... On 27 minutes, Daniels was again involved down the left and when Darryl Knights put the ball across goal towards Stenson it appeared to take a final touch of Curzon defender Mo Ali before it passed keeper Cam Mason...

Curzon weren’t to be behind for long. A ball played to the back of the penalty area from the left was touched back to the busy Rob Evans, and when the midfielder stepped inside a challenge he went down, referee Jonny Urwin awarding a penalty. Curzon’s top scorer Sean Miller despatched the spot-kick past Yates and the Bucks were back to square one...

The second half was closer to resembling a football match than the first, as Telford sought to impose their own style... Daniels had to give way to Arlen Birch on 65 minutes, with what looked like a hamstring injury...

After spending much of the half penned in their own half, the hosts burst down the left and Ross White was forced to concede a corner. The initial kick resulted in some panicky defending and an almighty scramble, and from a second corner time seemed to stand still as Yates claimed and then lost the ball, Halls tapping in.

Curzon celebrated wildly, and the Bucks barely had time to restart before the referee brought down the curtain".

Another travelling team to emerge pointless was Southport who tell us that "It was a disappointing day in County Durham as the Port fell to a 1-0 loss against a strong Spennymoor Town side.

Southport had the first big chance... It took until the 39th minute for another major chance in a fairly even first half...

After an even first half, the second period seemed to be going the same way until the 65th minute. A mix up at the back meant Port failed to clear their lines and Glen Taylor snuck in to steal the ball away before sliding it into the bottom corner out of the reach of Charlie Albinson...

Southport had one last chance to level the score in the 84th minute as substitute Connor Woods swung in a great cross from the right wing onto the head of Zehn Mohammed but the defender’s header went into the hands of Matt Gould."

From the Boston Standard we learn "First things first: Boston United are into the FA Cup's second round.

For the first time under the Chestnuts. For the first since 2005. For the first time as a non-league club in 23 long, frustrating, agonising years, the Pilgrims find themselves in the hat for a round two draw.

Andi Thanoj, Luke Shiels and Jake Wright scored the all-important goals as Craig Elliott's squad ended Carshalton Athletic's impressive 10-game unbeaten run at the War Memorial Ground.

Christie Pattisson gave the hosts hope and Boston a nervy final few minutes, but Boston held firm with Thanoj grabbing his second of the day in stoppage time...

Thanoj proved that lightning does strike twice as the Pilgrims midfielder opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Having waited 76 appearances to get his name on the United scoresheet in the previous round at Hednesford Town, Thanoj found the net with yet another well-placed free kick...

Luke Shiels made it 2-0 four minutes later... netting after Tom Platt had guided Martyn Woolford's corner back across goal.

Things became nervy for Boston when they conceded their first goal of this season's cup run... But Thanoj struck again with a left-footer in stoppage time after connecting with Wright's pass.

The scoreline looked all the more comfortable as Wright added to the tally seconds later, rounding the keeper to slot home."

Extra Time reports that "English non-league side Blyth Spartans have unveiled the signing of former Longford Town winger Dylan McGlade.

McGlade makes the return to Blyth Spartans after stints with Longford and Bray Wanderers, where he had a short spell at the club during the 2017-18 campaign. After impressing for the Seagulls this year, the 24-year-old moved to England... Formerly of Middlesbrough, McGlade has played for the Republic of Ireland at under-17,18 and 19 level.

After returning home initially, the Dubliner played for Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic before joining Longford. McGlade then departed Longford halfway through the 2017 season, before signing up for Blyth. He then returned to Longford at the start of the 2018 campaign.

'It’s great to be back at Croft Park,' McGlade told his Blyth Spartan’s media team. 'I have a lot of ties in the North East and it feels good to be back'...

Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark added 'As you can see with Callum Robbie and Wrighty, I like my wide players to be exciting, positive, taking people on, scoring and making goals. Dylan fits that bill, so we have good options in the wide areas with those four players.'"

9 November, 2019


Saturday, 9 November
  • Bradford Park Avenue 2-3 King's Lynn Town
  • Chester FC 3-0 Alfreton Town
  • Curzon Ashton 2-1 AFC Telford United
  • Farsley Celtic 1-1 Gloucester City
  • Guiseley 1-2 Kettering Town
  • Spennymoor Town 1-0 Southport


Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper

Saturday, 9 November, 3pm unless stated otherwise

  • Sunderland 1-1 Gillingham (k.o. 1pm)
  • Ipswich Town 1-1 Lincoln City
  • Oxford City 1-5 Solihull Moors
  • Crawley Town 4-1 Scunthorpe United
  • Colchester United 0-2 Coventry City
  • Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
  • Maidstone United 1-0 Torquay United
  • Yeovil Town P-P Hartlepool United
  • Cambridge United 1-1 Exeter City
  • Stourbridge 2-2 Eastleigh
  • Salford City 1-1 Burton Albion
  • Forest Green Rovers 4-0 Billericay Town
  • Ebbsfleet United 2-3 Notts County
  • Walsall 2-2 Darlington
  • Nantwich Town 0-1 AFC Fylde
  • AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Doncaster Rovers
  • Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Bradford City
  • Grimsby Town 1-1 Newport County
  • Mansfield Town 1-0 Chorley
  • Tranmere Rovers 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
  • Carshalton Athletic 1-4 Boston United
  • Cheltenham Town 1-1 Swindon Town
  • Accrington Stanley 0-2 Crewe Alexandra
  • Maidenhead United 1-3 Rotherham United
  • Blackpool 4-1 Morecambe
  • Milton Keynes Dons 0-1 Port Vale
  • Stevenage 1-1 Peterborough United


Altrincham FC has reported that "At the Altrincham FC Annual General Meeting on Friday November 8th, Grahame Rowley (right) announced that he will be stepping down as Chairman by the end of the season, but he will continue in role as a board member. The board will be working closely with Grahame over the balance of this season to ensure a smooth transition to the new structure. The board will announce the new Chairman in due course

The board would like to thank Grahame for his dedication to the club and his selfless service as Chairman. Grahame assumed the mantle of Chairman in September 2010, replacing Geoff Goodwin; having joined the board in 2002. His hands-on style, firstly as Director and subsequently as Chairman was essential in saving Altrincham FC in 2002, keeping the club afloat and ensuring we honoured all our debts as we got back on our feet.

Recognising that the club needed to evolve in recent years, Grahame has put in place a revised board structure and overseen the implementation of a five-year strategy to drive the club forward.

That strategy is reaping dividends as Altrincham FC are on the way back, with progress, both on and off the field. Having secured the service of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel for another three seasons, we are optimistic about our future on the field of play.

The club continues to seek individuals who can help us drive our off the field activities; providing additional investment, bandwidth and capability. This board change gives a great opportunity for such individuals to get involved and we would encourage interested parties to contact the club to discuss further".

There will be more on this news on the Alty Files website over the weekend.


Grahame Rowley announced his resignation as an item of "Any Other Business" at the end of the Club's AGM.

He said, "Although the AGM concerns matters of the 2018-19 season, a decision that I have made at the beginning of this season will mean significant changes at the Football Club come next season.

Right: During Grahame Rowley's chairmanship, Sir Alex Ferguson opened the Community Sports Hall at Altrincham FC in 2015. Here he is seen with the former Manchester United manager and Alty club "legend", Stuart Coburn.

On August 16th I informed the Board of Directors of my intention to stand down as Chairman by the end of this season. This will be my 18th year on the Board, for the last 9 of which I have been Chairman and I am immensely proud of my time spent here.

I came on the Board in 2002, after a short spell in 2001, with the club in a critical condition and between myself, Andrew Shaw and Geoff Goodwin worked tirelessly to eradicate the £650k debts we were faced with. As reported earlier the club now finds itself in the best condition it has been in for many a decade with a very healthy cash balance in the bank.

In 2013, along with Ian Watmore and Peter Foster I oversaw one of the biggest developments at this Football Club with the submission and subsequent building of our Community Sports Hall in which we sit tonight. A legacy from the Olympics that were held in London in 2012.

This development has transformed the future earnings potential of the Football Club and many thanks need to be given to our highly successful Community Programme which has recently been awarded level 5 by the Premier League-led Primary Stars initiative. We are one of a few non-league clubs that have been awarded that level. Again a big “Thank You” to Simon Dow and Sara Newton who lead our Community and Sports Hall initiatives.

As stated I’m happy to remain as Chairman until the end of the present season, if my fellow Directors wish, and will then continue to support the Football Club in any way that I can.

Once again, my thanks to all the volunteers at the club who have made Altrincham Football Club what it is – a leader in Non-League football – something we should all be proud of".


Before he announced that he was standing down as Chairman of Altrincham FC, Grahame Rowley reported on the club's performance in the financial year to 31 May 2019. He said...

"The 2018 -19 season was another successful year.

Following promotion in the previous year, after a slow start we got into the play-off positions at the start of 2019 and remained there for the rest of the season, eventually losing out to Chorley in the play-off semi final with an amazing 1350 supporters travelling to support Altrincham.

Above: Tony Thompson saves Chorley's first penalty in the play-off semi-final at Chorley, May 2019, in front of a packed away end at Victory Park.

Gate income doubled as attendances significantly increased, partly due to having a successful side and partly, I believe, to the fantastic job which our Community Section do in promoting the club. Big thanks go to Peter Foster, Simon Dow and Sara Newton for the various initiatives which have attracted many new supporters through the turnstiles.

The combined matchday income accounted for 50% of turnover which fell just short of £600k for the year and produced a record profit of £58k.

Notable achievements in the year included our world famous LGBT shirt which we wore against BPA in February and the subsequent sales raised shop sales to another record of £13.8k. Special thanks to Ian Senior and Karen Rowley who did so much unseen work behind the scenes ensuring that all the shirts were produced and posted out.

Catering also made record profits of £22k and again massive thanks must go to Richie Bentley, Stuart Buchan, Dawn Abbott and their merry crew of helpers who put in a phenomenal amount of work on behalf of the Football Club.

We, as a club, are so blessed with numerous volunteers who take on various roles throughout the club, allowing us to achieve our ambitions. With that in mind a volunteers evening will be announced shortly when the Board of Directors will show their appreciation for all your efforts.

All in all it was a very successful season for the Football Club brought about by an amazing amount of work from a fantastic team of volunteers. I would like to say a massive “Thank You” to each and every one of you, you are a credit to this Football Club.

Thank you, Grahame Rowley".


Today marks nine weeks since Altrincham's last Saturday home game, on 7 September against Leamington. It is also the third blank Saturday home and away for the club in just the past six weeks, following the weather-induced postponements of the home league games with Gateshead (28 September) and AFC Telford United (26 October) and the switch of the FA Cup tie at York from today to tomorrow to accommodate television requirements.

Those looking for local action could consider a trip to Trafford where a number of current/former Altrincham players should be on view as they face Ossett United, the West Yorkshire club formed in 2018 from a merger of Ossett Town and Ossett Albion. As well as recent Alty signing Lewis Salmon, Trafford have Laurence Taylor, Dontai Gabidon, Darius Palma and Harry Sheridan on their books this season.

The most local games on Saturday afternoon in the National League North are:

  • Chester FC v Alfreton Town
  • Curzon Ashton v AFC Telford United


Altrincham travel to Bootham Crescent to take on York City in the FA Cup on Sunday lunchtime in what could be the last ever FA Cup tie at the historic ground. Altrincham's league fixture at York takes place in March 2020 and it is still unclear whether that game will also be played at Bootham or at their new stadium.

However, York City have now provided a further update on their new stadium.

"In light of recent fixtures announced at the York Community Stadium we would like to reiterate that there can be no specific move-in date or confirmed fixtures at the new stadium for the football club as it stands.

As stated previously the latest from City of York Council is that we expect the handover will occur early 2020, with test events then due to take place thereafter in order to receive certification, from a health and safety point of view, in order to allow spectator occupation of the stadium.

We cannot confirm a specific fixture or move-in date until this process is complete, with any potential date inaccurate at this point. York City Football Club, like all sports clubs, have a commitment to their regulatory body to play their fixtures at a licensed stadium. Until the Community Stadium is a fully licensed venue, the club cannot consider a move from Bootham Crescent.

The Club would like to place on record that we are pleased with the recent developments regarding the construction of the Community Stadium and look forward to a state-of-the-art facility for the city of York...

Here are some FAQs regarding the new stadium...

What is on offer in the fanzone?

We envisage the fanzone to be a meeting point before the game and an enjoyable experience for all ages. We are currently discussing pre-match entertainment options which may include bands, face painting for our younger fans and various other activities.

Will the club have any control over the pricing of pints/food?

As we are only tenants in the ground, we have no jurisdiction over the prices of food and drink. We will ensure that the provider is commercially aware of the current pricing at Bootham Crescent, but ultimately the price of any service they provide is their own decision".


The NW Counties Football League reports that after Brian Pritchard "left his first-team management role at Congleton Town, The Bears have just announced that Anthony Griffith [right] and Phil Hadland are to take charge at the club.

A statement from Congleton's Senior Football Director Chris Rowley says... 'We are now in a position to disclose the new management structure. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Anthony Griffith and Phil Hadland will take on the role of joint first-team managers. Anthony should by now be well known to you all, both as a player and more recently as assistant manager. A UEFA B licensed coach he is currently studying towards his A licence and also coaches at Port Vale.

'Anthony is relishing the opportunity to lead the club he has grown to love so much. Phil Hadland... managed Colwyn Bay working with Anthony who joined him as assistant manager".

The Halifax Courier tells us that former Alty striker "Jack Redshaw has got some lost time to make up for. The 28-year-old striker made his first appearance since April 21, 2018 when he came off the bench in Halifax’s 4-2 defeat to Torquay at The Shay on Saturday.

'It was unbelievable,' he said of his return to action. 'A bit strange getting ready for a game actually!... It was a great feeling to get on. I got about half-an-hour, which was a bit of a bonus'...

Prior to his Town debut, Redshaw had been plagued by injury set-backs that deprived him of a whole season of his career. 'My injury at Salford was misdiagnosed for a while,' he said. 'They thought it was a groin tear at first and then I ended up having a knee operation, and then I found out I needed hip surgery. It was a nightmare that it got left for so long, but I got there in the end, and I’m finally coming back from it now...

'It’s not nice being injured. Mentally it is tough, you feel like you’re not part of the team, you’re just stuck in the gym, stuck in the treatment room. I felt more like a bodybuilder than a football to be honest! When you come out of the other side, like I have now, you feel mentally so much stronger'... Redshaw started at Manchester City, signing as a professional, before dropping down the league with Rochdale.

'We’d filter in and out of the training sessions with the first-team,' said Redshaw of his time at City. 'They’d be on the next pitch. Then the takeover happened and you’d see all these big names flying in, like Robinho and Adebayor. It was interesting to be around, but you felt a million miles away from ever getting a chance. It’s a different world, everything’s done for you, everything you need is there. You literally just have to put your boots on and go and play or train.

'Then I joined Rochdale in League One, and it was a bit of a shock to be honest... It did massively take me by surprise'...

He spent three-and-a-half seasons at Morecambe before joining Blackpool, where he stayed for two seasons, including a loan spell back at Rochdale. He then joined Salford, staying there for two seasons, the first of which saw him score 17 league goals as The Ammies won the National League North...

'When I signed for Blackpool I was struggling,' he said. 'We did a lot of pre-season on the beach, on the sand dunes, and I ended up getting really bad shin splints. I played with it for the whole of my first season. Then I had six or seven weeks off that summer and I thought it would have gone, but it flared up again first training session back. It was a bit of a nightmare, I ended up missing the whole of the second season at Blackpool. I had to have surgery on both shins.'

Redshaw says he likes to 'Get on the ball, get on the half-turn and drive at players... Because I’ve missed a lot of time everybody was asking to see me for a week to prove I was fit', he said. 'I played a friendly for Halifax the week before, and spoke to the gaffer, and he said he wanted to sign me. I was made up... As a striker, if you can nick three or four goals everyone knows who you are again...

'I’m confident I’ll get back to being the same player'".


The NL Paper reports that "October’s winners of the MANarama National League North monthly manager, player and volunteer awards have been handed out [?named]!

Darlington’s Alun Armstrong collected the managerial accolade at midday on Friday while Southport’s David Morgan was unveiled as October’s top player. Farsley Celtic’s Don Holmes was crowned volunteer of the month. Some may have wondered why Alun Armstrong left Blyth after three fantastic years this summer... It soon became clear why Darlington moved heaven and earth to get their man.

The Quakers boss didn’t make the immediate impact he wanted to with four defeats in August but good things come to those who wait. A flawless October saw Darlo record four wins from four. Now ambitions have changed...

MANarama National League North Player of the Month – David Morgan, Southport... At this point last season, the Port were all at sea. Rock bottom of the National League North table with just one win, and eight points from their opening 14 games, five points adrift of safety. Nowadays it’s a different story entirely. Fourth in the table and having won all but one of their games [against Altrincham] through October, it couldn’t be going any better.

Captain fantastic David Morgan has been at the forefront of the action for the highfliers... The ruthless skipper looks determined to take the game to anyone who stands in his team’s way.

MANarama National League North Volunteer of the Month – Don Holmes, Farsley Celtic... Don has been associated with the Club for 30 years, currently occupying the role of vice-president. He visits The Citadel every day of the week to help clean and maintain the facilities of the stadium. As well as carrying out day-to-day tasks he is often seen repairing and improving all aspects of the site to improve the matchday experience for all attendees".

The Northern Echo adds that "Tyrone O'Neill's surprise exit has reopened the door to Darlington’s team for Stephen Thompson and manager Alun Armstrong thinks the forward could be a secret weapon at Walsall.

Thompson has been on the bench in recent weeks after sustaining a muscle injury, and in the meantime Quakers put together a run of seven unbeaten matches. Six of those were successive wins, with Walsall conducting their spying missions at recent matches when Armstrong’s front-three were O’Neill, Jarrett Rivers and Adam Campell.

However, injury-hit Middlesbrough sprung a surprise by recalling 20-year-old O’Neill to bolster their ranks for Saturday’s trip to QPR, but Armstrong has no worries about recalling Quakers’ longest-serving player.

'The replacement is Thommo and it’s not a bad one!' said the manager... 'The flip side of Ty going is that I’ve got someone there with 98 goals for the club. If Boro had recalled Tyrone a month ago when Thommo wasn’t fit that would’ve been a much worse scenario, because we would not have reached this stage of the competition. They’ll not have seen Thommo play as he’s not started for a good month and I thought he was red hot when he came on against Hereford and looked back to his old self.'

Although frustrated to lose O’Neill, a player who scored seven times in Quakers colours, he has no qualms with Middlesbrough... 'They’ve got massive injury problems, we had them at the start of the season, it happens and you’ve got to do what’s best for your football club,' said Darlington’s manager... 'But the timing is absolutely awful. January I would’ve accepted, this month is a right kick in the balls. Of course we’re gutted, but we cannot point the finger at blame at Boro. He’s their player and they already did us a favour by letting us have him in the first place.

'This is the main reason I don’t like loans. Loans are not the way forward if you want to progress, they’re a quick fix'...

Goalkeeper Aynsley Pears made his league debut for Boro recently 18 months after a loan spell with Quakers, while Armstrong has a track record for helping developing talent. He said 'I worked with my son Luke at Blyth and he’s at Salford now, Dan Maguire as well and he got a move to full-time football at York. What we do as a management team has worked with the forwards, other clubs might take notice of that and it should bode well for us.'

On O’Neill's sudden elevation to Jonathan Woodgate’s first-team ranks, Armstrong added 'I’m chuffed to bits for the kid. We’ve seen how much he’s come on since he’s been working with us... I’ve known the lad since he was 13 and even though he’s skinny, I knew he was ruthless and nasty and would mix it in this league no problem. To see his development has been great'".

"John Pemberton admits Kidderminster Harriers are heading into an unwelcome empty weekend following the defeat to King’s Lynn. There’s no action for the Reds on Saturday, their scheduled home game against Gateshead postponed several weeks ago due to the Heed’s involvement in the FA Cup.

The gap between matches was prolonged further with the news that the trip to Guiseley a week later was to also be postponed due to a series of international call-ups. All told, it makes for a frustrating time for the manager, who was left to stew on the 4-2 Aggborough defeat to the Linnets.

Asked if the break was a good opportunity for rest, Pemberton said 'Not really, I didn’t want the break, especially on the back of a loss. We’d want another game to get it out of our system. I’d like another game tomorrow if I could, to get that one out of the way, because the second half [on Tuesday] I didn’t enjoy at all.'

With just one win in the last seven, and five victories in 18 games in all competitions this term, there’s little doubt that a lack of consistency is proving costly.

That was a fact not lost on the boss, who added 'That’s us; it keeps raising its head. We think we’ve half cracked it, and then you can see the frailties in the team... We can be very good but, as you’ve seen in the second half, we can be very poor. I’ve got to try and get that balance right.'"

Bradford (Park Avenue) "are back in league action at the Horsfall Stadium this Saturday as they host high-flyers King’s Lynn Town.

Avenue ended their three-match goal drought at Harrogate in the County Cup on Monday, and will now be hoping they can turn that into a victory as they return to league action at the weekend. Aston Villa loanee Isiah Bazeley found the net as Bradford were defeated by two goals to one against their higher-level opponents, and manager Mark Bower has delved into the loan market once more this week to strengthen his midfield.

Telford midfielder Jonathan Royle has arrived on a temporary deal, initially until the 1st of January, looking to change the fortunes of a side who are now on a four-match losing streak. And for the second weekend in a row, they face opposition recently promoted to the National League North, though King’s Lynn have fared much better than last Saturday’s victors Kettering...

The Linnets have however drawn their last three league matches at home 2-2 but, after a winless run dating back to the 3rd of September, they ran out 4-2 winners at Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday. Avenue will assess injuries to both Germaine Agustien, who hobbled out of the warm up at Kettering, and Josh Heaton, who was replaced in the second half."

According to the Northants Telegraph, "Paul Cox has challenged the Kettering Town players to lay down another marker when they head to Guiseley (Saturday).

Cox’s reign as Poppies boss got off to a perfect start last weekend as they thrashed fellow strugglers Bradford (Park Avenue) 4-0... But... they have, so far, failed to win on the road since gaining promotion...

The Poppies boss said... 'The club’s record away from home is not good so this is another challenge for us at the weekend. I think last Saturday the challenge was to lay down a marker by winning the first home game under a new regime. Now we have to see if we can go away from home, be a bit more resolute while also asking some questions of Guiseley. It’s another game where I will hopefully learn even more about this group.

'One game is nothing, it can be a flash in the pan sometimes and maybe cover up some of the cracks... I am really looking forward to the game. It will give me an idea of whether we are still heading in the right direction or not because, in any league, you have to be capable of picking up points and wins away from home..

Tomorrow's game will see Cox returning to Guiseley where he had a five-month stint as manager before being sacked... 'I think it’s irrelevant to be honest. Possibly, in hindsight, it was a job I shouldn’t have taken on but I did and did so when I probably needed a break from the game... I think we just tried to do too much in a short space of time...

'It was the first job I got sacked from, in fact I think it was the first time I had been sacked from anything, and it hurt... People will look at that time as being a negative but I see it as a positive now. It gave me the chance to have the break and re-educate myself about the game'", concluded Cox.

Blyth Spartans "confirm Joe Robson has left the club by mutual consent.

The 21-year-old became one of Lee Clark’s first summer signings after making the switch from Northern League Division One side Newcastle Benfield. In his 13 appearances at Spartans, Robson showed his vital versatility, featuring at centre-back, right-back and central midfield.

His last outing for the club came in the 4-2 FA Cup defeat at Hednesford Town in early October."

Lynn News reports how "King’s Lynn Town produced their own display of midweek fireworks at Kidderminster Harriers to move up to second in the National League North standings.

Ian Culverhouse’s side twice fell behind in Worcestershire before dominating the second half to take all three points... The Bonfire Night clash got off to an explosive start with four goals in the opening 35 minutes.

Harriers took the lead through a well-worked and a crisp finish from Ashley Hemmings, before the visitors swiftly levelled through Chris Henderson’s close-range header in the opening ten minutes. A rollercoaster first period continued to flow when Harriers re-took the lead on 24 minutes following a fantastic strike by Richard Peniket which went in off the post.

Home midfielder Dec Weeks then hit the post, but the Linnets were again were level around ten minutes later when Rory McAuley was gifted a headed goal from a Michael Clunan corner. Full-time Harriers, who boast a number of international players, produced little in front of goal after the restart and Lynn took full control.

Culverhouse’s side weathered an early spell of home pressure at the start of the second period but after that it was one-way traffic. Five minutes into the second period the impressive Adam Marriott slotted home from the edge of the area for his 16th goal in all competitions this season.

Sixteen minutes later, midfielder Ryan Jarvis pounced for his first goal of the campaign as Kidderminster were made to pay a heavy price for twice allowing their lead to slip. It it hadn’t been for a string of decent saves from home goalkeeper Cameron Gregory, the Linnets could have easily been out of sight come the final whistle...

With Lynn finding themselves second in the table, it was hard to believe that this was their first league win for two months, while Marriott now has scored five goals in his last three games".

As previously reported but now confirmed by Lynn News "Defender Tom Ward has returned to The Walks to bolster King's Lynn Town's threadbare defensive resources. The popular defender has put pen-to-paper for the Linnets from Grantham... where he also played under Culverhouse...

It is believed that Grantham Town reluctantly agreed to release Ward to pursue his career higher... Gingerbreads joint-manager Russ Cousins said 'OOf course we wanted him to stay but we also understand a player’s desire to play at a higher level'...

In his first spell at Lynn, the popular Ward made 62 appearances for the club (54 starts), scoring six goals, after signing from St Neot's towards the end of 2016. The centre-half was offered the chance to return to the Walks in the summer of 2018, but declined the offer."

AFC Telford United's "Adam Walker insists that the Bucks need to put right their wrongdoings..

Walker, 28, says that the club set up is of a sufficient quality and that his time so far with the Bucks has been an enjoyable one. Walker has scored twice for club since arriving from Brackley Town in the summer...

'It`s a great club to be at but we want to be higher up the table and, until that happens, I can’t completely enjoy myself. I love the set-up and everything’s great. We have had a few ups and downs, and Saturday was all right but, at the end of the day, I am more focused about the team. I have played in teams in the past where some people have said that we were poor sides, but we have won leagues. It just shows you that you have got to get that momentum and winning games in a knack of doing that, it’s up to us to start doing that.

'We’ve got a one-nil lead [v. Boston] at half time and we have got to do better than that, we needed to be a bit more solid and come out with three points. It’s disappointing, because we have had two good performances and we’ve kind of let ourselves down by losing at home... The game plans have been great, we’ve stuck in there and we’ve done well against some really tough sides, at the end of the day it’s fine margins. Even on Saturday we had done well at times...

'We want to be in and around the playoffs, we are not far off it. So if we can get ourselves on a run then there is no reason why we shouldn’t... Curzon are a good side and they have always done quite well at home, we need to win the game, bounce back and win the game'".

More comes from the Shropshire Star which tells us that "Focused boss Gavin Cowan has warned AFC Telford United not to underestimate struggling Curzon Ashton... Mark Bradshaw’s outfit are one off the bottom of the table and this looks the perfect fixture for the Bucks to get back on track... as they bid to put the home defeat by Boston United behind them.

'They have not had a great run and find themselves down there, but any team could be down there in this league,' he insisted... 'We can’t take our foot off the gas in this league. We can’t just expect to go anywhere and just turn up, that’s not going to happen...

'They are very hard working and play with lots of endeavour. (Former Shrewsbury midfielder) Nicky Wroe is their captain in midfield and brings a lot of experience. We’re not playing any mugs, we have to be right at it'...

Shrewsbury midfielder Ryan Barnett is likely to make his Bucks debut after rejoining on loan. Curzon include the sons of Trevor Sinclair (Isaac) and Dean Saunders (Callum) in their squad."

8 November 2019


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger has Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer John Edwards's report that "Phil Parkinson saluted Altrincham’s marathon men after they shrugged off the effects of a four-hour coach journey to snatch a 96th-minute point-saver at King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Right: Jordan Hulme and John Johnston wait for any mistake from the King's Lynn keeper as he smothers Tom Peers's low cross, last Saturday.

Skipper Jake Moult scrambled home Alty’s second equaliser of the game in the sixth and final minute of stoppage time to force a 2-2 draw...

'We more than deserved to come away with something after the effort we put in, on the back of such a long journey,' said the Alty boss. 'Maybe we need to look at the geography involved in this league and consider the occasional overnight, because when you are cooped up on a bus for four hours, it is going to have an adverse effect. I’m sure that had something to do with us starting sluggishly, but we kept going to the bitter end.

'We left everything out there on the pitch, and I’m delighted for ourselves and the fans who made the trip that we ended up with something to show for it. Our fans, particularly those who travel, are absolutely out of this world, and I’m so glad we gave them something to feel good about.'

Alty, who have signed Trafford's top scorer Lewis Salmon on a contract, will be out to dazzle the BBC cameras when they face York City in the FA Cup first round at Bootham Crescent on Sunday.

'It is really exciting, and I'm glad we can put some money in the club's coffers and give the fans something back for all the support they give us,' added Parkinson... 'We face a colossal task at York. They are a club with a phenomenal budget, and they are top of the league for a reason... but I know we can do it.'"


Mark Eckersall, TASC Travel Coordinator, writes that...

"We will be providing coach travel to York on Sunday 10th November (12:45 kick off) to back the boys in the FA Cup as we look to build on the great result at Southport in the last round.

As ever the coach will be family-friendly and we welcome travellers of all ages. Alcohol is not permitted on the trip without exception. Please help our volunteers by continuing to comply and maintain the welcoming atmosphere we are proud of. We'll have a 30 minute stop on the way and 15 mins on the way back for refreshment.

For this York trip we have managed to keep the prices the same as they were in 2010 so there is no reason to stay at home watching bits on the TV, come and join us for the trip if you can.

Seats can be booked by calling the club on 0161 928 1045 from 10am each day and we look forward to seeing you on board.

Details of timings and fares are here."


With Altrincham's new signing Lewis Salmon remaining at Trafford on dual registration, there is unlikely to be much change, if any, in the Altrincham squad that faces York City on Sunday, compared with the team which drew at King's Lynn last weekend. Having only come on as a substitute at The Walks, after injury, Blackpool loanee Yusifu Ceesay may be fit to start at Bootham Crescent and it is to be hoped that left-back Connor Hampson may also have regained full fitness by Sunday.

York City state that "Away fans enter Bootham Crescent through turnstiles 14 to 23 in Grosvenor Road, with visiting supporters housed predominantly in an uncovered terracing which is situated behind one goal. It can hold 1,785 spectators.

There are an additional 332 covered seats available to away fans in section U of the Popular Stand, immediately to the left of the Grosvenor Road End and running along the side of the pitch... Cash sales are only accepted at the turnstile. A programme seller will usually sell the matchday magazine inside the ground at the top of the stairs leading up from the turnstile. Each programme costs £2.50.

There is a food kiosk inside the away section of the ground selling a selection of hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks, including burgers, pies and hot dogs.

There is no access to the away end for supporters in wheelchairs. Away supporters in wheelchairs will be able to use the dedicated wheelchair enclosure used by home supporters. Access to this covered enclosure is via turnstile 13, located near the food kiosk just inside the entrance of the car park.

There is no car parking available inside Bootham Crescent and limited on-street parking in the immediate vicinity of the stadium".

York City are apparently reducing admission prices on Sunday and these will now be £10 for adults and £5 for concessionaries.

One player who won't be facing Altrincham on Sunday is the subject of a report from York Press which informs us that "York City striker Kyle McFarlane has gone out on a one-month loan to Stratford Town.

The 22-year-old striker scored on his debut as a substitute at Irlam in the FA Cup, before playing the first half at Buxton, but has since found his opportunities limited at Bootham Crescent.

His appearance off the bench against Kidderminster Harriers was his first outing in five York matches.

McFarlane is the third York player to go out to get experience and game time elsewhere, following Tom Allan's move to Farsley Celtic and Wes York's to Brackley Town, both of which extend to January".


According to the Eastern Daily Press, "Tom Ward has returned to The Walks to bolster King's Lynn Town's meagre defensive resources.

Lynn have been struggling with just one recognised centre-half, Rory McAuley, following injuries to Ryan Fryatt and Chris Smith.

Fryatt is due to have an MRI scan next week while Smith still has a cast protecting a damaged elbow and is likely to be out for another month."

AFC Telford United "announce the loan signing of Ryan Barnett from Shrewsbury Town.

The 19 year-old joins the Bucks on loan until the end of the season and will join up with the rest of the squad at Lilleshall Sports Centre for training ahead of Saturday’s fixture away at Curzon Ashton. Barnett spoke to the club website this morning once the paperwork was completed ahead of his return back to the New Buck's Head.

‘It feels good to be back. I’ve kept in contact with some of the boys and watched a few games this year and I’m buzzing to get back, in amongst it with the lads and playing regular games again and enjoying winning football matches.'

Obviously, on a personal level I hope I can emulate the performances I put in last year for the club but, more importantly, try to go one step further than we did last year and aim even higher up the table. It’s an opportunity for me, again to show not only to Shrewsbury but everyone what I know [what] I am capable of and have a positive second half to the season.

'Last year I felt I had a good connection with the supporters and all of the staff, and I shared their disappointment when we couldn’t end the season with the promotion that we deserved. I always felt wanted by them and appreciated so this was a major factor in my decision to come back here when I was presented with all of the options of where to go.’

Boss Gavin Cowan was thrilled to get Ryan back for the season. 'It’s great to have Barney back especially as we both feel there is unfinished business to be dealt with. He will be another key element to our rebuilding process'".

Fromthe Shropshire Star we learn that "Shrewsbury have recalled goalkeeper Cameron Gregory from his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers.

The 19-year-old has come back to Montgomery Waters Meadow as cover with Max O’Leary sidelined with an injury. Gregory has made 13 appearances for National North outfit Harriers.

He is expected to be on the bench against Bradford in the FA Cup on Saturday with Joe Murphy between the sticks. Scan results on O’Leary’s ankle injury resulted in ‘nothing too major’ and the young Irishman, on loan from Bristol City, is not expected to be out for a lengthy period".

We learn from Cheshire Live that "Chester FC bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley are keen to strengthen their side...

The managers have identified one player in the past seven days from a higher division club that they feel would help improve them moving forward, although no deal is thought to be imminent and the talks at a very early stage.

'We're always looking to improve, as that's what you do as a manager'... said Johnson. 'Whether that is extra work with some of the players that you have or whether it is bringing someone else in and possibly losing someone, it's the nature of the beast.

'We're only interested in bringing new players in if they can improve us. Look at George Glendon. When the chance presents itself to get someone like him in, with the pedigree he has, then you have to try and make it work.

'We've been able to get a few lads out on loan so we have some room for manoeuvre but it may be that we have to make more changes depending on how things go. You can't be reactive if you want to be successful in this division, you have to look to improve while things are going well, not wait for things to go wrong and start making big changes.

'There are lads that me and Bernard have identified that we think could make a difference. You are at that time of the season now where teams higher up are starting to make changes of their own and lads who you thought you couldn't get a few months ago suddenly become available on loan.

'But we've no need to rush anything and the squad we put together we are happy with. But you can't stand still, if something crops up that you think could be the difference between finishing top or finishing fifth then you have to look at it.'

At present Chester have Iwan Murray, Theo Roberts, Cain Noble, Lloyd Marsh-Hughes and Matty Thomson out on loan".

The Northants Telegraph reports that "John Ramshaw was back in the Kettering Town dugout alongside new manager Paul Cox last weekend. The experienced Ramshaw returned to the club as Cox’s assistant at the end of last week and the pair oversaw a much-needed victory as the Poppies thrashed fellow strugglers Bradford Park Avenue 4-0 at Latimer Park to lift themselves out of the relegation zone...

And Ramshaw, who had a previous stint at Kettering as assistant-manager alongside Marcus Law before leaving in May 2018, was pleased with the encouraging start to Cox’s reign.

'The boys did exactly what they were asked to do,' he said. 'They stuck to the game plan brilliantly and the outcome was tremendous. It’s given everybody a lift; supporters, staff, players and directors.'

Ramshaw was clearly pleased to be back at the club and conceded it was the travelling in the Southern League that ultimately led to his departure last year.

'Returning to the club is lovely, it’s a club that’s very dear to me, I had a great time last time I was here, and I really enjoyed it,' he said. 'The travelling in the southern section got a little bit too much, but now we’re back up in God’s country, north of Leicester, so the travelling’s going to be easier.

'It’s great to be back and Saturday was like Christmas, it doesn’t get any better.'

Ramshaw and Cox are no strangers to each other having worked together many times previously...

'Paul and I started off together when I was manager of Hucknall Town, and we went to Leek Town, Eastwood Town and Mansfield Town together,' he explained. 'We’ve worked together extensively, we’ve been successful, and I think that’s because we understand each other so much. Hopefully we can repeat the success we’ve had for this great football club.'"


Altrincham do not play their First Round match at Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup until 3 December, but they already know that the winners of that tie will earn a home fixture against Vauxhall Motors in the Second Round, on a date to be determined in January 2020.

The full draw for the Second Round is:

  • Warrington Town v Sandbach United
  • Northwich Victoria v Stockport County
  • Chester FC v Stockport Town
  • Nantwich Town v Cammell Laird 1907
  • Runcorn Linnets or Crewe v Tranmere Rovers
  • 1874 Northwich v Cheadle Heath Nomads
  • Winsford United v Hyde United
  • Stalybridge Celtic or Altrincham v Vauxhall Motors

First Round results so far are:

  • Witton Albion 2-2 1874 Northwich Victoria (away win on penalties 3-4)
  • Hyde United 3-0 Cheadle Town
  • Runcorn Town 0-7 Chester FC
  • Tranmere Rovers 4-0 Macclesfield Town
  • Congleton Town 1-2 Cheadle Heath Nomads
  • Winsford United 2-1 Alsager Town
  • Barnton 0-5 Vauxhall Motors


The BBC reports that "Macclesfield Town are due to take on seventh-tier side Kingstonian on Sunday in what is the non-league club's first appearance in the FA Cup first round proper since 2000-01

Macclesfield players have gone on strike over unpaid wages, putting the club's place in the the FA Cup both this season and in 2020-21 at risk.

Going on strike and putting the club's place in the Cup in jeopardy is the latest move taken by players against the Moss Rose club. Macclesfield have previously been taken to court by players over unpaid wages and in May, under then manager Sol Campbell, they considered boycotting the final match of last season for similar reasons. Money earned in the competition has previously helped League Two side Macclesfield survive... Getting through to round two is worth £36,000 in prize money."

7 November 2019


On Tuesday, Brian Flynn, press and media officer at Altrincham FC, interviewed manager Phil Parkinson about the game at King's Lynn last Saturday. He also discusses the signing of Lewis Salmon whom he describes as "The next Jordan Hulme", (see below).

The interview can be heard here.


Altrincham FC has confirmed the signing of teenage striker Lewis Salmon [right] on an 18-month contract.

Lewis, (d.o.b. 2 November 2001), spent his early years with Manchester United and Port Vale. Next, he joined Leek Town and, then, Hanley Town. Lewis played for Alty in pre-season and, during the summer, he joined Trafford on dual registration with Altrincham.

He played in Alty's pre-season games against the club's youth team and at Whitchurch Alport, on 6 July. Indeed, Lewis scored in the match against the Altrincham youth team and would probably also have scored against Alport had not Conor Branson slid in first to convert the chance.

Lewis was also named on the bench for the friendlies against Crewe Alexandra and Stockport County but did not take part in either of those matches. However, he did play against Altrincham in the pre-season match against Trafford.

At Trafford this season he has already netted ten times and he will continue to play for them, probably for the remainder of this season. Based in the Stoke area, his coach at college was Alty's John Johnston.

Brian Flynn, press and media correspondent at Altrincham FC, conducted an interview with Lewis, which can be heard here.


Darlington report that "Darlington’s on-loan striker Tyrone O’Neill has been recalled by his parent club Middlesbrough.

Tyrone has scored 7 goals for us since he signed on loan at the start of the season, and has played a big role in getting us through to the first round of the FA Cup.

However, Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has activated a recall clause in the loan agreement, and has included Tyrone in the Boro squad for the Championship away game at QPR on Saturday.

Darlington manager Alun Armstrong said 'I'm delighted for the lad. Hopefully, he gets the opportunity to show how much he's come on while he's been with us'".

According to the Eastern Daily Press, "King's Lynn Town produced their own fireworks to move back to second in the table after a 4-2 win at Kidderminster Harriers.

The Linnets had to come from behind twice, but after the break they took control.

Lynn were behind after six minutes when [ex-Alty loanee] Ashley Hemmings volleyed into the top corner but, just four minutes later, Chris Henderson equalised, putting the finishing touches to a whipped-in cross from Aaron Jones.

Kidderminster led for a second time on 22 minutes through Richard Peniket, but again Lynn hit back, with central defender Rory McAuley left with an easy finish after home keeper Gregory missed a corner.

Within five minutes of the restart Lynn went ahead for the first time, hot shot Adam Marriott drilling the ball home for his 16th goal in all competitions this season before Ryan Jarvis scored his first of the season on 66 minutes."

From the other side, Harriers Online summarise their Bonfire Night match as "Shooting Stars first half. Damp Squib in the second.

Typical of Bonfire Night the Harriers turned in a display that was all oohs and aahs in the first half as we matched the injury-hit, part-timers Kings Lynn Town man for man and goal for goal but the second half was just a total damp squib as the rocket that should have been put up their bums never happened.

With an unchanged side from the one that drew admirably at York City, and continued a good run of form, the Harriers were expected to beat a King's Lynn side that had been suffering from a weakened team for the past few weeks. Included in their team was the former Harriers favourite Michael Gash looking a little slimmer that he did in his time with us.

In the first half we raced into an early lead through Ashley Hemmings... Lynn had come to Aggborough intent on giving us a game and within four minutes they’d drawn level... and it was end to end stuff that was keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. We took the lead again on twenty two minutes when Richard Peniket sent in a rocket of a shot from the right side of the area that rebounded off the inside of the far post, skidded along the line then turned towards the back of the net...

Then we fell asleep again at the back and allowed Lynn to draw level once again...

Oh dear. What happened at halftime to change the Harriers from a team working hard to win to one that struggled to put two passes together? Had someone thrown water on the bonfire?

The Lynn manager, Ian Culverhouse, had done the right thing for his side in nullifying the threat down the wings from us and Sam Austin and Correy Davidson rarely saw the ball again. They pressed us more in midfield and stopped our forwards from getting forward. It’s hard to remember a single shot on goal for us in the second half.

King’s Lynn took the lead for the first time on fifty minutes when more poor defending saw the ball come out to Adam Marriott on the edge of the area...

There should have been another goal for the visitors three minutes later but Gregory saved well to keep out Michael Gash... Kings Lynn sealed the three points soon after when Ryan Jarvis tapped the ball home from close range following more poor defensive work and that’s when the substitutes came on in an effort to save the day. Oliver Shenton and Alex Prosser were almost invisible while Brandon Diau fell over a lot.

The part time, injury hit team carried on in search of more goals and could easily have added at least a fifth".

Curzon Ashton report that "The Nash’s disastrous run-of-form continued at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Mark Bradshaw’s side suffered a 3-0 defeat to the North-East side after conceding a sloppy first goal from JJ O’Donnell two minutes into the game, following poor defending from a corner.

As the game continued the quality only got worse as both teams decided to play a lot of long balls back and forth to each other, which may have been due to the wet and almost waterlogged pitch conditions.

However, 15 minutes in and Curzon were finding joy down the right side as Baillie was able to deliver a cross perfectly creating a heading opportunity for Miller, who unfortunately had his effort cleared off the line.

Gateshead were the better team of the half... having a goal disallowed for offside...

Dom Tear doubled their lead a short while later, after Jordan Preston's shot was saved by Curzon’s keeper Cameron Mason, who despite conceding three goals had a good game and made vital saves to keep the score down throughout the game.

Despite the colourful and attractive fireworks for bonfire night, nothing would brighten this game up as the second half was even worse than the first. An array of sloppy passes and hopeful long balls had the few hundred fans at The Heed watching the fireworks at Bowes Railway next door rather than the football.

Gateshead were happy to sit back and defend their lead against a Curzon with 'a mentality not strong enough to compete at the moment' according to manager Mark Bradshaw.

Another collection of ‘hit-and-hope’ long balls lead to a second half lacking in quality from both sides, as it seemed Curzon were only playing for the final whistle.

A late 25 yard strike from Oliver proved to be the only bit of quality, in a horrendous second half of football at The Heed, putting the home side 3-0 up in the last five minutes of the game.

The defeat means Curzon are now 14 games without a win and are seemingly in danger of an ever growing gap at the lower end of the table which could put The Nash in a tough relegation battle for the remainder of the season if results do not start improving soon."

Meanwhile Gateshead add that they secured their "seventh win in eight home games... [as] Mike Williamson made two changes from the side that lost to Guiseley on Saturday with Connor Oliver and Jordan Preston replacing Liam Agnew and Josh Kayode.

Gateshead made an explosive start to the game... Curzon Ashton should have been level in the 16th minute when Sean Miller headed down James Baillie’s cross, but Michael Nelson was there to clear it off the line...

Five minutes before half time Gateshead did double the lead...

The second half started at a slower tempo than the first, but Gateshead kept threatening to spark the game back into life... Chances were few and far between with Gateshead looking comfortable at 2-0, but flair player Olley was proving a constant threat for Curzon...

With four minutes to play a rocket from Oliver from 25 yards found the bottom left corner to make it 3-0 and seal the win".

6 November 2019


The scheduled game tonight at the J Davidson Stadium between Manchester United Women U21s and Birmingham City has been postponed.


Sunday lunchtime will find Altrincham paying possibly their final visit to Bootham Crescent to play York City in the First Round of the FA Cup.

The welcome return from injury of Yusifu Ceesay at King's Lynn last Saturday should mean that the Blackpool loanee will be in contention to start the match. However, Luke Wall, who has yet to make it onto the pitch for Alty, is cup-tied following his spell at Curzon Ashton earlier this season.

Injury has meant that Connor Hampson has not started a game since he played at Guiseley on 12 October so it seems unlikely that he will be a starter though a place on the bench must be a possibility.

From York Press we learn that "David Ferguson has insisted that York City must show vast improvements if they are to progress past Altrincham in the FA Cup first round this weekend.

City failed to hold onto their one-goal lead after conceding an 82nd-minute Ashley Hemmings equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster on Saturday.

The National League North leaders kept hold of their eight-point gap at the top as other results from the chasing pack went their way. The gap remains a significant one as York resume their FA Cup campaign with a home tie against Altrincham, who currently sit 18th in the table, just four points adrift of the relegation zone...

'If we play to our potential, we should win the game,' said the defender. 'We played them in the first game of the season and we did well against them (City won 3-1). But, on their day, Altrincham are a very good team. Plenty of people know that and we know that as a group of players. We know that we need to be miles better than we were against Kiddy if we are to get through to the next round of the cup.

Above: In the opening league fixture this season, at Altrincham, a header from James Jones, off picture to the left, beat keeper Jameson to put the hosts 1-0 up against York City.

'I’d love to get through to the next round of the FA Cup. It’d be great to come up against my hometown club Sunderland'...

Asked whether there was any reduced pressures from playing in a cup game compared to a league game, Ferguson replied 'Every game has its pressures. That’s because of the standards that we set in the dressing room and through the week in training... We’ll put today down as an off-day, and I think collectively it was... We’ll be back at it again against Altrincham...

'Other teams around us have dropped points, but we’re looking at this like it’s two points dropped,' he added... 'We’ve reacted like it’s a defeat... I thought we were very passive and it was just a frustrating afternoon. Kiddy did well, they nullified us and dragged our wing-backs into the centre (of the pitch) by playing the diamond in midfield.

'But, we were very passive and that’s what is disappointing. It was an end-to-end game, they broke on us and we broke on them. I think that the result is a fair one in the end'...

Ferguson has been one of York’s stand-out players this season and a revelation at left wing-back. His ability to beat his full-back and deliver a telling cross has been of particular note, though... 'Speaking individually, I need to be miles better,' he reflected... 'Based on that performance, I think that 90 per cent of my game needs to be better. I thought that my work ethic was there but, on the ball, I need to be miles better. I got in a few good areas down the wing but my final ball just wasn’t there today'".

More on the draw with the Harriers comes from York City who report that "Kallum Griffiths’s first half goal wasn’t enough for City to claim all three points... at a wet and rainy Bootham Crescent.

City were still unbeaten heading into this fixture and were looking to beat Kidderminster for the third game in a row. The away side had only won one of their last five games in all competitions coming into this game.

Steve Watson made just one change to the side that beat Boston on Tuesday, Kallum Griffiths coming back in for Nathan Dyer at right back...

City went ahead against the run of play on 38 minutes. David Ferguson whipped in a dangerous ball which Kidderminster managed to clear. It fell as far as Adriano Moke, who played it to Griffiths and his left footed shot went into the corner putting City into the lead...

With 10 minutes left, Kidderminster equalized. A cross from the left-hand side was met by a Kidderminster head, knocked down to Hemmings who tapped it in past Jameson... City piled on the pressure but couldn’t find a winner in the late stages on the game...

York City: Jameson, Griffiths, Ferguson, Newton, McNulty ©, Tait, Moke, Bond, Burrow, Maguire (Green 57), Kempster (McFarlane 86). Unused Substitutes: Durrell, King, Whitley".


Tuesday, 5 November:
  • Brackley Town 0-0 Spennymoor Town
  • Gateshead 3-0 Curzon Ashton
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-4 King's Lynn Town


Before their Tuesday match, Spennymoor Town reported that "Moors make the trip to Brackley Town this evening looking to climb above their opponents and continue their surge up the league table.

A comfortable 2-0 win at Alfreton Town on Saturday afternoon propelled Jason Ainsley’s side one place below opponents Brackley, with only goal difference separating the two sides heading into the rearranged clash.

The Saints drew with second place Chester on Saturday, meaning their run without a win in all competitions stretched to three games. In fact, Brackley’s last win in the league was back in late September when they thrashed Bradford (Park Avenue) 8-0.

St James Park will spark good memories for Spennymoor fans after their penalty shootout victory in May’s play-off semi-final.. After collecting 13 points from their last five games, Moors are the form team in the division, and with upcoming home games against Southport and Boston in the next week, there is a chance to close the gap on Chester in second place."

Brackley Town add that "Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game, Wilkin said, 'Spennymoor are in great form and it should be an interesting encounter. We know that if the boys play to the level they are capable of we can give most sides a good game and hopefully that will be the case on Tuesday.'

Carl Baker and Dan Holman missed out on Saturday through injury and illness and they may be available again for the game on Tuesday, otherwise Wilkin has his full squad available for selection.

Spennymoor have won their last four league games... On the road they have won their last two games... This is Jason Ainsley’s team’s third season at Step 2. The sides have of course met five times in those two seasons but only once at The Brewery Field. In 2017-18 Saints won both games but the away fixture was eventually played at the home of Harrogate Town due to pitch problems at Spennymoor...

Both teams had a player named in the Non-League Paper’s Team of the Day at the weekend. Thierry Audel’s defensive performance and goal-scoring prowess was rewarded as were the two goals scored by ‘Moors’ Rob Ramshaw in their 2-0 win at Alfreton."

Guiseley report that "The Lions picked up their first away win since August with a 3-2 victory at Gateshead on Saturday, despite a late onslaught from the hosts.

Boosted by the return of Aaron Martin and Jamie Spencer from suspension and with Sam Scrivens now back from his loan at Matlock it was a performance much like the ones seen in the opening month of the season that proved crucial in overturning The Heed’s resolute form at the Gateshead International Stadium.

The hosts were going into the game looking for their seventh straight home victory in all competitions and with no goals conceded in NE10 since West Yorkshire rivals Farsley Celtic’s 3-0 triumph in August.

The Lions ripped up the form book and raced into a three-goal lead before two goals from Gateshead set up a tense final ten minutes to the game...

Martin... gave his side the lead, Brad Nicholson’s short corner found Scrivens who picked out Martin at the back post, the MANarama National League North leading scorer couldn’t miss and headed in from two yards out...

B.Nicholson’s powerful long throw picked out Hamza Bencherif who glanced the ball into the net with his head for his second goal in as many games with 67′ on the clock...

Felix... raced through to slot past James with a composed finish and celebrated in front of the travelling support who looked to be seeing a comfortable win in the North East with just 19 minutes remaining.

Just two minutes later though Gateshead were back in it, Olley’s cross was volleyed in by Nicky Deverdics who was unmarked at the back post but he still had a lot to do...

Then Bencherif picked up a booking after colliding with Josh Kayode and the resulting set piece was finished off by the Gateshead striker, Deverdics found him at the back post and he couldn’t miss... There were 10 minutes left for Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill’s side to hold out for the three points".

On Tuesday, Gateshead reported that they were taking on "Curzon Ashton at the International Stadium... in search of three points before Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup first round clash with Oldham Athletic.

The Heed’s six-game unbeaten run at home ground to a halt at the hands of Guiseley on Saturday... Josh Kayode’s seventh goal of the season during Saturday’s game takes him to the top of the goalscoring charts from a Gateshead perspective, with JJ O’Donnell one behind him on six for the season.

The Heed now sit 14th in the National League North table, albeit with games in hand on many of those above, while Curzon Ashton are faring slightly worse off... currently occupying 21st place. The Nash earned themselves a 2-2 draw away to Gloucester City at the weekend with Sean Miller netting his fifth of the season to end a three-game losing streak.

Mark Bradshaw’s men haven’t hit their stride as of yet, with their last win coming at home against Darlington on August 12, while they are yet to win away this season...

Mike Williamson... stressed... 'The lads are looking forward to playing tomorrow. It’s a quick turnaround, which everyone knows in football is a benefit when you come off the wrong end of a result... You want to start the game with energy and tempo, we’ve had a few games called off and a bit of an up and down week but that’s no excuse. The fact is we didn’t turn up [against Guiseley] and we didn’t do our jobs top to bottom, me included'...

Speaking to Curzon Ashton’s official website... manager Mark Bradshaw said 'All of a sudden we’ve got a lot of competition for places. Somebody I spoke to during the week, asking their opinion on us, and he said the last time I saw you was at Guiseley. When he looked at our last team compared to the Guiseley game he said where’s your back four, keeper and midfield, we’ve had that many injuries and bad luck in a short space of time".

Curiously, Gateshead report that "Segregation will be in place" for the visit of Curzon.

Chester FC reported that "A solid performance on a wet and windy afternoon at St James Park earned the Blues a point at Brackley Town.

Brad Jackson curled home his first of the season, but Thierry Audel’s equaliser inside the first twenty minutes meant the spoils were shared.

Chester made two changes from last Saturday’s defeat to leaders York City, as Danny Elliott and George Waring replaced Matty Hughes and Gary Stopforth.

It was Brackley who made all the early running... Nevertheless, it was the Blues who hit the front on nine minutes. Patient build up play on the edge of the area saw George Glendon poke a nice ball forward to Jackson who turned and brilliantly curled a shot over Danny Lewis and into the far corner.

It meant the Blues were the first opposition to score from open play at St James Park this season but their lead lasted just 11 minutes...

It was a real scrap in the opening 45, and it stayed all square at the interval... With the injured Danny Livesey being replaced by Jamie Morgan, the reshuffled Blues were under the cosh in the opening minutes... The game was opening up into a real end-to-end affair...

Kevin Wilkin’s side then took charge and had a great spell as the second half ticked on... The Blues held firm for a third successive league draw on the road".

From AFC Telford United we learn that "midfielder Jonathan Royle has joined Bradford Park Avenue on loan until 1st January 2020.

Boss Gavin Cowan spoke of his reason to the club website. 'Due to lack of game time, myself and Joffy have made the decision for him to go out and get some game time in order to be match fit for us in the coming months. Joffy isn’t where he needs to be so we decided this would be the ideal short term scenario for the player and team'".

And confirmation comes from Bradford (Park Avenue) that "Royle joins on an initial deal until 1st January, strengthening manager Mark Bower’s options in midfield.

Bower had hinted at a potential new signing after watching his side slip to their third defeat in a row at Kettering on Saturday, falling to the bottom of the league in the process.

Former Southport midfielder Royle initially joined Telford on a loan deal back in September 2016 which was soon made permanent after a string of fine performances.

Since joining, he has made 75 appearances in the National League North for Telford, but has been limited to just two starts and two substitute appearances this term.

Royle got his first taste of senior football as a teenager, spending two seasons at Colwyn Bay... He has also notched a handful of National League appearances for Wrexham and Southport, while also lining up in a brief loan spell at Hednesford Town".


The BetVictor NPL informs us that "Our new weekly goals show provides highlights from the Premier Division. All the highlights from the BetVictor Northern Premier League from Saturday 2nd November, including post-match interviews, results round-ups and all three league tables. Click here to watch now".
5 November 2019


King's Lynn Town's video highlights from last Saturday's draw with Altrincham are now available.


Altrincham travel to Bootham Crescent on Sunday to face York City in the FA Cup First Round. Last Saturday, the Minstermen were held to a 1-1 draw at their soon to be vacated ground by visitors, Kidderminster Harriers.

Kidderminster Harriers' "assistant manager Russ Penn was delighted with the performance of the team in the 1-1 draw at league leaders York City. The draw was no small feat; City are six months unbeaten in all competitions, sitting top of the table and in the First Round of the FA Cup.

Yet Harriers may feel aggrieved not to have come away with all three points from Saturday after dominating in the attacking third.

Russ lauded the team and insisted there were plenty of positives to take away from the, saying 'We made top of the table look quite ordinary and that’s not being disrespectful to them, they’re good at what they do but we were really at the races today.

'I think coming back from 1-0 down to get a point, away from home, you’ve always got to take the positives.

'I think we’re disappointed we haven’t picked up two more points with the amount of shots we’ve had and chances we’ve had, but we’ve got to take that into Tuesday now.

'We pushed at them and we ground out good opportunities; I just wish we had a little bit more time to get that goal earlier on and give us a really good chance at winning the game.'”


The Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Returning Bradford (Park Avenue) striker Oli Johnson could be in line for his first start since rejoining the club tonight [Tuesday], as his side face a tricky tie at Harrogate Town in the West Riding County Cup Second Round.

Johnson came on as a substitute, and had a goal disallowed, in Saturday's dreadful 4-0 defeat at relegation rivals Kettering Town.

The 33-year-old's late cameo was probably one of the only positives from a chastening afternoon, and Mark Bower will hope that his players can bounce back from that thrashing tonight.

Tomorrow sees Farsley Celtic in County Cup Second Round action too. The Celts sit fifth in the National League North and should be too strong in this home clash against Armthorpe Welfare."

According to the Shropshire Star, "AFC Telford manager Gavin Cowan was left seething by referee Andy Sykes's performance as his team lost 3-1 at home to Boston United.

Cowan felt that the official’s handling of the game 'bordered on incompetence', with eight players, five from the Bucks, receiving yellow cards.

However, it was the awarding of a 56th-minute penalty for alleged manhandling from a corner by [ex-Alty loanee] Billy Sass-Davies that infuriated Cowan.

'We’ve looked at it, and welcome anyone to look at it and think that it’s a penalty,' he said. 'Billy Sass-Davies is absolutely distraught. The referee said he saw the player’s shoulder blade come out of his shirt, which is farcical, a crazy, crazy decision. It just didn’t happen.'

To add insult to Cowan’s sense of injury, referee Sykes turned down three Bucks' claims for penalties, one of which looked as much of a foul as the one by Sass-Davies. Cowan added 'The one on Theo (Streete), it’s a shocking decision. Their lad had two hands on Theo and pushed him to the ground. The one on Chris Lait he’s gone down too easily, and I think Laity’s confirmed that himself, but then there’s another on Matty Stenson or Aaron Williams, it’s a blatant penalty.

'It’s consistency; if you don’t give their one, then don’t give ours. But our two were more penalties then their one. Even the Boston players were looking around surprised, even the lad who’s been fouled (Luke Shiels) is unsure of what’s going on.'

The penalty awarded against the Bucks gave Boston’s Jordan Thewlis the chance to put his side ahead, having equalised just four minutes earlier when the Bucks' Zak Lilly was down injured. Thewlis added to those two quick blows with a header on 62 minutes to complete a 10-minute hat-trick.

Although Cowan felt aggrieved, he did also recognise his team hadn’t performed as he’d have liked.

'We have to take responsibility,' he added. 'We had numerous chances that we really should be converting, and we need to be defending better. Boston opened us up too much, and we opened them up too much, which is great for a neutral, but not if you’re a football manager.'"

Cheshire Live says that "While Chester FC are now winless in five in the National League North, it is hard to be too downbeat with a solid point on the road at Brackley Town at the weekend.

The Saints hadn't lost a home game in the league in 11 months and hadn't conceded in open play at St James Park so far this season, and the Blues at least set about ending one of those records.

Brad Jackson curled home a wonderful effort on nine minutes on a wet and windy Northamptonshire Saturday afternoon, only for that goal to be cancelled out 10 minutes later when former Crewe Alexandra defender Thierry Audel found a way past Russ Griffiths, the game ending 1-1 .

The Blues had to dig deep, on occasion, defensively, a cause not helped by losing Danny Livesey at the break through injury but, after riding the storm, it was Chester who looked the more likely to take maximum points from the contest as the game entered its dying embers.

'We're not one[s] for celebrating draws but when you come to Brackley in conditions like that then a point is always a good result,' said joint-manager Morley. 'The pleasing thing for me and Jonno was the reaction after half time. I thought the first half we were off it, the second half we took the game to them on their home patch.

Both sides probably believed they could have won it and we made some really important blocks but, going the other way, I thought we played the better football second half and [were] unfortunate not to take all three points. We gave ourselves a platform early doors but then we go and concede again from our own mistakes.

'But it works both ways, both teams will always make excuses about why they concede but the good thing is that from that point we have defended really well. We've not won in five but we are in every single game that we play. We played top of the league last week and were unfortunate to come away with nothing and we play a side that have been one of the best sides in this league for the past four of five years and come away and match them in every department.

'Last year we were getting beat[en] 4-1s and 8-1s and miles off it whereas this team believes in themselves and we react very well.'

Chester had to make defensive adjustments at the break after Livesey was forced off with Kevin Roberts shifting to centre back and Jamie Morgan coming in at right back, the former Nantwich Town man having another impressive stint in a blue and white shirt.

On Livesey's injury, Morley explained 'Danny got a scratch to his eye and the doctor had to go and get a local anaesthetic for him. He couldn't see out of his eye, he wanted to come out and give it a go but you just can't take chances in big games like that. We were confident Kev could go in there and do and job and obviously Jamie came in and gave us a different dimension going forward and we got a lot of joy down that side in the second half.'"

Meanwhile, Cheshire Live adds that "Bernard Morley cracked a smile on Saturday as he wearily answered another question over the fitness of Akwasi Asante.

With 12 goals this season for Chester FC the Dutchman is the Blues' leading scorer and has looked every inch the Football League pedigree player that he should really be. There is a reason why he isn't in the Football League, though, and an injury record that limits him to a handful of games before a lay-off is a turn-off for any interested parties higher up the pyramid. His ability in the final third is not in any doubt.

Asante, who has been blighted by injury since signing for Chester in December 2018, was ruled out of the draw at Blyth Spartans and the home loss to York City and was once again a notable absentee when the team sheet was presented at 2.10pm on Saturday.

What was described as 'niggle' in his groin by Blues joint-manager Anthony Johnson seven days ago has not gone away despite Asante resuming light training last week in the build up to the weekend draw at Brackley Town .

And when quizzed after Saturday's clash at St James Park as to how far away Asante was, a frustrated Morley couldn't give any definite timescale.

'I've not even spoken to Akwasi about his injury and I have no intention to speak to him about it,' said Morley. 'When Akwasi's fit, Akwasi will be fit, and that's down to him. The more we push him and the more we ask him then the more he becomes bigger than he actually is. His goals, we miss them massively. With Akwasi you know that if it drops to him, in and around the 18-yard box, then we score, but he's not available.

'The other strikers in and around him, they must be frustrated. It must hurt them as it would hurt me as a footballer if people said we are not the same team without X, Y and Z. But Akwasi has played in games where he has not scored and been really ineffective and George Waring played (against Brackley) and didn't score but has been really effective.

'But ultimately Akwasi Asante has scored 12 goals in seven starts. You tell me who you can replace that with at any level of football; you can't.'"

Lincolnshire Live tells us that "Boston United boss Craig Elliott lavished praise on talisman Jordan Thewlis following Saturday’s 3-1 win at AFC Telford United.

Thewlis bagged the ‘perfect’ hat-trick of left and right-footed efforts and a header as the Pilgrims came from behind to win handsomely in Shropshire.

It took Thewlis’s tally to 11 goals in 16 appearances so far this season, despite serving a three-match suspension and carrying a persistent groin injury over recent weeks.

'He’s a great player', said Elliott. 'We miss him when he’s injured, not training or as sharp as he can be. He had a good week’s training. He felt positive about his groin and you could see that because he was electric.

'It was the perfect hat-trick and I am really happy for him. There is a lot of pressure on him to score the goals and be that talisman and he is answering that.'

The Pilgrims were dominant throughout at the New Buck's Head and Elliott was gobsmacked to see his side trailing at half-time, given their performance...

'I thought we were superb, especially in the first half, creating seven or eight really good chances,' added Elliott... 'To be 1-0 down at half-time seemed cruel but what impressed me was the lads coming out in the second half and turning the screw and they got their deserved victory in the end'...

Telford took a 33rd minute lead against the run of play through Adam Walker. United eventually got themselves level seven minutes after half-time when Martyn Woolford’s ball from the left dissected Billy Sass-Davies and Brendon Daniels and Thewlis checked back inside to beat Matt Yates at his near post.

Referee Andy Sykes awarded United a penalty four minutes later following Sass-Davies’s shirt pull on Luke Shiels and Thewlis blasted home the spot-kick. Thewlis sealed his hat-trick and United’s victory with a deft header on 62 minutes after meeting Andi Thanoj’s corner... The Pilgrims were more than good value for their win".

At Alfreton Town, "Rob Ramshaw struck in the first and second half to seal a comfortable win for in-form Spennymoor, as the Reds slump in winning form continues in tropical conditions on Saturday.

Ramshaw gave the Moors the lead when he planted a diving header past Charlie Andrew following a left-wing cross by McKenna, before finishing well in the box past Charlie to wrap up another win for the visitors which sees them move level on points with the Reds.

The game was declared on following fantastic work from the Groundstaff to ensure the fixture would be played, despite heavy rainfall throughout the day..

Spennymoor started on the front foot... With 25 gone, Moors took the lead as McKenna crossed from the left onto Ramshaw who headed past Andrew... The [first] half... proved to be a period where we lacked attacking bite throughout.

The second half saw us attempt to gain control... Spennymoor then were denied a second goal as Taylor's free kick from just outside the D was hammered against the bar and looked to have bounced over the line but the Referee decided against awarding the goal.

However five minutes later it was 2-0 when Ramshaw grabbed his second with a low finish in the box... Alfreton were second best throughout... It was a below-par display with Spennymoor easing to victory, leaving Alfreton with yet more food for thought in the league as we look to wrestle back league form.

Next, we host Heanor Town in the DSC Third Round on Wednesday night".

Cheshire Live reports that "Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin said that Chester FC deserved credit for 'sticking to their guns' and taking a point on Saturday...

Jackson's goal [for Chester] was Brackley's first conceded in open play at home this season, the Saints unbeaten in the National League North on their home patch for the past 11 months, and former Wrexham manager Wilkin was disappointed to have only taken a point out of the game.

'I think we had the better of the chances and I think that Chester will be the happier out of the two of us with the point,' said Wilkin. 'We created some really good chances, certainly in the first half and there was some good last ditch defending from them in the second half. But you have to give Chester credit for coming in here and sticking to their guns and taking a point away.

'We started the game well up until their goal. It was a good strike from the lad, although we gave him a bit too much room. To get rocked back at that stage felt a little bit harsh but the lads kept going and picked themselves up from that point... We really should be scoring more than one goal for all our endeavours...

'For all their possession, they've not really hurt us'".

4 November 2019


Right: Sean Williams, Jordan Hulme and Luke Wall, seen during the warm-up before the match at King's Lynn..

Match report here.


Following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Altrincham, the Eastern Daily Press headed its report "'What I will say will get me in trouble so I am best not to say anything', Lynn boss on lack of reinforcements.

Ian Culverhouse, for once, actually pulled his punches as he weighed up not just the performance of his team, but his desperation to have a competitive squad.

The Lynn boss has seen his defensive resources hit by injuries to centre-halves Ryan Fryatt and Chris Smith and his hopes of bringing in a replacement fall by the wayside. Culverhouse gave several cryptic responses when asked why reinforcements had not been forthcoming, insisting he didn't want to 'get into trouble'.

But his reluctance simply posed more questions for fans who have already seen their hugely popular manager leave the club once following a falling out with owner Stephen Cleeve and won't want to countenance a repeat. It seems unlikely it has reached that stage, but the tale of woe suggests Culverhouse is desperate for some more finance.

'What I will say will get me in trouble so I am best not to say anything,' he said. 'I will get into trouble and I don't want to get into trouble. We need reinforcements, we have got 14 players; everyone can see what we are like.'

Asked whether the situation was as combustible as when he parted company with Lynn at the end of the 2017-18 season, he said 'Hope not, but we need help. I think everyone can see it. We are going to get found out. I am not saying any more.'

One of the best players on the pitch in the 2-2 home draw with Altrincham on Saturday was Ross Barrows, a right-back who partnered Rory McAuley in the middle of the Lynn defence, but Culverhouse's fear is that those performances of square pegs in round holes will be found out.

His more immediate worry is the t[r]ip to Kidderminster on Tuesday night and the fact that three of Saturday's starters, two-goal hero Adam Marriott, skipper Michael Clunan and experienced midfielder Ryan Jarvis, were all nursing injuries at full-time. The option to add some of the club's youth team players is out of the question given they have an FA Youth Cup tie at Ipswich Town the following evening.

'I wouldn't like to because they have got the game on the Wednesday and that is a big game so it would be hard to drag a few of the young kids all the way up to Kidderminster just to fill a bench, so what we have got to do is just have a look at who can be patched up to go again,' said Culverhouse. 'That is the way it is at the moment. It is the same lot; they have been doing it all season for us, but when injuries kick in, like they have for us, this is all we have got. There is nothing else. We have a few knocks in there now so we will meet on the bus on Tuesday, have a count up and see what we can do.'"


Altrincham travel to York next Sunday to face the Minstermen in the FA Cup.

From the York Press comes news that "Micky Cummins believes York’s 1-1 draw with Kidderminster will serve as a 'kick up the backside to the City players.

In a largely flat display, York led at half-time thanks Kallum Griffiths’s opener but Kidderminster rescued a merited point as [ex-Alty loanee] Ashley Hemmings equalised in the final 10 minutes.

It was the first time this season that National League North leaders York have dropped points having been leading at half-time. While keen not to be too down on a draw which extends York’s unbeaten run to 19 games this season, assistant manager Cummins thinks the match is a reminder of what it takes to win a game at this level.

'We’re not playing great at the minute but we’re still getting points on the board,' he reflected. 'We’ve still got that eight-point gap too. There are teams in form below us but we just need to keep motoring on ourselves. Today wasn’t fatal but it’s a kick up the backside to say that we have to be at our best week in, week out if we are to come away with three points.

'We know that we can’t just turn up and think that we’re going to win. To get the points, we need someone to stand up and win us the game. We need individuals to come up with that creative spark, to take on that onus and create an impetus upon the game. We just didn’t have that. Our possession, turnovers and transitions weren’t there. We gave the ball away a lot. But we’ll address that.

'In the dressing room, the lads are really downbeat. But the reality is that we’re still in a strong position. Nothing has been won or lost today. In some ways it’s good that they are disappointed to come away without the win and hopefully we’ll see a reaction from them next week.'

York’s efforts on goal were limited throughout and aside from Griffiths’ strike, Kieran Green was the only other player to trouble the Kidderminster goalkeeper.

'I’m not sure you can quite put your finger on what was missing,' Cummins added. 'I think we went long too many times into Jordan (Burrow). He won his fair share but we didn’t really get much joy from that. Then you’re looking for your midfielders to dominate and take control, but they had the extra man in there and were quite dominant.

'We tried to change that in the second half by bringing Greeny (Kieran Green) on. We were indecisive with our passing; too slow and a bit sloppy. Our play in the final third just wasn’t there and that has been the case in previous games too. It was a frustrating afternoon. We were a bit loose with the ball, we didn’t create much, we were slow.

'None of our strikers had shots on target. Of the three shots on target, two were from Griff (Kallum Griffiths) and one was from Greeny (Kieran Green). If you look at those stats, we know that we’ve got to do better than that. They came with a game plan and that diamond in midfield meant that they dominated the possession but it was really in their half or the middle of the pitch.

'They didn’t really test Pete (Jameson), apart from with long-range shots.'”


Alty travel to York City on Sunday, 10 November for their FA Cup First Round tie. That could well be York's last-ever FA Cup tie at their historic Bootham Crescent ground as they prepare to move to their new stadium in 2020.

Coincidentally, Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years records reveal that the last time Alty played a cup fixture on that date was in 2012 in the FA Trophy when Alty won 3-0 and that was the last ever cup game played at Worcester City's St George's Lane stadium.

For the FA Trophy 3QR Match on 10 November 2012 three goals in six minutes midway through the first half put Alty in command. A low cross from Watmore on the right was hammered in by Clee from 15 yards to give Alty the lead (23 mins). Five minutes later, following a corner, the ball was not cleared and Danny Hall tapped it in. A minute later, from a Richman cross from the right, Reeves bundled in a third. Watmore was involved in all three of the build ups for these goals.

The referee that day was Simon Bennett who is now a FIFA and Select Group Assistant Referee and performs as a regular linesman to referee Michael Oliver in the Premiership.

For the 2012 game, Luca Havern was unfit so Carl Rodgers started in an unaccustomed role at centre-back but he was to be injured himself during this match. Danny Hall was captain in the absences of Shaun Densmore and Luca Havern, whilst City's Alex Meechan faced his former club.

Above: 10 November 2012: Alty line up at Worcester for the minute's silence for Remembrance Day.

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


Altrincham FC Reserves defeated Daten FC 4-3 in Saturday's Cheshire League clash. Alty lie third in the table but have played more games than a number of their competitors.

Their next scheduled league game is on 16 November, away to Lancashire club, Billinge FC at Barrow's Farm.


Altrincham FC Ladies match on Sunday at West Kirby Ladies was postponed.

The next fixture is on 10 November at home to Wythenshawe Amateurs (Juniors) Women at Egerton Youth Club.


The next fixture for Altrincham Youth is next Sunday (10/11/19) at 2pm when they host Daten FC at Manchester Health Academy, M23 9BP


Veteran goalkeeper, Tony Breedon, who left Leamington some months ago after a training ground incident, has joined Nuneaton Borough.

Curzon Ashton report on former Alty forward Sean Miller, under the heading "Miller back with a bang as Nash earn draw".

In their 2-2 draw, "Curzon Ashton twice lead before having to settle for a point in an entertaining encounter away to Gloucester City. Sean Miller marked his first start since returning from injury in style by bundling the Nash into an early lead only for Spencer Hamilton to equalise shortly after in similarly scrappy circumstances.

Hamilton then suffered the ignominy of putting the ball through his own net to give Curzon a half time lead, but that only lasted ten minutes of the second half as Marlon Jackson levelled the scores for the second and final time.

The point halts a run of six consecutive league defeats, although it does stretch Curzon’s run without a victory to 13 games and drops them into the relegation zone thanks to results elsewhere.

It’s the positives that must be drawn upon, though, as Mark Bradshaw’s men produced an accomplished performance and could easily have taken all three points if not for some wasteful finishing and a terrific late save from Gloucester goalkeeper Josh Bradley-Hurst.

It had been three weeks since Curzon had last played thanks to a combination of postponements and weather problems, and the way they began this game showed they were eager to make up for lost time.

Less than five minutes were on the clock when a neat passing move involving Matt Regan, Isaac Sinclair and Dan Trickett-Smith released Liam Davies down the left flank. His low cross looped into the air off Gloucester captain Sam Avery and when the flight of the ball deceived Bradley-Hurst, Miller was lurking to knock home his fifth goal of the season.

But it didn’t take long for the hosts to strike back... Neither goal was very pretty on the eye and allowed Curzon to enter half time ahead for the first time in a league game since they played Darlington on August 12th.... Gloucester equalised for the second time... when Jackson breached the visitors’ offside line and calmly finished over the top of the advancing Mason".

In just over a week Alty have a midweek trip to resurgent Kettering Town, from where the Northants Telegraph tells us that "Paul Cox was satisfied with a fine start to his reign as manager of Kettering Town but then declared 'This is where the hard work starts'.

The new Poppies' boss watched on as his team picked up an encouraging 4-0 victory over fellow strugglers Bradford (Park Avenue), a result which lifted them out of the relegation zone...

Lindon Meikle’s opener was added to in the second half by goals from man-of-the-match Connor Kennedy, Ben Milnes and Aaron O’Connor, from the penalty spot.

And while Cox, who was joined on the sidelines by returning assistant-manager John Ramshaw and coach Ben Marvin, both of whom have worked with him for long periods in the past, was pleased with what he saw, he insists there is no chance of anyone getting carried away.

He confirmed he is hopeful of strengthening the squad this week in the build-up to a tough trip to take on his former club Guiseley but he conceded the victory will have given the players, and everyone else at the club, a 'psychological boost'.

'I am delighted, obviously, with winning the game on a really unplayable surface to be honest,' the new Kettering manager said. 'We have only had two sessions with the lads and I am proud of the way they have taken things from that time. We have tried to implement a bit of organisation and a bit of structure and they have taken it on board.

'I think there is still loads more to do. I was picky in the dressing-room about the build-up to the goal that was disallowed for Bradford. But, in the early stages, I have got to be pleased with the way the players have responded. Some of the build-up to our forward play, particularly in the second half, was excellent.

'You could hear the reaction in the dressing-room and I would guess it’s the first time it’s been like that in there this season. Psychologically, it’s a massive boost for the players to score that amount of goals and keep a clean sheet. The dressing-room looks after itself. I wanted the guys to take ownership because we do have some good players and we have some who are still learning the game. I learned loads about them and I know now where we can get stronger and better.

'Psychologically, when you win a match after only winning two all season then it will lift people. We aren’t getting carried away but it is a boost for the players, for the supporters and everyone else at the club. I told the players to enjoy it but I also told them to come into work on Tuesday night and be prepared to work hard and concentrate so we can build up to what is going to be a really tough game at Guiseley next weekend.

'This is where the hard work starts and I want more... We have won a game and now is the best time to strengthen what we have got... The real tests are in the future... I am still not happy. It’s all about consistency. If we are talking in 10 or 15 games time and we are getting results consistently then I will start smiling a little bit.'

Cox, meanwhile, paid tribute to the fans and the volunteers who worked for a number of hours in the morning to ensure the game went ahead...

Cox added 'I know the supporters are passionate and want the club to do well and I know that if we get this place rocking, then people will come in their droves. I am part of the history of the club myself, so I know all these things'".

Meanwhile, the Telegraph & Argus states that Bradford (Park Avenue) "are at the foot of the Vanarama National League North table after a heavy loss at Kettering Town who were the only club below them before kick-off...

Avenue manager Mark Bower had the look of an embarrassed man in his post-match interview. He said 'Firstly I’d like to apologise to all of the people who put their time and effort in to follow us and paid hard earned money to watch, because we have given them absolutely nothing to take home with them. We didn’t show any quality whatsoever, in any department.

'It was the worst performance from an Avenue side that I have ever been involved in. We were woefully bad. We’ve had three games (since Bower returned for a second spell in charge) when the lads have done well and given us everything they’ve got and worked hard but we didn’t put a shift in today.

'We knew that they would be coming at us from the first minute with the new manager coming in and the bounce. We knew we’d have to weather a bit of storm early on, we never did that, they got a foothold in the game and never showed any quality and didn’t give ourselves any chances to get back into the game.

'It was nowhere near good enough in any department and it’s been a real eye opener for us. When the third one goes in from a free-kick we lost all discipline, had no shape and were just woeful'...

Avenue had one attack of note in the whole of the first half and it almost brought them level...

Avenue’s former top scorer Oli Johnson has been training with the club as he recovered from injury and he was in the squad on Saturday. He came off the bench for the last 30 minutes and almost marked his return with a goal, he deftly steered the ball past White but an offside flag curtailed celebrations'".

Mansfield newspaper, The Chad reports that "Alfreton Town boss Billy Heath admitted his side was second best after the Reds’ third successive home defeat. They were beaten 2-0 by Spennymoor Town, through goals in either half, to slip to ninth in the National League North.

'We were poor. l think the best team won, but we could have done more,' reflected Heath. 'Spennymoor were better than us in numerous areas; they seemed to be quicker than us in all departments. They dominated in lots of positions. We’re disappointed with the goals because they’re cheap again. It’s not a great sign when we keep giving away cheap goals.'

In the 25th minutes Ben McKenna crossed to leave Rob Ramshaw with a free header six yards out. The killer second goal in the 62nd minute saw Carl Magnay play a simple ball through for Ramshaw to run on to and steer it past home keeper Charlie Andrew...

Heath added 'Defending crosses into the box was one of our strong points a couple of months ago, yet the first goal comes from a cross into the box. We don’t defend it, he gets ahead of us and it’s in the back of the net. We made wrong choices for the second goal. We stood up trying to play for offside for some reason and he’s got behind us and we’ve not defended it. They’re both cheap goals. We’ve got to rectify things quickly.

'Obviously the loss of Josh Wilde and Shane Killock is not helping us but we didn’t look ourselves and the previous home defeat to Farsley may have affected us.'"

At Gateshead Toby Lees, The Heed's centre-back, "offered his thoughts after they fell to defeat against Guiseley on Saturday.

Gateshead came into the 10th home game of the season following four wins in a row, with six clean sheets behind them at the International Stadium. It was the visitors however that snatched the lead with 18 minutes on the clock through Aaron Martin, before another two second-half goals from Hamza Bencherif and Felix Kaine gave the hosts a mountain to climb.

The Heed then found hope as Nicky Deverdics scored his second of the season and Josh Kayode found the back of the net from close range, but it wasn’t enough to haul Mike Williamson's side level.

Defender Toby Lees didn't hide his frustration after his side’s 3-2 loss to Guiseley, 'It’s obviously quite disappointing... I think we killed ourselves in the first half and that gave us too much to do in the second half, going forward we’ll need to do the dirty work a bit better,' he said.

'We can take the positives though with getting ourselves back into the game, especially the last 15 minutes, but we shouldn’t be leaving it until then.'

The 22-year-old Harrogate loanee has also played every minute of Gateshead’s six home clean sheets on the bounce, which ended following yesterday’s defeat. 'Clean sheets have been something we’ve prided ourselves on,' Lees added. 'We haven’t been able to do that today so we’ll definitely look to try and get back at it. Sometimes we just need to do the dirty work better and see games out like we have done in the past.'

The Heed are next in action against Curzon Ashton on Tuesday at the International Stadium... before Sunday's Emirates FA Cup tie against Oldham Athletic".

From the Northern Echo we learn that "It says something for the progress made at Darlington that failing to beat ten men at home did not spark a post-match inquest.

There was no finger pointing, no sorrowful naval gazing, social media was not ablaze with fury and the only jeers were for Hereford’s former Quakers, Reece Styche and Jordan Nicholson.

A disappointment, clearly. Being unable to beat a Hereford side that had a player sent off inside the first-half on Saturday was inevitably frustrating. Yet recent performances, six successive wins before Saturday, have created enough goodwill to allow Alun Armstrong’s side a pass for this one, particularly as Quakers could be generally pleased with their showing.

They had the measure of Hereford when both teams had 11 men, and then dominated after the red card but were unable to break down a resolute team who played for a point and deserve credit for keeping Quakers at bay.

Seven games unbeaten, three clean sheets in row, now let’s focus on Walsall, that was the verdict at Blackwell Meadows as attention turns to this weekend’s FA Cup tie.

Saddlers’ scouting will report that Armstrong’s team enjoyed something like 80 per cent of the possession, 19 shots compared to Hereford’s three and seven corners but none for the visitors...

'I’m only really pleased when I’m winning but I’m really pleased with the lads and I don’t think anyone could fault them', said Armstrong. 'These lads are absolutely gutted that they haven’t won but, performance-wise, I couldn’t really fault them, apart from some fine details in the final third. When you look at the start of the season we had, mistakes were costing us goals but today we did not look in any danger.

'We looked comfortable, even against 11 men I thought we were comfortable. When they went to ten men it became one of them days. The tactics were spot on. I wondered if we could change the formation but, sometimes, you’ve go to give the opposition credit. They defended ever so well, they put their bodies on the line and, for us to do that to Hereford considering where they are and where we are, that is phenomenal considering where we were seven weeks ago.

'We look like a top-end team there’s no shadow of a doubt. Yes, I’m pleased but it’s tinged with that disappointment of dropping two points.'

The draw sees Darlington drop a place to 12th, with a win they would be seventh and it looked likely after starting Saturday well and then Tommy O’Sullivan foolishly saw red. Have been cautioned for a foul three minutes earlier, he inexplicably reached out to stop the ball with an arm, inevitably leading to a second yellow. His team-mates bailed him out, but Darlington did come close to scoring several times...

In his first game at Blackwell since leaving a year ago Styche was an isolated figure on the halfway line, merely spectating despite having not paid for a ticket... Though he was the subject of jeers occasionally, it was only right that when substituted in the second half that as a scorer of 18 goals in 33 games Styche received warm applause in recognition of his contribution to Quakers.

It was one-way traffic in the second 45... The goalkeeper was beaten in added time but the referee came to the Bulls’ rescue, Peter Shacklady correctly applying a new law which meant ruling out Joe Wheatley’s tap-in as Justin Donawa had been stood [sic] within a yard of Hereford’s defensive wall at a free-kick.

Armstrong was not impressed with Shacklady, saying 'I’m still baffled why the referee has disallowed the goal. He told Justin to stay where he is, we score from the rebound and he disallows it. I’ll have to have a word with him.'

Darlington flagged late on, almost inevitably since they played the previous Wednesday whereas Hereford did not and Armstrong admitted he had considered making changes. He has selected the same starting XI three games in a row, and explained... 'It’s easy to say you should’ve changed it and freshened it up, but the lads in the team deserve to be playing. The other lads understand that, the whole dressing are saying ‘gaffer, you cannot change it, we’re doing so well’...

On the back of the club’s longest unbeaten run in four seasons and four clean sheets in five games, it is no secret that Armstrong will name the same starting XI at Walsall".

3 November, 2019


Above: Alty defend their goal in the first half.

It took Alty till the sixth minute of added time to secure an ultimately deserved point on their first ever trip to Norfolk.

Following a goalless but entertaining First half, Altrincham switched to a back three at the interval and enjoyed the better of the second period. Against the run of play Lynn went ahead in the 77th minute. Gash won an aerial ball and Marriott cleverly dragged the ball back before slotting it past Thompson.

Three minutes later Alty equalised after Peers had chased a ball to the byline, where he got the better of a defender before laying the ball off for Hancock to sweep home from 15 yards or so.

However, Lynn regained the advantage in the 84th minute. Substitute Kelly did well and fed Marriott from the left. Again Marriott netted smartly with a low shot.

A minimum of five added minutes were decreed and play had just ticked over into the sixth when a Johnston freekick was bundled home after a goalmouth melee by Jake Moult.

Match report here.


Altrincham remained eighteenth in the league after Saturday's draw in Norfolk, though they have games in hand on most clubs, due to two home-match postponements and other fixture rearrangements caused by their FA Cup progress.

However, looking at the top end of the table, apart from runaway leaders York City who beat Alty on the opening day of the season 3-1, five of the six clubs in the play-off places have either been beaten or held to a draw by Altrincham this season in one competition or another.

Altrincham have met second-placed Chester three times this season and have yet to lose to the Johnson and Morley team. Draws at the Swansway Stadium in both league and FA Cup, and a win for Alty in the Cup replay suggest the gulf between second and eighteenth is not a major one.

As for third-placed Southport, Alty beat them comfortably, 3-1 at Haig Avenue, in the FA Cup, after losing there 2-1 in the league.

Creditable draws have been secured away from home against both fourth-placed King's Lynn Town and sixth-placed Guiseley, whilst fifth-placed Farsley were beaten 3-1 at Moss Lane. Seventh-placed Brackley Town narrowly beat Alty 1-0 at St James Park.

Allied to these largely promising results, Alty have played three games fewer than the top three clubs and they have at least one match in hand on the remaining play-off contenders. Alty have also played eight of their thirteen league matches away from home. Moreover, Alty have yet to face any team in the bottom seven apart from Leamington, who they thrashed 5-0.

With Alty's FA Cup involvement next Saturday they will fall further behind most of their rivals in terms of league games played.

But the signs are that with a bit more consistency of performance, Altrincham should be capable of climbing the table once they catch up on the league fixture backlog.


2 November 2019
  • AFC Telford United 1-3 Boston United
  • Alfreton Town 0-2 Spennymoor Town
  • Blyth Spartans 2-0 Farsley Celtic
  • Brackley Town 1-1 Chester FC
  • Darlington 0-0 Hereford FC
  • Gateshead 2-3 Guiseley
  • Gloucester City 2-2 Curzon Ashton
  • Kettering Town 4-0 Bradford Park Avenue
  • Kings Lynn Town 2-2 Altrincham
  • Southport 4-1 Leamington
  • York City 1-1 Kidderminster Harriers

2 November, 2019


Altrincham Today has Altrincham FC assistant manager Neil Sorvel's comments before the trip to King's Lynn.

"Last Saturday’s postponement of our scheduled National League North game at the J Davidson Stadium against Telford was very frustrating. We are playing well at present, but four of the five games in our unbeaten run have been in the FA Cup and it was a missed opportunity to start picking up some more league points...

Our league position of 18th doesn’t reflect well on us, although I think that it’s a bit false, as we should have five or six more points... I don’t think that we deserve to be any higher than mid-table, but I believe that we have performed better than 18th position...

On Saturday, we face our second longest away trip of the league season, when we travel to Kings Lynn... Ian Culverhouse’s side like to play, so it could well be a game for the football purists and we know that they have a very dangerous front two in Michael Gash and Adam Marriott...

The captain, Michael Clunan, is a very neat and tidy midfield player who links play up well and Chris Henderson is also a player who we will need to be very mindful of, but we carry a lot of threat in our team and we will be looking to expose Kings Lynn by using the qualities that we have got.

Connor Hampson is making good progress recovering from his foot ligament injury, that he initially sustained against Gloucester City in the third game of the season, however this weekend is probably too early for him. Yusifu Ceesay has done three training sessions since returning from Blackpool and could be involved.

Lewis Archer has signed on dual-registration for Dudley Town, as he has not played for over two months now and needs games to regain match fitness, so he will not be involved in the immediate future".

Winger Luke Wall (above, right) made an impressive and goalscoring debut for the Reserves on Tuesday night, but he is not mentioned by Neil Sorvel so his involvement at King's Lynn remains unclear.

Midfielder Max Harrop and defender Toby Mullarkey had useful midweek run-outs for the Reserves, having lacked much game-time in recent weeks so they would be expected to be in the matchday squad on Saturday.


On the eve of the clash with Altrincham, King's Lynn Town stated that "There really is no place like home and on Saturday, for the first time in three weeks, The Linnets sample once again The Walks atmosphere with the visit of Altrincham in the National League North.

In fact it has been a meagre two previous home league fixtures in the past two months for the home fans to enjoy with a run of away FA Cup ties taking away the continuity of Walks' Saturday afternoons. The imbalance of fixtures and last weekend’s Kidderminster washout means that Town will be looking for their first league victory since early September when Alfreton were defeated by a 3-2 margin. Despite their lack of recent league action Lynn are still very handily placed in fifth position in what is a tight top-half of the table.

Altrincham arrive at The Walks in eighteenth place in the league table and still in search of their first away league victory of the campaign. However, their home form is better having sampled victory on three occasions, scoring thirteen goals in the process. On the road however it’s a different with four goals from seven fixtures.

Early team news suggests that Ryan Fryatt will again be missing, along with Chris Smith who continues his recovery from a dislocated elbow, meaning that Rory McAuley remains Town’s only recognised centre back. Ryan Jarvis continues to receive treatment for a troublesome groin injury.

Saturday’s has been christened ‘Armed Services' Day' at The Walks with free admission being offered to all armed services personnel to watch the game, on production of their ID. A collection will also be taken for the Royal British Legions poppy appeal".

Meanwhile, Lynn News reports that "The Met Office has forecast heavy rain in King's Lynn from 9pm tonight with an 80 per cent of precipitation.

The rain is expected to turn heavy again tomorrow at 11am and 1pm according to the weather service". Bring your anorak!


Lynn News says that "King’s Lynn Town need to put their FA Cup exit at the hands of Nantwich Town firmly behind them and focus on National League North matters. That’s the verdict of defender Rory McAuley heading into tomorrow’s home clash against Altrincham at The Walks.

McAuley, who has been an absolute colossus for Lynn at the back, said 'We were very disappointed about the cup defeat as it brings both attention and revenue to the club. We fell short at Nantwich, but that’s because we’ve set our standards so high this season. It’s important that we’re not too harsh on ourselves as we’ve started so well.

'Everyone expected us to be involved in a relegation fight but, in our opening 13 games, we’ve proved that we are match for anyone at this level. Teams are starting to learn how we set up and play so we’ve got to be prepared for what they throw at us.'

McAuley, who is no stranger to Step Two football having played for both Dartford and Chelmsford in the Conference South in the past, believes that Lynn’s magnificent home form will be key between now and the end of the campaign. The Linnets haven’t lost a league game at The Walks for 14 months and McAuley said 'We really are beginning to turn the place into something of a fortress and we want that to continue.

'Even when we go a goal behind at home, as a group we have the belief that we can still go on and get something from the game. It’s important that we make a fast start in front of our own fans and try to pick up as many points as we possibly can.'

McAuley, 29, is enjoying life in Lynn’s new surroundings. 'I prefer playing in the North to the South,' he admitted. 'You are playing at bigger grounds and against better clubs and the away games give you something to look forward to. We know it’s a bit more rough and tumble and you have to be a little bit more streetwise in the North'".

McAuley has previously played against Altrincham for both Cambridge United and Dartford.


Altrincham FC reports that "A group of friends are trying to raise money for Ryan Barry, our Reserve Team Player Coach, who just over three weeks ago was taken to hospital.

Since then he has had two major, life-changing operations and has been informed that he won’t be able to return to his profession as a personal trainer for some time. As he is self-employed, they are trying to raise money so that he doesn’t feel the financial troubles as much during his recovery.

Ryan has been involved with the club for over seven years and has consistently represented and captained the Reserves throughout the seasons he has played. More recently, Ryan has undertaken the role of Player Coach due to his willingness to improve the younger players coming through into the Reserve set up.

The club will be hosting a fundraiser dinner on the 23rd November. It’s £20 a ticket and tables of 10/12 are available. Please leave the club a message here to book in for this event.

If anyone has any material items, new or old that they wouldn’t mind donating for a raffle/auction on the night to raise money, then that would also be much appreciated.

There is also a GoFundMe page where fans can donate if they wish.


News of an ex-Alty loanee comes from AFC Telford Unitd, who tell us that they "have extended the loan of defender Billy Sass-Davies from Crewe Alexandra until December 2.

The 19-year-old joined the club in September, and his performances have seen the deal extended a further month".

According to the National League, "Anyone who plumped for Darlington as their National League North winners in pre-season might have given up hope within the first few weeks. But things could be on the up for the revitalised Quakers.

After taking just three wins in their first 11 games of the season, Alun Armstrong's men are on the march with a six-game winning streak. It's a run which has seen them book a place in the FA Cup First Round while putting themselves within one point of the top seven.

'It’s fantastic. I think everyone could see how much it means to the lads,' said boss Alun Armstrong. 'I was a little bit worried because we hadn’t had a game on Saturday. It’s happened before, when you lose that momentum, but the lads were outstanding. I’ve seen so many sides to this team now and I’m chuffed to bits.

'We’re on a great run but, at the end of the day, we’ve only won two league games,' he added. 'It’s a long old season and there will still be times when we hit a bad run. That will happen. But we have just got to keep going.'

This Saturday sees Darlington host Hereford at Blackwell Meadows as they look to make it seven straight wins... 'We’re giving the fans something to shout about at the minute, but Saturday is going to be a very difficult game,' he said. 'The games get tougher and tougher. What happens when you’re on a run like this, everyone wants to beat you. So we’ve got to expect a real tough game.'"

The Northern Echo adds that "Darlington had to show some of the battling qualities that were too often absent last season in order to achieve Wednesday’s win, grinding out a 1-0 victory when under pressure for large parts of the second half against Kidderminster Harriers.

Darlington won only 11 of the 21 matches in which they scored the first goal in 2018-19, perhaps the best example of the team’s vulnerability coming against Saturday's opponents Hereford. Quakers blew a two-goal lead in March at Edgar Street, Tommy Wright’s team going 2-0 up before managing to lose 4-2. Eight months on and Quakers have won six matches in a row; three in the league, three in the FA Cup and they aim to make it seven against Hereford...

Alun Armstrong believes... 'When you’re on a run, the opposition want to be the one that beats you, they want to be the ones that stop you,' said the manager. 'We’ve got ex-Darlington players coming back and that adds a little bit of spice, but I think they’ll see a totally different Darlington team to the one they were playing in previously. There’s no way that these lads will be a push over.'

Armstrong’s cites Michael Liddle’s attitude as being typical of the team’s mental strength, the left-back having played on Wednesday despite feeling under the weather. It is five weeks since he completed 90 minutes away to Alfreton despite suffering a broken nose, physio Danny O’Connor re-setting it at full-time.

In contrast, Kidderminster’s Rhys Williams was immediately substituted after suffering a broken nose in a collision with Tyrone O’Neill.

'Full of flu and absolutely dying but I asked him to play and that’s what you get from him,' said Armstrong of Liddle, one of the players he brought him with from Blyth Spartans. 'He typifies what we are about, him and Will Hatfield. Their kid came off with a broken nose, Lidds played on with a broken nose a few weeks ago, that’s the difference in mentality in the youth I think. You stay on, you battle though.'

Goalkeeper Liam Connell had incorrectly believed his final match was Wednesday, but will play the final match of his loan from South Shields. Quakers have been in discussions with his parent club regarding turning the 34-year-old’s stay into a permanent move and are optimistic they can come to an agreement.

Third-choice at Shields, Connell is desperate to join Darlington and play in next week’s FA Cup first-round tie at Walsall, when Quakers are expecting to take around 800 supporters...

Connell cleanly caught a series of crosses in achieving a third clean sheet in his fourth appearance. Quakers had managed two in 13 before his arrival. In front of Connell is now a settled defence, one in which Alex Storey has been an unsung hero, Darlington winning all five matches since he joined on a dual-registration basis from Sunderland RCA... The centre-back signed as cover with Louis Laing injured and Josh Heaton having left... and now Laing cannot get his place back.

Armstrong said 'That kid has come in and taken to it like a duck to water; he’s keeping Louis Laing out of the side and I never thought that was going to happen. I’m not one for changing things if they’re not broken'"

York Press says that "Micky Cummins has praised York City players' ability to adapt their tactics on the fly. The assistant boss also says the team are reaping the rewards for their hard work.

Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Boston United was York's 15th National League North game without defeat this term, an outstanding run which has taken them eight points clear at the summit ahead of Saturday's game against Kidderminster.

It was the experienced centre-backs Steve McNulty and Sean Newton who came in for particular praise from midweek.

Cummins said 'You approach each game with a different tactical plan for each. If that doesn't work, you change it. But, a couple of times on Tuesday, they did a couple of things off their own bat. (Boston) left three out for a corner kick against us. McNulty and Newts organised us straight away and saw the danger.

'They manage it within the game and we observe from the side and make the changes, the tactical stuff as the game goes on. We've got good knowledge on the pitch. We can sense things have changed from the opposition and in our tempo. We manage it pretty well.'

On McNulty and and Newton, he added 'They've been in those situations before. They want success as much as anyone at the club but to do it in the style and the manner we're doing it in is fantastic,' he continued. 'With the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, they're getting the rewards for the work they're putting in.'"

1 November 2019


The Altrincham FC Monthly Draw for October produced the following winners:
  • AFC Polo Shirt: #479 Jim Ward
  • Replica AFC Shirt: #23 Lisa Jones
  • Hospitality Package: #69 Brian Acton
  • £25: #136 Derek Wilshaw
  • £75: #206 M. Partington
  • £500: #526 John Leahey

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.


King's Lynn Town operate cashless turnstiles so to avoid queueing at the turnstiles, tickets are available online in advance, here.

When ordering, do make sure that you navigate down to the away supporters' section!


Dave Johnson, Manager of Altrincham FC Ladies Development/Reserves team advises that "we are looking to recruit any talented local footballers to play in the Cheshire Women's Premier league.

We are an established successful team but, due to players going off to University etc., we are looking to add to our current squad. Looking for all positions such as goalkeeper and outfield positions.

Our facilities for training and matches are top quality so it’s a great place to play your football.

Training is every Wednesday 7.00-8.30pm on 3G. Home and away games are on Sundays, 2pm kick off.

So, if you're 16+ and interested please get in touch with manager Dave Johnson to discuss further on 07500 897657".


At Kidderminster Harriers, "Manager John Pemberton was left angered after the defeat to Darlington following controversy around the home side’s winner.

Harriers returned from Blackwell Meadows on the back of a 1-0 reverse, the only goal of the night coming just before the break.

The moment itself proved contentious, Rhys Williams left with a suspected broken nose after being nailed with a high challenge in the build-up to the strike.

The boss was unable to hide his frustration at the final whistle, saying 'You do play to the whistle but it’s a foul, it’s a blatant foul. I just don’t understand how you don’t give that, and I don’t want to start making excuses but it’s just facts.

'We showed a lot of effort tonight, certainly the second half, I don’t think they had a shot on goal. That shows how dominant we were in the second half but, obviously, we lacked a bit in the final third, so we need a little more quality.'

The gaffer added 'We had a great chance at the end, and the goalkeeper’s made a great save. We were more than comfortable, we pinned them back and pinned them back, but we couldn’t quite get that breakthrough that we needed. We certainly deserved at least a point from it, if not more'".