Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

August 2020

31 August 2020


The NL Paper reports that "Nathan Arnold has been appointed as joint manager of United Counties Division On side, Bourne Town [in Lincolnshire]...

Arnold [right], 33. has also signed on as a player for The Wakes and came on as a substitute in their pre-season friendly at Cottesmore, which they drew 1-1....

Arnold said 'I've shown them my aspirations and they have matched that. It was a no-brainer to take the job'.

He said he hoped to bring stability to the side while recruiting new players".

Meanwhile, the NLP also reports that "Craig Mahon has joined Curzon Ashton after leaving Altrincham.

"Mahon, 31, left Alty after their promotion... and has quickly fixed himself up with a new club, signing for The Nash where he will link up with former Chester team-mate Matty Waters, who joined the club last week.

The tricky wiger ... left the Blues back in January, heading to Altrincham". Mahon also meets up again with Alty team-mate Max Harrop who joined Curzon last week.


Altrincham FC has announced that its latest Monthly Draw, for July 2020, is as follows:-
  • £250 cash | #5 | Grahame Rowley
  • £75 cash | #285 | Bill Morris
  • £25 cash | #229 | Martin Hamnett
  • Match Hospitality for 2 | #146 | B Topping
  • Home Replica Shirt | #176 | Simon Ellis
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #47 | Terry Surridge

Congratulations to all the winners!

ON THIS DAY: 31 August

A year ago today, on 31 August 2019, Altrincham beat Farsley Celtic 3-1 at the JDS in a Vanarama National League North match.

Altrincham were again without Josh Hancock (calf problem) and Tom Hannigan started his three-match suspension with this game. New loan re-signing Yussifu Ceesay started on the left wing, whilst AFC Fylde loanee Ashley Hemmings replaced Harrop in the no. 10 shirt.

Lewis Walters was the only available member of the squad not involved today, having made way for Ceesay's involvement. Shaun Densmore was replaced by Andy White at right back and Richman replaced Branson in midfield.

Above: Ashley Hemmings celebrates his goal with Yusifu Ceesay (left) and Simon Richman.

In the match Altrincham secured a deserved second home win of the season but they were left still seeking a first clean sheet of the campaign after allowing Farsley to dominate the final fifteen minutes.

With Blackpool loanee Yussifu Ceesay impressing as he made his second debut for Alty and fellow loanee Ashley Hemmings, from AFC Fylde, having a much improved game in the no.10 role, Altrincham should have been leading at the interval by more than the single goal netted by Hemmings after 17 minutes.

His excellent shot from just outside the box gave ex-Alty keeper Elliot Wynne in the visitors' goal no chance on his return to Moss Lane. Farsley rarely threatened but Spencer made a complete hash of an unmarked header just monents before Alty's opener.

Alty had a great chance to double their lead three minutes into the second half. From a penalty awarded for a foul on Mullarkey, Sean Williams's spot-kick was saved by Wynne. This was Altrincham's second spot-kick miss this season.

However, with Altrincham dominating, they scored two goals from open play in a six-minute spell. Firstly, Farsley went to sleep from an Alty throw in the hosts' right corner. Jordan Hulme was left completely unmarked and he nodded home a John Johnston cross (61 mins).

Hulme scored his second after 67 minutes, following a freekick for a Farsley handball. Johnston fed Ceesay who was blocked and the ball fell to Hulme to lash home.

But Altrincham failed to build on this lead and allowed Celtic back into the game after Alty had withdrawn Ceesay and the Yorkshiremen had made a triple substitution. Yet again Alty failed to keep out the opposition and substitute Syers netted with a glancing header from a cross from the right with eight minutes remaining.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (c), 4. James JONES, 5. Toby MULLARKEY, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Ashley HEMMINGS, 11. Yussifu CEESAY. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Conor BRANSON, 17. Jake MOULT


At Macclesfield Town "Following his appointment on Friday, we spoke to Tim Flowers for the first time as First Team Manager of Macclesfield Town...

He said 'The club has, I think it has been well documented, been doubly unlucky [sic] to have been relegated from League Two, so to be given the opportunity to come in is wonderful for me. I have been out of the game for six months or so since leaving Solihull Moors and I have had one or two options to get back in that haven’t quite been right for me at the time.

'Obviously, I saw this one had become available and am lucky enough to be sat in front of you today, so I am looking forward to it!'

The new Manager understands that other clubs are further ahead in terms of preparation for the upcoming campaign but vowed to work tooth and nail to ensure we would be ready for the new season...

'I am under no illusions as to what it is going to take because, currently, just over four weeks from kick off we haven’t got one player under [?through] the door; we haven’t got one fixture. So, there is a hell of a lot to be done in a short period of time. Gary Whild who has come in with me, was my assistant from Solihull, and Danny Whitaker, thankfully is going to stay and be my First Team Coach, which is great news for everyone at the club.

'I have got a lot of work to do in a very short period of time with limited resources...

'Let’s be transparent, that is where we are at; but I will quantify that by saying when I walked through the door at Solihull it was a very similar situation. The team was bottom of the National League after nineteen odd games, marooned by about 12/13 points, we stayed up that season on the penultimate game by winning at Tranmere to secure our survival and the following year finished runners-up.

'There was a turnover of players, which you would expect but, right now, the challenge is to get a squad of fifteen, sixteen players with some pedigree with not a lot, if I’m honest. I want a tight, lean, hard-working, committed bunch of lads who will go through a brick wall on a Saturday and a Tuesday for the next eight or nine months, get this Football Club back on an even keel, and plan with diligence for the future...

'I have got to try and stabilise and get this Club back to normality and back to where hopefully we belong in the EFL. I don’t know how long that will take, but I am bang up for the scrap.'”

Woking "Confirm Jack Skinner has signed a new deal."

The attacking midfielder, 20, is a product of the academy.

Jack, born and raised in New South Wales, Australia, joined the academy in 2018 aged 18. Notable goalscoring performances in the 2018/19 Surrey Senior Cup saw him earn a senior contract last summer.

Jack was loaned out to Eastbourne Borough last season and impressed in the National League South. He now signs a new deal at Woking, looking to break into the first-team".

"Yeovil Town can confirm the departure of Myles Hippolyte to Scunthorpe United for an undisclosed fee.

The midfielder arrived on a free transfer from Dunfermline Athletic last summer and netted five times for the Glovers.

After making 37 appearances for Town last season, Hippolyte now moves to Glanford Park on a permanent basis".

Aldershot Town announce that "We begin to feel that there really is going to be football at the EBB Stadium in just over a month. Danny is busy putting teams together to get some match practice and these comprise players from last season who have re-signed, new players who have signed having left other clubs, our own academy/youth players who are being blooded with the first team and a number of trialists.

We have signed the following: Mitch Walker, Ryan Hall, George Fowler, Kodi Lyons-Foster, Alex Finney, Jamie Sendles-White, Lewis Kinsella, Alfie Whittingham, James Rowe, Reece Wylie, Josh Rees, Craig Tanner, Chike Kandi, Joel Nouble, Harrison Panayiotou and Mo Bettamer.

Danny is still looking at possibly a couple of additions and they could well come from the trialists on display at the numerous friendlies taking place. Not unnaturally the club is hesitant to name trialists. It is not very sensible to publicly praise and name a trialist who might score a hat trick pre-season which then attracts other clubs who compete for his signature...

It has been encouraging to reveal that some of the mystery players who our fans are trying to identify are actually from our own academy and a huge recognition and praise must go to Ross McNeilly and Ross White plus their coaches for the outstanding work they do in turning boys into men on the football field.

Our season ticket holders are about to receive a letter from Matt Wigman our ticketing guru asking them about seat preferences and 'bubbles'. .. In our seating area we will be keeping alternate rows empty and keeping two spare seats between fans free to social space, it is so important for us to identify groupings to maximise our capacity. We have said it before but the more we address the processes required to cope with coronavirus the easier it will be for season ticket holders when seeking a consistent seat match after match".

Chesterfield report that "Experienced keeper Kyle Letheren became the latest addition to John Pemberton's squad on Friday afternoon.

The 32 year-old, who was a free agent after leaving Salford City at the end of last season... said 'I'm delighted to be here and I can't wait to get going'...

Manager John Pemberton said 'We monitored him last year and we're delighted to have him. Kyle has valuable experience and we feel that he's one for the next few years. He played in 22 games last season and kept 11 clean sheets.'

Letheren started his career at Swansea City before moving to Barnsley. His career has taken him to various clubs including Plymouth Argyle, Blackpool and York City. He has also had stints north of the border with Kilmarnock and Dundee. Kyle's father Glan, who was also a keeper, played for Chesterfield under Arthur Cox in the late 1970s".

Weymouth "announce the signing of striker Cody Cooke.

Cody joins the Terras from Scottish Premiership St Mirren, he had signed for the Buddies after impressing at the V9 Academy.

Before his spell in Scotland, 27 year old Cooke spent 7 years at Truro City where he made over 250 appearances".

FC Halifax Town announce that "We’re constantly working with the Council and other parties to formulate our ‘Return to the Shay Stadium’ plan, not only to play but to understand the protocols for fans to watch football...

We’ll be opening all three available stands, the seated East Stand and the standing North and South Stands, the North for visitors...

  • The deadline to purchase season ticket(s) ‘outright’ will be midnight 7 September...
  • Season Ticket holders will be given priority entry to the Stadium
  • Season Ticket holders will be given priority entry to away fixtures. Each member club will determine their own away capacity and each game will be determined on a match by match basis
  • In the event of further reduced capacity Season Ticket holders will be given priority to all fixtures including the Emirates FA Cup and the Buildbase FA Trophy
  • All Season Ticket Holders will have to decide whether they are standing or sitting probably up until the New Year
  • All Season Ticket Holders who opt to sit will be contacted by the Club and will be given the choice of available seats, these seats will remain ‘theirs’ until the end of calendar year 2020; we’ll then review in conjunction with government guidelines
  • If you opt to stand then you will enter the South Stand and adhere to social distancing rules
  • We will be working through plans for a ‘Family Household Bubble’ to allow Season Ticket holders from the same ‘Bubble’ the opportunity to sit together (pre-booked – in allocated seating)
  • For the foreseeable future entry to the ground will be by ticket only... which also supports the requirement for track & trace
  • We’ll share a more detailed plan once we have completed discussions with all the relevant parties and gained sign off from the Council

Dover Athletic "announce the signing of Sam Wood.

The 34-year-old left-back made 36 appearances in all competitions for Bromley last season... before his release this summer. Wood started his career with Cray Wanderers before joining Bromley for the first time, making over 150 appearances in three years with the Ravens.

He then joined then League Two side Brentford, and went on to win the promotion with the Bees in his first season with them; he was also named Supporters’ Player of the Year. Wood made more than 100 appearances in three years with Brentford and also spent time on loan with League Two Rotherham United, making 27 appearances.

After that loan spell, Wood joined Wycombe Wanderers in July 2012 and spent five seasons with the Chairboys, making 213 appearances and scoring 16 goals. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Wood left Wycombe and signed for Eastleigh.

He spent a season with the Spitfires, where he played under now Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler, before returning to Bromley ahead of the 2018/19 season. During his career, Wood has also done some body doubling for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in adverts".

30 August, 2020


Today's date, 30 August, has not been a lucky one for Altrincham. They have lost their last five fixtures played on that date. The most recent occasion was in 2014 when Alty went down 2-1 at Liberty Way to Nuneaton Town.

Alty arrived at Nuneaton having lost four of their five opening fixtures in 2014-15 season; the only win having been a 2-1 triumph at Moss Lane over Bristol Rovers. Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury. There was no place in the squad for James Lawrie or Greg Wilkinson, as Nicky Clee and Steven Gillespie returned to the starting eleven.

Playing Nuneaton, a team which had failed to score in its opening five matches of the season, Altrincham started the better side. However, once again, promising approach play was undone by an inability to unlock defences and to shoot accurately. So, just as at Southport in their previous away game, Altrincham fell behind and were unable to recover.

Nuneaton took a 35th minute lead when Starosta's cross from the right was headed home by Brown; headed goals from crosses were becoming a regular occurrence that season. The hosts doubled the lead after 67 minutes when Dyer scored with a low shot after lapses on the right by Altrincham. Damian Reeves got a consolation goal after 87 minutes but, despite more than seven added minutes, there was again no way back for Altrincham, who dropped into the relegation zone after this fifth defeat in six outings.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. David PARTON, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Steven GILLESPIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 18. Sean WILLIAMS, 25. Peter CAVANAGH (capt). Subs: 4. Jake MOULT, 14. Kyle PERRY, 21. Jeff KING, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 1. Stuart COBURN (gk)

After the game, Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "We had a lot of possession but things petered out a bit in the final third today. If you're not going to ask enough questions, you're not going to get the answers that you want. We didn't show that spark.

I felt the game was there for us today. We could play fifty of these games and it would be split between wins for both teams. It's a long season and we've got 40 games left, so it's important that the players keep the right mental approach. It's important we don't let it become like a ton of bricks on our backs.

This team is capable of scoring goals and we will get better as the season goes on. If we do that, we'll get more points".


Wrexham "announce the signing of Kwame Thomas on a one-year deal.

The forward, who most recently played for Burton Albion, has signed on a free transfer after leaving the Brewers in June.

He also spent time at Doncaster Rovers last season, while he was previously with Solihull Moors, playing alongside new Wrexham team-mates Jamie Reckord and Adi Yussuf.

Thomas, 24, came through the Derby County academy and made his Championship debut in 2014. He has also played for Coventry City, alongside another of Wrexham’s summer signings, Jordan Ponticelli, and has also had temporary spells with Notts County, Blackpool, Sutton United and Kidderminster...

... Thomas said 'The main thing is playing games; if you aren’t playing games it’s a bit pointless so I had a decision to make; "Do you want to be a footballer and play or do you just want to be on the bench and get 20 minutes". It was never a doubt for me to go somewhere and get games. I spoke to Adi [Ponticelli] and Recks [Reckord] briefly and they told me that this group of lads are really welcoming, and told me how they found it, so I spoke a little bit to make me feel at ease coming into a nice changing room and good surroundings.'

Thomas’ arrival takes the number of new signings for the new season up to eight, with Reckord, Ponticelli, Elliott Durrell, Jordan Davies, Theo Vassell and Reece Hall-Johnson signing permanent deals and Yussuf joining on loan."

Macclesfield Town report that "As part of our new Management Team unveiling, Gary Whild was named as Tim Flowers's Assistant ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

We sat down with Gary shortly after his appointment was formalised. Here [in a video interview] is what the former Solihull Moors, Grimsby Town and Kidderminster Harriers man had to say -.

Dagenham & Redbridge "got their pre-season campaign off to the best possible start with a 3-1 victory over [relegated] Ebbsfleet United.

Paul McCallum grabbed a goal in the first half before Reece Grant scored twice in the second half to give the Daggers the win in Kent. Daryl McMahon opted to use the full depth of his squad as he named a different eleven in each half at the Kuflink Stadium in the Daggers’ first match since March...

However, the Fleet scored the opening goal of the match, as the ball dropped to Ben Chapman on the edge and he found the bottom corner with a powerful effort to give the hosts the lead inside seven minutes.

Daryl McMahon’s men [Dagenham] settled into the match after going behind, with the Daggers looking to get the ball down and play at every opportunity...

On 36 minutes, Paul McCallum opened his Daggers account with a fantastic chip that crashed off the inside of the post before it found the back of the net.

The second eleven took to the field for the second half, which included a number of our summer signings... Daggers maintained their control of the second half... On the 75th minute, the Daggers finally got the breakthrough their second half dominance deserved. Good initial work from Reece Grant saw the ball played out to Johnson, who delivered a delightful ball back into the area for Grant to tap home from close range.

More good play from the Daggers saw Grant add his second of the match as the forward was sharp in the area and found the net with a very good finish. The final moments of the match were comfortable for McMahon’s side...

Daggers First Half XI: Strizovic; Trialist A, Clark, Phipps; Weston, Luque, Robinson, Trialist B; Balanta; McCallum, Trialist C.

Daggers Second Half XI: Justham; Croll, Reynolds, Trialist D; Eleftheriou, Rance, Deering, Johnson; Saunders; McQueen, Grant.

29 August 2020


Curzon Ashton report that manager "Steve Cunningham has added former Altrincham midfielder, Max Harrop to his squad ahead of the 2020/21 season. Prior to his departure from Moss Lane at the end of the season, 27-year-old Harrop had registered 108 appearances for the Robins, scoring on 12 occasions.

Harrop's career began in Liverpool's academy, before a move to football league side, Bury followed. While at Bury, the midfielder registered eight appearances for the Shakers, while also enjoying loan spells with Blyth Spartans, Hinckley and Tamworth.

Following his release from Gigg Lane, Harrop went on to turn out for Nantwich Town, Ashton United and Ramsbottom, prior to joining Altrincham in August 2017. Harrop was part of Alty's promotion winning side this season, and made 21 appearances for Phil Parkinson's outfit... Cunningham hopes Harrop's invaluable experiences, both playing in and winning promotion from the division, can be of benefit to the Nash this year.

He said 'Max is an unbelievable footballer and, when I first got the job, he was on a list of players I wanted to secure if he wasn't in the plans of Altrincham. He's a proven footballer with great talent and he's a brilliant lad within the dressing room, with a great reputation.

'He's a proven winner with a number of promotions to his name at Altrincham. Max has fantastic experience at this level and with the DNA he's got from Phil Parkinson at Altrincham, we're securing a very valuable player that knows how to play the game; and also how to win the game.'

Cunningham revealed he admires Harrop's dogged determination and commitment to the cause.

He added 'He's also got a bit of a nasty bite which I really like in young, hungry footballers. He's very keen to develop and progress, and he's not scared of putting in the hard yards and putting his foot in where it hurts to make that happen for the team. As a club, to secure another player who's just been part of a promotion winning team, it's a great coup for us and again shows the noises we're making in terms of some of our signings and where we want to be as a football club. As well as all the exciting young prospects, I want experienced players who are proven winners and Max Harrop certainly ticks that box so we're delighted to have him onboard.'"

And NL Daily tells us that "Hyde United have made three new signings. Joining Dave McGurk’s side ahead of the 2020/21 Northern Premier Division season are Craig Ellison, Matthew Thompson and Juwon Hamzat.

Ellison is a goalkeeper while Thompson and Hamzat are both defensive players."


Altrincham FC has an Alty TV interview by press and media officer John Edwards with Jake Moult.

In the interview, Jake Moult discusses the impact on the team and the club of the management duo of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel.


Five years ago today in a Vanarama National League match played on Saturday, 29 August, 2015 Altrincham defeated visitors Tranmere Rovers 2-1.

Indeed, Altrincham deservedly beat their guests from The Wirral with their best performance of the season so far, led by a Man of the Match performance by Michael Rankine and some resolute defending in the closing stages. Alty took an eighth-minute lead when Rankine won an aerial ball and located James Lawrie. His shot was well saved by Davies but the loose ball ran to George Bowerman, who finished confidently to maintain his impressive scoring sequence.

The lead was doubled after half an hour. Rovers game the ball away cheaply, allowing Rankine to find Lawrie. His cross, from the right, was headed into the net by Rankine past a flat-footed keeper.

Right: There were contrasting emotions as George Bowerman and Tim Deasy celebrated victory and Tranmere's Ritchie Sutton, who of course has just joined Alty, trudged off at the end of the match.

Altrincham looked quite comfortable in the second half until the 85th minute when they momentarily lost concentration, immediately after the substitution of Lawrie by debutant midfielder Griffith. Maynard was allowed to advance and poke the ball beyond Tim Deasy who, otherwise, had only a few routine saves to make on his own debut for the Club. Successive defeats at the hands of Boreham Wood and Altrincham have underlined to Tranmere supporters the difficulty of bouncing back to League Two at the first attempt.

Altrincham had gone into this game with serious injury problems. Four first-choice players were missing from their small squad; central defenders, Tom Marshall (broken leg), Luca Havern (hamstring), goalkeeper Stuart Coburn (calf) and Nicky Clee (groin). Thankfully, left-back Adam Griffin had recovered from the back spasm which had prevented him completing the game on the previous weekend.

So, whilst goalkeeper Tim Deasy made his first start and loanee Andrew Parry made his home debut, the bench included Anthony Griffith, who had yet to make an appearance for Altrincham since his summer signing and Sam Heathcote who, likewise, had never played for the Altrincham first team.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 4. Jake MOULT, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs: 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 10. Damian REEVES, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 19. Ryan CROWTHER.


Macclesfield Town "Confirm the appointment of former Premier League winner and England goalkeeper Tim Flowers as our new First-Team Manager. The 53-year-old will be assisted by Gary Whild and Danny Whitaker and has agreed an initial deal until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

After starting his professional career at Wolverhampton Wanderers back in 1984... A move to Southampton followed, where he made just under two-hundred appearances... Flowers made the move north to join Blackburn Rovers for a £2.4m fee, which made him the most expensive goalkeeper in Britain... They historically lifted the Premier League trophy after conceding just thirty-nine goals all season.

Tim was to go on to enjoy spells at Leicester City (where he lifted the 2000 League Cup), Stockport County, Coventry City and Manchester City, before transitioning into the coaching world after making five-hundred senior playing appearances. Most recently, Flowers was manager at Solihull Moors... Over 102 games, Flowers achieved forty-nine victories and twenty-eight draws as he took The Moors to a memorable second-placed finish back in 2019.

In addition to this, Tim has also been Assistant Manager at Queens Park Rangers, Hull City and Kidderminster Harriers.

In addition to our very own 'Magic Man' Danny Whitaker, Tim will also be assisted by the vastly-experienced Gary Whild".

The BBC adds that "Macclesfield Town have appointed former England and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Tim Flowers as their new manager.

The 53-year-old, capped 11 times by his country and a Premier League winner with Rovers, has been out of work since leaving Solihull Moors in January. He replaces head coach Mark Kennedy, who left following the Silkmen's relegation to the National League".

At Chesterfield we learn that "The club's new website will be launched next Tuesday following the expiry of the contract with EFL Digital.

The club's media team will have complete control of the new website, having previously had to rely on certain features being updated externally.

Club news stories will continue to be published on a regular basis and the website will also provide various other information relating to the Spireites, together with links to ticket sales and the online store...

Changes to the digital media service provided by the club were recently announced. The subsc[r]iption service which was previously in place has now ended, with the decision taken to provide all video and audio content free of charge...

Plans are also in place to provide full commentary on all competitive fixtures. This will be available online initially with the aim to also provide commentary on the radio at a later date. Match highlights will be uploaded to our YouTube channel as soon as the National League embargo allows. Live streaming of matches is not currently permitted but it is understood that this matter is currently being explored given the likely limit on the number of spectators allowed to attend."

Boreham Wood FC "announce that Vic Akers OBE, who recently turned 74 years-young on Monday has decided to step down from his post as Assistant Manager to Luke Garrard.

Vic came to the Club at a time when Luke and the first team were struggling somewhat on the pitch and helped us to narrowly avoid relegation during the 2018/19 season, when we eventually finished just a single place above the relegation zone. Vic leaves the Club in great spirits and in a much better position, having played his part in getting us into the play-offs last season and just missing out on another promotion final at Wembley.

The Arsenal Legend and longtime friend of the Chairman steps down with the best wishes and thanks from everyone he came into contact with during his time at Meadow Park".

Barnet report that The Bees returned to pre-season training on Thursday and met new manager Peter Beadle for the first time following his arrival on Monday 2.

Beadle said of his squad "They've come back in good shape, most importantly their attitude has been spot on so that's been good. They have had their weight and body fats done, as well as all the testing done.

"They have had their first couple of days back on the grass and, other than a few being a bit stiff and tight this morning, they have all been back out there this morning. They have all got through it really well.

"I'd like to think they have come back hungrier to do well again next year. We know the team were 11th when we finished the game but with the Points Per Game we moved up into the play-offs which was great. The boys have experienced that now and we've spoken about it already, we're all hungry to match the same again for next seasoon...

"My teams have always been entertaining, I'd just love for the whole community to get behind our team... They want entertainment, they want to see good football, lots of goalmouth action and most importantly lots of three points for us!"

The club adds that "So far, two pre-season friendlies have been scheduled... with Step 2 (National League South) sides and thus behind closed doors".

28 August 2020


Following the recent signing of Max Clayton by Altrincham, press and media officer John Edwards writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger that "Phil Parkinson has further boosted his attacking options for next season after handing injury-hit former England under-19 striker Max Clayton the chance to relaunch his career with Altrincham.

The 26 year old looked destined for the top after starring in Crewe’s renowned academy and playing alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling, Eric Dier and Jordan Pickford at international level as a teenager.

Two serious hamstring injuries; one at Bolton, the other at Blackpool, curtailed his progress, but he’s ready to pick up the pieces again after working with a specialist fitness coach for the past 12 months and paying out of his own pocket to build up his strength and stamina.

'I had one eye on Alty in the play-offs," he said... 'I was willing them over the line, because I’m only half an hour away in Nantwich and, in my head, I was thinking this could be just right for me. I just felt it would be the right fit. As soon as they went up, with that win at Boston, I got hold of the manager and told him how keen I was to come here. I was the one who reached out, rather than the other way round, because I’m that desperate to be playing football again...

'I came on the scene fast in my teens at Crewe and left a marker quite early on, but I’ve been out of football for the past year because of those two injuries, which both needed surgery. The good thing is, the second operation was a success and cleared everything up, and I’ve been paying for a physio out of my own pocket for the past year to build up my fitness...

'From what I’ve seen of Altrincham, they will suit my style down to the ground'", he concluded.


Altrincham FC Co-Chairman (Bill Waterson) has stated that "Last week we announced our plans for the first phase of the ground improvements, with the Sponsors' Lounge and the Fan Zone. The Fan Zone will be built in the corner of the Popular Side and the Golf Road end, and will initially consist of a revamped Libero hut and Programme Shop and a brand-new food outlet".

He goes on to give further details of the initiative and to outline plans for fundraising to meet that part of the £18,000 cost not met by sponsors and to raise funds in memory of Mark Eckersall for St Ann's Hospice. Details are on the official Altrincham FC website.


On today's date, 28 August, in 2006, Altrincham travelled to Gravesend & Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United) and came away after a disappointing 3-0 defeat in a Nationwide Conference National Division match. One end of Stonebridge Road remained closed for safety reasons but there was still plenty of room for a disappointing gate of exactly 900. Why the Conference had produced such a long-distance pairing on August Bank Holiday was a mystery. Thankfully, a torrential downpour two hours before kick off did not lead to any further rain and the game was played in generally sunny conditions but with a strong breeze blowing down the pitch. The teams started the game ninth and tenth respectively.

Alty were without Peter Band with hamstring and knee problems so they made their first change of the season with Karl Munroe replacing him.

Above: Steve Aspinall scores Alty's penalty.

Against Alty's 4-4-2, Gravesend fielded a 3-5-2 formation but were without the injured Opinel and Long. New signings Sodje and Coleman were in the Fleet squad.

After a goalless first half, a very disappointing second half performance from Alty saw them concede three second-half goals, two due to defensive mistakes.

In the first half, Alty had played better and had a couple of early chances, which fell to Joe O'Neill but, after a scrappy start to the second period, they fell behind when Warren Peyton failed to clear on the Gravesend right and Quinn's lay-off allowed McDonald to drive the ball home (57 mins).

Alty fell further behind when, on the Gravesend left, Karl Munroe allowed a player past him on the by-line and the ball was laid into the path of Moore who drove the ball home (65 mins). It became 3-0 when McCarthy headed a corner from the right, forward, for McDonald to poke the ball in (76 mins). Steve Aspinall confidently converted a consolatory penalty, for handball against Hawkins (79 mins).

ALTRINCHAM 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Gary SCOTT; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 8. Val OWEN, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 10. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 15. Justin BOWLER, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 20. Stephen ROSE.


Yeovil Town "confirm the permanent signing of Jimmy Smith. After an extremely successful loan spell which saw the attacking midfielder score five goals in 20 appearances, Jimmy now returns to Huish Park on a one-year deal.

A stand-out performer for the Glovers last season.... after being released by Crawley Town at the end of the 2018/19 season, Jimmy is now free to extend his spell in Somerset on a permanent basis.

Jimmy said 'I enjoyed my time here last year on loan, it’s great to be back here permanently. It’s far from my home, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice, I believe in what’s going on here and what the manager’s doing, I want to buy into that. The fan base here is unbelievable, so many of them travel for away games, and it’s some distance as well. We’ve had 1,000 at away games and more fans than the home support so it’s fantastic!'”

Wrexham AFC "confirm the signing of defender Theo Vassell on a one-year deal... Vassell has been a free agent since leaving Macclesfield Town and now becomes Dean Keates’s sixth new permanent signing of the summer.

Vassell, 23, is a Stoke City academy graduate and spent time with Oldham Athletic and Walsall. He made his professional debut on loan with Chester in the 2016-17 season and has also played in the National League for Gateshead. The versatile defender has played the last two seasons in League Two, however, first for Port Vale and then for Macclesfield.

He made 20 appearances in all competitions for Macclesfield last season, scoring two goals, but left the club in the January transfer window. Vassell follows Jamie Reckord, Elliott Durrell, Jordan Ponticelli, Reece Hall-Johnson and Jordan Davies through the door at the Racecourse so far this summer".

We learn from Notts County that "Sam Osborne has decided to leave Meadow Lane to pursue more regular first-team opportunities elsewhere.

The 21-year-old winger, who graduated from our academy, had been offered a deal to stay but feels it’s time to move on to pastures new.

'This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life,' said Osborne. 'Having been at Notts for so long, and being a Beeston lad, the club is a massive part of me and always will be...

'But I’m at an age where my priority has to be getting regular game time and, following discussions with my family, friends and the club, I’ve decided the best option is for me to move on... There’s no doubt in my mind that Notts are moving in the right direction and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re back in the EFL.

'I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved at Meadow Lane, including winning back-to-back Young Player of the Season awards'">

Dover Athletic report that "Academy graduate Marshall Wratten has committed his future to the club by extending his contract until the end of the 2021 season.

The 20-year-old left-winger, who can also play at left-back, signed an initial one-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 season after impressing for Dover’s Academy side. He made his senior debut as a second half substitute in our Emirates FA Cup first round defeat at Bury in November 2018. Marshall spent most of last season on loan at Isthmian South East club Whitstable Town."

Also "Former Southend United goalkeeper Josh Bexon has made the move to Crabble. The 21-year-old first joined the Shrimpers in 2014 as a 15-year old... Bexon spent six months on loan with Austrian club FC Kitzbuhel and a season with Harlow Town.

After being released by Southend in the summer of 2019, he re-signed for Harlow for the 2019-20 season."

Also, "Dover Athletic... announce the signing of young striker Louis Collins. The 19 year-old spent last season playing for Sevenoaks Town in the Isthmian League South East Division, a club managed by his father Micky.

The two-time Kent Youth League Golden Boot winner joined The Oaks following his release from Scunthorpe United after they were relegated to Sky Bet League Two".

And "Dover Athletic... announce former Gillingham midfielder TJ Bramble has joined the club. The 19-year-old came through the youth ranks at Priestfield, signed his first professional deal with Gills in May 2019 before being released last June.

While he was with Gills, TJ spent time on loan at Deal Town and East Grinstead Town. TJ has already made his international debut for Antigua and Barbuda".


The NW Counties' Football League reports that "Division One South Club Sandbach United have been announced as Grassroots Club of the Year for 2020...

Sandbach United have expressed their joy, stating their pride having come from relatively humble beginnings in 2004 to the Community Football Club they are today having over 700 players spread across 48 teams, playing out of the Hind Heath Road facility.

The FA Website states 'This lifelong football journey begins with their youngest stars at reception age and Year 1, through to the adult and veteran teams. Playing, coaching and volunteering opportunities make this an incredible social adventure where the friendships are for life'".

27 August 2020


Altrincham FC confirms that team captain Jake Moult has signed up for a further two years at the Club.

And Alty TV has an interview with him.

Lee Sinnott originally signed midfielder Jake on a 93-day loan from Alfreton Town in late August 2012. Previously, Jake 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. Jake is also a very capable centre-back when required.

In early November 2012, Jake formally moved to Altrincham on a free transfer, signing a contract to the end of 2013/14 season. He was rewarded for his consistently good performances in central midfield with the 2014-15 Players' Player of the Season accolade and captained the side for much of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Following the resignation of manager Neil Young on 28 August 2016, Jake, along with Shaun Densmore and Alan Goodall, was briefly appointed to a caretaker-management role before Jim Harvey took over. In advance of the 2017-18 season Jake was appointed team captain and led them to promotion success with many committed performances. In October 2018 he passed the 300-appearances mark for the Club.

A summer operation sidelined Jake for the early part of 2019-200 season before he came on as a substitute at Boston towards the end of August 2019. He then re-established himself in the team and led them to promotion once again.

Appearances to August 2020: 346(+28), 39 goals.


Altrincham FC have announced that they "will start their pre-season fixture programme with a visit to Tameside to play Ashton United on Tuesday September 8th at 7.45pm.

Spectators will be admitted to this game and tickets are available form Ashton United.

Two other friendlies have been announced both of which are behind closed doors as things stand...

  • Tue. 15.9.20 at 7.45pm away to Curzon Ashton
  • Sat. 26.9.20 at 3pm away to AFC Fylde

ON THIS DAY: 27 August

Right: Alty celebrate victory at Aldershot.

Just as in 2020, back in 2005 Altrincham had just regained promotion back to the top-flight of non-League football. On today's date, 27 August, in 2005, two headed goals in a seven-minute period in the second half by James Olsen (71 mins) and Colin Little (78 mins), both from Colin Potts crosses, allowed Altrincham to take the points after soaking up plenty of Aldershot Town pressure. In the latter stages, Aldershot hit the bar and the post, but Alty held on to record their first away win of the season.

This was Alty's first league game against The Shots, the last previous encounter being a Trophy game at The Rec. which Alty had won in 1999. Segregation meant that the Alty supporters' coach was sent up Redan Hill with the passengers having to make a hike down a steep hill into their allotted part of the ground. Though far outnumbered by the strong home support, the travelling supporters gave Alty good vocal backing.

The win was all the more praiseworthy as Alty were without ten first-team players, not counting Marcus Hallows, who was recovering from his horrific broken leg injury. Eddie Hussin, Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Lutel James, Kieran Lugsden, Rod Thornley, Richard Norris, Kirk Hilton, and Karl Munroe were all injured or not yet fully fit after injury, whilst Mark Maddox remained suspended. In addition, Gary Talbot was playing with an injury. So, manager Graham Heathcote brought on to the bench last season's youth team leading scorer, Lee Hendley, who had only signed Conference forms last week.

The Shots had also got a significant injury list which included Ahmed Deen, Gary Holloway, John Brough, Chris Nurse and Dave Lee. However, their captain Steve Watson was back in the side after his injury absence. Their starters included loanees Scott Guyett (from Yeovil) and Chris McPhee (from Brighton).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 12. Steve HAWES, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 21. Stephen ROSE; 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 16. James OLSEN, 24. George MELLING, 25. Nehru McKENZIE, 26. Lee HENDLEY.


Wrexham "confirm that goalkeeper Dawid Szczepaniak has penned a new one-year deal at the Racecourse Ground.

His deal keeps him at the club until the summer of 2021 having signed in 2019.

Dawid made his Wrexham debut last season in the Scottish Challenge Cup, saving a penalty in a shoot-out win over Ayr United at the Cae Ras, before a brief loan spell with Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League.

Having previously been with Morecambe and Airbus UK Broughton, the 20 year-old Polish-born goalkeeper will now look to further his development from the 2019/20 season."

And the Leader Live says that "Jordan Davies insists the chance to represent his hometown club was too good to turn down. Davies... is back in Wrexham having signed a two-year deal with Dean Keates’s men.

The 22 year-old came through the ranks at The Racecourse but, after an eye-catching loan spell with Bangor City, the youngster was snapped up by Brighton...

Said Davies 'I grew up in Coedpoeth as a Wrexham fan and season ticket holder, so it was a move I was happy to make. I didn’t get chance to make my debut last time before signing for Brighton, so I can’t wait to get out there and play for Wrexham'...

Davies headed for Brighton in January 2017, and... The youngster did make six appearances in the EFL Trophy for Brighton, scoring in the success against Peterborough back in the 2018/19 season...

'I look back at my time at Brighton with the best possible memories,' said Davies.. 'I learned and developed at a Premier League club. I was able to train with players playing at the top of the game here and there'...

Said Davies, who is able to play in a number of positions down the left and as a number 10, 'A club like Wrexham is absolutely chasing promotion and I want to be able to play a part in helping try and achieve that'".

Woking "confirm Nathan Collier has signed a new deal. The versatile defender is entering his third season with the Cards.

Nathan featured 48 times in 2018/19, as the Cards gained promotion back to the National League... Whilst he found his minutes on the pitch marginalised during the shortened 2019/20 campaign, making 19 appearances in all competitions, he continued to play an important role off the pitch, with Dowse stating him to be one of the most important members of the squad".

FC Halifax Town "have signed 22 year-old Scottish defender Tom Bradbury from Yeovil Town.

The 6ft 3ins left-footed centre-half has also played for Dundee in the Scottish Premiership and also had time at York City, Bishop’s Stortford and Banbury United.

He made 16 starts for Yeovil last season, scoring one goal".

Also from Woking we learn that "Woking continued their pre-season campaign with a very short trip to Westfield, after defeat at Hanworth Villa on the Saturday. Alan Dowson named a different team for each half, with the majority of the first team squad apart from Kane Ferdinand and Matt Jarvis in the lineups. There were also places for four academy players, with Leo Hamblin, Jayden Wareham, Jack Skinner and Jayden Hutchings featuring in the second half.

With a capacity crowd of 200 (due to crowd restrictions) spread out around the Woking Park ground, the Cards dominated the ball in the early stages...

Woking took their chance from [a] corner, a pinpoint delivery from Tarpey met by a looping header from a trialist centre back, which flew into the net...

The second Woking goal was brilliantly worked, as the impressive Goddard showed why a lot of Woking fans have wanted him back for years. Magical footwork from the winger saw him twist his way past a defender before nutmegging another defender and delivering an excellent cross which found its way to a trialist midfielder, who slammed the ball home with a cool finish...

The second half saw a much more youthful Woking team on the pitch, and this inexperience began to show as Westfield began to create more chances... And Westfield got a goal back after a good low cross was tapped in past a hapless Ross...

Alan Dowson will be happy with the trialists who impressed him in the first half, giving him plenty to think about as the Cards build for the new season.

Woking - First Half: Trialist, Jack Cook, Josh Casey, Trialist, Ben Gerring, Dave Tarpey, Trialist, Trialist, John Goddard, Max Kretzschmar, Trialist

Second Half: Craig Ross, Jayden Hutchings, Trialist, Nathan Collier, Leo Hamblin, Trialist, Jack Skinner, Trialist, Trialist, Jayden Wareham, Connor Hall".

According to Lynn News "King’s Lynn Town’s on-loan goalkeeper, Archie Mair, has been called up to Scotland’s Under-21 squad.

The 19-year-old, who joined the Walks outfit on a season-long loan from Norwich City last month, has been named in the party for a European Championship qualifier against Lithuania next month.

Manager Scot Gemmill called on Mair, who has already been capped six times at Under-19 level, on Wednesday... The Under-21 fixture takes place in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius on September 8.

News of the call-up followed Lynn’s first win of their pre-season schedule last night. A late Ryan Hawkins goal gave them a 1-0 victory away at AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

Linnets fans were able to attend the match, having been asked to stay away from their pre-season opener at Stowmarket."

Macclesfield Town "would like to provide an update regarding the appointment of a new First Team Manager...

Firstly, the volume and quality of applications received by the Football Club proved to be very encouraging, with a high number of quality candidates putting their names forward... Those who we believe to match our requirements best were progressed to the next stage of the process...

What we can do is give an insight into the factors which we are placing a vast amount of importance on as we reach the conclusion our search.

Firstly, it is the job of the potential Manager to convince us that their team will not only be hard to beat, but also will win games of football in a manner which will make us attractive to watch... Tthe Club are actively looking to appoint someone with a proven track-record of success in this regard.

With the squad clearly requiring numbers, it is vital that we balance the urgency of this without compromising on quality. As such, we will be placing a great amount of weight on our new Manager's contacts in the game...

We are working absolutely flat-out to conclude this [appointment] within the very near future."

Meanwhile Cheshire Live reports that "Macclesfield Town fans calling for majority shareholder Amar al-Kadhi to step down have been joined in their plea by MP David Rutley... Many blame Mr AlKadhi and the way he has run the club for its financial woes, points deductions and eventual demotion to the National League.

Mr Rutley... said 'The club’s owner needs to urgently work with interested parties to establish a truly sustainable future that our loyal fans and local residents expect and deserve. We need to get back to the tradition of being able to punch above our weight on the pitch without off the pitch distractions, and the community needs to be at the heart of future plans'...

The Silkmen Supporters’ Trust (SST) has also made an emotional plea to Mr al-Kadhi to finally leave the club. Chairman Andy Worth has urged him to sell his controlling stake at the Moss Rose and there has also been talk of starting a ‘phoenix club’ alternative version of Macclesfield Town. Andy said in a statement 'Silkmen fans across the board were unanimous in their view that they will not return to the Moss Rose until Amar AlKadhi has absolutely no involvement, and that there is growing support towards the concept of a phoenix club...

'We therefore urge Amar to sell the club as soon as possible, and in the interim, we as the SST would be happy to receive his shares and act as custodians of the shares until we have an owner that wants to develop the club into the wonderful community focused club that it has been and can be in the future.'”

26 August 2020


Altrincham FC announce that with "A new two-year deal in the bag and safely signed, Tom Peers relived that special moment and described how much it means to him to be at The J.Davidson Stadium, playing for Phil and Neil Sorvel.

You can tune in to the Alty TV interview" with Tom conducted by John Edwards.

Warrington-born, Tom came through the Chester FC youth system (2013-16) where he made 3(+21) first-team appearances under then manager Neil Young. Tom then went on loan to 1874 Northwich FC and, in January 2015, he started a month's loan at Marine.

In December 2015 he went on another month's loan, this time to Salford City, with a similar loan stay at Hednesford Town following that. In 2016 he briefly joined Hednesford before a summer 2016 move to AFC Telford United. However, he soon moved on to Warrington Town (Sept. 2016) and then Droylsden (Dec. 2016 to Feb. 2017). At that point he joined Nantwich Town and followed manager Phil Parkinson to Altrincham in summer 2017.

Although his Altrincham appearances in 2017 were more often from the bench than from kick-off, by mid-November 2017 he had participated in more Altrincham games than any other member of the squad and had weighed in with some important goals. 2018-19 also saw him primarily deployed as a substitute and on 1 November it was announced that he had opted to move to FC United in the hope of more consistent game time. Ironically he left Moss Lane whilst top of the chart for goals scored per minutes played in 2018/19 season!

Tom ended the season at FCUM but rejoined Altrincham in late May 2019. In 2019-20 season Tom won a first-choice place after early appearances as a substitute. But, later in the 2019-20 campaign, he reverted to making appearances mainly from the bench, never more effectively than in three away games against York City in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and the play-off semi-final, in all of which games he scored.

His ratio of goals scored to games started is 50%, with 23 goals netted from 46 starts and 49 further appearances as a used susbstitute.


Pictured above, courtesy of of Bill Morris, are some of the large number of Altrincham supporters and officials who turned out in poor weather to pay their respects to Mark Eckersall, who died a fortnight ago.

The funeral cortege paused outside the J. Davidson Stadium to allow a sustained round of applause from the many friends and colleagues of a well-respected supporter of the Football Club.


The National League explains Ritchie Sutton's rationale for going part-time with Altrincham...

"Ritchie Sutton may not quite be talking up a promotion quadruple but he is putting family first by signing for Altrincham, writes Aidan Jones. The National League expert has bags of experience - taking Mansfield up in 2013 and doing the same with Tranmere five years later. He also took Stafford Rangers to National League North play-off success back in 2006 before pulling on his boots for Northwich, Halifax and Barrow in the competition.

34 year-old Sutton... after signing from Morecambe [said] 'I know the manager [Phil Parkinson] and he has been trying to get me in for a few years, but I wasn’t willing to drop down to part time,' he said. 'But it is right for me now and it is right for him and I think it’s a perfect fit. He wants to get that experienced centre half in, who has got promotions in that league and done well. It’s a really good move...

'It is a different stage of my career, I am looking forward to helping other players with my experiences,' he said. 'I have played under some good managers over the years, and when I played with Steve McNulty at Tranmere, he was at that stage where I am now, I learnt a lot from him. He got the best out of other players and he got the best out of me, so hopefully, I can take what I have learnt from managers and players to try and help players get the best out of them for next season.'

The 34-year old signed a two-year deal at Moss Lane last week... 'I was travelling full-time with Morecambe with a young family so it was a lot to do at times, so to get a club like Altrincham, a good club who have been promoted, and with my location and family commitments, the package was perfect for me,' Sutton said.

'My initial thoughts are that it is a club going in the right direction, it has a nice ground and it has good facilities, so it will be an exciting challenge for me'".


Following the earlier announcement of a pre-season friendly at AFC Fylde on Saturday, 26 September, Altrincham FC has revealed that another friendly will be played at the Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton on Tuesday, 15 September at 7.45pm.

The club says that "as things stand" both games will be played behind closed doors.


Today is the first anniversary of the low point of last season, the 5-0 thrashing at Boston United. Just four of the starting eleven that day also started the play-off promotion final at the same ground on 1 August.

Alty's squad in 2019 comprised 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (c), 4. James JONES, 5. Toby MULLARKEY, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Conor BRANSON, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Lewis WALTERS, 14. Andy WHITE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 17. Jake MOULT.

If we go back a further two years to 26 August 2017, Altrincham had been relegated to Step Three, the NPL and were at home to Coalville Town. In this game there were actually five starters who also started this August's play-off final at Boston. The fixture with Coalville was the first encounter between the two clubs. Each had won their first league match of the season the previous Tuesday, leaving Alty one point ahead of their visitors at kick-off.

In a very entertaining game, Altrincham let slip a two-goal lead before recovering to win the game by a final two-goal margin (4-2) which was, perhaps, a little harsh on Coalville.

James Poole is congratulated on his goal.

Despite lacking four players through injury or absence (Miller, Amis, Densmore, Harrop), Altrincham's bright start got them two goals clear in only the thirteenth minute. Alty's opener came in the tenth minute following a corner. The ball found its way to James Poole who half-volleyed home 1-0. An injury to Lewis Short was to mean that he had to give way to Disney midway through the first half.

After a foul by Freeman on the impressive Jordan Hulme, the freekick fell for Josh Hancock, who scored from towards the back post, to double the lead. But Coalville kept going and they got back into the game when Alty stood off and allowed Towers to get in a 20-yarder which somehow beat Thompson.

And Coalville levelled eight minutes after the break when again Alty allowed an opponent too much time and Anderson made them pay with a fine shot into the top corner of the net.

But Alty regained the lead in the 74th minute when James Jones was credited with the goal from close range after substitute John Johnston had done superbly to get along the left byline. And Altrincham completed the scoring in the fourth minute of added time when Poole's fine run into the box drew out the keeper and left Hulme with a tap-in.

ALTRINCHAM:1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Simon RICHMAN, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. John JOHNSTON, 14. Sam SHERIDAN, 15. John DISNEY, 16. Tom HANNIGAN, 20. Tim DEASY.


The National League looks back at 2019-20, "a campaign with plenty of highlights and tons of tension...

In the first month FC Halifax Town really showed their summer of discontent wouldn’t knock them off their stride. A first day 4-1 win at Ebbsfleet United made a mockery of Pete Wild’s last minute arrival, and he had a great first month winning five from seven. But it was Alan Dowson who took August’s Manager of the Month crown. Woking secured big victories over Dagenham, Harrogate Town, Chesterfield, AFC Fylde, Solihull Moors, Dover Athletic and Barrow were the best way to ensure derby defeat to Aldershot barely registered...

A slow start for Wrexham meant Bryan Hughes was out of work seven weeks in... An incredible 9,090 fans packed into Notts County to see their game with the Coasters with tickets costing only £3 as a thank you to fans...

Yeovil, relegated from League Two in May, settled in nicely and Darren Sarll was the Manager of the Month; six games in September, and six wins. ..

Barrow were suddenly starting to come into focus. Captain John Rooney starred as the Bluebirds saw off Aldershot, Solihull, Ebbsfleet United, Chorley and Maidenhead United to end the month on a five-game win streak... But by the end of October, it was Bromley everyone was looking up at. It was tight, with Halifax and Yeovil all within touching distance.

Just four points off were Simon Weaver’s Harrogate... which saw him crowned top boss...

It was a managerial bloodbath with Garry Hill leaving Ebbsfleet, Craig Hignett’s time up at Hartlepool and Dave Challinor leaving AFC Fylde. Wrexham had a new boss; well, an old one. Dean Keates returned to the Racecourse...

In November, Fylde opted to make long-serving Morecambe manager Jim Bentley their new boss... Kevin Watson was rewarded for Ebbsfleet's recent fine form by being given the job on a permanent basis. Challinor wasn’t out of the game for long, he got the Hartlepool job...

Barrow ended November in top spot, and they ultimately weren’t going to be moved... At the wrong end it was Wrexham... as they ended season’s fourth month bottom of the pile. Things weren’t much better for Chesterfield, in the relegation zone alongside Chorley and Ebbsfleet.

There was no Christmas cheer at Dagenham; they parted company with Peter Taylor with the club’s new owners clearly unhappy with their 18th place position... Notts County's Neal Ardley was December’s Manager of the Month...

It was a good New Year’s Day for the sides at the top of the National League as all the title chasers won. But a 3-0 defeat to Solihull Moors was the final straw for the Chesterfield board; John Sheridan sacked with club third from bottom. Daryl McMahon was the man charged with turning Dagenham’s season around, the Irishman back in the game after quitting as Macclesfield manager in League Two.

Peterborough United... lured Jack Taylor from Barnet. They paid the Bees an initial fee of £500,000 for the talented midfielder...

Barrow stretched their legs at the top of the table that month - five points the advantage for Ian Evatt’s side.

There was a managerial casualty to come, Tim Flowers falling at Solihull Moors and less than two weeks later Jimmy Shan was given his job... The Bluebirds were eight points ahead of the rest, but Harrogate remained ones to watch. But as March arrived, football took a back seat. The Covid-19 outbreak paused the game...

That meant Barrow were the winners - with Harrogate, Notts County, Yeovil, Boreham Wood, Halifax and Barnet all fighting it out in July’s play-offs. Chorley, AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United fell in an end-of-season scenario nobody wanted.

It was to be celebrations for Harrogate though, winners at Wembley after they defeated Notts County 3-1".


Yeovil Town "confirm the loan signing of Jack Clarke from Aston Villa. After a number of successful seasons in the Villans' academy, Clarke now ventures to Somerset, signing for the full 2020/21 season for his first taste of senior football.

A dynamic midfielder by trade, Clarke has featured in all the positions across the middle of the park in recent seasons, but describes himself as a 'box-to-box midfielder'.

Clarke said 'I got the call last week from Darren (Sarll), he was really positive with me about the project that’s happening here, hopefully getting this club into the league. 'I've been at Aston Villa since I was eight, I'm trying to get some first team minutes and experience round the dressing room'".

Wrexham "announce the signing of Jordan Davies on a two-year deal.

Former academy graduate Davies returns to the Racecourse after leaving Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer.

The 22-year-old, who can play at left-back or on the left-wing, signed for the Seagulls in 2017... He spent time out on loan with Bangor City during his spell at the Racecourse, while last season he appeared for Brighton’s Under-21s in the Football League Trophy..

Davies said 'I’m really excited to prove myself to the fans, after not being able to get out there and play last time I was here. I’m a different player. I’ve played in new positions, different styles of training, more intense training and training at the highest level. I’m a new player. I’ve become more of an attacking player; I try and get a goal here and there, mainly assists, but I’d like to add more goals to my game'".

On Tuesday, at Stockport County "Ahead of this afternoon’s game against Salford City at Edgeley Park, we caught up with County defender Liam Hogan at Carrington, as he prepares to go up against his former Club.

Reflecting on the two pre-season games played already, the defender said he... had already learned a lot from coming up against higher-level opposition.

Liam was looking forward to going up against his former side, having spent two and a half years at Salford prior to signing for County... Liam was confident that the squad being assembled at Edgeley Park is capable of pushing for a return to the Football League, although... he believes County will become a big scalp for many teams this season".

At Notts County "Preparations for our 2020-21 campaign, which is scheduled to begin on Saturday 3 October, commenced on Monday.

Neal Ardley and his new assistant manager Greg Abbott put the players, including new arrivals Casper Sloth, Ruben Rodrigues and Jake Reeves, through their paces".

Macclesfield Town tell us that "Further to announcing that midfielder Ben Tollitt was to be offered extended terms at the Moss Rose back in June, the 25 year-old has decided to make the move to National League North side AFC Fylde.

Ben arrived at the Club on a short term deal back in February, having previously turned out for the likes of Portsmouth, Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham".

Hartlepool United "announce the signing of Tom Crawford. Tom joins us after the expiration of his contract with fellow National League side Notts County.

The 21-year-old midfielder joined Notts County from Chester in May 2018 for an undisclosed fee having progressed through their Academy, he featured nine times for County last season, netting once...

Manager Dave Challinor knows Tom very well as he spent time on loan at AFC Fylde during the 2018/19 season...

'Tom is a player I know very well and someone we have been looking at for quite a while, he is still a young lad but he is a great talent'...

Tom Crawford [said]... 'I’m excited to not just sign for a big club but play in front of such a great fan base. I have played at The Vic before and it is always bouncing'".

King's Lynn Town claim to "have pulled off a massive transfer swoop with the signing of midfielder Cameron King. The 24 year-old joins from fellow National League outfit FC Halifax Town, where he turned down a new two-year contract to return to The Walks.

Locally based King joined Norwich City’s Academy at the age of 8 and made his debut for the Canaries in 2014 in a League Cup tie... Cameron made his international debut for Scotland’s Under 21s' in a match with Switzerland where he scored the equalising goal. The following season was punctuated by injury which resulted in Cameron being released by Norwich and deciding to link up with his local club Thetford Town where he enjoyed a productive season.

A move to Shamrock Rovers followed before he enjoyed a brief loan spell at The Walks which included a memorable strike versus Weymouth in a Southern League play off semi final. In the close season he agreed a deal with FC Halifax and has been a regular in the team ever since...

Director of Football Rob Back said ‘Cameron is a class act and one who we have been chasing for a while. When it became clear that he was available we pulled out all of the stops so we could get the deal done and bring him into the football club. He has gained a lot of experience at this level of football and that will be invaluable to the team for next season. He is a very creative player who has an eye for a pass and enjoys being a pivotal player in a game'".

25 August 2020


Sean Williams is the latest player to be announced as having signed a two-year contract at Altrincham FC. After signing, Sean was interviewd by Joihn Edwards for Alty TV.

Sean rejoined Altrincham on 21 May 2018, having first signed for the club, from Colwyn Bay, in May 2014. Prior to that, he had another spell with the Bay, and had also played for FC Halifax Town where he was part of their promotion squad from Conference North. Earlier, he also spent time with Stockport County, Vauxhall Motors, Hyde and Skelmersdale United.

After 25(+12) appearances for Altrincham, Sean was surprisingly released by Altrincham at the end of the 2014-15 season and, like his ex-Alty team-mates Kyle Perry and David Parton, he joined Hednesford Town for 2015-16.

By the start of 2016-17 season he had moved on to AFC Telford United but, in mid-November 2016, he signed for Warrington Town where he became an important figure in their reaching the promotion play-offs in 2017-18.

He left Warrington for Altrincham in the summer of 2018 and he was impressing in the Alty midfield when his season was interrupted by injury in late October 2018.

But after returning to fitness he reclaimed his starting place and continued as a first-choice central midfielder at the start of 2019-20 before an ankle injury sidelined him in January 2020.

Altrincham appearances to August 2020: 79(+25) 1 goal.


Altrincham FC have announced that they will play a friendly at AFC Fylde on Saturday, September 26th (3pm). However, "As things stand, this game will be played behind closed doors. Details of further pre-season fixtures will be announced during the week, including two games that Altrincham fans will be able to attend".


Two years ago, today, on 25 August 2018, Altrincham travelled to Darlington for their seventh league fixture of a season which had produced just a single victory beforehand. The Robins lay 13th at kick off but a 3-0 win at Blackwelll Meadows lifted them up to ninth.

Phil Parkinson had reacted to two home defeats in the preceding week by making five changes to his starting eleven, having made four in the previous Saturday's game against Boston United. Into the side came goalkeeper Elliot Wynne who, like loanee winger Owen Dale (from Crewe Alexandra) was making his Alty debut in this match. Restored to the starting eleven were defenders Shaun Densmore and James Jones as well as midfielder Sean Williams, whilst out of the starting eleven went goalkeeper Tony Thompson, defender Conor Hampson and centre-back Liam Goulding as well as midfielders Max Harrop and Simon Richman.

Above: Elliot Wynne, making his debut in the Alty goal, awaits a Darlington corner in the first half.

Altrincham were certainly good value for this win at Blackwell Meadows. Despite creating nine decent openings in the first 45 minutes, Alty had only one goal to show for a dominant first-half, and that came from the penalty spot rather than open play. John Johnston converted a spot-kick, which had been awarded for handball, after 30 minutes.

Altrincham's finishing improved after the break when Jordan Hulme netted twice in a ten-minute spell, each time with a low shot, after the home defence had opened up (51 and 61 mins). Darlington did not muster a serious shot on target till the ninetieth-minute when Wynne produced a magnificent save to push the ball onto the woodwork.

The only downsides to a fine performance, which resulted in Alty's first clean-sheet of the season and featured a fine midfield performance from Sean Williams, were an injury to John Johnston which led to his hobbling off early in the second half and Jordan Hulme's fourth booking of the seven-game season, when he needlessly showed dissent with his side already three goals to the good.

Victory meant that, wearing their purple away kit, Altrincham were unbeaten and had amassed seven points as well as scoring ten goals in three matches. In their red and white home kit, a single point had been earned from three games and just three goals had been scored.

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


The funeral of Mark Eckersall takes place today, (Tuesday, 25 August) and at 10.30am the cortege will stop briefly outside the J. Davidson Stadium en route to the funeral service, to allow fellow supporters to pay their respects to a very popular and respected man.


Barnet state that "It is well known that Barnet FC and The Hive London is considered to be one of the biggest attractions in the National League with Premier League training facilities, international medical diagnostics, a great stadium, passionate fans and solid financial foundations, so what manager wouldn’t want to work here?...

Chairman Tony Kleanthous said, 'There was no shortage of candidates for the managerial vacancy and we had to sift through over a hundred applications. In the end, we were able to rationalise the candidates into three groups -

  • Names - well known recognised managers with a solid past background at a higher level or strong playing background at the highest level.
  • NLE’s - Non-League experienced managers who have a proven track record with previous success at the non-league level
  • Coaches - up and coming coaches, normally at under-23 level, who had the quality to become good future managers and were looking for their first opportunity for the number one job.

We interviewed the strongest applicants in each category... Peter [Beadle] quickly emerged as a stand out applicant during the interview process where we were all impressed by his positive attitude, hunger for success and his understanding of the work ethic needed to achieve promotion. This was backed up by his strong managerial record and quite outstanding previous achievements with Hereford United. You felt that if his teams could reflect his passion then our success will depend on the right recruitment and so, rather than delay the decision any further, we decided to press on and make an announcement...

Peter will need a competitive budget so our plan is to use the new £199 season ticket offer to form the basis of this budget and hope you will all join me in backing him for success. I want us to have a real go at promotion so whatever you, the fans, spend on tickets I will double and this money will go directly to players. We are hoping to eventually sell over 2,000 of these tickets so with my added support Peter will have over £800k in his playing budget but, whatever the final number is, we will do this together.

The squad will be leaner and hopefully more focussed than previous seasons".

Chesterfield "Will Evans is delighted to be back in training following an extended break...

He said 'Being successful in our eyes is being at the top end pushing for promotion but obviously we need to be realistic as well. We need to focus on being a positive place to come and watch and be around.'

Evans hailed the return of Jordan Cropper on a season-long loan from Burnley, saying... 'It's a great achievement and credit to the gaffer for getting him. I think they built up quite a good relationship from his time with us'".

FC Halifax Town report that "It’s been a summer of change at The Shay with various incomings and departures. So far, Pete Wild has added seven new players to the squad – with ten leaving.

During July we issued the retained list, which saw goalkeeper Sam Johnson and midfielder Jack Earing under contract and remaining at the Club. Long-serving defender and Captain, Matty Brown who is also under contract was placed on the transfer list as he couldn’t commit to the extra day of training for the 20/21 campaign. Jacob Hanson was also placed on the Club's available list.

Jay Benn who had been promoted from the youth team also remains at the Club; the 19-year-old defender was with the squad for the Play-Off eliminator. However, he was one of three players who didn’t make the matchday squad, alongside Hanson and Josh MacDonald (released, and now at Hartlepool United).

As mentioned, long-serving midfielder, MacDonald, was released at the end of his contract, and he was joined by Jack Redshaw (now at York City), Will Appleyard, Jerome Binnom-Williams and Liam Nolan in departing the Club after the publication of the list.

The further five players who went on to leave Town were Michael Duckworth (York City), Josh Staunton (Yeovil Town), Tobi Sho-Silva (Sutton United), Charlie Cooper and Cameron King. The quintet all turned down to new deals.

This led to the ‘Shaymen’ having offers remaining for Niall Maher, Nathan Clarke, Jeff King, Danny Williams and Jamie Allen. Allen and Clarke both signed new contracts first, two years and one year, respectively. Another year was then accepted by King, before Maher picked up a two-year deal, with Williams adding another season at The Shay to his CV.

It was then time for new signings, with Jake Hyde being the first new addition to the squad. Hyde is a 30-year-old striker, who scored 16 league goals for Woking last season. A well fought after man, however, Hyde did quote that he had many reasons to sign for FC Halifax Town. The busiest day of the window so far was last Tuesday when three new players were announced, the first of the trio was striker, Matty Stenson, signing after leaving Solihull Moors. The former Coventry City youth player had previously been with Leamington, Telford United and Barwell...

The second signing of the day was Martin Woods, who’s had a 17-year playing career. He started off his journey at Leeds United, before permanent moves to Sunderland and Rotherham United. It was then in 2007, the midfielder, signed for Doncaster Rovers where he spent seven years. A brief period at Barnsley followed before the 34-year-old went back to his native Scotland to have two spells at Ross County, in-between time at Shrewsbury Town. Woods was a starter in Ross County’s team that won the 2016 Scottish League Cup. He later went on to play for Partick Thistle and Dundee, before becoming a Shayman.

The third and final addition on the day was Kieran Green from York City. Green, an attack-minded midfielder made 37 appearances and scored four goals for York in their campaign last season... The 23-year-old has also had permanent stints at Hartlepool, Gateshead and Blyth Spartans.

Town’s fifth signing of the transfer window came a day later, as Reuben Noble-Lazarus entered the building... 27-year-old... Noble-Lazarus became the youngest player to debut in the Football League at 15 years and 45 days in 2008. The Huddersfield-born winger started his career with Barnsley, making 46 league appearances and scoring 3 goals. He later had loan spells with Scunthorpe United and Rochdale; at the latter his loan became permanent.

Reuben made 50 appearances for the ‘Dale’ and left the club in July 2017. Unfortunately, an injury stopped him from finding a new club right-away, however, since October 2018; the former football league man has played for Chorley and Golcar United.

The sixth recruit Wild made is Luke Summerfield; the midfielder is the 3rd signing who has played for York City previously, Hyde being the other, alongside Green. Both Summerfield and Hyde were at York together and were there between 2014 and 2016. The 32-year-old experienced head signed for Halifax after two years with Wrexham where he made 63 Vanarama National League appearances. Summerfield has clubs such as Plymouth Argyle, AFC Bournemouth and Shrewsbury on his CV.

The latest signing was Jack Senior, who adds to the list of players born in Halifax... later going on to Huddersfield Town. However, it was at Luton Town where the left-back got his break in professional football, playing 10 games in League Two. He left Luton at the end of the 2018/19 season and spent the last campaign with Gloucester City in the National League North.

Senior signed a one-year deal, as did Summerfield, Noble-Lazarus, Green and Woods. Centre forwards Hyde and Stenson both put pen to paper on two-year contracts."

"Wrexham AFC confirm the signing of Reece Hall-Johnson on a one-year contract.

The pacey right-back previously played for Northampton Town, but now becomes the latest of Dean Keates’s recruits for the 2020-21 season.

Hall-Johnson, 25, is a former Norwich City academy graduate and... He made his professional debut in a League Cup tie for the Canaries in 2014.

Prior to joining Northampton, he spent two years with Grimsby Town, where he also went on loan to Chester, before signing for the Cobblers last summer...

Hall-Johnson said... 'Hopefully, I’ll bring positivity. The team obviously wants to be in the top half of the table, and wants to be promoted and that’s what I want to achieve. I’m raring to go.'

Hall-Johnson is the fourth new signing for the 2020-21 season so far, following Jamie Reckord, Elliott Durrell and Jordan Ponticelli in signing permanent deals."

24 August, 2020


Press and media officer John Edwards's video interview with Toby Mullarkey for Alty TV can be seen seen via the above link.

Like a number of the Altrincham squad, 23 year-old Toby came to Altrincham via Crewe Alexandra and Nantwich Town. He was Phil Parkinson's first close-season signing of 2019 when he joined from The Dabbers in late May 2019.

A product of the Crewe Alexandra youth system, he had subsequently joined Nantwich after a year with Leek Town. Having been an unused substitute for the first five Alty matches of 2019-20, he came on as a substitute in game six and then joined the starting eleven in the absence of the injured, and then suspended, Tom Hannigan. After another spell on the bench he held his place after replacing the ill James Jones in early 2020 but again reverted to the bench on Jones's return.

But with James Jones moving on this summer, Toby played a key part in the three play-off wins that secured this month's promotion back to the National League, as he partnered Tom Hannigan at the heart of the Altrincham defence.

Toby's appearances currently comprise 17 starts and a further 17 games that he has joined from the bench, in which he has scored two goals.

ON THIS DAY: 24 August

It is still more than a month ahead before the planned start to the 2020-21 seaon for Altrincham but just one year ago today, Altrincham were already playing their sixth game of the 2019-20 season, as Darlington visited the JDS. Altrincham were lying seventeenth in the National League North with just one win gained from their opening five fixtures.

The hosts were without Josh Hancock (calf problem) and Jake Moult remained sidelined after his summer operation. So Max Harrop started in the no.10 shirt. Simon Richman got the nod over Conor Branson in midfield whilst, once again, no keeper was named on the bench, where Shaun Densmore returned after his omission from the squad at Brackley in the previous game.

Darlington's new manager Alun Armstrong had brought five of his players, as well as himself, from Blyth Spartans this summer and three of them started this game (Atkinson, Rivers, Laing), with defender Jordan Watson also being a former Spartan.

It isn't every Saturday that a game has a total of fourteen minutes added time; witnesses two players stretchered off, with one of them shown a red card as he was carried to the dressing room; and ends with one team playing with nine men and their smallest outfield player pressed into service as an emergency goalkeeper, who was beaten by a ninety-third minute equalizer. But that is what happened to Altrincham at the J. Davidson Stadium on 24 August 2019.

Altrincham, without the injured Josh Hancock, were on goalless terms with Darlington when a poor, lateral pass left Tom Hannigan trying to prevent danger by lunging in on Jarrett Rivers (35 mins). Both men were hurt but Hannigan came off the worse and had to be stretchered off with a bad cut to his jaw area. The Alty centre-back then suffered further indignity as the referee showed him a red card as he was carried from the pitch.

Despite eight added minutes, the game remained goalless at the interval.

Darlington struggled to make the extra man pay, despite penning back Altrincham early in the second half. But John Johnston was proving a vital escape valve for Altrincham and, from one of his speedy counter-attacks, he won a corner. Johnston's corner was firmly headed home by Jordan Hulme on his 100th appearance for the club, in the 65th minute.

Above: Jordan Hulme, right, and Max Harrop celebrate Alty's goal against The Quakers.

Darlington seemed to be deflated by the goal and Altrincham seemed to be heading towards an important three points. Then, bizarrely, in the 87th minute goalkeeper Steven Drench crumbled to the ground with no one near him and he, too, had to be stretchered off. Having used their three substitutes, John Johnston donned the green jersey. In any case they did not have a sub keeper named on the bench today.

Six added minutes were proclaimed and, in the third of these, a clumsy challenge by Richman gave the Quakers a freekick just outside the left of the box. Predictably Campbell aimed for the far, top corner and, with no one on the back post, his freekick sailed over Johnston into the net for a leveller which the visitors celebrated like a winner.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Steven DRENCH, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON (c), 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Sean WILLIAMS, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Lewis WALTERS, 14. Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Conor BRANSON

Just a year after the game, no fewer than seven of the players in the above squad are no longer at Moss Lane (Drench, Jones, Johnston, Harrop, Hemmings, Walters, Branson).


Supporters are reminded that tomorrow, Tuesday 25 August, is the date of Mark Eckersall's funeral. The cortege will pause briefly outside the J. Davidson Stadium at 10.30am to allow Mark's friends to pay their respects to a man who did so much to help the Football Club during his all too short life.


Barnet FC "announce the appointment of Peter Beadle as our new manager. The ex-Bees' striker, who was shortlisted from over 100 applications for the role, will officially start work at The Hive London on Monday.

Peter managed Hereford and achieved three back to back promotions in three seasons before departing the National League North side. He accomplished one of the highest wins and goal ratios in football and we hope that he will go on to emulate his success with Barnet FC.

Peter said, 'I'm delighted and privileged to be given the opportunity to work for a club with the standing of Barnet FC. I enjoyed my time here as a player and am looking forward to my time here as manager'.

The Hereford Times adds that "Former Hereford FC manager Peter Beadle has been appointed as manager of Barnet.

Beadle was the first manager when Hereford FC were formed in 2015 and led them to three league titles on the bounce and an FA Vase final at Wembley. This is his first role since being sacked by Hereford FC in September 2018."

Banbury Cake reports that "Fiacre Kelleher faces an uncertain future after being caught up in Macclesfield Town's relegation. The defender joined the Silkmen on loan from Oxford United in 2018... [before] making the move to Moss Rose permanent.

He went on to captain the side and swept up at the club’s end-of-season awards for his performances amid challenging circumstances... Misconduct related to the non-payment of player wages... leading to the exit of captain Kelleher.

'Up until Tuesday of last week I was just set on staying at Macclesfield for the upcoming season in League Two,' the defender told the PA news agency. 'They extended an option on my contract to keep me for another year and then, as of Tuesday, we were relegated, so that kind of took away my option and now I’m a free agent... In the space of a week I’ve gone from thinking I’m playing League Two football to not much at the moment...

'This should have all been dealt with by May or June, really, giving everybody a fair chance to get out and try to find a different club... Two, three weeks before the new season is meant to start I found out that I don’t have anywhere to play'... having batted away interest due to his commitment to Macclesfield...

'Just the fact that it’s all over, there’s a bit of relief, but anxiety quickly takes over as to what’s going to be next down the line for me.'”

According to the Eastern Daily Press "'You have six games to get in the side’, Lynn boss tells [his] players.

The first warm-up of the summer it may have been, but King’s Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse was in no mood for excuses after a single-goal defeat at Stowmarket Town. 'Yes, it’s only a friendly, and our first one but I still don’t like losing,' he said... The first half was lacklustre against a Stow side which swept all before them in the Thurlow Nunn Premier last season...

The second half saw more attacking intent, through Dayle Southwell and Michael Gash, with Sonny Carey pulling the strings more effectively than Michael Clunan, admittedly out of action for so long, had in the first.

But with an almost totally different starting line-up for each half, three players missing and the possibility of two more new faces coming in, it’s clear there is a lot of competition for a shirt, everywhere on the pitch...

'We had a few square pegs in round holes as well, but when we have a full squad to pick from you will see more of a team cohesion,' he said after the game...

'I thought we were too slow on the ball. They banked up on us and rightly so, but the goal we gave away was a poor goal'... The only goal of the game came after 40 minutes, when Josh Mayhew raced through and slipped the ball past Alex Street. Lynn had few efforts on goal; Adam Marriott from distance was as close as it got, but after the break it was a little better...

Street and new recruit Tai Fleming were the only players to start both halves, although the keeper will give way at some stage of Archie Mair, on tour with parent club Norwich City in Germany. Fleming was given a rest when Luke Johnson came back on, switching from striker role to centre-back as Culverhouse ensured he and fellow youngsters Joe Gascoigne and Mitch Raspberry got some valuable experience under their belts. With Canaries loan player Simon Power (abductor strain) and summer signing Jamar Loza (calf) both carrying knocks, Culverhouse’s plan for two strong, pacey wingers is still on hold.

Add potentially two new faces and Lynn will be pleased with their recruitment... 'We have potentially five more coming into that squad so we are looking good,' he said... 'We’re going to have pace in our side with the new boys and that gives us another dimension'...

Lynn’s summer schedule was seven days late in starting because of the previous week’s cancellation at Bishop’s Stortford. 'It didn’t help last week because that would have been this game if that makes sense, and we would have gone into this game a little bit sharper a little more match wise and you can see they (Stowmarket) are ahead of us', said Culverhouse...'We will get better and better'.

King’s Lynn Town (first half): Street, Jones, McAuley, Fleming, Raspberry, Johnson, Clunan, Richards, Hawkins, Marriott, Henderson.

Second half: Street, Barrows, Smith, Fleming, Brown, Carey, Jarvis, Kelly, Gascoigne, Gash, Southwell."

According to the Redditch Standard, "Studley Sports Centre at Abbeyfields has undergone an extensive redevelopment over lockdown for the launching of The Training Room Sporting Complex, the official training ground of Solihull Moors FC this Monday, August 24... The players will also showcase the brand on their training kit for the forthcoming campaign.

The venue will launch on the same day that the Moors’ first team returns for pre-season training... Studley Sports Centre, just off the A435 at Washford, will remain the home ground of both Studley FC and Studley Juniors FC together with other local teams... The upgraded facilities include two brand new, full-size grass pitches, a 3G pitch, a new players' lounge, a state-of-the-art gym, and players’ changing rooms..

A new initiative will give children the chance to have football parties with visits from Solihull Moors mascots and players".

23 August, 2020


Altrincham FC has so far confirmed the names of eighteen members of its 2020-21 squad, all of whom are detailed on the Alty Files team page.

So it is certain that other names will need to be added to the squad in the coming weeks, either by including a number of up and coming propects from the reserves' or youth squads or/and by adding, perhaps, one or two more new signings or loanees, since a squad of fewer than twenty players would be dangerously low in numbers for an intense National League campaign.

The eighteen-man squad so far comprises:

  • Goalkeepers: Tony Thompson, Matthew Gould
  • Defenders: Shaun Densmore, Andy White, Connor Hampson, Tom Hannigan, Toby Mullarkey, Ritchie Sutton
  • Midfielders: Jake Moult, Simon Richman, Sean Williams
  • Wingers/Forwards: Dan Mooney, Yusifu Ceesay, Matty Kosylo
  • Forwards: Jordan Hulme, Josh Hancock, Tom Peers, Max Clayton


Altrincham's no.1 for most of the last three seasons, Tony Thompson, has joined many of the 2019-20 squad in signing a two-year extension to his contract at the Club, reports the Altrincham FC website, which also has a video interview with the Liverpudlian goalkeeper.

25 year-old Tony made his first appearance for Alty in a pre-season game on 8 July 2017. Before joining the club, in 2016-17, he had played on loan from AFC Fylde for Warrington Town but had started out with Rotherham United (2012), from where he had loan spells with Chelmsford City and Southport in 2014-15 before he joined Morecambe, where he played one League Two game.

Later, in 2015-16, he moved to Chester FC before joining AFC Fylde in 2016. The early part of 2017/18 saw him sharing first-team duties with Tim Deasy but he soon established himself as the regular first choice for the remainder of the season.

However, he lost his place to Elliot Wynne before the end of August 2018, only to win his place back, and lose it again in February 2019 when the experienced Steven Drench was signed. However, an injury to Drench enabled Tony to reclaim his position. Having started the 2019-20 season as no.2 he regained his place in game seven after Steven Drench suffered a serious Achilles injury and Tony deservedly retained the no.1 role for the remaider of the season.

By trade, Tony is a scaffolder. To date he has made 125 Altrincham appearances.


Six years ago today, in a Vanarama Conference match played on Saturday, 23 August 2014, Altrincham travelled to Haig Avenue where they lost 2-1 to Southport. Shaun Densmore was again sidelined by his broken toe, but Altrincham were also without Peter Cavanagh and Nicky Clee. Cavanagh had a work commitment with Liverpool FC whilst Clee had a slight injury.

Ryan Crowther replaced Clee, whilst Jake Moult partnered Sean Williams in central midfield. Youth team graduate Jeff King (now at FC Halifax Town) came into the squad on the bench, along with keeper David Parton.

Right; Gianluca Havern competes for an aerial ball with Richard Brodie, as Adam Griffin awaits the outcome in the background.

Altrincham started the game well and were the better side in the opening stages. But it was Port who took a 20th minute lead, against the run of play. A poorly taken Southport corner was half cleared but was soon played back into the box where Marsden's shot hit the post. Richard Brodie was the quickest to react and hit the rebound home from close range.

The goal lifted the home performance but there were no further goals before the interval.

Altrincham drew level after 61 minutes. A corner from the left by Griffin reached the unmarked Gillespie at the back post and he drove home the equalizer. Alty looked the more likely to score a winner until a freekick in added time proved their undoing. From the right, Gorman's kick was headed in by Foster, though Coburn seemed to get his hands to the ball.

The match was watched by 1,082 spectators with 242 in the away end.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Steven GILLESPIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 18. Sean WILLIAMS, 19. Ryan CROWTHER., Subs: 7. James LAWRIE, 14. Kyle PERRY, 15. Greg WILKINSON, 17. David PARTON (gk), 21 Jeff KING.


Altrincham FC Ladies have been drawn at home to Didsbury or Northwich Vixens in the Women's FA Cup. The fixture is scheduled for September 20th.


Yeovil Town have issued an "update on all things off the field at Huish Park...

It remains the case that the vast majority of staff are on furlough of one type or another. Some have been on furlough completely for several months, others are now on part time furlough as the system allows, but in many cases, this is only one day a week. This means club office operations are still much more limited than normal and we do not see that situation changing for a number of weeks.

Our media volunteer and elements of our reduced size Academy continue are operating full time...

All senior playing staff are in their closed season but will return to preseason training next week... One of the most impressive parts of the support fans have given the club over the last few months in addition to the Crowdfunder is the fans who have helped out in other ways...

The National League anticipates the League programme will start on 3 October and will end on 29 May 2021 (with play offs in early June).

As mentioned previously capacity for league games at Huish Park early in the season will be significantly reduced due to government restrictions... Season tickets... will be available from early September... Fans next season can expect to see an improved range of stock as well a long overdue new club shop website. For these reasons the club website is offline, and the shop remains closed to visitors...

It is likely that there will be only one home friendly at the end of September... The new 125th Anniversary Kit is being produced currently...

The list of players currently contracted with the club for next season is: Carl Dickinson, Lee Collins, Lawson D’Ath, Courtney Duffus, Myles Hippolyte, Alex John, Charlie Lee, Rhys Murphy, Gabby Rogers, Adam Smith (loan), Albi Skendi, Josh Staunton, Luke Wilkinson and Matthew Worthington...

Closed season pitch maintenance started on 24 July and will finish later this month".

FC Halifax Town "have signed 23 year-old left-back Jack Senior, who returns back to his home town club having spent last season at Gloucester City.

Senior started his career coming through the youth ranks at Huddersfield Town before joining EFL League side Luton Town, making 10 appearances for The Hatters.

He had a loan spell with Harrogate Town before he joined Gloucester City in November 2019 scoring on his debut against Kettering Town."

Stockport County report that they played a home friendly match against Rochdale 0-2 this week. "The Hatters returned to action at Edgeley Park for the first time since early March to take on another set of League One opponents in their second pre-season friendly, going down by a repeat scoreline, courtesy of two second-half goals from Rochdale...

County took to the field showing five changes from the side that had started against Fleetwood Town at the Carrington training facility seven days earlier. Jordan Williams was among the incoming quintet, as he made his first appearance as a Hatter since arriving in SK3 from AFC Fylde.

Rochdale... made the brighter start... and Dale’s summer signing from Chorley, Alex Newby, [struck] the base of the left post before 10 minutes had been played. County’s woodwork again denied Newby after 13 minutes, when his free-kick from 25 yards rattled the crossbar...

By that time, the newest County arrival, Harvey Gilmour, most recently of Tranmere, had been introduced...

For the second Saturday running, County fielded a completely different line-up after the break... As the hour approached... [a] shot was well parried by the Trialist goalkeeper, only for the ball to find Lund and squirm off his boot over the line to give the visitors the lead.

Dale struck the woodwork for a third time... But Baah had the last word after an impressive half... firing home through a crowded area to double the advantage".

The County squad comprised

  • First-half Team (4-3-1-2): Hinchliffe; Hogan (Capt.), Palmer, Stott, J. Jennings; Thomas, Keane, Rooney; C. Jennings; Bell, Williams (Gilmour, 23).
  • Second-half Team (4-3-3): Trialist; Downing, Turnbull (Capt.), Maynard, Kitching; Stephenson, Trialist, Walker; Curran (Stanyer, 75), Bennett, Reid.

Rochdale added that "There were six Rochdale changes for the start of the second half. Eoghan O’Connell, Aaron Morley, A Trialist, Kacper Mialkowski, Ethan Brierley and Kwawdo Baah, replaced Ryan McLaughlin, Paul McShane, Jimmy Ryan, Ollie Rathbone, Alex Newby and Matty Done...

Dale XI | Lynch, McLaughlin, McShane, McNulty, Keohane, Ryan, Lund, Rathbone, Newby, Done, Tavares. Subs | Trialist, O’Connell, Dooley, Morley, Baah, Hopper, Brierley, Mulvey, Mialkowski"

22 August 2020


Centre-back Tom Hannigan (32) has become the latest Altrincham player to sign a two-year extension to his contract at the J. Davidson Stadium, reports Altrincham FC.

Tom was the captain of AFC Fylde before he joined Altrincham on 23 May 2016. He had signed for Fylde from Vauxhall Motors.

He made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at home to Darlington but he picked up a knee medial ligament injury in only his second competitive game and was ruled out for a substantial period. His season was further disrupted by suspension and another injury, in Spring 2017, which prematurely terminated his season.

However, Tom recovered to start the 2017-18 campaign and put in some assured performances before injury again sidelined him in late October 2017. However he again recovered and his consistency and experience were an important factor, as the left-sided centre-back, in Alty's strong run-in for the NPL title in 2018.

Tom has made 84 starts in the last two seasons to underline his full recovery. To date he has made 136(+5) appearances for Alty and netted 9 goals.


Eleven years ago today Altrincham lay second in the Blue Square (Conference) Premier division, and were actually on level points with the leaders Oxford United, after three wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures of the 2009-10 season. The match, at Moss Lane on 22 August 2009, was the first-ever clash between Alty and AFC Wimbledon, who had only been promoted to the BSP that season.

Above: James Pullen, Wimbledon's keeper smothers the ball as his side defends the well-occupied away end at Moss Lane.

But a goal eight minutes from time from the prolific Danny Kedwell put an end to Altrincham's unbeaten start to the season. The visitors deserved the points. But, after Altrincham had scarcely troubled the Wimbledon keeper throughout the game, the Robins pushed men forward and could have scored three times in the closing stages, after Wimbledon's Main had missed a glorious chance to put the visitors 2-0 up.

For this game, Altrincham were unchanged, so Robbie Williams remained in the defence in a match refereed by Andy Madley, who went on to officiate at Premiership level.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG (capt), 6.Shaun DENSMORE, 8. Matty CROWELL, 6. Tom KEARNEY, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 14. Dale JOHNSON, 19. Chris SENIOR, 10. Chris DENHAM, Subs: 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 9. Colin LITTLE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 20. Danny HEFFERNAN, 11. Nicky CLEE.


Following the arrival of Ritchie Sutton, Matthew Gould, Yusifu Ceesay and Matty Kosylo, Nantwich-based Max Clayton has become the Robins' fifth signing of the summer as Altrincham FC announce the striker's arrival at the J. Davidson Stadium.

In an Alty TV interview with press and media officer John Edwards, Max Clayton explains why he has come to Moss Lane on a short-term contract to try and rebuild his career after two long spells sidelined by injuries.

Max, (d.o.b. 9 August 1994 in Crewe), started out at Crewe Alexandra (2010-14) where he made 74 League appearances and scored nine times. As a 15 year-old youth at Crewe, Liverpool were alleged to have made a £1 million approach for him but he stayed at Gresty Road.

Having suffered a broken ankle in 2013, he later turned down a further contract at Crewe and, in 2014, he joined Bolton Wanderers, where he made 27 league appearances, followed by a couple more for Blackpool (2017–19), where his stay was badly affected by serious hamstring problems.

Max has England honours at under-16 to under-20 levels inclusive and has now got himself fit again. His brother played under Phil Parkinson at Nantwich Town.


Altrincham FC have issued details of how it is intended to get the 2020-21 season up and running.

Amongst other information, Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson explains that

  • Our National League season will start on Saturday 3rd October.
  • We will play 46 games, with 12 of them in midweek and the season ending on 29th May 2021.
  • The League will not start behind closed doors, but capacity at The J.Davidson Stadium is likely to be limited initially to 1,181 and then (hopefully soon after) to 2,362
  • We will be selling season tickets, which should go on sale in the next few days.
  • Ticketing will be electronic and tickets will be sold in advance in the vast majority of cases.
  • There will be constraints on how The J. Davidson Stadium is used on match days due to Department of Culture, Media and Sport, FA and National League regulations.
  • Travel to away games will be permitted unless there are specific circumstances forbidding it.
  • We believe Alty fans will be able to attend two of our away pre-season friendlies and hopefully one at home, too.

Bill explains that "The regulations around next season are being driven by at least four bodies; the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Trafford Borough Council, the FA and the National League, and the rules are not always aligned, often for reasons no more complicated than timing...

If the DCMS delay the playing of elite sports in front of crowds, the National League season will be delayed in line with this, but that remains to be seen...

The League season will end on 29th May, with play-offs on the first three weekends in June and the promotion final at Wembley on the weekend of 19th June. Our FA Cup involvement will start in the fourth qualifying round on 24th October, and our FA Trophy campaign in the first round proper on 14th November...

Our latest Safety Certificate issued by Trafford Council in the last two months has increased the capacity of The J.Davidson Stadium to 7,873. A 15% capacity would therefore be 1,181 and 30% would be 2,362. This latter figure is one we could happily work within for all but the biggest games, though it must be remembered we still await confirmation as to whether these numbers will apply to us...

We do plan to sell season tickets for the forthcoming season... We will be announcing prices for ground admission and for season tickets shortly..

It is possible that fans will be allowed into pre-season friendlies, but currently admission will only be granted for away games at Step 3 and below. We believe that this will give our fans two opportunities to watch the Robins in pre-season...

E-ticketing is likely to be the norm even for these friendlies. Subject to DCMS regulations, we would look to stage a home friendly, but this would be at the 15% capacity limit and would count as our 'qualifying tie' for moving to 30% subsequently. This is all subject to DCMS, FA and National League approval... There is still a lot of uncertainty, so much that could yet change".


The Northern Premier League reports that "Witton Albion have announced the signing of experienced central defender Steve McNulty for the 2020/21 season.

McNulty, 36, has made more than 600 career appearances, and has previously featured for Fleetwood Town, Tranmere Rovers and Luton Town. [Not to mention York City!]

He began his career at Liverpool and skippered the Reds at under 19s level before his release from the Anfield club in 2003.

The Liverpool-born centre-back moved onto non-league football, starting at Burscough before moving to Vauxhall Motors and then Barrow, with whom he captained [the side?] to promotion into the Conference.

The central defender joins Isaac Baldwin, Scott Bakkor, Josh Gregory, Steven Tames and [ex-Alty forward] James Hooper as new arrivals in to Carl Macauley's squad at Wincham Park."


Chesterfield confirm that "Jonathan Smith and Haydn Hollis will both remain at the Technique Stadium after agreeing new deals.

John Pemberton... said 'They have both got something to offer us and I want to work with them. I judge players on what they have done for me and in the games I've been involved with, they've been good. We have only lost two games over two spells during my time as manager here and they have both made a contribution, including being a huge part of making sure we have a good dressing room, which is so important'...

The Spireites' boss, who signed Nathan Tyson and Milan Butterfield earlier in the week, re-signed Jordan Cropper on loan from Burnley and secured Tom Denton on a new contract."

From FC Halifax Town "A few words from one of our recent recruits, Martin Woods... an experienced midfielder, who signed for the ‘Shaymen’ earlier this week. The 34-year-old has previously played for the likes of Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers and Ross County....

'I’m delighted to join the Club for the upcoming season, I met up with a few managers and spoke to some on the phone, but when I met Pete (Wild) and Chris (Millington) I got a great feel for the Club, as well as, them as people and how their style of play would suit my game.

'After that I had no doubts in my head where I wanted to go'".

Solihull Moors "announce the signing of Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Gleeson on a one-year contract.

The 32 year-old has four years of Championship experience under his belt having made well over 100 appearances for Birmingham City and Ipswich Town. His most recent football came... with Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen, where the midfielder made 10 starts between 2018-2020.

Capped four times by his country, Gleeson was given his league debut by Mick McCarthy at Wolves in the 2006/07 season... But it was at MK Dons where Gleeson really started to excel, clocking up more than 200 appearances over the course of five years.

In his time with Birmingham, Gleeson played 125 times and scored six goals as he became a key player under Gary Rowett...

Gleeson said 'It’s close to my home, the manager, Bealey, the project, everything just fitted what I wanted at this stage in my career... I think this could be the right club for me... I haven’t played since December last year so I’m looking forward to the six weeks of pre-season leading into the games'...

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'This is an outstanding addition to the squad. We have signed a player with Championship pedigree and a wealth of experience. Stephen is a player that fits the Moors way, he will help the team gain control in games and has an outstanding ability to unlock with clever and creative passes.'”

According to the Leader Live, "Dean Keates believes he has recruited possibly the best left-back in the National League, and a midfielder who has proved himself since a difficult first spell at Wrexham. Experienced defender Jamie Reckord made 90 league appearances during a two-and-a-half year stint with Solihull Moors... before becoming the first new signing of the summer at The Racecourse.

Reds' boss Keates could not believe that Reckord, a replacement for James Jennings, who has joined Stockport, was released by Moors...

Said Keates... 'I was surprised that he has been released because, for me, he is up there with the best left-backs in the division, if not the best. He is a very good signing'...

Reckord was followed to Wrexham by Elliott Durrell, who made 30 league appearances and scored four goals during an injury-hit 18 month spell at the club before being released at the end of the 2014-15 season... Keates praised Durrell for the way he has responded to being shown the door by then-Reds boss Gary Mills.

'It was a transition for Elliott, he was part-time and then he came to Wrexham, and it didn't happen for whatever reason,' said Keates. 'He took the body blow of being released, has gone away and come full circle. You look at what he has done since leaving; Elliott did really well for himself at Chester and used that as his platform. He did well at Macclesfield, achieved promotion'...

Keates revealed he was close to signing former team-mate Durrell last season before finally landing the 31-year-old, who he sees as a replacement for Oldham-bound Davis Keillor-Dunn.

'I spoke to Elliott before he went to York but we weren't in a position then to be able to do anything,' said Keates. 'I always said that I would keep in touch so I have spoken to him a few times over the last few months. I left him alone when he came up to the play-offs with Altrincham but, in the back of mind with anything possibly happening with Davis Keillor-Dunn, he was somebody that I always had earmarked as a replacement.

'As soon as I knew Davis's decision, it was an easy deal for us to get done.'

Keates, who made striker Jordan Ponticelli his third new signing of the summer, is closing in on more additions".

The National League summarises many of the recent player movements in its leagues,saying "It’s been another big week of transfers for National League clubs...

It seems Dagenham could have a Mac attack to be feared. After last Friday adding Paul McCallum, they this week won the race to sign National League South joint top scorer Darren McQueen. He scored 18 for Dartford last season and his new boss Daryl McMahon is excited about his forward options.

Pete Wild continues to piece together his FC Halifax Town side. Reuben Noble-Lazarus was first through the door this week and was quickly followed by midfielder Luke Summerfield...

Corey Whitely is back in the National League; he has has joined Boreham Wood on loan from Newport County...

Solihull Moors have announce the signing of Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Gleeson, 32, on a one-year contract...

Notts County have signed former Leeds United played Casper Sloth and talented midfielder Jake Reeves but striker Kristian Dennis has moved to St Mirren. The Scottish clubs love to give a go to National League players. Ebbsfleet United forward Gozie Ugwu has joined Raith Rovers...

Wrexham have been busy as Dean Keates prepares for the new campaign. He has signed Coventry City forward Jordan Ponticelli after a loan spell with the Reds last season. It came days after Altrincham attacker Elliott Durrell returned to the Racecourse.

Maidstone United have signed Kreshnic Krasniqi, who was part of Wealdstone’s title winning squad last year...

David Perkins will meanwhile add real class to AFC Fylde’s midfield."

21 August 2020


Altrincham FC announce "the news that Connor Hampson has committed himself to The J.Davidson Stadium for the next two years".

John Edwards interviewed Connor to discuss lockdown, the play-offs and plans for the future on Alty TV.

Connor,who is 28 on Sunday, joined Altrincham, initially on a month's loan, from Stockport County on 2 November 2017. He had been at Edgeley Park since February 2017, when he had joined from Curzon Ashton, but injury sidelined him before the end of the 2016-17 season at County. Connor had previously been at the Tameside Stadium since 2011.

His impressive performances for Alty prompted an extension of his loan period into 2018. He missed several games in the Spring of 2018 through injury before returning for the run-in where he played well at centre-back.

A broken hand kept him out of the side during August and September 2018 before he returned to be a regular starter at left-back. At the start of 2019-20 he acted as captain in the injury absence of Jake Moult.

In 2019-20 Connor started the first eleven league games and also the final eleven league matches but, in between, he was sidelined, initially by a foot injury, and then by the form of Shaun Densmore and Andy White.

His Altrincham appearances total 89(+13) and he has scored five goals.


Eight years ago today, on a Tuesday night, 21 August 2012, Alty travelled to Wetherby Road where they secured a 2-1 win against Harrogate Town. Altrincham had never previously won at Wetherby Road, though the Yorkshire club's work on their old sloping pitch meant that this time, Alty truly were starting on a level playing field! The Robins were wearing their new teal and grey away kit for first time.

Right: Duncan Watmore is hugged by Gianluca Havern and Carl Rodgers after scoring at Harrogate. In the background, on the Harrogate bench, the sentiments are less happy.

Harrogate Town had won their first match of the season, at Hinckley, whereas Altrincham had been humbled, 1-4, at home by newly promoted Brackley Town.

At Harrogate, torrential rain had fallen earlier in the evening and the new pitch had not fully absorbed it, with some parts of the playing area almost saturated for its first competitive match. It was subsequently replaced with an artificial surface which has now been ripped up to allow Harrogate to play in League Two where only grass surfaces are permitted.

Following their harrowing opening-day home defeat, Altrincham made changes as James Lawrie and Scott Leather moved to the bench, allowing Gianluca Havern to make his debut and Matt Doughty to make his first competitive appearance following his return to Altrincham over the summer. Nicky Clee reverted to no. 11 as Matt slotted in at left-back.

Altrincham's first-ever win at Harrogate was earned with a hard-working performance. Duncan Watmore fired Alty ahead in the fourth minute with a fine shot from 25 yards. Harrogate then applied plenty of pressure, at one stage earning four successive corners. But good defending and a couple of fine saves by Coburn kept them out till half time.

But, within 90 seconds of the restart, the hosts equalised through thje burly Chib Chilaka. Despite losing Clee early on with concussion and then Doughty with a bad gash to his ankle, Alty got the winner in the 77th minute when Simon Richman scored smartly after a Damian Reeves shot had been parried.

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


At FC Halifax Town "32 year old Luke Summerfield joins the ‘Shaymen’. Luke has spent the last two seasons will fellow National League side Wrexham.

He is the son of former professional footballer Kevin Summerfield.

The midfielder started his career with Plymouth Argyle making 79 appearances and has plenty of Football League experience with AFC Bournemouth, Leyton Orient, Cheltenham, Shrewsbury Town, York City and Grimsby Town.

He joined Wrexham in July 2018 and was a regular in the North Wales first team, this season he started 26 games and scored two goals".

Chesterfield report that "Jordan Cropper has rejoined the Spireites on a season-long loan from Burnley.

The 20 year-old right-back impressed last season after arriving at the club on loan in January, making eight appearances.

John Pemberton... said 'Jordan has great potential and he did really well for us last season... Jordan had other offers but he was desperate to come back here and Sean Dyche was only too pleased to help us out.'

Nathan Tyson and Milan Butterfield were added to the squad earlier this week while Tom Denton agreed a new contract to extend his stay at the club."

20 August 2020


Altrincham's latest signing, Matty Kosylo, has been interviewed on Alty TV by Press and Media Officer, John Edwards. And John's interview with Josh Hancock (right) who has committed to a further two-years at Moss Lane may be viewed >here.


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger carries John Edwards's update on developments at the J. Davidson Stadium. "Phil Parkinson has significantly strengthened Altrincham’s squad for their return to the Vanarama National League next season after snapping up keeper Matt Gould and attacking midfielder Matty Kosylo.

Gould arrives from National League North Spennymoor and will put pressure on Tony Thompson for the number one berth, while livewire winger Kosylo will bolster Alty’s attacking options after being released by AFC Fylde.

Kosylo... timed his move to Alty on a two-year deal to perfection, less than a week after winger Elliott Durrell left...

Though Gould is only 26, he is already looking beyond his playing days and will act as specialist goalkeeping coach as well as competing with Tony Thompson for a starting place...

'I have played against Phil Parkinson teams eight or nine times over the last few years, so I messaged him towards the end of last season, and he replied that he was a big fan of mine,' he said. 'We spoke a few more times in recent weeks, and it was all agreed. I’m really excited to be here, and I’m ready to push Tony and give him a run for his money...

'I have always really enjoyed the way Alty play their football under Phil. Not just Alty, but Nantwich as well, when he was manager there. I’m looking forward to coaching as well. I see that as my pathway in the future, and I’m hoping I can bring some of the youngsters on and develop some good young keepers to play for Alty in the future.

'I know Tony after playing against him a fair few times. We have always got on well after games but I am here to compete for a place, and I am ready for that challenge'...

In a further boost for Alty ahead of next season, striker Jordan Hulme and long-serving full-back Shaun Densmore have both signed deals that will keep them at The J.Davidson Stadium for the next two years."


Altrincham FC recently unveiled its new home shirt for the 2020-21 season which consciously harked back to the design of the club's 1984-85 shirt, in featuring one broad white band rather than the traditional multiple stripes of red and white.

Below is a reminder of how the 1984/85 shirt looked... and who wore it.

Above, the 1984-85 team. Back: Elfyn Edwards, Colin Chesters, Mark Davies, Trevor Dance, Mick Hardman, Tommy Smith. Middle: Stan Allan (coach), Ronnie Ellis, Peter Conning, David Constantine, Graham Bennett, Jeff Johnson, Paul Cuddy, Mick Fagan, George Rooney (assistant manager). Front: Kevan Hawkins, Gary Anderson, John Davison, John King (manager), Phil Gardner, Graham Heathcote, David Bleasdale.


Altrincham signed James Hooper shortly before lockdown and, owing to injury, he went on loan to regain match fitness at West Didsbury & Chorlton and Witton Albion. Last week Alty announced that he was being released for next season and now the Northern Premier League announces that "Witton Albion have announced the signing of forward James Hooper from National League side Altrincham.

Hooper, 23, joins the club for his second stint having featured last season, scoring two goals in three appearances before the 2019/20 campaign was brought to a premature conclusion due to COVID-19.

Hooper has also represented FC United of Manchester, Stockport County, Radcliffe Borough, Salford City and Chorley".

ON THIS DAY: 20 August

Although Histon is not everyone's idea of a northern location, nine years ago today Altrincham entertained the Cambridgeshire club at Moss Lane and ran out 3-0 winners. Altrincham were unchanged for the third match running. Adam Flynn's suspension for his recent sending-off at Harrogate had not yet taken effect, so he played today.

Right: Simon Richman, Anthony Danylyk and Shaun Densmore were still working hard to combat Histon in the late stages of the game in 2011.

Altrincham emerged deserved winners of this clash between two teams which had both been relegated the previous season from the national division of the Blue Square Bet league. After a scrappy start, Altrincham had soon got on top but without showing much threat of actually scoring till Nicky Clee was denied with three successive attempts in the 11th minute as he saw a header and a shot beaten out and his third attempt went wide.

But as rain started to fall, Alty took a 35th-minute lead when Chris Lynch got into the box and fed the ball across the face of goal. Michael Twiss was unable to connect, allowing Nicky Clee to convert comfortably. Alty started the second half well, winning four corners in the opening minutes. But the game then went a bit flat and Alty lost Flynn to injury.

However, in the 61st minute, a fine ball from Lynch saw Reeves win a chase against the oncoming keeper to score his side's second goal.

Alty then took their foot off the pedal, allowing Histon plenty of possession but, in the final of three added minutes, substitute Simon Richman beat the keeper at his near post with a well taken goal from an Anthony Danylyk feed.

The referee of this match, Simon Bennett, based in Stoke on Trent, has since gone on to become a FIFA and Select Group Assistant Referee

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 5. Adam FLYNN, 6. Paul JONES, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Chris LYNCH, 8. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, Subs: 18. Josh OLLERENSHAW (gk), 12. Mark LEES, 14. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 15. Astley MULHOLLAND, 16. Simon RICHMAN.


At Notts County "Central midfielder Jake Reeves has become our second new signing of the summer.

The 27 year-old, who made 18 appearances for Bradford City in League Two last season, is reunited with Neal Ardley having previously played under him at AFC Wimbledon.

'The gaffer has been a big influence on my career to date,' said Reeves. 'I like the fact that he’s very approachable, especially with off-field matters. He’s not just your manager, he tries to look after you as a person. I like that there’s a project in place, first and foremost to get promoted. This is a bigger club than where it is and there are the right people in the right departments to help it grow and grow'...

Reeves will join up with fellow newcomer Rúben Rodrigues for his first training session tomorrow ahead of their new team-mates’ return for pre-season training later this month. As a youngster, Reeves played for Spurs and Brentford before breaking into the first team at Griffin Park and going on to make 34 appearances for the Bees in League One.

Having enjoyed a loan spell with Wimbledon earlier in his career he followed up a short stay at Swindon by signing for Ardley permanently in 2015. He made 100 appearances in his two seasons at Kingsmeadow... before Bradford came calling. Frustratingly, a groin injury prevented him from fully establishing himself in West Yorkshire but, having made a positive comeback earlier this term, he is now focused on a new challenge".

At Chesterfield "Bermuda international midfielder Milan Butterfield has joined the Spireites from Kidderminster Harriers. As the player is 22, the deal has triggered a nominal compensation fee.

John Pemberton, who knows Butterfield from his time at the Aggborough Stadium, said 'He’s a player who has massive potential and I feel he will make a difference to us as a team. He’s quite dynamic, he can run, he’s got pace, he’s got energy and technically he’s good. He’s quite laid-back and not a lot fazes him. I want a certain dynamic to the group and he’ll certainly enhance what we’re trying to achieve.'

Butterfield... said 'When I was at Kidderminster, he made me a better player and when I heard that he wanted me, I wanted to sign'... After starting out at Walsall, Butterfield joined Kidderminster in 2018. He has been capped by his country six times."

FC Halifax Town report that "Danny Williams has agreed a new deal to stay with the Club for a further season.

He has previously played for clubs such as FC United, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Accrington Stanley.

Williams joined the Shaymen last summer and made 24 starts during the 2019/20 season scoring 1 goal which came in the 4-0 home victory over Wrexham in the FA Trophy in December".

Weymouth talked to "Jack Hoey after the forward penned an extension at the Terras...

He said, 'I think having struggled with an injury which kept me out for so long, it was a great feeling to finally get out on the pitch and score my first goal!... Finishing is an important part of my game and it’s something I’ve always worked on...

'It was a tough season for me last season but I am feeling good about the upcoming season! I’m looking forward to being able to showcase more of myself. There is more to come from me!"

Wrexham "confirm young defender Max Cleworth has signed his first professional contract with the club.

Cleworth, 18, becomes the second of last season’s youth-team players to pen a one-year deal at the Racecourse, alongside Jake Bickerstaff. Cleworth, like Bickerstaff, made his debut in the SPFL Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup against Ayr United last season... as well as playing at centre-back in the FA Trophy defeat to FC Halifax Town too.

Cleworth also featured on the bench for the first-team in the Vanarama National League last season and becomes the fifth player to sign a new, one-year deal at the Racecourse. Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Christian Dibble and Bickerstaff are also signed on for the season."


The Northern Premier League reports that "The FA has issued updated guidelines that include a phased and limited return of spectators for clubs.The DCMS has now clarified its guidance on the return to recreational team sport and clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS [National League System [i.e. in our area, the Northern Premier League]... are permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators to fixtures. However, they must follow the UK Government’s guidance in relation to Covid-19 and The FA’s updated guidelines for the NLS or WFP respectively...

All clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS... are required to have a designated Covid-19 Officer; complete and publish bespoke risk assessments and action plans; and arrange support for Track and Trace efforts before implementing the following:

Stage One:

  • From 22 August 2020 to 30 August 2020, spectators are permitted to attend fixtures at Steps 3-6 of the NLS and Tiers 3-4 of the WFP, providing that their number does not exceed 15% of the minimum ground grading capacity at these levels or respective figures set out within The FA’s updated guidelines;
  • If a club at these levels does not play any fixtures during this period, it must have played at least one pre-season or competitive fixture in accordance with its respective level of spectators before moving on to Stage Two.
  • For clubs at Step 3, this means a capacity of 300. For clubs at Step 4, this means a capacity of 200.

Stage Two:

  • From 31 August 2020, clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS and Tiers 3-4 of the WFP will be permitted to allow spectators to attend fixtures provided that their number does not exceed 30% of the minimum ground grading capacity at their level or the respective figures set out within The FA’s updated guidelines. However, they must be satisfied that they have been able to comply with the Government’s guidance on the return to recreational team sport and The FA’s updated guidelines.
  • For clubs at Step 3, this means a capacity of 600. For clubs at Step 4, this means a capacity of 400.

The phased and limited return of spectators at these levels will be kept under constant review in line with the UK Government’s guidelines and will be amended accordingly as required.

NPL chairman, Mark Harris said 'The news that fans can be admitted is very welcome and will help clubs to start the slow recovery from the impact of the pandemic. However, the onus is on clubs and fans to follow the guidance and to comply fully with the procedures established by every club. The challenge now is to ensure that clubs keep fans safe, and ensure maximum compliance if we are to show that football can be trusted and thereby justify raising the capacity limits.'"

19 August 2020


Since Altrincham's season was curtailed back in March, seven players have left the club (Drench, Durrell, Harrop, Hooper, Jones, Mahon and Walters) and on Tuesday evening Altrincham confirmed the fourth new arrival at the club as Matthew (Matty) Kosylo signed a two-year contract from AFC Fylde.

Right: Matty Kosylo, (right foreground in orange shirt), playing for FC Halifax Town at Moss Lane against Altrincham in February 2017.

The earlier signings were Yusifu Ceesay, Matthew Gould and Ritchie Sutton.

Wingman Kosylo (d.o.b. August 17, 1992) has played previously under Alty manager Phil Parkinson. That was back in 2014-16 at Nantwich Town, with Matty having begun his career at Stockport County and played for Salford City, Ashton United, Hyde United and Vauxhall Motors (2013/14) before joining The Dabbers.

He left Nantwich for FC Halifax Town, for an undisclosed fee, in July 2016. At the time he was the Evo Stik NPL Young Player of the Year. .

Kosylo made a great impression in his three seasons at The Shay (2016-19), during which he scored 24 league goals in 74(+5) league appearances for The Shaymen.

Despite an apparent offer from Chester FC, Kosylo then joined AFC Fylde in 2019 but relegation in 2020 meant that The Coasters were prepared to release him from his contract to sign now for Altrincham.

He had proved less prolific at Fylde than in West Yorkshire, with just a single FA Cup goal to his name and his league appearances were limited to eleven starts and twelve more from the bench.

His games against Altrincham include a 2-2 draw at Rivacre Park when playing for Vauxhall Motors in August 2013, and both the home and away league fixtures against FC Halifax Town in 2016/17 season.


Altrincham FC have given a two-year contract to popular defender and former captain, Shaun Densmore, which will take his time at the club to almost 14 years, having arrived in September 2008. Altrincham's Press and Media Officer John Edwards has interviewed Shaun for Alty TV.

Shaun enjoyed an excellent 2019-20 season but missed the play-offs as he and his wife were expecting a baby, which duly arrived last month.

He has so far made 390(+28) appearances for Altrincham and netted 29 goals.


Following a season on loan from Alty at Step Four of the non-League pyramid, striker Lewis Salmon (right) is moving up to Step Three this coming season as Altrincham FC confirm that "Highly-rated teenage striker Lewis Salmon is to continue his development with another loan move after joining Northern Premier League Stalybridge Celtic until the New Year.

Altrincham’s 18 year-old forward signed a contract at The J.Davidson Stadium last November that runs until the end of next season...

He underlined his potential on loan at Trafford last season and was among the Northern Premier League Division One North West’s leading scorers on 12 goals when the campaign was abandoned...

Now he has the chance to carry on progressing after signing for Stalybridge [Celtic] on loan until January the NPL’s top flight."

Lewis's arrival at Altrincham was announced on 6 November, 2019, when he signed an 18-month contract. He had previously spent part of the 2019 pre-season with Altrincham and scored for the club in its pre-season game against its own youth team. Later in summer 2019 he joined Trafford on dual registration. In fact, he played against Altrincham in Trafford's pre-season match at Shawe View at that time.

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that goalkeeper Elliot Wynne's recent re-signing for Altrincham was indeed only a short-term agreement to provide cover during the promotion play-offs and, therefore, he no longer remains at the club.


As announced earlier, the funeral of Mark Eckersall will take place on Tuesday, 25 August. It has now been announced that the funeral cortege will pause briefly outside the J. Davidson Stadium at 10.30am that morning and Mark's friends are invited to pay their socially-distanced respects at that time.


Altrincham won the Northern Premier League in 2017-18 but they got off to a shaky start, losing heavily at home to Stafford Rangers (0-3) on the opening day of the season, before drawing (1-1) at Nantwich and then losing at Matlock Town. The match at Matlock's picturesque ground took place exactly three years ago today on 19 August 2017.

Defeat at Matlock was to the game's only goal, a header by Dwayne Wiley, from a right-wing corner. The first half had seen some good play from Alty but with no real goal threat at the end of it.

Left: Tom Hannigan heads clear at Matlock in the second half as Lewis Short looks on.

But Alty started the second half poorly and Matlock took their winning lead as early as the 49th minute. Second-half substitutions did improve things for the visitors but it was deep into added time before Sam Sheridan produced his side's best shot of the game which experienced keeper, Barnes, pushed over the bar.

Altrincham had several players unavailable to manager Phil Parkinson. In addition to long-term injury victim Sean Miller, right-back John Disney and defender Chris Lynch were also not fully fit, whilst striker Josh Amis continued his recovery from an appendix operation. In addition, Shaun Densmore was unavailable. Tom Hannigan was available as his suspension for being sent off in the previous game had not yet started.

Into the side came midfielder Laurence Taylor and forward Tom Peers, whilst midfielder Simon Richman had to be deployed at right-back.

ALTRINHCAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Simon RICHMAN, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK Subs 12. Sam SHERIDAN, 14. Jordan HULME, 15. John DISNEY, 16. Chris LYNCH, 17. Tim DEASY


Chesterfield report that "The Community Trust has now been running the club for just over a week and much work has been done behind the scenes during that time. Chairman Mike Goodwin provides an update on various matters affecting the club..

John Pemberton did a fine job in difficult circumstances last season and he is set to sign a contract after previously being engaged on a short-term agreement. I met with John prior to the Community Trust taking ownership of the club and a suitable budget was agreed with him to assemble a squad in preparation for the new season...

It has been recommended by the National League that season tickets are not made available and we are currently considering our options. If we decide to sell tickets on a match-by-match basis, I can assure those who purchased season tickets last season that they will receive priority before tickets are put on general sale.

Much work has been done and still needs to be done to bring the stadium, pitch and training ground up to the required standard after being effectively ‘moth-balled’ over the last few months. Safety certificates need to be in place before the stadium can be opened to the public, so it is a priority to address the various requirements...

There has been a tremendous response from supporters following our appeal for more people to take part in Spire Lotto with hundreds of people signing up over the last week or so".

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Blistering pace and fire in the belly: Why Nathan Tyson is a shrewd signing for Chesterfield...

The experienced striker showed exactly what he can do with three goals and two assists in six starts during a short loan spell last season. He is 38 but he has kept himself in great shape and is a lot fitter than some players 10 years younger than him... It is a one-year deal for Tyson which makes sense for both parties and they can sit down and discuss the next move after that. The days of Chesterfield handing out lucrative three-year contracts to players are over...

He definitely still has something to offer with his blistering pace, a quality the Blues do not have, and as long as he can stay clear of injuries then I would back him to score goals at this level" says Liam Norcliffe. "It was not just his goals and pace that impressed me last season, his all-round play and game management shone through... Another positive is that he is a very likeable person... He wants to continue to play until he is 40...

Unlike some players who have put on the Town shirt in recent years, Tyson is not coming here just for one last contract... The Spireites players are due back at the end of this week for some fitness tests before full pre-season gets underway on Monday.

The squad is looking a bit threadbare so the re-signing of a couple of players from last season as well as a few new additions would be welcome".

At Dover Athletic "Left-back Bobby-Joe Taylor has today had his contract cancelled by mutual consent and left the club.

He made 61 appearances in all competitions for us, scoring twice, after joining following his release from Bromley in November 2018".

A player who has crossed Alty's path at Barwell, Leamington and Telford in the last few years will do so again in the forthcoming season for another club as "FC Halifax Town have announced the signing of 26 year-old striker Matt Stenson who left Solihull Moors at the end of the 2019/20 campaign...

He has previously played for Leamington and AFC Telford United".

We learn from the Halifax Courier that "Experienced midfielder Martin Woods has become the latest player to join FC Halifax Town.

The 34-year-old Scot, who has two Scotland under-21 caps, has made more than 300 senior appearances and adds some experience and nous to the Town squad, joining them as a central midfielder having started his career as a left-winger.

Woods started his career at Leeds United, making one senior appearance, and being sent out on loan to Hartlepool. After leaving Elland Road, he joined Sunderland on a free transfer, playing for them in the Premier League, before going on to play for Rotherham and Doncaster, where he made over 100 appearances. He then joined Barnsley before going north of the border to play for Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.

A brief switch to Shrewsbury in 2015 was soon followed by a move back to Ross County for a further two years, where he won the Scottish League Cup. He then moved to Partick, again in the Scottish Premiership, and spent the 2018-19 season at top-flight side Dundee, where he was captain."

Also from the Halifax Courier we learn that "After a year developing his game, Jack Earing can’t wait to be unleashed on the National League.

The midfielder joined Town from Bolton last summer, but only made 12 first-team appearances and was sent out on loan to Spennymoor and Farsley...

'It was a frustrating season but I think looking back on it now, overall, it was good for me in terms of my development,' he said. 'I think the loans helped me. When I was on the bench for Halifax, I’d be looking at players in my position, other players, and gathering my thoughts about how they play in this league and how I can improve myself... I was used to getting the ball down and playing, but I think I learned in this league sometimes it’s just got to go round the corner, and you’ve got to do the ugly side more...

'It was a good season in terms of my development and I think it’s made me an overall better player. At the time it was frustrating not getting the game-time I wanted, but I think it’s pushing me on for next season'...

'I came into the club under Jamie [Fullarton]. He’d seen my progression at Bolton and wanted to have a full season out of me, see how I’d play, and I thought I was going to be playing most games week-in, week-out, that’s why I wanted to move to the club, to get first-team action,' Earing said. 'But obviously he resigned... When the [new] gaffer [Pete Wild] came in, it was a new way of doing things but the lads got used to him quickly...

'I think he knew of me at Bolton, but I needed to prove to him that I should be a first-team player. He saw in his eyes that I wasn’t ready, which I might not have been. I don’t think I was ready... So leaving me out, introducing me with 10, 20 minutes to go, I think that slowly made me realise the difference in the league and how I had to play differently. When I got sent out on loan, I think it really helped me in terms of the men’s game, the ugly side of it, and I just feel like it’s made me a better player'...

Earing feels Wild and assistant boss Chris Millington are the right people to be guiding him next season...

'When we came back into training (for the play-offs), I came back flying, I thought I was standing out in training and I was ready,' he said. 'It was cut short, when we got knocked out [by Covid]... I knew I wasn’t going to get enough time on the ball when I came in but I underestimated it when I was involved in the games. It’s a top, top standard.'”

Stockport County "announce the appointment of Alex Cowdy as Head of Football Administration.

Bringing 20 years of football industry experience to Edgeley Park, this newly formed role will see Alex manage all areas of football administration, from player contracts, co-ordination with the league and regulatory bodies to operational processes at the Training Centre and matchdays.

He spent the early part of his career as a licensed football agent, spotting and representing talent from lower leagues and securing moves into Premier League and Championship clubs. His career then moved into football administration with previous roles including CEO at Blackpool FC and Club Secretary at Nottingham Forest FC.

Simon Wilson, Director of Football said, 'Alex is another in the camp with the skill and know-how of the upper levels of the game, but with the appetite to roll his sleeves up and get stuck in to our immediate challenges. Like many of us, he has experienced the good and the bad of club management and comes here with an ambition to build both a successful and sustainable club for the future'"

18 August 2020


Jordan Hulme (29), has extended his contract at the club for a further two years according to the Altrincham FC website.

Right: Jordan celebrates scoring the only goal of the game against Darlington in August 2019.

Hulme has already spent three successful campaigns at Alty, racking up 132(+7) appearances in all competitions and netting seventy goals, since his arrival from Salford City in summer 2017.

In the curtailed 2019-20 season he scored 19 goals in 43(+2) appearances, making him the club's leading marksman in all competitions, though Josh Hancock pipped him to that accolade in league-only matches. Jordan has been top or joint-top scorer in matches in all competitions in each of his three seasons at Altrincham and is only the sixth player to achieve that treble (or a longer sequence) since World War Two, after Walter Jones (4 in a row), Jack Swindells (5), Graham Bennett (3), Colin Little (5) and Damian Reeves (5).

Of Alty's 46 games in all competitions in 2019-20, Jordan only missed one, the Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Stalybridge, when the first team was largely rested.


The funeral of Mark Eckersall has been announced to take place on Tuesday, 25 August and it is expected to stop briefly outside the J. Davidson Stadium en route to the funeral service, to allow fellow supporters to pay their respects to a very popular and respected man. Once the time is know it will be posted here.


Confirmation comes from the BBC that "Macclesfield Town were deducted points on three separate occasions during the 2019-20 season, following charges relating to payment of salaries and failing to fulfil fixtures. The English Football League has turned down Macclesfield's request to allow them to retain their League Two status.

The Silkmen were demoted to 24th spot in last season's table earlier this month after the EFL won its appeal against a points deduction.

Macclesfield subsequently asked for a reprieve, in line with EFL regulations approved by clubs in June. They argued that there 'appeared to be no guarantee' when the next National League season would commence. The regulation states that if no date is in place for the start of the 2020-21 National League season, then the club finishing bottom of League Two could be reprieved by the EFL board.

However, the EFL said in a statement on Monday 'The National League informed its clubs on 27 July 2020 of its intention to commence season 2020-21 on 3 October 2020 and has provided the EFL with further information alongside confirming the details relating to how it intends to do so in compliance with all relevant government guidance.

'The board is satisfied that competitive fixtures in the National League will commence within a reasonable period of time and that it should not utilise its power to reprieve. As a result, Macclesfield Town, the 24th-placed team in League Two are relegated from the EFL.'

After clubs had voted to end the League Two season early, Macclesfield appeared to have escaped relegation in June when they were docked two points, with four suspended, for breaches of regulations relating to payment of wages.

That decision left them above Stevenage in the table, but the outcome of the appeal meant the Silkmen dropped to the foot of the table, having been deducted a total of 17 points over the course of the 2019-20 season, across three disciplinary cases."


Wrexham "confirm that, on the first day of pre-season, four players have put pen to paper on new deals.

The club’s longest-serving player, Mark Carrington, is signed up for another season having made his 200th league appearance for the club at the start of the last campaign.

Fellow stalwart Paul Rutherford has also signed for the new season, alongside goalkeeper Christian Dibble.

Youth player Jake Bickerstaff, who scored on his first-team debut against Ayr United in the SPFL Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup last season, has signed his first pro deal.

The club can also confirm talks are ongoing with defender Max Cleworth and goalkeeper Dawid Szczepaniak."

Meanwhile the Leader Live tells us that at Wrexham manager "Dean Keates is optimistic that his threadbare squad will have more bodies added to it by the end of the week.

Keates had completed the signing of left-back Jamie Reckord and returning midfielder Elliott Durrell who join six players, captain Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Jay Harris, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond and Dan Jarvis, already under contract for the 2020-21 National League campaign.

Although Bobby Grant has joined Oldham Athletic on a season-long loan and Davis Keillor-Dunn has followed the attacking midfielder to the League Two club, Keates... is confident there will be more transfer activity throughout this week...

Said Keates, 'A few things have gone out to players. I have had conversations with players and it is just a case of getting them finalised... It is not a concern of mine to say we have only got these players in contract, and the couple we are in negotiations with. I would like to think that by the end of the first week, our numbers could quite easily have doubled... The handful in contract, they are the ones that are the framework already there to build a squad around.

'It is me making sure I get the recruitment right and the right players are added to that group already in contract.'

Keates was frustrated that attacking midfielder Keillor-Dunn, who impressed after signing for the Reds in the January transfer window, decided against extending his stay.

'It is disappointing,' said Keates. 'We put something to him even before this pandemic had started but his agent dragged his feet on it, and then it went completely quiet with the pandemic. Davis told me he wanted to stay and he was happy with it, but ultimately the carrot was dangled to play in the league above and that persuaded him'...

The FA has recommended that if a second [Covid-19] wave leads to the upcoming season also being suspended, clauses are put into contracts to stop wages being paid.

'The budget has been put to me and we know what we have got to invest in players,' added Keates".

Managerless Barnet "announce that promising young defender Loic Hernandez has signed a new contract with the Club.

The Barnet FC Academy graduate has signed a deal that will see him stay at the Club for at least the 2020/21 campaign.

The 20-year-old defender signed his first professional deal in the summer of 2018 after coming through the ranks of our academy system. Loic then gained some first-team experience with a loan move to Wingate & Finchley during the 2018/19 season. Hernandez made his senior debut in September 2019, keeping a clean sheet in our 1-0 win over Maidenhead United at The Hive London. He's since made two further appearances in a Bees shirt...

Hernandez said 'It's another year to play football and develop, so that is the main focus... I have got a bit of first-team experience and now it is about kicking on and moving forward'">

Boreham Wood "would like to thank some of our long serving sponsors, who have over the years become firm friends, after learning that some of our very loyal local companies, are not in a position to sponsor the Club this season due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions...

This is of course a huge blow to the Club, as it may affect our workforce and perhaps even our first team budget and play-off ambitions but the Chairman and everyone associated with BWFC are working around the clock to ensure that doesn’t happen.

That said, this news was always something that we feared could happen with perhaps many more of our sponsors and we are just happy that so many have managed to stay with us. With these things now sorted, we have already budgeted for this downturn within next season’s budget...

Chairman Danny Hunter said, 'It’s perhaps the end of an era for me to lose such loyal sponsors from LEXUS, Mango Tree, Panchai and Reggiani, who for many, many years, have helped me build the mindset and structure of the Club on such solid foundations... I’d be lying if I said it isn’t a huge blow, but it has also has not come out of the blue and it is totally understandable... I’m forever grateful for their contributions...

'Over the last decade they really have all helped me... build such a talented workforce at the Club and within the academy, and they’ve also helped me build a winning mindset and formidable dressing room'">

Down at Ebbsfleet United "Left-sided midfielder James Dobson is the Fleet’s first signing of this week as he arrives from Dagenham & Redbridge on a season-long loan.

' 'The 28-year-old former Sutton United player moved up to the National League with the 'U's in 2019 after a series of eye-catching performances for Slough Town... {He] was the Rebels’ leading scorer for two seasons running.

James started out on scholarship forms with Oxford United and learned his trade as a youngster with the likes of Oxford City, Chesham United and Aylesbury United... It was his second spell with Slough from 2016 where his career really ignited and he scored 62 goals in 185 games in Berkshire...

Paul Doswell paid an undisclosed fee for him for Sutton in January 2019 and he played 18 games for the Surrey side before moving on to Dagenham & Redbridge and signing a two-year contract under Peter Taylor. He played 22 games in the National League for the Daggers last season, ending the campaign with a loan spell at Hemel Hempstead Town. Although primarily a wide left-sided operator with a powerful left-foot in open play and set-piece situations, James can also operate on the right."

17 August 2020


The Glasgow Times reports that "The son of Celtic legend Jonathan Gould has signed a deal with Altrincham Town [sic] in England's National League.

Matthew Gould, 26, previously played on trial with Hamilton Accies last month in a bid to win himself a deal but has now completed a move to the Robins.

The goalkeeper previously starred for National League North club Spennymoor Town. He previously spent the 2015/16 season in Scotland at Livingston, during which time he was loaned out to Stenhousemuir.

He is the son of one-time Celtic keeper Jon, who won the League Cup and Premier League double with the Parkhead club in 1998, and grandson of ex-FA Cup-winning manager Bobby".


Altrincham have signed Spennymoor Town keeper Matthew Gould. John Edwards interviewed him for Alty TV. As well as rivalling Tony Thompson as Alty's no.1, he will take on a goalkeeping coaching role at Altrincham as well.

By coincidence, given that his next competitive game could well be for Alty at Moss Lane, he was in goal for the visitors in the last home game of the 2019-20 league season at the J. Davidson Stadium before lockdown, when Altrincham defeated the Moors 4-1.

Gould, 26, had been at Spennymoor since the start of 2018-19 season. His father is goalkeeper Jonathan Gould (Glasgow Celtic) and he is the grandson of Bobby Gould. Older fans will remember Bobby Gould as a prolific striker in the 1960s and 1970s at the likes of Coventry City, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United. Bobby also went on to manage Wimbledon's "Crazy Gang" to FA Cup success.

Right: Matthew Gould directs his defence as Spennymoor visited the JDS in March 2020.

Though born in Warwickshire, Matthew was brought up in New Zealand and his goalkeeping career began there at Hawkes Bay United (2011). From there, he moved into football in Western Australia (2014) and his first English club was Cheltenham Town, a club he joined early in the 2014-15 season. From there he had a loan at Bishop's Cleeve (2015) before heading up to Scotland where he played for Livingston (2015/16)in a spell which included a loan to Stenhousemuir.

Early in 2016 he went, at first on loan, to Stourbridge. There, in 2017-18, he played against Alty in a 4-1 defeat at Moss Lane but in the 1-1 draw in The Midlands he saved a Johnston penalty, though Hancock netted the rebound.

At the end of that season, he joined Spennymoor Town where he kept 20 clean sheets in 50 games in 2018-19. In the play-off final against Chorley, who had beaten Alty on penalties in the semi-final, Gould saved two penalties in the shoot-out but the Magpies triumphed 4-3.

11 x 9 = 0

With the departure of Elliott Durrell, see below, no fewer than NINE players who have worn the Altrincham number eleven shirt in league games or first-team FA knockout competition matches during the 2019-20 season have since left the club; though one has since returned.

The nine players are listed below, with the number of games in which they wore the no.11 shirt:

  • Nathan Arnold - 2 games
  • Yusifu Ceesay - 2 games in league and 1 in FA Cup ; he left during the season, at the end of his loan, but has returned this summer for 2020-21.
  • Elliott Durrell - 5 games
  • Max Harrop - 3 games
  • Ashley Hemmings - 6 games in league and 3 in FA Cup
  • Craig Mahon - 4 games
  • Ethan Walker - 1 game in FA Trophy
  • Luke Wall - 3 games in league and 1 in FA Cup
  • Lewis Walters - 2 games

As seen, right, Max Harrop was just one of the nine players to wear the number 11 shirt in 2019-20.

The only player to wear the cursed shirt and to remain at the club was Tom Peers who wore it on nine occasions in the league and three more in FA competitions. Although the curse of the no.11 thankfully has not resulted in Alty being rendered Peer-less, they nevertheless remain peerless on the pitch!

ON THIS DAY: 17 August

In 2020 Altrincham may have been the opposition in the last games played at two stadia, York City's Bootham Crescent and Boston United's York Street. But seven years ago today, on 17 August in 2013, they had a contrasting experience as they became Worcester City's first opponents to play them in a home game away from St George’s Lane for 108 years .

Left: Jamie Walshaw battles for the ball agaimst Worcester

It was a Skrill North match played on a Saturday at Kidderminster Harriers's Aggborough stadium and was the opening match of the season.

In the game, Alty had to come back from a 0-1 deficit at the interval, Danny Glover having impressively volleyed his side ahead after 26 minutes and the home team deserved their first-half advantage. Just after making a double change as Clee and Perry came on, Reeves headed a leveller after 63 minutes. Perry headed a second after Havern headed on a corner won by Clee, who made a real difference to the team's showing (74 mins). Substitute Rodgers, uncharacteristically playing up front, made it 3-1 (89 mins).

Altrincham included four of their five new first-team faces for 2013-14 in today's squad, namely strikers James Walshaw and Kyle Perry, defender Mike Williams and winger Brian Smikle, (the latter two no strangers to Aggborough). However, youth team graduate midfielder Rob Gilroy, who has had a groin problem, was not in the squad.

In addition, Alty included midfielder Danny Boshell, who had ended the previous season on loan to Alty from Guiseley, but had now signed for the club for 2013-14. Simon Richman was also missing through injury so could not face his former club.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Mike WILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Brian SMIKLE, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs 12. Matt DOUGHTY, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. Nicky CLEE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 18. Adam REID.


Altrincham FC announce that "This season’s home kit [i.e. for 2020-21] is the result of a lot of hard work from a newly formed ‘kit committee’ led by directors Rob Esteva and John Coyne.

The committee pulled in volunteers from across the club, mixed with footballing staff and members of the Community team, to ensure that football, commercial, community and fan engagement was all considered with the creation of the new kit.

Rob Esteva adds 'From Phil Parkinson and a small group of the first team, to kit man Steve Foster, to Sara Newton with her juniors hat on, and Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jordan Tyms, everybody has helped shape this new shirt.’ Just as importantly, Andrew Flynn and Mark Eckersall were key figures in helping us get to the end product. Andrew has played a huge role in the design of it and Ecky gave us plenty of fan perspective throughout and encouraged us to 'break away from the old a little and be a little bold'...

'Big thanks [go] to Ian Senior and SK Kits for their patience in the process. The feedback from the players has been excellent and we hope it will prove just as popular with all the fans.'...

Last season’s away kit will be making a return for the 2020/21 season. We have also registered the popular yellow and blue kit (worn away at York City in the First Round of the FA Cup) as our third choice... We are delighted to have retained our three principal shirt sponsors for the coming season.

J Davidson Ltd... will feature proudly upon the front of the new home shirt... Principal Energy Solutions... have renewed their sleeve sponsorship for the 2020/21 campaign... Mornflake have added their signature orange to both the back of the shirt and the shorts".


Eastleigh "announce the signing of goalkeeper Joe McDonnell.

The 26 year old signs from fellow National League club Notts County where he made six appearances, keeping two clean sheets.

The talented keeper also holds Football League experience with AFC Wimbledon, where he played for five and a half years before his move to the Nottinghamshire side.

McDonnell said... 'I don’t live too far away so coming back down South is a good opportunity for me to get some games in and hopefully get the club up the league.'”

Altrincham old boy "Jeff King has agreed a new one year deal with FC Halifax Town.

The 24 year old has previously played for Bolton Wanderers, FC United of Manchester and St Mirren, he joins new Club Captain, Nathan Clarke, and Jamie Allen in extending his time with the Shaymen having joined us last summer.

King made 22 starts for Town last season and 13 substitute appearances in a season which saw Pete Wild’s side reach the play-offs".

Wealdstone FC "announce that Moses Emmanuel has signed a one-year contract ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Emmanuel joined the Stones in January 2020, started the final nine games of the season and scored four goals, including a match-winning brace at Havant & Waterlooville on his second appearance.

The 31-year-old centre-forward gained his fourth promotion from the National League South in 2019/20 and will be playing for his fifth club in the National League next season.

Emmanuel on signing his new deal [said], 'I'm delighted to have re-signed for the club. I felt really at home in the short period of time before the season was stopped... There's a real family feel at the club and all the fans are so welcoming. It really helped having worked with the management team and a few of the players before when I first came which helped me kick on quickly...

'I'm buzzing to have won the league, it was fully deserved by the players and staff. It’s really good that we’ve manage to keep the majority of the same squad and think that will help to really compete in the National League... I don't really set targets, I just plan to work as hard as I can for the team and score goals. As always I want to pass the twenty mark for goals.'"

A goalkeeper signing is reported at Yeovil Town who "confirm an extended deal for Adam Smith to sign from Forest Green Rovers for the upcoming season.

Making five appearances across two loan spells, Smith now extends his time in Somerset.

Prior to his time at Yeovil, Smith had enjoyed stints within the Football League with Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers and Northampton Town whom he won promotion from League Two with, earning himself a spot in the 2014/15 League 2 PFA Team of the Year along the way..

The new number one couldn’t wait to be back... Smith will know he has the full confidence of Darren Sarll, who was delighted to secure his signature for the season. 'Adam is first and foremost a really brilliant character. We have a great faith that we can drag that little bit extra out of him, now is a really good time for that as he’s had some indifferent experiences.

'We feel now he’s at his most hungry and urgent to have a good year, so I’m really pleased we can get him in.'"

16 August, 2020


Today, Sunday, Wrexham have announced that they "are pleased to welcome midfielder Elliott Durrell back to the Racecourse for a second spell, after he signed a one-year deal for the 2020-21 season.

Durrell, who most recently played for Altrincham, last played for Wrexham between 2014 and 2015. During his time at the Racecourse, he was a team-mate of current manager Dean Keates, while another recently returned midfielder, Jay Harris, was also alongside them in midfield.

The 31 year-old returns to the Racecourse having played for Tamworth, Chester, Macclesfield, with whom he won the National League, York City and Altrincham since leaving.

In his first spell at the club, Durrell made 30 league appearances and scored four goals, and admitted the chance to return to the Racecourse was too good to turn down. Durrell said 'Having played with [Dean Keates] before, he knows what I can do. A lot’s changed since I was last here but as soon as I knew there was interest from the club, and from Dean, it was a no-brainer really. Having been involved in a squad with Dean, I know he’s a winner and those are the sort of players he is looking to add to the squad. There isn’t a bigger winning mentality in a player than one like Jay Harris.

'It’s great to be back and I can’t wait to get going now. In some ways there could be some unfinished business. Since the last time I was here, I’ve gone away and worked hard and made a success of where I’ve been and that’s something I want to bring back here now.'”

Durrell leaves Altrincham having scored more goals than games he had started for the club. He made 5(+2) appearances and netted 6 goals, all of which came in his first five appearances.


The Board of Altrincham FC has issued a statement in which co-chairman Bill Waterson [left] says that "Over the next 48 hours or so, we hope to be in a position to announce our squad for the 2020-21 season, along with squad numbers, in keeping with how things are done in the National League, as well as launching our new home kit for the next two seasons, which should happen tomorrow [Sunday].

The new-look kit will be available for sale from the new club online shop, which will go online tomorrow in conjunction with the kit launch.

On Monday, we will issue a formal club statement, outlining our approach to the 2020-21 season, giving definitive answers to how the campaign will be run, our approach to selling tickets, match day protocols and what we (currently) can and can’t do...

Also on Monday, we will be publicising a number of job/volunteer opportunities to support the club, as we gear up for our most challenging season for many years...

Monday is shaping up to be a busy day, indeed, with the first formal training session of the Altrincham FC Elite Academy...

Over the course of the next two weeks, we hope to be able to update you on developments with sponsors and investors and give an overview more generally of our budgeting process for 2020-21". Follow the above link for the full statement.


Pending the announcement of the 2020-21 squad, and after the announced departures of Elliott Durrell, Steven Drench, Max Harrop, James Hooper, Craig Mahon and Lewis Walters, of the Altrincham players who made league appearances in 2019-20 and/or were still at the club as the season was concluded, the following seemingly remain...

Remaining players, subject to any future announcements...

  1. Shaun DENSMORE (31) - defender, joined September 2008
  2. Connor HAMPSON (27) - defender, joined November 2017
  3. Josh HANCOCK (29) - forward, joined May 2017
  4. Tom HANNIGAN (32) - defender, joined May 2016
  5. Jordan HULME (29) - forward, joined July 2017
  6. Daniel MOONEY (21) - winger/forward, joined February 2020
  7. Jake MOULT (31) - midfielder, joined August 2012
  8. Toby MULLARKEY (23) - defender, joined May 2019
  9. Tom PEERS (24) - forward, rejoined May 2019
  10. Simon RICHMAN (30) - midfielder, joined June 2011
  11. Tony THOMPSON (25) - goalkeeper, joined July 2017
  12. Andy WHITE (27) - defender, joined December 2017
  13. Sean WILLIAMS (28) - midfielder, rejoined May 2018
  14. Elliot WYNNE (22) - goalkeeper, rejoined July 2020

Right: Yusifu Ceesay has joined Altrincham this summer on a two-year contract, after two previous spells at the club on loan from Blackpool

New signings

  1. Yusifu CEESAY (25) - forward
  2. Ritchie SUTTON (34) - defender


Following the premature death in midweek of Altrincham supporter and tireless volunteer Mark Eckersall, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger has added to the tributes paid to "Ecky".

Manager Phil Parkinon was so impressed by the dedication that Mark had shown towards the Club, notably when travelling to Kidderminster this season to watch Alty, despite being ill. Phil said, "I told the players all about him at the end of the game and what he had gone through to offer his support.

"I left that ringing in their ears and we never looked back after that".

Altrincham's club and media officer Brian Flynn added his appreciation of Mark saying, "He was the fans' leader at home and away matches... My feeling of loss is greater than any I have experienced outside of my own family"


It is 16 years since Altrincham made a Monday night trip on 16 August 2004 to Hurst Cross for their first away season of what was to prove a promotion season out of the Conference North

It took a last-minute goal from Colin Little to put Alty three points clear at the top of the nascent Nationwide North table by virtue of the fact that everyone else, except these two opponents, had played just a single game.

The narrow 1-0 win came after it had seemed that all of Altrincham's good work in the opening period had come to nothing. For the first twenty minutes Altrincham attacked very well with Hardy's overhead kick hitting the post, Wright prompting a good save and Little driving a shot narrowly wide as Ashton were kept on the back foot.

But Alty lost their way a little and, despite five corners in the first 20 minutes of the second half, found themselves defending in the closing minutes as Ashton substitute Steve Smith caused problems on the right wing. However, following a freekick, a cross from Potts from the right was helped on in front of goal by either Aspinall or Hallows or both, to the incoming Colin Little who had a simple tap-in to score at the back post. Four minutes of added time did not alter the outcome.

Ashton United had only gained a place in Conference North due to the demise of Telford United, whilst Altrincham had needed a last-day win over Runcorn to confirm their place in the new set-up. The previous Saturday to this game, Ashton had lost narrowly at Nuneaton whilst Altrincham had finished strongly to run out 4-1 winners over Gainsborough Trinity.

Torrential rain at about 6pm had virtually cleared before the match started and a bright, generally dry evening followed.

Mark Maddox (4 games), Gary Talbot (2) were again out of action through suspension but Barry Shuttleworth was eligible once again after his ban had kept him out the previous Saturday and he was on the bench at Ashton. The starting line-up was the same as the previous Saturday's with Shuttleworth's replacement of Holt the only alteration to the squad. Altrincham sported a new all yellow change-kit for the first time.

On their left wing, Ashton included former Ossett Albion man Nicky Clee, who of course later joined Altrincham. Another new signing, Alan Bailey (from Mossley) was on the Ashton bench. In goal was Ashley Connor, the former Harrogate keeper as Ashton's Yorkshire-based and former Altrincham manager, Gerry Quinn, continued his policy of finding talent from across the Pennines. Another new face was tall striker, Josh Mitten whose former clubs include our neighbours Flixton. He too, was to play for Altrincham. He partnered Dean Johnson up front. Johnson had seemed bound for Barrow in close season but had finally decided to stay at Hurst Cross.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Stephen ROSE, 5. Peter BAND (capt.), 6. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Eddie HUSSIN, 9. Niell HARDY, 10. Peter WRIGHT, 11. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 12. Marcus HALLOWS, 14. Ged KIELTY, 15. Kieran LUGSDEN, 16. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 17. Stuart WRIGHT.


Laurie Brown played for both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur before becoming Altrincham's player-manager. He is the subject of Terry Rowley's latest Alty Legend.


The Blackpool Gazette tells us that "Tom Walker and Jordan Williams have left AFC Fylde, who are 'very hopeful' of signing Stockport County forward [and ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell on loan.

Midfielder Walker has joined newly-promoted League Two club Harrogate Town, while winger Williams has agreed a two-year deal with Stockport County, both transfers for undisclosed fees.

Fylde have also revealed plans for Bell to move in the opposite direction as part of the Williams deal. Terms on a permanent move could not be agreed, though the Coasters still hope to sign the 23 year-old on a season-long long. Fylde owner David Haythornthwaite spoke of the club's 'arrogance and naivete' over the loss of Walker, after Harrogate took advantage of a release clause in his contract activated by relegation.

The midfielder, 24, joined Fylde from Salford City on a two-and-a-half year deal in January, scoring four goals in nine appearances before lockdown. Haythornthwaite said 'I’m very sad to see Tom go as we really never got to know him that well. You live and learn, and the clause inserted into his contract released him only in the event of relegation. At the time it was almost laughable as we considered it inconceivable that could happen. Life does that to you, though, and losing Tom is a result of our arrogance and naivete at that time'...

Williams, 27, was midway through a two-year Fylde deal following his departure from Rochdale. He was the Coasters' top scorer last season, with 13 goals from 37 appearances.

Left: Nyal Bell, who joined Alty on a month's loan from Gateshead on 19 August 2016. A 6ft 2ins forward, Bell had earlier in summer 2016 joined Gateshead from Rochdale. He had made three appearances for Rochdale's first team but was also loaned to Droylsden and Chester FC in 2015-16. He made three appearances for Chester and likewise at Altrincham, where only two of those games were starts. He did not score whilst at Moss Lane.

A Fylde statement on the wide man's exit reads, 'The club understands some fans will no doubt be disappointed with Williams’s departure, especially as it follows so quickly on the heels of Tom Walker leaving. However, the circumstances are totally different as in Walker’s case we had no option other than to accept Harrogate’s offer.

'In Williams’s case this was not so, as he still had a year of his contract to run. We therefore had to consider all the factors when deciding whether or not to let Jordan go... but the player's desire to go elsewhere combined with what eventually was a very, very good offer from Stockport made the decision easy for us in the end.'

Stockport boss Jim Gannon said of the deal 'We have worked with Jordan before at Northwich and really like him as a person and a player. Jordan brings a level of performance and goals which mark him out as an outstanding performer at National League. In our ideal squad, we wanted a left attacker who had pace and directness to penetrate, but who also possessed the ability to create and score consistently, a constant threat. Jordan brings that.'

As for the possible arrival of Bell at Fylde, the club adds 'The (Williams) deal, which had been agreed since last Monday, also included Nyal Bell coming to Fylde. But, unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts this week, we were unable to meet his agent's terms. Jim (Bentley, Fylde boss) and the management team really like Nyal but we have limits to where we will go.

'However, we are still very hopeful Nyal will come to us on a season-long loan, although this has still to be agreed with Stockport.' The 23-year-old Mancunian joined Stockport two seasons ago from Gateshead... and then making 37 National League appearances last season, scoring six goals. He started his career at Rochdale, playing three times in League One in 2014-15, and has had loan spells at four non-league clubs."

Meanwhile, the Lytham St Anne's Express reports that "New assistant manager Nick Chadwick can be a great help to AFC Fylde’s players both on and off the field, as defender Luke Burke knows from personal experience.

New number two Chadwick is set to take charge of the Coasters in the early stages of the season, while Jim Bentley recuperates after heart surgery. Burke knows Chadwick from Wigan, where Fylde’s number two worked in the academy...

Burke told the Fylde website... 'We would have days when we worked together, which were great... but away from football he’s helped me out a lot as well... I popped into the Wigan training ground for a chat and he gave me good advice.

'He was there for me and he helped me to try and clear my head. I’m really grateful for that'...

Players had personal regimes for staying fit and active during lockdown but Burke’s was certainly unusual, as he explained. He said 'One of my family friends is a bricklayer, so I did some labouring for him. It was a bit of an experience getting my hands dirty and I got cramp in some places I never thought you could get it.

'I tried to keep fit after having a bit of a rest period. It was hard to get motivated to get running when you don’t know when you’re coming back. I went on plenty of bike rides and did a few little sessions with the ball'".

FC Halifax Town "caught up with new signing Jake Hyde on his decision for joining the ‘Shaymen’ despite numerous other contract offers for the 20/21 campaign.

He said, 'I have loads of reasons for signing for Halifax but the main components that made the decision easy was [sic] the Gaffer, the coaching team and what he wants to achieve here. It’s a good club with a great history; speaking to him changed my outlook... What I like about this club is the sky’s the limit, everything is there to kick on so why not be ambitious and go after it?

'The Club had a good season last year but the Manager is not content with that, he wants to go again and that’s how it should be in my opinion... I liked the confidence he showed in me from day one and his plan of how he wants to play football going forward... Sometimes it isn’t the biggest club or the best contract that has the overall package, it’s the right club for you to progress and thrive with. Right now I feel that’s here for me'".

And also, FC Halifax Town "announce that defender Nathan Clarke has committed to the Club for a further year and forward Jamie Allen has agreed a deal for the next two seasons.

Halifax born Clarke joined Town two years ago and has vast Football League experience with the likes of Huddersfield Town, Leyton Orient and Bradford City.

The 36 year-old made 38 appearances last season scoring two goals including a goal from inside his own half against Ebbsfleet United... Allen joined Town last summer from Dover Athletic, he made 23 starts and 13 substitute appearances during the 2019/20 season, scoring three goals for the Club."

At Stockport County "The Club is delighted to announce the signing of winger Jordan Williams from AFC Fylde, for an undisclosed fee. The 27 year old has signed a 2-year contract at Edgeley Park...

Williams spent his early career in non-league football with Burscough, Northwich Victoria and Barrow, before signing for Rochdale in June 2017. He made 30 appearances for Rochdale, and enjoyed a loan spell at Lincoln City before joining AFC Fylde...

Manager Jim Gannon said 'I think our fans will take to Jordan, due to his committed, honest, hardworking approach to everything he does... We identified Jordan as the number one target for left attacker and Simon has worked tirelessly on making this deal happen...

'Simon recognised that we needed at least three goal scorers capable of reaching a large percentage of the team’s goals. We believe Jordan will be one of them, and potentially within the group we have up to five players capable of reaching double figures within the team. Jordan’s ability to penetrate and his technical ability from open play and set plays also brings an added dimension to other important aspects of our game which will be important to ensuring our success on the pitch.'"

15 August 2020


Two more players have joined goalkeeper Steven Drench, midfielder Max Harrop and forward James Hooper in leaving Altrincham FC this month as Altrincham FC announces that "Craig Mahon and Lewis Walters have both been released by Altrincham".

  • Craig Mahon

    Thirty-one year-old Craig joined Alty from Chester FC on 24 January 2020, as John Johnston departed in the opposite direction. Craig had just been on loan at Ashton United as he recovered from injury but, before that, he had been the record appearance-maker (239 games) at Chester FC since the formation of the club from the ashes of the defunct Chester City. He had played ten games for Chester FC in 2019-20 in all competitions prior to his move to Moss Lane.

    Craig had been a target of Phil Parkinson in summer 2019 but had elected to remain at Chester at that time. He had joined Chester FC in May 2013 from Vauxhall Motors, having previously been with Wigan Athletic (2008/9). At Wigan he had a loan spell with Accrington Stanley in League Two (2008/9) and became a Republic of Ireland youth international. Having been released by Wigan, Craig joined Salford City in 2009 before arriving at Burscough (2010). He had made 24 appearances for the Ammies before his move.

    Early in 2010/11 season he joined Vauxhall Motors, where he made 117 appearances, before joining Chester in May 2013. Initially, when he joined Chester FC, he went on loan to AFC Fylde, before establishing himself at the Deva Stadium. He went to Ashton United on loan in December 2019 before joining Alty.

    On departure from the J. Davidson Stadium he had made eleven appearances for Altrincham, six of them starts, but had not scored a goal.

  • Lewis Walters

    25 year-old Lewis made his debut for Alty in a pre-season friendly at Atherton Collieries on 16 July, 2019. He opened his goalscoring account in the following friendly, against Blackpool, before missing the next game to go on trial elsewhere.

    He returned to play part of the following match against AFC Fylde, who had been his most recent club. His earlier clubs were Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Barrow and Guiseley. Leeds-based, Lewis had trials at Carlisle United in summer 2018.

    After two league starts for Altrincham and two appearances from the bench, Lewis went on loan to Buxton in early September 2019. He returned briefly, without appearing again for the Altrincham first team though he did turn out for the Reserves. On 15 October he started a month's loan at Ashton United before moving on to Trafford, where his initial loan was extended in December to cover the period to 18 January 2020.

    In November 2019, Lewis was named Trafford's Player of the Month. He was recalled from his loan in January 2020 after making nine starts for the Shawe View club, in which he scored four goals. Overall he made three starts and seven further appearances from the bench, scoring one goal, a well-taken effort at AFC Telford United, which he is seen celebrating, right.


Peter Conning is the latest Alty Legend in Terry Rowley's ongoing series about players who have left their mark on the history of Altrincham FC. In Peter's case he was also to become a well-known figure at Weymouth.


From Surrey, Woking announce that "Connor Hall has returned to Woking Football Club, signing a permanent deal for 2020/21. The young forward, 22, returns to the Cards having spent eight games on loan in 2017.

Connor most notably scored in the 3-2 comeback win against Chester in 2017, all but ensuring the Cards' National League survival in Garry Hill's final season as boss. He now joins Woking permanently, looking to carry on his good form from last season, when he scored three goals in six games on loan at Chorley before the season was cut short".

At Weymouth Josh McQuoid, "the Terras captain, extends his stay at the Bob Lucas Stadium ahead of our long awaited return to the National League.

He said 'I’m looking forward to the new challenges and to test myself at that level again... Back to back promotions at any level are a massive achievement. So, when we went through on penalties, it was an amazing feeling. To be honest there was a bit of relief as well. Watching penalties is never nice!...

'We will go into the new season full of confidence from the previous season. We have played sides in the cup from the league above and more than held our own. We know it’s going to be a challenge but it’s all one we are looking forward to...

'It’s been a difficult time for everyone and the [fans] still managed to be a massive part of our promotion helping with fundraising and other[wise] just being brilliant. We wouldn’t of [have] managed it without them'".

At Notts County "Goalkeeper Joe McDonnell has decided to join fellow National League side Eastleigh ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

The 26-year-old, who joined us on a short-term deal last season to cover for the injured Sam Slocombe, has turned down our offer of a new contract to join the Spitfires, who are situated close to his home town of Basingstoke.

'I would like to thank the management, coaching staff, office staff, players and all the fans for making my short stay an enjoyable one, said McDonnell".

FC Halifax Town "have snapped up 30 year-old striker Jake Hyde from fellow Vanarama National League side Woking.

The 6ft 1 frontman scored 16 goals in the reduced National League season and finished the season as one of the top goal-scorers in the League.

Hyde started his career at Swindon Town and has had spells at Barnet, Dundee, Barnet, York and his hometown club Maidenhead United. He has also represented the England C team during his career.

He joined Woking two seasons ago and was part of their team that won promotion to the National League in the 2018-19 campaign".


The National League reports that "Squads are really starting to take shape as managers up and down the country go into recruitment overdrive ahead of the new campaign.

Boston United have pulled off a big transfer coup after snaring Jordan Burrow following his departure from York City. He scored 15 National League North goals last term... but Steve Watson has been quick to replace him with FC Halifax’s [ex-Alty striker] Jack Redshaw joining up. Former Wrexham loan defender Kieran Kennedy has meanwhile joined the Minstermen, along with Michael Duckworth.

Eastleigh have had a busy week with three new players putting pen to paper. Goalkeeper Joe McDonnell, who ended last season at Notts County, comes on board, alongside Reading striker Ben House and Northern Ireland U21 international defender Pierce Bird.

John Goddard is back at Woking, four years after leaving for the Football League. Connor Hall has also agreed terms. But Alan Dowson must tackle next season without towering central defender Moussa Diarra, after Havant & Waterlooville’s impressive summer recruitment drive continues.

National League newcomers Altrincham have signed Yusifu Ceesay and Ritchie Sutton as they prepare for the step up.

Yeovil Town have announced the signing of defender Josh Staunton, 24, from Halifax. He told their website... 'Getting back in amongst a dressing room and getting ready for the season, it can’t come soon enough!'

National League Promotion Final winners Harrogate have signed midfielder Tom Walker from AFC Fylde after triggering a release clause in his contract.

Boreham Wood have completed the signing of Hartlepool midfielder Gus Mafuta.

Chelmsford City have announced the signing of experienced Dover goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

Luke Wanadio will be wearing the blue of Billericay Town next season after Jamie O’Hara secured the services of the rapid winger. He will be joined in Essex by Shamir Fenelon and defender Lewis Knight at New Lodge.

Hemel Hempstead’s new manager Lee Bircham has been busy this summer, Wealdstone full-back Ryan Sellers is a signing with a winner's medal around his neck.

Guiseley have a new attacker. Matty Gillam will lead the line following his release from Rochdale. Also, goalkeeper Steve Drench is now a Farsley Celtic player."

14 August 2020


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards writes that "Newly-promoted Altrincham have been tipped to win friends as well as points on their eagerly-awaited return to the National League next season...

The Alty boss, Phil Parkinson, is determined to establish his side as a force in the National League, rather than face another relegation fight, and he was backed to do it in style by co-chairman Bill Waterson.

'The way we play football is substantially different to the way a number of National League sides play,' said Waterson. 'So we will bring something the National League hasn’t necessarily got. I firmly believe we are going to be entertaining, and I think we are going to make a difference.

'This step back into the top division fits in with the strategic plan we unveiled three years ago, and the intention now is very much to keep moving forward and kick on to the next phase of the plan.

'The hard work starts here but we are ready for that. We are about to launch the Academy, with assistant manager Neil Sorvel running it, ground improvements are getting under way this summer with work on the Sponsors’ Lounge and the creation of a Fans’ Zone and we are looking at how we can improve or extend our training regime to get the players into even better shape for facing the National League.'

Waterson singled out centre-back Toby Mullarkey’s outstanding promotion final performance at Boston, after James Jones left to join Barrow, as an example of how the Parkinson philosophy has transformed Alty’s fortunes over the past three years.

'We have seen a conveyor belt of players coming to this club, learning under Phil and Neil and then moving on to greater things,' he said. "But as we have also seen with Toby [right], players can move on to greater things by staying here. Toby can now call himself a National League player.

'I remember the first time I met Phil. I was blown away by his love and enthusiasm for the game, and I thought then he would make a big difference to the club. What a difference he and Neil have made; two promotions in three seasons. They are both ready to kick on with Altrincham, and I think they are going to do great things for us. I am really hopeful of that.'"


To date this summer has seen the departures of goalkeeper Steven Drench, forward James Hooper and midfielder Max Harrop from the squad which completed the 2019-20 season.

Heading into Altrincham have been experienced defender Richie Sutton and 25 year-old winger Yusifu Cessay (left), both on two-year deals.

The Altrincham FC official site has John Edwards's extensive interview ith Alty boss Phil Parkinson to discuss the new arrivals.

"Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson spoke to press and media officer John Edwards...

Of the Ceesay deal, Phil stated "It has been one of the longest negotiations I have ever been involved in, because he wants full-time football... But playing at a higher level than we were before is appealing to him and enables him to see there is a pathway back to where he wants to be. From my point of view, I see in him something completely different to what we have here.

Looking back at the level we’ve just come from, I have not seen anything like Yusifu. The speed, pace, skill, just the basic raw ability he’s got. He has got so much going for him... He does remind me of Thierry Henry. I’m sure, one day, he will play through the middle... There is much more to him than just pace. He has got a really bright future, as long as he can stay injury-free... but I think it’s a risk worth taking"

The manager continued "I’m here, to fulfil my ambitions... We have identified players we know will do a job for Altrincham and who I know personally...

As for Ceesay, "He is taking a risk with us, because we are not full-time, but we are taking an element of risk with him, because of his track record on the injury front. The rewards outweigh the risks", added the manager.

Regarding Sutton, the manager stated "We were going to bring in an up-and-coming young centre-half, as we normally do, but I just felt that would have been a risk, following our promotion to the National League. So, for one, we needed someone who wants to come here, two, somebody who I know, and I know Ritchie from his youth days at Crewe... and, lastly, someone who has a wealth of experience at the level we are going into... He’s come to play and we all know how good Tom Hannigan and Toby [Mullarkey] are, so it should make for very healthy competition... I would say he is an intelligent but physical centre-half.. We’re not getting an ageing 34 year old, we are getting a young 34'".

Follow the above link for the full interview.

Brian Flynn has interviewed the two signings and their Alty TV video interviews are available via the Altrincham FC website.


An Altrincham player who has gone on to make his mark as a leading coach in the USA is Colin Chesters, who is the subject for Terry Rowley in his latest addition to the Alty Legends series.


Ten years ago today witnesed the opening day of the 2010-11 season as Altrincham visited Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town in a Blue Square Bet Premier match.

A well-struck goal two minutes from time by Matthew Barnes-Homer prevented Altrincham from gaining a point against the title favourites as the Hatters won 2-1. Luton dominated most of the attacking play and took the lead after 22 minutes when Czech defender Kroca headed in from close range after a far post corner had been headed back to him.

Alty brought on three subs around the hour mark and one of these, Michael Welch nodded on a Densmore corner to Damian Reeves whose header made it 1-1 after 70 minutes. But Alty could not hold out and, when a bouncing ball deceived Robbie Williams, Barnes-Homer smashed home the winner (88 mins).

The match was watched by 6,665 with 101 Altrincham fans in the away end.

Above: Michael Welch rises to head Shaun Densmore's corner before Damian Reeves arrives from out of the picture to head the ball home for Altrincham's goal.

Over the summer, Altrincham had lost major players in Chris Senior (to Darlington) and Greg Young (to York) and had brought in nine players during the close season. Two of these, however, were players returning to Moss Lane in the shape of Matty Crowell and Michael Welch. New striker Michael Twiss had been injured in pre-season so he missed this match.

However, delays at the Australian FA ruled out Crowell's international clearance and new winger, Kevin Holsgrove, sat the game out with a suspension carried over from last season. So Alty had just 16 players left. The eleven who started included only two new signings; Damian Reeves and Marc Joseph.

With Luton being installed as the bookies' favourites to win the league, this could not have been a more dificult start to the season for Altrincham. The Hatters, celebrating their 125th anniversary wore a special pink and blue kit.

In their four previous encounters, neither side had scored a single goal from outfield play in six and a half hours' action:

  • FA Cup 1st Round: 8 November 2008: Luton Town 0 Altrincham 0
  • FA Cup 1st Round replay, 18 November 2008: Altrincham 0 Luton Town 0 - Warren Peyton missed a penalty for the Robins, then Alty missed two more in the shoot-out to lose 4-2 on spot-kicks.
  • 17 October, 2009, Altrincham 0 Luton Town 1 - Colin Little missed a penalty for Alty but Craddock converted one for the Hatters.
  • 17 April 2010: Luton Town 0 Altrincham 0

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 2. James SMITH, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 11. Nicky CLEE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN, 8. Damian REEVES, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 21. James COATES, 10. Chris DENHAM, 19. Danny HOLMES, 17. Tom McCREADY, 22. Michael WELCH.


Yeovil Town "confirm that Tom Bradbury has left the club following the mutual termination of his contract. The departing defender made 19 appearances in the National League for Town, scoring twice against Sutton United and Hampton & Richmond Borough in the FA Trophy".

Also at Yeovil Town the club "are delighted to complete the signing of defender Josh Staunton.

Signing on a free transfer from fellow National League side Halifax Town, Staunton becomes Darren Sarll’s first addition of the 2020/21 season as preparations begin to ramp up.

Starting his career within the youth ranks at Gillingham, the top tier of non-league football is where Staunton has made his name, playing for both Dagenham and Redbridge and Woking before joining Halifax in 2018.

Last season, Staunton was an ever-present for Halifax, taking part in every game for Pete Wild’s Shaymen."

Wrexham announce that "The dates for the Emirates FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and FA Youth Cup for the 2020-21 season have been confirmed.

Wrexham AFC will enter the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday October 24, along with the 23 other Vanarama National League clubs. Should we progress, the FA Cup first round will be played on Saturday November 7, the second round on November 28 and the third round on Saturday January 9 2021... For this season only, there will be no replays in the FA Cup.

Furthermore, the Football Association has confirmed prize money will be returned back in line with 2017-18 levels as a result of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winners of the Fourth Qualifying Round will receive £9,375, the first round winners earn £22,629 and there is £34,000 up for grabs for the 20 teams winning in the FA Cup second round.

In the Buildbase Trophy, Wrexham and the other Vanarama National League teams will enter the competition in the third round, to be played on Saturday December 19.

Again, there will be no replays in this competition to help ease pressure on the fixture schedule. This year’s FA Trophy carries a £60,000 prize fund for the winners, while the runners-up will receive £30,000. The final is to be played on Saturday May 8.

Finally, Wrexham will enter the FA Youth Cup in the second qualifying round, which will be played in the week commencing Monday October 5. The third qualifying round is a fortnight later, in the week beginning Monday October 19 and the first round proper must be played by Saturday November 7."

Also at Wrexham there is "sad news with the passing of another of our former players, Ernie Phythian". Although he was a striker, Ernie "played in goal during an FA Cup tie at Altrincham due to an injury to the custodian on the day; we earned a 0-0 draw and won the replay". That was in 1963.

Yesterday we reported on two managerless clubs in the National League in Macclefield Town and Barnet and now there is a third as the BBC confirms that "League Two side Southend United have named Weymouth boss Mark Molesley as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The former Bournemouth and Aldershot midfielder, 39, has taken Weymouth to the National League after two promotions in two seasons. Molesley had also been the assistant boss of Bournemouth Under-23s since he ended his playing career.

He succeeds Sol Campbell at Southend, who were relegated from League One last season with four wins from 35 matches.

'We're really excited by this challenge at this great football club so I'm proud to be standing here and excited by the challenge,' said Molesley, whose assistant Tom Prodomo will join him at Roots Hall. 'We've got to open up some cracks, open up the wounds a little bit and have a look because we really want to build some strong foundations to take the club onwards and upwards.'

Former England defender Campbell left Southend by mutual consent in June, with his tenure dogged by financial issues at the club. The Essex club face a winding-up petition for tax owed to HM Revenue & Customs on 16 September, but hope to settle the debt by moving to a new ground at Fossetts Farm and building 502 homes on the land where Roots Hall is located".

Everyone at Macclesfield Town was very disappointed and saddened by the impact of the Independent Disciplinary Commission's decision to uphold the EFL's appeal.

In order to move forward, the Club is currently investigating a number of avenues that are open to us.

Whilst we appreciate that fans will want as much clarity as possible on such options, at this stage it would not be appropriate to divulge any specifics but please rest assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure that we have a Club that we are all proud of."

Hartlepool United confirm that "Gus Mafuta has left the club to join fellow National League side Boreham Wood FC.

The strong, battling midfielder joined the club in the summer of 2019 from Salford and went on to make 30 appearances for Pools with 3 goals.

Before Salford, Gus started with Colchester United youth team and later went on to Bristol City Youth and to captain their under-23s' team. Mafuta then signed for Gateshead FC ahead of the 2015/16 season where he made over 60 appearances for the club. From there he joined Salford".

Barnet have issued a statement to reassure and engage with supporters ahead of what is going to be a crucial time for our Club..

Following on from the earlier news that Darren Currie and Junior Lewis would be departing... this new economic environment means we are unable to continue with the previous Football League-style set up and will need to be leaner moving forward.

The departure of several First Team players was anticipated in the event of us not securing promotion and they leave the Club with our best wishes... In the last two seasons, we funded a talented and ambitious squad to push for a return to the League before the cessation of parachute payments...We came close but not close enough. Our future appointments will mirror the same ambitions but ensure sustainability in light of our continued National League status.

Due to our seven day operation here at The Hive London, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly severe impact for the Club, with all regular revenue ceasing for several months. We were already aware that failure to secure promotion would have a significant impact and now with fans not expected back in the stadium until October, we have to accept that our budget will be substantially reduced. Despite this, the Club is in relatively good shape and we want to be clear that we have no intention of becoming part-time or cutting back on what a Club at our level would be expected to provide.

We will soon appoint a new manager who will have a completely blank canvas to rebuild the squad. There is a huge pool of talented and experienced footballers seeking an opportunity to join a historic Club with facilities like ours. As one of the most desirable clubs to work for in the league, there is no shortage of applicants...

We want to use this opportunity to announce our £199 Legends season ticket offer. It is very likely that next season’s numbers will be capped and the availability of tickets on a matchday will be limited, so we believe a one-payment season ticket will be the best way for you to secure your seat at The Hive next season."


According to NL Daily "Darlington say they have formally requested permission from the National League to temporarily play home games at the Darlington Arena.

National League North Darlo explain 'The club made the request after calculating that under the COVID regulations, our current home of Blackwell Meadows will have its capacity reduced to 550 places, around 17 per cent of its capacity. Our average gate last season of 1485, which includes 650 season ticket holders, is almost three times that figure.

'We have therefore approached the league and asked them on the grounds of safety, for permission to play our home games temporarily at the Darlington Arena, whose 25,000 capacity would be more than sufficient, taking the requirements of social distancing into account.'"

13 August 2020


Altrincham FC announced on Wednesday evening the arrival on contract of their former loanee from Blackpool, Yusifu Ceesay, and also the signing of former Tranmere Rovers and Morecambe defender Ritchie Sutton.

Heading out of Moss Lane are Max Harrop and James Hooper, the latter joining Lewis Archer in joining Alty this season but never getting onto the pitch.


  • Yusifu Ceesay

    Yusifu (d.o.b 21 March, 1995 in Barcelona, Spain) has had two loan spells at Altrincham. A tall, powerful and speedy left-winger, Yusifu rejoined Altrincham for a second loan spell in 2019-20 season, in time to make his second debut, against Farsley Celtic, on 31 August 2019.

    After impressing during this second spell at Alty, Yusifu was sidelined by a hamstring injury in mid-September 2019 before his loan spell ended without any further league appearances on 4 January 2020. Sadly, this second loan comprised just 3(+2) games.

    Yusifu's first loan spell at Altrincham from Blackpool was in 2018-19 season. At that time, on 6 February 2019, it had been the winger's fourth National North loan-club of that campaign. His arrival had immediately followed a month's loan at Nuneaton Town whilst, earlier in the campaign, he had also spent loan spells at Boston United and AFC Telford United. Before that, Ceesay had first emerged at Sporting Khalsa, in the Black Country from where he had moved to Alvechurch.

    Blackpool originally signed him in September 2018 before loaning him out for spells at the three National League clubs mentioned above, as well as for a couple of months back at Alvechurch in autumn 2018.

    In all, before his signing for Altrincham yesterday, his appearances for the club comprised 16(+4) games, in which he netted three goals. He remains based in the Birmingham area.

  • Ritchie Sutton

    34 year-old defender Ritchie's early encounters with Altrincham included appearances for Stafford Rangers in 2006 whilst he was on loan from Crewe Alexandra. He later joined Stafford Rangers, Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town before a spell at Nantwich Town.

    He next played for Port Vale in the Football League (2010-11) before spending four years at Mansfield Town (2011-15).

    Four more years followed at Tranmere Rovers, during which he had a loan spell with Barrow (2016). He was at Morecambe last season before The Shrimps released him this summer.


  • Max Harrop

    27 year-old midfielder Max Harrop joined Altrincham on the eve of the opening game of the 2017-18 season. His career began with Liverpool FC's Academy, before he moved to Bury, where he made his Football League debut in March 2011. At the end of that year he went on loan to Blyth Spartans. After returning to Gigg Lane, another loan followed, at Hinckley United.

    After he had been released by Bury, he joined Nantwich Town in the summer of 2013. However, he left for Ashton United in March 2015 but, at the start of the following campaign, he was at Ramsbottom United. However, he rejoined Nantwich in 2016. His energetic performances and long-range shooting soon made him a popular figure with supporters of Altrincham.

    However, his regular starts were curtailed by injury in February 2019 and of his 41 games in 2018-19, 13 were from the bench. Having got back into the side he was sent off in January 2020 and suspended before making further appearances, predominantly from the bench. 2019-20 also saw his starts limit and he made just nine starts but twice as many appearaances from the bench.

    His Altrincham appearances to August 2020 totalled 63(+44) games and he scored 12 goals.

  • James Hooper

    On 8 February, Altrincham announced the signing of Timperley resident James Hooper (aged 23) on non-contract terms. Following a broken collar-bone before his arrival, James was not immediately available to play and it was agreed that he would remain at his former club, West Didsbury & Chorlton, on dual registration. However, some ten days later, he signed dual registration forms for Witton Albion in the NPL.

    James started out as a professional with Rochdale (2015), where he was their youth team Player of the Season (2014-15). He progressed to play twice for Rochdale in the EFL before loan spells with FC United and Stockport County.

    From Rochdale he joined Carlisle United on a short-term deal, making one League Two appearance for the Cumbrians, before moving on to FC United od Manchester and then Radcliffe Borough (2017) where he became the club's leading scorer that season (2017-18). In summer 2018 he rejoined the professional ranks at Salford City. Later that year he moved on to Chorley, where his games included a late substitute appearance against Alty in January 2019. Early in 2019-20 season he rejoined Radcliffe.

    He was first named in an Altrincham first-team squad in the Play-Off Eliminator against Chester FC on 19 July 2020 but he did not manage to get off the subs' bench in that game or subsequently before his departure was confirmed.


Altrincham and Macclesfield Town were last in the same division in 2015-16 when Altrincham ended the campaign being relegated from the National League and Macclesfield finished tenth.

The Robins then sank to the Northern Premier League in 2017 and, although they won promotion back to the National League North in 2018, their joy was partly offset by The Silkmen winning the National League and regaining EFL status, to maintain a two level differential between the clubs!

After finishing 22nd in the National League in 2019, Macc's 2020 relegation, alongside Altrincham's promotion, brings the Cheshire rivals back together for 2020-21. So, there are now three Cheshire teams in the National League with Stockport County being the third club, having been promoted to that level in 2019.


Curzon Ashton report that the club's "latest signing [is] Darius Palma [right], following his arrival from Northern Premier League North/West side, FC Trafford.

21-year-old Palma has been with Trafford since January 2018, having arrived from Altrincham, and has since then proven his worth on the wing, contributing a number of key goals from wide positions while at Shawe View.

Palma, who can also operate at left-back, had joined Alty back in July 2016, and went on to spend two years with the Robins before making the move across the Manchester to Trafford. While at Moss Lane, he also enjoyed a short term loan spell with Kidsgrove Athletic.

The midfielder is not known solely for his footballing ability, as he has also fought at elite level in kick boxing competitions from the age of six, and has since gone on to register over 15 professional fights, winning at least 10 of those".

Background: 21 year-old Darius made his first-team debut for Altrincham as a substitute at Macclesfield Town in the FA Trophy on 4 January 2017. His league debut followed later that season at Darlington. After a further first-team start in 2017-18 in the Integro Cup, Darius signed dual registration forms with Kidsgrove Athletic in early December, 2017 and in February, 2018 he went on loan to Trafford FC. His appearances for Altrincham totalled three starts and four appearances from the bench.


The latest profile in Terry Rowley's Alty Legends sequence is Frank Briggs, who went on to play in the Football League but had his career compromised by World War II.

ON THIS DAY: 13 August

West Didsbury & Chorlton have strong and friendly links currently with Altrincham, the South Manchester side now being managed by former Reserves' manager at Moss Lane, Chris Rowley. They also feature several players who have also played for Alty. Things were not quite the same fifteen years ago today, on Saturday, 13 August, 2005, when WD&C hosted Altrincham Reserves in a pre-season friendly match which Alty won 6-1. But the term "friendly" turned out to be an inappropriate label as the game was abandoned by the Alty manager after it had become over-physical!

Reserves' boss Neil Brown reported on the game...

Leigh RMI Reserves had only managed to beat West Didsbury & Chorlton 1-0 in the hosts' last game so Altrincham expected a tight match. But, they were already 4-0 up after just seven minutes.

The goals started after two minutes when Heffernan [left] found Lynsey in midfield and, via Jones, the ball came to Grimshaw, who went past two defenders and as the keeper came out, he slotted the ball into the right corner of the net. After four minutes, with Altrincham's pace troubling their opponents, Lynsey in midfield flicked the ball over to Heffernan who, in turn, found McFadden. He fed Maloney who slotted the ball home, sidefooted, from 10 yards. It became 3-0 after six minutes when McFadden beat a defender for pace before shooting past the keeper into the bottom, left corner.

A minute later it was 4-0. McFadden [right] and Monaghan got the ball to Jones, whose mishit effort went to Michael Brown on the far right. He played a good pass to McFadden who, again, beat a defender before powering a shot into the corner of the net.

But West Didsbury replied with a goal on 18 minutes after keeper Milner had called for the ball but failed to hold it. Marsden and Monaghan then collided as they attempted to clear the danger and left an open goal for Mohammed to score. The scorer had, ironically, been loaned to the opposition by Alty for whom he had applied for trials.

But Alty soon went to the other end and made it 5-1, after 21 minutes, when slick play, involving Heffernan and Lynsey saw the ball flicked to Maloney and on to Brown on the wing. He found McFadden who scored. It was 6-1 after 25 minutes when Griffiths got the ball and Mike Brown then found Mongahan on the overlap. The passing continued, via McFadden to Griff Jones, who rounded the keeper to score into an open goal.

In the second half Alty were playing very well with pace and neat one-touch passing but their opponents' physical response led to problems in the second half. Just before the hour goalkeeper Ellison slid out to gather the ball as Mohammed advanced and the striker's boot connected with the keeper's head after the ball had been gathered by Ellison. With Ellison looking badly hurt, a melee developed and the referee sent off Mohammed, though Alty allowed a replacement player to come on. Then McFadden was elbowed in the face and after a studs-up tackle caught former Vics man, Bingham, Alty manager Neil Brown withdrew his side from the game to avoid further injuries. It was an unfortunate end to a "friendly" game.


Following their latest points' deduction and resulting relegation, NL Daily reports that "Macclesfield Town head coach Mark Kennedy and assistant Danny Butterfield have left the club.

The former Crystal Palace pair have declined the club’s contract offers, Macc say... Former Republic of Ireland international Kennedy was named as Macc’s head coach back in January."

And another National League club finds itself without a manager as the National League reports that "Barnet are beginning their search for a new manager after Darren Currie left the club.

The Bees have confirmed the departure of their popular boss in a brief statement this morning. He guided the club to a play-off semi final last season after taking a top seven place on the unweighted points per game basis. The season before, he took the North Londoners into the FA Cup third round where they came close to shocking Brentford. Currie’s assistant Junior Lewis has also left the Hive, the National League outfit announced".

Earlier, “Barnet Football Club can today (12th August) announce that Head Coach Darren Currie and Assistant Coach Junior Lewis have left the Club... We will release a more detailed statement in due course.”

And there has been a management blow at a third National League club as the BBC confirms that "Scunthorpe United have appointed Notts County assistant boss Neil Cox as their new manager.

The ex-Aston Villa and Watford defender, 48, has succeeded Paul Hurst, who was sacked by the Iron in January after eight months in charge. This is Cox's first job in full-time management having previously served as Neal Ardley's assistant at both AFC Wimbledon and Notts County. Cox is from Scunthorpe and started his playing career with the club.

'It's been a long time since I left and I'm obviously over the moon to be back,' he told the club website. 'It was the easiest decision I've ever made. I left 29 years ago and I really didn't want to go but I had no other choice at the time'".

According to the Leader Live "Jake Lawlor will be playing in League Two next term after signing for Harrogate Town.

The 29-year-old centre-back spent the last two seasons at Wrexham, where he made 65 league appearances, but he was one of 11 players released by Reds' boss Dean Keates at the start of July.

Lawlor has been snapped up by Harrogate, who clinched promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history by beating Notts County... Prior to joining Wrexham, Lawlor had a brief spell with Salford City and previously spent five years at Guiseley, and also had time on loan at AFC Fylde".

Also from the Leader Live we learn that "The National League season is set to start in less than two months time and Paul Rutherford would love to be turning out for Wrexham on the opening day.

Rutherford is one of three players that Reds’ boss Dean Keates is holding contract discussions with... Rutherford, who arrived at The Racecourse in the summer of 2016 and would be the second longest serving player in the squad after Mark Carrington, hopes to strike a deal with Keates so he can extend his spell with the club into a fifth season.

'It is reassuring that I am part of the gaffer’s plans and hopefully we can get everything sorted, and we can go forward together,' said Rutherford, who has made more than 150 league appearances... 'I love being a part of the football club and I want that to continue... These are difficult times but hopefully we can achieve the outcome that we all want because I want to stay.

'I have loved my spell at the club, it is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life and I want that to continue as long as possible'...

'A misperception by people is football is back in the Premier League and Championship so that means it must be back,' said Rutherford... 'For a club at our level, below and in League One and League Two, matchday income is a massive part of their revenue and [it] is a different ballgame... It is a good move by the National League to put the dates back in line with the statement released by Boris Johnson saying crowds can start to return to venues from the beginning of October.

'If it is not straight away, it is important that as many games as possible are played in front of crowds because clubs need that income'...

Rutherford, a 33-year-old winger who has played for Chester, Barrow and Southport, and his Wrexham team-mates have not returned for pre-season training yet. The Wrexham players could report back on Monday, while the National League are due to announce next season's fixtures on September 8...

Added Rutherford, 'By the time we got to October last season, we were nearly a third of the way through the season because of the scheduling'".

The Derbyshire Times says that "When the Spireites sold Liam Cooper to Leeds in 2014 they negotiated a clause which would entitle them to an additional sum of money if the Whites won promotion to the Premier League and if the defender made a certain amount of appearances during the same season.

Leeds won the Championship title this campaign and Cooper played a large chunk of games, triggering the windfall. The Spireites were taken over by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust last week, and they had been 'assured' by the previous ownership that the payment, believed to be around £150,000, would arrive this week. But to the Trust’s 'surprise', they have since found out that the money had already been received by the club before they took over.

Spireites chairman, Mike Goodwin, said 'We are naturally very disappointed to have missed out on receiving a six-figure sum from the sell-on clause, but the matter was out of our hands. Having been assured that the payment was due to be received by the club this week, it was a great surprise when we took charge of the company bank account to learn that the money had already been transferred prior to the community trust taking ownership.

'It is disappointing, but we had factored in the possibility that this sum of money may not be available to us as it was all down to the timing of the payment and we had no way of influencing that'...

In response, former Chesterfield owner, Dave Allen, said in a statement 'The long and protracted takeover has consistently been delayed by the community trust and the councils, not us. If they had got all their ducks in a row earlier then they would have obviously had the benefit of the money. If they had also conducted a final audit prior to purchasing the club they would have seen that the money had been already received before they went public in the press conference. You don’t buy a house without taking a final meter reading.

'During the delays I had to inject a further £500,000 into the club, so I don’t see a problem. They will of course benefit from any sell on of Sam Morsy in the future, so I guess we are even.'

Former Spireites company secretary, Ashley Carson, added 'We were surprised to see the Liam Cooper money enter our bank account earlier than anticipated. However the six figure sum was only used to pay off CFC 2001 Ltd debt prior to the takeover.'"

According to NL Daily "Eastleigh have announced two new signings ahead of 2020/21, with Ben House and Pierce Bird joining.

Striker House, 21, links up with Ben Strevens’s side after his departure from Reading. He had a loan spell in the National League last season with Dagenham & Redbridge.

Centre-back Bird, meanwhile, also 21, is a Northern Ireland Under-21 international and signs for the Spitfires after leaving Notts County earlier this summer."

At Dover Athletic, "Winger Nassim L’Ghoul has left the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

The Frenchman made the move to Crabble in the summer of 2019 after leaving Welling United.

The 23-year-old scored three goals in 33 appearances in all competitions during his time with us". AFC Wimbledon boss "Glyn Hodges believes that he has unearthed another gem from non-league by snapping up 21-year-old midfielder Ethan Chislett.

The South African-born talent becomes Wimbledon's fifth summer signing after leaving Aldershot Town, where he scored nine goals from midfield in his first season at National League level. Ethan’s debut campaign in the fifth tier of English football really caught the eye and he had scouts from league clubs watching him, as he made 38 appearances for the Shots after joining from Metropolitan Police...

Said Glyn, 'There’s such an abundance of talent at non league level that we had to do our due diligence and know what was out there. We’ve done that. We’ve signed two from Conference clubs with Cheye (Alexander) and now Ethan. They are two players that have earned the chance to step-up and I hope they are successful for the club... We have followed him since then and we looked at him again in January when he was at Aldershot. He had a great season there, scored a lots of goals, and he was tremendous'...

Ethan added, 'At Met Police I was more of a number eight, but in the National League it was more physical, so I was more of a number 10 or a left winger... I’ve come from humble beginnings with the non league background'".


The NW Counties' Football League reports on a new memeber club, FC Isle of Man, whose nickname is The Ravens and who were only founded in 2019.

The "are looking forward to their debut season in the English Non-League system after they were accepted into the North West Counties League Division One South... It took the club two years to reach their goal of joining the English football pyramid with several rules having to be amended along the way for it all to be successful".

There is "an ambitious ultimate aim to take FC Isle of Man into League 2 of the EFL within ten to fifteen years. They are aiming to follow in the footsteps of two other Islands; Jersey have been a great example over the last season in the Combined Counties League, only missing out on promotion through the null and void[img] of the season and, of course, Guernsey are about to commence their tenth campaign...

The rationale for placing FC Isle of Man in the NWCFL Division One South is that they will be playing their midweek games at a ground on the mainland in close proximity to Manchester or Liverpool Airports, so with this as a base it has been used as a calculated basis for placing them within the South Division.

The club will be playing their home games on the Island on Saturday evenings with the games scheduled to start at 1730hrs so that there is no clash with any other football in the vicinity. The club will cover the costs of visiting clubs and match officials travel and hotel expenses for the games, which is a considerable commitment...

They have appointed an experienced Manager in Chris Bass to the hot seat. Chris has been involved in successful IOM club, St George's (whom are based in Douglas) and in nearly two decades with them, guided them to more than 40 trophies in that time. That haul included 13 of the last 16 League titles and four of the Islands Grand Slams...

The club have signed a three year deal with Manx Telecom to become the club's main sponsor... Steve Burns who is Media Co-Ordinator at FC Isle of Man [said] "We have had a strong International side for years and we won the National League Systems cup as recently as 2014 and the Island Games Tournament in 2017 and have always been competitive... We beat Brentford’s B team 5-3 recently, held Connah's Quay to a draw and were only narrowly beaten 0-2 here by Bury FC. We are probably equivalent to Guernsey by way of quality.

"We have two divisions and both have a combination, including reserve sides, so in effect we have four leagues of football. We have a regular top six of sides... These clubs will be feeding players into the FC IOM club and they will have their chance to impress on the wider stage."

12 August 2020


Farsley Celtic confirm that goalkeeper Steven Drench has joined them from Altrincham.

Altrincham signed him from Bradford (Park Avenue) on 28 January 2019, following the Yorkshire club's unexpected decision to allow players to leave. After starting out at Blackburn Rovers (2005), where he works as a coach, Steven played for Morecambe (2006-08) alongside Alty assistant manager Neil Sorvel when the Shrimps gained promotion to the Football League. Next, he joined Southport (2008-09), and subsequently followed Port manager Gary Brabin to Cambridge United on loan.

After leaving the Sandgrounders he signed for Leigh Genesis where he played 45 times (2008–10). A trial at York City came to nothing and, instead, he joined Guiseley, racking up well over two hundred appearances and earning promotion, before moving on loan to FC Halifax Town and then to Bradford PA in 2017, following former Lions' manager Mark Bower to the Horsfall Stadium.

He made his Alty debut against FC United of Manchester on 9 February 2019 but after two further games Steven was sidelined by injury and Tony Thompson resumed as first-choice till the end of the season. Steven started 2019-20 as first-choice keeper but in the sixth game ruptured his Achilles so went through a long recovery period. He was not in the matchday squads for the play-offs in 2020 but was present an apparently lent importance assistance to Tony Thompson in a coaching role.

In all, injury meant that Steven made just nine appearances for Altrincham. He follows the same path as fellow keeper Elliot Wynne who also left Alty for Farsley in . Elliot was the reserebc keeper for Altrincham in the recent play-offs.


Macclesfield Town reported on Tuesday that "As a result of this today's appeal hearing, Macclesfield Town can confirm that the adjudication of the previous Independent Disciplinary Commission has been successfully challenged by the English Football League. The EFL have released the statement below...

'An independent Arbitration Panel has upheld the EFL’s appeal in respect of the outcome of an independent Disciplinary Commission who, in June 2020 had considered misconduct charges brought against Macclesfield Town.

'The charges related to failing to pay a number of players on the applicable payment dates due in March 2020, failing to act with utmost good faith in respect of matters with the EFL and for breaching an order, requirement, direction or instruction of the League.

'The Arbitration Panel confirmed that the two-point suspended sporting sanction activated on 19 June 2020 from previous proceedings will stand and in addition the four-point deduction, originally suspended in the latest proceedings and only to be activated in the event of a further breach of Regulation 63.7 during season 2020/21, will be activated immediately and applied to the 2019/20 table.

'Today’s outcome leaves Macclesfield Town in 24th position in the table on 19 points with a points per game (PPG) total of 23.62, rosition in the table on 19 points with a points per game (PPG) total of 23.62, resulting in the Club’s relegation into the National League.

'The Arbitration panel’s decision is final and binding. The EFL will be making no further comment.'

The Club will be providing further comment in due course".

Relegation would mean that Stevenage will be reprieved from relegation from League Two to the National League.

Amongst the more recent of many Macclesfield misdemeanours, catalogued by the BBC, are...

  • 19 December 2019: A 10-point deduction is imposed, with four suspended, for non-payment of salaries and failing to fulfil a fixture against Crewe. In March, this was reduced to seven points with three suspended after Macclesfield appealed. It meant the club were deducted four points with immediate effect.
  • 7 May 2020: A seven-point deduction follows for failing to play a match against Plymouth and non-payment of wages, with the suspended three points from the first case being applied. That took the total deduction for the season to 11 points. A further two-point deduction was suspended.
  • 19 June 2020: The two-point deduction is activated for a third breach, taking the season's total deduction to 13 points, plus a further four-point suspended deduction.
  • 11 August 2020: The suspended four-point penalty is enforced immediately following the EFL's successful appeal and Macclesfield are relegated.


Terry Rowley's latest profile in the Alty Legends series is former Bolton Wanderers' FA Cup winner, John Higgins, who later played for Altrincham.


Twenty years ago today, in contrast to the situation in 2020, Altrincham had just been relegated back to the Northern Premier League. On 20 August 2000 they travelled to Southport where they lost 2-10 in a pre-season friendly.

Right: Carl Furlong (foreground) and Stuart Scheuber seen during the game at Southport.

Under new manager Mark Ward, this was Alty's fourth successive pre-season defeat and the fifth game without an Altrincham goal. Nevertheless ALtrincham gave a good first-half performance and it was only after substitutions had been made in the second-half, and after the award of a controversial opening goal, that Altrincham became second-best. The substitution of the towering Gary Talbot was perhaps the biggest single reason for Altrincham's second-half demise.

In what was Altrincham's last pre-season friendly, Mark Ward had elected to play a strong starting line-up, although Steve Hawes (suspended for the first three League games) gave way to Stuart Scheuber in midfield, and both Phil Power and Richard Landon were initially confined to the bench. Leroy Chambers and Carl Furlong started up-front and Jason Gallagher was preferred to Barry Crowe at right-back.

Shaun Goodwin, after 45 minutes in the Manchester City friendly, was not in evidence. However, two unexpected sightings at Haig Avenue were Mick Morrell who, on relegation in May 2000, had left Altrincham for Leigh RMI, was present in the stand. Mick was currently recovering from a leg operation. Also in the stand was Southport manager Mark Wright's old crony, England international John Barnes.

Altrincham took to the field in their new away-kit and the blue and white shirts revealed the names of the Club's new sponsors to be "Heyrod", a construction firm. Whilst it is a longstanding football joke that away teams often have to play the referee as well as the opposition, the fact that the programme revealed that three of the four officials were from Southport and the fourth was from Liverpool, threatened to make that nightmare come true.

To be fair, the referee, Mr Miller was correct in most of his decisions though the controversy surrounding Southport's first goal did not reflect well on him. The Southport side included new signings Simon Parke from Guiseley, Mike Marsh from Kidderminster and the former Mansfield player, Dave Linighan. The Sandgrounders side was probably close to their first choice team.

Left Mark Ward and Jason Gallagher at Southport, 2000.

On 57 minutes, the effective Gary Talbot was substituted by trialist Adam Farley. Almost immediately, a fine cross from the left by the marauding Stuart evaded Farley's head and dropped invitingly for Pell near the edge of the box and the ex-Northwich man cracked the ball home firmly past Coburn (58 mins).

However, the one non-Southport official on view, Mr Claro from Liverpool, was resolutely waving his flag having become rooted to the spot more than half-way inside the Southport half. He had clearly seen an offence by Shaun Teale and had kept his flag in the air throughout the time it took for Southport to move the ball forward by sixty yards and score a goal. The referee was persuaded to go and consult his assistant and after a lengthy deliberation had a protracted talk with Teale.

Perversely, although the linesman had clearly seen an offence and had persuaded the referee of its occurrence, Mr Miller allowed the goal to stand.

Then, Phil Power lost the ball to Stuart, who had been Altrincham's chief tormentor in the 0-2 defeat at Haig Avenue in the Conference last season. The balding full-back found Robert Pell whose shot from 25 yards was firm but not outstanding. Much to the Altrincham fans' surprise, Stuart Coburn, who had played so well, seemed to have the ball covered but then somehow allowed it go through his dive to the right and into the net for Southport's clincher (75 mins).

ALTRINCHAM 1. Stuart COBURN 2. Jason GALLAGHER 3. Danny ADAMS 4. Eddie TURKINGTON 5. GARY TALBOT capt 6. Mark WARD 7. Stuart QUINN 8. Stuart SCHEUBER 9. Carl FURLONG 10. Leroy CHAMBERS 11. Kevin ELLISON Subs: 12. Richard LANDON 14. Barry CROWE 15. Steve PORTER 16. Adam FARLEY 17. Steve HAWES 18. Phil POWER.


The Northern Premier League reports that "Ramsbottom United have announced the re-signing... of Mason Fawns [right] for the upcoming 2020/21 season... [He has] signed [a] new contract with the club for the 2020/21 season".

After four first-team appearances for Oldham Athletic, Mason had a loan spell with Ashton United and then with AFC Fylde (from January 2018 to the end of that season) before joining Curzon Ashton. He joined Altrincham from The Nash on 6 February 2019. After two appearances from the bench, Mason was playing for Trafford FC by early March 2019.


Peterborough United "have completed the signing of 17 year-old defender Ronnie Edwards from Barnet with the youngster penning a three-year deal at the Weston Homes Stadium.

Edwards was given permission from the Bees to train at the Mick George Training Academy and he featured in the victory over Peterborough Sports in a behind closed doors friendly. Manager Darren Ferguson admitted... 'He played in a friendly fixture and, within 20 minutes of that game, I had made my mind up, he was excellent. He did everything I asked of him.

'He is a lovely lad, very mature for a 17-year-old and we believe he has real potential', the Posh boss said.

Edwards has been with the Bees since the age of nine and made his debut for the senior team at the Hive in December 2019. He was involved in the Bees play-off squad and has attraction the attention of several league clubs...

Edwards said 'Barnet were great in allowing me to come in and train and play in a game for Peterborough and I thank them for that'".

According to relegation-reprieved Maidenhead United "United’s Josh Kelly is to stay with the club, with the Magpies also bringing in Dan Sparkes and George Wells.

21 year-old attacking player Kelly had seemed set to leave this summer, but he has now agreed a deal for next season.

Wide player Dan Sparkes, meanwhile, is one of two new additions. The 28-year-old arrives after a stint at Barnet.

Left-back George Wells is the other signing, having left Slough Town. Wells, 24, had played for the club in the recent National League South play-offs."

The National League has advised clubs not to sell season tickets yet for next season but the Hartlepool Mail advises that "chairman Raj Singh has praised the club's supporters after the initial batch of season tickets were snapped up.

Almost a fortnight ago, Pools announced its new season ticket plans for the upcoming campaign. The inflated prices, limited availability of 1,000, no early bird option and concession changes were met with a mixed response from Poolies. But that didn’t stop many fans applying for their 2020-21 season ticket at Victoria Park with the first batch already sold out.

As a result, a further 500 tickets have been made available to apply for on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Season tickets have been priced at £325 for adults, £225 for concessions, which will no longer include people aged 60 to 64, £95 for under-16s, £50 for under-12s and free for carers and under-5s...

Raj Singh told the club website 'The response to this campaign has been incredible in the short time since its launch. We feel it is only right to allow more of our passionate supporters to demonstrate their loyalty to the club by releasing another tranche of tickets'...

It is likely that stadium capacities will be significantly reduced when National League football is set to return on October 3.

Dave Challinor currently has 16 players signed up and contracted for the upcoming campaign and acting executive director Martin Jesper believes the fans’ continued commitment will allow for more investment...

Pools have pledged to provide an extra matchday ticket to every season ticket holder who is unable to attend a match due to any crowd number restrictions. A total of 1,500 season tickets have now been made available at Victoria Park but that figure is unlikely to increase until the club gets more information on the number of fans who will be allowed in The Vic".

And Notts fans will be seeing a lot more of him now he has put pen to paper on a new contract."

Boreham Wood "announce... [they] have secured the return of Femi Ilesanmi for 2 more years, the left-back originally featured for the Wood in the 2016/17 campaign, where he started all but three matches under first team manager Luke Garrard.

The attack-minded defender started his career in the academy of AFC Wimbledon, before being snapped up by Queen's Park Rangers. He then departed Loftus Road and went on to sign for Dagenham & Redbridge. Ilesanmi featured over 100 times, across a four-year stay at Victoria Road, before departing for York City. Ilesanmi went on to make a further 70 appearances for York City, before beginning the first of his spells at Meadow Park.

After a single season with the Wood, Femi joined Dover Athletic... During Femi’s absence The Wood reached the Vanarama National League play-offs in 2017/18, losing narrowly to Tranmere Rovers in the final at Wembley. The Wood’s growth persuaded Ilesanmi to return to Meadow Park during the summer of 2018, signing a one-year contract with a one-year option which was taken up and leaving him out of a contract at the end of the 2019/2020 season.

Femi has played a huge part in the 2019/2020 season and we believe as a club he will continue to have an impact going forward. Femi is not only a fans' favourite but also highly respected by his teammates and BW PASE Players that he coaches weekly."

Havant and Waterlooville "announce the signing of Moussa Diarra from Woking. Diarra joins the Hawks after a successful spell at the National League side, where he was part of the team that won promotion to the fifth tier in 2019. He has also had top tier Non-League experience with both Dover Athletic and Barrow.

Manager Paul Doswell [said] 'Moussa was one of our main targets for this season, and probably the marquee signing defensively. I watched him play for Woking many times and he had a fantastic season with them. He’s a fantastic leader on the pitch, and defensively he wins his headers in both boxes'".

The Leader Live reports that "It looks like Bobby Grant has played his last game for Wrexham with the attacking midfielder joining Oldham Athletic on a season-long loan.

Grant was one of only seven players currently under contract at The Racecourse for the 2020-21 season... After joining Wrexham on loan from Fleetwood Town in November 2018, Grant made the move permanent the following January. Grant was allowed to join Accrington Stanley on loan during the 2020 January transfer window but the 30-year-old still finished last term as Wrexham's leading scorer with eight goals.

Manager Dean Keates [said]... 'It is a season-long loan so technically he is an Oldham player in name. While he was at the football club he was part of my plans but this has been put to us and it has happened, it works now. Now he is not part of the football club we go about our business'...

Only captain Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond, Jay Harris and Daniel Jarvis are under contract at The Racecourse for next season. But Keates... has started contract talks with Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Davis Keillor-Dunn and Christian Dibble.

'We are not far off,' said Keates, who saw James Jennings opt against waiting to hold talks over a new deal in favour of joining Stockport County. 'Things were put to the lads over the weekend and we will see how they work out over the next few days.'

Keates is also due to speak with Centre of Excellence manager Dan Nolan before informing the club's scholars who will be offered professional contracts. 'They have not been told about their futures yet'.. said Keates...

Nolan's rising stars were crowned National League U19 Alliance Division H champions last season, while several young guns were handed first team appearances in both the Scottish Challenge Cup and FA Trophy.

'They did what was needed to be done,' added Keates".

At Notts County "Alex Lacey has joined Michael Doyle in committing his future to us...

The 27 year-old defender signed a short-term deal last November and went on to win the acclaim of supporters with his classy and consistent performances at the heart of our defence.

At Dagenham & Redbridge The Daggers "are pleased to announce the signing of Elliott Johnson .

The defender, who turns 26 next week has spent the entirety of his professional career at Barnet, before leaving at the end of July after his contract expired. Johnson is experienced in both the Football League and the National League, amassing 105 appearances in League Two, as well as 129 National League caps. Our new man is predominantly a left-back...

The signing of Johnson follows on from the signings of George Saunders, Dean Rance, Callum Reynolds and Paul McCallum.

Daryl McMahon gave his thoughts on our fifth signing of the summer, 'He is a very experienced player for someone of his age... He can play in three positions, which i feel is very important as well, centre-back, left-back and left-wing-back. He will be very valuable addition to our squad.'"

Stevenage have "agreed terms with centre-back Luke Prosser…

The 32 year-old captained Colchester United for the past three seasons, leading his former side to the Play-Offs in 2019/20...

Prosser said 'I had a few offers over the Summer, but I live locally and being close to my family is a big pull. I am really looking forward to playing under the Manager.'

Alex Revell said, 'Luke is a fantastic signing for us. Everyone behind the scenes has worked incredibly hard to make this deal happen. It’s testament to the clear direction and identity we now have for the team that Luke committed his future to Stevenage.

'He led his team to the Play-Offs last season, playing every game in the league. He has huge experience but the most important thing when you have that experience is to be in the best physical shape you can be and to have that inner fire to do whatever it takes to win. Luke ticks all of those boxes. Ultimately, he is an excellent defender and naturally left-footed which gives us great balance to our team.

'Along with Scotty, Romain and Cokes he will have a huge responsibility everyday to not only lead the squad with his experience, but show the younger players what it takes to be a top professional'".

11 August 2020


The death has been announced of popular Altrincham supporter Mark Eckersall, who had waged a prolonged and courageous fight against cancer. Mark's wife Jane and his family may find some slight consolation for his untimely death in the many spontaneous testimonials which have already followed its announcement.

However, to describe Mark as simply a supporter of Altrincham Football Club would be a gross disservice to his memory. In fact, arguably no one else in the club's history has possessed an Altricham FC curriculum vitae to match his in the range of roles that he undertook for The Robins.

Uniquely for a supporter, "Ecky" as he was universally known, has not just stood on the terraces and led the fans' singing through thick and thin but he also has been a director of the football club (as the supporters' association's representative on the board); He has been an employee of the club, as its Sales and Marketing Manager some 20 years ago; he was for many years the supporters' travel coordinator, ensuring that his fellow fans got to Altrincham's away fixtures; a manager of the supporters' football team; he served as a Radio Robins match summariser; he was an organizer of summer working parties to tidy up the ground... and he carried out countless other voluntary roles at Moss Lane.

Right: Happier times: Mark Eckersall leads the promotion celebrations at Grantham in 2018.

Back in the mid/late 1990s Mark had been involved in helping the club as it emerged from its near extinction following the departure of chairman John Maunders. In the aftermath of that crisis, he became a close friend of the Alty manager of the late 1990s, Bernard Taylor. When Mark was appointed as Altrincham's Sales and Marketing Manager in July 2001, the club summed up his qualities, stating that "In a move away from Commercial Managers, the board were looking to appoint someone with extensive local knowledge and someone who had Altrincham FC 'running through their blood'. With Mark's appointment, the Board believes they have found their man".

Mark had that rare gift of being able to bridge not only the age divide of Altrincham supporters but also to get on well with the club's chairmen and directors over many years. He was not afraid to voice criticism but always did so in a sincere and constructive manner.

His people skills, common sense and dedication to the Club were nowhere more evident than during his many years as the Travel Coordinator, organizing the supporters' coach trips to away games with great efficiency and ensuring that everyone, young and old, had a good day out. If hiring a supporters' coach to a remote location for a midweek match proved uneconomic, Mark would even step in and drive a supporters' minibus to places such as Torquay (and back), on a Tuesday night.

In recent times, even when undergoing courses of chemotherapy and other debilitating treatment, and therefore unable to travel himself, he would never fail to book the coach for his fellow supporters, sometimes even from his hospital bed. And when he was fit to travel between sessions of chemotherapy, he would run the away trips as if nothing untoward was happening in his personal life.

Mark will be greatly missed by all who knew him and admired for the positivity and courage which he exhibited in his final years as he battled his terminal illness.


The Northern Premier League reports that "Matlock Town have added Kelvin Lugsden to the squad for the 2020/21 season...

Lugsden featured for Ramsbottom United last term but will be a familiar face to some of the Matlock squad, having played at Shaw Lane with Jon Stewart, Spencer Harris, Alex Byrne and Chib Chilaka... [He] featured in Matlock's 3-1 pre-season win over Wythenshawe Town."


Gordon McKinna, who excelled at cricket as well as football, is the latest Alty Legend profiled by Terry Rowley.


According to Echo News advises that "Southend United remain in talks with Weymouth boss Mark Molesley.

The 39-year-old has guided the Terras to successive promotions into the National League. But it is not a foregone conclusion Molesley will succeed Sol Campbell at Roots Hall... Blues have been without a manager since Campbell left the club at the end of June... It is understood Molesley, who also coaches Bournemouth’s under 21 team, will be bringing five members of staff alongside him if he does get appointed.

At Weymouth, Molesley has an assistant manager, two coaches, a performance analyst and a player care staff member...

Barnet boss Darren Currie and ex Shrimpers manager Steve Tilson have both been informed they will not be taking charge at Roots Hall. However, the club’s under 23 coach Craig Fagan... could still be in the frame if Molesley decides against making the move."

From NL Daily we have confirmation that "Stockport County manager Jim Gannon has signed a new contract with the club.

Gannon’s new deal will run until June 2022, with assistant manager Dave Conlon also extending his contract, as first-team staff Karlos Lenaghan, Luke Smith and Nick Donnelly sign full-time contracts. Sean O’Callaghan has also joined from Peterborough United as performance analyst.

Club legend Gannon, who is in his third stint as County boss, told the club’s website... 'We really appreciate the opportunity of new full-time contracts to take the club forward, and we are all very excited about how the future is shaping up.'"

10 August 2020


Altrincham FC's captain Jake Moult and longest-serving player, Shaun Densmore, were interviewed by the NL Paper on Sunday about the club's two relegations and two promotions in the last five seasons.

As for the two-stage drop from National League to Northern Premier League, Moult said "Those two seasons were awful... It just felt like we we're sinking and couldn't get to the surface.

Shaun attributed the collapse in form partly to the late defeat at Colchester United in the FA Cup. He said "That game seemed to knock us. We lost confidence, lost key players. I was out for five months, our two centre-halves were out long-term, our keeper Stuart Coburn got injured; that's four of our back five".

The NLP's Chris Dunlavy continues, "Four permanent managers occupied the dugout... On two occasions Moult and Densmore were asked to hold the fort. 'Jesus, it was tiring' says Densmore... And the worst thing of all was that Neil Young brought in so many players... We were having to leave about five lads out of the squad... It was properly awkward'".

Above: Jake Moult (no.6) and Tom Hannigan combine to clear the ball in December's match against Kidderminster Harriers, as the "loud" Tony Thompson, for once, keeps his counsel on the goal-line!

As for manager Phil Parkinson, Moult stated "What Phil and his staff have done is incredible. To go up two out of three [seasons], given what happened previously".

Shaun added, "For me, the key to everything was the recruitment that first summer... Phil... got rid of almost all the lads. At the time you're thinkng 'God, this is brutal' But, looking back,it was definitely a positive thing because there wasn't a massive amount of scar tissue [left] in the squad. The atmosphere completely changed".

And Jake pointed out that "What he did was bring in big characters like Jordan Hulme and Tony Thompson, who could carry the weight of that expectation.

"Tony's a loud lad, there's no getting away from it. A typical Scouser who loves the sound of his own voice, in a good way!"

Referring to Josh Hancock, Densmore said "Josh is 29 now and I can't believe he's never got a move [higher]. He's scored 16, 18, 20 goals the last three seasons and he was prolific for Nantwich before that".

"In terms of style, this is the best Altrincham team I've played in by a long way and I think we'll be a breath of fresh air in the National League next season... Not many of them try to play home and away but we do".

Jake then referred to the club potentially following a hybrid model, mixing part- and full-time players, "We've not been told anything along those lines but I do think it is the ambition of the football club at some point".

Regarding the management duo, Shaun says "I am sure they've had offers at some point" [to go] elsewhere. I know it's an ambition of theirs to go full-time and everybody wants to play or manage at the highest level possible. I do think it'so nly a matter of time before they do that", he concluded.

ON THIS DAY: 10 August

Seven years ago today, a very disappointing gate of just 271 turned up at Moss Lane to see Altrincham entertain a Burnley XI in a pre-season friendly which turned into an exciting contest as The Robins overcame a two-goal first-half deficit to run out 3-2 winners in their final game of the pre-season.

Left: Action from the Alty v Burnley match in 2013.

Altrincham were without the injured Simon Richman and Stuart Coburn. Brian Smikle, the former Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford winger, was again in the squad as was Liam Irwin, son of former Manchester United defender Denis Irwin. Burnley had brought their Development Squad to Altrincham; their first team was away at Sheffield Wednesday simultaneously with this match.

It was thanks to a strong second-half performance that Altrincham recorded an ultimately deserved win over Burnley's Development Squad. Burnley had taken the lead with two goals in as many first-half minutes. Firstly, Steven Hewitt struck a 20-yard freekick past Adam Reid in the 20th minute and then Jamie Frost curled a low shot home. Alty, without Stuart Coburn and Simon Richman, brought on Carl Rodgers, Scott Leather, James Walshaw and Brian Smikle at the interval.

Altrincham dominated the second half and pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Walshaw took advantage of a deflection to him by Burnley's Gallagher. James Lawrie equalized in the 82nd minute, after good work by Nicky Clee. With two minutes remaining, Altrincham-born substitute Liam Irwin, (a player formerly on Bolton Wanderers' books), took a fine corner for the Robins, from which Lawrie's header was deflected into the net for an own goal to give Alty a 3-2 win.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Adam REID, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Mike WILLIAMS, 7. Kyle PERRY, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James WALSHAW, 16. Brian SMIKLE, 17. Rob GILROY, 18. Dan LLOYD (gk), 19. Liam IRWIN. BURNLEY XI (Claret and blue shirts and socks, white shorts): 1. Nick LIVERSEDGE, 2. Cameron DUMMIGAN, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Archie LOVE, 5. Alex COLEMAN (capt), 6. Tom ANDERSON, 7. Andrew MUSUNGA, 8. Steven HEWITT, 9. Jason GILCHRIST, 10. Jamie FROST, 11. Christian HILL. Subs: 13. Dan NIZIC, 14. Cameron HOWIESON, 15. Luke GALLAGHER, 16. Nutumba MASSANKA, 17. Jack ERRINGTON.


After playing alongside Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton at Manchester United, and a subsequent spell at Manchester City, Dennis Fidler (right) ultimately arrived at Moss Lane and played for Altrincham as Terry Rowley explains in his latest Alty Legends profile.


At Stockport County "The Club is delighted to announce it has secured a lease for a dedicated First-Team training facility.

The Championship grade facilities in Carrington [Trafford] contain a large gym, players’ lounge, restaurant, recovery rooms, player briefing rooms, office space and three elite training pitches. The Club has signed a three-year lease with owners, Sale FC Rugby Club and invested in a significant refurbishment programme.

The facility provides a vital short-term training solution, with a longer-term ambition to build new facilities in the Borough of Stockport over the next 3-4 years. The Club is currently working closely with Stockport Borough Council to identify possible sites to build a state of the art Community Football Campus that will house the First Team [and] Academy teams alongside extensive community facilities that will support grassroots football and promote healthy lifestyles.

Simon Wilson, Director of Football said 'Today is a significant step for the Club and the result of a lot of hard work... While Edgeley Park is very much the home of the Club, the training ground can be thought of as the home of the team as they will spend the majority of their time there. We know from studies that environment controls up to 80% of human behaviour.

'While there has been an earnest quality and humbleness created from the use of rented facilities in the part-time hybrid training model, that we never want to lose, the acquisition of a training ground gives us an opportunity to make a further upgrade in our all-round professionalism and give Jim and his team every opportunity to maximise the potential of our players...

'We believe in this group of players and staff to do great things for our Football Club. But with high challenge you need to provide high support. With this facility, Jim, his immediate support team, and further infrastructure developments we are making, we feel we are giving ourselves the best chance of being successful.'”

Maidenhead United "are delighted to have been nominated for a FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Award for Project of the Year. Our nomination is for the Magpies' Community Helpline which has helped an incredible 600 local residents in the Royal Borough thanks to the help of 160 amazing volunteers in Maidenhead and Windsor during the COVID19 Lockdown...

It is a great honour to be recognised for a #BBFAAward and we would like to take the opportunity to once again thank all those wonderful volunteers who have supported and continue to support the project".

Aldershot Town state that "The fixture dates will be published today (Monday 10th August) with the actual details of the games published on 8th September. Twelve games next season are scheduled to take place midweek.

Meanwhile there has been huge activity around the ground to establish not just how many spectators could be accommodated but also how they book tickets (before the day online), how they access the ground, arrive safely at their standing position or seat and how they leave in safety too. Add to this the need to have a 'comfort break' and some refreshments and we have a full product offering.

The pitch maintenance and renovation starts on Monday by TurfTonics and our loyal volunteers are sprucing the ground to welcome you back... On the positive side we have a stadium with considerable capacity in relation to its average crowd size so our team, who has [sic] been drawing up [a] socially spaced seating and standing plan is very hopeful that we will be able to welcome all our regular supporters to our matches. No promises but it does look encouraging for us.

Unfortunately, as part of our planning for when the matches recommence, with the increased costs of stewarding and reduced supporter capacity in the short term whilst the Pandemic is restricting our normal operations, we are suspending the current offer of U11’s entry free with a paying Adult.

Danny is very active putting his team together and for those who enjoy totting up names and playing positions you will know that we could now field a very effective team...

We can assure you that we have tackled our overheads and ongoing costs. At one stage we had just two people working full time with others on furlough, coupled with the fact that all our stakeholders have been incredibly supportive during this time".

9 August, 2020


It is eight years since Alty had a game on today's date. On the evening of 9 August 2012 they lost 0-2 at home to FC United of Manchester in their poorest performance of pre-season. The FC United side showed more determination throughout. Both their goals were headers. The first arrived in the 20th minute and was scored by Lee Neville direct from a corner, which had arrived after two magnificent saves in succession from Alty keeper Stuart Coburn.

Left: Two of the graduates of the late George Heslop's Altrincham FC youth team were defender Sam Grimshaw and goalkeeper Adam Reid, who were seeking to impress in close season 2012 at Moss Lane.

Eleven minutes from time, Carlos Roca, a winger who had previously worn the Alty shirt in his career, and the smallest man on the pitch, headed home the visitors' second goal, converting Johnson's cross from the left, to complete Alty's misery.

FCUM had knocked Altrincham out of the FA Trophy in the previous season and they were looking for a repeat of that outcome against a team who were, at the time, one rung higher in the footballing pyramid.

Alty had deployed Damian Reeves as their lone out and out striker but they scarcely troubled FCUM keeper Jon Worsnop, whom Alty recently encountered on the Chester FC bench in the play-offs.

Altrincham were again without Duncan Watmore, who had been on holiday, as manager Lee Sinnott selected the same starting line-up that had faced Wrexham a few days earlier, except that Nicky Clee returned at left-back, as Matt Doughty moved to the bench.

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


The latest Alty Legend to come to the attention of Terry Rowley for inclusion in his series of profiles is forward Charlie Rackstraw (pictured, right).


Including a number of reports already recorded on the Alty Files, the National League reports that "There’s been plenty of player movement this week as the build up to the new campaign continues.

Goals win games and Dagenham & Redbridge know that more than anyone. They were the second lowest scorers last season and have done something to put the [that] right. Paul McCallum has put pen to paper after the former Barnet loan star left Solihull Moors.

York City full-back David Ferguson is Hartlepool’s latest addition of a busy week. Dave Challinor’s squad is taking shape after striker Mason Bloomfield also agreed to sign.

Havant & Waterlooville mean business again in Vanarama National League South, joint golden boot winner Joe Iaciofano has left St Alban's City to join their charge. Godfrey Poku has been convinced to join the Hawks as well after exiting Woking.

Boston United left-back Alex Whittle, 27, has joined fellow National League North side Gloucester City.

Ebbsfleet United have made Ben Frempah their latest addition, the defender is signing number 14 this season.

Alsewhere, Fleet's Kent rivals Dartford have won the race for Dorking midfielder Jack Barnham.

Giant Tadcaster Albion striker Jake Day is Billy Heath’s sixth summer signing at Alfreton".

According to the Leader Live "The capacity of The Racecourse will be cut to 2,600 when Wrexham kick-off the 2020-21 season.

Fans zoomed in to the club's Annual General Meeting on Saturday when financial director Mark Williams outlined the changes facing the Reds because of the coronavirus crisis... The amount of supporters attending matches will be vastly reduced for the Reds...

'Initially, our capacity will be reduced to 2,600 people,' said Williams, who confirmed that all three stands will be open. 'That is our initial view of it based on what we can see around the stadium and what other clubs have done. We are assuming that restrictions will be lifted in the new year and then we will be able to accommodate additional spectators.'

The National League, due to release the fixture list on September 8, has recommended clubs do not sell season tickets for the 2020-21 season. Wrexham are not in a position to sell fans their usual seats but the club will retain details for future seasons...

Said Williams, 'All clubs had a zoom call with them [the National League] and they recommended not to sell season tickets for next season.

'Therefore, it is likely that we will not be able to sell their usual seats but we have got the records of the season just gone so, when football returns to normality and we have got no restrictions in the stadium, we will be able to introduce your seats back again. But for next season, we are social distancing and, with restrictions in capacity, we will pick seats which will maximise our capacity and then it will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

'Some people might get lucky, their seat might be available, but it is done so we can maximise the amount of people into the stadium in a safe manner whilst adhering to all local and government guidelines.'

Williams outlined plans to introduce blocks of tickets initially; 10, 10 and 3 games, and switch to season cards if restrictions are lifted.

'We are probably going to introduce a block of tickets,' said Williams. 'We will initially sell a block of 10 which will cover the first 10 league games of the season. Then part way through the season we will do another 10 and then finally we will do another three. That’s our plan at the moment; rather than do all 23 league games...

'If all restrictions are gone by January, we can then probably introduce your seats again so by doing 10, it just gives more flexibility'...

The return to football is done in four stages; return to training (no contact), return to close contact training, return to competition but no spectators (pre-season) and return to competition with safe return of spectators".

At Solihull Moors, "Left-back Jordan Cranston has become the latest addition to Jimmy Shan’s squad ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. The 26-year-old has signed for an undisclosed fee from Morecambe, penning a two-year deal with the Moors.

Cranston spent his early career with Wolverhampton Wanderers, securing his first professional contract with the Molineux club. He played locally with Nuneaton and Hednesford, before moving onto Notts County in 2014/15. Since then, Cranston has played his football at Lincoln City, Gateshead and Cheltenham Town... The defender signed for Morecambe in 2018 and went on to make 54 appearances, scoring four times...

Cranston said... 'When I heard the first bit of interest from the club it tempted me to move back home. At the moment, the club is a really good fit for me and that’s what tempted me to come here. I’m here to try and get in the team and help the team where they need to get to, and that’s in the Football League.'

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'Jordan has been on top of our recruitment list for some time... He is a player with vast experience and another in our changing room who has won this league. Jordan is an offensive full-back who has really good end product in the final third, he will add pace and athleticism.'”

At Notts County we hear news of that "Club captain Michael Doyle has agreed to extend his stay at Meadow Lane.

The Irishman, who first arrived in January 2019, led us to the play-off final last season...

'I’m delighted to be part of the club’s future,' said the skipper. 'I can see success ahead over the next four-or-five years, I really can. The club has come a massively long way and the people in charge are making the right moves to take it forward. There are a lot of exciting times ahead for the supporters and on a personal level I just want to play a part in getting us back into the League and on the right footing.

'My target when I arrived was to keep us in the EFL. Unfortunately we came up short, so something that’s driving me on is my desire to leave the club where I found it. If I manage to do that in my time I’d be so happy... It’s going to be a long, hard season'...

Doyle was one of seven players to be offered new deals, with Richard Brindley, Kristian Dennis, Dion Kelly-Evans, Alex Lacey, Joe McDonnell and Sam Osborne also being given the chance to remain at the Lane."

8 August 2020


The previously published statistical review of Altrincham's 2019-20 season, which appeared when the season seemed unlikely to be completed, has now been updated to include the three play-off games. It can be found here.

Amongst the changes arising from the play-offs are the facts that...

  • Josh Hancock [right] moves two clear of Jordan Hulme in terms of league goals scored during the season but Jordan remains the leader for goals in all competitions.
  • Dan Mooney grabs the joint runner-up spot for yellow cards with five cautions, accrued in just nine games for the club.
  • Tom Peers comes into the top seven of appearance makers in 2019-20.
  • The three play-off wins complete a run of six successive wins for the club at the end of the season, the team's best sequence of 2019-20.


Ernest Peter Jones is the latest Alty Legend in Terry Rowley's ongoing series about players who have left their mark on the history of Altrincham FC.


Altrincham FC has announced that its latest Monthly Draw, for July 2020, is as follows:-
  • £250 cash | #110 | Malcolm Riley
  • £75 cash | #31 | Paul Brady
  • £25 cash | #80 | Mark Eckersall
  • Match Hospitality for 2 | #197 | John Laidlar
  • Home Replica Shirt | #28 | Jackie McLay
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #72 | Barry Pond

Congratulations to all the winners!


The BBC reports that former EFL club "Bury's application to join the National League system in 2020-21 has been rejected by the Football Association. The Shakers lost their place in League One last season because of financial problems and the collapse of a last-ditch takeover bid. Despite not having a league to play in, the club, founded in 1885, still exist[s].

The FA said the decision not to accept the application related to Bury's 'financial resources, ownership and insolvency status'. 'This decision was not taken lightly as both the FA and its Alliance Leagues Committee recognise the history and standing of Bury FC,' an FA statement said. 'As a result, the Alliance Leagues Committee would welcome an application from the club to join the National League system for the 2021-22 season and detailed guidance has been provided in relation to the various conditions that would be expected before one could be considered.'

Bury appeared to be on the brink of liquidation after their expulsion in August 2019 when another prospective buyer ended their interest two months later. A winding-up petition served to the club over an unpaid tax bill was dismissed in February, giving the financially-troubled Shakers a reprieve.

Bury AFC, a club formed by fans of Bury FC, were allocated a place in the 10th-tier North West Counties League Division One North. There had been doubt over the status of the new club after the non-league seasons at seventh-tier level and below were voided by the FA, but they have now been given a place for next season."


NL Daily reports that NL North club "Southport have confirmed the departure of five players.

The National League North side have released details of their retained list, with the following departing the club this summer: [ex-Alty loanee] Andy Parry, Charlie Albinson. Morgan Homson-Smith (FC United of Manchester). Ryan Astles (TNS). Brad Bauress.

Liam Watson has already brought in Chorley forward Marcus Carver, Curzon Ashton’s Mo Ali and ex-Boston United defender Matt Challoner ahead of 2020/21." Challoner played against Altrincham last Saturday for Boston United.

From Gander Green Lane, Sutton United reported on Friday that "On the day before the National League season, under normal circumstances, would have started the 2020-21 season, we’re delighted to welcome two new signings...

Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis has joined us having played for Melbourne City in his native Australia for the last four years. After playing junior football in Australia, Dean joined Liverpool and played for their Under-18 and reserve sides, and also had a loan spell with Accrington Stanley before joining Oldham, where he spent two seasons and played for the Latics in their 3-2 FA Cup defeat of Liverpool in January 2013.

After a brief spell with Greek club Aris he returned to Australia and his home city club of Western Sydney Wanderers before joining Melbourne City in 2016. He has represented Australia at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level, and also Greece, who he is eligible to play for through his parents, at Under-19 level.

His partner Steph Catley, an Australian international defender, has recently signed for Arsenal Women’s FC.

And 'We are also delighted to welcome 25-year-old striker Tobi Sho-Silva to Gander Green Lane. Tobi left FC Halifax Town earlier this week having scored eight goals in thirty games for them last season, including scoring in the play-off defeat at Boreham Wood last month.

Londoner Tobi began his career as a youth player with Charlton and had loan spells with Welling and Inverness Caledonian Thistle before joining Bromley in 2016, scoring eleven goals for them in the 2016-17 season. He then joined Dover, where spent two seasons before joining Halifax last summer. He has represented England at Under 18 level".

Though still not 100% certain of their status, given the situation at Macclesfield Town, Stevenage Football Club "has agreed terms with Lincoln City for Ben Coker on a one-season loan deal...

The 31 year old left-back arrives at the Club with a wealth of experience, most notably as a Southend United player for seven years, where he played a key role in the Shrimpers' promotion to League One in 2015.

Coker said, 'I have been down here for about a week training with the boys and I am just really happy to get it over the line'...

'We are really happy to announce Ben as a Stevenage player,' Alex Revell said. 'He is someone...that will add a huge amount of experience and leadership to our squad. He has a cultured left foot, is full of energy and he loves to drive forward and deliver crosses. His work rate, athleticism and character fit our DNA and he is someone that joins us from a higher level to help us as we push forward as a club.'”

Solihull Moors "confirm that striker Paul McCallum has departed the club to join Dagenham & Redbridge on a permanent deal.

McCallum [had] made 27 appearances for the Moors since arriving last summer, scoring 10 goals."

From Notts County we learn that "Portuguese attacking midfielder Rúbem da Rocha Rodrigues has become our first summer signing. Rodrigues, who moved to the Netherlands at a young age, joins us after scoring 12 goals and notching 10 assists for Dutch second-tier side FC Den Bosch last season.

'Before coronavirus stopped our season I was playing well,' said the 24-year old... 'Around October I started scoring consecutively and, after that, I performed well in general. I have a very strong right foot and like to shoot, pass and dribble.'

Rodrigues, who speaks fluent English as well as Dutch and Portuguese, turned down several other options to sign for us. 'At first it was difficult because I had never played in a foreign country but the club have pushed and pushed, which has given me the confidence to be here. My agent also knows Enzio Boldewijn and Enzio told me if he was in my position he would come swimming to England! He says everything is good; the coaches, the staff, the pitch, the city.

'I’ve had a tour and I didn’t expect the stadium to be so big. We also saw the facilities at the training ground, which are amazing, the gym is nice and the indoor pitch is beautiful... To be the first Portuguese player in the history of the world’s oldest professional club is a great achievement,' he said.

For Neal Ardley 'Rúbem is the player I watched more than any other during lockdown... I believe we have found an exciting talent who will improve the squad and get better with age. He can play as an attacking midfielder, a number ten or even as a striker and we hope he fulfils his talent with us'".

Dagenham & Redbridge "announce the signing of striker Paul McCallum.

The prolific frontman has signed a three-year deal at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

The 27-year-old joins us from Solihull Moors, where he scored 11 goals in all competitions, before joining London neighbours, Barnet on loan, where he scored four goals in five Vanarama National League matches. He also scored in the Bees'’s 0-2 victory against Yeovil Town in the play-offs.

The 6'3" centre-forward started his career as a youth product at West Ham United before featuring for the likes of Portsmouth, Aldershot, Leyton Orient and Eastleigh... McCallum was prolific for Eastleigh, where he notched up 27 goals in all competitions, as the Spireites [Spitfires!] qualified for the play-offs in the 2018-19 season.

The signing of McCallum further solidifies our ambitions for the new campaign ahead, which is due to start on the 3rd October.

Daryl McMahon gave his thoughts on bringing McCallum to Victoria Road... 'His record in this division speaks for itself and we have worked hard to get him here and convince him that the project that we have is a good one. The signing shows our ambitions and intentions for this season'".

Meanwhile from the real Spireites, Chesterfield advise that "Following the confirmation of Chesterfield FC Community Trust's purchase of Chesterfield FC and the resignation of Mike Warner and John Croot as directors, a new football club board is being assembled.

Community Trust chairman Mike Goodwin will take up the same role on the football club board and he will be joined by five fellow trustees".

And "New chairman Mike Goodwin has outlined the strength of the club's new board, which has been assembled following the Community Trust's takeover. Mike is joined on the board by Dave Simmonds and Martin Thacker, who will both act as co-vice chairman, together with Jane Cooper, Dr Paul Stankard and Terry Ward. All six new board members are also directors and trustees of the Community Trust.

'We have quite a plethora of skills,' said Mike... 'You have six supporters as directors. We've got different skills in terms of what we bring to the table but we are all first and foremost Chesterfield supporters and have been season ticket holders for many years'...

Mike Goodwin enjoyed a long and distinguished career in local government, spanning almost 40 years, before retiring in 2011 as chief executive of North East Derbyshire District council... Mike has been a qualified accountant for over 30 years and is proud to use the letters CIPFA in relation to his professional body.".

Chesterfield also report that "New chairman Mike Goodwin faced the media in a press conference... He said 'It is a big challenge but we have put together a very robust business plan and we think it's workable... There will be some bumps along the way but we're confident that we have the skills and the knowledge to get over those.

'I think you only need to look at the success that the Trust has had. I was appointed as chairman of the Trust five years ago and our turnover was around £50,000, operating from a little Portakabin. It now employs over 50 people and it has a turnover of over £1m a year. It's won national awards and the staff over there are fantastic, well led by John Croot...

'I have spoken to [manager] John (Pemberton) and he is very enthusiastic. He wants to work with the senior management team and the board to make this successful and we're already looking at new players. We will be bringing those in and making some announcements in the near future.'"

Barnet Football Club would like to issue a statement regarding the potential transfer of second-year scholar Ronnie Edwards. Second year scholar, Ronnie Edwards, has been with Barnet FC for seven years (since signing with the Club as an under-9) and has developed into a talented young player, who made his debut for the senior squad back in December 2019 and featured in the 19/20 play-off squad. The Club has made several offers to retain the young scholar as a pro, but is aware that he would like a move to a League club.

Following the conclusion of the season, Chairman, Tony Kleanthous, gave the defensive scholar permission to trial at Peterborough United, and Ronnie has since featured in behind-closed-door friendlies with the League One club. Barnet FC understands that the player was discussing terms with Barry Fry ahead of a proposed transfer.

However, the Club are deeply disappointed to have been informed that Ronnie's agent, Barry Ashby, has been touting the young player to other teams, most notably, Brentford FC. Mr Ashby has also been actively contacting and entering into discussions with other clubs, without the consent of Barnet FC.

Peterborough United Director of Football, Barry Fry, said 'Tony and I agreed a deal for Ronnie Edwards. He allowed me to bring the boy in to play and train with us behind closed doors. We have offered Ronnie a contract and left a message for his dad to ring me. We have spoken to his agent who informed us that several other clubs were interested and that he was meeting one on Friday.

'When I informed Tony of this he was disappointed by the information, as we were the only Club who had permission to enter negotiations with Ronnie.' Barnet FC have reported the illegal intermediary activity to The Football Association for the appropriate actions to be taken with regard to this breach of regulations."


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Clubs in League One and Two have voted in favour of squad salary caps, the English Football League has announced.

The cap will be set at £2.5million in League One and £1.5m in League Two and has been introduced with immediate effect, the EFL said.

A statement from the EFL read 'The decision follows extensive and comprehensive consultation with all clubs in respect of addressing sustainability and wage inflation issues across the EFL which were initiated prior to the suspension of football in March following the Covid-19 outbreak and have continued during the course of the summer'...

It is understood 22 League Two clubs were in favour of a cap, with two against. The EFL said the cap would cover basic wages, taxes, bonuses, image rights, agents’ fees and other fees and expenses paid directly or indirectly to all registered players. Promotion bonuses or incentives payable for success in cup competitions will not be included, the EFL said, and any income generated from players going out on loan is deducted from the club’s salary cap calculation.

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince told the PA news agency 'I’m pleased it’s happened because it will bring more sustainability to the league. It starts today, which I think is a bit unfortunate because when it was first mooted it was going to start at the end of June. We’ve done all our recruitment expecting it would come and then the EFL said it would start at the end of July, and now it starts from today.

'So there has been some big spending in the gap, in anticipation of the cap, but only by a few clubs. We won’t feel the full effect of the cap until next season; not the one coming, the one after.'

Asked whether he expected the PFA to challenge the regulations, he said '“I have heard that they are going to try and stop it, that they think it’s illegal. I think they’re mistaken. There are already controls on what clubs can spend – SCMP (salary cost management protocol), financial fair play-type stuff. The salary cap is just a version of that. The principle is well established in football and I don’t really understand the basis for their claim.'"

7 August 2020


For the play-off match at Boston last weekend the National League produced a match programme which was almost wholly devoid of details, other than names, of each team's squad but had a single player interview for each team. In Alty's case the selected player was goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

In the interview with him, Tony explained how united the Altrincham squad is and admits that, despite their rivalry for the gloves, he views fellow custodian Steven Drench as an "unbelievable keeper and someone I'm still learning from".

When Tony was dropped to accommodate Drench, "I was a bit disheartened at the time. I just had to knuckle down... It was a massive kick up the backside for me... I had to grit my teeth... and work that bit harder".

Tony admits that his team-mates have nicknamed him "Silverback" after the gorilla species of the same name! "It's down to my stature" he admitted.

He continued, "My job, away from Alty, is to erect and dismantle scaffolding, and it's long hours. I'm working in Blackburn at the moment, and I'm on the road at 6am to get there on time. If there's a night match or training, it will be 10.30pm before I get home.

"But it's football that keeps me going on those long days. You chase those dreams, don't you? Mine is to play football full-time and, at 25, there's still time for it to happen".


1970s' player Dave Mobley (right) is the subject of Terry Rowley's latest Alty Legends profile. He had two playing spells at Moss Lane and also served on the club's Board of Directors.


For most of us the nearest we could get to any of the the VNLN play-offs has been the live streaming of the games. However, there were also physical matchday programmes produced for all three games. Indeed for the game at York Street, as well as the National League's official programme for the game, Boston United produced a commemorative edition programme of their own.

This not only formed a matchday magazine but also was a "commemorative edition" of the club's longstanding "The Pilgrim" programme, to mark what was envisaged as the last ever game at the historic York Street stadium as The Pilgrims prepare to move to a new-build stadium outside the town centre.

York City's programme for the semi-final likewise made reference to the game with Alty also being potentially the last fixture played at Bootham Crescent, which is a unique double for the visitors.

For both York City and Boston United to start 2020-21 at their newly constructed venues must, however, still be transfers shrouded in some doubt given the need to complete safety procedures to license their respective new stadia, which may prove difficult in a Covid-19 environment.

Boston's programme included an interesting article by Boston United's "Record goalscorer and current Director", Chris Cook.

In addition to recalling a memorable FA Trophy semi-final clash in 1985 which Boston shaded the second leg against ten-man Alty, Mr Cook records that "I actually played a handful of games for Altrincham when Boston manager George Kerr decided to try and get rid of me, so I spent a month on loan in the northwest.

"Unfortunately, a hamstring injury put an end to the loan period and I returned to have a few more seasons back at my hometown club".

Elsewhere, in the programme's quiz page, "Chris Cook" is the answer to the question about which former Altrincham player scored four goals in a single FA Cup match, not once, but twice at York Street. Paul Ellender and Carl Piergianni are also the answers to other quiz questions regarding players who have featured for both Alty and Boston.


Yeovil Town announce that "Darren Sarll has bolstered his squad, signing Carl Dickinson and Charlie Lee to new contracts for the upcoming season.

Making 66 first team appearances between them last season, both return as vital members of the Glovers' squad.

Lee, who was promoted from the National League with Leyton Orient in 2018/19, played more minutes than any other Glover last campaign.

The midfielder said 'I'm really pleased to get sorted for next season, it’s been a tough time for everyone. It’s nice to get another year at the club... Last season was as much fun as I’ve ever had, when I joined, I was moving far from home and didn’t really know too many people here, but I had an amazing season and loved every minute of it.'”

Still in the South West, Torquay United report that "Torbay’s naturally inspiring newspaper, Torbay Weekly, is set to launch a new series which highlights the most memorable moments and figures from the club’s past.

Launching in August, Inside The Gulls will provide the Yellow Army with a wonderful array of stories from the dramatic history of Torquay United AFC, by lifting the lid on some of the great players, managers, incidents and campaigns since the club’s formation in 1899... The series has been compiled by Dave Thomas, TUFC correspondent for over 40 years, and former United Club Secretary and Press Officer Tim Herbert...

This unique enterprise will cover 41 different chapters, from the glorious displays of the likes of Neville Southall and Eunan O’Kane, to the comings and goings behind the scenes... During the first edition, Torbay Weekly chats to the irrepressible Neville Southall, one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, who remembers his time at Plainmoor as a career highlight.

Inside the Gulls will be a downloadable series through and costs just £9.99 to subscribe, equating to just 25p per chapter... Subscribers will receive a printed glossy bookazine copy on completion of the series, at no extra cost. Signing up to Inside The Gulls also benefits the club, with a percentage from every subscription donated to supporting the club as well as a specific Plainmoor project sponsored by Torbay Weekly".

Closer to home, Solihull Moors report that "The Moors are delighted to announce the return of midfielder Joe Sbarra, who signs on a two-year deal with the option of a further year in place.

The 21 year-old played six times for Solihull in the 2018/19 campaign when the club narrowly missed out on promotion to the EFL, finishing in second place. Sbarra was on loan from Burton Albion in that campaign and, following his departure from the Pirelli Stadium earlier this summer, he has made the Moors his permanent home this time around.

He began his footballing career through the youth academy of West Brom before becoming an academy graduate at Burton... In total, Sbarra made 76 appearances for the Brewers which features games in the Championship and League One...

The midfielder had the following to say 'Ever since I came here on loan it’s been a forward-thinking club; an ambitious club and I think it’s just carried on... We’re not going to be happy with anything but promotion; I think we’ve got the quality to do it.'

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'Joe had offers from both the EFL and SPL. Joe is an outstanding technician and has great ability to unlock defences, which will give us an edge in the final third... Joe excites with his energy, enthusiasm and quality. I’m sure he will fit right in and soon become a fans’ favourite.'”

Hartlepool United "announce Aaron Cunningham has signed a contract extension for the new season.

Aaron has enjoyed a couple of breakthrough years where he has gone onto make several Pools appearances and earn vital experience out on loan. Cunningham featured on 11 occasions for Pools last season and then went onto spend the second half of the 2019/20 season at Blyth Spartans".

FC Halifax Town report that "Josh Staunton has decided not to accept new terms with the Club.

The former England C Captain joined us from Woking two summers ago and played in either defence or midfield positions.

Staunton made 42 starts this season scoring two goals in a season which saw Town finish in the play-offs but were defeated in the eliminator at Boreham Wood".


According to the Northern Premier League, "Droylsden have resigned from the Northern Premier League.

A club statement said 'Droylsden FC have as resigned from the Northern Premier League and will also take no part in Cup Competition this season'. In a letter sent to the Northern Premier League Chairman Dave Pace described the decision as the most difficult he has ever had to make. "However the disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis has left him with no alternative.

The closing of the social club and its function rooms since the start of the pandemic, the main income source, with no indication of any restart on viable trading terms along with a loss of income from the club’s main sponsor has left the club with no visible alternative income stream during the crisis.

The club may hopefully survive this crisis and continue into the future in less challenging circumstances than we find ourselves in during the present... The league will issue a further statement in due course."

6 August 2020


Altrincham FC has video interviews with co-chairman Bill Waterson and club president, Graham Rowley, following promotion back to the National League.


Joe Fagan [right] is well known for winning the "Treble" at Liverpool, including the European Cup as manager of Liverpool. Less well known is that he also played for Altrincham as Terry Rowley's latest Alty Legends profile explains.


The National League reports that "Phil Parkinson has sounded a warning that Altrincham fully intend continuing to climb following their latest promotion... He doesn't think the step up should stop them playing with the attacking edge that has served them so well in the past three years...

'I would like to think we have never let the fans down. We have changed the culture here and hopefully we can continue that,' he told Alty TV.

'We don’t want to stop and stand still now. We don’t want to be a yo-yo club, that’s for sure. But to establish ourselves we know it is going to be very difficult. We are going to have to improve in every area at the club, including on the pitch. It will be a big challenge but we want to keep on building'...

He added.'Boston had a game plan, but we stayed strong and gave ourselves the opportunity. We weren’t impressed with our first half performance but we managed the game well after we went in front.

'Finals are about fine margins. Dan (Mooney) took his goal superbly, he had done his research and knew their goalkeeper had done something similar in the past. People will think I’m crazy but I truly believe if we [had] had a better start to the season, we would’ve won the league this season. We know the step up is a big one and we’re going to have to be ready.'"


If you missed the play-off final at Boston last Saturday or just wish to re-live it, BBC Radio Manchester Sport has its own match commentary available here, featuring Altrincham FC Life Vice-President Jimmy Wagg of Radio Manchester.

ON THIS DAY: 6 August

Altrincham renew acquaintance with neighbours Stockport County next season and nine years ago, today, on 6 August 2011 they hosted County in a pre-season friendly which the visitors won 2-0.

Two early goals sank Altrincham who, without Nicky Clee, lacked a potent threat going forward. Alty fell behind in the second minute when the defence parted up the middle to allow Nick Chadwick, an Alty trialist earlier that summer, to feed trialist Tom Elliot who slid the ball past Josh Ollerenshaw, deputising for the injured Stuart Coburn in the Alty goal.

Right: Demonstrating Alty players' flexibility, Shaun Densmore got stuck in in an unaccustomed position on the left of a three-man midfield against Stockport. Looking on was Alty's no.8, Mark Lees, another versatile man, who had appeared as left-back as well as in midfield, where he played against Stockport.

It was 2-0 in the 13th minute when a superb dipping effort from John Miles, who was to wear the Alty shirt himself, went in from more than 30 yards out. In the second half County made a total of nine changes during the forty-five minutes and Alty looked a little more threatening. The game petered out into a low key affair in the closing stages with neither side looking like scoring.

Altrincham had no new faces in their squad, apart from assistant manager, Neil Tolson, who was named as a player for the first time. Of the 13 players who had signed on for next season, three were out injured (Coburn, Richman and Clee), whilst Lynch was only fit enough for the bench. In addition, Brian Summerskill was on holiday, further reducing the management's selection options.

Stockport included three faces who had previously worn Alty shirts. Up front was Nick Chadwick who had played for Alty in pre-season before signing for County; in midfield was Sam Sheridan, who spent a spell at Moss Lane on loan from Bolton Wanderers in 2009-10; and on the bench was trialist defender Carl Piergianni, a very popular loanee from Peterborough at Altrincham last season.

And, to add to these familiar faces, County's kitman today was Dickie Landon, the famed "super sub" of Alty's 1999-2000 season.

This was a meeting of two clubs which had suffered relegation the previous season, leaving them still separated by one tier in the English football pyramid. County had endured financial meltdown until their recent takeover which had led to the appointment of German World Cup star Didi Hamann as their manager.

Altrincham had enjoyed an encouraging pre-season so far and this was their last game before the league fixtures started the following weekend.

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Josh OLLERENSHAW, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 5. Adam FLYNN, 6.Paul JONES, 3. Ryan BROWN; 8. Mark LEES, 4. Anthony DANYLYK, 7. Shaun DENSMORE; 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. 11. Astley MULHOLLAND. Subs: 12. Chris LYNCH, 14. Joe COOMBS, 19. James SMART, 16. Matt FEARON, 17. Jake BARNABAS, 20. Neil TOLSON, 21. Adam REID.

STOCKPORT COUNTY : 1. Matthew GLENNON, 2. Ryan McCANN, 3. Euan HOLDEN, 4. Sam SHERIDAN, 5, Nebile BOUNAB, 6. Danny HALL, 7. John MILES, 8. Jon ROUTLEDGE, 9. Tom ELLIOTT, 10. Nick CHADWICK, 11. Ryan FRAUGHAN. Subs: 12. Carl PIERGIANNI, 13. Ian ORMSON, 14. John NOLAN, 15. Martin GRITTON, 16. Keighan PARKER, 17. Andy HALL, 18. Cameron DARKWAH, 19. Daniel O'DONNELL, 20. Adam PEPPER, 21. Sean McCONVILLE.


The NW Counties' Football League reports that "The FA have sent a letter to all National League System Leagues and clubs in those leagues to clarify the position with regards to spectators at pre-season matches.

Guidance was sent out on 18th July whch stated that ALL friendlies concerning National League System clubs, those at Steps 1-6 in the football pyramid, need to be played behind closed doors. This is irrespective of whether the NLS club is home or away.

This past weekend, there were a number of games that attracted supporters across the country, some with over 100 spectators in attendance, which is a clear breach of Government policy concerning gatherings.

As a result of these breaches, this guidance has now been extended so that all friendlies and competitive games involving clubs from Step 1 to Regional NLS Feeder League clubs, formerly Step 7, are now to be played behind closed doors...

The FA have submitted a proposal some weeks ago to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport concerning spectators being in attendance at games, and this dialogue is continuing.


From the Halifax Courier comes news that "Three more departures were announced on Tuesday night, with Michael Duckworth, Charlie Cooper and Tobi Sho-Silva all turning down new contracts at The Shay.

The departure of midfielder Cameron King was also announced last weekend.

With goalkeeper Sam Johnson, defender Jay Benn and midfielder Jack Earing understood to be under contract for next season, that leaves defenders Nathan Clarke and Niall Maher, midfielders Jeff King, Josh Staunton and Danny Williams and striker Jamie Allen whose futures remain unresolved at the club, with defender Jacob Hanson and captain Matty Brown both on the transfer list.

'We’re in the final throes of dotting i’s and crossing t’s with lads who we wanted to retain from last season,' [assistant manager] Millington said. 'The deals are, to all intents and purposes, agreed, it’s just the fine detail that is just being finalised at the moment...

'We’ve got a very specific list of players and what they would bring to us and we’ve been going through top priorities, looking at those players and speaking to them, making sure we get out and meet them, sit in-front of them so they can see what we’re trying to do next season, and we can get a good feel for whether or not they are buying into the plans we’re putting in-front of them...

'So now we’re into the business of talking money. But we’re where we’d want to be at this stage of the process.. The fans might think there’s nothing happening if there’s no announcements, but that couldn’t be further from the truth...

'There’s a lot of things we have to consider. Everyone knows we’re not in a position to be just throwing money at it and signing the top earners in the division, so what we’ve got to do is be much more thorough in other ways... What we’re working really hard to do is make sure that players want to come and be part of what it is we’re offering, which I think is quite an exciting project...

If we can surround ourselves with players who’ve got the quality to be where we want to be, but are motivated by more than just money, then we think we’ll be in a good place.'

Millington says... 'We’re happy to work under the constraints that Halifax Town offers,' he said. 'The fact is that there are so many sellable features of the club, it’s a big club, it’s a good town, there’s a good fanbase, it’s an opportunity to try and propel what should be a Football League club into the Football League... We’re working hard to make sure that we’re offering a training programme that replicates a full-time model as best as we can...

'We think we’ve got enough between the financial position we’re in and the staff and the project we’re offering, to try and attract players who will fit that, and who will help us be successful next season.'”

In the North division, Spennymoor Town report that "Experienced midfielder Adriano Moke, previously of fellow National League North side York City, has joined Spennymoor Town ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

The 30-year-old, who was released from Bootham Crescent in July, is Jason Ainsley’s seventh signing of the summer... Moke, a graduate of the Glenn Hoddle Academy... [has had] spells at Cambridge United, Tamworth, Macclesfield Town, Wrexham and Boreham Wood. He returned to York in November 2016 for a second spell with the club...

After signing for Moors, Moke said 'I want to wear the shirt and give it my all when the season gets started. Jason has been interested in bringing me here for a while now so it was a nice feeling to be wanted. I know what the ambitions of the club are and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to join.

'I was at York for six years and I feel like a new challenge will be good for me. That’s history now. Spennymoor has always been a tough team to play against and they’ve always had a good squad of players who I am looking forward to lining up with. I remember chasing Rob Ramshaw around plenty of times so it’s a good thing I’m going to be in the same team as him now!

'I’m an ambitious guy. I won three trophies during my time at York and I want to use my experience and help Spennymoor to gain promotions and win things'...

Manager Jason Ainsley believes... 'When he was made available by York City we were one of a number of clubs who expressed an interest in securing his services and we are delighted that he has chosen to make the move to Spennymoor Town on a two year contract'".

From the Derbyshire Times we learn that "Chesterfield fans will have to wait a while longer until National League fixtures are released. The 2020/2021 National League fixtures won’t be released until early September.

At the moment it is not known which teams will make up the division as the Football League is appealing a decision to only deduct Macclesfield Town two points for failing to pay their players on time in March.

If the Football League win their appeal and Macclesfield are deducted more points then it will be the Silkmen who are relegated to the National League and not Stevenage, who finished one place and one point behind them in the League Two table. The appeal is set to take on place on August 11. The season is scheduled to start on October 3 and it is hoped clubs will be allowed to let some fans into stadiums when the campaign kicks-off".

And the Derbyshire Times adds that "The Football Association has reiterated that non-league pre-season friendlies must be played behind closed doors... Last week the government cancelled planned pilot sports events which would have seen people attend horse racing and cricket.

In a letter to clubs, head of National League System for the FA, Laurence Jones... admitted 'The suspension however of the pilot events which had low spectator numbers shows that government are sensitive to crowds of all sizes and as such, crowds at pre-season matches does put the longer term supporters strategies at risk.'”

NL Daily confirms that "Notts County have opted to release five players at the end of their contracts.

Neal Ardley’s side were beaten 3-1 in last Sunday’s National League play-off final... The following players have now been confirmed as being released: Zoumana Bakayogo, Regan Booty, Tom Crawford, Mitch Rose, Scott Wilson.

New deals have been offered to the following out-of-contract players: Richard Brindley, Kristian Dennis, Michael Doyle, Dion Kelly-Evans, Alex Lacey, Joe McDonnell, Sam Osborne."

Meanwhile, from Cheshire Live we learn that "Chester FC are interested in bringing back former midfielder Tom Crawford to the club... The 21-year-old was released by Notts County earlier this week...

The decision to release the Chester-born Crawford, who hails from Blacon, surprised many Magpies fans after he impressed in his fleeting appearances for the club. Crawford, who joined Notts County from Chester in May 2018 for an undisclosed fee having progressed through the Academy ranks at the Blues, featured nine times for County this season, netting once, with Notts winning eight of those nine games.

He had spent time on loan at AFC Fylde during 2018/19 when Notts County were in League Two but wasn't handed a prolonged period in the squad this past season despite impressing when he did pull on the black and white.

Crawford will have plenty of options this summer. Chesterfield, AFC Fylde and Hartlepool United are understood to be interested in the central midfielder, who netted once in 17 senior appearances for Chester in 2017/18.

It is also understood that Crawford is a player who Chester managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley would love to bring back to the club, although with a tight budget there is an acknowledgement that securing a deal and competing with the likes of Chesterfield and Hartlepool could prove a tall order."

Devon Live says that "With Torquay United expected to sign Bristol City midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans this week, manager Gary Johnson hasn't ruled out further adding to his squad with loan players.

Johnson was expecting to add an 'attacking midfielder' to his 19-man squad last week, but the paperwork is still being completed, so the manager wasn't prepared to confirm the identity of the player. However, it is expected to be the 23-year-old Welshman Lemonheigh-Evans, who will make the permanent move to Plainmoor from Bristol City after three loan spells.

Lemonheigh-Evans played 15 times and scored one goal in his first loan spell in 2018. During the 2018-19 season he played 30 games and scored three goals. Last season he returned again and played 22 times, scoring one goal...

His addition means Johnson is planning to go into the new season with 20 players... 'There is always the possibility of loans,' said Johnson. 'We are still allowed five loans [in a matchday squad] but at the moment we haven't got any loans. I am keeping them in reserve for when we need them.'

It has been a long time since United could boast a squad of 20 players even before pre-season training began. And it would be amazing if the season began without at least one or two additions from the loan market... When United had a series of injuries last season and dropped from second in the table to uncomfortably near the relegation zone, the loan players were invaluable and at one stage there were too many to fit into a matchday squad...

New striker Danny Wright and Andrew Nelson [are] champing at the bit to light up the league. Johnson said... 'At the moment this is the squad that I am going into the season with, unless Roy of the Rovers becomes available on a loan'...

The club will now start training on Monday, August 24. This Friday's friendly against Buckland Athletic has been cancelled and another game has had to be chopped, but the manager is pretty happy with his second draft of pre-season workouts."

The Leader Live reports that "Wrexham boss Dean Keates insists togetherness and everyone pulling in the same direction is just as important as money in pursuit of success. Keates currently has seven players - Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Bobby Grant, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond, Jay Harris and Daniel Jarvis, under contract with no new signings yet to arrive at The Racecourse this summer.

Big-spending Stockport, in comparison, have been very active in the transfer market with defender James Jennings opting against waiting to hold contract talks with Keates in favour of heading to Edgeley Park, where he has been joined by fellow ex-Reds in the shape of brother Connor, John Rooney and Alex Reid.

Stockport's recruitment will make them one of the favourites for promotion but Keates says money doesn't guarantee success and other factors are just as important.

Said Keates, 'Stockport are in a position where they have been able to go out and do a lot of business early. They have been through hard times but somebody has come in and they are putting the money up. That isn't us, that is not what we are all about but just because you put money in, doesn't mean you are going to walk the league.

'That is not a dig at Stockport at all, that is just fact... With a group that is together, united and everybody pulling in the same direction from the players to the supporters, you can be formidable opposition for teams and that is something that we need to look at and make sure we have got this season.'"


The North West Counties' Football League says that "Five NWCFL teams will make competition debuts in the 2020/21 Season, with two clubs playing in the FA Cup and three clubs playing in the FA Vase for the first time.

The FA Cup is usually an oversubscribed competition with the previous seasons Points per Game being used to decide where the cut off point is among Step Six clubs. With the 2019/20 Season being ruled null and void, the FA instead did a random draw of everybody who entered the competition. AFC Darwen, Daisy Hill, Shelley and St Helen's Town will be our First Division North entrants in the competition with Cammell Laird 1907, Maine Road, Stone Old Alleynians and Wythenshawe Amateurs representing us in the First Division South.

For Shelley it is what dreams are made of. They stepped up to the NWCFL two years ago from the West Yorkshire League and made their FA Vase debut that same year... Like Shelley, Wythenshawe Amateurs stepped up from the stepping up from the Cheshire League two seasons ago and entered the FA Vase that season. However they were no strangers to national competitions having competed in the FA Vase in its very first season in 1974/75, something that they did for the next 23 years.

They finished fourth in ther first season in our league, agonisingly missing out narrowly for the FA Cup via the PPG rule, but despite sitting in 12th place when last season ended, they entered the FA Cup anyway. That gamble has paid off as they were drawn out to be one of our entrants from the league.

Ammies Chairman Carl Barratt said 'This really is a fantastic day for us, for the Club as a whole, for the players, coaches and all the staff and volunteers who give so much to this football club. It’ll be a very proud moment for everyone and a first for the Club...

In the FA Vase... are our two new clubs to the league, FC Isle of Man and Bury AFC. Both of these teams were placed into the NWCFL for the 2020/21 season, and because they will be playing at grounds that have floodlights already installed, it meant that they could both apply for entry to the competition from the very start of their journey.

Gary Weightman, FC Isle of Man Chairman, said, 'Teams from the island have entered the FA Vase in the past but those forays in the competition have been few and far between. Hopefully, now, with FC Isle of Man competing in the NWCFL, the FA Vase will become a regular fixture in the calendar'...

Adam Ingram, Press Officer for Bury AFC, said, 'Being involved in the FA Vase means will no doubtably mean a very busy schedule for the coming season as we find our feet, but its a competition that is far too prestigious to turn down'".

5 August 2020


As reported here, yesterday, the funeral of former Alty youth manager and man of many jobs at the Football Club, George Heslop, took place yesterday.

Right: George is pictured, (on the right of this photo), with his wife Jenny, and club secretary Derek Wilshaw at the Youth Team Presentation Night in 2014.

Altrincham FC adds... "There was a huge turnout at The J.Davidson Stadium on Monday lunchtime to salute the funeral cortège of George Heslop.

Over a hundred supporters, club officials and former players, including Rod Thornley, Stuart Coburn, Chris Adams, Gary Scott, Eddie Hussin and Danny Adams, applauded the cortège as it paused outside the stadium opposite the main entrance.

Brian Flynn's tribute to George, printed in the limited edition match programme for the Play-Off Elimination Round game against Chester is reproduced via the above link.

It starts "My earliest recollections of George Heslop are from 1973, when I started to go to away games on the supporters’ coach. My first trip was to Bradford Park Avenue on January 6th 1973. I can’t remember if George organised the coaches in those days but he was certainly the focal point and unofficial leader of the coach pack, holding court on the back seat, where he kept everyone entertained, there and back, whatever the outcome of the game.

He was a like a 1970s' hybrid of Mark Eckersall and Pete Hughes, the go-to-guy. When my brother and I were intercepted by a few of the Gainsborough Trinity ‘razor squad’ on the way back to the coach after the opening game of the 1976/7 season, it was George who was first off the coach to begin the rescue of the Flynn brothers!

George was a prime mover in setting up and playing for an Altrincham FC Supporters’ Sunday League team in the late 1970s and this is where Thomas George Boyd Heslop learned his football leadership trade, going on to manage Altrincham FC’s youth team for more than 20 years until retiring just four years ago. He was hugely successful and I cannot think of another manager who has won more trophies".

Brian's tribute concludes,"In more than 70 years watching Altrincham FC, George saw it all. He will be universally missed by everyone at the club and will be remembered as one of the true greats of Altrincham Football Club".


Bill Gowdy, a Northern Ireland international, who spent a season at Moss Lane, is the latest player profiled by Terry Rowley in the Alty Legends series.


The Northern Premier League announce that "Glossop North End have appointed Andy Harris as the new assistant manager. The announcement comes following the resignation of joint manager Lloyd Morrison, who has joined NWCFL First Division South outfit, Cheadle Town, as manager.

Harris has been a part of the backroom staff at the Hillmen since 2018, joining both Pete Band and Lloyd Morrison's management team and will now take the step up to assistant manager."


The Hartlepool Mail advises that "News broke earlier today of a ‘substantial bid’ made by an unnamed consortium keen to take charge at Hartlepool United, though officials at The Vic are yet to comment.

The Mail understands the group has links to America but no further details have yet emerged of the individuals involved.

Owner Raj Singh, who has pumped more than £2million into the club since taking charge two years ago, has regularly stated since taking charge that it was always his ‘aim and intention to attract partnership investment’ to help share the burden...

HUST (Hartlepool United Supporters' Trust) released a statement. I read “HUST are aware of the reports on social media that HUFC are subject to a consortium takeover bid and we are aiming to seek clarity directly from the club on the matter... We hope that any developments is in the best interests of HUFC and the wider community.”

In May Pools announced proposals to launch a share issue scheme for fans, fan groups and local businesses in a bid to raise £200,000 in the first year... in return for a share of the business."

The Leader Live tells us that "Dean Keates insists that attacking midfielder Bobby Grant remains part of his plans, although that could change before the 2020-21 National League campaign kicks off.

Grant, one of only seven players under contract at The Racecourse for next season, finished 2019-20 as Wrexham's top scorer with eight goals, although he was allowed to join Accrington Stanley during the January transfer window.

The new campaign is set to start on October 3, with Wrexham possibly returning for pre-season later this month, and Keates said 'I have got a good relationship with Bobby and as long as he is contracted to the football club, he is part of our plans. He will report back in pre-season and we will go from there unless anything happens in the meantime.'”

And the Leader Live also reports that "National League North opponents will feature heavily in Wrexham’s pre-season programme... ahead of the club’s 13th season in the fifth tier...

Spectators are also expected to be allowed into grounds, albeit at a significantly reduced stadium capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Wrexham’s pre-season friendlies will be played behind closed doors.

And Keates has already lined up games against a number of teams from the division below, while former Wrexham manager Andy Morrell will also visit The Racecourse with his Hednesford Town outfit who play in the Southern League Premier Division Central...

Confirmed Keates, 'We had the framework in place anyway and things in the pipeline. All we have done is changed the dates of what we are going to go and changed the dates of the games.... We have got a double header with Telford and we will also play Southport and Kidderminster while Mozza is going to bring Hednesford up and we are going to play them at our place.

'We will also have a game with Cefn Druids and I have just got one spare date. I am just waiting on one first team to get back to me.'

Keates will be targeting a number of new signings before the big kick-off in less than two months time. The 42-year-old is rebuilding his squad following Wrexham's relegation battle in 2019-20, with the Reds finishing 20th, just one point above the drop zone...

Only seven players - Shaun Pearson, Luke Young, Bobby Grant, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond, Jay Harris and Daniel Jarvis are under contract at The Racecourse for next season with Luke Summerfield and Jake Lawlor among the personnel who were released last month.

Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Davis Keillor-Dunn and Christian Dibble have been informed that Keates would like to open discussions with them once they have certainty on when football will return.

However, defender James Jennings opted against waiting to hold contract talks with Keates, instead making the switch to big-spending league rivals Stockport where he has been joined by fellow ex-Reds in the shape of brother Connor, John Rooney and Alex Reid.

Despite the lack of new signings, Keates insists 'quality' players will be available and he is confident that he will assemble a squad that will be competitive next term."

Boreham Wood state that "we must announce our season ticket applications are now ‘temporarily closed’ for the forthcoming season, while we await detailed news on exactly what our new ‘limited stadium capacity’ might look like. As such, we limited season ticket sales to 500 and would like to thank everyone of the 500 supporters who have purchased their season ticket.

Secondly, we would like to update all of our supporters in regard to when the new league season will begin. This has now been confirmed by the National League board as of Saturday 3rd October.

Thirdly, we wish to update you all on our current ‘signed’ squad for next season and though we are still in negotiations with many of last year’s play-off squad, the list below are only those players who are signed for next season and whose contracts have been ratified by the FA.

  • Nathan Ashmore, Danny Woodards, David Stephens, Tom Champion, Kane Smith, Mark Ricketts, Kieran Murtagh, Adam McDonnell, Piero Mingoia, Sorba Thomas, Matt Rhead, Kabby Tshimanga

In the meantime, trust that we are doing everything we can to remain solvent, strong and competitive, as we try to adapt to the new normal and as we look to build on the positives of last season".

And, finally, news of two clubs who will not face Alty next season as they move in opposite directions out of the National League.

Chorley drop down to National League North as Alty ascend to the national division, and NL Daily reports that "Alex Newby has earned a move to Rochdale following his close-season departure from Chorley.

The midfielder was confirmed in early-July as one of the players leaving the Magpies. Having last represented Chorley in the National League, the 24-year-old now steps up two divisions".

And the Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Harrogate will start life in the English Football League next season at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.

Town secured promotion to the Football League for the first time in their 106-year history and have begun work on upgrading their CNG Stadium to comply with EFL rules. The North Yorkshire club began ripping up their artificial 3G playing surface today [Tuesday] in preparation for a new grass pitch. The work will not be completed until October and the new Sky Bet League Two season is scheduled to start on September 12.

A Harrogate spokesman said 'We are now able to confirm an agreement with Doncaster Rovers to use their ground for our EFL home games while our new grass pitch is laid. Built in 2006, the Keepmoat Stadium can hold around 15,000 supporters and is located within 50 miles of the CNG Stadium."


The Football Association reports that "The Emirates FA Cup schedule for the early rounds of the 2020-21 season has been confirmed, with the competition due to start on Tuesday 1 September.

The list of accepted clubs and round exemptions has also been released, while the early draws for the extra preliminary and preliminary rounds will be released on Tuesday 18 August.

In order to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule, there will be no replays for the 2020-21 season in the qualifying competition. The schedule for the competition proper will be released in due course.

After two seasons of record levels of prize funds, the Emirates FA Cup prize fund has returned back in line with 2017-18 levels due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic...

The schedule for the qualifying rounds is as follows:

  • Extra preliminary round: Tuesday 1 September 2020
  • Preliminary round: Saturday 12 September 2020
  • First round qualifying: Tuesday 22 September 2020
  • Second round qualifying: Saturday 3 October 2020
  • Third round qualifying: Tuesday 13 October 2020
  • Fourth round qualifying: Saturday 24 October 2020

Dates for the first round proper and beyond are to be confirmed in due course."

The NW Counties' Football League adds that "The FA Cup has been HALVED for the Qualifying Rounds compared to last season. A win in the Extra Preliminary Round is worth £1,125 this coming season whilst losers will pocket just £375. The Preliminary Round is worth £1,444, with losers picking up £481.

In the FA Vase, First Round Qualifying winners will receive £550 with losers getting £160, whilst in Second Round Qualifying winners will get £725 with losers picking up £225. With the prospect at present of the competitions being behind closed doors, it means significant losses to many teams whether they win or lose.

The FA have also confirmed the entrants for this seasons competitions. In the FA Cup, all Premier Divsion sides are in the competition whilst in our First Divisions, the FA controversially held a draw to see what teams were entered. Ordinarily Points Per Game would be used from the previous season with the best four teams from each league in the competition but, with last season ruled null and void, it was instead a random draw from all those who entered the competition to see who was in it.

Our First Division North entrants are therefore AFC Darwen, Daisy Hill, Shelley and St Helens Town, whilst our First Division South entrants are Cammell Laird 1907, Maine Road, Stone Old Alleynians and Wythenshawe Amateurs.

In the FA Vase, all of our teams have entered the competition with three of them being teams who have not entered the competition before. Bury AFC, FC Isle of Man and Golcar United are the teams who will be making their debuts."

And Kidderminster Harriers report that "As you’ll already know, our new campaign gets underway on Saturday, 3 October with an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round clash.

The draw for this round of the competition has yet to be made, but this should be done just after Tuesday, 22 September when the previous round’s matches are due to be played...

Meanwhile, our journey in the FA Trophy this season will begin somewhat later than in previous years; we’ll be entering at the Second Round proper stage, which is slated for Saturday, 5 December. The FA have confirmed that there will be no replays at any stage in the FA Trophy this season.

Lastly, unless we are drawn to receive a bye to the First Qualifying Round, our young guns will begin their FA Youth Cup adventure in the First Preliminary Round. The draw for that round, due to be played in the week commencing 7 September, will be made on 18 August".

In the Northern Premier League "The FA Cup Preliminary Rounds will begin on September 1... Carlton Town, Colne, Pickering Town and Spalding United will all start in the Extra Preliminary Round. Matlock Town, Stalybridge Celtic and Ashton United will all feature in the Preliminary Round on September 12, alongside the remaining N/West and S/East Division teams.

The First Round Qualifying starts on September 22, which will feature all remaining Premier Division teams."

4 August 2020


Last season (2019-20) Altrincham would have completed 21 away matches in the regular season had it been completed. They would have travelled 2,098 miles each way or a total of 4,196 miles for the return trips.

That total showed a marked increase when compared with the mileage two years' previously, in the Northern Premier League, when Altrincham's 23 away trips added up to just 1,433 miles or 2,866 for the return journeys.

But even this season's increased total pales into insignificance compared with the projected mileage for 2020-21. Admittedly, there are two additional away fixtures next season but the total for the 23 journeys is 3,737 miles or 7,474 miles in return trips.

That is 200 miles further than the distance from Altrincham to Santiago, the capital of Chile in South America, and almost 1,000 miles further than a return trip to New York City!

The longest single trip in 2020-21 will be to Dover (277 miles each way), followed by Torquay (248 miles each way).

By way of average mileage per away fixture, the figures are:

  • 2017/18 NPL 62.3 miles per game
  • 2019/20 VNLN 99.9 miles
  • 2020/21 VNL 162.5 miles

Last season's longest league trip was to Blyth (176 miles); next season there are fourteen trips longer than that! However, Alty do have a shorter shortest trip in 2020-21, the 10 miles to Stockport, compared with the 17 miles to Curzon Ashton last season.

Altrincham's 7,474 miles put Trafford's Premier League neighbours, Manchester United, in the shade. Next season, United's league trips will total a little over 4,600 miles, there and back. Allowing for the fewer games played in the Premier League, that equates to around 5,600 miles, which is more than 1,500 miles fewer on the road than their part-time neighbours!


Well over 100 people lined Moss Lane at lunchtime on Monday to salute the funeral cortege of George Heslop, Altrincham's former Youth team manager, as well as a former club secretary, matchday secretary, Radio Robins match summariser, bar licensee, bingo caller, race-night compere and sometime holder of a host of other roles at the Football Club.

Below, we see Bill Morris's photo of the hearse as it moved off, after pausing outside the club's main entrance, where it was greeted by lengthy applause from many of those who knew George in his variety of roles at the Club.


Former Alty player John Brian Phillips progressed to being a team-mate, and sworn enemy, of Brian Clough at Middlesbrough but his later Football League career was ended by a match-fixing scandal. His story is the latest Alty Legend profile by Terry Rowley.


On Tuesday, 4 August, 2009, Altrincham gave a good account of themselves against a young Manchester United XI in a pre-season game, which was remembered as much for who watched the game as who played in it. About half a dozen of the Australian cricket touring party, led by captain Ricky Ponting, watched the game and their host, Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, gave interviews to the press and posed for the army of press photographers. Geoff had been befriended by the Australians whilst driving their tour coach, supplied by Good Goodwins. And several of the cricketers went on to become shareholders in Altrincham AFC!

A crowd of 1,772 were in the ground and they saw Alty do well, especially considering they played the last 15 minutes with only ten men after Dale Johnson had limped off with what looked like a strained hamstring. United's first goal had arrived in the 13th minute when Simpson appeared to foul Clee as he won possession forty yards out on the right. Play continued and the ball was worked to the right via Stewart, whose low cross was turned in at the back post by Dudgeon. The Reds' second goal only arrived in the 89th minute when James sprang the offside trap and his chip came back off the post, striking the unfortunate James Smith as he attempted to clear, and dropping into the net for an own goal.

Right: A mingling of different sports and eras was in evidence at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 4 August 2009 as Aussie cricketer Ricky Ponting was seen in conversation with Manchester United reserves' manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer. To the right is seen Jack Crompton, Manchester United's goalkeeper in the 1948 cup final and a frequent visitor at Moss Lane.

Last week's FA Cup Final referee, Altrincham's own Anthony Taylor, was also the man in charge of this friendly in 2009.

All the fit members of the Alty squad, apart from Richard Acton, were involved tonight. Robbie Lawton was named on the bench but, despite lapping the pitch many times before kick off, he was not fit enough to be involved in the game. United included none of their "big names" as the first-team was scheduled to play Valencia 24 hours later. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was there as the reserves' captain and he received plenty of press attention as did Ricky Ponting, captain of the Australian cricket team who was attending the game along with several of his team-mates, at the invitation of Alty chairman Geoff Goodwin, whose Go Goodwins company provides coach travel for the touring cricketers.

The line-ups uderline just how few Manchester United reserves get through to have a significant first-team career at Old Trafford. However, one or two in the Reds' squad in 2009 did enjoy success elsewhere

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 8. Matty CROWELL, 6. Tom KEARNEY, 7. Anthony DANYLYK, 9. Nicky CLEE, 11. Colin LITTLE; 10. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 13. Russell SAUNDERS (gk), 14. Chris DENHAM, 15. Danny HEFFERNAN, 16. Robbie WILLIAMS, 17. Chris SENIOR, 18. Robbie LAWTON. In the second half Altrincham switched to yellow shirts and used their squad numbers.

MANCHESTER UNITED XI: 1. Tom HEATON, 2. Danny SIMPSON, 3. Oliver GILL, 4. James CHESTER (capt), 5. Scott WOOTON, 6. Corry EVANS, 7. Cameron STEWART, 8. Matthew JAMES, 9. Febian BRANDY, 10. Magnus EIKREM, 11. Joe DUDGEON. Subs: 12. Reece BROWN, 13. Ron Robert ZIELER, 14. Oliver NORWOOD, 15. Robert BRADY, 16. Nicholas AJOSE, 17. Will KEANE, 18. Scott MOFFATT, 19. Michael NGOO.


As Altrincham fans become accustomed to a new division and new opposition next season, here is some news from the club's new rivals in the National League...

Dagenham & Redbridge "confirm the departure of Manny Onariase, as the defender joins Scunthorpe United for an undisclosed fee".

From the other side of the deal, Scunthorpe United report the "signing of central defender Emmanuel Onariase from Dagenham and Redbridge for an undisclosed fee, penning a two-year contract.

The 6ft 2in player is a strong-tackling, ball-playing 24-year-old who started his career as a trainee with West Ham United.

He went on to sign for Brentford, from whom he impressed on loan in League Two with Cheltenham Town over two spells. Onariase then joined Rotherham United before signing for Dagenham where he initially excelled on loan before signing permanently, making 63 appearances in the National League and scoring twice.

While there he earned an England C call-up and was named in the Vanarama National League team of the week three times last season".

It's the Derbyshire News which is the source of a story about the south-eastern outpost of the National League as it reports that "Dover Athletic will be 'forced to cease trading' if players don’t agree to a wage cut or if new investment is not found by the end of August, according to chairman Jim Parmenter

The National League club’s 14 contracted players have all been made available for a free transfer.

In a statement Mr Parmenter said the board have been 'assessing the club’s financial position and immediate future' as a result of Covid-19, with income expected to be 'greatly reduced' with stadium capacities likely to be restricted due to social distancing requirements. Mr Parmenter said a meeting was held with players and staff last week and they were all asked to accept a 20 per cent 'short-term reduction' in their wages to help Dover 'stay solvent' and 'keep the club alive.'

'The management have accepted the proposal, however, unfortunately the players have not agreed,' Mr Parmenter said. 'Therefore it is with great regret that I must announce that all of the squad are now available for free transfer as an initial immediate step.

'I must further inform supporters that, if a solution or further investment cannot be found by the end of August, it is likely that the directors will consider the club insolvent and, as a consequence, will be forced to cease trading. The directors are doing everything they can to keep the club afloat, but have reached an impasse and require the support of our playing squad.'”

Closer to home, Chesterfield "Company secretary Ashley Carson provides an update on the change of ownership as the "final and most important milestone... the financial transaction which we are hoping will now happen this week. Upon the money being transferred, Mike Goodwin will be appointed as a director of CFC 2001 Limited and then Mike Warner and John Croot will resign their positions and I will resign my position... This role will immediately be filled by a designated representative from the Trust. At this point there will be a handover of all documentation as well as the keys to the front door!..

With only ten full-time professionals on the books, time is of the essence and there is an sense of urgency to build a new team. Having held discussions with Mike Goodwin and the manager, [ex-Kidderminster boss] John Pemberton, we will be completing the signing of three players this week. Obviously once the takeover is completed, all future transfers will be under the control of the new owners.

At the time of writing, with the exception of Tammy Butler, all staff and players are furloughed and will remain so until the new owners take control... The sale of the club does include all conferencing and banqueting...

The new home kit is selling well and the green away kit has now landed at PUMA... [We] have worked hard to ensure that the club is back with the fans and debt-free to enable the new owners to get off to a good start. We wish Mike Goodwin and his team and most of all you, the fans, all the very best for the future".

In the Hartlepool Mail, manager and ex-Alty trialist "Dave Challinor is keeping his options open at left-back, with ex-Gateshead defender Scott Barrow on his radar.

The Pools boss made five signings on a busy Saturday with Josh MacDonald, Mark Shelton, Timi Odusina, Gary Liddle and Rhys Oates all arriving at The Vic.

Attention will now turn to strengthening other areas of the squad, with Pools in need of a new left-back after Mark Kitching left to join Stockport County.

A shortlist of potential left-backs has already been drawn up which includes familiar target Barrow, following his release from... Gateshead...

Challinor told the Mail 'We definitely need options at left-back and a bit of a utility player along that left side, whether it’s a left-sided centre back who can play at left back or a flexible left-midfielder, we need some balance and we have some loan options but we’ll have people in through pre-season to have a look at, if we can’t get something done with the potential targets we have on a permanent basis. At the moment, we’ve not spoken to Scott.

'He’s been released by Gateshead and we’re not sure what his circumstances are but it’s one that may happen further down the line if he wants to stay local'...

After a busy Saturday, Pools now have 13 players on permanent deals... The Pools squad returned to training last week...

Challinor also hopes to add Fleetwood Town defender Macauley Southam-Hales but the Pools boss admits he may have to be patient to land the defender. The 24-year-old Welsh full-back enjoyed a successful loan stint at Victoria Park last season and Challinor is keen to see him return".

Wales's Y Clwb Pel-Droed confirms that "Hartlepool United are interested in re-signing former loanee Macauley Southam-Hales.

The 24-year-old has recently signed a new contract with Fleetwood but now a former club are keen on bringing him back. Southam-Hales made seven appearances for the Pools last season...

'Macca, he’s still contracted at Fleetwood, we’ve had conversations but they need to work out their own circumstances with their squad before they look at loaning players out,' said manager Dave Challinor to the Hartlepool Mail.

'If something can be arranged then great. I know Macca would love to come back and we’d love to have him back and it’s certainly something we’re trying to explore but nothing has happened yet'".

Still in the Principality, the Leader Live informs us that "An early October start date is just fine by Wrexham midfielder Luke Young. And that’s because the energetic 27-year-old has an impressive goal return in matches played during the first week of October.

Young’s goal to game return is around one in 10, but he’s found the net three times in seven matches on or around October 3, which is when the 2020/21 National League season is set to start...

'I do remember them,' said Young when reminded of his scoring feats in October. 'One was against Wrexham though, so hopefully I can put things right by scoring on the opening day this season... When we were first in lockdown we were wondering when the season would restart, but then we were told that it was over. There was nothing to work towards...

'It’s just been about keeping yourself topped up fitness-wise before the gaffer tells us when we can get back into training... There’s something to work towards now.'

An October start date also represents a chance to put a dreadful 2019/20 campaign in the past, the Reds narrowly avoiding an unwanted relegation.

'We didn’t want it to end how it did,' said Young. 'But then, was it a blessing in disguise? You don’t know for definite what would have happened. We were confident we would stay up, but there was no pressure on us after the season ended how it did.'

Young was one of the success stories of the campaign... The Ivybridge-born ace, who also triggered a contract extension, said 'I had a good season, much like the first one here, but I think it’s been better for me personally. I feel I’ve been consistently good. You always have off-days, that’s human nature, but I’ve been consistent, which is not always an easy thing to do'".

At Solihull Moors "The Vanarama National League Team of the Season for 2019/20 has been revealed...

We’re delighted to say that Solihull Moors' defensive pairing Alex Gudger and Callum Howe are in the team having received the majority of votes from fellow National division clubs.

The duo became a formidable force in the heart of defence throughout the campaign, as the Moors conceded just 37 goals, fewer than any other team in the division.

To back-up their mean defensive record, the team kept 13 league clean sheets in total, with Gudger and Howe consistent features.

Gudger played 34 of the 38 games completed before the early curtailment of the season. In total, the defender made 41 appearances and scored two goals in all competitions and is just 10 away from reaching his century of games for the club.

His partner in crime, Howe, played every minute of every game in the National League and scored four goals (46 appearances and five goals in all competitions) in his debut season at the Stadium".

The only team which Alty played last season in the league and who will join them next season in being promoted is King's Lynn Town who report that "Following the excitement of the weekend’s play off’s the line up of teams competing in the National League next season has been confirmed.

On Saturday Weymouth emulated the Linnets achievements as they also secured back to back promotions with a National League South play off final victory over Dartford... There was to be no happy ending for Boston United who fell to a single goal defeat to visitors Altrincham in the final ever fixture to take place at York Street.

On Sunday Harrogate Town were promoted to the English Football League for the first time in their history with a 3 – 1 win over Notts County at Wembley. Ex Linnet George Thomson scored the first goal in the victory for Town, who are managed by another former Linnet in the shape of Simon Weaver.

Fixtures for the National League season are expected to be announced in the next few weeks. The full line up of teams for season 2020/21 , due to start on Saturday, October 3rd , is as follows: Aldershot Town, Altrincham, Barnet, Boreham Wood, Bromley, Chesterfield, Dagenham & Redbridge, Dover Athletic, Eastleigh, FC Halifax Town, Hartlepool United, KING’S LYNN TOWN, Maidenhead United, Notts County, Solihull Moors, Stevenage , Stockport County, Sutton United, Torquay United, Wealdstone, Weymouth Woking, Wrexham, Yeovil Town."


The Northern Premier League reports that Alty's neighbours "Trafford FC have announced nine players who have re-signed for the 2020/21 season.

Goalkeeper Matt Cooper was the first announcement of a busy afternoon for the N/West Division side, [by] manager Danny Caldecott... Replacement goalkeeper Jonathan Mcilwaine has also signed a new deal with the club.

Defender Jake Kenny has put pen to paper for a new deal, alongside midfielder Ross Davidson... Oliver Roberts, Mike Jones and Laurence Taylor have also all re-signed for next season... It's a big season for Loz, he’s everything you want in a midfielder; technically very good, competitive and a very good footballing brain. Hopefully he’ll stay fit and fulfil his potential.'

Lastly, the club confirmed the re-signings of Max Hazeldine and fan favourite, Chris Palmer"

3 August 2020


When Alty return to the top flight of non-League football next season, they will find just one club who they have never played before; Maidenhead United. And even they could have been relegated this summer after finishing fourth bottom of the National League but they were reprieved by the Bury fiasco.

Right: Alty celebrate during a win at The Shay, Halifax in 2011, a ground Alty should re-visit in 2020-21. Here, after Damian Reeves had scored Alty's second goal, it was Jack Redshaw who ended up at the bottom of the celebratory pile. As well as Damian (no.10), Simon Richman, Matt Flynn (no.2) and Anthony Danylyk (no.4) are on the scene.

However, as well as Maidenhead, there is another club that Altrincham have never played against in a competitive game before. That club is Chesterfield. However, Altrincham have played a game at Chesterfield FC's former stadium the historic Saltergate ground, where The Robins won the UniBond Challenge Cup in 1998 against Gainsborough Trinity.

There are two other National League clubs of 2020-21 that Alty have not faced in a league environment but have met in the FA Cup. They are Notts County, who lost their play-off final to Harrogate on Sunday, and Hartlepool United, who Alty defeated at Moss Lane in 1973/74 season, one of the club's seventeen Football League scalps in that competition.

And some previously visited clubs may be at the same stadium as previously, but now have an artificial pitch which was not in place for the Robins's previous visits; Bromley and Sutton United's Gander Green Lane, are examples.

With Barrow and Harrogate Town promoted this summer to the EFL, Altrincham will find themselves a relatively northern outpost in the National League. Only FC Halifax Town and Hartlepool United remain in the National League from season 2019-20 as clubs lying north of Moss Lane, but the relegation of Chorley and of AFC Fylde will provide Alty with a couple of more reasons to head north next season. Stockport County is also marginally north of Altrincham.

Although the promotion of Barrow removes one long trip, in terms of time at least, from the itinerary next season, there will be twelve much longer journeys, of 200 miles or more each way in 2020-21, comprising jaunts to King's Lynn, Wealdstone, Weymouth, Yeovil, Woking, Dover, Bromley, Torquay, Sutton, Eastleigh, Dagenham and Aldershot, whilst five more journeys, to Stevenage, Hartlepool, Boreham Wood, Barnet and Maidenhead are certainly also long-, rather than short-,haul outings.


There has been precious little to cheer about during the Covid-19 pandemic but Altrincham's play-off success has been an exception, especially as the town of Altrincham is currently subjected to the necessary additional tightening of social liberties, as announced by the government at the end of last week to inhibit the further spread of the virus.

Whilst the players, management and the team's support staff are obviously to be thanked for their magnificent collective effort, we should not forget the many others who contributed so much to getting the season completed. Notable amongst these is the club's Covid-19 Officer, Nigel Bunce. As the Safety Officer at the football club, Nigel took on the additional repsonsibilty for ensuring that safety protocols were put in place and, more importantly, followed by the team and all who needed to be at the play-off matches at Moss Lane, York and Boston.

That everything went so smoothly is testament to Nigel and his counterparts at the play-off clubs.

And we must also not forget those who brought the play-off games to us, the broadcasters, the photographers and the journalists who witnessed the games first-hand and went through the necessary Covid-testing procedures. For Alty these notably included Brian Flynn whose balanced and informative television commentaries guided us through the three matches, whilst photographers Mike Ripley and Jonathan Moore provided the still images for the official website.

Around the team, kitman Steve Foster, sports therapists Tommy Uda and Ryan Murray, the analysts, stewards and other support staff all played their part. The hotel staff where Alty stayed at Grantham, the coach drivers and many others adhered to safety guidelines to ensure the process worked smoothly. There will be others not mentioned above who played important roles and we thank them all for their contributions to our collective happiness as we appreciate the club's return to Step One of the non-League Pyramid.

Thank you.


Watching the play-off through a computer-screen, TV, or mobile device, as above, was the nearest Altrincham supporters got to participating in their club's third play-off success. And it remains to be seen how or when Altrincham can actually make their bow back in the national division of non-League football during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The club has now competed in five play-off promotion competitions, three of which have been successful, with only two ties out of thirteen play-off games completed ending in defeat, as shown below.


Amidst the euphoria of Altrincham's promotion, it is a sad duty to remind everyone that tomorrow (Monday) is the day of long-time club servant George Heslop’s funeral. Former Youth team manager, Match-day Secretary and occupant of a host of other job titles at Moss Lane, George [right] has sadly missed this year's promotion finale.

Altrincham FC has announced that "The funeral will pass The J Davidson Stadium at 12.45pm on Monday 3rd August and it would be really appreciated if as many people as possible, maintaining social distancing, could be there to pay their respects.

The funeral service itself can be followed by a webcast at 1.30pm for anyone who would like to follow the service. The login order ID is 41005 and password is snmequjz".

ON THIS DAY: 3 August

Fifteen years ago today, Altrincham played a pre-season game on a ground in the Borough of Trafford which was neither Moss Lane nor Shawe View. This game took place at Crossford Bridge, Sale, a site currently earmarked as a site for a new stadium for Sale Sharks rugby club.

Back in 2005 the opposition was Old Altrinchamians who were taking on and Altrincham Reserves XI in a ten-goal contest which followed a first-team friendly at the same venue the previous year, which had verged on abandonment after some reckless challenges.

In the 2005 fixture, three players with first-team experience were in the Alty Reserves' side; defender George Melling, midfielder Lewis Chalmers (later to enjoy a Football League career) and striker Kieran Lugsden. A new face for Alty on the bench was keeper Phil Cross, a former England under-18 international. Phil's career had been interrupted by viral meningitis which had stopped him playing for a considerable period.

Also on the bench was Danny Heffenan, who had previously played for Fletcher Moss under Alty Reserves' manager Neil Brown. Captaining the side was Dwaine Lynsey, who has been named deputy Reserves' captain to James Marsden for 2005-06. James himself was making a welcome return after injury but he had still to face a 52-day suspension for a sending-off (!), starting later in the month. Lewis Chalmers played on the right as his first-team appearances so far had been on the flanks.

Alty started off looking fresh, passing the ball about well. Up front, Jones and Lugsden were establishing an excellent understanding. Jones had been at Barnsley and the previous season had been at Scarborough; he has also had a spell at Accrington alongside Alty's new first-team signing Lutel James.

Alty went 2-0 up before Old Alts pulled one back. By half-time the visitors led 3-1.

At the interval Alty brought on Cross for Ellison in goal; McFadden for Stewart and Sutton for Richards. Sutton went on to have a fine game on the right flank, with Chalmers moving inside.

After 55 minutes Frost came on for Ashley Brown at left back. On the hour mark Heffernan replaced Lynsey and the new man played on the left. 18 year-old Heffernan, who went on to play for Alty's first team, showed good form in the final half-hour of the match. When he came on, Jones moved to centre-midfield and McFadden, also later a first-teamer, went up front. After 70 minutes, Marsden came on for Monaghan.

Old Alts fielded a similar side to that which gave Alty a lot of problems last season so it was a mark of the Reserves' good performance that they ran out comfortable winners and even had two goals disallowed. For Old Alts, John Maloney was impressive and he was to join Altrincham for trials as pre-season continued.

ALTRINCHAM RESERVES: 1. Craig ELLISON, 2. Paul MONAGHAN, 3. Ashley BROWN, 4. George MELLING, 5. Matt GARLAND, 6. Dwaine LYNSEY (capt), 7. Lewis CHALMERS, 8. Rico RICHARDS, 9. Griff JONES, 10. Kieran LUGSDEN, 11. Ryan STEWART. Subs: 12. Dave FROST, 13. Phil CROSS (gk), 14. James MARSDEN, 15. Michael SUTTON, 16. Danny HEFFANAN, 17. Pat McFADDEN.


Eric Barnes [right], who had played in a memorable FA Cup upset for Crewe Alexandra at Chelsea, is the latest subject of Terry Rowley's Alty Legends series.


Sunday, 2 August 2020, at Wembley.
  • Harrogate Town 3-1 Notts County. Harrogate join Barrow in being promoted to League Two.


The Boston Standard says that "Hearts were broken as the Pilgrims were beaten 1-0 by Altrincham in Saturday’s National league North play-off final, the last ever game at York Street. But Elliott is adamant the experience will only make his squad hungrier for success as he begins adding to his squad ahead of another push for promotion...

'You look at the successful teams of the past years and they’ve used this experience,' Elliott said. 'Look at the Chorleys and other teams. Year after year they get in the play-offs and that’s where we need to be as a club. I took over this club when it was second bottom and my aim is to have it consistently at the top of the league and challenging. We want more occasions like this.'

Scott Garner, Luke Shiels, Jordan Thewlis , Peter Crook and Tom Platt are already signed up for next season... Elliott hopes he can keep the majority of his team together and, with a little fine tuning, return stronger.

'There’s verbal agreements but, until they’ve signed, there’s nothing definite,' he added. 'But I don’t see a massive turnaround. We’ve had a good season and I don’t want to rip that up... We’ll all be better for this experience'.

While rivals have had a month of recruiting already, Boston were unable to [do so] due to their play-off campaign. 'I knew we wouldn’t be in a position to sign players early so I was always laid back about recruiting after this,' Elliott said. It was important we found out how players did and what league we were in. Ultimately now it’s about not making knee-jerk reactions and making sure we get the right players in, the right blend to go again'".

Lynn News says that "King’s Lynn Town have completed a clean sweep of all the awards on offer in the National League North.

As well as being named as Club of the Year, Ian Culverhouse has picked up the Manager of the Year accolade while striker Adam Marriott has scooped the Player of the Year award".

Altrincham will be in the same division as Hartlepool United next season and, from there, the Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United fans are aiming high after the club announced a raft of new signings, with promotion back to the EFL now firmly on the mind

It’s been a quiet few weeks at Victoria Park as Dave Challinor looked to assemble his squad for the new campaign. But that all changed on Saturday, August 1, when no fewer than FIVE new arrivals were confirmed.

Loan trio Mark Shelton, Gary Liddle and Timi Odusina have all put pen to paper on permanent stays after impressing during their temporary stints at the Vic, while winger Josh MacDonald and forward Rhys Oates have also signed for Pools."

The Northern Echo adds "Dave Challinor finds himself presiding over a squad featuring 13 permanently-contracted players...

MacDonald’s signing was the last to be announced on Saturday afternoon, with the former Middlesbrough trainee returning to the North-East after spending the last five seasons with Halifax. A versatile attacking player, who has spent most of his career playing as a right winger, MacDonald was at Marske United as a youngster, and was part of the Halifax side that won the FA Trophy at Wembley in 2016...

Oates has rejoined Pools after previously spending three years at the club between 2015-18. A forward who has made 44 appearances for League Two side Morecambe over the last two seasons, Oates replaces Luke James, who recently joined Barrow following the Cumbrian club’s promotion to the Football League...

Liddle is also back for a second permanent spell at Pools, having first joined the club under Danny Wilson in 2006. He made 284 appearances during his first stint, and has signed a permanent deal after initially returning on loan from Walsall in January".

The Northern Echo confirms that "Darlington boss Alun Armstrong has moved quickly to secure the services of striker Dan Maguire, following his release from York City.

Armstrong worked with Maguire during the pair’s time at Blyth Spartans, and was keen to recruit the 27 year-old, once his release from Bootham Crescent was confirmed in the wake of York’s National League North play-off semi-final defeat to Altrincham. Having started his career at Seaton Delavel in the Northern Alliance, Maguire joined Blyth in 2012 and spent seven years at Croft Park.

He scored 37 goals in 54 appearances as Blyth won promotion from the EvoStik Premier League in 2016-17, a season that also saw him capped by England C and crowned NPL Player of the Year, and he netted 19 goals under Armstrong in the 2018-19 campaign that saw Blyth reach the National League North play-offs.

He made 14 appearances for York last season, scoring two goals...

'Hopefully, Dan is the missing piece in our jigsaw,' said Armstrong... 'We’ve been missing somebody like ‘Nipper’ (Maguire), who scores goals on a regular basis, and he wants to get back to what he knows best. He’s a phenomenal goalscorer, who can score them out of nothing, especially on the counter-attack. He’s set up for the system that we play. He’s strong, physical and sets the other players up really well. He will give us lots of massive options with the other players'...

Maguire’s move to York did not go to plan.... 'It’s a new venture,' said the striker. 'I had a bit of a stop-start season last year, so I just want to get back to what I was doing prior; get some goals in and play some attacking football... It’s a big club with good fans, and I’ve obviously worked with Alun before'">

We learn from the Eastern Daily Press that "King’s Lynn Town have added to the sports science part of their backroom staff.

Ben Alger has joined the Linnets in the role of Sports Science Support...

'I have just graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science (BSc) and I really wanted to carry on the knowledge that I’ve learnt in my degree and use it in an applied setting, especially elite football, being that I’ve already had a taste of it with two years of experience as performance analyst with Leicester City and Norwich City respectively.

Within my role at The Walks I’ll mainly be handling data related with the players’ physical attributes, consulting with the manager about physical performance, and producing physical data reports regarding weekly training load, while assisting with the running of the sessions wherever needed', he said”

According to the Halifax Courier "Midfielder Cameron King has left FC Halifax Town after two seasons at the club, while former winger Josh Macdonald has joined Hartlepool United.

King joined Town from King's Lynn under Jamie Fullarton in the summer of 2018, and made 34 appearances in his first season.

He then played 35 times for Town under Pete Wild during the 2019-20 season, displaying excellent technical ability and creativity during his time at the club.

Macdonald joins Hartlepool in his native north-east after being released at The Shay following a five-year spell at Halifax."

2 August, 2020


Following the win at Boston yesterday, Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson said, "I'm extremely proud. To have done what we've done in a [three-year] period of time; to have made good on the promises we made. People might have called that arrogance. It certainly wasn't. It was confidence in the lads we recruited and what they could do.

"We said we wanted to come up from the NPL at the first attempt. We said we wanted to establish ourselves in Conference North and then go up again in the third [year]. So many people said that was unrealistic but it feels great to stand here and say we did it".

The manager continued, "I know it's going to be really tough [in the NL] and there'll be games where we're a little bit out of our depth. But we'll have to adapt very quickly otherwise we'll be back to being that yo-yo club, which I don't want to associate with the name of Altrincham any more.

"This is where the fans think we belong. Where the owners think we belong. Now we've got to go and prove it.

"If that means going hybrid, we have to do it... We're doing the right things on the pitch and the Board need to do the right things off it, which they are.

"I want to keep moving forward. Myself and Neil (Sorvel) we're very ambitious. We want to go far in the game and all this good stuff we've done, it could be washed away if we got relegated.

"We're not a massive club, though we've got massive history. But we've got to start acting like a massive club if we want to stay in that division".


Right: Jake Moult with the trophy.

Altrincham won promotion back to the National League, thanks to a howler by Boston 'keeper Crook, which left Dan Mooney with an open goal, and he duly scored (65 mins). After a fairly cagey first half, which Boston shaded, the teams went in at the break goalless. Boston lost striker Wright to injury during the first half but Alty had played throughout without three regular defenders in Densmore, White and Jones.

Match report here.


Boston manager Craig Elliott spoke to the NL Paper after the game, saying "It's gutting to have lost the game on an error, and it shouldn't happen. I've not spoken to Peter [Crook], but we've been through it all before with Rochdale". Goalkeeper Crook also made a costly mistake in the Pilgrims' FA Cup tie against Rochdale. "I don't want to be too harsh but we talked at half-time about concentration, about not making mistakes in games like this and, unfortunately, it's a big mistake, isn't it?

"We're all accountable... I actually think a lot of our big players didn't turn up in the second half... And, of course, I feel sorry for the lad but you can't be making an error like that in a game like this. That's what makes it even more gutting".

The former Shaw Lane boss concluded, "I'm about winning and we've failed today... At this moment it just feels devastating".


Altrincham's win at Boston means they will now start a fifth spell at the top level of non-League football.

After 17 unbroken years Alty were first relegated from the top level at the end of 1996-97 season. They returned to the top flight for a single season in 1999-2000 and for six more seasons from 2005-06 to 2010-2011. Under Lee Sinnott they enjoyed two more years at national level (2014-16) so, in all, Altrincham have spent 26 of the 41 seasons of national level non-League football in its top division.

Back in 1979 there were just 20 teams in that inaugural Alliance Premier League division, as Altrincham won the title and retained it the following season, being denied Football League status by the re-election system.

Of the teams in the inaugural 1979-80 campaign, curiously no fewer than three of those founder members will be promoted back there for 2020-21; Altrincham, Wealdstone (NL South champions) and Weymouth, who won the South play-off on Saturday against Dartford after a penaty shoot-out.

Otherwise, of the original members, only Yeovil Town are currently at that top level of non-League football.

Indeed, of the twenty original clubs, only Barrow, who were only promoted back to the Football League this year, will be playing at a higher level in 2020-21 than they were in 1979 and several clubs are significantly lower in the pyramid today. So, what was set up to facilitate the progress of non-League clubs to the Football League may have worked for some, but not for all but one of the original trailblazers!


Two Altrincham players have been named in the National League North's Team of the 1919-20 Season.

They are right-back Shaun Densmore and forward Josh Hancock (right).

Shaun missed the pay-off matches as his wife was pregnant at the start of the play-offs and, presumably, he had not been able to be in contact with the squad around the time of the birth for safety reasons.

Josh Hancock ended the campaign as Altrincham's leading goalscorer in the league with 16 goals. His 18 goals in all competitions was just one behind Jordan Hulme's overall tally of nineteen goals.


Vanarama National League regional play-off finals:

  • North: Boston United 0-1 Altrincham
  • South: Weymouth 0-0 Dartford. Weymouth won on penalties 3-0!


Whilst today's date sees the 2019-20 campaign only just completed, in several past years 2 August has been a date well into the pre-season friendly fixture list for a following season. Such a case was 2013, when Alty hosted Wrexham at Moss Lane and won 3-1.

Right: Kyle Perry in action against Wrexham. He scored for the second successive game.

With manager Lee Sinnott able to field a stronger side than in previous pre-season games, his view that the team was coming together well for the start of the season was proved right as a run of five successive pre-season defeats was turned around at the J. Davidson Stadium. However, Wrexham had the better of the first half and took the lead in the 31st minute when a long-range shot from Jay Harris left Stuart Coburn, making his first appearance of the summer, wrong-footed.

Altrincham got a fortuitous equalizer two minutes before the interval when visiting keeper Joslain Mayebi failed to stop Kyle Perry's shot, which had had its sting taken out of it by a defender's challenge as he made his shot.

Wrexham changed their side at the interval with only defender Stephens, who had been used as a first-half substitute, continuing after the break, along with 10 replacements. For their part, Alty introduced Jake Moult, who went on to have an impressive 45 minutes, and trialist, Brian Smikle. Smikle, the former Kidderminster and Hereford winger was deployed on Alty's right wing.

Altrincham took the lead after 54 minutes when Danny Boshell's fine ball forward was superbly volleyed into the net by Damian Reeves. Reeves made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute when he twisted impressively to head home a James Walshaw cross, after Alty's summer signing had done well to get round Parle, to the left of goal.

The Robins were without Nicky Clee, who had a longstanding social engagement, and the injured Simon Richman. A surprise had been the appearance on the team sheet of a trialist, Brian Smikle, the former Kidderminster Harriers and Hereford winger.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2.Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Kyle PERRY, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. James LAWRIE. Subs: 12. Mike WILLIAMS, 14. Jake MOULT, 15. Brian SMIKLE (trialist), 16. Rob GILROY, 18. Adam REID (gk).

Included in the Wrexham squad was future Alty player Theo Bailey-Jones and veteran forwards Brett Ormerod and Andy Bishop.


The Express & Star reports that former Alty midfielder "Jordan Sinnott, son of former Walsall player Lee Sinnott, died in hospital after suffering a fractured skull and brain damage in the assault in the centre of Retford, Nottinghamshire, in the early hours of January 25.

His mother, Mel Tait, addressing his killers in court during their sentencing, told them '“You don’t deserve to have a life'.

Mr Sinnott’s partner, Kelly Bossons, also revealed that a week before her partner’s funeral she found out she was 12 weeks pregnant with his child.

At a sentencing hearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, Cameron Matthews, 22, was jailed for eight years and three months. He had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter after admitting throwing the fatal punches.

But it was Kai Denovan, of Collins Walk, Retford, who was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial, who instigated the attack, the judge said. Jailing 23-year-old Denovan for 11 years, Judge John Burgess told him he had 'played a leading role in the group'.

It had been he who made the 'joke', and then [had] thrown the first punch during an earlier incident in a pub, when he took exception to Mr Sinnott’s response".


He shared digs with Bert Trautmann whilst at Manchester City, and played for Eire, but Paddy Fagan was also an Altrincham player-manager and one of three full internationals in the Alty side at the time!

He is also the latest Alty Legend in Terry Rowley's series.


Chester FC "announce that Blues left-back Joel Taylor has been named in the Vanarama National League North Team of the Season 2019/2020!

The 24-year-old has had a storming first season at the Deva Stadium following his arrival last summer from Kidderminster Harriers.

Joel quickly caught the eye of the Blues faithful with strong defensive displays and being a constant attacking threat down the left...

It’s another deserved accolade for the excellent Taylor, who bagged our CFU Player of the Season Award for 2019/20 at the Digital Awards Night in May.

Joel made 38 appearances in all competitions, and joins Altrincham’s Shaun Densmore [right], Brackley’s Gareth Dean and York’s Sean Newton in defence. Peter Jameson also represents the Minstermen in goal.

Alty’s second player in the team is Josh Hancock in a three man midfield, alongside Southport’s David Morgan and King’s Lynn’s Chris Henderson.

National League North Golden Boot winner Adam Marriott features up top with Spennymoor’s Glen Taylor and Brackley’s Lee Ndlovu."

1 August 2020


Before today's 3pm kick off against Altrincham, Boston United reported that "York Street's last-ever match (kick-off 3.00pm) could not be a bigger occasion and, despite being played behind-closed-doors, will see the winners promoted to the National League...

United expect to have a full squad of 20 available for the promotion final, with Jordan Thewlis and Jake Wright both on target in twice in the win over Gateshead...

Should the promotion final be level after 90 minutes, the outcome will be decided by penalties.

Saturday's match referee is Adam Herczeg, who last took charge of the Pilgrims at Spennymoor Town in November".

For more on today's referee see here.


If you want to follow the Boston United v Altrincham game on Saturday live (3pm), you have two options...
  • How to Watch the Game: You can live-stream the game on a pay-per-view basis via the SportRadar service.
  • How to Listen: The Radio Robins website continues to be unavailable so you will need to follow an alternative link here to listen to the match commentary.


On the eve of the game with Alty at York Street, the National League reported that "If you think the pressure couldn’t ever be greater than to win a Promotion Final, have a chat with Craig Elliott.

He is only one game away from returning Boston United to their highest place in the Pyramid since 2007, writes Tom Scott. If the temperature wasn’t high enough, the Pilgrims can make history by giving their historic York Street home the fitting farewell it deserves... the grand old ground they have played in for 87 years...

'We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in pre-season with it being our last season at York Street,' he told us... 'Fate has had it that our last game, with a chance to win promotion to the National League, is at York Street. We couldn’t have written the script any better to be honest, it’s incredible. It’s one of the biggest games we’ve had in over a decade and it’s at York Street so it’s amazing...

'The competition has done itself proud in getting these games on. Financially, it has put a burden on clubs but simply the amount of work that has gone into the preparation to get these games on, everyone in the National League deserves credit for what they’ve done...

'People forget how big this club is... The fans are incredible at this club, the sooner we get them back in the stadium the better. There’s the potential here to take the club a lot further. The new stadium is good enough for the Football League and with the fanbase here, we’ve got the ability to push up another couple of leagues at least, and that is the aim.'"

Meanwhile, from the other side, Altrincham FC has an interview with social media manager Andrew Flynn. Referring to the club's 5-0 defeat at York Street in August, he said "It may have been early on in the season, but you could still forgive Alty fans for walking out of York Street that day feeling as though the Promotion Final was a distant dream.

But we all know that wasn’t truly Alty that afternoon. The Alty we’ve grown accustomed to under the leadership of Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel; well, that’s the one we watched last weekend.

The upturn in Alty’s performances has been phenomenal. We’ve rolled our sleeves up, doubled down on the excellent brand of football we pride ourselves on, and we’ve reaped the rewards for the hard work and strength of character we have shown throughout the season...

Ahead of the game, we spoke to Phil Parkinson after training on Thursday night", you can watch it on YouTube.

And Boston United add that "Craig Elliott is challenging his Pilgrims to give the York Street story a fairytale ending...

'They’re in form, look at their record since December,' manager Elliott said of the Robins. 'They’ve been fantastic, on a great run. They’ve got a good way of playing. It’ll be difficult but you expect nothing more in a play-off final.'

Boston thrashed Altrincham 5-0 at York Street in August. But similarly to the previous campaign, the Robins started sluggishly before powering their way to top gear.

'Both teams have had good seasons, they did well in the FA Cup as well,' Elliott added. 'I think it’s two contrasting styles but we’re both there on merit. Maybe other teams didn’t talk about us too much, you heard about your Chesters, Gatesheads and Yorks, but we believe in ourselves and they will'...

Elliott has assembled a squad packed with big-game experience... 'We’ve got a bit of experience in there. A lot of them know what it’s about but what I’ve tried to get across is the magnitude of the game,' Elliott continued".


The Durham FA has announced that "Durham FA referee Adam Herczeg will, this Saturday, referee the Vanarama National League North Play Off Final between Boston United and Altrincham FC".

Herczeg was the man who called off the Spennymoor Town v Altrincham shortly before kick off earlier this season, after the Altrincham team and their supporters' coach had arrived in the Durham town. He also officiated when Phil Parkinson's Nantwich Town lost their play-off to Spennymoor Town in 2017. In addition, Herczeg was the fourth official at Moss Lane for the play-off eliminator against Chester FC a fortnight ago and was the scheduled referee for the regular season Alty game at York which was postponed in March due to Covid-19 concerns.

Prior to this season, he also reffed Alty's 2-1 win at FC United of Manchester on 9 February 2019.

Speaking to his local FA, Herczeg said "I was delighted to have been promoted to Level 2A. I’ve worked hard over the last few years to achieve this promotion and during the current climate, with so much uncertainty for a period of time, it was a relief that all my hard work had been rewarded".

Next season he will operate in the Vanarama National League.

He continued "As you could imagine, once the appointment came through I was delighted to know that I will be refereeing the National League North Play Off Final between the two teams this coming weekend".

It was pointed out to him that "It has taken you a few seasons to move from 2B to 2A after getting to 2B very quickly. How did you deal with this minor setback and stay positive to improve every season?"

He responded that "Sometimes you have to take a step back and reflect and realise how far you have come in such a short period of time. Although it was somewhat disappointing, I always have a positive outlook".


Altrincham FC have lost their second "JJ" of the season. Following John Johnston's move to Chester FC, defender James Jones has now moved on to Barrow. Having been a near ever-present this season, Jones's departure is not unexpected, as he had opted not to participate in the current play-offs and had turned down a new contract offer.

Altrincham FC reports that "James Jones has finally completed his move away from The J.Davidson Stadium after signing for newly-promoted Vanarama National League champions Barrow for an undisclosed fee.

The highly-rated defender has had several clubs vying for his services since turning down Altrincham’s offer of a new improved contract but has opted for being part of Barrow’s return to the Football League after an absence of almost 50 years.

Confirming the end of Jones’s three-year stay at Alty, director of football Rob Esteva said: ‘It has been the one significant development of the summer so far, on the player front, that James took the decision to seek a fresh start, despite our very best efforts to keep him... The message is clear for any ambitious young footballer - come to us, spend some time with Phil and Neil, and you will improve.’

Barrow, who lost manager Ian Evatt to Bolton Wanderers and replaced him with former Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Dunn, are looking to strengthen for their return to League Two".

James (d.o.b. 13 March 1997), joined Alty from Welsh club The New Saints after playing as a trialist for Alty in July 2017. In August 2017, he decided to try his luck elsewhere but returned to Altrincham in time to make his debut on 23 August 2017.

His first season at Alty was slightly curtailed by a hamstring injury shortly before the end of the campaign. 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 Liam Goulding and he started 2019-20, once more, as first choice in the right-sided centre-back role. An excellent 2019-20 season culminated in his decision to leave Altrincham, which was originally announced on 19 July 2020.

For Altrincham he made 108(+7) appearances and scored 13 goals.

Barrow announced "the arrival of talented central defender James Jones, who has signed from Altrincham for an undisclosed fee...

The Wrexham-born defender is well known to Bluebirds striker Scott Quigley, having played with him previously at Welsh side TNS, where he went through their youth set up.

For the second time in a week, the Bluebirds fought off competition to capture his signature and he signs on a two-year deal. He joined up with his teammates earlier today as the squad returned to training in small groups, the first stage of a return to full training in around 10 days time. He will wear the number 14 for the Bluebirds".


The last time Alty played on today's date, 1 August, was in 2017 when Altrincham travelled to play Winsford United who a couple of decades earlier had been Alty's rivals in the Northern Premier League. 2017-18 found Altrincham back in that League whilst Winsford were competing in the Premier Division of the Hallmark NW Counties League, two tiers below.

Above: Alty at Winsford on 1 August 2017.

After a dominant first half, in which Altrincham repeated their previous Saturday's performance at Bradford of four goals in a twenty-minute spell, Winsford enjoyed a much better second period. But Altrincham were especially pleased to have secured their first clean-sheet of the summer despite the disruption implicit in their use of eight second-half substitutes.

At the attacking end, the tally at the end of the evening was 18 goals in the last six friendlies for Alty and, with five pre-season wins to date, the team had already secured one more victory than in the whole of their league season in 2016-17!

With trialist Joel Bembo-Leta making a surprise return in the starting line-up at right-back, the visitors took an eleventh-minute lead when a fine cross from Hulme was headed home by Hancock. The second goal followed in the 17th minute when Poole slid the ball, to his right, to Peers who netted smartly.

Hancock scored again after 26 minutes, firing home from outside the box after a Densmore overlap up the left. The fourth goal came from an underhit backpass; Winsford keeper Heywood got his foot to it ahead of Peers but the ball ricocheted off the Alty forward and into the net.

Altrincham welcomed back Simon Richman who had been working abroad and therefore been unavailable. Shaun Densmore captained the side but played this match in an unaccustomed left-back role as trialist Joel Bembo-Leta occupied the right-back berth.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3 Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Ben HARRISON, 5. James JONES, 6. Simon RICHMAN, 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Laurence TAYLOR, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Suis; 12. Tom HANNIGAN, 14. Sam SHERIDAN, 15. Jake MOULT, 16. John JOHNSTON, 17. John DISNEY, 18. Tolani OMOTOLA, 19. Josh AMIS, 20. Tim DEASY


According to the Northern Premier League, "Radcliffe boss Lee Fowler has added a trio of signings to his squad.

Full-back Raheem Hanley... is joined by another defender, Luis Morrison, who was previously with Nuneaton Borough and Hyde United.

Former Republic of Ireland Under 19 international forward Khius Metz completes the triple signing".

Both Morrison and Metz played for Alty in the Neil Young era.

Metz signed for Alty on loan from Burnley on 8 August 2016. Khius [right] made his Altrincham debut on 6 August 2016 at FC Halifax Town but was then sidelined by injury and returned to his parent club after just the single appearance.

Luis Morrison-Derbyshire joined Alty on 11 November 2016. He had been on schoolboy forms at Arsenal and Stevenage before a spell with Jalkapalloseura FC YPA in Finland (2014) and he also played for Umea in Sweden before returning to England for trial spells at Leeds United, (where he turned out for the Development Squad), Derby County, Wrexham and Newcastle United.

He joined Farnborough in January 2014 and also played for Maidenhead United, Hampton & Richmond, Grays and Concord Rangers in 2014 to 2015 before joining Canvey Island. After ten appearances for the Essex coast team, he joined Greenwich Borough in September 2016. After one appearance he was released on 8 December 2016 and by New Year was at Buxton. Like Metz, he made just the single appearance for Alty.


Goalkeeper Wilf Hall is Terry Rowley's latest profile in the Alty Legends series.


Alfreton Town "are delighted to confirm that midfielder Connor Branson has committed his future to the Reds for the 2020/21 campaign.

Connor joined the Reds in September 2019 from Altrincham for an undisclosed fee.

A strong and versatile midfielder who slotted into the back-line when required last season, made just eight appearances for Alty in the 2019/20 campaign before making the switch to the Impact.

Connor made 25 appearances for the Reds and scored three times, before the season came to an end in March.

Manager Billy Heath said, 'I am delighted to have Connor stay on for the 2020/21 season; he played a crucial role for us last season in that central midfield position; as well as filling in at centre half. We know his quality, he is an experienced player and that is what we need alongside new faces. He is a consistent performer and knows this level very well, we are happy he has stayed with us.'”

And NL Daily says that "Alfreton Town have signed striker Elliott Reeves.

Reeves was at Isthmian Premier Division side Margate in the 2019/20 campaign, making 36 appearances for the Gate and scoring 13 goals in all competitions as they finished the cut-short season in 12th place.

Alfreton manager Billy Heath said 'Elliott is a really exciting prospect. He scored a good amount of goals for Margate last season and we have stolen the march on a few clubs to sign him.'"

Guiseley "announce the signing of 26 year-old midfielder Andy Kellett.

From stepping out in League Two to playing for Manchester United U-21s our new signing Andy Kellett has experienced most things in football writes Rachel O’Connor.

The 26 year-old midfielder can play either in midfield or at left-back but he envisages playing in the No 10 role for The Lions.

The Bolton-born player, who came up through the Academy at home town club Bolton Wanderers, is looking forward to pulling on a Guiseley shirt after experiencing non-league football for the first time at the end of last season with two games for Alfreton Town.

Kellett, now Nottingham based, had another year to run on his contract at Notts County when he decided to look for more game time elsewhere. He had only recently signed for Alfreton when the season came to a premature end.

Of his move to Guiseley he said 'I met up with Russ O’Neill and got a really good vibe from him about the way he wanted me to play and the system they are going to play. It is important for me to play and have the ambition to get back into the Football League. I needed to find the right club for me and I am looking forward to doing well both personally and as a club.

He added 'I wanted to sign for Guiseley as they have a lot of hungry young players also wanting to do well so with everyone pulling in one direction I don’t see any reason why we cannot be successful'...

Whilst at Bolton Kellett went on a half-season loan to Manchester United and played for their Under-21 side... Kellett said 'I went from a loan at Plymouth Argyle in League Two, where you trained in public parks and had no meals provided, to training every day with Manchester United in the very best of facilities and with the very best of food provided. I loved it there and used to stay all day not leaving until 4 or 5pm.'

On leaving Bolton Kellett signed for Wigan and had a loan spell at Chesterfield before joining Notts County in 2018."

Confirmation comes from York Press that "Defender Sean Newton is among the five York City players to have signed new deals with the club for next season.

Newton was a regular starter in York's back five last season, making 40 starts in the 2019/20 season, the most of any player in the first-team squad, scoring five goals. The former captain will now enter his fifth season with the Minstermen, having originally joined the club from Wrexham back in 2016.

Also penning contract extensions with the club are youngsters Harry Spratt, Josh King, Reiss Harrison and Charlie Jebson-King.

Defenders Spratt and King made eight and six appearances respectively last term and could be set for more game time next season following the departures of Steve McNulty and Joe Tait. The number of players in Steve Watson's first-team squad now stands at eight, with goalkeepers Peter Jameson and Ryan Whitley and central midfielder Paddy McLaughlin also signed on for next term.

York remain in discussions with David Ferguson, Kieran Green and Alex Kempster."

Beaten semi-finalists Gateshead tell us that "The assistant manager... Ian Watson believes it is ‘chalk and cheese’ when comparing the club’s current position ahead of the new season to this point last year.

The Heed faced a period of re-construction following the 2018/19 season and were forced to assemble a squad to compete in the Vanarama National League North with a month’s less preparation time than the competition. It proved to be an obstacle the squad were capable of overcoming, finishing the season seventh and reaching the play-off semi-final...

'We had our own expectations of where we felt we could finish once we’d assembled a decent enough squad,' said the assistant manager. 'There weren’t any expectations from anyone else, because it was very new and we were a month behind everyone in pre-season.. As the weeks were going on we were thinking, we could reach the play-offs here.

'When we got to the play-offs it was a bit of a lottery, wasn’t it, but from where we were last year to where we are now its chalk and cheese.. We’re going to take that on to next season and hopefully improve again... We genuinely believed that the way we were playing, we weren’t looking at just sneaking into the play-offs, we were really pushing as high as we could and nicking one of those top spots,' Watson added.

'The points-per-game was the fairest way to do things, but I don’t think it was a fair indication of where teams would have finished'...

It has been a season of transition for Watson himself, who entered his first full season as assistant manager after taking up the post under Ben Clark midway through the 2018/19 season...

'Learning from Mike [Williamson] has been unbelievable for me, as well as learning from everyone around the club. It’s my first full season so I’ve been learning the day-to-day structure of how we go about our business, how we can improve, players, recruitment and all the other things'...

Watson and Williamson have been afforded just over two months to prepare for the return of league action. It’s a blessedly extended time frame for the pair to work within when compared to last season, when Watson admits they missed out on transfer targets for a number of reasons.

'Last season, players didn’t want to sign because there was no base, no structure, we didn’t really have anything in place,, he admitted. 'There was no one there for anyone to compare to, so they didn’t know whether Gateshead were going to be a good team or a bad team because there were no signings there. This year everyone knows we’ve already got good players and a good structure, so it’s an exciting project for everyone.

'Everyone enjoys playing for the club, so if players we’re looking at speak to players here at the moment, they’re going to get good feedback...We’ll take our time and make sure we get the right people for Gateshead Football Club'...

Watson said... 'We want to finish as high as we can and be the best we can be every day. We’re not really setting massive, long-term targets, we’re just looking at getting back in in pre-season and making sure the first session is the best it can be. It’s about picking the lads up from the end of the season...

'They need to be robust for this league, there’s going to be a lot of games coming up and we need to make sure the lads are physically at their peak going into the season.'"

Curzon Ashton recently carried an interview with former Alty man Simon Woodford.

"Five years on from scoring the goal that led to Curzon Ashton's promotion to the National League North, former defender Simon Woodford spoke to the club about his six years at the Tameside Stadium, and life after retiring from football, writes Rob Glover.

Woodford (right), who scored during a 1-0 promotion play-off final win over Ilkeston town in May 2015, revealed he felt the togetherness and consistency of the squad was key to a team that won back-to-back promotions, giving Woodford one of his finest memories in the game.

He said 'I had a great six years with Curzon, filled with promotions and cup runs. The 2013-14 season was the start of a brilliant few years, firstly getting promoted to the Evo-Stik Premier Division, and then winning the play-offs the following season. We had a great nucleus of lads that stuck together through that period'...

The defender, who hung up his boots in December last year, said... the club's FA Cup second round clash with League One side, AFC Wimbledon, was a fixture that will live long in his memory, despite being unsure he would even be a part of it...

Speaking on the club's future and the coming season under new boss Steve Cunningham, Woodford revealed that what he knows of the new management team is positive, especially having worked under assistant manager, Damien Crossley while at Ashton United.

He added 'I’ve been watching the progress intently. Mark (Bradshaw) did exceptionally well in his time as manager, keeping Curzon comfortably in the division. Now with Cunny at the helm, with what I know of him, the club have a dedicated, professional manager in place, and also a really nice guy. You also have a great assistant manager in Damien, who I spent time with at Ashton.'

Since being locked down along with the rest of the country, Woodford... concluded 'I’ve been spending a lot of my time doing road cycling. For a long time, that's been a big hobby of mine, even before football. But now, I’m going abroad and to the Lakes, now that I have more time on the weekends, and in the summer.'

And Curzon also report that ""Steve Cunningham's Curzon will travel to Derbyshire to take on Buxton of the Northern Premier League, as part of our pre-season campaign. The fixture will take place behind closed doors... on Saturday 8th August... Last season, Buxton, who are managed by Gary Hayward, finished 18th in the seventh tier.

The Bucks have already been quick to make additions in the post-season, adding Reece Styche, Godwin Adabaki, James Walshaw, Tommy Taylor, Stephen Brogan, [ex-Alty man]Osebi Abadaki, Jack Sherratt, James Berrett, Shane Killock and Chris Dawson to their ranks."