Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

September 2020

30 September 2020


Altrincham played their final pre-season game on Tuesday night and it was also their first home game before the league season is planned to start on Saturday with the visit of Weymouth.

Altrincham fielded a team comprising six changes from the previous friendly with several of this match's starters likely to be deployed in secondary roles when the season starts. Weakened or not, Alty totally dominated the first half against a Salford team that failed to trouble Gould and his defence.

Matt Kosylo played in Tom Peers for a smart finish by the striker to put Alty ahead in the ninth minute.

An excellent long ball up the middle from Tom Hannigan set Kosylo in on goal and he finished well from left of goal, his low shot going in off the base of the far post to make it 2-0 on the half-hour.

Seven minutes later it was 3-0 as an incursion up the right by Joel Senior ended with the ball falling to Max Clayton who scored from six yards or so.

Salford were gifted a penalty shortly before half time after Alty had lost possession by their own right corner-flag. With the linesman flagging that the ball had gone out for a goalkick, play was allowed to continue and a Salford man was upended.

From the resulting spot-kick Humbles, or whoever was wearing no.6 on a night when many of the visitors wore different numbers from those given on their teamsheet, slotted home the penalty to make it 3-1 at the interval.

Straight after the break, the visitors' keeper dropped the ball and Kosylo made it 4-1. And in the 55th minute Kosylo rounded the keeper and, from right of goal, laid on a tap-in for Peers to record the fifth goal for Altrincham.

Alty continued to dominate after the final four subs came on just after the hour mark.

Match report here..


The Daily Telegraph has a headline that the "Government provides bailout to National League clubs to keep them afloat and prevent them withdrawing from FA Cup.

Ministers have pledged to provide a rescue package to teams in the National League... The Government will provide a coronavirus bailout to the National League, in a move that will allow it to begin on Saturday and stop North and South division clubs withdrawing from the FA Cup".

The Sun adds "The Government has stepped in and last night agreed a rescue package believed to be worth a total of around £20 million. The money is believed to be in the form of grants rather than loans, which clubs warned would simply kick the looming crisis down the road.

It will enable the season to start as planned on Saturday and will also prevent National League clubs being forced to drop out of the FA Cup ahead of the second qualifying round of matches this weekend."


The BBC confirms that "Macclesfield Town have been expelled from the National League, 13 days after they were wound up by the High Court...

Macclesfield had been due to begin the National League season against Bromley on Saturday.

The National League said... that the notice of expulsion would take effect from 12 October, with the club being suspended until then and their three scheduled fixtures before that date being postponed... Players and staff were made redundant following the club's appearance in the High Court.

Having initially been founded as Macclesfield in 1874, the club were reformed in their current guise, Macclesfield Town FC, in 1946 following the end of World War Two. A 15-year stint in the EFL ended in 2012, but the Silkmen returned to League Two as National League champions in 2018...

The news come as no surprise to many Macclesfield fans. With the club in the hands of the receivers, starting the upcoming season was a distant dream. This doesn't spell the end, however. In the two weeks since their High Court appearance, fans have held talks over the formation of a phoenix club.

Prospective buyer Joe Sealey has already spoken of how beneficial, in business terms, starting in a division such as the North West Counties League is; fans at games, an opportunity to rework the business, and give it an increased community presence. With this news, however, it would appear the chances of seeing football at the Moss Rose this season have now vanished".


Assuming the season kicks off on Saturday, Weymouth will be Alty's opposition at the J. Davidson Stadium.

From Weymouth "manager Brian Stock declared his satisfaction with the Terras’ pre-season efforts, despite a 1-0 loss to Ebbsfleet on Saturday.

Stock has led Weymouth to four wins in six warm-up games, plus a creditable 1-1 draw with League Two side Exeter.

While Weymouth’s solid form bodes well for their National League opener at Altrincham this Saturday (3pm), Stock observed areas for improvement following Saturday’s defeat.

'It’s been a really good pre-season,' he said. 'To come in at the time I did and we’ve played six games and lost one, won four and drawn one. It’s not about the results, it’s about understanding the team, how we want to play, approach games and a plan B, that didn’t come off (against Ebbsfleet) so I’m disappointed on that.

'The first-half performance we probably had enough chances to win the game and shut up shop. We’re going to be facing that this year and we need to be strong, resilient. At times in the second half we were a little bit lackadaisical in terms of going forward and not locking the back door.

'We were suspect to quite a lot of counter-attacks which wasn’t pleasing to see.'”

ON THIS DAY: 30 September

Six years ago today, on 30 September 2014, in a Vanarama Conference match played on a Tuesday night at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham beat Macclesfield Town 1-0.

For this Cheshire derby, the suspended duo of Cavanagh and Marshall gave way to Richman and Havern, whilst Moult also came back into the side as Perry dropped to the bench. Familiar faces in the Macc side included Luke Waterfall and Paul Turnbull, both ex-loanees at Moss Lane. Ryan Crowther displaced Steven Gillespie from the bench as he returned from illness.

After a fairly even first half, which was higher on effort and end to end excitement than on quality of finishing, Altrincham and Macclesfield reached half time goalless. For the home side, chances for Reeves and Clee had gone off target as Taylor was barely tested in the Silkmen's goal, whilst Coburn had had to make a couple of saves at the other end.

The second half continued in end to end fashion before an astute throw from Densmore produced a superb 90th minute 35-yard James Lawrie volley which won the game.

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 3. Adam Griffin, 7. James Lawrie, 4. Jake Moult, 18. Sean Williams, 8. Simon Richman, 11. Nicky Clee,10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 15. Greg Wilkinson, 12. Mike Williams, 14. Kyle Perry, 17. Dave Parton. 19. Ryan Crowther.


Goal reports that "news has emerged that Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are potential new owners for National League side Wrexham AFC. The news came as a surprise as Deadpool star Reynolds and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia actor McElhenney have not been known to be football fans in the past; so why are they interested in buying the club? Why is Ryan Reynolds buying Wrexham?...

The pair will now "put forward their vision" for the club, who play in the National League, with members due to then vote again on their potential ownership...

With the two Hollywood stars reportedly injecting a figure of roughly £2 million into the club, that amount would likely be seen as an extremely positive investment...

Wrexham captain Shaun Pearson stated 'I’m probably similar to everyone else; at first you think "Nah, no way". But it is potentially a big opportunity for the club. It is probably a little while off in terms of everything going through but you’d be lying if you didn’t think it was exciting. This is something that could move the club forward in quite a big way'".

The Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnell reports that "We as a league are still campaigning for the government to allow supporters into stadiums but it now seems highly unlikely, at least in the short term. I have always been an advocate for government measures to minimise the risk of this virus to human life and nothing has changed my opinion.

I do, however, feel very disappointed that the government took the action it did without seeing the outcome of the test events that were run last week. We proved that you can run events in stadiums in a responsible way, with a reduced capacity, while still being able to enjoy a key local community event.

There is no doubt that football matches without supporters is financial unviable, not just at our level but I would think throughout the whole football pyramid. We as a club are no different and, without supporters, we will not be able to operate our business. Our lost revenues will be circa £1.3m. To this end, the government have said they will look to provide a financial support package specifically for clubs in the National League System. We eagerly await a proposal, which I know key personnel on the National League board are working hard towards.

I know many of you who have bought season tickets or crowdfunder packages for this coming season will want to know what our next steps are. Whilst we await the government’s final thoughts and potential proposal, we are working on a streaming platform and other ideas".

Stockport County "confirm that defender Liam Hogan has been named as the new Club Captain for the upcoming 2020/21 season.

Following the departure of Club Legend and previous captain Paul Turnbull over the Summer, Liam, signed from Salford City back in February, has been chosen by manager Jim Gannon as the man to take on the armband.

Despite only making five competitive appearances before last season’s curtailment, the 31-year-old has proven to be an instant hit amongst his team-mates and County supporters, and has captained the side throughout pre-season.

'Personally it’s a role I enjoy,' Liam said. 'With the on-field leadership qualities we have, we are really strong in that area; leaders such as Ash Palmer, Jordan Keane and Sam Minihan, who have an association with the Club and its success stories of recent years. That’s important.

'But we also have leaders who have played at this level and in the levels the Club is heading to, vocal types, and the setting example type of leaders and I like to think I bring a little of both. I’m really grateful, and will thrive on the opportunity. My aims for the new season are the same as all the other lads' in this competitive group, to secure my place in the team through consistent performances. We are all part of a bigger picture, and nobody will be able to lower their levels.

'It will be unfamiliar to us all when we get going this weekend, with the changes in place. We know within the group that to achieve a great season we must be willing to accept these changes, and adapt the quickest to turn them into positives. The reward of Football League status is waiting, so the aim is not to disappoint.'"

Nottinghamshire Live reports that "Notts County begin their National League season this weekend when they travel to Dover... The club has had a busy summer in terms of recruitment with boss Neal Ardley adding eight players to the squad after a host of departures in the summer.

Here Leigh Curtis looks at every area of the Magpies' team and gives his verdict...

Goalkeeper: After Joe McDonnell decided on a move to Eastleigh because he wanted to be closer to his home down south, Notts needed an able deputy for Sam Slocombe... In the end, Notts turned to the former Tranmere goalkeeper Luke Pilling and the early impressions are very promising...

Defence: Notts had one of the best defensive records in the National League last season... But undoubtedly their best bit of business this summer , and arguably in the National League, was tying Alex Lacey down to a permanent contract given his performances last season... But after picking up a niggling injury in pre-season, allied with the loss of Ben Turner, meant they were short of options, which sparked them into a move for Sam Graham.

The on-loan Sheffield United defender had excelled during his stay at Meadow Lane last season from the Blades until it was cruelly halted due to a serious Achilles injury. His performances in pre-season has once again underlined why the Blades have high hopes for the centre-back...

When you add his name to the likes of Turner, Lacey and last season’s player of the year, Connell Rawlinson, they are the best quartet of central defenders in the National League... They’ve retained the core of the defence that did so well last term, but added an extra layer of quality...

Midfield: Like the defence, Notts did not decide to embark on a complete overhaul of their midfield. Mitch Rose was the only regular first-team midfielder to leave... Notts may feel they have improved on that position with the addition of Jake Reeves who arrived on a free transfer following his departure from Bradford City...

Reeves looks a terrific addition to a midfield blessed with experience in Michael Doyle and Jim O’Brien. Casper Sloth and Ruben Rodridgues joined him ... Sloth is a former Danish international released by Motherwell in January, but his pedigree is excellent... And Rodrigues’s vision has already been demonstrated in Notts’ friendlies. He always looks for a forward pass...

Attack: This is perhaps the only part of the team which does give slight cause for concern. The club had wanted to keep Kristian Dennis, but he had a better offer from St Mirren so decided to move... Wes Thomas and Kyle Wootton are still at the club and while both players hit double figures last season, there is no denying that the competition between the forwards brought the best out of them...

Notts went out and signed Elisha Sam who was playing in the Bulgarian top flight last season, while Jimmy Knowles was added from Mansfield. Sam looks like he is going to need a great deal of encouragement, love and patience while he adapts to how Notts play plus the physical challenges posed by an unforgiving level of English football. Right now, Knowles is ahead of him in the pecking order, but he is just a teenager who is still learning his trade".

Hartlepool United "announce the signing of Ryan Johnson. The powerful defender signs on a short-term deal after leaving Kidderminster at the end of last season.

He started his career with West Bromwich Albion as a boy but before he signed pro terms with them, he signed for Stevenage. He made nine appearances for the club and spent time out on loan at Nuneaton Town and fellow National League side Boreham Wood.

In January 2019, Johnson signed a permanent deal at Kidderminster Harriers after a successful loan spell and played throughout the 2019/20 National League North season...

Dave Challinor also spoke 'Ryan came in last week on trial, he played the practice match against Darlington and we were happy to see he was able to play as a left-sided full-back as well as his favoured centre-back position. He fits into the squad well'".

From the BBC we learn that "Aldershot's Jamie Sendles-White says it is 'massively important' for the National League season to begin on Saturday to avoid players suffering more financial uncertainty. Opening matches are yet to be confirmed by the league, which had a board meeting on Wednesday.

Sendles-White, 26, told BBC Sport 'We are worried that if the season doesn't start then we are not getting paid. For the majority of players it’s their main income. There have been months when players haven't been played [paid?] at all, or they’ve been furloughed or whatever, so it’s tough to pay your bills, your mortgage or your rent.'

A typical wage in the National League is about £500 per week, but might only be for 10 months of the year.

'People think footballers earn thousands and thousands of pounds a week,' the defender added. 'But when you filter down to League Two or the National League, you don’t earn the sort of money where you are financially stable...

'The Premier League is in its own bubble, they are a million miles away from where we are and don't realise the financial situation that a lot of clubs lower down the league might be in. You only have to look at the fees being paid for Premier League players. They might have taken a small hit, but financially they are more than capable of helping out the lower leagues. Even League One and League Two and the National League are going to struggle massively if there is no help, which I believe there will be from government.

'The Premier League should step in and help as well for the amount of money they are generating. I think they need to start the season on Saturday, and I think they need to find a safe way to get fans back in stadiums'".

29 September 2020


Altrincham complete their six-match pre-season tonight (Tuesday) with their first match at home, against a Salford City under-23 team. The match is behind closed doors at 7.45pm. As seen right, yesterday, groundsman Neil Brown has been busy getting the surface into tip-top condition for the match.

Altrincham FC has confirmed that there will be live streaming of the match via pay-per-view operation. However, the club states that "Season ticket holders will be sent a discount code by email, allowing them to purchase the stream for free".

Altrincham's one and only league match at The J Davidson Stadium against The Ammies' first team came on Saturday, 12 November, 2016 when the visitors won 2-0 in a Vanarama National League North match. One of the visitors' celebrity owners, Nicky Butt, was in the crowd.

Before the game, manager Jim Harvey rang the changes, leaving senior players Jake Moult, Damian Reeves, Tim Deasy, Simon Richman and Alan Goodall on the bench as Altrincham started with only one player who had been at the club the previous season season (James Lawrie). Altrincham had Wayne Thomas available after being cup-tied last Saturday and he started but Tom Hannigan had been injured in the match at Lincoln and was out of action.

Jim Harvey made multiple changes with John Cyrus his new captain for this match. Out of the starting eleven were Reeves, Moult, Deasy and Richman. On the eve of the match, Altrincham had signed defender Luis Morrison-Derbyshire and he started as did the other recent arrivals, Curtis Obeng and Simon Lenighan.

Left: Altrincham's three league debutants for this match were Luis Morrison-Derbyshire, Simon Lenighan and Curtis Obeng and here they line up in the special Remembrance Day shirts before kick off.

In the match itself, Salford started the better but Altrincham were growing into the game when the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half-time. Phenix got in behind the defence, to the right of goal, and put his side ahead after goalkeeper Dawber had earlier made a couple of fine stops to keep the Ammies out.

Hope of a revival were undone as early as eight minutes after the interval when Allen's low shot from outside the box found the net.

Although Altrincham enjoyed some belated forward momentum late in the game, Sean Miller's fine shot, which hit the upright, was the nearest they came to taking anything from the match.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Andrew DAWBER, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. John CYRUS (capt), 5. Luis MORRISON-DERBYSHIRE, 6. Wayne THOMAS, 7. Greg WILKINSON, 8. Simon LENIGHAN, 9. Curtis OBENG, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs 12. Damian REEVES, 14. Jake MOULT, 15. Alan GOODALL, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Tim DEASY.

ON THIS DAY: 29 September

Altrincham's most recent match on today's date was two years ago when they lost 2-3 at Aggborough to Kidderminster Harriers in a Vanarama National League North match.

Altrincham's unhappy run in league games at Aggborough continued but their play for substantial portions of this game deserved a better outcome. They were undone, however by three poorly conceded first-half goals, the first arriving just 42 seconds after kick-off when Elliot Wynne spilt a shot which Kidderminster's Ed Williams comfortably netted from close range.

After their early setback, Alty had much the better of the middle portion of the first half and deservedly equalised after 24 minutes. Loanee Owen Dale did well on the right wing and his low cross saw Peers barged over in the box, only for the ball to run on to John Johnston who scored with a well-placed low shot, in the 24th minute.

Above: James Jones receives a bear-hug, but no penalty, against Kidderminster.

But, ten minutes before the interval, Altrincham allowed Kidderminster's Johnson to advance and feed Bradley. From left of goal the striker hit a low shot across Wynne and into the far corner of the net.

And, in the 45th minute, the Harriers breached the centre of Altrincham's defence with Williams's threaded ball presenting Chambers with a straightforward chance which he took to make it a flattering 3-1 to the hosts at the interval.

Horsfall's foul on his opposite number, Hannigan, gave Altrincham a 53rd minute freekick, right of goal. Harrop's freekick diverted off a defender and wrong-footed the keeper to make it 3-2. The hosts held on to their lead despite James Poole's header hitting the post and very strong appeals for a penalty when Hancock went down in the box but Kidderminster full-back Vaughan's mocking "victory" finger gestures to the visiting supporters after the final whistle did no credit to his otherwise friendly club.

Altrincham dropped to fifteenth after a fixture in which Connor Hampson had started his first game in six league matches but still needed to wear a bandage on his injured hand. On the negative side, Simon Richman had picked up a hamstring injury in training so was not in today's squad. In addition, leading scorer Jordan Hulme was unfit to start so Tom Peers again led the attack.

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


According to NL Daily "Wealdstone will, from the end of this month, no longer have paid staff at the club besides players and management.

The newly-promoted National League club have been providing an update on their financial position. Early last month, Stones announced that they would need to issue further shares in the club in order to ensure they remain solvent and don’t breach league financial rules.

In the latest update, the club have explained 'Our financial position is extremely challenging. We have not had a paying spectator since 7th March and our bar facility has been effectively closed for the past six months and, despite recent efforts to reopen our bar in some form, revenue is a tiny fraction of pre-COVID-19 levels.

'We have taken all reasonable steps to reduce our cost base, and from the end of this month, we will no longer have any paid staff at the club, except the management and players. Despite these efforts, we continue to incur relatively large fixed costs and we may now have to face into actions which are far less palatable'".

The Halifax Courier tells us that "It’s no exaggeration to say Danny Williams has experienced a rejuvenation since joining FC Halifax Town. Williams joined The Shaymen shortly before the start of the 2019-20 season as a left-winger who had played 11 games over the previous two campaigns.

But he heads into his second season at The Shay on the back of making 29 appearances in all competitions last term, and predominantly as a left wing-back.

The 32-year-old, who has recovered from a left quad injury sustained during pre-season, said 'I can play a few positions but the way the gaffer wants to go is with a five (in midfield) so that suits me down to the ground. I know he’s brought other lads in pushing me and [ex-Alty man] Jeff (King, right wing-back), which is really good for the squad. I like playing there, I enjoyed it last year when we changed and hopefully I can get some games in this year as well.

'There’s more defensive responsibilities but I enjoy that, I like the defensive side of it. I think it did us well last year when we changed it, we got quite a few clean sheets and stopped the goals going in. But it can be quite attacking as well. I think we’re going to look this year to be a bit more attacking in that sense. It was new for us last year but now we’re going into our second year playing that shape, maybe, I don’t know'...

Williams accepts expectations are bound to rise after last season’s unexpected play-off finish... 'Expectations are like last season, we want to do well, we want to get into those sorts of positions, and why not?'...

Williams is expected to be in direct competition with new signing Jack Senior for the left wing-back berth this season, who [Ryan] is one of several new faces at the club.

'I think we’ve recruited well, we’ve got different strikers who can play in different ways, and with the wing-back situation, there’s competition for places,' Williams said. 'Everyone’s working hard in training and it gives the gaffer decisions to make. That’s good, that’s healthy... If he plays and I don’t, which obviously players don’t like, I’d want him to do the best for the team'...

Williams signed a new one-year deal at the club this summer, and says he feels trusted by Town boss Pete Wild as a player... Williams is aiming to be Town’s regular starter at left wing back this season, and add more goals and assists to his game... Despite his age, the hunger to play has not diminished for the former Inverness and Dundee man, who says he loves playing as much as he ever has...

'I was nursing quite a few injuries last year and it did hold me back. But I’m hoping this year, touch wood, that that doesn’t hold me back this year and the fans will see a completely different player.'”

The Derbyshire Times states that "Chesterfield's pre-season could not have gone much worse but it does not mean they can't still be successful.

It is fair to say Chesterfield’s pre-season has not gone to plan. When even the manager, John Pemberton, admits they could do with another month’s preparation then you can understand why the alarm bells might be ringing for some Town fans.

Just three matches played with one win and two defeats against lower opposition, three goals scored (all in the same game) and five conceded is all the Spireites could muster up.

Fixtures cancelled, strikers failing to score, defensive worries, injuries to key players and not to mention all the difficulties around Covid. In truth, it probably could not have gone any worse.

In contrast, Saturday’s opponents Wealdstone have prepared with 11 friendlies, including four wins, six defeats and one draw...

Sometimes you can read too much into pre-season results but the reality is you can win them all and still be relegated or lose them all and still get promoted.

The concern I have is that the bare minimum aim for pre-season is to get minutes under your belt and the Spireites have struggled on that front... Chesterfield had a good team spirit in the second half of last season and they will have to bring that to the surface again particularly in the first few weeks when they come up against teams who are sharper.

Expectations going into the campaign are a lot lower than the last two years and, given the stop-start pre-season, they might have to be tweaked a little bit more but, at the end of the day, everybody starts on zero points and they don’t have to let the last few disruptive weeks define their season.

A win against Wealdstone would calm everyone down and put the pre-season woes to the back of their mind, but given the circumstances a point away from home against a newly-promoted team would not be the worst result".

Devon Live says that "Torquay United Supporters' Trust has contacted Torbay MP Kevin Foster and the Government's Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to highlight how important it is that lower league football clubs get some help now that it has been confirmed that crowds will not be allowed in 'elite' stadiums for possibly six months.

The Trust says it has sent emails to Foster, MP for Totnes Anthony Mangnall, and Kingsbridge MP Anne Marie Morris, as well as Andy Walsh at the Football Supporters' Association, and Dowden, saying clubs like Torquay United need help as soon as possible, before some go out of business.

Torquay are scheduled to kick off their National League season against Stockport County this Saturday at Plainmoor. With no fans allowed, Torquay boss Gary Johnson says he would prefer the season kicks off behind closed doors rather than not at all. But clubs in the National South division say they want the season to be postponed.

In a statement, TUST said 'Were the National League not to start this would result in numerous clubs going out of business. For those that survived the future would be extremely bleak; elite status could be lost resulting in the chances of competing for a place in the English Football League gone too, as the make-up of the top non-League divisions would change forever, as the remaining clubs would be, at best, part-time.

The fallout for local communities and businesses would be disastrous. Whilst live streaming is a great innovation this can only be seen as a partial solution as it cannot replace spectators being allowed inside stadiums. Interest, even by the most ardent fan, is unlikely to be maintained over the next six months. This is why TUST urges those in authority to ensure football fans are once again permitted to watch their local teams in Covid secure stadiums as soon as it is deemed safe to do so."

28 September 2020


Brian Flynn interviewed Phil Parkinson after the 2-2 draw at Fylde on Saturday. The Altrincham manager described it as a game of two halves. The interview can be heard via the Altrincham FC website.


On Tuesday, Altrincham face Salford City under-23s behind closed doors in the first and last pre-season home game at the J. Davidson Stadium (7.45pm).

It is expected that the game will be streamed, live.


Former Alty striker Josh Amis was on the mark for Warrington Town on Saturday.

ON THIS DAY: 28 September

Seven years ago today, Altrincham suffered a shock exit from the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round at neighbours Trafford. This was Altrincham's fifth successive away draw in the FA Cup but the first time they had met Trafford in a competitive match apart from in a UniBond League cup match.

Right: Kyle Perry and Trafford's former Alty left-back, Andy Smart, contest possession at Shawe View.

Altrincham put up a poor show against their neighbours, not once seriously testing O'Hara in the home goal. Rory Fallon fired Trafford ahead after 11 minutes but the lead lasted fewer than three minutes before James Walshaw was upended in the box and got up to score from the spot (14 mins).

With Altrincham continuing to misfire in all departments, Michael Oates restored the Trafford lead after 64 minutes with a thumping shot after a couple of team mates' shots had been blocked. Alty never looked like equalizing and bowed out of the Cup with barely a whimper. Trafford may be 19th in the league below Alty but they were certainly the better side in this match.

Alty were again without Danny Boshell (groin) but Jake Moult returned on the bench. Damian Reeves was again only named on the bench whilst youth team centre-back Derek Ubah and midfielder Matt Todd were also named as substitutes, seven names being allowed in the FA Cup. So Alty's starting eleven were unchanged from the side which had beaten Gloucester City in midweek.

Trafford were without former Alty Youth keeper Tom Read but did start with former Robins' left-back, Andy Smart. A former Alty trialist, Tom Schofield, was in the Whites' midfield.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Brian SMIKLE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Kyle PERRY, 10. James WALSHAW, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs. 12. Rob GILROY, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Jake MOULT, 17. Derek UBAH, 18. Adam REID, 19. Matt TODD.


Altrincham FC report that on Saturday "Altrincham turned things around in the 2nd half to score twice in 3 minutes to galvanise [sic] a draw from a game that for an hour looked to be heading firmly in the home side's favour".


According to the Leader Live, "The National League season is set to kick-off behind-closed-doors next weekend, provided the government offer[s] financial assistance.

An email sent from the National League, published by Dover via chairman Jim Parmenter, confirmed that they intend to get the season started on Saturday.

It read 'Until the Government announced its review of the safe return of spectators, the league was fully geared up to commence the season with clubs applying new socially-distanced stadium capacities and putting in place Covid-secure measures to ensure crowd safety.

'The league must now abide by the Government’s decision to exclude fans, and therefore, matches will be played 'behind closed doors', i.e. without supporters admitted...

'Looking forward, the board’s objectives are to ensure that all clubs can commence their fixtures programme, and all clubs are able to meet their obligations over the course of the season. Moving forward with only a subset of clubs involved would not be acceptable. Hence, the league’s appeal to Government with the assistance of The Football Association for each club to receive compensation for lost net gate revenue each month for the period that clubs are prevented from admitting supporters.

'The board is aware that whilst some clubs may want to commence the season without external support, the vast majority of clubs require financial help to be able to sustain their participation over the coming months without crowds. The league is aiming to receive confirmation of the Government’s support in advance of the season commencing next weekend. Should this not occur, the board will review and reconsider its stance, and as ever, the board will ensure the position and views of member clubs are central to any decision made'".

Eastern Daily Press reports that "Chris Henderson in action for the Linnets [King's Lynn].

The 30-year-old midfielder is expected to drop down the non-league ladder to play for Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Gorleston. The bombshell came after Henderson admitted he could not commit himself to the rigours of the National League, the travelling to away games as well as training for the Linnets, which has now increased to three sessions a week as manager Ian Culverhouse looks to compete against a whole host of full-time opponents.

'Like millions of others, I find myself in a far different position now than pre-Covid,' said Henderson. 'There have been changes in my personal circumstances which, without delving into too deeply, require me to dedicate much less time to the heavy demands of being a non-league footballer.

'While playing in the National league would have been a highlight of my career, I’ve had to make a decision which will benefit me and my young family long term. The journey since I joined King’s Lynn in October 2018 has been nothing short of insane, a constant rise which has led this great club in to the elite of non-league football...

'I’ve had the pleasure of playing for a manager who’s given me nothing but total belief'...

Henderson joined Lynn two years ago, from Leiston, having spent six seasons with Lowestoft Town. He was one of two Linnets players, along with leading scorer Adam Marriott, named in the National League North team of the year after helping Lynn to promotion. He made 27 starts last season, scoring seven goals. In total he made 72 appearances in all competitions, scoring 19 goals.

His exit leaves Culverhouse needing to either find a replacement or, more likely, to give one of the other midfield options a chance to stake a claim for the shirt. Either way, there were no hard feelings.

'For the two years that I have been here he has been outstanding for us,' he said... Culverhouse was speaking after the Linnets concluded their pre-season schedule with a 2-2 draw at National League South side St Albans. Lynn went ahead on the half-hour mark when Dayle Southwell was denied by home keeper Michael Johnson and Jamar Loza prodded home from close range.

The hosts twice came from behind, both times from corners. The first saw Joy Mukena knock the ball past Archie Mair on 67 minutes, although Southwell put Lynn ahead again almost immediately when a long ball over the top caught out a defender and the striker took it past the keeper before sliding it home. But another corner from the right again proved Lynn’s undoing, this time Solomon Nwabuokei scoring on 73 minutes.

One bright spot was the return of striker Adam Marriott, whose 20-minute cameo was his first appearance since damaging ankle ligaments five weeks ago...

Linnets: Mair, Jones, Smith, McAuley, Brown (Barrows 77), Jarvis (Clunan 71), King (Carey 74), Richards, Power (Hawkins 77), Loza (Kelly 71), Southwell (Marriott 71). Subs not used: Street, Fleming".

The National League reports that "Finishing touches are being put on squads ahead of the big kick-off, so who’s look [sic] ship-shape with October 3 looming large?...

Another EFL club has handed an opportunity to a National League player as they look to find the big up-coming talents. League One Rochdale have signed forward Jake Beesley from Solihull Moors on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Peter Beadle’s Barnet revamp is gathering pace; Alexander McQueen wants to keep the Bees in fashion next term. Defender Jerome Binnom-Williams is also on board.

AFC Fylde battler Neill Byrne is an FC Halifax Town player, the club have confirmed while Yeovil have taken Ryan Burke on loan from Birmingham City.

Wealdstone have a new goalkeeper; Ravan Constable provides competition for places between the posts for Dean Brennan.

A year on from moving to Fratton Park, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is back at Bromley on loan from Portsmouth.

Dover Athletic have signed winger Travis Gregory, while Adrian Clifton has joined Dagenham & Redbridge. Woking have meanwhile signed Peterborough United defender Sam Cartwright on a loan deal...

Maidstone United have announced 'the worst kept secret of the close season' as George Porter signs on at the Gallagher...

FC Halifax Town club captain Matty Brown has signed for York City, a big deal for “thrilled” manager Steve Watson".

Chesterfield report that "Following the National League’s decision to relax the rules on live streaming while supporters are unable to attend matches, it will be possible to watch the action online on a pay-per-view basis.

The streaming will be delivered by the home club, who keep the revenue generated...

We will provide live streaming of our home games, starting with the fixture against Hartlepool United, a week on Tuesday."

27 September, 2020


Altrincham play their last pre-season game but their first home fixture in their preparations, against Salford City under-23s, on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Although the match is behind closed doors, Alty hope to be able to stream the game live to their supporters.

ON THIS DAY: 27 September

Altrincham's last game on today's date, 27 September 2014, was one to forget as they crashed 0-4 at home to Kent side Welling United at the J. Davidson Stadium. In this Vanarama Conference match it turned out to be a sorry afternoon for the Robins which was compounded by a red card for Tom Marshall, injury to Sean Williams and a forthcoming suspension after a fifth booking for Peter Cavanagh.

Dave Parton had been ruled out after suffering concussion at Barnet the preceding week, so Stuart Coburn had returned in goal. Shaun Densmore made his first start, following injury, whilst Jake Moult gave way to Sean Williams in midfield. The main surprise was that the previously ever-present Gianluca Havern was moved to the bench, so Scott Leather moved inside to centre-back.

Starting without Gianluca Havern for the first time this season, but with captain Shaun Densmore restored to the starting eleven after injury, Altrincham started brightly. But they fell behind in the 13th minute when Harry Beautyman got in behind the defence to lob keeper Coburn.

After 34 minutes Gallagher and Marsh carved open Alty up the middle with a one-two and Marsh scored to make it 2-0. In added first-half time, it became 3-0 to The Wings after Lawrie lost the ball in midfield and Gallagher's low shot left goalkeeper Coburn flat-footed.

Six minutes from time, Tom Marshall hauled down substitute Nouble and Bush's freekick deflected off Clee into the net. Ironically, before his dismissal Marshall had been the Altrincham player who had enjoyed most pitch-time that season.

The nearest Alty came to a goal was when Densmore's freekick came back off the underside of the bar just before the interval.

Above, Shaun Densmore's freekick comes back off the underside of the crossbar.

So, it was now three successive defeats that season, thirteen goals conceded and none scored for Altrincham, who dropped to 23rd.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 6. Scott Leather, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin,7. James Lawrie, 18. Sean Williams, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 11. Nicky Clee, 14. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 9. Steven Gillespie, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 12. Mike Williams, 4. Jake Moult, 5. Gianluca Havern.


At Chesterfield "The Spireites lost 1-0 at home to Guiseley in their final pre-season game. It was a strong Spireites side that started the game, with the likes of Will Evans, Jonathan Smith and Scott Boden all featuring. Keeper Kyle Letheren and striker Nathan Tyson were missing from the squad.

It was a great start from the Spireites who kept hold of the ball well in the early stages... The Spireites were causing Guiseley lots of problems from corners early on in the game... After early Spireites pressure, it was Guiseley who scored in the 32nd minute after Evans misplaced a pass, which allowed Kaine Felix to go through on goal. He chipped the oncoming Dylan Wharton only to hit the post, but his effort was followed up by Wafula who put the ball into the open net...

The Spireites went into the break with work to do. Chesterfield made two changes at half time, with Curtis Weston and Tom Denton coming on in place of Mandeville and Rawson...

The Spireites now prepare for the big kick-off next Saturday at Wealdstone.

Spireites: Wharton, Cropper, Yarney, Evans, Hollis, Buchanan, Butterfield, Smith, Mandeville, Boden, Rawson. Subs: Hutchinson, Maguire, Denton, Brook, Weston, Rowley, Sharman, McKay"

Yeovil Town’s "pre-season campaign ended in defeat against AFC Bournemouth U23, but the Glovers produced a spirited performance...

After falling behind in the first half, goals from Rhys Murphy and Josh Staunton clawed Yeovil back into the game in the second half.

A late red card for Gabby Rogers sealed Town’s fate as AFC Bournemouth capitalised just minutes later, netting an 88th minute winner.

Darren Sarll opted for a blend of youth and experience in his starting eleven. Ahead of Adam Smith who began between the sticks, Ryan Burke, Lee Collins, Luke Wilkinson and Dan Leadbitter lined up in defence.

The midfield saw starts for Alex John, Matt Worthington, and Lawson D’Ath. In front of them was a three-pronged attack of Gabby Rogers, Rhys Murphy and Courtney Duffus.

Yeovil Town: A.Smith (Trialist A); Burke, Collins, Wilkinson (Lee), Leaditter (Heaton); John (Staunton), D’Ath (Dickinson), Worthington; Rogers, Duffus, Murphy (Lloyd)".

In other matches on Saturday Woking beat Hampton & Richmond 3-1, whilst Weymouth fell to a 1-0 defeat against Ebbsfleet United.

Wealdstone "fell to a 1-0 defeat to National League South side Slough Town at Grosvenor Vale in the final game of pre-season, with Jack McKnight's penalty separating the two sides.

Connor Smith wore the captain's armband...

The visitors rallied before half time with... Togwell heading over from close range in the last action of the half.

Slough made a host of changes at half time and they had an instant impact. Ada Okorongheye played in Warren Harris who was brought down by Jack Cawley. McKnight converted the 48th minute penalty, sending Isted the wrong way...

On the hour mark, the National League South champions then introduced a bulk of the championship-winning regulars from last season but they couldn't make their mark on the game and the Rebels held out to gain an away win.

WEALDSTONE: Isted, Williams, Wishart (Mendy, 61), Charles, Trialist T, Cawley, Trialist (Trialist, 79), Smith (Green, 61), Hughes (Emmanuel, 46), Trialist W (Parish, 61), Trialist U (Lewis, 61). Unused subs: Everett, Askey.

Sutton United "will go in to the National League season on the back of an unbeaten pre-season campaign after a third consecutive away draw against National League South opposition. In what looked on paper to be their toughest of six pre-season games, Sutton produced probably their best half so far to lead at the break, but were pegged back by an improved Dorking side in the second half and would have been beaten but for a glaring miss from Dorking’s Alfie Rutherford in the last five minutes...

Will Randall came in to meet a right wing cross with a header which flew just too high, but it was the winger who provided the breakthrough just before the half hour mark when U’s again forced the home side in to an error, and this time Harry Beautyman came forward before finding Randall, who cut in and hit a shot between the keeper and his near post...

[Sutton] gave Wes Fogden too much space to collect a pass in from the left, turn and shoot beyond Dean Bouzanis in to the corner of the net.

As Dorking continued to enjoy the better of things... Sutton came close to regaining the lead when Howes made another good stop to keep out Beautyman’s free kick...

The best chance of a winner fell to Rutherford inside the last five minutes as Bouzanis came out of his penalty area but lost his footing as he challenged the Dorking striker, handling the ball but failing to halt Rutherford’s progress towards an empty net, which he missed with a shot that clipped the outside of the post.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden, B Wyatt, C Eastmond, C Rowe(sub C Dundas 66), R Milsom(sub K Davis 64), D Ajiboye(sub triallist 75), T Sho-Silva(sub triallist 64), O Bugiel(sub C Kealy 75), H Beautyman, W Randall."

At Stockport County "The Hatters rounded off the most unusual of pre-season schedules with another encounter behind closed doors at Edgeley Park – registering, in the process, a sixth successive friendly victory to set themselves up in great shape and spirits for the start of the National League campaign at Torquay next Saturday.

Goals late in each half, courtesy of a John Rooney penalty and another strike in the closing stages by substitute Nyal Bell, saw off Kidderminster from the National League North after the visitors had taken an early lead.

County took to the field in the intermittent late September sunshine, showing two changes from the side that had kicked off at York a week previously with Connor Jennings and Mark Kitching replacing, respectively, Alex Reid and the injured Jordan Williams...

But the visitors, with their first attempt... Morgan-Smith’s half-volley from the left edge of County’s box, flew past Ben Hinchliffe, with the aid of a deflection, to give ‘Kiddy’ the lead.

The Hatters responded by enjoying a long spell of possession without creating clear-cut opportunities... But a minute ahead of the break, Rooney converted the equaliser that their efforts deserved, as Kitching was tripped in the visitors’ area by Keith Lowe, and County’s number eight made no mistake from the penalty spot...

Bell, fresh from his 86th-minute goal-scoring heroics against York, once again struck decisively for the winner late on – firing home Sam Minihan’s low cross from the right to make it six of the friendly best for the Hatters...

Team (4-4-1-1): Hinchliffe; Minihan, Hogan (Capt.), Palmer, J. Jennings; Thomas (Bell, 77), Rooney, Maynard, Kitching (Reid, 90 + 2); C. Jennings; Bennett (Keane, 83). Unused Subs: Southam-Hales, Barnes."

Solihull Moors' "Adam Rooney bagged a brace as Jimmy Shan’s side recovered from a goal down to beat Leamington 3-1 and finish pre-season on a high.

In their last game before their league opener at Woking, Moors trailed to an early Danny Waldron strike but Rooney’s header soon had the sides back level. And with half-time approaching, Joe Sbarra found the net from close range to fire Moors into the ascendency before Rooney slotted his second on the hour mark.

Shan made no less than nine changes to the side that claimed a 2-0 midweek win at Hereford with Rooney resuming his role as the focal point of the Moors attack...

Solihull Moors: Boot; Coxe, Williams, Howe, Gudger, Cranston (Miccio,77); Storer, Gleeson; Sbarra, (Trialist,62) Ball (Trialist, 62); Rooney"

Less fortunate were Notts County who "were beaten 3-0 by York City in our final pre-season friendly ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

First-half goals from Akil Wright and Jake Cassidy were added to after the break by Alex Wollerton on an afternoon which could have been very different had Pete Jameson not made an excellent save to deny Ruben Rodrigues when the midfielder burst through one-on-one at 0-0.

Notts starting XI: Pilling, Kelly-Evans, McCrory, Rawlinson, Lacey, Reeves, Rodrigues, Boldewijn, O'Brien, Sam, Knowles

Subs (all used): Slocombe, Brindley, Graham, Chicksen, Doyle, Thomas, Wootton".

FC Halifax Town "drew 0-0 away at Vanarama National League North side Curzon Ashton this afternoon.

On a cold afternoon in Ashton Under Lyne, the Shaymen were held to a draw but gave valuable minutes for the players ahead of the new season which is scheduled to start next week...

Town have one final pre-season game with a trip to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday lunchtime.

Town: Sam Johnson (Trialist 70), Jeff King (trialist 77), Trialist (Danny Williams 60), Niall Maher, Neill Byrne (Nathan Clarke 60), Tom Bradbury (Jay Benn 77), Martin Woods (Dom Tear 65), Luke Summerfield, Jack Earing (Kieran Green 46), Jamie Allen, Cain Tailford (trialist 46)".

Meanwhile, Dagenham & Redbridge "concluded their pre-season with a 1-0 victory over Chelmsford City at Victoria Road.

Darren McQueen’s 83rd minute penalty was the difference between the two sides on a windy afternoon in east London.

The Daggers started on top and enjoyed most of the ball in the opening stages but couldn’t quite turn their early dominance into clear-cut chances...

Unfortunately, Dean Rance was forced off through injury five minutes before the half-time whistle, replaced by Matt Robinson as the two sides headed into the break level at 0-0...

As the game headed for a 0-0 draw, Dagenham finally broke the deadlock with just seven minutes to go. Darren McQueen rattled the post after getting on the end of a blistering counter-attack, but when Deering was brought down in the box moments later. The former Dartford man got his goal with a clinically dispatched penalty.

That brought the Daggers’ pre-season to a close, which has seen us win seven of our nine matches.

Bromley "entertained local neighbours Dulwich Hamlet at Hayes Lane on a cold Saturday afternoon, debuting the new 2020/21 season home kit...

Dulwich took advantage... as an accidental clash between Chris Bush and Frankie Raymond led to Tyrique Hyde gaining possession and weaving in and out of challenges into the box, before the ball ricocheted off Jack Holland and beyond Mark Cousins for an own goal...

[Later], The Ravens were level. An excellent corner from Frankie Raymond was flicked on by Cheek in the six yard box, with the final touch coming off Byron Webster for his first Bromley goal...

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild made a welcome return back into Bromley colours midway through the second half and almost capped it with a goal... With nothing to separate the two sides at 90 minutes, the match went to penalties for the third consecutive season.

Chris Bush stepped up first for Bromley and scored with a well placed effort. However, after Pardington saved efforts from Raymond and Hackett-Fairchild and Michael Cheek missed the target with the visitors scoring all of theirs, Dulwich saw it through to claim the Glyn Beverly Memorial Cup 3-1 on penalties, with the away team in the fixture being victorious for the third season in a row.

Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Bingham, Bush, Holland (C), Coulson (Hackett-Fairchild), Raymond, Cheek, Webster, Williamson (Alabi), Forster. Unused substitutes: Najia, Purrington, Roberts, Trialist A, Tanner, Vincent, Allen"

Barnet "were edged out in their latest pre-season friendly as a first half strike secured Dartford victory at Princes Park. Peter Beadle's side struck the woodwork on three occasions in an entertaining encounter...

Five minutes before the break, the hosts opened the scoring as Romain did well to slot in a Darts' Trialist who rounded Loach, before finishing into an empty net...

The woodwork came to the Darts rescue for a third-occasion with 15 minutes left on the clock, as Fonguck's strike at goal beat the keeper but the post denied him.

Despite some late pressure, the hosts stood firm and ensured they were victors at Princes Park. The Bees will now look to take all these pre-season minutes, into a successful opening day against Eastleigh.

Barnet: Loach, Nugent, Binnom-Williams (Trialist C '65), Dunne, Pavey (Hooper 65'), Trialist A, Taylor (Richards 65'), Fonguck (Vasiliou 79'), Duffus, McQueen, Mason-Clark."

26 September 2020


In today's friendly at Mill Farm, there was no involvement for Alty for Josh Hancock, Curtis Miller, Dan Mooney or trialist Ashley Smith-Brown.

Altrincham were second-best for much of the first half and reached the break two goals down, with Fylde also having hit the crossbar. The Coasters started the game on top before Alty enjoyed a few minutes looking more promising.

But, after Thompson had taken a short goalkick to Moult, the captain's pass back saw possession lost. Moult fouled Willoughby in trying to retrieve the situation and conceded a penalty which Willoughby himself converted, his spot-kick just evading Thompson's dive (29 mins).

Five minutes later Nick Houghton made it 2-0 when he advanced from midfield to fire past a flat-footed Thompson from 25 yards (34 mins). Shortly before half-time Junior Mondal hit the crossbar with Thompson beaten. A routine save from Williams by the Coasters' keeper Neild was the only effort of note from Altrincham in the first half.

After 62 minutes, unexpectedly, and with the Coasters seemingly living up to their nickname, Kosylo pulled a goal back thanks to a big deflection of his 25-yarder over keeper Neild. Two minutes later Clayton's header diverted a shot from Ceesay into the net to make it 2-2.

Alty finished the game well and were just about deserving of their draw at the final whistle after two late efforts had gone close to snatching a win.

Match report here


Today (Saturday), Altrincham face AFC Fylde behind closed doors in their fifth and penultimate pre-season friendly. The match will be covered by Radio Robins (link above).

Alty's only league encounter with AFC Fylde came in 2016-17, a season in which Fylde were to be promoted and Altrincham relegated. In the home encounter at Moss Lane, The Coasters had won 6-0, prompting the departure of manager Neil Young, whose three initial matches had seen Alty unbeaten with three successive 2-2 draws, against teams all in the top five at the time of Fylde's visit.

This season, roles are reversed insofar as Fylde are recovering from relegation back to National North whilst Altrincham are looking forward to promotion back into the top flight of non-League football.

For the 2016 match, Altrincham gave a debut to former Crawley Town goalkeeper Callum Preston and coach Simon Garner also started his first match for the Club, at left-back, after two appearances from the bench this season. Altrincham were still without the injured Tom Hannigan and Shaun Densmore whilst Craig Hobson was also out following his injury the previous Saturday.

Above: Jake Moult tries to organize things in the Alty v AFC Fylde match in 2016.

It was all effectively over for Altrincham inside 17 minutes, by which time they were three down. The floodgates opened for the first time on the seventh minute when the tricky Hardy got in a low cross from the right, which Rowe netted. Five minutes later it was 0-2 as a speculative low shot from outside the box by Dixon evaded Preston's dive.

It was 0-3 another five minutes afterwards when Goodall's fine tackle stopped Dixon's advance but the ball ran to Daniels, who scored. Next, Hardy made it 4-0; his goal arrived when Cyrus sliced the ball, Preston then punched it into the air and, although half-cleared, the ball came to Hardy. From an acute angle on the left byline he scored.

By the end of the 37th minute it was 5-0 to Fylde as Dixon scored again after Cyrus had missed a low cross from the Fylde left. By this stage, the visitors' nickname "The Coasters" seemed doubly appropriate.

Alty made two changes at the break but conceded again within 90 seconds of the restart. After Alty had failed to challenge Hardy on the edge of the box, Bond's shot went in off the underside of the bar.

At 0-6 and with 43 minutes still to go, it looked as if the visitors would at least match the seven scored here by Slough in 1991 in a 7-3 win but a combination of the visitors taking their foot off the gas and Alty making a better fist of things meant that there was no further scoring. Damian Reeves did hit the post for Altrincham but the game ended with Fylde keeping the ball for periods as the hosts struggled to make an impact.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Callum PRESTON, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. David LYNCH, 4. John CYRUS, 5. Simon RICHMAN, 6. Alan GOODALL (capt), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Danny HATTERSLEY, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Simon GARNER. Subs: 12. Jamie MENAGH, 14. Sean MILLER, 15. Charlie JOYCE, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 20. Andrew DAWBER

In the return fixture in January 2017, Altrincham fared a little better, only losing 4-1 to The Coasters.

That was a clash between top and bottom in whuich Alty almost grabbed an early lead as, with barely a minute having elapsed, Lawrie's pass from inside left went behind Owens but fell to Newby who hit the outside of the post.

But, after Dixon had advanced on the right, Rowe curled his shot into the top corner of the net from inside the "D" to Deasy's right to give Fylde a 10th minute lead. On a very wet pitch Fylde made it 2-0 eight minutes later when Jones let the ball go but then fouled his opponent as the Fylde man got free behind him. Rowe lashed home the resulting freekick from a central position.

Alty's misfortunes continued as Clee, who had been clattered just after the first goal, had to be subbed with only twenty minutes on the clock. It became 3-0 when a Bradley cross led to Rowe's shot being saved but the loose ball was tapped in by Wilson (28 mins).

Alty gained some hope when Lawrie completed a fine move on the left, converting McWilliams's cross with a half volley to make it 3-1 just before the interval. Altrincham saw a lot of the ball in the second half but could not break down the home defence and, against the run of play. Fylde made it 4-1 after 74 minutes through substitute Matty Hughes's close-range goal.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Jake MOULT (c), 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliot NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Oluwatomisin ADELOYE, 16. Laurence TAYLOR, 17. Kyle BROWNHILL.

A comparison of the line-ups for the two games shows the amount of turmoil at Alty that season with just four players starting both games.


Altrincham are scheduled to play Weymouth on Saturday, 3 October, in their opening fixture of the Vanarama National League 2020-21 season.

From Dorset, Weymouth report that "Brian Stock’s team selection against Ebbsfleet United tomorrow (Saturday) will not translate into a 'set in stone' starting XI for Weymouth’s opening National League game.

Terras’ boss Stock leads his side into their final pre-season friendly before the campaign begins at Altrincham next weekend, Covid-19 restrictions permitting. Fleet visit the Bob Lucas Stadium having dropped down to the National League South following the controversial points per game decision last term...

Stock told Echosport 'The attitude’s been first-class and performances in training have mirrored the fixtures... The squad is very strong and competition for places is very high. Usually when it comes to this stage in pre-season you look at what your starting line-up may be for the following week.

Right: March 2009, Weymouth's last visit to Moss Lane, ended in a 4-0 win for Altrincham. Here the visitors' keeper tips a shot over the bar.

'It’s not set in stone. In order for us to be successful this year we’re going to have to be successful as a squad. Anyone who doesn’t want to be a part of that, doesn’t remain focused and show the same attitude they have done this year, will find themselves out of the group.

'I think they understand that. I’ve inherited a healthy squad and we should be fine on that front. If I’m being honest, I’ve seen enough of the boys in my short time as manager in training and games. Everyone’s had a fair amount of fixture time'...

Jack Dickson is struggling with a similar injury to Cameron Murray’s compartment syndrome issue last season. Stock said 'Jack has got an injury where it flares up every now and then. He’s one that will need some medical work'".

Weymouth add that when "The Terras face Ebbsfleet United at the Bob Lucas Stadium in a behind closed doors friendly this Saturday, the match will be the final test for Brian Stock’s side before they are due to take on Altrincham...

Weymouth come into this game unbeaten in pre-season, winning their latest fixture 4-2 away to Slough Town last Saturday... The Terras' side will have to be cautious of Lee Martin. The former Manchester United and Millwall midfielder has 3 goals in his last 2 games. The sides last faced each other in the 2008-09 Conference Premier, which was the Terras’ last campaign in the fifth tier...

This could be a pivotal game for Weymouth, as they look to continue their unbeaten run into the upcoming season, and the confidence gained from this could be invaluable for the side... The Terras' boss said he had looked at this final friendly as a 'potential marker for playing our strongest squad'. However Stock did profess that, due to the 'volume and quality of the squad'” that it’s still all to be determined for the arranged curtain raiser against Altrincham".

ON THIS DAY: 26 September

Altrincham's last six games on today's date were all away fixtures and in none of the matches was the visiting team beaten.

Back in 2015, Altrincham gained their first away win of the 2015-16 season and their first clean sheet of the season on their inaugural visit to Boreham Wood. Boreham Wood, who had been promoted to the National League that summer, had recently announced that the club had gone 'full-time' by moving to three daytime training days.

This game ended 1-0 but Alty should have won by a clearer margin than Michael Rankine's early penalty in the ninth minute. (Seen above, with Rankine far right).

With 60 Alty fans in a sparse crowd of 351 at Meadow Park, the game started with both sides unable to keep the ball and, sadly, it got little better in the first half.

The goal arrived when Ryan Crowther was upended, left of goal. After that, Alty's best period was in the second half when a succession of four corners went unrewarded. A Rankine header hit the bar and a long shot from Jake Moult was only just saved by Russell.

However, Wood could have snatched a draw in added time when the impressive substitute Morias hit the post with a fierce shot. But the clearest penalty you could ever see was denied Altrincham even later in added time when George Bowerman was tripped and the referee put his whistle to his mouth but he allowed the lack of response from the less well placed linesman to change his mind.

ALTRINCHAM : 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 18. George BOWERMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 24. Rhain DAVIS.


According to the Nottingham Post "Neal Ardley says he still remains in the dark as to whether Notts County’s season will go ahead as planned after admitting the National League’s latest statement on the crisis 'didn’t say anything'...

This week it emerged some clubs do no want to start the season until fans are allowed back inside stadiums, but that prospect looks unlikely for the next six months amid a second spike in coronavirus cases... The only way the season will go ahead is if the government provide financial aid to ensure clubs can survive playing behind closed doors.

The League said in a statement on Thursday they are hoping to receive assistance from the government, but it did not clarify if the season will start as planned.

Magpies boss Ardley said 'The statement is about all I know. I am not even sure what the statement is supposed to be saying as it doesn’t say anything really. We are going into the final week of pre-season with absolutely no clue whatsoever as to whether the season will start.

'I find that incredible, but that’s where we are. I read the statement and can’t really work it out; it doesn’t say anything... I guess it’s watch this space.'”

Ardley made his feelings clear during a meeting with other managers on Monday, but said he was the only one to raise concerns. And he still remains adamant that there is a way to start the season as planned with talks continuing about streaming services for supporters that will allow them to pay to watch games via the Internet.

'We had a managers’ meeting on Monday and spent one hour and 20 minutes on the handball rule and 10 on any other business,'” he said... 'I was the only one who spoke up at the end and asked questions as to what plan B was when I was told the league wouldn’t be going ahead without fans. I asked questions about the five subs rule at a time when players haven’t played for months. Injuries are likely and given the schedules we have, why have we only got five subs?

'I got no real response to that either. I don’t know what other managers and clubs are thinking. I get the financial difficulties of having no supporters, but if the alternative was let’s wait a week or two and this will get sorted then I’d be willing to do that. But that’s not the alternative. The alternative is you don’t play any football and you will be the only two steps that don’t. That’s why I am adamant we have to find a way.'”

King's Lynn Town report that "The Linnets travel to Clarence Park, the home of Conference South side St Albans City for their final friendly fixture on Saturday, ahead of their scheduled National League opener with Yeovil Town, due to take place in front of the BT Sports camera’s in a week’s time.

The fixture has a 2pm kick off and supporters are reminded that the fixture will be behind closed doors so please do not travel".

But another National League club will not be playing this weekend as Hartlepool United reported that their Friday game had been postponed. "The Club is disappointed to announce that tonight’s pre-season friendly against Consett AFC has been cancelled.

As a result of additional Covid restrictions introduced over the last 24 hours, Durham FA’s regulations now prohibit any team from step 3 and below from being involved in friendly games whatsoever.

Following further discussions with Durham FA today, we have been advised that these restrictions apply to any match involving Consett AFC."

From Dagenham & Redbridge we have a "Statement from the Managing Director.

Further to the press release issued by the National League yesterday evening, it is encouraging to note that the League is actively engaged with Government to secure a financial package which will allow the start of the 2020/21 season, albeit behind closed doors. However, with the already delayed season due to start in just over a week’s time, the announcement of such a package is obviously crucial.

I have previously written to our local MPs and would like to publicly thank Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham & Rainham, and Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, who have both made representations on our behalf to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport on the plight of the 67 clubs in the National League and the communities they represent.

However, it is clear from the press release that time is not on our side.

This morning [Friday] therefore I have written to all five of our local MPs, Jon Cruddas, Dame Margaret Hodge, Julia Lopez, Sam Tarry and Andrew Rosindell asking them if they could make representations on behalf of the National League to the DCMS requesting that an urgent conclusion is reached in the ongoing discussions which will allow our season to commence as planned on the 3rd October."

At Chesterfield "The Spireites are set to face Guiseley in a pre-season fixture at the Technique Stadium on Saturday afternoon (12 noon).

A reminder that this game is a behind-closed-doors friendly – please do not attempt to access the stadium or the car park.

Team News: John Dungworth said after the Alfreton Town friendly that he hoped that Curtis Weston and Nathan Tyson would be back for this Saturday’s game...

Kellett is one of two former Chesterfield players at Guiseley alongside forward Jonathan Wafula... During his time at Wigan, Kellett joined the Spireites on loan whilst in League Two. He played 41 times, scoring six times... Since leaving Wigan in 2018, the 26-year-old has played for Notts County, AFC Fylde and Alfreton Town before joining Guiseley in July 2020.

Chesterfield have played twice in pre-season so far, beating Belper Town 3-2 and losing to Alfreton Town 2-0".


Ties involving north-west and selected other clubs in the Emirates FA Cup Second Preliminary Round are as follows. Ties will be on Saturday October 3, with each winner receiving £3,375 and each loser £1,125.
  • Alvechurch v Kidderminster Harriers
  • Ashton United v South Shields
  • Boston United v AFC Mansfield
  • Brackley Town v Billericay Town
  • Bradford (Park Avenue) Community v Spennymoor Town
  • Buxton v Stafford Rangers
  • Chasetown v AFC Telford United
  • Chorley v Gateshead
  • Coalville Town v Alfreton Town
  • Curzon Ashton v FC United
  • Darlington v Prescot Cables
  • Farsley Celtic v Radcliffe
  • Grantham Town v Matlock Town
  • Guiseley v Atherton Collieries
  • Hednesford Town v Halesowen Town,
  • Hyde United v AFC Fylde
  • Kettering v Chelmsford City
  • Leamington v Banbury United
  • Mossley v Tadcaster Albion
  • Nantwich Town v Barwell
  • Nuneaton Borough v Stratford Town
  • Runcorn Linnets v Marine
  • Skelmersdale United v Lancaster City
  • Southport v Morpeth Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Longridge Town
  • Warrington Rylands v York City,
  • Whitley Bay v Blyth Spartans,
  • Worksop Town v Chester

25 September 2020


Altrincham FC has reproduced Thursday evening's National League statement, as follows...

"Following a meeting of its Board of Directors this afternoon, the following update is issued on behalf of The National League:

In recognition of the financial uncertainty facing its member clubs, The National League is actively engaged with Government, with the assistance of The Football Association, to secure a critical financial support package, and it is hoped this can be announced very soon.

It is imperative the revenue shortfall caused by the pause to the safe return of spectators is responsibly addressed so each club can operate sustainably over the course of the forthcoming season".

Earlier, Altrincham FC had issued a "Statement regarding the 2020/2021 season", which is reported on the official site via the above link.

 In it, co-chairman Bill Waterson writes that "We now face a decision as to whether we honour the original start date, but playing in empty stadia or we delay the start of the season until fans can once more be admitted to our grounds. Each club will have a different view on the better approach to this issue, and either approach leads to a serious cost impact on all member clubs.

Taking this into account, the preference of Altrincham FC is to start the season behind closed doors with the visit of Weymouth on Saturday October 3rd, followed by our visit to Notts County (a match which will be broadcast live on BT Sport) on Wednesday October 7th.

There are two provisos to this preference, and both are needed to make the restart viable.

The first is that the current league plans to allow each club to pursue their own live streaming option for home games, as a revenue stream for the home clubs, continues at least until stadia are open to full capacity.

The second is that The National League continues to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Football Association to put in place a funding package for all member clubs to address the severe cash shortfall that will be facing all member clubs across the National League and the North and South Divisions.

We have done a lot of work, in the background, to put in place a live streaming option for Alty TV".


The first opponents of 2020-21 season for Altrincham are scheduled to be Weymouth where manager "Brian Stock catches up with Amberley Silk and tells her "When I took the job, I was expecting to be a bit more nervous, but it has come naturally... I’ve inherited such a good group of players. Mark Molesley has done a good job previously; he’s left behind a healthy team and we’ve added a few players to that...

'I have been impressed with [loanees] Jack Bycroft and Sam Pearson; they have all made an instant impact. All three players are exciting prospects for the future and I’m grateful for their parent clubs to trust us with their up and coming talent. In regard to new signings, we are keeping close tabs on a couple of players, but our business will be done in a confidential and professional manner...

'It would be catastrophic if the season was to be postponed and I hope that they would look at a more sensible approach whilst taking into consideration, everyone’s health and safety. I took training with the boys yesterday and my message to them was to keep going and keep focused on the first game of the season because at the moment that is still going ahead. There is massive uncertainty around that and there is a high chance that it might be cancelled but we have to be professional with how we approach things...

'I think the competition is great, the only downside is, when you announce the squad, the players that aren’t in it will have to be in stands and they might even have to travel and not play'".

Amberley Silk stated 'Altrincham away is a huge game to kick off the start of the season, whether that be next week or in the near future. There are many parallels between the Mancunian side and Weymouth, 2 promotions in 3 years have seen them into the National League. How were you looking to prepare your side for a tough game against a team driven by the same success as yourselves?'

Stock answered 'At the end of the day, the first game of the season is always going to be tough, no matter what team you play... We’ll go into the game with confidence after a good pre-season... Their fitness is at its peak. We’re still topping that up leading into the season... which I think is vital as we’re a part-time team. We’ve got nothing to fear'".

ON THIS DAY: 25 September

Ten years ago today, on Saturday, 25 September 2010, Altrincham welcomed Grimsby Town to Moss Lane for a Blue Square Bet Premier match, which ended two-apiece. This was the first meeting of these two sides, following Grimsby's relegation from League Two. Nicky Clee was out injured so the Altrincham team was unchanged, except on the bench where Matty Crowell had recovered from injury to replace Danny Holmes. Grimsby gave a debut to former Morecambe striker Danny Carlton, signed earlier this week.

Alty groundmsan Neil Brown had mown the pitch for the game to a tartan pattern to mark the presence of 32 Scotsmen in the Sponsors' Lounge, who were taking in the Altrincham v Grimsby game as part of their "stag" celebrations!

Altrincham earned a well-deserved point when Shaun Densmore headed home James Smith's cross from the right in the first added minute after the ninety. But it was referee Harrington who really decided the outcome when, in the first half, he failed to give a penalty when Densmore was clearly upended deep in the penalty area and then allowed a blatant foul on goalkeeper Coates to go undetected which gave Grimsby their first goal, by Bore, after 27 minutes.

With Nicky Clee out injured, Alty also lost Michael Welch, to a knock after half an hour.

Following a superb save from Coates, Alty broke away from the resulting corner and McCarthy fed Denham who raced for goal, kept his head and scored a fine equalizer (54 mins). Against the run of second-half play, Connell, the pick of Grimsby's otherwise unspectactular team, curled in a fine goal to make it 2-1 after 77 minutes. With time almost up, came Densmore's header at the back post.

A small section of the visiting fans did not take kindly to the outcome and neither did their captain, Ridley, who refused his Away Man of the Match award in no uncertain terms, before relenting. Chris Denham won the Home Man of the Match champagne.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. James COATES; 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 2. James SMITH, 22. Michael WELCH; 4. Marc JOSEPH, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN; 6. Shaun DENSMORE; 10. Chris DENHAM, 23. James McCARTHY. Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 20. Sam HEWSON, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 8. Damian REEVES, 18. Matty CROWELL.


Woking state that "Following recent speculation, the Board would wish to reassure fans that it is fully aware of the transfer of Harry Arter from AFC Bournemouth to Nottingham Forest.

We can confirm that we are in dialogue with AFC Bournemouth and that, historically, Woking Football Club has always received any monies properly due under the original transfer agreement between ourselves and AFC Bournemouth. In due course we would expect the same to be true in respect of this recent transaction."

At Torquay United the "friendly against Bath City, due to take place this Saturday, 26th September, has been called off following several injuries in the City camp.

In order to avoid further injuries and ensure players can be fit for the season start date on 3rd October, Bath have therefore taken the decision to cancel the fixture."

olihull Moors report that "Jake Beesley has completed a permanent transfer to League One side Rochdale AFC.

The move sees Beesley, 23, depart the Moors for an undisclosed fee and progress two divisions higher into the English Football League, and a division higher from where he joined the club from. He first arrived last October on a loan deal from Salford City, making an instant impact on his debut with a goal against Sutton United.

Beesley made the Moors his full-time home in January and went on to play 29 times in all competitions, scoring five goals...

Technical Director Craig Cope said 'Jake has been with us for almost 12 months and, although we were keen for him to remain a Moors player, it is fantastic to see him sign for a League One club'".

Eastleigh "confirm that the planned pre-season fixture against Brentford ‘B’ on Friday, 25th September, has been cancelled due to the emergence of positive COVID19 tests from our London opponents.

Brentford made sure to alert the club as soon as they were made aware of their positive tests...

Replacing this cancelled game, we will now face Hemel Hempstead Town FC on Saturday, 26th September, at home. The match will be played behind closed doors".

At Barnet "Scott Loach is optimistic ahead of the new season... The goalkeeper spoke to us following the 2-1 pre-season victory over Dulwich Hamlet on Tuesday afternoon, where goals from Josh Walker and JJ Hooper secured Beadle's side back to back victories...

He said 'It was another good run out, it was a credit to both gaffers for getting the game on, with the short turnaround from the Summer, it was important to have another game. We flew off to a good start and if it wasn't for their 'keeper we could have been about 6-0 up at half time! Once we turned around at half time, it was windy conditions, we made it hard for ourselves which is frustrating because we had full control of the game. But on the same side you can take plusses that we showed a good attitude to dig out and get a gritty result.'

The Bees have now played four games in pre-season, in each of them there has been improvement...

'We have got a lot of new boys in and some trialists, it's going to be a little hit and miss. If I am going to brutally honest it may take a month or so of the season until we have that gelled regular starting XI'...

The attacking trio of Ephron Mason-Clark, Walker and Hooper have been a bright spark of the pre-season campaign so far, with each finding the net regularly...

'I can't speak highly enough about Josh Walker, this is a bold statement but I have been at many clubs and he is the best finisher I have seen, he could walk into any team that I have played in. If he can keep the standard of last year and we can get Ephron fit for the year, with JJ whose record speaks for itself, he was a man in demand last year, if we get them firing then teams will be scared to play us.'">

And also at Barnet "New Bees defender Alexander McQueen shared his thoughts after he was announced as our fifth signing of the summer.

The defender has been on trial with the Club for the last 10 days and has impressed gaffer Peter Beadle...

'I have been here over a week now and I have been getting to know all of the boys. It's a great place to be and I think we will do really well this season'...

Our new defender comes to The Hive London having most recently played for Dagenham and Redbridge where he made 58 appearances during his two-year spell with the club. The full-back can also play in midfield too and believes he can bring plenty to Beadle's side with both his attributes and versatility.

'I'm a good ballplayer first and foremost and I like to defend and attack. I like to get assists at one end and stop crosses at the other!'"


On Thursday, NL Daily reported that "The clubs in the National League North have this afternoon released a joint-statement to the National League Board ahead of today’s meeting. Addressed to the league’s chief executive Michael Tattersall, the open letter reads...

A meeting was held by Zoom at 17.30 on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 with representation from the majority of member clubs from the National League North to discuss the financial implications of the government’s announcement that supporters will not be allowed entry in to stadiums from the 1st October 2020. During the meeting a set of anonymous polls were conducted with the most important question being asked of clubs, 'Given the simple option, no caveats attached, of starting the season or not without crowds, what would your answer be?'

The majority verdict of 81% from clubs in the National League North would be to NOT start the season, unless there was a financial support package in place for member clubs.

The meeting considered the impact of the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round on the contractual status of players, many of whom have contracts that begin on the ‘commencement of the football season’. We are sure you are aware that clubs wrote these contracts based on information provided by the FA via the National League. The issue is, that should there be a delay to the National League North season then these contracts would be activated by the FA Cup fixture. This would leave clubs exposed to having to pay these players for the rest of the season with obvious financial implications...

The question was asked why do clubs from Step 1 receive one vote per club and Step 2 only receives four votes per league? We believe the decision regarding when to start the National League should be democratic across all members due to the financial implications of any decision on member clubs... We request that we should be treated equally and have one vote per club across the whole National League system.

These are views shared by the majority of clubs in the National League North and we ask that they are represented at the National League Board meeting taking place today.

Yours sincerely, AFC Fylde David Haythornthwaite, AFC Telford Luke Shelley, Alfreton Wayne Bradley, Blyth Spartans Anthony Platten, Boston United David Newton, Brackley Town Pat Ashby, Bradford (Park Avenue) Martin Knight, Chester Andrew Morris, Chorley Graham Watkinson, Curzon Ashton Rob Hurst, Darlington David Johnston, Farsley Celtic Joshua Greaves, Gateshead Neil Pinkerton, Gloucester City Alex Patheram, Guiseley James Pickles, Hereford Martin Watson, Kettering Town Dave Mahoney, Leamington Jim Scott , Southport Ian Kyle, Spennymoor Town Tony Wilson,

*Kidderminster Harriers No response was received at time of announcement".


The Northern Premier League confirms that "All NPL clubs are now required by law to use the new NHS Covid-19 app. New NHS QR posters, specific to each club , will be displayed to offer a quick, simple and secure way for supporters and visitors to register that they’ve been to the ground.

This will help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus. Players, spectators, coaches, match officials, staff / volunteers and all other visitors to the site aged 16 and above must provide their details.

The app is available on Android and iOS. Clubs must also retain a backup manual paper system, for those who do not have an appropriate smartphone to scan the code.

The NHS COVID-19 app has a feature that allows users to quickly and easily ‘check in’ to a venue by scanning the code. The information stays on the user’s phone. In England, you do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. If there is an outbreak associated with a venue, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice...

Clubs have all been issued with an updated FAQ and COVID-19 guidance from the FA via the league."

24 September 2020


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to the Lancashire coast to take on AFC Fylde, who were relegated last season to National League North.

Right: Alty's first visit to AFC Fylde, in January 2017, ended in a 4-1 defeat. Here, on that occasion, Alty prepare to line up before kick-off.

AFC Fylde manager, "Jim Bentley discussed how pre-season is going so far for his side following the Longridge Town friendly at the weekend.

'The biggest thing is that we’ve picked up no injuries to the players,' Bentley stated.. 'We’re a little bit mix and match at the minute with regards to trialists, as well as young lads and senior lads. Credit where credit is due, Longridge came here and set up well, played some good football and scored a fantastic goal.

'With regards to ourselves, I was a bit disappointed with some of our play and then really pleased with some of the other bits, so it was a mixed bag. We’re a work in progress, we need a few bodies in to help us and we’re working on that all the time, we’ve also got a couple of injuries as well.

'It’s nice for the boys to have got a win but pre-season isn’t anything to get too excited or down about, we don’t get too high or too low whatever happens, it’s about working on things and learning more about players.... I think we were pleased with the first couple of weeks [of pre-season], the way things were working and the way we were going about our business in training and in the games.

'We just think the last week or so that performance wise in the two games [Squires Gate & Longridge] hasn’t been at the level we expect. There’s a lot of things to take into consideration, that we’ve had a couple of injuries and a lot of trialists. Not major injuries, but a few little niggles here and there which isn’t ideal... We need to get a few more bodies in and we are tracking players all the time. We’ve missed out on a few like any other club, but we are light on numbers so we need a few more to get us where we want to be'".

Meanwhile, AFC Fylde "confirm that Neill Byrne has left the club with immediate effect.

The defender was firmly in Jim Bentley’s plans going forward into the 2020/21 National League North campaign, however he has been allowed to seek opportunities elsewhere due to being adamant in his desire to leave, despite the best efforts of the management team to persuade him otherwise.

Coasters CEO, Jonty Castle had also offered the 27-year-old a new contract to remain with the club, which he also rejected. The club wants to finalise its squad for the upcoming campaign as quickly as possible and will now continue to explore other defensive options".

AFC Fylde's weekend match with Salford City was cancelled with The Coasters stating "The reason behind the decision is that the Ammies have other playing commitments, meaning they have unfortunately had to withdraw from the game".


After defeat at Alfreton on Tuesday, Altrincham FC has an audio interview with manager Phil Parkinson, recorded by Brian Flynn for Radio Robins


In Tuesday's FA Cup ties, Altrincham's Lewis Salmon netted the third goal for for Stalybridge Celtic in their 3-0 win against Bishop Auckland. Striker Lewis is dually registered with the Tameside club and Altrincham.

ON THIS DAY: 24 September

Altrincham's first ever competitive game with Cambridge United took place fifteen years ago today on 24 August 2005 and it provided Alty supporters with perhaps their most unusual approach to an away game. The only previous meetings between these sides had been a friendly at Moss Lane in August 1967 which Altrincham had won 7-1.

It used to be that visiting the UniBond League grounds brought the stranger experiences for Alty fans; the three-sided pitch at Bishop Auckland, the slag-heap backdrop at Frickley and the cavernous Halton Stadium with its 200 spectators for example, but Alty's return to the top-flight of non-League in 2004-05 season meant that it was the large former league clubs’ grounds which were providing the most bizarre moments.

The away entrance at Aldershot was a precipitous descent along a wooded path; the York City policy of confiscating bottle tops was amazing whilst, for this fixture, the police-imposed route to the Abbey Stadium involved, firstly, a detour of several miles for the supporters' coach on and from the A14 which took the passemgers to a designated drop-off point outside a public house a half-mile from the ground. The route from there to the Abbey Stadium was an unsigned pathway through an open field protected by cattle grids in which a herd of cows was grazing.

Negotiating the cow pats on a sunny afternoon was not too bad, but doing so for an evening fixture as happened later was even more interesting. The length of the walk there and back was also a struggle for some of our older supporters.

Once inside, the stadium itself was impressive and provided good facilities for away fans behind the goal in a newish all-seater South Stand.

Above: Alty fans (Terry Surridge, Mike Garnett and Malcolm Riley) dodge the cow pats on the half-mile hike through a field of unfenced cattle from the dropping off point dictated by Cambridgeshire Constabulary for away fans' supporters coaches at Cambridge United. Even the drop-off point was only reached after a diversion from the direct route of several miles from the A14, again at the behest of the Constabulary. The ground's floodlights are visible on the horizon. .

Above: Stuart Coburn pushes the ball over the bar.

Alty had only picked up one point from their previous three games and both sides had also had trouble scoring in recent weeks, though the “U”s had hit three whilst conceding five in midweek.

In addition to their long-term injured, Eddie Hussin, Gary Scott, Steve Aspinall, Marcus Hallows, Lutel James and Richard Norris, Alty were also without the more recently injured Colin Potts, Gary Talbot and Chris Adams for this game. So, Kirk Hilton played at left-back, George Melling at centre-back and Kieran Lugsden started on the right. Only five of the starting line-up from the Conference Play-Off final a few months earlier were fit to play and six of this game's starters had started fewer than half of the matches played by Alty that season in the Conference National.

In the match, after five successive defeats, Cambridge bounced back to beat a depleted Altrincham side comfortably. After 14 minutes, the Alty defence backed off to allow Pitt to score. Three minutes later Onibuje got past George Melling to sidefoot home. In the second half, Altrincham had the better of the game for almost half an hour with young striker Lee Hendley looking especially lively.

But they faded in the final stages, allowing Onibuje to score again (78 mins). On 82 minutes Atkins added a fourth after a Stuart Coburn parry. Alty dropped to fifteenth in the table.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, white shorts, red socks) : 1. Stuart COBURN, 12 Steve HAWES, 24. George MELLING, 4. Mark MADDOX, 23. Kirk HILTON; 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 8. Val OWEN, 15. Peter BAND, 16. James OLSEN; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 17. Karl MUNROE, 19. Gary WILLIAMS, 21. Stephen ROSE, 26. Lee HENDLEY.


According to BT Sport, "Boreham Wood chairman Danny Hunter has accused the National League board of acting with 'incompetence' over plans not to start the season if crowds are not allowed in...

The league’s board will meet on Thursday, where formal discussions over the future of the 2020/21 season will take place. Hunter claims he found out about plans not to start the season via his manager who had been on a conference call with the league’s chief executive Michael Tattersall and has called for a discussion before any decision is made...

He said on the club’s YouTube channel. 'I found out about the league’s decision, that if spectators weren’t allowed in the ground that the league wouldn’t start through a manager's meeting which was conducted by the chief exec Michael Tattersall. It is hard for me to say what I feel because it is actually difficult to look at certain incompetence of the chief executive.

'You can’t make that decision as a league without talking to the owners and chairmen. You don’t give that sort of information to managers. Managers don’t pay the staff, they don’t pay the players and they don’t pay themselves...

'Nobody needs leagues to be issuing ultimatums that they won’t play if crowds can’t come back. They can only come back if it is safe, otherwise it is a dereliction of duty. We need discussion at league level with owners and chairman, not nonsense and idle threats from leagues and it being told to the managers. A board is to represent the clubs and the chairman and owners are the ones who pick up the bill. It needs a full and frank discussion with everybody.

'My personal view is I would like to start the league on October 3, with or without a crowd. I would like an intelligent conversation, one that doesn’t fit all. Let the owners and chairman have a voice and if the democratic voice is that we don’t start, then we don’t start.'

Hunter also took a swipe at Dagenham managing director Steve Thompson, who on Tuesday called for a £15-20 million Government bail-out to help clubs survive. 'I can’t keep listening to people saying the Government have to bail us out,' he added. 'There is one London chairman who says the Government have to give us £15-20million to bail us out. You can’t do that and then pay a striker £2,500 a week and then think the Government is going to bail you out. That is just crazy. We all have to cut our cloth accordingly. You can’t spend huge on budgets and then complain you’ve got no money, you all know what you’re doing.'”

So what did the Dagenham & Redbridge chairman, Stephen Thompson MBE, actually say? "It was great to see so many people back at the Chigwell Construction Stadium watching live football...

Some of you may have seen press reports or interviews I have given in the past 24 hours where I have called for a Government financial package to support the 67 teams in the Vanarama National League and National Leagues North & South.

The Prime Minister's announcement yesterday appears to have blocked the return of spectators to our games from next month and puts into doubt the start of the new season and, in my opinion, the very existence of the National League itself. If our season does not go ahead because clubs are unable to play behind closed doors due to lack of income, some clubs will undoubtably go to the wall and without clubs we have no League...

The 67 National League clubs undoubtably form an important part of the fabric of our society.

It is therefore imperative that a financial package is put in place by the Government and quickly. £20 million is needed to allow clubs to start and play games behind closed doors and install a streaming service to keep loyal supporters... engaged with their clubs whilst the present emergency continues...

Just over two weeks ago, I started our own preparations to introduce a streaming service from our ground and this is on target to be up and running before the end of the month. So timewise, it is still possible for clubs to have their own streaming service in place by mid-October at the very latest.

But we cannot overlook the fact that any revenue clubs can achieve from streaming will still only be a fraction of their normal matchday income. That is why extra financial support is still essential. The Government was fantastic in the support given at the start of the pandemic and the furlough scheme and hospitality grants enabled clubs to hibernate and survive the past six months. I have estimated that National League clubs probably benefited this way to the tune of £15 to £20 million. I am now asking for a similar amount.

But, this time,not to hibernate but to keep our clubs, our league and our communities functioning so that we can still start the 2020/2021 season and still have all our clubs for the 2021/2022 season and beyond">

The Leader Live reminds us that "The Leader reported earlier this month how an approach to invest in the club had been made by 'two extremely well-known individuals of high net worth.' Wrexham Supporters Trust Board (WST) called a special general meeting, which took place on Tuesday evening, September 22.

The purpose of the meeting was to authorise the board of WST or sub-groups of the board (and advisers) to discuss the offer with the investors in order to negotiate a detailed heads of terms for a potential transaction.

The intention being that once a detailed heads of terms is negotiated the board of WST will call a further special meeting for members to accept or reject the offer.

Following the meeting, a spokesman confirmed 'At an SGM called for approval of the Offer, WST board will provide all appropriate information regarding any offers to members. The Investors will be permitted to present their vision for Wrexham AFC Limited to the members in writing or by audio visual means. The board of WST be authorised to engage appropriate professional advisers... The WST Board will now proceed with talks, and will update members on the next steps as soon as possible.'

In total, there were 1,223 votes made in favour of moving forward with plans and 31 objections".

The wealthy would-be owners were later revealed as the Leader Live responded with supporters to "the stunning news that two Hollywood stars are looking to purchase their club.

Last night, the Wrexham Supporters' Trust confirmed the two 'high profile investors interested in the club' are Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Canadian superstar Ryan Reynolds is an actor, writer, producer and business entrepreneur best-known for his portrayal of Marvel comic book anti-hero Deadpool in two blockbuster movies.

Rob McElhenney is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter, best known as the creator, producer and star of cult comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

A Trust spokemsan said 'In due course, Mr. McElhenney and Mr. Reynolds will put forward their vision for Wrexham AFC and proposal for members to vote on at a second Special General Meeting.'"

At Solihull Moors, "The club have released the following statement...

'Following the Government’s announcement yesterday to pause plans to bring back supporters to elite football in October, Solihull Moors has made formal representation to the National League board urging the league to start on October 3 as scheduled...

The club have been preparing for a 46-game season and have undertook [sic] a full five-week pre-season training programme. The club have also invested in the team for the new season ahead, all gearing towards the scheduled start date.

The National League previously gained approval from the Government for our league to be classed as an elite sport. As of 23 September, all elite football in England above the National League has commenced (12 September) as well as other leagues below which are classed as non-elite. It would appear that, as a league, we have been caught between elite and non-elite, causing serious uncertainty with regards to our 2020/21 fixture programme. As an elite league, we should be mirroring The EFL and Premier League, who commenced on 12 September.

In light of the Government’s latest announcement, we firmly believe that the season should commence on October 3 behind-closed-doors. We understand from the Government’s statement that the latest measures could last for up to six months, taking us into March 2021. Solihull Moors played their last competitive fixture on March 7, 2020, so a wait for supporters to return to stadia would leave our football club without a football match being played for 12 months. This is clearly not sustainable for a football club..

Clubs have to look at innovative ways of generating income and engaging supporters in the current climate through live streaming. The lifting of the UEFA 3pm broadcast rule and options for live streaming has already been put forward to clubs by the National League. This clearly indicated to clubs that the league was prepared for part of the season to be played behind-closed-doors if required.

Clubs have already demonstrated that they are able to host behind-closed-doors matches safely and successfully in line with relevant safety protocols, which have all been approved by local authorities. Some clubs, including ourselves, have also operated behind-closed-doors matches under even tighter restrictions due to local lockdowns... with the club engaging a dedicated Covid-19 officer to ensure all our operational plans for running a football match are Covid secure.

To further delay our season and create more uncertainty is unacceptable. "

FC Halifax Town "have signed Irish centre-half Neill Byrne following his departure from AFC Fylde.

The 27 year old came through the academy with Nottingham Forest from the age of 14. He joined Rochdale making three appearances for Dale before loan spells with Barrow and Southport.

Byrne has had spells with AFC Telford United, Macclesfield Town and Gateshead before moving to Fylde in 2018.

He has represented Republic of Ireland youth at international level."

Aldershot Town "travelled to Berkshire for their penultimate pre-season friendly, which resulted in 2-1 defeat to Slough Town, who reached the National League South Play-Offs last season.

After a relatively quiet opening period, the home side opened the scoring through striker Ben Harris, who pounced on an under-hit back pass... The home side doubled their lead... through Harris again. The Slough No.9 latched onto a long ball and wriggled past the Aldershot centre-backs before rounding Walker again to execute a similar finish to his first strike.

The Shots capped a fine move down the left flank in the 36th minute with a strong left footed finish from the edge of the area by Toby Edser, after good work by Shroll, Trialist A and Nouble.

Cascadian [?] international Nouble showed great strength, touch and pace again shortly before half time with another burst down the left flank, resulting in a Panayioutou snapshot which was blocked at source and The Rebels took a 2-1 lead into the break.

Aldershot manager Danny Searle made four half time changes, with Kodi Lyons-Foster, Josh Rees, Craig Tanner and Trialist B joining the action...

The Shots came close to an equaliser on 70 minutes, when following a foul on Panayiotou just outside the box, Mo Bettamer’s firmly struck free-kick thumped against the Slough crossbar... Ross McCormack made his Aldershot Town introduction in the 72nd minute and he soon tested Turner, with a left footed strike from inside the area which the Slough keeper did well to parry...

Despite the flurry of late chances, the home side held on for the 2-1 win.

Aldershot Town First-Half XI: 1 M Walker (G/K), 2 G Fowler, 4 J Sendells-White, 16 B Shroll, 15 Trialist A, 12 A Whittingham (Wylie 76), 7 J Rowe, 17 T Edser, 9 M Bettamer, 10 H Panayioutou, 14 J Nouble

Aldershot Town Second-Half XI:1 M Walker (G/K), 2 G Fowler, (Colombie 63′) 6 K Lyons-Foster, 16 B Shroll, 19 Trialist B, 12 A Whittingham, (Wylie 76), 7 J Rowe, 8 J Rees, 9 M Bettamer, (McCormack 72), 10 H Panayiotou, (Trialist C 72), 3 Tanner".

We learn from Devon Live that "Torquay United today unveiled a new kit for the 2020/21 season, with prominent palm tree logos on it. For the second season in succession the Gulls' three kits do not have main sponsors on the front, favouring the 1899 logo which marks the year of the club's formation.

The distinctive kit has been produced by sportswear giants, Nike, in collaboration with the club's official kit partners, Pro:Direct...

A statement on the club's official website read 'Paying homage to Torquay’s status as the heart of the English Riviera, all three shirts feature an eye-catching central stripe with a repeating palm tree pattern. Not just any palm tree, either – it’s the famously hardy Torquay Palm, known for its resilience and durability, characteristics that have served United’s players well since the club’s formation in 1899.

The kit is available in yellow, for the home kit, and in dark blue and white, for away variations'".

23 September 2020


After a goalless first forty-five minutes, a disappointing second half witnessed two goals inside five minutes for Alfreton. The first was netted by ex-Alty man Conor Branson following a corner, just before the hour-mark. And the second arrived four minutes later from a long-range shot by Fox after a mistake by Richman.

Alty did rally with Ceesay prominent and could have levelled in the final five minutes. Firstly, Ceesay fed Peers who missed the target from ten yards and then Ceesay won a penalty. He wanted to take it himself but Max Clayton did so and saw his spot-kick saved.

Match report here


On Saturday 3 October the National League was set to kick off with newly promoted Weymouth meeting fellow National; League returnees, Altrincham, at the J. Daidson Stadium.

But the Dorset Echo tells us that "Weymouth chairman Ian White has cast doubt on the Terras' planned National League opener at Altrincham... Brian Stock's men are due to travel to fellow promoted side Altrincham, despite local lockdowns remaining in force for Trafford and Greater Manchester.

With the UK's Covid-19 alert level up to four, there is widespread expectation the National League campaign will be affected. Adding to those concerns, this morning cabinet office minister Michael Gove revealed plans for up to 1,000 fans to return to stadiums in elite sports had been iced.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent Sport, White admitted he had reservations over the season commencing. He said 'We're going to find it difficult. We probably, may be, all right for a couple of months. Unless we get some help from somewhere else, I don't think it's plausible to start.

'Our first game is at Altrincham. You've only got to look at the new (Covid-19) cases maps on some of the news websites and see up into the Manchester and West Midlands. I don't think if the season starts we're expecting to go to Altrincham, unless it's behind closed doors.'"

ON THIS DAY: 23 September

Three years ago today ALtrincham entertained Grantham Town at the J. Davidson Stadium in a Evo-Stik Premier match which the hosts won 1-0.

Altrincham, without the suspended Harrop and Jones and the recuperating Disney, Miller and Taylor neverthless secured a narrow victory against a Grantham side which carried a threat going forward, especially through Lee Shaw. Despite the three points gained, Alty remain eighth in the table.

In the first half the referee, Mr Swallow, failed to take further action against the recently booked Hollingsworth when the Grantham man brought down Peers. If that decision annoyed Alty, the visitors will not have been happy with his allowing the deciding goal, which arrived in the 51st minute. Man of the Match Joel Bembo-Leta won a corner, after which Grantham keeper Preston juggled the ball three times, as he appeared to be jostled in the goalmouth. The ball dropped for Jordan Hulme, who netted from close range.

Above: Alty clear their lines in the second half.

Having used all their substitutes, Alty defender Ben Harrison suffered an injury and spent the last ten minutes hobbling as, first, a central midfielder and, then, further forward. However, he almost produced a late second goal for Alty when he set up Johnston but his shot crashed against the crossbar.

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


The Guardian reports that "For Dover Athletic, the outlook could not be starker. The National League club are, according to their chairman, Jim Parmenter, as close as a week away from going out of business unless they receive reassurances the fifth-tier season will soon begin with supporters in attendance.

It is a sickening thought for Parmenter, who has invested more than £4m in the club over 15 years, but confirmation the government has shelved the phased reintroduction of fans has left clubs throughout the pyramid fretting over their immediate futures. Parmenter had previously warned Dover could become the first professional club to collapse as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the reversal on fans being allowed into matches from October could be the final straw for the club, who cannot plough on without match-day income as they continue to foot monthly bills of about £80,000.

On Thursday, the National League board is expected to postpone the new season because many clubs fear it is not viable to start without supporters.

'We have got a week to two weeks left, without some kind of decision on when we can start,' says Parmenter. 'We have to start with fans; it is impossible without fans. We have already spent significant amounts of cash on training and preparations for the start of the season, so that money has gone. We are reliant on sponsorship, gate money, tea and bar revenue, things like that to pay the bills, and none of that looks likely... If they are saying we’re just going to delay it by a couple of weeks that’s a different answer to" ‘‘We don’t know.’ If they say we’re going to start in January: a) there is not enough time to play the 40-odd games; and b), by then it will be too late. The most likely scenario is we will have to close the doors.'

In the next 48 hours Parmenter plans to meet players and staff and he will paint a bleak picture. Last month he made the entire squad available on free transfers to cut costs, after claiming the players refused a 20% wage reduction. 'I’m going to revisit that,' he says. The majority of Dover’s players, most of whom earn £600-900 a week, were brought off furlough at the end of August to train before the proposed 3 October start, while a handful of player contracts will not kick in unless a new season begins.

'For the existing players it will be "Sorry, for the moment, we cannot pay you" says Parmenter. 'And that will have serious implications because football contracts are not like employment contracts; you cannot make people redundant from a football contract.'

Dover, like many lower-league clubs, cannot begin to contemplate Covid-19 testing given the prohibitive cost. Season-ticket sales account for more than 60% of the club’s current cash reserves, around £100,000, but Parmenter will not lean on those funds. 'The biggest problem is we cannot spend our season-ticket receipts because we don’t know if and when the season is going to start. We have made it clear to supporters who have bought season tickets that we would ringfence that money and if the season doesn’t start we will refund that money to season-ticket holders because it’s the right thing to do.'

If this is the final nail in the coffin for Dover, it will represent a heartbreaking end for Parmenter, who assumed control of the club when they were in the eighth tier. 'It has been a huge investment; it’s a labour of love but it looks like it is all going to go,' he says. 'Anybody that is as deeply involved as we are, it is part of your life. We’ve always managed it prudently but this is a situation that could destroy everything. We are in big trouble.'"

And BT Sport reports that "Gateshead chairman Neil Pinkerton has warned that National League clubs will go bust without intervention following a decision to delay the return of football spectators.

Pinkerton’s warning came as Dagenham managing director Steve Thompson called on the Government to deliver a £20 million bail-out package to save the league’s clubs.

The Gateshead chief told the PA news agency 'Clubs will go to the wall, without a doubt. There are clubs that have invested heavily in their playing staff this off-season, and all clubs at this level have got contracted players. The footballing world below League Two needs some sort of intervention to keep going, without a doubt... We’re full-time as well, so these are people’s livelihoods that you’re playing with. Yes it’s sport, but it’s a business and we need to be able to trade...

'I believe that a package of between £15-20 million for the National League would enable those clubs to start behind closed doors,' he told PA... 'I am fearful of clubs going out of business. There are livelihoods at stake, there are communities at stake'...

Thompson believes money from the Government would allow clubs to set up a streaming service, similar to the one used in the EFL, to allow fans to pay to watch games"'

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "The National League will meet on Thursday to thrash out plans amid growing concern the season won’t start on October 3.

The fifth tier start date had been pushed back to the start of October with the hope that some fans will be allowed inside stadiums. But the Government’s announcement that those plans have been pushed back are causing huge concern among clubs, who have previously been told that the National League season would not start if fans were not allowed in.

A decision is expected on Thursday, with mixed views among clubs over potentially playing behind-closed-doors and the financial impact and whether it was viable for them.

Pools' boss Dave Challinor... said 'It is disappointing, it is news thrust upon us quickly with no hint really. Our thought process was we played behind-closed-doors at the weekend and thought that might be a way for us to go but we were told in a manager’s zoom meeting yesterday that wouldn’t be the case. That, if this decision was made, that we wouldn’t start. It is disappointing and people will have a lot of different views and opinions about it.

'It only affects our level and the one below us, the EFL and PL will continue to play behind-closed-doors', he told BBC Radio Tees... Challinor added... 'We will train this morning, we are out on the dunes, we will have to have a meeting with the staff over where we go. The only option for us is to continue as we are, continue to try and keep things going and look to play behind-closed-doors against Conference North and potentially Under-23 teams'...

Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter has already made his stance clear, stating his club will oppose any plans to start the National League season behind-closed-doors. Parmenter said 'We believe that the most likely outcome is a delay to the start of the fixtures. Unless funding is provided by the government, football behind closed doors is not sustainable at our level. We will oppose any attempt to start the season behind closed doors.'

Meanwhile, Chesterfield chief executive, John Croot... told the Derbyshire Times 'I was surprised and gobsmacked when I heard Michael Gove announce it in a television interview this morning. I played it back to be honest just to make sure I had heard it correctly and then, within a minute, the chairman had called me to say ‘Have you just seen what I’ve just seen?'"

Yeovil Town "confirm the capture of defender Ryan Burke on loan from Birmingham City until January 17th.

Originally from Ireland, Burke played for Crumlin United and later St.Patrick’s Athletic before a successful trial in the ‘Second City’ in 2017. The full-back has enjoyed a number of successful years within the Blues' academy, earning a professional contract and making his first-team debut in the Championship last season as a substitute against Stoke City.

Burke signs for the Glovers in the hunt for first-team football and, when he heard Town were interested, it was an easy decision for the 19-year old. 'I was looking to go out on loan and, when I heard Yeovil were interested in me, I was delighted... It’s a great club, great stadium, and I hear there’s a great set of fans too'".

Meanwhile, Wealdstone "announce the signing of teenage defender Jay Williams.

The 19 year-old is a graduate of the Northampton Town academy and made 16 senior appearances, ending his time with the Cobblers in the summer after seven years at the club. Williams was named under Trialist O and has made five appearances since his debut against Dartford, scoring his first goal for the club against Hayes & Yeading.

The defender has been deployed as a centre-half and a right full-back during pre-season and Williams spent a portion of last season on loan at National League North side Kettering Town.

We can also confirm that Jake Sheppard has departed the club and signed for Hayes & Yeading."

On Tuesday, King's Lynn Town reported that "The Linnets travel to Downham Town this evening for a friendly fixture, bringing the opportunity to also promote the new partnership between the two teams. All tickets for the game have now been sold out and there will be no admittance on the evening without a previously purchased ticket".

The club chairman, Robin Stanton-Gleaves, has told Bromley "The situation continues to change constantly with regard to what level of crowd we will be allowed to have, and also, following the sad news of Macclesfield Town last week, if indeed we will have a fixture on 3rd October. With regard to this fixture, as soon as we have any further news from the National League, we will let you know...

We have had to review our admission prices knowing that we will only be able to operate at a far smaller capacity under the latest COVID Guidelines, and this results in us having to increase these prices. Finally, we have joined forces with a professional broadcasting company so that we can stream all home games live, and you will be able to enjoy the high standard of production you are accustomed to at home on your TV!...

The new membership scheme will be priced at £50 per person but will be free for 2019/20 season ticket holders as our way of thanks for their loyalty to us. This will provide 48 hours priority access to matchday tickets, before they go on general sale.

Admission prices:

  • Adults: £20
  • OAPs: £15
  • U16s: £7

With seating being limited due to restrictions, there will now be an additional charge of £5 for this on top of the ticket price. Due to very limited availability, seating will only be available to Adults, OAPs and Family Bookings. When the time comes, seated ticket sales will be managed via a dedicated phone line.

We are pleased to have partnered with a professional Outdoor Broadcasting provider to enable us to stream our home matches professionally. This will include multiple camera angles, instant replays, live commentary, in-game graphics and an interactive pre-match show. In addition, the full stream will be available post-match to those who have missed it, meaning increased flexibility. This service will be priced at £9.99 per match...

We are doing our utmost to ensure that you have access to our home matches, whether it be in the stadium, or via a professional live streaming service...

Since I last wrote to you, nine signings have been made, with a further one being announced later. I can safely say it’s one you’ll all be very pleased with too!

And that signing was revealed as Bromley "announce[d] the return of forward Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, on loan from EFL League One side Portsmouth.

The 22 year-old arrives at Hayes Lane for his third spell with the Club, having originally signed on loan from Charlton Athletic towards the latter stages of the 2018-19 season. After impressing manager Neil Smith, he signed permanently in the Summer of 2019.

After a blistering start to the 2019-20 season for both Club and player, attention was drawn to the in-form forward, and subsequently, in January 2020, he was sold to Portsmouth in a deal which saw Bromley’s record fee received for a player well and truly smashed. Prior to his move, Hackett-Fairchild had contributed eight goals in 25 appearances, as well as numerous assists.

Following nine months with Pompey, Hackett-Fairchild returns on loan until January 2020... Hackett-Fairchild commented on his return 'It’s been tough the last nine months with no football but I can’t wait to get back, get started again and win some games and score some goals!... It is somewhere I have come and enjoyed each spell I’ve spent at the Club, I can’t fault it. It was the first place I wanted to come to at this level, I’m buzzing to be back.'".


Notts County lost their FA Trophy semi-final against Harrogate Town at Meadow Lane to the only goal of the match, scored by Will Smith.
22 September 2020


Altrincham travel to play Alfreton Town tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm). The match will be covered by Radio Robins (link at top of page).

In advance of the match, Altrincham FC reported that "Following the 4-0 win over Huddersfield Town B on Saturday, "Assistant manager Neil Sorvel caught up with Aiden Beswick, [and told him] 'We knew that Huddersfield would be technically very good and keep the ball well, which they did in the first half and that gave us the opportunity to work on our defensive shape and hitting them on the counter-attack...

We will be looking to start the 8 substitutes from Saturday at Alfreton tonight, so that all of Saturday’s squad will have featured in a game for at least 60 minutes, with a view to getting the players up to 75-80 minutes game time in the last two pre-season games at AFC Fylde on Saturday and Salford City U23s on Tuesday'.

We could be looking at a starting XI that gives Matt Gould his first start, as well as places in the XI for trialists Joel Senior, Ashley Smith-Brown and Will Hall, plus Curtis Miller, Simon Richman and Toby Mullarkey.

ON THIS DAY: 22 September

Two years ago today, Altrincham were playing an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round match against Northern League Whitley Bay at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Altrincham went into this first-ever match against Whitley Bay without an home win this season but they advanced into the Third Qualifying Round with a comfortable 5-0 win against opponents who kept going to the end, despite playing for more than half the game with ten men.

Above: Jake Moult's fine header was kept out by the woodwork but Tom Hannigan was to be on hand to net the rebound at the back post, making it 3-0.

Altrincham had made two changes from the eleven who had started the previous week at Bradford; Jordan Hulme displaced Tom Peers up front and Max Harrop came in for loanee Owen Dale. On the seven-man bench, new signing Joe Thompson was named as was Conor Hampson, after his long lay-off with a hand injury.

Alty took a 28th minute lead when Simon Richman and Jake Moult did well to get the ball to Jordan Hulme. He slid the ball past the advancing keeper, Flynn, to make it 1-0. Alty were unable to build on their lead but Whitley Bay were reduced to ten men in the 41st minute when Hassan felled Max Harrop, just outside the box, as the midfielder advanced up the middle after winning the ball.

In first-half added time Alty had a great chance to double their lead when Flynn brought down Hulme in the goalmouth but John Johnston's penalty hit the base of the post and rebounded off the keeper, who then grabbed the ball.

The second half was one-way traffic. Moult made it 2-0 after 55 minutes when he scored from close range with help from Jordan Hulme in the build-up. The third goal came from Tom Hannigan at the back post after a Moult header had been kept out.

Substitute Tom Peers made it 4-0 when fellow sub, James Poole, laid on a chance for him and Peers added a fifth with a superb lob from a long ball forward by Harrop in the 84th minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Simon Richman, 3. Andy White, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Max Harrop, 11. Josh Hancock. Subs: 12. Owen Dale, 14. Tom Peers, 15. Liam Goulding, 16. James Poole, 17. Joseph Thompson, 18. Connor Hampson, 20. Tony Thompson


The Northern Premier League confirms that "Hyde United have announced the signing of.... Darius Palma.

Midfielder Palma, joins from Curzon Ashton on dual-registration terms in order to gain additional game time".

And the NPL also advises us of the move of goalkeeper "Anthony McMillan (right) from Warrington Town to Nantwich Town".


Stockport County report that "Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Tuesday night’s planned pre-season friendly away at Chorley FC has been cancelled by the home side.

County will now next be in action on Saturday 26th September at 1:30pm, as we take on Kidderminster Harriers at Edgeley Park in our final pre-season game of 2020/21."

At Notts County, manager "Neal Ardley says three of his midfielders face fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s 2019-20 Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final against Harrogate Town.

The boss will definitely be without Casper Sloth, who missed the weekend trip to Telford with a hamstring problem, but he’s hoping for good news on three others ahead of kick-off.

'Jake Reeves, Ruben Rodrigues and Jim O’Brien are having intensive treatment and late fitness tests... If there’s a seed of doubt with any of them we’re not going to force them to play in this game and risk them missing 3 October. If they’re fit, great, but we won’t know until 5pm tomorrow.'

We’re permitted to name up to six ‘new’ signings in the matchday squad, one of whom will be Cal Roberts who was ineligible last season having represented Blyth Spartans. It could also pave the way for the likes of Ruben Rodrigues, Elisha Sam and Jimmy Knowles to make their competitive debuts in a match Ardley is keen to win despite his side being several weeks behind Harrogate in terms of fitness and match practice.

'It would mean a lot to us, not because we’ve got a vendetta against Harrogate but, because if we can win this, we’re in a final at Wembley which we worked very hard to reach,' said Ardley.

'We had to go away to Chesterfield, we finished with nine men at Yeovil, we had a Michael Doyle 50-yard goal to beat Dagenham. We’ve battled hard to get here and for our fans to be able to maybe go to Wembley, regardless of the competition, means a lot to us. All of those are reasons for us to have a real go at it.'

The match will be played behind closed doors but a free live stream will be available on our website and YouTube channel, complete with BBC Radio Nottingham commentary".

Dagenham & Redbridge tell us that "For the past two months the club has been working very hard towards football restarting, which has been evidenced by the measures put in place within the club house and last Saturday the hosting of West Ham Women v Arsenal Women with 700 fans in attendance, a pilot game sanctioned by the Department of Media Culture & Sport (DCMS)...

We are very excited to announce that our pre-season friendly v Concord Rangers already scheduled for Tuesday 22nd September has today been sanctioned by the DCMS as a further pilot game and they have authorised an attendance of up to 1,000. This is a huge responsibility, not just for the Club, but also for all our supporters. We all need to step up to the plate and show that not only can the Club and its employees ensure the safety of such a number of people, but that our supporters can demonstrate that they understand the measures put in place and are willing to abide by those restrictions...

All tickets being purchased online so that we can comply with the track & trace system, staggering arrival times with the turnstiles opening earlier, face masks being required to be worn whilst moving around the stadium and whilst queuing for entry, toilets and T Bars, in the stands sitting in designated seats and on the terraces remaining socially distanced and for everyone to comply with stewards' instructions.

We designed a 1000 capacity configuration for the West Ham Women’s game which will be replicated in the game on Tuesday. It is slightly different to the way we hope to set the stadium out when the league starts. Season ticket holders’ seats have not yet been allocated, for that configuration. For this reason and the short period between now and the game, season ticket holders are not able to be given any priority for ticket sales. All tickets for Tuesday will be sold on a strictly first come basis.

We appreciate that attending games for the foreseeable future is going to be different, but it is vitally important that the National League starts on the 3rd October as planned. We need our fans to play their part. It is therefore incumbent on all of us to play our part and ensure that we have a full capacity of a thousand and so that we can show the relevant authorities that Dagenham & Redbridge and the Vanarama National League are fully prepared for the return of spectators".

The Derbyshire Times reports on Shwan Jalal's "tough decision to retire... It was a decision which was not taken lightly but one Shwan Jalal was fully prepared for.

The experienced goalkeeper, who has spent the last two years at Chesterfield, has hung up his gloves after 20 years in the game.

Well, that is not strictly true because the 37-year-old has just started a new job as head of academy goalkeeping at Rochdale...

'It was a very difficult decision and I don’t think it has properly sunk in yet,' Jalal said... 'It was extremely difficult because it is all I have known since school but I am excited about the next chapter and I am just glad I have made that transition because it is well documented that a lot of footballers retire and are then in the wilderness so I think I have been very lucky... I talked it through with my family and a lot of people including my old Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe'...

Jalal’s contract at the Spireites expired during the summer and, in the end, manager John Pemberton decided not to offer him a new deal and instead brought in former Salford City stopper Kyle Letheren...

'I had hoped that maybe I would have stayed at Chesterfield for another year,' he explained. 'I think my performances certainly warranted another year but obviously due to the situation things changed. He (Pemberton) was quite honest with me from the get-go and... we parted on very amicable terms'...

The former Bournemouth and Macclesfield keeper, who has never been relegated in his career, is hoping the Blues have turned a corner... 'I was a bit surprised, speaking honestly, at the amount of players that were retained from last season but that’s John’s prerogative and he has been very focused in the way he wants to go and I think he should be given that chance because he did get the team playing well and very organised,' he said...

'I was lucky enough to be a part of a Macclesfield team that had no budget and still managed to win the league so it definitely can’t be ruled out...

[at Chesterfield] There were times which were probably quite unbearable. At times we didn’t know what we were doing, we didn’t know what the team was going to be, we had not worked on anything...

'The Chesterfield fans have been really, really amazing to me and top draw,' he added".

21 September 2020


Altrincham travel to Alfreton Town on Tuesday for a pre-season friendly.

The Robins' last visit came in 2018-19 season when Alty won 7-0 in a Vanarama National League North match, played on Saturday, 6 April 2019. The result was bizarre as this was a clash between two of the top sides in the form guide; Alfreton had won three and drawn two of their previous five matches and were unbeaten in six games. Alty were unbeaten in five with four wins and a draw.

Altrincham were unchanged as regards the starting eleven but on the bench James Poole returned, having only started one league match this season through injuries.

Above, Josh Hancock nets Alty's fourth goal at Alfreton in 2019. He is the farthest right player in the purple shirt.

Shaun Densmore and Elliot Wynne were involved in the warm-up but were not in the squad, whilst loanees Callum Dolan and Billy Sass-Davies were not in evidence.

In the 2019 match Altrincham inflicted on Alfreton Town their heaviest ever home defeat with a dominant display at the Impact Arena. It might have been a different story had referee Mulhall acceeded to strong Alfreton appeals inside the first minute when Clarke went down in the box. But, after that, it was pretty much all Altrincham.

Altrincham took the lead in the eighth minute when home keeper Ramsbottom failed to deal with a Johnston cross from the right. Blackpool loanee Yusifu Ceesay was on hand to head against the crossbar from close range before he nodded the rebound into the net.

Before the half-hour mark Altrincham lost left-back Connor Hampson to injury but, with right-back White having switched flank to replace Hampson, Alty's no.2 got himself to the left by-line from where he cleverly cut the ball back for Hulme to sweep it into the net (32 mins).

Five minutes before half-time Altrincham gained a slightly fortunate penalty when Ceesay's flicked ball was handled by a defender. Johnston converted the spot-kick to make it 3-0 by half-time.

A fairly uninspiring fifteen minutes after the break were ended when White advanced once more and the ball was worked to Hancock, who scored from the edge of the box in the 61st minute. Alfreton then won a penalty after a challenge by Jones, but former Alty midfielder Jordan Sinnott saw his penalty well saved by Tony Thompson.

Three goals in the final three minutes, plus added time, brought the tally to seven for the visitors. Goal number five came in the 87th minute after substitute Matt Chadwick had advanced on the right towards keeper Ramsbottom, who blocked the shot but the loose ball fell for Ceesay to net his second goal of the match. Three minutes later it was 0-6 when Moult's goalbound effort, following a Chadwick corner, was diverted into the net by Hulme.

And the icing on the cake arrived in the third added minute when James Jones shot home from the edge of the box following another Chadwick corner.

The result mean that Alty moved up to fifth in the table.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 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. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. James Poole, 14. Max Harrop, 15. Matt Chadwick, 16. Simon Richman, 20. Steven Drench.


In the first match at the J. Davidson Stadium since lockdown to permit the limited attendance of spectators, Altrincham FC Ladies were knocked out of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup at the Preliminary Round by Northwich Vixens, 5-0.

Brian Flynn's match report is on the official Altrincham FC website.


Altrincham FC report that "One effect of Altrincham's promotion to the National League is that the Youth team is exempt from the FA Youth Cup until the Second Round Qualifying Round. The draw for that Round has given the young Robins a home tie against Buxton or City of Liverpool.

This game will be played at The J.Davidson Stadium on Friday October 9th with kick-off at 7.45pm.


As previously reported, in the Cheshire Senior Cup, Altrincham received a home draw against Barnton in the First Round draw.

However, the tie has now been switched to the Barnton club's Townfield ground and the match will be played during the week commencing Monday November 2nd.


An elbow on Ashton United's Lewis Walters cost his Stafford Rangers opponent a red card on Saturday.

ON THIS DAY: 21 September

Whilst the planned start to 2020-21 season for Alty is still two weeks away, a year ago today on 21 September 2019 Altrincham were already playing their twelfth match of the 2019-20 campaign. Eleven league games had left them standing 15th in the National League North as they travelled to face Chester FC in the Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round.

Right: Ashley Hemmings congratulates Josh Hancock on his goal.

Altrincham had restored Simon Richman to the starting eleven after his suspension but the injured Steven Drench and Yusifu Ceesay had not recovered to play. New signing Lewis Archer, from Alvechurch, was cup-tied and he was never to appear for the club.

Simon Richman took Sean Williams's place in the starting side, whilst youth keeper Joel Torrance made his second appearance in a first-team squad, named as one of just six subs by the visitors, compared with the hosts' seven. Despite naming seven subs, none of Chester's back-up players was a goalkeeper, which became significant later.

Altrincham wore their red and white striped kit in preference to their normal grey away outfit. They were without manager Phil Parkinson whose wife had gone into labour, so coach Chris Parkes joined Neil Sorvel in the technical area.

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

However, Alty went on to enjoy the lion's share of possession before the interval, without seriously looking like scoring. After the break, at which two Chester substitutions were made, Alty once again went to sleep in the opening stages just as they had done in the first half. This time they were fortunate as Tony Thompson saved a strong shot from Chester's leading-scorer Asante, the striker's sole contribution of note to the game.

But, with Altrincham again dominating a match which had already endured almost seven minutes of first-half injury time, play was then halted for ten minutes in the 52nd minute.

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

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

Eleven added minutes were proclaimed, which was too short given the lengthy stoppage for the Chester keeper and the fact that there were other injury stoppages and two substitutions. And so, Altrincham will go into the replay on Tuesday with confidence, having twice had the better of encounters with Chester at their own ground this season having also drawn the league game there in August 2019.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT, 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Sean WILLIAMS, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Max HARROP, 20. Joel TORRANCE.


Following a 2-0 defeat to Alfreton Town in midweek, Chesterfield's "Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context. "This low-key pre-season friendly was like a training game, lacking in passion, thrill and spills and that wasn’t solely down to the fare on show. Well done to the dozen or so Spireite fans standing on Alma Street peering over the wall and through the gate!...

Half of Chesterfield’s shots in this game came from Smith. Bearing in mind that he bagged a brace at Belper, ‘Smudge’ looks like he’ll be the key box-to-box player this season. Milan Butterfield will clearly be the holder with Liam Mandeville or Joe Rowley the #10 and the 33-year-old looks fit and ready to roll and perform that vital role with energy and urgency. Of the starting XI, he was one of the few that shone on the day.

Sharman only came on with 20 minutes left and he slotted into the right centre-half (of three) role, normally he’s played in the middle. He won headers, tackles, ran with the ball and produced the pass of the day from a blue-shirted player, putting Luke Rawson one-on-one only to see his effort strike the post and the follow up saved by the keeper, who was injured in the process. Combined with his performance at Belper, where he set up Smith’s 'worldy', if he doesn’t start against Guiseley next week, I’ll call for a public enquiry...

Having only played two games and with Curtis Weston & Nathan Tyson yet to turn out, as assistant manager John Dungworth admitted post-match, we’re well behind many other teams.

At Alfreton, it was the 38th minute before Spireites' first shot on target whilst the hosts scored two and hit the bar as well, looking match sharper for the first half, though Chesterfield did look the most likely second-half scorers until Jake Day converted with the game’s final kick. The shape looked right for the players...

Team at Alfreton Town (3-5-2 to start): Letheran; Yarney (Sharman 70), Evans, Hollis (Maguire 70); Cropper (McKay 70), Butterfield (Hutchinson 74), Smith, Mandeville (Rowley 63), Buchanan; Boden, Denton (Rawson 70). Goals: Alfreton: Jones 41, Day 90"

Scotland's Daily Record reports that "Aldershot Town boss Danny Searle insists Ross McCormack 'hasn't bankrupted' the club after his shock move to the English non-league side.

The ex-Rangers striker has commanded over £25 million in transfer fees during spells at Fulham, Cardiff and Aston Villa... The 34-year-old made just four appearances off the bench for Stephen Robinson's side before he was released from his Villa Park contract.

After his surprise National League move, boss Searle says he has not asked for a big-money deal to return from footballing exile.

He told Shots TV 'He was so great and easy to deal with... As I say, it wasn't about money for him. He hasn't bankrupted us at all. He has actually come in and fit[ted] in with our wage structure and he has made sure that he adds value. He wants to give something back to the game'".

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Neal Ardley felt Notts County's second-half performance at AFC Telford 'wasn't good enough' but said there was still plenty to be encouraged by as the Magpies made it three wins out of three in pre-season.

Notts secured a 3-1 win over their Conference North opponents and took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of a thumping strike from Alex Lacey following a corner routine. An own goal puts Notts further ahead after the break, but a penalty from Aaron Willams reduced the deficit until substitute Wes Thomas made the game safe with a terrific touch and finish...

'I don’t think we’ve put together a complete performance in any of the games so far,' he said. 'The first game was what it was in terms of getting minutes into the legs. Last week we were poor first half, better second and on Saturday, I thought we were excellent first half, and we had spells in the second when we were good.'"

From Lynn News we learn that "Ryan Fryatt returned to haunt his former club as Kettering Town inflicted King's Lynn Town's first pre-season defeat on Saturday.

Fryatt, released by the Linnets in May after making almost 350 appearances for the club, headed home a dramatic winner in the last seconds of an uninspiring clash at The Walks.

Manager Ian Culverhouse found plenty of positives despite the defeat, saying 'I thought we were very good between both boxes, but not good enough to create anything really. But what really pleased with the way we handled the ball and some of our movement in the first half was very good, especially in midfield and the rotation in there. We have got to peak on October 3 so good things have come out of it.

'The players out here I have good faith in them. We have to find different combinations and different ways of playing without those players and we will do. We have got really good weapons, we saw glimpses of that today when we got around the back of them. Now we have just got to flood the box a bit more because in midfield today we had three ball players and no one running no beyond the centre forward.

'But we have got players to do that so we have lots to work on – still two weeks to go and we will be ready.'

'Both Archie Mair and Simon Power, Lynn's two Norwich City loan players, got their first taste of action of the summer. Power played an hour of a feisty encounter, which threatened to boil over at times in the second half, while Mair replaced regular custodian Alex Street between the posts at the interval...

King's Lynn Town: Street (Mair 46), Jones, Smith, McAuley (Fleming 70), Brown (Barrows 70), Jarvis (Carey 69), Richards, Clunan (Henderson 69), Power (Hawkins 59), Loza, Southwell (Kelly 69)".

20 September, 2020


With Josh Hancock having taken a knock, he joined Andy White and Dan Mooney on the injured list. However, Connor Hampson returned to the starting eleven for this match against a young Huddesrfield side which had drawn 1-1 earlier in the week at Anfield against a Liverpool, side which had included several of the Premier League champions' first-teamers.

On the bench Altrincham included three trialist defenders. They were defenders Ashley Smith-Brown, Will Hall and Joel Senior, all of whom had featured earlier in pre-season.

After the young home side had started well, with plenty of possession, two goals in quick succession from Ceesay and Hulme put Alty in control. The first was a fine finish from Ceesay and the second was a smart conversion by Hulme.

Hulme then made it three-nil before the break. Alty were comfortable during the second half and added a late fourth goal from Mullarkey after the visitors had made eight changes shortly after the hour-mark.

Match report


Altrincham FC Co-chairman Bill Waterson has provided an update on the distribution of season tickets, which includes the revelation that "Season tickets are selling at record volumes at the prospect of seeing Phil Parkinson’s Mighty Red Army plying our trade at Step One... The new-look season ticket cards are with the printers, and we expect them to be with the club next weekend and therefore distributed to those supporters who have ordered one early in the week of 28th September...

We still have no guidance from the Government or the National League about how and when spectators will be admitted to The J. Davidson Stadium, and the situation is evolving daily; some days positively and some days less so..

Our Covid planning does take out of circulation a number of seats in the main stand to allow for proper social distancing when entering or leaving that particular area, so it is entirely possible anyone renewing their season ticket may not be able to access the seat they are used to occupying at the beginning of the season. If that does apply to anyone, we apologise but trust you accept it is unavoidable in the current climate...

Renewing season ticket holders will be given first option to choose seats, once availability under the Covid rules is finalised. New season ticket holders will then be able to select from the remaining seats. In this way, we will prioritise seat access to renewing and new season ticket holders. We do not know when we will be able to carry out this process, but we will do so as soon as we can.

We are actively exploring options as to how we can bring Alty TV to a wider audience, should we be forced to start behind closed doors, or if attendance is limited by Covid restrictions. In this case, any matches so broadcast will be made available to season ticket holders free of charge and will form a formal part of the season ticket package".


Confirmation comes from the Northern Premier League that winger Lewis Walters, released by Altrincham this summer, has joined Ashton United. Ashton were on of three clubs at which Lewis spent loan spells last season.

ON THIS DAY: 20 September

Altrincham's last game on today's date was in 2014 when they travelled to Barnet and lost 0-5.

Despite the outcome, there was a fairly even start to the game but this was undone in the twelfth minute when referee Lugg allowed a questionable challenge on Damian Reeves to go unpunished and allowed Barnet to go on and score, through a well-struck shot by the impressive Spaniard, Luisma Villa.

Barnet then converted a penalty after Dave Parton had come out to dive at Akinde's feet but the big forward got the ball first and was upended by Alty's keeper. Hurt in the process, Parton recovered to face the penalty but had to be subbed immediately afterwards with what looked like a head injury (30 mins).

Above, Stuart Coburn tips Luisma Villa's freekick over the bar after the Alty keeper had come on as a substitute in the 2014 game at Barnet.

After 40 minutes, Barnet defender N'Gala should have been sent off when, already booked, he flattened Moult, but he escaped unpunished.

With 44 minutes gone, it was still 2-0 but, by half time, the Barnet lead had been doubled. Firstly, another penalty was conceded, this time by Scott Leather, and again this was converted by Akinde (45 mins), before the striker completed his hat-trick (45+4 mins), from a Nurse feed.

Hoskins, on his debut, made it 5-0 with his first touch (49 mins). Altrincham recovered their composure to complete the game without further goals being conceded but nine goals conceded in two away games in a week (following a 4-0 loss at Kidderminster) plunged them into the bottom four.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 25. Peter Cavanagh (capt), 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee,14. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves Subs: 1. Stuart Coburn, 9. Steven Gillespie, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 12. Mike Williams, 2. Shaun Densmore


Altrincham FC tell us that "It’s been almost 200 days since we have seen live Football at the J Davidson Stadium with access for fans, families and the community and [we] are delighted to invite you along to our FIRST home game of the season for the Ladies' Section in the Women’s FA Cup.

Our Ladies' Section was launched in 2011/2012 season under the Chairman Grahame Rowley in partnership with AFC Community Sports...

The First Team compete in the North West Women’s South Division League with a Development Squad playing in South Cheshire...

Our Robinettes will meet Northwich Vixens in the Women’s FA Cup Preliminary Round at The J.Davidson on Sunday 20th September with kick off at 2pm.

Gates will be open to the public from 1pm for this game at a subsidised entry fee of £2 adult and £1 concession or U16. All gate fees will contribute to the investment of Youth within the Football Club.

There will be refreshments available and the bar will be open; come along and make an afternoon of entertainment with a thrilling game of competitive football! Please come and join us to support Altrincham FC Ladies."


Wrexham report that against Kidderminster Harriers, "While results are certainly the be all and end all of pre-season games, there is no getting away from the fact, that a few goals give everyone a lift. So it was at Hoo Road [Aggborough] on Saturday, as we hit the back of the net four times and also could avoid to miss a penalty.

After some early pressure it was Wrexham that took the lead on nine minutes, as Luke Young fired home from the edge of the Harriers' box. It was set up by the persistence of Kwame Thomas, who outpaced Keith Lowe close to the halfway line...

A Jeffery’s corner on the left on 18 minutes carried to the back post, where Thomas slid in with his marker, but was able to win the ball and fire home from close range...

Two minutes before half time and Thomas was involved in Wrexham’s third goal, picking up a long pass out to the left, speeding away from his man, crossing deep and into the path of Elliott Durrell, who fired first time into the back of the home net... To be fair to Kidderminster, they had enjoyed a fair amount of possession, without being able to claim any reward.

The Reds did grab a fourth goal on 68 minutes, when the home keeper could not hold a cross from Bickerstaff and Yussuf jumped on the loose ball to turn and fire home from eight yards out.

There were eight changes for the visitors on 70 minutes... Wrexham kept the pressure up on their hosts for the last 20 minutes and kept them on the back foot for most of this period...

Kidderminster Harriers: Palmer, Penney (Martin 65), Richards, Maxwell, Lowe (? 70), Austin, Kellerman (? 46), Morgan-Smith (Freemantle 65), Sterling-James (? 88), Prosser (? 78), White (Hemmings 55). Subs: Phillips, Henworth, Tolley, Player C, Player E, Player F.

Elsewhere, "Joe Leslie has signed a contract at Woking Football Club. The young winger joins after a successful trial period during pre-season, having previously come through the ranks at Stevenage.

Joe is joining Leatherhead on a short-term loan, with the look to immediately get game time before returning to the Cards."

For Stockport County "A late goal from substitute [ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell earned County a fifth straight victory on pre-season in a feisty affair during what is expected to be County’s final ever visit to Bootham Crescent.

The match, on the request of the home side, was kept private until the conclusion of the game for security reasons. And, in the end, it was Bell who was to have the final say at this famous old stadium, scrambling the ball home from a corner late on to hand County a first victory at York since 1996.

Just three changes were made to Tuesday night’s demolition of Guiseley at Nethermoor Park, as Sam Minihan, Adam Thomas and Alex Reid all came in, with Macauley Southam-Hales, Jordan Keane and Connor Jennings dropping to the bench.

For the third game running manager Jim Gannon opted for a 3-4-3 formation, with Sam Minihan and Jordan Williams the wing-backs, hat-trick hero James Jennings moving across to centre-back, and a front three of Adam Thomas, Alex Reid and Richie Bennett.

Having scored after just two minutes against Guiseley on Tuesday, County were almost celebrating even earlier this afternoon in an extraordinary opening period, Bennett twice denied by the woodwork inside the opening minute...

Rooney... was pulling all the strings in midfield... The Minstermen... gradually grew into the game before the break... In stark contrast to the electric start to the first-half, the opening periods of the second were a rather more tepid affair in the sweltering Yorkshire sun,...

Set-pieces continued to look the most likely route for the Hatters... Rooney looked to provide some inspiration with a well struck free-kick from distance... Into the final ten minutes and suddenly County had a spring in their step, finishing the game as strongly as they started it, as Rooney saw a delicate backheel cleared off the line, before finally the Hatters found a way through.

Again it came from a John Rooney set-piece that York failed to clear, the ball ricocheting around the six-yard box before substitute Bell stuck out a leg to divert it home with just four minutes left on the clock. It capped an impressive cameo appearance from Bell, and helped County continue their red hot form, with victory they just about deserved, on their final visit to Bootham Crescent.

Team (3-4-3): Hinchliffe; Palmer; Hogan; J. Jennings; Minihan; Williams ( Keane, 74’); Maynard; Rooney; Thomas (C. Jennings, 55’); Reid (Kitching, 63’); Bennett (Bell, 58’)".

Hartlepool United "returned to Victoria Park for the first time since COVID and it was an eventful one to say the least as it finished Pools 12-0 Brandon United...

The first goal came after ten minutes as Pools worked the ball nicely and Ofosu who started the game as a left winger drifted inside, found himself on the edge of the box and slotted the ball home into the top right corner... Just 3 minutes later a corner ball resulted in a few scrappy touches inside the penalty area until Aaron Cunningham was able to direct a shot on target under the Brandon Keeper to make it two.

The third for Pools came on 16 minutes and resulted in being the first of a busy afternoon for Luke Williams., who started his first game after coming back from a long term injury... The goals would keep coming for Pools and Luke Williams as on the 20 minute mark, Luke once again found himself in the No.10 role on the edge of the box and after a smart control on his knee, he was able to volley it into the top right corner to make it 4-0 to Pools.

23 minutes gone and the ball is played into Bloomfield who uses his strength to roll the Brandon defender, move onto his right foot and slot home into the bottom corner. A superb individual effort.

Pools had two trialists today in from the start who both had their shot at either full back position respectfully.... Just before half time, Pools were able to grab a seventh as MacDonald played in Ofosu right hand side of the penalty box and he unselfishly cut it back for Bloomfield who had a tap in to grab his second of the day.

It didn’t take Pools long to find the back of the net after the restart as on 52 minutes, Luke Williams danced his way, round the Brandon Keeper and slotted home to get his hattrick of the day.

Williams wasn’t done there as 20 minutes later he once again fond himself on the edge of the box to volley home and make it four on the day for him and nine for Pools.

Goal 10 and 11 came within 30 seconds as eachother and we can only describe it as De Ja VU [sic]. Both times, David Parkhouse went through on goal and the Brandon Keeper made two fantastic saves and was found unlucky to see Mark Shelton there ready to compose himself and put the ball in the back of the net.

The final goal of the game for Pools came right on the full-time whistle as Shelton found himself on the left hand side where he was able to cut the ball back for Gav Holohan who calmly finished into the bottom right corner".

Dagenham & Redbridge "travelled to Princes Park to face Dartford in their seventh pre-season match ahead of the new campaign, with the game ending in a goalless draw.

The first chance of the match fell to Angelo Balanta, who fired just wide of the right-hand post as the east London side looked to start the match strongly... As the half came to a close, Balanta had the best effort of anyone in the game so far, as he forced Craig King into a great save with his feet.

Dartford had the ball in the back of the net just after the re-start from a free kick, but the goal was ruled out for offside... The Daggers’ next friendly is against Concord Rangers in a pilot match at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Tuesday...

Daggers: Justham, Reynolds (Wright 45’), Clark, Croll, Johnson, Robinson, Phipps (Rance 45’), Brundle (McQueen 62’), Weston (Eleftheriou 45’), Balanta, McCallum. "

Chesterfield "lost 2-0 to Alfreton Town in a pre-season friendly at the Impact Arena on Saturday afternoon following goals from James Jones and Jake Day.

A strong side was fielded including new signings Kyle Letheren and Milan Butterfield. Haydn Hollis also started after missing the Belper Town game. After an even start, the hosts created the first big chance of the game... Both sides continued to create chances with the defences holding out...

The Spireites’ best effort of the half fell to Jonathan Smith. He latched onto the ball following Boden’s blocked attempt but George Willis was equal to the shot.

However, the hosts took the lead in the 41st minute. Nathan Fox’s inswinging cross was flicked on by Jones and into the bottom left past Letheren. The second half stayed even with chances becoming few and far between... Chesterfield were presented with a golden chance with 15 minutes to go. Luke Rawson found himself with a one-on-one chance but his effort hit the post..

The hosts doubled their lead with the last kick of the game when Day was sent through on goal before firing past Letheren. The final pre-season friendly takes place next Saturday when Guiseley visit the Technique Stadium in a behind closed doors game.

Chesterfield: Letheren, Cropper (McKay 70), Yarney (Sharman 70), Evans, Hollis (Maguire 70), Buchanan, Butterfield (Hutchinson 70), Smith, Mandeville (Rowley 65), Boden, Denton (Rawson 70)."

Bromley "travelled to the Longmead Stadium [v Tonbridge Angels] for their penultimate pre-season fixture on Saturday afternoon.

Two goals apiece for Ben Williamson and Joe Kizzi secured a pre-season win in what was a very professional performance from the Ravens".

Barnet state that "We continued our preparations for the new National League season with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Braintree Town in a training ground friendly at The Hive London...

Beadle's side could have been three ahead within six minutes with the chances they created, as Ephron Mason-Clark stood up a good cross for Hooper who headed inches wide on the stretch at the back post.

The Bees looked to get the ball to the front three of Walker, Hooper and Mason-Clark all afternoon, the pace and trickery of the trio caused the visitor's issues in the opening stages.

The early pressure told after 18 minutes as Walker opened the scoring following a good drive forward from Fonguck, the midfielder picked a delightful pass through and last season's second-highest scorer made no mistake with the finish.

In a first half played in warm temperatures, Scott Loach in the Bees goal was rarely threatened in the opening 30 minutes of the game... Nine minutes before the break we extended our advantage as Hooper made it two goals in as many matches as he excellently curled into the corner from the edge of the box. It was Fonguck with the assist again as he did well to find a composed pass for Hooper who did the rest at ease..

Beadle made just the one change at the break, allowing for some of his players to get extended minutes under their belts with the new season just two weeks away.

Five minutes into the second half the visitors had a chance to half the deficit as they were awarded a penalty, the Braintree striker stepped up and made no mistake from the spot... It was three for Beadle's side as Mason-Clark did brilliantly to skip through several challenges before having the composure to find the bottom corner. It was a top-class individual goal, with the winger avoiding five challenges before finding the back of the net, to make it two goals in two games.

It didn't take Mason-Clark long to make it three in two games, as he stepped up from the spot and converted a penalty to make it 4-1 to the Bees. The winger has been in scintillating pre-season form which comes as a huge boost ahead of the new season.

The boss then continued to rotate the squad in the last quarter of the game, as he ensured everyone gained some minutes, as well as taking a look at some of the other trialists at the Club.

Trialist H almost added a fifth for the Bees with 15 minutes left on the clock, as his strike was parried by the 'keeper and struck the bar before going behind for a corner. This was yet another positive step on the road to the new season, with the Bees looking sharp and positive in their play all afternoon.

Barnet: Loach (Azaze 78'), Nugent (Trialist E 60'), Dunne (Richards 66'), Trialist B (Trialist F 45'), Hooper (Pavey 72'), Taylor (Tompkins 66'), Fonguck (Vasiliou 66'), Duffus, Trialist A (Trialist C 60'), Walker (Trialist H 72'), Mason-Clark (Trialist G 72')".

19 September 2020


Today (Saturday), Altrincham travel to West Yorkshire to face Huddersfield Town's new "B" team in a closed-door fixture at the Terriers' training complex.

Kick-off is at noon and Radio Robins is covering the match.

This is Alty's third pre-season game following an own-goal 1-0 win at Nantwich and a 4-3 defeat at Curzon Ashton.

ON THIS DAY: 19 September

Five years ago today, 19 September 2015, Altrincham welcomed Braintree Town to Moss Lane for a Vanarama National League match which ended in a 0-4 defeat and was Altrincham's worst performance since a another 0-4 home defeat, by Welling, the previous season. The home side was second best all over the pitch and could easily have lost more heavily as The Iron twice struck the post whilst Altrincham never looked like scoring.

In mitigation for their poor performance, Altrincham were again without Stuart Coburn, Nicky Clee, and Tom Marshall; Jake Moult had joined those sidelined with injury after a knock to his knee in midweek. However, Simon Richman had returned to the squad after his injury lay-off of three matches.

Altrincham elected for a 3-5-2 formation with Parry on the left and Leather on the right of centre-back Havern. So Densmore and Griffin were deployed as wing-backs, whilst Reeves and Rankine formed the strike force. However, an injury to Shaun Densmore caused a reversion to a back four during the first half.

Right: Tim Deasy in first-half action against Braintree.

Alty fell behind in the eighth minute when a cross from the right by Akinola allowed Cheek, at the back post, to scuff the ball across a wrong-footed Deasy and into the net. As the interval approached Parry saw a Braintree ball go over his head and, as he retreated, he brought down Cheek. Davis converted the spot-kick comfortably (42 mins).

Both Cheek and Edgar hit the woodwork for Braintree in the second half and Edgar also had a goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Leather before the visitors scored two goals in added time. In the second of the added minutes Edgar scored a superb goal from 40 yards as he lobbed the Alty keeper, having spotted Deasy off his line. And, with the game running into the fifth added minute, Taylor hit an impressive freekick past Deasy from just outside the box.

Altrincham remained nineteenth but were now the division's joint lowest scorers (9 goals) and had the worst goal difference (-11). On the positive side, Altrincham had two more points than at this stage in the previous season but they were to be relegated at the end of the season.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 9. Michael RANKINE, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 18. George BOWERMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 4. Jake MOULT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE


The National League "has received approval for its clubs to hold test events as part of a wider programme to pilot the safe return of spectators to sporting fixtures.

The confirmed matches are as follows:

Tuesday 22 September

  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Concord Rangers
  • Yeovil Town v Bath City
  • Dartford v Dover Athletic

Saturday 26 September

  • Notts County v York City

Each will be limited to up to 1,000 fans and will be staged in accordance with government and Sports Ground Safety Authority guidance on social distancing, and subject to local safety advisory group approval.

Each match is arranged as a friendly fixture".


Yeovil Town "confirm that our friendly against Bath City will now be played in front of 1,000 fans at Huish Park... on Tuesday 22nd September...

In order to secure fans can attend National League fixtures from October 3rd onwards, it is vital that social distancing measures are in place and are strictly followed by all fans in attendance on Tuesday evening.".

Wrexham "are aware of comments made by Connah's Quay Nomads' manager Andy Morrison in his post-match interview, after the UEFA Europa League match at the Racecourse Ground, and his follow up comments on Twitter too.

Club stadium officials attended Connah’s Quay Nomads on Tuesday for COVID tests in line with UEFA protocols and we were advised by Connah’s Quay Nomads on Wednesday (September 16) that all of our club officials had tested negative.

The club held further discussions with Connah’s Quay Nomads’ medical officials on Thursday morning, following their players’ positive COVID-19 tests ahead of the match... The decision was taken by the relevant authorities to allow the game to go ahead.

Before Andy Morrison’s comments to the press, we had already put procedures in place to ensure the cleanliness of the Racecourse Ground and safety of our own players and employees... The Centenary Club, which was used as Connah’s Quay Nomads’ home dressing room, will be left closed until Monday, when that too will be deep cleaned."

Weymouth "announce thesigning of Sam Pearson on loan from Bristol City until January.

Sam is a Welsh Under 19 international and plays as a wide midfielder. He was impressive whilst on loan at Bath City in the National League South last season".

The BBC reports that "He has had almost £25m spent on him in transfer fees, played alongside Usain Bolt and once missed training because his electric gates would not open.

Now former Scotland striker Ross McCormack is back in English football after joining National League side Aldershot Town on a one-year contract...

'Now is the right time to come back and get going again in England,' said the ex-Aston Villa, Fulham and Leeds man. McCormack has never played in the Premier League, but he was prolific at Championship level for Cardiff, Leeds and Fulham, scoring 116 league goals in eight seasons.

His move to Fulham in 2014 was for a then-Championship record fee of £11m, but a £12m move to Aston Villa two years later did not work out... and [he] was disciplined by the club in January 2017 for 'continually missing training'.

He eventually went on loan to Australia... It was there that he played alongside Jamaican sprinter Bolt as the world's fastest man tried unsuccessfully to start a football career at the age of 32.

Most recently, he spent the first part of 2019 on loan at Motherwell.

Also, Aldershot Town "announce that Killian Colombie has committed to the club for the 2020/21 season!

The French-born player is primarily a right back, but can also play on either side of the pitch as a winger or a wing.

Having played in the youth systems at Paris Saint-Germain and AS Montigny-le-Bretonneux in his homeland, he went to America to study at Iona College in the New Rochelle area of New York in 2015. He most recently played for Sporting Kansas II before moving to England and joining the Shots."

Aldershot Town also confirm that "Exciting academy prospect Ben Shroll has committed to the club for the 20/21 season as he joins the first-team squad!

Having been involved in several of the pre-season friendlies, Shroll will be looking to continue his remarkable development and fight for a first-team place over the course of next season...

Having previously played at Raynes Park Vale and Met Police academies, the 19-year-old joined the Shots academy last season".


The NW Counties Football League tells us that "On Saturday forty of the sixty North West Counties League clubs were scheduled to play in the FA Vase 1st qualifying round but this has unfortunately already been reduced to thirty eight following FC Isle of Man's withdrawal from the tournament due to Covid restrictions on the Island. This means that AFC Liverpool will host Maine Road in the second qualifying round.

Along with Maine Road and AFC Liverpool another twelve clubs have received byes into the second qualifying round with Padiham, Abbey Hey, Wythenshawe Amateurs, 1974 Northwich, Shelley, Bootle, Ashton Athletic, New Mills, Runcorn Town, Eccleshall, Hanley Town and Stone Old Alleynians progressing through the luck of the draw.

Golcar United make their debut in the FA Vase playing against Northwich Victoria from the Premier Division whilst the other debutant Bury AFC travel to Division One South side West Didsbury & Chorlton in South Manchester. In the first qualifying round there is four other games between clubs in the League as North Division Daisy Hill entertain Premier side Warrington Rylands 1906, Prem Skelmersdale United host South side Stockport Town and Premier Winsford United host South side Alsager Town. The last tie between two league outfits is an all Division One North tie as Pilkington entertain Bacup Borough.

Premier Division side Avro welcome Northern Counties East Premier Division side Bottesford Town whilst North Division side Prestwich Heys visit Penistone Church from the Northern Counties East Premier. A home tie against Abbey Hey and Wythenshawe Amateurs await for the winners respectively.

Litherland REMYCA welcome Selby Town from the Northern Counties East League Division One to the Litherland Sports Park with an away game to 1874 Northwich awaiting the winners. Division One North club AFC Darwen travel to the home ground of Sheffield FC where they will take on Staveley Miners Welfare where another Premier Division side awaits the winners as Runcorn Town will be the visitors in the second qualifying round.

Four North West Counties League clubs have been drawn against West Midland Premier Division clubs with South sides Abbey Hey, Ellesmere Rangers and St Martins hosting Shawbury United, Cradley Town and Pershore Town respectively whilst Premier Division side Whitchurch Alport welcome Littleton to the KMJ Mortgages Stadium."

18 September 2020


Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards writes "Newly-promoted Altrincham... urgently need a helping hand to give them the best chance of hitting the ground running when the season starts in just over a fortnight... They are currently without a training venue for their all-important Thursday night sessions, following news that Manchester Health Academy [their current venue] will be closed until next year.

Their need is for a fully-floodlit 3g pitch with changing room and showers each Thursday evening for 90-120 minutes, between 6.30 and 9pm, anywhere in Cheshire or Greater Manchester.

Do you have access to any such facility, or do you know anyone who might be able to oblige and assist the club with an issue that could be crucial to the team’s prospects in non-League’s top flight?

Considering how important a flat playing surface is for the free-flowing passing style favoured by Parkinson and his squad, the Alty boss is loath to train at The J.Davidson Stadium in the autumn and winter months and risk churning up the pitch, less than 48 hours before a Saturday match day.

It is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to source somewhere suitable away from the ground in the current climate of Covid-19 restrictions, leading to the club reaching out to the public and appealing for help finding an outdoor space they can use every Thursday from next month onwards...

Said director of football Rob Esteva, ‘We have contacted over 50 different venues so fair without luck. If anybody out there is aware of any floodlit venues available on a Thursday evening, have any contacts or even any block bookings which we could potentially take in the short term, please get in touch via the contact form and we’ll follow up.’"


Altrincham Football Club announce that "Covid-19 Officer, Nigel Bunce, has put together a Spectators' Code of Conduct, which will be in place for Sunday's Vitality Women's FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at The J.Davidson Stadium between Altrincham FC Ladies & Northwich Vixens, which kicks-off at 2pm.


In order to assist our staff and stewards, and to help protect you and your fellow spectators, you are kindly requested to follow these guidelines.

  • At all times and in all parts of the ground, please observe social distancing and avoid close contact with others not in your social or support bubble.
  • Arrive in good time to go through all the necessary entry procedures.
  • Make sure, in advance, that you know where your entry point is.
  • Be aware that your temperature will be taken before entry.
  • If you need to access any of the ground’s amenities, such as toilets, food and drink outlets, check to see if any of them are not in use, and plan accordingly.
  • Remain in your seat or place at all times whenever possible.
  • If you do need to leave your viewing position, wait for a time when the gangway is clear and always follow the signs indicating which way to go.
  • If you are in a seated area, when moving past other spectators, to and from your seat, please avoid face to face contact with other spectators.
  • If you are in a standing area, please stay within your social or support bubble and remain aware of the movements of others at all times.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene – use the sanitiser dispensers provided and avoid touching your face whenever possible.
  • Please observe respiratory etiquette – you are encouraged to wear a face covering. Otherwise cover your mouth if needing to cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid hugs, high-fives and any close contact with people who are not within your social or support bubble.
  • Take extreme care when shouting, singing or celebrating.
  • If you are attending with other members of your social or support bubble, please make sure they have read and understood these guidelines too.

Thank you for your support and co-operation. Stay alert. Stay safe.

Help us all – your fellow fans, your club, your sport, your community."


After defeat at Curzon Ashton, Phil Parkinson spoke to press & media officer Brian Flynn and the interview can be heard here.

The Alty boss's comments are further reported by John Edwards in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger.

"Phil Parkinson insisted there were signs of improvement from his Altrincham squad after they followed up Saturday’s low-key 1-0 win over Nantwich with an eventful 4-3 defeat at Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night.

The Alty boss described a disjointed performance at Nantwich as 'extremely disappointing' after the Robins had to rely on two outstanding saves from Matt Gould to preserve a lead that came courtesy of a bizarre own goal...

All seven goals at the Tameside Stadium came in the second half... but Parkinson could see promising signs after giving a run-out to trialists Joel Senior, Ashley Smith-Brown and Will Hall, as well as the impressive Curtis Miller.

'We are looking for improvement as we go along and, though we lost compared to winning on Saturday, results aren’t too important at this stage,' he said. 'I was really disappointed on Saturday but I could see improvements tonight, in the way all three goals came from open play and other aspects as well.

'Young Curtis showed up fantastically well in the second half, the other lads got minutes in their legs and we can see what we still need to do to get up to speed. I still say we have come back at the right time, playing teams who are further on in their pre-season programme and therefore ahead of us in terms of fitness. We are going to face some tough, tight games in the National League next season, so this is good preparation for us.

'It’s also a great opportunity to have a proper look at one or two lads [trialists] who want to show us what they can do. You see footage and hear good things, but you can only judge when you actually see them play. On top of that, we’ve had quite a big turnover of players, by our standards, with quite a few new faces. They have to get used to each other and that doesn’t happen overnight. We are getting better and showing signs of improvement, and that’s the main thing.'

Winger Dan Mooney [above, left] is doubtful for the league opener against Weymouth two weeks on Saturday after being stretchered off against Nantwich with what appears to be ankle ligament damage. "

ON THIS DAY: 18 September

Ten years ago today was the last time Altrincham had a league game on 18 September. And it involved a 500 mile round trip to Eastbourne Borough and a 5-0 humbling on the Sussex Coast in a Blue Square Bet Premier match.

Right: At Eastbourne 2010.

This game completed a tumultuous week at Altrincham FC. On Monday, chairman Geoff Goodwin had announced his departure and the following day, long-serving manager Graham Heathcote agreed the severance of his contract after almost eight years in post. So this was Ken McKenna's first game in charge after he stepped up from Assistant Manager to assume the caretaker manager role though, of course, he has had extensive managerial experience at Welsh champions TNS.

Altrincham started the game bottom of the league, five points adrift of the second-bottom club, Bath. Eastbourne lay 19th with eight points.

The match was a baptism of fire for McKenna and assistant Stuart Bimson as Borough took the lead inside 55 seconds, and it had even been Alty, not the hosts, who had kicked off. An up and under from Baker led to Taylor's cross from the right which Treleavan netted. It became 2-0 in the 13th minute when Treleaven scored again from another Taylor feed on the counter attack.

Alty were very shaky at the back as Pacquette glanced a header wide and then a Weatherstone dipper hit the bar. Pacquette converted a long throw to make it 3-0 after 38 minutes. Hewson and Welch came on for Clee and Joseph at half time as Alty switched to a back three and they enjoyed their best spell of the game before the 65th minute when Ben Austin headed in a freekick.

It became 5-0 when Williams handled a corner and Weatherstone converted the penalty (75 mins). Alty kept going but lacked the quality to produce any serious threat to the opposition goal

The injured Denham, as well as Danny Holmes and Tom McCready were not in the squad but Nicky Clee had overcome injury concerns to start. Marc Joseph returned to the starting line-up, at right-back, having previously figured on the left of the back line. Sam Hewson dropped to the bench but Damian Reeves returned to the starting eleven up front with James McCarthy...

The Sports had signed two players on loan in the days preceding the game today; they were defenders Steve Cook from Brighton and Yado Mambo of Charlton Athletic.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. James COATES, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 2. James SMITH, 15. Ryan BROWN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. Matty CROWELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 11. Nicky CLEE, 8. Damian REEVES, 23. James McCARTHY, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 22. Michael WELCH, 20. Sam HEWSON, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK.


200% writes that "When the axe finally fell at the High Court in London, it was over an amount of money that represented two things at the same time. The half million pounds that finally did for Macclesfield Town were, in the broader context of football’s finances, a drop in the ocean...

The club had been in and out of the court for months, obtaining deferrals against their own demise with promises of an imminent sale that never came. They’d had so many opportunities to resolve the matters at hand, twelve adjournments since the petition was first raised in January 2019, that the latest request from owner Amar Alkadhi to adjourn the hearing for yet another eight weeks in order to secure a new buyer for the club, seemed to have been requested more out of desperation than reasonable expectancy of a sale going through...

The club’s financial affairs have been farcical for longer than most care to remember. The players went on strike in November after failing to be paid, which resulted in the club fielding youth players for an FA Cup match against Isthmian League Kingstonian which ended in a humiliating home defeat, while they were deducted points on three separate occasions for issues relating to payment of salaries and failure to fulfil League Two fixtures against Plymouth Argyle and Crewe Alexandra...

The improper running of Macclesfield Town has been an issue for more than a decade and a half, now. The club was already in hot water when Amar and Bashar Alkadhi became involved in the club in 2003. At the start of 2006, an FA disciplinary commission found the club guilty of improper conduct relating to a 2001 Football Stadia Improvement fund grant towards the costs of a new £1.5m stand at their Moss Rose stadium, resulting in fines and compensation approaching £300,000 that they were initially told would have to be repaid within weeks. The FA later extended the payment deadline to December 2008.

By June 2013, the club was reportedly half a million pounds in debt, having been relegated from the EFL a year earlier. East Cheshire Council acquired the Moss Rose freehold for £285,000, but £90,000 more was needed by 30th June...

In 2018 the club returned to the EFL as champions of the National League, but it soon became apparent that the problems behind the scenes were so severe that there were questions to be asked over whether they should even have been admitted in the first place. The club had problems paying its wages throughout the entire second half of the 2018/19 season, and whilst manager Sol Campbell managed to steer them to one of the most unlikely League Two survivals of all on the pitch, Macclesfield were in the bottom two from the second game of the season until the 41st, it was evident that matters off the pitch hadn’t been resolved...

On the 19th of June, an EFL Independent Disciplinary Commission (IDC) issued a convoluted ruling, finding Macc in multiple breach of EFL rules.. applying a two point deduction suspended by a previous commission and suspending a further four-point deduction until 2020/21. This application and suspension of points deductions saved the club from relegation...

The EFL, however, were unhappy with the conclusion reached by the IDC and appealed, and in the second week of August their appeal was successful... Some might say, such was the vehemence with which the EFL pursued the case, that they were effectively expelled from the competition...

The court was told that Alkadhi understood the amount due to creditors to only be £4,000, that he’d made a late offer to pay an initial £20,000 of the debt owed to HMRC, and that he’d produced a screenshot of a bank statement with £1.1m of available funds to to repay creditors. The judge later confirmed that Alkadhi hadn’t told him where the £1.1m had come from or why the club’s debts had not already been paid with this money. In the end, Judge Prentice granted a compulsory order, stating that 'nothing gives me comfort that the club can pay its debts in a reasonable period' and that there had been 'ample opportunity' for Alkadhi to pay off the club’s creditors.

This isn’t quite the end, but there will now be no survival for the club in this form unless its debts are paid in full, and quickly... Can this be averted? Yes it can. Will it? There’s little evidence from the previous couple of years to suggest that it will.

At the time of writing, the National League haven’t issued a statement on the matter... An October start date tells its own story of how tightly packed this season is going to be, and in the current financial climate clubs are not going to be wanting to waste travel expenses on matches that are as likely as not to be expunged from the record at some point throughout the course of this season...

The failure falls primarily with the EFL, for allowing somebody who was manifestly unfit to run a football club... to retain ownership of that club, and it falls with Amar and Bashar Alkadhi. Football will be a little bit more competently run for their absence from it... The game’s governing bodies’ laissez-faire attitudes towards regulation may be about to reach crisis point".

Weymouth confirm that "following discussions between Stéphane Zubar and the clubs management, Stéphane will be ending his time with the club.

Ever since arriving at the Bob Lucas Stadium, Stéphane has become a hugely popular member of the club and leaves us as a back to back promotion winner."

And also "Weymouth boss Brian Stock insisted the Terras’ late equaliser against Exeter City 'epitomises' the fighting spirit within the squad. Calvin Brooks leapt up to score a header in the 90th minute, cancelling out an earlier strike by Exeter’s former Magpies’ striker Ben Seymour. Willingness to scrap until the final whistle was a hallmark of the under previous boss Mark Molesley and Stock was pleased to see that trait continue in his tenure.

He said 'I’m delighted. When you look at the organisation, work rate and desire you can see every one of them is fighting for their place. For me, it’s a fantastic environment to be in. Scoring almost with the last kick of the game epitomises the quality and desire this team has. It was a great workout for us. Exeter were quite direct at times in the first half and then in the second half they popped the ball about quite well...

'That was almost a carbon copy of what we’ll be facing. They’ve got a few players coming back from injury and a few kids, so it’s not their full-strength side. A draw was the least we deserved. There were a couple of instances where great saves from their goalkeeper kept them in the game'".

Meanwhile NL Daily reports that "Weymouth club captain Ashley Wells has left the club. The defender has made over 300 appearances for the Terras.

He is the latest departure as new manager Brian Stock continues to reshape the squad ahead of their campaign in the National League".

Barnet tell us that "Manager Peter Beadle was pleased with his sides improved performance in a pre-season draw with Ebbsfleet United. The Bees led twice in the match, courtesy of goals from Ephron Mason-Clark and JJ Hooper in either half... Beadle was upbeat with his side's improved showing following defeat to Hitchin Town in the previous friendly.

He said 'It was far better than Saturday, whether it's because the attitude and application has changed..urday. It was a really competitive game, played in really hot temperatures and the commitment the players put in was spot on... We're a week or 10 days behind some of the other teams.

'I think Ebbsfleet have played four or five friendlies already, that's only our second one, of which we had an 11 in the first half then eight changes at half time. We're still a work in progress, but I am really pleased with the way they have applied themselves'...

New striker JJ Hooper didn't take long to get on the scoresheet in his first outing in a Barnet shirt, his link-up play with strike-partner Josh Walker caused problems all afternoon. The pair combined for the Bees second goal of the afternoon and that partnership could become fruitful...

Beadle has so far recruited four new players as he rebuilds the squad for the 2020/21 season, each performed well in yesterday's outing... Beadle was quick to assure fans that plenty of work is going on behind the scenes to continue the recruitment process...

'It's hard work to bring in the right type of player. So obviously, we've got lots of fingers in lots of pies at the moment... By the beginning of next week, we might have one or two new additions'">

The Derbyshire Times tells us that "The Spireites play their second pre-season friendly against Alfreton Town on Saturday...

Dylan Wharton, a young goalkeeper played the second half in the win against Belper Town and boss John Pemberton will probably want to have another look at him in a match situation. Wharton was one of the players who was let go by the club in the summer because of the academy restructure but Pemberton let him and others train with the first-team to help keep them fit. Wharton has apparently done well in sessions so far and after the Belper fixture Pemberton hinted at offering him a deal with fellow stopper Luke Coddington out for at least another two months. I’d expect Kyle Letheren to start the game...

Pemberton would like to give Luke Rawson an opportunity this season... The Spireites boss already knows what he can expect from Nathan Tyson, Tom Denton and Scott Boden so there’s a decent chance that Rawson will get another run-out on Saturday... The young striker will be desperate to get off the mark sooner rather than later.

Nathan Tyson (tightness), Haydn Hollis (chest) and Curtis Weston (calf) did not feature against Belper... Laurence Maguire played 60 minutes against Belper and it will be important for him to rack up some more game time as well...

New signing Milan Butterfield and Jonathan Smith both found the net against Belper and they were joined in the centre by Joe Rowley... There is not much time to get that midfield trio settled.

Midfielder Cameron McGilp, 22, who was on trial with the Blues for 10 days, has returned to Swindon Town after Chesterfield opted not to take their interest any further">

We learn from the Halifax Courier that "Manager Pete Wild with is hoping to benefit from the use of GPS equipment and a drone during training, which will now take place four days a week, as well as an increase in his backroom team with the addition of first-team coach Joe Sargison and strength and conditioning coach Adam Simpson.

'We’re very lucky that we’ve got full GPS equipment, which we only had for matchdays last year, but we’ve got that every day now,' Wild said. 'That allows us to look at load, how much we’re getting into the players, what the players are doing every day. That really gives us a chance to assess what we’re getting out of training, are we getting the right amount of distance out of them etc. It’s been another massive addition for us in terms of monitoring what we’re getting into the lads', he said...

'Fans might look at that and go "it’s just numbers" but that really informs what we do in training and how we shape training on a daily basis'...

Wild says the club’s drone will be used less frequently than the GPS equipment, but will still serve a useful purpose. 'We’ve had that up a couple of times. It’s not up every day but gives us a different angle on our shape,' he said. 'The chairman allowed us to buy a system called Huddle, which is where you do the individual clips, and that allows us to have a look at team shape we’ve worked on throughout the week.

'Again, all those little things inform what we’re trying to do on the training ground. Every little helps. I’m not getting carried away with the use of a drone or GPS, but I do have more at my disposal this year to inform my decision-making than I did last year, which can only be a good thing.'".

17 September 2020


The winding-up order issued yesterday against Macclesfield Town is the latest in a long list of "misfortunes" to hit Cheshire non-League clubs over the past twenty-five years...

So, it is perhaps timely to reflect that, in those past 25 years, no fewer than ten current or past members of the Cheshire County FA, (or their successor clubs), have played at the top (national) level of non-League football.

Amazingly, it is a club which has experienced no fewer than 5 relegations, 3 reprieves from relegation and 5 promotions in those 25 years, which is the model of stability amongst those ten clubs; that club is Altrincham, and that is no wind-up, as is explained below...

Above: 2005 witnessed one of Alty's promotions.

Of the ten Cheshire clubs to have graced the top-flight of non-League football, in 2020-21 there are just two of them at that level assuming The Silkmen do not get a reprieve from the High Court order; those two are Altrincham and Stockport County. And The Hatters are now operating at two levels below where they were in 1996 having, at one point, actually dropped four levels from their highest point.

All of the other eight Cheshire clubs (or their successors) who have ever played in non-League's top flight are currently playing at a lower level than 25 years ago. There is, of course, one of those clubs which is currently operating in the EFL (Tranmere Rovers) but even they are now competing at a lower level of the EFL (tier four) than in 1996 (tier three).

So, Altrincham is the only Cheshire club which has played top-flight non-League football during the past 25 years that is currently competing at the same, rather than a lower level than that at which it played in 1996. And some of the other nine Cheshire clubs have actually gone out of existence and/or been reformed in that timeframe.

So, who are those ten Cheshire clubs in question and where were they 25 years ago, in 1996? Back then, Step One of the Non-League Pyramid (generally nowadays termed The Football Conference or National League) boasted four Cheshire clubs (Altrincham, Macclesfield Town, Northwich Victoria and Runcorn).

In the period since 1996 five more Cheshire clubs have played at that level (Chester City/FC, Stockport County, Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic and Tranmere Rovers). The tenth club in question, Witton Albion, had already been relegated from the top flight of non-League before 1996; that drop occurred in 1994.

In summary:

  • Altrincham: In 1996 were playing at NL [Non-League] step 1; in 2020 they will again be playing at NL step 1. So NO CHANGE compared with 1996.
  • Chester City: In 1996 they were playing at PL [Professional League] step 4; in 2020 Chester FC is a 'phoenix' club playing at NL step 2. So original club DEFUNCT and successor now 2 LEVELS DOWN compared with 1996.
  • Hyde United: In 1996 they were playing at NL step 2; 2020 finds them playing at NL step 3. So 1 LEVEL DOWN compared with 1996.
  • Macclesfield Town: In 1996 they were playing at NL step 1; 2020 wound up. So they are poteatially DEFUNCT or, at best, at same level as 1996 if they survive the winding-up order.

    They won NL step 1 in 1997 and were promoted to PL step 3 the next season (i.e. now League One). 2012-18 they were at NL step 1, and promoted back to PL step 4 in 2018, but relegated to NL step 1 in 2020.

  • Northwich Victoria: In 1996 were playing at NL step 1; 2020 they are playing at step 5. So they are now 4 LEVELS DOWN compared with 1996 and with no stadium of their own.
  • Runcorn: In 1996 in the NL at step 1; 2020 original club DEFUNCT and two "phoenix" clubs formed, the higher of which, Runcorn Linnets, is at step 4. So 3 LEVELS DOWN compared with 1996.
  • Stalybridge Celtic: In 1996 were playing at NL step 1; 2020 playing at NL step 3. So 2 LEVELS DOWN compared with 1996.
  • Stockport County: In 1996 playing at PL step 3; 2020 playing at NL step 1. So 2 LEVELS DOWN compared with 1996.

    In 1997 Stockport were promoted to the second flight of professional football, what is today the Championship. They were also League Cup semi-finalists. 15 years later they had dropped to non-League and by 2013 were playing in Step 2 of non-League, four levels below their place 16 years earlier! In 2019 they regained Step One status in non-League.

  • Tranmere Rovers: In 1996 were playing at PL step 3; 2020 playing at PL step 4. So 1 LEVEL DOWN compared with 1996.
  • Witton Albion: They were already relegated from NL step one by 1996, when they were playing at NL step 2; 2020 playing at NL step 3. So 1 LEVEL DOWN compared with 1996.

Crewe Alexandra are not mentioned above as they have not been a non-League club in the past 25 years.


Altrincham FC "has added a final game to its pre-season schedule and will travel to Alfreton Town on Tuesday, September 22nd. Kick-off at the Impact Arena is at 7.45pm and this game will be played behind closed doors."

The away league game at Alfreton last season was one of the fixtures that was never played following the cessation of regular fixtures in March 2020.

This will be Alty's seventh pre-season game. So far, they have won 1-0 at Nantwich Town, lost 4-3 at Curzon Ashton and have the following outstanding fixtures to play.

  • Sat. 19.9.20 @ 12 noon, away v. Huddersfield Town "B" @ Canalside Training Complex. Behind Closed Doors
  • Sat. 26.9.20 @ 3pm, away v. AFC Fylde. Behind Closed Doors
  • Tue. 29.9.20 @ 7.45pm, home v. SALFORD CITY U23. Behind Closed Doors

Alfreton Town have recently played one of Alty's National League rivals at the Impact Arena, losing 2-1 to Notts County.

"Alfreton Town produced an impressive performance throughout as we fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat... All three goals came in the second half after a very even first period. The Magpies took the lead three minutes into the second half when Thomas tapped home following a cross from the right found him unmarked.

We responded on 54 minutes when a mix up at the back between Notts goalkeeper Slocombe and the defender saw the loose ball fall for Nicky Walker who planted the ball into the bottom corner with confidence.

The deciding goal came on 77 minutes when Doyle was clipped in the box with a penalty then awarded. Kyle Wootton stepped up to convert into the bottom corner.

The first half produced a real tight contest, both sides were aiming to control the ball but it was the Reds who pressed and had the clear chances as the first half progressed...

The second half brought the opener with Thomas tapping home from a yard out on 48 but the Reds didn't let the opener faze them and pushed on... Then with 54 gone, Walker levelled following that mistake at the back to fire low into the bottom corner. Slocombe then produced a cracking save on 62 to tip away Walker's low shot in the box.

Jake Day then hit the top of the bar with a curling shot on 71 before Doyle was clipped in the box to give Notts a penalty which Wootton converted.

However despite the result, it was a fantastic run out for the Reds who looked very impressive for long periods in the game and had plenty of chances and positives to take from the contest.

The next scheduled pre season friendly for ATFC sees the visit of Chesterfield on Saturday, kick off is 12noon.

ATFC First Half XI: Willis, Clackstone, Fox, Branson, Jones, Lees, Walker, Bradley (c), Tuton, Johnson, Shaw.

ATFC Second Half XI: Willis, Lund, Fox (Trialist 60), Branson (Grice 74), Jones (Lees 84), Smith, Walker (Trialist 67), Bradley (c) (Trialist 79), Day, Clarke, Shaw (Reeves 57)".


According to the Halifax Courier "The Shaymen have been told that they can allow no more than 1,400 supporters into their ground, although there are question marks over whether fans will be allowed to attend games when the National League season begins on Saturday, October 3, when Town host Dagenham and Redbridge...

Town say they are working tirelessly to prepare The Shay for the start of the season and have worked with all the relevant Calderdale Council departments to agree figures for how many home supporters could be allowed in the East and South stands, along with a capacity for the North Stand.

In a statement, the club said 'Due to current restrictions and guidelines within Calderdale our stadium capacity has been reduced to slightly less than 1,400 people across the three licensed stands. This number will be under constant review but, right now, this is the capacity number we’re working with. It will come as no shock that this puts the club in a precarious position, very much in a situation where finances are not within our control and we’re working tirelessly to steer the club through these extremely difficult and worrying times.

'If you have purchased a senior season ticket(s) and have requested more than one free u12 ticket(s) and want to sit within the East Stand then your allocation of free u12s tickets will be reduced to one per paying adult only.

'You can however choose to stand in the South Stand and will receive two free u12s tickets per paying adult the maximum amount of free u12s tickets will now be capped, (one per paying adult seating) (two per paying adult standing). This will be reviewed in December and, if we can change this position, we will and we’ll revert back to your original order.

'If you have purchased a senior season ticket(s) and requested more than one u12s ticket and find the situation not as you wish, then given these changes we would refund your senior ticket and we would process a full refund immediately..

'If you have purchased a season ticket(s) and want to stand then you don’t need to do anything, please just keep an eye on our communication channels for when season tickets will be ready for collection, this will be the during the week before the start of the season... If you have purchased a season ticket(s) and want to sit we’ll be asking our disabled supporters, those with mobility issues and those aged 60 and over to come to the Shay Stadium on Thursday, September 17 between 11am and 6pm where we will start the process of seat allocation (if you don’t fall into one of these three categories please do not attend)...

'If you are sitting within a chosen ‘bubble’ we’d ask you to send just one person from your bubble to the Shay to arrange your seats, please make sure they have all the details of each person... With the greatest regret, you will not be able to choose your seats, please remember it will be impossible to please everyone! We will do our best to help those who need it most. Once we’ve completed the seating allocation for season ticket holders, we’ll then be able to advise the match by match ticket purchase process depending on what availability we have left.

'We may yet put senior season tickets back on sale dependent on numbers involved. Over the next week we’ll be confirming our position regarding away fans. Also, we are hoping to reveal additional plans for the streaming of games'".

Also "FC Halifax Town have announced our new squad numbers ahead of the 2020/21 season. Sam Johnson, Nathan Clarke, Jamie Allen and Niall Maher will continue to wear 1, 4, 7 and 31 respectively.

  • 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King, 3 Jack Senior, 4 Nathan Clarke, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green, 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Jack Earing, 11 Danny Williams, 14 Matt Stenson, 16 Reuben Noble-Lazarus, 18 Jay Benn, 19 Luke Summerfield, 20 Dom Tear, 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher.

Guiseley report that "Stockport County showed why they are the firm favourites to win the National League as they put five past Guiseley at Nethermoor...

County have invested heavily and it showed right from the first minute as James Jennings netted from an acute angle and then bagged his second eleven minutes later with a cultured finish at the far post following a Stockport free kick.

After conceding the two goals the Lions began to settle down but weren’t making much headway against their full-time opponents who maintained their grip on the game and nearly added to their tally... but the visitors were not be denied as Jennings completed a first half hat-trick with a neat finish on 41 minutes...

The home side gave themselves some hope eight minutes in[to the second half] as Felix tussled with a defender, won the ball, and then dragged Hinchcliffe out of position before firing into the empty net. Any hopes of a comeback however, evaporated two minutes later as Bennett latched on to a through ball to finish with aplomb and restore the Hatters three-goal cushion... The Lions luck was out as the visitors bagged a fifth from another former Lion, John Rooney, whose shot took a heavy deflection to beat the Trialist keeper..

This was a Stockport side that looks to be going places and on this evidence they will take some stopping when the season kicks off".

Bromley "entertained National League South side Chelmsford City at Hayes Lane...

After a fairly quiet start to proceedings, the first real chance fell Bromley’s way, as Chris Bush’s shot from long distance looked destined for the net, but for a late deflection to take it wide of the post... Bromley took the lead. A well worked routine saw Trialist A deliver a corner to the back post, which was headed across the face of goal by Bush, for former City striker Cheek to steer the ball home...

The second half was an uneventful affair... In injury time, substitute Ollie Tanner cut past a Clarets defender and struck a shot at goal, which was inches wide. Bromley held on for the victory and a first clean sheet of an unbeaten pre-season schedule so far.

Bromley XI: Cousins, Kizzi, Bush, Webster (Vincent), Roberts (Holland), Bingham (Arthurs), Purrington (Trotter), Allen (Tanner), Trialist A (Coulson), Cheek (Lewis), Williamson (Trialist C). Unused substitutes: Najia, Trialist B

Solihull Moors "announce the addition of goalkeeper Niall Clayton for the 2020/21 campaign.

The 21 year-old has been training with the club since the start of pre-season and has featured in all three pre-season friendlies as a trialist. Formerly at Oxford United as a scholar, Clayton earnt his first professional deal with the "U"s before departing at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Clayton spent time at Alvechurch last season and was previously selected for a Wales under-21 training camp... 'The ambition of the club is exactly where I want to be, which is pushing for the Football League... To work with the management team and Kevin Poole every day is perfect for me. I want to improve as much as I can in training and hopefully push for that number one spot.' he said.

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'Niall has been in with the group over the last few weeks and has really impressed while on trial. Niall has good physical structure, he is very athletic, an excellent shot-stopper and also very good with his feet. These are all positive characteristics that go alongside a mentality to improve... Niall is another local talent we hope will flourish under the guidance of Kevin Poole.'”

At Dagenham & Redbridge "Daryl McMahon gave his thoughts on yesterday evening's victory over Barking, which saw his side lift the Borough Cup....

'I thought the performance levels were really good. I thought the boys approached the game in the right manner, played some good football and managed to get a clean sheet as well... It was good for them to get back to the levels that I expect of them today...

'We could have scored more if I'm being ultra-critical, but we scored some great goals... and it was nice for Darren to get two goals. He's tried ever so hard in every match we've played to grab a goal... He looked a different player as soon as he scored the penalty, he was sharp, he got in behind and he combined well with Kai and the trialist in the first half. I thought as the game went on he was always a danger with his pace in behind'...

On Kai Brown scoring twice and winning MOTM 'I thought Kai was really good tonight. He's a very young player that hasn't played a lot of senior football and he's a player that I've known since he was 10 when he was in the academy here at Dagenham when I was here coaching. He's got a lot of talent, but he needs to experience mens football and I think he will grow as the season goes on...

'It's pre-season so you're always going to concede goals. I think I've said throughout pre-season that tactically we will start tightening down what we look like in the final two weeks before the first league match. The first three/four weeks of pre-season for me are all about the physical element of getting players working hard. I wouldn't say that we have ignored the tactical element of the team, but you do focus more on the physical side'".

Newly promoted Wealdstone suffered a four-goal defeat at Clarence Park on Tuesday evening as they were beaten by National League South side St Albans City.

First half goals from Zane Banton, Munashe Sundire and Shaun Jeffers sent the Saints into a commanding lead at the break, with Kyran Wiltshire firing a second half strike to complete the haul for the home side.

The Stones dominated possession in the early stages of the match, but they were unable to galvanise any goal scoring opportunities. Instead, the Saints, who had experienced a quiet opening period, took an unexpected lead in the 24th minute, as Banton smashed home past Harry Isted from Sundire’s drilled cross.

Two minutes later, St Albans City doubled their advantage as Sundire powered into the box and coolly slotted past Isted into the far corner.

The Stones’ fortunes took a further dent in the 41st minute when the referee awarded a penalty to the Saints for a foul on Jeffers; he stepped up and duly converted from the spot to treble the hosts lead. Five minutes into the second half, the Saints extended their advantage even further as Wiltshire skipped through and fired past Isted into the roof of the net.

The Stones had the chance to reduce the deficit in the 59th minute when Dan Wishart was brought down in the box, but Ross Lafayette’s penalty was saved by Michael Johnson. Manager Dean Brennan made six substitutions in the 64th minute which rejuvenated the visitors, but the home side held firm for a fine victory and clean sheet over their higher division counterparts.

Wealdstone: Isted, Trialist O, Cawley (Efete, 64), Okimo (Phillips, 64), McLennan, Smith (Green, 64), Charles (Hughes, 44), Trialist S (Emmanuel, 64), Trialist R (Lewis, 64), Wishart, Lafayette (Parish, 64). Sub not used: Everett.

16 September 2020


The BBC confirms that "Macclesfield Town Football Club has been wound up in the High Court over debts totalling more than £500,000.

Judge Sebastian Prentis made a winding-up order during a hearing in the Insolvency and Companies Court after being told £190,000 was owed in tax. In addition, a solicitor for John Askey said the National League club's ex-manager was owed £173,000, while a financial lender was owed the same sum. The club's owner Amar Alkadhi had asked for a further eight-week adjournment.

The petition, which had been adjourned for a 12th time last week, began in January 2019 and was scheduled to be heard again on Wednesday after Alkadhi claimed that a sale to Robert Benwell was at an advanced stage. Benwell, who previously tried to buy Bury, was not mentioned in court on Wednesday by Alkadhi's lawyer, who asked for a further eight weeks to allow a sale to go through. The judge later said that a business plan from Benwell had not been put forward to the court, however.

The court was told that Alkadhi understood the amount due to creditors was actually just £4,000, had made a late offer to pay an initial £20,000 of the debt owed to HM Revenue & Customs and had made available a screenshot of a bank statement with £1.1m of funds to show that creditors could be paid.

Right: Will Macclesfield visit the J. Davidson Stadium in the foreseeable future? When Macclesfield played a goalless draw at Moss Lane in pouring rain on 5 March 2015, it was Lee Sinnott's last game in charge. Here Michael Rankine competes for an aerial ball in that match.

However, Judge Prentis said he would grant a compulsory order, saying 'nothing gives me comfort that the club can pay its debts in a reasonable period' and that there had been 'ample opportunity' for Alkadhi to pay off creditors. He went on to say that he did not been told by Alkadhi where the £1.1m had come from or why outstanding debts had not already been paid".

According to legal firm Francis, Wilks, Jones, "Under Rule 12.59 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, a company can ask for a winding up order to be rescinded...

In summary:

  • The application must be brought by a creditor of the company or a contributory of the company subject to the winding up order.
  • The application must be made urgently – within 5 business days of the date of the winding up order. In limited circumstances that period can be extended but there would have to be a very good reason why.
  • The application for the rescission of the winding up order must be supported by detailed witness statement evidence also detailing the company’s assets and liabilities.

The type of things the court will look at include whether the applicant can show that the circumstances of the company are materially different from the circumstances that applied when the court made the winding up order".


This behind-closed-door match was goalless and fairly uneventful in the first half but the game witnessed seven goals after the break. Ex-Alty man Craig Mahon, starting at right-back for The Nash, did hit the post with a low shot in the first half but the ball rebounded to Tony Thompson.

An injury to Tom Hannigan forced him off before the interval.

Two penalties in five-minute spell early in the second half saw the hosts forge ahead. Both were converted by former Chester FC man Matty Waters who had joined The Nash this summer after playing against Alty in the play-off eliminator at Moss Lane.

A low shot from the edge of the box by Curtis Miller was not dealt with by keeper Mason and that made it 2-1 (65 mins). Two minutes later Mason was left flat-footed as another Miller shot was diverted into the net by Tom Peers and this made it 2-2 (67 mins)

The pattern of two goals for each side in short order continued as a Curzon trialist netted a brace in the 75th and 81st minutes. Jordan Hulme then returned to the fray and netted after Mason had failed to hold a Senior shot (86 mins).

Brief report here

Altrincham included two trialist defenders. They were full-backs Ashley Smith-Brown and Joel Senior. Smith-Brown (24) started out at Manchester City, being released in 2018 having spent 2016–2017 in Holland with NAC Breda on loan, where he made 29 appearances. Two appearances in an injury-hit spell on loan at Scottish side Hearts followed in 2017–2018, followed by a loan to Oxford United.

He spent 2018–2020 at Plymouth Argyle, where he made 31 appearances, but last season he went on loan at Oldham Athletic.

Joel Senior (21) was with FC United and then Curzon Ashton before he moved to Premiership Burnley who have since released him.


Before the match on Tuesday night at the Tameside Stadium, Altrincham FC reported that "Phil Parkinson will be hoping for a reaction after Saturday’s pre-season return... Alty came away from The Weaver Stadium fortunate to have gained a 1-0 victory, particularly as the goal was the result of a nightmarish keeper mistake...

The second half saw a completely different XI for Altrincham, including a Toby Mullarkey central midfield cameo and the introduction of two new names to the game: trialist, Douglas Nyaupembe and Will Hall, who was released by Leicester City at the end of last season.

The bad news for Alty is that Dan Mooney (right) was stretchered off late in the game, however, Sports Therapist Tommy Uda has since confirmed that the sustained ankle injury is not a fracture and only ligament damage. It remains to be seen how long Dan will be out for but he will take no part in tonight’s game.

Curzon Ashton have gone about their transfer business with seeming intent this summer. As well as acquiring Max Harrop and Craig Mahon following their departures from Alty, they’ve also landed vastly experienced central midfielder Paul Turnbull (Stockport County) and highly rated left back Matty Waters (Chester). Another notable name in the Curzon set-up is another former Robin, Darius Palma, who arrived in the summer from Trafford.

The hosts are without a win so far this pre-season with draws at Buxton and Hyde, and defeats to Squire's Gate, Oldham Athletic, Clitheroe and most recently this past Saturday at Stockport County."


On Tuesday afternoon the National League issued the following statement:

"The Chairman of the National League, Brian Barwick, has today written to The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ask the Government to carefully consider how its pending decision on the return of fans to football grounds will affect its clubs, their employees, and local communities.

The National League has also asked the Government for permission to commence the new season on 3 October with fans in attendance with social distancing and other Covid-secure measures in place.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the National League has closely adhered to Government policy and fully recognises the overwhelming necessity to protect people's health and well-being. Following the Prime Minister's announcement on 17 July that Government intended to bring back audiences in stadia from October, each club has started to prepare for the 2020-21 season.

The National League has set the start date as 3 October, which is when 24 clubs would be due to play their first league match and a further 43 clubs are involved in FA Cup ties.

In readiness for the safe return of spectators, National League clubs have calculated their ground's new socially-distanced capacity. Whilst crowds could be accommodated up to a level of 20-30% of each stadium's normal capacity in accordance with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority guidance, the National League has asked the Government to allow up to 1,000 spectators in all grounds from October as a temporary solution that is validated by the Government’s approved pilot events conducted in September.

Brian Barwick commented '“The National League restart depends upon crowds being allowed back in stadiums as live attendance is our clubs’ largest source of income. The Government urgently needs to set out a credible pathway for the safe return of supporters, and to ensure our football clubs can continue to function, and to perform their significant role in the sporting life of the country.

We are proud to be a national competition with strong local connections".

ON THIS DAY: 16 September

It is six years ago today since Altrincham last played a league match on today's date, 16 September. And that was an occasion to forget as Alty crashed 4-0 at Aggborough against Kidderminster Harriers in a Tuesday night fixture in the Vanarama Conference.

Jake Moult, making his 100th Alty appearance, started in place of the injured Sean Williams. Also missing was Ryan Crowther (food poisoning) whilst defender Mike Williams joined the bench.

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

Altrincham were the better side in the opening half hour only to fall behind. Gash fired in the opener after 37 minutes then, just three minutes later, a Harriers shot came back off the upright and Reid netted. So at the interval, Alty trailed 2-0 despite having had a lot of the ball but without forcing more than a couple of saves from Harriers' keeper Lewis.

Early in the second half Simon Richman was sent off after his second reckless challenge of the game. Then, a bad foul on Lawrie went unpunished before Byrne was booked for scything down Moult as the game threatened the referee's authority.

Alty went to a back three and brought on Gillespie, who got in three shots at goal, but Johnson added a third after 72 minutes. The final blow came when Styche scored an offside-looking fourth deep in added time.

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts) 17. Dave Parton, 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh (capt), 4. Jake Moult, 7. James Lawrie, 14. Kyle Perry, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 1. Stuart Coburn, 9. Steven Gillespie, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 11. Nicky Clee, 12. Mike Williams.


Weymouth "manager Brian Stock voiced his ambition for the Terras to 'work smart' in training this season ahead of their latest friendly at home against Exeter City

Stock held his first training session with his inherited squad on Thursday, prior to beating Poole 4-0 in a friendly on Saturday. With Weymouth being one of the few part-time clubs in the National League, Stock feels time spent coaching his players is crucial.

He told Echosport 'The squad is healthy, they’ve had a lot of success over the last two years and the club have done well to maintain the majority of the players. Three players were signed almost the day before I joined.

'So they’ve done their homework and brought quality into the side. Training session-wise, I set a demand with the intensity I wanted to train at and maybe cut down the minutes...

'The quality is great, the attitude is great and I just feel we need that given we’re a part-time side. When we are in (for training) we need to work hard and work smart. We don’t necessarily need to train for two hours, but we’re looking at transitions, tempo and attitude. Some of the runs we did on Thursday I was really impressed with'/

Weymouth’s substitutes again proved they possess a golden touch, making a big impact against the Dolphins, just as they did at Dorchester. 'That’s going to be crucial for us this year, subs are going to need to impact the game,' Stock said...

'When you look at the boys that came off, Calvin (Brooks), Jordan (Ngalo) and Thommo (Ben Thomson), three players that put on a really good first-half performance, and that continued through the rest of the game.'

Myles Anderson (ankle) and Cody Cooke (hamstring) trained prior to the Poole game and could feature against Exeter."

Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson was pleased with the workout his side received following Tuesday afternoon’s 3-0 pre-season win over Bournemouth at Plainmoor...

'As all managers say in pre-season... it was another good workout,' said Johnson. 'Some more lads got 90 minutes, which was good. We’ve got a few now that are coming into our last two games, and it’s important that we pick as strong a side as we can.'

United’s boss was also delighted with the way his team coped against the passing game employed by AFC Bournemouth’s young stars... 'That was a tactical game. Bournemouth always play that game, they have lots of passes. As we said at half-time, we mustn’t worry about that, because they didn’t break us down, but then we had to have a little bit more quality up in the final third to find that cross, to find that final ball, to find that shot, to find that set play, something to create a goal for us.

'We said at half-time that at the moment you’re containing them, don’t worry about having to work hard... We were dangerous, and certainly we were more clinical in the second half than we were in the first half. That was nice, because it got us three goals. At the moment, if we get one, we get three!'

Just as in Torquay’s opening test against Hemel Hempstead, the match included a number of impressive performances from United’s young players... 'That group of young lads have not let us down whatsoever, and I’ve got a great first impression of them. We’ll be keeping a real close eye on them, as we were, but it’s important to give them the experience of wanting to win, and being around professionals... I have always been one for that, giving the young lads experience'".

At Stockport County" Academy graduate Finley Stanyer has signed a full-time professional contract... on a one-year deal.

Centre-half Finley, who made his maiden first-team appearance recently as a substitute in our pre-season defeat to Rochdale, becomes the third academy player to sign a pro-deal at the Club this Summer, after Jack Hopkins and Max Greenhalgh in August. The highly-rated defender has been on the radar of the first-team for some time, with the 18-year-old named on the bench for last season’s FA Trophy victory over Blyth Spartans at Edgeley Park.

'Finley is a young centre-back with huge potential'... said Head of Academy Damien Allen. 'He is tall, quick, and very comfortable in possession of the ball'".

Macclesfield Town "announce that Silkmen legend Danny Whitaker has come out of retirement, in order to sign a one-year playing contract with The Silkmen.

Our 'Magic Man' initially hung up his boots in the summer of 2020, but now he is back to play his part in the 2020/21 campaign. Our infamous 23... is universally respected and much of this is due to the fact that he is undoubtedly one of our own. Danny was born in Wilmslow on 14th November 1980 and came through the ranks at Manchester United's Academy.

After a brief spell at Bradford City and local side Wilmslow Albion, Danny was spotted by former Manager Gil Prescott and joined The Silkmen initially as part of John Askey's youth set-up... Danny made his professional debut on a... February evening back on 2002... During the 2005/06 season, and after making sure that our Football League status was secure, [he] departed for Port Vale the following summer... Danny would spend two years at Vale Park as he more than held his own at League One level. From there, a move to Oldham Athletic followed, before he rejoined John Sheridan at Chesterfield in the summer of 2010...

In August 2013 Danny came home... The following October, Danny would make his 400th appearance for the Club...

Danny was named as Joint Assistant Manager at the Club and would take caretaker charge before the arrival of Sol Campbell. Danny would go on to make 26 appearances during the 2018/19 season (scoring four goals), before he announced his retirement from the playing side of the game. Standing fourth in the Macclesfield All-Time Player Appearances with 457 appearances, only John Askey (679), John Collins (578) and Graham Tobin (471) have made more appearances in all competitions for the Club.

After holding down the role of Assistant Head Coach under both Daryl McMahon and Mark Kennedy, Danny was named as Tim Flowers's Assistant Manager alongside Gary Whild last month. Danny will now combine his playing role with supporting the new Manager".

Eastleigh say that "Season ticket information will be kept on hold until we have the assurance that we can accommodate supporters but, regardless of the outcome from the government, we can announce that Spitfires football will still be made available from the club in some capacity.

We are currently exploring our options for live streaming home matches to supporters when the league season begins. These games will be behind a paywall that keeps within our affordable football ethos, with bundle packages available for monthly subscriptions and a ‘virtual season ticket’ for live games.

We intend to make these extremely worthwhile packages that extend beyond live home matches, with exclusive online content featured in the price. This includes regular podcasts with players, staff, legends and fans alike, as well as access to behind the scenes interviews and videos, further EDS footage, and more.

The production of an online matchday programme is also underway, which will compliment the online packages as well as being available for individual purchase... We will continue to test and fine-tune the [streaming] production free to air for our remaining home pre-season games. Unfortunately, we do not have control over away fixtures but we understand several other National League sides may broadcast similar streaming packages".

15 September 2020


Following their narrow win at Nantwich on Saturday, Altrincham travel to the Tameside Stadium to face Curzon Ashton tonight (Tuesday).

The match is being played behind closed doors but will be covered by Radio Robins.

ON THIS DAY: 15 September

League game number ten of the 2018-19 season took place two years ago today on 15 September 2018 when Altrincham travelled to the Horsfall Stadium and defeated Bradford (Park Avenue) 3-2 in a Vanarama National League North match.

Right: A determined-looking Altrincham stride out before the kick off at Bradford on 15 September 2018. Left to right we see, Simon Richman, Sean Williams (8), Andy White (background), Tom Peers, Tom Hannigan, Josh Hancock and James Jones.

Before kick off, a run of one win in their previous seven games and the absence from the starting line up of Jordan Hulme, James Poole, Shaun Densmore and Connor Hampson had not augured well for Altrincham as they took to the field at third-placed Bradford (Park Avenue). But the injury-hit visitors put in a good performance to emerge with three points which lifted them to twelfth in the table.

Simon Richman was again obliged to start at right-back in the absence of Shaun Densmore and Conor Hampson. Top scorer Jordan Hulme, believed to be suffering with conjunctivitis, could only be named on the bench as was James Poole, as he continued his return to fitness after long-term injury.

BPA included four ex-Alty men in their squad. Nicky Clee, Luca Havern and Ryan Toulson all started whilst Danny Boshell warmed the bench.

Altrincham took a seventh-minute lead when a Johnston cross from the left was beaten out but rebounded off a defender for Tom Peers to bundle home at the back post. But, just before the interval, a freekick from the left by Nicky Clee, one of four ex-Robins in the Bradford squad today, was helped on by a team-mate and Killock got to the ball before goalkeeper Wynne to level the scores.

The Avenue started the second half well and deservedly led after 52 minutes. Conor Branson, later to join Alty, was allowed to advance up the middle, play a one-two with a team-mate, and score from close range after Elliot Wynne had done well to beat out his first attempt. Just three minutes later John Johnston dribbled towards goal but was blocked. However, the ball came back to him and his deflected shot beat another future Alty player, Steven Drench, to restore parity.

Bradford were then hit with a third Alty goal in the 61st minute. It came when Johnston fed substitute Max Harrop, who had only been on the pitch for four minutes. From wide left of goal, the midfielder drove a superb low shot across Drench and into the far bottom corner of the net to make it 2-3.

Altrincham then kept BPA at bay and despite a sequence, towards the end of the game, of six corners in as many minutes for Avenue, and the introduction of the tall Nowakowski to add height up front, the hosts had to settle for a second successive defeat following their 5-3 loss against Chester FC last week.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Simon Richman, 3. Andy White, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Tom Peers, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Owen Dale. Subs: 12. Max Harrop, 14. Jordan Hulme, 15. Liam Goulding, 16. James Poole, 20. Tony Thompson.


Ramsbottom United have signed Aaron Burns from Nantwich Town.

Meanwhile another ex-Alty striker, Astley Mulholland, netted for Trafford in their FA Cup win last Saturday.


The National League reports that "John Rooney knows just what he wants, and exactly how he is going to get it. Stockport County saw what they wanted early this summer, and weren’t keen on hanging around. As signings go, how about the captain of the champions you hope to emulate, and one who scored no fewer than 17 goals from midfield in a season which lasted little over six months?

Oh, and he was also the obvious National League Player of the Season... When they sensed the Barrow talisman was potentially up for grabs despite his [their?] best season in half a century, the County cheque writers smelt blood...

'When I spoke to Barrow about staying, I didn’t know what was going on with the managerial situation,' he explained to the National League’s Oliver Osborn... 'I loved playing under Ian Evatt. Fair play to him, he has gone on to take over at a massive club in Bolton and he will do well there. I’m not sure what would have happened if he had stayed, but I had to do what was best for me and my family.

'Stockport have put out there what their ambition was from the end of last season. You want to be involved with a club like that. It’s only a short career. You have to weigh things up, but hearing where they want to go excited me. There won’t be many training grounds in League One as good as what we have at Carrington'...

County have put their money where their mouth is. Owner Mark Stott is at the helm, a lifelong fan who says he wants to achieve 'great things' during his time in charge...

'It’s a hard league, with only one team going up automatically it’s very difficult to get out of. It’s something we have set our sights on... We have made some great signings. It was a hard decision because of what we achieved at Barrow, but this is a massive club. We need to try and get them back in the Football League'...

'All the players the club have signed have impressed me. The Jennings brothers are good players, Alex Reid is sharp and Jordan Williams too'" Rooney concluded.

The Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth boss Brian Stock believes the Terras’ 4-0 dismissal of Poole Town was flooded with positives. Stock, overseeing his third game in eight days as manager, watched on as a flurry of goals from Andreas Robinson, Jack Hoey and Tom Whelan backed up a first-half Josh McQuoid penalty.

Southampton loanee goalkeeper Jack Bycroft was untroubled as he kept a clean sheet with ease...

He said 'I’m stood there five minutes to the end thinking "is there any negative to the performance?" ... There were loads of positives. I’ve had one training session and straight away they’ve listened and taken things on board...

'Our combination in wide areas was excellent and there are so many positives. The squad has every right to challenge for a starting place come the end of the season'...

He said 'When you come up against a team like Havant, for instance, their pressing is very aggressive. We struggled to play out and had to adapt. It’s going to happen this year. Poole decided to put the majority of their players behind the ball, so it becomes a game the centre-halves can dictate and I think they did that really well'".

Macclesfield Town "unveil the signing of 24-year-old striker Jason Cowley, who joins the Club on a deal initially covering the 2020/21 season.

Jason is a proven goalscorer with an acute eye for goal. He began his career at Redditch Borough back in 2015, where he scored 26 goals in just 19 appearances for the Worcestershire outfit. The tenacious and hard-working frontman continued hit a devastating vein of form with Bromsgrove Sporting, as he hit an incredible 107 goals in 128 appearances for The Rouslers, as they secured three consecutive promotions in the process...

Widely-regarded as one of the most promising young strikers outside the Football League, Cowley signed for Stevenage last summer and scored five times for The Boro in 14 starts. In addition to this, Jason also enjoyed a brief loan spell at Solihull Moors prior to lockdown."

And another recent signing spoke to Macclesfield Town as "Sam Walker sat down with Silkmen TV...

'I am very happy, very excited, and looking forward to getting going,' he said... 'I think I can be a leader,' he continued. 'I have had success at previous clubs having been part of championship winning teams and winning the F.A Trophy; so, I would like to bring some of that experience to Macc... Obviously, I am from just down the road so I know all about Macc'...

Now into the seventeenth year of his playing career, the 33-year-old went on... 'When I was younger, I had a very brief spell there [at Oldham], and then I went to playing men’s football from the age of sixteen... and made a bit of a name for myself over a few years at Curzon Ashton and from there I went to Halifax Town, then to Salford City, and then I was signed just down the road at Stockport County.'... helping County to the verge of the playoffs last season...

With training now underway, Sam admits he has been impressed with what he has seen from Tim Flowers’s other recruits".

The Leader Live informs us that "The investors who want to buy Wrexham Football Club are 'community focussed"' and like the idea of giving an 'underdog' a 'real opportunity to progress'.

The club has been approached by two 'extremely well-known individuals of high net worth' who are looking to purchase the entire shared capital of Wrexham AFC Limited. As well as the purchase of Wrexham AFC Limited for a nominal sum, they also intend to immediately invest £2 million into the club for the purposes of taking it forward as a business and as a successful football team.

A Special General Meeting (SGM) of members has been called by the Wrexham Supporters Trust Board (WST)... The investors wish for their identities to remain anonymous until WST members have authorised the board to proceed with discussions, and director Spencer Harris, who said the offer is 'entirely credible', was not at liberty to reveal who they are.

Mr Harris insists the Trust still has a part to play in the club's future. 'But the proposal is that they would be looking to take on 100 per cent of the shareholding,' he added. 'With a 100 per cent shareholding in the club, they would be the people - or the representatives on their behalf, making the decisions to take the club forwards. It is our belief that these are entirely credible people...

'We do understand that people will be desperate to know who it is but we are not at that stage of the process yet... But we are covered by a strict MDA and no member of the Trust board or the football club board is able to share who the people are at the moment. That is normal business practice... We need supporters to stay patient with us'".

According to Devon Live "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson said he will 'deal' with new player Andrew Nelson after the striker was substituted early on in the friendly against Hemel Hempstead Town following a spat which led to a yellow card.

Johnson said the incident might have been a red card in a National League game, so withdrew the player in the 3-2 win, which was United's first pre-season game of the summer.

'I’ll deal with Nelse', Johnson said. 'He tries so hard to impress that he got involved in a shenanigan. You can’t do that, because in the National League, he’d have got sent off, and have got his teammates in trouble. We’d have had to play with ten men, and we haven’t got that fitness yet.

'He’ll learn,' said Johnson of the 23 year-old who signed from Dundee. 'But he’s got to calm down a little bit. I believe in him, and he’s got to not get as aerated as he did over that sort of incident. I just think it was because he was trying too hard. We’ve got to calm him down a little bit, and then his quality will come in'...

Only a handful of officials from both clubs were inside the ground to watch the action. Torquay’s starting line-up included new signings Nelson, Fraser Kerr, Danny Wright, and Dean Moxey... Lucas Covolan, who got the nod over Shaun MacDonald to play in goal, was busy in the opening stages of the second half, and Louis Slough had to make a diving, headed clearance to keep the scores level.

It was the visitors who scored first... on 56 minutes. United forced a series of corners before drawing level from the penalty spot in the 64th minute, Wright scoring after Olaf Koszela had been fouled in the box. Three minutes later Kyle Cameron gave Torquay the lead with an effort that came down off the underside of the bar to cross the line, but Hemel continued to threaten with Ben Jefford looking impressive.

Another new signing, Josh Umerah, who had come on early for Nelson, put the Gulls 3-1 ahead nine minutes from time, only for Kyle O’Connor Ajayi to pull a goal back for the visitors two minutes later. However, the Gulls, who will play a Bournemouth under-23s team on Tuesday night, held on for the win". 14 September 2020


Altrincham FC have advertised a number of roles which it would like to fill...

  • Events Manager: This is a key role to manage and deliver non-matchday customer events on behalf of the club. The role will require a strong focus on attracting new customers to the club’s events and actively developing existing customers. There is therefore a strong business development aspect to this role.
  • Fundraising Manager: This role carries responsibility for managing, coordinating and delivering the fundraising activity for our club, seeking new opportunities for growth and tapping into and developing new markets.
  • Partnership Manager: The role here will be to maximise the development and servicing of the club’s strategic partners – sponsors and suppliers - creating a successful portfolio of club partners and developing our relationships with them to the benefit of all parties.
  • Ground Staff Support: We are looking for volunteers to support groundsman Neil Brown and his assistant Bryan Ford at the ground throughout the week as and when required around first team and Man Utd matches.
  • Pitch Cover Help: We are looking for a group of 15-20 volunteers to support the groundsmen in putting the covers on and off the pitch as and when required.
  • Webmaster: We are looking for an eager volunteer to join the media team to be webmaster for the official club website. Whether it is live text updates on a matchday, general updating of the website, player profiles, maintaining the photo gallery and Alty TV links, or publishing articles written by other members of the team, we are looking for somebody to play a key role in keeping the website in shape!"


In an interview with Altrincham FC, manager Phil Parkinson expressed his disappointment at his team's performance at Nantwich on Saturday.


On Tuesday, Altrincham face Curzon Ashton behind closed doors at the Tameside Stadium in the Robins' second pre-season friendly.

Three of Curzon's recent signings will be very familiar to the Alty team as Jude Oyibo, Craig Mahon [left] and Max Harrop are likely to face the Robins, as well as a former loanee from Stockport County in Paul Turnbull. Craig and Max, of course, are well-known to Alty fans having only left Moss Lane this summer.

Jude Oyibo is less well-known but he was an electric-paced winger for George Heslop's youth team in 2015-16 and also featured for Chris Rowley's Altrincham Reserves' team. Curiously there is no mention of his Alty provenance as Curzon Ashton report that manager "Steve Cunningham has added 22-year-old winger, Jude Oyibo to his ranks for the coming season. Oyibo was most recently with fellow National League North side, Alfreton Town, and the young midfielder made six appearances for the Reds last season.

The winger had arrived at the Impact Arena in December 2019 from Northern Premier League side, Buxton. While with the Bucks, Oyibo made an impressive 49 appearances, scoring on eight occasions. Oyibo's career began with Stalybridge Celtic where he came through the youth ranks before departing in June 2017, to Glossop North End.

Last season Oyibo returned to Buxton, on a month's loan in February of this year. The move sees the youngster return to Curzon for a second spell, having had a short stay at the Tameside Stadium in March 2018, following his switch from Glossop.

Oyibo has been deployed in a number of Curzon's pre-season outings to date, and most recently claimed an assist for Max Harrop's late strike against Clitheroe, following a lengthy run from the young winger".

The Nash's pre-season games in 2020 have included a 2-0 defeat away to Stockport County on 12th September and a 3-2 loss at Clitheroe when their side included another ex-Alty man in Darius Palma with Max Harrop getting on the scoresheet. The squad comprised: Mason, Mahon, Waters, Tharme, Poscha, Turnbull, Hughes, Evans, Trialist A, Whitham, Sinclair (Subs: Thornley, Stokes, Harrop, Trialist B, Evangelinos, Palma).

In September Curzon have also played out a 1-1 draw at Ewen Fields against Hyde United.


In a televised (red button) FA Cup match on Saturday, Stalybridge Celtic overcame Stocksbridge Park Steels in Yorkshire, winning 3-1. Kallum Mantack featured at right-back for Celtic whilst current Alty player Lewis Salmon was a late substitute as his dual registration experience with the Tameside club continued. Despite his late appearance, Lewis drew praise for his performance from commentator and former Everton player Leon Osman.

Elsewhere Wigan Athletic's Chris Merrie's EFL debut ended in a 2-0 defeat at Ipswich Town, with the former Alty loanee beig subbed after 82 minutes.

Another ex-Alty loanee, Owen Dale, was substituted after 75 minutes of Crewe Alexandra's home defeat by Charlton Athletic, only to be replaced by a more recent Alty loanee, Josh Lundstram.

ON THIS DAY: 14 September

The last time Altrincham played at Moss Lane on today's date was a Skrill North match played on Saturday, 14 September 2013 against that well-kown northern club, Oxford City. The clubs had met only twice previously.

With Alty defender Mike Williams injured, long-term, Scott Leather partnered Luca Havern for this match. Both James Walshaw and Jake Moult were available again after their recent injuries but James Lawrie again started on the bench.

Right: It was all smiles as Alty took a 2-0 lead...

Having taken a 2-0 lead, Altrincham should have had the game wrapped up by half time but a headed own goal by Scott Leather from Clifton's right wing freekick got Oxford back into the game.

Alty had taken a 17th minute lead when Matt Doughty's quick throw found Nicky Clee, who made two great turns to feed James Walshaw. The striker's first shot was blocked but his second was lashed into the roof of the net. Clee was tormenting the visitors and, when he was upended later, the freekick led to Jake Moult having a shot blocked before Simon Richman found the net from close range at the back post (22 mins).

But, just a minute later, came the own goal and half-time arrived with Alty just a goal ahead at 2-1.

Alty failed to add a second goal before Oxford equalised, out of the blue, from the spot after a trip on Malone. Pond was the scorer (69 mins). The Robins had wasted a great chance at 2-0 up to get three points. Aside from the own goal and penalty, Oxford scarcely had a shot on target.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. James WALSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 14. Carl RODGERS, 15. James LAWRIE, 16. Kyle PERRY, 17. Brian SMIKLE, 18. Adam REID.


The Nottingham Post tells us that "Notts County made it two wins out of two in their pre-season campaign as they overcame Alfreton 2-1 at the Impact Arena.

After a dour first half, Wes Thomas gave the Magpies the lead with a simple tap-in, the result of a sweeping move that began in their own half.

But a defensive mix-up between Connell Rawlinson and Sam Slocombe, which saw the pair collide while challenging for a cross, ended up with Nicky Walker hauling Alfreton level.

Kyle Wootton scored his third goal in two games to restore Notts' lead, however, when he struck from the penalty spot after Jim O'Brien had been fouled by Dan Bradley.

Neal Ardley has used pre-season to experiment with a diamond formation and it's certainly an intriguing switch in system. Last term, Notts predominently used a 4-4-2 which often leads to accusation that it's football in straight lines. While that may prove to be the case, you cannot argue that it doesn't bring results as Notts used it for the majority of last season's campaign and finished third in the league table.

But this season, Ardley is looking to add greater tactical flexibility although we saw both the positives and the negatives that a diamond formation can bring...

While Jake Reeves has pretty much hit the ground running since arriving at Notts, albeit still working towards match fitness, Casper Sloth, Ruben Rodrigues and Elisha Sam need much more time before they find their feet... But Sloth and Sam, who are only just playing their first games in more than seven months, still look a bit behind schedule which is to be expected...

Notts were renowned as one of the most attractive sides to watch in the National League last season thanks to a patient brand of football overseen brilliantly by Ardley. But they will no longer have the element of surprise. Alfreton had done their homework on Notts with a high press and they struggled to deal with it in the first half...

Jimmy Knowles looks a fine capture. Some Notts fans were hugely critical of the fact that they had turned to their local rivals to sign a player on loan rather than look at what benefits of such a move would bring. And judging by the 30 minutes he spent on the pitch here, Knowles looks a shrewd capture. He may only be 18, but on this evidence, he plays the game of somebody with the intelligence of somebody much older".

Macclesfield Town "unveiled our seventh signing of the summer on Friday afternoon, as Lewis Wilson put pen-to-paper here at the Moss Rose".

We learn from the Derby Telegraph that "A Chesterfield FC pre-season friendly match has been called off after a member of the club's backroom staff tested positive for Covid-19.

The Spireites were set to visit Matlock Town on Tuesday, September 15... But the fixture will not be going ahead as planned after a member of Chesterfield’s first-team backroom staff tested positive for the virus".

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "After waiting six months to be back in a stadium playing a football match, two came along at once for Hartlepool United.

A 5-1 win at Morpeth Town on Friday night was promptly followed up by a 2-2 draw against Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

It was the first chance to see the six new signings, as well as the returning Gary Liddle, Timi Odusina, Mark Shelton and Rhys Oates, in action. Claudio Ofosu, Mason Bloomfield, Shelton, David Ferguson and Ryan Donaldson were on the scoresheet at Craik Park on Friday with former Poolie Liam Noble grabbing a consolation for The Highwaymen.

Ferguson was on the scoresheet again at Blyth with another new recruit, David Parkhouse, scoring on his non-competitive debut. Connor Thomson, who played for Pools on trial in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle United under-23s last month, netted a brace for Blyth.

Four trialists were on show over the two matches with manager Dave Challinor keen to bolster his defensive line. All 18 of Pools contracted players got at least 90-minutes under their belt over the two games as they provided plenty of food for thought.

An unfamiliar side started the Morpeth match at Craik Park with Gavan Holohan and Ben Killip the only regulars from the 2019-20 campaign to be named in the XI.

Four trialists, Daniel Boateng, Edwin Mensah, Jordan Mustoe and Scott McLean all started. Boateng started the match at right-back before being moved into a midfield position. The former Arsenal academy player was substituted at half-time following a lacklustre display and didn’t feature at Blyth.

Mensah got 90-minutes under his belt at centre-back over the two matches. He was a regular for Merstham in the Isthmian Premier Division last season.

McLean featured predominantly as a right-back during the two matches, the 23-year-old played for Annan Athletic in Scottish League Two last season and was announced to have signed for Scottish non-league side Darvel last month.

Left-back Mustoe hasn’t played in England since 2014, when he made four league appearances for Accrington Stanley. Since then, the 29-year-old has played top-flight football in Belgium, Finland, Romania and Oman. After playing 60 minutes at Morpeth, Mustoe lasted around 10 minutes at Blyth before being withdrawn as an injury precaution.

None of the trialists particularly stood out though McLean was the pick of the bunch... Mustoe and Mensah may also remain with the squad this week though it’s unlikely Boateng will return following his Saturday no-show.

A few hundred fans were in attendance at Craik Park including 50 Poolies, who got to watch their side play for the first time since March... The game unfolded into a typical early pre-season affair.

Ofosu pounced on a mistake at the back to give the visitors an early lead in what was a fairly even first half. The winger looks like he could be a really exciting player for Pools with his pace, trickery and tenacity.

Bloomfield then doubled the advantage to turn in Rhys Oates’ low cross before the wholesale changes saw a more familiar side take to the field. The midfield of Shelton and Nicky Featherstone that ended last season so strongly, quickly imposed themselves on the game as Shelton headed in a third from a pinpoint Donaldson cross.

Noble then quickly pulled a goal back... Luke Williams returned to the field for the first time in 2020, playing the final 30-minutes as he continues his bid to earn a new deal amid fitness concerns... The 5-1 result flattered Pools against a Morpeth side who provided a good run out".

Less than 24-hours later, Pools were back in action at Blyth. The side that ended the game at Morpeth, with the exception of Ben Killip and Williams who were replaced by Brad Young and new loan signing David Parkhouse, started the match at Croft Park... Grey would have to play the full 90. The teenage forward would prove to be a real bright spark during the match with some clever touches and confident forward play...

After going behind early on, a cross-shot from Ferguson sailed straight in to level the score... Parkhouse then put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time as he turned in Grey’s low ball.

Blyth got back level from the penalty spot after a last-man challenge from Donaldson. Had the match been competitive, the Pools skipper would have seen red... Oates squandered an opportunity to secure victory for Pools from the penalty spot. His effort well saved by Brendan Pearson.

Despite Pools dominating possession, the match ended 2-2. It proved an unfortunate reminder of some of the worst things about Pools last season; a side who could dominate games but would ultimately be let down by defensive lapses".

13 September, 2020


Altrincham's next match is a behind-closed-doors affair at The Tameside Stadium against Curzon Ashton. The match is on Tuesday at 7.45pm and will be covered by Radio Robins.


One of the two trialists who featured for the second half of Altrincham's game at Nantwich on Saturday was 20 year-old Douglas (Dougie) Nqobile Nyaupembe, a defender who was most recently at Radcliffe FC. He spent six years at Gigg Lane with Bury, for whom he made one senior appearance in League One 2018-19 season.

From Bury he had loans at Hyde United (November 2018) and Stalybridge Celtic (from January 2019), before moving on to Atherton Collieries in 2019. He joined Radcliffe in January 2020.


As reported last month, Altrincham FC Ladies have been drawn in the Women's FA Cup. Following Northwich Vixens' victory over Didsbury in the previous round, they will now face Alty at the J. Davidson Stadium on September 20th. Spectators are permitted for the game which kicks off at 2pm when admission will be £2 (or £1 for concessionaries/children). Refreshments will be available.

ON THIS DAY: 13 September

Alty's last league game on today's date was certainly a case of the 13th being unlucky as Alty crashed 4-1 at Nuneaton Town in 2016.

On a Tuesday night Altrincham arrived at Liberty Way for their tenth fixture of the league season, still looking for their first win. They had lost their previous fixture, against Gloucester City, 5-0, and lay second-bottom in the Vanarama National League North.

With manager Jim Harvey severely constrained by numerous injuries and illness, it was always going to be a difficult task to take anything from this game. Both of necessity and choice Harvey rang the changes. Tim Deasy was injured on Saturday so Dawber returned in goal. At left-back was new loan signing Josh Doherty from Leyton Orient. Alan Goodall's wife was very ill, Sam Heathcote was ill, whilst Deasy, Hall, Hannigan, Densmore and Cyrus remained sidelined by injury. So, of necessity, two strikers (Hobson and Hattersley) were named in yet another central defensive pairing.

The opening stages were traumatic.

In the eighth minute, a cross from the left was miskicked by Doherty. Goalkeeper Dawber blocked a resulting shot but could not hold the ball and Whitehouse netted the loose ball. A minute later, Joyce [left] dwelt on the ball on the front edge of the box, in a central position. He lost the ball, then fouled his opponent to concede a penalty. To compound his offence, he was sent off (9 mins).

Dawber did very well to save Whitehouse's spot kick. And then Altrincham grabbed an equalizer as Miller received Reeves's lay off and hit an impressive shot into Dibble's left-hand corner (17 mins). Nuneaton regained the lead after 34 minutes when Ironside volleyed home from eight yards.

Two goals on the fringe of half time settled the outcome. First an O'Hanlon cross led to Williams hitting the bar and Whitehouse netting the loose ball to make it 3-1 (43 mins). Having announced a minimum of one added minute Mr Tankard played three and in the last one of these, following a corner, a Langmead effort was blocked and Williams scored to leave Alty 4-1 down and with ten men.

Alty battled hard in the second half and though Boro enjoyed the lion's share of the ball they could not score a fifth.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Andrew DAWBER 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Josh DOHERTY, 4. Danny HATTERSLEY, 5. Craig HOBSON, 6. Simon RICHMAN 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Charlie JOYCE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER, Subs 12. David LYNCH, 14. Harry CAIN, 15. Jon MORAN, 16 Fabio BASSANGUE, 20. Andrew JONES (gk)


The BBC reports that "Wrexham have signed defender Fiacre Kelleher on a one-year deal... following his Macclesfield Town exit.

The Cork-born 24-year-old is a product of Celtic's academy. He joined Macclesfield in 2019 having previously been on loan there from Oxford United.

'I know a lot of the lads here already, I've played with a lot of them so I know the calibre of the squad,' said Kelleher".

Meanwhile, Wrexham's "Jake Bickerstaff caught the eye, playing his part in one goal and scoring the other as Wrexham continued their pre-season preparations with a 2-1 win against a Salford City XI.

Bickerstaff played in the second-half of the match, and his work led to Wrexham’s opener through his trialist strike partner. He then doubled the lead with a great finish and, though Salford pulled one back from the spot, Bickerstaff’s goal proved to be the winner.

With the match to be played in three 40-minute blocks, Dean Keates started with four of his summer signings; Jordan Davies, Reece Hall-Johnson, Kwame Thomas and Jordan Ponticelli all in from the start. The starting XI showed one trialist, at left-back, while Mark Carrington was in central midfield alongside Jay Harris...

The match was then paused again on the hour, for half-time... The 80-minute mark meant another stoppage and after a slow start to the final third, Wrexham finally broke the deadlock in the 87th minute... Bickerstaff got the goal his second-half performance deserved on 102 minutes though, racing onto a great pass from the trialist right-back and hammering it into the far corner.

Salford pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on 111 minutes, after Devonte Redmond’s foul in the area".

Blyth Spartans "and Hartlepool United shared the pre-season spoils in a hard-fought 2-2 draw at Croft Park. Spartans’ second home friendly of the season finished level courtesy of a penalty save by Brendan Pearson and a double from debutant Connor Thomson. Thomson opened the scoring on 15 minutes before David Ferguson equalised with a fortuitous cross-come-shot.

Pools then took the lead just before half-time thanks to a tap-in by David Parkhouse [on loan Sheffield United striker] but a penalty from Thomson levelled proceedings.

The visitors could have claimed a winner but Rhys Oates’ spot-kick was saved by former Newcastle youngster Pearson.

With nine substitutes for Pools on 60 minutes, their fresh legs showed in the final 15 minutes as the visitors tested the Blyth defence...

Hartlepool: Young, Donaldson, Odusina, Liddle, Ferguson, Featherstone, Shelton, Molineux, MacDonald, Grey, Parkhouse".

Southampton report that "Young Southampton goalkeeper Jack Bycroft has joined Weymouth on loan.

The 18 year-old moves along the south coast to the Terras, who won promotion via the National League South play-offs in 2019/20, on a deal that runs until January".

In the Nottingham Post "Neal Ardley admits Notts County 'got lots wrong' in their first-half performance against Alfreton but said the experience would do the Magpies a power of good.

Notts ran out 2-1 winner against their Conference North opponents having taken the lead through Wes Thomas only to see it wiped out by a goal from Rio Molyneux.

But Kyle Wooton’s penalty sealed the win as all three goals came after the break during which [!] Notts toiled away without much success in a diamond formation.

Once Notts made a raft of changes at the interval which saw the likes of Michael Doyle, Jim O’Brien and Callum Roberts enter the fray, they demonstrated much more purpose in attack. And Magpies boss Ardley said... 'The old pre-season cliche of getting minutes into the legs is certainly the case at the moment. There are some players who have had four or five months off compared to the other boys who played in the play-offs. In the first half we got lots wrong and we spoke at half-time about it.

'I think the team which came out in the second half learned what was wrong and put it right. That was good because you don’t want to come and not learn anything and everything go swimmingly. We learned things about earning the right to play, showing we have pace and power in our attack and how we can stretch teams. We mixed the game up better in the second half and it was a lot more positive.'”

At Stockport County "The Hatters returned to action behind closed doors at Edgeley Park for the first time since late August and registered a third successive friendly victory, without conceding, against Tameside near-neighbours Curzon Ashton" who entertain Alty on Tuesday.

"Alex Reid and Adam Thomas each scored a second goal in pre-season during a first half that County dominated to see off the National League North visitors.

County took to the field showing six changes from the side that had kicked off at Colne a week previously, with recently-signed goalkeeper Josh Barnes making his first start between the sticks. A pair of ex-Hatters, namely, one-time Bury loanee Marcus Poscha, and the long-serving former captain Paul Turnbull, both featured for the visitors.

The Hatters went ahead following a mix-up in the visitors’ defence that saw Reid pick up an under-hit back-pass, before rounding Mason and slotting home... The Hatters, precisely as they had done at Colne, had the last word ahead of the break to go two-up through Thomas, who latched on to Kitching’s cross from the left before drilling a low shot past Mason.

County resumed after half-time with just one change, as Richie Bennett replaced Bell in attack... In the event, they did not trouble the scorers further but completed an accomplished workout with a clean sheet...

Team (3-4-3): Barnes; Hogan (Capt.) (Downing, 84), Palmer, J. Jennings (Maynard, 67); Minihan, Rooney, Keane, Kitching; Thomas (Williams, 63), Bell (Bennett, 46), Reid (C. Jennings, 63). Unused Subs: Hinchliffe, Hopkins, Greenhalgh, Owens, Stanyer."

For Solihull Moors "It was third time lucky for the Moors as they claimed their first pre-season win with a convincing 3-1 victory over Leamington FC on Saturday.

Jamey Osborne got the ball rolling early on as he produced a cultured finish into the bottom corner following good work by Joe Sbarra.

The visitors were in control but had to wait until the last minute of the first half before Sbarra doubled their advantage following an inch-perfect pass by Mitch Hancox.

Moors looked to have it all sewn up but their National League North opponents had other ideas, their battling second-half display rewarded with a goal in the closing stages.

However, it was Moors and Jake Beesley who would have the final say. The striker won and then converted a late penalty to take his tally to three in his last two games.

Jimmy Shan named an unchanged side from Tuesday night’s commendable 2-2 draw with Coventry City... Shan would have been pleased by the eagerness of the back three to get on the ball and look to play. It may be early days but the players are clearly taking to Shan’s philosophy. There was a real confidence about the way they zipped the ball across the playing surface.

After three games in the space of seven days, Shan’s men are not back in action until next Saturday when they welcome the visit of Hereford...

Solihull Moors: Boot (Trialist, 61), Coxe (Usher-Shipway, 46), Williams (Piggott, 61), Howe, (Carter, 61), Gudger (Miccio, 61), Hancox (Cranston, 61), Storer (Maycock, 61), Gleeson (Bushaj, 61), Sbarra, (Trialist, 61), Osborne, (Clayton-Phillips, 46), Rooney (Beesley, 61)"

Macclesfield Town "Manager Tim Flowers spoke of the importance of utilising the Club's youth programme... Academy Player of the Year Rocco Fregapane made the step up to the First Team at the start of the week, and Tim is looking forward to working with the young left back this season.

'Rocco has got pedigree,' he said. 'He came through at Man United... With the size of our football club, if you are producing players through your youth and academy system then that has got to be the way forward. I was told when I first walked through the door that he has got a lot of potential; a lot of people were glowing about him in terms of almost being in and around a first team group.

'He has been in training with us every day, more or less, since we have been in and we are going to play a little friendly; we have got enough bodies to go 11 v 11 tomorrow morning. 'So, Rocco will have the chance to be a left back in one of those teams for 25/50 minutes so we can have a look at him... We have got three games coming up next week so again he will be involved, and we will slowly drip him in and have a look at him,' Tim continued.""

FC Halifax Town "recorded our first win of pre-season with a 2-1 victory away at Guiseley in a game played behind closed doors at Nethermoor.

Town boss Pete Wild was able to give valuable minutes to his squad in just the second pre-season game ahead of the new season.

The home side went ahead on 13 minutes with Kaine Felix getting himself into the area and fired past Sam Johnson into the bottom corner. Midway through the first half, a loose header back to the keeper caught Guiseley’s trialist out giving away an unforced corner and Town were to capitalise with an equaliser. Luke Summerfield’s ball in was met by Maher at the far post who applied the finish on 23 minutes..

Town went ahead on 28 minutes, a ball over the top caught Dan Cowan out and Jamie Allen was racing through on goal. A challenge came with two Guiseley defenders in the box, but the ball fell nice to Allen again and he slotted past the keeper to turn the game on its head..

Youth team defender Paddy Groomes came on for Jake Hemingway, who went off injured near the end of the half.

Pete Wild made a number of number of changes at the break as he continued with his preparation for the new season...

Town held on for victory courtesy of the first half goals from Maher and Allen and will look to continue with pre-season next weekend with the only home pre-season game against Boston United on Saturday...

First Half: 1 Sam Johnson, 17 Niall Maher, 14 Nick Crane, 6 Tom Bradbury, 2 Jeff King, 8 Martin Woods, 18 Luke Summerfield, 19 Jake Hemingway (Paddy Groomes), 16 Reuben Noble-Lazarus, 9 Jake Hyde, 7 Jamie Allen

Second Half: 12 Trialist, 22 Trialist, 17 Maher (2 Jeff King), 14 Nick Crane (6 Tom Bradbury) 20 Mossimo Cirrarelli, 4 Trialist (Paddy Groomes), 15 Kieran Green, 10 Jack Earing, 21 Jack Senior, 11 Trialist, 9 Jake Hyde (7 Jamie Allen)".

Dagenham & Redbridge "travelled to the Gallagher Stadium, [Maidstone] for their 5th pre-season match ahead of the new season. The hosts took the victory as a trialist scored the only goal in a rather dull affair...

The game was void of clear cut chances throughout the afternoon, with Weston going close from a free-kick before the half-time whistle sounded.

The second half began with the Daggers on the hunt for the equaliser, as Callum Reynolds headed wide from a deep free-kick on 47 minutes... Justham was called into action on 61 minutes... The Daggers no.1 was replaced shortly after by Strizovic, who got down well in the closing stages of the game to save a powerful effort... Daggers: Justham (Strizovic 63’), Wright, Reynolds, Croll (Clements 45’); Eleftheriou, Phipps, Rance, Weston (Robinson 63’); Saunders (McQueen 45’), Balanta (Brown 63’); McCallum (Trialist A 63’).

"It was honours even in Bromley’s second home pre-season friendly, as a mix of youth and experience battled it out with local rivals Dartford.

Bromley took the lead on 15 minutes through Michael Cheek. Outstanding work from Trialist A, which saw him beat three Dartford players, ended in him being fouled in the box, prompting referee Aji Ajibola to point to the spot. Cheek stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom right corner, sending Darts goalkeeper Craig King the wrong way.

Soon after, Dartford levelled... Despite Dartford growing into the game, it would be Bromley who scored next. More good play from Trialist A saw him feed the ball to James Alabi, who beat Connor Essam with sheer pace and physicality, before squaring to Cheek, who, despite losing his balance, tucked the ball home with an instinctive finish.

Wholesale changes were made by both sides before and during the second half, with Bromley gradually fielding a more youthful side, with a number of trialists. Kai Marsh Brown would level for Dartford on 85 minutes with a stunning, curled finish after a fairly even second half."

At Barnet we learn that "The Bees fell to defeat in their opening pre-season friendly, as Hitchin Town signed off their own pre-season campaign with victory at Top Field. Peter Beadle opted to field two separate XIs, on an afternoon which featured 11 trialists.

The hosts opened the scoring on 13 minutes... playing their final pre season friendly before their campaign kicks off next weekend.

The Bees' first half team saw five trialists feature, but it was last season's second-highest scorer Josh Walker who created our first opening of the afternoon... The Bees made 10 changes at the break, with five further trialists featuring in the second 45 minutes of our opening pre-season friendly.

The hosts doubled their lead 18 minutes into the second half with almost a carbon copy of their opener, as Stead latched onto a ball over the top before calmly slotting past Aymen Azaze...

Although a disappointing result the opener gave Beadle an opportunity to take a real look at the trialists currently at the Club".

12 September 2020


A fortuitous own goal in the 32nd minute gave Altrincham a narrow 1-0 win at Nantwich in Saturday's friendly but the game was marred by a late injury to Dan Mooney, who had to be stretchered off with a potentially serious ankle injury.

The goal came when former Alty defender Josh Langley's 20-yard back pass was missed by keeper Greg Hall, who allowed the ball under his foot. Alty were indebted to their new keeper Matthew Gould for two fine second-half saves.

Phil Parkinson used 21 players with only Toby Mullarkey starting both halves. As well as their new signings, Alty played two trialists in the second half. They were ex-Leicester City defnder Will Hall and former Bury defender Dougie Nyaupembe.

Brief match report here.


Altrincham's first away game of the season, at Notts County, has been moved to Wednesday 7 October, with a 19.45 kick-off. It was originally scheduled for the preceding evening. The change in schedule is to permit the televising of the match by BT Sport.

Notts County add that "Two of our Vanarama National League home fixtures have been rearranged after being selected for live television coverage.

We'll have to wait a little longer for our first home game of the season as the visit of Altrincham will now take place a day later than originally scheduled, now on Wednesday 7 October (7.45pm).

The visit of Stockport County, meanwhile, has been moved forward a week to Wednesday 11 November (7.45pm)".

ON THIS DAY: 12 September

Three years ago today Altrincham travelled to Cumbria for a midweek Evo-Stik League Premier Division fixture at Workington.

In a what was to prove a championhip-winning season, Altrincham nevertheless suffered a heavy defeat at a rain-sodden Workington. Alty started the game already much weakened by injury, as Poole and Short were unfit to start, whilst Amis, Miller, Richman and Taylor all remained sidelined.

Above: Conditions were poor at Workington!

But the Robins made life even harder for themselves as they conceded two penalties and had Max Harrop sent off, forcing them to play with ten men for more than half of the game.

The hosts took a 23rd minute lead when Joel nodded a cross back to Allison who hit the back of the net with an impressive left-foot shot from 20 yards.

Five minutes later, Alty were level as Harrop controlled the ball superbly before striking a fine shot from 20 yards past the keeper.

Hannigan then conceded a penalty which Tinnion converted on 38 minutes. Four minutes afterwards Harrop saw red for a rash challenge.

But the ten men drew level as Josh Hancock won a header and Jordan Hulme went on to score in the 66th minute. Parity lasted just two minutes before Alty's offside trap failed and Allison scored.

After 76 minutes a Workington counter-attack led to Joel getting free and he beat Tim Deasy to make it 4-2. And Allison completed his hat trick five minutes from time after Ben Harrison had conceded a penalty. Tinnion's spot kick was saved by Deasy but the ball ran to Allison, who put the ball in the net.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Max HARROP. Subs: 12. James JONES, 14. Lewis SHORT, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. James POOLE, 20. Tony THOMPSON (gk)


Stockport County "confirm that forward Alex Curran has joined National League North side Curzon Ashton on a season-long loan.

The 21 year-old, who has done well recently to return from a serious injury suffered last season, makes the temporary move to The Tameside Stadium, where he will play alongside his former captain [and ex-Alty loanee] Paul Turnbull, who signed for ‘the Nash’ last week.

Alex joined County last summer from Colne FC, signing a two-year deal at Edgeley Park with the option of a third, and made two first-team appearances before going out on loan to FC United. He impressed during his time at Broadhurst Park, before his season was unfortunately cut short when suffering a broken fibula and sustaining ligament damage during a League game against Buxton, back in January.

Since then, Alex has progressed well in his recovery, featuring in all of our pre-season games to date."

Notts County report that "Alex Lacey is set to play some part in Saturday’s behind-closed-doors friendly at Alfreton Town.

The defender sustained a back injury on the first day of pre-season training and missed last weekend’s visit to Ilkeston as a result... 'Alex has trained all week with the group, which is great news, and we’ll start building his minutes up from Saturday,' said the boss, Neal Ardley.

'He may be ready for 30 minutes as a starting point and we’ll work from there. He’s only had a week’s training after missing the first fortnight.'

Ben Turner has also stepped up his recovery... 'Now we’ve got Sam Graham in the building, who’s already got some minutes under his belt, it eases the pressure on rushing Ben and Alex back when they’re not ready,' added Ardley. 'We can get them back in their own time and then have real competition for places... There are good players in every position and we’re delighted with that.'”

Macclesfield Town report that "With six players signed up so far, Tim Flowers provided insight as to the reality of signing players in a relatively short time frame.

'My first day at the Moss Rose feels like a month ago but it has only been a couple of weeks. Basically, I have had a phone tattooed to my right ear for the last two weeks trying to get to get deals done and players over the line. I have had every agent in Britain contact me with players.

'We have managed to get half a dozen boys contracted, I have a lot of plates spinning in the air as we speak, some that the supporters have definitely heard of and will know, others are probably younger ones with potential.. We are moving in the right direction...

'If you have got yourself three or four midfield players centrally with no centre backs or strikers then you know what you have got to target. I am still looking across the board really, we have got some younger ones for the future with definite potential that we have identified, some of which I myself identified a year or so ago at Solihull.

'We have got a few of them under the roof, but also I am wary that you need to bring in lads with hardened experience; boys that have been there, done it and worn the t-shirt types... I have got a few of those that I am talking to that we are in negotiations with, but it is playing a waiting game really...

'We are moving heaven and earth to try and get a team together for the start of the season that is competitive and a team that we can then mould and try to get into a cohesive unit that can sustain a real push..

'There are a lot of lads coming into the beginning of the season now that are still unemployed... They have to have it in the back of their minds that they need some income, so there comes a line where you need to make a decision as a player...

'Obviously with the way the cards have been dealt here, we are very last minute, so as I said, a lot of this should have been done months ago but we are now really playing catchup... It is easy to jump on a limited budget; if I had blew [sic] that in the first couple of weeks because I am flapping about panicking that I need to get sixteen bodies together then, all of a sudden, you find yourself way short at kick off time.

'Due diligence is the correct word; we have had to go in depth into players; make phone calls as to their character and what they bring to the table as people and human beings. Obviously, we also have to look at the technical side of things, what do they bring to the party?'".

Before the new season starts, King's Lynn Town report that "The football club was informed by a member of its staff that a member of his family has tested positive for coronavirus.

Following consultations and discussions between the National League’s COVID Officer and both King’s Lynn Town’s COVID and medical officers, the decision has been taken to postpone the first team’s [friendly] fixture with Braintree Town, the Under 21s' Thurlow Nunn, Division One North game at Needham Market Reserves and Lynn Ladies' ERWFL match at Histon, scheduled for Sunday."

Hartlepool United "announce the loan signing of David Parkhouse.

The striker joins us from Sheffield United on a loan deal till January 2021. The 20-year-old Northern Ireland youth international striker has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Blades but has just returned from international duty where he scored in a Euro qualifier against Malta U21s.

Before lockdown, Parkhouse was on loan at League Two side Stevenage but that was cut short due to COVID. During the 2018/19 season he had a loan spell with Derry City where he scored 19 goals in 39 appearances for the League of Ireland Premier Division side.

Manager Dave Challinor spoke about the signing of Parkhouse 'It is somewhere on the pitch we have been looking to strengthen and he provides us just that. He is a goal scorer and a U21 international so I believe he can do very well in this league'".


Altrincham's fixture at Notts County has been moved, as was reported here yesterday. The full list of scheduled live National matches on BT Sport is below, courtesy of Eastleigh who announce that "The Spitfires’ trip to Woking on 28th December will be one of 14 games broadcast live on BT Sport.

Our final game of 2020 will also be BT Sport’s final National League fixture of the year, as our visit to the Cards’ Kingfield Stadium will be broadcast live, with the kick-off time to be confirmed.

With the new season just three weeks away, BT Sport has confirmed its first 14 live games ahead of their seventh season bringing National League football to the TV screen.

The full selection of live games is as follows:

  • Saturday October 3 – King’s Lynn Town v Yeovil Town – 17:20KO
  • Wednesday October 7 – Notts County v Altrincham – 19:45KO
  • Saturday October 10 – Aldershot Town v Macclesfield Town – 17:20KO
  • Monday October 12 – Wrexham v Maidenhead United – 19:45KO
  • Saturday October 17 – Chesterfield v Stockport County – 17:20KO
  • Saturday October 31 – Hartlepool United v Torquay United – 17:20KO
  • Tuesday November 10 – Notts County v Stockport County – 19:45KO
  • Saturday November 14 – Weymouth v Wrexham – 17:20KO
  • Saturday November 21 – Wealdstone v Sutton United – 17:20KO
  • Saturday December 5 – Weymouth v FC Halifax Town – 17:20KO
  • Saturday December 12 – Solihull Moors v Bromley – 17:20KO
  • Saturday December 26 – Dover Athletic v Dag & Red – 17:20KO
  • Monday December 28 – Woking v Eastleigh – KO TBC
  • Saturday January 2 – Barnet v Boreham Wood – 17:20KO


The NW Counties Football League reports that "This weekend sees a number of our NWCFL Clubs in action in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round with a total off fifteen clubs involved across thirteen games. There is a already one of our sides through to the next round as Litherland REMYCA have progressed, this is due to the sad circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of Droylsden from this season's competition..

We will start with TV stars Squire's Gate, who face a fascinating trip to Michael Clegg's Ashton United side. Squire's Gate have looked impressive in pre-season and demolished Maine Road in the Extra Preliminary Round.

In an all-Premier Division tie, Congleton host Skelmersdale United in a first FA Cup meeting between these two sides in forty Years... Skem beat Penistone Church by the odd goal in five in the last round to reach this stage whilst Congleton needed penalties to see off Burscough to progress.

Another side who needed penalties to reach this stage were Wythenshawe Amateurs who face a first-ever meeting with Trafford FC. The Ammies from Division One South fought out a close tie with their Division One North Counterparts, Shelley to progress. On the subject of first-ever meetings, Longridge Town's reward for seeing off Winsford United 2-1 in the Extra Preliminary Round is a trip to former NWCFL side Widnes who have gone from strength to strength since being promoted to the Northern Premier League in 2017-18.

Whitchurch Alport travel to Hellenic League Premier Division side, Westfield... Barnoldswick Town have the pleasure of travelling to Marine... their opposition haven't been knocked out before the First Qualifying Round since 1959/60!

Another great looking tie is Northwich Victoria, who have a good heritage in the FA Cup who host Charnock Richard...

Warrington Rylands have big plans for this season and made a massive statement in comprehensively beating last season's Premier Division form side 1874 Northwich 1-6 away... Their reward for that eye-catching win was a home tie against Northern Premier League D1 West side, Clitheroe... Bootle travel to face a rather familiar name in Silsden...

Runcorn Town host Northern Premier League Division One West side Brighouse Town... St Helen's Town are a different prospect this season with key additions on and off the park. Their reward for a feisty 5-4 home win on penalties over Cammell Laird 1907 was an away trip to NPL D1 side Mossley...

Ramsbottom is the destination for Premier Division side, Irlam whom have progressed past this stage of the competition in the last two consecutive campaigns. They reached this round courtesy of an impressive 2-1 home win over NCEL side Liversedge".


The Northern Premier League announces that "The UK Government has confirmed that organised sports can continue as an exemption to its latest planned measures in response to COVID-19.

That includes the Northern Premier League, as part of Steps 3-6 of the National League System...

Organised football activity is currently permitted at these levels but it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Governments’ latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidelines from the FA...

The FA can also clarify that clubs at Steps 3-6 of the NLS and Tiers 3-4 of the WFP remain permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators if they follow the UK Government's latest guidance on Covid-19 and The FA’s guidelines for the NLS or WFP. Clubs in the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, Tiers 5-7 of the WFP and outdoor grassroots football also remain permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators".

11 September 2020


The Cheshire Senior Cup, unlike one or two other county cups competitions, will be played in 2020-21 season and the draw for the First Round has been made, as follows. Altrincham have been drawn away to Barnton which older Alty fans will recall was the club, near Northwich, from which centre-back Gary Talbot originated.

Barnton are members of the the North West Counties League Division One South. First Round ties are provisionally set to be played by Saturday 7th November 2020.

  • Congleton Town v Alsager Town
  • Macclesfield Town v Cammell Laird 1907
  • Witton Albion v Crewe Alexandra
  • Cheadle Town v Cheadle Heath Nomads
  • Northwich Victoria v Runcorn Town
  • Stalybridge Celtic v Stockport Town
  • 1874 Northwich v Sandbach United
  • Tranmere Rovers v Winsford United
  • Altrincham v Barnton


ALtrincham's opening-day opponents for the 2020-21 season are Weymouth whose "boss Brian Stock feels the Terras 'dictated' the opening half of their 3-1 win over Dorchester.

In his second outing as manager, Stock watched on as midfielder Jordan Ngalo put Weymouth ahead before Tom Blair equalised with a curling finish before the break. Josh McQuoid bagged a penalty after the restart and Jake McCarthy lofted a stunning third goal as Weymouth killed Leigh Robinson’s Magpies off...

'I’m really happy. Obviously having quite a large squad and utilising that throughout the 90 minutes is pleasing,' he told 'Quite a lot of players have given me something to think about. When you look at the first 30 minutes, I think we dictated the game and just took our foot off the gas in the final 15. All credit to a side that I’ve inherited three days ago...

'The last 10 minutes was quite disappointing. (Dorchester) are quite a competitive side... I thought the second-half performance was excellent.'”


According to the BBC "The annual 'Non-League Day' for 2020, which was planned for the international break in October, has been cancelled.

The event to promote clubs outside the Premier League and Football League has been popular since its launch in 2010 but the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak has led to organisers scrapping it.

'In a time of social distancing and with fans of clubs in Steps 1 and 2 still locked out of grounds, it doesn't seem appropriate,' a statement said...

Doubt has been cast over the National League being able to start on 3 October as planned following the latest government advice".

ON THIS DAY: 11 September

It's a decade since Alty played a league match on today's date, 11 September. Back on that date in 2010 Altrincham travelled to Gateshead, where they lost 2-0 at the International Stadium in a Blue Square Bet Premier match. At kick off Altrincham were bottom of the league, five points adrift of the second-bottom club, Bath. Gateshead were 19th, seven points ahead of Alty.

As well as the injured Denham, Holsgrove, Holmes and McCready were not in the squad. Hewson was handed his first start while another very recent signing, McCarthy, was the only out and out striker in the Alty starting line-up.

Right: Nicky Clee contests first-half possession at Gateshead.

After a decent first half hour or more in which Altrincham had the better of the chances but failed to take them, Gateshead went ahead in the 38th minute. Gate got past Welch on the Gateshead right and fed Shaw. Coates did well to beat out his strong shot but Nelthorpe was on hand to convert the loose ball.

Gateshead then almost doubled their lead with a header having to be cleared off the line (40 mins). In the second half Alty never got going; forward movements were ponderous or ended in long balls forward. From the second of two successive corners, Shaw headed home Gateshead's second goal. Later the Heed hit the bar, too, as Altrincham never looked like getting back into the game.

The match referee at Gateshead was Andy Madley who, of course, later progressed to higher things in the Premiership.

ALTRINCHAM: 21. James COATES, 2. James SMITH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 22. Michael WELCH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. Matty CROWELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 15. Ryan BROWN, 20. Sam HEWSON, 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. James McCARTHY, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 8. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 16. Anthony DANYLYK.


The Northern Premier League reports that "Lincoln United and Dunston have had to forfeit their Preliminary Round ties this weekend. Both clubs have reported cases of COVID-19, and so will unable to play in their scheduled ties against West Bridgford and Whitley Bay respectively.

A Lincoln United club statement said 'The club can confirm there have been no further confirmed Covid-19 cases at the club since the initial outbreak of eight players, and stress the decision to not play in this Saturday's fixture, is following the advice from Public and Environmental Health, and not due to any further positive tests within the club.

A third Northern Premier League club, Carlton Town, will progress to the next round of the FA Cup after their scheduled opponents Oadby Town were forced to withdraw due to a COVID-19 outbreak."


Solihull Moors report that "West Bromwich Albion attacker Nick Clayton-Phillips has once again linked up with the Moors, signing on a season-long loan for the 2020/21 campaign.

The 20 year-old is no stranger to Jimmy Shan after making four appearances during a brief loan spell... last season. He started one game for Solihull... before coming off the bench on three other occasions. Clayton-Phillips has previously spent time on loan at Braintree Town and Kidderminster Harriers. The youngster featured regularly in the Baggies Premier League 2 team during the last couple of campaigns.

The latest signing said 'When I found out that Jimmy wanted me back for the season, I was ready to come back... I feel like coming here for my development is the best place for me to be'...

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'Nick gives us lots of attacking options. He is quick, direct and possesses excellent movement.'”

Notts County report that they have "bolstered our forward ranks with the loan signing of Mansfield Town’s Jimmy Knowles. The promising 18-year-old will spend the 2020-21 season at Meadow Lane, providing competition for Kyle Wootton, Wes Thomas and Elisha Sam...

'I wanted to have a season here where I could settle in and start playing regularly,' said Knowles. 'I think that will help me develop... I've got a lot of energy; I'll press defences and force them into mistakes. I like to run in behind but I don't mind receiving the ball to feet and playing one-twos with the midfield and strikers'...

Neal Ardley added 'When we brought in Elisha, we looked at what we wanted from our fourth striker and knew we were looking for a younger one, be it a signing or a loan, who had a freshness and energy. Jimmy's quick, athletic and runs really hard. He's 18 so there are things he needs to work on but he'll complement Kyle, Elisha and Wes.'

Knowles broke into the Stags’ first-team circles after notching four goals in a reserves match against Port Vale in March 2019 and went on to make eight senior appearances last season... He turned out for Mansfield in their Trophy tie against Manchester City earlier this week".

Macclesfield Town stated on Thursday that "Further to this morning's court hearing regarding the Winding Up Petition lodged against the Club, we would like to provide the following update relating to it.

Due to inaccuracies within the information provided to the court by petitioning creditors, the presiding Judge granted an extension of seven days in order for these to be rectified.

In addition to this, majority shareholder Amar Alkadhi re-confirmed his intention to conclude the sale of his stake in the Club at the earliest possible opportunity. Mr Alkadhi also assured the court that provisions are in place which could settle the lead petitioner's outstanding debt. We are confident that a successful resolution will be gained in the near future".

At Barnet, "The Bees are delighted to announce the signing of versatile midfield player Tyrone Duffus. Duffus is primarily a midfield player but also has the ability to play in defensive positions too.

The 23 year-old rose through the ranks of Everton as a youngster, before making a switch to continue his development with Cardiff City. During his time with the Bluebirds, Duffus joined up with current Bees boss Peter Beadle as he joined Hereford on loan. Our newest addition has most recently played further down the leagues for Warrington Town.

Tyrone's versatility will be absolutely crucial when games come thick and fast throughout the 2020/21 campaign. He's energetic and a determined box to box player, who likes to break up the play. Duffus was pleased to be reunited with Peter Beadle... 'He's a great gaffer to be fair, I really enjoyed my last time working with him when I was at Hereford. He plays good football, he likes to play it on the floor and get it out wide. He likes entertaining football, which is how I like to play'".

And Barnet also "announce the signing of Welsh attacking player Eliot Richards. The 28 year-old can play anywhere in the forward areas but primarily plays in the number 10 role and has racked up over 150 Football League appearances playing for the likes of Bristol Rovers, Exeter City and Tranmere Rovers.

Richards will be no stranger to his new boss either, having previously played under current Bees manager Peter Beadle at Hereford back in 2017. The attacker has represented Wales at both under 19 and under 21 level earlier in his career. During his time with Bristol Rovers where he made over 100 appearances for the Pirates.

Moves to Exeter City, Tranmere Rovers and Cheltenham Town followed before Richards was forced to take a short time out of the game due to an illness. Richards then rebuilt his career starting with a brief spell in Tampa, USA, before moving back home to play for Myrthr Town. He then joined Beadle at Hereford...

'I had a phone call from Beads (Peter Beadle) to see if I wanted to come down and train. I come down last week and done well [sic], thankfully he's offered me a contract. In my younger days, I was a striker but in the last few years I have come back into midfield, I like to create goals and score goals'".

10 September 2020


Press and Media officer, John Edwards, pays tribute on the Altrincham FC website to the club's popular caterer, Richie Bentley, who is standing down from his role at Moss Lane due to family commitments, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The livewire chef's many friends at the club may like to be reminded of just some of his many serious initiatives and humorous "japes" at the J Davidson Stadium since his arrival there in 2007.

Starting on a serious note, Richie's role in making a success of events in the Community Sports Hall and in building on the late Keith Davey's foundations to expand the club's catering provision to supporters at machday and on social occasions cannot be over-estimated.

Right: Over the years Richie hosted many famous faces at Moss Lane, including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right).

His innovations and sheer hard work helped to raise the club's profile and bring much needed income into the club.

As well as setting up and runing the matchday food outlet in the CSH, Richie also provided matchday meals in the Sponsors' Lounge and oversaw the mobile catering units for supporters inside the stadium. His positive attitude and frequent practical jokes kept spirits high amongst all who met or worked with him.

He also combined his culinary skills with fundraising and charity work, and in recent years, following the death of Dave Johnson, he had taken over the annual Over-50s' Christmas Dinner provision for supporters and local residents' alike. Richie's sponsorship of the Alty Ladies' team and his role in setting up the disabled supporters' enclosure were further manifestations of his commitment to the football club and its supporters.

Not content with providing the food for social events in the CSH, he would frequently emerge for his steaming kitchen to run quizzes for the guests.

Richie is also well known at Alty for his practical jokes not least his frequent telephoning of football clubs who were hosting Altrincham away games. In these calls he would arrange for spurious humorous announcements to be made about individual supporters and club officials. As the victim myself of one of these, the tannoy at one ground where Alty were playing announced to the world my supposed one-hundreth birthday!

Amongst his many other contributions to the life of the club, Richie was also a regular player in the Alty Staff v Supporters annual matches on the Moss Lane turf. However, Richie's best remembered "coup" at Moss Lane was his clandestine painting of the #AltyFC mural on the Popular Side of the ground.

But Richie was also happy to be the butt of humour himself, not least when he allowed raw eggs to be smashed over his head at a team-bonding during Lee Sinnott's managership in 2013.

Above left, Richie has a raw egg cracked on his head. Right: Richie in the kitchen at the Community Sports Hall.

As the website reported at the time, "It was a "Meet the Players & Management" event at Moss Lane on Saturday evening like no other before it. The club's official caterer [Richie] had raw eggs smashed on his head, the captain of the English Schools XI [Rob Gilroy] gave a solo rendition of the National Anthem and one of the club's new strikers lay down flat on the top table. But the event was in the middle of the squad's residential 'bonding weekend' and the master of ceremonies was the Club chef, Richie Bentley, so it was always going to be an eventful evening".

Richie will be much missed at Altrincham, though he has promised to come back as a spectator whenever he can.

ON THIS DAY: 10 September

On the last three occasions that Altrincham have played a league game on today's sate, 10 September, five goals have been scored in each match. Unfortunately in both 2005 and 2016 Alty were on the end of 5-0 thrashings. Fidteen years ago it was a mauling at Dagenham & Redbridge and four years ago it was a 5-0 reverse away to Gloucester City.

Right: In 2011 James Lawrie and Rob Williams wereboth loanees at Moss Lane and here they celebrate Alty's opener.

However, in between, in 2011, Alty beat Worceter City 4-1 at Moss Lane in a Blue Square Bet North Match. Altrincham were without three regulars through injury; Simon Richman and Adam Flynn remained sidelined whilst Robbie Lawton was a new casualty, with a knee problem. So, Anthony Danylyk, whose suspension did not apply till the following week, took over as captain. Centre-back Rob Williams had just rejoined Alty, on loan from Telford, and he joined fellow AFC Telford loanee James Lawrie in the Alty starting line-up.

Youth team captain Matt Fearon made his first appearance in a first-team league match squad alongside fellow youth team defender, Joe Coombs. It had been a long time since not one of the Alty bench had had a league start to his name for the club, as was the case in this match.

Worcester's poor record at Moss Lane continued in this 2011 match as a strong second-half performance secured a comfortable win for Altrincham. The first-half had been more even with Altrincham scoring once but, as had been their custom that season, they had spurned several other chances. It was James Lawrie, making his first start on loan from AFC Telford, who broke the deadlock, shortly after swapping wings with the influential Nicky Clee.

Lawrie won possession, moved up the left and beat the keeper with a shot across him in the 38th minute.

Alty went 2-0 up after 55 seconds of the second half when Damian Reeves seized on a defensive error to get clear and score with a low shot into the far corner.

Clee and Densmore both struck the post from long range before Michael Twiss finished well from Clee's feed (64 mins). Reeves neatly scored a fourth four minutes later. But, once again, Alty failed to keep a clean sheet as they once more conceded a penalty when Brown blocked the run of Symons in the box in injury time. Symons drove his penalty down the middle to make it 4-1.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Chris LYNCH, 6. Mark LEES, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Anthony DANYLYK (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 18. Josh OLLERENSHAW (gk), 12. Joe COOMBS, 14. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 15. Matt FEARON, 16. Astley MULHOLLAND.


At Wrexham "New signing Theo Vassell says Wrexham AFC feels just like home, after his first run-out in a Wrexham shirt in the pre-season friendly win against Cefn Druids.

Vassell lined up for the second-half, one of seven of the new signings to play in the 4-1 win, as he slotted in alongside Max Cleworth at centre-back. It was Vassell’s first match since leaving Macclesfield Town at the end of the last calendar year...

'I’ve settled in really well,' he said after the game. 'Obviously I knew a few of the lads before I came and it’s just like home really... A lot of the lads know each other and I think that’s a big factor that helps. We’ve got a good squad ready for this season...

'It’s been ten months now since I played an actual competitive match so it was a good run-out for me to get back playing'...

Vassell’s second-half appearance was long enough for him to showcase his versatility at the back, carrying the ball out of defence on a couple of occasions too... He said 'It’s something I enjoy doing and I feel I’m good at, and it’s the strong point in my ability. I’m comfortable at centre-back but there will always be room for improvement'".

Woking "confirm the signing of Tommy Block. The midfielder, 20, joins the Cards having most recently been at Hibernian.

Tommy has impressed in pre-season as a trialist, and having previously been in the Club's academy, now joins the Cards as a senior after spells at Bognor Regis Town, Queen's Park and Hibernian".

Torquay United "is delighted to announce the signing of striker Josh Umerah.

Catford-born frontman Umerah, 23, joins The Gulls following a spell with divisional rivals Ebbsfleet United last season.

Having come through the ranks at Charlton Athletic, loan stints with Kilmarnock and Wycombe preceded two seasons of National League action, initially with another temporary spell at Boreham Wood, before Josh signed a permanent deal with Ebbsfleet last summer...

Manager Gary Johnson... said... 'It gives us, as I always say, another golf club in our bag. He’s a presence, he’s quick and strong, and gives us another option up front'".

Against Eastbourne, Sutton United's "first team returned to action after nearly six months and were grateful to a 90th minute penalty to earn a draw which was probably a fair result after a competitive game in which both sides showed signs of rustiness after a long lay-off but also produced some good moments.

"U"s played a different eleven in each half, including six trialists, with only Rob Milsom, who is recovering from a hernia operation, and Bradley Pearce, who has joined Farnborough on a month’s loan, missing from the squad, while Eastbourne changed much of their side during the second half, and it was the visitors who opened the stronger, with Dean Bouzanis having done little in a Sutton shirt until he was picking the ball out of the net...

"U"s changed their entire line-up after the break and started well... "U"s had to make an extra change when Goodliffe came off with a shoulder injury. Craig Dundas came on at centre back, slightly unusual circumstances in which to go past Paul McKinnon in to sixth place in the all time list of "U"s' appearances, and was the instigator of the move that produced the equaliser, his calm interception allowing Harry Beautyman to send one of the trilalist forwards through only to be brought down by Daniel Blackmore, giving referee Nigel Lugg an easy penalty decision and Beautyman the chance to level from the spot.

Sutton 1st half: D Bouzanis, J Barden, J Mason, W Brown, Triallist, L John, Trialist, C Eastmond, T Sho-Silva, C Kealy, W Randall.

2nd Half: Trialist, Trialist, B Wyatt, C Rowe, B Goodliffe(sub C Dundas), Trialist, D Ajiboye, K Davis, O Bugiel, H Beautyman, Trialist."

FC Halifax Town "travelled to Clitheroe FC for our first game of preseason. Despite taking a first half lead thanks to Matt Stenson, the second-half team couldn’t hold on to take the win.

Despite early Clitheroe pressure, it was the Shaymen that struck first courtesy of new signing Stenson. Jay Benn made a good clearance and found Jack Earing, who made a perfect pass to find Stenson one on one with the keeper. The striker made no mistake to slot it past the keeper and make it 1-0...

During the break the Shaymen made 11 changes as Pete Wild experimented with the squad... Town had another penalty appeal as [ex-Alty man] Jeff King went down inside the box.. The Shaymen grew into the game with a few good chances...

With just over twenty minutes left, Clitheroe levelled the score thanks to substitute Kieran Adams... With just a few minutes left on the clock, Clitheroe won the game. A good cross in towards the back post was met by Adams who smashed it past the trialist keeper to make it 2-1... The Shaymen travel to Guiseley in our second pre-season friendly this Saturday.

(1st Half) FC Halifax Town: Sam Johnson; Jay Benn; Nathan Clarke; Trialist; Trialist; Danny Williams; Martin Woods; Kieran Green; Jack Earing; Jake Hyde; Matt Stenson

(2nd Half): Trialist; Niall Maher; Tom Bradbury; Nick Crane; Jeff King; Jack Senior; Luke Summerfield; Trialist; Reuben Noble-Lazarus; Jamie Allen; Trialist"

At Eastleigh "Ben Strevens’s Spitfires fell to narrow 1-0 defeat in physical affair with Hartley Wintney, in our third ’20/21 pre-season fixture.

The opening goal came courtesy of Ben Wright after 64 minutes, who needed only one touch converting a 30-yard-volley of Flitney’s skewed clearance...

The lead was seemingly taken [by Eastleigh]... after Dan Smith drove through several defenders before slamming in a sensational strike into the far left-corner but the referee spotted a handball and called back play for a free-kick on the halfway line... The hosts then took the lead against the run of play 20 minutes into the second interval, with Wright netting a stunning volley to catch Flitney out his area.

Despite creating a number of chances in the first half, the second was comparatively barren with neither side mounting a clear chance as the minutes wore on... Up next for The Spitfires in a busy pre-season schedule is Salisbury (a), on Saturday 12th September.

Eastleigh XI: Joe McDonnell; Joe Tomlinson, Alex Wynter, Pierce Bird, Michael Green; Sam Smart, Cav Miley, Jack Payne, Abdulai Baggie; Dan Smith, Ben House. Subs: Ross Flitney, Ben Scorey, Tom Bearwish, Lewis Beale, Tyrone Barnett"

Meanwhile, Dagenham & Redbridge "made it four wins from four games in pre-season, as they overcame a physical Cheshunt side at Theobald Lane.

Goals from Kai Brown and Paul McCallum either side of a Gharbaouri strike for the hosts secured the victory on Tuesday evening... The contest began as a lively one, with Cheshunt testing the Daggers in the early stages...

The east London side thought they had the lead, as Trialist A tapped into an empty net after some fantastic work from Myles Weston, however the flag was raised from the assistant and the goal was ruled out. And it was the former Ebbsfleet winger who made the first goal on 18 minutes, as Kai Brown scored from close range after more superb play from Weston...

The tempo dropped after the goal... The hosts hit back two minutes, as Gharbaouri wriggled free at the back post and tapped the ball into the bottom corner. And they almost took the lead just before the break...

McMahon made three changes at half-time, with Will Wright, Andy Eleftheriou and Paul McCallum introduced at the break... With 15 minutes remaining, McCallum went close to finding the Daggers' second goal...

However, the forward got his goal with 80 minutes on the clock. After picking the pocket of the Cheshunt central defender, McCallum slotted the ball into the back of the net to keep our 100% record in pre-season intact and bring an end to an entertaining and physical match...

Daggers: Justham; Reynolds (Rance 60'), Clark, Clements (Wright 45'); Weston, Phipps, Robinson, Johnson (Eleftheriou 45'); Brown (Saunders 60'), McQueen (Balanta 60'), Trialist A (McCallum 45')."

At Chesterfield "Phil Tooley reflects on the opening pre-season friendly, a 3-2 win at Belper Town...

Having not played since March, combined with the summer takeover by the Chesterfield FC Community Trust, Spireites fans, management and players were all desperate to be involved in some sort of on-the-park action and the game itself produced five goals and early glimpses of new faces, with keeper Kyle Letheren and midfielder Milan Butterfield being the main observation targets.

Both men started and Butterfield was soon in the action, opening the scoring just 13 minutes in with a smart box-edge finish..

Jonathan Smith doubled the lead with a deflected 20-yarder and he also scored the third with a crackerjack 25-yard looping shot after a terrific run from the back by Jamie Sharman...

Letheren had a quiet hour or so, he caught what needed to be caught and he kicked well enough and he got a hand to Belper’s 41st minute opener... By the time the Nailers scored their second, Dylan Wharton was in goal...

Nathan Tyson had been named in the starting XI but, during the warm up, he felt a little stiffness so was replaced as a precaution by Luke Rawson, who was one of only two players, along with Josef Yarney, to feature for the full 90 minutes. Curtis Weston (calf) and Haydn Hollis (chest) didn’t feature, but neither are major worries for the manager.

There was a trialist (midfielder) came on at half-time; post-match, Pemberton didn’t want to name him but did confirm that he was a contracted Swindon Town player. Last season’s youth players Wharton and Brandon Bradbury came on just before the hour-mark; they’re not formally connected with the club at the moment but are known to the manager.

Current U19 players Callum Brook and Harrison Beeden also played the final half-hour which meant there were, by Pemberton’s own admission, too many players playing out of position plus he didn’t really want to play Yarney for the full 90, but there was no real option having unexpectedly lost Tyson."

At Bromley we learn of "the signing of Tom Purrington.

The 19 year old midfielder, who was listed as Trialist B during Saturday’s game with Cray Wanderers, scored twice in Bromley’s 4-3 victory, catching the eye of supporters.

Having followed in the footsteps of his older brother Ben, who plays for Charlton Athletic, Tom came through the academy at Plymouth Argyle, signing his first professional deal in 2018. He also spent time on loan at Dorchester Town during the 2019-20 season, making 20 appearances and contributing three goals".

Earlier Bromley reported "the signing of James Alabi. The former Leyton Orient man has plenty of National League experience with the Os, as well as Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town, Tranmere Rovers, Chester, Eastleigh and Dover Athletic.

The 25 year old powerhouse striker started his career in the youth ranks of Stoke City, before joining Celtic’s academy. Following a season in Scotland, he returned to Stoke and signed his first professional contract with the Potters in 2013. His time there would see him embark on loan spells at Scunthorpe United, Mansfield Town, Forest Green Rovers and Accrington Stanley.

In 2015, Alabi would depart the Club where he began his footballing journey, and signed for Ipswich Town. He remained with the Suffolk outfit for a season and had a short stint on loan at Grimsby Town, before departing for then National League side Chester.

This is where he would spend a very successful one and a half seasons, making 62 appearances and contributing with 24 goals in all competitions, attracting the attention of Tranmere Rovers for whom he signed in July 2017. He remained at Prenton Park for the 2017-18 season and spent time with Dover Athletic on loan, before signing for Leyton Orient in 2018.

Alabi was part of the Leyton Orient side who won the 2018-19 National League title under Justin Edinburgh, earning himself a further season with the East London side, this time in League Two".

9 September 2020


Altrincham FC report that "Aiden Beswick caught up with Andy White at pre-season training for an interview on Alty TV.

The 27 year-old full-back was one of Phil Parkinson's initial targets when he became manager of Altrincham Football Club in April 2017. However, he had to wait until just before Christmas before getting his man, the Robins paying Southport a fee for a player for the first time in 15 years.

Andy has made 91 appearances to date (87 starts & 4 substitute appearances) scoring 5 goals.

He will wear the number 2 shirt for Alty in the National League this season, and is relishing the chance to compete with Shaun Densmore and Connor Hampson for the full-back positions".


Altrincham FC announces that "Tickets are now available to buy online for Saturday's first pre-season fixture at Nantwich Town.

This game is the only game of our pre-season schedule that fans will be able to attend, therefore it would be great to have a really good turnout of Alty fans as Phil Parkinson returns to The Weaver Stadium for the first time since his very early days as Altrincham manager. The Robins drew 1-1 in Parkinson's first competitive away game in charge of the Robins in a Northern Premier League, Premier Division clash in August 2017.

The ground capacity on Saturday is 600.

  • Ticket Prices £7
  • Juniors (Under 16s) £3

Tickets are only available online in advance. There will be no cash admissions permitted on the day.

Buy your tickets here".


The 2020-21 season's fixtures for the National League have been released and may be found here.

As expected in a 2020-21 season which is being compressed into a shorter timespan than usual and in a National League dominated by clubs from the southern half of the country, Alty face three long mid-week trips.

The toughest away trip sequence occurs in late October when Alty travel to Hartlepool on a Tuesday night, followed by a jaunt to Dover the following Saturday!

There is a long midweek away game at Woking in March 2021 and another at Wealdstone in April.

The season starts with a home game against fellow newly promoted side, Weymouth, who have had to replace their manager over the summer after he moved on to the EFL.

New clubs to be visited by Altrincham for league matches in 2020-21 are Notts County, Hartlepool, Chesterfield and Maidenhead United.

ON THIS DAY: 9 September

Three years ago today, Altrincham played their first ever league game against Barwell. Alty's only previous encounter with the Leicestership club had come almost three years earlier in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round. On that occasion the Robins secured a 3-0 win with a goal in first-half injury time by James Lawrie being followed by second-half goals from Kyle Perry and Damian Reeves.

Ironically, Kyle had recently joined Barwell for this 2017 match, which was to end in a 3-1 win for Alty, the visitors.

In this 2017 Evo-Stik League Premier Division match, played on Saturday 9 September, Altrincham, with both Joel Bembo-Leta and Max Harrop making their first starts, were deserved winners against a physical Barwell side which, with another referee, might have finished with fewer than eleven men.

Right: Jake Moult outjumps Kyle Perry at Barwell.

For this match, Shaun Densmore moved to the bench and James Poole had to be replaced on the teamsheet after problems in the warm up. The visitors were also without Laurence Taylor, John Disney, Simon Richman and Sean Miller through injury, though Ben Harrison had returned to start this game.

It was debutant Max Harrop who put Altrincham ahead in the seventeenth minute when quick thinking by Short led to his throw giving Johnston a chance, which the keeper beat out towards the goalscorer.

After Stanley had brought down Hancock, the Alty man got up to hit a superb freekick into the net from 20 yards, five minutes before the interval.

Barwell made a double change at the break and got back into the game when Kyle Perry poked the ball home after 64 minutes, against his former employers.

However, after seeing off a brief period of home pressure, Altrincham finished the game well, with the hardworking Hulme manufacturing a goal for Peers in the fifth minute of added time.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14.Shaun DENSMORE, 15. Tom HANNIGAN, 16. Tom PEERS, 20. Tony THOMPSON


NL Daily reports that "Macclesfield Town have made their first signings ahead of the new season.

New boss Tim Flowers has brought in Wilson Carvalho, Chay Tilt and Liam Nolan.

Portuguese winger Carvalho joins after leaving Accrington Stanley.

Tilt is also a winger and arrives at Moss Rose after a stint at Stourbridge.

Midfielder Nolan, meanwhile, makes the move having been part of FC Halifax Town’s National League play-off campaign last season".

Macclesfield Town add that they "are delighted to announce that Academy left-back Rocco Fregapane has agreed a First Team contract with the Club.

Rocco began his career at Huddersfield Town, where he progressed through the ranks before an illustrious move to Manchester United ensued.

Representing the under 15 and under 16 sides at Old Trafford, Rocco's undoubted potential was recognised at international level as he was capped by the same England side that included the likes of Jude Bellingham.

Rocco went on to sign Academy forms with The Silkmen back in 2019 and unquestionably went on to become one of the stand-out performers for Paul McGuire's side.

In addition to concluding First Team terms, the Club have also finalised Rocco's first professional contract which has been agreed to be signed on his 18th birthday."

According to the Nottingham Post "Notts County have received a boost in their bid to make it to the FA Trophy final...

Sky have decided to show Harrogate's Carabao Cup second round clash at West Brom on TV, with the date of the fixture being September 16.

Harrogate had originally been due to face the Baggies on the Tuesday which would have given Simon Weaver's side an extra day to prepare for their trip to Meadow Lane. But as a result of the TV coverage, they now face two games in little over 24 hours.

Notts' game against Town, who beat them in the National League play-off final, will kick-off at 7.45pm next Thursday with the winners going to Wembley for a second time.

The news comes as Notts had been left frustrated with the date of their semi-final after initially being told they could expect a bye straight to a showdown with Concord Rangers.

Notts Live had learned that the Magpies were on course to head to the final of non-league’s flagship cup competition because of Harrogate’s promotion to the Football League.

It is understood that Notts were informed by the FA that Harrogate would not be able to play the semi-final because they are no longer a non-league side. But Town were desperate to play the game and their participation has now finally been given the go ahead by the FA and the EFL."

Lynn News tells us that "King’s Lynn Town have been handed a home game to mark their first ever campaign in the National League.

Ian Culverhouse's side will entertain last season's beaten play-off semi-finalists Yeovil Town on Saturday October 3 at The Walks... But the biggest boost on the fixture calendar is a mouth-watering home Boxing Day clash against Notts County...

King's Lynn travel to Wrexham, the club whom chairman Stephen Cleeve tried to buy a few years back, on the penultimate game of the season in May...

King's Lynn Town general manager Mark Hearle said 'The reality of the league and company we are now keeping really hits home when you take a look at the fixtures... There are also some long trips but if you are doing the miles it shows we are playing at a very high level.'"

8 September 2020


Altrincham were planning to travel to Hurst Cross to play a friendly against Ashton United this evening (Tuesday) which would have been the first Altrincham pre-season game of 2020.

However, on Monday afternoon it was announced by Ashton United that "Unfortunately, tomorrow’s pre-season fixture v Altrincham has been cancelled due to an external Covid-19 contact tracing issue being highlighted.

As a precautionary measure, all staff and players at Ashton United will undergo virus tests, the results of which may not be known for 24hrs or more. Saturday’s FA Cup fixture is not expected to be affected. The club will not comment further".

Alty's next scheduled game is on Saturday, away to Nantwich Town (3pm).

ON THIS DAY: 8 September

Two years ago today, in a Vanarama National League North match, played on Saturday, 8 September 2018, Altrincham's search for a home win that season continued as Curzon Ashton secured all three points against their hosts, who scarcely troubled visiting keeper Mason.

After his brief comeback from injury James Poole, as well as Andy White (ill) joined fellow defenders, and long-term injured defenders Conor Hampson and Ben Harrison on the absentee list for this match. In addition Jordan Hulme was suspended, so Tom Peers got his first start of the season.

So, with three defenders out of contention, midfielder Simon Richman was named at right-back which meant that Shaun Densmore had to shift across to left-back. Only four players were named on the bench, one of them being new signing Callum Harris and another was Crewe loanee Owen Dale.

Above: Tom Hannigan's back-header goes narrowly wide of the Curzon Ashton goal.

The Nash took a 42nd minute lead when the impressive Crankshaw got the benefit of a ricochet against Shaun Densmore to advance on the right. Following a resulting cross-shot by Samizadeh amd a parry by Wynne, Hughes netted with a rising shot from close range at the back post. To compound Alty's defensive injury problems Densmore had to give way at half-time after seemingly picking up a knock.

The match's outcome was settled in the 58th minute when Crankshaw netted impressively from outside the box when Alty stood off the advancing Curzon player. The nearest Alty came to a goal was when a Johnston freekick hit the top of the crossbar in the fourth minute of added time. Alty dropped to fifteenth.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Elliot Wynne, 2. Simon Richman, 3. Shaun Densmore, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Tom Peers, 10. Max Harrop, 11. Josh Hancock. Subs: 14. Owen Dale, 15. Liam Goulding, 16. Callum Harris, 20. Tony Thompson.


Weymouth "confirm the departure of Yemi Odubade.

Yemi will be for ever etched in the club's history for scoring two of the most important goals in the club's history. Not only is he a great player but he is an even better man. Thank you Yemi and good luck for your future", writes Paul Maitland, Interim Director of Football.

Meanwhile, Macclesfield Town "announce the signing of tenacious 25 year-old central midfielder Liam Nolan on a one-year deal.

Capped four times by Northern Ireland at under-21 level, the hard-working play-maker started his football career... at Premier League side, Everton. The imposing 6ft 3ins midfielder then made the move to Crewe Alexandra, where he went on to sign his first professional contract... Liam would make 29 senior appearances for The Railwaymen, before he made the move to Merseyside to join Southport.

During his two-year stay at Haig Avenue, the Liverpudlian made 89 appearances for The Sandgrounders... Nolan would ultimately opt for a move to Lancashire to join Accrington Stanley in May 2017... with Liam racking up 35 appearances for Stanley as they sealed the League Two championship and with it, promotion to the third tier.

Liam made three appearances for Stanley in League One, whilst also enjoying a loan spell at Salford City... Last summer saw Nolan make the move to Halifax Town... He would make 27 appearances for the West Yorkshire side, scoring twice during a hugely successful campaign for Pete Wild's side.

Not afraid to stick a boot in and revels [revelling] in the defensive side of the game, Liam is now approaching two-hundred senior career appearances. He will undoubtedly bring a high work-rate and a vast amount of energy to the squad".

At Dover Athletic, "Michael Woods has today had his contract cancelled by mutual consent and left the club.

The midfielder made 35 appearances in all competitions for us, scoring three goals, after joining in July 2019 following the expiry of his contract at Harrogate Town".

In East London, at Dagenham & Redbridge, the Daggers "are pleased to announce that Will Wright has re-signed for the club."

And, south of the River Thames, Bromley "are pleased to announce that Ben Allen and Jude Arthurs have both signed for the Club as First Year Professionals.

The 19 year-olds will train alongside the first team, with the ability to play for the U23 Professional Development side too.

Allen is a former Gillingham midfielder, who was snapped up by the League One side following an impressive performance and goal against them for Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup.

Arthurs, another ex-Gills man, will be known to some supporters, and has featured in Bromley’s U23 side, as well as enjoying a spell with Ramsgate last season.

Manager Neil Smith [said]... 'Jude Arthurs is a very promising young player with potential. He did so well in our Professional Development Squad last year and we invited him to pre-season. He has excelled so far and really developed so we’ve made the decision to sign him as a First Year Pro, meaning he will be a part of my squad.'

He continued 'Ben Allen came in to pre-season on recommendation and he was at Gillingham for a time alongside Jude. He came in and has impressed with the right attitude and a desire. Again, it just shows that here at this Club that we do want to bring the youth through... Hopefully with the signings over the past week we are getting the right blend of experience and younger players to bring success to this Club.'”

7 September 2020


James Jones [right] made his Barrow debut on Saturday but his new club lost out on penalties to Derby County in the Carabao Cup.

Barrow reported that "Championship outfit Derby County needed a penalty shootout to nudge past Barrow in the Carabao Cup...

The Bluebirds were more than a match for a Rams side who could not find a way through a resilient Barrow defence...

Barrow were thankful to a great block from James Jones to prevent Marriott’s volley from twelve yards from finding the net. The tie was then settled on spot-kicks with The Rams going through despite Joel Dixon saving two penalties in the shootout."

ON THIS DAY: 7 September

A year ago today, Saturday, 7 September 2019, Altrincham beat Leamington 5-0 in a Vanarama National League North match. Altrincham were again without the suspended Tom Hannigan. As Yusifu Ceesay joined the starting eleven, John Johnston moved to the bench which, again, lacked Shaun Densmore who had been unfortunate not to be involved in recent games. Ceesay started in JJ's place.

Above: Jordan Hulme, on the ground (left) slots home the opening goal.

However, Altrincham paid a substantial price for their best win of the season, losing both Yusifu Ceesay and Connor Hampson to injury inside the first half hour.

By then, however, Alty had taken the lead, following a spell of several minutes' almost exclusive possession of the ball. The opening goal came as Jones threaded the ball through to White, whose low cross was turned into the net by Hulme (15 mins).

But almost immediately Ceesay had to be stretchered off with an apparent hamstring injury and this disrupted Alty's flow. It got worse when Hampson also had to go off injured (30 mins).

Despite these setbacks, Alty struck a second time in the second added minute of the half. Hemmings, who had a fine game, found Johnston, whose clever chip forward was matched by Hancock's intelligent run and the number ten nodded the ball into the net.

Altrincham's third goal arrived on the hour mark after Hulme had won a freekick on the right byline. Hemmings's freekick ended up in the net courtesy of an apparent own goal by Gittings, although Jordan Hulme did his best to claim it.

A very disappointing Leamington had hit the post in the first half but failed to suggest they would be able to retrieve anything in the second half. Alty rounded off the afternoon with two late goals.

In the first added minute after the ninety, Peers tapped home a Richman ball from right of goal. And then, with the last kick of the match, Hancock scored a smart goal at the near post after good work from substitute Johnston on the left.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Toby MULLARKEY, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Ashley HEMMINGS, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 12. John JOHNSTON, 14. Tom PEERS 15. Max HARROP, 16. Conor BRANSON, 17. Simon RICHMAN.


NL Daily reports that "It has been nine years since Stockport were last in the Football League, a long time for a club of their size... They go into the 2020/21 campaign with a squad that has the quality and depth to top the division.

The Hatters finished eighth last season and were unfortunate not to end the campaign in the play-offs. Had the season been played out to a finish, they may well have qualified for one of the six play-off positions in the table.

Stockport have been one of the busiest teams in the National League this summer, and they have made some really eye-catching signings. Arguably the pick of their business is the acquisition of Jordan Williams from AFC Fylde for an undisclosed fee. The winger scored 12 goals last season for the Lancashire club.

Williams has experience of playing in the Football League with Rochdale. The 27-year-old left-sided player knows Jim Gannon well from his days with Northwich...

Another signing which stands out is that of John Rooney. The attacking midfielder played a vital role in Barrow’s promotion success last season. The younger brother of Wayne Rooney scored 17 goals in the 2019/20 National League campaign...

Conor Jennings has also arrived at Edgeley Park from Tranmere... The decision the 28-year-old made to leave to join Stockport... says a lot about the appeal of the club...

Macclesfield were the only team relegated from the EFL into the National League. Given their financial difficulties, it is hard to see them being competitive at the top end of the table next season. It is Stockport, therefore, who are the 4/1 favourites in the football betting for the title. Notts County are second best in the market at 9/2, while Yeovil can be backed at 8/1."

Meanwhile Stockport County report that "The Hatters returned to pre-season action with victory away at Colne FC.

Although we weren’t quite as fluid as the manager would have liked, he didn’t want to be too harsh on the side given the difficult conditions in which the match was played out, on the slope at Holt House.

There was talk about the flexibility and versatility available throughout the side after switching from a back three to a back four in the second-half, although Jim believes there is still work to be done in players adapting to different shapes and positions.

Jim was delighted to see fans back inside the stadium for the game, with 400 spectators allowed in under government guidelines".

The Derbyshire Times reports that "The Spireites had to cancel a number of pre-season games, including one against Premier League Burnley, boss John Pemberton has revealed.

The Blues have been back in training for the last two weeks and have arranged friendlies against Belper Town, Matlock Town, Alfreton Town and Guiseley.

But Pemberton told the DT they did have more matches pencilled in but had to opt out for various different reasons including coronavirus regulations. He explained 'We would have played Northampton Town on our ground last week but we haven’t been able to do it because we’ve been working in a "bubble" so we couldn’t do it.

'We were going to play Burnley’s first team but we couldn’t do that because they were miles ahead of us so we had to cancel that game and then we had an invite to go to Liverpool and Manchester United (vs youth teams) but we couldn't do that because we couldn’t go onto their facilities (Covid regulations).

'At the moment players have to travel individually in cars so the big thing was we tried to stay as local as we could because we don’t want 30 cars driving miles away. We want to protect the players, the last thing we need is any players catching something and then we have to go into lockdown having put all the work in that we’ve done so it makes sense to do what we have done'...

'The lads are in a good place. I have to say they have worked really, really hard. They are flying at the moment. They are probably in front of where they need to be at this moment in time'...

Pemberton has brought in John Dungworth, 65, as his assistant and he says one of the reasons is that he trusts his judgement. 'I like to split the team up and do unit work and he is very good at those things,' he said. 'When I knew he was available it was a no-brainer.'”

Also at Chesterfield "One of the club’s longest serving sponsors has given their full backing for the recent takeover by the Community Trust and confirmed their ongoing commitment.

Saltergate-based Graysons Solicitors originally sponsored the Kop at the old ground... They have provided unwavering support for the club for 20 years".

According to the Nottingham Post "Notts County will open talks with Adam Chicksen next week as they look to make the former Bolton defender their sixth signing of the summer.

The Zimbabwe international was impressive during Saturday’s 2-0 win at Ilkeston... Notts are eager to sign another left-back to help relieve the pressure on Damien McCrory who is still working his way back to fitness after a knee injury.

Ardley has confirmed that he will now sit down with 28-year-old Chicksen to discuss a move to Meadow Lane...

'Adam has got a fantastic pedigree,' he said. 'He’s been at Bradford at Bolton and played at a lot higher level than where we are now.'

Notts County manager Neal Ardley admitted his personal relationship with midfielder Jake Reeves was pivotal in being able to convince the midfielder to move to Meadow Lane...

Reeves was wanted by several clubs following his departure from Bradford City who had paid more than £100,000 to secure his signature from AFC Wimbledon when Ardley was manager three years ago. Now they have been reunited once again, the Notts boss felt that their history proved crucial in his decision to drop out of the Football League.

Neal Ardley feels Notts County's injured defensive trio are making progress... Ben Turner (calf), Alex Lacey (back) and Damien McCrory (knee) were all absent from Saturday's 2-0 victory over Ilkeston... Right-back Richard Brindley had to play in the centre of defence as did left-back Adam Chicksen for part of the second half because Connell Rawlinson is the Magpies' only fit centre-half...

They are all likely to miss the FA Trophy semi-final clash against Harrogate a week on Wednesday. Notts County secured a 2-0 win in their first pre-season game of the summer as they overcame Ilkeston Town... Two goals from Kyle Wootton sealed the win for the Magpies who saw new signings Jake Reeves, Ruben Rodrigues, Elisha Sam and Casper Sloth all feature.

The Eastern Daily Press reports that "King’s Lynn Town striker Dayle Southwell 'needed a goal' according to boss Ian Culverhouse, so his hat-trick in a 5-1 win at Royston was perfectly timed.

Culverhouse has lost his first choice hitmen, Adam Marriott and Michael Gash to injury and illness respectively, and while Southwell had been looking sharp in previous pre-season games, he did indeed lack one vital ingredient...

Lynn are the last of the Norfolk teams to get their season underway; the National League starts on October 3, with the fixtures announced on Tuesday at 1pm."

FC Halifax Town "have announced the signing of 20 year old midfielder Dom Tear following his release from local neighbours Huddersfield Town.

The Northern Irishman was highly thought of at the Terriers winning the academy player of the season in 2018 and has played for their U23s side and spent last season on loan at Gateshead FC"

Solihull Moors "battled to a hard fought 0-0 draw away at Kettering Town in their first pre-season friendly... Almost six months to the day since their last outing, Moors finally made their return to football...

Half a year on from the 0-0 draw away at Fylde, the Moors’ first taste of action produced the same result as Kettering proved to be stern opposition for Jimmy Shan’s side...

In the opening exchanges, Kettering did not give the visitors’ backline time to settle...

Storer’s snap shot from the edge of the area whistled wide, while Beesley saw a cross-come shot flash across goal but that was as good as it got for Shan’s men. Stifled at one end, but solid at the other. In goal, Boot was a commanding presence...

As for Alex Gudger, he showed his experience to marshal the troublesome Oyinsan and his strong display was vital to Moors going in 0-0 at the break... The changes were rung by Shan at the interval, and a whole new XI entered the fray for the second half.

Almost immediately there was a renewed vigour and impetus about the team as Moors set about their hosts... Adam Rooney's... presence was telling though, as was the evergreen Darren Carter’s at the back, the Moors stalwart once again showing that class is permanent...

Moors were in the ascendency and pressing for the opener... Neither side asserted any dominance in the closing stages and the match limped towards its conclusion...

First half: Boot, Usher-Shipway, McNally, Gudger, Howe, Miccio, Storer (c), Ball (Siddall, 42), Bushaj, Sbarra, Beesley.

Second half: Trialist, Williams, Piggott, Trialist, Hancox, Carter, Maycock, Gleeson, Trialist, Osborne, Rooney"

Weymouth beat Havant & Waterlooville 3-1 in manager Brian Stock’s first game in charge... with Stock’s former club Havant full of niggly tackling and potency up front...

Havant took the lead... Weymouth were behind for just four minutes when Cooke, who beat the Hawks’ offside trap to loud howls of derision from the away bench, scooped a sumptuous lob over keeper Ross Worner.

Cooke’s afternoon last just 23 minutes, though, as the tall striker went down with an injury and made his way off to be replaced by Ben Thomson...

Weymouth took the lead in the 69th minute when sub Calvin Brooks stole in at the back post to power a downward header into the net past Worner.

Poor defending from Havant cost the Hawks a third goal when a cross was allowed to drift to the lurking Alefe Santos at the back, the Brazilian pummelling his shot home...

Terras: Benfield, Camp (Brooks 59), Harfield (Leslie-Smith 59), Anderson (Zubar 46), Trialist, McCarthy, Whelan (Ngalo 59), Wakefield (Robinson 70), Robinson (Murray 59), McQuoid (Santos 59), Cooke (Thomson 23)."

6 September, 2020


Altrincham's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that The Robins "have been given a £20,000 boost to help cope with the effects of Covid-19 and ensure a safe return to The J.Davidson Stadium for supporters when the new season kicks off... a timely fillip in the shape of a £20,000 grant from the Premier League.

Above: Sadly, there won't be any crowd scenes like this at Moss Lane when football resumes for the 2020-21 season.

Alty were quick to state their case when applications were invited by the Matchday Support Fund, and, as a result, they have become one of the first recipients of a grant that will ease the financial burden of meeting all the requirements for maintaining a safe environment at the stadium.

The MSF is managed by the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, which supports non-League clubs with the cost of improvements to their grounds and is financed by the Premier League.

Clubs are made aware of how the money should be spent and the list of eligible areas includes toilet facilities, implementing cashless payment procedures, track and trace systems, safety measures for away travel and sanitation stations around the stadium.

The latest grant comes in the wake of £8.7 million coming out of the Pitch and Club Preparation Funds and being distributed among clubs by the Premier League, the FA and the Government's Football Foundation to help prepare playing surfaces and general facilities in readiness for the return of football after the coronavirus shutdown."

ON THIS DAY: 6 September

The last league match played by Altrincham on today's date, 6 September, was in 2016 when Chorley visited the JDS and emerged with a 2-2 draw in a Vanarama National League North match played on a Tuesday evening.

Altrincham made three changes. Danny Hall, who had rejoined the club on the eve of this match, started instead of the injured John Cyrus, David Lynch replaced Sam Heathcote and with Simon Richman also injured, Emile Sinclair came in up front. Lynch started at left back with Sam Patterson reverting to his natural position on the right. Chorley included ex-Alty men Scott Leather and Josh O'Keefe in their team.

Although Jim Harvey had been apppointed manager the previous day, the three caretaker player/managers (Messrs Goodall, Densmore and Moult) remained in charge for this match. And, encouragingly, they saw Alty end their run of five successive defeats by taking a point but, on the downside, they dropped to 21st place and also lost three players to injury (Hall, Sinclair and Miller). Yet again, Altrincham scored first, only to fall behind but then equalize.

The lead came through a well-taken 13th minute goal from Damian Reeves. But the Magpies levelled in the 25th minute when they advanced on the left before Walker scored from close range. Eight minutes later, Walker got past David Lynch and his cross was turned home by Carver.

Watched by new manager Jim Harvey (right), who was to take charge after this game, Altrincham responded and a superb shot from Sean Miller into the top corner of the net made it 2-2 after 39 minutes.

The visitors had the better of the second half, though Altrincham had some good moments of their own. But Altrincham were fortunate to escape in the third added minute when substitute Sefton Gonzales, who later briefly joined Alty, saw his shot come down off the bar and also, it seemed, hit the post before being cleared.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2.Sam PATTERSON, 3. David LYNCH. 4. Jon MORAN, 5. Danny HALL, 6. Adam GOODALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Emile SINCLAIR, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Charlie JOYCE, 15. Harry CAIN, 16. Craig HOBSON, 17. Andrew DAWBER.


According to the Bournemouth Echo, "Brian Stock has signed as the new Weymouth manager on a two-year deal.

Stock beat off competition from former Salisbury boss Mikey Harris and interim manager Bradley Asagba to succeed Mark Molesley at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Former Totton boss and Cherries' [Bournemouth] coach Louis Langdown is set to join Stock's backroom team, with another addition possible. Weymouth are yet to reveal the futures of coaches Bradley Asagba and Nick Bennett.

Stock, 38, is a former Wales, Cherries, Burnley and Doncaster Rovers midfielder and ended his playing career at Havant... Stock admitted... 'I'm delighted. First and foremost Mark has done a fantastic job and when the job became available I had no hesitation in putting my CV in. Given the opportunity of what this football club can bring to me as a manager and what Mark has left behind, the club is in a fantastic position.

'Leading up to the interviews, I became so much involved in research and looking at players that I ended up feeling like I was the manager'...

Weymouth are believed to have been keen to keep their links to Championship side Cherries, with Stock fitting the bill. However, the appointment was not straightforward with Stock and Harris closely-matched this week. Chairman Ian White had indicated the decision could ultimately rest with him as the Terras' recruitment panel was torn. The Dorset Echo understands the decision was eventually settled by a board vote."

"Charlie Cooper has signed for Woking Football Club. The midfielder, 23, has impressed in pre-season as a trialist.

Charlie most recently played for FC Halifax Town in the National League. He started his career at Birmingham City and had a successful spell at Forest Green Rovers between 2016 and 2019".

A report in the Hartlepool Mail confirms that "Hartlepool United have signed nine players so far this summer but boss Dave Challinor is looking to add further strength and depth to his squad... He’s targeting two or three more to bring his squad up to the preferred number of around 20 players to work with this season.

Challinor knows Pools will have to be flexible though given the demanding National League fixture list, which is set to be released on Tuesday, given the season will start on October 3, around two months later than normal with a lot of midweek matches to squeeze in.

Challinor told the Mail that his squad... "will be around the 20 mark as I’ve said. Again, depending on how many young lads we’ll include in that, I don’t envisage it will be a whole lot higher than that but we’ll see. I’m not going to bring players in for the sake of it but we recognise that the first part of the season is going to be pretty hectic in terms of the number of games and if we have to be a bit reactive and do business during the opening matches then we’ll do that but I’m comfortable at the moment.

'Now the real work starts in terms of embedding the principles we want in 11 v 11 games and into our friendly matches... Usually pre-season is a chance to bring in some money to the club with some big pre-season games but that’s not available to anyone at the moment because we’re behind closed doors'".

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield has confirmed that no season tickets will be sold this year due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.

The club has said more information about how many fans will be allowed entry into the Technique Stadium on matchdays this season will be available in the next few days".

Solihull Moors "have further strengthened with the signing of exciting Leeds United left-back Joshveer Shergill on a one-year contract.

The 18 year-old was previously at West Bromwich Albion before signing a two-year scholarship with Walsall in June 2018. However, a move to Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds later that month paved the way for Shergill to continue his development in the under-18 and under-23 set-up at Elland Road... Shergill said 'The training facilities are on par with some of the clubs I’ve been at previously, so it’s good to be here... I was at West Brom with Jimmy [Shan] and he’s a top coach. I can learn a lot from him.'

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'Joshveer... [is] a young player whom we hope will develop well over the next two seasons. Josh can operate anywhere on the left-hand side. He is quick, dynamic and technically very good.'”

5 September 2020


Altrincham FC have launched their 2020-21 season tickets. Follow the above link for full details of how to obtain yours.

Prices for 2020/21 season tickets are as follows:

  • Adult £295
  • Concessions £240 (Over-65, Students, NHS Workers)
  • Junior £75 (Aged 12-16)
  • Child £40 (Under-12


Altrincham FC announce that "Altrincham will travel to Nantwich Town for a pre-season fixture on Saturday September 12th. Kick-off is at 3.00pm.

Nantwich are planning to launch their online ticket system within the next few days, therefore look out for details of how to buy tickets for this game.

The ground capacity will be 600."

ON THIS DAY: 5 September

Altrincham last played a league game on today's date in 2015, when they entertained Cheltenham Town in a Vanarama National League match at Moss Lane and beat them 2-1, thanks to a last gasp winner from Sam Heathcote. With six men out injured, Alty named three young players on the bench who had yet to play a league match for the first team (Sam Heathcote, Joel Swift and Rhain Davis).

Right: Sam Heathcote is buried beneath his team-mates after scoring the winner.

With the game well into injury time, Alty lost substitute Ryan Crowther to injury, bringing to nine the number of their first team squad injured at that time. They had started the game with six players sidelined (Havern, Coburn, Marshall, Richman, Clee and Griffith), then had lost Josh O'Keefe in the first half of this match to a hip injury and had Scott Leather playing for more than half of the match with a suspected broken nose!

But, out of adversity, arrived a great outcome. 18 year-old centre-back Sam Heathcote, son of former Alty player and manager Graham, came on to make his debut as the injured Crowther's replacement and, in the fifth added minute, he calmly converted Michael Rankine's low cross from the byline to give Alty a trio of home wins this season against former Football League opposition, having previously defeated Grimsby Town and Tranmere Rovers.

Cheltenham had started the game brightly but half time was reached goalless, with Alty growing into the contest. The home side took the lead with a well-placed low shot from Ryan Crowther, following Shaun Densmore's advance up the right (59 mins). But Town equalised in the 82nd minute when James Lawrie failed to clear and the ball was played in for Downes to head home.

Yet, despite their playing resources being stretched to the limit, Alty rallied to score the deserved late winner.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 21. Joel SWIFT, 24. Rhain DAVIS


News of a defender who played twice against Alty for Bristol Rovers in 2014-15 comes from Yeovil Town who "confirm the signing of Daniel Leadbitter on loan from Newport County until the end of the season.

The right-back who has vast experience within the EFL with Bristol Rovers and Torquay, arrives to bolster Town’s defensive options.

Graduating from Newcastle’s academy in 2011, Leadbitter ventured southbound in the hunt for first-team football, signing for Torquay United whilst the club were in League Two.

More recently, Leadbitter signed for Bristol Rovers in the 2014/15 season as the club bounced back to the Football League at the first time of asking...

The new loanee was already familiar with the club, being friends with Adam Smith who gave a glowing report... 'He loves coming to work every day, well he doesn’t see it as work, none of us do. He loves coming here, and that sold it to me.'”

Meanwhile at Sutton United "It has been a very busy week... Firstly, we were pleased to receive approval from the National League to move from Stage 2 to Stage 3 of the 'Return to Action' protocols, having successfully implemented all the measures required of us... This means we have put everything in place now to fully comply with all regulations established to host matches at the stadium, albeit without spectators at this time.

We have been working hard to also ensure, given Government approval, that we will be in a position to move smoothly to Stage 5 in good time for the start of the League season and host matches with spectators, albeit with a limited capacity...

To that end, the grandstand has been 'dressed' to indicate which seats can be used, with flexibility built in so as to accommodate those fans attending together from the same 'bubble', lines will be painted on the terraces and concourses to indicate how many people can stand in each area and they will be carefully managed by stewards...

The players have now returned to training".

Macclesfield Town "will make the journey down to The New Buck's Head on Saturday 26th September, in order to take on our old rivals Telford United in a pre-season fixture...

The game will mark the first meeting between the two sides at The New Buck's Head since 12th August 2014...

The game represents our first confirmed pre-season fixture and we will bring you details of further matches as soon as we are able."

FC Halifax Town report that "The deadline to purchase your season ticket(s) ‘outright’ online will be midnight 7 September, this unfortunately can’t be moved due to a number of other external deadlines we have to meet..

We will start the process of seat allocation the week of 14 September, you will be contacted, we’ll seat our disabled supporters and those with mobility issues first then we’ll work through the rest of our orders, we’ll also deal with your ‘bubble’ at the same time so please have all the relevant details to hand. We will not be able to accommodate seating location requests

Face Masks, the guidance and best practice is to wear them in enclosed spaces for example underneath the stadium however the wearing of face masks is not mandatory within the stadium footprint.

The bars and kiosks will remain closed throughout October... For the foreseeable future entry to the ground will be by ticket only... The work on our ultimate stadium capacity is on-going and will be finished shortly, we’re working very closely with the Council Team to ensure the ground is optimised".

Dagenham & Redbridge "announce the signings of Bailey Clements and Kai Brown on youth loans from Ipswich Town.

Both have been training with the Daggers since the squad returned to training on the 24th August and have played in both of our pre-season friendlies to date.

Clements is a 19 year-old defender who can perform at left or centre-back and has played for the Tractor Boys in a Carabao Cup match... [before] spending part of last season on loan at National League South side, Hemel Hempstead Town.

Kai Brown is a player that Daryl McMahon knows well, having coached him at Dagenham & Redbridge a number of years ago... The 19-year-old has also spent time in the Leyton Orient academy before joining Grays Athletic. He then made the step up to Ipswich in January 2019... Kai was selected for the Tractor Boys' last match of 2019, which was against Leeds United, and has been a vital part of their U23s' side.

Both will join up with the Daggers until the 1st January 2021...

Kai Brown On joining the Daggers [said]... 'It’s been good to get to know how the other players play and get to know everyone, how they move the ball around the pitch and also the shape that the Gaffer wants to play this season, it’s been good getting to know what we’re going to be doing going into the season... Being back with the gaffer was one of the key reasons behind my decision to come here... I like him as a manager, and he likes me... I’ll look bring goals and assists... can! I like playing off the shoulder and dribbling with the ball'...

Clements had this to say, 'It’s a new challenge, a new team and new level of football so it’s completely different from what I’m used to so it’s out of my comfort zone but I’m looking forward to... proper men’s football which I’ve never really experienced... I like to bring the ball out from the back, I like to play through the thirds, but ultimately I'm a defender and when it comes to defending, I like to be as strong and physical as I can'".

Bromley "announce that captain Jack Holland has put pen to paper on a new contract.

The Bromley born and bred 28 year-old has had an association with the Club since junior level, where he represented our youth teams as a child. After this, his talent was picked up by Crystal Palace, who signed him. He went on to spend four years with the Eagles, which included a loan spell at Bromley during the 2011-12 season.

He then returned to Hayes Lane permanently in 2013, and has not looked back since, cementing his place as captain and earning status as a Club legend. Primarily a centre-back, Holland has been deployed at right-back and even centre-forward in his time as a Bromley player.

During the course of last season, Holland made 30 appearances in all competitions, scoring three times. Holland will also take up a new role coaching within the Club’s Academy ahead of the 2020/21 season".

Barnet "welcome Steve Jenkins to the Club as our new Assistant Coach.

Jenkins joins the Club having previously worked with Manager Peter Beadle during his three-year spell at Hereford, where the duo guided the Bulls to back to back promotions three seasons in a row.

During his playing career Jenkins made over 400 senior appearances, playing for the likes of Swansea City, Huddersfield and Swindon Town, in a career which spanned over 22 years. Beadle said ' "Steve plays a vital role. It's always important that you have your partnerships, whether it be off the pitch or on the pitch, that you have someone there alongside you that you can trust and believe in. We've always been a pair that work hard on and off the pitch. I'm delighted he's onboard and he's a huge part of what we do and how we work.'

Beadle will also be supported by Head of Performance Analysis Dan Hutchings, who continues in his role with the Bees, heading into his sixth season with the Club."

4 September 2020


Altrincham Reserves, now managed by two youth team graduates and reserve team players in Ryan Barry and Matt Graetzer, will play West Didsbury and Chorlton, managed by former Alty Reserves' manager Chris Rowley, on Saturday 12th September at WD&C in a pre-season friendly.

ON THIS DAY: 4 September

Eight years ago today, on 4 September 2012, Altrincham travelled to Gainsborough Trinity for a Blue Square Bet North Match. The league fixtures had dealt Altrincham the dubious pleasure of a nearly 170-mile cross-Pennine round trip to Gainsborough on a Tuesday night. And the journey was made difficult by trouble on the three most direct routes, namely a landslip on the Woodhead Pass, an horrendous traffic jam on the M67 and major disruption on the trans-Pennine M62 caused by a crash in Yorkshire.

To make matters worse, the match kicked off an hour and two minutes late due to a partial floodlight failure at The Northolme!

Right: As the players waited for the floodlights to be fixed at Gainsborough, Alty's James Lawrie amused his team mates with a new way of wearing his shorts.

Gainsborough had been tipped to be promotion contenders but, before this game, had won just once in five outings. Altrincham had also had a mixed start to the campaign, two wins in five games.

Alty won the game 4-2, with Damian Reeves scoring all four goals.

All four goals were scored before half time. Reeves's first came after just three minutes from James Lawrie's feed. Then, after Duncan Watmore had won a corner, taken by Nicky Clee, James Lawrie fed Reeves and he scored again 0-2 (23 mins).

After another fine pass from Lawrie, who seemed to be relishing his more central forward role, Reeves passed the ball into the net for 3-0 (33 mins). And, a few minutes later, Carl Rodgers's goalbound shot was judged to have been handled just inside the Trinity penalty area. Although Reeves's penalty was saved, he netted the rebound to make it four goals inside 34 minutes (37 mins).

However, Trinity came back strongly in the second half with substitute Stamp heading a back-post goal on the hour and a screamer from Clarke after 74 minutes making it 2-4. Clee hit the post at the other end but Alty were under pressure for much of the half, however they worked hard to retain their lead to the final whistle.

Altrincham had retained the same starting eleven which had beaten Histon 5-0 three days earlier. On the bench, Danny Mitchley returned to replace Simon Richman who was unavailable due to a family problem. Also absent was assistant manager Neil Tolson, who was ill. Facing Alty were two of their former defenders, Greg Young and former Tranmere loanee Luke Waterfall.

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


According to the Dorset Echo, "Weymouth could hold a third interview with their top managerial candidates, chairman Ian White has revealed. The Terras have whittled their shortlist of candidates down from 10 to three and may unveil their new boss earlier than Tuesday, as originally planned.

BBC Solent have reported Mikey Harris and Brian Stock as candidates, but Weymouth have not ruled out interim boss Bradley Asagba...

'I’ve got to decide,' White told Echosport. 'We had a panel that did the interviews and it’s probably going to end up coming down to me making the decision. They are so close, it’s so difficult. The remaining candidates are really, really good. I’ve got the views of everybody else and I can see the plusses in both, it isn’t going to be easy.

'I may end up where I’ve got to sit them both down in front-to-front interviews and make my decision then; I may not have any choice. We’ve done all the interviews over Zoom. I'm almost tempted to sit them with me on my own and the only way we’re going to do this is look at it and talk to them, get a real feel for what I think.

'One of them I have to talk to about what money he wants – that may even knock him out of the game. It’s going to be my decision and if it goes wrong it’s going to fall on my head, so I’ve got to make the right decision. I want to make a decision by Saturday'".

And the Dorset Echo adds that "Cameron Murray has extended his deal with Weymouth.

Murray, who in 2018 moved down south after a spell in Yorkshire, signed for Weymouth in January 2019 from Ridgeway rivals Dorchester Town. Murray went on to score three times as the Terras won the Southern League title.

However, the former FC United of Manchester and Scarborough winger only made 22 appearances in 2019/20 as compartment syndrome in his legs required an operation. Murray joins the likes of Josh McQuoid, Jake McCarthy and Stephane Zubar plus new signings Alefe Santos, Cody Cooke and Myles Anderson in penning deals for the coming campaign".

The Maidenhead Advertiser says that "After what must have felt like an eternity to boss Alan Devonshire, Maidenhead United have returned to full contact training... The Magpies have managed to get a few sessions of ‘normal training’ under their belts according to Devonshire.

He will now be tasked to guide his squad through a series of friendlies over the next seven days... Devonshire said 'Wednesday, we’ve got four 30 minute games so I will look to give everyone an hour. Then, on Friday and the following Wednesday, we’ve got 90 minute games. It’s going to be a good chance to see where we’re at as a squad after not playing for six months.

'The first game will just be for natural fitness. We’re playing against a League side so that’s going to be good for us. Their season starts at the weekend when they play in the Carabao Cup so they’re no doubt going to be sublime and sharp. I’ll be mixing the teams up in the game and it’ll just be a good fitness exercise...

'We’re looking at a few (players) at the moment. I imagine before the season starts there will be another one or two,' added Devonshire... 'I’m hoping in the next couple of days a ‘keeper will have signed for us.'”

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Dave Challinor is looking forward to seeing Tom Crawford make his mark at Hartlepool United with the promising youngster a key part of his midfield plans. Pools fought off competition from several National League sides to land the ex-Notts County man, Challinor having previously worked with him at AFC Fylde...

Crawford became a regular substitute during the back end of the 2019-20 season for Notts County, scoring once in eight appearances, before being released in the summer...

Challinor said 'The club were probably guilty last year of having too many midfield players, what we’ve got to try and do is have some variety between our midfielders. Now... we’ve got four very strong midfield players and if we’re looking at playing three of them or all four of them, then we’ve covered bases there.

'What we didn’t have in our midfield was another player who could be a sort of sitter, now what we’ve got with Crawfs and with Feaths to a certain degree, is two players who can do both roles. Feaths can play higher up the pitch because of his range of passing and ability to pick out a pass but he’s comfortable enough to play deeper and take the ball when people are around him'...

Challinor added 'We want to be high energy and play in the right way and on the front foot. There are a few who we’ve brought in who have points to prove and in some aspects, you don’t want any more than that. Tom broke onto the scene at Chester a few years ago and did well in a struggling side as a really young lad and got a move to Notts County which for him, has probably been a move where there’s been a lot of uncertainty at the club and changes of managers so he hasn’t really progressed as much as he would have liked there but hopefully he can do that with us because I know what he can do...

'It’s up to him to come in and stamp his authority on the squad and show us all what a good player he is and I suppose get himself going and showing what potential he has.'”

NL Daily tells us that "Solihull Moors have announced some new additions to the backroom set-up.

Former Premier League goalkeeper Kevin Poole joins as goalkeeping coach. Elliot Turner arrives as head of sports science.

James Ross (head of medical), Megan Reesby (lead first-team analyst) and Robin Lamb (kit and equipment manager) also join Jimmy Shan’s staff."

Macclesfield Town report that "Patrick Birch outlined how the Club plans to comply with the latest government guidelines ahead of the new season..

'We have done an assessment of the training ground and have got rules in place in terms of making their own way to the ground, in terms of turning up in their kit; they won’t be able to shower in the facility and will have to go home to wash their own kit... Initially they will have to train in small groups and then that will turn into full group training...

'We have also been looking at the ground and playing behind closed doors, and there are strict measures in place to make sure where the players go... The current home and away dressing room will be there for one team because they will need that bit more space, which means we are having to bring into play the dressing rooms we had 20 years ago; and we will bring them back for the other team.

'So, we will be walking out from two different parts of the ground for the actual matches themselves...

'We have been getting some good assistance, initially from the Football League and also from representatives the National League... Patrick confirmed that in order to comply with any new guidelines, the Moss Rose will be required to run at a reduced capacity for the foreseeable future...

'We can currently get 1,100 – 1,200 in the ground which currently has a capacity of 5,500... There will be one-way systems around the ground explaining how you move around, so we want it to be safe. With things like the seating, if you are in a bubble you can make that clear when you book your tickets and you can sit together but, for others not in a bubble, there has to be spaces between individuals and we will be managing that as we are giving out the tickets...

'I think the arrangements we are putting in place now are going to be there for the whole of next season. I am pretty sure that will be the case, and there is a risk of it running into the season after, but we will be giving people the best possible experience to those 1,100 people'".

Bromley "announce that young prospect Tarek Najia has signed a new contract.

The 19 year-old Lebanon U19 international goalkeeper began his footballing journey at Dagenham & Redbridge, before joining the Ravens on work experience in 2018. Following his departure from the Daggers, he joined the Bromley on a non-contract deal, before signing his first professional contract during the 2019/20 season..

Manager Neil Smith was delighted to keep Najia on board; 'He came in under Jim Stannard’s recommendation. We are looking for the younger players and he came in and made an impression in and around the first-team. We’re looking to make him a better player and for him to enhance this team.'”

The Halifax Courier informs us that "The Shaymen have begun pre-season training with a group of around 22 players, including trialists and youth team players.

Wild says he is hopeful of a couple more additions before the start of the season, which would be a second goalkeeper and a further outfield player..

He said 'We’ve been doing longer sessions, trying to make them as robust as possible and getting a lot of physical stuff into them. What we’ve tried to do from day one is get some team play into them, we’ve got five weeks to get them to understand how we want to play'...

Town were due to train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week, with the squad given Saturday off, with Wild citing the importance of recovery time ahead of two behind-closed-doors friendlies next week against Mossley on Tuesday (7.45pm) and Guiseley on Saturday (1pm)...

'They’re in good shape,' said Wild. 'Gone are the days where pre-season’s about getting you completely fit. I’d like to think the modern day footballer keeps themselves in some sort of physical nick... It’s about that strapline of going the extra mile, that’s been spelled out to them on day one, that not only are we doing an extra day but, when it’s their day off, there’ll be a gym programme to be done from home.'

The Town boss said there are 'a few' trialists training with the squad that he wanted to have a closer look at, and thinks some of them will feature against Mossley and Guiseley next week... Wild said there had been 'nothing concrete' on any developments regarding transfer-listed duo Matty Brown and Jacob Hanson.

On young defender Jay Benn, Wild said 'Jay’s done really well, and rightly earned himself a contract halfway through last season. He will stay with us through probably three quarters of pre-season. We just want to gauge where he’s at technically and tactically. Then we’ll decide whether we loan him out for a bit of experience or we keep him around the group, depending on numbers.

'But one thing I’ve always said about Jay is that we’ve got a really good prospect. I’ve had three more academy boys in training this week and I really want to keep producing our own'...

Wild is still aiming for a first-team group of 20 by the start of the season on October 3. 'Whether that includes Jay Benn or not is up for debate. We’ve also got to think about finances because the club’s not bringing in any money, apart from season tickets,' he said. 'There’s no lucrative friendlies. There’s hopefully going to be fans back in the ground come October 3, but the money streams are not really pumping..

'In an ideal world we’d like to be in and around that 20 mark come the start of the season... I’ve said I’d like to use the loan market better this year. I’ve got a few options, but I’ve got the core group in, I know a couple of others I potentially want to bring in, and I’ll just have a look at it and see over pre-season where I think we’re short'".

From the Leader Live comes news that "Crowd-pleaser Elliott Durrell can’t wait to have the Wrexham fans on the edge of their seats this season...

'Having been here before, I know all about the club,' said Durrell... 'The fans are probably the most passionate fans I have ever played for. If you can go to a club that has got stature as big as Wrexham, it is a no-brainer.'

Durrell only scored four goals in 30 Reds appearances in the 2014/15 season but he says he’s come back a better player. He added 'Maybe because it didn’t work out as I would have liked last time, I want to come back and set the record straight. It would be great to be part of a successful Wrexham team that gets the club back to where it wants to be.'".


The FA Cup draw for the Preliminary Round, to be played on Saturday 12 September, includes the following NW clubs...
  • Congleton Town v Skelmersdale United
  • Glossop North End v City Of Liverpool
  • Ramsbottom United v Irlam
  • Ashton United v Squires Gate
  • Wythenshawe Amateurs v Trafford
  • Runcorn Linnets v Albion Sports
  • Silsden AFC v Bootle
  • Mossley AFC v St Helens T / Cammell Laird 1907
  • Stocksbridge Park Steels v Stalybridge Celtic
  • Northwich Victoria v Charnock Richard
  • Colne v Prescot Cables
  • Runcorn Town v Brighouse Town
  • Warrington Rylands v Clitheroe
  • Marine v Barnoldswick Town
  • Widnes v Longridge Town

3 September 2020


Brian Flynn, joint Press and Media Officer at Altrincham FC reports that "The players reported on Saturday for pre-season training at the Manor Farm Complex at Ridgeway Road in Timperley. All players initially took part in a 'Bleep' Test , which involves continuous running between two lines 20m apart in time to recorded bleeps. After about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, and the beeps will be closer together. This continues each minute...

The second test completed by each player was the 'Yo-Yo Test' which is a maximal aerobic endurance fitness test, involving running between markers placed 20 meters apart, at increasing speeds, until exhaustion...

Tom Peers (left) and Toby Mullarkey (right) were the top scorers in each group".


Huddersfield Town announce that their "new B Team will host Vanarama National League side Altrincham in a pre-season friendly at Canalside on Saturday, 19 September 2020.

The B Team, which will be led by Danny Schofield, will play ‘Alty’ in a noon kick-off behind-closed-doors.

Managed by Phil Parkinson, Altrincham will start the season in the Vanarama National League, the fifth tier of English football, after being promoted from the Vanarama North in the curtailed 2019/20 season.

The B Team is newly formed for the 2020/21 season. Along with frequent training with the First Team, who many of the B Team squad members have played alongside during pre-season, the B Team’s fixture schedule will provide the players with top technical tests as well as games against high-quality men’s teams, such as Altrincham’s senior squad.

The game will be covered on Town’s official Academy account on Twitter - @htafcacademy. "


Altrincham FC joint Press and Media Officer John Edwards writes that co-chairman Bill Waterson "proudly declared, 'There's never been a better time to get involved with this club.'

Less than a week after inviting contributions to fund a three-pod fan zone in one corner of The J.Davidson Stadium, Alty are already a third of the way towards reaching their initial £15,600 target. Earlier this week, the running total stood at just over £5,000 for a structure that will be completed and open for business in time for the start of next season, and Waterson had no hesitation in hailing it as further evidence that the town as a whole is buying into a new positive era in Alty's fortunes.

With two promotions in three seasons under Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel delivering Vanarama National League football to the Alty faithful and ambitious plans for transforming the stadium drawing widespread praise, Waterson believes more investors will want to come on board and keep the club moving forward...

'We are proud to be representing the town on a national scale next season, and we want to reflect the drive and ambition that has always been associated with Altrincham. That is why the door is always open to new backers and new investment. Believe me, there has never been a better time to get involved.

'There is unprecedented interest and excitement in the town, and our aim is to give our fans the safest and best match day experience. The Fan Zone gives us a whole new hospitality facility, and we are delighted local businesses and our supporters are making it happen in such decisive fashion'"


As rumoured yesterday, Josh Ginnelly has now joined Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish second-tier on a season-long loan from Preston North end. And the ex-Alty has immediately left his mark by laying on a goal in his first appearance in a friendly at St Mirren.

The Edinburgh News confirmed the move saying "Hearts today welcomed their third new winger to Tynecastle Park as Preston North End’s Josh Ginnelly arrived on a season-long loan... as manager Robbie Neilson added yet more width and pace to his first-team squad.

Ginnelly, 23, has been tracked by Hearts for some time and, although his Preston contract runs until summer 2021, he is not in the plans at Deepdale.

A loan move to Scotland gives him a chance to play as Hearts aim to win this season's Championship title. He can operate on both flanks and likes to utilise his speed by running at defenders to create scoring chances.

'With the Covid situation, I haven’t actually played football in seven months. I’ve had a conversation with the gaffer and I’ll be getting up to speed,' Ginnelly told the Hearts website. 'He mentioned my pace and said he wants me to express myself, which is massive for a player like myself. Being given a licence to go and express myself, that's when I’m at my best...

'I like to express myself, excite the fans, put crosses in the box and hopefully add a few goals to my game. That’s something you need to do. I will work hard as well, which is one of the main things'".


At Stockport County "The Club is delighted to announce the signing of right-back Macauley Southam-Hales from Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee. The 24 year old has signed a two-year contract at Edgeley Park and will begin pre-season training with the squad later this week.

Macauley spent 12 years at Cardiff City where he joined as a Junior before moving to Barry Town United and joined Fleetwood Town in January 2019. He enjoyed a loan spell last season with Hartlepool United.

Manager Jim Gannon said 'He was a player we were monitoring for future recruitment but we are delighted that we have been a able to secure his services early for this coming season. The right hand side of our team needed another addition to add to Sam Minihan at right-back and Adam Thomas as the main wide-right attacking midfielder. The recent injury to Sam highlighted the weakness in terms of depth and cover at right-back and down the right-hand side in general.”

'Macauley will provide great quality in the attacking right-back and right wing-back roles. Given the demands in these positions we are very fortunate to have increased the options in our first team for this area'".

The 2019-20 season is not yet over for one National League club left in the Buildbase FA Trophy as Notts County announce that "Our 2019-20 Buildbase FA Trophy semi-final tie against Harrogate Town will be played behind closed doors over one leg at Meadow Lane after a draw determined we would be the home side.

If Harrogate progress in this weekend's Carabao Cup fixture against Tranmere Rovers, our semi-final will be played on Thursday 17 September. If they don't progress, we will face them on Wednesday 16 September.

The match will go straight to penalties should scores be level after 90 minutes and up to six new signings, as well as all our current players who were eligible at the registration deadline of 12pm on Friday 20 March 2020, will be available for selection...

Our pre-season friendly at Nuneaton, scheduled for the same week as our semi-final, will no longer take place.

The FA Trophy final, which will see us or Harrogate take on Halesowen Town or Concord Rangers, will be played at Wembley Stadium on Non-League Finals Day (Sunday 27 September). This event will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators to football stadia and a limited number of fans will therefore be permitted".

Dover Athletic report that "One goal was enough for Whites as they started pre-season with a win at Hythe Town. Manager Andy Hessenthaler used this game to find out more about trialists, with nine starting the game and more coming on in the second half...

Dover took the lead on the half hour mark through one of the trialists... The second half started slowly... until close to the hour mark as Hythe almost levelled... New arrival, TJ Bramble, came on for his debut late in the game, playing a right-back."

Another team in friendly action recently were Dagenham & Redbridge who "made it two wins from two in pre-season, after a second half comeback saw them defeat Great Wakering Rovers 1-3.

Wakering took the lead early in the second half, before a double from Angelo Balanta and a well placed effort from Trialist E gave the Daggers victory over the Isthmian League side.

Daryl McMahon opted to use two different sides in each half on a night where six trialists featured overall...

The home side opened the scoring shortly after half-time...

On 70 minutes, the Daggers had the goal their play on the night deserved. Johnson was denied by a brilliant block from a Rovers defender before the ball bounced to Balanta, who placed an effort into the bottom corner to draw level.

An a minute later, Balanta had his second, as the Daggers hit twice in quick succession. It was another well placed finish from 30 year-old forward...

On 83 minutes, the Daggers had a third. Trialist E was played in behind and showed great pace to latch onto the ball and calmly find the back of the net to secure the victory...

First Half XI: Justham; Trialist A, Trialist B, Croll; Eleftheriou, Phipps, Robinson, Trialist C; Saunders; McCallum, McQueen.

Second Half XI: Strizovic; Clark, Reynolds, Trialist D; Trialist E, Rance, Deering (Saunders 86’), Johnson; Weston, Balanta, Trialist F."

Boreham Wood "announce the permanent signing of defender Zaine Francis-Angol after the expiration of his contract with Accrington Stanley.

Francis-Angol started in the Tottenham Hotspur Academy. In 2011 he moved North of the border to sign for Motherwell. After four seasons with Motherwell making over 60 appearances, Francis-Angol signed with Kidderminster Harriers...

After two seasons with Kidderminster, Dave Challinor signed him for Fylde on a two-year deal... A move to League Two followed with Accrington Stanley, however after the expiration of his contract Garrard snapped up the highly rated left back/winger...

Gaffer Luke Garrard said 'I feel he will be a great addition to the squad and will give a great balance down the left -hand side. He is a player I have admired especially his time at AFC Fylde... He will bring a great experience to the group and added competition to an already very competitive squad.'"

ON THIS DAY: 3 September

A year ago today, 3 September 2019, Altrincham travelled to Haig Avenue to face Southport. There were some surprises in the Altrincham line-up. There was a first start of the season for captain Jake Moult, despite his only match-time since his summer operation had been a short substitute appearance at Boston in a 5-0 mauling on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Right: During a break in play at Southport, for repairs to the goal-net, Phil Parkinson gives instructions to his concerned players.

Elsewhere in the line-up, Ashley Hemmings, who had performed well as no.10 last time out, was now deployed back on the wing as Simon Richman unexpectedly wore the number ten shirt.

Yusifu Ceesay was an unexpected omission from the starting eleven amidst unconfirmed rumours that he had been delayed in arriving at the ground. With Tom Hannigan suspended, the centre-back pairing of 22 year-olds Jones and Mullarkey continued, whilst Lewis Walters was unavailable as he had gone on loan to Buxton. Shaun Densmore was again omitted from the squad.

There was a welcome inclusion, on the bench, of Josh Hancock, who had been out with a calf problem following his early season suspension.

Southport included former Alty loanee from Luton Town, Andy Parry, on their bench but there was no place for former Alty midfielder Paddy Lacey. Amongst Alty's ex-Sandgrounders were Tony Thompson and Andy White.

A very poor first half cost Altrincham this game but, having got back into it with an improved second-half showing, Simon Richman saw a red card for his second cautionable offence which left the ten men with too much to do.

From Southport's seventh long throw in a litany of projectiles hurled into the Alty box, Correia bundled the ball home at the back post (32 mins). Glynn then doubled the lead with an impressive volley (45 mins).

After Alty had brought on Hancock and Ceesay in the second half, they pulled a goal back when Hulme headed in a Hemmings freekick. With Mohamed inexplicably not sent off for a second bookable offence, Richman did suffer that fate for Alty (82 mins), which was their third red card already that season.

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

2 September 2020


In the National League players are assigned squad numbers to be used in all fixtures and for 2020-21 the Altrincham squad initially comprises the following 22 players:

The last time Alty wores squad numbers was during 2015-16 season, as seen here at Eastleigh in April 2016.

  • 1. Tony Thompson
  • 2. Andy White
  • 3. Connor Hampson
  • 4. Ritchie Sutton
  • 5. Tom Hannigan
  • 6. Jake Moult
  • 7. Dan Mooney
  • 8. Sean Williams
  • 9. Jordan Hulme
  • 10. Josh Hancock
  • 11. Yusifu Ceesay
  • 12. Curtis Miller
  • 14. Dontai Gabidon
  • 15. Matty Kosylo
  • 16. Lewis Salmon
  • 19. Max Clayton
  • 20. Shaun Densmore
  • 21. Matthew Gould
  • 22. Joel Torrance
  • 23. Tom Peers
  • 25. Toby Mullarkey
  • 30. Simon Richman

In addition to those players already announced as extending their stay at the club, youth team and reserves' graduates Curtis Miller and Dontai Gabidon have been included as has Lewis Salmon, who spent last season on dual registration at Trafford FC.


Altrincham FC annnounce that "you can now sponsor a player and gain access to a new and improved range of perks.

We have reviewed and upgraded our player sponsorship packages for the coming season, considering new ways of providing genuine value to everyone who backs our boys".

For full details, follow the above link.


Altrincham striker Lewis Salmon made an impression in 2019-20 whilst on a season-long dual registration arrangement with Trafford FC.

For 2020-21 he will move up a tier to the Northern Premier League who report that "This week, we spoke with Stalybridge Celtic loan signing, Lewis Salmon.

Salmon previously featured at Trafford FC, before putting pen to paper with then-National League North side Altrincham on an initial 18-month contract in November 2019. He soon re-joined the Northern Premier League N/West side, and the 18-year-old striker scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for Trafford before the season came to a premature end.

'My time at Trafford was class,' said Salmon. 'Footballing wise, it was the perfect start for myself as the manager Tom Baker and current manager now DC (Danny Caldecott) had a lot of faith in me from day one, which was perfect for myself and my confidence. Being a number nine at a young age is a hard job to fill in non-league but, once I scored my first couple of goals at the club and you have the backing of the players and fans, it made my job a lot easier.

'Everyone at the club behind the scenes is top-drawer and fans were class with me and still stay in contact wishing me the best of luck wherever I go. I can’t speak highly enough of the club.'

The youngster remains an Altrincham player until the end of the 2020/21 season, impressing manager Phil Parkinson with his forceful all-round game and eye for goal...

'I’m loving my time at Altrincham and they’ve got an unbelievably set of lads and management team,' Salmon said. 'There’s no surprise why we have been promoted recently. It was great experience to be with the lads throughout the play-off games and to see it over the line. The Alty gaffer has been spot on with me ever since coming on trial at the club in 2019 and has supported me throughout my loan spells.

'The goal is obviously to push into Alty’s first team which I feel I am capable of doing, I’ve just got to gain more experience and game time under my belt and try to make as much noise as I can out on loan. Going out on loan was definitely the best option as I will be playing a higher standard than what I played last season, which we feel are the right steps to take for my development.

'Altrincham’s promotion on a personal level is great as it allows me the pathway to potential break in and play at the highest level of non-league. Its ambitions to go full-time go alongside my plans and the goal to be a professional footballer, making it a perfect club for me to be at.'

The youngster joins Stalybridge until January 31, 2021 on loan, and most recently featured in the club’s 4-2 pre-season victory over AFC Liverpool at Bower Fold.

'My personal goals for this season at Stalybridge would to be a regular starter within the team and to chip in with as many goals as I can along the way,' he added".


The Scotsman reported on Tuesday night that "Hearts are keen to sign the Preston North End winger [and former Alty loanee] Josh Ginnelly... The 23-year-old’s lightning pace is something they want to add to the squad. Sign up to our daily newsletter

Hearts officials have monitored him for some time and he arrived in Edinburgh today ahead of a proposed loan switch to Tynecastle Park. Ginnelly’s Preston contract runs until summer 2021 but he is not in the first-team plans at Deepdale.

Ginnelly can play on both flanks and likes to utilise his speed by running at defenders to get in behind and create scoring chances.

He moved to Preston in January 2019 for a fee in the region of £50,000 and was then loaned out to Bristol Rovers earlier this year."

ON THIS DAY: 2 September

It is 41 years since Altrincham won a league match on today's date, 2 September, and the last match on that date, in 2008, was no exception as the fixture supremo dealt Alty a long Tuesday night trek to Histon in Cambridgeshire for a Blue Square Premier match.

The teams take to the field at Histon.

In fact it was Alty's second long away trip in four days ended in their sixth successive game without a win, leaving them still hovering just above the relegation places in 19th place in the table. After a good first half for Alty's changed side, they lost to the game's only goal, scored by Histon defender Gwillim in the 74th minute. He netted from 20 yards after Altrincham failed to clear a disputed throw-in, one of 32 throw-ins in the second half. There were strong accusations of hand-ball in the goal's build-up but Histon's stronger second-half performance left Alty with few quibbles about the final outcome.

Alty had lost the corresponding fixture 1-0 last season but the long Tuesday evening journey had not improved their chances of reversing that score against a side playing its second successive home game. Before kick-off, with the on-pitch announcer repeatedly pronouncing the "CH" in Altrincham, manager Graham Heathcote took the mike to correct him.

Altrincham made some significant changes, dropping Senior, Meechan and Doughty from the squad completely and bringing in goalkeeper Ralph, new signing Tierney and O'Neill on the bench, as Lane, Little and Johnson came into the starting line-up. There were positional changes, too, as Young moved to left-back and Lane to centre-back.

ALTRINCHAM (All yellow): 1. Stuart COBURN 17. Richard BATTERSBY 2. Chris LANE, 4. Mark McGREGOR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 10. Chris DENHAM, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 11. Warren PEYTON, 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs; 6. Kevin STREET, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 13. Andy RALPH, 18. Lee ELAM, 20. Paul TIERNEY.


Weymouth "striker Cody Cooke is relishing a return to action as the Terras visit AFC Totton for their first pre-season friendly. Cooke joined Weymouth after his release from St Mirren this summer and could make his debut in front of up to 600 supporters under FA guidelines on capped attendances during lockdown.

Due to playing in Step 1 of the National League System, Weymouth are classed as playing elite sport and cannot yet welcome supporters to the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Step 4 Totton, however, are allowed a maximum of 400 fans at Snows Stadium as they enter Stage 2 of spectators’ return to football.

He said... 'It will be a big season for the fans to come through the gates. It’s going to be new teams and experiences for all of them; it attracts more numbers to come and have a look at those big clubs.

At Dagenham & Redbridge "Reece Grant has cancelled his contract with the club by mutual consent.

Grant made 30 appearances for the Daggers last season, scoring three times." At Macclesfield Town "New Manager Tim Flowers spoke of his desire to instil a positive atmosphere... 'My job in a very short timeframe is to do exactly that,' he said... 'We did it at Solihull, obviously the key that year when we went in was to stay up. The key element was that we stayed up, things turned, we became dogged, resolute, hardworking and scraped together enough points to get over the line.

'We learn by the mistakes of the past, at Solihull we had a five-year plan to try and get in the EFL slowly and what killed us a little bit was going from what we had to finishing second the next season'...

'Knowing the National League, like I do, there will be fifteen or sixteen chairmen sitting in their offices expecting to finish in the playoffs next season; that is what you are up against. We understand the division, so... there is hope. This is Macclesfield Town Football Club, it is a good Football Club, a community Football Club'...

Speaking on his management style, Tim insists he is not one to cling to excuses and will look to be transparent when discussing his side this season. 'We have to be realistic, there is no doubt about that. We have already had a lot of conversations with different agents and different players. I am a transparent bloke; I am not going to stand there after a game and give you all the "we played well and..." I am going to tell you as it is.

'We have been transparent with the people we have been trying to get in, listen, you are not coming here to earn life changing money, but we have identified you as someone we would like to come in and work with us and build something around... It is just a case of getting the calculator out and trying to make it work within the parameters I have got.

'That is going to be the defining thing, can I get lads in on the money and get them over the line'...

Tim admits he has already held positive discussions with various players with a view to joining the Silkmen for the upcoming campaign. 'In the next week I need to get a number of men in the building and get them gelled, get some spirit about them. Tell them what I am about, my expectations and how we are going to go about our business so that is my first job and I have got a few meetings... to that effect'".

1 September 2020


Altrincham FC have announced that they "will take on Salford City U23s in a pre-season fixture on Tuesday, September 29th, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

This game will be played behind closed doors and will be the final pre-season game ahead of the start of the Vanarama National League season on Saturday, October 3rd.

The Vanarama National League fixtures are scheduled to be announced on Tuesday September 8th, which is also the date of our first pre-season fixture at Ashton United's Hurst Cross ground."

ON THIS DAY: 1 September

Two years ago today in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 2 September 2018, Altrincham lost 2-1 at Blyth Spartans.

Above: Playing against one of his former clubs, Max Harrop goes for an aerial ball at Blyth as Robbie Dale awaits the outcome.

Altrincham had arrived at Croft Park unbeaten on the road that season, and they faced a Spartans' team which had just a single win to its name that season, but that had been a tremendous 8-1 victory over Chester FC. On their last visit to Blyth, in December 2016, Alty had won an FA Trophy replay, 3-2.

After having the better of the opening stages, Altrincham nevertheless fell behind in the 26th minute when Reid and Horner exchanged passes before Reid's instinctive lob beat Wynne and found the back of the net. But it took just three passes from the re-start of play for Altrincham to level the score with Hancock hitting a low shot into Jameson's bottom right-hand corner (27 mins).

The Spartans improved after the break, though a 1-1 draw looked to be on the cards until the 83rd minute. Then Sean Williams's attempted clearance from the left of his own goal struck an opponent. Blyth worked the ball left to Rivers, who had time to get the ball out from under his feet and direct a rising shot into the upper part of the net from the edge of the box.

Despite this setback Altrincham should have equalised in the 88th minute when substitute James Poole's shot was parried by Jameson into the path of the unmarked Tom Peers. Somehow he contrived to hit the ball comfortably over the bar from just a few yards out. Alty dropped to thirteenth in the table.

Altrincham were without John Johnston, who was expected to be out for a fortnight or so; Connor Hampson, who faced several weeks' absence with a broken hand, and Ben Harrison who had suffered a recurrence of his knee injury. Alty made one change as Josh Hancock returned to the starting eleven in place of loanee Brendon Daniels who had returned to Port Vale. However, there was also a striking new look to one of Alty's players as top scorer Jordan Hulme, playing his last game before a one-match suspension, sported a new blond hair-colour [right].

Alty's Max Harrop had enjoyed a loan spell at Blyth in 2011/12 season and had actually played for the Spartans against Altrincham in the two clubs' most recent league clash, in January of 2012, which had ended 1-1.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Elliot WYNNE, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Owen DALE, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Liam GOULDING, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Tony THOMPSON.


Notts County "Have completed the signing of 23 year-old centre forward Elisha Sam.

The 6ft 5” Belgian arrives at Meadow Lane after spending a season with Arda Kardzhali, where he wrote his name into the history books by scoring two late goals to earn the club its first ever victory in the Bulgarian top tier.

Born in Antwerp and a graduate of Standard Liege’s academy, Sam rose to prominence at Dutch second-tier side FC Eindhoven after kick-starting his professional career in Israel.

And Neal Ardley is delighted to have him in his ranks. 'We wanted to add pace to complement the way we try to play and it’s rare to find someone with a target man’s build who’s also mobile and quick,' said the boss. 'We thought it was going to be a long shot to get Elisha and there’s been a lot of hard work to get it to this point. He’s come out extremely strongly in all our research and his movement is the thing that really took me by surprise. He enjoys dropping into pockets and technically he’s very, very good.

'He’s a really pleasant boy who’s worked hard for every team he’s played for; we’ve done our research on that as well. We feel he’ll fit into everything we’re trying to grow here and that he’ll be an exciting addition. It’s never easy coming to a new country so we’ve got to be a little bit patient with him but he’s well above his years in his maturity and I think he’ll take it in his stride'" said the manager.

According to the Leader Live "Dean Keates believes Theo Vassell will be a huge asset to Wrexham...

Vassell, 23, who was with Macclesfield Town last season and has also played for Chester, Gateshead and Port Vale, has signed a one year deal at The Racecourse.

One of eight new signings, Vassell will compete with captain Shaun Pearson and first-year pro Max Cleworth for a place in the heart of the Reds’ defence. But Keates is targetting another centre-back to give him more options.

'There are a lot of players who can bounce between positions so we have got flexibility,' said Keates. 'We are still light in that position. We have got young Max who is still only 18... I just feel we need to add another one in there just in case anything happens to Shaun and Theo'...

Jamie Reckord, Elliot Durrell, Jordan Ponticelli, Reece Hall-Johnson, Jordan Davies, Adi Yussuf and Kwame Thomas have joined Vassell at The Racecourse.

Pearson, Luke Young, Jay Harris, Rob Lainton, Devonte Redmond and Dan Jarvis were already under contract for the upcoming National League campaign, while Mark Carrington, Paul Rutherford, Christian Dibble and Dawid Szczepaniak have signed new deals.

With Jake Bickerstaff and Cleworth also penning their first professional contracts, Keates has 20 players signed up for 2020-21...

'I am still looking at a few places,' said Keates. 'We are still a little bit weak in one or two areas so we need additions... We made the most of the five months we were shut down and, slowly but surely, it is all coming together,' said Keates... 'It just needed a fresh impetus and a different direction for the club to go...

'Since we have been back, the attitude has been first class and we are making gradual steps with the fitness side'".

Weymouth "announce the signing of centre-back Myles Anderson. The 30 year-old joins the Terras having spent the past two seasons with Hartlepool United.

Anderson started his footballing career within the Leyton Orient youth set-up, making his professional debut with Aberdeen... in 2011. The 6ft+ defender then made the move to then Premier League side Blackburn Rovers before a spell in Italy with Monza and Chievo.

Anderson made the national headlines during lockdown when he started the “Move with Myles for the NHS” fundraising campaign, which saw fellow National League players join him remotely on runs to raise money for the NHS...

Anderson said 'I’m excited to join a positive and humble environment'".

And Weymouth also "welcome Brazilian winger Alefe Santos.

Santos joins the Terras from National League side Aldershot Town, where he made 23 appearances last season.

Leaving Brazil aged 12, Santos started his career with Stoke City before making his professional debut for Bristol Rovers, he made 28 appearances for the Pirates and then earned a move to Championship side Derby County.

Speaking to the BBC, 25 year-old Santos said 'I am a very direct player who likes to run at the full-back and get crosses in and create chances for the team'".

The Derbyshire Times reports that manager "John Pemberton told new signing Kyle Letheren that Chesterfield are not going to be 'holding back' in trying to win promotion... and that they are going to have a 'right good go'.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper, whose dad Glan played for the club in the late 1970s, was available on a free transfer after being released by League Two Salford City earlier this year...

'It is a tough league but he [the manager] said that we have a good base of players and that he will probably add one or two more if he can...

Letheren, who lives in Wakefield, said the deal happened within 48 hours of Chesterfield first expressing their interest. He has been training with Bradford City to keep fit and that after a quick call to his dad, who was also a goalkeeper, it was a straightforward decision...

'I knew my dad had played there so I gave him a phone call and he told me what a great club it is and he made my mind up for me', he said. 'He said it is in a position where it should not be and that they have had a bad few years and he said it was a great time to join. There is only one way to go in my opinion and that is upwards.'

Letheren, who took part in his first training session on Monday morning, has won trophies with Dundee, Kilmarnock and York City and is keen to add to his collection...

He explained 'I have got that bit between my teeth and I have got loads left to give and I want to be successful at Chesterfield.'

Last season he kept 11 clean sheets in 22 appearances and can probably count himself unfortunate not to have earned himself a new deal at Salford. 'If I [had] played two or three more games I would have activated a clause for another year so Covid-19 hit me in that way,' he said. After the season was curtailed Salford boss Graham Alexander told Letheren that he wanted to 'go in a different direction' and he was let go".