Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

October 2020

31 October 2020


Injuries last weekend to Toby Mullarkey and Simon Richman ruled out both players today, and Sean Williams remained sidelined by injury too. Fisayo Adarabioyo continued up top and new signing Joe Robbins also started. Phil Parkinson made five changes in all, as Matty Kosylo, Dan Mooney, Connor Hampson and Ritchie Sutton all came, along with Robbins, into the starting eleven.

In awful, wet and windy conditions, Adarabioyo put Alty ahead after they had advanced on the right (11 mins).

Match report here


Today (Saturday), Altrincham are at Dover to play their fifth league game of the season and their fourth away from home following the postponement of the home matches with Solihull Moors and Bromley that had to be postponed after Covid-positive tests at Moss Lane.

Alty go into the game without injured defender Toby Mullarkey and midfielder Simon Richman, both of whom were injured at Fylde last Sunday and both look likely to miss several games. New signing Joe Robbins is likely to join the squad but it would be a significant step-up from under-23s' football were he to be named in the starting eleven. Striker Fisayo Adarabioyo is likely to make his first league start after making his debut in the FA Cup last weekend.

Altrincham have yet to name a keeper on the bench in the league this season so new signing Matthew Gould will be hoping for a change in that policy.

Dover Athletic are offering a pay-pre-view streaming service to enable spectators to watch the game. To access this you need to visit and take the following steps.

  • Create an account at the above address prior to making payment.
  • Once your account is created, log in and select the match you wish to purchase.
  • Make your payment

Dover have won two and lost four of their six league fixtures to date and last time out, like Alty, bowed out of the FA Cup following a penalty shoot-out at Yeovil.

Now 25, De Havilland is a centre-back who is starting his second season at the Kent club, having been a virtual ever-present for relegated Maidstone United in 2018-19 season, where he was the captain. Prior to that he had been at Wycombe Wanderers from where he had a loan spell at Aldershot Town. His career had started with Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday.

Another Dover player to have faced Alty is midfielder Jack Munns (26) who twice played for Cheltenham Town against Alty in 2015-16 season. He has been at Dover since July 2019 after leaving Dagenham & Redbridge. Earlier his career had developed at Leyton Orient, Tottenham Hotspur and Charlton Athletic, before his move to Cheltenham Town in 2015, where he was part of the National League winners' team that season.

He spent two years at Cheltenham Town, scoring nine goals there, before heading up to Hartlepool United. He again travelled the length of the country to sign for Dagenham in September 2018.

Dover are managed by Andy Hessenthaler, who is in his second spell in charge at Crabble, a role he resumed in October 2018. His first spell for Dover Athletic May 2007 to May 2010 saw him help Dover climb the leagues from Isthmian First Division to National League South and he recorded an impressive 64% win ratio during that spell in charge before he moved into League management at Gillingham. After leaving Priestfield, he managed Leyton Orient for just under six months followed by ten months at Eastleigh (2017-18).

Dover Athletic say that they "will be on the hunt for a second consecutive home win on Saturday following their dramatic win at Crabble against Eastleigh in midweek.

Ade Azeez’s late winner on Tuesday proved crucial as Whites moved out of the relegation zone and up to 16th on the National League ladder.

This weekend’s opponents Altrincham are without a league win this campaign so far and currently occupy the bottom of the table. The Greater Manchester side have proved a tough opponent, drawing three of their four October league matches and also have two games in hand following recent postponements...

Altrincham’s Player to Watch: attacking midfielder Josh Hancock was joint top scorer for The Robins in their promotion campaign and, despite not scoring yet this season, he has started every game so far".


Today is Altrincham's fifth game of the league season and they still await a first win of the campaign. In 2020-21, and in each of the previous six seasons, the opening four fixtures of Altrincham's league season have failed to register more than a single win per campaign. Over the last seven campaigns the cumulative 28 games, which comprise the opening four games of those seven seasons, have produced just four wins in total!

Since August 2014 Altrincham have not once won more than five points from their first four matches of any season. This season's total of three points from four games has, of course, not be helped by having played three of the initial four fixtures away from home.

Despite these indifferent starts to a season, the past six league campaigns have, neverthless, witnessed two promotions (and... two relegations)! So, a slow start can lead to much better things.


As reported here yesterday, the FA Youth Cup clash between Altrincham and Eccleshill United will take place at the Yorkshire club on 4 November. And it has now been confirmed that the date for the Cheshire Senior Cup clash between Altrincham and Barnton will remain scheduled for that same Wednesday night. As previously reported, the CSC match was drawn as an away tie but has been switched to Barnton to protect the J Davidson Stadium's pitch.

The clash of games on 4 November rules out the inclusion of the Youth team squad in the CSC tie so the Altrincham team at Barnton is likely to comprise a mix of the Reserves and first-team fringe players.


The Hartlepool Mail reports that manager "Dave Challinor has defended Hartlepool United’s decision to turn down Altrincham’s request of pushing their National League fixture back 24 hours.

Left: Dave Challinor, pictured when he turned out for Altrincham as a trialist in August, 2008.

Pools played out a 1-1 draw with Alty on Tuesday evening, just over 48 hours after the newly-promoted club were knocked out of the FA Cup at AFC Fylde.

Robins boss Phil Parkinson said in the build-up to the game at Victoria Park he was disappointed with Pools’ attitude but accepted it was their 'prerogative'. 'It was a little bit disappointing in terms of their attitude not to move the game to a Wednesday with what we’ve been through but that is their prerogative to stick to a Tuesday and make it difficult for us. We will certainly remember those types of things moving forward,' said Parkinson on Sunday afternoon.

'When everybody is facing this epidemic you expect football clubs to stick together. Fylde were top drawer in moving the fixture, realising the situation we were in and we appreciate that...

'It is absolutely Hartlepool’s prerogative not to change but it is slightly disappointing with the current climate and what everyone is facing.'

Challinor was honest in his response, admitting self-interest does play its part... 'Regardless of what anybody says, everybody is going to look at self-interest. For us, we’ve got a big game on Saturday on the TV versus Torquay. We’ve then got to travel to Barnet on Tuesday. We then go to Salford in the FA Cup and we’ve got to travel to Yeovil and Eastleigh...

'Again, if I want to be pointing the finger, Fylde [Challinor's former club] were accommodating but they weren’t very accommodating for us. Not everybody is looking after each other... Listen, everybody will have self-interest. My job is to get the best out of the group of players and work for this football club, which I will continue to do. I’ve got to look at us and unfortunately if that gets in the way of other people then so be it.'”


Barnet conform that "The Bees' Emirates FA Cup tie at home to Burton Albion will now take place on Sunday November 8th with a 12:45 kick-off at The Hive London and will be broadcast across BBC's online digital platforms".

ON THIS DAY: 31 October

Five years ago on 31 October 2015, Altrincham faced Torquay United at the J. Davidson Stadium in a Vanarama National League match which ended in a creditable one-all draw. Before kick off there had been good news in that Ryan Crowther had recovered from injury and illness to join the bench but also bad news as Nicky Clee was unfit and excluded from the squad. So Alty again went into action minus six regulars (Coburn, Densmore, Marshall, Rankine, Clee and the also injured Parry had returned to Luton from his loan).

Torquay's new player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, included new loan signing Campion on the bench and brought in Lavercombe in goal. Lower league opposition had put Torquay out of the Emirates FA Cup the previous week whilst Altrincham went into the game with one eye on a clash with Barnsley in the FA Cup the following weekend.

Left: Jake Moult celebrates his goal. Image courtesy of Gavin Rathbone.

The match referee, Joe Johnson, who had had the misfortune to witness Alty's worst 90 minutes of this season a month earlier when he had officiated at Alty's 0-4 defeat by Braintree Town, now he had the misfortune to endure another poor 45 minutes from the home side, this time against The Gulls.

Torquay were deservedly leading at the interval through a 24th-minute goal scored by Tyrone Marsh. That had come from Hurst getting past Josh O'Keefe in midfield and feeding the Torquay striker, left of goal. Marsh somehow managed to squeeze the ball past the combined efforts of goalkeeper Tim Deasy and centre-back Scott Leather near the foot of the post.

As Lee Sinnott's cup of tea hit the deck, the Alty manager strode off at the interval and was clearly going to have serious words with his underperforming team. Despite a slow start after the break, Altrincham finally got on top and dominated most of the second half. The introduction of substitute Ryan Crowther made a difference and, three minutes after his arrival, Altrincham levelled in the 66th minute. A corner, won by Crowther, was cleared out to Jake Moult who hit a superb shot from 30 yards into the top corner of the net.

Alty's cause was helped when referee Johnson stopped play and showed a straight red to Torquay's scorer, Tyrone Marsh, for reasons which initially baffled the spectators. It later emerged that the Torquay striker had raised his hands in the face of his own team mate Dan Butler. But, despite playing against ten men for eleven minutes plus added time, Altrincham could not get a winner.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 10. Damian REEVES 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 18. George BOWERMAN Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 19.Ryan CROWTHER, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 21. Joel SWIFT 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS.

Following the match there was an Altrincham FC "New Recruits" evening, at which four players who had joined Alty that summer were the guests. They were Tim Deasy, George Bowerman, Josh O'Keefe and Michael Rankine, whilst special guest and Altrincham FC cult hero, Kenny Palin, was in attendance and was on top form as he celebrated his seventieth birthday.

Above: The players enjoy Kenny Palin's rendition of "There was an old woman, who swallowed a fly"!

The evening was initially hosted by Brian Flynn but, due to a double booking of the Club's media maestro, he was substituted at half-time by Alty assistant manager Neil Tolson.

To start the evening, Brian asked Kenny's opinion of Saturday's match against Torquay. "Rubbish" came the Alty super fan's immediate response.


By Friday afternoon, four National League fixtures had been called off due to Covid-19 issues. News of one such match came from Dagenham & Redbridge who "can confirm that tomorrow’s match against Boreham Wood has been postponed due to some of our players and staff reporting symptoms of COVID-19".

Also postponed is the game at The Racecourse as Wrexham announce that "a total of five players from within the club have tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this, the Club’s Covid Medical Officer and the National League’s Covid Medical Officer have been in discussions.

Their recommendation is that, as a precaution, all those players and staff who travelled by coach to Solihull Moors for last Saturday’s FA Cup tie should now self-isolate.

Only one of the players who has since tested positive played in last Tuesday night’s match against Barnet.

This means our National League fixture with Sutton United, due this Saturday, will be postponed until a later date and with no game the following weekend, our next scheduled fixture is away to Weymouth on Saturday, 14 November.

As always, the safety of players, staff and other club employees is of overriding concern and we wish those directly affected well, although at present, all of the players seem to be in good spirits.

Staff will be devising a return-to-play protocol for our affected players and helping the fit players to maintain their conditioning, so as to ensure we are ready to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so".

NL Daily reports that "King’s Lynn Town goalkeeper Alex Street is leaving the club.

The 29 year-old said... of his departure from the newly-promoted National League side. 'My time at King’s Lynn Town has come to an end. After being told I was going to be a number two, I’ve made the decision to leave the club. It wasn’t an easy decision, as King’s Lynn is a club that I love, and will now always have great memories of being part of the journey to get to this point!

'Didn’t expect to achieve what I have with this club when I signed as an 18-year-old boy!'"

Left: Street in action with Alty's Jordan Hulme when Alty visited The Walks last season.

King's Lynn Town add that the 29 year old goalkeeper "Signed for the club in 2010 from Wisbech Town...

Back in 2012 Street was part of the Linnets team that were promoted from the United Counties League after finishing second to champions Long Buckby who declined promotion... The following season saw another dramatic period for the club with another promotion, this time from the Division One South of the Northern Premier Division which saw Lynn finish as champions by six points...

Promotion was gained to National League North after Lynn won a dramatic 'super play off' final at Warrington following extra time with Street making some remarkable saves... Last season Street was again a part of Ian Culverhouse’s squad that gained promotion to the National League... Overall Alex made 466 appearances for the Linnets, keeping 139 clean sheets in the process...

Chairman Stephen Cleeve said 'Peds has always been a mammoth character not only in the dressing room but around the football club in general. However I fully understand that he needs, and indeed wants, to be playing first team football'"

From Solihull Moors, "Defender Lewis Miccio has today joined Stourbridge on a short-term loan until 29th November.

The 21 year-old links up with former Moors boss Mark Yates, who is in charge of the Glassboys".

According to the National League "It will take more than two home dropped points in midweek to get under Dave Challinor’s skin. After all, this is a man who had to face up to losing his job of eight years because [sic] the opposition couldn’t get to the stadium.

It’s just over a year since AFC Fylde parted company with long-serving Challinor, half an hour after they were due to kick off against Sutton United. A rail incident meant the Londoners couldn’t get there. So instead of prowling the touchline hunting down three very possible points to turn their season around, he was clearing his desk...

On Saturday he can show them what they are missing, the live BT Sport match against fellow high flyers Torquay United is perhaps the season's biggest yet.

Challinor said 'It’s been great here, but it’s been a strange 18 months for obvious reasons. You go from being successful for a very long time at AFC Fylde; 90 minutes away from the Football League while holding the FA Trophy, to having a bit of a hangover and losing your job. Your season is judged over 46 matches, not over 14 or 15. Things didn’t improve and the record was actually worse when we left the club.

'We came to Hartlepool and managed to really get things going, we’ve loved the experience. The hard bit is that there’s no closure with Fylde and it leaves a bitter pill. It’s sad, especially when you have been there for so long and given everything that you can. On reflection, did I need it? I probably did. Maybe both parties needed a fresh start. It’s a different club here, in terms of profile and what it could become...

'I’m travelling still from the north west'...

Wins over Aldershot, Chesterfield and Maidenhead had them [Pools] leading the early way... But home draws with Bromley and Altrincham, a game they could have ultimately lost but for goalkeeper Ben Killip's late penalty heroics, has slightly taken the edge off...

'Over the past 12 months we’ve earned a lot of respect in terms of how teams come and set up against us,' he added. 'We lost our patience a little bit on Tuesday, but it’s always tough to break teams down... Once you have won three games and then you draw two, it can be a little bit flat, but we we wanted to rebuild the momentum from the end of last season and we’ve done that...

'I think Torquay will come to Hartlepool and fancy themselves to win by taking us on in a game. A bit of a "we’re better than you" style game... Potentially there should be goals and hopefully we’ll get more than they do!'...

'There’s been an air of negativity over perhaps the last ten years here. Now we’re seeing people forego bonuses and taking wage cuts to keep other members of staff in jobs. Because of that, there’s a siege mentality to be successful and really have a go at it... We’ve got our eye on one of those play-off positions. We’ve shown we can compete with most of the teams in this league'".

Meanwhile, Hartlepool United "announce that Luke Williams has signed a new deal at the club.

The midfielder who has been unfortunate with injuries since joining Pools has been working with both the club and specialists to regain full fitness... Williams featured throughout the pre-season games...

Dave Challinor has had his say... 'No one doubts his ability, he is a match-winner at this level. If Luke Williams is 100% fit and firing with a full season, he’s a player who is miles above the National League he just needs to get to the point where he can trust his body and his body doesn’t keep letting him down.'"

At Eastleigh the Spitfires "announce the signing of winger Tom Blair from Dorchester Town Football Club.

The 21 year-old joins on a long term deal after spending over two seasons at the Magpies.

Blair will wear the number 24 shirt for Eastleigh".

Yeovil Town "host Chesterfield FC on Saturday...

Darren Sarll will be hoping his side can bounce back following a disappointing home defeat to Sutton United on Tuesday evening. The games keep coming... with the clash against Chesterfield the fourth fixture in a sequence of six games in just 21 days.

The Glovers are still without attacking forward Courtney Duffus, who is expected to be sidelined for some time while Josh Staunton is the latest to receive treatment from the medical room after he sustained an injury in Tuesday night's clash at Huish Park.

Chesterfield haven’t made the greatest of starts to the new league season only winning one of their five opening league games with their only win coming against Woking back in early October.

John Pemberton’s side currently sit in 22nd place within the relegation zone losing all of their other four games against Hartlepool United, Torquay United, Stockport County, and Wealdstone".

At Stockport County, "For the third time in a week, County are in home action this Saturday, as we welcome Weymouth to Edgeley Park for our first ever meeting with ‘the Terras’, looking to make it six games unbeaten in the National League.

After Tuesday night’s goalless stalemate with promotion rivals Solihull Moors under the floodlights, County slipped down into second in the National League table, two points behind Torquay United.

With the Gulls not in action until later in the evening when they face Hartlepool, County know that three points on Saturday will, for a couple of hours at least, see them return to the top of the table.

For Weymouth, it’s been a tricky start to life back in the National League for them following promotion last year, a 3-2 defeat at Bromley on Tuesday leaving them 19th in the league...

Last season proved to be one of incredible and unexpected success for Weymouth in what was their first season back in the sixth tier for nine years, as they dramatically secured back-to-back promotions via the play-offs... The Terras were as high as third in the table with 63 points when the campaign was cut short due to the pandemic, seven shy of champions Wealdstone, with whom they shared the best defensive record in the division...

They secured promotion in dramatic circumstances on penalties, after a 0-0 draw, with Dartford missing all three of their spot-kicks... The Terras were dealt a heavy blow on their return to non-league’s top-flight, as Mark Moseley, the mastermind of those back-to-back promotions, left the Club to become manager of League Two Southend United... Baggie, their top scorer in the League last season with ten, has also departed for pastures new, signing for Eastleigh, whilst they lost the services of on-loan Bournemouth defender Sam Sherring, who has since joined Torquay.

Notable incomings have included striker Cody Cooke from St Mirren... whilst Sean Shields has joined from Ebbsfleet United. They have also made the move to sign Brazilian winger Alefe Santos".

30 October 2020


Altrincham FC have announced their ninth new arrival since the end of last season in the shape of "midfielder, Joe Robbins, from Crewe Alexandra on a month's 'youth loan'.

The 18 year-old signed his first professional contract with the Railwaymen in June...

Altrincham manager, Phil Parkinson said, 'We are always monitoring teams that play similarly to ourselves and Crewe is a perfect fit in that respect. Joe caught my eye massively in an U23s' game against Coventry City a month ago.He is a talented on-the-ball midfielder who dominated that game...

It's a great opportunity for him and fulfills a need that we have got in terms of our injuries to midfielders [Williams, Richman] and keeps our strong links with Crewe going'...

Joe trained with his new colleagues last night at the club's new Thursday night training venue at Reaseheath College, [in Nantwich], and is available for Saturday's game at Dover".

Altrincham's previous eight signings since August have been (alphabetically) Fisayo Adarabioyo, Yusifu Ceesay, Matthew Gould, Matty Kosylo, Joel Senior and Ritchie Sutton, all of whom remain at the club, plus Max Clayton and Darren Potter who have since left Moss Lane.

In June 2020 Crewe Alexandra reported that "Joe Robbins has signed his first professional contract with the football club.

Joe featured regularly for Lee Bell's Under-18 side in the cut-short 2019-20 season and appeared numerous times for Alex Morris' Under-23's.

The young midfielder has agreed an initial one-year-deal".

Joe was born on the palindromic date of 20.02.2002 and becomes the youngest member of the Altrincham squad.

By way of an aside, Joe is not the first Robbins to pay for The Robins. Alty had a goalkeeper of that name in the 1950s. And, more recently, Alex Robbins was an Altrincham FC youth team regular.


Earlier in October Dover Athletic announced that "Following a difficult start to our first ever streaming attempt, we are delighted to announce we will now be working with, an independent production company with over two decades' worth of experience, to bring you live coverage of our home games, starting with our match against Aldershot Town on Tuesday 13th October...

The price to watch Tuesday’s match will be £8, which includes a free Video On Demand (VOD) replay, allowing you to watch the game again at a different time.

To purchase your virtual ticket for Tuesday’s National League fixture, simply visit and take the following steps.

  • Create an account at the above address prior to making payment.
  • Once your account is created, log in and select the match you wish to purchase.
  • Make your payment (Please note these will be made directly to


According to the FA, Altrincham Youth's First Round proper tie in the FA Youth Cup at Eccleshill United will take place on Wednesday, 4 November, at 7.45pm.


Altrincham FC announce that "Altrincham supporters, players and staff have raised £810 for St. Ann's Hospice in memory of legendary fan, Mark Eckersall, who lost his long battle with cancer in August.

The amount was raised through ticket sales for a YouTube Premiere of 'Parky's Dream', a video that was superbly put together by Alty TV's Mark Bennett and chronicles the Robins' remarkable rise, from The Northern Premier League to The National League, since Phil Parkinson and Neil Sorvel took over the managerial reins at Altrincham in May 2017, following successive relegations in 2015 and 2016.


Altrincham's overall record against Saturday's opponents, Dover Athletic, is very even with a mirror image record of results for each team at its own ground.
  • At Altrincham: P7-W3-D2-L2-F14-A8
  • Away: P7-W2-D2-L3-F13-A11
  • All: P14-W5-D4 L5-F27-A19

Above: Alty warm up at Crabble, in August 2015.

Altrincham's last visit to Crabble, the home of Dover Athletic, came on Saturday, 22 August, 2015 in a Vanarama National League match in which Alty slipped to a late defeat on what was a sweltering afternoon in Kent. It was to be the game in which Stuart Coburn's career was brought to a sudden end after he suffered a serious leg injury in the moments before Dover scored their winning goal.

The visitors fell behind to Ofori-Acheampong's 22nd minute goal before George Bowerman finished well to equalize from an excellent feed by Jordan Sinnott, just before half time.

In a disappointing second half Altrincham lost Adam Griffin to an early injury before conceding the hosts' controversial 89th minute goal. In the melee from which Dover scored, Stuart Coburn was hurt before the goal was netted and, after treatment, he was unable to continue. Outfield player Nicky Clee went in goal and he made a couple of good saves as the ten men completed the game.

Stuart's injury meant that Alty had, at that point, lost four of their first-choice back five to injury this season, as they had arrived in Dover without injured centre-backs Tom Marshall (broken leg) and Luca Havern (hamstring) and also lost Adam Griffin as mentioned above. Before kick-off Altrincham had been buoyed by a fine performance against Grimsby Town in the preceding midweek, which had brought them their first win of the season. New loan signing from Luton Town, Andrew Parry, started at Dover alongside Scott Leather at centre-back. Again there was no place for Ryan Crowther in the squad.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 22. Andrew PARRY, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Michael RANKINE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, Subs: 15. Anthony GRIFFITH, 17. Tim DEASY, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE


The departures from Altrincham in the past week of Max Clayton and Darren Potter bring to ten the number of players to have left the J. Davidson Stadium since the planned regular fixtures of the 2019-20 season were cancelled.

They are:

  1. Aug. 2020 Max Harrop (right) - 63(+44) appearances, 12 goals, now at Curzon Ashton
  2. Aug. 2020 James Hooper - 0 apps, now at Witton Albion
  3. Aug. 2020 Elliott Durrell - 5(+2) apps, 6 goals, now at Wrexham
  4. Aug. 2020 Steven Drench - 9 apps, now at Farsley Celtic
  5. Aug. 2020 Craig Mahon - 6(+5) apps, 0 goals, now at Curzon Ashton
  6. Aug. 2020 Lewis Walters - 3(+7) apps, 1 goal, now at Trafford
  7. Sep. 2020 Elliot Wynne - 10 apps, now at Atherton Collieries
  8. Oct. 2020 Jordan Hulme - 132(+7) apps, 70 goals, now at AFC Fylde
  9. Oct. 2020 Max Clayton - 0(+1) app., 0 goals
  10. Oct. 2020 Darren Potter - 1 app., 0 goals.

ON THIS DAY: 30 October

Two years ago today, on Tuesday, 30 October 2018, Altrincham played a Vanarama National League North match at the J. Davidson Stadium in which they beat Nuneaton Borough 4-0. For this game, James Poole had joined Sean Williams on the injured list, whilst Ben Harrison was continuing his bid to regain fitness with a dual registration arrangement at our neighbours Trafford FC. So, loanee Owen Dale returned to the starting eleven.

Right: Owen Dale received the congratulations of team-mates after opening the scoring.

After as poor a first-half performance by Altrincham as had been witnessed at the J Davidson Stadium that season, the hosts took an unconvincing lead in the last of two added minutes before the interval. Johnston's cross from the right was converted at the back post by Owen Dale. The game was then wrapped up barely a minute after the interval when Johnston's speculative effort from the right somehow went through the hands of goalkeeper Etheridge to make it 2-0.

A fine run by Johnston, as he drifted in from the right, culminated in a fine shot into the far corner of the net from right of goal to produce a 3-0 scoreline shortly before the hour-mark. Altrincham then took their foot of the gas and allowed the visitors plenty of possession before Hancock wrapped up a 4-0 win in the final minute of added time. The win lifted Altrincham to ninth in the league with a game in hand on six of the teams above them.

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


The Northern Premier League relays the news that "Stafford Rangers have announced that manager Jody Banim has left the club.

Banim [seen, left, in his Alty days, 2009] was appointed manager in July this year, having previously managed Ashton United to their promotion-winning year to the National League North.

Stafford Rangers shared on social media 'Directors have decided to terminate the appointment of Jody Banim as first team manager with immediate effect'...

The Marston Road side sit at the bottom of the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division table, having failed to record a win in the league. Stafford reached the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, before being knocked out 4-1 by Skelmersdale United."


NL Daily reports that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed the postponement of their National League fixture with Wealdstone.

The game was set to take place this Saturday (31st October) but has been called off for the time being due to ‘an outbreak of COVID-19’ in Halifax’s squad".

And the Halifax Courier adds that "FC Halifax Town have confirmed that striker Gold Omotayo has left the club.

Omotayo joined Town at the start of the season a short-term contract but he failed to score in his five appearances."

Barnet report that "The First Team squad are all doing well after several of them tested positive for COVID-19 over the recent period. The vast majority of players will return to training at the back end of this week and will be in contention to feature in next week's matches against Hartlepool United and Burton Albion, following the completion of their mandated self-isolation periods.

The boss, Peter Beadle is also reported to be doing well and will hopefully be back in the dugout for Tuesday's game with Hartlepool United... We are delighted that our young team managed to produce two excellent results in the last two matches...

The Club are awaiting confirmation from The FA as to whether our clash with the Brewers has been selected for broadcast coverage. Should our game be selected for TV, it would restrict our ability to live stream the match, however Bees fans could then tune in to the game through the specific broadcast company, should they pick our match...

Since our last home match with Weymouth, we have worked hard with our providers TourLife to ensure we are providing the best possible coverage to our supporters. This will include:

  • Pre-recorded pre-match show with interviews and highlights
  • Multi-camera views of the action
  • Live match commentary
  • Highlights of the action at both half time and full time
  • Live post-match reaction".

NL Daily tells us that "Chesterfield manager John Pemberton has been discussing his side’s tactical options ahead of this weekend’s game with Yeovil Town... having triumphed last weekend in the FA Cup...

On Yeovil, Pemberton said 'They’re a big club, they have some great players on paper and they’re a great footballing side. It will be a really tough game again. We felt three up top for Stockport was the right way to go, but it’s not all about formations, I feel. We’ve looked at Yeovil and we know what they’re about.

So we look to do what we need to do, and do it well.'”

The Derbyshire Times reports that "The Spireites’ FA Cup hero Milan Butterfield will be a ‘real asset’ to Chesterfield, says boss John Pemberton.

The 22-year-old, who signed from Kidderminster Harriers in the summer, scored his first goal for the club against Stockport County in the FA Cup to take the game to penalties, before rolling in the winning spot-kick during the shootout.

Butterfield has started three matches this season... It was his best game in a Town shirt and Pemberton believes there is more to come from the Bermudian [sic] international this season."

The National League says that "Danny Wright knows he made the right choice.

When you’re 36 and forever told it’s a young man’s game, the temptation to take it easy was placed tantalisingly in front of him. Gloucester City, the south west’s up-and-coming club with big investment and a flash new stadium, wanted his signature.

To make the lure even strong, the veteran striker lives ten minutes from the ground. Part-time football, an attractive pay packet and he can be home most Saturdays well before Strictly.

But Torquay United and his old managerial mucka Gary Johnson also wanted the free agent. Longer hours, away from the family, and, like on Saturday at Hartlepool United, more than the occasional two-day away trip on the motorway...

Wright explained 'It was absolutely the right decision... It did cross my mind to drop a level when Gloucester City said they wanted to sign me at the end of last season. I was out of contract and it was a big decision. If I went there, it would have meant the end to my career as a full-time player.

'That was big for me. I just wasn’t ready, even at the tender age of 36. The talks with my fiance Lisa were probably harder than with Torquay once they came in!... She probably thought the long distance days were over but I needed this move.

'There was a temptation to play in my home town, of course there was, but I want to stay pro. I just couldn’t say goodbye to that part of my life yet and so far it’s certainly paying off'...

Five years ago he was diagnosed with Coeliac disease, something which causes the intake of gluten in foods affects [to affect] the immune system, with a wide range of side-effects...

'When I was younger, I couldn’t pinpoint why I wasn’t feeling right in some games,' he adds... 'Then I got tested... I looked at my whole lifestyle and made changes, my energy levels went up and it’s given me longer on the pitch'...

He added 'I’m not training as much or as hard as when I was younger but I know what I am capable of and I would like to think that so far it’s showing'...

Wright scored twice as Torquay battled back from a goal down to take Aldershot apart 4-1 on Tuesday...

For a player who has spent all bar two of the past fourteen years giving his everything at National League level, he is well placed to know if he can do what he did with Johnson at Cheltenham and return the club to the Football League...

'I felt I earned the right to be a pro and I want to stay as a pro for as long as my body can take... I would love to do what we did at Cheltenham all over again... I know my role in this team and I know I’m still so hungry for success. I certainly think I made the right decision, even with these very long coach trips!'”

Also at Torquay United midfielder Ben Whitfield said, 'I think it’s been a really good start, one I think that we’ve deserved'... recovering after Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over Aldershot where he scored a fine shot from distance...

'We weren’t at it in the first half and it took a few words in the dressing room, but they were muchly deserved', said Ben...

Whitfield feels at home at Plainmoor, a little over a year since Gary Johnson brought him to TUFC...

'It has really benefited me having played the majority of last season under the Gaffer. I know the way he works and what he wants from me as a player. He talks to me quite a lot and he’s very good at man management...

'I think having a few formations under our belts that we can all play; it gives the Gaffer options. The opposition don’t know how we’re going to play because we have many different ways of playing.'”

In the Hartlepool Mail, "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor has revealed Gary Liddle will be 'out for a period' after picking up a knock in the win at Ilkeston Town on Saturday.

The 34-year-old was absent from Pools’ matchday squad against Altrincham... Liddle had been out with a groin injury before returning to the starting 11 against Ilkeston. He got a full 90 minutes under his belt, which suggested he got through the match unscathed.

However, Liddle suffered a reaction after the 6-0 victory...

Also missing from the matchday squad on Tuesday was Rhys Oates, Josh MacDonald and Luke Williams, while Henrich Ravas, Tom Crawford, Joe Grey, Mason Bloomfield and Claudio Ofosu took to the bench.

Challinor admitted he had a selection headache in the build-up in the game against Alty...

He said, 'You do things on merit. You look at not just tonight’s game, you’ve got to look a little bit further in terms of what we have coming up and players missing...

'We played a team we thought could win the game. There was the opportunity to do that in the first-half.

'Looking at the second-half, I’m probably wishing I had five defenders to pick and can make more subs to get more solidity on the pitch, which is probably one thing we’re a little short of but we’ll work with what we’ve got and make sure we can become that.'”

29 October 2020


Following the draw at Hartlepool, Altrincham FC has press and media officer Brian Flynn's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson.


Experienced midfielder Darren Potter, whose arrival at Altrincham was announced on 22 October has already left the club, as was confirmed by manager Phil Parkinson after Tuesday's game at Hartlepool.

Potter's only game for Altrincham was against AFC Fylde last Sunday in the FA Cup. He was substituted after 67 minutes of that Cup tie. Parkinson explained the midfielder's departure saying that he had found it difficult to adapt to the part-time game.

His departure follows the departure three days ago of Max Clayton after he, too, had made just one appearance. In his case, it was as a substitute, following his arrival at the club in August.

The duo are probably the only players in Alty history to have appeared for the club but who were never seen in action by Altrincham supporters thanks to the Covid-19 restrictions on the attendance of crowds at football matches.


Hartlepool United could not beat Altrincham and they cannot spell it either, in a report which omits a number of key details! "United remain unbeaten this season, but dropped two points in a 1-1 home draw with Altringham [sic]. Pools took the lead through David Parkhouse, but conceded an 85th minute leveller.

And in injury time, Pools’ keeper Ben Killip was the hero, saving a penalty to keep Pools’ record intact. Pools started on the front foot from the off, as the[y] pressed and probed around the visitors penalty area...

Pools took the lead on 31 minutes, as David Parkhouse netted... David Ferguson’s low ball to the near post was turned in by the on-loan striker...

Timi Odusina showed his turn of pace to track back and deny the advancing Fisayo Adarabioyo, but the defender was booked a minute later as the pair collided midway into the Pools half... Odusina was given a stern warning by referee Andrew Miller on the hour mark after a collision [sic] with Adarabioyo.

Pools then made their first change, as Molyneux was replaced by Claudio Ofosu. The visitors also altered their side, off went Hancock [no, it was Mullarkey] and on came Sutton. After a delay in play following an injury to the visitors Richman, Pools replaced goalscorer Parkhouse with Mason Bloomfield. [Richman had to be stretchered off after being fouled]...

Pools’ keeper Ben Killip was booked, as the ball bounced up onto his arm when he came out of the area to clear [and also took out Adarabioyo].

The leveller came on 85 minutes. A corner was cleared, but the ball was returned wide, and crossed into the area, when Peers [the scorer was actually Sutton] headed in from a packed penalty area.

Keeper Killip was Pools’ hero in injury time as he saved a penalty. Ofosu felled Senior in the area. Matthew Kosylo struck the spotkick firmly to the keeper’s right and Killip dived to push it away".

The Hartlepool Mail adds that "Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor has backed Claudio Ofosu to learn from his mistake during last night’s 1-1 draw with Altrincham.

The 22 year-old almost cost his side a point in injury time when he went to clear the ball from inside the penalty area but instead brought Joel Senior to the ground.

Thankfully for Ofosu and for Pools, Ben Killip was on hand to save Matty Kosylo’s spot-kick and preserve their unbeaten start to the season.

All in all, it proved to be a tough night for the former Stevenage youngster after coming on as a substitute but Challinor believes he will learn from it.

'That’ll be a good learning curve for Claudio,' Challinor said. 'He’s a young lad who is really, really keen to learn. He did great in pre-season but this is a completely different level... We lost our composure a bit through the frustration; there could be arguments to say Timi (Odusina) could have got a second yellow card, Ben Killip could have been sent off for a handball, not that I think it was.

'Claudio, unfortunately, lost his composure in the penalty area and conceded a penalty... but he’ll learn from that, he has to.'

Another one of Challinor’s summer signings also had an impact on the game. David Parkhouse, on loan from Sheffield United, netted his first league goal of the campaign from yet another David Ferguson assist.

He added 'It was probably the first time Fergy had got round the back of him[?] to put a ball in and Parky’s a goalscorer. It was a good goal; the best bit of play we produced in the first-half. 'In fairness to Altrincham, they made it difficult for us but we’ve then got to adapt to what we do. Players need to learn to play the game, not just how we played it last week. Every game is a different game.'"


Alty travel to Dover for a game on Saturday. On Tuesday, Dover Athletic reported that "A late winner from Ade Azeez stopped Whites’ run of defeats as Dover won their first game since the opening day.

Athletic went behind early on through Tyrone Barnett, but were 2-1 up at the break thanks to goals from Sam Wood and Louis Collins.

Dan Smith levelled for the Spitfires in the second half, however Azeez was able to poke home a counter attack late on as Whites took all three points.

Barnett had his side off to the perfect start as the visitors went ahead inside the first 10 minutes... Later, Whites were level through Wood.

The defender rose highest to meet Jack Munn’s swirling cross to the back post to score his second of the season.

Andy Hessenthaler’s men then took the lead on the half hour mark through Collins third goal in two matches, with the diminutive striker firing Azeez’s cutback into the corner of the net.

Kurtis Cumberbatch then almost put Whites further ahead on the stroke of half time, but his effort from outside the area flew just wide... Eastleigh continued to push in the second half and were level on the hour mark after a scramble in the box...

But the away side were caught cold as Whites retook the lead with 10 minutes of normal time left. Substitute Ahkeem Rose sprinted onto fellow sub and debutant Omar Mussa’s through ball and found Azeez to fire home the winner into the far bottom corner.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler made three changes from the penalty shootout defeat to Yeovil in the FA Cup, with Wood, Steve Rigg and Azeez replacing Marshall Wratten, Bilel Hinchiri and Rose.

Dover next host Altrincham in the National League on Saturday 31st October".

The Dover squad comprised... 24 Tom Smith, 2 Josh Passley, 22 Bayli Spencer-Adams, 20 Marvel Ekpiteta, 3 Sam Wood, 8 Kurtis Cumberbatch, 14 TJ Bramble, 11 Jack Munns, 10 Steven Rigg, 7 Louis Collins, 19 Ade Azeez. Subs: 1 Yusuf Mersin, 5 Paul Rooney, 9 Ahkeem Rose, 16 Marshall Wratten, 23 Omar Mussa.

ON THIS DAY: 29 October

Four years ago today, Altrincham lost 3-0 in a Vanarama National League North match, played at Bromsgrove, against Worcester City.

On the eve of the match Altrincham had signed experienced defender and former Worcester City man, Wayne Thomas [right], on loan from Kidderminster. He became the 34th player to be named that season in an Altrincham first-team squad. Reeves moved to the bench as Marsh started as a lone striker and Thomas replaced Cyrus at the back.

After a fairly bright start from Altrincham they found themselves not only a goal down but alos playing with ten men from the 11th minute. First, Sam Patterson failed to sell a dummy to an opponent, lost the ball, and from the resulting cross from the left veteran ex-WBA striker Lee Hughes headed home, unmarked (9 mins). And, soon afterwards, Patterson missed a ball played up Worcester's inside-left channel and Hughes ran towards goal. Just outside the box, the retreating Goodall brought the striker down and Altrincham's captain was sent off.

Keane made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark with a low shot from 25 yards. In the second half, the ten men rallied slightly with the introduction of substitutes Reeves, Heathcote and Cain but, against the run of play at that stage, Alty made another mistake at the back as Hall and McWilliams got in each other's way, allowing Nelson-Addy an easy conversion from close range (76 mins).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Andy McWILLIAMS, 4. Wayne THOMAS, 5. Danny HALL, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Simon RICHMAN, 10. Phil MARSH, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Greg WILKINSON, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Sam HEATHCOTE, 16. Harry CAIN, 20. Andrew DAWBER.


Following Tuesday night's fixtures, the National League reported that "It was a night of fast and frantic action... The goals flowed and we have new leaders after Torquay tore into Aldershot Town.

Danny Wright got two and contributions from Ben Wynter and Ben Whitfield made in a memorable night for Gary Johnson’s men. The 4-1 win took them ahead of Stockport County, who fired blanks in a stalemate with Solihull Moors.

Sutton United have enjoyed a great start; they won for the fourth time this season in the delayed kick-off at Yeovil. Harry Beautyman’s double lifted the London club to third as the midfielder showed he could have another great return from the middle of the park.

Wealdstone hold a play-off place and they have Danny Parish to thank for it. He fired a fantastic hat-trick as the Stones eventually held firm to win at King’s Lynn, who twice battled back to draw level...

Bromley beat Weymouth 3-2 in an exciting clash... while speed merchant Ade Azeez got what turned out to be the winner as Dover edged a classic with Eastleigh.

Altrincham came so close to a famous win at Hartlepool but keeper Ben Killip saved a late penalty from Matty Kosylo to deny them all three points, 1-1 it ended.

Dagenham’s poor start continued but Maidenhead are really making moves up the table... with a third straight win.

Boreham Wood are getting things together, they beat Woking 1-0... Wrexham and Barnet both wouldn’t be beaten and it ended goalless".


The Derbyshire Times tells us that "A number of National League clubs have raised concerns at the way a £10m government support package has been shared out. The funding is to help clubs cope without any matchday income as games continue to be played behind closed doors without any fans.

The amount each club will receive has been decided based on last season’s average attendance but some clubs in the National League have received more money than others in the National League North and South divisions despite having much lower crowds.

For example, the likes of York City, Hereford and Chester in the National League North all averaged more than 2,000 fans for home games but will only receive £36,000 per month in funding compared to Boreham Wood, of the National League, who will get £84,000 despite getting just 700 supporters.

Chesterfield is one of seven National League clubs which will receive £95,000 per month for the next three months. The other 16 clubs will each get £84,000".

Yeovil Town "fell to a disappointing defeat on Tuesday evening as Sutton United were the 2-1 victors at Huish Park.

After the visitors took [had taken] an early lead through Harry Beautyman, a late first-half goal from Joe Quigley offered hope for Town after a lacklustre opening 45 minutes.

Beautyman was a consistent danger to the Glovers, firing a second from the penalty spot, securing all three points returned to South London.

With Luke Wilkinson returning from his suspension, Carl Dickinson was the casualty in the Glovers backline as Albi Skendi and Josh Staunton retained their spaces. Dan Leadbitter and Gabby Rogers started on the flanks, with Lawson D’Ath, Charlie Lee and Matt Warburton in the middle. After their goalscoring performances on Saturday, Joe Quigley and Rhys Murphy began up top.

Despite a similar side to Saturday, the Glovers began the game in polarising [?opposite] fashion. Sutton began the game well on top, with Yeovil struggling to find any sort of out ball...

After a poor start, Darren Sarll would have felt nothing was going his way as Josh Staunton fell awkwardly leading to him being replaced by Carl Dickinson in Yeovil’s back three....

Sutton must have felt hard-done-by to be behind at the break [it was actually 1-1 at HT], and Matt Gray’s side came out for the second half with a vengeance.

That fire in the Sutton belly soon forced a penalty as Wilkinson was adjudged to have fouled as Sutton broke away. The always bright Beautyman stepped up and comfortably dispatched [it]...

With referee’s [referees] a constant talking point, this man in the middle did little to keep himself out of the Glovers’ supporters’ mouths, denying two vocal penalty shouts from Yeovil".

From Weymouth we learn that the Terras "somehow emerged beaten at Hayes Lane as Bromley took a 3-2 win... Most of the first-half attacking came from Weymouth as Josh Wakefield thudded [a shot] home in the 23rd minute to establish a merited lead.

But captain Josh McQuoid gave away a cheap penalty from which Michael Cheek equalised as Bromley gained the upper hand.

A fabulous counter led to Nassim L’Ghoul sweeping home in the 47th minute before Ben Williamson’s arcing drive eluded away keeper Jack Bycroft for 3-1.

Tom Whelan’s penalty three minutes from time set up a grandstand finish as Weymouth created late chances but could not find what would have been a deserved leveller.

Searching for a second league win in succession, Weymouth boss Brian Stock made four changes to the side that began Saturday’s 3-2 FA Cup loss to Oxford City. In came Wakefield, McQuoid, Josh Leslie-Smith and Calvin Brooks at the expense of Alefe Santos, Jake McCarthy, Myles Anderson and Ollie Harfield. Of the omitted quartet, only Harfield and McCarthy retained a place in the matchday squad.

Striker Ben Thomson was due to come in and replace Cody Cooke, only to fall ill before the game...

Weymouth were doing all the attacking in the opening portion of the game... Taking a justified lead, Weymouth allowed Bromley to creep back into the game".

Wealdstone report that "Danny Parish shone brightest in the battle of the National League North and South champions, netting an impressive hat-trick on his full debut against King’s Lynn Town.

The Linnets scored two goals after half-time courtesy of debutant Kairo Mitchell but the National League’s top scorers took all three points back to West London.

Stones Manager Dean Brennan made six changes from the side that were eliminated from the FA Cup last Saturday, including a full debut for Parish and returns for Harry Isted, Jack Cawley, Michael Phillips, Danny Green and Ross Lafayette.

It was a flying start for the travelling Stones who broke the deadlock after six minutes when Parish scored his first for the club...

It was a quick start to the second half as Mitchell headed in three minutes after the restart to eliminate any hope of earning first clean sheet of the season. King’s Lynn were on top in the second half until Parish found his second, heading in his second goal of the game from Green’s corner.

The tables swung again three minutes later as Mitchell netted his second goal of the game for the hosts, a decent move from King’s Lynn ended in a chip by Mitchell over Isted.

Wealdstone have become accustom to crazy games already this season, this was another as Lafayette was taken down in the box three minutes after the host’s equaliser. Parish stepped up and Archie Mair made a great save down to his right to deny the striker before Parish latched onto the rebound to secure his first Wealdstone hat-trick.

The Stones held on and now sit comfortably in 6th place in the National League after three impressive league wins in a row".

At Torquay United "Gary Johnson was a happy manager after a sublime second-half showing was enough to see his side emerge as 4-1 winners at Aldershot, a result that saw his side climb to the top of the National League standings.

'Fantastic result, especially from where we were in the first half', began Johnson. 'I apologise to all our supporters for the first half performance, but Aldershot decided to go long, very long, and they had runners. We didn’t cope with the long ball in behind us, and the runners, and we couldn’t seem to play out. Everything we hit was short, and they put us under a little bit of pressure.

'We got a bit of luck from a poor cross, and the goalie fumbled it into his goal. That at least kept us in the game, and it was just a matter of having a little word in their ear at half-time, and changing their mentality, as well as changing the shape, and personnel. I made one change and from that moment on, we had a better shape, a better mentality, and played some great stuff in the second half, and that’s what we can do...

'It [the interval talk] was one of my better ones I think! We had to change a few things. A few people were feeling sorry for themselves, and if you give a little livener, the lads know you’re doing it for the right reasons. Also our change of shape helped, but the mentality was vital. They had to stop feeling sorry for themselves, and go out and win the game, and that is exactly what they did.

'It’s a good run of five wins, including one FA Cup game, and I wanted to get over only scoring two goals in every game, so today getting four was probably what we deserved in other games. I’ve been saying we’ve been creating enough chances to score three or four goals'"

Sutton United tells us that "Harry Beautyman scored twice, and brought up his half century of Sutton goals, as U’s moved made it four wins out of five in the National League and moved up to third place in the table. After a delayed kick off due to floodlight issues Sutton produced arguably their best 45 minutes of the season so far in the first half".

Solihull Moors "announce the capture of towering centre forward Kyle Hudlin.

Hudlin has joined Moors after a spell with Midland League Division Two side Solihull United and has put pen to paper on a two-year deal...

The 20 year-old has been a non-league hot-shot for a few years, most noticeably catching the eye at former side Boldmere Sports and Social Falcons.

During the last campaign, the 6ft 9inch striker notched 25 times in just 22 games for the Falcons before signing for United in March... A new challenge now awaits Hudlin as he makes the jump from playing in step seven of English football to the National League.

Hudlin revealed The Training Room Sporting Complex, where the first-team now train, blew him away and made him realise he was taking his career to the next level.

'My mind was made up after the first training session,' he said. The lads are a really friendly bunch, great quality and I honestly don’t think there is a better move for me.

'The set-up is ridiculously good, as you can see you have everything here, the pitch is like a carpet and there really is nothing better... At 6ft 9, I am a unique presence. I don’t believe there is anyone else like me,' he said. 'My tall frame is one of my main advantages because people disregard how technical I am. Being underestimated as soon as I step out on the pitch, I like to surprise people, I like being an underdog...

'I started from the bottom really, Sunday league football,' he said. 'I haven’t had academy training, I have got here through hard work, determination and belief... I have come from step seven but I believe I deserve this move'...

Manager Jimmy Shan added 'You look at Kyle’s physical presence straight away, but he’s got really good control and a really good eye for goal'".

Also from Solihull Moors we learn of the "signing of Bermuda international Justin Donawa.

The 24-year-old attacker signs from Darlington for an undisclosed fee, on a contract until May 2022. Donawa has quite the background, having grown up as a cricket player and triple jumper where he won three medals in regional competitions; he also competed at the 2013 World Youth Championships in Athletics.

However, Donawa found success in football after moving to the United States to attend the Berkshire School and then Dartmouth College. He won three Ivy League championships with the Big Green, appeared during school breaks with Somerset Trojans, and spent time with Black Rock FC.

He was drafted by Columbus Crew in the third round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft but was not signed by the club.

Donawa moved to England last summer after impressing during pre-season with Darlington, which bagged him a contract with the Quakers. He went on to play 37 times throughout the 2019/20 season, scoring nine goals. This season, Donawa has made a further four appearances and netted twice...

After representing Bermuda at under-20 level, Donawa has since progressed to accumulate 20 senior caps for his nation, scoring three goals.

On signing for the Moors, Donawa said 'I’m glad I’ve been able to catch the attention of Solihull... It’s a great project and I want to make an impact in whatever way I can.'

Manager Jimmy Shan said 'Justin’s a player that’s very very quick. If we were to change shape, then he could play as a wide player and I think it was important for us to get somebody who could operate in that territory of the pitch. He’s very quick, very direct and I think he’ll cause people problems and defenders nightmares with his pace'">

Stockport County report that "The Hatters returned to National League action at Edgeley Park, and extended their unbeaten run to five matches, albeit without notching up a fifth successive victory, as their contest under the lights in SK3 against fellow high-fliers Solihull Moors ended goalless.

Heavy daytime showers had given way to calmer evening weather, as County took to the field showing two changes from the side that had started in the FA Cup-tie against Chesterfield three days previously. Ryan Croasdale was handed his full County debut, while Connor Jennings was recalled, replacing Ash Palmer, who was unwell, and the injured Lois Maynard."

After starting the season well, King's Lynn Town "suffered their 4th defeat in a row following a 3-2 defeat at home to Wealdstone on Tuesday evening, despite an improved performance especially in the second half.

Recent signings Danny Lupato and Kairo Mitchell were both handed full debuts with Rory McAuley (suspension), Michael Gash (illness) and Cameron King (injury) all missing.

It was the visitors who took an early lead on 6 minutes... Although having plenty of the ball Lynn created very little until 10 minutes before half time when captain Michael Clunan’s shot went just over the bar...

Whatever manager Ian Culverhouse said at half-time worked as within 5 minutes Lynn were level when Sonny Carey’s cross was met by the head of Mitchell for his first goal in Lynn colours... Despite Lynn’s improvement it was Wealdstone who regained the lead on 67 minutes... Within 3 minutes Lynn were again level...

Another 4 minutes later and.... despite Mair saving Parish’s penalty he was quickest to the rebound to net his hat trick."

At Eastleigh "The Spitfires’ unbeaten start to the season ends [ended] at The Crabble Stadium, finishing 3-2 in a disappointing display.

Strike-partners Tyrone Barnett and then Dan Smith both made the scoresheet but a goal from Sam Wood and a Louis Collins double downed [sic] the Spitfires in Dover.

Eastleigh got off to the perfect start after just six minutes, when target-man Barnett bundled in Sam Smart’s cross... The Spitfires were then punished with Sam Wood’s header converting a deep cross fired into the back-post, beyond the onrushing Joe McDonnell.

The misery was then added after a wicked ball across our box was buried via the left boot of the marauding Louis Collins. Shortly after the break... the equaliser was eventually found... However, with just ten minutes to play Collins once again scored to take the lead, after being set up a sitter across the box."

Dagenham & Redbridge report how "Maidenhead United came from behind to beat the Daggers 2-1 at York Road on Tuesday evening.

Sam Deering opened the scoring with a superb finish on the volley, before goals from Nathan Blissett and Josh Coley secured a comeback for the Magpies.

The Daggers named an unchanged starting XI for the trip to Berkshire... The Daggers continued to show their superiority, limiting the home side to very little in the opening 45 minutes and got what they deserved just before the break. Will Wright switched the ball over to Deering, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net with incredible technique.

Maidenhead came out for the second half wanting to improve on a poor opening 45, and on 55 minutes, Blissett tapped into the net from close range after the Daggers failed to clear a corner... The Daggers [went] behind. Josh Coley raced onto a loose ball as Elliot Justham came rushing out. The Magpies man then chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and Abu Ogogo was unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line".

28 October 2020


Altrincham made five changes as Potter, Kosylo, Densmore, Hampson and Sutton were replaced in the starting eleven by Senior, Richman, Hannigan, White and debutant Adarabioyo.

Hartlepool started brightly and kept Alty on the back foot for opening ten minutes before the visitors began to get into the game. Ceesay looked Alty's brightest attacking hope, on the left, with striker Adarabioyo seeing little of the ball.

Alty suffered a double blow around the half-hour mark. Firstly, Mullarkey injured himself in making a challenge and had to be helped off, to be replaced by Sutton at centre-back. Moments later Hartlepool worked the ball across field to former York man Ferguson and his low cross was turned in at the near post by a stretching Parkhouse.

Pools continued to dominate but Alty got to the interval just a goal behind.

Alty suffered another injury blow midway through the second half when Simon Richman was fouled and had to be stretchered off. But Altrincham finished the game well and levelled the score after 86 minutes when Jake Moult's cross was headed firmly home at the back post by substitute centre-back Ritchie Sutton [pictured, right].

With seven added minutes being played, Alty then had a great chance to win the game when Senior burst into the box and was brought down. Kosylo took the resulting penalty but Killip, clearly moving off his line before the kick, saved to his right (90+3 mins). So the game ended level with Altrincham's second-half performance in adversity bringing the deserved reward of a draw at one of the title favourites.

Match report here


Tuesday 27 October 2020
  • Aldershot Town 1-4 Torquay United
  • Boreham Wood 1-0 Woking
  • Bromley 3-2 Weymouth
  • Dover Athletic 3-2 Eastleigh
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Notts County (Positive Covid tests at Notts County)
  • Hartlepool United 1-1 Altrincham
  • King's Lynn Town 2-3 Wealdstone
  • Maidenhead United 0-0 Solihull Moors
  • Wrexham 0-0 Barnet
  • Yeovil Town 1-2 Sutton United

ON THIS DAY: 28 October

Three years ago today, on Saturday, 28 October 2017, in a Buildbase FA Trophy First Qualifying Round match, Altrincham overcame their Lancastrian opposition Clitheroe 3-0 at Moss Lane.

Once again Altrincham were without the injured Disney, Taylor, Hannigan, Amis, Miller, Sheridan and Short, whilst Jones had been added to the list following a midweek game. But Amis and Taylor were able to take a part in the warm-up. So Phil Parkinson deployed as strong a side as he had available, with reserve Callum Jones coming in at right-back and Bembo-Leta moving to centre-back.

Right: John Johnston and Tom Peers received the plaudits aginst Clitheroe in 2017.

In fact, they overcame both the adverse weather conditions and a hardworking Clitheroe side at a wind- and rain-swept J. Davidson Stadium. But the afternoon was marred by the red card shown to captain Jake Moult for comments that displeased the referee, Kristian Silcock.

Playing into the wind and rain in the first half, Altrincham reached the interval goalless. Nine minutes after the break a Johnston shot went through keeper Thompson's hands to give the hosts the lead. Eight minutes later the referee stopped play and flashed a red card at Moult after he had complained about an elbow in his face.

However, the ten men went on to score twice more through substitute Tom Peers. His first came nine minutes from time when he headed home a Poole freekick. And the third goal arrived in added time as excellent work from Harrop got Johnston up the right and his low cross was turned in by Peers.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Callum JONES, 3. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Mason WALSH, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Sean MILLER 16. Tom PEERS, 20. Tim DEASY


Before Tuesday's game, Aldershot Town reported that "After picking up four points in back-to-back Vanarama National League away fixtures before being knocked out of the FA Cup by local rival Woking, the Shots have a quick turnaround back to league action as they host Torquay United on Tuesday evening.

Following a fast start and a strong opening half-an-hour to the game, things were looking promising for Aldershot in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round match. However, after Woking equalised before taking the lead in the second half with Max Kretzschmar taking advantage of a Mitch Walker slip, it was another disappointing day for the Shots at the EBB...

Connor Laing previews the game, saying 'With the exception of Lewis Kinsella’s MCL injury, which will keep him side-lined until Spring 2021, all of Danny Searle’s injuries appear to be minor ones. Harry Panayiotou, who picked up an knock against Eastleigh, is still a doubt, but will be assessed before the game. As will Alex Finney and Ross McCormack, who picked up a slight knock in the first half against Woking.'"

On Tuesday, Barnet reported that "The Bees make the long trip to North Wales as they take on Wrexham...

The hosts have had a mixed start to the 2020/21 campaign, having won two of their opening five league matches so far. The Red Dragons won two of their opening three fixtures, starting with an impressive opening day victory over Boreham Wood on home soil before a defeat to Solihull Moors followed the following Tuesday. They won their third match of the season and surprised a few by securing all three points against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.

However, since then the Welsh side have seen a downturn in results and performances to boot, they lost at home to Maidenhead United in front of the BT Sport cameras, before conceding four goals to newly-promoted Wealdstone as they lost 4-3 to the Stones.

The pressure is mounting on tomorrow's opponents following a heavy defeat to Solihull Moors in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend. They have now conceded eight goals in their last two matches and the Bees will feel confident that they could take advantage of what look's to be a shaky Wrexham backline. With the pressure firmly set on our hosts to stop the rot in form, the Bees will want to set the tempo early on and take the game to their Welsh counterparts.

The mood in the camp will be electric following Saturday's Emirates FA Cup victory over Leiston, as the Bees beat the odds with a severely depleted squad to progress into the First Round Proper. However, attention now turns to National League action as we return to league football for the first time in two weeks...

However, the Bees will still be without several First Team players following the news last week that many squad players are currently self-isolating following positive COVID-19 tests. Peter Beadle also remains out of the dugout as he continues to self isolate because of his positive test result.

After a busy summer with several new players coming in, you get the sense that things are slowly coming together for the Bees, as they look to make it three wins on the spin in all competitions. Saturday's performance showed that this group that has been assembled over the summer have amazing togetherness and spirit".

At Dover Athletic "After Saturday’s penalty shootout loss to Yeovil in the FA Cup, Andy Hessenthaler’s men turn their focus back to the National League...

Ben Strevens’ Spitfires [Eastleigh] are currently unbeaten after their first four league games. Following up their 5-1 thrashing of Barnet on the opening day of the campaign with another win and two draws...

Manager Strevens has brought in six players over the summer, including Abdulai Bell-Baggie from a Weymouth side promoted from the National South last season.

Prior to playing over 100 games for the Terriers, Bell-Baggie also played for Stockport County and Poole Town...

Joe McDonnell and Pierce Bird have also been brought in from fellow National League side Notts County. McDonnell has previous non-league experience with Basingstoke Town, Hendon, Hampton and Richmond and Harrow Borough, as well as experience in League One and League Two with AFC Wimbledon. Pierce meanwhile, started his career in the East Midlands Counties League with Dunkirk, before moves to Leek Town, Alfreton Town, Grantham Town and Boston United.

Another of their signings, Joe Tomlinson, was chosen as the 2019/20 National League South Young Player of the Season as captain of Hungerford Town.

Finally, centre-forwards Dan Smith and Ben House also joined the club from Bognor Regis Town and Reading respectively."

And Eastleigh themselves report that they are "delighted to announce the signing of attacker Ryan Hill from Hampton and Richmond Borough FC.

The winger joins on a long term deal after spending two seasons at the London club, where he scored eight goals and got 14 assists in 2019/20.

After coming through the ranks at Beaconsfield FC, he moved to the Stoke City academy, spending a season with the U23 squad before moving to the Beavers...

Manager Ben Strevens said, 'Ryan has that energy and ability to beat people in the final third. He’s young, and got that hunger to get better... This gives us another really good attacking option in the final third'".

Also from Hampshire, Non-League Daily reports that "Eastleigh have announced a new contract for Sam Smart.

The 22-year-old attacking player has agreed a one-year extension with Ben Strevens’s side.

Smart joined the Spitfires from Basingstoke Town last summer.

He has had trials with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland in the past couple of years."

At Solihull Moors, before their midweek game, we learnt that "The Moors are back on their travels as they head to Stockport County...

Stockport currently sit top of the National League table on goal difference, having won four of their opening five games. Like the Moors, they lost their opening fixture away from home but have since won all of their league games.

The Moors are on a four-game winning run in all competitions without conceding a single goal and sit three points behind their hosts, having played a game less.

On the weekend, County bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup after losing 6-5 on penalties to Chesterfield. The Moors sealed their passage to the first round proper with a comfortable 4-0 win over Wrexham".

27 October 2020


Altrincham travel to the north-east for tonight's league match against Hartlepool United in the Vanarama National League. The hosts lie third in the table with a game in hand after winning three of their four league fixtures to date and drawing the other game. Alty start the match in bottom place, a position that came about after having had two recent matches postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests.

Tonight's match is being streamed by Hartlepool United at a cost of £9.99 per ticket.

This will be Altrincham's first visit to Hartlepool though Alty did meet Pools in the FA Cup in 1973/4 season, when Alty won 2-0 at Moss Lane in Round One of the FA Cup. Altrincham went out in the Second Round that season, in a replay against Blackburn Rovers.

Last Saturday Hartlepool won 6-0 at Ilkeston Town in the FA Cup Fourth qualifying Round.

Before the game, Hartlepool United reported that "Pools take on Altrincham at The Vic tonight as they look to continue the unbeaten start to the season.

It has been quite the opposite for the Greater Manchester side after finding themselves bottom of the National League having played out three draws and one defeat in this season's openers. [Actually it's two draws and a defeat.]

Last season ended with a sixth-place finish [actually they finished fifth], resulting in another play-off campaign. After defeating Chester 3–2 and York City 2–0, the club beat Boston United 1–0 in the final, earning promotion to the National League.

After being promoted, manager Phil Parkinson brought in six new summer signings through the door and most recently former Manchester City striker Fisayo Adarabioyo.

Their most recent game came just two days ago as they were beaten 2-1 by Fylde in the FA Cup as the Robins continue to look for their first victory of the season.

Pools look to push on from their impressive 6-0 victory at Ilkeston on Saturday. Dave Challinor has no injury concerns going into tonight's game".


Tom Peers scored at Fylde in Sunday's FA Cup tie and, assuming he plays tonight at Hartlepool, it will be the Altrincham striker's one hundreth appearance for the club.

Whilst he will be hoping to start the game once more to bring up his century of appearances, in terms of symmetry the ideal would be to come on from the bench so that his century comprises exactly fifty starts and fifty substitute appearances! And if Tom scores at Hartlepool he could end the evening with another neat mathematical total of 50 starts, 50 sub appearances and 25 goals!

Right: The last time most Alty fans saw Tom was in the final game before lockdown last season, when Alty beat Spennymoor 4-1 on 7 March 2020. Tom is seen here during that game.

Tom, who was 25 last week, was born in Warrington and came through the Chester FC youth system (2013-16) where he made 3(+21) first-team appearances under manager Neil Young. Tom then went on loan to 1874 Northwich FC and, in January 2015, he started a month's loan at Marine.

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

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

Tom ended the season at FCUM but rejoined Altrincham in late May 2019.


Altrincham FC announce that "Former England under-19 striker Max Clayton has left Altrincham by mutual consent after making just one Vanarama National League appearance for the club.

After signing shortly before the start of the pre-season programme, the 26 year-old frontrunner underlined his determination to recapture his old form and fitness, following a couple of injury setbacks that seriously curtailed his progress during his time at Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers. He featured in the pre-season games and made a brief appearance as substitute towards the end of Alty's opening National League fixture against Weymouth at The J.Davidson Stadium.

But opportunities have since proved elusive, and it was felt it would be in the best interests of both parties to cancel his contract and allow him to seek a fresh start elsewhere".

After his brief 83rd minute debut from the bench in the opening match of the league season, Clayton was not named in Alty's squqad for their only other two subsequent league fixtures, to date.


The National League reports that "Jim Bentley believes five-from-five AFC Fylde will only get stronger now, even though the manager won’t be around to see it.

The Coasters boss is to undergo heart bypass surgery after falling ill over the summer. His operation is over a week away but he goes with the National League North club firing following six points from a possible six and three FA Cup wins.

The latest came on Saturday against Altrincham...

'I go into a period of self-isolation now before the operation at the start of November. I’ve got full trust in the staff here but they have got big boots to fill! I’ll only be at the end of the phone. I’ll still be watching the games during my recovery and I’ll still be speaking to the players, dropping them text messages here and there. But I have to do this right. There’s no better way to bow out for a while than after five straight wins', he said.

Reliable assistant manager Nick Chadwick will take charge...

Bentley added 'I do still think we have got more in the tank. What we are looking strong is with our defensive shape and limited a good Altrincham from a league above side to only a few chances...

'It’s five wins on the spin for the side, and three FA Cup victories; it’s been a really pleasing start', he added. 'We knew Altrincham are a very good side so it’s a really pleasing win for us'"


Andy Owens scored twice for Radcliffe as they beat Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday whilst Jonny Margetts also netted a brace for Frickley Athletic.

ON THIS DAY: 27 October

Two years ago today, on 27 October 2018, Altrincham entertained Ashton United at the JDS and emerged 3-0 winners in a Vanarama National League North match.

Above: John Johnston (left) nets the opening goal against Ashton United asthe late Mike Garnett leads the celebrations behind the goal net.

Altrincham started this game lying fifteenth in the table, two points and two places ahead of Ashton, who arrived at Moss Lane with the highest conceding defence in the division. Sean Williams's metatarsal injury sidelined him, and Owen Dale moved to the bench as Josh Hancock came into the starting eleven.

Of the cohort of ex-Alty men on Ashton's books, only Sam Sheridan and Liam Tomsett started whilst Mark Lees was on the bench.

The match became an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win for Alty over their Tameside opponents at a cold but sunny J. Davidson Stadium. Although the visitors saw plenty of the ball, they rarely troubled the home defence.

Altrincham went ahead in the 13th minute when John Johnston netted after Andy White's effort had been blocked. After losing James Poole to injury on his first start of the season, Altrincham doubled their lead. A foul on Harrop, led to Johnston's freekick, which was deflected into his own net by an Ashton player to make it 2-0 after 53 minutes.

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


Notts County recently reported that "It’s been a challenging couple of weeks at Meadow Lane following a number of our players testing positive for COVID-19. This led us to make the incredibly hard but correct decision yesterday to cease training and playing for a short time to create a ‘firebreak’ process at the club.

Withdrawing from this season’s Emirates FA Cup was a particularly difficult call but, with so many players unavailable and the possibility of further cases evolving despite good infection prevention and control measures within the club, it would have been negligent and irresponsible of us to travel to King’s Lynn, and subsequently to Halifax and Aldershot next week for our National League fixtures... We’re hopeful of catching up quite quickly.

While a few players who tested positive are still experiencing symptoms, I’m pleased to report that they are all looking forward to returning to training when the time is right. Thankfully, some are already symptom free and raring to go...

This disruption to our season, particularly following such a strong start, is hugely disappointing. We are, nevertheless, proud of the proactive approach we have taken which has led us to identify the cases within our camp. Testing is by no means a cheap exercise, nor is it mandatory, but our owners Chris and Alex Reedtz have generously funded a regular programme and will continue to do so in the interests of protecting the health of our employees and public health...

The FA’s Chief Medical Officer, who I was in close dialogue with earlier this week, was very complimentary about our approach throughout the pandemic... We’re planning to... commence preparations for our currently scheduled return to action on Wednesday 11 November, when we host Stockport County in front of the BT Sport cameras...

We had hoped that our share of the well-publicised £10 million funding package kindly made available by the National Lottery would have gone a long way to making up the shortfall.

But, while we appreciate the Government, FA and National League’s efforts in securing this funding, the allocation of the monies does not accord with the criteria set out earlier this month, when Government made it clear it should be used to subsidise clubs for their lost gate revenue.

How can it be right, therefore, that we receive only £11,000 [£95K v £84K pcm] per month more than the likes of Boreham Wood, Wealdstone and Weymouth despite our average attendances being more than five times theirs? They and a host of other clubs are now actually in a stronger financial position than they would have been if crowds were permitted at matches and, as a result, have gained an unfair competitive advantage over clubs like ours who have been left significantly worse off. The allocation is profoundly flawed to the extent that it seriously and adversely impacts the very integrity of the competition.

All clubs were asked to provide the league with financial information at the end of September and to specifically detail their estimated lost gate revenue. While we understand these figures are merely indicative, alongside average attendances over say a two-year period they should have provided enough information to enable the league to work out a sensible banding of teams rather than adopting this purely arbitrary system.

If the funds were distributed in an optimal way, it is conceivable that all clubs could have received close to their lost gate receipts for the first three months of the season, with further potential to replace other lost revenue streams with live streaming and creative sponsorship and marketing initiatives.

In a letter to the league I have offered to provide a number of options for a more considered and structured distribution based on various scenarios using the above information. I am yet to receive a response!"

Barnet confirm that their Tuesday fixture "away to Wrexham will now kick off at the earlier time of 19:00, following an agreement between both Clubs".

This follows a precedent set by Altrincham in agreeing to a 7pm kick off when Bromley visit Altrincham for a midweek game in the near future. The purpose is to facilitate travel home for a team, travelling a long distance for a midweek fixture.

Barnet are expected to be much weakened by the absence of players who are self-isolating.

At Weymouth, "Disappointed boss Brian Stock admitted two 'gifted' goals to Oxford City gave the Terras an 'uphill battle' in their 3-2 FA Cup loss at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Weymouth have not reached the main draw for 13 seasons and fell at the final qualifying hurdle for the sixth time in that period with defeat to the Hoops.

In a wretched first-half display, a poor tackle from Myles Anderson gave away a penalty from which James Roberts made it 1-0 with a venomous conversion.

City had two goals in two minutes when Jake McCarthy’s sloppy backpass handed Josh Ashby an unmissable chance for 2-0.

Weymouth did not have a shot at goal in the first half but improved in the second thanks to the introduction of skipper Josh McQuoid. The former Northern Ireland international’s impact spurred Weymouth on and Ollie Harfield’s cross was sliced into his own net by Luis Fernandez in the 54th minute.

Weymouth were suddenly creating chances at will and a clinical first-time finish from Andy Robinson restored parity eight minutes later.

But City regrouped and deservedly won it at the death, Louis Hall volleying home Nana Owusu’s cross.

Post-match, Stock...said 'We didn’t even get going until the second half. When you look at the two goals that we gifted Oxford it was two mistakes that you can never legislate for. We gifted them a 2-0 lead and it was an uphill battle from there on...

'The team performance as a whole in the first half was unacceptable. I’m learning more about the squad every week and I learnt a lot first half... My substitutions were quite positive in order to try and nick a winner.

'Again, the word naivety comes into play in terms of how we conceded the third goal'".

Maidenhead United "announce that teenager Reece Smith has signed a contract with the club. The 18 year-old winger is a product of the MUFC Academy...

Smith made a MUFC First Team debut against Binfield in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup last December and was handed a first start in the following round against Marlow. Reece has since been named in the XVI selected by Alan Devonshire at Sutton United on the first day of this current National League season."


Had Altrincham won their FA Cup tie at Fylde on Sunday, they would have faced an away trip to Exeter City in Round One of the Emirates FA Cup, which was drawn by Grant Holt on Monday evening.

The ties that involved National League teams were:

Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper

  • Rochdale v Chesterfield
  • Barnet v Burton ALbion
  • Bromley v Yeovil Town
  • Torquay United v Crawley Town
  • Gillingham v Woking
  • Salford City v Hartlepool United
  • Scunthorpe United v Solihull Moors
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Grimsby Town
  • Eastleigh v MKL Dons
  • Boreham Wood v Southend
  • Port Vale v King's Lynn Town

26 October 2020


On Sunday afternoon Altrincham went out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle. In a match which never set the pulse racing, Alty fell behind to a dreadful goal. Thompson played out a goalkick to debutant Darren Potter who was just inside the penalty area. He dwelt on the ball and was dispossessed by Philliskirk with the ball breaking towards goal for former Alty man Jordan Hulme to score straightforwardly past the exposed Thompson (43 mins).

Early in the game Hulme had hit the post after turning smartly past his marker but neither side otherwise troubled their opponents' keeper in the first half.

More poor defending cost Alty a second goal in the 54th minute when Burke's low ball into the box allowed Tollitt to collect and drift across his marker to score.

For Alty, Kosylo was the brightest spark but it was Ceesay and Hampson who combined to create Altrincham's goal on the hour mark, with Peers scoring from close range. However, Altrincham barely laid a glove on Fylde in the remainder of the game and must now concentrate on getting their league campaign up and running as they seek a first win at Hartlepool on Tuesday night.

Match report here

Altrincham FC has John Edwards's match report.

ON THIS DAY: 26 October

Covid has wrought chaos to the 2020-21 season but a year ago today Altrincham were also experiencing a disrupted fixture list for different reasons.

The planned fixture for 26 October 2019, at home to AFC Telford United, had been postponed after relentless rain in the preceding 24 hours, which meant that more than an inch of rain had fallen in the Borough of Trafford in that period. This was the second successive Saturday home match at Altrincham to fall victim to rain after the fixture with Gateshead had had to be called off on 28 September, also due to a waterlogged pitch.

By this date in 2019-20 season Altrincham had already had to rearrange five fixtures. In addition to the Telford match and the Gateshead clash, the league games away at Kettering Town and at home to Blyth Spartans had had to be postponed owing to Alty's continuing FA Cup involvement. Also, the following Tuesday's planned visit to Stalybridge Celtic, for a Cheshire Senior Cup tie, had had to be called off as Celtic were having to reschedule their FA Vase match against South Shields to that Tuesday evening owing to the postponement of the original fixture.

The postponement on 26 October 2019 at the J. Davidson Stadium contributed to a ten-week period of league inactivity for Altrincham as regards home games. The next home league fixture for Alty to be played was not until 16 November against Hereford FC; the previous home league game had been on 7 September, versus Leamington. (A Cup replay against Chester was played at Moss Lane on 24 September).

Recent signing Lewis Archer (above, right) was cursed. His arrival at Moss Lane had been announced on 21 September, 2019, but he had yet to step on the pitch for Altrincham and was fated never to do so.


Stockport County have "post-match reaction from a frustrated Jim Gannon, as County bowed out of the FA Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Chesterfield at Edgeley Park.

Jim was quick to praise the performance of the opposition, believing their game plan was executed extremely well, but was disappointed with an ‘underwhelming’ performance from his side.

Although the manager was pleased with the improvement in performance in the second-half, he was frustrated that we didn’t take our chances to kill the game, and that we were unable to maintain our tempo until the end.

There was also an update on injuries, with mixed news for the likes of Mark Kitching and James Jennings, who both missed the game with knocks picked up during the week.

Despite the disappointment of defeat, Jim emphasised the importance of focusing on Tuesday night’s game against Solihull in the league, describing it as a ‘cup final’ for the side, against a team he expects to be challenging for promotion this season."

A happier manager's reaction comes from Solihull Moors from whence "Solihull Moors manager Jimmy Shan provides his assessment to Saturday's progression into the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup.

'I think we could've been two goals to the good in the first 10 minutes. It was a very good first half performance. In saying that, with my high standards and high demands I wanted a little bit more. I wanted 10/15% with and without the ball.

'I wanted to move the ball quicker and get the ball back in play because I thought we were dominant. We probably could've pressed with a bit more purpose and intensity, but I'm obviously delighted with the result and overall performance of course.

'That's four on the spin now (clean sheets) and we've had to endure all kinds of different waves of attacks and different styles over those four games. I've been pleased. We've handled teams that want to play through us and try and penetrate us. We've handled directness, so it just shows the organisation and the structure, as well as their character to want to keep that clean sheet.'"

"Following FC Halifax Town’s disappointing defeat away to South Shields in the FA Cup, Pete Wild spoke to Shaymen TV to give his thoughts on the game, a slow start, the two goals, and looking ahead to Wealdstone

'I want to apologise,' Wild said. '“In my 18 months at the football club that was worst display I’ve had. I came up on Tuesday night to watch them and I told the players it would be [?difficult]. We didn’t match their intensity and desire. My teams are full of energy and desire, they should be hard to beat and play against. There was none of that today and that hurts more than anything.

'You can sometimes carry one or two having an off day, but you can’t do that with six or seven not being on it. For as good as we have been for the first five league games, we were miles off it today. That really hurts and I take full responsibility for that, I’ll take it on the chin. It is my fault.'

The Shaymen didn’t get off to a quick start with South Shields dominating the ball in the early stages. The manager was extremely disappointed with the start the team made.

'We looked nervous out on the pitch... and we didn’t impose ourselves on them. We spoke all week about being more imposing, and we just didn’t do that at all. That’s why we got beat[en]. Full credit to them, they were decent, and they could’ve scored more. We haven’t really troubled them all after[noon] and we just weren’t good enough at all...

'We just didn’t get high enough, we didn’t press enough. They won too many headers, too many tackles. All the basics of football, they were better than us. That’s what hurts me the most...

'I’ve got to think about my selection really hard. Fans will be wondering why I didn’t select Luke Summerfield. He hasn’t trained all week; he has sore groins and I felt it would have been to his detriment for him to play. I’ve got another week to work with the lads, another week for Jake Hyde, and get some others back fully fit. I’ve got to be very careful with who I pick, I’ve got to make sure I get it right'".

At Chesterfield "Following the Spireites’ epic 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Stockport County in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, assistant manager John Dungworth said... 'I thought we played really well, and the organisation was really good. If we had not got something out of the game, it would have been a travesty... It was a great team performance and tactically the gaffer got it spot on...

'Throughout the team, everybody has contributed, from the front to the back'...

Milan Butterfield scored his first goal for Chesterfield and also scored the winning penalty at Edgeley Park. Dungworth was pleased with what he saw from the 22-year-old.

'Milan has been doing really well in training, he earnt the right to start in the game. Tactically he has done really well'...

Dungworth talked about what the FA Cup means to Chesterfield, 'The only thing missing today is the supporters... There probably would have been seven or eight thousand here today I’m sure'".

Altrincham travel to Dover Atheltic next Saturday and from there the manager Andy Hessenthaler gave a video reaction to his side's defeat on penalties last Saturday at Yeovil

From Boreham Wood we read that "A thoroughly entertaining Emirates FA Cup tie at Meadow Park between Boreham Wood and their Southern League Premier South opponents Wimborne Town ended with what turned out to be a routine 2-0 victory for the Wood... If it wasn’t for an outstanding man of the match display by 17-year-old Wimborne goalkeeper Billy Terrell, it would have been a very different score line. The young goalkeeper, on loan from Bournemouth, showed his credentials..

The introduction of Sorba Thomas, who replaced the injured Francis-Angol in the 35th minute, added some fire to the dominant Boreham Wood side, the recent Charlton Athletic target was outstanding on his return to the pitch. ...

Boreham Wood’s dominance continued in the second half but a hardworking and resilient Wimborne side were always in the game. Coulthirst then hit the post with a header after 52 minutes before Jamal Fyfield finally gave Boreham Wood the lead on the hour mark. ...

In the final few minutes, Tshimanga hit the crossbar and Thomas shot wide when well placed, before Tshimanga finally secured his deserved goal which sealed Boreham Wood’s win with a goal in the 90th minute".

25 October, 2020


On a very wet Saturday afternoon, Altrincham FC Reserves won their local derby at Broadheath Central's Salisbury Road playing fields, 2-1.

In their previous outing, a 3-3 home draw against Daten FC, Alty's starters (alphabetically) were Liam Blackburn (gk), Sam Corbishley, Madison Davis, Daniel Gavaghan, Callum Graham, Joe Haggerty, George Howarth, Raheem Mercurius, Sam Moser, Dre Taylor, Max Fitzpatrick. The scorers were Howarth, Taylor and Fitzpatrick.

The substitutes were Niall Butchart, Joel Edwards, Reiss Hughes, Alfie Johnston and Joseph Lewis.

ON THIS DAY: 25 October

On today's date in 2014, Altrincham made their first ever visit to Barwell, for an FA Cup Fourth Qualifying round tie, which they won 3-0

Right: Kyle Perry is congratulated on his goal.

Adam Griffin was serving the second match of his three-game ban. Reserves player Joel Swift joined Alty's squad today as additional subs are allowed in the FA Cup; Alty named six. Ryan Crowther remained sidelined with a rib injury.

After a disappointing first-half showing, James Lawrie gave Alty the lead in added time before the interval. Sub Kyle Perry hit a long-range second early in the second half before Reeves scored following good work by Leather and Perry.

ALTRINCHAM: 1 Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern 16. Tom Marshall, 6. Scott Leather; 4. Jake Moult; 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 11. Nicky Clee, 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves Subs: 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 17. Dave Parton 18. Sean Williams. 20. Joel Swift


The Isthmian League report that "We have three (so far) in the First Round of the FA Cup- and Cray Valley head the roll of honour after defeating National League Maidenhead United...

Cray Valley PM had what looked like a difficult trip to take on National League side Maidenhead United, and so it appeared as the hosts went two up after half an hour, but Ade Yusuff got one back in the thirty first minute and then Connor Dymond drew the Millers level just before the break. Right at the end the side from Step Four entered dreamland, as a goal from Francis Babalola sent them through to the First Round!

Yeovil Town were "involved in an enthralling FA Cup tie at Huish Park drawing 3-3 with Dover in normal time.

The Glovers were able to triumph from the spot after Adam Smith made the decisive stop following thirteen penalties between the two sides.

Prior to the shootout, the 90 minutes beforehand were just as hectic with Rhys Murphy netting a double in the first half and Joe Quigley heading home his first Yeovil goal in the second.

Darren Sarll opted to continue with his 3-5-2 system which produced improved performances in the National League. With Luke Wilkinson suspended and Lee Collins injured, Albi Skendi, Josh Staunton and Carl Dickinson lined up as a back three.

After a number of bright performances, Gabby Rogers began at left wing back, Dan Leadbitter began on the right. Returning from injury, Lawson D’Ath began in the middle of the park alongside Charlie Lee and Matt Warburton.

Yeovil Town’s goalscorers combined up top as Murphy and Quigley led the line.

The manic cup tie began with Town on top pressing the Whites shaky defence deep. As Yeovil enjoyed a lot of the ball, Dover began sitting more and more deep[ly].

Finding space to run in abundance, Murphy capitalised, driving to the edge of the box and firing home on his left foot claiming an early lead for Town on nine minutes... Yeovil claimed a thoroughly deserved second on 31 minutes, after a corner caused chaos in the Dover box, Murphy pounced and tucked home his second of the afternoon...

Ultimately, the visitors would find a way back into the game, with two goals in quick succession. Summer signing Louis Collins struck twice for the East Kent side, both in similar fashion. Drifting towards the backpost Collins tucked home Josh Passley’s cross on 40 minutes to make a game of it.

Not learning from their earlier mistake, Collins stung the green and whites again, turning the ball home... with the half time whistle looming...

Yeovil began the second with real intent... A sublime cross from Leadbitter was met by Quigley to head home his first goal for the Glovers on his home debut...

Dover’s counter-attack game plan worked to perfecting [sic] on 63 minutes, as T.J. Bramble poked home to level the tie once again... The lottery of penalty shootout was to decide the FA Cup tie.

Despite T.Smith being the star of the show for the visitors, it was his namesake in the Yeovil goal who was the match-winner. The former Leicester City man denied Wratten from the spot and secured Yeovil’s name would be in Monday’s draw.".

The Leader Live tells us that "Wrexham crashed out of the FA Cup after losing 4-0 against Solihull Moors... It was the Reds' third successive defeat...

Dean Keates's side are leaking goals at an alarming rate and have now conceded eight times in the last two defeats, and they created very little against Moors.

The starting XI showed three changes from the side that lost 4-3 at Wealdstone the previous weekend. Keates [had] named the same back four for the opening five games but he decided to make a switch to his back four with James Horsfield coming in for his first start of the campaign at right-back in place of Reece Hall-Johnson who dropped to the bench.

The other two changes saw Jordan Davies and Dan Jarvis, also starting for the first time this season, replace Paul Rutherford, who missed out through injury, and Kwame Thomas as Wrexham switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation... Keates was only able to name four substitutes because of injury and unable to call-up up any youth team players due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Wrexham made a bright start and Elliott Durrell shot wide... Moors took the lead in the 39th minute. Cameron Coxe's pull back fell into the path of Joe Sbarra whose deflected shot beat Lainton... and Moors extended their lead on 59 minutes.

Durrell made a clumsy challenge on Mitch Hancox in the area and Rooney despatched the penalty. Just three minutes later and Moors made it 3-0. Substitute Cameron Archer, who had only just come, raced onto a through ball and slotted past Lainton...

Wrexham conceded a fourth goal after 76 minutes. The Reds gave the ball away and Callum Mayock fed James Ball who was allowed to cross to Sbarra and the midfielder converted his second goal of the game.

Moors had a late goal disallowed and only a superb Lainton save from Archer stopped Moors from making it 5-0."

Aldershot Town suffered "a 2-1 loss at home to Woking...

It was the Shots who got the advantage early in the game through Mo Bettamer’s sliding effort before Josh Davison grabbed the equaliser just before the interval.

With just over 10 minutes to go, Max Kretzschmar fired the visitors in front to book Woking’s place into the first round of the FA Cup.

Looking to improve from Saturday’s entertaining 2-2 draw against Eastleigh, Danny Searle made one change as Harrison Panayiotou made way for Ross McCormack who made his first full debut. Academy graduates Joe Rabbetts and Reece Wylie made the bench.

The game was very even but Aldershot Town were the ones that were rewarded with a perfect start just seven minutes in... Woking were struggling to create anything as they were limited to half-chances and long-distance efforts...

Just before the interval, Woking grabbed an equaliser when Davison was played through on goal before he kept his composure and slotted home for the visitors to score on his debut...

Aldershot’s missed chances were rued when substitute Kretzschmar broke free of Ogie and raced clear on goal to slot past the onrushing Walker and give Woking the lead for the first in the game with just over 10 minutes to go."

Chesterfield "booked their place in the FA Cup first found proper with a 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Stockport County after a 1-1 draw in normal time at Edgeley Park.

John Pemberton made five changes to the side that lost to Wealdstone in mid-week. Josef Yarney, Laurence Maguire, David Buchanan, Milan Butterfield and Alex Kiwomya returned to the starting XI.

Jamie Sharman, Haydn Hollis, Tyler Denton, Jonathan Smith and Liam Mandeville were the players to make way. Nathan Tyson recovered from his dead leg to start the FA Cup tie...

The game failed to see anything in the way of chances until after the half hour mark... Pemberton’s side finished the half on top and were unlucky not be in front...

The hosts took the lead just before the hour mark through Hogan. Letheren’s punch from a corner fell to the defender who just tapped home into an empty net... In the 86th minute, Chesterfield finally found a leveller. Tom Denton knocked the ball down to Butterfield, who smashed the ball home at the near post. The score stayed at 1-1 and the tie went to penalties.

After the first two penalties, the score was 1-1. John Rooney and Yarney had their efforts saved by Letheren and Hinchliffe respectively.

Every subsequent penalty was dispatched by the taker until the seventh round of penalties. Sam Minihan blazed his spot-kick over the bar before Butterfield coolly rolled his penalty into the back of the net. The Spireites won 7-6 on penalties".

The Kilburn Times tells us that "Wealdstone crashed out of the FA Cup as Hayes & Yeading United pulled off a shock upset as they sealed a 2-0 victory.

Goals from Francis Amartey and substitute Omar Rowe secured progress into the first round for Southern League Premier South side against 10 men Stones at Grosvenor Vale.

The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when Amartey latched onto a long ball with Stones playing a high line. His initial effort was parried by debutant Grant Smith in the Stones goal but he latched onto the rebound from a tight angle to slot into an empty net.

A difficult task was increased on 48 minutes for the Stones when Charlie Wakefield was sent off for an off the ball clash with Jack Williams.

United doubled their lead after 62 minutes when keeper Smith’s clearance fell straight to Karl Cunningham on the edge of the area, he squared it to Omar Rowe who swerved [it] into the top corner.

Sutton United report that "For the second season running Sutton’s FA Cup hopes ended at the 4th qualifying round stage when Michael Cheek’s penalty ten minutes before half time settled a scrappy game badly affected by the wind and rain that blew in throughout the afternoon.

Well below their best in the first half, Sutton were a better side after the break and might have taken the game to penalties, particularly after the introduction of Isaac Olaofe with twenty minutes to go, but Bromley held out for the win and survived the late dismissal of captain Byron Webster, which came too late for U’s to take advantage.

U’s were able to welcome back Ben Goodliffe for his first competitive outing of the season, Craig Eastmond missing with a hamstring injury, and a poor first half saw both sides struggle with the conditions."

Another of the ten National League sides to exit the FA Cup on Saturday was Halifax Town who suffered a 2-0 defeat away at South Shields.

A Darius Osei header and Robert Briggs strike were the difference between the two sides... Town started on front foot...

[But] the home side did take the lead on 38 minutes... The ball was kept in at the corner flag and from the resulting cross, a header from Osei was a deserved opening goal...

Wild made no changes at the break... South Shields were not to be denied a second on 71 minutes... A throw on the near side [came] to Briggs and he fired past Johnson into the bottom corner.

From the Dorset Echo we learn that Torquay United "made it through to the FA Cup first round proper for the third successive season, following victory at Sholing FC.

Asa Hall’s penalty on the stroke of half-time gave his side the lead, before Josh Umerah’s second-half clincher secured the club’s place in the first round draw.

Manager Gary Johnson took the opportunity to make a number of changes to his side for the trip to Hampshire, with Shaun MacDonald, Gary Warren, Jake Andrews, Asa Hall and Josh Umerah taking the places of Dover starters Lucas Covolan, Dean Moxey, Aaron Nemane, Danny Wright and Louis Britton.

Relishing their role as underdogs, the hosts started the game well... Just when it looked as though the sides would be entering the changing rooms all-square, The Gulls were awarded a penalty.

With barely a minute of the first period remaining, a typically rampaging run from Ben Wynter ended with the right-back upended illegally, with the referee immediately reacting by pointing to the spot. Hall took on the penalty duties for the first time in a Torquay shirt, however there was not a glimmer of any nerves on show, as United’s skipper fired the ball low into the bottom corner to give his side the advantage ahead of the change of ends.

As the game got back underway amid torrential rain, Johnson’s men continued to stamp their authority on proceedings... A mistake eventually led to United’s lead being doubled. In the 75th minute, Gosney made his way out of goal to tidy up a loose ball, however after being dispossessed by Umerah, the frontman showed admirable poise to calmly usher the ball into the net, to score [his] first goal for the club."

Hartlepool United "eased their way into the first round proper of the FA Cup, thanks to a comfortable and professional win at Ilkeston Town.

There are three divisions between the teams and six goals separated them on a wet and windy afternoon in Derbyshire. Goals from Luke Molyneux, Joe Gray, Tom Crawford, Mason Bloomfield, David Parkhouse and Gavan Holohan saw Pools ease into Monday’s draw.

Six minutes in and Pools took the lead with a goal for Molyneux on his return to the side... And Pools kept up the pressure with a swift second goal. This time it was Gray with the finish...

And it was soon 3-0 to the rampant visitors as Crawford netted his first Pools goal from close range... Pools went in at the break in complete command.

On came Timi Odusina for Johnson at the start of the second half... Bloomfield made it four on 68 minutes, sweeping home his first goal for the club from ten yards.. On came David Parkhouse, celebrating his birthday, replacing impressive Grey. And he was celebrating a goal on 82 minutes... The rout was completed with two minutes to go with a deserved goal by Holohan".

Eastleigh secured "a thrilling home victory against Weston-Super-Mare.

Three second half goals from Dan Smith, Ben House and Tom Bearwish were enough to steal the spoils despite a late consolation from Chris Knowles.

The victory continues Ben Strevens’s side’s unbeaten start to the season... After an initial slow start from both teams, Eastleigh found control and maintained the majority of possession...

With half an hour left in the game, the Spitfires took the lead from a Dan Smith penalty after Smart was poorly taken down in the box...

House rifled the ball from the edge of the penalty area passed [past] Purnell in the Seagulls goal to double the lead with just 20 minutes remaining.

Tom Bearwish was played into tremendous space after a thrilling pass from midfield to slot the ball into the corner for his first goal of the season.

The visitors managed to scrape one back after a well headed effort by Chris Knowles sailed past the keeper from a corner".

Dagenham & Redbridge "progressed to the 1st Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the first time in three seasons with a 1-0 victory over Hartley Wintney on a mild afternoon in East London.

Daryl McMahon made four changes to the side that faced Yeovil Town with fans favourite Abu Ogogo making his first start upon his return to the Club and fellow new signing Scott Wilson starting the match for his full debut in place of Charlee Adams and Darren McQueen respectively.

Will Wright and George Saunders were the other changes with Andy Eleftheriou and Kai Brown dropping to the bench, Bailey Clements was also making his first appearance in the matchday squad for the home side...

The Essex side were awarded a penalty in the thirteenth minute, Tom Bird was penalised for handball. Mitch Brundle stepping up to fire past Williams into the middle of the goal with the goalkeeper diving to his right, the midfielder’s first goal of the season...

Daggers 1-0 Hartley Wintney".

Barnet "showed spirit, determination and character to come from behind to beat Leiston...

It was the Southern League Premier side who opened the scoring on the ninth minute as Will Davies turned home a good low cross...

We responded on 15 minutes as Michael Petrasso scored on debut after he turned in the rebound following a good save from a Hooper strike from the edge of the box. But the hosts then restored their advantage immediately as a corner was unfortunately turned into his own net by defender Jack Connors.

The Bees huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half and got their reward just a minute before the break as Hooper slotted home from the spot after a handball in the penalty area...

As time ticked on and penalties loomed the Bees scored a dramatic winner just six minutes from time, as Petrasso doubled his tally as he scrambled home after a dangerous corner into the Leiston six-yard box."


Chester FC report that "Marine upset the Blues with an excellent performance at the Deva Stadium to advance into the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

James Barrigan’s penalty nine minutes from time saw ex-Chester [and Alty] boss Neil Young steer his side through the Fourth Qualifying Round.

Marine impressed, particularly in the opening 45, as they were solid at the back and also created one or two chances...

Neil Young side would score the deciding goal with nine to play via a penalty. An awkward bounce just inside the area struck Danny Livesey on the arm and Ed Duckworth was quick to point to the spot.

James Barrigan stepped up and drilled the spot kick down the middle with Louis Gray diving to the left.

Chester mounted a fightback and had some big chances to equalise, but couldn’t find the goal to take it to penalties".

Ex-Alty man John Johnston was subbed after 64 minutes.

24 October 2020


Fourth Qualifying Round ties involving northern clubs and National League sides

The prize money for the Fourth Qualifying Round is £9,375 for the winners, with the losers receiving £3,125.

  • Darlington 2-0 Cambridge City
  • Stafford Rangers 1-4 Skelmersdale United
  • Solihull Moors 4-0 Wrexham
  • South Shields 2-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Ilkeston Town 0-6 Hartlepool United
  • FC United of Manchester 2-1 Guiseley
  • King's Lynn Town P-P Notts County (Notts County withdrew owing to Covid-19 positive tests)
  • Brackley Town 5-1 Marske United
  • Stockport County 1-1 Chesterfield (Chesterfield won on penalties)
  • AFC Fylde v Altrincham (Sunday 1pm)
  • Chester FC 0-1 Marine

As previously reported the Hartlepool United tie can be watched, live, via the BBC red button. The Pools are Altrincham's next league opponents, hosting Alty in the North East next Tuesday

The Fourth Qualifying Round Southern draw [National League sides only]:

  • Maidenhead United 2-3 Cray Valley
  • Wealdstone 0-2 Hayes & Yeading United
  • Boreham Wood 2-0 Wimborne
  • Sutton United 0-1 Bromley
  • Aldershot Town 1-2 Woking
  • Dagenham & Red 1-0 Hartley Wintley
  • Leiston 2-3 Barnet
  • Weymouth 2-3 Oxford City
  • Eastleigh 3-1 Weston-s-Mare
  • Sholing 0-2 Torquay United
  • Yeovil Town 3-3 Dover Athletic (Yeovil won on penalties)


Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, John Edwards, writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger that "A testing fourth qualifying round tie at AFC Fylde pitches Alty against the renowned goalscoring talents of Jordan Hulme [right], barely a fortnight after they reluctantly sold him to the Coasters for a substantial but undisclosed fee.

The Robins... are determined to carry on where they left off at Fylde three weeks ago, when two second-half goals salvaged a 2-2 pre-season friendly draw.

'The lads love the FA Cup and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of last year’s competition despite the heartbreak of going out in the very last minute at Portsmouth,' said Director of Football, Rob Esteva.

'Fylde were unfortunate to get relegated the way they did last season, and they certainly have the resources of a National League side. We enjoyed an entertaining friendly with them just before the start of the season and we know all about them, especially one familiar face!'...

There will be no replay or extra-time, and if the scores are level at 90 minutes, it will go straight to a penalty shoot-out.

Alty have moved swiftly to bolster their attacking resources, following Hulme’s departure, by snapping up 25 year-old striker Fisayo Adarabioyo...

Said manager Phil Parkinson, 'He’s a player that I think will be suited to our style of play.'”


The Blackpool Gazette reports that "AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley has tried to keep preparations for Sunday’s big match against Altrincham in the FA Cup as normal as possible.

Left: Both James Jones and Jordan Hulme have left Altrincham this summer.

Bentley’s Coasters won four games in the first 11 days of the season but have since been forced into an 11-day break before this weekend’s Fourth Qualifying Round tie at Mill Farm.

The wait between matches can’t have helped Fylde’s early-season momentum but Bentley told The Gazette they are fully prepared and motivated to face the team who replaced them in the National League...

The Fylde boss said 'The preparations this week have been slightly different because we’re not used to playing on a Sunday but it’s the FA Cup so there will be no problems getting up for the game. We played Altrincham only recently (a 2-2 draw in Fylde’s final pre-season game a month ago). We respect them and we know they are a good side but we want to progress and that’s our plan.

'We’ve used the time well. We gave the players a couple of days off but also did some good work and some analysis work, so we’re all geared up to try to win the game. We’ve been preparing not just for this game but for a batch of games coming up. We’ve won four out of four and it’s always about improving and getting your thoughts into the players. They are showing really good signs of taking information on board.'

The tie has been pushed back to Sunday (1pm kick-off) to allow all staff at Altrincham to complete a 14-day isolation period under coronavirus guidelines...

Bentley added 'I approach an FA Cup game just the same as a league game really. Obviously when you are playing a team from a higher division you will prepare a little bit differently and work on your defensive play, but we are happy that we can perform to the best of our ability and we’re looking forward to it.

'One player who will be extra-motivated is (Fylde’s new striker) Jordan Hulme. He won promotion with Altrincham last season and was still playing for them until a few weeks ago. He is settling in and showing really good signs.'

Another player who could be involved on Sunday is Reagan Ogle, the Australian full-back newly arrived from Accrington Stanley.

Bentley said 'Reagan can play on either side of the field and he knows the National League with Southport'".

ON THIS DAY: 24 October

Three years ago today, on Tuesday, 24 October 2017, Altrincham renewed their acquaintance with Lancaster City in an EvoStik Premier League match, which they won 4-0.

Right: Jake Moult congratulates James Poole at the end of the game under the JDS floodlights.

Without Disney, Taylor, Hannigan, Amis, Short and Sheridan, Altrincham had made one change to the starting eleven as Densmore replaced Short at left-back. After a fairly tight first half in which Altrincham did not get ahead till the 36th minute, when James Poole's well-struck effort from outside the box gave them the lead, the second half witnessed an improved performance from the hosts.

Three goals in the final 16 minutes of a wet second half left Altrincham comfortable winners by the final whistle. Hulme headed in a Johnston cross from the left to make it 2-0 in the 74th minute. Substitute Peers played in Richman, who had earlier picked up a fifth yellow card and a suspension, to score his side's third goal. And, finally, keeper Powell made a hash of a Johnston freekick, from well right of the goal, to concede the fourth in the 87th minute.

With this result, Altrincham went three points clear at the top of the league table, but Shaw Lane had two games in hand and stil presented a threat to Alty's title aspirations.

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


The Edinburgh News reports that "Despite playing only four competitive Hearts games so far, [former Alty loanee,] Josh Ginnelly, is already contemplating a longer stay at Tynecastle Park.

The winger is on loan from Preston North End until next summer and would be interested in a permanent move north if offered one.

His repertoire of tricks, pace and goalscoring have impressed the Hearts manager Robbie Neilson and supporters during three Betfred Cup ties and one league outing to date.... His contract at Deepdale expires at the same time as the season-long loan agreement, rendering him a free agent. Hearts could offer him a contract before then.

'I don’t know what will happen yet. I love it here so we will see what comes maybe in January or after that. My main focus is just to do well for now,' said Ginnelly... A burgeoning relationship with Neilson is a central factor in helping the Englishman feel so welcome in Edinburgh. 'When I came up, even before I’d signed, I could see that he’s an honest gaffer,' said Ginnelly.

'For players like me, you need that. You don’t need someone telling you you’re doing all the right things but you aren’t playing. Robbie was straightforward with me and he has my utmost respect. I just want to put the performances in for him and the boys... I’ve had a bad two years where I haven’t really played or fulfilled my potential. I don’t know the reason to be honest but it’s gone now. My focus now is on Hearts, winning the league and getting better with every game...

'It’s a Premiership club in stature, definitely. Everyone within the club knows that themselves and we just have to get the club back to where it should be... Playing on the right side suits me. The gaffer wants crosses put into the box and that’s my job'".

Sadly, in Friday's match at Arbroath, Josh had to go off injured, early in the first half, with what appeared to be some kind of thigh strain.

Josh was signed by Altrincham, on loan from Burnley, on 8 January 2016. He made 20(+1) appearances that season and scored 5 goals for The Robins.

News of a former Alty manager comes from the Northern Premier League, which tells us that "Marine attacking midfielder Josh Hmami has said a place in the FA Cup First Round Proper would be a dream come true, as his side prepare for their Fourth Qualifying Round clash against Chester.

Neil Young’s side bid for a FA Cup First Round Proper appearance for the first time in 25 years since playing Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow in 1995, but face tough opponents in National League North side Chester, in [for] which Young managed to three promotions as manager".


King's Lynn Town report that "Winger Ryan Hawkins will be leaving The Walks after agreeing to have his contract cancelled by the Linnets.

Hawkins penned a new deal with the club in the summer after first joining Lynn in November 2016 from St Neot's Town. The former Norwich City Academy player Joined Dereham Town in 2014... Hawkins then moved to St Neot's in June 2015... In his time with The Linnets Ryan found the back of the 25 times from 137 appearances...

Speaking after the confirmation of Hawkins departure Lynn’s director of football Rob Back said 'Ryan has been a good servant to the football club in his time here... There aren’t too many players who are able to say they have been part of a team that has achieved back to back promotions but Ryan is one player who can do that. He has always given the club full commitment and effort in his time here'".

Earlier, KIng's Lynn Town confirmed that "The club have been informed that due to an outbreak of COVID-19, Notts County have withdrawn from this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

We will now be awarded the tie and the prize money of £9,375".

Yeovil Town manager "Darren Sarll discussed a number of topics during his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup clash with Dover Athletic...

'The more we’ve gone this season we’ve looked like a new side in terms of the structure and signings we’ve made. We are striving each week to be the best team possible. We’ve just carried on plodding away and we have certainly worked really hard this week...

'I love the romance of the competition, the drama and everything else that comes with the magic of the Cup...

'Any side that is managed by Andy Hessenthaler is going to see life a certain way and they will be very competitive as they always are... Hopefully with the right care, focus and intensity we will be good enough to beat most teams not just Dover. I’ll take the same attitude into Saturday whether that would be against Dover or Stockport at the other end of the league'">

Wrexham report that "You couldn't ask for a more testing way to kick off an FA Cup campaign than a trip to Solihull. Two and a half weeks ago they beat us 1-0 in the league, a third consecutive defeat we've suffered on their patch.

That victory kick-started their season, and they've won both their subsequent matches, with King's Lynn on the wrong end of a 5-0 spanking. With a perfect home record of three wins with three clean sheets, the end of season wobble which saw them pick up just three wins from their last 18 games and slide out of the play-off places looks to have been put firmly behind them. ..

It's clear that the team has regained its rhythm and will be challengers again this season. Their performance in their last match was particularly impressive. We know how tricky Boreham Wood can be after they made us work hard for our opening day victory; Solihull had the added problem of having to play against them with ten men for 70 minutes after Darren Carter received a second yellow card. However, they dug in and pulled off an impressive 1-0 win.

Their boldness was the most impressive aspect of the victory: rather than retreat into their shell, James Shan instructed his side to continue to be bold, switching from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3 and allowing his front three to remain in advanced positions..

Injuries and suspensions could force Solihull into a reluctant change of shape: they've started every game this season with a back three, but Carter's suspension, while Alex Gudger hasn't played since he went off against Wrexham earlier this month. Jimmy Ball, the scorer in that match, and Stephen Gleeson also went off last Saturday, so a reshuffle could be on the cards...

Adam Rooney is a proven striker at higher levels than the National League... Wrexham would prefer to assign Fiacre Kelleher to pick him up, as his strength and aerial power mean he would hope to dominate him physically. However, Rooney is a canny customer and, like Nathan Blissett, the towering Maidenhead striker, will look to isolate Theo Vassell... His battle with Rooney could be vital".

From the other side, Solihull Moors "are all set to host Wrexham... Jimmy Shan's men are gearing up to play their fourth home fixture on the spin. The last three have ended up in Moors victories, with the team not conceding a single goal...

Visitors Wrexham have had an indifferent start to the campaign, winning two and losing three of their opening five matches".

Weymouth "will look to create history by reaching the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in 13 seasons... Brian Stock’s men tackle Oxford City at the Bob Lucas Stadium...

City have made a fast start to their Vanarama National League South campaign, sitting third, while Weymouth occupy 18th in the league above.

'A league separates us but I don’t think there’s much difference in terms of where we’re both at,' Stock said...

He said 'Performance-wise I know we can be better'...

Terras’ captain Josh McQuoid, striker Ben Thomson, midfielder Jordan Ngalo and defender Ade Olumuyiwa all return after self-isolation. Shamir Mullings (hamstring) and Jack Dickson miss out, while Cameron Murray (knee) will be assessed."

Meanwhile Torquay United advise us that "Gary Johnson’s side travel to Sholing FC in the Emirates FA Cup 4th round qualifying tomorrow, with a place in the first round proper at stake.

United have made an excellent start to their National League campaign, having won four of their opening five fixtures, however their one-off cup tie against the side from Hampshire offers a completely different challenge altogether...

'We won’t underestimate them, and we will need to be professional to come away with a result. They have got several players who have played for the club for many seasons, so I am sure they will have a great team spirit and know each other’s games. There’s a couple of sets of brothers!'" said Johnson.

"Victory in Hampshire on Saturday would see United take their place in the first round draw for the third successive season, having failed to progress past the qualifying rounds during the previous four campaigns".

FC Halifax Town "make the trip north to take on South Shields...

Town sit 9th in the table at the present time and are awaiting our first away win of the season following a 2-1 defeat at Stockport County and two 0-0 draws against Boreham Wood and Woking

South Shields beat Southport 4-1 in the last round to get through to the last qualifying round.

They drew 0-0 in midweek against Morpeth at home in the league and sit 11th in the Northern Premier League"

Dagenham & Redbridge "announce the signing of Scott Wilson. The forward joins the Daggers after a short period at Notts County, where he departed in the summer.

The 27-year-old has 54 appearances in League Two and has played 69 times in the Vanarama National League for the likes of Macclesfield Town, Eastleigh, and Oldham. Wilson was the top scorer for Macclesfield in both of his seasons with the Silkmen...

The Bristol native began his career with Bristol City before working his way up the non-league pyramid. He had an impressive spell with Weston-super-Mare in 2015 which saw him score 23 in 39 matches, which earned him a move to National League side Eastleigh. From the south coast, Wilson joined Macclesfield Town where he hit 24 goals over a 2-year spell in Cheshire.

He then joined Oldham Athletic, playing 26 times before moving to Notts County".

Barnet "confirm a further six players / staff have presented positive COVID test results. These additional results follow the earlier tests carried out for the entire First Team players and backroom staff.

Close contact tracing has also resulted in an additional player being required to self-isolate for the full 14-day period, in spite of testing negative.

Overall, ten playing members of our First Team have been affected over the last two weeks. With one of these players ending his isolation period ahead of Saturday, there will be nine out of action for our FA Cup tie against Leiston.

Manager Peter Beadle has also returned a positive test and will not be able to lead the team for the mandated self-isolation period. Beadle is currently asymptomatic and doing well."

Better news for The Bees is that Barnet have announced "the signing of full back Jack Connors... following a successful trial period with the Club.

The former Ebbsfleet full-back has trained with Beadle's side throughout the latter parts of the summer... Connors joins the Bees with plenty of experience at non-league level and boosts Peter Beadle's defensive options even further, following the summer signings of full-backs Dwight Pascal, Alexander McQueen and Jerome Binnom-Williams.

The 25-year-old rose through the ranks as a youth prospect at Dagenham and Redbridge before making 49 appearances in all competitions for the Daggers in the early part of his career... [At] Ebbsfleet United he was an instrumental part of the Fleet side who achieved promotion to the National League in 2017. He went onto to make a further 24 appearances for the Fleet in their first season back in the National League, before joining Dover Athletic in 2018".

23 October 2020


On Thursday evening, Notts County reported that "Two more of our players have tested positive for Covid-19 and, as a result, we have withdrawn from the Emirates FA Cup and postponed our upcoming Vanarama National League matches away to FC Halifax Town and Aldershot Town.

After four members of our squad tested positive for the virus last week, we scheduled another round of testing this Wednesday to identify any further infections.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in two more positive results and, following consultation with the FA and National League’s medical officers, we have taken the difficult but responsible decision not to travel to King’s Lynn Town on Saturday and to temporarily halt our league campaign.

King’s Lynn will be awarded a bye to the first round and our trips to Halifax and Aldershot will be rearranged for later in the season. We would like to thank each club for their cooperation and understanding.

Our chief executive Jason Turner said 'Our thoughts are with the players affected by the virus, who are all receiving the best possible care and support to ensure they return to us safe and well.

'Naturally, we are incredibly disappointed to withdraw from the FA Cup, a competition, as past winners, we have a wonderful association with but, with only 14 available players and several positions we’re now unable to cover, on top of the clear risk of more infections coming to light in the coming days, it is only right that we take decisive action to cease training and playing for the time being.

'I am hugely proud of the way the club has conducted itself throughout the pandemic and would once again like to pay tribute to our owners, Chris and Alex Reedtz, for continuing to fund regular testing despite this not being mandatory, thus ensuring we are doing all we can to protect our players, staff and the wider public... With some of our infected players not displaying symptoms, our efforts have probably prevented us from unknowingly and irresponsibly spreading the virus to any of our aforementioned opponents...

Our manager, Neal Ardley, added 'While I’m devastated that I won’t have the opportunity to put together a cup run for the club this season, the safety of my players, staff, the opposition and their families have to be the priority at this terrible time'".


Despite being second best for much of the game, Altrincham FC Youth staged a dramatic late comeback to take their FA Youth Cup qualifying match to a penalty shoot-out, which they won 4-2.

Playing again behind closed doors, but watched by more than two hundred on the Alty TV streaming service and with more than a hundred also tuning in on Radio Robins, Altrincham had taken an eleventh-minute lead from the penalty spot.

Lively striker Matthew Sumner won the ball near halfway, played a one-two with a team-mate, and then broke forward, up the middle-left towards goal. Inside the box, Shields' keeper Dobson dived at his feet and was adjudged to have conceded a penalty. Sumner got up to score from the spot, despite the keeper almost keeping his effort out.

After a first half of few other chances at either end, Alty retained their lead till just after half-time when Shields' substitute McLeod, who had only joined the game at the interval, converted a corner with a low tap-in after being left unmarked.

Above: More than 220 supporters watched Matthew Sumner net the winning penalty on the excellent Alty TV streaming service on Thursday night.

Shields went on the dominate much of the second half and, deservedly, they went ahead in the 68th minute when McLeod scored an impressive solo goal, running some forty yards up the left before netting with a low shot.

Alty rode out plenty of South Shields' pressure before raising their game in the closing stages. A freekick from deep on the right was glanced home by the head of Alty substitute Goulden in the 89th minute. FIve minutes of added time were played before a penalty shootout became necessary with the tie locked at 2-2.

The visitors netted the first spot-kick but saw their second hit the bar and their third saved. Alty netted all of their first three kicks, before Shields made it 2-3 and Sumner stepped up to seal the victory 4-2 in the shootout.

For Alty this was a notable scalp against a Tyneside team with a full-time Academy and a youth set-up which reached the Third Round Proper in last year's FA Youth Cup.

In the First Round Proper of this year's competition, Altrincham now travel to Eccleshill United. The side, from near Bradford, overcame Gateshead in the last round, earlier this week.

Match report here.


Altrincham FC announce that they have signed former "Republic of Ireland international Darren Potter on a short-term deal.

The 35 year-old one-time Liverpool midfielder... is eligible for Sunday's Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against AFC Fylde at Mill Farm.

It is a timely addition to a key area, with Sean Williams nursing an ankle injury".

Potter (born 21 December 1984) made 10 first-team appearances for Liverpool before loans to Southampton, Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday added more than 200 further first-team outings to his CV.

But it was at MK Dons that he spent his longest stay (2011-17) and he made more than 200 appearances for them. A spell at Rotherham United was then followed by spending 2019-20 at Tranmere Rovers.

His arrival at Altrincham sees him moving into non-League for the first time in his career

ON THIS DAY: 23 October

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date was a BSB North Match played on Tuesday, 23 October 2012, at Moss Lane, against Workington. This was their first home game after a sequence of seven away matches in their previous eight fixtures.

Right: Altrincham and Workington take to the field under the Moss Lane floodlights for a Tuesday-night match in 2010

Altrincham lost this game in the first half when they were very much second best to a pacey and hardworking Workington, for whom right-winger Joe Mwasile [later an Alty player] was outstanding. After Altrincham had survived three early strikes on their goal, they fell behind after 24 minutes when a sliced attempted clearance from Scott Leather allowed Mwasile to get behind him. Although Coburn made a great stop from the wide man's shot from right of goal, Mwasile converted the rebound.

Alty looked as if they might get to the interval just a goal adrift but then Luca Havern brought down Arnison, who converted the resulting penalty as the match went into first-half added time.

It was a different game in the second half as Alty went at the visitors. They finally got a goal after 69 minutes when substitute Duncan Watmore's shot from 20 plus yards, which was heading off target, fell to the alert Reeves who scored from close range. Alty kept attacking but, as the game wore on, Workington came back into things with two fearsome shots from Mwasile striking the bar, one of them tipped there by Coburn.

So, Alty's nine-game unbeaten run was ended; and Danny Hall picked up a fifth card so faced a suspension. Alty had started this game with Leather and Lacey replacing the unfit Rodgers and Doughty, whilst Richman had replaced Watmore in the starting eleven.


Torquay United report that "Olaf Koszela and Louie Slough have both joined Southern League side Dorchester Town on loan.

With both players having shown up well during United’s pre-season fixtures at Plainmoor, manager Gary Johnson believes the time is now right for both youngsters to gain experience of regular first team football, with a temporary spell at the Avenue Stadium...

'First of all, Louie missed a lot of last year due to a back problem. He’s fit now, but I couldn’t foresee him getting into the first-team anytime soon, because he missed half the season last year, so we decided it would be a good idea to get him some games, at least for this month.

'It’s the same really with Olaf, in that he’s so close to the first-team but not in the first-team at this moment in time. Because the team are playing well at the moment, it’s very difficult to take him as a substitute all over the country for a few minutes in a game. We decided he needed some minutes in games at this stage, so he can hopefully get a few goals for Dorchester. He’s travelled down with Louie, so they are both together.

'I’ve spoken to both players, and they are both happy. I’m not moving them out, I like them both and I think they are both going to be very good footballers in time. At this time, they need to be playing 90 minute games, and that’s hopefully what they will be doing at Dorchester.

'I’ve got high hopes for both of them, and we’ll reassess it at the end of the month.'”

At Chesterfield "John Pemberton has dismissed any suggestion that Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Stockport County is a welcome distraction from the league.

Pemberton insists that the Spireites will be looking to bounce back following the midweek defeat at Wealdstone and won’t place any lesser importance on the match because it is in the Cup... Pemberton said 'We want to win every football match, whether it’s the FA Cup, the league or whatever.

'The FA Cup is an important competition to us, especially for myself as I really enjoyed playing in it as a player but it’s important to everyone.'

Nathan Tyson was forced to go off early on in the Wealdstone match after suffering a dead leg and Pemberton is hoping that the experienced forward will be able to return on Saturday".

And the Derbyshire Times adds that "The job of turning around the Spireites’ fortunes is as tough as what John Pemberton thought it was going to be. Chesterfield have lost four of their opening five games and are third bottom of the National League.

When asked by the DT if the job is bigger than what he initially thought, Pemberton said 'No, it is exactly what I thought it would be'.

So what can Pemberton do to get Town moving up the table? 'Be better when we have got possession of the ball, be better in 1 v 1 situations, be better with crosses where we have got to pick up, and don’t shortcut anything...

'The frustration is... coming from the whole situation that we have encountered from the start. You try to put things in place but it is almost like there is always something that seems to be a little barrier, or catch us out, or trips us up, but I don’t want to make any excuses about it. The pre-season is gone now, we are now five games into the season.

'Against Wealdstone we had a three-minute spell where we conceded two goals and then, after that, I thought we were all right. The wonder strike was one of those things, it can go anywhere and it goes in the top corner. That’s what happens when things aren’t quite going for you'".

According to the Leader Live, "It's unheard of for Shaun Pearson to miss so many matches through injury but the frustrated Wrexham captain is supporting his team-mates from the stands and the comfort of his own home. Pearson has undergone surgery on his foot, the centre-back finally going under the knife to get to the bottom of a long-standing problem.

Having the operation has kept Pearson out of the opening five matches of Wrexham’s 13th season in non-league and the 31-year-old has never missed that many games in a row because of injury during his career...

'I don’t think I have ever missed three games in a row, four at a push, through injury,' said Pearson... 'But it is something that needed doing in the end... I had to get the injury sorted which was a bit gutting but I am just glad to have got it done. I am looking forward to hopefully a quick recovery'... with the aim of returning within a five week timeframe forecast by manager Dean Keates.

'I am quite pleased with how it feels but you are never 100 per cent sure until you get the all clear from the hospital. Then it is just a case of working my way back fit and ready to go hopefully in four or five weeks like the gaffer said.'

Wrexham have won two of their opening five matches, losing the other three games including back-to-back defeats against Maidenhead United and Wealdstone who were both bottom of the National League at the start of play...

'I have watched every game,' said Pearson. 'I bought the streams at home for the ones I have not been allowed to go to... It has not been the best of starts that we were looking for but it has been one goal in every game and it is just fine margins...

'It is just fine-tuning things like defending set-plays. If we can eradicate things like that, I am sure we will be on the right track. Hopefully I can add a little bit more to what we have already got and along with a couple of other players coming back from injury, we will be able to turn those fine margins into better results....

'With squads generally being smaller, there is more quality throughout the whole of the division so in my opinion, it will just make it a tighter division than ever before,' he added.

And the Leader Live also reports that "The FA Cup still hasn’t lost any of its magic in Dean Keates’s eyes... The Reds visit Solihull Moors for Saturday’s fourth qualifying round tie...

'It is a massive game for us and we want to get back to winning ways, and make sure we are in the next round,' said Keates. 'The FA Cup is a good distraction, it can give you a lot of positivity and another avenue of getting the club’s profile out there... We need to make sure we get a reaction and do ourselves justice for this football club'...

'There is a vast history for the football club regarding the FA Cup,' said Keates... 'Solihull are our next opponents and we have got to get past them'...

The teams met in the league just over a fortnight ago, Wrexham squandering numerous chances before Solihull scored the only goal from a set-piece... 'They have had a good little run since our game and had some positive results,' said Keates... 'We know what they are about, we want to go there and put our game onto them and I have no doubt it will be a good game again.'”

The Hartlepool Mail advises us that "Not many people would have expected Ryan Johnson to be leading Hartlepool United’s scoring charts inside the opening month of the season.

But here we are and the centre-back, who was signed on a short term deal as cover ahead of the new season, has two goals in his first three appearances for Pools.

Johnson’s current deal at Victoria Park is set to expire come the New Year, but manager Dave Challinor is hoping to extend the 24-year-old’s stay. 'Hopefully he’ll be here at least for the full season... We've liked what we’ve seen. He’s left-sided and is comfortable with how we play. He’s physical, can defend and he can play in a three or a four and, at a push, could do a job for us at left-back.

'We lacked balance down that left side so it’s an opportunity for him and he’s slotted in well' concluded Challinor.

22 October 2020


Altrincham FC has confirmed that "The Robins will host Bromley on Tuesday November 24th in a Vanarama National League fixture.

This game was originally scheduled for last Saturday but was postponed as our squad were self-isolating following a number of positive tests for Covid-19.

Kick-off at The J.Davidson Stadium is 7.00pm to enable our visitors to start their long return journey to Kent 45 minutes earlier than would normally be the case for an evening kick-off."


Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson [left] has reported that "The Government, the FA and the Vanarama National League [have] released details of the grant funding to support the member clubs through the next three months, to cater for lost revenue as we continue the season behind closed doors. Altrincham FC will receive a grant of £84,000 per calendar month for the next three months.

This grant is most welcome and helps bridge the gap through loss of gate receipts, match sponsorship and matchday revenues. The club thanks all parties from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Football Association and the National League for working together to offer this critical lifeline to the 66 National League teams...

Today’s Government grant reduces uncertainty significantly, particularly for the next three months. It allows us to press ahead with our plans, secure in the knowledge that the revenue in our budget for the next three months is met by the grant payments. Our promotion has made us eligible for payments significantly ahead of what we might have expected without our playoff success, and we will ensure that we use it wisely...

The board will meet in the next few days to cement our short term plans and put in place longer term initiatives. We will ensure that we do all we can to establish ourselves in the National League in the anticipation of welcoming you all back to The J. Davidson Stadium as soon as it is safe to do so".


The FA confirms that "The draw for the First Round proper of the Emirates FA Cup will take place on Monday 26 October and be screened live on BT Sport in the UK.

It will be part of BT Sport's live coverage of the Fourth Round Qualifying tie between Bishop's Stortford and St Albans City (kick-off 7.45pm BST) that evening, the final tie of the round. The draw is scheduled to take place before the game, at around 7.10pm BST.

Prior to that, Cup fans will have been able to watch the tie between Ilkeston Town and Hartlepool United which is being shown live by the BBC on Saturday 24 October, via BBC iPlayer, Red Button and the BBC Sport website and app. That tie kicks-off at 3pm BST.


Altrincham's FA Cup opponents, AFC Fylde annnounce that "academy graduate, Jack Byrne, has penned his first professional contract with the football club, securing a one-year deal.

Jack, a tall, athletic central defender, has progressed through the club’s academy system, and caught Jim Bentley’s eye with his consistent performances for the U18’s last season. Byrne played an integral role in the Under 18’s 2019/20 Lancashire County Cup triumph... The 19-year-old, who made the switch from Blackpool at the age of 15, will now be hoping to put pressure on experienced centre-back duo, Nathan Pond and Alex Whitmore, this season.

Conrad Prendergast, AFC Fylde’s Youth Team manager, said... 'He has set the bar now for all of my players, along with James [Stanley], Sheldon [Green] and Serhat Tasdemir who we sold to Peterborough last year. We are trying to build a pathway to the first team here'...

Jim Bentley also spoke positively... 'He’s keen and willing to learn, and that’s really important to me. He’s a local boy so knows what this football club is all about and what we are trying to do. If you look at him, you can see that he has a really good physique for his age'".


Whitchurch Alport announce that they "are delighted to welcome highly rated central defender Will Hall who joins in an agreement with Conference side and good friends Altrincham FC.

Hall, just 18 years old, has been with Salford City and Altrincham FC as well as recent trials at numerous professional clubs. At 6ft 3ins he becomes a much needed asset to Luke Goddard’s squad in the defensive unit.

The manager had this to say, 'Firstly a massive thanks to Phil Parkinson for allowing Will to join us at Yockings Park and help him push on with some games. I know he is very well liked by everyone at Alty and not far off for them in the Conference. I’ve previously stated this year for us it will be a building season, younger, ambitious players who will grow with us. Unfortunately, that will mean at times our lack of experience costs us no more evident than in yesterday’s defeat late on!

However this pandemic season is going to be a great one for us to put our foundation in place for the future and I’m delighted we can hopefully progress someone like Will and it helps us in an area we have suffered some bad luck with both myself and Captain Darren Campion unable to play currently, as well as Stuart Dickin not wanting to play, we need Will and probably one more defender to boost us'".

Hall played several pre-season friendlies for Altrincham this autumn and, as it now appears, he must have signed non-contract terms at Moss Lane.

ON THIS DAY: 22 October

As Altrincham prepare for a Fourth Qualifying Round tie at AFC Fylde on Sunday, fifteen years ago today, on 22 October 2005, Altrincham were making their first-ever visit to Tamworth for a match at that same stage of the FA Cup. Their stadium, The Lamb was a neat but compact stadium with a pitch which sloped in both dimensions.

Alty were without the injured Aspinall, Lugsden and Norris, though all three took part in the warm-up. Lutel James made his first start for Alty. Onto the bench came Kyle Wilson, loaned to Alty by Crewe.

Stamps takes a Tamworth throw-in as Alty's Potts and Owen (in blue) look on.

A late collapse by Alty saw them crash out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle and lose out on £10,000 prize money. Alty had played well in the first half but Tamworth improved their performance in the second half and went ahead when debutant Robinson, on loan from Millwall, cut in from the right and drove a low left-foot shot past Coburn from just outside the box (55 mins).

Alty deservedly levelled after 65 minutes when Colin Potts was allowed time to cross and Adie Smith turned the ball into his own net as Alty sub Kyle Wilson closed in at the back post. From a free-kick conceded by Lewis Chalmers, just outside the box, Tamworth dithered for an age before opting for a shot at goal by Ward which struck a possibly unsighted Coburn on the arm before dropping to Edwards to tap home (84 mins).

Five minutes later the Exeter loan player made it 3-1 with a header after being left unmarked from a right-wing cross (89 mins).

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Karl MUNROE, 15. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 7. Colin POTTS, 12. Steve HAWES, 8. Val OWEN, 11. Gary SCOTT; 9. Colin LITTLE, 18. Lutel JAMES. Subs: 10. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 21. Stephen ROSE, 23. Kirk HILTON, 29. Kyle WILSON.


Altrincham's neighbours, Trafford have issued "Important news on match admissions...

Trafford's next game is at the Home Estates Shawe View Stadium this Saturday 24th October, an NPL fixture versus Widnes FC kick off 3pm. We are staying with a reduced capacity of 200 spectators for this fixture in accordance with discussions with Trafford Council. All home supporters tickets originally released on Shocal have sold out, but due to "Tier 3" status being applied recently to Liverpool City Region (within which Widnes is located) and also Greater Manchester (as of this Friday) Widnes FC have asked their supporters NOT to travel...

This may mean that tickets purchased by Widnes supporters will be available for re-sale via Shocal, or become 'walk-ups' on the day of the game... 25 admissions will be available for the game on the turnstiles on the day, but our advice is if you don't have a Shocal E-ticket, you need to get there early to take advantage of these. If our previous home games are anything to go by, they will be gone soon after the turnstiles are open

Please be aware of the strict 'track & trace' requirements for admission to the stadium. You will need to have the NHS Covid App on your phone to 'zap' our QR code on entry. If not, you will need to give your details to one of our staff members at the gate. Inside the stadium, please adhere to our social distancing rules, one way systems and Covid-safe guidelines. We have done so well so far, and we don't want to see football suspended again".


At Weymouth, "Winger Sean Shields tipped Weymouth’s crop of talent for 'bigger and better things' after playing his part in a 2-1 win over King’s Lynn on Saturday.

Shields, who signed for the Terras prior to the 1-0 defeat at Barnet, hit a post and also won the decisive penalty against the Linnets, enabling Tom Whelan to tuck home the winner.

Despite having only been at the Bob Lucas Stadium for a week, Shields has been impressed by the Terras’ National League setup...

'From what I’ve seen so far this is a really, really young, talented group of players. What I’ll be looking to implement is a little bit more experience and hopefully help these boys fulfil their potential in terms of having a really good season. I believe a lot of them can go on to bigger and better things. If you do well in this league, the world’s your oyster'...

Commenting on his own display against King’s Lynn, Shields said 'I’m disappointed with it, to be honest. I feel as if I’ve sent the keeper the wrong way and I haven’t got it quite right and it’s ended up coming off the post. An inch to the side it’s probably in, I should be scoring there one-on-one but thankfully we managed to get the job done.

'I’m not too sure if it’s a penalty. I thought (Ross Barrows) blocked it with his hand and I’ve ended up calling for it. I’ll have to see that one back. Most importantly it has got us the win and got the ball rolling... I thought it was a really professional performance. It probably was nowhere near as fluent as the game against Barnet where we enjoyed a lot of the ball in good areas and passed it really well.

'(Saturday) we defended solidly and looked very good on the counter-attack, so it was a completely different type of performance and it culminated in us getting the three points.'"

"A Moses Emmanuel double and a Jacob Mendy rocket gave Wealdstone their second win of the National League season against Chesterfield.

Tom Denton scored one goal either side of half-time but the Stones were able to hold on for all three points at The Vale on Tuesday night.

Wealdstone Manager Dean Brennan made two changes from the side that defeated Wrexham last Saturday, as full debutant Jack Cawley and Emmanuel came in to replace the injured Michael Phillips and Ross Lafayette.

It was the worst possible start for the Stones when Harry Isted lost out to Nathan Tyson in the air and Chesterfield were awarded a penalty inside two minutes, which Denton smashed low into the bottom corner. Chesterfield started with great pace...

Emmanuel bought the Stones level when Dennon Lewis’s cross gave the frontman a free header which flew into the top corner in the 13th minute.

One became two for Emmanuel just two minutes later, Lewis again found him from the left-hand side and Emmanuel caressed the ball into the bottom corner...

Chesterfield were improved at the start of the second half but lacked any creativity or significant goal-scoring opportunities...

Mendy then produced an absolute rocket, similar to his strike against Wrexham last Saturday, got the ball onto his left foot and riffled it into the top corner.

Chesterfield halved the deficit a minute later when Denton headed into the Stones net but the hosts held on for another impressive victory against full-time opposition.".

At Torquay United "Having donned the captain’s armband in the absence of regular skipper Asa Hall recently, no one has taken more pride in United’s impressive start to the season than Kyle Cameron... Kyle’s persistence finally paid off last Saturday, as he grabbed a match-winning brace in the 2-0 home win over Dover... with the 23 year-old defender explaining that adding a goal threat to his game was very much in his plans during the extended break over the summer.

'It’s always something the gaffer has been on to me about, wherever I’ve been, I’ve not been a goalscoring centre-half,' said Kyle... Hopefully this season I can get five, seven, or ten goals if I’m lucky. It’s something I’ve needed to add to my game. The gaffer has always been on to me about bringing that side of my game out, not just being a threat in my own box when I’m clearing things, but also a threat in the opposition box by starting to attack corners. He’s said it’s doable, it’s there if you want it, but you’ve got to believe you’re going to get on the end of things, and attack it.'

Those sound instructions from Johnson have been aided by a growing understanding with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, with the United midfielder producing a number of inviting set-piece deliveries that Cameron has been only too happy to feed off... There is cause for cautious optimism in the Torquay camp at present...

'It’s a good thing to know we never give up, and don’t stop until that final whistle goes. I think it’s got to be a credit to all the lads, and coaching staff for the stuff they have done to keep us fit... Some teams were using two of the first four weeks to get up to speed, we had an extra two weeks on getting the ball down and playing, and knowing how everyone plays, with all the new faces'...

'In all five games, I think we’ve been a threat, and apart from the Eastleigh game, we’ve looked like we’ve finished the better team. We look positive, we’re getting chances and it’s only a matter of time before we put five or six past a team, and really kick on from there...

'As a target for myself, I want to try to get through the season with the best defensive record for the team'".

21 October 2020


Altrincham FC has announced that rather than on Saturday, as originally arranged, the club's "The Emirates FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying tie at AFC Fylde will take place at Mill Farm on Sunday October 25th. Kick-off is at 1pm.

Due to our players coming out of a period of self-isolation on Saturday, following the Covid outbreak, we requested that the game was moved to Sunday and would like to thank AFC Fylde for their cooperation in agreeing to this request.

This game is to be played behind closed doors, however fans will be able to watch as The Coasters will be streaming the tie live and will be announcing details as soon as possible".


Alty TV's tickets to watch the Altrincham FC Youth v South Shields Youth match in the FA Youth Cup on Thursday night (7.45pm) can be purchased here.


Tuesday 20 October 2020
  • Wealdstone 3-2 Chesterfield

ON THIS DAY: 21 October

Although Altrincham did play an unappetising goalless draw at Warrington Town just three years ago on today's date, 21 October, a slightly more enjoyable spectacle was their previous outing on this date, back in 2006.

On that occasion in the then titled Nationwide Conference National Division, Altrincham defeated Southport 2-1.

Before kick off, Alty had won just once in the previous eight games and Southport had only gathered three points from the previous eight games and lay bottom of the table. The visitors had also seen some off the field problems with Carl Baker suspended for today's game for a breach of club discipline.

Right: Peter Band in action against Southport.

Altrincham kept the same starting eleven from the 1-1 draw at Oxford United, last time out, despite the return to action in midweek of goalkeeper Stuart Coburn. However, the formation differed from the Oxford game with Peter Band deployed on the left of midfield and Lewis Chalmers on the right and Rod Thornley playing alongside Joe O'Neill up front. On the bench Justin Bowler got the nod ahead of Kieran Lugsden. Still missing, injured, were midfielder Steve Bushell, centre-back Gary Talbot and strikers Colin Little and Peter Thomson. Joe O'Neill was facing the side against whom he had scored a hat-trick on his debut for York City the previous season.

A moderate performance from Altrincham was just about enough to see off Southport. The visitors started the better and it was against the run of play when Alty went ahead. Steve Aspinall's well-struck free-kick from 25 yards took a big deflection off Port striker Jackson and flew past the wrong-footed keeper Robinson (19 mins).

After losing Band through injury, Alty made it 1-0 after 44 minutes when Munroe scored well from 18 yards. But a well-taken goal by debutant Paterson (77 mins) set up a tense closing period for Altrincham as Southport pressed for an equaliser. However, Alty held out to rise to 14th in the table and leave Southport in bottom place.

ALTRINCHAM: 13. Richard ACTON; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Stephen ROSE, 11. Warren PEYTON; 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Val OWEN, 4. Peter BAND; 10. Rod THORNLEY, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 15. Justin BOWLER, 22. Colin POTTS, 23. Eddie HUSSIN.


In advance of Tuesday's fixture, the National League reported that "They had to wait some 32 years for their latest victory at National League level...

Saturday’s exhilarating 4-3 triumph over Wrexham was the first time the Stones [Wealdstone] have won a game at Step 1 since 1988. Now they want to double up by taking the scalp of Chesterfield four days on...

Manager Dean Brennan said,'These kind of matches are free games for us, teams like Chesterfield are expected to be at the top end of the division. Like I said when we played Stockport, these aren’t the fights we need to be picking but we have to be competitive and we have to give it everything we have got.

'This season we will need to be one of the hardest working teams, and so far we have shown that in all our games. The character and togetherness; nothing else is going to bring us success in this division. On Saturday we took the game to Wrexham and we scored some great goals. We have four points from four games. I actually think, bar the Stockport match maybe, that we should have got something from every game so far.

'What we will do is continue to play on the front foot but we do have to improve on the number of goals we are conceding.'

Chesterfield captain Will Evans told us... things are better than they were a year ago at the club. His team have lost three of their first four matches and sit third from bottom.

But the skipper said 'Sometimes when you haven’t got off to the greatest of starts you need things to go your way a little. Against Torquay and Stockport, they didn’t... We do look more solid and I do feel we are a lot more comfortable than we were maybe at times last season...

'As a group we are still learning. We have new young players here now and some news faces so it’s still gelling.'”

And the Derbyshire Times added that "Chesterfield have got a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to climb the National League table against Wealdstone on Tuesday night. That’s according to Spireites boss John Pemberton...

Town can jump from 21st to ninth with a win at newly-promoted Wealdstone...

'We have got a fantastic opportunity to win a football match and get where I feel, and I believe, we should be and that is the top half of the table at this moment in time,' Pemberton said. 'I think if we had not probably played the strong teams we have played, and played the way we have played, I think we would be in a better position'...

Dean Brennan’s men have had no problem scoring goals with eight already, but they are struggling to keep them out at the other end, conceding 11.

'They have been competitive,' Pemberton added. 'They have shipped a couple of goals and were behind at the weekend, but they have got spirit and they have got some good players and they score goals...

'I know that we have got to be better in possession. I thought we had some good spells in possession against Stockport and we caused them some problems, but first and foremost you have got to match what people chuck at you and you have got to be able to take some punches on the chin and then come out fighting.'”

Chesterfield also state that "In the first four league games this season, Chesterfeld have faced a tough start by taking on teams in the top four. Despite three defeats in those games, the boss is happy with the reaction from the players.

'You’ve got to be honest with yourself and I look at the players’ reaction,' the gaffer said. 'The players have been disappointed that the results have gone against us and in the manner that they have. But then I look at the reaction the next time they walk through the door for training and the players have been upbeat. The players are working hard. They genuinely believe we are not a million miles away.'"

Woking have announced "the names of prospective lead investors and operators of Surrey’s highest-profile football club.

The club’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce its support for the group, Final Third Sport, LLC, an American outfit led by veteran sport executives John Katz and Drew Volpe.

There are numerous conditions that must be satisfied before a shares transference may occur, including the conclusion of the proposed appeal being carried out by a different organization, approval of the football authorities and appropriate timing throughout the process. Final Third Sport is not connected to the organization that has proposed an appeal.

'Since the refused planning application [at and around Woking's Kingfield Stadium], fans have been asking me about a Plan B for the club,' said Woking Football Club Chairman, Rosemary Johnson. 'John has visited the club throughout this year and realises the part that the club plays in our local community, and has spent considerable time in the last few weeks meeting with key people in the club and understanding how we can work together to achieve full-time football as soon as next season'...

Katz confirmed that... 'The Cards are the perfect fit for us on every level. Woking is a big club with massive potential to challenge for a spot in the Football League. This club has been a big part of the community since the late 19th century. Our vision to grow the club relies on the history, passion and service in the community. We look forward to growing existing relationships and partnerships across Woking and Surrey, and to build new partnerships that will both take the club to the next level and pave the way for positive growth both on and off the pitch.'

Volpe and Katz, along with their team of advisors, have more than a half-century of experience in operating baseball clubs and multi-use baseball grounds, along with extensive experience in English and global football.

'This club has amazing passion for the community at its core, and we are excited to join forces with the Chairman, the Board, Dowse and his management team, and the first team to continue the amazing work they do,' said Final Third Sport Chief Operating Officer Drew Volpe. 'John and I are both passionate people, and we believe in servant leadership. We’re excited at the opportunity to become stewards for one of the top community-centric clubs in the UK.'

Final Third Sport’s operating ethos will increase supporter engagement, back the manager with a goal of earning promotion to the Football League in the coming years and provide a sustainable future for Woking Football Club based on sound business practises, ambition and fiscal responsibility.

'Having these blokes come in will be massive for the club,' said Woking Manager Alan 'Dowse' Dowson. 'I’ve had a chance to speak with John a number of times since he’s been coming round. He’s a top sport businessman and he loves the football and we all want to see this special club kick on to the Football League.'”

HITC> reports that "Queens Park Rangers' target Sorba Thomas has been placed on the transfer list and is likely to be sold in January, Boreham Wood chairman Danny Hunter has told London News Online...

Last month, the Daily Mail reported Mark Warburton’s side had been watching the one-time West Ham youngster closely. And while the window is closed for now, Boreham Wood are already planning to cash in on their prized asset in January.

'The club has sat down with Sorba today and we’ve all aired things honestly and sensibly,' Hunter explains. 'As such, we’ve all agreed we will put him on the transfer list with immediate effect. That way, we can then see if there is wider interest and take it from there. There’s now ten weeks before the window reopens and, if any interested parties firstly match our very reasonable valuation, then Sorba and his advisers can explore whether the interested club is for them.'

A right-sided flyer, capable of playing at full-back or on the wing, Thomas has plenty of admirers in the Football League. Hunter admitted to London News Online over the weekend that Charlton Athletic... had seen a bid rejected, while suggesting Sunderland, Portsmouth and Middlesbrough could come calling."

According to the Leader Live "Shaun Pearson is expected to be out of action for around a month.

The influential Wrexham captain, yet to play this season, has undergone surgery on his foot and Reds' boss Dean Keates believes the centre-back will be missing for about four weeks...

Said Keates, 'He will be a fair few more weeks but he is not far off. I think you are looking at three, four, maybe five weeks but we don't know... He is back in at some point this week to get the stitches removed and then he will be back with us for the rehab-side towards the end of the week.'

Pearson sustained the injury towards the back end of the 2019-20 campaign... The 31-year-old had been due to go under the knife before the start of the pandemic but lockdown meant he was left kicking his heels...

'Shaun will come back from it and all being well, completely free of the pain and soreness that he was suffering during games and away from the football club. It is not ideal how it has happened. It got worse so it is something we had to address and it has been done now'...

Keates has a mounting injury list to contend with. Paul Rutherford limped out of Saturday’s 4-3 defeat at Wealdstone and joins Mark Carrington, Anthony Jeffrey, Jake Bickerstaff and Jordan Ponticelli on the sidelines...

Said Keates, 'We picked up a fair few injuries. There is an outside chance that we might have one or two back by the weekend... We have pride in ourselves with managing the soft tissues... It is something that we have had discussions about regarding what we have done. But sometimes these things just happen and one or two of them you just can’t control.'

Wrexham head to Solihull on the back of two successive defeats against teams who went into the games sitting bottom of the National League".

20 October 2020


Altrincham FC has announced that its youth side will "take on South Shields in the FA Youth Cup, 3rd Round Qualifying on Thursday evening (October 22nd) and, whilst the game is being played behind closed doors, Alty TV Live will be offering the opportunity to experience this important tie, which will be the fourth game to be livestreamed from The J.Davidson Stadium...

Youth Team manager, Paul Fay is looking forward to Thursday night and reflected on Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Chester in The North West Youth Alliance, when Luigi Mongan was on the mark for the U18s.

'It isn’t easy when we face yet another full time squad and it will be difficult to compete against but the group of players Sam (Heathcote) and I are working with this year are technically developed and if they focus on their own roles then it will be an interesting game'...

The winners of Thursday night's tie will travel to Gateshead or Eccleshill United, who meet at The International Stadium on Wednesday, in the First Round Proper, guaranteeing that a non-league team will reach the Secondnd Round Proper.

Tickets for this livestream event are priced at £4 and details of how to buy will be made available by Wednesday".


Altrincham FC announce that "Our Vanarama National League home game against Solihull Moors, postponed from last Tuesday has been rearranged for Tuesday November 10th.

Kick-off at The J.Davidson Stadium is at 7.45pm."

ON THIS DAY: 20 October

As Alty await their entry into the FA Cup this weekend, we recall that two years ago today, 20 October 2018, they bowed out of the competition at the Fourth Qualifying Round at Edgeley Park against Stockport County.

Above: Alty defend in the first half against Stockport County.

Despite dominating for most of the first half, Altrincham failed to score and paid the price when County took a 41st minute lead, decidedly against the run of play. Having brought everyone back for a Stockport corner, Alty made three successive half-clearances but the ball came back in from the right and, at the back post, Ash Palmer headed it back for Frank Mulhearn to poke the ball into the net. Alty then lost Sean Williams to injury before the interval.

County improved after the break and continued to look solid at the back. In the 68th minute, a slip-up between Hampson and Hannigan allowed Warburton to get free on the right byline. He drew Thompson and slotted the ball home to make it 2-0.

After that, Alty did not look like getting back into the game and so the £25,000 prize money and a place in Round One went to the Hatters.

For this match, Altrincham were again unchanged...

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. Max HARROP, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14. Josh HANCOCK, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Simon RICHMAN, 17. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. Liam GOULDING, 20. Elliot WYNNE (gk).


According to the Dorset Echo "Delighted Weymouth boss Brian Stock cut a relieved figure after the Terras recorded their maiden Vanarama National League win of the season by beating King’s Lynn 2-1... The Terras also scored their first goals of the season...

In an action-packed finale, Marriott won and took a penalty, brilliantly saved by Jack Bycroft, before McAuley earned a second yellow for an apparent head-butt.

Weymouth hit the post late on through Sean Shields, who then won a penalty as sub Ross Barrows handballed. Tom Whelan was trusted with the spot-kick and he made no mistake to hand the Terras a precious three points against a fellow promoted side.

'I’m delighted to get the win, don’t get me wrong; oh my God, that felt good. If I was to look at the performance it’s not been our best by any means... It was vital to get the win. Sometimes when you don’t have that it plays on people’s minds and the longer it goes on it’s not good for anyone.'

Stock also had praise for Cooke’s opener, adding 'Great finish. We lost Shamir (Mullings) in training on Thursday. Cody’s come in up top and led the line very well...

'When we look at the stats and how we want to play we came a little bit short, we were a little bit naïve as well but we’ve got three points... They’ve caused us a lot of problems... They were getting in between the lines very well and we were holding on at one point.

'Obviously with Jack saving the penalty those are the sorts of moments in games where it’s almost a match-winning save. He’s got a lot of potential, Jack. He’s come in here and taken to the group very well'...

Commenting on the red card, Stock said... 'They might argue there might’ve been an initial foul previous to that... You can’t react that way. We were fortunate with Corey (Jordan) in the first half, there was a kerfuffle in the corner. Fortunately for us the referee saw sense to not book anyone and let the game flow but (McAuley) was an occasion where he had to take action.'

On Weymouth’s penalty, Stock added 'It’s one of those that the referee’s in a better position than anyone else to give the penalty. (King’s Lynn) will probably think it’s a weak one to give but in fairness to Tom he’s come on the pitch, made an impact again and tucked the penalty away really nicely.'"

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor says Luke Williams is looking ‘better and better’ as the midfielder closes in on a new deal.

The 27-year-old remains out of contract but has continued to train with Pools throughout the summer and into the new season... But the midfielder needs game time elsewhere before being considered for first team action.

'I’ve had a chat with the chairman [Raj Singh] and we’ll pick it up after the weekend,' Challinor told The Mail. 'Every day in training, he looks better and better in terms of his body language and the confidence he’s got in himself and in his body to go and train full-tilt. We’ll see where we’re at with him this week'".

Meanwhile, concerning The Pools' intended opponents last Saturday, the Hartlepool Mail adds that "Barnet have confirmed three further players have been affected by coronavirus following the postponement of the match against Hartlepool United... after it was confirmed that one Barnet player had tested positive for the virus.

Now, another player has tested positive for Covid-19 with a further two first players deemed to be in close contact with the infected player and deemed at ‘high risk’ of being exposed... Pools were fortunately not exposed to the virus due to the postponement but the trip still cost the club financially...

Barnet had players tested last Wednesday but didn’t let Pools know there was any doubt of the fixture not taking place until 9.40pm on Friday evening".

According to the Green 'Un "Leiston’s eagerly-awaited FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against Barnet, scheduled for this Saturday (October 24) is in doubt because of Covid-19 concerns surrounding the Hertfordshire club...

The Bees had no option but to postpone their home match against Hartlepool United... Now Barnet FC are waiting on the results of tests involving two other players who were recently in close contact with the positive-testing player.

There is a possibility that Barnet FC might not be able to fulfil the fixture, in terms of sending a first-team squad, because of Covid-19 rules and restrictions, which could see the match forfeited and Leiston progress through to the first round proper, as has happened with several clubs in previous rounds.

However, it is still likely that the Bees will be keen to send any sort of squad to Victory Road, with such a big prize at stake.

Leiston chairman Andy Crisp revealed 'We have had contact with Barnet over this matter, but we are obviously carrying on as normal preparing for the game and selling tickets... Barnet are giving no indication that they will not be fulfilling the fixture...

'Their secretary said that they would even send their under-18s to play the fixture, if they had to, to make sure the game took place, though I don’t know whether this was said tongue-in-cheek. But they definitely want to play the match We have so far sold around 400 tickets, and we are still carrying on with our preparations for what is such a big game,' added Crisp.

The Derbyshire Times confirms that Chesterfield "Goalkeeper Luke Coddington is not expected to return from injury until Christmas.

The 25-year-old suffered a serious knee injury in the match against Yeovil Town last December and then had another setback in his recovery earlier this year.

Spireites boss John Pemberton told the DT '“He is still working one-to-one with the medical department. We are probably looking at him, realistically, round about Christmas, so he is still a bit off yet... ,P> 'What we are trying to do is keep him around. When you have got an injury like that and you have been out a long time you tend to do a lot of the work on your own, but I like to get him up to the training ground as much as we can and try and get him to do some work in and around the lads.'

Pemberton added 'I don’t think he particularly enjoys watching the games when he is not playing, that is a difficult one fo him, but some people are like that and I am okay with that. I think that is quite a normal scenario for people to be in'".


Altrincham will enter the Buildbase FA trophy at the First Round. The draw has now been made for the Third [and final] Qualifying Round, which is to be played on Saturday 31st October 2020.

The winners earn £2,450 and the losers get £625. The northern section of the draw is as follows...

  1. FC United of Manchester v Marske United
  2. Atherton Collieries v City of Liverpool
  3. Hyde United v Frickley Athletic
  4. Warrington Town v Lancaster City
  5. Kendal Town v Buxton
  6. Ashton United v Clitheroe
  7. Radcliffe v Bamber Bridge
  8. Scarborough Athletic v Witton Albion
  9. Pickering Town v Runcorn Linnets
  10. Marine v Stalybridge Celtic
  11. Glossop North End v Workington
  12. South Shields v Colne
  13. Morpeth Town v Whitby Town
  14. Newcastle Town v Nuneaton Borough
  15. Evesham United v Leek Town
  16. Redditch United v Nantwich Town
  17. Tamworth v Banbury United
  18. Bromsgrove Sporting v Coleshill Town
  19. AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Ilkeston Town
  20. Yaxley v Grantham Town
  21. Loughborough Dynamo v Bedford Town
  22. Rushall Olympic v Barwell
  23. Mickleover v Dereham Town
  24. Coalville Town v Matlock Town
  25. Peterborough Sports v Gainsborough Trinity
  26. Stourbridge v Stamford
  27. Basford United v Alvechurch
  28. Corby Town v Hednesford Town
  29. St Neots Town v Worksop Town
  30. St Ives Town v Stafford Rangers
  31. Stratford Town v Kidsgrove Athletic

19 October 2020


Steven Drench played for Farsley Celtic and John Johnston turned out for Chester FC in the National League North on Saturday.

Greg Young scored for Grantham Town but they lost 2-4 at home to Lancaster City who played much of the game with ten men.

Josh Amis [left] was in the Warrington Town side which beat Radcliffe 2-1, and Sam Madeley netted a remarkable five goals as Winsford United thrashed Barnoldswick Town 10-2 on Saturday. And Barnnoldswick had actually scored the match's opening goal!

Harry Cain netted for 1874 Northwich but they lost to Irlam Town.

ON THIS DAY: 19 October

A year ago today Altrincham travelled to Haig Avenue and beat Southport 3-1 in an Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round match. Following Ashley Hemmings deciding to leave Altrincham, Tom Peers started on the right wing with John Johnston moving to the left. Connor Hampson was seemingly only fit for a place on the bench.

Altrincham secured a deserved place in Round One of the FA Cup on their second visit to Haig Avenue in 2019-20 season, having lost there 1-2 in a league match in early September.

Right: Tom Peers, second left, is congratulated on his goal.

In this FA Cup tie, Alty took a 42nd minute lead when the ball was laid off by John Johnston to Jordan Hulme, who lashed the ball home from left of goal.

Seven minutes into the second half Tom Peers made it two-nil when he netted at the second attempt after goalkeeper Albinson had blocked his first attempt.

In the 61st minute, Hulme drove home a third goal from just inside the box. He was then denied a clear penalty when the keeper brought him down but the referee declined to point to the spot.

Alty absorbed some late Southport pressure but they allowed substitute Mohamed to head home a consolation goal in the 88th minute.

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


The National League announces that "National League clubs are set to receive financial support thanks to a unique deal with The National Lottery, brokered by government and The FA.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that National League clubs will receive £10 million funding as part of the partnership with The National Lottery. The support will benefit all clubs in the fifth and six tiers of English football {i.e both levels of The National League], so that they can continue to play behind closed doors after the return of fans was paused due to rising infection rates.

It comes after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport assured the National League that emergency financial support would be forthcoming so that it was able to start the season earlier this month. All 66 clubs are playing football this season as a result.

Dowden said 'I know from a brilliant club in my area that National League football clubs are the beating heart of their communities and too precious to lose. This £10 million fund will provide a bridge to help clubs survive this immediate crisis whilst we work together on the safe return of fans'...

The £10 million emergency support package, which will reach clubs via the FA, is in recognition of the important role National League clubs play in their local areas; being a source of pride to their towns, giving children opportunities to get active, and being at the heart of their communities.,,

Mark Bullingham, FA Chief Executive, said 'We have worked hard with the National League, Government and The National Lottery to make this happen and would like to thank everyone involved'...

Funding will be distributed to each of the 66 National League clubs to help cover their lost gate revenue from the delay to fans being permitted to return, that was originally scheduled for 1 October... Alongside the support for clubs, National Lottery players will also get a range of benefits, including free tickets once stadia are safe to reopen, grassroots football opportunities, and VIP experiences at Wembley Stadium."

On the field, the National League reports that "There were first National League wins for two promoted sides on Saturday and perhaps the shock result of the season so far.

Maidenhead United twice came from behind to win 3-2 at in-form Notts County, a second win in five days for Alan Devonshire=...

Wealdstone will say their defeat of Wrexham was equally as impressive. The newboys also came from behind and took it 4-3 in a thriller...

Weymouth scored their first goal back at this level - and got their first win...

Torquay United went top - for a few hours at least. A fourth win from five was secured by Kyle Cameron, his double doing for Dover Athletic, who have now lost every game since stunning Notts County on the opening day.

Torquay didn’t stay at the summit for long as Stockport County finally broke Chesterfield’s resistance... Woking couldn’t quite get a fourth win; they were held by hard-to-beat FC Halifax, it ended 0-0.

It was the same scoreline in East London as Dagenham and Yeovil fired blanks... Solihull Moors won for a third game in a row... Alex Wynter turned out to be Eastleigh’s hero with a late leveller in a Hampshire thriller with Aldershot".

According to Devon Live "Two headed goals from central defender Kyle Cameron saw Torquay United go top of the National League table yesterday for a couple of hours, at least. United beat Dover Athletic 2-0 with both first-half goals headed home by captain Cameron and the team were top of the table on 12 points until they were overtaken on goal difference by Stockport County, who beat Chesterfield 2-1 in the later kick-off...

'Obviously I am very pleased with the result and I am very pleased with the efforts of the boys over the last five games,' said manager Gary Johnson. 'To win four out of five in the National League is a very good return. Just for the time being we have gone top and that’s always nice'...

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Notts County's winning run in the National League came crashing to a halt at the weekend as they were beaten by Maidenhead 3-2 at Meadow Lane despite leading on two occasions.

As good as Notts have been in the start to this season, there are still concerns as to whether they possess the strength in depth across the forward line to sustain a title challenge. Wes Thomas and Kyle Wootton are proven centre forwards at this level, but the former was absent this weekend meaning Jimmy Knowles got the nod ahead of Elisha Sam.

The on-loan Mansfield forward scored his first goal for the club with an instinctive finish, but as a teenager he is still learning his trade and developing as a footballer.

It’s unfair to expect too much from him and despite Sam’s endeavour, he looks as if he is going to need a huge amount of time to adapt to football in this country and it's not necessarily time Notts can afford.

If Wootton was to pick up an injury right now, and with Thomas already absent, that leaves the frontline consisting of an 18-year-old and a forward who is trying to come to terms as to what is required from him.

There is a noticeable drop in quality when you compare the strikers on the books this season to what Notts had at their disposal just a few months ago. They had Kristian Dennis who scored 15 goals and also had Scott Wilson, who had helped fire Macclesfield to the National League title a few years back...

Having already seen yellow in the first half, Sam Barratt stopped a counter attack with a cynical foul on Ruben Rodrigues after the break... He was allowed to complete the game and made a significant impact on it too... While there may have been a few grievances that Barratt was still on the pitch, that does not excuse the defending which ultimately handed Maidenhead the victory... Notts have to get wiser, sharper and more brutal.

As Connell Rawlinson put it after the game, 'You have to be prepared to lose a few teeth'.

Notts announced that four players had tested positive for coronavirus prior to the game and they did not want it postponed. The argument was that they wanted to preserve the integrity of the league which is very admirable and underlined their classy approach to dealing with Covid... which has even included paying for their own testing even though it’s not mandatory...

Notts chose not to reveal which players had contracted coronavirus, but the team sheet told its own story. No Callum Roberts, no Jim O’Brien, no Richard Brindley, no Dion Kelly-Evans and no Wes Thomas... Notts’ decision to go ahead with the game put them at a sporting disadvantage through no fault of their own, yet on the same day, Barnet’s game against Hartlepool was called off after one Bees player tested positive.

It shouldn’t be left to the clubs to decide whether they choose to play a game or not in light of positive tests. There needs to be a consistent rule in place to make it fair for everybody."

The Nottingham Post reports "what the Magpies boss had to say...

'When we spoke to the doctors, the medical advisors of the National League, of Maidenhead, and our own, we felt that the bubble that was going to be here on the day was negative. It meant that if we could field a team to play the game, we should do that rather than just say nope, that’s it, we’ve got a few key players out...

'With the Barnet situation, who knows what their call was? Maybe they just decided we can’t afford testing so we’re going to put our team into isolation for 10 days to make sure and and therefore call the game off...

'We played some really good stuff at times, particularly in the first half and we scored two goals at home. That should be enough to win games football, but you can’t defend the way we did...

'For the last goal it was a little flick and one person runs between you. It’s schoolboy stuff. It’s something they don’t let happen very often, but they did, and it’s cost us. We conceded rubbish goals...

'They’re 2-2, they’re doing a great job and that’s because we’ve allowed them to get back in the game and it becomes harder. And in the last 20 minutes, half-hour, we look a very, very poor team and that comes from anxiety, it comes from desperation. And all of that comes because you don’t defend properly...

'Had that team done what I asked them to and defended their set plays with resilience and not give away silly free-kicks or throws, which we did, we would have won the game.'”

On that topic, Barnet issued a "statement after our match with Hartlepool United was postponed due to COVID-19.

Currently, the Club has four players affected following two separate incidents. One player was (and continues to be) self-isolating as a result of being in close contact with a positive-testing family member. Separately, a second player received a positive Covid-19 test result on Friday evening.

The positive-testing player had been in very close contact with two other members of the Barnet First Team, both of whom were then deemed at high risk of having being exposed. We discovered this on Friday evening and the players were tested early Saturday morning; we are now awaiting test results. Regardless of outcome, all three will now join the other player in self-isolating for the mandated period.

The real concern is that the virus may have spread throughout the squad, but we are unable to be certain of this until we have the outcome of the two tests. Given results could not be provided prior to the match, it was considered reckless to allow the match to go ahead knowing that it could pose a serious and undue risk to both Barnet and Hartlepool players and staff.

Moving forward, the situation is contingent on the awaited results. Should either test positive, the situation will need to be reassessed with the remainder of the Barnet FC playing and coaching staff likely to be required to self-isolate. As such, whether or not we will be able to proceed with our FA Cup tie against Leiston is also dependent on these results, and we hope to confirm either way soon".

From their opponents, the Ha rtlepol Mail, manager "Dave Challinor reveals how much the postponed Barnet trip cost Hartlepool United.

With money tight and things going well on the pitch for Hartlepool United, a late postponement and four-figure hit to the pocket was the last thing they needed. But that's just what they got at Barnet on Saturday as it was confirmed that the match would have to be rearranged after a Bees player tested positive for coronavirus.

With travel, food and hotel costs already paid for and used, Pools were understandably keen to have the match go ahead as planned at The Hive, providing it was safe to do so. And manager Dave Challinor couldn't hide his frustration when the game was inevitably called off late on Friday night.

'We’ve had postponements in the past at Yeovil and Solihull last season but this is different because when it’s weather you can’t control it so it’s hard to be too annoyed,' he told The Mail. 'From our perspective, the trip would have cost the club around £5,000 and for us not to be informed in any way shape or form that Barnet had any concern is massively frustrating.

'Hopefully, the club get reimbursed because we weren’t given any inclination [indication] of any concerns. If we were told on Tuesday that a Barnet player is [was] getting tested for coronavirus then we make a judgement call whether to travel on Friday or not and potentially save the money.

'Unfortunately, that’s not been the case and at the moment the finances are such that hopefully we’ll get some reconciliation [recompense] for the expense we’ve incurred'.

After making significant budget cuts over the summer, being hit with a £5,000 bill without playing a match is far from ideal for Pools. Although it’s unlikely that the club will be fully reimbursed for the costs incurred, the feeling it could have been avoided leaves a bitter sting...

'The player who tested positive would have been tested on Wednesday and could have had symptoms on Tuesday night when they played Weymouth,' Challinor continued. 'He’s obviously played against Weymouth so Weymouth could have quite easily got their game called off because they could say they’ve been in contact with the player. It opens up lots of situations where you’re reliant on clubs doing the right thing...

'There’s lots of uncertainty and there’s no black and white situation for how many players have to be out before you postpone a match... I understand you’ve got to be safe. It’s just difficult and frustrating and the initial frustration will wane away and we’ll play the game whenever it’s scheduled. From our perspective, we wanted to play and we’ve spent enough time not playing football because of this virus so it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to this weekend.'”

The Derbyshire Times provides "Liam Norcliffe’s six big talking points...

The Spireites had conceded a lot of late goals last season... Unfortunately, that old habit has reared its ugly head again twice in the last two games against Torquay United and now Stockport County. Is it concentration? Fitness? Nerves? Pemberton said Stockport’s winner was more down to ‘luck’. My opinion is that Town don’t keep possession for very long and spend big periods of games trying to win it back. If they can improve on the ball, then their concentration and sharpness should be better in the latter stages of matches...

Chesterfield’s first four matches have come against the teams occupying the top four places; Stockport County, Torquay United, Hartlepool United and Woking. Does that mean anything? Time will tell...

Town need to find a way of giving Jordan Cropper more protection because a lot of teams are targeting his side. Hartlepool’s two goals came down Chesterfield’s right, as did Torquay’s first and Stockport’s opener. I think part of the problem is that Cropper’s starting position is very high up the field because he is a good outball and has decent delivery from crosses".

Lynn News reports that "Ten-man King's Lynn Town suffered their successive National League defeat as they were made to pay the penalty at [Weymouth]...

Striker Adam Marriott, who had cancelled out Cody Cooke's first-half opener early in the second period, saw his spot-kick saved before Tom Whealan converted a penalty to win the game for the hosts five minutes from time.

But it only told half the story after Rory McAuley had a rush of blood to the head and saw himself sent-off on the south coast.

Lynn, who made three changes to their starting eleven in Dorset dominated possession in a first half which saw few chances for either side. Despite enjoying plenty of the ball, King's Lynn Town failed to muster a single shot on target in the first half.

And it was the Terras who delivered a real sucker punch by taking the lead seven minutes before the interval. A cross from Oliver Harfield could only be parried by Lynn goalkeeper Archie Mair into the path of Cody Cooke to sidefoot the ball home.

Lynn needed an immediate response and it arrived seven minutes after the restart as Michael Clunan's cross was stabbed home by Marriott.

The Walks outfit were in the ascendancy and were handed a golden chance to take all three points after they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Marriott 16 minutes from time. But Jack Bycroft brilliantly saved the striker's well-hit effort to his right to deny the visitors from taking the lead...

McAuley, already on a yellow card, felt aggrieved at not being awarded a penalty and had a coming together with Brennan Camp and the referee was left with very little option other than to show him another yellow card... But things went from bad to worse when Barrows, who had only been on the field for a few seconds, handled in the box, and the Terras were awarded a penalty of their own as the clock ticked down.

Tom Whealan stepped up to convert the resulting penalty kick to hand Weymouth, who had failed to score before the start of the afternoon, their first three points of the campaign.

The Linnets, who have slipped into the bottom three as a result of this defeat, will be left kicking themselves for at least not bringing home a point".

18 October, 2020


Saturday was a mixed day for the National League's two remaining Cheshire clubs, following the expulsion last week of the third club from the historical county, Macclesfield Town.

With Altrincham unable to play, once more, because of Covid-19 restrictions, they lost more ground on their rivals and ended the day bottom of the National League, having played only three fixtures. Their drop to the bottom was confirmed by a late penalty by Weymouth against King's Lynn Town, who had a man sent off for deliberate handball. Weymouth's win lifted them above The Robins, whilst previous basement club, Wealdstone, also won.

Altrincham's close neighbours, Stockport County, had a much better day as they went to troubled Chesterfield and emerged the 2-1 victors. Former Alty man James Jennings was a late substitute for the Cheshire side.

That win lifted County to the top of the National League.

ON THIS DAY: 18 October

Six years ago today, on a Saturday in 2014, Altrincham had their first ever match against Essex club Braintree Town in a Vanarama Conference match at the J. Davidson Stadium, which The Robins won by the only goal of the afternoon.

Right: Tom Marshall deals with a Braintree attack.

Along with Sean Williams, the suspended Adam Griffin gave way as Tom Marshall and Peter Cavanagh returned to the starting line-up. Griffin's suspension prompted the move of Scott Leather to left back. Alty were also without the injured Ryan Crowther and Mike Williams, who remained on loan at Stalybridge Celtic. The Iron included Omar Sowumni, their new six-feet five-inch loan signing from Ipswich Town.

It was a match of attrition, rather than flowing football in which Altrincham opened the scoring much against the run of early play. The goal arrived in the 27th minute when Nicky Clee finished, right-footed, after Shaun Densmore had got into the box and played a one-two with James Lawrie. Referee Toner almost lost control in the second half when he booked six players, four of them in a five-minute spell, after he had failed to give a clear foul against Damian Reeves.

ALTRINCHAM: 1 Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 6. Scott Leather; 4. Jake Moult; 8. Simon Richman, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 11. Nicky Clee, 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves. Subs: 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 17. Dave Parton 18. Sean Williams.

After the game, which left ALtrincham nineteenth, manager Lee Sinnott told the NL Paper, "It's pleasing to get three points although we know we can play better. What pleases me most is the character the lads showed, especially once we got our noses in front. We managed the game well, standing up when they were on top for a while and then controlling the game to ensure we kept a clean sheet.

We have picked up ten points from fifteen, which is great for a club of our size and stature. If we carry on at that rate we will be in a very healthy position".


Yeovil Town report that "Ten-man Yeovil Town battled hard for a point against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday afternoon as the Glovers drew 0-0 at Victoria Road. After a positive first half performance, Luke Wilkinson was given his marching orders in the second half.

Despite being a man down, the Glovers held their own to earn a share of the spoils at Victoria Road.

After switching to a 3-5-2 against Halifax, Darren Sarll opted for more of the same with just two changes to the side which started in Yorkshire. Adam Smith kept his place between the sticks after a strong start to the season, with Wilkinson, Lee Collins and Josh Staunton ahead of him.

The flanks saw starts for Dan Leadbitter and Gabby Rogers who earned his first start of the season following a successful cameo against The Shaymen. Charlie Lee, Albi Skendi and Matt Warburton also began in the midfield.

After Courtney Duffus picked up a knock, Joe Quigley started his first game for the Glovers against his former side, alongside Rhys Murphy.

The opening stages were an even contest, with chances falling to both sides... As the half progressed, so did Yeovil as Sarll’s side began to apply significant pressure on the Daggers backline...

The Glovers were dealt a defensive blow as the half entered its closing stages, after captain Collins went down off the ball, he was replaced by Carl Dickinson in the 37th minute...

The Glovers were dealt another defensive sucker punch in the 60th minute, with Wilkinson given his marching orders for a last-man foul on the pacey Darren McQueen.

Despite the man disadvantage, chances continued to fall for Town, with the always bright Rogers firing over in the 65th minute. The red card did take the sting out of Yeovil’s continued waves of attacks, largely being limited to the counter attack... With Skendi and Staunton forming a makeshift central defensive pairing, the ten-man Glovers held firm and secured the green and whites' first clean sheet of the season".

For Wrexham "Our first clash with Wealdstone ended in huge disappointment as the home side enjoyed their first win of the season.

Wealdstone had the better of the first 15 minutes, but... it was actually Wrexham who made the better early chances...

Wealdstone got the reward for their bright start when they took the lead after a quarter of an hour. The dangerous Dennon Lewis burst down the left flank and pulled the ball back for Charlie Wakefield to tap it in. Wrexham were level within 70 seconds though. From the kick-off Reckord's long ball into the box was sliced past his goalkeeper by Jerome Okimo, who took a wild swipe at the ball from 15 yards out.

Two and a half minutes larer, Wrexham were ahead. An excellent tackle by Luke Young on Wakefield set up Yussuf to put the ball into the bottom right corner. Soon afterwards... Elliot Durrell's 20 yards rocket was parried by Harry Isted.

The goals kept coming, and Wealdstone restored parity with a remarkable strike from Jacob Mendy, who lashed the ball in from distance.

Wrexham started to take control after this swift exchange of goals... Wrexham were made to regret not getting a third goal as Wealdstone dominated the first 25 minutes of the second-half... before The Stones took the lead. Dyer swept in an excellent freekick from the left which was headed home by Michee Efete.

Five minutes later Efete had another goal. An excellent corner from the right by Mendy was headed firmly home by the right back. Wrexham began to respond after going two goals down. A change to a diamond released more players into attacking positions...

Wrexham continued to toil away, and got a consolation goal when a long ball into Wealdstone's box led to another scramble, which concluded in Yussuf turning to drive the ball home from 15 yards. There was barely time to restart the game, though, before the final whistle went, and Wrexham were condemned to a highly frustrating defeat".

From the victors, Wealdstone report that they "grabbed their first victory of the National League season in a frantic 4-3 victory over Wrexham at The Vale...

Dean Brennan made just one change from the side that lost to Stockport County last Tuesday as Dennon Lewis returned from injury to replace Jorome Slew".

At Torquay United "Two goals from skipper Kyle Cameron were enough to secure all three points against Dover at Plainmoor on Saturday.

Gulls skipper Kyle Cameron’s first-half double saw his side two-goals up at the break, and it was a lead United never looked like giving away, with the 2-0 victory enough to send them top of the league at 4.45pm.

United manager Gary Johnson named an unchanged line-up, showing faith in the same side that secured that late, late win against Chesterfield at Plainmoor on Tuesday evening,,,

United began exerting some even stronger pressure, with Cameron seeing his downward header cleared off the line in the 16th minute... Athletic, clearly grateful to still be on level terms, began to impose themselves, and nearly took a barely threatened lead midway through the half...

The 26th minute finally brought the breakthrough, through an increasingly likely source. Having only partially cleared their lines, the ball found its way to Britton wide on the right wing. His cross-shot could only be palmed up into the path of the lurking Cameron, who put his earlier near-misses behind him to head home from eight yards...

Just when it looked as though The Gulls would have to satisfy themselves with just the one-goal advantage at the break, they struck again.

Lemonheigh-Evan’s corners were beginning to find their targets with increasing regularity, and with Cameron once again rising highest, it was little surprise when his powerful header found the back of the net to double United’s advantage... So, 2-0 at the break, and there could be little arguments with the scoreline, despite a committed performance from the visitors...

Still the men in yellow came pouring forward... Never at any point did Johnson’s side threaten to sit on their lead, as they continued their pursuit for further reward right up until the final whistle. No further goals were forthcoming though, with The Gulls sealing a highly entertaining 2-0 win to make it four wins out of the first five".

Meanwhile, Dover Athletic confirm that "Andy Hessenthaler’s men fought to find a way back into the match after break but were unable to find way through a solid United defence.

The loss leaves Whites second from bottom on the National League ladder with three points, however the result may well have been different had Athletic converted a gilt-edged chance five minutes prior to Torquay’s opener... The midfielder was unable to convert after getting his feet mixed up...

Dover’s mission to stop a run of three straight defeats was dealt a further blow on the stroke of half-time when Cameron headed a set piece into the bottom corner...

Earlier, Hessenthaler made five changes to the side that started the 5-0 home loss to Aldershot on Tuesday night. Mersin, Spencer-Adams, Kurtis Cumberbatch, Bramble and Josh Passley came in for Josh Bexon, Will Moses, Ade Azeez, Travis Gregory and Marvel Ekpiteta with the latter three all not involved due to injury".

Solihull Moors report that "Adam Rooney made a goalscoring return as his clinical finish sealed all three points for 10-men Moors at home to Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Rooney’s second-half strike secured a hard earned 1-0 win and saw Jimmy Shan’s men claim their third league win in a row at the Stadium.

It was all the more impressive as Moors had to play over an hour with 10 after the early dismissal of Darren Carter, the centre half sent off for two bookable offences.

The headline news prior to kick off was the return of Rooney who came into Shan’s starting XI for his long-awaited debut with Cameron Archer taking his place amongst the substitutes.

Moors also welcomed skipper Kyle Storer and Cameron Coxe back into the fold. Storer was rested for the win over King’s Lynn whilst Welshman Coxe was away on international duty.

And it was a landmark day for vice-captain Callum Howe who clocked up his 50th appearance in a Moors shirt against the Wood.

But it was the visitors who had the better of the opening exchanges, with danger man Kabongo Tshimanga making himself a real nuisance up front..

Midway through the half, Moors were dealt a set-back when following a challenge on Woods’ Corey Whitley, Carter received his marching orders for a second yellow card... But Shan’s men didn’t let Carter’s sending off ruin their game plan and as the half wore on, they started to assert themselves...

Wood were quick out of the blocks after the restart... As the game entered its final stages, there was little to choose between the teams and chances at a premium...

Then came Rooney’s moment. Picking up a loose ball, he drove at the defence and fired a low hard drive across Ashmore, it ricocheted off the inside of the post and into the net. It was no more than Moors’ battling performance deserved. It was then a case of batting down the hatches, staying resolute and hitting the Wood on the break".

From Notts County we learn that "Jimmy Knowles's and Ruben Rodrigues’s first Notts goals weren’t enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat at home to Maidenhead United.

The pair had twice given us the lead in the first half, cancelling out Sam Barratt’s equaliser.

But Barratt scored again after the break and Danilo Orsi nudged his side ahead to bring our three-match winning run to an end.

We returned four positive Covid-19 results from the previous day’s round of testing but, following conversations with the National League and Maidenhead, the match was deemed safe to go ahead. Sam Slocombe took his place between the sticks and was shielded by a back four of Adam Chicksen, Alex Lacey, Connell Rawlinson and Damien McCrory.

Ahead of them, Michael Doyle, Jake Reeves, Enzio Boldewijn and Rodrigues supported forwards Knowles and Kyle Wootton.

We got off to the dream start when, with only three minutes on the clock, we cut the visitors apart with some incisive passing which presented McCrory, playing in an unfamiliar right-back, with the opportunity to cut the ball back for Knowles six yards out. The young loanee made no mistake with his finish...

The visitors equalised against the run of play, Barratt bagging his first of the afternoon with an emphatic finish after we failed to clear from a wide free-kick...

We restored our lead when Rodrigues charged through the middle, dropped a shoulder to beat his man in the area and produced a delightful low finish to send us into the break ahead.

There were no changes at half-time... We were well in command but, on 64 minutes, Barratt punished us from a set piece once again, heading a corner into the bottom corner.

And, shortly after Barnsley loanee Matty Wolfe had replaced Rodrigues, the visitors completed the turnaround when Orsi was flicked through on goal and produced a fine finish beyond Slocombe with 15 minutes to play...

We couldn’t find an equaliser on a frustrating afternoon at the Lane."

FC Halifax Town tell us that "A second successive away stalemate sees FC Halifax Town return North with a point following a goalless draw at Woking.

Pete Wild made four changes from Tuesday’s starting line-up against Yeovil Town for the trip to Surrey to face Woking FC. In came Danny Williams, Niall Maher, Jack Earing and Gevaro Nepomuceno for Jack Senior, Tom Bradbury, Kieran Green and Gold Omotayo as Town looked for the winning formula. The Town Boss will feel his side deserved all 3 points but found home keeper Craig Ross in fine form and there is no doubting he was the busier of the 2 keepers.

Town had slightly the better of the first period. Dominant at the back, neat and tidy in midfield they took they game to their hosts...

The 2nd half continued in a similar vein... Town pressed forward looking for the winning goal. A couple of late corners were cleared and they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils and the third draw of the week.

It’s a rare full week on the training pitch with no midweek fixture ahead of the trip to South Shields in the FA Cup next Saturday".

Dagenham & Redbridge "were held to a goalless draw by Yeovil Town at the Chigwell Construction Stadium. The Daggers made just one change from the 2-0 defeat away to Woking on Tuesday night, with Darren McQueen replacing Paul McCallum who came off injured after just four minutes in the Woking fixture. For Yeovil, Joe Quigley, who left Dagenham and Redbridge this week, was a named starter.

The Daggers started brightly... Yeovil refused to let the pressure count... A quarter of an hour gone, and the match was turning into an intense battle for possession, both sides strong with their tackles which promised for a fiery affair.

Both defences continued to hold firm... The Glovers began to show real authority and dominance towards the half time whistle, playing flowing football through the channels which caused problems for the Daggers’ resilient defence...

Into the second half and the away side appeared unphased [sic] by the break in play, continuing where they left off from the first half with pacey transitional play from defence to attack... Despite the away side’s mounting pressure, the Daggers were handed a huge confidence boost. Darren McQueen received the ball from deep and made a surging run past Luke Wilkinson whose mistimed tackle bought the forward to the ground, resulting in a straight red card for a last man challenge...

Although now a man down, Yeovil refused to sit back... With twenty minutes to go, the Daggers started to look sharper, moving through the gears with pace... Into the dying embers and despite ninety minutes of football, the intensity of the game remained the same. Both teams desperately trying to force half a chance to win it. These efforts were to no avail as the referee blew for full-time soon after".

In the televised game at teatime, Chesterfield "were undone by another late goal as they fell to a second successive 2-1 defeat, losing against Stockport County at the Technique Stadium.

John Pemberton made one change from midweek with Luke Rawson making his first league start for Chesterfield in place of Alex Kiwomya. Nathan Tyson returned to the bench following his injury...

Stockport took the lead. Mark Kitching picked the ball up on the left and lashed the ball past Kyle Letheren from 20-yards.

The score was levelled ten minutes before the end of the half by an unlikely source. Jordan Cropper received the ball on the edge of the box, after pinball in the area, and hammered the ball low and into the bottom right corner...

Stockport found their first chance of the second half five minutes after the hour mark... The away side came a whisker away from taking the lead with ten minutes to go when Alex Reid and Jennings were denied... However, the visitors took the lead with just five minutes to go. A manic scramble in the penalty area eventually was headed in via the crossbar by Reid.

The Spireites battled hard to find a late equaliser... The final whistle sounded a few moments later to signal a second successive defeat".

17 October 2020


National League: With no game, Altrincham dropped to bottom of the table as Cheshire neighbours, Stockport County, went to the top.
  • Altrincham P-P Bromley (Altrincham players self-isolating)
  • Barnet P-P Hartlepool United (Barnet players self-isolating)
  • Chesterfield 1-2 Stockport County
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Yeovil Town
  • Eastleigh 2-2 Aldershot Town
  • Notts County 2-3 Maidenhead United
  • Solihull Moors 1-0 Boreham Wood
  • Torquay United 2-0 Dover Athletic
  • Wealdstone 4-3 Wrexham
  • Weymouth 2-1 King's Lynn Town
  • Woking 0-0 FC Halifax Town


Like Altrincham, their cup opponents AFC Fylde are also inactive this weekend.

All being well, Altrincham's next game should be a week today, on 24 October, in the FA Cup at AFC Fylde. From the Lancashire coast the Blackpool Gazette tells us that "Jim Bentley’s side were building momentum nicely after starting the season with four wins in 11 days (two in National League North, two in the FA Cup), so the postponement of Saturday’s home match against Kettering Town due to coronavirus at the Northamptonshire club is less than welcome...

'The postponement tomorrow is not what we wanted. We were keen to keep the momentum going but with the Covid situation safety has to come first. I always try to be positive when a fixture is postponed and this gives us an opportunity to regroup and get over a couple of knocks.

'It’s been a busy start, with quite a bit of travelling, and that has been on the back of six months without competitive football and a tough pre-season... There will be some hard-earned rest, some physical work and we’ll take stock as we prepare for the FA Cup... Hopefully we will get to complete our season and ideally play in front of crowds again before too long.' he said.

Kettering’s trip to Mill Farm has been rearranged for Tuesday, October 27, meaning the Coasters’ next match will be the home clash with Altrincham in the FA Cup’s final qualifying round. The teams met at Mill Farm only three weeks ago, playing out a 2-2 draw in Fylde’s final pre-season game...

The tie rewards Fylde’s FA Cup wins over Hyde United and Farsley Celtic and Bentley said of the draw 'Hopefully being at home will be an advantage. We only met recently, so we know what they are all about and vice versa, and (recent signing) Jordan Hulme will be looking forward to playing his former club.

'The clubs have swapped divisions but I don’t think that matters much for this tie'".


Josh Ginnelly scored the first and made the second goal as Hearts beat Dundee 6-2 on Friday.

ON THIS DAY: 17 October

Altrincham have no game today because of Covid-19 regulations but three years ago today, on a Tuesday night, Altrincham won a penalty shoot out against Ashton United following a 3-3 draw at the end of normal time. This was a tie in the Integro Cup, the name applied to the Northern Premier League's cup competition.

For this First Round match, Altrincham made ten changes from Saturday's league game, with Joel Bembo-Leta the only player to start both matches and even he played this match at centre-back rather than his usual right-back position.

The debutants in the starting eleven were right-back Callum Jones, who had made one previous substitute appearance for the first team, and right-winger Mason Walsh [left] who is the son of former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City Paul Walsh. As well as having had a spell in the USA, his previous clubs in England included Salisbury, Welling United, Bishop's Stortford (loan), Poole Town (loan), Dorchester Town (loan)a and AFC Bournemouth.

The Alty bench included two youth graduates and current reserves, Rhain Davis (one previous first-team start) and Darius Palma (1+1 previous appearances). Also on the bench were Tolani Omotola [right] (who joined Alty in the summer but had been on loan at Ramsbottom United) and current youth-team goalkeeper, Cameron Terry.

Ironically, given that Altrincham's inexperienced squad included no fewer than six players who were either debutants or had only made just a single previous start for the club, Ashton started with five players who had worn the Altrincham stripes (Ollerenshaw, Woodford, Chalmers (trialist), Lees, Tomsett (loanee) and had another, (player-manager Jody Banim) on the bench.

In an entertaining match, a much-changed Altrincham fell behind in only the third minute when future Alty striker, Matt Chadwick, was allowed to cut in from the right and drive a low shot past Tim Deasy from the edge of the box.

Alty equalised in bizarre fashion in the 23rd minute when the referee diverted the ball into the path of Max Harrop who scored with a well-struck effort from 20 yards. Within a minute, Alty had the lead as Tom Peers drove home a Sam Sheridan through-ball, despite offside claims from Ashton. Former Altrincham loanee Liam Tomsett equalised for Ashton in the 44th minute after an Alty clearance had come out to him.

Evangelinos then did well to hook a ball from the right over Deasy and Eckersley netted at the back post to give Ashton a 3-2 lead in the 75th minute. But Alty debutant Mason Walsh, son of former Tottenham and Manchester City striker Paul Walsh, made it 3-3 four minutes later. He converted a loose ball, after ex-Alty keeper Josh Ollerenshaw had beaten out a fierce Miller shot.

So, the game went immediately to penalties at the end of the 90 minutes.

Above: Alty players raise their hands to take a penalty in the shoot-out.

In the shoot-out, Chadwick put Ashton ahead before two successive spot-kicks for Alty were converted by Harrop and Densmore. Aaron Chalmers made it 2-2 before both Pilkington and Miller saw their kicks saved by the respective keepers.

Substitutes Rhain Davis and Will Beesley made it 3-3 before Tim Deasy became the hero as he saved Evangelinos's effort. Omotola, on his Alty debut, stepped up to calmly to roll home the tenth penalty to make it 4-3 to Altrincham.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Callum JONES, 3. Shaun DENSMORE (c), 4. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 5. James JONES, 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Mason WALSH, 8. Sam SHERIDAN, 9. Tom PEERS, 10. Max HARROP, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Rhain DAVIS, 14. Darius PALMA, 15. Tolani OMOTOLA, 16. Ben HARRISON, 20. Cameron TERRY.


The National League reminds us that Stockport County have "just put five past Wealdstone on the road after two impressive home victories.

His new signing John Rooney, meanwhile, has scored five goals from midfield in the last 125 minutes of football. Yet their manager still has the hump they dropped points on the first day of the season.

'I’m still hurting a little bit from the Torquay game!' Gannon said... 'A draw there and we are top of the league; I wish we could have spread our goals around a bit. We are looking like we’re getting better and better, but I want us to be relentless in our pursuit of being better. Some players are still lacking a little bit of confidence but I want every player to do that little bit more'...

Saturday tea time at Chesterfield, a game live on BT Sport, gives them their first chance to showcase the new and improved Stockport County to the nation...

'I really do think there is more to come... Tuesday masked a lot of bits of what concerned me about how they got their goals and our general play. We weren’t great and we do need to do better. I was disappointed in some parts of our performance... there’s a lot of things we need to address. When we play the stronger teams they won’t let us back in.'

What Chesterfield manager John Pemberton would give to be picking holes in a three-game winning run. His side also went down to a late Torquay winner at Plainmoor, theirs coming on Tuesday, while in their first outing they were edged out at home to Hartlepool...

Chesterfield pulled great-starters Woking apart on Matchday Three, that 4-0 win demonstrating how good they can be when things click...

'Everybody needs patience but we are not going to get patience if we are not winning football matches,' said the manager... 'I think we are in a better position than what we were six or seven months ago, but it is still working progress... We were near the bottom of the league and five points adrift when I came in.

'In the space of about 15 games, we have got a better balance to our squad so we are improving but it is not something that we can improve overnight. It is small steps...

'We’ve got to lick our wounds and bounce back and start again on Saturday but if we defend like we did in the 95th minute then we will get beat,' Pemberton warned. 'I was angry because it is a game that we lost that we should not have lost but we lost it because we lost concentration in the 95th minute. It killed us.'”

Chesterfield "take on Stockport County in front of the BT Sport cameras at the Technique Stadium on Saturday...

Chesterfield and Stockport County have faced each other 95 times, with the Hatters having the advantage with 45 wins. The Spireites have 32 wins with one of those coming in the last five meetings. There have also been three draws in the last five games between the two sides.

John Pemberton told the media in the pre-match press conference that everyone came through Tuesday’s match fine. He also added that Nathan Tyson is 'nearly there'. Both Tyler Denton and Joe Rowley missed out on the matchday squad on Tuesday.

John Pemberton said, 'They’re one of the favourites to go up, they have had a great summer in terms of recruitment. They have lots of talent, but we know what their strengths and weaknesses are.'"

In the Hartlepool Mail manager "Dave Challinor says Hartlepool United will be ‘reactive’ when it comes to bringing more players in over the coming weeks.

Pools currently have just four senior defenders available to play following the groin injury to Gary Liddle and Aaron Cunningham joining Blyth Spartans on a season long loan...

'We’ll monitor the situation and, if we need to do something... we can be pretty reactive in terms of bringing bodies in,' he told The Mail. 'But we’ve got the option of playing Cass centre-back, Timi [Odusina] and Ryan [Johnson] can play full-back if needed and Ryan Donaldson can do a job at right-back.'"

Hartlepool United add that they "look to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they face Barnet FC at The Hive. The 100% record start to the season ended on Tuesday night as Pools played out a 0-0 draw with Bromley at The Vic but after Dave Challinor described it as ‘the best he has ever seen us play’; it tops off a positive opening to the season.

It has been a bit of a odd start to the season for Barnet as they currently sit 10th in the National League. An opening day 5-1 defeat at home to Eastleigh was followed by a win at Dagenham and Redbridge, a defeat at Notts County and most recently, a victory at home to Weymouth on Tuesday night.

Along with a new manager in Peter Beadle, nine new signings have come through the door at the hive including JJ Hooper from Wrexham and Ben Nugent from Stevenage.

On a positive note for Pools, David Parkhouse is back from international duty and will be in contention".

According to the Leader Live "Dean Keates was glad his players were hurting after suffering a first home defeat and he is expecting another positive reaction at Wealdstone [on Saturday].

Wrexham went down 1-0 against Maidenhead, who went into the game pointless after three outings and sitting bottom of the National League, on Monday but Keates is expecting the Reds to bounce back against the Stones like they did last Saturday when beating Yeovil 1-0. That win came four days after Keates' men lost 1-0 at Solihull.

'They are a bit despondent, they are down,' said Keates. 'It's not a bad thing, I want them to be like that. They are hurting... We have got to get a reaction on the back end of Monday... What people see is you have lost against the team bottom of the league but that is the National League for you. Anybody can beat anybody in that division'...

Keates revamped his squad over the summer but he is not looking to complete any more new signings... Said Keates 'We have got everything I feel we need so as it stands we are fully loaded'">

and Wrexham also quotes Adi Yussuf "one of 11 new signings at The Racecourse over the summer...

'We need to find some consistency,' said Yussuf, brought in on a season-long loan from League One outfit Blackpool... 'But I believe in this team. I finished second a couple of years ago with Solihull Moors and I believe we have got as good a team to do well'".

Boreham Wood state that "After a leaked article was anonymously put into the public domain yesterday and after much speculation that Charlton Athletic had made an offer for Wood fans' favourite Sorba Thomas, the Club can now publicly state, that Charlton have in fact made a bid, but their kind offer falls a bit short of the Club’s valuation of the player, which they were made aware of before making their offer in writing.

We have, out of respect to both Charlton Athletic, Steve Gallen and of course the player, reiterated our asking price to Charlton by detailing what would trigger our acceptance and we have also stated that we are very happy to take payments in stages to assist the player in securing his move into the EFL.

Chairman Danny Hunter said, 'We’ve carefully nurtured Sorba through our Academy and over the last three or four years given him a great first team shop window to showcase his talent. In truth, everyone has now seen his talent, knows his value as a player, what he represents to us and what his worth is to the Club. It’s very unfortunate that Sorbs was advised to pull out of our league game at King’s Lynn on Tuesday, to perhaps force through a move, but as my mother used to say, "youth is wasted on the young". That said, as a smaller Club we must stand up to that type of behaviour and orchestrated bullying.

'What I can say categorically is that, if Charlton Athletic, Barnsley, Peterborough United, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, QPR or any of the other rumoured interested Clubs do match our valuation, then they can of course talk to the player and if Sorbs and his representatives then choose to go, he will leave Boreham Wood with our full blessing and well wishes.

'If our valuation is not met, then we would expect Sorbs to act professionally, keep working hard and, if he does that, then his talent will surely do the rest… Neither the Gaffer nor myself honestly wish to stand in his way, as he’s worked hard to get to where he presently sits, but everyone already knows that he really is an outstanding talent and you don’t sell the family silver for under the market value.

'We have also been patient and developed him beautifully here since he was 16. As such we do feel he genuinely has a true development value to this Football Club and we believe any fee received would have been honestly earned', Hunter concluded"

On the field, Boreham Wood "travel to the West Midlands where we match up against promotion candidates Solihull Moors...

Manager Luke Garrard has emphasised in the past the importance of a solid defensive performance and after Tuesday nights result, its now two clean sheets in two consecutive games for Garrard and his side.

After Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Halifax Town, Garrard made four changes to the starting line-up notably giving Zaine Francis-Angol and Gus Mafuta their competitive debuts. The pair impressed as they worked tirelessly for the team and adapted well to the pressing game that Wood implement".

At Torquay United "After the dramatic late developments in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Chesterfield at Plainmoor, Gary Johnson’s side once again have home comforts to look forward to tomorrow, as Dover Athletic make the trip to Devon.

With three wins out of four outings so far, Torquay are sitting pretty in 5th place in the early National League standings, just a point off the summit. Things aren’t looking quite so positive for Andy Hessenthaler’s men however, who have followed up their surprise opening day home win over Notts County (1-0) with heavy defeats at Bromley (1-4) and Stockport (0-3), before a 0-5 reverse at home to Aldershot earlier this week left them in 20th position.

The 2020/21 [season] is still in its early stages though, and Hessenthaler will no doubt be keen for his players to rediscover the form that saw his side compete strongly in the division last time out. Last season’s early curtailment put paid to Athletic’s play-off ambitions, with The Whites handily placed in 12th position, four points off 7th position, with eight games remaining.

One familiar, and popular, member of Dover’s squad is former Torquay loanee, Ade Azeez. Having originally arrived at Plainmoor on loan from Charlton as a teenager in 2013, Azeez made an instant impact in a Gulls shirt".

Sutton United remind us that "the team made a cracking start with three straight wins and how disappointing was it to lose in the last 30 seconds against Notts County. We now face a brief lay-off until the FA Cup tie at home to Bromley, which will at least give two or three players a chance to recover from some minor knocks.

The season only began after the League and FA received assurances from the Government of a support package to recompense for lost gate receipts, but at the time of writing we have no further details of when and how this money might be distributed to the clubs...

A big success story so far has been the live streaming service provided by the volunteers at SUFCtv.... The result was over 1,000 live stream passes sold for the visit of Notts County and a maximum viewing figure of 1,500 streams, and the number of viewers who were not able to receive the stream was in single figures...

The Board has decided to offer free online programmes for our home matches this season. What a terrific response we have had from our supporters to our “plea for help” to fill some of the huge gap caused by Covid-19 via the United We Stand 2020 initiative. To have so far raised just over £40,000 from over 460 fans is simply tremendous. Thank you...

Finally, even with no crowds for first team games the stadium is still well used and we have ongoing maintenance and upgrade work to cope with. Many thanks then to our volunteers who continue to undertake these essential tasks, led by John Parker and John Lowe who, with our former Secretary Ray Ward, have installed a brand new shower unit in the officials’ changing room."

At Solihull Moors "The versatile Ben Usher-Shipway has completed a short-term loan move to Rushall Olympic until 15th November.

Usher-Shipway, 22, extended his stay with the Moors back in the summer and made his league debut last Saturday.

The wide man came on as a second half substitute, playing the final 17 minutes of the emphatic 5-0 victory over King's Lynn Town.

The former Boldmere St Michaels man enjoyed loan spells with Alvechurch and Sutton Coldfield Town over the course of last season. He now links up with former Solihull boss Liam McDonald in the Southern League Premier Division Central".

Eastleigh "host Aldershot on Saturday afternoon in an all-Hampshire derby where the Spitfires will be hoping for a home win against The Shots for the first time since 2014...

Taking seven points from a possible nine has equalled a best-ever start to a National League campaign for Ben Strevens’s side, who sit seventh in the table having played one game fewer than the teams above them.

The Spitfires have shown plenty of resilience after coming from behind in their previous two matches against Altrincham and Torquay... Although the 100% record came to an end against Altrincham, the Silverlake side are still chasing the seven-game unbeaten run set back in 2015.

This will be Eastleigh’s third consecutive home league game before hosting Weston Super-Mare in the FA Cup fourth round of qualifying on Saturday 24th October.

Aldershot Town['s] consecutive defeats to Hartlepool and Sutton made the 5-0 thumping of Dover even sweeter for The Shots on Tuesday evening as they earned their first three points of the season.

The evening of firsts continued as headline signing Ross McCormack made his league debut for Danny Searle’s side. The former Leeds and Aston Villa striker announced his arrival to the National League by replacing Harry Panayiotou in the 86th minute, though it was Mohamed Bettamer and Josh Rees who stole the show as both players found the net twice each on the night."

Dover Athletic report that "Andy Hessenthaler’s side travel to in-form Torquay United on Saturday, looking to put Tuesday’s poor performance at Crabble behind them.

Tuesday night’s 5-0 home defeat against Aldershot Town saw Whites extend their losing streak to three matches following an opening day 1-0 victory against Notts County... Saturday afternoon’s hosts have made nine summer signings, including former Premier League player Dean Moxey.

Gary Warren and Andrew Nelson plied their trade in Scotland before their switch to Devon earlier this year. Warren joined from Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle and rejoins Torquay following three matches during a month-long loan spell last season, with Nelson signing from Championship club Dundee having previously been on the books at Sunderland.

Ex-Boreham Wood and Ebbsfleet striker Josh Umerah also joined, whilst Connor Lemonheigh-Evans has made his move to United a permanent one after three previous loan spells at Plainmoor.

The Gulls snapped up striker Danny Wright to replace last season’s top scorer Jamie Reid, who moved to League Two side Mansfield Town in June".

16 October 2020


For the seventh successive FA Cup draw, Altrincham have been handed an away tie in the 2020-21 competition. This time the opposition, in the Fourth Qualifying Round, will be AFC Fylde who, of course, recently signed Alty striker Jordan Hulme. Altrincham drew at Fylde in a pre-season game in September.

The tie is set to be played on Saturday, 24 October, behind closed doors, and will be concluded by a penalty shoot-out if the scores are level after ninety minutes.

The previous six away FA Cup draws ended as follows:

  • 2018-19: 4Q round at Stockport County, lost 0-2
  • 2019-20: 2Q at Chester FC, drew 1-1 and won replay at Altrincham 1-0
  • 2019-20: 3Q at Halesowen Town, won 2-0
  • 2019-20: 4Q at Southport, won 3-1
  • 2019-20: 1 at York City, won 1-0
  • 2019-20: 2 at Portsmouth, lost 1-2

It is also the eighth successive away draw in all competitions as, in 2019-20, the five away draws in the FA Cup were followed by away ties in both the Cheshire Senior Cup and FA Trophy:

  • 2019-20: CSC at Stalybridge Celtic, lost 0-2
  • 2019-20: FAT1 at Farsley Celtic, drew 2-2, but lost replay at Altrincham 1-2 aet

There was actually a home draw for Altrincham last month in the Cheshire Senior Cup but that game will not be played before the FA Cup match at Fylde so it does not break the sequence and, in any case, the tie has since been switched from a home tie to... an away fixture!

ON THIS DAY: 16 October

It is ten years since Altrincham played a game on today's date and back in 2010 it was Fleetwood Town who were the visitors to Moss Lane for a Blue Square Bet Premier match which Alty won 1-0. Altrincham had signed two players in the days running up to this match. They were both loanees; midfielder Matt Somner from Mansfield Town and ex-Leeds United defender Andrew Milne from Barrow.

Just three players who had started Altrincham's abject display in a 3-0 defeat at Histon, the previous Saturday, also started this match as Alty manager Ken McKenna made multiple changes. Stuart Coburn returned in goal replacing James Coates who had performed capably for the past eight matches.

Otherwise, Altrincham deployed three players making their full debuts for, in addition to Somner and Milne, it was a first start for Michael Twiss in this, the 15th game of the season, since his arrival in the summer.

Right: Michael Twiss is congratulated by Matt Somner. Both players were making their first start for Altrincham in this match.

Also stepping up to the starting line-up were Kevin Holsgrove (his fourth start) and Sam Hewson (making a second start). With captain Robbie Lawton, as well as Ryan Brown, dropped to the bench, James Smith captained the side for the first time which meant he could not adhere to his usual ritual of entering the field of play last. The injured Matty Crowell and Chris Denham sat out the game whilst Anthony Danylyk and Michael Welch also missed out on selection. Alty's leading scorer, Damian Reeves was only on the bench.

Fleetwood enjoyed more of the possession even after they had been reduced to ten men with seven minutes left when Nathan Pond saw a second yellow for a trip on substitute Lawton. But, despite their neat approach play, largely orchestrated by Barry, the Lancashire side looked impotent up front with leading scorer Vieira barely evident. Alty also looked unlikely to score as the tame first half ended goalless.

Having survived a strong second-half penalty appeal when Holsgrove appeared to clip the heels of Beeley, only for the Fleetwood man to be booked for "simulation", Alty's winner came out of nothing as a long ball up the middle from Coburn was well controlled by Twiss who took his goal expertly, lifting his shot into the net on the hour mark.

Alty's defence held firm with Marc Joseph named Man of the Match.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 27. Andrew MILNE, 2. James SMITH (capt), 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH; 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 25. Matt SOMNER, 20. Sam HEWSON, 11. Nicky CLEE; 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 21. James COATES, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN, 8. Damian REEVES, 23. James McCARTHY.


Altrincham are hoping that their enforced period of quarantine will end, as planned, before the next round of the Emirates FA Cup on 24 October but one former rival has not been so luckys as NL Daily confirms that "Kettering Town... are one of a number of clubs forced to withdraw from this season’s FA Cup after COVID cases.

The Poppies have provided an update. 'The board is pleased to confirm that everyone who tested positive for COVID-19 is now on the road to recovery, and in most cases, thankfully reporting only mild symptoms. Isolation continues and we are in talks with the club’s doctors with regards to everyone’s safe return to training.

'The club’s aim is to return to competitive football on Saturday 24th October. However, our scheduled opponents (Guiseley) were successful in their FA Cup fixture, and therefore, we are reviewing other options. Further updates on our return to competitive football will follow'".


Weymouth "manager Brian Stock called for the Terras to be savvier with game management after a 1-0 defeat at Barnet. Stock’s men dominated the first half but were suckered in the 45th minute by a brilliant 25-yard strike from Wes Fonguck.

For all the chances Weymouth created, none were taken and the Terras have now gone over 450 minutes without scoring in competitive fixtures. Stock felt Fonguck’s winner should have been “stopped at source”.

'It changed my team-talk in a matter of a minute,' he said. 'I’m trying to shout out onto the pitch to have that little bit of understanding, that little bit of professionalism to try and not be naïve to the situation, look at the time, become more compact. It was a great finish from (Fonguck) but I felt it was something we could’ve stopped at source and it’s something we need to get better at doing'...

He said 'You try and set up and team, tactics, formations whatever it might be and the lads give everything they’ve got. Again, we’ve just come up short. I can’t fault the lads’ efforts. Shamir (Mullings) has come on and made a difference, Shieldsy (Sean Shields) has come on and made a difference'".

NL Daily says that"Charlton Athletic have made a ‘six-figure bid’ for Boreham Wood’s Sorba Thomas, South London Press report.

The 21-year-old attacking player is an academy graduate at the National League side.

Thomas was part of Luke Garrard’s squad that reached the play-offs in 2019/20. He has drawn interest from other EFL clubs in the past, reportedly including Queens Park Rangers."

According to the Halifax Courier "FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild has called on his side to start taking their chances ahead of Saturday’s trip to Woking. The Shaymen have drawn their last two games, 0-0 at Boreham Wood and 1-1 with Yeovil Town...

'If we’d put our chances away, we’d be top of the league,' he said. 'But what we had to do was bring a couple of forwards in the week of the season, they hadn’t played a lot of football and I had to try and patch our forward line up really quickly. But my strikers are on the way back and competition for places is hotting up come Saturday and certainly for the FA Cup game next weekend.

'We’ve ridden the storm of not having our first-choice forwards out there. The good thing is we’re creating chances, hopefully for our forwards to come back and put them in the net. It’s a long season and we’ve had a steady start. If we’re steady and we build into a crescendo, we’ll be fine. We’ve just got to keep churning out the games, churning out the results. The longer we go unbeaten the more confident the boys will get.'

Wild is hoping Jake Hyde, who Town signed from Woking, and Reuben Noble-Lazarus will be in contention for Saturday, but doesn’t think they’ll be fit to start.

'We’re not far off giving somebody a real kicking, and I truly believe that, but the first thing we’ve got to start doing is putting the ball in the back of the net... It will click. We are not far off it clicking completely.'

Woking, who beat Dagenham and Redbridge 2-0 on Tuesday, have won three of their first four matches this season.

'They’re strong at home, Alan (Dowson) is an excellent manager and he certainly gets his teams right up for games,' Wild said. 'It’s a really tough place to go... The fixture Gods are not being kind to us at the moment.'

Wild said Jack Earing and Danny Williams were both rested on Tuesday night when they dropped to the bench. 'I actually thought we missed Jack Earing on Tuesday, which is the highest compliment I can give him,' he said. 'We looked a better side when he went on. But you’ve got to think of the miles these boys are putting in, and at times you’ve just got to look after them.

'Danny’s had a few injuries in the last 12 months and if I start ragging him week after week I’m going to blow him up, and it’s the same with Jack... And it’s an opportunity for other lads to get in the team. One thing I have got is competition for places, and options so I can change it round'".

FC Halifax Town add that Wild summed up the match last Tuesday saying "It was an interesting game, I thought they were the better team and had majority of the possession, we dropped far too deep early. But ultimately, we’ve had the best chances of the game... We had the best chances, but we didn’t take them and that’s why we only drew the game.

“Yeovil had a lot of the ball, and they caused us a lot of problems; probably the team that has caused us the most problems this year, however, we caused our own problems in we didn’t get our structure and shape right...

"There is a lot to think about, a lot to learn but I’m stood here again saying we have had some great chances but not taken them and that has been our Achilles heel so far".

As for Jeff King’s first goal for the club, Wild added "The goal is systematic [symptomatic?] of what we have been working on all season and how we want to play, at half time I said when we get the ball down and play, we are excellent to watch and then, when we try long hopeful balls, we are not excellent to watch...

“As for Jeff, he’s had a great start to the season and has matured excellently, and long may that continue, because he’s certainly proving himself this season after an excellent back end of last season.”

[Ex Alty man] "King is one of seven players left from the 2019/20 squad, with there being a bulk of new signings that have come into the Shay, this season". Wild spoke upon the new signings... "I think as a team we have a good structure about us, we are causing teams a lot of problems and playing a lot of football. I can see miles of improvement from last year...

"Yeovil will be up there come the shake up and will get their side together, they’ll start putting wins together... We have to compete with teams such as Yeovil, their budgets and their players...

“We look fit, we look stronger and we are better prepared this season athletically, with a better athletic group, which means the Saturday-Tuesday’s will be fine for us".

Meanwhile, off the field at Woking, Stadium DB report that "A brand new stadium for just over 9,000 people, conjoined with a medical centre and surrounded by 1,048 apartments (of which almost 450 in the affordable category), that's been the plan for Woking FC's stadium reconstruction scheme.

But the developer behind it, GolDev, suffered a massive blow back in June. Despite the project having been recommended for approval, the city council voted massively against the plan, with 8 members against and 1 abstention.

But, according to British law, major project developers have six months to consider appealing such decision. We're past the half-way point of that period and GolDev has confirmed it will file an appeal. This means a second attempt at pushing the £250 million project through.

South Woking Action Group (SWAG), group opposing the stadium development, is preparing to fight it for the second time. But this time they're on the same side with the city council, or so they see it. GolDev has not yet given a precise date when the appeal should be expected. It will be valid as long as it's filed before Christmas."

According to the Leader Live "Jordan Ponticelli held his hands up and admits he should have scored as Wrexham slipped to a disappointing home defeat to Maidenhead... who arrived at The Racecourse sitting bottom of the National League after losing their opening three games.

Trailing to a first half goal, Wrexham created a number of chances after the break but those missed opportunities proved costly in the end..

'I have been out injured but it is no excuse, I am a striker and I should be scoring,' said Ponticelli, handed his first start of the season after recovering from a hamstring problem. 'Whether it is my chances or other chances, it cost us the result. I have to take that on my shoulders, I should definitely have scored'...

Having also squandered chances in last week’s 1-0 loss at Solihull, Ponticelli believes Wrexham, who have won their other two matches, could have a far better record.

'Going forward against Maidenhead, we created a lot more than we have in previous games so it should have been three points,' said Ponticelli. 'We never went into the game thinking it would be easy... We knew that they had a bit about them... We have just got to put this behind us and hopefully get three points at Wealdstone.'

Ponticelli, who joined Wrexham on a permanent basis in the summer from Coventry City after a loan spell with the Reds last term, was hampered by a hamstring problem in pre-season".

Also from the Leader Live we learn that manager Dean Keates "is demanding better finishing from his players...

'We have got to get that consistency where we go win, win, win; get three or four wins on the bounce... I feel we should be at least three wins and one draw out of the the four games, if not four wins. We have had the opportunities to score and we have nullified the opposition down to one if not two chances in every single game that we have played... The players know that if they get an opportunity, they have to do better in that 18 yard box.'"

We learn from the Derbyshire Times that "Spireites manager John Pemberton does not think it will be difficult to pick his players up despite Tuesday night’s ‘sucker-punch’ defeat to Torquay United.

Town conceded in the 94th minute and Pemberton said it was ‘probably the worst’ he had felt in his time in charge and that it ‘hurt’ him.

Chesterfield are back in action against title favourites Stockport County at the Technique Stadium on Saturday in front of the BT Sport cameras...

Pemberton told the DT 'We never have a doom and gloom meeting. It is never like that because I don’t like them. It is probably the worst I have felt after Tuesday’s game because it was a real sucker-punch. I didn’t feel great after the game and I didn’t feel great on Wednesday but we get our head around it and we move on. The lads are in good spirits, they know what the task is on Saturday and we look forward to the game...

'We need to start the game well and we are ready to go. Are we capable of beating Stockport? I think we are... It will be difficult but we can be more than a match if we get it right.'

Tom Denton has three goals in as many games and he will be aiming to keep his run going against the Hatters. 'We know what he is capable of, and what he can’t do, but he still has a go at it,' Pemberton said. 'He has been a good vocal [?focal] point for us so he is an important part of what we do.'”

League One club, Barnsley confirm that "Matty Wolfe has joined Notts County on a three-month loan deal.

The midfielder will link up with Neal Ardley at Meadow Lane to help the Magpies build on their fine start to the National League campaign.

Wolfe, who has been with the Reds since the age of 10, made his first team debut last season...

'I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,' said the 20-year-old. 'Notts County are a massive club and they’re flying in the league at the moment and trying to get back into the Football League where they belong. It will be a good experience for me because I’ve not had a lot of competitive football, but I feel fit and ready to go there and put a marker down'".

And Notts County quoted the loanee as saying 'I like to try and get on the ball, drive with it and break lines and make things happen. My fitness is getting there. I've played a couple of games but not 90 minutes yet so I need to get some training under my belt and see how I'm feeling.'

Ardley added 'We wanted someone who can look after the ball, understands the game and has good energy. If they had good size and could be a threat or a marker at set pieces, that would have been a bonus. Matty ticked all those boxes. He’ll fit the way we play; he can play in a two, he can play as a four or an eight. He fits the mould of everything we want from our midfield.

'He’s technically very proficient and moves very well for a big lad. I think he can score and create goals while also being able to do all the nitty-gritty stuff that’s needed in this league'".

The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that "Supporters may be prevented from attending Maidenhead United matches right now, but there was one familiar face inside York Road for Saturday’s visit of Hartlepool United.

Jeff Stelling, the well-known presenter of Sky’s Soccer Saturday programme, took advantage of a rare Saturday afternoon off to see his beloved Pools’ side in action. He wore his Hartlepool facemask throughout but you could sense there was a broad smile underneath it after the visitors recorded a 4-0 win...

'After the first 40 minutes I enjoyed it,' he said. 'But we were really poor in the first half and Maidenhead were unlucky not to be two, maybe three goals in front. They had chances that weren’t just half chances, they were clear cut chances. We never got going, but then we had a stroke of good fortune with the own-goal just before half-time and took advantage of that in the second half'...

He said. “That they can’t come and watch their side, but I’m disappointed for our fans as well because, on a day like today, we’d have brought a few hundred down here and it would have been a fantastic atmosphere. It’s just one of those things at the moment. The fans can watch games on a stream but the sooner they let fans back in the better.

'There is no logic to it at all... Clubs in this division are being deprived of that life blood for no logical reason'".

The Eastern Daily Press says that "King’s Lynn Town fans who’ve been missing their matchday experience can now have a taste of what it’s like to watch home matches with their pals.

There hasn’t been a crowd inside The Walks since March 14... It has affected the club’s income stream – the only money they can make is through the sale of live streams for matches, at £12 a game.

But now the club have worked with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and Alive West Norfolk, to enable all home games to be shown on the big screen at Alive Corn Exchange until at least the end of 2020.

Linnets owner Stephen Cleeve said 'It is brilliant news that supporters will be able to watch the game live screened at the Corn Exchange. Bringing the fans together to enjoy the match and show their support is fantastic. Tickets to the screenings can be purchased from King’s Lynn Town Football Club and the whole ticket price comes to the club, which will really help with our current costs'...

Neil Gromett, managing director of Alive West Norfolk added... 'We have the space at the Corn Exchange and the home games fitted in well with a number of events we will be announcing'...

Tickets will be limited to 100 and will be on tables of six to comply with current regulations. The bar will be open with table service and football club merchandise will be available, as well as the match programme on the day".

15 October 2020


The National League reports that in the FA Cup 4Q "There are some big games coming, and a huge derby between Aldershot and Woking.

There are a number of other all-National League ties, as Solihull Moors and Wrexham meet, Yeovil play Dover Athletic, Sutton United host Bromley, King's Lynn Town meet Notts County and Stockport County take on Chesterfield...

[Elsewhere], South Shields welcome FC Halifax Town, Hartlepool United are at Ilkeston Town, Barnet go to Leiston while Sholing are looking for Torquay United’s scalp.

Chorley will receive a bye into the first round.

The prize money for the Fourth Qualifying Round is £9,375 for the winners [including Chorley!], with the unlucky losers banking a cheque for £3,125".

The Fourth Qualifying Round Northern draw:

  • Darlington v Cambridge City
  • Stafford Rangers v Skelmersdale United
  • Solihull Moors v Wrexham
  • Banbury United v Bury Town
  • South Shields v FC Halifax Town
  • Ilkeston Town v Hartlepool United
  • FC United of Manchester v Guiseley
  • King's Lynn Town v Notts County
  • Brackley Town v Marske United
  • Stockport County v Chesterfield
  • AFC Fylde v Altrincham
  • Chester FC v Marine

The Fourth Qualifying Round Southern draw:

  • Maidenhead United v Cray Valley
  • Canvey Island v Cray Wanderers
  • Wealdstone v Hayes & Yeading United
  • Sutton United v Bromley
  • Tonbridge Angels v Taunton Town
  • Hemel Hempstead Town v Hampton & RB
  • Aldershot Town v Woking
  • Maldon & Tiptree v Haringey Borough
  • Dagenham & Red v Hartley Wintley
  • Leiston v Barnet
  • Weymouth v Oxford City
  • Eastbourne Borough v Dulwich Hamlet
  • Eastleigh v Weston-s-Mare
  • Sholing v Torquay United
  • Bath City v Havant & Waterlooville
  • Boreham Wood v Wimborne Town
  • Yeovil Town v Dover Athletic
  • Bishop’s Stortford v St Albans City
  • Concord Rangers v Chippenham Town


Altrincham FC has announced the signing of striker Fisayo Adarabioyo, a 25 year-old who scored a brace against Altrincham in the pre-season friendly at The Tameside Stadium in September.

He started out at Manchester City where his brother, Tosin, remained on the club's books till a recent move to Fulham. After moving on to Birmingham City, Fisayo subsequently moved to Perth to join Scottish Premier side, St Johnstone early in 2014 but by the end of 2014 he had moved south to Croydon and Crystal Palace.

After these travels he actually made his professional debut much closer to Altrincham, at Macclesfield Town, a club he had joined early in the 2015-16 season. Next came a spell with AFC Fylde before his travels began again with a move to The Netherlands for the start of the 2016-17 season at top-flight club NAC Breda.

Early in 2019 Fisayo briefly joined Romanian Liga 3 team FC U Craiova 1948 and in February 2020, he joined Warrington Town, for whom he made three appearances. This season he played as a trialist at Curzon Ashton.

Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, Brian Flynn's interview with Fisayo is available via the above link.

ON THIS DAY: 15 October

Nine years ago, on 15 October 2011, in the Blue Square Bet North, Vauxhall Motors visited Moss Lane. Altrincham were unchanged as regards the starting eleven, as Robbie Lawton remained sidelined by injury but he was warming up on the pitch before the match.

This was a "return fixture" for Altrincham who had drawn 2-2 at Rivacre Park back in August, despite having led 2-0 deep into the second half. The match also brought Alty up against centre-back Paul Jones, who had started this season at Moss Lane. In advance of the game, Alty signed Jack Redshaw from Salford City to replace Astley Mulholland who opted to go to FC United of Manchester.

This match had been brought forward by ten days as both teams had been beaten in the last round of the FA Cup a fortnight earlier.

Right: Alty celebrate the winning goal.

Justice was done in the final act, as Simon Richman scored from close range in the fifth minute of added time to make it a 3-2 win for Altrincham. Before that, a sustained display of gamesmanship from Vauxhall had led to a raft of bookings and the dismissal of Overson. Alty got an early lead when a foul on Flynn saw the defender take a smart long freekick up the middle which Reeves latched onto. He poked the ball through the keeper's legs to make it 1-0 (4 mins).

Vauxhall equalised when a fierce freekick from McGivern [later to play for Alty], just outside the box, was parried out by Coburn but Dames was on hand to net (11 mins). James Lawrie made it 2-1 to Alty when he converted a Loose ball after Nicky Clee's rasping shot had cannoned off the upright (27 mins). McGivern then won a penalty as he rounded Coburn, going down as the keeper dived at his feet, and then converting the spot kick (35 mins).

That's how it stayed for the rest of the game as Vauxhall stopped Alty by fair means and foul. But when Overson committed a poor challenge on Clee, putting the Alty man out of the game, he was sent off, though arguably it could have been a straight red rather than a second yellow (71 mins).

Alty patiently kept attacking but it looked as if Vauxhall's late timewasting would see them through until Lawrie's shot from the left was beaten out and fell for Richman to score in the dying seconds (90+5 mins). Alty gave new signing Jack Redshaw 20 minutes in place of the injured Reeves at the end of the game and he impressed in that time.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Mark LEES, 6. Adam FLYNN, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 4. Anthony DANYLYK (capt), 8. Shaun DENSMORE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 12. Chris LYNCH, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 16. Jack REDSHAW, 18. Adam REID (gk).


The National League "can confirm that Macclesfield Town Football Club has been expelled from its membership.

All National League fixtures involving Macclesfield Town are now cancelled, and The National League will consist of 23 clubs for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

The expulsion follows the company owning Macclesfield Town Football Club being the subject of a court winding-up order, and The National League serving a Notice of Expulsion on the Official Receiver responsible for dealing with the Club’s affairs.

In accordance with The FA National League System Regulations, the number of relegation places in the Vanarama National League is now reduced from 4 places to 3 places."

The Kent Messenger reports that "Furious Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler was left hurting by a lack of effort in their 5-0 home thrashing by Aldershot on Tuesday night.

Whites suffered a third successive National League defeat but it was the level of their performance at Crabble which alarmed Hessenthaler.

'That starting XI was a strong team but it looked like we didn't want to play to be honest. It looked like we wanted the game off and there was hint that it could be off because of the pitch. What's not acceptable is that they wanted it more than what we did.

'I was brought up as a player that you've got to give everything you can, things might go against you, you might have a bad time with the football, but what you don't do is you don't give up, you work hard from the start to the finish.

'They out-worked us and it was an embarrassing night.'”

The Leader Live tells us that "Dean Keates believes having local lads and players who know how much it means to be successful with Wrexham is crucial to ending the club's Football League exile.

Keates enjoyed a successful spell with hometown club Walsall and also went onto manager the Saddlers so he is knows how proud Davies is to wear the Wrexham shirt...

Although new to the club, Keates is in no doubt that his new signings are just as hungry to win promotion with Wrexham...

Said Keates, 'We sold it to them. They are representing half of the nation; we are up here in north Wales on our own'...

Wrexham finished 20th, just one point above the drop zone, when the 2019-20 season was suspended".

Wealdstone "collapsed to a three-goal deficit against Stockport County in the first home game of the National League season.

Jorome Slew and Ross Lafayette contributed to the Stones’ lead with their first goals of the season until goals from Richie Bennett, Lois Maynard and a John Rooney hat-trick sealed County’s win.

Dean Brennan made three changes from the side that started the first two games of the season, with Lafayette making his first start of the season as well as full debuts for Alex Dyer and Slew...

The Stones... took the lead in the 17th minute when Slew headed his first goal for the club at the back post after Michee Efete’s deep cross.

Wealdstone’s lead was short lived as Stockport were awarded a penalty for handball in the box from Connor Jennings’s strike, Rooney fired down the middle to equalise... It was an even first half as the home side looked threatening whenever they counter attacked, while Stockport seemed comfortable in possession during the first period.

Wealdstone had the dream start to the second half, Lafayette regained the lead within two minutes of the restart when he slotted a loose ball into the bottom corner from Jacob Mendy’s cross. Lafayette went down with an injury on the hour-mark, leaving the Stones light up front with their backs against the wall defending their one-goal lead...

Wealdstone’s lead did not last much longer, Bennett swept home Mark Kitching’s low square cross to put the visitors back on level terms going into the final 15 minutes.

Stockport had their tails up after waves of pressure and they took the lead two minutes later when Maynard fired in the rebound after two blocked shots in the penalty area.

Rooney then set the game alight with two goals in the final four minutes to secure his hat-trick for his new side".

In the Brent &Kilburn Times "Wealdstone manager Dean Brennan says the players showed character and that is all he can ever ask for as they crashed to 5-2 defeat in their home opener to Stockport County.

The Stones took the lead twice early on in the match at Grosvenor Vale before Stockport ran riot netting three times in the dying stages. The boss admits they can’t let this phase [sic] them as Stockport will be challenging for the National League title this season.

'I don’t think it’s a tough defeat to take, all of the players showed a lot of character, gave everything and that’s all I can ask,' Brennan said.

'We were competitive, we’re up against a full-time outfit that are relentless, and their objective is to win the division. We’re little old Wealdstone that has popped into the division and we’re trying our best. We’ve got players that haven’t had full seasons giving us everything.

'I thought when Rosco (Ross Lafayette) came off that was a big part of the game, he was a handful all night, and gave us something to play off. It’s a big loss for us as he’s a key player, we had no Dennon Lewis who is a key player for us, no Connor Stevens either as they’re both injured, and we need all of our strongest players fit when we come up against Stockport, Wrexham or Yeovil'.

He added, 'It’s not tough to take as they’re favourites for the game, and I was proud with our performance throughout the whole game, as we kept trying and probing but they’re a very strong side. Anyone that gets more points than them will go on to win the title...

'We got a lot of detail on them, but they changed their formation which is the second team to do that against us. They’ve played 3-5-2 in all of their games but tonight they played a 4-3-3 system. We’re getting respect, but that’s the sort of research that goes into this division, people have chief scouts, they have directors of football whereas we’ve got myself, Stuart Maynard, Kingy and Cook, our medical team and the board.

'We move on, we can’t be too disappointed when we lose to a side like this, we have to pick our fights and battles. Stockport is not a battle for us and if we’d took [sic] anything from this game I would have been happy.'"

Meanwhile, Stockport County report that "A stunning hattrick by John Rooney sealed a second-half fightback by The Hatters at Wealdstone, as Jim Gannon’s side romped to a 5-2 win to seal a third successive victory in the National League.

Despite twice falling behind either side of the interval to goals from Michee Effeto and Ross Lafayette, Rooney’s treble along with first goals for the club from Richie Bennett and Lois Maynard earned County a first away win of the campaign.

With Gannon’s men playing their fourth game in ten days via their first ever trip to National League South champions Wealdstone, Gannon opted for two changes from the side which eased past Dover 3-0 – with James Jennings and Alex Reid replacing Mark Kitching and Jamie Stott, who suffered a broken nose in Saturday’s win...

The Hatters move to second in the National League table early in the campaign with a big win in North London, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chesterfield (live on BT Sport)".

Dagenham & Redbridge "were defeated 2-0 by Woking in Surrey on Tuesday evening, with Paul McCallum and Adrian Clifton adding to the east London side's injury woes.

The Daggers welcomed back Luke Croll, who came in for the injured Callum Reynolds in defence. Sam Deering came into the starting XI to replace Myles Weston, who also picked up a knock against Wealdstone on Saturday.

Daryl McMahon was forced into an early change at the Laithwaite Stadium, as Paul McCallum pulled up on the halfway line with no Woking player around him. Adrian Clifton was introduced in his place..

With 20 minutes gone on the clock, Woking got the goal that their early dominance deserved, as Jack Cook headed in from a free kick that was whipped in from the edge of the area.... It went from bad to worse for Dagenham, as Adrian Clifton had to be withdrawn after he went down injured with 29 minutes gone, Darren McQueen replaced him. Two minutes later and Woking added a second.

A fierce effort from Malachi Napa landed at the feet of Justham, with the ball spinning away from the goalkeeper and into the back of the net....

A disappointing evening for the Daggers, who will now look to bounce back at home to Yeovil Town on Saturday".

For Chesterfield manager "John Pemberton was left to lament the stoppage-time goal which gave Torquay United all three points on Tuesday evening.

Asa Hall struck with the clock ticking down after Tom Denton had put the Spireites back on level terms just before the break.

The manager admitted that it was a disappointing goal to concede. 'We can’t defend a corner and it’s not good enough,' he said".

From the other side, Torquay United "left it late to emerge victorious against Chesterfield at Plainmoor on Tuesday evening.

Louis Britton’s quick reactions gave United an early lead, before Tom Denton levelled things up shortly before the break. Just when things looked to be heading for a stalemate, Ben Wynter arrived in the nick of time to seal United’s third stoppage time steal in four matches.

Following the win at Bromley, Gulls boss Gary Johnson made one change to the starting line-up, with Dean Moxey making his first start in a United shirt, in the place of Jake Andrews, who dropped to the bench, where club captain Asa Hall also made a welcome return.

Having come from a goal down to defeat Bromley on Saturday, Johnson’s men wasted little time in making the perfect start against The Spireites. After a closely fought opening nine minutes, an excellent Ben Whitfield cross from the left forced Chesterfield goalkeeper Kyle Letheren into action, however his parry fell invitingly for Britton, who fired in the loose ball to give United the advantage...

There appeared to be little let-up in Torquay’s dominance... With Connor Lemonheigh-Evans adjusted [adjudged] to have been too physical after tracking back in the 42nd minute, Covolan did well to keep out Liam Mandeville’s low strike, however Denton was well placed to fire home the rebound, leaving things all-square at the break.

Having dominated for long periods, there was a fair degree of frustration in The Gulls’ ranks as the teams left the field... Following the restart, Torquay were again on the front-foot...

Torquay though, never seem to fully accept a game as settled though, and as Andrews’s last-ditch corner was curled towards the path of Hall and Wynter, it appeared to be The Gulls’ right-back who appeared to get the merest of flicks to divert the ball into the net and seal a deserved victory at the death, again".

Sutton United's "first defeat of the season came in agonising fashion when, in time added on for an injury in stoppage time, a poor clearance by Dean Bouzanis allowed Notts County to launch one last attack and although "U"'s keeper almost redeemed himself by saving from Notts County substitute Jimmy Knowles, Kyle Wootton continued his fine start to the season by turning in the loose ball.

It was tough on Sutton, who had struggled to find their most fluent form but had battled hard and defended well enough to reduce the visitors to aimless balls forward as the game went on...

Rob Milsom came back in to the starting line up in place of Kenny Davis in the only change from Saturday’s win at Weymouth".

Opponents, Notts County tell us that "Kyle Wootton scored deep into second-half stoppage time to earn us our third consecutive victory and end Sutton's winning start to the season.

Chances were few and far between for both sides but we certainly shaded things.... With seconds left on the clock, Wootton was on hand to score his fourth goal of the season in scrappy style to take us back up the M1 in jubilant spirits.

Neal Ardley made three changes to the side that beat Barnet 4-2 at the weekend.

Cal Roberts, who had been suffering from fatigue in the build-up, joined Sam Graham and Damien McCrory in dropping to the bench, while Alex Lacey, Jim O'Brien and Richard Brindley stepped in.

That meant we lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Ruben Rodrigues, Wootton and Boldewijn leading the line...

It looked like the game was destined for deadlock but in the dying embers Doyle controlled Bouzanis's failed clearance and played the ball to Knowles, who saw his shot saved. But the ball came to Wootton in the area and the in-form forward made no mistake, winning us the game with seconds to go."

King's Lynn Town "suffered back-to-back defeats after a 3-0 defeat to Boreham Wood at The Walks.

It was a tough start to the game with Boreham Wood dominating the match. Archie Mair made some fantastic saves to keep The Linnets in the game one being from a point blank headed from Matt Rhead.

The Linnets were eventually caught out on the counter attack from their own corner. Matt Rhead eventually slotting the ball under Mair. The second quickly followed as Mair accidentally caught the foot of Kabongo Tshimanga and the ref awarded a penalty to the visitors and that [was] scored by the man who won it Kabongo Tshimanga.

The first half drama wasn’t over as Jamar Loza seemed to have been given a second yellow card but the referee allowed him to stay on the pitch. Play resumed only for it to stop after two minutes and the ref had a word with his linesman and then went and gave Loza a third yellow and then a red.

The second half didn’t improve and Boreham Wood had their third this time through Kabongo Tshimanga again. The striker made a run alongside Rory McAuley who stopped his run which allowed the forward to make his way into the box and a very unfortunate deflection from the sliding Aaron Jones sent the ball spinning over Mair and into the net.

Mair made some more great saves to keep the score at three".

Hartlepool United "made it four unbeaten games this season, but were left to rue a string of missed chances in a goalless draw with Bromley.

At a wet and windy Victoria Park, Pools dominated throughout, twice hitting the woodwork, but [were] unable to find a breakthrough after starting the new season with three successive victories.

Gavan Holohan and Mark Shelton both hit the bar, but Pools failed to turn their supremacy into goals.

Pools made one change from the weekend, with Rhys Oates making his first start since returning to the club. He replaced Matt Bloomfield up front, while there was a welcome return to the squad for Luke Molyneux after he [had] tested positive for COVID-19...

Pools kept up the pressure, but kept missing their openings".

FC Halifax Town "were held to a point, with a 1-1 draw against Yeovil Town.

An early goal from Jeff King was cancelled out by a second-half strike from Courtney Duffus, in an entertaining game at The Shay.

It was a frantic start to the game with both sides creating several chances in the opening stages.... The Shaymen had their goal... courtesy of a good counter-attacking move. Jamie Allen took the ball from just inside his own half, all the way to just outside the Yeovil penalty area, crossing the ball that eventually fell to Jeff King, who fired a right-footed strike into the top corner...

After the game’s early chances, it settled down as the half went on with very few good opportunities for either side...

Yeovil began to grow into the game and had a good opportunity in the 53rd minute... The Glovers would have their equalizer just two minutes later. A loose ball directed to Sam Johnson was picked up by striker Courtney Duffus, who was able to lob it over the oncoming goalkeeper and find the back of the net for the visitors, levelling the scores...

Neither side was able to strike the crucial blow, and the game finished FC Halifax Town 1-1 Yeovil Town".

14 October 2020


Altrincham FC has announced the signing of striker Fisayo Adarabioyo, a 25 year-old who scored a brace against Altrincham in the pre-season friendly at The Tameside Stadium in September.

He started out at Manchester City where his brother, Tosin, remained on the club's books till a recent move to Fulham. After moving on to Birmingham City, Fisayo subsequently moved to Perth to join Scottish Premier side, St Johnstone early in 2014 but by the end of 2014 he had moved south to Croydon and Crystal Palace.

After these travels he actually made his professional debut much closer to Altrincham, at Macclesfield Town, a club he had joined early in the 2015-16 season. Next came a spell with AFC Fylde before his travels began again with a move to The Netherlands for the start of the 2016-17 season at top-flight club NAC Breda.

Early in 2019 Fisayo briefly joined Romanian Liga 3 team FC U Craiova 1948 and in February 2020, he joined Warrington Town, for whom he made three appearances. This season he played as a trialist at Curzon Ashton.

Altrincham FC Press & Media Officer, Brian Flynn's interview with Fisayo is available via the above link.


Altrincham's enforced postponement on Tuesday allowed other clubs to move above them and they ended the evening in 21st place in the 23-club National League.

The bottom three are now all clubs who were promoted this year (Alty, Wealdstone and Weymouth). And the fourth promoted club, King's Lynn Town, are falling down the table, too, after losing at home and suffering a red card just before half-time. The full list of results is below.

In a remarkable turnaround, Stockport County were trailing 2-1 at Wealdstone, as late as the 77th minute. Eleven minutes later County were 5-2 up!

Elsewhere, former Alty man Jeff King scored Halifax's goal. For the third time this season Torquay won with a very late goal, this time against Chesterfield. Notts County scored very late too, to secure a win at Sutton.

In the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round, Chorley knocked out York City 1-0.


Tuesday 13th October
  • Altrincham P-P Solihull Moors Covid-19 positive tests at Altrincham
  • Barnet 1-0 Weymouth
  • Dover Athletic 0-5 Aldershot Town
  • FC Halifax Town 1-1 Yeovil Town
  • Hartlepool United 0-0 Bromley
  • King's Lynn Town 0-3 Boreham Wood
  • Macclesfield Town P-P Eastleigh
  • Sutton United 0-1 Notts County
  • Torquay United 2-1 Chesterfield
  • Wealdstone 2-5 Stockport County
  • Woking 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge


Tuesday saw the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup being played. As well as Boston United having to withdraw from the competition following a positive Covid test, Kettering Town likewise conceded to Brackley Town.

In games that were played, selected NW results were:

  • Chester FC 3-1 Spennymoor United
  • Chorley 1-0 York City
  • Farsley Celtic 1-3 AFC Fylde
  • Marine 4-1 Nantwich Town


Following the news of the postponement of Altrincham's next two home games, against Solihull Moors and Bromley, because of positive Covid-19 tests for several Altrincham players, the club's most recent opponents and their next two opponents have posted their reactions, as follows...

Alty drew at Eastleigh last weekend, from where The Spitfires state that "Following the announcement from Saturday’s opponents, Altrincham, regarding a series of positive tests at their club, we would like to update supporters on our response to the news.

At Eastleigh Football Club, we are continuing to follow the guidelines from the government and have instructed the first-team squad and staff to ensure they continue to do so.

The entire first-team squad will be tested ahead of Saturday’s fixture against Aldershot, and should any positive results come back they will be made to follow the necessary precautions".

ALtrincham's next two fixtures have been postponed. Tuesday night's intended opposition, Solihull Moors, stated "We have been advised by Altrincham that tonight’s game has been postponed due to confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst their squad; this has been confirmed by The National League.

Therefore our fixture will need to be re-arranged and a new date will be confirmed in due course."

And Saturday's scheduled opponents, Bromley, reported that they had "been informed by Saturday’s opponents Altrincham that our fixture this coming Saturday, 17th October, with them will be postponed following positive Coronavirus tests results within their squad and the need for the entire team to self-isolate.

Everyone at Bromley Football Club wishes those affected all the best in their recovery".


NL Daily informs us that "BBC Radio York say there could be a delay in York City moving into their new stadium.

The station reported that the National League North side ‘will not be able to move into the Community Stadium until mid-November at the very earliest because of problems with drains.’

A brief statement was then shared on behalf of Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), which reads 'Progress continues on site, and when completed, we will be making a joint announcement with our partners City of York Council regarding the opening date.'"


In the FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round, which is to be played at Moss Lane in the week commencing 19 October, following Altrincham's recent win over City of Liverpool, the Robins will play South Shields, who had a notable 6-0 away win at Darlington in the previous round.


Three years ago today, 14 October 2017, witnessed Altrincham's first-ever match against Halesowen Town. The Robins started the game in second plac‎e whilst Halesowen Town, despite two successive wins, lay 21st.

It was an Evo-Stik Premier Division match, which Altrincham won 3-0.

After a goalless first half in which Altrincham played plenty of attractive football but lacked the tempo and incisiveness to unlock the Halesowen defence, they turned up the temperature after the break to ensure they went to the top of the table. It took them fewer than 45 seconds of the second half to make the breakthrough. Josh Hancock netted the goal after good work on the right by Joel Bembo-Leta and Simon Richman.

Nine minutes later, when Jordan Hulme chased a 50-50 ball inside the box, he was tripped and John Johnston netted the resulting spot kick.

Above: John Johnston, far right, nets his penalty.

Josh Hancock played in James Poole to make it 3-0, in the 82nd minute. Halesowen could have scored twice in the second half but Thompson made two fine stops to keep a clean sheet.

It was the first time since September 2013 that Alty had been top of a league table.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Joel BEMBO-LETA, 3. Lewis SHORT, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs 12. Sam SHERIDAN, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Sean MILLER 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 17. James JONES.


NL Daily confirms that "Robert Smethurst has acquired the assets of Macclesfield Town, who will go under the new name of Macclesfield FC.

The Cheshire club will retain their previous brand and logo, while club legend Danny Whitaker will become manager. Local businessman Smethurst has said the aim is to get the club into the North West Counties' Football League next season.

In addition, former Premier League midfielder and Wales international Robbie Savage will become a board member and Head of Football Operations, overseeing first team to Under-16s. New boss Whitaker had been announced as re-signing as a player shortly before the winding-up announcement, having already been on Tim Flowers’s staff as an assistant manager.

The executive board also comprises ex-Macclesfield Town vice-chairman Andy Scott, former supporters’ trust chairman and current SST board member Jon Smart, experienced commercial operations manager Lindsay Brown and former FC United star [and ex-Alty winger] Carlos Roca [right] as Director of Football."

Footnote: Winger Carlos Roca signed for Altrincham on 25 February 2008 from Stalybridge Celtic, a club he had joined early in the 2007-08 season having previously been at Northwich Victoria from 2005, initially on loan. At Northwich he played 85 times and scored 11 times. Before that Carlos had a year or so each at Carlisle United and at Oldham Athletic, for whom he made 11 first-team appearances in 2004-05. He never started a game for Altrincham but made seven appearances from the bench. In mid-June 2008 he joined FC United of Manchester.


From the Principality, the Leader Live tells us that "Wrexham suffered a second defeat of the season on Monday but manager Dean Keates believes his side should not have lost either of those two matches.

The Reds, beaten 1-0 at Solihull Moors last Tuesday, went down by the same scoreline against Maidenhead United at The Racecourse on Monday. Maidenhead arrived in north Wales sitting bottom of the National League after losing their opening three games but the Magpies took a first half lead...

'The two defeats shouldn't be defeats,' said Keates. 'Bare minimum they should be 0-0s but we had chances and we haven't taken them. If you don't take your chances, you always run the risk of the opposition breaking away and catching you. It happened at Solihull from a set-play and it happened against Maidenhead from our phase of play on the turnover, but we had enough chances to get something out of the game...

'We are massively frustrated,' said Keates. 'First half we didn't really create a lot of opportunities... and got a blatant penalty (for handball) but the referee decides not to give it. Decisions like that change football matches and we got caught from our phase of play; they scored and it gave them something to hold onto.

'Second half we created some good chances and another possible handball but one or two things didn't go our way. We created two really good chances for Kwame (Thomas) and JP (Jordan Ponticelli) and they didn't hit the target'.

Ponticelli had a late goal ruled out for offside and Keates addes...'He was offside so I have got no qualms on that... Whether they [Maidenhead] are bottom of the league or not we don't want to be losing football matches and we need to be better'"

Off the field at Wrexham, the Leader Live adds that "Mark Hughes says it’s Wrexham Football Club’s potential that would have first attracted Hollywood mega-stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney to show an interest... with talk of them ploughing more than £2m into the Racecourse club.

Former Wales boss and Manchester United star Mark Hughes... talking about Wrexham to BBC Wales... said 'The position they are in financially by all account is very good and they are in good shape. Maybe that’s why they became attracted to two Hollywood superstars and the timing's right that they were looking to maybe get into British football, looked at Wrexham and liked what they’ve seen...

'It looks like a genuine interest. Let’s watch this space and see what happens.'”

According to NL Daily "Woking have brought Charlton Athletic’s Ben Dempsey back to the club on loan.

The midfielder initially joined Alan Dowson’s side towards the end of the curtailed 2019/20 National League campaign.

Dempsey, 20, is now set to be with the Cards until January 9th.

The Addicks' academy product has also spent time out on loan with Dulwich Hamlet."

At Weymouth "Morale is still high in Weymouth’s dressing room despite a tough start to life in the Vanarama National League, boss Brian Stock has revealed... The Terras are yet to score and have taken just one point from a 0-0 draw at Altrincham. Stock’s men have since been beaten 1-0 at home by both Woking and Sutton United...

Ahead of [Tuesday] night’s clash at Barnet he said 'The character is still good in the changing room, the morale is still good. We’ve made sure that we concentrate on the positives and there were plenty there (against Sutton). One or two players will be coming back into the fold, come Barnet...

'I don’t think anyone’s going to run away with the league and I think it’s going to be very competitive'. Stock also believes Weymouth’s late concession against Sutton allowed the Us to display their “gamecraft”, earning a number of cheap fouls and slowing play down.

He said 'It’s a frustrating one because quite a lot of those are bought fouls. It’s almost a gamecraft where Sutton have got very experienced players at this level, similar to Woking. We had a laugh and a joke on the bench knowing we would probably do the same as players ourselves.

'It’s one of those that when we concede first, that’s when all that comes into play. That’s the level we’re at. Time-wasting in the corner, playing the referee, fetching a different ball, goalkeeper going down, they’re all part of the gamecraft Sutton brought.'

New signing Shamir Mullings and Bournemouth centre-back Corey Jordan will come into the squad for the Hive Stadium clash."

Before their game on Tuesday Yeovil Town reported that "After defeat to Wrexham on Saturday, Darren Sarll will be desperate to put things right against The Shaymen after doing the double over Pete Wild’s side last season...

After the defeat to Wrexham, Darren Sarll spoke about his side's start 'You go through periods in the season that you never know when they come, where it feels like the world is against you, every decision and little things like that. I think we’re in that moment now. I feel it in the players when they come out, I feel an anxious energy because of how badly they want to get that first win under their belts.

'I’m seeing some performances from some individuals that are very conflicting from what we saw over the last twelve months, and because they’re such great lads with good character, that’s the only logical explanation for it.'”

After returning from injury on Saturday to face Wrexham, Albi Skendi will be hoping to remain in the fold on Tuesday evening. Alex John remains a doubt following an injury he sustained in our final pre-season friendly against AFC Bournemouth.

There are a number of familiar faces in the Halifax side, with Tom Bradbury and Gold Omotayo now lining up for The Shaymen after leaving the club at the end of last season. Omotayo enjoyed two eventful outings against Halifax last time out, netting his only two goals for the club in the clash at The Shay, and then being sent off after nine minutes at Huish Park".

Dagenham & Redbridge "can confirm that Joe Quigley has cancelled his contract by mutual consent.

The forward joined the Daggers last summer and made 34 appearances last season, scoring six times".

NL Daily reports from Stockport where "manager Jim Gannon... was pleased with the reaction shown by his side since that opening day defeat at Torquay, with wins over Halifax and Dover putting County in a play-off place early on.

Jim spoke about the need to manage the squad carefully over the next days and weeks in order to combat fatigue, with the possibility of rotation amongst the squad over the next few games.

There was talk of the roles of Alex Reid and John Rooney in Saturday’s win, and special praise for Sam Minihan after the wing-back made his 150th appearance for the Club in that 3-0 win.

Looking ahead to Wealdstone, Jim spoke of the challenge he expects the newly promoted side to provide for his team in their first home game of the season, believing them to be a good footballing side who will make it a competitive game for County."

And Stockport County owner Mark Stott adds "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters for their incredible loyalty and dedication to the Club at what is an uncertain and worrying time for everyone...

'Your support will only further fuel our success on and off the pitch. I’d also like to say thanks for the overwhelming support from our Club sponsors and Help the Hatters, who continue to dedicate their time to improving and helping to maintain Edgeley Park. The spirit of our Club and fanbase is truly unique...

'We’re extremely excited about this season with the move to full time, the new training centre and 11 new signings putting us in a great position to push for promotion. We understand it won’t all be plain sailing, as our opening game at Torquay demonstrated, but I’m extremely confident we’ve got the talent, the infrastructure and determination to achieve our goals'">

Elsewhere, Hartlepool United report that "It has been the perfect start to the season for Pools as they go into the Tuesday night game looking to make it four wins from four.

Wins against Aldershot, Chesterfield and, most recently, Maidenhead has [sic] got Pools sitting top of the pile in the National League.

It has been a mixed start to the season for our opponents after a convincing 4-1 win in their opening game against Dover was followed by a 2-1 home defeat to Torquay. Bromley sit 13th in the table, exactly where they finished last year and manager Neil Smith will be hoping the tie at The Vic will be a repeat of last season. Goals from Holohan and Mafuta were not enough as the thrilling tie ended 3-2 to the visitors last August.

The Lilywhites have made 12 new signings this summer. Most notably signing[s are] centre forward James Alabi from Leyton Orient and Tom Purrington from Plymouthp"

At Chesterfield "Manager John Pemberton spoke to the media ahead of the Spireites’ first away game of the season at Torquay United.

'We’re capable of winning. If we show the same commitment as we did on Saturday, we’ve got a great chance... I can’t get too high when we win, or too low when we lose. We can do better... I can’t remember any game that has ever been easy if I’m honest, they have all been tough. There’s not much between each team'...

Luke Rawson scored his first two Chesterfield goals on Saturday against Woking. The Spireites manager talked about how the young striker is handling himself. 'Rawson banged a couple of goals in this morning at training. You can see the difference in him already, he’s got a swagger about him but not an arrogant one,' Pemberton said.

'He’s a young lad learning his trade, he trusts what we’re doing. It’s a long-term plan, it’s important to have home grown players and he’s one for the future. He wants to play for this club. I want him to be put into the team and stay there. It’s important that we nurture him, however. He’s at a good club to develop at.'

New signing Alex Kiwomya played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as well as scoring on his second debut... The gaffer said 'We had to monitor his fitness, he played a few games out in Turkey over the summer. I wasn’t planning on him playing for 90 minutes on Saturday if I’m honest, however he did. I thought he did really well.'

Two players who missed out on the matchday squad on Saturday were Nathan Tyson and Joesf Yarney.... Pemberton said, 'Yarney was injured on Saturday. We’ve got bodies now though so someone can fill in. Tyson trained today [Monday], he’s getting there now, which is positive.'”

On Monday, Dover Athletic claimed that they "won’t just welcome Aldershot to Crabble tonight, they will also welcome back a couple of familiar faces.

Shadrach Ogie, who scored a brilliant solo goal in our 2-0 win in this fixture last season during a loan spell at Crabble, may well line up for our opponents having joined The Shots on a one-month loan from Orient earlier this month.

Visiting Goalkeeper Mitch Walker is no stranger to Dover supporters, having spent seven years with Athletic prior to his departure last year.

Dover and Aldershot will be looking to avoid an unwanted hattrick, with both sides losing back-to-back league matches. Andy Hessenthaler’s men conceded three second half goals at Stockport County on Saturday afternoon, having lost 4-1 at Bromley four days earlier, with Town losing 2-1 to both Hartlepool and Sutton United.

The Shots did defeat Brentford B on Saturday in a friendly after their league match, scheduled for the same day, was cancelled due to the demise of Macclesfield Town.

Aldershot have added nine players to their squad for this season, including former Scotland International Ross McCormack on a free transfer following his release from Aston Villa at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. The 34-year-old featured in the Championship... He also netted for Glasgow Rangers against Portuguese giants and then European Champions League winners Porto in 2005.

Searle has appointed Jamie Sendles-White as his new captain following Dean Rance’s departure to Dagenham & Redbridge. The defender won the National League South with Torquay United and has also been joined at the EBB Stadium by former Daggers forward Chike Kandi.

Aldershot’s Player to Watch is striker Mo Bettamer... He was also second top scorer last season for The Shots".

13 October 2020


Altrincham dropped to nineteenth in the National League after Maidenhaead United's win at Wrexham on Monday night.

Monday 12th October

  • Wrexham 0-1 Maidenhead United

ON THIS DAY: 13 October

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data confirm that five years ago today, as in 2020, a Tuesday, Altrincham played out a 2-2 home draw against Kidderminster Harriers in the National League.

A fiercely driven shot from Michael Rankine, as the game went into the sixth added minute, secured a point for an Altrincham side ravaged by injury.

No fewer than seven first-teamers had been missing for this game as Altrincham's injury jinx had continued the previous Saturday with Shaun Densmore suffering a medial ligament injury. He joined Stuart Coburn, Andy Parry, Ryan Crowther and Tom Marshall on the injury list to which Simon Richman was added with a dead leg and Adam Griffin was an enforced absentee as his wife was expecting a baby.

The most senior Alty substitute was teenager Sam Heathcote, with one National League start to his name.

Right: Alty celebrate Rankine's late leveller.

Altrincham had taken a 21st minute lead when James Lawrie's corner from the right curled directly into the bottom near corner of the net. But the cash-strapped visitors, who had nevertheless acquired six new faces in the past week or so, equalised after 38 minutes when an impressive passing move was finished off by Hassan. The normally dependable Alty acting captain, Luca Havern, made a bad mistake which allowed one of the visitors' new loanees, Whitfield, to put the Harriers ahead fifteen minutes from the end of normal time.

Despite constant pressure in the closing stages it seemed to be all over for Altrincham till, ironically, the Harriers' Man of the Match, Hodgkiss fouled Jordan Sinnott on the edge of the box. The freekick was laid off to Rankine who blasted a low shot past keeper Snedker to secure a vital point for Altrincham.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 4. Jake MOULT, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael RANKINE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 21. Joel SWIFT, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS.


According to NL Daily "Sutton United have brought their former loan player Isaac Olaofe back to the club.

The 20 year-old Millwall striker links up again on a three-month deal.

Olaofe was with Matt Gray’s team back in the early part of 2020, appearing five times and scoring once".

In advance of Monday's match, the National League said that "There are sure to be thousands of Wrexham fans tuning in on Monday night and BT Sport may even have two new subscribers from Hollywood. Acting A-Listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are interested in investing and they have already been watching online.

Game of Thrones star McElhenney even posed on Twitter on Saturday night toasting the club’s valiant victory at Yeovil while wearing the Dragons shirt...

Now Wrexham go looking to move joint top of the National League table with a win again poor starters Maidenhead United. Alan Devonshire’s team have had a first three games to forget, losing them all while letting in ten goals already.

Manager Keates said 'It is great that they are showing a real interest; it is not a publicity stunt'..

After the club’s 1-0 win at Yeovil, the Racecourse boss said 'To come away to a side who will be up there at the end of the season and win is fantastic. They only had one shot on goal'...

How Devonshire’s side desperately need a pick-me-up after Saturday’s 4-0 home humbling by Hartlepool United... but coach Aaron O’Brien says it wasn’t all negative at the weekend...

'We were really good in the first-half and had three or four good chances. We were just starting to get back into the game and they score again; it deflated us a little bit... It knocked the stuffing out of the side and we struggle[d] from then on in.

'We can’t afford to be too down about the result... We need to bounce back.'”

At Chesterfield manager "John Pemberton is pleased with the progress being made by young duo Luke Rawson and Jamie Sharman, who both featured prominently in Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Woking.

Rawson scored twice after coming off the substitutes' bench while Sharman turned in a solid defensive display. \,p. Commenting on Rawson, the manager said 'He’s a boy learning his trade and he understands what we’re trying to do with him. He has to keep learning and and he has to improving. I have a vision for him long-term'...

'I think it’s important to have home-grown players and I want them to go in there and stay there. The more you expose them to it, the better they will be. I see them as the backbone of what we’re trying to do. They could be here for the next five years.'" said Pemberton.


The BBC confirms that "Salford City have sacked boss Graham Alexander and put ex-Manchester United player Paul Scholes in interim charge.

Alexander, 49, led the club to promotion to the English Football League in his first season in 2018-19. He leaves the club in fifth place in League Two, having gone unbeaten in their first five games this season...

Scholes' only previous experience in management was 31 days as boss of hometown club Oldham Athletic in 2019. He resigned from his position as he was 'not able to operate as I intended'...

The club [Salford] only won seven of its final 20 games last season, meaning it was outside the play-off zone when the campaign was brought to an early end. And, while they are unbeaten so far this season, on Saturday they only drew at home to a Tranmere side who had asked for the game to be called off due to the number of players they had missing for coronavirus-related reasons.

In addition to disappointing results, it was also felt the style of football Alexander's team was producing did not match expectations. It is understood Salford's Head of Youth development, Warren Joyce, would have taken over but he is currently isolating".

12 October 2020


Following the draw at Eastleigh, Altrincham assistant manager Neil Sorvel spoke to Brian Flynn, whose interview can be heard on the Altrincham FC website.


The Moors are managed by Jimmy Shan, an ex-Kidderminster Harriers interim manager, and their best-known players to Alty fans are probably goalkeeper Ryan Boot (ex-Macclesfield Town and Port Vale), centre-back Alex Gudger (ex-Brackley Town) and midfielder Kyle Storer whose former clubs include Tamworth, Nuneaton Town, Cheltenham Town, Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers.

The Moors' line up last Saturday comprised: Boot, Williams, Cranston (Piggott 79’), Howe, Sbarra, Gleeson, Maycock, Ball (Osborne 61’), Carter, Hancox, Archer (Usher-Shipway 73’). Unused Subs: Storer, Clayton


Fourth-placed Solihull Moors visit Altrincham on Tuesday, fresh from a 5-0 win over last season's National League North champions, King's Lynn Town.

The Moors are the product of a merger in 2007 between Moor Green and the then more lowly placed Solihull Borough. The Borough had a more modern ground, at Damson Park, whereas Moor Green's stadium had been subject to an arson attack in 2005 and it was therefore Damson Park which became the home of the newly merged club.

Altrincham first encountered Moor Green in the Conference North division in December 2004 when the Midlands club played at the Moorlands ground, situated in the Hall Green suburb of Birmingham, near Solihull.

Right: On a gloomy afternoon at Moorlands, Bridgewater (in blue, foreground, left) scored Moor Green's opener against Altrincham.

The pitch was one of the best that Alty had played on that season and the ground itself was neat and tidy. Down both sides there was no cover or terracing but, behind the clubhouse end, was a characterful wooden stand. This had used to straddle the halfway line before the pitch had been reorientated by 90 degrees some years earlier. The far end had covered terracing.

The match ended 2-2, a score which was achieved by a weakened Altrincham who were without the injured Marcus Hallows and Val Owen, as well as their captain Peter Band, who had signed for Northwich on the eve of the game.

The bench comprised five players (Smith, Brindle, Melling, Chalmers and Tilley) who had yet to make a league appearance that season, whilst two others (Thornley and Lugsden) were starting their first league games of the season.

The Moors took the lead after 37 minutes when Bridgewater finished well from close range, to the the right of goal. But a magnificent goal from Gary Scott levelled things just before the break, his superb volley from the edge of the box being lifted over debutant keeper Harris before dropping into the net just under the cross bar (45 mins).

The Moors caused Alty a lot of defensive problems, especially on the Alty right, before Bridgewater's corner got a headed touch from Sanders to make it 2-1 (70 mins). Belatedly Alty began to get forward in the closing stages and Rod Thornley scored a well-taken goal with just five minutes of normal time left. Both sides were roared on by excellent vocal support throughout the game.

After the arson attack on Moorlands, which was in January 2005, just a month after Alty's visit, the 2007 merger saw Solihull Moors plying its trade in the Conference North whilst Alty were then in the top flight.

So the first meeting for Altrincham with Solihull Moors was not until 2011-12 season after Alty's relegation back to the North division. In that campaign the match at Moss Lane ended 1-1 on 24 March, 2012. In all Alty and the Moors were together in the North division for three consecutive seasons (2011-2014) before Alty were again promoted.

Then, in 2016, as Alty were relegated back to the North division, the Moors were promoted at the same time in the opposite direction so the clubs' paths did not cross again until now.

The league record with the Solihull Moors club is therefore:

  • At home: P3 W2 D1 L0 F4 A2
  • Away: P3 W1 D0 L2 F2 A4
  • All: P6 W3 D1 L2 F6 A6


Next Saturday's visitors to the JDS are Bromley who "could not continue their positive start to the season as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Torquay United. The game started in a physical fashion with both teams putting in a number of heavy challenges...

Torquay United had their fair share of possession in the first half... However, it was Bromley who found the breakthrough. Ravens defender, Byron Webster on the turn smashed in a venomous low shot to the opposition keeper's left-hand side after a corner. The Ravens were forced into an early substitution in the 27th minute when Billy Bingham made way for former Millwall midfielder, Liam Trotter... A great half for Bromley on the whole.

The second half commenced and it was Torquay who attacked with impetus... Torquay’s attacking play paid off. Adam Randall fired in a well placed shot from the edge of the area to equalise for The Gulls...

In the 92nd minute, Torquay were given a penalty and an opportunity to seal all three points. Torquay forward, Wright converted the penalty, sending his shot to the keeper’s left.

Bromley: 1 Mark Cousins, 17 Byron Webster, 5 Chris Bush, 6 Jack Holland (C), 2 Joe Kizzi, 8 Frankie Raymond (Maloney), 4 Billy Bingham (Trotter), 14 Kory Roberts, 19 Harry Forster, 18 Ben Williamson (Alabi), 9 Michael Cheek . Unused Subs: 12 Tom Purrington, 24 Nassim L’Ghoul"

Bromley also have a post-match interview with their manager Neil Smith.


Alex Meechan has been appointed joint interim manager of Hednesford Town following the departure of Andy Morrell.

Jordan Hulme was subbed after 64 minutes in AFC Fylde's game on Saturday. Steven Drench played for Farsley Celtic on Saturday as they drew with York City.

Also on Saturday, Callum Dolan won a penalty for Clitheroe as they trounced Ashton United and Jonny Margetts scored in Frickley Athletic's 4-0 win against Wisbech Town.

ON THIS DAY: 12 October

As Alty prepare for just their fourth league match in 2020-21 season, they can reflect on last season when a match on today's date, 12 October, was their fifteenth match in all competitions, and their twelfth in the league. It was to be a tenth fruitless attempt to win at Nethermoor against Guiseley, and for this match, the league had rebadged itself as the Manarama National League North.

Above: Tony Thompson punches clear in the second half against Guiseley.

Altrincham made changes as Tom Peers started his first game of the season, replacing Jordan Hulme who had taken a knock last time out. In midfield Williams came in for Richman. Joining Hulme on the bench was new signing Lewis Archer. Connor Hampson's foot injury ruled him out of the squad altogether.

But it was to be another indifferent performance at Guiseley from Altrincham, which saw them fail to land a meaningful shot on target, apart from converting a penalty. They fell behind in just the sixth minute when a mistake by Andy White saw him overhit a pass at, rather than to, James Jones. The ball ran to Felix who beat Thompson.

Despite ten added minutes in the first half, caused by an injury to Guiseley's Shaw, Guiseley maintained their lead at the interval.

Altrincham improved in the second half but Guiseley almost scored again when Barkers missed a sitter.

In the second half Altrincham passed the ball about and enjoyed possession but they caused no real threat to the home goal until Shaun Densmore was upended and a penalty was awarded. Josh Hancock converted it, coolly, to level the score on the hour mark.

The game ended when substitute Jordan Hulme did well and Max Harrop was set free but a timely tackle halted him amidst Alty's adamant claims for a penalty. So Alty's twenty-year wait for a win at Nethermoor was extended.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 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. Ashley HEMMINGS. Subs: 12. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Jordan HULME, 15. Max HARROP, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Lewis ARCHER.


For the second game this season Torquay United won with a very late goal as the Gulls "produced a superb fightback at Hayes Lane to register their first win on the road with a 2-1 win over Bromley...

Byron Webster opened the scoring for The Ravens, before a show-stopping strike from Adam Randell levelled things up. With the clock ticking down, it was then left to the cool head of Danny Wright to seal a deserved victory with an injury-time penalty.

United boss Gary Johnson made two changes to the starting line-up that went down 2-1 to Eastleigh on Tuesday, with loan signings Randell and Louis Britton taking the places of Asa Hall and Josh Umerah. On the bench, defenders Louis Slough and Gary Warren took their places amongst the replacements for the first time this season..

The Gulls showed up well in the early stages and enjoyed the bulk of possession, without troubling home goalkeeper Mark Cousins during the opening ten minutes... The hosts took the lead out of nowhere... with the ball sailing past Lucas Covolan and into the net.

The goal failed to diminish Torquay’s dominance on the ball, however a string of crosses into the box couldn’t find the intended recipient...

Despite leading, Bromley were being forced to feed off scraps in the final third, whilst their dogged defending at the other end continued to keep Johnson’s side at bay...

Torquay’s players were left to contemplate a half that lacked nothing in commitment or endeavour, with only the final ball missing.

As things got back underway, the second period was showing all the hallmarks of the first 45, with the men in yellow once again on top... Then, just past the hour, Randell produced a moment of magic to draw his side level.

After keeping pace with the rampaging Wynter down the right-hand side, the ball was played centrally to the Plymouth Argyle loanee, who took a touch before unleashing a tremendous right-footed shot that seared into the top-corner, with the Bromley glovesman flat-footed...

Bromley’s defence, relatively underworked in the first half, were now having to employ all hands to the pumps to repel their opponents, with wave upon wave of United attacks pinning the home side back against their own goal...

Then, three minutes into stoppage time, the break finally came... With substitute Warren stretching to poke the ball into the path of a teammate, Kizzie’s challenge was deemed too physical, with the referee pointing to the spot. Wright was the man given the responsibility to win the match, and he duly delivered by sending Cousins the wrong way...

With six points from three games, Johnson’s men move up to 7th in the fledgling National League table".

Afterwards, Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson was delighted with the efforts of his side... The win was a fitting reward following a superb performance from The Gulls, who dominated the game throughout...

'We got what we deserved,' began Johnson. 'In the first half we played some really good football, without really an end product. I was disappointed to be 1-0 down... We needed to be a bit sharper in the penalty area...

'Everyone played so well... but it was the way we controlled the game. I thought that was fantastic...

'I think the league is going to be very competitive, I’ve been saying that for a little while, and you won’t really know the top teams until after maybe ten games or so... We are actually on two points a game, so that’s really where you need to be at this stage...

'We’ve had some really quite difficult games; Bromley fancy their chances, and Stockport fancy their chances. We came to Bromley after they won 4-1, three or four days ago we went to Eastleigh after they won 5-1 the week before, and now we’ve got Chesterfield coming down to play and they’ve just won 4-0, so those are warm up games for us, I guess!'”

King’s Lynn Town "conceded five in [their] first defeat in National League campaign away at Solihull Moors.

Lynn made two changes from the win at Maidenhead; Archie Mair making his first start for the club in place of Alex Street and Ross Barrows replacing the injured Simon Power.

The hosts dominated the first half but couldn’t find the break through until the 39th minute when Cameron Archer made a brilliant run and then cut the ball back to Joe Sbarra who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner...

Once the second half began it only went one way for The Linnets. Two minutes after the restart Jordan Cranston’s corner found the head of Cameron Archer who doubled the hosts' advantage. Mair made some fantastic saves to keep Lynn in the game unfortunately he couldn’t do anything about Jamey Osborne’s chip from 35-yards out which made it three for Solihull.

The fourth quickly came as Osborne robbed a Lynn defender before having a shot at goal which needed a fantastic save by Mair but unluckily the ball fell to the feet of Cameron Archer who got his second of the game.

The final blow came in the 81st minute from another corner. Callum Howe headed home to get Solihull’s fifth".

Hartlepool United "have gone top of the National League after beating Maidenhead 4-0 at York Road. That is now three wins from three for Pools at the start of the season as they put four past the Magpies...

The game started with a floury [sic] of chances from both sides as Maidenhead enjoyed spells of possession...

As the game went into injury time of the first half, Pools were able to grab the first goal of the game which came against the run of play. A free kick on the left side of the field was whipped in by Featherstone and Maidenhead defender Alan Massey headed into his own net to make it 1-0 going into the break.

The second half could not have started any better for Pools, Ofosu found himself in acres of space on the left hand side of the Maidenhead box and was able to slot it past the keeper, into the bottom right corner to make it two...

Pools did have their third on 51 minutes when Featherstone’s corner bounced around in the box and Johnson ferociously fired the ball of the crossbar that then bounced of the line and into the net...

Pools did kill the game off in the 81st minute when Holohan picked up the ball around 20 yards out, his shot was deflected and it flew past the keeper to make it 4-0... Pools go into Tuesday's game against Bromley [who visit Altrincham next Saturday] oozing with confidence".

"85 days after the play off eliminator defeat at the end of the 19/20 season FC Halifax Town returned to Meadow Park and secured a deserved away point following a 0 v 0 draw. Town will feel they had the better of the chances, especially before the break but in truth both keepers had a relatively quiet afternoon.

Pete Wild made one change to the starting eleven that faced Dagenham & Redbridge and Stockport County with Kieron Green replacing Martin Woods in the centre of midfield.

The Shaymen had the better of the first half chances... Jeff King’s cross shot drifted wide before the hosts changed things around with a double substitution with attackers Corey Whiteley and Matt Rhead joining the action. And it was a foul on Whiteley that led to the hosts best chance of the afternoon. Sorba Thomas’s free kick was cleared to Jamel Fyfield but he blazed over from 8 yards out".

The match ended goalless.

Dover Athletic report that "A John Rooney double condemned The Whites to a second consecutive league defeat. Last season’s National League Player of the Year, who joined Stockport in the summer from Barrow, slammed home a second half penalty, before slotting in his second and County’s third late on.

Substitute Alex Reid had earlier doubled the home side’s lead as Athletic were unable to build on a first half clean sheet.

Andy Hessenthaler’s men, including centre-back and academy youngster Will Moses making his National League debut, defended resolutely throughout the opening 45 minutes...

The home side made their breakthrough when another Dover debutant, goalkeeper Josh Bexon, upended Reid in the area, with Rooney making no mistake from 12 yards as he sent Athletic’s stopper the wrong way.

Reid volleyed over from the edge of the box, but the attacker was more precise with his next opportunity. The striker converted Richie Bennett’s pass, and despite protestations from Dover for a foul on Will De Havilland in the build up, the goal stood, leaving Hessenthaler’s side with the challenge of scoring at least two goals...

It was Stockport who put the game beyond doubt at the end when Rooney fired Sam Minihan’s lay-off into the bottom corner.

Earlier, boss Hessenthaler made three changes to the side that started the 4-1 against Bromley on Tuesday night, with Bexon, Moses and Bilel Hinchiri replacing Yusuf Mersin, TJ Bramble and the injured Harry Ransom".

Against Notts County, Barnet report that "The hosts did take the lead in the 14th minute when Cal Roberts found time and space on the edge of the Bees’ box and curled a left footed effort into the top corner of Scott Loach’s net.

And Roberts turned provider moments later for the home side by firing in a cross for Kyle Wootton, who stabbed the ball home at the second time of asking.

It went from bad to worse for Barnet just shy of the 22 minute mark, Enzio Boldewijn this time finding the back of the net with a low drive from the edge of the box, after another assist from Roberts...

JJ Hooper put the Bees on the board in the final minute of the first half. The big number 11 found a yard inside the Magpies’ box and drilled his effort low into the bottom corner.

The Bees were buoyed by that late first half goal and started the second half the brighter of the two sides... The Bees gave themselves a chance of a big comeback in the 75th minute. Good work from Mason-Clark released Josh Walker down the left wing and his cross-come-shot was parried into the path of Hooper, who tapped into the empty net...

Michael Doyle’s first time effort from the center of the box sealed the three points for the home side in the second minute of stoppage time".

11 October, 2020


After the 1-1 draw at Eastleigh, Altrincham's assistant manager Neil Sorvel told the NL Paper, "Any away point in this league is well earned and ours came on the back of two difficult away matches in four days and after a 3-1 defeat at Notts County.

"We started really well and looked comfortable in possession. Conceding just before half-time was disappointing but we were well worth a point".

Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens added "Credit to Altrincham, who are a good footballing side".


Match report here.


After Saturday's game, Eastleigh reported that "The Spitfires labour to a 1-1 draw against Altrincham at the Silverlake Stadium, as Strevens’s men earn their 7th point from the opening three National League games.

Yusifu Ceesay had given the visitors the lead, before Cav Miley bagged the equaliser with minutes to spare in the first half, converting from inside the area following a goalmouth scramble.

Eastleigh fell behind after just ten minutes when Ceesay slammed home a loose ball from inside the area, following a Sean Williams corner.

Corners continued to influence the outcome as the Spitfires battled for the equaliser, earning nine in the process, before scoring from the final one of the first half.

In the 44th minute, Jack Payne’s delivery caused a skirmish in the box with a number of last-ditch blocks and goal-line clearances, before eventually being turned in by the lively Miley.

Just seven minutes into the second half Eastleigh thought they had the equaliser [they had already got it in the first half!], as Ben Howse’s strike from 25 yards into a crowd of players deflected over ‘keeper Thompson and into the net. The celebrations were cut short, however, as the linesman raised his flag for offside...

The BBC, mixing its tenses, adds that "Eastleigh saw their 100 per cent start to the National League season come to an end as they are held to a draw at home by promoted Altrincham.

Home goalkeeper Joe McDonnell was forced into a fantastic early save to deny Matt Kosylo but he was beaten by Yusifu Ceesay's close-range finish in the 10th minute. McDonnell then kept out another Kosylo effort, while at the other end, Altrincham goalkeeper Tony Thompson foiled Sam Smart on the counter-attack.

Eastleigh levelled on the stroke of half-time when Cavanagh Miley turned in a loose ball. McDonnell denied Kosylo in the second half and Altrincham's Jake Moult cleared a Michael Green header off the line but neither side could muster a winner."


Altrincham entertain Solihull Moors on Tuesday night, a side which won 5-0 on Saturday against the other team promoted from National League North, King's Lynn Town. It will be the second fixture in succession, after Eastleigh on Saturday, in which The Robins face a side which had scored five times in a previous game this season!


Shortly before kick off on Saturday, Altrincham FC published a "Message from Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson:

'Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson and full-back Shaun Densmore [right] have not travelled to Eastleigh for today's game at the Silverlake Stadium. In separate circumstances, each has been in contact with a person in their circle who has tested positive for Covid-19.

After consultation with Rob Jackson, the club doctor, and in line with his advice, we took the responsible and necessary decision that they should not travel for this afternoon's Vanarama National League fixture.

This is purely a precautionary matter, designed to protect our players and staff and their families, and our concern for their safety and welfare will always be paramount in how we will handle any similar cases that may occur in the future...

In the meantime, assistant-manager Neil Sorvel will take charge of the team at Eastleigh this afternoon, with Phil keeping a close eye on the game and maintaining telephone contact with the Alty bench throughout, via data analyst Mark Bushell.

Moving forward, Phil and Shaun are both being tested, prior to a decision being taken on whether they can take any part in Tuesday night's league game with Solihull Moors at The J.Davidson Stadium."

ON THIS DAY: 11 October

Six years ago today, on Saturday, 11 October 2014, Altrincham were playing at home to Woking in a Vanarama Conference match and the Surrey club brought 100 or so supporters. Altrincham started the game in the same position they are in today, eioghteenth, but after a 0-3 defeat in this match against The Cards they had dropped to 21st. They were to recover and finished 17th at the end of that season.

It was to be a game when Alty ended the afternoon with nine men on the pitch.

Right: Adam Griffin makes his way off after being shown a red card by referee Robert Jones.

The first half was goalless but both sides had chances with Jack Marriott hitting the Alty woodwork and Jake Moult's outrageous 45 yard volley doing likewise, just before half-time. Woking had the better of the opening stages before a heavy rain shower soaked the players. After 35 minutes, James Lawrie mis-hit a golden chance wide after Damian Reeves had got behind a tumbling defender. Altrincham also won three first-half freekicks just outside the box, with Clarke getting booked for his offence in that sequence.

Woking started the second half well and Scott Rendell slid home a close-range goal after 52 minutes. Two minutes later Adam Griffin was sent off for a tackle on Lewis after he had mis-controlled the ball in midfield. And, five minutes after that, Simon Richman had to go off injured. Morgan made it 2-0 after 66 minutes. Nine minutes from time it got even worse as Alty were reduced to nine men when Ryan Crowther hobbled off. Payne added a third in injury time after a slick one-two had opened up Alty's back line.

The referee wasCheshire-based Mr Robert Jones who has since risen up the ranks to officiate at EFL level now.

ALTRINCHAM: 1 Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 3. Adam Griffin, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Sean Wiliams, 4. Jake Moult, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 9. Steven Gillespie, 16. Tom Marshall, 14. Kyle Perry, 19. Ryan Crowther, 25. Peter Cavanagh.


In Runcorn Linnets' 1-1 home draw with Clitheroe, Craig Hobson netted for the visitors.


Altrincham FC has announced that the winners in its latest Monthly Draw, for September 2020, were as follows:-
  • £500 cash | #32 | Jean Muir
  • £75 cash | #111 | Stan Riley
  • £25 cash | #1 | Simon Ellis
  • Match Hospitality for 2 | #? | Steve Wilson
  • Home Replica Shirt | #471 | A. Sharpe
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #282 | L. Kenwright

Congratulations to all the winners!


The Eastern Daily Press report that before his team's heavy defeat on Saturday, King's Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse had warned that "If we deviate from what we are good at we could be in for a long season".

The EDP asserts that "Ian Culverhouse steadfastly refuses to deviate from his footballing principles as he pits beauty against the beast. In his case, the beauty is King’s Lynn Town, and the way he wants them to play football. The beast is what lurks around many corner in this debut National League season for the Linnets; sometimes it will win. Other times, the beautiful game will prevail...

The rules of engagement will be the same for Lynn; play football, no matter what the opposition do. Culverhouse has already said he wants his players to cut out the errors which gifted Maidenhead two penalties on Tuesday. That bit he didn’t like, What he did enjoy was Lynn’s response as they twice came from behind, as they had in the opening day 2-2 draw with Yeovil, through Simon Power and Dayle Southwell before Aaron Jones’s late winner.

Right up until Jones struck, Lynn were still passing it around, looking for an opening against a side which mixed a bit of gamesmanship, a lot of experience and a fair bit of brawn.

'We’re missing the big man (Michael Gash) anyway up front so we haven’t got an out ball,' said Culverhouse. 'We have to be patient on the ball and we have to work our little patterns and get into pockets. We kept doing that. I think if we deviate from what we are good at we could be in for a long season so we will keep trying to play our way.

'I’m pleased we didn’t go against our principles, and that is important. We will lose games trying to play our way because we will probably over-play sometimes, but we will learn as we go along.' Lynn’s first two games have been notable for some fine individual performances... Right back Aaron Jones and striker Dayle Southwell have hit the ground running. Jones provided a superb assist for Adam Marriott’s equaliser which earned Lynn a point on Saturday and took away the man of the match title to boot. On Tuesday, he popped up in the final minute to clinch the three points.

Southwell had scored the opener at the weekend, and on Tuesday got the second equaliser... Southwell’s form is perfectly timed, with Adam Marriott still getting back to full match fitness and Gash sidelined after illness.

Said Culverhouse... 'He has started well as well, he works ever so hard for the team. He has come from a professional environment and he has brought that with him. Every training session he is at it and his work rate off the ball is tremendous for us. He is the first line of the press'...

Lynn’s good start has been done without Gash, the injured Jamar Loza and with Marriott not yet firing on all cylinders... In the meantime, their team-mates have stepped up to the plate: Alex Brown... has proved a fine new signing at left back, Ryan Jarvis has turned back the clock in midfield alongside the excellent Jordan Richards...

Said Culverhouse 'But we have a tough one on Saturday at Solihull, a really good side. But we have to turn up again, roll them out and they will give as good as they get'".

After the game Lynn News reported that "King's Lynn Town were given a rude awakening as their unbeaten start to the season was ended in emphatic fashion by Solihull Moors... after shipping four goals in the second half...

Ian Culverhouse... a stunned Lynn boss said 'Unless we learn our lessons really quickly we'll be on the end of a few more of those before the end of the season. We're conceding too many soft goals and two of them came from restarts again. We've had a good talk in there and we've got to learn quickly.

'They are a very good side and I expect them to go close to winning the league this season. It's about us learning to play in the right areas of the field and stopping the distances when we can't play'.

On-loan Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer was the catalyst for Lynn's humbling with a brace while Joe Sbarra, Jamey Osborne and Callum Howe were also on target as Solihull picked up their second straight win.

The Linnets made changes for their third game in the space of the week, with Archie Mair replacing Alex Street between the posts and Ross Barrows coming in for the injured Simon Power, who was ruled out with a groin strain.

Solihull went ahead six minutes before the break after Archer did well down the right and cut the ball back into the path of Sbarra, who applied a low finish. Archer grabbed his first goal for the club two minutes after the interval as he headed home a Jordan Cranston corner.

Substitute Osborne then produced a memorable strike, lobbing goalkeeper Archie Mair from 30 yards, before then seeing a shot pushed away seven minutes later, with teenage frontman Archer on hand to tap in the rebound.

Osborne was also involved in the fifth goal, as his corner was powered home by captain Howe in the 81st minute to put the icing on a thumping win for the hosts".

Solihull Moors< whose next game is at home to Altrincham, said that "Moors laid down a marker to the rest of the league with an impressive 5-0 win over King’s Lynn Town...

A slick move orchestrated by Cameron Archer and finished by Joe Sbarra set Jimmy Shan’s side on the way, before Archer headed home to grab his first goal for the club. Jamey Osborne then produced a sublime long-range strike to add his name to the scoresheet before Archer notched his second after Osborne’s effort had been saved.

And Osborne wasn’t finished there. The Moors substitute providing an inch perfect corner which stand-in skipper Callum Howe powered into the roof of the net.

Manager Shan was forced into a change in the back three after Alex Gudger picked up an injury in the midweek win, with Mitch Hancox coming into the side. Skipper Kyle Storer was rested, so the armband was passed to centre-half Howe and Callum Maycock was handed his first start of the season.

Strikers Adam Rooney and Jamie Ward remained out so young Villa loanee Archer again lead the line for the Moors.

Moors were quick out the traps, Tuesday night’s match winner James Ball looking lively and Archer a willing runner up front...

As for King’s Lynn, Adam Marriott was the danger man but was well patrolled by the defensive duo of Howe and Darren Carter... Shan’s side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession with Steven Gleeson controlling the tempo but a real cutting edge was missing.

That was until five minutes before half-time. Archer got in down the right, picked out Sbarra... he stroked the ball home. The hosts were well worth their lead...

No sooner had the second half restarted that Moors found themselves 2-0 up, a wicked delivery from Cranston was powered home... Osborne... had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, when [he] produced a moment to savour. Collecting the ball on the left, Osborne whipped a 25-yard curling effort into the top corner...

That goal really knocked the stuffing out of Kings Lynn who found themselves at Moors’ mercy and quickly conceded a fourth. Moors’ number 10 was at the heart of everything...

The floodgates had well and truly opened and with just less than 10 minutes remaining, Howe powered home Osborne’s corner for Moors’ fifth. Howe’s goal capped a fine team performance as Shan’s side fired a warning shot to the National League that they mean business this season.

It meant back to back wins for Moors who followed up the 1-0 midweek victory over Wrexham with a comprehensive display. Moors will hope to continue that winning feeling into Tuesday night’s game at Altrincham as they look for their third league win on the bounce...

Solihull Moors: Boot; Williams, Howe, Carter, Hancox, Cranston (Piggott, 79); Maycock, Gleeson; Sbarra, Ball (Osborne, 61); Archer (Usher-Shipway,73). Subs not used: Clayton, Storer."

At Chesterfield "The Spireites have made a double signing, bringing in Alex Kiwomya and Tyler Denton to bolster the squad.

Kiwomya had a previous spell at the club, scoring four goals in 14 appearances while on loan from Doncaster Rovers two seasons ago.

Denton, 25, is a left-sided player who started his career at Leeds United and was latterly at Stevenage.

John Pemberton is delighted to have been able to sign the pair, who were free agents. He said...'Alex has the attributes we need, providing us with pace up front. He is able to stretch defenders... Tyler has been recruited to help the balance of the team. We needed a left-sided player to share the workload. “He can play either at left-back or on the left wing. He is experienced and he will bring a different dimension to us as a team'">

According to the Halifax Courier, "Halifax rounded off a tough first week with a commendable point at Meadow Park [Boreham Wood], leaving them with a win, a draw and a defeat from their first three games of the season.

'We're sat in there and we're disappointed with a point, which is madness really,' said Wild. 'We think we were the better side, we won the battle today. We should have played a bit more football, we should have backed ourselves a bit more. We've just got to find that cutting edge in the final third, and if we can find that, I think we're going to see teams off.

'Some teams will be getting a kicking off us at some point if we keep playing the way we're playing. We look fit, we look strong, we look organised, which is pleasing...

As a week's work, we were the best side against Dagenham, the best side against Stockport and certainly the best side today. If you'd looked at those fixtures beforehand we might have taken five points as a starting block but I'll certainly take four... There's massive improvements in the whole way we're doing things as a football club, not just on-the-pitch'.

Wild added 'We've got a real identity now, we know what we're about out of possession and how we're going to defend out of possession... We nullified their threat completely. We've come away to Boreham Wood and they've not had a meaningful shot at goal'".

10 October 2020


Tom Hannigan was rested for this game, in the light of a heavy fixture schedule, and Shaun Densmore was also out of the squad, so Joel Senior and Ritchie Sutton made their Altrincham debuts.

Altrincham started well and took an eleventh minute lead through Yusifu Ceesay, who netted from about eight yards after a Williams corner had come back out to him.

Williams was then put out of the game by Payne's reckless challenge, through the back of the Alty midfielder (37 mins). The offender only saw yellow for a red-card offence which left Williams being helped off the pitch with what looked like a right-ankle injury.

Eastleigh may have gone into the game as league leaders but if they are one of the best teams in the division their lacklustre showing throughout this game did not say much for the overall standard of the National League this season.

The Spitfires got level in added time when a corner pinged around the Altrincham penalty area before coming to Miley to score from right of centre, about ten yards out. So half-time was reached at 1-1.

In the second half Alty matched their opponents but neither side created very much, though Jake Moult did have to clear one effort off the line. Alty also lost Andy White to injury in the second half.

Overall Altrincham were certainly deserving of their draw; even the Spitfire TV commentators said that!


Saturday, 10 October.

  • Aldershot Town P-P Macclesfield Town
  • Boreham Wood 0-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Bromley 1-2 Torquay United
  • Chesterfield 4-0 Woking
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Wealdstone k.o.5.20pm
  • Eastleigh 1-1 Altrincham
  • Maidenhead United 0-4 Hartlepool United
  • Notts County 4-2 Barnet
  • Solihull Moors 5-0 King's Lynn Town
  • Stockport County 3-0 Dover Athletic
  • Weymouth 0-1 Sutton United
  • Yeovil Town 0-1 Wrexham


Match three of the 2020-21 season is Altrincham's second successive away game, this time at Eastleigh and, again, behind closed doors.

You can watch Saturday's match for £7.99 via the Hampshire club's Spitfire TV. Alternatively, you can follow the game on Radio Robins.

Eastleigh's nickname of 'The Spitfires' stems from the stadium's proximity to Eastleigh airfield, now Southampton Airport. Supermarine, the company who made the Spitfire, arrived at Eastleigh in 1936 and it was from that airfield that the Spitfire fighter made its first flight.

Eastleigh will start the game top of the nascent table after winning both of their opening league games, whereas Alty lie 18th after a draw and a defeat.

As well as the benefits of a home game, The Spitfires have the advantage of an additional day's rest before the match, having played on Tuesday whereas Alty's televised match, away at Notts County, was last Wednesday. And they also have the benefit of a free midweek after this game, as they were supposed to be having the dubious pleaure of travelling to Macclesfield this coming Tuesday and that, of course, has been cancelled given the Silkmen's demise.

2016 at Eastleigh: Above: Eastleigh keeper, Ross Flitney, punches clear in the second half.

The man to watch in the current Spitfires' team is forward Ben House, who scored twice in midweek and was the club's top scorer in pre-season. He was released by Reading and joined Eastleigh this summer, though he spent part of last season in the National League, on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Another face new to the home fans is goalkeeper Joe McDonnell, aged 26, who had a long spell at AFC Wimbledon prior to his move to Hampshire. Many of the current Eastleigh squad will not be known to Altrincham supporters but ex-Crewe Alexandra midfielder Danny Hollands may be an exception.

A number of players well known to Altrincham supporters have left Eastleigh since Alty's last visit to Hampshire in 2016. Facing Alty in 2016 were Yemi Odubade, Matt Tubbs, Jai Reason, James Turley and Jack Midson who have all departed, whilst Ben Strevens is now the Eastleigh manager.

Veteran keeper Ross Flitney is still at Eastleigh though no longer first choice. From the 2016 team that faced Alty, Joe Partington and Michael Green were still in the Eastleigh squad for their match last Tuesday night.


Altrincham welcomed City of Liverpool to the J. Davidson Stadium on Friday night for an FA Youth Cup Second Preliminary Round match, played behind closed doors.

After an entertaining and fairly even first half, the score remained goalless, though the visitors had twice struck the woodwork.

The second half was also good entertainment from two well-matched sides and Alty were indebeted more than once to the legs of keeper Forde in keeping the opposition from scoring. But the deadlock was broken in the 65th minute when the lively Alty striker, Matthew Sumner, was upended by the Liverpool keeper and a penalty was awarded. Sumner's penalty-kick was well saved but he converted the rebound to give his side the lead.

But Alty's lead was not finally doubled till the 89th minute when good work from substitute Graves and Waller saw Billingsly drive home a low shot from the outer left-hand reaches of the box, into the far corner of the net.

City of Liverpool had given a good acount of themselves and a two-goal margin of defeat was perhaps a little harsh on them.

Match report here


The Northern Premier League reports that "Ilkeston Town have announced that Tom Marshall [right, in 2015] has left the club.

Marshall has spent three seasons with the club, and won the Players' Player of the Year in 2018.

Manager Martin Carruthers said the following 'Tom was a valuable member of the squad and great character. Tom has been a great servant for the club, and we wish him the best of luck in the future'".


The Dorset Echo reports that Alty's opponents last Saturday, "Weymouth have received one positive Covid-19 test, the club has confirmed.

The Terras have not revealed whether the result was returned by a player, staff member or volunteer but admitted the person involved was 'asymptomatic'.

Weymouth's Vanarama National League match with Sutton United tomorrow (3pm) will go ahead as planned.

Four players and a backroom staff member are now self-isolating, leaving Weymouth with a maximum of 19 players available to face Sutton...

The Terras said... 'The club’s doctor and Covid officer have both been in contact with the National League and its chief medical officer to inform them of the situation and the subsequent steps taken by the club... The club has been given the go-ahead to continue its league programme and we look forward to hosting Sutton United this weekend.'"

ON THIS DAY: 10 October

Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data show the full record of Alty games on today's date

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date, 10 October, was an away match at The Recreation Ground, Aldershot, which The Shots won 2-0. Michael Rankine had come back into the squad after injury but Ryan Crowther and Andy Parry were both ruled out, injured. Shaun Densmore started as Jordan Sinnott moved to the bench. Goalkeeper Callum Williams joined the squad for the first time, on the bench.

With Ryan Crowther and Andy Parry added to the injury list before kick off, and Michael Rankine only fit enough to start on the bench, Alty were nevertheless the better side for the opening twenty minutes. But they ended up comfortably beaten.

Right: James Lawrie's path is cut off by an Aldershot player

They fell behind when defender Saville headed home a right-wing freekick near the corner which had been conceded by Jake Moult (33 mins).

The visitors still looked capable of taking something from the game until a mishit, underpowered back pass from Adam Griffin allowed Browne to score past the exposed Tim Deasy in the 63rd minute.

Altrincham then looked shaky at the back and their cause was not helped by a 68th minute injury to Shaun Densmore. Despite a good share of the ball, Altrincham rarely threatened a goal.

In a crowd numbering 1,412, there were 51 who had made the long trek to support Altrincham

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS.


The National League reports that "Five teams remain with 100% records in the Vanarama National League.

Eastleigh, Hartlepool United, Sutton United and Woking made it two wins out of two in midweek. Bromley made a winning start to their campaign with a 4-1 win over Dover Athletic.

Other highlights from the midweek action saw King's Lynn Town record their first win at this level with a 3-2 win over Maidenhead United, while pre-season favourites Stockport County came from a goal down to beat FC Halifax Town.

In the live BT Sport match on Wednesday, Notts County recorded their first win of the season with a strong performance over newly promoted Altrincham.

Onto this weekend, there's a repeat of the Vanarama Eliminator as Boreham Wood host Halifax, while Eastleigh and Hartlepool will both fancy their chances of maintaining their unbeaten record as they face Altrincham and Maidenhead, respectively.

Two fancied teams for promotion meet as Yeovil entertain Wrexham, where goals are expected to flow and, at Meadow Lance, Notts County will be looking to repeat their play-off semi-final win over the same opponents this weekend in Barnet.

The live match on BT Sport comes from East London as winless Dagenham & Redbridge will be eager to get points on the board as they welcome Wealdstone, who opened their League season with a creditable 2-2 draw at Yeovil in midweek. It promises to be another entertaining match in prospect in front of the cameras as we’ve seen eight goals so far from the two matches."


Stockport County "announce the appointment of Jonathan Smith, Kevin Braybrook and Matt Jansen into a newly formed Scouting Team.

Jonathan Smith has been appointed as Lead Scout for the North, covering all scouting across the North of the county. Jonathan was a former captain of Accrington Stanley, before joining Chorley as a player in 2009 where he stayed for the last 10 years, transitioning into the dugout as Assistant Manager...

Kevin Braybrook has been appointed as Lead Scout for the South, covering all scouting across the South of the country... He was a key part of the Academy at Southampton FC...

Matt Jansen has been appointed as Recruitment and Player Liaison... Matt had a decorated career as a professional reaching the top of the game, before transitioning into management with a 3 year spell at Chorley FC...

Director of Football, Simon Wilson, said 'players are our biggest cost base, and having the right playing talent in the building is arguably the biggest ingredient of success. These are therefore crucial appointments as we ready ourselves for the forthcoming years, and it should be a source of real comfort to our supporters that we have such an experienced team working with myself and Jim on every player decision.”

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Dave Challinor hopes to see Luke Williams as a ‘Hartlepool United player’ in the coming months but admits the midfielder will have to get some game time elsewhere first.

The 27-year-old remains out of contract at Pools despite a promising pre-season campaign. Four goals against Brandon United and 90-minutes against Darlington were important steps as the midfielder looks to put his injury nightmares behind him. But with Williams yet to start a competitive game since arriving at Victoria Park over two years ago, Challinor feels the midfielder needs to test himself elsewhere...

Challinor said 'What I’ve told him is that he’s got to the point now where he’s played 90-minutes but what is important is that he doesn’t fester. He’s not ready to play 90 minutes for us in the National League right now and he knows that, he’s totally open about it. As I’ve said, we’re looking to...[get] him out for the next month playing games somewhere'".

And, according to NL Daily "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor has paid tribute to the club’s fundraising efforts after the Budget Booster campaign paid dividends.

Pools have received £30,520 from the campaign, which Challinor explains has enabled them to add further reinforcements of late.

He told the club’s website 'This is a fantastic achievement, without which we would not have been able to bring in the recent loan signings of David Parkhouse, Henrich Ravas and Lewis Carr to strengthen our squad in the week before the start of the season'".

According to the National League "Dagenham have warned it would be foolish to doubt their promotion credentials just because of a disastrous start.

The East Londoners were fancied for a tilt at the top seven this term after some excellent summer business. But two defeats have cast a bit of a shadow with the club slow out of the starting blocks..

It's the battle of the Irish managers on the box, Daryl McMahon and Dean Brennan...[as] The Daggers host new arrivals Wealdstone...

Captain Kenny Clark, who led Dagenham out on Tuesday... [said] 'It’s certainly not the start that we wanted. We have that fighting belief that we can put the bad start to one side and go on to do something... We spoke about Tranmere, who were miles off at Christmas a few years ago and went on to win promotion. It’s still so early'...

His manager McMahon, 36, added 'It feels at the moment that if something can go against us, then it will go against us... The club has been in a place for the past few years that it has felt sorry for itself. But I’m not interested in that. I can’t hide the fact it’s not the start we wanted, but we’re only two games into the season... we need to turn the corner on Saturday.'

For Wealdstone, the only regret they have is not finishing Yeovil off when they had the chance on Tuesday night... 'I was frustrated, I felt we should have won the game,' the manager told the club’s video service. 'We didn’t go to Yeovil to get a point... but we gave away two poor goals... We play on the front foot with a lot of speed and we will keep on playing that way@".

The Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth manager Brian Stock claims the Terras 'can’t dwell' on their 1-0 defeat to Woking... at home to early leaders Sutton United...

Weymouth have unusually failed to score in over 180 minutes this season, following a goalless draw at Altrincham...

'We can’t dwell on things', he said. 'We are going to lose games this year, it’s how we bounce back. What we can’t afford to do is follow up with another disappointing result or feel sorry for ourselves... We have to utilise the squad. One or two players were carrying a couple of knocks with a bit of travelling in their legs. They’re going to be tired. They’re not used to the demands, travelling, the intensity, especially going Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday.

'We’ve got seven games this month so we need to utilise every member and I felt the lads that came in (against Woking) did do well and tried hard. I can’t ask any more.'

On Sutton, Stock revealed Covid-19 regulations had prevented him from having the Amber and Chocolates scouted, but would instead review video footage.

'We’ll be doing lots of research, Zoom calls, everything we can to give our lads the best possible preparation for Sutton,' Stock added.

Centre-backs Corey Jordan (sickness) and Myles Anderson (ankle) are in contention to return.... 'Fingers crossed, this time next week we should have a fully fit squad'" he concluded.

Yeovil Town inform us that "After back to back draws, Yeovil Town now face a stern test in Wrexham as the Red Dragons visit Huish Park...

Wrexham have had a mixed start to the campaign, with a win over Boreham Wood and a defeat to Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.

Darren Sarll... made his praise of Wrexham no secret... 'Last year... I said Wrexham were one of the games where you’re playing against a real, proper football club... They’re a good side and a good club, it will be a very tough game. They’ve played well in their first two games, and we know if our current performance levels are to be replicated, we’ll probably get beat[en]'.

Darren Sarll described his players as 'tight and tired' after Tuesday night’s draw with Wealdstone. Skendi, who has sat out of Yeovil’s opening fixtures remains a doubt, with Dan Leadbitter, Matt Worthington, Courtney Duffus and Lawson D’Ath all sustaining minor concerns which could see them miss Saturday’s game.

This week, Yeovil added a new face to the forward ranks, signing Matt Warburton on loan from Northampton Town for the upcoming season. The forward has previous in non-league, playing for Curzon Ashton, Stockport County and Salford City in the National League North...

[For Wrexham], The man to look out for in dead ball situations is Luke Young. The former Torquay United and Plymouth Argyle man has struck eight goals in a Wrexham shirt... After taking charge for his second stint at the club in 2019, Dean Keates has turned Wrexham around. After struggling near the bottom in 19/20, Keates has lifted expectations with strong recruitment in pre-season."

At Torquay United "Boss Gary Johnson said 'We had a couple of tough games in the space of a few days, and we’ve got another one coming up against Bromley. We came up against Stockport, who were supposed to be the favourites, and got a good result there. We then went to Eastleigh, who were top of the league at the time, albeit after one game. They had won 5-1, and now we’re going to Bromley, who had won 4-1 the game previous, you know we’ve got to be ready for it.'

Although his side were unable to follow up an opening day win over Stockport with a similar result in Hampshire, the Gaffer will have been encouraged by an excellent first half against The Spitfires...

'We’ve got to brush off all of the disappointment of second half at Eastleigh, and we’ve got to make sure that so we show up at Bromley'".

Sutton United "manager Matt Gray has re-signed striker Isaac Olaofe on a three month loan from Millwall. Isaac, also known as Tanto, originally joined us on loan in February and played five games, scoring one goal... He returned to Millwall, and then began this season on loan at St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership before being recalled to the New Den last week...

Sutton look to make it three wins out of three this season tomorrow an,d having beaten Maidenhead for the first time in eleven games, and recorded a first win at Aldershot for over twenty years, will hope to end a third barren sequence, never having won at the Bob Lucas Stadium in six league and cup visits since Weymouth moved to the ground in 1987...

Only Louis John and Ben Goodliffe will remain absentees from the squad. One player who won’t feature for the next month is left back Jude Mason, who has been loaned to Merstham".

King’s Lynn Town "announce the signing of Kyle Barker.

The 19 year old, who describes himself as a ball playing midfielder, joins from Peterborough United on loan until January.

Joining the Peterborough Academy in 2013 he signed his first professional contract in 2019, making two first team appearances in the EFL Trophy... Kyle also had a spell on loan at Wrexham last season making one appearance before the season was ended".

"take on Boreham Wood this weekend... Town were defeated 2-1 way at Stockport in midweek having won 2-0 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on the opening day last weekend.

Boreham Wood have only played one game so far losing 2-1 away at Wrexham last weekend, their midweek game should have been at home to Macclesfield Town. The last time the two sides met at Meadow Park was in the play-off eliminator and it was the home side who came out on top with a 2-1 win...

Town are hoping that Jack Senior, Niall Maher and Reuben Noble-Lazarus may be in contention for the game following injuries... Town will not have any media at the game tomorrow, we will be providing social media updates only whilst watching the Live Streaming from home".

At Chesterfield "The Spireites hunt for their first points of the National League season when Woking visit...

One to Watch: Matt Jarvis, 34, winger... Chesterfield and Woking have only played each other on one occasion. The Cards secured a 2-1 victory at the Technique Stadium last September...

Woking have played two National League matches so far this season. They have six points out of six, beating both Solihull Moors and Weymouth.

Scott Boden will serve the first of his three-game ban after being shown a straight red card following a challenge on Ben Killip. Injured trio Curtis Weston, Nathan Tyson and Haydn Hollis are all touch and go ahead of Saturday’s match.

{Manager] John Pemberton [said] 'Woking have a good manager, a good squad and a very good team spirit. I want us to start like we did on Tuesday night and we’ve got a good chance@".

From Kent Bromley "confirm the signing of Nassim L’Ghoul. The French winger, 23, started out at the Nike Academy, before having trials at Charlton Athletic and Dagenham & Redbridge. He then made the move to St Neots Town, before spells at Whitehawk, Welling United and Dover Athletic.

After spending the 2018/19 campaign with Welling, in which he made 25 appearances, scoring three times, he earned a move to Dover for the 2019/20 season. He went on to make a total of 35 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals. Comfortable as a left winger or an attacking midfielder, L’Ghoul will bring yet more versatility to Neil Smith’s front line.

On the signing, Smith commented 'Nassim came in during pre-season and really impressed, but we couldn’t reach an agreement at the time'".

Boreham Wood "host FC Halifax Town at Meadow Park...

The Shaymen come into this fixture off the back of an away defeat to Stockport County...

Despite a good pre-season of preparation, Luke Garrard and his side failed to carry that impressive form into their league opener which saw Wood narrowly defeated 2-1 by a resilient Wrexham side.

Although Wood came away from The Racecourse Stadium pointless, it was a performance Garrard and his management team could be happy with. After a positive start to the game with six corners inside the first 15 minutes, [on] which Wood failed to capitalise, it inevitably came back to haunt us as Wrexham took the few chances that they had created.

Although the Shaymen had a somewhat disappointing pre-season, winning just one of their five games, Pete Wild and his side started the new campaign on a positive note with a 2-0 win over pre-season promotion favourites Dagenham & Redbridge".

Aldershot Town's "Academy product and, now, first-team member Ben Shroll has joined Met Police FC on a one-month loan deal.

The central defender impressed during pre-season, earning himself his first professional deal at the club.

The first-team coaching staff have decided that a loan move for the 20-year-old to get him more game time and continue his development was the best move for all parties".

9 October 2020


Tonight's FA Youth Cup match at Altrincham against City of Liverpool will now be streamed live. Details of how to get your ticket (£4) are on the Altrincham FC website.


You can watch Saturday's match between Eastleigh and Altrincham via the Hampshire club's Spitfire TV. It costs £7.99 and is very easy to access.


Altrincham Assistant Manager, Neil Sorvel [right], spoke to Brian Flynn after the match against Notts County at Meadow Lane and the audio interview is on the Altrincham FC website.

Also, Aiden Beswick interviewed goalkeeper Tony Thompson after the game and this can also be found on the Altrincham FC website.


Following their 3-1 win over Altrincham, Notts County reported that "We produced a dominant display to dispatch Altrincham 3-1... Kyle Wootton stole the headlines, twice combining brilliantly with Wes Thomas to fire us 2-0 ahead and seeing a penalty saved to deny him his hat-trick before the break.

Jake Reeves notched a lovely third in the second half before Daniel Mooney bagged a consolation off the bench for the visitors.

Neal Ardley made one change to the side that suffered defeat at Dover on the opening day of the season, with Adam Chicksen making way for Dion Kelly-Evans at left back.

Both sides made bright starts to the match but we soon got a grip on proceedings... On 15 minutes, Thomas linked up brilliantly with Wootton to allow the big forward to change direction in the area before beating Thompson at his near post with a fine low finish.

Sam Slocombe had to be alert at the other end on 23 minutes to dive at the feet of Josh Hancock after the Alty player had raced through on goal.

But three minutes later we’d doubled our lead thanks once again to an outstanding combination between Thomas and Wootton, the former somehow keeping the ball in play before producing the perfect dinked cross for the latter to head home his second...

And our dominance continued after the break as we carved out another big chance for Wootton to bag his third only for him to be denied superbly by Thompson once more... Alty’s goal was living a charmed life... But there was nothing they could do to stop Reeves from making it 3-0 on 64 minutes, the midfielder sweeping the ball into the bottom corner from range to mark his home debut with a lovely goal...

Altrincham threatened a late comeback when substitute Mooney fired a superb strike past Slocombe from 25 yards".

BT has video of Mooney's goal.


Altrincham travel to Hampshire for their next game, on Saturday, at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium, which they last visited for a league match in April 2016, losing 2-0. That reversed a 2-0 win there for Altrincham on their first visit to Eastleigh, the previous season.

This time around Eastleigh lead the early National League table having despatched Barnet at The Hive London 5-1 on Saturday and then beaten Torquay United 2-1 on Tuesday night.


Altrincham Reserves kicked off their 2020-21 season in the Cheshire League with a 4-0 win at home (Egerton Youth Club) over Middlewich Town on Saturday last (3 October).

However, COVID issues have caused this Saturday's away match at Billinge to be postponed.


Alty Youth's opening game of the 2020-21 season in the North West Youth Alliance Premier Division, last Sunday, ended in a 2-2 draw away to Stockport County.

Both Alty goals were scored by Alex Goulden. More on the Youth Team


Altrincham FC announces that "At a meeting with Trafford Borough Council on Thursday afternoon, it was confirmed to Altrincham Football Club that Friday night's FA Youth Cup 2nd Round Qualifying tie against City of Liverpool will be played behind closed doors.


Altrincham FC Ladies are scheduled to kick off their league season on Sunday (11th) at Egerton Sports Club, at home to Curzon Ashton (2pm).

Everyone is disappointed with this outcome, particularly as this game was planned to be a rare opportunity for Altrincham fans to watch football at The J.Davidson Stadium".

ON THIS DAY: 9 October

It is a decade since Altrincham last had a match on today's date, 9 October and that was a date to forget as the Robins travelled to Cambridgeshire and lost 3-0 at Histon. Michael Welch and Ryan Brown were pre-match doubts but both started, whilst Nicky Clee was only fit to be on the bench. Compared with the last game, James McCarthy, Andrai Jones and Sam Hewson were not in the squad. However, Michael Twiss, yet to start a game for Alty, returned to the sixteen for the first time in six matches.

Altrincham failed to land a shot on target in this mediocre game at Histon. After a deflected Oyebanjo cross had come back off the crossbar in the 7th minute, Robbie Lawton conceded a penalty for the second game running. Oyebanjo scored the spot kick to make it 1-0 (14 mins).

Above: James Coates keeps his eye on the ball as Lanre Oyebanjo strikes Histon's opening goal from the penalty spot.

Alty created little with a succession of hopeful balls forward which were picked off by the Histon defence. When Holsgrove and Twiss came on at the interval things improved briefly for Alty but the turning point came in the 73rd minute when good work from Clee and Brown gave Twiss a clear chance which he ballooned dreadfully over the bar. Histon went to the other end and Murray made it 2-0 at the back post (74 mins).

With Crowell hobbling and all the subs used, Alty were effectively down to ten men as Mills, who had just come on, harried Williams on the Alty right touchline, got past him and hammered home his side's third goal in the second minute of added time. At the end of the game, Alty found themselves eight points from safety.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. James COATES, 2. James SMITH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 22. Michael WELCH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 18. Matty CROWELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 15. Ryan BROWN, 8. Damian REEVES, 10. Chris DENHAM, Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 9. Michael TWISS, 11. Nicky CLEE.


The Nottingham Post reports that "Neal Ardley has revealed how Casper Sloth asked to leave Notts County after he was left out of the squad to face Dover, despite being urged to fight for his place.

The former Danish international left the club on Tuesday by mutual consent just little over a month after arriving on a free transfer in what was a shock departure. Ardley explained Sloth took the decision after he learned he was not in the 16 for the defeat at the Crabble and swiftly confirmed his desire to quit Meadow Lane in a meeting on Monday.

Speaking in his post-match press conference after the 3-1 win over Altrincham, Ardley said... 'We took everybody to travel to Dover for a number of reasons, because with Covid protocols you can't leave players behind to train with the youth team,' he said. 'We trained on the way down so we thought we could keep the squad together for the team spirit and everyone joins in training.

'Casper has been injured for two weeks and so has Ben Turner. So, after training last Friday, they did extra work. Obviously, Casper believed he should have been in the squad ahead of players who were fitter. And on Monday, he came in and said he wanted to leave. It was simple as that.

'I don't want anybody who doesn't want to be here, or wants [does not want] to fight for their place or anybody who thinks they should be ahead of Jake Reeves and Michael Doyle after the pre-season they've had. The decision became an easy one.'

Sloth's arrival had been hailed as a coup in August with the 28 year-old one of eight new faces to arrive. He had won eight caps for Denmark and moved for £750,000 earlier in his career when Leeds United took the decision to sign him. Last season he signed for Motherwell, but left the club in January having made just one appearance with his move to Notts seen as a chance to kickstart his career...

'I am disappointed for him because where does he go from here?' he said. 'I challenged him and said to him "don't give up and fight for you place" but the next minute, he said he wants to leave."

Also from the Nottingham Post we learn that "Notts County manager Neal Ardley says he felt sad for Sabri Lamouchi after he was sacked by Nottingham Forest but believes the Reds have chosen a fine successor in Chris Hughton...

Notts boss Ardley said he felt a mixture of happiness and disappointment for his fellow managers. 'I never like to see a manager get sacked,' he said. 'I know how tough the job is and I know how quickly people turn in the modern-day game.'"

After defeat to Solihull Moors, Wrexham report that "A set piece proved to be Wrexham's undoing in a match they ought not to have lost.

It came in the 56th minute when a right-sided corner was headed powerfully home by James Bell. Cranston's delivery was good and, from just outside the six yard box, Ball's terrific contact meant that Lainton did well to get a hand on it, but had no chance of keeping it out.

Wrexham came back strongly, but struggled to carve out clear opportunities despite the monopoly of possession they enjoyed from that point onwards.

The first half hour was a tense affair, with Wrexham's 4-5-1 allowing them to put pressure on the ball when the home side had possession. As a result Solihull were only to make a couple of half chances...

Wrexham struggled to open Solihull's three-man defence up in the first half hour, despite enjoying considerably more of the ball, but that changed when a terrific effort by Paul Rutherford presaged a strong finish to the period...

Wrexham started the second half strongly, but against the run of play Ball snatched the decisive goal. The rest of the game was essentially attack against defence, although Cameron Archer had a late chance to double the lead when he headed a cross wide from 15 yards out...

A succession of set pieces were played into Solihull's penalty area, but the frustration continued, especially when, with a quarter of an hour left, Ball handled a Young corner. Surprisingly the referee kept the whistle away from his lips. Still the one-way traffic continued...

? Elliott Durrell replaced Rutherford and Jordan Ponticelli came on for Jay Harris as Dean Keates looked for an equaliser... A terrific tackle by Kelleher allowed Vassell to tee up Durrell, whose fierce shot from the edge of the box was deflected just wide".

At Weymouth, "Frustrated manager Brian Stock voiced his grievances at Woking’s perceived tactics during a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Stock’s men were beaten by a solitary Slavi Spasov goal but the Terras’ boss felt there were too many decisions given against his side... He said 'I’m not one for being negative towards referees and officials but I found that very frustrating. I hate to say it, but Woking are probably the most direct team I’ve ever seen.

'They played the referee very well, bought fouls very well; a professional performance. When you look at it from their point of view, they’ve come away with three points and their game management was better than ours.'

Stock added 'We should’ve gone 1-0 up at the start. Tom Whelan... himself will think he should’ve scored... We need to be better in and around the box. We need to start scoring goals at this level. Do I think we should’ve won or got something from the game? I don’t know.

'We’re going to be facing similar scenarios this season in terms of game management, the physicality, and I felt we came up a bit short.'”

Stockport County tell us that "County came from behind to earn all three points against a stubborn FC Halifax side under the floodlights at Edgeley Park.

Jim Gannon had special praise for the impact of Adam Thomas off the bench and the way he’s coped through a difficult adjustment period in adapting to a new role, describing his late winning goal as a ‘fantastic finish.’

There was frustration at the decision to allow Halifax’s goal, with the ball appearing to have gone out of play prior to ending up in the back of the net, but he was delighted at the response and mentality of the team after going a goal behind.

The manager went on to discuss his team selection for the game, before looking ahead to the challenge posed by the visit of Dover Athletic at the weekend".

King's Lynn Town report that "A stoppage time winner by Aaron Jones sealed an incredible late comeback for King’s Lynn as The Linnets won their first ever National League game on the road at Maidenhead United.

Manager Ian Culverhouse made one change from Saturday’s game; Adam Marriott replacing Sam Kelly who dropped to the bench. In what was a physical battle at York Road the hosts took the lead through an early penalty after Alex Brown brought down Blissett. Sam Barratt stepped up and converted from the spot... before Simon Power equalized with an astonishing free kick just before half time.

The Linnets came out fighting second half but not long into the half Rory McAuley handled the ball in the area and despite Alex Street’s best effort couldn’t get a hand on Barratt’s penalty as he scored his second of the game.

Lynn didn’t give up and began to dominate large parts of the second half and with seven minutes left on the clock Dayle Southwell fired home a powerful effort from the edge of the box to level the game again.

When it looked like both teams would be sharing the points, the Maidenhead goalkeeper was second to the ball which was quickly played out to the edge of the box which was fired home by Jones to seal all three points in the dying seconds of the game for The Linnets".

FC Halifax Town "were defeated 2-1 away at Stockport County... Town boss Pete Wild had made one change from Saturday’s opening day win with Jamie Allen coming into the starting eleven in replace of Gevaro Nepomucueno.

When the two sides met at Edgeley Park last season, the home side won 5-1 and Town were hoping to put that result behind them with tonight’s game behind closed doors but Adam Thomas’s late strike denied Town anything from the game...

Town took the lead and the Stockport defenders couldn’t believe it... Earing’s ball from the by-line looked to go across goal and was deflected into the net for the opening goal of the game... The lead would only last to the 24th minute as County equalised. Jennings found Mark Kitching to his left and he fired past Sam Johnson for the first Town goal conceded of the season...

The Shaymen started the second half on the front foot, a shot from Kieran Green who came on for Martin Woods at halftime, was deflected wide for a corner...

Thomas cut in from the right and fired a shot right into the top corner beating Johnson to put them ahead".

8 October 2020


Altrincham, in their new yellow strip, lined-up for the match unchanged from Saturday. On the bench Dan Mooney returned from injury and suspension to replace Max Clayton.

Altrincham started well and enjoyed the majority of the early possession before a slick one-two between Wootton and Thomas left Hannigan beaten and Wootton slotted the ball in at the near post, shooting through the defender's legs (15 mins). The TV replay showed a clear offside against the scorer in the build up but, of course, no VAR is used at this level!

Josh Hancock [right] had a great chance to level but delayed and Slocombe blocked him off (24 mins) before the Magpies doubled their lead in the 27th minute. Thomas's barge left Densmore on his back on the byline and his cross was nodded home at the back post by Wootton.

With Notts now on top, Wootton won a penalty against Hannigan but Thompson saved, tipping Wootton's spot-kick round his left post. In this case the absence of VAR helped Alty as the keeper had advanced off his line before the kick was taken (39 mins).

So Alty started the second half two goals adrift. They were denied a blatant penalty when Hancock was clearly hauled back at the start of the second period but County soon re-established their control, with Roberts the star man.

From 25 yards Reeves was allowed time to hammer home a third Notts goal in the 64th minute. But Alty did not give up and substitute Dan Mooney fired home a superb goal from 25 yards from what was probably his side's first shot on target (77 mins).

The result means Alty drop to eighteenth ahead of their visit to league leaders Eastleigh on Saturday.

Match report here.

The match statistics apparently showed:

  • Possession 55% to Notts County, 45% Altrincham
  • Shots: 17 v 7
  • Shots on Goal: 6 v 5
  • Corners: 4 v 3


After the match, manager Phil Parkinson described the match as a "benchmark game" in terms of seeing where Alty stand at this higher level of football.

"We found out what the best in this league looks like", he said of Notts County. "Overall, I was really pleased... and proud of the boys". He added "I'm fairly confident we'll do okay".


Altrincham travel to league leaders Eastleigh on Saturday.

From Hampshire, Eastleigh tell us that "A Ben House brace earned Eastleigh the spoils as the home side defeated Torquay United in a hard-fought contest.

The visitors went in-front early on in the first half through Sam Sherring who took advantage of the Spitfires’ poor start to the game. However, Ben Strevens’ side pressed hard during the second half and two classy finishes from House maintained the team’s unbeaten run... The visitors controlled the game early on...

The second half was a different story, despite Eastleigh under pressure at the back... The Spitfires initially struggled to make a dent in the Torquay defence despite strong attempts to find Sam Smart out wide...

Ben House grabbed an equaliser with 18 minutes left on the clock, rifling his shot past Covolan to give Eastleigh a chance.

Eastleigh went ahead when House directed smart’s cross past the keeper with just 8 minutes remaining...

Eastleigh F.C: McDonnell; Smart, Partington, Wynter, Boyce, Tomlinson; Payne, Miley, Baggie; House, Barnett. Subs: Green, Bird, Hollands, Bearwish, Smith

The Spitfires' opponents Torquay United report that "manager Gary Johnson gave his thoughts on United’s defeat at Eastleigh on Tuesday evening.

'Of course you are always disappointed to lose a game, and it is disappointing to lose a game that we were well in control of in the first half. We were as good in the first half as they were in the second half,' said Johnson.

'They went for it a little bit, scored two very good goals really, but we had a couple of little things. We had to take Asa off, we’re managing him at the moment, he should only have played until half-time, and I kept him on a little while longer. Connor had to come off with a rib injury, which we’ll have to wait and see what that is, but anyway, we should have done a lot better in the second half'...

Two goals for the hosts in the second half turned the game on its head, with the Spitfires running out 2-1 winners...

'We know if we can produce the first half in two halves, we’ll be okay. No team is going to lay down and die, they’re going to come at you, and we have got to be good enough, and fit enough, to counteract that...

'In this league you’re going to get opposition that are going to play all different types of games. We came up against Stockport on Saturday, and they went quite long, then today they [Eastleigh] mixed it up a bit. They more or less played three up front, got it up to their forwards, but they played a little bit as well.

'Every game is going to be different'".


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports that "Altrincham will make the money from the sale of Jordan Hulme [right] available to boss Phil Parkinson but won’t panic buy, according to director of football Rob Esteva.

Alty’s plans for hitting the ground running on their return to the National League were disrupted by Hulme’s move to AFC Fylde for a 'substantial' undisclosed fee just 24 hours before Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Weymouth at The J.Davidson Stadium...

'I wish Jord all the very best at Fylde,' Esteva said. 'He came here at a difficult time and played a key role for us on and off the pitch. Ultimately, the deal is a good one for the football club and a good one for Jordan, who made it clear to us, in our talks with him, that it was something he had to do and he wanted to leave.

'We will strengthen the squad, following the significant monies received, but we will not start making rash decisions or knee-jerk signings, as that is when mistakes happen, more often than not. We have our processes, we know what we need with our style of play, when it comes to recruitment, and we know how to go about it.'

Despite the shock departure, Parkinson was encouraged by his side’s display against Weymouth in tough conditions... 'It’s the age-old adage about the conditions being a complete leveller,' said Parkinson,... 'It was important the defensive lads were able to deal with everything that came their way and keep a clean sheet, and the front lads will get better. It’s pretty much a new front three, with Matty Kosylo and Yusifu Ceesay supporting Tom Peers, and it is a dynamic one that will cause teams problems'".


Four years ago today, in game thirteen of the NPL season, Altrincham finally won their first league match of the disastrous 2016-17 campaign, with a 2-0 win at the Bower Fold against Stalybridge Celtic.

Left: Sam Patterson, centre, is congratulated on the opening goal.

It was also Alty's first clean sheet of the season but it was a game of endeavour rather than quality. It was right-back Sam Patterson who scored the first goal. He cut in from the right and fired a low, well-struck shot into the net from the edge of the box in the 86th minute. And four minutes into added time, with Alty winding down time in the right corner, ex-Stalybridge midfielder Greg Wilkinson got himself towards the byline, right of goal, and fired a rising shot into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0.

The game was marred, soon afterwards, when Aaron Chalmers suffered what looked like a bad leg injury. A Celtic player had brought down Alty's Simon Richman and Chalmers collided with the prostrate Alty midfielder, injuring himself in the process.

Altrincham had made three changes from their FA Cup win against Morpeth Town. Tim Deasy replaced Andrew Dawber in goal and Josh Doherty came in for the injured Tom Hannigan in defence, while Simon Richman replaced Joyce in midfield. Positionally, captain Alan Goodall reverted to centre-back.

In addition to Alty boss Jim Harvey, who had previously been the boss at the Bower Fold, both squads included players who had represented the opposition previously. For Celtic, McMillan, Summerskill, Owens, Chalmers and Madeley had all worn the Alty shirt, whilst former Celtic men in Alty's squad were Wilkinson, Marsh and Hobson.

ALTRINCHAM: 20. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam PATTERSON, 3. Josh DOHERTY, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. John CYRUS, 6. Alan GOODALL (c), 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Greg WILKINSON, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Sean MILLER. Subs: 12. Phil MARSH, 14. Sam HEATHCOTE, 15. Harry CAIN, 16. Craig HOBSON, 17. Charlie JOYCE.


Cheshire Live reported on Wednesday evening that "The future of football in Macclesfield and at the Moss Rose appears to have been secured as the club was bought and reborn.

Businessman Robert Smethurst registered Macc Town Football Club Ltd with Companies' House on Tuesday, October 6. It is believed he has bought the assets of what was Macclesfield Town out of liquidation to start a phoenix club.

Mr Smethurst, 43, already owns Pro Football Academy International, which trains junior players in Wilmslow, and semi-professional Stockport Town Football Club [formerly Woodley Sports], who are in the North West Counties League. He also has the International Academy of Football, which is registered to an address in Macclesfield Forest.

The hope is this is good news and the beginning of the road back for the Silkmen under a community minded ownership model. It is believed the previously discussed idea of having a first team at the Moss Rose with a 4G pitch that also allows community use is likely".

THe Guardian says "Players were in tears; what it was really like as Macclesfield collapsed The Club’s former full-back and PFA delegate James Pearson... was coming round from knee surgery in hospital last November. It was a case of getting straight to work. As the Professional Footballers’ Association delegate at Macclesfield Town, a liaison between union and dressing room, unpaid wages meant more chasing...

Even now Pearson has more questions than answers about the financial turbulence surrounding the owner Amar Alkadhi’s reign. 'Across last season we had 10 different training locations. Knutsford to Stoke, to the University of Manchester; here, there and everywhere... On a Sunday night we would have a text... telling us where we were going the next day, giving us the new postcode.'

Perhaps the saddest image of decline was the £500,000 listing, until removed last week, of Macclesfield’s Moss Rose stadium on Rightmove... Players and staff were paid late eight times last season...

'In League Two a lot of players live month to month,' Pearson says. “When you’re in a dressing room and you see important players breaking down in tears two days before a game, it’s hard. The longer it went on, it was starting to affect people at home and if things aren’t going right at home, how the hell are you supposed to play football on a Saturday?'...

Pearson, the son of the former Watford and Leicester manager Nigel, proved a willing agony aunt of sorts...

Pearson insists Alkadhi, who acquired Macclesfield in 2003 alongside his brother, Bashar, is 'not a bad person' but believes 'pride will have taken over'... On the last day of the 2018-19 season we drew with Cambridge to stay up under Sol [Campbell], and we hadn’t been paid,' says Pearson. 'He [Alkadhi] tried to come into the dressing room and I think someone said to him "I wouldn’t go in". We were all celebrating and I think if he had come in he would have been covered in beer, but not for a good reason.'"

According to the Derbyshire Times, "Spireites' boss John Pemberton is pondering his next move in the transfer market as the Blues aim to bounce back from defeat in their first game of the new season.

Chesterfield threw away a lead against Hartlepool United on Tuesday night at the Technique Stadium and had striker Scott Boden sent off.

After the game Pemberton admitted they lacked a cutting edge up front and with Boden set to be missing for the next three matches, he has to decide whether to bring in an additional forward or look to balance the squad in another area where he feels they are short...

Pemberton told the DT 'Do we need another striker? Do we need somewhere else? The team at the moment says we need another striker but the balance of the team, it is not a striker we need... If Boden is missing for three games then it opens the door for someone else.'

In terms of injuries, Curtis Weston limped off after an hour but it does not sound too serious. 'He is all right, he has just stiffened up,' Pemberton said. 'He has obviously been out injured and he has come back and I thought he was excellent'...

Haydn Hollis was not deemed fit enough to be in the squad, while Nathan Tyson missed out in a place in the matchday 16 but could be pushing for a place this weekend".

Kent Online reports that "Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler felt the scoreline was harsh as his side were beaten 4-1 at Bromley on Tuesday night.

A late blunder by keeper Yusuf Mersin handed Bromley a fourth goal in stoppage time and made things look a lot worse than they were for the visitors.

However, Hessenthaler knows that his team were guilty of gifting of some poor defending at times.

'I’m disappointed and frustrated for the boys because it’s not a four-one game,' said Hessenthaler. 'Goals change games. We were on top at 0-0 and they scored. The players said it was a foul on the keeper because he’s fallen on him for their second but we got it back at 2-1 and we looked like we were going to go on and get the equaliser. We moved the ball well, had confidence with our passing and they dropped off deeper.

'Then Ben has run in behind off the flick, whoever it was, has given them another goal. We’ve got to do better.'"

According to the Leader Live, manager "Dean Keates says it is 'great' that Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are taking a big interest in Wrexham’s National League games. The Hollywood stars are looking to take control of Wrexham and both watched the live stream of the 2-1 opening day home victory over Boreham Wood on Saturday.

McElhenney was also in-front of his laptop to see the Reds lose 1-0 at Solihull Moors on Tuesday and Keates says... 'It is great that they are showing a vested interest and it is not a publicity stunt,' said Keates. 'What happens over the next few weeks goes above me... If Rob would have watched, he would have seen the lads gave everything again for the football club.

'The most important name on the top is the badge on the front and not the name on the back, that has been drilled into them from day one and they are showing that'...

McElhenney described defeat against Solihull as 'heartbreaking' on Twitter and Keates was frustrated... The Reds had the better chances but switched off from a corner early in the second half as Moors scored the only goal.

'We created more than enough chances and should have scored,' said Keates. 'We can’t rely on referees that don’t give you anything. I thought the lads were outstanding, they gave absolutely everything. We are massively disappointed on being undone by what this division is about, a set-play. That is the only chance that they had.. We just need to be a bit more ruthless.'”

7 October 2020


Ahead of tonight's game between Notts County and Altrincham, the National League stated that "The entertainment bar was set high following the first live BT Sport match on Saturday, now both Notts County and Altrincham are desperate to put on a show themselves.

Notts County versus Altrincham is live on BT Sport tonight from 7.30pm. There are more thrills and spills on the way, and the newcomers have sent out a little warning.

Alty’s forward line is ready to start firing and there’s no way they will be daunted playing in front of the cameras at such a big venue. The National League North Promotion Final winners struggled with the conditions on opening day, a blunt draw with Weymouth on a tricky pitch where they failed to really click into gear.

Notts would have gobbled up a point, a shattering blow at Dover meant it was a disaster of the first day following their late lapse in concentration. Both clubs have the chance to set the record straight at Meadow Lane but the Robins’ task is actually made harder by what went on in the final few moments on the Kent coast on Saturday.

Manager Phil Parkinson [right] told Alty TV 'Notts County losing to Dover is not the result we wanted, really. A club that size, you would expect a reaction in their next game. It will be a special occasion but we won’t be overawed. We went to Portsmouth last year and did so well in the FA Cup, so we’re going there thinking we can get something.

'This is actually the game we could have actually probably done with first. It gives you an idea of where you are, the level you’re at and the benchmark for the division as a whole'...

Dropped first day points didn’t concern the manager... 'It was a really positive performance, we can build on that', he added. 'It shows we can get points at this level... We kept a clean sheet and our midfield competed so well. Our frontline will get better; it’s a new frontline, but it is dynamic and on a better pitch than we had, because of the conditions, they will get goals. I’m excited to see what they can produce'..

Neal Ardley knows there is some making up to do after the hard-to-take late defeat at Dover. County haven't lost any of their last ten home matches in the National League...

'You have to bounce back,' he said after the loss... 'I know that people will be annoyed that we can’t beat so-called "little old Dover". We do not want to be soft or be the Notts County who just play nice football,' he added. 'But obviously, it’s another set piece and the score line doesn’t really paint any other pictures other than they’ve got three points and we haven’t.'"


Altrincham supporters will be able to watch the match at Notts County tonight on BT Sport's various platforms. Kick off is at 7.45pm with coverage starting at 7.30pm.

On the eve of the match, Notts County announced that "Casper Sloth has left the club by mutual consent.

The midfielder, who has been building up his fitness after sustaining an injury in pre-season and as a result was not part of our squad for Saturday’s opening-day trip to Dover, notified us of his wish to leave Meadow Lane earlier this week as he has failed to settle in the area.

Following further discussions with Neal Ardley and the club, his contract has been terminated and he is free to find a new club."

The Magpies' players will be unfamiliar to Altrincham fans. By way of introduction, Notts County described their line up for last Saturday's game, stating that "Cal Roberts was fit enough to start the match despite having been stretchered off the field against Harrogate Town on 22 September. Roberts was handed a right-wing berth with Jim O'Brien on the opposite flank and Michael Doyle partnering Jake Reeves in central midfield.

Behind them, Alex Lacey and Connell Rawlinson were selected to marshall the centre of defence with full backs Richard Brindley and Adam Chicksen completing Slocombe's line of defence.

Up front, Wes Thomas paired up with Kyle Wootton, while Sam Graham, Dion Kelly-Evans, Enzio Boldewijn, Ruben Rodrigues and Jimmy Knowles had to settle for a place on the bench".


Alty TV has a brief video interview of Alty defender Toby Mullarkey, conducted by Aiden Beswick.


On Tuesday night Eastleigh won again to remain top of the table ahead of the visit by Altrincham to Hampshire, on Saturday.

Tuesday 6 October 2020

  • Aldershot Town 1-2 Sutton United
  • Boreham Wood P-P Macclesfield Town
  • Bromley 4-1 Dover Athletic
  • Chesterfield 1-2 Hartlepool United
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 1-2 Barnet
  • Eastleigh 2-1 Torquay United
  • Maidenhead United 2-3 King's Lynn Town
  • Solihull Moors 1-0 Wrexham
  • Stockport County 2-1 FC Halifax Town
  • Weymouth 0-1 Woking
  • Yeovil Town 2-2 Wealdstone

Wednesday 7 October 2020

  • Notts County v Altrincham


Altrincham make their first-ever visit to Meadow Lane the home of Notts County tonight (Wednesday) for their second match of the 2020-21 National League season.

Since 2016, when Alty were relegated for the fourth time in twenty years from the top-flight of non-League football, only four and a bit years have passed, yet no fewer than fourteen of the 24 clubs in the division at the end of the 2015-16 season are no longer there!

Right: Altrincham's most recent away match at National Level was in 2016 when the Robins lost 3-0 at Braintree Town. Here we see Michael Rankine clearing the ball during that match just as referee Ollie Yates awarded the visitors a freekick in their own box.

Six of those fourteen clubs are currently plying their trade at a higher level, in the EFL, namely Cheltenham Town (who finished 1st that season), Forest Green Rovers (2nd), Grimsby Town (4th), Tranmere Rovers (6th), Barrow (11th) and Lincoln City (13th).

The other eight clubs from 2016 who are no longer in the National League all now play at a lower level or, in the case of Macclesfield Town, (who of course went up and then down), no longer compete at any level (subject to appeal).

The eight in question comprise Braintree Town (3rd in 2016), Gateshead (9th), Macclesfield Town (10th), Southport (16th), Chester FC (17th), Guiseley (20th), Kidderminster Harriers (23rd) and Welling United (24th).

The nine clubs (excluding Macclesfield) who are in the National League this season and were also there in 2016 are Dover Athletic (5th in 2016), Eastleigh (7th), Wrexham (8th), Woking (12th), Bromley (14th), Aldershot Town (15th), Torquay United (18th), Boreham Wood (19th) and FC Halifax Town (21st).

So, with the demise of Macclesfield leaving the league a team short this season, there are thirteen of the 23 teams in the National League for 2020-21 who were not there in April 2016. They are Barnet, Chesterfield, Dagenham & Redbridge, Hartlepool United, King's Lynn Town, Maidenhead United, Notts County, Solihull Moors, Stockport County, Sutton United, Wealdstone, Weymouth and Yeovil Town.

Of those thirteen clubs, seven have previously been in the Football League (Barnet, Chesterfield, Dagenham & Redbridge, Hartlepool United, Notts County, Stockport County and Yeovil Town).

In all the National League in 2020-21 includes eleven clubs who will claim they have formerly been in the Football League i.e the above seven, plus Wrexham and Torquay United, as well as Aldershot Town and FC Halifax Town, the latter duo actually being reincarnated clubs but who still play at former Football League grounds, albeit they played their League football as different entities, with different names, i.e. as Aldershot and Halifax Town.


Altrincham FC enter the 2020-21 FA Youth Cup at the Second Qualifying Round stage on Friday evening with a tie against City of Liverpool Youth at the J. Davidson Stadium (7.45pm).

Home spectators will be admitted to the stadium for this match. Press and Media Officer John Edwards adds that "It has been necessary, due to Covid measures on Merseyside, for away fans to be denied entry, but Alty supporters are not only allowed to attend but actively encouraged to, in the hope that their vocal backing will help the junior Robins reach the next round... Admission is £5 for seniors and £2 concessions".


In Tuesday's matches two Alty "old boys" saw red cards. Steven Drench was sent off before half time as Farsley lost at Spennymoor. And Chester's Paddy Lacey saw his red card just after the hour mark as Chester won at Kidderminster, for whom Ashley Hemmings scored.

Jordan Hulme impressed on his debut for AFC Fylde who beat Darlington.


An updated version of Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years files shows us that on today's date 7 October, 14 years ago Altrincham had, as last Saturday, a home game against Weymouth. And just like last Saturday, it ended in a goalless draw!.

Right: Courtesy of Paul Burgess of Grimsby Town, we see Adam Griffin in action at Blundell Park in 2014.

The most recent Altrincham game to be played was on 7 October 2014 and, like tonight, it was an away fixture at a former Football League club. On that occasion Altrincham emerged with a point from a goalless draw at Grimsby Town.

In what was a midweek match under floodlights, Altrincham were put under a lot of pressure by a Grimsby side which moved the ball well but lacked composure in front of goal. Altrincham were indebted to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn for several excellent saves. Considering illness had affected Alty's squad, with James Lawrie absent and Williams, Clee, Leather and Reeves all playing despite recent ailments, the performance was all the more praiseworthy. The point lifted Alty to 18th in the table.

Greg Wilkinson started his first game of the season as James Lawrie's illness ruled him out.

ALTRINCHAM: 1 Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 6. Scott Leather, 5. Gianluca Havern, 3. Adam Griffin, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Sean Williams, 4. Jake Moult 15. Greg Wilkinson, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. SUBS 9. Steven Gillespie, 16. Tom Marshall, 14. Kyle Perry, 19. Ryan Crowther, 25. Peter Cavanagh.

WEYMOUTH "EDGED" IT - did we have this? "Weymouth manager Brian Stock insisted the Terras “slightly edged” Altrincham during their 0-0 draw in Trafford on the opening day of the Vanarama National League season.

In dreadful conditions, with groundstaff sweeping away standing water on the pitch midway through the second half, Weymouth created more chances than Alty. [Weymouth had seven as opposed to Alty's six shots, according to the NL Paper].

Cody Cooke twice went close for the Terras, while the Robins responded when Ollie Harfield was forced to clear off the line as the hosts improved in the second period"

Manager Stock said "'We’re delighted with the result. When you go into the first game of the season in a new league, different experiences travelling on a Friday, weather conditions and to keep a clean sheet in the manner we did was very positive. If there was a team that was going to nick it we might have just slightly edged that'...

Stock admitted the weather had altered his tactics. 'It was almost a case for us to actually not use the left side second half. If Ollie Harfield was on the ball we were looking to play diagonals purely to get it out from the standing water on the pitch. It’s the same for both sides and how you utilised the pitch determined the outcome of the game.'

Stock reinforced the strength in depth of his squad by signing Bournemouth centre-back Corey Jordan on loan prior to the game. And the former Wales international again voiced his pleasure at the quality of the squad he has inherited since taking over the helm.

He said 'If I was to look at one area of the pitch, central midfield we’ve got very good competition for places. Jordan Ngalo didn’t make the bench, yet he’s in my thoughts to start (Tuesday)... The strength in depth is so strong, my team can change from game to game'...

Weymouth travelled up to Trafford on the eve of the game, and Stock believes his backroom staff will have learned plenty... 'When you look at how we set ourselves out travelling, with some of the boys sacrificing work, uni and college, they are the sacrifices they’re going to have to make in order for us to be successful this year. Man for man, I thought we were excellent, including the staff, a really good team effort.'”


Yeovil Town reported before Tuesday's game that "Huish Park hosts a competitive fixture for the first time since July as Wealdstone are the visitors... This will be the Stones’ first fixture after their clash with Chesterfield was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch...

Following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with King’s Lynn, Darren Sarll spoke briefly... 'It’s not just about dusting ourselves down, it’s about reattaching muscles to bones and ligaments. It will be an intense period leading up to the game on Tuesday night.'

Darren Sarll confirmed in his post-match interview that Albi Skendi remains a doubt for the clash with Wealdstone... After being awarded the National League South title by PPG, Dean Brennan will be looking to keep his Stones rolling in the National League. After the departure of key man and former Glover, Billy Clifford, it will be up to new signing Kundai Benyu to fill the void left by Clifford.

There are a number of former Glovers in the Wealdstone squad with Adel Gafati and Connor Smith all signed to the North West London side. The key man for the visitors is Dennon Lewis, despite interest from the Football League, the wide man has committed his future to Wealdstone and will be looking to pick up where he left off after 11 league goals in 19/20."

Weymouth tell us that "boss Brian Stock conducted research on Woking, on the coach back from Altrincham.

Stock’s men host the Cardinals... after... Weymouth collected their first point and clean sheet of the league season...

'We’re doing our homework on the way home,' Stock said after the goalless draw. 'We’ve got some information on them and what that will be will be translated into a staff effort and given over to the lads in preparation...

'If the fans had have been there {Altrincham] and watched the game live you can [sic] see how much it matters to the players and staff. The importance at half-time was to keep a clean sheet and when you look at the determination, effort, and recovery runs there was maximal effort throughout the 90 minutes. The fans would’ve seen and respected that. If you’re a paying fan, home or away, and you see your players giving everything, every fan would accept that.

'There would (have been) 200 fans going back home with happy faces.'

Ade Olumuyiwa is a doubt with tendonitis, while Jordan Ngalo is in contention after travelling to Altrincham and not making the matchday squad."

Before the match, Wealdstone reported that "The Stones travel to Huish Park to face Yeovil Town.

Wealdstone won their first ever National League South title on points-per-game in June and will compete in their first National League fixture since 1988. Yeovil have not hosted the Stones in over 30 years and will look to build on an unlucky draw at King’s Lynn Town on Saturday.

Alex Dyer will not be available for selection as he awaits international clearance before being allowed to play for the Stones. Connor Stevens is unlikely to feature due to injury and Kundai Benyu is 50/50 to be available after suffering a small tweak.

[Manager] Dean Brennan [said], 'We watched them live on Saturday and again on Sunday, they’re a very experienced side. They are one of the favourites to be promoted from the division this season'...

29-year-old striker Rhys Murphy was the standout player in Yeovil’s play-off berth last season. His first season at Huish Park was a successful one with 17 National League goals and after following on from a free-scoring season at Chelmsford City, will want to keep his momentum up in the new season."

In advance of Tuesday's game, at Torquay United "Following the opening day win over Stockport, boss Gary Johnson has set his sights on following that up with another positive result at Eastleigh, in United’s first away match of the season.

'I was delighted at picking up the three points on Saturday,' began Johnson. 'We will need to play better in the coming weeks to get more results... Eastleigh are top of the league at the moment, scored five goals at Barnet, so they are going to be no mugs, that’s for sure. Hopefully we can get our game together, as that game will be needed to compete with Eastleigh’s buoyancy'">

Meanwhile at Stockport County "County welcome a new look FC Halifax Town to Edgeley Park on Tuesday night...

A late goal from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans down in Devon marred what was in large a positive display from the Hatters, who paid the price for failing to take the numerous chances they created during the 90 minutes.

It was a much happier opening day for FC Halifax, as a debut goal from former Wrexham midfielder Luke Summerfield and one from Jack Earing helped to a 2-0 victory over a strong Dagenham & Redbridge side at The Shay.

Despite being tipped as likely relegation candidates in the build-up to the 2019-20 season, it proved to be a successful season for the Shaymen, who constantly defied those expectations to secure a play-off place... A fine start to the season saw them emerge as the early League leaders... Any hopes of an unlikely title challenge for Pete Wild’s men were quickly dispelled however, as a run of just one win from eleven National League games saw them slip down the League table at an alarming rate...

It wasn’t to be for the Yorkshire side in the play-offs though, as despite taking an early lead, they suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Boreham Wood...

It’s been a major Summer of change for Halifax since that play-off defeat, with eleven players moving on and a further thirteen coming in... Notable amongst their signings has been the aforementioned Summerfield, defender Neill Byrne who has signed from AFC Fylde and striker Jack Hyde from Woking...

Remarkably, of the 28 players who played a part in the Boxing Day fixture between the two, only ten still remain at their respective Clubs".

On Tuesday, before facing Wrexham, Solihull Moors reported that "It was defeat on opening day for the Moors, who were beaten by Woking despite taking the lead in the first half. Jimmy Shan's men were in control with a 1-0 lead at the break, but the hosts fought back in the second to win 2-1.

The Dragons got off to a flyer on Saturday, defeating last season's play-off semi-finalists Boreham Wood by two goals to one. Dean Keates returned for a second spell in charge of Wrexham exactly a year ago, on October 6, 2019... He left the club to join boyhood team Walsall in March 2018, with Wrexham fourth in the table with nine matches remaining, but returned to the Racecourse 18 months later".

Elsewhere, Maidenhead United "welcome newly promoted King’s Lynn Town to York Road. Maidenhead will be aiming to clinch their first three points of the season and bounce back from Saturday’s defeat away at Sutton United.

The Magpies, who saw six new signings make their competitive debut for the club, fell to a 3-0 defeat in South London on the opening day. Omar Bugiel opened the scoring on 17 minutes before a Shaun Donnellan own goal gave the hosts a two-goal lead going into half-time. Callum Kealy put the game way out of Maidenhead’s reach late on to seal maximum points for the U’s."

King’s Lynn Town "kicked off their National League campaign on Saturday in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Yeovil Town at The Walks thanks to a late Adam Marriott equaliser. On Tuesday, The Linnets take on Maidenhead United at York Road.

The Magpies were saved from relegation last season thanks to the knock-on effect of Bury exiting the football league as well as the season being decided on points per game. They brought new recruits in to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season including goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond on loan from Premier League side Fulham and striker Danilo Orsi-Dadomo from Hampton and Richmond on a free. They also brought in Manny Perry and Shaun Donnellan from fellow National League side Woking to strengthen at the back.

Their 2020/21 campaign didn’t get to the greatest of starts as they lost 3-0 to Sutton United...

[Lynn's] Jamar Loza, who missed Saturday’s opener with a slight knock, could return to the side tomorrow night. Michael Gash, who is still recovering from an illness, is still side-lined for the foreseeable future...

Maidenhead's transfers in: Nathan Blissett – Solihull Moors, Josh Coley – Stofold, Danilo Orsi-Dadomo – Hampton & Richmond, Manny Parry – Woking, Shaun Donnellan – Woking, Dan Sparkes – Barnet, George Wells – Slough Town, Sam Barratt – Southend United, Taye Ashby-Hammond – Fulham (loan), Jerry Wiltshire – Des Moines Menace".

Hartlepool United "confirm that Aaron Cunningham has joined Blyth Spartans on loan... for the full 2020/21 season.

Cunningham had recently signed a new deal at Pools and will go to Blyth to gain vital experience and first team football as he continues to develop in the early stages of his career.

This is a third spell at Blyth for Aaron as he played out the second half of last season at Spartans after featuring 11 times for Pools".

Also at Hartlepopl United, before their midweek game, announced that they "will look to kick on from Saturday's winning opener as they travel to Chesterfield... having played one game extra to their opponents as Chesterfield's opening tie at Wealdstone was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Pools picked up a memorable result last season as they came away 5-1 winners...

There are no injury concerns for Pools. David Parkhouse will miss out due to being on international duty for Northern Ireland U21s... Chesterfield are providing a live stream at a charge of £10".

On Saturday, Altrincham face a long trip to Hampshire to face Eastleigh, whose 5-1 away win at Barnet was the standout result on the season's opening day last Saturday.

Eastleigh reported that "After a blistering 5-1 victory away to Barnet on the opening day weekend, the Spitfires will be full of confidence heading into our first home fixture of the season against Torquay United on Tuesday evening...

The fact that five different players got on the scoresheet on Saturday will be a breath of fresh air going into a new season with a hectic fixture schedule, especially as two of the goals were scored by new signings, Ben House and Abdulai Baggie.

Tuesday will mark the first of three consecutive games at the Silverlake, with Altrincham and Aldershot to follow, so it will be crucial to take the momentum of Saturday’s trip to Barnet into Tuesday night".

6 October 2020


Altrincham's next opponents Notts County report that their manager "Neal Ardley is expecting Altrincham to provide us with a different test to the one posed by Dover when we welcome the Robins to Meadow Lane on Wednesday night.

The boss saw his side succumb to a late set piece on the Kent coast on opening day and is hoping we can bounce back to claim our first win of the season against Alty. But Ardley knows his men will have to be wary of a side still buoyed by their promotion from the National League North.

Right: Alty will again be without the injured Dan Mooney on Wednesday night.

'Altrincham are on a high after coming up through the play-offs and they got a good point against Weymouth in difficult conditions in their first game,' he said when he met the media on Monday. 'They’re good in their transitions from defence to attack and have a gameplan on how to win the ball back.

'They move it through the thirds well and have a nice mix to the way they play. They don’t just boom it long and pick up the bits. We’ll have a different test to what we had on Saturday in that respect. What they’re doing has worked very well for them; it’s hard to get out of any league so it’ll be a tough challenge...

'Because the game’s on Wednesday, we’ve got more recovery time,' explained the boss. 'I wouldn’t expect to make wholesale changes but we’ll have a look at whether we make a tweak here or there. I’ve said to all the players that when I rotated last season everybody was fit and in a good place, which made it easy because whoever I brought in was going to play at the same high levels as those who I took out. The players not in the 11 have to make sure they’re absolutely at it...

'This time last year after the first three games we had one point, and we still managed to kick on,' he said. 'We don’t want to be playing catch-up, but there’ll be no panic buttons pressed.'

The match will be available to watch on BT Sport 1 from 7.30pm on Wednesday".


As reported yesterday, although Altrincham's clash this Wednesday against Notts County will be the first league fixture between the two clubs, they did meet in an FA Cup tie in 1972/73 season.

County are acknowledged to be the world's oldest professional football club in the world still in existence, having been founded in 1862. They became founder members of the Football League in 1888 but they did not move to their current ground at Meadow Lane in Nottingham until 1910, which is, coincidentally the same year that Altrincham moved to their current home at Moss Lane.

Whilst Altrincham have the record of current non-League clubs in accounting for seventeen Football League clubs in the FA Cup, Notts County can claim to have actually won the FA Cup, a feat they achieved in 1894.

The Magpies' recent history includes four seasons in what is now the Premier League. Three of those season were between 1981 and 1984 but they were relegated at the end of the that spell at the top table and went on to suffer a second successive season (to the third tier) in 1985.

However, they did later return for a single further season (1991/92) at the top level of English football.

In 1995 they won the Anglo-Italian Cup, having been beaten finalists the previous year.

Nevertheless, by 1997 they had sunk back to the fourth tier of English football, then known as Division Three. Despite a couple of promotions in the following years they also suffered relegations and sank back to League Two (fourth tier) in 2015 before 2019 saw them relegated to non-League football in the National League.

The season before that relegation, they had actually been the beaten promotion play-off semi-finalists (2018).

In the curtailed 2019-20 season they finished third in the National League but they failed to gain promotion back to the League through the play-offs.


According to the Non-League Paper's statistics, when Altrincham hosted Weymouth last Saturday, they committed more fouls (17) than any other team playing in the National League that day. Obviously, the weather conditions did not help but Weymouth transgressed only eight times during the game, according to the NL Paper. The conceding of often unnecessary freekicks will be a feature that Phil Parkinson will, no doubt, address in training.

And Altrincham, along with Aldershot Town, recorded just one shot on target, the joint fewest in the National League on Saturday. Weymouth were not much better, with two efforts on target. On a day when "streaming" seemed to refer not only to the transmission of the game to a remote audience of viewers but also to parts of the sodden pitch surface, the creation of clear chances by other sides was extrememly difficult.


When ex-Alty defender James Jones [right] was stretchered off whilst playing for his new club, Barrow, on Saturday, it was feared he had broken his leg but it is now reported that the injury is sprained ligaments. The game was halted for ten minutes to deal with the incident.

ON THIS DAY: 6 October

Altrincham's most recent match on today's date was just two years ago in 2018 when they beat Bradford (Park Avenue) 4-2 in an Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round match at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Right: Max Harrop is chaired by Jake Moult after the Alty captain had scored on his 300th appearance for the club. Current co-chairman of the Club, Bill Waterson, reaches for his pen to record the goal on what must have been a cold day as, uncharacteristically, he had a jacket on! The disconsolate BPA keeper is, of course, Steven Drench, who later joined Altrincham. Also in the BPA squad were Luca Havern, Conor Branson, Nicky Clee, Ryan Toulson and Danny Boshell who had all either played for Alty or were subsequently to do so.

In the match Altrincham twice had to come from behind to advance to the Fourth Qualifying Round after an eventful afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium. Tony Thompson replaced Elliot Wynne in goal and the only other change saw Jordan Hulme return in place of Tom Peers. Shaun Densmore made a welcome reappearance on the bench after an injury absence.

Despite a bright opening from Alty, the visitors got into the game and took the lead after 30 minutes. Jake Moult's alleged trip on Beesley allowed the BPA striker to convert the resulting penalty past Tony Thompson. However, video evidence suggested that Beesley had dived, as there was no contact whatsoever with the Alty captain.

Altrincham levelled three minutes later when Conor Hampson advanced and fed Jordan Hulme, who was clearly being held in the box but kept going. His ball across the goal was turned in at the back post by Hampson who had continued his run forward. Five minutes later Alty fell behind again when, despite having all ten outfield players back to defend a corner, they left defender Killock unmarked and he scored with a low shot.

In the 44th minute, Jake Moult made amends for his apparent lapse over the penalty, when he scored with a deflected shot from the edge of the box.

Altrincham finally got their heads in front in the 62nd minute when James Jones emulated Killock by scoring with a low effort from a corner. The score became 4-2 in the 84th minute when Hulme battled past a challenge before planting the ball past Steven Drench. Altrincham dominated the closing stages to secure the £15,000 prize money and a place in the next Round's draw.

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. Max HARROP, 11. Owen DALE. Subs: 12. James POOLE, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Josh HANCOCK, 16. Liam GOULDING, 17. Joe THOMPSON, 18. Shaun DENSMORE, 20. Elliot WYNNE.


Woking playing their 25th season at the top level of non-League football, report that "The Cards make the trip to newly promoted Weymouth on Tuesday evening, looking to build on the success of Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory over highly fancied Solihull Moors, the club’s fourth consecutive opening day of the season win.

For 25 minutes it looked like being a long afternoon for Alan Dowson’s side against the Moors, who were impressive on the ball and deserved their lead, even if it came via a fortuitous penalty ably dispatched by Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward.

But Jack Cook’s 60-yard clearance turned shot, which forced a spectacular save out of visiting goalkeeper Ryan Boot, seemed to spark the hosts into life and they were far and away the better team after the break. Max Kretzschmar bundled in a Josh Casey corner from close range and Kane Ferdinand struck what would prove to be the winner soon after, aided by excellent awareness from debutant Slavi Spasov...

This week will mark a first competitive meeting between these two sides (Woking and Weymouth) since April 2010 and a first game at National League level since November 2008. The Cards are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with the Terras in all competitions, winning five and drawing four, although Weymouth will be boosted by their own opening day success, picking up their first National league point in a decade in a 0-0 draw away to fellow play-off winners Altrincham on Saturday.

After successive relegations in 2009 and 2010, Weymouth spent nine years in the seventh tier, before sealing the first of back-to-back promotions to return them to non-league’s top table. Last season they finished third in National League South, beating Dartford on penalties in the play-off final to clinch another trophy... The bulk of their promotion-winning side has remained, although top scorer Abdulai Bell-Baggie has joined Eastleigh."

Dagenham & Redbridge state that "Following instructions from The National League and discussions with our Safety Officer and Public Health England, it has been decided that for the continued safety of our supporters, staff and players, that none of our games will be streamed live in the clubhouse for the foreseeable future.

This includes our live BT Sport match against Wealdstone this coming Saturday.

We know that this may be a disappointment to some of our supporters, but in the midst of this pandemic, we must do everything in our power to help prevent the spread of the disease."

Matches will continue to be streamed to individual subscribers however.

Following their 5-1 home thrashing on Saturday, Barnet announce that "Canadian international winger Michael Petrasso joins the Bees on a season long loan deal from Canadian Premier League side York FC.

Petrasso makes the move to The Hive London, having already had the experience of playing in the Football League for the likes of QPR, Oldham Athletic and Leyton Orient.

The 25-year-old has enjoyed an exciting playing career to date, having represented his country at senior level on nine occasions... Our new man can play on either side of the pitch as a winger and gives Peter Beadle extra depth...

Petrasso began his career as an academy player in Toronto before making the move to London to continue his development at QPR, where he went on to make 13 senior appearances. Loan moves to Oldham Athletic, Leyton Orient, Coventry City and Notts County followed... A return to his home country followed, where he made the move to MLS to play for Montreal Impact, making 16 appearances...

After settling down in the Canadian Premier League, Petrasso joined his parent Club York9 FC back in January of this year, where he recently signed a two-year contract extension".


The National League reports that"The draw for the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup has been made at Wembley Stadium. A total of 31 National League North and South sides made it through the previous round on Saturday and have discovered which sides stand in their way next midweek.

Ties will all be settled on the day with no extra time played, any match level after 90 minutes will go straight to penalties.

Standout ties include Chorley facing York City and Bath City heading to Slough Town. Winners will receive £5,625 from the prize fund, with defeated sides taking away £1,875 from the round.

Ties including National League representatives:

  • Southport v South Shields
  • Chester FC v Spennymoor Town
  • Marske United v Blyth Spartans
  • Farsley Celtic v AFC Fylde
  • Darlington v Tadcaster Albion
  • Chorley v York City
  • Guiseley v Matlock Town
  • FC United of Manchester v Alfreton Town
  • St Albans City v Mickleover
  • Braintree Town v Maldon & Tiptree
  • Stafford Rangers v Hereford
  • Leiston v AFC Telford United
  • Brackley Town v Kettering Town
  • Oxford City v Tamworth
  • Boston United v Hemel Hempstead Town
  • Havant & Waterlooville v Chatham Town
  • Eastbourne Borough v Sheppey United
  • Slough Town v Bath City
  • Christchurch v Dulwich Hamlet
  • Wimborne Town v Maidstone United
  • Chichester City v Tonbridge Angels
  • Hampton & Richmond Borough v Hornchurch
  • Burnham or Whyteleafe v Concord Rangers
  • Ebbsfleet United v Chippenham Town

5 October 2020


Following Saturday's goalless draw against Weymouth, Altrincham FC has a video interview by Brian Flynn with manager Phil Parkinson.


On Wednesday evening, Altrincham visit Notts County for a televised clash in the Vanarama National League (7.45pm). The match is being broadcast live on BT Sport.

County lost on the opening day of this season, so Alty actually go into the match in a higher league position!

Although this is the first time that the clubs have been at the same level of competitive football, they have met previously in the FA Cup.

In 1972/73 season, in the First Round Proper, County visited Moss Lane and emerged with a 1-0 win.


Centre-back James Jones suffered what seemed to be a serious injury playing for Barrow on Saturday. The game was halted for ten minutes whilst he was treated. Barrow had a pre-match video interview with James.

It was a happier day for Carl Piergianni who captained Oldham Athletic to a 3-3 draw at Colchester in EFL League Two.


Aldershot Town "were beaten 2-1 by Hartlepool United at Victoria Park after a late Gavan Holohan header cancelled out Craig Tanner’s second-half equaliser on Saturday... It was Hartlepool United who come away with all three points after scoring late on in the second-half through Nicky Featherstone from the penalty spot.

Craig Tanner equalised midway through the second-half after deftly chipping the ball over the onrushing Ben Killip, scoring the first goal of Aldershot Town’s 2020/21 National League season.

Despite Aldershot Town’s relentless pressure, it was Holohan who popped up late on at the back post to head home from just a few yards and see [i.e prevent] Aldershot Town coming away with at least, a deserved draw...

Danny Searle gave a number of players their first league appearances for The Shots with captain Jamie Sendles-White, vice-captain Josh Rees, Joel Nouble, Toby Edser and latest signing Shadrach Ogie coming into the side to kick-off the new campaign... It was heartbreak for Aldershot Town as... they looked the more threatening of the two sides in the second-half".

Barnet report that "The Bees suffered heavy defeat on the opening day of the season, as Eastleigh were victors at The Hive London.

The visitors started the better and were ahead inside five minutes as Tyrone Barnett poked over Loach after the Bees failed to clear their lines... Peter Beadle's side started to show some positive signs and were level seven minutes before the break as Wes Fonguck's deflected strike went past the keeper...

The second half was a different story altogether, as Eastleigh were ruthless in the extreme and started the half with two quickfire goals from Wynter and House respectively. The Spitfires showed more confidence throughout the second half and added a fourth when Miley beat the offside trap to poke home under Loach.

It was soon five for the Spitfires as Bell-Baggie finished off a good Eastleigh move to add gloss to the commanding scoreline...

The boss was quick to apologise to Bees fans for the disappointing opening day defeat and has demanded his players immediately show what they are about on Tuesday evening."

Dagenham & Redbridge "started the 2020/21 National League season with a long trip North to face FC Halifax Town at the Shay, with the home side running out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Luke Summerfield and Jack Earing...

Moments before the end of the [first] half, Halifax were awarded a penalty with Kenny Clark judged to have fouled his man in the box, Summerfield sending Justham the wrong way from the spot...

Halifax did find a second through Earing, the midfielder finding space and firing a shot into the corner of the net... Daryl McMahon’s side could not find a way back into the match with Halifax taking the three points on the opening day of the campaign".

From the other side, FC Halifax Town refer to their "strong performance as they beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 thanks to a great penalty from Luke Summerfield and a great finish from Jack Earing.

The Shaymen had six new debutants starting. Sam Johnson started in between the sticks with captain Nathan Clarke and two debutants Neil Byrne and Tom Bradbury in a back three. With a midfield of Jeff King, Jack Earing, Danny Williams and debutants Luke Summerfield and Martin Woods, with the attack being debutants Gevaro Nepomuceno and Gold Omotayo.

Halifax started the game strong[ly] from the get go... On the stroke of half time [ex-Alty midfielder] Jeff King won a penalty after being brought down in the box. Debutant Luke Summerfield calmly scored from the spot...

The Shaymen got their deserved second goal in the sixty-sixth minute thanks to midfielder Jack Earing’s superb curling shot straight into the bottom corner".

Meanwhile, on Saturday morning, Dover Athletic announced that "manager Andy Hessenthaler reinforced his squad with four new signings ahead of today’s National League season opener against Notts County at Crabble.

Former Newport County striker Ade Azeez and Macclesfield Town central defender Marvel Ekpiteta both arrive on permanent deals, while another central defender, Harry Ransom, arrives on loan from Championship side Millwall.

Dover Athletic Academy starlet, Will Moses, a centre half, completes the new arrivals.

Azeez, who will wear the No.19 shirt, is no stranger to Dover fans, having played 12 games for us, scoring once, while on loan from Cambridge United during the 2017/18 season. The Sidcup-born frontman left Newport in September... Azeez started his career with Charlton Athletic and had loan spells with Wycombe, Leyton Orient, Torquay and Dagenham & Redbridge... The 26-year-old has also played for AFC Wimbledon and helped them win promotion out of League 2 in 2016 and played 46 games for Scottish Premiership side Partick Thistle in the 2016/17 season...

Marvel, 25, the twin brother of Blackpool defender Marvin, joined Macclesfield Town from Newport County last month, but his time with the Silkmen was short-lived after the club was wound-up... Capped at under-20 level by Nigeria, Ekpiteta, who will be wearing number 20, spent much of last season on loan at Ebbsfleet United, making 25 appearances and scoring two goals.

Millwall under-23 captain Ransom made the move to the New Den from National League South side Eastbourne Borough in the summer of 2019. Our new number 18 started his career at Brighton & Hove Albion before moving to Eastbourne at the age of 15. He made his senior debut during the 2016/17 season and become the club’s youngest ever captain at 19.

Moses, who only turned 17 in May, has earned his contract after the Whitstable youngster continually impressed with his mature displays throughout pre-season".

Hartlepool United admit that they "left it late to get off to a winning start and send Aldershot home disappointed.

Gavan Holohan headed in an 86th minute winner, to see off a Shots side who came into the game second-half and could count themselves unfortune to be beaten.

Pools took the lead with a first-half penalty, before being pegged back by Ross Tanner’s neat breakaway finish before Holohan’s finish.

Relieved Pools’ boss Dave Challinor said 'First half was good and positive. We learn that on a different day we should have finished the game off earlier. Second half was more realistic to how this league is. They were trying to stop us and we have to be better. We take confidence from winning, but let our standards drop a little bit...

We have a way we want to play; different to what was previously asked of, in a more expansive way'".

At KIng's Lynn Town "An 87th minute equaliser from last season’s leading scorer Adam Marriott saw Lynn pick up a deserved point in their first ever National League game at The Walks.

Summer signing Jamar Loza missed out after failing a pre-match fitness test. Marriott was able to make the bench after missing most of pre-season with injury.

Lynn more than held their own in the first half, impressing with their passing game... Half chances came and went for both sides without either keeper being called upon to end the half goalless.

Yeovil took the lead within 2 minutes of the second half, Luke Wilkinson heading in a free kick past Alex Street... Lynn equalised on 76 minutes following some pinball in the area. The ball falling for Dayle Southwell to score his first league goal for the club.

Just 5 minutes later Yeovil equalised [went ahead again], a fine pass from Lawson D’Ath was finished well by Courtney Duffus. Within 6 minutes Lynn were level with a fine finish from Marriott".

Solihull Moors "saw a dominant first half go to waste as Woking came from behind to take all three points...

Jamie Ward gave the Moors a deserved lead after 18 minutes, but Woking fought back in the second 45 at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

The Moors were without injured duo Adam Rooney and Jamey Osborne, but that handed new signing Ward the opportunity to start.

Jimmy Shan’s visitors were comfortable in possession from the outset and, in particular, Cameron Coxe enjoyed space down the right-hand side... Ward was looking lively as the frontman for Moors... The Moors’ bright start rewarded them with a spot kick as Coxe ventured into the opposing area before going down under the challenge.

Ward stepped up and confidently slotted the ball low and hard past the goalkeeper to give Moors the lead...

The hosts looked a different outfit as they entered for the second half. The Moors were pressed, had less space and time on the ball was limited.

The equaliser came on 53 minutes as Josh Casey’s corner wasn’t defended and Max Kretzschmar was there to nod home at the back post. Shan’s side were dealt a blow when Ward was forced off after pulling up chasing a ball down the corridor. Cameron Archer replaced the number 11 after signing for the club on loan just yesterday.

Before the Moors knew it, Woking bagged a second to move into the lead. Some smart attacking play down the left-hand side resulted in the ball rebounding to Kane Ferdinand who calmly tucked home".

Stockport County report on "a last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Torquay United, as Connor Lemonheigh-Evans struck an added time winner for Gary Johnson’s side.

Despite large spells of dominance for Jim Gannon’s new-look side, the hosts took all three points deep into stoppage time at Plainmoor.

Gannon opted for one change to the side which ended pre-season with a 2-1 win at Kidderminster last weekend, with Alex Reid replacing Adam Thomas to start alongside Richie Bennett for The Hatters.

It was the hosts who started the brightest inside the opening ten minutes... But from there, the visitors took control of the remainder of the half... Despite County’s promising first half of the new campaign, the sides went in goalless at the break.

Jordan Keane replaced Alex Reid and slotted into midfield for the resumption of proceedings, with The Hatters seeking to capitalise on their first-half dominance as John Rooney pushed further up-field alongside Connor Jennings...

A rather bad-tempered affair continued to bubble away with a couple of late challenges by Torquay’s Aaron Nemane further angering the visitors... [Ex-Alty loanee] Nyal Bell entered the fray in place of the hard-working Bennett, while Adam Thomas replaced Connor Jennings...

Debutant Louis Britton saw his effort thunder off the crossbar for Gary Johnson’s men... And, with just one minute of added time remaining, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans bundled home at the back post from a deep cross in to steal what looked like an unlikely win for the hosts for large parts".

From the other side, Torquay United reported that "Gary Johnson’s men made the perfect start to 2020/21, with a 1-0 win over much-fancied Stockport County.

After a match which saw United largely on the back foot, it was Torquay who struck late on to steal all three points, as Connor Lemonheigh-Evans grabbing the all-important goal.

After the announcement of three new additions just ahead of kick-off, it was Bournemouth defender Sam Sherring who took his place in the starting line-up, whilst Adam Randell and Louis Britton took their places on the bench following their respective moves from Plymouth and Bristol City...

The heavy rain played no small part in a lack of cohesion from either side during the nip-and-tuck early stages...

Nemane, who had worked so hard throughout, finally found some space to send in a cross from the right wing. Although the deep ball eluded the lurking Danny Wright, it had just enough pace to reach the onrushing Lemonheigh-Evans, who saw his opportunist shot creep into the net via a backtracking defender".

"Luke Young’s brilliant free-kick earned Wrexham victory at home to Boreham Wood... Reece Hall-Johnson scored Wrexham’s first goal of the season on his debut at a wet and rainy Racecourse before Young struck the winner after Kieran Murtagh’s equaliser.

Wrexham started with eight of the 11 summer signings, while Shaun Pearson was missing at the back, where Fiacre Kelleher partnered Theo Vassell... It was The Wood who started better. It took a fine double save from Rob Lainton in the opening couple of minutes to keep Wrexham level... as Wrexham struggled to get a foothold in the game..

Wrexham lost debutant Adi Yussuf to injury on 23 minutes, replaced by first-year pro Jake Bickerstaff.

The Dragons then took the lead, against the run of play, through debutant Hall-Johnson. Occupied by Thomas throughout, he took full advantage of a rare chance to drive forward and unleashed a thundering shot that deflected in.

That changed the tempo of the game...

[Ex-Alty man] Elliott Durrell cut inside and won a free-kick in a central position on 70 minutes, and Young stepped up to curl over the wall and in. Boreham Wood threw men forward in reply but Wrexham, led by Fiacre Kelleher, stood firm to start the season with all three points".

Yeovil Town "opened the 2020/21 season with a 2-2 draw with King’s Lynn Town in Norfolk.

Second half strikes from Luke Wilkinson and Courtney Duffus were not enough for Yeovil as the visitors continually pegged Town back in controversial circumstance. Calls for both handball and offside were waived away by the match officials and ultimately saw the hosts snatch a draw.

As his second season as Yeovil manager began, Darren Sarll went with a side full of experience, especially in defence with Adam Smith, Dan Leadbitter, Lee Collins and Carl Dickinson all starting. The midfield four comprised of Charlie Lee, Josh Staunton, Matt Worthington and Jack Clarke, with Rhys Murphy and Courtney Duffus combining up top.

The hosts began the brighter of the two sides, but the experienced Glovers back line held strong... With the first half being defined as drab, the second half was far from that as Yeovil lead [led] within two minutes.

A brilliant free kick from Carl Dickinson was met by Wilkinson who made no mistake by powering his header home..

King’s Lynn’s substitutions changed the complexion of the game, and it would prove effective in the 77thminute. Despite a handball in the build-up Dale Southwell tapped home the leveller in controversial circumstance.

Duffus would have thought he had snatched it for the Greens in the 81st minute as he hammered home Yeovil’s second, following a sublime pass from Lawson D’Ath. But it wasn’t victory for Yeovil as Adam Marriott levelled for King’s Lynn in the 87th minute, poking home at the near post to earn the Linnets a share of the points".

4 October, 2020


Referee Adam Herczeg, the man who postponed Alty's game at Spennymoor last season after the Robins had reached the ground nevertheless allowed this match to start in seemingly far worse conditions. But today he was to be congratulated in getting the game completed in poor conditions.

From the start the Popular Side was sodden and the ball was held up in many areas as rain steadily fell. Not surprisingly, the first half was a pretty mundane affair with the sides doing their best to play on the wet surface.

It was the visitors who had the better of the opening half hour without troubling the Alty goal but the hosts improved a little with Ceesay and Kosylo their main threat. Half-time was reached with game goalless and the referee instructing the home officials to try to dry out the offending areas of the pitch as best they could during the interval.

Altrincham were marginally the better side in the second half but, apart from a goal line clearance by a Weymouth defender after a goalkeeping error, there never looked like being a goal at either end.

Despite a break in play being needed, midway through the second half, to brush away surface water, the game was completed as the teams battled each other to a standstill. It was Altrincham's first goalless draw since April 2018, mirroring the first ever national non-league game played between the same two clubs back in 1979 as the Alliance Premier League came into being.

And so, for the seventh time in a row Altrincham had failed to win their first home game at the start of a new season!

Match report here


After Saturday's draw at Altrincham, Weymouth reported that they "collected their first point of the new Vanarama National League season with a soaking-wet 0-0 draw at Altrincham.

Brian Stock’s men had waited 11 years to return to non-League’s top flight, only to be met with a soggy day where possession football was made very difficult. Cody Cooke went closest for Weymouth in an encouraging first half, while Altrincham had a shot cleared off the line in the second period as the promoted sides avoided defeat on the opening day.

Three Weymouth players made full league debuts, with striker Cooke, goalkeeper Jack Bycroft and newest signing Corey Jordan all handed their bows – the latter on loan from Bournemouth.

Altrincham were without star striker Jordan Hulme, who agreed a move to AFC Fylde hours before kick-off...

It soon became apparent the deluge of rain produced by Storm Alex would affect attacking play. Passing was particularly hindered with the ball slowing on the sodden pitch and Weymouth pressured Alty in the opening 10 minutes... Action was rare in the early portion of the match, with Josh McQuoid getting up gingerly from a heavy tackle and Robins’ winger Yusifu Ceesay slipping as the hosts constructed a promising move.

Play improved as the half wore on and Weymouth registered the first shot on target in the 27th minute... Weymouth finished the half strongly as Cooke lashed an effort against the side netting, with Thompson there to cover...

Altrincham, who did not create a chance in the first half, were a different side in the second as Weymouth weathered a bright spell. Matty Kosylo brought down a Hancock cross and saw his deflected effort spin wide, only for play to halt when referee Adam Herczeg spotted a foul at the back post...

With conditions producing niggling fouls, Jake Moult became the second Alty player to earn yellow for a foul on Cameron Murray. From the set-piece, Cooke headed wide.

Alty striker Tom Peers had been quiet up to then but his deflected shot yielded a corner from which Harfield had to hack clear off the line...

Rain continued to hammer down in Trafford and groundstaff, who had swept water off the pitch during half-time, were again called upon by referee Herczeg to clear up the near side... Excellent shape and solid defence from Weymouth had restricted Alty all afternoon but the hosts were thwarted from a break when Andreas Robinson tripped sub Curtis Miller, receiving yellow...

Stock’s men might have stolen victory in the 90th minute but for a superb block from Robins’ sub Simon Richman to deny Calvin Brooks’s 18-yard goalbound shot".


Altrincham travel to Notts County on Wednesday (7.45pm) for a National League match which will be broadcast on BT Sport.

On Saturday, Notts County reported that "A late header from Harry Ransom was enough to win the match as we were beaten 1-0 by Dover Athletic... The defender crashed a header off the underside of the bar in the final minute of normal time to earn his side the three points on an afternoon where several opportunities passed us by.

Cal Roberts was fit enough to start the match despite having been stretchered off the field against Harrogate Town on 22 September. Roberts was handed a right-wing berth with Jim O'Brien on the opposite flank and Michael Doyle partnering Jake Reeves in central midfield. Behind them, Alex Lacey and Connell Rawlinson were selected to marshall the centre of defence with full backs Richard Brindley and Adam Chicksen completing Slocombe's line of defence.

Up front, Wes Thomas paired up with Kyle Wootton, while Sam Graham, Dion Kelly-Evans, Enzio Boldewijn, Ruben Rodrigues and Jimmy Knowles had to settle for a place on the bench.

Dover announced no fewer than four new signings ahead of kick-off and one of them, centre forward Ade Azeez, nearly prised open the door with an excellent cross from the right... The hosts were forced into a change on 10 minutes when Josh Passley was forced off in place of Travis Gregory...

We emerged for the second half unchanged and could well have fallen behind within three minutes of the restart... The hosts had begun the second half the better...

We began to find our feet again shortly before the hour, however... And we kept up our pressure through Roberts... In the dying moments Roberts had a golden opportunity to win the game when he carried the ball across the edge of the area before sending his shot straight at the keeper.

And our frustrations were exacerbated when, in the 90th minute, Ransom rose highest from a corner to head home the winner."


On Saturday Altrincham travel to Hampshire to face Eastleigh who report that "It was the perfect start for Ben Strevens side in the National League, as five different scorers proved the difference against Barnet.

An early goal by Tyrone Barnett was short lived [sic] as Barnet pressed and eventually equalised just before half time.

Four second half goals by Wynter, House, Miley and Baggie stunned the home side who struggled to find their feet after an impressive first half.

Eastleigh opened the scoring after just five minutes as Sam Smart found Tyrone Barnett in the box who struck the ball into the top right corner... The half-time whistle was a welcome sound for Ben Strevens’ players as the home offence was proving difficult to deal with.

The Spitfires regained the lead at 52 minutes when Alex Wynter rifled the ball into the net from the edge of the box.

Wynter [was] involved again [as he] struck the ball forward three minutes later, [and] House beat his defender and tapped into the bottom corner to increase the lead.

Cav Miley got a shot away in the 64th minute and sent it underneath Loach into the net after his great run into the box, the visitors started to run away with the game.

The lead was increased with 15 minutes to go as Baggie used his pace to beat Alexander McQueen and neatly slotted the ball into the bottom corner...

Eastleigh F.C: McDonnell; Smart, Partington, Wynter, Boyce, Tomlinson; Payne, Miley, Baggie; House, Barnett. Subs: Green, Bird, Hollands, Bearwish, Smith".


Saturday 10 October 2020
  • Aldershot TownP - PMacclesfield Town
  • Boreham Wood v FC Halifax Town
  • Bromley v Torquay United
  • Chesterfield v Woking
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Wealdstone
  • Eastleigh v Altrincham
  • Maidenhead United v Hartlepool United
  • Notts County v Barnet
  • Solihull Moors v King's Lynn Town
  • Stockport County v Dover Athletic
  • Weymouth v Sutton United
  • Yeovil Town v Wrexham


Just before the start of the season, Solihull Moors were "thrilled to announce that Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward has signed for the 2020/21 season.

A vastly experienced player, the forward has been capped 35 times by his country and racked up almost 400 league appearances. The 34-year-old forward began his career with Aston Villa before moving onto Torquay United and Chesterfield. He would then spend two seasons at Sheffield United between 2009 and 2011, before a three-month loan to Derby County then became permanent.

Ward spent over four years with the Rams making 149 appearances, scoring 34 goals before switching to their rivals Nottingham Forest in 2015. During his four-year stay at the City Ground, he would be loaned to Burton Albion, Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic.

Born in Birmingham, Ward... has a total of 44 caps, 35 of which are senior, scoring six goals...

Ward said 'I came and did pre-season with the lads, really enjoyed it, really enjoyed working with the manager so I was more than willing to get something done... I feel my experience is only going to help this group'...

Manager Jimmy Shan added... 'He gives us another dynamic in the final third. He’s very creative and forward thinking. He’s got an ability to score from all kinds of range, he’s got a great strike on him. It’s a great signing for us. He first came in to gain some fitness and he’s enjoyed it that much he spoke to the football club and said this is where he wants to be.'"

FC Halifax Town "confirm the signing of 19-year-old goalkeeper Harrison Davison-Hale who was previously at neighbours Huddersfield Town.

Davison-Hale has first-team experience at Northern Counties East Premier Division side, Liversedge, where he spent a work experience loan from Huddersfield, last season.

The goalkeeper has been a Trialist for the Shaymen through the latter end of pre-season and played in games against Boston United and Curzon Ashton".

Before Saturday's games, Woking stated that "It’s fantastic to see football finally returning to Woking after one of the longest breaks in living memory...

The opening game of the season is always tough to predict, particularly in non-league where almost every squad regularly sees a mass summer overhaul in personnel, but manager Alan Dowson will have cause for optimism; he’s won both of his opening day fixtures with the Cards... We were also on the winning side the last time we played host on the opening day...

Pre-season form has been decidedly mixed, the gloss of encouraging wins over Southampton Under-23s and Merstham, plus draws with Watford Under-23s and Dorking Wanderers, somewhat tempered by last weekend’s 3-1 reverse at Hampton & Richmond Borough. But after a number of late additions to the squad Dowse will be confident that he’s assembled a side more than capable of holding its own at this level once again.

Visitors Solihull Moors will start the season as one of the favourites for promotion. They narrowly missed out on going up to the Football League in 2018, when they finished second to champions Leyton Orient before losing in the play-offs to AFC Fylde. Last season proved more challenging for them and they ended the shortened season in a relatively disappointing ninth place, with the same points tally and record as the Cards. Their mid-season form was enough to spell the end for manager Tim Flowers, who departed in January of this year, with former West Bromwich Albion coach James Shan his replacement.

Expectations will once again by high for the Moors after an impressive summer recruitment drive, which has included dangerous striker Adam Rooney, most recently of Salford City, along with ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Gleeson...

The Cards will be without Ben Gerring (injured), as well as fellow centre-backs Moussa Diarra and Manny Parry, who have both moved on this summer. This week Dowse has added right-back Tyler Reid from Swindon Town, along with two centre-backs on loan, Saul Shotton (West Bromwich Albion) and Sam Cartwright (Peterborough United), who could be competing for a spot alongside Cook at the heart of the Woking back four.

In midfield, Kane Ferdinand looks set to miss out on a starting berth after having his pre-season campaign limited by injury, meaning new signings Charlie Cooper, with FC Halifax Town last season, and Tommy Block, from Scottish Premiership side Hibernian, look likely to start in the middle. Fan favourite John Goddard, who returned to the Cards this summer after a four-year absence, will be competing with Max Kretzschmar for the more advanced of the midfield roles.

Further forward, Dave Tarpey and Malachi Napa, the Oxford United loanee who has impressed in the last two pre-season games, appear to be the obvious choices out wide; although Woking fans will have an anxious wait to see if Matt Jarvis... is fit enough to force his way into that equation. Up front, another ex-Card returns in the shape of former loanee Connor Hall following a spell with Bolton Wanderers, whilst Oxford United loanee Slavi Spasov and academy graduate Jayden Wareham provide alternative options for the boss".

The EAstern Daily Press reported that "Ian Culverhouse has laid down a challenge to one of his brightest young stars...

Lynn make their first ever appearance in the National League when Yeovil head to The Walks... Linnets' boss Culverhouse has had selection issues during the build-up, all involving last season’s top three scorers; Adam Marriott, Michael Gash and Chris Henderson.

Marriott returns but will have to work his way to match fitness through playing games, having missed five weeks of pre-season, while Gash is sidelined by illness. Henderson made a surprise exit last week because he was unable to handle the rigours and requirements of National League football and that’s where Culverhouse’s challenge comes.

At 19, Sonny Carey is one of the youngest players in Culverhouse’s squad, and has often been labelled as one for the future... With Henderson now creating a vacancy, Culverhouse has challenged Carey to walk through the door marked ‘opportunity’...

'We have a few ideas what to do to cover the gaps. But Sonny will definitely get a chance and I do like him, I rate him highly. He plays with no fear' said Culverhouse.

Sam Kelly is another option, a player who has the skills set, but continues to frustrate at times... One definite starter is Cameron King, the former Canaries FA Youth Cup winner is a Rolls-Royce in midfield, a genuine box-to-box player with quick feet and great vision and could be the key player this season...

Gash’s absence is a blow, as is the need for Marriott to do on the job training, but Culverhouse is unlikely to take any risks and has Dayle Southwell as quality back-up.

'I think we have got to be careful with Adam,' said Culverhouse. 'His pedigree is there, everyone sees what he can do for us and just to have him back in the squad is massive for us, but we just have to be careful. We don’t want to flog him and the injury recurs. We will gently bring him back in. We have plenty of games, seven this month I think, and everyone on the squad will get their chance@".

According to the Leader Live, "Mark Creighton says Wrexham supporters deserve better than the 'absolute garbage' they were served last season... The Reds endured the worst campaign in the club's history in 2019-20, eventually finishing one point above the National League drop zone...

Keates returned for a second spell as manager in October and he is now preparing for a 13th season in non-league... Creighton believes former team-mate Keates can turn things around and feels a play-off place should be the minimum target despite the failings last term.

'Let's be honest, there was only one positive about last season and that is that the club stayed up, said Creighton. 'The rest of it was absolute garbage, it was a shambles... Whether that is down to the players, staff, coaching or board level, whatever it is, it needs fixing... I think it has got to be play-offs minimum'...

'A club the size of Wrexham needs to be in the Football League; that's a fact'... said Creighton... 'Wrexham don't deserve to be in the Conference on a stature basis, but they 100 per cent deserve to be there on performance, so they need to pull together now and put things right'...

The Reds' boss has revamped his squad, allowing a number of players to leave The Racecourse to make room for 11 new signings...

'Dean has had a massive overhaul of his squad which I think we are all being honest in saying that was required,' said Creighton. 'There were some bits of deadwood there that needed moving on... On paper he has done a great job this summer'...

Striker Adi Yussuf is among the new arrivals, coming in on a season-loan loan from League One side Blackpool. A prolific spell with Solihull Moors in 2018-19... helped earn Yussuf his move to The Seasiders...

Wrexham have enjoyed their fair share of clean sheets in recent years and it is finding a 20-goal striker that Creighton says is key to the Reds' chances of returning to the Football League".

3 October 2020


Saturday, 3 October 2020 @3pm unless stated
  • Altrincham 0-0 Weymouth
  • Barnet 1-5 Eastleigh
  • Dover Athletic 1-0 Notts County
  • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Hartlepool United 2-1 Aldershot Town
  • King's Lynn Town 2-2 Yeovil Town
  • Macclesfield Town P-P Bromley (for obvious rasons!)
  • Sutton United 3-0 Maidenhead United
  • Torquay United 1-0 Stockport County
  • Wealdstone P-P Chesterfield (postponed, waterlogged pitch)
  • Woking 2-1 Solihull Moors
  • Wrexham 2-1 Boreham Wood


In advance of today's games, the Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth start their first campaign in non-League’s top flight for 11 years at Altrincham today (3pm).

While fans are still banned from attending elite sporting events, Weymouth are hoping to raise £160,000 through White’s Wessex Fantasy Football scheme... [Chairman Ian] White urged the Terras’ family, who raised £35,000 to help achieve promotion, to back the club again.

'I think we’ll hold our own,' he said. 'It will be hard but we’ll get lots of TV coverage, there will be a lot more national coverage for us. What we need is the town to get behind us. If we’re going to live within our means, do this the right way, we don’t want to do what happened before (financial strife).

'I’m very determined as chairman that we keep this right. We’ll need the help of the town and everyone to join in the Terras’ family. 'The Wessex Fantasy', in its six years of running, it’s raised £130k but I really need it to raise some serious money now; we really need help.

'We’re where we are for lots of reasons, the players, Mark (Molesley) [who left as manager this summer], Tom Prodomo. We’re in the National League because my board and the brilliant volunteers have worked so hard to get us there in really good shape. The real reason we’re there, without a shadow of doubt, is every one of those Terras’ fans, wherever they are.

'Let’s not beat about the bush, if we couldn’t have raised that £35k through these wonderful fans, we wouldn’t be in the National League'".


The season finally gets under way as The National League announced on Friday that "Further to a meeting of its Board of Directors earlier today, the following update is issued on behalf of The National League...

The National League has now received confirmation of significant financial grant-aid support from the Government to compensate clubs for essential revenue lost from fans not returning in October, and has communicated with its member clubs to provide reassurance ahead of the season start.

The 2020/21 National League season will now commence on 3 October as planned with clubs playing ‘behind closed doors’ in compliance with the elite sport protocols".

And, after such a long wait, the weather has intervened with Wealdstone v Chesterfield being the first fixture of the new campaign to be postponed.


Just 20 hours before the start of the new season, it was announced that Altrincham striker Jordan Hulme has left the club to drop a level and join AFC Fylde for what Alty describe as a "substantial" fee. That will leave Altrincham, on Saturday against Weymouth, not only without their overall leading scorer from last season, but also likely to be missing their league top scorer of 2019-20 in the shape of Josh Hancock. He was described as an injury doubt by manager Phil Parkinson earlier this week.

In addition, Alty winger Dan Mooney, their most expensive signing, is sidelined by a longer-term injury.

The story of Hulme's departure is on the Altrincham FC website.

Hulme scored 70 goals in 132 starts and seven substitute appearances after joining Altrincham on 13 July 2017, a club for whom he signed a two-year extension this summer.

Hulme's previous club had been Salford City. Jordan's earlier clubs include CMB Sports Club, Walshaw Sports Club, Shevington, Padiham, Ramsbottom United (2012) and New Orleans Jesters (USA). At Ramsbottom, he had scored more than thirty goals in 100 or so appearances before following the Rams' management duo of Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson to Salford City in January 2015.

In his first season at Alty he scored 31 times and was the NPL's Player of the Season. 2018/19 brought him 20 goals, followed by nineteen in last season's truncated campaign.

AFC Fylde announced "the signing of prolific forward, Jordan Hulme.

The striker arrives at Mill Farm from National League side, Altrincham FC for an undisclosed fee, on a one-year contract, with a further year option in the club's favour.

The 29 year-old played against Jim Bentley’s side [in] the pre-season friendly last weekend, which ended 2-2, but will now be switching changing rooms going forward...

Jordan is a player that the management and recruitment team have been tracking for some time. The staff at Mill Farm have spoken openly of their ‘delight’ in adding vital firepower to the forward areas...

Jordan said 'I’m honestly over the moon. It’s a chance to get back into full-time football and see what I can do when I’m training every day, it’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to get going.

'I’m here to win, I’m a winner. I don’t like playing football unless I’m winning games and trying to win leagues.'

Jim Bentley said 'Jordan has a fantastic goal record throughout his career and even more so over the last three years with Altrincham. He’s got over 20 goals in each of the last three years, so he absolutely knows where the net is. He has been keen to get back into full-time football and we can offer him that here.

'He’s another good character, which is what we want, and he’s also extremely hard-working so he will lead the line well. He’s competitive, scores goals'"

Hulme's departure follows that of former team-mate John Johnston who left Alty for full-time football at Chester earlier this year; both will now be plying their trades at a lower level in the football pyramid.


Altrincham kick off their 2020-21 season with a visit from Weymouth this afternoon. Both clubs are returning to the top level of non-League football after a spell at lower levels.

Right: The programme when Weymouth first visited Altrincham for a league match, in 1980.

The match is being streamed live and details can be found on the Altrincham FC website.


Today (Saturday), Altrincham face Weymouth behind closed doors in the opening match of the 2020-21 season.

On the eve of the game, the Dorset Echo announced that "Weymouth's return to the National League at Altrincham represents an 'exciting time' for the Terras, according to boss Brian Stock...

Stock’s men embark on a first National League fixture for 11 years after their promotion via the play-offs, mirroring Alty’s rise [back] to non-League’s top flight. And Stock believes... 'It’s an exciting time. I’ve picked up a club where not normally are the circumstances like this. I’ve inherited a healthy squad that’s had success. What a great opportunity for everyone; the club, supporters, the whole town are excited for this year.

'The strength in depth has taken me by surprise. There’s not one player that wouldn’t have a case for starting the season. That’s very rare because we have 23 players in the squad. If we can make sure all those players are playing for the team, the club, rather than themselves, we’re going to give ourselves a fighting chance.'

On Altrincham, Stock added 'It will be a tough game. You look at the way Weymouth went up and Altrincham went up, I did it [at the level below] as a player at Havant, it’s that momentum which has taken them into the second [third] season. One thing I would try to promote with the lads is to keep that momentum, that belief, have that winning mentality.

'When we don’t quite make the grade in games we don’t get results our performance might deserve, because that will happen given the style we’ll play, it’s making sure we bounce back strong.'

Weymouth are close to signing a new defender, but Stock revealed loanee winger Sam Pearson is 'almost certain' to return to Bristol City due to the length of his commute from Wales. He said 'He’s a young lad, he lives in Cardiff. He’s found the travelling and commitment at his age a bit of a struggle. It looks like it’s almost certain he’ll go back to Bristol City. It’s not quite what he expected with demands and the intensity we train at, then having to drive back.

'It’s proving too much too soon for him. He’s an exciting prospect and I’m upset to lose him. He’s only 18 and it might be something if we did go full-time and he’s training day in, day out, that might change the complexion of a loan deal.'

Stock is in no rush to sign a replacement, adding 'I will take my time with it. The players we have in those positions I’ve got plenty of cover for now. Sam did give us something slightly different to what we have. He can go past players and is a threat in behind. We’ll be looking for similar attributes for our next target.'

Weymouth defender Ade Olumuyiwa is a doubt with tendonitis."


The Weymouth squad, as listed on the club's website, comprises:
  • Goalkeepers: Harrison BRUTON, Gerard BENFIELD
  • Defence: Brennan CAMP, Josh LESLIE-SMITH, Myles ANDERSON, Ollie HARFIELD, Stephane ZUBAR, Ade OLUMUYIWA
  • Midfield: Jack DICKSON, Alefe SANTOS, Josh WAKEFIELD, Jordan NGALO, Jake MCCARTHY, Cameron MURRAY, Andy ROBINSON
  • Forwards: Cody COOKE, Ben THOMSON, Josh MCQUOID, Jack HOEY

Weymouth "Captain, Josh McQuoid speaks to Amberley Silk about the upcoming season, their goals and the absence of fans.

'It is a huge honour to captain this side. I’ve got every confidence in the team that we are going to do well...

'Coming off the back of a promotion, everyone has the right to be confident and I think that has shown in pre-season. The gaffer coming in has also given us a boost, he has high standards and demands hard work. Everyone has bought into that and is enjoying it...

'I don’t ever really set personal goals. He hasn’t given us any, but I think that the main goal would be to stay in the league and finish as high as possible...

'It’s been strange without the fans; they are definitely missed. They gave us that extra boost, both at home and away and they have been a big part of our success!'".


The "away end" at the J. Davidson Stadium will be empty this afternoon as Weymouth visit Alttrincham thanks to the Covid-19 restrictions which have led to a "behind closed doors" policy for the National League's fixtures.

As seen below, in an earlier view of an empty away end at Moss Lane, when Weymouth first visited Altrincham in the initial Alliance Premier League season of 1979-80, the terracing there had been recently revamped, during the preceding close season.

Hopefully, it will not be too long before those terrace steps are populated once again.

ON THIS DAY: 3 October

Five years ago, on a dank day at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham defeated Barrow 1-0 in a Vanarama National League match. Although Nicky Clee and Shaun Densmore had returned to the squad after injury, Altrincham still had three players missing, as Michael Rankine (bad back) joined long-term casualties, Stuart Coburn and Tom Marshall, on the injured list. So Damian Reeves came back into the starting eleven as the lone striker today.

Right: Damian Reeves is congratulated on his goal.

With this win Altrincham made it seven points earned in their last three games but Barrow left Cheshire disappointed not to have taken something from the game. Indeed, the visitors could have been two up inside five minutes and also hit the woodwork twice during a match in which Tim Deasy was the busier of the two keepers.

Altrincham survived a torrid opening and enjoyed a good spell themselves midway through the first half. But Barrow again looked the more likely to score in the second half before an excellent passing move from Altrincham ended with James Lawrie's through ball for Damian Reeves, who scored his first goal of the season in the 61st minute.

George Bowerman wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-0 late in the game, from a superb pass by substitute Nicky Clee. The win left Alty still in nineteenth place.

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, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 11. Nicky CLEE


The National League reports that "Back in 2013, King’s Lynn Town were promoted to the seventh tier the same year Yeovil were promoted to the second.

The Glovers' Championship campaign and Lynn's Northern Premier League Division One South winning season now seem like a world away. So much has changed as they prepare to meet as equals, live on Saturday tea time.

Yeovil manager Darren Sarll thinks BT Sport couldn’t have picked a better game to celebrate the National League's return... While the Norfolk club haven’t been in competitive action since losing to Guiseley in the middle of March, Yeovil of course had the play-offs to prepare for...

Sarll is looking forward to giving his vocal chords a good airing once again.. 'It’s time to start getting stressed and angry again! I’ve spoken before about how much I enjoy being with this set of players and, of course, how much they enjoy being with me. It’s a marriage made in heaven!...

'I love hearing what they think and what they see. I like hearing their opinions and their thoughts, they are brilliant, brilliant characters'.

He adds 'King’s Lynn have always been a club who have been able to attract good players. In Adam Marriott they have a Football League player. Ian Culverhouse is a top coach and he has done a tremendous job, he has done fabulously well. Any time you play a team who have just been promoted on the opening day they are going to come at you with a lot of energy and enthusiasm'...

Culverhouse has won two promotions already... 'We’re two hours from anywhere, we’re an hour from the nearest road!' joked the 55-year-old, who spent over a decade at Norwich City. 'Our [home] record before we finally lost to Kidderminster was fantastic, pivotal to what we are about. To go 17 months without losing at home was a credit to the town. It’s going to be a culture shock for some of these big clubs to come to our ground!'

He added 'It’s going to be very, very hard. We are going to be a part-time club in pretty much a professional league. We’ve earned the right to have a crack at it, so we’re going to give it our best efforts... It’s a big league with big teams and hopefully we won’t be lambs to the slaughter... What an adventure we are going to have!'”

The Eastern Daily Press adds that "Ian Culverhouse may be short of support in his dug-out but there will be a welcome face at The Walks for the game against Yeovil...

Culverhouse’s assistant manager Paul Bastock, his Director of Football, Rob Back, and his team captain Michael Clunan are all suspended for transgressions at the end of the last campaign. But the Lynn boss has revealed that popular striker Michael Gash, who is recovering from an illness that saw him end up in hospital, will be at the game.

'I’ve heard that Gashy is going to be here Saturday so that will be great for the boys to see him, and it will be a big lift for us,' said Culverhouse. 'It is good for the dressing room and pass on his experience of being in this league and it is going to work wonders for us, and we probably need as much help as we can in a way so I’m glad he is turning up.'

Bastock, Back and Clunan 'can be the eyes up in the stands' he said. 'Sometimes it’s good to see it overall so I have three people up there now that can give us a good account at half-time. I think we can call to each other anyway with no one being in the ground!'

Culverhouse has some experience of going it alone in the dug-out; as assistant, he was the main man at Carrow Road when manager Paul Lambert was suspended. 'It’s all right,' he said. 'You are concentrating on the game so much and looking at different things...

'I’m really looking forward to it,' he said. 'It’s going to test me as well because it’s a really good league with professional football clubs and we are going to stay part-time, so it is going to be a hell of a challenge, but I like to have a look at the tactical side of things and see what we can hopefully give Yeovil problems with... The first few games we learn, what we can do and what we can’t do'".

"After months of waiting, Yeovil Town’s National League campaign finally kicks off with a trip to Norfolk to face King’s Lynn Town.

With fans unable to attend in person due to COVID restrictions, the fixture will be the first National League game broadcast live on BT Sport this season...

Darren Sarll... was delighted to be working towards a competitive league fixture for the first time since March, speaking in his press conference he said... 'We’re preparing for an opponent now and potentially a reward'...

Sarll confirmed that both Charlie Lee and Albi Skendi are injury doubts for the fixture. The gaffer also noted Alex John is unlikely to travel after sustaining an injury in our final pre-season fixture".

The Birmingham Mail confirms that "Aston Villa have sanctioned the departure of academy prospect Cameron Archer on loan to Solihull Moors.

Archer joins National League Moors on loan until January 3, the 19 year-old [being] available for tomorrow's season opener at Woking.

Striker Archer will vie with Adam Rooney up front with Moors boss Jimmy Shan adding more quality to the Damson Park side's ranks ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Archer, from Walsall, was snapped up by Villa 's academy when he turned six and has been with the club ever since. "

Reports from NL Daily confirm that "Hartlepool United have signed Henrich Ravas and Lewis Cass on loan.

Goalkeeper Ravas joins Pools from Derby County for the season, as does Newcastle United defender Cass.

Manager Dave Challinor told the club’s website 'Henrich is someone me and Ross have looked at for a while. He has done well at Derby and we are excited to have him with the squad and working with Ross. The deal for Lewis is one we have been trying to get done for a weeks but we are happy to get it over the line. He will bring strength and versatility to the backline and we are excited to get him involved.'”

From the Halifax Courier we learn that "The FC Halifax Town manager and his right-hand man have experienced a very different close season to the situation they found upon their arrival at The Shay last year.

Their not inconsiderable task then was to quickly find enough players to constitute a squad and mould them into a cohesive unit less than two weeks before the season began. This year, before and since July’s play-off defeat at Boreham Wood, the duo have had time to plan, produce and, hopefully, perfect a squad they can call their own for the first time in their careers at senior level.

'We’ve had 12 months to learn how we want to do things and I think we’re getting closer to what we want now,' says Wild. 'The proof will be in the pudding, we’ve got to go and deliver it now. But I think we’ve got a switched-on group of lads who know what’s required and are prepared to do that.'

Underpinning their entire approach this season is ‘go the extra mile’, a phrase Wild has constantly used when commenting on new signings... “Go the extra mile" for us means "Will it benefit me and/or the team?" he says. 'We want players who are committed to doing everything we want, that’s why that strapline keeps getting bandied about, because that’s what this club’s going to be about this year. Going the extra mile... That’s how we’re going to live our lives for the next ten months.”

'It’s about maximising our development and making sure we get the best out of everybody who’s here,' says [assistant manager] Millington... 'A lot of that has been recruiting lads with the right type of attitude who want that type of environment and will naturally buy into it.'

Wild and Millington’s recruitment strategy consisted of three distinct areas; young, hungry players, players aged around their mid-20s with good levels of experience, and older players with vast experience to guide those younger heads.

'How they behave sets the culture for the group, Wild said of the squad’s older age group... 'It’s not a case of "I’ve been there and now I’m on my last pay day until I retire". The older boys have got to still have that inner drive to want to succeed. One thing they have is that drive to continuously want to improve and succeed. That’s what we wanted from our senior players, to raise the bar and set the bar really high'...

'Everybody in life has dull days, down times, where they don’t feel their best. We want everybody to go the extra mile and do it because they want to do it, because they know the benefits of it and we want the senior lads to be driving that forward... We want to enjoy our football more, we want to impose our game on teams more,' he said. 'That doesn’t mean to say it’s going to be total football, don’t get me wrong, but we want to dominate the ball better, especially in the opponent’s half, and for more prolonged periods of time'...

'We will now be judged,' he says. 'We’re not steering somebody else’s ship, we’ve recruited the way we wanted and the proof will now be in the pudding whether we can deliver it or not.. We can’t be complacent and just think that because we were in the play-offs last year, we’re going to smoke it in the play-offs this year. You saw what happened to Wrexham, Fylde paid the ultimate price of being relegated, Ebbsfleet have been relegated after being on the verge of the play-offs the year before...

'It’ll be interesting to see how teams approach us off the back of last year,' says Millington, 'because we’re trying to drive a new culture here whereby we move from being plucky little Halifax who occasionally get a little bit of the limelight and have a good day, to being a team that people expect to do well, expect to be up there fighting at the right end of the table'".

The Leader Live reports that manager "Dean Keates insists the potential takeover has not placed extra pressure on Wrexham to challenge for promotion this season... The Reds begin a 13th campaign in non-league with a home game against Boreham Wood tomorrow...

Excitement is growing off the pitch too following the announcement that Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are interested in taking over the club...

'There’s always pressure at this football club regardless of the potential takeover,' said Keates. 'There is an expectation at the football club. It was nowhere near that expectation level last season, we have to make sure them [sic] wrongs are put right this season and make sure we get this club put back.

'Are people going to look at us different [sic]? I would imagine so if this takeover happens but it has not happened at the moment... It is over to the players now to win football matches'...

Keates has completed 11 new signings and he hopes the changes have the desired effect. 'It has given a level of optimism to the fans,' said Keates. 'There is fresh impetus, players have come in that want to develop and go forward for their own careers, and that coincides with us wanting to take the football club forward. For me it is the perfect marriage...

'We have got competition for places and the players know that now,' said Keates... 'I believe we have got two players for every single position and at that given time, anybody can go and play. Players have to be bang at it to give themselves the opportunity to play the next game... We have to make sure we win our home games,' said Keates... 'The fans make a massive difference especially at Wrexham, they have become a 12th man over the years. We have to just deal with it and try and pick up maximum points whenever we are at The Racecourse until we get the fans back in, and they can make the difference then'".

Banbury Cake tells us that "Young Oxford United forwards Malachi Napa and Slavi Spasov have joined Woking on loan.

The pair are expected to be involved in the Vanarama National League side's home game against Solihull Moors tomorrow after completing their moves this week.

Napa, 21, has made one appearance for United's first team this season, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute... in the EFL Trophy..

Spasov, now 18, played twice for the U's in 2018 and made history on debut that September. The teenager became the club's youngest ever scorer at 16 years and 226 days when he netted a penalty in the 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Fulham Under 21s".

2 October 2020


As both Altrincham and Weymouth return to the top flight of non-League football on Saturday, with a clash at the J Davidson Stadium, it is timely to recall that both clubs' first-ever league fixture at national level, which took place on the opening day of the inaugural season of the Alliance Premier League (which became the Football Conference), was also a match between the two sides which took place in Dorset on 18 August 1979.

The game ended in a goalless draw. At the end of that season Altrincham were the champions and Weymouth were the runners-up, just two points behind. That was in an era when only two points were awarded for victories.

When the sides met in the return fixture at Moss Lane, on 1 March 1980, it was Weymouth who arrived as the league leaders, two points ahead of third-placed Alty, but having played two more games than the Robins. In that game, effectively the title decider, Altrincham won 3-2 as is reported, below, by The Robins' Review.


Altrincham go into 2020-21 season as both a newly promoted club to the top-flight of non-league football and, paradoxically, also as the most experienced club in the division! This will be the start of the club's fifth spell at the top level, and 2020-21 will be their 28th season at that level, three more than their nearest rivals in the National League division for 2020-21, who are Woking. Coincidentally, Alty's first opponents this season, Weymouth, play Woking on Tuesday night, meaning they face the two longest-serving clubs in the division in their first two fixtures.
  • 1979-1997: 18 seasons
  • 1999-2000: 1 season
  • 2005-2011: 6 seasons
  • 2014-2016: 2 seasons


Before Saturday's game, Weymouth welcomed "the news that the Government plans to support National League clubs while fans are not permitted to attend matches. While we are deeply disappointed that our loyal supporters cannot be there to watch the team’s appearance in the National League for the first time in many years, and we recognise the frustrations with this situation, we are grateful for this planned financial lifeline which is vital under the current guidelines.

We look forward to hearing further details and seeing a fair allocation of funding reflecting our business planning, past attendances and revenues. With the expectation of funding, we now anticipate being able to compete in the Emirates FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Vanarama National League, starting this Saturday away at Altrincham in the League.

We will treat our season ticket holders fairly and with the respect they deserve. We as a club are very grateful to our supporters... We aim to honour that commitment by giving them access to all our streamed live games and extra exclusive content through our new streaming website without charge. However, we understand and appreciate that everybody’s circumstances are different and respect that if wanted the club would honour a full refund.

Thank you again for all your support and patience through these uncertain times, we look forward to the resumption of competitive football at Altrincham this weekend and at the Bob Lucas Stadium next Tuesday against Woking."


Altrincham welcome Weymouth to what promises to be a very wet J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the clubs kick off their 2020-21 season in the National League. It is a clash between two promoted clubs and the similarities continue as the Terras (so called because of their original terracotta coloured shirts, apparently), have risen two divisions in the past two seasons, with Alty securing a similar double elevation but over three campaigns.

For Altrincham this will be a fifth spell at the top level of non-League football whilst for the Dorset club it is their third stint at that level. Alty were last at this level in 2016 whilst Weymouth were relegated in 2009.

Weymouth's previous two campaigns at Step One add up to a total of 13 years competing in the top flight and, despite Alty's ups and downs, each of those 13 seasons has coincided with Altrincham's presence in the same division meaning that the clubs have so far met 26 times in league competition.

Alty's record against The Terras in those league games is as follows:

  • At Altrincham: P13 W10 D2 L1 F26 A10
  • At Weymouth: P13 W3 D5 L5 F11 A14
  • All: P26 W13 D7 L6 F37 A24

The clubs have also met three times in the FA Trophy. Firstly, in 1976-77 at the quarter-final stage, after a goalless draw in Dorset, Weymouth won at Moss Lane 2-1 in a replay.

And in 2003-04 Altrincham won a Fourth Round Trophy game, at Weymouth, 2-0.

The clubs last met at Moss Lane in 2008/09 season at the end of which The Terras were relegated. That was a Blue Square Premier fixture, which took place on Saturday, 14 March 2009. Alty won it 4-0 against a Weymouth club in financial turmoil at that time. Earlier in the season, however, The Terras had defeated Alty 2-0 in Dorset when former Chelsea man John Hollins was their manager.

For the Moss Lane fixture, Alty had Chris Senior already ruled out for the rest of the season and centre-back Mark McGregor, an ever-present so far that season, was also missing, with a hamstring problem. SO, Altrincham made two changes. In came striker Joe O'Neill and defender Michael Welch, making respectively their third and first league starts for Alty that season. Alex Meechan returned to the bench after illness.

Weymouth's financial troubles had prompted a large-scale departure of players so their line-up for this match was unfamiliar to all. In fact, only Mawer and Cutler remained from the squad which had beaten Altrincham earlier in the season, with captain Stephen Reed banned for the Moss Lane game.

Above: March 2009, Alty and Weymouth shake hands before kick off, a ritual that will not be repeated in the Covid climate of 2020

In this return fixture, Altrincham got off to a fine start against Weymouth's hastily assembled team, which was made up mostly of youngsters. The Robins took the lead at the end of the first minute when Johnson's long throw from the left was flicked on towards the back post, where Michael Welch was credited with the goal but keeper Evans had actually turned it into his own net.

Weymouth's Ryan hit the post with a long range freekick after three minutes but then a great lob by Colin Little from a Coburn punt made it 2-0 (8 mins).

Dale Johnson made it 3-0 in the 13th minute after Joe O'Neill had headed down a Shaun Densmore corner from the right. After this frantic start Alty coasted to half time but made it 4-0 four minutes after the break when O'Neill's rising shot went through the keeper's hands.

The match was an anti-climax after that although, to their credit, Weymouth kept going and their handful of fans kept beating their drum.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 18. Michael WELCH, 22. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG; 21. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 12. Joe O'NEILL, 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 11. Warren PEYTON, 23 Richard ACTON (gk), 2. Chris LANE, 15. Alex MEECHAN. 4. Mark McGREGOR.

WEYMOUTH: 1. Simon EVANS; 21. Jordan VINCENT, 2. Cameron MAWER, 7. Gavin HOYTE, 22. Jordan COLLINS; 5. David RYAN, 13. Sam CUTLER, 12. Billy CROOK, 10. Callum HART; 11. Jake HYDE, 8. Jermaine PALMER. Subs: 24. Ryan McKECHNIE, 25. Joseph PRODOMO (gk), 17. Ollie TRIBE, 19. Tom RICHARDSON, 26. Bostry BANSENDE.


After Ian Senior and Chris Senior (no relations), Altrincham have now just employed their third Senior in recent history with the signing of right-back Joel Senior (aged 21), who has been on trial at the club during September. He becomes the 22nd player to be assigned a squad number for 2020-21 and he will wear the number 24 shirt.

Aiden Beswick's interview with Joel is on YouTube via the Altrincham FC website, which adds that "The Altrincham manager, who celebrated his 40th birthday a week ago is delighted with his latest recruit.

'I'm really happy with Joel. He's very similar to Shaun Densmore, obviously without his vast experience and know-how. He can see what I can see, that there is potential for him here and, when he sees those opportunities, he's got to take them and I think someone like Joel will'" said Phil Parkinson.

Born in Didsbury, Joel started out as a youngster with Oldham Athletic, who released him at the age of 15, which led to a spell playing at Sunday-league level. His career was rebuilt via NW Counties football at Maine Road, followed by his joining FC United of Manchester in National League North and then a move to Curzon Ashton at the same level, before he signed for Premiership club Burnley, who later released him.

ON THIS DAY: 2 October

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date came on 2 October 2010 against the now defunct Rushden & Diamonds, at Moss Lane. The match in the Blue Square Bet Premier ended in a 2-2 draw as, for the third time in a week, Altrincham came from behind to secure a draw. This time, both the opposition goals were gifted to them; the first, a penalty, and the second, by a defensive mix-up.

Laft: Robbie Williams (far left) runs back to his own half after heading Altrincham's late equaliser. He is followed by James McCarthy and Kevin Holsgrove.

Michael Welch and Ryan Brown remained sidelined by injury as did striker Michael Twiss. Loan signing Andrai Jones was dropped to the bench as Matty Crowell came into the starting eleven. Otherwise the team was unchanged.

The afternoon started well for Altrincham when Damian Reeves headed his fifth goal of the season after a mesmerising dribble on the left by Nicky Clee. That was in the 8th minute but Robbie Lawton conceded a penalty soon afterwards when he brought down Day inside the box. Howe beat Coates from the spot to make it 1-1 (15 mins).

Altrincham did not play as well in the second half but Rushden looked a shadow of the side that did so well last season. The game looked set for a stalemate when a routine aerial ball into the box was headed by Joseph with his goalkeeper, Coates, just behind and waiting to claim it. The ball dropped for O'Connor to score easily (73 mins). After that, Alty seemed to be making too many mistakes to get an equalizer but one arrived in the 89th minute.

With Alty having barely won an offensive header all afternoon, Densmore's freekick from the right was expertly met by Robbie Williams's forehead to make it 2-2. Alty then pressed for a winner but could not produce one in the four added minutes.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. James COATES, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 2. James SMITH, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 18. Matty CROWELL, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Chris DENHAM, 8. Damian REEVES. Subs: 23. James McCARTHY, 1. Stuart COBURN, 20. Sam HEWSON, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 14. Andrai JONES.


Torquay United report that "With the club delighted to announce that the opening day fixture between Torquay United and Stockport County will be streamed live via the official club website, The Wine Box are giving supporters the opportunity to cheer on the lads in style with a superb 2-for-1 offer on the club’s own signature brew, Bryn 1899!

From the safety of their own home, fans purchasing a 12x 500ml case of Bryn 1899 will now receive a second case, absolutely free! Supporters living in the TQ1 area will also receive free delivery on their order".

Many clubs are setting up streaming services for Saturday's fixtures and one of these is Sutton United where "Passes are now on sale for SUFCtv’s live streaming of the opening Vanarama National League game of the season on Saturday against Maidenhead United. The cost will be £9.50 to non-Sutton United season ticket holders...

Sutton United season ticket holders will have a code emailed to them in advance of the game giving free access to the streaming. A reminder that the game is being played behind closed doors and no spectators can be admitted."

At Solihull Moors proclaim that "The Moors are back! After a break of almost seven months without a competitive fixture, Solihull Moors open their 2020/21 Vanarama National League campaign with a trip to Woking...

Woking won three, drew two and lost two of their seven pre-season encounters. Meanwhile, the Moors won three, drew two and lost one of their six friendlies.

In the Opposite Dugout is Alan Dowson. Alan, better known as ‘Dowse’, took over as Woking manager in May 2018 following the Cards' relegation from the National League. Despite starting the season with just one contracted player as well as a whole host of other issues to be resolved both on and off the pitch, Dowson enjoyed a superb first season as boss, earning an immediate return to the top flight of non-league football with promotion via the play-offs...

Woking will be providing a live stream of the fixture, priced at £12... An online match programme has been produced by our hosts and a digital copy can now be downloaded for just £2.25".

Another streaming price comparison comes from Notts County who tell us that "Dover Athletic will be providing a live stream of Saturday's behind-closed-doors curtain-raiser.

You can purchase a match 'ticket' (£8)... We are currently assessing our options regarding the streaming of all non-televised 2020-21 home matches and will provide an update in due course."

At Hartlepool United the club's "first home game of the season will be live streamed... This year we have partnered with the streaming experts Insight4 who have been able to provide us with an up to date and high quality service... Season ticket holders will be directly emailed before Saturday... Inside the email you will find your specific username and password that you will use to login every home matchday that will give you free access to the stream.

To access the stream, you will just need to click on the link we provide on our website and social media channels, sign in with this designated login and the stream will load.

Non season ticket holders... pay £9.99 to access the stream".

Barnet "are delighted to welcome Dwight Pascal to the Club as he rejoins for a second stint with the Bees!

The 19-year-old rose through the ranks here at The Hive London as a scholar, where he went onto to make his First Team debut, aged just 15 when we took on Peterborough United in the EFL Trophy... before departing in 2019.

Dwight has had a spell at Potters Bar Town since leaving but now returns to The Hive London...

He said 'He's (Peter Beadle) shown immense trust in me as soon as I came through the door. It has been amazing to have been shown the faith and trust that he has shown in me... I feel I am home again'".

Also at Barnet The Bees "announce the signing of former Mansfield centre-back Matt Preston.

Preston joins the Bees having made well over 100 appearances at Football League level, his signature was highly sought after by a number of fellow National League clubs and this signing comes as a welcome boost with the new season on the horizon.

The 25-year-old started his playing days as a youth player at Walsall... He went on to make 41 senior appearances for the Saddlers before making a move to Swindon Town in 2017. The 6ft centre half made a further 21 appearances in his first season with the Robins... Preston's inaugural and only season with the Wiltshire Club was cut short after he received a serious knee injury which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.

Our newest recruit, who is likely to partner with fellow new addition Ben Nugent, moved closer to home when he joined his former club Mansfield Town in 2018. He spent two seasons with Mansfield, where he made 68 appearances... His significant Football League experience will come as a huge boost to Peter Beadle, who will be relying on Preston to be a focal point in our defensive line".

One team will not be starting their season on Saturday as Bromley remind us that "With the Club’s opening National League fixture away to Macclesfield Town being postponed, it has been confirmed that Brentford B will visit Hayes Lane on Saturday 3rd October for a friendly, kick off 1pm.

As per previous pre-season fixtures, the match will be played behind closed doors, with no access to the public. However, the match will once again be streamed live for supporters to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes".

Boreham Wood state that "With the Hollywood takeover of Wrexham seemingly imminent, Boreham Wood FC with all of its film background, are pleased to announce our live streaming initiative that will hopefully cover all Wood home and away games (subject to games being streamed and dependent on Arsenal Women and Development fixtures onsite at the same time.)

With 17 tables of various group capacities being available, we are pleased to say that we have already sold 8 since 8pm last night... Once you buy a table, that table is yours for the season as long as you book it for each game. That said, if you choose to give it up for a game and it subsequently gets taken over by someone on our waiting list, then it becomes their table until they give it up, repeating the chain…

For your comfort and safety of the Wood Army, the Club have built a new one-way system which includes two new bars along with the installation of new carpets and wall mounted sanitisers at all entry and exit positions. The Club will also be operating table service only, as well as temperature checks and a wristband system that will be in operation upon your arrival.

We want you to enjoy yourself and with our new 80" large screen TV and an extra 9 TVs that have been installed for the season, there is nowhere better to watch the game! We need your support of course, but we need you to be safe and responsible when doing so! With that in mind the Football Club will be open from 1pm until 6pm on match days and is strictly a pre-booked table venue... Don’t miss out on the chance to see Wood’s first game of the season surrounded (socially distanced) by your fellow ‘Wood Army!’"

One team will not be starting their season on Saturday as Bromley remind us that "With the Club’s opening National League fixture away to Macclesfield Town being postponed, it has been confirmed that Brentford B will visit Hayes Lane on Saturday 3rd October for a friendly, kick off 1pm.

As per previous pre-season fixtures, the match will be played behind closed doors, with no access to the public. However, the match will once again be streamed live for supporters to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes".

Aldershot Town "announce their full retained and released list for 2020/21.

The following players remain contracted to the club for season 2020-2021:

  • Kodi Lyons-Foster (Signed a two-year deal last year), Mitch Walker, Lewis Kinsella, Alfy Whittingham, Mo Bettamer, Reece Wylie, Craig Tanner, George Fowler, Ryan Hall, Harrison Panayiotou, Alex Finney, James Rowe

The following players have also joined the club for the 2020/21 season:

  • Jamie Sendles-White (From Crawley Town), Joel Nouble (From Concord Rangers), Josh Rees (From Bromley FC), Chike Kandi (From Dagenham & Redbridge), Killian Colombie (From Sporting Kansas II), Ben Shroll (From Youth Academy), Toby Edser (From Nottingham Forest), Ross McCormack

The following players have returned to their parent clubs on conclusion of their respective loan deals back in May:

  • Reece Grant (Dagenham & Redbridge) (Now at Ebbsfleet United), Gyliano Van Velzen (Crawley Town) (Now at SC Telstar), Lewis Walker (Queens Park Rangers) (Now at Como 1907)

The following first-team players are out of contract and have left the club:

  • Connor Shields (To Queen of the South), Jean-Yves Koue Niate (To Águilas FC), Robbie Tinkler (To York City), Ethan Chislett (To AFC Wimbledon), Reece Miller, Yannis Drais, Alefe Santos (To Weymouth), Dean Rance (To Dagenham & Redbridge), Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong (To Dartford FC)

1 October 2020


Weymouth visit the J. Davidson Stadium on Saturday for the first National League fixture of the delayed season. By 1 October last season Alty had already played thirteen games (eleven in the league and two cup matches).

From Dorset we learn from NL Daily that "Paul Maitland has returned as Weymouth’s director of football.

Maitland had been announced back in January as leaving the role, following eight years as a director. Also the Terras’ former assistant manager, he has recently been back as director on an interim basis, but now takes on the role again full-time.

The newly-promoted National League club say 'Paul has been a vital part of our success in recent years and we are pleased that he will continue his role with the club.'”

Meanwhile, Weymouth add that "manager Brian Stock believes the loyalty shown by departed star defenders Ash Wells and Stephane Zubar is 'very rare'.

Wells left Weymouth for Dorchester after a decade at the Bob Lucas Stadium, while Guadaloupe international Zubar exited after four years. Stock admitted the decision on both players’ departures was mutual and based on footballing reasons...

Stock said, 'Loyalty in this day and age to stay at a club, particularly Ashley for 10 years, is very rare. We look forward to his testimonial next year... Obviously with Zubes he’s been a major part of the success, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.

'It came to a point where we’re going to have the demands of the National League. Will they be able to play regularly, Saturday-Tuesday? Not only that, you have to look at their time away. They had to look at if they are going to be a part of this squad. They want to get paid a reasonable wage in order for that to be realistic for them to live off, being away from home and missing out on potential work when we travel on Friday.

'There’s a mixture of scenarios we fitted into the mix. We just felt it was the best situation for the club and for them as individuals as well. They’ve both left on mutual terms'".


Alty press and media officer, Brian Flynn, interviewed manager Phil Parkinson after his side's 5-1 win over Salford City's under-23s and this can be heard via the Altrincham FC website.


Chester FC announced on Wednesday that "The Blues are set to sign five new players this afternoon, with Bern and Jonno bolstering their squad ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup season opener at Worksop Town.

Our Joint Manager, Anthony Johnson [said]... 'Today we are absolutely delighted and most importantly privileged to be able to announce five new signings. The reason we use the word privilege is because each of these lads will be signing for our brilliant football club for FREE. As is normal in pre-season, every club up and down the country has players released from clubs who then go on to trial with other clubs in the hope of earning a contract. We at Chester are no different.

'These lads came in as recommendations and some who we have been aware of for quite a while. The standards they have all set in training have been outstanding and performances within friendlies have been of the highest quality. As such we’ve offered them all short-term non-contracts as we feel they will make our group a much stronger unit'.

Later Chester FC announced that "Central midfielder Paddy Lacey completes the new Blue arrivals this afternoon also signing a short-term deal at Chester FC.

The 27-year-old tough tackling defensive midfielder has plenty of experience prior to signing up at the Deva.

Paddy started his career at Sheffield Wednesday before a move to Bradford City in 2011. Following a spell [at] Barrow, where he won the National League North title in 2015, he went on to spend the 2016-17 campaign within the EFL with Accrington Stanley. The Liverpudlian has had recent stints at Southport and Stalybridge Celtic".

The story does not mention that Lacey joined Altrincham on 26 July 2012, having impressed as a trialist for Morecambe in a pre-season game against Altrincham, a few days earlier. However, after 12 starts and 21 more appearances from the bench, he was released and joined Barrow in summer 2013.


It is a while since Altrincham had a competitive game on today's date but back in 2011 that was the date on which they bowed out of the FA Cup with Budweiser at the second Qualifying Round, losing 0-2 to Witton Albion at Moss Lane. Witton were captained by Ben Harrison, later to join Altrincham as did his team-mate Josh Hancock.

Right: Alty's first wearing of the Moss Lane centenary kit did not have a happy outcome. Here, Michael Twiss competes for the ball against Witton's Ben Harrison.

The result was a continuation of Altrincham's poor FA Cup form at the time; they hadn't even scored in the competition since October 2008, (Chris Lane at Newcastle Blue Star). Witton Albion, then in the EvoStik First Division showed the greater determination to win. Despite having much of the second half possession, Alty lacked anything resembling a cutting edge, whilst it was first-half frailties at the back that allowed Witton to score.

Albion took the lead in the 11th minute when an Alty attack broke down 30 yards from goal. The ball went back up the pitch where Titchiner got the better of Mark Lees before firing past Coburn from about 12 yards, slightly right of goal. It almost became 2-0 when a Williams error led to Titchiner missing when he should have hit the target.

Altrincham had most of the play after the break as Witton eventually had six players booked in their keenness to keep Alty out. But, despite Alty having "goals" chalked off in each half for offside, the visitors defended well and Alty's unforced errors limited the pressure on the Witton goal. With three minutes left of normal time, a youthful Josh Hancock fed Buchan through the middle and he drew Coburn before scoring Witton's second goal.

And so, as well as suffering an embarrassing home defeat to a club two tiers lower in the pyramid, a much needed £4,500 in FA Cup prize money slipped through Alty's fingers.

Alty captain Robbie Lawton missed this game with his continuing tendinitis problem below his knee but Simon Richman was on the bench after his injury absence. Matt Fearon was out injured as Alty fielded only five of the seven permitted substitutes in the FA Cup. Cheshire FA rules apparently meant that youth team players selected for the County could not be chosen to make up the numbers.

Altrincham's side comprised 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Chris LYNCH, 6. Mark LEES, 5. Rob WILLIAMS, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. James LAWRIE, 4. Anthony DANYLYK (capt), 8. Shaun DENSMORE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 12. Adam FLYNN, 15. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Astley MULHOLLAND, 18. Adam REID (gk).


At Stockport County, "The Club are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Ryan Croasdale, following his release from AFC Fylde.

The former Kidderminster man has signed a three-year deal at Edgeley Park, and trained with the first-team squad for the first time this afternoon. Ryan began his career coming through the academy at Preston North-End, making one competitive appearance for the Club, whilst also enjoying loan spells at non-league Tamworth and Stalybridge.

The England C international then spent two years at Sheffield Wednesday before moving to Kidderminster in 2016... After being named Club Captain in his second year at Kidderminster, Ryan then moved on to AFC Fylde in 2018, for a fee of £50,000. He spent two years at Mill Farm, making over 50 appearances...

Manager Jim Gannon said, 'Ryan is a player I have always admired since I saw him playing for Kidderminster Harriers. He is a hard working, very conscientious and talented midfielder. He always displays a real array of defensive and footballing qualities that mean he looks comfortable in any midfield role. In recent seasons, having watched him in close quarters against County, I have been impressed with the application of his all round athleticism to add another attacking dimension to his game, and he has scored an impressive number of goals from midfield.

'We are very fortunate to find such a talented player available on a free transfer due to the situation he found himself in at his previous club. All I can say is that having met the player, and asked many people in the game about him, he has a great character, and professionalism that belies the way in which he has been treated, and the situation that he and his young family find themselves in...

'Adding another central midfielder for the season ahead was vital in securing the quality and depth needed for a successful campaign'">

Earlier the Lytham St Anne's Express had reported that "The 26-year-old, who joined the Coasters for a club record fee of £50,000 in June 2018, is now a free agent following an appeal panel’s decision. Fylde’s statement, posted on the club’s official website, said the situation between club and player began in April once the National League season was curtailed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It claims players accepted a deal that equated to them receiving 80 per cent of their wages, made up by a combination of the government’s job retention scheme and the club. It’s alleged that every player bar Croasdale signed up to the deal with Fylde’s statement saying the player cited ‘severe hardship’ as his reasoning.

Fylde’s statement continued 'Having set out our stall and got the agreement from 16 out of 17 contracted players we obviously couldn’t make exceptions, and although he refused to sign the paperwork, we put him on the government job retention scheme.'

The club then goes on to claim that Croasdale filed a grievance to the league on August 7, regarding not being fully paid. The league found in favour of the player, and although Fylde appealed that decision, the original verdict was upheld.

Fylde added 'As of Thursday this week, Ryan’s contract was terminated by the FA and he is now free to ply his trade anywhere he chooses. The lucky club who picks him up will do so for free.'"

At Wealdstone "New Stones striker Danny Parish has spoken on his excitement ahead of the Wealdstone’s first game of the new National League season against Chesterfield at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday afternoon...

Parish netted six times in pre-season and knows he has the foundation to build on. 'I push myself as hard as I can, I could have had more goals in pre-season and I know that every chance I miss is a chance to find the back of the net. Scoring six goals was good but pre-season means nothing if I can’t take it into the season.'

New man Parish is no stranger to playing at this level as he was instrumental for former club Maldon and Tiptree in their impressive FA Cup run..

He is aware that it will be different to what he is used to... 'It’s just going to take some getting used to. I’ve done well so far and getting up to speed with the play.'

Parish, who joined the club alongside Charlee Hughes in the summer, believes that he has settled in well at the Stones...

'I haven’t played a lot with Ross [Lafayette] yet, but he’s really good with giving advice with any situation, even at training when he’s on the side he gives me helpful advice. Even though we are a different type of player, he’s really experienced and I can learn a lot from him... Hopefully I’ve done enough to start against Chesterfield. If not, then I need to look at myself and fight my way into the team which I have no problem doing.

'We’ve done some analysis on Chesterfield this week, we’ve had videos sent through to us and we’ve done our research on them'".

Dagenham & Redbridge "confirm that Luque has cancelled his contract with the club by mutual consent.

The Spanish winger joined the club last summer from Concord Rangers and made 30 appearances in all competitions for the Daggers last season, scoring five times".

And also from Dagenham & Redbridge "With the changes made by Government over the past couple of weeks all clubs have had to very quickly adapt their plans and preparations and we are no different.

Just four weeks ago the National League gave clubs permission to provide a full streaming service if they wished. Since then the club has been working hard on a bespoke streaming service for all our home league games. The equipment was installed last week and has been undergoing tests over the past few days and we are confident that it will be ready for our first home game on Tuesday 6th October...

Only home teams are able to stream games which means that access to away matches is reliant on our opposition's service".

According to the Nottingham Post on Wednesday, "Notts County and all National League clubs must provide their financial returns by the end of the day... The government has agreed to give clubs an emergency grant to help fund them while games are played behind closed doors...

It emerged today that clubs are now being asked for their financial figures to determine how much support they will need and will largely focus on gate receipts and how much income they are losing out on...

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said 'Yesterday we provided the National League with assurances that financial support from the Government will be forthcoming so they can start this season this Saturday. We have asked for detailed financial returns from all major spectator sports to see what support they need. We expect those returns by the end of today. Any club in immediate financial distress should alert their sports governing body'..

Clubs further up the pyramid in the Football League will now also hope financial aid will be coming this week after the government were warned teams were weeks away from shutting down the season unless they are bailed out. Sunderland co-owner Charlie Methven said 'If the government is not taking responsibility (for their ban on fans) then clubs have to think very seriously about mothballing. There is no useful function in pretending to be a football club when you can't attract revenue to pay the players. What is not realistic is that EFL clubs will continue to play indefinitely with no gate receipts.

'That cannot happen, no way it can happen. Without a bail out, there is no chance those leagues will continue indefinitely... It is super urgent. We are 3-4 weeks from that decision becoming acute, at the outside. A small number of clubs will fail to meet October payroll and a very significant number who fail to meet November and December payroll... They subsidise art galleries in London while allowing clubs in these small footballing towns, where the club is the hub of society, to go to the wall.'"

The Eastern Daily Press says that "Three days before arguably the biggest match in the history of King’s Lynn Town,and its defunct predecessor come to that, no one knew whether or not the season would even begin.

Around lunchtime on Wednesday, anyone connected with the world of non league football was switched on to the House of Commons, waiting to be told the government had ridden to the rescue of a level of the game that was in danger of falling in between the cracks... But who bails out the National Leagues? Turns out it was the government who stepped in. Because they had to...

The problem facing Lynn was that promotion to compete at the National League level for the first time costs money. Cleeve won’t reveal his budget, but you can guarantee it is five figures each week...

Would Lynn have lasted the season without government help? No chance. 'Without this the club could not have continued throughout the season,' said Cleeve...

Nigel Huddleston, Department of Culture, Media and Sport minister [said] 'Yesterday we provided the National League with assurances that financial support from the government will be forthcoming so they can start this season this Saturday. Funding will be focused on those most in need and it will be based on the loss of gate receipts. I can’t give details today. We are working on those details as I speak.'

It’ll be fun calculating that figure: Lynn’s attendance doubled last season to over 1,400 for home games. The game against York City attracted a crowd of 4,019, the best in the National League North. Clearly, they’d be looking at home gates of more than 2,000 this season. But how does government work out exactly how many and, therefore, how much ‘compo’ to give Lynn?

And is compensation for absent fans better than allowing in only, say, 300 fans? Clearly that depends on the extent to which government subsidises clubs.

'It is critical that the government don’t base this on historical attendances,' said Cleeve. 'Our budgets are based on what we expect to happen in the new season'"

The Halifax Courier tells us that "Halifax Town boss Pete Wild says The Shaymen will be ready for their big kick-off against Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, despite a flurry of injuries throwing a spanner in the works.

'We may need to bring reinforcements in for Saturday to help the squad. As it stands, we’re down to about 16 lads for Saturday, if that,' said Wild, who did not want to identify which players were injured. 'We pushed the boys hard over pre-season. People might say why are we picking those injuries up, but we felt we needed to push them harder than when we came back for the play-offs, that was one of our learnings.

'We’ve pushed them because we felt they needed to be ready but, unfortunately, a by-product of that is the injuries we’ve picked up. They’re not muscle injuries, they’re just knocks, bumps here and there, but they’re really preventing us from getting our strongest 11 out, which has been a frustration for me to be honest.

Wild said there would be 'potentially two' new signings this week, but 'hopefully three... However, one thing we have got is strength-in-depth in the squad this season and players who can come in and make the shirt their own and prove themselves whilst other players are out injured'".


The NW Counties Football League reports that "Warrington Rylands have been handed a boost as The BBC have announced that they will be showing their Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round against York City on their BBC iPlayer, Red Button and BBC Sport Online platforms.

The game, on Saturday 3rd October has a 3pm kick off will be Rylands first appearance on The BBC and a fine stage as the club take on National League North opposition...

This is Rylands's second FA Cup campaign, last season they exited at the Extra Preliminary round and there are 80 places in the league pyramid between the two clubs."