Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

January 2021

31 January, 2021


On Saturday afternoon Altrincham FC released a YouTube review of the season so far, combined with co-chairmen Bill Waterson and Lawrence Looney updating supporters on current developments and on-going plans for the Club which has the explicit target of achieving League Two status in the not too distant future. The full programme can be found via Alty TV on YouTube

Hosted by press and media officer Brian Flynn, Bill stated that the club, this season, "is in a much better position than we could have possibly imagined", lying in the play-off places of the National League.

Lawrence added that last season's "FA Cup run kick-started what is happening now".

The co-chairmen spoke about the recent expansion of the Board and, although the latest additions had been two people based in Canada, there is "further inbound investment, more local, to be announced" in the near future, stated Lawrence.

Bill (left) explained that the aim was not to attract a big investor to bankroll the club but to have a Board which collectively was able to "carry on its shoulders" whatever was required to reach the EFL. He added that the intention was that the Board would be "strategic rather than just operational".

The co-chairmen explained that a recent player-move, "the biggest deal we've ever put together" for a loan player had fallen through and the player had gone to a rival club where he has helped that club rise up the National League.

Discussion then turned to the Club's plans to revamp the J. Davidson Stadium. Already the upgrade of the Sponsors' Lounge, led by director Neil Faulkner, was nearing completion.

In addition, the creation of a Fan Zone at the Golf Road end was progressing but had been delayed by Covid affecting the Council's planning process. "Pods" for this development were to be constructed off-site and "craned in" to the Stadium.

Phase Two of the stadium redevelopment was detailed by Lawrence. A new building to house the education element of the Club's Academy as well as a new toilet block and catering kiosk at the away end were in the pipeline.

There was also a need to upgrade the pitch at Moss Lane, not least to aid the style of play favoured by Phil Parkinson. Little work coud be done on the current 18 year-old pitch last summer because of the Covid situation and the need to keep the surface available for potential play-off games.

Above: The Moss Lane pitch was given an overhaul in the close season of 2019.

Next summer should see work carried out on the pitch but, longer term, possibly in 2022, it might be necessary to install a new pitch, which would cost around £400,000 but would last for 25 years.

The AFC Academy was the next topic, with a second intake of students due in September 2021. Already a number of promising players had emerged from the first intake.

Bill now discussed the streaming service which he stated brought in around 35% of normal matchday admission income.

Throughout the presentation both LL and BW praised the contribution of supporters to the club's development and one aspect of this was that record numbers of season ticket holders had been recorded this season.

Bill indicated that it was the intention to continue streaming even after supporters are readmitted to matches as it was recognised that many people would be nervous about returning and because it allowed supporters who lived away from the area, or who were otherwise unable to attend matches, to see the action.


Altrincham FC has announced that Nantwich-born striker Joe Piggott, who has just left Wigan Athletic by mutual consent, has returned to the J. Davidson Stadium. He has signed a contract till the end of 2021-22 season.

Brian Flynn interviewed the Alty manager Phil Parkinson to discuss Joe's signing on the Altrincham FC website.

21 year-old Joe's first spell with Altrincham started on 29 January 2019, on loan from Wigan Athletic. That was just after he had completed a loan spell at Morecambe, where he scored once (in the EFL Trophy) in nine appearances, six of which were in League Two. Joe was expected to stay at Alty till the end of the season but a back injury ended his season in late March 2019.

In his earlier career he had spent time at Rochdale and Everton. However, early in the 2017-18 season he joined Dundee United. After being released by the Scottish club, he joined Warrington Town in early 2018 before joining Wigan at the start of the 2018-19 season.

He made his Alty debut against FC United of Manchester on 9 February 2019 and he soon made his mark with a hat-trick at Curzon Ashton. His Altrincham appearances totalled 6 games in which he netted 4 goals.

After leaving Alty he had a loan spell with Stockport County in September 2019 before returning to The Latics where injuries affected his progress.

ON THIS DAY: 31 January

It is 13 years since Alty last played on today's date. In a rare Thursday night match at Moss Lane, Altrincham drew 2-2 with Woking.

This game had been brought forward from Saturday to Thursday to accommodate the cameras of Setanta Sports as they made their first visit to Moss Lane for a live game this season. There had been awful weather overnight and during the morning rush hour with heavy squally rain and, though the rain had held off for most of the rest of the day, the wind was still strong.

Right: Ryan Toulson is helped off the pitch by Ryan Shotton and physio Sean Riley

Few supporters had come to follow The Cards, not surprisingly given the timing, the weather and the prospect of watching the game at home on TV.

The so-far ever-present Altrincham captain Darren Tinson was missing his first match after being injured last Saturday but Greg Young was fit to resume at centre-back after he too had failed to complete the last match. Greg was now joined by Ryan Shotton, who moved from right-back. Richard Battersby was brought in for his first start, at right-back, in preference to Chris Lane, who remained a substitute. Robbie Lawton took over from Tinson as captain.

It was a Blue Square Premier league match, in which Alty went into the game in twentieth place; they were to end the season 21st but they were to be spared relegation by the financial problems of Halifax Town who had to reform as FC Halifax Town.

In the match against Woking, Altrincham showed great character to come back from two-down on a cold night at Moss Lane. Groundsman Neil Brown had done a great job to overcome the dreadful weather earlier in the day and produced an excellent playing surface, not to mention an intricate mowing pattern.

In a fairly scrappy first half in which the players had to contend with a gusty wind, a moment's lack of concentration on the Alty right allowed Norville to advance and when the ball reached the centre it came out to Quamina, whose low shot evaded Coburn's dive, low to his right (35 mins).

Referee Craig Pawson, in 2021 a Premier League referee, allowed a lot of pushes and nudges to go unpunished and when Lawton appeared to be shoved off the ball on the edge of the Woking box, he waved play on, allowing the Cards to break forward and Morgan slotted a low shot past Coburn (55 mins).

Two minutes later a well-taken goal by Little made it 2-1 and after Joe O'Neill had come on, Alty adopted a 4-3-3 formation for the final half hour. Alty's second-half pressure was rewarded when Ryan Shotton lashed a shot into the top of the net after 71 minutes.

But the visitors then successfully kept Alty at bay and almost snatched a winner themselves when Hutchinson's effort was cleared off the line. In added time Alty lost Ryan Toulson to a dreadful tackle by Morgan who was finally booked after a catalogue of fouls

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Stuart COBURN; 17. Richard BATTERSBY, 16. Ryan SHOTTON, 10. Greg YOUNG, 31. James JENNINGS; 23. Ryan TOULSON, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 25. Liam KING, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 19. Chris SENIOR. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 6. Jake SEDGEMORE, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 15. Chris LANE, 22. Carlos LOGAN.


Wrexham.Com reports that "Wrexham Football Club is the only club out of 66 other league members not eligible for an avenue of pandemic support due to playing in Wales.

In a statement, club owners the WST have said Wrexham AFC 'has been excluded from the Sports Winter Survival Package (SWSP) for National League clubs, owing to our location in Wales'.

UK Government had announced spectator sports in England would receive a combined £300 million cash to help them survive the pandemic, with Wrexham’s league getting £11m with an extra £10m allocated for non league clubs via lottery funding with funding appearing league based rather than a geographic / devolved pot.

The release notes Sport England would be administering the funding, with Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport referring to “Britain” being a “sports powerhouse” adding, “this Government will do everything we can to help our precious sports and clubs make it through covid.”

A note at the bottom of the UK Government statement points to the funding announcement possibly being England only...

On Monday the Welsh Government announced a £17.7m grant based fund to support spectator sports in Wales, with football allocated £1.5m of the total pot, as we reported, with Rugby Union getting 76% of the funding... It will be up to the FAW how the £1.5m will be distributed and if Wrexham will see any funding".

In the Dorset Echo, "Weymouth boss Brian Stock has hailed the impact of Aston Villa loanee centre-back Dominic Revan.

Revan’s arrival at the Bob Lucas Stadium has largely been regarded as a coup and is a signal of the Terras’ intent to stay in the Vanarama National League.

Since joining the club, the 20-year-old has started three games, keeping a clean sheet in two recent wins over Hartlepool and Aldershot. Revan captained Villa on his senior debut against Liverpool...

Stock praised the former track sprinter’s all-round defensive game; 'His reading of the game is excellent. We’ve gone from a team lacking in aerial ability to a team that tries to press further up the pitch. Dom is not the tallest defender but what I love about him is he’s an out and out defender and every time it does go in behind he looks favourite to win the ball...

'A lot of clubs don’t like having centre-halves that are not over six foot, or even six-foot three. So, it’ll be a certain team that will want Dom. I look past that and look to what he gives us on the ball, what he gives us off the ball; his understanding'".

At Notts County "Neal Ardley has reaffirmed his belief that seeking to control possession is the best way forward. The boss oversaw a 2-0 victory against a strong Solihull side on Tuesday night as we kept our eighth clean sheet of the season...

'I know some people like the way we try and play in terms of dominating possession and others don’t because they get frustrated by it,' said the boss. 'The main thing for me is that we have an identity. When you’ve got the ball and you’re in control of the game, there’s less chance of the opposition scoring. It’s not that we’re not trying to score; we’re trying to get players into positions and cause teams problems, but we’re at our worst when we’re poor with the ball...

'I don’t like it when the game becomes like a tennis match; that’s when we can get stretched and it can be tough, even for good defences like ours... We try and defend from the front and play from the back.'"

The Southern League tells us that "Pitching In Southern Football League Premier Division South club Metropolitan Police have allowed young goalkeeper Rhys Forster to join Vanarama National League side Maidenhead United on a month`s loan.

Rated as one of the best young keepers around at the moment, the 21-year-old has been inactive since December due to the current lockdown and the Met were happy to allow him to get some game time in with the Magpies.

Forster signed for the Met from CB Hounslow during the 2019/20 season.

He featured 21 times before the first lockdown and 9 times in 2020/21 and is a young talent who has certainly caught the eye of many. He has previously been at AFC Bournemouth where he was unlucky not to earn a professional contract".

30 January 2021


Altrincham had no game on Saturday, as they were scheduled to play the defunct Macclesfield Town. So other teams took advantage, and Alty moved down from fourth to seventh.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

  • Barnet 0-2 Torquay United
  • Boreham Wood 1-2 Eastleigh
  • Bromley 2-0 Aldershot Town
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 2-2 Chesterfield
  • FC Halifax Town 2-3 Maidenhead United
  • Hartlepool United 1-0 Sutton United
  • King's Lynn Town 0-2 Wrexham
  • Solihull Moors P-P Wealdstone [waterlogged pitch]
  • Weymouth 0-1 Notts County
  • Woking 1-4 Stockport County
  • Yeovil Town 3-1 Dover Athletic


With no game today (Saturday), Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards writes that for 3pm this afternoon the club has "put together an Alty TV YouTube special that we hope will not only keep you entertained for the usual hour-and-a-half but provide an insight into the forward thinking that’s driving the club to new heights...

It includes all the goals so far from this remarkable season and the headline attraction of an in-depth interview with co-chairmen Lawrence Looney and Bill Waterson conducted by press and media officer Brian Flynn... Lawrence and Bill cover a wide range of topics, not least the board’s philosophy...

There’s an update on ground improvements, including the Sponsors’ Lounge, Fan Zone and pitch, media matters, such as BT Sport and streaming, and much more besides"


Altrincham FC have issued a statement from the Board which includes a pledge to see the season through.

"Clubs in the Vanarama National League are being asked to make a very important decision in the coming week; do we continue with the 2020-21 season? The position at Altrincham Football Club is clear; we carry on, we complete the current season even if we have to do it behind closed doors.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and it's one that will cost us money. But we’ve worked on our costings and taken our decision. We are concerned that mothballing the league and stopping playing football could inflict damage on the club and on the league that could take many seasons to repair.

Above: Altrincham with the Alliance Premier League Trophy, which they won twice.

We owe it to our supporters, to our players and management team, to our volunteers and to our history and that of the National League to do all we can to continue playing football, despite the burden it places on the club. We will have to find alternative ways to manage that cost impact.

That this will cause financial hardship for clubs, there is no doubt. But clubs at Step 1 and Step 2 have obligations as well. Obligations to Elite Sport and obligations to maintain and uphold those far-reaching advances that the founders of the league worked so hard to achieve.

The Alliance Premier League, as the National League was then known, was created over 40 years ago through the efforts of visionary club chairmen, led by Alty’s Noel White, and was intended to create a golden pathway for non-League clubs into the Football League...

You have to question whether the member clubs walking away from the current season fits with the status of the league and the aspirations of ambitious member clubs. You have to doubt that those member clubs seeking to finish the season early are honouring the memory of those pioneers who fought hard to establish automatic promotion to the Football League..

The National League, in exchange for automatic promotion to the Football League, must continue playing and conclude this season...

We play on, we finish the season".


Altrincham Today in an article published on Friday afternoon quotes Phil Parkinson as saying “I feel like we’ve adapted to this level, and I can see us going from strength to strength.”

As for the next opponents, Torquay United, the Alty boss said "They’re a massive club at this level, who are also full-time... Nine times out of 10, when we take the field, we’re playing lads that are training every day"...

And the Altrincham manager added that "The good news is that Sean Williams is coming back soon, who will give us that extra strength in depth, and we’ve got a new forward coming in either this week or next... We are absolutely punching above our weight. The lads are doing absolutely superb, and I’m ever so proud of them".


At Altrincham's request the match at Plainmoor against Torquay United this Tuesday (2 February) has been changed to a 7.45pm rather than 7pm as originally announced.

The change is at Altrincham's request. Presumably this change is because the team is travelling down on matchday.

The BBC reports that "Torquay United boss Gary Johnson expects the National League's top tier to reach a conclusion this season. Clubs will vote on the future of the campaign on Monday...

'I don't think there's a great demand from the National League teams in our league that want to cancel the league,' Johnson told BBC Radio Devon... 'There's got to be promotion and relegation into the EFL and out of it,' added Johnson, whose side are hoping to return to League Two after seven years out of the English Football League...

The National League season is due to end on 29 May, and Johnson does not expect it to be extended beyond that date...

Clubs did not start playing matches until the beginning of October... but will finish just a month later than the normal end point.'The lads are going to need a break, you can't go from one season to the next after playing the amount of games that we've played in the space of a short time... If you're at the top of the league for most of the season then at least you're in a good position for whatever decision might be made.'"

Devon Live reports that before Saturday's top-versus-bottom game against Barnet...Gary Johnson knows his team will have to be better than they were against Sutton United to be assured of a win...

On paper, Torquay should go there [Barnet] and stuff them, but football isn't played on paper. 'That's what Manchester United were thinking when they played Sheffield United', said Johnson. 'You can't take anything for granted. You are only top of the league because consistently you have played a better game than the opposition. If you drop below the standard, as you saw at Premier League level, but especially at National League level where everything is a little bit more much of a muchness, you have got to go and perform better than the opposition'...

Despite not scoring a goal in their last two league outings, the Gulls beat Boreham Wood 4-0 in between in the fourth round of the FA Trophy... No team in the National League comes close to the 38 they have scored in 19 games so far. But it feels like Torquay are missing Danny Wright up front after the 36 year-old striker was forced to have an operation on a troublesome hamstring after Christmas. Between them, the other recognised strikers - Josh Umerah, Billy Waters and Rob Street (who has only played 45 minutes, to be fair) have scored just three goals between them in the league.

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans has scored five goals from the No 10 position, while Asa Hall, the 34-year-old midfielder, has scored four goals but he is suffering from a calf problem that means he can't play every game.

Also on the sidelines right now, along with long-term injured players Andrew Nelson and Liam Davis, are goalkeeper Lucas Covolan, defenders Gary Warren, Ben Wynter and Fraser Kerr, and midfielder Matt Buse.

Johnson has added Joe Lewis to his squad, the 21-year-old former loanee moving full-time from Swansea City, and the defender started the game against Sutton at right back and finished it at left back after the dismissal of Dean Moxey. The left back will miss the game at Barnet because of his one-match ban".


Next Tuesday Alty face the long midweek trip to Devon to face Torquay United. And the last time the clubs met at Plainmoor was also on a Tuesday night for a Vanarama National League match played on Tuesday, 12 April 2016, a fixture that had been postponed from 31 January.

Both teams were struggling; Alty went into this game in 22nd place, three points behind The Gulls but with a slightly better goal difference.

Above: Alty defend in the first half at Torquay.

Altrincham were in a weakened state. In addition to the long-term absentees, (Coburn, Densmore, Marshall and Clee), they had loanee defender Marcus Holness suspended, captain Jake Moult and loanee Jimmy Phillips out injured. Also missing from the starting eleven, for tactical reasons, were Josh Ginnelly and Damian Reeves. So Heathcote, O'Keefe and Crowther all started. Three of Alty's bench were yet to be involved in a league game. .

They fell behind after 18 minutes when Luke Young fired home from 30 yards and suffered a further blow when Simon Richman limped off ten minutes later, to be replaced by Reeves.

After a poor first half, Alty were sent out for the second half barely five minutes into the interval. The introduction of Ginnelly for the second half lifted Alty but as they appealed justifiably for Gerring's foul on Reeves, United broke forward for Harrad to poke the ball through Deasy's legs to make it 1-0 on the hour mark.

Alty kept going but could not get back into the game, the closest to a goal being O'Keefe's effort which was cleared off the line, as the final score was 2-0 to the Gulls.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN (capt), 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 15. Josh GINNELLY, 10. Damian REEVES, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 27. Adam SAVILL


Derek Goulding has been appointed manager of Litherland REMYCA on Merseyside. The former Alty man has previously managed AFC Liverpool and Burscough


From the Derbyshire Times we learn that "The Spireites have a bloated squad of more than 30 players and it has been well documented that the club has been working on outgoings for a number of weeks after making 12 new signings under manager James Rowe...

Kyle Letheren, Tyler Denton, Alex Kiwomya and Jordan Cropper have all departed in recent weeks, while Luke Rawson, Jamie Sharman and Jack McKay have been loaned out. Letheren has since joined Morecambe, while Denton and Kiwomya have both signed for King’s Lynn Town and Cropper returned to his parent club Burnley.

The futures of David Buchanan, Jonathan Smith and Scott Boden all appear to be in doubt after not being involved for a while...

When asked about the latest on outgoings, boss Rowe said 'I am sure there will be an announcement shortly, maybe in the next week or so, probably from the board that will explain what the plans have been and what has actually gone on in the process'".

And Chesterfield add that before they meet in Essex "James Rowe assessed the threat posed by Dagenham & Redbridge and looked at the challenges that lie ahead for the rest of the season.

He said 'It will be a tough game being our second away trip in four days. Their form has been mixed so they are capable of beating anyone and also being beaten... Our form has been very good: 17 points from eight league games. The challenge is to now continue that form and football is relentless..

'We can achieve anything this year still; it’s still wide open'.

Joe Rowley signed a contract extension during the week until the summer of 2022. Rowe stated that he is looking forward to overseeing the development of the 21-year-old once he is back from injury... Rowe said...' 'Because he has been around for quite a while, people forget that he has got quite a bit of experience for his age...

'For Joe [Rowley], it’s a grade two [hamstring injury]. He will be out around five weeks, but you never know with hamstrings... Tom Denton is still unavailable. He’s having an operation on Tuesday to clear up his knee. We are hoping it is just a clear up, but we are looking at around ten weeks for Tom.

'Jak [McCourt] is suspended and we will give someone else an opportunity'".

And the Derbyshire Times adds that "Joe Rowley has taken a pay cut after signing a new contract at the Spireites.

The 21-year-old... has signed an extended deal until the summer of 2022... [He] is believed to have been one of the higher earners at the club after signing a new deal when Town were in the Football League.

'Joe has been realistic about his wage demands,' boss James Rowe said... 'He is working within the new budget structure for his wage demands'".

However, according to the Derbyshire Times, "Joel Taylor will be available for Chesterfield’s trip to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

The 24-year-old has missed the last three matches due to Covid but the left-back is now back in contention...

Jak McCourt is unavailable after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Boreham Wood last time out so he serves a one-match ban. His place in the starting line-up is likely to go to either Gavin Gunning, Martin Smith or Jack Clarke... Clarke, who signed on loan from Aston Villa earlier this month, is yet to make an appearance".

Business Live poses the question "Who is Mark Stott? The businessman in charge of Stockport County FC and Cheshire-based Vita Group...

There aren't many people who get to own their hometown football club. But that's what Stockport-born property entrepreneur Mark Stott has managed to do, and the CEO of Cheshire firm Vita Group is now considered by many to be his town's most successful businessman ever...

The club certainly has big ambitions, and was bought a year ago by Mr Stott... a global developer, retailer and operator of leading property investment brands.

Armed with his £3,000 savings, Mr Stott joined forces with his business partner Lincoln Phillips, and they began selling cars from Mr Stott's driveway. Within six months, they had moved the business to a garage in Wilmslow.

In 1995, and still only 23, he decided to split up the partnership and go it alone, buying and selling cars such as Porsches and Ferraris... A year later, Mr Stott decided to invest some of the money he'd made and open a bar in Wilmslow... He ended up losing around £350,000.

In 2000, Mr Stott and his friend and business partner, Giles Beswick... focused their attention on the car business... Years on, he is now widely considered the town's most successful entrepreneur, having built two businesses - Select Property Group and Vita Group.

Select, founded in 2004, is an industry-leading UK property investment firm and a developer... It claims to be one of the first that identified the 'vast investment potential' of Dubai's property market... In 2012, Select partnered with one of the other group companies, Vita, to 'transform' the UK student property sector by forming Vita Student, and has since sold thousands of apartments to investors around the world...

Mr Stott bought Stockport County in January 2020, saying he wants to achieve 'great things' with the club... It has ambitious plans to reach the Championship within seven years".

According to NL Daily, "Wealdstone have recalled Ashley Charles from his loan spell at Concord Rangers.

He linked up with the National League South club back in December.

Concord have confirmed he has returned to National League Stones. Charles was part of the promotion-winning campaign last season for Wealdstone".

At Solihull Moors, Chairman Darryl Eales says "Our hard earned but deserved win at Dover on Saturday puts us back in the play-offs and overall, with our games in hand, we have a good platform to further consolidate this position...

It is essential we keep an eye on our points per game, given the ongoing possibility of the season not being completed in full... If the consequence is that the season is suspended, then first team staff and players will need to be furloughed and this will actually cost more than the grants!..

From a Moors perspective, we are fortunate to have a broad shareholder base, committed to funding the club over the long-term. On this basis, our position is to keep the season going and ensure, above all, that there is promotion to League Two!..

So far, the general consensus is that National League clubs will try to keep going whilst continuing to lobby for an extension of the grant funding...

We are delighted to have strengthened the squad with the additions of Nathan Cameron and Kyle Howkins and we still hope to bring in another striker. Fingers crossed also that Adam Rooney is back fully soon and Callum Howe in the next month or so".

Eastleigh report that "The victory over Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday night meant Ben Strevens’ side has risen to 15th... just four points off of the play-off places.

Joe Tomlinson made history on Tuesday night, as it was the first time Eastleigh scored two penalties in the same match since winning promotion to the National League in 2014.

In team news, Alex Wynter remains a doubt for the trip to Boreham Wood and Cav Miley will continue to serve his ban after being sent off against Sutton.

Boreham Wood... will start the weekend five places above Eastleigh, despite being just one point better off than the Hampshire side. Boreham Wood hav... not lost a National League game since 21st November. However, The Wood have drawn their last three games".

At Bromley, "After making his full debut for the Club on Tuesday night, Jude Arthurs... the U23s' graduate play[ed] the full 90-minutes and looking comfortable on the pitch...

'I remember coming straight in to Bromley after leaving Gillingham' he said. Jude... earned valuable first-team football experience during a loan spell to Ramsgate.

Jude was signed ahead of the 2020/21 season as a first year pro... meaning he would train with Neil Smith's 1st team, but also continue to ply his trade with the U23s...

'Since joining Bromley it’s been a breath of fresh air that I needed, having been at Gillingham for almost 10 years' Arthurs stated...

Arthurs would line up at full back against Woking.. 'All of the first team boys really helped me before the game, as they just let me go out and play my game and enjoy it'...

Jude becomes the latest on the growing list of Academy and Development squad products that have made first team appearances here at Hayes Lane. In recent years Jordan Higgs, Daniel Ajakaiye, Aiden Enver and Ollie Tanner have made the journey to the first team. Just a month ago promising young left-back Liam Vincent made his debut in the FA Trophy".

29 January 2021


According to the BBC "National League clubs across all three divisions will be offered the chance to decide what happens to the rest of the 2020-21 season on Monday.

Clubs have been told to expect a resolution, although they have not been told the specifics of what they will be voting on, or how long they will have to respond.

The latest communication comes after a board meeting and also following a letter sent to all clubs by Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, inviting them to one of two meetings, on Friday or Tuesday, to ask questions about the current funding situation.

Clubs have been told the £11m due to cover the cost of matches from January to March will be in the form of loans, which has already been deemed unacceptable by a majority of clubs in National League North and South.

There has been no indication of how costs would be covered after this period and the season is not due to end until May.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said grants can be applied for in extreme circumstances and that no club 'will be allowed to go to the wall'"

Meanwhile, sixteen clubs from the North and South divisions of the National League have signed a ststement saying "We have this evening received a letter from Nigel Huddleston MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sport, Tourism and Heritage) inviting us to a webinar tomorrow [Friday], which will allow Sport England to set out the criteria for loans and grants (the latter of which is available only for those with no ability to repay loans).

Loans are merely an extension to our life support and therefore foolhardy.

We have yet to receive any assurances as to how we may mitigate against our inability to test our employees and volunteers for COVID, or against the government’s insistence that we trade whilst insolvent...

We must now reiterate our stance.

Without adequate and fair funding towards COVID testing and to offset against the loss of income, we are unable to uphold the integrity of the football pyramid and insist that the season is curtailed no later than Friday, February 5, to allow all clubs to be assessed for grants".


The official Altrincham FC website has a post-match interview with Phil Parkinson after the win against Wealdstone.

The above link also takes you to video highlights of the match.


Altrincham travel to Devon next Tuesday to face league leaders Torquay United.

Off the field, the Daily Mail reports that "National League leaders Torquay United are at the centre of a criminal complaint in France following accusations of forgery and fraud by a former player. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala filed an official complaint to the French courts on December 23, 2020, in relation to a document he claims he did not sign or receive.

The 22-year-old claims his previous contract at Torquay was due to expire on May 2, 2020, after which his deal was to be renewed. But Lumbombo-Kalala insists he never received a formal offer for him to respond to, prompting him to approach rival clubs for employment.

After numerous refusals by clubs to sign him, Lumbombo-Kalala learned from prospective new teams that he was still under contract with Torquay, even though his deal expired in May. It is claimed that on October 12, 2020, and after multiple attempts at negotiations, Torquay presented him with a document refusing their contract extension offer.

Lumbombo-Kalala is adamant he never received or signed the form, which would have entitled Torquay to compensation from any club signing the forward. The complaint submitted to the French judicial courts have been made on the grounds of forgery, use of forgery and attempted fraud against any unnamed person whose name could be revealed by a police or judicial investigation...

The prosecutor will now decide whether to open a police investigation during which the player, his agent or Torquay United can be interviewed by the judicial police...

Torquay have been contacted repeatedly by Sportsmail but have not commented".

ON THIS DAY: 29 January

If it is goal you wnat, today's date is one to remember as the last three matches played by Alty on this date have been big home wins. Sandwiched between a 4-0 win over Lancaster City in 2005, and an 8-1 win over Stockport Sports in the Cheshire Senior Cup, Altrincham welcomed Boston United to Moss Lane in 2013 and beat them 7-1.

It was a match in Blue Square Bet North and was the third meeting between the teams that season, with Alty having won at York Street both in the FA Cup in October 2012 (3-1) and in the BSBN in December 2012 (3-2). This game had already been postponed twice before a hastily rearranged meeting on Tuesday, 29 January 2013.

This time Alty went one better than last season, when they beat Boston 6-1 at Moss Lane. But with the score in this match only 1-1 after 34 minutes, the eventual margin of victory did not look likely at that stage.

Despite the parity at that stage, Altrincham had been the better side from kick off and went ahead when in the 12th minute when Reeves rounded the keeper to score after a slick move started by Leather and Doughty. But Boston levelled with virtually their first attack of note when Smith hooked the ball into the net off the underside of the crossbar (19 mins).

It was Man of the Match, Duncan Watmore, who helped make Altrincham convert their superiority into goals. His fine run up the left saw him cut smartly between two defenders and feed Simon Richman who scored with a firm shot (35 mins). Four minutes later Watmore himself scored after a smart interchange with Richman. And, as half time neared, Richman's excellent looping header from a Doughty cross made it 4-1.

Left-back Scott Leather advanced upfield to score with a fine shot from the edge of the box, four minutes into the second half. Leather got forward again after 69 minutes and from the resulting cross by Clee, Reeves scored his second, and the team's sixth, goal. Five minutes from time Reeves fed Densmore up the right wing and his low cross was poked in by Ryan Brooke to make it 7-1.

The game ended with fireworks on and off the pitch. First Gary Silk was sent off after a mass brawl, with Nicky Clee being cautioned. And then Patrick Lacey's challenge prompted another melee and he got a booking. And, as the final whistle sounded, one of the floodlight pylons blew a fuse with a puff of smoke.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Scott LEATHER, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Duncan WATMORE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Matt DOUGHTY. Subs 12. Patrick LACEY, 14. Nicky CLEE, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Callum MOONEY, 18. Stephen BULLEN.


The Daily Star tells su that "Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's delayed takeover of Wrexham has seen the Hollywood A-listers make donations to help the National League side ‘make some moves’..

The Hollywood duo’s planes for a £2m investment in the National League side was approved by supporters in November... with the club awaiting approval from the Financial Conduct Authority. And McElhenney... said 'The Wrexham takeover is still not 100% official and unfortunately it appears the handover will not be complete before the transfer window closes. So Ryan and I have made a donation to the Club to allow them (us?) to make some moves. Up the town!'

And Wrexham... said 'The donation will ensure Wrexham AFC have the finances to strengthen the squad in the final days of the transfer window. We expect new players will now arrive at the club by the time the window closes at the end of the month...

'Completion of the deal is now conditional upon a change to the Wrexham Supporters Trust rules, as approved by the members in November last year, being registered by the Financial Conduct Authority'...

Wrexham’s takeover is also leading to a documentary which has been sold to Netflix, believed to be worth £800,000 per episode".

The Nottingham Post reports on County's midweek win over Solihull Moors. "It was tense, it was hard fought and it was not until Kyle Wootton popped up with two late goals that Notts could celebrate moving back into the play-off positions.

Notts's victory over Solihull Moors was never a classic, but it at least gave the fans a welcome 90-minute breather from the bleak headlines surrounding Covid-19.

'Football is keeping a lot of people sane,' said manager Neal Ardley afterwards. 'It’s tough and there’s a lot of people including my own family who are struggling with everything that is happening. I am living away from them during this period and I am struggling too'...

And should the league become null and void, it is highly unlikely that points per game will be implemented given less than half the season has been played meaning promotion and relegation would be abandoned...

'I get why teams aren’t happy with the funding but the National League needs to find a way to try to come through this,' Ardley said. 'At the moment our chief executive Jason Turner doesn’t seem worried and he thinks we’re going to be okay. I don’t know the reasoning behind him not being worried, but I feel like there’s a lot of teams in our league who want to finish the season and want to find a way of doing that...

'I need to be believing that we’ve got two thirds of the season left. That’s what I said to the players... We want to finish the season full stop. I’d like to think there’ll be quite a few who will want to as well. I have spoken to a few other managers in passing and that seems to be the attitude of most..

'I’m sure there will be a few down the bottom that want it to end and that’s always the way... We’ve played less than half a season. [PPG] would be ridiculous'".

At Barnet "Following Tuesday's disappointing defeat to Dover Athletic, Chairman, Tony Kleanthous has issued [a] statement...

'Last night our team position reached an all-time low during my tenure at the Club and it’s important that you, the fans, are appraised of what’s going on here to address the slide. A few weeks ago, after a disastrous 6-0 defeat at Chesterfield, I came to the conclusion that no further settling or improvement time could be afforded and that that we needed to make some radical changes in order to try and halt the obvious decline on the pitch.

I began the overhaul by rebuilding the whole backroom staff starting with the appointment of Tim Flowers as the new Manager, who brought in Gary Whild as First Team Coach and Darren Acton as our new Goalkeeping Coach. Along with this, I contacted an old colleague, Gary Anderson, who has a strong background working with Olympic athletes and appointed him as our full time Head of Performance.

We are now working on improving the playing squad with the addition of three new Centre Backs and I have also authorised another two players; one a striker, who we hope will join imminently.

It is a rather difficult time to attract players due to our League position and also the EFL transfer window, meaning players will await the end of this window before agreeing to come to the National League. However, we are optimistic that we can improve our current squad and my support for Tim in this department is ongoing.

The virus has taken its toll, with outbreaks on four separate occasions disrupting training. This makes it difficult to sustain a reasonable continuous training period...

The leisure side of the business has always underpinned the Club and ensured stability. With our usual income streams at a standstill for almost a year now, this has been challenging to say the least. The whole infrastructure that supports these businesses has to be held together and I have been working tirelessly to ensure stability for the Club...

Please keep the faith".

In the Lynn News, the "King's Lynn chairman Stephen Cleeve believes National League clubs will pull the plug on the current season unless a quick solution can be found to the ongoing cash crisis...

Cleeve thinks Saturday's clash against Wrexham could yet be Lynn's last home game of the current campaign.

He said 'If grants for clubs are unavailable and there is only the option of taking on a loan then the league will finish. Come February, if I'm told there are no grants available that's it as far as we're concerned, we'll have to stop.

'I'm exhausting all enquiries to try to get some funding and, like us, some clubs are prepared to give it a couple more weeks. I'll pay the players this week and next week but, after that, we'll have to stop playing unless any support is forthcoming'...

'I've already spoken to some owners who have categorically said that they are not going to play anymore this season,' said Cleeve. 'My gut feeling is that the National League North and South will finish and, if that's the case, you then have to ask yourselves is it worth the National League itself continuing if there is no promotion or relegation.

'Saturday could end up being our last home game of the season. If we can't compete then we need to sit it out on the sidelines until we can.'"

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "Maidenhead United midfielder Shaun Donnellan has been forced to cut short a promising first season for the Magpies, after a scan and consultation on his injured hamstring revealed the problem was more serious than first thought.

The industrious midfielder has been carrying the injury for some time and has been in pain from it for ‘as long as he can remember’, however, after talking with a consultant last month he has decided to go under the knife sooner rather than later... There is still an outside chance the 24-year-old could return this season, but the prognosis for recovery with this type of injury is between three and six months...

He said, 'I’ve been playing through a lot of pain, but I’ve had this injury for as long as I can remember. I went to see a specialist and had a scan done and he told me the tendon is away from the bone and that I’d need surgery if I wanted to get to the level I was previously at. It was a no brainer really...

'For most people this sort of injury is career ending, but I’ve been able to play on with it. I just didn’t know how serious it was... It will be between three and six months out'...

Said manager Alan Devonshire, 'The quicker he gets this done, the quicker he recovers... Hopefully, he’ll be even better next season'".

And the Maidenhead Advertiser also tells us that "Maidenhead United boss Alan Devonshire remains hopeful the National League Premier campaign can be completed as planned...

It’s possible all three divisions could be scrapped as early as this week if clubs refuse to play on without further grant support...

Devonshire hopes a way forward can be found in the coming days, and chairman Peter Griffin has said the club would consider a loan if it meant the season was completed.

'I think all clubs want to compete,' said Devonshire. 'There are two promotion spots which some of the bigger clubs want badly. They’ve spent a lot of money trying to get those spots. A lot of clubs at this level will want the league to continue, but it must be safe for us to carry on'...

He said 'I’m 64 and I’m a lot older than many of the managers in the league. I don’t want to catch it, so I’m being careful. But the way it’s spreading at the moment, you just don’t know? But I understand that people need a release from lockdown. If it’s safe for us to carry on, then we’re happy to play on.'”

However, one of Devonshire's fellow-managers has not been so luck so far as NL Daily reports that "Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll has spoken about his first-hand experience of the impact of COVID.

Sarll missed the Glovers’ game with Maidenhead United yesterday evening, with a further COVID case in his household, and he shared his personal experience with BBC Somerset earlier this week.

'I’ve got to say, and I don’t want to sound like I’m going over the top here, but it was probably the worst seven days of my life. It really hit me quite hard, it’s not been a very nice time at all, but I do feel a lot better now.

'I do still feel tired and aching a lot, and I’m sure people who have had it will empathise, but the worst has left me. I’m just kind of in that ‘after-effects’ stage now, but it’s not very nice...

'I didn’t have a particularly good time with it.'”

NL Daily that "Stockport County director of football Simon Wilson has said the club believe they have found ‘the best of all worlds’ with their new management team.

Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23 coach Simon Rusk has been announced as County’s new number one, assisted by Dave Conlon and Mark McGhee...

Wilson said 'We were inundated with interest in the role, from a variety of backgrounds, from highly experienced "been there, done it" types, to fresh-thinking, emerging profiles. Simon is a young talent, very highly regarded in the industry, and supported by Mark and Dave, we think we have found the best of all worlds.

'Simon follows the recent successful trend of highly regarded and hungry U23 team coaches coming into first-team management. His education, time in the trenches and experience across the divisions give him the perfect background for success.

'Behind him, with nearly 1000 games and three EFL promotions, including two titles, we welcome Mark McGhee. Completing the management team, providing vital continuity and National League insight is Dave Conlon, and along with Karlos, Nick, Sean and Luke, I feel we have a great backroom team for the club and its current players.'”

The Halifax Courier reminds us that "Town picked up four points from two testing away games at Bromley and Wrexham over the last few days, and host Maidenhead on Saturday before the rearranged clash with Hartlepool on Tuesday.

'They’ve got to back it up now, don’t let your hard work go to waste,' said the Town boss [to his team]. You’ve fought all December, and you’ve fought all January to keep yourselves in and around where you want to be, don’t be half-a-yard off... Don’t look at league tables, because they’re irrelevant, just concentrate on us, don’t worry about anyone else'...

Town are in the middle of a busy spell, with another two games in the space of four days after three games in eight days, ending with Tuesday’s draw at Wrexham.

'I’ve got some tired bodies... It’s testament to how they behave away from the club and how they look after their bodies how they’re performing...

'I’m pleased. 27 points from 19 games, that’s not a bad return,' he said. 'We’re progressing nicely, I don’t think we’re the finished article by any means'...

On Saturday’s opponents Maidenhead, Wild said... 'I think we’ll have three identical games in a week... You know what’s coming [against Maidenhead] and it’s more of what you’ve had at Bromley and what we had at Wrexham.'”

Solihull Moors "were left to rue missed chances as Notts County twice struck late to snatch a 2-0 win at Meadow Lane on Wednesday evening.

A brace from Kyle Wootton was ultimately Moors’ undoing but the visitors' failure to be clinical at crucial times in the game, cost them dearly.

Jimmy Shan’s men started where they left off at Dover with the Jamie Ward, Kyle Hudlin combination again proving a threat...

[After] a very solid first-half display from the Moors and Shan’s side would have been feeling somewhat aggrieved to not have been leading at the break. Solihull began the second half brightly...

Notts had barely threatened but as the game entered its closing stages, they sparked into life... With just over 11 minutes remaining, came the breakthrough. Enzio Boldewijn tiptoed his way through the defence before feeding Wootton who steered his shot beyond Ryan Boot in Moors' goal.

With the visitors pushing for an equaliser, substitute Rúben Rodrigues then showed a moment of class to put the game beyond Moors. The midfielder shaped to shoot but instead of letting fly, he squared the ball to Wootton for an easy tap in.

It was a result that was tough on Moors who put in a commendable away performance. No doubt Shan's men will be scratching their heads at how they didn’t come away with at least a point".

Boreham Wood report that "After a frantic encounter against an in-form Chesterfield side, Boreham Wood got their third league draw in a row and are now eight games undefeated in the Vanarama National League.

Luke Garrard’s men were unchanged following Saturday’s impressive performance at Stockport County but were unfortunately not able to end their recent run of draws with a win.

In a scrappy first half of few chances, both defences stood firm although it was the away side who dominated possession and looked the more threatening side as Boreham Wood struggled to get a foothold early on in the game...

Chesterfield’s early dominance came to an end when Joe Rowley got injured and had to be replaced after twenty-seven minutes. Boreham Wood started to play better after that... The visitors started the second half very well and looked the more likely to score...

After fifty-six minutes Luke Garrard shuffled his pack and brought on Tom Champion and Corey Whitely to replace Zaine Francis-Angol and Keiran Murtagh. From here on Boreham Wood dominated the game and started to control possession...

It was a battling performance from Boreham Wood against an inform Chesterfield side. Both defences were excellent and didn’t put a foot wrong in a game of few chances. Early on it looked like Wood would be happy with a draw. However after the double substitution, Wood looked more likely to snatch all three points".

28 January 2020


From Tuesday's digital Robins' Review, we learn from co-chairman Bill Waterson that during the pandemic "Behind the scenes, the board have been working very hard to keep us moving forward through this uncertainty.

We are in the process of submitting grant applications to drive the next stage of the ground improvements, of which the primary component will be the pitch. We have seen how well this Alty team play on the best pitches, and this means that regardless of expense we have to make a significant investment in the playing surface at The J. Davidson Stadium to allow us to play our style of football at home as well".

We will keep you posted on developments as they occur.

We will soon be launching a survey of our fans to make sure we are focusing on your priorities at the club. We hope to issue this by email to our subscribers within the week".

And also in the Robins' Review, assistant manger Neil Sorvel reports that "On the injury front, Sean Williams has had his operation and is back doing some running which is a great positive and credit to the rehab provided by our medical team".


Wednesday 27th January
  • Maidenhead United 4-2 Yeovil Town
  • Notts County 2-0 Solihull Moors [reversed fixture, moved from Tuesday]


The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "The DCMS has allocated £11m to the National League to be distributed to clubs as loans rather than grants but this option has been shunned by the vast majority of the league’s 66 member clubs.

With no grant funding in place, the National League North and South has been suspended... Clubs have reportedly been told to prepare to resume their season on Saturday, February 6 despite no funding being in place.

But according to BBC Sport, the National League are due to speak with clubs this week to discuss a vote that would see an end to the current campaign.

The majority of clubs in the fifth tier, including Hartlepool United, Notts County, Solihull Moors and Sutton United are in favour of the season continuing as normal providing appropriate support is put in place.

Meanwhile, the DCMS have announced that non-league clubs below the National League in steps three to six will have £10m made available in the form of grants. National League clubs can apply for grants if their imminent future is at risk and they can demonstrate loans are unaffordable.

Despite growing pressure from clubs and local politicians, the Government have shown no indication of changing its stance regarding National League funding.

Should this remain the case, many clubs in the National League North and South would vote to void the season and the future of the National League campaign would be in a precarious state".

The BBC confirms that "About 850 non-league clubs have been handed a £10m injection as the first part of the government's Sports Winter Survival Package.

Teams in the four tiers below National League, National League North and National League South, will benefit. But Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston also offered hope to the 66 National League clubs, promising 'We will not let clubs go to the wall... With precious public money, we are providing financial support to the National League Steps 1 and 2 in the form of loans', added Mr Huddleston.

'However, if clubs at those levels can demonstrate it [sic] needs grant funding urgently to survive, we will ensure that option is available'".


As previously reported, next Saturday should have featured a clash for Altrincham with Macclesfield Town and the following Saturday was to have entailed a trip to the English Riviera. However, Torquay United's progress in the FA Trophy has quashed that idea. That fixture has, however, now been brought forward to Tuesday 2 February.

From Devon Live we learn that "The National League is in a mess. Getting into a mess is something the National League seems pretty good at. The quicker Torquay United get out of this division the better.

It might sound harsh but really, the league hasn’t handled the ‘loans instead of grants’ crisis very well at all and, with the suspension of its North and South divisions for two weeks, the precedent for a period of longer limbo may well have been set...

The season could end and leave Torquay’s promotion push in tatters.

Torbay Member of Parliament Kevin Foster has written to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, expressing his concerns, encouraged by Torquay United Supporters Trust, but will the Government listen?...

In his letter, Foster wrote... 'The National League and its member clubs are now left with unenviable choices if this support package of £11million is offered as a loan, not a grant.The clubs are faced with either taking on more debt, this time to the Government, or to halt the season and furlough players (at a potentially greater cost to the taxpayer). It is expected that some clubs may close their gates permanently in the process'".

ON THIS DAY: 28 January

Altrincham's last game on today's date was a 4-1 drubbling at AFC Fylde in a clash between top and bottom in the Vanarama National League North.

Above: Alty line up at a sodden Mill Farm for the 2017 clash with AFC Fylde.

Having lost the reverse fixture 0-6 at Moss Lane, Alty almost grabbed an early lead in this game as, with barely a minute having elapsed, Lawrie's pass from inside left went behind Owens but fell to Newby who hit the outside of the post.

But, after Dixon had advanced on the right, Rowe curled his shot into the top corner of the net from inside the "D" to Deasy's right to give Fylde a 10th minute lead.

On a very wet pitch Fylde made it 2-0 eight minutes later when Jones let the ball go but then fouled his opponent as the Fylde man got free behind him. Rowe lashed home the resulting freekick from a central position.

Alty's misfortunes continued as Clee, who had been clattered just after the first goal, had to be subbed with only twenty minutes on the clock.

It became 3-0 when a Bradley cross led to Rowe's shot being saved but the loose ball was tapped in by Wilson (28 mins).

Alty gained some hope when Lawrie completed a fine move on the left, converting McWilliams's cross with a half volley to make it 3-1 just before the interval.

Altrincham saw a lot of the ball in the second half but could not break down the home defence and, against the run of play. Fylde made it 4-1 after 74 minutes through substitute Matty Hughes's close-range goal.

Alty had made changes with Newby, Hannigan and McWilliams starting and Richman, Brownhill and Heathcote moving to the bench. Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were missing through injury and Reeves was absent through illness.

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


The Barnet & Potters Bar Times reeports that "Barnet lose to Dover to go bottom of the league.

Will De Havilland scored a quick-fire first-half brace as Dover claimed a much-needed 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Barnet, who replaced them at the bottom as a result.

De Havilland opened the scoring for the hosts after 17 minutes as he slotted home the rebound after Barnet goalkeeper Scott Loach saved an effort moments earlier following a free-kick.

The former Wycombe defender doubled Dover’s tally two minutes later as he beat the Barnet defence to fire his second home...

Summer signing Ahkeem Rose extended the home side’s lead with a volley 10 minutes before the break... Canada winger Michael Petrasso pulled one back for the Bees on the hour mark... The visitors went home, still looking for their first point of 2021 as they suffered a fifth straight league defeat.

Barnet manager Tim Flowers was unhappy... 'The first half was an absolute disgrace,' Flowers told the Bees’ website. 'We got done by two set pieces. If you can’t head the ball out of your own box in this division then you are absolutely wasting your time.

'I care massively, I’m proud to be manager of this football club, I’m proud to represent it and I’m not going to dig anyone out individually, but I made it clear that if you want to represent this football club, you need to front up or you need to do one basically because I cannot and I will not stand and watch a group of players fold like a deck of cards like they did in the first half.

'Quite clearly the three at the back ain’t working. There’s certain players that ain’t doing it for me. It’s all right me saying that, I need to get some in that do do it for me and I understand that and it’s not easy getting them in, believe me.

'At half-time it was not a nice place to be in our dressing room. Do I get a reaction? Yeah, but well done. It’s too late, it’s too little. If you don’t want to represent the club and you don’t want to represent the badge, do one. That’s where I’m at.'"

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard admitted he asked goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore to ‘feign injury’ because Chesterfield were dominating the game.

Ashmore stayed down for at least two minutes midway through the first half as home boss Garrard got some instructions to his players so they could reorganise. And the move worked as Spireites manager James Rowe said the stoppage, along with the hamstring injury to Joe Rowley which forced him off, stopped his team’s momentum.

'I think that is a point gained after the first 55-60 minutes,' Garrard said. 'We were not at the races in the first 45-50 minutes and I have to give credit to James Rowe and his Chesterfield side, they played a great little shape with Rowley playing just off the striker and we could not get it organised.

'I had to ask Ashmore to go down to feign an injury to ensure we can get some information into the group. After that I felt there was a slight sea-change and I felt the game swayed slightly more in our favour in the first half and then Rowley came off the pitch and (Liam) Mandeville did not get to grips with their game plan as quickly as James Rowe wanted to.

'We spoke about it half-time and I felt we were going to come out and have a reaction but until we made the two subs I felt that Chesterfield were still right on top. They are a team that are on form, we are a team that are on form, I felt that they edged it for two-thirds of the game and I felt we came out for the last 30 minutes...

'I don’t think we worked their goalkeeper. For all of Chesterfield’s good work, I don’t think Ashmore was worked.. We put the ball in the back of the net with Junior Morias, I have been told on two occasions that it was onside'"

Yeovil Town confirm that "the signing of Max Hunt on a permanent deal from Carlisle United on undisclosed terms.

After a successful short spell on loan, the towering central defender now signs until the end of the 2021/22 season. During his loan stay, Hunt played four times for the club, winning on three occasions, and keeping two clean sheets alongside Luke Wilkinson at centre back...

The six-foot-six centre half graduated from the Derby County academy... with loan spells at Belper Town and eventually Aldershot Town in the National League last season, where he made 22 appearances... The Chesterfield born defender moved northbound to Carlisle in the summer but, after making six appearances in League Two this season, the defender ventured to Somerset on loan...

Town manager Darren Sarll... said 'The defence has been a real problematic area for us. Max, since his debut where he had a really tough time away at Torquay, has been outstanding... Max was desperate and keen to play for Yeovil, he loves it here'".

Cumbria's News & Star adds us that "The ex-Derby man has made just nine appearances for Carlisle and has found his path to the first-team blocked by the form of Aaron Hayden, Rhys Bennett and Rod McDonald this season...

Head coach Chris Beech said... 'Max has left the building. He’s come to us with great potential and left with great potential, and he’s a far better player now than when he was when we recruited him'...

Hunt made only three league starts after signing for Carlisle from Derby".

On Tuesday night, NL Daily reported that "Yeovil Town assistant manager Terry Skiverton will be in charge of the team for tonight’s game with Maidenhead United.

Manager Darren Sarll will be absent due to a positive COVID-19 test within his household..

He told BBC Somerset 'I won’t be at the game, my wife has unfortunately picked it up as well".

From Hampshire, the Daily Echo says that "Joe Tomlinson’s brace helped end Eastleigh’s seven-game winless run in the National League as he led his side to a 3-0 defeat of Dagenham & Redbridge.

Ryan Hill opened the scoring early on at Silverlake Stadium... after nine minutes.

That lead was then doubled shortly after the break when the hosts were awarded a spot-kick following a handball and Tomlinson duly converted to make it 2-0.

Tomlinson was called upon once more in the 67th minute when the hosts were awarded another penalty, and again he found his target to extend the Spitfires’ lead to three goals.

The big win was the first time Ben Strevens's side have emerged victorious since December 1".

FC Halifax Town "recorded a 0-0 draw away in North Wales [on Tuesday] night to make it four points from six from their away trips to Bromley and Wrexham.

Town boss Pete Wild was forced into one change from the starting XI from the weekend with Jack Senior replacing Danny Williams who was injured...

Wild told the official website 'I thought we looked strong, I thought we looked hard to beat and they never got into areas to hurt us. They didn’t have a shot on target all evening. For me only one team was going to win the game.'

The Shaymen haven’t had a clean sheet in the League since the away game at Woking back in October... 'The clean sheet is a massive positive', he said. 'We looked solid and after a physically tough game at Bromley on Saturday to back that up with another physically tough game, the players deserve a lot of credit'.

With postponements this month, all Town’s games in the Vanarama National League have been away from home. 'We are unbeaten in the three away games and we have taken five points from them which is really pleasing. It is showing progression'...

He concluded, 'We need to back up these two results with a win on Saturday against Maidenhead. We may need to wrap the players up in cotton wool and hope we can get another good performance out of them'".

The Leader Live states that "Dean Keates defended his decision to name an unchanged side as Wrexham produced another lacklustre performance.

The Reds were second best as they lost 2-1 at Chesterfield on Saturday but Keates kept faith with the same starting XI for the dour goalless draw with Halifax in midweek.

Wrexham lacked creativity and ideas in the final third as they failed to have a single shot on target during the 90 minutes.

'Consistency is massive and I had to show the players a little bit of consistency,' said Keates. 'That is why I kept the starting XI. We didn’t play good enough in possession at the weekend, I thought we did better today but we have to be better in the final third and create opportunities.'

Jordan Ponticelli and Adi Yussuf again led the attack but the duo failed to make an impact... 'The forward players didn’t really get the opportunity,' said Keates... 'We did not create enough in the attacking third. The end ball, the final product, was not good enough... It is a clean sheet. Go back the last few games and we have conceded sloppy goals in the first 20 minutes,' said Keates".

According to Kent Online "Dover Athletic boss Andy Hessenthaler hailed two-goal Will De Havilland but he still wants him to become Mr Angry.

De Havilland scored twice as Whites stuffed Barnet 3-1 on Tuesday night to climb off the foot of the National League.

The towering centre-back has come under fire from his manager this season but he has upped in his game in recent weeks, to the delight of his boss.

'It was great for Will,' said Hessenthaler. 'He has been excellent in the last few games. I expect a lot from him. He knows what I think of him, he is a fantastic lad and, in his defence, we’ve not been able to get settled around him.

'It’s been difficult for him as he’s had different people alongside him during the season. But now we’ve got Harry Ransom to the end of the season, Marvel Ekpiteta has come back in and Paul Rooney is close so we’re looking a lot stronger there. Will has been the only one who has been playing regularly. He has dug in and he can nick a few goals for us like he did last year...

'He led the team really well and put his body on the line for us. He has to stand up and be counted and he did that. He is a really lovely lad and I keep saying to him when he crosses that white line that he needs to become angry and not nice...

'On the pitch I was a right horrible person and I didn’t care if people didn’t like me because there was a game of football to win but not everyone can switch like that.'

Hessenthaler was grateful that the game was completed, as the heavy rain made conditions tough on an already poor Crabble playing surface...

It was a result and performance that had been coming for Hessenthaler, despite Whites’ poor run of form...

Said the Dover boss... 'We thoroughly deserved to win the game... That first goal settled us down and we went on from there. I heard Tim Flowers (at half-time). I did our team talk and went down to my office and could hear him as I walked past...

'We knew there’d be a reaction and we changed our shape to counter that. We knew we could see the game out and our game management was excellent'".

Tuesday was a good night for South Coast teams as "Delighted Weymouth manager Brian Stock praised all aspects of the Terras’ performance after overseeing a superb 2-0 win at Aldershot.

Victory for Weymouth yielded a second consecutive Vanarama National League victory and clean sheet, their first back-to-back three points this season.

Aldershot hemmed in the visitors during a tough opening 10 minutes... However, Weymouth assumed control when Andy Dallas buried a Sean Shields cross before Aldershot keeper Mitch Walker saw red for handball outside the area.

Dallas punished a slip from Alex Finney to bag his brace prior to half-time and Weymouth comfortably saw the game out in the second half...

Stock felt the Terras “dictated” play after a rocky early spell. He told Echosport, 'It was a slow start and I’m shouting on the sidelines. We failed to clear our lines on quite a few occasions. Give the players credit, they stuck to the task. I felt Aldershot missed a golden opportunity in the first 10 minutes. If that had gone in, you never know what the outcome would’ve been...

'The second half wasn’t pretty but we’ve seen out the game and got another clean sheet.'

Stock applauded Cambridge United loanee Dallas after his first goals for the club. He said.... 'What he gives us is that ability to go in behind. He’s also strong with the ball as well. He’s proven he’s got an eye for goal... At 1-0 we tended to control the game. We had a quick change of formation and that suited us to drop Josh McQuoid into midfield...

'The sending off, did it dictate the game? I don’t think so. If (Dallas) had gone round the goalkeeper and tucked it in for 2-0 I don’t think the outcome would’ve changed... I thought we were a threat against 11 men or not

27 January 2021


Torquay United report that their "home match against Altrincham has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 2nd (7pm kick-off).

The National League fixture, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 6th, will now take place four days earlier, with Gary Johnson’s side due to take on Southport in the fifth round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on that original date instead.

Streaming details for the Altrincham fixture will be released shortly".

As Alty have no game this Saturday because of the demise of Macclesfield Town, the trip to the Cornish Riviera becomes The Robins' next game.


Altrincham made one change as Ritchie Sutton moved to the bench and Jake Moult returned to start. Yusifu Ceesay was absent with tonsilitis.

On a heavy pitch which limited flowing football, Altrincham took a 40th minute lead. After a couple of dreadfully taken corners by Alty, Kosylo took a better one from the left and, with the keeper hesitant and the ball just clearing a defender, it allowed Hancock an unobstructed header, which he made count.

So Alty led 1-0 at half-time, a lead they deserved. Neither keeper had been seriously tested during the first half but Alty had had more of the attacking play.

In the second half both Colclough and Hancock hit the woodwork before Tom Peers committed a poor miss in front of goal. But immediately after that miss, Senior's low cross was turned in at the near post by the excellent Alistair Smith to make it 2-0 (80 mins). Alty move up to fourth and, at last, have a positive goal difference!

Although there was plenty of endeavour from Wealdstone they failed to trouble Tony Thompson in the Alty goal even once. For the hosts this was a impressive performance in difficult conditions.

Match report here.


Tuesday 26th January
  • Aldershot Town 0-2 Weymouth
  • Altrincham 2-0 Wealdstone
  • Boreham Wood 0-0 Chesterfield
  • Bromley 2-2 Woking
  • Dover Athletic 3-1 Barnet
  • Eastleigh 3-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • King's Lynn Town P-P Stockport County [frozen pitch]
  • Torquay United 0-0 Sutton United 7pm
  • Wrexham 0-0 FC Halifax Town 7pm


Until today's rearrangement of the game at Torquay (see above), Altrincham had no game this Saturday as they should have been playing the late, lamented Macclesfield Town on that day.

The following Saturday they were set to visit Devon to face league leaders Torquay United but a clash with the Gulls' FA Trophy fixture on that date put the end to that plan.

So, the next scheduled game was to be a Tuesday night clash on 9 February when Wrexham would be the visitors.

From Wrexham, the Leader Live reports that "Wrexham Supporters' Trust have announced that they voted in favour of continuing the 2020-21 National League season...

Fixtures in non-league's top flight went ahead on Saturday, with Wrexham losing 2-1 to Chesterfield at The Technique Stadium, and the club want to continue playing.

A Trust statement read... 'The board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust considered the following options:

  • 1. The operation of a Club Loan process through Sport England
  • 2. The operation of a National League loan to be distributed to each club
  • 3. A suspension the 2020/21 National League season

The WST wishes to inform members that after discussion at a board meeting last week, option two was the favoured choice. The board also voted in favour of continuing the current National League season. Representatives of our prospective new owners are also in full agreement with these decisions.”


Altrincham FC has announced that the winners in its latest Monthly Draw, for December 2020, were as follows:-
  • £500 cash | #426 | E. Mead
  • £75 cash | #479 | Jim Ward
  • £25 cash | #205 | Peter Ripley
  • Robin Polo Shirt | #91 | John Edwards
  • Replica Alty FC Shirt | #169 | L & I Jones
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #128 | T. Caine

Congratulations to all the winners!

ON THIS DAY: 28 January

Right: Under an appropriate advertising hoarding at the Golf Road end, Alty's Tony Thompson has raced a hundred yards to join in the celebrations at Alty's late equalizer.

Three years ago today Altrincham played out a 1-1 draw at home to Warrington Town. It was Shaun Densmore's 350th appearance for Altrincham but they were without the injured Tom Hannigan and Tim Deasy.

This was the first ever league match between the two neighbouring clubs at the J. Davidson Stadium but the fourth meeting between them already this season, with Alty yet to emerge the winners, after two draws and a defeat (in the FA Trophy).

After a pitch inspection by the referee, who had commendably arrived early, the match was declared "on" at 11.45pm. There was a small sanded area near the centre of the pitch as well as in the Golf Road goalmouth.

So, for the fourth time that season, Altrincham were unable to put Warrington Town to the sword and, indeed, left it very late to salvage a draw after the visitors had snatched a 19th minute lead when Vassallo's slightly mishit shot squirmed past Tony Thompson.

Thereafter the visitors showed little attacking ambition but they closed down Alty efficiently and withstood almost constant second-half pressing from the Robins until the second minute of added time. Then Poole's shot seemed to have been stopped by ex-Alty keeper Tony McMillan but somehow it crossed the line for a much deserved equalizer.

As a spectacle this was far from pretty and referee Swallow produced nine yellow cards including one for Town captain McCarten whose crude and late challenge put Alty's John Johnston out of the game.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 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. Tom PEERS, 14. Sean MILLER, 15. Max HARROP, 16. Andy WHITE, 17. Sam SHERIDAN


The Nottingham Post claims that "Stats prove Notts County are among the best... The Magpies are back in action on Wednesday night when they tackle Solihull Moors at Meadow Lane...

Neal Ardley believes Notts County can be a 'force to be reckoned with' once they find the right balance between defence and attack. The Magpies currently have the second best defensive record in the National League having conceded just 13 goals in 15 games this season. Only Boreham Wood boast a better record than Notts in the division, but Ardley is now looking to improve the output at the other end of the pitch...

'It’s not just a set back four that seem to know the roles', he said. 'When Ben Turner was part of that platform, he was excellent when he was playing. Alex Lacey has come in and done it. Whether Dion Kelly-Evans is left-back or it’s Calvin Miller, it doesn’t really seem to matter..

'We do sort of defend from the front. But I think the work that the wide men and midfielders do in front of them helps... Now we’re not scoring quite as many as we want, and we’re looking really good at the back'...

Notts are waiting for Richard Brindley to prove his fitness after after he took a blow to the nose in the goalless draw against Torquay United... Notts will definitely be without defender Damien McCrory who is recovering from knee surgery while Callum Roberts is still no closer to a return having had an operation to strengthen his stomach lining.

Defender Ben Turner is also suspended as he sits his last game out of a three-match ban...

Ardley is expecting a tough test against Jimmy Shan’s side who have transformed their style to a more patient approach compared to the direct football employed by previous boss Tim Flowers...

'They play a good brand of football and I think from the stats and the data I’ve got they’re only second to us on the highest amount possession in the league. They’ve been playing three-four-three which is a brave formation and causes you problems tactically if you get it wrong without the ball.

'I’ve been impressed with them. They’re a total change from last season, they’re a footballing team'".

And from the Pride of Nottingham "Notts County manager Neal Ardley concedes that the clubs quest for new signings is a progressing cycle... Magpies continue to eye up possible signings for the left-back and centre-back position after missing out on signing Premier League youth, Morgan Boyes from Liverpool.

A medical procedure on Damien McCrory's knee has left Notts short on cover and preferably Notts might want a player who can play left-back and at centre-back...

Ardley said... 'We're working hard to try and make sure whoever we bring in is the right person... and we're close to having options on that list. But it's not something we can just click our finger and make happen...

'We've got a loan space available, but we have only got one space to make the five up," continued Ardley.The probability is that any fresh introduction will most likely arrive on loan opposed to a lasting arrangement... If you do a permanent deal you might end up with a player who will want longer than just the rest of this season... Then you're eating into what you might be looking at doing in the summer'" the manager concluded.

In the Hartlepol Mail we learn that "Former Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale defender Joe Bunney... has left Hartlepool United to search for a new club.

The 27-year-old left-back arrived at Pools at the end of November and has since made five appearances... Bunney’s time at Victoria Park was always likely to be short-term as he looked to regain fitness... He has been left out of Pools’ last two matchday squads with Challinor confirming that the player is now training away from the club...

'Joe isn’t with us, or rather he is and he isn’t because the plan with Joe was always going to be short term and now he’s away training with other clubs,' Challinor told The Mail. 'That doesn’t absolutely close the door on him coming back here but from our perspective, he came in to do a job for us and play some games and he’s done that.

'He wanted to prove his fitness and get an opportunity to go elsewhere so that’s where he is at the moment'...

The uncertainty over the National League season has impacted Pools’ transfer business this month with Challinor hoping to secure defensive cover should the season be allowed to continue".

NL Daily reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge managing director Stephen Thompson MBE has spoken of the club’s dismay at the absence of grants for National League clubs to continue the season behind closed doors.

Thompson, who says he has written to five local MPs, said as part of a statement:

'Whilst no one ever thought we would be in January still faced with having to play BCD, this matter was considered by the authorities back in October/November, and when the final details of the package were concluded at a meeting between the DCMS, Football Association and the National League in November, it was clearly the expectation that in the event that supporters were still not allowed back come January, the support package of grants would be continued.

It is inconceivable to consider that senior government figures and indeed government ministers felt that whilst grants were the only way that the 66 community clubs were going to be able to start the season, that if the situation were to continue, then they would be able just to borrow money to conclude their season; it is just not rational!

'The fact is that our clubs and our league are just not big enough to take on a multi-million-pound loan to enable them to carry on playing. Already most clubs are still relying on financial support from their members and directors, and to add to this burden is just impossible.'

He went on to add 'Perversely, it has been calculated that if our league is stopped and clubs place all their players and staff on furlough, the furlough payments will exceed the grant funding requested. How can that be economically sane? I know it is a crazy world but that is the economics of Alice in Wonderland.'"

Weymouth manager "Brian Stock hopes Saturday’s 1-0 win over Hartlepool United can 'kick-start' Weymouth’s Vanarama National League season...

After winning against King’s Lynn and Stockport, Weymouth have found good form hard to maintain... [and on Tuesday were] set to face the in-form Shots...

'Hopefully we can go to Aldershot and put on a similar performance'...

Terras’ captain McQuoid and midfielder Cameron Murray, who was caught by the studs of Pools’ sub Luke Molyneux on Saturday, should be fit...

Stock said 'Josh is tired, just a bit of cramp. He was asked to sit on their deep-lying midfield player and press from that position... Cam has come off and the sending off, when you look at it, he’s ripped his whole shirt and he’s got studs going right the way across his body. It’s quite a nasty one'...

Myles Anderson (ribs) and Ade Olumuyiwa (knee) have been training for a week, but Josh Leslie-Smith (concussion) is doubtful.

Stock said 'We’re almost coming back to a full-strength side... 'Cody (Cooke) was left out of the squad (for Hartlepool). We’re leaving out some good players. There’s competition for places. Bringing new players in breeds that.'”

26 January 2021


At what promises to be a very soggy J. Davidson Stadium tonight, Altrincham's National League match at home to Wealdstone is set to kick off at 7.45pm.

As usual the Club is streaming the match and access can be purchased here.

The Robins will be looking for revenge after suffering a narrow defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season. The Home Coumnties club arrives after a poor run of form, having lost six and drawn two of their last nine league fixtures. Their only win in the League since mid-November has been a 2-1 victory at home to Weymouth.

Altrincham have won four and drawn three of their last eight matches, their only defeat coming at FC Halifax Town. Tonight is just the second home league match for Altrincham in the last two months, the exception being the Boxing Day game against Stockport County.


The Times reports that "Funding disputes, quarrels with government, Covid-19 fears, league suspensions; is another National League campaign about to fall victim to the pandemic?

'I think we’re looking at the collapse of the National League season, and with that, I fear that there are some clubs who won’t make it through the summer,' Steve Thompson, the Dagenham & Redbridge managing director, says....

Back in October, you may recall, the National League only agreed to kick off its season because of a £10 million grant, brokered by the government and secured through the National Lottery promotional fund, to cover lost revenue over the first three months of the season.

Clubs say they were led to believe that grants would continue for as long as supporters were denied access to stadiums. In November, Mike Tattersall and Mark Bullingham, the chief executives of the National League and FA respectively, left a meeting with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with the same impression.

Now, however, the DCMS refute that funding was 'promised as all grants', and have offered £11 million of low-interest loans instead. 'The majority of clubs across all three divisions indicated that they didn’t want the league to mortgage its future, which would be a millstone round our neck for the next 20 years, to finish the season,' Thompson, who is also a National League board member, says.

By Thursday, meanwhile, a number of clubs, including Havant & Waterlooville, had already taken the decision not to play their upcoming fixtures until routine testing had been implemented in line with other ‘elite’ leagues. The Havant kit man, Richie Pope, spent eight days in intensive care with coronavirus before Christmas. Their chairman, Derek Pope, and his wife, Sue, were both seriously ill. The father of their winger Roarie Deacon died...

All levels below the National League have been suspended since November, where another season looks likely to be lost to the pandemic. If the National League follows suit, however, the £10 million National Lottery grant may as well have been poured 'down the drain', as Marc White, the Dorking Wanderers chairman/manager, says. And as White suggests, the cost to the taxpayer of furloughing staff would exceed the cost of a grant by several million pounds.

King’s Lynn chairman, Stephen Cleeve, told The Non-League Paper 'Let’s just say this was a limited company, and I said it would cost £17 million to do this, or £11 million to do that, which would you rather do? You’d pay the £11 million,' he said..

'Unless some money, in the form of a grant, materialises, I don’t believe there will be the appetite in our league, or the National League South, to play on,' Jason McGill [York City] says. And at Step One there may well be a split. 'What if six or seven clubs say they can’t afford to carry on?' Thompson says. 'Do you expunge their records, and ask the rest to continue? Or do you run them into the ground?'"

Elsewhere in The Times, "A spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said 'It is untrue to suggest funding to the National League was ever promised as all grants and they have been unable to substantiate this claim. If any individual Step 1 and 2 National League club can demonstrate it is in critical need of support and would be unable to repay a loan, grant applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This will of course be through the same rigorous process that we apply to other sports.'"


All of the clubs in the latest list of televised matches are ex-League clubs.

  • Saturday February 6 – Stockport County v Yeovil Town (5.20pm)
  • Saturday February 13 – Wrexham v Notts County (5.20pm)
  • Saturday February 20 – Torquay United v FC Halifax Town (5.20pm)
  • Saturday February 27 – Hartlepool United v Barnet (5.20pm)

ON THIS DAY: 26 January

Above: Mace, the Brakes' number six heads goalwards in the lead-up to their first goal. Tony Thompson beat the header away but it was worked through to Junior English to score.

Two years ago today, in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 26 January 2019, against a Leamington side without a win in eleven outings, Altrincham put on one of their poorest performances of the season.

Altrincham started with the same eleven that had begun the match when Alty lost heavily at Chorley recently but which had also won impressively against both Boston and Southport. The visitors' bench included new loan signing Nathan Waterston from Barrow.

Belying the eventual result, there had been a bright start from Altrincham before they fell behind in the twelfth minute. The Robins, having failed to threaten from any of their own three early corners, failed to deal with Leamington's first flag-kick. From the corner, an effort from Mace was blocked but Alty then failed to clear the resulting loose ball in a melee inside the box, from which English scored from close range.

From that point on it was as if a switch had been flicked as Altrincham became distinctly second-best. Leamington doubled their lead twenty minutes later from the penalty spot. The Brakes' Solihull loanee Murphy got away from Hampson and the pursuing Hannigan brought down the Brakes' player inside the box.

Goalkeeper Thompson got a hand to the spot-kick by Bishop, but could not keep it out.

A minute from the end of the first forty-five, Bishop netted his second when he outmuscled Jones to nod home a cross from the right by English.

Altrincham saw more of the ball in a second half played in increasingly blustery and, latterly, wet conditions.

But the visitors created little threat to Breedon's goal before Jordan Hulme got himself needlessly sent off. Altrincham's substitute debutant loanee, Nathan Waterston, had gone down under a challenge from a defender inside the box. When no penalty was signalled and the offender, English, indicated that Waterston had no cause to claim a penalty, Hulme got himself ridiculously sent off for aiming a kick at the Leamington man.

The referee missed the incident but his linesman alerted him to it and a straight red card was shown. Hulme was looking at a four-match ban, having already seen red that season. And, to complete a sorry afternoon, post-match news from elsewhere indicated that Alty's James Poole had limped off for Hyde whilst playing for his loan club.

Having conceded four goals in the final forty-five minutes at Chorley in the previous away game and, now, three in the first forty-five at Leamington, Alty had conceded seven times in ninety-minutes of away football.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. Kallum Mantack, 14. Sean Williams, 15. Nathan Waterston, 16. Shaun Densmore, 17. Ben Harrison


NL Daily reports that "Bromley have signed midfielder Jack Bridge.

The 25 year-old’s career so far has included time with the likes of Carlisle United and Northampton Town.

The former Southend United youngster has more recently been with Concord Rangers in the National League South".

And Bromley> add that "For the second Tuesday in succession we welcome Woking Football Club to Hayes Lane, this time for the first of this season’s Vanarama National League fixtures.

It was just seven days ago that the Surrey club visited for a 4th round FA Trophy tie, and they went home with a 7-6 penalty win after the match had ended all square at 1-1 after ninety minutes".

The Hartlepool Mail says that "The current campaign hangs in the balance... The DCMS allocated £11 million to be distributed as loans but this offer was subsequently rejected by the vast majority of the National League's 66 member clubs.

Some clubs, including Hartlepool United and Notts County, were in favour of the National League taking on the loan and redistributing it to its clubs as grants in order to allow the season to continue. But following a board meeting on Friday, the league made a u-turn on this option and informed clubs that it would no longer be viable.

Others, mostly in the National League North and South, favoured suspending the season to allow more time for the National League and DCMS to come to a satisfactory solution...

While National League matches continued over the weekend, the latest u-turn has cast serious doubt over the season continuing as planned. The National League will be holding a meeting with the DCMS over Zoom on Monday, January 25 in an attempt to find a resolution...

Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor didn’t hold back when asked his views. '[The National League] have taken a lot of criticism for how they run things and they’ve done themselves absolutely no favours whatsoever with the decisions that they’ve made', he said. 'They’ve made themselves look even more unprofessional with the way things are being run. There’s been no decisiveness in their actions. You look at circumstances and clubs were asked to put forward their thoughts with the understanding that a decision would be made from that.

'Then it comes out that the National League North and South wouldn’t play. I don’t get the understanding behind why emails are being sent to National League clubs on Friday night when teams are preparing for a game within 12-hours. In what world does that need to happen?... The next few days I imagine will be quite telling.

'But the hope we had in our league from the majority of teams to continue having voted for option two, that hope has been dashed. As far as the National League are concerned, that option that was there no longer is for some unknown reason'".

Notts County "have reversed this week’s Vanarama National League fixture against Solihull Moors, with the game now taking place at Meadow Lane on Wednesday.

Solihull were due to host us on Tuesday but they this morning contacted us with concerns about their pitch following heavy snowfall at the weekend.

We have therefore agreed with the National League to bring the home fixture forward to Wednesday 28 January (7.45pm), with our away trip now taking place on Tuesday 13 April (7.45pm).

The Meadow Lane playing surface is currently under snow which will be left in place overnight to protect the turf from the forecasted heavy frost. Staff will then work throughout Tuesday to remove the snow and give the match the best possible chance of going ahead".

King's Lynn Town report that "Following on from Saturday’s last minute defeat against Dagenham & Redbridge, Lynn are back in National League action at The Walks on Tuesday evening with the visit of Stockport County.

Stockport, one of the pre-season league favourites, are currently 4th... Despite being in the play-off positions long serving manager Jim Gannon was sacked last week... Gannon had been in charge for over 500 matches and the club could possibly have a new manager in place by tomorrow’s game.

Leading scorer for County is John Rooney, brother of Wayne, with 8 goals closely followed by Alex Reid with 7...

Saturday’s defeat, very much a game of two halves, saw Lynn end the day in 19th place 8 points above the bottom three. This will be Lynn’s first home game since 9th January and is the start of a tough run of games with Wrexham at home this Saturday followed by a trip to Chesterfield next Tuesday.

Rory McAuley returns to the squad following suspension. Tyler Denton could make his full debut after coming on as a sub on Saturday but Alex Kiwomya is likely to miss out with a hamstring injury picked up in the first half against Dagenham.

Stockport have only lost one of their last 5 league games, however 4 of these have been draws. They were impressive against West Ham in the FA Cup losing to a late goal. Lynn, prior to Dagenham, had gone 3 games unbeaten and the win at Eastleigh was their first in the league since November".

According to the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild says any positive result at Wrexham on Tuesday night would be a fantastic way to follow their win at Bromley at the weekend.

Goals from Luke Summerfield and Jamie Allen saw Town win 2-1 at Bromley on Saturday, keeping them sixth in the National League table...

'We’re all in a good place after Saturday, but we’re now desperate to repeat how we played on Saturday tomorrow night,' said the Town boss. 'I think it’s going to be a similar sort of game, Wrexham are quite direct, like to get the ball forward, into forward areas, early, like Bromley. So I expect another physical encounter with a team that will probably play a similar way to Bromley.'

Wild added... 'Any points you can pick up in the road always help, and if you can back them up with wins at home, then it’s good form'...

Wing-back Danny Williams is rated at 50-50 to play due to swelling on his ankle. On loan striker Lewis Mansell returned to training today so should return to the squad, but midfielder Martin Woods missed training today so isn’t expected to feature.

Wild is hoping to have striker Jake Hyde back among the squad in the next seven days, and is hoping midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus will be in contention within the next 10 days".

Weymouth "introduce Joan Luque as our latest signing.

The Barcelona-born 28-year-old, Luque joins the Terras from National League South side Maidstone United.

A 6ft 1 winger, Luque started his youth career with Spanish giant Barcelona’s academy before making his senior debut with UDA Gramenet in 2012.

Luque made the move to England in July 2017 when he impressed during a trial with Heybridge Swifts, there he scored 17 league goals in 38 games.. He then earned a move to Lincoln City before spells with Dagenham & Redbridge and Concord Rangers".

Also at Weymouth the Terras "welcome Andrew Dallas to the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Dallas, 21 years-old, joins the Terras on loan from League Two side Cambridge United.

The 5ft 10 forward started his career with Scottish Premiership side Rangers... Dallas made his professional debut whilst on loan at Stenhousemuir...

The Scotsman was then signed by Cambridge United in July 2019 on a two-year-deal for an undisclosed fee".

The Norttingham Post confirms that "Wes Thomas has left Notts County after the club 'reluctantly accepted' his request to terminate his contract.

The forward had been absent in recent weeks after refusing to train with the first team due to his concerns over Covid as the club gave him a bespoke programme to keep him fit at Meadow Lane.

Notts moved to fill his position by signing Inih Effiong on loan from Stevenage until the end of the season as they waited for Thomas in the hope he would return when he felt it was safe. But the club has now confirmed his departure in a brief statement...

It said 'We have this afternoon reluctantly accepted Wes Thomas’ request to terminate his contract. The forward, who joined us in 2019, cited family reasons behind his decision and departs with our best wishes for the future.'"

25 January, 2021


Following the win at Barnet on Saturday, Alty manager Phil Parkinson told the NL Paper, "I thought we put in an outstanding performance and not just because of the win. I thought we dominated possession from the start to the end. We were patient in our build up. It was always going to be a game of very few chances because Barnet had so many behind the ball.

These players have got the desire and the understanding of how [to] win a game and play through a team.

The quality on display was brilliant, the performance was top drawer", he concluded.


Brian Flynn, press and media officer, interviewed Matty Kosylo after the win at Barnet on Saturday. The audio interview can be heard here.


Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards writes that "Altrincham's prospects of continuing to move in the right direction took another turn for the better on Friday when it was announced that two Vancouver-based businessmen had been appointed to the board of directors at The J.Davidson Stadium.

Chris Parry and Scott Burton both expressed their delight at becoming Alty directors... Chris, an Australian by origin who runs Equity Guru, an information provision and analysis company focusing on millennial investors...

'Hi. I’m Chris Parry, new Altrincham FC investor and board member, and the latest of the cadre of Canadians choosing to take their Football Manager skills to the next level by buying into a non-league club...

I’m a financial journalist, born in Australia, living life in Vancouver, a ‘born into it’ West Ham fan..., and have been involved in football as a player, coach, or community club board member... I’m on the board at my local Richmond FC and have had a blast helping take that from a small boys’ club to a prosperous, innovative, all-gender organization...

Recently I set out to take that experience to the next level and strike an item off my bucket list by finding a UK club to buy into...

Altrincham FC Co-Chairman Lawrence Looney [left] called me back and immediately spoke the words I didn’t know I wanted to hear 'We don’t really need your money, we’re profitable as things stand. So what skill set can you bring to the club that we don’t already have?'...

Here was a team... with a plan to responsibly transition to fully pro, to responsibly upgrade a stadium in a manner that won’t drag the organization under financially, and with a board that shares a common belief that they’re in place to protect a century of history, while gradually upgrading infrastructure and the squad and connection to the local community so fans can enjoy ongoing success for years to come...

To answer his question about what I can add to the board; I deal with investors and financiers and bankers, CEOs and family offices and brokers, all day every day. When the time comes that Alty needs a financial injection for infrastructure improvements to meet League Two standards (and if on-field success continues as it has, that time may be soon), I’m someone who can help bring those pieces together. Streamlining the business plan, the investor documentation, the share structure – that’s my jam...

The FA has determined I’m a fit and proper person, and the Alty board wants to get that Sponsors’ Lounge upgrade finished, so here I am, your new foreign overlord, setting my alarm for 7am on a Saturday to watch the Robins put the full-timers to shame...

What does that mean for you, the Altrincham faithful? Well, more of the same, really... It, frankly, leaves me feeling thoroughly hacked off when I see some big money guy swan into a team with a century or more of history behind it, blow through a few million in quick time, and leave the thing burning behind them when the bills come in...

To me, being a shareholder means being a guardian of that history and having a chance to contribute to it, not using it as a means of pumping my ego or squeezing it for profits. I come to Altrincham with the confident belief I may never see a return on my money, other than to see it being put to good use on the pitch, and that’s more than enough for me.

Let’s keep building on what the board and coaching staff have put in place already, give Parky and the lads everything they need to keep winning, and I’ll help when called on in every way I can".


The new manager at Stockport County has played against Alty as a right back for Northwich Victoria, Crawley Town as well as for York City. He will now pit his wits against Phil Parkinson from the County dugout.

The Athletic confirms that "Simon Rusk is on course to end a nine-year association with Brighton and Hove Albion by becoming the manager of National League side Stockport County, reports Andy Naylor.

Right: On Boxing Day 2007, playing for Northwich Victoria against Alty, the man on the ball for Vics is Simon Rusk who went on to play for York City and Crawley Town in games against Altrincham.

The 39 year-old Under-23s' coach is set to succeed Jim Gannon, who was sacked by Stockport on Thursday.

Rusk was a midfielder at Boston United, York City and Crawley Town during his playing career. He has been under-23s' coach at Brighton for six years after three years as under-18s' coach.

Rusk will now become the Stockport manager, making his first step into a role as a first-team boss."


According to the Derbyshire Times "Goalkeeper Kyle Letheren has left Chesterfield after six months at the club and is thought to be joining League Two Morecambe.

The 33-year-old was signed by former manager John Pemberton in August as a replacement for Shwan Jalal, who departed in the summer.

Letheren made 16 appearances for Town this season, recording seven clean sheets, including five in a row from December to January.

His last game for the Blues was the late defeat to Solihull Moors in January 2, in which his mistake cost Chesterfield a point...

The Spireites said 'Keeper Kyle Letheren’s departure from the club by mutual consent has been confirmed... following the arrival of Adam Przybek and Grant Smith earlier this week."

Also from the Derbyshire Times, comes news of another potential departure from Chesterfield as "Swindon Town have made an approach to sign Chesterfield captain Will Evans on a permanent deal in the last week, we understand.

No agreement was reached and it has not developed any further since.

If it was to happen, it would mean Evans, 29, would link up again with former Spireites manager John Sheridan, who made him skipper last season.

In the Halifax Courier "FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild says the National League season must continue as... Football in the National League North and South was suspended this week...

Wild, speaking after Town's 2-1 win at Bromley on Saturday, said that... the season, in the fifth tier at least, should carry on.

'We've got to keep going, and prove to the league that we can fulfil the fixtures, and we only do that by playing them...I think we'll be fine, we've just got to keep playing...

'We've got to prove as football clubs that we can fulfil the fixtures, so when I saw all the fixtures were on in our league I was over the moon because that's proving to the league, to whoever's giving us the grants etc etc, that we can finish this league...

'I'm employed to be a football manager, I don't want to sit at home for five months, nobody does.'"

According to the Witney Gazette, "Malachi Napa has joined Woking on loan for the second time this season.

The Oxford United winger completed the move before yesterday's 0-0 draw with Maidenhead United in the Vanarama National League, where he was a 79th-minute substitute.

Napa, 21, has joined on a one-month loan after his move earlier in the campaign was cut short by injury.

He joined Woking in October and played four times, scoring once".

>The Derbyshire Times tells us that Wrexham manager "Dean Keates said the late defeat to Chesterfield was ‘massively frustrating’.

Akwasi Asante struck the winner in the 89th minute, slotting past goalkeeper Rob Lainton after a clever assist by Liam Mandeville.

Asante had given Town the lead in the first 10 minutes before the visitors equalised from a controversial penalty which Luke Young tucked away...

Keates said, 'Massively frustrating. In possession we did not move it and we did not keep it good enough. In the second half we got pinned back in.

'We defended okay at points, but the sheer volume of them to be in our final third was too much. The first goal we concede is a mistake. He does not know where their centre forward is, he has tried to head it back to the goalkeeper, their centre forward has gambled and tucked it away.

'For five or 10 minutes after that, we struggled, they got on top of us... They kept flicking between the two shapes, it was very contrasting from what we tried to do and what they tried to do. They used the bottom of their box to make passes better than what we did.'”

It is reported by Devon Live that "Manager Gary Johnson praised his players after they ground out a ‘good point’ with a goalless draw at Notts County...

'It was important that we stopped them winning the game. We went for it, they went for it, it made for a very competitive game. There was no time-wasting in the game at all because both teams wanted to get a win, which was good, so credit to both sets of players.

'Because it was a bit scrappy, there probably wasn’t lots of fine, beautiful football being played, because both sets of teams were trying to close down very quickly'...

Starting for the first time up front was Billy Waters, who got the nod ahead of Umerah and Rob Smart, the Crystal Palace loan youngster taking his place on the substitutes’ bench...

Josh Umerah for Torquay and Kyle Wootton for Notts had the best chances to win it but a share of the points was probably a fair reflection of the effort put in by both sides.

Johnson said...'I genuinely believe it’s a much better point for us than it is for them.'”

24 January, 2021


Following the win at Barnet on Saturday, Alty manager Phil Parkinson told the NL Paper, "I thought we put in an outstanding performance and not just because of the win. I thought we dominated possession from the start to the end. We were patient in our build up. It was always going to be a game of very few chances because Barnet had so many behind the ball.

These players have got the desire and the understanding of how [to] win a game and play through a team.

The quality on display was brilliant, the performance was top drawer", he concluded.


Altrincham had the better of the first half but fell behind against the run of play in the fourteenth minute through an individual error...

Match report here


After Altrincham's 2-1 win at The Hive, Barnet report that "The Bees fell to a 2-1 defeat to Altrincham in what was quite a cagey affair. It was the perfect start to the game, as the Bees went ahead early on when JJ Hooper finished neatly after running nearly the whole length of the pitch. However, Matty Kosylo's goal on 36 minutes meant the sides went into the break level. Despite the second half having few chances, the Robins snatched the win in stoppage time thanks to Josh Hancock.

The Bees were looking to get their first win of 2021, in what was only their second game of the new year...

A cheeky interception from Hooper allowed him to break on a 30-yard sprint and finish calmly past Tony Thompson in the Altrincham goal.

Altrincham were having more of the ball, but weren't really offering much in the way of clear cut chances... There was very little to separate the two sides with much of the play happening in the middle of the pitch.

This was until just under ten minutes until the halfway point when Kosylo managed to find a way to squeeze an effort past Scott Loach to get his side back into the game and bring the scores level...

The visitors were inches away from going in front in the first minute after the restart, after a long ball and flick on found Byron Harrison with an open goal, but he was unable to find the net.

The Robins continued to dominate the proceedings as the Bees struggled to find a way out of their own half, as the pressure mounted from their opponents... Altrincham looked the most likely to take the three points and as the game went into stoppage time they did just that, as Hancock finished past Loach to give his side the win late on".


After a two-week lay-off which ended on Saturday, over the next few weeks Altrincham face another bit of a respite from the relentlessness of the fixture list this season.

Weather permitting, they host Wealdstone at Moss Lane on Tuesday in the first return fixture of the season.

But they have no game the following Saturday as they were supposed to be facing Macclesfield Town on that date and, of course, the Silkmen are no longer extant in the National League.

So there is an eleven-day gap after Tuesday's game before Alty travel to Plainmoor to face league leaders Torquay United on 6 February.

The relatively light schedule allows other clubs to play catch-up as Altrincham, currently, have played more games (19) than any other club in the National League. They lie fifth in the league table but on a PPG basis they would be eleventh.


Wealdstone are due at the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night and if it's goals that you want, the Stones are the team to watch. Despite only squeezing past Altrincham 1-0 earlier this season, in their seventeen games to date 63 goals have been witnessed, for and against. 37 of those goals have gone into their own net, the joint worst tally in the National League and a dubious honour shared with Alty's last opponents, Barnet, whose record is from two games fewer.

And Saturday was a case in point as the Middlesex side let in four goals in losing 3-4 at home to Aldershot Town who report that "Goals from Joel Nouble, Jermaine Anderson, Chike Kandi and captain Josh Rees secured a win for Aldershot Town in a seven-goal thriller against Wealdstone FC at Grosvenor Vale...

Joel Nouble got his first goal of the season with a close-range strike for Aldershot Town before Dennon Lewis curled beyond Mitch Walker for the equaliser.

Alex Dyer put Wealdstone in front before Jermaine Anderson equalised after confusion in the box. Chike Kandi helped to regain Aldershot Town’s lead with a low finish past Stuart Moore before Rees scored the winner with a smart finish into the near corner.

Moses Emmanuel scored a penalty to set up a nervy end to the game but the Shots held out for the victory....

Danny Searle kept the same lineup as the one against Solihull Moors in the Buildbase FA Trophy. Ricky Miller was not on the bench against Wealdstone...

The early pressure from Aldershot Town paid off when Kandi and George Fowler linked up well on the right-hand side to pick out an unmarked Nouble who had time to fire beyond Moore for his first goal of the season...

Out of nowhere, Wealdstone got the equaliser through Lewis as Wealdstone counter-attacked... Wealdstone were piling on the pressure... The pressure paid off moments later when Wealdstone took the lead. A cross from the right-hand side found Dyer who side-footed into the far corner...

Shots equalised shortly before half-time.... Moments later, Aldershot Town regained their lead...

The pressure from Aldershot Town paid dividends when Fowler’s cross picked out Bettamer who passed the ball back into the area to find Josh Rees and the captain smashed home into the near corner. Shortly after, Wealdstone got a penalty after a foul from Alex Finney with Emmanuel converting from the spot to set up a nervy finish.

Wealdstone applied late pressure onto the Aldershot Town defence but they stayed resolute".

The Wealdstone XI: 1 S Moore (G/K), 2 M Efete, 6 J Okimo (C), 7 M Phillips, 8 C Smith, 10 D Green (Lench 77′), 11 D Lewis, 17 J Mendy, 18 A Dyer, 19 M Emmanuel, 24 J Meekings (Cawley 45′). Unused Subs: 25 J Askew (G/K), 12 C Hughes, 13 D Wishart.

ON THIS DAY: 24 January

Three years ago today, Altrincham faced a long midweek trip to a very foggy Northamptonshire, where Brackley Town were the hosts to relegation threatened Altrincham. They emerged with a credtable 1-1 drawin this Vanarama National League North match.

Jake Moult had just fulfilled his three-match ban but Sean Miller, Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were all missing through injury. There was a further blow when Tom Hannigan failed to emerge for the start of the game, a hip injury meaning he had dropped out to be replaced by midfielder Simon Richman, wearing number 14. So Moult was drafted into the back line alongside Cyrus and Heathcote.

During the match, Altrincham lost two centre-backs to injury but put in a battling performance to secure an away point at promotion chasing Brackley.

Nicky Clee's fine chip gave Altrincham a sixth-minute lead after keeper Laurie Walker had elected to punch away Sam Heathcote's freekick when he could have gathered it.

However, following a Moult foul, Brackley were awarded a spot-kick but Armson's penalty smacked the bar and Byrne's follow-up went narrowly wide. Four minutes later Armson atoned for his miss when he headed home Glenn Walker's cross, from the left, to make it 1-1.

Alty lost Heathcote to a throat injury which necessitated a lengthy stoppage in the second half.

As fog descended ever more thickly on a, by now, freezing St James Park, it was difficult to see what was happening on the far side of the pitch. Although Brackley had more of the second-half attacking play, Altrincham could have snatched a win at the end when substitute Adeloye was brought down and Brackley captain Dean received his marching orders for a second cautionable offence.

But Adeloye's freekick was blazed over the bar.

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


Altrincham have no game this Saturday as they should have been facing Macclesfield Town.

Saturday 30th January

  • Barnet v Torquay United
  • Boreham Wood v Eastleigh
  • Bromley V Aldershot Town k.o. 5.20pm
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Chesterfield
  • FC Halifax Town v Maidenhead United
  • Hartlepool United v Sutton United
  • King's Lynn Town v Wrexham
  • Solihull Moors v Wealdstone
  • Weymouth v Notts County
  • Woking v Stockport County
  • Yeovil Town v Dover Athletic


Hartlepool United report that "A resilient Weymouth held on to beat Hartlepool 1-0 at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

A dominant first half of possession from Pools saw very few clear chances... Pools would continue to dominate possession...

39 minutes in, a long ball forward from Weymouth resulted in Harfield being fouled by Odusina with the defender receiving a yellow card. The free kick that followed was headed in by the captain Josh McQuoid to put the hosts 1-0 up going into half time.

Pools thought they were level on 62 minutes. A ball into the box was headed by Bloomfield but it was fantastically tipped wide by Ross.

Things went from bad to worse for Pools on 68 minutes. A Luke Molyneux high boot was deemed a red card by the referee and Pools were reduced to ten men. Despite Pools continuing to dominate possession and put continuous balls into the box, the hosts held on for the 1-0 victory".

Another report of a losing former Football League side comes from the Leader Live which tells us that "Wrexham slipped to a first defeat of the year as the Reds lost 2-1 against Chesterfield at The Technique Stadium...

Keates named an unchanged side, keeping faith with the starting XI that helped get the better of Dover that took Wrexham up to eighth place in the National League.

Wrexham's hopes of making it two wins in a row took an early blow as Chesterfield went ahead in the ninth minute. Reece Hall-Johnson did not get enough on his header back to Rob Lainton from Jack McCourt's cross and Akwasi Asante beat the Reds' goalkeeper with a neat volley.

Wrexham were struggling to string passes together... However, the Reds were back on level terms after they were awarded a controversial penalty on 20 minutes. Jordan Davies' shot deflected off McCourt who was adjudged to have handled the ball, although it seemed harsh on the Spireites midfielder.

Young stepped up and converted his spot-kick for the second successful [sic] game to make it 1-1.

There was an improvement from Wrexham after the goal... and the Reds forced a series of corners without creating anything of note...

The Spireites were quick out of the blocks when the second half kicked off and Marcus Dinanga's header struck the crossbar...

With six minutes remaining Elliott Durrell and Paul Rutherford replaced Ponticelli and Hall-Johnson. However, Chesterfield scored the winner with two minutes remaining.

Liam Mandeville put Asante through on goal and the former Chester striker slotted past Lainton".

Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town surrendered a two-goal defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge as their three-game unbeaten run was ended in bitterly disappointing fashion this afternoon.

Despite finding themselves on the back foot for much of the first half, goals from Alex Kiwomya and Michael Gash put the Linnets in control going into the break.

But three second-half goals saw the Essex side complete the unlikeliest of comebacks as they turned their overall dominance into goals.

Linnets manager Ian Culverhouse kept faith with the same starting eleven which secured a 1-0 victory over Eastleigh on Tuesday night. The only change came on the bench, where recent signing Tyler Denton was named among the Lynn substitutes.

Dagenham enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening quarter of the contest...

But they [got]... their noses in front as Kiwomya netted with an outstanding finish... Deep into first half stoppage time, Cameron King delivered a peach of a ball from the right and Gash was on hand to bundle the ball home...

The home side's relentless pressure eventually paid dividends as Callum Reynolds reduced the deficit with a header in the 72nd minute.

Five minutes later they were on level terms as Andrew Eleftheriou's cross-cum-shot bamboozled Mair to find the back of the net.

The drama continued late into the game as Dagenham and Redbridge were awarded a penalty. Mitch Brundle saw his spot-kick brilliantly saved by Mair and the Linnets thought they had done enough to go home with a share of the spoils.

But Brundle went from zero to hero in the space of a few seconds as he made amends for his penalty miss by scoring the winner from the resulting corner kick".

"After a disappointing night on Tuesday when Boreham Wood faced defeat against Torquay United in the FA Trophy, Luke Garrard would have been wanting a very different performance from this game, and he definitely got one! This afternoon at Edgeley Park, Garrard’s men were superb and they should consider themselves unlucky not to have got all three points against high flying Stockport County... after a 1-1 draw.

Boreham Wood made three changes from Tuesday night with Krystian Pearce, coming straight into the side to make his debut, Zaine Francis-Angol and Gus Mafuta who started in place of David Stephens, Corey Whitely and Matt Rhead.

After a lively opening, Stockport’s John Rooney gave the home side the lead from a trademark freekick after just six minutes of play, from then on it was pretty much all Boreham Wood for the remainder of the first half...

Stockport were better in the second half and started to take the game to Wood...

After fifty-nine minutes Boreham Wood finally got their deserved equaliser when the excellent Tshimanga got the goal that his teams performance warranted when he beat Hinchcliffe at the near post... The Wood defence held out impressively by restricting Stockport to half chances... As the match entered its final phase, Wood looked more likely to snatch the points, however, the home side held out for the draw".

to Devon Live, "Torquay United and Notts County played out a frustrating 0-0 draw at Meadow Lane this afternoon – but the result meant the Gulls extended their lead at the top of the National League table to nine points because second-placed Hartlepool United were beaten at Weymouth.

On Tuesday night they play Sutton United at home, the team that replaced Hartlepool in second with a 3-0 home win against Eastleigh. With three games in hand, Sutton are currently Torquay’s biggest rivals for the title...

Both Torquay and Notts had a chance to win the game in the second half with Josh Umerah unable to get his feet around a low and dangerous cross from four yards out, and home attacker Kyle Wootton putting an 90th minute chance wide when he really should have hit the target.

There was a debut for 20-year-old Max Sheaf on loan from Hull City, who lined up in the centre of midfield alongside Adam Randell, with Asa Hall missing because of a thigh injury.

The game started at quite a pace, both teams looking to assert their dominance from the get-go. It was a hundred miles an hour... Torquay were better and the home side were beginning to make a few mistakes. Notts were probably grateful when the first half ended...

Notts looked a bit more dangerous as the game moved into the last 20 minutes... Notts had two great chances... the first shot in the box was blocked by Cameron before Ruben Rodrigues’s follow up was saved well by MacDonald...

The miss of the match though was in the 90th minute when Wootton, standing on the six-yard spot, hit the ball wide from a dangerous low cross right to [the keeper's] feet".

23 January 2021


Altrincham had the better of the first half but fell behind against the run of play in the fourteenth minute through an individual error.

A long ball forward should easily have been cleared by Senior, near the centre spot, but he took a poor first touch and JJ Hooper dispossessed him. The Barnet man ran some 40 yards up the middle before slotting the ball past captain for the day, Tony Thompson.

Altrincham responded well and had most of the forward momentum. The pressure paid off when Mooney got into the box but was initially halted.

However, the ball came out to Kosylo from Mooney and, from 18 yards in a central position, he slotted a low shot into the net off the keeper's right hand post (36 mins).

Harrison should then have put Alty ahead but sidefooted wide. Half-time arrived with the score level at 1-1.

Immediately after the break Harrison missed an even better chance as Kosylo fed him with the ball in front of an empty net. But the ex-Barnet striker somehow contrived to stumble over the ball and put it wide.

Alty had much the better of the second half without creating too clear an opening before Hannigan headed narrowly wide at towards the end of normal time. So, it looked like Barnet would escape with a draw. But good work on the left between substitutes Ceesay and White allowed the left-back to put in a low cross which Hancock steered into the net to win the game deservedly (90+2 mins).

Altrincham, without captain Jake Moult and winger Ryan Colclough, had given a first start to Byron Harison in their unsettled role of striker, with Yusifu Ceesay dropping to the bench. Tom Hannigan returned to the defence and Dan Mooney started.

Match report here


Saturday 23 January
  • Barnet 1-2 Altrincham
  • Chesterfield 2-1 Wrexham
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 King's Lynn Town
  • Dover Athletic 0-2 Solihull Moors
  • Bromley 1-2 FC Halifax Town [reversal of fixture]
  • Notts County 0-0 Torquay United
  • Stockport County 1-1 Boreham Wood
  • Sutton United 3-0 Eastleigh
  • Wealdstone 3-4 Aldershot Town
  • Weymouth 1-0 Hartlepool United
  • Woking 0-0 Maidenhead United
  • Yeovil Town P-P Solihull Moors [Covid at Yeovil, Dover now playing Solihull, see above]


Altrincham FC has announced that two businessmen based in Vancouver, Canada, have joined the club's Board. Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Chris Parry and Scott Burton are the two new faces on an increasingly dynamic, forward-thinking board after both became significant Alty shareholders...

Both based in Vancouver, Chris is an Australian by origin who runs Equity Guru, an information provision and analysis company focusing on millennial investors, while Scott is CEO of FansUnite Entertainment, a sports and entertainment company focused on technology related to online sports betting".

Background information:

Equity Guru says "Equity.Guru is a business news and stock analysis outlet powered by Chris Parry, award-winning journalist, directed content pioneer, former Director of Editorial at, former Manager of Digital Products at the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers, and long-time online feature writer and corporate communications professional.

Our niche is legitimacy; we analyze and cover your company in text, through audio podcasts, video pieces, and via email newsletter to a discerning audience of younger investors or all genders, cultures, and risk tolerance levels.".

Gambling News reported in late December 2020 that "FansUnite CEO Scott Burton is at the helm of a company leading in iGaming, sports and esports gaming innovation.

At our core we are a technology company that has been building and launching betting and iGaming products since 2013".

The Board of Altrincham FC therefore, as listed in the latest digital version of the Robins' Review, plus the two new appointees, now comprises:

  • Joint Chairmen - Bill Waterson, Lawrence Looney
  • Directors - Derek Wilshaw, Neil Faulkner, John Coyne, Rob Esteva, Cathal Morrison, Chris Parry, Scott Burton


Altrincham travel to play 22nd-placed Barnet today (Saturday). Streaming passes for the game are available from Barnet FC.

From The Hive, Barnet report that their new manager "Tim Flowers is looking forward to potentially being able to welcome Michael Petrasso back into the fold for tomorrow's crucial National League fixture with Altrincham". Flowers made the following comments about various players...

"Michael Petrasso has been training fully for about 10 days, so he is certainly right back in the equation...

Xander McBurnie has had a slight problem and has had a slight setback on his recovery... He certainly won't be knocking around for tomorrow.

Tyrone Duffus has been... doing a lot of physical work and joined in with us on the grass yesterday... He is filtering back in but isn't ready just yet."

Matt Preston [is] making real strides now. He has been working very hard in the gym, albeit he hasn't made it back out onto the grass again just yet.... There is light at the end of the tunnel...

JJ Hooper... is in full training. He is looking very sharp out there and he is a terrific athlete. He has a good pace and strength, so now he has to get that out of his locker on a weekly basis... He will be a major asset if he can find that form.

Eliot Richards... We're now supporting him ahead of his next operation...

Wes Fonguck has had an operation on his ACL on Tuesday and he will now begin his rehabilitation work...

Josh Walker... has spent this week at St George's Park rehabilitating from his injury which he aggravated in our defeat to Boreham Wood. Our number 22 remains sidelined.

Myles Judd and Ben Fox remain suspended for tomorrow's fixture with the Robins".


The National League Board has issued a statement, as follows...

"Following the review of the feedback from Clubs in connection to the recent Clubs' meeting, a Board meeting this morning decided to halt the participation in the North/South Divisions for a two-week period, effective immediately.

As a result, tomorrow's games are formally postponed".

The National League itself continues, however.

The BBC adds that "National League clubs started the season thanks to £10m in grants from the government, but are now being offered government loans to continue playing.

However, many have said they are worried about the financial implications of taking on loans to cover costs incurred by the coronavirus pandemic and competing behind closed doors.

Clubs met on Wednesday and were told they would either have to take out loans or suspend their season.

Twelve National League North sides called for the league's 'immediate suspension' in a joint statement on Thursday".


Some 25 years ago, in the Vauxhall Conference, Jerome John was an Altrincham FC goalkeeper on loan from West Ham United. He had joined Alty in October 1995, commuting from London to play for Alty. Having made his debut in a 4-0 win over Warrington Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup, in November 1995, he made his league debut and kept a clean sheet in January 1996.

He was set to play in the next match but woke up on the Saturday morning to find his car had been stolen and he then missed the train that would have got him to Moss Lane on time. Subsequently, for midweek games at Alty, he had to take an overnight National Express coach to get home to London!

Seven games after his travel disaster he regained his place for the match at Morecambe on 17 February 1996. It was a disaster for Alty as they lost 7-0 though John was not held more culpable than the team as a whole and he retained his place. The Robins then started an unbeaten run and he retained the no.1 jersey until the end of the season.

After Alty, he moved on to a host of southern clubs which included Kingstonian, Enfield, Grays Athletic, Billericay Town, Fisher Athletic and Tonbridge Angels.

In 2021 comes news from the Daily Mail that the "West Ham have sacked academy goalkeeping coach Jerome John over accusations that he bought equipment with club money with the intention of selling it privately.

Sportsmail understands that the decision to terminate John's employment was taken following an internal investigation at the end of last year...

John was suspended pending club enquiries before a decision was made to dismiss the coach."

ON THIS DAY: 23 January

Eleven years ago today, in 2010, the Blue Square Bet Premier League assigned Alty a home match against Hayes & Yeading United from Middlesex. Because of wintry weather, this was Altrincham's first home league game since 1 December, nearly eight weeks earlier.

The better side did not win this match as Alty somehow conjured a victory despite being second best for most of the afternoon. The Robins were indebted to several magnificent saves from goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, restored to the side after injury, and to some indifferent finishing from Hayes.

John McAliskey and Adam Carden were cup-tied in mid-week and Stuart Coburn also missed the game at Wimbledon, through injury. Carden did not make the squad but both Coburn and McAliskey started today as Graham Heathcote made four changes. Nicky Clee and Colin Little also both came into the starting line-up, as Tom Kearney, Matt Doughty, Chris Denham and Russell Saunders all dropped to the bench.

Starting with a 3-4-3 formation, Alty went two down and were forced to remodel as 4-4-2.

Above: Colin Little (second left of the Alty players) celebrates his goal.

Nevertheless, Alty did start the game well, with McAliskey hitting the bar after 10 minutes but then Hayes took over. Toby Little put Hayes ahead in the 21st minute when Alty stood off the lively James on the right and his low cross seemed to be touched in at the back post though the tannoy gave the goal to the winger.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later when, again, Hayes advanced unchallenged and Green's 25 yarder deflected off Williams into the net. Alty got a goal back after 30 minutes when Densmore's freekick was met by McAliskey's flicked header. As the ball crossed the line, Williams arrived to make sure.

Colin Little levelled the score in the fortieth minute when Clee's throw was nodded on by McAliskey and Little arrived at the back post to score.

It seemed that having recovered to parity at half time, Alty would go on to win the game but they spent most of the second half on the back foot. They were hugely grateful to goalkeeper Coburn who made three brilliant saves to keep his side in the game.

Alty's winner arrived in the 80th minute when Colin Little chased a ball up the middle and a defender's superb tackle saw the ball run, fortunately, to Senior. With the keeper stranded, Senior stroked the ball into an empty net from 25 yards. Hayes had a glorious chance to level in injury time but Ruby's effort landed on the roof of the net.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG; 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE; 19. Chris SENIOR, 17. John McALISKEY, 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 13. Russell SAUNDERS 4. Tom KEARNEY, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 10. Chris DENHAM, 18. Michael WELCH.


Devon Live says that "While worries over the future of the National League this season continue to threaten Torquay United’s promotion ambitions... the leaders [are] taking on seventh-placed Notts County at Meadow Lane...

With second-placed Sutton United... to visit Plainmoor on Tuesday night, too, it will be an important four days for the team. Johnson has called both games ‘six-pointers’...

Torquay’s first win of 2021 came on Tuesday night when they beat Boreham Wood 4-0 in Hertfordshire to book a place in the last 16 of the FA Trophy. It was only their second game of the year however following a three-week break...

Manager Gary Johnson said... 'The league table looks like we have been pretty consistent over a period of time. We are scoring our goals and we are getting enough wins at the minute and we have just got to keep going really'.

There could be debuts, probably from the bench, with midfielder Max Sheaf joining on loan until the end of the season from Hull City after striker Rob Street had done the same from Crystal Palace.

Another player joined on loan this week, too; 25 year-old goalkeeper James Hamon came in for a month from Truro City... With Shaun MacDonald the first-choice shot-stopper, Hamon will provide cover for the injured Lucas Covolan, who has an ankle problem".

At Notts County "New signing Inih Effiong... joined us from Stevenage earlier this month...

'Whenever I’ve played against Notts County I’ve always thought they would be a dream to play for because they create lots of chances and move the ball well. I’ve always admired the way they’ve played and the way the manager shapes up his teams.

'When I was at Dover last season, Notts passed us off the pitch... Everyone in the league knows that Notts are a good passing team... I know how well looked-after players are here, too. I couldn’t ask for more really...

'I haven’t played for a while, so I’m excited to put on the shirt... I’m going to bring aggression and hard work, and I’ll hopefully score a few goals... Torquay will be on their ‘A’ game... We know what they’re about and we’re going to bring it to them, 100 per cent.'”

Dover Athletic "confirm that the loan deal of Hull City midfielder Ryan Hanson has been extended until the end of the season.

Ryan initially joined us in November and made his debut in our National League game at Kings Lynn Town on November 21st".

The Hartlepool Mail advises that "Hartlepool United defender Gary Liddle getting 'closer and closer' to National League return after three months out. The Pools centre-back has been reduced to just three appearances this season after suffering a grade three tear to his groin...

Manager Dave Challinor feels the 34-year-old is ready to complete a full 90-minute run out. Despite this, Liddle hasn’t made the journey down to Weymouth... with Challinor explaining his side is ‘more or less picking itself’ following four straight wins...

'We’re hoping to arrange a friendly for Tuesday, similar to what we did against Sunderland in order to get Lidds close to 90-minutes,' Challinor told The Mail...

Elsewhere in the squad, Pools have had no other major concerns with Ryan Donaldson back in contention following a heel injury and Lewis Cass expected to make his return after sitting out the last four games due to a hamstring problem. But Aaron Cunningham, who is currently on loan at Blyth Spartans, has been sidelined with a shin injury".

According to the Derbyshire Times, "Chesterfield’s busy transfer activity is about ‘short-term pain for long-term gain’, says manager James Rowe.

The new boss has brought in 12 new signings in less than two months, including three this week, and the Spireites have more than 30 players on their books now. However, outgoings are expected...

Said Rowe, 'I am not stupid, we have obviously got a lot of numbers in the squad at the moment. There will be outgoings but sometimes you have to act on players that become available. We are changing the financial outlay of the club so it looks like we are spending more now but in reality we are making a saving for the future and that is what we have got to remember.

'It is short-term pain for long-term gain. To achieve the objectives we want in the next 18 months to two years there are obviously going to be casualties along the way, not everyone can come on the same journey as you.'

Securing outgoings has been made more difficult with the seasons in the National League North and South looking in doubt, but so far the communication from clubs in Chesterfield’s division appears to be that they want to carry on. Chesterfield certainly don’t want the season to be curtailed".

Lynn News tells us that "King's Lynn Town striker Adam Marriott hopes King’s Lynn Town’s National League prospects aren’t scuppered by the on-going funding crisis.

The Linnets go into tomorrow’s crunch clash with Dagenham and Redbridge on an unbeaten run of three matches, having conceded only once in their last three matches. Marriott, who netted his seventh goal of the season during the 1-0 win at Eastleigh on Tuesday night, said 'I try not to think too much about it really, it’s not in our hands at the end of the day... We are showing some good signs as a team. I really do think we can go on and do well'...

Lynn’s improved defensive displays have coincided with the recent arrival of Kyle Callan-McFadden and the Linnets frontman admitted that the former Norwich City Youth Cup winner has made a big difference on the pitch... 'He’s not just a centre-half who boots and kicks it, he tries to get us playing from the back. We’ve now got three really good centre-halves in Rory (McAuley), Smudger (Chris Smith) and Kyle fighting for the places and that’s what you need...

'There’s some tough strikers in this league, a lot of 6ft 2, 6ft 3 players who are in your faces so it is really important whoever is playing that they’ve got that [horrible streak] in their game. We’ve got that type of player in Gashy (Michael Gash)...

'It’s been great to have him back and he’s been brilliant,' he said. 'I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he seems to be getting better the older he gets... We do look a better side with him back in the team.'"

The Halifax Courier starts its article with "Try telling Harrison Davison-Hale he has to settle for being back-up keeper at FC Halifax Town.

The 20 year-old accepts he is understudy to Sam Johnson, but isn’t playing second-fiddle without a fight. Davison-Hale is yet to make his competitive debut for Town...

'I’ve accepted when I came here that Pete (Wild) was like "you’re going to be second choice but it’s up to you to fight for that spot"... It’s been half-a-year and I’ve probably progressed more in that time than I did at Huddersfield for two years, just down to the coaching and being in the first-team environment..

'I know I’m going to be on the bench but then it’s up to me at the end of the day to show it in training'...

And Davison-Hale says playing at National League level wouldn’t faze him... Davison-Hale was... in Doncaster when he was spotted by a scout from Leeds United... before going to Sheffield United.

'But the travelling got too much for my dad so I took a year out, played non-league for the likes of Ossett Albion and teams like that in Wakefield,' he said. 'Then the academy goalkeeping coach at Huddersfield Town came to one of the games... So I went to Huddersfield as a scholar aged 16...

Davison-Hale left The Terriers. ... 'I tried at Carlisle and was in and around the first-team for a week, week-and-a-half, did really well there'... then the manager got sacked... Got an agent and they got me a move to Halifax.'"

22 January 2021


Ian Senior not only played in goal for Altrincham, he was for many years the club's goalkeeping coach and he remains the club's longstanding kit supplier through his SKkits company.

Left: Ian Senior, facing camera, warms up with then Alty goalkeeper Dean Greygoose (2000).

Friday's edition of The Times has an extensive interview with Ian on the occasion of one of his other former clubs, Chorley, taking on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup.

The Times reminds us that "The 60-year-old was the man who kept goal in Chorley’s last encounter with Wolves on the night of November 24, 1986. On that evening, the part-time side beat Wolves 3-0 in a second replay to qualify for the second round of the competition for the first time.

It was, until this year, the biggest win in the club’s history, and the fact that Chorley have drawn Wolves again this time around has given Senior a much-needed lift... After spending 32 years as a fireman, Senior set up his own kit company, called SKkits, which supplies jerseys for local non-League teams...

'As you can imagine, business is very quiet at the moment,' Senior [right] said... 'So having this interest has given me a reason to get up in the morning... I have had BBC Sport website on [to me], BT Sport, yourselves, and the Chorley Guardian are all over it. I’m not going to complain. It’s been really nice'...

Senior said 'I have all my cuttings from when I started playing'...

Senior would go on to play for over 30 amateur teams in the North West and farther afield... He has recordings of three matches against Wolves. 'My mum was a teacher and one of her work colleagues at school, her husband was a director at Granada TV and he was present at all the games they had covered. Once they had done with the tapes, I got them. I watched the 3-0 last night. I didn’t have a lot to do...

'When I feel a bit miffed or pissed off or whatever, I just get my scrapbook out and it’s there, I’m in the headlines again. It’s always good to have something to pick you up and you certainly need it in this day and age.'".


Brain Flynn's interview with Alty's most recent signing, Alistair Smith, is on the Altrincham FC website.

Following a loan spell at the J. Davidson Stadium, from Mansfield Town, Alistair has recently left the EFL club and signed for Altrincham till the end of next season.


Stockport County have issued a "Statement from the Board of Directors:

Stockport County Football Club have today parted company with Manager Jim Gannon.

This has been an extremely difficult decision for the Club’s Board to take and not a decision taken lightly. The decision is not results based but is centred around culture.

We thank Jim for his longstanding service to the Club as both player and manager; he has rightfully been immortalised into the Club’s Hall of Fame and will always be a huge part of County’s history.

We want to reassure fans that every decision made, we believe to be in the best long-term interests of the Club.

Assistant Manager Dave Conlon will take interim responsibility whilst a new Manager is appointed.

There will be no further comment until a new appointment is made".


On Saturday, Altrincham visit Barnet who are offering a streaming service for supporters to watch the match.

Supporters can acquire a streaming pass here.

The Bees point out that "streaming passes can only be used on a single device; do not open your purchased pass until you are ready to view using your preferred device.

The streaming service requires a web browser and uses the Brightcove viewer. This may not be compatible with all web browsers and devices". A list of compatible browsers is available.

ON THIS DAY: 22 January

On that occasion they faced Bath City at Moss Lane in a Blue Square Bet Premier game. The game was preceded by awards by Altrincham FC chairman Grahame Rowley to Stuart Coburn, Robbie Lawton and Rob Williams. Stuart's was to commemorate 500 appearances for the club, Robbie's for 200 games and Rob was presented with his latest Wales semi-professional international cap.

Right - Wes Baynes, right, was later to be sent off against Bath. Here he is seen with Mark Beesley.

This was only Altrincham's second home league game in ten weeks. Alty were unbeaten in four league games in 2011 before kick off. They should have beaten Bath in the reverse fixture, having led 2-0 but they only drew 2-2.

Stuart Coburn and Carl Piergianni had recovered from injury to start, but Nicky Clee, Chris Denham and Anthony Danylyk were only fit enough to be on the bench. Craig Dootson had joined the substitutes after signing for the club on the eve of the game.

Referee Mr S.J. West was again on the end of home crowd booing, just as he had been in November at Moss Lane, when he awarded Luton Town's winning goal despite protests that the ball had been cleared off the line. This time he awarded Bath a freekick when Jones appeared to go down without any contact from James Smith.

Mr West then allowed the freekick to be taken very quickly, whilst he was still talking to Alty's players, and Bath scored the game's opener, through Lee Phillips (35 mins).

A second controversial incident saw Wes Baynes sent off after 70 minutes when he brought down Mohamed, who had appeared to handle the ball as he went forward. Mr West and his assistant judged that Baynes's challenge had been inside the the Alty box and pointed to the spot.

Leading up to this incident, the referee had allowed "advantage" after the crudest of challenges by Jobarti on Piergianni inside the Bath half, only for Alty possession to be lost, and Mohamed to break free. To add insult to injury after sending off Baynes, he acknowledged the original foul and went back and booked Jobarti.

Coburn saved the penalty superbly. Next, when Densmore was "taken out" inside the Bath box a few minutes later, play was waved on before Mohamed made it 2-0 following a corner, nine minutes from time. The third goal for Bath was also mired in controversy as Clee was brought down and play again continued, leading to Phillips's goal in the 87th minute.

Despite all this incident, Alty's ten men had three good chances in the closing stages. Piergianni lashed a shot over the bar from 8 yards; Densmore headed wide in front of goal, and Reeves ballooned a shot over the bar at the back post.

But, overall, this was a disappointing showing from Altrincham who, after a promising start, created few openings at the Bath end of the pitch until the closing stages and the visitors ran out deserved winners. LINE-UPS ALTRINCHAM (Red & White striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 8. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 17. Wes BAYNES, 20. Sam HEWSON, Subs: 11. Nicky CLEE, 15. Ryan BROWN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 10. Chris DENHAM, 30. Craig DOOTSON >


Two Essex sides have reacted to the recent news that the National League may have to continue with the help of government loans rather than grants. Dagenham & Redbridge state that "The Club is extremely concerned that, despite indications that if supporters were no longer allowed into stadiums by January that the initial grant funding would be continued for a further three months, clubs have now been told that this is not the case and any future support will be made via loans.

Many clubs have indicated that this is not an option and the prospect of our season being cancelled is now a real threat.

Dagenham & Redbridge FC are amazed that the resultant furlough claims on the treasury made as a result of such a cancellation is calculated to be in excess of the grant funding originally indicated and is urging the Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to reconsider this option...

Earlier this week, Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham & Rainham and Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford had also written to Mr Dowden on our behalf.

Meanwhile the BBC adds that "The chairman of National League South side Concord Rangers says his team will not play again until concerns over the funding of elite non-league sides and Covid-19 testing are addressed...

Concord, who are 18th in National League South, were due to host Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday but the game has been postponed as The Hawks are self-isolating".

According to Lincolnshire Live "Former Lincoln City goalkeeper Grant Smith has been snapped up by Chesterfield.

The 27 year-old joined the Spireites ahead of the FA Trophy game at Boston United... although he couldn’t play in the game.

Smith is set to play against Wrexham on Saturday though with regularly keeper Kyle Letheren sidelined through illness. Smith was part of the Imps squad which won the League Two title in 2018/19... However, he made just two appearances following Michael Appleton’s appointment in September 2019".

And a second goalkeeper has also joined Chesterfield as "Ipswich Town keeper Adam Przybek has joined the Spireites on loan until the end of the season.

The Derbyshire Times adds that "Following the signing of free agent Grant Smith, 27, on Wednesday, Town have also brought in Przybek, 20, until the end of the season...

With goalkeepers Kyle Letheren, Luke Coddington, Dylan Wharton, Smith and Przybek in the squad, it looks like the Spireites are close to shipping one out. Wharton... was the hero in the [midweek FA Trophy] penalty shootout, while Coddington is working his way back from injury".

And yet another signing for Chesterfield is revealed as "James Rowe has made defender Gavin Gunning his latest signing for the Spireites.

Gunning, who started out at Blackburn Rovers, was a free agent after leaving Gloucester City.

He has had spells at various clubs including Rotherham United, Grimsby Town, Port Vale and Dundee United. The 29-year-old Irishman has penned an 18-month contract".

Another club acquiring a goalkeeper is Torquay United, who report that "Goalkeeper James Hamon has joined Torquay United on a one-month loan deal from Truro City.

Following an injury to resident glovesman Lucas Covolan Cavagnari, Torquay manager Gary Johnson wasted little time in ensuring that United are well covered between the sticks.

'Lucas is going to be out for 3 or 4 weeks with an ankle injury so, because of the Covid situation and because we needed someone pretty quick, we needed someone local,' said Johnson.

'We spoke to Truro because he lives in our region, and it was a no brainer because he’s not playing games for Truro at the moment, and was happy to come in, sit on the bench if necessary, and do a bit of training with us. It was the perfect scenario for everybody really.'

Hamon, 25, arrives at Plainmoor having made 37 appearances for Devon neighbours Exeter City during six years at St James Park, before joining the Cornish side in the summer of 2019.

'He’s more experienced than Andy (Collings) because he played for Exeter in League 2, and has played regularly for Truro'...

James has also shown his prowess at golf, having won the Guernsey golf championship prior to his move into professional football... 'The free golf lessons that he promised me has nothing to do with it,' quipped The Gulls boss".

And Torquay United "Midfielder Matt Buse has joined National League South side Chippenham Town on loan for a month.

Having enjoyed an excellent first season at Plainmoor, United manager Gary Johnson feels that a temporary switch to Hardenhuish Park will benefit the player".

The Halifax Courier claims that "He might have the name of a French fashion designer, but Jean Leroy-Belehouan possesses the background, attitude and voice of a tough-tackling Mancunian...

The 20 year-old is approaching his loan at The Shay, having joined from Sheffield United for the rest of the season.

'I’ll bring my attributes to the team in terms of my pace, my defending one v one, reading the game, and I’d say scoring as well,' he said... 'I like to compete, I don’t back out, I like the physical game. I can rely on my pace in-behind but I like to get tight to players and get stuck in. And I think talking is one of my biggest assets, I don’t care who’s around me, I’ll always talk because talking’s the most important thing in the game, especially where I play'...

Belehouan is relishing the prospect of playing competitive football rather than the more cosseted environment of academy football...

Belehouan was playing for a team in his native Salford when he was scouted by his boyhood club Manchester United... where he started playing as a right-back, before a growth spurt at 15 saw him convert into a centre-half...

'When I came to Sheffield United I learned a lot about the physical aspect more than just playing with the ball'" he added.

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor welcomes EFL interest in his players during January transfer window...

'If we have interest in our players it means we’re doing something right,' he told The Mail... A number of the club’s players are being looked at by Football League clubs...

Pools have had a number of trialists training over the past month including former Leeds United and Sheffield United academy midfielder Connor Leak-Blunt and ex-Leeds, Guiseley and Östersunds midfielder Alex Purver among others...

'Everyone is for sale at the football club but that’s the case at most football clubs at our level. If we haven’t got interest in our players... then I’m not doing my job properly. If I’m not doing my job properly then I’m out of a job. So long may [the interest] continue...

'Hopefully we can keep the group together and keep that special feeling and keep that feeling that there is something there for us that we want to go and grab'" the manager concluded.

In the Dorset Echo "Weymouth boss Brian Stock stressed no player is guaranteed a starting spot after a difficult past three months.

Since a 2-1 win at pre-season league favourites Stockport on Halloween, Weymouth have won just once, a 3-2 FA Trophy third round tie against Maidenhead... losing from winning positions against Dagenham, Wealdstone and Wrexham and just missing out on a point against leaders Torquay.

Weymouth secured draws against Eastleigh post-Christmas but in the respective 3-0 and 1-0 losses to Yeovil and Darlington failed to register a shot on target.

Weymouth face second-placed Hartlepool on Saturday...

Asked what he wanted to see this week, he said 'A reaction. We’ve said a lot of things in that changing room and it comes to a point when the same messages are wearing thin. If something doesn’t change, the personnel’s going to have to change...

'If I’m being truthfully honest, I don’t think any player over the last eight to 10 weeks can say they’re going to start next week. As a manager the ideal scenario is that you have a team that’s performing well and you can roll out the same team the following week'".

Confirmation comes from the South Wales Argus that "Defender Kyle Howkins has left Newport County AFC to join Solihull Moors.

The 24 year-old centre-back has joined the National League side on loan until the end of the season, when his contract at Rodney Parade expires. Howkins started 2020/21 on the right of a back three... The 6ft 5ins defender continued in the side... but suffered a hamstring injury after his fourth appearance of the campaign against Barrow...

David Longe-King has slotted in... That has led to West Midlander Howkins, who made 23 appearances in the coronavirus-curtailed 2019/20, to head to Solihull. It sees the West Bromwich Albion academy graduate reunited with coach Jimmy Shan...

'I first worked with Jimmy at my previous club (West Brom), he was my first coach at under 10’s. I’m really looking forward to working with him once again'".

21 January 2020


Altrincham FC reports that "The National League has held meetings with Member Clubs today [Wednesday] to discuss further information regarding the Government’s Winter Survival Package.

A presentation was given to Member Clubs at today’s meetings to assess various options. The National League wishes to place on record its gratitude for the approach of Member Clubs at each meeting.

Interim General Manager of The National League, Mark Ives, has requested each Member Club to provide views on three points:

  • 1. The operation of a Club Loan process.
  • 2. The operation of a National League Loan.
  • 3. A suspension to The National League 2020/21 season.

The purpose of feedback is to assist the Board in understanding views of all 66 Clubs. The Board will be meeting before the end of the week.

Altrincham Football Club is working with The National League to provide input into this process".


In the Sale & ALtrincham Messenger press and media officer John Edwards writes that "Phil Psrkinson has significantly boosted Altrincham’s hopes of continuing their recent outstanding form after turning Mansfield midfielder Alistair Smith’s loan into a permanent move...

The talented 20-year old had signed a deal with the Robins for the next 18 months. It is a massive coup for Parkinson that he managed to convince Smith, in the face of rising competition from rival clubs, that his career prospects would be best served at The J.Davidson Stadium after Mansfield agreed to release him...

The Alty manager said... 'He expressed a desire to sign permanently for us, and after negotiations with Mansfield, we were able to come up with an agreement to make it happen. I think everyone can see the impact Ally has had since joining us, and it would have been remiss of us not to try and sign such an exciting young talent on a permanent deal, once we knew it was possible'...

Smith, a multi-talented midfielder who mixes elegance with a hard, competitive edge, arrived on an initial one-month loan in mid-November... He has since reeled off 11 league and cup starts".


Altrincham take on Barnet on Saturday. The Barnet & Potters Bar Times reminds us of the recent news that Barnet have recently "bolstered their squad with three new signings as they try and arrest their poor form from the start of the season.

The Bees currently sit second bottom in the National League table, eight points behind 20th place Yeovil Town, but have made moves to try and lift them up the table.

Ben Richards-Everton was the first to sign for Tim Flowers’ side after his contract with Bradford City was terminated... [He] has signed a contract with Barnet which will run until at least the end of the 2022-23 season, with an option of a further year included in the deal...

He said, '’ve got experience in the league previously, obviously I’ve been in League One and Two mainly, but I have played in the Conference and Conference North as well and hopefully I can use my experience to bring some more confidence into the defence'...

Richards-Everton is joined in defence by two other new arrivals in the shape of Themis Kefalas and Liam Daly. Daly has signed from National League North side Gloucester City and has previously worked under Bees’ boss Tim Flowers at Solihull Moors...

Kefalas meanwhile has arrived on loan from Queens Park Rangers, initially until February 28, with a conditional option to extend the deal until the end of the season".

ON THIS DAY: 21 January

Nine years ago today in a Blue Square Bet North Match played on Saturday, 21 January, 2012, four goals from Damian Reeves ensured Altrincham got revenge on Harrogate Town for a defeat at Wetherby Road on the opening day of the season.

Right: Kieran Walmsley (2), Mark Lees (6) and Adrian Hawes (5) seen during the game.

Altrincham had been hit by injuries to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn and defenders Marlon Broomes and Matt Flynn, whilst another defender, Adam Flynn, was only fit enough for the bench. So, youth team keeper Adam Reid made his league debut for Alty and there were two "new" faces on the bench, where James Holden, who had figured briefly for Alty Reserves as a teenager, and assistant manager Neil Tolson, made their first appearances in an Altrincham league squad.

With Liam Tomsett having finished his loan from Blackpool, Shaun Densmore returned to the starting line-up as captain. 30 players had so far been named on an Alty squad list that season for league games, underlining the transitional nature of the campaign.

Pre-match speculation about Jack Redshaw, who had spent a couple of days on trial at Morecambe before today's game, came to nothing as he again lined up for Altrincham.

This return fixture was played in a strong, gusty wind, which was behind Alty in the first half. After a scrappy opening, Damian Reeves put Alty ahead with a smart finish from Richman's right-wing cross in the 14th minute.

Eleven minutes later Harrogate got a route back into the match when Lees conceded a penalty which Brayson converted after 35 minutes. Alty then went off the boil and early in the second half, Harrogate levelled when an error by Hawes let in Brayson who gave Alty keeper Adam Reid no chance (51 mins).

But Altrincham responded well as, first, Redshaw made it 3-2 when he scored at the back post from a Clee free kick, which had evaded Richman and Reeves (58 mins). Then Reeves scored the goal of the game in the 61st minute with a brilliant first-time finish, off the post, from outside the box following Lawrie's good work.

Sixteen minutes from time Reeves tapped in his fifth from a Richman cross to make it 5-2. He now had 31 goals in 25 league outings and was unsurprisingly named Man of the Match.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Adam REID, 2. Kieran WALMSLEY, 5.Adrian HAWES, 6. Mark LEES, 3. Nicky CLEE, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 4. Chris LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE, 9. Jack REDSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 14. James HOLDEN, 15. Michael TWISS, 16. Neil TOLSON, 17. Adam FLYNN


FC Halifax Town report that after "FC Halifax Town’s 2-1 loss against Southport, manager Pete Wild spoke...

'You simply cannot have that many chances at goal and only score one. If you want to win a football match, then we need to do better. In the first half I thought Southport were non-existent, but my team, both with and without the ball, should have been about 5-0 up at half time. We were rubbish, we should have been five up.

'Then in the second half we had two glaring opportunities in the first five minutes. But we just did not score. When we were not taking the chances, you could see it coming from a mile off... I felt we were weak as a team tonight'...

'We had to make some changes to try liven things up and get some pace on the pitch. We may have had all the ball but if you don’t take your chances, you get punished... We will have to be a lot better than that to beat Bromley'" in the next match.

Devon Live reports that "Torquay United will go to Southport of the National North division in the last 16 of the FA Trophy after beating fellow National League side Boreham Wood 4-0 in their delayed fourth round tie on the northern outskirts of London.

It was 0-0 at half time but second-half goals from Asa Hall, Billy Waters, Adam Rendell and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans did the damage. The record books will show a trashing but this was far from that and goals two, three and four all came in the last 10 minutes with the home side finally beaten down.

Ahead of Torquay's return to league action at Notts County on Saturday, the win will be a huge fillip for Gary Johnson's team, who... hadn't played a competitive game since losing to Yeovil Town 2-1 on January 2.

Josh Umerah got the nod to start up front ahead of loan striker Rob Street, who took his place on the bench. Also among the substitutes were Armani Little, who suffered a hamstring injury on Boxing Day...and fit-again forward Waters.

Notably missing from the 16 were goalkeeper Lucas Covolan and defender Fraser Kerr. New loan signing Max Sheaf travelled with the team but was unavailable because he was not registered in time for Saturday, the original date of the game...

In the 49th minute, Hall picked up the ball 10 yards from goal, turned well, and found the net with a fine left-footed strike.

Torquay were back under pressure after the goal, but Boreham Wood failed to make their possession pay... Little and Waters came on for Umerah and Aaron Nemane, who had been having a quiet game...

It was 2-0 in the 82nd minute when Waters hit the ball home from close range. The chance was set up by Whitfield. A minute later, Randell made it 3-0 with a lovely curled right-footed strike from 16 yards that gave the diving Ashmore no chance.

Jake Andrews came on for Hall after the third goal but the scoring wasn't done, with Lemonheigh-Evans netting the fourth from close range after a good team move and a final pass from Waters".

Also from Devon Live we learn that "Torquay United’s season could be under threat amid claims that a further £11m in funding to help clubs finish the National League campaign will be in loans instead of grants... Torquay are eight points clear at the top of the National League, and any cancellation of the season because of a threatened strike of clubs would be disastrous...

Officials at several National League clubs in the South and North divisions have now spoken out insisting it has put the season in jeopardy... The news comes with fears over the season already starting to mount because of the number of games called off due to the pandemic.

Torquay return to league action at Notts County on Saturday having not played an NL game since... January 2. Since then, manager Gary Johnson has extended the loans of Adam Randell and Sam Sherring, and brought in striker Rob Street on loan from Crystal Palace and midfielder Max Sheaf on loan from Hull City".

"After an initial short-term deal, Aldershot Town are delighted to announce that midfielder Jermaine Anderson has signed a new deal until the end of the 2020/21 season!

The 24 year-old has made seven appearances so far for the club, including scoring a brace in his first derby game against Woking back on Boxing Day...

Manager Danny Searle... said 'We’ve secured Jermaine for the rest of the season so that’s good news for us and it adds a little bit more competition for us and a little bit of spice in the dressing room... here’s a few happy faces and a few thinking another one! But it’s all in good spirit and we go to Wealdstone in good form.

'He’s quality. He’s a really good player. He brings a calming influence to the team at times, but he also brings an intensity and when you’ve got a player like him whose played as many league games as he has and the business we’ve done and credit to everyone involved because he’s a proper player'".

We learn from Kent Online that "Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler believes they can bring other teams into the relegation dogfight.

Whites are eight points from safety in the National League but there are a number of sides in the bottom half of the table who might end up looking nervously over their shoulder in the weeks ahead.

'We need to get a bit of consistency if we can,' said Hessenthaler... 'and put some pressure on the teams above us... There’s always a team that has a bad run and drops down. Hopefully we’ve had our bad run now and we’re going to go on a good one'...

Whites saw their National League trip to Wealdstone called off for the third time in as many months on Tuesday due to the hosts being in FA Trophy action. It was the 12th match Dover have had postponed this season, the vast majority due to Covid. They were set to go 10 days without another league game again as they were scheduled to play Macclesfield in the original fixture list this weekend...

But the National League have moved quickly to bring forward the re-arranged home clash with Solihull Moors to this Saturday to avoid a blank date in the calendar... Moors were without a fixture at the weekend after scheduled opponents Yeovil were unable to play due to a Covid-19 outbreak...

Hessenthaler said... 'We had five out still at the weekend but two came back into training at the start of this week and we might have two or three back at the end of the week...

'They are all big games now, we’re not silly, we’ve all seen the league table... We need to get the away form up and running and keep picking up points at home... We’ve only played 13 league games so it’s still early days'...

Ade Azeez picked up a calf injury at Wrexham but he should recover in time to face Solihull while Josh Passley remains suspended after his red card against Dagenham".

20 January 2021


As Alty travel to The Hive to face Barnet on Saturday, they will be hoping for a better outcome than on their last visit when, in September 2014, they lost 5-0 to the soon-to-be champions.

For the game, Shaun Densmore returned to the squad after injury whilst Simon Richman (suspended) gave way to Nicky Clee in the starting eleven.

In that Vanarama Conference match, a fairly even start to the game was undone in the twelfth minute when referee Lugg allowed a questionable challenge on Reeves to go unpunished and Barnet to go on and score, through a well struck shot by the impressive Spaniard, Villa.

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

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

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

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

Hoskins, on his debut, made it 5-0 with his first touch (49 mins) but Altrincham recovered their composure to complete the game without further goals being conceded but nine goals conceded in two away games this week have plunged them into the bottom four. However, Alty did manage to finish the season seventeenth and earn another season in the top-flight.

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


Tuesday 19th January
  • Bromley P-P Sutton United [FA Trophy clash of fixtures]
  • Boreham Wood P-P Barnet [FA Trophy clash of fixtures]
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-2 Stockport County (7pm)
  • Eastleigh 0-1 King's Lynn Town (7pm)
  • Solihull Moors P-P Weymouth
  • Wealdstone P-P Dover Athletic [FA Trophy clash of fixtures]
  • Yeovil Town P-P Notts County [Covid at Yeovil]


Monday 18th January
  • Wealdstone 3-1 Gloucester City

Tuesday 19th January

  • FC Halifax Town 1-2 Southport
  • Aldershot Town 3-2 Solihull Moors
  • Boreham Wood 0-4 Torquay United
  • Kettering Town 0-3 Leamington [Match delayed at half-time by power failure with Leamington leading 3-0 and Kettering down to ten men since 11th minute. Second half kicked off c.10.30pm! Kettering finished game with eight men on the pitch]
  • Stamford AFC 0-2 Hereford
  • Bromley 1-1 Woking [Woking won on pens]

Wednesday 20th January

  • Boston United v Chesterfield


Luca Havern and John Johnston scored for Bradford (PA) and Chester FC on Tuesday night in a 3-3 draw in National League North.

ON THIS DAY: 20 January

Back on this day in 2009, Alty won a place in the UniBond Cheshire Senior Cup Final with a 4-0 win at Moss Lane against Witton Albion.

Manager Graham Heathcote took the opportunity to play several players who had seen little action recently. Chris Denham started for the first time since, coincidentally, Alty's first Cheshire Senior Cup game that season in mid-September against Vauxhall Motors. He has been out with an eye injury following an accident at work.

Right: Action from the game against Witton.

Alty were also pleased to welcome back their captain Robbie Lawton from an injury which had prevented him from starting a game since late November.

With Denham's inclusion, and both Alex Meechan and Joe O'Neill coming into the side, Colin Little, Chris Senior and Dale Johnson all dropped to the bench. Anthony Danylyk, suspended for the next game, was also stood down as Lawton started in midfield. James Smith, too, returned from injury, allowing Mark McGregor a night off.

For their part Witton included former Alty players in the shape of James Olsen, Kieran Lugsden, Gary Scott and Lee Thompson. After a poor start to the season, Witton had improved their league position in the UniBond Premeier recently under new manager Gary Finley.

Alty started well and took the lead in the 32nd minute when Denham scrambled home Doughty's cross. Densmore made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute with a well-struck freekick. Denham made it three just after the hour mark, a goal made by Greg Young's surge up the left. The scoring was completed by Chris Senior with a deftly executed chip over the keeper, ten minutes from the end.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 22. James SMITH, 2. Chris LANE, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 21. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robert LAWTON (capt), 11.Warren PEYTON; 10. Chris DENHAM, 12. Joe O'NEILL, 15. Alex MEECHAN. Subs: 4. Mark McGREGOR, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 14. Dale JOHNSON, 19. Chris SENIOR, 9. Colin LITTLE.


Boreham Wood "announce the signing of experienced defender Krystian Pearce on an 18-month deal at Meadow Park following his departure from rivals Solihull Moors.

Pearce, 31 years-old, who has been affectionately known throughout his career as ‘the Chief’ at his former clubs by his teammates and by the supporters, began his career at Birmingham City... Despite a host of loan moves away from St Andrews, that included spells with Notts County, Port Vale, Scunthorpe United, Peterborough United and Huddlesfield Town, he never made a senior appearance...

A short spell at Huddersfield Town on a permanent basis in 2010 was quickly followed by a permanent move to then Football League side Notts County... ollowed by a move to the south coast, where Pearce signed for Torquay United on a two-year deal... His deal was not renewed by the Gulls at the end of the 2014/15 season, which set him up for a return to the Football League with Mansfield Town...

Pearce was named in the 2018/19 League Two Team of the Year... Pearce joined Solihull Moors on a short-term deal until January 2021".

National League North Bradford (Park Avenue) "have signed Luke Rawson from Chesterfield on a 5 week loan deal until the 23rd of February.

The tall striker has played 8 times for Chesterfield in the National League this season scoring twice, he also enjoyed a loan at our divisional rivals Alfreton scoring once in 2 appearances. Luke will be... adding some possible variance to our attacking style with his strength and size...

The club would also like to announce the non-contract signing of Liam Bennett. Liam has been training with the club for the last couple of months after returning to the UK from the USA where he studied and played for the Louisville Cardinals after his release from Leeds United".

Meanwhile, NL Daily confirms that "Midfielder Milan Butterfield has returned to Chesterfield.

The Bermuda international has been on loan in the National League North with Guiseley, joining the club last month. Having made four appearances for Guiseley, he is now back with his parent club.

A summer signing from Kidderminster Harriers, Butterfield has been recently linked with a permanent move away from the Spireites".

In the Dorset Echo, "Brian Stock hinted the Terras’ old guard of players could be at risk if they do not meet his tactical demands...

Prior to promotion to the National League and ex-boss Mark Molesley’s departure, numerous contract renewals were agreed well ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Stock’s preferred style of play is based on a high press to meet the requirements of National League intensity. But he indicated change may be necessary...

Stock said 'I wouldn’t say I owe the players anything. They’ve warranted their contracts and the club have identified them as a quality of player that is needed for this level. I do think fitness is a factor. It’s something we need to address. With the way I want our team to play, I’ve brought in fast defenders because I want us to press high, close the gaps.

'I want us to be a team that come out of the blocks. If those players that have been put in those positions are not doing that, then it’s a problem.'”

In the Hartlepool Mail "Ben Killip reveals how he deals with mistakes...

The 25 year-old... insists he has learned to deal with it thanks to his experience... not looking to do something out of the ordinary to prove he is a good keeper...

'If you lose a game and it’s your fault as a keeper then it’s the loneliest place to be in the world... It’s one where you’ve just got to deal with it and move on and look at it after the game... You don’t have to make up for it or do anything to try and prove you’re a good goalkeeper which is something I’ve been guilty of in the past'...

Meanwhile, there has been little transfer activity this month but Dave Challinor has made tying Jamie Sterry, 25, down until the end of the season a ‘top priority’ this month following some impressive displays. The former Newcastle United defender feels... 'It’s nowhere near my best... I’ve only played seven games this season so I’ve got so much more to give. I’m learning how the team play because it’s obviously hard coming into a new team part-way through the season and I’d only trained twice before my first game.'".

19 January 2021


The BBC reports that "National League clubs have been dealt a major blow after being told future funding will be issued as loans and that grants will only be handed out in exceptional circumstances.

The National League's three divisions kicked off in October after securing a £10m grant from the government for the opening three months of the campaign.

However, that grant funding has expired and a total of £11m, part of the government's £300m rescue package for sport, is available to clubs to claim as loans over the next three months.

BBC Sport was told by a number of clubs in January that they only agreed to start the season during the coronavirus pandemic and in the absence of fans on the understanding that continuing costs would be covered.

Interim National League chief executive Mark Ives, who replaced Mike Tattersall after he stood down at the end of December, is due to address the situation with clubs on Wednesday".

Nottinghamshire Live quotes the reaction of various clubs. "Director of Chester FC, Jim Green, whose club play in the National League North, said on Twitter 'Unfortunately I fear this spells the end for @TheVanaramaNL this season'...

Dorking Wanderers... said 'If the National League were to be cancelled it would cost over 14 million from the Furlough Scheme. It would appear @DCMS are yet again struggling to comprehend the impact of no crowds, in addition this is moving the goalposts on what was agreed.'

The chairman of Concord Rangers, Ant Smith, added 'I personally would 100 per cent be behind any clubs who wish to make a stand in not playing their fixture this Saturday. I’m pretty sure it is the only way we will get the attention that is required, we have seen how long it takes to get answers if you just nod your head and say okay.'".


The Fifth Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy is to be played on Saturday 6 February, with prize money of £6,000 to be earned by the winners, whilst the losers pick up £1,750. The draw was made on Monday...

  • 1 Sutton United v Bromley or Woking
  • 2 Aldershot Town or Solihull Moors v Boston United or Chesterfield
  • 3 Darlington v Wealdstone or Gloucester City
  • 4 Stamford or Hereford v Kettering Town or Leamington
  • 5 Havant & Waterlooville v Notts County
  • 6 FC Halifax Town or Southport v Boreham Wood or Torquay United
  • 7 Oxford City v Peterborough Sports
  • 8 Hornchurch v Maidstone United

ON THIS DAY: 19 January

Five years ago tonight, Altrincham had made the long midweek trek to Sussex to take on Bognor Regis Town.

This long midweek trip came just 72 hours after Altrincham's narrow win at Leamington in the previous round, a tie which had been postponed five times and for which Alty and their players had travelled to the Midlands on three occasions but only played once. In that sense the 660-miles expended on those games comfortably outstripped this 500-mile Tuesday evening round-trip.

Quite bizarrely, supporters arrived at the match to find half a dozen cars parked on the pitch, with their engines running to help warm up a frozen area. The aim was to warm up an area near the touchline that the referee was not happy about because of ice/frost. Thankfully, the ploy was a success. Not for nothing, it seems, do Bognor's shirts carry the sponsorship logo of a local car-dealership.

Above: Bognor exhausted every avenue to get the game played. Above we see six cars, with engines running, parked on the pitch, on a yellow line (of sand), to ward off the frost before kick-off.

But, the absence of seven first-choice players proved too much for Altrincham on this bitterly cold night in Sussex. Long-term absentees Coburn, Densmore, Marshall and Clee were joined on the absentee list for this match by Griffin (hip), Havern (broken nose) and Richman (taking his University exams).

So three of the fit players had to be deployed out of their best positions in a 4-4-2 set-up; midfielder Jordan Sinnott continued at right-back, fellow midfielder Josh O'Keefe was named as left-back and forward James Lawrie featured in central midfield. Up front, Damian Reeves returned for his first start after injury and was not expected to complete ninety minutes. In the absence of Densmore and his deputy captains Coburn and Havern, Jake Moult wore the armband tonight.

Recent loan signings, Josh Ginnelly (Burnley) and Dylan Mottley-Henry (Bradford City) were eligible to make their debuts tonight; Josh started the game on the left whilst Dylan was named on the bench.

In a fairly even first half, Alty had the better chances, the best falling to Rankine who blasted a lay-off from Reeves over the bar.

But the visitors rarely theatened after the interval. Bognor took a 76th minute lead when Robson headed home a cross from the right. Altrincham equalised when Lawrie lifted the ball over the keeper from O'Keefe's cross and found the net in the 81st minute.

Then, in the 85th minute, a fine 25-yard shot, off the upright by Crane, secured a win for the Rocks and an away tie at Sutton United.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 6. Scott LEATHER, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 15. Josh GINNELLY, 7. James LAWRIE, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 18. George BOWERMAN, 24. Rhain DAVIS, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY, 21. Joel SWIFT.


From Norfolk, Lynn News claims "King's Lynn Town's National League season thrown into doubt over financial support...

It is understood that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has indicated to the National League that their £11m of funding for the remainder of the season will be in the form of loans, not grants.

Grants will only be available to clubs in exceptional circumstances and the National League is now encouraging clubs to contact their local MPs to ask them to lobby DCMS.

Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve recently called on the government to stop playing 'Russian Roulette' with clubs and their futures.

Cleeve felt that many clubs would not have agreed to start the current season behind closed doors had they known it involved taking on further financial obligations".

News at Den has a "Millwall loan watch" which focuses on players from Millwall who are on loan elsewhwere, including the news that "Isaaac Olaofe scored his sixth goal of the season for Sutton United as they defeated Dagenham & Redbridge 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Trophy at the weekend.

Olaofe bagged the second in the 61st minute to help his side through. Olaofe, 21, had his loan deal with the National League side extended last week until the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Rob Strachan and Harry Ransom were again denied chances to add to their senior experience as Welling United and Dover Athletic’s games were postponed in National League South and National League, respectively, as positive tests for Covid-19 continue to cause havoc in the non-leagues".

The Derbyshire Times states that "There is a lot of talk about what Chesterfield might be able to achieve next season.

James Rowe will have completed the reshaping of his squad next season, the fans will be back next season, they will be better off financially next season. But next year the expectations will be higher, bringing about more pressure, the bookies will have them listed as one of the favourites and all eyes will be on them again...

So while the pressure is off and the players can play with freedom, it makes it the perfect time to go under the radar and be that team who makes a quiet surge up the league table... Nobody, except us who have watched them under Rowe, will be looking at the Spireites in 17th and thinking they are a threat to the top seven... There is nothing to fear and everything to play for...

Once Covid has settled down and Chesterfield can put a run of games together, I believe they will be ready to push on.

Between me and you, the Spireites can get promoted this season. Just don’t tell anyone".

Meanwhile, the Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield transfer target Gavin Gunning reportedly rejects new contract at Gloucester City. The 29-year-old centre-back has ‘turned down’ the offer and is ‘expected to leave’ the National League North club, according to Gloucestershire Live.

Town are interested in signing him but agreed not to make an approach for any more contracted Tigers players after manager James Rowe and striker Akwasi Asante moved to the Technique Stadium.

Whether Gunning rejecting a new contract means Gloucester would change their stance remains to be seen.

Defenders George Carline and Alex Whittle have since joined Rowe and Asante at the Blues, but only after becoming free agents. Chesterfield chairman, Mike Goodwin, insists... "that in terms of the players we have taken from Gloucester that we have not broken any regulations or any agreement that we might have had with Gloucester and we have spoken to their chairman before we have actually signed any of those players so the chairman has been quite happy about that'...

Gunning started his career at Blackburn Rovers and his previous clubs include Dundee United and Forest Green Rovers

We learn from the Dorset Echo that on Saturday, "Weymouth lacked a 'cutting edge' as Darlington dumped Brian Stock’s Terras out of the FA Trophy fourth round with a 1-0 win at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Pre-match, all the talk had been of Stock’s impressive capture of highly-rated Aston Villa defender Dominic Revan and his fellow centre-back Jacob Mensah. The duo duly delivered a strong performance but it was in the final third where Weymouth’s demons laid as Stock’s men failed to register a shot on target for the second successive game.

Only Jordan Ngalo and Sean Shields tried their luck, both firing off target from 20 yards out in the first-half, while an Ollie Harfield free-kick sailed over in the 89th minute.

For hard-working Darlington, victory was fully warranted after... Will Hatfield’s 20-yard winner...

Stock said 'Our main objective was to be in the next round and that’s not the case. When you look at the performance, analyse everything we’ve worked on all week, things we’ve got on the board, reminders at half and full-time, we’ve not done any of that. Again, a disappointing result and performance...

'We’ve been working on it all week, so I’m almost at a loss as to why we turned down opportunities to play the ball in behind...

He said 'We got into some good areas, especially second half, and turned down opportunities to cross the ball. Again, I’m scratching my head to understand the reasons why, because we’ve done it really well this year. Realistically, we lacked a cutting edge in the final third'...

Stock revealed... 'We are actively speaking to two or three other players – forward-minded players... to try and improve the squad.'”

According to the Nottingham Post, Notts County "will step-up their search for a left-back after a deal to sign a defender from the Premier League collapsed at the last minute.

The Magpies had hoped to bring the player to Meadow Lane to help bolster their backline for the remainder of the season and and he had been training with the club. But despite Notts signing the paperwork and believing the deal would go ahead, the Premier League club's manager had a last-minute change of heart.

That has now left boss Neal Ardley needing to change targets and he is also now on the lookout for a new central defender after Sam Graham returned to the Blade... That proved to be a rare start for the defender and it is his lack of minutes on the pitch which have prompted the Blades to recall him".

Lynn News tells us that "King's Lynn Town have signed defender Tyler Denton from National League rivals Chesterfield.

The 25-year-old moves to the Walks on a permanent deal to give the club even more options at the back.

On Denton's arrival, Linnets director of football Robbie Back said 'Tyler is another player with league experience who arrives here with a very good pedigree. He's a left-back who likes to get forward and his arrival gives us more cover in that department'"

the Derbyshire Times adds that at Chesterfield, "The 25-year-old was signed by former Town manager John Pemberton but has not started a game under James Rowe.

In total the left full-back made five appearances for the Blues this season...

Denton’s chances of game time became slim following the signings of Joel Taylor and Alex Whittle, who both play in his position. He joins striker Alex Kiwomya at the National League club, who also left the Spireites last month.

Denton said 'King’s Lynn are an ambitious club and one I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with. The style of football at King’s Lynn is very attractive '... Director of football, Rob Back said... 'Having played alongside Kiwomya at Chesterfield, we see this as a natural fit for the squad.'”

The BBC confirms that "Covid-hit Yeovil Town have been forced to request the postponement of two more National League fixtures.

After the postponement of Saturday's game with Maidenhead United, matches against Notts County and Solihull Moors have also been called off.

The Glovers say they have had one positive case and the person will isolate until Monday 25 January.

It means four successive postponements for Yeovil, whose trip to Barnet on 10 January was also called off. That fixture, postponed because of Covid cases within the Barnet camp, has now been rearranged...

The next scheduled date for the club, who have not played since 5 January, is at home to Dover on Saturday 30 January".

The Leader Live tells us that "The gift of a case of gin, from the Hollywood stars keen to buy Wrexham Football Club, to the historic pub alongside the stadium is helping a family support charity backed by North Wales’s policing chief.

Regulars at the famous Turf Hotel alongside the club’s Racecourse Ground have been enjoying 18 bottles of Aviation Gin donated by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, with the cash from the sales raising £1,300.

The football club, Wales’s oldest, was actually formed at a meeting at the pub in 1864 and the ground is the world’s oldest international football stadium. Before the new stand was built customers could watch games free from its rear balcony.

Now Turf landlord Wayne Jones has handed over £500 of that windfall to Home-Start, the charity based in the town which helps families struggling to cope with raising young children...

Wayne said 'We just received this parcel with a case of 18 bottles of Aviation Gin and a note from Ryan Reynolds saying "To Wayne, see you soon and see you often". It’s not every day a Hollywood superstar sends you 18 bottles of expensive gin'".

Bromley "share the news that Michael Cheek has signed a contract extension with Bromley Football Club.

The prolific striker joined up with Neil Smith ahead of the 2019/20 season and has since gone on to make a huge impact at Hayes Lane.

The 29 year-old is a seasoned performer at National League level, having made his name at Heybridge Swifts, before moving on to Chelmsford City... He made the move to Braintree Town... His prolific spell earned him a move to fellow Essex outfit Dagenham & Redbridge... In the Summer of 2018, Cheek signed for Ebbsfleet United...

In the cut-short 2019/20 season Cheek scored 15 goals in all competitions, and this season he already has double figures with 11 in all competitions".

The Halifax Courier reports that "Cheltenham Town striker Tahvon Campbell has joined FC Halifax Town loan for the rest of the season.

The 24-year-old forward has made more than 100 senior appearances and started his career at West Brom... His first taste of senior football came in a loan spell at Kidderminster... [and] a loan spell at Yeovil in League Two... before a goalless two-month stint at League Two Notts County...

Campbell scored once on loan at Solihull in... the 2017-18 season. He then joined Forest Green on loan in League Two... Campbell was released by West Brom at the end of the 2017-18 season, and joined Forest Green on a permanent basis...

He joined League One Gillingham on loan at the end of January 2019, but failed to score in six games... After leaving Forest Green that summer, Campbell joined League Two side Cheltenham but failed to score in 14 appearances during the 2019-20 season.

Campbell spent time on loan at National League North club Gloucester earlier this campaign, scoring five goals in eight matches, and has made just one first-team appearance for Cheltenham this season, as a substitute".

According to the Hull Daily Mail "Torquay United boss Gary Johnson wasted no time in securing the services of Hull City midfielder Max Sheaf, once he was made aware of the youngster’s availability, so highly is he rated.

The 20 year-old will spend the remainder of the campaign on loan at the National League leaders it was confirmed on Monday, much to the delight of the experienced Johnson.

Sheaf excelled during a loan stint at Johnson’s former club Cheltenham Town last term ...

'As soon as he became available I was very interested. He gives us a player that will allow us to get through the number of games we play in a short space of time for the rest of the season'" said Johnson.

18 January 2021


Altrincham's last league match against Barnet was in September 2014 when they crashed to a 5-0 defeat in the National League at The Hive, early in a season in which Barnet were to regain their Football League place,

Altrincham's historical record against the Bees is very much one of home dominance by each of the sides, which produces a fairly even overall record in matches between the clubs...

  • At Altrincham P14-W10-D2-L2-F31-A11
  • At Barnet P14-W2-D3-L9-F9-A24
  • All games P28-W12-D5-L11-F40-A35

ON THIS DAY: 18 January

This time last year, Altrincham travelled to the International Stadium where they lost 2-0 to Gateshead.

It was a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 18 January 2020 and Altrincham could have no complaints at the outcome as their weakened team lost to a well organized Gateshead.

This was Alty's first visit to Gateshead since 2015, a game which ended 2-2. Both clubs had since dropped a level in the non-League pyramid.

Above: Andy White cleared this 40th minute effort off the line, following a corner, and an Altrincham freekick was given for a foul, in any case. But, just three minutes later, from their next corner, Gateshead scored. Having beaten Gateshead 3-0 in Cheshire earlier in the season, Alty arrived at the International Stadium in seventh place, with games in hand on several of the teams above them. However, Gateshead had played the fewest games in the division. They had one game in hand on Alty and were three points and six places below the visitors in a congested league table.

Without the suspended Harrop and the injured Williams, Richman and Peers, and with the recalled Walters not yet re-registered after being recalled from loan, Alty nevertheless saw plenty of the ball in the first half.

Fielding debutant loanee Josh Lundstram in midfield and with Luke Wall brought in on the left, Alty were unable to convert their possession into a clear opening after they had had a goal disallowed for offside early on.

Gateshead had not created a lot themselves before they took a fortuitous 43rd minute lead. The goal came direct from an inswinging right-wing corner by former Dover man Deverdics. As the ball dropped in the goalmouth goalkeeper Thompson failed to deal with it before it crossed the line.

Gateshead doubled their lead in the 67th minute when a cross from Nicholson from the right was hit against the near post by debutant Middlesbrough loanee Curry before rebounding back off him and into the net.

Alty never looked like recovering and scarcely troubled keeper James in the home net. Alty dropped to tenth as a result of this defeat which ended their seven-game unbeaten run.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Luke WALL. Subs: 12. Curtis MILLER, 14. Sean WILLIAMS, 15. Connor HAMPSON, 16. James JONES, 17. Joel TORRANCE.


After three appearances for Altrincham at the back end of 2020, Gateshead have announced that the "are pleased to confirm the signing of Jacob Blyth until the end of the 2020/21 season.

The six foot three striker arrives on Tyneside having most recently spent time with Altrincham in the latter part of 2020.

The 28 year-old made 19 substitute appearances in League Two for Macclesfield Town during the 2019/20 season prior to injury in March, and appeared 24 times for Barrow in the Vanarama National League the season prior.

Blyth [right] also spent time in the Football League with Blackpool, Burton Albion, Cambridge United & Northampton Town before heading to Scottish Premiership side Motherwell in 2016".

Interviewed by the Gateshead website, "Jacob Blyth revealed that Gateshead were the club [that] ‘stood out’ to him after completing his move on Friday... and [he] is raring to go on Tyneside.

'I’m delighted to finally get things over the line,' he said. 'I’ve been so impressed with the setup and the way the gaffer and Ian [Watson] go about their work. I had a few offers from other clubs in this league but Gateshead stood out to me because the setup is just brilliant with stadium, the training ground and the fact that this is a full time club. It was really appealing to me from the outside.'

The 28 year-old had to contend with an injury lay-off during uncertain times over the summer after suffering a knee injury while with Macclesfield Town in 2020. Blyth has since been back in action during a brief spell with Altrincham at the end of 2020, playing three games with the National League club, and believes he can offer an alternative style in Gateshead colours.

'I had surgery in the summer and then I went in to train with Altrincham for a few weeks,' he added. 'Once I was asked about coming here it was a no brainer for me to come straight up... I class myself as a bigger striker and I can always give the team that plan B while also executing the plan A'".

Jacob made three appearances for Altrincham, two of them against Stockport County over Christmas and New Year. After training with Alty for a fortnight or so, his debut came as a substitute in added time of the home game against County, but he started the reverse fixture before being substituted at half-time. In between those games he played the final half-hour at FC Halifax Town.

An ex-Macclesfield Town forward, Jacob had earlier been at Barrow (2018-19) and Motherwell. That was after four years with Leicester City from which club he had loan spells with Burton Albion, Notts County, Northampton Town, Cambridge United and Blackpool.

His earlier career was at hometown club Nuneaton Griff and then with Bedworth United.


The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield are working hard to move some players out of the club, chairman Mike Goodwin has confirmed.

With nine new signings through the door since [new manager] Rowe was appointed at the end of November, some Spireites fans have been concerned about the club’s financial situation given the lack of outgoings.

But Goodwin said... 'I can understand the worry about that because we have now brought nine new players in and not a lot of players have disappeared the other way...

'That is not for the want of trying. We have been trying to move some players out who are not in the manager’s thoughts but what I can reassure them of is that we always said John Pemberton had got money before he left us and the new manager had that up front, which was a small amount of cash for him to deal with, but on the proviso that should he wish to extend that then there would have to be some reciprocal arrangements with players leaving the club.

'Certainly the work and the business he (Rowe) has done so far has been really good. There have been a number of players who have come in on greatly reduced salaries in terms of some of the players that we have already got so what we are trying to do is continue to do that and reduce the cost of the squad.

'It is difficult at this moment in time because not a lot of people are actually signing players on during this window. There is a bit of uncertainty about the continuation of this season so we are finding it difficult to do that but that is our aim. The cost of the squad will not increase and players will have to leave to balance that up and the manager knows that.'

Meanwhile, Goodwin said they are hoping to hear some news shortly about the amount of funding they will receive from the National League for January, February and March...

In other news, more than 100 season tickets for the 2021/2022 campaign have already been sold, raising about £25,000... to help reshape the squad now and create a cashflow for now. But fans have been reassured that the majority of the funds generated will be ring-fenced for next season.

The live streaming of the two home matches in December against Brackley Town and Solihull Moors brought in about £17,000, with Brackley receiving a portion of the money because it was an FA Trophy game."

Woking "will be aiming for a first win in four when they travel to Bromley on Tuesday evening for the next round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

The Cards have only won one game in the competition in the last five years, the 2-1 victory over Dover Athletic a month ago...

They will be hoping that a two-and-a-half week break since their last league outing... will have helped freshen up a stretched squad which has recently lost loanees Saul Shotton and Josh Davison, who have returned to West Bromwich Albion and Charlton Athletic, respectively.

Bromley have won their last four home games against Woking... The Ravens haven’t played since before Christmas... in the last round of the Trophy...

[Manager] Dowse will be hoping that he’ll have completed at least one new signing ahead of the Bromley game following the departure of Josh Davison. Ben Gerring is also expected to make his first appearance of the season for the Cards after recovering from his pre-season injury."

According to the Manchester Evening News "Stockport fell to a second cup defeat of the week, as National League rival Notts County snatched a late 1-2 win in the FA Trophy at Edgeley Park on Saturday.

In a largely quiet affair at Edgeley Park... chances came at a premium before the visitors took the lead after a rather flat opening half-hour.

The lively Enzio Boldewijn burst through the heart of the Hatters’ defence and teed up Mansfield loanee Jimmy Knowles to cleverly toe poke past Josh Barnes.

Gannon’s side pressed for a leveller before the interval, and it came just four minutes following the opening goal when the returning Ash Palmer bundled home Macauley Southam-Hales’ near-post corner.

In an equally quiet start to the second half with no chances of note for either side... before Magpies sub Kyle Wootton did win the tie when he drove home via a deflection in the final minute".

The Leader Live claims that "All eyes will now be fixed on Wrexham AFC this week after hints of a ‘fun week’ ahead by Hollywood owners.

Posted by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” actor and one of the club’s owners-elect Rob McElhenney.. the A-lister said, 'Should make for a fun week. Amongst other things...'

Many speculated that the final takeover could be announced within a matter of days."

In the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "Dave Challinor is hoping it will be third time lucky for Hartlepool United when they face Halifax Town next month.

After two frozen pitch postponements, including one an hour before kick-off on Tuesday evening, the match has been given a third scheduled date... on February 2...

Club president Jeff Stelling even called for an investigation into Halifax’s handling of the late postponement on Tuesday night after the club deemed an afternoon inspection unnecessary.

And the fact Pools were able to get their match against Wealdstone on at Victoria Park last weekend despite harsher conditions than those in Halifax also didn’t sit right with many...

'I don’t blame Halifax at all,' he told The Mail. 'They are completely different situations with different teams. Halifax’s ground is a council ground that they’re not in control of in the same way we are of ours. I’ve been at teams before that don’t have the luxury of frost covers, but we do...

'As much as it’s about the ground staff, it’s about the equipment you’ve got and our frost covers did a brilliant job... That’s not been the case at Halifax, you can point fingers if you want but it’s part and parcel of the environment that we’re in'".

17 January, 2021


Fleetwood Town "confirm that defender Harrison Holgate has returned to the club after a short loan spell at National League Side Altrincham.

The 20 year-old, who joined the Robins last month, made three appearances whist out on loan...

Before heading to The J.Davidson Stadium, Holgate appeared nine times for the Cod Army".

Altrincham FC add that "The young centre-back answered the call to plug injury gaps in the Alty defence and, after an accomplished debut in the Buildbase FA Trophy win over Chester, added two more full 90-minute appearances in the Vanarama National League against Stockport County and FC Halifax Town.

Alty director Rob Esteva [said]... 'We’d like to thank Harrison for his contribution during his time at Alty. After Ritchie Sutton picked up a knock, and with Toby Mullarkey’s recovery taking a little longer than expected, we knew we needed cover alongside Tom Hannigan during a busy Christmas period.

'Harrison came straight into the team against Chester and looked like he had been with us for years. He played a key role in that game and did equally well in the Boxing Day clash with Stockport'.

Manager Phil Parkinson added 'Harrison has been absolutely fantastic for us and would probably have played even more games but for Toby Mullarkey coming back from injury and Andy White as well.

'That gave me so many options, and I'm always loyal to the players already here, but I would like to thank Harrison for his excellent efforts. He was really good, and if we need him again, I would have no hesitation in asking to take him back.'"


Duncan Watmore came on as a sub but could not prevent Middlesbrough losing to Birmingham City. Former loanee Josh Ginnelly scored as Hearts beat Alloa 3-1, whilst Andy Owens netted again for Chorley as they beat Farsley Celtic 3-2.

James Jones completed 90 minutes for Barrow but Elliott Durrell spent his ninety minutes on Wrexham's bench.

Many thanks to Phil Jordan for information.


With the midweek game against Woking postponed, Altrincham travel to Barnet for their next match, on Saturday 23rd January.

Barnet lie second bottom and are currently fifteen points adrift of Altrincham, having played four fewer games. New Barnet manager Tim Flowers has recruited three giant defenders this week as he aims to turn around the Bees' form.

In contrast, Alty have lost loanee central defender Harrison Holgate this week, thanks to his recall by Fleetwood Town. However, left-back Andy White is reportedly back to fitness whilst centre-back Toby Mullarkey returned to make his first start in the last fixture against Sutton United, after his injury lay-off.


Saturday's tie at Havant & Waterlooville was not the first occasion on which Altrincham have forfeited a match.

Terry Rowley has kindly provided details of a number of other such matches which include...

  • 1904/05: Altrincham were drawn against Bromborough Pool in the 1st Round of the Cheshire Amateur Cup, of which Alty were the holders. However, Altrincham forfeited the tie, as they thought the distance to The Wirral was too far.

    The Altrincham Guardian reported that "The little-heard of team have their home Liscard way and Altrincham judged that the distance and expense are too great".

  • 1911/12: Altrincham forfeited their FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round replay with Saint Helens Recreation after drawing 2-2 at home.
  • 1926/27 Altrincham forfeited their tie with Manchester North End in the Cheshire County League Cup. North End complained that, although Altrincham had won the tie, only 80 minutes had beeen played in the match. The original tie was therefore voided and a replay was ordered but Altrincham opted to forfeit the tie, rather than replay it!

ON THIS DAY: 17 January

Six years ago today, on Saturday, 17 January, 2015, Altrincham defeated Torquay United at Moss Lane, by two goals to one in a Vanarama Conference match. Underlining the fixture situation this season which sees Alty having played just 18 league games, this match in 2015 was the 31st league fixture of that campaign.

Right: Damian Reeves is congratulated on his goal against Torquay United.

Before kick off in the game, Torquay United were the only team not to have played Altrincham in the Conference that season. The Gulls started the match just three points ahead of Altrincham from the same number of games but they were five places higher than their hosts.

The game turned into a third successive league win, a victory which was well deserved and which lifted Altrincham to 14th in the league.

After a fairly even first 35 minutes, Altrincham took the lead when Damian Reeves smartly improvised a looping header over keeper Seabright from Ryan Crowther's ball, in the 37th minute.

Altrincham then dominated the opening period of the second half and doubled their lead in the 62nd minute. This time the roles were reversed as Reeves's shot was beaten out by Seabright for Crowther to net the rebound. Altrincham seemed to be cruising to victory till, four minutes later, burly substitute Louis Briscoe blasted a fierce 30-yard shot past Coburn to make it 2-1. The Gulls were given further hope in the 87th minute when Williams appeared to be tripped but Mr Johnson accused him of diving and showed him a second yellow card.

However, Altrincham defended well and the ten men kept Torquay at arms' length.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Sean Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs:, 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 7. James Lawrie


So, which team lost on Saturday but still advanced to the next round of the FA Trophy? Havant & Waterlooville enjoyed a walkover against Altrincham after The Robins were obliged to forfeit the tie because of Covid, but The Hawks then lost a hastily arranged home game against Eastbourne Borough in the National League South.

The Nottingham Post reports that Notts" County left it late, but tired legs were overcome by pure determination in the FA Trophy Fourth Round.

A competitive and dogged FA Trophy Fourth Round tie at Edgeley Park.... was Notts’ first competitive game of 2021 due to a number of postponements... Match fitness became a clear issue for the away side as the game dragged on, but a Kyle Wootton pot-shot was more than enough to earn Notts victory...

Stockport manager Jim Gannon said that his side was provided a ‘psychological boost’ by playing West Ham in FA Cup - however the main buff [sic] awarded from that match-up looked to be their general match fitness, with Stockport able to rush at the Magpies until the very end of the match.

A drab first half sparked into life within its final 15 minutes. Notts’ high press had earned the away team a chance through Eli Sam before the hectic pressing gave way to an opener... Ruben Rodrigues was quick to snatch up the loose ball within the home penalty area, tricking through a tight defence to unlock Knowles, who toe-poked an opener beyond Barnes in the Stockport goal...

Pilling was beaten on the stroke of the 40th minute as Ash Palmer latched onto a corner flick on to bundle the ball over the line at the back post to draw Stockport level...

Even as Notts tired, they found a late and desperate winner after latching onto a Stockport giveaway. Wootton, fresh and fired up, cannoned a shot past Barnes, aided well on by a generous deflection. Lucky, but the Magpies made their own luck".

Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town [have been] knocked out of the FA Trophy by lower-league Hornchurch

King's Lynn Town defender Rory McAuley saw red as the Linnets crashed out of this season's FA Trophy on penalties.

Lynn left their shooting boots at home in the resulting penalty shoot-out as all three of their second half substitutes fluffed their lines from the spot.

Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse made an abundance of changes from the side that drew 1-1 with FC Halifax Town in the thick fog last weekend.

The quintet of Archie Mair, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Alex Brown, Ryan Jarvis and Dayle Southwell were the only survivors from that starting eleven as Lynn eyed a place in the last 16...

King wasted a great chance to win late on but his final shot lacked the necessary power to beat Wright and the match went down to penalty kicks.

Lynn's three substitutes all saw their penalties saved and the Urchins scored all three of theirs to send Lynn packing out of the competition."


Dover Athletic have played the fewest games in the National League, due to the Covid pandemic. But now the club reports that one of their catch-up games has been scrubbed because of their opponents' FA Trophy commitments.

The Kent club reports that "Our match away to Wealdstone on Tuesday 19th January has been postponed due the Stones now playing Gloucester City in the FA Trophy on Monday 18th January.

The FA Trophy match at Grosvenor Vale, due to have been played on Saturday 16th January, has been moved back two days due to a waterlogged pitch."

Meanwhile, "Two second half goals condemned" Dover Athletic "to their ninth National League loss of the season.

Ahkeem Rose headed Andy Hessenthaler’s side back into the game at the break after Reece Hall-Johnson’s individual strike had put the home side ahead.

However, Wrexham retook the lead in the second half through Fiarce Kelleher before Luke Young sealed victory in added time from the penalty spot.

Wrexham sealed victory from the penalty spot through Young in the fifth minute of added time after Mersin took down Kwame Thomas in the box.

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler named an unchanged side".

From Wrexham we read that "Wrexham claimed all three points at the Racecourse to move eighth...

It was clear that Dover were a strong, physical side and Wrexham did extremely well to prevent a second equaliser for most of the second half, before Kwame Thomas won a penalty in the dying embers of the game for Luke Young to slot home.

Wrexham made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 away at Stockport County at the end of 2020, as Thomas and Elliott Durrell dropped to the bench, with Shaun Pearson being left out of the squad due to injury.

Dover started the fixture bottom of the table, having taken only one point from their last five games, whilst Wrexham sat uncomfortably in 16th position".

16 January 2021


Altrincham FC has announced that 21 year-old midfielder Alistair Smith, who has been on loan at the club since mid-November 2020, has now left Mansfield Town and has joined Altrincham, signing a contract yesterday (15 January) which will run until the end of 2021-22 season.

Alistair [left] graduated from the Mansfield club's Academy and made six first-team appearances for The Stags. Before joining Alty, he had been on loan from Mansfield at Loughborough Dynamo, Frickley Athletic and Kettering Town, where he played against Alty in February 2020.

He made his Alty debut as a substitute on 14 November 2020 against Aldershot Town and, after a further four starts and a substitute appearance in the National League, Alistair's loan was extended to 13 January 2021.

Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards quotes manager Phil Parkinson as saying that "After the success of Alistair's loan period with us and a number of conversations with him, he expressed a desire to sign permanently for us, and after negotiations with Mansfield, we were able to come up with an agreement to make it happen...

"This yet again demonstrates the ambition of the club, even during difficult times, to make positive movements to ensure it remains and becomes successful at this level and hopefully, one day, at the one above".

To date, Alistair has made 10(+1) appearances in the National League and he has also made a further start in the FA Trophy in the match against Chester FC. It is a testimony to his ability that, after coming on as a substitute for his debut against Aldershot Town, he has played the full ninety minutes in all of the subsequent ten National League fixtures.

For their part Mansfield Town confirm that "Midfielder Alistair Smith has signed for Altrincham on a free transfer. The move for the 21 year-old includes future incentives for Mansfield in the event of a prospective transfer...

He leaves... having made 16 first-team appearances".

ON THIS DAY: 16 January

Altrincham should have been making the long trip to Hampshire today to face Havant & Waterlooville. Eleven years ago today they did undertake a long trek with a successful outcome.

On Saturday, 16 January 2010 in a Blue Square Premier match they won 2-1 in Kent, against Ebbsfleet United.

Right: Russell Saunders played well on his second "debut" in goal for Altrincham, at Ebbsfleet.

This was Altrincham's first league game for six weeks and their first action of any kind since December 15th.

Alty named the same starters as at Histon in their last league game, six weeks earlier! But goalkeeper Stuart Coburn damaged his left elbow ligaments in the warm up and had to be replaced by Russell Saunders, who had yet to play that season after joining Alty in the summer. Russell had played part of a Conference game back for Alty in September 2007 whilst on loan from Wigan Athletic but got carried off injured during that match.

Coburn's injury also meant a late inclusion on the bench of new signing Adam Carden from FC United of Manchester.

Ebbsfleet had shown a recent improvement in form to climb to 21st place whereasAlty started the game in 13th but with a number of games in hand on most other sides in the division.

Altrincham took an early lead when Chris Senior, tireless throughout, finished well from a Kearney feed in the 14th minute. When Young took advantage of goalkeeper Cronin's fumble to make it 2-0 after 53 minutes, the visitors seemed to have the game sewn up.

But when Ginty pulled back a goal nine minutes later, Alty's defence endured a stern test for twenty minutes or so. But Russell Saunders made a vital save to preserve Alty's lead.

Whilst Ebbsfleet might have levelled, both Denham and the industrious Senior also forced saves from Cronin towards the end which could have wrapped up the game for Alty. The result saw Altrincham move up to 11th in the table with games in hand.

ALTRINCHAM: 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 2. James SMITH, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 5. Greg YOUNG; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 19. Chris SENIOR, 17. John McALISKEY. SUBS: 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Chris DENHAM, 11. Nicky CLEE. 18. Michael WELCH, 24. Adam CARDEN.


On the eve of the match at Maidenhead, Yeovil Town announced that The Glovers' "trip to Maidenhead United has been postponed. This is due to coronavirus concerns within the Yeovil camp... As it stands, Tuesday’s match against Notts County is set to go ahead as planned".

Saturday, 16 January 2021

  • Maidenhead United P-P Yeovil Town {Covid concerns at Yeovil]
  • Wrexham 3-1 Dover Athletic


Saturday, 16 January 2021
  • Kettering Town P-P Leamington
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Southport
  • Aldershot Town v Solihull Moors
  • Weymouth 0-1 Darlington
  • Sutton United 3-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Stockport County 1-2 Notts County
  • Maidstone United 2-1 Dorking Wanderers
  • Wealdstone P-P Gloucester City (waterlogged)
  • Boreham Wood v Torquay United
  • Havant & Waterlooville P-P Altrincham [Altrincham forfeit tie owing to Covid]
  • Boston United v Chesterfield [playing on Wednesday 20 January]
  • Stamford P-P Hereford FC
  • Bath City 0-1 Peterborough Sports
  • Hornchurch 1-1 King's Lynn Town (Hornchurch won 3-0 on pens)
  • Bromley v Woking [playing on Wednesday 20 January]
  • Oxford City 4-2 Haringey Borough


According to Bermuda's Royal Gazette "Jonté Smith is on the verge of signing for Woking...

Dowson hopes to land the out-of-contract Bermuda striker as cover for Josh Davison, whose loan spell from Charlton Athletic has expired...

'I’m looking at bringing in Jonté Smith because he’s fit again and I’m in talks and hoping to tie that up this week,' Dowson told In Your Area Sports... Dowson has revealed that Smith... 'was the main one I was going after at the start of the season. He had an ankle problem but now he’s fit again. He hasn’t got a club, so would be ours. He’s scored for fun in the past.

'I’m looking at others, too, but there’s not much I can do because I can’t meet a player. I can only talk to them on the phone, and that’s what I’m trying to do.'

Smith, 26, was released by Cheltenham after his contract expired last June".

Yeovil Town "can confirm the sale of Courtney Duffus for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year old forward made 63 appearances in green and white, scoring 21 times.

Commenting, Scott Priestnall said 'Reuben Reid was our top target this season and with a wealth of experienced strikers at the club it was clear one had to go out.

'With Courtney’s contract expiring in the summer, his agent made it clear to me he would not sign a new deal in the summer and expressed his desire to leave in this window. After entertaining bids over the last few days we got the best deal for the club'".

Later, NL Daily reported that "Yeovil Town forward Courtney Duffus has left the club to join Bromley. The 25-year-old makes the move for an undisclosed fee.

As previously reported, the Hartlepool Mail "beat Sunderland under-23s 5-2 at The Academy of Light on Wednesday afternoon. Challinor named a side made up of players short of minutes which was subsidised by trialists.

Connor Leak-Blunt, formerly of Leeds United and Sheffield United, was one of two trialists to start the game for Hartlepool. The 18-year-old midfielder got on the scoresheet along with Joe Grey, Luke Williams and Mason Bloomfield, who netted twice.

A second trialist, which the club have requested to remain unnamed, started the match as a holding midfielder before slotting in as part of a back three. The player will continue to train with Pools with the view of potentially agreeing a deal...

Challinor told The Mail 'He has played in this country before but he’s been playing in Sweden and he wanted to come in and train... We’ll have him back training with us so we can make a decision around him.'

Leak-Blunt has been training with Pools since December but it’s unlikely that the club will look to secure a deal with the midfielder".

The BBC reports that "Manager Dean Keates will discuss with Wrexham's players the importance of observing Covid protocols.

Footballers have come under criticism for hugging in goal celebrations despite the pandemic...

'It's been highlighted this week and I'll have a conversation with the players,' he said. 'I'll just say for them to be aware that if we score just to be mindful when celebrating... We can't control everything but we trust the players as much as they can to adhere what we want from them'...

Players and staff have been told... 'handshakes, high fives and hugs must be avoided'...

Wrexham will return to action at home to Dover Athletic on Saturday having had to isolate following two positive cases at the club which forced their last two games to be called off. Saturday's game will be Wrexham's first since the 2-0 loss at Stockport County on 28 December".

Devon Live tells us that "Torquay United go to Boreham Wood tomorrow for a second round proper game in the FA Trophy, two weeks since they last kicked a football in competitive action...

You might think it will be an easy game for Gary Johnson’s team but you would be wrong. Boreham have been one of Torquay’s bogey teams of recent seasons; they are a decent side and it would be no surprise if they are challenging for a place in the play-offs.

With promotion to League Two the Gulls’ priority, this tie could be seen as a bit of a distraction too...

The game may give Johnson an opportunity to blood new striker Rob Street, who has signed on loan until the end of the season from Premier League side Crystal Palace..

With Danny Wright joining Andrew Nelson on the injury list, Johnson’s main man up front is Josh Umerah, with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans playing in the No 10 role... Might Street get the nod to get some time in his legs before the trip to Notts County?...

Meanwhile, Johnson has spoken of his delight at extending the loan spell of midfielder Adam Randell until the end of the season. Twenty-year-old Randell has been mooted as a future Plymouth Argyle captain by manager Ryan Lowe... Randell has played 16 games for the Gulls".

Boreham Wood have been buoyed by the news that "highly regarded Manager Luke Garrard has agreed terms and extended his stay at Meadow Park for a further 3 years.

Garrard, who took over the reigns as First Team Manager in October 2015, had 6-months remaining on his existing contract at Meadow Park but himself and the Chairman concluded swift contract discussions on the eve of Wood’s historic FA Cup 3rd Round fixture to Millwall, which will see Garrard remain at Meadow Park until at least the end of the 2023/24 season.

Since being given his first job in management by Chairman Danny Hunter in 2015, Garrard has surpassed expectations, establishing Wood as a top half National League side whilst guiding the Club to Wembley in the play-off final in 2018, beating a Football League side for the first time in the Club’s history in 2017 when we defeated Blackpool 2-1 at Meadow Park, as well as clinching a place in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup for the first time ever earlier this season, amongst many other notable achievements.

Garrard began his time at the Club over 15 years ago when he signed as a player at just 19 years-old... Limited game time meant Luke was loaned to Northwood before signing permanently with AFC Wimbledon... before re-signing at Meadow Park mid-way through the 2009/10 season...

Chairman Danny Hunter [said]... 'What we have quietly achieved here consistently, on our crowds and budget, is I feel quite unique. Put simply we still have no debt, we still buy well, we still sell well and all of our players are here for the right reasons. I see Luke’s contract extension as simply another step to where we both want to be...

In the last fifteen years as Chairman, I’ve only had my very good friend Ian Allinson and one of my best friends in Luke Garrard as my two Gaffers... It’s why our Football Club punches above its weight, it’s why it is consistent, it’s why I show patience and it’s why we are now a very comfortable National League Club at the level and it’s why Luke and all my staff must take all the credit', Hunter concluded...

Garrard commented...'In truth it took us a matter of minutes to come to an agreement. I see a future at this Club and I believe the progression we have seen since being in the National League is astronomical. This place is in my blood and it goes deeper than just being a Manager, I see this Club as my family...

My deal is based on loyalty and a good old-fashioned handshake and that is something I respect hugely, we have ambitions at the Club and I hope together we achieve the unthinkable', Garrard concluded.

The Derbyshire Times tells us that "Haydn Hollis has turned his Chesterfield career around with some impressive performances. From out of the cold, Haydn Hollis is now in red hot form... Hollis is the glue that sticks the back three together.

Eyebrows were raised when former boss John Pemberton offered Hollis a new one-year contract in the summer... The 28-year-old had a few niggles at the beginning of the season and his only start under Pemberton in this campaign was in the 3-2 defeat at Wealdstone. After that loss, he found himself regularly on the bench until Rowe came in...

Hollis was moved to the middle of a back three instead of on the left, where he has played most of his Town career... Since then he has been a different animal... His organisation and leadership skills helped Chesterfield record five clean sheets on the bounce... In Hollis’s seven appearances under Rowe, the Blues have won six and conceded just twice. He has even managed to bag himself a couple of goals".

The Leader Live says that "Yusuf Mersin has become Dover Athletic’s first choice goalkeeper in what has become a difficult 2020-21 campaign.

The Whites have had more fixtures called off than they have played due to Covid-19 with Andy Hessenthaler’s side only playing 11 National League matches, the least in the division.

But Mersin has started six of those games, keeping Josh Bexon and Tom Smith, who have both played in the league this term for Dover, out of the side in recent matches... Born in London, Mersin began his career at Millwall and commanded a seven-figure transfer fee when he joined Liverpool in January 2011.

After going straight into the Anfield academy, Mersin signed for Turkish Premier League side Kasımpaşa in August 2014 before returning to England with Crawley Town in June 2016. Standing at an impressive six feet and five inches tall, Mersin made 19 appearances for Crawley during a three-year spell with the League Two club before being released at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

Mersin, who has represented Turkey at both under-17 and under-18 levels, joined Dover on a two-year contract in May 2019... but Mersin lost his place to Charlton Athletic loanee Ashley Maynard-Brewer before the 2019-20 campaign was suspended".

Weymouth "have added former Crystal Palace defender Jacob Mensah to their ranks on a permanent deal.

Mensah, 20, also has experience with Ramsgate having made over 60 appearances for the Rams. Mensah joins after Weymouth secured the huge signing of Aston Villa defender Dominic Revan on loan.

The Ghanaian centre-back, standing at over six-foot tall, was in 2019 named one of the most promising non-League players by the respected Non-League Paper... Weymouth boss Brian Stock said... 'He’s a player that had a number of clubs trying to buy him a couple of years ago. He’s experienced non-League football at Ramsgate and he’s only young but he’s got a lot of attributes that we really like.

'His attitude, when it comes to trials, I don’t really remember many better. He came in, he trained hard, he was running afterwards. Straight away, I thought "This boy wants it"...

'He’s signed permanently to the end of the season. One of the big things the club have committed to is the accommodation.

'It means we can cast our net further afield and bring in the likes of Jacob.'”

15 January 2021


With Alty's FA Trophy tie forfeited on Saturday, The Robins' next action is a week on Saturday at Barnet in the National League.

And there has been plenty of player movement this week at The Hive in the wake of the appointment of Tim Flowers as the Bees' new manager, with three very tall defenders arriving at The Hive in the past few days, all more than 6ft 3ins tall. Following the arrival of 6ft 6in Liam Daly, reported three days ago, two more "giants" have signed for The Bees.

Barnet have announced "the short-term loan signing of QPR defender Themis Kefalas.

The young centre-back becomes the Bees' third defensive reinforcement of the week, as the Club continue to bolster the squad... The 20-year-old centre back has originally joined on loan until February 28th with a conditional option to extend the deal until the end of the season.

The 6ft 3 inches tall defender has been with the R's since 2018 after being spotted playing Haringey Borough where he spent two seasons.

The Greek defender... has also spent time on loan at National League South side Billericay Town".

Another arrival announced at Barnet is "the permanent signing of former Bradford City centre-back Ben Richards-Everton.

Richards-Everton moves to The Hive London with a vast amount of experience in the EFL, where he made close to 100 appearances between spells with Bradford City and Accrington Stanley. The Bees have signed the powerful centre half after the Bantams released his contract Monday evening...

The Club continue[s] to invest in bringing experienced players to the Club to help Tim Flowers turn the season around. Richards-Everton signs on a contract with the Club which will last until at least the end of the 2022-23 season with an option of a further year included in the deal.

At 6ft 5in tall, the Midlands born defender fits the bill for the type of player Tim Flowers is looking for to shore up our defence in the crucial upcoming matches. This addition adds to the height and power already brought in so far this month, with the recent arrival of former Solihull Moors defender Liam Daly.

Our latest addition has also spent time playing in Scotland, having previously made a name for himself playing in non-league football in England.

The arrival of the Birmingham-born defender brings added depth and competition to places in the backline, with Matt Preston also ramping up his recovery from injury. Flowers will be hoping that the height, power and experience of the 29 year-old will play a pivotal part in the Clubs turnaround from a poor start to the season".

According to Cumbria's News & Star "Former Carlisle United man Ben Richards-Everton has left the Blues' League Two rivals Bradford City and joined Barnet. The big centre-half has dropped to the National League after ending his time at Valley Parade.

Richards-Everton, who was formerly on Carlisle's youth books... made 13 appearances this season for Bradford... The 29-year-old made 51 appearances in a season and a half in west Yorkshire. Previous clubs include Accrington, Dunfermline, Airdrie, Patrick, Tamworth and Hinckley".

Meanwhile Barnet report that "New defender Liam Daly speaks to the Club Website after he signed on Monday afternoon from National League North side Gloucester City.

Daly speaks about the experience he'll bring from his time at Solihull Moors, working under Tim Flowers and how he wants to see fight ahead of a crucial point in the campaign... You can watch the interview via our YouTube channel".


Altrincham FC's press and media officer, John Edwards, writes that the club's "Wembley dreams have been cruelly dashed after they were forced to forfeit their Buildbase FA Trophy tie against Havant & Waterlooville due to one Robins player contracting COVID-19...

Alty bosses desperately tried to salvage the tie by contacting the authorities... But they reluctantly had to concede defeat after the National League informed them that next Friday would be the earliest they could play and added that it would fall outside the postponement window for an alternative date...

The club were left with no option but to forfeit the tie".

ON THIS DAY: 15 January

Ten years ago today, in an FA Trophy Round 2 game, played on Saturday, 15 January, 2011, at Croft Park, Alty bowed out of the competition with a 2-1 defeat. Altrincham had arrived in Northumberland on the back of two successive away wins in the Conference and a narrow success at Runcorn in the Cheshire Senior Cup last Tuesday.

The Altrincham team performance may have been disappointing but the away support was flying the flag proudly at Blyth. In fact, as we see here, some of the Altrincham fans changed ends before kick-off with the national banners of Imperial Japan, Singapore, Bahrain and Tonga amongst the national flags being displayed - all characterised by their red and white colours.

It was Stuart Coburn's 500th game for Alty, and he was named captain for the day.

Blyth fully deserved their victory. After a reasonably bright opening, Alty were second best for most of the first half but Blyth did not score till just before the interval when Brayson scored. The goal came after Alty had failed to clear a corner.

Blyth won most of the individual battles though Alty did improve a bit in the second half when three substitutions were made; Twiss, Holsgrove and Hewson coming on.

But a long ball up the middle wasn't dealt with by Robbie Williams and the ball ran on for Brayson to finish expertly as Coburn raced out to meet him (78 mins).

Michael Twiss had a golden chance to score in the 84th minute but missed the target with a side-footed effort. The miss proved costly as Damian Reeves showed him how to finish with a well-taken effort a minute later, which would otherwise have been a leveller.

Blyth held on comfortably to advance to Round 3 as Alty could only look back on another sub-standard cup performance against opposition from a lower level, following equally uninspiring displays against Hyde, Curzon Ashton and Runcorn Linnets earlier that season.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN (capt), 2. James SMITH, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 15. Ryan BROWN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 8. Damian REEVES, 17. Wes BAYNES Subs: 21. James COATES, 20. Sam HEWSON, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 9. Michael TWISS.


The Derbyshire Times's Liam Norcliffe confirms that "Chesterfield are not in action again this weekend but.... [manager] James Rowe has brought in eight new faces since his appointment on November 26 and, from what I am hearing, there will be more.

I am expecting midfielder Martin Smith, 25, who has just left Salford City by mutual consent, to complete his move to Chesterfield very shortly. Another name who has been linked is Gloucester City defender Gavin Gunning. As part of the deal that saw Rowe and Akwasi Asante join Town, Chesterfield agreed not to approach any more of the Tigers’ contracted players so any move for Gunning would only be possible if he becomes a free agent, which is what happened with George Carline and Alex Whittle...

Following the new arrivals, David Buchanan, Tyler Denton, Joe Rowley, Liam Mandeville, Jonathan Smith, Regan Hutchinson and Scott Boden all have question marks next to their name. Getting players out on loan has been hampered by the Blues’ Covid situation because they need to isolate. One player who has departed is loanee Jordan Cropper, who has returned to his parent club Burnley".

Indeed there has been a further signing as Chesterfield confirm that "Martin Smith has become the latest addition to the Chesterfield squad.

The 25 year-old midfielder joins the Spireites after his 18-month spell at Salford City was ended by mutual consent. Smith began his career at Sunderland before stints in Scotland and Northern Ireland with Kilmarnock and Coleraine respectively. He joined Salford in the summer of 2019 and was on loan at Chorley last season".

At FC Halifax Town "Billy Chadwick has been recalled by his parent club Hull City.

He will return with immediate effect".

NL Daily adds that "The 20 year-old had joined Pete Wild’s side just prior to Christmas.

Chadwick signed a new contract with his parent club in November that will run until the end of the 2021/22 season. His time with National League Halifax has included goals against Hartlepool United and Altrincham".

Also at The Shay, the Halifax Courier tells us that "Jake Hyde will have some lost time to make up for when he returns to action.

The Town striker’s first season at The Shay hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far; a niggly injury disrupted his start to the campaign before a hamstring problem stopped him in full flow after scoring four goals in his previous three games...

'With 13 new players it’s hard to hit the ground running, especially with such a short pre-season and I don’t think we took into account the space of time we had off before that. It was six or seven months. You think to yourself "I’ll keep myself fit" but when you’re not playing every day it’s a very different type of intensity, different type of training, and your body does get differently conditioned.

'But it was a very disappointing start... Then we had the Covid break and it took a little while to get back from that... I think you saw the system working and everyone starting to click, we were understanding each other more and, to be honest, in those games, I was going into each game knowing I was going to score...

'And then it was halted, which was really disappointing'..

Hyde’s debut only came five games into the campaign at former club Woking due to an injury during pre-season...

'I think I’ve had six or seven starts in the league, only come on once, including the 10 minutes at Solihull... but what I have enjoyed is being around the lads, getting comfortable, learning about the football club and how they go about doing things'...

Hyde is sharing a club house with fellow Town players Tom Bradbury and Matty Stenson, who is out for the season with a serious injury... Hyde has been impressed with how Town have fared so far this season. 'On our day, I don’t think anyone can get near us,' he said."

At Weymouth "director of football Paul Maitland insists Weymouth are working on a number of different fronts to turn around the club’s fortunes...

Brian Stock’s men are 21st of 23 teams...

He said 'What changes are we planning to do? One of those things is to bring some housing in, or accommodation, so we can bring players in from further afield... Our aim is to have additional training with a core of the players that can. We can’t just flip from a part-time structure to full-time, particularly mid-season.

'Actually, part-time contracts are different from full-time contracts and we’d end up recruiting a lot of players. What we’re aiming to try and do is get to a point where we can work with a core of the squad more than a Tuesday and Thursday night...

He added 'We use a cryochamber in Poole which we take advantage of... We will take a group of players on a Sunday morning. They’ll get a frozen chamber and they’re not in there for too long. It helps with recoveries of injuries or fatigue, which is massive for us...

'Gyms are shut now and the accommodation we’ve got has got a room that can be used for a gym facility,' Maitland said...

'I’m not going to pretend our position in the league is where we want to be – of course it’s not... I don’t think we’re in a position where Brian knows arguably his strongest team. We’re in the midst of trying to recruit. Now we have this accommodation we’re able to go further afield and we’ve been able to reinvest the fee we got from Tom Whelan and other money that’s been made available.

'We’ve been given some money to strengthen with the aim of staying in the National League'".

In the Hartlepool Mail, we read that "Hartlepool United are facing a two week spell without a competitive match...

A Pools XI beat Sunderland under-23s 5-2 at The Academy of Light on Wednesday afternoon in a friendly match involving several first team squad members... Pools are now facing the prospect of playing just one competitive game in 26 days...

'we’re pretty busy through February but we’re pretty blank through January,' he said... 'we were trying to arrange a [league] game for Saturday against a team [Eastleigh] we were going to play later in the season on a Tuesday night but they weren’t open to moving that fixture so we have a blank Saturday now'".

The Leader Live reports that "The National League table makes false reading with teams playing a different number of games but Jay Harris admits Wrexham need points on the board to make it easier on the eye..

Dover Athletic, who visit The Racecourse on Saturday, have only fulfilled 11 fixtures, seven less than high-flying Altrincham. Wrexham have played 14 times but without a game so far in 2021 due to postponements, the Reds have dropped to 16th position, three points away from the play-offs.

Midfielder Harris says... 'We are below mid-table with games in hand. If you put your points on the board then you are up there... Until the table levels itself out and everyone is on the same amount of games, you are not going to know where you are at. I don't think you can look at the table at the minute, you have just got to gauge yourself on performances and results'...

Wrexham, spending a 13th season in non-league, might not appear to be promotion contenders but... 'I don't think you can dismiss it', said Harris. 'We can get into the play-offs with a couple of wins from our games in hand. If we are going to have additions in January, which the gaffer has mentioned, he has been given a bit of money to add the right players, if you add the right players then who knows'".

NL Daily tells us that "Charlton Athletic’s Ben Dempsey has extended his loan at Woking.

The 21-year-old midfielder is set to remain with the National League club for the rest of the season. Dempsey initially joined Alan Dowson’s side on loan last season, before rejoining the Cards in October.

He has played seven times for Charlton in his young career, making his debut against Milton Keynes Dons in August 2018.

And Football League World adds that "Charlton are happy for Dempsey to stay in Surrey with Woking, having originally sanctioned a move for him back in October, after spending time with them last season as well...

It’s obvious that this is an agreement that suits all parties given that it’s been in existence for a while now".

The Maidenhead Advertiser says that "With the recent spike in infections and widespread postponements of matches across the National League, Magpies boss Alan Devonshire says he can see a scenario where the season is brought to an early end once again and places are decided on a points-per-game (PPG) calculation.

Last season the Magpies were spared relegation on a favourable PPG calculation, with Ebbsfleet United demoted to National League South despite being above Devonshire’s men in the table...

Devonshire believes clubs... 'Without a doubt they’ll have a problem (finishing the season). I can see us getting half-way through the season and it’s decided on points-per-game again... From February and into March it’s just going to be fully booked, we’re going to be playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday'...

Off the back of an encouraging 4-0 win over Wealdstone on Boxing Day [Maidenhead] have since played a friendly match against Brentford’s B team...

He added, 'One of the boys has gone down with tonsilitis and he’ll probably be struggling for Saturday but apart from that I should have a couple of boys back'" for the next game.

From the Nottingham Post we learn that "Neal Ardley has been excited by the impact made by Notts County's new signings...

The Magpies this week secured the arrival of Inih Effiong on loan until the end of the season from Stevenage while attacker Calvin Miller has also arrived on the same deal from Harrogate...

Ardley says he has been impressed by what he has witnessed by both arrivals so far... 'A couple of centre halves have bounced off Inih and realised he’s a big, quick, strong boy,' said Ardley. 'There have also been a couple of times Calvin has left two or three people for dead with a lovely change of direction before delivering a great cross...

'It can be very difficult for players who play on instinct, or who haven’t been coached like they are here, to switch on to the way we work all of a sudden. That’s the sort of work we’re doing with them... It's put pressure on [other] people because they know we’ve got options now and they need to raise their levels.'"

14 January 2020


Altrincham were to take on The Hawks, that is Havant & Waterlooville, on Saturday in the Buildbase FA Trophy.... before Covid intervened and forced the forfeiture of the tie. Portsmouth News we learn that "Hawks striker Tommy Wright on going public about his mental health issues.

It was February last year when Hawks striker Tommy Wright was forced to take a break from football due to spiralling mental health issues.

The forward, then 23 and playing for Sutton United, had made his way back from an ACL injury which ruled him out of the majority of the 2018/19 season. Wright's physical recovery from the setback had gone well but mentally he was struggling and the commute from his Southampton home to south London for training three times a week didn't help matters.

Eventually, things came to a head for Wright almost 12 months ago and he could go on no longer, informing Sutton manager Matt Gray and chairman Bruce Elliott of his decision to focus on his mental health rather than football.

So, 11 months on, it's brilliant to see the progress he is making on and off the pitch - even a National League award as the South division’s player of the month for December...

'It was a nice surprise (winning player of the month)... It’s the first one I’ve had in these leagues... Getting back to enjoying my football was the main reason for joining the Hawks and taking out the travel of driving to Sutton, as it’s a long drive on your own'...

It wasn't about money, or the level of the pyramid, rather a club where he would have time to settle and rediscover his love for the game. Both Paul Doswell (Hawks boss) and Stuart Munro (who became Hawks CEO last summer) proved the perfect pairing, having known Wright since childhood; Munro is his godfather...

'I’ve known Stuart since I was about eight and Dos, personally, from the age of about 12 or 13,' said Wright... 'I know all the Doswell family and Stuart’s family... They both helped me during the difficult times'...

It was Doswell who encouraged Wright to be honest with his reason for taking time out of the game rather than hiding his struggles upon his "U"s exit.

Wright admitted...' ‘It was a brave step, I wasn’t expecting it to be as big news as it was, but, yeah, it was just nice to show people that it is okay'".


It has been announced by Altrincham FC that the postponed National League game at home to King's Lynn Town, which was to have taken place last Tuesday (12th) at the J. Davidson Stadium, has now been rearranged for Tuesday, 23 March at 7pm.

This will be the sixth date for a visit by the Linnets to Altrincham over this and last season, with the previous five dates for a game in Cheshire betweeen the two clubs not materialising on any of those occasions!


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to play Havant & Waterlooville in the Buildbase FA Trophy. And Havant & Waterlooville confirm that their streaming service, "Hawks Live, returns on Saturday for our FA Trophy fourth round clash with Altrincham at the Draper Tools Community Stadium.

The streaming price for the fixture is £5, with all supporters needing to pay to watch the match live as per FA regulations.

Further to this there will be live pre match and half time coverage, keeping you entertained all afternoon long...

Click here to buy your stream, once purchased, head back to the same link on Saturday to view the game live.

News about our new live streaming commentator will also be announced in due course".

ON THIS DAY: 14 January

Four years ago today, in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 14 January 2017 Altrincham lost 2-3 at home to Gainsborough Trinity. Altrincham had midfielder Jake Moult suspended whilst Shaun Densmore, Craig Hobson and Alan Goodall were still sidelined by injury. Laurence Taylor made his first league start as did new signing, Tomi Adeloye.

Trinity were seeking a league double after Altrincham had slumped to defeat at The Northolme earlier that season, a result which had given Trinity their first win of the season.

Right: Andy Owens, Nicky Clee and Tomi Adeloye are seen during the game against Gainsborough Trinity, whose away strip colour was described on their team sheet as "volt".

Meanwhile, deep into January, Altrincham were still seeking their first league win of the season at the JDS!

A disastrous spell of defending at the start of the match saw Altrincham concede twice inside nine minutes after the kick off. In the sixth minute Jarman got the better of Cyrus at the near post and beat Deasy from an acute angle, right of goal.

Three minutes later, Patterson was beaten on the Alty right and the resulting low cross found an unmarked Burdett who made it 2-0.

For Alty, league debutants Laurence Taylor and Tomi Adeloye were playing well as was Nicky Clee but there was no way back into the game before the interval. Alty were not aided by the referee who ignored two very strong appeals for penalties against Adeloye.

The ref further annoyed Alty as he failed to show a second yellow card to Willis, the visitors' keeper, whose first caution had been as early as six minutes before half-time for timewasting and he continued to do the same throughout the second half.

Although Alty dominated the second half they failed to deal with a ball up the middle and Worsfold made it 3-0 just after the hour mark.

Altrincham produced a grandstand finish as they got the game back to 2-3. Eight minutes from time Owens netted after Reeves had twice hit the bar, firstly with a shot and then a header. And four minutes later a long ball from Heathcote glanced off Cyrus to make it 2-3.

Despite some hairy moments in the Trinity defence the visitors held on for a win despite the referee playing only four and a half minutes of an announced five minutes of added time.

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


According to the Leader Live striker "Jordan Ponticelli says the takeover of Wrexham Football Club by two Hollywood A-listers is 'bigger than you could ever imagine'...

The [Hollywood] duo's interest in the famous north Wales [club] came after Ponticelli, who was on loan with the Reds last season, made his move from Coventry City permanent in the summer... The striker is looking forward to being part of an exciting future for everyone connected with the club...

Said Ponticelli 'When I signed, obviously I wanted good things to happen for the club and myself but I didn't envisage any of this. Especially on this scale with two very well known celebrities.

'It is bigger than you could ever imagine and it gives everyone a lift which is needed for a club of this size and where it has been the last few years. It is definitely not where it deserves to be so hopefully this takeover can help the club get back to where it deserves to be.'"

The Derbyshire Times informs us that Chesterfield "Loanee Jordan Cropper has returned to Burnley after being recalled...

The 20-year-old was signed by former manager John Pemberton on a season-long loan after impressing during a spell at the club in the previous campaign.

The right wing-back made 12 appearances this season, scoring twice against Stockport County and Altrincham...

Cropper, whose long throw was a good weapon for the Blues... has found himself on the bench in recent weeks following the arrival of George Carline. When Carline was suspended in the last match against Solihull Moors, Josef Yarney was selected ahead of him".

From Devon Live we learn that "Torquay United’s leading goalscorer Danny Wright was due to have an operation to cure his hamstring problem yesterday and the 36 year-old is likely to be missing for ‘several weeks’ as the club targets promotion back to the Football League.

Wright limped off the pitch after scoring his eighth goal of the National League season in the 6-1 win against Yeovil Town on Boxing Day ...

This week, the club signed young Crystal Palace striker Rob Street on loan, and manager Gary Johnson admitted Wright will not be back before next month.

Fellow striker Andrew Nelson had an operation on a knee injury after Christmas, too, and he won’t be available for some time yet.

Johnson said... 'Ben Wynter [hamstring] has started running this week but until he starts kicking a ball and getting involved in training, we won’t really know how far away he is. I suspect he is probably a week away from clearing up his injury and then two or three weeks away from actually being ready for the first team.'

The other player out of action for the long-term is Liam Davis, of whom Johnson said 'He will be a long way off yet as well, the same as Andrew Nelson. They are very early in their rehab'...

Torquay are in FA Trophy action at Boreham Wood on Saturday... but will not play in the National League again until Saturday, January 23, when they go to Notts County. The next home game is the following Tuesday night, against Sutton United".

The Eastern Daily Press informs us that "Simon Power is poised to finish his King's Lynn Town loan and cut ties with Norwich City to step up his development with a move to League Two side Harrogate Town.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has scored two goals in 13 games during his second spell with the Linnets but has been offered a Football League chance by former Lynn defender Simon Weaver.

Power is out of contract at Norwich at the end of this season, with the club holding the option for a further year, but it's understood he's being allowed to join Harrogate on a free... Another League Two side, Cambridge United, as well as National League play-off hopefuls Bromley, are believed to have also been interested, with Lynn willing to match the wages the winger was being offered if he'd decided to see out his season-long loan...

So far during the current campaign the 22 year-old had started eight of his 13 appearances for Ian Culverhouse".

FC Halifax Town state briefly that "Neil Danns has left the Club following his short term contract with us".

And FC Halifax Town also report that "Jake Hyde is back out on the grass and in the final stage of his rehab and is due back to join the squad a week on Monday.

Jay Benn is concluding his rehab this week and will be back with the group next week.

Kian Spence has torn his meniscus and we are currently waiting on a consultation to decide how long he will be out for.

Matt Stenson is hopefully going under the knife at the start of next month to repair his ACL".

Meanwhile, the Halifax Courier claims that "Town boss Pete Wild says he is hoping to add one or two new players to his squad over the next couple of weeks.

The departure of Neil Danns, announced last night (Tuesday), means there is a little more wriggle room in Wild’s budget. The Town boss is due to speak to Hull today (Wednesday) about the possibility of extending forward Billy Chadwick’s loan, which expires after Saturday’s FA Trophy clash against Southport at The Shay...

Wild said...'We’ve got a really good core group of players, it just needs a sprinkling [of new faces] and we’re hopeful in the next two to three weeks that we’ll be able to do that'...

On the departure of Danns, who made five appearances for Town, Wild said 'We’ve looked at where we need to strengthen as a team and we felt that having four holding midfielders wasn’t necessary, we’re committed long-term to Kieran Green, so we felt it was better that we pushed on with three holding midfielders and we try to strengthen in other areas.

'One thing I will say is that Dannsy might not have got the game-time that we both hoped he would, but off-the-pitch he’s been fantastic, on the training ground, in the dressing room, especially with our younger players. He’s brought so much to us off-the-pitch and we really thank him for everything he’s brought to us'".

Borehamwood state that "After plenty of social media speculation over the past 3-months... the Club can confirm that the sale of our very own Sorba Thomas to Championship side Huddersfield Town AFC has been completed for an undisclosed Club record fee.

Sorba joined the Club 6 years ago in 2015 as a scholar... as an impressionable yet confident budding footballer, who has worked tirelessly ever since... Throughout his time with us, Sorba was undoubtedly the Academy’s brightest light and will go down in Club folk law as one of the most talented players ever to graduate from our elite BW PASE Academy...

The 2019/20 season... proved to be Sorba’s breakout season in a Wood shirt, as......Performances attracted the attention of the English Football League scouts from across the country, including Sunderland, Charlton, Peterborough and Huddersfield, amongst others. His displays also led to Sorba being called up to Paul Fairclough’s England C squad...

Chairman Danny Hunter said... 'I’ve watched this talented boy struggle get to the ground every day from the East End of London in rain, sleet and shine to complete his studies and play the game he loves. I’ve seen him improve his mentality and focus, while developing physically from a boy into a man, and in truth he now has the world at his feet...

Manager Luke Garrard had this to say... 'To see Sorba finally get the move he deserves is like a “proud father moment” for me and many at the Club'".

And Huddersfield Town add that the signing was "for an undisclosed fee! The 21-year-old, who can play in all positions across Town’s front three, has agreed a contract running until the summer of 2024, at which point the Club has the option of a further year’s extension...

Thomas will begin his work with the B Team, which regularly trains alongside Carlos Corberán’s First Team... Having started his career in West Ham United’s Academy, Sorba completed his footballing education in Boreham Wood’s youth system."

Hartlepool United "played out a 5-2 victory against Sunderland U23s...

The friendly game took place at the Academy of Light.

Sunderland found themselves 2-0 ahead but goals from Joe Grey, Luke Williams, a double from Mason Bloomfield and one from Trialist Connor Blunt earned the victory for Dave Challinor’s men.

Gary Liddle completed 45 minutes and was replaced by David Ferguson.

Full team: Ravas, Cass, Triallist, Liddle, Triallist, Crawford, Ofosu, Williams, Bloomfield, Grey, Molyneux".

Bottom of the table Dover Athletic who had played only ten league games before Tuesday's clash with Boreham Wood, report that "TJ Bramble’s first National League goal ensured the points were shared on a chilly Crabble evening.

Boreham Wood went ahead early in the first half through Kabongo Tshimanga’s strike, however Whites levelled midway through the second half through Bramble.

Gus Mafuta was sent off late on for Boreham Wood, however the scores stayed level in an evenly matched game.

Despite sitting behind the ball early on, it was Dover who almost took the lead but... Whites were made to rue this miss almost immediately when a ball by Corey Whitely found Tshimanga who opened his body up well to slot past Yusuf Mersin...

The Wood continued to put the pressure on, but... Just before the end of the first half, Will De Havilland almost put Dover level...

Whites piled on the pressure in the second half and got a deserved equaliser on the hour mark as Bramble was able to connect to a great ball from Oscar Gobern, slotting the ball into the corner...

Earlier in the day, Hessenthaler made three changes from our Boxing Day defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge with Gobern, Bramble and Munns coming in for Paul Rooney, Steve Rigg and the suspended Josh Passley".

13 January 2021


A second successive home match for Altrincham has fallen foul of Covid amongst the opposition club's players or employees as next Tuesday's fixture with Woking has had to be postponed.

Altrincham FC explains that the postponement "is a result of Woking FC players needing to isolate following a positive COVID-19 test being returned amongst the Woking FC first team..

Woking FC have been able to isolate their players and management to prevent further spread of the virus... With the Cards' players in isolation until this weekend, Woking Football Club's Buildbase FA Trophy match [this Saturday] away to Bromley has been moved to Tuesday 19th January, 7.45pm kick-off, necessitating the Vanarama National League match with the Robins, which was scheduled for the same evening, to be rescheduled".

It will now be played on Tuesday, 2 March at 7pm.

The original date for the match was 8 December but that fell foul of a waterlogged pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium.


Altrincham FC Director of Football's notes for the matchday programme for Tuesday's postponed match against King's Lynn Town included the following...

"When you consider the many varied obstacles placed before us on and off the pitch during 2020 and reflect on how we overcame every single one of them with a level of professionalism and dedication that speaks volumes for this club. That unforgettable day in Boston, when we secured our return to the Vanarama National League, was obviously the pinnacle, but I look at how everybody dealt with the pandemic and the impact of it in and around the club, and it just fills me with the greatest pride and satisfaction.

How Phil, Neil and the lads have coped with all the upheaval and made the adjustment to the new division deserves the highest praise...

There is a can-do mentality running right through the club at the moment, and it was there for all to see in the run-up to the Sutton game and on the day itself... We want to ensure we maintain momentum while we have it. In contrast to Sutton, who are an excellent team but had not played for some time, we were raring to go, and it paid off with a good, positive result...

I personally do not feel the coaching or playing staff have received the recognition they deserve in the national media, this season especially...

Tom Hannigan [right] is proving he can make the step-up and be every bit as solid and reliable as he’s always been in Alty colours, Alistair Smith is adding genuine quality to our midfield and what a find Joel Senior is proving to be. And what about Tony Thompson? They say keepers improve with age and maturity, and Tony is certainly a case in point. Never mind all the superlatives, a plain, simple fact will do to sum up his form; there hasn’t been a better keeper in the National League this season.

It’s just a pity that same level of appreciation and acknowledgement isn’t quite being expressed elsewhere yet. It’s as if we have risen without trace, and that is particularly evident when listening to some away team commentaries. Their lack of knowledge about us is frightening at times, although maybe that’s not such a bad thing. If that suggests opponents may be underestimating us or failing to prepare adequately, then perhaps we will keep surprising them...

Tom Hannigan has a niggle that will hopefully resolve itself soon and Sean Williams is continuing his rehab, while Fisayo Adarabioyo is edging closer to fitness. Other than that, the squad is in good shape".


Covid again decimated the fixture list on Tuesday night. In addition, FC Halifax Town's game was also called off by the referee at a late stage as he judged parts of the pitch to be frozen. So, just one fixture went ahead and Boreham Wood's draw at Dover left Altrincham in fifth place (thirteenth on PPG).

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

  • Altrincham P-P King's Lynn Town [Covid at King's Lynn]
  • Barnet P-P Yeovil Town [Covid at Barnet]
  • Dagenham & Redbridge P-P Bromley [Covid at Dagenham]
  • Dover Athletic 1-1 Boreham Wood
  • Eastleigh P-P Wrexham [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Hartlepool United [Belatedly postponed by match referee because of a frozen pitch]
  • Torquay United P-P Solihull Moors [Covid at Solihull]

ON THIS DAY: 13 January

Right: Rod Thornley in action for Alty at Tamworth.

Fourteen years ago today, 13 January 2007 witnessed Altrincham travelling to The Lamb to face Tamworth for a re-playing of their FA Trophy First Round replay. The original tie, at Moss Lane, had ended in a goalless draw.

The following Tuesday Alty travelled to Tamworth and were leading 2-1, thanks to goals by Colin Little and Rod Thornley, when the referee controversially abandined the game at half-time because of fog, which had been denser earlier in the game than it was at the interval.

It was to be almost four weeks before the replay was replayed and although Little scored again, Alty lost 2-1. Alty arrived still without an away win since the end of the previous season and having the memory of having been put out of the previous season's FA Cup at Tamworth.

With Val Owen suspended and Steve Bushell out, injured, the Alty line-up had Joe O'Neill in an unaccustomed role on the right flank and Rod Thornley on the left as Lewis Chalmers and Robbie Lawton occupied the central midfield in what looked an attacking formation.

Suspensions, injuries and flu left Tamworth with only four on the bench, one of them a youth player, whilst manager Mark Cooper played himself in midfield in an initial 3-5-2 set-up.

In the match itself, Altrincham failed to capitalize after Colin Little had headed them ahead, from Peyton's freekick, just after the interval (48 mins). They allowed the home side to come at them in the final half hour and snatch a late victory.

It was not until the 87th minute that the Lambs equalised when Steve Aspinall conceded a freekick on the right edge of the Alty box. From Cooper's kick, Taylor headed home. Worse followed when Stevenson got into the box and, though Coburn made a great stop from Law's effort, the ball came back to Stevenson who netted, in the third minute of added time

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Steve ASPINALL, 17. Karl MUNROE, 4. Peter BAND, 11. Warren PEYTON; 12. Joe O'NEILL, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 10. Rod THORNLEY; 9. Colin LITTLE, 16. Peter THOMSON. Subs: 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 3. Gary SCOTT, 5. Gary TALBOT, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 20. Stephen ROSE.


In the Manchester Evening News "Stockport County manager Jim Gannon was left proud by his side’s performance following their 1-0 defeat to West Ham United in the FA Cup on Monday night...

'The lads are naturally disappointed, but that’s a sign of how well that they competed tonight,' said Gannon at full-time. 'I think that feeling will dissipate over time and they will feel that they’ve given a good account of themselves, so it would be no cliche to say that I’m very proud of them...

They [West Ham] had almost a starting team [playing] so it shows you how David (Moyes) takes this competition seriously and it’s a mark of respect to ourselves...

The wet weather increased and persisted into the second half, as the Hammers’ attempts of fast, free-flowing moves became slow and stop-start as patches of mud opened up across the pitch...

But Moyes turned to first-team regulars Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen from the bench and had the latter to thank as he provided the winner on 83 minutes... The winger found the head of Dawson who headed low past Ben Hinchiffe to send his side through".

And West Ham United confirm that "Jarrod Bowen thoroughly enjoyed the many challenges posed...

Fittingly, it was two former non-league players who combined to settle the game in West Ham’s favour seven minutes from full-time, as ex-Hereford United forward Bowen crossed for former Radcliffe Borough defender Craig Dawson to head home and finally break Stockport’s stubborn resistance.

Had the Hammers not scored in normal time, the 24-year-old believes the tie could have been in doubt, with puddles forming all over the pitch after non-stop heavy rain throughout the day and evening left it saturated.

'It was hard and to be honest I didn’t really see a goal coming and probably thought it was maybe going to penalties',he admitted. 'But we dug in, the gaffer brought me on and my job as a winger is to create things and score goals and... so I was delighted to come on and make an impact...

The ball was slowing up in our [right-back] corner, it was slowing up in the channel and there was no bounce, but that’s what you love, isn’t it! It’s all part of the FA Cup, coming to places like this and getting right in amongst it.'”

Stockport County add thar "The Hatters’ first appearance in the Third Round of the FA Cup for 14 seasons saw them host Premier League West Ham from four tiers above, and do themselves immense credit by keeping the ‘Hammers’ at bay for 83 minutes before a Craig Dawson header settled the tie.

County took to the field... showing three changes from the side that had turned out against Altrincham in the National League nine days earlier. Connor Jennings, Sam Minihan and Jordan Williams were brought in to replace Richie Bennett, Macauley Southam-Hales and Jamie Stott, whilst all those in the squad not handed starts, with the exception of the recently-returning Nyal Bell, were named among the nine substitutes permitted for the competition".

In the Leader Live, "Dean Keates says the takeover of the club and subsequent investment will enable Wrexham to compete with the National League 'big hitters' in the January transfer window.

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are set to take control at The Racecourse imminently with the actors vowing to invest £2 million immediately...

'There is no denying that we are going to get offered players that you wouldn’t have foreseen playing for this football club purely because of the takeover,' said Keates. 'Everybody knows that we are fan owned and we don’t pay a king’s ransom so we possibly wouldn’t have been somebody’s first choice...

'What we have had in place over the years is we have always been stable at the football club; even though they have not been paid the largest wages in the division, players have always been guaranteed when they come in that they get paid and we have done things properly.

'Now we can start competing with the big-hitters in the division and going forward, it gives us that opportunity now to start offering higher salaries out to players... We are looking at adding a few acquisitions to the squad to help take us forward,' said Keates...

'It won’t be a case of signing players for the sake of. It will be ones that I feel will come in and go straight into the starting XI... They are not going to come in and just start throwing money around...

Said Keates 'I have already had conversations and compiled lists, getting possibilities together and targets. I have been in contact with agents and seeing how the land lies with players’ situations. I expect things to happen as soon as the takeover goes through.'".

Before Tuesday's game, Dover Athletic reported that they were "back in action for the first time since Boxing Day tonight when Boreham Wood visit Crabble...

Andy Hessenthaler’s men have not played since the narrow 1-0 defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge... The following trip to Sutton was postponed due to a positive Covid-19 test result in the "U"s' camp before our game at Daggers was also postponed due to a Covid investigation.

Our players and staff then spent 10 days in self-isolation meaning Weymouth’s visit to Crabble last Saturday was also called off.

We still have six players self-isolating, while Josh Passley is suspended following his red card against Dagenham.

Since Whites’ last game, Boreham Wood have only played one league game, beating Barnet 3-0... [Wood Manager Luke] Garrard was also named Vanamara National League manager of the month for December..

The game will see the return of Femi Ilesanmi to Crabble. The defender spent one season with us... Whilst at Crabble, Ilesanmi played 45 times in the National League, scoring twice".

12 January 2021


With tonight's match against King's Lynn postponed, Alty's next game is on Saturday in the Buildbase FA Trophy at Havant & Waterlooville. By coincidence, having just faced Sutton United, Alty now come up against manager Paul Doswell who enjoyed great success in eleven years at Sutton before surprisingly leaving to be near his Hampshire base at Winchester.

Doswell also enjoyed success at Eastleigh before joining Sutton.

Of 22 matches in all competitions this season, this will be Alty's fifteenth away fixture and their second trip to Hampshire, having already journeyed to Eastleigh. And, of course, last season Alty had a memorable trip to Hampshire where they put in a fine performance at Portsmouth in the FA Cup.

Havant & Waterlooville recently had a brush with Covid-19 but should be ready to entertain Altrincham on Saturday in the first-ever clash between the two clubs.

Havant & Waterlooville recently reported that "Havant and Waterlooville Football Club can confirm after extended dialogue with The National League that following our postponed game against Hungerford Town, that this will now also include our matches against Chippenham Town on January 9th and Hampton and Richmond Borough on January 12th due to a positive Covid-19 case at the Club.

On the advice of The National League and Public Health England, the Club will remain in a period of isolation until Wednesday, January 13th".

As a consequence of this hiatus, Havant have played only ten league games this season, the equal fewest league games in National League South. In contrast, Alty's 18 league matches make them the team to have played the most matches in the National League this season. The Hawks were in good form before their enforced suspension of games, having won five and drawn one of their last six games in all competitions.

Havant's last game was on 2 January, a 4-2 win over Hungerford.


Altrincham FC announces that Altrincham FC kitman Steve Foster [right] "has won the December award for 'Volunteer of the Month' in The National League.

The Altrincham kitman and long time supporter was chosen as the winner from a number of nominations from National League clubs. The award is for those who give up their time for the love of the game... The club’s kitman doesn’t even accept travel expenses".

Steve, who initially worked as kitman alongside another hardworking volunteeer, John Skelhorn, not only looks after the team's three kits but does the laundry himself.

In addition to his kitman duties, both home and away, Steve (known to one and all as "Foz") has done sterling work for many years in fundraising for the Football Club. His numerous voluntary tasks have included organizing Race Nights, selling tickets for raffles and social events, staffing the Club's bar and, not least, showing his mastery in the use of the "added time" and substitution boards, which often seem to befuddle visiting fourth officials.

Congratulations, Steve!


Monday 11 January 2021
  • Stockport County 0-1 West Ham United

The draw for both the Fourth and Fifth Rounds was made by Peter Crouch and gave non-League survivors, Chorley, another home tie, against Wolverhampton Wandereres. The winners of that match are then at home in Round Five to Southampton or Arsenal.

ON THIS DAY: 12 January

Two years ago today, Alty travelled to Chorley and lost 4-1! Top of the table Chorley were the only team Altrincham had not faced in the league that season owing to cup involvements. But a fine win at Boston last time out had boosted confidence for Altrincham after a run of five games without a victory before that.

Altrincham started with the same eleven that had started at Boston in the previous game. With James Poole having joined Elliot Wynne and Liam Goulding in being loaned to another club, and loanee Josh Langley having moved on to Guiseley, Alty's only named substitute today with more than ten league starts this season was Sean Williams.

Right: Altrincham celebrate their goal.

Former Altrincham players Scott Leather and Josh O'Keefe were in the Magpies' line-up, as well as former loanee Elliot Newby.

However, Altrincham slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season at Victory Park, despite having led at the interval. The Robins had taken a deserved 23rd minute lead when Max Harrop arrived at the back post to slot the ball home, after a John Johnston shot had been parried by keeper Urwin.

Chorley came out on the front foot for the second half and, after winning five corners inside the opening five minutes, levelled in the 55th minute. The Alty defence parted too easily to allow Chorley to advance up the inside left channel with Alex Newby scoring from a Carver pass.

Ten minutes later, Chorley went ahead when Carver's speculative lofted ball to the right of the box was dispatched into the roof of the net by Alex Newby.

Chorley's third goal arrived in the 84th minute and was a disaster for the Alty defence. A miscued "up and under" from Chorley dropped on the front edge of the Alty box and two defenders failed to get either of their heads onto it. Instead, it fell for Alex Newby to score with a well-struck low shot into the bottom corner to Thompson's right.

And the final nail in the coffin arrived deep into added time when Meppen-Walter scored with a free header from a right-wing corner. On a day when the BT Sport cameras were recording highlights of the game, this second-half performance was not what Altrincham wanted to show to the nation's TV viewers.

At the final whistle, Chorley found thenselves six points clear at the top whilst Alty remained seventh.

Altrincham: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. Kallum Mantack, 14. Sean Williams, 15. Chris Sang, 16. Shaun Densmore, 17. Ben Harrison.


Dagenham & Redbridge confirm that "Abu Ogogo has returned to parent club, Bristol Rovers after his loan deal with the Daggers came to an end.

The midfielder rejoined the club in October, having made 225 appearances for the East London side between 2009-2015.

In his latest spell, the 31-year-old captained Daryl McMahon's side, and made 13 appearances in all competitions".

Also at Dagenham & Redbridge "The club can confirm that Jaden Brissett has left the club after his contract came to an end.

The 19-year-old winger made two appearances whilst here in east London, having joined on a short-term deal back in early October".

Meanwhile behind the scenes at Dagenham & Redbridge we read that "Daggers' Performance Analyst, Jack Wilson gives fans an insight into the work that he does...

'“Ultimately, my role as the Performance Analyst within the backroom team is to provide support, and as much objective information as possible to the Manager and coaching team in order to aid them in their decision making and coaching processes with the overall aim of optimising performances on a Saturday out on the pitch...

'We consider how much and crucially what information to give to the players, especially this season with the congested fixture schedule we need to manage our time between games as well as we can..

'We film the home games and this footage is obviously essential for reviewing our performances after a game which is what a lot of my Sunday is taken up doing... We will often have meetings on a Monday with the whole team to go over aspects of our performances that either the Gaffer wants to work and improve upon or parts that we feel we have done well and must maintain going forward. We will also have meetings with individual units, for example, we might just have the defenders and goalkeepers...

'Every player receives their own individual clips from the game as well so that they don’t have to sit and watch the full 90 minutes back...

'It’s my responsibility to also collect a wide range of data or statistics from our games as well, from which I will produce a report for the staff and players. This really gives us the facts about a performance and highlights who has contributed what to the game...

'From a Tuesday onwards the focus turns towards our upcoming opponents. The first port of call with this is to obviously start watching our opponent’s recent games usually going back over their 5 most recent fixtures... From this, I produce a written report of usually around 20 pages which without giving too much away covers the basics such as the opponent's recent form, the recent formations and personnel used, the strengths and weaknesses of each of the players in the opposition squad, key points of what they might do as a team in and out of possession and of course what they do at set plays including penalties!

'This report is then supported by video clips from the opposition’s recent games which we of course present to the players...

'I’ve got to admit there are certain gantries that should we say are a lot better than others... There are the nightmare ones as well; at Southend United, you have to wear a full-body harness to go up there, which once you see the ladder and the vertical ascent is fully understandable.... Chorley, for the extremely wobbly ladder, and of course Harrogate Town which was lacking in a roof!'"

According to the Halifax Courier "Town boss Pete Wild is relishing the prospect of taking on fellow promotion contenders Hartlepool at The Shay on Tuesday.

It will be the third meeting between the teams in a month after Town knocked Pools out of the FA Trophy on penalties after a 3-3 draw, and then Hartlepool got their revenge with a 3-1 league win on Boxing Day in the north-east.

Both clubs go into the game in good form, with Halifax winning six of their last nine games and Hartlepool winning five of their last seven...

Said Wild, 'We want to show we can match them'...

Wild handed debuts to defender Jean Belehouane and striker Lewis Mansell in the 1-1 draw at King’s Lynn on Saturday... The Town boss said 'We’ll have Byrney (Neill Byrne) back (from suspension) and Jamie Allen will have another couple of days training under his belt, so that makes the squad stronger'...

Some Hartlepool fans cast doubt over the reason why the game was originally called off, with The Shay pitch being frozen...

Said Wild, 'Despite what they thought, we didn’t try and get the game called off, but some of the words that have been said makes it a little bit more spicy than I thought it was going to be'".

Gloucester City "confirm that Liam Daly has joined Barnet for an undisclosed fee.

Daly joined City in November 2019 on an 18 month deal from Solihull Moors and the 33 year-old towering central defender has been an ever-present in the Tigers line-up since... He was later given the captain's armband at the start of 2020...

He rejoins his former Moors' Manager Tim Flowers at The Hive".

And from there, Barnet add that they "are delighted to announce the signing of experienced centre back Liam Daly...

The powerful defender who stands at 6 feet 6 inches tall, will bring a vast amount of experience to the Bees backline, as boss Tim Flowers looks to shore up the defence.

Flowers and Daly are already well accustomed to one another, with the pair working together at Solihull Moors, where Daly played an instrumental part in the Moors' second-place finish. Daly also captained the Moors during his time with the Club... making well over 250 appearances for the Moors across his three spells with the Club...

Moves to Kidderminster and Leamington followed before Daly returned to the Moors... Under Flowers in the 2018/19 season, Daly made 48 appearances in all competitions as the Moors reached the National League play-offs...

November 2019 sparked the end of a memorable chapter at Solihull, with a move to Gloucester City confirmed shortly after".

The Nottingham Post announces that "Notts County have completed the double signing of Stev[en]age forward Inih Effiong and Harrogate attacker Calvin Miller.

In what was a frantic day of transfer activitiy at Meadow Lane, both players will remain at the club until the end of the season...

The arrival of Effiong completes what has been a long pursuit of the former Dover forward by boss Neal Ardley who spoke glowingly of the forward last season.

Effiong moved to Stevenage in the summer, but has just returned from a loan spell at Barnet where he scored one goal in five appearances.

Miller, meanwhile, is formerly of Celtic and has played 13 games for Harrogate this season, scoring twice. He can either play at left-back or as a winger, which is likely to be his position at Notts after Tom Walker returned to Simon Weaver’s side after his month’s loan ended.

Notts are also believed to be working on another deal which is said to be nearing completion".

At Chesterfield, "It has been announced that season tickets for the 2021/22 season will go on sale soon.

The money from season ticket sales will be used for prudent re-shaping of the squad to deliver savings in the long term, with funds ring-fenced for next season’s expenditure...

Season ticket holders from last season will be able to reserve their seats, subject to the government guidelines in place regarding seating capacity and social distancing".

11 January 2021


Altrincham FC has announced that "Altrincham's Vanarama National League game with King's Lynn Town at The J.Davidson Stadium has been postponed due to COVID-related issues at the Norfolk club...

The Linnets... issued a statement, saying 'Tomorrow evening's scheduled National League fixture at Altrincham has been postponed by the National League due to an ongoing COVID investigation at The Walks.

'Following assistant manager Paul Bastock's positive test on Christmas Day, full back Aaron Jones also provided a positive COVID test over the festive period. Aaron's last contact with any of his team mates or club management was on December 22nd... A procedural error took place within the club, which has now been rectified, in relation to the situation involving Aaron, with the National League informing the club that they had taken the decision to postpone the game early this morning.

'No other players or club management are having to isolate because of the situation and we expect to be back in action this weekend'".

Footnote: Altrincham were meant to host King's Lynn Town during 2019-20 season, in National League North. The original date for the fixture at Moss Lane was 22 February 2020, before the first Covid lockdown came into consideration. However, for some reason, the fixture got moved on to 24 March, leaving Alty with no game on the original February date.

The match was then moved again to 31 March by which time it could not be played as lockdown rules had come into force and the National League season had been suspended.

This season, in the National League, King's Lynn Town were scheduled to visit the J Davidson Stadium on 8 December, only for a waterlogged pitch at Moss Lane to cause that game to be postponed and rearranged for 12 January 2021.

And, now, that rearranged game tomorrow (Tuesday) has also had to be postponed, meaning that five prospective dates for the Linnets' first-ever visit to Altrincham have now come and gone!


Brian Flynn's interview with manager Phil Parkinson after the 2-2 draw at Sutton United is available via the official Altrincham FC website.


Sunday's FA Cup ties featured several ex-Altrincham employees of one kind or another...

42 year-old Kevin Ellison came on at the end of normal time for Newport County and played all of extra time but his side lost in a penalty shoot out. Despite Newport taking sven spotkicks, Ellison did not take one as they lost to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Right: Kevin Ellison in Manchester City blue playing a trial match at Hyde whilst on Altrincham's books in March 2000.

Neil Young's Marine lost 0-5 Tottenham Hotspur but former Alty midfielder David Lynch, signed just before the game despite being Clitheroe's player-manager, did not get onto the pitch. Neil Young's assistant manager was Alan Morgan who played for Alty as a loanee from Tranmere Rovers in 1996.


Weymouth "are looking to add more training sessions during the week as the Terras edge further towards a full-time model.

Part-time Weymouth’s game at Dover yesterday was postponed due to the Whites undergoing a period of self-isolation amid a Covid-19 outbreak... The unforeseen break gives Brian Stock’s men a chance for extra contact time on the training ground.

Stock, the former Doncaster midfielder, said 'The plan for the football club is to add sessions as much as we can... We have players that work throughout the day. My main objective is to try and get players who are fit, ready to go almost on a full-time basis.

'That gives us an opportunity to add a session in, maybe on a Wednesday, to try and build that fitness up... In terms of touch time and contact time, we’re miles behind every team in this league.'

Elaborating on the Yeovil defeat, Stock said, 'We’ve got players that are not six-foot-four, six-foot-five. We have to pass the ball. We chose poor areas to pass the ball...

'We came up against a very aggressive pressing side and as individuals we need to recognise that and look to try and break that press with a bit of bravery on the ball. One or two players were hiding out there...

'I said at half-time we need to make sure, first and foremost, we don’t chuck the towel in. That’s the biggest thing for me. Because as soon as I see that, you’re off the pitch. In fairness, I don’t think anyone did, but we were lacking in every department.'"

In the Boston Standard Boston United manager "Craig Elliott believes Saturday's FA Trophy tie with Chesterfield is '99 per cent' unlikely to go ahead...

The Spireites announced on Friday that the weekend's contest against Bromley had been postponed due to the squad isolating.

It is believed their 10-day period will also include the scheduled knockout match at the Jakemans Community Stadium...

Said Elliott, 'I would imagine its 99 per cent sure we won't play on Saturday... I imagine that will go to a midweek game'...

United withdrew from the FA Cup in October as they were isolating, although rules appear to be different in the Trophy.

While clubs such as Chasetown, Scarborough Athletic, Bedford and Canvey Island have all pulled out of the competition this season due to coronavirus, Maidstone United's round two contest against Poole was put back four days so it could take place when the Stones came out of isolation.

'These are the bits that have frustrated me this season, you see all kinds of inconsistencies from lots of clubs,' Elliot added. 'And with us being Boston we'll end up having to play the game, I'm sure about that.'"

In the Hartlepool Mail "Former Newcastle United defender Jamie Sterry is critical of Hartlepool United's second half display in 3-1 win over Wealdstone... to claim a fourth straight National League victory.

It means Sterry has won every game he’s played since joining Pools last month...

'I wasn’t happy with how we performed in the second half... when it should have been completely wrapped up. If they scored a second goal I think we would have struggled...

'I’m really enjoying it here'... Sterry admitted... With no disrespect [to Wealdstone], against a better team we could have lost the game.'"

Closer to home, the Manchester Evening News reports that "Liam Hogan says there is enough belief within the Stockport County squad to think that they can cause an upset against West Ham United on Monday night...

The County captain believes his team has the potential to get a result. 'The belief in the changing room is that we’ve got a really good chance... We think spells in our game can really cause them problems...

'We’ve brought in some really good experience at this level so it’s a mix of some excitement and some players will be level-headed and be a voice in the changing room'"

From the Maidenhead advertiser we learn that Maidenhead United "CEO Jon Adams says the Magpies are not the only club having to contend with issues caused by COVID-19...

COVID cases at rival clubs [forced] the Magpies to stage friendly matches this week against Brentford B and Ebbsfleet United.

The postponement of fixtures means they’ll have played just one league match in six weeks, the 4-0 battering of Wealdstone on Boxing Day... They’re set to host Yeovil Town in their next match at York Road on Saturday week (January 16)...

'We’ve arranged a couple of friendlies to make sure we’re able to maintain the momentum that we’ve got now. We’re very pleased with the progress the team has made over the first third of the season and the results have been incredibly positive...

Maidenhead will continue to play matches through lockdown, but Adams said... 'We have to be prepared to play as and when, and we have to be prepared to change our plans quickly should COVID emerge as an issue with some of our fixtures,' he said...

'We’ll have six or seven weeks of playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. But there are lots of clubs in a similar, if not worse position than us'".

Barnet "confirm that Tuesday night’s Vanarama National League fixture away to Yeovil Town has been postponed following a second positive COVID case amongst our First Team squad.

Ahead of the weekend, we had one positive case, with two further players self isolating and awaiting results. One of these tests has returned positive, with the other squad member continuing to self isolate under government guidelines.

Following the second positive case amongst the First Team, we presented this information to The National League who have made the decision to postpone Tuesday’s match with The Glovers.

The entire First Team now must self isolate for the mandated period instructed by both The National League and government guidelines... Our next scheduled fixture is away to Boreham Wood on Tuesday January 19th".

10 January 2021


Speaking to the NL Paper after the draw at Sutton, Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson said of Connor Hampson's late equaliser, "It's an unbelievable strike and, at that stage of the game, it feels more like a win than a draw. But then you look at the oportunities we've created and there's a tinge of disappointment but the lads kept going against a very good team and are a credit to the club"

The match statistics show Altrincham winning both the "shots on target" and "corners" counts 9-4 in each instance.

Right: Connor Hampson


Sutton started the game on top but Altrincham went ahead in the 16th minute, with Sutton claiming for it to be disallowed for an alleged foul on a defender by Alty's Ritchie Sutton. It was Sutton's defemsive partner Mullarkey who headed Alty ahead, the goal coming after a corner had been half cleared and then redirected into the Sutton box from the left.

However, the hosts hit back with two goals in a seven-minute spell. From Randall's deep cross from the left Ajiboye headed in at the back post in the 33rd minute. Sutton went ahead in the 40th minute when a corner was not cleared and seemed to come off an Alty player and fall for Oloafe to ram into the net with Thompson booked for protesting that he had been held. The Alty keeper is now just one card away from suspension.

Altrincham dominated the second half against a very unadventurous Sutton side who paid the price by conceding an equalizer in the fourth and last added minute. The goal was superbly struck from 25 yards by Connor Hampson to make it a very deserved 2-2. Alty move up to fifth.

Match report here.


From their perspective, Sutton United reported that "A 30-yard thunderbolt from Altrincham defender Connor Hampson with the last meaningful kick of the game earned his side a draw that over the balance of the game it was hard to deny they deserved.

Playing their first game for three weeks, Sutton had recovered well from conceding a goal against the run of play and merited the half time lead that David Ajiboye and Isaac Olaofe had given them, but the second half saw Altrincham in control for long spells as the inactivity, both playing and training, perhaps caught up with U’s. Some solid defending and several saves from Dean Bouzanis left them on the brink of holding on for victory, but then the good work was undone by a repeated failure to keep possession in the last thirty seconds, and punished by Hampson’s spectacular strike...

"U"s struggled to impose themselves as an attacking force in the second half, Ajiboye pulling one shot wide of the near post and Rhys Browne, making his debut for the last nine minutes, failed to trouble Thompson with a shot from the edge of the area. However they seemed to have done enough until a last thirty seconds that they won’t want to see again in a hurry.

It began with Tobi Sho-Silva launching a counter attack following a corner but overhitting a pass to Olaofe that gave Thompson the chance to return the ball in to the Sutton half. Browne, Eastmond and Kenny Davis all missed chances to clear the danger, Harry Beautyman’s attempted interception sent the ball out to Hampson thirty yards out, and Bouzanis was left a spectator by a cleanly struck shot that flew in to the top corner, with the final whistle blown the moment "U"s kicked off".


The chairman of the Northern Premier League, and former chairman of Altrincham, Mark Harris, writes in the Non-League Paper that "The boards of the Northern Premier, Isthmian and Southern Leagues [collectively termed The Trident League] met this week and have all recommended to our clubs that the season ceases immediately and is declared null and void".

Already "The Trident Leagues have postponed all fixtures up to and including March 6".


On Tuesday, King's Lynn Town are set to make their much delayed first-ever visit to the J. Davidson Stadium.

THey never made it to Moss Lane in 2019-20 because the season was curtailed before the planned fixture, which had already been moved from an earlier date, could be played .

And this season, the Linnets were supposed to be in Altrincham in early December 2020, only for a waterlogged pitch to necessitate a postponement. So, hopefully, on Tuesday, at the fourth attempt, King's Lynn will finally get to play at Altrincham.

Last Saturday, King's Lynn Town drew at home as the Lynn News reports.

"King's Lynn Town celebrated Ian Culverhouse signing a long-term deal as manager by sharing the spoils with FC Halifax Town in their first National League game for a month.

Linnets debutant Alex Kiwomya saw his first half goal cancelled out by Tom Bradbury early in the second half in the thick fog at The Walks...

Seven minutes before the break it was Lynn who took the lead with a goal straight off the training ground.

Some excellent movement from Dayle Southwell allowed him the space to deliver a cross for Kiwomya to rifle home from 12 yards.

Michael Gash skied a great opportunity to double Lynn's advantage at the start of the second half. And his miss proved costly as the visitors cancelled out the Linnets' slender advantage less than four minutes later.

A King cross from the right was nodded on and headed over the line from close range by Bradbury... Lynn substitutes Adam Marriott and Sonny Carey both had the ball in the back of the net in the final 25 minutes, but both efforts were ruled out for offside.

The visitors also had an effort ruled out in the dying embers of the game, but in the end both sides were forced to be content with a point a piece...

Lynn (4-1-2-3): Mair 7, Brown 7, Callan-McFadden 7, Smith 7, Richards 7, Gash 7, Jarvis 7, Southwell 7 (Marriott 70, 6), Barrows 7, Kiwomya 7 (Carey 70, 6), Power 8 (Mitchell 78, 6). Subs not used: McAuley, Clunan.

And the Lynn News also advises that "Linnets manager Ian Culverhouse has signed a new deal that will see him remain at the club until the end of the 2022/23 season...

The former Norwich City defender has led Lynn to back-to-back promotions...

In 2017, he took charge of the club in the Southern League Premier Division...

He subsequently left The Walks, and was named manager of Grantham Town at the end of May 2018. However, after resigning as Grantham boss in October 2018, he returned to the dugout at Lynn a month later.

Despite Lynn being in the bottom half of the Southern League Central Premier table when Culverhouse rejoined the club, form improved and the team climbed the table strongly in the second half of the season. They clinched the runners-up spot on the final day of the season before winning the play-offs and a Super play-off at Warrington Town to earn themselves a place in the National League North in 2019/20...

The League was finally settled on a points-per-game calculation, crowning Lynn as champions".


Jordan Hulme scored in AFC Fylde's win at AFC Telford United on Saturday. Barrow lost to Southend with James Jones coming on as a substitute as he returns after a lengthy spell out with injury.

Former Alty loanee Owen Dale scored for his Crewe Alexandra side in a 3-3 draw at Rochdale.

Scott Leather and Elliot Newby were both in the Chorley side which defeated Derby County in the FA Cup.


According to the BBC, "Tuesday's National League game between Torquay and Solihull Moors has been postponed because of positive Covid-19 tests in the Moors' staff.

Solihull's game against Dagenham on Saturday was also postponed because of positive Covid-19 cases in the London club.

Jimmy Shan's side are just outside of the play-offs but have as many as five games in hand on teams above them".

The Halifax Courier reports that "Lewis Mansell's debut goal earned FC Halifax Town a hard-earned point as they drew 1-1 at King's Lynn.

Alex Kiwomya, whose dad Andy played for Halifax, marked his debut with a goal which put the hosts in-front at half-time.

But Town battled back to move back up into the play-off places. And a draw was probably about right, with neither side quite doing enough to win it...

Despite the skewed wisdom of using a white ball in foggy conditions, that heralded a strong start by the visitors, who penned King's Lynn back inside their own half. On FA Cup third round weekend, the game had the feel of a higher-league side visiting a non-league team at times.

King's Lynn were hurried and harried, while Town popped the ball about with assurance... Town's passing was crisp and their movement was fluid. Their possession was bordering on dominance...

With half-time approaching, former Town striker Dayle Southwell sneaked down the side of a static Town defence and his cross was smashed home by Kiwomya from 12 yards.

It was harsh on Town. ..

But after Michael Gash fired wastefully over at one end, Mansell headed Town level from King's dinked cross.

It was now a more open contest, with King's Lynn giving as good as they got... What bits of the game were visible were competitive and hard-fought, but still there were few chances, with both teams lacking enough quality in the final third...

King's Lynn: Mair, Brown, Callan-McFadden, Smith, Richards, Barrows, Power Mitchell 78), Jarvis, Kiwomya (Carey 70), Southwell (Marriott 70), Gash. Subs not used: McAuley, Clunan.

Hartlepool United "made it four wins out of four with a comfortable-in-the-end win against a resilient Wealdstone.

Goals from the in-form duo of Luke Armstrong and Rhys Oates along with a tidy finish from Nicky Featherstone meant that Pools climbed closer to Torquay...

Pools continued to apply the pressure and went into half-time with a deserved lead... Pools showed their quality not long after by swarming forwards and getting their second goal. Ferguson’s goal-bound effort hit Oates who was adjudged to be onside, much to Pools’ delight.

Featherstone added a third with a low strike after good pressure from Pools to make the game comfortable."

11 January 2021


Sutton United will be streaming the match on Saturday against Altrincham at a cost of £9.50. You can acquire your pass for the streaming service here.

Alternatively, commentary on the match will be broadcast by Radio Robins.


Regardless of the result tonight, Altrincham will be top of the National League ... in terms of games completed!

With Torquay United out of action today, Altrincham will become the only club to have played 18 league matches this season, the highest number of games completed by any of the 23 teams in the National League. And by 5pm on Saturday Alty will have played almost twice as many games as Dover Athletic who have completed just ten National League fixtures so far due to Covid issues at their club and with opponents' infections.

Altrincham's match-completion rate is all the more surprising, given that they lost two games to waterlogged pitches at Moss Lane as well as two more to Covid issues in the early part of the season which had them playing catch-up at the start of the campaign.

With today's scheduled home game transferred to Sutton because of the likely unsuitability of the Moss Lane pitch once again, it brings to three the number of matches already switched to opponents's grounds this season. The other two fixtures affected in that way were in the Cheshire Senior Cup and the FA Trophy where home ties were converted into away ones at Barnton and Chester FC respectively.

After today's match at Sutton, Altrincham will have played a half of their total number of away games (eleven) but just under a third of their home fixtures (seven). However, the imbalance has not been detrimental to the team's collection of points. Before today's game they had taken almost twice as many points away from home (15) as at home (8), with respective averages of 1.14 points per game at home and 1.36 points away.

Overall, on PPG before kick off today Altrincham lay fourteenth in the National League.


Brian Flynn's interview with Phil Parkinson during Thursday training is here. In it "the Robins' manager discusses:-
  • Alty's new temporary training facility,
  • The decision to swap the Sutton United fixtures and the type of opposition that we will be facing.
  • An improving injury position.
  • Artificial pitches.
  • How tight the National League is at present.
  • 'Benchmark games' against Stockport County.
  • The character, experience and quality in the squad that contains so many players that have progressed so well from the Northern Ptemier League to the National League".

Right: Phil Parkinson with his assistant, Neil Sorvel


As of this morning, just three fixtures had not been postponed in the National League.

Saturday 9th January

  • Aldershot Town P-P Barnet [Covid at Aldershot and Barnet]
  • Sutton United v Altrincham [Match reversed from Altrincham v Sutton United]
  • Boreham Wood P-P Yeovil Town [Boreham Wood in FA Cup]
  • Bromley v Chesterfield [Covid at Chesterfield]
  • Dover Athletic P-P Weymouth [Covid at Dover]
  • Eastleigh P-P Notts County [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • Hartlepool United v Wealdstone - game passed pitch inspection on Saturday morning.
  • King's Lynn Town v FC Halifax Town
  • Maidenhead United P-P Stockport County [Stockport in FA Cup]
  • Solihull Moors P-P Dagenham & Redbridge [Covid at Dagenham]
  • Wrexham P-P Woking [Covid at Wrexham]


As his Marine side prepare to face Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup on Sunday, The Times interviewed their manager Neil Young, the former manager at Altrincham.

The report says of Neil [left], "It is also only a few years since the thrill of management had worn off. He stepped away from the coalface after short-lived spells at Stockport County and Altrincham, the latter of which lasted six games and prompted Young to announce his retirement from the dugout.

'That was my lowest moment because I knew I was at a good club, I knew I was working for good people and I wasn’t able to do the job to the best of my ability at that time,' Young says. 'I lost a little love for football.'

He was coaxed back into the game as head of recruitment at Halifax Town before a brief spell as caretaker manager there. Marine then came calling and a newly signed contract until 2024 recognises the revival in the club’s fortunes...

'“I always tend to look at the negative side of things and Stockport and Altrincham haunt me a little bit. But [on Sunday] I am in the presence of great footballers and a manager who will go down as one of the greatest. I have so much respect for José [Mourinho]. I like the way he says it as it is. If I can speak to him and take something from him that would be special.'”


The following selective list shows Emirates FA Cup Third Round matches this weekend involving National League and NW non-League clubs

Saturday 9 January

  • Boreham Wood v Millwall k.o. 12 noon
  • Chorley v Derby County k.o. 12.15pm

Sunday 10 January

  • Marine v Tottenham Hotspur k.o. 5pm

Monday 11 January

  • Stockport County v West Ham United k.o.8pm

ON THIS DAY: 9 January

Nine years ago today in 2012, Altrincham defeated Hinckley United in Leicestershire in a Blue Square Bet North Match played on a Monday night, memorable in retrospect for Duncan Watmore's first appearance in an Altrincham league matchday squad.

Right: We see Alty's new central defenders Adie Hawes and Marlon Broomes (yellow kit), with midfielder Chris Lynch in the foreground, in action against Hinckley.

This was Altrincham's first visit to Hinckley's new ground, the Greene King Stadium, which is one of the more pleasant new stadiums in non-League football. The Knitters had enjoyed some good results recently, notably a 5-2 mauling of Nuneaton, but they were still flirting with the relegation places at kick off.

Altrincham, with a much changed side, outplayed Hinckley to secure a 4-1 win, which could easily have been by a bigger margin. Despite losing debutant Marlon Broomes before the half hour mark, through injury, Alty took the lead shortly before half-time when a towering header from Adrian Hawes converted one of many corners from James Lawrie.

Lawrie himself made it 2-0 with a shot driven off the inside of the post from right of goal.

Just after the interval, Damian Reeves made it 3-0 when a defender got the ball under his feet (47 mins). Approaching the hour mark, Reeves unselfishly fed Jack Redshaw to make it 4-0 (59 mins). Hinckley got one back with a deflected freekick midway through the half (65 mins). But both Simon Richman and Redshaw then each struck the post as Alty remained well in control.

Altrincham had made four changes to the starting line-up, as Kieran Walmsley and Marlon Broomes made their debuts and Simon Richman and Mark Lees came in. Loanee defenders Adam Dodd and Matt Flynn had returned to their parent clubs after the previous Saturday's defeat by Colwyn Bay. Captain Adam Flynn was out of action, with an ankle injury, and Michael Twiss likewise remained injured.

Nicky Clee moved to the bench and there was a welcome return, also on the bench, for Shaun Densmore. Also, on the bench at Hinckley there was a first league appearance for Altrincham Youth team striker Duncan Watmore which, with the debut of Marlon Broomes, brought to 28 the number of players named on a league team sheet for Altrincham this season.

Six of Altrincham's starting line-up had made six or fewer starts for the club before they lined up at Hinckley last night; and three of those on the bench were in the same category, underlining that it was a season of change for the Robins.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN (capt), 2. Kieran WALMSLEY, 5.Adrian HAWES, 6. Marlon BROOMES, 3. Mark LEES; 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Liam TOMSETT, 4. Chris LYNCH, 11. James LAWRIE; 9.Jack REDSHAW, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 14. Nicky CLEE, 15. Duncan WATMORE, 16. Shaun DENSMORE, 18. Adam REID (gk).


The Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve has called on some clarity for National League clubs about the financial implications of completing the current season.

Cleeve wants the government to stop playing Russian Roulette with clubs... An initial £10million grant to cover the first three months of the season has now run out and clubs have not been informed about what funding is available for January and beyond.

Cleeve is particularly concerned around hints that future payments... may be made up of loans. Lynn's chief feels that is unacceptable and feels that many clubs would not have agreed to start the current season behind closed doors had they known it involved taking on further financial obligations.

Cleeve said 'Football clubs are at the very centre of their communities, far more so than any theatre, so we must not be treated as second class citizens because the general public have long memories when they next stand in front of the ballet box with a pencil in their hand. When the league kicked off it was never mentioned that monies would be given in the form of loans this is simply not in the spirit of things.

'We were told we would be compensated for our loss of revenue and, whilst I do not expect to get every penny of lost earnings, it has to be a fair and reasonable payment...

'Hundreds of millions has been given as grants to museums, cinemas, and theatres, does the government rate these institutions higher priority cases than football?... We just need a clear and concise statement otherwise I fear for that many clubs will simply not be here for the start of next season.'"

The Halifax Courier "spoke to Chris Lakey from the Eastern Daily Press for the lowdown on King's Lynn Town

How has King’s Lynn’s season been so far? A little bit up and down, which is probably what you’d expect of a promoted team that remains part-time... but there are signs that the Linnets are coming to terms with their new surroundings.

They’ve managed to tighten up at the back...

Who have been your best performers so far, and why? It’s midfielder Jordan Richards for me. Goes about his business in a no-nonsense way... Brave; never shirks possession, wins good turnover, has excellent stamina. Really good player...

Lynn like to play football the proper way. Sometimes it can be their downfall, but the manager is passionate about playing a passing game. It is pleasing on the eye, no doubt. Given they are part-timers, the fitness levels are excellent too. The manager likes a tinker; has often played three centre-halves, but against Torquay went 4-4-2, which was a bit old school...

They are mixing with the big boys, who have much bigger budgets and can sustain full-time players. If they survive they will be delighted.

Michael Gash, the experienced striker, had a serious illness in the summer and is only now working his way back to match fitness; he’s only started two league games. But he is a big presence, works hard, has a lovely touch, even though many regard him as just a big target man, he’s much more than that. And his partnership with Adam Marriott has been prolific...

They haven’t played a league game since December 12 (Torquay). They won at Alfreton in the FA Trophy three days before Christmas but that’s it'".

Aldershot Town report that "After an initial short-term loan deal, winger Joseph Hungbo has returned to parent club Watford FC.

The 20 year-old made five appearances for the club and was an integral member of Danny Searle’s squad over the course of his temporary stay with the Shots from mid-November to early December".

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United are set to play their first match of 2021 against Wealdstone at Victoria Park this Saturday... Pools go into the game sitting second in the National League table after ending 2020 with three straight wins.

They’ll be hoping to claim a fourth straight league win for the first time since September 2018 against newly-promoted Wealdstone. After winning the National League South last season, The Stones enjoyed a solid start to the 2020-21 campaign. Four straight wins between October and November shot Dean Brennan’s side into the play-off places after eight games.

But they now sit two points off the play-off places in 14th and haven’t played since their 4-0 defeat at Maidenhead United on Boxing Day...

Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor said 'They’re a new team into the league and they’ve had a difficult transition for them with the way the league has been so far...They had a run where they won four on the bounce... but they’ve struggled slightly since. They’ll be quite happy with where they are currently after coming into a new league and the uncertainty that it brings... But they’ll be looking over the shoulder a little bit'".

Devon Live states that "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson said he would be using the team's break to 'reiterate our game' after the 2-1 defeat at Yeovil Town...

11 points ahead of the chasing pack at the top of the National League, the Gulls can afford the odd slip-up, however disappointing they can be.

With no game this weekend, scheduled as an FA Cup weekend, Torquay will be keeping an eye on how Sutton United do at home against Altrincham in their first NL game for a month, and hoping that Hartlepool United fail to close the gap...

Gulls fans have also been buoyed by reports that midfielder Adam Randell is likely to have his loan spell from Plymouth Argyle extended until the end of the season. The 20-year-old has impressed during... 14 starts and two substitute appearances...

Argyle boss Ryan Lowe said... 'Gary Johnson is absolutely over the moon with him, and we are... There is every chance Adam will stay there'...

With Torquay's next game at home against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night, Johnson said 'We will use the gap to... make sure everyone knows what they are doing and why they are doing it...

Reports from South London suggest young Crystal Palace striker Rob Street has agreed to sign on loan until the end of the season... but it wouldn't be the first time Johnson has kept a loan signing quiet until the last minute; the club announced three just an hour before the first game of the season. With striker Danny Wright injured, the move would make sense for both parties".

Chesterfield "made two new loan signings this week with midfielder Jack Clarke joining from Aston Villa and striker Marcus Dinanga arriving from Stevenage.

James Rowe described Clarke as an 'outstanding technical player'... The Spireites boss added 'He needs some confidence and a run of games somewhere where he can be loved in an adult environment, in a first team environment. That’s what we’re going to give him'...

Dinanga, meanwhile, made his Spireites debut in the 2-1 defeat away to Solihull Moors after coming on as a substitute for the final 31 minutes of the game... Rowe saying 'Marcus obviously scored a lot of goals before his move to Stevenage; he hasn’t quite got the game time he wanted in his set position as a nine.

'That’s his main position, he’s been playing mainly wide so he’ll come in. I think that he has shown there he’s good in the air, he’s mobile, he worked hard for the team'".

And the Derbyshire Times confirms that "Defender Alex Whittle has completed his move to Chesterfield on a free transfer.

The left-back has signed an 18-month deal. The 27-year-old links up with boss James Rowe again after playing under him at Gloucester City, who he left this week...

It takes the number of signings under Rowe to eight, following the arrivals of Jack Clarke and Marcus Dinanga earlier this week...

Whittle, who started his career at Liverpool, joined Gloucester in the summer on a two-year deal after leaving Boston United".

Elsewhere, from the Halifax Courier we learn that "FC Halifax Town have announced the signing of defender Jean Leroy-Belehouan on loan from Sheffield United for the rest of the season.

The Blades youngster, 20, arrived at Bramall Lane after spending seven years with Manchester United and is described on Sheffield United’s website as 'a tall, athletic centre-half who likes to get on the ball and is comfortable playing out from the back'.

The French centre-back is 6ft 2in tall, is a second-year scholar with Sheffield United and plays for their under 23s.

He is Halifax’s second signing in two days after the arrival of striker Lewis Mansell on loan from Accrington yesterday".

Meanwhile Barnet "confirm that the registrations held for defender Bilel Mohsni and midfielder Dean Parrett have been released and they have left the Club with immediate effect.

Mohsni made three appearances in all competitions for the Bees, whilst Parrett featured on two occasions during a disrupted spell due to the pandemic.

Both players were registered on a non-contract basis and their registrations have been cancelled".

8 January 2021


Altrincham's fixture at home to Sutton United, scheduled for this Saturday, has been switched to the Surrey club's Gander Green Lane, which has an artificial pitch.

Recent cold weather and a poor forecast, featuring snow and temperatures well below freezing in Altrincham, have prompted the reversal of the fixture. As a consequence, Sutton will now visit Altrincham on 17 April when the home fixture for Sutton was originally scheduled.

Ahead of the match, Sutton have signed forward Rhys Browne from Wealdstone.


Altrincham's only previous visit to Gander Green Lane came in 1999/2000 at the end of which season both newly promoted clubs were relegated from the Conference.

The match at Gander Green Lane ended in a 3-0 defeat for Altrincham which they redressed with a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture later in the season at Moss Lane.

For the match in Surrey, on 11 September 1999, Altrincham arrived on the back of three straight wins, which had lifted them to eleventh in the table. However, they fell behind to a headed goal by Mark Watson, from a Harlow freekick, in the 26th minute.

Watson, who had hit thirty goals in Sutton's promotion season, doubled the lead with another headed goal, thirteen minutes into the second half. Midfielder Jimmy Dack completed the home side's scoring ten minutes from time.

ALTRINCHAM 1. Greygoose, 2. Hodson, 3. Adams, 4. Timons, 5. Ellender, 6. Talbot, 7. Gallagher, 8. Russell, 9. Landon, 10. Burke, 11. Ellison. Subs: 12. Maddox, 14. Doherty, 15. Crowe, 16. TBC 17. Lovelock

ON THIS DAY: 8 January

Ten years ago today Altrincham defeated Rushden & Diamonds 2-1 at Nene Park in a Blue Square Bet Premier game.

Left: Alty contest a freekick awarded against Mark Joseph at Nene Park.

Altrincham manager Ken McKenna was only able to name four substitutes as his squad had been hit by illness and injury. Clee, Denham, Danylyk, Holsgrove and Piergianni were all unavailable. Rushden were looking for their first win in nine games whilst Alty arrived on the back of their first win in seven league games at Mansfield Town the previous Monday.

But, Altrincham lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win. Goalkeeper Coburn made four excellent saves late on but before that Alty had been good value for the win.

After a slow start it was the visitors who had the lion's share of the early play, with the Diamonds struggling to get out of their own half in a ten minute period. But Rushden took the lead from virtually their first attack when a routine cross from the right by Osano was headed home by O'Connor after 22 minutes.

It was beginning to look like the Diamonds were fairly comfortable with their lead. However, Damian Reeves levelled the scores when he slotted home Beesley's through ball in the 40th minute. Thorne should have been sent off just after Reeves's goal when he felled Beesley who was in on goal but he only saw a yellow card.

Andy Milne made it 2-1 after 56 minutes when he got behind a defender on the Alty right. His cross was returned to him and he then scored with a left-footer which keeper Day touched but could not keep out.

Rushden applied pressure in the late stages and that was when Coburn came into his own. Alty defenders also made two goal line clearances.

Above, left: Damian Reeves celebrates his goal. Above, right: Alty celebrate at the end of the game.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 27. Andrew MILNE, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 25. Matt SOMNER, 15. Ryan BROWN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 8. Damian REEVES, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs: 9. Michael TWISS, 20. Sam HEWSON, 21. James COATES, 22. Michael WELCH.


At Weymouth, "Terras' manager Brian Stock has elaborated on the return to their parent clubs of three Weymouth loanees.

Stock brought in goalkeeper Jack Bycroft from Southampton, centre-half Corey Jordan from Bournemouth and winger Zaid Al-Hussaini from Crawley.

While all three impressed at various stages of their loan spells, Stock elected not to renew terms on Bycroft and Al-Hussaini, the former replaced by new loanee Ethan Ross from Lincoln.

Stock also revealed that Jordan himself made the decision not to extend his stay with the Terras.

Speaking following the 3-0 loss to rivals Yeovil Town, Stock said 'Jack was a big decision... I felt it was getting to the stage where maybe a little bit of confidence (was missing) and we needed experience, so we brought in Ethan who’s had that exposure in the Football League.

'When you look at Corey, I was disappointed to hear the news that he wanted to go back to Bournemouth.. And Zaid, he’s got a lot of talent. He’s almost like a maverick-type player. Unfortunately, when we’re up against it we need players that are really good both in and out of possession and he’s just come up short on that...

'It’s a bit different now where we can’t loan out any players to a couple of leagues below [because of lockdown]. That limits us to try and release funds in that sense. We’ve been supported by the board, so we’ll go out and we’ve got three or four people that we’re talking to right at this moment in time.'"

At Wealdstone, "Attacking player Rhys Browne has today joined fellow National League club Sutton United in a permanent deal.

Browne had only been with the Stones a short time after being released by EFL side Port Vale in the summer.

His only appearance came as a substitute in Boxing Day's 4-0 defeat away at Maidenhead United".

Notts County manager Neal Ardley has made the following comments about his players...

"Wes Thomas has concerns over Covid and the way things are in the country at the minute. He’s refusing to train with the group... We’ve accepted his request in respect of his safety concerns. We’ve put a bespoke training programme in place to keep him away from the group for the time being, so we can keep him fit... You have to respect everybody’s feelings'...

As for Cal Roberts 'Touch wood, his surgery over the Christmas period seems to have gone really well. There’s a small chance Cal will be in and around training come the end of January... He’ll be dipped in and when he does start games, we’ll have to bring him off on 60 regardless of how it’s going. It may be that we’re 1-0 down and having to bring off one of our best goalscorers and creative players, but if we don’t do that we’ll break him and lose him all over again'...

'Damien McCrory went in for surgery recently but he’s going to be missing for much of the remainder of the season... [Regarding] Sam Graham, 'We’re in discussions with Sheffield United about potentially extending his loan'...

'Jimmy Knowles, his deal is until the end of the season. There’s always a clause where, at some point in January, the parent club can pull him back but that’s not something we feel is going to happen... As he’s a young player, we set targets for how many appearances we’d give him over the course of the season... and we’re confident he’ll meet them... and hopefully he’ll be with us until the end of the season.'

'With the number of games we’ve got coming up, we’re going to strengthen the squad. We haven’t got brilliant strength in numbers at the moment... I think the role we’ve probably only got one main player for is Kyle Wootton’s. We’re still developing Elisha Sam into that number-nine role, but he’s played very well off the sides and off a striker rather than being a more physical force... We’re looking for someone who can physically play as a nine because Kyle isn’t going to be able to play Saturday-Tuesday for seven weeks without breaking himself...

'One of the other positions we’re looking at is left back, obviously because of Damien’s injury. We’re also considering bringing in a wider player who could play full back as well'2

As for recent postponements, "Eastleigh were really up front with us and had plans in place to test their squad, but I think league protocols now dictate that the whole group has to self-isolate for 10 days. We then asked a couple of clubs who didn’t have fixtures scheduled for Saturday if we could travel to play them at short notice but both teams refused.

"The league have no provisions in place to bring games forward and we’ve had to accept that we can’t get a game, which is frustrating because it’s an extra fixture that will come further down the line during a really tough schedule. We’re trying to arrange a behind-closed-doors game to get some minutes into the boys but it’s due to snow and the pitches are frozen despite us having frost sheets down".

The BBC tells us that "Saturday's National League match between Aldershot Town and Barnet has been postponed because of coronavirus outbreaks at both clubs.

The Shots and the Bees each received a positive Covid-19 test this week, with others at the clubs entering isolation in line with government guidelines.

Barnet are scheduled to host Yeovil Town on Tuesday, and will provide an update on that fixture in due course".

And Bromley have taken an ex-Wealdstone player as "The Club are delighted to announce the signing of Charlie Wakefield following his departure from Wealdstone.

The winger joins the Ravens having spent the first half of this season plying his trade in the Vanarama National League... Charlie had previously been part of the Chelsea youth set up. He then spent time at Stevenage before joining up with Coventry City... before joining Wealdstone ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. He has featured 13 times so far this season scoring twice".

King's Lynn Town "return to action for the first time since 22nd December, following COVID related call-offs, when they host FC Halifax Town at The Walks this Saturday.

Halifax currently find themselves in 8th place in the National League... and come off the back of a 3-2 win against Altrincham on 28th December, but have lost their last 2 away games at Hartlepool and Solihull.

Recent Lynn signings Alex Kiwomya and Michael Gyasi are in line to make their debuts whilst the likes of Rory McAuley, Cameron King (against his former club) and Sam Kelly should be available following recent injuries.

Prior to the recent call offs Lynn beat Alfreton 3-1 in the FA Trophy and had an impressive goalless draw with leaders Torquay United at The Walks".

At Dagenham & Redbridge, "The Club can confirm that Kai Brown and Bailey Clements have returned to Ipswich Town after their loan deals came to an end. "

On Saturday, Hartlepool United "will be looking to make it four wins from four as they take on a newly promoted side Wealdstone FC.

Pools haven’t played since the 28th of December with Halifax at New Year being postponed. Dave Challinor’s side are currently second in the National League.

Wealdstone currently sit 14th... Their last game came on Boxing day where they were beaten 4-0 away from home to Maidenhead... 19 new signings came through the door at Grosvenor Vale as manager Dean Brennan looks to establish his side in the National League.

We spoke to Dave Challinor... [who said] ‘We have had a little time off but we are raring to go... We were a little disappointed to see the Halifax fixture postponed but you can look at it both ways. Ferguson would have missed out and a few lads would have been carrying little injuries’".

FC Halifax Town report on "the trip to Norfolk to take on King’s Lynn Town... The Shaymen were without a game last weekend as our match against Hartlepool was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Town have taken 15 out of the last 24 points on offer in the league and have scored in each of our last 8 games, winning 5 out of the 8 games sitting in 8th place in the table.

Our hosts are 20th in the table but have played 3 games less. They haven’t played since the 12th December due to Covid19, a 0-0 draw against the league leaders Torquay United at home. They last won back on the 21st November a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Dover Athletic

They have picked up 10 points out of the last 24 on offer, failing to score in their last two games. They have three former Town men in their squad with Cameron King, Dayle Southwell and Ross Barrows all now plying their trade with them."

And Accrington Stanley advise that "Accrington Stanley striker Lewis Mansell has today joined FC Halifax Town on a one-month loan.

Mansell has made three appearances since joining the club at the start of November and the 23-year-old grabbed the Reds' only goal in the 1-0 victory over Barrow in the Papa John's Trophy".

Later the Glasgow Times reported that "Halifax Town proudly revealed the capture of former Partick Thistle striker Lewis Mansell on a short-term loan on Thursday afternoon but were left red-faced after gushing about their new recruit in the accompanying announcement.

The National League outfit revealed they had signed the 23 year-old via a statement on the club's website, where they included the fact that Mansell had been voted into the Scottish Championship team of the season, without realising that the forward's inclusion was a JOKE... The ballot was quickly hijacked by Thistle fans determined to include Mansell".

According to Somerset Live, "A Somerset council's attempt to buy the land surrounding Yeovil Town Football Club has been paused for up to six months to allow the club's supporters a chance to bid for it.

The Glovers have struggled financially since the first national lockdown in March 2020... South Somerset District Council voted in December to buy the Huish Park stadium and surrounding land to protect the club from short-term insolvency and give it a platform to rebuild in the years ahead.

But this purchase could be put on hold for six months after the Glovers' Trust, which represents the club's supporters, announced it was considering putting together its own bid for the site. The Huish Park site is listed as an asset of community value, meaning that the local community can place a moratorium of six months on any sale of the land or amenities...

A Trust spokesman said 'We are not satisfied that this offer is necessarily in the best interests of our football club and at the present time. We feel there is a lack of concrete information available to allow an informed decision to be made. We have triggered the moratorium period in order to gather more information, consider other options (including a counter-offer) and to further consult with members and the wider Yeovil Town fanbase'".

Reports from Bromley state that "Following the end of his initial loan spell, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has returned to his parent Club Portsmouth.

Hackett re-joined the Ravens on loan from the Hampshire side in September ahead of the new National League season, linking up with his former team-mates.

During his third spell at the Club Hackett scored in our 4-1 away win at King’s Lynn Town and fired in a spectacular strike during the 2-2 draw with Maidenhead United. Reeco also gained plaudits after our televised win at Solihull Moors. He won the Man of the Match award".


Northern Premier League N/West "side Marine are set to make history in this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round as they face Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur.

It is the biggest gulf at this stage of the competition's history, with Marine competing in the eighth tier of English football, and Jose Mourinho’s side currently sitting fourth in the top division.

The clash will be aired live on BBC One on Sunday, January 10 with a 5:00pm kick-off...

Marine midfielder James Devine said 'Most of us never thought we’d get this far in our careers, never mind this season, so it’s an unbelievable feeling to do it'...

'We’ve been classed as an elite team due to being in the FA Cup which allows us to train up until the game with all the guidelines put in place,' Devine said.”

7 January 2020


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, press and media officer John Edwards reports that manager "Phil Parkinson challenged his players to add another chapter to the Altrincham success story after they fought back from two-goal arrears to force a 2-2 draw with promotion favourites Stockport County at Edgeley Park...

'I told the lads to keep believing, because if they do that, you never know where this season could take us,' said the Alty boss. 'We have a great chance of doing well this season, and I can’t wait to get into this month, with all the challenges and opportunities it will present.

'Stockport were great in the first half, but in the second half, we were really brave and created opportunities to get back into it. Yusifu [Ceesay] deserved his goal, and what a finish it was by Ryan [Colclough], who is repaying the faith we showed in him when we signed him. He gave everything for the cause, and I’m extremely pleased with the players and proud of them.

'We were really positive with the team selection, bringing Dan Mooney and Ryan into the starting line-up and keeping Yusifu in there, and it so nearly brought us all three points, when you think of that fantastic last-minute save... We didn’t just sit back and take it off Stockport. We had a real go at them, and credit to the lads for that'".


As reported yesterday, Alty have not met Sutton United, their opponents this coming Saturday, for more than twenty years, after they were both relegated from the top-flight of no-League football in 2000.

But the Surrey side do boast one or two players familiar to Altrincham supporters from their time at other clubs.

Probably the best known is Harry Beautyman whose exploits include scoring for Welling United at Moss Lane when Alty were thrashed 4-0 in September 2014. Beautyman is in his second spell at Gander Green Lane, having spent 2011-13 with the club, after leaving Leyton Orient and immediately prior to joining Welling.

From the Kent club, Beautyman went into the Football League with Peterborough United, followed by time at Northampton Town and Stevenage, before he rejoined Sutton in 2018.

Midfielder Beautyman also has two England C appearances to his name in addition to more than 200 for Sutton. In2019-20 he swept the board at the club's Player of the Season awards and was named in the National League's team of the season.

Above: Kenny Davis (in orange) then the Braintree captain, leads his team out against Altrincham in April 2015. Luca Havern is his counterpart for the visitors who lost 4-2.

Another familiar face at Sutton is another midfielder, Kenny Davis (now 32), who joined Sutton from Boreham Wood after a long spell at Braintree Town. He too is a former England C international. He played against Alty four times for Braintree Town, scoring against Alty, and also faced The Robins several times more before that for Grays Athletic.

ON THIS DAY: 7 January

Four years ago today, 7 January 2017, it was game 23 of the season and after 11 home matches without a league win, Alty welcomed Gloucester City to Moss Lane and lost to the only goal of the Vanarama National League North match.

As he explained in the matchday programme, captain Shaun Densmore was rested after over-exerting himself on his recent return to action after a year's injury absence. So Sam Heathcote started at right-back. Meanwhile, Alty's most regular right-back this season, Sam Patterson, was fit enough to be named on the bench.

Altrincham, under the management of Matt Doughty and Robbie Lawton, who were attempting to pick up the pieces after Neil Young and Jim Harvey's spells in charge, were without four injured men (Richman, Goodall, Miller, Hobson) and their bench included no goalkeeper, but three defenders.

There was plenty of effort but a lack of incisiveness in front of goal from an Altrincham side which dominated the second half against a Gloucester side whose constant timewasting should have been more firmly dealt with by the referee.

Above: Andy Owens and Elliot Newby are the Altrincham players in this picture from the match against Gloucester City.

On a dismal, damp afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham fell behind in the 31st minute after three times failing to clear the ball from the front edge of their penalty area. City took advanatage, slipped the ball left of goal, from where a rising shot by Parker beat Deasy to secure the points.

Numerous Alty shots either flew wide or over the bar but their most threatening shot did not come till deep into added time from substitute James Lawrie, whose effort was well saved by Singh. Gloucester were reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute when Thomas hacked down Clee once too often and was deservedly shown a second yellow card.

Altrincham were now 14 points from safety and went on to be relegated.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Jake MOULT, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. John CYRUS, 7. Elliot NEWBY, 8. Gary JONES, 9. Andy OWENS, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Andy McWILLIAMS, 14. Greg WILKINSON, 15. Curtis MCDONALD, 16. James LAWRIE, 17. Sam HEATHCOTE.


According to the BBC "Wrexham manager Dean Keates has confirmed two positive Covid-19 cases at the National League club.

Tuesday's game at Eastleigh and Saturday's home game against Woking have been postponed as a result. The squad are now isolating with their next scheduled fixture on Saturday, 16 January at home to Dover Athletic.

'We've had two cases. One is OK now after having all the symptoms but not severe. The second one was a lot more severe with his symptoms', Keates said. 'He did not sound the best when I spoke with him. It's hit him for six'...

Keates is not certain whether pausing the season would make a difference. 'Does the firebreak guarantee it's going to work? We just don't know,' Keates added... 'If we tried it and we went for two or three weeks the season would need to be extended on the back end of that. What you are also looking at is play-off fixture dates and ultimately the play-off final at Wembley. Does that need moving around?'"

At Notts County "Decisions have been made on the futures of Matty Wolfe and Tom Walker. The pair have been on loan at the Lane from Barnsley and Harrogate respectively but both deals expired earlier this month.

Despite only making two appearances so far this season, Wolfe has impressed manager Neal Ardley with his development since his mid-October arrival and Barnsley have agreed for him to stay with us for the remainder of the campaign.

Walker, meanwhile, will be leaving after making five appearances as cover for Cal Roberts, who is now working towards a return to training following a successful operation.

Ardley said 'Tom indicated to us that he would prefer to return to Harrogate to fight for his place and we fully respect his decision... Opportunities will come for Matty between now and the end of the season and we’re excited to see more of him. I’m in regular dialogue with our owners to explore ways we could further improve the squad'".

In the Derbyshire Times, "Chesterfield boss James Rowe said the ‘shenanigans’ leading up to Tuesday night’s defeat to Solihull Moors were ‘unacceptable’.

The Spireites boss was unhappy at having to play the same team twice in three days after a 10-day isolation period following positive Covid tests in the camp.

Town conceded in added time to lose 2-1 at Damson Park after taking the lead through Tom Denton in the first half.

Joe Sbarra equalised for the hosts after the break before Kyle Hudlin headed the winner as the Blues lost their first match in seven...

Rowe said 'It is a kick in the teeth, they are really down in there because they have given their all, but it goes back again that we are playing two games in three days and we have had 10 days off, the game should not happen.

'For me we should not be playing the game, we have been forced into a corner to play the game, I am disappointed because it showed in the second half. I have had to make quick substitutions because we lost legs quite quickly in the second half. It was too much for Tom (Whelan), he had to come off.

'I don’t want to comment on (where the pressure to play the match came from) but the shenanigans leading into this game is unacceptable. To play the same team twice in three days is unheard of, I have never known it in football so why we are doing it I don’t know...

'It might sound like sour grapes but I would say the same thing if we had won the game because I said the same thing in the press conference'".

Also at Chesterfield, before the clash with the Midlanders, "A double loan signing [was] announced...

Midfielder Jack Clarke has arrived from Aston Villa and striker Marcus Dinanga has been signed from Stevenage. Both agreements are until the end of the season.

Clarke, 21, started out with Villa’s Under-19s and recently completed a spell on loan at Yeovil Town. Dinanga, who joined Stevenage from Telford United in August, is a product of Burton Albion’s academy". mm

From the other side, the Derbyshire Times also tells us that "Solihull Moors boss Jimmy Shan said there was only one team ‘trying to play the right way’ as his Solihull Moors side pinched all three points against Chesterfield in stoppage time...

When asked if it was a deserved win, Solihull boss Shan said '100 per cent, yeah, I think we were the only team trying to play the right way and play football. We played them on Saturday and we knew their approach was going to be very direct, they looked to hit Denton on the diagonal at every opportunity.

'I thought we played some outstanding football, I am delighted with the performance and the execution of our game plan and the way we want to play football.'

Akwasi Asante almost doubled Chesterfield’s lead in the second half after an incredible solo run but his effort crashed off the crossbar... 'In fairness to him (Asante) he is a good player, he is a forward threat, his ball management is very good and he is unfortunate, and we have Ryan Boot to thank for at least one match-winning save at 1-1 so some moments in there we can improve,' Shan said.

Denton headed in from Jak McCourt’s corner for the opener, and Shan claimed Moors goalkeeper, Boot, lost sight of the ball because of the floodlights".

The Halifax Courier tells us that "Of all the new arrivals at FC Halifax Town this season, Luke Summerfield’s impact has been felt the most.

The midfielder has scored three goals this season, all from the penalty spot, and has been the heartbeat of the side, combining tenacity and a will-to-win with a superb reading of the game and range of passing..

. Said Summerfield, who joined Town after being released by Wrexham, 'But it’s all about what the team do and I feel like we’ve had a great December and hopefully we can carry it on... Whatever the gaffer sees my role as I’ll give it my best shot. We’ve used a few different formations but I’ve been playing in central midfield, a bit deeper...

'Some of the results we’ve not warranted but the play we’ve had in most of the games has been excellent...

'I’ve tried to implement my passing range and... I’ve been able to implement it a lot so far... By this time you’ve ususally played half the season but we’ve still not played quite a lot of teams so far. So there’s still a long way to go'".

From the South coast the Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth manager Brian Stock confessed to being 'absolutely gutted' and said some players 'went hiding' during the Terras’ 3-0 derby defeat to enemies Yeovil Town.

Darren Sarll’s Yeovil were far quicker into their stride and went 2-0 up inside 19 minutes when Josh Neufville and Albi Skendi beat debutant keeper Ethan Ross with clinical low 25-yard strikes.

Weymouth gained more possession in the second half but did not force away custodian Adam Smith into a save. Joe Quigley’s 88th-minute penalty and Jake McCarthy’s red card capped a horrible evening for the hosts, who sustained an 11th Vanarama National League loss of the season...

'The way we started the game summed the whole day up,' he said. 'Yeovil came out of the blocks, almost treated it like a local derby and almost looked like they were up for the fight straight away... It took 60 minutes before we actually started to... get a grip of the game. A few words were said at half-time and I got a reaction. We dominated the game second half, with the ball, but didn’t hurt them.

'Disappointed, absolutely gutted. They’re a big, physical, strong side and it showed, especially in the first half... Quite a few players went hiding, especially to start with,' he said...

'When you come up against a team so direct they didn’t have to work for their goals... It’s not like they’ve had to work the ball across our back four or put in a fantastic ball...

'I think the referee got so much wrong for both sides,' he said... 'I actually saved my breath because it was a waste of time trying to get through to the referee... Both sets of players were baffled with some of the decisions, even the sending off for Jake'".

In stark contrast, Yeovil Town boss "Darren Sarll was left delighted that his side were the winners of the first competitive derby between Yeovil Town and Weymouth since 1999...

Sarll said 'I thought the first 35 minutes was as good as I've seen us, we had great intensity, a good attitude, and a very competitive edge. I thought we were very good, very dominant, that’s two games in a row for Adam (Smith) where he’s not had a shot to save. It was nice to name the same back four again, and you can see the benefit of that consistency with a rare clean sheet.

'We started very quick tonight; we were very focused. It’s easy to motivate players who have been humiliated, when you’re playing against the humiliator, it’s a different thing for a game like this, when some players may not know about the Weymouth vs. Yeovil rivalry, which is why Terry (Skiverton) did the team talk tonight. He obviously has that history; he did a great job at making sure the players knew they were responsible for a hell of a lot tonight...

'It’s nice to say. for the first time this season, we’re in a strong vein of form, we’ve picked up some good wins across the last five games apart from the disappointed away to Torquay, but we’re getting there, and we were terrific tonight...

The gaffer was left particularly pleased with the showing of Matt Worthington 'I thought he was incredible, absolutely incredible. Him and (Josh) Neufville in the first half were sensational... I thought ‘Worthy’ was just scintillating, his reading of the game, his intercepting passes, the way he got us on the attack, with really good and difficult passes after winning it'".

Meanwhile, Yeovil Town "confirm the signing of Reuben Reid until the end of the season.

Signing for his second stint in green & white, Reid was part of the 12/13 League One play-off winning squad, netting six times in all competitions that season before a loan spell to Plymouth...

The 32-year old forward has enjoyed stints at Plymouth, Forest Green Rovers, Torquay United, Exeter and most recently Cheltenham Town".

6 January 2021


Having just drawn away to fourth-placed Stockport County, Alty's next opponents are third placed Sutton United. The Surrey side has only completed thirteen league matches but have three more points than Alty who have played four more games. Indeed, on PPG, Sutton are second in the National League.

In fact, Altrincham will face a Sutton United side which, by Saturday, will not have played a league match for almost five weeks, since 8 December when they lost 1-0 at home to Chesterfield. Their last match was actually in the FA Trophy on 19 December when they won 2-0 at St Albans City.

In the match against Chesterfield, Sutton United reported that "After a fine win against Solihull, Sutton came back to earth as Chesterfield continued their good form under new manager James Rowe.

One goal was enough to see them take the points back to Derbyshire, defender Haydn Hollis with the most straightforward of headers from a long throw from debutant George Carline seven minutes before half time, and for all their possession both before and after, Sutton found it hard to break through a defence that was on top of its game...

But it was Sutton who started the brighter, opting to retain Aaron Simpson in the left midfield position... and on the attack for most of the first half hour...

"U"s were undone seven minutes before half time when it was not Denton but Hollis who got his head to the ball to direct it inside Dean Bouzanis’s right hand post... Sutton toiled in search of an equaliser. They rang the changes quite early, Jordan Adebayo-Smith given a debut after just over an hour...

Craig Dundas and Callum Kealy were both soon introduced, and the chance "U"s had been waiting for followed a fine move... only for the unmarked Beautyman to sky his shot over the bar".

Sutton United: 1 Dean Bouzanis, 2 Jon Barden, 3. Ben Wyatt, 15. Craig Eastmond. 15 Ben Goodliffe, 6 Louis John, 7 David Ajiboye, 25 Isaac Olaofe, 17 Tobi Sho-Silva, 10 Harry Beautyman, 26 Aaron Simpson. Substitutes: 13 Brad House, 14 Craig Dundas, 20 Jordan Adebayo-Smith, 21 Callum Kealy, 18 Adam Lovatt.

For the more recent game in the Trophy at St Albans, eight of the same players started the tie for which the line up comprised:

1. Dean Bouzanis, 2' Jon Barden, 3. Ben Wyatt, 15. Craig Eastmond, 15. Ben Goodliffe, 6. Louis John, 7. David Ajiboye, 8. Kenny Davis, 21. Callum Kealy, 10 Harry Beautyman, 11. Will Randall. Subs: 26 Aaron Simpson, 14 Craig Dundas, 20. Jordan Adebayo-Smith, 18 Adam Lovatt, 19. Wayne Brown, 25 Isaac Olaofe, 32 Filip Chalupniczak.

At St Albans, Sutton United report that "Two goals inside the last five minutes gave "U"s a well deserved victory in a game they had largely dominated against a side unbeaten at the top of National League South. Harry Beautyman, who could have ended with a hat trick, finally found a way through in the 87th minute and Isaac Olaofe, whose introduction with half an hour to go gave the home defence a problem they never really countered, added the second as the game was going in to stoppage time.

With Tobi Sho-Silva injured, Callum Kealy started up front, supported by David Ajiboye, Beautyman and the returning Will Randall"

Off the field Sutton United have now confirmed that "Midfielder Adam Lovatt has joined National League South Tonbridge Angels on loan. Signed in November from Hastings after featuring in several of our pre-season games, but yet to make a competitive appearance, Adam has linked up with former Sutton coach Steve McKimm at the Longmead Stadium for a month to get some games under his belt before what promises to be a hectic second half of the season".


Tuesday 5th January
  • Solihull Moors 2-1 Chesterfield
  • Stockport County P-P Eastleigh [Covid at Eastleigh]
  • Weymouth 0-3 Yeovil Town

ON THIS DAY: 6 January

Three years ago today, Altrincham made their first daylight visit to the Throstle Nest as their only previous visit to Farsley came in 2007 for a Tuesday evening 1-1 draw in which Damian Reeves both scored and was sent off, whilst playing for Celtic. And there was to be another red card for the Yorkshiremen in this match.

Financial problems had caused Farsley Celtic Football Club, founded in 1908, to re-group as Farsley AFC in 2010 but they were subsequently (2015) allowed to return to their previous Farsley Celtic name.

Right: Phil Parkinson shields his eyes from the sun at Farsley as James Poole (no. 10) stands the nearest to the camera.

After rotating his squad on New Year's Day, Phil Parkinson had restored Tom Hannigan and Shaun Densmore to the starting eleven but Connor Hampson was out with a groin strain. So, White moved to left-back in his place.

In the match itself, which Alty won 1-0, the visitors enjoyed some early pressure which featured a sequence of corners, before Farsley came into the match before the interval.

Alty also started the second half brightly but, just after the hour-mark, Farsley striker Cockerline committed a very late challenge on Tom Hannigan. After consulting her linesman, referee Helen Conley showed the offender a red card.

Four minutes later, Jordan Hulme put Alty ahead when he impressively rounded the keeper before calmly netting. It was the seventh consecutive league match in which he had scored.

In the closing stages the home side pushed forward but Altrincham defended solidly to retain their lead against the ten men.

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


At Wrexham "This weekend's home match with Woking has been postponed due to a positive test for COVID-19.

The game scheduled to take place on Saturday will be re-arranged for a later date, whilst the following Tuesday's away game at Eastleigh, already re-arranged due to an earlier postponement, will also be pushed back with concerns in the Spitfires camp."

The BBC adds that "Wrexham's next scheduled fixture is on Saturday, 16 January at home to Dover Athletic at the Racecourse Ground.

Dover themselves are currently self-isolating due to Covid and have called off their home game with Weymouth on Saturday".

According to the Nottingham Post, "The Magpies had been due to face Eastleigh this weekend but the game has been called off after the Spitfires announced a positive coronavirus test in the camp and were forced to postpone their scheduled trip to face Stockport which was due to take place on Tuesday night.

And that has now been followed by the news that this weekend's game against the Magpies is also off while a game against Wrexham next week has also been called off".

Meanwhile, Eastleigh themselves "confirm that two further fixtures have now been formally postponed by the National League following a positive COVID-19 test at the club.

As reported this morning, today’s fixture with Stockport County (Tue 5th Jan) was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test in the camp.

As a precaution, the National League have now formally postponed the following fixture against Notts County on Saturday, 9th January.

We have also been made aware of a positive COVID-19 test at Wrexham, and we would like to wish those involved a speedy recovery.

Both ourselves and Wrexham will now enter a period of isolation, and the upcoming game on Tuesday, 12th January is also postponed".

More bad news comes from Kent Live which informs us that "Dover Athletic’s National League game with Weymouth on Saturday (January 9) has been postponed.

The decision has been made due to a number of players and staff at Dover self-isolating... Dover have been hit hard by postponements this season and have only played three league games since the start of November.

Recent games against Dagenham and Redbridge and Sutton United have been cancelled due to coronavirus fears in the opposition team.

In total The Whites, who sit bottom of the table, have seven games in hand on some teams [Torquay United and Altrincham] in the league [before Tuesday's fixture] with just a few months remaining of the season.

A statement from the club said 'Our Vanarama National League fixture against Weymouth at Crabble on Saturday has been postponed due to our staff and players self-isolating in accordance with National League protocols and Public Health England guidelines. That means our next league game will be against Boreham Wood at Crabble on Tuesday, January 12th".

The Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town have swooped to sign a former junior athletics champion ahead of Saturday's National League clash against FC Halifax.

The Linnets have brought in former Chesterfield wideman Alex Kiwomya, the nephew of former Notts County manager and Ipswich Town legend Chris Kiwomya, who once clocked under 11 seconds in the 100 metres as a 14-year-old.

Kiwomya, 24, who had two spells with the Spireites, will strengthen the Linnets’ attacking options following the recent departure of Jamar Loza to Woking.

The ex-Chelsea youngster, who has represented England at Under-16 to Under-19 level, will add further further pace and strength to Lynn's frontline.

Lynn's new arrival said 'I watched a couple of the games. We had a really good game against Torquay, I liked the shape we played. It was a massive part of me coming here'".

Confirmation comes from the Dorset Echo that "Weymouth have moved to sign goalkeeper Ethan Ross on loan from Lincoln City after Jack Bycroft’s loan from Southampton expired.

Bycroft made 14 starts and kept two clean sheets in a positive spell with the Terras, making a number of top-quality saves, notably at Wealdstone.

However, the Saints’ loanee was at fault for Wrexham’s stoppage-time winner as the Red Dragons won 3-2, despite being 2-0 down after 73 minutes.

Ross signed before Weymouth’s derby with Yeovil.

The 23 year-old joined League One side Lincoln from Colchester after emerging from the youth setup at Arsenal and Cambridge United.

Weymouth director of football Paul Maitland said that 'Jack impressed during his time at the club and is undoubtedly a very highly-rated young prospect who looks set have a great career in the game'".

5 January 2021


Despite the national lockdown measures announced for England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday evening, elite sport. which includes National League football, is permitted to continue, albeit Altrincham will continue to play behind closed doors.


The last time that Alty and Sutton United met at Moss Lane was twenty years ago in a season when both clubs were relegated from the top flight of non-League football, albeit Alty amassed twelve points more than the Gander Green Lane side.

Sutton returned to the top-flight in 2016 as Alty went down again so the sides have not met since 4 March 2000.

Alty had lost 3-0 at Sutton early in the 1999-2000 season but gained their revenge with a 3-0 victory at Moss Lane, despite the dismissal of their captain, Chris Timons. The win left Alty tenth and few would have expected them to be relegated from that position with just eleven fixtures remaining. But Alty failed to win another game, drawing five and losing six matches, so the win over Sutton was their last in the Conference before relegation!

Right: The Golf Road turnstiles before the match, at 12.30pm on 4th March 2000

A disappointingly small crowd of 889 people turned up for the game in which Altrincham started in twelfth place after having garnered seven points from their previous three games and having been defeated only twice in their last 19 League games. Sutton arrived at Moss Lane occupying bottom spot.

The referee, A. Penn gave a generally good performance but his booking of Adams and sending off of Timons, though strictly correct, had mitigating circumstances. Altrincham had had no one sent off between August and 4 December when Simeon Hodson got his marching orders in controversial circumstances at Dover. Then Jason Gallagher walked for a late tackle at Northwich; Talbot was rightly sent off at Stevenage for a last-man foul; Maddox bizarrely and Power quite justifiably were red-carded in the Macmillan trophy against Telford (8 February) and today Timons went for two fairly trivial fouls against Sutton...

Danny Adams returned to the side for this match with Sutton after a one-match ban for bookings, a ban which had ended his run of 97 consecutive first-team outings. Other team news included the return of leading scorer, Kevin Ellison after five matches out with a leg injury. Suspensions to Leroy Chambers, Steve Hawes and Phil Power ruled them out of consideration.

Altrincham were also still lacking numerous players through injury (i.e. two goalkeepers, Coburn and Greygoose; striker Price, midfielders Burke and Crowe and centre-back Maddox). A rare (eighth) start was given to Richard Landon, who had found the net 9 times in the Conference despite his restricted opportunities.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Key; 2. Hodson, 3. Adams, 4. Timons (capt), 5. Talbot; 6. Goodwin, 7. Gallagher, 8. Russell, 9. Morrell, 10. Landon, 11. Ellison. Subs: 12. Lovelock, 13. Senior, 14. Kielty, 15. Hulston, 16. Skelton

The first half ended goalless. But, in the 46th minute, an overhit cross from the right by Hodson was needlessly headed for a corner on the left by Riley. Russell's fine corner found the Altrincham captain, Chris Timons, unmarked and his firm header opened the scoring from six yards.

Two minutes later, Goodwin, moving forward into the box was brought down and after receiving treatment, Ellison took the free kick from the edge of the box. His firm, but not rocket-powered, shot passed the end of the wall and beat keeper Howells entering the net inside his left-hand post...

Super-sub Richard Landon had been having a quietish match but after 62 minutes he cut inside his defender and was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. Russell's freekick evaded the defensive wall and was well-saved by Howells. A short period of end-to-end play ensued before Ellison was substituted by Lovelock (65 mins).

On 70 minutes a Sutton attack was halted on the edge of the box by what was adjudged to be a bookable offence by Timons, though its nature evaded most of the crowd...

Keith Russell broke through in the inside-left position, drew the keeper and nonchalantly flicked the ball past Howells's left hand with his right foot to make the score 3-0.

What should have been unadulterated pleasure for Altrincham, turned doubly sour as, firstly, Adams strode through the defence only to be pulled up by the ref's whistle. Not only was offside given but Adams was harshly booked for playing on after the whistle. Worse was to come. As a Sutton player routinely broke down their left-wing, Timons fouled him and the Alty captain was shown the red card on 85 minutes.

He left the field to acclaim from the Altrincham fans and manager Bernard Taylor instantly put on debut-making Wayne Hulston for Morrell. Hodson moved to centre-back to replace Timons.

This win moved Altrincham to their highest position of the season, tenth, whilst Sutton remained bottom, their position worsened by wins for Welling and Woking. Whilst Welling arguably deserved to go down after escaping rightful relegation the previous year because of Barrow's demise, and Woking were even more deserving of the drop after the disgraceful performances of their recently sacked manager at grounds up and down the country, it was sad to see Sutton join them in the relegation places. Like Altrincham, they lacked the resources to compete with the top Conference sides but they played honestly and fairly throughout this match".


Former Alty loanee Nyal Bell has been recalled by Stockport County from his loan at FC Halifax Town.


Altrincham FC has Aiden Beswick's interview with Ryan Colclough.

ON THIS DAY: 5 January

Two years ago today, Altrincham had just played Stockport County as is the case this year but back in 2019 their next game was at York Road, against Boston United. Alty won the game 2-1 and ended the day sixth in the National League North.

Right: Jake Moult wins a header in the Alty midfield.

Alty started the 2019 game on a run of five matches without a win, four of these being league fixtures. Boston had won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Moss Lane but Alty had won the last encounter at York Street, 1-0, two seasons earlier.

With Elliot Wynne going on loan at Trafford, Alty had no goalkeeper on a substitutes' bench, which was further depleted when Chris Sang reported ill on the eve of the match and Ben Harrison suffered sickness on the coach en route to the game. This gave youth striker Ben Elliott the opportunity to be named in his first league game squad for the first team. Otherwise, Max Harrop replaced loanee Kallum Mantack on the left wing. However, they were boosted by the reappearance of James Poole on the bench, following his long injury lay-off.

Boston also had to make a late change as Rollins did not survive the warm-up and was replaced on the home bench by goalkeeper Seb Malkowski. The Pilgrims' new loan signing from Alfreton, Callum Chettle, started for the hosts. A number of the home players had followed manager Craig Elliott from his former club, Shaw Lane.

After an undistinguished start to the game, Altrincham began to apply some pressure and they got their reward with a 24th-minute goal. This was scored by Josh Hancock, with a low shot from the edge of the box after good work by Max Harrop on the left. Ten minutes later it was 2-0 to the visitors when John Johnston's cross from the right was met by Jordan Hulme's glancing header into the far corner of the net.

However, Alty did not build on their interval lead and spent much of the second half in their own half. But, despite seeing plenty of the ball, Boston lacked the bite to break through the Alty lines until they won an 80th-minute penalty, conceded by a foul challenge by Jake Moult. Davies just about got the spot-kick past Thompson's dive to his right to set up a potentially nervy ending.

But Altrincham rode out the closing stages, as well as five added minutes, without any really serious alarms.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. Kallum Mantack, 14. Sean Williams, 15. James Poole, 16. Shaun Densmore, 17. Ben Elliott.


The Derbyshire Times reports that "Spireites boss James Rowe has explained his thinking behind sending Jamie Sharman and Jack Mckay out on loan.

Centre-half Sharman, 19, has joined National League North side Blyth Spartans until the end of season, but he can be recalled if needed. Striker Jack McKay, 24, has also made the move to Blyth for 28 days...

Rowe told the DT, 'They need games, and I did not think they were going to get game time at this moment here, especially if you look at the back three and the goalie. We have got Josef Yarney on the bench and also George Carline can rotate into a centre-half position. Obviously Jamie Sharman has gone down in the pecking order, nothing wrong with his attitude in training, he has been great, he needs games at a 19 year-old and I don’t want to stand in his way. He has got to develop with games, and I get a chance to see him at a decent level, so it is win-win really.'

Sharman and McKay follow Milan Butterfield and Luke Rawson going out on loan to Guiseley and Alfreton Town respectively. Both Butterfield and Rawson, whose loan deals expire on January 10, are still training with Chesterfield as well as their loan clubs.

Rawson has made four appearances for Alfreton, including three starts, scoring once, while Butterfield has started three times for Guiseley."

Also from the Derbyshire Times we learn that "Not many people can say they have played in Europe and the third tier of English non-league. But that is exactly where Akwasi Asante’s career has taken him so far.

Like most football-mad youngsters in Amsterdam, Asante’s dream was to play for Ajax... but it was the Blues in Birmingham where his career in England started, moving to the country when he was 13...

The forward made his professional debut in the Europa League qualifying stage against Portuguese side CD Nacional in 2011, coming off the bench for the final few minutes for Birmingham in a 3-0 win. It was his best moment in football so far, along with winning promotion with Solihull Moors from the National League North in 2016.

Injuries hampered his time at St Andrews and after loan spells at Northampton Town and Shrewsbury Town he left the club in 2014 which is where his non-league career began... Asante linked up with his former youth coach at City, James Rowe, at Gloucester and now at the Spireites on an 18-month deal...

He said. “He has brought me here because he trusts me and knows what I am capable of so he kind of just lets me play my game... Everyone is buying into the gaffer, what he is about, his philosophy, and it is clearly working'...

A 10-day isolation period following positive Covid tests in the Spireites camp halted their progress over the festive period but they were kept on their toes by Curtis Weston, who led fitness classes on Zoom so the lads could keep in shape...

He added 'It is nice to play with a target man [Tom Denton] because at the last two or three clubs I have been the target man! I understand it, it is hard work... I think people underestimate how hard it is... He is a very good player and I really enjoy playing with him.'”

Bromley confirm that "The first-team made a return to Hayes Lane, as they underwent an assessment day.

This was following the end of the ten day isolation period put in place after positive Covid-19 test results in December.

Players and staff were tested on-site from their cars to allow for a full, and safe, return to football for the Ravens.

All staff members returned negative results, meaning the team will now report for full training from Tuesday 5th in preparation for Saturday’s home match with Chesterfield.

Saturday’s match will take place behind closed doors... the Ravens’ first game of 2021!"

On Saturday, Woking, "battled vigorously but were out spirited by a tough Aldershot team leaving them two points off the playoffs.

After losing to the Shots 3-0 just seven days prior, Alan Dowson and his men would have a point to prove at the empty Laithwaite stadium... Ben Dempsey and Matt Jarvis were dropped to the bench and Jack Cook and Kane Ferdinand came into the starting line-up...

With five minutes gone, neither side looked to have adapted to the harsh temperatures and were adamant on playing the ball in the air to gain advantages, rather than playing the ball on the floor... More and more strong tackles were being put in while Woking had a decent amount of control over the midfield halfway through the first half... Woking failed to capitalise in a 15-minute period of control. Aldershot looked tired... but, 30 minutes in, there was a change of momentum...

The second half began with the same level of intensity but... both teams were more focused on playing the ball on the floor and trying to gain some possession...

The Cards had battled hard but looked leggy and more fatigued than Aldershot coming into the last 20 minutes. Aldershot capitalised on this and opened the scoring in the 72nd minute. Toby Edser crossed the ball in from a set piece and the ball ricocheted off a few players in the box and found itself in the back of the net. 1-0 Aldershot.

From then on Aldershot looked the more comfortable... Not the greatest of starts to the New Year for Dowse’s men".

Barnet confirm that "There was some positive news from the training pitch as three players Petrasso, McBurnie and Duffus return returned to the grass as their recovery from injury comes to an end.

And NL Daily adds that "Barnet have recalled striker Alfie Pavey from his loan at Dartford.

The ex-Millwall player had returned to his former club in November, having enjoyed a successful stint with the Darts back in 2017/18.

New Barnet manager Tim Flowers has now opted to bring him back to the National League side".

For Eastleigh "A Michael Green volley wasn’t enough to secure the three points in Weymouth.

Ben Strevens made two changes to the team which drew in Woking on Monday, with Sam Smart and Ben House returning to the side in place of Tom Blair and Ryan Hill respectively.

Weymouth started in the ascendency... However, it was Eastleigh who made the breakthrough. Sam Smart floated a cross from the right which just missed Barnett in the middle, but it didn’t miss Michael Green, who fired in a venomous volley from twelve yards out...

The second half began as the first ended- with the Spitfires in control of possession... However, just as Eastleigh thought they were seeing the last 20 minutes out, Jordan Ngalo popped up for the hosts to slam in an equaliser... The Spitfires... had to settle with a point to start the new year".

The Nottingham Post reports that "Startling figures have revealed Notts County should have banked more than £280,000 in funding had the National League allocated a Covid rescue package based on average attendances.

The National Lottery agreed a £10m package to help clubs survive the crisis back in October on the basis it was going to be distributed according to lost gate receipts.

But the National League opted for an arbitrary rate which has caused a huge row amid complaints from a host of clubs that they are being shortchanged while others have profited from the grant...

According to the Times... under the current method of distribution, Notts received £287,000 less than they would have been entitled to had the funding been based on average attendances...

Notts... chief executive Jason Turner criticised the National League's allocation formula back in October, saying... 'How can it be right... that we receive only £11,000 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'".

4 January 2021


In the Non-League Paper, three of the newspaper's reporters identify their choices as Manager & Player of 2020.

For Matt Badcock, his selection for Manager of the Year is Phil Parkinson [right] who, he writes, "At Altrincham is doing a brilliant job. Took them through the play-offs with two [three?] hard away games along the way and now doing well in the National League. Other clubs must be keeping tabs on him."

Badcock's other choice for the accolade is a former Altrincham manager as he states "And a big shout for Marine boss Neil Young. It's great to see him back in the dugout doing what he does best after a couple of jobs that didn't work out for different reasons".

Brian Flynn's post-match interview at Stockport with Phil Parkinson is on the Altrincham FC website.

ON THIS DAY: 4 January

A year ago today Altrincham played Leamington and beat The Brakes 1-0 in Warwickshire.

Left: As well as dominating possession at Leamington, Alty also acquired their third clean sheet in four outings. Here we see forward players Josh Hancock and Jordan Hulme knowing their defensive roles as they prepare for a corner. And defenders Andy White (standing by the goalpost) and Toby Mullarkey also adopt their positions.

It was a Vanarama National League North match in which Altrincham made it twelve points earned over the festive season with this second away win of the league season.

Altrincham's sixteen were unchanged from New Year's Day, with James Jones remaining absent, through illness. Leamington were without top scorer, Josh March, following a £25,000 deal for him to move to Forest Green Rovers which had been announced on the eve of the game.

The Robins started the game the better side, enjoying plenty of possession but were unable to convert that superiority into a goal. White's header against the post was the nearest to a first-half breakthrough, whilst the hosts lacked any kind of goal threat.

Nevertheless, The Brakes had the better of the closing stages of the first half but the quality of the game declined before half time arrived with the score remaining goalless.

Again Alty looked the brighter after the interval and they deservedly took a 57th minute lead when Josh Hancock netted his fiftieth goal for the club, from a Densmore feed after the right back had made a characteristic surge forward.

Two home substitutions helped the Brakes in the final twenty minutes but Alty defended well and in the closing stages had two or three counter attacks which could well have produced another goal.

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


The Hartlepool Mail advises that "It’s been a rare free weekend for Hartlepool United following Saturday’s postponed match at Halifax Town.

The match was called off at 9.25am on Saturday morning due to a frozen pitch... But after playing three games in six days in between December 22 and 28, the free weekend comes as something of a welcome break for Dave Challinor and his players.

'The players will have the weekend off but we’ve sent them plans to do in order to keep on top of their loads, especially for the ones who haven’t played a lot of football over the last couple of weeks or months,' Challinor told The Mail...

'Our lads will hopefully have done their work over the weekend and enjoyed a bit of time with their families after a busy time of the year...

'We’ve had a good run and January is a big month for us... because afterwards, February, March, April and May are busy months with lots of games and not a lot of time to work on stuff and earn your rest'...

Mark Shelton, Lewis Cass and David Ferguson will be back training this week following their respective injury issues."

Speaking to Devon Live Torquay manager Gary Johnson said his "'Flair players didn't do enough and the defenders had too much to do' when they lost 2-1 at Yeovil Town on Saturday.

Torquay were 1-0 ahead in a tough game at Huish Park until the 87th minute from when the home side struck twice to claim their third win in four games.

Torquay's goal came from Aaron Nemane, his third in three games, after a beautifully weighted through ball by Connor Lemonheigh-Evans just after half time...

Gary Johnson said.'"Like everyone else I am disappointed because at 1-0 we did have enough bite in the game but I agree we didn't have enough quality.

'The first half was both teams just fighting each other really, and there were lots of fouls and a few yellow cards, and we knew it would happen like that. But the second half, the first bit of quality we showed just after half time was our goal and then we couldn't get the ball from our end into their final third with any sort of quality.

'I thought our flair players didn't do enough and our defenders had to do too much. And then for the last 10 minutes, they showed more intent to score a goal and took their opportunities.'"

In the Derbyshire Times "Solihull Moors boss Jimmy Shan blamed a lack of ruthlessness in both boxes for their 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield on Saturday.

The visitors started brightly and had two good chances through Joe Sbarra and Cameron Archer but failed to take advantage and they were made to pay when Tom Whelan struck inside the area just before half-time which turned out to be the winner.

Town finished the game with 10-men when George Carline was shown a second yellow card but they hung on for all three points in the first game of 2021.

Shan said, 'We have got to be ruthless. We have got to better in both boxes.

'I think we arguably had the best two clear-cut chances in the opening 20 minutes and I think if we convert both those chances it is a different game.

'They got the ball in and around our box quite frequently, we have got to be better at stopping it at source. I think against a big physical presence in Tom Denton we actually dealt with that quite well.

'But we have got to be ruthless in both boxes. We didn’t defend our 18-yard box well enough in the first half'".

3 January, 2021


The Dagenham & Redbridge v Dover Athletic game was announced as being postponed on Friday, with the hosts simply stating that the reason was "Due to Covid-19 investigation". Meanwhile the BBC reported that "Neither club nor the league have confirmed which of the two sides the investigation is focused on".

Saturday, 2 January 2021

  • Barnet 0-3 Boreham Wood
  • Chesterfield 1-0 Solihull Moors
  • Dagenham & Redbridge P-P Dover Athletic ["Due to Covid-19 investigation" according to Dagenham, whilst the BBC reports "Neither club nor the league have confirmed which of the two sides the investigation is focused on".]
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Hartlepool United
  • Notts County P-P King's Lynn Town [Covid at King's Lynn]
  • Stockport County 2-2 Altrincham
  • Sutton United P-P Bromley [Covid at Bromley and Sutton]
  • Wealdstone P-P Maidenhead United [Covid at Wealdstone]
  • Weymouth 1-1 Eastleigh
  • Woking 0-1 Aldershot Town
  • Yeovil Town 2-1 Torquay United


Following the 2-2 draw at Stockport, Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson told the NL Paper, that after falling two goals behind, "I'm really pleased with the way the lads responded. We thoroughly deserved to get the point because we were so positive.

"The momentum had swung in our favour and I fancied us to go on and win it", he concluded.

This was the third league game this season in which Altrincham have come back to earn at least a point after trailing. The previous two such matches were at Hartlepool (ended as a draw) and at home to Chesterfield (ended as a win).


In snowy conditions at Edgeley Park, Stockport County totally dominated the first twenty minutes but had only one goal to show for it before half-time, thanks to a couple of fine saves by goalkeeper Thompson.

County went ahead in the fifth minute when Southam-Hales beat Hampson on the hosts' right wing and his low cross was steered into the roof of the net by Reid.

Although Alty saw more of the ball as the half developed they failed to test Hinchliffe though the County keeper almost presented Alty with a goal when Ceesay closed him down and his kick rebounded to safety.

Alty fell two downafter 55 minutes when John Rooney hit a superb shot into the top corner of the net from 20 yards.

However, Alty hit back with two goals in four minutes. The first came in the 71st minute when Hampson got to the byline and, via Smith, Ceeesay netted from close range.

Ryan Colclough then hit a 25 yarder past a statuesque Hinchliffe (75 mins) to make it 2-2. And Tom Peers had a great chance, at the death, but his shot was blocked by the keeper.

Match report here


After the 2-2 draw on Saturday with Altrincham, Stockport County reported that "The Hatters got the new year under way by completing their festive double-header against Altrincham, and, as had been the case a week previously, ended up sharing the spoils with their Cheshire near-neighbours.

An early goal from Alex Reid, followed by a memorable second-half strike by the returning John Rooney, looked to have put County on course for all three points, but two strikes within five minutes saw the visiting ‘Robins’ back on terms in the course of an improved performance after the break.

The match also marked the 500th occasion during which Jim Gannon was taking charge during three spells as manager, 15 years to the day after taking the reins for the first time against Cheltenham in League Two.

Light pre-match snow dusted the pitch as County emerged showing one change from the starting line-up at EP against Wrexham five days earlier, with Rooney, having served his two-match suspension, replacing Connor Jennings...

Macauley Southam-Hales ran on to the right by-line and crossed for Reid to execute a fine first-time finish.

Visiting goalkeeper Tony Thompson did well to save ‘Alty’ from further early punishment... The visitors, for their part, created little by way of clear-cut chances before the break...

The inaugural chance of note in the second half, like that in the first, saw the Hatters find the net – and in some style, as Rooney, from 25 yards out, produced an exquisite chip that struck the underside of the crossbar before crossing the line to double the advantage...

Good work on the left by ex-Hatter Connor Hampson led to Cessay’s conversion from close range at the second attempt.

Within another five minutes, Alty drew level, courtesy of Colclough’s low drive from outside the box that ricocheted off the left upright and into the net".


Bob Large, for many years the electrician at Altrincham Football Club, sadly died on New Year's Day after a long illness.

Condolences from his fellow Altrincham supporters are extended to Bob's wife, Tracey, and all of his family and friends.

ON THIS DAY: 3 January

It is a while since Altrincham played a game on today's date. But on 3 January 2011 they won a Blue Square Bet Premier gameplayed on a Monday afternoon at Mansfield Town.

Right: Robbie Lawton and Shaun Densmore close in on Mansfield's Smith.

Altrincham had not previously scored for five league games, a sequence which had yielded just one point. Mansfield had lost 7-2 at Grimsby following a 5-1 win at Cambridge so their form was unpredictable.

For Altrincham Baines returned but Somner was not available to play against his employers; Clee returned after injury and Brown, Hewson and Lawton also all came back into the side as Ken McKenna had half an eye on a heavy January fixture list and the need to rotate his squad.

A 59th minute header from Damian Reeves gave Altrincham the points at Field Mill against a misfiring Mansfield team, which was reeling from a 7-2 reverse on New Year's Day. The Alty goal followed a short corner by Baynes to Brown, with Joseph heading Baynes's resulting cross from the back post for Reeves to convert.

Altrincham made seven changes from the side which started against Wrexham. They were without injured striker Denham, injured defenders Smith and Piergianni while TWiss was also carrying a knock, so management options were fairly limited in selecting a starting eleven. With Twiss not in today's squad there was a rare start up front for Reeves.

Nevertheless, Alty worked hard all through the game and restricted Mansfield to one serious threat; a header from Cook which Coburn pushed brilliantly over the bar.

Altrincham: 1. Stuart COBURN, 27. Andrew MILNE, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 17. Robbie LAWTON, 20. Sam HEWSON, 11. Nicky CLEE, 17. Wes BAYNES, 15. Ryan BROWN, 8. Damian REEVES, Subs: 19. Mark BEESLEY, 21. James COATES, 12. Kevin HOLSGROVE, 22. Michael WELCH, 16. Anthony DANYLYK.


Torquay United "left Somerset in defeat after succumbing to two late goals at Huish Park.

After going ahead through Aaron Nemane in the 47th minute, United looked comfortable for most of the match and looked set to bring three points back to Devon. Yeovil forward Josh Neufville and Luke Wilkinson struck late to claim all three points for the Glovers.

In a game of few chances, United were in control for large parts but neither side created any meaningful efforts on goal in the first half...

United were quick out of the traps in the second half and took the lead in the 47th minute. Aaron Nemane raced away and showed good composure to finish past Adam Smith.

United were on top after scoring but couldn’t find another way through...

Yeovil’s first came in the 87th minute. United failed to clear the ball and Josh Neufville managed to create enough space to curl the ball into the far corner. It got worse for United when Wilkinson headed in from a Carl Dickinson corner in the 90th minute."

Aldershot Town have had a good week as "Ricky Miller’s debut winner claimed Aldershot Town’s fourth consecutive win at the Kingfield Stadium as the Shots do the double over fierce rivals Woking in the National League...

The momentum was in the favour for Aldershot who were pressuring Woking’s defence throughout the second half and they were starting to take advantage of their dominance with the hosts struggling to create chances...

The pressure paid off for Aldershot moments later when Miller grabbed his goal off the bench on his debut. Edser’s free-kick was fired into the box and the ball was flicked goalward by Miller and the ball deflected past Ross to send the Aldershot bench into raptures...

The resolute Aldershot defence held their one-goal lead to secure the double over Woking this season".

According to the Derbyshire Times It was "'A beautiful win in ugly conditions' [with] James Rowe delighted as Chesterfield dug deep to beat Solihull Moors.

Tom Whelan’s first goal for the Spireites just before half-time was enough for all three points in snowy conditions at the Technique Stadium.

Town had to dig deep in the last 10 minutes when George Carline was shown a second yellow card and was sent off.

The Blues remain unbeaten under Rowe with five wins from six and five successive clean sheets.

Boss Rowe said, 'I like to call that a beautiful win. It was an ugly win, in ugly conditions, but sometimes they are the best... Our play was good for 25 minutes of the first half. We didn’t want half-time to come, we were in the ascendency...

And we showed commitment and steel in the second half.

'We had 13 shots to their two in the first half, we really dominated it, we should have scored more than one. The second half was a bit of a war and we overcame it'...

On Whelan’s strike just before the break, Rowe said, 'It is a really good finish. He knows where the goal is, he has turned and swivelled and put it in so I thought it was a really good finish and I thought that is what his efforts deserved.”

Carline, who was excellent all afternoon, picked up two yellows for soft challenges...

'I felt their players fell down easily to be honest'", he concluded.

At Barnet, "The Bees fell to a 3-0 defeat to Boreham Wood in their first game of 2021. Kabongo Tshimanga gave his side the lead after catching onto a long ball and even added a second goal about ten minutes later from the penalty spot where Myles Judd was also sent off.

Just before the break the visitors took the game away from the Bees, when Tom Champion added a third and so were able to see out the second half and clinch the win.

The Bees were looking to get their first win of the new year, having not played since... December 19th.

The match itself was started well by the Bees...

A long ball from goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore found its way to Tshimanga who slotted home to put his side in front...

The visitors were awarded a penalty and Judd was sent off for handling the ball on the line, which was then tucked away by Tshimanga for his and his sides 2nd of the game...

But things went from bad to worse for the Bees when Champion scored on the volley just outside the area, with two minutes remaining of the first half...

Boreham Wood held out for the 3-0 win."

2 January 2021


In snowy conditions at Edgeley Park, Stockport County totally dominated the first twenty minutes but had only one goal to show for it before half-time, thanks to a couple of fine saves by goalkeeper Thompson.

County went ahead in the fifth minute when Southam-Hales beat Hampson on the hosts' right wing and his low cross was steered into the roof of the net by Reid.

Although Alty saw more of the ball as the half developed they failed to test Hinchliffe though the County keeper almost presented Alty with a goal when Ceesay closed him down and his kick rebounded to safety.

Alty fell two downafter 55 minutes when John Rooney hit a superb shot into the top corner of the net from 20 yards.

However, Alty hit back with two goals in four minutes. The first came in the 71st minute when Hampson got to the byline and, via Smith, Ceeesay netted from close range.

Ryan Colclough then hit a 25 yarder past a statuesque Hinchliffe (75 mins) to make it 2-2. And Tom Peers had a great chance, at the death, but his shot was blocked by the keeper.

Match report here>


Stockport County are offering a streaming service for today's match against Altrincham.

Alternatively, commentary on the match will be broadcast by Radio Robins.


Stockport County remind us that "For the second time in a week, County go head to head with Altrincham... as we look to start the New Year with another big three points in Jim Gannon’s 500th game as County manager.

Monday afternoon’s win at home to Wrexham brought to an end our three game winless run in the league, and lifted us above Saturday’s opponents and up five places into fourth, back in the play-off positions... Just three points currently separate County in fourth and Wrexham down in 14th, although the Hatters do have several games in hand on many of the teams around them.

Altrincham followed up that Boxing Day draw with a disappointing 3-2 defeat away at FC Halifax; their first defeat in five games and one that saw them drop out of the play-off places. They currently sit ninth, one point below County and with the opportunity to go back above us with a win...

Pre-season saw Altrincham dealt the big blow of losing not one but two of their key attacking players, as winger Elliott Durrell moved to Wrexham, before on the eve of the new season star striker Jordan Hulme was signed by AFC Fylde for a ‘substantial amount’.

Perhaps as a result of those losses, the Robins got off to a slow start to the new season, winning just one of their first eight league games, and bowing out of the FA Cup to Fylde in the Fourth Qualifying round.

A late winner at home to Chesterfield in mid-November looks to have been the catalyst for a turnaround in the team’s fortunes, as their subsequent eight games have seen them win five and lose just twice, rocketing them up the table and in to possible play-off contention.

Familiar faces amongst their ranks include former Hatters Connor Hampson and Matty Kosylo...

Saturday’s game will be the tenth time these two sides have met competitively. Since losing the first meeting 3-0 back in 2013, County have been unbeaten against the Robins since, winning six of our last eight meetings... Altrincham have won four of their six away games in the league this season, all of them by a 1-0 scoreline".


Aldershot Town "announce the signing of forward Ricky Miller!

The 31 year-old spent his youth career in both League One side Charlton Athletic’s and local rivals Woking FC’s youth systems, before successful spells within non-league that saw the forward earn moves into the EFL with the likes of Luton Town, Peterborough United, Mansfield Town and most recently Port Vale.

But it was in the National League systems where Miller played his best football, scoring 28 goals in 46 games for National League North side Boston United in 2013-14, before going onto to score 22 goals in 54 games in the National League with Dover Athletic in 2015-16.

However it was the season after in 2016-17 that saw Miller’s best return of goals in professional football, scoring 45 goals in 46 games for Dover as they narrowly missed out on a play-off position, with the forward finishing the season as top scorer in the National League, 15 goals clear of second-placed Christian Doidge.

Having had a year out from football... Aldershot Town will be hoping he replicates the same kind of form he showed the last time he played at this level...

Ricky said, '“I’ve got a point to prove, that I’m still capable of what I’ve done. I feel fitter than I did at Dover and I’ve come a long way since then as well, so I’m hoping I can pick up where I left off.'”

Barnet tell us that "Due to National League rules, there will be no Live From The Hive stream for the visit of Boreham Wood this weekend.

League rules state that Clubs cannot live stream any fixtures which are selected by their broadcast partner, BT Sport. With the fixture being live on BT Sport, we are unable to do our own internal broadcast of the match.

The Club apologises for the inconvenience caused, but we hope you can tune into BT Sport tomorrow night to cheer us on for our first game of the new year".

At Chesterfield Kurt Bigg spoke to David Lawrence, to discuss the Moors squad and ambitions...

"Chesterfield and Solihull Moors have faced each other in four competitive games with the Birmingham-based side winning twice. The other two meetings ended in draws.

Since the Moors finished second in the National League in 2019, they have struggled to return to the top of the league. James Shan’s side ended up in ninth place last term. Getting a few key players back from injury would help. Striker Adam Rooney and central defender Alex Gudger currently top the list and it has been a stop-start season for influential mid-fielders Jamey Osborne and James Ward. They also have games in hand.

The Moors’ standout player? Irish international Stephen Gleeson has been central to many of Solihull’s better performances. His ability to both break-up opposition attacks and orchestrate his own side has been a joy to watch at times...

James Ball is currently the Moors’ top goalscorer in the league so far... ‘Bally’ certainly has a knack for scoring, being in the right place at the right time. But you would have to expect Adam Rooney to be up there once he is back from injury and Kyle Hudlin seems to be able to score from anywhere on the field!".

The Leader Livereports that "Connor Jennings expressed his delight at Wrexham's takeover...

Wrexham are spending a 13th season in non-league and Stockport striker Jennings, who played for the Reds between 2014 and 2016, and was also captain under Gary Mills, believes the takeover is a huge boost for his former club...

Said Jennings 'It is so weird to hear but it is great for everyone. I am really happy for the fans because they have a great following so hopefully it will push Wrexham forward which they certainly deserve because they have been in this league for far too long...

'Wrexham and Stockport are two massive clubs I have been lucky to play for so hopefully both have good times this season.'

The two clubs met on Monday and it was Stockport who came out on top, winning 2-0...

Said Jennings, 'We got the two goals and were looking comfortable. Fair play to Wrexham, they gave it a good go second half and if Jordan's chance goes in, it could have been a different game...

'It is such a shame there was no fans at the game, both clubs are well followed and it would have been incredible'...

Wrexham, who don't have a game this weekend, [are] down to 12th position heading into 2021".

The Dorset Echo reminds us that "Weymouth will renew rivalries with Eastleigh... Having played out a 0-0 draw in the initial fixture on Boxing Day, the Terras now host the Spitfires...

For Weymouth manager Brian Stock, the stalemate handed his side an insight into how the Hampshire outfit may set up...

Stock told Echosport 'It’s fresh in everyone’s memories from only playing them on Boxing Day. I don’t think they’ll change too much, they’ve got strength in depth and it’s going to be another tough test. It sometimes takes a whole day to do your research on the opposition but we’re very fortunate to have two (scouts) looking almost on a daily basis...

'They’ve gone away to Woking, who are a direct side, and got a clean sheet at their place. By the looks of things it’s going to be tough to score against them.'

Brennan Camp returns from suspension, while fellow defender Corey Jordan (concussion) is being monitored closely by parent club Bournemouth.

The Terras will train on Friday morning both to prepare for Eastleigh and to assess Jordan. Andy Robinson (hip) and Ben Thomson (ankle) could return in a week, but Myles Anderson (ribs) remains out.

Sean Shields is in contention to return... Shields has consistently topped the Terras’ running charts and former Wales midfielder Stock believes... 'Sean covers more ground than any other player in the club, by a mile. He works hard and puts a lot into games. Sean has been top of the list in every single game he’s played since he’s been here. That’s sprint distance and high-speed running.

'Generally, the wide players do cover more ground than some, but he’s consistently hitting numbers that I would expect to see in the Championship, if not in the Premier League..”

After New Year's Day, Altrincham's next league game is at home to Sutton United. From Kent, Tonbridge Angels confirm that "Adam Lovatt, a midfielder, has been signed on a 4-week loan spell from Sutton Utd.

He moved to Gander Green Lane on professional terms last November from Hastings Utd where he made over 100 appearances and was described by the Sussex club as a ‘battling’ midfielder and ‘an example of the quality being produced in our Academy.’

The 21 year old has attracted higher-division interest in the past, reportedly from the likes of Stoke City and Sunderland.

Adam also spent time training with Leeds United and Leicester City a couple of seasons ago".

1 January 2021


A Happy New Year to all visitors to the website.

2021 for Altrincham kicks off with a trip to Stockport tomorrow (Saturday) followed by three successive home games in the league, interrupted by a long trip to Hampshire in the FA Trophy.

  • Sat. 9.1.21 Sutton United, 3pm
  • Tue.12.1.21 King's Lynn Town, NB 7pm, a match rearranged from 5.12.20 when the Moss Lane pitch was waterlogged.
  • Sat.16.1.21 Havant & Waterlooville, 3pm, FA Trophy tie.
  • Tue.19.1.21 Woking, NB 7pm, a match rearranged from 8.12.20 when the Moss Lane pitch was waterlogged.


Altrincham play away to Stockport County tomorrow (Saturday). The club announces that "County kick-start the New Year with the second game of our festive double-header against Altrincham at Edgeley Park, in what will be Jim Gannon’s 500th game as Stockport County manager.

Whilst the game will be played behind closed doors, you can live stream the match".


The death was announced on Thursday of Tommy Docherty. Though better known for managing Chelsea, Scotland and another club in Trafford, The Doc also was manager of Altrincham for 17 games. He was in charge from the last week of September 1987 to early 1988. He won eight of those matches, lost seven and drew two.

Docherty returned to help Altrincham more than once. In 2003 and 2005 he took part in fundraising dinners for the club and in 2012 he was the guest speaker at a dinner to honour Alty Club Preident Noel White.

At a Fans' Forum in 2007 when "Asked about Tommy Docherty, who briefly managed Altrincham in 1987, [ex-Alty striker and the Doc's assistant at Alty] Jeff Johnson said that The Doc was a thoroughly nice man with an admirable capacity to down Rioja yet keep his judgement unimpaired. And Graham Heathcote revealed that he had been approached to be the Doc's assistant but had turned the post down to stay with John King at Runcorn".

As the Alty website reported in 2004, "The Doc asked Graham to be his assistant and asked him to name his wage. Graham said he would take a half of what the Doc was paid; he never heard any more about the job until The Doc gave an interview saying that Graham's wage demands suggested he thought he was dealing with Barcelona!"

Although not one of Altrincham's longest-serving managers, Tommy Docherty will never be forgotten at Moss Lane!


" Manager Phil Parkinson (right) discusses the defeat at Halifax with press and media officer Brian Flynn on the Altrincham FC website.

Meanwhile, fellow press and media officer John Edwards writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger website that "The year may have ended on a losing note for Phil Parkinson, but that did nothing to dampen his spirits as he predicted a bright future for Altrincham in 2021 and beyond...

[At Halifax] They had late penalty appeals waved away, despite the referee awarding Halifax a spot-kick for a similar incident in the first half, and suffered more frustration in the last minute when substitute Ryan Colclough missed from close range...

'Disappointed as I was with the result, I was really pleased with the performance,' said the Alty manager. 'I enjoyed watching us. We had that bit about us, where we were able to retain the ball and look a goal threat, and when we play like that, we will score more goals.

'But you can’t legislate for conceding the way we did. They had three chances, maybe four maximum, and scored three goals. It wasn’t massive defensive mistakes, and their finishing was clinical, but you can’t do that away from home and expect to get something from the game.

'We nearly did, though. I thought we were well on top and well ahead of them in how we were playing, and there were certainly moments when we could have drawn level, with the penalty appeal and Ryan’s opportunity. I didn’t think either penalty shout was a penalty, theirs or ours, but theirs was given and ours wasn’t. It’s that inconsistency that angers people, but we’ll have to take it on the chin.

'I can’t be too dejected, because it has been a fantastic year, and I am happy and really excited about being at Altrincham as we head into the New Year. There is so much positive stuff going on behind the scenes, as well as what you’re seeing on the pitch. Everyone is absolutely bubbling about where this club can go, and I am really looking forward to seeing how far we can progress over the next year or so.'"

ON THIS DAY: 1 January

On New Year's Day last year, which was a Wednesday, Altrincham were at home to Curzon Ashton in a Vanarama National League North match and won the game 2-1.

Then as now, player health wa a concern. Illness had affected at least five of the Alty squad the previous weekend when they beat Southport and Sean Williams had been injured in that game. For the New Year's Day match, Alty were without Williams but also James Jones, presumably through illness, which meant he missed his 100th start for the club.

The injured Sean Williams was replaced by Simon Richman whilst Toby Mullarkey came in for Jones. The illness victims from last Saturday had recovered to be named in the squad.

Above: Curzon take the lead.

During a disappointing first-half in which Altrincham failed to translate plenty of possession into a serious threat of a goal, Curzon took a 29th minute lead when a right-sided corner evaded Tony Thompson and Calverley headed home. John Johnston's header wide from close range was the nearest to an Alty goal in the first 45 minutes.

A scrappy start to the second half was forgotten when Altrincham scored twice in two minutes. Their equalizer arrived folllowing a Johnston freekick for a foul by Baillie on the Alty wingman. The ball came out to Jake Moult who drilled the ball into the net (56 mins).

The goal had an instant effect in upping the tempo for Alty and, following a right-side advance, Max Harrop found Andy White whose low shot gave his side the lead.

With Altrincham looking in control they suffered a blow in the 75th minute when Harrop's off-the-ground challenge near halfway earned him a straight red card on his 100th appearance for the club.

But ten-man Alty rode out the final stages of the game quite comfortably aided by Curzon making poor use of the ball when in possession.

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


In the Leader Live ex-Alty player "Elliott Durrell admits the shine will be taken off the club's impending takeover if Wrexham don't start to produce the goods on the pitch...

'It is an exciting time,' said Durrell... 'We have got to make sure that we match the excitement around the town on the field. There is no point in there being loads of excitement and jubilation off the field if, ultimately, we are letting the club down on the field.

'We are a group and we have to be better. There is room for everybody, whether you are a young lad or you are an older, experienced lad, but we have got to stop letting each other down and match the off the field excitement on the field'". Wealdstone report that "Centre-back Rob Swaine has joined Wealdstone on dual registration terms from Isthmian League North Division side Brentwood Town.

The experienced defender captained Welling United last season and has also captained Bromley and Billericay Town to promotions.

He began his career at Thurrock and can also include Chelmsford City and Maidstone United as his former clubs".

Earlier over the Festibe period, Wealdstone reported "the double signing of free agents Rhys Browne and Mo Diallo...

Browne was most recently at EFL League Two side Port Vale, where he made a total of 15 appearances in the 2019/20 season. He begun [sic] his career with Charlton Athletic before joining Aldershot Town upon his release. He made a great impact at the Shots in his first season in National League football, scoring seven times in 41 appearances from the wing.

That form earned him a move to EFL side Grimsby Town and from there he has also played for Macclesfield Town on loan and Yeovil Town. The Antigua & Barbuda international is the son of the late Steve Browne who had two spells with the Stones in the late 80s and early 90s.

Guinean forward Diallo joins having most recently been at Worthing in the Isthmian Premier League. The 21-year old progressed through the Stoke City Academy system before spells around non-league in Sussex at Shoreham, Newhaven, Bognor Regis Town and Lewes before joining Worthing earlier this year".

According to the Halifax Courier, "For Town defender Tom Bradbury, faith has had a transformative effect on his life and his career.

The 22 year-old says his Christianity has played a crucial part in his time in football so far...

'I’d go to the extent to say that, obviously football is extremely important, but faith is just as important, if not bigger to me in my life... It gives me peace, and it takes the pressure off me in terms of football... I believe that God has a plan for my life, he’s chosen me for a reason and he’s given me this talent for football to express myself.

'The plan is to get as high as I can and then spread the word, because I’m forever grateful to him... There’s no football without faith now, and there’s no faith without football,' he said...

'When you want to watch a film and not stretch and prepare for the next game, God tells me to get my stretching done because I’ve got another game...

'I do pray he keeps me injury-free. When I score, I’m doing it for him now because my mindset says, if I play well, if I score, if I move up the leagues, if I create a name for myself, then I can go into the Ministry and talk about him and change people’s lives. That’s the plan he’s set out for me and that’s my thought process...

'I found God probably three months before I got my first professional contract... My mindset’s totally changed... I’ve lived on my own for three years and I’ve found God in those three years'...

Bradbury grew up in Buckinghamshire and started out as a central midfielder... Bradbury stayed at MK Dons until he was 18, developing the necessary skills there that help him to bring the ball out from defence and start Halifax attacks on the left-side of Town’s back three...

After leaving MK Dons, Bradbury played in the Southern Premier League for a season-and-a-half with Banbury United... Bradbury then moved away from home to sign for Dundee... After a season at Yeovil, Bradbury joined Halifax in the summer after being wooed by Pete Wild and Chris Millington’s sales pitch."

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Notts County manager Neal Ardley is hopeful Callum Roberts will finally make a much-anticipated return in 2021 and play a pivotal role in their promotion push.

The Magpies' star recently underwent surgery to strengthen his stomach lining in a bid to overcome a groin/hip problem that has kept him out since November...

'Callum’s operation went well,' he said... 'It’s very difficult to know what the problem is, but the specialist thinks this will make a huge differenc'...

Roberts has gone on to become a pivotal figure for Notts since arriving from Blyth Spartans for a nominal fee last January and is regarded as one of non-league’s hottest talents. He scored five goals in 10 appearances for the Magpies following his arrival as they clinched a third-place finish in the National League.

But this season has been disrupted by injury which began in the summer when he suffered an Achilles problem... He managed to play 90 minutes in the opening day defeat at Dover in October, but Roberts then contracted coronavirus as it ripped through 75 per cent of the Magpies’ squad later in the month.

The club was forced into a three-week break from league games as a result, but despite recovering it was feared the inflammation he was experiencing in his groin/hip was a result of long-lasting effects of the illness... Eventually, a specialist determined that the best course of action was to strengthen his stomach lining".

The Daily Mail claims that "Albanian starlet Steven Bala accuses Barnet of damaging his mental health by denying him a dream move to Benfica as the FA are brought in to deal with compensation dispute between the European giants and non-league side

Barnet teenager Steven Bala’s opportunity of a dream move to European giants Benfica has been wrecked amid an ongoing contractual wrangle with the non-league club...

‘My mental health has suffered. I can’t sleep at night. I just want to play football,’ he said. 'This situation is killing my career. It’s hard to keep going…I’m struggling.’ Earlier this year, Bala was offered

a once in a lifetime chance to join Benfica. But the deal collapsed because Barnet maintain they have a right to full compensation in the region of £36,000 for the teenager despite the fact the club have scrapped their academy and lost their Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) status...

The London club wanted Benfica, who made the proposal when Bala was 16 meaning he could not legally sign professional terms with Barnet, to pay the full £36,000 compensation, an additional appearance bonus package worth up to £1.3million and a 20 percent sell on clause of a future transfer.

Benfica... refused to meet Barnet’s demands and have since dropped their interest in Bala, leaving the youngster heartbroken... Barnet are refusing to relinquish the youngster’s registration without the compensation fee they believe they are entitled to...

Barnet have scrapped their academy since the first Covid lockdown meaning they cannot offer Bala training, competitive matches or education. Bala, and his representatives, believe that is in breach of the youngster’s scholarship terms, hence making his contract void. Barnet’s EPPP status was expunged earlier this year following their relegation from the EFL in 2018".

The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that "Maidenhead United boss Alan Devonshire has said that playing matches comes very much secondary to the country’s fight against COVID-19, and he wonders whether a short, circuit-break for all levels of the game might be the fairest way to bring clubs back onto a level playing field...

So far Maidenhead haven’t had a positive case... but their fixtures have been impacted, with the club not due to play again in the league until Yeovil Town’s visit on Saturday, January 16.

It also means that their thumping 4-0 win over Wealdstone on Boxing Day is likely to be their only league fixture in a six week period... Said Devonshire, 'Life is the thing that comes first... To be fair, playing games is very much secondary to what’s going on at the moment. I’m more worried about that...

' 'If football has got to stop then stop it, for everyone’s sake, so that everyone is on a level playing field. “But at the moment you’ve got some clubs not playing games through no fault of their own. We’ve had no COVID stuff in our bubble and we’ve been able to play all of the games that we were down to play. It’s other teams who have had cases, again through no fault of their own, but it means we don’t have another game for three weeks and will have played one league game in six weeks. How is that fair?'...

Yeovil are the only club so far to have agreed to bring their match forward... 'It’s a bit unfair to us,' he said. 'We’ve tried to get some fixtures in and clubs have said no. I think the league should stipulate that if matches are called off in this manner, and there is a free date in the calendar, a game is fixed up.

'I just feel there are rules for some and rules for others. I’m just disappointed we can’t get games in, and what will happen later in the season is we’ll probably have to play Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. It just seems wrong for us not to play for a few weeks. If teams have a free week or weekend they should be made to play...

'I don’t know what the protocol is on COVID. When we played Notts County they had four players go down with it before the game but they still wanted to play. We were made to play the game when we didn’t really want to travel there. I’d just like to know what the protocol is for games being called off. Is it because they can’t get a team out?'...

Wealdstone reported their positive COVID-19 case just days after playing the Magpies at York Road but... 'Touch wood we haven’t had anyone come forward [with Covid],' said Devonshire...

'We train away from each other as much as possible... I don’t want to get this. I’m 64 and I don’t want to get it... I was looking at possibly getting a friendly match in if we can because some of the boys haven’t played for a while'".