Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

February 2021

28 February, 2021


Altrincham faced Bromley this afternoon seeking to end a run of four successive defeats. But they fell behind in the fifth minute when Cheek netted.

However, Altrincham then saw a lot of the ball and levelled after 36 minutes when Moult converted a low Hampson cross. But less than two minutes later, a Bromley corner from the right was headed in at the back post by Kizzi as he climbed over Ceesay.

It got even worse a further two minutes on when the referee awarded Bromley a penalty from a far from clear offence and Cheek drove his spot-kick down the middle to make it 3-1 (41 mins). So Alty trailed by two at the break, a margin which flattered the hosts at that stage.

Despite plenty of possession Altrincham never looked like retrieving the game in the second half and, at times, Bromley threatened to add to their lead which ultimately they fully merited. The match ended with Bromley's Bush sent off for felling Alistair Smith as Alty waited to take a freekick (90+2 mins).

Alty dropped to eleventh in the table, sixteenth on PPG.

Match report here.


Bromley report that they "were comfortable 3-1 victors over Altrincham...

Inside the opening 5 minutes, Bromley had a dream start. After some fantastic play from Jack Bridge and Billy Bingham, the ball found its way to Michael Cheek who got himself into into a scoring position and fired in a low shot across goal, leaving Tony Thompson with no chance.

The visitors kept on attacking down both wings on numerous occasions... With less than 10 minutes remaining of the half, Altrincham equalised. Connor Hampson found Jake Moult with an excellent cross, the midfielder made no mistake and scored with a crisp first time effort from the delivery.

However, Bromley would respond quickly. Frankie Raymond delivered a precise corner, which was met by the head of Joe Kizzi at the far post who nodded in...

However, the Ravens were not finished for the half just yet, minutes after Kizzi’s goal, Bromley had a penalty after a foul on Jack Holland. Cheek, who has been so reliable this season, made no mistake and easily dispatched his spot kick to make it 3-1 to Bromley...

Despite Chris Bush being shown a straight red card one minute into five added on at the end of the game, the Ravens defended well and secured a welcome three points."


The Dorset Echo tells us that "Weymouth have identified players to be furloughed but the Terras’ board have not yet taken the option.

The Terras currently have a playing squad of around 30 players, with many disappointed come matchday as league rules only allow for squads of 16.

In addition, Covid-safe procedures at the Bob Lucas Stadium mean just 20 Weymouth players can be present for home games.

The Terras are reluctant to take on loans as part of the Government’s £11m Winter Survival Package for the National League... The decision could be taken to help cut costs and ensure the unnamed group of players are paid, up to the end of the furlough scheme on Friday, April 30...

Weymouth chairman Ian White told Echosport 'We’ve got no players furloughed. I wouldn’t say we’re not going to do it, it’s an option that we haven’t used yet... Under normal circumstances, we would’ve loaned probably six or seven players out to Step 2 or 3...

'It does look as though we won’t get funding and we won’t take loans. I know Chesterfield came out and said publicly they’ve furloughed players, but the big issue is that if you did it and HMRC didn’t like it, they could pull back all the furlough money you’ve been given... We can’t put the players out anywhere else.'

Terras’ boss Brian Stock added... 'I’m sure the players would understand it’s done for all the right reasons. We’ve highlighted those individuals and we need to make sure we don’t leave ourselves short and we want to still be competitive. It will be a flexible furlough so we can recall (players) after seven days, so it’s not until the end of the season... We’ll make sure that every single person at the club gets paid, regardless.'”

Bath City confirm that "With the National League South season now null and void, we have agreed a loan deal to take Tom Smith to Dagenham & Redbridge for the rest of the National League season.

Manager Jerry Gill said 'I am delighted Tom has been given an opportunity to go and play football at National League level for the remainder of the season with Dagenham & Redbridge FC. It’s very important we allow our players to progress and be challenged with their football if the circumstances are right'"

The Derbyshire Times reports that "James Rowe was left frustrated by a ‘scandalous’ refereeing decision which cost Chesterfield as they were defeated at Stockport County on Saturday.

With the game goalless and approaching the hour-mark, referee Adam Herczeg incorrectly awarded Stockport a throw-in deep into the Spireites’ half. The decision led to John Rooney assisting James Jennnings for the opener.

Alex Reid sealed the points for the hosts when he fired in from close-range on 81 minutes after a mistake by Joel Taylor, confirming Town’s first defeat in six matches.

'I’m not angry because it is expected, it is every week now,' Rowe said.

'A refeering decision has changed the game and I am disappointed for the lads because they did not deserve that... We were in the ascendancy, clearly... the gameplan was perfect...

'The goal changes the game. The linesman is actually saying it is our ball, and it has ended up in the back of our net. Now we have got to do better for the goal, granted, but the scenario should never happen.

'There is just no accountability for it either because it is every week and it is starting to become ridiculous. What is disappointing is that he [Herczeg] was the referee for the Aldershot game and he cost us two points there because that goal was onside...

'It is scandalous,' Rowe said...'It has never been a two-nil result on the balance of play,' he added... 'The second goal I am very disappointed about because... Joel has got himself in a mix-up at the back post where his body shape is wrong and he ended up heading it down to their centre forward.'”

Whether that was also the referee's fault is not recorded.

According to Lynn News "King's Lynn Town and Weymouth went toe-to-toe as the spoils were shared in an entertaining National League encounter at The Walks, as the Linnets continue to find a possible solution to completing the rest of the campaign.

The game was expected to be Lynn's last game of the current campaign, but it is widely believed that a possible contingency plan is being put in place so Ian Culverhouse's side can field a team at Notts County and beyond.

If that proves to be the case it could mean a number of the contracted players being furloughed and some other members of the playing squad taking a slight wage cut...

Tyler Denton and Cameron King were both on target for Lynn in an action-packed first half which saw four goals in a 23-minute spell...

Weymouth took the lead with their first real attack of the afternoon in the 12th minute after Calvin Brooks pierced up the Lynn backline for Andrew Dallas to slot the ball under the body of Archie Mair...

King was the provider for Lynn's leveller in the 29th minute as he teed up Denton to smash home his first goal in Lynn colours from just inside the box.

No sooner had Lynn got themselves back in the game they were behind again two minutes later... The ball found its way to Andreas Robinson just outside the box, whose rasping shot left left Mair with no chance.

It was inevitable there would be another goal and it took a moment of magic to see the home side redress the balance for a second time ten minutes before the interval.

King and Adam Marriott exchanged passes in the box and King made no mistake with the finish."

Chesterfield's manager is not the only manager who blames the match officials for defeat. At Torquay United "manager Gary Johnson reflected on his side’s defeat to Woking in their FA Trophy quarter-final clash on Saturday.

With United missing the chance to go in front via the penalty spot, The Gulls were forced to chase the game after falling behind, however after somewhat laying siege to the Woking goal during the second period, they were eventually forced to admit defeat, with the decision to rule out a last-gasp leveller from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans proving particularly frustrating...

'It was a goal, and we knew it was a goal,' said Johnson. 'The referee said that Billy was offside, who wasn’t offside anyway, but he didn’t touch it...

'We had our chances, we could have gone one-up with a penalty and we missed a couple of good chances. Unfortunately we’ve been done by a few decisions, in my opinion. It was definitely a goal, and it should have took it to penalties. I thought the referee was inconsistent the whole game, and the linesman didn’t help him...

'You don’t like losing games like that, I know there’s no VAR, but if there was, we would have taken it to penalties'..

Before the game, Torquay United had reported "signing young goalkeeper Marcin Brzozowski on a one-month loan deal from Queens Park Rangers.

Former Poland Under-19 international Brzozowski is no stranger to National League football, having enjoyed a similar spell in the Westcountry with United’s divisional rivals Yeovil Town last season...

22 year-old Marcin has also gained experience during other temporary stints at Ashford Town, Braintree and Billericay.

'Marcin is like the cavalry arriving for us,' said Johnson. 'With one goalkeeper injured, and one goalkeeper suspended, of course it was very important that we got another goalie, as quick as we could, in for a month’s loan'".

Nottinghamshire Live reports that "Notts County striker Elisha Sam has gone viral after he scored a majestic back-heeled volley in the 3-1 win over Oxford City in the FA Trophy.

The forward had already scored a fine individual effort to equalise for the Magpies who had fallen behind in the first half through a Tylor Golden own goal.

But the Belgian forward saved his best for last when he produced an outrageous back-heeled volley from Adam Chicksen's cross to make it 2-1...

Fans now say Sam looks a certain contender to win the Puskas award which was founded in memory of Ferenc Puskas, the former Hungary and Madrid star who scored an incredible 512 goals in 528 appearances, and a then-world record 84 in 85 internationals...

The goal capped off a fine afternoon for Notts who are now one win away from sealing a place at Wembley for the second time in a year.

Jimmy Knowles also scored a fine third goal for the Magpies as he ran the length of the pitch to tap into an empty net after Oxford City had sent the goalkeeper up for a corner".

At Yeovil Town "Late heroics from Tom Knowles secured victory for Yeovil Town against Dagenham & Redbridge at Huish Park.

In what was Yeovil’s sixth home win in a row, the Glovers were good value for their victory, but Dagenham can feel hard-done-by not to leave with something, striking the bar in the second half.

It was an open game throughout, and a goal seemed inevitable, with Knowles’s stoppage time free kick ultimately separating the two sides come full-time.

After a memorable victory 3-1 over Weymouth in midweek, Darren Sarll opted for the same side which secured three points at Huish Park.

Adam Smith began in goal, with Alex Bradley, Max Hunt, Billy Sass-Davies and Carl Dickinson in defence. The midfield diamond saw Jimmy Smith continue the deeper role. Josh Neufville and Matt Worthington continued in the wider roles with Albi Skendi at the tip of the diamond.

Once again, Reuben Reid and Rhys Murphy combined up front...

The visitors defending was bordering on heroic... At the break, both sides would have felt they had done enough to score, yet it was scoreless as both teams ventured down the tunnel.

The second half began in polarising fashion to the first, with Yeovil this time in the ascendancy...

Yeovil’s pressure did little to dishearten Dagenham, who began to enjoy a lot more of the ball as the grew into the half...

With stoppage time looming, Yeovil were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead, after Callum Reynold hauled down Reid at the edge of the box and was given his marching orders.

It was always going to take something special to beat Justham in this sort of form, and substitute Knowles provided just that, hammering a free kick beyond the visiting goalkeeper to claim all three points at the death. "

27 February 2021


Saturday, 27 February 2021
  • Aldershot Town P-P Eastleigh Aldershot in FA Trophy
  • Boreham Wood 2-2 Solihull Moors
  • Bromley 3-1 Altrincham
  • Dover Athletic P-P Maidenhead United Dover furloughed players
  • Hartlepool United v Barnet ko 5.20pm on BT Sport
  • King's Lynn Town 2-2 Weymouth
  • Maidenhead United P-P Notts County Notts County in FA Trophy
  • Stockport County 2-0 Chesterfield
  • Wrexham 4-1 Wealdstone
  • Yeovil Town 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge


Saturday, 27 February 2021
  • Notts County 3-1 Oxford City
  • Darlington 1-2 Hornchurch
  • Aldershot Town 1-1 Hereford FC (Hereford won on pens)
  • Woking 1-0 Torquay United


Today Altrincham play their 26th game of the season, away at Bromley. They go into the game after a run of four successive defeats. Although they remain two places and two points ahead of Bromley, Altrincham have completed three more fixtures than their opponents.

As choronicled below, Alty's only previous visit to Bromley was five seasons ago when the Robins emerged 3-1 victors.

For today's game, Bromley are offering a streaming service, as they announce that "Matchday Live is back on Saturday 27th February 2021 to bring you full coverage of Bromley vs Altrincham in The Vanarama National League! Kick-off is at 3pm, our pre-match show starts at 2:30pm".

ON THIS DAY: 27 February

Today's match at Bromley is only the second time this millennium that Alty have had a game on 27 February. The previous occasion came 11 years ago against a team from another part of London's hinterland, Grays Athletic of Essex.

Days before the match Chester City had gone out of existence so Altrincham had dropped a place following the erasure of their results against the Deva Stadium side. But Alty went into this game in eleventh place whilst Grays were now bottom (23rd) and looking for their first point of 2010.

Right: Chris Denham goes up for the ball in the first half against Grays.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw at Moss Lane. Lawton and Little, who had finished the previous game at Gateshead as used subs, now returned to the starting line-up with Danylyk and McAliskey dropping to the bench to accommodate them.

It was to be an entertaining Blue Square Premier match played on Saturday, 27 February 2010, albeit the game was littered with frequent stoppages for freekicks.

Bottom placed Grays had strengthened in recent weeks but they emerged here with a deserved point. Their manager was former West Ham cult hero Julian Dicks, who had brought in numerous new faces in recent weeks, notably Shrewsbury goalkeeper Glyn Garner, on-loan Southend centre half Duran Reynolds and former Yeovil midfielder Sam Lechmere.

After Reynolds had hit the bar and Wilson had missed a good chance in the opening fifteen minutes, the sides traded attacks in a goalless first half, in which Alty's play was undone by some poor passing.

Grays took the lead after 61 minutes when they broke up the left and Cissoko netted a cross from close range. Alty levelled twelve minutes later through Chris Senior after Kearney had done will to the left of goal.

Grays captain Harlee Dean, who was on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge and has since gone on to play for Southampton, Brentford and Birmingham City, was lucky not to see red till the 89th minute when he committed his fifth foul following his original booking in the first half. Grays keeper Garner was named their man of the match with Senior taking the Alty award though he would not have begrudged Nicky Clee the award, had he been the recipient.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 2. James SMITH, 5. Greg YOUNG; 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Tom KEARNEY, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE; 9. Colin LITTLE, 19. Chris SENIOR, 10. Chris DENHAM, Subs: 17. John McALISKEY, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 27. Ryan BROWN, 8. Clive MOYO-MODISE.


At King's Lynn Town, "The Linnets Donation Pledge scheme has received a substantial boost from an anonymous benefactor who has contributed a large four-figure fee to the appeal, which was launched earlier in the week.

The gentleman concerned, who confirmed he was a Norwich City supporter and lives in Norfolk, decided to contribute to the Linnets fundraiser after reading the story of Dr Sarah Greaves, who has given a donation from her late father Barrie's estate to help support the club.

'I saw the story in the local press and thought that I must do something to assist King’s Lynn Town Football Club. I have always supported Norwich City and attended matches at Carrow Road and I must admit that I have never been along to their ground to watch a game but that is something that I will now probably do, once all the restrictions are lifted later in the year.

Although Norwich City will always be my first team it is so important that all of the clubs in Norfolk survive and get through this pandemic, so that they are in place once fans can go back to the grounds. I wish the club well and hope that they reach their target very soon.'

Stephen Cleeve, Chairman of King’s Lynn Town FC, says 'I’m delighted in the support being offered to the football club in this time of need. I would like to place on record, my thanks to the gentleman concerned for his amazing generosity, something that helps ensure security of the club.'"

On the other side of the country, NL Daily reports that "Yeovil Town chairman Scott Priestnall has responded to speculation regarding ex-Swindon Town chairman Jed McCrory’s potential involvement behind the scenes at the club...

Priestnall explained 'With regards to rumours of potential new investors, I have mentioned in the past I would always be open to discussions, and there is an interested party. This will be on the basis of investing equity into the club in return for shares... Jed McCrory has introduced a potential investor who is known to some supporters, although I haven’t actually spoken with them yet or received evidence of funds..

'In these difficult times, all options have to be explored. I have other friends in football who have offered assistance to the club in various ways and I’ve also been helping other clubs, as is the way it should be.'" HE CONCLUDED

According to Devon Live, "Torquay United head for Surrey to face old rivals Woking in the latest stage of their FA Trophy journey without goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald, who will serve a one-match suspension after being sent off at Solihull Moors on Tuesday.

McDonald’s absence meant some hard work behind the scenes at Plainmoor, with the squad’s other keepers also thought to be unavailable. United are keeping their cards close to their chest as ever with regard to team selection, but Lucas Covolan has been injured and is thought to be a couple of weeks away from full fitness, while reserve keeper James Hamon is cup-tied, having played in the Trophy for Truro already.

The likelihood is that United will be seeking a last-minute loan keeper for the trip to Woking.

On the question of MacDonald’s availability, the Football Association confirmed 'Dismissals are not competition specific and, therefore, the player has a one-game ban that commenced immediately on 23 February, so he is banned for the cup match tomorrow'...

United travel to Kingfield buoyed by a hard-working win at Solihull Moors on Tuesday night which ticked a lot of boxes for manager Gary Johnson. The Gulls boss criticised his team for its approach in the disappointing 3-2 defeat to Halifax in front of the TV cameras at Plainmoor last Saturday, but praised his players as ‘Trojans’ for their defending in the late stages of the Solihull game.

Torquay led 2-0 into stoppage time thanks to goals from Asa Hall and Billy Waters, but had MacDonald sent off after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession. Hamon came on from the bench and conceded a goal almost immediately, but Torquay’s defence held firm...

Torquay continue to be dogged by one of the worst injury lists they have ever faced. Ever-present defender Kyle Cameron limped off during the Halifax game and was not fit for the trip to Solihull. United mustered a bench comprising Hamon and four forwards for Tuesday’s marathon match, such is the state of the depleted Plainmoor squad...

Gary Johnson said... 'At the end, we had three of four players on the pitch that wouldn’t normally play 97 minutes, but we had to keep them on'...

Torquay have gone into recent matches without long-term casualties Liam Davis, Andrew Nelson and Danny Wright. The likes of Aaron Nemane, Dean Moxey, Armani Little, Covolan and Gary Warren have missed recent games, along with Cameron. New loan signing Scott Boden will not play a part at Woking. He will also be cup-tied, having already played for parent club Chesterfield...

The 31-year-old striker is at Plainmoor until the end of the season on a loan deal from Chesterfield...

Defender Fraser Kerr is likely to be leaving Plainmoor, however. Signed from Hartlepool, Kerr has played just seven times for the Gulls in a season blighted by injury and is understood to be keen on a move closer to home in the north.

Woking [who play Alty twice in thext few weeks] have not had the best of seasons in the league so far, sitting in 17th position".

Elsewhere, NL Daily confirms that "Blackpool sign keeper Moore after Wealdstone stint.

Goalkeeper Stuart Moore has signed for Blackpool following a recent spell with Wealdstone.

The 26-year-old had joined the Stones at the beginning of December, with Dean Brennan still in charge at the time.

Having left the National League side in recent weeks, the former Barrow, Swindon Town and MK Dons player has now joined League One Blackpool until the end of the season".

According to the Derbyshire Times, "Chesterfield boss James Rowe would welcome new contract talks following League Two 'interest'...

A report in the national media this week claimed the 37 year-old was set to be offered a new improved deal to ‘fend off interest’ from clubs in League Two. Rowe. who is contracted until the end of the 2022/2023 season, has lost only one of his 13 games in charge in all competitions and has put Chesterfield in a position to be challenging for the play-offs.

Rowe told the DT 'There is nothing I can say at the moment. I don’t really look at the speculation, I am not really focusing on what other people say or other press outlets, it is more about what we are doing inside the building because we know best. What I mean by that is that we know what is going on inside the building and how we want to move forward and it is full focus on the games, there are no distractions here'...

Asked by the DT if he would welcome talks about a new contract, he said 'Of course I would. I have really enjoyed my time here. There are a lot of smiles on faces, it is a fantastic environment to be part of now, it is a project. I say it is a project because we have not been in the top half (of the National League table) for three years'".

Also from the Derbyshire Times, we learn that "Role model' Curtis Weston has been made club captain after signing a new contract at Chesterfield.

The 34 year-old, who was set to become a free agent at the end of this season, has penned a new deal until the summer of 2022. The midfielder will take on an ambassadorial role for his work with the community trust.

Boss James Rowe said 'I am delighted. He has played in different positions in midfield. He has shown flexibility, leadership, and he will be the club captain going forward. As an ambassador for the community... he is that bridge for us along with some other players, but he will lead that process...

'He is a definite role model on and off the field. He leads by his actions. He is mainly the first in and last out nearly everyday, that is impressive. The shape he is in, at his age, is outstanding and the figures he is hitting in games when it is needed is [sic] outstanding too'".

Meanwhile the Derbyshire Times also tells us that "Chesterfield chairman Mike Goodwin says the ‘time for change had come’ as the club releases the latest accounts for the last trading year.

The figures are for the year ending June 30, 2020, the last 12 months of Dave Allen’s ownership. The community trust took over the Spireites last year on August 6 so the accounts are not a reflection of their time in charge.

CFC 2001 Limited recorded a profit of £453,118 for the year, which was a result of Mr Allen repaying a debenture loan of £2,045,098 to A&S Leisure Group Limited in July 2019, which a few days later he waived.

The accounts include the sacking of manager John Sheridan who received a ‘significant settlement’.

Other notable figures from the accounts include:

  • Turnover down from £3,952,422 in 2019 to £2,943,491
  • Gate and season tickets down from £825,978 to £700,520
  • Commercial income down from £1,533,103 to £1,091,461
  • Savings were made on administrative expenses from £5,446,203 to £4,269,253
  • Savings were made on wages and salaries from £2,975,280 to £2,489,876

Of the accounts, Mr Goodwin said 'On the pitch it was another challenging year with the results meaning the exit of manager John Sheridan. The appointment of John Pemberton, initially as caretaker manager, saw some improvement so the team was above the relegation places when the season was cut short.

'The accounts show that, even before the pandemic wiped out a third of the financial year, the business model was not succeeding. Spireites have much to thank Dave Allen for, not least the way he handled the end of his tenure, but the time for change had come.

'That change to a community-based business model supported by the two local councils responsible for our town is the only way forward. I am grateful for the support of those local authorities...

Chief executive, John Croot, said... 'It does feel at times like we are just marking time until some sort of normality returns. The appointment of James Rowe has brought a new energy to the club and we look forward to the team progressing under his management...

'A campaign by a significant proportion of the fans to not support the club away from playing activity meant most income streams were negatively affected. There were some savings in administrative staff but not sufficient enough to match falling income'".

In the Hartlepool Mail, "manager Dave Challinor feels the lack of relegation from the National League could relieve a lot of pressure from clubs down at the wrong end of the table.

This Saturday, Pools host a Barnet side currently sitting second bottom in the table with just three wins all season and the worst goal difference in the division.

Last season, The Bees were catapulted into the play-offs on points per game before losing out to Notts County in the semi-final.

This season has been a different story as they’ve struggled since the very start yet they are likely to benefit from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic once again as the National League North and South seasons were declared null and void and relegations to the sixth tier scrapped, pending ratification...

'I’m very surprised,' Challinor said discussing Barnet’s poor run of form. 'The first thing we do is look at their players and they’ve got a strong squad but it shows the fragility of squads and it’s a difficult thing to stop when you’re losing. That team is completely different if they’re winning.

'We talk about building momentum with wins but you can build the wrong sort of momentum with defeats. We’ve got to jump all over them from the start. But with no fear of relegation, that may change things for them.'

Challinor added 'It can change the dynamic of games. Having been there, you know when you’re playing at the bottom of the league, the threat of relegation is a dark cloud that hangs over players and the club as a whole... People could be made redundant, the squad can change entirely so it can have massive implications on a football club.

'At the moment, there’s no relegation but that’s still yet to be ratified so to some degree it’s hanging over Barnet. But even if it’s just a glimmer of hope of relegation not taking place then it will absolutely change their mindset and what happens. It becomes a free hit and relieves a lot of pressure'".

FC Halifax Town reveal that "We have taken the extremely difficult decision and the only route available to us now we know the season is to continue, to take a low cost loan from Sport England to protect the future of the Club. Sport England is the designated provider of loans for all the Clubs in the National League.

This is, of course, a last resort given we’ve been debt free since 2008 and does not sit comfortably at all. The loan is required to ensure we can cover our fixed costs, variable operating costs, salaries for the rest of this season and any commitments to season ticket holders should we not have access to the Shay Stadium before the end of the season.

The loan in part will also be required to protect the financial viability for the 2021/22 campaign if again we have to manage with a reduced capacity or commercial and sponsorship income is restricted due to the volatile landscape. We feel on balance this is the best option for the Club given the predicament we have been left in. We are certainly not alone making this decision".

The Guardian reports that "Birmingham City’s Women’s Super League game against Manchester City on Sunday has been swapped from the team’s Damson Park home to St George’s Park with two days’ notice.

A statement from the Football Association said 'The decision was taken by the League’s Executive Operations Committee (EOC) due to Birmingham’s current home ground at Solihull Moors FC not meeting requirements in the Rules and Regulations of the League'...

Birmingham have had to postpone four matches because the pitch at Damson Park was frozen or waterlogged and have played the fewest fixtures of any WSL team this season. They are ninth having played 11 games, four fewer than four teams, including the leaders, Chelsea. Tottenham and Aston Villa have played 12 each. The Guardian understands drainage problems at Damson Park are making it increasingly difficult for the pitch to be used by both Solihull and Birmingham".

26 February 2021


Altrincham FC held a "YouTube Premiere of a Questions & Answers session with members of the Altrincham Football Club Board" on Thursday evening.

The Zoom-type event on YouTube involved compere Brian Flynn, the club's joint press and media officer, relaying supporters' pre-submitted queries to co-chairmen Bill Waterson [BW} and Lawrence Looney [LL] as well as to Director of Football, Rob Esteva [RE].

Asked about the club's goal of operating a full-time team, RE explained that already the team was training on a Monday when they had a midweek game, unlike in previous seasons, as well as training every Thursday, and that next season was likely to see a further move towards a "hybrid" training model.

Above: Upper row, Bill Waterson, Rob Esteva; lower row, Brian Flynn and Lawrence Looney, as seen by viewers on Thursday night.

Other incremental changes this season have seen the Club use higher quality coaches for travel, stay at better hotels for away games and ensure there was always good pre- and post-match food for the players.

BW promised that the club would not go full-time "unless we can afford it". However, he added that the EFL was "the inevitable direction of travel" for the club.

Although not yet formalized, BW confirmed that there was already a second Five-Year Plan in operation at the club, not least because, as RE confirmed later, the club has already put in its application for eligibility to be promoted to the EFL. This process identified areas that the club would need to address in order to qualify for promotion and to stay in the EFL.

Discussing the split vote on completing the current season, BW said that Dover Athletic had already confirmed in writing that they would not be honouring their fixture at Altrincham next month.

BW has written to the National League asking them to clarify what will happen about such unplayed games, in terms of points. He explained that Alty themselves had looked at the relative costs of completing the season or stopping and they found there was relatively little difference.

He also noted that some NL clubs had changed their stance over completing this season compared with finishing the 2019-20 campaign.

Asked about the club's Academy, women's football and junior teams, LL confirmed that the Academy was continuing next season and that there were plans for a Women's Academy the season after next.

Right: The away end at the J. Davidson Stadium

LL also answered a question about the proceeds of the acquisition of 102,000 shares by two Canadian-based investors. LL revealed that this had produced a £165,000 cash injection of which £75,000 had gone towards the now virtually complete upgrading of the Sponsors' Lounge, a project very ably led by Neil Faulkner.

The remainder was being kept back towards the estimated £150,000+ required for the new pitch at the JDS.

As regards completing the season, RE does not expect teams who have furloughed their players to use youth teams to complete the season as that would dilute the integrity of the National League [NL]. BW had asked the NL to confirm that the EFL would accept promoted teams this season and had been told that discussions between the NL and EFL were ongoing about this.

RE explained that the club now has "an ambitious group of players" who, in the cases of such as Alistair Smith and Ryan Colclough, "want to get back to the EFL".

Asked about the Popular Side at Moss Lane, BW reiterated that the Fan Zone construction, off-site, was going ahead prior to clearance of the site of the existing Programme Shop.

LL also confirmed that, as well as the new toilets and catering facilities planned for the away end, EFL criteria would require a covered seating area at that end of the JDS.

The panel responded to criticism of the transfer of recent home games to the FCUM stadium, pointing out that the pitch at Moss Lane had been unplayable and that experts had advised that the surface "needed a rest" which would allow completion of the season at Moss Lane, from next week's Woking game onwards.

Protecting the pitch will also safeguard the contract with Manchester United to use the JDS. Pitch experts had confirmed that there was nothing that groundsman Neil Brown could have done to prevent the current situation.

It was confirmed that virtual meetings with the Board, such as this, would be repeated in the coming months.


On Saturday Altrincham face Bromley, a club with whom they have competed over just one season before the current campaign. That season was 2015-16 at the ened of which Alty were relegated, despite taking four points off the Kent club.

Back in 2015-16 Bromley were enjoying their first ever season in the top level of non-League football, having won the National League South title, but they have remained in the National League ever since. In their five seasons in the National League they have consistently finished in mid-table, no higher than ninth and no lower than 14th. To Altrincham fans, perhaps The Ravens' best known players are the following, all of whom have played against The Robins for other clubs:

  • Michael Cheek for Braintree in 2015/16
  • James Alabi for Chester FC in 2016
  • Chris Bush for AFC Wimbledon in 2010, Welling United in 2014/15 and Lincoln City in 2015/16
  • Luke Coulson for Eastleigh in 2015/16
  • Billy Bingham for Crewe Alexandra in 2015 and 2016 in pre-season friendlies.


Before tomorrow's clash, Altrincham's only previous visit to Hayes Lane came in a televised lunchtime game on Saturday, 14 November, 2015, with Alty winning 3-1 despite, at kick off Bromley lying sixth in the table whilst Alty were 19th.

Right: Damian Reeves is submerged beneath team-mates after opening the scoring at Bromley.

It was the first time that season that Altrincham scored three goals and, in doing so, the secured pnly their second away win of that season. The outcome had seemed unlikely when the pre-match teamsheet had revealed seven regulars who were absent from the starting eleven.

But a spirited performance, aided by some superb goalkeeping by Tim Deasy, saw Alty home.

Damian Reeves deftly headed them ahead in the 19th minute, from a Crowther cross from the left, before Bromley levelled in the 36th minute through Emmanuel despite, initially, Deasy seeming to have scooped the ball off the line.

Two goals in as many minutes after halftime sealed the outcome. First, O'Keefe scored with a low shot from the edge of the box before an error by Udoji let in Reeves for his second (52 mins).

Deasy produced several excellent blocks to keep out Bromley but Altrincham played out the closing stages fairly comfortably.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE,, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 20. Jordan SINNOTT Subs: 9. Michael RANKINE, 21. Joel SWIFT, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS, 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS.

Below, we see the Altrincham supporters who travelled to Bromley, endured a pre-dawn start and a post-sunset arrival home for a lunch-time kick off some 230 miles from home at Bromley. Here, those who can, take shelter from the persistent rain which lasted throughout the match. Some other supporters had already booked their transport for the original 3pm kick off, only to find the start had been switched by BT Sport and so they missed the match. In the foreground is Alty's Man of the Match, Tim Deasy.

An estimated 150 supporters watched the game on live television in the Community Sports Hall at the J. Davidson Stadium, well fed by Richie Bentley and his catering team.

ON THIS DAY: 26 February

Ten years ago today, Altrincham travelled to south London to face AFC Wimbledon in a Blue Square Bet Premier match. And they lost 4-1.

Right: Robbie Lawton and Marc Joseph in first-half action at Kingsmeadow on Saturday.

Chris Denham and Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury and Sam Wedgbury had completed his loan period, so Wes Baynes returned to the eleven and Greg Young came in at the back.

After more than matching the hosts for the opening half hour, Altrincham fell behind to what looked an offside goal in the 37th minute when Danny Kedwell scored. In the 45th minute Kedwell added a second after Alty had allowed Yussuf to advance unchallenged. At the interval, Twiss and Beesley came on for Reeves and Williams. But Kedwell completed his hat-trick on the hour mark when he made space well before beating Dootson. Four minutes later, Beesley went off injured and Danylyk came on.

Alty kept battling and Joseph headed home a Clee corner from the right to make it 3-1 (69 mins). But then Connors's foul earned him a second yellow and Alty were reduced to ten men (75 mins). Alty continued to battle and went close before a swift counter-attack allowed Broughton to score off the post to make it 4-1 (81 mins).

When Smith limped off in the closing stages, it left Alty to finish the game with nine men.

ALTRINCHAM: 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 22. Greg YOUNG, 2. James SMITH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 17. Wes BAYNES, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 11. Nicky CLEE, 8. Damian REEVES. Subs: 19. Mark BEESLEY, 1. Stuart COBURN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS.


Scott Prietsnall, chairman has written to supporters saying "I will take this opportunity to announce that David Mills, Chief Operating Officer, has left the club... I am pleased that David will remain as Chairman of Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust...

We have not received any funding since December and with our cash reserves now depleted, like many clubs, it became more of issue of survival rather than a desire to actually finish the season. My view has always been to continue to the season, we are a football club, this is our job and we’re lucky we’ve had the luxury of being able to continue... However, we could only continue if we had a responsible funding line in place to continue...

The club this season is forecasted [sic] to lose over £1m in revenue as a result of the pandemic and supporters not being allowed in stadiums. This is in comparison to the £285k received during October, November and December from Camelot in order to restart the season...

We are now in a position where we have been offered a loan from Sport England, via support from the DCMS, to complete the season. The club are currently exploring this offer with our legal team and hope to have a resolution in place by 1st March. I am confident at this stage that an agreement will be satisfactory to both sides, but I should say, as sad as it is, should we not be able to finalise the loan, the club will not be able to complete this season. Our players and staff would be placed on furlough.

I have deliberately kept myself out of the very public way The Glovers' Trust have dealt with myself since invoking the ACV... I believe this relationship has become very one sided where The Glover’s Trust demand answers and information from myself, yet offer the football club very little in return, especially when you consider the hard work and support other groups from the Supporters Alliance offer the club...

I will not be strong armed into giving a seat on the board, unless that person or organisation brought commercial benefit to the football club. I did, however, agree to consider one or two members of the Supporter’s Alliance joining the board, by way of a voice for supporters, which potentially could be one of Glover’s Trust members...

We do now need to make a decision and move our land project forward. While I have had many emails and messages of support, The Gloves' Trust stated they have received hundreds of letters against the proposed SSDC {South Somerset District Council] deal... I still await the letters... It’s disappointing that with all the good work that member groups of the Alliance do for our football club, that we have one group who rather than be part of the team and work together would rather breed negativity and attempt to create a divide between the club and its supporters.

I will not comment publicly again on The Glovers' Trust online activities to shame me and hope that as the spectacle it has become, is now concluded so I can focus my intentions on safeguarding the clubs financial future...

I may not be someone who lives or was raised in the area, I may not be the wealthiest football club owner, even at this level, but I believe I can make a difference to this club, I believe I already have, not only steering this club through the most difficult time in our economy since World War 2, and we still have a long way to go, but we have improved links to the community, given supporters a voice and put a team together on and off the pitch to make Yeovil Town Football Club competitive again.

I may not have been born a Yeovil Fan, I haven’t done all the highs and lows you’ve encountered over the years, I haven’t had the issue of where and when you can get a beer on match days, but I am a supporter now and I am working on solutions and improvements all the time to make this club better and that includes listening to you. We changed the shirt, we’ve been dealing with the alcohol covenant, we improved the streaming, we built a new online shop. Trust me, I listen to your criticisms and I want to improve your experiences".

According to the BBC "Wrexham manager Dean Keates will run the rule over a number of trialists over the coming weeks.

Unlike their fellow National League rivals, Wrexham as a Welsh club cannot sign players outside the transfer window. Keates's only option to strengthen the squad would be signing free agents.

'We've got one or two to come just to have a look at and see how they are,' Keates told BBC Sport Wales... 'I've had numerous players put to me regarding what's happened with the National North and National South. But we can't sign any players because our registration process is under the Welsh FA. We can't do any business with any player on loan or if their contract was terminated after the last transfer window closed'...

Wrexham have a shortlist of three for the chief executive's role at the Racecourse. Executive director Humphrey Ker is heading the recruitment process with former Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore and ex-EFL chief Shaun Harvey acting as advisors".

Meanwhile, the Leader Live reports that "Dean Keates has revealed Shaun Pearson is facing an extended spell on the sidelines due to the Wrexham skipper's on-going foot injury.

Pearson missed the start of the season after undergoing surgery but he returned to play in the final three games of 2020. However the 31 year-old centre-back... is still having problems...

'It is still a big concern,' said Keates. 'Shaun is seeing a specialist again... We have gone down the orthotics route just to offset the weight etc and it is settling down... The niggle he has got in there just flares back up so all being well we can get a bit more clarity off the specialist.'

There was good news regarding another centre-back, Theo Vassell, who has recovered from an ankle injury that has kept him out of Wrexham's last seven games...

Keates will continue to assess Rob Lainton, also absent for the last seven matches, before deciding when the Reds' first choice goalkeeper will be available for selection.

'From the save he made against Chesterfield, he landed on his backside,' said Keates. 'It settled down, he tried to do a bit and it swelled straight back up. He had a pocket of fluid in there, we managed to get it drained... A little bit of fluid came back up so we will see if there is any reaction.'"

Woking Football Club "does NOT support the new development scheme proposed by Wayne Gold of GolDev.

The alternative planning application on/adjacent to Woking Football Club does not include a new stand which will be built out or equipped to EFL standard like we require, it has not been agreed by nor discussed with the Board of the football club. The new development proposed on site 1 also does not take into account any requirements for safety access to the stand.

The proposal on site 1 would hem the club in and prohibit any improvements to the club on the west side of the ground. What is required is a fully-funded West Stand with associated facilities, which this development does not provide.

Site 2, which involves a new development on properties behind the KRE, is accessed by the Kingfield Road entrance to the ground, and indicates the loss of the gravel parking which is required by the club. Again, there has been no discussion with the club and no indication of the level of traffic movements up a narrow access lane.

With no consultation with the largest stakeholder as to the two new developments, the Board feels that we have to oppose these developments with the extremely negative impact that they will have on Woking Football Club".

Halifax Courier, "FC Halifax Town’s assistant manager Chris Millington says there is more to come from Town in the second-half of the season...

'We’ve not done enough to be higher and I think it would be unfair, when you go through the performances, if we were lower than that,' he said... 'If we fulfill our potential this season we can be up and around the play-offs spots, I genuinely believe that...

'There’s one area that we need to become more consistent over... that’s around our defensive structure and being hard to beat... If that can become part of our identity that’s present in every game, then I think we can really threaten the play-off places and have a really strong finish to the season...

'I’ve not seen a team in the league that’s better than us yet. I think there’s teams that are as good in different ways, I think there’s teams that are as good in possession in different ways, I think there are teams that are as good defensively in different ways. But I think when we play to our full potential we’re as good, if not better, than the vast majority of teams in the division'...

Injuries have proved disruptive for Town this season, with captain Nathan Clarke and influential midfielder Luke Summerfield both having lengthy time on the sidelines, and intended first choice front two Jake Hyde and Matty Stenson both being injured twice, and in Stenson’s case, putting him out for the season...

'I don’t think there’s a better team in the division than us when we’re at it, when we really pull it all together'".

25 February 2020


The Vanarama National League has announced that "Three more Vanarama National League matches have been chosen for broadcast [by BT Sport]...

The month closes with a clash between two of the season’s surprise packages coming toe-to-toe.

After recently celebrating a 150th anniversary as the stadium of Maidenhead United, York Road welcomes the high-flying Robins of Altrincham to Berkshire. Kick-off will be at the slightly later time of 18.15 for this intriguing battle.

Live BT Sport match selections (kick-off time):

  • Saturday March 6- Sutton United vs Wrexham (17:20) BT Sport 1
  • Saturday March 13- Boreham Wood vs Torquay United (17:20) BT Sport 1
  • Saturday March 27- Maidenhead United vs Altrincham (18:15) BT Sport 2


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger press and media officer, John Edwards, writes that "Phil Parkinson admitted he was at a low ebb after seeing Altrincham match in-form promotion favourites Chesterfield stride for stride only to end up empty-handed for a fourth successive time after a late penalty miss condemned them to a 1-0 defeat.

Trailing to a 50th-minute goal, Alty kept plugging away and were handed a potential lifeline in the 74th minute when Yusifu Ceesay latched on to a through ball from Matty Kosylo and was sent sprawling as keeper Grant Smith dived at his feet. But Smith made amends by springing to his right and saving the resulting penalty by recent signing Joe Piggott...

'It’s just so hard to take, and I feel really down after that,' admitted Alty boss Parkinson. 'I’m normally really positive and upbeat, but I feel like a broken record saying great performance but we’ve lost. Yet again, it’s not like we’ve been beaten by a team miles ahead of us. We’ve given everything, as we knew we would have to, but we haven’t got our rewards, and it is difficult to go in front of that group of players. They are looking to you for answers, but what are you supposed to say to them?

'We are devastated in the changing room, all of us. Everyone is flat, because we haven’t come here and been thumped, we have come here and missed a penalty and not left with at least a draw, which was the minimum we deserved. Missing the penalty was an absolute kick in the teeth, though someone had to be brave enough to take it.

'This league is brutal for punishing you if you don’t capitalise on your best moments. It’s filled with teams, mostly full time, who are very fit and well organised, and then you get a colossus like this one and one or two others. We shouldn’t be coming here and getting near them, but we are. We are very close to them. Anyone watching that game can see how close we are'...

'I thought James [Hardy] looked really bright and did some good things when he went on in the second half,' said Parkinson.'He is a player I tried to bring in last summer... He showed a tremendous appetite for the game in wanting to join us. He cancelled his contract and is taking a huge pay cut to continue playing football, which, quite apart from his undoubted ability, really appealed to me'".


Chesterfield report that "Following the Spireites’ narrow 1-0 win over Altrincham at the Technique Stadium, James Rowe praised his side’s performance in ‘tough conditions’.

He said 'We weren’t at the levels we wanted to be in the first half with the strong wind. The second half we came out knowing we were lacking the energy that we needed. To grind out a one-nil is what this level is about sometimes. It took masses and masses of amount of character to win that game against a team that has obviously been pushing.

'They’ve been in the play-offs for a long period, since Christmas. Sometimes in conditions like that one goal will do it. And I thought it was a good goal as well... We are climbing slowly and shifting in the right direction. But what is the point in getting the play-offs if you can’t get promoted? It’s about promotion, not play-offs.'

Goalkeeper Grant Smith kept a second successive clean sheet and capped off yet another impressive performance with a fantastic penalty save.

Rowe was pleased to see another shut-out, saying...'We are not conceding many. It’s never been a penalty. Their manager said it wasn’t a penalty. It was a great save from the penalty though.'

Rowe made three changes from the win over Notts County at the weekend and... against Stockport County, 'We’ll need to use three [substitutes] on Saturday depending on how the game goes of course, but we need to use the squad as much as possible. I know I haven’t rotated it too much with only three coming into the starting line-up but expect the same on Saturday.'"


Altrincham face a second successive away game this Saturday as they travel to Bromley where manager Neil Smith interview gave a video interview after his club's midweek draw with Maidenhead United.


Barnet "have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of striker Tomi Adeloye on a short-term deal.

Adeloye has played for a variety of Clubs and has experience at National League level, featuring for the likes of Dagenham and Redbridge, Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United.

The 25 year-old striker has most recently been playing his football up in Scotland for East Kilbride but makes the move South of the border to return to National League Football.

The 6"2 striker started his career as a youth product at Charlton Athletic, before making a move to fellow South Londoners Millwall. A spell at Stoke City followed, where he featured in the Premier League 2..

Since then Adeloye has spent the vast majority of his career at non-league level, finding the net at National League North/South level for the likes of FC United of Manchester, Whitehawk, St Albans City and Altrincham*. He then made the step up to National League level playing for Hartlepool United, Dagenham and Redbridge and finally Ebbsfleet United in the 19/20 campaign, where he netted on three occasions in a disrupted season. I

Manager Tim Flowers said 'Tomi is a player who has been on my radar for a little while now, I was set to sign him up at Macclesfield and he scored in a couple of friendlies up there, so I know he is a good kid. He has a good footballing CV and knows this level really well, so he won't take too much time to adapt. He offers us a bit more selection upfront and adds some more competition for places at the top end of the pitch'".

*Footnote: Oluwatomisin ("Tomi") Adeloye [right] signed for Altrincham on 12 January 2017 but did not score for the club. Although born in Sidcup, Kent, he was on the books of Stoke City as a youth player but, before moving to the Potteries team, he had been with London clubs Charlton Athletic and then, from December 2013, Millwall.

He joined Stoke City in summer 2014 and, Whilst there, Tomi had a loan spell with Macclesfield Town, returning to Stoke in February 2015 after making one appearance in the CSC in which he scored twice. Next, he moved to Chelmsford City in September, 2015, following his release by Stoke. He spent almost four months with Dover Athletic from November, 2015 before joining Welling United in February 2016.

He then played for Leatherhead at the start of 2016-17 before he went training with Chester FC. Tomi made a promising debut at home to Gainsborough on 14 January 2017 but was released on 2 February 2017, after three more appearances from the bench. Altrincham appearances: 1(+3) 0 goals.

ON THIS DAY: 25 February

Altrincham's most recent match on today's date was on 25 February 2017 when Alty beat Worcester City 2-0 in a Vanarama National League North match.

At the sixteenth attempt that season, Altrincham secured a home league win, despite having seven first-teamers out injured as Jake Moult and Gary Jones joined Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan and Andy Owens on the sidelines. Former City player Micah Evans faced his former club as did Simon Richman, another former Worcester player.

Right: Alty celebrate the opening goal.

The outcome of the match was determined by a quick-fire start as Alty went a goal up inside ten seconds and scored again as the clock ticked into the thirteenth minute.

The opener was laid on by Altrincham's former Worcester striker Micah Evans, whose low cross was steered home by loaneeElliott Newby. The second goal arrived from a Sam Heathcote freekick from which Jon Cyrus forced a defensive error and David Lynch volleyed home from close range.

Worcester offered little in the first half but after the break, during which they made a double substitution, they were much improved for the opening fifteen minutes or so. But, with the Alty backline playing well, the visitors could not get back into the game before the hosts improved and saw the game out fairly comfortably.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Kyle BROWNHILL, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. John CYRUS 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Micah EVANS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Sam PATTERSON, 14. Damian REEVES, 15. Alan GOODALL, 16. Andy McWILLIAMS, 17. Andrew JONES


From the Maidenhead Advertiser we learn that "Maidenhead United chairman Peter Griffin says those who refuse to carry on playing should be sanctioned by the division’s governing bodies...

Maidenhead United were one of 13 clubs who voted to carry on playing matches behind closed doors and CEO Jon Adams confirmed last week they were in the process of applying for financial support from Sport England’s long-term, low interest loan scheme in order to do that.

Seven clubs did vote to terminate the season, however, and it remains to be seen whether they will now fall in line with the rest of the division and complete the campaign or take steps that could threaten the integrity of the competition...

'We voted to continue the season because, having taken the grant money before Christmas which helped us through that period, we owe it to the league to carry on,' said Griffin... 'Of course, we would have preferred grants to take us right the way through but the loan is long term and it’s low interest...

'It’s probably no surprise the clubs nearer the bottom were asking for it to finish... Clubs will vote for what’s in their best interest but there are a lot of clubs who have voted for this season to finish but voted for last season’s to continue with the play offs.

'Slough Town and Havant and Waterlooville, for example, are clubs who had one view last year and a different view this year. This is why the league has had to determine the outcome on a majority vote. It’s the right way to do it. It’s disappointing that one or two clubs are saying they are not going to continue, and I personally think sanctions should be taken against them as appropriate'.

Maidenhead’s next two fixtures, both against bottom club Dover Athletic, are now unlikely to go ahead on Saturday and Tuesday with the Whites currently refusing to fulfil their fixtures...

'Dover have already said they’re going to stop playing and not carry on this year', said Griffin. 'However, the league is a democracy and for all of the criticisms it has received, and how the board have handled things lately, the season was put to a vote and you’ve got to go with the majority.

'For them to not like how the vote has turned out and say "No, that’s it, we’re not continuing", having already received quite substantial grant money, is wrong and I believe they should be punished. I understand they have had huge financial problems in the last couple of years before the pandemic and that’s why they’re not playing. But the pandemic is hard for everyone.

'They’ve overspent for years and I guess this year has come back to bite them. I have sympathy, but it's very limited', added Griffin!.

At bottom of the table Barnet, Tim Flowers, "the gaffer, was left furious with his side's performance in an abject display at Kings Lynn Town, as we fell to a 5-1 defeat at the Walks Stadium.

After going in at the break 2-1 down, the Bees simply folded and conceded a further three goals to inflict a painful defeat at the hands of the Linnets.

Tim said, 'That was like watching children play, it’s nuts and bolts defending re-starts. I can’t keep putting things on in training anymore and coach these simple re-starts. We’re in the game at 2-1 and concede a goal like that. It is pathetic.

'They could’ve scored more than that, make no mistake. The fourth goal we concede a free kick and we’re too busy complaining and moaning. They go 3 v 3 and score. It’s absolutely pathetic.

'The bottom line is, when you look in the mirror, you know deep down whether you’ve been good enough and no one can say that they’ve been good enough tonight. You can try and kid a kidder but you can’t hide from yourself. We didn’t show enough pride and just folded. They need to take a long look at themselves this evening and be brutally honest with themselves and look inside themselves and ask whether they gave it everything. They will all know the answer.

'You can coach things until you are blue in the face, you have to show pride, you have to show desire and you have to fight win football matches. You cannot fold in the way that we did and concede the goals in that manner, it is absolutely pathetic.

'Four of the five goals come down our left side, it is bog standard goals we are conceding, we are not getting popped around off the pitch, it is crosses into the box and balls in our area'".

In contrast, King's Lynn Town "gave their best performance of the season, hitting five goals, as they claimed their first National League double of the season beating Barnet at The Walks.

Ian Culverhouse again made changes to his line-up as he changed the formation from last week's narrow defeat to Notts County. Adam Marriott, Michael Gash, Michael Clunan and Alex Kiwomya all returned to the starting XI.

It was Barnet who started the brighter... but it was Lynn who took the lead on 8 minutes; a Ross Barrows pass... finding Gash who made no mistake.>.. They did extend the lead on 20 minutes. Another Barrow's pass found Kiwomya on the right and his cross was headed home by Gash.

Barnet pulled a goal back on 28 minutes, arguably against the run of play, when the Linnets defence didn’t deal with a long goal kick and JJ Hooper was the quickest to react...

Lynn made a change at half-time with Chris Smith replacing Kyle Callan-McFadden... Lynn was [sic] forced into another change on 60 minutes with Ryan Jarvis replacing McAuley... The changes didn’t effect Lynn as they scored their third on 63 minutes, Marriott teeing up King to place the ball low past Loach...

Lynn’s final change saw Dayle Southwell replaced Kiwomya on 72 minutes, and it was Southwell who put Lynn further in front on 89 minutes... Within a minute Lynn had their fifth, Marriott getting the ball just inside the penalty area and from a tight angle finishing well past Loach".

The Bucks Free Press reports that "Wycombe Wanderers have confirmed that defender Giles Phillips has returned to Aldershot Town on a month’s loan.

The 23 year-old, who has yet to play for the Chairboys this season, spent two months at the National League side this campaign between November and January, where he played 10 games... The deal was confirmed on February 23, with Phillips making his second debut for the Shots on the same day, as he played the whole 90 minutes in their 4-2 away in at Maidenhead.

The American spent the 2019/20 season at Wanderers on loan from QPR, where he played 16 matches for the club, getting sent off on two occasions. He later joined Gareth Ainsworth’s side on a permanent contract last summer, but has not played any first-team games for Wanderers so far this campaign".

The Derbyshire News reports that "Torquay United boss Gary Johnson said he is ‘pleased’ to have signed Spireites' striker Scott Boden on loan.

The 31 year-old will stay at the Gulls until the end of the season. The forward made his debut against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.

Boden was one of the players put on furlough by Town.

Johnson said 'Scott has scored a lot of goals at National League level, and in the Football League as well. He’s a very experienced goalscorer, which we’ve obviously been looking for, so I’m very pleased to bring him to our club.'

Town [Chesterfield] boss James Rowe said, 'I said that if there was any football available for the players that are on furlough I would never stand in their way, I want the best for everyone. The wellbeing of people is important and if an opportunity like Torquay, or another club, comes along then I won’t stand in anyone’s way to play for football.'”

From the Eastleigh News comes news that "Eastleigh dropped two points in their bid for promotion as they were held to a goalless draw at Wealdstone.

Tyrone Barnett was the first to threaten after two minutes as Eastleigh started strongly but his volley from a corner was just over the bar...

Eastleigh keeper Joe McDonnell saved with his outstretched foot to deny Danny Green, after an effort from inside the area following a fine solo run and as half-time approached Connor Smith forced another save out of the keeper.

Smart had another effort saved after the break and Harry Isted denied Dan Smith late on as the home side coped well with Eastleigh pressure to hold on for a draw.".

Still in the South West, Yeovil Town manager "Darren Sarll was left delighted that his side were the winners of the second consecutive derby between Yeovil Town and Weymouth since 1999.

A hat-trick from Rhys Murphy... sealed an emphatic win over the Glovers’ archrivals at Huish Park.

Speaking to BBC Somerset post-match, Sarll said... 'I thought the players had great attitude, and full credit to Rhys [Murphy] who got his deserved hat-trick.... We could have scored a lot more and could have been four up at half-time. I thought we were brilliant during first 15-20 minutes in particular and I think we had a spell where we regained our composure in the second half.

'We’re going to have moments like that as we’re a very young squad... We played some incredible one and two touch football, were very clever in our play, showed some great energy and now we’ve just got to try and stretch those periods out.

'There was a lot of frustration in the changing room after the game actually as we didn’t score and dominate the game more.. I always back my side after 60 minutes as I think, if we’re still in the game after that period, then we can go on to do something in the game as we know of the quality that we’ve got... especially Adam Smith...

'Tonight we played for the whole town not the football club... I love winning derby games'".

At the other end of the country, the Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United lost ground in their battle for promotion following a 0-0 draw at Wrexham on Tuesday night...

Dave Challinor made two changes from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Yeovil Town for the trip to the Racecourse Ground. As expected, Jamie Sterry returned at right-back in place of captain Ryan Donaldson with Gary Liddle handed the armband for the evening. Meanwhile, Joe Grey was a surprise starter of sorts following two impressive displays off the bench in the past week.

The 17-year-old scored his first league goal at Eastleigh last Tuesday and brilliantly assisted the winner at The Vic on Saturday afternoon. He was handed only his second National League start as he came in for Rhys Oates up front. Explaining the change, Challinor pointed to Oates’s performance data in recent matches being slightly below the high standards that he had set previously...

Oates's’ introduction for Grey after the hour mark helped give Pools more structure and focus in the final third...

Before the game, Hartlepool’s strength in depth was clearly highlighted as Nicky Featherstone, Luke Molyneux, Luke Williams and Henrich Ravas warmed up despite not being involved in the matchday squad... Those are four players who, when fit, would get in the starting line-up of most National League and even some League Two sides at the moment.

The fact that Pools are in a position to leave them out entirely and still field a strong line-up and bench speaks volumes with Challinor admitting the squad at the moment is the strongest it has been since he arrived at the club 15 months ago...

Pools’ best chance of the game came 56-minutes in as in-form striker Luke Armstrong broke free of the Wrexham defence and charged toward goal. With eight goals in 11 matches for Pools so far, there was no player you’d rather have with a one on one opportunity but this one was frustratingly squandered by the Salford City loanee...

Pools’ frustrations reached boiling point after 77-minutes as Oates was fouled right on the edge of the penalty area by Wrexham’s Luke Young... and there was an expectation that the referee would point to the spot.

But when Jacob Miles awarded a free-kick to Pools, there was a brief stunned silence followed by outrage from the Hartlepool bench...

A positive performance aside, it’s now one win in eight away from home for Hartlepool. As good as their home form is, things need to improve away from Victoria Park...

Pools didn’t really deserve to win on Saturday against Yeovil but they found a way; they put in an improved performance at Wrexham and should have won but came away with a frustrating draw".

24 February 2021


For Altrincham, Mullarkey replaced Sutton whilst Colclough (injured) and Hampson (suspended) dropped out of the squad. Peers started as did Andy White, whilst new signing Hardy was named on the bench.

In difficult, windy conditions, the first-half was goalless but Altrincham had more than held their own, despite the hosts starting with plenty of possession. Indeed, Altrincham had the better chances, twice through Ceesay on the left and then when Kosylo was put clear but was halted by a fine recovery tackle from Maguire.

But for the second time in a week Alty started the second half poorly, failing to play the ball out from the back and, just as on Saturday, they conceded a goal in the 48th minute. Maguire advanced and found Whittle whose cross from the right was nodded home by Asante.

Chesterfield showed little threat of adding to their goal in a dismal second half before Alty were awarded a debatable penalty when Ceesay went down under the keeper's dive at his feet. But Joe Piggott's 76th minute penalty was saved by Grant Smith and Alty slipped to a fourth successive loss, the worst run under Phil Parkinson's tenure.

Altrincham dropped to tenth in the National League, thirteenth on PPG.

Match report here.


AFter the game, Chesterfield reported that "Akwasi Asante’s eighth goal for the club gave the Spireites a hard-earned 1-0 victory against Altrincham at the Technique Stadium...

Chesterfield started brightly...

The visitors soon responded with chances of their own. Yusifu Ceesay managed to turn past Will Evans in the box and his shot was well-saved by Grant Smith.

Altrincham’s number 11 found a way into the penalty area again in the 15th minute. His low strike was once again thwarted by the feet of Smith...

The Spireites almost got their noses in front ten minutes later. George Carline latched onto McCourt’s low cross, but his effort went agonisingly wide.

Chances were few and far between for the rest of the first period and the away side ended the half as the better side.

The Blues came out swinging in the opening exchanges of the second half and took the lead in the 49th minute. Maguire ventured forward and whipped in a cross for Asante to prod home from close range.

Despite the goal, the visitors continued to threaten in attack. Matty Kosylo looked to twist and turn before shooting at goal... With 15 minutes left, Ceesay won his side a penalty. He rounded and then taken down by Smith; the keeper redeemed himself soon after, palming Joe Piggott’s spot kick away.

Smith was yet again the saviour when Toby Mullarkey rose highest to nod on from a free-kick. The shot-stopper managed extremely well to hold the ball".


Tuesday 23 February 2021
  • Boreham Wood v Bromley
  • Chesterfield 1-0 Altrincham
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 1-2 Sutton United
  • King's Lynn Town 5-1 Barnet
  • Maidenhead United 2-4 Aldershot Town
  • Solihull Moors 1-2 Torquay United
  • Stockport County 0-0 Notts County
  • Wealdstone 0-0 Eastleigh
  • Woking P-P Dover Athletic [Dover furloughed players]
  • Wrexham 0-0 Hartlepool United
  • Yeovil Town 3-1 Weymouth


On Tuesday, Altrincham FC announced that "Tonight's scheduled Questions & Answers Session with the Board will now take place on Thursday February 25th at 8pm".


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to Bromley, in Greater London. Just as Altrincham, now administratively in Greater Manchester, considers itself part of Cheshire and retains that county in its postal address, Bromley is a town which historically has been part of Kent.

Saturday will be only the second time that the two clubs have met at Hayes Lane. The previous encounter constituted the hosts' first-ever live televised game but Alty emerged the 3-1 winners.

This season, Bromley exacted revenge, winning 1-0 at the JDS in November, having drawn there 0-0 in 2015-16 season.

Bromley are offering a streaming service, as they announce that "Matchday Live is back on Saturday 27th February 2021 to bring you full coverage of Bromley vs Altrincham in The Vanarama National League! Kick-off is at 3pm, our pre-match show starts at 2:30pm".

ON THIS DAY: 24 February

In the past eighteen years Altrincham have only played twice on today's date, 24 February. And by chance on both occasions the opponents were Ashton United.

The more recent of those two encounters came in 2018 when Altrincham travelled to Hurst Cross in Tameside and led until the 89th minute before drawing 3-3 as both teams headed towards promotion from the EvoStik Premier League.

The sides had already played each other twice that season, with goals aplenty. In the Integro Cup, Alty had won a penalty shoot out after a 3-3 draw, whilst in the league, Alty had let a 3-0 lead slip to end up only narrow 3-2 victors.

It was three defensive lapses that cost Altrincham two points. By the end of this match, in 2018, they had now conceded 11 goals in seven league matches having only conceded ten in their previous 19 league games (and five of those ten were in one game at Workington, where they were reduced to ten men).

At Hurst Cross, Altrincham started the game well, on a bobbly pitch, but did not get the breakthrough till the 32nd minute when Johnston converted a penalty after a foul on Poole. But they fell asleep from the restart and Pritchard equalised a minute later.

Above: John Johnston, far right, converted the penalty which opened the scoring.

After a lacklustre start to the second half, two goals in a five-minute spell around the hour mark seemed to have secured an away victory. A superb counter-attack was finished off by Johnston to make it 2-1 then a Jones header span into the net to make it 3-1 (62 mins).

But, five minutes later, a foul by Moult gave Ashton a freekick from the front edge of the box which Pritchard curled home and in the 89th minute Hampson failed to make a clearance. Posssession was lost, Ashton struck the bar and Chadwick, later to become an Altrincham player, nodded in the loose ball.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Andy WHITE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 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. Mason WALSH, 16. Tom HANNIGAN, 17. Josh AMIS


The SOlihull Moors chairman, Darryl Eales, writes that "We now have five home games in hand! Based on our impressive results at home this season, we should be optimistic that we can pick up a healthy points haul and move into the play-off positions...

For me, the root fault [in the current situation] remains with the government in moving its position and withdrawing its support for the continuation of grant funding whilst the National League is ‘behind closed doors’... Clubs are now in the worst of all worlds and I still hope the government will reverse its position...

Dover have already indicated that they will not complete the season without further financial support, and it is likely other clubs will follow. Whilst I have sympathy for this position, I do not think any club can unilaterally decide not to fulfil fixtures and, accordingly, I think there have to be proportionate penalties for such clubs. Otherwise, they are gaining a financial advantage in a season where there is no longer relegation, and they are also negatively impacting the integrity of the competition for the remaining clubs...

Our plan is now to accelerate the expansion of our charitable activities, through the Solihull Moors Foundation, both from the stadium and within the local community and schools. We are launching an ambitious and exciting plan to raise £1m by June to build a new community and education hub at the ground".

Another chairman has also expressed his views, as Wealdstone's Rory Fitzgerald provides an update.

The club has now gone almost 2 months without any meaningful revenue whilst continuing to incur a full level of operating costs and we have applied to the DCMS for funding; however, unless this is in the form of a grant, the club is facing some extremely difficult decisions to protect our financial viability.

We firmly believe that companies should only take loans either to fund working capital or because the loan is part of a pathway to future profitability. Taking a loan to cover operating costs without the reasonable expectation of future profits to make repayments is not considered an appropriate course of action by the Board, and is arguably reckless.

The club appears to have 3 main options regarding the remainder of the season.

  • 1. Continue the season with the current playing squad, funded by incurring substantial loans which will have a highly damaging impact on the financial position of the club.
  • 2. Explore furloughing the entire first team squad and field a team made up of players available at little or no cost to the club. Under this scenario, we will continue to incur costs relating to training, pitch maintenance, away travel, hosting matches etc. however our overall cost base will be reduced
  • 3. Seek permission from the National League not to fulfil our remaining fixtures on the basis of protecting the future of one of its member clubs. To even consider this we would require clear guidance from the National League as to any consequences of this approach.

We understand that a number of other clubs are contemplating options 2 & 3. However, as a proud club and founder member of the National League in its original guise of the Alliance Premier League, options 2 and 3 are hugely unpalatable to us. However unlike option 1, they do not risk the future of the club in its current form. Options 2 and 3 also clearly impact the sporting integrity of non-league football's top tier, especially if this approach is taken by a number of clubs.

Regrettably we have already had to furloughed a small number of players simply because we cannot continue to maintain a full playing squad with little or no income. The consequence of operating without what we consider to be an appropriate squad size means that the use of rotation to protect our players becomes much harder and puts our players at risk of injury and fatigue.

Decision making in the current environment is incredibly difficult, and at times, feels almost impossible given the lack of clarity and the changing landscape... We are awaiting clarification as to what impact the decision to null and void the National League North and South divisions will have in relation to relegation from the top division.

Also, we unfortunately haven’t heard back from the National League in relation to a request for a delay to the ground grading deadline given the financial landscape and the impact of lockdown on the availability of materials and contractors and therefore we have commenced the required works which will run into many tens of thousands of pounds.

At the start of the season the ground capacity was at 3982 awaiting confirmation from the local council. Following the first informal grading inspection by the league our capacity was reduced to 3855. This was because we had to introduce yellow hatched areas where no standing is allowed. This has led us to commission a new covered stand with a capacity of 200. This will raise our ground capacity to over the required 4,000 to remain in the league.

As a club we want to maintain our status as a National League club as well as the integrity of the league and our reputation as a senior non-league club. However, achieving all of the above is currently totally incompatible with ensuring the club’s financial stability... Hopefully we will receive an update from both the National League and the DCMS imminently to help ensure we take the best decisions for the club, our supporters and the league as a whole".

The Halifax Courier reports that FC Halifax Town "boss Pete Wild says he is hoping to get the green light to add to his squad this week.

Wild had previously said he would not bring in any new players while the future of the season was undecided...

'I’m waiting for the club to decide if we can, if that’s feasible and viable,' he said. 'I’m down to the last 15 (fit) boys now which isn’t great. But I’ll be led by the club and, hopefully by the end of the week, I’ll know whether we can recruit. In Utopia, I’d like to recruit a last couple for the end of the season, just to keep us going.

'In the original budget, I’d budgeted for bringing in a couple for a last push but I have to appreciate that we’re not going to get any more money in and finances are very tight as a club. They were before but even more so now we know what’s going on'...

Wild says attacker Jack Dunn is still training with the club... Some National League clubs have started to sign National League North and South players on loan after their leagues called a halt to their season.

'It’s an option,' said Wild on Town doing the same. 'My phone’s been like the Bat Phone since Thursday with offers of players'".

Kent Online tells us that "Dover Athletic made a loss of £133,361 last season according to their latest accounts.

Whites have stopped playing National League games this season as chairman Jim Parmenter says they have run out of money. Their accounts for the period up to May 31, 2020, have been filed with Companies' House and include the period at the end of last season when the National League season was curtailed for Dover in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the year, just over £730,000 was raised through ordinary shares being issued.

Dover benefited from government grants due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company received £127,803 in the year via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. They also received an additional £25,000 through a Small Business Grant Fund.

Dover's players and staff have been placed on furlough this month as the club said they cannot afford to continue to play matches...

Mr Parmenter [chairman] stated he spent over £500,000 to keep them going last season and has been shelling out around £25,000 a week for the last two months to avoid getting the club into debt".

Before Tuesday's game, Devon Live reported that "Determined Torquay United head for Solihull Moors after a 'weak' display in Halifax defeat

'We were just weak mentally, especially when we went 2-1 up. It’s a shame because that’s when you should be strong"

Having been 11 points clear before Christmas, the Gulls have won just one game since the turn of the year and lost their third in 2021 when they were beaten 3-2 by FC Halifax Town... on Saturday...

With Sutton at Dagenham & Redbridge tonight, it is imperative that Torquay don’t give them another three points with a fourth defeat of the year and leave them with a chance of going top next weekend when the Gulls are in FA Trophy action at Woking.

Gary Johnson didn’t think the Gulls had played too badly against Halifax but has asked his players to step up after the game, saying 'The boys need to bring out their game and bring out their manliness.

'I felt we competed, but we were just weak mentally, especially when we went 2-1 up... You need to dictate the game and we didn’t.'

This dip in form is worrying... Injury problems haven’t helped with Kyle Cameron the latest player to limp from the pitch this season... Goals are proving hard to come by too since the loss of experienced striker Danny Wright to a hamstring injury in December".

23 February 2021


Altrincham are away to Chesterfield tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm) and the Spireites are offering a live stream of the match here.

Before tonight's match against Altrincham, Chesterfield reminded us that "James Rowe’s side are the most in-form team in the league when it comes to the last ten game with 21 points from a possible 30.

Altrincham are coming off the back of three straight losses, suffering defeats against Wrexham, Yeovil and Boreham Wood.

Tom Whelan will serve the second match of a three-match suspension so will miss out. James Rowe mentioned on Saturday that there are no injuries coming out of the Notts County game.

Player Gavin Gunning said “We are at home and we have got to go and take the game to them, put the pressure on top of them and hopefully take the three points.

'That’s the simple fact about being at home. You can’t get ahead of yourselves; we are still a good way off the play-offs.'”

The Derbyshire Times adds that "Alex Whittle could return to the starting line-up tonight against Altrincham... The 27-year-old full-back did not feature at Meadow Lane [on Saturday] because of a slight knock... Joel Taylor started in his place, his first game since early January after testing positive for Covid-19.

Before the weekend manager Rowe said that striker Nathan Tyson was ‘really close’ to returning.

Altrincham will be without midfielder Conor Hampson after he was sent off against Boreham Wood on Saturday. The visitors could also be without winger Ryan Colclough who was forced off injured after five minutes at the weekend.

However, Phil Parkinson has bolstered his squad with the signing of winger James Hardy from AFC Telford United and he is available to play tonight".


Altrincham FC have announced that "Phil Parkinson has significantly increased his attacking options after completing the exciting... acquisition of James Hardy from AFC Telford United.

Telford announced on Saturday that they had reached an agreement with James to terminate his contract and he was ‘free to sign for a National League club next week.’

Altrincham are delighted to reveal we are the club in question and that the talented forward has signed at The J.Davidson Stadium and is available for [the] league game at Chesterfield".

Assuming he is in the squad tonight, he will be the 34th player named in an Altrincham league squad this season. James played against Altrincham in their 6-0 drubbing by AFC Fylde in August 2016.

Above: James Hardy (no.7) takes to the field for AFC Fylde against Alty at Moss Lane in 2016.

James was born in Stockport on 11 May 1996 and as a youngster he was with Oldham Athletic for six years before signing for Manchester City in 2012.

He moved on to play for AFC Fylde in October 2015 but, after helping them gain promotion from the National League North, he was badly affected by injury for two seasons. A loan period at FC Halifax Town followed in February 2019, before he left Fylde, having made almost 100 appearances for The Coasters.

Next, he was signed by EFL club Walsall in June 2019 but, after eleven appearances, he was released at the end of 2019-20 season, whereupon he joined AFC Telford United for 2020-21.

He is an England C international and was their Player of the Year in May 2019.


The Spireites will present much different opposition tonight from that presented in the reverse fixture which Alty won 3-2. Of the Derbyshire side's sixteen-man squad in that game, only five of the same men played for Chesterfield against Notts County on Saturday, although another was an unused substitute.

An insight into the training regime at Chesterfield comes from the Derbyshire Times, which tells us that "Gavin Gunning says the ‘lure’ of linking up with manager James Rowe played a big part in his move to Chesterfield.

The 30 year-old, who scored his first goal for the club in the win against Notts County on Saturday, played under Rowe at Gloucester City this season before making the move to the Technique Stadium.

Nicknamed ‘Mad Gav’ for his big personality, the versatile Dubliner believes the Spireites boss has a bright future ahead of him... Gunning told the DT 'Don’t get me wrong it is a massive club but the lure of working with the gaffer again was a massive thing... He is only going one way in the game that is for sure and that is definitely up through the leagues'...

Gunning says the demands that Rowe puts on his players is a big factor in his success so far. He explained 'You have got to just give everything in training every single day. It is a bit different to what you are used to but you adapt to it and everyday you have to come in with the right attitude and train like a bear'...

The former Dundee United man... has been used in midfield so far in his short time at Town... Chesterfield is Gunning’s 16th club in his career and he is hoping to settle here now...

'I think with the squad we have assembled here now you can only be looking up really... usually you get one or two guys that you don’t really like, that’s just how football is, but at this place I really get on with everyone. The gaffer has put a really good group together here'".


The Non-League Paper reported on Sunday on Altrincham's 2-3 defeat against Boreham Wood and their account included the following statistics...
  • Fouls conceded: Altrincham 18, Boreham Wood 14
  • Shots on target: Altrincham 4, Boreham Wood 6
  • Corners won: Altrincham 3, Boreham Wood 8

After the game, Phil Parkinson told the NL Paper, "I am really pleased with our character. A lesser team would have gone on to concede five or six, not us...

I think the referee has made a mistake for the sending off but we all make mistakes... We may have lost three in a row but I think we've put in some good performances, so I'm not worried. We're just lacking fire power from the bench at the minute due to injuries".


Before the live streaming of the Altrincham v Boreham Wood match, press and media officer John Edwards spoke to Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson. The video interview can be seen here, along with highlights of the game.

ON THIS DAY: 23 February

Two years ago today, on Saturday 23 February 2019, Altrincham travelled to the Tameside Stadium, where they beat Curzon Ashton 6-0. Curzon had been on an unbeaten run until the previous weekend whereas Altrincham arrived at the Tameside Stadium in indifferent form, having gleaned just three wins from their past eleven fixtures. Curzon had won the reverse fixture 2-0 in September 2018.

This match was a Vanarama National League North match in which Altrincham recorded their biggest away win since a 6-0 victory at Hinckley United in April 2013 but, on this occasion, it could easily have been double figures for the visitors.

Left: Yusufi Ceesay (left) takes the congratulations, from Joe Piggott, John Johnston and Josh Hancock, after scoring Alty's fourth goal on Saturday.

There was little sign of what was to come in the opening stages; Alty had started quite brightly in the opening minutes before the hosts upped their game, with former Robin, Sean Miller, looking sharp. The score was goalless at the half-hour mark at which point, Altrincham took the lead when a short corner was taken by Johnston to Ceesay, who returned the ball to JJ. Johnston drifted inside before hitting a fine shot into the net from outside the box.

If that goal was impressive, even more so was Sean Williams's effort from more than 20 yards which flew in off the inside of the upright just six minutes later.

Two minutes after the interval loanee striker Joe Piggott, who in 2021 has just returned to Alty, beat the advancing keeper to net the third goal, after Tom Hannigan had done well to win the ball in the air near halfway. Three minutes later it was 0-4 as Johnston found Ceesay and he converted the chance. Despite a triple substitution by the hosts (and a double one by Alty), the score became 0-5 after 54 minutes, when Piggott netted through the keeper's legs.

Curzon by now were in disarray and a triple substitution did not alter things markedly. Altrincham spurned several more chances as they carved open the Curzon defence almost at will. But Piggott completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute when he chased a seemingly lost cause but managed to poke the ball past the keeper to make it 0-6.

Piggott had got his chance largely because Altrincham were again without the suspended Jordan Hulme, as well as the injured Ben Harrison, Max Harrop and James Poole. There were two surprises on the team sheet. Tony Thompson returned in goal with recent signing Steven Drench on the bench and, joining him on the substitutes' roster, was new signing Callum Dolan, a young midfielder formerly with Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Stockport Town.

After the game, manager Phil Parkinson conformed that Drench had a knee problem.

For Alty, Mason Fawns was named in the squad against his former club and, curiously, his name was printed in both of the team-lists in the matchday programme! Conversely, two ex-Alty men faced their previous employers as both Sean Miller and Ryan Brooke started in the Nash's midfield. Curzon's line up included Luke Wall, later to be an Altrincham player.


Stockport County "announce the loan signings of Chorley duo Elliot Newby and Harry Cardwell, who have joined until the end of the season.

The opportunity to make these signings has come as a result of the unfortunate circumstances in the National League North... after the 2020/21 season was declared null and void last week.

Attacking midfielder Newby, 25, began his career as a youth player at Bolton Wanderers, before joining Barrow in 2016. After a successful spells at Altrincham and AFC Telford, Elliot made the move to Chorley in the Summer of 2018, playing a key role in the Magpies promotion to the National League via the play-offs in his first season...

In a season disrupted by postponements in the National League North, the midfielder has still has five goals to his name so far this campaign...

He is joined at County by Scottish striker Cardwell, 24. The former Grimsby forward joined Chorley permanently in the Summer, having had a loan spell at the Club in January 2020.

Harry, who has one cap for Scotland U21s, has previously spent time in Reading and Brighton’s academy before a three year spell with Grimsby in the Football League".

All Africa tells us that "England-born Zimbabwean Kundai Benyu has left English fifth-tier side Wealdstone FC as his once promising career appears to be on a freefall barely three years after once being hailed as the country's next big prospect following a dream move to Scottish football giants Celtic.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who was born in England to Zimbabwean parents, has been battling to revive after a forgettable spell at Celtic and subsequent unsuccessful loan spells at English League two club Oldham Athletic and Helsingborg in Sweden.

Following the expiry of his contract with Celtic, Benyu joined England National League side Wealdstone, but the Ipswich Academy product is now being linked with a move to Iceland".

According to the Leader Live "Dean Keates welcomed the news that the National League season will continue but the Wrexham boss bemoaned his side’s poor finishing after their six-game unbeaten run came to an end...

Although Wrexham suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Aldershot at the weekend, Keates is delighted that the Reds can continue their promotion challenge...

Said Keates, 'As much as I am annoyed about today, we want to play and we want to see the season through. We are in a good place and that is taking this result aside... There seems to be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel that we may come out of this [lockdown] at some point'".

Referring to Dover's decision to stop playing, Keates added, 'If it was judged on attendances, some of these teams who only get 500, 600 or 700 fans in have had as big as slice as the likes as ourselves, Chesterfield, Notts County, Stockport. They have had the same money as us, so where has it gone in three months and they are saying they can’t continue?

'I don’t know the ins and outs of it all, that is me with the bits I know.'

Wrexham dropped to seventh after losing against patched-up Aldershot who took a 26th minute lead following a mistake by goalkeeper Christian Dibble. he Shots benefited from a fortunate deflection to double their lead at the start of the second half before grabbing a third goal...

Said Keates, 'We turned up well for the first 15 minutes and we should have put our chances away; we didn’t and it cost us.'

Keates defended his decision to drop Dan Jarvis, one of the best players in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Woking, in favour of bringing James Horsfield into the side, saying he wanted an extra defensive midfielder to deal with the Shots’ threat.

'They go a lot long into their main striker so I thought if they were going to put it on us, and we didn’t pick up any second balls with not having an extra body just in front of the back three, and they were picking up balls in little pockets, we would have a problem,' added Keates.

'Hors has played in there many times and played Football League in there so I thought I would drop him in. They made vast changes, they changed the shape, and we had 15-20 minutes where we should have put the game to bed. We did enough in the first 15 minutes to say that it was justified in the change and we created opportunities; we just need to be a bit better.'”

The Hartlepool Mail alerts us to the fact that "Jamie Sterry was a notable absentee for Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon. The former Newcastle United defender has been one of the first names on Pools’ teamsheet since he first joined the club back in December with the side going on a fine run of form... following his arrival. But Saturday’s 2-1 win over Yeovil Town saw the right-back left out of the squad entirely as a late withdrawal due to a groin injury. Club captain Ryan Donaldson came into the side in his place...

Manager Dave Challinor commented 'He was a bit sore before and after the game at Eastleigh with a bit of a niggle with his groin'...

Pools are now preparing for a Tuesday night trip to Wrexham,off) hoping to pick up their first away win of 2021".

Kent Online confirms that "Having furloughed their players and stopped playing matches, Dover Athletic have been charged with two counts of failing to fulfil fixtures by the National League...

They are next due to play Maidenhead United on Saturday but that is unlikely to take place. If funding does not become available, it means the club are likely to incur more fines as they are obliged by the league to carry on playing, even though six other clubs at that level voted to stop and may well do so in time...

Chairman Jim Parmenter said 'We are clearly very disappointed that the National League seem to be sticking to their guns and applying rules of the competition with no proper awareness or consideration for the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. It is clear that the agenda is to finish the season at any cost'...

Manager Andy Hessenthaler said 'The chairman will fight that situation along with other clubs. What is the cause of not fulfilling the fixtures? Well, the cause is because we’ve got no money because of the pandemic. So the pandemic is the cause and that’s what he’ll say... He is a businessman and he’ll have his legal team looking at that I’m sure.'”

In similar vein, the Lynn News tells us that "King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve says he is considering all options, including shutting the club, due to a lack of government grants.

Mr Cleeve says it is paramount that the club survives to see next season after the Linnets were one of seven clubs to vote to stop the National League season... He said 'The position we're being put in is very difficult so we either shut or borrow a lot of money that the club can't pay back. We just hope the right decisions can be made to give us a chance to actually do the right thing and sit it out.

'We've been put in this situation by the league. We were promised a grant, which has been taken away and it would be financial suicide for us to continue.'..

He says his club 'never would've started the season' had they known they would only be given the option of taking a loan... 'We could go down the same route as Dover, but some of our players can't be furloughed so they'd still be considerable costs for the remainder of the season,' he said. 'I've got to look at all the facts first before making a decision later this week. It's about ensuring the club is there for future seasons'...

The National League's rules for 'failure to fulfil a fixture' allow for a range of potential punishments including expulsion from the League, a three points deduction or a fine of £2,500-£10,000".

Notts County confirm that "Salford City right back Tylor Golden has joined us on loan until 23 March.

The 21 year-old, who progressed through Wigan Athletic’s academy and made two senior appearances for the Latics before joining Salford this summer, will provide welcome cover for the injured Richard Brindley.

Golden has made six appearances in League Two so far this season, plus five cup appearances, and Neal Ardley says... 'He's athletic, really honest and hard-working. He'll run up and down that line as much as he physically can. He's got a good cross on him, he's physically robust, puts himself about and defends for his life.

'Having seen him in training today, I've been even more impressed with his vision, touch and movement in tight areas. He's got all the qualities you really want from a right back'".

22 February, 2021


Following the defeat against Boreham Wood on Saturday, Altrincham FC have a post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson, conducted by Brian Flynn.

In the interview, the Altrincham boss said "We'll have to see where we are regards injuries and I might have to bring in a few reinforcements".

The Robins have winger Daniel Mooney currently missing through injury and they lost another wide man, Ryan Colclough, to injury against Boreham Wood last Saturday.


On Tuesday Altrincham play their first ever away game against Chesterfield but they do have the distinction of having previously played and won on the Spireites' former ground, at Saltergate. That was in 1998 when they won the UniBond Challenge Cup there against Gainsborough Trinity.

After a slow start to this season and a consequent change of manager, with Gloucester City boss James Rowe having taken over the hot seat, the Spireites have turned around their campaign. Although they lie fifteenth they have five games in hand on Altrincham who lie ninth with sixth more points to their name. Three of those points accrued from Alty's 3-2 win at the J Davidson Stadium earlier this season.

Chesterfield go into Tuesday's match on the back of a fine 1-0 away win at Notts County to whom they had lost 2-3 at home in the reverse fixture.

Their last ten league matches have seen them win six, draw three and lose just once, at Solihull Moors in the New Year.

Familiar faces in their squad include former Chester striker Alwasi Asanate, who had moved on from Chester to Gloucester City and who followed manager Rowe to Derbyshire.

Chesterfield reported that last Saturday, "Following the Spireites’ 1-0 win over Notts County at Meadow Lane, James Rowe was full of praise for his side’s work-rate and performance.

He said, 'I thought the first half is the best we’ve played since I’ve been here. The opposition are a good team with good structure, but we didn’t give them a second to breathe.

'The second half they came into it. They had a good spell for 15-20 minutes and changed their shape. We gained back control and we really should have killed the game off.

'I’m really proud of the players and staff. We’ve worked incredibly hard since Wednesday and I think that showed. It’s a great win'...

Grant Smith replaced Adam Przybek in goal to make his debut for Chesterfield. Rowe was impressed with the shot-stopper’s performance...

'He deserved his opportunity. I want to see him and Adam [Przybek] play. Both will play in the future,' Rowe said... 'He came for things, his kicking was excellent and his communication was good as well. A good display from him'.

The Spireites face a tough run of fixtures as they look towards the rest of the season, with Altrincham and Stockport County next up for Rowe’s men."

ON THIS DAY: 22 February

Seven years ago today, in a Skrill North match played on Saturday, 22 February 2014, Altrincham defeated Colwyn Bay 3-1 at Moss Lane.

Right: James Walshaw celebrates his hat-trick.

Alty were without the ill Greg Wilkinson and the long-term injured Mike Williams but, otherwise, were at full strength. Mike's brother, Marc was in the visitors' starting eleven.

On a cloudy afternoon, the floodlights were switched on before Altrincham kicked off towards Golf Road and the home side got off to a great start, with James Walshaw scoring twice in the first ten minutes.

The first came when he turned, on receiving Densmore's throw-in for the right, and put a low left-footed shot past Sanna. His second goal was an excellent finish as he stroked the ball inside the upright from the edge of the box from Reeves's nod on.

After a lengthy stoppage for an injury to Clee who, thankfully, was able to resume after being fouled, the game lost a bit of its flow but Alty led 2-0 at the break.

With Bay attacking, Alty broke away and Walshaw smartly completed his hat trick in the 56th minute. Altrincham took their foot off the pedal and midway through the half Bay saw Royle's penalty saved by Coburn after Leather was judged to have tripped Marc Williams. However Sean Williams, later to join Alty, did beat the keeper from 25 yards to make it 3-1 in the 81st minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 3. Adam Griffin 4. Jake Moult, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 7. James Lawrie, 8. Simon Richman, 9. James Walshaw, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 12. Matt Doughty, 14. Tom Marshall, 15. Carl Rodgers, 16. Kyle Perry, 17. Joe Mwasile.


Get Surrey informs us that "Aston Villa star Jack Grealish has donated £2,000 to a campaign set up to support Aldershot Town defender Lewis Kinsella following a serious injury.

The Shots' left back, 26, ruptured his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in a match against Ebbsfleet United earlier this month.

England international Grealish and Kinsella played together in Aston Villa's youth academy, after joining from Arsenal.

The defender's injury will now require surgery, which will put him out of action for six months. In a bid to save his non-league club money, Kinsella has set up a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of his treatment."

Barnet "were edged out 2-0 as Woking took home all three points.

The Bees were looking to make it back to back wins after Tuesday night's victory over Halifax Town, as they faced up against Woking...

It was quite an even contest as chances came few and far between, with the wind playing its part in disrupting the players from playing any free flowing football.

Set-pieces looked to be the key that Woking were trying to use in order to unlock the Bees' organised defence...

It was the Cards who would strike first when Jamar Loza curled an effort into the right hand corner... with just over 15 minutes of the half to go...

Every Bees' attack was being met by a wall of the away side... However, the Cards punished the Bees for not scoring by getting one of their own and doubling their lead when Moussa Diarra took advantage of a loose ball which had initially struck the post to bury the rebound".

Bromley "threw away a two goal lead in second half injury time by drawing 2-2 against Maidenhead United at Hayes Lane.

It was a different Bromley to what we saw on Tuesday in the opening moments of the game. The Ravens started the game with intensity, in what was to be a physical game against a determined Alan Devonshire side.

With less than 15 minutes played of the game, it was Bromley who took the lead. Liam Trotter played a long hopeful ball into the opposition half... Manny Parry headed the ball backwards beyond his goalkeeper and Luke Coulson was there to intercept and slot into an empty net...

As the game passed the half hour mark, Bromley had a second goal. Courtney Duffus got past his marker with ease and pulled the ball back to Cheek, who smashed the ball into an empty net...

In the second half... Maidenhead scored with their second shot on target... Ryan Upward powerfully headed in. Poor defending from the Ravens...

With just minutes remaining, Josh Coley got the better of Trotter and delivered in a ball across the six yard box, where fellow substitute Jerry Wiltshire was at the back post to convert and snatch a point."

At Eastleigh "The Spitfires continue to fly with a 1-0 victory over fellow promotion-chasers Stockport County, at the Silverlake Stadium.

Our visitors were reduced to ten men early on, following Harvey Gilmour’s red card, while Joe Tomlinson continued his 100% conversion rate from the penalty spot to get the winner in the second half...

Gilmour saw red for the visitors and was dismissed by referee Tom Bishop for a dangerous tackle on Jack Payne in the centre-circle...

Just seven minutes into the second-half, the Spitfires were awarded the penalty after Payne’s corner was adjudged to have hit a Stockport arm.

Tomlinson stepped up again, sent the ‘keeper the wrong way and powered it into the left of the goal for his sixth of the season, all from the spot...

Deep into injury time, Stockport hit the crossbar from a shot inside the area before Cav Miley made a crucial goal-line clearance and the full time whistle was blown.

The win means we’re unbeaten in seven matches and have climbed to fourth in the table".

FC Halifax Town "beat league leaders Torquay United 3-2 away at Plainmoor.

Pete Wild’s injury hit squad hit an 88th minute winner through Jeff King...

The Town boss told the official website, 'I’m really pleased with the result. We played decent on Tuesday night at Barnet but gave silly goals away. We worked hard Thursday and Friday to be tougher to play again. We looked robust today and the result is really pleasing. Our character and never say die attitude was fantastic'.

Town went ahead through a Sam Sherring own goal after Jeff King’s cross was parried by the goalkeeper and hit the Torquay man and went in.

He said, 'We were going to sit in for the first sixty minutes, we had changed the shape due to the injuries that we had. To be fair, Jeff King should not have even been there, his instructions were not to get ahead of his winger in that opening 60 minutes, but his cross helped put us ahead.'

The league leaders were awarded two penalties... 'I thought the first was a penalty, but I didn’t think the second one was. I also thought we should have had a couple of penalties ourselves...

'I thought we were the better side'... he said.

Town equalised through... Jack Earing firing past Shaun MacDonald... 'You must remember he is only 21. Now he is bringing goals to his game which is great for him and us'...

The winner came with two minutes of normal time remaining and it was Jeff King to round off an eventful game...

'Jeff King has had a great day. He is a massive Everton fan and they have beaten Liverpool; he’s given two penalties away and then he popped up to win us the game in the final minutes. He is one person we will not shut up on the back of the bus on the way back!' said Wild.

He conclude... 'To not have a game next week is not ideal. We have organised a game on Friday afternoon to get a competitive game against Huddersfield Town U23s before we entertain Hartlepool'".

Stockport County "fell to a slender 1-0 defeat at Eastleigh... as a second-half penalty was enough to secure all three points for the hosts against the ten men of County.

Boss Simon Rusk handed a first league start to former Tranmere Rovers midfielder Harvey Gilmour, who started alongside John Rooney and Will Collar in a 4-3-3 line-up for the visitors.

Jordan Keane missed out through suspension, while Ryan Croasdale, Connor Jennings, Tom Walker and Mark Kitching all missed out through varying injuries, as County named a starting eleven showing three changes to the side which started in the 0-0 stalemate at Maidenhead on Tuesday evening.

As well as the debuting Gilmour, Sam Minihan and Richie Bennett returned to the side in place of Keane and Lois Maynard...

As at Maidenhead, The Hatters looked to settle into the game early on and looked composed in possession without either side troubling the opposition’s goal in the opening stages...

The Hatters were reduced to ten men when Gilmour was adjudged to have gone in late on Jack Payne...

On the stroke of the half hour mark, things got even worse for a frustrated County side as Harvey Gilmour was dismissed for a challenge on Jack Payne...

Despite the ten men of The Hatters making it into the break all square, the hosts soon struck after the restart. Ash Palmer was adjudged to have handled an Eastleigh corner into the box, and after the referee’s assistant flagged, the referee did point to the spot on this occasion, with Joe Tomlinson converting the resulting penalty for the home side.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the tie remained rather even for the remainder of the afternoon, with neither side creating many further chances on goal".

21 February 2021


Altrincham endured a disastrous first half in their match at Broadhurst Park against Boreham Wood. In just the second minute Ryan Colclough committed a foul and injured himself in the process. He resumed briefly after treatment but had to go off in the fifth minute with Tom Peers being his replacement.

Altrincham then gifted the visitors a seventh-minute goal as, near the Alty right corner, Peers poked the ball past team-mate Senior and this allowed Boreham Wood's Fyfield to get to the byline. His low cross from the left was easily converted by Kane Smith from close range.

After a fairly even but relatively uneventful period, Hampson got himself booked for a foul on Smith (25 mins). Three minutes later Hampson and Smith clashed again with the Alty left-back penalised and after, picking himself up after staying down injured, Hampson [right] was shown a second yellow and then a red card (30 mins).

From the resulting freekick on the right, the ball came out to a Boreham Wood man whose miscued shot found Tshimanga unmarked near the back post. He flicked the ball into the net to make it 2-0 (30 mins).

Trailing 0-2 at the interval, the second half began with the visitors scoring a third goal. A Boreham Wood corner from the right was headed clear by Hannigan but fell for Whiteley to fire home from the edge of the box (48 mins).

Altrincham finally got some impetus around the hour mark and were rewarded when Smith fed Kosylo, whose shot from right of goal made it 1-3 in the 59th minute.

Alty then had their best spell of the game with a Ceesay effort rolling narrowly wide across the goalmouth. But the Altrincham pressure was then broken up as Ashmore, not for the first time this season, sat down with a supposed injury.

However, Altrincham gave Boreham Wood a scare by scoring again when Senior and Peers combined for the latter to toe-end the ball past Ashmore (86 mins). But the worldly-wise Boreham Wood saw the game out to leave Alty facing a third successive defeat.

Match report here.


. Boreham Wood admit that "It was tense towards the end, but Boreham Wood held on for three valuable points in Greater Manchester against Altrincham despite seemingly coasting with a 3-0 lead against ten men.

Boreham Wood made one change from the starting line-up against Yeovil Town with Junior Morias coming in for the injured Matt Rhead. Wood set their stool [sic] out early on when Kieran Murtagh’s long range free kick was tipped over the bar... Boreham Wood took the lead after six minutes of play when after an excellent run from Jamal Fyfield down the left was finished with a great cross which was found by Kane Smith to tap the ball home...

On twenty-nine minutes Altrincham’s Connor Hampson received his second yellow card in three minutes, both for fouls on Kane Smith and was sent for an early bath. The away side quickly made the numerical advantage count when Kabs Tshimanga flicked the ball home following a pass from Junior Morias...

Boreham Wood came out for the second half smelling blood and a sweetly struck volley from Corey Whitely made it 3-0 after forty-seven minutes. At this point, it was a question of how many Boreham Wood would win by....

On fifty-nine minutes Matty Kosylo gave the hosts a lifeline when his well struck shot beat Nathan Ashmore in the Wood goal to make it 3-1. The dangerous Ceesay nearly made it 3-2 a minute later but his effort went just wide.

On eighty-five minutes Altrincham made it 3-2 when Tom Peers converted a Joel Senior cross. Despite a lot of Robins pressure, Boreham Wood held out for the much needed three points.

For most of the game, it was an excellent attacking performance from Boreham Wood and in truth, by the time Altrincham scored, Wood should have been more than three goals in front".


Altrincham travel to in-form Chesterfield on Tuesday night, seeking to end their own run of three successive defeats.

. The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield manager James Rowe said it ‘could not have gone any better’ as the Spireites secured an impressive win at Notts County.

Gavin Gunning scored his first goal for the club when his first-half free-kick from out wide missed everyone and nestled in the net.

Overall it was a very professional performance from Town who had not played for three weeks and had only had three days of training after another Covid isolation period.

Rowe, who said the players wore the badge with pride, explained 'I thought the first half was the best we have played since I have been here because of the opposition we were facing. We did not give them a second to breath[e].

'To come here and dominate like we did was very impressive. In and out of possession we did really well... Our front two were excellent in the first half I thought in particular...

He added 'I thought we dug in during the second half and had three good chances to kill it off... To come away here and win after 30 days off out of 55 and them being on the back of four wins, it does not get any better than that'...

Goalkeeper Grant Smith made his Spireites debut and looked assured throughout. Rowe said he promised Smith he would play him in the postponed FA Trophy match against Aldershot so wanted to give him his opportunity."


The Halifax Courier reports that "King's late winner sees Shaymen secure victory at Torquay.

Jeff King's 87th minute goal saw FC Halifax Town record an impressive 3-2 win at National League leaders Torquay United.

Town took the lead thanks to an own goal from Torquay's Sam Sherring, but that was cancelled out soon afterwards through The Gulls' skipper Asa Hall, who scored from the spot after King was penalised for a foul.

Hall scored from the spot in the second-half after King was again deemed to have committed a foul in the box, but Jack Earing equalised for The Shaymen with a close range finish.

King then blasted Halifax's winner late on with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area".

. It is now one win in seven for Torquay United who "went down to defeat on Saturday evening, as Halifax ran out winners at Plainmoor.

Sam Sherring’s unfortunate own-goal saw Town break the deadlock, before two Asa Hall penalties either side of the break turned the game on its head. That joy was to be shortlived though, as Jack Earing levelled things up, before Jeff King struck a late winner.

Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to the side that drew with Altrincham eleven days ago, as Ben Wynter made a welcome return from injury alongside back-from-suspension Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, with Jake Andrews and Max Sheaf dropping to the bench...

It was United who initially looked more comfortable in possession... Despite bossing possession, it was Halifax who took the lead though, following a moment of real misfortune in United’s 18-yard box.

King’s 34th-minute right wing cross forced MacDonald into action, however after parrying the ball away from danger, the ball struck the retreating Sherring and cannoned into the back of the net to give The Shayman the lead...

Ben Whitfield had already proven to be a real menace on the left, and in the 41st minute, his clever play finally led to parity. After cutting inside, his quick feet proved too much for King, who turned from hero to villain within just a few minutes, as the referee awarded a penalty kick.

Skipper Hall responded in a manner befitting of the skipper’s armband, as he calmly sent Johnson the wrong way to make it 1-1...

Lemonheigh-Evans took time to look up before delivering a tempting cross towards the back post where Waters rose to meet it. The Torquay striker’s bid to make connection was ended illegally by King once more though, with the officials again perfectly placed to make judgment.

A second spot-kick was the decision, and despite Johnson guessing correctly this time, Hall delivered his ninth goal of the season to put his side in front.

Unfortunately though, the lead lasted just seven minutes before Town levelled again. After breaking upfield, Earing’s shot from the edge of the box forced MacDonald into an unorthodox save, however in the goalmouth scrambled that ensued, it was the same player who managed to work enough space to fire the ball through a crowd of bodies and into the net via the far post.

Reeling from that disappointment, things got worse ten minutes later.

Having enjoyed an eventful afternoon at both ends of the pitch, King showed composure on the edge of the box to ride a couple of challenges, before curling his effort past MacDonald and into the top corner".

. The Dorset Echo reports that Weymouth "drew 0-0 with Solihull Moors but could the Terras have been robbed of a winning goal?

A grainy screen grab, below, has circulated on social media of Andy Dallas's missed penalty, which ricocheted off the bar and thundered into the turf.

The image appears to show daylight between the ball and the line, but boss Brian Stock was unconvinced after being shown the image by assistant Louis Langdown during his post-match press conference.

He said, "Everyone keeps questioning whether the ball's gone over the line... The linesman's in a great position but at the end of the day I don't think they're going to change their decision!... It's very close. It's certainly not clear cut'.

Earlier the Dorset Echo reported thet "'We would've done it anyway' was the defiant message from Weymouth chairman Ian White with the Terras set to stay in the Vanarama National League for another season.

Chiefs announced clubs in the first tier of non-League had voted to continue play, without relegation to Step 2... Brian Stock’s men are currently clear of the National League relegation zone in 20th of 23 clubs but had taken three wins from five after completing six impressive January signings...

White added, 'We are (happy), of course, but I’m still certain we would’ve done it under our own footballing talent anyway. I think Brian was beginning to turn it around and we’re in a much better place than we were a month ago. We would’ve done it anyway...

'Everything that’s happened in this last year, with the pandemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths, it’s been a weird 12 months for Weymouth Football Club as well.

'None of us expected to be in the National League quite this quickly. It will give us a chance to look at ourselves and try and get into a position where we feel more confident... I don’t want to look at it and say it’s worked in our favour, because I still feel we would’ve pulled ourselves away from trouble'".

According to the BBC "King's Lynn owner Stephen Cleeve wants to 'sit out' rest of National League season

Stephen Cleeve says King's Lynn would need to take on a loan of £500,000 to finish the season.... Cleeve says they need to 'draw down the shutters' on their National League season at the end of the month due to a lack of government grants.

The Linnets were one of seven clubs to vote on Thursday to stop the season.

Dover have furloughed players and will not play without 'appropriate funding' and Cleeve hopes the league will let them 'sit out' the rest of the season... He told BBC Norfolk 'We just hope the right decisions can be made to give us a chance to actually do the right thing and sit out, as opposed to making the club borrow a huge amount of money which it can never possibly pay back'...

Dover have been charged by the National League for failing to fulfil fixtures but Cleeve believes it is 'the right thing for them'...

'We have two home games coming up and from a personal perspective I'd like to win those two games so we're outside the bottom three, at least we could try to go out in a blaze of glory,' Cleeve added. 'And then whatever happens we need to draw down the shutters at that point and ensure the club is there for future seasons'".

Meanwhile, Sutton United "put the pressure on National League leaders Torquay...m with a convincing success over a Wealdstone side now with only one point from their last seven league games.

The game swung dramatically in U’s favour in the last five minutes of the first half as the visitors, already trailing to Isaac Olaofe’s goal, were reduced to ten men, and Jason Goodliffe and Louis John both then struck before the interval to give U’s a grip they never seriously looked like losing, despite a bright start to the second half from Wealdstone which saw Danny Parish reduce the arrears...

It wasn’t all good news for U’s, Milsom limping off before the half time whistle to be replaced by Ben Wyatt".

20 February 2021

Match report here


Saturday, 20 February 2021
  • Aldershot Town 3-0 Wrexham
  • Altrincham 2-3 Boreham Wood [at FC United of Manchester, Broadhurst Park]
  • Barnet 0-2 Woking
  • Bromley 2-2 Maidenhead United
  • Dover Athletic P-P King's Lynn Town [Dover furloughed players]
  • Eastleigh 1-0 Stockport County
  • Hartlepool United 2-1 Yeovil Town
  • Notts County 0-1 Chesterfield
  • Sutton United 4-1 Wealdstone
  • Torquay United 2-3 FC Halifax Town
  • Weymouth 0-0 Solihull Moors


Today, Saturday 20 February, Altrincham entertain Boreham Wood at the J. Davidson Stadium.

In advance of that fixture, Altrincham FC announced that "Alty TV Live streaming prices will be halved for the visit of Boreham Wood next Saturday, and more importantly, we will be paying forward a free U12s' matchday ticket to local schools for every stream ticket that is purchased.

The Future Robins initiative will run in partnership with Altrincham FC Community Sports, who work with 12 partner schools within a 5 mile radius of The J.Davidson Stadium. Tickets will be distributed evenly across the schools, and will be redeemable at a future game subject to the safe returns of fans to football.

We have set an initial target of generating 1,000 free tickets for our partner schools and you can follow along with our progress on social media.

There are four ticket options available for the live stream:

  • A £5 ticket gives you access to the live stream, and pays forward 1 future U12s matchday ticket.
  • A £25 ticket gives you access to the live stream, and pays forward 10 future U12s matchday tickets.
  • A £50 ticket gives you access to the live stream, pays forward 25 future U12s matchday tickets, and your kind patronage will also be acknowledged at half-time during the broadcast.

A limited number of £100 corporate tickets are also available. As well as access to the live stream you will pay forward 75 future U12s matchday tickets, and your generosity will be acknowledged both at half-time during the broadcast, and on Altrincham FC’s social media accounts...

Our season ticket holders will be pleased to know that we have pledged a ticket on behalf of each of you, so that’s 327 children already attending an Altrincham fixture in the future.

On an afternoon when the only competing top-flight game is West Brom’s trip to Burnley, we are hoping to encourage the wider community to give Alty TV Live a try"


Altrincham play Boreham Wood today (Saturday) from where the club is "delighted to announce, following the Club record fee we received when our very own Sorba Thomas made the switch to Championship side Huddersfield Town last month, that Chairman Danny Hunter has decided to ring fence some of that transfer fee to give back to the Academy...

As such, the Club have agreed to make our PUMA training kit set available for all new Academy players completely free of charge for the 2021/22 season...

Due to the financial implications that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought, it had looked very unlikely that the Club could afford to continue with this arrangement moving forward, but the situation changed somewhat when Sorba moved to Huddersfield Town and when he made his Championship debut last Saturday against Wycombe Wanderers...

We think it’s correct to ensure that our new scholars’ hopes and dreams aren’t put behind the affordability of some who might struggle to purchase our training kit...

Boreham Wood FC Chairman and BW PASE Academy founder Danny Hunter had this to say about the decision, 'Sorba Thomas epitomises exactly what I had in mind when I first started the BW PASE Academy programme some 20 odd years ago. It’s an incredibly positive sporting programme, linked firstly to education where we consistently create second chances for all of our scholars, whether it’s in the football arena, in education or by simply creating bespoke working experience programmes...

'Sorba, thank goodness, finally understood all of that, as it was only ever going to be his Attitude, Discipline and Desire that would get him his move, not an agent... The pride I feel in that boy is way beyond words and don’t be surprised if he is a Welsh international by the summer, he really is that good.' Hunter concluded.


THursday's decision to terminate the National League's second tier, but continue playing at the higher level may have provided some clarity but it has also sown confusion and acrimony as the BBC reports.

"'It's not the end of the story. It's a big mess.' That was the immediate reaction from Maidstone United chairman Oliver Ash on Thursday evening when it emerged that clubs in the National League North and South had resolved to declare their respective seasons null and void.

The National League meanwhile will complete its campaign despite seven out of the 23 clubs voting to end the season...

'The whole thing is a bit of a nightmare,' Ash told BBC Radio 5 Live's 72+ Podcast. 'It's a 'fait accompli' and we're stuffed... I think there will be a fair bit of legal action from some clubs, there will be a lot of unhappy clubs and there may be some more surprises around the corner.'

One of those to have already indicated their disquiet are Gloucester City, leaders of National League North. Co-chairman Alex Petheram tweeted notice of their intention to begin legal action against Thursday's resolution to null and void the season, which still requires ratification from the Football Association.

Decisions over promotion and relegation between the National League tiers and the English Football League will also need to be finalised...

[Ash continued] 'The big question will be, "Was this vote really necessary? Was this the only solution?" There should have been more involvement with the clubs, with the chairmen and more transparency from the league to give us more of a chance at finding a better solution'...

Among those who believe they have solutions for the future are Havant & Waterlooville manager Paul Doswell... 'The North and South divisions have been treated like the very, very poor cousins. You've got some big clubs in those two divisions, like York City and Maidstone, teams that were getting bigger crowds than some League Two clubs.

'Yet some other clubs, who were getting paying crowds of no more than 400-500 people, were being handed treble the amount in grant funding earlier this season. It's become a league of the "haves" and "have-nots"...

'The way to do it is to bring back local derbies and bigger crowds for next season, dramatically reduce travelling costs,' he said. 'You could probably regionalise the National League South into a Premier Division of 24 teams and vice-versa for the North. That would give teams at least a couple of years to recover their finances. Why spend about £6,000 to travel to Halifax on a Tuesday night? That's what it costs in this current climate.

'The pandemic has changed everything. I just hope that the people in charge can have some forethought and change things because clubs will really struggle'".

ON THIS DAY: 20 February

Today, in 2021, Altrincham are playing a home game away from Moss Lane because of recent bad weather and its effect on the pitch. Five years ago today there were similar concerns as the scheduled Vanarama National League game versus Guiseley was in doubt before referee Derek Eaton made a 2pm inspection of a surface which had been partly covered by rainsheets borrowed from Lancashire Cricket Club.

Above: The pitch covers are removed before kick-off.

The Gloucestershire official declared the pitch fit and the covers were removed as rain continued to fall, and this was to continue throughout the match which was to end 1-1.

Right: Josh Ginnelly in the muddy conditions.

During the game Alty's injury woes continued as, already without the injured Richman before kick off, they lost left-back Adam Griffin to injury before the interval. Lawrie and Havern had started as Leather and Margetts moved to the bench. At the back, Jordan Sinnott returned after injury.

Guiseley had the better of the first half but fell behind in the 43rd minute when substitute Scott Leather fed Michael Rankine. He made space well before blasting a shot past young Guiseley keeper Atkinson from outside the box. The Lions equalised in the 56th minute when Rob Atkinson netted with a free header following a freekick.

Rankine then missed a great chance to win the game when he hit the bar from six yards, from Reeves's feed, six minutes from time. With just one win in their last eleven league matches Altrincham remained nineteenth after this hard-fought draw.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 7. James LAWRIE 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 9. Michael RANKINE. Subs: 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 10. Damian REEVES, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE,


Dover Athletic confirm that "The National League has charged Dover twice with a breach of Rule 8.39.

Following the failure of the National League to provide agreed funding, the club has had to make the difficult decision to cease all football operations and furlough players and staff.

Chairman Jim Parmenter said 'We are clearly very disappointed that the National League seem to be sticking to their guns and applying rules of the competition with no proper awareness or consideration for the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. It is clear that the agenda is to finish the season at any cost.'

It is likely that Whites will see further charges being brought as they continue to be unable to fulfil games.

Parmenter said 'We do have a right to deny charges on a game-by-game basis but, with the cost of a personal hearing for each charge being £150, clearly this is an additional financial burden and limits our options. We will, however, make our submissions in writing, based on our firm belief that the failure of the National League to ensure the promised funding was made available has resulted in us taking the only possible action to avoid insolvency.'”

More comes from the BBC which tells us that "Dover Athletic's Jim Parmenter says the National League is in 'a complete shambles' despite a majority vote by clubs to continue the campaign. The Whites were one of seven clubs to vote on Thursday to stop the season.

The Crabble outfit have furloughed their squad and will not play fixtures without 'appropriate funding'.

'Nobody has addressed what happens to the seven clubs that have no income, can't afford to carry on and don't want to carry on,' Parmenter said. 'The National League have washed their hands of it. It shows the mess that organisation is in.'"

Thirteen clubs in the top tier of the non-league pyramid have voted to continue the season... National League clubs began the 2020-21 campaign thanks to £10m in grants from the government, but Parmenter has funded Dover since that scheme ended in December...

'The league have stuck their head in the sand about it and seemed to think there was going to be some sort of a magic solution, which I personally can't see,' Parmenter told BBC Radio Kent. 'We would be insolvent if we continued and I suspect there are some other clubs that would be the same. This just shows that the league have little regard for clubs that aren't big ex-English Football League clubs that have potential for promotion.

'The only reason to continue playing is to get promotion to the EFL, and only two clubs can get that. I guess 12 or 13 clubs think they have got a chance at this stage and that is why they have voted to continue...

'We have to see if other clubs can continue playing,' he said. 'I know at least four that are saying they can't afford it. We have to see how the league deals with this issue...

'We do not seem to be getting a lot of help from the league, despite them saying when this all happened that if any club gets into a serious financial position they can come to the league and the league will help them,' he said. 'We have had no help or advice at all from them. It is a disgrace.'"

In similar vein, Lynn News tells us that "King's Lynn Town Football Club remains uncertain if they will finish the current National League season after next week's two home games against Barnet and Weymouth.

The Linnets have been told to carry on playing after National League clubs voted against a proposal to end the season... What happens after that remains unclear with chairman Stephen Cleeve not prepared to keep spending thousands out of his own pocket on wages...

A statement read 'We are able to confirm that next week’s home National League fixtures with Barnet and Weymouth will take place as scheduled but are unable to confirm that we will play any further fixtures after February 27 at this current time.

'As a club we do not wish to comment further at this time as the situation is one that continues to change and develop on a regular basis. At present our chairman is working very hard behind the scenes as he seeks clarity on the various scenarios in these unprecedented times'".

One club happy to carry on is Stockport County who "announce the signing of striker Sam Dalby, who has joined on an initial one-month loan deal from Watford.

Sam, 21, started his career coming through the academy at Leyton Orient, making his debut for the side aged just 16 years... In January 2018, Sam then made the move to Leeds United... making their first team squad on several occasions, albeit without making a first-team appearance...

Dalby then had a loan spell at League 2 Morecambe in January 2019 before signing for Watford that Summer... for an undisclosed fee...

Manager Simon Rusk said, 'His addition further complements our attacking options in the squad, at a time where the games are coming thick and fast.'”

Yeovil Town "manager Darren Sarll hopes to keep his side’s momentum building as the Glovers head to Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon.

After to back-back victories against Altrincham and Boreham Wood in the National League, Sarll believes that his side are back to their best...

He said 'When you look back at the last two games prior to the wins, I thought they were very close games and we done [sic] well in them, so we’ve hit a good bit of form recently. The two wins have been really good for us, and we’ve played some great football at times... There was a lot of believe [sic] amongst the players which was great to see.

'Over the past few games, we’ve looked good up until the 60th minute mark. After that you can see we have those periods where we can’t quite maintain those standards... It’s a new team and a very young one too so you can expect us to drop our standards from time to time...

He continued 'I think we’ve moved up seven or eight places over the last couple of weeks... which shows that we are a progressing side. The good thing is that we are climbing up the table gradually and are full of confidence at the moment...

'I think our strike force has been fantastic in the last couple of games. The great thing about our attacking players is that they are all very different... One player who doesn't receive the credit he deserves often enough is Chris Dagnall. No one has a bigger influence on our play than him. He is a brilliant professional footballer and is a serious character amongst the dressing room'".

According to the Hartlepool Mail, "Dave Challinor has welcomed the decision to continue with the National League season...

Challinor said: “Any doubts as to what might happen are put to bed... From our league it has been quite obvious that the majority wanted to continue, thankfully that happened'...

Twice-a-week Covid-19 testing for clubs will also be launched in the National League from Monday...

He added 'It is the type of job, as a manager, you will always have the opportunity to improve every day, there are different challenges every day... experiences that will only benefit you further down the line...

'As difficult as it has been, there are people in far worse positions than us and we have to cherish that we can get on with our normal day as best as possible,' he told BBC Tees Sport.

19 February 2021


Following the declaration of the results of the poll of the 66 member clubs of the National League, it has been determined that the National League will continue to play its fixtures but the North and South divisions will cease playing and their seaons will be declared null and void. Thorny issues such as whether all of the National League clubs will play on remain to be clarified. In particular, Dover Athletic have already furloughed their players.

On Thursday evening, the National League issued the following statement...

"Earlier this month, The National League distributed four resolutions for Member Clubs to consider the outcome of the 2020/21 season... With relevant voting thresholds now met for each resolution, The National League can confirm the putcome of this process as follows.

Resolution One.

In summary: Step One and Two to be split in deciding the outcome of 2020/21 Playing Season. As a Special Resolution, a voting percentage of 75% or higher under standardised National League voting criteria was required to pass.

  • National League: (for) 21- (against) 0
  • National League North: 16-6
  • National League South: 9-12

Result: Passed.

As a result, Resolution Four is disregarded.

Resolution Two (National League only)

In summary: The National League 2020/21 Playing Season (Step One) to be declared null and void. A minimum 51% majority was required for Resolution Two to pass.

  • National League: 7-13

Result: Not Passed

As a result, the National League National Division will continue to operate for the remainder of the season

Resolution Three (National League North and South only)

In summary: The National League North and South 2020/21 Playing Season (Step Two) to be declared null and void. A minimum 51% majority was required for Resolution Three to pass.

  • National League North: 15-7
  • National League South: 9-12

Result: Passed

Resolution is passed and consequently the season at Step Two is null and void.

Note – There are 2 votes from the National Division that have not yet been cast, however, the outcome of the resolutions cannot be affected by these votes, however they are cast.

With the voting procedure now closed, National League North and South fixtures will cease with immediate effect.

The Board will take the resolution outcome to The Football Association for ratification. This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation. "


Despite the dceision to carry on with the season, not every club in the National League will be happy about the outcome of the vote on continuing the season as the Lynn News reported, before the declaration of the votes, that "King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve has claimed clubs are being punished for the National League's failures as the uncertainty over whether the current season will be completed or not continues...

'What has been served up to us is nothing better than a dog's dinner,' he said. 'They are punishing clubs for their own failings and the way it is going many clubs will be forced into an insolvency position. If they force us to continue, it will be nothing more than a pure vanity project.'

As it stands, King's Lynn Town's crunch home games against both Barnet and Weymouth next week will still go ahead...

'For clubs who aren't in a position to carry on, the league should expunge their results and start again next season once fans are hopefully allowed back in'...

Lynn's owner also confirmed the Linnets had successfully passed their Grade A Ground Grading for the National League this week".


Altrincham FC has announced that "There will be a YouTube Premiere of a Questions & Answers session with members of the Altrincham Football Club Board at 8pm on Monday, February 22nd.

If you would like to ask a question about anything relating to Altrincham Football Club, please submit it here by Saturday, February 20th.

To maximise the opportunity for as many fans to have a question answered, please submit just 1 question".


ALtrincham welcome Boreham Wood to their temporrary home at Broadhurst Park on Saturday.

Last time out, in midweek, Boreham Wood lost at home to Yeovil Town who, coincidentally, had beaten Altrincham on the prceding Saturday.

So, we read that, last Tuesday, "Boreham Wood succumb[ed] to their second defeat in a row in this classic at Meadow Park where a hugely disappointing first half was followed by an excellent second half performance but in the end the 3-0 half time deficit proved too much of a mountain to climb.

Boreham Wood made two changes following their 2-0 defeat at Sutton United on Saturday. Matt Rhead came in for Junior Morias and Corey Whitely started instead of Zaine Francis-Angol.

It was the away side who dominated the first half and really put Boreham Wood to the sword. They took the lead after fifteen minutes when after some excellent footwork, Rhys Murphy struck a sweet shot past Nathan Ashmore in the Boreham Wood goal...

After thirty-four minutes, The Glovers doubled their advantage. Following an excellent run by the dangerous Josh Neufville, the forward was brought down in front of Nathan Ashmore and Reuben Reid made no mistake from the penalty spot. On forty-two minutes Neufville was again causing havoc in the Wood defence and his deflected effort went in off the post to send The Glovers into the break 3-0 up.

Following what would have been a tongue lashing from Luke Garrard, the Wood players came out in the second half rejuvenated. They were quickly on the front foot and won a penalty on forty-six minutes. Tshimanga who missed from the spot against Maidenhead ten days earlier, made no mistake this time...

On seventy-eight minutes a fantastic run from Jamal Fyfield resulted in the defender being fouled just outside the Yeovil penalty area. Gus Mafuta then struck a rocket of a free kick to bring the score back to 3-2. With Boreham Wood now with the bit between their teeth, it looked like a matter of time before they equalised... Kabs Tshimanga’s effort hit the underside of the crossbar before somehow Femi Ilesamni skyed his shot from three yards out. Sadly, this was Boreham Wood’s last chance to salvage a point...

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith, Fyfield, Pearce, Ilesamni, Whitely, Murtagh, Mafuta, Rhead (Morias 39), Tshimanga, Marsh. Subs not used: Huddart, Woodards, Stephens, Coulthirst".

ON THIS DAY: 19 February

Two years ago today, on a Tuesday night, Altrincham entertained Spennymoor Town but lost 0-2. The result was perhaps not a surprise as Spennymoor arrived in Altrincham as the form team in the division having won their previous five league matches in a run which had seen them amass a monumental 50 points from their previous 25 games! Those games had included the reverse fixture at the Brewery Field back in August when the match ended 4-4.

This return fixture was Town's first-ever visit to Altrincham although their predecessors, Spennymoor United had played a number of games at Moss Lane, the most recent being a 1-1 draw in 2003-04 season.

In contrast to their visitors, Altrincham were in indifferent form, having won just three of their last ten league matches and only one of their last four home fixtures in the league.

Above: Right: Alty's pre-match huddle.

So Altrincham's play-off aspirations were struck a further blow as visitors Spennymoor Town struck twice without reply at a wet J. Davidson Stadium.

Altrincham were again without the suspended Jordan Hulme, the injured Ben Harrison and the recuperating James Poole. Manager Phil Parkinson made three changes as Andy White, Sean Williams and Yusufi Ceesay started this match in place of Shaun Densmore, Max Harrop and Simon Richman.

Altrincham enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the game but lacked the guile to convert it into meaningful chances. Efforts from Piggott and Johnson kissed the top of the crossbar in the second half but they were as good as it got against the well organized Moors' defence.

Spennymoor took the lead seven minutes before half-time when Altrincham stood off and allowed Anderson to fire home from just outside the box. The second half again saw the Moors happy to sit back and absorb Altrincham's largely ineffective probing before Ramshaw made it 2-0 from close range in the 63rd minute after Hancock had lost possession near half-way.

Disappointing freekicks and corners underlined Altrincham's absence of a goal-threat. Although they remainws in the play-off places, Altrincham lost ground on three of the teams above them as both AFC Telford United and Stockport County won their games on the same night, in addition to Spennymoor's victory.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Steven Drench, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Joe Piggott, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusufi Ceesay. Subs: 12. Max Harrop, 14. Simon Richman, 15. Mason Fawns, 16. Shaun Densmore, 20. Tony Thompson.


According to Kent Online "Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler admitted they’ve tried to compete this season on 'a part-time budget in a full-time league’...

A full-time outfit on the verge of the play-off places 12 months ago, a drastic budget cut has seen Dover spend most of the season in the National League relegation zone... Now, Dover chairman Jim Parmenter has had to put his players on furlough and pause their season as he can no longer afford to fund the season.

With step 2 football at National League South seemingly destined for null and void, it would effectively mean throwing money down the drain with no relegation in place.

'It’s sad as a football manager that it has come to this,' reflected Hessenthaler. 'We knew that we had a challenge ahead of us, it started last March when we first went on furlough before we came back in the summer. When we returned, it was a part-time budget in a full-time league. The chairman was honest and said that he had to cut his cloth accordingly, we put players on the transfer list to try and cut the wage bill.

'It’s been a struggle and we are all accountable for that. We’ve only played 15 games but of course we could have done better... We had two different Covid-19 isolation periods for 10 days so that was stop-start, and even in the last week or so we’ve had games called off for bad weather... We’re competing with big clubs with big infrastructure, clubs like Stockport, Notts County, Yeovil and Chesterfield,' he added. 'They are top clubs and we are what we are...

'In the summer we had to go this way and bring young players in so they could stay full-time. We didn’t have a training ground for the first month of the season. We were training on the pitch and that’s taken its toll. Financially, we couldn’t afford to train anywhere else but thankfully the chairman was able to fund that'...

'Playing at this level comes at a cost,' explained Hessenthaler. 'It’s not just the wages, it’s the training ground, the travelling. With no fans, we’ve also had sponsors who can’t afford to back us at the moment, no hospitality or function rooms in use at matches; it’s not just the gate money we’ve lost. It’s a part-time budget, we’ve got a part-time groundsman, a part-time kitman, they don’t have that at other clubs, like your Notts Countys...

'We’ve still got 29 games to go and I thought we were getting some consistency in our performances.... There was improvement against Boreham Wood and Barnet and we just needed to sort that away form out'">

The Halifax Courier reports that "The Shaymen suffered a hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat at bottom club Barnet on Tuesday night, conceding two avoidable goals.

And they now face table-toppers Torquay...

'I don’t think it’s complete doom and gloom. Yes, the result’s not the result we wanted but I saw signs on Tuesday of how we want to play and, having had that two weeks off now, we’ve dusted the cobwebs off and we need to try and be ready for another tough test on Saturday,' said Wild.

'We’ll be ready and if we can cut out the silly mistakes I can see us getting a result there... We’ve got to be tougher, cut out the silly mistakes, each individual player’s got to do their job, defend properly, not let me run off them, not mark space instead of men. We’ve got to do the basics of out-of-possession right'...

Despite Halifax’s loss to Barnet in midweek, 'I’m not apprehensive at all,' he said.'The result on Tuesday magnifies because of where they (Barnet) are, but in terms of general play, you cut the silly mistakes out, we come away with a 1-0 win.... That’s the top and bottom of it in my eyes... They were shouting and balling at each other after the game, that shows they care,' he said...

Wild said midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus is fit, despite not being involved on Tuesday and not playing for the club yet. 'He was just not in the squad', Wild said".

Also at Halifax, the Northern Premier League confirms that "Witton Albion have confirmed that goalkeeper Chris Renshaw has joined FC Halifax Town on a month's loan.

The club added, 'The Yorkshire club have suffered an injury in the goalkeeping department and have made the temporary signing of Witton's number one'".

Meanwhile, at Woking, The Cards "present the fans with their exciting vision for new club branding, starting with a new club badge which fans have the opportunity to vote on.

It’s not just the badge itself which is changing though, the founding year is being corrected to 1887 [from 1889], the year the club was actually founded...

Nick Shaw, Head of Media, said 'Work properly started on the redesign of the club badge back in November... I’ve long advocated for the founding year on the club badge to be changed to 1887, as many who know me will testify to, and the club rebranding presented a fantastic opportunity for this change to finally take place...

The club’s historian, Mark Doyle, commented on possible reasons why the badge has had 1889 on it all this time 'No one seems to know for sure why 1889 has been used over 1887 as the ‘Officially Founded’ date of the club. There’s written confirmation from early newspaper reports and early Woking FC yearbooks which directly relate back to 1887'...

John Katz, director, commented 'Starting with the right date for the start of the club is the first stage in the process of building the club identity. One that will bring a unified club with a unified aim to be the best club that we can be... It's no longer time for us to be a sleeping giant but a club with ambition, desire and the will to win'">

Weymouth "have extended the loan of star striker Andy Dallas until late April.

Dallas, on loan from Sky Bet League Two leaders Cambridge United, will now stay at the Bob Lucas Stadium until April 24.

It means the pacy marksman, scorer of four goals in a month, can play a further 15 matches with the Terras.

Former Rangers youngster Dallas could play his final game at promotion-chasing Hartlepool United...

'He’s brought a different dimension to our game,' manager Brian Stock told Echosport. 'When we look at players that run in behind, have pace and can hold the ball up, he’s brought a different dimension to the team. You look at the way he plays on the shoulder and has pace to burn, it incentivises the midfield or defence to play balls over the top, which in turn has stretched teams and been able to make us play...

'At times there have been one or two performances where we’ve asked a lot of Andy. He has a tireless work rate'...

Stock added 'Andy’s happy, he’s enjoying his football and Cambridge are happy... He wants to stay for as long as possible but they want a 24-hour call back'".

18 February 2020


Altrincham supporters were stunned to see the BBC North West Tonight programme on Wednesday evening state that The Robins were one of the local clubs voting to declare the 2020-21 campaign "null and void". This was surprising, to say the least, given that the club had announced, almost three weeks ago, that it was voting to continue the season.

The club acted promptly to quash the BBC's baseless claim stating, "We would like to provide clarification that, contrary to BBC North West Tonight reporting, Altrincham FC intend to continue with the 2020/21 Vanarama National League season, and have voted to do so.

The club's position was communicated in detail, in a recent update from Altrincham FC Co-Chairman, Bill Waterson".

In his statement, issued on 29 January, Bill stated "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. ".


Writing in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger Altrincham FC's Press and Media Officer, John Edwards, writes that "Phil Parkinson pulled no punches as he reflected on a 2-0 defeat at Yeovil Town and described it as Altrincham’s worst performance of the season.

After a disjointed first half in which neither side threatened a breakthrough, Yeovil stepped it up and capitalised on a rare Alty off-day with goals from two of their substitutes, Rhys Murphy and Chris Dagnall.

Centre-back Tom Hannigan [right] was the only one to escape a blunt appraisal from Parkinson, as the Alty boss said... 'It wasn’t just a case of one or two being below par. There was only Tom who came out with any credit or hit anywhere near the levels expected. It is a team game, and we really let ourselves down.

'It’s the worst we have played all season. We looked like a part-time team. We looked a bit jaded, like we didn’t have ideas or a player to take the game by the scruff of the neck. We were really poor, and everyone feels a bit ashamed of themselves...

'We weren’t good enough in possession or out of possession. It is bitterly disappointing, but you can count on the fingers of one hand how many times this has happened to us in the last few years... It was a bit of a kick up the backside and perhaps a reminder we shouldn’t get too carried away when we win a few".


Another club has explained its position as regards the vote to continue or end the current National League season as Wrexham tell us that "The Club has been approached by numerous individuals from the National League and the FA, with regard to our stated position of abstaining in the vote to determine whether the three Vanarama National League divisions should continue.

The decision to abstain was made by the Board of the Wrexham Supporters Trust, but with the full support of the new owners.

The reason behind the decision to abstain was simple, in that, the Club was excluded from any offer of financial support from the Sports Winter Survival Package for National League Clubs, and the Club was being asked to consider the same proposals as the other 65 Clubs, but on a different basis.

The Club position was, and remains, that it does not want to impose our view on others, on a matter where all Clubs are not being treated equally.

The obvious disparity of the Club's treatment has been recognised by the National League and the Welsh Government. The Government have since been in touch with the Club to gain a greater understanding of the issue and to see if they can provide some equivalent financial support.

On this basis alone, the decision to make our ‘abstention’ stance public, has raised the profile of the Club’s treatment, in a way that will hopefully prevent the unfairness of the situation arising again.

The Club has identified that we can, in fact, vote in favour of Resolution 1, which allows each of the three National League Divisions to decide their own future, and remain consistent with our original position by allowing the other 65 clubs to consider the matter on an equivalent basis.

The Club has now voted in favour of Resolution 1 but will maintain its position of abstaining on the other Resolutions. It is our hope that the National League (Step 1) season continues and our new owners have committed to meeting the costs of the Club without any guarantee of external support, notwithstanding our view that all Clubs should be treated equally".

ON THIS DAY: 18 February

Ten years ago today, in a Blue Square Bet Premier match, played on Saturday, 19 February, 2011, Altrincham beat Kettering Town 3-2 at Moss Lane.

Right: Greg Young receives his team-mates' congratulations after scoring the winner against Kettering.

Carl Piergianni returned for this game after suspension but James Smith remained banned. Chris Denham awaited an operation so was unavailable and Shaun Densmore had also been sidelined for several weeks by injury. But new loan signing from Fleetwood, Steve Connors, started, and Mark Beesley replaced Michael Twiss up front. Sam Hewson was injured so not in the squad.

It was Greg Young who secured a deserved win for Alty in the 88th minute after the hosts had fallen behind 2-1 at the interval. Alty had the better of the first half but, apart from a Reeves penalty, converted after Piergianni had been felled in the 22nd minute, they had failed to take two or three other decent half chances. When Marna lobbed Dootson superbly from outside the box (41 mins) and then scored another fine goal three minutes later it looked grim for Alty.

After struggling at the start of the second period, Alty went on to get back into the game and levelled through Baynes after good work from Clee (64 mins). They went on to dominate before Greg Young headed the winner from a corner by Baynes to secure a vital three points.

ALTRINCHAM: 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNNI, 22. Greg YOUNG, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 18. Steven CONNORS, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, 8. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs; 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN, 9. Michael TWISS.


The Leader Live tells us that "Wrexham's new owners are committed to redeveloping the Kop stand which could house as many as 7,000 supporters.

Above: Alty (in yellow) defend the still closed Kop end at Wrexham, in September 2015.

Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds have... said they want to return the Reds to 'the Football League in front of increased attendances, and in an improved stadium'.

Key to that will be a newly developed stand at the Kop end to make the ground four-sided and British comedian and writer Humphrey Ker, who has been appointed executive director by the famous actors, says there are plans to increase the capacity to at least 15,000.

'The WST, local government and Welsh government were a long way down a path towards the gateway project which would have included a revamped Kop stand,' said Ker. 'That is high on our list of priorities, to try and activate that plan/modify it somewhat so we think it will be the best possible version of it for the club; Wales games and home games for us.

'We currently have a 10,000 seat capacity which realistically is about 8,900 because of safety restrictions and things that you have to do. We would like another 5-7,000 seat stand to add to that so we could get more people in when we are tearing it up in League One in a few years time!...

'We have engaged with an architectural firm to come down and do a survey on Thursday, and start giving us an idea of the bones of the stadium like what it can sustain, and what areas need the most pressing enhancements and repairs...

'Rather than spending £70,000 a year patching the stadium, maybe we can spend £250,000 one year and not have to patch the stadium for 10 years.'"

Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town boss... Ian Culverhouse has conceded that King's Lynn Town need financial help, and quickly, if they are to see out their first-ever season in the National League.

The Linnets' boss has admitted that owner Stephen Cleeve can't continue to keep funding the club while there are no fans coming through the gates...

After the unlucky 1-0 home defeat to Notts County at The Walks on Tuesday night, which could end up being Lynn's last home game of a farcical campaign, Culverhouse said 'Will we be here again? I don’t know. It is hard to say, but what I will say is we can’t carry on doing what we are doing without help. It is too much for Steve (Cleeve), it really is.

'He is funding it as much as he can and, hopefully, I am not out of order by saying it, but it is a big ask for him, a really big ask.

'He has no income coming through the gate and he has no personal income coming in. It is hard at the moment, it is hard times, but we are not the only ones; there are a few of us like it.'

The Linnets were due to travel to Dover on Saturday, but the game has been postponed because the Kent side have furloughed all of their playing staff...

Of the National League teams to have shown their hand so far, it appears the likes of Notts County, Chesterfield, Hartlepool and Sutton want to carry on, while Lynn, Wealdstone and Dover Athletic want it to end"

And confirmation comes from King's Lynn Town that they "have received notice from Dover Athletic to inform us that they will be unable to fulfil our fixture on Saturday and we will therefore not be travelling to Dover for the fixture...

The club also wishes to confirm that defender Aaron Jones suffered an Achilles injury in training this week which will keep him out for several months".

Meanwhile, Kent Online reports that Dover manager "Andy Hessenthaler believes the National League’s gamble to start the season has spectacularly backfired.

It means Whites' boss Hessenthaler and his entire first-team squad are on furlough. The 55 year-old former Gillingham midfielder and manager believes it was wrong to start the season last October.

'The National League thought crowds were coming back but they shouldn’t have gambled,' said Hessenthaler. 'The season shouldn’t have started unless they had something in writing that there would be funding there if the fans can’t come back in. But nothing was in place or in writing; for me it was a gamble.

'A lot of people have to answer for this situation and be accountable for it. It was a rush and we didn’t know until the start of October if we were going to be playing or not. It’s been an eye opener for me. I’ve been brought up in non-league football but the last few weeks have been really tough. I haven’t had much sleep.

'People will say the position we are in, then that’s why we’ve stopped. Yes, it’s not great but it doesn’t matter if we are top or bottom; we can’t pay the wages any more.”

Mr Parmenter pulled the plug on Dover’s season as he is not willing to put the club into debt. The players were informed of the decision at the weekend and Hessenthaler was not surprised.

'Can I blame him? No. We can’t carry on if there’s no money coming in,' he added... He said to me one-on-one that he needs to take these tough decisions so we’ve got a club for next season and if we carry on then that wouldn’t be the case...

'Of course, the boys want to carry on playing but they understood the decision as they know what is going on in the world. There was disappointment and understanding on the chairman’s part, they are frustrated as they want to play.'

Hessenthaler was full of praise for Mr Parmenter, who has been running Dover for 15 years".

According to the Eastleigh News "Eastleigh put a dent in Hartlepool’s promotion bid and boosted their own National League play-off hopes with victory at Silverlake Stadium.

Ben House gave Eastleigh a first-minute lead after deceiving Pools keeper Ben Killip from a long ball upfield.

Joe McDonnell saved well from Gavan Holohan at the other end, but House’s strike partner Tyrone Barnett rose highest to head in Jack Payne’s cross in the 27th minute and make it 2-0 at the break.

After Barnett volleyed against a post, Pools’ Hoolohan twice went close before Joe Grey pulled one back in the 90th minute, but that was all the visitors could muster.

The Spitfires are currently top of the form table and take on Stockport this Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten run to seven games".

In the Derbyshire Times Chesterfield manager "James Rowe has revealed he wants to develop the sports science department at the club after saying it has not been ‘up to scratch’. By Liam Norcliffe

The Spireites boss has brought in someone who has connections to his former club Aldershot Town on an interim basis. Midfielder Curtis Weston has been leading fitness classes on Zoom during the latest isolation period.

Rowe said the sports science role will be a permanent position for whoever takes it on, although any big changes will probably not happen until the summer.

On the interim appointment, Rowe said 'He was available by chance. The players have really taken to him but I am not sure what his future holds because his family is in South Africa so that is a decision for him to make if we were in a position to offer anyone that permanent position. At the moment interim works well for him.

'Curtis does help him on a daily basis as well so I think it is a happy place at the moment. It is an area that I want to develop in the club. The sports science side has not been up to scratch with regards to individual programmes in settling into the schedule we have got.

'We need more of a strength and conditioning base for the players so they can get their individual programmes in but it is difficult now with the fixtures to know when to integrate it so the players aren’t too tired'".

Yeovil Town "manager Darren Sarll paid tribute to his side's ‘wonderful’ performance after their 3-2 victory over Boreham Wood in the National League.

First-half goals from Rhys Murphy, Reuben Reid and Josh Neufville at Meadow Park secured a three-goal advantage for the Glovers at the break, before surviving a scare late on after two goals from Luke Garrard's side reduced the score line.

The result represented an impressive response to Town’s recent outing in the National League against Eastleigh a week ago and secured back-to-back victories for the side from Huish Park in their serge [sic] to move up the table.

Speaking to BBC Somerset after the game, Sarll said 'I thought the first-half performance from us was absolutely wonderful. I thought we played with such energy, freedom and fearlessness all night... I think Max Hunt set the tone showing his composure early on in the game, which gave the players the confidence...

'We wanted to really pass it around tonight because we knew if we tried to go toe-to-toe with a very animated Boreham Wood side then we would be in for a very difficult evening. It was a bit nervy in the second-half as expected...

'I don’t think they really played through us at any point.'

Murphy returned to the side for the first time in a number of weeks, after showing some great form coming off from the bench and Sarll was full of praise for his forward and the rest of his attacking force...

'It’s the fittest I've seen Rhys since I first arrived at the club 20 months ago and I think he just thrives off the intelligence of Reid, Quigley and Dagnall. I thought our attacking force was brilliant tonight'"

17 February 2021


Altrincham FC confirm that they "will step out at Broadhurst Park again for their next home fixture, against Boreham Wood in the Vanarama National League on Saturday.

Alty's last home game was staged at FC United of Manchester's ground, against Wrexham last Tuesday, after exceptional rainfall in January took its toll on the pitch at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The decision to switch venue again was taken after careful consideration of all relevant details, not least the fixture congestion looming in March when Alty face eight matches in 25 days.

Five of those are at home, including three in a week at the start of the month, and it was felt prudent to give the Moss Lane pitch as much protection as possible and maximum recovery time for what could be a crucial run-in to the end of a memorable campaign...

Live stream coverage of the game on Alty TV will be available as usual".

Footnote: This change of venue means that by Saturday, in their last 26 league fixtures going back to the autumn play-offs, just seven of those games will have been played at the J. Davidson Stadium. 17 of the 26 have been scheduled away fixtures and now two will have been home games played away from home.

In addition the home cup ties versus Barnton in the Cheshire Senior Cup and versus Chester FC in the FA Trophy game were also both played away from Moss Lane. Also the planned home National League fixture against Sutton United was converted into the away match.


Duncan Watmore scored for Middlesbrough in their Championship win on Tuesday nigt.

Elliot Durrell was a used sub for Wrexham as they also won on Tuesday and Jeff King scored FC Halifax's goal as they lost to bottom club Barnet.


On Saturday Altrincham welcome Boreham Wood to the J. Davidson Stadium. Their only previous visit came on Saturday, 21 November, 2015 in front of 1,002 spectators of whom just 27 were in the away end.

It was a Vanarama National League match in which Boreham Wood must have counted themselves unfortunate not to have taken something from a game in which the BBC statistics showed that they won the corner count 12-3 and the shots tally by 15 to 6.

Above: Alty were on the back foot for much of the first half; here all eleven men defend a Boreham Wood freekick.

After a poor first-half showing from Altrincham, the hosts were fortunate to reach the interval on level terms. Indeed, Boreham Wood had hit the woodwork twice in the first 45 minutes. Things only really improved with the 59th minute introduction of Nicky Clee. It was he who got the 76th minute winner after Michael Rankine, who had just been brought on from the bench, had cut the ball back to him.

Simon Richman was named Man of the Match and the three points lifted Alty off 19th place for the first time in two and a half months; they lay 17th at the final whistle but were not to avoid relegation at the nd of the campaign.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 5. Luca HAVERN, 7. James LAWRIE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 23. Callum WILLIAMS.


After sitting out tonight's games, Altrincham dropped to eighth, on PPG they would lie twelfth.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

  • Aldershot Town 1-3 Solihull Moors
  • Boreham Wood 2-3 Yeovil Town
  • Chesterfield P-P Halifax Town [Covid at Chesterfield]
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 Bromley
  • Eastleigh 2-1 Hartlepool United
  • King's Lynn Town 0-1 Notts County
  • Maidenhead United 0-0 Stockport County
  • Sutton United P-P Dover Athletic [Dover furloughed players]
  • Wrexham 2-0 Woking

ON THIS DAY: 17 February

Three years ago on 17 February 2018, Alty entertained Sutton Coldfield Town in an EvoStik Premier match. The hosts won 2-1.

This was the Royals' first ever visit to Moss Lane. Alty had won the reverse fixture 4-0 at Coles Lane but the Midlanders had made sweeping changes to their personnel since then and came into this match with seven points from their previous four games.

Above: John Johnston celebrates converting his penalty at the Golf Road end.

Sutton Coldfield belied their bottom of the table position to make Altrincham work hard for the three points. The home side started poorly and had Hawley got in a better shot the hosts could have been behind inside forty seconds. Indeed, it was the Royals who took the lead, in the 13th minute, when Alty stood off Hawley and allowed the former Stafford man to feed the overlapping Lyttle. From right of goal he drove a fine, low shot past Thompson.

Altrincham slowly improved and they levelled the score eight minutes later. A superb 22 yard shot from Harrop gave keeper Brown no chance.

On a soft surface Altrincham found it hard to create clear openings and it took a penalty, ten minutes from time, to decide the outcome. Hancock got to a ball just inside the box fractionally ahead of a defender who tripped him to concede the spot-kick. Johnston coolly converted the penalty, having come on as a substitute during the second half after an injury lay-off.

The action was not over as Sutton Coldfield substitute Dell lasted just four minutes before punching Harrop in reaction to a foul by the Alty man and being shown a red card in the 89th minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. John JOHNSTON, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Mason WALSH, 17. Josh AMIS


Elsewhere, in Kent Online "Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter reveals how expensive it's been to keep the National League side going

Jim Parmenter admits he's ploughed hundreds of thousands of pounds into the club to keep it afloat but could do it no more. Mr Parmenter says he spent over £500,000 to keep them going last season and has been shelling out around £25,000 a week for the last two months to avoid getting the club into debt. Dover announced on Saturday night that they were ceasing football operations, putting the staff and players on furlough...

With around 85% of the club's outgoings spent on player and staff costs, the only thing Mr Parmenter felt he could do was to cut that expense out. He hopes they will now survive the crisis and fans will have a club to support next season.

He said 'I am just a local guy trying to keep his town club going and I have done it for eight weeks nearly, in previous years I have done it too, but I just can't keep doing it. It has been heartbreaking but it was a decision where there was no other choice really, we had to do it.

'We have carried on for nearly eight weeks now with nearly no funding at all and we have managed to keep the club going but we have simply run out of resources. We think we can remain solvent by taking this action, that is the key driver to doing it.'

Mr Parmenter, whose business is in fruit and vegetable distribution, admits the last year has been 'an absolute nightmare' as he faced dealing with his own company and the impact of Covid, as well as Brexit.

He said: "I am affected by Covid as much as everyone else, my business is affected, all of the other businesses are too. We get goodwill sponsorship as a town club but you look around Dover and the businesses are not operating. If they are, they are not doing very well, so you cannot expect those businesses to come forward with sponsorship.

'I have had all the trials and tribulations that everyone else has with Covid and the football club on top of that. I feel very let down by the authorities, by the league and by the government because we would never have started this season if we hadn't been promised funding. I feel let down that money has not been forthcoming. We should never have started this season.'

The club could face sanctions for pulling out of their fixtures. But Mr Parmenter feels any action against them would be harsh, saying 'I am sure we will be charged for not fulfilling our fixtures. But I think it is against league rules to take the league loans that are being offered at the moment, and equally it was the league that promised the funding when we started the season'...

He was asked if he could have sent the kids out to play, like some National South sides look set to do, but Dover's only youth scheme is for under-19s. Sending teenagers up and down the country to play at the top tier of the non-league scene was a non-starter for Mr Parmenter... He says he has kept the club out of debt for 15 years and isn't willing to put the club at risk of insolvency, something that could have happened as early as next week...

'There is a big split in the league,' he said. 'There are the big rich clubs who have either got parachute payments of a million pounds or very rich backers, that are mostly overseas, who can put money into their clubs and it doesn't really worry them. But then there is the other half of the league that are struggling like hell and don't know where the next lot of wages are coming from.

'We are going to have a split vote for sure. All the vote is going to do is bring up more problems because it is not going to solve the main issues, which is that 50% want to play and 50% don't or can't. How do you resolve that? They have put themselves in an impossible position in my opinion...

'In general, apart from a few of the really big clubs, it is pretty much a 100% support of the decision we have taken and among the fans as well, I think they realise the importance of the club and keeping it alive.'".

According to West London Sport, "Wealdstone have voted in favour of ending the National League season early and declaring it null and void because of financial uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic...

The decision has put the future of the National League season in doubt, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport arguing that continued grants were never guaranteed...

Stones chairman Rory Fitzgerald says the uncertainty over future financial support has left the club with no option but to vote to end the season.

'As a club, we are very grateful for the support provided from various sources, including our supporters, to assist us financially in these unprecedented times,' he said in a statement. 'However, we do not believe it is appropriate for the club to take on debt to complete the season.

'We, like others, clearly believed that we would be supported in covering lost revenues via grant funding until we were able to welcome supporters back to game. We continue to lobby for this outcome so we can complete the season without undermining the long-term future of the club.

'The club has now incurred close to two months of costs without any meaningful revenue and this cannot continue for further months if the club is to survive in a recognisable form. We therefore do not feel it is possible for the board to vote for anything other than ending the season whilst there is no clarity on future financial support and what form this may take.'

Fitzgerald does, however, say the club are applying for the DCMS Winter Sports Survival Fund to find out the level of loan funding that will be available though stresses that 'saddling the club with debt is something we will seek to avoid'”.

Meanwhile, in the Hartlepool Mail "Dave Challinor says he has sympathy with the National League for the tough decisions they are having to make but insists the communication and leadership from league bosses could and should have been stronger...

Speaking ahead of the Eastleigh trip on Tuesday evening, [he added] 'Without wanting to sit on the fence, I feel a bit of both and of course I have sympathy because somebody somewhere has to make a decision that impacts 66 clubs and you can’t please everybody.

'The worst case scenario is that the person making that decision doesn’t want to make a decision that could have serious repercussions for a lot of football clubs and communities. I completely get that these are massively difficult decisions to make.

'Where the National League haven’t done themselves any favours is just through the communication and leadership aspect of it and making decisions that show authority. It’s been really messy and that’s allowed people to give their opinions and you’ve got football clubs with players, managers, chairman who are all giving their opinions publicly which go everywhere within a second.

'That snowballs the problem and ranks the pressure up on the National League. The overall situation is best described as a bit of a mess and hopefully we get some clarity very soon.'"

The Hartlepool Mail reports on Pools' visit to Eastleigh that "It was first abandoned, then re-arranged and the, when eventually played on Tuesday evenin, resulted in a disappointing defeat for Pools.

The delay in the fixture meant this was a game with major ramifications at the top of the table, as two promotion hopefuls looked to show their credentials.

Games of this nature can often be slow-burners, but one moment of indecision with just 40 seconds on the clock ensured that wouldn’t be the case on this occasion...

Hartlepool were in the ascendancy, but a hammer-blow would be delivered just before the half hour mark; Jack Payne’s in-swinging corner met by the head of Tyrone Barnett, who steered home from close range.

Pools, though, still sensed the contest wasn’t over and dominated possession as the half drew to a close...

The second half continued in a similar vein as the visitors committed bodies forward in search of a leveller and... [they failed to muster a clear-cut opportunity...

The goal that Pools had been threatening all evening came in injury time... Substitute Joe Grey fired home on the volley from close range."

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Tom Denton ‘certainly’ has a future at Chesterfield, says manager James Rowe.

The 31-year-old has had an operation on his knee and is set to be out for more than 10 weeks. The striker is the Spireites’ top goalscorer this season with nine goals and is out of contract at the end of the season.

When asked if Denton fits into his plans, Rowe, speaking at Monday night’s online fans forum, said 'You win different games in different ways at this level and certainly he would have been part of my plans this year (had he not been injured). Obviously with a serious injury we need to make sure first and foremost mentally that he is okay because it is a long stint out.

'We know his worth, he has scored goals since I have come into the club and he was the top scorer before I came into the club. They are hard to find, goalscorers, and he is certainly that. I know what weapons he has, the team showed that they can adapt with him in the team as well.

'We picked up a lot of points when he was in the team so no doubt hopefully he has a future here at the club. The art of management is making sure he does fit in and make sure we play with variation so that he can be included because like I said players like that, with weapons that he has, are unique at this level and in the EFL so certainly Tom has a future here.'”

Also from the Derbyshire Times we read that "Spireites assistant manager George Foster says Chesterfield are in ‘very good hands’ with boss James Rowe and that he could go ‘all the way’.

Foster played for Mansfield Town for 10 years and later went on to manage them and led them to promotion from the old Fourth Division... Foster and Rowe met when they were both working for the Premier League before they linked up at Gloucester City and now again at Town...

'The gaffer knows what he wants and with the right backing he could go all the way', Foster said. 'He is probably one of the best coaches I have worked with and I have worked with England coaches and some first-class coaches. He is an exceptional coach, he knows how he wants his teams to play and he can put that on in training sessions.

'There is not one player at Chesterfield who does not know what his role is within the club. I think the club is in very, very good hands... There is a squad there now at our football club that can take the two games a week and can get us up amongst the play-offs'...

'When you are talking about three central defenders, for example, the way the boss sets the team up, it makes life easier for them because we play such a high line now,' he added....'We have only been beaten once in 11 games now and that breeds confidence throughout the club and you probably see different players.'"

In the Non-League Paper we learn that this year, "Maidenhead United celebrate 150 years at the historic York Road... the oldest known senior football ground in the world continually used by the same club.

For chairman Peter Griffin... it is not about winning leagues or promotion, or making big-name signings, it is about maintaining the club’s long history... The first responsibility is to make sure you hand things over to the next generation, to the next people who run it, in a better state'...

York Road is as traditional as a Non-League ground comes and is still going strong ever since its opening fixture on February 16, 1871 against Marlow.... When Griffin took over in January 2006, Maidenhead were relegated from Conference South four months later but bounced back at the first attempt. They maintained their Step 2 status while recovering the club from debt and then won the title under Alan Devonshire four seasons ago.

Progress on the pitch has been evident, with the club now training on Monday and Tuesday mornings plus Thursday evenings meaning boss Devonshire has been able to attract players with a full-time mentality...

York Road has been modernised over the years with new stands, a five-a-side court, hospitality areas, new toilet blocks and bar but has still retained its heritage... The club is aiming to submit plans for a new stadium in the coming months which would have a 999-year lease after the council agreed to sell land at Braywick Park for it and would be funded by the York Road site being sold for redevelopment...

Griffin said 'Being in the town centre, we had one of two ways we could either modernise the ground or take advantage of it and move. We’re shoehorned in at our traditional historic home where we’ve got a very small footprint, it would cost millions to do more with it...

'[Moving] sets the club up long-term and means we would be not only debt free but self-sufficient. That’s a real big accomplishment if we can do that and leave it for the next generation knowing it’s going to be safe for the next 150 years and that’s our legacy...

Alan Devonshire... The former winger first joined the club in 1996, becoming joint-manager with Martyn Busby, but Devonshire soon took over the reins entirely... and won promotion to the Isthmian Premier League in 2000.

He left the club in 2003 and enjoyed success with Hampton & Richmond and Braintree Town before re-joining the Magpies in 2015. During his second season back at the club, Maidenhead became champions of the Conference South... and were promoted to the Premier division

Before their midweek match, Woking were "hoping to return to National League action against Wrexham on Tuesday evening, after seeing matches at Sutton United and at home to Torquay United fall foul of the weather last week.

The Cards lack of league action, with no game since last month, has seen them slide down the table. They currently sit 16th, five points clear of the relegation places, and nine adrift of the play-off places, although only one of the current top seven have fulfilled less of their fixtures than Woking...

Dowse will definitely be without striker Slavi Spasov, who has returned to Oxford United, but should otherwise have a full strength squad to pick from. That could mean that the likes of Jamar Loza and John Goddard will be aiming for a spot in the starting line-up, although the boss could be tempted to stick with the same team which performed so well against Sutton United in the FA Trophy".

According to the Leader Live "Dean Keates has spending power as a result of the club's takeover but the Reds' boss will not be held to ransom when it comes to strengthening his squad...

Keates... is only able to sign free agents now that the transfer window has closed and has been in talks with a potential target. However, the Reds' boss was unwilling to meet the 'unrealistic' wage demands and the signing has fallen through.

'We are still looking but it has to be the right players with the right characteristics coming into the club,' said Keates, who signed Tyler French and Dior Angus before the window closed.

'We put something to someone but he was unrealistic with the terms that he came back with. There was no way that we were going to go with the terms that he wanted to have his services so we just move on to someone else, and keep looking... It wasn't going to me a marquee signing, it was an opportunity for the player to develop and progress with the football club but we will look elsewhere.'"

From the Leader Live we learn that "An exciting new era for Wrexham began with a 2-0 home win against Woking...

It was just a shame that Wrexham's long suffering supporters, who have seen their team spend 13 seasons in non-league, weren't there to enjoy the first game of what promises to be a bright future... And victory extended the unbeaten run to six game, the longest run without defeat this season for the Reds.

Keates made one change from the side that started the victory against Altrincham seven days earlier.

Jay Harris was absent through injury so Dan Jarvis came back into the Reds' midfield, while there was also a place on the substitutes bench for returning striker Jordan Ponticelli. It was end to end in the early exchanges with Woking having the first attempt on goal but Charlie Cooper's fifth minutes drive deflected wide for a corner which came to nothing...

Wrexham were being stifled by the Cards and struggled to impose themselves when they reached the final third. Woking were enjoying the majority of the possession and having a good go, with Wrexham failing to create an opportunity of note in the opening half an hour.

The game reached the 42nd minute when the Reds finally had a sight of goal... but Wrexham took the lead in the 45th minute...

Dior Angus slotted past Ross for his first Wrexham goal.

The Reds needed a second goal to give themselves some breathing space and it came in the 65th minute after Woking conceded a penalty... Kwame Thomas was brought down in the area with Young despatching the spot-kick."

The Halifax Courier reports that "The Shaymen's return to action after two-and-a-half weeks was certainly not worth waiting for as goals from Michael Petrasso and Anthony Wordsworth proved enough for the hosts' first win in 16 games, and only their third league victory of the season, with [ex-Alty man] Jeff King scoring for Town.

Pete Wild warned it was one of the biggest games of his side's season, but his team didn't play like it.

Barnet manager Tim Flowers barked out constant instructions from the sidelines which echoed around the empty stadium, mainly concerned with his side's communication and positioning.

The hosts may have been careless in possession and lacking quality on the ball, but they were organised and worked hard, looking far better than their league position suggested...

There was a determination and a drive about Barnet, despite their lowly status, egged on by Flowers' constant shouts of "press, press!", that a more lethargic Town didn't quite possess...

The Bees had scored more than once for only the second time in their last 18 games, both of which were against Halifax...

It hadn't been good enough from Town. It hardly seemed worth waiting 17 days for.

News Chain reports that "Solihull Moors ended a three-match winless run to climb above Aldershot with a 3-1 victory...

Jordan Cranston hit the crossbar directly from a corner and it was another set-piece from the full-back which saw Solihull double their lead through Alex Grudger in first-half stoppage time.

Cranston was involved once again, this time with a teasing free-kick, as he found Rooney to volley home in the 62nd minute, with Josh Reed heading in a late consolation for Aldershot."

16 February 2021


Next Saturday may be only the second time that Boreham Wood have visited Altrincham but their squad includes a host of experienced players who have previously crossed Altrincham's path for other clubs, including several formerly northern-based names.

Amongst the Boreham Wood players who have played against Altrincham are:

  • Jamal Fyfield for Welling United (in 2014/15 season) and for Wrexham (in 2015/16)
  • Danny Woodards for Exeter City (in 2006/6 season)
  • Zaine Francis-Angol for Kidderminster Harriers (in 2015/16 season)
  • Kabongo Tshimanga for Aldershot Town (in 2014/15 season)
  • Mark Ricketts for Gravesend & Northfleet (in 2006/7 season), Ebbsfleet United (in 2007/8 season) and Woking (in 2015/16 season)
  • Gus Mafuta for Gateshead (in 2015/16 season)
  • Keiran Murtagh for Woking (in 2015/16 season)
  • Matt Rhead for Kidsgrove Atheltic (2007 friendly), Corby Town (in 2011/12 season) and Lincoln City (in 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons)
  • Krystian Pearce for Torquay United (in 2014/15 season)
  • Tyrone Marsh for Welling United (in 2014/15 season), Torquay United (in 2015/16 season) amd Macclesfield Town (2018 friendly)

And several other of the current squad have previously played against Alty for Boreham Wood either in 2015/16 season or in the reverse fixture in November 2020, or in both games.


Two National League North clubs have announced that they are refusing to play forthcoming fixtures..

The BBC reports that "Southport say they will not play Tuesday's National League North fixture against Curzon Ashton because of a lack of coronavirus testing and the financial impact of the pandemic.

The club claim they have not received any tests from the National League.

In addition, Southport do not want to play while lower-league clubs face the threat of insolvency".

And Darlington have issued a "Statement from the Board of Directors of Darlington FC...

The Board of Directors of Darlington FC has decided that the club will not play our National League North game at home to Boston United on Tuesday 16th February.

The issue of financial funding through grants has not been resolved since the start of the league suspension in January. Indeed, there is now doubt about whether the league is breaking its own rules by encouraging clubs to take out loans from the DCMS...

At the start of the season, in a letter to all clubs from the National League, we were informed that each club would receive 'compensation for lost net gate revenue each month for the period that clubs are prevented from admitting supporters'... We were clearly led to believe in September 2020 and October 2020 that in the absence of crowds then more grant funding would be received.

This club has endured three harmful administrations, and since the fans took over the ownership of the club in 2012, we have worked very hard to make the club sustainable through many fundraising campaigns. We have learned the lessons of the mistakes of past owners, which makes us very determined not to over-burden the club with debt from a loan... and wipe out all the hard work of the last nine years for the sake of four months....

We are determined that we shall not trade while insolvent; indeed to do so knowingly is illegal. We estimate that we have lost approximately £50,000 in January, and probably another £50,000 in February. We therefore believe that we have just cause (under league rule 8.39) in not playing the game on Tuesday...

It is reasonable for the National League to provide, or make available, funding for such testing... Until such testing is in place, we believe this is further justification for not playing.

In these circumstances we believe that we have been misled by the National League".

ON THIS DAY: 16 February

Two years ago today, in a Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 16 February 2019, Altrincham drew 1-1 at the JDS with Bradford (Park Avenue). BPA arrived in Altrincham without a win in their last six league games, a run extending back to Boxing Day 2018, when they had been top of the table. They arrived for this match one point and two places ahead of seventh-placed Altrincham with virtually identical goal difference.

Right: Max Harrop and BPA's Luca Havern contest an aerial ball.

Altrincham had suffered three serious injuries last time out, at FCUM, with Connor Hampson and Ben Harrison both having to go off in the first half and loanee Nathan Waterston's season being ended by a foul tackle at the very end of the game. In addition, Jordan Hulme was serving the second game of his four-match suspension.

And there was further woe for manager Phil Parkinson when midfielder Sean Williams reported ill. However, James Poole was fit enough to be named on the bench after his long absence through injury and James Jones and Simon Richman were restored to the starting eleven.

In the New Year, Bradford had allowed three of their senior players to leave, including goalkeeper Steven Drench to Altrincham. Since then Avenue had added Hull City loanee goalkeeper, Charlie Andrew, and Romoney Crichlow-Noble (on loan from Huddersfield Town) to their squad in recent weeks and Danny East was back in contention following long-term injury. BPA had also not played for three weeks due to postponements so, they were something of an unknown quantity today despite their three previous encounters with Altrincham this season.

On an afternoon which will probably remembered more for the rainbow shirts worn by Altrincham than for the quality of the match itself, a late goal earned Bradford (Park Avenue) a point. Alty could not complain too much at the outcome of a game in which both sides struggled to create many chances.

Altrincham took a 22nd minute lead when Hancock rounded the keeper after Joe Piggot had dispossessed Luca Havern some 40 yards from goal.

Bradford enjoyed plenty of possession without creating any real threats. But four minutes from time, Clee was allowed to get along the left byline and, though Alty half-cleared the ball, a second clearance then cannoned off East into the net to make it 1-1.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Steven Drench, 2. Shaun Densmore, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Simon Richman, 9. Joe Piggott, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Max Harrop. Subs: 12. James Poole, 14. Andy White, 15. Mason Fawns, 16. Yusifu Ceesay, 20. Tony Thompson


Weymouth "boss Brian Stock... on a two-year full-time contract... has made a number of impressive signings.

Goalkeeper Ethan Ross, defenders Dom Revan and Jacob Mensah, wingers Pierre Fonkeu and Joan Luque plus striker Andy Dallas have all joined the Bob Lucas Stadium in the New Year. All six men have made an impact with either clean sheets, assists or goals, leaving Stock pleased...

'Director of football Paul Maitland has played a key role in helping me, and integrated me into the manager’s role. He’s been that go-between to the board... Yes, there are a lot of phone calls when you go to the player, the agent and then the board or to Paul.

Then you repeat that cycle again if you can’t agree, so it can be time consuming...

They train on a Tuesday and Thursday night and play on a Saturday', he said. 'When you look at the amount of hours you put in to plan, speak to players, agents, physios, that’s almost a whole day of phone calls and arranging things. Obviously, we’ve now recruited players that can almost train full-time. The accommodation allows us to recruit players that can all train on a Wednesday.

'We did have a little think about whether it was the right thing to do when sometimes players get back quite late... It’s given us more contact time with the players.... When it comes to a matchday, you’d like to think the majority of your work’s done in the week...

'Sometimes we send out stuff for the players to look at in their position. But the key detail and one or two tweaks would be done in the changing room. We like to think that when it comes to a Thursday session, we’re covering quite a lot of stuff on the opposition and concentrating on one or two things ourselves.'”

On Ken Online "Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler has revealed that money's been so tight this season that one of his players had to stay with him for two weeks.

Hessenthaler and wife Nikki welcomed Whites midfielder Omar Mussa into their home earlier this season as the club couldn't afford somewhere for the 20 year-old to stay...

Said Hessenthaler... 'He came and lived with me; he ate me out of food, mind! It's all part of what's been going on over the last year... There were a few asking if I had any room for them as well!

'I did it because I believed in him as a player... He was at Walsall and then went back to Belgium but I saw enough of him in training to sign him... Mussa, who had a liking for 'coleslaw sandwiches at midnight' according to his boss - moved out once the club were able to find suitable accommodation...

"I did a management course years ago with Harry Redknapp and Dave Bassett' recalled Hessenthaler... 'I learned a lot about the media and working with budgets but you don't get anything on those courses about how to deal with the situation we're in at the moment and how to handle it'">

Bermuda's Royal Gazette reports on local lad Justin Donawa, the Solihull Moors forward...

'“Personally, I hope the league has the opportunity to be completed in full,' said Donawa...

Meanwhile, Donawa has been in and out of Solihull’s squad lately...

'It’s a privilege to be a part of such a competitive team,' the Bermuda forward added. 'Everyone is fighting for positions so getting in and around the game day squad is always positive. As a group, however, it’s been tough to get in a good groove given everything going on with Covid. Also, the weather around this time of year doesn’t necessarily help in regards to the state of pitches'".

After fourteen years failing to get out of the National League, the club's horizons have expanded optimistically at Wrexham where "Executive Director Humphrey Ker says it was the club’s huge fanbase and passionate support that enticed our new owners to purchase the Football Club.

Ker is now in place as Executive Director at the Racecourse Ground, where he will work with board advisors as Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ voice on the ground in Wrexham...

'The thing that we just kept coming back to was the fact, even at Wrexham’s lowest ever point last season, there were still 4,500 supporters coming through the gates to watch matches. It became so clear that Wrexham was the place we wanted to be. The fascination from the very start has been the strong link between the Club and the Town, and the Club and Community.

'Our goal is to super-charge that link, and increase Wrexham AFC as an asset to the wider town and community. I’ve already become very fond of, and very passionate about, both Wrexham as a Football Club and as a town...

'I think if we can do everything right, we grow the fanbase, use the documentary to spread the word about Wrexham and get people buying merchandise all over the world, then we can get Wrexham back to where we once were,' he said..

'If I was being very confident, I would say our expectation is to get to League One and to thrive in League One at the very least. Player recruitment is a big thing, and getting people in to help with that... We now have the resources to ... provide more support.

'We also want to revamp the Racecourse Ground and find a new training complex'".

In the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild says Tuesday’s night’s National League clash at Barnet is one of The Shaymen’s biggest games of the season.

It will be Halifax’s first match in 17 days... Barnet are bottom of the table... but Wild says they have improved under manager Tim Flowers...

Said the Town boss, 'We won’t take them lightly, I think they’re ever-improving... I think Tim (Flowers) has made them tough to play against, and we’ve got to... make sure we compete physically, and then we can go and express what a good side we are...

'We’ve been having in-house games on Saturday mornings. I know they’re not the same but the GPS is telling me that they’re hitting the levels they need to hit. So we’re hoping that work away from the pitch will stand us in good stead tomorrow night'...

On trialist and former Liverpool attacker Jack Dunn, who is training with the club, Wild said... 'He’s been in for a couple of weeks'... But Wild reiterated that he will wait to see whether the season will continue before making any moves in the transfer market".

In the Hartlepool Mail, we learn taht "Hartlepool United have recalled goalkeeper Brad Young from his loan spell at Blyth Spartans... Pools made the decision to recall Young with the intention of loaning him out again.

The 18-year-old started eight matches for Spartans during his half season at Croft Park... 'We’ve recalled Brad from Blyth with the plan of sending him back out on a youth loan,' Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor told The Mail.

'We did that so we could recall him at short notice depending on what we wanted to do at the back end of the season and what opportunities came up'...

Young’s return to the Pools set-up will see him as the squad’s third choice goalkeeper behind Ben Killip and Henrich Ravas. Derby County loanee Ravas has been limited to just eight starts for Pools this season and hasn’t featured in a league match in over two months...

'Brad coming back doesn’t impact Henrich at all,' admitted the Pools boss.... 'He’ll be with us until the end of the season'".

Also from the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "For the third time this season, Hartlepool United have spent thousands of pounds only to have an away match called off at the 11th hour.

Saturday’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge was cut short as the pitch at the Chigwell Construction Stadium was declared frozen with confirmation of the postponement coming just over an hour before kick-off.

Pools had already travelled 265-miles to East London, stayed overnight in a hotel with an evening, breakfast and pre-match meal for all players and members of staff... with roughly £5,000 being the cost quoted by manager Dave Challinor, whose side had also suffered overnight stay postponements at Barnet and Eastleigh already this season...

'It’s not only the cost. It changes our plans and the lads have spent two days together, 12 hours on a bus, staying overnight in a hotel in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve put people at risk when there was absolutely no need to and it was a wasted journey and a lot of wasted money'">

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "A robust and reliable player, James Comley is best known locally as Maidenhead United’s stalwart number 8. But, perhaps unbeknownst to some, the 30-year-old doubles up as Montserrat’s vice-captain.

Called up in 2015, Comley... has since gone on to tally up 10 caps for the country...

'It’s been great in all honesty. To go abroad and play in some new countries and new climates has been a really rewarding experience,' he said... 'Internationally, you come up against some players of real quality so it’s good to test yourself against them. When you play in the National League you come up against the same type of players quite regularly. Every so often you’ll come up against a new player but by the following season, you know what they’re about. When you play internationally... you don’t know anything about them...

'A lot of [international] teams try to feel their way through the thirds of the pitch, threading the ball into the strikers and catching you unaware. It's completely different to that of the National League where it's much more of a physical battle...

'I'm always checking on the boys' (Maidenhead United) results when I'm away,' added Comley. 'It's disappointing to miss games with them'".

15 February 2021


Altrincham's next opponents, on Saturday 20 February, are Boreham Wood, who will be making just their second visit ever to the J. Davidson Stadium. On their only previous visit, they lost 1-0 at Moss Lane on November 2015.

The Portsmouth News reports that "Coach is surprised Portsmouth didn't consider Boreham Wood ace and Blues' fan Nathan Ashmore during [their] recent keeper search...

The former Gosport Borough manager worked with him during his spell at Privett Park and reckons the stopper is 'more than good enough' to be turning out for the Blues [Portsmouth]...

He rates Ashmore, now with Boreham Wood in the National League after a spell at Ebbsfleet, as one of the best he's seen...

But Blues' boss Kenny Jackett had made it clear the club were looking for cover with Football League experience... which Ashmore has failed to gain during a career spent in the non-league.

Catlin said ‘He’s a permanent fixture there (at Boreham Wood) and he’s a senior player playing in the National League and in my opinion should be playing in the Football League.'

Ashmore hails from Pompey and played in the club’s academy... prior to being released as a 14-year-old...

Caitlin said: ‘Unfortunately for Nathan he’s the wrong side of 30 now, although that’s still young for a goalkeeper in my opinion'".


Harrison Holgate, who played on loan for Altrincham this season before being recalled by Fleetwood Town, unfortunately put through his own goal in Saturday's match for his parent club.


At FC Halifax Town, "midfielder Luke Summerfield is determined to come back fitter and stronger from his injury lay-off2 claims the Halifax Courier.

It adds that "Luke Summerfield has arguably been Halifax’s player of the season so far with a string of influential performances in the heart of the Town midfield.

But the 33-year-old now faces at least another couple of months on the sidelines due to a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, which happened... on January 26.

'I felt a little bit uncomfortable in my knee early on in the game, somehow got through the game and we got a half decent result...

'Come training on Thursday, Aaron [the physio] had another look at it and sent me for a scan. The results came back with a little tear in my ACL...

'I slipped early on in the game when I tried to pass, that’s the only time I can really think that it could have happened. Just an innocuous little slip while I was passing the ball. With it being a partial tear, how I got through the game is beyond me...

' Summerfield has been told he doesn’t need an operation but is still looking at around three months on the sidelines in total...

'I’ll just work as hard as I have been doing since the start of the season for the next three months to get myself back fitter and stronger than I was before hopefully.'

Summerfield’s injury is the latest in a long line that Town have suffered this season. Captain Nathan Clarke, midfielder Reuben Noble-Lazarus and strikers Jake Hyde and Matty Stenson have all spent lengthy time on the treatment table, while forward Jamie Allen has been troubled by a knee problem and midfielder Martin Woods has recovered from long Covid...

'We’ve always had one or two missing’, said Summerfield. 'We’ve done really well with what we’ve had because we’re not the biggest of squads'".

Known as The Magpies, Maidenhead United report that "Two long-time Maidenhead United supporters have teamed up to record an unofficial charity single, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first football match at the club's historic York Road ground.

'Two for Joy', by KSG & The Sunshine Man (aka Matthew Foster and Gordon Sweeney), will be digitally released on Tuesday 16th February, 150 years to the day since Maidenhead defeated Marlow, with proceeds donated to the Maidenhead United FC Community Trust...

'I first wrote lyrics for a Maidenhead United song in 2012,' said Matthew... 'I'm not musical at all as those that listen to the song will probably work out for themselves!...

Then it dawned on me that Gordon, whom I'd been standing next to, on the terraces, for years, is an electronic music producer in his spare time and was previously the resident DJ at The Honeypot. At the beginning of last year, I asked for his help...

'It certainly doesn't sound like your typical football song, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's for charity...

Newer/ younger fans might be encouraged to look up some of the legends of yesteryear, mentioned in the lyrics...

'Two for Joy', by KSG & The Sunshine Man, will be available to download as of Tuesday from iTunes".

Stockport County report that "The Hatters’ third successive match at Edgeley Park ended in stalemate, as they shared the spoils during a freezing day at Edgeley Park with Aldershot Town.

In a game that County did enough to have won, John Rooney saw his penalty saved five minutes from time and the Hatters had to settle for a single point instead of three...

County took to the field showing three changes from the line-up that had started at EP against Yeovil a week earlier. Newly-arrived loanee from Harrogate, Tom Walker, embarking upon his third spell as a Hatter, went straight into the side, and James Jennings and Lois Maynard were recalle, replacing Ryan Croasdale and Connor Jennings (both of whom had picked up knocks during the week), as well as Jamie Stott.

The latter player dropped to a bench that also included recent arrival Will Collar.

County proceeded to enjoy a spell of some pressure, without being especially incisive in the final third...

A Rooney corner from the left in the 84th minute led to a handball by Gillela and County’s penalty but Walker, diving to his left, guessed correctly to keep out the spot-kick".

ON THIS DAY: 15 February

A year ago today, on 15 February 2020, Altrincham made the long trip to Northumberland where they defeated Blyth SPartans 3-0.

With Storm Dennis battering the UK and eight matches postponed in the National League North, this match survived and was to be played in surprisingly dry conditions throughout. However, strong and gusty winds swept down the pitch towards the clubhouse end as Altrincham moved up to fifth with a comprehensive win over a Blyth side lacking in confidence.

Altrincham opened the scoring after Hampson had been fouled on the front edge of the box, left of goal. Hancock hit a superb freekick into the nearside of the net to replicate his achievement at Spennymoor the previous Tuesday (20 mins).

Above: Josh Hancock's freekick hits the back of the net; Hancock is off the picture to the left.

And last Tuesday's game repeated itself again when Alty were awarded a penalty. This time Hulme, who had earned the spot-kick, took it himself but the keeper saved his effort as had also happened last Tuesday to Hancock's attempt (34 mins).

And again echoing the midweek game in Co. Durham, Alty were awarded a penalty. This time Hulme, who had earned the spot-kick, took it himself but the keeper saved his effort as had also happened last Tuesday to Hancock's attempt (34 mins).

With the wind now behind them, Blyth were able to get forward a little more at the start of the second half but they created little threat to the Alty goal.

Elliott Durrell was introduced as a substitute and play immediately resumed with a throw-in. The ball came to Durrell who, with his first touch made space, and with his second, fired the ball into the far corner of the net from 18 yards (57 mins).

The game was wrapped up in the 65th minute when Mooney was put clear and he finished well past the advancing keeper, Hemming.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Craig MAHON. Subs: 12. Elliott DURRELL, 14. Tom PEERS, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Lewis WALTERS.

14 February, 2021


The NL Paper reports that former Altrincham centre-back George Melling "was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 36".

Altrincham fans will need no reminding that Mark Maddox another Alty centre-back, who played alongside George, was diagnosed with MND a decade ago and he continues to fight the disease impressively.

George's clubs since leaving Altrincham have included Ashton United, Lancaster City, Clitheroe, Bamber Bridge, Longridge Town, Nelson and Northwich Victoria.

George told the NLP "I first started with symptoms back in February 2020... It got to the point where I had to admit there was something really wrong".

George's diagnosis with MND was confirmed only last week. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page. The NLP writes "For all enquiries regarding providing help and/or contributing towards the fundraising efforts, please e-mail Mark Fell, who was George's manager at Lancaster City.

George progressed to the Alty first team via Neil Brown's Altrincham Reserves, having previously been at Blackpool FC and Morecambe (reserves and first team) and also representing the Lancashire FA.

After coming on as a late sub against Lancaster City in Nationwide North on 29 January 2005, he made his Alty debut on 1 February 2005 in the Cheshire Senior Cup at Vauxhall. However, his first league start was as a right-back at Kettering on 19 February 2005.

After 3(+2) appearances in the Conference, George moved from Altrincham to Clitheroe to get first-team football and he made his debut there on 8 October 2005. He soon moved on to Lancaster City and then Leigh RMI before rejoining Altrincham early in the 2006-07 season. He signed Conference forms in mid-September and was on the bench at Forest Green on 19 September 2006 but was then injured in the Reserves and decided to leave for Bamber Bridge by early November 2006.

In all he made 20(+7) appearances for Altrincham.


Kent Online confirms that "Dover Athletic have said they won't play another National League game due to a lack of funding.

Whites have become the third Kent club in just two days to put their first-team squad on furlough. But while Maidstone and Tonbridge have said they will put together squads of non-contract players, Dover chairman Jim Parmenter says they won't play until further funding is available.

Dover said that Mr Parmenter has 'funded the club for the past seven weeks after the initial government grant funding ended in December'. Mr Parmenter said he had been left with no option but to make the decision to prevent the club from becoming insolvent...

He said, 'We wanted to leave the decision that has been made as long as possible before making this final announcement in the hope a support package may appear. Unfortunately no support has been forthcoming, so it is with the deepest regret that the club must now furlough all staff and players and reduce operations to a bare minimum.

All financial reserves have now been completely exhausted. For 15 years, I have run the club without debt and I do not intend to change that now.

The club will be unable to fulfill further National League fixtures until appropriate funding is made available.'

As a result of this decision, Dover's three loan players, Harry Ransom (Millwall), Ryan Hanson (Hull) and Oliver Webber (Crystal Palace) have all returned to their parent clubs. The move means boss Andy Hessenthaler and his assistant Nicky Southall have also been put on furlough."


Altrincham could have no complaints after a poor performance in Somerset.

In a first half virtually devoid of goal threats, Yeovil looked to have taken a 44th minute lead when a cross from the right by Knowles was headed into the net by Quigley. But the referee ruled the goal out, presumably for climbing by the goalscorer, though the offence was far from clear.

So half-time was reached with a goalless scoresheet.

If the first half had been reasonably even, the second half was decidedly more one-sided in favour of the hosts. Yeovil deservedly took the lead after 66 minutes. Hancock lost possession near half way and from the right Skendi got forward before the ball was played left and substitute Murphy netted from the front corner of the box.

Fellow substitute Chris Dagnall wrapped up the game in the 81st minute with a back-post header after more good work from Skendi. Alty created little in the way of goal threat and gave an error-strewn performance which belied their recent form.

Match report here.


Following Saturday's game, Yeovil Town reported that the team "bounced back from two consecutive defeats with a 2-0 victory over Altrincham at Huish Park".

After a rather flat first half where Yeovil thought they took the lead through Joe Quigley, they eventually did in the second as substitute Rhys Murphy fired an effort into the bottom corner.

Not resting on their laurels on a cold afternoon in Somerset, Chris Dagnall added a second ten minutes from time to cap off what was a strong showing from Darren Sarll’s side.

Following defeat on Tuesday evening, Sarll made four changes to his side. Adam Smith remained in goal, but there was a return for Carl Dickinson, who captained the side in Lee Collins' absence. Max Hunt and Billy Sass-Davies began in the middle with Alex Bradley in the right full back spot.

Jimmy Smith returned to the side in a holding role, with Josh Neufville, Tom Knowles and Albi Skendi ahead of him. Reuben Reid and Joe Quigley led the line.

It was a cagey opening, with both sides struggling to stamp any real authority on the fixture... but neither keeper was tested... After what was a rather drab first half, Quigley thought he had snatched the opener with just two minutes of the half remaining. A brilliant cross from Knowles on the right flank excellently found Quigley but he was adjudged to have pushed his marker as he powered the ball home.

The second half saw Yeovil begin to pick up the pace... Sarll looked to his bench for fresh impetus, with Rhys Murphy taking to the pitch on 57 minutes. It wasn’t quite a 20-second impact like he managed against Dover, but Murphy only needed four minutes to make his presence known. After Dickinson drilled the ball into his feet, Murphy produced an excellent first touch to beat his marker and he then finished excellently with a clean strike on his left foot to open the scoring...

Searching for a second, Sarll made another attacking change, this time bringing on Dagnall, who only needed seven minutes to open his account for the season. "


Altrincham's next opponents are Boreham Wood who, like Alty did recently, switched their scheduled home game with Sutton United to Gander Green Lane's 3G pitch on Saturday. And, again as with Alty, the move backfired as Sutton won the rearranged game.

Boreham Wood report that "A goal in each half from Louis John and Will Randall gave high flying Sutton United a well-deserved 2-0 win against Boreham Wood at Gander Green Lane. Wood were unchanged from last Saturday’s victory at Maidenhead United and would have been confident of extending their nine match unbeaten away record in the Vanarama National League but it just wasn’t to be.

In an uneventful first half, the home side were dominant... and Sutton took a lead after thirty-two minutes when Louis John finished well from a Rob Milsom corner...

On forty-nine minutes Sutton doubled their lead and what a goal it was. Will Randall picked the ball up in his own half and ran at the Wood defence before unleashing a shot from the edge of the penalty area that gave Ashmore no chance. Luke Garrard shuffled his pack soon afterwards when he replaced Junior Morias with Matt Rhead...

A disappointing day at the office for Boreham Wood against, to be fair, a very good Sutton United team. The visitors seemed as though they just didn’t quite get going...

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Smith, Fyfield, Pearce, Ilesamni, Francis-Angol (Whitely 67), Murtagh, Mafuta, Morias (Rhead 52), Tshimanga, Marsh. Subs not used: Huddart, Stephens, Coulthirst.

ON THIS DAY: 14 February

On Valentine's Day in 2004, Altrincham entertained non-League Shrewsbury Town in the Fifth Round of the FA Trophy.

Right: Alty leave the pitch, at the end of the game, led by Steve Aspinall as Marcus Hallows signs an autograph.

In front of 1,758 spectators, Altrincham were more than a match for Conference high-flyers Shrewsbury throughout the 90 minutes of this Trophy tie but lost to a late goal from substitute Ryan Lowe who drove home at the far post after good work on the left by Cramb and Aiston (84 mins).

Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn was made Alty Man of the Match but apart from a stunning double save in the first half he was rarely troubled and was certainly less busy than his Shrewsbury counterpart Howie, whose high points were fine saves from two thunderous shots from Aspinall.

The biggest crowd at Moss Lane that season gathered on a dull afternoon to see this first competitive match between Altrincham and Shrewsbury Town, who this time a year earlier were still basking in their FA Cup win over Everton and their longstanding Football League status. Now relegated to the Conference, the Shrews came to Moss Lane as favourites to win the Trophy.

For their part, Altrincham had been playing well in recent weeks and, though the Trophy remained an important priority, their main concern this season was to secure a top-13 position and, with it, a place in the newly formed Conference regional feeder division for next season.

Not surprisingly, Altrincham named an unchanged side from that which had started at Weymouth in the previous round. Shrewsbury were without the cup-tied Jody Banim (ex-Radcliffe Borough and later an Alty player), whilst Jamie Tolley, returning from injury, was only fit to start on the bench. The Shrews were managed by Jimmy Quinn, the former Northwich Vics' boss, who was well acquainted with Alty centre-back Gary Talbot, a former team-mate at the Drill Field.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks, white shorts): 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen ROSE, 7. Gary SCOTT, 8. Ian CRANEY (capt.), 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Niell HARDY, 11. Stuart WRIGHT. Subs: 12. Rod THORNLEY, 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 14. Mark MADDOX, 15. David HOLT, 16. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH.


The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge have issued a club statement following the decision to postpone the National League home match against Hartlepool United just an hour before kick-off.

It's the third consecutive away match Pools have had postponed following the matches at Halifax Town and Dover Athletic earlier in the month.

Following a passed inspection on Friday, Hartlepool had already made the 265-mile trip down to East London at a significant expense. The visitors had also offered to reverse the fixture and play it at Victoria Park but were supposedly given assurances that the match would go ahead as planned".

For their part Dagenham & Redbridge stated, "The club is bitterly disappointed that today’s game was called off at such a late stage, particularly given the hard work shown by our ground staff... However, we were not completely surprised given the severe cold temperatures experienced this week and the forecast for today, so much so that on Thursday we requested the National League provide a referee to inspect the pitch on Friday, prior to Hartlepool United setting off who consequently delayed their departure until 12.30.

The match referee was able to attend on Friday lunchtime and after a thorough inspection... he deemed the pitch playable. This is purely the referee’s decision and it is not the place of the club to pass comment on this either way. We did, however, point out that our opponents were not a local side and it would be disappointing if they were to travel and the game was subsequently called off.

On the day of the match, the Hartlepool assistant manager arrived at the stadium ahead of the visiting team just after noon and immediately expressed his concern that parts of the pitch were frozen. The match referee arrived at 1pm and was advised of these concerns which were then echoed by our own manager, Daryl McMahon and then Dave Challinor, the Hartlepool United manager who by now had also arrived.

Over the next 45 minutes the referee, together with his two assistants and the fourth official inspected all areas of the pitch before deciding that the game could not go ahead...

With regards to the request to 'switch' our league games the club can confirm that we received an email suggesting this on Tuesday afternoon. However, as we had already left for our match away to Notts County this was not considered by the club until Wednesday. Apart from the logistics of trying to arrange the necessary coach and hotel requirements at such late notice, especially with so many suitable venues currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, we also did not feel that it would have been in the best interests of our own players who had already travelled to Wrexham and Nottingham in the previous 7 days. That may seem harsh but as a club we must also consider the well-being of our players.

Notwithstanding all of the above the club does sympathise with the plight of Hartlepool United, its players and staff, and apologised to Mr Challinor before he left.".

Dave Challinor told the Hartlepool Mail "I’m not surprised by the outcome but the outcome should have been dealt with a lot earlier to prevent us travelling, wasting money and putting players and staff at risk.

A poor decision has been made and somebody needs to be held accountable for that. We haven’t been misled but we’re in the hands of the match official and I was chatting with Daryl [McMahon] their manager and within a minute of walking on the pitch could tell that it wasn’t playable and unsafe.

We changed our plans and trained up there before we left, I was expecting a call Friday lunchtime to say the game was off so when we were told it was on we were absolutely delighted... The referee said the pitch is playable yesterday but Dagenham said the pitch was worse yesterday. He's made a poor decision, a wrong decision which has cost the club a lot of money".

Aldershot Town tell us that "Mitch Walker saved a penalty late on as the keeper’s heroics earned Aldershot Town a crucial away point against Stockport County at Edgeley Park...

The Aldershot Town defence were solid throughout the game...

Danny Searle looked to build on from their 2-1 win against Barnet last Tuesday by making one change to the starting lineup. Good scoring form earned Mo Bettamer a starting place with Harrison Panayiotou dropped to the bench.

The opening 15 minutes of the game were tight between both sides...

Stockport came close to breaking the deadlock. Richard Bennett was agonisingly close to scoring but a great goalline clearance from Dinesh Gillela saw Bennett’s effort diverted from danger.

Just after the interval, Stockport had a double chance with John Rooney and Bennett coming close to grabbing the opener...

With five minutes to go, Stockport were given a penalty when Gillela was deemed to have handled the ball in the area. Rooney stepped up and Walker was there to save to his right-hand side to deny Rooney yet again.

Stockport piled on late pressure but the Aldershot Town defence stayed resolute and picked up a vital point".

13 February 2021


Action from the National League match between Yeovil Town and Altrincham on Saturday will be broadcast, live, by the Somerset club. Access to the Glovers' streaming service is here. It costs £9.99.


As reported yesterday, Altrincham are away at Yeovil Town today (Saturday), visiting their Somerset rivals for the first time in more than twenty years.

The historical record is:

  • At Home: P14 W8 D4 L2 F31 A18
  • At Yeovil: P14 W5 D3 L6 F19 A21
  • All: P28 W13 D7 L8 F50 A39

Altrincham's record of one defeat in ten league outings was lost last Tuesday when Wrexham took the three points at Broadhurst Park, the venue to which Alty had switched the game.

Away from home, Alty have lost just once in their last eight fixtures on the road, at FC Halifax Town.

The Robins should be welcoming back captain Jake Moult to the team after he served his one-match suspension last Tuesday. He should be claiming the armband back from goalkeeper Tony Thompson, who should make his 150th appearance for the club today.


Saturday, 13 February 2021:
  • Chesterfield P-P Eastleigh [Covid issues at Chesterfield]
  • Dagenham & Redbridge P-P Hartlepool United [frozen pitch]
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Dover Athletic [frozen pitch]
  • Maidenhead United P-P Weymouth
  • Solihull MoorsP-P Barnet [frozen pitch]
  • Stockport County 0-0 Aldershot Town
  • Sutton United 2-0 Boreham Wood [fixture reversed owing to weather concerns at Boreham Wood]
  • Wealdstone P-P Bromley [frozen pitch]
  • Woking P-P Torquay United [frozen pitch]
  • Yeovil Town 2-0 Altrincham
  • Wrexham P-P Notts County [frozen pitch]


A week today, on Saturday 20 February, Altrincham entertain Boreham Wood at the J. Davidson Stadium.

In advance of that fixture, Altrincham FC announce that "Alty TV Live streaming prices will be halved for the visit of Boreham Wood next Saturday, and more importantly, we will be paying forward a free U12s' matchday ticket to local schools for every stream ticket that is purchased.

The Future Robins initiative will run in partnership with Altrincham FC Community Sports, who work with 12 partner schools within a 5 mile radius of The J.Davidson Stadium. Tickets will be distributed evenly across the schools, and will be redeemable at a future game subject to the safe returns of fans to football.

We have set an initial target of generating 1,000 free tickets for our partner schools and you can follow along with our progress on social media.

There are four ticket options available for the live stream:

  • A £5 ticket gives you access to the live stream, and pays forward 1 future U12s matchday ticket.
  • A £25 ticket gives you access to the live stream, and pays forward 10 future U12s matchday tickets.
  • A £50 ticket gives you access to the live stream, pays forward 25 future U12s matchday tickets, and your kind patronage will also be acknowledged at half-time during the broadcast.

A limited number of £100 corporate tickets are also available. As well as access to the live stream you will pay forward 75 future U12s matchday tickets, and your generosity will be acknowledged both at half-time during the broadcast, and on Altrincham FC’s social media accounts...

Our season ticket holders will be pleased to know that we have pledged a ticket on behalf of each of you, so that’s 327 children already attending an Altrincham fixture in the future.

On an afternoon when the only competing top-flight game is West Brom’s trip to Burnley, we are hoping to encourage the wider community to give Alty TV Live a try"

ON THIS DAY: 13 February

Altrincham's last game on today's date, 13 February, came in 2016 in a season which ended in relegation from the National League. Nevertheless the day witnessed a good performance from the hosts at the J. Davidson Stadium as Alty drew 3-3 with visitors Lincoln City.

Whereas on 13 February 2021 it is Tony Thompson making his 150th appearance for the club, eight years ago it wasJake Moult making his 150th start and 175th appearance for Altrincham.

Above: Alty's Marcus Holness and Scott Leather get ready to deal with Lincoln City's Matt Rhead and Terry Hawkrdige.

What turned out to be a highly entertaining match started in quite crazy fashion. Despite kicking off, Alty, who were without the ill Michael Rankine, almost conceded inside thirty seconds when Caton was allowed to stroll through the centre of the home defence only for Reeves to be denied a minute later, at the other end, from a Margetts feed.

Inside three minutes Rhead wasted a clear chance by shooting straight at Deasy before a Crowther shot from 25 yards was not held by Farman and Ginelly was on hand to net the loose ball and give Alty an early lead (4 mins).

The open end-to-end play continued and, from Wood's cross from the right, Rhead, unmarked, headed just inside the post to make it 1-1 in only the seventh minute. And, inside ten minutes, it was 2-1 to Alty as Crowther's cross was volleyed home by Ginnelly.

On nineteen minutes Rhead had the chance to level the score again, this time from the spot, as Moult was penalised for a foul on Caton. But the big striker hit his spot kick comfortably wide.

However, on 33 minutes, the referee Richard Wigglesworth, who had already twice hurriedly blown for Altrincham freekicks when the home side were in possession, now awarded a harsh penalty for alleged handball against Alty. Unlike in October when he awarded a penalty to Alty against Chester, only to change his mind and rescind the award, this time he stuck with his snap decision. Rhead, this time, converted the penalty, so it was 2-2 at the break.

The second half took some time to come to life but City seized the advantage when Muldoon held off a challenge to convert a Farman long punt upfield (57 mins). Alty responded, but their equalizer was bizarre. Reeves, who was about to be subbed, chased down goalkeeper Farman, whose attempted kick clear cannoned off the Alty man and into the net, in the 65th minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY, 7. James LAWRIE 23. Callum WILLIAMS


With the outcome of the clubs' vote on continuing or terminating the National Leagues still awaited, one National League South side has already announced that it is furloughing its staff.

Maidstone United have announced that "To safeguard the football club’s existence, the directors, with the support of the first team manager, have been left with no option but to furlough contracted players and office staff to prevent the club becoming insolvent.

This was a difficult decision, especially as it impacts lives and livelihoods, but this is the only way of supporting those players and staff in the short term, while protecting the club and all those proud to be associated with it in the long term...

The club now have a significant revenue shortfall and are not prepared to gamble the future of this much-loved community asset by taking out a loan or mortgaging the stadium...

Maidstone United’s directors urge National League member clubs who have not voted on the outcome of this turbulent season to do so as a matter of urgency. Every day that ticks down to 28 February is piling more and more pressure on several clubs across the three divisions.

In the event the vote goes in favour of continuing, with sanctions placed on those who cannot through no fault of their own, Maidstone United will look to field a team of non-contract and loan players, all of whom will represent the club for no payment".


Devon Live states that "Torquay United go to Woking tomorrow afternoon amid an injury crisis that is threatening to derail their season.

Top of the National League by eight points after the 1-1 home draw against Wealdstone on Tuesday night, it is unclear how many players of the 10 that were on the injury list for that game will be back tomorrow.

Manager Gary Johnson has been reluctant to talk too much... because he wants to keep Torquay’s opponents in the dark...

Currently out for the long-term, after operations, are right back Liam Davis (ankle) and strikers Andrew Nelson (knee) and Danny Wright (hamstring), while also on the list for the Wealdstone game were goalkeeper Lucas Covolan, right back Ben Wynter and left back Dean Moxey, central defenders Fraser Kerr and Gary Warren, and midfielders Armani Little and Aaron Namane.

Meanwhile, midfielder Matt Buse is still on loan at National League North [South] club Chippenham Town.

At least attacking midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans will be back from his one-game suspension after he was booked for a fifth time in the home defeat against Altrincham. He has been one of the team’s best players this season...

'A lot of clubs are going through this, it’s not only us,”' Johnson said. 'Everybody is moaning about it but the football authorities are desperate to try and finish the season... Sometimes you have to play somebody and you are crossing your fingers hoping that he’s going to be OK...

'It’s a tough time at the minute, which is why no team is going to play 100 per cent their best game every single game they play. But you have got to fight through it and get through it'...

Torquay will play Woking twice in two weeks with the Hampshire side hosting the Gulls again on Saturday, February 27 in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy... They will be fresher than Torquay after their league game on Tuesday against Sutton United was postponed because of bad weather".

Closer to home, Stockport County "announce the return of Tom Walker to the Club, with the attacking midfielder signing on loan from Harrogate Town until the end of the season.

Former Bolton midfielder Tom, 25, returns for his third spell at Edgeley Park, having first joined the Club in 2017, before enjoying a successful spell on loan from Salford City last season... He [played]... a key role in Salford making it back-to-back promotions, making 40 appearances in the National League during the 2018-19 season as The Ammies secured a place in the EFL...

He then returned to Edgeley Park in October 2019 on a three-month loan deal... Over the course of his second spell at the Club, the Salford-born midfielder made 17 appearances, scoring six goals...

Following the end of his loan spell in January 2020, Tom signed permanently for struggling AFC Fylde where he impressed again... He moved on to League 2 Harrogate Town in the Summer after the newly promoted side triggered a release clause in his contract. He has made seven appearances for the Yorkshire side so far this season, whilst also enjoying a loan spell at Notts County earlier in the season.

Manager Simon Rusk said 'His addition will add quality and competition in forward areas, and will also improve the depth'" of the squad.

More on this comes in the Nottingham Post which adds that "Former Notts County winger Tom Walker has joined their promotion rivals on loan from Harrogate... after returning from his loan spell at Meadow Lane in January.

The 25 year-old made five appearances for Notts after arriving in November... But although Notts would have been happy for him to remain at Meadow Lane he opted to return to Harrogate to fight for his place.

Now, after a month back at Town, he has opted to join Notts' promotion rivals Stockport...

The winger, who hails from Salford, is a product of Bolton Wanderers’ academy".

Football League World reports that "Sutton United boss Matt Gray is a contender for the vacant Northampton Town job, according to Football Insider.

Northampton are on the lookout for a new manager after parting company with Keith Curle on Wednesday... The Cobblers sit 23rd in the League One table having won only one of their last 11 games...

Sutton manager Matt Gray is a contender to replace Curle at Sixfields Stadium.

Gray was appointed as Sutton boss before the 2019/20 season, guiding the club to a 15th-placed finish... This season, the 39-year-old has his side fighting for promotion to the EFL, with Sutton sitting third in the National League table with four games in hand on league leaders Torquay United.

Gray has won 22 out of 56 games in charge of Sutton, and has previously had assistant manager roles at Aldershot and Crawley.

It would be a surprise to see Gray leave Sutton. They are having a great season and are playing some great stuff in the National League... It would be a big step up for him as a manager, and leaving a National League side to join a League One outfit would be a good move for him personally".

The Maidenhead Advertsier reports that "Weymouth may sit towards the bottom of the National League, but they arrive at York Road on Saturday having hit a vein of rich form.

The Terras sit just outside of the relegation places in 20th place... In recent weeks they’ve beaten Hartlepool United, Aldershot and Bromley, who they edged out 2-1 on Saturday thanks to two early goals from Andrew Dallas. In that run they’ve also lost narrowly to promotion hopefuls Notts County and Boreham Wood, so they’ll fancy their chances of clipping the Magpies’ wings [at Maidenhead].

'They’re playing really well at the moment,' said Devonshire. 'I think they’ve won three of their last five, like Yeovil when they came to us recently having done something similar. Weymouth have picked up now and have had a few good wins. It will be tough; they’ve got a boy on loan who’s doing well for them at the moment and is scoring a few goals.

'But it’s about us and what we do. We’ve got to concentrate on bouncing back... after losing at home.”

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser<, "Alan Devonshire used to like playing two matches a week during his days for West Ham United and Watford, cand he’ll be hoping his Magpies players feel the same way... over the next couple of months.

The Magpies, who are sitting in 10th position in the National League, despite Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Boreham Wood, are set to play on Saturdays and Tuesdays for the next six weeks...

Devonshire believes his squad, which is one of the strongest he’s had in the National League, can cope with it...

'It’s frustrating that we’ve had a lot of games being called off because of COVID,' he said. 'Now the weather has come in and there’s not a lot we can do about it... I liked playing twice a week. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for the players. It’s only an issue if you get a spate of injuries...

'If it gets to three times a week, then there’s a risk of injury to the players. But twice a week, I’m quite happy with that...

'If someone gets a bad one and they’re out for four to six weeks, then they’re going to miss a lot of football. That’s the danger with us because we’ve got a small squad compared to a lot of teams in our league...

'There’s no way [the season] will be extended beyond the end of May... We’ve just got to play the games when they’re there and the other team is able to play. That’s all you can do'...

He added 'Jason and Mark (Stewart) have done a great job at the ground this season and the pitch is in good condition... If there’s a massive freeze then we’d struggle with the pitch like everyone else... I’m always 99 per cent sure the game will go ahead when we play at home.'”

On Friday, we learnt from the Hartlepool Mail that "Following a lunchtime pitch inspection at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, the pitch was deemed to be in a playable condition for Saturday's National League match to go ahead as planned.

Sub-zero temperatures have been forecast in the build-up to the scheduled match in East London with Dagenham putting frost covers on the pitch as a precaution.

Pools have already had two games postponed this month with matches at Halifax Town and Dover Athletic called off due to the snow and freezing conditions across England.

Keen to avoid another cancelled match, Hartlepool offered to reverse the fixture and play it at Victoria Park but they were ‘given assurances’ by The Daggers that the match should go ahead as planned.

Fortunately, those assurances appear to have been well placed as the match is set to take place this Saturday".

12 February 2021


Before Saturday's clash at Huish Park, Yeovil Town tell us that they "will be looking to put Tuesday night's disappointing defeat at Eastleigh behind them when they host newly promoted Altrincham...

Darren Sarll's Glovers will be looking to start pushing themselves up the table following back-to-back defeats...

[Manager] Sarll said 'They’re a good team, a lot of teams in our division are part-time and full-time and Altrincham don’t play like a part-time team. They play like they train every day, they’re a good side and I’ve been very impressed watching them...

'It’ll be a really tough game and they deserve to be where they are'.

Yeovil will once again be without Lee Collins who will continue his suspension following his straight red card received in stoppage time against Stockport last weekend. Injuries mean Sarll will be without the likes of Luke Wilkinson, Emmanuel Sonupe and Josh Staunton who continue their road to recovery...

Goals from influential striker Josh Hancock have helped Altrincham find themselves in 6th place... This Altrincham side boasts a wealth of National League experience, with the likes of captain[?] Ritchie Sutton, who was promoted to League Two with Tranmere in 2018."


Assuming he plays at Yeovil on Saturday, Altrincham goalkeeper Tony Thompson [right] will be making his 150th appearance for the club.

A 26 year-old Liverpudlian, Tony made his first appearance for Alty in a pre-season game on 8 July 2017. In 2016-17 he had played on loan from AFC Fylde for Warrington Town but he started out with Rotherham United (2012), from where he had loan spells with Chelmsford City and Southport in 2014-15 before he joined Morecambe, where he played one League Two game.

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

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

By trade, Tony is a scaffolder and he has been an ever-present in Alty's National League campaign this season. In the absence of the suspended Jake Moult he has twice captained Altrincham in the National League this season.


On Saturday, Altrincham are away to Yeovil Town.

Altrincham and Yeovil Town last met on 29 April, 2000 at Moss Lane when the Robins were pegged back to 2-2 in a game which, had they won it, would have kept them in the Football Conference a week later, at the end of that season, and would have sent down Forest Green Rovers instead.

Right: Dickie Landon in action for Alty in the home match against Yeovil in 2000.

The last time Alty played at Yeovil was in August 1999 when the hosts won 3-0.

Although Yeovil Town was founded in 1895, their current Huish Park ground was only opened in 1990. It replaced the club's famous sloping Huish ground on which many of their FA Cup exploits were played out.

Like Alty, Yeovil Town were founder members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979 but were relegated in 1985 to the Isthmian League, before regaining their status in 1988. They were relegated again in 1995, and spent two seasons out of the top-flight before returning.

They became Conference champions in 2002–03 when managed by current Torquay boss, Gary Johnson. Two years later they were League Two champions and went on to gain Championship membership in 2013, again under Johnson's managership.

But at the end of 2018-19 they were relegated back to the top flight of non-League. Last season they finished fourth but failed to come through the play-offs.

This season has proved difficult for the Somerset club and they currently lie 19th, thirteen plcaes and thirteen points behind Altrincham from three fewer fixtures. After a poor start to the season the Glovers won four out of five games in December/January but have since lost their last two league fixtures, both 1-0, at Stockport and Eastleigh.

The Glovers are now managed by Darren Sarll, who took over the job in June 2019 and led Yeovil to a fourth-placed finish last season, but they failed to get through the play-offs.

Like his counterpart, Phil Parkinson, Sarll did not have a professional football playing career. Despite starting off with Ipswich Town, his highest playing level was at National League South level.

His coaching career started at Stevenage Borough (now Stevenage) where he coached the reserves before moving to be youth manager at Brentford and then was in charge of player development at Rotherham United.

Next, he returned to Stevenage and, after the sacking of manager Teddy Sheringham at Broadhall Way, he was briefly caretaker manager of the Hertfordshire club before being given the job on a permanent basis at the end of the 2015-16 season.

In 2018 he moved on to work in the Academy at Watford where Wikipedia reports that "he was suspended, following allegations of bullying, on 30 January 2019 and 'amicably parted ways' with the club two weeks later".

One player at Yeovil will be particularly familiar to Altrincham; he is Billy Sass-Davies [right], who spent time at Alty on loan from Crewe earlier this season, and is now on a one-month loan at the Somerset club.

Another Yeovil player familiar to North-West football fans is Matty Warburton who has played against Altrincham previously for Stockport County and Curzon Ashton. He has also played for Salford City. After leaving Stockport he joined Northampton Town before joining Yeovil on a season-long loan from The Cobblers.

ON THIS DAY: 12 February

On today's date in 2002, Altrincham were entertaining Bamber Bridge in the UniBond Premier League on a Tuesday night at Moss Lane.

Pictured elsewhere during the 2001-02 season were Altrincham's Stuart Coburn, Mark Maddox, Steve Hawes and Danny Murphy.

This was one of Altrincham's catch-up games in their fixture backlog and a prelude to the reverse fixture at the Irongate the following Tuesday. Bamber Bridge lay 22nd in the league and Altrincham were 6th before the kick-off. The Brig had seen many changes of personnel in recent weeks as manager Paul Byron sought to keep the team in the Division in a context of severe financial restraint following his recent appointment.

Rod Thornley was absent on international duty as masseur to the England team which was playing the Netherlands in Amsterdam that week.

Altrincham made heavy weather of defeating a spirited, young Bamber Bridge side. Carl Furlong won and then missed an early penalty but four minutes later Dean Cooper shot Brig ahead, off the crossbar (12 mins).

Lee Poland scored his first League goal for Alty, a fine header, to equalise (22 mins) before Smith shot firmly home to restore the visitors' lead. Neil Ryan blasted a goal from 25 yards to make it 2-2 (28 mins) but then an own-goal by Lin from a Poland cross-shot made it 3-2 to Alty after 34 minutes. Brig's captain, ex-Alty centre-back, Terry Bowker fired home to make it 3-3 (58 mins) before Furlong won another penalty.

This time Poland took it and made no mistake to clinch the game (64 mins).

This was a game of "firsts" and "seconds"; it witnessed Lee Poland's first league goals for Alty after his 12 strikes in cup competitions this season, it saw Neil Ryan's debut goal for Altrincham and it was Bamber Bridge's first three-goal haul, away, in the league this season. It was also Alty's second successive four-goal tally in home league matches and for the second game running they had benefited from both an own goal and a penalty.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Gary SCOTT, 3. Jason GALLAGHER, 4.Mark MADDOX, 5. Mark SERTORI, 6. Steve HAWES (capt.), 7. Kevin HULME, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Carl FURLONG, 10. Lee POLAND 11. Neil RYAN. Subs: 12. Barry GUILDFORD, 14. Dave SWANICK, 15. Danny MURPHY.


According to the Dorset Echo, "Weymouth boss Brian Stock has deleted his Twitter account in order to concentrate on his task at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Former Wales international Stock came under fire from a minority of fans as Weymouth went on a nine-game winless run in the league... Weymouth’s board responded by backing the ex-Burnley and Doncaster midfielder to bring in accommodation for players based at northern and midland clubs.

The decision has worked wonders, allowing Stock to utilise his bulging contacts book. Aston Villa defender Dom Revan has joined on loan, while in-form striker Andy Dallas has also linked up from Cambridge United.

Stock has answered his critics emphatically, taking three wins in the last five games...

Stock said, 'I never really went on Twitter. The odd thing I’d go on for detail, but when you’re in a job like Weymouth, sometimes when you read negative comments and people tag you, you’re almost giving yourself a problem... I want a clear mindset of where we need to go... If I can avoid conflict, in terms of getting tagged, I will do...

'If you’re opening yourself up as an easy target to people who try to influence your decisions or even give abuse, what’s the point? I want my mind to be clear on the job in hand.'”

Solihull Moors' chairman Darryl Eales refers to a "somewhat inexplicable contrast between our results at home and away. On points-per-game (PPG), we are top of the home form league. In seven games we have scored almost two per game and have conceded only three.

Away from home, the picture is reversed. We are in the bottom three on a PPG basis, and are scoring less than a goal a game whilst we have conceded 15.

Our away form is derailing our push for the play-off places and is being carefully assessed and examined by Jimmy [Shann] and his staff... We will examine our preparation and, as a few fans have mentioned, whether we need a more direct style away from home, especially on poor quality pitches...

Looking to the positive. We have played three more away games than at home, and have the opportunity to close the gap to the play-off positions with six at home out of our next nine games...

The club, with the fantastic support of our shareholders, is firmly on the camp of completing the season, even if much needed and expected government support is not forthcoming. Completing the season behind closed doors and under lockdown will cost the club an additional £450k between January and June. This is the reality of the size of the financial burden being placed on us by the current circumstances.

However, owners know when they come into football that it is not in the expectation of financial gain and will almost certainly be a loss-making endeavour. We do it out of a love for the game, our support for our local club and the importance of contributing to the wider community...

We are launching an ambitious and exciting plan to raise £1m by June to build a new community and education hub at the ground. The building will be a purpose designed two-storey c2000 square metre community and education centre... We can and will be a best-in-class community football club'".

The Leader Live claims that "Wrexham players are on the verge of become big hits, on and off the pitch....Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s takeover of the club [has been] finally confirmed...

The Hollywood movie stars have promised to make the Reds a global force, with a team to be proud of and a fly-on-the-wall documentary... The players know they have massive parts to [play] and skipper Shaun Pearson will again lead by example...

'I can’t see there being massive changes this season if I am being honest. I would imagine... the first port of call would be a chief executive and other decisions will come after that'

Fiacre Kelleher... was at Macclesfield last season. 'After what happened with Macclesfield, all I really wanted was something that was more stable and not have to worry about my wages and things', said Kelleher. 'I think I have definitely got more than what I expected'...

Mark Carrington, the club’s current longest serving player [said]... 'Everyone knows what a massive club we are, a sleeping giant; if the investment can help in that way then brilliant'...

'What a crazy thing to happen to Wrexham Football Club,' said Elliot Durrell. 'But it is a sleeping giant and it is up to us to wake it up'".

The Halifax Courier reports that "Town boss Pete Wild says he will prepare as normal after Saturday’s home game with Dover was thrown into doubt this week.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter said on Tuesday that 'unless the situation changes in the next couple of days, I will have no option but to furlough all staff, cut all possible expenditure and cease football operations'.

Even if Dover do agree to play, the weather may intervene, with sub-zero temperatures forecast for Calderdale between now and Saturday meaning the Shay pitch could be frozen.

'We’ve got to prepare as normal,' said Wild. 'It’s out of our control, there’s nothing we can do. If they decide to play, we’ll play, and if they don’t, we won't'... Dover are second-from-bottom in the National League and have lost all their away games this season...

Wild said 'You give them the respect that every team in this league deserves. I’ve stressed to the players that I think this is the biggest week of the season because the boot’s on the other foot. Most games we’re the underdog but in these two games [v. Dover and Barnet] we’re not...

'I know what Andy Hessenthaler’s teams are like, they’re tough to play against, you’ve got to match them physically... One of the areas we need to develop is that when we’re on top, we keep the back door shut,' he said...

The Town boss is expecting to have the majority of possession against Dover. 'They’ll try and hit us on the break, but that’s most away teams in this league,' he said... 'We’re no longer just plucky little Halifax, so we’re now used to teams sitting in, waiting for opportunities on the break and trying to hurt us. So we’re more than ready and more than capable of breaking teams down'...

Wild hinted that striker Jake Hyde may not be thrown straight back into his side after recovering from a hamstring injury".

We learn from the Chesterfield Times that "Chesterfield's Laurence Maguire says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to extend his Chesterfield stay despite interest from Football League clubs.

The 24-year-old has penned a new deal at the Spireites until the summer of 2023.

Loz believes ‘times are changing’ at Town and he wants to be a part of an exciting future.... 'Now I can concentrate on my football and hopefully get the club back where it belongs in the Football League. I love the club, I am pretty local, I want the good times to be back at Chesterfield and I want to be part of it'...

The defender worked incredibly hard to get himself fit for the start of pre-season after suffering a serious knee injury on Boxing Day in 2019...

'I had a couple of opportunities to go and play in the higher leagues... but for me it is a no-brainer because I can see what the gaffer [James Rowe] is doing. He has brought a new philosophy to the club and he has shown a lot of trust in me and he has given the squad belief and confidence'...

Maguire, who has been used in various different positions during his time at Town, has nailed down the left centre-back spot this season...

'Under previous managers I got played quite a lot around the pitch in centre midfield, centre-back, left midfield, left-back and I didn’t really get settled I don’t think. I would say that it (left centre-back) is my best position. I feel like I am settled now'...

Chesterfield have suffered just one defeat in 11 in all competitions under Rowe".

The Hartlepool Mail confirms that the "Hartlepool United’s Tuesday night match at Eastleigh has had its kick-off time brought forward.

The rearranged fixture at the Silverlake Stadium will now kick-off at 5pm with Pools now opting to travel on Monday opposed to the day of the game.

It will be the second time Dave Challinor’s side have made the long journey to Eastleigh this season after the original fixture was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch.

After a fairly relaxed 2021 in terms of away travelling so far, it’s going to be a busy few days for Hartlepool with a trip to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday (3pm kick-off) before the journey down to Hampshire for Tuesday’s match.

'Our initial process was that we would potentially travel on the day and stay overnight on the Tuesday before training on the way back home on Wednesday,' Challinor told The Mail. 'What we’re looking at is kick-off being earlier and brought forward to 5pm... and travelling down on Monday...

'It will be a busy few days travelling, training on the way down to Eastleigh on the Monday and heading straight back after the game on Tuesday which gives us a normal two day lead in to Yeovil next Saturday.”

Pools will make the journey down to Dagenham on Friday with Nicky Featherstone and Luke Molyneux ruled out through injury and suspension respectively while Tom Crawford is a doubt".

Also from the Hartlepool Mail comes news that "Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone faces a spell on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury.

On Tuesday evening, the Pools’ vice-captain missed his first match since September 2019... Featherstone is also likely to miss upcoming matches against Dagenham & Redbridge, Eastleigh and potentially Yeovil Town and Wrexham as well.

Manager Dave Challinor told The Mail 'Feaths isn’t fine but he’ll be weeks rather than anything longer. He’s opened his medial ligaments. That’s the type of injury where it’s a typical blocked tackle injury... He was scanned and it was no worse than we feared but it will be a frustrating month for him... He’ll be able to do straight line running full pelt but, as soon as he opens up his foot to side foot a ball, it opens up that joint again...

Elsewhere in the squad, Gavan Holohan is set to return from suspension this weekend but Luke Molyneux remains out for one more match. Midfielder Tom Crawford is also a doubt after fracturing a bone in his hand".

11 February 2021


The Sale & Altrincham Messenger carries press and media officer John Edwards's post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson after Alty's "home" loss to Wrexham.

Right: Phil Parkinson, with Tom Peers.

"Phil Parkinson was left to run missed chances after seeing Altrincham’s unbeaten run ended by what he described as a 'smash and grab act' against Wrexham...

The Robins dominated the first half, only to go behind from a quickly-taken free-kick in the 36th minute.

A long-range special from Ryan Colclough hauled them level in the 50th minute, but another set-piece goal in the 68th minute proved their undoing and ended a sequence of two draws and three wins since their previous defeat six weeks ago.

'I’m bitterly disappointed, because our lads have really been at it without getting what they deserve,' said Parkinson. 'There’s a lot that’s right about what we did, and it feels like a bit of a smash and grab act, to be honest. We will win more than we lose if we keep playing like that, though, and we will head for Yeovil on Saturday and do everything we can to get the show back on the road'...

Alty were left to rue a series of missed chances with Alistair Smith, Matty Kosylo and Andy White all going close in the opening minutes, while Byron Harrison was denied by Christian Dibble in a one-on-one with the keeper, as the striker’s search for a first Alty goal continued.

'Byron does some really good stuff, and the reason he plays is because he brings others into the game and is so unselfish in his overall play,' added Parkinson. 'But he hasn’t shown yet that when he gets into the box, he is going to score. He knows that when you play centre-forward, you’ve got to do that. He will be devastated, because he is working his socks off for us.

'I’m really disappointed, because you’ve got to score when you’re through one-on-one, and if he had, I think we would have gone on to win comfortably, because we were playing that well and dominating so much. We should have been well out of sight after those opening exchanges, but their keeper has got them out of jail'".

Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's post-match interview with the Altrincham manager.


The Leader Live prclaims "What a day for Wrexham supporters!

The Reds won 2-1 against Altrincham... and it was announced after the final whistle that the takeover of the club has been completed. Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been confirmed as the new owners...

Tyler French completed a one-match ban against the Daggers so he returned to the back-three with Dan Jarvis missing out... James Horsfield was also available and named on the substitutes bench after serving a one-game suspension of his own, but Rob Lainton, Shaun Pearson and Theo Vassell were still injured.

It was [an] even start to the game but Altrincham had two shots from outside the area in the opening 10 minutes that Christian Dibble had to deal with... Wrexham were again indebted to Dibble for keeping out Altrincham as he made a crucial block to deny Byron Harrison who was put through on goal by Smith...

Wrexham broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. The ball was worked out to Hall-Johnson whose cross from the by-line was converted from close range by Thomas...

However, Altrincham levelled six minutes into the second half as Colclough found the net with a stunning strike from 25 yards that found the top corner of the net.

Buoyed by the goal, Altrincham put pressure on Wrexham.... From [a] flag-kick delivered by Young, Wrexham took a 2-1 lead after 67 minutes as Thomas headed home. Dibble was again needed to make a save to deny Matty Kosylo while Josh Hancock fired wide... as the Reds held on for victory".


According to the Hartlepool Mail, "Hartlepool United want the 2020-21 National League season to continue as planned.

Pools are one of the few National League sides to have publicly stated how they have voted in the season resolution which must be settled by the end of the month... along with fellow fifth tier high flyers Notts County and Sutton United...

The format of the resolution vote poses potential issues largely down to resolution one, which stipulates whether the three National League divisions should vote as a collective or as individual tiers. In the event resolution one passes and clubs decide their fate based on their own tiers, the National League campaign would be set to continue due to the majority of sides, believed to be around 15 out of 23 according to one National League chairman in The Athletic favouring playing on.

This risks leaving eight teams who don’t wish to play being forced to do so against their will, causing further financial damage due to a lack of funding grants.

But it could be particularly troublesome for clubs in the National League North and South. Most National League North clubs want the season to be cancelled due to a lack of funding, but at least four are in favour of playing on.

Meanwhile in the National League South, the majority of clubs want to continue and have voted tactically against resolution one in an attempt to avoid curtailment for the sixth tier... With resolution one requiring a 24 out of 31 vote (75-per-cent) majority in order to pass, it could be a close one to call...

While no National League club is publicly revealed to have voted against resolution one, it would only require nine votes across all three divisions to fail.

Fifth tier clubs have one vote each while National League North and South clubs have only four votes per division. Most National League and National League North clubs are expected to vote for resolution one so that their fate is decided at their own level. But as previously mentioned, the majority of clubs in the National League South are voting against that resolution in an attempt to force the season to continue.

Therefore, it may only require a handful of National League clubs to vote against resolution one for it to fail... Should resolution one fail, resolution four then comes into effect where a blanket resolution would be applied across all three divisions to decide the season.

For the season to be cancelled, a 16 vote majority is required which is unlikely based on the stance of National League clubs in particular.

But then we have a situation where dozens of clubs are playing on against their wishes and risking financial ruin. Based on what we’ve seen so far, many clubs could outright refuse to play and the season is back into complete disarray...

For example, Dover Athletic would have to play 29 matches in the space of three months despite being financially unstable without grant funding and unwilling to play on.

Clubs like Dover, King’s Lynn, Weymouth and others will not want to risk being crippled financially just for the sake of continuing a season that would ultimately be a dead rubber affair for them with no risk of relegation and well under half of their matches played.

A club’s first priority is to look after itself and many will act in self interest and you simply cannot blame them... For the fifth tier it’s either going to be play on, play on without relegation or null and void.

Any clubs forced to play on could well refuse to do so in order to protect themselves, and what happens then? Do the National League kick these clubs when they’re down by imposing further sanctions or do they let them get away with it and risk the competition’s integrity? Unless a grant is supplied, there is no simple solution to the various problems facing the National League at the moment.

While Pools can be reasonably confident that their season will continue, there are still too many unanswered questions for them to rest easy".

ON THIS DAY: 11 February

Just a year ago today, on 11 February 2020, it was the third time of asking for Altrincham's away trip to Spennymoor Town, the only club in the division that the Robins had not yet faced that season.

The original fixture had been postponed owing to Alty's FA Cup tie at Portsmouth on that day. The game was rescheduled for Tuesday, 14 January only to be postponed after both the Altrincham team and their supporters had travelled to the Brewery Field.

Spennymoor Town, like Altrincham, had reached the play-offs the previous season and, in this campaign, at kick-off, they lay just one place outside them, in eighth, with three points fewer than sixth-placed Altrincham had.

Alty had a pre-match injury list which comprised Drench, Peers, Hampson, Richman, Williams amnd White. Only Hampson had recovered to start, whilst Peers was named on the bench. Before the match, Alty had announced the signing of Elliott Durrell, following his departure from York City.

Played in a biting and gusty wind throughout, this was a game which Altrincham should have won after dominating a large portion of the first half and the start of the second period. But a missed penalty, a disallowed goal and failure to defend after two corners cost Alty dear.

Altrincham started the game slowly and fell behind in only the eighth minute as a home corner came back for a follow-up cross by Brogan. The ball drifted in the windy conditions to the back post where Roberts was allowed to steal in and hammer the ball into the roof of the net.

A swirling snow shower then made conditions even more difficult for ten minutes or so as Altrincham took a hold on the game. They deservedly equalised in the 33rd minute with a fine 25-yard freekick by Hancock into the bottom corner of the net.

Above: A first-half snow shower at the Brewery Field.

After being on top from the start of the second half, Moult lost possession in midfield. The ball was worked to the right where Ramshaw netted with a 30-yard screamer which Thompson could do little about (53 mins).

Four minutes later Densmore was upended in the box but Hancock's penalty was saved by the keeper to his right.

It was to prove costly as the Moors made it 3-1 midway through the half. As with the first goal, a home corner was half cleared only for the ball to be relaunched into the penalty area where, this time, Buddle headed it home (67 mins).

On 78 minutes a turn and shot by Hancock seemed to have made it 3-2 but, after a long chat with his linesman, the goal was ruled out for offside by the referee.

Alty had brought on Elliott Durrell for his debut and he was brought down to win a second penalty. He took it himself and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-2 (83 mins). Despite some late pressure Alty left the wind-swept Brewery Field empty-handed.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Craig MAHON. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Lewis WALTERS, 15. Elliott DURRELL, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Tom PEERS


According to the Daily Star, "Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's Wrexham takeover is actually a smart business move

Long-suffering Wrexham AFC fan Andy Gilpin examines just why...

'These massively famous, self-made and self-deprecating men have for some reason taken an interest in our club, town and history and want to be a part of it... Why do they want to own Wrexham? What's in it for them?...

'You can't really lose cash on buying Wrexham AFC in the way they're going to do it. And for two rich, connected and creative men, it'll also be fun... Straight away they showed their kindness with lots of donations... And they also realised that booze is the way to our hearts, delivering premium gin to the town's most recognisable pubs... winning the PR war before it even started...

There's nothing really in it for them to asset strip a club... However they do stand to gain a lot if they make it successful. Wrexham is a working-class town a little like where Rob grew up in Philly. They share the same work ethic, principles and we get joy from the same things – a sports team that reflects the best of our town...

The duo's initial £2million outlay to the club would easily be covered by a Netflix or Amazon deal for a 10-part docu-series such as Sunderland 'Til I Die... They could have a major hit on their hands...

Being fans-owned, they are buying it off Wrexham Supporters Trust... and even more important for Ryan and Rob, it's debt free. It's also got a hundred year lease on the Racecourse ground, so nothing can really go wrong there either... The potential is actually global. Marketing opportunities will increase tenfold. People will want merchandise and the club will become self-sustained on the back of this...

Savvy businessmen like Ryan and Rob will... know there's a great chance to make money out of Wrexham. Once it gets into the Football League...who knows what it could achieve?...

However what's happening on the field must be a priority... And there's simply no pleasure in watching Wrexham FC these days... The big question... is whether to give the current manager more cash to try and turn this round, or to look somewhere else... Many fans want boss Dean Keates and his entire coaching staff removed.

Wrexham do not play Hollywood football... It doesn't make sense for things to remain so dire for so many on the pitch, with the likes of Eddie Howe and Danny Cowley being over-optimistically linked with the job...

We've been hurt before and of course we'll be cautious, but this seems different. It seems like a proper Hollywood fairytale'".

The Halifax Courier reports that "FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild says there will be no incomings at The Shay until the fate of the season has been decided...

On striker Lewis Mansell, who has returned to parent club Accrington after his loan spell at The Shay, Wild said 'He was steady away for us, he came in and really helped us at a time of need, a top lad.

'I feel like he’ll only grow as a player when he goes back but, until we know what’s happening with the league and we have clarity on the situation, we’re not prepared to bring anybody in.

'We know who we want, we’ve had initial discussions with people we want but we’re not prepared to do anything until we know what’s going on.

'There’s clubs out there who are doing business and it just makes me laugh. I don’t know how you can think you want to do business with a player, and I think you’re selling a player down an alley that might not be there. Until we know for sure we won’t be doing anything'".

NL Daily reports that "Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter has reiterated his concern over the current plight of non-league clubs.

Parmenter announced a few days ago that he was resigning from the National League board as he was not in agreement with the way things were being handled, with financial support for clubs playing without supporters a continued hot topic.

Many clubs have publicly stated their unwillingness to take on loans to continue playing, having previously been planning for grant funding.

Yesterday, Parmenter outlined his intention to ‘furlough all staff, cut all possible expenditure and cease football operations’ if there was no imminent change to the situation.

He said as part of a statement 'The league has for 20 years mandated clubs to live within their means and punished clubs if they did not. As a result, statutory tax debt was reduced to virtually nothing and insolvency events have become extremely rare, which has brought great credit to the league.

'I am really concerned that the current direction of travel will force clubs to take financial risks they would not otherwise take, and I am determined that Dover Athletic will not be one of those clubs. We play football for our fans and our community, and in their absence, I can see no logic in burdening the club with hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt to complete a meaningless season.

'Funding ended six weeks ago now, and without any form of significant income stream, I have had to continue to fund the club; this cannot continue and if action is not taken the club will become insolvent. I have (as promised) run the club without debt for 15 years and I do not intend to change that now'".

The Nottingham Post reports that Notts County "secured a third straight league win in a remarkable game at Meadow Lane where they played with captain Doyle in goal for 75 minutes after number one Sam Slocombe was sent off

Notts County secured an incredible 3-1 win over Dagenham...

Doyle was required to take the gloves after goalkeeper Sam Slocombe was sent off, early in the first half, for a tackle on Darren McQueen which handed the visitors a penalty. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Doyle’s first job was to face the spot-kick but watched as Paul McCallum rattled the post which protected the Magpies' 1-0 lead given to them by Kyle Wootton.

Against all the odds, Notts extended their lead through a wonderful effort from Ruben Rodrigues and then Neal Ardley’s side made it 3-0 when Wootton grabbed his second of the game before the break.

However, Doyle showed reflexes to stop Notts from conceding on the stroke of half-time when he thwarted McQueen from point-blank range. He was eventually beaten late on when Matt Robinson but Ardley’s side produced an incredible defensive display to claim all three points".

Manager Neil Ardley said, "Obviously the stuff like the sending off was out of my control... We could have been two up before they even got the penalty. The boys were really at it and then they just carried it on with 10 men. I've got a way that we work when we go down to 10 men...

The fitness levels are great. They're buzzing. They're desperate to play games, all of them... Initially I was absolutely disgusted with [the red card]. I've looked at it back and still think it's dubious. The only thing that goes against Sam is both his feet leave the ground. But there's no force in there. He's trying to reach for the ball. He doesn't catch him (McQueen). Sam said he just grazed the top of his foot"...

Asked "You don't carry a substitute goalkeeper on the bench, do you feel there is more benefit in having an outfield player on there?", Ardley stated "It's ridiculous. Five subs isn't enough. I need to cover a centre-back going down, I need to cover a full-back going down, I need to cover midfield and then I need to have a winger or centre forward on there to try to change a game. That's it, you're done.

"You've got no space. I just can't cover the position I want to cover and have a goalkeeper on the bench. I will do it again next week and I'll do it again the week after... I've batted for more than five subs. Now we're Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and it's even more important for the welfare of the players...

"Doyley has played Gaelic football. He was up for it, Ben Turner was up for it as were a few of the boys... I didn't realise he would be as good as he was. He was excellent but the nine in front of him stopped everything at source".

Also in the Nottingham Post, "Notts County captain Michael Doyle revealed how his team-mates nicknamed him the 'Monk' at half-time.. from the film Mean Machine in which Jason Statham’s character, a dangerous prison inmate, helps a group of convicts beat the guards in a football match".

King's Lynn Town state that "A Courtney Duffus double saw the Linnets beaten at Bromley as Lynn slipped to their 3rd successive National League defeat and two without scoring.

Rory McAuley was recalled following suspension with Alex Kiwomya passed fit following his hamstring injury. With both Michael Clunan and Ryan Jarvis not in the starting line up, Michael Gash was named captain.

The home side started the better with early chances going wide before Lynn’s first attempt, on 19 minutes... Both sides matched each other in the first half, neither keeper having a save to make.

It was Bromley who took the lead 5 minutes before half-time, a Joe Kizzi cross from the right was flicked home by Duffus past Archie Mair.

Lynn made a change at half-time with Sonny Carey replacing Kiwomya... Like the first half, the second was tentative from both sides; Lynn having a lot of the ball without creating and Bromley content to sit back and try to hit Lynn on the counter attack...

The hosts extended their lead on 68 minutes when Duffus converted a pass from Liam Trotter. Lynn’s first attempt on target came on 88 minutes".

According to Devon Live, "Billy Waters popped up deep in injury time to salvage a point for Torquay after a frustrating night against struggling Wealdstone.

The Gulls played into a howling wind in the first half at Plainmoor... It was the visitors who led by the only goal at half time, a 25-yard left-foot strike by Jacob Mendy as the visitors caught Torquay on the break.

The home side, with a starting XI ravaged by injuries and the suspension of playmaker Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, had precious few chances of their own, although Ben Whitfield, Billy Waters and Josh Umerah all tested the visiting defence.

The second half saw Torquay step up their game, but chances were still few and far between... Waters levelled the scores in stoppage time with a sharp finish after Asa Hall had a shot charged down".

10 February 2021


In this game, transferred from Altrincham to the Broadhurst Park stadium of FC United of Manchester, the "home team" made three changes to their starting eleven; White for the injured Hampson, Sutton for the suspended Moult, Colcough for the injured Mooney.

Altrincham started well and the Wrexham keeper Dibble was forced to make four good saves in the opening half-hour. The best chance had fallen to Byron Harrison but the Wrexham keeper won the one-on-one.

Despite Alty setting the pace, Wrexham had hit the post through a Thomas header after 20 minutes but the visitors went ahead against the overall tenor of the game in the 36th minute. A quick freekick by Harris set Hall-Johnson running up the right and his cross was put into the roof of the net by Thomas at the near post (36 mins). After the goal the Welshmen had the better of the remainder of the first half.

Alty got level in the 51st minute when Senior found Colclough who hit a fine 20-yard shot past the keeper, who got a hand to the ball and might have been expected to keep it out.

Altrincham continued to have a lot of the ball in the second half but struggled to create openings. They paid the price after Mullarkey tried to run forward up the middle, lost the ball, and a corner was conceded by desperate covering from Sutton who injured himself in the process.

The corner came off an Alty head at the near post and Thomas, unmarked at the back post, looped a header over Thompson into the far corner to restore his side's lead (68 mins).

Alty could not find a way back and slipped to a disappointing defeat. They dropped to sixth in the table, twelfth on PPG, a position which, if maintained, would represent Altrincham's highest league finish at this level for 25 years, since 1996.

Match report here.


In Tuesday night's Robins' Review, Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson wrote, "We feel we have an obligation to keep the National League season going, and therefore we are doing everything in our power to get games played and to ensure that we achieve that objective.

We are seeing some odd behaviour from our fellow-National League clubs, and I am sure we will see some unusual postponements in games before the end of the season.

Right: The pitch at Moss Lane being revamped in May 2016.

I could imagine that some clubs would be a little reluctant to play us, in particular, at the moment, but we all need to remember the obligations we have as clubs representing Elite Sport in this country...

Back to the pitch [at Altrincham] for a moment; we have had any number of experts in to look at the best way forward for the playing surface at The J. Davidson Stadium. And by experts, we mean the very best in the business.

We believe we have a way forward, which will see a six-figure investment in the pitch over the summer, including replacing all the under-pitch drains and making significant improvements to the off-pitch situation as well.

This is the biggest investment we have ever made in the playing surface, and we are investing more this summer than we have in the previous seven years combined. We want to make sure that we are giving Phil and the boys the very best playing surface possible as we continue to move forward in our five-year plan".


According to the Derbyshire Times, "It is estimated that around 15 of the 23 clubs in the National League want the season to continue...

All 66 clubs in the National League, National League North and National League South have been asked to vote on whether the campaign should be made null and void...

One National League chairman, who spoke to 'The Athletic' this week, estimated that 15 of the 23 clubs in non-League’s top flight wanted to keep playing, with Stockport County the ‘de facto whip’ urging against a vote for curtailment. If this is the case then the season will continue as a majority of 51% is needed.

Chesterfield want the season to carry on, as do Notts County, Hartlepool United and Sutton United.

King’s Lynn Town and Dover Athletic have voted to end the campaign, while Wrexham have opted to abstain because they are not eligible for government funding because of of the club’s location...

If the National League North and National League South are made null and void then there will not be any relegation from Step One this season".


Tuesday 9th February
  • Barnet P-P FC Halifax Town [frozen pitch]
  • Aldershot Town P-P Chesterfield [Covid at Chesterfield]
  • Altrincham 1-2 Wrexham
  • Bromley 2-0 King's Lynn Town
  • Dover Athletic P-P Maidenhead United [snow covered pitch]
  • Eastleigh 1-0 Yeovil Town
  • Hartlepool United 2-0 Solihull Moors k.o. 6pm
  • Notts County 3-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Sutton United P-P Woking [frozen pitch]
  • Torquay United 1-1 Wealdstone
  • Weymouth P-P Boreham Wood [frozen pitch]


After a gap of more than twenty years, Altrincham return to Somerset to face Yeovil Town on Saturday for a clash between the nation's two greatest FA Cup giantkillers, albeit in 2021 they are meeting in the National League.

Both sides started the season poorly but Altrincham have recovered the better and, before Tuesday's games, they had 13 more points from three more fixtures than The Glovers had completed and The Robins were fourteen places higher in the table.

ON THIS DAY: 10 February

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date came six years ago, in 2015, when Alty lost 2-1 at The Moss Rose against Macclesfield Town in a Vanarama Conference match, played on a Tuesday night. The previous day had witnessed Sir Alex Ferguson opening the Community Sports Hall at Moss Lane.

Altrincham were without Peter Cavanagh, who had missed recent games with an Achilles problem, and Nicky Clee, who had suffered a knee injury in the game against Aldershot Town, the previous Saturday. So, James Lawrie came into the squad and reserves' striker Joel Swift came onto the bench. With this game, Stuart Coburn became Altrincham's record holder for starting matches, with 673 to his account for the Club.

Altrincham were unfortunate not to take anything from the game after a spirited second-half showing saw them lay siege to the Silkmen's goal. But the damage had been done before that when Alty fell two goals adrift. An unmarked Barnes-Homer headed home a left-wing cross in the 29th minute to give the hosts a deserved interval lead.

Although Alty brought on Perry at the break and started the second half on the front foot, they fell further behind after 49 minutes when Whitaker found Moke unmarked on the right and he drove a low shot past Coburn into the net.

But, after that, it was largely one-way traffic twoards the Macclesfield goal and Alty made it 2-1 in the 63rd minute when Perry scored, following a freekick. And when Perry put the ball in the net again, in the 83rd minute from a Densmore freekick, it took the intervention of an assistant referee and referee Ross Joyce to rule the goal out. Despite late pressure on them, Macclesfield just about held out to take the three points.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Shaun Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 7. James Lawrie. Subs: 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton, 20. Joel Swift.


We learnt on Tuesday from the Barnet & Potters Bart Times that "Barnet’s scheduled game away at Halifax Town has been postponed ... The pitch is considered frozen and therefore unusable...

The postponement means Barnet have now not played since February 2 when they were beaten 2-1 by Aldershot, with their next match not due to arrive until this weekend’s trip to Solihull Moors.

The Bees are winless in their last 14 league matches and currently sit bottom of the National League".

In the Derbyshire Times we read that "Chesterfield striker Jack McKay has joined Scottish League One side Airdrieonians on loan until the end of the season.

The 24-year-old has not featured this campaign under manager James Rowe and was sent on loan to National League North club Blyth Spartans for a month in January.

McKay, who will stay out on loan until June 12, returns to the Diamonds for a second spell having played for the club in 2017.

He links up again with his twin brother Paul. They have previously played together at Doncaster Rovers, Leeds and Cardiff City...

McKay joined the Spireites in 2019, initially on loan, before the move was made permanent ahead of the 2019/20 season".

According to the Halifax Courier "FC Halifax Town will train today (Tuesday) as preparations begin for the visit of Dover on Saturday after tonight’s game at Barnet was postponed...

So Saturday’s home game with Dover will be Halifax’s first match in two weeks, with their rearranged home match against Hartlepool on February 2 also being called off.

'The weather’s horrible isn’t it so you’re not surprised,' Wild said of the Barnet postponement. 'It’s frustrating obviously, because... we want to get a run of games again.

'But I fully understand that it’s out of their control in terms of the weather so there’s nothing we can do about it...

'At the end of the day the fixtures are all over the place so it’s not just us'... said Wild... 'We’ve just got to... churn out results as much as possible...

'It’s frustrating for the staff because the Barnet prep started halfway through last week and you probably spend five, six days prepping it, making sure you, the players and everybody understands what’s going off, and then on the morning of the game it’s called off, it flattens you a little bit because of all the effort we’ve put in...

'All thoughts now turn to Dover on Saturday. That process has already started with the analysis team and I’ll pick my processes up in terms of that from today... We’ve been able to put in place a training plan. We’ll train today because we need to get the levels of the players back up so we need to have a tough day today and increase their levels ready for Saturday'".

9 February 2021


He may have been a major factor in Altrincham getting into the play-offs last season but the Leader Live reports that "Altrincham have exceeded all expectations this season but Wrexham midfielder Elliott Durrell wants an away win this evening to atone for a draw that felt like a defeat...

Although tipped to make an instant return to the sixth tier, Altrincham have proved the doubters wrong and go into tonight’s game at Moss Lane sitting fifth in the National League, and Durrell has nothing but praise for his former club.

'It is thoroughly deserved the position they are in, it is a top club,' said Durrell. 'They might not have the resources that other clubs have got at this level but it has got great infrastructure and people who are all pulling in the same direction, and very talented coaching staff who will undoubtedly go onto manage at a higher level.'

Altrincham registered a 1-0 win against Wrexham when the sides met at The Racecourse in December and Durrell admits the Reds weren’t ruthless enough in front of goal...

Said Durrell, 'We have got to look to right the wrongs and we go there to try and avenge that defeat, and hopefully come back with three points'...

Wrexham will also be looking to get Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Dagenham and Redbridge out of the system. The Reds were well in control but threw away a two-goal lead...

Said Durrell, 'This level is about consistency and if you don’t put consistent performances together for 90 minutes, you will come unstuck. That is what happened on Saturday... If we win [tonight] that will be eight points from four games, and three of them away, so that is not a bad return'...

Durrell was an unused substitute against the Daggers, the third successive game that the 31 year-old has found himself on the bench... 'I am disappointed that I am not in the team,' said Durrell. 'It is hard when you don’t have much of an opportunity to get back in the team; the way the games have been going, it has been difficult to make an attacking substitution.

'The experience that I have as a player and my age, I am an attacking player but I know how to see games out and my experience will be invaluable. It is just up to me when I get my chance to take it again. I don’t think I deserve to be out of the team but football changes... When I am called upon, I will take my opportunity.'”


Wrexham report that "Tonight's match [against] Altrincham is Dean Keates's 125th as manager of Wrexham.

Keates is the 14th manager to reach this milestone for the club, and only the third of our last ten bosses to get to 125 games after Dean Saunders and Andy Morrell.

Keates is part of a very special club: managers who also played for us. Appointing ex-players as manager has become increasingly common for us as time has passed. Only 2 of our first 14 managers had previously played for us, but 8 of our last 18 were ex-players...

In terms of combined games, as both a player and a manager, Keates stands eighth in the list".

As for Altrincham, manager Phil Parkinson has overseen 179 league and cup games for the club, since joining in 2017.


Altrincham FC have announced that "Altrincham’s home game with Wrexham tomorrow night has been switched to FC United of Manchester’s Broadhurst Park to ensure it goes ahead.

The decision... was taken after an assessment of how the pitch at The J.Davidson Stadium had been adversely affected by last month’s exceptional rainfall...

Reflecting on the change of venue, Alty director Rob Esteva said ‘Our absolute priority is to get our games played, and the National League have been proactive in working with us to find a solution for this fixture and potentially more. We have had three times the amount of rain in January compared to the average rainfall, and it has taken its toll on the pitch. The fact we were unable to do our usual renovations to the pitch in the summer, due to the play-offs, continues to hamper us'"

Live streaming of the game can be purchased here.


By Friday lunchtime, the BBC was reporting that "Three more National League fixtures scheduled to be played on Tuesday have been postponed due to frozen pitches.

Barnet v FC Halifax Town, Sutton United v Woking and Weymouth v Boreham Wood were all called off after an inspection of conditions at the three grounds.

Dover v Maidenhead was postponed on Monday after heavy snow in Kent and the forecast of more low temperatures.

The match between Aldershot and Chesterfield was called off on Sunday because of Covid-19."

Footnote: Sutton have an artificial pitch and even that has succumbed to the bad weather.


Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's extended interview with Alty right-back Joel Senior.

Since joining the club in the close season Joel [right] has established himself at right-back in which position he has now made 18 appearances.


Altrincham play Wrexham in the relatively unfamiliar surroundings of FC United's Broadhurst Park tonight (Tuesday), having beaten the Welshmen at The Racecourse earlier this season, 1-0.

Last time out the Dragons let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Wrexham's squad for that game comprised (3-4-1-2): Dibble; Carrington, Kelleher, Davies; Hall-Johnson, Harris, Young, Reckord; Jarvis (Ponticelli 71); Angus (Rutherford 79), Thomas. Subs: Austin, Redmond, Durrell.

Just six of those starters for Wrexham last Saturday also started against Altrincham on 1 December.

Former Alty man Elliott Durrell has played the full 90 minutes in a league game for Wrexham just three times this season. Three of those appearances were in his first four National League matches. In four of the last six league matches he has only been named on the bench.

Wrexham have been in non-League since 2008. In the intervening twelve seasons, they have finished in the top five, of what is now the National League, four times but at the end of the incomplete season of 2019-20 they were in their lowest ever position, finishing nineteeth.

ON THIS DAY: 9 February

By coincidence, Altrincham's fixture tonight, at home to Wrexham, is a repeat of the same Vanarama National League fixture between the two clubs which took place exactly five years ago, on 9 February 2016, at Moss Lane. On that Tuesday evening the sides drew 1-1.

As reported earlier this week, 19th placed Altrincham were to fall into the relegation places at the end of that 2015-16 season and so this remains the most recent clash between tonight's two opponents.


According to the Derbyshire Times, "National League clubs are continuing to submit their votes on whether the 2020/2021 season should be cancelled or not... All 66 clubs... have until the end of the month to cast their votes, although an outcome is expected much sooner...

Chesterfield want the Step One season to continue, as do Notts County, Hartlepool United and Sutton United.

King’s Lynn Town have voted to end the campaign, while Wrexham have opted to abstain because they are not eligible for government funding because of of the club’s location.

Other clubs will have submitted their vote but have not gone public.

In the National League North, Gloucester City and AFC Fylde want the season to carry on but Gateshead, Chester, Farsley Celtic, Spennymoor Town, AFC Telford United, Bradford Park Avenue, Southport, Darlington and Blyth Spartans have all voted to end it.

The picture is different in the National League South as Dartford, Dorking Wanderers, Hungerford Town, Eastbourne Borough, Ebbsfleet United, Havant and Waterlooville, Chelmsford City, Hemel Hempstead Town and Concord Rangers all want to continue, while Bath City, Slough Town, Maidstone United and Tonbridge Angels want it scrapped".

And the Chesterfield Times confirms that "Chesterfield manager James Rowe is ‘shocked’ at what has been ‘forced upon’ the Spireites after they had to bow out of the FA Trophy.

The Blues have withdrawn from this season’s competition after one of their players tested positive for coronavirus, causing last Saturday’s fifth round tie against Aldershot Town to be postponed.

FA rules state that a rescheduled match must take place within five days of the original tie. However, that is not possible with Town now isolating for 10 days.

Chesterfield explored the possibility of fielding an under-19 team before a decision was made to forfeit the tie because the youth players have not been training for the last two months due to the pandemic.

Rowe tweeted... 'Despite our staff and I upholding the utmost integrity, I am shocked at what has been forced upon us since Saturday night'".

After defeat by Altrincham in their last league game, Torquay United "return to National League action with a game against troubled club Wealdstone after booking their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy with the 2-0 win at Southport on Saturday.

In today's draw, Torquay were handed an away trip to Woking for the February 27 last-eight tie...

He said 'In training I have to make sure that they are all ready and mentally and physically for the Wealdstone game because every three points we get disappoints a lot of other teams in our league. You can't take any team lightly at the moment; they are all big games. Wealdstone are in a little bit of turmoil with the manager leaving etc but sometimes that can galvanise a team, depending on who is doing the re-galvanising'..

For his part, Johnson has some decisions to make after swapping players around at Southport. The manager had said Ben Wynter and Gary Warren might be ready after injuries but in the end he decided to go without them...

Striker Josh Umerah hobbled off with a dead leg from a challenge at Haig Avenue and is doubtful. Another doubt is Aarone Nemane, who Johnson said missed the Southport game after feeling a tight hamstring...

Johnson will also have to choose between Billy Waters and Rob Street if he is going to pair one striker with No 10 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, unless he goes with both in a front two with Lemonheigh-Evans in midfield instead.

Whatever he decides to do, Torquay should be strong enough to see off Wealdstone".

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United have ‘protected the budget’ with shrewd loan signings this season, according to manager Dave Challinor.

Pools have brought in several players on loan so far this season... The latest player through the door at Victoria Park, Tom White, arrived on an initial one month deal from Blackburn Rovers. He joins Luke Armstrong, Lewis Cass and Henrich Ravas as the side’s current loan players.

Since arriving in December, Armstrong is already Hartlepool’s top scorer with six goals to his name. Meanwhile, Cass and Ravas have been dependable members of the squad when called upon.

Blackburn defender Tyler Magloire also proved to be a solid addition to the Hartlepool side before his loan expired in January.

And with Challinor operating with a reduced playing budget this campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, the loan market has helped the Pools boss... Chairman Raj Singh has continued to back his manager through the uncertainty.

'The loan signings in the main have been really good for us because they’ve helped me protect the budget,' Challinor told The Mail... 'It hasn’t cost us an awful lot... There are players out of contract, good players, who need games and EFL clubs potentially can’t do stuff because of smaller budgets or salary caps, whatever it is. We’ve benefited from that and we’ve been able to have a good run as a result of the business we’ve done'".

More than 24 hours before the scheduled kick-off, Kent Online confirmed that "Dover's home match with Maidenhead United on Tuesday night has been postponed due to snow.

Crabble has been covered in snow following heavy snowfall during the past 24 hours and with no prospect of conditions improving quickly, the decision has been taken early to call the game off.

Dover's clash at home to Hartlepool at the weekend was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Whites also had their National League clash with Torquay, scheduled for February 27, postponed as The Gulls will be in FA Trophy quarter-final action on that day.

Once those three fixtures are re-arranged, it will leave Dover with no more blank midweeks for any further re-arrangements, assuming they are not able to confirm an alternative game on February 27. Whites have a blank Saturday on April 24 due to Macclesfield's demise".

The BBC adds that "It means the Whites have played six fewer games than some teams in the National League following a series of weather and Covid-19 postponements".

Millwall unofficial site, News At Den, reports that "Isaac Olaofe could be set for a spell on the sidelines after limping off in Sutton United’s 1-0 FA Trophy defeat at home to Woking on Saturday.

Olaofe suffered an ankle injury just 30 seconds into the game and was forced off after five minutes. Olaofe, 21, has scored six goals in 16 league goals for the National League side this season".

Weymouth "boss Brian Stock admitted he is 'absolutely delighted' with a 2-1 victory over Bromley in a game he felt was bookended by contrasting levels of performance.

Stock’s Terras are beginning to build up a head of steam in the Vanarama National League, this being their third triumph in five games and one lifting them above King’s Lynn to 20th place.

Loanee striker Andy Dallas set Weymouth on their way to victory by earning and scoring a penalty in the third minute before touching home four minutes later.

After a nightmare start, Bromley blossomed and cut the deficit when Joe Kizzi volleyed home Chris Bush’s long throw.

In a chaotic second half, Bush was dismissed after picking up two needless bookings and Bromley went down to nine men when Charlie Wakefield pushed Brennan Camp in the throat.

Weymouth’s Jordan Ngalo also twice saw yellow, the second seemingly harsh as the midfielder appeared to win the ball...

It was a victory Weymouth might not have enjoyed had this game been earlier in the season, a measure of the Terras’ improvement in recent games...

Stock said post-match, 'The first 30 minutes is probably up there with the best we’ve played and the last 30 probably the worst... Our general play, our full-backs getting high, everything I want our team to have, was evident in the first 30 minutes.

'I felt that when they went down to 10 men we took our foot off the gas... We dealt very well with the ball coming into the box, we just need to be cleverer in terms of how we dictate the game... I’m surprised Bush didn’t get sent off the first time. He’s walking a tightrope, and the second one he’s late in the challenge...

'All credit to Bromley. Even though they lost two men, they stuck two up front, caused us a problem... We were clinging on at times'".


The draw for the Buildbase FA Trophy quarter finals on Saturday 27 February went as follows:
  • 1 Notts County v Oxford City
  • 2 Darlington v Hornchurch
  • 3 Aldershot v Hereford
  • 4 Woking v Torquay United

The winners will earn £7,500 and the losers collect £2,000.


Brian Flynn's interview, carried out on Saturday, with goalkeeper Tony Thompson [right] is available via Alty TV.


On Tuesday Altrincham are at home to Wrexham and the record against Wrexham, to date is
  • At home: P8-W1-D4-L3-F6-A11
  • At Wrexham P7-W2-D2-L3-F7-A11
  • All P15-W3-D6-L6-F13-A22

Last Saturday, Alty had no game but Wrexham threw away a two-goal lead to draw at home with Dagenham & Redbridge as the Leader Live reports.

"It's hard to believe Wrexham only had a point to show for their efforts after throwing away a two-goal lead. Dean Keates' side drew 2-2 against Dagenham and Redbridge at The Racecourse when they really should have won.

The Reds played some excellent football in the first half and created lots of chances, with Jamie Reckord scoring a superb volley to put the home side ahead.

It should have been more than 1-0 at the break but Wrexham got the vital second goal in the 58th minute through Reece Hall-Johnson... Dagenham levelled and as they piled the pressure on, the visitors grabbed an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Here's how the players rated:

  • CHRISTIAN DIBBLE... had little to do but was beaten twice... 6
  • MARK CARRINGTON: You can always depend on Carrington... 6
  • FIACRE KELLEHER: The only recognised centre-back was solid... 6
  • JORDAN DAVIES: Deputised in the back three... 6
  • REECE HALL-JOHNSON: Goal and an assist to cap good attacking display, but both Daggers goals came down his side. 6
  • LUKE YOUNG: Worked hard but was unusually quiet. 6
  • JAY HARRIS: Could have scored twice... 6
  • JAMIE RECKORD: His corners caused Daggers lots of problems and he scored a brilliant goal. 7
  • DAN JARVIS: Lively performance as he got into good positions and set up the second goal... 7
  • DIOR ANGUS: Caused problems first half... 6
  • KWAME THOMAS: Held the ball up well and linked up play... 6


  • JORDAN PONTICELLI: Wasn’t involved enough... 4
  • PAUL RUTHERFORD: Created a chance... 5

Former Alty man Elliott Durrell did not get on to the pitch.

And the Leader Live adds that "Excited manager Dean Keates is 'looking forward to what the future brings for this football club' as the takeover of Wrexham Football Club nears its conclusion.

Wrexham Supporters' Trust announced on Friday that Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney's takeover at The Racecourse has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority and the actors are expected to 'formally complete the sale of shares in Wrexham AFC next weekf.

The actors donated money for Keates to strengthen his squad before the January transfer window closed on Monday and have pledged to invest £2 million immediately when they become owners...

Said Keates...'It will be an exciting future for the football club going forward... The people coming into the football club made the donation so we could be active in the transfer window'...

Keates insists his side remain well-placed with over half of the season remaining. 'We are not where we want to be because we want to be top of the league,' said Keates. 'We should have been in the play-offs, we should have seen in through [against Dagenham]... but there is still loads to play for'".

The Leader Live also reported that on Saturday "Keates made two changes from the side that drew at Eastleigh in midweek, and both were enforced due to suspension. Tyler French was sent off on his debut at The Silverlake Stadium and served a one-match ban along with James Horsfield who has picked up five yellow cards so Hall-Johnson, not risked on Tuesday due to a knock, returned along with midfielder Dan Jarvis.

With Shaun Pearson and Theo Vassell still injured, and Max Cleworth on loan at Caernarfon, Mark Carrington, Fiacre Kelleher and Jordan Davies formed a makeshift back-three and youth team defender Ryan Austin was named among the substitutes.

Wrexham (3-4-1-2): Dibble; Carrington, Kelleher, Davies; Hall-Johnson, Harris, Young, Reckord; Jarvis (Ponticelli 71); Angus (Rutherford 79), Thomas. Subs: Austin, Redmond, Durrell".


Wrexham renew their acquaintance with the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday. Their last visit was almost exactly five years ago on Tuesday, 9 February, 2016 for a Vanarama National League match which ended 1-1.

Above: The teams take to the pitch.

On the eve of that match, Altrincham had been buoyed by an extension to Josh Ginnelly's loan from Burnley. With Crowther back after illness, Lawrie dropped to the bench.

In the match Altrincham gained a hard-earned point against play-off hopefuls Wrexham. It was Altrincham who took the lead in the 12th minute. In fact they might have done so as early as the fifth minute when Simon Richman's shot from the edge of the box hit the crossbar. But it was a fine run up the right and into the box by Ryan Crowther which set up Josh Ginnelly for the opener.

Altrincham then played some excellent football but could not add to their score before Wrexham equalised, against the run of play, on 30 minutes. Jackson was allowed too much space on the left and his cross was met by an excellent looping header from former Barnsley man, Simon Heslop. After that the visitors had the better of play, though Altrincham still had their own attacking moments in the second half. Wastefulness in front of goal cost the Welshmen in the second period as, on three occasions, they fluffed their lines badly from close range.

ALTRINCHAM : 17. Tim DEASY, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 6. Scott LEATHER, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 19. Ryan CROWTHER 15. Josh GINNELLY, 27. Jonathon MARGETTS, 9. Michael RANKINE Subs: 10. Damian REEVES, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 26. Dylan MOTTLEY-HENRY, 7. James LAWRIE.


It is more than twenty years since Altrincham face Yeovil Town but ALty vist Huish Park next Saturday. The Glovers lost to another Cheshire side last Saturday.

Then, "Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll said his side must take the positives from their defeat to Stockport County on Saturday evening. The Glovers’ fine run of form came to end at Edgeley Park after Alex Reid’s first half strike was enough to see Simon Rusk clinch his first home victory in charge of Stockport...

Despite a much-improved second-half performance, the green and whites failed to find their cutting edge in the final third. Sarll said 'I thought we started very slow[ly] today and were very physically dominated in the first-half.

A trip to in-form Eastleigh is up next on the horizon for Yeovil Town...

'I think Tuesday is a great game for us to put things right', he added. 'I had no quarm [sic] or doubt about the players attitude and enthusiasm today, but I felt we lacked that bit of composure and experience'".

ON THIS DAY: 8 February

Ten years ago today Altrincham hit twelve against Alsager Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup, winning the tie 12-1.

Marc Joseph returned to actin after suspension and, in the absence of Lawton and Coburn from the starting eleven, he captained the side, though the team sheet indicated that the honour had gone to James Smith. Wes Baynes also returned to action, after being unable to play against his employers at Wrexham in midweek. Alty gave debuts to recent signing, goalkeeper Craig Dootson, and to Mohamed Coly, a tall Senegalese player from Radcliffe Borough, who played in midfield.

Though present, Alty's top scorer, Damian Reeves, was not in the squad tonight for a game watched by new loan signing Greg Young.

Alsager had been rocked recently by a managerial and player walk-out amidst so their line-up was an unknown entity to Altrincham before kick-off.

Victory meant that Altrincham reached the final of the Cheshire Senior Cup, where they were to meet Northwich Victoria. The visitors had been rocked recently by the departure of their manager and most of the first team but they kept going for 90 minutes and matched Alty in the corner-kick count.

Alty, giving debuts to goalkeeper Craig Dootson and midfielder Mohamed Coly [right], opened their account after 12 minutes when Robbie Williams sidefooted home after a short corner by Baynes was played into the box by Brown. Nicky Clee made it 2-0 with a low freekick from outside the box after 22 minutes. Baynes then dribbled through three challenges to score a fine third goal four minutes later. Beesley made it 4-0 after 35 minutes when a Baynes shot deflected to him, left of goal. A minute later, Beesley scored again from a Brown feed to leave Alty 5-0 ahead at the interval.

Twiss replaced Beesley at the break and then youth team captain, James Smart came on for Clee nine minutes into the second half. Next, a Baynes shot was deflected into the net to make it 6-0 (57 mins). Sam Hewson got two goals in three minutes (64 and 67 mins), the second a tap-in after Wedgbury's shot had been blocked.

Despite an injury to Smart reducing Alty to ten men from the 73rd minute, the ninth goal was hammered home by Baynes in the 77th minute and, three minutes later, Wedgbury scored after his first efort had been parried (80 mins). Two superb long-range, lobbed efforts completed Alty's dozen; Baynes netted from 50 yards and Wedgbury from 40 yards (82 & 86 mins).

But Alsager got a deserved consolation goal in the ninetieth minute when the prostrate substitute Hart managed to head the ball in at the near post after a corner.

ALTRINCHAM: 30. Craig DOOTSON, 2. James SMITH, 4. Marc JOSEPH (capt), 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, 20. Sam HEWSON, 29. Mohamed COLY, 15. Ryan BROWN, 17. Wes BAYNES, 11. Nicky CLEE, 19. Mark BEESLEY, Subs: 9. Michael TWISS, 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON, *. James SMART.


Dover Athletic report that their "Chairman, Jim Parmenter has resigned as a Director of the National League.

In a letter sent to National League Chairman, Brian Barwick and members of the board, Mr Parmenter said 'I can no longer support the direction of travel that the board is taking and I’m afraid I can no longer be seen to be a party to actions which I absolutely disagree with.

'I accept that the board is a collective and whilst as a member, it is a prerequisite that, in public, the board and its Chairman are supported. I have therefore chosen to resign, in order to say what I really believe publicly.

'The lack of grant funding should have been properly addressed in late December or at least very early January. As it stands it is likely to be two months with no funds for clubs before any sort of resolution is forthcoming.

'I am in particular disagreement that the executive appears to be encouraging clubs to take large loans to complete the season, as I have said twice at board meetings I believe that the competition rules are being broken by allowing the proposed loans, let alone encouraging them. (Page 155 Appendices 08 of the rule book).

'The league has for ten years insisted that clubs manage their financial affairs prudently and has had great success and received much praise for the results, now that is all to be thrown to the dogs and for what?

'I understand why the bigger, richer clubs with chances of promotion are pushing hard to continue but, in a sense, they are asking smaller clubs with no crowds or income who are playing for no reason to take large loans and probably overstretch themselves with dire consequences, to subsidise the larger clubs ambitions. I do not agree with that position.

'The board has very little credibility as an organisation within our clubs and I believe the decision to send letters to clubs who find it difficult to play, threatening sanctions was ill-conceived and will do nothing to unite the competition in what continues to be a very divisive time. Even if the vote is to continue I do not believe that the league will be able to continue in any credible form or with integrity for another five months.

'There are some very good people on the board and I do not seek to criticise individuals, but as a body, I do not believe we have shown strong, relevant leadership. Our governance has descended into chaos and some decisions made by the board seem to change when interpreted by the executive.'”

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "National League set to introduce mandatory coronavirus testing to all 66 member clubs as the season hangs in the balance.

Speaking before the announcement of mandatory testing, Hartlepool United boss Dave Challinor said 'Testing is a big factor which I totally get and clubs need to feel safe... In terms of testing, the cost has come down massively and I don’t think testing twice a week for £300 is a massive amount in the grand scheme of things in order to test players and staff and make sure everyone is safe'...

Clubs are now voting whether to continue with the 2020-21 campaign with Pools voting to continue with the season as planned along with Notts County and Sutton United...

'Clubs are able to get tests off their own back,' he continued. 'We’ll be considering that but people have got more important things on their plate at the moment. If people were asked what was more important, testing or the grants, the grants and the money are probably top priority.'".

Woking inform us that "During Alan Dowson's tenure, Woking FC has not had an enviable record at Gander Green Lane. Just over a year ago, shorn of captain Josh Casey, the Cards somewhat set the tone for an abysmal 2020 by shipping five goals in 43 first-half minutes on the way to a 6-2 demolition. Today's game could not be more of a change in tone, as a similarly Casey-less Cards side gritted its teeth and ground out a 1-0 victory to put itself two wins from Wembley, courtesy of an ingenious bicycle kick from loanee winger Malachi Napa.

Woking's selection welcomed a number of regulars back to the starting eleven, following a couple of surprising selections in the team comprehensively beaten by Stockport on Saturday. The expected midfield trio of Kane Ferdinand, Ben Dempsey and Charlie Cooper was restored, with Alan Dowson reverting to a back four and re-introducing Max Kretzschmar into the starting line-up. Injury to Slavi Spasov saw Jayden Wareham retain his place. The Sutton line-up included Harry Beautyman...

That line-up would be disrupted barely a minute into the game, with a 50/50 between Moussa Diarra and Isaac Olaofe leaving the Millwall loanee unable to continue. Replaced by Will Randall, the personnel change seemed to disrupt the game early on, as did the plastic pitch; light rain on the artificial surface had the ball skipping around at great pace...

Despite this, Woking were the most dangerous side in the early stages. Wareham, leading the line at just 17 years of age, was a focal point of the Woking offence...

Sutton... undoubtedly had the best chance of the half... The last fifteen minutes of the half were particularly frustrating for the visitors, not least due to several spurious decisions from the refereeing team that left both sides bemused...

Right at the death of the half, however, Woking were able to strike a blow that ultimately won them the game... After three chaotic headers in the box, Malachi Napa produced a frankly ludicrous bicycle kick finish to lance the ball into the top corner of the Sutton net...

The second half was something of a sparring match... Injuries would again be a problem for Sutton in the second half, with first-minute substitute Will Randall stretchered off after a clumsy aerial collision with Kretzschmar, for which the midfielder was booked....

The last fifteen minutes were something of a strategic masterclass from the visitors, keeping the ball in safe areas and using the time up very effectively... Woking's win over a team that has already beaten them with a clean sheet at Kingfield was a phenomenal response to the drubbing by Stockport on Saturday."

According to the Halifax Courier, "FC Halifax Town’s trip to Chesterfield on Tuesday, February 16 has been called off due to a positive Covid-19 test in the Chesterfield squad."

And Chesterfield confirm that their "forthcoming three league games have been formally postponed as a result of the players and management being placed in isolation after a positive PCR antigen test was returned...

The fixtures affected are as follows:

  • Aldershot Town v Chesterfield, Tuesday, February 9.
  • Chesterfield v Eastleigh, Saturday, February 13.
  • Chesterfield v FC Halifax Town Tuesday, February 16.
An announcement regarding Chesterfield’s involvement in the Buildbase FA Trophy, following the postponement of Saturday’s tie at Aldershot, will be made soon".

At Bromley "Manager Neil Smith has spoken of his disappointment at key moments of the game in his side’s defeat in Dorset on Saturday afternoon.

'I’m very disappointed with the first six minutes of the game. Once you concede a penalty within two minutes and then four minutes later you concede again, the game plan goes out of the window. The boys stuck with it though, and Kizzi got us back in it...

'We got our frustrations out at half time and told the boys what we needed to do to be better and actually went back out with a little confidence'...

Speaking on the two red cards which cost the Ravens, Smith commented 'Then you have two players who go and do their own thing and get sent off. That doesn’t help matters at all when we’re a goal down and fighting to get back into it. But even with nine men, we were still creating chances, so what we could have done with eleven, we’ll never know. There are a couple of players who have let themselves down...

'I’m very disappointed with the result. You can’t legislate for the first five minutes of the game. A mistake gives them the penalty and we’re already fighting a battle, but the two sending offs we can legislate for. It’s happened too often this season. We’ll be in on Sunday to chat about the game and remind the players what’s expected of them for the rest of the season... I want everyone to be able to get things off their chest.”

'We were caught out for both goals and they were as bad as each other... I believe that with eleven men, we get a result. Going down to ten is bad enough, but to lose another was devastating. It can’t keep happening. Silly bookings and sending offs are costing us at the moment and it’s something we need to put to bed and move forward'.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s game against King’s Lynn, he added... 'The games are coming thick and fast now, which is why I’m getting the players in on Sunday to then come in on Monday with full focus on King’s Lynn'".

7 February 2021


Wrexham are set to visit the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday to face Altrincham.

On Saturday, the Leader Live reported that "Wrexham threw away a two-goal lead as Dagenham and Redbridge hit back to drew 2-2 at The Racecourse

Wing-backs Jamie Reckord and Reece Hall-Johnson scored in each half to put Dean Keates's side in control.

The Reds were good value for their lead as they played some excellent football and created a host of chances in the first half in particular.

However, Dagenham pulled a goal back on 77 minutes and after piling on the pressure, they equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Keates made two changes from the side that drew at Eastleigh in midweek, and both were enforced due to suspension. Tyler French was sent off on his debut at The Silverlake Stadium and served a one-match ban along with James Horsfield who has picked up five yellow cards so Hall-Johnson, not risked on Tuesday due to a knock, returned along with midfielder Dan Jarvis.

With Shaun Pearson and Theo Vassell still injured, and Max Cleworth on loan at Caernarfon, Mark Carrington, Fiacre Kelleher and Jordan Davies formed a makeshift back-three and youth team defender Ryan Austin was named among the substitutes.

Wrexham were quick out of the blocks... Dagenham... and McQueen had a goal ruled out for offside but Wrexham deservedly took the lead after 30 minutes. Hall-Johnson sent in a cross that was taken down by Reckord who planted a fantastic volley past Justham...

Wrexham needed a second goal to give them some breathing space and it came after 58 minutes following good play down the left. Jarvis's cross reached Hall-Johnson who cut inside and slotted home.

But Dagenham pulled a goal back on 77 minutes... Dagenham put the pressure on as they pressed for an equaliser... Wrexham were unable to hold on as Dagenham equalised in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Dean Rance heading past Dibble from Weston's cross.

Wrexham (3-4-1-2): Dibble; Carrington, Kelleher, Davies; Hall-Johnson, Harris, Young, Reckord; Jarvis (Ponticelli 71); Angus (Rutherford 79), Thomas. Subs: Austin, Redmond, Durrell".


Tuesday 9th February
  • Barnet v FC Halifax Town k.o. 7pm
  • Aldershot Town v Chesterfield
  • Altrincham v Wrexham
  • Bromley v King's Lynn Town
  • Dover Athletic v Maidenhead United
  • Eastleigh v Yeovil Town
  • Hartlepool United v Solihull Moors k.o. 6pm
  • Notts County v Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Sutton United v Woking k.o. 7pm
  • Torquay United v Wealdstone
  • Weymouth v Boreham Wood

ON THIS DAY: 7 February

The last time Altrincham played on today's date was on 7 February 2015 when Aldershot Town were beaten 1-0 at Moss Lane in a Vanarama Conference match.

Right: Simon Richman and Jake Moult worked hard in the Altrincham midfield.

With the retirement of defender Mike Williams, the loan-out of Greg Wilkinson and the injury to Peter Cavanagh, Altrincham were currently working with a 16-man squad, so all of them were named for this match.

On what was a raw afternoon at the J. Davidson Stadium, Altrincham secured a narrow win in a game which rarely warmed the spectators.

The winner came in the 73rd minute and was an own goal by The Shots' player-manager Chris Barker, although initially credited to Alty substitute James Lawrie. It arrived as Lawrie drove a ball across the box after a corner and Barker diverted it into the net.

Altrincham had more of the forward momentum during the game and had two headed goals, one by Reeves and one by Perry, ruled out for offside. However, the home side was indebted to goalkeeper Stuart Coburn for a magnificent save in the closing stages which preserved the three points that lifted Altrincham to fourteenth in the table.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 3. Adam Griffin, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 18. Shaun Williams, 19. Ryan Crowther, 10. Damian Reeves, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs: 7.James Lawrie, 6. Scott Leather, 9. Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 17.Dave Parton.


Stockport County's win pushed Alty down a place, to fifth.
  • Aldershot Town P-P King's Lynn Town [Aldershot in FA Trophy]
  • Dover Athletic P-P Hartlepool United [Waterlogged pitch]
  • Eastleigh 1-1 Solihull Moors
  • Maidenhead United 0-1 Boreham Wood
  • Weymouth 2-1 Bromley
  • Wrexham 2-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Stockport County 1-0 Yeovil Town


The Derbyshire Times reported that "Chesterfield’s fifth round FA Trophy tie at Aldershot Town on Saturday was postponed one hour before kick-off after it emerged a Spireites player had developed Covid-19 symptoms.

The Spireites said in a statement 'Today’s game at Aldershot Town in the Buildbase FA Trophy has been postponed after a member of the Chesterfield squad developed Covid-19 symptoms and is awaiting results of a PCR test'...

It is believed that if the same player who has developed symptoms returns a negative test then the cup tie could be rearranged for this coming Tuesday"

Altrincham had to surrender their FA Trophy tie against Havant & Waterlooville through Covid concerns and on Saturday Bromley reported that "Paul Doswell’s horrendous record of losing shoot-outs continued as Hawks’ FA Trophy run was ended in the fifth round by National League Notts County.

The Westleigh Park boss has never seen any of his sides win on penalties, and that record unfortunately continued as the Magpies moved into the quarter finals by a 4-2 margin.

That came after an entertaining 2-2 draw after 90 minutes where both sides had led and both ended with 10 men.

Notts missed their first spot-kick, Jim O’Brien hitting the post, but Jimmy Knowles, Enzo Boldewijn, Ruben Rodrigues and Richard Brindley all converted.

Craig Robson saw Hawks’ first effort saved by Luke Pilling and, after Roarie Deacon and Billy Clifford had netted, Aryn Williams’ shot was also beaten away by the keeper.

Notts had taken a first half lead through Matty Wolfe but Hawks - playing only their fourth game in 49 days - hit back superbly through Tommy Wright and Bedsente Gomis.

Hawks loanee Nico Jones was dismissed on 71 minutes, with Knowles converting the resultant penalty, before the visitors ended with 10 men after sub Tyreace Palmer was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Doswell was forced to give Joe Tupper a rare start in goal due to a shoulder injury that had been troubling Ross Worner for several weeks.

Oxford United loanee Jones, signed only the day before, fitted into a new-look back four...

Notts boss Neal Ardley, as expected, rotated his squad - making eight changes from the side that had won 1-0 at Weymouth the previous weekend. Captain Michael Doyle, the ex-Pompey star, keeper Sam Slocombe and top scorer Kyle Wootton were all among those given the afternoon off...

Hawks, though, fully played their part in an end-to-end encounter and Doswell can be proud of their performance".

At Eastleigh "The ten-man Spitfires battled hard but could only hold onto a 1-1 draw with Solihull Moors at The Silverlake Stadium.

Tyrone Barnett’s curling screamer looked like it could seal all three points but for a last minute equaliser from Joe Sbarra, after Joe Partington was dismissed at the end of the first half...

The lead was taken in superb fashion though; with just 23 minutes played, House controlled a long ball forward and laid off a pass to his strike partner Barnett, who curled in a stunning left-footed strike into the top-left corner...

Eastleigh were reduced to ten men just before the break in play, after Joe Partington committed a foul on the half-way line that referee Robert Whitton adjudged to be worthy of a second yellow.

Manager Ben Strevens opted for a double change during the interval, with goalscorer Barnett and Smart making way for Michael Green and Cav Miley...

Despite some resilient defending from Bird and Boyce, the victors were able to equalise at the last gasp through Sbarra but we remain unbeaten in four".

The Northern Echo reports that "Darlington ignored concerns over the uncertainty of the season by brushing aside Wealdstone 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

Whether it will be played at all is a valid question given the ongoing vote to decide if the season will continue, but for now Quakers can reflect on a job well done.

Alun Armstrong’s side won 4-1 and fully deserving of victory at Blackwell Meadows, where they stormed into an early 2-0 lead.

The first came after three minutes... with the ball turned home for an own goal by debutant George Langston.

It was 2-0 after 13 minutes, this time Jarrett Rivers on target.... But a lifeline was handed to Wealdstone with referee Andrew Kitchen in the spotlight. He awarded a penalty for a so-called handball by Nicky Hunt, despite the ball appearing to hit him on the shoulder.

Moses Emmanuel’s spot-kick, almost stopped by Johnny Saltmer’s foot, made it 2-1...

Harman made it 3-1 with a cracking strike. It came after 63 minutes... There were 15 minutes of added time after an knee injury to Charman delayed the game and he was stretchered off.

And during the extra time the scoring was completed by Sousa".

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "Maidenhead United’s four game unbeaten run was brought to an end as Tyrone Marsh scored the game’s only goal to help Boreham Wood leapfrog the Magpies and move into the play-off places.

Marsh re-signed for The Wood this week and escaped the clutches of the Magpies defence to side-foot home Zaine Francis-Angol’s left-wing cross in the 50th minute..

The visitors, who shaded proceedings throughout and created the game’s better chances, could have put the result to bed in the 69th minute when Kabonga Tshimanga was felled by Ashby-Hammond in the box. But the Maidenhead custodian redeemed himself when he saved Tshimanga’s spot-kick with his legs...

Reflecting on the side’s second 1-0 win in succession, Wood boss Luke Garrard, said, 'We had the better chances, we missed a pen, we flashed a few balls across the goal. They’ll probably feel aggrieved their ricochet (Blissett chance) didn’t go into the goal. I believe they’ve got the third best defensive record at home and were second in the form guide last six games. So, for me, massive win, but we park that now'...

Magpies boss Alan Devonshire was understandably disappointed... He said, 'I thought it was a poor, bitty game. I don’t think the referee helped with his decisions sometimes... but we’ve had the better chances. We just failed to make the right decisions. We’ve got a few players out, but there’s no excuses for that...

'We’ve come back five times from losing positions. We had four or five players who haven’t been at the level they’ve been at for the last four or five games. If we want to push and get after these teams, we’ve got to play better than we did today'".

S 6 February 2021


On Friday, Kent Online confirmed that "Dover Athletic have had their 13th match of the season postponed but it’s the weather that’s let them down this time around.

The majority of their games have been rescheduled due to Covid issues but Saturday’s match at Crabble against Hartlepool United is a non-starter because of a waterlogged pitch.

An early decision was made to save Pool from the expense of a wasted overnight stay. They were two hours into their trip when they got the news that the game was being called off.

A statement from Dover said... 'A pitch inspection this morning (Friday) rendered the pitch unplayable and the decision was taken to call the game off'".


Third Round:
  • Aldershot Town P-P Chesterfield [Covid concerns at Chesterfield]
  • Darlington 4-1 Wealdstone
  • Havant & Waterlooville 2-2 Notts County [Notts County won 4-2 on pens]
  • Hereford FC 1-0 Leamington
  • Hornchurch 5-4 Maidstone United
  • Oxford City 2-0 Peterborough Sports
  • Southport 0-2 Torquay United
  • Sutton United 0-1 Woking


As Alty sit out this Saturday, before completing the first half of their season on Tuesday night, it is a convenient time to take stock of the statistics so far.

Altrincham have scored 26 goals and conceded 23 in their twenty one fixtures in the National League. They have earned 11 points from eight games at home and twice as many points, 22, from 13 games played away. They currently lie fourth in the National League but on Points per Game would be eighth.

In their 21 league games to date, Alty have named 32 players in their match day squads. All except four of those players have got onto the pitch. The unlucky four are Will Hall, Lewis Salmon, Rowan Roache and most surprisingly, goalkeeper Matthew Gould (right).

Gould was signed from Spennymoor Town in the summer and, as well as competing for the no.1 jersey with Tony Thompson, he was said to be also engaged to play a coaching role. Not only has he not played a league game this season, he has only actually been named in a league squad twice as Phil Parkinson has named a matchday squad without a cover goalkeeper for 19 of the 21 fixtures to date.

Not surprisingly therefore, the only player to have played every minute of every league game for Alty this season is goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

Of the 28 players who have got onto the pitch during a league game this season, three have only done so as substitutes; they are Max Clayton, Jamie McDonald and Curtis Miller.

Since the termination of the 2019-20 season last March, 17 players have left the club.

Before the 2019-20 play-offs were started, six players from last season had departed. They were Steven Drench, Elliott Durrell [left], Max Harrop, Jordan Hulme, James Hooper and Lewis Walters.

During the play-offs and soon after they had been played, four more players moved on: James Jones, Dontai Gabidon, Craig Mahon and Elliot Wynne.

Seven more players who only joined Alty in 2020-21 season have already departed. Three of these were loanees, namley Billy Sass-Davies, Joe Robbins and Harrison Holgate.

The other four both to come and go in 2020-21 were Jacob Blyth, Max Clayton, Jamie McDonald and Darren Potter.

Fifteen players have already made their Alty league debuts, as starters or subs, this season. They are Fisayo Adarabioyo, Jacob Blyth, Max Clayton, Ryan Colclough, Andy Dales, Byron Harrison, Marrison Holgate, Matty Kosylo, Jamie McDonald, Darren Potter, Rowan Roache, Joe Robbins, Joel Senior, Alistair Smith, Ritchie Sutton.

In addition two players made their second debuts as they returned for a second spell at Altrincham; they were Billy Sass-Davies and Yusifu Ceesay.

Alty's leading scorer this season in the National League is Josh Hancock with seven goals, including three scored from the penalty spot.

The most booked players are Jake Moult (six yellows, one red) and Matty Kosylo (six yellows).

Altrincham have kept seven clean sheets this season and currently are on a run of one defeat in their last ten league matches.


Wrexham are the visitors to the J Davidson Stadium next Tuesday but the Leader Live looks beyond that to relay the view that "Dean Keates wants to make home advantage count as Wrexham look forward to a run of fixtures at The Racecourse.

Five of the Reds' next seven National League matches during a congested February are back on their own territory, starting with tomorrow's visit of Dagenham and Redbridge. With Wrexham playing six of their last eight league games away from home... Keates is looking to make the most of being back at The Racecourse...

Said Keates, 'We are at home and if we get three points, we have backed up two good performances away from home where we have got four points.... We have got a run of games at home now. There are no fans but we have to make home advantage count'...

Having beaten King's Lynn 2-0 on Saturday, Kwame Thomas gave the Reds the lead against the run of play at Eastleigh in first half stoppage time. But the Spitfires equalised following a controversial penalty and Keates... says his side were 'robbed' because of poor decisions by referee Sunny Gill".

And the Leader Live also says that "Jamie Relord "praised the togetherness in the Wrexham camp and says winning games will always come before personal accolades...

Summer signing Reckord marked his return from injury by scoring his first goal for the club as Wrexham won 2-0 at King’s Lynn last weekend before drawing 1-1 at Eastleigh in midweek...

'It is not about me, it is a team effort and that is the mindset of all the players'...

[Against Eastleigh] Wrexham finished the game with 10 men when debutant Tyler French was dismissed in the closing minutes following a melee...

'Four points from the two games, you would take that,' said Reckord. 'If you ask the gaffer would he take that, he would say ‘100 per cent’ going into Dagenham... The last two games have given us a great platform'.

Tuesday’s game was the first without six-goal leading scorer Adi Yussuf who had his season-long loan at Wrexham from Blackpool terminated so he could join Chesterfield on a similar deal.

Strike partner [Kwame] Thomas got the Reds’ goal... 'It is up to all of the strikers to weigh in with the goals,' said Thomas. 'On a personal note, Adi was probably my closest friend in the team so I am disappointed that he has gone but also happy for him and the move he has got for him and his family...

'Adi scored six goals but now he has gone now, all of us have got to step up and cover for the goals that he got because he is a great goalscorer.'

Thomas was paired in attack with new signing Dior Angus who has penned an 18-month contract at The Racecourse after leaving Barrow...

Said Thomas, 'Dior got promoted last season with Barrow, he scored 12 goals and would probably have gone on and got 20 goals if the season continued. Like I saw at Eastleigh, he has got pace and he gets down the sides; a couple of times he put it across and I would like to think I can get a few tap-ins off him!

'I enjoyed playing with him and I enjoy playing with Jordan Ponticelli. We have got some good strikers here'".


According to the BBC "National League North and South will resume on Saturday despite some clubs stating their refusal to play.

The two leagues at step two of England's non-league pyramid were paused for two weeks amid a funding row that is yet to be resolved.

The National League Board sent out a series of resolutions to clubs in both leagues, plus the National League itself, on Monday. However, clubs have 28 days to respond under league regulations and the threshold for declaring an outcome is still to be met.

Although some clubs say they cannot afford to start, the league feels it has no alternative other than to recommence fixtures because if the pause continued and the outcome of the vote was for the season to proceed, there would not be enough space in the calendar to finish it.

The National League has the power to take action against any club that fails to fulfil a fixture, although it is not clear how that would be applied given the unusual circumstances".

ON THIS DAY: 6 February

On a Tuesday night, three years ago today, Altrincham beat Ashton United 3-2 at the JDS in an EvoStik Premier match.

3-0 up with eight minutes to play, Altrincham were on the verge of a comfortable and deserved three points. Jordan Hulme had cleverly netted the third Alty goal with a run along the byline in the 72nd minute only for him, and injured centre-back Jones, to be subbed a minute later.

So, left-back Connor Hampson, who had played well, was shifted to centre-back and it was he who conceded an 82nd minute penalty against Evangelinos, which Chalmers converted to prompt the visitors' revival.

Then, in added time, Harrop's foul led to Pritchard hitting a superb freekick against the underside of the bar before Alty then blocked a follow-up on the goal-line.

But, just a minute later, a Harrison foul on the front edge of the box, gave Pritchard another freekick and this time he beat Thompson and the crossbar to make it 3-2.

In the first half Altrincham had made an impressive start with Harrop scoring a fine 25-yard goal after just ninety seconds. Then James Poole's header from a Hampson cross had made it 2-0 after just 15 minutes. Ashton came a little more into the game in the second half but Hulme's goal seemed to have wrapped up proceedings before Alty's lapses allowed Ashton to make the outcome much closer than it should have been.

Ashton United had at least seven players with Altrincham connections. Player-manager Jody Banim, player-coach Simon Woodford, ex-loanee Liam Tomsett, ex-trialist Aaron Chalmers, keeper Josh Ollerenshaw, Cavell Coo and Mark Lees had all turned out for Altrincham previously as had Ryan Crowther, who was sadly long-term injured.

For Alty, John Johnston remained injured so Tom Peers started on the right wing for Alty. With Tim Deasy also injured, Cameron Terry joined the bench as substitute goalkeeper, for the first time in a league match. Centre-back Tom Hannigan also remained sidelined by injury.

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Tom PEERS, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Sean MILLER, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 15. Andy WHITE, 16. Sam SHERIDAN, 20. Cameron TERRY


Today, across the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, Manchester United will be marking the 63rd anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster in which eight eight of the club's players were killed along with fifteen other victims as their airliner vainly attempted to take off after a refuelling stop on the way back from a 3-3 draw at Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup.


Clubs are beginning to reveal their hands as regards voting on whether the season should continue. At Notts County, the "board of directors have released the following statement...

'We have voted for Special Resolution One and against Ordinary Resolutions Two and Four, meaning we believe the season should continue and that clubs should decide the outcome of their own divisions'".

But there is a different view from Norfolk where Lynn News reports that "Stephen Cleeve says King's Lynn Town is in the lap of the gods as they await the outcome of the National League's resolution vote. As expected, club owner Cleeve has voted to end the season because of the on-going financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cleeve told the Lynn News 'I really don't know what the future holds... I haven't had any other contact with the league since we voted so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. My feeling is that the National League season will carry on and if that's the case we will have to sit it out.

'I'm not saying that we should stop, but the league should allow King's Lynn Town to stop. It is already costing me a large amount of money and it cannot carry on. When you've got business costs and there's no income coming in, it's obvious what's going to happen.

'Our situation isn't about suiting ourselves, it's about being here next season. Something has got to give, it's just basic economics.'

A statement on the King's Lynn Town website read 'We have voted in favour of resolutions 1, 2 and 4.'

Cleeve confirmed that the club has applied for a loan with Sport England, which is the first stage of getting a possible grant.

The Lynn chairman has also appealed to supporters... 'I understand that money is tight and families come first, but even if people were just to buy a matchday programme at £5, it would be a massive help,' he said. 'Darlington fans raised £100,000 at the start of the season and Chesterfield supporters raised £25,000 in 48 hours, so if we could sell a 1,000 programmes at £5 a time it would be a lifeline to us'...

National League chiefs have claimed they were told by in a meeting on November 17 that the second round of a coronavirus rescue package would be in grants, something which DCMS has since denied... Yeovil Town chairman and owner Scott Priestnall has revealed that DCMS are being asked to supply the minutes from the meeting, but it has yet to submit them.

Aldershot chairman Shahid Khan told the PA News Agency 'We started the season on the back of the guarantees from the Government saying that we will get grant money up to December and support will continue if crowds aren’t allowed back in up to March. Sadly, three months into it the DCMS has moved the goalposts and this is not what we as a National League started the season on'".

But Hartlepool United "We would like to make it clear to our supporters as to how we voted this week.

  • Resolution 1 – vote FOR this resolution – we want clubs to decide the outcome of their own divisions.
  • Resolution 2 – vote AGAINST this resolution – we want National League Step 1 to continue.
  • Resolution 4 – vote AGAINST this resolution – we want National League Step 1 to continue.

But the Pools will again be inactive this weekend as the Hartlepool Mail confirms that "Hartlepool United’s match at Dover Athletic has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

It’s Pools’ second match to be postponed this week after their Tuesday night fixture at Halifax Town was called off due to heavy snow in West Yorkshire.

Dave Challinor’s side were two hours into a 330-mile journey down to Dover on Friday morning before they got the news that Saturday’s match at the Crabble Athletic Ground was cancelled...

Boss Dave Challinor told the club website 'It’s always disappointing when games are postponed. It’s obviously even more difficult when the game is between two teams at opposite ends of the country as there’s a fair amount of guess work going into the decision'...

Prior to the match, Challinor had expressed concerns... as he said 'It’s a really difficult pitch down at Dover. We’re at that stage in the season where the pitches are going to be difficult, you look at Halifax’s pitch, looking at Dover’s pitch and potentially what our pitch could be like'...

It’s the fifth time Pools have had a match postponed due to bad weather this season. Three times at Halifax and once at Eastleigh midway through the game. In contrast, they have had just two matches postponed as a result of opposition players testing positive for coronavirus at Barnet and Eastleigh.

Dover have played fewer matches than any side in the National League... The Whites have played just 15 games so far and have four games in hand on Pools.... having played just three league games between October 31 and January 12". A new date for the fixture will be announced in due course as Pools’ attentions switch to Tuesday night’s match against Solihull Moors at Victoria Park (6pm kick-off).

Chesterfield "travel to the EBB Stadium on Saturday to take on Aldershot Town in the Buildbase FA Trophy fifth round and James Rowe is ready for contest against his old club.

He said... 'It will be a different type of challenge in a cup game away from home on what looks like a scruffy pitch. We’re going to have to adapt and be ready for the battle that’s going to come....

'My time at Aldershot was very successful and I learnt so much there... But make no mistake about it, I want Chesterfield to win tomorrow, 100 per cent'...

Striker Adi Yussuf signed on loan from Blackpool in midweek... 'We wanted to recruit anyway with Tom [Denton] still fit, so the necessity came a bit quicker with the injury,' Rowe said...

'Adi fits the profile that I like. He’s mobile, he’s aggressive... and I know he has got a good relationship with Akwasi [Asante], so hopefully they can link up and not forgetting, we have Marcus [Dinanga] as well.'

Chesterfield will have to make changes for the game with players cup-tied... Rowe stated 'We’ve mixed it up in the last two games... People need opportunities... The Trophy gives you an opportunity for players to come in who conducted themselves well in the Boston and Brackley games. Obviously Adi is cup-tied as well as Adam [Przybek], who played at Concord. Alex [Whittle] is also cup-tied.'”

And the Derbyshire Times adds that "Chesterfield will not be signing any more new players following the arrival of striker Adi Yussuf, says manager James Rowe.

The 28-year-old... became manager Rowe’s 13th new addition since being appointed on November 26... 'I have got no plans to sign anybody else, I think that is the group we are going with. I think the turnover (in players) needed to happen, some people might say 13 additions is a lot but to average two points a game I think shows that we needed those changes'...

Rowe said the signings have brought more ‘athleticism’ to the squad. 'I think we have got a better peak age, the age of the squad has come down, it was too high for the expansive way we want to play,' he explained. 'We are running far more, our intensity is much better, our turnover in the final third is better, so yes we have got quite a few positive signs that the recruitment has been right and that is not forgetting the existing players who are part of the squad'".

The Derbyshire Times also confirms that "Tom Denton is going to be out for a ‘longer period’ than expected following an operation on his knee.

The 31-year-old, who is Town’s top scorer with nine goals, was initially expected to be out for around 10 weeks. Spireites manager, James Rowe, said 'Tom has had his operation now, it was successful but it is going to be a longer period out than we thought which is disappointing for Tom and for us because he has had such a big impact for us... There is going to be a delay further than the 10 weeks anticipated'...

Meanwhile, Nathan Tyson, who has been out injured with a hamstring problem since November, has suffered a setback. Rowe explained 'He has had a neural setback so it is not necessarily the hamstring. I can’t really give you a time on that at the moment. I know I said the end of January but the setback he has meant he is slightly behind'...

But there is some positive injury news in that Joe Rowley, who suffered a hamstring injury against Boreham Wood last month, is ahead of schedule... Rowe added, 'Actually the six weeks that I initially outlayed, he might be coming back before that so I am really pleased with his progress at the moment from what I am hearing from the medical team.'”

Sutton United report that "The meeting of the Vanarama National League’s top two didn’t quite live up to its billing at Plainmoor as a goalless draw preserved the nine point gap between the sides.

For the second game running U’s found themselves playing against ten men, this time for just over half an hour after Dean Moxey had been sent off for a second yellow card, but they were unable to take advantage in the way they had against Eastleigh...

There was a lively start to the game with Sutton having the better of the early exchanges... Torquay’s main threat came from set pieces... Torquay’s lack of threat up front led to a half time substitution, with Crystal Palace loanee Rob Street replacing Josh Umerah...

Already booked for bringing down Ajiboye just before half time, Moxey's dismissal... seemed to swing the game in U’s favour, but instead it was Torquay who had the best spell that either side enjoyed in the game...

In the closing stages both sides were guilty of wasting promising set piece positions".

From the Portsmouth News comes news that "Notts County boss Neal Ardley is expected to again rotate his squad for tomorrow’s tie at Hawks {Havant & Waterlooville]...

The club were beaten in the delayed 2019/20 semi-final by Harogate when it was eventually staged last September. The timing was tough on Notts, whose league season was not due to start until a fortnight later while Harrogate had already begun their EFL campaign a few weeks earlier.

It’s a different story altogether now, with Notts having played three league games since Hawks last had a competitive match at Bath on January 19.

The Magpies head to Westleigh Park boasting the best defensive record in the National League, with keeper Sam Slocombe only conceding 13 goals in 17 matches... Slocombe, though, is expected to be rested tomorrow with Luke Pilling taking over in goal, as he has done in previous Trophy ties at Morpeth and Stockport.

Nine-goal top scorer Kyle Wootton could also start on the bench with Mansfield Town loanee Jimmy Knowles and Elisha Sam up front in a 4-4-2....

Veteran holding midfielder Michael Doyle has started all 17 of his club’s league games in 2020/21, but he is another that could start on the bench... Ardley signed Oldham Athletic right-back Jacob Barnett earlier this week, but Calvin Miller could get the nod there ahead with regular Dion Kelly-Evans rested.

Barnsley loanee Matt Wolfe and Jake Reeves could pair up in central midfield with Ruben Rodrigues and Enzio Boldewijn on the left and right flanks respectively.

Ardley must also decide which of his three main centre halves to pair together. Ben Turner, available again after a three-match suspension, could be handed game time... Alex Lacey and Connor Rawlinson could both partner Turner...

Striker Inah Effiong, on loan from Stevenage, is ineligible to face Hawks having turned out for Barnet against Dorking in a previous round".

5 February 2021


Altrincham have no game till next Tuesday, owing to their exit from the FA Trophy. So their next league match is next Tuesday, at home to Wrexham, who they beat atThe Racecourse in the reverse fixture. Completion of this game will mean that Altrincham are the first club in the National League to complete half of the league season.

In their last match, Wrexham drew at Eastleigh.

Wrexham's Leader Live reported that manager "Dean Keates slammed the performance of referee Sunny Gill after a controversial penalty cost Wrexham victory against Eastleigh.

Kwame Thomas gave the Reds the lead against the run of play in first half injury time but Gill took centre-stage after the break.

The official awarded Eastleigh a hotly contested spot-kick for an alleged high foot by Tyler French who didn't even appear to make contact.

The Spitfires converted the penalty and Wrexham finished the game with 10-men when debutant French was sent off following a melee between both sets of players.

'It is not controversial, an absolute embarrassment of a performance by the official,' said Keates regarding the penalty decision. 'When you have got both dugouts agreeing on everything, he is an absolute shambles. He has given a penalty, numerous free-kicks and he has caused a melee in the middle of the park with the players squaring up when the kid has just dived on the floor...

'Both benches were saying to the fourth official "help him out", and saying it to the linesman, but he was no better. Nowhere near good enough'...

'For the penalty, I have no idea what he has seen,' said Keates. 'He is basically saying now, any ball that goes into the box you are allowed to stoop as low as you want and put you head by somebody's foot, and you are going to get a penalty. And there is no contact...

'We played better second half but that was an absolute embarrassment, a shambles of a performance, and I have no doubt nothing will get done. We gave seen bad performances this season but you still see officials and referees rock up to the next game'".

ON THIS DAY: 5 February

It is sixteen years since Altrincham played a match on today's date, 5 February. On that occasion, in 2005, it was a 1-0 home win over Barrow in an F.A. Trophy 4th Round game, at Moss Lane.

Before kick-off Mark Maddox received a presentation from Alty director Grahame Rowley to mark his achieving 300 appearances for Altrincham last Tuesday. Sadly, the suspended Mark was unable to play in this game against the only other club for which he had played Conference football.

Alty were also without the injured Colin Potts (hamstring) and Chris Adams (groin), whilst "Jozzer" Mitten was suspended. So, George Melling came in for his home debut after impressing at Vauxhall in the Cheshire Senior Cup

Above: Gavin Rathbone has captured Kieran Lugsden and Marcus Hallows (with scorer Colin Little behind a defender) as they celebrate Alty's late winner against Barrow.

The result meant that Altrincham advanced to Round 5 of the FA Trophy for the second year running and gained £5,000 in prize money with this narrow vistory against a resurgent Barrow side whose performance belied their lowly league position.

A weakened Alty side, (lacking Maddox, Potts, Adams and Mitten) won the game with a goal from Colin Little as the game entered the fifth minute of added time in the second half, in front of a crowd of 1,119. The goal came, as Alty finished strongly, when Man of the Match Gary Talbot nodded on Steve Aspinall's freekick and Little sent a brilliantly directed header into the top corner.

George Melling and Richard Norris, who was also making his home debut, had good games, with Norris even wearing the captain's armband when Hussin limped off late in the game. Barrow will feel disappointed not to have taken the tie back to Holker Street after playing well, if at times physically.

Referee Grundy opted for a lenient approach, awarding Alty a string of freekicks but only booking one Barrow player. After the game, manager Graham Heathcote said 'This is a massive result for us' and it took Altrincham's unbeaten run to 13 games as they headed towards promotion via the play-offs.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Gary SCOTT, 4. George MELLING, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN, 7. Richard NORRIS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Kieran LUGSDEN. Subs: 12 Marcus HALLOWS, 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 14. Sean SMITH, 15. Paul TILLEY, 16. Lewis CHALMERS.


Wealdstone have elaborated on the departure of their manager. "Following the statement that Dean Brennan had left his position of First Team Manager on Tuesday evening, the Wealdstone FC Executive Board would like to give further details to supporters...

We started the season strongly and despite a recent run of league defeats, we still find ourselves with an excellent opportunity to stay in the league and also progress further in the FA Trophy. Despite this, over the last couple of months the Board were concerned over some controllable aspects of the first team.

Whilst these were not enough to consider Dean’s immediate future, it did convince the Board that we would not currently be offering him a new contract in the summer. Given this decision Dean felt that he was not in the position to continue in his role and upon discussion, Dean left the club with immediate effect.

None of the above should detract from the last 18 months, led by Dean and Stuart... Stuart stays with us and will be looking after the first team against Darlington and beyond whilst we consider our options...

Leaving us also is Kirk Rayment and Gary King whilst a familiar face in Matt Saunders rejoins the coaching team to assist Stuart".

Departing manager Dean Brennan has a different angle on his departure. He told West London Sport "Approximately eight weeks ago, following interest from another club [believed to be Barnet], the board promised me a new improved contract. I chose to remain loyal to my players and supporters.

'I had not chased the board as I trusted their word. However, more recently I was informed by a contact that the club had been liaising with an out of work manager about my job and this was subsequently confirmed to me by the chairman. I felt the two issues combined left my situation untenable.

'I was also becoming uncomfortable with the relationship between the chairman and my assistant Stuart Maynard, which I believe was beginning to undermine my position as manager at the club'....

Wealdstone had no comment to make when approached by West London Sport following Brennan’s statement".

And Wealdstone also announce that "Four players have departed the club this week. Leaving the club is Maxim Kouogun, Josh Debayo, Rob Swaine and Mo Diallo.

All had recently joined the club, with Maxim previously at Harrogate Town and making his only Stones appearance in the away defeat at Hartlepool United.

Josh made his debut in the 4-0 defeat to Maidenhead United on Boxing Day, which was his solitary Stones appearance.

Both Rob and Mo failed to make an appearance for the Stones with Mo now released and Rob returning to Brentwood Town after signing on dual registration from the Essex club".

According to the BBC, "A medical centre received angry calls and one staff member was threatened after players at a nearby football club were given Covid vaccines.

Chesterfield FC said some players and staff, 'most of them vulnerable', were given jabs to stop them being wasted.

However, the medical centre which gave the vaccines has received dozens of angry phone calls since news of the vaccinations appeared in the media. One threatened a female member of staff...

She told the BBC... 'I'm trying to do my job and I've had almost 40 calls this morning. People are phoning the surgery to complain about what's happened because it's been misinterpreted by a reporter who rang me yesterday and was really aggressive'...

She said the players and staff members were given the Pfizer vaccine, which is stored at sub-zero temperatures and has to be used up after being thawed... 'They are very precious vaccines and we are trying desperately not to waste them," said the NHS staff member who was threatened. They had to get there within 15 minutes or it would have gone down the drain'...

A spokesman for the football club said 'A small number of Chesterfield players and staff, most of whom are classed as vulnerable people, have received the Covid-19 vaccine... The people concerned were called at very short notice to receive the vaccine. They were only contacted after the surgery had exhausted all other viable options. Those involved were keen that these vaccines were not wasted, which would have been the case had they not received them'".

Yeovil Town "chairman Scott Priestnall has issued an open letter to supporters" in which he says of the National League vote concerning the continuation of the season, "It is my belief that clubs should hold off voting at this time to allow a new PR campaign, that has been sanctioned by the National League board, to take effect... The message is simple:

  • 1 – Loans endanger our leagues. Grants are required.
  • 2 – Moving the goal posts at this stage of our season with contractual obligations in place is catastrophic for the game at our level.
  • 3 – Taking loans just delays the pain and financial difficulty down the road. Plus some clubs can’t take loans as part of their corporate structure. Therefore, it is not a solution that fits all.
  • 4 – Denying grants would be devastating to local communities who not only utilise our facilities but offer a real community hub and has the capability to improve peoples’ mental health in these difficult times.

Let me make my personal position clear. We are not looking for a hand out from the tax payer. The proposed grants will cost less than the potential cost to the public purse if our game is ended for the season and our players and staff are furloughed...

Throughout the entire process the [original] offer of government support was framed as a COVID response grant and in no written or verbal communication were the terms of the extended period amended to become loans, loans simply don’t work and as part of discussions with National League clubs, 82% voted against taking on loans.

National League clubs are different to the vast majority of the domestic sports ecosystem that would have access to the Sport Winter Survival Package. I can’t think of another sport where clubs are professional at level 5 or 6. Most low league/amateur sports clubs charge their members and players to play. National League clubs have a wage bill and we pay our players and staff from the revenue we generate. This is an important distinction from other sports and clubs...

I ask our community and supporters to get behind the new petition. Please sign it and spread across social media. This is about 66 community clubs working together".

The Hartlepool Mail states that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor feels Hartlepool United’s midweek postponement at Halifax Town won’t impact his side’s preparation for Saturday’s long trip to Dover Athletic...

Challinor said 'For us, it allows us to work on different things going into a different opposition and there are potential tweaks to be made.

'We’ve got a bit of time to work on that. The postponement on Tuesday didn’t change an awful lot, we’d usually train on the Wednesday, have Thursday off and train on the way down on the Friday so we’ve done the same again.'

Pools’ session on Wednesday would usually be something of a recovery session after a Tuesday night game. But with no midweek match, Challinor made sure the intensity of the session helped the players hit the levels required from them.

'We did a tough session on Wednesday which was physically tough because we didn’t play a game,' he added".

From the Maidenhead Advertiser we learn that manager "Alan Devonshire says the Magpies are preparing for ‘a battle’ as Maidenhead United welcome Boreham Wood to York Road this Saturday.

The Magpies boss is confident about his team’s chances of victory having overcome Halifax Town at the weekend 3-2. Danilo Orsi-Dadomo and Josh Coley were both on the scoresheet with the latter scoring Maidenhead’s winning goal from the bench.

They were due to get straight back into action on Tuesday evening against lowly-placed Wealdstone but the match was postponed after a night of heavy rain waterlogged the Grosvenor Vale pitch...

'I’m delighted with the way the boys have performed over the last week,' he said. 'I thought we showed a lot of character against Halifax. We led twice, were pegged back twice, but we were still able to go on with Coley grabbing the winner. We would have liked to start him, of course, but he’s had tonsillitis and we’re easing him back slowly. ,P> 'He’s a good player so we’re just making sure we’re not bringing him back too quickly only for him to pull up injured with all the games we’ve got coming up for the next eight weeks. I’m hoping I can get Josh Kelly more involved too. It’s been a long time for him to get close [to the team]. He’s had a couple of niggling injuries and then a more serious one in the last game he played for us...

'We’re buzzing at the moment and I would have liked to have had the game against Wealdstone but it didn’t happen for us', added Devonshire.”

Brighton's Argus reports that "Simon Rusk has signed one of his former [Brighton & Hove] Albion development squad players for Stockport County.

Will Collar has moved to Edgeley Park until the end of the season on a free transfer from Hamilton Academical.

The 24 year-old midfielder from Horsham played for the Seagulls’ senior side last season in their Carabao Cup defeat to Southampton.

Rusk recently left Albion’s under-23s to take charge at County.

He said of Collar... 'Will has good recent pedigree from his time in the Scottish Premier League, and will provide composure and versatility in what is now a very competitive midfield.'"

Boreham Wood proclaim "the signing of fans favourite Tyrone Marsh from Stevenage FC for an undisclosed fee.

Tyrone returns to Meadow Park after missing just four months of our current season, but importantly on an 18-month deal, following his departure from Hertfordshire rivals Stevenage. Marsh began his career with Oxford United... The next stage of his career saw him sign permanently at a host of clubs in the south of England, including Ebbsfleet United, Torquay United and Dover Athletic, before signing with Macclesfield Town ahead of the 2017/18 season.

It was while with the Silkmen that Tyrone made a name for himself at National League level as a mainstay in the Macclesfield Town side who were crowned Champions of the Vanarama National League in the 2017/18 season... Tyrone signed off his contract with Macclesfield by mutual consent, and signed permanently with the Wood in the summer of 2019... scoring 16 goals in 40 appearances...

Gaffer Luke Garrard said, 'He knows the Club well, as well as knowing what I expect from him, the team, and what we want to achieve here'".

4 February 2020


Pretty well everyone was mystified when Jake Moult was sent off at Torquay on Tuesday night. The Alty captain had been booked five minutes earlier when Moult was shown a second yellow following the home keeper failing to hold a shot from Jake Hancock.

Altrincham FC explains that the club has "received clarification over Jake Moult's sending-off at Plainmoor last night and can confirm it was for two yellow cards, resulting in a one-match ban for the Robins skipper...

Though the exact circumstances were not immediately clear on the home club's live stream, it has now transpired that the Alty midfielder was involved in a brief, innocuous-looking confrontation with Torquay defender Kyle Cameron that resulted in a yellow card for both captains...

Alty's midfield anchor man... will miss next Tuesday evening's fixture with Wrexham at The J.Davidson Stadium", having already served a one-match ban this season for five yellow cards.


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger John Edwards reports that "Phil Parkinson played down Altrincham’s chances of gatecrashing the Vanarama National League’s promotion play-offs and, instead, described a stunning victory at runaway leaders Torquay United as 'a step towards staying up'.

Parkinson’s in-form team continued to defy the odds by recovering from going a goal down with a penalty by Josh Hancock and spectacular winner from substitute Ryan Colclough against a side who were 10 points clear at the top of the table before kick-off... and gave them a remarkable tally of 27 points from their last 13 games.

It makes a mockery of pre-season forecasts that they may struggle to stay afloat in the midst of so many big-budget full-time clubs...

'We had lads taking half-a-day’s holiday to make themselves available, and it was a six-hour journey [on matchday] to get down there, so to perform as well as we did, away to a very strong top-of-the-table team, made it all the sweeter... The lads have been growing in confidence with every game, and when we play with that sort of confidence and belief, we are difficult to stop.

'But we certainly won’t get carried away... We are getting closer to safety and staying in this division, which is the goal'" concluded the Altrincham manager.

An interview with Phil Parkinson by Brian Flynn is available via Alty TV.


Devon Live reports that "'It was a very, very disappointing performance,' said Torquay United manager Gary Johnson after the National League leaders were beaten 2-1 at home by Altrincham on Tuesday night...

Torquay, playing without a recognised striker for the first hour, took the lead through Kyle Cameron but were poor for the rest of the evening and gave up the points far too easily. Johnson didn't hold back afterwards, saying the team looked 'brainless'.

'I didn't recognise anything about us really, not as individuals and certainly not as a team,' said the manager. 'The opposition were ready for it, they didn't play in midweek, and we looked leggy, brainless, and we looked mentally and physically a long, long way below par. The lads have got to have a good look at themselves because not one of them came out today, unfortunately, with any credit'...

Johnson started with Connor Lemonheigh-Evans playing furthest forward in front of a midfield that certainly has scored its fair share of goals this season. But the warning signs were there from early on with Dean [Dan] Mooney hitting the crossbar in the eighth minute.

The Gulls took the lead; Cameron poking the ball home from close range from a Lemonheigh-Evans free kick into the box in the 21st minute.

On 32 minutes, Sam Sherring brought down Josh Hancock in the Torquay area and it was all-square after the Altrincham player got up and scored from the penalty spot.

There were four Torquay players around Jake Moult when he took the ball into the box on 45 minutes and the Altrincham captain's neat pass found substitute Ryan Colclough, whose shot across goal beat Shaun MacDonald and hit the net for 2-1...

Johnson threw striker Billy Waters for Asa Hall in the 60th minute, and Rob Street joined him two minutes later, the youngster going up front as well when he replaced Little... But Altrincham continued to starve the Gulls of the ball...

MacDonald made a great save to keep the visitors from scoring a third goal late on".

ON THIS DAY: 4 February

One year ago today, Altrincham gave AFC Telford United a 5-2 beating.

After a minute's applause in memory of Jordan Sinnott, spectators were treated to seven goals and five strikes against the woodwork as Alty moved up to sixth in the National League North table with a performance which even had the watching Stockport County manager, Jim Gannon, applauding an Altrincham attack.

# With Andy White and Sean Williams still injured, Altrincham made just one change to their starting eleven; Tom Peers had limped off in the reverse fixture at Telford the previous Saturday and he was replaced here by new signing Dan Mooney, who played on the right wing. He thus became the tenth different winger to be deployed in a league game by Altrincham this season.

Alty almost snatched a fourth-minute goal when Hulme's fierce shot, from the right, came back off the inside of the far upright. Telford then almost scored as Thompson seemed to punch the ball onto his own crossbar. Another minute's applause for Jordan Sinnott started in the 20th minute, not the planned 25th but, by chance, this was appropriate as 20 was Jordan's squad number during some of his time at Moss Lane.

The score somehow remained goalless until the 29th minute when the impressive Alty debutant, Daniel Mooney [right] fed Hulme and he calmly finished past the advancing Luyambula.

Jake Moult then hit the post with a low shot from distance but the ball was not cleared and Hancock netted impressively, from left of goal, to make it 2-0 (41 mins).

When Hancock scored again just fifteen seconds into the second half it looked to have settled the outcome. And when the very impressive Mooney laid on a fourth goal, scored emphatically by Hulme, it definitely looked to be over as a contest.

However, to their credit, Telford kept going, with Dinanga the main threat. An Alty error allowed the Telford man to reduce the arrears in the 52nd minute and, when Alty again lost the ball in midfield, Telford were awarded a penalty which Daniels rolled into the net. So it was 4-2 after 61 minutes.

Telford were unable to score again and Jake Moult finally settled the encounter in the 67th minute, five goals having arrived in 22 minutes of the second half. Alty absorbed some further Telford pressure fairly comfortably before Jones clipped the bar at the other end.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Daniel MOONEY, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Craig MAHON. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Lewis WALTERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Simon RICHMAN.


Altrincham's team coach did not get back from Torquay to Altrincham till 4am but two National League players had an even longer time on the road, on a considerably shorter journey, and they did not even get to kick a ball!

Lynn News explains that "As if the late decision to postpone the National League clash against Chesterfield wasn't bad enough to stomach, it got even worse for two members of the King's Lynn Town camp on Tuesday night.

Linnets striker Michael Gash and club physio Carol Holland were travelling back from Derbyshire when Gash's Mercedes hit a pot hole on the A1 and blew a tyre.

After almost six hours of waiting in a lay-by, the striker's vehicle was finally picked up by a recovery vehicle and the duo finally arrived back at their respective homes just before 4am.

Carol said 'I can't say that I've ever spent six-and-a-half hours sitting in a lay-by sharing a packet of crisps with a footballer before. We'd literally just got on the A1 after the bus had dropped us off at the pick-up point at Newark. Gashy knew straight away what had happened and we were forced to pull in a lay-by which had been coned off for roadworks.

'It was about 8pm by this time and Gashy spoke to Sarah, his wife, who in then in turn contacted the RAC. Two hours later we had workmen, who kindly made us cups of tea in the end, asking us to move out of the lay-by, but obviously that wasn't possible.

'At midnight we were informed that the RAC were unable to pick us up and that they had passed it on to a local contractor from Grantham, who eventually got to us at about 2am. Even when we did get back home, Gashy's dad had to come out to pick him up from the garage at Deeping and I think he ended up spending the rest of the night at his parents' house'...

'Looking at the weather report on the way to Chesterfield, you always knew that the game was never going to be on,' said Carol. 'It's ridiculous with the covid situation that it wasn't called off any earlier. A lot of people had taken time off work and now they'll have to do it again if the match is eventually played.

'Apparently, Chesterfield had spent the day clearing snow off the pitch before a sudden downpour left standing water on the pitch just as we arrived'" she added.

Continuing the motoring theme, the Derbyshire Times says that "Adi Yussuf got off Wrexham’s team coach on the way to Eastleigh to sign for Chesterfield...

'I was on the Wrexham coach on the way to Eastleigh, we were staying overnight,' Yussuf explained. 'I got a phone call from my agent saying everything has been agreed. I had to get off the coach and say my goodbyes to the Wrexham boys because obviously I was only on loan from Blackpool.

'I was literally asleep on the coach at 4-5 o’clock and then everything just progressed within the space of an hour.. I had to get off the coach on the motorway at the service station and get a taxi to Chesterfield, three-and-a-half, four hours away.'

Wrexham boss Dean Keates said he would have liked to have signed a striker before allowing Yussuf’s loan from Blackpool to be terminated so he could join the Spireites. Chesterfield offered Yussuf and his young family ‘stability’, Keates said, and that in the end he had to sanction the move because he had to think about the player’s ‘mindset’ if he blocked the deal.

'We came to an agreement that he could get off the coach and wait at the services and then, if anything happens, he could get a taxi up to Chesterfield or a taxi down to Eastleigh,' Keates said... 'So then I have to think about the group, Adi’s mindset... The fact he had gone there, signed, his mind was turned from being at the football club so then I had to think about my changing room because if said ‘no’ then you have to think how is his mindset going to be? I had a decision to make and I had to sanction it.'2

According to the Barnet & Potters Bar Times "Barnet’s winless National League run was extended to 14 games after a 2-1 loss to Aldershot.

The hosts battled back from a goal down to return to winning ways after two successive defeats. Following a goalless first half, Michael Petrasso opened the scoring for the visitors when heading home an Anthony Wordsworth cross in the 53rd minute.

His effort was then cancelled out by in the 61st minute by Jamie Sendles-White, who converted Toby Edser’s cross. Aldershot’s victory was sealed in the 72nd minute when Mohamed Bettamer fired it into the bottom left corner from a free-kick.

The defeat was the Bees second in four days after they had been beaten 2-0 by league leaders Torquay United at the weekend...

Barnet remain bottom of the table, one point behind Dover Athletic, who have three games in hand on the Bees.

Manager Tim Flowers was not in attendance for the defeat to Aldershot, after the club revealed he had a non-Covid related illness... Flowers however was in attendance for the defeat to Torquay and felt there were some positives to take from the performance... 'I thought we had energy up top and legs and pace and we could have probably nicked a couple ourselves'" he said of the performance against The Gulls.

And the News & Star adds that "Former Carlisle United man Ben Richards-Everton has left Bradford City and joined Barnet.

The big centre-half has dropped to the National League... Richards-Everton, who was formerly on Carlisle's youth books, was unveiled by the Bees yesterday on a deal until the end of the 2023 season.

He 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".

The HArtlepol Mail claims that "Pools are the in form side in the National League following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sutton United to take them second in the table.

It was a close fought affair where Dave Challinor’s side were able to grind out and secure the three points. As Sutton pushed late on, Hartlepool expertly ran the clock down by conceding and earning tactical free-kicks as well as holding the ball up in the corners...

'I’m not a massive fan of it but unfortunately that’s the game,' he admitted. 'There’s nothing more frustrating for me and opposition managers when players blatantly waste time and the fourth official holds up three minutes of added time. You’re being told that he’s keeping track of all [the time wasting]... but he obviously isn’t when three minutes are added...

'Some people will call it experience, gamesmanship, game management, the dark arts, there are lots of different names for it but ultimately it will always play a part because until it’s stamped out from the game... It probably never will be eradicated unless we end up at some point... where the clock is 60 minutes and we’ll stop every time the ball goes out of play,' he added... 'Buying yourself free-kicks, putting the ball into good areas so teams are on the back foot is a big part of football.”

At Weymputh, "Brian Stock rued two 'glorious' missed chances as his Weymouth side lost 1-0 at Boreham Wood. Stock’s Terras were well in the game up until the 72nd minute, when Kabongo Tshimanga’s missile flew in off the bar past Ethan Ross.

Before then, Weymouth missed golden opportunities through Andy Dallas and Sean Shields, before the latter had a lob tipped onto the woodwork... as they suffered back-to-back losses in the league, keeping them in 21st...

'Obviously, goals change games and although we came in at half-time 0-0 I felt we were slightly below the standards we’ve set recently... I let them know and second half the game slipped us by. As the game went on, we got a little too detached and expansive...

'Boreham Wood will be delighted because there wasn’t a lot in the game... I thought we defended the box very well... but it’s just caught us off guard with the ball over the top... The lad’s got his shot off just before and it’s hit the bar and gone in...

'We’re a team that has to play from a compact shape and at times we just came away from that compared to the last three games.'".

Sutton United report that "After a week of travelling round England Sutton saved the best for the last of their three long distance away games as they produced a superbly disciplined performance on a difficult pitch to regain second place in the National League. After a hard earned point at Torquay and a narrow defeat at Hartlepool, U’s needed a good result...

[They] made the most of a gift goal after a first half hour in which Stockport had been marginally the better side. When home skipper Liam Hogan, complicit in the first goal, had a miserable evening compounded by a red card early in the second half U’s shrugged off the disappointment of Harry Beautyman failing to score from the resulting penalty and dominated the remainder of the game, Isaac Olaofe’s sublime goal with just over twenty minutes left putting them in a position they never looked like relinquishing...

The last twenty minutes was a case of U’s dragging what must have been tired legs around the energy sapping pitch, but they never stopped running and battling, and Stockport never had more than half chances...

They richly deserved the accolades at the end of the game, and the news coming through within the hour that Torquay had lost at home to Altrincham rounded off a perfect evening".

3 February 2021


At a damp Plainmoor Alty almost took an eighth minute lead when a fine twenty-yarder from Mooney hit the bar. The Alty winger was playing well when he injured himself in committing a foul but resumed after treatment.

Hampson was then booked for a foul by a somehwat officious Mr Quelch and from the freekick Cameron forced a block from Thompson at the back post but the ball ran loose and the Torquay man managed to poke it home to put his side ahead in the 22nd minute. Troubles mounted for Altrincham as Mooney then had to give way to his injury and he was replaced by Colclough (25 mins).

But Alty drew level from the penalty spot after Hancock had been blocked off inside the box by Sherring. Hancock himself converted the penalty impressively (33 mins).

After that it was all Alty up to the interval. The visitors were deprived of a goal when the home keeper dropped the ball, unchallenged, and after Alty had put the ball in the net Mr Quelch disallowed the goal for an alleged foot up though the ball was loose. But Alty got their reward shortly afterwards, in the 45th minute, when Colclough swept the ball in from the left into the far corner past a motionless keeper, from a Hancock feed. So Alty led 2-1 at the break.

The second half was a dull affair with Alty mostly on the back foot but with Torquay creating absolutely no threat at all, depite making three substitutions around the hour mark. With the game drifiting to its conclusion a shot by Hancock semed to be going wide but the keeper got a hand to it and in the aftermath Jake Moult was sent off for reasons which mystified everyone (87 mins). So a great result was marred by injury to Mooney and the inexplicable dismissal of Moult.

Match report here.


Torquay United report that "Kyle Cameron’s opportunist effort gave Torquay the lead midway through the first half, however the game was soon turned on its head following a Josh Hancock penalty, and a Ryan Colclough strike just before the break, with both goals ultimately proving decisive.

Manager Gary Johnson made one change to the side which recorded a 2-0 win at Barnet on Saturday, with Dean Moxey returning from suspension to take the place of Rob Street.

The first chance of the game fell the way of the visitors, with United having the woodwork to thank for remaining on level term...

Torquay began to take charge as the half wore on... A free-kick out wide on the right was sent deep to the back post, where Cameron headed the ball back.. The ball came straight back to the United man via an Alty defender though, and although Thompson initially smothered his initial shot, the grounded defender managed to hook the rebound home into the net to make it 1-0.

The subsequent minutes saw the men in yellow threatening to take full charge of proceedings, however out of nowhere, the visitors were presented with the ideal opportunity to level things up.

Hancock’s run into the box in the 33rd minute appeared to have been well covered, however after hitting the turf under Sam Sherring’s challenge, the referee was close to hand to signal a penalty kick. Hancock instantly picked himself up, and duly fired the spot-kick high to Shaun MacDonald’s left to restore parity.

Altrincham thought they had taken the lead in the 44th minute, however this time the officials came to United’s aid, as MacDonald failed to fully gather a deep corner by the penalty spot, resulting in the ball ending up in the back of the net. An infringement was signalled though, and the score remained 1-1...

A minute later, Altrincham broke in numbers resulting in the ball being played across to Colclough on the left side of the box, with the substitute curling the ball into the far corner of the net to give The Robins a half-time lead.

It was important United started well after the restart, however it was the visitors that went closest to adding to their tally... Although never at their confident passing best, the possession stats were certainly in their favour, even if it failed to produce the gilt-edged chances United’s forwards craved...

in the final ten minutes, two bookings for Jake Moult [saw the opposition skipper sent off. Despite the five additional minutes on offer, United never seriously threatened an equaliser".


Tuesday 2nd February 2021
  • Aldershot Town 2-1 Barnet 7pm
  • Chesterfield P-P King's Lynn Town 7pm [waterlogged]
  • Eastleigh 1-1 Wrexham 7pm
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Hartlepool United [snow; this is the third time it has been postponed after two previous dates were postponed through frozen pitch conditions]
  • Stockport County 0-2 Sutton United7pm
  • Boreham Wood 1-0 Weymouth 7.45pm
  • Notts County P-P Bromley 7.45pm [waterlogged]
  • Torquay United 1-2 Altrincham 7.45pm
  • Wealdstone P-P Maidenhead United [waterlogged]


As reported yesterday, the National League has issued a series of "Resolutions" for clubs to vote on to determine whether the 2020-21 season is played to its conclusion or not.

The BBC explains that "With no grant funding currently in place for the remainder of the season, the National League has set up a petition in an attempt to get the DCMS to reverse its decision to issue loans.

In the meantime, clubs have been handed voting documents to consider the outcome of the 2020-21 campaign.

There are several possibilities that could come from the vote, including a null and void scenario for all three divisions.

For legal reasons, clubs will have 28 days to respond to the vote; during that time, Hartlepool United and other clubs are set to play as many as eight matches.

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor ‘hopeful’ season will continue ahead of... On Monday evening, the National League issued a complicated statement detailing the resolutions.


Assuming that the National League continues to function, Altrincham's next match is on Tuesday, 9 February when Wrexham visit Altrincham for the return fixture after Alty won the game at The Racecourse earlier this season.

Alty should have been at Torquay in Saturday, 6 February but the Gulls' FA Trophy involvement clashed with that, hence the fixture was brought forward to this Tuesday.

Meanwhile the Blackpool Gazette reports that "Blackpool striker Adi Yussuf is set to leave Bloomfield Road permanently having returned from his loan spell with Wrexham.

The 28 year-old has spent the season with Dean Keates’ side, scoring five goals in 18 appearances.

But the Welsh outfit say they have 'reluctantly agreed' to terminate his loan to free him up for a permanent move elsewhere which will provide more stability for Yussuf and his young family.

'We're disappointed to see Adi leave but we felt we were unable to stand in the way of this opportunity,' Wrexham boss Keates said.

'He came in, scored some goals for us and we wish him the very best with the next chapter in his career. We've managed to bring in two high-quality players on deadline day and I'm pleased with the business we've conducted so far'"

Wrexham's midweek opponents Eastleigh reported that "Dean Keates’ side... start the week 9th in the table... The Robins have won four of their 10 games on the road this season...

However, results have been hit and miss recently with two wins, two losses and a draw in their last five fixtures.

Adi Yussuf is Wrexham’s top scorer with six goals in 16 National League appearances, but he departed the club during yesterday’s transfer deadline day".

And Wrexham "can confirm goalkeeper Dawid Szczepaniak has re-joined Cefn Druids on loan until the end of the season.

Confirmation that the deal had been completed was received late last night on transfer deadline day.

Polish stopper Szczepaniak, 20, is now in his third loan spell with the Cymru Premier side".

ON THIS DAY: 3 February

Apart from a Cheshire Senior Cup tie, Alty have not had a first-team game on today's date since 2009. In a week when Alty should have met Macclesfield Town, this look-back to 2009 reminds us of the decline of Alty's other great rivals, Northwich Victoria. Back in 2009 both The Vics and Alty were on a level footing in the Blue Square Premier when they met under the Moss Lane floodlights on Tuesday, 3 February.

This Cheshire Derby had been postponed from New Year's Day 2008 when a frosty pitch had prevented the game from taking place. And on 3 February 2009, once again, the weather had put the game in doubt following snow and cold temperatures earlier in the week. But groundsman Neil Brown had, once again, produced a pitch to be proud of.

Above: Jody Banim celebrates his goal against Northwich Victoria in 2009. Image courtesy of Gavin Rathbone

Before kick-off, Altrincham had again been hit by injuries. Though Chris Senior had returned from his brief lay-off, Colin Little was still sidelined with a hamstring problem and both Chris Denham and Anthony Danylyk (dead-leg) were unfit to start, whilst Shaun Densmore was also missing, suspended.

Jody Banim was one of two loan players making their full debuts for Altrincham, the on-loan Burton Albion striker being joined by Macclesfield Town midfielder Jordan Hadfield who was also making his first start.

Northwich had transformed their personnel under manager Steve King who had brought in a cohort of new players, mostly from southern England where he formerly managed Sussex side Lewes before his controversial sacking over the summer. One familiar face in the Vics' line-up was Lee Elam, who had recently asked to leave Moss Lane to join the Mid-Cheshire side.

In the match, Altrincham completed their first double of the season with a narrow 1-0 win despite Northwich enjoying plenty of pressure throughout the game. The game was decided by a 28th minute goalkeeping howler by Northwich's Clarke, who dropped a freekick from Matt Doughty, allowing Jody Banim to tap in his first goal for Altrincham on his full debut.

The match was not a pretty spectacle but Alty's defence, led by McGregor and Young, held firm, despite a couple of close calls. Warren Peyton could have wrapped it up for Alty late in the game when Chris Senior set him up but the midfielder could not get his shot in quickly enough to prevent keeper Clarke from smothering the ball.

The win moved Alty up to twelfth in a seson in which they finished fifteenth; Northwich were to be relegated.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 2. Chris LANE, 4. Mark McGREGOR (capt), 5. Greg YOUNG, 22. James SMITH, 8. Jordan HADFIELD, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 24. Jody BANIM, 19. Chris SENIOR, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 12. Joe O'NEILL, 13. Andy RALPH, 10. Chris DENHAM, 11. Warren PEYTON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK.


Weymouth "chairman Ian White insisted the Terras would not take out loans as the National League funding saga continues...

Teams could take on 20-year, low-interest loans as part of the Government’s Winter Survival Package, with many arguing that would plunge their club into crippling debt.

The second option is to terminate all three National League divisions... He said 'We don’t want to take a loan, there’s no need. Even though it’s over 20 years, that goes against everything this current board has worked to achieve. The last set of accounts have appeared on Companies' House and we’re in profit. The current board want to carry on the promise we made at the beginning, which is living within our means'...

'The problem with the vote is it all gets a bit muddy,' he said. 'We’re back where we were last June, July. We were settled that we would play another season in the National League South, then York, Havant and Dorking fought like mad to make us elite teams and play the play-offs. Then of course none of those three reached the finals and look where we ended up.

'We’re at that situation again. There doesn’t seem to be any proof that the second (package) would be grants, that’s where the problems come up... If I turned round and said that Weymouth want the season to stop, there will be sceptics saying you only want that because you’re in the relegation zone... But it’s not just about football. It’s about the safety of everyone involved. I’ve not been to the last three games. I don’t need to be there and I chose not to be...

'As a board, we’ve not made a physical decision (on the vote). The only thing we have said is we don’t want to take loans... I think some of the fans think we’re on the edge, but we’re not. We’re nowhere near because we’ll never let it get to the edge.'".

West London Sport confirms that "Wealdstone manager Dean Brennan has left the club.

Brennan was in his second season with the Stones, having won the National League South title last year.

He leaves the club 18th in the National League and on a run four league games without a win.

Assistant manager Stuart Maynard will take charge of the side for the FA Trophy clash with Darlington on Saturday".

Wealdstone had earlier stated that "The club wishes to share that as of this evening, Dean Brennan has left his position of first team manager at the club... A fuller statement will be released in due course".

At Barnet, "Defender Myles Judd has extended his stay with the Club after his loan from Leyton Orient was extended until the end of February.

Our number 29 joined the Club last month and has so far made three appearances for the Club.

Flowers will be able to call upon Judd until at least the end of February after a deal was agreed with the O's to extend the defender's loan deal".

On Tuesday, the Maidenhead Advertiser reported that "Maidenhead United’s National League fixture against Wealdstone has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Following a midday inspection, the Grosvenor Vale pitch was deemed unsuitable for play after a weekend of heavy rain which continued into the early hours of Tuesday morning...

On the postponement, Maidenhead boss Alan Devonshire said 'I'm disappointed as we're in good form. We drew against Woking, won on Wednesday against Yeovil, and won on Saturday against Halifax.

'We're buzzing at the moment so I would like to have played the game tonight. But it hasn't happened for us and we await this weekend's tough match against Boreham Wood'".

2 February 2021


Torquay United will be streaming the match against Alty tonight (Tuesday, k.o. 7.45pm). Access to the service is here.

In contrast to basement club Barnet, who charged £12.50 for their streaming of Alty's game last week, the cost of the service at top of the table Torquay is £9.


Devon Live reports that "With the Gulls taking on Altrincham today, clubs in the National League are waiting on the outcome of discussions which could see Torquay’s season end abruptly... They face an Altrincham side who sit in seventh, 13 points behind after playing 20 games, the same as the Gulls.

Johnson said 'You can’t waste 20 games; we are halfway through the FA Trophy and there have been a lot of games. There are a lot of people who want to see our league continue, for sure... If we want to keep ourselves aligned with the EFL, then we are going to need to carry on while they are carrying on.

'That’s very important and it’s very important for us and for many teams in the National League, to get back in the Football League. There are a lot of teams that have been out of it for a long time, your Wrexhams and Notts Countys, big teams, and surely they are not going to leave those teams adrift, along with ourselves of course.

'So we will keep going. They have made the right decisions so far and we will see what comes next'.

If everyone is fit, it is unlikely that Johnson will make many if any changes to the team that beat Barnet for this home game. However, Jake Andrews looked good when he came on at the Hive and the midfielder scored a cracking 83rd-minute goal... The 23-year-old has mostly been used as a sub this season but Johnson was impressed with what he saw on Saturday.

'In training in the last week, Jake was the top goalscorer by a million miles and he has got a hammer of a left foot. We have just had to get him a little bit fitter because he had a long injury early on when his knee blew up, and he has been doing great, and he earned that little recall and his goal. Actually, a lot went through him and he will only get better and better now'...

” Dean Moxey might return at left back, however, after his one-game ban, which means Johnson to return four at the back instead of the flexible three-or-four formation he played on Saturday... Phil Parkinson’s side go into the game undefeated in the league in 2021"


Altrincham FC Press and Media Officer, Brian Flynn previews the game at Torquay United with Assistant Manager, Neil Sorvel [right] on Alty TV.

Neil also reviews the season to date in his discussion with Brian.


Altrincham FC and other clubs have published the Resolutions being put to National League clubs which will decide whether the current season will be curtailed or will continue.

ON THIS DAY: 2 Febuary

Alty's last game on today's date was a 2-0 home win over Gloucester City in a Blue Square Bet North match on Saturday, 2 February 2013.

Right: Shaun Densmore takes his team mates' congratulations after his freekick had broken the deadlock at Moss Lane.

With Altrincham's Danny Hall, James Lawrie and Patrick Lacey all unfit, two goals in a minute decided this match against a City side which had won the corresponding game the previous season.

James Lawrie was still out of action and Danny Hall was also sidelined, both having suffered foot injuries. But Danny Mitchley had recovered from his injury and joined the bench. Nicky Clee was restored to the starting line-up, so Matt Doughty reverted to left-back as Scott Leather moved into Hall's central defensive role. Paddy Lacey was ill so there were places on the bench for youth team midfielders Oliver Riley and Callum Mooney, along with goalkeeping team-mate Stephen Bullen.

Three other Youth teamers, Alex Weatherby (defender), Adam Bezzina and Derryn Ofori (strikers) also warmed up with the squad today; all three had recently signed BSBN forms.

After wins against Vauxhall Motors and twice against Worcester City over Christmas, Gloucester City arrived at Moss Lane in good form. But they had not kicked a ball since New Year's Day due to bad weather. So they had three games in hand on Altrincham but were 12 points behind the Robins, who started the game having lost only once in their last nine league matches and they went into this game in fifth place.

As Alty gave the ball away cheaply, there were murmurings of concern from the home spectators. But things improved as half time approached, when Duncan Watmore got free of Rawlings but keeper Green beat out his shot (41 mins). After a good Carl Rodgers clearance, followed by a throw, Simon Richman was fouled just outside the box, a little left of centre.

Shaun Densmore expertly curled the resulting freekick over the wall and into the top left corner of the keeper's net (44 mins). Following the re-start, a goalbound shot by Nicky Clee was blocked for a corner on the Alty left, which Damian Reeves impressively headed home from close range to double the lead (45 mins).

So, half-time arrived with Altrincham holding a two-goal lead which flattered them slightly. Indeed, had Gloucester taken their chances it could have been 2-0 the other way. But Altrincham rode the game out to move up to fourth in the league table.

Alty brought on White for Hampson at the break before Torquay had the better of the early stages of the second half without creating anything of note. Around the hour mark Torquay made three substitutions.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 7. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Jake MOULT, 9. Duncan WATMORE, 10. Damian REEVES (Brooke 62), 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Oliver RILEY, 14. Callum MOONEY, 15. Ryan BROOKE, 16. Danny MITCHLEY, 18. Stephen BULLEN


The BBC reports that Northern Ireland clun "Larne have signed English winger Dylan Mottley-Henry following his release by League Two side Bradford City.

The 23-year-old was let go by the Bantams on Sunday after re-signing with the club in July. He made 11 senior appearances this season, having previously had spells at Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers, Chesterfield and Harrogate Town.

'Dylan is someone who has really good experience at a good level for a young player,' said Larne boss Tiernan Lynch. 'He is direct and someone who will add pace to our team in an attacking area. He has played for good sides in the National League and has got a good number of appearances in the Football League under his belt'.

Mottley-Henry played alongside current Larne skipper Jeff Hughes at Tranmere... Larne remain second in the Irish Premiership, three points off leaders Linfield, but are without a victory in 2021 having failed to win any of their last four matches".

The 23 year-old, a right-winger, signed for Altrincham on a one-month loan from Bradford City on 15 January 2016. He originally played for City at youth level before graduating to the first team squad late in 2014. Dylan was recalled from Alty by The Bantams after making six appearances, five of them from the bench.


The Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town look likely to vote against the continuation of playing matches in the National League but Tuesday's league clash at Chesterfield is set to go ahead.

National League clubs are set to vote on whether or not to end the season with there being a separate majority vote for Steps 1 and 2.

King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve said 'I think the National League itself will continue, but we've got to hope that grants are given to clubs who can't afford to carry on playing in the current climate'...

Board members of the National League have started a campaign to get the Government to reverse its decision to offer loans opposed to grants to clubs. The league have set up an online petition on in an attempt to persuade the Government to issue grants to clubs.

If successful it would help protect the future of clubs and allow the fifth and sixth tier seasons to continue.

Lynn's chairman has also confirmed that the club is currently appealing a hefty Covid charge against them from the National League in relation to both Aaron Jones and Paul Bastock.

The Linnets were forced to postpone the home Boxing Day clash against Notts County and the return trip to Meadow Lane on January 2 due to assistant boss Bastock testing positive before the away trip to Altrincham was postponed by the league after it emerged that defender Aaron Jones had also tested positive over the festive period.

Manager Ian Culverhouse, who has described the current situation as a 'farce', will be looking for a big improvement from his side when they travel to the in-form Spireites tomorrow night.

Culverhouse was furious with Lynn's first half display during the 2-0 home defeat to Wrexham at the weekend, saying 'First half, shocking, shocking, we just rolled over. They were more physical, came out quicker. There was a desire to be on everything and we were the opposite.

'Second half it just changed round. We didn’t play any football, we just asked questions of them and created a few chances... We should know what this league is like, but we were poor first half'".

At Chesterfield "The Spireites welcome King’s Lynn Town... and [manager] James Rowe... said 'They have a very experienced coach who knows his stuff. We... won’t be taking King’s Lynn lightly at all. They’re inconsistent, similar to Dagenham. They pick up good results, they pick up not so good results.

'We want to start on the front foot and make our home ground count.... They have been financially backed by the owner, they have back-to-back promotions and they’ll be looking to stay in the National League'...

At the weekend, Chesterfield gained a commendable point away at Dagenham & Redbridge despite having only ten men for over 80 minutes of the game. Rowe was thrilled... saying 'I thought we were magnificent... To go down to ten men in those circumstances, to roll our sleeves up and go ahead twice, credit to the boys... We are in a good place'...

'“We have appealed the Tom Whelan [red card]', Rowe said... 'Jak [McCourt] comes back into the reckoning because it was a one-match suspension. Other than that, everyone else is available that was available for selection on Saturday.'"

The Hartlepool Mail confirms that "The National League have set up an online petition on in an attempt to persuade the Government to issue grants to clubs...

The petition statement read 'National League clubs are facing catastrophe and a perilous situation in the next few days. We need a sustainable lifeline that does not leave clubs facing future ruin.

After changing the terms of its support in the middle of the season, the government must reverse its decision to offer loans and now fulfil its promise of a new grant. Our clubs play an immeasurable role in communities all over the UK and provide immense structures of support for many. Current government loan offers have moved the financial goalposts mid-season and jeopardised the future of our clubs.

Without adequate and fair funding, the National League will not survive, with consequences felt by thousands of players, supporters and club staff across the UK for many years to come.”

Sign the petition here.

We learn from the Eastern Daily Press that "Former Norwich City forward Pierre Fonkeu has signed for National League Premier side Weymouth.

The 23 year-old came on as a substitute in the Terras’ 1-0 defeat to Notts County... Fonkeu started his career at Belgian side Club Brugge before signing for the Canaries in the summer of 2017... Fonkeu went on to join Lens but was most recently at Grimsby on a short-term deal towards the end of last year...

Weymouth boss Brian Stock told the Dorset Echo '“I believe we’ve signed a hell of a player. He’s going to give us blistering pace; he’s very, very quick. He’s strong and, either out wide or up front, will offer another dimension to the way we want to attack.'”

An injury update has been issued by FC Halifax Town, who report that "Luke Summerfield is out for up to 3 months with a partially torn ACL.

Nathan Clarke continues to increase his rehab.

Danny Williams still has swelling around his ankle.

Kian Spence has had a successful op and now starts 8 weeks of rehab.

Matt Stenson goes in for his operation on Monday.

Jake Hyde is now training with the group and will hopefully be available for selection next week".

The Leader Live confirms that "Dior Angus says the high profile takeover of Wrexham Football Club was not the decisive factor in him becoming Dean Keates's first new signing of the January transfer window.

The 27 year-old striker has penned an 18-month contract with the Reds after leaving Barrow...

'I am looking forward to it here,' said Angus. 'It is a massive club and we have all seen and heard where they want to go so I am delighted to be a part of it. The takeover wasn't a factor. For me it is what goes on on the pitch... I really used to enjoy playing here. I have played here twice and got beat twice!...

'The club are going in a good direction,' said Angus...

Angus helped Barrow clinch promotion as National League champions last season and he wants to repeat that feat with the Reds...

Said Angus, 'Winning promotion is a memory and a feeling that I want to relive'...

Angus, who has had permanent spells with Solihull Moors, Daventry Town, Stratford Town, Redditch United and Port Vale, found opportunities limited in recent weeks at Barrow..

'I started the season playing but I have not really featured from a starting point of view since November which has been a bit frustrating,' said Angus... 'I became really close with Quigs [Scott Quigley a former Wrexham loanee] and I spoke to him'... said Angus...

Angus had no qualms about swapping League Two for a return to the fifth tier.

'I am not one of them who is a snob to what level I want to be playing,' added Angus. 'It is about playing, being sat on the bench is no good to anybody.'"

Also from the Leader Live we learn that "Christian Dibble has been joined in the National League team of the week by two former Wrexham players.

Goalkeeper Dibble was selected following his man of the match performance in the Reds' 2-0 win at King's Lynn Town on Saturday.

Making just his fourth appearance of the season in place of the injured Rob Lainton, Dibble made a number of important second half saves to ensure Dean Keates' side left The Walks Stadium with three points.

Former Wrexham captain Connor Jennings is also in the side after scoring in Stockport's 4-1 win at Woking while ex-Reds striker Joe Quigley gets his place up front after netting twice for Yeovil".

NL Daily reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge have signed midfielder Mo Sagaf.

Sagaf joined Ipswich Town’s Under-23s in 2018 from Waltham Forest.

Following time with Barking and Braintree Town, the 23 year-old would earn a deal with Carlisle United in 2019. Having left the Cumbrians at the end of last season, he now signs for the Daggers in the National League.

Manager Daryl McMahon told the club’s website 'Mo is experienced, has great energy and is a local lad. When I was at Macclesfield, we played against Carlisle last year and Mo was different class on the day. He’s the kind of player I think that we need moving forward; someone who is hungry to be successful.'”

The HArtlepol Mail confirms that "Joe Bunney has secured a deadline day return to the Football League with Grimsby Town.

The versatile left-back left Hartlepool United in January to pursue a return to the EFL.

He [had] arrived at Pools in late November and went on to make five appearances in all competitions. And in the closing hours of the winter transfer window, League Two side Grimsby announced the arrival of the 27-year-old.

Bunney has signed a deal at Blundell Park until the end of the 2020-21 campaign...

Bunney [said]... 'I've been out of the League for a year now, but I have been working incredibly hard to get back into it and I am glad that this opportunity has come'".

Meanwhile, Arsenal report that "Joseph Olowu has joined National League South side Wealdstone on loan for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.

The 21 year-old defender joined the Arsenal Academy aged 13 from Charlton Athletic... [and] developed through our youth development ranks. He captained our under-18s side before making his debut for our under-23s in June 2017.

His development was recognised and he signed his first professional contract in December 2017. Last year Joseph joined League of Ireland Premier Division side Cork City on loan".

1 February 2021


On Tuesday Altrincham are away to Torquay United and, although it is only the fifth time that Alty have visited Plainmoor, it is the sixth time they have journeyed there. The first scheduled encounter was called off within hours of kick off with the team having reached Devon and the supporters coach on the M5 in the environs of Gloucester before it had to divert from the motorway to turn round!

On Alty's first visit to Devon to play Torquay United, in 2008, a ban on match photography was rigorously enforced at Plainmoor, so the adjacent pre-match image was the best to be had. It shows the good array of Alty banners on display at the game.

That was in 2007/08 season and the rearranged match was on a Tuesday night, just as is the case in 2021, when the game has been brought forward due to Torquay's commitments in the FA Trophy on the originally scheduled date, next Saturday.

After the 2008 match This is South Devon wrote, "Torquay United let lowly Altrincham off the hook on a night of frustration at Plainmoor. Chris Zebroski's 44th minute goal... seemed to point Paul Buckle's Gulls towards all three points. But... one mistake in defence, let Altrincham back into the game.

The Cheshire side, which played with only one man up front all night, was never going to score from open play. But Mark Ellis's push on substitute Joe O'Neill gave Warren Peyton the chance to score from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, and he took it. Almost the only thing that debutant goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen had to do all night was pick the ball out of his own net".

The last time that the teams met, at Moss Lane in 2016, it was Torquay who had to make a Tuesday trip to play the game.

Since that last meeting, both clubs have been relegated. Alty went down in 2016 in a season in which Torquay also flirted with the drop. The Gulls survived that season but relegation caught up with them two years later forcing them to spend a season in National League South.

They bounced straight back, winning the South division in 2019. In the curtailed 2019-20 season they were fourteenth in the National League when the fixtures were terminated.

This time around Torquay are ten points clear in the National League and, even if Alty beat them, they look likely to win the League.

Assuming that the season is completed, their last match of the season is to be at the J. Davidson Stadium. Should they be crowned champions before that game it will be reminiscent of 2000 when the final game of the season featured the champions elect, Kidderminster Harriers, playing at Moss Lane.

However, unlike 2000, the final day of this season should not also witness Alty's relegation, as it did in 2000.

In the eight matches between Altrincham and Torquay United, Alty have won only once, a 2-1 victory in Cheshire in 2014/15 season.

The overall record is:

  • Home: P4 W1 D2 L1 F4 A4
  • Away: P4 W0 D1 L3 F2 A8
  • All: P8 W1 D3 L4 F5 A12


Alty travel to league leaders Torquay United on Tuesday. This follows a blank weekend for Alty, who were scheduled to meet the now defunct Macclesfield Town, whilst The Gulls defeated bottom club Barnet, who by coincidence were also Alty's last victims on the road. The win at Barnet left the Gulls ten points clear at the top of the National League.

After winning at Barnet, Devon Live quotes Torquay manager Gary Johnson as saying 'I probably would have liked a bit more end-product but 2-0 is enough and it's a good result against a team that are trying to revitalise themselves.'

The Gulls look[ed] particularly comfortable in a battle they won without really setting any fires.

An excellent strike in the seventh-minute by Ben Whitfield, the winger's sixth goal of the season, meant Torquay never really looked in danger of losing the game; and Jake Andrews came off the bench in the second half to finish the job off with his first goal this term...

The win saw the Gulls move 10 points clear at the top of the table, ahead of the visit of Altrincham on Tuesday night.

'The important thing is, when you come to these teams that are fighting for their lives, that you don't give away a goal and give them any oxygen,' said Johnson.

'I thought we defended well as a team because they have some big lads and they went quite direct, very direct in fact, and we had to deal with that'...

On loan Crystal Palace striker Rob Street made his full debut, with midfielder Armani Little too in the starting 11, and captain Asa Hall was back in midfield after being rested...

Left back Dean Moxey was suspended so Johnson went with a back three that could become a back four when Adam Randell dropped back on the right. It was a formation that worked well."

ON THIS DAY: 1 February

It seems an eternity ago but just a year ago today Altrincham drew 2-2 at the New Buck's Head against AFC Telford United, a result that left them seventh, just as they currently are at a step higher in the National League.

Left: James Jones is congratulated on his goal.

In the Vanarama National League North match played on Saturday, 2 February 2020, despite conceding two poor goals, Altrincham emerged with a deserved point thanks to James Jones's excellent 20-yard effort.

With Andy White still injured, Altrincham were unchanged as regards the starting eleven. Simon Richman returned to the bench after injury in place of goalkeeper Joel Torrance.

On a poor pitch, Alty fell behind in only the fifth minute, to Telford's first venture forward of note. Jake Moult tripped Barnett just outside the corner of the box. Ex-Alty loanee Daniels's freekick was hit into the wall but rebounded to him.

Under a challenge from Mahon, he hooked the ball hopefully towards goal and was as surprised as anyone to see it deceive Thompson, the ball looping over the keeper into the net at the back post.

Despite being the only side trying to play good football, Alty trailed at the break. And when the hosts had the better of the first twenty minutes of the second half, it looked ominous for Alty.

But a piercing through ball from Mahon set Walters free and, from the left, he did well to slot the ball past the debutant German keeper Luyambula, a Birmingham City loanee (68 mins).

Seven minutes later, Daniels's freekick from wide left, a good 40 yards diagonally from goal, saw Thompson seemingly trying to punch the ball away. However, the Alty keeper completely missed the ball as it sailed into the far top corner of the net.

Alty made it 2-2 with six minutes of normal time remaining. Jones picked up the ball and advanced up the middle before beating the keeper with a shot of a quality not normally associated with a centre-back.

Alty dominated the closing stages and were unfortunate to see Hancock's header from a Hulme cross hit the keeper before being hacked clear.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Craig MAHON, 8. Josh LUNDSTRAM, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Lewis WALTERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Simon RICHMAN.


The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Sutton United manager Matt Gray felt his side deserved something from the game following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Hartlepool United.

The top of the table clash at Victoria Park saw Pools come away with three points and go second thanks to a second half header from Rhys Oates, a goal Gray felt came somewhat against the run of play.

'It was frustrating, I was really disappointed that we didn’t get something out of the game, we deserved at least a point,' he told SUTV afterwards.

'We had a golden chance to take the lead at one end which we don’t take and they hit us on the counter attack a little bit which we manage to deal with but they score from the resulting corner which is not like us because we’ve got really good success from defending set-pieces this season.

'The pitch was difficult, it was wet and bobbly and we couldn’t get hold of [the ball] at times'".

"Joe Quigley paid tribute to Yeovil Town's performance packed with quality and resilience following their 3-1 win over Dover Athletic at Huish Park.

The Glovers returned to winning ways in magnificent fashion as a brace from Joe Quigley either side of half time, alongside a late strike from Rhys Murphy rounded off an impressive victory...

After a disappointing display against Maidenhead United in midweek, the green and whites showed spirit, stretching their fine run to 5 wins in 7 since the turnover of the new year...

Quigley said, 'Three points were the most important thing for us today;, he told BBC Somerset post-match... 'I think to bounce back like we did from Wednesday shows the character that we’ve got amongst the squad.

'I think when you go one goal down and then get an equaliser just before half-time gives everyone a lift, which resulted in us finishing the half strongly...

'I think we have had a big turnround since the new year. Winning five of our last seven games shows the resilience and quality that we’ve got in the squad, and I don’t think many teams will be on this type of form right now.

'The break over the last few weeks hasn’t helped our momentum'".

According to NL Daily "Chesterfield have confirmed that ‘a small group’ of out-of-favour players have been furloughed.

The Spireites also point out that the decision was taken ‘in consultation with the PFA’ and that there are ‘other National League clubs who have furloughed players.’

Following John Pemberton’s departure as manager in November, Gloucester City boss James Rowe took over, with a number of new signings made since, as the former Aldershot Town assistant looks to mould his own team.

Chief executive John Croot said as part of a statement... 'A small group of players who do not feature in the manager’s plans have now been placed on furlough...

'The players in question will receive their full salary and we will continue to provide support to ensure that their mental well-being requirements are met...

'Some of the players could have joined other clubs by now had it not been for the fact that the National League North and National League South fixture programmes have been suspended, leading to us to take this temporary measure.'”

According to the Nottingham Post "Notts County boss Neal Ardley remains hopeful of being able to complete the National League season, after his team made it two wins on the spin.

Elisha Sam scored the winner as the Magpies moved up to fifth in the table with a 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Weymouth...

'I know what the issue is with the finances. But I think with the options available, the most sensible thing is to continue the season,' Ardley said ... 'I’d like to think there are more clubs than not who would want to finish this season'...

Notts made it three unbeaten in the league and kept a third successive clean-sheet...

Ardley was delighted with his side’s defensive resolve...

'You might look at it and think Notts County should be beating Weymouth, but it’s not like that; they’ve beaten Hartlepool, they’ve beaten Aldershot and they were on a little bit of a high.

'They defended brilliantly. They made it very hard for us to carve them open.'"

And the Dorset Echo agrees that "Weymouth pushed non-League giants Notts County all the way but ultimately fell 1-0...

Weymouth defended gamely in a first half in which County dominated before Elisha Sam put the visitors into a 51st-minute lead.

Jake McCarthy missed two huge chances for the Terras in a defiant second half but the Magpies were good value for their three points to break Weymouth’s two-game winning run.

Despite defeat it was a bright display from the hosts, who will feel they possibly should have taken a point from the game.

New signing Pierre Fonkeu was the only addition to the matchday squad... with the starting XI unchanged for the second game in a row...

In the 51st minute, the visitors took the lead in fortunate circumstances as Sam beat Revan before chipping a cross to the back post which deceived Ross and flew into the top corner."

A report from Boreham Wood confirms that "A stoppage time winner from Eastleigh substitute Dan Smith secured all three points for the Spitfires with a 2-1 victory at Meadow Park.

Boreham Wood made two changes from Tuesday’s night’s draw against Chesterfield with Corey Whitely and Matt Rhead coming in for Keiran Murtagh and Kabongo Tshimanga.

Boreham Wood got off to a dominant start in terms of possession with some nice interplay... but it was Eastleigh who gave an indication of what was to come when they had the first chance after six minutes...

On twelve minutes it was Kane Smith who gave the home side the lead with a fantastic shot from the edge of the area across McDonnell in the Eastleigh goal after a neat layoff from frontman Matt Rhead...

Wood continued their dominance for the rest of the first half but came up against a resilient Eastleigh defence who limited the home side to a couple of chances...

The match really livened up after half time when Boreham Wood had numerous opportunities to double their lead but it was the outstanding Joe McDonnell who came to the Spitfires rescue...

Eastleigh started growing into the game and were now on the ascendancy. On seventy-two minutes the visitors equalised when an excellent cross from Danny Hollands found Barnett on the six yard box who beat Ashmore at the far post.

In the second minute of stoppage time with Boreham Wood seemingly going forward to try and grab a winner, they were caught on the break by Ben House whose fantastic run and unselfish ball to Ben Smith enabled the substitute to finish well and seal victory for the Hampshire side.

This defeat was hard to take in a game that Boreham Wood largely dominated".

FC Halifax Town "suffered a 3-2 defeat to Maidenhead United on Saturday, midfielder Jack Earing... [said] 'In all honesty, it was a day to forget. Our game plan just didn’t go to work, and I just don’t think we were at it today...

'Our passing was sloppy all over the pitch. We weren’t getting forward nor creating chances or just half chances, so we just wanted to raise the intensity'.

Halifax did pull the game back to 2-2 in the second half...

'At the minute it’s just not coming off for us... We won’t dwell on this defeat'".

According to the Derbyshire Times "Dagenham and Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon was ‘disappointed’ his team could not find a winner against ten-man Chesterfield on Saturday.

Will Evans gave the visitors the lead on 17 minutes despite Tom Whelan being sent off not long before.

The hosts soon equalised through Scott Wilson before Town grabbed a second when Akwasi Asante slotted in his seventh goal for the Blues.

But James Rowe’s men were pegged back again when substitute Sam Deering curled in a stunner after the break. Chesterfield dug in for the last 30 minutes and came away with a deserved point.

'Overall it was a good performance,' McMahon said. 'I thought we controlled the play well and we’re disappointed that we didn’t find the winner after some of the chances that we created...

'I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded, they were two very sloppy goals to concede and it’s something that’s happened in the last three games. We spoke about their threat from the long throws before the game, so we’ve got to sharpen up on that quickly'".