Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

March 2021

31 March 2021 .


Altrincham host Yeovil Town on Good Friday. The clubs go into the game with similar form; each club has gained seven points from its previous five games. The Somerset club lies fourteenth whilst Alty are eleventh, two points ahead having played one additional game. Alty lost the reverse fixture 2-0.

The Glovers last game was a 3-1 win at home to bottom club Barnet.

Yeovil Town report that they "produced a stunning first half performance... finding an early goal through Tom Knowles.

Further goals followed as Charlie Lee and Josh Neufville got in on the act before the end of the first half to build a comfortable advantage.

Darren Sarll made one change to the side which drew with Notts County on Tuesday. The goalkeeper and defence remained the same as Adam Smith began in goal, with Carl Dickinson, Max Hunt, Albi Skendi and Michael Kelly ahead of him.

The diamond returned for Town, Lee began at the base of it, with Matt Worthington, Knowles and Neufville further forward.

Chris Dagnall returned to the fold alongside Reuben Reid who retained his place up front...

It didn’t take long for Yeovil to open the scoring. Breaking with pace, a stunning counterattack was capped off by Knowles' pile driver from around 25-yards after Neufville played the ball into his feet on 11 minutes.

Knowles was involved once again as Sarll's side doubled its advantage. The former Cambridge man sent a deep cross into Reid who headed the ball into Lee's path as he sent a sumptuous volley into the bottom corner...

The Glovers got the third they deserved on 34 minutes as Luton loanee Neufville capped off a great first half. Nobody could get a touch on Neufville as he danced through the Barnet defence and fired beyond Azaze.

With a comfortable advantage, Sarll looked to marshall through the second half and save the fitness of players after a busy schedule. After playing every game since signing, Reid was replaced by Quigley in the opening stages of the half.

On 68 minutes, the visitors scored a consolation...

The second half also saw an opportunity to give Emmanuel Sonupe some minutes after a long injury lay-off.

Yeovil Town: 1. Adam Smith; 3. Carl Dickinson, 18. Albi Skendi, 26. Max Hunt, 14. Michael Kelly; 22. Charlie Lee, 7. Matthew Worthington, 21. Tom Knowles (10. Jimmy Smith), 24. Josh Neufville (Emmanuel Sonupe); Reuben Reid (19. Joe Quigley), 39. Chris Dagnall. Subs not used: 4. Lee Collins, Matthew Warburton".


Tuesday 30th March, 7.45pm unless stated
  • Dagenham & Redbridge P-P Dover Athletic [Dover players furloughed]
  • Notts County 0-1 Aldershot Town
  • Solihull Moors 3-0 Wealdstone

ON THIS DAY: 31 March

14 years ago today, in 2007, Altrincham entertained Exeter City at Moss Lane and lost 2-1, one of a sequence of eight successive defeats for the club on today's date!

After a disappointing defeat by Stafford Rangers in the preceding midweek, Alty were anxious to gain the points vital to keep them in the Conference whilst Exeter were anxious to regain a play-off place at the top. The game was played in bright sunshine but with a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch towards the Carole Nash Stand.

Alty were again without the injured Val Owen and Gary Scott but also had Stephen Rose suspended. However, Rod Thornley had returned to the bench from England physio duty. Andy Scott came into the starting line-up in centre-midfield whilst Gary Talbot came in to central defence as Karl Munroe shifted to right-back.

Above: Lewis Chalmers receives congratulations after scoring Altrincham's goal

This 2007 match was in the Conference National game and, for the second time in a week, the outcome of a match at Moss Lane was decided against Altrincham by a refereeing decision.

This time, with no one appealing and no threat to the Alty goal, referee Oliver Langford, spotted an apparent push from Munroe and awarded the Grecians a penalty. Jones calmly sent Coburn the wrong way to make it 2-1 (80 mins).

Earlier, Altrincham had taken the lead on 19 minutes when Peyton's quickly taken freekick from half way was met by Chalmers's fine leap and his header looped over keeper Jones into the far corner of the net.

In a game ruined as a spectacle by a gusty wind, Exeter levelled just after the break when Chalmers gave away possession and Stansfield got past Talbot to the right of goal before laying the ball inside for Logan to sidefoot home (50 mins).

Things got worse for Alty who had to take off Bushell at half-time, then his replacement, Senior, appeared to twist an ankle and had to be carried off only ten minutes into the second period. Finally, Talbot also had to be replaced after 63 minutes as Alty rarely threatened the Exeter goal in the second half.

Above: Billy Jones scores Exeter's winner from the penalty spot.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 17. Karl MUNROE, 4. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 11. Warren PEYTON; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 22. Andy SCOTT, 14. Lewis CHALMERS; 9. Colin LITTLE, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 19. Chris SENIOR, 13. Richard ACTON (gk), 2. Steve ASPINALL, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 10. Rod THORNLEY.


In the Hartlepool Mail "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor discusses National League managerial sackings at Notts County, Bromley and Stockport...

Saturday’s opponents Stockport County parted company with Jim Gannon after five years in charge back in January 2021 and replaced him with Simon Rusk despite the club sitting comfortably in the play-off places.

And last week, Notts County and Bromley sacked managers Neal Ardley and Neil Smith respectively with both clubs sitting inside the top seven at the time of their dismissal...

Dave Challinor told The Mail 'They are ridiculous decisions from the outside looking in. Manager’s decisions should be judged on a full season. Jim left Stockport and whether clubs are looking to go in a different direction internally, you can’t really comment on that.

'From the outside, the two Neils leaving last week from clubs in the play-off positions seems strange. But you’re not privy to what is going on behind the scenes, the targets set, the investment that has been made and where they want the club to go...

We’re 11 points ahead of Notts County but they have six games in hand. While they may not win all of those games, if they do then they’re seven points clear of us which would be a very good position to be in.... It is strange but nothing surprises you in football and I’ve been on the end of it myself,' he added...

"What I will say is that if Neil, Neal and Jim decide to go somewhere else then they’ll have further success down the line because they’re all very good managers.'”

The Shields Gazette reports that "One of Newcastle United’s loan players has been quietly sharpening his tools, under the radar, a little further down the footballing pyramid.

Youngster Lewis Cass is this season playing his first full, senior campaign with North East National League side Hartlepool United and it’s fair to say the 21-year-old has impressed.

For the most part, Cass has been reliable and consistent. Pools boast one of the best clean sheet records in the National League and that is no small part down to Cass's surprisingly mature and composed performances at the back... Cass started the season as a right-back and was solid albeit unspectacular but since switching to a right-sided centre-back of a three, he’s looked a lot more comfortable.

Cass is a modern day defender. He’s comfortable on the ball and playing out from the back. His experience as a right-back also means he has the ability to threaten when taking the ball out of defence... As a right-back, Cass is limited on the attacking front. While he has a good crossing ability, he's not the type of player to beat his man with pace of skill".

NL Daily hasspoken to Aldershot midfielder Jermaine Anderson "Since officially signing for Aldershot Town at the start of that month, Jermaine Anderson has taken to the task well...

The former Arsenal youngster is nearing 150 professional appearances, having made the first of those for Peterborough United in the Championship when he was only 16. At 24, he could be forgiven for feeling like a wise old veteran...

'I met the gaffer (Danny Searle) when I came in, he was really nice.... I think it was November, so I wasn’t at maximum fitness, but obviously I managed to do well and got my initial contract until January'...

[At Bradford City] 'Obviously I didn’t play as much as I wanted to, but... I couldn’t say a bad word about it...

I’d actually say my best football is yet to come, but my most enjoyable, I’d say my middle stages of being at Peterborough... maybe between the ages of 17 to 19/20, just because of the mixture of playing well, scoring goals and having a good team as well...

Up to now, I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience in a short time. A lot of football, considering my age. I came in at 16, I was at Peterborough when they were in the Champ, I played League One, I’ve had setbacks, I’ve had injuries. I’ve had it where managers are getting sacked, where fans are turning against the club. A lot of things I’ve seen, and going through it at the time is a bit of a whirlwind, but I feel like it’s been really valuable. You can’t buy that experience, and like I said before, it’s stood me in good stead for the future, because I’m only 24".

According to the Derbyshire Times "Chesterfield have best record in National League for clean sheets. When James Rowe was appointed Chesterfield manager many of us expected the Spireites to be involved in some high-scoring, basketball-type end-to-end encounters.

This was because in his nine games in charge of Gloucester City at the start of the season the Tigers had won eight and drawn one, firing in 26 goals and keeping just one clean sheet...

In his first interview with the DT Rowe said 'As long as we are scoring more than the opposition I couldn't care less if we concede five and score six every week because we win the game. It is about winning the game and winning at all costs. That is how I see the game'...

Twelve of his 19 league games have ended in victories but, just as impressive, they have kept 12 clean sheets... Along with the two shut-outs under John Pemberton, the Spireites are joint top of the clean sheets table with Hartlepool United on 14, three more than league leaders Sutton United.

Remarkably, the Blues have gone from shipping 17 goals in their first nine league matches, to conceding just 10 in 19 under Rowe.

So how have they done it? In simple terms, by playing a higher defensive line and pressing the opposition. They keep teams penned in by winning first and second balls. They are challenging for the ball 20 to 30-yards further forward up the pitch...

Seven of Rowe’s 12 league wins have been by one goal to nil... but if they win by the same scoreline in the play-off final, nobody will give a jot".

30 March 2021


So far, Altrincham have earned points in the National League at a rate of 1.28 points per game (PPG) this season. They lie eleventh in the National League table but, on PPG, they would be thirteenth. Had the win against Dover not been expunged the PPG would have been 1.33. If Alty finished the season in thirteenth place, it would represent their highest league finish this millennium.

If the current 1.28 PPG rate was to be repeated in each game till the end of the 2020-21 campaign, that would see Altrincham finish with 54 points. The PPG rate would be their best in the top flight of non-League football this millennium.

The next best season in that period was 2009-10 which, coincidentally, was also a season which was affected by the expunging of points won by Altrincham. In that case it was the demise of Chester City which caused the problem, with Alty having taken four points off their county rivals.

By way of comparison, this is Altrincham's record in the nine previous seasons in the top level of non-League football since 2000.

  • 1999-00 played 42, points 46, position 21, PPG 1.09
  • 2005-06 played 42, points 41, position 18*, PPG 1.02 (Alty were subsequently docked 18 points and placed bottom of the table, 22nd).
  • 2006-07 played 46, points 51, position 21, PPG 1.11
  • 2007-08 played 46, points 41, position 21, PPG 0.89
  • 2008-09 played 46, points 56, position 15, PPG 1.22
  • 2009-10 played 44, points 54, position 14, PPG 1.23 (Alty also played two games v Chester City from which four points were earned but which were expunged; had these results stood the PPG would have been 1.26)
  • 2010-11 played 46, points 44, position 22, PPG 0.96
  • 2014-15 played 46, points 56, position 17, PPG 1.22
  • 2015-16 played 46, points 44, position 22, PPG 0.96


Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "Our captain Luca Havern [right] has put pen to paper on a new one year contract at the Horsfall. After re-joining Mark’s squad for the unusual 20/21 season, Luca was named as club captain to help lead our exciting squad of youth and experience...

Luca Havern [said] 'I’m really happy to commit to BPA for another season. Before this season was null and voided we were improving each week and our young players were growing in confidence so I hope we can build on that momentum come August'...

[Manager] Mark Bower [added], 'We are really pleased that Luca has committed himself to us for another season. He forms part of our core of experienced players who play a vital role in strong performances on the pitch whilst helping our younger players with their progression. Luca will continue to captain the team'".

And at the newly formed Macclesfield FC "a backroom restructure sees the vastly experienced Peter Band [left] join the club as First Team Assistant Manager.

Peter is a lifelong Silkmen fan, who started his football career at Bollington Athletic before making the move to Hyde United back in 1998... Peter then departed Ewan Fields to sign for Altrincham and would enjoy two spells at Moss Lane, interspersed with a short period at Cheshire rivals Northwich Victoria.

After making over two-hundred appearances for The Robins, Peter re-joined Hyde United in 2007 where he also amassed in excess of two-hundred appearances.

Spells at New Mills and Woodley Sports followed, before Peter joined Mossley, where he was to enjoy copious amounts of success; firstly in a player-manager role and then as joint-manager alongside Lloyd Morrison... ahead of a move to Glossop North End in 2018...

'I've watched Macclesfield since I was a kid... If it had been any other club then I probably would have stayed where I was but, as soon as I found out that Macclesfield wanted me to come here, then it was a no brainer really... The lure of coming to Macclesfield was just too big to turn down...

We will get the best team we can out there and get this club back to where it belongs' {said Band]...

Director of Football Robbie Savage added to this by stating, 'His character, his passion, his enthusiasm shone through and when Danny is out on the pitch, I want him to be a player, not thinking about managing. Bandy will help Danny to do that with support from Anthony Curran as the First Team Coach. Those two on the touchline will allow Danny to be a player first and foremost on a matchday.

'This is the missing piece of the jigsaw, as Peter can use his experience to offer myself, Danny and Anthony an insight into what it takes to move up through the levels'".

ON THIS DAY: 30 March

Two years ago today, Altrincham defeated Kidderminster Harriers, 2-1, at the J. Davidson Stadium, in a Vanarama National League North match.

An unchanged Alty were again without the injured Ben Harrison (recuperating at Trafford on loan), fellow long-term absentee James Poole and, sadly, loanee striker Joe Piggott who had recently been ruled out for the rest of the season with a back injury.

Loanee defender Billy Sass-Davies was also out of action with a minor injury. However, striker Matt Chadwick, who had yet to make his debut since joining from Ashton United a month ago, was on the bench, as was goalkeeper Steven Drench who had been sidelined for the past few games with a knee injury. Jake Moult was making his 300th start for Altrincham.

Above: James Jones and John Johnston celebrate the opening goal against the Harriers.

With Altrincham 2-0 up inside twenty minutes it looked as if the hosts would have a comfortable afternoon against their full-time opponents. But Alty let the Harriers back into the game and had to endure a half-hour of almost constant pressure in the second half to emerge with all three points.

Altrincham took a twelfth-minute lead when a Johnston corner was missed by the keeper and defence and arrived at James Jones. From beyond the back post, he netted from close range. Soon after the restart, Horsfall hammered a shot against the Alty crossbar.

But Alty retained the upper hand as Ceesay rounded the keeper but ran out of space. Soon afterwards, Alty doubled their lead in the 19th minute. After another Ceesay incusrsion, the ball came to Hulme with his back to goal. The striker managed to loop the ball over Hall and into the net.

But the Harriers improved after the half-hour mark and, from a corner, Ironside's header came back off the underside of the bar (35 mins). Four minutes later Alty got in a defensive mess and Ironside netted from close range to make it 2-1.

In the second half Alty were fairly comfortable to the hour mark before the Harriers began to pen Altrincham back in their own half. A combination of good defending and poor finishing saw Altrincham reach the final whistle with their lead intact.

ALTRINCHAM : 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. Callum Dolan, 14. Simon Richman, 15. Matthew Chadwick, 16. Shaun Densmore, 20. Steven Drench.


Following the surprise dismissal of Neil Smith, Bromley have followed that up with a surprise appointment. They can "confirm the appointment of Andy Woodman as First Team Manager.

The 49 year-old holds 15 years of coaching experience, most of which has been in the Premier League... In his playing career, Woodman started out at Crystal Palace and went on to play for Northampton Town, Brentford, Southend United and Colchester United among others.

He started his coaching journey in 2006 with Football League outfit Rushden & Diamonds, where he was assistant manager. Following this, he reunited with former team mate Alan Pardew as goalkeeping coach at West Ham United. The pair then moved onto Charlton Athletic, where they spent three years together, before being appointed at Newcastle United.

Following a five year stint at St James’ Park, Woodman then returned South with Pardew to continue his Premier League coaching career, becoming a coach at Crystal Palace.

Woodman arrives at Hayes Lane from Arsenal, where he was appointed Head of Goalkeeping in 2018... Andy has all the necessary skills and knowledge to progress the Club further on its journey".

According to the BBC, " National League clubs have been asked whether they will back a no confidence motion against the league's board and chairman Brian Barwick.

The proposal has been made by Maidstone United, and seconded by National League South side Dorking Wanderers.

It comes amid growing discontent about numerous decisions involving the National League which have created huge controversy.

All 66 member clubs have been asked to respond by 12:00 BST on Wednesday. A letter sent by Maidstone and Dorking says it needs 10% of clubs to back an emergency general meeting at which the no confidence vote would be taken.

It lists 11 areas of contention, including Friday's decision to fine clubs who refused to abide by a National League request to fulfil fixtures until the outcome of resolutions into the determination of the 2020-21 season were known...

'Football at our level is in major crisis at present,' said the letter. 'The management of the crisis by the National League board has been inadequate from the beginning. It is now the subject of widespread anger and ridicule'".

We learn from the Derbyshire Times that "The National League campaign started on October 6 and finishes May 29, 235 days later. But the Spireites’ fate looks likely to be decided in the three weeks from April 13 to May 3.

During this period Town have three home games in a row against Boreham Wood (12th), Bromley (10th) and FC Halifax Town (8th) in seven days.

They then face a triple away bonanza against Wrexham (5th), Bromley again and then Hartlepool United (2nd), before returning to home soil to take on Torquay United (3rd)...

It is going to be a gruelling schedule which will put Town’s squad to the test but, as we know, James Rowe has built a group which does have strength in depth. Avoiding injuries and suspensions will be key...

The last game of the season, away at the Shaymen, could be a crunch clash... This opportunity is a free-hit for Town, play with freedom and go for it".

Middlesbrough report that "Our Under-23s beat a strong Hartlepool United side in a friendly at Rockliffe on Monday.

With an enforced break in league action due to the International weekend, Graeme Lee's squad were kept ticking over with a game against the National League hopefuls.

A strong wind ruined the contest as a spectacle, but Connor Malley scored early on to give Boro the lead after he broke from midfield before drilling the ball home.

Isaac Fletcher made it two after half-time when he followed up a Tyrone O'Neil effort to convert from close range.

There was still time for a familiar face at Rockliffe... our one-time youngest ever debutant Luke Williams scoring a late consolation for Pools".

The Leader Live says that "Dean Keates was delighted with how his promotion-chasing side reacted to losing three valuable points after brushing aside the challenge of Bromley...

Wrexham forfeited the three points they accrued up when Keates' side beat Dover 3-1 at home on January 16, with play-off rivals Notts County and Eastleigh benefitting from the situation as both teams lost against the Whites...

He saw Wrexham maintain their rich vein of form by winning 3-0 against Bromley at The Racecourse on Saturday to climb back up to fifth in the table...

'It could have been addressed a lot earlier,' said Keates... 'I am disappointed because we worked hard for those three points... All we can do is what we did on Saturday; a reaction and getting three points back on the board.'

Wrexham, back in action following an 11 day break, made a slow start but Jordan Davies broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute with a first goal for his hometown club and Dior Angus scored a sensational volley to make it 2-0 before the break.

Angus found the net with another impressive volley in the second half as Wrexham won to make it one defeat in 14 games...

Said Keates, 'Bromley are in the play-offs with us fighting for the positions. They are a big, strong, physical unit and we had to be aware of that with the size and presence that they had with long throws...

'[Angus] had four opportunities and should possibly have got his second goal early in the second half. But his strike rate, 50 per cent have hit the target and he has scored two goals, and the goalkeeper has pulled off a great save to deny him his hat-trick'...

Academy graduate Davies returned to The Racecourse in the summer after leaving Brighton and Hove Albion where he failed to make a first team performance... 'As I said to him when he came off, he scored and he created opportunities for himself to have a shot about 25 yards out a few times,' said Keates. 'A little bit selfish and more releasing the ball a little bit earlier, but I thought he did well again'" concluded the manager.

FC Halifax Town "skipper Nathan Clarke spoke after the side went 2-0 up to be pulled back to a 2-2 draw with Sutton United... saying, 'We put ourselves in a great position in the first half... ,P> 'Sutton are top of the league for a reason and they seriously do sling the ball into the box and cause hard work for the defenders and everyone else. But I am really pleased with how the team stood up to that... I thought we played really well but were unlucky not to hold on...

'We should have seen the game out, we had some good opportunities, but a point against Sutton is good.'

One shining spark in the season so far has been Jack Earing who scored in the game... As the Captain, Clarkey gave his feelings on Earing 'I always knew he had it in him, because he was in and out of the team last season, but you could see his potential in training; he’s fast, probably the quickest in the team, he’s both-footed and it’s fantastic he’s taken his chance'".

29 March 2021


On Good Friday, Altrincham welcome Yeovil Town to the J. Davidson Stadium.

It is nearly 21 years since the Somerset club last visited Moss Lane, in a game which ended 2-2 as Altrincham slumped to relegation from the Conference, despite having been in the top half of the table that season with only eight fixtures remaining.

Right: Richard Landon competed in the air against The Glovers.

In 2000, Altrincham went into the match against Yeovil on the back of four consecutive defeats and seven League games without a win, their worst run of the season. Lying in 18th place, points were desperately needed to keep ahead of Woking, Welling and Forest Green and out of the drop zone.

The main surprise of the Altrincham squad for this match was the inclusion on the bench, for the first time this season, of the previous season's club captain, Mick Carmody who, until recently, had been on loan to Ashton United in the Unibond Premier Division. Shaun Goodwin also returned from injury to be named as a substitute, alongside Mark Maddox, Ian Senior and Andy Lovelock.

Altrincham adopted their normal 4-4-2 formation, with Landon and Chambers up front.

Whilst any point would be welcome after four games without one, this was a match in which Altrincham led twice and threw away their lead each time with poor defending. Wins for Forest Green, Woking and Welling compounded Altrincham's loss of two points but, looking positively, their fate remained in their own hands.

Two wins from the last three games would have guaranteed survival in the Conference but it was not to be and one or two supporters in the Main Stand passed negative comments to the Altrincham management during and after the game and elicited a tongue-lashing from chairman Gerry Berman as the match drew to its conclusion.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Lance Key; 2. Simeon Hodson, 3. Danny Adams, 4. Chris Timons (capt) 5. Gary Talbot, 6. Steve Hawes, 7. Jason Gallagher, 8. Keith Russell, 9. Leroy Chambers, 10. Richard Landon, 11. Kevin Ellison. Subs: 12. Andy Lovelock, 13. Ian Senior, 14. Mark Maddox, 15. Shaun Goodwin, 16. Mick Carmody.

ON THIS DAY: 29 March

Seven years ago today, Altrincham won 3-1 at Colwyn Bay in a Skrill North match.

After taking a 2-0 lead, Altrincham allowed Colwyn Bay back into the game and the hosts enjoyed plenty of the ball before a superb Nicky Clee freekick secured the points.

Right: Simon Richman contests the midfield at Colwyn Bay on Saturday. Behind him is future Alty player Sean Williams.

Altrincham took a fifth-minute lead when a superb ball from Rodgers found Densmore, who set up Reeves for a close range strike. When a patient build-up concluded with Clee feeding Walshaw, who scored from left of goal, it looked like the game was secure after just 26 minutes.

But, three minutes later, Marc Williams got past Scott Leather, who otherwise had an outstanding game, on the Bay's right byline. From his cross, Rob Hopley tapped in to make it 2-1. The Bay had most of the attacking play in the second half but seven minutes from time, Marc Williams lunged in on Lawrie in midfield and the referee instantly produced a red card for the Welshman.

Just three minutes later Nicky Clee put a 30-yard freekick into the top corner to make it 3-1 and prompt some minor crowd trouble behind the goal. The win was made even more valuable by both Telford and Guiseley dropping points.

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


Lynn News reports that "Stephen Cleeve says being forced to see out the remainder of the National League season will have a detrimental effect on the club's budget for next season.

The King's Lynn Town owner is being forced to take out a loan with Sport England and part company with some oh his own personal assets to keep the club afloat with no fans, and very little income, coming through the turnstiles.

Cleeve met with manager Ian Culverhouse and director of football Robbie Back to discuss plans for next season on Thursday.

'We didn't touch on the budget, we just spoke about the players he wanted. The budget is at the back of my mind and what is happening will change things. At the moment the loans are still in the system and there's a lot of paperwork involved. Until I know how much we're able to borrow off Sport England, I won't know what our budget will be for next year.

'But it will certainly have a detrimental effect on us, there's no question about that.'

The Linnets are already operating with a threadbare squad with the majority of their first-team playing staff being placed on furlough.

A handful of players, including former Norwich City striker Simeon Jackson, have already come to the club’s rescue during troubled times by playing for next-to-nothing, but Lynn's chairman is still feeling the financial bite because of the decision to carry on playing...

'On a personal level, I've had to sell assets which I didn't want to sell, nothing to do with the football club,' admitted Cleeve. 'I saw a Land Rover, which I'd had for many years disappear out of my garage today (Saturday) because I had to get some money in to pay the bills and it's not fair to put us in this position. Meanwhile Cleeve says that he has every sympathy with Dover Athletic after being punished for failing to meet their fixture obligations this season...

Cleeve said 'I'm very much in the minority. Most other chairman and other club officials I speak to all think they should be punished with relegation. I'm completely of the opposite view. Dover started the season with the premise we were all promised grants and when that changed they decided to stop playing.

'From their perspective and the same applies to us too, they are going to end up with a huge debt for many years just for completing the season. I don't think Dover should have been punished, but from the league's point of view if they didn't punish them then Dover will be in a far stronger financial situation for not playing but equally I don't think the season should have started.'

Lynn have been found guilty by an Independent panel of a breach of The National League’s Covid-19 protocols in relation to defender Aaron Jones back in January".

On the pitch, King's Lynn Town report on last Saturday at home to Eastleigh when "The first half started in the worst way possible when a Jack Payne free kick bypassed everyone in the box, including the goalkeeper to nestle into the bottom corner to give the away side the lead in the first 47 seconds.

After an uncertain start, Lynn grew in confidence, dominated possession and had chances... Despite their chances, it was the away side that looked more likely to get a second goal in the game during the first half...

Whatever Ian Culverhouse said at half time must have worked. Lynn were much more direct in their attack, asking much more of the Eastleigh defence and they were to be later rewarded. The focus in this game was make the most of the phenomenal hold up play by Michael Gash and it was through this that opened up the space for Carey to find Kiwomya on the left, with the Eastleigh defence all over the place, Kiwomya was able to fire in a low driven cross where Gyasi was able to capitalise on a spilt save by McDonnell in the six yard box to bring the home side back on level terms.

Following on from their equaliser, Lynn found confidence and continued to press in search of a winner. That is certainly what they got when another remarkable piece of hold up play by Gash, leading to Simeon Jackson finding himself in a good position in the Eastleigh box as then fouled, earning the home side a pivotal penalty. As a result, Jackson was able to bag his first goal for the club having slotted home the resulting spot kick".

We learn from the Nottingham Post, "The brutal truth facing Notts County and Ian Burchnall's biggest challenge

The Magpies were knocked out of the FA Trophy on Saturday... losing to Hornchurch on penalties... in the semi-finals...

With the score level at 3-3 after 90 minutes, which saw Hornchurch come back to equalise on three occasions, the game went to a shootout which saw Jake Reeves's spot-kick saved by Joseph Wright.

Hornchurch converted all five of their spot-kicks to book a date to face Hereford in May...

The brutal truth about this Notts squad, and as Ian Burchnall will quickly come to realise if he hasn’t already, is that it lacking strength in key areas... It’s perhaps a lack of physical power that is the biggest concern...

When it became more of a dogfight after the interval too many players got outfought in 50/50 battles and in the end was [sic] overrun not by speed but by force.

Mitch Rose was not particularly admired by some fans last season, but they have actually missed his physical presence because they just do not have that in any midfielders of his ilk available... The forwards... is [sic] lacking a proven forward to go alongside Kyle Wootton. Lewis Knight is beavering away in the background, but it's unfair to expect too much from him.

And out wide, apart from Enzio and Callum Roberts, who is injured, there are not really many alternatives as proven when Jimmy Knowles, a striker, was asked to do a job on the left-hand side before drifting more centrally.

This all boils down to recruitment and getting the balance of the squad right... The transfers are decided by a committee under the model at Notts...

Tere were at least three occasions when Notts attempted to play out from the back through Connell Rawlinson who looked up waiting for somebody to move. But what he was greeted with was 10 statues... Notts’ midfield and front players were guilty of wanting the ball into feet all the time.

The lack of movement off the ball made it very easy for Hornchurch in the second half... The lack of unselfish running is fine if teams are going to sit off you and let you have the ball, but when faced with a high press, you simply cannot afford to be static...

The problem facing Burchnall this season is... how does he approach the rest of the season? The schedule is so brutal in terms of league fixtures that being able to implement any philosophies is going to take much longer than it ordinarily would... Training sessions before a game are always light so Mondays and Fridays will not be huge sessions when the players will be exerting themselves.

Days off are usually on a Wednesday so, realistically, the only full day he will get to have with the players is on Thursday.. The truth is we won’t see the true Burchnall team until next season after he has had a full summer to work with them... The first team which Burchnall’s named [sic] caught the eye as he deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation.. But perhaps the most intriguing move was to put Enzio Boldewijn back on the left-hand side of the attack which was his position for much of last season".

According to Devon Live, "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson says the Gulls will keep on believing in what they are doing 'until the bitter end' after a weekend that saw them lose six points in the race for promotion back to the Football League.

Torquay were forced to give up three points on Friday night when Dover Athletic's record was expunged... The 1-0 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday was another.

Sutton actually drew 2-2 at FC Halifax Town, giving the Gulls the chance to 'win' back some of those lost points. It wasn't to be however and Torquay now trail Sutton, who have played the same amount of games at last, by 10 points, with Hartlepool in second, six points ahead, but after playing three more games.

Johnson said 'Of course I’m disappointed that we haven’t taken a good opportunity to pick up points on our rivals. The game could have gone either way, both teams worked very hard'.

Johnson named an unchanged team for the third game running after the two home wins... On the bench was new loan striker Benji Kimpioka, the 21 year-old Sunderland player joining Torquay on loan from Lee Johnson's side in time for the game. Dean Moxey was also on the bench after a couple of months out injured...

There were lots of niggly free kicks; the game wasn't flowing; and a strong wind was playing its part, too... Dagenham scored their goal in the 80th minute but for fans of boths sides it came while they watch watching a blank screen - the feed from Dagenham having gone down for five minutes.

It was a mistake by Wynter that allowed Angelo Balanta the space to pull the trigger and he beat Covolan with a sure strike...

Johnson said “It was a scrappy game because both teams did work hard, and the... game could have gone either way. Then a horrendous mistake unfortunately by one of our lads has cost us the game in the end... But we won’t be giving up on anything. This league is like that, and we’ve got to keep going, believing in what we’re doing, to the bitter end.'"

In the FA Trophy, Woking lost "out to impressive Hereford.. This year will see a new FA Trophy champion crowned. A first-half goal from forward Joey Butlin would end a cup run in which the Cards have seen off four National League Premier competitors in gritty, character-driven performances, only to be bested by their National League North opposition in every department.

The result wasn’t for a lack of offensive intent in the setup, with Woking opting for an attacking switch in the absence of suspended midfielder Ben Dempsey. On-loan Watford striker Sam Dalby led the line ahead of fellow loanee Sam Ashford, Max Kretzschmar and... Jamar Loza, returning from injury ... For all of the attacking talent in the Woking line-up... Lofthouse failed to block [a] cross, both centre-backs were left standing by the whipped ball, and the 5’9” Butlin was able to bullet a header past the exposed Craig Ross to open the scoring...

Woking had several chances to level the score that went begging but for the mercy of a ball that wouldn’t quite stick... Hereford’s strategic intent was made manifest by a slightly unjust yellow for Hall after the fifth time-wasting set-piece in the first ten minutes [of the second half]...

For the final fifteen, changes were made in the hope of forcing a reaction. Ashford and the ineffective Loza made way for Jonte Smith and Malachi Napa... Hampton loanee Niko Muir soon followed for Sam Dalby as the Cards looked to play increasingly direct; it wasn’t long before both centre halves were bombing on beyond the subs in order to win long balls in dangerous areas...

The final whistle was significant for a number of reasons. Primarily it represented the confirmation, at least in part, of the first FA Trophy final without a National League Premier candidate since Grays Athletic took on Hucknall Town in 2005.

It has also heralded the end of a Woking career for several as-yet unknown players that won’t be with the club next season. With manager Alan Dowson adamant that furlough will be needed to protect the finances of the club, and a transition to full-time football necessitating change in the squad, the loss blunts the competitive edge of a season that has already dispensed with the possibility of relegation.

What we know for certain is that, with no threat of relegation and short of a phenomenal playoff run, the Cards have reached the end of a competitive season. Dowson’s comments on 'furloughing the entire squad' are not literal, but nor are they without truth; the remainder of the season will see emphasis placed upon the next, in which a substantial budget increase is indicative of the Woking’s intent to look beyond midtable...

The launch of a five-year season ticket has heralded a new era for the Cards, at the end of a campaign unlike any other".

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Hartlepool United continued their impressive unbeaten run in the National League with a 1-1 draw at play-off rivals Stockport County.

After a goalless first half of few chances, Pools midfielder Gavan Holohan headed the visitors in front early in the second half.

Hartlepool had chances to extend their lead before new Stockport signing Paddy Madden volleyed the hosts level in the closing stages.

The draw extended Pools’ unbeaten run to 11 matches as they remained second in the National League table.

Dave Challinor’s side went into the game following a solid 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge in midweek. The Pools boss admitted he would take four points from the two difficult away fixtures but was still desperate for another win. But Hartlepool were hit by an injury blow late on Friday as in-form forward Rhys Oates was ruled out of the game with a groin strain.

That saw Luke Molyneux return to the side alongside Luke Armstrong in attack... There was also a surprise return on the bench as winger Claudio Ofosu made an appearance for the first time in over three months. Mason Bloomfield, Tom Crawford, Henrich Ravas, Josh MacDonald and Oates made the journey to Edgeley Park but did not feature in the matchday squad.

During the match itself, right-back Jamie Sterry picked up a hamstring injury which forced him off just moments before Stockport’s equaliser.

Sterry and Oates have been key players for Pools during their undefeated streak but both now face a short spell on the sidelines...

Before the game, Challinor was drilling in a ‘play-off’ mentality into his players. 'Lose this game and that’s you done', the Pools boss said in his Friday press conference...

The first half was a cagey affair with both sides cancelling each other out... Thankfully for Hartlepool, they were able to take the lead after half-time as centre-back Lewis Cass burst forward well before putting in an excellent delivery for Holohan to nod in... After that, Pools had a few chances to extend their lead...

At the other end, Stockport started to threaten... With 12 minutes of normal time remaining, Stockport finally got through Pools’ stubborn defence. Southam-Hales’s throw into the penalty area was flicked into the path of Madden who finished with aplomb from close range in what was his only real opportunity of the game...

And after drawing level in the closing stages, The Hatters looked like the more likely team to go on and snatch three points but Pools recomposed themselves...

Although the result seemed a fair one based on the balance of play, conceding a soft goal in the closing stages is always going to leave a slightly bitter taste. It’s the first time in a while that all of the top four sides in the division have dropped points...

Challinor’s side are 11 unbeaten and continued their excellent record against their direct rivals at the top of the table... Winning the league outright remains a monumental task for Pools, reliant on an unwavering Sutton slipping up. But a top three finish and a play-off semi-final match in front of 4,000 fans at Victoria Park is well within reach".

Chesterfield report that "Following the Spireites’ 1-0 win over Weymouth, James Rowe praised his side’s ‘hard-fought’ victory that takes them into the play-off places.

He said 'Hard fought win today. Probably the hardest one out of the last three. It was always going to be difficult because Weymouth didn’t play on Tuesday. So, they were going to come with energy in the second half. Other than the header from the corner, it was a comfortable shutout in the end.

'We struggled for legs in the second half, but we dealt with most of their threat... I’m really pleased to bounce back not just one game but three games on the bounce.'

Captain Laurence Maguire was forced off with an injury after 25 minutes and was replaced by Josef Yarney...

'He’s got a slight hamstring problem. We think it is neural though so it’s not going to be a big problem for us... We’ve picked up a few muscle injuries because of the intensity we want to play at. We are teaching them to play at that intensity. We are going to pick up these slight injuries, and that is a slight injury not a major injury' said Rowe...who commended the defender (Yarney) for his performance."

28 March, 2021


Alty boss Phil Parkinson spoke to Laurence Howarth after the game at Maidenhead and the interview can be heard here.

Speaking to the NL Paper, Parkinson said, [It was good to] "keep a clean sheet away from home and take that chance. First half. I thought we were superb.

"Second half they really came at us and we had to weather that, which I think we did really well".


Altrincham secured their first away win in six with this deserved victory on their first ever trip to Maidenhead. It was Alty's first "double" of the season, as they had won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the J. Davidson Stadium.

In a goalless first half Alty came very close to scoring when a clever backheel by Hardy gave Hancock a chance, which was blocked, before the ball came out to the left where a well-struck shot from Colclough came back off the cross bar.

Maidenhead were a little improved in the second half but fell behind when Alty won three corners in succession. From the last of these Colclough (right) took a poor corner, low, towards the near post.

Wells should have cleared it easily but executed an air shot and the ball curled past the flat-footed keeper and into the net at the near post (65 mins).

Maidenhead only really tested Thompson once when the Alty keeper held on to a 19-yard effort from Coley (81 mins).

Substitute Peers had two good openings in the closing minutes but was unable to capitalise on them as Altrincham moved back up to eleventh where they had been on Friday morning before they had lost the three points earned by beating Dover earlier in the season.

Match report here.


The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that "Altrincham got one over Maidenhead United...

Ryan Colclough scored directly from a second half corner to boost Altrincham’s play-off chances at the expense of hosts Maidenhead United in front of the BT Sport cameras.

The victory, Altrincham’s second on the spin following Tuesday’s comfortable 3-0 success against King’s Lynn Town, was hard-earned, but lifted Phil Parkinson’s side to within a point of the top seven.

The Magpies, who hadn’t played since their thumping 4-1 victory over Torquay United 10 days ago, looked like they were missing James Comley and Rohan Ince, away on international duty, as well as the injured Dan Sparkes.

A game of fine margins was settled midway through the second period when the visitors forced a corner from the left. Colclough’s ball into the box looked a poor one as it scuttled across the turf, but it was missed by everyone in black and white and yellow and nestled in the bottom corner of Taye Ashby-Hammond’s net.

Prior to that there was little to separate the sides in what was poor fare for those watching on BT Sport.

Altrincham began the brighter, buoyed by their mid-week win and should really have scored in the 20th minute when Josh Hancock was played in by a little flick but shot straight at Ashby-Hammond. The follow up fell kindly to Colclough but he could only half volley the ball against the crossbar.

United gradually played their way back into contention... It felt at the break like one goal would settle the game and that’s how it proved...

Altrincham’s goal in the 65th minute then spurred the hosts into their best play of the match...

Altrincham boss Parkinson (right) reflected afterwards 'It feels great. Any win at this level feels fantastic. As I said earlier in the day, we’re a match with anyone if you take your chances and that’s what has happened. To keep a clean sheet away from home and take that chance. First half, I thought we were superb. Second half, they really came at us and we had to weather that which I think we did that really well.'

Maidenhead boss Devonshire said 'We deserved it really. We were poor, very poor. I think it’s the worst we’ve played since the start of the season. There are no excuses for it. We only started playing in the last 15/20 minutes and that ain’t good enough. They were better than us all over the park today. I’ve got no complaints'".


Altrincham travelled to Maidenhead United today for the first time in the club's history. As the match is being televised by BT Sport, it is kicking off at 6.15pm

The deletion of Dover's fixtures cost Altrincham three points and had dropped them two places to thirteenth by Friday night. Saturday's results, before Alty kicked off this evening had dropped them a further place to 14th (16th on PPG).

Saturday, 27 March 2021:

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


Saturday, 27 March 2021:
  • Hereford FC 1-0 Woking
  • Notts County 3-3 AFC Hornchurch Hornchurch won on penalties.


The expunging of Dover Athletic's record in 2020-21 has caused eleven National League clubs to lose points that they they thought they had won but it is far from being the first season in which adjustments to points totals have been applied in divisions in which Altrincham have participated, particularly since the start of the current Millennium.

In the early days of national non-League football, following the creation of the Alliance in 1979, there were just five seasons in the twenty years before the new Millennium when teams in that division had points deducted.

Four of these deductions were minor, being generally of a single point. The clubs affected by a single point deduction were Gateshead (1984/85), Dagenham & Redbridge (1992/93) and Yeovil Town (1994/95) who all lost one point. The exception was a two-point deduction for Merthyr Tydfil, for fielding an ineligible player in 1993/94 season.

A more major event occurred in 1988/89 when Newport County failed to compete the season and, as with Dover in 2021, their record was expunged. That cost Altrincham three ppoints that they had earned with a 1-0 win over the Welshmen at Moss Lane.

However, since 2000-01 season it has become the exception rather than the rule that a league in which Altrincham was competing has been completed without a points adjustment of some kind.

  • 2000-01: Altrincham were in the UniBond Northern Premier League (NPL) where a very lenient one-point deduction for failing to fulfil a fixture was applied to Spennymoor United. That left the Moors 28 points adrift at the bottom of the table so it had no real effect on the season's outcome. But it was the shape of things to come...

  • 2001-02: The 22nd and 23rd (bottom) placed teams in the NPL, Hyde United and Bamber Bridge, should have been relegated; the 21st place team (Bishop Auckland) should have been involved in a play-off with the 3rd to 5th teams UniBond First Division teams to decide which team played in the UniBond Premier League in 2002-03 season.

    However, Bishop Auckland were demoted because their proposed home in 2002-03 at Shildon did not met the ground- grading criteria. Ossett Town, who had finished second in the First Division, also failed a ground assessment, so the only team promoted automatically was Harrogate Town, the champions of Division One. This meant that Hyde United were reprieved and Bamber Bridge went down with Bishop Auckland. Frickley Athletic were also docked one point.

  • 2004-05: After a couple of seasons of calm in the NPL, 2004-05 saw Altrincham in the new Nationwide Conference North League. That season Redditch United (9th) were deducted three points for fielding an ineligible player and Worksop Town (17th) were deducted ten points for entering financial administration. There was thus no effect on promotion or relegation.

  • 2005-06: saw the Conference National season end in chaos and Altrincham were in the middle of the furore. But other clubs were also involved...

    Firstly, Canvey Island resigned, following the departure at the end of the season of their main financial backer. So, the Essex club dropped three divisions to re-group. This reprieved Tamworth from relegation.

    Then, Altrincham, who on points-gained were eighteenth, were deducted 18 points after fielding James Robinson, whose previous club, Accrington Stanley, had failed to get international clearance for him. Despite the FA issuing a letter to Altrincham confirming no breach of FA or FIFA rules, the Conference deducted the 18 points and fined Altrincham £1,000.

    Shortly after fining Accrington a mere £200 for the alleged offence, the FA upheld the Conference's decision regarding Altrincham's deduction.

    Right: James Robinson, here seen clutching a Man of the Match champagne award, was the unwitting centre of a storm when Alty were deducted 18 points.

    In 2005/06 he made 8 starts and 6 sub appearances for Altrincham and scored four goals, making him joint top scorer at the time.

    James had previously had a loan spell with Altrincham, from Crewe Alexandra, in late 2002, when he had made 2 starts and 1 sub appearance.

    However, at the Conference AGM in Birmingham on 3 June 2006, Scarborough were demoted for allegedly breaching Conference rules relating to their financial arrangements, thereby reprieving Altrincham.

    Meanwhile, Crawley Town lost just three points for breaching the wage cap and other financial irregularities. Crawley announced that they would go into administration during the close season and, if so, would start 2006-07 with a ten-point deduction.

  • 2006-07: Alty finished fourth-bottom, a relegation place, but were reinstated at the AGM by the demotion of Boston United from League Two to Conference North for financial reasons.
  • 2007-08: Alty were reprieved from relegation for a third successive season by the financial demise of Halifax Town, who subsequently reformed as FC Halifax Town.
  • 2009-10: Chester City hit the financial buffers mid-season and did not complete the season. Altrincham lost four points from a win and draw against Chester but four other clubs (Stevenage Borough, Mansfield Town, Cambridge United and Tamworth) lost six points, having completed "doubles" over Chester.

  • 2010-11: Four clubs in the Conference National were deducted points. Kidderminster Harriers (who ended up 6th), Rushden & Diamonds (13th) and bottom-placed Histon all were subtracted five points, whilst Kettering were docked two points. None of these deductions affected promotion, play-offs or relegation.

  • 2011-12: Nuneaton Town (5th) were deducted six points in the Blue Square Bet North. Had they not lost those points they would have been third so would have had a potentially easier play-off route. Nevertheless, they did win promotion via the more difficult route!

  • 2012-13: Two clubs were deducted points in the Blue Square Bet North. Hinckley United lost six points so finished miles adrift with just seven points from their season's efforts and they were relegated as the bottom club. Workington lost four points and finished fourteenth.

  • 2013-14: Two clubs were deducted three points. That action did not materially affect one of them, mid-table Harrogate Town, but the deduction cost the other club affected, Oxford City, their place at Step Two and they were relegated, saving Stalybridge Celtic who would have been demoted otherwise.

  • 2014-15: Again, two deductions were applied. They were both three-point subtractions; for Nuneaton Town, who finished bottom anyway, and for Forest Green Rovers, who would still have finished fifth, with or without the deduction.

  • 2017-18: In the NPL, Rushall Olympic were stripped of 12 points but still finished safely distant from relegation in 18th place but Halesowen Town lost four points, for playing an ineligible player, and that left them second-bottom instead of Stalybridge Celtic.

    However, bottom placed Sutton Coldfield, who lost a single point, were the only club relegated that season although the deduction was not crucial to that fate.

    In addition, Shaw Lane AFC were deducted three points for playing an ineligible player.

  • 2019-20: The season was halted by Covid and ultimately decided on PPG, so York City, who led the table at the time, only finished second in the PPG system and subsequently lost in the play offs to Altrincham.

    Likewise, Gateshead lost a play-off place held at the termination of the regular season and their place in the play-offs went to Chester FC on PPG.

  • 2020-21: Dover Athletic opted not to complete the season, after playing just fifteen league fixtures, of which they only had won three and drawn one, losing the rest. So eleven clubs who had beaten the Kent club lost three points apiece (including Altrincham) and one was deducted a single point for a drawn game.

    Furthermore the clubs in the relegation places look likely to be reprieved and no clubs will be promoted from the North and South divisions of the National League.

So the moral is that what happens on the pitch does not always determine how a season will end!


The Eastern Daily Press quotes King's Lynn Town chairman Steven Cleeve, "It has been another eventful week in the National League...

We've had two more managerial casualties, this time at promotion-chasing Notts County and Bromley, with Neil Ardley and Neil Smith losing their respective jobs.

Notts County have brought in Ian Burchnall, which is an intriguing appointment. The new Notts County manager at just 38 years of age has already managed two clubs in Norway and Sweden and the fans certainly took to him at both Viking and Ostersund...

It has not been an easy week for King’s Lynn Town. Firstly, we had to travel the best part of 1,000 miles to visit Torquay and Altrincham, both games ending in defeats... Just visiting our opponents is a stressful experience, even for those of us off the pitch. Torquay’s policy is to refuse to let any visiting directors or club secretaries into their stadium. I was allowed in only by taking the title of Covid officer for a day. My nine-year old son Luka... was refused permission to watch the game...

Torquay also banned all our media and photographers...

When we visited Altrincham on Tuesday night they were far more accommodating, allowing all media staff access, and inviting my son if he wished to attend... Our match-day secretary was deemed an essential member of staff. Altrincham informed me that their secretary was allowed into Torquay so that begs the question of why are some officials allowed by some clubs and not others?

Wealdstone kindly greeted us with a lasagne and a big cheery welcome, Dagenham were in a Covid hotspot so were much stricter, but tried their best; even giving me a bottle of milkshake as I passed through the entrance.

Notts County gave the four of us a room which could comfortably have seated 200 and Hartlepool gave us a table next to their home directors with an array of scouts and others close by.

Every club interprets the rules in a different way and many have views which are the polar opposite to each other...

The National League season will kick off next season on August 21, which is later than the Football League... and the Premier League... The thinking behind this is seems to be that lots of fans will still be on holiday in August and the National League play-offs would be the final game of the English football season which should increase TV viewing numbers".

The BBC reports that "A number of National League clubs are considering whether to bring a vote of no confidence against the league's board in the wake of the latest controversy to hit the competition this season.

On Friday, Dover Athletic were fined £40,000 and deducted 12 points for 2021-22 after choosing to end their campaign early before any wider decisions about this season had been taken...

Several clubs in National League North and National League South have also been fined for their refusal to play games last month, with suspended points deductions for next season imposed.

Critics argue imposing financial penalties on clubs for deciding against playing matches behind closed doors because they lacked the money to do so makes no sense.

However, BBC Sport is also aware of other clubs who followed league guidance and fulfilled their fixtures and who feel a financial penalty is fair because otherwise they would suffer financially, relative to the clubs who stopped, for continuing to play matches.

The row is the latest to beset the National League during a troubled season, in which chief executive Mark Ives has struggled to navigate the league through a variety of complicated problems after replacing Mike Tattersall, who left his job in December.

Huge disquiet also remains over the distribution model for the initial £10m received from the National Lottery to start the current season last October.

In addition, the 66 clubs feel they were given incorrect information on future funding in the first place and maintain that had there been any indication loans would have to be taken out from January onwards, the campaign might not have started at all".

The BBC reports that "Dover chairman Jim Parmenter says the Whites will not pay the £40,000 fine imposed by the National League after the club stopped playing matches...

'They know we've got no money,' Parmenter told BBC Radio Kent 'They know we've done this to prevent us becoming insolvent, and yet they've fined us £40,000 which in itself will push us into insolvency if they enact it.

'It was the National League that insisted or pushed the clubs to start the season with those grants on the basis that further grants would be forthcoming...

'Our club and other clubs started the season at the behest of the National League,' said Parmenter. 'The National League then failed to deliver on their promise of further grants so the National League have got nobody else to blame but themselves. Football has got a problem with its governance, particularly below the Football League,' he added.

'This will bring it to a head and there will be legal action on this because it's time somebody stood up and said "this is not right"'".

Torquay United "announce that Sunderland forward Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka has joined the Club on loan until the end of the season.

21 year-old Kimpioka made his senior debut for The Black Cats in September 2018, and went on to open his scoring account for the Wearsiders the following month. Internationally, Benji has also received recognition with Sweden, having won caps for the national side up to Under-21 level. Manager Gary Johnson is understandably delighted... 'We’re grateful to Sunderland for the loan of Kimpioka. He first came to my attention when Lee [his son] went to Sunderland. He was injured at the time, and we felt now was the right time for all three parties to make this move.

'He’s a striker with excellent pace, and gives us very good options for our strike force during a very important and hectic game schedule.'”

Brighton's Argus claims that "Simon Rusk’s first match as Stockport County boss could not have started much better.

A goal inside three minutes away from home, 3-0 up at half-time and eventually a 4-1 win over Woking.

There have been ups and downs since then. But Rusk has found lessons learned as a lower division pro and then as Albion’s development coach are standing him in good stead... after six wins, four draws and three defeats in Rusk’s games in charge...

Rusk told The Argus... 'I had good experience of helping a team develop both collectively and individually... A first team manager’s job is more intense in terms of the immediate spotlight on your results... but the process by which you achieve those results are not too dissimilar. The big thing would be the volume of games...

'The infrastructure at Stockport is very professional, which was one of the biggest attractions of the job for me...

'The thing about management for me is that your whole week can be deemed successful or unsuccessful based on fine margins... With the 23s there is a bigger picture in play in terms of individual development and getting players into the first team...

He said 'I had my first week here and made a couple of little changes... The side were doing well so I was just basically coming in, try[ing] to understand my environment, get to know the players, what’s important to them, what’s important to the group, and just working with them, really. There was no rulebook being ripped up.

Rusk is being assisted by ex-Albion boss Mark McGhee and said 'It was good for me and good for the players to bring in someone with life experience which is useful for the role'".

27 March 2021


The National League have issued the following statement:

"An Independent Panel, commissioned by The National League, has met to hear the cases of 18 Member Clubs charged with alleged breaches of League Rules.

16 Member Clubs were charged with a breach of League Rule 8.39, 1 Member Club was charged with a breach of League Rule 4.2 and 1 Member Club was charged with a breach of both League Rule 4.2 and 8.39.

Rule 8.39 relates to any Club without just cause failing to fulfil an engagement to play a Competition match on an appointed date. Rule 4.2 provides The National League Board with the ability to issue an instruction, by way of Board Directive, in the best interests of any matter outside of the Rules. On this occasion, Rule 4.2 has been utilised to ensure The National League’s Covid-19 protocols are followed correctly by each Member Club.

The findings of the hearings, divided into three categories, can be found below:

Dover Athletic

An Independent Panel has ruled that Dover Athletic are deemed guilty of four breaches of Rule 8.39 for failing to meet fixture obligations between February 16th and February 27th.

The Club will play no further part in the 2020/21 Playing Season, with the Club’s existing National League (Step One) results expunged. A 12-point deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season and fine of £40,000 have additionally been issued.

The Panel had regard to financial information provided by Dover Athletic and fully respected the responsibility of the Club’s Directors under Company Law.

However, the Panel also had to consider the integrity of the Competition and the actions of Dover Athletic in relation to the other 22 Clubs that continue to incur much costs as they fulfill their fixtures. Dover Athletic had avoided costs by not completing their Season alongside the other 22 Clubs. In addition, The National League basic award meant they were significantly benefiting from not completing the Season compared to the 22 Clubs that continued.

The Panel concluded that three points per breach should be deducted from the Club’s record in Playing Season 2021/22. In view of the current financial situation and in order to reflect the approach taken in other cases of breaches of Rule 8.39, the Independent Panel reduced the initial fine by 20% to £40,000.

Non-Fulfilment of Fixtures at Step Two

An Independent Panel has ruled that 16 Member Clubs participating in National League North and South (Step Two) are guilty of breaching Rule 8.39 for failing to meet fixture obligations.

Fines ranging from £1,400 to £8,000 in addition to a suspended points deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season has been issued to each Member Club found guilty.

Given the extremely unusual circumstances that have affected football at all levels and the financial pressures the absence of spectators has brought to bear on clubs, the Panel expressed its sympathy with the Clubs’ predicament. However, the Panel believes it must also take regard of the fact that the majority of Clubs continued to fulfil fixtures and incur much costs until the League ended on February 19th.

Per breach, each Club received a £2,000 fine and suspended two-point deduction for the 2021/22 Playing Season. A 30% deduction was made to the fine for those accepting the charge ahead of the hearing.

Covid-19 Related Breaches

King’s Lynn Town and Southport have been found guilty by an Independent Panel of a breach of The National League’s Covid-19 protocols.

Season 2020/21 had started under restrictions imposed to help control the spread of Covid-19 virus. In order to ensure the Season could continue safely, The National League had developed a number of protocols with Club Process Flow Charts which were to be followed by Clubs.

The Panel imposed a 12-month suspended fine of £2,000 on King’s Lynn Town for an unintentional error, considered to be in the best efforts to ensure a fixture was played. The Club were warned for their future conduct in relation to Covid-19 protocols, with the suspended fine only to be issued if the Club is found guilty of a further breach of Covid-19 protocols.

The Panel issued a £2,000 fine to Southport for, based on the evidence received, misinformation of the status of a player’s Covid-19 test to avoid playing a fixture on dates set by the League. The Club were also warned their future conduct in relation to Covid-19 protocols.

*There is a right of appeal to the Football Association".


  • As reported at the Altrincham FC YouTube event last night it is costing Altrincham around £200,000 to complete the season. Dover are being fined £40,000; so, to the outside observer, they would appear to be gaining a substantial financial advantage over their rivals.
  • Eleven clubs, including Altrincham, had beaten Dover before they ceased playing and a twelfth had drawn with them. They have all had the points that they won deducted. As a consequence Alty have dropped two places to 13th, whilst their opponents today, Maidenhead United, have moved up from 13th to 11th as they had not played the Kent team so had no points deducted.

The revised league table is here.


On Friday afternoon Altrincham were preparing for a match on Saturday against a Maidenhead United team lying two places below them in the league table. As a result of the National League's "Dover Declaration" (see above) on Friday evening, Alty will now kick off against a Maidenhead United team two places above them in the league table! That is because Alty's game at Crabble, which they won 1-0, is now deemed by officialdom not to have taken place and three points have been deducted from the Robins' talley, whilst Maidenhead United were unaffected by any points loss having not played the Kent club.

The match on Saturday kicks off at Maidenhead United at 6.15pm, because of the requirements of the BT Sport cameras to transmit the game live.

It is not, therefore, being streamed by Maidenhead United.

Alternatively Radio Robins will be covering the game.

In terms of form, Maidenhead lie eleventh and Alty fourteenth over the past five fixtures.

ON THIS DAY: 27 March

Eleven years agp today, in 2010, Altrincham travelled to Gloucestershire to face Forest Green Rovers in a Blue Square Premier match.

Above: Shaun Densmore nets Alty's penalty to make it 3-1.

FGR had appealed to fans to double their normal gate for this game to help them out of their financial mess. But just over a thousand turned up. The hosts were desperate for points to avoid relegation whilst Altrincham were keen to consolidate a mid-table finish.

Altrincham were again much weakened, with Danylyk (on the bench) and Clee both unfit to start. Carden was replaced by Welch.

Right: Chris Senior is congratulated by Robbie Lawton and Greg Young after his goal at The New Lawn.

Nevertheless, thanks to three first-half goals, Altrincham were cruising at 3-1 after more than an hour of this game. But then they went to pieces.

Defender James Smith was brought on for striker John McAliskey and five minutes later Reece Styche made it 3-2. Five minutes after that Shaun Densmore fouled Preece and Brown levelled the scores from the spot. With FGR pressing forward it came as no surprise when Jonathan Smith got the winner after 77 minutes.

FGR lost Brown, sent off, and goalkeeper Ireland, injured, in the closing minutes and Alty even had the ball in the net through Little in added time but it was ruled out for offside.

In the first half Senior had fired Alty ahead in the 12th minute before Smith equalized in the 19th. A fine headed goal by Robbie Williams from a superb cross by Chris Denham made it 2-1 after 39 minutes. Densmore's penalty after Hodgkiss's handball made it 3-1 in first-half added time. But then came Alty's second-half collapse.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 12. Robbie WILLIAMS, 18. Michael WELCH, 5. Greg YOUNG, 27. Ryan BROWN, 10. Chris DENHAM, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 21. Peter DORAN, 19. Chris SENIOR, 17. John McALISKEY, SUBS: 4. Adam CARDEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 13. Russell SAUNDERS, 16. Amthony DANYLYK, 2. James SMITH.


Devon Live tells us that "Torquay United striker Danny Wright is back in training following his hamstring operation - and manager Gary Johnson says he is currently getting fit and ready for the National League run-in.

The 36 year-old, who Johnson signed in the summer, was brilliant for the Gulls as the team rose to the top of the table from the start of the season, but limped from the pitch in the 6-1 win against Yeovil Town on Boxing Day, after which the team's form began to tail off.

Wright played with a wily experience that manager Gary Johnson has been missing on the field and his return for perhaps the last 10 games would be a massive boost. But don't expect to see his name of a teamsheet just yet. With Torquay heading to Dagenham & Redbridge... Johnson is likely to stick with the same 11 players that have done so well to turn things around after that disappointing 4-1 defeat Maidenhead United.

And with Scott Boden beginning to come into his own up front, Johnson can give Wright the time he needs to be match fit.

Johnson said 'Danny had been training, which is good, he is looking OK, but it's just that match fitness and match sharpness that we are trying to get him in training'...

Dean Moxey is also back in training following his injury but the form of Plymouth Argyle loanee Ryan Law will also mean the experienced left back can be given a bit more time, too...

Having said that, Johnson did bring back some players a little earlier than he would have liked; Ben Wynter and Armani Little two of them, because of the injury crisis".

And, according to the BBC "Gary Johnson is worried about the integrity of the National League if no teams are relegated at the end of the season...

'It's ridiculous that there's no relegation because that does spoil the integrity of the league,' Johnson said...

Promotion to and from the English Football League is still set to go ahead, with Johnson's side in the running to move up into League Two... 'If teams know they're not going to go down they can play differently, it doesn't matter whether they win, lose or draw. That might not affect them, but it might affect other teams in the league,' Johnson told BBC Radio Devon.

'It just makes it a little bit of a mockery, especially when one team is not actually playing against anybody. Dover are just refusing to play, so it doesn't do the National League as a whole any favours when it comes to the Football League (EFL). You don't want the Football League feeling in any way that the National League is not fully professional if you like, not only in their play, but in their attitude.'"

In the Nottingham Post "Neal Ardley breaks silence on Notts County exit .The Magpies boss was relieved of his duties along with his assistant Greg Abbott on Thursday and has been replaced by former Ostersund head coach Ian Burchnall.

Neal Ardley has released a classy statement on his exit from Notts County... He couldn’t keep them in the Football League in the months following his arrival but showed tremendous leadership after the club was plunged into a financial crisis at the end of that ill-fated campaign when their existence was under threat.

Ardley almost took Notts straight back to the EFL at the first attempt under new owners Christoffer and Alexander Reedtz but suffered defeat to Harrogate in the play-off final at Wembley.

And this year he was on course for another top-seven finish but was relieved of his duties on Tuesday despite losing two of his last 16 games...

He said... 'Building a squad from scratch was not easy, so to achieve this the following season and finish one game away from a quick return to the Football League was a remarkable effort from everybody at the club...

'I am naturally disappointed not to have the opportunity to finish off what I, and the players, vowed to do at the start of the season, which was to gain promotion. Being in the play-off positions, with games in hand, and being one game away from another Wembley visit in The FA Trophy, I had hoped to deliver the success the fans richly deserve. I firmly believe it would’ve happened and still hope it will'".

Stockport County "announce the signing of former Notts County goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons on a short-term contract.

26 year-old ‘keeper Ross joins the Club from Boston United following the suspension of the National League North. He made the move to York Street last Summer... A product of Crystal Palace’s academy, Fitzsimons has previously spent time in non-league with Braintree and Chelmsford amongst others, before making the move to Notts County in 2017 following a successful trial.

During his three years at Meadow Lane, Ross made over 50 appearances for the Club in the Football League and National League, and also had a brief loan spell at Chesterfield last season before his move to Boston.

He joins the Club in order to provide more stability and competition in the goalkeeping department...

Manager Simon Rusk said, 'This is again another signing that provides us with good competition in a vital area of the pitch...

Director of Football Simon Wilson said 'As we have seen already with the signings of Harry Cardwell and Elliot Newby, the closure of the National League North and South has meant a number of high quality players have become available for a short period of time, which we are taking advantage of again with the signing of Ross'.

In the Hartlepool Mail "With the player registration deadline now extended by a further four weeks, Pools are in now real rush to bring bodies in but remain active in the transfer and loan market.

'We’re still looking,' Challinor admitted... Striker and left-back cover are believed to be high on the Hartlepool manager’s priority list over the next four weeks.

'We were hoping to have something done just after last weekend,' Challinor added. 'But the one we were looking at, the goalposts have been moved by the club... It’s just about finding cover and now we have time to make sure the players we bring in are definitely the ones we want'".

The chairman at Solihull Moors writes that "I’m now back in the UK after a successful business trip to California but there is no doubt our run of results and underlying performances, whilst I’ve been away, have all but extinguished our chances of reaching the play-offs this season.

Whilst we still hope that we can put a succession of wins together, especially given the run of home games in hand that we have, the focus of our attention is now transferred to assessing what has gone wrong this season and preparing for next season’s campaign.

It is hard to explain our run of recent results, especially given the quality of our squad. For sure, injuries have played a part, but I am not in the market for excuses and we will focus on hard-nosed, objective assessment and assessing the brutal reality.

We have simply not been good enough this season and we will work tirelessly to put things right...

I’d also like to thank Mark Yates for stepping into the breach... He is a winner and will ensure the squad gives every ounce of effort to ensure we finish the season as strongly as possible".

According to the Derbyshire Times Chesterfield manager "James Rowe says he knew he had to shake-up the Spireites squad before he was even appointed.

The 37-year-old, who took over in November, has signed 14 new players, transforming the Blues from relegation strugglers to play-off contenders... He explain ': “It hadn’t worked so I am here for a reason. But it was not just one manager it had not worked with, it had not worked with two or three with the players that were in the group so I was probably the fourth in.

'I think I knew from analysing the team before I came for the interview what we needed. We needed more athleticism, more youth, more pressure on the ball. They were the minimum requirements and we have built from there'.

Rowe has got Chesterfield playing an attack-minded and entertaining style of play, but now it is all about taking it to the next level.

He said 'Now we are trying to work a little bit more on our possession structure, short and long, open the pitch up ourselves, how can we play through, round or over better, and I think that is the next stage of what we are trying to do but pedagogy is not easy. You have to take individuality into account.

Jack Clarke needs teaching different[ly] from a Haydn Hollis. And that is the trap because you can only drip feed that information in but you don’t want to affect the short-term, you don’t want to teach too much, you don’t want to change too much now because we are in a good place, so the next learnings might take place in pre-season...

He added 'All that is on our mind now is 15 cup finals to get to where we want to get to, but what’s the point of getting in the top seven if you don’t get promoted? There is no point. It is always about promotion, not play-offs. If you go out of the quarter-final of the play-offs you have not achieved anything.'”

26 March 2021


Brian Flynn interviewed Phil Parkinson after the win over King's Lynn Town and this can be heard via the Altrincham FC website. In praising his team, he compares James Hardy to Lionel Messi and Joe Piggott to Harry Kane!


On Thursday evening, Altrincham FC held a virtual Q & A session, which focussed on the commercial side of the club. Supporters had submitted their questions in advance to John Coyne [JC] (Commercial Director), Samantha Mackenzie [SM] (Partnerships Manager), and Lawrence Looney [LL] (Co-Chairman) [right] on a YouTube Premiere. The event was chaired by press and media officer, Brian Flynn [BF].

Discussion started with a question about the importance of the Juniors to the football club and the Puma kit deal, which had been announced recently.

JC confirmed that retail prices for merchandise would not rise to supporters but there would be "substantially reduced cost" to the Club.

SM then discussed some of her areas of work with her colleague, Noel Shield. Eight new commercial partnerships had been acquired by AFC despite the limitations imposed by Covid. One particular area where the club was seeking closer links was with Altrincham town businesses.

JC expressed the club's thanks to all the sponsors from previous seasons who had continued to support AFC.

JC was thanked by LL for his hard work in developing the online shop, which had seen turnover increase.

Images were shown of the newly refurbished Sponsors' Lounge. This revealed that the former three offices at the Hale end of the premises had been replaced by an open space to allow more room for both matchday sponsorship activities but also potentially for non-matchday revenue-producing events. A new bar has also been installed and the toilet facilities have been upgraded.

The need to develop training facilities, especially in a potentially full-time context, was another area which the Board has been addressing.

JC revealed that the next new Alty kit would see a reversion to the traditional red and white stripes which had been abandoned this season. He also indicated that the change-strip next season would be yellow.

LL confirmed that the club had not applied for a government loan although he indicated that it would cost around £200,000 to complete the current season.

Asked by BF about the large squad employed this season, LL indicated that Rob Esteva (Director of Football) and Phil Parkinson (Manager) had managed to sign players at a reasonable cost and that AFC was "in a good position for next season".


Saturday provides Altrincham with their only remaining chance, this season, to secure a league double against any team which is not currently in the bottom three.

The reverse fixture, at the J. Davidson Stadium was played on Saturday, 28 November, 2020 and ended in a 2-0 win for the hosts.

After a bright start from Altrincham, which did not produce a clear chance, the visitors came into the game and had slightly the better of the first half after about fifteen minutes had been played. But a floodlight failure halted the game for a twelve-minute period on 31 minutes.

Consequently, fifteen minutes of "added" time were played before the break but the score remained goalless at half-time of a game largely lacking in quality at that stage.

But the quality improved in the second half with Alty having the better of things and becoming much the better side. The visitors had had to change their keeper at the break, as he needed stitches.

Altrincham then took the lead from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute. As Hancock got into the box, left of goal, he nodded the ball down to the advancing Colclough who was brought down and Hancock netted the resulting spot kick.

Substitute Tom Peers made the game safe when he finished off a fine move up the right by Smith and Senior in the 79th minute. The win meant that Alty were tenth but had played more games than anyone else. And that gap has widened so far as the two teams are concerned as Maidenhead have seven games in hand on Altrincham currently!

Nevertheless, Alan Devonshire's side are just two points behind Alty and two places lower in the table but on PPG they are tenth and Alty are fourteenth.

ON THIS DAY: 26 March

Ten years ago today in a grim relegation season in the Blue Square Bet Premier, a rare away win for Altrincham was secured at Darlington's cavernous stadium. The reverse fixture had ended 2-2 after Alty had led 2-0.

Greg Young had returned from injury and Anthony Danylyk was making his first start for some time. Playing for the Quakers was former Alty man, Chris Senior.

Altrincham absorbed plenty of Darlington pressure for spells in the first and second half but the introduction of Johnson and Clee early in the second period proved vital. Alty owed a debt to Coburn for three fine saves and Joseph again marshalled the back line well. Reeves should have shot Alty ahead shortly before he did score the game's only goal, a header from a Clee cross from the left with three minutes remaining of normal time.

Above: 13 minutes in the life of a striker; the main picture, taken in the 74th minute at Darlington in 2011, shows Damian Reeves (far right) with his despairing team-mates in the background after he had missed a great chance to give Alty the lead. The inset picture, taken just 13 minute later, shows Damian submerged beneath his team-mates after scoring his seventeenth goal of the season, his 13th in the Conference..

After the game, manager Ken McKenna said, "We had a game plan to soak up pressure and hit them on the break. Our keeper did briliantly, good saves at crucial times. We would have been happy with a draw. A win is a bonus. We need points but to come to Darlington and win boosts our confidence".


Barnet report that "Ahead of this weekend's National League fixture with Yeovil Town, the Club would like to provide the following update on developments regarding the vacant manager's position.

The process of appointing a new coaching team is ongoing, with the Club continuing to interview various candidates for the role and taking careful consideration throughout the process.

In the interim, Head of Performance, Gary Anderson is taking care of First Team matters and continues to prepare the side for this weekend's match with Yeovil Town.

The Club will provide a further update to supporters when the process is complete and we thank you for your patience".

And from another club which recently sacked its manager, the Nottingham Post tells us "Why Notts County fans should not be surprised by the appointment of Ian Burchnall as head coach...

Ian Burchnall’s arrival as Notts County’s new head coach is an intriguing appointment... The club’s owners, the Reedtz brothers, were both born in Denmark and have always taken a vested interest in what is happening in the world of Scandinavian football. What he achieved at his previous club Ostersund, who play in the Swedish top flight, was impressive having finished sixth in his first full season in charge... one point and a place below the club record set by the now Brighton manager Graham Potter..

By all accounts, he is a hugely impressive coach and has been linked with the Iceland manager’s job as well as Barnsley in the Championship... He feels the game should be played by being brave, positive and attack-minded... There are not many carpet-like pitches at this level, so playing adventurous football, as Neal Ardley’s side found out from time to time, can be something of a lottery...

It is a brave move by the owners to plunge Burchnall into such deep water... There is no bedding-in period, and many supporters are expecting him to hit the ground running. New signings are likely, but the fact that Burchnall is head coach suggests the owners and the head of recruitment, Richard Montague, will identify the players. The new man will simply train them.

It’s a continental approach which more English clubs are following, and Notts’ owners have made it clear that they want to follow the model of Brentford by unearthing rough diamonds...

Some of the signings made so far this season, such as Elisha Sam and Ruben Rodrigues, have not been as successful as they would have liked... Many felt Ardley should have been given until the end of the season before a decision was made on his future, especially when you consider Notts had lost just two of their last 16 games...

Ardley was well-liked by supporters, and... the club’s statement spoke volumes. It was not the standard five paragraphs, but a lengthy and glowing tribute about his character... He can certainly leave with his head held high... This year the club is again in the play-off positions and stand one win away from another day out at Wembley due to an excellent run in the FA Trophy.

There will be a great degree of sadness at Ardley's departure because he was humble, proud, honourable and an extremely good manager, as his win percentage of 42 per cent proves... During the coronavirus pandemic, he has only been able to see his wife, Sarah, and his children, Libby and Bella, when Notts were playing in London...

A lack of goals has proven to be [County's] undoing, despite boasting the best defensive record in the league".

More comes from the Nottingham Post which says that "New Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall is eager to unlock their attacking capabilities from 'minute one' and feels there is enough talent in the squad to do it...

Ahead of his first game in charge against Hornchurch at the weekend, Burchnall has done plenty of homework on Notts, who have struggled for goals this season. And he feels that... they can play the positive, attacking football he is hoping to instil...

'I had some individual chats with some of the players,' he said...'It was just to reassure the players that we’re here to help them, we’re here to try to improve the team, improve the club and hopefully improve them individually.

'I have an extremely high work ethic and I hope to impart that upon the staff, the players, make some improvements and hope they enjoy the process.'” nnnnn

The BBC confirms that "Stockport County striker Connor Jennings has been diagnosed with low-grade chondroid sarcoma, a rare type of cancer.

The 29-year-old had been suffering from pain in his shoulder for several months after a fall in training.

During treatment an MRI scan located a tumour within his upper arm.

The ex-Wrexham and Tranmere forward, who has not played for National League Stockport since 6 February, will undergo surgery to remove the tumour.

'Chondroid sarcoma can only be treated through surgery, with a good success rate,' a club statement said... 'In the meantime, Connor continues to be around his team mates at Carrington, staying fit and strong, and supporting the club in all its games and activities.'"

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Hartlepool United have played their final scheduled Tuesday night fixture of the 2020-21 National League campaign.

The 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge rounded off a gruelling six consecutive weeks of midweek away matches in the National League... All their remaining matches will be taking place either on a Saturday or over a Bank Holiday weekend.

And with all of Hartlepool’s play-off opponents having at least two games in hand, their schedules are set to get busier just as Pools’ calms down going into the final run of matches.

'No other team has had the schedule we’ve had over the last six, seven weeks playing Saturday, Tuesday so relentlessly,' manager Dave Challinor told The Mail. 'Especially with the midweek games all being away and given where we are in the country and having to travel four and a half hours to King’s Lynn and five hours to Dagenham on the day.

'It’s been tough but it’s testament to the players that we’ve been able to continue picking up results and keep our run going. I can’t wait for us to get back to Saturday, Saturday’s now!'...

Pools are likely to lose three points if and when Dover Athletic’s results get expunged".

According to Get Surrey "Aldershot Town manager Danny Searle insists furloughing the club’s first team has not even come up in conversation at the EBB Stadium.

Aldershot’s fierce rivals Woking announced last week that if they were to lose their FA Trophy semi-final on Saturday against Hereford, they would furlough their senior players for the remainder of the National league season, and instead field their youth team.

Cards boss Alan Dowson said 'We have some young lads and young talent to come in the team and we can give them a chance. If we don’t get through [against Hereford] then I’ll put everybody on furlough.'...

Aldershot were knocked out of the Trophy by Hereford at the end of February but have continued to compete in the National League as normal...

Searle said 'I don’t know Woking’s situation so I can’t say whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. That conversation hasn’t been had with me... You drive into work every day because you want to work towards something, and if you are just fulfilling fixtures for the sake of fulfilling fixtures then I’m not sure that’s going to inspire many people...

'One hundred per cent I want to see out the season... I’d like to think we have done enough with regards to the cost-cutting we have already done this season and then the second lot of cost-cutting I’ve done this season, and the way we have manipulated the squad to ensure we have players playing not for fortunes, that we should be able to sustain that for our remaining fixtures'.

Two first-team players who are not currently available are Craig Tanner and Ross McCormack. Former Reading and Plymouth Argyle winger Tanner, 26, has scored three goals in six appearances for the Shots this season but has not featured since November 7.

While striker McCormack, 34, who is best known for his highly-successful spells at Cardiff City, Leeds United and Fulham, has not made an appearance since October 17.

And Searle admitted it is a case of being patient... 'They are both injured,' Searle said. 'Craig has issues with his knee and Ross has issues with his Achilles... I don’t know if either will be back before the end of the season'".

Meanwhile, Get Surrey also tells us that "Woking FC director John Katz insists Woking boss Alan Dowson will be under no obligation to furlough players after the weekend even if they lose to Hereford in the FA Trophy semi-final at Edgar Street and stated, 'It is purely his decision'.

The passionate American businessman was introduced to Cards fans as a prospective investor in October last year, along with his business partner Drew Volpe, and was co-opted on to the board of directors a month later...

Katz said 'We are managing it pretty well... Former financial director Neil Morrison took an extraordinarily pragmatic view to budgeting, which left us in a very good position.

'We know that Dowse was not pleased with the budget he had at the start of this season and obviously we lost Hydey [Jake Hyde] Moussa [Diarra] and Loza [Jamar] and a couple of others. But that pragmatic approach allowed us to bring them [Diarra and Loza] back. We are going to take a serious look at what our payroll will look like moving forward in the absence of grants from the government but people should rest assured that we’ve got players under contract, and players on loan who are still going to be available, so even if we do get to the mode where we are furloughing first-team players, you are not going to be seeing 11 kids out on the pitch...

'You are still going to see Loza and Moussa and a handful of other starters that are normally playing. It’s not like we are going to be throwing out a second team if we are not successful on Saturday'...

He added 'Dowse has done wonders with the loan market with Sam Ashford and Niko Muir coming in ahead of Hodgey [Paul Hodges] coming back. He has such good relationships up and down the pyramid that those opportunities are available to him because Woking have a reputation as to how we play and develop our loan players...

'My deal with Dowse has always been, I will make recommendations and he can take them or tell me "no", and I’ll reserve the right to come back at him later and he can reserve the right to come back at me later. I know what I’m good at. and I know what Dowse is good at so I think our personalities complement each other quite well. I’m never going to be in a position where I am going to tell Dowse what he needs to do because that is not how I operate'".

Bromley report that "Following his departure from Hayes Lane earlier today, Neil Smith has provided the below statement.

I’m saddened to be leaving Bromley Football Club. I still believed we could have finished in the playoffs, given we’re now in 7th place, and I am disappointed I couldn’t finish what I felt I had started this season...

I’m also proud that since I became manager in 2016, we have established ourselves in the National League, competing with some big clubs and often getting the better of them. "

According to the Derbyshire Times "Chesterfield have confirmed they have received a loan of just under £1m from the government to help the club cope with the effects of the Covid pandemic.

Spireites chairman, Mike Goodwin, said: 'We are one of the first clubs to receive the loan, which will be used to underpin our operational costs.

'It will make a significant difference to us during these challenging times and we would like to thank the National League and Sport England for their valued support.'

It is believed to be a long-term loan, and the terms are understood to be quite favourable including a low payback rate and a ‘holiday’ period where they will not have to pay anything for a specific amount of time...

Not all clubs have been successful, including play-off rival Boreham Wood, who had their application turned down."

25 March 2021


Whilst it may be no surprise that three of the National League's current bottom six have changed their manager this season (Barnet, Wealdstone and Solihull Moors), it is more surprising that three of the top seven have now also dispensed with their manager's services.

Following changes at Stockport County and Notts County, a third club in the play-off places has now sacked its manager.

Bromley lie seventh in the National League and fifth in the current form guide. They are at the highest level in the club's history and, every year since their promotion to the National League, the Ravens have stayed in the top half of the table largely thanks to manager Neil Smith. He was appointed manager in 2016, having previously been assistant manager. Under his management in the National League Bromley have never been lower than 13th and he also took them to an FA Trophy Final.

Yet even that record was not enough to prevent his sacking today.

Bromley state that "Neil Smith has been relieved of his duties as First Team manager.

Neil, who recently took charge of his 225th Bromley game, parted ways with the Club this morning following discussions with owner and chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves.

Stanton-Gleaves commented, 'This has been a difficult decision to make and one that has not been taken lightly. Having continued to review First Team performances and developments over an extended period of time, I now believe a change in leadership is required for us to progress further on our journey.

'Neil has undoubtedly played an integral part in pushing the Club forward both on and off the pitch... Supporters will never forget him guiding us to an appearance at Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1949, in an FA Trophy Final. He has had my full respect and support during my Chairmanship and I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at Bromley Football Club to place on record our sincere thanks to Neil'...

Following four years as the Club’s assistant manager, Neil took interim charge at Hayes Lane in February 2016 before being named First Team Manager in April of that year. Since then, Neil has led Bromley to finishes of 10th, 9th and 12th before a curtailed end to the 2019/20 season saw the Ravens finish 13th in the Vanarama National League based on PPG.

However, the Club’s ultimate ambition remains to reach the Football League and the search for a new First Team manager will begin immediately".

So, whether a manager is pushing for promotion or fighting against relegation, his post is seemingly not secure at many clubs in the National League.


Altrincham FC reports that left-back "Andy White is likely to miss the rest of this season, following an assessment of an ankle injury that has kept him out for the past month.

The versatile Altrincham full-back hasn't played since the 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield on February 23rd and is unlikely to appear again in the current campaign after having a scan on the damage to his ankle".

As reported here earlier this week, injuries have meant that Andy has started just ten league games this season and appeared as a substitute in only three other National League games. Having started the season as first-choice left back injury first cost him his place after just four matches.

A seven-match absence was followed by a further three starts and then an absence of seven more matches before his next start. After a further start at Chesterfield he has subsequently missed seven more games, though he was named as an unused substitute at Aldershot subsequently.

With two starts in cup matches he mas made a total of twelve starts this season and three more appearances as a substitute. He is currently marooned on 98 starts for the club out of total appearances for the club of 105.

It has not been a good season for three of Alty's more senior players. Andy's full-back partner Shaun Densmore has made only four league starts after losing his place to Joel Senior and then fracturing his arm.

And midfielder Simon Richman has been restricted to just three league starts this season following the arrival of Alistair Smith. Simon made his most recent start, last Tuesday at right-back.


Altrincham FC is holding a virtual "Q & A session should focus on the commercial side of the club. If you have a question regarding any aspect of Altrincham Football Club's commercial plans & activities, please send it by 10.00am on Wednesday...

These questions will be put to: John Coyne (Commercial Director), Samantha Mackenzie (Partnerships Manager), Lawrence Looney (Co-Chairman) at a YouTube Premiere to be broadcast at 8pm on Thursday, March 25th".


Following King's Lynn Town's defeat at the J. Davidson Stadium, Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town's run of bad luck continued with a disappointing defeat at Altrincham tonight.

Ian Culverhouse's side failed to get the breaks in Greater Manchester as Josh Hancock registered a brace to take his tally for the season to 11. Lynn twice hit the woodwork through Simeon Jackson from long range and the Robins were also indebted to a superb save from Tony Thompson as they rode their luck in the opening 55 minutes.

The Linnets handed debuts to temporary signings Elkan Baggott and Rob Howard as they finally made their first visit to Moss Lane after four [five] unsuccessful attempts in the last two seasons...

In the absence of the injured Alex Kiwomya and Grenada World Cup representative Kairo Mitchell, stepping up from the bench to start were both Michael Gash and Jackson as Lynn made four changes from the side beaten 1-0 by Torquay United at the weekend.

The Robins came into the game with five points out of a possible 30, while the Linnets had six from the same number of matches...

Jackson saw his 40-yard howitzer come back off the woodwork.

Altrincham took the lead somewhat against the run of play in the 16th minute after Hancock was allowed a free header at the near post to glance the hosts in front from a corner... Nine minutes before the break a surging run and shot from Jordan Richards saw the midfielder denied by a stunning save by Thompson and on the strike [stroke] of half-time Sonny Carey dragged an effort just wide of the target.

Four minutes after the restart, Jackson hit the bar for a second time with an identical strike to his one in the first half.

But two goals in as many minutes ended Lynn's hopes of finding a way back into the game.

With the aid of a deflection, Hancock bent a delightful free-kick into the top right corner to double Altrincham's advantage in the 57th minute.

And worse was to follow when James Hardy was allowed to carry the ball into the box to finish past a stranded Richardson.".


Altrincham travel to Maidenhead for a televised game on Saturday.

The Maidenhead Advertiser adds that "The Magpies have secured the loan signing of Alfie Egan from Ebbsfleet United until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old midfielder can also play as a right-back and was one of the a few players retained by the Fleet from their 2019/20 squad... Chief Scout Lee Devonshire who has brought him to York Road to help with the Magpies’ play-off push."

The Maidenhead Advertiser also reports that "Having scored four times in Maidenhead United’s last four matches, Nathan Blissett has proven to be a valuable asset for the Magpies in their pursuit of a play-off place.

Blissett, who signed from Solihull Moors last summer, has tallied up six goals so far this season... The 30 year-old believes the Magpies have shown they can ‘rock it with the best of them’ this season...

'Everything is going for us at the minute,' he said... 'It’s all come together in the last four games and we’ve done really well. The team has definitely hit a purple patch. We’ve put ourselves in the position where we can really go for a strong end to the season....

'The gaffer deserves huge credit. He has given us the freedom to play our own game throughout the season and it suits a lot of the boys here who have played at different clubs and not had that licence before'...

Blissett is the nephew of former professional footballer Luther... 'He couldn’t be speak highly enough of him. He (Luther) said ‘Alan is a great person to be around so go there and play your football and he’ll do right by you’. I took that advice and he’s lived up to everything my uncle said'".

ON THIS DAY: 25 March

Fifteen years ago was the "James Robinson" season at Altrincham when an 18-point deduction for alleged registration issues meant that Alty were to be considered bottom of the Conference when their points haul actually placed them safely in eighteenth place.

Alty were again without the injured Gary Scott and Mark Maddox in defence, but Steve Aspinall and Chris Adams overcame knocks to start the game. So the side was unchanged from Southport last week, but defender/midfielder Stephen Rose replaced striker Pat McFadden on the bench.

Right: Chris Adams becomes one of six Alty men shown a card by Mr Cummins. Three of the other four Altrincham players in the picture were also booked in the match; Peyton, Owen and Aspinall.

Whilst Alty came back well in the first half after conceding a fourth-minute goal, headed home by Webster from a corner, they could not repeat the act after conceding an even quicker goal in the second half.

After Webster's goal, Alty got level after just seven minutes of the first half when Little got on the end of Aspinall's long ball to steer the ball past Deeney who had been slow to come off his line.

Indeed, Alty could have led at the break but for Deeney's superb save from Little's volley. But when Alty also conceded an early goal in the second half, as Harrad charged down Aspinall's clearance and carried on up the middle to score (48 mins), the Robins could find no way back.

For most of the second half Alty rarely looked likely to score despite plenty of effort. Though Burton deserved their win, referee Stephen Cummins gave another of his bewildering displays, managing to book six Alty players and one Burton man in a game which was far from physical and he left the field to a chorus of booing. Mr Cummins was the man who reffed the Alty v Dagenham game earlier that season in which he allowed a goal to be scored into an empty net from a freekick where the ball was moving, with Alty keeper Coburn stranded.

He was also the referee who achieved national notoriety when he sent off Witton Albion's Brian Pritchard at Moss Lane for tackling a streaker in the Cheshire Senior Cup two years ago, yesterday.

Before the game, a presentation was made to Stuart Coburn to mark his 300th game for Altrincham, the previous Saturday. This match was also Gary Talbot's 250th appearance for the club.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 15. Peter BAND (capt), 5. Gary TALBOT, 3. Chris ADAMS; 37. Ged MURPHY, 8. Val OWEN, 12. Warren PEYTON, 18. Blake NORTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY. Subs: 7. Colin POTTS, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 17. Karl MUNROE, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 21. Stephen ROSE.


Notts County report that they "have parted company with our first-team manager Neal Ardley and assistant manager Greg Abbott.

Ardley, who took charge in November 2018, left his post this afternoon following an amicable meeting with our owners, Chris and Alex Reedtz, who have issued the following statement...

'He stuck by this club through some of its darkest hours and has played a leading role in stabilising us following a devastating relegation, helping to maintain a close connection between the players, staff and supporters in the most trying of circumstances.

'We will never forget the job he did in guiding us to last season’s play-off final at Wembley and some of the excellent performances he has extracted from the team during our time at the helm. It has also been pleasing to see an upturn in recent results, including another spirited fightback last night, and we understand, therefore, that this announcement may come as a surprise to our supporters, who we know share our view that Neal is an excellent ambassador for the club.

'We do not, however, apply short-term thinking to decisions of this magnitude. We consider many factors which far outweigh our results in the last few matches and these deliberations have ultimately led us to conclude that we can be better, and that a change is needed to take us to the next level.

'Neal has always said that when the time comes for him to depart Meadow Lane, he will leave having helped to create a far better footballing environment than he inherited. He has undoubtedly achieved that and we will forever be grateful to him...

'We are not inviting applications for the manager’s position'".

Earlier, the In the Nottingham Post had sted that Neal Ardley, "The Magpies boss pulled no punches despite seeing his side come back from 2-0 down to secure a point at Yeovil in the National League on Tuesday night

Neal Ardley insists he expects more from his Notts County side and says finding consistency is a must if they want to be successful this season.

The Magpies showed excellent powers of recovery to snatch a 2-2 draw against Yeovil on Tuesday night as they came from two goals down to secure a point. After Jimmy Smith and Reuben Reid had given Yeovil a first-half lead, goals from Enzio Boldewijn and Ruben Rodrigues sealed a fine comeback in the second half.

But Ardley was frustrated that his side handed the Glovers the initiative through two mistakes and says they have to be much better...

Ardley said... 'I’m not throwing lads under the bus. I care about the boys and I’ll give them everything I possibly can. But I have to expect more. And they have to expect more. And we need to manage situations. Well sometimes you play okay, it’s a scrappy game, you win 1-0 and that could have been last night quite comfortably...

'We’re Notts County. The fans are expecting promotion, I’m hoping that’s where we’ll end up. But we’ve got to rule out chasing games all the time.'

Ardley largely stuck with the same 11 which beat Yeovil 2-0 at the weekend with Ben Turner representing the only change as he came in for Alex Lacey...

'After Saturday, you think right, we’re back in a good place now,' he said. 'And then you come out and think right, I’ll put the same team out, I’ll get the same performance, the same levels, and you don’t. As a manager, I’m just as frustrated as the fans are.

'All of a sudden you go out and you see a different group of players, a different performance. People are not winning the headers they were winning on Saturday against the same player they were playing against. And that’s the issue. We’ve got to have consistency. And that’s probably why I’m a bit upset and angry.

'There’s no confidence excuse, we were three unbeaten coming into the game. And we’ve just beaten them. But they come out more at it in the first half and we were naive.'”

According to the Hartlepool Mail "The National League player registration deadline has been extended at the 11th hour. With the deadline to register players for the 2020-21 season initially set to be this Thursday, March 25, it has now been extended by a further four weeks until Thursday, April 22.

The extended deadline is in keeping with the current season ending a month later than usual and provides clubs more time to finalise their squads going into the final stretch of fixtures.

But Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor wasn’t overly pleased with the timing of the decision.

'We called the FA weeks ago and asking if the deadline would be extended and we were told no. Now we’ve just received an email saying that the deadline has been extended by a month to the fourth Thursday in April.

'We’re not in a huge rush to get things done and we give ourselves a bit more time to potentially get some bodies in if we need to but we’re still hoping to have at least one in the building soon. It allows us to be more reactive rather than jumping into something that would just be cover for us just in case.

'We were looking to give Fergie [David Ferguson] a bit of cover but now we can bide our time and see what becomes available. A month is a long time in football and lots of things can be decided in the Football League and things over that time. Things will become more clear and if we do need to act then we can do.'”

League leaders, Sutton United report that "Three weeks after a tumultuous end to the game saw Sutton grab an injury time winner to beat Bromley at Gander Green Lane, U’s recorded a rather less dramatic, but no less valuable win at Hayes Lane to complete a first National League double over their South London rivals.

Ahead early on when Craig Eastmond’s shot hit the bar before going in off goalkeeper Mark Cousins, U’s were under the cosh for spells in the first half but defended excellently, and two second half goals, the first created and the second scored by Isaac Olaofe had them in a commanding position with twenty minutes still to go...

It was from an Ajiboye cross that U’s led, the ball coming to Harry Beautyman beyond the far post, who teed up Eastmond for a shot from the edge of the penalty area that came down off the bar, hit Cousins and crossed the line before a defender could clear, the sixth own goal U’s have benefitted from this season and the third by a goalkeeper...

The ball spent more time in the Sutton half and U’s defence found themselves working hard. For all the possession, though, Bromley only created one clear chance... but U’s reached the break ahead, and within three minutes of the restart had doubled their lead.

Olaofe was allowed to collect a Bouzanis clearance and turn towards goal, and in the end was only stopped illegally by Kory Roberts, Beautyman despatching the penalty... It was John who created the third goal with twenty minutes left, cutting out a pass and sending the ball downfield where Olaofe got the benefit of a tight offside call and raced away to beat Cousins...

Bromley scored the goal their efforts deserved with eleven minutes left".

The Dorset Echo tells us that "Brian Stock dropped Joan Luque as the Terras thumped Wealdstone 4-0 on Saturday, explaining the decision was due to 'below par' performances.

Attacking midfielder Luque, a former Barcelona youth product, joined from Maidstone United in January. But the Spaniard is yet to find the back of the net in eight appearances for the Terras. Consequently, he was dropped entirely from the selection of 16 players...

Stock told Echosport 'It’s a frustrating one for Luque because he’s a fantastic footballer, I see it day in, day out in training. I just felt that his last two performances have been below-par and I felt Jordan Ngalo deserved the chance to come in, being left out of the squad through no fault of his own.'"

We learn from the Hull Daily Mail that "FC Halifax Town remain hopeful of agreeing a deal to extend the stay of Hull City youngster Billy Chadwick this week.

The on-loan winger is in his second spell at The Shay, having impressed earlier in the season when he scored three times in five outings.

His current short-term deal will expire... on April 5, and Town chief Pete Wild is hoping the 21-year-old will remain for a little while longer...

Wild told the Halifax Courier 'Now they’ve extended the date until the fourth week of April, which helps. We want to try and get Billy sorted this week and maybe get a couple more in if we can do some deals where people will do us a favour...

But we all know where we are financially, so they have to be deals that are weighted in clubs helping us out'".

According to the Derbyshire Times, "Aldershot Town manager Danny Searle felt they were better side for 'large parts' against Chesterfield despite falling to a one-nil defeat.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, the Spireites edged it thanks to Alex Whittle’s first-half strike after a mistake by home stopper Mitch Walker.

The hosts had the better of the second-half but failed to test Blues ‘keeper Grant Smith....

'It is a shame when a game is decided by errors,' Searle said. 'If you go across the 90 minutes I don’t think Mitch (Walker) has had a meaningful save to make and to concede the goal the way we did is just frustrating... When they got an opportunity they punished us and we did not punish them. I thought we were flat first-half but second-half we were very good'...

Searle added 'Against a side like that, if you give them a one-nil head-start, you are going to find it tough. You are playing against a team that has invested heavily and you go toe-to-toe with them and I think for large parts of the game we were the better side.

'The bottom line is there were very little chances in the game. They get one and score and we get two or three and don’t. We have got good players who don’t seem to be doing their jobs at the minute which is putting the ball in the back of the net... but performance-wise nobody can say they were better than us because they haven’t been.'”

"A second half fightback from Notts County saw Yeovil Town draw 2-2 at Huish Park.

First half goals from Jimmy Smith and Reuben Reid built a two-goal cushion for Town. However, the second half saw the visitors claw their way back into the game, through late goals from Enzio Boldewijn and Rueben Rodrigues.

With his side ravaged by injuries, Darren Sarll altered his system against the Magpies, lining up in a 4-3-3 formation.

A. Smith retained his place in goal, whilst Michael Kelly, Albi Skendi, Max Hunt and Carl Dickinson began at the back. Town’s deepest midfielder was Charlie Lee, with Matt Worthington and Jimmy Smith either side of him.

Starting with a front three for the first time this season, Josh Neufville, Reuben Reid and Tom Knowles led the attacking line for the Glovers.

As the sole striker, Reid’s found himself playing facing the goal more often than with his back to it...

On Saturday, Sarll remarked that Notts County were dominant in the middle of the park, but it was Yeovil who ran the show in the first half at Huish Park... Town did in fact take the lead on 29 minutes. An excellent delivery from Kelly... was flicked on by Lee... The ball found its way to J.Smith at the back post to turn the ball home.

One quickly became two, with Reid adding Yeovil’s second from the spot in the 36th minute. The system change caught Notts County off guard, Knowles was a continual threat on the right flank, and he was hauled down by Turner... Reid stepped up and converted his third goal since returning to Somerset.

At the break, Sarll’s side held a deserved advantage based on their forward-thinking mentality.

The second half, Notts County rang the changes early on... adopting a diamond formation once again with Knowles dropping into the midfield and Neufville partnering Reid.

With Notts County throwing players forward, Yeovil looked to break with pace... As the half wore on, the visitors didn’t look like scoring until a moment of magic from Boldewijn who spun on the ball at the edge of the box and hammered his effort into the top corner...

Notts County’s confidence only grew finding an equaliser just eight minutes later as substitute Rodrigues turned the ball in at the back post.

In the closing stages, Yeovil looked dead on their feet, as only the visiting side [were] looking like they were going to score... Ultimately, the Glovers were able to hang on for a point but will be frustrated to let a comfortable advantage slip against a promotion favourite".

Wealdstone report that they "have signed 20-year old midfielder Craig Fasanmade on a one-month loan deal from National League South club Hungerford Town.

The young midfielder has been a key member of the Crusaders high-flying National League South side after joining them in the summer from Banbury United.

He progressed through the academy system at Reading before moving into the professional game with Oxford City in the National League South in 2017 where he spent three seasons and time on loan at Thame United.

He has made 17 appearances in the league this season, scoring four goals from midfield as his Hungerford side have defied the odds and challenged near the top of the table throughout the season.

Craig will wear the number 26 shirt".

Also from Wealdstone we learn that on Tuesday they "fell to a narrow defeat at The Vale against fellow strugglers Woking, with a late goal stealing all three points for the visitors.

Moussa Diarra’s 86th minute winner proved to be the difference... in a tight contest.

Manager Stuart Maynard made three changes to the side that were convincingly beaten by Weymouth on Saturday, with Daniel Bowry, Connor Smith and Danny Parish returning to the starting line-up, and new signing Craig Fasanmade being named on the bench.

The Stones were quick out of the traps... Wealdstone continued to play on the front foot... With a string of six corners in an 11 minute period, the Stones looked like they might break the deadlock, however they were unable to capitalise and went into halftime level with the Cardinals.

Dennon Lewis was introduced for the home side just after the break and had an instant impact, heading just wide of the target with his first touch after a pin-point cross from Bowry...

It looked as though the Stones were going to hang on for an important point, but Diarra pounced in the box and tapped home a late winner for the visitors in the 86th minute...

WEALDSTONE: Isted, Harbottle, Cawley, Okimo (c), Bowry, Charles, Phillips, Smith, Mendy (Fasanmade 85), Parish (Green 67), Lafayette (Lewis 47). Subs not used: Askew, Gondoh.

24 March 2021


Writing in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger press and media officer John Edwards writes that "Phil Parkinson hailed a 'genius' goal by recent signing James Hardy as Altrincham ended a winless four-game run in emphatic fashion at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night...

They did it in style with two goals from Josh Hancock and a brilliant solo effort by Hardy in a 3-0 win over King’s Lynn Town.

Attacking midfielder Hancock now has 11 goals to his name this season, but it was the dazzling footwork that enabled England C international Hardy to open his account for the Robins, a month after joining from AFC Telford United, that caught the eye of Alty boss Parkinson.

'James [right] did everything I asked of him,' said Parkinson. 'There was a touch of Lionel Messi about a run he went on in the first half, and there were flashes of that throughout the game. For the chance he took in the second half, I can only describe it as genius ankles [sic], the way he got through that crowd of players. I don’t know how he did that. I told the lads before the game there are shirts up for grabs, and he did enough to keep his.

'I had a chat with Josh the other day to make sure he was OK, because he seems to be carrying the load for goalscoring this season. He is looking like the player we’ve seen here for the past couple of seasons, and I can’t wait for our fans to be allowed back in, so they can see him performing like that at this level.

'I thought it was a really good end-to-end game'".


For Altrincham James Hardy, Simon Richman and Alistair Smith came into the starting eleven in place of Regan Ogle, Sean Williams and Yusifu Ceesay.

King's Lynn started brightly but after a rasping shot from Simeon Jackson had hit the crossbar, Altrincham took a 16th minute lead when Josh Hancock headed home a left wing corner at the near post.

Play went through a fairly uneventful spell after that though Alty did have the ball in the net again in the first half but Jake Moult was clearly offside and it was rightly ruled out.

Richards also forced a smart tip over the bar from Thompson (36 mins) but Alty led by the only goal of the game at half-time.

The visitors' bad luck continued in the second half as another fine long shot from Jackson again crashed against the bar (51 mins).

Seven minutes later, a foul on Hardy gave Hancock a freekick from 22 yards which deflected off the wall and past the keeper to make it 2-0. And, within two more minutes, it became a flattering three-nil lead as an interchange between Hardy and Piggott saw the Telford man net a finely worked goal (60 mins).

Alty settled for that and competently absorbed plenty of King's Lynn possession without any real alarms to complete their biggest win of the season.

Match report here.


After the game, King's Lynn Town reported That "Ian Culverhouse made four changes to the side that narrowly lost at Torquay on Saturday. Rob Howard and Elkan Baggott were handed debuts with Michael Gash and Simeon Jackson recalled to the starting XI. Tai Fleming, Michael Gyasi and Alfie Payne dropped to the bench with Kairo Mitchell on World Cup duty with Grenada...

Jackson was unlucky not to open the scoring on 14 minutes, his effort from 35 yards out looked destined for the back of the net only to crash off the bar.

Altrincham took the lead on 16 minutes, a corner from Colcough was headed in by the unmarked Josh Hancock.

Lynn had the ball in the next on 25 minutes through Jackson but the referee spotted a handball by Tyler Denton in the build up. Altrincham were grateful to Thompson on 35 minutes when he pulled off a good save from Jordan Richards goalbound effort

Lynn had further chances before half-time...

Five minutes into the second half and Jackson was again unlucky, from a similar distance as the first half he again hit the bar.

Altrincham extended their lead on 57 minutes with a bit of luck. Hancock’s free kick from just outside the area saw it take a deflection off the Lynn wall and beat Theo Richardson in goal.

Within two minutes Altrincham scored their third. James Hardy picking the ball up and weaving his way past Lynn defenders to slot past Richardson.

Lynn kept pushing... Altrincham were happy to spend the last few minutes sitting back and defending their lead as Lynn fell to their fifth defeat in six games".


Tuesday 23rd March
  • Aldershot Town 0-1 Chesterfield
  • Altrincham 3-0 King's Lynn Town
  • Bromley 1-3 Sutton United
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1 Hartlepool United
  • Dover Athletic P-P Chesterfield [Dover furloughed players]
  • Stockport County 3-0 Eastleigh
  • Torquay United 2-0 Solihull Moors
  • Wealdstone 0-1 Woking
  • Weymouth P-P Boreham Wood [International call-ups at Boreham Wood]
  • Yeovil Town 2-2 Notts County

ON THIS DAY: 24 March

Having played King's Lynn Town yesterday at the J. Davidson Stadium for the first time, Altrincham should have been playing the Linnets at Moss Lane exactly a year ago today, on 24 March 2020, but the Covid lockdown prevented that happening.

So the most recent Alty game on today's date occurred in 2018 when Altrincham travelled to Halesowen Town, where they won 2-0 in an EvoStik Premier match.

Connor Hampson remained sidelined by his knee injury and goalkeeper Tony Thompson was unavailable through work commitments. So Tim Deasy made his first league start since the defeat at Workington in September.

Above: Simon Richman is congratulated on his goal at Halesowen.

After their recent run of poor home results in which just four points had accrued from four successive home games, Altrincham were back to much better form at Halesowen in what was only their second away match in ten weeks, thanks to postponements and a run of home fixtures assigned by the league.

But for wayward shooting, especially in the second half, Altrincham would have won by a wider margin against a Halesowen side which kept going to the end.

Alty took the lead in the eleventh minutes after attacking relentlessly from kick off. Jordan Hulme netted the goal after a superb jinking run into the box by John Johnston.

Despite losing Tom Hannigan to injury after 32 minutes, Alty doubled their lead seven minutes later when Simon Richman scored from close range, following a pass from Hulme.

Alty kept their first clean sheet for ten weeks but failed to add to their own score in the second half. Results elsewhere helped Alty to extend their lead at the top of the table to four points.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks) 1. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Josh HANCOCK. Subs: 12. Tom PEERS, 14. Max HARROP, 15. Chris MERRIE, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 17. James JONES.


News of a former Altrincham loanee comes from Stockport County, who are "pleased to announce that former County captain Paul Turnbull has joined the club’s academy setup as an U18s' coach.

Paul has made over 250 appearances for the club over four separate spells, was our title winning captain in 2019, and a 2008 League Two play-off final winner...

Academy manager Damien Allen added, 'Paul has had an outstanding career as a player; he now has the same ambition as a coach to be a success, and will be a vital part of the academy coaching staff as we drive forward'".


Altrincham travel to Maidenhead next Saturday.

The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that Maidenhead United chairman "Peter Griffin has said he doesn’t expect any further National League teams to follow Dover Athletic’s lead by refusing to play matches over the lack of grant funding for the remainder of the season...

So far, at least, the south coast club are the only ones not to have fallen back into line when the majority of clubs voted for the campaign to continue.

Kings Lynn initially threatened to do something similar, but Griffin is confident that the threat of the sanctions which could be handed out by the league will stop them from doing so. He also thinks it would be surprising for a club to threaten their security in the league next season when there are only a couple more months of this campaign left to get through.

'Kings Lynn were definitely looking at that route,' he said this week. 'I did speak with their chairman to canvass opinion on this, and he was looking to play on for a while. They now know there’s going to be no relegation, that’s been ratified by the FA on Friday but, of course, the punishment that’s going to be handed to Dover is still unknown.

'It could range from no punishment, a financial punishment, but I think that would be unlikely given what they’ve said about not having the money to carry on. The other ones would be a points deduction, but obviously not for this season, it would be for next year and there’s also the threat of relegation or being put out of the National League system all together...

'I don’t have any inkling and I haven’t heard any rumours that anyone is going to stop playing now... It would seem crazy for anyone to risk those sanctions when you’ve already paid out most of the money they’re going to be paying to their players over a period of time.'

Griffin said Maidenhead were in the process of applying to Sport England for a loan and should be hearing imminently on whether they’ve been successful... Last week Boreham Wood had their application turned down, while Sutton United have had theirs accepted this week.

Griffin said... 'Boreham Wood were turned down for theirs last week, basically because the figures showed they didn’t need the money... It’s a confidential process. I don’t know whether they just give you the money you’ve asked for, or if there’s some sort of formula. But the paperwork was filled in before the deadline and we should be hearing this week.

'While it was not our first choice to have loans, we’d much prefer grants of course, but our view, and Jon Adams’s view is that we were given grants up until Christmas and that covered us and kept us going. We can’t be naïve. In this country a lot of people have been affected by the pandemic and have had to look after themselves without access to grants or loans. So, while we’ve been given some grants and some loans, I think it’s fair given what others have had to put up with during the pandemic. It’s a long-term loan that can be managed over a number of years.

'We can adjust our playing budget or spending money to take it into account. We should be able to afford it so long as we don’t overspend in the coming years.'”

23 March 2021


As reported two days ago, tonight's visitors to Moss Lane were about to sign Elkan Baggott but King's Lynn Tiown now confirm that they have actually signed two new players, despite having placed more than half a dozen others on furlough.

The Linnets report that they "have swooped in for two players this [Tuesday] afternoon, Rob Howard and Elkan Baggott.

Rob Howard, 21, joins us for the remainder of the season from Southend United. Howard plays at right-back, but can also appear in a holding midfield position. He made his senior debut for Southend in a league win over Mansfield Town.

Elkan Baggott, 18, joins us from Ipswich Town for the remainder of this season. Baggott, an Indonesian U19 international, plays at centre-back, with his first senior debut coming in a 2-0 victory against Gillingham in the EFL Trophy.

Both players should be available for tomorrow’s fixture against Altrincham FC".

And the Eastern Daily Press adds that "King’s Lynn Town could acquire a whole a new army of fans following the signing of Ipswich Town defender Elkan Baggott.

The 18-year-old Indonesian is a relative unknown on these shores as far as his football is concerned but he’s big league when it comes to social media.

Baggott was born in Bangkok, to an English father and Indonesian mother, and has thousands of fans following his every kick back home. Indonesians love football and it seems they love Baggot.

Baggott has more than 140,000 followers in Instragram, where his posts attract tens of thousands of likes.

YouTube is packed with videos discussing his talents, each clocking up thousands (in some cases hundreds of thousands) of views, while his first interview with the Indonesian FA (PSSI) has been viewed more than a million times.

The Indonesia Under-19 international joined Lynn from Ipswich Town on loan on Monday... His call-up to the Indonesian Under 19s last summer was a cause for celebration in Indonesia, where he was schooled before moving to England in 2011...

He said, 'On the ball is one of my strengths but I’m aggressive and I’d like to say I’m solid in the back line and a leader as well,' he continued. 'My role models are Virgil van Dijk and previously Rio Ferdinand. I try to base my game around van Dijk but Ferdinand is just the definition of a quality centre-back, so I try and base my game around those two'".


Altrincham take on fellow National League North promoted team King's Lynn Town tonight (Tuesday) at the J. Davidson Stadium. Kick off is at 7pm.

As usual, the game is being streamed via Alty and access can be acquired here.


Following Altrincham's defeat on Saturday, assistant manager Neil Sorvel rightly pointed out that the Altrincham team was missing players through injury and that others had played who were not fully fit.

Indeed, Altrincham go into the match tonight at King's Lynn with eight players who could not play in Saturday's fixture through injury or, in one case suspension. In addition, Yoan Zouma was omitted from the squad after being subbed in the previous match, though whether that withdrawal was injury-related was not clear.

Those missing from the squad last Saturday were as follows...

  • Montel Gibson: Injured against Hartlepool, he has been substituted in both his appearances to date, since when he has missed three fixtures.
  • Dan Mooney: Pictured, right, Dan has started only six league games this season through injury and has played for just 20 minutes in a single appearance during the last ten fixtures.
  • Fisayo Adarabioyo: After eight starts, only one of which lasted ninety minutes, he has missed the last twenty games through injury.
  • Andy White: Injuries mean that he has started just ten league games this season and appeared as a substitute in only three other National League games.
  • Shaun Densmore: Shaun broke his arm against Bromley, six games ago and has made only four league starts this season.
  • Alistair Smith: Alistair missed the last two fixtures through injury after being ever-present in the previous 21 league games.
  • Connor Hampson: He has made just one brief substitute appearance in the last five fixtures after picking up an injury.
  • Matty Kosylo: Matty was suspended for two games, of which tonight is the second, after acquiring ten yellow cards in 27 league appearances.
  • Yoan Zouma: Started four successive games after joining the club but was omitted from the squad last Saturday.

In addition, several of those who did play against Dagenham on Saturday have had injury-affected seasons, or lack game-time, and these include...

  • Sean Williams: He had missed 23 successive league matches through injury before playing the last two fixtures.
  • Yusifu Ceesay: He has started 20 games and 7 from bench but has yet to make more than seven consecutive starts in the league.
  • Toby Mullarkey: Toby missed 12 successive games through injury.
  • Joe Piggott: He was not match-fit when signed and has since had just over three hours on the pitch over the ten fixtures played by Altrincham since then. Joe has yet to compete more than 70 minutes of a game this season for Altrincham.
  • Ritchie Sutton: Ritchie has made only 13+2 appearances, with three consecutive league starts comprising his longest run in the first eleven.
  • Nyal Bell: A recent signing who had been lacking in recent game time, Nyal has made two Altrincham appearances, each of under 30 minutes (excluding added time at the end of games).

So, for more than a dozen of the squad, it has been a season of fits and starts. In that context, it is perhaps no surprise that recent results have been disappointing.

ON THIS DAY: 23 March

Altrincham's most recent game on today's date was on 23 March 2013 when they beat Worcester City 2-0 at Moss Lane in a BSBN Match which was one of few to proceed that Saturday because of snow. However, Altrincham had been completely spared any of the white stuff.

Danny Boshell, on loan from Guiseley, was making his home debut but club captain Shaun Densmore was out with a toe injury sustained in training. So Matt Doughty returned to the starting eleven and Scott Leather moved to right-back. Given the snow across the Pennines, Nicky Clee, Damian Reeves and Danny Boshell had done well to get to Altrincham, as had referee Mr Greenwood, from York. Worcester, too, had had a journey through plenty of snow en route to the game.

Right: Nicky Clee and Duncan Watmore form the first line of defence against Worcester City in 2013, as Danny Hall directs Danny Boshell and Simon Richman to their places.

Worcester had been vying for a place in the play offs earlier this season but a run of seven successive defeats brought them to Moss Lane in low spirits. On the contrary, Altrincham had won their previous four matches.

It was bitterly cold as the teams played out an unmemorable and goalless first half, in which Altrincham played into a stiff Arctic breeze and snow flurries.

Nevertheless, both sides had come close to scoring in the first period. First, Stuart Coburn had to make a vital save from Khan before a Reeves header struck the post at the other end.

The home side moved up a gear after the interval and a period of Altrincham pressure finally paid off in the 54th minute when Scott Leather interchanged passes up the right wing. After Simon Richman's effort had been blocked, Nicky Clee was on hand to lift the ball into the net.

Moments earlier a fine dribble from Duncan Watmore had led to the keeper deflecting his shot on its path towards goal but Tyler Weir was able to clear off the line.

Alty's second goal arrived after Danny Boshell won a left-sided corner. James Lawrie's kick was knocked on by Richman and Damian Reeves scored from close range (58 mins). Altrincham were fairly comfortable after that, though City did try to get forward as they made three substitutions.

The win lifted Altrincham back into the play-off positions.

ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, red shorts and socks): 1. Stuart COBURN (capt), 2. Scott LEATHER, 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Simon RICHMAN, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. James LAWRIE, 8. Danny BOSHELL, 9. Duncan WATMORE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE. Subs: 12. Pat LACEY, 16. Ryan BROOKE, 15. Carl RODGERS, 14. Jake MOULT, 18. Stephen BULLEN (gk)


According to Inside Croydon, "Semi-pro club Sutton United are closing in on a historic achievement, and after 123 years could soon be following the footsteps of the likes of Wimbledon, Crawley and Stevenage by winning Football League status...

Sutton United enter tomorrow’s derby against Bromley with the massive step up to the Football League looking increasingly possible. Sutton have lost only four times in the National League so far this season, conceding just 23 times in 27 games. As things stand, they are top of the table in the fifth tier of the English game...

The National League is full of clubs with famous names who have tasted full-time professional football, only to drop down the tables when things have gone wrong... It could well be the greatest path to long-term sustainability for Sutton, especially with the National League threatening to cannibalise itself...

Sutton have managed to keep their head above water, and under the careful stewardship of Matt Gray they’ve been the division’s standout side. Gray is in his first permanent manager’s job, after spells as an assistant at Eastleigh, Aldershot and Crawley. Last season he had to overcome a rocky start with a run of just one win in 14 games. He has gone on to develop an interesting squad packed with a mix of youth and experience.

For every lower-league stalwart like Robert Milsom or Kenny Davis in their ranks, Sutton have a Ben Goodliffe, a towering centre-back released by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer, or an Isaac Olaofe, scoring goals with great regularity since joining on loan from Millwall. There’s also Harry Beautyman, who, after unsuccessful spells at Northampton and Stevenage, has found a home at Sutton functioning as the side’s creative heartbeat and their leading source of goals over the last two campaigns.

Gray took over from long-serving boss Paul Doswell in March 2019. It was Doswell who helped lay the foundations for Sutton’s recent success. Prior to Doswell, Sutton had only made sporadic appearances in what used to be known as the Conference Premier, instead spending most of their time in the Isthmian League or the Conference South... Just 10 years ago the Amber and Chocolates were in the Isthmian Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. Under Doswell they were able to increase attendances, set up an academy to bring through young talent and, perhaps most significantly, deliver a series of modernisations and improvements to their Gander Green Lane ground.

The most significant of those was a £500,000, state-of-the-art 3G pitch... That pitch has been in an important factor in Sutton’s success but it will also prove a major headache should they achieve promotion... The FA has deemed that they are not fit for purpose for League Two and above...

Ground-sharing could be something Sutton might have to consider doing, too. Similarly, if Sutton were to compete in the Football League they’d almost certainly have to move from their current 'three-quarter time' model (players training three mornings a week) to expecting their squad to go full-time. That brings with it a great deal more expense, and probably significant personnel changes.

To give a sense of the leap, Sutton don’t currently stay overnight for their away games, even for trips as far away as to Torquay or Hartlepool, because it would eat into their playing budget...

Currently, the physio also doubles up as club’s general manager. The only full-time member of staff is the bar manager. This is a hard-working club already punching above their weight".

Barnet "would like to place on record its thanks to Paul Fairclough for stepping in to support the Club in our previous three matches.

Paul's status as a Club legend has once again been reinforced thanks to his kind offer to support us during this period of time.

He now steps away from the role and remains a huge part of our Club’s history...

The process of appointing a new management and coaching team is well under way and we hope to have an announcement in the coming days".

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "After almost three years, Luke Williams finally made his full National League debut for Hartlepool United against Woking.

It came at the second time of asking as Williams did start in the abandoned match at Eastleigh back in November but the records for that game were expunged.

Since joining Pools from Scunthorpe United in 2018, Williams had been limited to just a handful of substitute appearances with injuries plaguing his spell back at Victoria Park... While Williams’ inclusion in the starting line-up ahead of the likes of Mark Shelton and Gavan Holohan came as something of a surprise, it was a decision the Pools' boss felt was necessary.

'We went with a side that we thought could create chances and, even if Woking did bank in, you look at a player within our squad who can find that pass or shoot from 25-yards, Luke has that,' Challinor explained.

'The biggest surprise was the opportunity he missed because he puts them away and passes the ball into the net so to see him get a little bit tight on that one and probably realising how good a chance and the fairytale return, he snatched at it a little bit.

'We also wanted to see where he is at and can we rely on him and can he rely on his body to get through games?' With the player registration deadline in the National League coming up on Thursday, Challinor is hoping to bring in at least one new signing... 'We don’t want to get to Thursday thinking we’ve got a creative midfield player in our squad and then involve him next week and he breaks down and it’s after the deadline,' Challinor added.

'We know that if we can get him right, the quality he has, he can be a huge asset for us between now and the end of the season. The game will do him the world of good, he’s happy, he’s emotional around the fact that he has got to where he’s got to and played 65-minutes quite comfortably and not felt anything.'".

22 March 2021


Many strange things have happened over the past year of this Covid-dominated world but, in football terms, one of the strangest is that a club can offload players onto the taxpayer via the furlough scheme yet can still bring in new players with, presumably, a cost to be met.

Not for the first time, Alty's opponents on Tuesday night are doing just that, as the Eastern Daily Press reports that "King’s Lynn Town are set to swoop for Ipswich Town defender Elkan Baggott on loan.

The Indonesia Under-19 international, who made his Blues debut in the EFL Trophy earlier this season, is set to gain some first team experience with the Linnets.

The left-sided centre-half, who signed a professional contract earlier this season, is tipped for a big future at Portman Road, and Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse is desperate for reinforcements.

Lynn went down to a 1-0 defeat against Torquay at the weekend and would be embroiled in a relegation battle but for the decision to remove demotion from the fifth tier this season due to the impact of Covid-19.

The Linnets have suffered a string of injuries in defence and have also furloughed large sections of their playing squad, in a bid to steady their finances at a time when crowds are unable to attend games.

If the move goes through, Baggott could make his Lynn debut at Altrincham on Tuesday evening... Baggott, 18, could line up in defence with former Town Under 23s captain Chris Smith, who joined the Norfolk side after leaving the Blues’ academy, as well as former Norwich striker Simeon Jackson.

One player who won’t feature at Altrincham is in-form Kairo Mitchell, who is on World Cup qualifying duty with Grenada and is currently in Central America ahead of the game in El Salvador in the early hours of Friday morning...

The 23 year-old striker has scored three goals in his last six Linnets games, taking advantage of extended game time after an injury to Michael Gash and the absence of Adam Marriott and Dayle Southwell, who are on furlough.

Gash came off the bench for the final third in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Torquay and looks a likely starter at Altrincham, although manager Ian Culverhouse also has new signing Jordan Davies at his disposal.

Culverhouse will be awaiting news on goalkeeper Archie Mair’s recovery from a leg injury, although he has on-loan Theo Richardson available. Winger Alex Kiwomya has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

It’s once again something of a dead rubber for the Linnets now that relegation is off the table, although that decision has still to be rubber-stamped by the FA.

Altrincham, similarly, have little to fight for except pride; they are 15th in the table and would need an incredible run of form to feature in the play-offs.

Lynn are without a win in their last seven league games and haven’t won away from home since January 19... Altrincham are winless in four".

King's Lynn Town confirm that "Archie Mair, Jak Hickman and Alex Kiwomya are sill injury doubts therefore Ian Culverhouse is likely to pick from the same squad as Saturday".


The Derbyshire Times has reported that "The National League has confirmed the start date for the 2021/22 season.

The step one campaign will get underway on Saturday, August 21.

The National League North and National League South divisions will commence the week before, on August 14".

Footnote: The current "regular" season, (i.e. before any play-offs that may take place), is set to end on 29 May 2021.


King's Lynn are due, not for the first time, at the J. Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

As previously reported by the Alty Files, Altrincham were first meant to host King's Lynn Town during 2019-20 season, in National League North. The original date for the fixture at Moss Lane was 22 February 2020, before the first Covid lockdown. However, for some reason, shortly before the scheduled date, the fixture got moved on to 24 March, leaving Alty with no game on the original February date.

The game was then moved again to 31 March 2020 by which time it could not be played as lockdown rules had come into force and the National League season had been suspended. So although both clubs were promoted to the National League for 2020-21, they never met at Moss Lane in 2019-20 season.

This season, in the National League, King's Lynn Town were scheduled to visit the J Davidson Stadium on 8 December 2020, only for a waterlogged pitch at Moss Lane to cause that game to be postponed and rearranged for 12 January 2021.

Then, that rearranged game also had to be postponed, because of Covid issues at King's Lynn Town. That meant that five prospective dates for the Linnets' first-ever visit to Altrincham had come and gone!

Alty fans may remember that even the one game that has ever been played between the clubs, the league fixture in National League North on 2 November 2019, was not 100% sure to go ahead as high winds lashed Norfolk on matchday. That game ended in a 2-2 draw.

This season King's Lynn Town have opted to furlough at least half a dozen players, a measure which has reduced their matchday squad numbers yet has somehow not prevented them from signing new players.

Alty currently sit 14 points and six places above the 21st placed Linnets, but on PPG Alty would lie 16th.


Tuesday's match at the J. Davidson Stadium will be a clash of two out of form sides. Alty have lost seven of their last ten matches whilst, on Saturday, visitors "King's Lynn Town suffered their fourth defeat in five games as they went down to a narrow loss at third-placed Torquay United" reports Lynn News.

"The Linnets again went toe-to-toe with one of the top sides in the league, but were undone by a goal a minute into the second half as the Gulls punished a goalkeeping error to get their promotion push back on track.

Lynn stuck with the same starting eleven that held second-placed Hartlepool United to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night at Plainmoor with on-loan goalkeeper Theo Richardson remaining between the posts.

The Gulls selected fit-again Lucas Covolan ahead of Shaun MacDonald, who shipped four goals at Maidenhead United in midweek, while there was a first start for Argyle loanee Ryan Law at left back.

Lynn's Friday arrival Jordan Davies, who has joined The Linnets on loan from AFC Telford United for the remainder of the season, had to be content with a place on the bench, alongside Michael Gash, Simeon Jackson and assistant boss Paul Bastock.

Davies, 25, was prolific scorer for Prestatyn Town, where he scored more than 70 goals in three seasons in the Cymru Premie... The former Nantwich and Market Drayton Town frontman was added to Lynn's squad with striker Kairo Mitchell on World Cup qualifying duty with Grenada after this weekend.

Lynn, making their first-ever visit to Plainmoor, made a bright start and could have easily taken the lead as early as the third minute...

In first half stoppage time, Scott Boden's spectacular overhead kick was well saved by Richardson as Torquay ended the first 45 minutes on top.

Lynn were caught cold at the start of the second period as The Gulls took the lead within a minute of the restart. Richardson was finally beaten after failing to hold onto a Connor Lemonheigh-Evans shot from the edge of the box and Boden was on hand to tap home.

Gyasi's final contribution of the game saw him scuff an effort wide after outpacing Randell before being replaced by Michael Gash 13 minutes into the second half.

The third-placed Gulls, who came into match with just two wins from their last 10 league games, remained on top but Ian Culverhouse's side weren't going to go down without a fight.

Lynn introduced both Simeon Jackson and recent signing Davies into the fray for the final 18 minutes to give the visitors a real attacking look for the final quarter of the contest...

On Tuesday night, the Linnets are back in National League action with a trip to Altrincham.

King's Lynn Town: Richardson, Callan-McFadden, Smith, Clunan, Richards (Jackson 72),Gyasi (Gash 58), Fleming, Mitchell, Carey, Denton, Payne (Davies 72). Sub not used: Bastock.

Match stats (Torquay first)

  • Shots on target: 4, 2.
  • Shots off target: 7, 4.
  • Corners: 7, 3.
  • Yellow cards: 3, 1.

And the Eastern Daily Press adds that "Once again, Lynn were hardly over-awed by a team battling for promotion.

A lack of cutting edge was evident for the Linnets, but circumstances dictate that their leading scorers are currently watching from home, on furlough".


Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's interview with Neil Srovel following the defeat to Aldershot Town.


Following their run of one defeat in ten games, Alty were looking comfortable in upper-mid-table in the National League, but a subsequent run of seven defeats in ten matches has seen them drop to 15th, and on PPG, to seventeenth.

That means that, with the other three promoted clubs, Wealdstone, Weymouth and King's Lynn Town, lying 19th, 20th and 21st respectively, (both in the actual table and on PPG), the four clubs who ascended to the top flight of non-League football in 2020 now occupy the bottom eight rungs in the National League, indicating how difficult it is for part-time clubs to establish themselves at that level.


Tuesday 23rd March - 7.45pm unless staed:
  • Aldershot Town v Chesterfield 7pm
  • Altrincham v King's Lynn Town 7pm
  • Bromley v Sutton United 7pm
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Hartlepool United 7pm
  • Dover Athletic P-P Chesterfield [Dover furloughed players]
  • Stockport County v Eastleigh 7pm
  • Torquay United v Solihull Moors 7pm
  • Wealdstone v Woking
  • Weymouth P-P Boreham Wood [International call-ups at Boreham Wood]
  • Yeovil Town v Notts County

ON THIS DAY: 22 March

On today's date in 2008, Altrincham lost 2-1 at Aldershot Town, just as they did in 2021.

In the 2008 game, in conditions that varied from torrential hail and sleet to bright sunshine, Alty gave a good account of themselves against the runaway league leaders. Aldershot went into this game 10 points clear at the top of the BSP, whilst Alty were in the relegation places.

Fielding a more attacking formation than the previous week, with Little and Senior on the flanks supporting O'Neill, Altrincham created four very good chances but were unable to convert them. And it took a superbly hit freekick by Davies from 22 yards to beat the Robins (67 mins).

Earlier, Altrincham had stunned the Shots by taking the lead in the 14th minute when Shotton's long throw was diverted to Little, whose low shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Nine minutes later Charles converted Mendes's cross from the right to level the scores. Referee Hopkins did Alty few favours, booking five of the visitors in a game of few serious fouls.

Above: Colin Little (far left) waits for the ball to drop to him off a half clearance of Ryan Shotton's throw from the right. Colin drove the ball home to make it 1-0.

For the game, Joe O'Neill was available after suspension but Liam King and Ryan Toulson were dropped from the side which had lost at Grays, the previous week. Midfielder King was on the bench, where there were recalls for Steve Aspinall and Jake Sedgemore.

Though Lane again sat in front of the back four, the deployment of Little, on the left, and Senior, on the right of midfield in support of striker Joe O'Neill, gave Alty a more attacking formation.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 16. Ryan SHOTTON, 5. Darren TINSON (capt), 10. Greg YOUNG, 4. Ryan LYNCH; 15. Chris LANE; 19. Chris SENIOR, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 11. Warren PEYTON, 9. Colin LITTLE; 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 2. Steve ASPINALL, 6. Jake SEDGEMORE, 17. Richard BATTERSBY, 20. Carlos ROCA, 25. Liam KING.


The Oldham Times reports that "Jordan Barnett says he had a 'fall out” with Latics before leaving for Notts County.

The versatile left-sided player made 24 appearances in all competitions for Oldham in the first half of the season but departed when his short-term deal expired in January. He mas moved to the Magpies...

After scoring his first senior goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Yeovil, the 21 year-old said 'It ended on quite bad terms at Oldham. We had a fall-out with the owners and the manager there and I just wanted to come to Notts County and get game time.

'Neil Ardley has put his trust in me and he’s playing me, so I’m delighted.'

Barnett made just seven league starts for Latics with the majority of his League Two appearances coming as a substitute. The former Burnley and Barnsley youngster has made six league appearances for his new club, all starts, culminating in Saturday’s goalscoring effort against Yeovil".

According to Capital News, "The sooner Barnet appoint a new permanent manager, the better, as far as Paul Fairclough is concerned.

Fairclough is the club's interim manager following the departure of Tim Flowers, but with problems piling up at The Hive following his team's 20th defeat of the season, he won't be too upset if Flowers's successor is named within a few days.

The dismissal of central defender, Ben Richards-Everton in the last seconds of Barnet's latest eclipse was the culmination of a disappointing day at the office for Fairclough who expected his team to show a further improvement following last week's surprise draw at Bromley and narrow defeat at Stockport. 'It was a classic, wasn't it?' he said. 'We had taken two steps forward and now we've taken a step back but it was a big step back.'

Fairclough acknowledged that his team could have been three or four goals down instead of just one goal adrift by the tenth minute...

Barnet, a hotch potch of a side compared to the ease with which Chesterfield gelled, did not threaten until the 18th minute...

'We came up against a very good team,' said Fairclough. 'They were slick, kept possession of the ball and they were that much better than us although I'm not saying our lads were useless or anything like that.'

Fairclough's hopes of a Barnet recovery in the second half were dashed in the 48th minute when the excellent Whelan tapped a short free kick to Asante whose piledriver was parried by Aymen Azaze, standing in for dislocated shoulder victim Scott Loach. Yussuf was first to the rebound for Chesterfield...

There was still time for Richards-Everton to get sent off for a tackle from behind on Curtis Weston. He booted the physiotherapist's bag as he departed to risk a longer suspension, which will be just one more selection poser for Barnet's new incumbent, whoever he may be".

Reporting on the against Barnet, the Derbyshire Times added that "The Spireites won the reverse fixture back in December six-nil and it could have been the same scoreline again had they taken their chances...

The Blues kept creating and... Fairlcough admitted that the Bees ‘did not get near’ Chesterfield as they ran out comfortable winners... 'I have said to their manager that it is a superb performance, and I don’t like saying that. “We found it very hard to even get near them and when we did get near them and we did gain possession of the ball, we gave it away far too easy'...

He added... 'I don’t think any of them deliberately meant to go out and perform like that, I just felt the opposition were that much better than us. Bluntly, they have got better individuals than us. That is the bottom line'".

The Non-League Paper reports that "Dover Athletic taking chairman Jim Parmenter says the club is in the process of taking legal advice over their charges for the non-fulfilment of National League fixtures.

The Whites haven’t played a match since January 30 and sit bottom of the division having completed only 15 fixtures.

Long-standing chief Parmenter has refused to put his club into debt by taking on a Sport England loan and believes for the integrity of the National League, clubs shouldn’t furlough their entire first team and play academy youngsters to fulfil games".

21 March 2021


In its report on the Altrincham v Dagenham & Redbridge match on Saturday, which reporter Andy Marsh afforded two stars out of five for entertainment, the Non-League Paper quoted Neil Sorvel [right] after the final whistle.

The Altrincham assistant manager stated, "It was such a scrappy game. I thought we were dominant [in the] second half but a combination of missing players and players not quite fit meant we couldn't get going.

"It took a decent strike to winit but I think we deserved at least a point".


Following their win at the J. Davidson Stadum, Dagenham & Redbridge said "Will Wright’s stunning free-kick late in the second half was enough to secure Dagenham & Redbridge a narrow 1-0 win over Altrincham.

The Robins almost had the lead after 15 minutes, but Kenny Clark’s goal-line clearance denied Ryan Colclough’s looping back-post header.

Myles Weston created the best of the Daggers’ chances late in the half, weaving his way past several Alty defenders before his goal-bound shot was deflected behind, as both sides entered the break level.

Approaching the 20th minute, the Daggers were starting to find themselves being put on the back foot... But the visitors were certainly not laying back, as they looked to exploit the space behind the Robins’ defence...

Weston was enjoying himself against Ogle and just past the half-hour mark, the winger almost gave the Daggers the lead. Skipping his way past the Accrington Stanley loanee, the winger dribbled his way into the box before taking aim at the near post, with a defender getting a vital touch on the ball to keep it out of the goal...

Phil Parkinson’s side came out for the second half with the bit between their teeth... Having survived the early Altrincham pressure, McMahon’s Daggers began to work their way back into the game...

With the game approaching the final fifteen minutes, both Dagenham and Altrincham were struggling to break one another down, as substitutions and fouls in the middle of the pitch turned the game into a hard slog.

However, in the 79th minute, after Darren McQueen was hauled down 20 yards out from goal, Wright stepped up to give the Daggers the lead, bending the ball into the top corner of the net...

But despite a flurry of half-chances for the Robins, Dagenham were able to see the game out to secure a win which leaves McMahon’s side unbeaten in their last five."


A fairly even first half, in which each team had good spells, ended goalless. The nearest Alty came in the first half was a looping header by Ryan Colclough from left of goal which was headed off the line.

The match was decided by a superb 79th minute freekick from 25 yards or more by Wright, after Hannigan had committed a foul on substitute McQueen.

It is now seven defeats in their last ten games for Alty, a sequence which has brought them just five points.

In mitigation, for the second successive match Altrincham were without Montel Gibson, Dan Mooney, Fisayo Adarabioyo, Andy White and Shaun Densmore, who were all injured.

In addition. both Alistair Smith and Connor Hampson were missing from the squad, as they had been in midweek, making it seven absentees plus the suspended Kosylo.

Match report here.


On Tuesday, King's Lynn Town are set to make their first ever visit to Altrincham.

King's Lynn Town "were narrowly beaten at third place Torquay United with the only goal coming early in the second half.

Ian Culverhouse named the same starting line up that drew with Hartlepool on Tuesday, the only change coming on the bench with Jordan Davies replacing Joe Gascoigne.

Lynn almost made the perfect start when Tyler Denton’s free kick struck the bar in the 2nd minute and Jordan Richards’ follow up effort was put behind for a corner which came to nothing...

Torquay took the lead a minute into the second half, an effort from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was fumbled by Richardson into the path of Boden who scored with a low shot into the back of the net...

Lynn made their first change on 58 minutes with Michael Gash replacing Gyasi...

Lynn made a double attacking change on 72 minutes with Simeon Jackson and Davies replacing Richards and Alfie Payne...

The last 10 minutes saw Lynn trying to push for an equaliser but aside from a couple of corner and a free kick which all came to nothing, no real chances came there way.

The final whistle came and not for the first time this season Lynn may feel they did enough for a point but one error cost the team any points.

Next up for the Linnets is Altrincham away this Tuesday (7pm)

Lynn: Richardson, Fleming, Callan-McFadden, Smith, Denton, Richarda (Jackson 72), Clunan, Payne (72), Carey, Gyasi (Gash 57), Mitchell. Sub not used: Bastock".

ON THIS DAY: 21 March

A year ago today, ALtrincham should have been facing Chester FC in a tense clash between two promotion hopefuls. That game never took place though the two sides did meet in the play-offs later in 2020.

So the most recent game played on 21 March was a 1-3 home defeat against Nuneaton Town in a Vanarama National League North match, played on Tuesday, 21 March 2017.

After a decent run of form (eight points from six games), Altrincham were brought down to earth with a very disappointing defeat by Nuneaton Town. The evening started badly with seven players out injured and it got worse. Before kick off, goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson had been added to the casualty roll-call, joining Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Tim Deasy and Micah Evans on the list of those sidelined. And although Nicky Clee was fit to play, Sam Heathcote was to be stretchered off before half-time.

Nuneaton took the lead in the 25th minute, against the run of play, when Geoghagon was allowed a free header from a corner but the goal was credited to Chambers amongst a melee on the goal-line. Two minutes later, Alty had a great chance to equalize when Richman was put clear but he fired over the bar.

After 32 minutes, Alty's goalkeeper, Andrew Jones, making his first league start, came out to kick clear. The ball rebounded off the back of team-mate Sam Heathcote and left Daniels with an open goal and he doubled the Boro's advantage.

Shortly before the break, Alty lost Heathcote to injury after he had apparently been fouled, off the ball.

Four minutes after the interval the Robins did get back in the game when Richman converted Nicky Clee's low cross from the left byline. But the outcome was settled when Nuneaton, on the counter-attack, made it 3-1 thanks to a firm 20 yard shot from Chambers in the 64th minute.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Andrew Jones, 2. Chris Lynch, 3. Andy McWilliams, 4. Jake Moult (c) 5. Sam Heathcote, 6. John Cyrus, 7. Elliot Newby, 8. Gary Jones, 9. Simon Richman, 10. James Lawrie, 11. Nicky Clee. Subs 12. Kyle Brownhill, 14. Laurence Taylor, 15. Andy Owens, 16. Damian Reeves, 20. Alan Goodall.


Boreham Wood report that "An uncharacteristic mistake from Nathan Ashmore means Boreham Wood come away from Hampshire with their seventh draw in their last eight matches...

Wood were unchanged for the third match running having played well in their previous two matches against promotion chacers Torquay United and Notts County. The visitors started the match...

On thirteen minutes, Boreham Wood took the lead with an excellent pass from Tyrone Marsh which found Kane Smith and his exquisite first touch enabled him to play the ball into the Shots area where Giles Phillips diverted the ball into his on net beyond keeper Ryan Hall...

Wood were the dominant team for the rest of the first period but were kept in check by some excellent Aldershot defending and more chances were at a premium...

The game exploded after the break... Aldershot equalised on fifty-four minutes when Toby Edser scored. Boreham Wood didn’t take this lying down and Corey Whitely restored their lead three minutes later with a fantastic run and shot that gave Ryan Hall no chance at all. Three minutes later Kabs Tshimanga was fouled in the area by keeper Hall and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Tshimanga despatched his penalty with aplomb to make it 3-1...

Josh Rees struck a fantastic volley beyond Nathan Ashmore to halve Wood’s lead on sixty-four minutes. The visitors looked like they’d restored the two goal advantage when Tshimanga put the ball in the net following a Corey Whitely corner but the referee ruled it out for a foul on the goalkeeper...

On seventy-eight minutes Aldershot equalised when Edser’s cross was nodded back across goal by Mohamed Bettamer to Josh Rees and with Nathan Ashmore already committed, the Shots captain had the easy task of putting the ball into an empty net for his second goal of the match and their equaliser.

Unfortunately Boreham Wood, shellshocked by the turnaround, didn’t really look like retaking their lead afterwards... A draw was the right result on the balance of play.

A disappointed Luke Garrard said afterwards, 'This sums up our season. The manner in which we’re conceding goals is very poor. .. I can’t question the attitude of the players though'".

In the Derbyshire Times "James Rowe said Chesterfield beat struggling Barnet ‘at a canter’ and the Spireites boss was left very impressed by ‘gem’ Jack Clarke.

The dominant Blues could have been a couple of goals up before the superb Clarke, on loan from Aston Villa, assisted Tom Whelan for the opener on 10 minutes.

Overall it was a comfortable afternoon at The Hive against the managerless Bees.

'We won it at a canter,' Rowe said. 'The first goal settled us down. “We payed some really good stuff today, but most importantly our counter press and our high pressure from controlled phases, controlled actions, was good.

I thought Jack Clarke and Tom Whelan led that intensity and the wing-backs joined in and that is what I was looking for.

'I think we could have gone up a gear in the last half an hour if we needed to...

He added, 'We were more like our old selves, our DNA in what we want to do. I am a happy manager today...

'It looks like we have unearthed a gem in Jack Clarke,' he said. 'I wanted to see how he would be in the ‘eight’ position. He joined in the front really well and supported Curtis (Weston) going the other way.

'It was a complete midfielder’s performance'...

Fraser Kerr made a quick return to the starting line-up despite hobbling off with a knee problem against Sutton United. But vJak McCourt missed out with a muscular injury and Joel Taylor had a niggle.

On Yussuf’s first goal for Town, Rowe added... 'I thought he created space for Akwasi (Asante), he grew into the game really well and I thought those two were a handful'”.

Yeovil Town "suffered defeat on the road at Meadow Lane as Notts County were the 2-0 victors.

Two stunning strikes in the closing stages of each half separated the sides as the hosts managed the game effectively throughout.

For Town, the biggest worry will be the hamstring injury to Rhys Murphy who limped off during the second half.

There were three changes for Yeovil Town following Tuesday’s defeat to Bromley at Huish Park. Alex Bradley, Charlie Lee and Joe Quigley made way for Tom Knowles, Jimmy Smith and Reuben Reid.

Bradley’s absence forced Josh Neufville into an unfamiliar right back role, alongside him in the defence started Max Hunt, Billy Sass Davies and Carl Dickinson who captained the side, Adam Smith began in goal behind them.

J.Smith returned to the base of the diamond with Knowles and Matt Worthington in the wider roles, Albi Skendi began at the tip of the diamond. Reid returned to the starting line-up to partner Murphy.

It took both sides a while to get going in the fixture... The game began in a rather scappy manner in truth...

Comparatively, Notts seemed to have that extra bit of quality in front of goal which saw the hosts strike ahead on 40 minutes. Reeves’ free-kick from around 35-yards flew into the top corner to leave A.Smith stranded...

The second half was played in a similar manner to the first, with the Magpies midfield effectively dictating the tempo of the game in their favour.

An already disappointing afternoon became even worse as top scorer Murphy hobbled off with a hamstring injury.

On 78 minutes, the hosts were able to double their advantage in similarly spectacular style, a sublime first time strike from wide-man Jordan Barnett".

The Halifax Courier reports on Eastleigh 1-0 FC Halifax Town.

'It was a completely even contest' says Wild after narrow defeat.

Town manager Pete Wild felt a point would have been a fair result after his side lost their first game in seven thanks to Tyrone Barnett's goal for Eastleigh.

Barnett's volley was the one moment of quality on a drab affair, which brings to an end a fine run of form for Wild's team.

'I thought there was nothing in the game, there's been one chance in the whole game and unfortunately they've taken it instead of us,' he said...

'It was a completely even contest with two teams scrapping it out in the middle of the park on a small pitch that didn't look like it was going either way...

'The cagey ones have gone for us in the last two games and unfortunately it hasn't today'...

Injuries to Tahvon Campbell and Jack Earing left Wild short of options...

'We have small squad, we have a small budget and we have to use what little resources we have,' he said. 'We were down to the last embers today'...

Keeper Chris Renshaw has had his loan extended from Witton for a further month...

'It's been a long three weeks and it's important we regroup and go again. We've had some really good results, we're not going to win them all, that's just a fact of life.

'We've just got to keep going.'"

In-form Weymouth "picked apart Wealdstone FC, beating the Stones 4-0 at the Bob Lucas on Saturday Afternoon.

Brian Stock made 2 changes for the clash, bringing Sean Shields and Calvin Brooks in for Fonkeu and Luque. The former two have recovered from injury after they missed the 1-1 draw against Dagenham and Redbridge...

Weymouth took the lead in the 21st minute. Dallas run down the left wing allowed the striker space to play the ball into an oncoming Shields into the area. The winger danced his way around challenges to cross the ball from touch line across the face of goal. McQuoid was in space and unchallenged as he made the header. McQuoid directed the ball downward with little Isted could do. The Terras came close to doubling the lead in the 24th minute. Dominic Revan brushed off tackles in his own half to stride into opposition territory. The on loan Aston Villa defender strided down the right side before crossing the ball into Dallas. Dallas struck the ball on the volley but the ball went over...

Weymouth were pressing for a second as the game got underway for the second half... The Terras doubled their lead in the 58th minute... The ball looped over to Brennan Camp at the back post who met the shot with a volley, sending the ball past a helpless Isted...

Despite the pressure, the Terras went 3 ahead in the 82nd minute... Shields carried the ball into the box and slotted his shot across the face of goal past Isted.

1 minute later Shields bagged his brace... Weymouth are now 2 points off Wealdstone in 19th."

20 March 2021


Saturday, 20 March 2021:
  • Aldershot Town 3-3 Boreham Wood
  • Altrincham 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Barnet 0-2 Chesterfield
  • Bromley 1-0 Solihull Moors
  • Dover Athletic P-P Wrexham [Dover furloughed players]
  • Eastleigh 1-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Hartlepool United 1-0 Woking
  • Notts County 2-0 Yeovil Town
  • Sutton United 1-1 Stockport County
  • Torquay United 1-0 King's Lynn Town
  • Weymouth 4-0 Wealdstone


As usual Alty TV is offering a streaming service for Saturday's match against Dagenham & Redbridge at the J. Davidson Stadium.

On the eve of their trip to Altrincham there was news of one player arriving and one moving out at Dagenham & Redbridge.

"Dagenham & Redbridge is pleased to announce the signing of Saidou Khan on loan from Maidstone United.

Khan... will wear the number 23 shirt. The midfielder is available for selection tomorrow afternoon, as we travel to Altrincham.

The 25 year-old [Gambian] has previously had spells with a string of lower league clubs, before joining Kent-based Maidstone in the summer of 2019... [Manager] Daryl McMahon said 'He got rave reviews playing last year in the Conference South and we've managed to get him in.

'He'll bring us some energy, power and hunger.'"

Meanwhile the Barking and Dagenham Post confirms that "Dagenham & Redbridge have cancelled the contract of midfielder Charlee Adams, despite featuring regularly in recent weeks.

The 26 year-old has made 13 appearances for the Daggers this campaign since joining the club in October on a non-contract basis. He linked up with the Daggers for a second spell following his release from Barnet... having previously appeared 21 times for the Victoria Road club during the 2017/18 season.

The Dagenham team last time out, when theydrew 1-1 against Weymouth was:

Starting XI: 1. Elliot Justham, 3. Elliott Johnson, 6. Kenny Clark, 20. Will Wright, Gordon, Mohammed Sagaf (Mauro Vilhete 89’), 4. Dean Rance ©, Charlee Adams, 11. Myles Weston, 25. Scott Wilson (Adrian Clifton 77’), 10. Angelo Balanta

Unused Subs: 13. Josh Strizovic, 2. Callum Reynolds, 17. Darren McQueen


When Dagenham & Redbridge step out at the J. Davidson Stadium today it will be some fifteen years since their last visit, on 3 September 2006. That was a seson that was to end in the Essex club's promotion to the Football League, a right that had been denied to them, on goal difference, in 2002 by the illicit goings-on at Steve Evans's Boston United.

In the clash at Alty in 2006 The Daggers performed like champions-to-be as they thrashed Altrincham 5-0 in a Nationwide Conference National Division match.

Right: Val Owen contests an aerial ball against Dagenham.

Alty picked up no bookings in the match but that was about the only positive feature of the game for the home side as the Daggers ran out 5-0 winners at Moss Lane for the second successive season.

Alty conceded two carbon-copy goals in as many minutes to trail 0-2 as early as the 12th minute. And, apart from a brief spell after the half-hour mark when Little got round the keeper but was driven too far right to score, Altrincham never looked like making a contest of the game.

The Essex side took the lead just after Gary Talbot had headed narrowly over from a Steve Aspinall corner. The ball was then punted upfield and Aspinall had to concede a corner on the visitors' left.

Saunders's corner came off Val Owen to Rainford who found Stuart Coburn's right corner.(10 mins).

Southam made it 2-0 from virtually the same spot after two Alty headers in their own box had failed to clear the ball (12 mins).

Referee Waugh then allowed play on after a simple long ball had set Mackail Smith free, only to be fouled, but the ball ran to Benson, who crashed a shot against the underside of the bar, which came out to Saunders who struck it into the net (67 mins).

The fourth goal came when Gary Scott allowed Mackail-Smith to get free on the Daggers' left and, though Coburn saved well from his shot, the ball came out to Benson to score (70 mins). And the fiffh arrived after 74 minutes when Bushell's pass in midfield went to Sloma whose resulting cross from the left was headed in at the near post by Mackail-Smith.

An afternoon to forget got worse as Peter Band was withdrawn with what looked like a shoulder or arm injury, after falling badly.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 5. Gary TALBOT, 4. Peter BAND, 3. Gary SCOTT; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 8. Val OWEN, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 12. Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 10. Rod THORNLEY, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 15. Justin BOWLER, 17. Karl MUNROE, 19. Lee HENDLEY.

ON THIS DAY: 20 March

Coincidentally, Altrincham's last three games on today's date were all against teams who had their moments in the sun but have since sunk down the non-League pyramid. The trio in question are Droysden, Grays Athletic and Rushden & Diamonds.

The match against Droylsden took place in 2004 with Alty winning 1-0 in a UniBond League Premier Division encounter.

Alty's biggest away win of the 2003-04 season had been at Droylsden (4-1) but both sides had seen many changes of personnel since then.

Five first-team Altrincham regulars (Adams, Scott, Thornley, Murphy and Hardy) were again missing but Gary Talbot was back after his suspension. The player displaced to accommodate centre-back Talbot was on-loan striker Matthew Bailey, who had scored in Alty's previous game. He joined Steve Lunt and Stuart Wright on the bench. The return of Talbot meant that Band was moved into left-midfield, with Rose on the right, whilst Hallows was partnered by Baguley up front.

The Bloods have made use of their links to Chester City and in their line-up today were Carl Ruffer, Steve Brodie, Chris O'Brien, Dave Cameron, Danny Byrne and sub Darren Wright, all of whom had recently been with the Deva Stadium outfit, whose chairman was Stephen Vaughan, formerly with Dave Pace at Droylsden. Two ex-Robins were in the Bloods' side; Adam Farley and Leroy Chambers, but a third ex-Robin, James Glendenning, though present, was not in the squad.

Above: An injury had sidelined Danny Murphy for the game against Droylsden but here he leads Peter Band and Ged Kielty off the pitch at the end of the game against The Bloods. We also see a back view of chief steward Ray Armstrong, and a side view of club photographer Alan Johnson.

Droylsden maintained their record today of scoring in every league game this season but, sadly for them, their strike was into their own net on this occasion. Captain Gary Burke toe-poked a long ball forward from Barry Shuttleworth past his own keeper from 20 yards (76 mins).

In a match dominated by strong winds Altrincham put in a determined performance and only the post prevented Matthew Bailey from adding a second near the end. However, overall, Droylsden had more chances and Coburn made a couple of fine saves.

With a minute of normal time left, Droylsden's Cameron was deservedly sent off for kneeing Stuart Coburn in the groin and he had a verbal go at the linesman and a spectator before finally leaving the pitch. Alty's fourth successive win took them up to eighth.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3.Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Ged KIELTY, 7. Stephen ROSE, 8. Ian CRANEY (capt.), 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Peter BAND, 11. Jamie BAGULEY. Subs: 12. Matthew BAILEY, 14. Stuart WRIGHT, 15. Stephen LUNT.


The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Hartlepool United ‘will definitely’ be bringing in a new loan signing ahead of Thursday’s player registration deadline.

Manager Dave Challinor has confirmed... 'We will definitely have one in, if we need to get more in then we will do that. We’ve got two games before the deadline and things could change quickly and we have to be reactive; one will definitely be a loan. The deadline is on Thursday and we’ve got to cover bases in terms of injuries or eventualities.

'It’s more important this season with the season going for another two months after the deadline whereas usually it’s just one. This year it’s imperative that we cover different options. We want to get another forward player in and cover in different areas. We need cover we can rely on and the left-back area is one where we don’t have natural cover.'

Pools currently have five loan players signed up in Lewis Cass, Tom White, Luke Armstrong, Jake Cooper and Henrich Ravas...

'At the moment, we’ve got five loans in and four of them are in the matchday squad,' he added. 'From my perspective, I can only name five players in the matchday squad so straight away if we brought another loan player in then five could play. Cass is suspended and Henrich is not involved but it gives us no advantage to bring in two loan players.

'If we loaned a left-back player in for example then all of a sudden we’d have to drop another of our loan players to accommodate that so it just becomes counter-productive. We’ll look to get something permanent or potentially look at what people’s contracts are with their parent clubs and getting something sorted there to give us more options.'"

According to the Leader Live, "Dean Keates admits it is inevitable that Wrexham will lose three points when the final National League is calculated because of Dover’s reluctance to complete the season... Wrexham are not in action tomorrow because scheduled hosts Dover have said they won’t play another game...

The teams met at The Racecourse on January 16 with Wrexham running out 3-1 winners and Keates expects his side to forfeit those points. There is a double whammy for the Reds as play-off rivals Notts County and Eastleigh were both beaten by Dover and won’t lose any points...

'It will be interesting so see what happens with Dover’s situation,' said Keates... 'It seems to be the protocol that teams lose the points they picked up against them previously. If that is what the league decides, it is unfortunate...

We are going to get caught if they do deduct the points and say that Dover’s fixtures don’t exist... So we just concentrate on what we can control, and what will be, will be on that side'...

'Full credit to the lads, the performances have been consistent and we are in a good place but it has to continue,' said Keates... 'We are fortunate to have points on the board and if teams have got to play each other, there will be points dropped'...

Eight of those final 14 matches are at The Racecourse and Keates added 'That is something good for us. We have got a batch of home games now against teams around us'".

Solihull Moors "announce the loan signing of Shrewsbury Town attacker Ryan Barnett.

The 21 year-old becomes Mark Yates’ first addition back at the club and Barnett arrives on a short-term loan until April 14th. The wideman has previous experience of the National League having enjoyed spells in the North with Telford United and Gloucester City...

He joined the Shrewsbury Town youth system in 2007 and received his first call up to the first-team in December 2016. Barnett has made 12 appearances in all competitions for the Shrews this season...

Barnett said.. 'It was definitely a club I wanted to go to. I’m a winger, I’ve got a bit of pace about me and like to create chances; hopefully I can excite the fans'...

Manager Mark Yates added... 'He’s got pace, energy, a great delivery and he’s something a little bit different to what I felt was here at the moment'".

Devon Live tells us that "Torquay United head into the first of a brace of home games on Saturday with manager Gary Johnson trying to rebuild his squad’s confidence after Tuesday’s humbling 4-1 defeat at Maidenhead.

The Gulls, still stricken by injuries, barely mustered a shot at goal in Berkshire on Tuesday, and only a last minute penalty by Scott Boden put them on the scoresheet at all.

Winger Ben Whitfield, who was injured in the goalless draw at Boreham Wood last Saturday, did not make the Maidenhead game, and remains a doubt for tomorrow’s visit of Kings Lynn to Plainmoor.

He joins an injury list which already includes first-team regulars such as Kyle Cameron, Dean Moxey, Aaron Nemane and Danny Wright. United’s fit players are largely young and inexperienced, and Johnson and his number two Aaron Downes have had to work hard on rebuilding their confidence after their Maidenhead mauling...

Said Johnson 'We’ve got to relax the players a little bit. They’ve got to find their confidence and we’ve got to get our mojo back... Some days you cajole them, some days you have a bit of a go at them, but it has got to come from within...

'It might be lucky. It might be ugly, but it needs to be a win... There’s nobody not caring,' he said. 'The bus was really quiet on the way home. You’ve got to try not to ruin it all by screaming and shouting'..

Torquay will need to be wary of a young [Lynn] squad playing without the fear of relegation... and have just picked up goalkeeper Theo Richardson on loan, a player who has been on the books at both Manchester United and Leeds. They also have a striker in good form in the shape of 23-year-old Kairo Mitchell, who... will be jetting off after the Torquay game to play for Grenada in a World Cup qualifying match".

Meanwhile, Lynn News advises that skipper "Michael Clunan has revealed how he has maintained a unified King’s Lynn Town squad to ensure the club can get through the season.

The Linnets are managing to maintain their incredible dressing room spirit, even though their squad has been pulled apart due to the financial crisis in the National League... They continue to operate with a squad of just 13 or 14 players for the remainder of the campaign.

Midfielder Clunan said 'I’m just the skipper and I have to take care of the lads. I’ve been the point of contact between the powers of be who are running the club and the players. My best interests are for the club. We’ve found ourselves in a situation where we’ve got a squad of 13 and a few lads have come in who have done brilliant for us...

'Fair play to the chairman he’s kept us going... There’s no one to blame as the club has been backed into a corner. As skipper, I have to kind of pass on any messages to the lads. It’s difficult and I probably do get the brunt of it, but that’s my role and I’m willing to do it...

Clunan praised the togetherness of the squad, which... 'has carried us through the last couple of year and that’s no different now,' he said. 'Just because five, six or seven lads have come out of that dressing room it hasn’t changed anything... The core group who drive the team on is still there'...

Clunan, who believes that there is little to choose between all the teams in the league, said 'The teams towards the top end of the table come at you. You get more space in the middle of the pitch and the way we play that suits us.'"

Despite putting many of their players on furlough, as the Eastern Daily Press conforms that King's Lynn Town have nevertheless found the resources to sign new players, stating that "King’s Lynn Town have completed the signing of striker Jordan Davies.

The 25 year-old has joined from AFC Telford United for the remainder of the season

Davies joined Telford last September, starting three games before their season was ended by the pandemic,.

A prolific scorer for Prestatyn Town, where he scored more than 70 goals in three seasons ... Davies has also played for Nantwich and Market Drayton Town... Lynn will be without striker Kairo Mitchell for two games after this weekend - he is on World Cup qualifying duty with Grenada".

We learn from the Derbyshire Times that "Chesterfield have received mixed injury news on defenders Fraser Kerr and Gavin Gunning.

The centre-backs both went off injured in the defeat to Sutton United at the Technique Stadium. Kerr hobbled off with a knee problem after 20 minutes and Gunning walked off with a hamstring injury in the second half.

After the game Spireites boss James Rowe said that both injuries looked ‘bad’ but scans have returned mixed results.

Rowe said 'It is good news on Fraser. It is a bad knock, the structure of his knee is okay. He should not be long-term.'

On Gunning, he added 'Gavin’s is a hamstring one but again that is pretty good news, that could be a quicker recovery than we first thought. Gavin will be more long-term than Fraser.' Rowe kept his cards close to his chest when it came to revealing whether it would be weeks or months before their return...

Rowe said 'It perhaps disrupts the way we want to play because different players have got different attributes.... I have no qualms with whoever comes in, I am sure we are good enough to get results... I think we are in a good place with the players who are in and around it as well who have not quite had enough starts perhaps in the last few weeks but as I have said we are going to need the squad'".

19 March 2021


The many Altrincham supporters who knew Claire Allan will be saddened to hear of her death in Wythenshawe Hospital, at the age of 87.

Claire and her husband, Bob, have been keen supporters of the football club for many decades and, right up until the Covid situation brought a premature end to last season, they would be seen at all home games at the J. Davidson Stadium. They were also frequent pre-match diners in the Manchester Glass Sponsors' Lounge.

Above: Claire [third from left] and Bob [far left] prepare to give a post-match award to Altrincham's Anthony Danylyk [far right], following the game against Kettering Town in 2008

Very recently, Claire had a fall at her home in Sale and sustained a fracture to her femur, which necessitated her admission to hospital. Despite the care that she received at Wythenshawe, Claire was unable to recover from her accident.

The thoughts of all who knew Claire at Moss Lane will be with Bob and their daughter, Margaret, at this sad time.


Recently commentators have remarked on Altrincham having been top of the National League this season as regards second-half outcomes of their matches. So what are the facts about Alty's record?

The Robins have gained 37 points in the National League from 30 matches this league season. However, if the league table comprised only second half scores Alty would have had 47 points! That total would place them fourth rather than thirteenth where they are in the league table at the moment.

In their 18 away games of this campaign, there have been only five second-halves, so far, in which Alty lost that 45-minute period. These were at home against Stockport and away at Wealdstone, Yeovil, Chesterfield and Aldershot. There were 14 drawn second-halves.

On the other hand there were eleven second-half wins, which were at Hartlepool (A) Chesterfield (H), Boreham Wood (A) Maidenhead (H) Stockport (A) Sutton (A) Barnet (A) Wealdstone (H) Boreham Wood (H), Woking (H) and Woking (A)

So six of these post-interval "victories" were away from home.

  1. H WEYMOUTH HT 0-0 FT 0-0 DRAW
  2. A Notts County HT 0-2 FT 1-3 DRAW
  3. A Eastleigh HT 1-1 FT 1-1 DRAW
  4. A Hartlepool United HT 0-1 FT 1-1 WIN
  5. A Dover Athletic HT 1-0 FT 1-0 DRAW
  6. A Wealdstone HT 0-0 FT 0-1 LOSS
  10. A Boreham Wood HT 0-0 FT 1-0 WIN
  11. H BROMLEY HT 0-1 FT 0-1 DRAW
  13. A Wrexham HT 1-0 FT 1-0 DRAW
  14. A Dagenham & Redbridge HT 1-0 FT 1-0 DRAW
  16. A FC Halifax Town HT 1-2 FT 2-3 DRAW
  17. A Stockport County HT 0-1 FT 2-2 WIN
  18. A Sutton United HT 1-2 FT 2-2 WIN
  19. A Barnet HT 1-1 FT 2-1 WIN
  20. H WEALDSTONE HT 1-0 FT 2-0 WIN
  21. A Torquay United HT 2-1 FT 2-1 DRAW
  22. H WREXHAM HT 0-1 FT 1-2 DRAW
  23. A Yeovil Town HT 0-0 FT 0-2 LOSS
  24. H BOREHAM WOOD HT 0-2 FT 2-3 WIN
  25. A Chesterfield HT 0-0 FT 0-1 LOSS
  26. A Bromley HT 1-3 FT 1-3 DRAW
  27. H WOKING HT 0-0 FT 1-0 WIN
  29. A Aldershot Town HT 1-1 FT 1-2 LOSS
  30. A Woking HT 0-1 FT 1-1 WIN


Altrincham FC "have taken another significant step towards achieving their long-term goals after landing a lucrative four-year partnership deal with kit giants Puma" writes press and media officer John Edwards.

Said Alty co-chairman Lawrence Looney, 'We have ambitious plans and objectives which are being implemented on a regular basis, and it’s great we are now able to confirm our partnership with Puma. We are talking about one of the world’s largest and foremost sportswear manufacturers, and it says everything about the direction we are going in that we are aligning ourselves with them for the next four years...

'And there is more to it than just a financial gain. There is prestige, of course, and there is also a benefit for the players because of the extra comfort provided by the very latest design technology that Puma use in all their football shirts.

'These are exciting times for Altrincham Football Club, with tangible progress on and off the pitch'...

The new-look home and away shirts will be ready for a public unveiling in the next few weeks... In addition to the kit deal, Puma will also provide retail support to the club, with a particular focus on point of sale at the stadium that will be reflected in a new, enhanced matchday retail presence in both the Community Sports Hall and the Fan Zone...

Director John Coyne said... 'Our retail presence has been much improved this season, and we’ve enjoyed record sales, which is testament to the loyalty of our supporters'...

Martin Ivison, from Puma UK, said, 'Altrincham is a club which is clearly ambitious, and we’d like to think we are the lucky charm, as proven with other clubs who have been on the same journey to the Football League. We look forward to a long and successful partnership'...

To coincide with the new home kit unveiling next month, the club plan to run a competition open to all supporters, offering two lucky winners the chance to join the kit committee in September and have a say in future kit designs".


Altrincham host Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

In midweek the Daggers drew at home to Weymouth and the Barking and Dgenham Post reports that "Dagenham & Redbridge left-back Liam Gordon says Weymouth draw basically summed up their season as they failed to take chances in a dominant performance.

A 43rd minute stunner from loanee Liam Gordon looked set to seal the three points for Daryl McMahon's men at Victoria Road but Jake McCarthy levelled the score in the 92nd minute to result in a share of the points with a 1-1 draw.

'It’s been the theme of the season really, we’ve got to hold out and we’ve got to take our chances, and if we’re not taking our chances then we’ve got to defend our own box better,' Gordon admitted.

'It’s a horrible feeling to concede in the 92nd minute again and it feels like a defeat.'

He added 'We are providing the chances, it’s not a thing of we’re not putting balls into the box or creating space for the strikers, and everyone on the pitch to be fair'...

The 21 year-old loanee has netted three goals since returning to the club on loan back in December... I'm an attacking full-back so I was just driving, saw it open, and the boys told me to trust my right-foot so I shot and luckily it was a good finish.'

Midfielder Mohammad Sagaf came into the team and linked up well with Guyana International Gordon straight away".


Altrincham FC has a post-match interview with Phil Parkinson following the draw at Woking, last Tuesday.

ON THIS DAY: 19 March

In 2016, five years ago today, Altrincham inflicted a heavy defeat, 4-0, on their visitors, Aldershot Town in a Vanarama National League match.

Altrincham went into this game on the back of a run of just one win in their previous 14 games. It was their first home game since the departure of manager Lee Sinnott and caretaker boss Neil Tolson was on the touchline with his new assistant, Matt Doughty.

Above: Damian Reeves is mobbed by team mates after opening the scoring against ALdershot.

However, Altrincham lifted themselves out of the bottom four with an impressive 4-0 win over an Aldershot Town team which had now conceded twelve goals in two visits to Cheshire that month.

Alty started with leading scorer Michael Rankine on the bench following illness but still netted four times, for the first time in the league since their 4-1 win against Chester on New Year's Day 2015. And you had to go back to April 2014 and a 5-0 away win at Histon to find a bigger margin of victory.

Aldershot started the game quite brightly but then Altrincham improved and deservedly took a 32nd minute lead. Following a Jordan Sinnott throw from the right, Lawrie lashed a low, left-footed ball into the box where Damian Reeves turned it into the net from close range.

Alty doubled their lead some 90 seconds into the second half when Josh Ginnelly scored a superb goal. The on-loan Burnley man ran more than fifty yards up the left before slotting a low shot across goalkeeper Smith and into the net. The game was over for Aldershot when they conceded an unnecessary penalty on the hour mark. Lawrie was blatantly pushed over, as a high Sinnott cross sailed over the head of everyone in the box. Jake Moult blasted home the spot kick to make it 3-0 after 61 minutes.

Man of the Match Ginnelly got forward again in the 69th minute and, from his cross, Sinnott volleyed an excellent goal, his second in successive games. After the match Shots' captain and goalkeeper, Phil Smith, and a number of players seemed to apologize to the sizable away following, the same fans who had witnessed the Hampshire club's 8-2 thrashing at Chester on their last visit to the North West.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE 15. Josh GINNELLY, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 19 Ryan CROWTHER, 26. James PHILLIPS, 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Michael RANKINE


The BBC reports that "Torquay United boss Gary Johnson says winning games is the best way to turn his side's around his side's mentality.

Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Maidenhead United was his side's sixth winless game in seven as the Gulls have dropped from first to third in the National League.

'There looks to be a little bit of a lack of confidence at the moment,' Johnson told BBC Radio Devon. 'There's no sessions as such that gives [sic] people confidence other than winning a football match.'

Torquay have been hit by a raft of injuries to key players...

'At the moment it's a matter of talking to them all individually,' said Johnson... 'Asking where they are in their game, why are they not showing that confidence, because it was our simple passing and simple things that wasn't [sic] happening...

'We're confident in that we know that every individual's best game is good enough to compete at this level'".

Football in Berkshire tells us that "Two straight wins, two former Football League clubs vanquished. All in a week's work for Maidenhead United manager Alan Devonshire who has been named the Vanarama National League’s Manager of the Week.

The Magpies beat Chesterfield 2-0 on Saturday thanks to strikes from Nathan Blissett and Dan Sparkes while promotion chasing Torquay United were dismantled 4-1 at York Road on Tuesday night with Blissett twice on target and goals apiece for Josh Coley and Danilo Orsi-Dadomo.

That duo of home wins came hot on the heals of a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge and a run of six games without a win.

Speaking to the Maidenhead Advertiser post match on Tuesday, assistant manager Ryan Peters said 'To be able to do the same as what they did to us [Maidenhead lost 2-1 at Torquay earlier in the season] and score a few more goals than they did, I’m over the moon with that...

Meanwhile, from the Halifax Courier we learn that "If Billy Chadwick’s second loan spell at FC Halifax Town proves as successful as his first, then the forward’s dream of making the grade at Hull will move another step closer.

Chadwick has been tantalisingly close to establishing himself in the first-team squad at the League One club, making nine appearances this season, but all have been as a substitute... Chadwick grew up in east Hull and supported The Tigers as a youngster...

'The first time I was here, I did well, went back (to Hull) and was around the first-team, came on for some games'said the 21-year-old... and then I’ve been sent back on loan again.

'But when I found out I could come back here it was a no-brainer... What I want to do now, coming back, is score goals... I think it did push me on, getting some game-time playing men’s football, and I showed I was capable of doing it'..

[He] praised the work of Town manager Pete Wild and assistant Chris Millington... 'They’re both really good with me. I loved it here the first time and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to come back as soon as I found out they were interested, because of how good they were with me.'

Chadwick says his best position is up-front in a two but is happy playing out wide as well...

'I don’t think there’s a team that, on our day, are better than us [FC Halifax Town]'", he concluded.

18 March 2021


Altrincham FC has announced that "Reagan Ogle's loan deal with Altrincham has been extended, and the Accrington Stanley full-back will now remain at The J.Davidson Stadium for the rest of this season".

Left-back Ogle's arrival from Accrington was announced on 1 March 2021. Since then he has started and completed four games for The Robins, which have ended in a win, two draws and one defeat.


John Edwards, in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, reports that "Phil Parkinson described Tony Thompson’s performance as being worthy of a Football League setting after Altrincham salvaged a 1-1 draw in a dramatic final few minutes at Woking on Tuesday night.

After hauling themselves level with a Josh Hancock penalty at the start of added time, Alty looked to have blown the chance of a hard-earned point when Moussa Diarra rose to meet a corner with an unchallenged header seconds from time.

But exactly a fortnight after denying Woking a stoppage-time equaliser with a brilliant double save at The J.Davidson Stadium, Thompson was at it again, as he instinctively flung out a hand to claw the close-range effort away from the top corner...

Alty boss Parkinson enthused, 'The saves he made were at Football League level, but that’s the standard he’s been performing at this season. I didn’t see an equaliser coming for us, because we didn’t work their keeper enough. It was a really poor game, but they managed to work our keeper more than we did theirs.

'Fortunately, Tony was absolutely outstanding. He has probably got us that draw'...

Joe Piggott [right]... missed a clear-cut early chance on his first start for the club. 'It was a great chance, and Joe looked to have done everything right,' said Parkinson. 'He is normally clinical in those situations, but he slipped as he hit the shot.

'Nyal [Bell] will make an impact for us. He needs a bit more fitness after not playing much for Stockport... He really fancies being part of what we are doing here.

'Though we didn’t play particularly well, we battled and showed endeavour and character right to the end, and that’s how you get your rewards... It could be a turning point for us'".


Alty's opponents on Tuesday, Woking report that "Woking manager Alan Dowson made three changes to the line-up at Yeovil, with captain Josh Casey making his first start since January following a shoulder injury, replacing Jack Cook after he was taken off injured at Yeovil. Kane Ferdinand and Matt Jarvis replaced Max Kretzschmar and Niko Muir who took their places on the bench.

The game began with good Woking pressure, sustained by crosses from Matt Jarvis, but it was Altrincham with a golden opportunity to take the lead. Joe Piggott, starting for the first time since signing from Wigan, burst through the Woking defence, giving himself a shooting opportunity, but hit the ball well over the bar, and he will know he should have done better...

But it was Woking who would take the lead after eighteen minutes, an excellent corner from Charlie Cooper landed in the goalmouth and Lofthouse was credited with the final touch.

Woking continued to create chances... A rare Robins attack saw Colclough get a shot away with not much purpose... Half time came with the Cards one nil up and comfortable, perhaps disappointed that they only led by one goal.

Altrincham made a change at half time, taking Yoan Zouma off for Jake Moult, and this seemed to have an effect as they came flying out the blocks... Ryan Colclough of Altrincham was looking to be the Robins’ biggest threat... The game became scrappy, with constant fouls and stoppages for injuries, with Casey and Lofthouse for Woking limiting the threat of the Alty wingers, forcing them to long balls which were being dealt with by Ben Gerring and Moussa Diarra...

Tony Thompson launched a kick up the pitch, which found Hancock [Moult] unmarked inside the box, Gerring was on the wrong side of his man and conceded the penalty. Hancock stepped up and slotted into the bottom corner, a sucker punch for Woking, giving Ross no chance.

However, the action wasn’t over yet, as... Cooper’s corner [was] met by the head of Diarra, but ridiculous reflexes from Alty’s skipper kept the ball out, and full time followed shortly after.

Woking will be left wondering how a game they controlled for 92 minutes, and yet left with just one point, a lapse in concentration costing them more points against Altrincham, they will feel that they have dropped five points against the Robins by shooting themselves in the foot".


Altrincham's next opponents, Dagenham & Redbridge, drew 1-1 on Tuesday night as did the Robins. In the Daggers' case they were held at Victoria Road by a resurgent Weymouth.

Dagenham & Redbridge report that "Jake McCarthy’s last gasp goal cancelled out Liam Gordon’s screamer as Weymouth snatch a point at the death.

The Daggers entered the half time break a goal to the good, after Liam Gordon’s stunning strike in the 43rd minute proved to be unstoppable.

Scott Wilson almost extended that lead early in the second half...

But deep in added time, Jake McCarthy rescued a point for the Terras with a late strike which found its way through a sea of legs, forcing Dagenham to settle for a point.

The Daggers started strongly... The Terras’ shot-stopper was the busier of the two ‘keepers early on... However, Brian Stock’s side were still asking questions of the Daggers... As the game approached the half hour mark, Weymouth looked to be growing into the game, forcing Dagenham onto the back foot...

But as both sides looked to be entering the break level, the Daggers took the lead in spectacular fashion, when Gordon picked the ball up on the halfway line, before weaving his way past several electric yellow shirts and curling the ball into the top corner from range.

With their tails firmly up, McMahon’s men came out for the second half like a house on fire... Looking to double their lead, Dagenham were throwing everything they had at the Weymouth defence...

The Terras looked to strike back against the run of play... However, in the 60th minute, the Daggers were back to dominating the game... Approaching the final fifteen minutes of the game, the Terras were desperate to claw their way back against the in-form Daggers...

But as the game looked to be heading for a narrow victory, Weymouth’s McCarthy broke Daggers’ hearts when he fired the ball home...

Daggers Starting XI: Justham, Johnson, Clark, Wright, Gordon, Sagaf (Vilhete 89’), Rance ©, Adams, Weston, Wilson (Clifton 77’), Balanta. Unused Subs: Strizovic, Reynolds, McQueen".


James Jones neeted in the second minute for Barrow as they won 2-0 at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday might.

ON THIS DAY: 18 March

Seven years ago tonight, in 2014, Altrincham travelled to Prenton Park to plat a Peak Associates Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final against Tranmere Rovers. The referee was Robert Jones, who is nowadays a Premier League referee.

The Wirral club won the tie 2-0. Whilst Tranmere Rovers fielded their reserve team, Altrincham started with five youth team players in their starting line up and a sixth was used as a substitute. Alty's youth players in the starting eleven included Jeff King, nephew of the legendary John King.

Above: Alty line up before kick off.

Alty's squad included five youth teamers in the starting line-up (six in the squad) but they put up a creditable performance, with the second Tranmere goal only arriving shortly before the final whistle.

The clash provided a fairly close encounter with the decisive second goal for Rovers only arriving at the very end of the match.

An even opening saw few goalmouth chances. Altrincham brought on Carl Rodgers at centre-back to replace Luca Havern at the interval. But five minutes into the half Alty's centre-back Tom Clarke was hurt by a poor challenge from Rovers' Gumbs, which put the youth defender out of the game.

The nearest to an Alty goal came midway through the half when Carl Rodgers's header from a James Lawrie corner just cleared the bar and, later, keeper Mooney had to be smart to smother the ball at the feet of Lawrie as he was put through on goal.

However, Tranmere took a 74th-minute lead when defender Boland headed home a corner. After Rovers' Stockton had missed a sitter at the back post, he took advantage of Matt Doughty's lax back pass to get past Samberg and tap the ball into an empty net in added time to make it 2-0.

Alty's mix of youth and first-team players had acquitted itself well but defeat left the club now able to concentrate on a promotion push in the Skrill (Conference) North division.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Josh Samberg, 2. David Brown, 3. Matt Doughty (capt), 4. Jake Moult, 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Tom Clarke, 7. Max Pouncey, 8. Jeff King, 9. Kyle Perry, 10. Greg Wilkinson, 11. James Lawrie. Subs: 12. Adam Griffin, 14. James Walshaw, 15. Damian Reeves, 16. Carl Rodgers, 17. Spencer Cunliffe.


Frpm Devon Live we learn that "A weakened Torquay United were brushed aside by Maidenhead at York Road, with former United striker Nathan Blissett scoring twice in a four-goal rout.

United gave the ball away too easily and created few chances, while the home side exploited Torquay's youthful and makeshift defence which is still missing its most experienced members.

Gulls winger Ben Whitfield... did not recover in time for tonight's match, and his place in the starting line-up was taken by Jake Andrews. New signing Ryan Law, a left back who is at Plainmoor for a month on loan from Plymouth Argyle, started on the bench.

Ex-Gull Dan Sparkes did not figure in Maidenhead manager Alan Devonshire's selection but striker Nathan Blissett, who was a key part of one of Torquay's 'Great Escape' teams, started up front for the home side...

Josh Coley gave the home side the lead in the sixth with a clever volley from close range... With three minutes to the interval Blissett made it 2-0 with a powerful finish from close range...

The Gulls made a double substitution at the break, taking off Armani Little and Billy Waters in favour of Law and Josh Umerah.

But it was Maidenhead who moved further ahead after 49 minutes when the Gulls defence allowed Twumasi to bring the ball deep into the box without being challenged, and when he pulled the ball back it was Blissett who calmly slotted it home for 3-0... Hapless Torquay tried in vain to find a way back into the game...

Orsi shrugged off a half-hearted challenge to drill the ball beyond MacDonald from a narrow angle to make it 4-0. Olaf Koszela came on to replace Hall for the last half-hour for Torquay, and the Gulls threw players forward in an effort to fight their way back into the match. But there was precious little quality up front and the Gulls looked fragile at the back...

Torquay were awarded a penalty in the last minute as Keetch shoved Scott Boden to the ground. With regular taker Hall off the field, Boden himself stepped up to fire the ball past Ashby-Hammond for a consolation goal".

The BBC says that "Woking have threatened to follow Dover's lead in furloughing players and effectively cancel their remaining National League fixtures if they fail to reach the FA Trophy final.

The Cards play Hereford in the semi-final on 27 March... With no relegation and nothing to play for in the league, a Wembley visit is the only carrot for the club.

'It's the only thing that matters,' boss Alan Dowson told BBC Surrey. 'If we want to have their Wembley dream like I do and I'm sure they do they should up their game next week. If they don't, I'll put the whole squad on furlough'...

Gateshead-born Dowson is already preparing for a revamp of the squad next season, as Woking will turn full-time, so these games could be the last for some members of the playing group. The former Kingstonian boss says motivating players has been difficult with Covid-19, the lack of fans and the lack of jeopardy at the bottom end of the table...

'It's been a horrendous year, except for the cup run, it's the worst season I've had in 15 years,' Dowson said. 'Let's get the cards on the table, we'll have a clean sweep next season. If we don't get through then the players know how I think. I've got some young players and talent that could come into the team but it depends on next week'".

Meanwhile news of a Woking substitute used against Alty on Tuesday night comes from West Ham's Hammers News which says that "West Ham United are trying to sign Woking striker Jayden Wareham as the summer transfer window approaches... Southampton and Leicester City are also allegedly chasing the 17 year-old’s signature.

The young forward was released by Queens Park Rangers a few years back. Wareham has scored two goals in 14 games for Woking this season... It is unclear as to how much money the National League club will demand for his services. It would certainly be a nominal fee, however".

According to the Leader Live, "Dean Keates says 'it doesn't make sense' after being told by referee Louis Smith why he was red carded following a pitch-side brawl towards the end of Tuesday's 2-2 draw against Eastleigh at The Racecourse... Keates and Eastleigh striker Ben House squared up to each other.

Keates and Spitfires assistant manager Jason Bristow were sent off, but none of the players were carded in the incident... Keates was told he was shown a card for delaying a throw-in, which was Wrexham's!...

Said Keates... 'Their player comes and picks the ball off (Reds assistant manager) Andy Davies, I grab the ball off their player and then all hell breaks loose. Their player instigates it all and that is the melee, but I get the red card... I have done nothing wrong'...

The Wrexham manager... saw his side twice come from behind to draw with 10 men after Fiacre Kelleher was shown a second yellow card early in the second half".

Yeovil Town manager "Darren Sarll says that the Glovers cannot dwell on the disappointing defeat against Bromley in midweek and must be ready to ‘attack’ the next game, despite their seven-game winning run at Huish Park coming to an end. ..

Michael Cheek opened the scoring for the visitors, before Rhys Murphy equalised in the 63rd minute. It looked like the game was going to be a share of the spoils, but a freak late own goal from Reuban Reid shattered Town’s hopes of securing an important point in Somerset...

Sarll told BBC Somerset 'It’s a tough one to take. I thought we were the better side initially when we had the impact of Knowles and Reid, but to concede right at the end and with a freak goal like it was, was really tough to take... I thought we performed well tonight and moved the ball around them quite well...

Tonight, was probably the youngest team that I’ve ever put out and I'm really excited about the group going forward. I think they are very close to jumping over that last hurdle and I really believe that'".

We learn from London News Online that "Bromley extended their unbeaten run in the National League to three matches with a 2-1 win at Yeovil Town on Tuesday night...

Michael Cheek put Neil Smith’s side in front on 55 minutes as Luke Coulson picked him out to head home.

But Yeovil were level a minute later as centre-back Byron Webster was penalised for handball and Rhys Murphy beat Mark Cousins from the spot.

Mark Ellis’s debut goal just after the hour gave Notts County a 1-0 win at Wealdstone to keep themselves in the Vanarama National League play-off mix. County had shaded a cagey first half...

The Magpies broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute when Doyle swept the ball back in following a free-kick and defender Ellis, on loan from Tranmere, headed it into the top corner....

Newly appointed manager Stuart Maynard said he was 'proud' of his side’s effort after the match, but said his players needed to become braver and more adventurous in attack. The lads did really well today to contain what they had, going forward especially', Maynard told the club website...

'I think it was a fairly eve game.. We’re defending really solid now, we need to start being a bit braver when we’ve got our foot on the ball and start to move the ball now and be a bit more fluid going forward. It’s a little bit disappointing that we’re not creating too many chances but you’ve got to understand that they are full time and they’re working on this week in week out."

At Chesterfield, "After his first defeat at the Technique Stadium, a 1-0 reverse against Sutton United, James Rowe gave his thoughts on his side’s performance.

He said 'It was a tight game with few chances both sides. It was a very even game and it was always going to be. First half we didn’t move it well enough. I think the goal and the injury disrupted us. It was very bitty in the first half, which suits them.

'We didn’t create too much, credit to them they defended well... For the goal, Gavin’s [Gunning] jumping and he’s been bumped from behind'...

Gunning and Fraser Kerr were both forced off with injuries in either half and Rowe explained ... 'I’ve got Haydn [Hollis] on the bench and I don’t want to bring on three left-side centre-halves... It’s a bad one [for Fraser Kerr]. We might have to scan it and see. [Gavin Gunning has] a bad hamstring injury unfortunately. Not a great evening... Hopefully we can put tonight behind us and go again.'”

17 March 2021


For the fourth time in the last six meetings between two clubs located exactly 200 miles apart, one of the teams faced a 400-mile return trip on a Tuesday night. This time it was Alty making the long journey, just three days after a 420-mile journey to nearby Aldershot Town had ended in a late defeat.

Altrincham wasted a great chance to take a sixth minute lead when Piggott was put clear but he fired dreadfully over the bar.

Match report here.


Tuesday 16 March:
  • Boreham Wood 2-2 Notts County
  • Chesterfield 0-1 Sutton United
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Weymouth
  • FC Halifax Town 1-0 Aldershot Town
  • King's Lynn Town 2-2 Hartlepool United
  • Maidenhead United 4-1 Torquay United
  • Solihull Moors P-P Dover Athletic [Dover have furloughed players]
  • Stockport County 2-1 Barnet
  • Woking 1-1 Altrincham
  • Yeovil Town 1-2 Bromley


Altrincham FC announce the resigning of striker Nyal Bell [right], on loan from Stockport County. He has signed till the end of the season.

Curiously, Nyal's arrival makes a total of four players who may play up top for Alty tonight who are all returnees to the club. The other three are Tom Peers, Yusifu Ceesay and Joe Piggott who are all also in their second spells at Moss Lane.

Bell (24) originally joined Altrincham on a month's loan from Gateshead on 19 August 2016. A 6ft 2in. forward, Bell had earlier in summer 2016 joined Gateshead from Rochdale and had penned a two-year contract with The Heed. He had made three appearances for Rochdale's first team but was also loaned to Droylsden and Chester FC in 2015-16. He made three appearances for Chester.

His Altrincham games comprised two starts and one substitute appearance but he did not find the net.

He was signed by Stockport in June, 2018, going on to score thirteen times as County won promotion to the National League in 2019.


After four previous spells in the "Football Conference", Altrincham's overture to a hopefully prolonged fifth stay in the top-flight of non-League football has now reached 1812 proportions; they have so far completed 18 away fixtures but a mere 12 at home.

An amalgam of pitch problems, bad weather, Covid and cup clashes have played their part in the imbalance. But, far from disadvantaging Alty, their away haul per game is actually slightly higher than that gleaned at the JDS.

Their 18 away games have earned the club 23 points at 1.28 PPG whilst the twelve home games have produced 15 points or 1.25 PPG.

Altrincham will be hoping to improve on that home PPG figure as they now face just five more away games but ten fixtures at Moss Lane; (an eleventh home match against Dover has already been postponed and will never be played, it seems).


A Covid scare forced Dagenham & Redbridge to postpone their planned match last Saturday but they played last night (Tuesday) so, presumably, Alty will be able to host The Daggers this coming Saturday as planned.

Meanwhile, Dagenham & Redbridge reported before Tuesday's fixtures that their manager "Daryl McMahon will be hoping his Daggers can extend their unbeaten run to four games this evening as they welcome Weymouth to the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

Following on from the spirited comeback against Boreham Wood, which saw them claim a well-deserved point, the Daggers wasted no time in stamping their mark at home against visiting Maidenhead United last week, securing a 2-1 win in impressive fashion... The Daggers took the lead after the 14th minute when Paul McCallum stabbed home after Angelo Balanta’s header struck the post.

Only two minutes later, McMahon’s men were able to double their advantage when McCallum once again was the quickest to react to a loose ball in the penalty area, converting from close range after Balanta’s shot was deflected into his path.

The visitors threatened a comeback midway through the second half...

As a result of that win, the Daggers were able to climb one place in the Vanarama National League table into 16th...

However, a weekend without football had left the club at risk of dropping down to 18th, but defeats for the Moors and Woking meant that McMahon’s men enter Tuesday evening right where they had left off against Maidenhead


Tuesday 16 March:
  • Boreham Wood v Notts County
  • Chesterfield v Sutton United 7pm
  • Dagenham & Redbridge v Weymouth
  • FC Halifax Town v Aldershot Town 7pm
  • King's Lynn Town v Hartlepool United 7pm
  • Maidenhead United v Torquay United
  • Solihull Moors P-P Dover Athletic [Dover have furloughed players]
  • Stockport County v Barnet 7pm
  • Woking v Altrincham
  • Yeovil Town v Bromley

ON THIS DAY: 17 March

Three years ago today, on Saturday, 17 March 2018 Altrincham welcomed Stalybridge Celtic to the J Davidson Stadium. Shaun Densmore and Tom Hannigan returned to the starting eleven after recent injury lay-offs, in place of Andy White and James Jones respectively.

Above: Conditions were wintry at Moss Lane, three years ago today.

Celtic had improved in recent games but were still near the wrong end of the table as they arrived in Altrincham. Nevertheless, for the second time in a week, Altrincham surrendered three home points in a match as they lost 1-2. This time it was in a game played in a biting wind and blizzard conditions. The hosts' league lead had recently been cut to three points by Warrington Town.

After starting the better side, Alty fell behind in the 17th minute when Wolfenden found himself unmarked and scored with a low shot. Altrincham dominated the second half but could not unlock the Celtic rearguard with substitute Richman's shot, cleared off the line, the nearest to a leveller.

Alty suffered a double blow in the closing stages when the already booked Dickinson clattered Hampson who was unable to continue. The ten men of Alty then conceded a second goal in the 88th minute, through a mistake by Hannigan, which allowed Hughes to cross for Dickinson to net from close range.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Tom HANNIGAN, 5. Ben HARRISON, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Max HARROP, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. James POOLE, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Josh HANCOCK, 14. Andrew WHITE, 15. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Sam HEATHCOTE, 20. James JONES


The Blackpool Gazette reports that "Striker Paddy Madden has left Fleetwood Town for Stockport County in a deal which chairman Andy Pilley says is in the best interests of all parties.

The Irishman has joined the National League club on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The Gazette understands that Fleetwood were not actively seeking to sell the 31-year-old, but received an offer of around £250,000 for his services and felt the deal suited both parties.

The longer contract on offer at County worked for Madden to secure his future and the non-league club were able to offer him a very competitive wage.

Offloading their main striker is essentially just getting a jump on summer business as Town will look to reduce their wage bill, with a salary cap likely to return in some manner. They also feel that wages in general have dropped off and they will be able to secure good talent for less than they would have been able to in recent years.

Madden was having to be patient recently as he tried to get back into an in form Fleetwood side, he missed a few games due to Covid and was seeing his minutes limited... [He has scored] nine goals in 36 games including two in his last 13. Madden, scored 53 goals in 149 appearances for Fleetwood after joining the club from Scunthorpe United in January 2018...

Pilley told the club website, 'The decision to allow him to leave has been very difficult... It’s important we do what’s best for the future of the club'...

Rumours of Stockport’s shock approach emerged on Friday... Pilley added 'nce the offer came in from Stockport, we spoke to Paddy to see how he felt about it all. He’s 31 now and taking into consideration his diminishing game-time in recent months we came to an agreement it would be a good time to shake hands, thank him and wish him well for the future.

'Paddy also made it clear the chance to sign a long-term contract was too much of a draw for him and his family, so it’s a deal which suits everyone'...

Madden was made captain when Simon Wiles became interim boss in January and then started Fleetwood’s first four games under Grayson, scoring in two of them... He came off the bench in the last four matches... Madden was under contract at Fleetwood until the end of next season...

Stockport manager Simon Rusk told his club’s website 'While his experience, and track record speaks for itself, I am drawn to his attitude and hunger for the game'".

According to |Get Surrey, "Aldershot Town boss Danny Searle isn’t ruling out squeezing into this year’s play-offs but admits it would be a 'tough one' for his young squad.

After Saturday’s 2-1 win over Altrincham, Aldershot are just three points off seventh-place with games in hand over the majority of the sides above them...

'To give the boys some credit, I don’t think relegation was ever on anyone’s mind. We are miles away from the relegation zone,' Searle said. 'I think we are a couple of points off the play-offs and I think 16, 17 or even 18 points off the bottom three. The shackles are off a little bit, and we can go and enjoy the rest of the season...

'At times we have had some criticism but I think a lot of teams would give their right leg to be in the situation we’re in. We aren’t stupid though, the most important thing this season and every season is National League security... We also know we are quite a young side and there’s some naivety in there'...

Searle handed a National League debut to 20-year-old goalkeeper Ryan Hall on Saturday after Mitch Walker tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday... Walker was feeling unwell last Wednesday and then on Thursday returned a positive result...

'We rate him. This isn’t how we wanted it to happen because we felt he needed a loan and had a National League South club lined up for him but that went dead... You want to know if he’s capable of playing at this level. If he’s not, there’s no point keeping him around and I don’t mean that in a nasty way. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

'But I’m buzzing for him... You can’t take Ryan out after that performance.'”

Notts County manager "Neal Ardley says, while it would take a mammoth effort to get there, finishing in top spot is still our ultimate aim.

We sit in sixth place going into Tuesday evening’s away match at Boreham Wood; 12 points off leaders Sutton but with a game in hand...

'We’re still absolutely aiming for first place,' said the boss. 'It will be difficult with the schedule, the number of away games and the teams we have to face, but that remains our aim... We’ve got 20 games to play, nearly half a season. There are so many points to play for...

'Full credit to Sutton... and Wrexham and Hartlepool are in good form but, other than that, everyone’s a bit up and down. Are those three teams going to have a spell when they don’t win in four or five? Who knows... when that time comes, we’re in a good position.'

And the boss has also provided an update on several of his injured players. The hamstring problem which ruled Kenton Richardson out last weekend is not thought to be serious, while Tylor Golden is also nearing a potential return.

The right back both loanees were brought in to replace, Richard Brindley, is working hard in the gym to correct a historic injury... Further up the pitch, Matty Wolfe is a doubt due to a slight back problem and Cal Roberts is continuing his running work while waiting for the results of blood tests carried out to explore a possible correlation between Covid and the number of muscle injuries he has experienced this season.

Finally, Lewis Knight’s involvement remains in the balance as the manager and his staff weigh up the benefits of including him in the squad versus leaving him in Nottingham to continue his intensive fitness regime".

Dagenham and Redbridge visit Altrincham at the weeeknd and on Tuesday night they faced Weymouth. From there, the Dorset Echo reported that "Weymouth manager Brian Stock believes 'results will look after themselves' if the Terras’ performances remain high.

Stock’s men travel to Dagenham & Redbridge tonight (7.45pm) after the Daggers’ squad passed a late round of Covid-19 tests... The Londoners were forced to postpone their clash with Stockport on Saturday due to the virus...

Stock said 'We have come a long way as a group... We’ve gone to Stockport and got a result, we went to King’s Lynn– who, for me are a good side, and got a result there...

'Performance is key, if we get that same level I’m sure the results will look after themselves'...

Helping their cause is a possible return to action for defender Calvin Brooks and winger Sean Shields after ankle injuries".


Phoenix club Macclesfield FC announce that they "are delighted to announce the creation of a new Reserve Team ahead of the 2021/22 season, with work underway to ensure league affiliation prior to the big kick-off later this year. \,p. In addition to this, The Silkmen are thrilled to name Ed Haslam as our new Reserve Team Manager... Ed ascended into the semi-professional game at our Cheshire neighbours Congleton Town. Shortly after however, Ed suffered a double ankle and leg fracture from an innocuous tackle, which sadly resulted in his playing career having to be curtailed...

After achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Sports Science and a Masters in Education, Ed returned to the game in a coaching and management capacity, alongside his full-time job as a local PE teacher... He can now boast five league titles and three District Cups amongst his rapidly expanding achievements...

'When I was offered the opportunity to manage the Macclesfield FC Reserve Team by Rob Smethurst and Robbie Savage, I was incredibly humbled... I instantly wanted to become involved in this incredible journey of ours...

'Clearly we will be supporting Danny Whitaker and our First Team as much as we can; training will be on the same evenings... Although anyone playing against one of Macclesfield FC's sides will see it as their Cup Final, we will be ready for that, both mentally and physically'".

16 March 2021


Altrincham FC announce the resigning of striker Nyal Bell [right], on loan from Stockport County. He has signed till the end of the season.

Curiously, Nyal's arrival makes a total of four players who may play up top for Alty tonight who are all returnees to the club. The other three are Tom Peers, Yusifu Ceesay and Joe Piggott who are all also in their second spells at Moss Lane.

Bell (24) originally joined Altrincham on a month's loan from Gateshead on 19 August 2016. A 6ft 2in. forward, Bell had earlier in summer 2016 joined Gateshead from Rochdale and had penned a two-year contract with The Heed. He had made three appearances for Rochdale's first team but was also loaned to Droylsden and Chester FC in 2015-16. He made three appearances for Chester.

His Altrincham games comprised two starts and one substitute appearance but he did not find the net.

He was signed by Stockport in June, 2018, going on to score thirteen times as County won promotion to the National League in 2019.


Woking announce that "We welcome Altrincham to The Laithwaite Community Stadium this Tuesday for our Vanarama National League match, and you can catch all the action live on #CardsLive.

The ticket price for this match will be £12. With the option of adding a donation. All purchases include a complimentary download of the matchday programme".


Tonight, at Woking, Altrincham will be hoping both to secure their first "double" of the season, having beaten The Cards narrowly in the reverse fixture, just a fortnight ago, but also to improve their current run of just that one victory in their last eight outings.

On Saturday, at Aldershot, Altrincham were without five injured attacking players in Montel Gibson, Matty Kosylyo, Dan Mooney, Joe Piggott and the longer-term absentee Fisayo Adarabioyo, whilst Byron Harrison's departure yesterday potentially reduces the forward options further should none of the injured recover for tonight's game.

Tom Peers started up front on Saturday and, although he has only started fourteen matches this season, he is the top scorer from open play, with six goals to his name, three each in the league and in cup games. Josh Hancock does have eight goals in the National League but four of those have arrived from the penalty spot. Hancock and Ryan Colclough have each netted four times from open play in league matches this season.

Alty's injury problems also affect the defence where full-backs Andy White (ankle) and Shaun Densmore (fractured wrist) were both missing last Saturday.

ON THIS DAY: 16 March

Eight years ago today, in a Blue Square Bet North match, Altrincham travelled to North Wales where they won 3-1 at Colwyn Bay.

Both sides had acquired new faces in the preceding midweek. Bay had signed Lee Davey from Conwy and Altrincham had taken Guiseley midfielder Danny Boshell on loan. Boshell started today as did Lawrie and Leather whilst Rodgers and Moult were on the bench.

Right: Simon Richman is seen here getting through a lot of hard work for Alty at Colwyn Bay. Danny Hall awaits the outcome.

After a bright start from Colwyn Bay, who almost scored straight from the kick-off, Altrincham took a 22nd minute lead when Damian Reeves netted from close range from Danny Hall's pass. This followed a period of sustained attacking by the visitors. Just before the interval, however, Bay hit the Alty bar from a freekick.

Hopes that the game had been settled when Altrincham went 2-0 up through Reeves's second goal were undone a minute or so later when substitute Jason Lampkin threaded a low shot through a forest of legs and into the net in the 56th minute.

But Duncan Watmore made the game secure for Altrincham with a well-taken goal in the 80th minute. Seven minutes from time, Bay player-manager Frank Sinclair was sent off for raising his arms against Damian Reeves.

Damian Reeves's two goals in this match not only took his haul to seven in four games but meant that he reached 100 goals for Altrincham from just 118 starts and 12 sub appearances.

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


Altrincham FC has announced the departure of striker Byron Harrison.

Byron's arrival on a short-term contract at Altrincham was announced on 5 December, 2020; his previous club had been Barrow, a club he left at the end of 2019-20 season.

The 6ft 3inch forward started out in Hampshire at Havant & Waterlooville (2005) and also played for a variety of other southern clubs including Worthing in West Sussex, Boreham Wood in Hertfordshire, Harrow Borough in Middlesex, Ashford Town in Kent and Carshalton in Surrey.

In 2011 he returned to Hertfordshire and joined Stevenage Borough, playing there in League One, before dropping to League Two with AFC Wimbledon, where he stayed for two seasons before joining Cheltenham Town and then Chesterfield. A second stint at Stevenage, this time on loan, preceded his release by Chesterfield in 2016.

For 2016-17 he joined Barrow where he had his most prolific spell, scoring 27 times in 56 appearances. Next, he returned to the south of England, on loan to Sutton United.

For 2018/19 he signed for Barnet where he netted only twice in that season and was released. A return to Barrow followed for a season (2019/20) in which 24 of his 29 appearances came from the bench and he did not score, before being released.

Because of injury, it was more than a month after arriving at Alty that Byron made his club debut, as a substitute, at Sutton on 9 January 2021. He went on to make seven starts, without finding the net, before his departure was announced.

Altrincham appearances: 7(+1), 0 goals


Boreham Wood "announce, following three players recent international call ups and in line with league rules, that next Tuesday’s Vanarama National League fixture against Weymouth at the Bob Lucas Stadium has been postponed...

Wood can also announce that three players; Krystian Pearce, Keiran Murtagh and Zaine Francis-Angol have recently been called up by their respective nations for international duty in this upcoming round of international fixtures.

Krystian, an England youth international, has been called up to represent Barbados and will join up with the Tridents for two World Cup qualifiers against Panama and Anguilla, with both games set to take place in the Dominican Republic on the 26th and 31st March respectively.

Whereas, Keiran and Zaine have both been called up to represent Antigua & Barbuda. The Wood pair will line up against Montserrat and the US Virgin Islands on the 25th and 28th March too in World Cup qualification matches.

Wood Gaffer Luke Garrard commented... 'Representing your country is of course always an honour, but in World Cup qualifiers there is added prestige'".

Torquay United "is pleased to announce that left-back Ryan Law has joined the club on loan from Plymouth Argyle.

Having progressed through Argyle’s academy, Ryan has gone on to make five appearances in all competitions for The Pilgrims, as well as gaining further first-team experience at Gloucester, Truro and Chippenham.

The arrival of Law, 21, is a notable boost for The Gulls... 'We felt we needed another left-sided player,- said Gary Johnson.... 'He’s been there man and boy, and he’s an athletic left-sided player who can play left back or left wing-back'">

The Derbyshire Times repprts that manager "James Rowe says Chesterfield are ‘not panicking’ after their defeat to Maidenhead United on Saturday and that he is expecting a ‘reaction’ from his players when they take on league leaders Sutton United on Tuesday night.

The Spireites boss believes the loss at the weekend, which was just their third in 17 matches, was a ‘minor blip.’

'I am expecting a reaction tomorrow and I have full confidence'... Rowe said. 'I think the performances have been that good recently, we have dominated games, that all of a sudden we have had a couple of even games and people are panicking a little bit but there is no panicking in the camp here. It is one loss, there will be more bumps along the way.

'There is a real togetherness and there are going to be blips, adversity, I am only 17 weeks into my tenure, we have got to be realistic about this. We are blessed to be looking upwards rather than downwards at the moment and if we win our games in hand we are in the top seven which is some achievement from when I took over.

'We have won our last six home games on the bounce, can we make it seven? That would be a great achievement. I know tomorrow we are going to have a right go and it is going to be a fantastic game of football. What better way to bounce back by beating the league leaders?'

Rowe admitted ‘changes will need to be made’...

Sutton United have won seven out of their last eight matches and top the table by four points but the Blues, who could welcome back Joe Rowley for the clash, have won six in a row at home.

'We have nothing to fear but they are a very powerful team, they play a lot of forward passes, they try to exploit pace behind, they are athletic, they are powerful, good on the counter-attack and good from set-plays,' Rowe said".

Also, the Derbyshire Times tells us that "Chesterfield boss James Rowe hopes the situation with Dover Athletic gets sorted soon so they know exactly where they are positioned in the National League table...

They [Dover] have not played since January 30... At the moment, it is unclear what is going to happen with Dover’s results or if they will face a punishment. One possibility is that their results could get expunged... If that happens it could potentially move the Spireites closer to the play-offs because they have not played the Kent side so therefore would not be deducted any points".

The Leader Live tells us that "Ryan Reynolds [has] opened up about the decision to buy Wrexham AFC... [whilst] being interviewed on Monday's This Morning...

[Asked] 'Why did you buy a football team, Ryan!?'... The Deadpool star said 'It seemed like an interesting proposition. We were looking at a bunch of different teams and the thing for me that really struck a chord about Wrexham was how intrinsically tied communities are to their football club.

'It's a more all encompassing project with Wrexham; their supporters, their community, and taking them back into the English Football League. That is our goal and our hope'".

According to Lynn News "Defender Kyle Callan-McFadden is prepared to put his body on the line in order to make sure that King's Lynn Town get through the current National League season.

The no-nonsense centre-back is one of five Lynn players who can't be furloughed following his late arrival at the club from Sligo Rovers in late November.

McFadden admitted that his participation in Saturday's slender 1-0 defeat to league leaders Sutton United was never in doubt despite him appearing to pick up a heavy knock in the midweek loss at Wealdstone.

'That's the type of player I am, if I get a whack then I'll carry on,' he admitted. 'There was never any doubt that I wouldn't be fit. The gaffer is the type of manager you roll your sleeves up for and who you'll run through a brick wall through [sic]. Because of the current situation, I know I'm going to be playing and in and around the squad. As a footballer you want to play every single game that you can.'

At 25, the County Donegal man is one of the more senior members of the current dressing room, but he still had time to praise one of the emerging stars left in a wafer-thin squad.

The energetic Sonny Carey was the driving force behind Lynn’s best work on Saturday and McFadden spoke highly of the 20 year-old who looks destined to go on to bigger and better things...

The U's claimed all three points... but were pushed all the way by a depleted Linnets outfit who were again without 12 of their first team squad because of injury and furlough."

15 March 2021


Folowing the defeat at Aldershot, Brian Flynn spoke to Alty manager Phil Parkinson. The interview can be heard via the Altrincham FC website.


Just a fortnight after Woking visited Altrincham, where the Robins won 1-0, their only win in the last eight fixtures, The Cards now entertain Altrincham at the Laithwaite Stadium on Tuesday night.

This will be the eighth time that Alty have played a reverse fixture this season and they have yet to record a "double" against any opponent, a feat they will seek to achieve on Tuesday.

Since that clash with Woking in Cheshire, Alty have played just twice, drawing at home to Hartlepool United and losing narrowly at Aldershot Town last Saturday.

For their part, since playing the Robins, Woking have played three times, securing a win, draw and a loss in that order. They beat King's Lynn 3-0 in Surrey followed by a goalless draw at the same venue against Boreham Wood but they lost 2-1 last Saturday at Yeovil Town.

Woking lie 18th with 30 points from 25 matches whereas Alty are thirteenth with 37 points from 29 fixtures. On PPG the gap is much closer as Altrincham are sixteenth and Woking remain eighteenth on that basis.

ON THIS DAY: 15 March

Today, The Ides of March, is the 13th anniversary of a 1-0 defeat for Altrincham at Grays Athletic in a Blue Square Premier match, played on a Saturday afternoon.

Stuart Coburn returned in goal after injury and with Joe O'Neill suspended, Ryan Toulson returned to the starting line-up.

Both teams entered the game with question marks over their immediate futures. Grays were embroiled in a dispute with the FA and Alty were locked in a relegation dog-fight.

Above: Stuart Coburn retrieves the ball for a goalkick at Grays, where there were no ballboys/girls. Alty's fans looked on from behind the goal.

Alty started with a defensive 4-1-4-1 formation, Lane patrolling the space in front of the back four and Little deployed as the lone striker.

It took Altrincham till the 92nd minute to record a shot on goal, but then they almost scored twice. But before their late flurry, they had rarely threatened.

Grays scored the only goal of a scrappy game in the 36th minute when, O'Connor, the liveliest player on the pitch hooked home Patterson's cross from the right from six yards. Coburn got his hands to the ball but could not keep it out.

Alty sent Ryan Shotton up front after conceding the goal. But the visitors were kept in their own half for much of the second half, until they threw men forward at the very end, with Greg Young forcing a fine save in injury time after Colin Little had had the ball taken off his boot when he was about to drive a close-range shot at goal in the last minute of normal time.

Above: Alty in action at Grays, as the local residents enjoy the view.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN; 16. Ryan SHOTTON, 5. Darren TINSON (capt), 10. Greg YOUNG, 4. Ryan LYNCH; 15. Chris LANE; 23. Ryan TOULSON, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 25. Liam KING, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 3. Gary SCOTT, 13. Richard ACTON, 17. Richard BATTERSBY, 19. Chris SENIOR, 20. Carlos ROCA.


According to the Derbyshire Times, "Chesterfield were not at the races on Saturday as they slipped to a two-nil defeat at Maidenhead United.

The hosts were winless in seven but fully deserved their victory at York Road on Saturday. Strikes from Nathan Blissett and Dan Sparkes in each half sent Town home back to Derbyshire with a lot to think about.

This was as poor as we have seen Chesterfield under James Rowe and after the game he admitted it was his most disappointing defeat in the last 18 months as a manager...

Maidenhead made life very difficult for the Spireites, they were well organised and denied the visitors any space. They took advantage of the windy conditions and sloped pitch much better than Town. Rowe’s men lacked that energy, pressing and creativity we are so used to seeing. The manner of the goals, both from crosses for Blissett after 20 minutes and Sparkes seven minutes after half-time, was very unlike the Blues.

It was a bad day at the office but this was only their third defeat in the last 17 so we should cut them some slack and hopefully this is only a minor setback...

It felt like Chesterfield needed an aerial threat but the man who could have provided that, Tom Denton, is out injured for the rest of the season. Most of Town’s play was in front of Maidenhead and they struggled to get in behind the home defence. The Magpies’ big target man, Nathan Blissett, was a handful all afternoon...

Curtis Weston missed this clash through suspension after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season against Yeovil Town last week. I think Chesterfield probably did miss Weston, although I am not sure it would have altered the scoreline too much".

In the Nottingham Post "Notts County manager Neal Ardley saluted his players 'for giving everything' as they ended their mini-slump with a crucial victory at Wealdstone...

Mark Ellis’s second-half header, on what was his debut following his move from Tranmere, secured all three points... Ardley changed his shape from 4-4-2 to 5-3-2...

'I am relieved that we have got a win on the board after the last couple of weeks but the performance deserved more than 1-0,' he said. 'They (Wealdstone) didn’t really create a hell of a lot during the game but I thought we were sound in our shape.. We were more potent in attack because as of late we have played a lot of football in our own half and gone nowhere'...

Ardley was full of praise for Ellis’s performance as the defender produced an impressive display following his switch from League Two Rovers... 'We did a bit in training on Friday and his finishing in training was exceptional,' he said...

'You do your homework on a centre-back and look at their heading, are they a good talker plus their positional play. Then he says "oh by the way, I’ve got a really long throw if you want". That was an added bonus and we just thought as we haven’t been in the opposition’s final third enough recently, it was a route in there so we decided to take it. We are trying to use all the tools in our armoury.'".

Yeovil Town’s "winning home run was extended to seven games on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over Woking.

Rhys Murphy’s double was enough for the Glovers to return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats on the road. The visitors did prove difficult opposition, pulling a goal back in the second half through Max Kretzschmar...

Darren Sarll opted for three changes to his Glovers side. Adam Smith retained his place in goal, as Carl Dickinson returned to the defence as he started alongside Max Hunt, Billy Sass-Davies, and Michael Kelly.

In the midfield, Charlie Lee returned to the base of the diamond, with Josh Neufville also starting after sitting out against Sutton. Tom Knowles and Albi Skendi also started in the midfield. Reuben Reid and Rhys Murphy led the line.

The visiting Cards settled the quickest... Following a slow start, the Glovers finally started to find their rhythm after 20 minutes...

On 31 minutes, Murphy netted his first of the afternoon. A piece of individual brilliance from Neufville saw him expertly beat three defenders, the ball then broke free for Murphy who refused to give up on the chance, breaking beyond the Woking defence and placing an effort beyond Ross...

Much like the first half, Woking settled quickest in the second, winning four corners in quick succession which Sass-Davies and Lee did well to clear. After some resolute defending at one end, the Glovers got their just rewards at the other. With Knowles winning a free-kick at a tight angle, the ball was played to the near-post for Murphy to add a sublime finish with his backheel to double Town’s advantage in the 58th minute.

However, it did not take long for Town to be pegged back. A deep cross into the box found Kretzschmar in acres of space for the former Wycombe man to head home and cut the deficit.... Ultimately Murphy’s double was enough for Yeovil Town to return to winning ways".

We learn from the Halifax Courier that "Martin Woods's second half penalty made it three wins in a row for FC Halifax Town as they beat Solihull Moors 1-0 at The Shay.

Town were far from their best, and a shadow of the side from their last two outings, but still got the win. It marks a terrific week for Pete Wild's men after victories over Wealdstone and Notts County. This was without doubt the hardest earned of the three, and while Halifax didn't hit the heights here, they deserve credit for digging in and finding a way to win.

Mitch Hancox hit the post with a low shot after quarter of an hour, putting the stamp on Solihull's impressive start... Jamie Ward then hit the bar... as Solihull just lacked the goal to cap their spirited display.

New manager Mark Yates couldn't have asked for much more just two days after being appointed.

Halifax were flat, like all the life had been sucked out of them. The intensity and commitment that imbued their play against Wealdstone and Notts County conspicuous by its puzzling absence... The Shaymen's passing was off, there wasn't the same care or precision in possession as there had been in recent games and they looked a little unsettled by Solihull's start.

The visitors were aggressive, in Town's faces, closing down and full of energy... Anyone would have thought it was Halifax coming into the game having been stuffed 5-0...

But two minutes after the restart, Woods converted from the spot after Jeff King was shoved over in the box... The pattern of the game remained though, with Town failing to get into a rhythm and Solihull's determination undimmed.

Halifax switched to 4-2-3-1 to try and impose themselves more, bringing on Jamie Allen and deploying him and Billy Chadwick either side of substitute Tahvon Campbell.

Only Solihull's lack of cutting edge in the final third let them down...

Halifax's attacks were now going from back-to-front, with any build-up play or passing through midfield abandoned. The Shaymen's slender lead looked paper thin when... Hudlin inexplicably put [a] rebound wide from five yards".

Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town suffered their third successive National League defeat as league leaders Sutton United claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory at The Walks.

Ian Culverhouse's side, again ravaged by injury and furloughed players, put up a brave fight against the high-flying U's before falling to a Donovan Wilson effort 14 minutes into the second period.

Lynn made two changes from the side beaten 3-1 at Wealdstone in midweek with Alfie Payne replacing the injured Jak Hickman and Simeon Jackson coming in for Kairo Mitchell who began the game on the bench.

Only three players who started the 5-1 drubbing in the reverse fixture in South London featured this afternoon, again a measure of Lynn's current issues... Clear cut chances were few and far between in the first half.

Their resistance was finally broken 11 minutes into the second period after Omar Bugiel's pass caught out Lynn defender Chris Smith and Wilson slotted home his first Sutton goal... The visitors threatened to extend their advantage but Lynn refused to cave in.

Visiting goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was at full-stretch to keep out an effort from Linnets substitute Michael Gyasi who made a lively impact".

Torquay United "were forced to settle for a point in Hertfordshire, as they battled out a goalless draw with Boreham Wood.

After Asa Hall saw his first-half penalty saved, chances for both sides to break the deadlock came and went, however both defences cancelled each other out as the match ended scoreless.

Boss Gary Johnson made one change to the side that went down 1-0 at home to Hartlepool last Saturday, with Jake Andrews replaced in the starting line-up by Billy Waters...

The men in yellow who started the strongest, with a number of early forays into enemy territory keeping the home backline occupied. The Gulls were playing some delightful stuff during the opening stages, however the final ball wasn’t quite accurate enough... Despite playing second fiddle, it was actually the hosts who created the best opportunity in the 17th minute...

Things became slightly scrappy thereafter, however in the 27th minute, United were gifted an ideal opportunity to take the lead after being awarded a penalty... After sending in a dangerous low ball into the box towards Armani Little, Gus Mafuta intervened by bringing down the Torquay man, with the referee ideally positioned to take note, and point to the spot.

Skipper Hall stepped up, however after firing the ball to goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore’s left, The Wood stopper guessing correctly, palming it away to safety, to keep the scoreline blank... Johnson’s men continued to enjoy the bulk of possession, and as the half wore on, more chances began to come their way... Both defences remained unbreached during the remainder of the first 45 minutes...

It was end-to-end stuff following the restart... With twenty minutes left, both sides were still going all-out for a winner, with all three outcomes remaining a distinct possibility...

As the match entered the dying stages, Johnson’s men were being forced to soak up more and more pressure, however they held firm to secure a welcome point".

14 March 2021


Speaking to the NL Paper after the defeat at Aldershot, Alty boss Phil Parkinson said, "We were really poor first half". But in the second half, "It felt there was only going to be one winne and then, not to get anything, is a kick in the teeth.

"We had more than enough opportunities to warrant here, minimum, a draw", he concluded.

The NL Paper notes that "Altrincham would top the table based on second-half results". But after this game they have now lost their last four games on the road.


Altrincham were undone by an 88th minute winner from Aldershot, against the run of play, after having the better of the second half.

Alty were without five injured attacking players in Gibson, Kosylyo, Mooney, Piggott and the longer-term absentee Adarabioyo. So Tom Peers started up front today whilst Hancock returned from injury to start. Hannigan returned from suspension but was only named on the bench today.

Aldershot gave keeper Hall his league debut.

The Shots shaded the first half but Alty will be disappointed to have fallen behind in the 43rd minute when Nouble's cross shot from the left evaded Thompson and went in just inside the far post. Alty were unable to land a shot on target in the first half though a 25 yarder from Senior curled just inches wide.

Alty got level immediately after half time when Hancock converted a penalty (48 mins) and should have taken the lead but were wasteful in front of goal. They paid the price in the 88th minute when substitute Kandi got the better of Ogle and drove the ball home from the edge of the box.

Match report here,


Aldershot Town report that "Goals from Joel Nouble and Chike Kandi secured three consecutive National League victories for Aldershot Town and a league double over Altrincham FC at the EBB Stadium.

Nouble opened the scoring for Aldershot Town with a lovely curling effort past Tony Thompson before Josh Hancock equalised from the penalty spot.

Two minutes from time, Kandi’s exquisite first-touch gave him the space to fire into the far corner and secure all three points for the Shots...

Danny Searle named five changes... Ryan Hall made his National League debut in goal with Mo Bettamer returning to the lineup. Killian Colombie returned from suspension to start. James Rowe was not part of the squad whilst Shadrach Ogie dropped to the bench...

Aldershot Town were dominating the opening 20 minutes with Nouble having a great game...

Just before half-time, Aldershot Town got a deserved lead through Nouble who continued his fine form for the Shots. Nouble gathered the ball on the left-hand side before cutting inside and curling a wonderful effort past Thompson.

Moments after the break, Altrincham came close to levelling when the corner came in from Ryan Colclough and found Toby Mullarkey who headed the ball off of [sic] the crossbar. Shortly after, Colombie brought down an Altrincham player inside the box and Josh Hancock converted for the visitors...

In the final minutes of the game, Aldershot Town regained their lead through substitute Kandi. A great run from Colombie allowed the full-back the space to pick out a pass and find Kandi whose excellent first touch set him up beautifully for a cool finish into the far corner.

Altrincham piled on late pressure forcing an excellent save from Ryan".


Saturday, 13 March 2021

On Saturday morning Dagenham announced a positive test for Covid necessitating the postponement of their match at Stockport.

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


When Boris Johnson's government introduced the furlough scheme to address Covid-related unemployment, little did he realise that some football clubs would use tax-payers' money as a management tool. But the Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth manager Brian Stock admitted he will furlough players if the lack of Vanarama National League relegation demotivates them.

Stock had earlier watched his side lose 2-0 at high-flying Wrexham after Theo Vassell and Jordan Ponticelli goals.

Stock’s comments came after Wrexham’s commentary team suggested the Terras would not mind if they were beaten 5-0 or 6-0 by the Red Dragons...

The Terras are currently sat in 20th and any confirmation of the vote will lead to Weymouth being safe from the drop.

Questioned on whether a below-par second half was down to fatigue or lack of relegation threat, Stock gave a stern message to his players.

He added 'The first part I would agree. We lacked energy and there were a few tired legs out there; no snap, no intensity. That died throughout the game.

'In terms of the relegation thing, I do not want to be that manager that downs tools. There is a group of players that’ve come off the pitch away to Wrexham disappointed to have lost... They’ve been superb, consistent performances...

'If (easing off) was the case and I felt that players were not caring, they would be furloughed and I would bring players in that would want to win points for Weymouth.'”

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Timi Odusina was sent off following a second yellow card shortly after half-time as Pools played the second half with 10 men.

It’s the second time in as many games Pools have had a player sent off as Lewis Cass was shown a straight red at Altrincham on Tuesday night.

Challinor had no complaints with that decision, but on Saturday he was furious with the standard of officiating.

'In terms of my players and our team, I’m proud of the effort we put in,' he said. 'Unfortunately, the game was not decided by the two teams playing football but the third team which is why I’m angry.

'The sending off is an absolute nonsense and I don’t usually have a go at referees because it’s a tough job and they make mistakes but I do get angry when they make decisions that are wrong that cost my team the chance to win a game.

'Timi picked up two yellow cards from getting stamped on in the first half. He was telling the referee to watch it back because their lad stood on him on the floor which is why he reacted but he wasn’t the one who got booked...

'Their lad then goes through and hits the deck with no contact and Timi is an honest kid, there is no contact...

'There wasn't a bad tackle in the game so how you can come away with eight bookings and a red card, I don’t know. We got five bookings so we’ll probably get a fine which is ridiculous'...

Challinor is also frustrated with the lack of accountability for bad decisions in the National League as he refrained from speaking to referee Andrew Kitchen following the full-time whistle...

'We have a fourth official who is not qualified to referee the game so there was no point having him, I saw no reason for him to be there. They stand there and say nothing or give any explanation or if they do they just agree with the referee'".

According to the Derbyshire Times "James Rowe said he ‘picked the wrong team’ as Chesterfield fell to a deserved defeat to Maidenhead United at York Road on Saturday.

'Credit to Maidenhead, they fully deserved the win,' Rowe told the DT. 'I warned the players about what to expect here all week and we have not delivered anywhere near what I expect.

'But it comes down to me, I picked the wrong team, I trusted the wrong players and we have come unstuck today... I have learnt a lot about individuals and collective units...

'Talent doesn't beat hard work if talent doesn’t work hard.'

The Town boss made two changes with Martin Smith replacing the suspended Curtis Weston and Fraser Kerr coming in for Will Evans...

When asked in what way he picked the wrong team, Rowe pointed to the two goals they conceded.

'Their goalie punted it down the field 70 yards, we don’t get any contact and he delivers it one touch and scores from one touch, something seriously wrong... That comes down to individual first and second contacts.

'For the second goal their player should not get the delivery in, we should at least foul and stop the delivery and that has not happened'".

From the other side, the Maidenhead advertiser reports that "Maidenhead United revived their play-off hopes with an excellent team display in a thoroughly deserved 2-0 win over in-form Chesterfield...

The Magpies looked the hungrier side throughout and won pretty much all their collective and individual battles in difficult, blustery conditions.

Nathan Blissett side-footed home Dan Sparkes low cross to make it 1-0 after 21 minutes, and Sparkes doubled their advantage with a close-range finish from Josh Coley’s clever cross shortly after the interval...

Afterwards Magpies boss Alan Devonshire said, 'That’s definitely our best display here. I’m delighted, we played some good stuff at times in difficult conditions. We looked like the team that were in form to be fair'".

13 March 2021


Aldershot Town's Shots TV service is live streaming the game against Altrincham on Saturday afternoon (3pm). You can access the service for £11.99 here. Aldershot announce that "The match will be ‘live streamed’ and available for £11.99 via ‘Shots TV Live’ and include: a pre-match show with Presenter Mark Butler. The guests are former Shots players Scott Rendell and Nick Arnold. The show will start at 1:30pm and it also includes a digital match programme.

They’ll be there for pre-match, half-time and full-time to discuss the evening’s events".

In their preview of the game, Aldershot Town write that "Following the postponement of our games against Notts County (March 6) and Torquay United March 9)... Aldershot Town return to National League action against Altrincham FC at the EBB Stadium looking to continue their good form in the league.

Lewis Kinsella, Craig Tanner and Ross McCormack are all progressing well from their long-term lay-offs, whilst both Alex Finney (hamstring) and George Fowler (knee) are doubtful. Killian Colombie could be in contention to start as he returns from suspension sustained against Maidenhead United.

[Since last season] 16 players have left Moss Lane to move onto pastures new... 17 players have been retained from their campaign last season. Anthony Thompson, Joel Torrance, Shaun Densmore, Connor Hampson, Tom Hannigan, Toby Mullarkey, Andy White, Jake Moult, Simon Richman, Sean Williams, Yusifu Ceesay, Josh Hancock, Curtis Miller, Daniel Mooney, Tom Peers, Joe Piggott and Lewis Salmon have all been retained by the Robins.

15 new players have joined the Robins this season. Signings include Matthew Gould (Spennymoor), Ritchie Sutton (Morecambe), Rowan Roache (Bamber Bridge), Ryan Colclough (Scunthorpe), James Hardy (AFC Telford United), Byron Harrison (Barrow), Matty Kosylo (AFC Fylde) and Fisayo Adarabioyo (Warrington Town) who is the brother of Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo. Joel Senior and Will Hall were signed after impressing as a trialist. Players that are currently on loan are Andy Dales (Scunthorpe United), Yoan Zouma (Barrow) who is the brother of Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma, Reagan Ogle (Accrington Stanley), Alistair Smith (Mansfield Town) and Montel Gibson (Grimsby Town).

After gaining promotion from the National League North, Altrincham have surprised a lot of people this season with their early season form which had taken them into the play-off positions. However, recent results have gone against them and they now sit mid-table but only a point off of the play-offs...

Tomorrow’s referee is Jacob Miles with his assistants Marc Meeten and Robert Evans and the fourth official officiating the game is Craig Green supported by coach Stephen Dunn".

Footnote: Jacob Miles refereed Altrincham's home defeat to Bromley in November 2020.


Altrincham FC has announced that the winners in its latest Monthly Draw, for January 2021, were as follows:-
  • £500 cash | #298 | G.E. Woods
  • £75 cash | #17 | Julie & Michael Lloyd
  • £25 cash | #247 | I. Wiggins
  • Robin Polo Shirt | #507| Mrs Mottrem
  • Replica Alty FC Shirt | #465 | Russell Neil
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #31 | Paul Brady

Congratulations to all the winners!

The club has asked that Julie or Michael Lloyd please contact the club as they need to confirm contact details, please.

ON THIS DAY: 13 March

Twenty-two years ago today on 13 March 1999 Altrincham were playing at Leigh RMI's cavernous ground in the UniBond Premier League in a season which culminated in Alty's promotion back to the Football Conference after a two-year absence.

Right: Digital cameras were in their infancy when this shot of the 1999 game was taken!

The match, which Alty lost 3-2, after missing two penalties, was also the first to have a brief match report on the Alty Pages website, the forerunner to the current Alty Files.

For the game, Altrincham were forced to make several changes, owing to suspension and injury.

The resulting makeshift side lacked Russell, Harris and Robertson and employed centre-back Ellender in a midfield position. With the sudden departure of midfielder Mark Ward a few days earlier, following a disagreement with the club's management, the midfield was also under par.

There was a debut for Ashley Neal, son of ex-Liverpool defender Phil Neal.

Leigh established an early two-goal lead by half-time through Black and Smyth.

Ellender moved further forward but Altrincham missed a first-half penalty after he was pulled down. Adams's spot-kick was well saved by Felgate. A third Leigh goal from Monk arrived just after the interval.

Altrincham recovered with an own goal from Turpin and a header from Ellender and appeared to have saved the match when they won a penalty for a blatant hand-ball in the closing minutes. However, Ellender's side-footed attempt, was saved, to his left, by Felgate.


Dagenham & Redbridge "announce the signing of Mauro Vilhete.

The Portuguese midfielder is a product of the Barnet academy system, becoming Barnet's youngest ever Football League player back in 2010... aged 16.

Vilhete has had three loan spells at fellow National League side Boreham Wood in his career... and has also enjoyed spells at Hendon, Wingate & Finchley and Hampton & Richmond Borough...

Daryl McMahon said 'He's trained with us for the past week, and obviously, I've known about him for a long time due to his spells at Barnet and Boreham Wood. He's a very experienced player and he's hungry to get back to this level after the first half of the season.

'Mauro can play a number of positions, whether it's wing-back, in midfield, or centre forward'".

The Hartlepool Mail tells us that "Jamie Sterry is expected to make a welcome return to the Hartlepool United line-up for Saturday’s match against Eastleigh at Victoria Park.

Sterry was rested for Tuesday night’s draw at Altrincham but is now expected to come straight back into the side as Pools look to make it nine home wins in a row.

Several players still remain unavailable for the match with Lewis Cass serving the first of his three match suspension following a straight red card at the J. Davidson Stadium. Ryan Donaldson (foot), Joe Grey (back) and Luke Williams will also not be involved in the game.

Defender Ryan Johnson is a slight doubt as he continues to manage a groin strain picked up following Pools’ previous home win against Barnet.

'We’re okay,' Challinor told The Mail... 'We’ve also got lads coming back... Jamie has played a lot of games in a short period of time which he isn’t used to so we’ve got to manage where he’s at. We’re in a position where some lads can’t manage two games a week'".

According to Devon Live "Gary Johnson says Torquay United want to win the league as much as the club’s supporters do and while social media critics are entitled to their opinion, no-one should ‘mess up their life by being miserable all the time’.

Torquay dropped off the top of the National League table in midweek and could be six points behind new leaders Sutton United by the time they play at Boreham Wood on TV on Saturday night.

There have been a few critical messages on social media in recent weeks...

The manager said... 'Moaning about it, that’s par of the course. That’s fine and they are entitled to all that, but what you mustn’t do is mess up your life by being miserable all the time and seeing the worst of everything. We only need one more point to beat last year’s points tally and we want to win the league as much as our supporters want to win the league'...

Torquay’s form since Christmas hasn’t been great but it is fair to say it has coincided with one of the worst injury crises in the club’s history... Still, he doesn’t want the injuries to be an excuse for the 2021 form that has seen them win just twice in the league with four defeats and three draws.

Johnson said 'Injuries are frustrating for all the clubs and we won’t use that as an excuse... At the moment, because so many have been out, sometimes you have to play people that might not be quite 100% fit. When things were going well, everybody was fine and everybody had sprints and high-speed runs in them, power-plays, and we have just dropped short of that. But each week we will get there'".

Wrexham’s "new Chief Executive Officer, Fleur Robinson believes that the club is entering ‘an incredible new era'...

Fleur is joining from a role as Commercial Director at Burton Albion...

'I’m excited about joining one of the oldest professional football clubs in the world which has both a proud history and a positive future. There are not many jobs that would have pulled me away from Burton Albion, a club I have helped develop from the second tier of non-league to two seasons in the Championship...

'I’ve come from a place where football is at the heart of the community and as a founder of the community trust at Burton Albion I’ve seen how the power of football can be used to make a positive impact on people’s lives'...

Beyond club responsibilities, Fleur is currently elected to the 120-member FA Council".

The manager of Notts County, Neal Ardley, "says he understands supporters’ current frustrations and is more determined than ever to lead us to promotion.

The team has been on a run of disappointing results and performances of late...

'I totally understand fans’ frustrations,' he said. 'I haven’t enjoyed watching us play recently. I really haven’t. It’s not down to a lack of hard work on the training field, but we’ve not looked enough of a threat going forward. I’d be disappointed if I was a fan.

'My job is to turn it around... There’s no blame culture. I take full responsibility and I’m doing all I can to get the best out of this group of players... All of a sudden, we now can’t seem to string three passes together and look a poor side'..

Ardley and his staff are finalising their preparations for the trip to Grosvenor Vale [Wealdstone] and it remains to be seen whether new signing Lewis Knight will be part of his plans... 'Putting him on the bench is a Catch-22 situation because, even if he gets 15 minutes’ game-time, you lose a weekend where he could have been working hard on his fitness. If he’s not in the squad it’ll be because we’re trying to get his levels where they need to be.'”

Woking report that "Two of the National League’s most improved sides go head-to-head on Saturday as Woking travel to take on Yeovil Town.

It’s a credit to how far the Cards have come in the last six weeks that they were left frustrated to only take a point from the goalless draw with Boreham Wood on Tuesday evening, with the home side missing a host of chances to claim a first league win over the Wood since 2011. Manager Alan Dowson will no doubt be quick to point out the positives of five clean sheets in the last seven games, having only managed three in the previous 18 fixtures in all competitions. That run has also included just two defeats, both in mid-week away fixtures, as well as victories over title chasers Sutton and Torquay.

Yeovil have also had a positive 2021 after a shockingly poor start to the season. The Glovers, who finished fourth last season, took 11 games to register their first league win of the season, which only came in mid-December at Bromley. But after a 6-1 thrashing at Torquay on Boxing Day, they won nine out of 13 to catapult themselves up the standings and into the comfort of mid-table, before back-to-back defeats over the last seven days away to Chesterfield and Sutton...

In midfield, Kane Ferdinand will be available [for Woking] again, having now served his one-match suspension for five yellow cards. He will be competing with Ben Dempsey for his position, with the Charlton loanee having filled in on Tuesday evening...

Woking are back in action on Tuesday evening when they host Altrincham at the Laithwaite Community Stadium".

News of an ex-Alty loanee comes from Yeovil Town, who "confirm the loan extension of Billy Sass-Davies from Crewe Alexandra.

Since joining, Sass-Davies has made an immediate impact on the Town defence, winning five games and keeping two clean sheets in the process.

It isn't just at the back where the Crewe loanee has made himself known, Sass-Davies netted his first National League goal in the green and whites victory over Barnet.

The Welsh youth international now signs for an extra month ahead of a busy period of games for the Glovers".

12 March 2021


Today marks the eightieth birthday of Altrincham FC volunteer Terry Surridge [right], who will be known to many hundreds of Alty supporters through the numerous unpaid roles that he has undertaken for the benefit of the football club.

Though a native of Grantham in Lincolnshire, Terry's teaching role brought him to Manchester in 1963 and led to his becoming a supporter of Alty and one of its leading club historians.

In 1981 Terry was appointed Deputy Head at Wright Robinson College in Gorton, Manchester, an institution famed locally for its students' sporting prowess.

In addition to his interest in local football, it was Terry's achievements in coaching weightlifters that led to his involvement with the national weightlifting scene and this included coaching British Olympic weightlifters. His local weightlifting club went on to be voted the British Weightlifting Association 'Development Club of 2013'.

As well as assisting the Alty management behind the scenes in arranging fitness and training facilities for the players, he was to be seen at home games selling the Robins' Review matchday programme near the main stand.

Terry's work for the benefit of local sport was recognised in 2019 when he was deservedly voted the Manchester Evening News's "People's Champion" as part of The Manchester Sports Awards.

Supporters of Altrincham will hope that Terry has a happy day today and that they will soon be seeing him back at his programme seller's post at the J. Davidson Stadium, once spectators are able to attend matches again.


Following Tuesday night's draw against Hartlepool United, Altrincham FC has an interview with manager Phil Parkinson as well as highlights of the game which include the red-card incident which was missed during the live streaming.

ON THIS DAY: 12 March

Above: Jordan Sinnott's second-half freekick almost gave Alty a 2-1 lead but it was saved by keeper Joel Dixon.

In a Vanarama National League match played five years ago today, on Saturday, 12 March 2016, Altrincham travelled to Holker Street where they lost 3-2 to Barrow.

Altrincham had parted company with manager Lee Sinnott on the previous Wednesday, so this was the first match in charge for caretaker Neil Tolson and his assistant Matt Doughty.

With one win in 13 league games, Alty had slipped into the relegation places.

The trip to Cumbria was to be the second time in a week that Altrincham suffered a 3-2 defeat. With Rankine still injured, the only change was Leather for O'Keefe, which allowed Sinnott a rare start in right midfield.

Above: Action from the match at Barrow in 2016.

Alty took an 18th minute lead with a superb freekick by Sinnott after a foul on Lawrie. The visitors remained the better side but lost Holness to a facial injury for the last ten minutes of the first half. Towards the end of this spell with ten men, Alty conceded a goal as they poorly defended a corner, allowing the unmarked Livesey to tap in at the back post.

The game was decided by two Barrow goals in the 62nd and 67th minutes. First, Cook got between Havern and Leather and scored with a firm shot from 15 yards. Then two brilliant saves in succession by Deasy stopped Cook scoring again before another Cook effort was saved only to be put in the net on the line by Tomlinson.

Two minutes later Lawrie scored a fine goal from the front edge of the box, his left-foot shot going in off the post to the keeper's left to make it 3-2.

The game then got ragged and niggly with Alty ending it with four yellows and Barrow with three. So Alty remained 21st and coincidentally just as today in 2021, their next match was to be against Aldershot Town, albeit on that occasion at Moss Lane.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Jordan SINNOTT, 5. Luca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 28. Marcus HOLNESS, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT (capt), 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE 15. Josh GINNELLY, 10. Damian REEVES, Subs 12. Sam HEATHCOTE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 19 Ryan CROWTHER 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 14. Josh O'KEEFE,


Three National League clubs have made managerial changes in the past 24 hours...

Firstly, on Wednesday evening, Barnet Football Club "parted company with Manager Tim Flowers by mutual consent.

Despite the hope for a change of fortunes after Tim’s arrival and the best efforts of his coaching team both on and off the pitch, the team has continued to struggle. As a result, both parties felt it best for a change in the dugout...

Flowers sai, 'As challenging as it’s been I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Barnet FC. It just got to a point where I couldn’t get any more out of the team... It might just need a different voice in the dressing room.

'Recruitment was always going to be key and I was supported by the Chairman with the 9 players I brought in. Timing was the main factor and the loan market is tough as players need time to get match fit... Ultimately, we brought in some players who tried hard but it just hasn’t happened'...

Barnet FC Chairman, Tony Kleanthous, said... 'On this occasion, it just hasn’t worked out, which is disappointing because of the high regard in which I hold Tim'. Head of Performance, Gary Anderson, will oversee training in the short term".

Later, Barnet added that "the Club will take a little time to consider its options moving forwards.

In the interim, former manager Paul Fairclough has agreed to step in to provide technical support for the next two to three matches with Gary Anderson continuing in his role as Head of Performance.

This will hopefully provide some new positive momentum for the Club to build from. Fairclough will be in the dugout for this Saturday's trip to Bromley and next Tuesday's fixture away to Stockport County".

Meanwhile at Solihull Moors a day after the departure pf manager Jimmy Shan, the Moors "announce the return of Mark Yates as the club’s manager.

Yates has been appointed on a short-term contract until the end of the season and will be assisted by Neil Howarth.

The pair have previously worked together at Kidderminster Harriers, Cheltenham Town, Macclesfield Town and, more recently, Stourbridge.

The club would like to thank Stourbridge for their co-operation in allowing Mark and Neil to join us on a temporary basis whilst their league is suspended.

In his first spell, Yates led the Moors to the ‘great escape’ in the 2017/18 season, winning 11 league games in a formidable second half of the campaign. The club preserved its National League status against all odds...

Yates said 'I’ve been asked to come back until the end of the season and I plan to make a big impact... I’ve worked with a few of the players and staff before. It was a surprise call but one I was delighted to take'".

A third club experiencing managerial change is Wealdstone where the club is "delighted to announce that [acting manager] Stuart Maynard and Matt Saunders have been appointed as the club's First Team management until the end of next season, with Stuart as First Team Manager and Matt as Assistant Manager.

The club have spoken to a number of potential candidates over the past few weeks and have unanimously concluded that Stuart and Matt are the right combination to move the club forward.

Chairman Rory Fitzgerald said of the appointment 'Having seen first hand the qualities and dedication that Stuart and Matt have demonstrated since taking charge of the side in very challenging circumstances, I have huge confidence in this appointment.

'There have been a lot of high quality candidates available, however the impact that Stuart and Matt have had on all aspects of the playing side has given us a real insight into their application and potential and we're looking forward to working with them as we continue to develop the club on and off the pitch.'

Stuart is well known to Wealdstone fans having played for the club in the late 90s and has been a hugely impressive figure around the club since his return to the club in May 2019 working with Dean Brennan to secure the National League South title...

Stuart said... 'This season has had its challenges with the financial impact of having no supporters or bar revenue, however... we're already working on plans for next season so we have a competitive side that our fans can be proud of'".

Maynard was previously number two to Dean Brennan, who left the club just over a week ago. Since then Maynard has won two of seven league matches.

The Hartlepool Mail says that "No outfield player has played more minutes for Hartlepool United over the past three months than Luke Armstrong.

The Salford City loanee joined Pools at the start of December and has since started all 17 of the side’s matches in that time. The striker has nine goals to his name and has played the full 90-minutes in all but four of his appearances at Hartlepool so far.

Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Altrincham saw Armstrong play just over an hour before being taken off with the score level...

'Luke is fine,' Challinor told The Mail... 'He’s played virtually every minute of every game since arriving at the club... He’s so important to us and it’s vital that he’s 100 per-cent fit and firing for us. That lone role up front when you’ve got 10-men, as we did at Altrincham, is a really tough one and normally you need someone who is electrically quick or someone like Mols [Luke Molyneux] who can come deep and get past people.

'That’s not really Luke’s game so we used that as an opportunity to give him a bit of a breather'... Before arriving at Pools, Armstrong had played just 129 minutes of competitive league football for Salford City in 2020-21...

Armstrong has some engine on him but hasn’t started this many consecutive matches at any point in his professional career. And that’s why Pools will need to manage the 24-year-old correctly with the hope of him firing the club back to the Football League this season.

The Halifax Courier says that "The Shaymen should be in safe hands should backup keeper Chris Renshaw be called upon.

Renshaw joined Town on February 15 on loan from Witton Albion as cover for the injured Harrison Davison-Hale after he broke his finger. Town boss Pete Wild looks set to extend the deal as Davison-Hale is not yet ready to return to action.

Renshaw joined Everton on a three-year deal in June 2016 having come through the ranks at Oldham Athletic, where he played from the age of 11....

'I wanted to be a central midfielder, but after training one day I went in goal, they had a bit of a penalty shoot-out, I did well... and I’ve not looked back really,' he said.

Renshaw worked under Town boss Pete Wild for two years when he became a scholar with The Latics, when Wild was assistant manager of the under 18s... Some niggly injuries meant Renshaw was never really able to develop his full potential at Goodison Park...

'I left there and weighed up my options, had a couple of chances to go in as number two at League One, League Two...

'I had the opportunity to go to Witton, and I just thought ‘I’ll go and get 40, 50 games under my belt in men’s football. “I ended up playing 36 games in my first year, which got cut short with Covid...

'I got the call [frpm Halifax] because I knew the gaffer from Oldham, saying they’d had an injury and they wanted a bit of backup for the time being... I want to keep my goals short-term. I played at Witton’s league, my goal now is to be back full-time and be playing Conference or in the league...

'For now it’s a month’s loan,' he said. 'I was lucky to get this call because it’s two leagues above'".

We learn from the Leader Live that "Dean Keates believes he will have 'hard decisions'...

Jay Harris marked his return from injury with a late substitute appearance in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Barnet while first choice goalkeeper Rob Lainton, absent for the previous nine games, was named among the substitutes at The Hive.

And with captain Shaun Pearson not far away from full fitness, Keates, who left Paul Rutherford, James Horsfield and Devonte Redmond out of his squad against the Bees, won't be short of options...

Said Keates, 'A couple more weeks and I think I will have everybody; touch wood nothing else happens... Testament to the group when I named the team at the hotel when I am leaving the likes of Paul Rutherford and James Horsfield out of the group because they train unbelievably well day in, day out and every time they go out there, they give absolutely everything for the football club.

'They are great pros and that is the standards we spoke about at the beginning of the season. Them [sic] two set standards, they adhere to it every single day and the rest of the group are doing it because it is making hard decisions for myself.'

Jordan Ponticelli, yet to score this season, came on as a second half substitute for Dior Angus and Keates added 'If we can get him up to speed, he may just take the baton over.'"

11 March 2021


With six points covering no fewer than twelve clubs in the sixth to seventeenth positions in the National League, on Saturday, Altrincham travel to Aldershot Town. Both the Robins and the Shots are in that bloc, with Alty eleventh (15th on PPG) and The Shots lying fourteenth, three points worse off, but with four games in hand. Aldershot are therefore above Alty on PPG, with the Hampshire club lying 12th on that measure.

Back in November Aldershot won 2-1 at Moss Lane.

Amongst the current Aldershot Town players who have played against Altrincham whilst with clubs other than The Shots are:

  • Mitch Walker who, in 2015, was Dover Athletic's goalkeeper in the match in which Stuart Coburn suffered his career-ending injury at Crabble.
  • Another ex-Dover man at the Recreation Ground these days is striker Ricky Miller who has played against Altrincham both for the Kent club (2015) and for Boston United in 2013. Since those encounters he has enjoyed several years in the EFL with Luton Town, Peterborough United, Mansfield Town and Port Vale.
  • James Rowe is a midfielder who has played against Alty previously for Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers. He is in his second spell at Aldershot having been released in the first instance in 2018.
  • Striker Harrison Panayiotou, the 26 year-old joined Aldershot in 2019 from Greek football but back in 2017 he featured for Salford City in their 2-1 Vanarama National League North home win against Alty in April of the above year.

Above: The teams enter the arena for the match between Aldershot Town and Altrincham in October, 2015.


The National League "is delighted to confirm Vanarama will continue as title sponsors through to the 2024/25 season.

The three-year extension outlines the long-term commitment of Vanarama to The National League, Member Clubs and supporters with the new deal taking the working relationship to eleven years.

Since taking over title sponsorship of The National League in 2014, Vanarama has actively raised the profile of the League through innovative campaigns such as MANarama which helped raise over £200k for Prostate Cancer UK.

During the Covid pandemic Vanarama set up a COVID support helpline for National League clubs and local businesses applying for any of the Government financial schemes.

BT Sport will continue to provide excellent exposure for the Vanarama National League over the next three seasons...

“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with The National League,” said Andy Alderson- CEO of Vanarama.

“We have a great affinity for this level of football as it really helped us accelerate the growth of our commercial van leasing business back in 2014. Now in 2021 having just launched our new brand campaign we’re breathing a new lease of life into our sector.

“As we undergo huge growth across our personal car leasing business, we wanted to show our commitment to do the same for grassroots football.

“The clubs and communities at this level have gone through very hard times, we hope that our investment will offer some stability and hope as we all work through the covid pandemic together.”

ON THIS DAY: 11 March

Nine of the last ten Altrincham games on today's date, 11 March, did not produce a single win. One such date was in 2006 when Essex club Canvey Island visited Moss Lane and emerged 1-0 victors.

Alty had not played a game for two and a half weeks and even this 2006 match had looked doubtful in midweek as the rain poured down incessantly. But groundsman Neil Brown and a team of helpers had worked hard to have the pitch ready. For their first ever trip to Altrincham, Canvey had travelled up for the game on matchday rather than having an overnight stay.

One benefit of the enforced lack of action had been that Altrincham had had time to get some minor injuries cured so only Karl Munroe was out of contention, apart from the two squad members who had been sidelined by injury all season, Richard Norris and Eddie Hussin. Alty included new signing, left-winger Blake Norton from Worksop Town but, of course, were without James Robinson who had gone to play football in Australia at short notice since the last game, against Halifax.

Ged Murphy returned after suffering a badly gashed thigh at Crawley.

Like Alty, Canvey were a part-time club. When the sides had met back in August at Canvey, the result was a 1-1 draw despite the hosts having to play 45 minutes with ten men. They started today's game in 16th and 17th places respectively, with Alty having a one-point advantage.

Above: After the game in 2006 Colin Little leaves the pitch; ahead of him, Gary Scott hobbles off supported by physio Andy Hosgood. And the gentleman in the crowd, far left, is Huddersfield Town's former Alty left-back Danny Adams. Town were without a game that day and Danny still lived locally.

Against Canvey Island, the hosts failed to convert a number of decent chances and paid the price when substitute Lee Boylan netted for the Essex visitors in the first minute of added time.

Alty ended the game without four of their first-choice players; things had started to go wrong for the home side before kick off when Rod Thornley withdrew with an ear infection and Mark Maddox strained his groin in the warm-up and had to be replaced by Gary Talbot in the starting line-up, leaving Alty with just four on the bench. Because of Maddox's late withdrawal, Val Owen assumed the captaincy for the first time.

Then, before half time, Chris Adams had to hobble off before a third defender, Gary Scott, was injured late in the game and spent the last few minutes on the pitch but barely able to walk.

The winner came when Clarke's corner from the right evaded Coburn and fell to Boylan beyond the back post (90+1 mins). Even after that Val Owen had a glorious chance to equalise but could not find enough power to beat the visitors' Man of the Match, goalkeeper Danny Potter. Peter Band was Alty's Man of the Match winner.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 11. Gary SCOTT, 5. Gary TALBOT, 15. Peter BAND, 3. Chris ADAMS; 37. Ged MURPHY, 8. Val OWEN (capt.), 2. Steve ASPINALL, 12. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 18. Blake NORTON. Subs: 7. Colin POTTS, 14. Lewis CHALMERS, 20. Kieran LUGSDEN, 21. Stephen ROSE.


The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Hartlepool United are being extremely careful with Joe Grey after the teenage forward missed Tuesday night’s draw at Altrincham with a back injury.

The 17-year-old has scored twice and assisted two in 15 appearances... Dave Challinor explained 'Joe, we have to be careful with and remember that he’s still only 17. He’s had an issue with his back and backs for 17-year-olds are massive red flags. He’s been asked to do a lot and has done brilliantly well and has been a massive plus for us.

'He won’t be risked at all and just shut him down for a week to 10 days and see where he’s at after that'...

Jamie Sterry also missed the match with a slight thigh strain after being risked at Torquay United on Saturday. Ryan Donaldson and Luke Williams didn't make the journey either..

Challinor added 'Playing Jamie on Saturday ruled him out for Tuesday but we’re pretty positive he’ll be back for Saturday. Ryan Donaldson had an injection in his foot on Monday... Luke Williams trained on Monday so it’s just about getting more minutes back into him'...

The Pools boss also hinted at potential arrivals before the registration deadline on March 25. As a result, extending Tom White’s loan from Blackburn Rovers has been put on hold".

The Nottingham Post reports that "The Magpies succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Halifax at Meadow Lane where Tahvon Campbell's... late strike earned Halifax a 2-1 win at Meadow Lane.

The Magpies had deservedly fallen behind in the first half when Jake Hyde tapped in from close range.

Notts marginally improved after the break but missed a penalty when Eli Sam saw his spot-kick saved after Ruben Rodrigues had been fouled by Jamie Allen.

But Enzio Boldewijn looked to have given Notts hope when he scored a majestic solo goal only for ex-Notts loanee Campbell to strike a fine effort into the top corner from the edge of the box six minutes from time.

This time last month, Notts were basking in the glory of a wonderful performance over Dagenham on a night when their captain Michael Doyle had to play in goal for more than 70 minutes... but a month on, they look a team devoid of confidence and one that, worryingly, lacks belief in its own ability.

That was epitomised in a first-half performance that fell alarmingly short of the standard required...

Manager Neal Ardley confessed afterwards that his side is going through a barren spell ahead of a brutal run of fixtures... While two defeats in their last 12 games does not represent a crisis, the natives are getting restless about the lack of intensity and the quality in attack...

The harsh reality is that, with the exception of Kyle Wootton, the rest of the centre forwards just aren’t anywhere near the level of the quality of last season.

Elisha Sam is wildly unpredictable and never plays with consistency, Jimmy Knowles has shown flashes of quality, but lacks physicality. Inih Effiong has proven to be hugely disappointing since his arrival from Stevenage and did not even make the bench last night... Not replacing Kristian Dennis, who scored 15 goals last season, with another forward of proven quality was a massive gamble that has not paid off.

And the impact of that is reflected in the goals for column with Notts boasting the worst record of the top 15 teams in the league. Even King’s Lynn, who are third from bottom, have scored more...

Lewis Knight did not make the bench last night... following his arrival from Bradford Park Avenue. He is described as being blisteringly quick, strong, direct and a little raw, but Notts need somebody like him right now; somebody who plays without fear...

Last season Notts enjoyed a formidable home record in which they lost just twice at Meadow Lane. But they have already been beaten five times this season".

In the Barnet & Potters Bar Timnes, "Tim Flowers labelled Barnet 'a team of losers' as they slipped to yet another defeat, this time losing 2-0 at home to National League promotion hopefuls Wrexham.

The Bees have now lost 12 of their last 13 league games and remain down in 22nd position in the table.

Luke Young opened the scoring for Wrexham with a fine strike four minutes before the break.

Elliott Durrell would make sure of the points with a long-range effort, with the visitors staying fifth in the table as a result.

After the match Flowers questioned his side’s ability to deal with both the mental and physical aspects of their relegation battle...

'We’re a team of losers at the end of the day; we’re losing football matches,' he told the club website. 'And it’s alright going "oh yeah well done, you tried". Come on. That’s your job, man up and face facts. We find a way to get beat. We do alright, we do some good things and then we melt away...

'I don’t know why we can’t sustain, mentally or physically, the rigours of a National League season, and that is the truth... I don’t care if they like me, I really don’t care. But the players have to know the home truths....

'Not only do we not convert, but we also shoot ourselves in the foot by conceding two poor goals@".

According to Lynn News, "Theadbare King's Lynn Town suffered yet another defeat to Wealdstone on Tuesday night.

On a week where promotion-chasing Notts County signed three players to aid their promotion push, dejected Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse was struggling to find three bodies to fill his substitutes bench. It is a sad state of affairs as Lynn are made to limp through what can only be described as a completely meaningless last few months of the campaign.

The situation isn't pleasing everyone, especially Culverhouse who hasn't endured too many weeks quite like the last one during his time in the dugout. Lynn lost Bolton Wanderers loanee Jak Hickman to a hamstring injury 35 minutes into his debut at Grosvenor Vale after the trio of Ryan Jarvis, Cameron King and Ross Barrows were added to the long list of players furloughed prior to kick-off.

With Barrows, Rory McAuley, Aaron Jones, Alex Brown and, now Hickman, all in the treatment room and likely to be absent for some time, Lynn's boss has more injured defenders than he has fit ones...

Culverhouse said 'We've got to go out and find another one somewhere. We are just filling spaces at the moment and for what? I had to sit in front of Jacko (Simeon Jackson) and ask him and I was begging him. He's come out of his way to give us a hand, and so has Alfie Payne...

'It's a situation that is diabolical really. You've got to go round begging players to come and play for you. It's not fair on them and I don't think it's fair on the group that we've got. It's a good group and all of a sudden it's getting torn apart here, there and everywhere and people don't know from day to day what the hell is going on'...

Danny Green, Ross Lafayette, and Jacob Mendy put Wealdstone 3-0 up before Kairo Mitchell scored a late consolation for the Linnets. The final scoreline was harsh on Lynn who were left to rue their inability to put away chances after dominating long periods of possession".

Solihull Moors are "disappointed to announce that Jimmy Shan and Richard Beale have left Solihull Moors with immediate effect...

After an up and down start to the season, recent results have not been at the level the club expects.

Jimmy and Richard have brought many positive qualities to the club. They have undoubtedly been hampered by the exceptional level of injuries to key players and fixtures being affected due to the pandemic and we have made this change reluctantly and with sadness".

Solihull had won only one of their previous ten matches.

FC Halifax Town "made it three away wins in a row last night with a 2-1 victory over Notts County.

Goals from Jake Hyde and substitute Tahvon Campbell helped the Shaymen to their first victory at Meadow Lane since 1968.

Town boss Pete Wild told the official website... 'We wanted to go toe to toe with one of the biggest sides in the league, the way the players implemented our game plan was brilliant'.

Town went ahead through Jake Hyde’s second goal in two games and he was in the right place to profit from a good run from Jack Earing.

Wild said, 'We have been working with Jack Earing, we have been asking him to drive at their heart of the defence when winning the ball, not going out wide and Jake Hyde is where we want him to be in the middle of the 6-yard box. I want him to be scoring goals like that..

In Jake Hyde, we wanted a proven goalscorer at the Club and we know what we get from him'...

The home side were awarded a penalty which was saved by Sam Johnson, but they only had to wait less than a minute for their equaliser... 'It is a great save from Sam on his 200th league appearance for the Club. They scored in what was the only time that we allowed Enzio Boldewijn to drive at us so that was disappointing. We were tired at that point...

'At 1-1 I thought can we stay in it, why not try to win it and I brought Tahvon on, those efforts normally do not work and with his first touch scores that goal. What a strike... Our worst enemy is complacency'">

According to the Leader Live "Dean Keates has called on his Wrexham players to show composure as the race for promotion hots up...

An upturn in form since the turn of the year has put the Reds, currently spending a 13th season in non-league, on course for a play-off spot...

'It is seven points to the top,' said Keates... 'Everybody has got to play each other... and it is not going to be for the faint hearted'...

Keates revamped his squad over the summer... 'At the beginning of the season, the budget was cut from what the budget was from when I walked in,' added Keates... 'We would like to be at the top, we are a little bit short of the points tally we looked at at the beginning of the season but we have still got that chance to go and get them [sic] points over the next few games.'".

10 March 2021


An eventful first half ended all square at 1-1. The visitors had the better of the opening stages before Alty lost striker Montel Gibson to injury on 22 minutes, with Tom Peers replacing him.

Two minutes later Cass's high tackle on Kosylo earned the Pools defender a straight red card. Alty then enjoyed a better spell but fell behind when Hartlepool's star man, Molyneux made progress up the right. His low cross was bundled in from close range by Oates (34 mins).

The visitors then looked fairly comfortable in defending their lead until the second of four added minutes. At that point, Colclough fired in a decent shot from the left which Killip should have stopped but the keeper fumbled the ball into his own net at the near post to level the score (45+2 mins).

Despite dominating the early part of the second half Altrincham were unable to convert several half chances and in the closing stages seemed to run out of ideas against the ten men, who defended resolutely and did force a good save from Tony Thompson in the closing stages. Alty remain eleventh.

Match report here.


After Tuesday's game, Hartlepool United said that "A 1-1 draw was the result at the J.Davidson Stadium as Pools battled well particularly in the second half to defend with ten men despite taking the lead.

The game started with Pools on the front foot, Luke Molyneux certainly the creative spark... The biggest chance at 0-0 came on 23 minutes. Oates did well to drive down the left hand side and put the ball into the box where he found Armstrong who swiveled and shot but hit the post.

The game turned on its head just a minute later. A late challenge from Lewis Cass saw a straight red card for the defender as Pools go down to ten men.

Dave Challinor’s men continued to attack and on 34 minutes and they found the breakthrough! Molyneux got to the byline and put it across for Oates who had the simple task to put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Pools were all men behind the ball for the rest of the first half and thought they were going to go in level until the last moment. Colclough cut inside and had a shot on goal that wasn’t held by Killip and the home side made it 1-1 at the break.

The second half started in the same pattern. Backs against the walls for Pools as Altrincham attacked.

On 55 minutes, the hosts had the ball in the back of the net but the linesman already had his flag up to deny Altrincham.

Pools were able to counter attack throughout the game and it was Luke Molyneux who got forward and drew a save from Thompson.

Despite the continuous attacking from the hosts, Pools were able to hold on for a point".


Tuesday 9th March 2021, 7.45pm unless stated
  • Altrincham 1-1 Hartlepool United
  • Barnet 0-2 Wrexham 7pm
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 Maidenhead United 7pm
  • Eastleigh P-P Dover Athletic [Dover players furloughed]
  • Notts County 1-2 FC Halifax Town
  • Solihull Moors 0-5 Stockport County
  • Sutton United 2-1 Yeovil Town
  • Torquay United P-P Aldershot Town [Covid at Aldershot]
  • Wealdstone 3-1 King's Lynn Town
  • Woking 0-0 Boreham Wood

ON THIS DAY: 10 March

Nine years ago today in the Blue Square Bet North, on Saturday, 10 March, 2012, Altrincham lost 0-2 at home to Bishop's Stortford. Amidst 844 spectators there were 16 in the away end.

Alty were without Nicky Clee, who had become a father on the morning of the match, and the injured Marlon Broomes. Manager Lee Sinnott deployed a new formation with Shaun Densmore moving to left back and Mark Lynch to central defence in a 4-2-1-3 formation. Up front, Damian Reeves was on the right, Leighton McGivern on the left and Michael Twiss came back into the side in the middle of the attack. Youth team striker Duncan Watmore returned to the bench today.

Right: Even Rocky Robin, Alty's mascot, had a bad day against Bishop's Stortford

Saturday, 10 March In the match, Bishop's Stortford completed a league double over a lacklustre Altrincham and it could have been worse, had Stuart Coburn not saved an 88th minute penalty, conceded by Shaun Densmore. The Alty keeper saved future Premier League star Dwight Gayle's spot kick, diving to his right.

In the first half Altrincham were trying to build up patiently but they lacked the guile to get through the opposition defence. Fielding a 4-2-1-3 formation, with Reeves on the right, Twiss and McGivern, on the left, up front, Altrincham barely troubled the visitors' keeper.

They fell behind after 33 minutes when Coburn could not hold a shot from the Bishops' left and Gayle was on hand to tap home. The visitors doubled their lead after 52 minutes when Sappleton was allowed to gather the ball and turn past Mark Lynch on the front edge of the box. The burly striker drove a rising shot past Coburn to make it 2-0.

One positive for Altrincham was a promising performance by youth team striker Duncan Watmore, who came on in the second half on the right wing and, like Gayle, was to play Prmeier League football in the North East later in his career..

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Kieran WALMSLEY, 5. Matt FLYNN, 3. Mark LYNCH, 6. Shaun DENSMORE (capt); 4. Simon RICHMAN, 8. Scott PHELAN; 7. John MILES; 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 11. Leighton McGIVERN, Subs: 12. Mark LEES, 14. Chris LYNCH, 15. James LAWRIE; 16. Duncan WATMORE, 18 Adam REID (gk).


It's a strange world in which a club can furlough six players one day, presumably to be paid 80% of their not inconsiderable wages by the State and, then, a few days later the same club can sign two new players on loan, presumably at some cost to the wage bill from which they had off-loaded those six players.

But King’s Lynn Town "have signed Simeon Jackson until the end of the season.

The 33 year-old forward joins us on loan for the rest of the season, from National League South side Chelmsford City, having previously played for Norwich in the Premier League making 73 appearances and scoring 17 times. Jackson has also had spells in the Scottish Premiership and Bundesliga.

Simeon Jackson played 49 times for the Canadian National Team, scoring 6 international goals.

Director of Football, Rob Back says 'We are delighted to welcome Simeon to the club. He’s had experience in the Premier League and Bundesliga and we are very grateful to have his services for the remainder of the season.'

Also from King's Lynn Town we learn that "Re-joining the club on loan, is 21 year-old Alfie Payne. Alfie previously had a spell at King’s Lynn Town on loan from Norwich City, in the 2019/20 season, where he made 25 appearances, finding the net 3 times...

Director of Football, Rob Back says, 'We look forward to having him back at the club for the rest of the season.'”

The Derbyshire Times says that Goalkeeper "Grant Smith is proving to be a safe pair of hands for Chesterfield. The stopper arrived on a free transfer in January until the end of the season after a short spell at Wealdstone, who had to let him go because of financial worries due to the pandemic.

He has a lot of experience at this level from his time at Boreham Wood and has a League Two winners’ medal with Lincoln City...

He has shone in the last five matches after being given his chance... Another goalkeeper, Adam Przybek, 20, joined on loan from Ipswich Town and he was initially in the driving seat, starting three games in a row... But after another isolation period it was Smith, who had impressed in training, who started at Notts County and he has deservedly continued between the sticks ever since.

He has started the last five fixtures, securing four clean sheets... He made himself a hero with a penalty save in the 1-0 win against Altrincham. Smith has brought a confidence and a calmness to the position, his handling has been excellent and his distribution has been impressive. His overall passing accuracy is a healthy 74.6%... with Smith facing on average just 1.86 shots a match...

Smith could end up being the bargain of the season and be the main man between the sticks for many years to come. At just 27, Smith potentially has his best goalkeeping years ahead of him".

At Solihull Moors "attacker Jamie Ward marked his return from injury with the equalising goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Maidenhead United...

Ward pinpoints a common theme of missed chances as Moors’ downfall. He said 'We had plenty of chances to take all three points but ... we’ve got to take our chances, we’ve got to be relentless.

'We’re just not doing that at the moment. I don’t know why, just things aren’t falling for us. We’re comfortable in the game, I just don’t get it. We’ve got to learn to deal with that expectation and play with it. For some reason we’re just a bit goal shy at the moment'...

He continued 'The gaffer preaches a way that he wants to play and for people who can deal with the ball, it’s a great way to play. We’ve got to all get on board with it and all be brave to take the ball in tight spaces. It’s a trust thing with each other, but we’ve got to embrace it... Things will turn, it’s just a matter of time.'”

From the Leader Live we learn that "Dean Keates is not surprised that Wrexham have gone from relegation candidates to promotion contenders in the space of 12 months..

[Last season] Wrexham were battling to avoid slipping into the sixth tier at the time and when the league table was calculated using a Points Per Game method, Keates' side finished one point above the drop zone.

Fast forward a year and having rebuilt the squad over the summer, Keates' side are now battling it out at the top end of the table... with the Reds on course to clinch a play-off spot.

Said Keates... 'It's all about the process from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. I believe in the group and the group is starting to believe even more so in themselves...

'It has been an improvement... There is confidence within our four walls with what we have got and what we set to achieve at the beginning of the season, and we believe we are only going to get stronger'">

9 March 2021


In the Hartlepool Mail we learn that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor admits he may have to make some changes for Tuesday night’s trip to Altrincham despite Saturday’s impressive win at Torquay United...

They could be without key defender Jamie Sterry, who has been in exceptional form since first arriving back in December. The 25 year-old right-back played the full 90-minutes at Torquay despite picking up an injury in the previous match at Halifax Town...

Challinor told The Mail... 'We may have to make changes; we risked Jamie at Torquay because we felt the game was massively important for us to win playing against a direct rival and it’s no secret how crucial Jamie is for us. We went into the game knowing that if Jamie played then he’d potentially not play on Tuesday but we’ll see how he is. He’s a bit sore but we’re comfortable knowing that we’ve got players who can come in and do a job if needed on Tuesday...

'But I couldn’t say any of them who played at Torquay wouldn’t play at Altrincham because it was a great performance and they’re full of confidence from it.'"


As usual Alty TV will be streaming Altrincham's match tonight (Tuesday), when they take on joint league leaders Hartlepool United (7.45pm).

Access to the streaming service may be purchased via the ALtrincham FC website.

Hartlepool United say that "Pools are back on the road for their third away game in a row as they head to Altrincham...

Dave Challinor’s men are looking to continue on from their four points earned in their two previous away trips to Halifax and Torquay. Pools currrently sit joint top of the National League on 47 points.

Altrincham currently sit 11th in the National League on 36 points having played an extra game more compared to Pools. The Robins have only won twice in their last seven games with their most recent result coming on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Woking...

The last time these two sides met was back in October. David Parkhouse opened the scoring in the first half before Tom Peers got a late equaliser. Despite the Robins getting a penalty in the final moments, Pools still came away with a point after Ben Killip saved the penalty. The two sides have only met twice in their history with Pools drawing one and losing one".


In the Hartlepool Mail, "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor has praised the progress his side have made over the past few months as they’ve turned into genuine promotion contenders in the National League.

Saturday’s 1-0 win at Torquay United saw Pools draw level with the league leaders, who were 14 points clear of them back in December... No goals conceded and 13 points out of a possible 15 against the sides around them in the league bodes well going into the final stretch of games.

'We’ve come on an awful lot,' Challinor told The Mail. 'We had a couple of stings that really hurt us earlier in the season, Torquay at home being the big one. We’re getting better and players are developing and it comes down to them. We’ve changed our shape a little bit and Jamie Sterry has been a really, really excellent addition for us defensively in terms of what he gives us.

'Johno [Ryan Johnson] has continued to develop, [Lewis] Cass has done a great job, Timi [Odusina] has been good and we’ve got Lidds [Gary Liddle] back now who is a big plus for us. Even Fergie [David Ferguson], whose main strengths are going forward, he’s a better defender than he backs himself to be and he’s been showing that.

'That unit has been excellent and their job is made easier by what is in front of them and at the top end of the pitch. We want to be a pressing team who get on the front foot and keep the ball away from our goal as much as possible so everyone has played their part.'

Also in the Hartlepool Mail "Dave Challinor has challenged Luke Molyneux to be Hartlepool United’s difference maker following the winger’s match-winning display at Torquay United.

The 22-year-old netted his first goal since November as Pools kept the pressure on at the top of the National League table with a 1-0 win over the league leaders. Illness, injury and suspension has limited Molyneux to just nine league starts for Hartlepool so far this season as his impact has been limited.

Pools’ success playing a 3-5-2 formation in the winger’s absence meant it was difficult for him to naturally regain a place in the starting line-up. But Challinor’s decision to change his side’s shape in attack at Plainmoor helped Molyneux slot in and reap the rewards with a well taken goal...

'We tweaked our set-up a little bit so we could play three at the top end of the pitch,' the Hartlepool manager told The Mail. 'We thought we could sit in and be a threat on the counter when you’ve got Oatesy’s [Rhys Oates’] pace and Mols dribbling ability on either side. Mols has had a tough time this season, he’s the one player whose had Covid, granted it was at the start of the season but he then had a niggle which kept him out then he got himself sent off at Weymouth which lasted a lot longer that it should have due to games being called off....

'He ran himself into the deck on Tuesday night for 60-minutes at Halifax and has done the same on Saturday, getting himself closer to 90-minutes. We’ve spoken to him about how, for a player of his ability he needs to be that difference maker, adding more goals and assists to his game. I’ve said previously he should be targeting double figures in both for the quality he has'".


Altrincham face two long trips in the next week. Next Tuesday they travel to Surrey to face Woking but before that they are in a nearby neck of the woods as they face Hampshire club Aldershot Town.

Earlier this season Altrincham lost 1-2 at home to The Shots whose historic Recreation Ground last hosted the Robins in a Vanarama National League match, played on Saturday, 10 October 2015.

Aldershot won on that occassion, too, by a 2-0 margin.

Ryan Crowther and Andy Parry had been added to the injury list before kick off, and Michael Rankine was only fit enough to start on the bench. At the back, Shaun Densmore started as Jordan Sinnott moved to the bench. Goalkeeper Callum Williams joined the squad for the first time, on the bench.

Despite their weakened state, Alty were nevertheless the better side for the opening twenty minutes. But they ended up comfortably beaten.

Above: With Aldershot wearing blue shorts, Alty's away kit was modified to include black shorts in the 2015 match.

They fell behind when defender Saville headed home a right-wing freekick, which had been conceded by Moult near the corner (33 mins).

The visitors still looked capable of taking something from the game until a mishit, underpowered back pass from Griffin allowed Browne to score past the exposed Deasy in the 63rd minute.

Altrincham then looked shaky at the back and their cause was not helped by a 68th minute injury to Densmore.

Despite a good share of the ball, Altrincham rarely threatened a goal in front of 51 travelling supporters in the gate of 1,412. Alty were get their revenge with a 4-0 win at Moss Lane later in the 2015-16 season.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. Tim DEASY, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 6. Scott LEATHER, 5. Luca HAVERN, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 4. Jake MOULT, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 7. James LAWRIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 18. George BOWERMAN, 10. Damian REEVES. Subs: 14. Josh O'KEEFE, 9. Michael RANKINE, 20. Jordan SINNOTT, 23. Callum WILLIAMS, 25. Ioannis STOUPPIS.

The late Mike Garnett's updated statistics summarise the history of matches between the two clubs:

  • Home - p.6-w.3-d.1-l.2-f.12-a.5
  • Away - p.6-w.2-d.1-l.3-f.6-1.a.8
  • Overall - p.12-w.5-d.2-l.5-f.18-a.13

ON THIS DAY: 9 March

Two years ago today, in 2019, Altrincham beat York City 1-0, thanks to a Josh Hancock goal. Before kick off it was suspected that this match would probably be Altrincham's last visit to Bootham Crescent, which was set to be bulldozed in 2020 as the Minstermen moved some three and a half miles to a new ground on the city outskirts at Monks' Cross.

For the game, Altrincham made one change from the starting eleven which had played in midweek against Blyth Spartans. Striker Jordan Hulme reclaimed his place from loanee Joe Piggott after the Alty striker had lost his place following suspension. Piggott was not in the squad for this game but new centre-back loanee, Billy Sass-Davies, from Crewe Alexandra, was on the bench.

In a goalless first-half, York gradually got the upper-hand after the visitors had started well. Indeed, Altrincham were indebted to a fine block by goalkeeper Thompson when Burgess got free inside the box in the eighteenth minute.

Above: It's smiles all round as Josh Hancock (third from right) is congratulated on his well-taken goal, his fifteenth in the league that season.

But the second half saw Altrincham largely dominate proceedings after they had hit the post just two minutes into the second period. Ceesay advanced on goal before striking the upright, though the wingman might have done better to feed Hulme instead. Ten minutes later, York got forward and when Burgess wriggled into the box, he too struck an upright.

But Altrincham were on top for long periods which helped to subdue both their opponents and the home crowd. Altrincham's pressure finally got its reward in the 81st minute when Hancock scored a superb goal, hooking the ball acrobatically across keeper Bartlett into the net.

The win lifted Altrincham to sixth in the league table.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Jordan Hulme, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. Callum Dolan, 14. Max Harrop, 15. Billy Sass-Davies, 16. Shaun Densmore, 17. Simon Richman


Boreham Wood say that "It is very disappointing to report that, despite assurances given to the club by representatives from both Sports England and the National League, we have subsequently been turned down for the Winter Survival loan.

It now feels that those assurances were perhaps only given to ensure we supported the continuation of the National League at Step 1.

For balance, the club has decided to print the loan rejection letter for our supporters to read and for other football clubs to take note...

Wood Chairman Danny Hunter said, 'The loan rejection letter does state that we run the club correctly, but it’s still disappointing that on a number of levels the letter appears not to understand we are still in a pandemic, that we are still in trouble and if we continue to play without crowds and with a closed facility, like many clubs and their owners, we’ll struggle to operate. As it is, it will take us all many years to repay the existing debts and these Winter Survival loans with their preferential rates and terms were seen as a real help...

To acknowledge in the letter the large amount of monies we’ve lost with no crowds, no astro facility hire, no bar sales and no function hire but then infer that because I’ve deferred my tax, remortgaged my home and already taken out two business interruption loans, that we don’t need their help to get through this season, is to forget the assurances given...

'They must also I feel understand, that I firstly had to take the club off furlough to compete in last season’s play-offs and that was in part to satisfy the League’s commercial interests, which cost me personally over £80k. I was then forced to take out loans to start this season because, without any true knowledge if we’d get any financial assistance, I had to get all my ducks in a row early. So, I feel I had no choice as I couldn’t trust the National League, its Chairman or its Chief Executive at the time, to help me and it seems that both myself and the club are now being punished for that.

'As a result, I do feel a bit sorry for myself although I don’t regret the decisions I took last spring and summer to take loans and defer my tax, even in hindsight, as it was the only way to keep my staff, players and my Manager safe. Also, it was only correct that I ensured as many of my staff as possible were paid 100% throughout this pandemic, though in truth that pressure has now had an adverse effect on my health over the last few months…

'I now feel I’ve been misled by the governing bodies and to be told, after we had voted to continue, that my club is not now eligible for these Winter Survival loans with the long-term payment terms and preferential interest rates is a blow, as they are open to most other clubs which I feel is unjust...

'If I hadn’t taken those earlier business interruption loans, if I’d not deferred my tax, if I had repaid my remortgage and if I had decided to work hand to mouth and not created sensible cashflow, I would have got the loan so, for me, that’s madness.

'In other words, if I’d put my community football club bang in trouble, if I’d just worried about me and put my staff, my players and my suppliers lives and livelihoods in danger by not doing the right thing then the football club would apparently now be eligible for the winter survival loans on the improved terms which the other National League clubs are now getting.

'So, when we are having to pay off our business interruption loans which begins this June on far worse terms than the other National League clubs are getting, then we are by definition being denied the same sporting chance as every other club in our division, which I don’t feel is fair or has been properly thought through by the National League or Sport England', Hunter concluded".

Another club facing financial issues is the subject of an article in Lynn News which tyells us that "King's Lynn Town could be without between eight and ten first-team regulars when they make the National League trip to Wealdstone on Tuesday night.

It will be a case of mix and match and see who's available with cash-strapped Lynn's squad being decimated through injury and players being put on furlough.

Manager Ian Culverhouse will prepare for the trip without a number of players who featured at Woking, although his threadbare squad is pretty much expected to pick itself with the trio of Ross Barrows, Cameron King and Michael Gash picking up knocks against the Cards.

Adam Marriott, Dayle Southwell, Sam Kelly and injured trio Aaron Jones, Rory McAuley and Alex Brown are already on the scheme and both Barrows and King are likely to join them on it in the short-term.

A clause in Gash's playing deal prevents the frontman from being furloughed".

Despite furloughing six players, Lynn News adds that "Lynn, who are being linked with a former Norwich City striker, are expected to announce further new arrivals this week after bringing in defender Jak Hickman from League Two side Bolton Wanderers on Friday... The 22-year-old will be at The Walks for the rest of the season, and is set to make his debut against the Stones.

Like many clubs at present, Wealdstone have some players furloughed while they have also dipped into the loan market recently with the arrival of Cheltenham Town defender Daniel Bowry".

The Nottingham Post confirms that "The Magpies have bolstered their attack by paying a nominal fee for the centre forward who has scored nine goals in 14 appearances in the National League North this season

Notts County have completed the signing of Bradford Park Avenue striker Lewis Knight and have beaten several Football League clubs to his signature. The Magpies have paid a nominal fee to Park Avenue for the ex-Leeds youngster... with League Two side Bradford City said to have regularly checked in on his progress...

Knight had been working part-time as a barista but has now returned to the full-time game after producing some excellent performances for Park Avenue. Notts hope he will be able to follow in the footsteps of Callum Roberts who the club also signed from National League North side Blyth Spartans and is now rated as one of the hottest prospects outside the EFL".

Notts County announce that "Our entire first-team playing squad and staff have this morning tested negative for Covid-19.

It is now mandatory for National League clubs to carry out testing the day before each match and we’re pleased to say we have been given the all-clear ahead of tomorrow evening’s visit of Halifax Town.

This obligation has been placed on clubs following the commencement of the government’s free Covid-19 testing programme, which provides registered workplaces with access to rapid testing.

A statement from our board of directors reads 'Having funded our own regular testing programme, which has helped identify a number of positive cases, we are pleased that the league have now imposed this directive on all clubs'".

According to the Blackpool Gazette, "Blackpool winger Nathan Shaw has joined Stockport County on a one-month loan deal.

The 20-year-old joins the National League outfit having enjoyed a successful loan spell with AFC Fylde earlier in the campaign.

Shaw was due to spend the remainder of the campaign with the Coasters, but was recalled in January following the suspension of the National League North season...

Shaw made his league debut for Blackpool at the end of February... Shaw... was left out of Blackpool's squads at the start of the campaign".

NL Daily adds that "Stockport County have signed Jack Stretton... on loan.

19-year-old Stretton made his senior debut for Derby this season against Wycombe Wanderers".

In the Halifax Courier, "Town manager Pete Wild says all the pressure is on Notts County ahead of their game on Tuesday night.

The Shaymen go into the game in 13th place, four points behind sixth-placed County, having played two games more... on the back of a 2-1 win at Wealdstone on Saturday...

Wild said 'I’m not talking about play-offs, I’m just focused on this 20th game to 30th game spell and getting as many wins as we can, and then let’s have a look at it'...

Notts County... have not won in their last three league matches...

Said Wild... 'They’ve stuttered of late... All the pressure’s on them, there’s no pressure on us'...

'They’ll be frustrated because they only drew with King’s Lynn on Tuesday night so they’ll have had seven days to dwell on that... Clarkey and Kian are getting closer to being available, so we’ll see what happens from there'".

8 March 2021


On Tuesday, Altrincham entertain Hartlepool United who on Saturday became one of three clubs leading the National League table with 47 points after a 1-0 win at Torquay.

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Pools had won just one of their last nine games away from Victoria Park but knew three points at Plainmoor would take them level on points with The Gulls, who hadn’t been in the best form themselves on home turf.

But all those away day frustrations were quickly forgotten about as Luke Molyneux’s early strike proved to be enough to separate the sides as Dave Challinor’s side claimed one of their biggest 1-0 victories of the campaign...

Defensive organisation, tenacity and resoluteness are becoming staples of these Pools performances that only bode well going into the business end of the season, as only goal difference denies them a place at the summit of non-league football. Admittedly, Torquay still have a game in hand and second place Sutton have three...

After a frustrating draw at Halifax Town, Pools were left doubting the fitness of key defenders Jamie Sterry and Ryan Johnson. Thankfully, the pair travelled down and were declared fit to play.

Midfielder Tom White also made the journey despite his short-term loan from Blackburn Rovers expiring ahead of the game. An extension couldn’t be agreed in time so the 23-year-old missed out but Pools remain hopeful of getting something sorted this coming week.

New defensive addition Jake Cooper was also with the team following his arrival on loan from Rotherham United, but didn’t make the squad.

The return of Rhys Oates to the starting line-up in place of midfielder Gavan Holohan brought a formation change to 3-4-3 with Oates and Molyneux playing either side of Luke Armstrong in attack.

The match itself proved to be a lively affair from the start... And just before the quarter-hour mark, Pools found a breakthrough. Armstrong picked up the ball and slid a well-weighted through pass to Molyneux who composed himself well before slotting past the onrushing Shaun MacDonald to make it 1-0...

The second half would see Pools manage the game brilliantly...

Pools’ last three away victories have come months apart but have all followed the same formula of starting well, getting the first goal and defending resolutely.

Saturday’s win means Pools have beaten Torquay, Sutton, Notts County and Stockport in their last 13 matches, all without conceding. They weren’t anything flash at Plainmoor... They were just a well-drilled and well organised outfit from front to back...

The return of Gary Liddle to the side cannot be understated. The fact Pools have kept four clean sheets in the six games Liddle has featured in since coming back is no coincidence... The 34-year-old just keeps things calm and organised throughout.

Sterry’s influence is also massive and the fact he was risked by Challinor for such an important game just shows how crucial he is. Despite being a doubt... the 25-year-old played the full 90-minutes...

The side have won nine and drawn two of their last 13 games and they’re hitting form at just the right time".

ON THIS DAY: 8 March

Six years ago today, with BT Sport televising a 1pm kick-off, Altrincham played the first half down the slope at Welling United in a Vanarama Conference match.

Right: Shaun Densmore, in the background, awaits developments as Kyle Perry and Simon Richman are nearest to the ball at Welling in 2015.

The match had been moved at short notice to a Sunday lunchtime to accommodate the BT Sport schedules, which meant that few away fans were able to attend and the club hastily had to arrange overnight accommodation for the team.

The preceding Monday, Welling had sacked their manager after a run of eight defeats and one draw in their previous nine matches. So, player Loui Fazackerley was in charge of today's game.

However, Welling had won the reverse fixture, 4-0 at Moss Lane, at which point Alty were second bottom of the table.

The match was notable as goalkeeper Stuart Coburn celebrated his record-breaking 679th appearance for Altrincham. He emerged with a clean sheet and the team gained three points in a far from flowing match on a bobbly surface. Alty were without the suspended Tom Marshall and the injured Nicky Clee, so Scott Leather and Jordan Sinnott came into the starting eleven.

The hosts had several threatening moments before they lost captain Joe Healy to a straight red card for a reckless tackle on James Lawrie in the 54th minute. After that Altrincham kept possession well as they worked the weakened opposition. The visitors got their reward after 76 minutes. The goal came from a low drive by substitute Ryan Crowther, who had only joined the game seven minutes earlier.

The win lifted Altrincham to 13th but left Welling in the relegation places.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (capt), 5. Gianluca Havern, 6. Scott Leather, 3. Adam Griffin, 26. Jordan Sinnott, 4. Jake Moult, 8. Simon Richman, 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves, 14. Kyle Perry. Subs 17.Dave Parton, 19. Ryan Crowther, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 9. Steven Gillespie, 18. Sean Williams


The NL Paper reports that "Striker Adam Marriott is one of six King’s Lynn players to be put on furlough

King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve says the Linnets feel like they are completing the National League season with a 'gun against their head'.

The Norfolk outfit have put six players, strikers Adam Marriott and Dayle Southwell, midfielder Sam Kelly and injured trio Rory McAuley, Aaron Jones and Alex Brown, on furlough as they attempt to navigate their way to the end of the season...

On Tuesday night, 50 year-old goalie coach Paul Bastock.. was an unused substtiute...

Cleeve said, 'We either have to borrow a huge amount of money, which puts the club in debt, or... risk a points' deduction or relegation... it's a no-win scenario'"

According to Devon Live, on Saturday, "Hartlepool’s 14th-minute opener by Luke Molyneaux proved enough... Torquay remain top with 47 points from 25 games, Sutton are once again second but have played 23 games, while Hartlepool are back in third having played a game more than the Gulls. On paper, it is advantage Sutton then, but there is still a third of the season to go and Johnson says Torquay now need to ‘knuckle down’.

Once Hartlepool were ahead, they worked hard to defend their lead and although the Gulls played some good football at times, they couldn’t break through and get an equaliser, let alone anything more. New loan striker Scott Boden did well up front but looked isolated at times with the final ball missing when the Gulls needed to be clinical...

Johnson said 'It might make everybody pick up a little bit. You can’t be complacent when it is this close. Maybe they have got a little bit complacent, I am not sure... If you are top of the league you are under pressure, the same as if you are fighting relegation.

'And we have been up there for a long time, so maybe we will give someone else a go up there and we can be the challengers. At the moment we just need to knuckle down and keep going and see where it takes us'.

Midfielder Armani Little’s return to the team should have been a massive boost with defender Joe Lewis also back... Another player to return was goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald, who was suspended for the FA Trophy game at Woking, while up front Boden made his full debut with Billy Waters dropping to the bench.

Torquay had started well but suffered a sucker punch on the break in the 14th minute when a through ball from a counter attack cut the defence in half and Molyneaux placed the ball past MacDonald and into the far corner...

Torquay were building their attacks well and the passing was crisp, but there was no end product."

The Derbyshire Times tells us that "Yeovil Town boss Darren Sarll felt his team lacked their ‘normal punch’ as they were punished by Chesterfield on Saturday.

The Spireites had the best chances in the first half through Jak McCourt and Akwasi ASante but were denied by some good goalkeeping from the visitors’ Adam Smith. But Town were clinical after the break as Asante, Tom Whelan and McCourt ensured the in-form Glovers, who were 10th in the National League table before kick-off, suffered just their second defeat in seven matches.

'I did not think we packed our normal punch,' Sarll said after the game. 'The biggest disappointment for me is we did not have that normal thrust to us. At no point did I feel we were going to break anyone down today. What I said to them at half-time was that I felt like we were waiting for something to happen.

'I think when I put it into context we are still in great form, today does not stop that... It feels a bit like snakes and ladders this season. We roll the dice right one week and we climb the ladder quickly and you roll the dice wrong one week and you slip down the snake.

'I think it is important we put today in a little box because we can’t affect it. We have had our chance to affect it and we did not do that in any way shape or form.'”

In the Southern Daily Echo we read that "Bromley came from behind to win 2-1 at top-seven rivals Eastleigh and keep themselves in the National League play-off hunt.

Ravens forward Michael Cheek had an early one-on-one chance, but sent a tame effort straight at Spitfires goalkeeper Joe McDonnell, who then tipped a header from Jack Holland over.

Eastleigh, looking to bounce back after defeat by Chesterfield, took the lead just before the hour mark when Tyrone Barnett converted a cross from Ryan Hill at the back post.

Bromley, though, were soon level when Holland headed home from a free-kick in the 65th minute.

With just four minutes left, the Ravens secured all three points when winger Jack Bridge cut the ball back across goal and defender Mike Green diverted it into his own net."

The Dorset Echo states that "Weymouth earned a famous double over non-League giants Stockport County with a determined 1-0 win at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Andy Dallas put the Terras into a fourth-minute lead and Weymouth never looked back, only looking in danger when Ethan Ross miraculously tipped James Jennings’s shot onto the post.

Weymouth were forced to make two goal-line clearances but Stockport, who enjoyed a large share of possession, could not find an equaliser...

Weymouth boss Brian Stock made one change to the side... Ben Thomson was the unfortunate man to miss out as skipper McQuoid returned from a hamstring injury. There was no place in the matchday squad for Josh Leslie-Smith or Cody Cooke but goalkeeper Gerard Benfield took his spot in the dugout after disciplinary issues.

Stockport were also without the injured John Rooney, brother of Derby boss and Manchester United hero Wayne, but top scorer Alex Reid started...

It would take just over three minutes for Weymouth to score as McQuoid touched the ball in front of his marker and galloped down the left. McQuoid cut inside and his blocked shot fell perfectly for Dallas to slot firmly into the top-right corner from 12 yards...

A rattled Stockport could not find a way past a resolute Weymouth defence as the Terras recorded a precious double over their opponents".

Meanwhile the Brent & Kilburn Times confirms that "Wealdstone let slip a first half lead as they were pegged back by a dominant FC Halifax Town side as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at The Vale.

A brilliant first half goal from Dennon Lewis put the Stones ahead, but second half strikes from Jake Hyde and Jack Earing sealed a deserved comeback for the visitors.

Wealdstone have signed Cheltenham Town defender Daniel Bowry on an initial one-month loan deal... The 22 year old Antigua & Barbuda international joined the Robins in the summer of 2019 following his release from Charlton Athletic, he has made a total of eight appearances in all competitions whilst at the Gloucestershire club so far...

The Shaymen enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the early stages of the contest... The visitors continued to dominate...

Against the run of play, the Stones broke the deadlock in the 29th minute as Danny Green chipped a peach of a ball down the left channel for Lewis to latch onto, skip past a defender and swerve a sublime effort from outside of the box into the bottom corner.

Spurred by the goal, Wealdstone started to find cohesion and generate incisive build up play...

Halifax started the second half on the front foot... The Shaymen were rewarded for their persistence, profiting from a quick free kick to draw level in the 57th minute as Jeff King’s cross found Hyde who nodded in from close range... The Shaymen grabbed the winner as Earing cut in from the left wing and smashed a thunderous shot into the corner".

7 March, 2021


Today is the unhappy first anniversary of the last game played in front of spectators, to date, at the J. Davidson Stadium - although no one knew it at the time. In fact Alty were set to play at York City the following Saturday befopre that match was postponed at a late stage because of Covid at both clubs.

But at least 7 March 2020 brought a good result, a 4-1 victory over Spennymoor Town in a Vanarama National League North match.

Right: Pictured on 7 March 2020, we see Jordan Hulme and Elliott Durrell who netted three of Alty's goals between them against Spennymoor. And little did we know that before the crowds would be admitted to Moss Lane again, Moors' keeper Matt Gould (far left) would be the only Altrincham player in the picture and even he has yet to appear in a league fixture for the club. Indeed, of the starting eleven a year ago today, only three players (Thompson, Hannigan, Moult) also started for the club last Tuesday against Woking.

The 2020 game against Spennymoor was not the one-sided affair suggested by the final score but, nevertheless, Altrincham were well-deserving winners.

The hosts got off to a great start as, in just the third minute, Elliott Durrell continued his run of scoring in every game for Altrincham with his fourth in four outings since joining the club. After Shaun Densmore had got forward and hooked the ball across the goalmouth from the right, Durrell fired the ball home, from left of goal, to make it 1-0.

Alty did not build on that lead and gradually Spennymoor got into the game and enjoyed a decent spell around the half-hour mark. But a superb cross-field ball from man of the match Josh Lundstram led to the second goal for Alty in the 39th minute. The pass having located Durrell on the left wing, the no.11's progress was checked but Alty kept possession. The ball was relayed, inside, to Hulme who fired home across the keeper to make it 2-0.

The Moors started the second half with a purpose and got back into the game in the 52nd minute. Right-back Forbes was allowed to advance in space before hitting a fine shot into the top left-corner of Thompson's net from nearly 30 yards.

In retrospect the turning point was a fine save by Thompson from Ramsdale, six minutes later.

Midway through the half Alty regained their two-goal lead when Tom Hannigan's diving header converted Mooney's corner from the left (68 mins).

Alty's fourth goal came in the last minute of normal time. Hulme was located in space, outside the box, left of goal. Almost nonchalantly he hit a superb dipping shot into the far, top corner of Gould's net.

The win restored Alty to fifth place on an afternoon when Alty's play-off cause was aided as rivals Chester FC and Gateshead lost, and Boston only drew.

And we all know what happend when the delayed play-offs took place four months later...

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. Elliott DURRELL. Subs: 12. Craig MAHON, 14. Andy WHITE, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Simon RICHMAN


Saturday, 6 March 2021

Altrincham have dropped from eighth to eleventh in the table on Saturday but remain sixteenth on PPG.

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


The Northern Echo tells us that "Luke Molyneux scored the only goal of the game as Hartlepool moved second in the National League table, level on points with current leaders and opponents Torquay.

Molyneux grabbed the all-important goal in the 14th minute, calmly slotting the ball under goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald after being played in by Luke Armstrong.

Scott Boden went close to an equaliser for Torquay and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans was denied in the box by visiting defender Gary Liddle’s last-ditch tackle...

Lemonheigh-Evans was denied by Ben Killip’s brilliant save early in the second period and... Hartlepool twice went close to extending their lead in the closing stages when scrambled efforts from a corner were both cleared off the goal-line".

The Hartlepool Mail adds that "Pools went into the game knowing that a win would take them level with the National League leaders.

And Luke Molyneux’s first goal since November proved to be the difference between the sides as the winger gave Dave Challinor’s side an early lead that they were able to hold on to.

'We made a really positive start, we were outstanding in the first 25-minutes and I thought the game was there to be won for us,' Challinor told The Mail...

'In fairness to Torquay, they adapted to the shape we started with and came into the game themselves. The second half was just about real grit and determination to do our jobs... The outfield work the 10 did was the key part in it'...

Challinor’s side have beaten fellow challengers Sutton United, Notts County, Stockport County and now Torquay in their last 13 matches without conceding...

'We know that when we score first we tend to win games,' Challinor added. 'We’ve scored first 14 times this season and won 12 games from it and drawn two with the second coming at Halifax Town the other night'".

FC Halifax Town report that "Second half goals from Jake Hyde and Jack Earing helped FC Halifax Town to overturn a half time deficit and return from North West London with a 2 -1 victory. The win was a just reward for a dominant display in which Sam Johnson was largely a spectator.

Martin Woods returned to the starting eleven following injury with Jamie Allen dropping to the bench. This change allowed a return to the sweeper system Pete Wild has adopted for the majority of the season with Niall Maher dropping back from midfield.

The Shaymen dominated the first half showing plenty of attacking intent from the first whistle... It was completely against the run of play that Wealdstone took a 30th minute lead. A long ball forward was taken by Dennon Lewis on the right side of the penalty area. He beat Niall Maher’s challenge and finished neatly from 12 yards out...

The deserved equaliser came in the 57th minute. A free kick in the right was taken quickly by Neill Byrne who found Jeff King on the right and his pinpoint cross was headed home by Hyde for his 5th goal in a FC Halifax Town shirt...

Chadwick shot over but moments later he found Jack Earing in the left hand side in space and his unstoppable shot nestled in the far corner of the Wealdstone net and Town finally had a deserved lead...

There was a late red card for debutant Dan Bowry for a poor challenge on Jack Earing as The Shaymen saw out the final moments of the game for a thoroughly deserved 3 points."

Boreham Wood "had to settle for a draw despite seemingly cruising at two goals up with less than twenty minutes to go. It was former Wood star Angelo Balanta who turned what seemed like a comfortable 2-0 scoreline into a draw with a late equaliser for the Daggers.

Boreham Wood made two changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday night’s defeat at Wealdstone with now fit skipper Mark Ricketts replacing Keiran Murtagh in the midfield. And it was Shaquile Coulthirst, who made his first start since the corresponding fixture at Meadow Park in November, in place of Junior Morias.

To be fair to Dagenham and Redbridge, they did control the first half...

Wood took the lead against the run of play. After some excellent work from Kane Smith and Gus Mafuta, a cross by the former Salford City player was tapped in on the goal line by an alert Corey Whitely... on the brink of half time.

The second period couldn’t have started any better for the visitors. On forty-eight minutes, an excellent run from former Dagger, Whitely enabled him to put in a cross that was parried by Justham and put in by Coulthirst for his first Boreham Wood League goal...

Seemingly from nowhere, on seventy-three minutes the Daggers were back in it. Angelo Balanta jumped well to head in against a seemingly static Wood defence to halve the deficit.

The home side were suddenly in the ascendancy... It was at eighty-nine minutes when Dagenham equalised after Balanta struck a fantastic shot from the edge of the area that gave Ashmore no chance."

King's Lynn Town boss "Ian Culverhouse made three changes from the team that drew at Notts County on Tuesday with Kyle Callan-McFadden returning from suspension, Alex Kiwomya and Michael Gash replacing Michael Clunan & Ryan Jarvis, with Ross Barrows missing through injury...

Woking started getting into the game and it was them [sic] who took the lead on 28 minutes, a Loza cross from the right hand side finding debutant Sam Ashford who headed past Archie Mair...

Lynn made a change at half time with Michael Clunan replacing Cameron King who was still struggling with the injury he picked up on Tuesday...

A number of corners were forced by Woking, Mair tipping one over and Gash heading one behind as Woking threatened a second goal...

Woking did eventually score their second on 80 minutes, Smith not clearing the ball by the touchline leaving Jayden Wareham free to run at goal and his pass finding an unmarked Loza to roll the ball into an empty net.

Woking got their third on 90 minutes when Ben Gerring tapped home a Charlie Cooper free kick from close range.

Overall, a game where Lynn had their chances and plenty off the ball but Woking were more clinical...

Next up for the Linnets is a trip to Wealdstone this Tuesday (7.45pm), but with more players likely to be furloughed in the next few days Ian Culverhouse will have a very different squad to choose from."

At Chesterfield "Akwasi Asante's tenth goal for the club set the Spireites on their way to a 3-0 win over Yeovil Town, a sixth consecutive league win at the Technique Stadium.

James Rowe made two changes... with Liam Mandeville and Jak McCourt replacing Jack Clarke and Martin Smith... This game struggled to have an influx of chances in the opening exchanges...

The 23rd minute brought the first shot on target... Yeovil were restricted to pot shots and blocked shots...

Asante... as rewarded for his efforts in the 48th minute. Tom Whelan played the striker through on goal, he rounded the keeper and slotted home to add a goal to his newly signed contract...

In the 68th minute, Whelan added another goal, which provided the safety needed. The former Yeovil man picked the ball up 25-yards from goal launched a rocket into the net that wrong-footed A. Smith.

Ten minutes later, the Blues were awarded a 3-0 lead. A lovely Whelan lay-off allowed substitute Joel Taylor to run down the left-hand side and lift a cross over to McCourt, who finished with aplomb."

At Eastleigh "Late heartbreak sees the Spitfires lose 2-1 to Bromley at the Silverlake Stadium.

Tyrone Barnett’s eighth goal of the campaign opened but Jack Holland and Courtney Duffus’s headers snatched the points, in a closely contested affair.

Bromley should have taken the lead inside five minutes through Michael Cheek after a misplaced header left him inside the area with the goal at his mercy, but he scuffed the shot...

Somehow neither side had found an opener by the break...

Barnett inside the area in the 57th minute had all the time needed to sweep home with a right-footed shot.

The opposition then had the ball in the net at the back-post just under ten minutes later, but the referee bizarrely stopped play for a foul by Green and awarded a free-kick instead.

Despite that stroke of fortune, Jack Holland rose highest from the set-piece to bury, with no respite from the referee on this occasion...

Bromley stole the points after Duffus’s header was unable to be cleared off the line, before Abdulai Baggie had a late goal disallowed for offside and then a handball inside the box was deemed ‘too near’ for a Spitfires penalty."

6 March 2021


Altrincham FC's press and media officer, Jophn Edwards, confirms that the club has "appealed against Tom Hannigan's straight red card against Woking but been informed by the FA that the decision will stand.

Right:Tom Hannigan

The Alty centre-back was sent off in the 33rd minute of the Robins' 1-0 win after referee Andrew Miller judged a challenge on Jayden Wareham to be a foul that denied the Woking striker a clear goalscoring opportunity.

After studying video footage of the incident and concluding Tom made contact with the ball initially and any subsequent contact could be deemed mutual and accidental, Alty decided to lodge an appeal.

At a meeting of the FA's regulatory commission, members of the panel considered Alty's case but ruled it was not an instance of wrongful dismissal.

A decision letter was relayed to the club yesterday, and Hannigan will now serve a one-match suspension, meaning he will miss Tuesday's home game with Hartlepool United".


For the seventh Saturday this season Altrincham have no game today. This time the blank arises owing to the planned opponents, Dover Athletic, having furloughed their players.

The other six blank Saturdays have been...

  • Sat. 17.10.20 The game against at home against Bromley was postponed owing to Covid at Altrincham
  • Sat. 24.10.20 The FAC 4Q tie, away at AFC Fylde, was moved to Sunday lunchtime on 25.10.20 to accommodate TV coverage.
  • Sat. 5.12.20 The home match against King's Lynn Town was postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch.
  • Sat. 16.1.21 The FA Trophy away tie at Havant & Waterlooville was postponed owing to Covid at Altrincham.
  • Sat. 30.1.21 The home fixture against Macclesfield Town was cancelled as the Silkmen had been expelled from the National League.
  • Sat. 6.2.21 The fixture away to Torquay United had to be moved, to an earlier date, as The Gulls were playing in the FA Trophy on this date.

In these circumstances, Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson has announced that last Tuesday night, when Alty entertained Woking, "Due to technical issues with the live stream, our fans were without a picture for much of the first half, though normal service was resumed for the duration of a compelling second 45 minutes...

Though the night ended on a high note, we make no attempt to brush the earlier difficulties under the carpet, difficulties that have already been analysed, assessed and scrutinised in an attempt to guard against any repeat... With that in mind, we wish to make amends...

So, as a thank you to those who missed out on the first half on Tuesday, as well as reaching out to a wider audience on such an enthralling return to winning ways, we are broadcasting the whole game as a YouTube Premiere at 3pm tomorrow (Saturday) free of charge.

In addition, all our fans who bought the Woking stream have been contacted with a discount code for Tuesday's game against Hartlepool United...

We have been working hard to uncover the reason for the picture loss on Tuesday, and we believe we have tracked it down to faulty software. We have upgraded that particular element of our technology stack, and it has been running for over 30 hours now without incident. We have renewed confidence, therefore, that our streaming capability will prove more resilient going forward. But once again we apologise to all those inconvenienced on Tuesday night.

So please join us on Saturday afternoon for a special package that includes a re-run of Altrincham v Woking in its entirety, the Jake Moult interview, reflecting on his 400 Alty appearances, at half-time and Phil Parkinson's post-match interview at the end of the game".


News of Tuesday's visitors to Altrincham comes from the Hartlepool Mail which tells us that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor admits he’s slightly in the dark when it comes to the National League’s player registration deadline this season.

Previously, the registration deadline has been on the fourth Thursday in March, which this season would be March 25. But with the 2020-21 campaign extending into May, Challinor expects to see a bit of flexibility from the National League regarding player registration.

With the season now in March, the league are yet to make it explicitly clear to clubs as to whether the deadline will be altered or not..

Defenders Jamie Sterry and Ryan Johnson are both doubts for Saturday’s crucial away trip to Torquay United...

Challinor told The Mail... 'We’re speaking around recruitment and what we need to do so that’s a discussion that will take place and we’ve got to make sure we’re well and truly covered until the end of the season and there is still some uncertainty over what is happening with the North and South and what players could potentially be available.

'There will be more clarity in the next couple of weeks over what’s happening and what we can do for certain'.

The National League... told The Mail that the topic of registration deadlines will be discussed at the league’s upcoming board meeting".

And Hartlepool United announced on Friday "the signing of Jake Cooper. The defender joins on loan from Rotherham United till the end of the season.

Rotherham Academy graduate Jake Cooper penned a new deal back in March 2020, keeping him at [Rotherham] until 2022... The 19-year-old... put pen-to-paper on a professional deal back in June 2019.

Cooper then went out on loan for the second half of the 2019/20 season with fellow North East club Gateshead FC and also spent the first half of the current campaign with the National League North Side...

Dave Challinor [said] 'Jake is someone we looked at earlier in the season. He has great experience for someone still young'".

ON THIS DAY: 6 March

Fourteen years ago, in 2007, today Altrincham had a memorable 5-0 home win over Cambridge United in a Tuesday night match in the Nationwide Conference National.

Right: After keeping a clean sheet, Alty keeper Stuart Coburn leaves the pitch at the end of the game against Cambridge United.

With just 3 wins in their previous 22 league games, Alty were meeting a United side enjoying a revival in its fortunes and unbeaten in its last 7 matches. However, having played more games than anyone else in the division, the "U's" were still far from safe from the threat of relegation. Defeat, or even a draw in this match would have seen Altrincham go bottom if Tamworth were to collect a point in their game the smae evening.

Altrincham were again without the supended Karl Munroe and the starting line-up remained unchanged from the last game, at Burton. On the bench, the only change was that left-back Andy Scott was replaced by striker Peter Thomson.

The five-goal margin did not flatter Altrincham against an abject Cambridge United. Alty played some excellent football, in the first half-hour especially, and went ahead with a fine freekick from 19 yards by Peyton which punished a cynical foul on Bushell.

Within 30 seconds of Cambridge kicking off in the second half a tremendous run by Chalmers saw him pick up O'Neill's lay off and sprint into the box before beating keeper Herbert with a low shot (46 mins). Next a good ball from Lawton set Little at goal and as he jinked round Duncan he was brought down. Little took the resulting spot kick which Herbert saved, but could not hold, and Little gratefully converted the loose ball (56 mins).

Joe O'Neill made it 4-0 after an impressive 50 yard run by Lewis Chalmers (67 mins) and substitute Chris Senior netted his first goal for Altrincham's first-team when he dribbled round Herbert from Little's feed (76 mins). Cambridge barely troubled Coburn all night but the visiting supporters creditably supported their team to the end in competition with the ecstatic home fans who had only once before this season seen their side score more than two goals.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 3. Gary SCOTT, 4. Peter BAND, 11. Warren PEYTON; 7. Robbie LAWTON, 6. Steve BUSHELL, 8. Val OWEN, 14. Lewis CHALMERS; 9. Colin LITTLE, 12.Joe O'NEILL. Subs: 5. Gary TALBOT, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 16. Peter THOMSON, 18. Pat McFADDEN, 19. Chris SENIOR.


One club is both signing new players and furloughing others as Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town have today announced the loan signing of defender Jak Hickman from League Two side Bolton Wanderers.

The 22 year-old will be at The Walks for the rest of the season, as the Linnets look to bolster their threadbare squad for their remaining National League fixtures.

A number of Linnets players are being furloughed because of the club's perilous financial situation.

Hickman, a former Coventry City youth player, joined Bolton last summer, and has made seven appearances for them in all competitions. He has also played for Ashton United, Bromsgrove and Hereford".

The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that "Magpies boss Alan Devonshire has been frustrated by the ‘ridiculous situation’ of Dover Athletic refusing to play matches and believes that without swift action from the National League to give clubs clarity on the situation the integrity of this season’s competition could be called into question.

United had been due to visit Dover on [last] Saturday for a rearranged fixture and host them on Tuesday at York Road, however, neither match went ahead with the south coast club currently refusing to fulfil their fixtures, and the National League threatening to bring sanctions against them for it.

For Devonshire it’s left his club with another frustrating period without matches, having already kicked their heels through two long periods of inactivity, and he’s calling on the league to take swift action against Dover to restore some credibility to the league and ensure others don’t follow their lead...

United haven’t been in great form of late, and are without a league win since January 30...

'No, the rest is not good, it’s really frustrating,' Devonshire said. 'Touch wood, we’ve had no COVID and we’ve played fewer games than most. We had a game fixed up for Tuesday (March 2), it was agreed and then suddenly the other team changed their mind. It’s very frustrating.

'It’s a ridiculous situation, but I’m not going to get involved in it. I know what I think they (Dover) should do, but I’m not going to tell you that. We need clarity from the league now. We can’t have this dragging on and people asking, "what’s going to happen to them?". We need a decision now and clarity on all of this because other teams could choose to do it.

'If there’s no clarity on it, there’s nothing stopping other teams from adopting a similar stance I suppose. We need the league to act on this and act swiftly... If teams do this sort of thing it doesn’t reflect well on the league'...

Said Devonshire... 'What you’re going to get now, without relegation, is teams that are down near the bottom could play their youth players in matches. I don’t know how it’s going to work but we need a decision quickly from the league on relegation and the threat of sanctions for teams (who may be considering this). Those decisions need to be made quickly so we know what’s going on...

'The more this drags on the more likely it will be that teams will consider doing things they shouldn’t be doing... We’ve wanted to play all of our matches, but teams haven’t wanted to play us. The league will have to clamp down when they have to get all the games in, but they should have done that earlier.'

Maidenhead United’s home game with Altrincham on Saturday, March 27, has been selected to be shown live on BT Sport 2. The game against the Robin... will kick-off later in the afternoon at 6.15pm".

Devon Live reports that "Torquay United will face a 'totally different' Hartlepool in Plainmoor six-pointer...

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson will be hoping to have a few players back from injury for tomorrow’s home game against Hartlepool United but he isn’t giving away any inside information... Torquay’s lead at the top of the National League has been cut to a single point, and Sutton have two games in hand...

Last week, when the Gulls were knocked out of the FA Trophy by losing 1-0 at Woking, there were 16 players unavailable. Most were injured but four, Scott Boden, Olaf Koszela, Louie Slough and James Hamon, were cup-tied. Since then defender Fraser Kerr has signed for Chesterfield after being released, but Shaun MacDonald will be back after his one-game suspension...

When asked about the injury list... Johnson said, 'Unfortunately, supporters probably won’t get to know who is totally fit enough to play until the kick off. I know they would like to know before, but sometimes I don’t know, and as we speak on a Thursday, we haven’t trained yet and we have got to train tomorrow. So that gives some injured players that are close another couple of days...

'And sometimes, with all the podcasts and all the reports that all go on to social media, there is no doubt that every manager, including me, looks at all the managers’ comments pre- and post-games, always.'

Which is why Johnson is guarded about what he says... He said... 'I am doing it for the best reasons to help our football club win a football game'...

Danny Wright, the striker is still about a month away following his hamstring operation. Boden, on loan from Chesterfield, may get the chance ahead of Billy Waters, or Johnson could opt for two up front with Josh Umerah also available for that position".

Woking "confirm thetwo loan signings of Sam Ashford and Niko Muir.

Sam Ashford joins from Crawley Town on loan until the end of the season, whilst Niko Muir joins for one month from Hampton & Richmond".

NL Daily adds that "The pair significantly bolster the National League side’s attacking options.

Ashford joins Alan Dowson’s team for the remainder of the season from Crawley Town. The 25-year-old signed for League Two Crawley from Hemel Hempstead Town last summer.

Muir, meanwhile, arrives from Hampton & Richmond Borough, with the Beavers’ National League South season having been brought to its conclusion. The 28-year-old ex-Hartlepool United man joins on a one-month deal".

The Birmingham Mail reports that "Aston Villa under-23s midfielder Jack Clarke is out of contract in the summer and is spending the second half of the season on loan at National League side Chesterfield...

Chesterfield will consider signing the loanee on a full-time basis in the summer, manager James Rowe has said. Clarke, 22, cut short a loan spell at Yeovil Town in January to join National League rivals Chesterfield until the end of the season.

Having made only three appearances for Yeovil during the first half of the campaign, Clarke... made his first start for Chesterfield... this week.

Solihull-born Clarke... is set to be out of contract in three months’ time.

Rowe told the Derbyshire Times 'He has got masses of potential... and his attitude has been fantastic. I think he has got a real opportunity here and who knows what is going to happen at Aston Villa?'"

ALso at the Spireites, the Derbyshire Times adds that "Star man Akwasi Asante has signed a new contract at Chesterfield until the summer of 2024.

The striker has scored nine goals in 13 league games for the Spireites this season. The 28-year-old joined on an 18-month deal in November from Gloucester City when James Rowe was appointed manage...

Asante said 'I’ve been enjoying my football. We’ve been winning games and I’ve been scoring goals, so I couldn’t be happier. When the club offered me a new deal, I had no hesitation in accepting it'".

Meanwhile at Notts County Head Groundsman Matt Hallam spoke of his role, saying "It’s vitally important to have the right nutrition on the pitch and to test the soil on a regular basis.

Checking the weather is always important... In the summer we’ll give the pitch a double cut with out Dennis g860 mower. It only needs a single cut in the winter.

After that, it’s all about the finishing touches such as marking out the pitch. It’s important to keep a close eye on how the pitch is playing; how does the ball move across the surface? Are the players slipping, or do they have good stability?

You also need to put plans in place for half-time. If the surface appears to be lacking moisture, you need to be ready to get it watered.

Then, when the match is coming to an end, you need to establish whether the pitch is dry enough to be mowed, while also giving thought to how you can recover damaged areas ASAP."

According to NL Daily "Northern Ireland international Jamie Ward is back in contention for selection at Solihull Moors.

The 34 year-old forward has been out of action just recently, but manager Jimmy Shan has confirmed today that the ex-Derby County man is available for this weekend’s National League game with Maidenhead United.

Shan said 'Jamie Ward has trained and been back in and around the group so he’ll be up for contention.

'It’s most definitely not helping our cause in terms of not being able to put out a regular team, and build those connections and relationships.'

Ward, who has won 35 caps for Northern Ireland in his career, signed for Moors back in October."

The Halifax Courier reminds us that "When Pete Wild and Chris Millington first arrived at the club in summer 2019, they had less than two weeks until the start of the season, and a backroom staff containing a goalkeeping coach, a kit man and a physio.

Despite that, The Shaymen made an incredible start to the season, racing to the top of the table, and eventually finished in the play-off places.

Now, the backroom team has evolved and includes a first-team coach and head of recruitment, and sprouted different departments, including strength and conditioning, and video analysis, using specialised, qualified staff...

Says assistant manager Millington, 'The chairman runs a tight ship, there are some really good departments within the club, and I think the previous manager had moved things on...

'So it was increasing our levels of fitness, make ourselves fitter in terms of the ability to run further, to cover more ground, and to be able to challenge the teams who were fit last year, which were the likes of Harrogate and Notts County...

'There’s been a lot of work gone into the analysis side, through people coming in who are highly qualified to do the work and doing it to help move the club forward... We now feel we’ve got highly qualified people doing jobs within the club that last season, me and Pete were taking care of...

'In terms of our style of play, that’s starting to become more obvious when you watch a performance...

'Last season, all of the coaching fell on mine and the gaffer’s shoulders... whereas now having a first-team coach on board who is with us on a pretty much daily basis means we can rely on a very highly-qualified and excellent coach, but also we have the ability to stand back and take different parts of the role...

'We go through a thorough analysis process of the opposition, which means getting right under the skin of what they’ve been doing over a number of games in terms of the style of play, goal threat, defensive structure, team selections, threatening players, the ones who maybe offer us an opportunity to get in and use our strengths...

'There were three key objectives for us going into the season, and I think we’re showing that two of those are beginning to become part of our identity, and the third, which is around being really consistent in our defending, is the one I think will help kick us on further if we can start to achieve that over the next few games'"

In the eader Live, "Dean Keates hailed his fledgling strikeforce...

Kwame Thomas and Dior Angus were both on target in Saturday's 4-1 win over Wealdstone that leaves the Reds fifth in the National League.

Thomas now has eight goals this season, with five coming in February, and Angus has struck twice since arriving at The Racecourse from Barrow on transfer deadline day.

'There is a good relationship being built there and we have also got Jordan Ponticelli,' said Keates...

'Dior is mid to late 20s but he has not been a professional footballer for long so he is still learning... Kwame is getting the goals now that I believe the majority of the performances have deserved'...

Keates will be hoping the duo continue to fire at second placed Sutton who have won their last five games and are only one place behind leaders Torquay United with two games in hand.

He could be boosted by the return of Reece Hall-Johnson and Jay Harris from injury...

Shaun Pearson has been restricted to just three appearances this season because of a foot problem and the Reds' captain is closing in on a return."

5 March 2021


With no fixture this Saturday because of Dover Athletic's decision to stop playing their matches, Alty's next fixture is at home to Hartlepool United next Tuesday (9 March). Alty drew the reverse fixture earlier this season.

In a timely and, for Alty, an encouraging article, the informative Hartlepol Mail reviews "The stats behind Hartlepool United's contrasting home and away form in the National League. Hartlepool United’s last eight home and away games provide one of the starkest contrasts in form that you are likely to see from a side gunning for promotion.

Pools boast the best home record in the National League having won each of their last eight matches at Victoria Park, the club’s longest winning run on home soil in 14 years.

Meanwhile on the road, the side have won just one of their last eight league matches and sit 15th in the National League’s away table... Why are we seeing such a significant disparity between Hartlepool’s home and away form?...

Pools have netted an impressive 18 goals at Victoria Park in their last eight matches and conceded just three... Yet on the road, the side have scored just three times in eight matches, conceding nine. Simply put, Pools haven’t been scoring enough away from home...

Pools are a side who like to control matches... Over the last eight games respectively, Pools have averaged 55.25% possession at home and 52.125% possession away.

Yet every time they’ve kept 60% possession or more away from home (Wrexham, Weymouth and Woking), they’ve failed to score and every time they’ve scored away from home, they’ve kept 50% possession or under...

When Hartlepool are allowed to play in front of teams with the ball, they have found it difficult to break them down. It’s when they are able to get in behind teams with pace where they are most effective...

At home, Pools have only kept above 60% possession on one occasion during their eight game winning streak... Perhaps there is such a thing as too much possession.

Creating chances has never been an issue for Pools this season. At Victoria Park, they’ve managed an impressive 103 shots in their last eight matches, 40 of which have been on target... Away from home, they have been able to create... 84 shots and 27 on target in eight games...

Almost half of the side’s shots on target find the net at Victoria Park. Yet away from home, it is a completely different story. Pools’ conversion rate over the last eight away matches is a lowly 3.57% which raises [sic] to 11.1% for shots on target. They may be creating chances but their failure to put them away is proving costly...

Top scorer Luke Armstrong... has scored eight goals in eight wins at The Vic since joining yet has just one in seven matches away from home...

There is no huge difference in what Pools are doing at home or away in terms of possession and chances created to explain why the end results have been so different".


Highlights of Altrincham's victory over Woking are available via Alty TV. They include selected coverage of the period of the game when the live stream was not functioning on Tuesday night and, notably, the sending-off of Tom Hannigan.

ON THIS DAY: 5 March

Two years ago today, Blyth Spartans made the long midweek trip to Altrincham, after the Northumberland club's involvement in the FA Trophy had caused the postponement of the original fixture in January and then, in February, bad weather had caused a further postponement.

Altrincham went into the match on the back of a 6-0 win at Curzon Ashton and a 4-0 victory at home to Chester. The Robins lay in fifth place in the league, nine points ahead of fourteenth-placed Blyth. The Spartans had enjoyed a tremendous run of fourteen games unbeaten in all competitions before their current sequence of a single win in eight outings.

Above: The teams take to the pitch.

The outcome of this match was influenced by a decision by referee Lewis Smith. After Altrincham, playing fluent football, had taken a 21st minute lead through John Johnston's shot from the front edge of the box, Blyth equalised in questionable circumstances just six minutes later.

So all that Robbie Dale had to do was hit the ball into the upper reaches of the net from about seven yards, which he duly did.

Although Alty might have complaints about Mr Smith it has to be said that in the second half Altrincham did not reach the level of their first-half performance with too many attacks taking too long to develop. So the Robins dropped two points and lost ground on their play-off rivals.

Altrincham had fielded an unchanged starting eleven, but on the bench Max Harrop and Elliot Wynne returned, in place of Simon Richman and Steven Drench. So, again, there was no place for Mason Fawns nor for the injured Ben Harrison, Matthew Chadwick and James Poole.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Tony Thompson, 2. Andy White, 3. Connor Hampson, 4. James Jones, 5. Tom Hannigan, 6. Jake Moult (c), 7. John Johnston, 8. Sean Williams, 9. Joe Piggott, 10. Josh Hancock, 11. Yusifu Ceesay. Subs: 12. Callum olan, 14. Max Harrop, 15. Jordan Hulme, 16. Shaun Densmore, 20. Elliot Wynne.


The Dorset Echo says that "Seven Weymouth players will be furloughed, according to manager Brian Stock. The Terras have been in active discussions with the seven, who were not present at training this week.

It is understood Weymouth will seek a 'flexi-furlough' to enable a seven-day recall on any of the selected seven. Weymouth are still waiting on some of the players to sign relevant paperwork in acceptance of being placed on the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme...

And the Terras are also keen to keep the names of the seven under wraps, although they are widely expected to be players that have struggled for game time this season...

Stock said...'It's up to us to come to an agreement on any money they might lose in comparison to what their contract states... We have spoken to seven players which I think the club can furlough. They weren't present at training on Tuesday, although some of them haven't signed the agreement.

'I've actively told the players it's not my decision to negotiate what money they might lose, that's down to the club... It won't come as a surprise for some of the players due to inactivity and not being involved in the squad for some time...

'They might come back in for a training session a week, or might (fully) come back. We've got that flexibility to do that.'".

According to Lincolnshire Live "Former Lincoln City forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith looks set to take his career to the US after leaving non-league Sutton United.

Adebayo-Smith was released by the Imps in October...

During his time with Lincoln, Adebayo-Smith had loan spells at Boston United, Gainsborough Trinity and Grantham Town. After several trials with other clubs, California-born Adebayo-Smith signed for National League side Sutton.

However, it has been announced he has left Sutton, having made just one substitute appearance for the south London club".

Wrexham "announce Ryan Austin has signed his first professional deal, putting pen to paper on a deal until 2022.

Lifelong Wrexham fan Austin, 18, has been training with the first team this season and has appeared on the first-team bench, as well as forming part of the travelling squad on several occasions.

Austin was part of Dan Nolan's successful youth team squad, which won their National League Alliance Division H title in 2019-20...

The powerful defender becomes the third member of that squad, which also reached the second round of the FA Youth Cup, to sign professional terms with the club, joining fellow defender Max Cleworth and striker Jake Bickerstaff.

Wrexham AFC are also delighted to announce both Cleworth and Bickerstaff have signed extensions to their contracts, and have joined Austin in committing until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Both Cleworth and Bickerstaff, who are currently on loan at Caernarfon Town, made their senior debuts in the Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Scottish Challenge Cup last season... Both players then signed pro terms in the summer, with Bickerstaff making six appearances this season and Cleworth one before moving to the Cofis for the remainder of the season".

Barnet have interviewed centre-back Matt Preston "to find out how his recovery from injury is coming along... after he recently returned to the training pitch after suffering a ruptured ligament in his right ankle back in November.

He said, 'The recovery is coming along well, it was a really bad injury, it was a complete rupture... Thankfully, I didn't have to have an operation so I have just have been rebuilding the muscles around it...

'Before I had picked up the injury, I hadn't been able to play many games, because of COVID, I had literally only played in a few games...

'The two new lads (Liam Daly and Ben Richards-Everton) have set a very good standard, I try to watch what they've been doing on the training pitch and take some bits from their game, so I can implement it in mine. They are both experienced lads, so it's helpful to try and learn some stuff from them and take some knowledge from them as well...

'All the boys get in early and leave late. Habits that are formed on the training pitch, should end up being carried over into matches. I think the gaffer is doing well to push everyone that little bit more and force good habits into people, which is key. We have to start to taking what's being drilled on the training pitch into matches and start showing a little more character'", he concluded.

According to Devon Live "Times have changed in the world of football, and these days social media means one unguarded comment can fly around the world in seconds.

On this week's podcast Gary Johnson joins us to talk about the perils of giving the game away to the rest of the football world in an era when every bit of news from every club in the land is on social media for all to see.

It explains why the Gaffer never gives much away about the progress of his injured players in the days leading up to an important fixture.

Gary also chats about the Woking cup game last weekend, and how two crucial refereeing decisions turned the game in the home side's favour. VAR would have made all the difference, but is that what we want at all levels of the game?".

Meanwhile Torquay United add that next "Tuesday night’s match against Aldershot Town at Plainmoor has been postponed after the Shots reported a Covid event within their first team."

Lancashire Live reminds us that "Tom White spent the first half of the season on loan at Bolton Wanderers from Blackburn Rovers and is currently at Hartlepool United....

Midfielder Tom White is set to see his loan spell at Hartlepool United extended until the end of the season. The 23-year-old joined the National League side last month on a 28-day loan at Victoria Park.

He had spent the first half of the season at League Two side Bolton Wanderers, where he made 14 appearances.

But White found game time restricted towards the end of his time with Bolton... His return to Rovers was confirmed at the start of February, before he later went out on loan to Dave Challinor's side.

He has played five times for Hartlepool and was an unused substitute in the midweek 1-1 draw against Halifax Town...

Pools boss Challinor is hopeful... 'Tom’s loan is due to expire before Saturday but we’ll have quick chat about that... The hope is we’ll be able to...get something sorted.#”

On Thursday, Aldershot Town confirmed "an incident of positive Covid-19 tests within the first-team playing staff. This unfortunately sees our next two league fixtures away at Notts County and Torquay United postponed".

4 March 2021


Altrincham supporters have been saddened to hear of the death on Monday of Jim Vince (senior), at the age of 77. He died in Wythenshawe Hospital.

Right: Jim Vince presents Alty Youth player Matt Fearon with an award at the Youth Team awards night in 2011.

A very well-known figure in local amateur football, Jim was also a long-term volunteer at Altrincham FC in a number of capacities. In addition, his son, Jim (junior), played for the Club before going on to manage football clubs which included Abbey Hey, Witton Albion, Congleton Town and Halifax Town where he succeeded non other than Chris Wilder, the current manager at Sheffield United.

For many years Jim (senior) was a great help to youth team manager the late George Heslop, both in terms of sharing his football knowledge but also in practical terms such as ferrying non-driver George to youth team matches and even acting as a mature ballboy, retrieving countless footballs during youth team games from the trees and undergrowth at numerous football playing fields. He also frequently carried out maintenance work around the ground at Moss Lane.

In latter years he was, with the late Dave Johnson, the welcoming face of Altrincham FC, receiving visiting teams, press and others at the front door of the J. Davidson Stadium.

Jim had not enjoyed the best of health in recent years yet had often turned up for his voluntary work when others would quite justifiably have stayed at home. His assistance to the Football Club will not be forgotten by those who knew him.


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards writes that Altrincham boss "Phil Parkinson promised drastic action to stop Altrincham’s losing streak but could hardly have expected it to succeed the way it did at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night.

Right: Altrincham's management team of Neil Sorvel and Phil Parkinson.

Stung by a fifth straight defeat at Bromley on Saturday, the Alty boss vowed to 'do something about it' and promptly brought in no fewer than three loan signings barely 48 hours later.

All three, striker Montel Gibson, centre-half Yoan Zouma and left-back Reagan Ogle, went straight into the starting line-up against Woking in a bold move aimed at reinvigorating the Robins and snapping them out of their losing run.

It looked to have been scuppered by a controversial straight red card for centre-back Tom Hannigan after only half-an-hour, but the 10 men stood firm, took the lead through Matty Kosylo and withstood late pressure thanks to an exceptional double save from Tony Thompson to chalk up an unlikely but thoroughly deserved 1-0 win...

Said Parkinson, ‘We’re up against it again, poor decisions going against us, a man sent off and you’re thinking what’s next; the Apocalypse? I’m not sure what Jake Moult’s goal was disallowed for and then Tom gets sent off moments after he gets chopped in half by a challenge that hits him halfway up his shin. It looked reckless, and I’m amazed he got up, but there was no red card for that.

'But I was never worried about the endeavour of the lads to keep going, and I thought they were absolutely immense, led by Jake Moult on his 400th Alty appearance. He was an absolute monster. He has been a true leader ever since I arrived here, and that was one of the best performances I have seen from him. A performance like that shows what it means to him to be at Altrincham and to be Altrincham captain.

'The new lads all showed up well, too, but that’s partly due to the group as a whole not sulking and playing their part in helping them settle straightaway. And that was top drawer from Tony Thompson at the end. I thought it was in, the header he kept out for his second save... But he showed what he’s all about and why he is unequivocally our number one.'”


Woking report that "After the elation of Saturday’s FA Trophy quarter-final win came despair in the North West for Alan Dowson’s Cards, the Surrey visitors increasingly bereft of ideas as battling Altrincham pulled off an unlikely win.

Up against a side coming into this league clash on the back of five straight defeats and reduced to 10 men within 35 minutes, Woking looked toothless when it mattered at Moss Lane... The subs who came off the bench at the weekend were rewarded with starts, Ben Dempsey, Tommy Block and Jayden Wareham all looking lively in the opening stages. Yet the hosts seemed more determined as time wore on...

Bookings in the first half-hour for Ben Gerring and Jack Cook did not bode well, the tenacious Tommy Block also in the book by the break.

However, the main incident of the first half was the 34th minute of dismissal of defender Tom Hannigan, one it seemed would turn the match in Woking’s favour. It wasn’t to be though, Phil Parkinson’s side... deserving their win...

Woking soon had the upper hand, a Wareham cross from the left next to cause flutters. That said, the home side netted at the midway stage, a searching free-kick from Matty Kosylo fired home from six yards by skipper Jake Moult, on his 400th Robins’ appearance. But the flag was raised for offside...

Then came the potential turning point, Wareham grounded after taking advantage of a poor back-pass, referee Andrew Miller deciding the striker, with just the keeper to beat, was tripped by Hannigan, and reaching for his red card. From my vantage point, I wasn’t overly convinced...

It wasn’t long before the visitors were camped in the opposition half after the break, and it seemed it was just a matter of time before they breached the home defence... However, it was Ross who made the first proper stop, tipping over a wildly-deflected effort by main threat Ryan Colclough...

Home boss Parkinson had changes... up the sleeve, Tom Peers replacing Gibson and within three minutes setting up Kosylo for a fine finish on the counter, Woking caught napping. The visitors never gave up, but... umpteen lofted balls into the area looking increasingly unlikely to prove significant, the home game plan working well under pressure...

You’d have been forgiven for thinking it was the Cards rather than Alty who were a man down...

Time was running out, the Cards devoid of enough imagination to make their possession count, Alty digging in and Thompson making further assured stops".


As noted yesterday, Altrincham captain Jake Moult was making his 400th appearance for the club on Tuesday night against Woking.

The official Altrincham FC website has an extended interview with Jake to mark the occasion.


Although, as mentioned yesterday, Jason van Blerk was [probably] the last Australian to play a league game for Altrincham, more recently another Australian, Rhain Davis, did make a start in the Cheshire Senior Cup as well as three substitute appearances in the league in 2017-18. He had previously made a start in 2015-16 in the CSC.


Next Tuesday, Altrincham face Hartlepool United at Moss Lane, after sitting out Saturday's fixtures through their prospective opponents Dover Athletic's withdrawal from playing.

The Hartlepool Mail reports that "Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor was left thinking what could have been following his side’s 1-1 draw at Halifax Town on Tuesday night.

Mark Shelton put Pools in front early on at The Shay but the visitors failed to extend their lead before Kieran Green headed The Shaymen level 13-minutes from time.

It was another away game Hartlepool failed to win but one they felt they easily could have had they put their chances away...

'We had good opportunities but our quality and our ruthlessness let us down,' Challinor admitted...'If I’m being really critical we haven’t done enough. You’re going to be judged in both penalty areas and unfortunately we let ourselves down in both tonight and it hasn’t resulted in the points we perhaps merited'...

After Halifax drew level... Danny Williams was shown a straight red card for a last man challenge...

'[My anger] always translates into the dressing room afterwards,' admitted the Pools boss... 'It’s something I’m getting better at but I’m not the best at it and sometimes you need to bite your tongue and reflect and say nothing... If I have to apologise to a few of the players after that then I’m big enough to do that. I want the players to do well and I genuinely believe that they’ve got a really good opportunity this season and I want to make sure they don’t pass that up.'"

ON THIS DAY: 4 March

Four years ago today in 2017, Altrincham travelled to the New Buck's Head where they lost by the only goal of the match to AFC Telford United in a Vanarama National League North match.

By the end of Alty's game at Darlington the previous Wednesday they had ten players unavailable, (Jake Moult, Gary Jones, Shaun Densmore, Sean Miller, Craig Hobson, Tom Hannigan, Andy Owens, Alan Goodall, Tim Deasy, Kyle Brownhill). Of those absentees, Owens and Goodall were on the bench today but Reeves was not present owing to a family commitment.

Before this trip to Shropshire, 49 players had played a part in Alty's league fixtures this season and, with the debut in this game of keeper Stuart Tomlinson, that became fifty today.

Right: Stuart Tomlinson lines up between Gary Jones and James Lawrie.

For Telford, Lee Hughes and former Alty defender Luca Havern were doubts pre-match. but both started.

An injury-ravaged Altrincham deserved at least a point, if not all three, but were robbed of any reward at all for their good performance by a heavily deflected goal in the 87th minute.

The visitors ultimately paid the price for missing a number of half chances and also saw an Evans's effort pushed away along the goal-line by Telford keeper Burton.

With Alty goalkeeper Tim Deasy injured, new signing and ex-wrestler Stuart Tomlinson made his debut and, apart from a couple of saves, he had relatively little to do.

In a match riddled with petty fouls and played on a soft surface, there was too much scrappy play to make it a great spectacle but Altrincham, with John Cyrus again excelling at the back, put together some good attacking moves. But the injury jinx struck again as Nicky Clee had to come off at the interval, after a late challenge on him in the first half.

In addition to the Evans effort, Altrincham came closest to scoring when Richman's shot from three yards was blocked by a defender and when the same player lifted a late effort over the bar, both efforts arising from Newby crosses.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart TOMLINSON, 2. Chris LYNCH (c), 3. Nicky CLEE, 4. Sam HEATHCOTE, 5. John CYRUS. 6. Laurence TAYLOR, 7. Elliott NEWBY, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Micah EVANS, 10. James LAWRIE, 11. Gary JONES Subs: 12. Andy McWILLIAMS, 14. Alan GOODALL, 15. Andy OWENS, 16. Sam PATTERSON, 20. Andrew JONES


NL Daily tells us that "Scott Boden is confident of making the desired impact at new club Torquay United.

The experienced marksman joined the Gulls recently from Chesterfield... The 31-year-old said... 'I think you’ve always got something to prove, regardless of your age and what you’ve done in the past. It’s always the future anyway, it’s the here and now that’ll get you to your future.

'It’s probably stereotypical of me to say it’s game by game from now until the end of the season. Hopefully, touch wood, we are up there, where we currently sit.

'It has got unbelievably tight [at the top], to be fair, but the job in hand is concentrating on ourself. That is the key from now until the end of May...

'I know the team create a hell of a lot of chances, and if I can be in the right place at the right time when those chances are created, I back myself to put the ball in the back of the net. That’s what I will put pressure on myself to do, and I don’t mind that pressure, I like that pressure'".

"Following FC Halifax Town’s 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United, striker Jake Hyde spoke...

'It was a good game,' Hyde said. 'In the first half we didn’t have much of the ball, but... they didn’t do too much. In the second half we kicked-on and we were aggressive with them. I think that showed as we won the second half 1-0. If the sending off didn’t come, I think there is only one team that is going to win it.... There was a lot to be positive about and hopefully we can build on that for Saturday'...

'The more clinical teams will win the league,' Hyde told Shaymen TV... 'We created enough chances, without too many of them being too clear cut. We did hit the post and we should do better from our set-pieces. We are going in the right direction'...

Town equalised in the second half thanks to a Kieran Green goal. The Shaymen started the second half brightly and were fully deserving of the goal.

'I felt we could have gone on to win from that,' Hyde said... 'I felt we stepped it up a notch in the second half'

Halifax travel to face Wealdstone this Saturday... 'We definitely owe them one', Hyde told Shaymen TV. 'We had a couple of sending offs last time which really ruined the game a little a bit'".

The Halifax Courier adds that "FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild says the appointment of Gareth McClelland as head of recruitment has taken the club’s recruitment 'to the next level'”.

McClelland rejoined the club in January having previously been chief scout under Neil Aspin and helping bring the likes of Marc Roberts, Dan Gardner, Matty Pearson, Liam and Scott Hogan and Lois Maynard to The Shay.

'I’ve known Gareth for years, I’ve been at games with him,' said Wild. 'I’d been asking the chairman for a while to help me in terms of getting a head of recruitment in. I can only do so much, I can’t do it all...

'He’s taken our recruitment to the next level. Already the preparation for, hopefully, me recruiting in the summer has started.. It’s his match analysis as well...

'That’s what we’re about. Players come here, they do well, they move on for more money, that’s the reality of the situation,' he said... 'We’ve got a great young squad here, that’s only going to get better, so we’ve got to get them on good contracts, and then we’ve got sprinkle on top with mine [sic] and Gareth’s and Chris experience of players.'"

In the Nottingham Post, "Neal Ardley admits Notts County's 'anxiety'...

The Magpies put in a nervy display as they conceded a last-minute equaliser against King's Lynn Town on Tuesday night.

Neal Ardley admitted his side created their own 'anxiety'... The Magpies turned the game on its head inside seven minutes with a Kyle Wootton brace, cancelling out Sonny Carey's sensational strike inside the first minute before the interval.

However, with only two minutes of added-on time remaining, a cheap free-kick saw Carey's delivery met by Kairo Mitchell, who snatched a point for the visitors.

'I thought we started terribly, their goal rocked us and we spent 20 minutes running around like headless chickens,' Ardley said. 'We made it easy for them to slice through the middle of us. We kept forcing the play, it's as if we felt we had to get the goals back and try to win the game straight away. We were very poor for the first 45 minutes.

'We got loads wrong. Ruben (Rodrigues) has a header to put the game to bed, he should hit the target. 2-1 is a scoreline where they can throw caution to the wind, we were defensive in our mindset, we give away a cheap free-kick, it's naivety and we have to snap out of giving away silly goals.

'We've got such a brutal schedule, we're going to lose games. We've only lost 1 in 11 but we're not playing well. I won't try to dress it up and say we're flowing and playing our brilliant best because we're not. We're finding ways to pick up points and win games. Sometimes you go through spells like that. At the moment, we're not playing great, we need to find our rhythm again but we have lost 1 in 11'...

Ardley felt his side lost their shape needlessly at times, not helped by their overreliance on centre-backs Connell Rawlinson and Alex Lacey, who started their sixth consecutive match in under three weeks.

Ardley said 'It's been tough, it's very strange at the moment. Players have been available for four, five, six weeks and then we've gone to move on them and now they're not available. As we get into this second phase of the season, clubs get a little nervous about what squad they have.

'We've knocked on six, seven, eight doors. It's not been easy but we're very hopeful to get two in by Thursday for training.'"

The Leader Live reports that striker "Dior Angus insists he and his team-mates were already driven by a desire to be successful for Wrexham before added financial incentives were put in place by the new owners...

Those that play in any game will now receive £200 for each win and £50 for a draw, as long as Wrexham remain in a play-off position, and a bonus pot of £250,000 if promotion is achieved this season...

Said Angus, 'The bonus structure wasn't in place anyway. It is normally sorted in pre-season, I think that was probably to do with the takeover but they have sorted it and it is all good stuff. It will put a bit of fire in the boys' belly but we want to win football games anyway; we are in the play-offs.

'It can come across that the bonus... is the incentive they need, but it's not. We are playing for this massive club'...

On the decision to publicly reveal the sum of money up for grabs, Angus added... 'I think it is more of an American thing to know what players earn. It is not the sort of done thing here but it is what it is, it is done'".

The Derbyshire Times conforms that "Chesterfield manager James Rowe has signed a new contract following an impressive start to his time at the Spireites.

The 37-year-old joined the Blues in November from Gloucester City and has overseen a remarkable turnaround from relegation candidates to play-off contenders. Town have lost just two of their 15 games under him and are playing an attractive style of football.

Rowe’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2022/2023 reason but he has been rewarded for his promising start. It follows speculation in the national press that Rowe was starting to attract interest from some clubs in League Two.

The length of contract extension has not been disclosed by the club.

Spireites chief executive, John Croot, said... 'When we appointed James, we said that we would review the situation after a few months and we feel that the time is right to put a new contract in place... James has overhauled the squad and he deserves much credit for the job he has done so far'".


York Press says that "York City could be given another crack at promotion after meetings between National League officials ended with proposals for a Step 2 competition being tabled...

A collection of 18 clubs put their names to proposals to form a supplementary competition with the chance to fight for promotion. The competition.... is proposed to be held between willing clubs from the National League's North and South divisions and will require approval from National League clubs, the Alliance Committee and the FA Council.

Clubs could have a clearer picture by Monday, when the Alliance Committee meet.

As many teams, including York, hoped, it is proposed that the competition would end in promotion, with between 15 and 20 clubs having registered interest in taking part. Clubs would have the chance to opt in or out before it started.

Among the selling points touted by interested teams are that the competition would allow them to continue to trade, ensure that the National Lottery grant is not wasted and maintain promotion".

3 March 2021


Altrincham had made three loan signings on the eve of this game in which they were seeking to end a run of five successive defeats against a Woking side which was in good form and had just reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.

All three of the new faces (Gibson, Ogle and Zouma) went straight into Altrincham's starting eleven and Ryan Colclough returned after injury. Dropping out of the squad was Ritchie Sutton with Connor Hampson, James Hardy and Byron Harrison all moving to the bench.

And, despite playing for the best part of an hour with ten men after Tom Hannigan had been sent off, they fully deserved to end that bad run with an excellent goal netted by Matty Kosylo from a Tom Peers pass in the 69th minute. The goal was the culmination of a superb move of a dozen passes. In fact Altrincham had three or four excellent chances to score from second-half counter attacks.

Woking only seriously threatened to score in the dying seconds of added time when it took two magnificent saves from Tony Thompson to keep out The Cards. But Altrincham thoroughly deserved the victory which lifted them up to eighth (16th on points per game).

Match report here.


Tuesday 2nd March 2021
  • Altrincham 1-0 Woking
  • Barnet 1-4 Yeovil Town
  • Chesterfield 1-0 Eastleigh
  • FC Halifax Town 1-1 Hartlepool United
  • Maidenhead United P-P Dover Athletic [Dover players furloughed]
  • Notts County 2-2 King's Lynn Town
  • Solihull Moors 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Sutton United 3-2 Bromley
  • Wealdstone 1-0 Boreham Wood


Just weeks after adding two-Canadian based members to the Club's Board, Altrincham have signed two overseas players to their squad wuth the arrival thhis week of Australian Reagab Ogle and Frenchman, Yoan Zouma. Brian Flynn's interviews with each of the players are found on the Altrincham FC website.

Prpbably the last Australian to feature previously for the club was Jason van Blerk, whilst Gerard Léonard was almost certainly the last Frenchman to wear the Alty shirt in a league match in 2001, though Boris Melingui did make a Cheshire Senior Cup appearance from the bench in 2015-16.

Jason van Blerk

Jason was a left-sided defender/midfielder who signed non-contract forms at Altrincham on 19 September 2003. He was born in Sydney, Australia, and won 27 Australian under-21 caps and 1 full cap. His career started at Blackdown City in Australia before he moved in 1989-90 to the Low Countries with spells at Leichardt, St Truiden and Dutch League outfit Go Ahead Eagles Deventer. He left Deventer in 1994 for Millwall (73 games, 2 goals) where he stayed till moving to Manchester City (19 games) in 1997/98.

He then moved to WBA from 97/98 to 2000/01 (109 games, 3 goals) before spells at Stockport County (13 games) and Hull City (10 games, 1 goal) in 2001/02. In 2002/03 he made 23 appearances for Shrewsbury Town in Division 3, scoring once. Jason made his Alty debut at left-back at Southport on 23 September 2003 but was released in mid-October and had joined Colwyn Bay by 24 October but returned to Australia with Woollongong Wolves in early December 2003 before reappearing at Northwich in late 2004 before rejoining Colwyn Bay.

For Altrincham he made two starts and one appearance from the bench. Since 2013 he has been on the staff of Central Coast Mariners of Gosford, Australia.

Gerard Léonard

Gerard [right] was a 26 year-old French striker, who had played for Le Havre and Montpellier and in England had had trials at Bury and Macclesfield, before joining Altrincham. He made his debut at Frickley Athletic on 13 February 2001 and made one other sub appearance before disappearing off the radar but he re-appeared at Moss Lane as an Altrincham Reserve in summer 2001 before moving on again.


On Saturday, Altrincham have no game owing to Dover's decision to place its squad in furlough.

So the next fixture will be on Tuesday 9 March when title contenders Hartlepool United make their first trip to Moss Lane for nearly fifty years, since they lost 1-0 to Alty in the First Round of the FA Cup in 1973-74 season.

The reverse fixture this season, at the Victoria Ground, ended in a 1-1 draw.

ON THIS DAY: 3 March

Nine years ago today, on Saturday, 3 March, 2012, in a Blue Square Bet North match, Altrincham won 3-2 in Cambridgeshire against Histon.

Above: Mark Lynch (in yellow) fights for possession at Histon.

Altrincham welcomed back goalkeeper Stuart Coburn, who had missed six games through an elbow injury. And with Jack Redshaw having left for Morecambe, striker Damian Reeves, a former Histon player, was partnered by Michael Twiss.

Nicky Clee missed this game with bruised ribs and Chris Lynch was unavailable for family reasons (sick child). Alty Youth players Sam Grimshaw and Duncan Watmore were forbidden to play for the first team today by Cheshire FA as they have been selected for the County side, so the Alty bench comprised two semi-fit players (Adam Flynn, Kieran Walmsley), a goalkeeper (Adam Reid) and two players (James Holden and Neil Tolson) who have not yet started a game for the club.

Simon Richman returned to the starting eleven but in an unaccustomed central midfield position. At the back, Mark Lees returned at right-back.

After a quiet opening, Altrincham went ahead when James Lawrie's speculative cross from the left evaded both keeper Stadelmann and the incoming Reeves and went into the net at the back post after 14 minutes. But a well worked Histon goal by Taaffe, converting a feed from the right, made it 1-1.

Alty played some patient, passing football and went 2-1 up when Reeves finished off a good move by turning well and shooting past the keeper after 27 minutes. Lawrie made it 3-1 with a superb volley after another good build up (34 mins).

But when Taaffe headed a second goal at the back post, just three minutes into the second half it signalled a difficult second half for Alty. The Robins survived thanks to the framework of the goal to record their first ever win at Histon.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Mark LEES, 5. Matt FLYNN, 6. Marlon BROOMES, 3. Mark LYNCH; 7.John MILES, 4. Simon RICHMAN 8, Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 11. James LAWRIE; 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS. Subs: 12. Adam FLYNN, 14. James HOLDEN, 15. Kieran WALMSLEY, 16. Neil TOLSON, 18. Adam REID (gk)


King's Lynn Town confirm, without elaboration, that "the next two National League fixtures will go ahead as scheduled. The club will issue a further full update in due course".

Owner Stephen Cleeve had previously suggested that the Linnets would stop playing and furlough their players though, of course, that remains a possibility in the future.

King's Lynn are due at the JDS on 23 March for a fixture which both last season and this has been jinxed by bad weather and Covid postponements.

At Chesterfield manager "James Rowe has added to his defensive options by signing Fraser Kerr from Torquay United.

The 28 year-old Scot, who plays in central defence, has joined the club on a permanent basis, signing a contract until the end of the season.

Rowe [said]... 'I’ve followed Fraser for quite some time and his attributes fit into the way we are trying to move forward'...

After starting out at Birmingham City, Kerr played in Scotland, spending three years in the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell.

He returned south to play for Gateshead and Hartlepool United before linking up with Torquay last year".

Off the field, the Derbyshire Times tells us that "The Spireites are looking into the possibility of building a new ‘state-of-the-art’ training ground.

The plans, which are at a very early stage, would include combining the facility with some classrooms for education. It would be at a new location from the current Hasland base, would be used by the first-team, academy and the general public and funded by grants.

Chief executive, John Croot, believes it would help them attract better players... Chairman Mike Goodwin, said... 'We would look at a new venue and start from scratch using the Football Foundation and grants and anything else that we can get... It won’t happen immediately but it is something we are starting to look at in terms of a feasibility study'...

Croot... added... 'The one thing the community trust does well, which we showed at the Hub, is going out and finding grants and putting financial packages together. We built the Hub and it did not cost the club anything to put that in place. I certainly think that is achievable. We have got a training ground but in modern day football and to move forward, I think we have got to work on getting a bespoke training ground somewhere across north east Derbyshire.'".

Altrincham recently signed James Hardy after the player negotiated his exit from AFC Telford United, following the termination of their National League North season. And similarily AFC Telford United "can confirm we have reached an agreement with Barnet FC for the permanent transfer of defender Lee Vaughan.

This agreement was made following our season becoming null and void, this will allow Lee the opportunity to play some football between now and the end of the season

Boss Gavin Cowan [said]...'It’s a great opportunity for Lee to continue playing and staying sharp. We wish him a prosperous few months at Barnet'".

Meanwhile, Barnet say that Vaughan "joins on a permanent transfer from National League North side AFC Telford.

The right-back makes the move to North London having previously featured for Manager Tim Flowers at Solihull Moors, where he made 35 appearances... The move signals a good fit for the Bees.

Vaughan started his career as a youth product of Birmingham City before moving to Portsmouth as an academy player. In his senior career, he has represented the likes of Kidderminster Harriers, Cheltenham Town and Solihull Moors, making 228 National League appearances in his career...

Flowers said...'He is a player that I know well, he is a player that I trust and most importantly he adds quality to our squad. Lee is aggressive on the pitch, he shows plenty of commitment to the cause and it represents a good move for him and the Club. His on-field qualities are exactly what I am looking for and... he was an integral part of my Solihull team...

'The deal is to the end of the season, so he joins with a point to prove'">

And the Shropshire Star adds that "The all-action full-back appeared 17 times in all competitions for Gavin Cowan's side in the 2020/21 season, including 15 outings in the league. He made his 200th appearance for the club in December...

Like almost all of his Bucks team-mates, Vaughan signed a one-year deal at the club last summer".

Also at The Hive, Barnet have "extended the loan deals for defenders Themis Kefalas and Myles Judd.

Themis Kefalas [a] young centre-back on loan from Queens Park Rangers has had his deal extended up until the end of May, he has made four appearances so far in an Amber shirt...

Right-back Myles Judd has impressed in recent matches and seems to have settled into life at The Hive London, his recent impressive displays has seen manager Tim Flowers extend his deal for another month".

Bermuda's Royal Gazette reminds us that "Jonté Smith’s Woking are one win away from a Wembley cup final.

Smith and his team-mates continued their superb run in the Buildbase FA Trophy via a narrow 1-0 home win over Vanarama National League leaders Torquay United at the weekend...

'It was a tough game; both teams had chances with the penalty miss by them,' Smith told The Royal Gazette. 'We had two cleared off the line as well. It could have gone either way and it probably wasn’t our best performance as a team. But part of becoming a winning team is learning how to win ugly in those tough and scrappy games'...

Torquay finally had the ball in the back of the net from a free kick in stoppage time. However, the goal was flagged offside. Smith and his team-mates then held on the rest of the way to finish the job...

Smith said 'We’re starting to get consistency with results with a few good wins under our belt. Winning against the team that’s top of the league shows the progress we’ve been making... Our whole team will continue to work hard and continue to try to improve until the semi-final'">

The Dorset Echo tells us that "Weymouth boss Brian Stock is unconcerned by the Terras’ tally of 20 lost points from winning positions this season.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at King’s Lynn was the seventh Vanarama National League game in which the Terras were pegged back by their opponents.

Weymouth also lost a point against Torquay and Yeovil after equalising in their respective 4-3 and 3-1 losses.

Against King’s Lynn, Andy Dallas and Andreas Robinson both put Weymouth ahead at the Walks before Tyler Denton and Cameron King equalised. While Stock noted the statistic appeared poor, he emphasised the majority of lost points came before signing six players in January and the subsequent uptick in results...

'I’m fully aware of that. The demand and standard of this league is intense. The majority of those points we’ve dropped would’ve been at the start of the season.

'When you look at the team and fitness levels, we’ve improved. We’ve brought in six full-time players, he added...

Since the turn of the year, Weymouth have beaten Hartlepool United, Aldershot and Bromley. At the other end of the pitch, the Terras have solidified their defence with the introduction of keeper Ethan Ross, future Aston Villa star Dom Revan and ex-Crystal Palace centre-back Jacob Mensah".

2 March 2021


Before the match tonight at Altrincham, Woking reported on this being "the first-half of a National League double header against the Robins... The reverse fixture takes place in exactly two weeks at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

After a miserable Christmas period, the Cards have quietly put together one of their best runs of the season, with back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-December and a run of just two defeats in eight games since the back-to-back losses against local rivals Aldershot Town. Of course, much of that has been down to the club’s enjoyable FA Trophy run, which included Saturday’s 1-0 home win over league leaders Torquay United, setting up a trip to National League North side Hereford in the semi-final later this month. It was a gutsy performance from Alan Dowson’s side, who had Craig Ross to thank for a first-half penalty save and yet another faultless goalkeeping performance, whilst Jamar Loza scored for the second game running with a well-taken effort mid-way through the first-half...

The Cards will be tempted to name an unchanged team for the third match in a row after two successful outings against Barnet and Torquay, where wide-men Jamar Loza and Malachi Napa have particularly impressed, alongside the solid back four. Captain Josh Casey will be one man looking to force his way back into the starting eleven, having been an unused substitute against the Gulls, whilst Jayden Wareham will be battling Jonté Smith for the central striker’s role".


Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson has responded to an injury crisis and a fifth successive defeat by bringing in no fewer than three loan signings on the eve of the game against Woking.

The new recruits, assuming they are all named in the matchday squad, will bring to thirty-seven the number of players named on an Alty teamsheet in the National League this season.

Altrincham FC announces that the three new recruits, all loanees, are "striker Montel Gibson from Grimsby Town, towering centre-back Yoan Zouma from Barrow and versatile full-back Reagan Ogle from Accrington Stanley, and all three are available for tomorrow night's Vanarama National League fixture with Woking", writes press and media officer, John Edwards.

Barrow explain that "Yoan Zouma has joined Altrincham on a one-month loan deal.

The centre-back joined The Bluebirds at the beginning of October following his release from Bolton Wanderers and has made seven appearances in all competitions during 2020/21.

However, the 22 year-old has not featured in the First Team since November".

Montel Gibson (d.o.b. 15 Dec. 1997)

Left: Montel Gibson is marked by Tom Hannigan at Halesowen in 2019.

A forward, Gibson played against Altrincham for Halesowen Town in an Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round played on Saturday, 5 October 2019.

He was signed by Notts County in 2016 from Midlands club Highgate United. He made five appearances for The Magpies but in 2016-17 he was loaned out four times to Romulus, Barwell, Hednesford Town and Sutton Coldfield Town.

A prolific spell at Ilkeston Town following his release from County led to brief spells with Redditch United and Bedworth United in the Midlands before another prolific spell with Halesowen Town in 2019-20.

He was signed by EFL2 club Grimsby Town in 2020 and has made 19 appearances for the Mariners.

Yoan Zouma (dob 6 May 1998)

Yoan is a tall French centre-back who is the brother of Chelsea's Kurt Zouma. Yoan moved to Bolton Wanderers in 2018 where he made 23 appearances but he was victim of a mass clearout by the financially troubled Trotters.

He then joined Barrow, where he has so far appeared seven times, four of those games being in League Two.

Reagan Ogle (d.o.b. 29 March 1999)

Right: Playing for Southport, Regan Ogle stalks John Johnston in the 2019 clash with Altrincham in the FA Cup.

Reagan's time with Accrington Stanley has included loans with AFC Fylde and Southport, and he has played against Alty for both of those clubs.

Reagan (right) was a used substitute against Alty for AFC Fylde in the FA Cup earlier this season and played four times for Southport against Altrincham in 2019.

An Australian, Reagan originally arrived at Accrington as a scholar in 2015.


Altrincham return to the J Davidson Stadium tonight (Tuesday) after two home games played at Broadhurst Park to protect the Moss Lane playing surface.

Home form for Altrincham has not matched the away performances this season as Woking (17th on PPG) visit Altrincham (16th on PPG).

Recent matches have seen Alty short on attacking choices with forwards Josh Hancock, Dan Mooney, Ryan Colclough and Fisayo Adarbioyo all missing games through injury. And with left-back Connor Hampson limping off in Saturday's defeat at Bromley, the defence has also not been immune to injuries.

It will be Woking's first visit to Moss Lane since 2016 (see below).

Altrincham's historical record between the two clubs shows...

  • At Home: P12-W4-D3-L5-F14-A19
  • Away: P12-W3-D1-L8-F8-A26
  • All: P24-W7-D4-L13-F22-A45

As usual, the match tonight will be streamed via Alty TV.


Depending on team selection and fitness, there could be three significant player landmarks recorded for Altrincham players as they face Woking tonight.
  • Jake Moult [right] is set to make his 400th appearance for the club. It will be his 372nd start which combined with 28 appearances from the bench amounts to 400 games for the club.

    Lee Sinnott signed Jake on a 93-day loan from Alfreton Town in late August 2012. Previously, he had been a summer trialist at Altrincham in 2008. Born in Stoke on Trent, he had joined Alfreton on 1 July 2010, before which he had been with Stafford Rangers. His earlier career was with Port Vale and Plymouth Argyle.

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

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

    Jake has scored 41 goals for the club, including one in the game last Saturday at Bromley.

  • Josh Hancock is set to make his 150th start for the club but, as he has missed recent games through injury, this landmark may be deferred.

    He has also made 12 appearances as a substitute and has scored 66 goals.

    Josh was signed by Altrincham from Nantwich Town in May 2017 having come through Nantwich Town's youth set-up.

  • Toby Mullarkey is likely to make his fiftieth appearance for Altrincham.

    Centre-back/midfielder Toby joined from Nantwich Town in late May 2019. A product of the Crewe Alexandra youth system, he had joined Nantwich after a year with Leek Town.


Speaking to the NL Paper after the defeat at Bromley, Alty boss Phil Parkinson said "It was really poor defending today, that's the top and bottom of it.

In possession we do what we do but we weren't clinical enough. We were well beaten in terms of attack v defence, that's what it boils down to.

At the moment we aren't scoring enough and we're conceding goals. I need to address that".

The NLP statistics show Bromley having nine shots on target to Alty's two and winning the corner count 5-2.


Before Tuesday night's game Altrincham's National League results exhibited a strange pattern.

In eight games played against the current top six, six of which fixtures have been away from home, Alty have lost just once, a 2-1 reverse last time out at the JDS against Wrexham. So the return is 1.83 points per game.

And in the six matches played against the bottom six, they have likewise only lost once, a 1-0 reverse at Wealdstone, winning four times and drawing once in the other matches. The PPG is 2.17 against those clubs.

But in the twelve matches against the middle eleven clubs, Alty have only won three times, and lost the other nine fixtures with a PPG of just 0.75 points.

The PGG from home and away fixtures is likewise counter intuitive with just 11 points gleaned from 10 home games (PPG 1.1) but 22 points earned from 16 away games (PPG 1.375).


Sunday's NL Paper has an interview with Altrincham's most recent signing, James Hardy.

After joining from AFC Telford United, Hardy said "I'm not thnking of anything further forward in terms of where I could go in a few months. I just want to enjoy my time here and then see where it takes me with the club.

"One thing I learnt from Fylde... [is that] for ages, I kept seeing rumours of clubs watching me... and I probably thought about it too much... If you're playing well, it will happen. If you're not, it won't...

"Before I first spoke to Altrincham last week, I looked at the amount of games; there's now 19 left. So basically it's like joining in January in a normal season.

"I know a couple of the lads [at Alty]... Match fitness-wise I've probably got a couple of weeks where I need to be training...

"I can see we've got a really good team" at Altrincham.


Tonight's visitors, Woking, have not been to Moss Lane since they lost there 3-1 in a Vanarama National League match played on Tuesday, 26 January, 2016. It was Altrincham's first home league match for nine and a half weeks.

Right: Michael Rankine and Josh Ginnelly greet each other before the Woking match in 2016.

The Robins had not won any of their previous five league matches whilst Woking arrived unbeaten in nine games in all competitions.

With Luca Havern having joined the list of long/medium term injured players at Altrincham had five senior squad players sidelined. They had signed Tranmere defender Marcus Holness on loan on the eve of this match and he made his debut. He was just one of four recent loanees in the injury-ravaged Alty squad.

Of the other three, Josh Ginnelly and Jonny Margetts started whilst Dylan Mottley-Henry was named on the bench. James Lawrie, Sam Heathcote, Josh O'Keefe and Damian Reeves joined him as substitutes whilst, exceptionally for that season, Alty named no substitute keeper.

In the game with Woking, Altrincham lifted themselves out of the bottom four with a spirited performance and deserved win. Alty took a 13th minute lead when Woking goalkeeper Cole flapped at an aerial ball prompting a goal-mouth scramble. Although the ball was then half cleared, Margetts was felled in the process and Rankine blasted home the resulting penalty kick.

Burnley loanee Josh Ginnelly, who again impressed both with his pace going forward and his willingness to get back and provide cover, made it 2-0 just before the break. He scored from close range after Simon Richman's effort had only been parried.

Woking got back into the game when Sole netted from a 20 yard freekick (57 mins). But another Altrincham loanee, Jonny Margetts made it 3-1 after 71 minutes when Rankine's nod forward saw him judged to be onside and he finished impressively.

The game got a little feisty but Woking could find no way back as Altrincham deservedly took the three points.


Altrincham were scheduled to entertain Dover Athletic next Saturday, 6 March but the Kent club has formally advised Alty that they will not be travelling as they have furloughed their players.

So the next game after tonight is on Tuesday, 9 March, when Hartlepool United visit Altrincham for the first time since Alty knocked them out of the FA Cup at Moss Lane in 1973/74 season.

ON THIS DAY: 2 March

Above: Alty defend an Oxford City freekick.

Eight years ago, on Saturday, 2 March 2013, Altrincham defeated Oxford City 3-1 in a Blue Square Bet North match at Moss Lane.

Altrincham made one change for the match as Duncan Watmore came back into the starting eleven and Carl Rodgers moved to the bench. With the attacking quartet of Reeves, Watmore, Mills and Lawrie all starting, the bench comprised defensive and midfield players only. Scott Leather and Patrick Lacey retained their recently regained places in the starting formation.

Alty captain Shaun Densmore was making his 200th appearance for the club.

An impressive second half performance from Altrincham, which included two goals and two more efforts hitting the woodwork, settled this match. Duncan Watmore was the key figure and it was fitting that he hammered home the last goal, in the 81st minute, from Damian Reeves's feed. A minute earlier Reeves had netted his second of the match after substitute Carl Rodgers and Nicky Clee, also in good form, had done well.

Earlier, City had taken a 20th minute lead when Felipe Barcelos finished from 12 yards after Stuart Coburn had only been able to push a testing, low cross out to the Brazilian forward. Alty had levelled five minutes before the interval when James Lawrie did well at the by-line, right of goal, to get the ball across the face of goal to where Reeves headed home at the back post.

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


The Chorley Guardian reports that "A famed Lancashire football club's stadium has been bulldozed to make way for a housing estate.

Above: Mark Maddox in action at Burscough, watched by Ged Kielty, in 2004.

The landlords of Burscough FC, the smallest club ever to win the FA Trophy, have dug up Victoria Park, its home throughout its 75-year history.

The club, which plays in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League... is building a replacement ground on land nearby. West Lancashire Council had insisted work to dismantle the old stadium must not start until the new ground was ready for games to ensure a 'seamless transition.'

Even though permission was only officially granted last week, foundations for what will be a development of 52 affordable homes have already been laid on what was the 3,000 capacity Victoria Park. But the new ground is almost complete and the North West Counties League season has now been officially abandoned, meaning football will not return until August.

Plans by site owners Torus Housing and Chequer Properties were given the go-ahead by the council on February 18 despite scores of objections from local residents...

One football fan said 'Skelmersdale lost its football ground in similar circumstances'. Another said 'The football ground was gifted to the people of Burscough and shouldn't be demolished'...

It was back in 2007 that the club first recognised its facilities at Victoria Park were 'falling far short of modern requirements.' It submitted plans to the council to redevelop the stadium. But, by 2010, the club had fallen into financial difficulties, owing around £800,000, and was forced to offer Victoria Park for sale on the open market to clear its debts and fund a new ground.

It was bought by Torus and the sale will now finance the new stadium, which was given the go-ahead by West Lancashire Council in 2015".

And the NL Paper confirms that "York City fans are bidding on items from their historic Bootham Crescent ground after the club completed their move to the LNER Community Stadium.

Everything from turf and seats to goalposts and toilets are up for a sale in a blind auction that was the brainchild of director Richard Parsons".


According to the Daily Mail "King’s Lynn need around £300,000 to finish their season... but are out of cash...

King’s Lynn [were]... unsure if a draw against Weymouth marked the end of their first campaign at this level. Chairman and owner Stephen Cleeve held an impromptu summit on the pitch after the final whistle with manager Ian Culverhouse and director of football Rob Back.

Culverhouse peeled away, clearly unhappy, eyes fixed on the turf as he strode back down the tunnel. The others followed and crisis talks continued indoors. Earlier Cleeve had paused to explain his dilemma, finding a quiet corner away from the pre-match buzz before going off to deliver co-commentary for his club’s streaming service.

King’s Lynn, he estimates, will need another £300,000 to complete the season, but are out of money and the only help available is in the form of a loan from Sport England...

Bottom club Dover refused to play on. Cleeve would like to do the same. It seems prudent but clubs voted 13-7 to continue the season so Dover have been charged by the league with failing to fulfil their fixtures. An independent panel will decide their fate, with power to impose any sanction ranging from a slap on the wrist to expulsion.

‘It’s already cost us a lot of money to get into this league,’ said Cleeve, having plugged a shortfall of £140,000 last season. ‘If we stop playing and don’t take the loan, which I’d like to do, the league will charge us. Then the independent panel might want to relegate us or deduct points or fine us and I’m balancing that with the cost of playing on and putting the club into debt for 20 years.

‘Imagine if I’d gone to the League at the start of the season and asked them to get rid of the clause that stops me borrowing money because I’d like to borrow £500,000, put it into the playing budget and have a real go at promotion. There’s no way they’d allow it and now that’s what they’re asking me to do. Only without having a go at promotion. Just to complete the season and so other clubs can be promoted.

‘We’re stuck in this horrible situation, whichever way you look it gives you a headache because every solution has repercussions.’ An appeal for funds instigated by Norwich fans quickly raised about £10,000. ‘They have been very kind,’ said Cleeve, but the shortfall remains huge...

However, King’s Lynn do look set to fulfil the fixture at Notts County. Weymouth, thought to be one of the seven who voted to stop, have since resolved to play on by cutting costs, utilising the furlough scheme for players not in the plans of manager Brian Stock, and searching for new investment.

They travelled from Dorset without club officials and could stretch to a night in a four-star hotel on the way. ‘We will go to the end of the season,’ said Stock, whose side led twice through Andrew Dallas and Andreas Robinson only for Tyler Denton and Cameron King to find equalisers.

The draw keeps Weymouth in the bottom three and King’s Lynn just above. Clubs have been told there will be no relegation if they complete the fixtures but verbal assurances are treated with suspicion. National Leagues North and South voted to stop last month... A plan is being hatched which might enable those North and South teams who want to play on to come together in a competition, perhaps reviving the chance of promotion".

At Notts County "Neal Ardley says he is working hard to make additions to his squad following injuries to Ben Turner and Tyler Golden.

The pair are likely to be missing for several weeks after Turner hobbled out of the warm up and Golden rolled his ankle in the first half of Saturday's FA Trophy victory against Oxford City...

And... [with] the continued absence of Richard Brindley and Damien McCrory, Ardley is determined to recruit extra bodies. 'We need another centre half and right back and whoever comes in has got to be ready to go,' said Ardley.

'As soon as Ben Turner walked in from the warm-up on Saturday, at around 2.45pm, I rang Richard Montague to tell him that he needed to get on the case over the weekend. Then, obviously, Tylor happened. I think Greg Abbott had about 20 minutes with his family yesterday, other than that he was on the phone all day, but it’s tough because not everyone answers on a Sunday...

'We’re doing everything we can to try and get a couple of really good bodies in really, really quickly.... It’s really important that fans understand I can’t pick the same team every week going forward,' he said.

'Connell Rawlinson and Alex Lacey, for example, have played five games on the trot and they’re almost at the point of cumulative fatigue and injury. If we lost either of them for six weeks everyone would be devastated, so I’ve got to look after their bodies.'".

And the Nottingham Post adds that "Alex Lacey and Connell Rawlinson are currently the only two fit centre-backs on the books...

Dion Kelly-Evans is now the only fit and available right-back for Notts whose options are becoming increasingly stretched..

'Ben is likely to be anything up to sort of two weeks to four weeks and it's the same with Tyler,' Ardley said. 'But the problem is that in those two weeks, there are another five games. And then that's another round of games that Connell, Alex and Dion Kelly-Evans have to play because we've got no alternatives. It's not possible'...

Notts already have five players on loan, which is the maximum you can name in any matchday squad, Ardley said it would be a situation he would have to manage".

Weymouth "boss Brian Stock joked the Terras’ 2-2 draw at King’s Lynn Town 'was like a basketball match'.

In a frantic first half, Andy Dallas notched his fifth Weymouth goal in the 12th minute after a fine interception and assist from Calvin Brooks.

King’s Lynn, also promoted to the Vanarama National League for this season, replied when Tyler Denton’s rocket beat Ethan Ross in the away goal.

Andy Robinson responded with a 25-yard missile of his own to restore Weymouth’s lead, but Cameron King’s neat finish capped a lovely team move as King’s Lynn levelled again.

With all four goals coming in the space of 23 first-half minutes, an open game gave way to a more cautious second half as the sides settled for a point.

It meant Weymouth were rewarded for spending money on a hotel for the game but, should struggling King’s Lynn follow Dover in pausing play, the Terras could lose the point if the Linnets’ results are expunged.

'It was like a basketball match,' Stock told Echosport... 'We had to switch formation, which was something we had up our sleeve in case we needed to. It’s important when you play teams that have got that little bit of flexibility that you have to have something to go to. We did, and it worked.'

Stock paid credit to King’s Lynn, adding 'I did say they are one of the best sides we’ve played. They are a very, very good outfit that cause teams a lot of problems...

'I thought it was quite a fair game, overall,' he said... 'Over the course of 90 minutes I’d say it was a fair result. It was important we didn’t lose the game given the situation of where we both are in the league. When we do things right, with a hotel, it’s important the result is there to get back on the coach, on a long journey back, and have something to show for it'".

1 March 2021


Altrincham FC reports via an Alty TV interview conducted by Brian Flynn that, after five defeats in a row, manager "Phil Parkinson... can reassure people I will be doing something about this",

THe club website adds that "Phil Parkinson tells us how annoyed he is with the way the team defended in the 3-1 reverse at Bromley on Saturday and looks forward to football returning to The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night against Woking".


No fewer than 21 players who have been assigned Altrincham first-team squad numbers for 2020-21 have not been seen in person in National League action by the club's supporters in this Behind Closed Doors season... unless they happened to see three of them when they spent spells with the club in previous seasons.

And, at least ten players who have been assigned 2020-21 squad numbers for Altrincham may never be seen by the supporters as they have already moved on before being seen "live" during the 2020-21 campaign.

The ten 2020-21 squad members who have already departed are...

  • Dontai Gabidon Dontai has been seen in past seasons as he graduated from the youth and reserve teams at Alty, but he moved on at the start of the 2020-21 campaign after being assigned a squad number.
  • Will Hall: He never played in a league match and went to play on dual registration with Whitchurch Alport. Presumably he may return to the club.
  • Jacob Blyth: Jacob made one start and two appearances from the bench before departing and joining Gateshead.
  • Max Clayton: After one appearance from the bench, Max departed.
  • Joe Robbins: Joe made 4(+1) appearances on loan from Crewe Alexandra.
  • Jamie McDonald: Jamie made three appearances from the bench and scored once before his release.
  • Andy Dales: He arrived on loan from Scunthorpe United, but was injured at Boreham Wood on 21 November 2020 on his third start for Altrincham.
  • Darren Potter: He made just one appearance for Altrincham before departing.
  • Harrison Holgate: After three starts he was recalled from his loan by Fleetwood.
  • Billy Sass-Davies: 2020-21 witnessed Billy's second loan period at Altrincham but he was recalled by Crewe who were experiencing their own injury problems. In his second stay at Moss Lane, Billy made 5(+2) appearances.

In addition, another eleven players who have arrived at the club, or joined the first-team squad, this season still apparently remain with Altrincham but all the games for which they have been named in a matchday squad have been behind closed doors:

  • Fisayo Adarabioyo: He has started eight games but has not been seen since he was injured in game 12.
  • Byron Harrison: Byron has appeared in eight of the last nine games.
  • Joe Piggott: Joe has made three sub appearances this season and enjoyed an earlier loan spell at the club in 2018/19 season.
  • Yusifu Ceesay: A regular starter this season, Yusifu signed on for 2020-21 after having two previous loan spells at the club in the previous two seasons.
  • Matthew Gould: Signed in the summer but he is yet to play a league game.
  • Matty Kosylo: Matty has been a regular starter this season.
  • Rowan Roache: He made his debut as a substitute in the Cheshire Senior Cup and was twice named on the bench for league games without getting on the pitch but, as of March 2021, he has not figured again.
  • Lewis Salmon : Although Lewis had been on the club's books before spending 2019-20 on dual registration at Trafford, he was effectively new to the Alty first-team squad when assigned a number in the 2020 close season. However, he spent the early part of the 2020-21 season with Trafford before their season was curtailed. He has been on the bench for Altrincham in 2020-21.
  • Joel Senior: After joining in the close season he has established himself as a regular starter.
  • Alistair Smith: Alistair arrived as a loanee from Mansfield Town before joining the club this season.
  • Ritchie Sutton : Ritchie was a close season signing who has played intermittently for the first team this campaign.

And, in addition to not seeing so many players, supporters have had to contend with the re-use of squad numbers...

No fewer than six squad numbers have been re-assigned in 2020-21.

  • No.9: Jacob Blyth made 1(+2) appearances but, since leaving, his number has been given to Joe Piggott. Neither has scored this season which must be the first season in many a year that Alty's number nine has not netted a goal at this stage of a season.
  • No.14: This number was first assigned to Dontai Gabidon and then to Will Hall, neither of whom has got on the pitch this season.
  • No.19: Max Clayton made one appearance from the bench before departing and Joe Robbins took over the shirt for five appearances during his loan spell.
  • No.27: Worn once by Darren Potter, the no.27 shirt was assigned to Rowan Roache who has not played for the first team.
  • No.28: After Billy Sass-Davies was recalled from his loan, the shirt was given to Byron Harrison.
  • No.32: Andy Dales, who has presumably returned to Scunthorpe from where he was loaned, wore this shirt but the number is now worn by James Hardy.

Two numbers assigned to players who have left the club are no longer in current use:

  • No.31: This was worn by Jamie McDonald.
  • No.35: Harrison Holgate was the wearer of this shirt before his loan was recalled.


The National League fixtures originally dictated that Altrincham should have entertained Woking on Tuesday 8 December, a mere 400-mile midweek round trip. However, a waterlogged pitch put paid to that plan, hence next Tuesday's meeting.

So the return fixture, also on a Tuesday night, is just a fortnight later on 16 March. Although Alty go into this Tuesday's game six places and seven points above their Surrey opponents, they have played five more games. So, on points per game, Woking lie just one place lower (17th) in the pecking order.

For Alty, it is an opportunity to end a run of five successive defeats, their worst run since the disastrous National League North season of of 2016-17, which witnessed an eight-game losing sequence. There was a seven-game losing sequence from the end of 2014-15 to 2015-16 season at National League level but the worst run before that in one season at that level was in 2010-11 when seven successive matches were lost.

NOT ON THIS DAY: 29 February

Last year the day that followed 28th February was 29th February but, with 2021 not being a Leap Year, that is not the case as today is 1st March.

However, the match a year ago today should not go unremembered as Altrincham's trip to Hereford FC that day was to be the last away game of the 2019-20 season, apart from the much later play-offs, and was also the last time that Alty supporters were able to watch a National League match at an away ground, unless any disguised Alty fans got into Victoria Road to see Dagenham and Redbridge v Altrincham this season.

At Hereford, in a gate of 1,698, there were 98 away supporters recorded in the segregated section of Edgar Street.

This was Altrincham's first meeting with Hereford FC who had been reformed out of the ashes of Hereford United. Having risen rapidly back to this level of the pyramid, Hereford FC had hit the buffers since August 14 when they had recorded their last victory. A change of manager had taken place but former Gloucester City boss Marc Harris was seeking his first win today after two draws in his previous games in charge.

The trip to Hereford had taken the supporters' coach through flooded terrain in Worcestershire and this match was one of just four fixtures to defy the weather that day. With Storm Jorge battering the UK and seven matches postponed in the National League North, Alty consolidated their position in the play offs with a 2-0 win. But whilst the pitch was in excellent condition, strong and gusty winds and occasional hail showers made conditions difficult.

Alty's starting line-up was unchanged except that this was Elliott Durrell's first start, at the expense of Craig Mahon, who was on the bench, where Andy White was missing, along with Max Harrop, who was ill. So, Simon Richman returned to the bench whilst Sean Williams was involved in the warm up as he recovered from injury. James Hooper, Alty's recent signing was also present.

Altrincham took the lead as the game was about to go into first-half added time. On the left, Dan Mooney made space to get in a deep cross, which Durrell met with a superb volley from 12 yards.

Above: With the clock ticking down to halftime in the background, Elliott Durrell (no.11), sporting a new blond look, volleyed home Alty's opening goal at Hereford. It was his third goal in three appearances since joining the club, all in games away from Altrincham.

Hereford wasted three good chances to level in the second half, with Kelsey Mooney the culprit twice, poking an effort wide and later heading a corner over the bar. And Owen-Evans went close with a shot from the edge of the box.

Alty wrapped up the points when Richman, who had just come on as a substitute, reacted quickly to net a loose ball after a fine shot from Hulme had been parried out by Brandon Hall, with six minutes remaining.

Underlining the changes that have taken place this season, only three of the starters in the game at Hereford one year ago also completed ninety minutes at Bromley for Alty on Saturday, (Thompson, Moult and Hannigan).

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. Elliott DURRELL. Subs: 12. Craig MAHON, 14. Lewis WALTERS, 15. Tom PEERS, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Simon RICHMAN


The Nottingham Post reports on Notts County as "The Magpies booked their place in the semi-final of the Trophy with victory over Oxford City as Elisha Sam scored a wondergoal but behind the jubilation there was some concerning news.

Notts County are facing a potential defensive crisis after Ben Turner suffered a calf injury which has left the club with just two fit centre-backs. The former Cardiff defender was set to start the Magpies' 3-1 win over Oxford City at the weekend but had to pull out of the game after injuring his calf in the warm-up.

Connell Rawlinson was then forced into the heart of the defence, but boss Neal Ardley had admitted in the build-up that he had jarred his knee in last Tuesday's goalless draw at Stockport. But the former Port Vale defender came through the game okay although there are concerns about Turner's injury which Notts will now assess in the next 48 hours.

It is hoped the injury is not too severe given Notts only have Rawlinson and Alex Lacey as the only centre-backs on the books. Assistant manager Greg Abbott... did not rule out a potential raid on the transfer market...

He said, 'We can't go into the next period without another centre-back... We need Connell we need Ben, we need Alex. They are our three centre-backs and they're all capable players'".

Also from the Nottingham Post we learn that "Notts County are just one win away from booking their place in the FA Trophy final at Wembley after they overcame Oxford City in the quarter-final at Meadow Lane.

The Magpies had fallen behind against the Conference South side in the first half when James Roberts' strike deflected off Tyler Golden to deceive Sam Slocombe.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, the Magpies were far better after the break when Elisha Sam equalised with a fine individual effort and then struck a ridiculous backheeled volley in what was a goal of the season contender at any level.

Jimmy Knowles then wrapped the game up in stoppage time when he ran the full length of the pitch as Oxford City's goalkeeper went up for a corner and Notts broke allowing the forward to tap into an empty net.. Sam was extremely humble in his post-match interview despite the chaos his goal was causing on social media... It must have been an extremely challenging year given the striker’s family in Belgium are unable to visit because of the travel restrictions enforced by Covid-19..

But there were some shocks on the day as Torquay United were dumped out by Woking while Conference South side Hereford ended Aldershot’s journey by winning on penalties... Unsurprisingly, the bookmakers make Ardley’s side favourites to lift the trophy...

They were racked with indecision, played in risky areas, and countless passes went astray. In fact, everything that could have gone wrong in the first half invariably did. Neal Ardley rightly got the hump with the performance at half-time leading assistant boss Greg Abbott to admit how the Notts manager had steam coming out of his ears... They were fortunate that Oxford City, who had not played since the middle of February, were not able to capitalise on a number of unforced errors...

In the end, Notts ran out comfortable winners as the tactical switch allied with the players reacting to few verbal grenades thrown their way, proved decisive".

In the Hartlepool Mail, "Barnet manager Tim Flowers singles out Hartlepool United match winner Luke Armstrong...

The Salford City loanee scored his ninth goal in 13 league appearances for Pools to help the side claim a 1-0 win over The Bees at Victoria Park on Saturday evening. It was an eighth successive home win for Hartlepool against a Barnet side who have now won just one of their last 19 matches.

'We were competitive and worked hard,' Flowers told BT Sport after the match... We switched off for the goal and let Shelton get the ball in.'

On Pools’ goalscorer, the Barnet boss added 'Armstrong is miles better than this level, miles better and that goal was the difference between us'".

According to the Derbyshire Times "Stockport County manager Simon Rusk said his team ‘deserved’ their win against Chesterfield on Saturday.

Second-half goals from James Jennings and Alex Reid sealed the points for the Hatters. 'It was a tough fixture today and it was always going to be a tough, tight game,' Rusk said... 'We were facing a team in good form and who have strengthened so I am really happy we turned it into three points. We built pressure and we were the team on top from the start of the game...

'We felt at half-time that eventually there would be a space that appeared and Jennings had the ambition to get on the other side and he did and he took his goal fabulously.'"