Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

August, 2021

31 August 2021


Altrincham showed one change as new signing Joe Bunney replaced the injured left-back David Fitzpatrick.

Halifax had the better of the first 35 minutes but only forced one good save from Thompson [right], from a shot by the influential Matty Warburton.

However, Altrincham enjoyed a good ten minutes before the interval and, had Dinanga been a bit sharper on more than one occasion, they might have had something to show for their efforts. So half-time arrived with a blank scoreline.

The Shaymen dominated the start of the second half and deservedly took the lead through Slew (58 mins).

Waters added a second five minutes from time to seal Alty's fate and they could not complain as the game ended 2-0 to the Shaymen.

Match report here


Monday, 30 August 2021 at 3pm unless stated

  • Aldershot Town 1-2 Yeovil Town
  • Barnet 0-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Bromley 3-0 Eastleigh
  • Dover Athletic 0-1 Boreham Wood
  • FC Halifax Town 2-0 Altrincham
  • King's Lynn Town 0-2 Chesterfield
  • Torquay United 0-4 Woking
  • Wealdstone 0-0 Southend United
  • Weymouth 3-1 Maidenhead United
  • Wrexham 1-1 Notts County k.o. 7:30pm


Altrincham FC Reserves have played three Cheshire League matches over the past ten days, winning one, drawing one and losing one.

They beat Daten 4-0 at home, drew 1-1 at Whaley Bridge and lost 2-1 at their landlords' ground, at Egerton Sports Club.

After seven fixtures they have won just once this season and lie fourteenth in the eighteen-strong divisuon.


"A second-half strike from Jordan Slew and Billy Waters were the difference between the two sides, in a dominant performance from the Shaymen. report FC Halifax Town...

Altrincham were limited to a few clear cut chances in the first half, but began to create more just before half-time. Ryan Colcough was the key man for the visitors as he provided Marcus Dinanga with a great ball from the left, with the striker miscuing his strike, before having a shot of his own moments later which went narrowly wide.

After what had been a dominant display that was just missing a goal, The Shaymen broke the deadlock in the 59th minute. An Altrincham free-kick deep in Halifax’s half was well dealt with, and The Shaymen capitalised on the visitors throwing men forward by countering brilliantly. Billy Waters picked out Jordan Slew on the right, who finished brilliantly with a strike in the bottom right corner to bag his first goal for the club, and provide a deserved 1-0 lead...

As the second half wore on, the game became a lot more cagey... Dan Mooney and Marcus Dinanga linked up well down the right, before picking out Josh Hancock inside the penalty area, however the Altrincham man miscued his shot and failed to threaten Sam Johnson in the Halifax goal.

It took until the 84th minute, but eventually Halifax doubled their lead and put the game out of the visitors reach. A Jack Senior cross from the left picked out Waters who miscued his initial effort, however the ball was recycled and picked up by Jamie Allen and found its way back to Waters, who made no mistake at the second time of asking and fired the ball into the bottom left corner....

Despite needing two goals, the visitors never looked like getting one".


In the Halifax Courier "Town manager Pete Wild said his side’s 2-0 win over Altrincham at The Shay was 'fully deserved'...

'We’re getting there, you can see the patterns, you can see us gelling better as a team,' Wild said. 'I thought tactically the players were excellent today, they got it spot on. I went back to a four today because I wanted to pin their full-backs in, because their full-backs bomb on, and it worked.

'I thought we dominated the ball, we had a spell towards half-time where we kept everything in-front of them and we didn’t get beyond them. I said at half-time we’ve got to get beyond them, otherwise we’re not going to get anywhere, so we tried to get beyond them after half-time and we did that better.

'We fully deserved the two goals.'"


Altrincham's next game is at home to Dover Athletic who "slipped to a second consecutive defeat to begin their Vanarama National League campaign as Boreham Wood claimed a 1-0 win at Crabble on Bank Holiday Monday.

It was a third straight win for Wood, who have yet to concede a goal and climbed to third in the table. Whites remain on minus 12 points and rooted to the foot of the table...

Despite being forced into two changes with Ryan Hanson and Reda Johnson picking up knocks in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Maidenhead, Andy Hessenthaler’s side began brightly... but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break...

The visitors took the lead four minutes before the break when Williamson’s pass in midfield was charged down. Mendy picked up the loose ball and was able to drive forward and spread to Smith on the right whose low centre was agonisingly turned in at his near post by Jake Goodman...

The second half was a cagey affair with plenty of stoppages which eventually led to Whites boss Hessenthaler being shown a yellow card by referee Gary Parsons for his protests. Chances were few and far between as the visitors seemed largely content to run down the clock...

Koby Arthur and James Caton were sent on by Hessenthaler to try to change the game while Academy youngster Alex Green came off the bench on 75 minutes to play in central defence after a nasty clash led to Jake Goodman walking off looking very woozy...

Dover Athletic: Josh Bexon; Seth Twumasi, Danny Collinge, Jake Goodman (Alex Green, 75mins), Sam Wood (C) (Koby Arthur, 61mins); TJ Bramble, Henry Woods, Travis Gregory; Ricky Miller (James Caton, 70mins), Ben Williamson, Aaron Cosgrave. Subs not used: Adam Parkes, Khale Da Costa."

On Monday Dover played Boreham Wood whose match preview reminded us that "The Whites, unfortunately, had all of their results expunged during the previous campaign due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and began the 2021/22 season with a points deduction...

Players to watch:

  • "The Destroyer", Jake Goodman.

An experienced head at the centre of defence, Jake Goodman came through the ranks at Millwall where he was able to learn the rough, physical side of the game under manager Kenny Jackett. He signed a professional contract in 2012...

He enjoyed loan spells in the non-league, first with Staines Town and then joining Luton Town and Aldershot Town before moving up a level with AFC Wimbledon, who were playing in League Two. He dropped into the lower leagues permanently, however, signing for Margate ahead of the 2015/16 campaign and made 37 appearances, before joining Braintree Town after just a season with the Gate. Spells with Maidenhead United and Bromley followed over the next two seasons, being a mainstay at the spine of both teams but was forced to miss a season while playing for the latter, owing to an anterior cruciate ligament injury that put him out of the entire 2019/20 campaign.

He was fortunately able to recover and joined Ebbsfleet United last season, but signed for Dover during the summer after failing to nail down a regular place in the Fleet’s starting line-up.

  • "The Playmaker", Henry Woods.

The 21-year old midfielder is a Gillingham academy graduate... and having played a handful of times for the Gills over the last two seasons, 13 in total in the EFL Trophy, EFL Cup and League One, he has since extended his contract again and arrived at Dover on a loan deal that lasts until January.

  • "The Finisher", Ricky Miller

A non-league veteran, Ricky Miller has plied his trade for Dover on three separate occasions... Miller began his career in Charlton Athletic’s youth academy before leaving for Woking’s and eventually signing for Stamford in 2006...

His form for Boston attracted the interest of League Two club Luton Town, who signed him on a one-year deal. He was soon loaned out for his first spell with Dover... and ended the season with 15 appearances for Luton, topping off a successful introduction to professional football. Despite this, he was released in the summer of 2015 and soon returned to the non-league with a return to Dover, this time on a permanent basis...

[He made it]into League Two... after an unbelievable 2016/17 season [at Dover] in which he scored an astonishing 46 goals in 43 games in all competitions... deservedly being named as the National League Player of the Year...

His form earnt a move all the way up to League One with Peterborough United... He was handed a six-match ban by The FA for a ‘biting incident’ during his time at Dover and was transfer-listed after failing to score in his first 13 matches. He joined Mansfield Town on loan and left for Port Vale... He returned to the National League with Aldershot Town, but recently re-joined Dover.


Joe Piggott scored for the second time in a week for AFC Fylde.


Barnet "finished the Bank Holiday weekend with a tough test against top of the league Dagenham and Redbridge.

After a competitive start, Harry Kewell’s side began to control the opening stages in the first-half ... Despite the Bees enjoying large spells of pressure throughout the first 20 minutes, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock after 22 minutes.

Will Wright took aim from 20-yards out to test Sargeant who got down well but parried into the path of Paul McCallum, where he converted into an empty-net...

Daryl McMahon’s side doubled their lead on the 38th minute when the ball was lofted forward to McCallum inside the box who flicked his header towards goal. The ball ricocheted off a Bees player leaving Walker to pounce on the loose ball and convert from close-range".

The Daily Echo reports on how there hacve been "Back-to-back defeats to start the season for Eastleigh.

Bromley stormed to their first National League win of the season with a 3-0 victory over Eastleigh...

Bromley went ahead after 25 minutes through James Alabi, who calmly slotted past Joe McDonnell.

Four minutes after the break Bromley had their second as Corey Whitely broke into the box and finished calmly.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes when Luke Coulson was shown a straight red card following a tackle and a brief skirmish.

But that did not stop Bromley stretching their lead through Cheek three minutes from time.

That bank holiday loss followed an opening-day defeat to Wrexham at Silverlake Stadium".

In the Southend Echo "Southend United manager Phil Brown slammed the Shrimpers as 'awful' following their dire 0-0 draw at Wealdstone. Blues hit the woodwork twice in the first half before failing to impress after the break...

'It was awful,' said Brown. 'We had a grip of the game in the first 25/30 minutes and we had a couple of great chances to score but in the end we were hanging on. It was as if we thought we had a divine right to beat Wealdstone because they’re non-league but I’ll correct them [on] that all season if I have to.

'I thought the seniors let me down and, to a man, other than the goalkeeper, they just weren’t at the races'...

And Brown was particularly incensed by one of his players, believed to be midfielder Nathan Ferguson, shying away from a tackle in the second half.

'I can’t accept people pulling out of challenges,' fumed Brown. 'If you’re not going through challenges and you blame the fact you’re on a yellow card, I’m not having that. If you’re doing that you don’t deserve to wear the shirt and I’m not sure he will be in the future...

'The only positive was the clean sheet and I think Steve is the only one who can say honestly say he wore his shirt his pride,' said Brown".

In the Derbyshire Times "James Rowe praised a ‘really efficient’ Chesterfield performance as they ran out 2-0 winners at King’s Lynn Town for their third successive victory.

Kabongo Tshimanga scored both goals, first from the penalty spot on 16 minutes after Liam Mandeville was fouled and then poking in from close-range inside the first 60 seconds of the second-half... and they are still yet to concede a goal...

“It was a really good performance... They can have a thousand passes around the back but when they came into the top end of that middle third we really turned it over really well.

'We countered excellently, I think the scoreline would have been higher if that final decision or that final finish was better. They are the only things I can nit-pick on really...

'It is something we have worked on to get George (Carline) round the back on the diagonal to Kabongo so that was a great goal for us'...

Manny Oyeleke (calf) and Jeff King (knock) were not in the squad but Rowe expects him to be fit for Bromley on Saturday...

He added 'To get three wins on the bounce is really strong from us... It is a really good start but that is all it is'"

The Dorset Echo reports that "Weymouth boss Brian Stock believes the Terras rediscovered their identity during the 1-0 loss at Grimsby Town [last Saturday].

Weymouth... more than held their own for 74 minutes until John McAtee’s strike sealed their fate.

However, the performance was a vast upgrade on the disappointing 2-0 defeat by Boreham Wood..

Stock told Echosport... 'My message was to remain concentrated and lock the back door. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that... I feel that we didn’t have an identity last week and were far too direct...

'Obviously, we came up short but if I was to focus on the performance there was a definite identity to us and a good understanding right the way through the team.

He added 'First half was very even, they had one or two chances but we had a hold on the game, which is what we wanted. Second half we dominated for large parts, there was a 20-minute spell where we had sustained pressure and probably should’ve scored one or two goals. Then we got punished with direct play from them. So a lapse in concentration has cost us at least a point'">

30 August 2021


Today (Monday), Altrincham meet FC Halifax town at The Shay. Halifax lost their opening game, also at home against a part-time side, when a late goal by Maidenhead United clinched the three points. Butthey secured a narrow 3-2 away win at Woking last Saturday.

The Halifax Courier adds that the referee will be Adam Herczeg, who "showed 42 yellow cards and two red cards in 14 National League games during the 2020-21 campaign".

Odds: Halifax win 10/11, draw 5/2, Altrincham win 3/1...

One to watch: Winger Ryan Colclough scored eight goals in 28 league games for Altrincham last season and signed a new contract with the club this summer.

Match facts: Halifax have won five of the last six meetings between the two teams. Last time they met: Jack Earing’s goal proved decisive as Halifax won 1-0 at Altrincham in April."


FC Halifax Town report on centre-back and "New signing Jesse Debrah...after capping off his debut with a goal to help the Shaymen defeat Woking. Debrah signed for Halifax in mid-August after a successful trial period...

'I’ve only been here for three weeks, but I am so happy to be here'... From 25 yards out, Debrah hit an unstoppable effort into the back of the net.

'I’ve never scored a better goal than that ever,' Debrah said on his goal'...

The centre half took his time to reflect on the game as a whole and summarised it by saying... 'Woking did start well, but fair play to our lads, we put our bodies on the line for the three points and that’s the spirit we have. Very happy to have got the win in the end'...

Looking ahead to the next game which is this coming Monday at home to Altrincham, 'That’s going to be another tough game,' said Debrah. Adding 'But, we’ll go into that game full of confidence after winning today and we’ll give the fans another win against Altrincham'".

The Halifax Courier adds that "Town go into the game on the back of their first win of the season on Saturday, having beaten Woking 3-2. Wild said Jay Benn was taken off with cramp at Woking, and that Luke Summerfield, who was also substituted, has had a swollen knee, but both are expected to be fine for Monday’s game.

Dom Tear is out for a couple of weeks with a twisted ankle.

'We’ll have to have a think about Monday and the legs, where we need to strengthen and what we need to do,' Wild said after that win at Woking.

'And I need to watch Altrincham, then I’ll start to make my mind up on what we do.'

When asked if changes should be expected for the Altrincham game, Wild said 'It depends how we recover, it depends what I see of Altrincham, it depends what I think we need to be better at.'

On any possible further additions to his squad, the Town boss said 'Not at the moment. We have been working on a couple of things that we’d have liked to have come off but they haven’t yet. When that window shuts next week we’ll probably be in a better place to do a bit'".


Just a week after launching into criticism of Altrincham for alleged timewasting as they humbled his full-time side 3-1 at Plainmoor, Torquay United manager Gary Johnson was himself the subject of the same accusation from the Non-League Paper's reporter after their draw with Notts County last Saturday.

In its coverage of the game at Meadow Lane, the NLP stated that "Torquay used timewasting tactics to frustrate the home side", in a game in which the visitors' indiscipline cost them a red card, to add to their three yellow cards in the 90 minutes, which followed five yellows against Altrincham.


At the age of 32, former Alty, Stoke City and Middlesbrough defender Ryan Shotton has joined Hanley Town after a spell in Australia.


Based on Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's data, the Through the Years files reveal that Alty last played on this date seven years ago when they travelled to Liberty Way and lost 2-1 to Nuneaton Town. That was the fifth successive defeat for Alty on that date, following a previous sequence of five successive wins!

Shaun Densmore remained sidelined by injury. There was no place in the squad for the match for James Lawrie or Greg Wilkinson, as Nicky Clee and Steven Gillespie returned to the starting eleven.

Right: Scott Leather in action at Nuneaton in 2014.

Playing a Nuneaton team which had failed to score in its opening five matches of the season, Altrincham started the better side. However, promising approach play was undone by an inability to unlock defences and to shoot accurately. So, just as at Southport in their last away game, Altrincham fell behind and were unable to recover.

Nuneaton took a 35th minute lead when Starosta's cross from the right was headed home by Brown. They doubled the lead after 67 minutes when Dyer scored with a low shot after lapses on the right by Altrincham. Reeves got a consolation goal after 87 minutes but despite more than seven added minutes, there was again no way back for Altrincham, who dropped into the relegation zone after this fifth defeat in six outings.

ALTRINCHAM: 17. David PARTON, 3. Adam GRIFFIN, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Scott LEATHER, 8. Simon RICHMAN, 9. Steven GILLESPIE, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 16. Tom MARSHALL, 18. Sean WILLIAMS, 25. Peter CAVANAGH (capt). Subs: 4. Jake MOULT, 14. Kyle PERRY, 21. Jeff KING, 19. Ryan CROWTHER, 1. Stuart COBURN (gk)


The Leader Live tells us that Wrexham's "Phil Parkinson would like to bolster his squad with 'a couple more players' before the transfer window closes on Tuesday evening.

Parkinson has completed nine new signings since his appointment and one of those additions, striker Jake Hyde, bagged a double as Wrexham beat Eastleigh 2-0 on Saturday...

'We need a couple more players, there are certain gaps that we are not happy with yet and we will work towards those,' said Parkinson.

'There are players who are out of contract, players at other clubs for loan moves so we have got a few options and hopefully we pick the right one... Hopefully we can add that bit of extra quality because you saw on Saturday, that quality from Mullin's ball through to Hyde separates teams who win and lose...

'To get the best players who are going to make a difference, you have got to fight hard to get them and credit to Shaun Harvey for negotiating a deal and the owners for backing us to do it,' said Parkinson... 'We wanted someone at the back who could pass it because it is so important but equally, sometimes you lose a bit of height and physicality but Ben has got both and that is why he is a good signing for us,' said Parkinson...

Jones, who joined from League One side Lincoln City on a three-year contract, also made his Reds bow at Eastleigh. 'JJ was good, he gave us what we wanted which is running power in that midfield,' added Parkinson".

Speaking to the Southend Echo, "Southend United manager Phil Brown felt the Shrimpers did not deserve to be beaten by Stockport County at Roots Hall.

The Hatters recorded a 1-0 win at Roots Hall... but Brown also admitted his side lacked quality going forward...

Said Brown, 'We did enough but there wasn’t enough quality in the final third, that would be my assessment. We probably had 16 or 17 shots in the game and we haven’t worked their goalkeeper enough... But whether they’re budget is five times ours or whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s about wearing the shirt with pride and I think that’s why we had 5,500 turn up...

'If it’s all about budgets then we’re in trouble but it’s not,' said the 62 year-old. 'It’s about pride, passion and believing in the club and what we can achieve so we have half a chance... Even including pre-season friendlies that’s as poor as we’ve played in the first half,' said Brown".

29 August 2021


On Bank Holiday Monday, Altrincham travel to face FC Halifax town at The Shay in the Robins' second fixture of the season. Alty had no game yesterday but the Shaymen played and secured a less than convincing win at Woking.

The Halifax Courier reports that "FC Halifax Town got their season up and running with an eventful 3-2 win at Woking.

Debutant Jesse Debrah's magnificent shot put Halifax ahead against the run of play, but that was cancelled out by Jordan Maguire-Drew's controversial penalty.

Martin Woods put Town back in-front shortly before half-time, a lead which was extended moments after the break by Billy Waters.

George Oakley got one back for Woking, who dominated the last 20 minutes like they had the first 20, but The Shaymen held out for only their second win in 14 visits to Woking...

Woking outmuscled and outran The Shaymen during a really bright, lively start. Town were pushed deep, forced into some rushed clearances and lacking their hosts' composure, conceding possession too cheaply...

There was a flow and a tempo to Woking's play, but not Town's, who were going from back-to-front more often and not keeping the ball enough. But out of nothing, Debrah launched a ferocious left-footed shot across goal from 25 yards, and Town were ahead.

After that, it was like watching a different game as Woking lost all their composure and confidence and Town began passing with purpose and more assurance...

The Shaymen had got better as the opening half went on, growing from a timid start to become much more competitive; wing-backs Jay Benn and Jack Senior epitomising their efforts with energetic, combative displays, while Woods and Luke Summerfield began to see more of the ball in midfield...

The hosts' height made them a big threat at set-pieces, but Town were determined not to be bullied. They would argue they gave as good as they got in the hustle and bustle of the penalty area, Woking would argue it went overboard.

[At 1-3] The hosts were dominant side, and their pressure was rewarded when Oakley pounced on a loose ball in the box and swept a curling shot into the far corner.

Tensions were rising as Town's lead looked increasingly frail... The Town boss was cutting a nervous figure, pacing the technical area and unable to stand still... as Woking repeatedly surged forward towards the Town box.

It was relentless pressure... Woking pressed and pushed, but Town held out...

Halifax: Johnson, Benn (Warren 88), Debrah, Maher, Bradbury, Senior, Summerfield (Green 69), Woods, Slew (Allen 75), Warburton, Waters. Subs not used: Spence, Gilmour".


Joe Piggott scored on his debut for AFC Fylde as did Byron Harrison for Connah's Quay Nomads. Neither player scored for Alty last season in 11 and 8 appearances respectively in the National League.

James Jones was a used substitute for Barrow.

Sutton United deployed Alistair Smith (right) as an 85th minute substitute against Oldham Athletic for whom Carl Piergianni scored three minutes later before the Latics snatched a 96th minute winner.


After a curious opening afternoon in the National League last weekend, when not one of the home clubs won, this Saturday witnessed five home victories.

Despite not playing on Saturday, Altrincham remain in the play-off places, although they dropped from second to seventh as some of those clubs which did play overtook them.

Dagenham & Redbridge are top with three other teams, which have all won their opening two games, snapping at their heels (Chesterfield, Maidenhead United and Boreham Wood).

Predictably Dover Athletic are bottom having started on -12 points; they did not wipe out any of their deficit as they lost their opening game today.

The bottom nine are all southern clubs, of whom six have yet to gain a point this season.

Alty's next game is against FC Halifax Town who held on for a narrow 3-2 win at Woking.


Saturday 28 August 2021.

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


Gloucestershire Live reports that "Ben Tozer left Newport County AFC to join Cheltenham Town in the summer of 2018 because he was offered a better contract, it’s as simple as that.

Being a lower league footballer is a precarious occupation, particularly during a global pandemic and there is no doubt that Wrexham’s financial might is what attracted the outgoing Robins captain to drop two levels.

A three-year deal on more than twice his annual earnings in League One explains why he was keen to force the move through.

Cheltenham fans will understandably be disappointed and angry to lose their captain to a National League club. But it should also be remembered, he was nearly farmed out on loan to Solihull Moors in the same division early in Michael Duff’s reign as manager.

He made an underwhelming start to life at Whaddon Road as a midfielder... Loyalty is a two-way thing and if a player isn’t performing, or featuring regularly, clubs and managers rarely think twice before showing them the door.

He is a father of two whose playing career will soon be moving into its twilight years, so earn it while you can. That isn't greed, it's common sense... Tozer, who will believe back-to-back promotions are a distinct possibility too, could have effectively bought himself out of his own contract in January for a small fraction of the £200,000 fee Cheltenham have received this week, due to Wrexham being under the Football Association of Wales governing body.

Cheltenham’s board therefore deserve immense credit for standing firm until they got what they wanted for Tozer... The Red Dragons’ fifth and final bid, which was accepted late on Thursday evening, is a more than reasonable price for a 31-year-old with one season left on his deal...

Cheltenham will certainly not be able to replace Tozer like for like, because what he offers is unique".

In contrast to the largesse of Wrexham, many other National League clubs, such as Yeovil Town, are signing young loanees as Millwall report that "Under 23s' captain Dan Moss has joined Yeovil on a youth loan until November 2021.

The 20 year-old, who can play at right-back, centre-back and central midfield, will link up with The Glovers...

Under the terms of the youth loan, Moss will be available to play for Millwall's Under 23s during his loan spell".

And Middlebrough confirm that "Young defender Jack Robinson has joined Yeovil Town on loan. The 20 year-old links up with the National League side on a season-long loan loan...

A Middlesbrough lad, Jack made his senior debut as a substitute in the final game of last season against Wycombe Wanderers.

He spent the summer with the first team squad, featuring regularly in pre-season friendlies, and also made his full debut at Blackpool in the Carabao Cup.

Boro boss Neil Warnock said he was keen to see some of the younger players from that Carabao Cup team develop their skills and gain experience with loan moves".

From the Dorset Echo we learn that "Loan deals for Chelsea players in the 'near future' are not on the cards, Weymouth boss Brian Stock has revealed.

Two weeks ago, Weymouth were invited to the European champions’ state-of-the-art Cobham training facility for a pre-season friendly, the Blues winning 13-0.

The fixture was effectively an audition for more first-team football for several of Chelsea’s international stars, including Brazil’s Thiago Silva plus England’s Ben Chilwell and Ross Barkley.

But the Terras also used the contest for networking, with Chelsea loans manager Carlo Cudicini the force behind the occasion. Asked if Weymouth were close to taking any Chelsea players on loan, Stock admitted... 'They don’t necessarily loan players to the National League... In terms of players coming from Chelsea, there’ll be no players in the near future'.

Weymouth currently have a squad of 21 for the current season, including goalkeeper Gerard Benfield who is on loan at Dorchester Town.

Stock revealed Weymouth have been scouting the loan market... 'We’re actively looking every single day,' he said... 'One of my targets at the end of the season was to recruit players (permanently). Across the pitch we’ve got places covered and competition for places is very good'"

28 August 2021


With no fixture on Saturday, courtesy of the odd number of clubs in the National League this season, Altrincham's next game is on Bank Holiday Monday, at FC Halifax Town.

The clubs last met in Yorkshire was over Christmas last year, on Monday, 28 December, 2020, when Alty went into the game in seventh place, three points and five places above the Shaymen from the same number of games. Both clubs had played more fixtures than most of their rivals so, on a PPG basis, Altrincham would have been eleventh and Halifax fifteenth. By the end of that season the Shaymen had finished tenth and Alty 18th with an 18-point gap between the clubs.

Halifax lost their opening game this season, at home to Maidenhead United, whereas Alty won 3-1 at Torquay on a day when not a single home club won its fixture.

Before they play Alty on Monday, Halifax are away at Woking today (Saturday)

In the 2020 match at The Shay, Altrincham lost 3-2 with the following line-up:

  • 1. Tony THOMPSON, 3. Connor HAMPSON, 35. Harrison HOLGATE, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 24. Joel SENIOR, 6. Jake MOULT (c) 29. Alistair SMITH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 23. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Yusifu CEESAY. Subs: 7. Dan MOONEY, 9. Jacob BLYTH, 34. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 30. Simon RICHMAN

Just five of the starters in December were in Altrincham's starting eleven last Saturday at Torquay. They were Thompson, Hannigan, Senior, Moult and Hancock.

Prior to the December 2020 meeting, the clubs had last met at The Shay in August 2016 for a 2-2 draw when both were in the National League North.


Byron Harrison (right), released by Alty in March 2021 after 7(+1) appearances, has joined Welsh club Connah's Quay Nomads.

Darius Palma netted a late FA Cup equaliser for Trafford against Colne last Saturday.

In Barnet's 0-5 defeat on Saturday, former Alty defender Josh Doherty was sent off for The Bees.


Gloucestershire Live reports that "Wrexham [are] to sign Cheltenham Town captain Ben Tozer for [a] six-figure fee....

The 31 year-old defender has agreed a deal with the National League club, who will pay £200,000 for his signature after at least three previous bids were rejected.

He had one year left to run on his contract with Cheltenham. Tozer has spent just over three seasons at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, helping transform the Robins from relegation strugglers to League Two champions as Michael Duff's captain.

He has been voted supporters' player of the year for the last two seasons and has received national recognition for his long throw-in abilities...

Plymouth-born Tozer, who now lives in Daventry, joined Cheltenham from Newport County AFC in the summer of 2018 and was initially used as a midfielder. But since moving to the middle of a back three, he has been an automatic choice for Duff, playing every minute of all 46 league games last season to help the club make history.

He has also previously been on the books of Swindon Town, Newcastle United, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town, along with a brief loan spell at Colchester United".

And also relating to Wrexham, Cheshire Live reported in 2019 that recent (2021) Wrexham signing James Jones "was on the verge of a £300,000 switch to Championship side Preston in summer 2017... But he failed the medical due to groin and pelvic problems".

Meanwhile, for £32, supporters can purchase "Green Labelled Aviation American Gin. This is the official gin of Wrexham AFC. 42% alc by vol." New joint owner of the club, Ryan Reynolds is also the co-owner of the Aviation American Gin brand.

Luton Today confirms that "Luton midfielder Sam Beckwith has joined Maidenhead United on a season-long loan deal.

The 19 year-old has been at Kenilworth Road since joining the academy at U8 level, penning a first professional contract in October 2019...

Beckwith was named the club's Young Player of the Year for 2019-20, a campaign in which he captained the U18s and spent time on loan at Biggleswade Town...

Beckwith went on to make his first senior appearance [for Luton Town] during the Carabao Cup first round exit to Stevenage earlier this month".

Devon Live reports that "Danny Wright says there will be some friendly competition between him and Dan Holman to lead the goalscoring charts this season with the pair back together again at Torquay United this season.

Wright scored 11 goals in 22 games for the Gulls last season, while having two spells on the sidelines because of injuries. Had he been around for all the games, it is highly-likely that Torquay would be playing in the Football League this season...

After losing their first game 3-1 against Altrincham at home on Saturday, the Gulls go to Notts County on Saturday, and host Woking on Bank Holiday Monday.

Wright, 36... says he will enjoy playing with Holman, 31, who he had a good spell with at Cheltenham Town when manager Gary Johnson guided them to the National League title in 2016...

'Dan was in Dubai in the summer and it was just a case of seeing how he came back from that really. But he looked sharp and has scored goals, which is what he is about. We know each other’s games and we know if we can get it going we can score a fair few goals this season to get us to the top of the league'...

There could be two familiar faces at Notts County side on Saturday with Kyle Cameron and Aaron Nemane having moved to Meadow Lane in the summer."

At Eastleigh, the Spitfires report that "Dan Smith has joined Hereford FC on a short term loan deal.

The striker departs for the National League North side until January 2022.

Eastleigh manager, Ben Strevens, commented on the move, 'Dan is another of our lads who needs to get some regular minutes under his belt and this is a great opportunity for him to go out and do just that. We’ll be keeping our eye on his progress with a view to him returning in January after his loan period.'”

According to Somerset Live, Yeovil Town "begin their delayed National League season against Kings Lynn at Huish Park on Saturday.

Yeovil Town are heading into their third successive season in the National League and third under manager Darren Sarll. Since the 38-year-old took charge, he has had to deal with more than most managers do in their whole career... Their season opener against Wrexham last week had to be postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the club.

Much has been made about the big spending of many clubs in the National League (one season before the introduction of a spending cap). Wrexham, Chesterfield, Stockport, and Notts County have invested heavily to try and get out of the fifth tier, but the Glovers do not have that luxury.

However, Sarll has worked hard to recruit a balance of young, hungry players and experienced heads to help steer the ship. Their names might not be as familiar as Paddy Madden and Paul Mullin, but they will be playing to try and get a step up in their careers, as well as for Yeovil Town...

No less than nine new faces have come through the doors in recent weeks at Huish Park, signalling a change of style, with a mixture of young players, alongside some experienced heads.

Mark Little, who has had a brilliant career in the Football League (not least with both Bristol City and Bristol Rovers), joined the club... and was the marquee signing... As well as Little, the Glovers have bolstered their defensive ranks with the signing of left-back Jordan Barnett, following his spell at Notts County last season...

Morgan Williams also joins permanently from Coventry City, having spent time on loan twice at the club, but making just six appearances, with both spells being cut short due to injury... Goalkeeper Grant Smith enjoyed a successful spell at Chesterfield in the last campaign and arrives having kept 10 clean sheets in 16 for the Spireites...

The attacking options have also been bolstered with top-scorer Rhys Murphy departing for Southend United. Midfielder Lewis Simper joins up with former teammate Tom Knowles on loan from Cambridge United, alongside Northern Irish midfielder Dale Gorman, and 23-year-old Charlie Wakefield.

Linking up with Joe Quigley and Reuben Reid up front will be journeyman Adi Yussuf, who joins following a spell with Blackpool (although he did not kick a ball for the Seasiders) and attacking midfielder Sonny Blu Lo-Everton also joins on loan from Watford.

Sometimes you have to take a punt on players with questionable injury records, or those who have moved a lot in their career, and it feels as if that is what Sarll has done throughout his time at Yeovil... Lo Everton links up with Sarll for the second time, and at just 18 years old, could be that player who always gets fans out of their seats, playing without fear...

It is not unusual for clubs to struggle when relegated from the Football League; Luton Town spent five seasons at this level, Wrexham... are undertaking their 14th successive campaign in the National League, and only two clubs have bounced straight back up to League Two, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham.

In their first season following relegation, the Glovers finished fourth, but failed to win the play-offs...

It seems unlikely Yeovil will have that elusive 20-goal striker, but Tom Knowles finished the season strongly with seven goals to his name in midfield, and that could help immensely...

Sarll brought belief back to this side and despite relegation, the supporters got behind him and celebrated every win. The club never believed it had been ‘too big to go down’, and this meant success was rewarded... The reality is, Yeovil do not have the mega bucks of the teams deemed to be ‘favourites’ for promotion and they must spend within their means. On paper, it perhaps looks like a mid-table team, but so did Sutton United and Barrow before them. Yeovil must, however, have a better start than last season.

It took them 10 games to register a win... This is not quite the start Sarll would have wanted with the manager confirming this week that Little, Bradley, and Reid will all be unavailable for the season opener at home to King’s Lynn.

Reid and Little will be out until Christmas, while Bradley is suffering with the after effects of Covid-19. At the time of writing, the manager has said new recruits will be needed and with two of the club’s right backs out of action, it could well be another makeshift defence.

Frailties in defence and having to change the back four almost weekly due to injuries played a massive part in the disappointing season last time out".

The Grimsby Telegraph confirms that "Grimsby Town finally get their National League season underway with a home clash against Weymouth... with strong ticket sales suggesting an attendance of more than 5,000 is on the cards.

Here’s what manager Paul Hurst had to say... 'We are still missing one player (after Covid) but it’s nice that we’ve got everyone else back together... The players being in isolation had an impact on preparations for the game. The temptation would have been to get them all back in again and give them a real blast, but I’m conscious of us having a game on Saturday and then Tuesday...

'The players who are back after having Covid are all good, but the caveat to that is that we haven’t pushed them to their limits yet, we will find out more on Saturday or next week.

In terms of injuries, there’s two for definite that are still out injured, then a couple more where it looks like it will be difficult to get them involved because of how much pre-season they have had...

'I want us to be flexible in terms of formation and line-ups. There will be some disappointed people on Saturday...

'They [Weymouth] are a team that wants to try and play good football'".

27 August 2021


Following the signing of Dean Furman who has 56 caps for his native South Africa, the question has been raised as to whether this is a record number of international appearances for any Altrincham player. Courtesy of Terry Rowley, the answer is that Dean's nonetheless admirable total is not the highest number for a Robins player.

Right: The entry for Lee Ramoon in "Altrincham FC... Kingdom Come" by Mark Harris

Lee Ramoon's 200+ plus appearances for the Cayman Islands make him far and away the record holder, though the status of the opposition for some of his international appearances is debatable. Dean's 56 caps make him a comfortable second-place holder.

Footnote: Lee made three substitute appearances for Altrincham in October 1994, two in the Conference and one in the FA Cup. He scored once, in a 1-2 loss to Stevenage Borough at Moss Lane. FIFA selected him as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers at FIFA's 100th anniversary in 2004. He was awarded the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit that same year.

Wikipedia tells us that "Ramoon played college soccer in the United States at King College. In 1988, Ramoon went to England and signed with Stockport County, making a number of appearances for their reserve team, and scoring a goal... on 9 September 1988. He had a second spell in the UK in 1994–95, making two substitute appearances (scoring once) in the English Football Conference [for Altrincham].

Ramoon spent spells at Winsford United (November 1994), Burscough and Welsh club Porthmadog (February 1995), all on loan from Altrincham.

Ramoon later returned to Cayman to play with George Town, winning three League titles and four Cups in five years.

Ramoon made his first appearance for the Cayman Islands national team in 1979, at the age of 14, and made over 200 official and unofficial international appearances. Ramoon also captained the national team on numerous occasions".

Culled from his extensive Alty data, Terry has kindly provided the following list of Altrincham FC players who have played for their country...


  • Marc Joseph 12 caps


  • Stan Ackerley 30 games, (27 official). Captain
  • Jason van Blerk 33 caps [pictured, right]

Cayman Islands:

  • Lee Ramoon 200+


  • Tommy Banks 6 caps (4 in 1958 World Cup)
  • Colin McDonald 8 caps
  • Albert Quixall 5 caps
  • Alex Stepney 1 cap
  • Ernie Taylor 1 cap
  • Billy Felton 1 cap
  • Tommy Mort 3 caps


  • Danny Higginbottom 3 caps [pictured, right]


  • Sammy Ayorinde 2 caps

Northern Ireland:

  • Brian Irvine 8 caps
  • Bill Gowdy 6 caps
  • James Lawrie 3 caps
  • Paul Williams 1 cap

Republic of Ireland:

  • Fionan Fagan 8 caps
  • Mick Smyth 1 cap
  • Ron Healy 2 caps

St Kitts & Nevis:

  • Matt Berkeley 2 caps [pictured, right]
  • Lutel James 2 caps


  • Mohammed 'Momo' Coly 1 cap, as a substitute


  • Andy Dibble 3 caps
  • Jack Newnes 1 cap

Terry adds that "Tommy Mort exhibits the best progression of an Altrincham player, going from Altrincham youth team to Rochdale to Aston Villa and full England honours. He never played a first team game for Altrincham. Similarily, Joe Kennedy played just one game for Altrincham before going on to England ‘B’ honours (3 caps), as Billy Wright was the England first-team incumbent at the time.

Eric Westward also won an England ‘B’ Cap, whilst Clarence Hilditch was awarded a ‘cap’ in a ‘Victory’ International against Wales in 1919, as was Charlie Mitten in 1946 against Scotland".


Altrincham FC has an interview with new signing Joe Bunney, conducted by Brian Flynn for Alty TV.


On 4 September, Dover Athletic are scheduled to be the first guests at the J. Davidson Stadium, where they will find a lush, new playing surface laid over the close season.

The Whites were scheduled to visit Altrincham on 6 March 2021 but they furloughed their players and never visited the JDS that season. So this will be their first visit since they won 2-1 in a Tuesday night match on 5 April 2016.

According to Kent Online, "Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler says survival this season will feel like a promotion.

Whites belatedly get their National League campaign under way at Maidenhead on Saturday before hosting Boreham Wood at Crabble on Bank Holiday Monday.

Part-time Dover start with a 12-point deduction and one of the smallest budgets in a mainly full-time league so the odds are certainly stacked against them.

'We’re looking at fourth from bottom, if we can get that it will be like winning promotion and we can put everything that’s gone on behind us,' said Hessenthaler. 'We’ve got to stay calm, stick together and enjoy the challenge. We all know we’ve got to stay in this division with this hurdle in front of us. We’ve got to play games, get some results and gather some momentum.

'Hopefully we can steer clear of injuries, that will be important for us, and if we can get a bit of consistency then we’ll see where that gets us. I’m disappointed we didn’t start at the weekend. We had a session on Saturday and Monday and we’ll train on Thursday and go from there...

'We know we’ve got the minus 12 points, we’ve got to deal with that,' added Hessenthaler. 'We’ve got to get four wins as quickly as we can and without panicking as well if it doesn’t happen straight away. When you want something that bad you can force it, and that can’t be the case for us... While it would be great to win our first four and wipe it out straight away, we can’t panic and we have to chip away at it. It might take five or six games, or longer, but we’ve got a decent team and we know we’ve got to win games...

'That’s where the experienced players come into it. Along with myself and the coaching staff, the likes of Reda Johnson and Sam Wood are going to be key with our young players... We can’t get anywhere if we feel sorry for ourselves'...

Dover’s squad includes seasoned campaigners like the returning Ricky Miller and Ben Williamson in attack, Jake Goodman and Sam Wood in defence, along with player/coach Reda Johnson.

There are also a number of promising young players, including local lad Ryan Hanson in midfield along with Gillingham loanee Henry Woods.

Hessenthaler added 'The balance of the team feels better in terms of positions and the pace we’ve got in the right areas, plus the mix of experience and youth. It feels a lot more balanced and that’s a result of us going part-time really. We’ve been able to get a group of players that being part-time suits them so that’s been fortunate for us. We’ve had a bit more time to get things together'...

Hanson (knee) is Whites’ only injury concern ahead of Maidenhead with Marshall Wratten and Will Moses already ruled out".


Details of Altrincham FC's supporters' coach timings and fares for the trip to Halifax on Bank Holiday Monday are on the Altrincham FC website.


The Leader Live says that "Wrexham continue to be linked with Cheltenham Town captain Ben Tozer but Phil Parkinson is pursuing other potential new signings... before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

It has been reported that the Reds have made two bids for the 31 year-old defender, who has been the Robins' player of the year for past two seasons, but both have been rejected by the newly-promoted League One side.

Parkinson is looking for centre-back reinforcements with Shaun Brisley currently out of action with a knee injury sustained in pre-season and fellow summer signing Harry Lennon only appearing as a second half substitute in the opening day 2-2 draw at Solihull Moors.

Lennon, also troubled with a knee problem, replaced wing-back Reece Hall-Johnson who is set for a spell on the sidelines after he was stretchered off with a groin injury...

[As for Tozer, Parkinson stated], 'We are still working on that and a couple of other situations... We have had a bit of bad luck with the defenders... It is an area that we are looking at.' Parkinson as able to strengthen his squad with the addition of midfielder James Jones who has joined the Reds on a three-year deal from League One side Lincoln City... Jones spent last season with Lincoln where he scored three goals in 45 appearances in all competitions...

Said Parkinson...'James has got great energy and he adds that running power and quality to our midfield department.'"

According to TWTD, Ipswich's "Outcast midfielder Brett McGavin has reportedly agreed to join King's Lynn Town on loan.

The 21-year-old was among those told he could move on at the end of last season and has been training with the U23s since the start of pre-season... without featuring in their matches.

Now, according to Suffolk News, the Bury St Edmunds-based schemer is to join the Linnets on a long-term loan spell to in order to get senior game-time... McGavin... has made 10 senior starts and one sub appearance for Town having come through the academy.

Contracted to Town until the summer of 2022 with the club having an option for a further year, McGavin spent a brief spell on loan in Scotland with Ayr United last season making one sub appearance having previously had a stint on loan at Concord Rangers".

Southend's Echo News reports that "Southend United manager Phil Brown is preparing himself for a different kind of challenge when highly-fancied Stockport County visit Roots Hall on Saturday.

The Hatters have invested heavily in their squad this season...

'It’s a different kind of challenge,' said Brown. 'Stockport are a former EFL team like ourselves and they’ve certainly invested that’s for sure. Instead of the target being on our back like it was at King’s Lynn I think we will both have the target on our backs this weekend but we’re looking forward to it.'

Stockport... made a number of signings this summer including the eye-catching addition of striker Scott Quigley from Barrow...

'Stockport will be in the top two or three with regards to financial investment this year but do finances always win you a game? Hopefully we can prove otherwise on Saturday,' said Brown.

'We’ve got to be prepared for teams who will can to Roots Hall and maybe try to stifle it a bit either with their football or tactical nous this season. But you’ve always got to entertain your home fans, either with your football or an aggressive style of play... We have to tick enough of the boxes on Saturday to keep them entertained'".

In the Nottingham Post, we learn that "Just 77 days will have passed when Notts County and Torquay United meet again in National League action on Saturday afternoon for the first time since the latter ended Notts' play-off ambitions last season...

Notts head coach Ian Burchnall has played down any sense of revenge being on the cards for himself or his players.

After all, this is a very different County side to the one that lined up on the south coast back in June. Six of that side (Jake Reeves, Mark Ellis, Calvin Miller and Enzio Boldewijn, who started and Jimmy Knowles and Jordan Barnett, who came off the bench) are no longer at the club.

It's a similar story for Gary Johnson's side, for whom seven players that featured in the semi-final now play their football elsewhere.... This fact was not lost on Burchnall either, who noted the 'shift of dynamic' that has taken place at both clubs over the summer months...

'For me, it doesn't matter who we play, I have the same mindset, so [I'm] just happy to attack the games, really... They've got a lot of new players, and we've got a lot of new players [too], so there is a shift of that dynamic anyway.'"

At Stockport County, "The Club is pleased to confirm the appointment of Joppe Meulensteen as our new Head of First Team Analysis.

Joppe, heralding from a football family as the son of former Fulham Manager and Manchester United first-team coach René, brother of RKC Waalwijk player Melle and MUTV reporter Pien, takes up the role after Sean O’Callaghan left the Club to join Burton Albion earlier in the Summer...

Joppe is a UEFA B qualified coach, having previously worked in our Academy...

Director of Football Simon Wilson said 'After a thorough recruitment process with over 60 applications, many with long-serving roles at established clubs, I’m delighted to see the best performing candidate was someone already in our system, and with this that we are able to build a pathway between Academy and 1st team not just for players, but also staff'".

26 August 2021


As reported below, yesterday, Altrincham made a double signing on Tuesday with Joe Bunney and Dean Furman being added to the squad after both had made their debuts last weekend.

They take Alty's new signings to nine, following James Berry, Kennedy Digie, Marcus Dinanga, David Fitzpatrick, Brad Jackson, A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Ben Pringle. In addition Connor Kirby has rejoined on loan from Harrogate Town

Both of the latest recruits have solid EFL experience...

Joe BUNNEY (d.o.b. 26 September 1993 in Gorton, Manchester)

With five defenders out injured as the 2021-22 season got under way last weekend, Joe was signed by Phil Parkinson, having made his only pre-season game for Altrincham, three days earlier, behind closed doors against Huddersfield Town "B".

Nowadays primarily a left-back, Joe first encountered Alty as a striker for Lancaster City youth in 2011.

Above: Lancaster City youth striker Joe Bunney, no.9 (far right), lines up at Altrincham for an FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round match in 2011, which Alty won on penalties. However, Joe scored City's goal in the match itself, so he has scored previously at Moss Lane! At the opposite end of the line up is Alty's Duncan Watmore.

After playing briefly for both Kendal Town and Stockport County in 2012, Joe spent time at Northwich Victoria (2012-13). However, it was in a five-year spell (2013-18) at Spotland that he made his mark in the Football League, making more than 120 appearances for Rochdale.

Next he joined Northampton Town (2018-19), for whom he made 16 appearances and also turned out five times, on loan, for Blackpool, as well as a further 16 outings back at Rochdale on loan (2019).

He was signed by troubled Bolton Wanderers but after a couple of appearances moved back into non-League, very briefly with Matlock Town before moving to help Hartlepool United as they regained their Football League status in 2021.

Curiously in 2020-21 he also turned out for a club which swapped its League status with the Pools, as he also played five games for relegation-bound Grimsby Town.

Dean FURMAN (d.o.b. 22 June 1988 in South Africa)

Like Joe Bunney, Dean signed for Altrincham having made just a single appearance in that behind closed doors friendly against Huddersfield Town.

Dean's career started in the youth set-up at Chelsea, where he spent nine years, till he was 18.

Next, he moved to join Glasgow Rangers (2006) and was captain of their Under-19 team before making his Scottish Premier League debut in May 2008.

In summer 2008 he returned to England, signing for Bradford City on loan but a hamstring injury limited his appearances there. However, he returned to action and stayed till the end of the season.

He then joined League One Oldham Athletic in summer 2009 and became the team captain in 2011, as he went on to make 147 appearances for The Latics.

In Spring 2013 he joined Doncaster Rovers and helped them win the League One title. After two years at the club, having played 82 games, he moved back to South Africa and joined SuperSport United where he spent five years five years and played 101 games before he made a return to the EFL in summer 2020 at Brunton Park, with Carlisle United.

He made his debut for South Africa in 2012 and captained them in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and by March 2019 he had amassed fifty caps for his country.


Devon Live reports that "Torquay United will be wary of teams trying to waste time when they come to Plainmoor this season after Altrincham did just that on day one of the National League on Saturday.

Torquay suffered a 3-1 defeat to their visitors after two early mistakes gave Altrincham a two-goal lead. Torquay were perhaps the better team but, after an own goal had got them back into the game in the second half, Altrincham were given the chance to get a third goal following a poor clearance and they took it for all three points.

But Altrincham were time-wasting from the kick-off and Torquay manager Gary Johnson says more teams will try to do that at Plainmoor this season and it’s something the Gulls will have to deal with. It also highlights the importance of getting the first goal.

'We have had directions from the Football Association, the Football League and our league that this season referees are going to clamp down on obvious time-wasting. So with their goalkeeper kicking both posts twice and moving across to the other side of the six-yard area, and people going down when they know they are not injured, I would expect most referees to pick those things up as "obvious".

'But they don’t do it early enough. So we will wait and see if other referees are picking up those situations. I am sure every team will try and time-waste, including us, depending on the state of the game but especially when we are at home teams seem to rather play 60 minutes of ball-in-play rather than 90.

'And some referees waste time themselves by the amount of time they take to book somebody.'

In a game that was lively and physical, but not particularly nasty, Torquay picked up five bookings, with Armani Little, Dean Moxey, Danny Wright, Dan Holman and Ali Omar all having their names taken... [And "wasting time" in the process?]

'Of course we are disappointed with the result and disappointed with some of our play,' said Johnson. 'There were snippets of good play in between times but obviously when you go a couple of goals down it gives a lot of oxygen to your opponents. And at this level teams are very experienced and they know how to see a game out.

'When we went 2-1 I really thought we were going to get it back. We were in the ascendancy but unfortunately there was another mistake in the penalty area and we got punished for it... and we need to create more problems.'

Asa Hall, who hasn’t been available during pre-season, came on late in the game, and might be ready to start at Notts, while Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Jake Andrews also sat out Saturday’s game with knocks".


Altrincham FC "have received the following message from FC Halifax Town in relation to Bank Holiday Monday's 3pm kick-off at The Shay.

"Altrincham supporters will be located in blocks A/B of the main East Stand, ands entry is via turnstile 15. This is a strictly cash turnstile...

Please note that there will be no refreshments available throughout the ground. Admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults - £21.00
  • Concessions (State pension age) - £18.00
  • 17-12 years old - £9.00
  • Under 12s - £4.00"


Altrincham's next game is not until Bank Holiday Monday when they make the trip to the National League's most northerly outpost which is now as close as FC Halifax Town's SHay stadium

The Halifax Courier reports that "The Shaymen lost 2-1 at home to Maidenhead on the opening day of the season last Saturday, while Woking won 2-1 at Wealdstone.

Halifax were 1-0 up at half-time last Saturday, but defensive lapses contributed to them losing the game.

'We need to be us, keep working on the positives that came out of last week, tidy up the little mistakes, make sure we compete first and foremost, and press the way we pressed on Saturday, and make sure we're switched on defensively to not give them an inch to hurt us,' said Wild, who could be without wing-back Dom Tear at the weekend, after he rolled his ankle in training.

'We had a meeting on Monday to put the game to bed. We all recognised there were lots of positives. Maidenhead created four chances all off our mistakes, they never once opened us up or created anything that hurt us.

'So we've got to tidy up our mistakes and make it tough for teams to break us down, because of how switched on we are with and without the ball'...

Wild expects Woking to be a different beast to the side Town have played in the last couple of seasons.

'Woking have had a lot of investment this summer and brought some exciting players in, and you saw that in the game against Wealdstone on Saturday,' he said. 'They tried to dominate with an athletic, physical presence and I expect more of that on Saturday. They've gone full-time so they're not "Little old Woking" anymore, they're investing in the football club and they've brought players in that match that.

'You know exactly what Alan Dowson's going to give you, number one his sides are going to be aggressive, they're going to be hard-working, they're going to put you under pressure, and you have to be ready for that. You can always tell a Dowse team by looking at them'.

Town then host Altrincham on Bank Holiday Monday. When asked if he will be utilising his squad over the two games, Wild said 'Yeah, we may have to, we'll take it game-by-game. I'll look at the opposition, look at what we've got and what's going to be the best team to combat what's in front of us.'"


The Nottingham Post reports that "Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall has revealed what former Notts manager Harry Kewell had to say to him during County's 5-0 win at Barnet on the opening weekend of the National League season.

Kewell, who lasted just 14 matches with the then-League Two Magpies in 2018 before being sacked, was, like Burchnall, taking charge of his first competitive match in the hot seat in northwest London...

Two words, in fact. 'Great touch.'

The exchange was prompted by a moment during the match where the Notts manager, seeing the ball plummeting down into his technical area from some 60 yards out of the sky, flicked it with the outside of his boot into the orbit of the Barnet player waiting to take a throw-in on the touchline...

'I don't have a reputation as a player, certainly,' he admitted. 'So I was very happy when I plucked that one out [of] the air'... [He said:] ‘Great touch.’ Yeah, I think that was it, but I'll take that as a compliment [coming from him].'

The 38-year-old coach... was similarly generous in lavishing praise on his players for their performance at The Hive. Burchnall was particularly pleased with the scorers of the first three goals given the injury-plagued time that they've both had to endure recently.

'[Cal Roberts] looked great,' he said. 'He looked great in the Solihull [Moors] game [too], and he's feeling fantastic, and, you know, it's his first proper game back from such a long period out... and Ruben [Rodrigues] did great when he was on... We didn't want to take a risk for more than 65 [minutes]'".

The Grimsby Telegraph says that "Grimsby Town chairman Jason Stockwood is welcoming the competition Grimsby Town are going to face in the National League this season as they aim to fight it out at the top end of the table.

The Mariners were of course forced to watch on as the 2021/22 campaign got underway without them on Saturday, with the rest of the early favourites for the title all in action.

And there were a few surprises in store, with Wrexham dropping points at Solihull Moors, while Stockport County and Torquay United both lost at home on the opening day...

'It’s a competitive league around the top,' Stockwood told Grimsby Live. 'You look at what Stockport are doing, I’ve got to know Mark Stott (Stockport owner) a little bit, and he’s doing great things there with the right sort of methodology and values as well...

'Wrexham are going to be interesting. I still don’t quite understand why two Hollywood stars are investing in them but, from what you see in the public, they’ve got a positive intent there and they’re certainly spending on that.

'There’ll be five or six teams who you’d expect to be competitive at the top, and there’s always going to be a wildcard... It’ll be exciting, but culture trumps everything. You can spend as much money as you like, but you need to be competitive in the amount you’re spending, but equally culture plays a massive part in success and teams gelling...

'It’s the only sport where you can play well and not win, the best team doesn’t always win... We’re doing the right things. We’re there or thereabouts in budget, we’ve got the right culture, and then you hope you get the rub of the green as well. I like the fact it’s a competitive league. For me, and the organisations I’ve been in, competition helps spur you on to go and improve and helps raise your own standards'.

According to the Derbyshire Times, "James Rowe’s first words when he was appointed Chesterfield manager focused on bringing the ‘fun’ back to the Spireites.

'It is about taking the weight off the shoulders because I feel there is a bit of apathy around,' Rowe explained last November. 'We have got to have some fun now. We have got to enjoy what we do every day and reap the benefits on the pitch'...

But the enjoyment has returned and there has been a lot to smile about as the Spireites remarkably rose from the relegation zone to the play-offs in six months...

Such is the transformation in player recruitment with 27 incomings and 23 outgoings, only seven players of Laurence Maguire, Haydn Hollis, Curtis Weston, Joe Rowley (loaned out), Liam Mandeville, Tom Denton and Nathan Tyson remain from the squad he inherited... His stats are incredible.

The win against Aldershot last Saturday was his 20th in 34 National League games. His win percentage is currently a very impressive 58.82%... The Blues have secured nine victories from 16 home matches during his tenure, a win percentage of 56.25%. A healthy record but one Rowe will be no doubt be looking to improve this campaign.

It is on the road where Chesterfield have really put their foot to the floor, winning 11 of 18, giving a win percentage of a huge 61.11%... and Chesterfield have kept out the opposition in half of Rowe's 34 league matches which is immense".

25 August 2021


Altrincham FC has announced that "Phil Parkinson has followed up Saturday's stunning opening-day win at Torquay United by further reinforcing his Altrincham squad with still more Football League experience.

The Alty boss was named Vanarama manager of the week after masterminding an outstanding 3-1 victory over last season's beaten play-off finalists at Plainmoor...

In a double move that will intensify the competition for places in an increasingly-impressive looking Robins squad, Phil was on hand to welcome vastly-experienced midfielder Dean Furman, who turned 33 two months ago, and versatile defender Joe Bunney to the club.

Furman, a product of Chelsea's youth system after moving to England from his native South Africa as a young boy, made over 200 League appearances for the likes of Oldham Athletic, Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers and Carlisle United, where he played last season, before impressing Alty's management team in training and pre-season match action.

Manchester-born Bunney, a 6ft 2in 27-year old defender who plays as a left-sided centre-back or at left-back, made 122 appearances for Rochdale before joining Northampton for an undisclosed fee in January, 2018.

He more recently had spells with Hartlepool United and Grimsby Town and, like Furman, he looked the part when given an opportunity in Alty's pre-season programme".


Altrincham FC co-chairman Bill Waterson writes "that tickets for our first three home games are now on sale: Dover Athletic on Saturday 4th September, King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday 14th September and Notts County on Saturday 25th September.

The lifting of Government restrictions has meant that we can return to a more 'normal' capacity for The J. Davidson Stadium, having been restricted to 1,200 or fewer for the last three games of last season. Tickets are therefore available on open sale here... This will make it easier for the club to manage access to the ground. You will be able to access the ground through all sets of turnstiles if you have an e-ticket. The same applies to season ticket holders.

We are aiming for a capacity of 7,000 for this season, with around 1,700 in the away end. All games this season will be segregated, although we may choose to lift segregation after kick-off in some circumstances.

There are still some restrictions and requirements on spectators, so please make yourself aware of and adhere to the here."


Gloucestershire Live reports that "Wrexham's second bid for Cheltenham Town captain Ben Tozer has been rejected.

The National League club are believed to have tabled an offer of £60,000 for the 31 year-old defender last week, which was described by boss Michael Duff as 'derisory'.

They have come back with a second attempt, doubling their money to £120,000, but once again it has been turned down...

His contract at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium runs until next summer.

Tozer, who joined Cheltenham from Newport County AFC in the summer of 2018, has been named player of the year for the last two seasons, helping the club win the League Two title for the first time in their history in 2020/21."

The Southend Echo reports that "Southend United manager Phil Brown has been boosted by the younger members of the Shrimpers’ squad.

The Blues' boss watched the club’s under 23 side beat Maidstone United 5-2 in a friendly clash this afternoon...

'I have to say I’ve been really pleased with the way the younger players have performed both in pre-season and against Maidstone as well,' said Brown...

'I’ve kept tabs on the sides we played in pre-season too. Ebbsfleet won their first game 5-1 and Dartford have won their first two matches and are top of the table.

'Our kids drew with both of them and that’s another encouraging sign for us'...

[Against Maidstone] said Brown, 'Terrell Egbri did well and so did Rob Howard again so they’re really pushing for places which is what we want and need.”

However, Simeon Akinola is still unlikely to feature in the first team despite his double strike.

'Sim was involved to give himself a chance to get fit and to get himself a move,' said Brown. 'The situation hasn’t changed.'

Akinola scored twice in 24 games for the Shrimpers last term but did not feature in the first team during pre-season. The 29-year-old has also not been allocated a squad number."

Wrexham "confirm the signing of midfielder James Jones for an undisclosed fee from League One Lincoln City.

The former Scotland Under-21 international midfielder, 25, has penned a three-year deal at the Racecourse Ground.

Having come through Crewe Alexandra’s academy, before going on to make 185 league appearances for the Club, he spent last season with Lincoln City before his switch to the Racecourse Ground...

He said... 'It was something which really appealed to me and I’m looking forward to getting started now. The ambition of the Club attracted me...

'Stepping down to the National League was something I had to consider, but because of the ambition of the Club, and the project, and the manager and chairmen’s plans going forward, it’s an exciting prospect to be part of, trying to get into the Football League and beyond'...

He made 45 appearances in all competitions for Lincoln last season, after turning down a new deal at Crewe, and scored three goals".

The Grimsby Telegraph says that "All being well, Grimsby Town will get their National League campaign underway later than planned this weekend.

Having had their original opening fixture against Bromley postponed following a Covid outbreak among the squad, the Mariners are scheduled to get back to action at home to Weymouth on Saturday...

Grimsby Town writer James Findlater has selected his side to kick-off at Blundell Park...

Goalkeeper: Just a couple of weeks ago, this would have been a straightforward decision with James McKeown the obvious choice to start.

But with Max Crocombe having... played the last couple of friendlies, Hurst has a little more thinking to do now. The New Zealander looks to be a little more comfortable with the ball at his feet, but did look a bit rusty under the high ball against Boston, so may need to do some more work.

Defenders: Hurst will have to decide just how he plans on lining up with his side, and whether he elects to go with five at the back as he experimented with in the last couple of friendlies.

For now, we’ll stick to the usual back four, and one spot that looks to be sewn up is at right-back with Michee Efete...

At the heart of the defence, it looks to be any two of Shaun Pearson, David Long-King and Luke Waterfall... Left-back is arguably the toughest decision – Seb Revan has shown a clean pair of heels since coming in... although Adam Crookes hasn’t really done too much wrong either...

Midfielders: We’re sticking with the three in midfield, although there is scope for Hurst to go with more of a diamond system.... Ben Fox, Giles Coke and Harry Clifton were as good as selected, so long as they stayed fit.

Well, unfortunately Clifton didn’t quite manage that... Alex Hunt’s arrival has also thrown a cat among the pigeons...

Forwards... John McAtee has to be in the side, and assuming Lenell John-Lewis, Ryan Taylor and Joel Grant don’t recover in time, you’d imagine he’ll be playing at the centre of a front three.

Erico Sousa looks a good bet to start on one of the wings, while Will Bapaga looks to have taken the lead in the race for the final spot".

Kent Online reports that "Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler... has completed building his new-look Dover squad but hasn't ruled out more loan signings.

Whites signed former Macclesfield and Kidderminster midfielder Koby Arthur, who featured in pre-season matches against Tonbridge and Watford under-23s.

It completes Dover's new-look squad with Hessenthaler bringing in more than a dozen new faces to Crabble.

Keeper Adam Parkes (Watford), midfielder Henry Woods (Gillingham) and forward Aaron Cosgrave (AFC Wimbledon) are already on loan but Hessenthaler hasn't ruled out delving into that market again... 'I keep saying about another central midfield player and that could be the case but I've got three really good young ones in there... and then we've got experience behind them and up front.'

On his latest recruit, Hessenthaler added 'We had Koby in the original trial game and to be fair his CV only came in last minute and we didn't realise where he'd come from and the experience he had at that time.''

'He had to miss some pre-season but it was always the plan that he'd come back once he was able to, and he played a couple of games and trained with us.

'We've got wide players but he can play both sides and also as a number 10 or even a fake nine as they call it nowadays, and he's good for us in terms of his experience'...

The squad were back out of isolation at the weekend and back on the training ground ahead of the weekend trip to Maidenhead".

24 August 2021


Altrincham FC "are planning to run a coach to the Bank Holiday Monday fixture at FC Halifax Town...

Please can you let us know by Noon on Wednesday August 25th if you are planning to travel to West Yorkshire next Monday. ...

Details of how to book will be announced on Wednesday afternoon."


The Eastern Daily Press, report that "Three men were arrested during and after King's Lynn's match against Southend United...

The arrests took place during and after the game, which saw the Linnets defeated 1-0 in their season opener...

Police were first called into action at around 4.20pm, when a man allegedly became abusive after being refused entry to the bar at The Walks. He was arrested at the ground on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly, and for being drunk inside a designated sports ground.

Jeremy Wilson, of River Lane, King's Lynn, was... later charged with the offences...

A second man, aged 54, was also arrested in the ground after allegedly being involved in anti-social behaviour at around 4.25pm.

Adrian Coates of Oldwyk in Basildon, Essex, was later charged with being drunk inside a designated sports ground... A third man, aged 57, was subsequently arrested at around 5.30pm on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly after he allegedly shouted at a police dog and was abusive to officers."

Barnet's chairman writes that "The Club experienced a number of challenges in the run up to Saturday’s game and we are aware that service fell well short of expectations, both on and off the field.

We have had some complaints and it’s right that you should pick us up on any failings, for which we can only apologise...

Monday – After weeks of chasing, our new team kit finally arrived, only for us to discover that the manufacturer had not put the Club badges on the garments and the sponsor logo on the front of the shirt was too small. This was particularly disappointing because we wanted supporters to be able to purchase the new strip, ahead of our opening match of the season. The immediate priority though was to get the playing kit ready and appease our sponsors.

Tuesday – At our usual Tuesday pre-match briefing, it was apparent that our biggest challenge was going to be staffing levels and a particular concern was the stewarding numbers for the game...

Wednesday – Efforts to get staff to badge the shirts proved fruitless so we took the decision to shut the Club Shop but still go ahead with the kit launch. We are still trying to resolve the kit problem but hope to have the shop open again from Monday.

Given the impacts on footfall due to Covid restrictions for most of the past year, our caterers were unfortunately unable to continue but we did manage to find a new company to run the Tea Huts, although this was their first matchday experience and it will be a learning curve for them. After weeks of searching, we had finally found a new chef for The Hive Bar and for hospitality, so we were hoping, at least, that this area had now been resolved.

Our media team now consisted of only one new staff member who was also helping with ticketing, so despite efforts, we were unable to arrange any commentary for the match and decided to cancel this...

Thursday – Our usual beer delivery didn’t arrive and then the bombshell dropped, Heineken are on strike! Our supporters can forgive most things, but NO beer is a big, big problem. I spoke with their legal department who said they would allow us to purchase products elsewhere, but it would have to be a Heineken Brand so we rang around trying to get some beer, but most pubs were not selling stock as they were in a similar position to us.

In the meantime, I was personally in discussions with the National League as we had still not received any match balls, bench kit or shirt numbers from New Balance, who themselves had all sorts of supply issues. We started to badge and number the team kit with what we had available and dispatched someone to Hemel Hempstead FC to get some extra transfers they had in stock...

We finally got the team kit badged and ready to go. We also dusted off last season’s bench wear as it was clear New Balance were not going to send the allocation in time. We also managed to locate 2,000 cans of Fosters, so immediately dispatched someone to load these into a van and get them back and into a cold store overnight, for use in Legends and the Away Bars.

Unfortunately, the new chef was not up to standard, so we decided to close The Hive Bar and notify Notts County that we were unable to provide our usual hospitality. They were very understanding and interestingly told us they had similar problems, with 85% of their staff having not returned to work for this season...

The biggest concern at this point was stewarding, so we arranged as many staff as we could from two different sources to ensure our Safety Officer was comfortable. Preparing for the worst, I called the Chairman of the National League to explain the problems and ask what the likely penalties were if the Club was unable to stage the game...

This note is intended to communicate effectively to all supporters and is for transparency and not an excuse or to pass blame.... On the day, we had Stewards and Staff that failed to turn up, system IT failures, player injuries and some very angry people to deal with. However, despite all of this, we got the match on as best we could expect given the circumstances. The team result was poor as was our service in certain areas but all in all, everyone went home safely".

At Stockport County "but over 5,000 fans packing Edgeley Park were ultimately left disappointed following a home reverse against Dagenham & Redbridge.

John Rooney put County ahead early on, before the ‘Daggers’ levelled shortly ahead of half-time and struck twice again in quick succession after the interval to earn a first-ever triumph over the Hatters and inflict upon them a third opening-day defeat running...

Three of the Hatters’ close-season acquisitions, Ben Barclay, Will Fish and Ben Whitfield, were handed their competitive debuts, although striker Scott Quigley missed out on his with a minor hamstring injury.

Team (3-4-1-2): Hinchliffe; Fish (Newby, 76), Hogan (Capt.), Barclay; Southam-Hales, Croasdale, Collar (Reid, 59), Walker (Rydel, 59); Rooney; Whitfield, Madden. Unused Subs: Palmer, Ross."

23 August 2021


The next game for Altrincham is on Bank Holiday Monday when they meet FC Halifax town at The Shay. Halifax lost their opening game, also at home against a part-time side, when a late goal by Maidenhead United clinched the three points.

Before the game, the Shaymen have a fixture at Woking on Saturday next, when Alty sit out the day owing to the uneven number of clubs in the league.


The Southend Echo tells us that "Steve Arnold shone for Southend United at King’s Lynn – despite enduring a difficult pre-season.

The 31 year-old shot-stopper impressed between the sticks as Blues kicked off the National League season with a 1-0 win at King’s Lynn.

And Shrimpers boss Phil Brown heaped praise on Arnold after revealing just how difficult the past few weeks had been for the summer signing.

'Our goalkeeper has had 21 days off with Covid and deserves a special word,' said Brown. 'He’s had two spells of it and his wife gave birth this week too. He’s got another young child who has had Covid but he put all that on the backburner with that performance today.

'He deserved that clean sheet more than anyone.'

Arnold was only able to play 90 minutes in the Shrimpers warm-up matches but performed well on his competitive debut".

In the Derbyshire Times "Chesterfield boss James Rowe hailed new signing Kabongo Tshimanga as ‘lethal’ after scoring on his debut in a 2-0 win at Aldershot Town...

Both goals came in the final 20 minutes as the Blues began the new campaign with a deserved victory.

Rowe told the DT... 'You can see he provides something different to the team, he is that focal point in terms of his runs, his movement and when he is in there he is lethal, which he has shown today'...

Chesterfield were not as fluent or as dominant as they would have liked in the first-half but they stepped it up after the break... 'It was a game of two halves but I knew it would be because of the emotion of the crowd being back in and we had to manage that and we did really well...

'In the first-half we wanted to turn them around and we did. We could have done more with the ball. Our decision-making was not great but we defended the 18-yard box well. In the second-half we wanted to open up the pitch, get our counter press right and we knew the goals would come.

'We won the game with two different performances within the game'.

Curtis Weston got the nod over Saidou Khan in midfield and Rowe explained it was due to his experience and because they were away from home".

Boreham Wood "started the Vanarama National League season in style with a dominant 2-0 victory in Dorset against Weymouth.

Luke Garrard handed debuts to summer signings Will Evans, Jacob Mendy Mendy, Josh Rees and Scott Boden...

On nine minutes Boreham Wood took the lead and what a goal it was. Kane Smith struck a shot from outside the penalty area...

Weymouth came out of their shell and started to put a few passes together... It wasn’t until the thirty third minute that the home side had a shot on target... thirty-nine minutes in, Josh Rees had a good chance but... a minute later Boreham Wood doubled their lead through Marsh when the Wood No 10, delightfully chipped Fitzsimons in the Terras' goal...

It was an impressive performance from Luke Garard’s men and they certainly got the result their performance deserved. Scott Boden... was immense today when it really mattered... Weymouth couldn’t live with his centre forward play and he was a great focal point in attack, creating space and opportunities for his team mates...

Weymouth: Fitzsimons, Cordner, Goodship, Mussa (Rose 59), McQuid (Bearwish 72), Ash, Robinson, Brooks, Harfield, Olomowewe, Shields. Subs: Morgan, Leslie-Smith, Murray.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Ilesamni, Evans, Fyfield, Mendy Mendy, K.Smith, Ricketts, Rees (C.Smith 79), Mafuta, Boden, Marsh. Subs: Green, Stephens, Raymond, Munns".

At King's Lynn Town, "An 8th minute Sam Dalby goal was the difference as Southend took the three points...

Lynn started with seven of their new signings, only Kyle Callan-McFadden, Tyler Denton, Ross Barrows and Michael Clunan from last season named in the side. Cameron King was ruled out through injury.

Both sides traded early corners but it was the hosts who took an early lead. A Rhys Murphy touch inside the penalty area fell for Sam Dalby to finish past Paul Jones from close range.

The visitors were having the better of the half with efforts going wide... Lynn grew into the game...

Southend started the second half well with Murphy twice being denied by Jones... A change just after the hour saw Lynn change their formation with Malachi Linton replacing Luis Fernandez.

Lynn forced a number of corners around the 70th minute... Lynn suffered a blow on 83 minutes when Morias was red carded. The Lynn striker giving the ref little choice after stamping on a Southend player... Lynn came close in time added on with a Barrows header hitting the bar...

A brave effort from Lynn who more than matched their opponents for a lot of the game... With a little more luck they hosts could have picked up a point but were thankful to an excellent display from Paul Jones who kept them in the game.

Lynn: Jones, Fernandez (Linton 62), McFadden, Bird, Barrows, Clunan (Sundire 77), Coleman, Rowley (Gyasi 72), Denton, Morias, Omotayo. Subs not used: Gascoigne, Bowry

Southend: Arnold, Ralph, Ogogo, Coulson, Bridge (Hobson 80), Murphy (Dennis 80), Dalby, Ferguson, Phillips, Demetriou, White. Subs not used: Seaden, Ebro Kargbo".

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall hailed a devastating performance as the Magpies began the season with a 5-0 thrashing of Barnet.

The Magpies were goalless at the break despite having dominated from the first whistle... But Notts turned on the style in front of more than 1,000 travelling supporters in the second half with Rodrigues opening the scoring with a brilliant header.

He then grabbed his second from a set-piece routine before Callum Roberts scored from the spot which saw Josh Doherty given a red card for a foul on the former Newcastle winger.

Kyle Wootton and substitute Jim O'Brien then wrapped up the scoring in what was a thumping victory.

Head coach Burchnall said 'I am absolutely thrilled. I don't think you can pick the performance apart at all. We were outstanding from start to finish...

'As first days go... then that's exactly how you would want from the first performance of the season.'

Burchnall said the glut of goals in the second half stemmed from a half-time team talk...

'We had to increase the intensity of our attacking play when we get into the final third be brave, be more dynamic, make more runs... We stepped up the tempo and that's why we created a lot of chances from the first minute of the second half.'"

According to the Halifax Courier, "A late sucker-punch saw FC Halifax Town lose 2-1 at home to Maidenhead United...

Billy Waters marked his debut with a first-half goal, which was cancelled out after the interval by Sam Barratt.

A highly encouraging first 45 by The Shaymen preceded a more even second-half, which ended with substitute Kane Ferdinand curling home the winner.

There were debuts for Town's front four of Waters, Matty Warburton, Jordan Slew and Harvey Gilmour, and a first start for Jay Benn... There wasn't a hint of a long ball as Town settled quickly into the game... The Shaymen tried to play into feet, building attacks from the back and moving the ball quickly between their front four...

Benn was played down the right by Warburton's excellent pass, and the full-back's low cross was turned in at the far post by the unmarked Waters. It was a well worked goal that epitomised how Town had been attempting to play.

Halifax were now firmly in control of the game... The visitors weren't getting Barratt into the game enough, and looked fairly toothless in attack...

It was perhaps only a matter of time, but referee Paul Marsden, who sent Pete Wild off last season in an ill-tempered game against Wealdstone, started to take centre stage after the restart, as Will De Haviland clattered into Waters on halfway, with Town wanting him booked...

Town couldn't get into quite the same rhythm as before half-time, with the contest now more even, and The Shaymen look a little vulnerable at the back...

Maidenhead were back level when Barratt lashed home at the third time of asking after Johnson had kept out two efforts in a goalmouth scramble...

It was end-to-end stuff as the game entered the final ten minutes... Halifax were then punished for more sloppiness when Summerfield, in an otherwise faultless display, was caught in possession, he would argue fouled, and after the first shot was blocked, the second was curled beautifully into the top corner by sub Ferdinand on his debut.

Halifax: Johnson, Benn, Maher, Bradbury, Senior, Summerfield, Woods, Warburton (Green 75), Gilmour (McDonagh 75), Slew (Allen 62), Waters. Subs not used: Debrah, Tear.

Maidenhead: Holden, Sheckleford, Massey, De Havilland, Clerima, Wells, Adams, Senga (Ferdinand 63), Barratt, Kelly (Acquah 75), Blissett (Smith 84). Subs not used: Parry, Asonganyi".

FC Halifax Town report that "Following... defeat against Maidenhead, Manager Pete Wild spoke...

'It was decided in both boxes,' Wild said. 'We have... got a really good identity in how we want to play this year. But we haven’t been ruthless enough in their box. They have had four or five good chances... but then there is nothing we can do about the goals. We do have to be better in both boxes'...

'We have created chance after chance today and not taken them which is highly frustrating for me.'

A defensive error allowed Maidenhead to get the final goal of the game to take all three points home with them.

'We are going to play that way,' Wild said. 'People will be saying he needs to sling it there. We don’t train all week to sling it, so we were never going to sling it. It was a mistake. They do happen in football, but we just need to move on and improve'"

Gloucestershire Live reports that "Ambitious National League club Wrexham are trying to sign Cheltenham Town captain Ben Tozer...

Tozer, who is based in Daventry, Northamptonshire has one year left to run on his contract with the League One Robins.

He was brought in by Gary Johnson in the summer of 2018, turning down the offer of a new contract at Newport County AFC and agreeing a two-year deal at Whaddon Road.

Initially used in the centre of midfield... it was not until Johnson's successor Michael Duff moved him to the middle of a three-man backline that he began to show his quality in a Cheltenham shirt...

As well as his calmness and authority at the back, Tozer is also well-known for his long throw-in ability."

22 August 2021


Altrincham got off to a winning start in Devon, thanks to goals from Marcus Dinanga (right), Connor Kirby and Toby Mullarkey

Match report here.

After the match, press and media officer Brian Flynn interviewed manager Phil Parkinson for the Altrincham FC official website.


A less than charitable report comes from Devon Live which reports that "After all the excitement in the run-up to Torquay United's first game of the National League season, no one really expected a defeat on day one; but Altrincham were gifted two goals and scored an excellent third as the Gulls opened their campaign in disappointing fashion.

It's not that 3-1 winners Altrincham were the better team, Torquay were far superior in many ways, just not in front of goal where the visitors put their bodies on the line especially at the end.

Even when Torquay did score, the goal came from the boot of an Altrincham player...

Holman's first shot came in just 14 seconds... After that, there was some good football from Torquay but few chances...

In Altrincham's first real attack, Moxey stood off Dan Mooney [?Joel Senior] and allowed the player to cross the ball into the box. Marcus Dinanga, in space, controlled the ball with his first touch and placed it past Halstead with his second.

It was 2-0 in the 19th minute, O'Connell allowing Joel Senior to steal the ball from him on the byline, and pass it to the unmarked Connor Kirby in front of goal, who slotted it past Halstead.

Two mistakes, both punished... Torquay continued to turn the screws.

Three minutes were added on to the first 45 minutes, scant compensation for the time wasted in the first half by the visitors.

Torquay started the second half just as determined as they had finished the first... The game was getting fractious now - Wright and Holman were booked following a foul by Wright and Holman's reaction, a push in a tussle, to Jake Moult's Oscar-worthy overacting...

It was all Torquay but with no end result.

Little waited to take a deep free kick. Eventually he crossed the ball into the danger area where boots flew and the ball ended up in the roof of the net from Moult's.

Halstead made a crucial save with his feet from Tom Peers' close-range strike but it was mainly Torquay threatening the Altrincham goal, and Altrincham holding on.

Klaidi Lolos came on for Rogers with 10 minutes to go but within a minute the ball had fallen to Toby Mullarkey on the edge of the area as Wright tried to clear the danger and the Altrincham player hit the ball with power and it was still rising when it hit the back of the net."


It was a curious afternoon in the National League as not one of the home clubs won.

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "The Mariners [Grimsby Town] will of course have to wait until next weekend after having their curtain-raiser against Bromley postponed, but seeing the opening results roll in would have made for interesting viewing for them.

Notts County couldn’t have made a better start to their bid for promotion. The Magpies thrashed Barnet 5-0 away from home, with the visitors running riot in the second half after a goalless opening 45 minutes.

Ruben Rodrigues’s double after the break set them on their way before the hosts were reduced to 10 men, with Josh Doherty seeing red as he conceded a penalty by bringing down Callum Roberts.

The forward picked himself up to put away the spot-kick, before Kyle Wootton added a fourth with 10 minutes to go, with Jim O’Brien rubbing salt into the wounds for Harry Kewell against his former side in stoppage time.

Chesterfield were made to work for their opening day 2-0 victory at Aldershot... The Spireites eventually got their noses in front when Danny Rowe converted from the penalty spot after a foul on [ex-Alty man] Jeff King.

And they wrapped up their victory when Kabongo Tshimanga marked his debut with a goal...

Elsewhere, Southend United got their campaign underway with a 1-0 win at King’s Lynn Town, with Sam Dalby striking after just nine minutes, with Junior Morias seeing red late on as the hosts chased an equaliser...

It wasn’t quite the ideal start for Wrexham at Solihull Moors. Having fallen behind to a Joe Sbarra goal, the Dragons got themselves level as marquee signing Paul Mullin scored from the spot, before David Jones’s goal on the half-hour looked to be enough to earn them all three points on their travels.

Solihull had other ideas though as Sbarra struck again deep into stoppage time to deny Wrexham...

Stockport and Torquay were right in the hunt for the title last season... Things started poorly for the two sides though as they both fell to 3-1 defeats at home.

Stockport made the ideal start at home to Dagenham & Redbridge as they went ahead thanks to John Rooney after nine minutes, but goals from Will Wright, Josh Walker and Matt Robinson saw the visitors upset the odds.

Torquay couldn’t have made a worse start to their season as they fell 2-0 down within the opening 20 minutes against Altrincham, with goals from Marcus Dinanga and Connor Kirby.

A Tom Hannigan [perhaps Jake Moult] own goal gave the Gulls hope they could rescue a point, but Toby Mullarkey’s goal six minutes from time saw Altrincham return from their long trek south with all three points.

Paul Hurst will have been keeping a close eye on Weymouth as they hosted Boreham Wood in their opener, with the Mariners set to finally get their season underway against the Terras next weekend.

And their opponents will head to Blundell Park looking for their first points and goals after falling to a 2-0 defeat, with first half goals from Kane Smith and Tyrone Marsh...

Elsewhere, there was drama at HalifSax as Kane Ferdinand scored a 90th minute winner to claim a 2-1 win for Maidenhead United, while Max Kretzschmar’s double helped Woking to a 2-1 victory at Wealdstone".


The dates for this season's Cheshire Senior Cup ties have been announced and they are as follows:
  • 1st Round, by week ending 6 November 2021, week commencing 1 November 2021.
  • 2nd Round, by week ending 8 January 2022, week commencing 3 January 2022
  • 3rd Round, by week ending 5 February 2022, week commencing 31 January 2022
  • Semi-Final, by week ending 5 March 2022, week commencing 28 February 2022
  • Final, April / May 2022

Right: Altrincham captain Robbie Lawton lifts the CSC trophy after Alty had beaten Nantwich Town 3-0 in the 2009 final at Witton Albion. Phil Parkinson was in the losing side that day.

First Round draw:

  • Congleton Town vs Stalybridge Celtic
  • Cammell Laird vs Stockport Town
  • Crewe Alexandra vs Sandbach United
  • Northwich Victoria vs Tranmere Rovers
  • Runcorn Linnets vs Cheadle Town
  • Chester vs Stockport County
  • Witton Albion vs Winsford United
  • Macclesfield vs Cheadle Heath Nomads
  • Vauxhall Motors vs Runcorn Town
  • Byes: 1874 Northwich, Alsager Town, Altrincham, Barnton, Hyde United, Nantwich Town and Warrington Town


In the Southend Echo "expert Adam Virgo feels Southend United will be seen as a big scalp for several sides this season...

'Southend will be everyone’s cup final and so will Grimsby who came down with them,' said Virgo... 'They’re coming down as a big scalp and I think they are going to find it really hard to find their feet and go again. People automatically think the relegated sides will be challenging for promotion but I think it’s happened twice in 12 years...

'I don’t see there being a massive difference between the National League and League Two,' said the 38-year-old. 'When I looked at the National League last year from the champions down to seventh place and then did the same in League Two it was probably only Bolton and Tranmere that were bigger clubs. In the National League you had Notts County, Torquay, Stockport, Hartlepool, big, big sides...

'People will look it at like the Conference with part time sides but it’s not like that now... You have teams like Altrincham who play on the front foot without fear who are really hard to play,' said Virgo.

'The games against your Notts Countys and teams like that look after themselves really but it’s the so called smaller sides that are even tougher. Last season Southend were used to losing week in week out and having bad news week in week out and all of a sudden they’ve got to turn that full circle.

'It’s a big ask and I think that’s why Phil (Brown) has signed experienced players in key areas because you need that at this level.'

One of the new faces at Roots Hall is Rhys Murphy... 'He’s a fantastic finisher and he’s very good at this level,' said Virgo... 'I thought it was an excellent signing... In terms of 18-yard finishers I would say he’s in the top two or three in the league...

'I’ve been doing this eight years and only once have I correctly predicted the winner of the league and that was Leyton Orient,' said Virgo... 'But, as of today [before kick-off] I would say Chesterfield have the best squad... but you obviously can’t write off Wrexham because they’ve got the backing there'".

The Halifax Courier reports that "John Williams aims to ensure FC Halifax Town’s performance off the pitch reflects the passion and commitment of the club’s fans, writes Deputy Business Editor Greg Wright...

Over recent decades, the club’s diehard fans have learned to take setbacks in their stride. A football league side from 1921 to 1993 and 1998 to 2002, their team was reborn as FC Halifax Town in 2008, after the original club faced insurmountable debts.

In his previous role, Mr Williams was part of a commercial team at Huddersfield Town... Mr Williams, who took on his new role over the summer, said 'I really wanted the challenge of working for a club that wants to get back into the Football League. I wanted to be part of that journey... We want to bring stability and confidence to the club after a period when no fans have been in the ground.

'During this period partners continued to back us... These are fantastic businesses and I want them to become part of the fabric of the club... I want Halifax Town to become a business hub for the community,' he said...

'This town is itching for the return of league football. You just have to see what it has done for Harrogate Town and Salford City. Promotion can make a difference to a whole community'...

The Shay has new dugouts and the commercial team will have new suits provided by a commercial partner. 'It shows we mean business', said Mr Williams. 'The first image that people see when they walk through the door is so important...

'On the field, we want to get promoted to the football league and off it I want to build a commercial department that achieves our objective of becoming a business hub for the community'">

Before Saturday's games, the Derbyshire Times reports that Chesterfield boss James Rowe says it is ‘scandalous’ and ‘dangerous’ that National League clubs can only name five substitutions again this season.

Many clubs, including Chesterfield, wanted to name seven players on the bench, just like the EFL, this campaign. The proposal apparently had the backing of the majority of managers in the division but, according to Notts County boss Ian Burchnall, some clubs’ owners took it upon themselves to vote against it.

Rowe, who is one of the managers in the league who chooses not to name a goalkeeper on the bench because of the restrictions, has consistently called for seven subs.

He told the DT 'I am really disappointed with the vote. I think it is thinking backwards, standing still, and we don’t want the game in the upper echelons of the pyramid to get away from us. We have got so much to be proud of at this level but you have to evolve... We are standing still, I think that is a dangerous way for the league to operate... More selection off the bench makes for a more entertaining game.'

When asked if he knew why other clubs had voted against it, he added 'No, it is their own, private reasons. You speak to people but that is hearsay. Why the owners voted the way they did, or whoever voted on the clubs’ behalf, who knows, but... it is a scandalous vote.'

Rowe opted not to name a goalkeeper on the bench in the play-off defeat to Notts County last season, and it came back to bite them unfortunately. So will he do the same this season?

'It puts managers such as myself in a difficult situation but we will see how we go,' he added... 'In the other play-off games managers did not put a goalkeeper on the bench either, it was just unfortunate what happened at Notts County in the end'".

21 August 2021


Altrincham named just two debutants in their starting eleven at Plainmoor, left back David Fitzpatrick and striker Marcus Dinanga. Matty Kosylo is injured and did not travel.

Against the overall run of play Alty took a 14th minute lead. Joel Senior did well to gain possession and his cross from the right found Dinanga who took a touch before slotting the ball home side-footed.

A bad error by veteran defender Dean Moxey then allowed Senior to get the ball and feed Connor Kirby who scored from 12 yards to make it 0-2 (20 mins)...

Match report here.


Several games have had to be postponed because of Covid outbreaks at Grimsby, Dover and Yeovil. Solihull Moors and Wrexham have hastily rearranged their schedules so that they play each other on Saturday as their planned opponents were to be Dover and Yeovil Town.

Saturday, 21 August

  • Aldershot Town 0-2 Chesterfield
  • Barnet 0-5 Notts County
  • Bromley P-P Grimsby Town (Covid at Grimsby)
  • Dover Athletic P-P Solihull Moors (Covid at Dover)
  • FC Halifax Town 1-2 Maidenhead United
  • King's Lynn Town 0-1 Southend United
  • Solihull Moors 2-2 Wrexham (rearranged fixture)
  • Stockport County 1-3 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Torquay United 1-3 Altrincham
  • Wealdstone 1-2 Woking
  • Weymouth 0-2 Boreham Wood
  • Wrexham P-P Yeovil Town (Covid at Yeovil)


Altrincham start the 2021-22 season where they left off last season with a match against Torquay United. Last season's final match of the season was a damp squib of a goalless draw, with the visitors from Devon that day already assured of a play-off place whilst Alty were unable to improve on their pre-match league position, even had they won.

Last season's visit to Plainmoor resulted in an outstanding 2-1 win for Altrincham in a match behind closed doors, whereas this time around spectators will be admitted.

Altrincham travel to Devon with five defenders and a goalkeeper having been sidelined with injuries, as things stood last weekend (Densmore, Digie, Hampson, White, Sutton and Gould). Consequently it will be very surprising if the defence does not comprise Thompson, Senior, Mullarkey, Hannigan and Fitzpatrick. Starting roles are a little more fluid in midfield and the forward line.

Since last season Altrincham have signed six players, five of whom are expected to be in the squad at Plainmoor. They are Marcus Dinanga, David Fitzpatrick, Brad Jackson, A-Jay Leitch-Smith and Ben Pringle, whilst sixth signing Kennedy Digie may miss the game through injury. In addition James Berry joined the club but has gone out on loan at Ramsbottom United.


In advance of Saturday's game, Torquay United reports that "Altrincham make the long trip south to take on Gary Johnson’s men at Plainmoor.

Having taken four points off The Gulls last season, the men in yellow will be even more determined to get the new season off to a flyer tomorrow, as Torquay look to follow up last term's agonising promotion near-miss with securing EFL football in nine months' time...

Player to Watch: Attacking midfielder Josh Hancock [right] reunited with his former Nantwich boss Parkinson at Altrincham in summer 2017. Upon his arrival he scored four goals in the Robins’ first six games and has gone on to tally over 150 appearances for the Greater Manchester side.

During his time at Moss Lane the 30 year-old has scored 71 goals to date, including 12 last season...

Parkinson’s side finished 17th in the National League last season. Across the 2020/21 campaign Altrincham won 12, drew 11 and lost 19...

The two sides last met on the final day of the regular season in a goalless encounter in May 2021. For Altrincham they finished the season as they had started it, drawing 0-0. United piled on the pressure after ten minutes and in the second half it was Kyle Cameron came closest to breaking the deadlock after he had a header cleared off the line by Jake Moult".

And Devon Live addas that "New Torquay United striker Dan Holman says the only pressure to perform in the new National League season will come from the team itself. Holman, 31, scored five goals in pre-season after getting back together with his former Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson, with whom he won promotion to the Football League in the 2015-16 season.

Teammate Danny Wright was part of that team too, with Holman joining the title winners in the January of 2016 and scoring 16 goals in the run-in. Together, Holman and Wright scored 38 goals that season...

The season starts today with the visit of Altrincham and it is likely that Johnson will opt to start with Holman and Wright up front. Holman, a strength and conditioning coach, who has been playing part-time in recent years, said..'You put pressure on yourself but it is exciting to go and do it and that comes through every day in training; everything you do, and the way you live your life, is to try and, on a Saturday, score the goals'...

Johnson has 12 new players in his 22-man squad with lots of options in either a 4-4-2 formation or a 4-3-3. Which one he starts the season with remains to be seen.


Altrincham FC has announced the death of "John Brennan, lifelong Alty fan and volunteer from the Jack Swindells era...

He was a diehard fan as well as volunteer, and, from the day he started following the Robins as a young boy to the time ill-health began taking a hold, he rarely missed a game", writes John Edwards, press and media officer...

John sadly passed away on August 7th, just three days after his 76th birthday... John leaves a wife Karen, four daughters Jane, Dawn, Clare and Rachel and four grandchildren Adam, Georgia, Leah and Eve. The club would like to send their deepest sympathy and condolences to all John's family and friends at this difficult time".


Get Surrey informs us that "Woking's exciting new era as a full-time club kicks off at Wealdstone on Saturday, with boss Alan Dowson enthusing, 'It’s the best squad with the best players I’ve ever managed'.

The 51 year-old is proud to lead the club into a new campaign with the backing of new owner John Katz and a 25-man playing staff packed with quality, one he believes, 'could break into the top 10'.

The Cards could not have wished for a better start coming up against a club who the bookies rate as 22nd out of the 23 clubs, while Woking are 15th at 66/1...

'It’s been great the last few weeks,' he said. 'The lads have been spot on, the club’s been spot on, there is a good feeling at the club at the minute.'

Winger Jordan Maguire-Drew is the latest to join the Cards... Said Dowson... 'If we need a game-changer, he certainly comes into that bracket and he’s a really good player. It has been a perfect end to this pre-season as we’ve got everybody back fit where last year we had niggles. The hardest bit is to pick a team to win the game on Saturday...

'I don’t know how far they are going to take us, but it will be better than last season that’s for sure'...

Scoring goals was a problem last season but Inih Effiong has George Oakley and Tahvon Campbell pushing him hard for a start at Wealdstone while the likes of Tyreke Johnson, Jamar Loza and Maguire-Drew, who has experience with Leyton Orient and Crawley Town after starting at Brighton & Hove Albion, are among those who provide plenty of attacking options... 'Someone is going to miss out if we play one up front or we could play 3-5-2.

'Everywhere you go in the team there’s battles. At the back, Moussa Diarra, Joe McNerney and Tom Champion; one of them is going to miss out so it’s a tough decision on Saturday. You wouldn’t swap it as a manager though, when last season we had to beg, borrow and steal. It’s a hell of a difference but it makes you a better manager because you’ve got to make decisions.'

He added, 'It started last March where I didn’t take the £100,000 to bring in players because I wanted to get the training ground right, the food right, get everything right around the club, and I believe it is now. So it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, turning down the money. So we’ve used it to pile into this season.'

Josh Casey will remain captain of the team with Dowson describing him as 'sensational' in pre-season... 'Leaving players out is not nice. It’s tough because of how well they’ve been doing as they’ve trained their socks off and adapted to everything we’ve done in pre-season, like scoring goals against Chelsea and beating AFC Wimbledon. As time goes on and you lose games it becomes easier because when you lose games the team often changes'.

On full-time and where Woking might finish he added 'You see the players every day instead of once a week or some just on a matchday. It’s a hell of a difference. I think the owner [Katz] and Rosemary [Johnson, chairman] want us to break into the top 12. I think we can break into the top 10. But we are up against a lot of big clubs, some of whom are paying £250,000 for players, like Chesterfield, and Stockport.

'It’s a hell of a league to play in with Grimsby and Southend coming down. I’m not daft enough to say we’ll do this and that but if we can have a crack at the top 10 I’ll be delighted.'

Woking squad:

  • Goalkeepers; Callum Backhurst, Craig Ross, Mark Smith.
  • Defenders; Josh Casey (c), Moussa Diarra, Leo Hamblin, Kyran Lofthouse, Joe McNerney, Jake Rumble.
  • Midfielders; Tommy Block, Tom Champion, Louis Evans, Rohan Ince, Max Kretzschmar, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Solomon Nwabuokei, Jack Skinner, Kane Thompson-Sommers.
  • Forwards; Tahvon Campbell, Inih Effiong, Sam Evans, Tyreke Johnson, Jamar Loza, George Oakley, Selim Saied,

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield striker Tom Denton set to be out for a ‘long’ time following a second knee operation.

The forward had an operation on his knee in January and missed the remainder of last season, and unfortunately he injured his other knee during pre-season after making his return.

The 32-year-old went under the knife on Monday. 'It is similar to his other knee so that is a long lay-off for him again,' manager James Rowe said on Friday...

However, there is some positive news on Akwasi Asante, who has been out since April after rupturing his ACL...

Rowe said... 'He is slightly ahead of where he should be, which is really good... He is on track to be back at the back end of this year and the start of next year.'

Another long-term absentee, Haydn Hollis, who ruptured his Achilles in April, might need to go out on loan when he returns, said Rowe... We are looking forward to inviting him back into training, probably for full contact, at the start of October... Whether some practice games will be sufficient or a loan but we can only judge that when he comes back into contact and see where he is at'".

According to the Birmingham Mail, "Solihull Moors get their 2021/22 National League campaign underway on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome Wrexham to the Stadium... There are no tickets available on the day of the game.

In a turn of events, the Moors were due to travel to Dover Athletic on opening day, but Covid cases in the home camp put a halt to that. Similarly, Wrexham were due to play Yeovil Town and a Covid event within the Glovers’ squad meant that was unable to go ahead...

Neal Ardley’s first game in charge of Moors will now be against the Dragons, who are owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Wrexham are tipped for big things under their stewardship and with the away end already a sell-out, it proves to be a mouthwatering clash in prospect".

Eastleigh "announce the loan singing of centre-back Christian Maghoma, from SkyBet League One side, Gillingham FC.

The 23 year-old centre half joins the club on loan until January from the Gills, having made twelve appearances in total for the League One side.

Maghoma, a 6ft 2 Congolese international, started his youth career at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2014 and spent four seasons there, including a loan to Yeovil Town in 2015, before departing to join Polish side Arka Gdynia.

After two seasons in Poland, Maghoma returned to the Football League with Gillingham in 2020.

He becomes Ben Strevens’ ninth summer signing...

'He’s another defensive option that we need... He’s got all the attributes to do well in the National League' said Strevens.

The centre-back will be available for selection straight away for the Spitfires’ pre-season friendly against Brentford B on Friday, 20th August".

Footnote: Eastleigh are the team without a fixture today in the 23-club National League.

The Southend Echo reports that "Southend United will be entering the unknown when they head to King’s Lynn for the first time ever tomorrow. The Linnets finished 21st in the National League last season.

And, as King’s Lynn fan Daniel Noakes explained to Echosport... 'I’d like to hope we could go up, but I’d very much doubt that. At the moment, Gold Omatayo [is our dangerman]. He looked in great form throughout pre-season. He took his chances well...

'The club was formed in 2010 and we played in the United Counties League Premier. After finishing second in both 2010/11 and 2011/12, we picked up promotion and the rise since then has been amazing. The club have played at The Walks since the original team formed in 1879. The main stand was erected in the 1950s...

We have played in the National League before [i.e. last season] but with having crowds in this season, it certainly seems like one of the largest games in our short 11 year history. We had to postpone our last friendly against Heacham because of injuries. I know Junior Morias has picked up a knock, and a couple of other players but it all seems calm sailing ahead of this game on Saturday'".

Meanwhile, King's Lynn Town now "confirm the squad numbers ahead of the 2021/22 National League season.

  • 1. Paul Jones, 2. Luis Fernandez, 3. Tyler Denton, 4. Kyle Callan-McFadden, 5. Pierce Bird, 6. Daniel Bowry, 7. Michael Clunan, 8. Ethan Coleman, 9. Gold Omotayo, 10. Junior Morias, 11. Cameron King, 12. Michael Gyasi, 15. Tai Fleming, 17. Aaron Jones, 18. Munashe Sundire, 22. Ross Barrows, 29. Joe Gascoigne, 39. Joe Rowley

And, in addition, Lynn News adds another name to the squad as it informs us that "King's Lynn Town have boosted their attacking options...

The Linnets have this afternoon [Friday] announced the signing of striker Malachi Linton on a season-long loan from League One side Wycombe Wanderers.

And the 20 year-old could feature in tomorrow's season opener against Southend United... Linton, a former Crewe player, scored 10 goals in 13 appearances for Lowestoft Town before joining Wycombe last December.

He has since had a loan spell with Slough Town and signed a contract extension at Adams Park.

Stockport County "announce the signing of Aston Villa midfielder Arjan Raikhy on a season-long loan deal.

Arjan, 18, is a tall, powerful, ball-carrying midfielder who has impressed during his time in Aston Villa’s academy... Originally a product of West Brom’s academy before making the switch, Arjan made his first-team debut for the Club last January, starting in an FA Cup Third Round tie with the then Premier League champions Liverpool. He has also represented Villa in the EFL Trophy...

First Team Manager Simon Rusk said... 'His attributes are something different to what we have in midfield, he is an exciting young player'".

According to the Halifax Courier "Striker Gerry McDonagh has signed for FC Halifax Town after a successful trial period at the club.

McDonagh, 23, came through the ranks at Nottingham Forest, making his debut as a substitute in a Championship game at home to Cardiff in August 2015.

He spent the first half of the 2016-17 season on loan at Wrexham in the National League, scoring five goals in 22 matches.

In January 2017, he joined League Two side Cambridge on loan and scored once in 13 games.

McDonagh had a spell on loan at Tranmere in the National League during the first half of the 2017-18 season, but failed to score in 10 appearances.

He joined Barnsley on a permanent basis in August 2018, going on loan to Aldershot in the National League in December 2018, but failing to score in 13 games, and leaving the club at the end of the 2018-19 season having joined them permanently in January, In February 2020 he joined Tamworth, and signed for them again for the 2020-21 season.

Meanwhile, Town midfielder Jamie Cooke has joined FC United of Manchester on loan.

20 August 2021


Based on Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years data we see that Altrincham last played on 21 August in 2012 when they travelled to Harrogate Town and came away with their first ever win (2-1) at Harrogate with a hard working performance in a Blue Square Bet North match.

Altrincham had never previously won at Wetherby Road, though the Yorkshire club's work on their old sloping pitch meant that this time, Alty truly were starting on a level playing field! However, torrential rain had fallen earlier and the new pitch had not fully absorbed it, with some parts of the playing area almost saturated.

Harrogate Town had won their first match of the season, at Hinckley, whereas Altrincham had been humbled, 1-4, at home by Brackley Town.

Right: Duncan Watmore is hugged by Gianluca Havern and Carl Rodgers after scoring at Harrogate. In the background, on the Harrogate bench, the sentiments are less happy.

The Robins were wearing their new teal and grey away kit for first time as Duncan Watmore fired them ahead in the fourth minute with a fine shot from 25 yards. Harrogate then applied plenty of pressure, at one stage earning four successive corners. But good defending and a couple of fine saves by Coburn kept them out till half time.

But, within 90 seconds of the restart, the hosts equalised through Chilaka. Despite losing Clee early on with concussion and then Doughty with a bad gash to his ankle, Alty got the winner in the 77th minute when Simon Richman scored smartly after a Damian Reeves shot had been parried.

After their harrowing opening-day defeat at the hands of newly promoted Brackley Town, Altrincham had made changes as James Lawrie and Scott Leather moved to the bench, allowing Gianluca Havern to make his debut and Matt Doughty to make his first competitive appearance following his return to Altrincham over the summer. Nicky Clee reverted to no. 11 as Matt slotted in at left-back.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Shaun DENSMORE (capt), 3. Matt DOUGHTY, 4. Carl RODGERS, 5. Gianluca HAVERN, 6. Danny HALL, 7. Duncan WATMORE 8. Patrick LACEY, 9. Ryan BROOKE, 10. Damian REEVES, 11. Nicky CLEE, Subs: 15. James LAWRIE, 18. Adam REID (gk), 12. Scott LEATHER, 14. Simon RICHMAN, 16. Sam GRIMSHAW.


Alty travel to Torquay to kick off their campaign on Saturday (21 August). Normally at the start of a season in the National League, a club which plays its first fixture away from home on the opening Saturday will have a home match both on the following Tuesday and on the next Saturday.

But 2021 breaks with tradition as Altrincham not only have no midweek game, nor indeed a game on the following Saturday, and when they do take to the field again, ten days later, it will be for another away game, this time at The Shay on 31 August, against FC Halifax Town.

The blanck midweek next week is because the National League has opted to leave the first midweek fallow, so no fixtures at all are scheduled for Tuesday, 24 August.

And when other clubs are playing their second game, on Saturday 28 August, it is Altrincham's turn to have no assigned fixture owing to the uneven number of clubs in the National League this season, following the demise of Macclesfield Town. So, it will not be until Saturday 4 September that Altrincham have their first home game, when Dover Athletic are the scheduled visitors.

On the plus side this sequence of games allows the newly laid pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium more time to bed in than would have been the case otherwise.


Altrincham's opponents on Saturday, Torquay United have produced an "update regarding the livestreaming of matches from Plainmoor...

It is quite clear that despite supporters now being able to return to Plainmoor without restrictions, many fans... would like to see this service continue.

However, the Blocked Hours restriction for the live broadcasting of football matches between 14:45 and 17:15 on Saturdays has been in place for many years in England, and this is permitted by Article 48 of the UEFA Statutes...

With fans unable to attend matches for the majority of last season, it was agreed that the Blocked Hours would be relaxed, however with clubs now able to operate at full capacity once again, this restriction has now been re-introduced.

In addition to this, streaming outside of these Blocked Hours is not currently permitted, due to the National League’s commercial agreement with BT.

The National League has assured all of its member clubs that they are keen to work with BT to identify opportunities that appropriately support the BT brand, as well as that of their other partners, and they remain committed to working on an agreement regarding this".


ALtrincham's second opponents in 2021-22 are FC Halifax Town who have just signed three new players.

The lates to be announced is "20 year-old centre-half Jesse Debrah on a short-term deal.

He started his career with Millwall and has had loan spells with Billericay and Dulwich Hamlet before joining the latter last summer on a permanent deal.

And FC Halifax Town have also announed that they "have signed former Manchester United youngster Tyrell Warren on a short-term deal.

The 22 year-old has also played for Salford, Radcliffe Borough and Boston United.

The third new arrival at FC Halifax Town is "right-back Javid Swaby-Neavin on a short-term deal.

Swaby-Neavin came through the youth team at EFL League side Oldham Athletic and had loan spells with Ashton United and Radcliffe Borough before joining Radcliffe on a permanent deal at the start of last season".

The Halifax Courier adds that "FC Halifax Town assistant manager Chris Millington is confident FC Halifax Town will be better in some key areas this season....

He said 'I think the lads have got a real clear understanding of how we’re approaching the season in terms of playing style... and I think we’ve demonstrated a level of fitness that means we’re ready for the start of the season'.

On the friendly cancellations due to Covid, which saw games against Fylde and a Sheffield United XI called off, Millington said... 'It’s made it difficult to make sure that players have all got their levels of match fitness... but all it’s done is make us work harder at understanding how we get across our messages and how we get our work into the lads...

'What let us down last season was maybe that we lacked a little bit of physical robustness in terms of our ability to see out a full National League season, and with it being shorter, there was more stress on their bodies. I think this year we’ve got more athleticism throughout the squad, I think we’ve got a real good level of technical ability, so I’d say our in possession style will be more attractive, I think we’ll carry more threat going forward and I think we’ll have the ability to press teams much more across the park out of possession...

'But we’ve certainly said goodbye to some good players, who would improve any squad in the National League, so it’s hard to say that we’re better across the board... I think there’s a little bit more strength-in-depth,' he said....

Town began last season with 3-4-1-2 as their preferred formation, but appear to be starting this campaign with a 4-2-3-1 system, which was used towards the end of the previous season...

'We scored a good number of goals for a National League season, but what we look at now is how we can convert more chances,' he said... 'We want to be a possession-based team, we want to have the ability to get into a good, compact shape and press aggressively from that position of strength, so those parts of the identity will stay...

'The effort we put in to helping the players understand what we believe will be successful, I think has a value and that goes over and above sometimes the pounds and pence that others are spending.'"


As well as having to postpone their planned televised match at Bromley on Saturday because they have Covid in their camp, Grimsby have also had to postponed their Bank Holiday Monday to Stockport County. By way of compensation to County the televised match this Saturday is now Stockport's visit to Southend United (k.o. 5.20pm)

In the meantime, the Grimsby Telegraph says that "Grimsby Town chairman Jason Stockwood wants the club to remain committed to being open and listening supporters as the new season approaches... There is plenty of optimism around the Mariners after a summer of changes, which began with Stockwood and Andrew Pettit taking over at Blundell Park.

The club have undergone a number of improvements since, including a concerted effort to keep fans more informed than in previous years... 'We’re committed to putting the work in,' Stockwood told Grimsby Live... 'We’ll be open and honest, and I’ve said this with every business I’ve been in... and act with integrity in all our interactions... And there’ll be passion in there. We care about the town and the club, we think it’s full of potential, it’s somewhat under-realised, and we want to be part of that.'"

Bromley "confirm that forward Courtney Duffus has penned a permanent deal with League One outfit Morecambe for an undisclosed fee.

The 25 year-old arrived at Hayes Lane in January from fellow National League side Yeovil Town before going on to make his debut against Halifax Town over a week later.

Duffus took the number 11 shirt... The former Everton youngster went on to... [make] a total of 18 appearances in a Bromley shirt".

According to the Leader Live "Luke Young is Phil Parkinson's choice to succeed Shaun Pearson as Wrexham captain.

The midfielder donned the armband in the 3-1 friendly win over Curzon Ashton last weekend and will lead his team-mates out when the Reds kick-off a 14th campaign in non-league against Solihull Moors at Damson Park on Saturday.

It will be the start of a fourth season for Young at The Racecourse since joining from Torquay in the summer of 2018, and the 28 year-old has been recognised for his efforts since arriving in north Wales.

Young was top scorer with 11 goals last term and he joined an exclusive list of Wrexham stars who have won two success Player of the Season awards...

'Luke was captain at the weekend and he is going to take the armband,' said Parkinson.

'I feel with Luke that he has been here a while and he is a player who leads by example on the pitch... He is a popular member of the squad, and he sets an example with the way he plays'".

Southend "have completed the signing of Hamzad Kargbo on loan from QPR.

The 19 year-old striker, who has been on trial with Blues in pre-season, will now remain at the Club until the end of September initially.

Manager Phil Brown said 'I spoke to Les Ferdinand and Ricky [Duncan] spoke to Chris Ramsey and both of them were interested in the project in the same way that we were. They want to give Hamzad some game time on the field of play in men’s football.

'He’s 19 years-old and he’s a giant for 19, but he’s a baby at the same time because he’s only a young lad. Hopefully with the type of coaching that we can give him he can only improve... He wants to come in, enjoy his football and get some game time which we’ve offered him.' The young striker was eager to impress and get this opportunity with Blues. 'Going on loan is always something that I’ve looked at and wanted to do,' he said. 'To get the opportunity at Southend, a good club, at a young age is really good. The way I’m built and how tall I am most of the time I’ll be holding up the play and bringing in the other players around me, setting them off but sometimes I can get on the turn and take a shot'"

19 August 2021


Saturday's visit to Plainmoor will be the sixth time that Altrincham have faced Torquay United on their own patch. It has not been a happy hunting ground, with a draw and three defeats in the first four visits, as well as travel misfortunes, a red card for Jake Moult, a controversial penalty and an early injury necessitating a substitution of goalkeeper Stuart Coburn in those previous encounters.

However, a 2-1 away win last season improved the record for Alty though no Robins fans could witness it in person as the match was played behind closed doors.

The Altrincham supporters in 2021 will hope that there is no repeat of their first ever fixture at Torquay back in 2007-08 season. The original fixture in December 2007 had been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on matchday with the decision reaching the supporters' coach as it was nearing Gloucester on the M5. So the actual first visit toi Plainmoor was a 500-mile round trip for a Tuesday night match in February 2008.

That match ended 1-1. After Torquay had dominated the first half, the Gulls took the lead one minute before the interval when Zebroski hammered a low shot past Coburn from the edge of the box.

In February 2009 at Plainmoor, Torquay's Tim Sills (second player from left in a yellow shirt) scores the opener in a 3-1 home win from a corner from the left; the ball is in the right hand side of the net.

After Altrincham had brought on striker Joe O'Neill just before the hour mark, the visitors made much more of a game of it and when O'Neill was pushed over in the box by Ellis, Warren Peyton calmly converted the penalty (72 mins). Altrincham defended superbly throughout to gain a valuable point.

The weather omens were not good before Alty's second match in Devon either, as their previous fixture at Eastbourne Borough had been subject to a late postponement.

But the game at Plainmoor went ahead as planned this time and it was a daylight match on Saturday 14 February, 2009 when Altrincham's 4-1-4-1 formation, with Jody Banim deployed as a lone striker, was no match in the first half for a resurgent Torquay side, smarting from two recent defeats. But it took a goal owing more to poor defending by Altrincham than skill from Torquay for the Gulls to take the lead in the 19th minute. It came from Tim Sills's weak downward header from a corner on the left.

Hopes of a revival were undone by the referee who awarded a penalty when Coburn went down at the feet of Benyon and Sills converted from the spot (53 mins). To make it worse, Coburn was booked for the challenge, his fifth yellow of the season. Hadfield then replaced Banim before Torquay made it 3-0 in the 75th minute when the referee gave Torquay the benefit of the doubt, allowing Benyon to kick the ball out of Coburn's hands as he gathered a low ball and the Gulls' man of the match rolled the ball into the empty net.

Altrincham gained some consolation with the best goal of the game, a fine left-foot volley from Doughty six minutes from the end.

Torquay were promoted at the end of that season so The Robins did not travel to Torquay again till April 2015, when they lost 2-0 at Plainmoor, having lost goalkeeper Stuart Coburn in the opening minutes to injury. They also had an early Reeves goal ruled out for offside. Then two goals in five minutes from Daniel and Bowman gave Torquay command midway through the first half, the second a penalty conceded by Havern.

And to make matters worse, eight minutes from time, Jake Moult was sent off for a second yellow card offence.

Above: April 2016: Alty defend in the first half at Torquay.

History repeated itself the next season with another April visit to the Devon Riviera and another 2-0 defeat in a match which, this time, started without injured captain Jake Moult and the suspended Marcus Holness. Also missing were four long-term absentees, Coburn, Densmore, Marshall and Clee.

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

After a poor first half, Alty were sent out for the second half barely five minutes into the interval. The introduction of Ginnelly for the second half lifted Alty but as they appealed justifiably for Gerring's foul on Reeves, United broke forward for Harrad to poke the ball through Deasy's legs to make it 2-0 on the hour mark.

Alty were relegated at the end of that season so the sides had not met again until last season's victory.


The Derbyshire Times reports that "Midfielder Jim Kellermann has seemingly signed for Chesterfield and immediately joined Tamworth on loan.

The Spireites have not officially confirmed his signing yet, but Tamworth announced his loan arrival last night saying 'James (Jim) Kellermann has joined the Lambs from Chesterfield on an initial 28 days loan'...

Blues' boss James Rowe... said on Saturday 'Jim is an interesting one because he has been involved in two play-offs campaigns at my previous club (Aldershot) with me. He has lost his way through injury unfortunately but he is still a good age. He needs to go out on loan and play games..

'He is going to go on loan to Tamworth and he is going to train here and then, at the right time, he will have an impact'.

Kellermann has featured in a number of pre-season matches for Chesterfield, playing in midfield and defence. He came through the Wolves academy having joined aged 14. Aftter seven years he then signed for Aldershot, where Rowe was assistant manager... before his form earned him a move to Scottish Premiership club St Mirren... He made just seven appearances for the club, with a loan spell at AFC Fylde in-between.

He spent last season at Kidderminster Harriers".

From Leyton Orient we learn that "Orient goalkeeper Sam Sargeant has joined National League side Barnet on loan... on an initial two months, joining up with new manager Harry Kewell.

As part of the deal, The O’s have a 24-hour recall option, should he need to return to E10.

The 23 year-old joins a squad full of familiar faces, including Jamie Turley, Joe Widdowson and Jordan Thomas".

Barnet add that "Aged 23, Sargeant came through the Academy at Leyton Orient before impressing on his first senior appearance, with a clean sheet during their 1-0 win away at Yeovil Town at the end of the 2015/16 season.

In early 2018, Sargeant moved to Isthmian League Premier Division club Margate on a 28-day loan... A short spell at Leatherhead followed for the 6ft 2 ins goalkeeper, who has since made regular appearances back at the Breyer Group Stadium in League Two....

'I am really excited to be here. It is really important for me to start playing regular games and showing people what I can do. The Club has a lot of ambition and should definitely be in a higher division', he said...

'Having gained promotion out of this league and been part of a successful team, it definitely gives me a strong understanding of what it takes to get over the line as a squad... I am an aggressive goalkeeper, not afraid of commanding my box and also like to distribute the ball quickly to start counter-attacks. I believe I bring certain qualities to this team in order to help us grind out results when needed.'"

According to the Southend Echo "Southend United boss Phil Brown wants the Shrimpers to create ‘a new vibe’ in the National League this season... [with the club] looking to bounce back from two successive relegations...

'I’m not blaming anybody but you have to look at what’s happened over the past two or three years,' said Brown. 'You look at what’s been going on behind the scenes, the management and the players’ heads because there’s been a lot of failure and disappointment and you’ve got to smash that. You have to get rid of that vibe and bringing new players in doesn’t automatically do that.

'There are people who have been here a long time and it kind of gets entrenched into the walls of the club itself. We have to create a new vibe and a new environment and that’s what we’ve been trying to do.'

Blues have triumphed just 14 times in the League in the past two seasons, losing 45 of their last 81 matches...

'Hopefully we’ve moved away from the back to back relegations now and turned a corner but you won’t really find that out until we start playing,' said the 62-year-old. 'We have to have a totally different mentality to the last couple of seasons. We have to be on the front foot and be positive. We’ve got to be driven to win things rather than there being an expectancy to lose which has certainly been in and around the club for too long'...

The Shrimpers kick off their first ever season in the National League at King’s Lynn... 'I’ve been more than impressed with King’s Lynn when I’ve seen them play,' said Brown.

'Their manager Ian Culverhouse played football the right way with Norwich and he’s certainly coached his team to play that way too. They play from the back and look to pass it through the thirds. But if they can’t do that then they’ll hit the front man and they have a big lad who plays up top...

'I think this league is going to be brutal and this is not an easy game... We’re going to a place I’ve never played at or managed before,' said Brown... 'We have more than 1,000 going and it’s a fair old hike. But I’ll be buoyed by that and so will the players.'”

Yeovil Town "announce the signing of Adi Yussuf on a free transfer following his release from Blackpool.

An experienced forward, Yussuf has enjoyed spells in the Football League and possesses a prolific record at National League level, especially with Solihull Moors where he netted 26 goals across two seasons with the club.

Last season, whilst contracted to Blackpool, the 29-year-old spent the season on loan in the National League with both Wrexham and Chesterfield, finding the back of the net on eight occasions.

A full international, Yussuf has represented his native Tanzania on two occasions.... Despite being primarily a no.9, Yussuf... can operate across a forward line on either flank".

18 August 2021


Altrincham FC has released its squad photo for 2021-22 and there are no surprises in the shape of additions to the squad since the last pre-season game. The squad, in advance of Saturday's opening fixture, therefore apparently comprises 26 players, three of whom are out on loan, leaving 23 to compete in the National League which, following the demise of Macclesfield Town, comprises 23 clubs this season.

They are James BERRY (on loan at Macclesfield FC), Ryan COLCLOUGH, Shaun DENSMORE, Kennedy DIGIE, Marcus DINANGA, David FITZPATRICK, Matthew GOULD, Will HALL (on loan at Ramsbottom United), Connor HAMPSON, Josh HANCOCK, Tom HANNIGAN, Brad JACKSON, Connor KIRBY (loanee from Harrogate Town), Matty KOSYLO, A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH, Curtis MILLER (on loan at Trafford), Daniel MOONEY, Jake MOULT, Toby MULLARKEY, Tom PEERS, Ben PRINGLE, Joel SENIOR, Ritchie SUTTON, Anthony THOMPSON, Andy WHITE, Sean WILLIAMS.

Above we see the players line up at Trafford last Tuesday. The question now is how many of the same players will line up in the starting eleven at Plainmoor on Saturday?


Following two draws in their opening fixtures of 2021-22 in the Cheshire League, Altrincham FC Reserves suffered two defeats in the past week.

On Tuesday night, they lost 1-2 at home (Egerton Sports Club) after, last Saturday, they had suffered a 3-1 reverse at Garswood Town.

Niall Butchart was the scorer at Garswood, where the team comprised Ryan Forde, Lewis Billingsley, Dionicio Bohe, Niall Butchart, Rhys Cosquer, Madison Davis, Sean Higgins, Raheem Mercurius, Kwame Osigwe, Matthew Sumner and Lewis Waller with the substitutes being Daniel Gavaghan, Joe Haggerty, Reiss Hughes, Matthew Plested and Logan Taylor.

The results leave Alty Reserves fifteenth in the eighteen-strong division and still seeking a first win this season.


As a third National League match scheduled for next Saturday had to be postponed on Tuesday, Planet RAdio confirmed that "Grimsby Town's first game of the new season has been postponed after some first team players tested positive for coronavirus.

PCR tests for the players came back positive; the Mariners were supposed to play away at Bromley on Saturday...

In a statement, Grimsby Town said 'Grimsby Town Football Club can confirm that it has received the results of the PCR tests it was awaiting.

'Unfortunately, these results have come back as positive and as a result, Saturday's opening National League fixture away at Bromley has now been postponed. Details relating to the rearrangement of the fixture will be announced in due course.

'We would like to wish those players affected a very speedy recovery and we would also like to apologise sincerely to our supporters for the inconvenience this may cause'".

Bromley "announce the signing of Omar Sowunmi following a successful trial period.

The 25 year-old defender, who spent pre-season at Hayes Lane, arrives at the Club with bundles of EFL experience having played the majority of his football in League Two.

Sowunmi came through the youth set-up at Ipswich Town before joining Yeovil Town... appearing for the Glovers over 80 times, he also took the captain’s armband during the 2018-19 season.

However, after four years at Huish Park, the defender swapped Somerset for Essex, penning a permanent deal at League Two outfit Colchester United in a spell that ended earlier this year...

'I’m very happy to have signed with Bromley and start the journey with the team. I’ve been here near enough all of pre-season and really gelled with the staff and all the boys', he said.

Ravens boss Andy Woodman said, 'Omar is a player we’ve had all pre-season, but we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get him to stay. However, he’s been impressed with what he’s seen, he sees what we’re trying to do and he wants to be a part of what we’re trying to create here... Omar is going to be a really good addition to our defensive unit and in the opposite box too'".

The Derbyshire Times speculates that "Chesterfield are among the favourites to win the title and return to the Football League after four years away...

Several clubs, including the Spireites, have spent money and have strengthened their squads with some quality players".

Spireites expert Liam Norcliffe says that "Unlike previous years, I do think one of the favourites will take the crown this season... Wrexham, Stockport County, Notts County and Chesterfield are the big favourites with the bookies.

Last season’s relegated pair Grimsby Town and Southend United are just behind those four, while play-off finalists Torquay United also make up the pack.

Wrexham... are the current favourites, having signed last season’s League Two Player of the Year, Paul Mullin... The Red Dragons are fancied to be pushed close by Stockport County... The Hatters have got some serious firepower up front in Paddy Madden and Scott Quigley, the latter scored 15 goals for Barrow in League Two in the previous campaign.

Notts County ended last season very strongly under new manager Ian Burchnall, finishing fifth... The Magpies have brought in Joel Taylor and Kairo Mitchell from Chesterfield, as well as centre-back Kyle Cameron from Torquay United and former England youth international Ed Francis from Manchester City.

The Spireites are... not as fancied... Grant Smith, Joel Taylor and Tom Whelan were surprise departures but... I think Rowe has improved the squad.

Goalkeeper Scott Loach looks steady and reliable, Jamie Grimes is a monster of a centre-half, full-backs Jeff King and Calvin Miller bring pace, goals and assists, central midfielder Saidou Khan is quick and can travel with the ball, Jack Clarke is blossoming, Stefan Payne is experienced and, the final piece of the jigsaw, arrived last week in sharp-shooter Kabongo Tshimanga...

In terms of how they might set up, 3-4-1-2 appears to be the preferred formation...

Grimsby had six years at this level from 2010 to 2016 so their fans will know how hard it is. It was their current manager, Paul Hurst, who got them promoted from this division so he knows what it takes. Having watched them against Chesterfield last Saturday, I think they will win games but they lacked an out-and-out striker.

Southend, meanwhile, are playing in non-league for the first time in 101 years. They have a very experienced boss in Phil Brown... and have recruited striker Rhys Murphy, a consistent scorer at this level with Yeovil Town. I’ll go for both to finish in the top half...

I don’t see there being a surprise title winner. It will come from the favourites. Bromley won’t lose many games under Andy Woodman, Solihull Moors will be up there with the experienced Neal Ardley, Halifax and Eastleigh are always in contention and if Dagenham and Redbridge can carry on where they left off last season then they will be challenging too".

Notts County "have appointed Alex Clapham as our new first-team coach.

Boasting an impressive CV which includes senior coaching roles in academies in the UK and overseas, as well as a recent spell as head coach at Swedish side Ytterhogdals IK, Clapham will lead our approach to set pieces and contribute to opposition analysis.

He will support Ian Burchnall and Michael Doyle with individual player development plans and coaching, while also providing tactical and technical advice on matchdays.

Clapham cut his coaching teeth in Spain where he attained UEFA’s highest coaching qualification, the Pro Licence...

'In Alex we have found someone who’s dedicated themselves to analysing and coaching set pieces, which isn’t easy as specialised coaching remains a relatively new thing in football. especially at our level,” said the head coach, Burchnall... 'Working closely alongside our head of performance analysis Joao Alves, Alex will be using his analytical skills to drill into the numbers before devising and delivering coaching strategies to the players... H will be a huge help to us in an area where, while being a long way off the worst in the league, we were behind many of our direct competitors last season.'”

In the Leader Live, "Phil Parkinson says Wrexham must be able to adapt during the 2021-22 campaign if there are more Covid 19 cases or injuries in his squad.

The Reds completed their pre-season programme with a 3-1 victory over Curzon Ashton at The Racecourse but a number of players have missed the summer friendlies due to coronavirus or knocks they have sustained.

It was a makeshift back-three that lined up against Curzon with trialist Dave Jones and Jamie Reckord, a left-back, in defence alongside new signing Aaron Hayden, with Shaun Brisley and Harry Lennon absent and Max Cleworth only appearing as a late substitute...

'It is a big learning curve for me and Steve Parkin,' said Parkinson. 'We have gone into the game without Brisley and Lennon, and Max has had a lot of issues with Covid as well. Three centre-backs out and we have been able to adapt with the three at the back... We have got to have that ability to adapt'...

Brisley sustained a knee injury in the 2-2 draw at Spennymoor 10 days ago and Parkinson admits the summer signing, due to see a specialist today, is a big loss... 'We need to look at that because he is that leader for us at the back', said Parkinson. 'He heads the ball out of the middle of the goal and we need that'.

Lennon has been restricted to just 45 minutes since his arrival because of a knee problem but Parkinson added... 'We will assess him towards the end of this week whether he can be involved or not'".

Also from Wales, the Leader Live reports that "Parkinson says Wrexham are not the finished article and he is still looking to add three players to his squad.

The Reds' boss has completed six new signings this summer with Shaun Brisley, Liam McAlinden, Jake Hyde, Paul Mullin, Harry Lennon and Aaron Hayden arriving at The Racecourse...

Said Parkinson, 'I will sleep a lot easier when we have got two or three more in because I don't think we are the finished article yet... My intention when I came in was to make us strong in all departments and there are a few gaps we are not happy with yet'...

The transfer window closes on August 31 and Parkinson hinted that Wrexham are hoping to prise targets away from their clubs".

In Hampshire's Daily Echo, Eastleigh "have revealed their striking new away kit that features a unique orange and black jersey.

The kit is complete with black shorts and orange socks, in the club's 75th year since forming as Swaythling Athletic.

The home kit was revealed earlier in the summer and features many nods to the club's heritage, while kitwear providers Kappa have gone all out for an eye-catching away design.

Utilita remain the main shirt sponsor after signing a new five-year deal to partner with the Spitfires this season.

The kit will be worn on the road during the 2021-22 National League season".

17 August 2021


Altrincham kick off their season at Torquay United this Saturday.

Right: Jake Moult will almost certainly captain Altrincham at Plainmoor on Saturday.

So far as has been made public as regards injuries, seventeen players appear to be available for selection, namely:

  • Goalkeeper: Tony Thompson (aged 26)
  • Defenders: David Fitzpatrick (31), Tom Hannigan (33), Toby Mullarkey (24), Joel Senior (21).
  • Midfielders: Connor Kirby (22), Jake Moult (32), Ben Pringle (33), Sean Williams (29)
  • Forwards/wingers: Ryan Colclough (26), Marcus Dinanga (23), Josh Hancock (30), Brad Jackson (24), Matty Kosylo (28), A-Jay Leitch-Smith (31), Daniel Mooney (22), Tom Peers (25).

Out injured are: goalkeeper Matthew Gould (27), defenders Shaun Densmore (32), Kennedy Digie (24), Connor Hampson (28), Ritchie Sutton (35), Andy White (28)

Out on loan are: James Berry, Will Hall, Curtis Miller.

Two trialists featured in the last pre-season game but whether either, both, or neither of that duo is to join the squad remains to be seen.


Altrincham FC has announced that, in order to finalize the booking of an appropriately sized coach to take away supporters to Torquay on Saturday, the "Deadline for booking is Tuesday 17th August" [i.e. NOT Friday 20th as previously announced].

The club adds that "Match tickets must be bought in advance from the Torquay United website, there will be no availability on the day of the game. To purchase please visit here".

Details of coach timings and fares are on the Altrincham FC website.


Kent Online says that "Furious Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler has hit out at claims that they didn't want to start the new season.

Whites have had their first National League game of the season against Solihull Moors this Saturday postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the club.

Hessenthaler... revealed that he's one of those who has caught Covid. 'I don't do social media but one thing that has wound me up, as people have sent things to me, is the suggestion that we are using this situation and here goes Dover again; what situation?' blasted Hessenthaler.

'There's people dying and I've got Covid myself. We were fully prepared to start the season against Solihull. We reported it to the league and they've called the game off. It riles me. It's a small minority of people who sit behind a computer but you can't suggest that we don't want to start the season. I've got Covid myself and it's in the camp. We've had five good weeks of building a squad together and unfortunately for us this has come along...

'I've had a couple of rough days, even though I've been double-jabbed... It's an insult and I'm not happy. I've had a few days where I've not felt right. I've got some of the symptoms and lost my taste and smell. Hopefully I've only had it mildly because I've been double-jabbed.'

Dover had 15 matches postponed last season, mainly due to Covid-19, before chairman Jim Parmenter called time on their campaign due to a lack of promised funding after the initial three months of grants.

Off the field the club have reverted back to part-time status, and their punishment for opting out of the second half of the campaign was a £40,000 fine and a 12-point deduction at the start of this campaign.

Many outside Dover feel the punishment was too lenient...

'People think we shouldn't be in the division and that's their opinion but we know what goes on at our club and we'll keep our opinions to ourselves,' said Hessenthaler... 'The chairman made that stance and we've been punished for it. People need to think about their own clubs instead of making comments about Dover when they don't know what goes on. It gives me the hump when you see comments like that. We've been through the mill, we did what we did and we got our punishment.

'We've gone part-time this season and now we're going to miss the first game. Yeovil are the same, they've got it in their camp... It doesn't sit well when people suggest that. People assume we are using the system but the test results have all gone into the National League. It saddens me that people think Dover are trying it on'...

'One thing I will be doing is encouraging my squad to get double-jabbed,' added Hessenthaler. 'The chairman has said that as well, we need to encourage them to get it. The National League are also sending out to all clubs to ask them to encourage their players to get vaccinated...

'It's not helped us in terms of the work that we would have put in during the final week of pre-season. We didn't have a friendly on Saturday as we were going to have a full session working on set plays, organisation and topping up the fitness levels. Unfortunately we couldn't do that but we'll deal with it'".

Wales's Leader Live reports that "Phil Parkinson is disappointed Wrexham aren't starting the new National League campaign at The Racecourse but he is just pleased his side aren't kicking their heels on the opening day.

The Reds were due to start a 14th season in non-league against Yeovil Town at The Racecourse on Saturday but the match has been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Glovers’ squad.

But rather than have a free date, Wrexham will instead face Solihull Moors at Damson Park... this weekend.

Moors' fixture against Dover was called off for the same reason and the clash with Wrexham... replaces the game originally scheduled for Good Friday...

'We were all flat when we got the news [about Yeovil]', said Parkinson... Wrexham are also away the following weekend at Eastleigh so the Reds' first home game of the season will now be against Notts County in front of the BT Sport cameras on Monday, August 30.

The Reds completed their pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win in front of nearly 2,400 returning supporters against Curzon Ashton at The Racecourse on Saturday...

'It makes it more important that we got the game against Curzon,' said Parkinson. 'To go into the season without a home game is not the right preparation and it finishes pre-season off well for us. Now we go into a good week's training ahead of Solihull.'

Midfielder Dave Jones, who hails from Wrexham and has played in the Premier League for the likes of Burnley, has been on trial during pre-season and Parkinson has not ruled out signing the 36 year-old... 'We have enjoyed having him in pre-season,' added Parkinson... 'I would like to [sign him] because I always like having good, senior professionals in the building and he's a great lad.

'It is very important, the leadership and the role models; not just on a Saturday but during the week in training. Players who do things right and have played at a high level. We need to guide our young players we have got... but we need to sit down on Monday and decide where we go with that.'"

FC Halifax Town "have signed midfielder Jamie Cooke.

He started his career with Fleetwood Town coming through the ranks playing for their U18s squad before joining Colne FC last season.

An undisclosed compensation agreement has been agreed by both clubs".

The local Halifax Courier adds that at FC Halifax Town "Attacking midfielder Jamie Cooke’s transfer was confirmed on Saturday, taking the number of new faces at Halifax to five, after the signings of Harvey Gilmour, Jordan Slew, Billy Waters and Matt Warburton...

'The paperwork’s taken longer than we expected, but there should be another four, at least, to be announced before the weekend,' said manager Pete Wild.

'Jamie (Cooke) has been announced, the others are here training, but the paperwork is going backwards and forwards and, with the greatest respect, we can’t announce anything until all the paperwork’s signed.'

Wild says he is back up to his full squad after the return of the player who tested positive for coronavirus, and those who had to self-isolate...

He said... 'Everybody’s back in the building'.

Wild said there were around 21 players currently training at the club. 'Like I’ve said before, we’re probably going to go with a couple more bodies because of Covid, so we’ll still have a couple of slots free for when we get the ones we want,' he said.

'We’re using the money in a different way, which gives us more depth and more lads in the building. I don’t normally like having more than 20 but with what’s happened over the last 18 months, we’re going to need a bit more depth in the squad.'

Wild said Jamie Allen has been suffering with a sore hamstring but had returned to training..

On his latest recruit Cooke, Wild said 'Gareth McClelland (head of recruitment) was massive on Jamie, and we tried to get him in but we couldn’t afford to bring in him when he was at Colne. But we kept in touch with him, we then invited him in pre-season to train with us, we think in the games he’s done excellently well.

'At the moment we see him as the new Kian Spence in terms of one of our players for the future, that’s why we’ve put him on a two-year deal. He will be going out on loan this week. We want to create a production line here, and a pathway, for young players that can service this club for the next five to seven years'...

Wild added... 'He’s technically very good, drives really well with the ball, brave getting on the ball and works as hard as he can out of possession'... Wild says Cooke’s best position is as an attacking midfielder.

'We’ve already got two number tens in the building but we didn’t want to miss out on Jamie because he’s such an exciting talent,' Wild said".

King’s Lynn Town "confirm the signing of Joe Rowley, from Chesterfield FC.

The central midfielder joins the club on a loan deal, agreeing to a move that will currently last until 4th January...

The 22-year-old rose through the ranks at the Derbyshire club, having joined the side at Under 15s' level after playing within Sheffield United’s youth teams as a youngster. Since then, he has gone on to play 88 times, spanning over a four-year period... He has been one of the club’s longest-serving players, since their relegation to the National League in 2018.

[He is] a player who has the ability to play as a central midfielder, as well as in the right midfield position, making him a highly desired player for Ian Culverhouse and The Linnets as the club looks to add greater depth to a number of positions... Rowley has featured 63 times at this level, offering valuable experience...

Director of Football Rob Back said, 'Joe is a player we’ve kept an eye on and is an exciting player who will offer good competition in the midfield area'>

The Derbyshire Times informs us that "Chesterfield striker Tom Denton is to go under the knife again.

The 32 year-old had an operation on his knee in January and missed the remainder of last season... The forward had been in fine form before his injury, scoring nine goals in 15 league games.

He came back one month ahead of schedule and featured in the early part of pre-season... but has been sidelined since after suffering a 'pretty big setback', manager James Rowe said.

The striker has been to see a specialist and Rowe confirmed after Saturday’s in against Grimsby that he will go under the knife... We won’t know any more until he opens the knee up,' Rowe told the DT."

16 August 2021


Altrincham face an unusual start to the new season, with two consecutive away games and a blank fixture day in the first three matchdays of the 2021-22 season.

On August 21 they kick off the campaign at Plainmoor against last season's runners-up, Torquay United.

But they have no match the following Saturday as the National League is running with an odd number of clubs as a legacy of the demise of Macclesfield Town and the inability to promote clubs from the National North last season as their campaign was written off. Consequently, each club will face two blank matchdays during the season and for Alty the first blank date is on the second Saturday of the season.

Alty then travel to The Shay to face FC Halifax Town on Bank Holiday Monday for the Robins' second fixture.

So, by the time that Dover Athletic arrive in town on 4 September for Alty's first home match of the season they will be playing catch-up in terms of matches played. However, because of Covid, at least six other clubs were also facing playing catch-up as, already three matches, at Bromley, Dover and Wrexham, have been postponed on 21 August due to Covid at the Dover, Grimsby and Yeovil clubs involved in those fixtures.

But, enterprisingly, the two unaffected opponents, Solihull Moors and Wrexham have now arranged to bring forward their league fixture to ensure that they do not have a blank opening day of the season.

Saturday, 21 August

  • Aldershot Town v Chesterfield
  • Barnet v Notts County
  • Bromley P-P Grimsby Town )Covid at Grimsby)
  • Dover Athletic P-P Solihull Moors (Covid at Dover)
  • FC Halifax Town v Maidenhead United
  • King's Lynn Town v Southend United
  • Solihull Moors v Wrexham (rearranged fixture)
  • Stockport County v Dagenham & Redbridge
  • Torquay United v Altrincham
  • Wealdstone v Woking
  • Weymouth v Boreham Wood
  • Wrexham P-P Yeovil Town (Covid at Yeovil)


Ryan Shotton (right)was a popular loanee at Altrincham from Stoke City in 2007-08 when he made 40 starts for the club and scored seven goals. After leaving EFL Middlesbrough he joined Melbourne Victory in Australia.

Sadly injuries limited the defender to just eight appearances before his contract was ended and he and his family returned to the UK in May 2021.


If pre-season games are intended to build confidence, it all backfired on Weymouth as the Dorset Echoreports how "Weymouth conceded 13 goals as European champions Chelsea ran riot in their friendly at the Blues' Cobham training facility...

Chelsea also used the game to give match minutes to a squad crammed full of international stars and led 8-0 at half-time, having opened the floodgates in the fourth minute.

Weymouth held on for 13 minutes of the second half before Chelsea made it 9-0, the Blues then adding number 10 on the hour.

With first-team boss Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines, Chelsea added a further three goals as the Premier League giants showed no mercy...

Speaking to Echosport, Weymouth boss Brian Stock took many positives from the encounter but admitted there was a 'big gulf' between the sides.

He said 'First and foremost, the whole experience has been brilliant and it's something that I'm sure will live long in the memory of the players... We knew when we saw the starting line-up that there were going to be some internationals, but I didn't know they were going to field a whole team of them!'...

'The lads kept on going right to the end. Thomas Tuchel came over and said some very nice words to us... This will give us a lot of much-needed work in the players' legs going into the season. They'll be better for that...

'I wanted to be positive and we knew we were going to get picked off, but that's the best way in order to try and get fitter for the start of the season... It's important we don't beat ourselves up with the scoreline'".

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst... is still on the lookout for a new frontman...

Hurst has put together a new-look squad in anticipation of the return to non-league, with 14 new faces arriving so far this summer. The Town boss isn’t done there though... particularly with Lenell John-Lewis and Ryan Taylor set to miss the start of the season through injury...

'I’ll be honest, as much as we do our research, you can’t cover every single base, and some people take strikers whether they’re actually any good. I've seen players move that I certainly wouldn’t have been interested in, they’re just not for me...

'But I do feel like there is a lack of them out there. I’m still speaking to a lot of managers that are still looking for strikers... we won’t stop looking, but if we do get someone, like the lads today (Alex Hunt and William Bapaga) they could go in the starting line-up'".

According to the Nottingham Post Notts County "finished their pre-season campaign at the weekend as they fought back from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw against Solihull Moors...

The Magpies had fallen behind early on when Andrew Dallas converted Danny Newton's cross.

Notts were then reduced to 10 men after 15 minutes when Connell Rawlinson saw red for a foul on Dallas when he was about to race clear through on goal.

Callum Howe scored from the resulting free-kick to give the Moors, who are managed by former Notts boss Neal Ardley, a strong lead at the break...

Callum Roberts pulled a goal back with a terrific finish. Ruben Rodrigues then equalised from the spot late on after Dion Kelly-Evans had been hauled down inside the box".

Regarding the red card "Even Moors boss Neal Ardley asked for the decision to be changed having stressed in no uncertain terms that it would ruin the game as both managers wanted 11 v 11.

According to both benches, the official's argument was that there was an assessor in the stand meaning he had to ref it as if it was a proper league game...

This year Grimsby, Southend, Notts, Chesterfield, Wrexham and Stockport will be vying for promotion... Many clubs wanted to increase the number of substitutes available on matchdays from five to seven.

But despite lots of support, it has been rejected after a vote was held earlier this week... It seems tremendously short-sighted in that respect not to mention the risks managers will take, as they did last season, by not naming a sub goalkeeper on the bench...

Burchnall was right when he said there was no logic behind it because surely it ecause surely it would only enhance the quality of games if managers have greater flexibility on the bench.

The National League has taken great strides in terms of the quality we see on the pitch compared to 20 years ago, but it is still way behind the times off it".

15 August 2021


The Non-League Paper carries Adam Virgo's review of the National League teams in advance of the 2021-22 season.

Of Altrincham he writes, "Phil Parkinson is one of the best managers in the National League. On a part-time basis the football they play is brilliant.

You can see they've got an identity and they are going in the right direction.

The signings, they've made have been good; experience like Ben Pringle, A-Jay Leitch-Smith and David Fitzpatrick (above left). I also like Connor Kirby in that midfield area.

The only thing I wonder is about Parkinson moving on. There will be sackings in the National League this season and he's always going to be in with a shout for many of those jobs.

Star signing: Ben Pringle"


Altrincham FC has announced that "Ryan Colclough [right] has given Altrincham a massive eve-of-season boost by signing a new extended contract at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The exciting winger was an instant hit after arriving from Scunthorpe United on an initial short-term deal last November that was soon replaced by an 18-month agreement after he hit the ground running in Alty colours with his direct style and eye for goal...

The club can announce that his spectacular attributes have now been pledged to the Alty cause for the next TWO seasons after he put pen to paper on a new Robins deal...

‘We are delighted Ryan has extended his stay with us for the next two seasons,’ said Alty director Rob Esteva. ‘It is easy to forget that he only joined us at the end of November yet still managed to score eight goals. He has added a different dimension to us since coming to the club and there is plenty more to come from him at the age of 26'" he told press and media officer, John Edwards.

Footnote: Colclough made a surprise debut from the Altrincham bench against Bromley on 24 November 2020, having been signed that day on a short-term contract after departing from Scunthorpe United... On 12 December 2020, after just one start and two appearances from the bench for Altrincham, Ryan signed for the club until the end of 2021/22 season.

Earlier in his careeer, after more than three years at Crewe (2012-16), Ryan moved to Wigan Athletic and went on loan from there to MK Dons before signing for Scunthorpe United in August 2018.

His Altrincham appearances to the end of the 2020/21 season comprised 23 starts and five more from the bench, games in which he netted eight goals.


In Saturday's final pre-season game against Huddersfield Town "B", played behind closed doors, an excellent second-half from the visitors saw Altrincham come from behind to secure a 3-1 win.

For the match, Alty named two experienced trialists, one of whom started, the other being named as a substitute.

Match report here.


Strangely Saturday saw not one but two pre-season friendlies between clubs which are going to play the 2021-22 season in the same division, as Chesterfield beat Grimsby Town 2-1 and Notts County took on Solihull Moors (see below).

Grimsby Town report that The Mariners "wrapped up their pre-season schedule with a defeat as they were beaten by Chesterfield at the Technique Stadium...

It was the hosts who made the better start in Derbyshire as Liam Mandeville opened the scoring from their first attack, before doubling Chesterfield's advantage on 21 minutes.

But after Erico Sousa halved the deficit, Town had the better of the latter part of the first half...

Both sides had chances after the break but the tempo dropped as several changes were made by each management team and despite Seb Revan hitting the bar and Sousa drawing a good save from home keeper Scott Loach, the Mariners were unable to find an equaliser.

Will Bapaga and Alex Hunt went straight into the Town starting line-up after becoming the club's newest recruits when they joined on loan from Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday respectively this week.

James McKeown started in goal, with Michee Efete, Shaun Pearson, Luke Waterfall and Adam Crookes forming the defence. Bapaga, Giles Coke, Hunt and Revan began in midfield, with Sousa and John McAtee lining up in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Max Crocombe, Ryan Sears, David Longe-King, Ben Fox, Luke Spokes and Luis Adlard.

Former Mariners striker Stefan Payne came up against his old club in the colours of Chesterfield... The home side took the lead within a minute of the kick-off, with their first attack. MANDEVILLE got the ball midway inside the Town half and took it forward before firing an unstoppable drive past McKeown and into the top corner of the net from 25 yards...

Wth the right-back (Efete) off the pitch, it led to Chesterfield doubling their lead... A defensive mix-up was capitalised on by MANDEVILLE, who poked past McKeown for his second goal of the game...

But the visitors were suddenly back in the contest on 33 minutes as they grabbed a goal against the run of play. SOUSA was the man on the scoresheet as his 20-yard shot took a heavy deflection which wrong-footed Loach and spun into the net...

Town continued to attack but they were unable to find a way through as Chesterfield saw out the remainder of the contest to seal a 2-1 win".

Chesterfield added that "The Spireites comfortably held out to win their final pre-season fixture ahead of next Saturday’s opening day league clash at Aldershot Town.

Starting XI – Loach, Miller (Whittle), Maguire, Grimes, Kerr (Trialist), King (Carline), Weston, Khan (Clarke), Mandeville, Rowe, Payne (McCourt).

Unused sub – Minter".

Before the other all-National League clash on Saturday, the Nottingham Post reported that "The Magpies face their last pre-season assignment when they tackle former boss Neal Ardley...

Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall named a strong starting 11 as the Magpies faced... Solihull Moors...

Callum Roberts, Kyle Wootton and Kyle Cameron were all included in the line-up... As usual, head coach Ian Burchnall named a 3-5-2 system with Sam Slocombe in goal behind the back three of Richard Brindley, Connell Rawlinson and Kyle Cameron.

Dion Kelly-Evans and Adam Chicksen were given wing-back responsibilities as Ed Francis, Matt Palmer and Callum Roberts made up the rest of the midfield.

Up front Wootton was partnered by Kairo Mitchell who was making his second appearance for the club following his switch from Chesterfield.

On the bench, Notts had Ruben Rodrigues and Aaron Nemane among the substitutes with the pair expected to be given a runout in the second half to gain them valuable minutes before the season gets under way".

After the game, the Nottingham Post added that "Notts County rounded off their pre-season campaign with a 2-2 draw Solihull Moors as Connell Rawlinson was sent off in the friendly clash.

The Moors, managed by ex-Magpies boss Neal Ardley, took the lead when Andrew Dallas clipped an excellent finish past Sam Slocombe after good work from Danny Newton.

But Notts were then reduced to 10 men in the 15th minute when Rawlinson was robbed of possession by Dallas only to clip the striker as he looked to head clean through on goal. And from the resulting free-kick, Callum Howe doubled the lead for the Moors as he headed powerfully beyond Slocombe.

Callum Roberts did pull a goal back for the visitors, however, when he rifled in following good work from substitute Jim O'Brien. And Rodrigues sealed the comeback when he converted from the spot after Dion Kelly-Evans was fouled".

Aldershot Town "finished their 2021/22 Pre-Season campaign unbeaten with a 2-0 victory against Brentford ‘B’ at Glebe FC’s Foxbury Avenue.

Aldershot Town Manager Danny Searle, named a strong line up, with new signing Ibby Akanbi on the bench, just one Trialist named on the bench and young forward Tommy Willard given the chance to start from the beginning.

The Shots started brightly and looked to be the team in the ascendency... In the 27th minute, the returning Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong intercepted the ball high up in the Brentford half and showed great composure to slot the ball into the back of the net and open the scoring in the game.

Aldershot Town... look[ed] to add a second that their first-half performance deserve[d] and did just that with a good move resulting in Corie Andrews netting from close-range in the 36th minute...

The second-half saw latest signing Ibby Akanbi come on for his debut... The Shots continued to control the game with a number of changes coming on throughout the half with Elis Watts, Alfie Saunders and George Fowler coming on later on the half to sure up what was a strong performance and gives Aldershot Town plenty of confidence going into the first game of the Vanarama National League next Saturday...

Aldershot Town XI: 1 M Walker, 2 K Lyons-Foster, 3 L Kinsella (C), 4 J Harris, 5 K Lokko, 6 G Phillips, 7 J Berkeley-Agyepong (Watts 59′), 8 T Edser, 17 T Willard (Akanbi 45′), 10 C Oxlade-Chamberlain (Saunders 80″), 11 C Andrews (Fowler 72′)

In Sussex, The Argus reports that "Brighton U23s have signed midfielder Jack Hinchy from National League side Stockport County on a two-year deal.

The 18-year-old made his debut for the Hatters back in January in their 1-0 defeat to Premier League side West Ham in the... FA Cup.

Under-23 coach Andrew Crofts said 'Jack arrives off the back of a good season at Stockport'".

Wrexham "are pleased to reveal our squad numbers...

Phil Parkinson has made six new signings so far this summer with latest recruit Aaron Hayden taking the number five shirt. Harry Lennon has opted for 26 after Tyler French's request to shift to 15.

Liam McAlinden will occupy the number 11 with Shaun Brisley taking four. New strikers Jake Hyde and Paul Mullin will take nine and 10 respectively.

Devonte Redmond - who had previously taken 10 - will now wear the number that his father, Paul Edwards, wore at the Racecourse whilst winning promotion in 2003. Redmond will pull on the number 14 shirt.

Full details can be viewed below.

  • 1 - Rob Lainton, 2 - Reece Hall-Johnson, 3 - Jamie Reckord, 4 - Shaun Brisley, 5 - Aaron Hayden, 7 - Jordan Davies, 8 - Luke Young, 9 - Jake Hyde, 10 - Paul Mullin, 11 - Liam McAlinden, 12 - Dan Jarvis, 14 - Devonte Redmond, 15 - Tyler French, 16 - Cameron Green, 19 - Jordan Ponticelli, 20 - Dior Angus, 21 - Christian Dibble, 25 - Ryan Austin, 26 - Harry Lennon, 27 - Jake Bickerstaff, 32 - Max Cleworth, 39 - Kwame Thomas".

As well as the trend this summer for National League clubs to play each other in pre-season games, there have also been numerous transfers of players between clubs in the same division. A case in point is reported by the Derbyshire Times as "Chesterfield midfielder Joe Rowley has joined King’s Lynn Town on loan until January 4.

The 22 year-old has made some appearances for the Spireites during pre-season but was likely to find himself down the pecking order this campaign.

Rowley, one of Chesterfield’s longest-serving players, signed a new contract until summer 2022 in January and took a pay cut in doing so. Unfortunately he suffered a bad hamstring injury when he was given his chance in the starting line-up last season and was never able to force his way back into the team as Town pushed towards the play-offs...

Manager James Rowe said 'We have to protect our assets and he has shown massive potential to really kick on and develop his game. I think because he has been around quite a while people forget his age'".

14 August 2021


Altrincham complete their pre-season games with a trip across the Pennines today (Saturday).

Although The Robins are playing the Huddersfield Town B team behind closed doors on Saturday, the match is nevertheless being covered by Radio Robins from 10.55, with the game kicking off at 11am.


A week before the start of the National League season, Altrincham have sent two of their aspiring young players out on loan.

Right: Will Hall (foreground) and Curtis Miller(background) are seen here at Trafford.

As Altrincham FC reports, "Curtis Miller [right] has joined Trafford FC on loan for a month and will be available for their opening Pitching In Northern Premier League-West fixture against Colne at Shawe View today (Saturday).

Miller missed the start of the pre-season fixtures through injury but has [since] made some eye-catching second-half substitute appearances. Curtis is eligible to play in The North's Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round tie next Saturday (August 21st) which is also at home to Colne, but is not eligible to play in the Buildbase FA Trophy".

And Altrincham FC also tells us that "Will Hall [left] has joined Ramsbottom United on loan for a month and is eligible to play in their Pitching In Northern Premier League-West opening game at City of Liverpool FC (who now play at Vauxhall Motors' Rivacre Park ground) on Saturday.

The teenage central defender has featured in the starting line-up for the pre-season friendlies at Bradford (Park Avenue) and Trafford and has also turned out for his new loan club during their pre-season schedule.

Hall, who lives in Ramsbottom, is eligible to play in next week's Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round tie at Barnoldswick Town, but is not eligible to play for The Rams in The Buildbase FA Trophy".

Footnote: A product of the Altrincham FC youth team, 20 year-old Miller has been on the fringes of the first team for two seasons already. A forward, he was named in the 2019-20 first-team squad but his only appearance before 2020 was in the Cheshire Senior Cup at Stalybridge in December 2019. He made his league debut at Gateshead on 18 January 2020 as a used substitute.

During 2019-20 he also turned out for Trafford FC under dual registration arrangements. After six appearances from the bench in the National League for Altrincham in 2020-21, it was announced on 12 December 2020 that Curtis was going on loan for an unspecified period to Nantwich Town.

His appearances by the end of 2020/21 season comprised two starts and eight appearances from the bench, without scoring to date.

Central defender Will Hall first impressed as a trialist in pre-season of 2020. Formerly at Salford City, he was first named in an Alty first-team squad on 11 November 2020 against Solihull Moors. In October 2020 it had been announced that Will had gone on dual registration forms to play for Whitchurch Alport.

He was allocated a squad number for 2021-22 and appeared in several pre-season games. He has yet to make a first-team appearance for the club.


With James Berry, Curtis Miller and Will Hall all now having gone on loan, the youngest player in Altrincham's first-team squad is Dan Mooney (right), born on 3 July 1999, so 22 years old. He wins that honour by nine days from Joel Senior who was born on 24 June in 1999.


Torquay United are now selling tickets for their match at home to Altrincham on Saturday, 21 August.

The Gulls' latest signing is 20year-old former Yeovil midfielder Gabby Rogers.


As well as 42 year-old Kevin Ellison again featuring for Newport County, Tuesday's Carabao Cup also involved several other players with Alty connections.

Alistair Smith made his competitive debut as a late sub for Sutton United, whilst for Crewe Alexandrs, Billy Sass-Davies was sent off early on for a "last man" offence whilst Owen Dale also played for the Railwaymen.

However, at Barrow James Jones is currently out of action, injured.


With more than a week till the start of the National League season, there is already a postponement as Yeovil Town report that "Due to the current COVID-19 cases within the Yeovil Town squad, next Saturday's fixture against Wrexham AFC has been postponed".

Also postponed because of Covid at Dover is The Whites home match against Solihull Moors. Dover Athletic have announced that " our opening National League game of the season against Solihull Moors at Crabble on August 21 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation within the club

Our players and management are self-isolating for a period of 10 days in accordance with National League protocols and Public Health England guidelines following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the group"


Their opening league fixture at Dover has been postponed but "Andy Dallas has signed for Solihull Moors for an undisclosed fee, according to Cambridge United.

"The 22-year-old striker joined United from Glasgow Rangers in 2019 and has made 33 appearances during his time with the Club".

Earlier, Cambridge United had announced that "Andy Dallas has signed a new contract with the Club.

The 21 year-old striker joined the U’s from Glasgow Rangers in 2019 and made 28 appearances in his first season with the Club.

Last season, Dallas signed for Weymouth on loan and excelled whilst with the National League outfit, scoring 12 goals in his 25 appearances.

Dallas said 'I am delighted to be extending my stay here. It is a great opportunity for me to be a part of the team going into next season in League One. Coming off a positive experience out on loan last year has given me a lot of confidence and I am really pleased that the Club has given me the chance to fight for a place in this team'...

Mark Bonner added, 'Andy finished last season really strongly and gathered vital experience of senior games at Weymouth, contributing a healthy goal return in the process. Clearly his exposure to first team match minutes with us last season was extremely limited, and whilst there are no guarantees this year, his task is to keep developing and try to force his way in to get closer to the team'".

The Halifax Courier reports that FC Halifax Town "manager Pete Wild says the club is making sure his squad is as fit as they need to be after another of their warm-up games was called off.

Halifax were due to play a Sheffield United XI today (Friday), but the game was cancelled. The Shaymen also had to cancel their scheduled friendly at Fylde last Saturday after a Town player tested positive for coronavirus.

Explaining why the game against Sheffield United, who were due to field an under 23s team, was called off, Wild said 'They’ve got too many Covid cases, their 23s have been playing in the first-team, and they then can’t drop back down to the 23s' bubble because they’re in the first-team bubble, so that’s the end of that one.

'All our best-laid plans this pre-season seem to be conspiring against us, which is difficult, but... there’s nothing we can do about it... We’ve trained instead today and we’ve got an in-house game tomorrow (Saturday) now... Then there’ll be a game next Tuesday that will hopefully go ahead as our last friendly...

'You can get dead stressed about it and it ruins what you’re trying to do with the players on the training ground because they see you’re frustrated and stressed, or you can roll with the punches... I was watching all the interviews with all the managers last weekend, and they’re all saying the same thing, they’ve all had Covid cases, there’s games off left, right and centre because of Covid.

'So we’re all in the same boat... We’ve been putting minutes into the players to replicate the minutes they’d get in the friendlies, so we’re making sure we’re as fit as we need to be... All right, they’re not the same tempo or the same quality but they’re the best we can do'.

Wild says the player who tested positive and others who have had to self-isolate will join back up with the rest of the squad at the start of next week... 'One of the reasons why we’re looking to add two or three more bodies than we normally have in our squad is because Covid ain’t going away, we are going to get self-isolations, we’re trying to get all the boys double-jabbed as much as possible to stop the close contact self-isolation...

'But we are also aware that some things are unavoidable... By the end of this week I’d like to think that four will be announced, and a couple next week, and then we’re ready to rock and roll.'”

Notts County report that "Our principal partners, Cadbury, are generously offering to cover the cost of two Sharpes of Nottingham coaches for our trip to Barnet on the opening day of the 2021-22 National League season.

We first teamed up with Cadbury last summer, when football was in the clutches of the Covid-19 pandemic... Cadbury are very generously willing to pay for nearly 100 fans’ travel to north London as we prepare to swarm the Hive!

Cadbury have once again donated their sponsorship assets for this season’s partnership to local travel company Sharpes, who have been running our official away travel for many years. The aim of this is to support the community, help get local businesses thriving and to reflect their glass half full mentaility which has been displayed for nearly 200 years.

And Cadbury's senior brand manager Nick Rogers...said 'We understand how tough it’s been for Notts supporters to miss out on over a year’s worth of trips up and down the country... We're delighted to be working closely with Sharpes to take supporters down to Barnet free of charge...

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that there will be no social distancing on board".

ALdershot Town confirm that "Ibrahim ‘Ibby’ Akanbi has signed for the club...

Akanbi, who is a striker by trade, joins the club from Vanarama National League South club Maidstone United and will be looking to add attacking threat to Danny Searle’s side...

During his time with the Stones, the 24 year-old was their top scorer in the 2019-20 season, scoring 11 goals...

Our new player will look to be involved in our final pre-season friendly against Brentford ‘B’".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph "The Mariners make their 14th signing of the summer, and their second... signing of a busy day, with Coventry City winger William Bapaga the latest to arrive.

The 18 year-old... Bapaga joins on a season-long loan deal, and follows hot on the trail of Alex Hunt, who completed his move from Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the day.

Bapaga came through the academy at Coventry before making his professional debut for the club in August 2019. He’s gone on to make eight appearances in total for the Sky Blues over the past couple of seasons...

'I spoke to the gaffer after the session this afternoon and he said that he really likes the way that I play football,' Bapaga told the club’s website... 'He said he likes how direct I am with the ball and that's pretty much how I play my game, so I'm happy. I am a direct winger who likes to go outside, cut inside and take shots on goal'...

Town boss Paul Hurst added...'He can play on either wing but also as a number 10 behind a striker, so he gives us a bit of flexibility as well. But he would definitely see himself as more of a winger and so would we naturally. I like the fact that we have a couple of lads who can play wide and inside, and he brings even more competition... I feel he's come to something similar, albeit a couple leagues lower down.'”

The BBC tells us that "Woking have agreed a deal to sign winger Jordan Maguire-Drew on loan until the end of the season from Leyton Orient.

Maguire-Drew spent the second half of last season on loan at Crawley Town where he scored once in 17 appearances....

Wealdstone have announced the signing of five players in the build-up to the start of the new National League season.

Midfielder Charlie Cooper, 24, has joined after spending last season with Woking, while former Dagenham and Redbridge attacking midfielder Medy Elito, 31, has arrived after a year out of the game.

A third midfielder, Zach Dronfield, has signed for the Stones after being released by Norwich, while goalkeeper George Wickens, 19, has joined on a season-long loan from Fulham.

Young goalkeeper Alfie Marigliani has also signed on non-contract terms".

The Southend Echo says that "Football finance expert Kieran Maguire predicts Southend United could lose at least £500,000 after dropping out of the Football League...

Said Maguire, a chartered accountant, 'Tranmere published quite detailed information and when they dropped out their income dropped by around £500,000'...

The Shrimpers’ recently published accounts, for the year ending July 2019, showed the club’s debt had now grown to £17 million...

'Clubs get their revenue from three sources,' explained Maguire. 'In terms of matchday if Southend have a good season I’m sure the crowds will still turn up... but the big hits will be in respect of broadcasting. In League Two you are getting over a £1 million, some of which comes from the Premier League. They’re often referred to as solidarity payments and they will lose those altogether.

'Then there’s a share of the EFL’s own TV deal. You do get two years of parachute payments in the National League when you drop out so they will get some money but if it’s half of the normal figure you’re looking at £125,000 to £150,000...

'The third source of income is going to be sponsorship and commercial partners. You won’t be on television as much now. In the EFL you see all the goals on TV and you’re seen on Sky as well so the commercial department will find it a bit more of a challenge to negotiate with sponsors and commercial partners.'"

13 August 2021


Manager Phil Parkinson was happy with Altrincham's performance at Trafford on Tuesday night as he told press and media officer Brian Flynn in an Altrincham FC audio interview after the match.

Right: Tom Peers and Phil Parkinson, pictured before the game at Trafford last Tuesday.


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to play Huddersfield Town "B" behind closed doors, k.o. 11am.

The two sides met in last year's pre-season with Alty winning 4-0 against a Huddersfield Town's "B" team which had only recently been set up as a pathway to the first team. They do not play in a league but have one-off matches. They played twice in July 2021, winning 5-1 at Tadcaster Albion before losing at Chorley. In August, after playing Alty they travel to play an Oxford United team before hosting Hibernian, of Edinburgh, at home.

Some idea of what Altrincham might expect this time around may be gleaned from the team's latest match report.

Huddersfield Town curiously reported on 31 July that "Huddersfield Town’s B Team fell to a 5-2 defeat at Chorley in their final pre-season friendly at Victory Park on Saturday afternoon.

A busy first half saw Jon Worthington’s side take the lead, before Chorley turned the tables in the 44th minute, before sealing their victory with two second half goals.

The game started with evenly split possession, with both sides searching to break the deadlock. It was the hosts who were able to do so in the 12th minute, with Harry Cardwell being able to latch onto a Chorley free-kick and tap it in.

Moments later, the Young Terriers equalised through Kian Harratt... whilst Chorley’s ‘keeper was distracted.

Town made the most of the confidence boost from equalising, taking the lead in the 21st minute. Brahima Diarra slotted the ball straight into the bottom corner.

Unfortunately, the lead didn’t stand for long, as Chorley were given a penalty after Cardwell was brought down in the box. Connor Hall made no mistake from the spot to bring the scores level... Just before the half time whistle the hosts regained possession, with Cardwell getting his second of the game.

Town made one change at the break, with Ben Midgley coming on for Jon Russell.

The Magpies came out the stalls fastest, with Billy Whitehouse doubling their lead in the 53rd minute... Chorley took the possession for the majority of the second half, seeing Cardwell get his hat-trick...

The final 10 minutes saw the roles reversed, with Town eager to find a foot hole [sic] back into the game...

Huddersfield Town B Team (5-2-3): Nicholas Bilokapic; Jaheim Headley, Romoney Crichlow (Nassim Kherbouche, 62’), Reece Brown (Ernaldo Krasniqi, 62’), Ben Jackson, Brodie Spencer; Jon Russell (Ben Midgley, 60’), Brahima Diarra; Myles Bright, Kian Harratt (Kit Elliott, 64’), Micah Obiero (Kian Harratt, 80’).


In their opening game on 31 July, Altrincham Reserves drew their opening game of the Cheshire League season 0-0 at Billinge.

Their second fixture on 10 August also finished level, in this case 1-1 at Poynton. Niall Butchart was the Altrincham scorer.

The Altrincham line up was Ryan Forde (gk), Lewis Billingsley, Dionicio Bohe, Niall Butchart. Rhys Cosquer, Madison Davis, Sean Higgins, Raheem Mercurius, Kwame Osigwe, Matthew Sumner, Lewis Waller.

The substitutes were Mackenzie Alan Cookson, Reiss Hughes, Matthew Plested and Max Pouncey.


Altrincham FC has announced the supporters' travel arrangements for the opening game of the season at Torquay on 21 August.

Please note that the payment and booking arrangements have been altered from 2019-20 when the service was last operated and that both processes must now be completed in advance, as follows...

  • By calling in to the club office at The J. Davidson Stadium from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and paying by card/cash.
  • By card payment by telephone (0161 928 1045) from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
  • By Bank Transfer

Passengers must also confirm in advance that payment has been sent and their chosen departure point by contacting John Rooke or Brian Flynn by 4pm on Tuesday, August 20th, [NOT Friday, 20th as previously announced].

Full details of pick-up points and timings, as well as payment arrangement, are to be found via the above link.

Fares are as follows:

  • Adults: £35
  • Over 65s: £32
  • 16 years of age and under and those in full-time education: £29


The Southend Echo reports that "Southend United chairman Ron Martin has played down the Shrimpers’ increased debt after the club published their accounts for the year ending July 2019.

The statement showed Blues added another £2.4 million to their overall debt of £17.4million

However, chairman Ron Martin confirmed to Echosport the majority of the debt was owed to his own companies and [that they] had already written off £6.8million from the previous year’s accounts.

Martin said 'It is owed to me and my group companies, so there has been no material change in that regard over the past 20 years.'

According to the Nottingham Post "Notts County goalkeeper Tiernan Brooks has joined Worksop Town on loan as he looks to gain more first-team experience.

The 18 year-old has signed... on an initial one-month deal...

Magpies head coach Ian Burchnall added 'We’re looking at this as a short-term loan to get Tiernan some valuable match minutes. The more experience Tiernan can get, we know if anything was to happen with Sam he can step in having had some game time.

'We’ve also still got Jake Kean as an emergency.'"

Brooks spent time on loan at Worksop last season... but he was unable to play a competitive match for the Tigers as their season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Brooks, who started his career at Sheffield Wednesday and has represented Republic of Ireland at junior levels, has previously been on loan at Lincoln United... The teenager has featured for the Magpies in pre-season...

Worksop boss Craig Parry said 'He will be starting the season in goal for the Tigers... From Tiernan’s point of view, he has done pre-season with Notts County and has played a lot of games for their first team and fair play to him because I believe he will go on to play in the league, but he has to come out and prove it and hopefully we will be the benefactors [sic] of that'".

The Halifax Courier has an article on FC Halifax Town's video and data analyst Dylan Mistry.

"The process of what to expect from an opponent, how to counteract them and how to go about beating them starts with the work Mistry does. The 24 year-old, who worked for Town boss Pete Wild at Oldham, produces in-depth analysis of opponents, as well as constantly reviewing Town’s performances...

He said, 'The majority of it is down to our performance model, working closely with the gaffer and Milly (Chris Millington, assistant manager), how they want to play, and how we can win matches. Halifax’s budget isn’t obviously as big as it would be at Oldham, so the way I have to work is a bit different.

'There’s two types of analysis really; video analysis and data analysis. I’m predominantly video... I look at about three games of the opposition before we play them, the work tends to be between me, Joe (Sargison, first-team coach) and Luke (Couchman, analyst), so we’ll pick out little bits about the opposition, little moments of the game, look at how they build, how they penetrate, how they look to finish their attacks.

'We’ll pick out key players and we’ll relate it to us, so how we look to set-up... and then manager Pete Wild can show the players... Usually on a Wednesday night, we have a meeting on Zoom, all the coaching staff, and we have a report to go through... Pete will have watched the opposition too so we’ll compare notes...

'Every team in the league will have their own style of play, so not every team will attack or defend the same, but they all have their general style of how they want to play, so it’s picking out the key patterns of what they’re doing, watching their movement off the ball, and their movement of the ball too,' he said...

'We watch every game of ours back and review them to our model, how we want to play, see where we are doing well and where we can improve.... We throw in things for Pete to think about during games and during the season'...

Mistry, who supports Liverpool, also scouts for Leicester City’s academy... 'I spent a bit of time at Cheadle Town too. When Pete left Oldham at the end of the 2018-19 season, I stayed on for a bit longer, and then Pete called me a month or so into his time at Halifax and I joined them...

'I don’t think there was a game last season where we were surprised in a game by something happening'".

Dover Athletic are scheduled to be the first visitors to Altrincham this coming season, on 4 September. But, with the Kent club starting next season with a points deficit and a significant fine, Kent Online tells us that "Dover Athletic's return to action could yet be further delayed due to Covid-19.

Whites' chairman Jim Parmenter opted not to finish the club's fixtures last season due to a lack of promised funding with no crowds allowed back into grounds.

It meant Dover were hit with a £40,000 fine and 12-point deduction at the start of this season.

But manager Andy Hessenthaler and his squad are now self-isolating for 10 days after two positive tests in their ranks...

A club statement said 'We can confirm that due to two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in manager Andy Hessenthaler’s squad, the entire group of players and management are now self-isolating for a period of 10 days... We now await confirmation regarding next Saturday’s opening National League game of the season against Solihull Moors at Crabble'...

The latest news comes as fans aim to get a bumper 3,000 crowd at Crabble for the Solihull Moors match".

12 August 2021


Altrincham FC Reserves have tweeted that there is a "New Reserve Management Team. Ross Speight and Michael Welch join the Robins and current reserve player Max Pouncey will be assisting manager Ross Speight.

We are looking forward to completing in the Cheshire Football League with a young exciting squad".

In July the Winsford & Middlewich Guardian reported that "Management changes have taken place at Middlewich Town FC... The move comes after Ross Speight and Michael Welch decided to step down from their positions after six years at Seddon Street...

Speight has explained why he and Welch have called time on their roles with The Witches. 'Both of us have found it increasingly difficult to commit the time required to run the first team due to work and family commitments,' he said. 'We have enjoyed success at the club, with promotion to the Premier Division in 2018 as well as reaching three cup finals'".

Supporters may recall Michael Welch (left) as a former Alty defender. Now 39, Michael signed on loan at Alty for a month from Northwich Victoria on 20 February 2009; this was later extended till the end of the 2008-09 season.

His career began with Barnsley, from 2001 to 2005, before he joined Macclesfield Town (124 games, 7 goals). From 2005 to 07 he was at Macclesfield, where he made 64 appearances and scored 6 goals.

He scored on his full debut for Altrincham against Weymouth on 14 March 2009. Having scored in his first two league starts for Alty, including a 70-yard freekick against Crawley, which won the Setanta Goal of the Season award, Michael was sadly sidelined with ankle ligament damage towards the end of the campaign and underwent an operation which kept him out at the start of the new season. Michael returned to action at Stevenage on 26 September 2009 but made only three starts before the end of the campaign.

Michael was released at the end of the season. However, he returned at the end of 2010-11 pre-season to rejoin the squad and made a further 9(+4) appearances but he was unable to cement a regular place in the team and left in February, 2011 after a total of 21(+21) appearances and 3 goals for the club.

Max Pouncey (right) is a graduate of the Altrincham Youth and Reserve teams whose five-goal haul in Altrincham's FA Youth Cup match against Nostell Miners' Welfare in October 2013 underlined his goalscoring potential. Already a Cheshire County FA player, Max signed first-team forms at the end of October 2013. He went on loan to Prescot Cables on 16 December 2013 but returned in time to make his first-team debut in the Cheshire Senior Cup in March 2014.

In summer 2014 he joined the first-team squad for pre-season training and was assigned a squad number. In August 2014 he went on loan to Abbey Hey and subsequently left the club only to return as a regulkar for the Reserves.


Above: After more than a season away from live football, Altrincham supporters are beginning to come to terms with the faces of their squad for 2021-22. Here, at Trafford on Tuesday, we see a mixture of old and new faces in the warm-up, along with Strength & Conditioning Coach, Ryan Spencer (in red).

The players seen are, left to right, Tom Peers, Matty Kosylo, Will Hall, Curtis Miller, Toby Mullarkey and Brad Jackson.

In the background, Ian Wilkinson and Brian Flynn prepare for the Radio Robins broadcast from the game.


Devon Live reports on Altrincham's hosts for the opening day of the National League season on 21 August.

"Dan Holman increased his reputation with Torquay United fans with two more pre-season goals in the final friendly before the serious stuff starts.

Striker Holman has now scored five goals in three games and looks full of confidence as the planning now begins for Saturday week. But it was a good performance all round and in addition to Holman's double, Ali Omar and Tom Lapslie also scored in the 4-0 win against a young Bournemouth team.

Despite being advertised as an under-23s team, it was in fact Bournemouth's under-21s that lined up against the Gulls, while former Yeovil Town midfielder Gabby Rogers was announced as the Gulls' latest signing before the game.

There was no stopping Holman's strike on the rebound in the eighth minute... and it was another mistake that led to Holman's second goal in the 34th minute when he was gifted the space to round the goalkeeper and found the net from a tight angle.

Defender Ali Omar powerfully headed home a Little corner from close-range for 3-0... Johnson joined the fray after the break as Gary Johnson began a series of changes... Holman went off on the hour - job done.

Young pro Alex Moyes came on for Little in the last quarter and immediately fed the ball through for Lapslie to make it 4-0 with a clean shot past the goalkeeper on 74 minutes... Particularly impressive were Holman and Rogers, and with 10 days to go until the National League opener against Altrincham, the signs are good".


Trafford FC have confirmed that over the summer, former Alty left back Sam Grimshaw has left Shawe View and joined Macclesfield FC and is now a striker.

The Macclesfield Nub News reports that "The 27-year-old striker is the third forward to sign for Macclesfield FC, and once had a trial for Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United.

'Macclesfield FC are delighted to confirm our eighth summer signing, as left-sided forward Sam Grimshaw arrives... Sam is an exciting player who is known for his pace, completing the 100m in under eleven seconds...

Sam [right, in his Alty days] began his career at Manchester City and spent nine years within the youth teams at Eastlands, before signing for Macc's Cheshire neighbours Altrincham. He captained youth sides and signed First Team papers with The Robins in October 2012, before enjoying two loan spells at Radcliffe Borough.

During this time, Altrincham were then managed by Macc's current BTEC Academy Manager Paul McGuire. [That's news to most Altrincham fans!].

In the mid-2010s, Sam joinied Glossop North End and it was at the Derbyshire town that Sam's career really started to flourish... The Derbyshire side also enjoyed a trip to Wembley Stadium to contest the FA Vase final...

Sam's disappointment [after defeat] was somewhat diluted by the news that he was to be offered a trial with Louis van Gaal's Manchester United... Spells at Curzon Ashton, Southport and sixth-tier Stockport County ensued, before Sam made the move to Leek Town in Staffordshire.

Since he joined Leek in the summer of 2016, Sam [has] scored 11 goals in 34 starts for The Blues. He spent two seasons at Harrison Park, before heading to Hednesford Town in August 2018 and then on to Trafford a year later...

Macclesfield FC's current Assistant Manager [is] Peter Band."


The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield have apparently paid an ‘amazing’ fee for striker Kabongo Tshimanga, says Boreham Wood chairman Danny Hunter...

Tshimanga, 24, one of the most sought-after strikers in the National League, has signed a three-year contract.

Rowe has long been an admirer of Tshimanga and Hunter admitted the fee he demanded was aimed with Championship and League One clubs in mind... The Spireites finally met the asking price late on Monday.

Hunter said 'In all fairness to their manager, James Rowe, he was like a dog with a bone – he would not let go!... We put it to Kabs, just as we had promised in March and April, that if that figure had been matched then it would activate it to a point where it became Kabs’ decision,' the chairman explained...

Hunter expressed his surprise at the deal. He added 'The fee we had set was a top League One or Championship club but that also shows the ambition of the Chesterfield manager and the faith Chesterfield have in his judgement... The final fee agreed is an amazing fee for a National League team, especially to get that done with a fellow National League team, so hats off to Chesterfield.'"

Chesterfield confirm that "The 24-year-old arrives at the Technique Stadium after being secured on the three-year contract.

After putting pen to paper, Tshimanga said 'It feels great. You can obviously see how big the club is. The club shouldn’t be at this level. It deserves to be back in the Football League and that’s got to be the aim'".

Boreham Wood add that "Kabby arrived at Meadow Park in the summer of 2019 from Oxford City as part of a summer rebuild...

Kab’s joined us with a growing reputation as a striker and a great goal scoring record in the National League South with Oxford City, having scored 37 goals in his only season with the Hoops during the 2018/18 season...

During the 2019/20 season, the front man’s 19 league goals helped Wood reach the semi-final of the National League play-offs... In the 2020/21 season, Kabby picked up exactly where he left off, again bagging another 19 league goals, albeit with a more mid-table Wood side...

Gaffer Luke Garrard commented 'In truth, I fully expected this day to come, especially after the two seasons Kabs has had with us here at Meadow Park'...

Upon leaving Meadow Park, Kabby’s record stands at 41 league and cup goals in 88 total appearances in a Wood shirt, amongst the best goals-per-game ratios across the top five divisions in English football".

And the Home Counties' club wasted no time in using their cash to get in a replacment as they report that "Boreham Wood are delighted to announce the signing of forward Scott Boden on a one-year contract, with an option of a further year.

The 31 year-old striker arrives at Meadow Park with a vast amount of National League experience, most recently having spent three years with Derbyshire outfit Chesterfield at this level. Boden in fact started out at hometown Club Sheffield United in 2007, and has enjoyed successful spells with Torquay United, Wrexham, Gateshead, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Newport County, FC Halifax Town and Macclesfield Town.

The Club want to give a warm welcome to a striker with a great attitude, great work ethic and who possesses a very good goal scoring record at National League level, as well as the level above, with 114 goals in a little over 400 career appearances, whilst boasting a goals-to-game ratio of one in every three matches at National League level".

The Leader Live reports that "Actor and co-owner of Wrexham AFC Ryan Reynolds says he wants to absorb what the club and town has to offer when he is finally able to visit...

Unable to visit the UK due to the covid pandemic, [he] could visit Wrexham as soon as August 19... The Canadian actor said 'I think the first thing we're going to do is we're going to go to The Racecourse and just spend some time on the ground and just kind of try to absorb as much of the legacy as we can of the club and Wrexham. And then we're going to jump into the community as much as we can."

The 44-year-old actor added 'I'm excited just to be in the town and experience all that the town has to offer. There's such a rich history in Wrexham, and there's such a legacy of adoration and love for this club. We feel that the community and the club are intertwined.'"

Grimsby Town "confirm that midfielder George Williams has been released from his contract.

The 25 year-old penned a two-year contract with the Mariners in the summer of 2020, going on to make 23 appearances".

Later the Grimsby Telegraph added that Willliams "has largely found himself on the periphery of the first team since Paul Hurst’s arrival as manager though, and was not part of the Town boss’ plans...

Williams was one of seven players to be made available for a free transfer as Hurst looks to trim his squad, having already released 10 players following last season’s relegation from the EFL. With no transfer in the offing though, the Mariners have taken the decision to release the 25-year-old from his contract... He joined last summer under former manager Ian Holloway.

Williams has subsequently joined League Two side Barrow after leaving Blundell Park... Barrow boss Mark Cooper said 'He has had a bit of an unlucky time with injuries at points in his career, but I know that if we can keep him fit then he will be a very good player for us'...

The Mariners are still left with a number of players they are looking to move on this summer... Danny Rose, Ira Jackson Jr and Filipe Morais have all been made available for free transfers, with each player still having a year left on their contracts.

Montel Gibson, meanwhile, has headed out on loan to Southern League Premier Division Central side Stourbridge until January; the striker has two years left on his deal at Blundell Park. Academy graduates Duncan Idehen and Joe Starbuck have also been made available".

News of two signings comes from Aldershot Town where, firstly, "Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong has signed for the club...

Berkeley-Agyepong, who will be a familiar face to Shots fans having played for the club between 2018-2020, is capable of playing in a number of midfield/forward positions and will be looking to add attacking threat to Danny Searle’s side... Berkeley-Agyepong provided the club with a number of big goals in the 2019-20 Vanarama National League season... and also at local rivals Woking FC back in August 2019...

The former Palace man is capable of the spectacular too. Following a short loan-spell before making the move permanent with National League South side Dartford FC where the 24 year-old impressed... Berkeley-Agyepong returns to Aldershot Town having played over 20 times for Dartford FC and scoring 7 times... [He] has also become a full senior international, representing Grenada".

And Aldershot Town also report that "Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain has signed for the club ahead... Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is a midfielder by trade (but is capable of playing in a number of positions as his performance against Slough Town last Saturday showed), is a product of the Portsmouth FC academy system, earning a professional contract with Pompey in 2014, before making his first-team debut professional debut on September 2015.

Since then, the 23 year-old has had spells in non-league with a number of clubs including Wimbourne Town, Salisbury FC, Eastbourne Borough, Poole Town and National League South side Oxford City before moving to fellow National League side Notts County".

Wealdstone "continued their unbeaten run in pre-season and gained their first clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Premier League side Watford's U23s at Grosvenor Vale on Tuesday evening.

First half goals from Craig Fasanmade and Trialist C, followed by a powerful second half strike from Dan Wishart secured the win over a youthful but exuberant Watford side.

Stones' boss Stuart Maynard made four changes to the side that beat Dorking Wanderers on the weekend with Jack Cawley and Andrew Eleftheriou starting, plus more minutes given to both Trialist C and D who have featured since the beginning of pre-season.

It was a fast start for the Stones with the first goal coming just four minutes in. Fasanmade collected a loose ball in the Watford area before dispatching a low and accurate effort past Hornets keeper Myles Roberts and into the bottom corner...

In similar fashion to the weekend's victory, Wealdstone proved their ruthlessness when needed. Fasanmade dispossessed Watford's Trialist B in defence, playing in Wealdstone's Trialist C who slotted past Roberts to double the Stones lead.

The second half was a more cagey affair with substitutions made by both teams at regular intervals, but Wealdstone introduced Danny Parish at the break giving the striker some more much needed minutes...

The sub keeper was beaten though with 12 minutes remaining, as...the Stones hit them on the break with Trialist C spraying it wide to Wishart on the left who then smashed an unbeatable effort into the far corner from 25 yards...

WEALDSTONE: Trialist A, Tavares, Cook (c) (Okimo 45), Cawley, Eleftheriou (Lewis 62), Trialist C, Trialist E, Browne (Dyer 62), Wishart, Trialist D, Fasanmade (Parish 45)".

And Hammyend adds that "Young Fulham goalkeeper George Wickens has joined National League side Wealdstone on a season-long loan.

The nineteen year-old, who signed a new three-year contract at Craven Cottage last October, made nine appearances for Fulham’s under-23 side last season".

11 August 2021


Altrincham played their eighth pre-season fixture on Tuesday evening at neighbours Trafford FC.

Right: Will Hall (in yellow) was dependable as he played the first half at centre-back for Altrincham at Trafford..

It was another mixed bag of a performance as the Robins failed to overcome a Trafford team from three rungs lower in the football ladder. Alty fielded a strongish side albeit without Jake Moult, Tom Hannigan and Ryan Colclough.

Altrincham took a 35th minute lead when O'Brien dwelt on the ball and was dispossessed by Mooney who fired a low shot across the keeper into the net.

The visitors brought on Leitch-Smith for Hancock at the interval and on the hour mark Dinanga, Williams, Miller and a trialist centre-back, who had also appeared at Curzon Ashton last Ssturday, came on for Peers, Pringle, Hall and Kosylo. Alty created several half chances in the second half but it was Trafford who found the net when Rooney headed home a freekick in the 70th minute to make it 1-1.

Match report here.

Altrincham's final pre-season game is behind closed doors, next Saturday, against Huddersfield Town "B".


The Leader Live reports that "Steve Parkin is hoping 'key player' Shaun Brisley's knee injury is not serious and the centre-back does not miss Wrexham's big kick-off.

Summer signing Brisley sustained the injury in the first half of Saturday's 2-2 draw at Spennymoor Town... Fellow new signing and central defender Harry Lennon did not feature against Spennymoor and Parkin is hoping for good news on the injury front.

'Pre-season is always disappointing when you pick up a couple of injuries,' said Parkin. 'The Bris one might have been avoided, it is disappointing because he has been steady and we know he is going to be a key player... Harry's knee was a little bit sore so we erred on the side of caution knowing what type of game it would be'...

Wrexham announced the signing of defender Aaron Hayden from Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee on Sunday, with the 24 year-old putting pen to paper on a three-year deal... When Brisley limped off... Jamie Reckord came on and played in the back three alongside Tyler French and a trialist. It was left-back Reckord's first pre-season outing after recovering from coronavirus...

Said Parkin, 'He has gone into a position that he has probably not played before... and he was good'...

Hayden, who was vice captain at League Two Carlisle, became Wrexham's sixth summer signing following the addition of Liam McAlinden, Brisley, Jake Hyde, Lennon and Paul Mullin.

Parkinson, currently self isolating after contracting Covid 19, is due to return... 'Phil will be back in the building on Thursday,' said Parkin.

'He is working hard with Shaun Harvey, Les Reed and the chairmen trying to strengthen the squad'".

Meanwhile, the Leader Live reports that "Wrexham are trying to arrange a final pre-season friendly this Saturday...

The Reds drew 2-2 against Spennymoor Town at the weekend in what was the last scheduled outing of the summer... Goals from Luke Young and Jake Hyde put Wrexham in the driving seat but National League North outfit Spennymoor hit back to finish all square... It was Wrexham's fourth friendly and... 'We need another game next Saturday, that is for sure,' said Parkin... 'But I think we are well on the way to it being a decent pre-season...

'We have been in contact with several clubs that start their under 23s season on the following Tuesday so hopefully we can get a game for the weekend because we do need one. We always like to have an in-house game in the build-up to the start of the season because they tend to be quite feisty with players playing for places but we certainly don't want two.'"

In the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild says he hopes four new signings will be announced by the club later this week.

The Shaymen have already added four new faces to their squad this summer in Harvey Gilmour, Billy Waters, Matt Warburton and Jordan Slew. Wild says the new additions are all trialists who are currently at the club.

'We’re hopeful of four new faces being announced this week and then I’m hopeful of one more before the season,' said the Town manager. 'In light of Covid we’ve decided to take another couple of bodies just in case... So we’ve given a couple more players a chance and hopefully four will be announced this week'.

Wild added 'We decided to change our mindset and change our focus. The market’s completely distorted, what people want for players is ridiculous, so we’ve changed our focus to "let’s find players that have got the attributes and let’s make them into a Halifax player" and that’s what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks... Are they the finished article? No. Do we back ourselves to make them better? Yes'...

The Shaymen will take on a Sheffield United XI in a behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly on Friday... 'But we’ve had problems with the pitch at The Shay,' Wild said. 'We wanted to play at The Shay but we couldn’t, so fair play to Sheffield United, and thank you to them, for hosting us on Friday'...

Town’s game at Fylde on Saturday had to be called-off after a member of Wild’s squad tested positive for coronavirus. 'There’s one lad off with Covid, and he’s in a car school with a couple of other boys, so they’re self-isolating,' Wild said...

Wild is happy with how pre-season is going... 'We’re now back to where we need to be in terms of minutes, and then over these next two friendlies, we are looking to get 90 minutes out of everybody... By the end of Tuesday everybody will have played 90 minutes".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town have been struggling with a lengthy injury list this summer, but... have been handed a big injury boost after Max Wright was seen back in training at Cheapside... with the total number of players out threatening to move into double figures at one point.

Town though were given a slight lift at the weekend as a few players managed to return to action, with Adam Crookes, Luke Waterfall and Erico Sousa all back in the squad for the win over Boston United...

Wright was shown running, getting involved in a few movement drills and spending some time on the bike as he steps up his recovery ahead of the start of the new season...

Hurst told Girmsby Live, 'I think we’ve still got eight injured, which is far too many... Hopefully by the start of the season we’ll have a couple more players available to us...

With injuries taking their toll, Hurst has had to adapt, especially given his lack of forward options, which saw him test an alternative system for his side at Boston as he went to three at the back during the second half".

The Dorset Echo reports that "Dorchester Town have concluded their summer-long search for a goalkeeper with the loan signing of Gerard Benfield.

Benfield, 23, joins until January 2022 from rivals Weymouth and has extensive Southern league experience with Salisbury and Wimborne Town".

10 August 2021


This summer has seen seven new signings and the return of a loan player to bolster a squad from which five players left over the summer.

Those who moved on were forward James Hardy, who had made 11 appearances after joining in February 2021 from AFC Telford United; long-serving midfielder Simon Richman; reserve goalkeeper Joel Torrance, who moved to Salford City's development squad and two players who the Alty management wanted to keep but who were signed by EFL clubs. They were midfielder Alistair Smith, who was snapped up by Sutton United, and striker Lewis Salmon, who was signed by Nottingham Forest.

Last season's loanee midfielder from Harrogate Town, Connor Kirby (aged 22) has returned for a second spell at Moss Lane, whilst the seven new faces are

FOR 2021-22

James Berry

Kennedy Digie

Marcus Dinanga

David Fitzpatrick

Brad Jackson

A-Jay Leitch-Smith

Ben Pringle

  • James BERRY aged 20, is a former Liverpool and Hull City forward who has gone straight out on loan to Macclesfield FC.
  • Kennedy DIGIE - is a 24 year-old central defender, who was at Hereford FC
  • Marcus DINANGA - aged 23, he is a striker who spent a loan spell with Chesterfield last season from his then parent club, Stevenage.
  • David FITZPATRICK - a 31 year-old left-back, who was at Port Vale last season.
  • Brad JACKSON - aged 24, he is a midfielder who has joined after leaving Chester FC.
  • A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH - he is a 31 year-old forward whose last three seasons were spent at Morecambe.
  • Ben PRINGLE - a 33 year-old midfielder who was at Morecambe for the last two campaigns.


Tonight (Tuesday) Altrincham face their neighbours Trafford at Shawe View (7.45pm).

It will be Altrincham's eighth pre-season game, having won four, drawn one and lost two of the previous seven.

Tickets can be bought in advance or on the gate via the Trafford FC website.

Trafford have had some good wins in pre-season, their game with Alty being their final such match before their season starts next weekend. They have recently beaten Ashton United 4-2 and Chester 4-3.

Amongst the ex-Alty faces at Trafford are winger Darius Palma, former striker Astley Mulholland who nowadays plays in central midfield, and former Reserves' and youth team defender Harry Sheridan.


Altrincham FC has Brian Flynn's audio interview with Altrincham manager Phil Parkinson following the 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton.

The Alty boss admitted that Curzon had deserved to win rather than draw the game and he felt that a number of his players had under-performed.


Altrincham FC has confirmed that Saturday's final pre-season game against a Huddersfield Town team will be played behind closed doors at the Terriers' training complex.


The NL Paper reports that "Chester favourite Paddy Lacey... who is coming to the end of his recovery from an ACL injury sustained against AFC Telford United last December, is set to make his professional fight debut on a VIP Boxing promotion at Liverpool’s Olympia Arena.

Right: Paddy Lacey leads Jake Moult, Simon Richman and Ryan Brooke off the pitch at half time against Droylsden in April 2013.

The 28-year-old, who hopes to be playing National League North football again in about six to eight weeks... has an impressive reecord in the amateur ranks, winning 18 of his 19 bouts, 15 of those victories coming inside the distance...

Lacey, who will fight in the middleweight division, always dreamt of joining the paid boxing ranks...

'My target is to win titles... Boxing titles at the very top would be my target'" he concluded.

Paddy joined Altrincham in summer 2012, having spent his apprenticeship with Sheffield Wednesday. In July 2011, following his release from Hillsborough, he moved to Bradford City on a one-year contract...

Whilst with Bradford, Patrick Lacey had a loan in 2011/12 season at Vauxhall Motors. In March 2012 he joined Droylsden.

He joined Altrincham on 26 July 2012, having impressed as a trialist for Morecambe in a pre-season game against Altrincham, a few days earlier. Whilst at Alty he worked as a carpet-fitter.

After 12 (+21) appearances, Paddy was released by Altrincham and joined Barrow in summer 2013.

Closer to home, Greg Wi‌lkinson is now playing centre-half for Wythenshawe Town and scored in their inaugural FA Cup tie at the weekend in which they overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Thackley 3-2.

James Dean had a brief loan spell with Altrincham and the Chorley Guardian reports that "The first James Dean Memorial Trophy Day at Victory Park on Sunday proved a huge success, as players, staff and fans from both Chorley and Halifax came out in force to honour the prolific striker.

The Magpies’ Old Boys beat their rivals from Halifax 4-0 in the main event, with two of Deano’s former bosses Garry Flitcroft and Neil Aspin in the dugouts.

Dean, 35, tragically died in May. He helped the Magpies won the NPL Premier Division in 2014, before going on to reach the National League North play-off final a year later.

Dean, who also played for Bury, playing in the Football League, Hyde United, Harrogate Town, Stalybridge Celtic, FC Halifax Town, AFC Fylde, Clitheroe and Padiham, scored more than 50 goals in well over 100 appearances for Chorley, and was pivotal member of the Magpies squad which also won the LFA Challenge Trophy final".

Alistair Smith, who left Altrincham for Sutton United during the summer, was an unused sub for the "U"s' first ever EFL game last Saturday, which they lost to a late goal at Forest Green Rovers.


Yeovil Town admit that "After Saturday’s draw with Weston-Super-Mare, the overriding takeaway from the fixture was the injury to forward Reuben Reid.

Reid was substituted in the 59th minute after being carried off the pitch with the help of strike partner Joe Quigley...

Sarll said 'It looks bad, it looks like a hamstring tear. You get that horrible sick feeling when you see it, because with your hamstring it takes all the resistance to put the foot down and players drop to the floor, and we obviously saw that with Reuben. He’ll be a huge miss for us. Couple that with Mark’s (Little) complications, it’s a difficult one. With (Luke) Wilkinson, we just didn’t want to risk some tightness and cramp, but he’ll fit for Tuesday.

'Wakefield had to come off because he was tight in his calf. At the end of that first week when you play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, you do find that you lose a few, but we’ll get stronger for those little tears and hiccups.

'I was just disappointed with our defensive intent today, I thought it was poor. We let people through and were far too easy to play in behind. There’s lots of work to be done, and lots of recruitment to be done because now it is threadbare.'

On a positive note, the trip to North Somerset saw Morgan Williams make his first appearance since signing a permanent contract with the club... Sarll was pleased with the central defender [saying]... 'I thought he was excellent when he came on, as was (Lewis) Simper.'"

At Dover Athletic, "Adam Birchall marked his return to Crabble with a stunning five-goal haul as Andy Hessenthaler’s Invitational XI showed they still had the wow factor in the fundraising match on Sunday.

Hessenthaler’s squad of former Dover stars won the game against Warren ‘Pep’ Dyer’s supporters’ team 19-2... It was about the club and the community coming together as one and having some fun while raising some much-needed funds.

More than 300 people braved the torrential rain to watch the game and they were treated to some stunning strikes...

It could have been a lot more than 12-0 at half-time had it not been for the heroics of goalkeeper Dan Fletcher, who produced a number of stunning saves which were deservedly applauded by the 309-strong crowd".

Barnet are "thrilled to announce the signing of experienced winger Daniel Powell on a two-year deal.

The 30 year-old has been a regular at Crewe Alexandra across the last two seasons, bagging 12 goals in 60 appearances... His goals helped to secure promotion into League One, before turning out 24 times for the Club during their first time in the third tier for five years.

The versatile winger is a product of the Milton Keynes Dons academy... [and] he went on to make 271 appearances, scoring 46 times... The attacker also had brief loan spells with Crawley Town, Forest Green Rovers and Darlington.

Following his release by MK Dons in 2017, Powell made the move to Northampton Town... until joining Crewe Alexandra in 2019, where he spent a successful two years before his release this summer.

Our newest recruit joins and adds pace, power and creativity to our ranks".

According to the Nottingham Post, "Speculation had been mounting the Magpies could move for a goalkeeper while there has also been talk of a midfielder arriving at Meadow Lane

Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall does not envisage moving for another goalkeeper in the transfer market this summer, even if Tiernan Brooks leaves on loan... after some impressive performances in pre-season. Many fans had speculated as to whether he would be elevated to number two, particularly after Luke Pilling was released at the end of last season.

But with National League clubs only allowed five substitutes, Notts often do not name a goalkeeper on the bench, which is why they are open to loan offers for the 18-year-old. Should he depart that would leave Slocombe and goalkeeping coach Jake Kean, who is registered as a player, as the goalkeepers left at the club...

Asked whether he was considering a new goalkeeper, Burchnall said, 'No. Wherever Tiernan goes and he goes to get game time, it will be just for some games on Saturday and that means that we'll still have him through the week in terms of training...

'Unless I feel like Sam has got an issue, we can call Tiernan back or we can bring in a loan but, at the moment, I don't think we need a permanent option there.'

Notts have made seven signings so far this summer with Kyle Cameron, Ed Francis, Aaron Nemane, Frank Vincent, Matt Palmer and Kairo Mitchell all putting pen to paper. But there will be no deal for William Hondermarck after the former Norwich City midfielder saw his trial spell come to an end...

'I'm not looking for a midfielder at the moment,' Burchnall said. 'I feel quite comfortable with what we've got unless something dramatic pops up... Now it's important to bring this team together and work as a unit.'"

9 August 2021


Pre-season has been unusual this summer not only because of the Covid limitations but also because all of Altrincham's friendlies are having to be played away from home to safeguard the new pitch at the J. Davidson Stadium.

Altrincham started out pre-season with a game at West Didsbury & Chorlton in which, given that there was another fixture the same afternoon at Ashton United, a necessarily weakened team was deployed. As a consequence, a 1-0 defeat gave relatively little indication of the first team's chances in the National League this season.

Right: New signing Marcus Dinanga made his debut against West Didsbury & Chorlton.

The starting eleven at Chorlton featured no one who had played for Altrincham very regularly last season with Ritchie Sutton and Matthew Gould the only players who had been on the club's books in 2020-21, apart from returning loanee Connor Kirby. Kennedy Digie, Brad Jackson and Marcus Dinanga were the only new signings involved although trialists Pringle, Leitch-Smith and Berry, all of whom were later to join the club, were also in the squad. So, the match was primarily a useful one for the management to look at the new and potential recruits.

The afternoon match that day, at Hurst Cross, provided a better sign of what might be to come as a stronger, but not necessarily first-choice, squad overcame Ashton United, 2-0.

This game featured ten starters from the pervious season's squad, trialist left-back David Fitzpatrick being the exception and he was subsequently announced as a signing for 2021-22.

The third match of pre-season was away at Nantwich Town where the gap in leagues proved insurmountable for The Dabbers as Altrincham ran out 3-0 winners.

Whereas Ashton had seen a virtual first-team of 2020-21 starting eleven, Nantwich still saw a fairly strong side deployed, with loanee Kirby and new signings Jackson and Dinanga coming into the starting eleven.

A long trip to the Essex coast came next with a match against Brightlingsea Regent which ended in a comfortable 5-0 win for The Robins. Given this seemed to have been almost as much about a bonding weekend as a competitive friendly no trialists were involved apart from David Fitzpatrick, who may already have signed for the club by that date though his signature was not announced till later.

The only match so far against a club higher in the football pecking order has been a " behind closed doors" affair against Stoke City's under-23s. Despite taking the lead, a 5-1 reverse for Alty was the outcome.

With, again, another fixture that same day, Alty used young Ryan Forde in goal and four more youngsters on the bench, whilst an un-named trialist was also a starter.

A game against National League North opposition saw Alty face Bradford (Park Avenue). There, a disappointing performance was rescued by two very late goals and a barely merited 2-1 win. This was on the same day as the above-mentioned Stoke game so the side named was not the strongest possible and, indeed, incorporated three unnamed trialists plus Will Hall, who has yet to make a league debut for the club, as well as the as yet unsigned Fisayo Adarabioyo and three youngsters being named amongst the substitutes.

And then, last Saturday, Alty started well at Curzon Ashton but were then largely second best and needed a Tom Peers goal to emerge with a draw, which could have been a defeat but for several good saves by Tony Thompson.

Above: Tony Thompson played a big part in securing a draw at Curzon Ashton, with this excellent save his standout contribution.

At the Tameside Stadium, eleven of the 2021-22 first-team squad started including three new signings. Two trialists were deployed from the bench.

With two more matches to come in pre-season, at Trafford and Huddersfield Town, second-guessing Phil Parkinson's starting eleven on 21 August is guesswork but it would be a surprise if the back five, assuming no more injuries, did not comprise Thompson in goal, Senior and Fitzpatrick as the right and left of the back four with Mullarkey and Hannigan as the central pairing.

In midfield Jake Moult is a certainty unless he picks up an injury but his partner in central midfield is debatable with Williams, Kirby and Pringle all candidates. Up top, presumably, new signing Dinanga will get the nod as the lone striker, albeit with Tom Peers snapping at his heels, with the number ten role likely to be occupied by Hancock or Leitch-Smith. On the wings, Colclough looks a certainty on the left but Kosylo and Mooney face competition from new signing Jackson this time around.

The injury sustained by Matty Gould in pre-season raises the prospect of an inexperienced keeper on the bench or, as happened frequently last season, no substitute keeper being named at all. Defenders Densmore, White and Hampson will all miss the start of the season with injuries whilst Ritchie Sutton and new signings Kennedy Digie and Brad Jackson are all reported to have had knocks in pre-season. Young players Curtis Miller and Will Hall are likely to be included in matchday squads but less likely to be starters.


On Tuesday evening, Altrincham travel to Shawe View for their now customary pre-season game with neighbours Trafford FC.

Altrincham FC says that "After travelling to Curzon Ashton tomorrow, Altrincham continue their pre-season preparations against Trafford on Tuesday evening, and our friends at Shawe View have provided admission arrangements for the fixture.

Prices are £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under-16s, and there is a choice of booking in advance or paying on the night.

Trafford, whose team will be wearing an all-white kit for the 7.45pm kick-off, advise us that tickets can be purchased prior to the match via the Shocal app or alternatively by cash or card on the night".


The Leader Live reports that "Wrexham have completed the signing of centre-back Aaron Hayden from Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee. The 24 year-old, who was Carlisle’s vice-captain, has signed a three-year contract at The Racecourse.

A ball playing defender, who also has an eye for goal... Hayden said: 'I had a good talk with the manager, who made me aware of the vision of the club, and the vision the owners had for the club, and that really motivated me to come and be part of that. I had a year left on my deal at Carlisle United, where I had two great years...

'It would have taken a lot to leave, but after speaking to the manager I’m really excited to be at Wrexham, and to get this club back to where it needs to be'...

Hayden spent time in Chelsea’s youth academy but moved to Wolves at the age of 16, and was loaned out to several clubs, including Newport County and Stourbridge.

He moved to Carlisle in 2019, and scored eight goals in 73 appearances for the Cumbrians. He was named vice-captain for 2020/21 and was due to continue in the role this season.

On his capture, Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said... 'He brings pace and physicality, which is important, but more than that he is a great personality'".

In the Southend Echo we learn that "Southend United manager Phil Brown is still contemplating bringing Will Atkinson back to Roots Hall.

The midfielder, who remains on trial with Blues, suffered a calf injury during the pre-season friendly with West Ham United last month.

But Brown has not ruled out signing the 32 year-old for a second time. 'Will has been with us for treatment all the way through since his injury and hopefully he will be back on the training ground on Monday,' said Brown. 'He’s desperate for a contract and I haven’t ruled that out yet.'

Atkinson made 173 appearances during his first spell with the Shrimpers which ended in 2017.

At Barnet, manager "Harry Kewell was pleased with the Bees' reaction to falling behind as an impressive second half performance saw his side draw 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur U23s.

'It was another tough test on a different scale, Tottenham are a fantastic passing side you could see their creativity and movement. They had a lot of confident young men, who wanted to play the right way, so it was a good test for us and it was completely different from what we've been used to, which is why we wanted to play a game like this.

'I felt we were quite sloppy in the first half, we weren't tracking runners and we were letting huge gaps appear in the midfield. But in the second half, we closed those gaps, got on the front foot, and got our goal early which was fantastic' [he said]...

'It's very important to get those minutes in the legs and 90 minutes if possible, we had to do a few different things. It was fantastic to see Harry Taylor back...

'You need competition, I think some of the players might have been in teams where it has kind of been handed to them, but that won't happen here, nobody's spot is safe'".

From Yorkshire, Guiseley report that "Stockport County arrived at Nethermoor as one of the favourites to win promotion to the EFL and they certainly showed their class with a comfortable 5-0 win...

It was Stockport in their dazzling pink and black strip who shone in the Nethermoor rain. It may have turned out differently though had Jake Day’s shot found the net in what was the first chance of the game...

It was former Lion John Rooney who netted for the third time in three games against his old team with a pinpoint free kick from 20 yards out to open the scoring.

They didn’t have to wait long for the second when Luke Jackson did well to save a County header from Will Fish but Ben Barclay was there to sweep in the rebound... just three minutes later.

This knocked the stuffing out of The Lions and Stockport started to press and in the 36th minute Tom Walker was fouled in the box which saw referee Jamie Waters point to the spot. Former Fleetwood Town man Paddy Madden stepped up and slotted past Jackson...

The second 45 started in the same manner the first half ended... resulting in a goal for the visitors in the 60th minute. Scott Quigley’s low cross took a hefty deflection from Hamza Bencherif and ended up in Jackson’s net as the captain tried to stop Madden adding a fourth... It was Madden who netted in the final minute to finish the scoring, Quigley’s shot was well saved by Jackson but Madden showed great reactions to slot home the rebound".

The Nottingham Post confirms that "The Magpies lost 3-2 at Meadow Lane... Notts County head coach Ian Burchnall admitted his side's weak spots were a 'little bit exposed' after the Magpies were beaten by York City... despite having fought back from a goal down to lead at half-time.

But second-half goals from Mark Beck and Kurt Willoughby sealed the win for the Minstermen...

'It was a good exercise for us', Burchnall said... 'But we got a little bit exposed where some of our weak spots will be which is what these games are for... We are far from the finished article. We are still on the way up, but I still saw a lot of nice elements. We created a lot of really good chances, but the goals we conceded were quite weak really.

'Two were on the counter-attack and one was from out wide. They are the areas that we have to pay attention to.'

Notts had fallen behind... before Callum Roberts equalised with a terrific strike via the underside of the bar. Joel Taylor's deflected cross then made it 2-1 before Beck equalised when he headed in Patrick McLaughlin's cross.

It was then left to Willoughby to seal the victory for York which came via a counter-attack. Burchnall added... 'The work when we lost the ball is the area we learned most about.'"

8 August 2021


Above: Tom Peers (centre) and his team-mates return to the centre circle after the striker's equaliser at the Tameside Stadium.

A strong Altrincham side came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Curzon Ashton. Alty started well and dominated the opening stages but without seriously threatening to score. Lack of a real threat in front of goal was a characteristic which was to persist throughout the afternoon.

On an excellent surface Curzon took a 33rd minute lead with a well constructed goal albeit the final shot was deflected, low, past Tony Thompson's dive (33 mins). Alty made more than half a dozen changes during the second half and it was one of the substitutes, Tom Peers, who netted the equaliser after a neat one-two with Curtis Miller in the 67th minute.

Match report here


Folowing the arrival at the club of James Berry, Kennedy Digie, Marcus Dinanga, David Fitzpatrick, Brad Jackson and Ben Pringle, Altrincham have announced a seventh summer signing in the shape of former Morecambe forward A-Jay Leitch-Smith. He had made his first appearance fo Alty on the opening day of pre-season at West Didsbury and Chorlton but his signing was only announced shortly before kick-off on Saturday.

Leitch-Smith, pictured right at Curzon Ashton, was born on 6 March 1990 and he spent the last three seasons with Morecambe in League Two.

His career started at Crewe Alexandra where, during a six-year stay, he enjoyed loans to Halifax Town, Newcastle Town, ÍBV (Iceland), and Curzon Ashton.

In summer 2014 he joined Gary Johnson's Yeovil Town for a season and then signed in at Port Vale for 2015-16, ending up as The Valiants' top scorer that season. The next season saw him playing for Shrewsbury Town before a loan-move in 2017-18 to Dundee.

The pattern of changing clubs every summer continued in 2018 as he joined Morecambe where, despite a hamstring injury, he became the Shrimps' top scorer in 2018-19 season.

He made made 23 appearances in EFL2 in 2019-20 but in only eight of those matches did he start and that was followed by just five league appearances for Morecambe in 2020-21 season before he was released.

A-Jay has played at Moss Lane previously. He was a used substitute when Port Vale won a pre-season friendly match there in August, 2015.


ALtrincham's first league opponents of 2021-22 will be Torquay United on 21 August and they "announce the signing of Chiori Johnson and Dan Holman, following successful pre-season trials with the Club".

Manager GAry Johnson opined, "I’m pleased to announce that Chiori has signed a deal with us, I think he’s [had] a very good pre-season. I think most people will have seen his athleticism and his passion for the game. He’s a great lad on and off the field, and someone that’s been schooled at Arsenal has always got that in his repertoire... He’s also a utility player, he probably doesn’t know that himself yet. He plays right-back, he can play left-back, he can play centre midfield, he can play wide. People will see the best of him when we’ve got him to full fitness.

“Dan Holman is a player I know very well. I think Dan single-handedly got Cheltenham promoted during the second half of the season with his goals in 2015/16. He was absolutely prolific at that stage, and had been six months earlier with Woking. He was unlucky at Cheltenham, and had to pack the game up for a little while...

“He took that time to play part-time and build up his business, which is as a strength and conditioning coach, which you can see from his frame, and that will help us as well. The first couple of training sessions, he was unbelievable. I know him, and all I needed to see was that he was back to his fitness, because I know he’s got goals in him...

"With two new players arriving at Plainmoor, one player going in the opposite direction, temporarily, is Olaf Koszela, who has joined Tiverton Town on loan...

"Johnson also announced a change to his backroom team with Ken Griffiths replacing Phil Osborn as Goalkeeper Coach".


Former Altrincham players in action on Saturday were headed by 42 year-old Kevin Ellison who headed a goal for Newport County.

Former loanees Owen Dale and Josh Lundstram both played for Crewe Alexandra with Lundstram recording an "assist". A less happy ex-loanee was Chris Merry who received a straight red playing for Tranmere Rovers.


ALtrincham FC report that "All the work has been completed on Altrincham's no-expense-spared new pitch, and the bedding-in process is well underway, ahead of its first use early next month...

A lush green carpet awaits Phil Parkinson's side when they take to the field for their first Vanarama National League home fixture of the season against Dover Athletic on Saturday, September 4th... The early signs are distinctly promising after some ferocious recent downpours put the new drainage system to the test. So, how did it fare? Let Alty director Neil Faulkner explain.

'Normally, if 15-20mm of rain falls in the space of 24 hours, it is enough to get a game called off,' he said. 'Last week, we had 46mm overnight, yet there wasn't so much as a single puddle on the new pitch the next day.'".


The DAily Cannon reports that "In a game which saw Arsenal pose little attacking threat, the u23s were soundly and deservedly beaten by Boreham Wood at Meadow Park on Friday evening.

A distinct lack of cohesion and some odd tactical choices contributed to their woes, although it should be noted that this Boreham Wood side also beat Chelsea’s youngsters".

Boreham Wood add that "Four goals from the Wood courtesy of Tyrone Marsh, Gus Mafuta and a double from Kabongo Tshimanga won the contest with a real five star performance. The Gunners came to Meadow Park with a side consisting of academy players, and the difference in experience was on show...

As the heavens opened up and the rain poured, the hosts began to dominate with an onslaught of chances... Wood finally broke the deadlock. Two successive corners saw the initial one find David Stephen at the back post, whose neat footwork forced the defender to step in and concede a second. The subsequent second from Smith met the head of Marsh who put it beyond Ejeheri.

Five half-time changes by the Gunners began an exciting second period, with Wood taking their form through the break... Wood soon did manage to double their lead though, doing so in spectacular fashion. Some good work down the right from the two Smith’s saw an overhit cross fall to Illesamni on the other side, who lay it off to Mafuta to fire an unbelievable strike into the top right-hand corner...

The goals then started to flow for Luke Garrard’s men. Tshimanga’s darting run into the box saw the defender get in the way with Tom Bishop awarding the penalty. Tshimanga dusted himself off to make no mistake from the spot...

Tshimanga put the game beyond doubt ten minutes from the end with his second of the evening. The 24-year old received the ball just outside the six yard box and turned brilliantly, taking the ball under control and firing past substitute keeper Hubert Graczyk to make it 4-0...

It was a complete performance from the Wood, with the players looking fitter and sharper as the games continue to come. Tshimanga and Marsh impressed up front while Ricketts, Mafuta and Connor Smith worked tirelessly in midfield,. Evans was resolute at the back and looks to be a real coup along with Mendy Mendy at left-wing back, who continued his fine form in pre-season...

There is a reason to feel optimistic ahead of the new National League campaign...

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Ilesamni, Ricketts, Evans, Stephens, Marsh, C.Smith, Mafuta, Mendy Mendy, K Smith, Tshimanga. Subs: Green, Munns, Rees, Raymond, Fyfield, McKenna.

Bromley "announce the signing of George Alexander.

The 20 year-old centre-forward has penned a permanent deal with the club following a successful trial period, netting three times in pre-season so far with numerous assists to his name already.

Alexander, son of former Millwall striker Gary, arrives at Hayes Lane from the EFL Championship side, where his talents within the academy awarded him with a Championship appearance against Wigan Athletic in 2019. The prolific goalscorer also found his name on the team-sheet in an Emirates FA Cup tie against Everton later that year.

The club’s newest recruit also spent time on loan at Concord Rangers during the 2019-20 season, helping The Beach Boys reach the Buildbase FA Trophy final.

Manager Andy Woodman commented 'He’s a goalscorer and he’s shown that at Millwall in the U23s and will give us another dimension in terms of how we play. George is always pulling the trigger and is a determined young man, so it’s great to have him in the building'...

Alexander’s arrival means the Ravens’ squad list is currently:

  • Mark Cousins, Joe Partington, Toby Stevenson, Billy Bingham, Chris Bush, Luke Coulson, Jude Arthurs, Michael Cheek, James Alabi, Courtney Duffus, Louis Dennis, Kory Roberts, Liam Trotter, Byron Webster, Corey Whitely, Harry Forster, Nathan Tormey, George Alexander, Sam Skeffington, Archie Burnett, Finlay Lovatt, AJ Martin, Marcus Sablier"

The Blackpool Gazette tells us that "AFC Fylde's home friendly with FC Halifax Town is called off. AFC Fylde has announced the postponement of this afternoon’s pre-season friendly against FC Halifax Town.

The two sides had been due to meet at Mill Farm in the Coasters’ last outing before their National League North season starts at Guiseley next Saturday.

However, a club statement issued on Saturday morning said 'Today’s pre-season friendly against FC Halifax Town has been postponed due to a member of the Halifax Town team testing positive for Covid-19'".

7 August 2021


Altrincham travel to the Tameside Stadium on Saturday (3pm) to face National League North side Curzon Ashton at 3pm.

Tickets for the match can be purchased on the Curzon Ashton website.

Curzon's player-coach these days is former Alty player Craig Mahon who helped Alty in their 2019-20 promotion season. When the sides clashed that season in Tameside, on Boxing Day 2019, Alty won 1-0. The visitors arrived for the match looking to end a run of six games in all competitions without a win and they were also seeking their first away win of the season in the league.

Tom Peers scored the winning goal as he firmly headed home an impressive cross from Shaun Densmore (75 mins).

ALTRINCHAM (Grey shirts and shorts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 3. Andy WHITE, 4. James JONES, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. John JOHNSTON, 8. Sean WILLIAMS, 9. Jordan HULME, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 11. Tom PEERS. Subs: 12. Max HARROP, 14. Luke WALL, 15. Ethan WALKER, 16. Toby MULLARKEY, 17. Connor HAMPSON


On Tuesday evening, Altrincham travel to Shawe View for their now customary pre-season game with neighbours Trafford FC.

Altrincham FC says that "After travelling to Curzon Ashton tomorrow, Altrincham continue their pre-season preparations against Trafford on Tuesday evening, and our friends at Shawe View have provided admission arrangements for the fixture.

Prices are £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1 for under-16s, and there is a choice of booking in advance or paying on the night.

Trafford, whose team will be wearing an all-white kit for the 7.45pm kick-off, advise us that tickets can be purchased prior to the match via the Shocal app or alternatively by cash or card on the night".


This coming season The Robins will be wearing Puma kit and now Altrincham FC announce that "The club have kept a promise made soon after the launch of their new partnership by arranging two special shopping events aimed at allowing supporters to browse the Puma range close up.

The first Pop-Up Store will be a lunchtime session next Thursday, August 12th, from 11.30am to 2.30pm, while the second will be an evening event on Thursday, September 2nd, from 5pm to 8pm.

Both will be held in the newly-refurbished Manchester Glass Sponsors’ Lounge and both will be well stocked with Puma replica kit, training gear and leisure wear, ready for inspection. The club's new craft gin will be available for purchase, too.

There will also be artwork and prints and framed signed shirts on sale, as well as the opportunity to have names and numbers pressed on to replica shirts, whether they were bought on the day or previously.

In addition, there will be the chance to meet and chat with Alty directors John Coyne and Sam Mackenzie and admire the view from the Sponsors’ Lounge across the lush, newly-laid pitch".

Right: Ben Pringle is seen in the new Puma home kit.


Devon Live reports on ALtrincham's first National League opponents of the coming season, telling us that "Torquay United manager Gary Johnson isn’t a fan of the word ‘trialist’ as it isn’t really very respectful to the player concerned but Trialist A, Trialist B, Trialist C, etc, will continue to be used as a way of keeping names on the down low with other teams sniffing around.

With Torquay playing their fifth pre-season game at home tomorrow, against National League South side Chippenham Town, Johnson quantified his recent comments that he is now done with trialists, by adding ‘Until the next trialist comes along’.

He said 'Trialist is not a very nice term because you are bringing in people that have done a bit and you’re naming him as Trialist A. The only reason why you do that is for the simple reason that you don’t want to alert anyone else that you are looking at someone before you have decided whether you want them or not. I know people get frustrated and you get these Poirots that love to find out who he is.

'But the games get serious now; you don’t want to mess about with the squad... But if you bring in anyone now, you have got to be pretty sure you are going to take him'...

With two weeks to go to the first game of the National League season, Torquay have signed seven new players and two young professionals. With the 10 players who stayed after last season, that makes 19, so there is room for a few more yet.

Last season, however, Johnson surprised us with three loan signings on kick-off day. There will be a couple of loan signings, sure, but it will be interesting to see if ‘trialist’ Dan Holman, who scored twice against Tiverton Town in Tuesday’s night’s friendly and was then named by Johnson’s online ‘Poirots’, features again tomorrow.

Torquay will play their final pre-season friendly against a Bournemouth under-23s side at Plainmoor on Tuesday, with the opening-day of the season bringing Altrincham south 10 days later".


Solihull Moors "announce the addition of Lois Maynard on a season-long loan from Stockport County.

The midfielder, who has 12 international caps for St Kitts and Nevis, was part of the Hatters' squad who reached the play-offs last season. He made a total of 30 appearances, scoring once. Maynard, 32, was a National League play-off winner with Salford City in 2018/19, making it back-to-back promotions with the Ammies in his two-and-a-half-year stint at Moor Lane.

Born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, the six-foot-three midfielder started his career in non-league with Daisy Hill, Chadderton, Flixton and Winsford United, where he was named Player of the Year.

He then joined FC Halifax Town in 2013... Maynard then spent two years at Tranmere Rovers before his move and success with Salford...

Maynard said 'I’m absolutely delighted to get it over the line. I wanted to go and get some games under my belt... It’s nice to give experience to younger players and players around you. Just to be that voice and use your experiences – there’s no harm in doing that, so I will'...

Manager Neal Ardley added... 'We wanted to bring more strength, power and athleticism to the team and along with his vast experience, we believe Lois adds this to the group'.

Stockport have no recall option available, and Moors have FA Cup, FA Trophy and Birmingham Senior Cup permission for the player".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, manager "Paul Hurst believes some of his Grimsby Town players need to gain more confidence after not hitting the heights they’re capable of in recent performances.

After an impressive start to pre-season with wins over Cleethorpes Town and Mansfield before more than holding their own against League One side Rotherham United, things haven’t quite gone the Mariners’ way over the last week or so.

A lengthy injury list has taken its toll, while a young Town side produced a disjointed performance as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Hyde United last Friday. They bounced back with a 1-0 victory over Alfreton on Tuesday as some of the Mariners’ senior players returned to the side, but it still wasn’t quite the cohesive display their manager would have been looking for...

Hurst told Grimsby Live 'It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against, habits of winning a game and keeping a clean sheet are good to get into. I said to the players, it looks like a few of them are almost not quite as confident as they need to be, so that’s something we’ll speak about individually and see how they are... I think there’s a lot more to come from us'...

They continue their pre-season schedule at Boston United".

The Leader Live tells us that "Paul Mullin has opened his Wrexham account but the striker wouldn't have been bothered if he'd gone through pre-season without scoring for his new club.

The 26 year-old is up and running after finding the net in Tuesday's 4-0 win against a mixed Fleetwood Town...

Said Mullin, 'I don't really care about scoring in pre-season because I feel like the goals are used up'...

Mullin joined Wrexham after scoring 32 goals in 46 games to help Cambridge clinch promotion from League Two last term...

'Last year I went through the whole of pre-season without scoring a goal and it didn't really bother me,' said Mullin".

In the Southend Echo we read that "Southend United manager Phil Brown will be meeting with a new contender for the first-team coaching role today.

Brown has yet to add to his backroom team this summer with former Barnet boss Ian Hendon unable to join due to personal reasons.

But Brown is still keen to fill the role. 'I’m meeting with a first team coach on Friday,' said Brown. 'He’s coming down to training and we’ll have a cup of coffee afterwards. Ricky (Duncan) has set that one up and I’m looking forward to seeing him.

'He’s certainly very well qualified.'”

Footnote: Ricky Duncan is the club's Director of Football.

The Nottingham Post reports that "New Notts County captain Kyle Cameron has revealed that he had his sights set on the role as soon as he put pen to paper at the club.

The 24 year-old, who joined County from fellow National League side Torquay United in June, was named skipper for the season last month by manager Ian Burchnall.

While admitting the appointment was a 'surprise', the left-sided centre-back had planted the seed in his new manager's mind as soon as he arrived from the south coast.

Speaking on The Magpie Circle podcast, he explained... 'I realised that the captain’s role was up for grabs. So I just put in his head, as soon as signed I said to him "I'd like to put myself forward for that role". I've been vice-captain at Torquay for three years, so I've kind of learnt a little bit off [Torquay captain] Asa Hall and what the role entails'...

Instead of staying with Torquay to bid to reach the Football League, he instead opted for 'a step up' by moving to Meadow Lane.

'I think this is a little bit more of a step up, it's a bit of a bigger club, a bit of a bigger fan base, sort of a little bit more pressure on the situation as a skipper,' he added...

For him [the manager] to pick us was obviously still a little bit of a surprise, with the older lads that we have here and the leaders that are within the squad. I was quite impressed by the amount of leaders that we do have in this squad.

'There's a lot of people that speak up and a lot of lads that sort of drive standards every day'".

6 August 2021


Altrincham FC have announced that Phil Parkinson has signed "highly-promising young striker James Berry.

Left: James Berry at West Didsbury in Alty's opening pre-season game.

The Wigan-born forward has had two substitute appearances as a trialist in recent Alty pre-season games, going on briefly at West Didsbury & Chorlton and playing the second half at Nantwich.

There were enough glimpses of his potential, particularly in the 3-0 win at Nantwich, where he laid on the third goal for Dan Mooney, to convince Alty boss Parkinson to move decisively and snap him up for the Robins.

Given his age and lack of senior experience, it was decided he would benefit from first-team game time at a lower-level club, and, as a consequence, he is joining Macclesfield FC on loan with immediate effect until the New Year...

He was on Liverpool's books from the age of seven, and when they released him almost a decade later, his home town club Wigan were quick to sign him up on a two-year scholarship in December, 2016.

His big break came in November, 2019, when Hull City agreed a compensation deal with Wigan... [At Hull]. he progressed sufficiently to earn a first-team debut in the Championship as a substitute... 18 months ago.

A right-footed forward who favours the wide positions... He has an ability to change games that Phil and his assistant Neil Sorvel believe will serve Alty well for years to come".

Earlier, the Hull Daily Mail had reported that "Striker James Berry has left Hull City after having his contract terminated by mutual consent... following his switch from Wigan Athletic two years ago...

A former Liverpool youngster who grew up alongside the likes of Trent Alexander Arnold, Berry came to the MKM Stadium with high hopes, and despite impressing Grant McCann was unable to force his way into the first team picture".


Alty TV has Brian Flynn's video interview with new signing Ben Pringle (right), a man who has enjoyed several promotions during his Football League career.


On Saturday, Altrincham travel to play Curzon Ashton (3pm), who are preparing for a seventh season in National League North, albeit last season was curtailed after they had completed just 17 fixtures.

The previous season was also cut short after 33 games, with The Nash finishing 20th of the 22 clubs. That followed two 18th placed finishes in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Ex-Alty forwards Craig Hobson and Craig Mahon are on the Tameside club's books

Last Tuesday, Curzon lost 2-0 at Hyde United.


The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Paul Hurst’s new-look side is taking shape.

The Mariners have just two more pre-season friendlies to go... And despite a lengthy injury list, we’ve perhaps now got a good indication of who’s leading the way to be in that first line-up of the season...

Michee Efete, the defender looks as though he’ll be the man in possession of the right-back slot ahead of Ryan Sears...

Ben Fox, arguably the standout player of the summer so far, the midfielder has caught the eye in every game he’s played so far...

John McAtee, the forward has grown and grown with each performance this summer... It looks like McKeown will be between the posts..

David Long-King, the former Newport man is getting a decent run at the heart of the defence... Whether that’s due to circumstance with Luke Waterfall having missed the last two friendlies, Longe-King didn’t [do] his chances any harm on Tuesday...

The preferred midfield three right now seems to be Fox, Coke and Clifton... Adam Crookes hasn’t made an appearance since the Rotherham game, which makes it likely that he’s among that lengthy injury list. Revan has since come in, and impressed down the left at Alfreton...

[Ex-Alty loanee] Luke Waterfall; there were one or two doubts about the defender’s place in the squad at the end of last season, but to his credit, he’s started off pre-season well in the games he’s played...

As Hurst put it, Town have been decimated in the forward areas through injury... If they can return before the end of pre-season, you’d imagine Sousa, Wright and Grant will be fighting it out, especially with Sean Scannell looking likely to be out for a good while".

According to the Leader Live "Steve Parkin described his players as 'first class' as Wrexham continued their pre-season programme with another resounding win.

The Reds beat a mixed Fleetwood Town side 4-0 on Tuesday, just three days after clinching a 5-0 victory over Tamworth, with three strikers, two-goal Jake Hyde, Paul Mullin and Jordan Ponticelli, on target at Poolfoot Farm...

Assistant manager Parkin told the club's media team... 'We were probably a little bit more experienced than them [FLeetwood]... I thought the lads' attitude was a continuation from Saturday and they were first class."

After drawing a blank in their opening friendly, a 1-0 defeat to Burnley under 23s, Wrexham have responded by scoring nine times in two outings...

With manager Phil Parkinson isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, Parkin is likely to be in charge again when Wrexham head to National League North outfit Spennymoor on Saturday...

'We need to look at a few things when we have not got the ball,' said Parkin".

Southend's Echo News reports that "Southend United manager Phil Brown is certain goalkeeper Steve Arnold will be up to speed by the start of the National League season.

Arnold endured a difficult evening between the sticks against Brentford after recovering from coronavirus...

'I fully expect Steve to be up to speed come the 21st,' said Brown.

'He wasn’t given some of the best back-passes in the world and one or two of the decisions he made were ring-rusty as well but he will come good, there’s no doubt about it.

'He has the experience but Harry Seaden is putting him under pressure.'”

Bromley "announce the signing of Nathan Tormey.

The talented former Arsenal left sided winger, 21, has featured in some pre-season fixtures for Andy Woodman’s men as a trialist, with the pair having previously worked together at Arsenal.

Tormey represented Arsenal at youth level, signing a scholarship in 2016. He was dealt a blow, suffering an injury which kept him on the sidelines for some time, but... he cemented a regular place in the Gunners’ U23 side...

He also featured in EFL Trophy matches against Northampton Town, Cambridge United and Peterborough United. He then decided not to take up Arsenal’s offer of a new contract, and moved on, spending time training with clubs including Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

Woodman [said]... 'Nathan’s an exciting player who I worked with at Arsenal... He’s a quick, explosive player with bags of talent, and for us to get a player like him is fantastic and I think it shows people where we’re heading'".

5 August 2021


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, Altrincham FC press and media officer John Edwards writes that "Phil Parkinson has solved his two most pressing needs with two vastly-experienced signings after landing ex-Morecambe midfielder Ben Pringle and former Port Vale left-back David Fitzpatrick.

Altrincham were in danger of going into the new campaign without a recognised left-back, following injuries to Connor Hampson and Andy White, until 31-year old Fitzpatrick signed over the weekend after impressing in the Robins’ pre-season games.

Right: Ben Pringle, with fellow new signing Kennedy Digie in the background.

Midfield was the other priority area... and Pringle got the nod after also catching the eye.,.. Voted Derby County’s young player-of-the-year a decade ago, the all-action midfielder, who turned 33 last week, has a wealth of experience in Leagues One and Two and the Championship...

'Ben’s acquisition will add vast experience, creativity and quality,' said the Alty boss. 'He’s proven and still hungry, and he wants to help us achieve our goals'...

Stretford-born Fitzpatrick has impressed at National League level and beyond in a distinguished career that brought him three England C caps during his time at Southport. An FA Trophy finalist with Macclesfield in 2017, he played in every one of their 46 league games the following season...

He made more than 20 appearances for Port Vale last season and is seen as the ideal solution to a full-back problem that has been further exacerbated by a tendonitis injury to right-back Shaun Densmore that left Joel Senior as the only specialist in that position, prior to Fitzpatrick’s arrival".


Stoke City report that "City’s U23s recorded a comfortable 5-1 victory over National League side Altrincham in their penultimate pre-season friendly.

After falling behind to an early goal, Kevin Russell’s side stormed back thanks to goals from Christian Norton, Adam Porter, a trialist, Kieran Coates and D’Margio Wright-Phillips...

On a warm afternoon at Clayton Wood, it was the visitors who were quickest out of the blocks and they forged ahead within six minutes when Marcus Dinagna fired home from close range.

The Robins almost doubled their lead minutes later with two efforts in quick succession but Scottish goalkeeper Robbie Hemfrey was equal to both strikes.

Those saves proved to be the turning point in the contest as soon after the home side started to seize control, equalising just before the half hour mark when Norton stroked home from the penalty spot.

The leveller was quickly followed by another City goal.. The ball was worked to Porter who curled a delightful effort into the top corner...

Russell’s charges didn’t have to wait long into the second half to make it three, however, as a trialist surged forward and unleashed a ferocious drive into the roof of the net.

Coates netted City’s fourth less than 180 seconds later when Goodwin allowed a pass to reach the wing back, who fired his shot across the keeper into the bottom corner.

As the half wore on, the Potters could quite easily have added to their tally... However it was sub Wright-Phillips who netted the final goal with minutes remaining, smashing home Eddy Jones’s left-wing cross.

Stoke City: Hemfrey, Trialist (Baker 52), Trialist (Okagbue 52), Macari, Trialist (Coates 45), Sparrow (Sy 65), Porter (Jarrett 65), Jones, Norton (Wright-Phillips 60), Goodwin (Taylor 60), Trialist (Trialist 45).


The Southend Echo reports that "Southend United striker Simeon Akinola has been told he is free to leave the club.

The 28 year old scored twice in 24 games last season.

But Shrimpers boss Phil Brown is keen for the forward to move on. 'I made it quite clear at the end of last season that he wasn’t my cup of tea,' said Brown.

'With that in mind I’ve asked him and his agent to find himself another club.'

Akinola started for Blues' under 23 side at Canvey Island on Tuesday night".

FC Halifax Town report that thay "have signed 28 year-old striker Jordan Slew.

The 6ft 3 frontman started his career with home town club Sheffield United before joining Blackburn Rovers for £1.1 million pound in September 2011. He had loan spells with Stevenage, Oldham, Rotherham, Ross County and Port Vale.

A move to Cambridge United followed in 2015 and he went on to play for a number of other Clubs including Chesterfield and Plymouth. Most recently he has been playing at Morecambe in the EFL".

The Halifax Courier adds that "Jordan Slew has become FC Halifax Town's fourth signing of the summer...

In August 2011, Slew, who has played once for the England under 19 side, was signed by Premier League side Blackburn for £1.1m, making his debut in December 2011... He then went on loan to League One Stevenage towards the end of the season, failing to score in nine apperances.

He was loaned to Oldham in League One for six months at the start of the 2012-13 season... Another loan spell at Rotherham followed later that season... The following season, Slew failed to make an appearance for Blackburn's first team, instead joining Scottish Premier League side Ross County on loan in January 2014, scoring once in 20 games.

He joined League One Port Vale on loan in August 2014... After his contract at Blackburn was terminated in January 2015, Slew signed for Cambridge in League Two... His contract with the club was cancelled by mutual consent on 1 February, 2016, after which he joined League One Chesterfield on a short-term deal...

Slew signed a one-year deal with Plymouth in July 2016 and scored six times in 40 appearances for the League Two side, helping them to earn promotion. A brief stint at Rochdale in League One followed... Slew then dropped into non-league, joining Northern Premier League Division One North club Radcliffe in January 2018.

In October 2018, Slew joined Boston United of the National League North... then joining Ashton United of the Northern Premier League Premier October 2019.

The striker returned to the Football League in January 2020, signing for League Two side Morecambe... He scored once in 25 appearances for Morecambe last season".

Footnote: Slew was a used sub for Boston United against Alty i 2019.

According to the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild says he will continue to be patient in his pursuit of new signings.

The Shaymen have so far added four new faces to their squad this summer in Billy Waters, Harvey Gilmour, Matt Warburton and Jordan Slew, who all played in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Guiseley.

'Warby’s been on the cards for a long while,' Wild said of attacking midfielder Warburton. 'When Jack Earing went, I knew who I was getting. Warby played League One football, and bringing a League One player to The Shay, that’s what we’re all about. He’s a good footballer, he’s a good character, and he’s got more experience than Jack Earing.

'Between him and Harvey Gilmour, let’s not discredit Harvey, we’ve got some exciting talent there.'

And on forward Slew, who helped Morecambe to promotion from League Two last season, Wild said 'Every report that came back on Jordan has said he’s a top player, works hard, we were looking for somebody who could play left of a front three or middle of a front three, and he can do both... What a player'...

When asked what Slew’s best position was, Wild said 'I’d say left of a front three, but can play central as well... But we’ll just keep moving along, keep being patient, we have what we have. We’ve tried to reinvest, it’s not happened yet, it’s not worked out for us yet but it will at some point'...

Wild said three of the four trialists he had previously earmarked as potential signings are still with the club, but that plans for a replacement for centre-back Neill Byrne have changed.

'“We were talking to a few defenders but we decided not to pursue them,' he said... One of the trialists who is set to play against Fylde on Saturday is thought to be former Bradford City forward Billy Clarke. Wild said there is money available to pay a fee for a player if needed...

'There’s people in our league offering more than we’re offering, but we ain’t just going to throw the money at the first thing that comes along'...

The Town boss says the departures of Byrne and Jake Hyde could potentially mean greater freedom within his wage budget. 'Or we might feel we might want a bit of a bigger squad so we don’t feel we’re having to scrat around when we need to, they’re the two options,' he said...

'We’re having problems with the pitch at The Shay, which is not helping us. We have a team to play [in pre-season], but nowhere to play them... I want to see more of what I’ve seen on Tuesday, I want to see us finish our chances, and if we do that and play at the levels we played, then I think it’ll be a really good game [v. AFC Fylde]...

Defenders Jay Benn and Niall Maher both missed Tuesday’s win at Guiseley, but are expected to return at Fylde... Benn, along with fellow youngsters Kian Spence and Dom Tear, didn’t feature much last season, but Wild says all three could be more regular starters this season...

'They’re like three new players, they’re ready, all three of them,' he said... 'What me and Chris want to do is create a production line here, and create players so that there’s production line for the next five or six years.'”

In the Barnet & Potters Bar Times we read that "Ben Richards-Everton believes Harry Kewell is building something exciting at Barnet...

Following a 1-1 draw, in which the Bees fought back from behind, against League One Oxford United, with a trialist scoring the vital equaliser in the match, the defender said that he... believes that Barnet can massively improve on their poor showing last season...

'I came in in January and we conceded way too many goals and that’s something that needed to stop... The gaffer has brought in a good team, he is assembling a bunch of players that buy into the way that we and the gaffer wants to play'...

Richards-Everton felt that [against Oxford United]... 'It was a tough test for us... The boys can be proud of themselves, event though it was two different teams in the first and second half, it was good'...

Next up for Barnet is a tough match against Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s this weekend...

'It will probably a younger bunch of lads who like to keep hold of the ball and pass it around the back and in midfield and stuff like that'[he said].... 'It’ll be a good fitness test for us as well... We’ve just got to be big and physical and get as ready as we can before the first day of the new season'">

4 August 2021


Having played quite a few of his first string against Stoke in early afternoon, the Altrincham team facing BPA was necessarily makeshift. The starters included three trialists who, according to the BPA stream commentator would remain anonymous at Phil Parkinson's request but they were freely named on the Radio Robins commentary on the match.

For now, at least, we will respect the Alty manager's wishes here and not identify them although they all seem to be proper trialists rather than Alty reserves as was suggested on the radio.

Altrincham fell behind to a twelfth-minute penalty very harshly awarded against one of the trialists for alleged handball. The spot kick was converted by the hosts' new signing, Rawson, from Chesterfield.

For Alty there was just one clear chance in the first half which Hancock wasted, sliding the ball wide from a good position. So it was 1-0 at half-time.

It took till the 68th minute for either side to get a shot in goal when Hancock fired straight at the keeper.

With the game drifting, Kosylo cut in from the left and was tripped. He took the freekick himself, from 20 yards out, and scored to make it 1-1 (84 mins).

Alty then made it 2-1 when Miller, who had a good game as a second-half substitute, cut in from the left and his speculative low shot was fumbled by the trialist keeper and tapped in by Tom Peers (88 mins).

Match report here.


In their "behind closed doors" friendly on Tuesday afternoon against Stoke City under-23s at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Altrincham lost 5-1, despite taking an early lead through Marcus Dinanga. Having fielded a strong side for this game, the team to face Bradford (Park Avenue) at 7.45pm may show many changes from Saturday's line-up.

Match report here.


Altrincham FC have annouced the signing of midfielder Ben Pringle who has been trialling with the club during the current pre-season.

John Edwards writes, "Phil Parkinson has significantly strengthened Altrincham's midfield options for the new season by signing one-time Derby County young player-of-the-year Ben Pringle...

'Ben's acquisition will add vast experience, creativity and quality,' said Phil... 'He's proven and still hungry, and he wants to help us achieve our goals'.

As previously reported here, he first appeared for Altrincam at no.10 on Saturday against West Didsbury & Chorlton, where he is pictured (right).

The 33 year-old spent last season with Morecambe in League Two. Ben started out at West Bromwich Albion (2006-07) before retruning to his native north-east to play with Newcastle Blue Star and Morpeth Town during the following season.

A return to the Midlands brought 42 appearances for Ilkeston Town in 2008-09 where he earned a move to Derby County (2009-11) during which spell he played five gamnes on loan for Torquay United.

Four years were spent at Rotherham United where he made nearly 150 league appearances and he also enjoyed 15 appearances for Fulham in 2015-16.

After a loan at Ipswich Town, he moved back north to Preston North End from where he was loaned to Oldham Athletic and in 2018-19 to Grimsby Town. Another loan spell followed at Tranmere Rovers before joining Steve Evans at Gillingham in 2019-20. His move to Morecambe followed in 2020.


The Nottingham Post reports that "Notts County have made another addition to their squad... with the arrival of Kairo Mitchell from Chesterfield.

The 23 year-old former Leicester City forward scored a total of eight goals last season. He joins County on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee and adds further quality to an attacking line at Meadow Lane already consisting of Kyle Wootton, Ruben Rodrigues, Cal Roberts, Elisha Sam and Lewis Knight.

Notts have been searching for a centre forward to provide back-up to last season's top-scorer Wootton. Mitchell has struggled to fix a regular spot in the Chesterfield squad under boss James Rowe and now links up with Notts.

Head coach Ian Burchnall revealed... 'Kairo is a player we have watched for quite a while now. At King’s Lynn he was prolific not only in the goals he scored but also the chances he created and he’s been our number-one target for this role throughout the summer.

'Clearly he’s not had the minutes he would have liked at Chesterfield but he’s done well in the games we’ve watched and we’re delighted we’ve had the opportunity to bring him here... We’ve got Kyle, who’s very much a target man and an in-the-box striker, while Elisha and Lewis are wider forwards who run in behind. Kairo gives us a bit of both; he has the strength, size and physicality to hold the ball up but he’s also quick and dynamic enough to stretch the play.

'He can play up together with Kyle because they complement each other but, if Kyle is missing, we’d still get a lot of what he does from Kairo. His versatility helps us in a big way@".

Meanwhile, the Derbyshire Times informs us that Melvin Minter, "the goalkeeper currently on trial at Chesterfield, has had a journey like no other to get to this point in his career...

His persistence was rewarded in September 2020 when he signed his first ever professional contract, aged 25, at Harrogate Town... His route took him through semi-professional football via digital platform Rising Ballers and Sky Sports’ Saturday morning breakfast show Soccer AM.

Rising Ballers was launched with the aim of highlighting promising football talent through quality video and social media content to help them get fixed up with professional clubs... On Soccer AM, Minter would go in goal and attempt to stop shots from fans and celebrities.

While at Harrogate, Minter was loaned out to National League North side Darlington, who were happy to continue extending his stay... Unfortunately, he was one of several players released by Harrogate at the end of last season and he is now a free agent.

Minter came on for the final 15 minutes in the Spireites’ pre-season win against Bradford City last week and made one outstanding save late on.

He did not feature against Port Vale on Saturday but was seen warming up with fellow goalkeeper Scott Loach before kick-off. He is likely to play against Aston Villa’s under-23s in a behind closed doors match".

Bromley "confirm the signing of Toby Stevenson following his departure from Watford.

The 21 year old can operate anywhere on the left side of defence, predominantly playing as a left-back. He started his career at Leyton Orient on a scholarship, and was also loaned out to Heybridge Swifts... where he made 23 appearances.

Following his departure from Brisbane Road, he attracted the attention of Charlton Athletic... and was subsequently signed by the Addicks on a professional contract. During his two seasons at the Valley, he would make eight first team appearances, scoring four goals...

Stevenson would then get his first taste of National League Football with a loan to Dagenham & Redbridge during the 2019-20 season, where he played 12 times, before being recalled by Charlton in January 2020.

At the end of the 2019-20 season, Stevenson left Charlton and moved on to Watford, where he signed a one-year contract, and played for the Hornets’ U23 team.

Having been brought in by Andy Woodman as a trialist, Stevenson has done enough to earn a contract at Hayes Lane, and commented... 'I’m a left-back but I can also play as left wing-back and even a left sided centre-back. First and foremost, I love to defend, but also to get crosses in the box@".

Barnet report on a 1-1 draw at Oxford United "in a behind closed doors training ground friendly...

The Bees came close to taking the lead as the first-half approached the final stages. Vasiliou picked up the loose ball before playing across to Trialist C who had his shot from close-range blocked. Trialist D reacted first to the loose ball and took aim but saw his effort deflected over the bar for a corner.

The U’s took the lead in the 50th minute when... a low cross to the edge of the six-yard box was finished neatly into the bottom right corner by White...

The Bees were level in the 78th minute when Trialist C worked hard to pounce on a loose back pass and rounded the goalkeeper before converting smartly into an empty net from a tight angle...

BARNET FC: Trialist GK 1 (Trialist GK 2 45’), Trialist A, Nugent (Greenage 45’), Widdowson (Doherty 45’), Trialist B (Richards-Everton 54’), Beard, Payne (Granville 45’), Flanagan, Vasiliou, Trialist C, Trialist D.

In the Grimsby Telegraph manager "Paul Hurst outlines where Grimsby Town's goalkeepers stand after Max Crocombe signing... The Mariners added former Salford City stopper Max Crocombe to their ranks at the weekend, with the 27 year-old completing his move just before Friday’s friendly at Hyde United.

Crocombe didn’t play in the 2-0 defeat... instead, youth team graduate Ollie Battersby was handed his first start of pre-season.

Crocombe though will challenge long-serving custodian James McKeown for the number one spot... while Battersby is expected to head out on loan, having had his opportunity at Gateshead last season cut short...

Hurst told GrimsbyLive 'He’s someone that we watched some time ago... and, if I’m honest, it didn’t feel like someone that we would be able to get... I had a chat with Max, explained where we’re at with our keepers, and he was happy to come in and compete for that number one spot.

Stockport County "announce the signing of former Accrington Stanley defender Ben Barclay on a three-year-contract.

Ben, 24, made 31 appearances in all competitions for Accrington last season, including 26 in League One... Also capable of playing in midfield, Barclay originally began his career coming through the academy ranks at Manchester City before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion in 2013, where he played under manager Simon Rusk during his time in the Under 23s...

Ben spent the second half of the 2018-19 season out on loan at Notts County, making 13 appearances for the Magpies whilst in League Two, scoring once. That Summer he departed the Amex Stadium, before signing a two-year deal at Accrington... Ben cemented his place in the Accrington first team during the second half of last season... going on to start 23 of their final 27 games.

Ben has... now committed to a permanent deal at Edgeley Park".

SOlihull Moors "have secured the services of striker Danny Newton, who has put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal with the club.

Newton, 30, has spent the last four seasons in the Football League with Stevenage, scoring 26 goals in 115 appearances. That move followed a prolific spell in non-league football, which included netting 29 goals for Tamworth in the 2016/17 season.

Born in Liverpool, Newton began his career at Hinckley United and went on to enjoy goal scoring success with Barwell, Leamington and the Lambs.

His participation in the V9 Academy in 2017 attracted the attention of a number of EFL clubs before an eventual move to Stevenage...

Newton said... 'It’s an exciting place to be, so I’m delighted to get it signed... I’m known for my work rate, it’s a given. I’m good in the air, like to rough defenders up and I always give 100% no matter what.'

Manager Neal Ardley added 'Danny is a striker we have followed closely and was at the top of our list at the start of pre-season. We understood Danny may have had league clubs battling for his signature, so had to play a patient game with him'".

3 August 2021


After an afternoon game, behind closed doors today against a Stoke City team, Alty move on to face Bradford (Park Avenue) at 7.45pm.

The match in Yorkshire will be covered by Radio Robins and streamed live by the Yorkshire club. The link to the streaming service is here.

On the eve of the game the Bradford Argus reported that "Bradford (Park Avenue) have announced the signing of striker Luke Rawson from Chesterfield.

Rawson has been with Avenue all pre-season, and spent part of the previous campaign on loan at Horsfall...

Rawson said 'I am looking forward to working with Mark (Bower), Danny (Boshell)". Boshell is, of course, well known to Altrincham supporters having spent time with the club in 2013-14.

Meanwhile "Avenue boss Bower said 'Luke... is another young player looking to advance his career with us'".


Continuing our series on the kits worn by Altrincham in the current millennium, we reach 2002-03, with Altrincham having their third successive season in the UniBond Premier League folowing relegation from the Football Conference in 2000.

L to R, back: Neil Ryan, Peter Band, Jason Gallagher, Simon Woodford, Andy Moore, Stephen Rose, Andy McDonald, Mark Maddox. Front: Danny Frost, Neil Murphy, Shaun Smith, Geoff Goodwin (chairman), Rod Thornley, Ian Craney, Andy Tunnicliffe, Gary Scott. One or two players were unavailable for the squad photo, notably Gary Talbot and Chris Young, whilst Danny Murphy was present but missed the team picture.

The pre-season photo revealed the kit for 2002-03 (above). It showed a reversion to thinner red and white stripes from the kit worn in 2002-03 and a change from black socks to red, though black socks were to be worn in some games. The Hillcrest Homes chest logo of the previous season was replaced by no sponsors' panel.

The away kit comprised pale blue shirts, white shorts and black socks, again without a sponsor's logo on the chest. That kit is shown, right, with Ian Craney (foreground), Andy McDonalad and Peter Band the players pictured.

Off the field in late July, 2002, Geoff Goodwin was named as Chairman with a new Board comprising the new chairman, Grahame Rowley and Andrew Shaw. They brought much needed stability to the club's operations, with a small operating profit being made in 2002-03. However, they were still battling hard to pay off the club's historic debts to the Inland Revenue and other creditors.

A cut of 40% on the wage-bill had been imposed for 2002-03 and this was retained in 2003-04.

It was not altogether surprising therefore that on the field in 2002-03 Alty flirted with relegation which led to the departure of manager Bernard Taylor in October 2002 and the appointment of Graham Heathcote as manager.

Form improved and the club finished fourteenth at the end of the 2002-03 campaign.


Altrincham's opening game of the National League season on 21 August is at Plainmoor against Torquay United. From Devon Live we read about The Gulls pre-season defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

"When asked for his reaction to the 3-0 pre-season friendly defeat against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, Torquay United manager Gary Johnson said 'y reaction is, I told you so!'

With the League One side starting their campaign next Saturday and Torquay just two weeks into their pre-season, the two teams were quite obviously at different stages in their preparations for the 2021-22 campaign.

That showed. Torquay never looked like causing an upset... and with a worrying injury to central defender Ali Omar not helping matters after the player had made a good start, it says something that his central defensive partner Joe Lewis was perhaps the Gulls’ best player on the day...

'They were at their sharpest. We have only done 10 days and we have had two games in that. We are still building our squad really and, as the game went on, you could see that they were at their sharpest mentally and physically.

'We didn’t fade but we certainly weren’t sharp. We did a lot of chasing, and some of that chasing early on was good; we pressed high up and we kept nicking the ball off them but then we needed a bit more quality in finding somebody who then could be dangerous. It’s just a sharpness and a fitness thing and we’ll get that...

'We all get a bit embarrassed when we lose a game 3-0, whatever the circumstances. Obviously I am no different. We will be ready by the time Altrincham comes round.'”


The Southend Echo repoirts that "Emmanuel Idem will not be joining Southend United after a trial spell with the Shrimpers.

Idem spent time with Blues in pre-season and played the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s 2-0 win against Harlow Town... but Southend boss Phil Brown will not be offering the 22-year-old a deal.

'Emmanuel wanted a deal yesterday,' said Brown. 'I don’t literally mean yesterday but he was knocking on my door wanting a deal right now. I asked for some time but he wasn’t really prepared to do that. He wanted a deal right now but it’s Harry Seaden who is number one right now.'

Matt Dennis and Hamzad Kargbo remain with Blues and talks continue their parent clubs in a bid to secure loan deals".

Closer to home , the Halifax Courier reports that "We spoke to James Henegan of the Northampton Chronicle for the lowdown on FC Halifax Town’s latest signing Matt Warburton, who was released by The Cobblers at the end of last season after two years with the club.

'An attacking midfielder who likes to play in the number 10 role. Will make late runs into the box and should chip in with goals. He has good technical quality and scored a couple of excellent free-kicks for Northampton. He’s more of a goalscoring number 10 rather than a creative player.

'He had his moments but generally struggled to establish himself at this level and rarely had a consistent run in the team. He... got squeezed out of the team and eventually went out on loan. Just didn’t do enough to earn a new deal. The previous manager (Keith Curle) was the one who sent him out on loan to Yeovil at the start of the season but he didn’t feature in the new manager’s (Jon Brady) plans either.

'I think Brady wants to build a team around pace and athleticism and that doesn’t suit Warburton’s style... He’s not a central midfielder but neither is he an out-and-out striker. He often played in the free role behind a striker for Northampton...

'He previously scored a hatful of goals for Stockport and will be looking to find that form again with Halifax. He’s got a lot of potential if used correctly'".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "With just under three weeks to go until the new season gets underway, the Mariners have perhaps shown they're not quite ready to go yet.

After a solid and impressive start to pre-season for Grimsby Town, the last seven days have perhaps just raised a few questions... The Mariners have felt the effects of a tough week away at their training camp at Mottram Hall in Cheshire, with as many as nine players now out injured.

And Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Hyde United left Paul Hurst with a few things to think about...

Everyone knows Town are in need of another striker, especially with Lenell John-Lewis and Ryan Taylor both out injured at the minute, and looking unlikely to be fit for the start of the season... It looked as though the plan for the forthcoming season would be to play Taylor up front on his own with wingers in support either side of him, who would also be expected to chip in with goals.

Taylor and John-Lewis offer very similar types of frontma, holding the ball up in order to bring team-mates into play, and with the likes of Erico Sousa, Max Wright and John McAtee to lay it off to, there would be plenty of attacking intent...

The last manager to successfully find an out-and-out goalscorer was Hurst; can he repeat the trick?

One person we can probably confidently say is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines is Sean Scannell, given the manner in which he left the field on Friday at Hyde. Hurst’s reluctance to play McAtee in Tameside shows how carefully he wants to play things at the moment, and despite making 12 signings already, he may well have to look at more reinforcements.

Having made just one loan signing so far in Seb Revan, the door is wide open for the Town boss to dip into the loan market... in order to give those injured players more time to return to fitness.

Ben Fox has been one of the standout performers so far in pre-season after making the move from Burton, and everyone knows what Giles Coke brings to the party... And their absence on Friday was certainly noticeable... in their manager’s words, they [the team] looked naïve.

Town could therefore perhaps do with adding another experienced option in midfield to add as back-up to Fox and Coke...

Hurst might have wanted to start looking at getting some of his younger players out on loan in order to get them some game time.Evan Khouri might well be part of the first team plans after impressing last season, but the Town boss will likely be looking for fellow new pros Luis Adlard and Jaz Goundry to head out and get some vital experience under their belts.

And with the addition of Max Crocombe to challenge for the number one spot, Ollie Battersby will likely head out as well, having had his opportunity at Gateshead last season cut short".

2 August 2021


On Tuesday, Altrincham travel to Bradford (Park Avenue) for a pre-season game.

Bradford (Park Avenue) announce that they are "offering a live stream of Tuesday night's fixture versus Altrincham for those fans unable to attend the game.

We will be live from 7:30 on the night, with Mick Gledhill providing the live commentary.

Follow the link here to access the game for just £5.00

If you are new to the system, you will need to sign up to an account, free of charge."


Altrincham FC has announced the club's fourth summer recruit with the signing of left-back David Fitzpatrick. He follows Brad Jackson, Kennedy Digie and Marcus Dinanga in joining the Robins since the end of last season. In addition, Harrogate Town loanee Connor Kirby has rejoined Altrincham on loan for the start of the 20201-22 season.

Press and media officer, John Edwards, writes that "Phil Parkinson has solved an injury problem that was threatening to disrupt Altrincham's start to the new season by signing experienced former Macclesfield Town and Port Vale left-back David Fitzpatrick.

Right: Ftitzpatrick (no.3) is seen playing against Alty for Macclesfield Town in a January 2017 Trophy match.

Alty have been rocked by injuries in the full-back position, particularly on the left, where both Andy White and Connor Hampson have been ruled out of the Robins' opening Vanarama National League games.

With Shaun Densmore gradually working his way back to fitness after feeling the effects of tendonitis in his Achilles, Alty were in danger of going into the campaign with Joel Senior as their only available specialist full-back".

As previously reported here Fitzpatrick has been Altrincham's only pre-season trialist to start all three of the club's "first-team" friendlies this summer.

David (d.o.b. 28 February 1990) started out at Stockport County but joined Northwich Victoria in 2010. Whilst there he had a loan at New Mills, a club which he eventually joined in 2012.

2013 brought him a move to Southport where he made 80 appearances before a five-year spell started at Macclesfield Town in 2015 where he made the better part of 200 appearances. During that time he became an England C international.

Lsst season (2020–2021) was spent at Port Vale, where he made 22 appearances.

He may already be familiar to Altrincham supporters as he has played in quite a few matches against Altrincham, including...

  • Altrincham 0 Northwich Victoria 2, a Blue Square Bet Premier match, played on Tuesday, 5 April, 2011
  • Altrincham 1 Southport 0, a friendly Match, played on Saturday, 14 December 2013
  • Altrincham 2 Southport 0, a Vanarama Conference match in which he was a substitute, played on Friday, 3 April, 2015
  • Altrincham 1 Macclesfield Town 1, a Buildbase FA Trophy Round One Proper match, played on Tuesday, 20 December 2016
  • Macclesfield Town 2 Altrincham 1, a Buildbase FA Trophy Round One Proper replay match, played on Wednesday, 4 January 2017
  • Altrincham 1 Macclesfield Town 0, a pre-season friendly match, played on Tuesday, 17 July 2018


Altrincham travel to play Bradford (Park Avenue) on Tuesday evening.

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reports that "Bradford (Park Avenue) were in action on Friday night against Brighouse Town, recording an impressive 5-2 victory on the road.

Adam Nowakowski chipped home to open the scoring early on, but Brig equalised through a deflected Javelle Clarke effort after half an hour.

Avenue came racing out of the traps after the interval, Jake Hibbs scoring in the opening 60 seconds.

Hibbs doubled Avenue's advantage with a sensational long-range effort, before a trialist netted their fourth.

Mohammed Tijani Ibrahim hit a second for Brighouse, after great work by Laurence Sorhaindo, but Avenue weren't done just yet, as teenager Rob Guilofyle rounded the keeper and scored to make it five".


Right: Jordan Lussey, in action for Altrincham at West Didsbury & Chorlton.

Former Liverpool youngster Jordan Lussey turned out for Altrincham as a trialist at West Didsbury & Chorlton, but has not appeared since.

However, he is subject of a big article in the Non-League Paper which chronicles his times at Liverpool and at a troubled Bolton Wandrerers.


The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reports that "Former Bradford Park (Avenue) and Guiseley player Steven Drench has announced his retirement from football.

He was at fellow West Yorkshire outfit Farsley Celtic last season too, while he briefly had a spell in the Football League with Morecambe over a decade ago.

He spent six years at Guiseley from 2010, making nearly 250 league appearances for the club.

He joined Avenue in 2017, and helped them to two successive play-off finishes...

Drench said... 'Many years have passed since putting on my first pair of gloves and boots as an Under-8 at Beechfield United, to playing my last game for Farsley Celtic in January. But the time has now come to call time on my playing career.'"

The above article omits to mention that Drench, now 35, signed from Bradford (Park Avenue) on 28 January 2019. After starting out at Blackburn Rovers (2005), where he later worked as a coach, Steven played for Morecambe (2006-08) alongside Alty assistant manager Neil Sorvel when the Shrimps gained promotion to the Football League. Next, he joined Southport (2008-09), and subsequently followed Port manager Gary Brabin to Cambridge United on loan.

After leaving the Sandgrounders he signed for Leigh Genesis where he played 45 times (2008–10). A trial at York City came to nothing and, instead, he joined Guiseley, racking up well over two hundred appearances and earning promotion, before moving on loan to FC Halifax Town and then to Bradford PA in 2017, following former Lions' manager Mark Bower to the Horsfall Stadium.

He made his Alty debut against FC United of Manchester on 9 February 2019 but after two further games Steven was sidelined by injury and Tony Thompson resumed as first-choice till the end of the season. Steven started 2019-20 as first-choice keeper but in the sixth game ruptured his Achilles so endured a long recovery period and he made no further appearances for the club.

At the end of the extended 2019-20 season Steven moved on to Farsley Celtic having made just nine Altrincham appearances.


Stockport County "announce that Macauley Southam-Hales has signed a new three-year-deal with the Club, keeping him at Edgeley Park until 2024.

The Welsh wing-back enjoyed a superb first season at the Club after signing from Fleetwood Town last Summer, making 32 appearances in all competitions and scoring twice, whilst quickly becoming a firm fan favourite.

The 25 year-old has enjoyed a strong start to pre-season so far with a string of impressive performances".

In the Essex Daily Gazette, we learn that "Former Colchester United defender Danny Collinge has signed for Dover Athletic.

The 23 year-old, who had been training with League One side MK Dons this summer, has joined Dover having impressed on trial at Crabble.

Collinge joined Colchester on a two-year contract in the summer of 2019...

He had loan spells with Maldon and Tiptree and AFC Sudbury, during his time at Colchester... However, Collinge did not make a senior appearance for Colchester...

Collinge, who has previously played for German club VfB Stuttgart in Bundesliga II, started out at the Dons... He has made 32 England Youth appearances and played in... the same England under-17 and under-18 teams as the likes of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Tom Davies, of Everton.

The centre-back returned to England after a five-year spell in Germany playing for VfB Stuttgart. He came through the ranks at MK Dons before moving to Germany to broaden his football and academic education".

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Notts County suffered their first defeat of pre-season as the Magpies were beaten 2-0 by Championship Derby County.

The Magpies gave a good account of themselves against Wayne Rooney's side but fell behind before half-time when Eiran Cashin headed home from a corner.

Kyle Wootton wasted two good chances in the second half as he hit the bar from seven yards and saw another opportunity blocked.

Derby's Tom Lawrence then wrapped up the win late on as he scored from the spot after Festy Ebosele was fouled".

According to the Echo News, "Southend United manager Phil Brown heaped praise on O’Shane Stewart after the young midfielder netted in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Dartford...

And Brown has been impressed by the 20 year-old who has yet to make a senior first team appearance.

'He bosses it and he doesn’t get phased [sic] by anything either,' said Brown, 'The opposition had an extra man in there and he’s learning the game. He got the goal but everyone is pushing and I don’t know my team yet.

'I know who my biggest and strongest players are but who knows at this moment in time what the team will be come August 21st'..

Brown remains hopeful Ricky Holmes, who came off the bench at Dartford. will soon be signing a new deal... 'All I can do is put my case across to the owners and let them make the decision.'

But Brown’s squad has been further boosted by the return of both Nathan Ralph and Lewis Gard who have now recovered from long-term injuries... Ralph and Gard had both been out since October after suffering cruciate ligament injuries".

Boreham Wood recorded "another straightforward victory for Boreham Wood against Southern Premier League South side King's Langley when goals from Kabs Tshimanga, Jamal Fyfield, Tyrone Marsh, Gus Mafuta and David Stephens confirmed a 5-0 win.

Boreham Wood came out of the blocks straight away in a first half that was played almost entirely in the home side’s half. Kabs Tshimanga got his usual early goal when he tapped in a David Stephens pass to give Wood the lead on eight minutes...

On twenty-eight minutes Jamal Fyfield doubled the away side’s lead when Tshimanga’s shot was initial saved by Langley keeper Alfie Marriott enabling the centre half to follow up for his second goal in consecutive away games...

Wood came out the second half in equally impressive form... On fifty-four minutes, a Kane Smith cross was converted by Gus Mafuta to make it 3-0. Sixteen minutes later, a fantastic run and cross from Kane Smith was this time finished by Marsh for the fourth. Straight away, Dave Stephens rounded off the scoring with Boreham Wood’s fifth.

It was a strong performance from Boreham Wood against their Hertfordshire rivals>>.

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Ricketts, Evans, Stephens, Mafuta, Tshimanga, Marsh, Fyfield, Mendy, C Smith, K Smith. Subs: Green, Jallow, Ilesamni, McKenna, Trialist A".

1 August 2021


On Saturday, Altrincham faced Essex club Brightlingsea Regent in their latest pre-season game and ultimately ran out comfortable winners, with three late goals enhancing the margin of victory.

Above: Alty's half-time team-talk. Image courtesy of Nigel Bunce.

Match report here.


Notts County report that "Kyle Cameron has been named our captain ahead of the 2021-22 season, with Kyle Wootton assuming the role of vice-captain.

Cameron, 24, arrived at Meadow Lane this summer after leaving Torquay United, where he often filled the role of skipper in the absence of Asa Hall. And Ian Burchnall believes the captaincy will help Cameron take his career to the next level.

'I think Kyle can grow with this role,' said the head coach. 'He’s a clear leader who wants to develop those qualities further... He may be young, but he’s experienced and is already a highly-respected member of the squad... He’s a top professional who supports people, an all-round good human being who will bring a different kind of leadership.'

Cameron is delighted.. 'I spoke to the gaffer when I came in and put my name forward for it, knowing I’ve had three years as vice-captain at Torquay,' he said... 'To be a captain at 24 makes me very proud, especially when you consider what a great club this is and what a superb group we have... We have plenty of leaders who demand the upmost day in day out...

'Whether or not it’s me or Kyle wearing the armband we both know there will be 11 leaders on the pitch helping the group in their own individual way, whether that’s vocally or by setting examples in the way they play'...

And Wootton was equally thrilled... Said the forward, 'It’s a great achievement for myself. I’m proud, especially to be at a club like this... I’m delighted that Cam’s got the captaincy, too. He’s a great guy and the fans will love watching him. We get on really well, we go out for coffee with a few of the other lads regularly...

'It’s not only us, though; there are big players like Jim O’Brien, Sam Slocombe, Connell Rawlinson and Adam Chicksen who will all be ready to step up as well'">

In the Daily Mail< "Co-owner Ryan Reynolds insists his purchase of Wrexham 'was never a joke' as he and Rob McElhenney target promotion to League Two...

Reynolds insisted... 'I am proud to say it was never a joke. We take the growing and building of both Wrexham AFC and Wrexham the community very seriously'...

Asked what his goals are, he said 'Huge: promotion, promotion, promotion'...

He added: 'It is one of the oldest football clubs on the planet, it's a hard-working town filled with incredibly passionate and interesting people. We're not attempting to be the smartest people in the room; there are people in Wrexham who know more about football than I will ever know.'

Reynolds and McElhenney have already made some significant decisions at Wrexham, including the appointment of the experienced Phil Parkinson as manager after the departure of Dean Keates. The club will have TikTok as their shirt sponsor as the owners attempt to increase Wrexham's overall appeal.

Although Reynolds has yet to visit Wrexham due to the pandemic he outlined that he and McElhenney are going to have a hands-on approach to running the club. He said 'We're going to be over there all the time'".

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that the "Grimsby Town are suffering something of an injury crisis as they build up to the new season, with Sean Scannell a major concern after limping off on Friday night.

A number of players missed out on the 2-0 defeat at Hyde United, with Mariners' boss Paul Hurst revealing afterwards as many as nine players are injured at the moment.

The list grew in Tameside on Friday, with Scannell limping off during the first half against the Northern Premier League side, while youth team midfielder Aaron Braithwaite also went off injured during the second half.

Scannell had to be carried into the changing room by his team-mates and left the ground later on crutches...

Hurst told GrimsbyLive, 'I’ve seen him on crutches there, and he said as he planted his foot he almost felt something pop, so that didn’t sound good at all. Az (Aaron Braithwaite) was a muscular injury, a hamstring. That’s one thing we certainly are doing at the minute, struggling with injuries.

'I wasn’t going to risk putting John McAtee on, he’s certainly someone we need, amongst others. It’s early stages yet, it’s about getting minutes in the legs, but at the same time I’m also looking for understanding, the attitude, the desire...

'Quite a few of them are new players to me, so it’s learning about them, and I guess that’s the bit I take away from it, and it’ll be interesting to see how a couple of players react to a few things that have been said.'

Asked if any of the injured players were likely to return for Tuesday’s friendly against Alfreton, Hurst replied 'Not really... We’re probably up to, including Aaron (Braithwaite), eight or nine [out], which is a lot...

'We’ve got to play because we’ve got to get ready for the season, but we’ve got to be careful that we don’t leave ourselves too short as well.'”

The Derbyshire Times reports that "Chesterfield striker Tom Denton has suffered a ‘pretty big setback’ in his recovery from a knee injury, manager James Rowe said.

The 32-year-old, who missed a large chunk of last season, featured in the first two pre-season games at Alfreton Town and Matlock Town but was not involved against Bradford City or Port Vale

On Denton, Rowe told the DT 'He has had a pretty big setback. He has had a scan and he has got to go see the specialist now so it could be not so great in terms of a couple of months out or it could be longer than that so that is where he is at.

'Obviously you feel for the lad because he has worked so hard, he has got himself into great shape, he looked good in those games...

'We obviously need to bring a couple in and one will be going out and then that will be us done,' he said.

'We have got to remember I only came in seven-and-a-half months ago so there has been a lot of turnover in players in what I believe, and what my staff believe, that we need to get out of this hard division.'

Fraser Kerr and Curtis Weston were both given their first starts of pre-season in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Port Vale... while Gavin Gunning was taken off at half-time with a knock which saw Curtis Weston drop into centre-back...

Today I have learnt that Curtis can drop into the middle of a back three and be comfortable... I am pleased with a lot of the performances and the relationships that are building. I thought Manny (Oyeleke) and (Saidou) Khan, particularly in the second-half, combined well.'”