Robins Altrincham FC Archived News

December, 2021

31 December 2021


The squad movements continue as Altrincham FC confirms, via press and media officer, John Edwards, that "David Fitzpatrick [pictured, right] has left Altrincham at the end of his short-term contract after playing a key role in averting a defensive crisis at the start of the season.

Injuries to Connor Hampson and Andy White left Alty in danger of going into the campaign without a recognised left-back until the vastly-experienced Fitzpatrick answered the call and accepted a deal until the end of the calendar year.

With the agreement expiring and both Hampson and White returning to full-fitness, David has become a free agent, and he leaves with the club's best wishes and the gratitude of everyone for the levels of professionalism he set and maintained throughout his stay...

He made 11 appearances in all, 10 of them in the starting line-up, and his attitude and dedication both on and off the pitch made him a highly-valued member of the squad".


Before the planned fixture against Stockport on Monday was postponed (see above), it seemed timely to recall that County had thrashed Alty 5-1 on Boxing Day this year but last season both the home and away matches had ended in draws.

Before the Boxing Day clash County were just two places ahead of Alty in the National League but, with County winning again on Tuesday and Alty losing at home to Wrexham, the gap is now nine places and the points difference has grown from five to eleven in County's favour.

Alty now find themselves 15th whilst the visitors have risen to sixth in the National League. In their seven matches this season against teams currently in the top seven, Alty have secured just two points.


Hampshire's Daily Echo says that "National League general manager Mark Ives has insisted that clubs are having to provide evidence of 'COVID not injuries' in order to postpone games.

Eastleigh... manager Ben Strevens called for 'integrity to make sure clubs do the right thing'... The Spitfires boss claimed that his side’s extra rest was 'a factor' in their second-half comeback over in-form Torquay on Tuesday, December 28, with Gary Johnson’s team in action versus Yeovil 48 hours earlier... But Ives also confirms that the league are not planning a pause of the division like we have seen before.

'What we will do is get the evidence from the club,' he said. 'I don’t see any personal medical information, it’s verified between the league doctor and the club doctors. They liaise on a professional basis to verify the medical situation. It will then be relayed to me in terms of numbers that have Covid or are having to isolate because they’ve been in close contact and are unvaccinated or not double jabbed.

'I will then look at how many players the club has registered and it’s a basic mathematical exercise. How many do you have registered, how many COVID and I emphasise COVID, not injuries. And providing you have more than 14 players available including a goalkeeper then the game goes ahead. We will apply that consistently across the board...

'We primarily work on positive PCR results, not just lateral flow. Everything has to be evidenced and we want to protect the league from those clubs who might be accused of trying to manipulate the situation because of injuries...

'I think we’re actually doing really well,' continued Ives. 'Most of the clubs are helping us to fulfil the games and we’ve had far more games played than we have being postponed which is a good position.... I personally don’t support a break at this moment in time but what is important is that we continue to review the situation... At this time, there is no evidence to support the need for a break...

'Having the vaccinations quite clearly supports the ability to keep being able to play... I’ve seen the evidence and games are being played because they have a high percentage of double vaccinated players. On the other side of the coin, games have had to be called off only because there aren’t enough double vaccinated players'".

According to the Southend Echo, "Southend United are no longer in a transfer embargo.

The Shrimpers had been unable to add to their squad due to money owed to HMRC...

A club statement said 'Late yesterday evening the National League confirmed that they had lifted the embargo. We will now take steps to strengthen our playing squad.'

The Shrimpers are now expected to formally complete the signing of defender Ollie Kensdale from Concord Rangers." According to the Leader Live, "Phil Parkinson believes landing transfer targets will become more of a challenge with clubs reluctant to let players move on in case they are left with a shortage of bodies during the coronavirus crisis...

'The transfer window scenario changes all the time,' said Parkinson. 'We speak to players, agents and clubs, and the picture can change very quickly.... People are saying they are not letting anyone go and I think you will find a lot of that with loan players and permanent signings where three or four weeks ago there were more surplus to requirements'...

Although he wants to make new signings, Parkinson is happy with the squad at his disposal. In-form Wrexham have only lost once in their last 10 league games...

'“I think we have got a good set of lads who are willing workers,' added Parkinson. 'We have got good quality and we are in a good vein of form; momentum is with us and we have just got to keep it going'".

Kent Online advises us that "Dover have been dealt a major blow with top scorer Aaron Cosgrave returning to his parent club.

Four-goal hitman Cosgrave, 22, has been recalled by League 1 AFC Wimbledon after making 22 appearances for National League basement boys Whites this season.

A season-long loan deal had been agreed in July but the Dons did have a recall option within that deal...

On Twitter, Cosgrave said 'Thank you @DoverAthletic for the past six months. Despite the results, it’s been a great experience'...

His final Dover appearance came in their 1-0 FA Trophy defeat to Bromley on December 18. He missed Whites' festive fixtures... with Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler saying he was recovering after contracting Covid.

Whites are also due to make decisions on loan players Junior Tiensia, of Millwall, Crawley's Harry Ransom and Henry Woods, of Gillingham, with those players due back at their parent clubs at some stage in January at present".

The Grimsby Telegraph believes that "Grimsby Town will return to action from their Covid-enforced lay-off on January 3 and they will have to hit the ground running to avoid being cast further adrift of the play-off zone.

The Mariners’ season may have halted, but things have not stood still in the National League table with several games taking place and some teams in action twice. Town’s last league game was the 1-0 home defeat against Chesterfield way back on December 11...

Some sides have played twice in the league over the festive period while Town have been on their break. Following those results, the Mariners are now tenth, and four points off the play-offs.

The gap between Town and the top of the table has only slightly extended, from seven points to eight.

But there are now more teams clustered together either in, or just outside, the play-off zone.

The big winners over Christmas were Stockport County and Dagenham, who both won two out of two within the space of three days. Both leapfrogged Town... The Mariners’ next opponents, Halifax, sit second in the table...

It won’t take many more bad weekends before Town’s promotion hopes start slip-sliding away."

30 December 2021


Alty welcome Stockport County to the J. Davidson Stadium for their next National League fixture, on Monday, 3 January 2022.

The Robins are seeking to end a run of six league matches without a win and a sequence of just two wins in sixteen matches in all competitions. Completion of the game will mark the half-way point in the National League season for Altrincham.


Following the defeat by Wrexham on Tuesday afternoon, Alty manager Phil Parkinson was interviewed by press and media officer, Brian Flynn. Altrincham FC has the interview, in which Phil promises that "reinforcements are coming in" as he tries to arrest the run of winless games in the National League.


Altrincham FC have three forward players who are about to celebrate either their fiftieth start or their fiftieth appearance for the club.They are...

  • Ryan Colclough [pictured right]. His next game will be his fiftieth appearance for Altrincham. To date his appearances comprise 42 starts and seven appearances as a used substitute.
  • Matty Kosylo has officially made 49 starts (and five more appearances from the bench) since joining in summer 2020. As he also started the expunged match against Dover last season, he could be said to have reached that 50 starts landmark already.
  • Dan Mooney joined Alty in February 2020 but injuries have curtailed his appearances. Nevertheless, he is set to make his 48th appearance next time he plays. It would be his 49th if you count that Dover game last season. So far he has started 33 unexpunged games and been a used sub fourteen times.


Last Monday, Altrincham FC Reserves lost 2-3 for the third successive Cheshire League game. This time Alty were at home to Egerton FC and the defeat, their eleventh in 19 games, leaves them 15th in the 18-strong league table.


With both teams eliminated from the FA Trophy, Grimsby Town and Altrincham have rearranged the date of their National League fixture in Lincolnshire.

Originally scheduled as a Tuesday night game on 22 February, the game has now been moved to a 3pm kick off on a Saturday, 15 January, the date of the next Round of the Trophy.


Duncan Watmore scored Middlesbrough's 92nd-minute winner against Blackpool on Wednesday evening, securing a 2-1 win for Boro.


The BBC tells us that the Wrexham manager "Phil Parkinson says the loss of influential midfielder Jordan Davies to a shoulder injury is a 'huge blow' for Wrexham. Davies was forced off during Wrexham's National League win at Altrincham on Tuesday, 28 December.

The 23 year-old Wrexham academy product has scored eight goals in 20 appearances this season.

'He has dislocated his shoulder so that's a blow for us,' said Wrexham boss Parkinson... 'It's a huge blow because he has been right at the top of his game.'

Wrexham's 2-0 triumph at Altrincham, their fifth successive away victory, saw them climb to third in the table, just a point behind leaders Chesterfield..

'Momentum is with us,' Parkinson added. 'We are a team who I feel will get better in the second half of the season'.

Wrexham... are hoping to strengthen their squad in January... but Parkinson says the number of clubs currently being affected by Covid-19 could mean a difficult transfer window.

'What you find with the Covid situation, people are suddenly saying we are not letting anybody go,' he said. 'Three or four weeks ago a few [players] were surplus to requirements, but now everyone is panicking a bit about the numbers. It's going to be more challenging than we originally thought but we'll meet that challenge".


Altrincham's historical record on 3 January, when they face Stockport County, is revealed by the Through the Years data of Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett.

For those who believe in omens, Alty have won their last four games on that date, so have not lost a game on 3 January since that famous 4-1 FA Cup defeat at Anfield against Liverpool in 1981.

The four matches since then have been...

  • 1983 v Bangor City (H), won 2-0
  • 1987 v Kidderminster Harriers (H), won 3-1
  • 2000 v Northwich Victoria (H), won 2-0
  • 2011 v Mansfield Town (A), won 1-0


Torquay United "is investigating reports relating to fan behaviour against Yeovil at Plainmoor on Boxing Day.

Having become aware of incidents that marred our win over Yeovil Town, the Club has now begun launching a full investigation into the matter.

The Club would like to stress that, whilst the vast majority of supporters in attendance for this match were once again a credit to our Football Club, Torquay United AFC has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any behaviour of the nature being reported.

Any so-called fans identified as partaking in these acts will never be welcome at Plainmoor, and the Club will be issuing any perpetrators with life bans from the stadium accordingly.

Torquay United AFC prides itself on being a family-focused club at the heart of our local community, and we will not allow the mindless actions of a few to tarnish our proud reputation".

The Derbyshire Times reports that Chesterfield "Manager James Rowe said picking Chesterfield’s starting line-up against Halifax was the most ‘difficult’ selection dilemma in his tenure.

The game was the Spireites' first in 17 days after a Covid outbreak at the club. Long-term injury pair Akwasi Asante and captain Gavin Gunning were given starts. Curtis Weston had to come off at half-time.

The match between the top two teams in the league ended 1-1.

'Curtis was struggling,' Rowe said. 'Obviously we didn't want to bring him off but he was not quite right. There were a few others who only had one or two sessions going into it ... There is not enough research on Covid so it is a little bit of guesswork really...

'We have had 17 days off so picking the team was probably the most difficult it has been in my tenure. We have had a big number of Covid cases so when to drop them back in is very hard to judge. You can train to a certain degree but to go full tilt in front of 8,000 people is different.'

Asante played an hour on his first appearance in eight months. 'I think that will do his confidence a world of good,' Rowe explained. 'He did some really good things, some bright things, there were some things he could have done better. He was a bit rusty with his hold-up play.

'There is a lot more to come from him... At some stage Akwasi needs minutes and we are not blessed with a 23s team that play in a competitive league so he either has to go on loan or we have to judge where he is... He is a top player and a top lad...

And on Gunning’s return, Rowe said 'I fully trust him, he is the leader of the group'...

Chesterfield were not really at the races in the first-half... 'I don't want to discredit the opposition, they played their part,' he told the DT. 'They are on level points with us for a reason... We got opportunities to shoot but we did not take them so our decision-making process was a little bit array [awry].

'But what credit to the group to regather their thoughts, re-set their mindset and to come out to be by far the better team in the second-half... They had the better of the first-half, we had the better of the second-half, we take a point and move on.'

Next up is strugglers King’s Lynn Town... Rowe added 'It is another anomaly because they have not played today, their game was off, so they have had a good rest since they played last against Halifax, I went to that game. They have got a new manager and they are all trying their best to stamp their authority for a place in the starting line-up'".

The Southend Echo says that "Southend United are waiting to discover the full extent of James Dunne’s ankle injury.

Dunne had to be taken off at half-time of Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Bromley.

But Blues' boss Kevin Maher must wait for the swelling to reduce before finding out when the midfielder will be back in action.

'He’s been put in a boot straight away and we will have to wait for the swelling to come down before we know how bad it is,' said Maher.

'We’re going to have to wait and see on that one but it was up like a balloon after the game at Bromley and didn’t look good'.

Dunne has made 17 appearances for the Shrimpers this season".

The Dorset Echo confirms that "Weymouth recalled goalkeeper Gerard Benfield from his loan spell at Dorchester Town prior to facing Poole Town, Magpies’ boss Glenn Howes has confirmed.

Benfield joined Dorchester on loan until January but was asked by Terras’ manager Brian Stock to return early.

It comes after Weymouth suffered a Covid-19 outbreak among a portion of their squad, leading to the postponement of festive fixtures against Eastleigh and Yeovil.

Weymouth’s situation was also heightened by an injury to goalkeeping understudy Harrison Bruton, who broke a finger in the warm-up prior to the 1-0 FA Trophy win at Hungerford.

Bruton is expected to be out for 'a number of weeks' according to Stock...

Dorchester gaffer Howes was quick to praise Benfield... 'He was getting that run of games he craves and that continuity in his performances. He’s been brilliant for us. Weymouth have their situation and we understand the need to call him back. But he’s sharp and ready to play'".

The Nottinham Post reports that "Ian Burchnall has revealed there are positive Covid cases within Notts County's squad but says the club will do all they can to ensure Sunday's game against Wrexham goes ahead.

Notts' head coach has not specified how many players have the illness which comes just days after their Boxing Day clash at King's Lynn was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch...

Burchnall admits it is a 'big concern' with Notts also having injuries to contend with but he is adamant that he wants the much-anticipated clash against Phil Parkinson's side to go ahead.

'We are very thin right now. I would say that we're right on the edge of how many players that we've now got available so that's really disappointing.

'But we are endeavouring to do everything that we possibly can to make sure that the game is on. If we have the players available then we want to play the game...

'We know what a big game it is but with the smaller group that we've got, we were trying to be extremely careful now to make sure that we don't get any more cases... But it was a small group training on Wednesday.'

The National League is understood to have followed EFL protocol which is that if clubs have a squad of 14 players available then games should go ahead.

But with Covid, injuries and a suspension for attacker Ruben Rodrigues, Notts could call the game off now.

But Burchnall wants to see how the rest of the week unfolds... 'Based on what we've got now, we could call the game off', he said. 'But I feel quite strongly that if we have players available, that we should try to play the game for the integrity of the league...

'Of course, if we have some more cases before the weekend, and we're testing every day, we are going to be in big trouble and we were not going to be able to play...

'I believe that we've got a strong squad so if we lose some players, okay, we're going to have to deal with that... But I still believe we can go out and we can get a result'".

29 December 2021


After their heavy defeat at Stockport 48 hours earlier, Altrincham took on big-spending Wrexham who arrived after a Boxing Day lay-off caused by Covid in their squad.

Two headed first-half goals decided the game for the visitors but a strong second-half performance from Altrincham against a disappointing final half-hour from Wrexham, did not get any rewards

Match report here.


After the match, Wrexham reported that "Two first-half headers by defensive duo Aaron Hayden and Bryce Hosannah saw Wrexham clinch all three points at the J Davidson Stadium...

Phil Parkinson named just two changes... with Harry Lennon returning to the back three, and Ponticelli leading the line with Paul Mullin. It was an extremely professional performance by Parkinson’s side... after a 17-day absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hayden managed to put Parkinson’s men into the ascendancy halfway through the first half...

Wrexham doubled their advantage before half time, as an audacious header by Ponticelli bounced off the crossbar and into the path of Hosannah who headed home for his first goal for the club.

Altrincham had their chances to cause Wrexham problems, especially through set-piece situations and Ryan Colclough, but they couldn’t capitalise on those opportunities as they fell to defeat...

The Robins created chances and should have pulled one back before the break as Digie seemingly hauled Harry Lennon to the floor but couldn’t direct his header goal bound.

The second half wasn’t quite as smooth for the Red Dragons".


Extended highlights of Stockport County's 5-1 win over Altrincham are available on YouTube.


The Chesterfield Times tells us that "Chesterfield showed 'fantastic character' to earn point against promotion rivals FC Halifax Town, says James Rowe... The draw means Town stay top of the league and extend their unbeaten run to 12.

'They were the better team in the first-half and we could not quite get to grips with it really,' Rowe said. 'We lost too many second balls and our second barrier was not quite good enough and they countered quite well... They probably deserved to be in the lead.

'We dominated the second-half and looked like the only team likely to win it. We had double shots, double final-third entries, double crosses, so you are disappointed coming away with a draw... We showed fantastic character and spirit. The equaliser came from pure guts and glory'...

This was the Spireites’ first game in 17 days after a Covid outbreak at the club.

Akwasi Asante started his first game in eight months and Gavin Gunning played for the first time since October, with the in-form Jamie Grimes and Liam Mandeville dropping out...

Rowe said 'Some of the players have only had one or two sessions and it is hard because there is not enough research on Covid. Some players can overcome it quicker than others. Curtis (Weston) came off at half-time and we gambled on that. It was not the right decision for him to play. He was not ready. That is where the first goal came from. The lungs and legs were not there to get close enough to Warburton.'

There was a controversial moment in the second-half when the hosts were awarded a penalty but then referee Garreth Rhodes overruled his own decision after consulting his linesman...

Rowe said 'You can’t give a penalty and be overruled from 40 yards. Tyrone (Williams) has handled it but he has been pushed so it is a foul on Tyrone first...

Clarke came off the bench to bag the equaliser but he appeared to pull his hamstring late on, an injury he has only just recovered from.

On his injury, Rowe added... 'There has been a change in the sports science and medical department for a reason. The recovery and rehab of the players has not been good enough. We have been really patient with Jack. He has trained for about a month and he is still getting injured. Hopefully going forward we will start getting players back regularly and their rehab can be a better standard.'"

Bromley report that "The Ravens fell to a defeat in Berkshire, losing 1-0 away at Maidenhead United.

It was a lively start for the home team... It was then Bromley’s turn to test the opposition...

The Magpies kept on attacking with intent, with Josh Kelly’s header testing Cousins... As the half was coming to an end, Maidenhead missed a golden chance to get the first goal of the game. Dan Sparkes crossed the ball into Blissett, the forward headed the ball to Kelly, who shot wide, unmarked from 10 yards, much to the shock of the home supporters...

Maidenhead took the lead through Blissett, who headed in a corner in the 67th minute...

A day to forget for Bromley".

28 December 2021


As of Monday night, four matches had been postponed, three of them coincidentally at coastal towns. The latest postponement came on Monday evening when Southend United reported that "As a result of additional positive Covid-19 cases in the squad, the game against Barnet on Tuesday 28th December has been postponed...

We are currently in dialogue with the National League who will be making a decision in respect to the Bromley game in the next few days".

Tuesday 28th December at 3pm

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


There is the rarity of a Tuesday afternoon kick off at the J. Davidson Stadium today as Altrincham welcome Wrexham. The Welsh team has had the advantage of playing no game on Boxing Day as their planned fixture, behind closed doors, was postponed for Covid-related reasons till near the end of the season when, the club expects, spectators will once again be permitted to attend matches in the Principality.

The Red Dragons thus arrive refreshed whilst Alty have to pick themsleves up, just 48 hours after a mauling at Stockport on Boxing Day.

Wrexham state "After the disappointment of Sunday's postponement, how better to get back into action than with a derby? Our matches with Altrincham might not be the fiercest, with less than 50 miles between the clubs, there'll be a terrific following support roaring Wrexham on...

Wrexham's most recent game, an FA Trophy tie against Gloucester City, saw a number of players absent for a variety of reasons, and not even Phil Parkinson [the Wrexham one] will know for sure whether the situation is better or worse until the hours before the match...

The depth of the squad Parkinson has put together... could prove to be a godsend in these testing times. With 7 wins and just one loss from the last 9 games, there's a real need to press on and maintain momentum...

On the positive side, Kwame Thomas made a goal-scoring return from injury... and will hope to be involved at Altrincham in a fixture which saw him score twice last season...

Altrincham made an eye-catching signing last week when they signed Isaac Marriott from Bradford Park Avenue... However, they lost the services of Danny Whitehead, who was recalled from loan by his parent club Port Vale, and Marriott's debut on Boxing Day wasn't a happy experience. He came off the bench at Stockport on Boxing Day, but The Robins were already 4-1 down, and would end up on the wrong side of a 5-1 loss...

The defeat continued a worring collapse in form for Parkinson's team. They started the campaign impressively, but have only won one league game since October 9th. They've lost their last 3 games, have one point from their last 15 at home and haven't kept a clean sheet in 15 games... It's hard to envisage Altrincham getting drawn into the relegation scrap. They'll want to turn things round swiftly though, and a positive result in a derby would fit the bill perfectly.

We’ve been vulnerable at home to Altrincham, but we’ve never lost a league game at Moss Lane, and have lost only once in 9 visits in all competitions.. . Wwe met Altrincham last season. Kwame Thomas struck twice as we enjoyed a 2-1 win at Broadhurst Park, FC United’s ground, because there were problems with the Moss Lane pitch...

If no Wrexham player receives a yellow card, it'll be the first time we've had no player booked for three consecutive games since August 2018".


It is one year to the day since Altrincham travelled to The Shay and lost to the odd goal in five to FC Halifax Town.

Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years data provide the full record of previous Altrincham games on today's date.


Loanee Tom Peers was a used substitute for Curzon Ashton as they played out a goalless draw on Boxing Day. Fellow striker Marcus Dinanga will not see much immediate action for his loan club, Kidderminster Harriers, as they have a fixture list which comprises two matches postponed for Covid reasons and an FA Cup tie for which the Alty man is ineligible.

Scott Leather netted for Chorley in their 2-1 win at AFC Fylde as did loanee Brad Jackson (right) for Buxton on Monday.

James Lawrie scored for Witton Albion but they lost 4-1 to Warrington Town for whom Josh Amis equalised and Sean Williams completed the scoring with a penalty. Ex-Alty loanee Liam Tomsett scored for Ashton United who lost to FC United of Manchester.

As Chris Rowley's West Didsbury & Chorlton beat Cammell Laird 5-0, the scorers included Dontai Gabbidon, Ben Elliott and Rhain Davies.


At Southend United, "Kevin Maher was delighted with his side’s performance against high-flying Bromley and felt that Blues were deserving of more than a point after their 1-1 draw at Hayes Lane.

The Ravens’ top-scorer, Michael Cheek put the home side in front in the 65th minute with a flicked header but Southend showed great resolve to respond almost immediately with Matthew Dennis scoring his second in as many games to level matters just two minutes later.

And with Blues having a string of opportunities late on to turn that one point into three, the Southend boss felt... 'Our performance certainly warranted it [three points]. First-half, I thought we were in control of the game, played a lot in their half and got in some good positions without having that end product....

'We knew we were going to have to deal with balls coming in our box; long-throws and set-pieces, and I think we stood up to that very well. Second-half we had chances to win it....

'It’s easy to come here and go under but we didn’t'...

Matthew Dennis made in two-in-two with today’s equaliser. The on-loan Norwich forward has seen his playing time limited since Maher arrived at the club, but he made the most of his first start under the Blues' boss...

'He’s taken his chance brilliantly tonight and it was a good finish... Murphy’s been our top-scorer and has been brilliant for us, so it takes a bit of a load off them as they’ve been working their socks off playing every week...

'We’ve got to patch people up, it’s less than 48 hours [until the Barnet game]. Barnet have almost 10 days off now and we’ve got to patch them up and get a team out that’s ready to go again'".

After the Boxing Day match, Southend United reported Dennis as saying, 'I’m really excited to get two in two also. Thank you to the gaffer for starting me today... I was about to come off, I was so tired!...

'I think it’s a positive result considering how we’ve done recently... We’ll build on these positive results and have a positive season!'".

27 December 2021


Phil Parkinson was interviewed by Press and Media Officer, Brian Flynn, following the 5-1 defeat at Edgeley Park on Boxing Day. The audio interview is on the Altrincham FC website.

"We were outgunned on every front", the Alty manager stated.


It is now two wins in sixteen outings for Altrincham after a wretched afternoon at Edgeley Park.

In an utterly disastrous first half, Altrincham fell behind after just four minutes. A cross evaded Madden but the ball was played back by Southam-Hales for Sarcevic to net the opening goal.

It got worse when a poor pass from Porter towards Hannigan was seized on by Madden who made it 2-0 after just eleven minutes. The loanee midfielder was then booked for a poor challenge immediately after the restart (12 mins).

And it became 3-0 after 14 minutes when a Rydel cross was only half-cleared and Quigley scored.

County gifted Alty a potential way back with Croasdale's own goal as he diverted a Colclough cross from the left into this own net to make it 3-1 (32 mins). But, six minutes later, the margin was restored to three goals by County as Collar converted a Southam-Hales cross to make it 4-1 (38 mins).

Half-time arrived with Altrincham looking down and out. However, they somehow weathered much of the second half before a well-worked goal by Crankshaw made it 5-1 (82 mins).

There could be no complaints at the margin of the victory for Stockport.

Match report here


After the game, Stockport County said "The Hatters’ final home match of 2021 saw them return to National League action with a victorious goal-fest against near-neighbours Altrincham, in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd just short of 9,000 at Edgeley Park...

County took to the field on a mild, damp afternoon, showing four changes from the FA Trophy starting line-up in SK3 against Grimsby eight days earlier. Jordan Keane, Mark Kitching, Quigley and Macauley Southam-Hales made up the quartet of players to return – replacing Zeki Fryers, Liam Hogan, Connor Jennings and Sam Minihan...

With just four minutes on the clock... the ball was recycled back, courtesy of Southam-Hales, whose lay-off was drilled in by Sarcevic for his first goal as a Hatter.... Half a dozen minutes after opening the scoring, the Hatters doubled their advantage, as Madden seized upon a loose ball six yards out and fired past visiting goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

And three minutes later, it was three for County – as Quigley celebrated his return from illness by picking up the ball just inside the Alty area and left-footing home...

A minute after the half-hour mark, Altrincham reduced the arrears when Ryan Colclough’s low, angled shot from the left was turned into County’s net by Croasdale...

With eight minutes of the first half remaining, the Hatters restored their three-goal lead. Sarcevic released Southam-Hales on the right, and the wing-back’s cross was converted by Colla...

The chances kept coming... before Collar played a one-two with Madden’s replacement, Crankshaw, who volleyed home from a tight angle to make it five".


Sunday, 26 December
  • FC Halifax Town P-P Grimsby Town (Covid at Grimsby)
  • Aldershot Town 1-0 Woking
  • Barnet P-P Boreham Wood (Covid at Boreham Wood)
  • Bromley 1-1 Southend United
  • Dover Athletic 0-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
  • King's Lynn Town P-P Notts County (Waterlogged pitch)
  • Stockport County 5-1 Altrincham
  • Torquay United 3-0 Yeovil Town
  • Wealdstone P-P Maidenhead United (Covid at Wealdstone)
  • Weymouth P-P Eastleigh (Covid at Weymouth)
  • Wrexham P-P Solihull Moors (Covid at Wrexham)


Press and Media Officer Brian Flynn held a video interview with new Altrincham signing Isaac Marriott which is available on Alty TV.


Altrincham's next game is on Tuesday (28th at 3pm) at home to Wrexham who had Boxing Day off after their match was postpponed owing to their Covid status.


Altrincham FC is trying to trace one of the winners in its recent Monthly Draw.

The lucky winner is Andy Howe (number 105) and he, or anyone who can point the club towards Mr Howe, is invited to e-mail the club. We can’t find any record of an address or e mail so we can contact him about his winnings in the monthly draw!


The Dorset News reports that Weymouth manager "BrianStock has hailed the 'instant impact' made by Sean O’Driscoll since the former Bournemouth manager was drafted in to Weymouth... O’Driscoll has known Stock for 25 years from the Terras manager’s upbringing at the Cherries.

And the duo have linked up again... with Louis Langdown remaining as assistant boss... O’Driscoll’s precise role remains fluid but...

'Sean’s wealth of experience is unbelievable,' Stock told Echosport... 'Quite honestly this is probably the lowest level he’s ever coached... What he does bring is an unbelievable understanding of how we can approach games, things we can improve on. He’s made an instant impact on that front... He gets the players to think, to answer questions and take responsibility'...

Stock added 'He’s not interested in titles or roles or anything like that. He’s come in as a coach and a part of the staff... He’s jumping in with two feet, that’s for sure... I’ve probably played the majority of my football under Sean’s guidance. I had him as a youth team manager, first-team at Bournemouth and at Doncaster...

'And the fact he can do sessions during the day as well, that’s another plus point for us. Especially over Christmas, we’re at Canford School training in the mornings'...

Weymouth's home game with Eastleigh today and the derby at Yeovil on Tuesday have been postponed due to Covid-19 cases at the Terras".

The Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town manager manager Tommy Widdrington was disappointed to see the home game against Notts County postponed due to a waterlogged pitch... The National League clash was called off following a 2pm pitch inspection by referee David Richardson, after heavy rain overnight and throughout Sunday morning.

It is the second successive season that the Linnets have lost the Boxing Day clash against the Magpies after last year's meeting between the two teams was postponed due to Covid in the home camp.

'People were raring to go today,' said Widdrington... 'We can't affect the weather. I've certainly played and managed teams on worse surfaces than that but the referee is ultimately responsible for the safety of everyone on the pitch and you have to go with his decision'... Their game against Grimsby Town on December 28 was called off last week due to a bout of Covid in the Mariners' squad...

'I can see us having a bright 2022,' he said... 'The players have applied themselves brilliantly since I arrived at the club. So whether it's Notts County or Altrincham we are playing, we want the supporters to come out to get behind us'".

26 December 2021


Altrincham FC is trying to trace one of the winners in its recent Monthly Draw.

The lucky winner is Andy Howe (number 105) and he, or anyone who can point the club towards Mr Howe, is invited to e-mail the club.


Alty TV has Brian Flynn's video interview with Alty boss Phil Parkinson in which he discusses the defeat at Notts County last week in the FA Trophy and the exit from the CSC against Nantwich Town.

He also talks about the recent loaning out of several first-team squad players and the club's younger prospects.


Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park today to face tenth-placed Stockport County. Early season optimism at County faded with some indifferent results before manager Simon Rusk was relieved of his duties and replaced in November 2021 with former player and Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor.

Challinor has reinvigorated the club, who are currently seventh in the form guide with ten points gleaned from their last five league matches, compared with Alty who have gained five points from the same number of fixtures.

County have been a non-League club for eleven seasons and for six of those years (2013-19) they even languished in the National League North, a mighty fall for a club which had enjoyed five seasons in the equivalent of the Championship from 1997 to 2002.

Things improved when local businessman Mark Stott acquired the club in January 2020, and he has paid off its debts as well as investing in improved training facilities which he found at Carrington.

An ex-Alty face on Stockport's books is County's kitman Richard Landon whose late goals earned him a reputation as a "super sub" in the 1999-2000 season at Moss Lane.


At Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll told supporters "We of course have a huge game tomorrow and we have to all remain professional to ensure performances can reflect that mindset and discipline. However, we should not deny anyone, professional footballer or not, the chance to relax and unwind even if it’s momentary with their families.

We all know the importance of every three points and how hard it is to earn but also these games have been entertaining for each club to say the least and we have to attack it with the same gusto as I believe we have all season. Yes, I know the cynics will say we haven’t, but believe you me those challenging months are the foundations that allow any team to turn left or RIGHT! This group of young people have reinvigorated the club, you the supporters and myself.

I am grateful for them and their commitment to our wonderful club. Even if ‘to you’ the future can seem uncertain we can all enjoy the moment we are in and enjoy the collaborative way we’ve all won together recently...

Please do not forget how lucky we are to interact again! Last season without supporters was the worst, soulless and unemotional... To have everyone back has been the highlight of the season and will do so for me anyway until the last game".

The Daily Record tells us that Charlie Trafford "left Hamilton in the summer and has joined an ambitious project at National League Wrexham.

He's had to cope with months as a free agent after relegation with Hamilton but says his new chapter with Wrexham is one that's hard to script...

He said 'It's a very exciting time to be joining Wrexham, and with a fellow Canadian (Reynolds) involved with the ownership, it makes for a funny story! But on the football side, it's an exciting project... They have huge aspirations and are putting finances behind what is already a well-established club...

'The club has real potential to be big again and it makes it a fun project to be part of. It's a cool thing. But the National League is such a tough league to get out of'...

He's not been one-on-one with either Reynolds or McElhenney yet, but their impact is noticeable. He explained 'A few days after I signed, they both came to Wrexham for the first time. It turned into a mad week and it was surreal. They met the boys, chatted, and were out on the training pitch...

'It doesn't make sense! It's hilarious, but fair play to them, they've been really good. It's put so much excitement and life into the club. Fans have been unbelievable'...

Trafford left Hamilton in the summer following their relegation to the Championship. He made 17 appearances during an injury-hit spell but still enjoyed his time at Accies, despite the struggles. Having previously played heavily in Finland, Trafford had options in Scandinavia, but ended up spending several months without a club before Wrexham snapped him up...

'A couple of good deals fell through due to Covid and then you start to panic. You want to wait for the right deal so I just had to be patient. But this felt right'"

25 December 2021


The Alty Files wishes all of its readers a Happy Christmas and New Year and thanks everybody for their interest in the site.


In addition to the five player movements announced in the last forty-eight hours, Altrincham have also comnfirmed a sixth transaction as "Matt Gould is heading for a second spell at the Weaver Stadium after agreeing to come to the aid of Nantwich Town's battle against relegation for the next month.

The Altrincham keeper was a huge success in an initial loan stay with the Dabbers a couple of months ago that was cut short when he was recalled by Robins boss Phil Parkinson due to an injury to Tony Thompson.

With Nantwich sinking deeper into trouble in the Pitching In Northern Premier League top division after three defeats this month, a run that has left them just one place above bottom team Grantham Town, they turned to Gould for help.

The experienced, highly-capable keeper was happy to oblige, and he is now lined up for a [second] debut at Stafford Rangers on Monday after rejoining the Dabbers on a one-month loan", wirtes press and media offficer, John Edwards.

The previous five moves this week have been...

  • The signing of Isaac Marriott for an undisclosed fee from Bradford (Park Avenue)
  • The return of Danny Whitehead to Port Vale after completing his loan spell at Altrincham
  • The loan move of Marcus Dinanga to Kidderminster Harriers
  • The loan move of Tom Peers to Curzon Ashton
  • The loan move of Brad Jackson to Buxton


Altrincham FC's press and media officer reports on "the capture of highly-rated midfielder Isaac Marriott from Bradford (Park Avenue) after he marked his farewell appearance at the Horsfall Stadium with two goals in the Buildbase FA Trophy in midweek.

Robins' boss Phil Parkinson moved swiftly to reinforce Alty's central midfield with a tenacious, all-action player who has also shown a keen eye for goal this season.

The 22 year old scored twice in Bradford's Emirates FA Cup defeat at Gateshead, including a spectacular shot that flew in from distance late on, and followed up with another double in an eventful Trophy tie with FC Halifax Town at the Horsfall Stadium on Tuesday night... Isaac then kept his nerve with an expertly-taken spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out...

Now, the Huddersfield Town Academy graduate has brought his dynamic style of play to The J.Davidson Stadium...

He said... 'I have been playing higher up the pitch this season. I wouldn't say that's necessarily my best position, but I was happy to do it and would be again. I'd say I'm a really energetic player who gets around the pitch.

'As a central midfielder, I'm quite confident about being on the ball and getting tackles in. I'm not shy about that, and I'd like to think I'm capable of getting a few goals as well.

'All the lads at Bradford spoke really highly of Alty, and I know it's a great club with great support, I'm delighted to be here'...

Boss Phil Parkinson was delighted... 'Isaac is a player I have been monitoring for 18 months, he was a player I was hoping to bring in next season. However, with a couple of departures and his excellent form this season for BPA, it forced my hand to move earlier than expected'....

Meanwhile, Danny Whitehead (above, left) has returned to Port Vale after being recalled from his loan spell".

And shortly after the above announcement,Altrincham FC added that "Marcus Dinanga is heading for Kidderminster Harriers in a loan move designed to help him hit the goal trail ahead of a return to Altrincham in the New Year.

Alty's summer signing is joining Kidderminster on a one-month loan". Dinanga has scored three times in 18 outings for Alty this season.

Footnote: Bradford (Park Avenue) report that "midfielder Isaac Marriott has joined Altrincham for an undisclosed fee.

The midfielder has been in fine form this season, adding goals to his games that already included a massive amount of attributes. It is these performances that have had parked Altrincham’s interest.

In his time here Isaac has won many plaudits for his style of play, and whilst we are sad to see him go, we feel that Isaac can progress in full time football, and the right thing to do was not stand in his way".


Today, Altrincham may be facing one of their own former loan players as Halifax Town confirmed that "Elliot Newby has been recalled by fellow Vanarama National League side Stockport County from his loan spell at the Club.

Newby joined the Shaymen at the start of October and has made 16 appearances including 4 starts scoring 1 goal for the Club".


The BBC reports that the manager of Altrincham's opponents on Tuesday, Wrexham, "Phil Parkinson wants National League bosses to increase the number of substitutes that can be used in games during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Dragons have had to call off their home game against Solihull Moors on 26 December due to Covid cases.

'There's lots been said about the welfare of players', Parkinson said. 'I really feel for the protection of players going forward that the National League has to seriously consider that [allowing extra substitutes]... It's not just about players being off and coming back after 10 days, it's easing them back into training and protecting them as well,' he said.

'The subs should be increased from three to five in the National League and I don't think that should be a vote, I think the league, the people in charge of the health aspect advising the league, should take that decision away from the clubs and make that decision on their own.'

Parkinson said Wrexham are hopeful of the league game away to Altrincham on 28 December going ahead, but he said player availability difficulties have been compounded by different rules between Wales and England.

The UK government has said people in England can end quarantine after seven days instead of 10 after negative lateral flow results on days six and seven. But the Welsh government has said the 10-day rule would remain.

'At the moment yeah [the game at Altrincham will go ahead] but I think everybody is just operating on a day-to-day basis,' Parkinson said...'All the players did a PCR test on Sunday, because we felt that was the right thing to know where we stood going into the Christmas period, hence there was some positive cases.

'Players can come back in to start training next week. Obviously in Wales we have the problem there is the 10-day rule, in England it's the seven-day rule. It is an advantage for other clubs because getting those players back in early and assessing them is key.'

Another disparity in rules is that sporting events held in Wales have been limited to 50 supporters attending - effectively making professional teams' games behind closed doors - while there are no such restrictions in England.

'Hopefully when the Solihull game gets rearranged the supporters will be allowed back in, everybody has had enough of playing in empty stadiums,' Parkinson added".


Lynn News reports that "King’s Lynn Town have completed the signing of Oliver Scott on non-contract terms.

Scott, who lives in the North-East, has been training with the squad in the past week and has been paying his own expenses for the trial week.

The left-sided player has done enough to convince new manager Tommy Widdrington to bring him to the club.

Scott spent two seasons with Blyth Spartans in the National League North, making 40 appearances and scoring three goals.

He has also featured for Consett and was previously at the Sunderland and South Shields FC academies in the early stages of his career...

The Lynn boss said Oliver adds another left-sided option to the squad. I have been really impressed with his commitment and desire over this week's training and the way he has fitted in with the squad'".

The Dorset Echo conforms that "Weymouth have been forced to postpone their Boxing Day clash with Eastleigh and their derby with Yeovil two days later due to Covid-19 cases at the Terras...

Centre-back Ben Morgan missed the 1-0 FA Trophy win at Hungerford Town due to Covid-19. Weymouth have now reported further cases and, adding to a lengthy injury list, the Dorset side have been left with no alternative but to reschedule the game...

Weymouth are remaining tight-lipped on how many players are affected, but the number is sufficient to put paid to the fixtures under National League rules.

Echosport understands the situation is less severe than last season’s outbreak, which swept through the entire Weymouth squad.. Vice-chairman Paul Maitland said 'I’m not going to say which players because that’s against their rights. We have followed National League and EFL protocols for the past six weeks now. Even so, it’s still hit us. We’ve taken every precaution we could, reassessed how we train, where we train, how we’ve travelled...

'Unfortunately, the spread is nationwide. Nobody’s avoiding it... Having suffered greatly last year we’re keen to minimise that risk to the playing squad again'".

And from the opposition, the Daily Echo repeats that "Eastleigh's trip to Weymouth on Boxing Day has been postponed...

COVID cases in the Weymouth camp have meant they are unable to fulfil the fixture and will also postpone their match versus Yeovil Town on December 28, too.

Ben Strevens’s men are, as of yet, unaffected and the Spitfires’ contest with Torquay United should still go ahead as planned on December 28".

24 December 2021


Altrincham are scheduled to entertain Wrexham at the J. Davidson Stadium next Tuesday (28th) but the Welsh club has announced that "Wrexham AFC can confirm Sunday's scheduled match at home to Solihull Moors on Boxing Day has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases within our squad...

As it stands, our fixture on Tuesday December 28, away to Altrincham, remains ON".


Altrincham FC currently has ten players either out on loan or at the club on loan from elsewhere, whilst three other loanees have already returned to their parent club.

The eight players out on loan are:

  1. James BERRY [right], signed in pre-season but immediately loaned out for the season to the nascent Macclesfield FC.
  2. Marcus DINANGA's loan to Kidderminster Harriers was announced today.
  3. Will HALL, the young centre-back is on loan at Ashton United. No Altrincham appearances this season.
  4. Brad JACKSON has now gone on loan at Buxton after 5(+3) appearances for Alty.
  5. Curtis MILLER is on loan at Trafford. No Altrincham appearances this season.
  6. Tom PEERS now on loan at Curzon Ashton after 8(+9) appearances this season in which he has scored three times.
  7. Ritchie SUTTON on loan at Alfreton Town after 3(+2) appearances this season.
  8. Andy WHITE on loan at FC United of Manchester afterlong-term injury.

The two current players loaned from other clubs are:

  1. Connor KIRBY, the midfield loanee from Harrogate Town was supposed to be at Altrincham till early January 2022 but has effectively returned to his parent club after breaking his leg in the fourth league match of 2021-22 season. This season he made four starts to add to 5(+2) appearances in a loan spell last season.
  2. Adam PORTER, the loanee from Stoke City has so far made 7(+2) appearances.

Loanees who have already returned to their parent clubs are

  1. Barry BAGGLEY joined Alty on an "emergency" loan from Fleetwood Town on 26 October 2021 and scored Alty's goal that day. Altrincham appearances: 3 starts, 1 goal.
  2. Tom WALKER was also an "emergency" loan signing, from Stockport County, and he made his Alty debut on 23 October 2021. He made 2(+1) Altrincham appearances.
  3. Danny WHITEHEAD, a loanee from Port Vale, who made 6(+4) appearances.


York Press confirms that "Former York City boss Steve Watson has taken charge of the Minstermen's National League North rivals Chester.

Watson, who managed Gateshead in the National League before joining City in 2019, left York last month following a fraught goalless draw at Curzon Ashton.

Chester have been without a manager since the departure of co-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley on November 24, 11 days after York parted company with Watson.

Relieving interim manager Danny Livesey of his duties, Watson joins a side who sit 16th in the table...

Chester chairman Andy Morris said 'It was important that we appointed a manager who knew the league in terms of opposition and players so that he could have an immediate impact and push us on to finish in the highest possible position in the table.'"


According to the Eastern Daily Press, "King’s Lynn Town have announced a new signing; manager's son Theo Widdrington.

Theo has joined on a loan deal until the end of January from Havant & Waterlooville. He started his career at Portsmouth, where he spent 13 years moving through the youth ranks before being released and joining Bristol Rovers in 2018, where he made his debut in the EFL Trophy alongside former Lynn loanee Zain Walker. He has also had loans spells at Bognor Regis (twice), Welling United and Hemel Hempstead. This season he has been on loan at Gosport Borough.

Father Tommy was appointed as Linnets boss two weeks ago".

In the Leader Live, Humphrey Ker says that at Wrexham, "After many years of enjoying the festive fixture period as a fan, I was desperately looking forward to my first year as an an active participant...

But the recent intensification of the pandemic, thanks to the Omicron variant, has seen a return to some of our most challenging days.

As Phil Parkinson revealed last week, we've had a sizeable number of players come down with the new variant and there are few folks working for the club that haven't had a touch of it at least once over the last two years...

Away from Covid and its frustrations, Saturday's FA Trophy game against Gloucester City was blessed by a number of very gratifying moments for the club.

Jordan Davies's excellently taken brace, after a very trying week, Max Cleworth's first senior goal... and Kai Evans's senior debut after so very recently signing his first contract for the club.

The moment that had me leaping from my seat, though, was the comeback goal for Kwame Thomas. Kwame's return from a very serious injury is such a lift for everyone at the club, as the hard work and dedication that he and our medical team have put in have served as a reminder to us all that obstacles are there to be overcome".

Also in the Leader Live we learn that manager Phil Parkinson "went into Saturday's FA Trophy clash against Gloucester City with a depleted squad with a number of players missing through injury, suspension and Covid 19 isolation... Some of the players who started the third round tie have not had much game-time this season but caught the eye in the 5-0 victory.

Wing-back Cameron Green, Max Cleworth, playing in midfield rather than his usual centre-back position, and striker Kwame Thomas, making his first appearance since March after recovering from a ruptured Achilles', were all praised by Parkinson who says the trio benefited from working hard when out of the team...

Said Parkinson, 'The standards in training, the intensity levels and the way we have been able to monitor the data has proved very beneficial for us. It has kept the players out of the team up to speed...

'All three of those players haven't had much football but it just shows you that if the training is right, and the work during the week is right and the extra work players out of the team do is monitored to the correct levels, you get those results and that is what has pleased myself and staff the most'...

'Supporters and players enjoy the Christmas games,' added Parkinson. 'They have a special feel to them, unfortunately that won't be the case for us on Boxing Day. But the two away games will be played in front of big crowds and packed grounds, and we will be ready to pick the right teams for each and every game and get through this period in a strong league position to take us into the break for the free weekend and FA Trophy...

'We know that there are areas we have got to improve but our belief is we will do, and get ready to mount a real challenge in the second part of the season.'"

Aldershot Town confirm that "Goalkeeper Ryan Hall has joined Beaconsfield Town on an initial one-month deal.

The youngster progressed through our academy system and made a number of first-team appearances last season, as he will look to return to Aldershot Town with more game-time under his belt.

Hall also spent time this season on loan with Wimborne Town, but will now look to get more vital minutes with the Rams".

Meanwhile, the Halifax Courier reflects that "2021 has been another successful 12 months under Pete Wild, who almost guided Halifax into the play-offs for the second successive season, while The Shaymen are second in the table ahead of their final match of the year.

When asked how he reflects on the past 12 months, Wild said... 'I think everybody should be proud that this club is heading in the right direction... The club is progressing on and off the pitch so we should be excited with that.

'It's our second year full-time, I think we've got more strength-in-depth this year, more players who understand the way we play. We've got a production line developing of young players all the way through the system. I think there's a real structure in place at this football club that maybe there wasn't when we first walked through the door'...

[Last season] Town fell short with a final day defeat to Chesterfield... 'Because of the loan and everything, we just didn't have the money to have that last drive,' Wild said...

Wild then lost some key players over the summer, but rebuilt his squad with some astute signings.

'I never panic because I believe I've got the right recruitment structure in place to replenish the squad, and I think that's been proven three seasons on the bounce now,' he said. 'As I kept saying over the summer, trust us, we'd done it before, why wouldn't we do it again, trust us. Everybody has a default of doom and gloom whereas we have a default of optimism here because we know what our plan is, so it allows us to recruit towards our plan...

'I knew if I got the right players in place, that we would have another successful season,' he said. 'We've got more strength-in-depth this year, touch wood injuries haven't hurt us as much as they did last year. You could say year one was crisis management, year two was developing a plan and year three now is about trying to implement that plan...

'I feel like I'm more calm, relaxed, I see more, understand more, I know my plan even better than any plan before', he said... 'When there's a defeat I learn, when there's a victory I learn, I listen to my staff around me, who are unbelievable, I listen to my players and their opinions, and try and then decipher all the information and pick the right solutions to problems...

'David (Bosomworth) continues to back the club. Regardless of what people say I think he does a phenomenal job to keep us competing,' Wild said...

'I have a different challenge now in terms of everybody wants our players. We have a firm stance me and David, that nobody's going anywhere, regardless of rumour'".

The Nottingham Post tells us that "Ian Burchnall says Notts County are taking precautionary measures amid an explosion of coronavirus cases across the country but admitted they cannot get 'over-confident'.

The Magpies saw their much-anticipated trip to Chesterfield postponed on Tuesday due to a 'Covid event' which has also led the Spireites to withdraw from the FA Trophy.

Notts have so far registered no positive tests for the Omicron variant amid record-breaking numbers of positive cases which surpassed the 100,000 barrier on Wednesday... Head coach Burchnall says Notts have taken precautionary measures such as wearing masks inside and have also advised players on how to 'control the situation' once they leave training.

'We've tried to bring some mask-wearing inside and be more careful around eating and sanitising things,' he said.. 'But of course, when the players leave, they have their own free will, and we just tried to advise them on the most sensible course of how to try to control the situation the best way possible...

'We've had, I think, relative success certainly compared to others at the moment, but we're certainly not overconfident with the situation because we know it can change fast... If we haven't been able to adapt by now, then there's something wrong. I have to just be ready to make plan A and plan B and Plan C and not complain too much@">

23 December 2021


Altrincham FC has arranged loans for two fringe players.

The first to be announced was Brad Jackson (left) who "has joined Pitching In Northern Premier League title chasers Buxton on a month's loan to build up his fitness levels with some valuable game time...

The pacey winger made a favourable impression on Altrincham fans after joining from Chester in the summer and making eight appearances for the Robins, including five in the starting line-up, earlier this season.

But opportunities have been limited in recent weeks after he picked up an injury and also had to serve a three-match suspension...

[Buxton] currently lead the table, going into the Christmas programme".

Also going on loan is striker Tom Peers (right). Altrincham FC says that Tom "is heading to Curzon Ashton in a mutually-beneficial loan deal aimed at giving him valuable time in the middle...

The wholehearted Alty frontrunner, in his second spell at The J.Davidson Stadium, has featured in most of the Robins’ recent games but has generally been utilised from the bench.

It was felt he would benefit from more full 90-minute outings, and Curzon Ashton were happy to oblige after a disappointing December so far put a dent in their promotion hopes.

Tom... will be among some familiar faces in a squad containing former Alty winger Craig Mahon and strikers Nyal Bell and Craig Hobson, who have both had spells at The J.Davidson Stadium."


Alty visit neighbours Stockport County for their next National League fixture, on Boxing Day.

The Robins are seeking to end a run of four league matches without a win.

The match will be Altrincham's twentieth of the league season, whereas last year it was only the fourteenth owing to the delayed start of the 2020-21 campaign resulting from Covid having delayed the completion of the pervious season.

One of those 14 games last season, a win at Dover, was to be annulled following the Whites' refusal to complete the season. The 13 remaining valid matches had brought Alty a haul of eighteen points (1.38 points per game PPG) and a fourth place position in the National League table.

This season's 19 matches have yielded 25 points (1.31 PPG) and they travel to stockport lying twelfth in the division.


On Sunday, Altrincham travel to Edgeley Park for the third time in the last four years for their Boxing Day fixture. Details of all of Altrincham's Boxing Day games since 1903 can be viewed, courtesy of the Through the Years data of Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett.


Another fixture has fallen victom to the Covid pandemic as Boreham Wood "confirm that due to numerous COVID-19 cases within our First Team squad, Boxing Day’s away fixture with neighbours Barnet at the Hive has been postponed.

Despite our best efforts and daily testing, the Wood have had a number of First Team players return positive PCR tests".


The Halifax Courier reports that "Town manager Pete Wild says his side have to do better defensively after they edged past Bradford Park Avenue in the FA Trophy... winning 5-3 on penalties following a 3-3 draw at Horsfall Stadium.

'I thought we started well, exactly how I wanted us to start, on the front-foot, dominating the ball, trying to get in-behind them, trying to get down the sides of them, so really happy with how we started,' Wild said. 'Then, one long ball, which is a shocking goal to give away, it's not good enough the defending for that first goal, and that infuriates me, and it makes it a contest.

'We get back in it with a really good goal, a goal we normally score, but we don't capitalise by taking our chances. How many times this year have we said we haven't taken our chances and put teams to the sword?

'Then right on half-time, throw comes in, nobody wants to go and tackle people and they score again. That was two rubbish goals we gave away.

'Second-half we were dominant again, 85-90 per cent possession, and we played some really good passing stuff. We know teams every week now will just sit in against us and wait to try and pick us off, we know that and we have to try and be brave enough to pick them off.

'Their third goal, ball in our box, we don't defend it well and you think 'well, that's disaster', but luckily Tom's pulled us out of it in the last minute and we've been able to slot the penalties away.

'I thought both teams took an excellent set of pens... The goals we've given away are not good enough. If we defend like that next week we'll get tortured, so we've got to defend better than that...

'I thought tactically they hit us on the break and then sat in, 4-5-1, so tactically I think they deserve credit for how they've set up against us,' Wild said."

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus mentions two players who have worn the Altrincham stripes as it adds that "Halifax started to dominate once experienced Avenue midfielder Simon Richman limped off, but the Shaymen failed to create many clearcut chances. And they went behind when ex-Bradford City winger Dylan Mottley-Henry set up Marriott to drill the ball into the net".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town owner Jason Stockwood has clarified comments about the club's projected losses and has reiterated his call for better financial governance in the National League.

The Mariners have maintained a long-term vision to recruitment since dropping out of the Football League. The majority of Town's additions have been loans and high-quality free transfers, while some other clubs have spent big in the hope of getting out of the National League.

Stockwood has admitted that whilst Town can't compete with the level of money spent at AFC Wrexham or Stockport, nor would they want to, he believes that better governance in the division is vital to creating a fairer playing field.

'Our losses are because of the large investment on the infrastructure that we are making,' Stockwood told Grimsby Live. 'Plus the investment on the squad. They are not operating costs, they won't run forever. When I spoke about the loss I didn't intend to get people's heart's racing or worry anyone.

'We are not struggling, absolutely not. What I'd state is, I'm genuinely happy it's a tight league this year. When you play table tennis with your kids, you don't want to resoundingly beat them because you can and you're the biggest player. You want to play people who can compete. I think whoever gets out of this league will deserve it because it's so tough to get out. It's so competitive and it will mean something.

'The downside is the people who can come in and spend disproportionate amount and underwrite losses through advertising revenues that others don't have access to. It completely distorts the wage structure and the expectation of fans if you can sign a player from a top team and spend over £5K a week.< P> 'That makes it impossible for teams like Grimsby. It is outside the constraints of what is sustainable within our budgets and it would upset the wage structure within your organisation. If you're in the dressing room with someone on £5K per week and you're way under that, it's not good for your culture.

'At the same time, you wish them well. The owner at Stockport is a really good bloke. I don't know the Wrexham guys, but they're not doing it for money. All power to those clubs and those towns. We want them to have success, but not at our expense. It's a question of governance and not people coming in and being huge benefactors.

'If the boundaries were set around salary structures and commercial revenues, it would level the playing field. I don't mind inequality, there will be some naturally. It's fairness that matters. Big spending must be governed in the right way. All power to the Wrexhams and Stockports. It would be disingenuous to say you wouldn't want someone to invest at that level in your club. It's just the potential consequences I worry about.'"

Meanwhile, the BBC adds that "Grimsby Town's remaining two fixtures for 2021 have been postponed due to a continuing number of positive Covid-19 cases in their squad.

The Mariners' games against Halifax and King's Lynn Town will now take place at a later date... Tuesday's National League fixture against Boreham Wood was also postponed due to an "escalating" number of cases".

In Hampshire's Daily Echo "Eastleigh manager Ben Strevens has told his players that they are in a 'blessed position to give people enjoyment' and wants to keep playing on if conditions are safe to do so...

Both Chesterfield vs Notts County and Grimsby vs Boreham Wood were postponed midweek... while only four of 10 Premier League fixtures got underway in the most recent round of games..

Asked for his opinion on whether football should continue, Strevens responded 'Truthfully I don’t know. I spoke out two years ago when we played away at Notts County and I was very opinionated and people had a go at me for it. It led into all sort of things, us going into lockdown and stuff like that...

He added 'We’re in a blessed position, I just said that to the boys, in terms of we can give people some enjoyment to watch games of football; paramount is people’s safety, of course it is... We want to keep playing and, if we have to stop, we will stop. I do think this is something that can bring some happiness to people and that is something we want to bring'.

Strevens’ latest comments come after he received some backlash back in March 2020, when he revealed his surprise that the National League hadn’t been postponed indefinitely like the four divisions above had... The Spitfires' boss said at the time that he felt his comments had been misinterpreted as him labelling the league as ‘greedy’, after he suggested that money was the primary factor for the league continuing to proceed for an extra week at the start of the pandemic".

According to Kent Online, Dover Athletic "Manager Andy Hessenthaler fears he could be without wideman Travis Gregory for the rest of this season. Gregory hasn’t featured since pulling out in the warm-up before Whites’ draw at Yeovil last month.

Speaking after Dover’s 1-0 FA Trophy loss to National League rivals Bromley last weekend, which came through a Khale Da Costa own goal, Hessenthaler revealed Gregory has a knee injury, and Covid to boot. Maidstone loanee Alfie Pavey also has Covid...

'Will Moses has Covid; he’s got it for the second time, and Danny Collinge has Covid. I suspect Ben Williamson has got Covid'...

Since rejoining Whites, Pavey has made a difference and, with his loan up after the Boxing Day home match against Dagenham, Hessenthaler hopes to extend his spell back at Crabble...

Hessenthaler... is also dealing without the injured duo of keeper Adam Parkes and midfielder TJ Bramble".

Basement boys Dover are hopeful of having defenders Seth Twumasi (knee) and Collinge back against Dagenham. Hessenthaler also hinted he may change some personnel in his squad next month with the loans for Millwall’s Junior Tiensia, Gillingham’s Henry Woods and Harry Ransom, of Crawley, up while there is a recall option in four-goal top-scorer Aaron Cosgrave’s season-long loan deal from AFC Wimbledon.

Hessenthaler admitted 'I think we might need to freshen it up... Their loan periods are coming up, and we might need some new faces. I’ve had a chat with the chairman (Jim Parmenter) and that might be the case (that new players are brought in) in the next couple of weeks but, if there’s anything, it will be loans..

'We have got six loans at the moment so we need to be careful with that... We can’t rely on a couple of senior players to try and pull the team along, some of these younger players in the squad need to stand up and be counted as well.'

Academy frontman Noah Carney has been named in the 18-player England under-18s schoolboys' squad".

22 December 2021


On Alty fan Pete Scotson's Radio Alty on Tuesday mornings, there is a regular slot covering Altrincham FC. This week's special guest was the club's volunteer Safety and Covid Officer, Nigel Bunce, who has been a very busy man during the pandemic.

Nigel explained that his involvement with the club started in 2009 when his daughter's attendance at the club's Junior coaching sessions led to his coming to matches, taking advantage of the cut-price £5 tickets offered to parents of the Juniors. This led to his becoming a supporter of Alty at both home and away matches before offering his expertise to then chairman Grahame Rowley when a Safety Officer vacancy arose. That, in turn, led to his volunteering to be the club's Covid Officer when the pandemic struck.

So, in addition to his normal duties as Safety Officer, Nigel has had to deal with the complexities of the Covid-related regulations applicable to the players and management as well as overseeing the massive task of ensuring that matches held at the J Davidson Stadium have been played in a safe environment for spectators as well as volunteers, players and management.

As if that were not enough, he has been faced with the local Council insisting on a draconian cut in the permitted attendance at the ground and the temporary closure of large section of the stadium on Health & Safety grounds. And all this has had to be managed whilst still fulfilling commitments to his day job for the Office of Rail and Road, which is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain’s railways.


Measures such as the enforced closure of each end of the Popular Side have had to be managed.

In his voluntary roles, Nigel has also had to change the company supplying stewards to the Club after the Council refused to sanction the continued use of the stadium with the previous company. Nigel has also dedicated many hours to travelling to virtually all the away games on the team coach ensuring that the players' and support staff's Covid safety is ensured wherever they go.

Much of Nigel's work probably goes unnoticed by many supporters but, without his selfless dedication to his dual role, the club would, no doubt, have struggled to fulfil its fixtures as safely as it has and it was only appropriate that last season the manager Phil Parkinson named Nigel as the Club's volunteer of the year. He must be a strong contender for similar recognition in 2021-22 season.


The Manc reports that a "local construction firm has said it’s ‘excited and proud’ to be involved in local football projects, including a total transformation of Altrincham FC’s VP Lounge.

The Armstrong Projects plinth ("podium") at the J. Davidson Stadium is pictured, right.

Armstrong Projects launched its Give Something Back campaign this year, which has seen them getting involved in community projects. As well as donating library furniture and books to a local school, Armstrong Projects has also partnered with a local grassroots football team...

The company’s founders Chris Hamlett and Paul Armstrong are both keen football fans, supporting Liverpool and Manchester United respectively...

Armstrong Projects are working to refurbish the VP lounge at Altrincham FC. That means adding in a new bar area, bench seating, upgraded toilets and a graffiti feature wall. The work on The Armstrong Projects Vice Presidents Lounge is due to be completed before Christmas.

A spokesperson said 'We absolutely look forward to developing our relationship with Altrincham FC and are excited and proud to have been able to play a part in their continued growth and success!'

Amrstrong Projects were first introduced to Altrincham FC when the team approached them to take part in a community football tournament, which Armstrong Projects entered three teams into.

They continued 'From then on, and as Altrincham FC were developing their Breakfast Business Club, we started to develop a strong bond, based on community values, building good relationships and obviously football!... We were asked to sponsor the clubs match ball podium (right) and did not hesitate to get involved.

'“In readiness for their first match of the season and on their newly laid football pitch, our team arrived to present their new podium; from this point we knew a great partnership was being formed.'".

The mural in the VP lounge features Altrincham town scenes, including the Market Hall.


The Shropshire Star confirms that "Elliott Durrell (left) has been made available for transfer by Paul Carden...

The attacker was a star summer signing for the Bucks but was left out of the squad by new boss Paul Carden for today's last-gasp FA Trophy defeat at lower-division Stourbridge.

It was revealed after the game that former Shrewsbury youngster and Wrexham man Durrell, 32, who still lives in the region, has been offered to clubs and is not part of Carden's plans.

It is believed disciplinary reasons are behind the decision to move Durrell on from Telford. It is understood there has been interest in the Bucks man and he was watching a match elsewhere on Saturday.

Durrell scored three goals in 14 National League North fixtures for the rock-bottom Bucks this season.

He was brought to the club by former boss Gavin Cowan, after previous Telford managers had tried to bring Durrell for a second spell at the New Bucks Head on a number of occasions, as a statement signing in the summer after being released by Wrexham.

Telford shipped two goals in the dying moments of their Trophy third round tie at step three Stourbridge after Theo Streete and Brendon Daniels goals had twice given Carden's men the lead".#

Durrell, now 31, had a remarkable time at Altrincham after singing in February 2020. He made an impressive start, winning and scoring a penalty on his debut as a second-half substitute at Spennymoor, before netting with his first touch as, again, a used substitute, four days later at Blyth. Then a wonder goal at Hereford in his first start, and third outing, maintained his goalscoring record. He went on to score again in game no.4 before hitting a double against Chester in his fifth outing in July 2020.

After failing to add to his tally in the final two play-off games, in the close season he chose to rejoin a former club, Wrexham, with a record of having scored more goals than the number of games he started for Altrincham.

Altrincham appearances : 5(+2), 6 goals.


Th Nottingham Post says that manager "Ian Burchnall admits Notts County's bid to reach Wembley will take a backseat to the team's National League promotion push this season.

The Magpies overcame Altrincham 2-1 at the weekend to book a place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy. They have been drawn at home to National League rivals Eastleigh... with the tie scheduled to be played at Meadow Lane on Saturday, January 15...

Another cup run could be on the cards, though the league remains the main priority... Burchnall said [of the FA Trophy tie] 'It's important. When the next game comes around, it depends on what's happening in the league as to its importance.

'If it's the only game we've got to play that week, then it's extremely important. If we've suddenly got to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, then maybe the value of this one becomes less than a league game. That's normal'...

He added 'We want to win every game that we play and I believe I could change six or seven players and still achieve a result, because I think we've got great players that sit on the bench... But the ultimate goal is to win points in the league and this can be beneficial and supplementary to that, either to get additional players game time or like (the Altrincham) game, where we haven't played many games this month.'".

Wrexham "would like to update supporters following last night’s announcement of a move to behind-closed-doors sports events in Wales...

Supporters will no longer be able to attend the Racecourse Ground for our Boxing Day home match against Solihull Moors... As soon as we became aware of the Welsh Government instruction, we contacted the National League, to establish if we could stream the game to supporters.

The North Wales Daily Post adds that "As it stands Wrexham AFC's away fixtures at Altrincham on December 28 and Notts County on January 2 can still be attended by Dragons fans unless England change their rules before then...

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething announced the measures and said 'Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections. We need to do everything we can to protect people’s health and control the spread of this awful virus.

'Throughout the pandemic we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear; we need to act now in response to the threat of Omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can'...

All sporting events no matter how minor will be played behind closed doors, with no spectators allowed.... Wrexham have sold their allocation of tickets for the away matches at both Altrincham and Notts County".

The Grimsby Telegraph tells us that that "Paul Hurst’s mid-season squad-strengthening plans have accelerated with the news that Ryley Towler has been recalled by Bristol City.

The young central defender has returned to Ashton Gate after a largely positive loan spell at Blundell Park.

In the early weeks of the season he formed a formidable defensive partnership with Luke Waterfall and the duo underpinned Town’s fine run of form which saw them top the National League table.

While his more recent performances have not been quite at that standard, it seems more that he was suffering the same lack of confidence that has permeated into the team in general as the defeats have piled up.

Hurst will already be thinking of a replacement for Towler... Fellow loanee Alex Hunt also looks set to return to parent club Sheffield Wednesday, with no talks held over an extension for the midfielder... So Hurst has two significant players that need replacing before he even comes to other positions, with a striker of course top of the wish list...

With Grimsby Town’s midweek match against Boreham Wood falling victim to the rise in Covid cases within the Mariners’ squad... Hurst will have some extra time to get in touch with clubs and agents over players...

Hurst’s immediate challenge is not only to bring in the right signings to bolster his squad, perhaps the main concern right now is restoring the belief in the players he already has and inspiring them to reproduce their early-season heroics".

The Southend Echo reports that "Tom Clifford is keen to make up for lost time at Southend United. The Shrimpers left-back has started the Shrimpers’ last two matches after recovering from the ankle injury he suffered during pre-season...

Said Clifford, 'Missing the first few months of the season was very frustrating for me... The last few months have made me even more keen to kick on now because I’ve missed quite a large part of the season'...

Clifford returned to the starting line-up for the 4-1 defeat at Notts County before playing the full 90 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win against Dorking Wanderers in the FA Trophy...

'I think we have played some good stuff in the last few games,' said Clifford... 'There’s still lots to improve on and we know that but I think we’re definitely making improvements'...

Said the 22-year-old... 'My hopes for the rest of the season are to try and stay injury free from now on and play as many games as I can'...

Kevin Maher was appointed Blues boss during Clifford’s injury lay-off. But he is someone Clifford already knows well due to spell his in charge of the Shrimpers’ under 23s".

21 December 2021


Altrincham are scheduled to travel along the M60 to Stockport on Boxing Day.

Last time out the Hatters beat a depleted Grimsby Town convincingly in the FA Trophy. From the Grimsby Telegraph, we learn that "Stockport County manager Dave Challinor hailed his side’s FA Trophy win over Grimsby Town as ‘comfortable’ and... now Challinor wants to go all the way in the competition, while also continuing their upward trajectory in the league...

'It was comfortable,' said Challinor. 'When you work on things in training and you see them work on a matchday, it’s really rewarding.

'A tiny criticism is that in the final 10 or 15 minutes we could have kicked on and challenged ourselves a little bit more.

'The first goal came from a really good press. We pinched the ball in a good area and it rewarded us with a good chance. Then we get another from a set piece which is great as we had worked on those in the week.

'It was a good day all round; we didn't pick up any injuries and it was a good work-out for some of the lads who definitely needed it. We want to win it. How seriously we take it will depend on circumstances within our squad.

'If you were to ask me whether I’d rather win the National League or the FA Trophy then of course it’s the National League but I think they can run alongside each other.

'If we get to a point where we do have to prioritise we will do so, but at the moment we don’t. We are four wins away from a Wembley final. I’ll tell you now, and my players will say the same, I’d love the opportunity to go back there and we will do everything to make that happen'.

Challinor added... 'This is a talented squad. It is probably a bit lop-sided in terms of the positions we have. We need to correct that. There’s a bit of optimism back and there is absolute backing should we require it from the owners.

'There is a clear vision and a clear plan in terms of where the football club needs to go'".


Tuesday, 21 December
  • Chesterfield P-P Notts County (Covid at Chesterfield)
  • Grimsby Town P-P Boreham Wood (Covid at Grimsby)


The Maidenhead Advertiser reports that "Maidenhead United have confirmed they’ve released goalkeeper Rhys Lovett, with the player signing for Billericay Town in the National League South.

Lovett made 15 appearances for the Magpies after signing from Gloucester City last season but will be most fondly remembered for his goal-scoring cameo as an outfield substitute in last season's 4-1 win over Boreham Wood.

Lovett was brought on as a late substitute for Josh Kelly and showed a striker's instinct to turn home Danilo Orsi-Dadomo's low cross to score the Magpies fourth goal in injury-time.,,

United will now be assessing their goalkeeping options with more than half of the season remaining.

They currently have James Holden, signed on a season-loan deal from Reading FC, on their books.

Lovett meanwhile made an instant impression for new club Billericay, keeping a clean sheet in the side's goalless draw with Chelmsford City. Billericay remain rooted to the bottom of the table".

According to the Leader Live "It's a case of carry on regardless until further notice as far as Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson is concerned as the on-going coronavirus crisis continues to cause disruption.

Parkinson was already down on numbers because of injury and suspension for Saturday's FA Trophy third round tie against Gloucester City at The Racecourse. Covid 19 isolation meant Parkinson was without more players but he was still able to name a strong side and Wrexham beat the National League North outfit 5-0 to progress to the next round...

'It is very difficult,' said Parkinson. 'You have seen the amount of games called off today. Should this game have been on? It is debatable but we decided to go ahead with it...

'We will get the players tested as we have been doing. One or two more came back positive today with their tests, it is so difficult for managers. We have got some players still unvaccinated which I think is a problem across the board but that is everyone's personal choice, you can't twist their arm and take them to the vaccination clinical yourself'".

The Southend Echo advises us that "Southend United boss Kevin Maher insists the Shrimpers are doing all they can to stay safe but expects the coronavirus pandemic to affect their season at some point...

But Blues continue to follow all of the protocols in a bid to avoid having their own matches called off.

'We’re doing everything we have to do around the training ground with masks and wipes,' said Maher.

'It’s affecting everyone and it will probably affect us at some stage but we’re trying to stay as safe as we can.

'We’re following all of the protocols and that’s all we can do.'"

20 December 2021


The draw for the FA Trophy Fourth Round has been made. Notts County, who knocked out Altrincham, have secured a home tie against Eastleigh. Ties will take place on January 15th 2022.

  • Wrexham v Folkestone Invicta
  • St Albans City v Cheshunt
  • York City v Slough Town
  • Stourbridge v Guiseley
  • Tonbridge Angels v King's Lynn Town
  • Southport v Solihull Moors
  • Notts County v Eastleigh
  • Dartford v Weymouth
  • Aldershot Town v Bromley
  • Boreham Wood v Maidstone United
  • Morpeth Town v Boston United
  • Yeovil Town v Needham Market
  • Stockport County v Larkhall Athletic
  • Spennymoor Town v Plymouth Parkway


Whether winning or losing this season, it is rare for any matches involving the Robins this season to have had clear-cut outcomes.

Altrincham's 2-1 defeat at Notts County on Saturday meant that they had bowed out of all three of their cup competitions (FA Cup, Cheshire Senior Cup and FA Trophy) by single-goal margins. They had previously lost by the odd goal in five to both Gateshead (FA Cup) and Nantwich Town (CSC).

Right: A rarity in Altrincham's season was the 4-1 margin achieved by Alty against King's Lynn Town. Here we see team-mates congratulating Ryan Colclough on the opening goal.

In the National League, too, there have been repeatedly slim margins. This season Alty have lost just one league fixture by more than a single goal; that was a 2-0 defeat at The Shay against FC Halifax Town.

In their other eighteen NL games they have lost seven times by a single goal, won three other games by that same narrow margin, and drawn on four occasions.

So just five of their nineteen league games have been decided by two or more goals. These were the home wins over King's Lynn Town (4-1), Maidenhead United (2-0) and, away at Torquay United (3-1) and Weymouth (4-1), as well as that 2-0 defeat at Halifax.


Notts County have re-runs of the goals from their win over Altrincham on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Nottingham Post reminds us that "Head Coach Ian Burchnall is disappointed Tuesday’s National League clash at table-topping Chesterfield has been postponed due to the hosts being hit by a Covid-19 outbreak.

After watching his side progress to the fourth round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win over fellow National League club Altrincham at Meadow Lane on Saturday evening, Burchnall said 'I would much rather the Chesterfield game was going ahead as we are in great form'...

And Burchnall admitted... 'The postponement did affect my selection' [against Altrincham], he said. 'When you only have two days between games you want to rotate more and rest players but, suddenly, we don’t have many games in December at all so then it becomes more about ensuring we get a little bit of continuity as well.

'I had plan A and plan B set out but we had to wait until quite late in the day to see where we were going with the team and we went with a strong, attacking team. We wanted to look at Kairo Mitchell and Wootton playing together, with Ruben a bit deeper, so we tried one or two things out as well.'

Burchnall was particularly impressed by Notts’ second goal, saying 'We look at patterns of play a lot and the run, the timing of the pass; it was a brilliant goal.'

The scorer of that goal was Wootton, who for the second week running was the beneficiary of a pinpoint cross from on-loan wing-back Jayden Richardson, but the in-form striker was withdrawn at half-time, with Burchnall saying 'He felt a bit of tightness in his hamstring so it was good to get him off and rest him.'

While Notts were exciting going forwards, a less pleasing aspect of the game was that once again they conceded a soft goal, Altrincham’s equaliser coming after goalkeeper Sam Slocombe failed to gather a weak header on goal, leaving Tom Hanagan with the simple task of bundling the ball into an empty net.

Burchnall said 'Sam will be disappointed with the goal and it is frustrating and disappointing not to keep a clean sheet'".

And the Nottingham Post adds that "Rarely does a footballer enhance his reputation by sitting on the sidelines, but that was the case for Notts County’s Kyle Wootton on Saturday. His goal before half-time in the 2-1 victory over Altrincham proved decisive...

But the true value of the striker shone through after he was substituted at the interval as, despite plenty of attacking intent, the cutting edge of the first period was missing and Notts lost their grip on a game they should have won comfortably...

That only 1,248 fans were at Meadow Lane on Saturday evening to see Notts progress to the fourth round for the third year running by beating Altrincham 2-1, compared with the 6,200 who attended the previous weekend’s home victory over Southend United in the National League, would suggest the Trophy is not a major attraction, though obviously a 7.30pm kick-off on the Saturday before Christmas could at least partially explain the number of absentees".


Altrincham's next game is on Boxing Day (Sunday) away to Stockport County. County lie tenth, two places but five points ahead of Alty in the table, with The Robins having played one more fixture.

Having trounced a weakened Grimsby Town on Saturday 4-0 in the FA Trophy, County go into the game heavy favourites against an Altrincham side which has secured just two wins in its last fifteen matches in all competitions.

However, there is hope for Altrincham as, in their last league outing, County lost at lowly Torquay United, 2-1.

And although, before that, County had scored 17 goals in five NL matches, recording four wins and a draw in the process, it should be noted that three of those five games were against teams in the current bottom seven.

The sequence before that loss at Plainmoor comprised a 5-2 win at Dover, a 1-1 home draw against Bromley, a 2-1 victory at Woking, 5-0 home trouncing of King's Lynn Town and a 4-1 success at Wealdstone.


Two well-known figures in NW football have moved to the North East as Spennymoor Town "is proud to announce its new Management Team...

"With impressive records at the helm of their previous three clubs, they led Chester for three-and-a-half years... Their departure came in November, but it was far from a bitter split.

The Bury natives started their management careers at Ramsbottom United in 2009/10...

[At Spennymoor] Johnson and Morley will be joined by former Ashton United, Hyde United and Buxton Manager Steve Halford as First Team Coach, along with current Management Team members Barry Farr, Goalkeeping Coach, Andy Oates, Physiotherapist, and Gav Cogdon, Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Brad Groves, Chief Executive of Spennymoor Town FC, said... 'We had incredible levels of interest in the role and some exceptional candidates applied. We are grateful and humbled by the interest, which only confirms the work we have delivered over the last decade to build our brand and community club to being the pride of County Durham.

'Initiatives like ‘affordable football for all’; our ground development project; partnerships with colleges and community groups; and our work with supporters have made us the club we aspired to be... We have all been spoiled at Spennymoor Town and this season is the first time we have struggled...

'I believe we now have the ideal team in place to deliver our short and long term goals'".


Grimsby Live reports that "Mitigating circumstances do not excuse Grimsby Town display during Stockport County thrashing

The Mariners were thrashed 4-0 at Edgeley Park in their worst performance of the season... as a COVID-19 hit team fell to defeat against Stockport County.

The Mariners were missing over 10 first-team players at Edgley Park but produced a limp performance against their National League rivals.

Will Collar opened the scoring after an awful error from Alex Hunt, who was dispossessed playing out from defence ... In a lifeless first-half performance, albeit in mitigating circumstances, Ryan Croasdale doubled that lead before the interval...

To make matters worse, Lenell John-Lewis was sent off shortly after half-time after he was judged to have elbowed Ash Palmer, who then headed in a third for the hosts.

Collar then added a fourth for Stockport... The Mariners were only able to name four substitutes out of seven after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the camp.

It forced Paul Hurst into six changes, with Sean Scannell handed his first start of the season, whilst Max Wright and Joel Grant were named amongst the substitutes despite their recent injuries.

Under National League rules, Town would be expected to fulfil Tuesday night's rearranged fixture against Boreham Wood. Teams must have 14 players available with one goalkeeper included.

However, given the position of both clubs in the National League table, the integrity of the competition comes into question. If the Mariners' cases worsen, the game would be in serious doubt. Grimsby Town fell to their eighth defeat in nine matches against Stockport...

In a woeful display, the Mariners lacked intensity, tempo and energy in their play, barely posing any sort of threat in possession and unable to get up the pitch... Falling behind didn't kick Town into life, worryingly. The hosts dictated possession and territory against the Mariners' first-choice central midfield pairing in a dominant opening 45-minute performance.

The impressive Madden continued to dictate the match, dropping into pockets of space and pulling the back-three around the pitch, leaving gaping spaces for his team-mates to exploit".

The Stockport County side comprised Hinchliffe; Hogan, Palmer, Fryers; Minihan, Croasdale (Crankshaw, 65'), Collar, Rydel (Walker, 70'); Sarcevic; Madden, Jennings.

According to the Dorset Echo, "Weymouth manager Brian Stock was pleased with his team’s performance as the Terras booked their place in Round 4 of the FA Trophy following a 1-0 win away to Hungerford Town and said there was now a 'feel-good factor' at the club.

He said 'The desire and attitude from the team was excellent. We’ve come up against a tough and tricky tie in Hungerford. Given the pitch and their style of play, we needed to have big characters today. Man for man we dealt with their directness and sometimes we had to fight fire with fire, we couldn’t just bring the ball down and play but, when we did, Cam Murray had a nice bit of skill and Josh McQuoid finished brilliantly and we saw the game out well.'

'We flipped to a back four today due to losing Ben Morgan to COVID and we had to deal with tricky playing conditions'...

He said it felt good to end the team's run of defeats heading into the festive period... He said 'Brad Ash and Omar Mussa have taken knocks and a few walking wounded. But there’s a feel-good factor now, we’ve stopped the run of defeats. Today could have been a banana skin for us, but instead we’re coming away full of confidence and sometimes when you get wins, it can kickstart your season again and I think it will.'”

Bromley "progressed to the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a 1-0 win over Dover Athletic, courtesy of a 27th minute Finlay Lovatt goal.

It was a much-changed Ravens side as youngsters Charlie Nicholas, Kellen Fisher and Finlay Lovatt were given a run out from the start with Jack Smith, Ben Krauhaus and debutant Palace Francis coming on in the second half...

Just shy of the half-hour mark and Bromley took the lead as Jude Arthurs’s corner was bundled into the net off Lovatt.

It proved to be a quiet second half as both sides lacked real chances at goal.

However, Ravens fans got to see the first glimpse of new signing Francis who impressed with his first display".

Kent Online tells us that "Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler believes football should put on a united front during its latest battle against Covid-19...

Dover’s FA Trophy tie did go ahead despite several cases in their squad... with Whites losing 1-0 to National League rivals Bromley at Crabble as Khale da Costa put through his own net.

Among the Whites players affected were on-loan Maidstone frontman Alfie Pavey, Travis Gregory, Will Moses, Danny Collinge and keeper Alexis Andre Jr. Striker Ben Williamson is also struggling with illness but, so far, hasn’t returned a positive Covid test.

Bottom side Whites are due to host Dagenham & Redbridge in the league on Boxing Day, visit Woking two days later and then travel to Dagenham on January 2.

When asked if he was surprised some matches still went ahead despite the increase in cases, Dover’s manager replied 'A little bit... To be honest, I listen to a lot of managers in the Premier League and a lot of them have said we either play the games or none of us play. I actually agree with that. It’s either one or the other, really.

'So I am surprised there’s so many games on but, I’ll be honest, I’m nervous...and it’s getting worse. Could that affect the Christmas programme? It could well do'.

Da Costa, who recently returned from a one-month loan at Braintree, had started well before inadvertently putting a corner past his own keeper Josh Bexon.

'I think the goal that he scored was unfortunate but you have got to defend the near post better. That knocked the confidence out of him a little bit. He also, perhaps, is not fit enough at the moment. He has been out on loan but, when you are part-time, it’s about trying to get that fitness'...

Dover rarely threatened to get back into the third-round tie, although they did manage to bring on 17-year-old Noah Carney, who is on England Schoolboy under-18 trials today, alongside fellow Academy players George Wilkinson and Luke Baptiste in the second half.

Hessenthaler reflected 'The only positive to come out of it was we managed to get some kids on the pitch, which was nice because we have got some really good Academy boys... After conceding the goal, confidence dropped out of us unfortunately..

'We were disrupted, as well, with five boys out with Covid and, obviously, the injuries that we have got. But it’s still another game we have not been good enough in'".

"Torquay United 'deserved' to crash out of FA Trophy to lowly Tonbridge Angels" reports Devon Live

Gary Johnson said Torquay United were 'nearly men' after they were dumped out of the FA Trophy by lower-league opposition in Kent on Saturday.

After Havant & Waterlooville put the Gulls out of the FA Cup in October, Tonbridge Angels made it a National South competition-exit double when they won 2-1 against a Torquay team that struggled to get going after two excellent wins in the National League.

Tonbridge opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Joe Francis got his head to a cross and beat Mark Halstead, who was picked to play in goal instead of the usual No 1 Shaun MacDonald.

Danny Wright, starting his first game for three months, got the equaliser after some wonderful play by Armani Little in the 34th minute but in the second half there was little to write home about from the Gulls.

Just as it looked like the game would have to be settled by penalties, Tonbridge dug out the winner through Ibrahim Olutade, who got the final touch on the ball from a melee in the box, after Halstead had dropped it from a corner...

Johnson said 'I didn't think we did enough... When you come up against teams that are a league lower you mustn't give set-plays away. But I thought in the second half they actually deserved it. I thought every one of their set-plays was on the money and I don't think we got on any of ours...

I have just let them [our players] know in there how we feel, as we always do'...

Halstead will be gutted that his first chance to show the manager what he could do since losing his place to MacDonald, who returned to the club in September, went so badly... But it wasn't just Halstead that had an off-day; most of the team were second best to their part-time National South counterparts and after two great wins against Weymouth and Stockport County that was truly disappointing... It must have knocked the players' confidence going into the busy festive period.

Johnson said... 'We have got the quality but it certainly didn't come out today... We were nearly men today. I don't like that tag but that is what we were.'"

19 December, 2021


IN this FA Trophy tie, Altrincham bowed out of their third and final cup competition of the season with a narrow defeat at a misty Meadow Lane.

The Altrincham line-up included no recognised striker as Ben Pringle and Dean Furman replaced Josh Hancock and A-Jay Leitch-Smith compared with the most recent league outing. Once again Dan Mooney and Brad Jackson were absentees.

Match report here.


The Nottingham Post reports that "Ruben Rodrigues and Kyle Wootton were on target for the Magpies as they ran out 2-1 winners in Saturday night's third round tie at Meadow Lane...

With Tuesday’s National League clash at Chesterfield postponed earlier in the day due to positive Covid test results affecting the Spireites squad, head coach Ian Burchnall revised his plan to rotate his squad, making just three changes to the team which started the 4-1 victory over Southend last weekend.

Connor Parsons replaced Joel Taylor, who dropped out of the squad, while Connell Rawlinson and Kairo Mitchell came in for Alex Lacey and Cal Roberts, who both dropped to the bench.

Notts took the lead from the penalty spot in the 14th minute when Matty Palmer was brought down in the box and Rodrigues sent goalkeeper Tony Thompson the wrong way to score.

But the Robins were level in the 20th minute when Sam Slocombe failed to hold a soft header at goal and Tom Hannigan tapped into an empty net.

Notts went back in front in the 41st minute when Rodrigues played in Jayden Richardson, who pulled the ball back for Wootton to make it 2-1 at half-time.

In the second half Notts missed chances to secure the game and Altrincham also had opportunities but there were no further goals".


Altrincham FC Reserves lost 2-3 at home to Congleton Town Reserves on Saturday.

It was the Reserves' tenth defeat in eighteen outings with three wins and five draws in the other eight Cheshire League fixtures.


On Boxing Day, Altrincham travel to Stockport County for the first half of a seasonal double-header, the return leg being on 3 January at the J. Davidson Stadium. County go into the Boxing Day match two places above twelfth-placed Alty but five points better off with a game in hand.


Altrincham FC report that "goalkeeper, Ryan Forde, has joined Colne FC on dual registration for a month.

Forde, who has been the U18 keeper for the last two seasons, has graduated to play for the reserves this season and is very highly regarded at Altrincham.

The 17 year-old will provide cover for the injured former Curzon Ashton keeper, Hakan Burton and he& made his debut in today's Pitching In Northern Premier League-West Division fixture against Trafford.

As well as gaining valuable experience at a good level, Ryan will also benefit from the vast experience of former England keeper Chris Kirkland, who is The Reds' goalkeeping coach".


The Third Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy has prize money of £4,500 for the winners; the losing clubs earn £1250.

There are no replays at this stage, so when a match is drawn after 90 minutes, the winner is decided by a penalty shootout.

  • 1 Boston United 4-1 Kidderminster Harriers
  • 2 Matlock Town 0-1 York City
  • 3 Stockport County 4-0 Grimsby Town
  • 4 Stourbridge 3-1 AFC Telford United
  • 5 Morpeth Town 3-3 Lancaster City (Morpeth won on pens)
  • 6 Chesterfield P-P Guiseley (Covid at Chesterfield, who have withdrawn from the competition)
  • 7 King’s Lynn Town 2-1 Nantwich Town
  • 8 Notts County 2-1 Altrincham KO 7:30pm
  • 9 Farsley Celtic 0-3 Southport
  • 10 Wrexham 5-0 Gloucester City
  • 11 Bradford (Park Avenue) P-P FC Halifax Town
  • 12 AFC Fylde 0-1 Solihull Moors
  • 13 Curzon Ashton 1-3 Alfreton Town
  • 14 Radcliffe 0-1 Spennymoor Town
  • 15 Eastleigh 5-0 Enfield Town
  • 16 Cheshunt 0-0 Bishop’s Stortford
  • 17 Aldershot Town 2-1 Kingstonian
  • 18 Cray Wanderers 1-3 Dartford
  • 19 Southend United 2-1 Dorking Wanderers
  • 20 Larkhall Athletic 2-1 AFC Totton
  • 21 St Albans City 0-0 Braintree Town (St Albans won on pens)
  • 22 Dover Athletic 0-1 Bromley
  • 23 Yeovil Town 3-1 Woking
  • 24 Truro City v Dagenham & Redbridge (Playing on Sunday)
  • 25 Slough Town 3-1 Eastbourne Borough
  • 26 Barnet 2-3 Boreham Wood
  • 27 Tonbridge Angels 2-1 Torquay United
  • 28 Hungerford Town 0-1 Weymouth
  • 29 Needham Market 2-1 Wealdstone
  • 30 Folkestone Invicta 2-0 Uxbridge
  • 31 Plymouth Parkway 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet (Plymouth won on pens)
  • 32 Maidenhead United P-P Maidstone United (Covid at Maidenhead, who have withdrawn from the competition)


Conor Branson and Yusifu Ceesay scored for Alfreton as they beat Curzon Ashton in the FA Trophy

IN the NPL, Liam Tomsett scored as Ashton United beat Mickleover Sports 3-0 .


Before their FA Trophy match, the Grimsby Telegraph reported that Grimsby Town "name only four substitutes for Stockport County clash.

The Mariners have made six changes for today's FA Trophy clash with Stockport County. The Mariners have been hit by an outbreak of COVID-19 in their camp... Paul Hurst admitted 'several' of his players had tested positive.

It's little surprise to see mass alterations then, with six new players coming into the starting XI and only four players on the bench, including goalkeeper James McKeown.

Max Crocombe retains his place in goal, with Ryan Sears, David Longe-King, Ryley Towler and Adam Crookes making up the backline.

Alex Hunt returns from suspension to partner Ben Fox in central midfield, with Sean Scannell handed his first start of the season on the right.

Seb Revan is on the left, with Lenell John-Lewis replacing Ryan Taylor up front alongside Sam Bell. John McAtee serves the second game of his three-match ban.

Max Wright and Joel Grant are named on the bench after their injuries, though it's unclear how match fit they are."

According to the Southend Echo on Saturday "Collin Andeng Ndi has been handed his Southend United debut in this afternoon’s FA Trophy clash with Dorking Wanderers at Roots Hall.

Andeng Ndi has replaced the injured Steve Arnold between the sticks while Nathan Ferguson has also been brought back into the starting line-up as Blues switch to a 4-4-2 formation.

John White has dropped down onto the bench alongside the fit-again Josh Coulson".

18 December 2021


Manager Phil Parkinson made nine changes last Tuesday for the Cheshire Senior Cup clash at home to Nantwich Town. With Alty losing to the team two divisions below them in the football hierarchy few of the players brought in did much to enhance their claims to a place in the starting eleven against Notts County on Saturday (7.30pm).

It is Alty's second match against Notts County this season having won at the J Davidson Stadium 1-0 in the National League back in late September. On that occasion the Alty line up comprised 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 29. Joe BUNNEY, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 17. Ben PRINGLE, 7. Dan MOONEY*, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 9. Marcus DINANGA. Subs: 23. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 19. David FITZPATRICK, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH, 28. Dean FURMAN.

In their most recent league game, against Bromley, the Altrincham starting eleven differed from the earlier Notts match in three respects as Hampson, Porter and Leitch-Smith started in place of Bunney, Mooney and Pringle. Pringle came on as a substitute against Bromley and Bunney has left the club, whilst Mooney was missing from the squad altogether.


Josh Lundstram (right) had a successful loan spell at Altrincham in 2020 in which he made thirteen starts, but he has now joined Alty's rivals on another loan from Crewe Alexandra.

Crewe Alexandra confirm that "Alex midfielder Josh Lundstram has joined Solihull Moors on a 28-day loan deal. Lundstram, 22, has made 16 appearances in all competitions this season but faces competition for a place in a midfield area that has only improved by the return to fitness of Callum Ainley and Scott Robertson and Luke Murphy from suspension.

The Stoke-born Lundstram had last season interrupted with injury and that limited him to just six appearances but his willingness to go out on loan before has always provided him with game time.

He won promotion to the Conference with Altrincham and has previously had success on loan with Kidsgrove and Nuneaton".


Altrincham are away to Notts County in the FA Trophy in a 7.30pm kick off at Meadow Lane which is being streamed live by the Magpies. Details of the streaming service (£8) are here.

Notts County "have provided supporters with all they need to know ahead of Saturday's visit of Altrincham.


  • Covid passports or any proof of vaccination will not be a requirement for entry this weekend.
  • In line with recently updated government guidance, all supporters aged 11 and over should wear a face covering when in indoor areas such as concourses, club shop, hospitality areas and toilets, other than when eating or drinking, or where exempt
  • Face coverings are advised, though not required, to be worn by supporters when they are in their allocated seats
  • Out of respect to all fellow attendees and as part of a combined effort to keep everyone as safe as possible when visiting Meadow Lane, we advise you to take a lateral flow test prior to the match
  • Do not attend the stadium if you are showing any Covid symptoms or have come into recent contact with someone who has the virus. Our ticket office will be happy to process refunds should you be unable to attend due to Covid – please call 0115 955 210 before kick-off
  • Hand sanitiser stations will be available around the stadium
  • As part of our efforts to keep all supporters, players and staff safe, we kindly request that fans do not wait outside main reception after the game

In the event of a draw, the match will go straight to penalties".


Altrincham FC informs us that "Alty Academy members have been working with Changing Lives Together and packing food boxes to support families during the school holidays and help make sure around 1,000 children are fed over Christmas.

Supporting their local charity food hub is an ideal way of reminding potential Alty players of the future of the impact they can have on the community, according to one of their bosses.

Adrian Rattenbury, from iSport, who is managing the education of the players throughout their time in the Academy, said 'It is important for us to work with the boys on their education and their football, but also to help them understand their professional responsibilities, and this has been a great way for us to add this to their education programme'...

Changing Lives Together is a social enterprise and registered charity and provides an amazing range of services to help people throughout Cheshire. They help over 6,500 Cheshire families find affordable furniture, while the Food Hub delivers tons of redistributed food and saves around 1,000 tons of waste from landfill and over 2,200 tonnes of CO2 from our atmosphere".


The Lynn News reports that "King’s Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve has questioned if the town has the fan base to support a team at National League level.

The club has massively reduced ticket prices for tomorrow’s FA Trophy clash against Nantwich as they look to get a four-figure crowd through the turnstiles.

But Lynn’s owner was left totally bewildered by last Saturday’s poor attendance of 591 for the crunch Dover Athletic clash at The Walks, the club’s lowest league gate for a number of years.

'I just don’t get it,' Cleeve said. 'We had a new manager in place and we’d just signed a new player but it didn’t seem to make a bit of difference. I know we were playing a team below us in the table and it wasn’t a particularly attractive game in the public’s eyes but I was astonished that we got well below the 800-mark.

'It does make you wonder what the people of the town want and whether the club can continue to sustain a team at this level. I appreciate our position in the league table but attendances have got to improve. People have either got to support the team or they don’t. If they don’t, then having a team at this level for a sustained period of time is a big ask as I can’t keep putting the money that I am in...

'We were averaging crowds of 1,500 when we were in the National League North but crowds have been nothing like that this season. Fans are happy to pay the prices at Halifax and... no disrespect to Halifax, but I wouldn’t exactly describe them as a booming football town but their attendances are so much better than ours.

'Their prices are more expensive, especially when you compare it against what we now charge against the smaller clubs in the league.. The reality is simple, we need more people through the gates'".

In the Grimsby Telegraph, "Paul Hurst outlines what Grimsby Town are looking for in the January transfer window The Mariners are keen to strengthen their options...

Paul Hurst is not looking for 'quick fixes' in the January transfer window and will target players that can improve Grimsby Town's squad in the long term.

The Mariners have 'stepped up' their pursuit of fresh blood this week...

The futures of Ryley Towler, Sam Bell and Alex Hunt remain unknown, with all three loanees contracted until the New Year. Hurst is keen to explore options that could help the club for several years, rather than a dependence on loan players, which could see Town paying fees for incoming arrivals...

He told Radio Humberside 'If I look back at the Januarys I have had, there are not as many successes as the summer. That's because of the time of year, players are available for certain reasons... We won't pay silly fees for players, it won't be a vast amount of money or being held to ransom.'"

17 December 2021


Altrincham go in to their FA Trophy match at Notts County this Saturday having won just twice in their last fourteen fixtures in all competitions. Those wins were against Southport in the FA Cup and Weymouth in the National League.

In their ten games in the National League since beating Maidenhead, ten weeks ago on 9 October, Alty have won just once; 4-1 against Weymouth. Otherwise, they have drawn four times and lost on five occasions.

In cup competitions, since defeating Southport in the FA Cup on 9 October, Altrincham have bowed out of two competitions (FA Cup and Cheshire Senior Cup), losing on each occasion at home to lower-league opposition.

Despite this poor run of form, in those fourteen games they have netted an impressive 24 goals! Unfortunately, they have also conceded on 27 occasions in those matches which points to one area requiring improvement.

Above: Altrincham's chronological record so far in the National League. Green represents a win, orange a draw and red a defeat.

Alty started the season very well with six wins from nine league fixtures but as the league has settled own it has emerged that five, of what is now a total of seven wins this season, have been against current bottom-eight teams with four of the victories being against the bottom four clubs. Only one top-ten team, Notts County, has been beaten by Altrincham in the National League this season.

So Alty will be hoping that Notts County also become their only cup scalp, so far this season, when the sides meet in the FA Trophy on Saturday.


Despite taking just seven points from the last thirty on offer in the National League, the Sale & Altrincham Messenger reports through press and media officer, John Edwards, that Altrincham manager "Phil Parkinson shrugged aside the disappointment of a narrow defeat to promotion-chasing Bromley and insisted it was compelling evidence that Altrincham are ‘miles’ better than they were last season.

Alty piled on the pressure in a late onslaught but missed chance after chance as third-placed Bromley somehow held on for a 1-0 win.

It left the Robins without a win in four National League games, but Parkinson saw more clear signs his side are moving in the right direction.

'We are miles ahead of where we were last season,' said the Alty boss.'Bromley easily kept us at arm’s length and won comfortably last season, whereas they have just come off the pitch relieved and thankful that they have managed to hang on.

'We were ever so dominant and deserved to win, never mind draw, against a big, full-time team. The reaction to going behind was second to none, and the way we have been scoring and sticking chances away, you are so sure a goal is going to come. It should have done, with the chances we created. I’m not going to criticise the players on that, because it would be incredibly harsh after the way they have performed and given their all.

'If there was something major to be concerned about, I would be saying something different, but there isn’t. It is difficult to take when we lose, but the football was a joy to watch, full of intensity, quality and bravery. It had everything except the end-product, but you can’t criticise. We do score goals and have been doing; it just wasn’t our day.

'You would struggle to tell who the full-time team were, but it does make a difference when you are in a part-time environment. We are punching above our weight, and I don’t care if I sound like a broken record saying that. Imagine the level of performance we would get out of these players if we could work with them all week.

'We have to aim to be better in front of goal, and at keeping them out at the other end, but it is exceptional what we are doing.'”


Saturday's FA Trophy ties have been hit by Covid-induced cancellations, with National League club involved in some cases.

The Derbyshire Times explains "Why Chesterfield have withdrawn from this season's FA Trophy. Chesterfield’s match against Guiseley in the FA Trophy third round has been called-off because of positive Covid cases in the Spireites' camp and the club has subsequently withdrawn from the competition.

Town had been due to take on the National League North side at the Technique Stadium this Saturday...

The Blues are set to play Notts County in the National League on Tuesday night. No announcement has been made about that fixture yet.

'A Covid event has resulted in Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy tie at home to Guiseley being called-off,' the Spireites said in a statement. "

And Maidenhead Unitedhave announced that "Due to a number of COVID-19 cases at Maidenhead United, we have withdrawn from this year's FA Trophy.

As a result, this Saturday's fixture against Maidstone United has been cancelled".


The Leader Live tells us that "Phil Parkinson revealed all first team players who are available for selection will be considered for Saturday’s FA Trophy third round tie with Gloucester City at The Racecourse.

Promotion is the priority but the Wrexham boss still wants to progress to the next round of a competition that the Reds won in 2013 and [in which they] were beaten finalists two years later.

Parkinson is set to take the opportunity to definitely rest two key players, defender Aaron Hayden and leading scorer Paul Mullin, to give the duo time to recover from knocks...

Dan Jarvis is still out with an ankle injury and fellow midfielder Lian McAliden completes a three-game ban, but centre-back Harry Lennon is back in the reckoning after serving a one-match suspension...

Said Parkinson... 'We want to play a team which can still progress in the tournament. The squad will consist of all the players who are available and fit... We want to make sure that we progress.'

Striker Dior Argus missed Saturday’s 1-0 home win against Weymouth after testing positive for coronavirus and Parkinson added 'We have had a problem with the Covid situation so we are monitoring that very closely, like a lot of other teams'".

In the Halifax Courier, FC Halifax Town "boss Pete Wild says the FA Trophy is high on his list of priorities as The Shaymen kick off their campaign at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday.

Halifax are joint-top of the National League. Town face Grimsby, twice, and Chesterfield over Christmas and New Year, but before then are aiming to progress in the FA Trophy...

Wild said, 'I want to do well in the competition, and we'll be taking the game very, very seriously on Saturday'..

Wild added 'We're in a good place, 39 points on the board after 19 games... We need to make sure that we remain grounded, don't get carried away and we keep putting points on the board'...

When asked if there might be changes made to his team for the game, with the likes of Luke Summerfield, Martin Woods and Jack Vale all pushing for a start, Wild said 'We'll see, we just want to win the game so I'll pick a team to win the game'...

On Park Avenue, who are managed by former Town captain Mark Bower and sit 19th in the National League North, just two points above the relegation zone, Wild said 'Good footballing side, especially on the 3G, they've got some really bright young players... There should be bite in every game, whether we're playing Wealdstone away or Bradford Park Avenue away, we want to win the game...

'Covid is the second word on our chairman's lips, we're sensible as a football club,' he said. 'We're not going back to testing because we've no need to, we've always gone by the basis of if you're ill, you report in ill and then you go and get a test'...

Wild says Jesse Debrah was fit for selection on Tuesday night having recovered from injury. Winger Jamie Allen won't be available on Saturday, but Wild hopes he will be in contention for the Boxing Day game against Grimsby".

According to Lynn News, "Two games as King's Lynn Town boss have given Tommy Widdrington a win and a defeat but he believes there have been positive signs in both games.

The Linnets held out for more than an hour against The Shaymen on Tuesday before slipping to a 2-0 defeat on their travels.

But Widdrington... was again delighted with the way his side applied themselves, saying 'I thought we put on a better performance against much stronger opposition... Anyone who finishes above Halifax are likely to win the league. We went toe-to-toe with them at times and I was delighted with a lot of aspects of our play.

'Halifax had some longer spells of semi-dominance, which we expected, but we created some great opportunities ourselves. I've had two games in charge and I've been delighted with one of the results and delighted with one of our performances so we are going in the right direction... We've won one and we've lost one, so if we do that over the next 26 games then we'll win 13 more games.

'You have to remember we're not trying to win the league, our aim is to finish fourth-from-bottom of that table'...

After Saturday's FA Trophy tie against Nantwich at The Walks, for which Widdrington hopes to have Kyle Callan-McFadden and Arthur Iontton back in contention following injury, the Linnets take on three more of the big guns Notts County (home), Grimsby (away) and Chesterfield (away).

'They are the types of games you either fear of relish,' said Widdrington. 'But as far as I'm concerned you never run away from your fears, you run towards them and that's what we'll be doing'...

'{The Trophy]'s a real opportunity for the club to get to Wembley and we want to go as far as we can in it,' he said. 'Any cup run can also reignite the interest with the fans. The more games you win, the more fans will flock through the gates and that's what we want'".

16 December 2021


After Altrincham bowed out of the Cheshire Senior Cup at home to Nantwich Town on Tuesday, the Nantwich News reports that "A Dan Cockerline double helped Nantiwch Town to a 3-2 victory over National League side Altrincham in the Cheshire Senior Cup Second Round.

The hosts took the lead in just 34 seconds as Altrincham skipper Josh Hancock slotted the ball past Wycherley.

But Nantwich heads did not drop, and it seemed to galvanise the players.

They soon took control of the midfield with the experience of David Vaughan coming to the fore. Another early blow for Dabbers was the loss of Casper Hughes through injury, Joel Stair coming on in his place...

In first-half stoppage time, excellent pressing by the Dabbers forced an error and Cockerline found himself in front of goal to slot home for a 3-2 lead at the break...

Altrincham brought on former Crewe Alex star Ryan Colclough and he had an immediate impact... Nantwich defended resolutely, well marshalled by captain [and ex-Alty loanee] Josh Langley.

And Altrincham could not find a way to create clear-cut openings".


Altrincham face Notts County in the FA Trophy on Saturday and, prior to last season's rule change would not have had to contend with the Magpies' star, Ruben Rodrigues.

An explanation comes from the Nottingham Post which reports that Ruben Rodrigues "the 25-year-old attacker will miss the Magpies' trip to face the National League leaders next week...

Rodrigues picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Magpies' 4-1 victory over Southend United.

This triggers an automatic one-match suspension for the 25 year-old Portuguese forward, who has featured in every league game so far this term and scored eight goals.

Notts' next fixture is an FA Trophy third round tie against Altrincham at Meadow Lane on Saturday (7.30pm kick-off). However, accumulated bookings in cup competitions are treated separately from the league, so Rodrigues's ban will not kick in until the game after.

Of course, that will be the rearranged showdown with Chesterfield at the Technique Stadium on Tuesday (December 21, 7.30pm).

Magpies boss Ian Burchnall admitted Rodrigues would be a 'big loss' but added... 'We cannot rely on one player. For me, the way we play is as a collective. Ruben is a great player, he offers a lot, but we will have to adapt and change, and we'll give them a different problem in a different way...

'I think with how we've played, we probably could have a few more points in the bag,' said Burchnall. 'We had a little rough period with the three losses but we've come through that and I think it's going to be a really tight league this year... It's ending up almost being two leagues out there.

'We've just got to keep with the pack, keep trying to improve every day, keep progressing, and hopefully we'll keep closing the gap to the top'".


On Saturday, 18 December, Altrincham travel to Nottingham to face Notts County, which will be the first game on that date for Altrincham since 2004, when Southport visited Moss Lane as is recalled by Howard Watts and Mike Garnett's Through the Years data.

The match in 2004 was a league match in the Nationwide North and it was in some doubt before kick off and had to survive a pitch inspection at 11.45. Indeed, as the spectators arrived at the ground the sanded surface was still being worked on, with Alty Director Grahame Rowley prominent as he operated the manual mopping machine to great effect to ensure that play could go on.

Right: Full-backs Chris Adams and Steve Aspinall leave the pitch after the win over Southport.

The effort was worth it as it proved to be a richly entertaining game in which Alty consolidated their sixth position thanks to goals by Thornley and Little which secured a 2-1 victory.

Alty took the lead after 21 minutes when a fine ball forward from Potts, who had an excellent game, found Little who got round keeper Dickinson to the right of goal. Little managed to get the ball back, inside, to Thornley, who scored comfortably.

The Port started the second half strongly and got level thanks to a penalty conceded for a tackle on Mulvaney. Fearns converted the spot kick impressively (52 mins). The Alty winner came after 67 minutes when a good clearing header from Talbot found Thornley who laid the ball off accurately to the right to Little. His well-placed shot from about 12 yards beat Dickinson and went in off the upright. The game briefly threatened to boil over in the closing stages but Alty ran out deserved winners to gain revenge for their 2-1 loss at Haig Avenue earlier this season.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS. 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Marcus HALLOWS, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Sean SMITH, 16. Paul TILLEY, 17. George MELLING.


Former Alty defender James Jones (right) featured from the start as Barrow defeated League One side Ipswich at Holker Street, 2-0, on Wednesday night in their FA Cup Round Two replay.


We learn from the Maidenhead Advertiser that "Covid is presenting Maidenhead United with significant challenges, says Adams

No discussions have yet taken place between the National League and its clubs over the possibility of matches being played behind closed doors or the return of strict new COVID-19 protocols. But... clubs are starting to wonder whether more stringent restrictions will be brought back in the coming weeks.

None of the clubs will welcome the prospect of playing matches behind closed doors, bringing back strict protocols for fans or reducing their capacity, but if Omicron continues to spread without being checked these measures will surely have to be considered by the league and its member clubs.

Right now, Maidenhead United have more pressing concerns about the spread of COVID through its playing squad. Three players were unable to play in Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Solihull Moors after contracting the virus, while their recent matches against Solihull and Chesterfield were also postponed due to previous cases in the camp. Combined with the players currently out through injury it paints a picture of why the Magpies have been struggling of late...

Said CEO Jon Adams 'There haven't been discussions with the league and us or any clubs at this time. COVID is already impacting on us day-to-day. We had three positive cases in advance of the game on Saturday which was challenging for us, and we were required to play the game and, since then we've had two subsequent positive tests...

'Covid is presenting real challenges to us having a fit squad to play games. I expect that's going to be a challenge for us and lots of other teams moving forward... Whether supporters will be able to continue coming to games is outside our hands, and it would certainly be very concerning and challenging for us if we were to go back to being behind closed doors. But, then in saying that, the reality is there have been slightly fewer supporters coming to games and I think that is largely down to COVID...

Adams added 'Players are doing lateral flow tests before they come to any training sessions now and we’ve been trying to do the right thing. But we knew we had COVID in the camp on Saturday. We were concerned about that in relation to the game on Saturday, but we were told we had to play, and one of the players that sat on the bench then tested positive for COVID on Sunday and he was negative on Saturday, positive on Sunday'...

At present Saturday’s FA Trophy tie with Maidstone United at York Road is scheduled to go ahead".

FC Halifax Town "made it back-to-back wins last night after defeating King’s Lynn Town 2-0...

After a goalless first half, it took Halifax 63 minutes to find the first goal on the scoresheet when Kieran Green played a through ball into the box that Matty Warburton latched onto before drilling an effort across the King’s Lynn goalkeeper and in. It was the attacker’s second goal in two games...

'I’ve not been happy with this season in terms of contributing to goals' Warburton said. 'It’s been playing on my mind, but I am happy with my assist ratio'...

'I find myself in goal-scoring situations quite a bit and I need to start putting them away'...

The attacking midfielder later went on to summarise the match against the league strugglers. 'It was a tough one, King’s Lynn came here and had a clear plan; they’d have been happy with a point with no disrespect to them,' Warburton said. 'They slowed the game down and stayed compact when we had them low in their own box, and it was difficult to break them down...

'It was a different tactical battle from Wealdstone on Saturday as they went a bit more direct. We played well though and grinded it out, we will find games like this but it’s a compliment to us that teams come here and set up like that.'”

According to the Daily Echo, "Ben Strevens’s Eastleigh laboured to a 0-0 draw with playoff chasing Solihull Moors but left Silverlake Stadium disappointed.

Danny Whitehall had a golden opportunity to open in the first-half but couldn’t... while Ryan Hill had a late effort cleared off the line.

Most of the Spitfires’ chances came through strong deliveries into the area, often courtesy of set-piece specialist Tom Whelan and right-back Josh Hare’s feet...

A Solihull breakthrough only looked likely on one occasion... but for a crucial last-ditch intervention. That came before substitute Hill’s effort was cleared off the line...

The initial tie was called off on the day after adverse weather conditions caused a power outage at the ground."

North Wales's Leader Live relays the view that "Paul Mullin insists he is going nowhere and would extend his stay at Wrexham if the chance arose.

The 27 year-old striker arrived at The Racecourse in the summer, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal after leaving Cambridge United where he scored 32 goals in 2020-21 to help the U’s clinch promotion to League One.

Mullin has picked up where he left off this season and is Wrexham’s leading scorer with 12 goals...

There has been speculation that Championship outfit Nottingham Forest, managed by ex-Wrexham academy chief Steve Cooper, are interested in Mullin...

'I don’t pay attention to all that,' said Mullin. 'If you are doing well you get recognised and there will possibly be interest but for me, I just want to do well for Wrexham. That’s why I signed here. I came to Wrexham to be successful and nothing changes for me...

'I would extend my stay for longer if the club wanted to because I love it here and I want to do well,' added Mullin. 'If the chance came for me to stay, I would stay longer. You don’t get the support I have had here off many clubs, off many sets of supporters, and to feel the way I do here, it has been brilliant for me and my family because they can come and watch with it being close.

'You only get one chance in your career to really make something of yourself and I feel I have got that at Wrexham, but it has only been a couple of months. I just want to do well for whatever time I am here, whether that is three seasons or longer. That is not up to me.'"

15 December 2021


Altrincham were dismissed from the Cheshire Senior Cup as Nantwich Town, second-bottom in the Northern Premier League, deservedly beat them 3-2 at the J. Davidson Stadium.

In an entertaining first half to the tie, Nantwich twice came from behind to lead 3-2 at the break.

Josh Hancock fired Alty ahead after just 35 seconds following an error by Hughes who, a few minutes later, had to be subbed with an injury.

Despite Alty's lead, the Dabbers were the better side and Cockerline deservedly levelled after 21 minutes when Gould failed to hold a Heath effort.

But then Altrincham struck again when Pringle scored a fine goal, finding the top corner from outside the box (32 mins).

A fine header by substitute Stair made it 2-2 (40 mins) before the visitors snatched the lead again in first-half added time as Cockerline scored after Alty has surrendered possession (45+2 mins).

Despite bringing on Colclough, Senior and Moult in a triple change midway through the second half, Altrincham laboured and failed to find an equaliser despite almost seven minutes of added time being played.

Few Alty players emerged with any credit, Pringle (right) being a notable exception.

Match report here.


Altrincham FC confirms that "Notts County will be providing a live stream of Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy trip to Meadow Lane (kick-off 7.30pm)... with hassle-free access to a single-camera feed of the action complete with time and score graphics, replays and in-sync BBC Radio Nottingham commentary.

How much will it cost? £8

How do I buy a pass? Click here to register for an account and, once signed in, select Altrincham from the 'Matches' section at the bottom of the page. Where do I watch?...

I’d like to watch the match on my TV. Is that possible? You can cast the stream from an Android or iOS mobile device, or any bluetooth-compatible laptop running either Chrome or Safari, to a Smart TV which supports either Chromecast or AirPlay.

What if I miss the start of the match? You can still access the stream and rewind to any point in the match if you wish to. Please note, however, the video will disappear at midnight regardless of which stage of the match you’re watching".


  • Eastleigh 0-0 Southend United
  • FC Halifax Town 2-0 King's Lynn Town


Just after Christmas, Altrincham host Wrexham.

Wrexham report that "Wrexham AFC supporters have once again showcased their outstanding support with tickets now sold out for our trip to Altrincham.

After 1,000 tickets went on sale this morning to season ticket holders, the full allocation was snapped up after less than two hours.

Phil Parkinson's side travel to Moss Lane on December 28th for our first trip to the ground in the league since February 2016, having played behind-closed-doors at FC United of Manchester last season".


According to Torquay Talk, "In December 2021, Joe Felix left Billericay Town to join Torquay United on (presumably) a free transfer. Like his more exotic sounding namesake, Felix is not a household name. Unlike his namesake, he is not (currently) a global superstar...

The Johnson Brothers don’t tend to do things by halves (despite their height), and on the same day acquired the services of Exeter City youngster Jack Sparkes...

Both these lads can reasonably be described as 'versatile'. Felix has played on either flank, right back, or central midfield; while Sparkes has tended to play either left wing, left back, or left wing back, but filled in adequately at right wing back for the Yellows on Saturday.

Jack Sparkes has played over 60 Football League games at the age of 21. That is, frankly, impressive... Following loan spells at Chippenham and Salisbury throughout the 2018-19 campaign, the young defender broke into the City first team before having his season cut short due to injury. More impressively, last season he made 49 appearances... proving... that he could hold his own in a strong League Two side. His first team opportunities have been more limited this season, thanks in part to injury...

He’s 22, and spent his youth career at Fulham and QPR. After leaving Loftus Road in 2019... Woking, Hendon, Hampton and Richmond, Maidstone: he saw them all... moving to the now-not-so-flush, not-so-mad Billericay Town, for whom he’s played 15 times this season...

Jack Sparkes fit into the side nicely. Assuming his injury is in his past, this lad looks an astute signing. He’s got all the pedigree and ability of a Football League player, and I’d expect him to challenge for a place in the starting XI in both the wing back positions and potentially further forward..#

Sparkes seems to be a deeply sensible signing of a well-proven (but still young!) footballer... The pair joined on the same day Jake Andrews departed. The gifted wide man hasn’t really done it for the Yellows for the best part of two years".

Hampshire Live reports that "Kyle Wootton... the former Scunthorpe United striker has scored 11 goals in his last 21 appearances in the National League...

Wootton says he will 'see what happens' amid transfer interest from Portsmouth but has made clear that he is very happy at Notts County...

Notts plan to soon enter into contract talks with Wootton to avoid losing the striker for free at the end of the season when his current deal expires...

'I’m here to do a job and it’s a great environment to be in,' said Wootton... 'It’s a good sign that people are coming to watch me but I am contracted here and I’ll give my all to the club, no matter what. We’ll see what happens but I’m happy, enjoying my football and scoring goals; what more can you ask for? It’s a great set of lads here, the manager is brilliant and it’s a great club to be at'...

'He knows that we really want him here,' said Notts boss Ian Burchnall... 'At the moment, the biggest and most important thing for him is that he keeps playing good football and we always say football decides'".

The Southend Echo tells us that "The Save Our Southend supporters' group have joined the Shrimpers Trust in condemning the running the club.

After back to back relegations, Blues now sit just above the National League drop zone on goal difference while also remaining in a transfer embargo.

And a statement from SOS has heavily criticised the Roots Hall hierarchy. It reads 'Save Our Southend joins the Shrimpers Trust in expressing its exasperation at the situation our football club once again finds itself in, which is all the more frustrating given the excellent work that has been done to restructure the football department and to get it onto a footing for success.

'We believe that the people brought into the club have the ability and contacts on paper to begin slowly turning things around if they are supported, but it seems that the rug has been pulled out from underneath them.'

And the group were also angered by two club statements released last week.

They added 'The tone-deaf nature of the club’s subsequent statement confirming the embargo caused further irritation. The paragraph stating that players could still be signed whilst under an embargo was spin that a politician would be proud of, and we have no doubt that whoever wrote it knows full well that being permitted to sign a player does not automatically mean that SUFC is permitted to register him to play.

'Furthermore, the line stating that the chairman’s group companies funded the club throughout the pandemic came across as propagandist and delusional. If you cannot bankroll the football club without missing wage payments AND (not “or”) without failing to fulfil your tax and NI obligations in full and on time, then you are not a fit and proper owner. It really is that simple...

'We didn’t think that the club could sink any lower, but here we are. Make no mistake, if this embargo is not lifted urgently then a further relegation to National League South is a real probability...

'As long as the club is offering higher wages than the competition then targets will want to come here. That is not only delusional (again), but seriously concerning considering that the financial profligacy of the recent past is what has landed us in this mess.... We call on Ron Martin to get the situation sorted as soon as possible, so that the good people who have been brought in to arrest the club’s decline can be given the tools to do so ASAP.

'In the meantime, the SOS committee is supporting the peaceful protest and march before Tuesday 28th December’s home match against Barnet which has been organised and promoted by other fans'".

14 December 2021


Alty TV has highlights from Saturday's defeat by Bromley.


Altrincham host Nantwich Town tonight at the J. Davidson Stadium in the Second Roubd of the Cheshire Senior Cup.

The Dabbers arrived lying second from bottom in the Northern Premier League, having lost on Saturday 2-3 at home to Radcliffe. The number of goals in that match was surprising given that previously Nantwich had only netted 15 times in 19 outings and had conceded only 24 times.

This suggests their problems lie at the forward end of the team rather than in defence.

Several ex-Alty players are on the Nantwich Town payroll, including Ben Harrison, Joe Mwasile, Cameron Terry and Josh Langley.

The winners of the tie tonight will be at home to Stockport County in the next round.


Callum Dolan scored twice for Warrington Rylands on Saturday. In the EFL, Ali Smith scored for Sutton United.

Elsewhere, Jude Oyibo's goal could not prevent Chester FC losing at Spennymoor Town.


The Leader Live says that "Phil Parkinson felt his side should have put Weymouth to the sword after dominating the whole match...

The Reds controlled Saturday's clash with the lowly Terras from start to finish and took the lead following Jordan Davies' brilliant 25-yard free-kick in the 29th minute.

Needing a second goal to make the game safe, Wrexham lacked a cutting edge in the final third and failed to take the chances that did come their way...

Wrexham, who host Gloucester City in Saturday's FA Trophy third round tie, are fourth in the National League...

'I thought first half we were good and we controlled the game,' said Parkinson. 'Some of the football we played was excellent and got the goal. Second half we played well in patches but we were a bit wasteful in the final third, and we really should have killed the game off...

'I felt this was so important because you go next week without a league game going into the Christmas period and the three points was crucial... I can't remember a game where we have dominated for practically the whole 90 minutes, they have hardly had a shot on our goal or a corner...

'The only criticism was that final pass of quality, the selection wasn't quite there but it is a great three points for us.'"

According to the Derbyshire Times "Chesterfield defender Luke Croll has been ruled out for three weeks due to a thigh injury.

The centre-back, who signed for the Spireites last month after being a free agent, did not feature in the win against Grimsby Town on Saturday. The 26 year-old was forced off with a thigh strain in the second-half against Salford City the previous week.

It means the left-footer is set to miss crucial games against promotion rivals Notts County and Halifax this month... He joins fellow defenders Gavin Gunning, Laurence Maguire, Jeff King, George Carline and Haydn Hollis in the physio room...

Meanwhile, Saidou Khan, who has five goals from midfield this season, has found himself on the bench in the last two matches.

When asked why, Rowe added, 'I just think Jim Kellermann has done really well in that position and Liam Mandeville deserved it for his contribution in that position against Salford.'"

In the Dorset Echo, "Wetmouth manager Brian Stock admitted it would have taken a 'brave referee' to award a 91st-minute penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Wrexham.

Stock’s men were trailing since the 29th minute when a sumptuous ‘up and over’ free-kick from Jordan Davies handed the Hollywood-backed Red Dragons a 1-0 lead.

Wrexham wasted chances to extend their lead, allowing Weymouth to creep into the game in the dying embers.

In stoppage-time, the Welshmen had hearts in mouths when Martell Taylor-Crossdale went down after a challenge in the box, Weymouth’s frenzied appeals for a penalty ignored...

Stock Echosport, 'At first thought, it was a penalty. I’ve heard other people saying it was an absolute definite penalty...

'Look, when you come to these places and you’ve got this crowd and that exposure, it takes a brave referee to give it, especially in the 91st minute. Unfortunately, quite a lot of referees do buckle under that pressure...

'I’m very proud of the players,' he said... 'Going into the end of the game we were 1-0 down with everything to play for. I do honestly believe that we should’ve had a penalty... There are positives but ultimately we’ve lost the game, so we’re not going to get carried away...

'We went with something we haven’t done before, in terms of a mid-block. We wanted to almost concede possession, which is very rare in this league...

'But we wanted to stay in the game and then roll the dice, bring on Martell, Omar (Mussa), Shieldsy... A really good piece of individual brilliance from Davies won the game.'”

According to the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild wants his side to impose themselves on King's Lynn on Tuesday night with The Shaymen aiming for back-to-back wins for the fifth time this season.

Halifax beat Wealdstone 1-0 on Saturday thanks to Matty Warburton's penalty...

'They [King's Lynn] won on Saturday, they've got a new manager and they're looking for that new manager bounce,' Wild said.

'They're another good footballing side if they still play the way they have been... We've got to go and do what we did on Saturday, be tactically spot-on and impose ourselves on them...

'We've got to be going out there to impose ourselves on them, and see where that takes us.'"

13 December 2021


Altrincham FC has a post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson after Altrincham's defeat at home to Bromley on Saturday.


Altrincham's next game is on Tuesday night at home to Nantwich Town in the Cheshire Senior Cup (7.45pm).

Tickets are available on the Altrincham FC website.


The Derbyshire Times confirms that "Chesterfield remain top of the league after scoring late to edge out promotion rivals Grimsby Town.

Kabongo Tshimanga continued his incredible scoring record by volleying in the winner with six minutes remaining at Blundell Park...

Importantly, it also means that Town have seven more points than Grimsby and have a game in hand, a huge swing considering the Mariners were four points clear on October 23.

Despite having a depleted squad due to injuries, the Blues’ unbeaten run extends to a magnificent 12, they have only lost one of their last 21 in all competitions, have won five of their last six and recorded clean sheets in four of their last five.

There are two more big games coming up this month against promotion rivals Notts County and Halifax, both at the Technique, and the small matter of an FA Cup third round trip to European champions Chelsea to look forward to in the New Year.

Add to that the fact that James Rowe believes they will have most of their injured players back in January and it all bodes well for the rest of the season.

This was a game lacking in quality in possession but, boy, did both teams make up for it with passion, desire and commitment. Both sides were well-organised and defences were on top for most of the 90 minutes.

Both had one big chance each in the opening 45... The second-half was similar with neither goalkeeper tested until Tshimanga popped up with the winner...

Chesterfield matched Grimsby’s physicality and battled their hearts out all afternoon. It wasn’t pretty but it is the type of result teams who win promotion at the end of the season achieve along the way.

Tshimanga was on the receiving end of some stick from Grimsby’s fans throughout the 90. I’m not sure exactly why but I assume it is because Mariners' boss Paul Hurst revealed he tried to sign him in the summer.

Anyway, he rammed their insults down their throats with an emphatic finish on the volley and then celebrated in front of the home supporters which went down like a lead balloon.

This was goal number 18 in 18 in the league and 19 in all competitions for Tshimanga. He has now scored in seven consecutive league games, finding the net a remarkable nine times.

It was great to see Akwasi Asante involved in the squad after eight months out with a ruptured ACL".

Hampshire's Daily Echo reports that "Aldershot continued their resurgence under new manager Mark Molesley with a 3-0 win over Eastleigh in a Hampshire derby at the Silverlake Stadium.

Striker Corie Andrews scored twice in the second half to help the Shots extend their unbeaten run to five matches and pull further away from the relegation zone.

Eastleigh were playing their first game in over two weeks and had hoped to pick up from where they left off after securing back-to-back wins over Notts County and Dagenham.

They fell behind in the 64th minute when winger Ryan Glover’s shot was saved by Joe McConnell only for Andrews to smash in the rebound for his first goal of the game.

Left-back Lewis Kinsella doubled the score with a free-kick which found the bottom left corner and Andrews beat the offside trap four minutes from the end to score his second".

As Elliott Jackson reports in the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town dropped out of the National League play-off places after a seventh defeat in eight matches against Chesterfield.

Despite an improved performance, the Mariners were unable to show the necessary guile..

Kabongo Tshimanga's 84th-minute winner highlighted the difference between the two sides at the top end of the pitch, in a low-margin, scrappy affair.

It has left Town supporters frustrated and concerned by the recent plight of Paul Hurst's side, which has seen them go from first to eighth in a couple of months...

Harry Clifton had Town's chance and, in truth, it was a guilt-edged miss... but he couldn't keep the header on target.

Max Crocombe produced the goods at the other end to deny James Kellermann but the miss looks even more pivotal given what happened six minutes before the end. He wasn't the only one; Adam Crookes could've grabbed a late equaliser but Clifton's big chance was a defining moment.

Without two of their best technicians, Alex Hunt and John McAtee, Town went back to basics. Stayed tight and played more percentage football. The Mariners often played more direct, trying to utilise the pace of Sam Bell on the last shoulder... It made the game scrappier but that suited Town, given the opposition they were playing. Chesterfield created very little outside of their goal...

It's clear that there is a big missing piece of the Town puzzle. Too often this season, Hurst's side have played well between both boxes, without the guile or clinical instinct to turn their territory into goals.

Chesterfield produced the exact same performance as Town on Saturday. The difference? One team had a £250,000 striker, the other didn't. Ultimately, without John McAtee, there aren't enough players sticking their hands up to be match-winners...

Owner Jason Stockwood told Grimsby Live that there are funds available in January...

The full-time whistle was met with some boos from the Town faithful. I suggested that was harsh in the immediate aftermath... Saturday's performance was much improved on the recent away outings. It was a tight game settled by a piece of poaching from the National League's top scorer...

However, seven defeats in eight is damming."

The Southend Echo tells us that "Jason Demetriou finished Southend United’s 4-1 defeat at Notts County in goal after the Shrimpers opted against naming a replacement shot-stopper on the bench.

Demetriou played the final the final 13 minutes between the sticks after Steve Arnold was forced off with concussion.

And Blues boss Kevin Maher felt the situation summed up Blues’ fortunes.

'A lot of clubs go without goalkeepers on the bench at this level and it obviously gives you more outfield options but Steve had to come off and that’s the way it’s going for us right now,' said Maher.

'Jason went in goal and we had spoken about our options but it was dependant on who was on the pitch.'”

12 December, 2021


Altrincham assistant manager Neil Sorvel and Bromley boss Andy Woodman spoke to the NL Paper after Saturday's game.

Following his side's narrow win at the J Davidson Stadium, Bromley manager Andy Woodman said, "I'm chuffed to bits... First half we were very good but, second half, we were hanging on and they'll be ruing their luck as they missed some big chances.

"But you've got to do this away from home against a good side like Altrincham.

"Games can be won and lost on set-pieces. We work hard on them and we're good at them".

Altrincham assistant boss Neil Sorvel concluded that the result was "a tough one to take. On another day we'd have won that.

"First half, I don't think there was much in it but, second half, it was one-way traffic.

"Our attacking play was fantastic but we haven't scored enough goals from that number nine spot this season. "But we've again been competitive in this league against the big boys".


A good second half from Altrincham was not enough to earn a point against Bromley on Saturday meaning that the Robins have now won just one of their last ten league fixtures.

Match report here.


Before Saturday's game, Altrincham FC confirmed that "Adam Porter [right] has extended his loan at The J.Davidson Stadium and will continue to bolster Altrincham's midfield for another month.

The 19 year-old Stoke City central midfielder joined Alty on an initial one-month loan at the beginning of November after answering a call from manager Phil Parkinson to reinforce a Robins' squad decimated by injury and illness...

Adam and Stoke have now readily agreed to a loan extension until January 8th".

The 72 adds that "EFL clubs can do business with non-league clubs outside the transfer window as those outside the Football League don’t have to abide by said windows, opening the door for clubs to loan out young players to give them game time elsewhere".

After his start on Saturday against Bromley, Porter has made 6(+2) appearances for Altrincham.


Next Tuesday Altrincham welcome Nantwich Town to the J. Davidson Stadium in the Cheshire Senior Cup

Admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults - £7
  • Concessions - £5
  • Juniors (12-16) - £2
  • Under-12s - £1


Ashley Hemmings netted Kidderminster Harriers' winner at Boston, whilst Craig Hobson scored to earn Curzon Ashton a 2-2 draw at Hereford FC.

Sean Williams scored as his Warrington Town team drew at Gainsborough Trinity, 1-1.


The Derbyshire Times tells us that "In a game of few chances, Kabongo Tshimanga struck the winner with six minutes remaining after Fraser Kerr headed down Jim Kellermann’s free-kick.

The win means Town stay top, are 12 unbeaten and have lost one in 21 in all competitions despite an ongoing injury crisis.

'We make no excuses for the scrappiness of the game,' manager James Rowe said. 'It was the same at Salford, we are finding a way to win. The team values are at the forefront of that.

'It is remarkable. We have got 11 out [injured] and we are still picking up results and getting clean sheets. I don't think Scott Loach had a save to make so we were well worthy of the victory.'

In the first-half both teams had one big chance each...

'I think in both halves we were patient and as the halves grew on we became stronger and looked the most likely,' Rowe said...

With the clock ticking down, Tshimanga fired in the winner for his 19th goal of the season...

'It had not been his day before that perhaps. He was getting a lot of physicality from their back three but he never stopped running and he deserved that chance and that is all he needs'"

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "some Chesterfield fans were refused entry into Grimsby Town Railway Station by the British Transport Police.

The incident took place on Saturday December 11 at around 12pm. It was prior to Grimsby Town's home match with Chesterfield... Fans were eager to get to the game after making the 80 mile journey from Derbyshire to North East Lincolnshire.

A video on social media has gone viral which shows over 20 police officers blocking Chesterfield fans from gaining access to exit the station.

He said, 'We got off the train and before we knew it, there was a strip of police officers blocking anyone from passing. There was police dogs there too.

'All we wanted to do was pass to watch our football club. The officers said we couldn't pass and they refused to tell us why... We travel all over the country to watch our team. I've supported Chesterfield for 30 plus years and I've never not been allowed to leave a train station.

'Just because we wear masks and wear hoodies, does that make us criminals?'" According to the Halifax Courier, "Town manager Pete Wild said; his players were tactically spot-on as they won 1-0 at Wealdstone.

Matty Warburton's first-half penalty proved enough to win it for Town, who deserved the victory.

'I thought the player got it tactically spot-on today,' said Wild... 'They deserve all the credit today for how they've gone about the game tactically. ar not taking our chances, which we've got to do better, I thought it was a really professional away from home display'...

The Town boss added, 'It's not an easy place to come, not the best conditions, we travelled on the day, which we don't normally do and we don't have the best record when we do...

'Clean sheets are the bedrock of seasons, and to get a clean sheet today, and to defend our own box very well, really pleased me because they're the things that bring success in seasons...

'To get a pen today it's about time. It's our first of the season, the first in over 30 games, so it's well overdue.'

On [ex-alty loanee] Elliot Newby, who was handed his first Town start in the league, Wild said, 'I think Newbs has been knocking the door down for about six weeks... Newbs had been influencing games when he came on and I thought he had a really good game.

'You know what Newbs is like, he's a bums-off-seats man, he gets people going, he gets at defenders, and I'm really pleased with his afternoon's work.'"

Kent Online tells us that "Dover Athletic's wait for a National League win continues after defeat at King's Lynn on Saturday.

Two-goal Joshua Barrett impressed new Lynn manager Tommy Widdrington, who saw his charges end a run of eight successive league defeats.

The midfielder scored a crackerjack in either half to give Lynn's National League survival hopes a huge boost despite on-loan striker Alfie Pavey's equaliser in the first half.

It was Lynn's first three points on home soil after nine failed attempts and Barrett's first goals in a Blue and Gold shirt since his arrival from Bristol Rovers in October.

Lynn looked a completely different outfit to the one which went down to Aldershot with a whimper in their last home encounter - a defeat that marked the end of Ian Culverhouse's long reign in the dugout.

With Ethan Coleman employed in a centre-half role, the Linnets looked hungry and eager to please the new man in the hot seat...

As well as scoring the both goals, Barrett showed off his remarkable passing range with a couple of ridiculous balls which had the home faithful purring with pleasure in the first half.

But it was the midfielder who lost possession as Dover broke forward quickly to level with their first attack of the match nine minutes later...

Dover were lifted by their equaliser...

Four minutes into the second period, Barrett had the Lynn crowd on their feet for a second time after unleashing a 30-yard screamer into the top corner".

Before Saturday's match, Lynn News had reported that "New King's Lynn Town boss Tommy Widdrington says every member of his squad will start with a clean slate... Widdrington spent his first few day in the hot-seat assessing the squad at training...

'The season for King's Lynn Town starts now as far as I'm concerned,' said Widdrington... 'There needs to be unity through the football club and that means from the top of the club, to my right (owner Stephen Cleeve), all the way to the people who pay their hard-earned money to come and watch...

'I can bring leaderships, honesty, integrity and morality to the club; all the ingredients you want in someone who leads a group of men. Those boys, and some of them are boys, have to become men very quickly as we're in a big boys' league now....

'It is your town, it is your club. People who come in are custodians of your club for a period and I will give you as an individual everything I can give you in terms of my knowledge, my experience, the benefit of my contacts in the game.

'I know every pound the chairman spends he will get £1.10 back in terms of effort from the players in the building at the moment... Paul [Bastock] has made it very clear that he was very much part of Ian’s staff and has decided himself to vacate the position... In fairness to Paul, on the handover, he was kind enough to hang around and give me information that I felt only he could give me; in effect, stuff I didn’t want to talk about with players and other members of staff'".

At Notts County, "A second-half rampage earned us a convincing victory over Southend United.

Having gone a goal down against the run of play to a scrappy Sam Dalby finish, Cal Roberts sent us into the break level with a composed equaliser.

Two fine Kyle Wootton finishes followed before Kyle Cameron added deserved gloss to the scoreline with a late header.

Ian Burchnall handed a debut to new signing Jayden Richardson, with fellow loanee Connor Parsons having to settle for a place on the bench...

A bolt out of the blue was to come on 11 minutes, however, when the ball ran nicely for Dalby to give the Shrimpers a surprise lead...

We quickly regained control of the game, though, and... Wootton and Vincent combined... before laying the ball off for Roberts to control and finish brilliantly from six yards...

We were comfortably the dominant side... and we only had to wait until the 64th minute to deservedly go ahead... Our incessant pressure told once again on 72 minutes when Wootton smashed the ball past Arnold...

Seven minutes later Arnold, who had earlier received treatment, had to be substituted and, with no keeper on the bench, Southend's James Demitriou had to go between the sticks... There was nothing he could do in the dying moments of normal time when Ed Francis, on for Roberts, produced a sublime cross for Cameron to head home".

11 December 2021


After Cheek had headed over the bar, Bromley hit the post through the same player after just five minutes before Alty settled. With Moult already booked, Senior joined him in the book for a foul and, from Coulson's resulting freekick, Sowumni headed in to give Bromley a 31st minute lead.

The visitors retained their lead to the interval with Altrincham unable to threaten an equaliser.

In the second half Altrincham had the majority of the ball and the attacking play and went close on several occasions but could not score. It was the first time in fifteen league games that Altrincham had failed to find the net and their run has now been extended to just one win in ten National League fixtures.

Match report here.


Saturday, 11 December
  • Altrincham 0-1 Bromley
  • Eastleigh 0-3 Aldershot Town
  • Grimsby Town 0-1 Chesterfield
  • King's Lynn Town 2-1 Dover Athletic
  • Maidenhead United 0-4 Solihull Moors
  • Notts County 4-2 Southend United
  • Torquay United 2-1 Stockport County
  • Wealdstone 0-1 FC Halifax Town
  • Woking 0-2 Boreham Wood
  • Wrexham v Weymouth (ko 5.20pm)
  • Yeovil Town 1-0 Barnet


When Alty last hosted Bromley, on a Tuesday night, 24 November, 2020, the visitors won 1-0. More positively for Altrincham the game marked the debut of Ryan Colclough, who was named on the bench. He had recently left Scunthorpe United by mutual agreement and was the 29th different player named in an Altrincham league match squad that season in only the eleventh game of the season.

By way of comparison this time Bromley arrive for game 19 of the season with 31 different players having been named in Altrincham's league squads in 2021-22.

Since that clash, just over a year ago, just six of the Altrincham starters in November 2020 also started the game last week for the club. The five Alty players against Bromley last year but not deployed last week were Shaun Densmore, Billy Sass-Davies, Ritchie Sutton, Alistair Smith and Yusifu Ceesay whilst two other names were missing who had been on the bench in 2020 (MacDonald and Robbins).

As for Bromley, there has been a little more continuity as eight of their squad from their trip to the JDS in 2020 started in their most recent game. Six of those had started against Alty in 2020 (Cousins, Bingham, Bush, Cheek, Alabi, Webster), whilst two of the subs in the 2020 game (Forster and Coulson) were also in the first eleven last week.


Spectators should be aware of changes applicable to them today for the Altrincham v Bromley match. The changes are of two types; those occasioned by the ongoing Health & Safety issues at the J. Davidson Stadium which limit attendance and those required nationally by the government as regards security against terrorism and the ongoing threat of Covid and its mutations.

Full details are here.


Altrincham FC has announced that "Karen Rowley and Mark Harris have both been made Life Vice-Presidents of the club.

Right: Karen Rowley pictured at the Alty Youth awards ceremony in 2014 with recipient Max Pouncey and, right, Youth team manager the late George Heslop.

Karen's unfaltering dedication to the Robins has been a constant feature at The J.Davidson Stadium for decades, her ready willingness to fill any number of roles at the club matched by a caring nature evident in the way she refers to each and every supporter as part of the Alty Family.

Mark is a prodigious contributor to football in general and made an impression on Alty in particular by expertly steering the club through some testing times during his spell as Chairman.

Commenting on the announcement, Alty Co-Chairman Bill Waterson said, 'The title of Life Vice-President is the highest honour the club can bestow on an individual, other than that of President. The award is given to those who have made a substantial (usually non-monetary) contribution to the club or have been a strong ambassador for the club more broadly in the football hierarchy.

'Karen's leading role in the club for many years, coupled with her leadership of the Altrincham FC Community company, and Mark's chairmanship of the Pitching In Northern Premier League, his role on the FA Council and his former Chairmanship of the club, when he guided us through some very tough times 25 years ago, make them both outstanding candidates for Life Vice-Presidency.

'Clubs like ours are built on the shoulders of those who devote their time and efforts to driving us forward, and both of the appointees have done so over many years. I am delighted we are able to recognise all they have done by announcing them as Life Vice-Presidents.'"


Altrincham FC "will be filled with festive sound on Sunday when Altrincham FC play hosts to a special open-air carol service at 5pm.

Alty club chaplain Andy Barclay-Watt will lead the service from the side of the pitch, with the main stand acting as pews for all those attending and a brass band supplying the musical accompaniment for each carol sung.

Mince pies and mulled wine in the Community Sports Hall provide the finishing touches, but there's more than just traditional Christmas fayre on offer.

Sale-based LifeChurch Manchester, Altrincham Baptist Church and G-Force have helped facilitate the service and have stressed it will be a celebration of unsung heroes in the community as well as Christmas itself.

With that in mind, a big screen facing the stand will show video clips of initiatives and projects, often undertaken by willing volunteers, that have done so much to provide help and care where it has been needed in the community over the past year or so.

It promises to be a memorable occasion, with a festive air filling the stadium and a fascinating insight on show into how the local community has benefitted from the caring attitude of so many kind-hearted individuals and organisations.

Make a note in your diary for this Sunday, doors open at 4.30pm, the service starts at 5pm and all are welcome".


The Maidenhead Advertiser tells us that "Maidenhead United's survival bid is plugged back into the mains.

After stuttering from poor performance to poor performance, and conceding a lot of goals in the process, Maidenhead United delivered a display at Southend United on Tuesday which suggests they can pull clear of the relegation scrap.

The fight is already on to avoid the drop, and the Magpies fell into the bottom three for the first time this season after Saturday's disappointing 3-0 defeat to Barnet FC at The Hive.

But Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Southend United at Roots Hall was like a jolt to the system and there was a sense that Maidenhead's survival bid had been plugged back into the mains.

Having lost their last five matches in all competitions, and conceded an eye-watering 19 goals, there was little confidence the Magpies would be able to turn around their concerning run of form. And, while a draw with one of their relegation rivals doesn't at first glance appear to be particularly impressive, the side's impressive fightback will have given fans hope...

They'll now look to build on this steppingstone when they host Solihull Moors at York Road on Saturday afternoon...

Assistant boss Ryan Peters... said... 'It was better, a lot better,' he said. 'But the boys are actually disappointed. They feel we should have come away with a victory and we probably should have... If we play the way we’ve played in this game we’ll win more games than we lose, we’d like to think this is a turning point, a point on the road and we’ll move on...

'None of us is resting on our laurels and we’ll keep fighting till we get it right. We know we’re in a fight but we’re up for the fight so stick with us'".

We learn from the Derbyshire Times that "Chesterfield defender Luke Croll is ‘50-50’ for Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town.

The centre-back was forced off with a thigh strain in the second-half against Salford City in the FA Cup on Sunday...

Manager James Rowe said... 'We might have to not rush him back. We rushed him back for the Salford game'...

Manny Oyeleke (calf) is another player who is being managed game-to-game. Both Croll and Oyeleke are not training every day but are joining in 48 hours before matches.

Rowe hopes to use the FA Trophy game on December 18 as an opportunity to possibly rest the pair and allow them to recover.

'Manny is fine... and he will be at full tilt come tomorrow,' Rowe told the DT. 'He is a big player. I think he is starting to show his worth now. I think the team has a different dynamic when he is not in there. He does both sides of the game. He takes the ball really well under pressure, he gets us playing, but also out of possession he is very strong in defensive duels and he normally comes out with the ball and he has got a very good tactical brain so I know that I can trust him and is very important to me...

'Our squad will probably be the strongest it has been this year come the FA Cup game (v Chelsea) which is a little bit disappointing because we have got some big league games coming up but I fully trust the squad at the moment and anyone who starts the game will do the shirt justice.'"

Lynn News reports that "King's Lynn Town have appointed former Southampton midfielder Tommy Widdrington as their new manager.

The 50 year-old joins the Linnets from League Two Bristol Rovers, where he was twice caretaker boss and Director of Football until last summer.

Widdrington, who was more recently in charge of loan deals at the Memorial Ground, replaces Ian Culverhouse, who left the club on November 29"

The new manager said of his role, "It's a part of me that I haven't been doing a lot of in recent history but it's something I'm comfortable doing. I've managed football clubs, I've managed managers to manage football clubs, and I've sometimes not quite managed managers to manage football clubs well enough, but I think as long as there's a clear pathway between the top of the club through the football department, I can't see why the way I do things won't work here."

Widdrington has managed both Salisbury City and Hemel Hempstead Town while spending a brief stint with Southend United as assistant boss.

But his longest spell in the dugout came at National League South side Eastbourne Borough, where he was installed as manager in 2012 following the sacking of previous management duo Garry Wilson and Nick Greenwood.

He maintained their National League South status and guided them to mid-table finishes during his tenure at Priory Lane. He also won the Sussex Senior Cup with them at the AMEX Stadium in 2016.

After resigning in 2017, he then joined Coventry as the club's head of recruitment... and took up a similar position at Bristol Rovers... During his time in the west country, Widdrington was twice put in caretaker charge of the Gas, before being named as Director of Football".

Widdrington also declared that "We've got to get above two teams, we haven't got to win the league. That's my sole thinking. At this moment in time I don't care who the other two teams are, all I want to do is get King's Lynn above two teams and above that horrible dotted line."

Meanwhile, Kings Lynn Town "confirm that the following academy players; Nicolas Dias da Costa, Mitchell Rasberry, Albie Howe, Ethan Wilson & Tyler Knowles have all been registered for the first team.

The players have been allocated the following shirt numbers

  • Nicolas Dias da Costa – 31
  • Mitchell Rasberry – 32
  • Albie Howe – 33
  • Ethan Wilson – 34
  • Tyler Knowles – 35

This is a significant move by the club which recognises the success and importance of the academy structure going forward".

From the BBC comes news that "Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson has said he has no intention of allowing striker Paul Mullin to leave in January...

The 27-year-old has scored 10 goals so far this season, sparking reported interest from other clubs.

'We're not looking to lose any of our key players in January,' Parkinson told BBC Sport Wales. 'It's good to get a bit of speculation about our own players because it shows that they're doing well. Mulls has made a significant contribution in the first few months of his Wrexham career.

'But he's very committed to the cause and the project here and what the club's all about.'

Parkinson says Wrexham's plan is to strengthen during the January transfer window. 'The squad we've got is decent,' Parkinson added. 'And we want to bring in two or three to supplement what we've got to make us stronger for the second part of the season'.

Wrexham, fourth in the National League, host struggling Weymouth on Saturday evening without the suspended Liam McAlinden and Harry Lennon and the injured Daniel Jarvis...

Parkinson said... 'The lads were having their Christmas do this weekend but we've cancelled that because we felt it would not be right for the lads to go out.

'We've got to be really careful and they've accepted that. They're really good lads'".

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "James Rowe believes form will play little part in Chesterfield's trip to Grimsby Town despite the contrasting results of both clubs.

The Mariners have lost six of their last seven matches, in all competitions, whilst the National League leaders are sky-high in confidence after beating Salford City in the FA Cup.

Chesterfield have only lost once in the league this term and although Town's record at Blundell Park is impressive, the Spireites enter the game as favourites...

'There are many challenges at this level and this will be no different,' Rowe told the Derbyshire Times. 'Form goes out of the window when it is a sell-out or near a sell-out. The rivalry is quite clear between the two clubs so it is a little bit of a one-off in that sense...

'[Paul Hurst] is a very experienced manager, they have got experience running through their team, so it is going to be a great challenge for us... If they get that victory against us then it could put them on a good run...

'I am sure there will be a little bit more needle in the game, in terms of tackles and physicality. They have got different ways of getting in the third final, they are dangerous from set-plays, but we have got our weapons as well and we can attack in different ways so it will be an interesting game'".

The CEO of Southend United says that "We are all frustrated that the National League has placed us under embargo, it feels like we have taken two steps forward and several steps back...

The National League gave us no pre-warning about the embargo. Negotiations were/are ongoing with HMRC regarding a Time To Pay agreement in respect of historic debt that accrued as a result of lockdown (where our costs remained relatively constant yet our income was much reduced). The embargo came out of the blue, given that negotiations with HMRC were/are ongoing.

We are in a unique situation, no other Club has had back to back relegations, coupled with 18 months or so of reduced income. Although we are maximising opportunities to improve the trading position, the reality is we are in a deteriorating income position. The main cause of that is the loss of £480k of Premier League Solidarity payments (having dropped out of the EFL) and the fact that ticket prices have had to be reduced to reflect our league status. Negotiations have had to take these facts into account.

During the pandemic, we did not take loans from the Premier League or anyone else, we were provided with financial support by Ron [the owner] and his group of companies. Whilst we are at Roots Hall we will remain reliant on Ron and group companies and that support is also required to enable payments to be made to HMRC under the Time To Pay agreement that we are negotiating.

I understand supporters’ frustrations regarding the embargo, having laid the foundations for success by recruiting three outstanding coaches who, with the support of John and Stan form an exceptional backroom team, momentum has been curtailed.

Kevin and his staff have been working hard to identify players who can strengthen the squad, they have been up and down the country looking at players and a list of targets is being produced. That process is running in parallel with negotiations with HMRC. We are hoping that negotiations with HMRC will be concluded in a matter of days rather than several weeks, enabling Kevin to bring in new players swiftly" concludes Tom Lawrence, CEO of the Shrimpers.

10 December 2021


Whilst not actually stating what the attendance capacity will be for the Altrincham v Bromley match this Saturday, Altrincham FC has issued other details of the matchday arrangements for the game. The normal away end (Chequers) will be given over to home fans.

The Board says, "We are very pleased to confirm that all parts of the ground will be open for spectators on Saturday, albeit with a reduced capacity whilst remedial works continue at The J. Davidson Stadium... We have put in place a number of changes to the match day experience you might be used to.

It is very important that all spectators adhere to these instructions, as our achieving a higher attendance for both Wrexham and Stockport County dependent on this. Any changes to the match day experience due to COVID-related changes in regulations do not apply to the Bromley game, as they do not come into effect until Monday, December 13th.

Pay-on-the-day admission will be available, but this is likely to be for entry to the Chequers End only, and perhaps a limited number of seats in the Main Stand.

If you want to guarantee watching the game from a specific part of the ground, we highly recommend you purchase your ticket in advance".

There will be changes to the designated turnstiles in use. For each section of the ground these are as follow...

  • Golf Road: Turnstiles 7-10 at the top of Golf Road
  • Popular Side: Turnstiles 11-13 at the bottom of the Golf Road
  • Community Sports Hall: Turnstiles 7-10
  • Main Stand: Turnstile 6 to the right of the Main Stand or Turnstiles 7-10 [in Golf Road]
  • Family Stand: Away Fans Only through turnstile 5 to the right of the Main Stand
  • Chequers End [for home fans]: Turnstiles 1 – 4 at the far end of the ground

The advice continues... "On entry to The J. Davidson Stadium, please expect to be searched by a member of the stewarding team, who will use a handheld metal detector. With the heightened terror threat, this is now standard procedure. We suggest you avoid bringing any bags into the stadium, but if you choose to do so, expect to have it searched.

When in the ground, please remember your ticket is specific to one part of the stadium, and when watching the game you do need to remain in that area. You are able to move from one area to another for food, beverages or a toilet break, but please head back to your designated area to watch the game.

It is essential we do not exceed the reduced capacities for this match so please play your part in ensuring we adhere to this".


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, press and media officer John Edwards tells us that "A few well-chosen words at half time had the desired effect as Altrincham staged yet another stirring fightback to salvage a point from the long trip to Aldershot on Saturday.

A goal by Toby Mullarkey just before the break gave Alty renewed hope after they had trailed 2-0, but it was what happened in the changing room moments later that transformed the pattern of the game and led to a grandstand finish, as Ryan Colclough made it 2-2 and Ben Pringle was denied a last-gasp winner by a brilliant save...

'I was really disappointed to concede two goals under very little pressure,' said manager Phil Parkinson. 'It was down to lapses in concentration, but after a few little words at half time, we really turned up in the second half and could easily have won in the end... Neil Sorvel and I weren’t happy at half time and neither were the players.

'It wasn’t tearing paint off the wall. The hairdryer was last week, and rightly so, but this was just a case of pointing out what they weren’t doing right and what was needed to rectify it. It was all positive, and they took on board that they had to move the ball a lot quicker and to the right place...

'Ultimately, we got our reward for being positive, and much as we were close to winning it in the final few moments, you would have to say it’s a decent point after a round trip of nearly nine hours to a team who have been going well.’

On-loan Stoke City midfielder Adam Porter (left) made an impact as a 70th-minute substitute, and Parkinson added 'We had a little chat after the previous game, and he was brilliant, so mature for his age at just 19.

'He has quality in abundance, a great range of passing and ability to receive the ball in any situation, and he is getting closer to bridging the gap between youth and senior football.'”


In advance of Saturday's game at the J. Davidson Stadium, Bromley manager Andy Woodman spoke to the Bromley website in a video interview. He sees Altrincham as a "good, technical side, who play good football".


The Eastern Daily Press tells us that "King's Lynn Town will not have a new manager in place in time for their vital National League clash at home to Dover on Saturday.

Assistant manager Paul Bastock is taking charge of Lynn while a successor is found for Ian Culverhouse... although Bastock has said he does not want to be considered for it.

A statement from the club issued on Thursday morning read... 'King's Lynn Town FC can confirm they are continuing their search for the right person to lead the next stage of the club's development.

'We are speaking to a number of potential candidates. However, the club remain open to further applications at this stage. The chairman is particularly keen to ensure an appointment is not rushed, preferring to get the right person. He hopes to be in a position to make an announcement soon.

'Over the past two weeks the squad has been training hard under the guidance of Paul Bastock and some of the senior players...

'We hope that fans will also respond in a positive manner and we encourage you all to get behind the club as we work toward surviving in the National League.'"

Yorkshire Live reminds us that "Southend United have been placed under a transfer embargo by the National League.

This is due to money owed to HMRC that was accrued during the pandemic.

Sheffield United currently have two players on loan at Roots Hall. Academy graduates Kacper Lopata and Zak Brunt joined the Shrimpers until the end of the month, but head coach Kevin Maher wants to extend their stay further.

He revealed this week that talks have already taken place with United regarding this, having described the pair as 'brilliant'.

Yorkshire Live has contacted the National League for clarity on whether Southend can re-sign the United pair and, although not wanting to comment on individual matters, it did confirm that any signings made under an embargo have to be at the league's discretion.

Lopata and Brunt are both on youth loans, so are likely to be looked on more favourably than senior loans where there may be a higher financial outlay on wages.

Should United agree to keeping the pair where they are, there is every chance those deals will be ratified by the league... With those who watch Southend closely believing the pair are too good for that division, United could be tempted to see if there are any takers in League One or League Two for the remainder of the season to further their development"..

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "Kane Ferdinand hopes Maidenhead United can use Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Southend United as a stepping stone to better results and performances.

Ferdinand fired home the Magpies' equaliser midway through the second half as they claimed their first positive result since their 3-2 victory over Wrexham at York Road on October 26.

Since then, they've lost four times in the league and been dumped out of the FA Cup by FC Halifax Town, but this was much, much better, both defensively and offensively.

The Magpies restricted their hosts to a handful of chances and looked the more likely side to find a winner as the game wore on. It was a big improvement on recent weeks, which saw the Magpies concede a worrying 19 goals in just five matches...

'The first half was even,' Ferdinand said. 'I thought we were unlucky to go in behind. Second half I thought we were on top, and we could have had more goals, but all-in-all a point is a good result... We limited their chances, and we feel we had more shots on target than them.

'At half-time we said, look, stay calm, we’re still in the game, and we were unlucky to concede'...

Ferdinand made 61 appearances for the Shrimpers between 2010-12, scoring 10 times, so it was nice for him to find the net against his former club...

Ferdinand said, 'I think we can use it as a stepping-stone. We've got a home game [v Solihull Moors]on Saturday coming up and we've still got a game in hand so hopefully we can start climbing the league. We have to start making our home games count'".

The Halifax Courier claims that "It's no wonder Matty Warburton is revelling in his role at FC Halifax Town. The Shaymen's style of short, quick passing, movement, linking play and dominating the ball is perfectly suited to the forward's strengths.

Niall Maher and Billy Waters are the only outfield players to have started more league games than Warburton, who has been a central figure, literally, for Town this season, playing in his preferred position as a number ten...

'I've loved it. It's the first time in a few years that I can say I'm really enjoying my football,' he said... 'I've won promotion with Stockport, which was a great time, but there's potential for something special here. We've gone under the radar a bit, which is nice and takes a bit of the pressure off. But it's definitely up there with one of the happiest times of my career from a playing perspective.

'It's just the freedom Pete and Milly have given me, and the trust they've shown in me, from playing me regularly... We've got a great mixture of youth and experience here, we train really well throughout the week...

'My job is to link play between midfield and get it up to our attackers... I'm really pleased with how many assists I've got, I think in all competitions I've got eight or nine... but the other side of it is that I want to score more goals...

'I think there's always room for improvement,' he said... 'At the moment, I want to make sure I stay in the team, and contribute as much as I can... What Pete and Milly want is to go out there and enjoy what they're watching, and to get results from it.

'It is nailed down in training and it's done quite regimented at times, but as lads, we all know that when it comes to game-day, what our roles are on and off the ball and how we want to play... If we did go direct, I'd say that arguably wouldn't suit 90 per cent of the lads in our team...

'They've signed lads, like me, Billy (Waters), Harvey (Gilmour) and Jordan (Slew) who possibly didn't get as much football as they wanted last year and have got a point to prove...

'I think it's a massive complement to us when teams will change their style and their formation,' he said.... 'What we're good at, and what the management are particularly good at, is anticipating how teams will change against us. We work on secondary styles in terms of what happens if a team does sit in with five or seven at the back, as Pontefract did, how do we break them down, what are we going to do?...

'You look at the quality that's been on the bench and you think "how are they not getting in the team?". I do think at the moment it's definitely a work in progress, we're definitely not 100 per cent where we want to be...

'After the defeat against Wrexham, the gaffer said that we've always bounced back with a win, so I don't see why not,' he said. 'Sunday was a real tough day at the office for us, a pretty sombre dressing room after the final whistle...

'Hopefully the fact that we have bounced back after every defeat comes true again.'"

We learn from Devon Live that "Torquay United sharpshooter Danny Wright will rejoin the Gulls squad for Saturday’s big game against Stockport at Plainmoor. Wright has missed the last 12 Torquay matches with an ankle injury.

But manager Gary Johnson revealed... 'He’s likely to be involved on Saturday. He has trained for a couple of days and and he is free of injury... Whether he is ready to start or go on the bench, we will decide that over the next couple of days'...

Wright’s return will be welcome news for United fans as Torquay seek to build on their 2-1 win at Weymouth last weekend. So far this season he has played just eight times, scoring one goal at Notts County".

9 December 2091


The Nottingham Post reports that "Match-going... Notts County fans will soon be required to show a Covid vaccine passport or proof of a negative lateral flow test to enter stadiums after new regulations were announced.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed at a press briefing on Wednesday that the country will move to Plan B following the recent surge of the Omicron variant.

The new guidelines will apply to venues with a capacity in excess of 10,000, meaning those attending upcoming matches at the City Ground and Meadow Lane will need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test".

Altrincham are away at Notts County in the FA Trophy on 18 December so may be affected by these measures if there is blanket application of the rules to large stadia. But if the rules do not apply to capped crowds of fewer than 10,000 people in stadia of that capacity or more, the need for proof of health may not apply.


Alty travel to Notts County in the FA Trophy later this month.

In the Nottingham Post", "Ian Burchnall reveals what Notts County players have been working on during fixture break. The Magpies return to action on Saturday with a home match against Southend United after two weeks without a game...

They were originally due to face National League leaders Chesterfield on Saturday (December 4) but that fixture had to be postponed and rearranged due to the Spireites' involvement in the FA Cup...

Burchnall has put the enforced 'break' to good use, working closely with his players in training.

'I enjoyed that,' the head coach told the club's official website. 'We've played a lot of Saturday-Tuesdays but it's always nice to break it up and get back on the training pitch... I kind of said to the players at the start of the week that this isn't a week for a break. Even though we don't play a game, I don't want us to take our foot off the pedal at all.

'So, for me, it was an opportunity to get out there and work really, really hard on the training pitch. Certainly, the Tuesday, Wednesday sessions (last week) were really tough.'

Asked what sort of things the team worked on, Burchnall added... 'A lot of our good performances have come with a lot more off-ball runs and a lot more dynamic movements, so we've tried to work on a lot of movement off the ball... The Eastleigh game is a good example of a game where we had too many balls receiving to feet and not enough runs in behind and not enough movement off the ball.

'So I think we're trying to push that as a point of reference for where we want to go forwards, and we're working really hard at that'.

Burchnall broke things up with a friendly match against Nottingham Forest Under-23s and taking the squad to Loughborough University at the weekend for a 'team building day with some different activities'".

And Nottingham Forest " confirm that "Talented Nottingham Forest defender Jayden Richardson has joined National League outfit Notts County on loan for a month

The versatile full-back is available for Saturday’s game with Southend and will hope to play plenty of football.

Richardson has made four first-team appearances during the 2021/22 campaign... Richardson is out of contract at the City Ground during the summer of 2022 and he’ll be keen to impress in the coming month.

He may see his chances of a proper chance at Forest dwindling, although the ball is now in his court. The Forest academy product can operate in a number of positions on either the right or the left.

He will likely play at full-back for Notts who typically operate with a flat back four. Richardson will give Ian Burchnall the option to be flexible though.

The Forest man spent last season on loan with Forest Green and the season previous he helped Exeter to the League Two play-off final".


The Altrincham FC monthly draw for November has been made with the outcome as follows:
  • £500 cash | #176| Simon Ellis
  • £75 cash | #105 | Andy Howe
  • £25 cash | #62 | Nigel Bunce
  • Robin Polo Shirt | #42 | Nigel Hennerley
  • Replica Alty FC Home Shirt | #132 | Bob Allan
  • Alty FC Polo Shirt | #245 | Anthony Ainsworth

Congratulations to all the winners!


It has been an unhappy season for Southend United who now "confirm that the National League have placed us under embargo whilst we finalise the terms of a Time To Pay agreement with HMRC in relation to debt that accrued during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Like many other businesses that had reduced income during the pandemic, HMRC has agreed to allow us some time to repay historic debt.

Unlike many other clubs, we did not borrow money from the Premier League and do not have any bank borrowings. Southend has been supported by Ron and Group Companies through the pandemic.

With a reasonable approach from both parties we hope to conclude our discussions with HMRC shortly.

The embargo is not expected to prevent signings of new players when they are identified and terms agreed".

The Shrimpers' Trust responded, as the Southend Echo relays the news that "The Shrimpers' Trust have hit out at Southend United chairman Ron Martin... The Trust believe another transfer ban shows Martin is not a ‘fit and proper owner’ of the club who have again been left in an ‘embarrassing position.’

A Trust statement said... 'We have been here before and the club has seemingly not learnt any previous lessons'...

The statement added 'Where is Ron Martin? For someone who claims to love the football club he has not been seen on matchdays since supporters protested against his ownership... We do not believe he is a fit and proper owner of Southend United Football Club and he continues to run the club with a flagrant disregard for league rules, whether that be within the EFL or the National League'...

“We shall continue to offer our full support to [manager] Kevin Maher, the backroom staff and the team on the pitch, however, we do not support the continued actions (or lack of actions) from the owner of the football club'".

But the Shrimpers have gained some new income to pay their debts as, Football London confirms that "Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of talented defender Charlie Sayers from Southend United for an undisclosed fee.

Making his debut for the Shrimpers in October, the 17-year-old made six appearances for the National League side in total prior to joining Spurs' academy.. Sayers has featured for Spurs' Under-18s in their past two games against Fulham and Crystal Palace, notably wearing the captain's armband for the side at the weekend in their 3-0 defeat against the Eagles".

On the pitch, the Southend Echo adds that "Head coach Kevin Maher was a frustrated figure following Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Maidenhead at Roots Hall.

A second half equaliser from ex Shrimpers midfielder Kane Ferdinand meant Blues had to settle for just a point....

'When you take the lead and go in 1-0 up you obviously want to go on and win the game,”' said Maher. 'But we showed a lack of desire to almost go on and win it in the second half and there was almost a fear of going to win it too'...

Blues still sit above the relegation zone on goal difference and Maher is keen to see more from his players... Said Maher, 'We let them off the hook too easily and we didn’t ask enough questions of them in the second half... but we haven’t lost and it keeps them below us too,' said Maher.

'We’re disappointed, of course, but if you offered four points from these last two games maybe we would’ve taken that. But it’s disappointing not to have built on that win at Altrincham.'”

According to the Leader Live, "Kwame Thomas has taken another big step in his comeback from a serious injury.

The striker scored nine goals last season before rupturing his left Achilles in training... Thomas, who penned a new one-year deal over the summer, played his first in-house practice game yesterday...

'It has been tough for him,' said manager Phil Parkinson. 'Especially having pre-season where we weren’t able to sort out our physio situation but we were able to rectify that by getting him his work at St George’s Park.

'He has been training with us for a couple of weeks and yesterday we had a 60 minute practice game... and he played all of it... but he handled the pace of the game, no problem...

'Dior Angus has had a problem with his knee so hopefully there is no reaction to that. We have got a couple of other lads who have been playing with on-going issues but hopefully nothing too serious...

'I keep stressing to everybody in the squad that the training standards and the practice games are so important that we get that physical data up to where we know it needs to be to prepare them for when players are called upon. Reece Hall-Johnson is a great example of that. He was out for seven or eight weeks and we got him up to speed in in-house games, he put the work in and by the time we got to Aldershot he was ready.

'The practice game yesterday was in terrible weather conditions but the application of everybody, supplemented with the youngsters, was very good'...

'The Dover win was an important one for us, bouncing back after the defeat to Yeovil, and it has got us in a good position,' said Parkinson".

We learn from the Halifax Courier that "Town boss Pete Wild wants his side to 'get back to being us' when they visit Wealdstone on Saturday.

The Shaymen are aiming to bounce back from losing 2-0 to Kidderminster in the second round of the FA Cup on Sunday, a game in which they produced arguably their worst performance of the season...

Wild said, 'We sat down with the players and discussed some of the trends in recent weeks with some of the goals we've conceded, and how we need to be better in possession... We had 64 per cent possession but they (Kidderminster) got what they wanted in the game. We need to start better and not give teams chance to bed in and survive.

'I think we've got clear identity, it's there for everybody to see. If people don't know what "us" is, I'd be very disappointed. Get back to dominating the football, get back to being on the front-foot out of possession and not giving teams the chance to start, dropping on second balls better, everything that we've been doing for most of the season'...

Wild is philosophical about Sunday's defeat, which hasn't affected his belief in his team...

Wild said 'The reality is you're going to lose football matches... Unfortunately ours came in arguably one of the bigger games this season... You can catastrophise situations, and it's not a catastrophe by any shape or form. It's a loss, we're still fifth in the league and three points off top of the league, so we're still having an excellent season'...

Wealdstone come into the game having lost back-to-back games, having previously won three of their last four...

Wild said...'This isn't a formality this one, this Wealdstone team, I've been really impressed with them... They're a much-improved side, they certainly want to get the ball down and play'...

Wild says Jamie Allen probably won't be fit for the game... On loanee Jamie Cooke, Wild said... 'We'll assess how he does in the next couple of weeks then make a decision whether he stays around it or he needs to go and get some more games.'

Striker Gerry McDonagh has had his loan spell at Kettering extended for another month... Wild said 'We can call him back when we want, he's had his 28 days when I can't call him back, so while he's playing games there we've got to leave him there'... And on winger Dom Tear, who is on loan at Buxton, Wild said 'Dom's contract's up in January so we need to have a sit down with Dom and discuss what we do.'"

Devon Live reports that "Gary Johnson said Torquay United can ‘look forward’ to this weekend’s big game against Stockport County after ending their run of three defeats at Weymouth.

Torquay beat Weymouth 2-1 in Dorset on Saturday with all three goals coming in a dramatic five-minute period in the second half... Johnson said he was delighted with the win after nil points from three games... Big-spenders Stockport are ninth and a much tougher proposition...

With heavy rain in Devon yesterday, Torquay trained indoors at the Sports Hub at Paignton Academy...

It was a much better performance from the team, with more pace and quicker passing causing Weymouth worries all over the pitch and, at the back, the central three of Ben Wynter, Lewis and Dean Moxey were immense again.. It has been hit and miss at times this season and there is no guarantee which Torquay United will turn up [against Stockport]...

'Quite a lot of them [the players] are new to us in that group and they are still learning the actual mentality of it all; not just the tactics,' said Johnson... 'Some have been used to watching the game until they get the ball. They almost get into a habit from their under-23 games, which is totally different to the National League. We can’t always go out and get the ready-made product; we have to work with them.”'"

In the Dorset Echo, "Brian Stock made special mention of goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons’s performance following Weymouth’s 2-1 loss to Torquay United on Saturday.

Fitzsimons made a number of impressive stops to keep the Gulls at bay... Perhaps best of all was his flying stop to deny a Klaidi Lolos header at close quarters, the former Notts County and Chesterfield custodian pushing his attempt onto the bar...

The keeper remains on two clean sheets for the season having played 20 games in all competitions... Stock was quick to applaud the 27 year-old following his display against Torquay...

'Do you know what? He deserves to be picked out for special praise. He’s made some vital saves for us and that’s... been the case over the last few games. He came under a little bit of stick for the first few games of the season, Ross held his hands up and said he was going to change his mindset...

'For me, the last six or seven games he’s looked a different goalkeeper... And he’s got distribution to go with saving shots. I’m pleased with him".

8 December 2021


The Aldershot Town manager credited Toby Mullarkey (right) with the goal that turned around the match last Saturday as the Alty defender scored just before half-time, with his side trailing 2-0 and seemingly heading for a defeat. However, building on that goal, Alty went on to record a 2-2 draw.

With competition from experienced centre-back Ritchie Sutton, Toby might have expected to spend a fair proportion of this season on the bench, rather than alongside the ever dependable Tom Hannigan at the heart of the Alty defence. But the 25 year-old centre-back has become one of the first names on the Altrincham team sheet every week, having started every league game except two.

This season he has made 18 appearances bringing his career total to 62(+21) with five goals credited to him.


Tuesday, 7 December
  • Southend United v1-1Maidenhead United


Altrincham have not completed a game on the date of their next match, this Saturday at Bromley, for 17 years. That was on 11 December 2004, away at Harrogate Town, where they drew 1-1.

However, they did have a fixture in the first round of the FA Trophy six years later, in 2010. But, with Alty trailing 2-1 at the Tameside Stadium they were saved from potential defeat by Curzon Ashton by a floodlight failure which caused the abandonment of the tie. In the replayed match, Alty won through to the next round.

Back on 11 December, 2004, in a Nationwide North game, Alty came wlthin four minutes of defeating self-proclaimed "table-topping" Harrogate after giving an excellent performance at Wetherby Road, where they had never previously scored or taken a point.

Alty's defeat at Harrogate the previous season had been marred by losing their goalkeeper (Acton) under a robust challenge, causing left-back Chris Adams to have to keep goal for 50 minutes.

In the 2004 game, Alty played up the marked slope and took the lead after 10 minutes when Eddie Hussin set Colin Potts off up the centre and he fired in an unstoppable shot from 25 yards, whch went in off the inside of the post.

Above: Val Owen (pointing) organizes the defence of a freekick at Harrogate in 2004.

Despite pressure from Town, it took two great saves in as many minutes by Pettinger to keep out Alty in the second half. Alty also had a strong penalty appeal ignored when Rod Thornley was felled in the first half.

Val Owen, arguably Alty's man of the match, stepped over the ball as Alty attacked and this ironically allowed Harrogate to go to the other end, where Holland stepped past Gary Talbot inside the box to score the equaliser (86 mins).

Before kick-off the tannoy announcer had peppered almost every sentence with the phrases 'table-topping Harrogate' and 'league leaders, Harrogate' but Altrincham were to show the Yorkshiremen that, good as they may be, they are not in a different class from the other teams in the top half of the division.

For this game, Altrincham were without Marcus Hallows, who had been injured in midweek. Also still missing were the injured trio of Rose, Wright and Torpey.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS. 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Val OWEN, 9. Colin LITTLE, 10. Rod THORNLEY, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Adam BRINDLE, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Sean SMITH, 16. Paul TILLEY, 17. George MELLING.


The Nottingham Post reports that "Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson was recalled from his loan at Meadow Lane last month [but] Sunderland boss Lee Johnson is not ruling out a possible return to Notts County for Patterson.

Patterson impressed during a loan stint at Meadow Lane... However, Patterson did not figure in the [Sunderland] matchday squad in last Wednesday's Papa John’s Trophy defeat at Oldham Athletic...

Johnson revealed that ... 'The reason he didn’t play was that if he had done, it would have removed the option of him going back to Notts County'...

'There’s been a rule change this year as teams were pulling players back to play in the Papa John’s Trophy before going straight back again, so that was why.... I want to get our young talent 25 games across the season, as you know that’s something that I really believe in and believe that they need. Patto did extremely well at Notts County.

'That was the right decision for the club in terms of Patto being that number one in the future that we know he can be... We have three very competitive goalkeepers driving each other on... We’ll make the right decision as and when, but that’s just not quite yet'.

Patterson [at Notts County]... produced a number of impressive performances between the sticks and had been due to remain with the National League side until January 9, until his early recall.

Magpies head coach Ian Burchnall said... 'We’re keen to see him return and have had positive dialogue with Sunderland to that effect'".

In the Examiner, we learn that "Sheffield United [are] in talks with Southend over futures of 'brilliant' loan pair Zak Brunt and Kacper Lopata. The Blades duo teamed up with the National League side in October and are in the final month of their stay

Talks have opened between Sheffield United and Southend concerning the futures of Zak Brunt and Kacper Lopata. The young Blades duo... have both featured six times...

Shrimpers head coach Kevin Maher... has described the defender and midfielder as 'brilliant' and says he would love for them to remain beyond December...

Maher told the Southend Echo, 'The lads have all taken them under their wing and they're really enjoying it here.. For both sides I think it would be positive if we could (keep them)'".

And from Southend United we learn that "Head coach Kevin Maher wants his team to take control of their fate now, having been given a helping hand at the weekend.

Results elsewhere saw Blues move out of the Vanarama National League relegation zone...

Talking ahead of hosting Maidenhead United [on Tuesday night], who sit just below them in the standings but level on points, Maher wants to build on the victory his team secured last time out against Altrincham.

'It was disappointing we haven’t been able to follow up the win we had at Altrincham until now but we’ve had a good week on the training ground,' said Maher... 'There’s still a good buzz around, the players have got a smile on their face and they’ve trained ever so well to be fair'...

Beating teams around you is often defined as a ‘six-pointer’, and with the Magpies in 21st place due to their -15 goal difference compared to Southend’s -12 in 20th place, Maher will know the importance of tonight’s fixture...

'At home we want to start making it a difficult place to come. Hopefully the players take a bit of freedom for moving out [the relegation zone]... Off the back of a good away win last time out, what got us that result was hard work and that’s what we need to repeat again...

'We have a long-term view of how we want the organisation to run and we won't react to every new piece of data or one bad game. For us, we want a key set of values and live within those perimeters [?parameters]. When we met Paul in January last year, we knew we were aligned on our values in the first 10 minutes.

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Grimsby Town owner Jason Stockwood has revealed he knew Paul Hurst was the right man to take the club forward within 10 minutes of their first meeting and believes fans' expectations have been raised by their start to the season.

Paul Hurst arrived in January 2020 and despite his best efforts, the Mariners dropped from League Two into Non-League.

The Town boss oversaw a transformation in the playing squad over the summer, with 15 new players brought in and a further two added last month.

A superb start to the season has seen expectations raised but a run of six defeats in seven matches has seen the Mariners drop to sixth in the standings.

Against Dagenham & Redbridge, a small minority of the travelling fans called for a change in the dugout, although that was then met by resounding chants of 'Paul Hurst's black and white army' from the bulk of the away end.

Hurst signed an 18-month contract with the club when he returned in January but Stockwood has revealed that deal is a rolling contract...

Stockwood told Grimsby Live, 'He aligns with our long-term strategy. It was never a matter of "sticking with him" (in the summer)', he explained. 'He brought a few in but most weren't his players. On the whole, he was with a squad that was assembled under a different regime. It's like trying to do a job with someone else's tools.

'We always knew it was a long shot (to stay up). The football improved in the second half of the season. Six weeks before the season ended, we had a clear vision of the players we wanted because the work had been done. There were moments I thought we might stay up. There was no doubt about it being Paul, it was a project we started when last season ended and this season is where we see the fruits of our labour...

'There is quality in the squad. We have a vision for the long-term and we have the management structure that we want... Clearly, we want to get ourselves out of it (the form) but we are learning a lot collectively...

'We have a manager that wants the right characters, the right people around the club and recognises it is a journey. We probably didn't do ourselves any favours coming out of the traps so quickly, we have set expectations higher. There is no panic for us, it's a long-term project, we'll bring people in and let people go'".

Meanwhile, the Derbyshire Times reports that Chesterfield "will head to Stamford Bridge to face the European champions and eight-times FA Cup winners in the third round in early January.

Rowe watched the draw at home with his partner and young son Arthur... 'I leapt for joy and there was a big noise that came out so it scared him, bless him! It was a fantastic feeling. I am sure it was the same amongst all of the supporters and everyone connected with the club...

'It is great for the club. When the club was down on its knees the community trust stuck their neck out and this is the reward that they get. The trust and the players deserve it. They have worked so hard on and off the field. You make your own luck sometimes in life and they certainly have earnt that so it is credit to everybody'...

Chesterfield were actually the first-ever team to win at Stamford Bridge in a league game in 1905. The Spireites... are set to make a six-figure sum from the match...

'Personally, of course I would love to go up against their manager but it is a pat on the back for the community trust and the players’ hard work. The challenge now is to stay focused on the league...

We can only look forward to it really in January in terms of on the pitch. I am sure the supporters can be excited for the next three weeks...

'It is incredible to think where we were just a year ago, second from bottom, to where we are in the league now, and then to draw them out of the hat was a great day'.

As a Spurs fan, Rowe will no doubt relish the opportunity to face rivals Chelsea...

'There is a bit of rivalry (between Chelsea and Spurs) there but as a manager you look at games with different eyes,' Rowe said. 'It is a dream come true where I am in my career personally and what I can learn from that day. We respect them so much and he (Tuchel) is a coach that I admire...

'For us, our objective at the start of the year was to try to get back into the EFL and anything else is a bonus for the club and this is a big bonus for us'...

They face a trip to promotion rivals Grimsby Town this Saturday...

'We have got to keep grounded, we can’t let it be a distraction,' Rowe added"

7 December 2021


Altrincham enter this year's Buildbase FA Trophy with an away tie at Notts County.

We learn from the Nottingham Post that "Notts County chief executive Jason Turner has been explaining the reasoning behind the rescheduled dates for two more of the club's upcoming fixtures.

The home Vanarama National League match against Barnet was initially due to be played on Saturday, January 22, but has now been moved to Friday, January 21 (7:45pm kick-off) as Nottingham Forest host arch rivals Derby County in the Championship on January 22.

Meanwhile, Notts' FA Trophy third round tie against Altrincham will now be played in the evening on Saturday, December 18, after another clash with neighbours Forest, who will host Hull at the City Ground...

Turner wrote, "We had hoped to play our Buildbase FA Trophy third round match against Altrincham on Friday 17 December due to another clash with Forest but, as our opponents’ players are part-time and because we have an important trip to Chesterfield on the following Tuesday, a Saturday 7.30pm kick-off proved to be the best solution; our thanks to Nottinghamshire Police for their assistance. We’re in conversation with Altrincham regarding providing a stream for those unable to attend...

Meanwhile, Turner also went on to update supporters on some developments at Meadow Lane. Televisions will be installed with Sky Sports and BT Sport in HD for fans to enjoy the full matchday experience"


Shots TV has brief highlights of last Saturday's draw with Altrincham.


Nxet Saturday, Bromley visit Altrincham who have announced matchday arrangements and have opened sales for matchday tickets.


Riding high in the National League, Altrincham's next opponents, Bromley, have come a long way in the last twenty years or so.

Back in 1999, As Altrincham were being promoted back to the top flight of non-League football. Bromley finished bottom of the Isthmian Premier and were relegated into the Isthmian First Division, equivalent to the NPL First Division level.

They qualified for the Isthmian Premier once more in 2005 and, after two seasons back at that level, they gained promotion to Conference South.

Eight seasons in National South ended when they won that division in 2015. Their six seasons in the National League since then have seen consistent finishes every year between seventh and fourteenth place.

In 2018 they reached the FA Trophy Final but lost on penalties to Brackley Town.

They are managed by Andy Woodman, a former goalkeeper for Northampton Town.


Sunday's ties involving non-League clubs were:
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Salford City 0-2 Chesterfield ko 5.15pm
And on Monday 6 December:
  • Boreham Wood 4-0 St Albans City


In the draw for the FA Cup Third Round, the non-League participants were dealt the following opposition.
  • Boreham Wood v AFC Wimbledon
  • Yeovil Town v Bournemouth
  • Chelsea v Chesterfield
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Reading


Football League World reports that "Wrexham are targetting out-of-favour Ipswich Town striker Joe Pigott in January as they look to boost their push for promotion...

Pigott was in-demand when he left AFC Wimbledon on a free transfer in the summer and opted to join Ipswich but has struggled for minutes at Portman Road. The striker has made just six appearances this term, scoring one goal and adding one assist, and appeared down the pecking order under Paul Cook...

The 28-year-old is now a January target for Wrexham... The Ipswich striker scored 54 goals in 157 games while at Wimbledon, including 22 last season, and has a good record in the National League, having bagged 17 in 45 games in the division for Maidstone United.

Things have not been easy for him since he moved to Portman Road but the departure of Cook, who was sacked as manager on Saturday, may offer him a chance to fight his way back into contention at the League One club".

Ipswich's Joe Piggott is not the striker of the same name who has had two spells at Altrincham. That player is currently with AFC Fylde. The Bees played the Bees this week as Brentford report that "Yoane Wissa scored twice in Brentford's 6-0 win over Barnet on Monday afternoon. The game was played behind closed doors at the Club's Jersey Road Training Ground.

Saman Ghoddos, Dom Thompson, Mathias Jensen and Myles Peart-Harris also scored as the home side dominanted in West London.

Wissa, continuing his recovery from injury, played 70 minutes after featuring off the bench against Leeds in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon...

Brentford took the lead after 19 minutes... Barely a minute later, the score was doubled by the same scorer... Onyeka turned provider again for the third goal... Before half-time, Fin Stevens found Thompson with a deep cross into the box and the fullback volleyed home into the bottom corner.

After the interval, Marcus Forss played a neat pass for Jensen to drive into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The scoring was finished up by substitute Peart-Harris, sweeping home a low cross by Thompson into the corner of the net".

reported here earlier, the Southend Echo confirms that "Former Southend United striker Nile Ranger has joined Boreham Wood...

The controversial Ranger had been without a club since his second spell with the Shrimpers ended at the end of last season.

But Boreham Wood boss Luke Garrard has now decided to give the 31 year-old another chance to rescue his career.

'We’ve had Nile in the building for three months,' Garrard told the club website. 'He’s come in and proved his fitness.

'He’s now at the level we can benefit from him and there’s no question about his ability.'”

The Maidenhead Advertiser ponders whether "Perhaps the half-time team talk wasn’t listened to keenly enough or perhaps it’s just their luck at the moment, but Alan Devonshire’s men had their fate against Barnet sealed 10 minutes after the break on Saturday afternoon.

Maidenhead United had been down, 1-0, at the interval thanks to Rob Hall’s 31st minute strike yet the game’s first half was very much even for chances according to boss Devonshire.

He and Ryan Peters gave the side some words of encouragement and enthusiasm at the break, but to the management staff’s incredulity, the Magpies conceded twice swiftly upon the restart.

Devonshire said 'I went in at half-time and said to them "let’s try and be patient, pass the ball a bit sharper, and make sure we don’t concede within 10 minutes". They listened to me but we’re three down in 10 minutes. To be fair, the first half was even. I’ve got to look at the goal again, but I don’t know if Rhys (Lovett) could have done better from the distance, it was a good strike.

'We’re just struggling defensively at the moment as a group, and we’ve got to change it quickly.'

Devonshire revealed Remy Clerima... 'Doesn’t look right. He has held his hand up today and [admitted] he didn’t play great today. But he has had this COVID, and he is suffering from it. Ryheem (Sheckleford) is not fit at the moment, so it was needs must [for Remy to play] really.

'There’s a few boys that have had it and in the coming weeks, it’s something I’ve got to look at...

'We’ve got a long way to go and we’re not going to panic with things. I will set a side out for Tuesday and then we will go again'".

6 December 2021


Altrincham have five times this season gone behind 2-0 or worse in matches; four times in the league and once in the FA Cup. Four of those five occasions have occurred in the month since 6 November.

In the four matches in the past month, the Robins have come back from 0-2 to level the scores at 2-2 three times and on the other occasion they lost 1-2 but would have drawn 2-2 again, had they not missed a penalty kick.

The sequence over the past month has been:

  • 6 November, in the FA Cup at home, the game ended Altrincham 2 Gateshead 2.

    Alty went a goal down after 46 minutes and then two down in the 79th minute. But, four minutes later, Marcus Dinanga pulled back a goal before Jake Moult snatched a leveller in the fifth minute of added time.

    In the replay Alty trailed twice, but again responded twice, levelling the score at 1-1 and then at 2-2, before losing 2-3 to an injury time goal.

  • 23 November, in the National League, at Chesterfield, Alty again fell two goals adrift when Chesterfield netted after ten and 43 minutes.

    Again, Alty left it late for a comeback before Kosylo made it 2-1 in the 84th minute and Leitch-Smith equalised in the fifth minute of added time.

  • 27 November, in the National League, at home to Southend United, the Robins yet again went two down, this time inside 34 minutes.

    This time, however, the comeback faltered due to Colclough having his penalty saved after 64 minutes. However, Mooney did make it 1-2 shortly afterwards but another equaliser did not arrive.

  • 4 December, in the National League at Aldershot, the hosts were two up after 40 minutes.

    Mullarkey pulled back a goal just before the interval and then Colclough salvaged a 2-2 draw in the ninetieth minute.

The fifth occasion was in October when the Robins were two goals adrift, and scored twice to level the game at 2-2 at home to Grimsby Town in the National League. However, the Mariners went on to secure a 3-2 win.

In three other league games, Alty have overcome a one-goal deficit to earn points:

  • At home against Dover Athletic, Altrincham went from losing 0-1, and then 1-2, to winning 3-2.
  • Away at Dagenham & Redbridge, Alty moved from 1-2 behind to secure a 3-2 win.
  • At home against Boreham Wood, Alty recovered from losing 0-1 to draw 1-1.

In the FA Cup:

  • As well as the recovery against Gateshead mentioned above, they also turned a 0-1 deficit at Southport into an eventual 3-2 victory.

Whilst this comeback record shows the team's character, it also says something about the team's defensive frailties!


The Altrincham FC website has a post-match interview with manager Phil Parkinson following his side's 2-2 draw at Aldershot on Saturday.


The next team to visit the J. Davidson Stadium is Bromley on Saturday, 11 December. Like Altrincham they performed a comeback and after their opponents had lost their keeper to a red-card, won the game at the death.

Last Saturday Bromley reported that they "returned to winning ways when they defeated fellow London visitors Wealdstone F.C 3-2 at Hayes Lane...

In the early stages of the game, the visitors attacked with impetus... and took the lead... Jamie Mascoll’s cross found Josh Umerah at the front post, who flicked the ball past Mark Cousins.

Despite the early setback, Bromley nearly equalised... As the half hour mark of the game was approaching, Chris Bush floated a free-kick into the opposition’s penalty area, Byron Webster headed the ball to George Alexander who finished in style from close range, to equalise for the Ravens.

Bromley were now playing with confidence and took the lead in an impressive way. Marcus Sablier, from 25 yards, unleashed a fierce shot into the bottom corner. A spectacular effort from the academy graduate...

In the second half... an altercation occurred when Wickens, [Wealdstone's goalkeeper, on loan from Fulham], seemed to have head-butted Alexander in the Wealdstone penalty area. Wickens received a red card.

Bush then tried his luck from distance and substitute goalkeeper Alfie Marigliani dived to his left to save the effort. Then with just under 20 minutes remaining, Jack Cook got on the end of a free kick to head an equaliser for the Stones, much to the shock of the home fans.

As the game was coming to an end, Bromley managed to nick a win in additional time. Byron Webster got on the end of a delivery and skilfully headed the back into the back of the net, sending the home supporters into delirium.

Bromley will look to build on this victory when they face Altrincham next weekend.

Bromley: 1 Mark Cousins, 4 Billy Bingham, 5 Chris Bush, 6 Omar Sowunmi, 7 Luke Coulson, 8 Jude Arthurs, 9 Michael Cheek, 17 Byron Webster, 19 Harry Forster (Whitely) 22 George Alexander (Partington), 24 Marcus Sablier (Alabi). Unused Subs: 20 Nathan Tormey, 34 Jack Cawley".


Confirmation comes from Kent Online that "Ricky Miller has a new club after leaving Dover Athletic for the second time.

Miller, 32, has linked up with Northern Premier League strugglers Grantham following the termination of his Whites contract, by mutual consent, on Friday.

But, with injury restricting his involvement, the former Luton, Peterborough and Port Vale man failed to find the net in 10 appearances for struggling Dover this season.

Grantham, seven points from safety in their league, made an approach and Miller has made the move.

'It didn’t work,' said Whites boss Andy Hessenthaler. 'He picked up an injury of late, and he’s a good friend of the manager, Dennis Green, at Grantham.

'Dennis was pestering me when he was interim manager at Telford for a little while. He didn’t get that job but he got the Grantham job and he’s pestered me about Ricky. He’s worked with Ricky for so many years at other clubs.

'I said to Ricky, do you want to go, do you want to talk to them and he pretty much said yes. It was amicable, I think he needs to go and play regular football...

'Everyone gets to a level in the end and whether he was (still) able to score regularly in this league, I don’t know. This league is relentless, it’s as good as League 2 by a country mile'...

Miller hadn’t featured for Dover since a 2-1 home defeat by Barnet on October 9...

'Do you know what, a lot of it is to do with fitness as well,' said the manager. 'You’ve got to keep your fitness levels up. He’s getting a little bit older now but we can’t be as fit as other teams because of the four hours' training we do a week, two on a Monday night and two on a Thursday night.

'Perhaps that’s another reason we’re picking up the injuries we are because we’re not up to speed with most of the teams who are full-time.'"

And also from Kent Online comes news that "Andy Hessenthaler was left wondering if Dover are ever going to win a game this season after another big effort came to nothing.

Whites boss Hessenthaler was proud of his patched-up team against Wrexham yesterday, describing their performance as 'exceptional' and 'brilliant'.

But the big-spending Red Dragons left Crabble with a 1-0 victory after scoring direct from a Jordan Davies corner in the 84th minute.

Whites went desperately close to an equaliser but Wrexham clung on to the points...

'For me it was an unbelievable performance,” said Hessenthaler, whose plans were hit when Harry Ransom pulled out through illness on the morning of the game, while Danny Collinge was suspended after picking up his fifth booking at Yeovil.

'I thought they were exceptional, the fans know that, they clapped them off, they were exceptional last week at Yeovil, they were exceptional the week before. I’m just gutted for them because we need a little bit of luck and if you don’t win a game performing like that then I don’t know when we’re going to win a game, because they were brilliant'...

It was a cruel way to concede, with Whites claiming a foul on Junior Tiensia but Dover kept their heads up in a big finish, with Ryan Hanson and Jake Goodman going close...

'We’ve done it for 84 minutes, against a bombardment of long throws and set plays, and we’ve had our chances second half, we’ve hit the post and at the death how that’s not gone in from big Jake Goodman? They’re a side that should be where they are, should be up the top, should be pushing for promotion, against a team that trains two nights a week, Monday and Thursday at a school, and how close have we have run them today?...

'I just think, when are we going to get this win?'"

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "The concern around Grimsby Town is growing after the Mariners fell to a sixth defeat in seven games against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Mariners' 3-2 reverse at Victoria Road was their fifth successive loss on the road in all competitions.

It was a game where Town arguably conceded when they were looking most dominant... A quickfire double in the second-half proved costly with Hurst adamant that Dagenham's third was clearly offside, which was a vital moment in the game.

John McAtee's red card only compounded their woes and although Sam Bell pulled a goal back, the damage was sadly done...

Hurst opted to field Ryley Towler at left-back ahead of Seb Revan and, with hindsight, it backfired. The Bristol City loanee struggled all afternoon as Myles Weston tormented him down the wing. Naturally a centre-back, Towler was too narrow... Hurst has to take responsibility for that decision, as I'm sure he would. He was constantly communicating and directing Towler from the sidelines but it was a clear weakness all match...

Town are likely to now lose McAtee ahead of Saturday's visit from league leaders Chesterfield. McAtee's importance to the Mariners has been underlined by his recent injury and when he steered in his seventh of the season in first-half stoppage time, things looked on the up... McAtee's challenge was naive... His frustration boiled over and although the challenge was more clumsy than malicious, the intent was enough for the referee to send him off.

In goal Max Crocombe was handed his first National League start at the expense of James McKeown... with the Town boss citing the error at Solihull Moors as a factor behind his call. Crocombe could do very little about any of the goals...

Amongst all the chaos was a full debut for Jordan Maguire-Drew on the right-wing. The winger looked bright in possession and produced some devilish deliveries from set-pieces... He faded in the second half, which is to be expected given his lack of recent minutes...

They're now sixth in the National League but could drop out of the play-offs altogether if teams around them win their games in hand".

5 December, 2021


After the 2-2 draw on Saturday at Aldershot, Altrincham boss Phil Parkinson told the NL Paper, "We got our reward for being so positive and it's probably a good point for us...

"But there's an element of frustration because we're conceding cheap goals at the moment. We've smelt blood at the end but we should have done that from the start.

"Until we stop giving teams a leg up from nothing, we'll struggle to make where we want to be. We need to concetrate more but, if we having making these lapses, we'll be looking at the bottom seven rather than the top seven".

Opposite number Mark Molesley described Alty's first goal, just before the interval as "a killer blow for us" giving Alty the platform for their late comeback to earn a draw.

NL Paper match statistics show that Altrincham had thirteen shots to Aldershot's five, with five on target for Alty and two on target, both goals, for the Shots. Alty also are stated to have had nine corners to the home side's four.


After Altrincham had totally dominated a passive Aldershot but without seriously threatening to score, the Shots scored with their first meaningful attack. Following the dubious award of a throw-in to the hosts, after the referee had first indicated it should go the other way, Whittingham put his side ahead (29 mins).

Altrincham went two down for the third successive league game when Mooney lost possession and Sylla's curling shot beat Thompson from some twenty yards (40 mins).

However, Mullarkey sidefooted home a Colclough cross deep into added time to keep Alty in the game at the interval (45+3 mins).

In the second half Alty laboured to threaten the opposition goal and scarcely troubled keeper Walker. But just as the game went into added minute Colclough levelled with a cross-cum-shot to make it 2-2 (90 mins). And in six minutes of added time Altrincham dominated, winning corner after corner but the game ended level at 2-2.

Match report here.


Next Saturday Altrincham welcome Bromley to the J. Davidson Stadium.

This weekend Bromley came from behind to win 3-2 at home, against Wealdstone. They now lie third, nine points ahead of Altrincham in twelfth place.

Last season the original fixture was postponed owing to Covid at Moss Lane. The game was finally played on a Tuesday night, 24 November, 2020, behind closed doors. The visitors left with a 1-0 win thanks to an early goal by Alabi. Bromley also won the reverse fixture, 3-1.


Altrincham FC announces that the club "will launch another Cheshire Senior Cup campaign in 11 days' time after a date was agreed for their second round tie at home to Nantwich Town.

This is the stage at which Alty enter the competition, and it promises to be a tough test against a Dabbers side whose recent return of three wins and a draw, with just one defeat, from their last five games has raised hopes that they can climb away from the danger zone in the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

The Robins will... prepare to welcome their Cheshire neighbours to The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday, December 14th, with a 7.45pm kick-off. The tie will go straight to penalties if the scores are level after 90 minutes".

Admission prices are as follows:

  • Adults - £7
  • Concessions - £5
  • Juniors (12-16) - £2
  • Under-12s - £1


Ties involving non-League clubs are:

Sunday 5 December

  • Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 FC Halifax Town
  • Salford City 0-2 Chesterfield ko 5.15pm

Monday 6 December

  • Boreham Wood v St Albans City


The Daily Mirror reports that "Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson has responded to the rumours regarding an audacious swoop for free agent Jack Wilshere... Reports had suggested that the National League side were considering an eye-raising approach for the 29-year-old...

But speaking to the media following Wrexham's 1-0 win away at Dover on Saturday, Parkinson quickly dismissed the theory...

Today's win over Dover was a fifth victory in their last seven games. It was only achieved thanks to Jordan Davies's late goal against a Dover side who are winless in 18 league games and are 22 points adrift of safety".

In the Grimsby Telegraph "Paul Hurst felt Grimsby Town were the victim of two controversial refereeing decision after falling to a 3-2 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Mariners fell to their fifth consecutive away defeat at Victoria Road, dropping them to sixth in the National League table.

Town went in level at half-time following John McAtee's equaliser but a quickfire brace in the second half saw Dagenham pull ahead before the goal-scorer was then sent off.

Substitute Sam Bell netted his first for the club to set up an interesting finish but the ten men were unable to turn the score line around.

'We were optimistic about the second half, started well, had three chances and then they score,' he told the media. 'The third is blatantly offside. I don't know how it can be missed. Maybe the assistant wasn't in line. I looked before the game, I can't say too much because you get in trouble but he wasn't up with play.

'It's not even close. We've got a message that Michee (Efete) could be playing him on but he wasn't. There is clear daylight. That then gives us a real uphill task and John (McAtee) is sent off. I can't comment too much, I saw he was going to block the clearance. Looking at it back, it's not a great angle... I think the reaction of their players, people sprinting at the referee may have got to him'...

After such a hot start to the season, Town are now on a run of one win in six, with five defeats...

'McAtee, we can't be a one-man team. He plays today and scores and is sent off. I'm assuming we will be without him. He has made a difference. When him and Ryan Taylor have started together, we hadn't lost. The difference now is we have players in a different mental state to the start of the season. We have to try and come through it. We started the second half on the second foot and I thought we'd go on and win the game."

4 December 2021


Left-back Andy White (right) has had a torrid time with injury. Last season he only managed 12(+3) appearances in all competitions and he has yet to play this season, although he was named as an unused substitute in the recent FA Cup replay against Gateshead.

The last time he started a game for Altrincham was in the league was in game 24 of last season, away at Chesterfield on 23 February 2021. The last time he was named in a league match squad, coincidentally with today's fixture in mind, was away at Aldershot Town on 13 March 2021 in game 28 of the league season. In all he has made 98(+7) appearances in his Altrincham career.

But there is good news for the 29 year-old, signed four years ago from Southport, as Altrincham FC announces that "Andy White is heading to FC United of Manchester on a one-month loan for some valuable game time after shaking off an injury that has kept him on the sidelines so far this season.

The fit-again Altrincham full-back is keen to get minutes under his belt after being hampered this year by niggly injuries and was happy to accept the opportunity to bolster FC United's promotion drive in the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

Andy will be at Broadhurst Park until January 3rd".


On the eve of today's match with Altrincham, Aldershot Town reminded us that "The Shots won both games 2-1 last season, with Chike Kandi scoring the winning goal in both games. Joel Nouble and Toby Eder also found the net to score the opening Aldershot goals in each match respectively...

Very few players departed Alty last season, with Parkinson keeping faith in the majority of his 2020-21 playing squad. Lewis Salmon moved up to Championship side Notts Forest and midfielder Alastair Smith, winger Yusifo Ceesay and striker Joe Piggott also move on, whilst a handful of other players were released.

19 players remain contracted at the club from last season, more than at any other National League club. They include; keeper Tony Thompson, full backs Sean Densmore and Connor Hampson, centre-backs Ritchie Sutton ans Tom Hanigan, midfielders Jake Moult and Dan Mooney, wingers Ryan Colclough and Matty Kosylo and forwards Josh Hancock and Tom Peers.

Parkinson has brought in 12 new faces this season, the most eye-catching of which is probably striker Marcus Dinanga (from Stevenage). Midfielder Connor Kirby has also arrived on loan from EFL side Harrogate Town until January.

Saturday’s referee is Ryan Atkin. This season, to date, he has taken charge of 3 National League matches, showing 8 Yellow Cards and 2 Red Cards...

This game is not segregated".


Saturday, 4 December

  • Aldershot Town 2-2 Altrincham
  • Barnet 3-0 Maidenhead United
  • Bromley 3-2 Wealdstone
  • Dagenham & Redbridge 3-2 Grimsby Town
  • Dover Athletic 0-1 Wrexham
  • Solihull Moors 2-0 Woking
  • Southend United P-P Yeovil Town (postponed due to Yeovil's game in FA Cup)
  • Weymouth 1-2 Torquay United

Tuesday, 7 December

  • Southend United v Maidenhead United


FA Cup Second Round matches involving non-League clubs...

Friday 3 December

  • Gateshead 0-2 Charlton Athletic
  • Rotherham United 1-0 Stockport County

Saturday 4 December

  • Buxton 0-1 Morecambe
  • Yeovil Town 1-0 Stevenage


The Football Insider reports that "Tottenham have offered a professional contract to Southend United defender Charlie Sayers, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The Premier League giants are set to sign the left-back, 17, after he headed in from the nearby Conference Premier outfit for a trial.

A Spurs source has told Football Insider that Sayers, who is a lifelong Tottenham fan, has been offered a three-year pro deal. It is expected that he will accept the offer and complete a transfer from Southend, most likely this month.

The left-back... caught the attention of youth-team observers by featuring for their Under-18s in the Premier League Cup clash at Fulham last Saturday. Sayers was named in the starting line-up and did not play for Southend later in the day in their clash at Altrincham.

The deal can be done this month rather than in January as non-league clubs do not abide by transfer window rules... Tottenham have been in the market for a young left-back after losing Dennis Cirkin, 19, to Sunderland in August...

It has been a meteoric rise for Sayers, who only joined Southend Under-18s from school in April. He had broken into their first-team squad by August when Phil Brown was still the manager and has made six senior appearances in total for Southend this season".

In the Derbyshire Times, we learn that "Chesterfield are set to be without 12 players when they head to Salford City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The latest blow is that Manny Oyeleke is likely to miss out with a calf problem.

Town will not be able to call upon Tyrone Williams who is cup-tied.

They join Haydn Hollis, Gavin Gunning, Laurence Maguire, George Carline, Jeff King, Joe Rowley, Jack Clarke, Danny Rowe, Akwasi Asante and Tom Denton on the absence list...

Manager James Rowe said... 'Manny Oyeleke has not been training all week. It is a complicated one because he has got full strength in his calf so we are looking at other areas where the pain is coming from. We can’t quite get to the bottom of it because some days he is okay and other days he is not'...

However, there is more positive news on Clarke and Asante who could return this month. Calvin Miller is available after his suspension".

According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "The Mariners will face several of their promotion rivals in the next six weeks

Michee Efete believes the Christmas period will be crucial in Grimsby Town's hopes of promotion. The Mariners sit fourth in the National League... Town play eight of the top ten in their next ten fixtures in what is likely to be a defining run as far as their promotion hopes go...

'This is the time of the year which tells you where you're going to be,' Efete told Grimsby Live. We have a tough run of games coming up but we just have to be at our best to be at the top... We're good players and we showed that at the start of the season...

'We want to get back to winning ways.

'We are a new group and everyone is finding out about each other in this situation'.

Town begin their run of games away at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday afternoon... 'They've got quick wingers so it will be a tough afternoon...

'There are a lot of teams fighting for promotion, it won't be an easy job'...

Efete has been competing with Ryan Sears for a regular berth at right-back this term. After a spell out of the side due to suspension and illness, the right-back has reclaimed his spot in the defence".

Football Insider tells us that "Wrexham are lining up an ambitious move for ex-Arsenal and West Ham star Jack Wilshere, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The National League outfit are trying to lure the free agent, 29, with a contract offer this month.

A recruitment source has now told Football Insider that Wilshere has been training at Arsenal to maintain his fitness and is open to offers as he looks to revive his playing career...

He has been without a club since leaving Bournemouth at the end of last season...

Wrexham have proven their ambitions since their takeover by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in November 2020...

Phil Parkinson told BBC Sport at the end of October the co-owners will help Wrexham have a 'real push' in January".

A former Premier League player has joined Boreham Wood who "announce an FA Cup deadline day double signing as we welcome frontman Nile Ranger and goalkeeper Joshua Roach ahead of Monday’s visit of St Albans City to the LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park.

Nile Ranger... would spend 4 years within the first team set up at St James’ Park between 2009 and 2013, making 62 total appearances for the Tyneside club and picking up a 2009/10 Championship winners medal in the process.

Loan spells away from St James’ Park with both Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday preceded a permanent switch away from Newcastle United, before Nile signed for Swindon Town... Ranger would make the switch to Championship side Blackpool...

Most recently Ranger has had two spells with Southend United, firstly between 2016 and 2018, before re-joining the Shrimpers in 2021, making a total of 50 appearances and scoring 10 goals during his time at Roots Hall.

Next up is 18-year-old goalkeeper Joshua Roach who arrives at the LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park having most recently been with West Ham United."

Meanwhile, Woking "announce the signing of Jermaine Anderson.

The central midfielder joins the Cards on a deal until the end of the season.

Jermaine, 25, made 76 appearances for Peterborough between 2012 and 2019 before joining Bradford City. He moved to Aldershot Town in 2020 where he made 31 appearance last season, scoring four goals in the process."

According to the Eastern Daily Press, "Stephen Cleeve has spoken of the final days of the Ian Culverhouse era and how an amicable handshake ended a sometimes strained relationship between the two...

The writing was on the wall for Ian Culverhouse before King's Lynn Town's home defeat by Aldershot...

Manager and owner Stephen Cleeve had spent around two and a half hours the previous evening discussing the next move. Much of it would be about the pay-off, the need for which was effectively confirmed on Saturday afternoon just before 5pm...

Cleeve offered to delay the inevitable by a day so that Culverhouse could gather his players together to say his goodbyes. He declined. Instead, training on Monday was cancelled and the announcement of his departure was made early in the afternoon.

The Ian Culverhouse era was over.

'In the end it was a very good relationship, we didn’t shout and swear at each other,' said Cleeve...

'It was a great chat really and I think he just felt he had gone on and tried and it hadn’t worked out for a number of different reasons, it just needed a new voice and the club was in a situation where it couldn’t continue, and that was it really, so there were no hard feelings...

'It couldn’t go on and I understand that Ian didn’t want to change his style. And his argument to that, and I get it, is that apart from Wrexham where there were individual errors, apart from Stockport, who are obviously a class apart from any team we have played, and apart from possibly the second half at Altrincham, although we did have a sending off in that game, we weren’t completely smashed to bits, we held our own. It was the odd mistake that was killing us.

'So I do get that, I respect it... We are the second worst team in the league. We don’t necessarily have the worst players, but we’re the second worst team so we need to change that and find solution...

'Obviously we had different views on how to recruit and perhaps the style and the way we were playing at the moment given what was available to him. Those were the two things, and his problem was the table and where we were...

'It was all very amicable....

'The budget isn’t a bad budget and I have never prevented a signing, so when you read stuff from people saying he has only got what he works with, well what he got was what he brought in, what he decided to buy...

'I want to make it work. I want to do what I set out to do and it is hard to do it, but we will try our hardest and put the right building blocks in place, but it is relentless...

'I have the fans saying I am not doing a good job and you’re writing cheques out and you think "what the hell is the point?" It is full time all day every day.'”

The Nottingham Post reports that "Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley says he would like a long-term project to sign as a centre-forward amid links to Notts striker Kyle Wootton.

Pompey have watched the striker recently with Cowley himself recently attending the FA Cup replay defeat to Rochdale to run the rule over the forward.

Cowley has remained coy on his interest in the forward but crucially did not deny links to Notts forward Wootton when asked last week.

But he has confirmed that he is looking to sign a striker for the club with 10-goal Wootton available on a free transfer next summer if he does not sign a new deal at Meadow Lane.

'In an ideal world, we’d like a long-term project that we could sign in January for the number nine position. But I think we might have to make a short-term decision to buy ourselves a bit more time until the summer... It would be wise finding someone that creates the money for us to spend on the number nine position...

'It’s very hard to find the quality of forward on a free transfer that has the capabilities and competencies to be successful at Pompey... We are watching one or two (in non-league). We are always open-minded, regardless of the level or the division' he told the News... 'You have to take it quite early nowadays because you don’t have to do much to be worth a lot of money. We have to find them and see them as potential'".

3 December 2021


In the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, John Edwards reports that "Phil Parkinson was left rueing two ‘criminal’ defensive lapses as Altrincham’s recent momentum was brought to a halt by a frustrating 2-1 defeat against National League strugglers Southend United at The J.Davidson Stadium.

With Alty trailing 2-0, Parkinson made a couple of changes at half time, and a few heated observations, leading to a marked second-half improvement as Ryan Colclough had a penalty brilliantly saved and Dan Mooney (right) reduced the arrears.

But an equaliser proved elusive, and unhappy Alty boss Parkinson knew where the blame lay for a defeat that took some of the impetus out of an outstanding 4-1 win at Weymouth and 2-2 draw at leaders Chesterfield.

'We can’t keep conceding goals the way we are doing,' he said. 'There is zero pressure on our goal, and we concede twice. It’s criminal to allow that to happen, and it has to stop if we are thinking of getting anywhere near the play-offs. You just can’t do that. It’s all down to concentration, rather than teams cutting us open, and that was even the case at Chesterfield, where we conceded two cheap goals before coming back for a draw.

'Until we put that right, it’s going to be a common theme, and it’s going to cost us. We deserved at least a draw, based on possession and chances, but you can’t keep giving teams a leg up in this division.

'The second half was much more like us, but it shouldn’t need a few choice words at half time for that to happen. If the penalty had gone in, we could have got back to 2-2, but it takes a lot of bravery to step up and take one and credit to the keeper for a great save.

'We’ve only ourselves to blame, and when we head to Aldershot on Saturday, we have to make sure the concentration levels are back up to where they should be, or we will be punished again'".


The BBC has a piece on a former Alty midfielder. "Paddy Lacey's record this season as a boxer, two wins from two fights, is better than Chester's four league wins in 15 games As you might expect of any hard-working carpet fitter, Paddy Lacey is a bit busy right now...

The 27-year-old is also a semi-professional footballer and a professional boxer... On Friday, the Liverpudlian was a boxer, winning his second professional fight... On Saturday at 3pm, he was a footballer again, back on FA Trophy duty for Chester... And then on Monday he was back laying carpets again...

Then on Saturday, 11 December, while Chester go to Spennymoor, Lacey will be heading across Liverpool, to his home city's showpiece waterfront M&S Bank Arena, where he is scheduled to have his third pro fight...

'It's a big opportunity,' Lacey admits. 'Eddie Hearn may never come calling again with Matchroom'...

But, in Lacey, you meet one totally determined, transformed individual who knows, after a 14-month drug ban from football, quickly followed by a 16-month prison sentence, that he had to a lot to do to get back on the rails... He served only five months of the 16-month prison sentence... before coming out to spend the next four months 'on tag'...

He said, 'To be honest, it was the best thing that ever happened to me'.

He found Joey Barton's book in the prison library, a brutally frank autobiography that begins in the days when the former Manchester City and QPR midfielder, and now Bristol Rovers manager, was also behind bars...

'That first weekend I was out, I played locally with the lads, snapped my cruciate ligament and broke and dislocated my arm,' he said. 'That was another year out just when I was trying to get going again... He ended up contracting sepsis after his ACL operation, lost three stone in weight and suffered some very dark days...

'I'd been coming through non-league, not taking my football as seriously as I should and mixing in circles I shouldn't have... I've come through and come out the other side. My business is flourishing, I've won my first two fights and I'm playing well for Chester after coming through a second ACL op on my other knee. I certainly haven't given up on the football. Chester have been very good to me'"


The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Grimsby Town have two new injury worries ahead of Saturday's National League clash away at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Following the postponement of their match against Boreham Wood, the Mariners have had a clear week to put in a good block of training and focus on this weekend’s fixture...

However, the flip-side is that two new injury doubts have surfaced, and the unnamed players will now face late fitness tests to determine whether they can make the matchday squad.

Manager Paul Hurst told Grimsby Live... 'There are a couple of lads who I don’t know whether will be able to be part of the squad or not. We have got a decent-sized squad, but you want everyone fit and available'.

On the likes of John McAtee, who had just returned to the squad but was still short of full fitness, Hurst said... 'Lenny (Lenell John-Lewis) also seems good. Fingers crossed he can stay fit and really get going like he did when we brought him back to the club.'"./

And the Grimsby Telegraph also tells us that "Grimsby Town will face a tough test of their credentials on Saturday when they face a side ‘geared towards promotion’... The Daggers have lost their last three games, and like the Mariners are going through a tough patch...

Hurst told Grimsby Live... 'There is a feeling that they are geared towards promotion... We know it is going to be tough... They have a more established squad in terms of continuity... The way they finished last season gave them a lot of optimism coming into this one. They are 100 per cent one of the teams that will be fe fighting for at least a play-off spot, if not the top'".

And "Grimsby Town are likely to be active in the January transfer window with incomings and outgoings both on the cards", adds the Grimsby Telegraph "Even after the addition of two new attacking players in Sam Bell and Jordan Maguire-Drew in recent weeks... the Town boss will not rest on his laurels...

'January is coming up and whether it's loan players going back or me looking at what’s available, I don’t want us to stand still, I want us to improve further. I think it’s 17 players we ended up bringing in with the latest two. They are not all going to have been roaring successes.

'I think quite a lot of them have done pretty well but, as always, you are looking to improve further and that’s what we’ll try to do in January... and that might mean some exiting'".

Woking "will once again be aiming to return to winning ways on Saturday as they travel to Solihull Moors...

The Cards have won three and lost three of their last six games. Their inconsistencies were exposed again on Saturday as Barnet overcame an early Joe McNerney goal to claim a 2-1 win and all three points at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Alan Dowson’s side will be hoping that they can get back on track with another success away from home, where they’ve already claimed 15 points this season, three more than they managed in the entirety of last season...

Dowse will hope to have star striker Tahvon Campbell, scorer of 13 league goals this season, available again. The forward limped off in the closing stages of the win over Weymouth last week and missed Saturday’s defeat to Barnet. However, fellow forward Inih Effiong won’t be available after he picked up his fifth league yellow card of the season against the Bees, whilst Max Kretzschmar, Rohan Ince and Jamar Loza are injury doubts after all three were forced off last weekend. As confirmed last Friday, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Kane Thompson-Sommers have now left the club."

According to the Maidenhead Advertiser, "Maidenhead United’s recent postponements of league fixtures have been more of a curse than a blessing, according to Sam Barratt, with the winger desperate to return to the field...

Last week, the Magpies were forced to reschedule their matches against Southend United and Chesterfield due to a positive COVID-19 case in the squad. Their Berks & Bucks Senior Cup tie at Ascot United was also postponed.

Their status in the National League, however, remains number one priority... with the side flirting dangerously close to the relegation spots in 20th place...

'When you’re not in the best run of form, you just want the next game to come,”' he said... 'It’s going to be hard going into this weekend’s match when we’ve only had a few sessions in the last 10 days or so... We’ve got to dramatically turn things around... and most of the squad are now fit'...

Barratt revealed the Magpies resumed training at York Road yesterday (Wednesday) and have another session at the ground in preparation for their trip to Barnet...

'Everyone had been doing stuff to keep themselves fit until we were allowed to go back into training'".

2 December 2021


In the wake of recent matches at the J Davidson Stadium having their attendances capped at 1,390 for Health & Safety reasons by Trafford Council, Altrincham FC has announced that "A productive meeting was held on Tuesday afternoon between Board members of Altrincham FC and key representatives of Trafford Borough Council to discuss progress that has been made with a view to removing the restrictions currently in place at The J.Davidson Stadium.

The group performed a detailed review of the remedial work that had been completed as part of 'Phase 1' of groundworks (predominantly the removal of trip hazards and repair of areas of flawed terracing on the Popular Side).

It was confirmed that the six work packages of remedial work that comprise 'Phase 1' had been completed in line with requirements.

Above: As recently as October, Grimsby Town fans largely filled the Chequers end of the J. Davidson Stadium

The club has provided the council with updated documentation relating to matchday operations and new calculations (based on the latest ground layout) on ground capacity.

The council will now be reflecting on what they have seen and heard and will inform the club on Friday, December 3rd of a new revised capacity that will apply for the match against Bromley on 11th December. We will be able to inform you of our final ticket arrangements no later than Monday 6th December, once we have completed our matchday planning based on the revised capacity...

The club representatives explained to the council representatives the content of 'Phase 2' of the groundworks

This phase contains six further work packages including the removal of an old wall at the Chequers End of the Popular Side and replacement with a new fence, some final repair work on the Popular Side terracing and the work required on the Chequers End.

This phase is planned to complete in the week of 13th December to enable the work to be reviewed by the council to ensure that it meets requirements... Another revised capacity for both the Wrexham and Stockport matches will be defined by the council using the new calculations on ground capacity. The capacity will be a reduction from the previously defined maximum capacity of 7,873 as all parties have agreed that this was produced based on inaccurate / out-of-date assumptions".


The Shots are recovering from a poor start to the season which saw them lose all five of their opening fixtures in the National League, before defeating Southend United.

In fact, their first fifteen games in league and cup this season produced just two league wins, both against lowly clubs in Southend and Dover Athletic. The lowest point, perhaps, was when they bowed out of the FA Cup to lower league Bowers & Pitsea.

Left: Ryan Colclough will be hoping to help to get Altrincham up and running again after a disappointing run of results.

Yet, after a 5-0 drubbling by Wrexham, which marked their sixth successive defeat in league and cup, they have won their last three National League games.

This good run started with an unexpected 2-1 home win over Grimsby Town, followed by a 1-0 victory at home to Torquay United and another 1-0 win, away at King's Lynn Town.

So, out of sorts Altrincham, with just one win in their last eight league fixtures in the National League and a home exit from the FA Cup against lower league Gateshead, face a resurgent Shots team, now managed by former Weymouth and Southend manager Max Molesley.

Molesley was appointed in September 2021 after Danny Searle had been sacked following game seven of the season.

Aldershot, like Altrincham still play at the Recreation Ground, a traditional rather than modern stadium. Unlike Altrincham, however, Aldershot went out of existence in 1992 only to be reborn as Aldershot Town.

After 1992, Town climbed from the third division of the Isthmian League to the Football League by 2008. After five seasons back in the EFL they were relegated back to National League level.


On Saturday, 4 December, Altrincham travel to Aldershot. It is many years since The Robins played on that date, as Howard Watts and the late Mike Garnett's Through the Years records reveal.

The last Alty match on 4 December was in 2004 when Altrincham were in Nationwide North and paid what proved to be their only ever visit to Moor Green. The Moorlands ground was situated in the Hall Green suburb of Birmingham, near Solihull. Later the club was to merge with Solihull Borough, who were then at a lower level, as Solihull Moors.

The pitch was one of the best that Alty had played on that season. Down both sides there was no cover or terracing but, behind the clubhouse end, was a wooden stand which shortly afterwards became the target of arsonists. This stand had used to straddle the halfway line before the pitch was reorientated by 90 degrees. It was the Moors first home league game since October.

In a generally open and entertaining game, a weakened Altrincham were fortunate to come away with a point after Moor Green had dominated much of the second half.

Altrincham had major team selection problems. Not only were midfielder Val Owen and striker Marcus Hallows out of action through injury, Steve Torpey still had pleurisy and captain Peter Band had left the club the previous afternoon to join Northwich Vics. Some of those playing were also doubtful before kick off, with Hussin, Scott and Adams all carrying knocks.

So the 16-man squad included no fewer than seven players who had yet to make a start for Altrincham in the league; these were Thornley and Lugsden who started together up front and all five subs, Smith, Tilley, Brindle, Melling and Chalmers. Smith had been sidelined for more than 18 months after a road accident, Tilley and Chalmers were Alty youth graduates who had been in the Reserves that season, whilst Melling and Brindle were the Reserve team's centre-backs.

Alty were also forced into positional changes with Colin Little starting in central midfield whilst Gary Scott continued in his new role on the left. Eddie Hussin captained the side for the first time.

The Moors took the lead after 37 minutes when Bridgewater finished well from close range to the the right of goal. But a magnificent goal from Gary Scott levelled things just before the break, his superb volley from the edge of the box being lifted over debutant keeper Harris before dropping into the net just under the cross bar (45 mins).

The Moors caused Alty a lot of defensive problems, especially on the visitors' right before Bridgewater's corner got a headed touch from Sanders to make it 2-1 (70 mins). Belatedly Alty began to get forward in the closing stages and Thornley scored a well-taken goal with just five minutes of normal time left.

ALTRINCHAM: 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Stephen ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Eddie HUSSIN (capt.), 7. Colin POTTS, 8. Rod THORNLEY, 9. Kieran LUGSDEN, 10. Colin LITTLE, 11. Gary SCOTT. Subs: 12. Sean SMITH, 14. Paul TILLEY, 15. Lewis CHALMERS, 16. Adam BRINDLE, 17. George MELLING.


According to the Leader Live, after defeat to Yeovil Town, "Phil Parkinson was angry with the decision to show Liam McAlinden a straight red card and insists referee Scott Tallis made the wrong call.

The midfielder was adjudged to have led with his elbow when he rose to challenge defender Dan Moss in the Yeovil area and was controversially sent off in the 34th minute of the National League clash at The Racecourse.

The Glovers scored twice in the second half to seal a 2-0 win and end Wrexham’s unbeaten home record but the dismissal of McAlinden was the major talking point...

'I think there was one person in the whole stadium who thought it was a sending off,' said Parkinson. I’m baffled by the referee’s and the other officials’ performance tonight; bad decisions.

'No one could believe it so no one appeals, no big drama; to get sent off for that is completely bizarre. “There was a stunned silence around the ground, both benches were looking at each other and couldn’t believe it. “Macca’s jumped and probably no need to go for the ball but it is certainly not a violent conduct incident.'

Jordan Ponticelli was on the receiving end of a similar challenge but Tallis failed to show the Yeovil player a red card...

'If Macca’s been sent off for violent conduct, that certainly is,' said Parkinson... 'I don’t know whether the officials have come here and thought "there’s a big crowd, we are going to show that we can handle big stages because we want to progress".

'It wasn’t just the sending off, a whole host of decisions baffled us on the touchline... I am expecting the referee to rescind it in about 10 minutes when I go and see him. The fourth official at half-time was practically apologising...

'The fourth official was like us and he said to me at half-time that he was gobsmacked with the decision'"

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that "Grimsby Town boss Paul Hurst has argued there should be three promotion places from the National League...

Just six points are separating first and eighth place in the division, in what has been widely regarded as the strongest set of teams in the history of the fifth tier.

Equally, there is a growing imbalance with League Two. No side has ever been relegated back to Non-League at the first time of asking and a large number of National League sides now boast larger budgets than those a division above...

Hurst stated ... 'I think there should be three promotion spots and three relegation spots. In League One, there are four up and four down, I don't really understand why there is an imbalance and why there aren't three promotions and relegations from each division.

'For me, I think, in the league that we're in, at least six or seven clubs would very easily compete in League Two... Financially, certainly, we have some teams that would blow a lot of League Two budgets out of the water, maybe even the league above...

'If we were in League Two, I'm convinced we wouldn't be in the place we were last year... Overall, with each year that goes by, a Boreham Wood and Bromley are building, their investment is getting greater, even if it's small steps. You get left behind if not. All these clubs come into the equation and make things difficult'".

News from three troubled South Coast clubs starts with the The Southern Football League report that "Southern League Premier Division South club Wimborne Town have signed a second player this week on loan from neighbours Weymouth to aid their push away from the bottom of the table.

Following Zander McBurnie to New Cuthbury is striker Ahkeem Rose. Rose, who turned 23 last Saturday, joined the Terras in July from league rivals Dover Athletic where he had been since September 2020.

The pacey Jamaican made 43 appearances in all competitions for League Two side Grimsby Town before being released in May 2020....

He is, however, certainly no stranger to non-League football, having started out in the Midland League with Pelsall Villa and Heather St Johns before being snapped up by Grimsby in December 2016.

He also had a spell on loan in the National League North with Boston United in 2018/19".

Kent Online tells us that "Seth Nana Twumasi is hoping to make his comeback from a knee injury when Dover meet Wrexham.

Twumasi hasn’t played since the 4-1 defeat at Southend at the start of November and is itching to return as Whites chase that elusive first National League win.

He was initially targeting last weekend’s match at former club Yeovil, a game that finished 1-1, and while that proved too soon, he has a better chance of featuring when Dover take on promotion-chasing Wrexham at Crabble on Saturday...

Said the former Maidstone right-back... 'I’ve got a fitness test on Thursday, so we’ll know more then.

'I wanted to be back for Yeovil, to play against my old club, but I aggravated the knee a little bit, which put me back. Hopefully I can be involved on Saturday. It’s a massive game'...

Twumasi signed from Maidenhead in the summer fully aware of Dover’s plight following a 12-point deduction... 'The longer you don’t get that win, it drains you a little bit, especially when we’ve played so well in certain games and conceded late... It deflates you a little bit but by Monday you're back in training and ready to go... We’re capable of getting a run going...

'We’ve played some top teams who have said we’re the best side they’ve played; we just haven’t got the results...

'Hessy is working so hard to bring players in,' said Twumasi... 'We’re playing well and then a lack of concentration, one mistake and we’re punished'".

Devon Live reports that "Injuries and bringing players back earlier than he would like to means Gary Johnson is having one of the toughest seasons in his long career as Torquay United struggle to get going in the National League.

A 3-2 defeat at home against FC Halifax Town on Saturday, which ended a four-game home winning run in the league, was the latest blow to the Gulls’ season.

Torquay went into the game after two losses at Barnet and Aldershot Town, and they are now 17th in the table as they prepare to go to Weymouth this weekend.

Captain and influential midfielder Asa Hall returned to the team after two months out but several players are playing below their usual standard because of a lack of fitness...

Halifax were 3-0 up from the 50th minute until the 89th at Plainmoor on Saturday when Klaidi Lolos and Armani Little both scored to make the result look a bit more respectable...

After losing so many key players in the summer, and an ongoing problem with injuries, the manager is having to use players that in better circumstances he would be able to keep back until they were fully fit.

Johnson said... 'A couple of mistakes very early killed us. It meant the lads had lost a little bit of confidence, 3-0 down and everybody is upset, including us on the line, miserable and all that. But we had to keep going and to be fair the boys gave it a little bit of a go at the end, as you would... At the moment we can’t quite keep a settled side... The minute players are fit we are having to play them to give them game-time.'"

1 December 2021


Owing to a clash in Nottingham, whereby both Nottingham Forest and Notts County will both be playing at home on 18 December, the FA Trophy match between the Magpies and Altrincham has been moved back from 3pm to become a 7.30pm kick off.

Notts County also report that they "have appointed Tom Weal as our new goalkeeper coach.

Tom joins us from Norwich City, where he was head of academy goalkeeping, following Jake Kean’s departure for Burton Albion... He is excited to take his first senior role with us...

'This is a massive club that you can see is going places and Ian Burchnall is a very exciting person to work for... I know Ian sees his goalkeepers as having a crucial role in the way he wants the team to operate and that really appeals to me; it means I’ll be responsible for coaching a lot of in-possession stuff on top of simply defending the goal, which is great', [said Weal].

Burchnall added 'Tom comes highly recommended by a good friend of mine at Liverpool, who certainly knows his goalkeeping. He’s done a lot of coaching in top academies and has had first-team involvement at Norwich on top of his day-to-day work... He may be young, but he’s an experienced coach who will be able to take a fresh look at Sam Slocombe and Tiernan Brooks and hopefully take them on the next level.'"


Tuesday, 30 November
  • Wrexham 0-2 Yeovil Town

The BBC reports that "Yeovil ended 10-man Wrexham's unbeaten home record in the National League.

Liam McAlinden was shown a straight red card after the use of an elbow on Daniel Moss during a fiery first half.

Josh Staunton met Jordan Barnett's cross to give Yeovil the lead despite the best efforts of Wrexham keeper Rob Lainton.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton, on loan from Watford, capitalised on defensive mistakes to score a second with seven minutes remaining.

Yeovil, now unbeaten in seven games, remain 10th while Wrexham stay in seventh despite a first defeat in six games".

It is Wrexham's home form which is their weakness, with just one home win in their last five National League fixtures at The Racecourse.


According to the Grimsby Telegraph, "Jordan Maguire-Drew's arrival at Grimsby Town has gone down well with the supporters. The winger joins from Woking on a free transfer...

Maguire-Drew's short-lived period at Woking has left their fans bemused as to why the club didn't push harder for a fee, rather than allowing him to leave for nothing. Certainly, it seems something as a coup that Town have signed the winger for free at this stage of the season...

Grimsby Live caught up with Rob Hemingway from the Woking News & Mail.

'Why haven't things worked out at Woking? They did seem to be early on, with Maguire-Drew scoring three times with one assist in Woking's first five games. But he got injured on September 25 against Eastleigh and things were never the same. He got back to fitness a couple of weeks ago but hadn't been able to dislodge Max Kretzschmar in midfield, nor did boss Alan Dowson change his formation to include him, as he had indicated he would. Now comes the news that he asked to leave because he didn't feel the club's style of play suited him.

'The reaction to him joining was positive, with a lot of fans excited the club had attracted someone of his pedigree. Conversely, his departure has been largely met with a mix of confusion and disappointment by fans. Why was the decision made to terminate his contract rather than push for a fee? Did the club try as hard as they could to keep him? And after his revelations in his Grimsby interview, did he ever really want to be at Woking in the first place?

'He is a creative player who can provide goals and assists, from open play and set-pieces. He says his favourite position is as an inverted winger cutting in off the right onto his left foot, but he can also play as a number 10...

'Woking are really aiming to be a top-half club this year, whereas Grimsby are targeting promotion, so the consolation is that at least it's not the most direct rival'".

In the Halifax Courier, "Town boss Pete Wild says he is staying put amid speculation he is on Hartlepool’s radar over their managerial vacancy...

Wild remains among the front-runners for the job according to the bookies, along with Gavin Strachan and Jonathan Woodgate, but the Halifax manager says... 'I’m not on social media and I don’t read a lot to do with the outside world, but if I’m getting linked to jobs then it means the team’s doing well'... Wild said.

'I can safely say that I’m not poised to be moving anywhere at the moment, there’s nothing in the offing.

'There’s a lot of talk going on but from my side of things there’s nothing to talk about because there’s been no discussions to say that I’ll be moving anywhere else.'”

And another managerial vacancy is the subject of reports in the Eastern Daily Press which reports that chairman "Stephen Cleeve has had more than 30 applications for the managerial vacancy at King’s Lynn Town following the departure of Ian Culverhouse.

The Linnets owner says he hopes to have someone in place for the next game, at home to Dover a week on Saturday.

But Paul Bastock, who was Culverhouse’s assistant and who has agreed to take charge on an interim basis, has told Cleeve he does not want take the job on a full-time basis.

'We had a couple of chats yesterday,' said Cleeve. 'He spoke to the manager who told Bazza he shouldn’t just quit because he was gone. He doesn’t want to become the manager, which I understand, but equally he would like to still be involved in the club in some way and equally I would like to keep him at the club.'

Lynn’s next opponents are the only team below them in the National League table, and while Cleeve wants someone in the hot seat, he won’t act in haste.

'I’d like to have someone in by then, but there are factors, not least the availability of a manager, how quickly, if they are working, they can get out of a contract and, if they are not working, how quickly they can move...

'There is no point rushing it in for one game, but equally we can’t go on for very long because we are in a precarious situation. There has been significant interest; the problem is there are a lot of very good pro coaches but you have to balance that coaching ability with the ability to bring in some players quickly, to know the league quickly, to possibly offload those players who are not performing. If they are not giving 110pc for the shirt they can’t stay here so they have to decide what they are going to do.

'I think when you add those things in that is the problem. You are trying to take out as much of the guesswork as possible, although it is always a gamble. Location is the number one problem without doubt; it is just finding someone who lives not far away or who is prepared to relocate.'”

And the Lynn News adds that "Last night, Bastock paid tribute to Lynn's former boss on Twitter saying 'What an amazing journey to be on with this man, not only the best manager and coach I’ve worked under but a absolutely top class bloke'".

As for the task for the new manager, King's Lynn Town has released the job description.

"King’s Lynn Town FC are seeking a new First Team Manager.

Currently we are at the wrong end of the National League table and the new manager will be tasked with turning that situation around, putting in a plan to ensure stability and safety this season and then to develop the club, with the aim of playing league football in the near future.

Money will be available to strengthen the squad and, as the club does not have a game until the 11th December, it will give the new manager a few days to put his stamp on the team.

We are a full-time club... and are Norfolk’s second biggest team.

We are looking for a manager that is dynamic, knows the league, who coaches well or works with excellent coaches and wants a chance to progress.

We are open to applicants who have either worked as a number 2 with a proven track record looking to make that next step; or from managers who have worked and achieved results at a lower level wanting to develop; or from a manager that has managed in the football league and is seeking a new challenge.

The club has league scouts at most first team games having grown a reputation for developing and selling young players, which we would like to continue. However, we are fully aware that some experienced players are vital to the squad to ensure that it is balanced.

The club has a massive catchment area, a passionate fan base, some great players, a stadium that has been upgraded over recent years, and an academy based at a local school that you will help us grow".

Altrincham fans will recall their club's appeal a few years ago for funds for pitch covers. And now Chesterfield " are appealing for donations to pay for new frost covers to help the reduce the risk of matches being called-off over winter.

The existing covers have seen better days, having been in use since the club was at Saltergate.

The appeal was only launched on Monday morning and supporters have once again responded positively.

Most of the money received has been donated online but donations can also be made in person at the stadium reception during office hours".