an unofficial website

January, 2011

31 January 2011


Altrincham FC Youth were scheduled to play their first league game since 31 October on Sunday, 30th but frost at the venue at Wythenshawe Town FC, put paid to the fixture.


News of two players with Alty connections, playing together, comes from Welsh Premier. Former Moss Lane trialist "Paul McManus scored a last-gasp winner [for Airbus UK] to beat Newtown... Making his debut, Chester loanee Tom McCready restored the visitors' lead, with Robbie Millington equalising again before half-time.


Blue Square Football says that "David Livermore hopes Histon's troubles will inspire complacency in the club's Blue Square Bet Premier rivals. The Stutes, who held play-off chasing Grimsby over the weekend, are currently propping up the table with a paltry 17 points from 27 games - five points off closest strugglers Eastbourne Borough...

'We're bottom of the table, so teams will see it as a great opportunity to win three points', he told Cambridge News. 'But if teams think they're going to come here and turn up and win the three points, that could be their undoing. I hope they come here full of confidence, hopefully over-confidence'. He added: 'But, barring the Grimsby game, every team has had to work hard to get the points'".

Nearby, at Cambridge United, "Following his side's heavy defeat at Twerton Park, U's boss Martin Ling was left frustrated by a second half collapse which consigned United to their fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

'We talk about who was the better team in the first half - us. Who had the chances in the first half - they had a really good one, we had a couple of good ones and it hasn't fallen our way', Ling said. 'Then we talk at half time, the same as Crawley, make sure we do things right. Every time we move the ball quick, sharp, bright; they can't live with us and we get chances, we need to keep doing that.

We just said in there "is it lack of thought from people or lack of fight?" I don't think it's a lack of fight, but there is a lack of thought.

The young lad [Jonathon Thorpe] is only playing his second game, he's gone diving in and given a free kick away and they've put it in the net. That makes it difficult. Then you've got two penalties and a break-away from our corner. What have they done, really, to take us apart? You've got to say their fourth goal was a good goal in the way they exploited the situation once we went down to 10 men'...

Having conceded 15 goals in the second halves of their last five matches... Ling said: 'If [the fans] worry about fitness, then they're not seeing it right. If people think my players are not fit then that's absolute cr**. I do testing with them, the same testing I've used for 10 years which was successful enough to get a team like Leyton Orient up. It isn't fitness, I promise you that... People look not fit when things are not going well because they're not full of confidence...

It's been a tough week with Robbie [WIllmott] going and Wayne Gray going yesterday before training'... Asked whether the recent announcement that the Club had been put up for sale had an impact on his players, the U's boss was keen downplay the issue...

'I don't think it's had any affect on the players and it shouldn't have any affect on the players. Obviously I'd like to fetch a couple of people in to freshen it up but that isn't going to be the case because of the finances... I know that some of the younger boys are going to start getting exposed and they're going to have to answer some questions in and around because of the finances as they are'".

The FA Cup 5th Round draw pitches Crawley Town, away, against Trafford's second club, Manchester United who, unlike Altrincham, have yet to beat the Sussex side! The FA says that "Crawley have already staked a claim for the inaugural Ronnie Radford award for The Cup's biggest giant-killing act after wins over Derby County, but a victory at Old Trafford would eclipse that".

A contrasting view comes from Two-Footed Tackle which says that "Normally a non-league team being drawn away to Manchester United in the FA Cup, let alone at such a stage as the fifth round, will attract an enormous amount of goodwill from all across the game. But Crawley Town aren’t a typical non-league club and the level of support the Sussex club will receive from neutrals will probably be considerably less than, say, Burton Albion achieved when they took United to a replay in 2006.

To many outsiders not familiar with non-league, Crawley’s unpopularity may seem odd. Yes, the team may be sitting at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier, but this isn’t about jealousy from rival fans or a desire to see the leaders get their comeuppance...

The phrase 'the magic of the cup' will no doubt be lazily banded around by some journalists with regard to Crawley’s trip to Manchester United, but their cup run so far has been anything but magical.

In the last round, the Red Devils beat Torquay United 1-0 at Plainmoor, but this wasn’t a giant killing... While the Gulls have scraped together a squad through the usual means of free transfers and picking up the odd released trainee, Crawley have spent close to £500,000 on assembling a team for 'project promotion'...

Crawley, up until this season, have never been flushed with cash. Indeed, much of their time since winning promotion to the Conference in 2004 has been spent battling assorted financial difficulties, while for a time, it was a rare season that didn’t see the Sussex club deducted points for some form of financial problems.

In 2009 Crawley supporters Bruce Winfield and Susan Carter took control of the club, paid off their debts and with it came a level of stability not previously seen around the Broadfield Stadium. This summer, however, Crawley suddenly became the division’s big spenders after Winfield brought in outside investors (although the club has regularly declined to name who these are)...

And, although there’s nothing to suggest anything improper on the part of Crawley’s mystery investors, the eye-watering (for non-league level) sums of money involved mean a lot of people in the game would be more comfortable knowing just who is funding the Red Devil’s spending spree".

30 January 2011


Right: Shaun Densmore surges forward in the game against Hayes & Yeading, last Tuesday. Photo by Gavin Rathbone.

Sat. 5 Feb.

  • AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood Town
  • Altrincham v Southport
  • Barrow AFC v Wrexham
  • Cambridge United v Rushden & Diamonds
  • Forest Green Rovers v Hayes & Yeading Utd
  • Kidderminster Harriers v Bath City
  • Newport County v Darlington
  • Tamworth v Histon
  • Wrexham v Eastbourne Borough

    FA Trophy 3R

    Fri. 4 Feb.

  • Luton Town v Gloucester City

    Sat. 5 Feb.

  • AFC Telford Utd v Darlington
  • Blyth Spartans AFC v Droylsden
  • Eastbourne Borough v Guiseley
  • Eastleigh v Chasetown
  • Gateshead FC v Dartford
  • Mansfield Town v Alfreton Town
  • Woking v Salisbury City

    Cheshire FA Senior Cup SF

    Tue. 8 Feb.

  • Altrincham v Alsager Town

    The winners meet Northwich Victoria in the Final.


    Steve Foster, the Salford City striker, who made his Altrincham debut last Tuesday, scored a hat-trick for City on Saturday against AFC Fylde. He has now netted 21 league and 2 cup goals this season for the Evo-Stik League side.

    And the Evo-Stik League confirms that Carlos Logan has moved to Northwich Vics from AFC Telford.


    Alty's next opponents are Wrexham, who announce that "After working his way through trial games with the Reserves, striker Mathias Pogba has been rewarded with an extended deal at the Racecourse. He has agreed terms on a contract until the end of next season...

    Joining the club in the summer, the midfielder Jay Harris has formed an exciting partnership with Dean Keates and helped push the Dragons up towards the top end of the table. Therefore, manager Dean Saunders has been working on getting the former Chester City man to agree a new deal, which will see him with us until at least the end of the 2011/12 season".

    Off the field, the BBC says that "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders is expecting new investors to emerge to help fund the north Wales club. The 46-year-old also dismissed rumours that owner Geoff Moss is about to sell the side. Saunders hopes that money will be made available to boost their promotion push after Saturday's 3-2 win at Mansfield kept them fourth in the table.

    'I would have known if the club was sold, I think there might be some investors coming in', said Saunders. 'I think Geoff has invested an awful lot of money into the club and constantly puts money in to pay the wages each month'.

    Earlier this month Wrexham chairman Ian Roberts confirmed a plan to transfer ownership of their Racecourse Ground home to a new company, then lease the stadium back to the football club and its co-tenants the Crusaders rugby league team. Roberts said at the time that Wrexham were "for sale"...

    Saunders's understanding of the situation could indicate that Moss and Roberts will continue as part of the Wrexham FC hierarchy for the immediate future.

    'I think there may be people coming in to try and help us', Saunders added. 'Obviously, all I'm concerned about is if they are going to give me money for the team. I've got enough on my plate without thinking about all the other things that go on. All the players worry about is are they going to get paid and what time are they training'...

    Wrexham are on a five-game winning streak - equalling the best run under Saunders since he first took over in October 2008 - and are next in action at home to Altrincham on Tuesday night chasing a sixth success to set a new record".

    Also according to the BBC, "Histon chairman Russell Hands has moved to reassure fans over the visit of bailiffs to Bridge Road ahead of Saturday's home match with Newport... He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'It's all just a misunderstanding'. 'It's to do with an accounting bill of around £12,000, which we've questioned and is set to be discussed in court'.

    As well as the points deduction, the club have been placed on a transfer embargo so have been unable to register players during the January window. Hands, who has been in charge since the summer, says dealing with the club's debts has proved difficult. 'Shabby is probably the nicest thing I could say about the paperwork we were handed on arriving at this club', he said. 'We've spent hours and hours assessing the situation and reaching agreements with our creditors'". Histon are without a win in 13 matches in all competitions".

    Bath City "are pleased to announce the signing of former Cardiff City and Wales U21 International Jonathan Brown. He signed for the club today on non-contract terms".

    29 January 2011


    Today's match at Barrow has been postponed due to a frozen pitch. The temperature was minus 9 last night and when the covers were removed this morning the Holker Street pitch was found to be frozen.

    Local alternatives at Hyde, Stalybridge and Droylsden are all also off.

  • Barrow AFC v Altrincham POSTPONED
  • Bath City 4 Cambridge United 0
  • Darlington v Kettering Town POSTPONED
  • Eastbourne Borough 2 Grimsby Town 3
  • Fleetwood Town 2 Forest Green Rovers 0
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 0 Kidderminster Harriers 4
  • Histon 0 Newport County 0
  • Mansfield Town 2 Wrexham 3
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1 Tamworth 1
  • Southport 4 York City 0
  • League Table


    According to the NW Evening Mail "Barrow AFC could be set to unleash hungry striker Andy Cook from the start against old rivals Altrincham at Holker Street. The 20-year-old has been used only as a substitute since his permanent move from Carlisle United a fortnight ago.

    However, his barnstorming second-half performance in the midweek home draw against bottom-of-the-table Histon, may earn Cook a start in tomorrow’s Blue Square Bet relegation six-pointer. Barrow joint-manager Darren Sheridan said: 'I thought Cooky did very well when he came on against Histon. He was a big presence, had chances, and caused them problems. Cooky came on and showed the character that we want, the fight, the hunger. That’s what we want our players showing. In doing so he’s put his name in the picture for a start now'.

    Nick Chadwick, who was taken off for Cook, and Louis Almond led the attack in the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night. Even if Cook is promoted from the bench, both Chadwick and Almond could still start, if the latter moves into a wing position – perhaps at the expense of Ciaran Donnelly whose contract expires at the end of this month – adopts a role behind the front two.

    Tomorrow’s game will be the last of Almond’s current one-month loan spell from Premier League Blackpool. The impressive 19-year-old has scored four goals during his stay, which, according to AFC joint-boss Dave Bayliss last week, will be extended.

    Influential Robin Hulbert is back available following a hamstring injury and could get the nod in central midfield, alongside James Owen. At the back, Simon Spender should make his 100th Barrow appearance.

    Bayliss and Sheridan will also have to decide between keepers Clark Masters and Shaun Pearson, the latter having ably replaced Masters, who was serving a one-game suspension, on Tuesday...

    At Holker Street, the Bluebirds have lost only one of their last seven league games, beating the likes of Kidderminster, high-flying AFC Wimbledon and Newport County in the process.

    Barrow were beaten 2-0 at Altrincham in September. And while the third-bottom Robins – who have taken 11 points from the last available 18 – sit four places below Barrow in the table, just two points separate the relegation rivals.

    Sheridan said: 'We owe them (Altrincham) one. The teams around us, we need to try and get away from them now... What we must do this weekend is start the game better than we did against Histon. We have to be stronger from the off, be on our toes, so we’re not left chasing the game. Barrow will be hoping for a bigger crowd than the season-low 883 that watched the draw against Histon.

    Barrow (from): Masters, Spender, Edwards, Bolland, M Pearson, Rutherford, Hulbert, Owen, Almond, Chadwick, Cook, S Pearson, Jones, Smith, Donnelly, Goodfellow, Grant".


  • Gateshead 0 AFC Wimbledon 2


    In the Manchester Evening News is a report that Alty boss Ken McKenna "has been talking to Salford City boss Rhodri Giggs about striker Steve Foster, who was a late substitute for Altrincham on Tuesday after signing for one game on a dual registration. 'We've given ourselves a fighting chance' said McKenna.

    'We've met our first target which was to get off the bottom and now we're focusing on getting out of the bottom four'".


    The latest TASC Minutes are now on the website, here. These show a lot of initiatives are being undertaken but help is always needed; please contact the chairman, Brian Flynn, if you can assist.


    Altrincham FC goalkeeping coach Ian Senior's company is now known as SK Kits and it has a new website for its footballing merchandise, which can be visited here.


    The Manchester Evening News reports that "Stockport County boss Peter Ward could have a new backline in place for the trip to promotion-chasing Rotherham. With transfer restrictions lifted at the club this week, Ward added Leyton Orient defender Aaron Brown to his squad and was poised to follow that up with deals for former Crewe centre-half Danny O’Donnell and one-time Edgeley Park player James Smith [from Altrincham]".


    According to the Football Conference "Tamworth have signed 18-year-old striker Jevaise Christie from Arnold Town where he was the club`s leading goalscorer. Christie has had to wait to sign for Tamworth as he was sitting out a three-match ban which he received whilst playing for Arnold".

    Meanwhile, "Grimsby Town have signed striker Rob Duffy from league rivals Mansfield Town on a two-year deal".

    And "Eastbourne Borough have added youth and experience to their squad in the shape of powerful former Cheltenham Town forward Damian Spencer and ex-Bognor Regis Town and Worthing centre back Mickey Demetriou. Spencer, 29... has joined Boro on loan from Aldershot Town... Sussex-born Demetriou, 20, has spent time at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain after impressing scouts while playing for Bognor last season...

    However, on-loan full-back Mitchell Nelson has returned to parent club AFC Bournemouth."

    Elsewhere, "Newport County have signed former Carlisle United defender Michael Burns... a left-back to deputise for broken leg victim Lee Baker..., Burns putting pen-to-paper on a deal until the end of the season". According to Cambridge United, they "can confirm that winger Robbie Willmott is joining Luton Town for a fee of £50,000. The player has agreed personal terms, passed a medical and signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Hatters today.

    U's manager Martin Ling told, 'He's been with the Club for five years, come through the youth ranks and given fantastic service... I'm disappointed to lose a player of his quality, he will be hard to replace from within but that's where it's got to be. Sometimes you have to manage difficult situations'.

    Director of Football Jez George added, 'We had little room for negotiation on the fee as Robbie's contract, signed in July 2009, had a release clause if a club came in with a bid of £50,000. Because there was only one club who matched this amount, it was impossible to push the fee any higher'. The Club can also confirm Wayne Gray's weekly contract has not been renewed to ensure our total expenditure on players wages for the season does not exceed the budget set in the summer".

    28 January 2011


    Brian Flynn, chairman of TASC writes:

    "As you are probably aware the supporters' coach is full for the trip on Saturday to Barrow. We are unable to get a bigger coach, however we will do our best to organise a lift by car for anyone who wants to get to the game, but cannot do so because the coach is full.

    The waiting list has one name on it at present and if you want to get to the game on Saturday, please contact the club on 0161 928 1045 as normal. We will compile a waiting list and try to organise for you to get down the longest cul-de-sac in the world, one way or another. Please contact the club before 4.30pm on Friday if you want to get on the waiting list".


    Barrow announce that "The next home game, versus Altrincham on Saturday 29th January 2011 will NOT be segregated.

    The main ticket office will sell tickets for all parts of the ground and will remain open until half time... Gate M will be open for all tickets, purchased from the main ticket office. Turnstiles C & D will be open for the main stand and for all other areas of the ground. Turnstiles J, K & L on the popular side will be open for ground tickets only. Advance tickets can be obtained from the Barrow AFC shop, which will be open from 10am - 4pm Monday to Friday and from 10am on Saturday match days".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Influential Barrow AFC midfielder Robin Hulbert could be back for this weekend’s massive relegation six-pointer against Altrincham at Holker Street. The 30-year-old has not played since the New Year’s Day draw against Southport when he was sent off.

    A combination of a three-match suspension and a tweaked hamstring has resulted in Hulbert missing Barrow’s last six games. AFC joint-manager Darren Sheridan said: 'I think Robin should be okay by the weekend. You can see what a miss he is. He is a character on the pitch with his drive and energy'...

    For the last four games – which have brought one win, one draw and two defeats – Barrow have gone with teenager James Owen and on-loan Wrexham man Christian Smith in the central midfield berths. Sheridan added: 'Don’t get me wrong, young James Owen has done very well. He’s only a young lad and he is maturing. Christian, you can see he’s a bit off the pace. To be fair to him, he hadn’t played much before he came to us. He’s done okay, but he needs to get a bit fitter'...

    Altrincham, 4-2 home winners against Hayes and Yeading on Tuesday, are third-bottom of the pile, but only two points behind the Bluebirds".

    Mike Garnett's stats tell us that we have played Barrow more times than any other current Conference team...

  • Overall, excl. 1916-17: P61 W33 D21 L14 F126 A75
  • At Alty: P36 W19 D13 L4 F74 A35
  • At Barrow: P32 W14 D8 L10 F52 A40


    Robbie Lawton's latest "Captain's Log" appeared in Tuesday night's "Robins' Review" and, as usual, is an honest assessment from the dressing room perspective...

    Left: Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captured this goalmouth scramble on Tuesday against Hayes & Yeading. The Alty players seen are Carl Piergianni, Damian Reeves and Robbie Williams, with HYU's Bygrave picking up an accidental knock to his nose in the process.

    "I thought we did a lot of good things in Saturday's game against Bath City, without quite managing to find the end product needed to continue our recent run of good results.

    On the plus side, we passed the ball around and tried to keep possession as much as possible, but, of course, that's never going to be enough on its own. It's all well and good stringing a few passes together, but eventually you have to come up with one that is going to cause a bit of damage and open up the opposition defence.

    I just thought our passing was a little too safe, at times, and that it maybe lacked that bit of penetration you need against a side as well organised as Bath. They looked decent down at their place earlier in the season, and that came across again in the way they set up on Saturday.

    We were up against a resilient, solid team who operated as a tight unit in midfield and across the back four. They held a high line, and that meant a lot of our play was taking place in front of them, when ideally we would rather have been getting in behind them.

    We kept the ball well in patches but didn't do enough with it, particularly in the final third, where we just lacked the cutting egde needed to find a way through.

    It was disappointing, particularly after lifting ourselves off the foot of the table and moving to within striking distance of the others in the bottom four, but the important thing now is to take stock and address what needs putting right. Basically, we have to add a bit more guile and precision to our attacking play to give ourselves a better chance of having something tangible to show for all our possession.

    We could also do with offering Damian Reeves a bit more support in the goalscoring department. Reevesie has been on a good run of late, but it is unfair and unrealistic to pin all your hopes on one player. We all need to chip in, and there has to be a concerted effort to contribute goals from all areas, rather than just relying on his knack of being in the right place at the right time.

    A lot was made of the referee on Saturday, and some of his decisions hardly helped our cause. I'm not sure you can say they directly cost us the game, but maybe they did, indirectly.

    The free-kick for the opening goal was a case in point. It wasn't a free-kick, first of all, then he allowed it to be taken while he was still talking to the person he penalised, James Smith. Normally, we would stand someone over the ball in that situation, even at the risk of a yellow card, but there wasn't even time for that.

    It had already been taken, and, while you could say there was maybe a collective lapse in concentration on our part, it was easy to see how and why we were caught out. Certainly it cost us, because we failed to clear our lines, after Stuart Coburn saved the initial shot, and the ball was in our net.

    There was more controversy over the award of a penalty in the second half that resulted in a red card for Wes Baynes. You could say it possibly was a sending off, but the foul was outside the box, so it was just as well Stu prevented an injustice by saving the spot-kick.

    During my time here, we have had spells where we have been formidable at Moss Lane, but struggled for a point on the road, and others, like now, where it has been the other way round.

    When things are not going your way at home, you can sense a bit of frustration creeping in, among the players and supporters, because, as the home team, it is up to you to set the tone. There is nothing better than being in front of your own crowd when you are on song, and feeling the momentum building, but it is just escaping us at present.

    I wouldn't call it pressure. You need to apply a bit of perspective and recognise that it's just something you need to handle. As a group of players, we have worked so hard to close the gap that existed before, and even start moving up the table, that we simply have to grab it now and give ourselves the psychological lift of seeing some tangible reward.

    I'd like to close by saying a big thank you to everyone at the club for the pre-match presentation to mark my 200th appearance. Honestly, I didn't realise I had reached it, until shortly before kick-off, when the chairman popped his head round the door and said there was a presentation for Robbie. Even then, I thought he meant Robbie Williams!

    In the event, it was both of us, and Stuart of course, and it was a lovely surprise. I wasn't expecting anything and was very grateful. On reflection, I shouldn't have been surprised - it's what this club is all about".


    In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, Alty's loan player Sam Wedgbury, from Macclesfield Town, says of his debut against Hayes & Yeading United, "I did OK. It was just good to get back playing. To get a goal was even better! I think there's more to come. It wasn't one of my best games but I got the goal and I worked hard. I just hope to keep playing. I was only there for the first time on Tuesday but the lads all seemed really sound.

    I really enjoyed it... I wasn't playing at Macclesfield so, if it means dropping down a league to get a game, I will. I hadn't played for three months so it was a bit of a grind after the first half hour...

    I think a lot of clubs in this league are as good as League Two clubs, if not better, but it's hard to get out because there's a lot of teams chucking money at it. Alty aren't the biggest spenders but I think they will definitely stay up. We're confident. If we beat Barrow we go above them so it's a good incentive".


    Following Tuesday's game, Hayes & Yeading United report that "Having gained a useful point at Fleetwood on Saturday, United travelled back to the North West on Tuesday evening to face Altrincham in what was always going to be one of the key fixtures in the second half of the season...

    During the warm-up, goalkeeper Lee Harrison felt twinges of the injury problems that have punctuated his season, so Delroy Preddie made his second United debut facing the same Club against whom he’d ended his first spell. It was a prelude to one of those nights...

    We did capitalise fully on further hesitation in the Altrincham defence a couple of minutes later. Stuart Coburn couldn’t hold Ben Wright’s shot, Bradley Pritchard was on hand to pick up the pieces and knock the ball back into the danger area, leaving Jefferson Louis the simplest of tap-ins for his first goal in a United shirt...

    The key turning point of the game came seven minutes after the restart. Despite clearly winning the ball from Densmore, Pritchard was penalised, giving Altrincham a free-kick some thirty-five yards out. The United wall was lined up soundly enough, but Clee’s fierce free kick clipped Phil Appiah on the left shoulder, sending the ball into the unguarded corner which Preddie had no chance of reaching to give the home side the lead...

    Beesley threatened to break through the flat-footed United defence, and he was pulled back by Tom Cadmore on the edge of the box, leaving referee Ford with very little option other than to send the skipper in for an early bath. It was effectively game over four minutes later...

    Manager Garry Haylock reflected on an embarrassing display after the game. 'It wasn’t the intention to send the team out to play with that lack of spirit and fight... To be honest tonight we got more than we deserved as I don’t think we deserved the two goals. At 4-1 down with ten men we suddenly decided that we wanted to be aggressive and pass the ball, and we were great for the last fifteen minutes, but it was about an hour too late. I find it difficult after games because if I start ranting and raving I won’t stop – on that performance, and on the last three or four performances we’re not good enough, and if I could change eight or nine players and get eight or nine in, I’d do it, but at the moment this is what I have to work with'...

    Explaining the late change of goalkeeper, Haylock went on 'Delroy’s come in, but it was unfortunate for him that it was a shocking performance by the team in front of him. There were one or two players out there who I felt sorry for, and Delroy was one of them... I told them that we wouldn’t have deserved to go in one up at half-time. We wanted a positive start in the first fifteen minutes after the break. They’d conceded over 50% of their goals in the last half hour, and I felt that if it was 1-1 with twenty-five minutes to go we would have gone on and won it. But you can’t make the mistakes we’ve made like cheap free-kicks...

    We got beaten weakly and timidly with no aggression and as has been said in there, with no balls. If that’s the way we’re prepared to play, we’ll be relegated by the end of March….but I won’t accept it'.

    There were no complaints on Tom Cadmore’s red card. 'He’s pulled him back. He was ball watching and the forward’s gone the other side of him. He’s made a mistake and got punished for it'”.


    According to the Football Conference "Former Welsh international striker John Hartson has been appointed a part-time coach at Newport County for the rest of the season. Hartson was a contender for the manager's job Dean Holdsworth left to take over at Aldershot Town earlier this month. Newport instead made Tim Harris caretaker-manager until the end of the season and said they would name a new permanent manager at that time. Hartson will coach the Exiles' forwards once a week. Harris switched from his role as director of football at Spytty Park".

    And Blue Square Football says that "Kettering Town manager Marcus Law is hopeful of extending the stay of his loan signings after an improved run of form. The Poppies have won back-to-back games against Eastbourne Borough and Fleetwood Town after three losses in a row.

    Milton Keynes Dons defender Tom Flanagan and forward Charlie Collins are set to return to their club after Thursday's home clash with Crawley Town. Coventry City's Callum Wilson and Blackpool goalkeeper Mark Halstead are also on short-term deals but have another couple of weeks with the club.

    Law told the Evening Telegraph: "'We are in talks with Milton Keynes at the moment... We have got another two weeks with Callum and I am sure Aidy (Boothroyd) will know what he wants to do. Mark is in the same boat with Blackpool... There are options I want to pursue in bringing one or two more in and if we can do that then they will be strong additions to the squad'".

    From Cambridge United comes a statement from the Board...

    "The board can confirm a number of parties have made initial contact with the Club and preliminary information has been provided. It is extremely early in this process and further detail will be announced where any material change in this status occurs...

    First, if we are an ambitious club it requires that we back that ambition with appropriate resources both on and off the field. On the field this entails providing the football department with the resources it believes it needs to achieve success. In past years there is no question that more has been spent than was realistically available and this is part of the issue which the Club has faced over recent years. In fact one only needs to look at the financial performance of the business since 2006 to see this.

    This year the football budgets we set were, in our view, a stretch but manageable. Off the field the Club has also backed its ambition by continuing the operation of the Club as if it were a Football League club. As it stands if the Club were promoted tomorrow our infrastructure meets League requirements. is clear that our current income levels mean that as a business we must reconsider our approach... We had a settled summer, a full squad in place and better resources overall than previous years. We believed that with this set of ingredients we were well placed to challenge this season. However it is clear for all to see that our year to date gate and income is considerably down on past years...

    Our mid season review has confirmed that our forecast financial position at the end of the season is beyond that which the Board feels comfortable funding. This together with a recognition that success, over time, will require greater funding has resulted in the board electing to seek further investment...

    The Club must also realistically assess its scale of operation and, in particular, if it continues to operate as if it were a Football League club... We can confirm that General Manager Robert Smith, and Football Secretary Lisa Baldwin have resigned from their respective roles at the Club. While the basis of each of their decisions remain personal it cannot be ignored that they have been triggered, at least in part, by the situation in and around the Club at this time".

    More on this comes from the Cambridge News which says that "Gareth Baldwin insists his wife's decision to quit Cambridge United will not affect his role at the club... Baldwin said he would continue as the club's commercial consultant. The former Histon chairman said: 'Lisa's decision doesn't affect me in any way, shape or form'".

    Meanwhile, "Cambridge United are considering another offer for star winger Robbie Willmott. The five-figure bid, from an unnamed Blue Square Bet Premier rival, was received by the club today. United have already rejected two offers from Grimsby

    Frpm the South Wales Argus we learn that "Newport County are bracing themselves for yet another blow to their promotion bid this week with the news that Stevenage are in talks with midfielder Jamie Collins. Collins, very much a Dean Holdsworth signing and still based in his native London, is on non-contract terms...

    [He is] available on a 'free' and boss Harris admits he can now do nothing but hope his man stays. 'I’ve looked Jamie in the eyes and told him we all would love him to stay here and help finish the job he’s started', he said".

    26 January 2011


    Altrincham FC is holding a reunion with the club's 2005 team members who won promotion back to the national level of the Conference. It will be held on Saturday 19th February at 7.30pm in the Noel White Suite, after the game against Kettering Town. Tickets are just £5, which includes a hot buffet. Please ring 0161 928-1045 or visit the club office for your tickets.


    Match report here. Altrincham FC joint press officer, John Edwards, writes:

    Right: Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures Damian Reeves celebrating his goal against Hayes and Yeading, with Nicky Clee and Sam Wedgbury, who both also scored goals in the game.

    "Resurgent Altrincham took another significant stride towards Blue Square Bet Premier safety with their first four-goal haul of the season and their first double at Moss Lane on Tuesday night.

    Bouncing back from a 3-0 home defeat by Bath three days earlier, Alty stormed to a 4-2 win over relegation rivals Hayes and Yeading, after beating them 1-0 at Church Road three months ago, to move level on points with them and Southport. It took Alty a step nearer the great escape, after just one defeat in their last six games, and earned a pat on the back from manager Ken McKenna, who was able to call on two loan signings in Salford City striker Steve Foster and Macclesfield midfielder Sam Wedgbury.

    'It was a fantastic result and great to win at home and score a few goals for our fans at last,' he said. 'We were punished for a single mistake in the first half, but once we got back on terms, I always felt we were going to be all right.

    'The second goal may have taken a deflection, but we are always encouraging the lads to get into the right areas and get a shot in, whenever they can.

    'We needed a bit of impetus from new faces, because the squad has been very thin, and I want to thank Salford and Macclesfield for helping us out. Steve did really well when he went on, and we appreciate Gary Simpson letting us take Sam, who hadn't played for a long time but worked hard and scored a goal, which was fantastic.

    'We have known Simmo a long time, and he is a top lad. He always tries to help us when he can. We can head to Barrow at the weekend with a bit of confidence now, but we know their management team really well and we know we are in for a very tough game.

    'What we need to do now is keep believing in ourselves and trying to pick up as many points as we can. We might lose a few along the way, but we will keep trying to play and maintain a positive outlook.'

    Though Foster has signed Conference forms, and can play for Alty when not required by Salford, he remains the Evo-stik League side's player, as things stand".

    From the Uxbridge Gazette we learn that "Hayes & Yeading's survival hopes suffered a desperate blow tonight as fellow strugglers Altrincham emphatically completed the double over them...compounded by a red card for centre-back Tom Cadmore...

    The hosts equalised against the run of play on the stroke of half-time through Sam Wedgbury... The match turned when Cadmore saw red for a professional foul on [Mark Beesley]... as Altrincham drew level on points with Hayes & Yeading in the bottom four".


    The Manchester Evening News claims that "Stockport County’s survival fight received a huge boost this week when the Football League lifted restrictions on the club’s transfer entitlements. And the easing of the tight financial constraints – place upon the Edgeley Park outfit after they entered administration in 2009 – means caretaker boss Peter Ward could have a new back four in place for Saturday’s trip to Rotherham...

    The Stockport Express understands he is trying to bring [Altrincham's] James Smith back to the club...

    Director Tony Gibbons said 'They [The League] were quite fearful that if we were to take our eye off the ball we could end up in a lot of trouble... It wasn’t a case of begging the League for help but we managed to convince them that we were not able to field a competitive team. We have been shipping goals and we were in danger of going further backwards. We discussed at great length the players we have at the club, the injuries, the youngsters with little or no experience of league football – and they understood our argument that we did not have a competitive team. Those restrictions have been removed and we’re very grateful to the Football League for understanding our plight. Other restrictions have to remain in place for three years, which is understandable because they are urging us to go forward with care – which we are doing...

    The size of the budget with which we started the season meant we were confident we could challenge in the top half of the division – nobody here was suggesting a third-from-bottom finish would be good enough'".


    Football Conference affirm that "Kidderminster Harriers Football Club would like to make the following information available.
  • The club can confirm that it has received a formal offer from businessman Chris Swan to take over the club going forward.
  • The Board of Directors can confirm that it has agreed, subject to contract, to all conditions within Mr Swan's offer for which it has responsibility.
  • With the above in mind, the club feel it would be correct to postpone tomorrow`s planned Fans' Meeting in the Aggborough Suite until a later date to allow any future developments to take their course".

    Elsewhere, "Former Wrexham and Accrington Stanley winger Shaun Whalley will make his return Southport debut on Saturday against York City. Whalley returns to Haig Avenue for a third spell having signed after being released from Hyde FC. Port boss Liam Watson has several players under treatment, including centre backs Earl Davis and Adam Flynn. Also rated doubtful are left-sided Matty McGinn and skipper Alan Moogan. Striker Steve Daly, out since November following an appendix operation, has returned to training". Port visit Alty a week on Saturday.

    According to Blue Square Football "Stratford-based businessman Chris Swan has revealed that he's made a bid to buy Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Kiddermister Harriers. Swan's latest bid marks a third attempt to purchase the cash-strapped club but a group of Harriers fans is also said to be in the process of putting together a consortium with the aim of paying off the club's outstanding debts to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

    'I have made an offer to buy the club as a going concern, which the board are discussing at moment', Swan told The Shuttle. 'Harriers are in a dire state of affairs, the debts are piling up and the club is close to being wound up. I am prepared to takeover all the shares and the small creditors. There is a group of fantastic Harriers fans who are putting a consortium together and are willing to pay off the debt owed to HMRC. If they accept my bid I will be able to pay the players on Monday and put in enough money to bankroll the club for the rest of the season'.

    However, Swan is also keen to point out that he will not be a "sugar daddy" with regards to investing in the club. He added: 'I don't think administration would be good for Harriers. If I was to come on board I would make sure it becomes financially viable, that the club would generate revenue through the corporate side. It would only be able to spend the money it makes. Football clubs need to realise that there are no sugar daddies anymore and I won't be one either. But I do think there's a fantastic base to be built on at Harriers. I would also like to sit down with the chairman of KHIST and talk to them about their involvement in the club'".

    York Press reports that "A strong York City reserve side were last night dumped out of North Riding Senior Cup by Pickering Town... Greg Young pulled a goal back for the hosts". Curiously, former Alty man, Greg Young, is not listed as a first-teamer as the article concludes, "City boss Gary Mills fielded first-teamers Leon Constantine, David McDermott, Jonathan Smith and Danny Racchi".

    From Welsh Premier comes news that "Neath are favourites to land the signature of Mansfield Town and former Wales Under-21 international striker Rob Duffy according to the Nottingham Post, the 28-year-old Swansea-born player is in talks with the Eagles after failing to agree terms for a move to Grimsby Town.

    Duffy has scored 28 goals in 62 league starts and 16 substitute appearances since joining the Stags from Newport County in January 2009. But he incurred the wrath of boss Duncan Russell when he was sent off for elbowing an opponent in the recent game with Fleetwood, sparking a humbling 5-2 defeat.

    'Grimsby has fallen through and it now looks as though Neath are going to offer him a contract', Russell told the Post. 'I have spoken to Rob and told him that I think it's in his and Mansfield's interests that we go our separate ways. Now it's up to him to go and find another club'. Grimsby had settled a transfer fee for the six foot-plus marksman, but the player decided against a move".

    From Hereford, Bulls News explains that "The Transfer Window will shut at 11pm on Monday, with the usual 7 day halt on loan deals following that. The loan window will close on March 24th, after which only goalkeeper loans will be possible under extenuating circumstances".

    The BBC reports that "New Aldershot Town manager Dean Holdsworth has made his most significant move yet by releasing veteran midfielder Glen Little... The Shots have signed 23-year-old Tamworth winger Alex Rodman who has scored 10 goals so far this season, and received an England "C" call-up. Rodman's tally included a hat-trick in Holdsworth's final game as manager of Newport County. He has recently played for Nuneaton Borough, Gainsborough Trinity, Grantham and Leamington".

    Next Tuesday, Alty travel to The Racecourse, where Blue Square Football says that "Wrexham AFC manager Dean Saunders has revealed he is considering releasing striker Marc Williams in a bid to bring in a new recruit. The 22-year-old is currently on a week-to-week deal as he ponders whether or not to commit to a new six-month deal...

    Saunders told the Wrexham Leader: 'Obviously Marc is looking for something longer, which I can understand. He is only on a week to week contract here at the moment and can walk out any time so I need to know what he is doing. I offered Marc a deal until the end of the season at the start of January and am going to have to make a decision on him. I have got no money to spend and might have to make some available - things change'".

    25 January 2011


    Altrincham came from behind to record a vital win in front of their smallest gate of the season (558) - not surprising when the opposition had to come from nearly 200 miles away on a Tuesday night. Alty were without the suspended Marc Joseph and Wes Baynes...

    Match report here.

    ALTRINCHAM (Red & White stripes, black shorts, red socks) 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. James SMITH, 26. Carl PIERGIANNI, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 6. Shaun DENSMORE, 7. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 11. Nicky CLEE, 8. Damian REEVES, 20. Sam HEWSON, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, Subs: 9. Michael TWISS, 15. Ryan BROWN, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 30. Craig DOOTSON, 14. Steve FOSTER

    HAYES & YEADING UNITED: 21. Delroy Preddie, 2. Lewis Ferrell, 3.Adam Green, 4. Tom Cadmore, 6. Adam Bygrave, 9. Ben Wright, 10. Jefferson Louis, 14. Jamie Hand, 15. Bradley Pritchard, 19. Phil Appiah, 22. Charlie Wassmer, Subs 16. Jack Pattison, 17. Andy Yiadom, 27. Daniel Wishart, 33. Nathan Webb, 1. Lee Harrison.

    Right: On his Alty debut, midfielder Sam Wedgbury was named Man of the Match against Hayes & Yeading.

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups & bookings

    Tue. 25 January

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts.
  • Altrincham 4 Hayes & Yeading Utd 2
  • Barrow AFC 1 Histon 1
  • Bath City 2 AFC Wimbledon 2
  • Crawley Town 3 Cambridge United 0
  • Darlington 0 Mansfield Town 0
  • Eastbourne Borough 1 Tamworth 4
  • Forest Green Rovers 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1
  • Kettering Town 2 Fleetwood Town 1
  • Luton Town 1 Grimsby Town 0

    Fri. 28 January:

  • Gateshead v AFC Wimbledon


    Altrincham FC have signed Salford City striker Steve Foster (d.o.b. 31/12/1981), who joined the Ammies, for a second time, in October 2010. He had previously left Moor Lane in 2009 to join Witton Albion. His other clubs include Blackburn Rovers, Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic, Radcliffe Borough, AFC Telford United and Fleetwood Town. Steve will also continue to be registered to play for Salford City. His Alty squad number is 14 and he is likely to be in the squad tonight. He has hit 20 goals for City this season so far.

    The squad number for yesterday's signing, Sam Wedgbury, is 28.

    24 January 2011


    Live Matchday Updates from Alty v Hayes & Yeading United will be posted on the website from before kick off on Tuesday evening.

    Already without the suspended Wes Baynes and Marc Joseph, Alty physio Sean Riley has mixed news of Chris Denham (left).

    "Chris has been suffering with a left groin problem since early September and although treatment helped to settle his problem for a while it soon returned. Following a meeting with the consultant in November it was decided to inject the area with cortisone, for some reason days before the injection was due to take place Chris started with the same pain in his right groin. It was then decided to inject both his left and right groin areas. Following the injections his original left groin pain has settled but unfortunately the right was still very painful.

    Chris had a second injection on the 12th January and following a rest period of eight days things looked really good, he trained last Thursday with no problems and had no reaction the day after. It was decided to allow him to take part at some point during Saturday's game against Bath.

    Unfortunately, Chris experienced a lot of right groin pain during his part in the game. I now feel that he is suffering from the same condition skipper Robbie Lawton had a couple of years ago, I will be taking Chris to see a consultant in Leicester a week on Thursday in the evening to see if he will need surgery to release the tension on one or two of the tendons in his groin area. It has been a very frustrating few months for Chris, myself and the gaffer and with such a small squad every player plays a vital roll in helping us try to stay in this division and hopefully if Chris is a candidate for the operation and it's successful, it will be like a new signing as he offers so much on the right hand side when he is fit".

    Right: Craig Dootson (right) made his first appearance for Alty last Saturday, on the bench.


    Altrincham went for 24 league matches before having anyone sent off this season and then lost players in two successive games. The FA confirms that Marc Joseph os "Suspended from all football until the Club have completed 3 first team matches for a Sending Off in a match played on 18/01/2011" and Wesley Baynes is "Suspended from all first team football until the Club have completed 1 first team match for a Sending Off in a match played on 22/01/2011". Wes is barred from playing against his home club, Wrexham, so he will sit out next Tuesday's game too.


    The referee tomorrow for the visit of Hayes & Yeading United is Mr D. Ford. On Saturday at Barrow it will be Mr S. J. Martin and next Tuesday, at The Racecourse, we will see Mr J. Simpson.

    Mr Martin has also reffed:

  • ALTRINCHAM 3 GATESHEAD 2, played on Tuesday, 29 September, 2009.
  • ALTRINCHAM 2 DARLINGTON 2, played on Tuesday, 17 August 2010.


    Alty Youth's next game is at home to Mossley next Sunday at 2.30pm


    Blue Square Football says that "Tamworth duo Alex Rodman and Michael Wylde have received notification that they have been selected for the England 'C' against Belgium. The International Challenge Trophy -Semi-Final match will be played at Luton Town FC, Kenilworth Road on Wednesday 9th February 2011, kick off 7.30pm

    The sixteen man squad includes two keepers and include three players from Luton Town. The squad selected by Manager Paul Fairclough is:

    Seb Brown (AFC Wimbledon), Joe Day (Rushden & Diamonds), Sam Hatton (AFC Wimbledon), Michael Wylde (Tamworth), Kyle McFadzean (Crawley Town ), Jamie Day (Rushden & Diamonds),Robert Atkinson (Grimsby Town), Liam Brownhill ( Droylsden), Josh Simpson (Crawley Town), Max Porter (Rushden & Diamonds), Amari Morgan-Smith (Luton Town), Steve Gregory (AFC Wimbledon), Jake Howells (Luton Town), Matthew Barnes-Homer (Luton Town), Alex Rodman (Tamworth), Robbie Wilmott (Cambridge United)".

    Blue Square Football tells us that "Mansfield Town are delighted to announce that admission prices will be slashed for the Stags' next fixture at Field Mill against Wrexham this Saturday. For one game only, adults will be charged £10 - a reduction of over a third - whilst concessions will be admitted for just £1...

    Chairman John Radford said: 'I am hoping to improve on the club's already impressive support and get a bumper crowd down to Field Mill this weekend. If we can pack as many people as possible into the stands, then we can create a rocking atmosphere and roar the lads onto securing another three points against fellow promotion-contenders Wrexham'".

    24 January 2011


    Altrincham FC have signed Macclesfield Town's West Bromwich-born midfielder/defender Sam Wedgbury (born 26.2.89) on a month's loan. Sam played against Altrincham in a pre-season friendly last July, (in a match which also featured the late Richard Butcher, for whom there was a minute's silence last Saturday).

    Sam's previous clubs include Worcester City (2005-6) from where he joined Sheffield United for a five-figure fee. He had spells on loan at Mansfield Town (one league game in 2008-9) and the Hungarian side, Ferencvaros, which has an established link with The Blades. After breaking his foot in Hungary, he was released from Bramall Lane and joined Macclesfield Town in summer 2010. He has made 2(+8) League Two appearances for The Silkmen.


    The following article by Peter Foster of TASC appeared in Saturday's matchday programme...

    "Most Altrincham fans understand the facts of football and financial life for the club, however for any of you that are not aware, here goes:

    The club shares are held by many different individuals, (if you are interested in buying shares contact Grahame Rowley), with no-one having a controlling interest. The club is run by a Board of Directors who are basically supporters who have been willing to take on the responsibility for guiding the club. They contribute as much time to the running of the club as their day jobs allow.

    We have one full time employee – Jenny, who looks after the bar, the shop, making sure the players have clean kit, the Yankee, and lots more. Kenny, Stuart and the players are all part time, and that’s pretty much it from the perspective of paid staff.

    So how does the club function in a league which includes clubs that have 20-30 full time staff running their clubs? Simply through volunteers – all of the day to day functions are covered in this way – Secretary, Matchday Secretary, stewards, Kit man, doormen on match days, club marketing, matchday hospitality, catering for fans, Groundsman, ball boys, Youth team manager, staff at United reserve games, organising of fundraising events, programme editor, programme contributions, coach travel, Press Officers, Robins' Shop and website - apologies for those I have missed!

    So the club just about competes in this league where so many teams have more resources, (is the Conference really non league as we know it?). It manages by scrapping for every penny it can through the gate, from advertising, match day sponsorship, bar takings, income from fund raising events, etc, and keeps outgoings as low as possible to ensure as much money as possible is directed to the playing side.

    Which brings us to the point of the article – how do we move on from here? We have to assume that there is no millionaire benefactor reading this piece – if you are, ring the Chairman straight away! Without such good fortune, we must make our own luck.

    As mentioned earlier, every fund raiser – whether it is Meet the Players, Sportsman’s Dinner, Race Nights, Raffles, Friends of Altrincham FC, Golden Goal, etc are all run by volunteers, and usually the same people. All of the proceeds for these events go to funding the playing budget and if we are to increase our income, and generate more funds for the playing side of the club, we need more people to step forward to support, organise, and help with events and initiatives such as these.

    Clearly most fans recognise the importance of such things, and support the events as much as possible, however reading the forum recently there have been a few threads discussing fund raising, or ideas that would raise the profile of the club – ideas that may well be workable and worthwhile. They seem to run out of steam when they reach the point of someone taking the idea through to fruition, as if there is an expectation that someone at the club will pick them up and deliver them.

    So in answer to these and other questions:

  • Why don’t we put up more posters?
  • Why have we not published a centenary book?
  • Why do our ideas get ignored?

    The club does not have the resources!!!

    Unfortunately, the club is just about running out of manpower. Many of the voluntary functions mentioned earlier are done by the same people. They are also often the same people that run the TASC events, and all have their day jobs as well. The club needs the ideas for raising funds, or the clubs profile; however it needs people such as you to be willing to get involved, to take a bigger role in the club, and to help to deliver these projects. At present this is the only way in which we can generate more funds to support the playing side, which is ultimately what we all want to see developing.

    If you are interested in helping in any way, contact Grahame Rowley (Club Chairman), or Brian Flynn (TASC Chairman).


    Next up at Moss Lane are Hayes & Yeading United who report that they "played their part in an entertaining 1-1 draw at Highbury Avenue against promotion chasing Fleetwood Town... United could not have held on for much longer and half time came as a relief... Fleetwood’s chances of claiming all three points took a real dent twelve minutes from time. Within a minute of coming onto the pitch as a substitute, Nathan Pond lunged in to a challenge on Andy Yiadom with both feet and Mr Davison the referee had no hesitation in showing him the red card.

    However, United were unable to raise any significant advantage from having the extra man on the pitch in the final minutes, although Wright did go close with a free kick which landed onto the roof of the net...

    Lee Harrison, Lewis Ferrell, Adam Green, Tom Cadmore, Adam Bygrave, Ben Wright, Jefferson Louis, Jamie Hand, Bradley Pritchard, Phil Appiah, Charlie Wassmer. Subs: Jack Pattison, Andy Yiadom (for Appiah, 71), Delroy Preddie, Daniel Wishart (for Louis, 82), Nathan Webb".

    The Uxbridge Gazette reports that "Hayes & Yeading fail to end dismal away run at Fleetwood Town. Hayes & Yeading missed a golden opportunity to secure their first away victory in the league for three months after failing to beat 10-man Fleetwood.

    They had the perfect start in the fourth minute when Bradley Pritchard found the back of the net with a fine strike from just inside the box. With Jefferson Louis thrust straight in for his debut, Hayes & Yeading made a bright start in their bid to break their rotten away run that stretches back to October 9 when they won 1-0 at Darlington... But the visitors failed to make the extra man tell, though it was a creditable point against play-off chaser Fleetwood".

    Right: Sam Hewson in action against Bath, as captured by Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.


    Altrincham FC historian Terry surridge has alerted the club to the death on 13 November 2010 of William (Bill) Sowden. Terry writes that Bill "played the last eight games of the 1960-61 season for Altrincham. His debut on 3 April, 1961 was against Bangor City, who beat Alty 7-0. In fact, he was on the losing side for all of his Alty games.

    He started his career with Greenwood Villa, transferring to Manchester City in 1949. After making eleven Football League appearances (2 goals) for City, he transferred to Chesterfield in 1954 for a fee of £1,500. He scored 32 goals in 45 games in his first full season with the Spireites.

    Chesterfield let him go in a part-exchange deal with Stockport County in June, 1957 after he had scored 59 goals in 97 Football League games. After one season with Stockport County (7 goals in 15 League games), he left full-time football for Macclesfield Town before moving from the Moss Rose to Moss Lane.

    Will Sowden's brief career at Altrincham is significant as he was the first player signed by Peter Swales and Noel White after they took control of the ailing club in 1961".

    The Stockport Express has an obituary, which includes... "There were no multi-million pound contracts when William Sowden plied his trade for City. But William, who has died at the age of 79, was one of the first players to have a car – and he used it to give lifts to fans he saw on his way to matches...

    Now son John has paid tribute... 'I never saw him play but he always told me he was the first City player to score under floodlights'... He said his dad was born in Gorton and combined playing up front for the Blues with working in his own father’s bakery business... Apparently he had lots of pace and he made his debut in a derby which was United’s home game but was being held at Maine Road because Old Trafford had been bombed.

    He left City when Don Revie came and it was the year before they got to the FA Cup Final in 1955, which was a shame. He loved playing cards, and knew a lot of people who died in the Munich Air Disaster... [At Chesterfireld,] he broke all sorts of scoring records there’".


    Brian Flynn's latest "Flynnzine" article appeared on Saturday in the Robins' review and is reproduced below...

    The Dirty Dozen!

    There are fewer than a hundred days left between now and the end of the season and our demise in the F.A. Trophy at Blyth last week leaves the team with twenty one league games to play and either one or two Cheshire Senior Cup games. That works out at roughly a game every four or five days so it will be a fairly arduous schedule and with the loss of Matt Somnerand Andrew Milne in the last couple of weeks, the squad is looking a tad threadbare at present.

    I am sure that Ken McKenna will make one or two additions in the short-term, possibly even by the time we kick off this afternoon.This is only our second home league game in ten weeks, therefore the improvement in performances,results and league position achieved is quietly impressive.

    The new manager took over with the team having gleaned just a single point from eight games andthe waving of the white flag for ninety minutes at Eastbourne heralded a less than auspicious start to ‘the McKenna era’.There have been major disappointments at Crawley and Cambridge since then, yet the hard facts are that Ken’s management record shows twenty one points won from seventeen games….1.24 points per game.Ten of those seventeen games have been away from Moss Lane and we now have twelve home games to play and just nine away before the season reaches its conclusion.

    An extrapolation of our points gained since Graham Heathcote’s departure would give us a further twenty six points and a final tally of forty eight……so things are tight on the survival front! It would appear that the key to our eventual position will be the dozen home games.Only one of these is against a team in the top ten in the league (Newport County) and I am sure that these twelve battles are not going to be too pretty to watch……….but none of us will mind a jot if we are still in this division as Eastbourne Borough troop off the Moss Lane pitch on the last day in April.

    Finally, an email I received shortly before Christmas highlighted just how far the Conference has come.It was from a journalist friend of mine, Andy Buckley, and the contents were as follows:- Brian

    'I see Alty are at Wrexham on Boxing Day ... brings back memories for me ...I covered a Manchester City game at Wrexham on Boxing Day in 1998. Gerard Wiekens scored in a 1-0 win and it was arguably the turning point in City's fortunes over the last 15-20 years...'

    They had lost 2-1 at York the previous Saturday and after winning at Wrexham surged from mid tablein the old second division to reach the play-off final and promotion against Gillingham. That Wrexham game was a casualty of the weather of course, but Andy’s email indicates just how quickly things can change in Football and why we should never underestimate the size of club that we often face in this league…..that was only just over twelve years ago.

    The first chapter of our dirty dozen encounters is today and I am sure that Bath will be a very tough nut to crack. They were pretty impressive in the 2-2 draw at Twerton Park in November and would have completely turned round a two goal deficit if it hadn’t been for one of the outstanding saves of his career by Stuart Coburn in injury time.

    Enjoy the battle and trust in Major Ken!



    After their win at Moss Lane, Bath City report that "City eased to their fifth away win of the season against struggling Altrincham... City went into the game hoping to arrest a slide which had seen them winless in the last four outings, and they were the dominant side throughout the game. Though Altrincham had spells of dominance in possession, they rarely threatened the Bath goal, and City... were deserved winners...

    When Carl Pentney could only punch the ball to Michael Twiss inside the area, the crowd expected to see the net bulge. However, the former Manchester United youth player failed to find the target with the goal at his mercy. That chance breathed new life into City’s performance...

    They finally did break the deadlock, though it did come with its fair share of controversy. A quick-fire attacking move saw the ball with Jones taking the ball forward in the centre of midfield, but his touch was heavy and James Smith appeared to win the ball cleanly for Altrincham. The referee gave a foul and the quick thinking Canham laid the ball off for Gethin Jones whose shot fell kindly for Lee Phillips, who had the simplest of tasks to put the ball in the net...

    Another fantastic away win and wonderful performance".


    Alty travel to Barrow next Saturday and the Holker Street Newsletter reports that "Darren Sheridan has invited unhappy Barrow supporters to come to Holker Street on match-day and discuss their reservations face-to-face with him and [joint boss, Dave] Bayliss... This is what Darren had to say in the Mail: 'The fans that have been making all these negative comments, I'd like them to come down to the ground on a match-day and talk to me and Dave Bayliss. We're prepared to listen to their views and then they can listen to us explain what we are trying to do at the club. What we don't want is just fans coming out with all these negative comments about the club...

    What we need is for everyone at the club and the fans to pull together, and if we do that we'll get through this bad spell. Me and Dave have a great relationship with most of the fans, but there's a few of them that are just so negative, and that's what I can't understand. We've been in the Conference for three years now and it's a very difficult League to survive in, we only have a tight budget and a small squad to work with. We only had three men on the bench last week (against Cambridge), people have got to understand that.

    Look at all the success we've had in three seasons - two FA Cup runs and then winning the FA Trophy at Wembley... I know we've had money from the FA Cup runs and people say where has the money gone? But the board are spending money on improving the whole set-up and looking after the future of the club, the fans have to understand that. And when you have no game for five or six weeks, we still have to pay the players' wages when there are no fans coming through the turnstiles. If they want to come down to the club, we are prepared to speak to them and meet with them face to face, because I'm sick of all these negative comments".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC's search for a first away win of the season continues following a 2-0 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers. The out-of-luck Bluebirds, who had three efforts cleared off the line during the game, had keeper Clark Masters sent off in the closing stages.

    AFC, who face fellow strugglers Histon and Altrincham at home in their next two games, remain 18th in the Blue Square Bet Premier table, but are now just one point above the relegation zone...

    Barrow made just one change to the side beaten 3-0 at Gateshead, with Donnelly replacing Marc Goodfellow, who dropped to the bench. Robin Hulbert (hamstring) again missed out. AFC lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Donnelly on the left wing and Rutherford on the opposite flank. The Bluebirds arrived at Aggborough having not won an away game this season. Their last victory on the road came nine months ago...

    Barrow: Clark Masters, Simon Spender, Paul Edwards, Mike Pearson, Phil Bolland, Paul Rutherford, James Owen, Christian Smith (Andy Cook 76), Ciaran Donnelly, Louis Almond, Nick Chadwick (Shaun Pearson 85). Subs not used: Paul Jones, Marc Goodfellow, John Grant".

    Kidderminster Harriers report that "Gary Whild spoke of some relief in the camp as Harriers put an end to five straight defeats at the hands of Barrow to finally overcome them with a 2-0 win at Aggborough... Whild said: 'Sometimes this season we have let too many goals in and today, certainly, the lads at the back did their job and it was good to see'... It keeps Harriers chins up and crucially ensures they stay in the hunt for the play-off places".

    Neil Bassett, York City FC secretary has isued a statement in which "York City FC are reaffirming their zero tolerance policy towards the use of flares and smoke devices at their matches whether it be home or away. The club have recently been warned by The Football Association that following recent incidents, use of such devices at matches involving the club must stop. If the club fails to prevent their use, the club may face penalties or sanctions from football's regulatory body".

    23 January 2011


    Altrincham Youth's league game at Morecambe on Sunday has been postponed which will make next Sunday 13 weeks since their last home game!


    There were three pre-match presentations at Moss Lane on Saturday for Stuart Coburn, Robbie Lawton and Rob Williams. Stuart was receiving his award for completing 500 starts for Altrincham whilst Robbie Lawton was honoured for 200 games. Rob Williams's accolade was for his latest Welsh international cap at under-23 level. Picture by Gavin Rathbone.


  • Match report here.

    Right, Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography captures Stuart Coburn making a fine save from Mohamed's penalty at Moss Lane on Saturday. Gavin also has a picture of Wes Baynes about to tackle Mohamed as he nears the Alty penalty area.

    The Non-League Paper quotes Alty manager Ken McKenna after the Bath game. "you can't fault the players for their effort., but you can't just switch off. There seem to have beens ome tired minds out there today and some of the passing and the final ball was poor. yet we created some good chances. There seems to be anxiety when we play at home.

    We stressed to the players that we want to give our fans something to cheer about but we stil aren't producing at home".

    Bath boss Adie Britton said "This was a great performance. it couldn't have gone better. W epassed the ball well and cerated a host of chances. I was delighted that we kept the ball for so long at periods. I knew that would tire Altrincham and the game eventually opened up".

    This is Bath has audio interviews from the Bath side. It also has a report which refers to the many controversial moments of the game. "A brilliant piece of quick thinking from a disputed free-kick set Bath City on their way to a significant and deserved victory over struggling Altrincham. Gethin Jones went tumbling on the edge of the box in the 35th minute and, while the Altrincham players were busy appealing for a dive, Marc Canham put the ball down and tapped it to the City defender [i.e. Jones], who had been left unmarked in the penalty area.

    His shot was well parried by keeper Stuart Coburn but Lee Phillips followed up to sweep the loose ball into the net, despite appeals for offside. The goal was greeted with anguished cries of 'cheat' from the home fans but, on the balance of play, City had done enough to earn the advantage.

    And they went on to make the points safe with two late goals, Kaid Mohamed atoning for a penalty miss - which resulted in Altrincham's Wes Baynes being sent off - and Phillips tapping home his second...

    Considering their lowly position, Altrincham had shown little fight in the opening 25 minutes but were almost gifted an opening goal when Jim Rollo headed a near-post cross up in the air, then Carl Pentney twice failed to punch clear, leaving Michael Twiss with a clear sight of goal but his effort missed the target...

    Altrincham's only other chance of the half came on the 30-minute mark when Damian Reeves found space between Rollo and Jones but, just as he was lining up his shot, Danny Webb stretched a leg out to prod the ball behind for a corner...

    Again the home crowd were enraged as Mohamed appeared to handle the ball before surging through on goal. Referee Richard West played on then but blew up when the City striker was brought down by Wes Baynes inside the box. Baynes saw red and Rob Williams [actually it was James Smith but it was hard to tell at the time] was booked during the ensuing argument over the decision and the fact that it took three minutes for the penalty to be taken may have put Mohamed off as his shot was saved by Coburn.

    Altrincham were in uproar again a couple of minutes later when Shaun Densmore crashed over Jones' outstretched leg in the box. However, the referee played advantage, only for Beesley to drag his shot wide of the far post...

    With nine minutes to go, City got a killer second goal. Coburn gave away an unnecessary corner and when Sido Jombati flicked Canham's flag-kick across the box, Mohamed was on hand to atone for his penalty miss... before City made it 3-0 with a couple of minutes to go..

    Altrincham had a couple of chances to grab a late consolation but Carl Piergianni headed wide at the far post and Reeves smashed an attempted lob out of the ground".


    Adam Farley has moved on from Leigh Genesis to Burscough.
    22 January 2011


    Referee Mr S.J. West was again on the end of home crowd booing, just as he had been in November at Moss Lane, when he awarded Luton's winning goal despite protests that it had been cleared off the line. This time he awarded Bath a freekick when Jones appeared to go down without any contact from James Smith. He allowed the freekick to be taken very quickly and Bath scored the game's opener, through Phillips (35 mins)...

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

  • Match report here.


    Saturday 22nd

  • Howard Watts's Through the Years data
  • AFC Wimbledon 5 Southport 0
  • Altrincham 0 Bath City 3
  • Cambridge United 1 Wrexham 3
  • Fleetwood Town 1 Hayes & Yeading Utd 1
  • Grimsby Town 0 Crawley Town 0
  • Kettering Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 0
  • Kidderminster Harriers 2 Barrow AFC 0
  • Luton Town 2 Gateshead FC 2
  • Mansfield Town 1 Histon 0
  • Newport County 1 Rushden & Diamonds 3
  • Tamworth 1 Darlington 1
  • York City 2 Forest Green Rovers 1


    Against Bath City, new Alty keeper Craig Dootson could be in at the deep end as the BBC reports that "Altrincham will be without defender Marc Joseph, who begins a three-match ban... Goalkeeper Stuart Coburn (hamstring) remains doubtful, but on-loan defender Carl Piergianni could be included. Bath midfielder Lewis Hogg is expected feature again after not suffering any reaction to a recent groin injury. Midfielder Joe Burnell is still struggling with a hamstring problem and will face a late fitness test".

    Bath City add that "Adie Britton takes his side to struggling Altrincham on Saturday, hoping to return to winning ways after a tricky last few matches. City are winless in the last four but have managed to play some of their best football of the season in those games, but they will be keen to take the opportunities they get on Saturday.

    There’s competition in the forwards, as on-loan striker Ben Watson will want to keep his spot in the XI, while Lee Phillips may return following the birth of his child. Joe Burnell is still out with an ankle injury, and Lewis Hogg may return following his appearance from the bench on Tuesday night.

    Meanwhile, Altrincham are in deep trouble, currently lying in 23rd in [the] Blue Square Bet Premier table with just two home wins all season. Bath City will be playing in their blue third kit".

    From This is Bath we learn that "Bath City have crunch games against teams at either end of the table this week – but boss Adie Britton is already planning towards next season. Promotion-chasing AFC Wimbledon pay a visit to Twerton Park on Tuesday (7.45pm) but it is Saturday's trip to second-from-bottom Altrincham (3pm) which will go a long way to determining whether City achieve their survival goal.

    Despite their 2-0 midweek defeat to table-topping Crawley Town, City retain a healthy gap between themselves and the drop zone, so any result other than a loss at Moss Lane will put them in a strong position. And with a second season in the Blue Square Bet Premier tantalisingly close, Britton has started identifying the players he believes can continue City's progress.

    'What we're trying to do is look at players on loan with a view to who we should sign for next season', said Britton, who this week brought in Exeter City striker Ben Watson for a month.

    'We're going to be part-time again, probably much the same as this year, but we'd like to think we can progress the season after and have an extra training session, stuff like that. We want to know which players can work within that framework and I think I can probably get in three or four players on loan before the end of the season so I can look at them.

    Once you've got them in your midst you can look at their attitude, whether they get on well with the lads, how they perform. I'd love to think we'll get at least one more in before the transfer deadline. There's a couple of players we are chasing every day and we'll just have to see what happens'.

    Britton confirmed he had been contacted by Stevenage about taking striker Charlie Griffin on loan but said the move was scuppered by financial constraints. 'Unfortunately the money was in a different league', he said...

    Lewis Hogg was able to come on as a substitute against Crawley Town – just days after it was feared the midfielder may be miss the rest of the season through injury. 'It's a very strange situation', Britton said. 'He's had a groin injury and couldn't move after playing the two games in three days against Newport and Wrexham. He was still like that last week. Then, over the weekend, he got on a bike for an hour or two and suddenly it's really loosened up and he feels mobile again.

    So that seems to point towards either a pelvic injury or a lower-back problem, rather than groin. It's an injury a lot of fast bowlers get in cricket. One day they can barely move, then they get the osteopath working on them and they are going again'...

    Lee Phillips – who missed Saturday's FA Trophy defeat at Darlington with a thigh strain and the Crawley match to be with wife Nicky as she gave birth to son Finlay – will be available for Altrincham. City are also hoping to receive international clearance for Albjon Blloku, who has spent the last few years playing top-flight football in Albania and Croatia but moved to Bath in late September.

    Britton hinted that Scott Murray, who impressed in his two substitute appearances this week, could be in line for a starting place but said that Leon Jeanne is likely to remain a peripheral figure for the remainder of the season. 'Leon has probably got more ability than anyone else at the club but, the truth of the matter is, he is not match-fit... The plan is he will go to play in the League of Ireland in the summer and hopefully come back a lot fitter in pre-season'".


    TASC chairman Brian Flynn writes:

    Loads of Tickets To Sell

    After just one home game in ten weeks, all Alty fans must be really looking forward to getting back to Moss Lane to cheer the team on against Bath City.......particularly after the excellent start to 2011!

    The lack of home gate revenue has been a massive challenge to the finances of the Club and has severely restricted our opportunities to make the New Year Raffle as successful as in recent years. Saturday is a chance to change that.

    Please support your club by:-

  • a) Buying as many raffle tickets as you can.
  • b) Taking home as many books of tickets as you can to sell to friends and family.

    We also desperately need more people to help us sell tickets before and after the game.If you can help please contact Brian Flynn (07860 561011 or by e-mail)".


    Alty's next two away games are both Band 1 category journeys on TASC's supporters' coach travel, meaning the visits to Barrow and Wrexham cost just £11 return for adult TASC members. To sign up, ring the club on 928-1045 or book in the Robins' Shop on matchdays.Details of the times and fares are on the Away Travel page.


    The Manchester Evening News says that "Altrincham manager Ken McKenna is looking forward to getting back on home soil after a run of four [actually five] straight games on the road.

    McKenna’s side notched up two wins and a draw during [the three league games within] their four [i.e. five] away days, including Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Tamworth, in a run which saw them climb off the bottom of the Blue Square Premier table.

    The Robins now face two home games in just four days against Bath City and Hayes and Yeading as they look to continue their survival push. McKenna said: 'It’s good to get back in front of our home fans but we’ve got two very tough games in front of us. We’ll be missing Marc Joseph who’s been fantastic for us this season, but I was delighted with the way we defended against Tamworth and we’re putting together a good run now, which we’ll be looking continue'.

    Defender Joseph begins a three-match ban after being red-carded on Tuesday for raising his hands to Tamworth striker Kyle Perry... McKenna said: 'It was just a moment of madness from Marc Joseph; the lad’s grabbed him in the face but he’s retaliated which you can’t do on a football pitch nowadays. Before the game we’d have probably taken a point but, after the performance we gave, you can’t help but walk away thinking we could have come away with all three, and I think that shows how far we’ve come in recent weeks'".


    Folowing Tuesday's game, This is Tamworth reported that "Des Lyttle slammed his side's inconsistency as both a team and as individuals as the Lambs produced a lethargic display during their 1-1 draw with Altrincham on Tuesday. An honest Lyttle admitted his team were not at the races.

    'We didn't play particularly well all evening and that's frustrating', he said... 'Too many players are good one game and not so good the next. If they want to kick on their careers, they have to find that consistent streak. Altrincham wasn't good enough... We talked about starting fast but again we conceded inside ten minutes. I wish I could put my finger on it.

    The players weren't brave enough in terms of handling the ball and made the wrong decisions all night. It wasn't a very good game of football but at least we battled and got a point. We could have nicked it but the performance was very patchy'...

    Lyttle admitted the sending off of Marc Joseph early in the second half actually made life tougher for his side. 'It's tough against ten men. Sometimes you prefer it to be 11 v 11 because the ten men find that something extra. They have that extra spirit, sit in a little bit, keep it tight and look to catch you on the break. We weren't passing it anyway all game, so that made it doubly hard as they had two banks of four in front of us... Altrincham are fighting for their lives and made it hard for us'".

    The same source adds that it was "a game lacking in any real quality... Tamworth, despite plenty of possession, were devoid of attacking ideas and rarely looked like capitalising on their man advantage...

    Altrincham, whipping boys of the league earlier in the season, have had an upturn in fortunes recently. The dark days of November's 7-0 defeat to Crawley and 4-0 loss at Cambridge had been wiped out by seven points from a possible nine, and one league goal conceded in three, prior to Tuesday's clash".


    Altrincham are now six points off the bottom of the table after the Football Conference reports that they"Confirm that, as neither Kidderminster Harriers or Histon FC have lodged appeals, concerning the findings of the commission hearings into a breach of Rule 18, the sanctions imposed upon each club will now take effect and the respective playing records of each club in the Blue Square Bet Premier should be amended forthwith to show a deduction of five points". The revised table is here.


    The Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee jackpot now stands at £3,300. Last week's unissued winning code was 6263 and there were eight winning trebles each netting £25. Just a £1 stake gets you the chance to win the jackpot.

    16 GONE

    With the departure of James Coates, 16 players have now left Alty since the end of last season.
  • Adam CARDEN - midfielder, released just before the start of the 2010-11 season
  • James COATES - goalkeeper, released 21 January 2011
  • Matty CROWELL - midfielder, left in late October 2010 after commuting to Altrincham from South Wales
  • Peter DORAN - midfielder, decided to leave at the end of 2009-10 season
  • Danny HOLMES - defender/midfielder, released October 2010
  • Dale JOHNSON - striker, released, 1 September 2010
  • Andrai JONES - loan defender from Bury, returned to Gigg Lane in October 2010
  • Colin LITTLE - striker, moved to take up a coaching post with Manchester United at the end of 2009-10 season. Colin re-signed for Alty in September 2010, but did not appear before appearing for New Mills.
  • John McALISKEY - striker, released, May 2010
  • James McCARTHY - striker, released 26 October 2010
  • Tom McCREADY - midfielder, released, October 2010
  • Andrew MILNE - defender, completed a successful three-month loan spell from Barrow in January 2011
  • Russell SAUNDERS - goalkeeper, released in pre-season, August 2010
  • Chris SENIOR - striker, left for full-time football at Darlington, May 2010
  • Matthew SOMNER - midfielder, completed a successful three-month loan spell from Mansfield Town in January 2011
  • Greg YOUNG - defender, left for full-time football at York City, May 2010


    The Football Conference reports that our visitors, next Tuesday, will bring a well known face. "Much-travelled forward Jefferson Louis has made Hayes & Yeading United his latest port of call".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Forest Green Rovers have bolstered their squad with two new faces arriving and three penning new deals.... Manager David Hockaday made two new signings and increased some players contracts. Both the new signings are big quick powerful strikers, which will increase competition for first team places.

  • Liam Enver-Marum (17/11/87). Forward returns to Rovers having been released by Crawley Town and Hockaday feels that with a contract to the end of the current season, the club will now see him produce the potential that he has shown earlier in the season...
  • Jacob Erskine (13/1/89). Forward Jacob joins Rovers from Concord Rangers who play in The Isthmian League Division 1 North and has played in the Football League with both Dagenham & Redbridge and Gillingham... He has also played for Maidstone, Dorchester, Margate and Tooting and Mitcham United.
  • Bradley Gray (5/7/90). Midfield Bradley, although currently out injured, has been given a contract to the end of the season. He joined Rovers in December after being released by Salisbury last October...
  • Yan Klukowski (1/1/87). Midfield Yan has had his contract with Rovers extended to the end of the 2011/12 season.
  • Callum Henry (10/6/91). Defender Callum has joined Cirencester Town on a month's loan".

    Meanwhile, "Midfielder Dan Brown has left Eastbourne Borough and signed for Harlow Town. The 30-year-old had been on-loan with the Essex side since October".

    Frosty nights mean that some matches are at risk on Saturday with pitch inspections already announced. For instance, Tamworth say that "The pitch at The Lamb is frozen and the match on Saturday is already in doubt".

    This is Derbyshire, in reporting that "Alfreton Town defender Aden Flint was last night poised to make a club record move to Swindon Town. The towering centre-back will make a £150,000 switch to the League One club", has confirmation of what Crawley paid for another Alfreton player. Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley stated, "Kyle McFadzean went to Crawley for £80,000 plus add-ons but this will exceed that by far".

    According to the Southport Visiter "Southport are hoping to secure the signature of a Conference title winner - as Chris Simm leaves for Chester. Manager Liam Watson has received the backing of chairman Charlie Clapham to move for the experienced central midfielder...

    The player’s parent club are reluctant to release their captain but the Visiter understands there is strong interest from the target for a move to Haig Avenue. With the Sandgrounders receiving a six figure pay-day from the FA Cup first round clash with Sheffield Wednesday - as well as having the coffers boosted with sell on fees generated from recent transfers of Craig Noone and Mark Duffy - Watson has been given the green light to bolster his squad.

    The Port manager’s war chest has also been boosted with the sale of striker Simm to ambitious Evo-Stik First Division leaders Chester FC.. 'This week I tried to bring in a proven Conference midfield player',” said Watson who saw his side lose 1-0 to Wrexham on Tuesday night.

    'He is a top player and the chairman has sanctioned the move. His parent club are not looking to let him go but I believe it is still possible something could happen. I don’t usually go for this kind of signing but I know the lad very well, like him and know he would be great for us'".

    "Marcus Law has conceded Kettering Town are in the thick of a 'mini league' at the bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier" reports the Nortants Evening Telegraph. "The Poppies slipped to 17th place following Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Grimsby Town and they are just four points clear of Hayes & Yeading United who sit in the fourth and final relegation spot.

    Law’s men have just one win to their name since October 30 and have lost seven out of their last nine league matches. Some tough clashes have coincided with the slashing of the wage bill and five senior players leaving – the latest being Serge Makofo who was sold to Grimsby ahead of Tuesday’s game.

    It means they are heading for a huge home clash with Eastbourne Borough on Saturday with the visitors sitting third from bottom and six points behind Kettering...

    'Each game is turning into a cup final for us', Law said. 'There is a mini league forming around the relegation places and we had a chat about it after the game on Tuesday. I want my lads to go in with the same mindset they had against the likes of Crawley and Grimsby and playing the games like a cup final. We have to win this mini league we are involved in and I strongly feel we will get out of it. The performances have warranted positive results but now gaining three points is crucial for us... I think we all believe we can make something happen'.

    Law, meanwhile, is hoping to have experienced left-back Sol Davis available soon. He has been out since breaking his collarbone in the 3-2 defeat at AFC Wimbledon on November 21".

    21 January 2011


    James Coates (right), Altrincham's back-up goalkeeper has been released, whilst joining the club is fellow keeper, 31 year-old Craig Dootson, whose most recent club was Harrogate Town, from where he had been loaned to Fleetwood Town. The Club wishes to thank James for his service. He never let the club down when stepping in for Stuart Coburn. James made 11 appearances for Altrincham this season and we wish him well in his future career.

    Craig (d.o.b 23/5/1979) joined his home-town club, Preston North End in 1998, and moved from there to Bamber Bridge before joining Leigh RMI. Injury curtailed his appearances at Hilton Park from where he joined Stalybridge Celtic in summer 2002. Three years later he went into the League with Bury but unfortunately lost his place after breaking his arm.

    Next, came a loan spell at Hinckley United in early 2006, before Bury released him. After this, three seasons were spent with Hyde United before a move to Alfreton Town for 2009-10, from where he moved to Fleetwood, in November 2009. Craig left Fleetwood after deciding to play part-time and he signed up for Harrogate Town but returned to Fleetwood on a three month loan which has just expired in January 2011.

    Craig will wear no.30 in Alty's squad. Stuart Coburn missed Alty's last match with a hamstring strain but he trained with the squad this Thursday.

    ROBBIE'S 200TH

    After the deserved publicity for Stuart Coburn's 500th start for Alty at Blyth last week, we now have some time to congratulate Alty captain Robbie Lawton (left), who made his 200th appearance for the Club, (188 starts and 12 sub appearances), at Tamworth last Tuesday.

    That game included a good example of why college teacher Robbie, as well as being a committed player on the pitch, has been a good ambassador for the club off the field. During the first half, a pass from him went astray near the main stand at The Lamb and, in the heat of the moment, he uttered a single-word expletive, clearly expressing annoyance at himself for his error. A wag in the home crowd criticised his language but, rather than reacting to the wind-up, Robbie spontaneously had the decency to hold up his hands and apologise courteously to the nearby spectators for his lapse. You would not find that happening in the Premier League.

    As team spokesman, his weekly "Captain's Log" articles in the Robins' Review programme have always been thoughtful and honest, whilst he has also looked after young matchday mascots in exemplary manner in the pre-match warm-ups at Moss Lane. On the field, he has had a challenging time, losing his place a couple of times this season, but he has fought his way back into the side to complete his double century.

    The next Alty player's landmark looks like being James Smith's 100th game for the club; he has reached 91 appearances to date - all starts except for one appearance from the bench.


    The Manchester Evening News reports on three footballers who have been at top-flight clubs but now earn their livings at a lower level. One of the featured three is Altrincham midfielder Sam Hewson...

    "Sam Hewson realises he might have to get a job if he finds he cannot make a living from playing football. Not that long ago the big time beckoned when the 22-year-old was on the books of Manchester United. He would rub shoulders with household names on the training field at Carrington, modelling his game on heroes like Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.

    Hewson even made the substitute’s bench for a Champions League tie in Roma and four years ago starred in the United side that reached the final of the FA Youth Cup. Alas, hopes of making the grade at Old Trafford were eventually dashed and he is now playing part time with Blue Square Bet Premier League outfit Altrincham.

    The shirt colour may be the same and the team may also play in Trafford but in football terms the clubs are on different planets. While his old team-mates earn huge salaries, the Altrincham players teach, tile and drive taxis in order to make ends meet.

    'Altrincham are paying me enough for the time being but I might have to think about doing a college course in the future', accepted Hewson. 'I know that my team-mates have got jobs and so far I’ve not really looked at doing other work, like plumbing, bricklaying or joinery. I’ve never been in this situation before and I’m still hoping to get back into the game full-time. I need to get fitter and I still think I can get back to League One level.

    It wasn’t a big shock when I was told by Mike Phelan that I wasn’t being offered a new contract at United because I’d known it was coming. I like to get into the penalty area and score goals and I was lucky that I learned from players like Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, who were really helpful to me.

    Keane was always shouting and telling me what to do in training and Scholes would do all he could to help me, along with all the other local lads'.

    Hewson had a spell on loan at Bury last season before Altrincham offered him a lifeline.

    'My first priority is to help Altrincham avoid relegation and then I’ll take it from there. It is a culture shock after leaving the biggest club in the world and everyone at Moss Lane has been good to me'".

    Home: Bolton. Marital status: Girlfriend. Car: Fiat Grande Punto".


    Ryan Brown is a versatile member of the Alty squad, playing both in defence and midfield, and only two players have played in more league games for the Robins than he has this season. Ryan has started 20 BSBP matches and been a used substitute twice. Only Robbie Williams (25 starts) and Shaun Densmore (24) have played more than Ryan who, with 22 appearances is level with Marc Joseph. He is pictured, right, at Blyth last Saturday.


    The Football Conference says that "Forest Green Rovers have signed 22-year-old striker Liam Enver-Marum on a permanent basis after his release by Crawley Town. Enver-Marum, who at 6` 2" tall will add considerable height to Rovers` attack, had a loan spell at the New Lawn earlier this season as well as a temporary stint with league rivals Hayes & Yeading United. Enver-Marum numbers Reading, Cambridge United, Woking and Eastbourne Borough as his previous clubs".

    Meanwhile, "Gateshead have transfer-listed experienced midfield man Andy Ferrell and have circulated League Two and Blue Square Bet Premier clubs. Ferrell, who began his career at Newcastle United, was a regular in the side after he joined Gateshead a year ago from York City. This season, however, the 27-year-old has been unable to tie down a place in the centre of midfield, making ten starts and seven appearances off the bench, and has not made the sixteen in the last two games. 'At this stage of his career Ferrell needs to be playing first-team football and I can't guarantee him that at Gateshead', said Tynesiders' manager Ian Bogie".

    From Blue Square Football we learn that "Cambridge United have revealed that they have turned down a bid from a fellow Blue Square Bet Premier team for winger Robbie Willmott. The U's received a five-figure bid from an unnamed Blue Square Bet Premier outfit but have turned it down...

    Commenting on the transfer bid, U's boss Martin Ling told Cambridge News: 'I'm not prepared to name the club, but the offer didn't meet our valuation. He can play in the bottom two divisions of the Football League, whether he can in the Championship I don't know, but he needs a stepping stone if the opportunity came along. Robbie going to another Blue Square Premier club isn't going to give him that step up, he can make that step up from here'".

    Two players exiting the BSBP are the subject of discussion at Southport, who confirm that "Striker Chris Simm will finalise documentation tomorrow morning that will complete the strikers transfer to Chester City. Simm, a member of last season's championship squad has been made available by Liam Watson, with Chester's interest dating back to the summer... Also leaving the squad for the next month is defender Shaun Gray who joins up with Kendal Town on loan".

    They visit Moss Lane next Tuesday but this week "Hayes & Yeading boss Garry Haylock slammed his side's poor defending as they threw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Rushden & Diamonds. A win would have lifted Hayes four points clear of the relegation zone but as it was, mistakes from Charlie Wassmer and goalkeeper Lee Harrison allowed Diamonds back into the match.

    Haylock told the Uxbridge Gazette: 'I thought it was a poor performance from us overall. I told the players at half-time that we had come in 2-0 up, but I did not think we had played well. We got 3-0 up, but I never thought we looked solid and the goals we conceded were poor goals. We dropped ourselves in it with poor mistakes. I am not sure we deserved anything, but on the other side of things we have played really well at times this season and not got anything so that has evened itself out. We cannot keep a clean sheet and that is why we are in the bottom four. You cannot concede 50 goals in 26 games and not be looking for players'".

    "Kidderminster Harriers winger Kyle Hadley is likely to leave Aggborough in the near future after admitting he is looking for a club closer to home" claims Blue Square Football. "The 24-year-old has finished a three-month loan spell at Harrogate Town and is not keen to spend his time warming the bench at Aggborough. Hadley has also recently become a father and would like to move closer to his home in Doncaster.

    He told the Express & Star: 'I would [like] to stop at the highest that I can, but I am a father and it would be ideal if I get a club more out this way. I have got to speak to the gaffer tomorrow, then see what happens, but it's more than likely I will go back out on loan somewhere. I want to be playing games, I don't want to be sitting on the bench".

    And another possible exit at Aggborough is reported as "Boss Steve Burr has revealed exclusively to the Harriers website that "Top goal scorer Chris McPhee is to be placed on the transfer list. Burr, who spoke with the player on Thursday, confirmed... 'It's obviously disappointing that we've had to take this step, as you never want to lose your best players and Chris has done very well for us this season. The club has made the decision and we need to respect that'". Harriers have been experiencing financial prblems and McPhee was reputedly one of their top earners.

    According to NL Daily "Dean Holdsworth has made his third signing since taking over as manager of Aldershot Town, bringing in defender Simon Grand from Fleetwood Town on loan for the rest of the season.

    Chorley-born Grand started his career through the youth system at Rochdale... He then joined Carlisle United... The 26-year-old left-sided defender has also served Northwich Victoria, Morecambe and Grimsby Town before joining ambitious Fleetwood during the summer. He has over 150 senior appearances to his name and he spent a loan spell with Fleetwood`s league rivals Mansfield Town earlier this season".

    At troubled Wrexham, "Council chiefs held crisis talks with Wrexham owner Geoff Moss to seek assurances about the future of the Racecourse ground... Last week it was revealed the Racecourse had been used by Moss as security against loans to buy rugby league club Crusaders out of administration...

    Wrexham Supporters’ Federation posed seven key questions about the club and its financial position, which Moss has so far refused to answer. Wrexham council leader, Cllr Aled Roberts, said... 'As a result of speculation over the past couple of weeks we are redoubling our efforts to ensure proposals are put forward to the footballing authorities to recover the international status at The Racecourse ground... but international status cannot be recovered while the Kop end of the ground remains derelict... During the meeting with Mr Moss we were also trying to discover the current position on the ownership of the ground and whether it is for sale'", he told The Leader.

    From Barrow comes news that "Striker, Danny Forrest, is set to join Conference North outfit, Guiseley, on loan in order to get match fitness following injury. Forrest has been out since picking up an ankle injury... in late October and badly needs games in order to challenge for a starting place. The 26 year old will join for a month from today until February 19th".

    20 January 2011


    John Edwards, joint Alty press officer writes:

    "Ken McKenna was left to rue defender Marc Joseph's 49th-minute dismissal but still saluted a fighting spirit that added another crucial point to Altrincham's Blue Square Bet Premier survival campaign at Tamworth on Tuesday night.

    Alty were leading through in-form striker Damian Reeves's seventh-minute finish and seemingly heading for another morale-boosting win when Joseph (left) was shown a straight red card for reacting to a challenge by half-time substitute Kyle Perry. To compound Alty's frustration, Perry's diving header in the 79th-minute pegged them back and forced a 1-1 draw in a game they had controlled.

    Joseph starts a three-match ban, with immediate effect, but McKenna is at least hopeful Carl Piergianni will be declared fit to take his place against Bath at Moss Lane on Saturday.

    'Their lad pulled Marc's face, as he was seeing the ball out, and it should have been a free-kick to us and maybe a booking for him', said the Alty boss. 'But Marc pushed him back, and that was it. The ref sent him off, and we have to accept it.

    'I have reacted like that often enough, and it can be frustrating when you know it should be a free-kick your way. It's disappointing Marc did that, because it left us one short, after we had looked comfortable and on course for all three points.

    'But it was still encouraging that we built on the recent unbeaten run, and I thought some of our defending was fantastic. There was a real desire about it, and I was really pleased for the lads that they had something to show for it.

    'When we were bottom, everyone said we were down and had no chance. But out position is improving all the time, and the aim now is to try and climb right out of the bottom four. That would give us all a great psychological boost, and if we keep sticking to the game plan each week, we can do it.'

    Keeper Stuart Coburn (hamstring) faces a late test, ahead of the crucial double-header, against Bath, then Hayes at home next Tuesday".


    In the protracted confusion after Marc Joseph's dismissal at Tamworth, it was Shaun Densmore rather than Robbie Lawton who was booked. As for Marc Joseph, it seems he was elbowed in the ribs by Kyle Perry, the former Mansfield striker, unseen by the officials, and Marc's reaction of putting his hands on the offender's chest and neck was what got him dismissed.

    According to Tamworth against Alty "Des Lyttle made one change to the starting eleven welcoming Michael Wylde back after injury and his two new signings took places on the bench... It was the visitors who had more of the play in the opening encounters.

    The game started in a very scrappy manner with neither side able to do much past the half way lines of any worth however in their first real attack, Reeves stole in at the far post to head home a low header after Baynes's cross from the right evaded everyone to give Alty the lead...

    Lyttle sent his players back out very early for the second half having made two changes at half time, with strikers Perry and debutant Jason Bradley coming on for Yussuf and Sheridan...

    Joseph appeared to clash with Perry on the right wing earning the Altrincham player a straight red card. After much deliberation and talking between the referee and various Alty players Densmore also received a booking...

    Finally, Tamworth got on the scoresheet on 79 when Tait's right wing cross was expertly and powerfully headed past Coatley [i.e. Coates] by Perry from 6 yards to level the tie".


    "Kettering Town have signed goalkeeper Mark Halstead on a month`s loan from Blackpool" confirms the Football Conference. "A highly-rated young keeper, Halstead, 20, signed professional terms with the Tangerines in the summer of 2009... He spent the last few months of the campaign on loan at Hyde United and then in November 2010, Halstead signed on an emergency loan for Barrow. But he played only one game... before an injury to Matt Gilks saw him recalled to Blackpool".

    Meanwhile, "It is with regret that Kidderminster Harriers must report that former chairman David Reynolds has decided to leave the board of Aggborough Holdings Ltd. Reynolds, who was instrumental in launching a rescue package to try to save the club, believes that his departure may encourage other parties to invest in the Football Club.

    Chairman Mark Serrell said: 'Without David Reynolds' financial input in 2009 and again in October 2010, Kidderminster Harriers Football Club would no longer be in business. David has also waived repayment on all the loans he has given to the Football Club. He has only ever been interested in ensuring the best for Kidderminster Harriers Football Club'".

    From Blue Square Football, we learn that "Hayes & Yeading striker Elliott Buchanan is targeting 15 goals this season in a bid to help his side steer clear of the relegation zone. The former Stevenage Borough frontman scored a hat-trick in Tuesday night's 3-3 draw against Rushden & Diamonds and believes a number of factors have contributed to his goalscoring form.

    Buchanan told the Uxbridge Gazette: 'It was fantastic for me to get a hat-trick after the last game - it is definitely my best feat at this level. It is down to confidence, but obviously Ben [Wright] coming in has made a difference', he added. 'We enjoyed playing together. It is a combination of that, the new system we are playing and full-time football...

    All the boys were a bit down afterwards after being 3-0 up... Maybe I can now get 15 goals.'".

    And "Grimsby Town manager Neil Woods has completed the signing of striker Serge Makofo from Kettering Town. The Mariners secured a 2-1 victory over the Poppies on Tuesday night in league action but on Wednesday the focus was on off-field affairs as the Congolese forward completed a medical at Blundell Park. Makofo, who started his career at MK Dons and has also enjoyed spells at Mainenhead, Halesowen, Potters Bar and Burton Albion, is six foot tall with great pace and can also play in midfield. The 24-year-old has penned a three-year deal".


    The Northwich Guardian reports that "Andy Preece admitted he was relieved after holders Northwich reached a second successive Cheshire FA Senior Cup final on Tuesday...

    'We were nowhere near our best' he said. 'But somehow this group finds a way to pick themselves up each time they are in a hole and they deserved huge credit for that... Let’s see if we can retain the trophy'. Mark Peers conjured, and scored, the winner for the hosts after John McAliskey’s header had cancelled out Mike Tomlinson’s opener [for Warrington Town]. Both teams missed a penalty too...

    Northwich have now failed to convert a penalty in each of their past four matches. 'It’s unbelievable', added Preece. 'To be awarded four penalties in as many games is something that doesn’t happen very often. To miss them all is remarkable. I think they’re slowly getting worse as well!'.

    The visitors, unbeaten in 11 league and cup games before kick off, played the final quarter hour a man short following Sam Finley’s dismissal following a reckless lunge at Vics debutant Nathan Taylor... Vics, who have won seven successive matches under Preece in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup since he replaced Steve King as manager in February 2009, will meet old foes Altrincham – the highest-ranked team in the competition – or Alsager in the final. Those two clash at Moss Lane next month".

    "Andy Preece, who made a late cameo as a substitute, preserves a perfect record in the competition as Vics’ manager...

    Vics (4-3-3) Spencer (GK), McArdle, Byron, Woods (Ryan 23), David Thompson (Preece 90), Riley, Sorvel, Fitzpatrick, Taylor (Fowler 78), McAliskey, Peers. Subs not used Arron Morrison (GK), Andy Morrison. Goal McAliskey 65, Peers 78 ... Attendance 187".

    From the other side, Warrington Town say that "Warrington Town suffered Cheshire Cup heart-break as they were edged out 2-1 in a thrilling semi-final with higher league Northwich Victoria... their first Cheshire Senior Cup semi final in nearly two decades... with manager Joey Dunn [ex-Alty] naming the same starting line up which drew with Mossley three days earlier".

    19 January 2011


    Above: Altrincham line up before kick off at The Lamb.

    This was a game Altrincham would probably have won had they kept 11 men on the pitch... and, ironically, this was a game between the only two BSBP sides not to have had a player dismissed this season. Altrincham took a seventh minute lead when Reeves scored, for the fifth successive game, with a header from Baynes's cross. Tamworth's game was riddled with unforced errors but they received a boost when Joseph was sent off for raising his hands to Perry as the ball went out of play - just four minutes into the second half. Alty defended well but a diving header from Perry, 11 minutes from time, gave the Lambs a point.

  • Match report here


    Greg Young kept goal for York for the second half of their 5-0 defeat at Luton last night. He took over when the score was already 4-0, the York keeper having been sent off early in the game. With no other keeper on the bench, York put an outfield player, Smith, in goal till the interval by which time it was 4-0.


    Whoever wins the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final betwen Altrincam and Alsager Town on 8 February will meet Northwich Vics in the final. They overcame Warrington Town 2-1 in their semi last night.


    The referee for Saturday's Alty v Bath City game is Mr R. J. West. Earlier this season he reffed Alty 0 Crawley Town 1 at Moss Lane. Next Tuesday, for the visit of Hayes & Yeading United, the man in black will be Mr D.Ford.


    A player who declined an offer from Altrincham in the summer has joined a local club. "Droylsden have snapped up former Rushden & Diamonds favourite Andy Burgess. The 29-year-old former Diamonds captain, who last season played with Luton Town and Mansfield Town, turned down offers from a string of full-time clubs to join Chester FC in the summer – dropping four divisions in the process.

    However, he struggled to adapt to the lower level and was transfer-listed before obtaining a brief move to Fleetwood Town in November that was swiftly followed with a return to Northamptonshire with Corby Town. He was released last week as a cost-cutting exercise" reports Blue Square Football.


    According to NL Daily, "Darlington have signed midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson on a permanent basis after a successful initial loan spell from Carlisle United. The Coventry-born, left-sided player began his career with Derby County in 1997 and after a loan spell with Carlisle he joined Port Vale in 2000...

    He joined Stockport in 2004 and played twenty-five games for them before moving on to Bradford City in February 2005, playing almost 100 games for the Bantams... He signed for Carlisle in the summer of 2007 and has played 110 games for United".

    The same source tells us that "Bath City have taken 25-year-old striker Ben Watson on a month`s loan from Exeter City. Initially signed on loan from Grays Athletic in March 2008, Watson had joined the Essex side on a two-year deal in July 2007 after being snapped up from Bognor Regis Town... He previously spent three years on a scholarship at Brighton... He has represented England in the National XI squad for the Four Nations' Tournament in 2006... Watson, who has also spent time on loan at Forest Green Rovers, has made seven first-team appearances for Exeter so far this season".

    And "Kettering Town have signed experienced midfielder Jon Challinor until the end of the season. Challinor is a product of Rushden & Diamonds... He joined Aldershot in 2003, scoring twenty-one goals in seventy-eight Conference appearances, before being snapped up by Exeter City - scoring twenty-two times in eighty-seven starts...Challinor was nearly ever present Diamonds, whom he re-joined in 2007.

    Cambridge United paid £15,000 for his services in August 2008 on a two-year deal, but he was transfer-listed in the summer of 2009. He went on a one month loan to Forest Green Rovers on in August 2009, before returning to Cambridge. He joined Mansfield Town in November 2009 on loan... He joined Brackley Town, but was released during October, and he signed for Newport County on a short-term contract".

    According to "Luton Town manager Richard Money has boosted his attacking options by signing striker Lloyd Owusu on a deal that runs until the end of the season. The 34-year-old former Ghana international has returned to England after a spell in Australia with Adelaide United.

    Owusu had trial spell at Gillingham but was not offered a contract... The Slough-born frontman began his career with hometown club Slough Town before linking up with Brentford in a £25,000 deal. He went on to represent the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Reading, Yeovil Town and Cheltenham Town".

    In Sussex, "Eastbourne Borough defender Matt Langston is confident that he will return to action this term despite requiring surgery. The 29-year-old is set to undergo a knee operation after a scan on Friday revealed that he has torn cartilage. However, Sports' boss Nick Greenwood believes he will make a speedy recover from keyhole surgery.

    Greenwood told the Argus: 'We feared Matt might not play again this season but depending how the operation goes he could play a part still'. Meanwhile, Borough midfielder Danny Brown is still in negotiations with the Sports over his future at the club".

    "Kettering Town manager Marcus Law has continued to strengthen with the signing of Blackpool goalkeeper Mark Halstead on a month-long loan deal. The 21-year-old has yet to make his first-team debut for the Seasiders and spent time on loan at Hyde and Barrow last season".

    18 January 2011


    In 17 previous games on this date (Jan. 18th), over more than 100 years, Alty have only ever won once as is seen in Howard Watts's
    Through the Years data.
  • Bath City 0 Crawley Town 2
  • Fleetwood Town 1 AFC Wimbledon 1
  • Gateshead FC 3 Barrow AFC 0
  • Grimsby Town 2 Kettering Town 1
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 3 Rushden & Diamonds 3
  • Luton Town 5 York City 0
  • Newport County OFF Cambridge United
  • Southport 0 Wrexham 1
  • Tamworth 1 Altrincham 1

    FAT 2 replays

  • Cambridge U 3 Alfreton T. 6 (AET)
  • Eastbourne B. 1 Dorchester 0


    It is hoped to provide live Matchday Updates from Tamworth on Tuesday evening.

    NL Daily reports that "Tamworth have signed experienced and well-travelled midfielder Malvin Kamara, who has recently been with Stafford Rangers. Kamara joins the Lambs having made over 200 League appearances and has also been capped at full international level by Sierra Leone.

    Kamara started his career with MK Dons, where he totalled over seventy appearances before moving to Cardiff City in 2006. A short spell with Port Vale followed before moving to Huddersfield Town in 2007. He then signed for Barrow in September 2009 before moving to Guiseley in February 2010. After a trial with Bradford City, he signed for Forest Green Rovers last October before joining Rangers earlier this month".

    Earlier, Tamworth reported that "Manager Des Lyttle has signed 21 year-old Jason Bradley, a striker who was recently on the books of Brackley Town. Jason who is a striker began his career as a pro on the books of Sheffield Wednesday when Brian Laws was in charge. Jason made one Carling Cup First Team appearance and whilst with the Owls went out on loan to Darlington who were then playing in The Football League. After his release by The Owls Jason moved to Mansfield Town. He will be wearing the number 16 shirt and will be available for selection for the home game against Altrincham on Tuesday evening.

    Supporters are reminded that this a category C game so it will be only £10 for Adults with concessions at £5 and u15 and under at £2 and 7 and under it will be just a £1. To sit down it will be an extra £2 and admission for the seats will be through Gate 5...

    Another signing will be taking place on Tuesday morning and if all goes well another player will be joining the squad in time for the Altrincham game. Details will be online as soon as comfirmation from the League has been received. theplayer will be wearing the number 25 shirt.

    Bakary Bojang has been released and his registration along with Stefan Oakes who has moved to the USA has also been cancelled with The Football Conference".


    The Football Conference confirms that "Hyde FC have re-signed left-winger Kevin Holsgrove (left) on loan from neighbours Altrincham [till the end of the season]. Holsgrove's previous clubs include Everton, Colwyn Bay, NEWI Cefyn Druids and Hyde United. He signed for Altrincham in August 2010, after the 22 year-old impressed in pre-season appearances. He made his debut from the bench in August 2010 against Darlington and made his first start two games later at Southport. After eleven appearances he returned to Hyde on a ninety-three-day loan, which was cut short as he was recalled to Moss Lane towards the end of November 2010. But he has now returned to Ewen Fields".

    Kevin made 5(+10) appearances, scoring once in the Cheshire Senior Cup, at Runcorn, last week.

    Following the recent signing on Conference forms of former Dulwich defender Famoud Sonko, who has yet to be seen on the pitch, Alty have signed a second Francophone player who has, like Sonko, been at Dulwich Hamlet, and also like him is currently with Radcliffe Borough. NL Daily confirms that "Senagalese striker Mohamed Coly played previously for Olympique Noisy-le-Sec, Crystal Palace, Wealdstone, Dulwich Hamlet, Woking, Leyton Orient, Sangonera Atlético in Spain and Greek outfit APOP Kinyras Peyias. He has also signed Conference forms for Blue Square Bet Premier side Altrincham".


    Very sad news for an ex-Altrincham player comes from FC United. "It is with great sadness that we report Richard Battersby’s fiancée Jenna passed away earlier today. The club extends its sympathy to Richard and both families at this sad time. Richard Battersby is raising money for Cancer Research by participating in the Shine Walk in aid of Cervical Cancer. Please support Richard by visiting his fundraising page click here. Please help Richard raise money for this worthwhile cause". The condolences of all at Moss Lane go to Richard and his fiancée's family.


    News of our semi-final opponents in the Cheshire Senior Cup comes fromThis is Staffs. "Alsager Town picked up their first points since late October with a 4-1 win at Flixton that included a goal by their goalkeeper, Paul Willis. Alsager were leading 3-1 when Willis launched the ball out of his hands and watched it take one bounce before finding the net.

    Manager Neil Gill said: 'Paul has got a really good kick on him. In the windy conditions, I joked with him before the game that if he hit one like a three wood he would score. Their keeper was on the edge of his area as the ball sailed over him and he could not scramble back in time to stop the ball crossing the line'...

    Overall, Gill described his side's performance as 'workmanlike', adding: 'We grafted in the first half to earn the right to play'".


    The FA Trophy third round draw produced the following ties, to be played on Saturday, 5th February 2011.
  • Dorchester Town or Eastbourne Borough v Guiseley AFC
  • Mansfield Town v Alfreton Town or Cambridge United
  • Blyth Spartans v Droylsden
  • Luton Town v Gloucester City
  • AFC Telford United v Darlington
  • Woking v Salisbury City
  • Eastleigh or Worcester City v Chasetown
  • Gateshead v Dartford

    If you can bear to watch them Blyth Spartans have highlights of Alty's FA Trophy defeat last Saturday.

    The Chronicle Live reports that "The man with the Midas touch, Paul Brayson, struck late in each half as Blyth Spartans claimed another Conference Premier scalp in the FA Trophy. Brayson’s second saw him reach 50 goals for the Spartans as Blyth beat Blue Square Bet Premier strugglers Altrincham 2-1 at Croft Park...

    It was another deserved victory for Blyth... Blyth boss Mick Tait, who has signed goalkeeper Dan Lowson, was delighted Blyth took their prize money from this season’s FA Trophy run to £15,000 and are a step closer to Wembley.

    Tait said: 'It was a great performance and, although Altrincham had a spell in the second half, we were excellent. We dominated the opening half, probably the best half we have played all season, but we knew they would have a spell sometime in the game... Give Brassie (Brayson) a chance and he will take it, that’s his role in the side', added Tait".


    Alty meet Southport at Moss Lane on 5 February. The Sandgrounders report that "Secretary Ken Hilton has received notification from the Football Association that County Cup games are classed as Reserve Team games, and therefore any suspensions commence 14 days after a sending off. Shaun Gray and Matty McNeil's suspensions will now start on [Thursday] 27th January". Gray, who is supended for three games will therefore miss the Alty game but ex-Robins' player, McNeil, is only out for two matches, so should complete his ban before meeting us.

    Defender Steve Cook has returned to Brighton following the expiry of his loan deal" reports Mansfield Town. "The 19-year-old has made nine appearances since joining us in October".

    The BBC confirms that "Mansfield Town are still in a rent dispute over their home ground despite attempts to sign a new lease, a club spokesman has said. The Stags were locked out of Field Mill for 18 days in late 2010 by landlord and former club chairman Keith Haslam. Stags chairman John Radford said the club had agreed a new lease, but Mr Haslam had refused to sign it. Mr Haslam has confirmed he has started legal action to repossess the ground.

    The Stags are in talks with the Football Conference over the problems with the lease, the club said. The club said it had agreed to deposit rent money into an account controlled by Mr Haslam's solicitors. The disagreement now centres on Mr Radford's separate legal action over dividend payments made to Mr Haslam's company Stags Ltd during his time as majority shareholder at the club. Mr Haslam has insisted on inserting a clause in the lease stopping Mr Radford from taking legal action concerning the dividend payments, the Stags said".

    The Chad adds that "It was thought that the two sides had come to a lease agreement when the Stags - who are pursuing a £3m financial investigation into Mr Haslam’s running of the club and sale two years ago - returned to Field Mill before Christmas...

    The row is set to go before a County Court, after legal action was launched by Mr Haslam. Chad understood that Mansfield radio station 103.2 was set to report on Monday morning that the landlord is to serve notice of repossession of Field Mill on the football club for non-payment of rent - with a hearing date set for 17th February at Mansfield County Court.

    That move was confirmed even later in the evening by Mr Haslam, who issued a statement saying: 'I am extremely disappointed that this matter should be aired through the media'... It is not known how the row will affect the club’s participation in the Football Conference, which requires clubs to have a lease signed until the end of the season if it does not own its own ground... On Monday afternoon Mansfield Town FC withdrew a statement it had released on the issue from its website on the advice of its solicitors".

    It is all happening at Mansfield where This is Nottingham reports that "Mansfield Town manager Duncan Russell today explained why he has failed to land former England international Lee Hendrie. The ex-Aston Villa, Stoke, Sheffield United, Leicester City and Derby County player was expected at Field Mill this morning to sign an 18-month deal. But the Stags were informed last night through the player's agent that he would not be joining.

    Hendrie, 33, is a free agent after being released from a short-term deal at League Two Bradford City and is now considering an offer from overseas... 'He was going to come in and sign on Friday. I thought it was a done deal', said Russell.. 'I shook hands on the deal with his agent. He hold me he would drag him here by the hair if he needed to for him to sign for us this morning... then I got a call saying he had other interest I believe from out in Indonesia for a lot of money, which we can't compete with...

    'You can't drag the boy here by gunpoint and get him to sign and until people sign the paper, it is never definite. It's something I'm really upset about. It would have sent alarm bells to most other clubs and showed that we are trying to get the right people into the club to get back into the League. The chairman has backed me to the hilt on this one to bring in such a big name. We had agreed terms and everything was fulfilled on the part of Mansfield Town, but that's football'".

    More on this comes from Blue Square Football which says that earlier Russell had told This is Nottingham: 'I'm really hoping to be in a position to announce a new signing that would be a massive boost for us. He's played at the highest level but I don't want to give a name because I don't want to get gazumped'".

    The BBC says that "Luton Town will grant season ticket holders free entry to Tuesday's clash with York City, despite a Football Conference ruling to the contrary. The initial fixture at Kenilworth Road on 18 December was abandoned after 56 minutes because of a snow flurry. The Hatters say they will uphold their commitment to charging ticket holders half-price and season ticket holders nothing for the rescheduled game.

    Town added they would appeal the decision with the Football Association. The Conference has also decreed that gate receipts should be split equally between the two sides in order to help City cover travel arrangements for the game.

    A Luton statement read: 'Luton Town made an offer to York City to cover all travelling expenses, thus ensuring that York City were not financially disadvantaged. This offer was rejected by York City'.

    The Minstermen replied with their own statement: 'York City Football Club did not make any representations to the Football Conference Board on how the replayed game should be conducted but sought clarification of the rules that apply in such circumstances. The Football Conference Board ruled the rescheduled game should be treated like a cup tie and the gate receipts should be split between the two clubs.

    In accordance with the rules and following the guidance of the Football Conference Board, we believe sharing the gate receipts is a fair and reasonable approach to the match, as Luton Town generated all the income from the original abandoned game'.

    York added they had no issue with the Hatters' policy of charging half-price admission to those who went to the abandoned game. The relationship between the two clubs has been strained since violence marred York's play-off semi-final victory at Kenilworth Road in May. And York say they hope to use funds from Tuesday's game 'to mitigate the increased police costs York City faces for our home game against Luton Town in March as a result of the disturbances that occurred at Kenilworth Road'".

    Meanwhile, "Grimsby Town chairman John Fenty has piled the pressure on manager Neil Woods following their FA Trophy second round exit to Chasetown. Mariners chairman John Fenty apologised to the club's fans for a 'terrible and very disappointing loss' in a statement on their website.

    'We have two very important games over the next six days', said Fenty. 'We must pick up points and do well to ensure that we are able to have a chance of a play-off position'. Grimsby's next two games are at home to Kettering on Tuesday followed by the visit of promotion hopefuls Crawley Town...

    Saturday's defeat by a team three divisions below them has left Woods admitting he is under pressure to save his job... He told BBC Radio Humberside, 'I am probably the lowest I've ever been in my whole football career and I'm questioning everything'... The 44-year old has spent over 16 years with Grimsby Town as a player, youth team coach and in his current role as first team manager. He was appointed on a full-time basis in November 2009".

    The Cambridge News tells us that "David Livermore felt Histon's 2-1 defeat by York City on Saturday emphasised the gulf between the Blue Square Bet Premier's rich and poor. The Stutes' manager saw Jim Stevenson put the hosts ahead at the Glass World Stadium with his first goal for the club. But Leon Constantine levelled matters with 14 minutes remaining and Peter Till struck the winner four minutes from time.

    But York substitute Michael Rankine made a real difference when he came on to partner Constantine up front - a fact not lost on the Histon boss. 'It came down to the simple fact that, in the second half, their 4-4-2 was better than our 4-4-2', said Livermore. 'For 75 minutes we were as good as them, but they managed to get back in the game. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say the opposition were better. It was a no-brainer for them to put Rankine on, and it shows the difference in the resources of the two clubs. They can bring on a battering ram like him and effectively change the game because that's what their budget allows. We don't have a big squad - we've got a young squad and we're learning'...

    Histon have been allowed to sign midfielder Dee Okojie from Brentwood on non-contract terms and he made his debut as an injury-time substitute. The Stutes were placed under a transfer embargo on January 7, but the Football Conference gave the move the green light as the transfer process had started before the ban.

    'Dee believes he's good enough and he's playing for nothing, which I think is amazing', said Livermore. He wants to be given the opportunity until the end of the season to show what he can do'".

    The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC will seek to extend the loan stay of free-scoring wonderkid Louis Almond. The 19-year-old Blackpool striker netted two goal-of-the-season contenders to sink Kidderminster Harriers at a windswept Holker Street on Saturday. Almond’s one-month loan spell is due to end on January 31, but Bluebirds joint-manager Dave Bayliss said: 'We want him here as long as possible, we don’t want him to go back'...

    Almond said: 'I need to get my name mentioned more, and playing here and scoring goals is going to do that'... The teenager has now scored four goals in four appearances (three starts) and is the top-scorer in the current AFC squad'...

    Bayliss heaped praise on the young striker, who trains with Barrow throughout the week, beaming: 'They were unbelievable goals. If they were in the Premier League they’d be on goals of the season on Match of the Day... He’s always very positive going towards goal and for a teenage kid he’s as strong as an ox...

    He’s guaranteed to play here by his own performances. He has the shirt and will play week-in, week-out. He’ll learn more and get more experience out of playing for us than going back to Blackpool and sitting in the reserves. But it’s up to Blackpool'... Barrow, who handed a debut to on-loan Wrexham midfielder Christian Smith and introduced new permanent signing Andy Cook from the bench, go to Gateshead tomorrow night seeking their first away win of the season".

    17 January 2011


    Wrexham confirm that "A player out on loan, Wes Baynes (right), has agreed to remain with Altrincham for the rest of the season and his contract with the Robins will be extended accordingly".


    The NL Paper has a piece on 35 year-old Stuart Coburn's 500th appearance for Altrincham. He is quoted as saying "I knew my 500th game was coming up this season but I got dropped for a bit and thought 'Will I make it?'. It's a great achievement and something I'm very proud of. Last Saturday we beat Rushden and I'd played quite well. As we were coming off a lot of the lads were saying 'Not bad for a 38 year-old', so I do get some stick.

    Some might know about it if they've read the website but most probably won't realise. If it goes well I might announce it after the game. They might buy me a beer- but I doubt it... LONG TIME, NO SEE Alty supporters who cannot get to the away games may have forgotten what their team looks like. When Altrincham entertain Bath City at Moss Lane on 22 January, it will be only their second home game for ten weeks because of bad weather and away cup draws. Apart from the New Year Day goalless draw against Wrexham, Alty's last home match was against Luton on 13 November last year. You have to go back a further month for Alty's last home league goal, which was on 16 October, 2010 against Fleetwood Town - some 14 weeks ago!

    For Altrincham Youth it is even worse; they have not played a game for eight weeks, this Sunday's game being the latest victim, due to the intended opposition having numerous players called up for county trials taking place on Saturday.


    Our next opponents, Tamworth announce that "Altrincham will be travelling to Tamworth on Tuesday evening for a Blue Square Bet Premier League... The match is a category 'C' game and kicks off at 7.45pm....

    Category C (NUS Cards, Passports and Driving Licenses will be accepted as proof of age):

  • Adults £10 (seats £12)
  • Concessions (Age 65 & above, 17 - 16) £5 (seats £7)
  • Junior Lambs (Age 8 - 15) £2 (seats £4)
  • Mini Lambs (Age 7 & Under) £1 (seats £2)"

    Tamworth's Category C opponents comprise Altrincham, Bath City, Barrow, Eastbourne Borough, Forest Green Rovers, Gateshead, Hayes & Yeading, Histon."

    The referee at Tamworth is Mr K. Johnson.

    Tamworth, with Newport County and Forest Green, are the only clubs we have not yet met this season. This will be Altrincham's fifth successive away game in various competitions.


    Altrincham have had several captains in the past week; at Rushden, it was Robbie Lawton; against Runcorn, it was James Smith and at Blyth it was Stuart Coburn. When James went off at Runcorn, Marc Joseph assumed the mantle - as seen in the adjacent photo, with Damian Reeves in the foreground.


    NL News 24 reports that "front-man Ben Wright says he was happy to return for a second loan spell at Hayes & Yeading. The 22-year-old striker had no hesitation in going back after Crawley Town signed him from Peterborough earlier in the season. Since then Wright has had an unhappy loan spell at Newport County.

    'I would rather have come back here than go to Newport earlier in the season', Wright told the Uxbridge Gazette. 'But I just felt I needed to try and play with a club near the top of the league. It did not work out and I am more than happy to come back here and help Hayes & Yeading stay up... I loved my time here, I was only here for four games, but it seemed like half a season. It is nice when the fans appreciate you and that’s a bonus'”.

    Mansfield Town announce that they "wish to make the following statement regarding the leasehold of Field Mill. Following the repossession of Field Mill by Mr Haslam in December, we made a statement to the effect that a new lease had been signed allowing us to remain at the ground until the end of the current football season.

    This position was arrived at following a meeting between Chairman John Radford and Keith Haslam witnessed in full by Mayor Tony Egginton on 16 December 2010. At this meeting, it was verbally agreed that we would return to Field Mill for the remainder of the season in return for a reduced rental payment to be paid in full to Mr Haslam plus a sum of £2,000 as a gesture of goodwill to cover Mr Haslam's expenses incurred by Solicitor's fees for the re-writing of the new lease.

    Crucially, it was also agreed that the new leasehold would in no way affect separate legal proceedings concerning the investigation of dividend payments made to Mr Haslam's company Stags Ltd during his time as majority shareholder of the Club. This was all verbally agreed by both parties in the presence of the Mayor and the reduced rent payment was immediately paid by us into an account controlled by Mr Haslam's Solicitors to be released once the new lease had been drawn up and signed by both parties.

    Unfortunately, we regret to announce that the new lease has not been signed due to Mr Haslam's repeated failure to respect several elements of the lease which were agreed upon by all parties at the initial meeting. Mr Haslam has reneged on the deal by insisting on a clause being included prohibiting Mr Radford from pursuing the legal case concerning dividend payments against Mr Haslam whilst we remain tenants at Field Mill. Since the meeting, Mr Haslam has also insisted that we pay £3,500 towards bailiff costs during the three week period when he locked us out of the stadium, which we have paid.

    We now finds ourselves in the position of having no current lease on the ground through no fault of our own and call on Mayor Tony Egginton, who witnessed the verbal agreement, to work with Mr Haslam to honour it in full. We wish to make clear that we will not in any circumstance be held to ransom by unreasonable demands made after the original agreement had been put in place.

    Whilst Mr Haslam remains wholly uncooperative, he represents an obstacle to our ambition of regaining our rightful place in the Football League and is in no way acting in the interests of the Town of Mansfield of whose fabric, we are such a central part.

    We now urge Mr Haslam to do what is right and uphold an agreement that serves both the interests of the Mansfield community and its football club".

    16 January 2010


    One bright spot from the defeat at Blyth is that Damian Reeves (right) notched his eleventh goal of the season at Blyth, a total scored from just 13 starts and 11 substitute appearances this season. Seven of his goals have come in Conference games, a competition in which he is yet to start more than three consecutive games this season, though he has been in every squad except one in this league campaign. He has also netted four goals in cup competitions. All of his 11 goals, except two, have come in the games in which he has started.

  • Alty player stats
  • Alty league line-ups
  • Alty cup line-ups
  • League table

  • Blyth Spartans v Altrincham match report here


    News of Alty's next opponents comes from the Birmingham Mail which says that "Des Lyttle will be running the rule over several trialists in the next few days as he steps up moves to bolster his Tamworth squad. Lyttle is confident two new signings will be in place for Tuesday’s clash at home to Altrincham".

    Speaking at the end of last week, the Tamworth boss sais, “I’ve got a couple of trialists coming in over Thursday and Friday, and again on Saturday and Monday. They are lads recommended by people I trust in football circles. Some of the trialists have been released and some have been in lower leagues and have got a good name. Without having a reserve team, it’s hard to see people in games but sometimes you have to make a judgement in training and the extra session will help us do that".

    The report adds that "Lyttle is hoping to conclude a deal for young front-runner as well as a loan move for a midfielder ahead of the home game with Alty. Tamworth will approach the clash in upbeat mode after their midweek win against promotion contenders Newport County. Alex Rodman’s hat-trick sealed a 3-2 victory and pushed the Lambs into 15th place, six points clear of the drop zone.

    'It was great to bounce back after going 1-0 down and then 2-1 down – the lads showed a lot of character', said Lyttle. 'I’ve been telling the players to keep believing in themselves and they kept going right to the very last kick of seven minutes of stoppage time. You could see the confidence levels rising'.

    Tamworth expect to have defender Michael Wylde back for the Altrincham game but skipper Jay Smith faces a race against time as an injection to cure his hamstring problem takes time to work".


    NL Daily reports that "After a frustrating period with Wrexham, Welshman Kevin Gall has cancelled his contract by mutual consent...

    'We sat down and discussed things this morning and decided in the end to shake hands and go our separate ways', said manager Dean Saunders. 'When Kevin first arrived he was playing in the side, as I was looking at him to come in off the wing and contribute goals. I then changed the system a little and that, unfortunately, then left him out in the cold somewhat. At the moment he is not close to the first team, so the best thing for all concerned looks like a fresh start for the lad'...

    Now 28, Gall started out as a youth player with Cardiff City and Newcastle United, before making his debut with Bristol Rovers and then moving onto Yeovil Town. In his career to date, he has played 341 times and scored forty-eight goals, in addition to eight appearances for Wales as an under-21.

    'I'll take away a number of good memories. I have one or two things on the go, both up here and back in south Wales, so we'll just have to see where they take me'" said Gall.

    "Gall signed in the summer after spending last season with Darlington and York City, the Merthyr-born played in five games for Wrexham early on this season, but has not featured since".


    Midfielder Danny Edwards who played on loan from Port Vale for Alty once last season but got injured, has rejoined Stafford Rangers after a spell with Chasetown. Unconfirmed reports also say that Jamie Phoenix has rejoined Stafford.
    15 January 2011


    The Altrincham team performance may have been disappointing but the away support was flying the flag proudly at Blyth. In fact, as we see here, some of the Altrincham fans changed ends before kick-off with the national banners of Imperial Japan, Singapore, Bahrain and Tonga amongst the national flags being displayed - all characterised by their red and white colours.

    Stuart Coburn's 500th game for Alty ended in defeat against a Blyth side who fully deserved their victory. After a reasonably bright opening, Alty were second best...

  • Match report here

    Sat. 15 Jan.

  • Through the Years by Howard Watts.


  • Barrow AFC 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1
  • Crawley Town 2 Kettering Town 1
  • Histon 1 York City 2

    FA Trophy 2

  • AFC Telford Utd 1 Eastwood Town 0
  • AFC Wimbledon 2 Woking 3
  • Alfreton Town 3 Cambridge United 3
  • Ashford Town(Middx) 0 Dartford 1
  • Blyth Spartans AFC 2 Altrincham 1
  • Boston United 0 Gloucester City 1
  • Chasetown 2 Grimsby Town 1
  • Darlington 4 Bath City 1
  • Dorchester Town 3 Eastbourne Borough 3
  • Droylsden 1 Ebbsfleet United 0
  • Eastleigh 3 Worcester City 3
  • Gateshead 6 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
  • Guiseley 2 Stalybridge Celtic 1
  • Luton Town 4 Uxbridge 0
  • Mansfield Town 4 Newport County 2
  • Salisbury City 1 Wrexham 0


    Wifi permitting, there will be live updates from the Blyth Spartans v Altrincham match here on the website Matchday Update page.

    Above are two pictures to test Alty fans' memories of our game at Blyth in August 2002, when two Rod Thornley goals meant that Alty won 2-0. Pictured (left) is Andy MacDonald on the ball, whilst Andy Tunnicliffe (left) and Chris Young are also seen. In the other picture from Croft Park, Adewale Ajetunmobi talks to manager Bernard Taylor, who had just signed him.

    According to the Chronicle Live "Blyth Spartans boss Mick Tait is targeting another Conference Premier scalp and a place in the last 16 of the FA Trophy. Goals from midfield man Stephen Turnbull and striker John Alexander saw off Fleetwood Town in the previous round and Tait wants more of the same against Altrincham tomorrow.

    While Fleetwood are battling it out in the upper reaches of the Blue Square Bet Premier, Altrincham have been in the bottom two for most of the season...

    Tait said: 'Altrincham have had a difficult season but when you are struggling you are grateful for the type of break we have had due to the weather. They have regrouped and come back stronger. When you are flying, as we were, you don’t want to have a load of games postponed. If we approach the game as we did against Fleetwood, are focused, work hard and get into Altrincham’s face we will be okay. We never allowed Fleetwood a minute and ran out worthy winners and to get into the last 16 would be massive for the club'.

    There is also the small matter of £6,000 prize money at stake, Blyth having already picked up £9,000 in this season’s competition... Tait has a full squad to select from with on loan Carlisle United goalkeeper Mark Gillespie playing his final game before he returns to the League One club".

    More comes from the Football Conference which says that "With Mark Gillespie`s loan spell from Carlisle United ending after Saturday's FA Trophy match with Altrincham, Blyth Spartans’ manager Mick Tait has moved quickly to secure the signing of former Ilkeston Town goalkeeper Dan Lowson. The 22-year-old highly-rated, Whitley Bay-based stopper started his career at Gretna, before moving back to his native North East with Newcastle Blue Star...This season he has been on short-term deals with both Darlington and Luton Town".

    STUART'S 500TH









    Above: Stuart Coburn pictured at the start of each of the past seven seasons, following his return to the club in October 2003.

    Stuart Coburn was interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester on Friday night on the eve of what will be his 500th appearance for Altrincham - "if selected", as he himself pointed out. Stuart said that "Alty is not just a team I turn out for, it's part of what I am now". He added that when he retires, he'll come along to Moss Lane as a spectator with his son, Finn. He highlighted the 2005 promotion back to the Conference as the best moment of his career whilst the worst moment recently had been the 7-0 hammering at Crawley Town. Though he was "embarrassed" at that he jokingly pointed out that the goals only arrived after the other ten players had failed to stop the scorers!

    Stuart identifed the floodlight failure at Curzon Ashton in the last round of the FA Trophy as a turning point. "It was a godsend" he said. It allowed the team to regroup and "since then, we've kicked on" he stated.

    As for last week's win at Rushden, Stuart praised his team mates ; "Everyone threw themselves in front of the ball". After asking, tongue in cheek, for the Alty chairman Grahame Rowley to "loosen the purse strings" to allow a couple of new signings, Stuart explained that he became a goalkeeper because "I hate running", which an outfield player has to do. His goalkeeping heroes [apart from Ian Senior!] included Everton's Neville Southall and Manchester United's Peter Schmeichel.


    Blue Square Football confirms that "Tough-tackling Mansfield Town midfielder Matt Somner (right) has returned to Field Mill following a three-month loan spell at Altrincham. The 28-year-old made nine league starts for the struggling Moss Lane outfit. Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Tamworth have already declared their interest in signing the ex-Notts County man on loan". Alty play Tamworth next Tuesday.

    Altrincham FC would like to record its thanks to Matt, who travelled from London to play for the club.


    "Wrexham have handed experienced midfielder Lee Fowler a short-term deal, after impressing in a trial spell" reports the Football Conference. "The former Wales under-21 international has also appeared for Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Newport County, Kettering Town and more recently Forest Green Rovers...

    Said manager Dean Saunders, 'His problems have been well documented, but I am giving a chance to rebuild his career and it is up to him to take it. I know he is a really, really good footballer and that's what we all want to see at 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon'".

    Meanwhile, "Barrow have signed forward Andy Cook from neighbours Carlisle United. Cook has a two-and-a-half year deal at Holker Street. Cook, 20, came through the youth ranks at Brunton Park but did not make a first-team appearance... He had loan spells with Workington and Barrow... and has decided to return to Holker Street".

    Also, Barrow have signed "midfielder Christian Smith on an initial one month loan from Wrexham. Smith, 23, was recently on loan at Newport County and has had two spells at the Racecourse ground, which sandwiched a season with York City".

    In the North East "Darlington have taken young Sheffield Wednesday striker Nathan Modest on loan until the end of the season. Manager Mark Cooper said: 'We’ve been looking for a bit of pace up front to get in behind teams and Nathan will provide that. He’s a decent player, he’s very highly-rated by Sheffield Wednesday... We’re delighted to get him on a long-term arrangement, as well. I’m conscious not to chop and change things around, we want a settled squad to take into the run-in'".

    The Conference also reports that "Gateshead have made experienced striker Brian Wake available for transfer and have circulated Conference Premier and Scottish first and second division clubs about the 28-year-old's availabilty. Wake joined Gateshead a year ago on a free transfer from Greenock Morton.

    According to Blue Square Football "Solihull Moors have signed Kettering Town defender Nick Green. The former Barwell player, who followed Poppies boss Marcus Law to the Blue Square Bet Premier side in November, joins after impressing the Moors management in an FA Cup tie".

    FGR have big ideas as the BBC reports that "Former Stroud MP David Drew believes Forest Green Rovers have been given a future by chairman Dale Vince. Drew is now co-chairman, having been appointed as executive chairman on a temporary basis before Vince took over.

    Drew told BBC Gloucestershire: 'We are running the club alongside Ecotricity (Vince's business) and we are using the corporate world to develop our skills. It's early days but, if we can survive in the Conference National this year, Dale is really going to go for it'...

    Drew admitted Vince had been surprised by the financial commitment needed to run a club at that level. 'It's been a bit of an awakening, dare I say, a rude awakening', added Drew. 'Football is a bit of a black hole and it's always the unexpected that pulls you down. We've had two of our most attractive games postponed, and that means the loss of thousands of pounds. Luton and Kidderminster at home mid-week will not be the same as on a Saturday.

    We need some stability on the pitch now. There may be a few moves in and out but within reason we need to hang onto the players we've got. If we can build on the squad and keep them into next season then I really think we can go places. There's a lot of optimism that if we could get into the top half of the table, then you never know'".

    Mike Avery has some interesting attendance data, showing each club's rise or fall in gates and their average for this season.

    Top are Luton Town, averaging 6,655, a drop of 4% from last season, well ahead of Grimsby Town who are second with an average of 3,797, a 14% drop. Alty lie 21st with an average of 1,016, a 5% drop on last season. Three clubs average under 1,000. These are Gateshead 631 (-5%), Histon 545 (-36%) and Hayes & Yeading United 323 (-49%). Overall, BSBP gates average 1,965 (-4%).

    The BBC confirms that "Kettering have signed teenage Coventry City striker Callum Wilson on a month-long loan deal. The 18-year-old made his first senior league appearance for the Sky Blues in their 2-0 home defeat by Championship leaders QPR last month... Wilson will stay with Kettering until 11 February".

    And NL Daily informs us that "Histon have signed a former 'football icon'! Midfielder Idemudia Okojie appeared on Sky One`s 'Football Icon' in 2005. The programme also included current non-League players such as... [ex-Alty reserve] Richard Chetcuti of Radcliffe Borough... After trialling with Wycombe Wanderers, Okojie has had spells with Waltham Forest, Arlesey Town, Harlow Town and Redbridge before signing for Brentwood in September 2009".

    14 January 2011


    Stuart Coburn, set to make his 500th start for Alty tomorrow, is featured on tonight's BBC Radio Manchester sports show at around 7.20pm.


    Details of the TASC supporters coaches to both Blyth (Saturday 15th) and Tamworth (Tuesday 18th) are on the Away Travel page.


    Barry Pond has kindly provided an updated Matchday Sponsors list. If you can help the club with sponsorship please ring the Club on 928-1045 - you will be very welcome.

    STUART'S 500

    The Non League Paper is printing a piece on Stuart Coburn's 500th appearance for Altrincham in this Sunday's edition, so don't miss your copy.


    Blyth Spartans announce that "BBC Radio Newcastle will be providing full match coverage for our FA Trophy against Altrincham this Saturday... Full details of frequencies, times, plus a link for the iplayer will be posted on this site before Friday".

    Meanwhile "The players of Blyth Spartans AFC will be looking for history to repeat itself against Altrincham in the 2nd round of the FA Trophy this weekend. Spartans won a memorable Trophy match in the first ever meeting between the two clubs 28 years ago at Croft Park. In 1983 the Robins arrived with a massive reputation and with many star players of non league football at their disposal. They had been the beaten finalists at Wembley in the previous season’s competition and were obvious favourites prior to kick off.

    One man who had experienced many great days in cup action during his time at Blyth was legendary central defender Tommy Dixon. He’d been a key member of the famous FA Cup side that had shocked the football world in 1978 and would play a crucial part in this 3rd round FA Trophy tie. He said: 'Altrincham were a very good team and we knew it would be an extremely tough game. They were the favourites but there was also pressure on us because we were carrying the reputation of our cup run'.

    The game got off to an explosive start with Altrincham’s Graham Heathcote receiving his marching orders in the first minute for a reckless challenge on Blyth’s Bobby Scaife. Tommy Dixon said: 'It was a big decision for the referee, sometimes you would get away with tackles like that in those days... Bobby Scaife sealed a 2-0 win for Blyth, eight minutes from time in front of a crowd of 2,089...

    Tommy Dixon believes Blyth have a great chance of progressing in this season’s FA Trophy by beating Altrincham on Saturday. He said 'Nobody likes going to Croft Park, it’s always been a difficult place for any visiting team'...

    Blyth’s present day fans favourite, Robbie Dale believes The Robins will be a different proposition to the Fleetwood Town team which Spartans defeated in the last round. He said: 'Altrincham will be a more physical side and the hardest thing will be breaking them down. We’re not scared of playing anybody, we showed that against Fleetwood. It’s bigger than a normal league game and the crowd will be up for it. We need to win and get a run going again. They (Altrincham) were struggling when the draw was made but they’ve picked up a few good results lately'".


    Altrincham FC joint press officer John Edwards provides an expanded version of his recent contribution to the Sale & Altrincham Messenger.

    "Rejuvenated Altrincham were given a massive boost after on-loan defender Carl Piergianni set his sights on an earlier-than-expected return from injury in Saturday's FA Trophy second-round tie at Blyth Spartans.

    It was feared the 18-year old from Peterborough United may have suffered ligament damage, and could be out for several weeks, following a painful introduction to life at Moss Lane in the goalless draw with Wrexham on New Year's Day. But he was given the all-clear, after returning to Peterborough for treatment, and is hoping to be passed fit for Saturday, as he bids to build on a highly-impressive debut.

    'Carl picked up knocks to his ankle and knee, but he is coming along fine,' said manager Ken KcKenna, who will also make late fitness checks on Chris Denham, Kevin Holsgrove, Sam Hewson and Nicky Clee. 'He is a brave lad. You could see he was in pain, but he would not come off. We gave him the chance, but he insisted on staying on.

    'He is a good lad, too, because even though he had no chance of playing at Rushden on Saturday, he wanted to come along and be part of things. He was in the dressing room, supporting the lads, and it was appreciated. That's the sort of person you want, when you're in a battle.'

    McKenna saluted a spectacular recent revival in Alty's fortunes, after drawing with Wrexham and then winning at Mansfield and Rushden, but warned his players not to take their foot off the gas.

    The Alty boss was full of praise for the way his side overturned an early deficit at Rushden, then stoutly resisted a late bout of pressure from the home team, but pulled no punches, as he reflected on an unexpectedly difficult 4-3 extra-time win at Runcorn in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

    'It was a good performance and excellent result at Rushden, especially the way we came back from a goal down,' he said. 'We haven't always managed that in the past. Our reaction to going behind hasn't always been the best, but that is something we have talked about in recent weeks. You always want the first goal to go our way, but it's not the end of the game if it goes against you.

    'You can't just fold, and we drummed home the message that you have to keep going and fight your way back into it. It only needs one goal, and you're back on level terms. Fair play to the players for taking it on board and not only equalising but going ahead.

    'It was also good to see us stand up to them when they were pressing for an equaliser. Marc Joseph has done OK recently, and continued in the same vein, and Stuart Coburn was brilliant in those last 10 minutes or so.

    'Really, though, everyone did their bit. We had to defend for our lives in the closing stages, throwing bodies in the way and getting blocks in. If we had a bit of luck, we deserved it, because we went there and had a go. It wasn't just a case of trying to avoid defeat. We had a positive attitude and got our rewards.

    'The thinking behind fielding a strong team at Runcorn was that I wanted to build on our recent momentum. I wanted to keep the squad together and keep the run going with a convincing win, but I have to hold my hands up and say it backfired a bit.

    'Runcorn were excellent, to be fair. Their manager has got them really fit, and I knew, with their energy levels, they would still be going right at the end, even on a heavy pitch. Even so, we defended poorly, and, as we head for Blyth on Saturday, there is a lesson we have to learn. Quite simply, we can't afford to take our foot of the gas, no matter who we are up against.

    'We can't switch off for a moment, because if we do that in the Conference, we'll have six put past us, never mind three. If we are to build on our recent results, we need virtually every player at it, from start to finish.'

    McKenna admitted he was sorry to lose Andrew Milne and Matt Somner at the end of their loan spells but insisted Mark Beesley would prove a more than useful addition to the ranks.

    'Andrew was excellent to begin with, and though he had a little wobble and was left out for a couple of games, he did really well again after being brought back in,' he said. 'He also happens to be a fantastic young man who was never an ounce of trouble. He was a good professional who was good to have round the place, and he always put plenty of effort in, as did Matt Somner.

    'It's just unfortunate that the travelling was a problem for both of them. Matt was gutted to be leaving as well, but they both go with our very best wishes, and we thank them for all their efforts.

    'We are still trying to bring in a couple of new faces, but it isn't easy. I have spoken to one or two and will keep plugging away, but I've been pleased with that I've seen of Mark Beesley so far. His clever link-up play is a bit different to what we've already got, and he's good at finding little pockets of space'".


    After Tuesday's game, Runcorn Linnets reported that the CSC "tie against old rivals Altrincham finally went ahead last night at the 4th time of asking and it turned out to be a game worth waiting for. Although Runcorn finally went down 4-3 after extra time, they pushed the Conference outfit all the way, coming from behind three times...

    The visit of Alty was made all the more special by the fact that ex-Runcorn fans favourite Ken McKenna now manages the Robins. Kenny provided us with many memorable moments including, of course, that magnificent last minute winner at Guiseley to take us to Wembley, and it was great to see him back at our new home, albeit in charge of Alty!! Another surname from times past was to join the fray later on, in the shape of Shaun Densmore...

    It was great to lock horns with Alty again in a really entertaining game. Particularly, but not exclusively, the front two for Runcorn didn’t look out of place against opposition from 4 divisions higher".

    And the Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News adds that "Linnets boss Paul McNally will take heart from the fact his side pushed their Cheshire rivals all the way. Altrincham have been in a fine run of form and their manager Ken McKenna – a former fans’ favourite during his spell with Runcorn – played a near full-strength side".


    Premier Sports TV announce that they "have teamed up with the football conference to offer fans a special 2 months for half price promotion. With 19 games still be shown live, fans can watch a game pretty much every week until the end of the season! To take advantage of this special offer please enter the code P870 at or call 0871 663 9000 quoting the code.

    Offer is open to new customers and a connection fee still applies, Offer ends 28th February 2011.

    Premier Sports TV shows 30 live games from the Blue Square Bet Premier every season as well as goal highlights from other games. The league has entered into a revenue sharing arrangement whereby once the cost of production is covered clubs received 50% of all revenue on top of the basic amount.

    The more people get behind this deal the more money the clubs get. Sign up now!".


    200% fresh from a report on Crawley, now turns its attention to Wrexham, following "news of the intention of the club’s owners to make them pay rent to continue to play at The Racecourse Ground in the future. Wrexham FC theoretically owns its home of one hundred and thirty-eight years, but ownership now seems to be set to pass to a holding company called Wrexham Village a couple of years ago. They now share it with the Crusaders Rugby Football League Club and both will pay what has been stated as £300,000 for upkeep of the ground per year. In addition to this, it has this week started to become evident that the fortunes of the two clubs are more closely intertwined than supporters of either might hope for.

    Crusaders RLFC were put into administration in October of last year and exited it on Christmas Eve... Earlier this week, however, it was revealed that, on Christmas Eve, a charge was placed against The Racecourse Ground in favour of the Rugby Football League and Super League. A charge is effectively security against a debt against property. Meaning that a debt incurred by somebody can be enforced, if not paid, through the charge-holder taking possession of the property that the debt is secured against...

    It turns out that the Rugby Football League loaned Crusaders RFLC £700,000 last year, while the club was in financial difficulty. It has been suggested that Crusaders are due to pay this back, interest-free, at £70,000 per year over the next ten years but that a condition that they wanted, perhaps understandably, considering Crusaders’ recent financial difficulties, security over their debt in order to allow them to continue to play in the Super League. We might ask the question of how Crusaders are allowed to do this against a property that they don’t own, and The Racecourse Ground is still owned, for the time being, by Wrexham FC. The answer to this is that it can be done with ease if they have the permission of the owner of the property, and the owners of Wrexham FC are effectively the owners of Crusaders.

    The situation that Wrexham FC finds itself could, therefore, be described as something of a pincer movement. They are now in thrall to Crusaders, and dependent upon them maintaining their payments to the RFL whilst, on the other hand, they remain likely to have to pay rent to the ground that they have played at for one hundred and thirty-eight years...

    It seems likely that its short-to-medium-term future will be dependent upon Crusaders maintaining their mortgage payments and on Wrexham FC itself steadying a financial ship that has been haemorrhaging money".

    A director of Newport County writes that "We are pleased to appoint Tim Harris as caretaker manager until the end of the season. Tim will be assisted by Wayne Hatswell and may well make further additions to his interim management team...

    The priority is to turn that around as quickly as possible and get our push for a play off place back on track. That won't be achieved without a few fresh faces as we have been thin on the ground as of late, and Tim has been authorised to get that task underway with immediate effect...

    Tim has informed me that he has reached agreement with Swansea City for return of one of the fans' favourites, Kerry Morgan, until the end of the season".

    According to the Staines News "Terry Brown admits Andre Blackman has played his last game for AFC Wimbledon. The ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs left-back has only made a handful of appearances since Brentford youngster Chris Bush made the switch to Kingsmeadow at the end of September.

    Brown denied there had been a bust-up with the former Bristol City bad boy, but insists Blackman's departure is because he couldn't adjust to life in non-league. The 20-year-old has this week been on trial at Oldham Athletic in a bid to earn a deal with the League One outfit, and Brown has given him the green light to leave the Dons for good".

    And "Dons' striker Jon Main will be loaned out to another Blue Square Bet Premier club in an effort to rediscover his goalscoring touch... 'Jon has a major problem with the way that we play now with three up front', Brown said. 'That makes it very difficult for Jon to get in... There are plenty of Conference Premier clubs that would take him. Two or three clubs have asked about him, but it will be Jon's decision and I think he knows where he wants to go'. Brown also added that he is hoping to loan out 18-year-old midfielder Reece Jones and number two goalkeeper Jack Turner if he can find suitable clubs for them".

    Expect the long throw to be added to Wimbledon's armoury as "Dons have completed the loan signing of left-back Gareth Gwillim until the end of the season from Dagenham & Redbridge... 'Gareth was one of our targets during the summer', said Brown. 'Having decided to go to Dagenham, he was unable to secure a regular first-team place so we approached them. He is an experienced left-back who played 123 games for Histon during his very successful spell there. He will add stablility to our very young back four'".

    On he same topic AFC Wimbledon itself quotes Brown, "Dagenham's manager John Still has kindly agreed to Gareth getting some game time until the end of the season... The signing is perfect timing after the news we received from Brentford on Tuesday that they were recalling Chris Bush into their ranks. We signed Chris Bush as a scholar which effectively means he can play for us and Brentford and we are very grateful for Brentford allowing him to gain valuable first team experience and play a major part in the success in the team has had during his spell here".

    Apparently there were six Histon fans recorded at Darlington for their last match, following a zero tally at Wrexham earlier this season.

    NL Daily reports that "Andy Burgess, Phil Watt and Danny Pitham have all left Corby Town... as the loss of chairman Peter Mallinger starts to take an immediate financial bite... Former Rushden & Diamonds and Luton Town midfielder Burgess only joined in November". A spokesman told the Northants Evening Telegraph, “I’ve contacted Vauxhall Motors and Southport about Burgess."

    "As has been the case several times before, Bath City manager Adie Britton has unearthed another player from an unexpected source. His name is Albjon Blloku, and he comes from Kuçovë in central Albania. He has been training with City for several weeks and Britton has confirmed he will turn out for the team against Darlington if his international clearance comes through in time.

    Blloku, a striker who has also played in midfield, has most recently played for KF Kamza in the Albanian First Division. It is not known at the moment what has brought him to England, or to Bath in particular... Britton confirmed that he is in talks with several other players about coming to Bath City as well".


    The Manchester Evening News reports that "A former soccer starlet has been locked up for two years after leading a ferocious street attack which left the victim fearing he would die. Stelvio da Rocha, 19, of Fairy Lane, Cheetwood, Manchester, drifted into petty crime after walking away from Altrincham FC’s youth side last season. In May last year, the midfielder was among a mob that beat up a restaurant worker near The Printworks in Manchester when he tried to stop them stealing his bike...

    Da Rocha admitted robbery, affray and assault at Manchester Crown Court. He also admitted affray following an incident in March in which he threatened to stab a man who refused to hand over his phone to his pals on a bus in Gorton".

    13 January 2011


    Altrincham's opponents in the Cheshire Senior Cup are Alsager Town who will come to Moss Lane on Tuesday 8th February for the semi-final.

    The other semi final is Northwich Victoria v Warrington Town.


    Wed. 12 Jan.


  • AFC Wimbledon 0 Luton Town 0


    NL Daily reports that "Caretaker-manager Matt Elliott is ready to lift Stafford Rangers out of the doldrums and keep them in Blue Square Bet North...following the departure of Tim Flowers at the start of the week...

    But, on a night when former Hednesford Town manager Bernard McNally and ex-Altrincham boss Graham Heathcote were among the crowd, Elliott admitted that certain issues needed resolving for him to continue in the role... Elliott had a spell as Hednesford’s assistant-manager in 2008/09 and held a similar position at Oadby Town last season, before arriving at Marston Road as Flowers’s number two" says the Express & Star.

    "Neil Aspin, manager of FC Halifax Town, has announced that defender Andrew Milne has joined from Barrow. Milne has only recently completed a loan spell with... Altrincham... [He] has had temporary spells with Gainsborough Trinity and Altrincham where he has just completed a three-month loan".


    According to Blue Square Football "Derby goalkeeper Ross Atkins has seen his loan stay at Tamworth extended until the end of the current season. The 21-year-old joined the Lambs on the eve of the new season but returned to Pride Park as cover before resuming his loan in November. The England youth international's deal expired this week but Rams manager Nigel Clough was happy to extend it.

    'This has been a good move for Ross', he told County's official website. ,He is playing games, which is far better for him at this stage than playing a reserve-team game every three weeks'".

    Blue Square Football also reports that "Mansfield Town have revealed that midfielder Gary Mills has left Field Mill by mutual consent. The 29-year-old made over 40 appearances in the amber and blue since his arrival from Stevenage in May 2009".

    Meanwhile "AFC Wimbledon have been dealt a major blow with news that tough-tackling midfielder Lee Minshull faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The former Tonbridge Angels man recently returned to the first-team fold following knee and foot injuries. However, further scans on his recent foot injury have revealed a hairline fracture which will keep him on the treatment table for around six weeks".

    Live Odds & Scores reports that "Bookmakers are investigating suspicious betting patterns on last night's Conference game between Tamworth and Newport County. Various bookmakers have told Live Odds and Scores that they saw unusual amounts of money bet on the draw and the 2-2 and 3-3 correct scorelines.

    The game ended with Tamworth winning 3-2 with a penalty in injury time to Tamworth but bookmakers have still launched an investigation into the betting patterns and look set to report it to the Football Association. By 5pm last night William Hill had instructed all betting shops in the Midlands to stop taking bets on the game and this morning shop managers in the Birmingham area were asked to send details to their head office of all correct score bets placed on the game of more than £10. It is understood that other major betting chains also suspended betting on the match after seeing large amounts of money on the game, which would normally only attract wagering in small amounts from shops in Tamworth and Newport...

    There is no suggestion that players or officials of Tamworth or Newport County placed bets on the game".

    According to NL Daily "Steve Burr has insisted his future is with Kidderminster Harriers after his team provided him with the perfect birthday present. The Harriers boss watched his side thump Kettering Town 4-1... with only goal difference keeping them out of the top five.

    But Burr is likely to see five points scrubbed from the team’s tally next Thursday, the club’s deadline to appeal, after they were punished by the league’s governing body for financial irregularities. Harriers are still in turmoil off the pitch but, on the field, Burr’s stock as a boss has grown further during his year in charge, which has led to concerns that he may be enticed to manage at a higher level...

    He said: 'This is a smashing club and my first year has flown by – that’s football. Long may that continue, because I am more than happy here with what’s going on... This club is one that I would like to take on and into the Football League'".

    On the same subject, the BBC reports that "Kidderminster Harriers manager Steve Burr says he has not been contacted about the vacant Walsall job... 'The speculation is quite flattering', Burr told BBC Hereford and Worcester... 'Everyone in and around us is strengthening their sides and I would love to do that here. With two or three new players, with what we have got here, we could really push into a play of sport [play-off spot?]... I feel these lads could do with a lift by bringing a couple of players in'".

    According to Bullsnews "New Motherwell boss Stuart McCall says his SPL side made a bid for Fleetwood signing George Donnelly but was financially outgunned by the Conference side".

    12 January 2011


    If the Cheshire Senior Cup quarter final against Runcorn Linnets, from four steps lower in the non-League Pyramid, was an opportunity for Altrincham to build confidence, it was not one that they took, as they three times failed to hold onto a lead before clinching the tie. It took Alty 120 minutes to overcome the hardworking Vodkat League side by the narrowest of margins, 4-3. But three players recorded their first goals for Altrincham...

  • Match report here.
  • Alty cup line-ups.
  • Alty player stats.


  • Match report here. Newport County announced last night that their manager "Dean Holdsworth departs. Aldershot have agreed terms with Newport County and it now only leaves Dean to conclude personal paperwork that completes his appointment as manager of Aldershot... The work now continues onwards and upwards both on and off the field and to make the correct signings to push for a play off position".

    According to the York Press, "Luton Town have been rebuffed after making another bid for York City centre-back David McGurk. The Hatters first tried to prise McGurk away from Bootham Crescent in November, offering City £40,000 for his services on the completion of a one-month loan spell.

    Now, City boss Gary Mills has... shot down rumours of an £80,000 offer. Mills said: 'Luton have been on to us again but, in terms of the amounts mentioned, there’s no truth in that at all. They want Dave but I want to keep him there’s no two ways about that'...

    Mills has admitted he is... monitoring the situation of former Minstermen defender Luke Graham, who moved from Bootham Crescent to Kettering in the summer... The City boss added. 'I also like to run with three centre-halves and, even though Dan Parslow plays there, I think he’s been doing really well at right-back'”.

    The BBC says that "Cambridge United commercial consultant Gareth Baldwin has revealed he could be interested in leading a bid to buy the club, should an opportunity arise. Baldwin, who was previously chairman at Histon, joined the U's in early 2010.

    He told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'I would love the opportunity to find enough people to take ownership of Cambridge United and guide the club back into the Football League'... He has worked for the U's in a commercial capacity since quitting Histon in November 2009. Cambridge's board announced last week that they were putting the club up for sale because of rising costs and falling crowds...

    'We have a fantastic product here. The football club has heritage and the city has heritage, and it's a great opportunity for the right person', he said".

    From the Northants Evening Telegraph, we learn that "Imraan Ladak has revealed Kettering Town are in talks with two potential signings after the exodus at the club continued over the weekend. James Dance has followed the likes of Andre Boucaud, John Dempster and Greg Taylor out of the Elgood’s Arena after he joined Dempster at Crawley Town for an undisclosed fee.

    Reports over the weekend have suggested that Luton Town are now interested in defender Luke Graham and winger Jamie Towers played for Barwell, where he was signed from on non-contract terms just a few weeks ago.

    The moves, which were expected as Ladak looks to slash the wage bill at Rockingham Road to help secure the club’s long-term future, have left Marcus Law’s squad looking a bit light...

    'James was out of contract in the summer and as he is under 24 he would have left on a free transfer', the Poppies' chairman said. 'Wrexham made an offer for him last summer but we didn’t feel the fee was what we were looking for. We had offered him a new deal but that wasn’t accepted and Crawley came in with a fee, which we felt represented his talent... I wouldn’t describe this as a mass exodus. Every player who has left has done so because they felt it was right for them and I am not the sort of person to stand in their way as long as it’s right for our club. Some of the rumours that we had demanded pay cuts and things like that are wide of the mark...

    Marcus Law admits he will have to be patient during a 'massive transitional period” at Kettering Town... One player who could soon join the Poppies is former Rushden & Diamonds midfielder Jon Challinor who has been training with the squad... his last club having been Welsh side Newport County...

    'It’s a massive transitional period... Myself and players are people who pass through the scriptures of the club and the future of it is a lot more important than anything'".

    This is Nottingham told us yesterday that "Mansfield Town boss Duncan Russell aims to have a new face in his squad for tonight's visit of Fleetwood with a Football League striker top of his shopping list..

    Said Russell, 'I'm looking at a striker who is very good and would be a major threat to anyone playing Mansfield'... Russell admits Steve Cook is unlikely to sign for Mansfield permanently when his loan deal from Brighton runs out".

    "Corby Town manager Graham Drury has blasted Forest Green Rovers for 'moving the goalposts' over a deal to sign winger Lee Smith" reports This is Glos. "The former Gloucester City winger seemed set to join the Northamptonshire club last week after finding first-team opportunities limited at the New Lawn..

    Drury explained the reasons for the collapse of the deal, 'We're being messed around quite a lot, to be honest', he said. 'Forest Green's manager Dave Hockaday, who has been excellent through it all, agreed to do a deal. But when it came down to the secretaries talking to sort out the paperwork, Forest Green started moving the goalposts. They basically want more money than was agreed and then there's the lad's travelling costs as well. But there's no way I'm budging over the money we agreed on, mainly because we haven't got any more money to offer'".

    Yesterday's Northern Echo informed us that "Darlington... [have] Marc Bridge-Wilkinson mulling over an offer that would make him one of their highest paid players. The 18-month deal on offer illustrates how determined Darlington are to land the 31- year-old whose three-month loan from Carlisle United expired after Saturday’s draw with AFC Wimbledon. The League One club are prepared to release Bridge- Wilkinson this month, a process that involves agreeing a settlement, but Quakers chairman Raj Singh is hopeful the player’s next destination will be The Northern Echo Arena.

    Said the chairman, 'Marc’s an intelligent lad and he wanted reassurances about how stable the football club and how ambitious we are about strengthening the squad and getting out of this league... He even indicated that he wanted to sign for us and that he wouldn’t consider dropping two divisions for any other club, which says a lot about us and how much he’s enjoyed his time with us..

    We’re not dishing out silly deals. All our new signings, including Liam Hatch, have agreed performance-related deals. In Marc’s case, and providing he accepts, he’d be one of the highest-paid players at the club, with bonuses and add-ons on top of that, so the better he performs, the more he’ll get out of it'.

    Manager Mark Cooper could hand a recall to Chris Moore, a move which would involve tinkering with the ‘diamond’ formation which has been favoured recently. Darlington, currently 12th, hope to move up the table with a win against bottom-ofthe- table Histon, but the fixture could be the first at the Arena to feature no visiting supporters. Histon, situated just north of Cambridge, attract an average of 598 to home games and earlier this season took no fans at all to their match at Wrexham".


    The Vodkat League tells us of "a newly published book featuring non-league football grounds in Lancashire. The book, "Non-League Football Grounds of Lancashire" by Terry Gorman, is a follow up to the book he published two years ago, which featured grounds in Liverpool and Manchester... League Media Officer Ian Templeman gives his thoughts and observations below...

    Terry explained to me he was not a particularly seasoned non-league groundhopper, but a season-ticket-holding supporter of Bury who began exploring initially the North West Counties League grounds, whenever he and his son were not at a Bury game... The book is completed by a fascinating look at the "Gone But Not Forgotten Grounds" of Lancashire, with some superb photographs...

    The cover price is £17.95, but anyone contacting Terry directly to buy a copy can buy one for £17 including postage and packing, as long as they mention the Vodkat League website. Terry also has a few remaining copies of the first book - Non-League Football Grounds of Liverpool and Manchester - still available. That was priced at £14-95, so if anyone missed the first book and wanted to buy both at the same time, he would be able to do the two for £31-00 including P&P as long as limited stocks last, and provided the Vodkat League website is mentioned.

    The book can be ordered directly from Terry at: The Court House, Court Lane, Weaverham, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 3JQ. Anyone requiring any more information should e-mail Terry at the following address:"


    Tues. 11 Jan.

    Cheshire Senior Cup QF

  • Runcorn Linnets 3 Altrincham 4 aet
  • Woodley Sports 1 Alsager T. 3


  • Darlington 3 Histon 1
  • Kidderminster Harriers 4 Kettering Town 1
  • Mansfield Town 2 Fleetwood Town 5
  • Tamworth 3 Newport County 2
  • York City 1 Grimsby Town 0
  • League Table

    FA Trophy 1R

  • Eastwood Town 4 Rushden & Diamonds 3
  • Southport 0 Gateshead FC 1
    11 January 2011


    Runcorn Linnets host Altrincham tonight (Tuesday) in the Cheshire Senior Cup. It is hoped to provide Matchday Updates during the game, depending on wifi reception at the stadium. Ground directions are here.

  • Through the Years from Howard Watts.


    All of Altrincham's postponed games have now been rearranged as it has been confirmed that York City will visit Moss Lane on Tuesday 22 February (7.45pm), the original game having been called off on 28 December. For all of the fixtures click the League or Cup Games links at the top left of this page.

    Although the Cheshire County FA has announced that the semi-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup will be on 18 January, should Altrincham progress to that stage, the game would be on Tuesday 8 February. No Conference games are permitted that night as it is the date of an England C international match.


    Right: Robins' supporter Ian Wilkinson, in his Alty kit, is seen here with Aussie cricketer Brad Haddin during the recent Ashes series Down Under.

    Mon 10 Jan.

    FA Cup 3

  • Crawley Town 2 Derby County 1


    In Monday's Manchester Evening News we read that "Altrincham boss Ken McKenna urged his resurgent Robins to keep going after they hauled themselves off the foot of Blue Square Bet Premier for the first time since August with a second away win in less than a week...

    'To follow up our victory at Mansfield with another at Rushden is excellent and gives our hopes of staying up another massive boost', said the Moss Lane chief. 'But the important thing is we keep this run going. That has to be our immediate target... We were unfortunate to go behind after starting well, but our equaliser came at exactly the right time'".


    TASC is running a 40-seater coach to Blyth this Saturday for our FA Trophy game. Details are on the Away Travel page, which also has a map and Blyth website link

    Directions are:

    From Tyne Tunnel: take A19 signposted ‘Morpeth’; 2nd roundabout take A189 signposted ‘Ashington’ then continue as below:

    From A1: take A19 signposted ‘Tyne Tunnel’. 2nd roundabout take A189 signposted ‘Ashington’ then continue as below:

    From A189: take A1061 signposted Blyth, then:

  • 1st roundabout take turnoff signposted A1061 Blyth follow road,
  • 2nd roundabout straight across (A1061),
  • 3rd roundabout straight across (A1061 Town Centre/South Beach),
  • 4th roundabout turn left onto A193 (Ind Estate),
  • 5th roundabout straight across (A193 – Ind Estate),
  • 6th roundabout turn right onto Plessey Road.

    Ground now on left. Team coach take 3rd left (William Street) and reverse into Bishopton Street to ground entrance".


    According to Chronicle Live "Blyth Spartans boss Mick Tait remained upbeat after his side threw away a two-goal lead in the second half to lose 3-2 at fourth-top Nuneaton.

    Blyth looked to be on course for their first win in 2011 when Paul Brayson added to Michael Tait's first half strike just two minutes into the second half... Blyth have conceded seven goals in the last two games after appearing to put their earlier defensive frailties behind them.

    Tait was frustrated by more indecisive defending and individual errors "Little failings are letting us down and mistakes from individuals, but this is a defeat from which the players should take confidence... At 2-0 we should have gone on to win the game. but we let them straight back in which gave them encouragement and they then equalised straight away from another long ball. We have to iron out the problems because that is one point from nine in 2011... If we play to our capabilities we can beat any side in the division.

    With no new injury problems we now have a free week to prepare for the FA Trophy tie with Altrincham. I thought we had eliminated the errors which proved costly earlier in the season, but we have slipped back into those bad ways'".


    The referee on January 18 at Tamworth, when Alty are the visitors, is Mr K. Johnson.


    On the BBC website, "Ryan Shotton admits it was a 'magical' experience to make his home debut for Stoke City in Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third round draw against Cardiff City. After making only his second start for the Potters, the 22-year-old told BBC Radio Stoke: 'It's a magical feeling. I was really nervous as you can imagine, as a local lad making my debut. But to hear the crowd and see my family there watching was brilliant'.

    Shotton's only previous start came in a Carling Cup tie at Orient last season. The young defender has never featured in the Premier League for the Potters. But he has made 63 league starts in separate loan spells at Tranmere Rovers and Barnsley, having also previously spent a season-long loan at non-league Altrincham.

    'I'm pleased for Shotton', Potters' manager Tony Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke. .I thought he did really well. He showed some good composure. We're very pleased that another young player has come into the team and done really well. Before I came back to the club, I don't think the club was too keen on allowing players from the Academy to go out on loan. But young players should go out and play as early as they possibly can and Ryan's done that. He's got some experience. He obviously needs a lot more, but he's shown that he's a good prospect for us'".


    From The Northants Evening Telegraph we learn that "Justin Edinburgh said: 'It would be quite easy to criticise when people keep telling us how many games we've gone without a win. But we can turn this around and the luck will come. I've got no doubt about that'".

    From Rushden & Diamonds comes news that "Diamonds' manager Justin Edinburgh agrees that it is a testing time for himself and his team, but he remains positive it is one they will get through, and be stronger as a result".

    Against Altrincham "'"I think we showed them the initiative and led them on and I think what we will learn is when you get a chance and a foothold in the game you must continue to search for that second goal and be positive. We certainly became a little bit cagey, not negative but a little bit safe. They've got the goal and we're disappointed with the goal because we gave away possession. We've maybe tried to play offside, but that will come with the understanding between Luke and Ollie...

    What you've got to realise is not to worry about league positions. Altrincham are on the back of two good results, a victory at Mansfield (Town) and a draw against Wrexham, not conceding in two. It doesn't matter where they are in the league their confidence is up, ours is down....

    'At the other end we've blocked a shot, the re-bound's gone straight back to the guy and he's smashed it in. We can feel sorry for ourselves but we're not going to do that.. We've got to turn it around ourselves'".


    This is Lincs reports that "Striker Jefferson Louis will return to Gainsborough Trinity after a permanent deal at Darlington fell through. Louis has been on loan with the Quakers since October, with the deal running out today. But the Blue Square Premier club have dropped out of a proposed permanent move for the much-travelled former Football League frontman.

    'I don't want to go into the details why, but the permanent deal has fallen through', said Trinity chairman Peter Swann. 'It may be that other clubs may come in for him, or if not then he will come back into our squad and provide more competition for places'".

    Bullsnews says that "Accrington have... failed to extended the loan of Fleetwood midfielder Ian Craney as the player has failed to agree a pay-off with the Conference side and they are not prepared to further subsidise a loan deal".

    10 January 2011


    Grahame Rowley writes;

    "Andy Milne (right) has completed his loan spell [from Barrow] with Altrincham. Living in York, the travelling problems have proved too much for Andy to remain an Altrincham player and it is thought he may now join FC Halifax.

    The club would like to thank Andy for his dedication and professionalism during his time at Moss Lane - especially his parting gift of the winning goal at Rushden on Saturday. We wish him luck in his future career".

    Andy, who played on the right side of the Alty defence, made 10(+1) appearances for Altrincham and scored one goal during his loan period.


    Chairman Grahame Rowley writes:

    Altrincham Football Club wish to pass on their condolences to Alan, Geoff and Suzanne Goodwin and the rest of the family following the death of Carol Goodwin (Geoff's Mum) in the early hours of this morning, following a long illness. Carol, along with her husband Alan, set up Goodwins coaches over 30 years ago and it has remained in the family ever since. Go Goodwins have been the club's main sponsor for the past nine years with the players enjoying executive travel on their 'top of the range' coaches.

    Our thoughts are with you all at this very difficult time".


    The draw for the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final has been announced by the Cheshire County FA.

    CSC Semi Final 18/01/11

  • Northwich Victoria v Warrington Town
  • Runcorn Linnets/Altrincham v Woodley Sports/Alsager Town

    Should Alty progress at Runcorn on Tuesday, there will be a clash as they are set to meet Tamworth, away, on that date.


    Manchester United have two matches at Moss Lane this week. On Monday United Youth play Portsmouth Youth in a FA Youth Cup match (7pm kick off). And on Thursday, Manchester United Reserves play Bolton Wanderers Reserves (7pm). Prices are £5 for adults and £2 for conncessionaries and children".


    NL Daily reports that "Issue 2 of magazine is now available. The magazine is completely free here.

    The Exiles boss... will look at other targets after deciding the ex-Premier League forward was not the man to help cement a place in the play-offs. 'We just felt that he didn't tick all of the boxes and at this moment it wasn't right to bring him to the club', said Holdsworth.

    'We'll look elsewhere and hope to bring in someone else because we only had sixteen players available on Saturday'".

    Meanwhile, "Wrexham have signed defender Mark Creighton from Oxford United on a permanent contract. The centre half, known as 'The Beast', has signed an eighteen-month deal with Dean Saunders's outfit. He returned to Oxford at the end of a successful loan spell at the Racecourse Ground, and on Friday United cancelled his contract, allowing him to join the Welsh club on new terms".

    From Hayes & Yeading United we learn that "With United in search of a bounty of goals in 2011, Garry Haylock has finally concluded weeks of negotiations to secure the services of Ben Wright once again, this time in a loan deal with Crawley that will keep him at Church Road for the rest of the season.

    Wright originally joined United at the start of the season on loan then from Peterborough United but after 5 goals in 4 games he was recalled by Posh and sold to Crawley".

    Also, "Garry Haylock has further expanded his squad to re-sign fans favourite Delroy Preddie as goalkeeper cover... By his release in September 2009 he had made 58+1 appearances and kept a Club record 20 clean sheets. While away from Church Road he has featured for Walton & Hersham and Windsor & Eton".

    Grimsby Town announce that "Nick Colgan and Lewis Gobern have had their contracts cancelled by mutual consent".

    The Indpendent says there "will not be a snood in sight when Crawley Town host Derby County in the FA Cup third-round tie at Broadfield Stadium tomorrow... The Blue Square Premier club are not known as the "non-League Manchester City" because of fashion accessories.

    Like City, Crawley have a spending power that sets them apart from their rivals, although the Reds' backing came not from a foreign investor but locally-based fans. [Previously, anonymous Hong Kong backers have been cited as the source of the wealth at Crawley]. Bruce Winfield, the finance director of marketing services group Media Square, began watching the club 45 years ago after his family moved to the Sussex new town. His co-owner Susan Carter and her husband run an air freight business at nearby Gatwick Airport.

    Last year they decided to clear debts of £1 million, securing the future of a club that was losing £400,000 a year and had limped from one crisis to another – administration in 1999 and again in 2006, points deductions and a winding-up order from HMRC.

    They also made funds available to Steve Evans, the manager, that were the envy of his rivals... "Project Promotion" to the Football League is on course...

    'Two years ago I was introduced to Steve and a few people on the board, and I decided to get involved', Winfield said... 'There was a lot of debt, the brand was no good, administratively it was a mess. It was a decision of the heart, which is probably the worst decision in business, but we've done pretty well'...

    Winfield and Carter kept faith with Evans, who took Boston into the League in 2002 but was banned for 20 months in 2003 for impeding an FA investigation into contract irregularities at Boston and later received a 12-month suspended sentence for his part in a tax fraud.

    'He came with a bit of baggage, and his disciplinary record is abysmal, but he's cleared that up', Winfield said. 'I don't know what happened at Boston, but we're squeaky-clean'...

    Evans said, 'We're seen as wealthy, but there are players where Bruce and Susan have said the deal was too rich. Some clubs talk as if they've hardly got a budget, but we're playing catch-up against Wrexham, Cambridge, Wimbledon. Last season we took cars to away games to save money. Some opponents arrived in a fancy Premier League-level coach. Every fifty pence gets explained here'.

    Winfield... [said] when he decided 'It was too much for Sue and me to run'. He used business contacts to attract extra shareholders, including money from the Far East... He said 'We have funds, but we're not sticking in hundreds of millions of pounds. I don't like the Man City comparisons and I'm not Sheikh Mansour.

    People don't usually buy £50,000 players in non-League football. If we want to buy, we pay up front, not over two or three years. We don't owe anything, we budget rigorously, we don't sign 35-year-old ex-League players and we're not paying silly wages. If you want to part with money, football is one of the easiest ways, and some previous owners made a mess of it. We put in more money last year to pay off debts than we've put in this year to pay for players'".

    9 January 2011


    The next game that he plays will be Stuart Coburn's 500th appearance for Altrincham. With James Coates likely to play in goal on Tuesday in the Cheshire Senior Cup, Stuart's landmark may arise next Saturday at Blyth in the FA Trophy.

    Stuart joined Altrincham from our neighbours Trafford in 1997/98 season, having been at Shawe View since 1994/95 following spells at Irlam Town and Maine Road. Injury meant that Stuart played only nine games in his first Conference season (99/00) and his absence probably cost the club survival at that level in that campaign.

    In May 2002, the lure of Conference football took him from Alty (then in the UniBond Premier) to Leigh RMI (in the Conference) on a two-year contract. Leigh surprisingly released him in October 2003 after he had been their player of the year.

    He rejoined Alty on 17 October 2003 and made his (second) Alty debut at Hyde on 21 October 2003. Stuart underwent a hernia operation in May 2004 but was fit to star in season 2004-05 when, once again, he enhanced his reputation. A groin injury sidelined him after 9 games of the 2006/07 season but he returned in early November 2006. However, injury struck again and sidelined him in September 2007 but he recovered to play most of the season as first-choice keeper. He was first-choice again in 2008-09, during which he had the dubious distinction of being suspended for receiving five yellow cards, an unusual occurrence for a keeper. A happier collector's item in Stuart's career was his goal for Alty, scored from his own area against Runcorn.

    In 09-10, he again distinguished himself with numerous excellent saves but after six games of 2010-11 he lost his place for eight matches to James Coates, before regaining the keeper's jersey. His string of saves at Rushden last Saturday was quite amazing and confirm that the 34 year-old is still one of the best keepers in the Conference. He is seen, right, at the end of that game, in which the Non-League Paper rightly named him as their "Star Man".

    Stuart, like the rest of the Alty squad is a part-time footballer. Outside the game, he works full-time as a driver for B&J Hire Services in Broadheath, Altrincham. The company "provides tool and plant hire for trade and DIY customers". Stuart can often be seen driving up the A56 to work at 7am in the morning - even after midweek away games which mean he may not have got home till 1am; a somewhat different existence from that of most of his BSBP counterparts.

    All at Moss Lane thank him for his dedication and for his magnificent service to the football club.


    After Saturday's win, Ken McKenna spoke to the NL Paper, which names him "Manager of the Day". Ken said, "To come down here and get a result is excellent, especially on the back of our recent performances [draw with Wrexham, win at Mansfield]. I think the break has done us good and certainly given us the chance to recharge our batteries.

    We had a terrible start to the season but the recent run has given us hope. If we stay up, even on goal difference at the end of the season, I'll take that. I thought we started well today and got on top with a good tempo. We then scored the equaliser at exactly the right time, just before the break.

    After scoring the second we were battered for the rest of the game but defended well and rode our luck'.

    For his part, Justin Edinburgh said "I know it's been a long time without a win but no one can question our commitment. When your luck is out, it is out, as it was today".

    The BBC has an audio interview with Justin Edinburgh in which he "tells BBC Radio Northampton that [R+D] they will 'turn the tide' if they maintain their levels of performances in light of their 2-1 defeat to Altrincham."

    The Diamonds official site adds that "Rushden & Diamonds slipped to a 2-1 defeat by Altrincham at Nene Park... Some excellent goalkeeping by Stuart Coburn kept the Diamonds at bay as they pressed for an equaliser...

    Left: Alty contest a freekick awarded against Mark Joseph at Nene Park.

    Altrincham manager Ken McKenna was only able to name four substitutes as his squad had been hit by illness and injury... After a slow start it was the visitors who had the lion's share of the early play, with the Diamonds struggling to get out of their own half in a ten minute period...

    It was beginning to look like the Diamonds were fairly comfortable with their lead, but... The Robins equalised after 40 minutes when a ball was slotted forwards that dissected the Diamonds Centre Backs and saw Damian Reeves run on to beat the offside trap and slot past the advancing Joe Day.

    Within two minutes there was a similar move which saw debutant centre back Ollie Thorne foul Mark Beesley as he ran at the defence. There was some concern Thorne might have been deemed the last man and receive a red card, but he was only shown yellow..

    It was the Robins who scored the crucial third goal of the game. A crossfield ball caught Jamie Day in two minds whether to head or hook clear, and as the ball cleared him Andy Milne picked it up, raced towards the area and hit a shot that rebounded off Luke Prosser, allowing him a second attempt which Joe Day got his hands to, but could not prevent the ball squirming across the line...

    Corcoran forced the first of a whole series of excellent saves from Coburn... Coburn then produced a virtuoso display of goalkeeping as he first kept out a Jamie Day shot, and then saved a Prosser shot and a Johnson volley that followed. He then made a multiple sequence of saves including an effort from Ryan Charles, helped by a goalline clearance as he preserved the visitors' lead".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Rushden & Diamonds suffered a third successive new year defeat. Justin Edinburgh's side remain without a win since October as bottom-of-the-table Altrincham came from behind to pick up three points... Corcoran, Jamie Day, Ryan Charles, Prosser and Matt Johnson were all denied by Robins keeper Stuart Coburn in the final 20 minutes as Diamonds pushed forward".

    This report says there were 72 away fans at Nene Park, twenty fewer than the number cited on the Rushden official site.

    Before Saturday's game, the BBC reported that "Rushden & Diamonds manager Justin Edinburgh has signed an undisclosed 'long-term' contract extension with the club. The former Spurs defender, who arrived as assistant manager in October 2008, was on an existing one-year deal...

    Edinburgh told Diamonds' website: 'It's a long-term deal which shows my commitment to this club. We've seen an improvement on and off the pitch in the last two years'".


    Trafford FC enjoyed a bumper gate of 724 as they entertained Chester, who won 2-0.


    Peter Band scored twice for Woodley Sports but they lost 2-4 to Skelmersdale United. Former Rotherham loanee Tom Cahill also got two and was on the winning side as AFC Fylde beat Durham City 4-2. Peter Wright netted for Bamber Bridge, who lost 2-3 to Harrogate RA. Another ex-loanee, James Dean and former Alty reserve Tom Baker scored for FC Halifax, who won 3-0 at vics. Carlos Roca scored as FCUM beat Bradford PA 2-0. Kieran Lugsden netted as Buxton beat Retford Utd 7-0 and Aaron Burns scored as Ashton United went down 2-4 at Burscough.

    Goalkeeper Ashley Timms has joined Ashton United from Wakefield FC.


    The Holker Street Newsletter reports that "Barrow's goalkeeping problems will be solved, for the short-term at least, with a report in the Mail that Clark Masters will take his place in the nets... Dave Bayliss says: 'Clark will be back for us on Saturday. We hope he'll be signing for us this week. Had we not had Alan Martin here, we would have signed him up straight away when he first joined us. Clark has done well in the games he's played for us. He's a big unit and comes and takes the lot. The bread and butter at this level is to come for crosses and he does that well. I don't think the loan of Alan Martin worked out this time. We lost him to international duty and injury and that disrupted things. It's another lesson learned'".

    According to Blue Square Football "Eastbourne Borough have further strengthened their squad with the loan signing of Scottish midfielder Steve Masterton from Crawley Town. The 26-year-old joined Crawley in the summer, after a career in Scotland, and has made 15 appearances for the Reds... He began his career at Kilmarnock, after a spell at Rangers as a youth, but left without making a senior appearance... Released by Morton at the end of the 2009-10 season, he linked up with Crawley in June 2010".

    Still in Sussex, NL Daily tells us that "Crawley Town manager Steve Evans has raided fellow Blue Square Bet Premier club Kettering Town for the second time in two days by capturing young James Dance for an undisclosed transfer fee.

    The 23-year-old has been highly sought after in recent weeks with York City, Grimsby Town, Mansfield Town and Darlington all making cash bids for the talented winger. But he has decided his immediate future is at the Broadfield Stadium by signing an eighteen-month with an option to extend that period by a further year.

    Crawley also signed Poppies defender John Dempster last week. Evans said: 'We have tracked James Dance for a couple of months now and he has been improving as each week goes past. He has good ball control, he opens up opposition defences and he is quick, these are great attributes and he is a terrific signing. I don't know the lad but he looks a winner and seems hungry to be successful in his football career... The lad can play on either flank and I have seen him being brilliant as a striker so we will get him here, let him settle in and have a good look at him in our environment. He had a number of very good football clubs wanting to buy him but he made it very clear to Kettering Town that he wanted to join Crawley Town'".

    8 January 2011


    The Alty Youth match away at Formby against AFC Liverpool, scheduled for Sunday 8th, has had to be postponed, due to a waterlogged pitch.


    Details of the TASC supporters' coach to Blyth Spartans for next Saturday's FA Trophy match are on the Away Travel page


    Altrincham lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with this 2-1 win at Rushden. Goalkeeper Coburn made four excellent saves late on but before that Alty had been good value for the win.

    Match report

    Above, left: Damian Reeves celebrates his goal. Above, right: Alty celebrate at the end of the game.

  • League table
  • Alty player stats
  • Alty line-ups


  • Barrow AFC 1 Cambridge United 2
  • Bath City 0 Luton Town 0
  • Darlington 0 AFC Wimbledon 0
  • Eastbourne Borough 1 Mansfield Town 3
  • Forest Green Rovers 1 Fleetwood Town 0
  • Gateshead FC 2 Kidderminster Harriers 2
  • Hayes & Yeading Utd 2 Tamworth 1
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1 Altrincham 2
  • Southport 2 Newport County 1
  • Wrexham 2 Grimsby Town 0

    FA Cup 3

  • Bolton Wanderers 2 York City 0
  • Huddersfield Town 2 Dover Athletic 0


    There will be live news from Nene Park on the Matchday Updates page during Saturday afternoon as Rushden and Diamonds entertain Altrincham.

    Rushden & Diamonds "have signed 22-year old defender Luke Prosser on a three-month loan from Southend United. Luke was born in London and was a member of the Tottenham Hotspur's Youth Academy before signing for Port Vale as a 16-year old in 2004. He made his debut for Vale in the 2007-08 season, and, as well as several loan spells, he made 33 appearances for the Potteries side before signing a one year deal with Southend United at the start of this season.

    The Centre Back has played in 9 league games for Southend this season, plus a number of cup games... Luke has been given squad number 5".

    The BBC reports that "Rushden & Diamonds could hand a debut to Luke Prosser, in place of Jamie Stuart, who was joined AFC Wimbledon. Sam Smith (groin), Max Porter (foot) and Shane Huke (hamstring) are all doubtful, but on-loan Kidderminster defender Oliver Thorne will debut.

    Altrincham have a host of doubts of their own - Jamie Smith (knee), Chris Denham (groin), Nicky Clee and Anthony Danylyk (both flu) are all struggling. Carl Piergianni is certainly out with knee and ankle ligament damage.

    Rushden & Diamonds assistant boss Paul Driver told BBC Radio Northampton: 'I watched Mansfield dismantle Cambridge and look very impressive - and then a week later Altrincham have gone to Mansfield, kept a clean sheet and beat them 1-0. They beat us here last year and it was a difficult game at their place. I don't think they're in a true position. They have a go and I don't expect them to come here and shut up shop'".

    Rushden & Diamonds MAD have a preview of the game with Alty. They "prepare to entertain Altrincham at Nene Park on Saturday afternoon, with high hopes of improving on their excellent record against the opposition, having managed to conjure up a win from 4 of the previous 6 games. The most recent encounter between these two sides at Nene Park was just last season, in October 2009, with Altrincham inflicting a narrow 0-1 defeat upon the Diamonds".

    Our own Mike Garnett provides the full Altrincham record against the Diamonds:

  • At Moss Lane: P7 W2 D2 L3 F12 A16
  • At Rushden: P7 W1 D1 L5 F4 A12
  • Total: P14 W3 D3 L8 F 16 A22


    Following on yesterday's five-point deduction for Kidderminster Harriers, Histon confirm that "At a Conference Hearing held yesterday, Histon FC pleaded guilty to the charge of incorrectly completing the FQR4 (Financial Reporting Return for 2009/10) in April 2010. The principal issue was regarding PAYE & NI amounts owing. This matter has since been addressed and settled in full with HMRC in September 2010. A secondary concern is a VAT return submitted in 2009 and Histon FC is collaborating with HMRC to clarify the position.

    The Conference has issued the following penalty;

  • 5 point deduction.
  • £5,000 fine, suspended for two years.

    Embargo on signing players with immediate effect until the query over VAT is resolved. When this matter is resolved the embargo will be lifted".

    If there is no appeal, the deduction lifts Altrincham off the bottom of the BSBP. But the Conference confirms that "Both club's [sic] have a right of Appeal to the Football Association against the decision of the Football Conference, which [is] exercisable within fourteen days. League Tables will not be adjusted until the Appeal procedure has been exhausted".

    Darlington confirm that "Mark Cooper has completed another new signing - with experienced defender Adam Quinn following Greg Taylor to the Northern Echo Arena. The 28-year-old centre-back has signed an 18-month deal after joining Quakers from Crawley Town. Quinn had been on loan with Forest Green Rovers this season.

    The Sheffield-born defender joined Crawley from Halifax two years ago. Darlington boss Cooper said: 'Adam brings a lot of experience with him, without being past it, he's at a good age... We're not finished yet and we're still looking at a couple of others'".

    According to the Football Conference "Newport County have pulled off one of the coups of the season to date in obtaining the services of much-travelled Nigerian international striker Ade Akinbiyi until the end of the season. Akinbiyi, 36, has moved for a total of more than £11.5m during his career. He has already played for no less than eleven English clubs...

    Akinbiyi agreed terms with League Two side Notts County. He made his debut on in October 2009 in a goalless draw against Rotherham. But in May 2010 it was announced that he had been released by County... He had been training with Stoke and was recommended to County boss Dean Holdsworth by their Newport-born boss Tony Pulis.

    A delighted Holdsworth said: 'I am really pleased to announce that we have secured the services of ex-Premiership player Ade Akinbiyi for the rest of the season'".

    From Welsh Premier we learn that "Kai Edwards has returned to Wrexham after a loan spell with Prestatyn Town. The 19-year-old defender has spent four months at Bastion Road... A Wales Under-19 international and the son of ex-Prestatyn keeper John Edwards... Edwards says he hopes to remain at The Racecourse".

    "Des Lyttle will have to wait until next week to strengthen the outfield options in his Tamworth squad" reports the Birmingham Mail. "The Lambs boss was able to conclude his second piece of transfer window business yesterday when Derby County agreed to allow keeper Ross Atkins to remain on loan for the rest of the season. But Lyttle’s move for a midfielder will be put on hold until next weekend because his target is currently on loan elsewhere...

    Having seen new recruit Abi Yussuf produce a goalscoring debut in Monday’s draw against Kidderminster, Lyttle says he wants only to add a couple of new faces to bump up the numbers for what will be a busy few months".

    Blue Square Football tells us that "Gateshead have today completed the double signing of young Newcastle United pair James Tavernier and Joan Simun Edmundsson. Yorkshireman Tavernier is a 19-year-old right back or central defender while Edmundsson, also 19, is a full Faroe Islands international. Both will make their debut against Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday alongside Sunderland loanee Michael Liddle".

    The Cambridge News claims that "Edward Adjei appears to have played his last game for Histon. The former Peterborough United striker would have been named as a substitute for Monday’s 6-1 defeat by Grimsby, but he failed to turn up at the Glass World Stadium. Adjei arrived at the club on non-contract terms in the summer after impressing former manager John Beck..

    But not being on the payroll and having to commute from north London appears to have taken its toll on the teenage striker. Said boss David Livermore, 'He’s not been paid a penny since he’s been at the club and it’s been a bit frustrating for him to not be involved on certain occasions. I don’t want to hammer the lad, but he would have had an opportunity to be on the bench (against Grimsby) and he didn’t turn up... I do feel sorry for him because he’s been funding his own travel up here from London, and that’s expensive...

    Adjei’s departure means Histon’s squad has been shorn of three attackers in a week following Peterborough’s decision to recall loanees Danny Mills and Romone McCrae. 'I think Peterborough weren’t happy that they weren’t playing as much as they would have wanted them to', said Livermore. 'I believe both of them would have played 30-plus games for us this season... It’s a shame because it means we’re light, but our relationship with them is fine'".

    Indeed, "An American midfielder will be among the trialists looking to catch David Livermore's eye when Histon take on a Peterborough United XI in a friendly at the Glass World Stadium tomorrow... 'It's a chance to get some people through the gate and for me to have a look at Peterborough's reserves', said Livermore... 'We'll have a look at some trialists as well. We need players defensively at the moment, that's where we're short'...

    Livermore also moved to play down talk of a rift with Cambridge United captain Paul Carden, who was unhappy with some of the Histon manager's comments ahead of the derby clash on New Year's Day. 'I'm an honest person and I say what I see', said Livermore. 'It wasn't meant to be disrespectful in any way, I just saw them play against Mansfield and thought they were an unfit side'".

    Meanwhile "Martin Ling is confident Cambridge United's financial plight will forge an even stronger bond among his squad... United may have to sell players this month to cover substantial shortfalls in income this season - a situation that led to the club being put up for sale by the board on Wednesday - with Robbie Willmott and Josh Coulson the favourites to go if a decent offer comes in for them...

    He said: 'The players knew after the game on Monday. I explained it to them and said it didn't impact on them at all... I've got no money to spend in January, but that was always the case anyway... There are two ways it can go with the squad - they're comfortable because you can't replace them or they pull together and think the world is against them. That's the mentality I want and the atmosphere and togetherness in that dressing room has never been in question...

    My remit is to keep the club pushing towards the play-offs... In terms of letting players go, the obvious ones would be Willmott and Coulson'".

    From the Kidderminster Shuttle comes news that "New chairman Mark Serrell hopes once Harriers get over their immediate financial woes that the cash-strapped club will start to live within it means. Harriers are still battling hard to avoid administration as they try to find the £120,000 needed to satisfy creditors which include Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

    Serrell, who became chairman on January 1, revealed ... 'If you look at our creditors bill, we owe tax and National Insurance, we owe creditors and the total amount is £120,000 at this moment... The debt's not getting any bigger... We owe money from long outstanding debts not current ones'...

    The club have started to put in place cost-cutting measures which... former chairman and major shareholder Dave Reynolds believes will save the club between £60,000 and £70,000 a year... 'In the future, the club can only spend the money that it generates. That's our aim once we get this short term problem out of the way. There's been all sorts of waste here. There's been mis-management in relation to one or two things which would have saved the club a lot of money in the first place'...

    Meanwhile, Stratford businessman Chris Swan confirmed he is no longer interested in purchasing Harriers".

    More comes from the Express & Star which states that "Kidderminster Harriers will go to Gateshead looking to put a dent in a deficit after being docked five points by the league’s governing body. Harriers accepted a charge of misconduct under Rule 18 yesterday afternoon, after submitting inaccurate financial information to the Conference between October 2009 and June 2010...

    There is a right of appeal, but it’s more likely that the final verdict will be the end of the matter. It comes with Harriers still under severe financial pressure, needing to find around £120,000 just to stay afloat between now and the end of the season.

    However, manager Steve Burr is still hoping to make signings in this month’s transfer window, after allowing defender Ollie Thorne to join league rivals Rushden & Diamonds on a month’s loan. The deal, which could result in a permanent move, frees up some much-needed room in the wage budget. The Harriers boss has a couple of targets in mind and is interested in former loanee Marc Williams, currently operating without a contract at Wrexham, and Kettering midfielder James Dance".

    The Northants Evening Telegraph says that "Imraan Ladak has revealed a 30-second phone call was all it took for the destination of Kettering Town stalwart John Dempster to change. The popular Poppies defender looked all set for a move to join former boss Mark Cooper at Darlington and even gave the Evening Telegraph a farewell interview, in which he talked openly about the transfer.

    However, it would seem the deal stalled and Crawley Town boss Steve Evans nipped in to make an offer for Dempster to become the latest addition to his promotion-chasing squad...

    And Poppies' chairman Ladak admitted ... 'The deal was agreed with Darlington as far as I was concerned. But in the meantime, Steve Evans called and in 30 seconds the deal was done and it never changed'. Greg Taylor, originally part of a double deal with Dempster, was still set to join Darlington yesterday.

    Ladak, meanwhile, has confirmed he has accepted an offer from York City for James Dance, although two other clubs are also in the frame. The chairman also revealed Luke Graham's future is in his own hands while manager Marcus Law will be allowed to bring in new faces, despite the slashing of the wage bill to help fund a new lease at Rockingham Road.

    He added 'There could also be others on the move... We still feel we have some of our most consistent performers in the squad... The squad we have is good enough to compete in the Conference, in my opinion'".

    Gateshead "have made a bid to bring former Newcastle United trainee Richard Offiong home following the 27-year-old's release from Carlisle United. Offiong, who made his name in Scotland with Hamilton Academical, held talks with Gateshead boss Ian Bogie yesterday. The striker had an unhappy spell at Carlisle following his £75,000 move from Hamilton...

    Bogie said: 'It didn't work out for him at Carlisle and his loan spell at Darlington this season was unsuccessful because he wasn't fit when he went there... Coming back to Tyneside could be the making of him... It will initially be a one month trial period but the decision is down to him'".

    And Forest Green Rovers "are pleased to welcome a new signing... 27 yr old Danny Hall is a 6’3” tall central defender who was signed by Crawley Town in the close season from Chesterfield, having made over 150 appearances in the Football League not only with the Spireites but previously at Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town...

    He is an accomplished defender who has outstanding pace and will be a valuable replacement for the departed Adam Quinn and one benefit of acquiring him on an initial one month loan is that he has played on numerous occasions alongside Rovers captain Luke Jones as a central defensive pairing when both were at Shrewsbury.

    An exodus from Crawley Town sees "Crawley Town Football Club confirm that three players, Ben Wright, Danny Hall and Chris Flood have left the Broadfield Stadium in three separate loan deals.

    Striker Ben Wright has returned from a loan spell at Newport County and will join Hayes & Yeading immediately. The player is rejoining a club where he was in sensational form at the start of the current season and has joined H&Y until the end of the current season. The agreement allows the Reds to recall the player at twenty-four hours notice...

    Defender Danny Hall has followed in the footsteps of Adam Quinn by agreeing to join Forest Green Rovers in a month long deal... Winger Chris Flood ... will join Dorchester Town...

    Reds boss Steve Evans said, ''These three lads now need some match time and that was my first thought when we had approaches for their services. In every one of the deals we have a recall agreement in place but the boys concerned need to play first team football and that was at the forefront of my thoughts'".

    At Bath City "Carl Pentney’s loan from Colchester United has been extended for a third and final month. Pentney’s wages are being met in part by a contribution from the Bath City Supporters' Society".

    7 January 2011


    Following the completion of his loan period at Moss Lane, Mark Beesley has now joined the club as an Altrincham FC player. So far he has made 2(+2) appearances for The Robins, during his loan from Fleetwood Town.


    The postponed matches against Histon and Forest Green have now been rearranged:
  • Tuesday 15 February, home to Histon
  • Tuesday 15 March, home to Forest Green Rovers

    The match against York is being rearranged but the date awaits confirmation.


    Before Saturday's match against Altrincham the Northants Evening Telegraph reports that "Rushden & Diamonds boss Justin Edinburgh remains positive going into the second half of the season. A run of eight games without a win in all competitions has left them outside the play-off pack and facing a replay at Eastwood Town next Tuesday in the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

    But they started 2010 in a similar position before fantastic form secured fourth spot, only to miss out on promotion back into the Football League... He admitted: 'At this time we are lacking confidence but we all know how quickly it can turn around with players at any level... I'm a positive person who always thinks the glass is half full... We won't go down without a fight...

    I thought we dominated the midfield against Kettering as Alan Power, Michael Corcoran and Max Porter were excellent. Michael Gash looked better as he worked tirelessly up front while Aaron O'Connor could have got three or four goals on another day. Having Jamie Day back was a big plus as well.. We will dust ourselves down and go again at home to Altrincham on Saturday'".

    Meanwhile, Blue Square Football confirms that "Kidderminster Harriers boss Steve Burr has allowed defender Ollie Thorne to join Rushden & Diamonds on loan for a month. The former Newport County man first signed for the club on transfer deadline day last August but has featured just ten times since then... [He] will link up with Diamonds in time for their home fixture against Altrincham this weekend. Ollie will remain at Nene Park until February 12".

    The BBC adds that "Rushden & Diamonds' loan striker Michael Gash is hoping to force his way back into York boss Gary Mills's plans. The 24-year-old has joined from the Minstermen until the end of the season. Gash told BBC Radio Northampton: "Darlington came up but Rushden was ideal for me. I can see a team that look strong. I haven't played for months so I'm trying to prove a point here and to Gary Mills. I'm not quite at my best yet but a goal will help'. Gash joined York for £55,000 in 2009 but has struggled for regular action and goals this season, scoring just once in 17 matches.

    'I was grateful to York for paying that', he said. 'It's a lot of money for me and if I can score goals here and show I am worth that money, I'll be happy'".

    And NL Daily reports that "Jamie Stuart has left Rushden & Diamonds and joined AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed nominal fee. Stuart signed at Nene Park in June 2009, later being announced as captain...

    He was with Grays Athletic from 2004 until mid-2009, spending latter years as the club's captain, and also having a spell as joint/assistant-manager at that club early in 2009...

    Diamonds` chairman Gary Calder explained: 'Jamie spoke to Justin Edinburgh and said he was struggling with the travelling. The manager only wants players who are fully committed to Rushden & Diamonds Football Club, therefore Jamie has left the club to join AFC Wimbledon'”.


    Altrincham FC goalkeeping coach Ian Senior is offering a new range of goalkeeping gloves.

    The three types of glove are pictured here. They are:

  • Maroon : PRO MAX
  • Green: PRO GS

    All gloves are available from the club or direct from Ian through his Sensport Kits website. They cost £25 a pair, in sizes 6 to 10.


    Kidderminster Harriers announce "The outcome of today's [6 January] hearing with the Football Conference.

    The club appeared in front of the Conference Board having accepted charges of Misconduct in accordance with Rule 18, with regards to returns as part of the Financial Reporting Initiative for the periods October-December 2009; January-March 2010 and April-June 2010.

    The Conference Board's decision is as follows:

  • The Football Club is to be deducted five (5) points from its current League table score.
  • The Football Club was fined £5,000.00 - a fine which is to be suspended for two years.

    The Football Club has the right to appeal against this ruling. Chairman Mark Serrell has confirmed that the Club will take a period of time to consider its position and options before deciding on a course of action and releasing any further comment on the matter.

    Mr. Serrell and the Club's Board of Directors are, naturally, extremely distressed by events which have lead to the above charge, especially as they have now impacted on on-the-pitch matters".

    A "Statement from Board of Directors of Cambridge United" has been issued. It includes...

    "Football today is a business that generates intense interest and passion, but also pushes the boundaries of good business sense. During the last 18 months the club has worked diligently to provide the maximum available funds to the playing side of the business. However, our results on the pitch combined with the poor economy, has caused attendances to drop and income with it. The Board believes that in this climate further investment is required in order to push the club forward to higher levels.

    At present, our income cannot sustain the current level of expenditure on and off the field. The most important consideration, despite everyone's desire to be successful on the pitch, is survival and the long term future of the club... In the short term, we must either cut expenditure to live within our means or attract additional investment to close the financial shortfall.

    Competing today in the Football Conference, with the prize of being a Football League Club and the associated funding, is requiring an ever increasing playing budget, often with little initial expectation of a return. The Board is looking for fresh investment into the club to continue the development of young players, provide funds for the first team to push forward and also to work with our landlords as the plans to develop a new stadium come closer. That investment could also include a complete takeover of the club and one option within that could be the formation of a Community Trust.

    We are seeking interested parties... Cambridge is worthy of Football League status. The Board also extends the offer of dialogue with CFU and any other fan groups to look at the financial viability of creating such a Community Trust to effectively take over the ownership and running of the Club. This process can run concurrently with the search for potential new ownership/ investment".

    On the club's Forum, supporters estimate that leasing their ground alone costs £250K a season.

    The Cambridge News adds that "Paul Barry has put Cambridge United up for sale... He said: 'I look at the league, and the amount of money being put in isn't the type of funding we can find. The wrong thing to do would be to march to the bitter end and completely run out of money or resources... There will be a lot of tyre-kickers that come knocking, but right at the top of the list we want people with integrity. There's no specific deadline or rush. We're not in Kidderminster's situation by any means.

    In the long term, there's a bright future. There's a lot of good work that's been done over the last few months by Grosvenor (owners of the Abbey) and I'm pretty optimistic the new ground will happen. "It's making sure we've got a strong and viable club when that happens... A lot of costs are fixed, so you just do your best to manage your expenses going forward on both the playing and administration side... We aren't in a fire-sale situation. As for administration, that's not something the board has planned or sees on the horizon'".

    The Football Conference announces that "Due to the poor weather conditions in December and the shortage of matches in the three Blue Square Bet divisions, Blue Square have decided to cancel the ‘player of the month’ and ‘manager of the month’ awards... The awards will return as normal for January".

    And "Blue Square have decided to assign the costs of the trophies and the presentation of our December awards to `The Dale Roberts Memorial Fund'".

    On the field "York City have signed Bangor City's Jamie Reed, the leading scorer in the Principality Welsh Premier this season with seventeen goals. Last month, Chester-born Reed rejected a move after a 'five-figure bid' from the Minstermen for the prolific marksman... The 23-year-old, who was also understood to have been a target for Oldham Athletic, could make his debut against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium in a Third Round FA Cup tie this Saturday.

    Bangor chairman Dilwyn Jones said: 'The deal we have agreed with York for an undisclosed fee, is the best we have ever been able to negotiate for the sale of a player'. A promising young goal-getter with Wrexham, Reed was loaned to Aberystwyth Town for half a season... He returned to the Racecourse in January 2008 after netting nine Welsh Premier goals but, after a further loan spell at Tamworth, was released by Wrexham and signed a one-year deal at Rhyl... He left in May 2009 to try and break into Major League Soccer in the USA...

    A Wales under-23 semi-professional international, Reed was allowed to join Dandenong Thunder in the Victorian Premier League (Australia) for the summer, missing City's Europa League campaign, but quickly found his scoring touch after arriving back and hit a personal tally of five goals in the 8-1 demolition of Port Talbot Town last month."

    The Conference also reports that "Defender Rhys Day has signed a deal keeping him with Mansfield Town until June 2012. The 28-year-old made his return to Mansfield in a loan deal from Oxford United in October 2010 having last played for the Stags in 2006".

    Also, "Midfielder Adam Murray has completed his permanent switch to Mansfield Town from rivals Luton Town, signing until June 2012", whilst "Centre half Chris Smith has completed his permanent move from Mansfield Town to York City".

    Elsewhere, "Gateshead have completed the signing of Sunderland left-back Michael Liddle on an initial month's loan. Republic of Ireland under-21 international Liddle made his senior debut for Sunderland last season as a second half substitute against Barrow in the FA Cup".

    And "The three players on-loan with Luton Town have completed and signed their permanent deals with the Blue Square Bet Premier club. Midfielders Alex Lawless and Charlie Henry and striker Jason Walker are officially Hatters players after signing their new contracts now the January transfer window has opened.Lawless has been on-loan from York City and scored twice in Luton colours, whilst Walker joined from Barrow and has also netted twice."

    Blue Square Football reports that "Fleetwood Town have agreed a deal for George Donnelly from Plymouth Argyle. Donnelly, who will undergo a medical on Friday, began his career in the youth ranks at Liverpool and moved to Skelmersdale United in 2007. The striker's goal ratio attracted the Pilgrims' attention and he signed for the south coast club in March 2009. Donnelly has been on loan at Stockport County this season and has netted eight goals from 27 starts in all competitions" report Fleetwood Town.

    From Crawley Town comes confirmation that "They have signed central defender John Dempster from Kettering Town for an undisclosed fee. Dempster (27) has been in outstanding form for Kettering Town this season and was subject of significant transfer interest from a number of clubs, including the likes of Luton Town and Darlington but Reds boss Steve Evans swooped late last night to sign the player on an eighteen month deal".

    At the other end of the deal, the Northants Evening Telegraph confirms that "It was understood that Dempster's deal to join Mark Cooper at Darlington had been done. However, the Poppies have now confirmed they have agreed terms with Steve Evans's big spenders and the Kettering stalwart is now set to join the promotion chasers for an undisclosed fee. It is not yet clear whether Greg Taylor's proposed move to Darlington has been affected by the latest news".

    6 January 2011


    Alty's joint Press Officer, John Edwards writes:

    "Ken McKenna saluted Altrincham's new-found defensive resilience as two clean sheets helped garner four points from a productive Bank Holiday programme.

    Though still bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier, Alty's hopes of beating the drop were given a massive lift by a 0-0 home draw with Wrexham and morale-boosting 1-0 win at Mansfield.

    As they head for another tough test at Rushden and Diamonds on Saturday, a show of defensive strength marshalled by the in-form Marc Joseph has provided fresh optimism for McKenna, who made seven changes to the starting line-up at Mansfield on Monday.

    'To have defended so well in two difficult games in the space of 48 hours was very pleasing and gives us real hope in the battle to stay up,' said the Alty boss. 'You've always got a chance if you can keep a clean sheet, and we showed great discipline in both games.

    'I was very mindful of how close together the games were and how difficult it is for a squad of part-time players to replicate the same level of performance, when you've only got 48 hours in between.

    'There were always going to be changes, to freshen things up a bit, and it was good to see we could make use of the squad and still come up with a good performance and excellent result.

    'It could have been even better, because I felt we could have nicked a winner against Wrexham, but, to be fair, I was really pleased with the way the lads shaped up and responded to the challenge both times.

    'Stuart Bimson (assistant manager) [pictured right] had a good look at Mansfield in their game at Cambridge United, and though they came away with an emphatic win, we felt there were areas we could work on and possibly exploit. I was always quietly confident we could get something there, and so it proved.'

    The Mansfield win, secured by a close-range header from Damian Reeves, was all the more commendable after injuries ruled out impressive on-loan defender Carl Piergianni, who could be missing for several weeks with ligament damage, James Smith, Michael Twiss and Chris Denham".


    Blyth Spartans are offering Alty fans access to their newly refurbished Blyth Spartans Social Club and Sports Bar before the game at Croft Park on January 15th. The Social Club also offers live transmission of Sky Sports and ESPN matches.


    Mansfield Town have brief highlights of Monday's game at Field Mill against Altrincham.


    Blue Square Football reports that "Cambridge United manager Martin Ling says he won't be looking to extend the loan of midfielder Alex Stavrinou from Charlton Athletic. The 20-year-old has not figured in Cambridge's last two games and his loan spell is due to come to an end after Saturday's clash with Barrow.

    Ling told Cambridge News: 'I haven't got the money to keep him, but that's the reason why he hasn't been playing. Things have become tight and we need to pinch our pennies even more than we have done previously. He has done fine, but could we get by without him? Yes'.

    And Ling says 'If we had to choose between Alex and Wayne Gray, I'd have to choose Wayne because of the position he plays and also the influence he has had over the period. The fact I could only offer Wayne a week-to-week contract probably answers its own question. I don't want to put doom and gloom on it, but that's the situation here and if people above me don't want to say it, I will'".

    From the Northern Echo we learn that "Mark Cooper has boosted his Darlington squad with the double capture of Kettering defensive duo John Dempster and Greg Taylor... after the departure of Danny Hone, who returned to Lincoln City after his six-month loan spell expired. Cooper knows all about the versatile pair, who played under him during his two-year spell at Rockingham Road.

    Demspter, 27, signed last night for an undisclosed fee... while Taylor, 20, followed. He was first signed by Cooper in 2009 from Northampton Town. Kettering's highly-rated forward James Dance was also a target of Quakers, but it seems they have been beaten to his signature.

    And Cooper is also working hard to make midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's loan from League One side Carlisle United permanent.. His loan from Carlisle expires after Saturday's home game... If Darlington aim to retain Bridge-Wilkinson they must make a permanent offer for a player who is out of contract at the end of the season and is interesting several other clubs.

    'We're trying to do something', said Cooper... 'The biggest problem we have is attracting players up to Darlington. We haven't got the lure of being in the Football League and the majority of players that play in the Conference are Midlands or southern based. We're trying to attract them to the North-East but the only way you can do that really is to throw buckets of money at them. That's how Crawley, at the other end of the country, are doing it. It takes a lot to convince players that know this level to come up to the North-East.

    But myself and the chairman are not prepared to risk the club's financial position for the sake of a quick fix. We're going to do it properly and bring people in for the right reasons'...

    There will also be exits from the Arena during January, with the likes of Kelvin Jack, who has been on loan at Kettering, Kevin Austin and Joe Clark all available. Cooper added: 'There will be three or four leaving if clubs will take them'".

    According to The Leader "Dean Saunders is desperate to strike a deal to sign Mark Creighton because he feels he needs a fourth centre-back to help maintain Wrexham’s promotion bid. Creighton has returned to parent club Oxford United after completing a loan spell during which time he was not on the losing side in six outings. Despite being under contract at Oxford until the summer of 2012, Creighton has been told he does not have a future at The Kassam Stadium by manager Chris Wilder....

    Said Saunders. 'I am trying to do a deal. I don’t know whether I can as he is earning more money at Oxford than what we’ve been paying him... He does what is needed, he heads balls away and has done well for us... I am looking to try and do things, but clubs want transfer fees for a lot of players I want', said Saunders...

    Saunders has allowed a number of players to go out on loan this season and he admitted more could follow... Striker Andy Mangan could return in Saturday’s clash against Grimsby Town at The Racecourse... Saunders revealed that midfielder Christian Smith has returned to the club following a loan spell at Newport County, and the Reds’ boss is expecting a decision from Williams, who has been offered a six month contract".

    The Wrexham Forum says that "Today's Leader carries an article with the headline 'Chairman's plan to lease out Racecourse Ground to both clubs' which goes on to says that Wrexham FC and Crusaders RL will have to share the cost of running the Racecourse Ground which is £300,000 a year...

    According to Wrexham FC's last set of published accounts, the football club is losing around £30,000 per week and it is now being asked to pay £3,000 per week to play at its own ground".

    200% has a detailed account of the background to the Wrexham situation.

    5 January 2011


    The Cheshire FA has ruled that the Runcorn Linnets v Altrincham match in the Cheshire Senior Cup, postponed this evening, will now take place next Tuesday (January 11th). This means that the league match at home to Forest Green Rovers is now postponed on that date as FA games take precedence over league matches. This means that Alty now will have had five successive away games (Mansfield, Rushden, Runcorn, Blyth and Tamworth) in 15 days by 18 January!


    The Wrexham v Altrincham game, postponed on Boxing Day, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 1st at 7.45pm.


    Tonight's CSC match at Runcorn Linnets has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.


    Altrincham were set to travel to a new ground tonight to take on Runcorn Linnets in the Cheshire Senior Cup quarter-finals.

    The two sides have previously met in the Cheshire Senior Cup, when they played a tie on Tuesday, 13 November, 2007. Alty were again drawn away for that match, which took place at Witton Albion FC, where the Linnets were playing before acquiring their own ground. Alty won 3-1 with two goals from Carlos Logan and one from Chris Senior, after the Linnets had taken a first-half lead.

    The Linnets describe themselves as "a Trust-based team formed in the 2006 off-season by the fans of the now defunct Runcorn FC (which was playing under the name "Runcorn FC Halton" at the time). We play in the Vodkat League. Having started out in North West Counties Division 2, we successfully secured promotion to Division 1 matching Winsford at the top of the table, but missing out on the League Title by goal difference".

    They currently lie 17th in the 22-team Vodkat (North West Counties) League, Premier Division.

    For Alty this will be their third game in five days, whilst the Linnets had played just once since early December because of the bad weather.

    The Linnets play at the Millbank Linnets Stadium, Murdishaw Avenue, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 6HP

    Tonight's referee is Mr William Smallwood. Amongst his previous matches are:

  • ALTRINCHAM 2 CREWE ALEXANDRA 0, Unibond Cheshire Senior Cup Final, played on Wednesday, 16 March, 2005
  • ALTRINCHAM 4 VAUXHALL MOTORS 2 after extra time, 2-2 after 90 minutes. Cheshire Senior Cup 1st Round match played on Tuesday, 16 September 2008.
  • STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 1 ALTRINCHAM 1, Nationwide Conference North Match, played on Saturday, 21 August, 2004.


    Altrincham's supporters' club, TASC, is operating a coach to Rushden and Diamonds this Saturday (8th). Details are on the Away Travel page. Please ring the club (0161 928-1045) to reserve a place.


    The Manchester Evening News says that in the win at Mansfield, "It was their second clean sheet in 48 hours which did most to convince Ken McKenna they can still beat the drop despite being marooned at the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier since August. 'To have defended as well as we have against, first, Wrexham and, now, Mansfield, is very pleasing and gives us real hope' said the Moss Lane chief.... Alty's triumph means they're now just four points short of safety at the season's half-way stage".

    Altrincham's win at Mansfield on Monday was all the more creditable for being achieved with four players out injured (Denham, Piergianni, Smith and Twiss) and with Somner ineligible, but even those players on the pitch were less than 100%. Andrew Milne was ill at half-time but battled on to the end whilst Nicky Clee was still weak after a bad bout of flu.

    Blue Square Football reports that "Altrincham piled the pressure on Duncan Russell with a 1-0 win over Mansfield at Field Mill on Monday. Damian Reeves notched up the only goal of the match to give Blue Square Bet Premier's bottom club a much-needed victory...

    After seeing off the early attacks from Alty, the home side made a decisive foray of their own, which resulted in a penalty shout as Alty's Andrew Milne appeared to foul Paul Connor in the box. The referee turned down the appeal and thereafter Ken McKenna's men made all the running...

    Reeves bagged what proved to the deciding goal in the 59th minute. Ryan Brown [Baynes] delivered the decisive ball into the area that was nodded on by Joseph. Lurking at the far post was Reeves, who got his to the ball to beat Pilkington with a header to make it 1-0".

    Another report comes from This is Nottingham which tells us that "Duncan Russell has promised changes in personnel at Mansfield Town after seeing his troops slump to an ignominious 1-0 home defeat to rock-bottom Altrincham... The performance and result left plenty of Mansfield fans seething.

    And Russell insists he is planning to make "two or three" raids into the transfer market... It follows the news that Kevin Pilkington's loan has been extended by a month from Luton, albeit with a 24-hour call-back clause. Defender Rhys Day is set to follow, despite Darlington and other clubs being keen to secure his services. The club are also in negotiations with Fleetwood's Simon Grand, who was unable to play against Altrincham because his loan has expired, and Brighton's Steve Cook...

    Said Russell, 'They would be big additions to the squad if we can get them in... We have got two wingers but there is not a lot of pressure on them for their place in the side'. Russell believed his team deserved at least a point against Altrincham. He said: 'We created so many chances in the second half'".

    And "If the Stags are to revive already flagging promotion hopes, then their manager may have to take the same hard-line approach [as the government] after this morale-sapping, embarrassing defeat...

    Being hit for seven at Grimsby on New Year's Day was a disaster but most home fans were willing to put that down as a one-off. What they were not willing to tolerate, however, was a thoroughly poor showing against the Blue Square Bet Premier's bottom side that brought a cacophony of boos at full-time...

    The Robins had not won for six games prior to their trip to north Nottinghamshire and their winning goal, scored by Damien Reeves, was their first in 552 minutes of play. But it was no more than the Robins deserved and shows just how off the pace Mansfield were...

    Elsewhere in the same source, "Kevin Pilkington felt Mansfield Town deserved better as they sank to a 1-0 home defeat against bottom-of-the-table Altrincham... 'The first half was a lot better than at Grimsby on Saturday, which was absolutely shocking and embarrassing', said Pilkington. 'But it was disappointing to concede the goal the way we did from a set-piece. People have certain responsibilities to deal properly with them. After that, we created numerous chances and we kept putting the ball in the right areas but we didn't finish them off... You have to give some credit to Altrincham because they came here to get men behind the ball and they did it very well... Unfortunately we have come up against a team that is very resilient'".

    The Mansfield Town site has Video reaction from the Mansfield manager.


  • Hayes & Yeading U. 0 Luton T. 1
  • League table.


    After three weeks when the Altrincham FC Saturday Yankee top prize code went unclaimed, the jackpot now stands at £2700. Details of how to particpate in this fundraising scheme for Alty which can net you a big prize, click here.


    Altrincham FC and TASC wish to thank all who helped to make the bucket collection at the Wrexham game reach a total of £75.72.


    A week on Saturday (15th), Alty travel to Croft Park to play our old friends at Blyth Spartans in the FA Trophy. Admission prices are:
  • Adults = £10.00 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)
  • Concessions = £5.50 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)

    Since Alty last played at Croft Park, cover has been provided to all four sides of what was already a neat and well maintained ground. Alty's last visit was for a midweek evening match on 14 April 2004. This website described the game as follows: "Two-nil down after an hour, Alty looked to be on the way to a fifth successive defeat but, revitalised by substitutions, they dominated the closing half hour... Substitute Matt Bailey got Alty back in the game, converting a rebound from the keeper after his first shot had been parried (70 mins). Four minutes later Leeson headed Aspinall's free-kick past his own keeper to level the scores...

    Snow had caused this match to be postponed in February which meant a 300-mile plus weekday trip for Altrincham and their supporters. Before the supporters' coach set off, manager Graham Heathcote came aboard to thank those on the almost full vehicle for their support".

    Alty's team that night was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Mark MADDOX, 5. Peter BAND, 6. Ged KIELTY, 7. Gary SCOTT, 8. Ian CRANEY (capt.), 9. Marcus HALLOWS, 10. Stephen ROSE, 11. Jamie BAGULEY. Subs: 12. Kieran LUGSDEN, 14. Matt BAILEY, 15. Stuart WRIGHT.

    Mike Garnett provides information on our full playing record against Blyth. Mike writes:

  • Home; p.6 w.4 d.1 l.1 f.12 a.6
  • Away; p.7 w.2 d.4 l.1 f.11 a.8
  • Overall; p.13 w.6 d.5 l.2 f.23 a.14

    Record in Trophy - played 1 (Rd 3, 26.2.83, A) lost 1, goals 0-2. Length of time spent on field by G. Heathcote on that occasion approx 80 seconds(!)".


    Rushden & Diamonds, whom Alty play on Saturday, report that on Monday they "lost to Kettering Town in their first home game of 2011. With their last victory having been at the end of October, the Diamonds were hoping to record a victory in their first game of the New Year at Nene Park...

    Justin Edinburgh made several changes to the team that lost at Luton on New Year's Day. Rene Howe had returned to Peterborough United after his loan period had ended. Shane Huke picked up an injury at Kenilworth Road, but Max Porter had recovered from his knock to return to the starting line-up. He was also able to welcome back Jamie Day after he finally completed his 3 game ban for his dismissal back in November. New loan signing Michael Gash made his home debut for the Diamonds".

    FA CUP

    FA Cup matches on Saturday 8th January involving BSBP sides are:
  • Bolton Wanderers v York City
  • Huddersfield Town v Dover Athletic


    Two familiar faces are our next match officials. The referee this Saturday against Rushden is Mr S. J. Long who oversaw Cambridge 4 Alty 0 on 27 November 2010. The following Tuesday against Forest Green Rovers the man in black is Mr R. L. Metcalfe who, coincidentally, reffed Alty 2 Rushden 2 on 2 October 2010.


    On Christmas Eve the Northern Echo reported that "When heavy snow meant Mark Cooper’s men had to abandon their usual training base at Houghall College they instead used the indoor facilities at Soccarena in Durham. However, Chris Senior suffered medial knee ligament damage on Soccarena’s artificial pitch, leaving Cooper to ponder where next to train during the cold snap... 'We’d finished training, he went to fetch one of the balls and as he turned he twisted his knee so that’s put us off using that'". All at Alty wish Chris a speedy recovery.

    Blue Square Football adds that "Darlington have been dealt a major blow with news that midfielder Michael Brough has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign. The 29-year-old made his return from a knee injury at the start of the campaign and was a regular fixture in manager Mark Cooper's first team...

    'Michael Brough will be out for the rest of the season', Cooper told The Northern Echo. 'He's got the same knee problem as Gareth Waite... He'll have to see a surgeon this week but the physio already thinks that he's going to need an op... That means we've now got Brough, Waite, Chris Senior and Paul Terry all out long-term with knee injuries. They're all big, experienced players for us'".

    The BBC tells us that "Dean Saunders has asked the Wrexham board to boost their Blue Square Bet Conference play-off push and splash out on new players in the transfer window. French striker Mathias Pogba scored his first Wrexham goal in their win over Bath City and Saunders hopes to sign Mark Creighton on a full-time basis.

    Saunders feels Wrexham's play-off charge will suffer should his 21-man squad endure injuries and suspensions. 'I'm hoping the directors can come up with some money for us', said Saunders...

    Wrexham extended their unbeaten league run to nine games with victory over in-form Bath and moved to within three points of the play-off places. Now Saunders, who has bought and sold more than 50 players since becoming Wrexham boss in October 2008, wants a fresh injection of new faces in the January transfer window to strengthen his seventh-placed side.

    'It is not a big squad', insists Saunders. 'My players are not earning the types of money that Luton and Crawley players are. I had to lose a few players in the summer to give the new players more wages to get them here so we are a bit a short. But we have to bring the right players in. I'm not going to bring in players that won't get in the team. They must be an improvement to the squad. And we will have to buy players, if you're getting a free transfer in January something is wrong'...

    Creighton, meanwhile, has impressed... The 29-year-old centre-back is on loan at The Racecourse until January but Saunders is hoping he can keep Creighton longer... 'But he is earning more money at Oxford than we're paying him at the moment. He has a year left but we will try to come an agreement as he likes it here'"

    The NW Evening News adds that joint Barrow manager Dave Bayliss "confirmed that they will not be seeking to keep goalkeeper Alan Martin at Holker Street now his loan deal from Leeds United is at an end. The co-boss said: “We have other plans. We can’t afford to keep Alan, it’s as simple as that. It’s not that he’s not good enough, he is. We just can’t afford to keep him'. Bayliss also confirmed defender Andy Milne, who has been on-loan at Altrincham for most of the season, has also left Barrow after his contract ended'".

    4 January 2011


    Right: In the foreground (left) Robbie Williams rushes to congratulate Damian Reeves after Alty's goal at Mansfield. Elsewhere on the pitch, other Alty players rush to celebrate with each other.

  • Match report here.

    Whilst Ken McKenna made seven changes to the Altrincham side, due to injury, unavailability, and squad rotation, Mansfield Town reported on Monday that their manager "Duncan Russell made two changes to the side that were heavily beaten at Blundell Park just two days ago. Gary Silk came in a right back for Steve Cook... [and] Paul Connor who came into attack alongside Rob Duffy at the expense of Keigan Parker.

    Stags' midfielder Matt Somner was missing from Alty's 16 man squad due to a gentleman's agreement struck between Ken McKenna and former boss David Holdsworth and will return from his loan spell at Moss Lane later this month..

    Coburn kept the scores level with a magnificent save when he denied Steve Cook a first goal in the amber and blue. The Brighton man timed his run perfectly to meet Sandwith's freekick from right of the area and got a fair amount of power behind his header which was brilliantly tipped over by Coburn from point blank range.

    Despite Stags' early pressure, it wasn't enough to prevent Altrincham taking the lead through Damian Reeves in the 58th minute. It came from a set piece as Wes Baynes's corner from the left fell to Marc Joseph at the back post who nodded it down into a crowded six yard box where Reeves was on hand to head it over the line...

    Five minutes of injury time passed before the small travelling contingent of Alty fans could celebrate their team's second win on the road this season and first ever victory at Field Mill coming at the fifth time of trying".

    Before Monday's game at Field Mill, This is Nottingham reported that "New Mansfield Town boss Duncan Russell experienced the other side of the footballing coin on Saturday as his midweek heroes took the club's New Year's Day hoodoo to a new, embarrassing low at Blundell Park.

    Incredibly the Stags have now lost 11 successive New Year's Day games, but no one guessed this seven-goal humiliation was round the corner after the splendid midweek 5-1 win at Cambridge United... It was an ignominious way for Russell's unbeaten four game run in charge of the side to end and a real wake-up call to a side sitting tantalisingly close to the play-off spots. With Russell rightly citing a touch of complacency as a major cause of this humbling...

    Mansfield looked visibly dazed, like a boxer trying to go on after taking a count, and were it not for a Pilkington save to deny Connell and then Charles Ademeno's effort crashing against the crossbar, it could have all been over by the break...

    The result was also a stark reminder how unforgiving this league is with consistency paramount to any side harbouring ambitions of getting out of it. Winning 5-1 and then losing 7-2 is about as far from consistent as you get. Chairman John Radford, who mercifully missed this mauling with illness, has already had one discussion with Russell about spending in the transfer window.

    Doubtless today's home game with Altrincham couldn't come quickly enough for the current side as they try to prove they are not a weak link that needs attention".


    After Saturday's draw at Moss Lane, the Daily Post said that "The loss of giant defender Marvin Andrews to a hamstring injury could have more serious consequences for Wrexham’s promotion push than letting two points slip through their fingers in a 0-0 draw at Altrincham...

    The former Trinidad international limped out of the Moss Lane action after 76 minutes and faces a lengthy period on the sidelines at a time when the Dragons might also struggle to retain the services of on-loan centre-back Mark Creighton, whose temporary Racecourse spell expires following this afternoon’s home match with Bath City at the Racecourse...

    Dean Saunders said: 'Thankfully no-one has rung up for any of my players yet, but that’s another thing I have to consider – if someone comes in and makes a bid for a couple of our players'...

    Wrexham’s lack of financial clout gives Saunders little room for manoeuvre in the month ahead but the stalemate at Moss Lane, where the home club’s largest gate of the season by some distance was due to the huge away following, will have done little to encourage a bumper Bank Holiday attendance at the Racecourse...

    Altrincham, despite their part-time status, showed few signs of tiring in the closing stages of a dour and sometimes bruising encounter that produced few if any genuine goal-scoring opportunities at either end. And the home side certainly passed the ball better than their opponents during the first half...

    The game’s only save of note came from Chris Maxwell in the eighth minute, the Wales under-21 keeper diving to his left to push away a fierce shot from Michael Twiss, who was put clear by debutant Carl Piergianni, a loan signing from Peterborough United.

    The 18-year-old defender endured a baptism of fire at times in trying to contain the threat posed by Adrian Cieslewicz, who looked to be the Dragons’ best hope of piercing the home defence but, not for the first time, was frequently let down by his decision-making.

    It was a very different story after the break, Altrincham coming back into the contest with a vengeance and close to an early goal through the excellent Shaun Densmore, who rounded off a fine passing movement with a shot that was not far off target".

    And "Dean Saunders admitted his players did not do enough to open the New Year with a victory over bottom club Altrincham... 'It was a bit frustrating for us because they (Altrincham) made it hard for us', he said. 'For the past five or six weeks four of the players have only trained on grass twice and it showed out there. A few of them were breathing a bit heavily and when I was picking the team I didn’t really know how we were going to go today... We didn’t take the chances we had. We had enough in the first half and we got behind them down the right hand side on three or four occasions...

    Although I know we need to get three points from games like this, we were away from home they are fighting for their lives and they made it hard for us'...

    Paying tribute to Altrincham, whose performance belied their lowly league status, Saunders added: 'We shouldn’t take anyone lightly and, fair play to them, I thought they battled well. And when they broke away I thought we might concede a goal because we had so many forward... I thought there were two definite penalties – Marc Williams was definitely pushed in the back and I thought there was a handball as well', he said. 'There are no complaints because the referee has not really decided the game. He hasn’t given something stupid, Altrincham battled well and we weren’t sharp enough'".


    According to Blue Square Football "Kettering Town have clinched the services of MK Dons youngsters Tom Flanagan and Charlie Collins on respective month-long loan deals. Both players are graduates of the League One side's academy". Meanwhile, "Histon have announced the re-signing of midfielder Max York on loan from Rushden & Diamonds until the end of the season. The former Cambridge player joined Rushden from the Stutes in July last year but returns after struggling to hold down a regular place".
    3 January 2011


    A 59th minute header from Damian Reeves gave Altrincham the points at Field Mill against a misfiring Mansfield team reeling from a 7-2 reverse on New Year's Day. The goal followed a corner with Joseph heading the ball back from the back post for Reeves to convert. Seven of the side which drew with Wrexham did not start this game. Injuries to Denham, Twiss, Smith and Piergianni ruled them out, and the on-loan Somner was not to play against his employers, whilst Beesley and Danylyk dropped to the bench. Nevertheless, Alty worked hard all through the game and restricted Mansfield to one serious threat - a header from Cook which Coburn pushed brilliantly over the bar.

  • Match report here.

    Right: Lawton and Densmore close in on Mansfield's Smith.

  • Alty player stats.
  • Alty line-ups, bookings.

  • Eastbourne B. 0 Cambridge U. 2
  • Forest Green R. 0 Crawley T. 3
  • Histon 1 Grimsby 6
  • Mansfield T. 0 Altrincham 1
  • Newport C. 3 AFC Wimbledon 3
  • Rushden & Diamonds 1 Kettering T. 2
  • Southport 5 Gateshead 1
  • Tamworth 2 Kidderminster H. 2
  • Wrexham 2 Bath C. 0
  • York C. v Fleetwood T. OFF
  • Darlington 3 Barrow 1 (k.o. 4pm.)


    During the match between Altrincham and Mansfield at Field Mill on Monday afternoon, there will be live Matchday Updates here on the website.

    Before the game, THis is Nottingham reported that "Mansfield Town's on-loan skipper Rhys Day apologised to supporters for Stags' dismal showing at Grimsby and said he hoped to complete his permanent move to the club soon.

    'Maybe there was some complacency after the win at Cambridge', he said. 'But I would like to personally apologise to the fans and, as captain, I can assure them I can't see that happening again'...

    Day's representatives are in talks with Stags over making his loan spell from Oxford a permanent move and he added: 'I am hoping it can be quickly resolved. I didn't want to leave Mansfield the last time I was here, so to have the chance to come back was fantastic'...

    Winger Adam Smith and striker Danny Mitchley have marked the New Year by signing new contracts until May 2012 with Adam Murray set to join them in midweek when Stags take over his contract from Luton on January 4. However, Luton are asking for a 24-hour emergency callback on loan keeper Kevin Pilkington which new Stags boss Duncan Russell is unhappy about.

    Talks continue with loanees Simon Grand, Steve Cook and Peter Vincenti over their futures at Field Mill with their loan spells due to end".

    The Mansfield MAD site has a preview of Alty's game at Mansfield. It says that the Stags are "aiming to preserve their record of never having lost at home to the visitors. Of the two previous meetings, the Stags have won one and drawn one...

    The Stags thrashed Alty 4-0 earlier this season at Moss Lane, but Alty drew 1-1 on their last visit to Field Mill in March 2010. The Robins beat Mansfield at Moss Lane in 2008 when Chris Senior scored after just eleven seconds.

    Mansfield have had contrasting fortunes in the past week, winning 5-1 away at Cambridge before crashing to a 7-2 defeat at Grimsby on New Year's Day. MAD adds that "Mansfield Town have managed to pick up just two wins from their last six home games, losing three, The Stags have scored 11 goals in these games, but conceded an alarming 13...

    With the current standing of Altrincham, I firmly believe this match can only produce a victory for the Stags".

    Mansfield Town reported that they "opened the new year with a heavy defeat... at Blundell Park. Lethal Grimsby, who are now unbeaten in eight league matches, showed why they may make a charge for the play-offs, with a devastating attacking display in front of their own fans... Stags, who ran riot five days ago with a 5-1 mauling of Cambridge, will now look to work on their defensive play before the visit of Altrincham at Field Mill on Monday".

    The BBC adds that "Mansfield boss Duncan Russell may make a number of changes to the side that was beaten 7-2 by Grimsby on Saturday. Striker Paul Connor could come in in place of Keigan Parker while Alan Marriott (pubic bone) and Kyle Nix (ankle) remain long-term absentees.

    Altrincham captain James Smith faces a late fitness test after he was forced off in Saturday's draw with Wrexham. On-loan midfielder Wes Baynes should return after he was ineligible for that game because of the terms of his loan".


    Right: James Smith is helped up by referee Mr Bond following his injury on Saturday; however, he was unable to continue to play.

    MOnday is the 29th anniversary of the Liverpool v Altrincham FA Cup tie in which Graham Heathcote netted a penalty in front of The Kop. More anniversaries are recorded in Howard Watts's Through the Years data.


    Following the New Year's Day game, Wrexham report that "The Dragons opened 2011 with a number of positives from their trip to Altrincham, but the one stat that really mattered seemed to elude them all afternoon - goals! The home side showed plenty of spirit and the longer the match went goal less, the greater their confidence grew...

    From the start of the second half, Altrincham came more out of their shells and Chris Denham saw a shot on the run not far off target. Shortly afterwards a Wrexham corner was only cleared as far as Keates and he hit a fierce effort straight at Coburn. All our hard work was almost undone when Taylor gave the ball away in midfield, the home side swept forward and with former Chester striker Mark Beesley looking to get in on goal, Andrews made a tremendous saving tackle inside his own box...

    Wrexham had loud appeals for penalties turned away when first Cieslewicz and then substitute Marc Williams went tumbling in the Altrincham box, but both were more in hope than any real anticipation".


    The BBC says that "Cambridge United boss Martin Ling has reiterated his desire to see out his three-year contract at the Abbey. The former Leyton Orient manager was turned on by sections of the "U"s' faithful during their 0-0 draw with local rivals Histon on New Year's Day.

    Ling told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: 'The crowd have been on my back, but it's a pressure I'm more than capable of handling. It won't get to me, but what I can't do is let it get to my players'. The "U"s went on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league after Ling was handed a vote of confidence by the "U"s' board back in October.

    However they ended 2010 with a 5-1 defeat to Mansfield and made it two games without a win against Histon. 'Fans can moan and there were a few shouts of "Ling out", but I won't be going anywhere', Ling said. 'I'm half way through a project here and I won't be walking away from this situation. If the fans think that then they've got another thing coming'.

    Ling has 18 months to run on his current deal and is working under increasingly tight financial constraints. Striker Wayne Gray has been offered a new week-by-week deal, but no new faces are set to arrive during the January transfer window.

    'We haven't got any money to change things around, so the bodies we've got are the bodies we'll have to go with', Ling said. 'There won't be changes, I've been told there's no money and we have to accept what we're working with'".

    2 January 2011


    In the NL Paper, Alty's new signing on work experience, from Peterborough United, Carl Piergianni (right), was named Man of the Match, after an impressive debut on the left of the back line.

    Alty boss Ken McKenna told the NLP's Dave Stringer, "A lot went wrong at Crawley [where Alty lost 7-0 recently] so the lads needed a break. But...a flu bug swept through the cluband meant that Nicky Clee was unavailable. Injuries disrupted us today. James Smith got injured early on and Kevin Holsgrove was going to be a key player in our strategy late in the game but he got injured in the warm-up". He added, "It was great to get a clean sheet. I thought we defended very well, putting in some excellent blocks...

    Draws aren't really what we are looking for at the moment and I started with three forwards to look for the win. And we got chances late in the game that could have been taken with a bit more quality and composure in the final third".

  • Match report.

    Following the New Year's Day game, Wrexham report that "The Dragons opened 2011 with a number of positives from their trip to Altrincham, but the one stat that really mattered seemed to elude them all afternoon - goals! The home side showed plenty of spirit and the longer the match went goal less, the greater their confidence grew...

    From the start of the second half, Altrincham came more out of their shells and Chris Denham saw a shot on the run not far off target. Shortly afterwards a Wrexham corner was only cleared as far as Keates and he hit a fierce effort straight at Coburn. All our hard work was almost undone when Taylor gave the ball away in midfield, the home side swept forward and with former Chester striker Mark Beesley looking to get in on goal, Andrews made a tremendous saving tackle inside his own box...

    Wrexham had loud appeals for penalties turned away when first Cieslewicz and then substitute Marc Williams went tumbling in the Altrincham box, but both were more in hope than any real anticipation".

    Immediately after Saturday's game, Wrexham reported "Not the result we were looking for, as Altrincham hung on for a well deserved point at Moss Lane. It was a bit frustrating for us, but credit to them for making it difficult. We looked rusty and the final pass wasn't always right', said Dean Saunders. 'I was hoping we were going to come out of the traps looking sharp, but it wasn't to be, as we could have done with a game. We will though be better for it on Monday'".

    According to the Daily Post on Saturday "Wrexham captain Dean Keates has told his team-mates to forget about the end-of-season play-offs and instead concentrate on winning automatic promotion back into the Football League.

    Ahead of this afternoon’s visit to relegation battlers Altrincham, the experienced midfielder admitted the Dragons had failed to do themselves justice during the first five months of the season, but maintained that the 11-point gap between themselves and current front-runners AFC Wimbledon was not unassailable...

    'Gradually we have been cutting out the mistakes and I think we will be much stronger in the second half of the season... We have done okay and know we can do much better. I firmly believe we can go for top spot in the league, even though there are a few teams between us and Wimbledon at the moment. We have to play most, if not all of them and we are capable of beating them, so making up 11 points from this stage of the season is achievable'...

    'Altrincham are bottom so they will be fighting for their lives', he added. 'They have to start picking up points soon if they want to get themselves clear of danger and we have to be ready for that. We have a game-plan in mind, but the first priority will be to establish the platform from which we can carry it through'.

    Wrexham manager Dean Saunders has also warned his players against complacency and is confident they will be ready for anything Ken McKenna’s men throw at them. 'I expect everyone to hit the ground running tomorrow', he said. 'Despite the league table, I have a great deal of respect for Altrincham and their manager and I know they will not sit back and let us play. We’ll have to earn that right, which means everyone’s attitude must be spot-on from the first kick of the game. We should have a lot of our own fans at Altrincham tomorrow and I want to make sure we get the New Year off to a winning start for them. Three points tomorrow would give us just the boost we need going into a home game with Bath on Monday. On paper we are favourites to win both matches and we must justify that...

    Altrincham boss McKenna, who cut his managerial teeth with Welsh Premier League outfit The New Saints, is unsure what effect the long lay-off could have on his players. 'Looking at the lads in training I’ve been thinking how long are they going to last?' he said. 'We don’t know what the fitness levels will be like but everybody’s in the same boat. Wrexham are massive favourites for the game. They’re a big club, they’ve been going well, they’ve got a lot of experience and a lot of good


    Joe O'Neill's goal kept Guiseley on course for promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier whilst Kieran Lugsden also netted, for Buxton, who are in the play-off places for the BSB North. Warren Peyton also played for Guiseley. John McAliskey was a sub for Northwich Vics.


    Barrow report that "Worries over the weather have seen Premier Sports pull the plug on TV coverage of Barrow's trip to Darlington [on Monday]. The company have suffered wasted costs on several postponed Conference games and, with a frost forecast for Saturday and Sunday nights, have decided not to risk sending their Outside Broadcast crews ahead of the game. They will, instead, cover a future fixture yet to be announced. The game will still kick-off at 4pm"


    Tamworth say that "Leicester City 18 year old striker Abdillahie (Adi) Yussuf has joined the Lambs on an initial one month short loan deal which runs until the 29th January... The Lambs are also in talks with Derby County with a view to extending keeper Ross Atkins's loan spell until the end of the season. The current deal ends on Saturday 9th January".

    The Kidderminster Shuttle reports that "Crisis club Kidderminster Harriers has had a change at the top after Stourport-based businessman Mark Serrell replaced Dave Reynolds as chairman.

    Serrell had joined the club in October alongside Reynolds... However, Reynolds will remain in the background and is still the main member of Harriers' major shareholder, Aggborough Holdings. Serrell's main priority will be to ensure cash-strapped Harriers avoid a CVA or administration.

    The club is heavily in debt, with £150,000 needed in December to cover wages, taxes, National Insurance and PAYE. The new chairman admitted the club still has debts to pay and while it has not gone into administration, which would incur a 10 point deduction from the Football Conference, but there is still a danger of that happening.

    He also revealed local MP Mark Garnier is set to write HMRC to plea the case for the Aggborough and is also trying to arrange a meeting with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke, the MP has responsibility for the taxman. Harriers have also confirmed wages will be paid in full, using money generated from Tuesday's home clash with Newport and today's clash against Forest Green Rovers, although Serrell and Reynolds are covering the shortfall.

    Harriers are also seeking new investors after Chris Swan decided not to pursue a deal to buy the outfit and Serrell also confirmed another businessman is interested in the club... The management team's fears of a squad fire sale were quelled but they have been told to they cannot bring in new players unless they ship players out".

    1 January 2011


    A battling performance from Altrincham earned them a point against promotion hopefuls Wrexham who, once again, failed to convert a fair amount of pressure into serious threats of a goal...

    Below right: Altrincham defend a freekick against Wrexham.

  • Match report.

  • AFC Wimbledon 3 Hayes & Yeading U. 1
  • Altrincham 0 Wrexham 0
  • Barrow 1 Southport 1
  • Cambridge U. 0 Histon 0
  • Crawley T. 3 Eastbourne B. 1
  • Fleetwood T. 1 Darlington 0
  • Gateshead 0 York C. 3
  • Grimsby T. 7 Mansfield T. 2
  • Kettering T. 0 Tamworth 1
  • Kidderminster H. 1 Forest Green R. 0
  • Luton T. 3 Rushden & D. 0
  • Newport C. 1 Bath C. 2

  • Through the Years for New Year's Day by Howard Watts.


    Altrincham FC extends its wishes for a Happy New Year to all supporters of the Club. The Club also thanks everyone for their support in 2010 and hopes that with your support, 2011 will witness an upturn in the team's results.

    It is a busy month in January for Altrincham, with TEN games scheduled in a four-week period!

  • BSBP: Sat.1.1.11 H WREXHAM 3pm
  • BSBP: Mon.3.1.11 A Mansfield Town 3pm
  • CSC3: Wed. 5.1.10 A Runcorn Linnets 7.45pm
  • BSBP: Sat.8.1.11 A Rushden & Diamonds 3pm
  • BSBP: Tue.11.1.11 H FOREST GREEN ROVERS 7.45pm
  • FAT2: Sat. 15.1.11 A Blyth Spartans 3pm
  • BSBP: Tue.18.1.11 A Tamworth 7.45pm
  • BSBP: Sat.22.1.11 H BATH CITY 3pm
  • BSBP: Tue.25.1.11 H HAYES & YEADING UNITED 7.45pm
  • BSBP: Sat.29.1.11 A Barrow 3pm


    In Friday's Manchester Evening News Ken McKenna says, "A single victory might be all it takes to turn our season around, and what better time to get it than on the first day of a New Year? We know it's going to be tough but we have to be positive for the rest of the season. Wrexham are a good side but we've performed well against the top teams at our place and ought to be hungry".

    The article adds that "McKenna's immediate concern lies with the virus which has hit several of his players over the holiday period. Fellow flu victims, Chris Denham and Nicky Clee both missed training on Tuesday while James Coates had to go home early but McKenna hopes all three will have shaken off the bug".

    According to the Daily Post "Wrexham FC expect to have new Cameroonian goalkeeper Joslain Leon Mayebi available for Saturday's clash against Altrincham. The Dragons moved for the keeper after Scott Shearer's transfer to Crawley. Right-back Curtis Obeng (one match) and striker Andy Mangan (three matches) are suspended for the trip to Altrincham.

    Altrincham will be without midfielder Wes Baynes, who is ineligible as he is on loan from Wrexham, but otherwise manager Ken McKenna has a fully fit squad. McKenna could hand on-loan striker Mark Beesley a first league start".

    Wikipedia tells us that "Joslain Leon Mayebi (born 14 October 1986) is a Cameroonian football goalkeeper who played for Dinamo Bucharest. Mayebi previously played for FC Metz, AEK Larnaca and Hakoah Ramat Gan. Mayebi was selected for the Cameroon national football team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, but did not appear in any matches. He was called into the squad for a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Togo on 28 March 2009, but did not play. Mayebi has recently been on trial at English team Preston North End and has been linked with Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester City, though it is likely that he will sign for conference side Wrexham after impressing manager Dean Saunders on trial".


    Details of the supporters' coach trip to Mansfield on New Year's Day are here. Please e-mail the club if you wish to book.


    On Wednesday, Alty are away at Runcorn Linnets in the Cheshire Senior Cup. The Vodkat League announces that "Congratulations are due to Runcorn Linnets Physiotherapist, Jenny Leyland, who has been awarded the MBE for services to Grass Roots Football in Merseyside in this year's New Year's Honours list... At grassroots level Jenny has been coaching in kids football for 25 years".


    It is not just at Alty where revenue has been lost and water pipes have burst during the recent cold spell, as The Holker Street Newsletter reports that Barrow chairman "Tony Keen was ever so excited when he put down his shovel, wheel-barrow and hi-vi vest to spare a few minutes clearing the last of the slush from the Holker Street pitch to tell the Evening Mail: 'The pitch is fine, there's still some divots on it, but the groundsman will be down here tomorrow to look at those. There was water on the thawing pitch yesterday but today it's fine...

    Tony went on to describe the problems the parky weather has caused for the club with postponements: 'If any business or shop owner had have had the constraints we've had over the past few months, they'd probably be shut down. Take the postponement of the home Wrexham game a few days ago for example. We've probably lost between £5,000 and £10,000 there, because we won't get back the extra crowd and level of corporate hospitality we would have got had it been played at Christmas-time.

    We're quite proud of how we've survived such a barren spell and it shows how strong the club is. The club has been starved in every way recently, both of action and finances...

    Holker Street suffered a burst water pipe, and after he'd put the club's industrial Wet-Vac in the cupboard under the stairs, added: 'It's left quite a mess in the area under the main stand. It means we'll have to feed and entertain visiting directors up in the corporate rooms instead of under the stand in the usual place. That's the only thing it will affect for Saturday'".

    "Blackpool striker, Louis Almond, is joining Barrow on a one month loan with Mark Boyd going to Droylsden for the same period... with a view to a permanent deal".

    Blue Square Football reports that "Dean Holdsworth has taken another step in rejigging his Newport County squad with the acquisition of Graeme Montgomery. He joins the club on a season-long loan from Dagenham & Redbridge. 'Graeme is a left sided winger who also has the ability to play "in the hole" when required', Holdsworth told Newport's official website...

    The Exiles' manager also confirmed a number of departures from Newport Stadium. 'As you would expect a number of faces have now departed as we reshape the squad', said Holdsworth. 'John Challinor, Christian Smith and Kerry Morgan have all left the club and we thank them for their efforts on behalf of the club'".

    Meanwhile, Hayes & Yeading United say that they "can confirm that Niki-Lee Bulmer and Graeme Montgomery have returned to their parent Clubs at the end of their loan arrangements".

    From AFC Wimbledon Dons' manager Terry Brown announces that the club "have just signed Kirk Hudson on loan from Brentford until the end of the season including, if necessary, the play offs. I had the pleasure of signing Kirk from Celtic as a young man at Aldershot where he contributed 14 goals in their promotion season and therefore has the winning credentials to help us in our own push for the league".

    At Darlington we learn that "Liam Hatch says he's delighted to be staying with Darlington after signing an 18-month deal with the club... The 28-year-old has taken a pay cut to sign permanently from Peterborough after joining Darlo on loan in the summer.

    Hatch said: 'I'm absolutely delighted to be staying. I had a choice but I really wanted to stay up here, I've loved playing my football with Darlington and working with the gaffer'".