James (d.o.b. 18.12.90, Dundonald, Co. Down), who was brought up in Middlewich, developed through Port Vale's youth system and whilst at the Potteries' club won his first senior cap for Northern Ireland, having previously played for his country at various youth levels.
He recorded his first league goal for Port Vale in January 2009 and went on to make 27(+2) appearances for the troubled club. He scored the team's Goal of the Season in 2008-09. Vale transfer listed its entire squad in summer 2010 and James left. Before that he had had a trial at Everton (2009-10) and spent a period on loan at Kidderminster Harriers from February 2010, for whom he made 12 appearances. After summer 2010, James had trials at Exeter City, Stevenage and Morecambe before he signed a year's contract for AFC Telford United. There he suffered an ankle injury.
After playing at various age-levels for Northern Ireland, the six-foot striker gained his first senior international cap against Italy in June 2009 and in 2010 appeared in another friendly, against Turkey. James is reported to be a Manchester United supporter. James's spell at Port Vale overlapped with Alty boss Lee Sinnott's managership of the club and also with Simon Richman's time there.
James has already played at Moss Lane; he was a used substitute for Kidderminster against Alty on 3 April, 2010, a game Alty won 3-2 and which is memorable for Greg Young's surge upfield to score.
"Road Directions (postcode for SatNav is GL52 5NA)
From the North (M5): Leave M5 at junction 10 – follow road (A4019 towards Cheltenham. Keep straight on through Traffic Lights, until you come to large roundabout (PC World on right McDonalds on left), turn left. About 500 yards up this road, you will come to double mini roundabout, go straight over. Keep going about 300 yards, then turn right into Swindon Lane, follow this road over level crossing and two mini roundabouts until you come to larger roundabout.
Go straight over (signposted Prestbury) continue past racecourse and turn right (Albert Road), follow this to the end and at a roundabout turn left into Prestbury Road. After 200 yards turn right into Whaddon Road and The Abbey Business Stadium is 300 yards on left".
Mike Garnett reminds us that although we have never played Gloucester City, we have visited their current home ground at Cheltenham Town on previous occasions. He writes that:
"We have of course played at Whaddon Road, Cheltenham in the 'medium distant' past. Our record there is played 8, won 3, drawn 2, lost 3, goals F10-A7. Our last appearance there was on April 18th, 1992 for Cheltenham Town 0 Alty 2 (in the GM Vauxhall Conference). If you wanted to take an optimistic line you could say we haven't lost at Whaddon Road since 1988 (August 29th - 1-2 [GMVC]), but that is rather playing with words!!".
On their website, Gloucester City explain that "We were forced to leave Meadow Park Stadium in Gloucester after the devastating floods of summer 2007 left the ground beyond repair. Everyone at the club is committed to returning to Gloucester as soon as possible, and in early 2011 a new stadium design was released to the public". Since then Gloucester have played at Forest Green and Cirencester Town before moving to Cheltenham's ground, which is about ten miles from Gloucester city centre.
In their most recent match, Gloucester City lost at home to Hyde, 2-0. Like Alty in their last match, Gloucester finished with ten men. City's report says, "Skipper Tom Webb missed out on his 449th appearance for Gloucester after being laid low with a virus as the captain’s armband was handed to Matt Coupe. Meanwhile Kev Sawyer returned between the sticks... Hyde’s flowing football was suited to the Whaddon Road surface, but Gloucester’s back line stayed strong...
Referee Derek Eaton somehow managed to see a foul and awarded a penalty which [ex-Alty man] Matt Berkeley duly slipped under Sawyer to put the northern Tigers ahead... Hyde went 2-0 up on 54 minutes after Broadbent... An injury to Mullings stopped play in the final minutes as the City midfielder was taken off on a stretcher with a shoulder injury. With all subs used, the ten-man City team battled on. Gloucester City: K Sawyer, M Green YC (N Mustoe 60), S Rawlings, M Coupe YC, T Hamblin, T Weir YC, S Davies (M Rose 60 YC), D Mullings, D Edwards, W Morford (S Claridge 46 YC), A Mann. Subs: B James... Att: 472".
"TASC are pleased to announce that three more recent pledges to the TASC Goal Rush Sponsorship Scheme have now taken the grand total of pledges to £32.25p per goal scored during the 2011-12 Season.
With the team having scored 11 goals to date, this means that we have raised £354.75p to date.
Having reached the first target of 10 goals, the first draw for two free tickets to a forthcoming home game will take place after the next home game v Worcester City on Saturday 10 September.
There is still plenty of time to make your pledge and be included in all future draws. Full details are on the TASC website".
From the EvoStik League, we learn that "In First Division South, Ally Pickering of New Mills receives the August award. The Millers are unbeaten in the month, winning four games and drawing two after winning promotion to Step Four last season".
But this latest injury means opportunity knocks again for youngster James Ozmen to try to establish himself in the team. The former Holbrook Sports man started the opening three games of the season and scored in the win over Bishop’s Stortford. He replaced Hibbert from the bench at Gainsborough" reports the Northants Evening Telegraph.
In the Birmingham Mail we read that "Solihull Moors’ woes increased after falling to a sixth successive defeat in the Blue Square Bet North. Histon’s 2-0 win at Damson Park was their first of the season and leaves Moors at the foot of the table".
NL Daily says tht "Nuneaton Town forward Justin Marsden says he cannot describe how disappointed he is to have been ruled out of action for another month. The former AFC Telford United player missed the end of last season with a groin problem... A follow-up appointment with a specialist last week saw him ordered to rest for four more weeks.
Marsden said, 'It’s so frustrating. I worked hard in pre-season to get the injury fit. We went to Chelmsford and it felt ok. I started the season and it’s just not settling down. There’s not a lot I can do with it... The surgeon isn’t keen to operate on it because it’s in an awkward area and could cause complications. I’ve torn the tendon on the adductor longus which is an awkward position on the groin. It’s right on the bone. It’s a case of physiotherapy and rest... I broke my ankle when I was at Telford... It was six weeks in plaster and then rehabilitation. This one it’s been four months and I don’t know when it will get better. It’s horrible'" he told the Nuneaton News.
At Droylsden the club "has ended the contract of Domaine Rouse. He has now left the club". However, a former Alty trialist, "Nat Kerr, and Luke Holden have re-signed to strengthen the squad".
Over at Colwyn Bay "Anthony Sheehan has signed for Witton Albion after being unable to force his way into the side" at Llanelian Road.
John Shenton, Alsager Town Press Officer said, 'All the work at the ground is to be completed with the goodwill of the companies concerned. This has undoubtedly saved Alsager Town F.C. from possible extinction... Portacabins will form the new changing rooms, and these buildings will be delivered in the not too distant future... The interiors will be refurbished to provide changing and showering facilities...
The club are over the moon following this revelation, and simply can’t offer enough thanks to Mr Charlie Blakemore, BAE’s Managing Director of Land Systems (Armaments), the Management at BAe’s Radway Green Armaments factory, and of course BAE’s contractors for all their help. It is expected that the club will be able to open their home fixtures on the 4th October but until then it is hoped that fixtures will be reversed where possible".
A new BBC series on the "real history" of Britain is about to be broadcast and will include a section on Chapel Street.
Guiseley, who had struggled to create too many clear-cut chances thus far, then got fortunate as the ball broke in the box from a corner for Ciaran Toner to rifle into the roof of the net. It proved to be just the tonic for Guiseley’s comeback as five minutes later Gavin Rothery notched his second goal in two games, curling deftly past goalkeeper Stuart Coburn to level...
The main talking point was Anthony Danylyk’s sending off for the hosts for two yellow cards, one for dissent and the other for a lunging tackle on Michael Burns... Guiseley went in search for the winner, coming closest when Lee Ellington bundled a shot onto the post. The hunt was to prove fruitless as both teams came away with a point, a result which both hotly-tipped sides will probably be satisfied with.
Lions’ boss Steve Kittrick said after the match, 'I thought for big, big parts of the game we were far better. They’re fancied to win this league so to come away from home and get a point from being two down, I’m happy with that. We’ve set ourselves a target of two points a game and we’re ahead of that at the moment'".
Guiseley keeper Steven Drench is seen after Alty's second goal hit the back of his net.
Meanwhile "Radio Robins is delighted to announce that its main sponsor is Paradox-Computers.com, who are a worldwide supplier of innovative computing devices and are based in Manchester. To find out more about Paradox-Computers.com, have a look at their website. The sponsorship agreement is for 12 months and will start with tomorrow's home game against Guiseley".
While Paradox-Computers are sponsoring the radio service throughout the season, individual sponsors will also still be sought for individual games. For every item purchased via the company's website they will donate a percentage to the club. They are offering "Special discounted Altrincham FC Supporter accounts, for which you can register on www.Paradox-Computers.com and receive discounts on all items purchased. The company also says that "Hopefully, soon, we will be designing and producing official Altrincham FC 3D gel mouse pads and an official red and white striped optical USB mouse with an Altrincham FC crest".
Alternatively, here on the website, you can find live matchday updates from the games.
Brian Flynn writes that "There will be a bottlebar available during the half-time interval of Monday's game against Guiseley. As you enter the Noel White Suite from the Flaggers' area, turn right and look for Charlie Williams, who will be delighted to serve you!!"
Former Alty man Joe O'Neill is expected to miss this game for Guiseley through injury. However, from further back, Lee Ellington, who was at Alty in 1999-2000, is likely to feature for the Yorkshire side.
Mike Garnett advises us that in previous encounters, Alty's record is as follows...
Left, Alty warm up before their last league game with Guiseley at Nethermoor on May Day, 1999. The players seen (l. to r.) are Andy Lovelock, Chris Timons, Leroy Chambers, Paul Ellender, Ricky Harris, Gary Talbot, coach Graham Heathcote, Paul Robertson, Danny Adams, Phil Power, Simeon Hodson, Ged Kielty and Mick Carmody.
The last league encounter was that memorable May Day in 1999, which was Alty's last game in the UniBond League before a brief return to the Conference. Though Alty lost 2-0, it was a day of rejoicing for the travelling supporters. The last meeting at Moss Lane was on 2 January 1999 when Alty won 1-0.
For today's game, Altrincham have Adam Flynn freed from suspension but injury makes him a doubtful starter, with Mark Lees likely to continue in his place with youth team central defender Joe Coombs again on the bench.
ALTRINCHAM (Red & white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks): From 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Robbie LAWTON (capt), 6. Mark LEES, 5. Paul JONES, 3. Ryan BROWN, 7. Shaun DENSMORE, 4. Chris LYNCH, 8. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Nicky CLEE, 10. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 18. Josh OLLERENSHAW, 12. Joe COOMBS, 15. Astley MULHOLLAND, 14. Brian SUMMERSKILL, 16. Simon RICHMAN, Matthew FEARON.
GUISELEY From: 1. Steven Drench, Jamie Clarke, Dave Merris, Ciaran Toner, Danny Ellis, Simon Ainge, Gavin Rothery, Danny Boshell, Lee Ellington, Danny Forrest, Michael Burns, Mark Bower, Peter Davidson, James Booker, Chris Holland, Giles.
Right: Duncan Watmore (no.10) is congratulated after scoring Altrincham Youth's late winner.
On a happier note, Alty's popular loanee from Stoke City, Ryan Shotton, scored the winning goal for the Potteries' side on Sunday.
FC United then dominated and took a 2-0 lead by the 21st minute. But Alty's Duncan Watmore made it 2-1 from the spot in the 34th minute. Watmore levelled the scores in the 58th minute before Riley scored off the bar to put Altrincham ahead midway through the second half.
Two minutes later, ex-Alty Youth Theo Kidd made it 3-3 and FC United took the lead four minutes later when Kidd's shot deflected off Riley into the bottom corner of the net.
Declan Barry levelled again, just seven minutes after joining the game as a substitute (84 mins). At 4-4, FCUM were awarded a penalty and it looked to be all over for Alty. However, Adam Reid saved Kidd's spot kick but the referee ordered a retake for Altrincham encroachment. Incredibly, Reid magnificently saved the re-take, too, and then even more remarkably, with the game going into added time, Watmore completed his hat trick after good work from Derren Ofori, to make it 5-4. Report to follow.
Above: Left, Alty line up a wall against the Hyde freekick, from which the ball was laid off to Spencer (no.10), who (right) hammered it into the net for Hyde's first goal.
Two fine strikes from the prolific Scott Spencer were the difference between the sides in a game played, partly, in atrocious weather conditions (see photo, below)...
Admission at Ewens Field is £10 for adults, £5 for OAPs and £2 for under-16s.
Brian Flynn advises that "Radio Robins will be broadcasting a full internet commentary of Saturday's game at Ewen Fields. Saturday's match commentary is sponsored by Blocked Drains North West. The match commentators are Simon Ellis and Tony Chetham and commentary will start at 2.50pm You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet here.
If you cannot listen in for any reason, there will be live text Matchday Updates here on the website, wi-fi signal permitting.
Hyde FC advise that "Walker Lane has been closed today just before Hyde Leisure Pool for road works. Access to the ground is via Mansfield Road/Grange Road North, left at roundabout, then right into the ground. Fans are urged to avoid Lumm Road as there is no access to Walker Lane from that direction. We will keep you updated regarding developments, but it will affect Saturday's game vs Altrincham".
Please come along and help the club by making use of its facilities.
A former captain of Altrincham FC Youth, Richard Gresty, has signed for Winsford United.
Manager Neil Aspin will obviously consider his options and, in the short term, it provides other members of the squad an opportunity to stake a regular place in the team, particularly with matches against Stalybridge Celtic and Boston United looming large over the holiday period. In the longer term as always, we will continue to identity players capable of adding to the quality of our squad.
Fleetwood Town confirm that they "Have landed exciting FC Halifax Town wide player Jamie Vardy in a significant deal". BBC Radio Manchester quoted reports that the transfer fee involved was £100,000.
From the Football Conference we learn that "Boston United have re-signed experienced defender Alan White. The Darlington-born defender, who began his career as a trainee with Middlesbrough where he failed to make the senior side, went on to play for Luton Town, Colchester, Leyton Orient, Notts County, Peterborough, Darlington, Luton again, Stalybridge Celtic and Gateshead before joining Blyth Spartans in February 2011. He previously spent just over a year with Boston between March 2005 and June 2006, making forty-six appearances".
A move out of the club is reported by Blue Square Bet North who say that "Boston United have confirmed the departure of veteran striker Julian Joachim. The 36-year-old non-contract forward has been freed following discussions with first team managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville. Joachim struggled to make an impression after returning to the club in the summer and made only two competitive appearances... He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury".
another Boston connection comes from the BBC. "AFC Telford United have signed former Boston striker Spencer Weir-Daley, reports BBC Radio Shropshire. The 25-year-old had been training with the Bucks with a view to earn a contract with the Blue Square Bet Premier newcomers. Weir-Daley was handed a new deal at Boston in July but opted not to take up the offer... Weir-Daley joins Telford until the end of the season."
Elsewhere, "In an attempt to increase the goals scored column, Solihull Moors have signed Joey Butlin on a one-month loan deal from Walsall. 18 year old Joey is a product of the Centre of Excellence at Walsall and signed his first professional contract with the Saddlers in the summer... It is hoped that Dominic Langdon will be in contention for a starting place for tomorrow's game at Vauxhall Motors, following his return from the World Student Games in Japan. Simon Johnson completes the third game of his three match ban tomorrow".
"Bouncebackability will be the buzzword in the Gloucester City dressing room when the Tigers travel to Hinckley United tomorrow. Defeated for the first time this season at Eastwood Town on Tuesday night, boss Dave Mehew is hoping to see a reaction from his charges in Leicestershire.
With early-season pace setters Hyde due at the Abbey Business Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, the weekend double-header completes a busy start to the season for Mehew’s men...
'After four games we would have probably taken two wins, a draw and a defeat, but it’s the consistency of performances that counts now', Mehew said. 'It’s our bouncebackability that counts now, hopefully we’ll be able to react and improve after the disappointment at Eastwood on Tuesday. At the end of the day, after Saturday we’ll have played four games out of five away from home and to be anywhere decent in the table is great'...
Mehew is facing a headache over his forward options for the game with four-goal striker Darren Edwards struggling with a calf injury. Sent-off at Eastwood on Tuesday night, but not suspended for a further two weeks, Edwards had been battling for full fitness since the start of the campaign and will face a late fitness test tomorrow. And with Steve Davies still recovering from a hamstring strain, Mehew may have to juggle his pack tomorrow with Darren Mullings a candidate to move forward to partner Will Morford...
Mehew said, 'We’ve got to get through these two games and then take stock of the squad and see where we are. If we are still in a decent position then great'".
Guiseley face Colwyn Bay at Nethermoor on Saturday... On Monday, Guiseley are up against an old adversary as they head to former Bradford City and Huddersfield Town defender Lee Sinnott’s Altrincham. Sinnott, or Sinbad as the locals like to call him, moved into management at Farsley Celtic and took the Lions’ nearest neighbours through to the Blue Square Bet Premier before being appointed as Port Vale boss.
Guiseley’s only absentee on Saturday will be [ex-Altrincham] striker Joe O’Neill, who suffered a bad cut to the top of his foot in last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Solihull Moors. The injury required stitches and he has been ruled out for the next seven to ten days by the medical staff".
It appeared Vauxhall were to be punished for missed opportunities and the defensive lapses which helped the visitors into a 2-0 lead... Vauxhall's positive start, which saw a Wilson header saved and McGivern volley narrowly over the bar, was reined in as Altrincham scored with their first shot on target. Having conceded a needless free-kick 25 yards from goal, the home side were stunned when Shaun Densmore struck in a sweet free-kick...
Just a minute after the interval, goalkeeper Scott Tynan was caught in possession by Densmore and in the resulting melee, a grateful Damian Reeves snapped up the loose ball to slot home. But McGivern showed his predatory class when volleying home in the 85th minute to set up an exciting finale which was rounded off by Wilson's second goal in as many games.
After the game, Vauxhall manager Anthony Wright said, 'I thought we gave two goals away, although Altrincham scored from a great free kick, they scored their second from a bad back pass. Their goalkeeper was definitely the busier of the two goalkeepers and I thought we deserved all three points. I thought our heads went down for a 10 minute spell after their second goal, but we got back into the game and at one stage we had four forwards on the pitch. But if we're going to get beat, we might as well get beat fighting, but it was great to see us coming away with a point'".
Boston United report that "Blue Square have announced details of their historic ‘Non-League Ground Hop’ to coincide with Non-League Day 2011. The leading interactive bookmaker, sponsors of the three Football Conference divisions, have produced a day for all football fans to savour in Essex. It will be possible for fans to attend a match in all three Blue Square Bet divisions on Saturday September 3.
The day kicks off at 12.30pm with the Blue Square Bet North clash between Bishop’s Stortford and Boston United — featuring former Premier League stars Ian Walker and Jason Lee in opposing dugouts. Fans will then make the short trip to Chelmsford City to watch their Blue Square Bet South match against fellow promotion favourites Dover Athletic — kick-off 3.30pm. The day ends at newly-promoted Braintree Town who host Lincoln City in the Blue Square Bet Premier, with a kick-off time of 7.00pm.
It will be the first time (and possibly last time) that fans will be able to attend a match in all three Conference divisions on the same day and Blue Square have assisted in providing coaches to help fans make the hop. For a small (£5) charity donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care, fans will be able to take a coach after the Bishop’s Stortford match which will drop them at the other two fixtures and return back to Bishop’s Stortford in the evening. Fans who take the coach will also be given a souvenir t-shirt to commemorate the day...
Non-League Day (NLD) is a celebration of the semi-professional and amateur game... Set to coincide with a blank weekend in the Barclay's Premier League and npower Championship due to international matches, the initiative first took place in September 2010, proving a huge success".
Pitchero Non-League confirms that "England `C` manager Paul Fairclough has named his squad for the forthcoming friendly against India under-23s. The game will take place on Tuesday, September 6th at Dagenham & Redbridge. The full squad, with several potential new caps, is:
Nathan McDonald (Braintree Town), Paul Farman (Gateshead), Josh Law (Alfreton Town), Jamie Turley (Forest Green Rovers), Chris Stokes (Forest Green Rovers), Shaun Pearson (Grimsby Town), Robbie Willmott (Luton Town), Adam Watkins (Luton Town), Lindon Meikle (Mansfield Town),Sean McConville (Stockport County), Ryan Fraughan (Stockport County), Adam Boyes (Barrow), Michael West (Ebbsfleet United), Reece Styche (Forest Green Rovers), John-Paul Kissock (Southport)"
The back up squad includes the following from outside the national division, Simon EASTWOOD - FC Halifax Town and Scott SPENCER - Hyde FC
According to the NL Football Paper "Nuneaton Town have received some mixed news regarding their goalkeeping situation. Boro currently have Mansfield Town stopper Neil Collett on loan in place of their regular number one, Danny Alcock, who has spent the last few weeks in China for the World Student Games.
They had hoped to have Alcock back this week but the 27-year-old, who was voted goalkeeper of the tournament, picked up an injury while on GB duty. The former Stafford and Tamworth keeper may be out for up to a month but fortunately for Boro, they have been able to extend their loan of Collett for another month.
Speaking about the situation, club secretary Ian Brown said, 'Danny is waiting for treatment on his injury and the club needs to have cover in place in case he is going to be out for a few weeks. Neil's performances so far this season have been brilliant and we are grateful that he will be staying until the end of September'.
Meanwhile, Boro have confirmed that two of their youngster squad members are to be sent out on loan for a month. Left-back Alex Gudger is set for Bedworth United, while goalkeeper Sam Slater is to join Nuneaton Griff"."
From the Solihull News we learn that "Solihull Moors hope to get their season back on track this weekend after a disappointing start with four losses in four games. In a crunch bank holiday double bill they play Vauxhall Motors away then Histon at home...
Moors' manager Marcus Bignot said, 'It’s been a disappointing start to the season... We really need to get points on the board. The positive news is we’re getting players back, Dominic Landon, who hasn’t been available, and Simon Johnston will be back on Monday after a three match suspension. They’ll be joining with new recruits Michael Blackwood and Luke Batimore. We haven’t been able to have a stable back four or five. We haven’t had the continuity in these first four games and had players playing out of position...
The squad we have assembled is very good... but I struggled to name 16 in the first four games'".
The Boston Standard says that "Danny Sleath is heading home – with a medal round his neck. And boy, are Boston United glad to see him. The Pilgrims' midfielder missed the opening four games of the season as he represented Great Britain in the World University Games in China. And while he played an integral role in helping GB reach the tournament’s final for the first time, the United fans on the other side of the world have been longing for his return.
With no disrespect to fellow midfielders Ben Wilkinson, Adam Millson, Ben Milnes and Chris Hall, Sleath’s adventures in Shenzhen have left a void in the centre of the park, especially as the club’s injury list is growing longer than a Liam Parker throw-in. Sleath’s contribution to the cause is so wide-ranging. He can tackle, break down play, create counter attacks and chip in with a few goals of his own as well. He is the all-round midfielder, and this season is his time to shine.
Sleath arrived at the Jakemans Stadium two summers ago and, since then, has unfairly been seen as Anthony Church’s understudy. Church gained the plaudits as he played with heart, while Sleath crept into the background as he opted to rely more on his brain.
And that’s the way the 24-year-old likes it. At the players’ end-of-season meal earlier this year, Sleath was called to the stage to give his verdict on the campaign. He refused, sitting in his chair, arms folded, shaking his head. While Church offers just as much bravado off the pitch, his former midfield partner again prefers to sit back and analyse...
With Church gone, all eyes are now on Sleath... But there is no doubt that the former Mansfield Town and Ilkeston man has the pedigree to succeed again this season... The last campaign saw him make 39 stars, seven appearances from the bench, and score five times... The stats - and Boston’s indifferent start this season - don’t lie. Sleath plays a vital role... although he’ll be the last to tell you".
Late Motors’ show has Robins misfiring!
Right: A beaming Shaun Densmore is saluted by team-mates after his 20th minute goal.
Five points from four games represents a disappointing return for Altrincham, who failed to capitalise on Saturday’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over Histon, by squandering a two-goal lead at Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night, conceding two goals in the last six minutes.
'We weren’t playing at our best, but we let the game slip from our grasp. We invited pressure in the final stages of the game and we have one point from two away games, when we really should have had six', reflected Lee Sinnott, speaking immediately after the game.
'We have created lots of chances in all of our games, apart from Workington, but we’re a bit Jekyll and Hyde at the moment and when I look at the number of saves that Stuart Coburn has had to make in four games in relation to the number of goals conceded, that doesn’t sit very comfortably with me. Also, our energy levels for the midweek games have not been as high as on the two Saturdays and that needs addressing, particularly as we have two games in quick succession over the Bank Holiday Weekend'.
Those two fixtures couldn’t be much more difficult, as the Robins take on two of the top three in the league. It’s the first derby of the season at Hyde on Saturday, where Altrincham will hope to break the Tamesiders’ 100% record to date and Guiseley are at Moss Lane on Bank Holiday Monday. The Yorkshire side were minutes away from being promoted via the Play-Offs in May and have won three of their opening four encounters. Kick Off for both games is 3.00pm.
Off the field, Altrincham F.C. are looking to appoint a Community Officer to act as a liaison point with Junior, Youth and Ladies' teams, as well as local schools and community organisations. If you are interested, call the club on 0161 928 1045. The closing date for applications is August 31st.
In the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, we read, "Neil Tolson will be giving Altrincham boss Lee Sinnott the inside track on Hyde before Saturday’s derby clash at Ewen Fields.
Tolson spent eight years with the Tigers – the last three as manager – before leaving the Tameside club towards the end of last season. Sinnott and Tolson are both from the Walsall area and were team-mates at Bradford when Sinnott returned to the Bantams for the 1993/94 season. So when Sinnott was appointed the new Alty boss this summer he was determined to get Tolson on board as his assistant manager.
After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Blue Square North last season, Hyde have enjoyed a change of fortunes under a new regime at Ewen Fields, winning their first three games. And Sinnott will turn to his number two for any pointers as the Robins prepare for a busy weekend.
'When I took over, I knew Neil was without a club', he said. 'He has good knowledge of the Manchester area because he was with Hyde a good few years. I didn’t want someone who would just say "yes" all the time, I want his opinion. He was a centre forward and I was a centre-half so we see different things. It’s working out well so far. Neil will tell me about the players that were there last season, but they’ve brought in quite a few new ones as well so we’ve had them watched'.
While Alty won 3-0 at home to Histon last Saturday to register their first win of the season, Hyde caught the eye by winning 4-0 at Corby with new striker Scott Spencer scoring all four. 'They’ve started really well, they’ve been banging the goals in left, right and centre', said Sinnott. 'It’s a local derby as well so we have two testing games coming up over the bank holiday weekend. We’ve got Hyde away and then Guiseley at home on Monday, who lost in the play-offs last season and have started off pretty strongly as well'...
Adam Flynn (hamstring) is expected to be out for two weeks, with Mark Lees (left) set to start in defence, although Flynn would have missed Saturday’s game through suspension anyway. 'Mark did well in pre-season so he was unfortunate not to start but he’s been patient and now he’ll get his opportunity'".
Hyde FC also advise us that they have a hospitality offer open to visiting supporters this Saturday at Ewen Fields in their Peter O'Brien Lounge. For £29.99+VAT they offer matchday admission plus a programme, half-time buffet, refreshments and a complimentary drink, a reserved seat in the stand and VIP parking. Hyde FC can be contacted on 0871 200 2116.
Radio Robins will be broadcasting live from both Altrincham games over the bank holiday weekend.
Alternatively, here on the website, you can find live matchday updates from both of the games.
Mike Garnett's record show that our record against Hyde (United) FC is remarkably even;
The last league match between the sides at Ewen Fields was on 15 March 2003 in the UniBond Northern Premier League when Alty won 2-0 in front of 485 spectators. Alty's scorers were Paul Robertson and Peter Band.
A familiar face in Hyde's current squad is Matthew Berkeley, who made three sub appearances for Altrincham in 2007-08 before going to various clubs, including TNS in Wales.
For much of the second half the hosts couldn’t break through the Altrincham defence but with 84 minutes gone Leighton McGivern capped an impressive display with his first goal of the season. Two minutes later Craig Mahon won a penalty which Josh Wilson converted. Although they left it late Motors fully deserved the draw".
In The Local, we read that "Graham Drury blamed Corby Town’s 1-0 defeat at Gainsborough on a slow start... as they suffered a second straight defeat...
'We huffed and puffed but I don’t think we got started for the first half', said Drury. 'Leon Hibbert knows he left his man for the goal, obviously that’s poor marking and it put us on the back foot for 15 minutes or so... Second half I thought we threw quite a lot at it and when we had them under pressure at the end I felt we could score... But we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net ourselves'.
The blank scoresheet for the Steelmen made it two games running they have failed to score and Drury admitted he was concerned, even at this early stage, that the goals had suddenly dried up. 'We scored nine in the first two games and now none in the next two and of course I’m worried about that', he continued... 'I thought Delroy Gordon could have stuck a couple of chances away but fair play to him, he was also outstanding in defence'".
The Telegraph & Argus tells us that "Bradford City youngsters Darren Stephenson [striker] and Luke Dean have joined non-league Hinckley United on a month's loan to gain experience... They will team up with a familiar face - defender Louis Horne, who was released by City at the end of last season".
The Football Conference states that "Solihull Moors have signed promising young goalkeeper Ian Kimberley from Atherstone Town. The 19-year-old former Leicester City trainee arrives at the club via a spell at Coleshill Town and Atherstone and had also appeared in Moors` youth team a couple of years ago. Kimberley has a good pedigree. He was with Leicester for five years, and Moors' league rivals Nuneaton Town were one of a number of clubs interested in signing him in the summer."
Alty play Gloucester City on 3 September. The Eastwood Advertiser says that "Player=coach Lee Morris struck the winner midway through the second-half as Eastwood saw off ten-man Gloucester City at Coronation Park on Tuesday night. It was a win the Badgers deserved after dominating much of the second period, albeit helped by the dismissal of City striker Darren Edwards four minutes after the half-time interval. But it maintained the hosts’ unbeaten home start, and inflicted Gloucester’s first defeat of the campaign"
And This is Glos adds that "Although there were no real outstanding performances on either team, it was the referee who managed to steal the show, firstly sending off Edwards for a violent elbow on Eastwood's Jake Sheridan, and later setting up the attack which led to the winning goal. City were without James Bloom, absent through sickness after impressing in his first league start against Workington at the weekend, so Sam Rawlings returned to the side on the right wing and Tyler Weir dropped to left back...
Although City showed some glimpses of the attractive passing style that has won praise in their opening three games, they seemed to play more long balls in the first half than they have done all season so far, with the narrow pitch at Coronation Park causing the match to be littered throughout with throw-ins and stoppages in play, much like the same fixture last year...
Gloucester only really came alive when down to ten men and produced some of their best passing of the game, with Darren Mullings pulling strings in midfield and creating width for the equally impressive Harris to exploit... Within five minutes Eastwood had taken the lead, capitalizing on a stroke of good luck after Darren Mullings allowed the ball the go out of play for a City throw-in, only to find that the referee, not for the first time in the game, was stood in the way. The ball bounced off the official's feet before it had crossed the touch line and it re-entered play at the feet of Badger's captain Steven Istead. With City caught short at the back striker Lee Morris found space at the far post to coolly finish and Eastwood held on to claim all three points".
News of Alty's Bank Holiday Monday opponents, Guiseley, comes from the Chronicle Live "Blyth Spartans crashed to a 5-0 defeat at Guiseley to leave new manager Steve Cuggy to pick up the pieces ahead of Saturday’s trip to managerless Gainsborough Trinity... The defeat left Blyth with a return of four points from their opening four games, and Cuggy has demanded an improvement in Lincolnshire this weekend.
He said, 'We were taught a lesson in finishing and how to defend against Guiseley, and hopefully we will learn from it'".
According to the Journal Live, "Blyth Spartans were given a football lesson at Guiseley". Guiseley: Drench, Clarke, Merris, Toner, Ellis (Bower), Ainge, Rothery, Boshell, Allott (Ellington), Forrest, Burns".
Back in Yorkshire, the Telegraph & Argus reported that "The Lions turned in a five-star display at Nethermoor tonight to earn an impressive 5-0 victory over Blyth Spartans... Guiseley were the surprise package last term but ended the campaign by reaching the play-off final and results like this suggest they will be strong contenders again.
Manager Steve Kittrick strengthened his squad... and two of his summer recruits shared three of last night’s goals as Blyth were blown away. Danny Forrest – snapped up on a permanent deal after a loan spell last season... had to wait until just after the half-hour to break the deadlock... Two minutes into the second half, summer recruit Lee Ellington rifled in after latching on to a rebound... and [ex-Alty man] Ellington wrapped the scoring up seven minutes from time".
Meanwhile, Guiseley report on their "devastating footballing display of sumptuous proportions... They swept aside a Blyth team that simply had no answer to the Lions’ passing and movement... Gavin Allott was forced to leave the field after a crunching tackle from Wayne Buchanan, who surprisingly escaped with just a quiet word. Lee Ellington replaced the big striker...
Speaking after the game, double scorer Lee Ellington said, 'We have great players all around the squad in every position really so it’s just doing as well as you can really and giving the manager a tough time to decide his starting 11'".
This is Lincs reports that "Lee Canoville slammed Boston United's second-half display following [a] 2-0 defeat at Nuneaton Town. The Pilgrims suffered their second consecutive loss...
Joint-manager Canoville [said]... 'We wanted a response after Saturday's defeat and we got that in the first half... We found ourselves a goal down, but we had a few chances before that to take the lead. We told the lads to up their levels but not to chase the game. But the second half performance was very disappointing. We wanted to put them under pressure, but they controlled the game for long periods...
The lads have got to learn, whoever starts the game, that you've got to do that from the first whistle. Me and Jason had a go (at the players) at the end, and rightly so. But we're going to stick together. We've got a few of the injured players coming back from injury and they should be available for Saturday'.
Striker Mikel Suárez and midfielder Ben Wilkinson could return to action while Danny Sleath will be available again after returning from the World University Games in China."
The same source reports that 'Boston United slumped to their second successive defeat after being outplayed by previously winless Nuneaton Town... Managers Lee and Lee Canoville also made a switch in formation – from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 – in a bid to recapture the form from Boston's opening two games on the season, which yielded four points".
In the Principality, the North Wales Pioneer reports how "Colwyn Bay FC kept up their solid start to their debut Blue Square North season with a 1-1 draw away at Halifax. A crowd of more than 1,400 saw Jon Newby give the Bay the lead a quarter of an hour in from the penalty spot... and the talisman striker was then forced to depart on the half hour mark after being stretchered off with what appeared to be a knee injury. Fortunately for the Bay, the star striker has since been diagnosed with a badly sprained ankle, and is expected to be missing for the next few games.
The striker's departure proved to be a turning point, as Halifax took control of the remaining hour's football... and deservedly drew level".
"David Livermore, manager of Histon, has called on his team to put their bodies on the line to protect their goal after last night’s bitterly disappointing 5-1 defeat at home to Worcester City" reports the Cambridge News. "The Stutes conceded four goals from corners and player-boss Livermore believes his players need to defend with greater authority, especially from set pieces.
'The art of defending is about heart, courage and about not wanting to be the one that lets your team and team-mates down', he said. 'I don’t see enough of that defending in our penalty area... The art of defending is not being scared to get one in the face – that’s football. You’ve got to be prepared to defend the first ball, second ball. However many opportunities they have, you have to be prepared to put bodies on the line. Ultimately, that’s what has lost us the game'".
Above; It had all looked good for Alty as Robbie Lawton and Ryan Brown congratulated Shaun Densmore (7) on his opening goal at Vauxhall Motors. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
Two-up with just six minutes left, Altrincham had to settle for a draw, which was probably a fair result on the balance of play...
The unclaimed prizes are for the following tickets:
Right: Simon Richman scores Alty's third against Histon. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
Tuesday, 23 August
The match commentators are Paul Salt and Brian Flynn, who will be filling the internet airwaves from 7.35pm. You can listen to Radio Robins here".
Alternatively, here on the website, you can find live matchday updates from the game.
"TASC is pleased to announce that 'Lazy Horse' & 'Retrobeats' will be playing a gig in The Noel White Suite, Altrincham F.C. on Friday September 30th at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £4 & all ticket sales will be going to the fund to raise money for Mark Maddox and his family. 'Lazy Horse' will be playing the music of Neil Young and 'Retrobeats' are a 50s' rock & roll outfit.
Doors open at 7.30pm and Tickets are available by contacting Brian Flynn".
'We didn’t compete, we didn’t win a header, we didn’t win a tackle or pass the ball well', admitted Livermore. ,It was a very disappointing performance. Altrincham were mentally brighter and quicker to do things. They competed better than we did and did all the things you need to in order to win football matches. We did better in the second half once I made some changes. We passed the ball better and caused them some problems but without really creating any chances'.
The substitutes who gave a good account of themselves and gave the boss something positive to take from the encounter were Kaine Sheppard, Jay Dowie and Charlie Day... 'The subs that came on did make a difference', said Livermore. 'We looked brighter with them on, which is a bit embarrassing for those that started. I don’t think we’ve come up against anyone that we shouldn’t be able to compete against yet. Once we started passing the ball better I think Altrincham looked quite ordinary'".
But a large section of the club’s fanbase called into question Little’s position on numerous occasions and that discontent surfaced once more after Saturday’s heavy defeat. One win in the first three games of the season wasn’t enough to keep him in the job, and chairman Peter Swann confirmed on the supporters’ message board today, 'The club can confirm that Brian Little has had his contract terminated from lunchtime today'.
Football development manager Steve Housham is set to take over from Little as caretaker boss for tomorrow night’s clash with Corby".
More on this comes from This is Lincs which reports that "Brian Little has been sacked as manager of Gainsborough Trinity, a decision chairman Peter Swann admitted was 'very difficult'... Although Gainsborough defeated Solihull Moors 3-1 on the opening day of the season they had recently slipped to a 3-0 defeat at Hinckley United, before Saturday's miserable 4-0 loss at promotion-chasing Stalybridge Celtic.
But Swann said his decision was based on the team's performances and results over a sustained period. 'I had a think about it over the weekend and I spoke to Brian this morning. Something like this is a very difficult decision whenever you do it, and Brian and I are friends and we worked very closely, which made it all the more difficult', said Swann. 'There is never a good time for this but I felt it was the right time for the football club. I have been patient with Brian but it was a build-up of things. It has happened now and we have to look forward'.
Steve Housham will take charge for Gainsborough’s game against Corby Town... Although Swann would not confirm Housham’s permanent appointment, he noted that he would not be advertising the manager’s position in the wake of Little’s departure".
This is Lincs also tells us that "It takes a lot to wipe the smile off Lee Canoville's face and the chirpy Boston United joint-manager is usually full of positive sound-bites. But he wore a weary frown after the Pilgrims' 2-1 defeat to Vauxhall Motors, at York Street, on Saturday. His mood had been darkened, not just by the loss, but by a worryingly listless performance from his side... Boston were not only beaten, but totally outplayed for large spells by a club that was originally the works' team of a car manufacturer.
'I am very, very disappointed, first of all to lose the game, but also very disappointed with how we performed in the first half', said the dejected player-boss. 'The lads were told that at half-time. It was not acceptable... To be played off the park in the first half against Vauxhall Motors is not good enough... There are a few players who need to look at themselves and put it right tomorrow at Nuneaton Town because we haven't got a massive squad to make wholesale changes'".
Meanwhile, Vauxhall Motors says that "A spirited and dogged performance by Vauxhall gave Anthony Wright his first league victory of his managerial career... Motors gave a debut to new signing Steve Beck and played some excellent football at times during a first half they controlled. Josh Wilson twice went close in the early stages and Sean Highdale also had a shot saved with 9 minutes on the clock but Motors were rewarded for their efforts on 20 minutes. The lively Leighton McGivern whipped across an inviting free-kick and Tom Hannigan rose highest to steer a header past the exposed Boston keeper Paul Bastock for the first goal of the game...
Motors wrapped up all three points with six minutes to play when man-of-the-match Craig Mahon intercepted a stray pass to square the ball for Josh Wilson to calmly roll the ball past Bastock".
According to Blue Square Bet North, "Bob Paton has agreed to stay as Colwyn Bay FC chairman for the rest of the season following 'a very, very positive' shareholders' meeting at the club. Mr Paton initially agreed to step in for three months as acting chairman after the Cartwright family, who ran the club's administration as directors of TBMT (The Bay Management Team) Ltd, decided to quit the club following the AGM.
But he commented after Sunday's meeting, 'I made it quite clear what the financial situation was and what was needed for the club to survive - and the response I got was overwhelming. At the shareholders request I have agreed to stay on as chairman for the rest of the season'.
Already nearly 20,000 of the 43,000 shares that are being put up for sale to raise revenue have been taken up by existing shareholders and around 25,000 will be going on public sale within the next 10 days. A three-man executive committee, including two with Football League experience, is being formed to explore ways of bringing in extra funds to finance ground improvements, including upgrading the floodlights, which have to be done by March 31st next year".
The same source tells us that "Eastwood Town joint manager Craig Armstrong admits that losing new signing Alex Troke to a knee injury is an unfortunate blow after he impressed in his opening two matches for the club... The former Notts County rigft-back was stretchered off in the 2-0 defeat at newly-promoted Colwyn Bay on Saturday...
He told This is Nottingham, 'It looks like Alex Troke could be seriously injured... We're all really disappointed with the result because we felt there wasn't a lot in it... It really was just one long ball over the top that caught us out and after that they took advantage of the fact we had to press forward. It's how Colwyn Bay played last season. They are a no-frills side and it's clearly very effective'".
This is Glos states that "Darren Edwards struck twice as Gloucester City maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 victory against Workington. The visitors will have endured a miserable trip back to Cumbria after seeing two of their players sent off in the second half.
With Kev Sawyer sidelined after picking up a shoulder injury at Nuneaton, Gloucester manager Dave Mehew brought in a surprise substitute in the form of Mike Green, giving the City teamsheet the same name for their keeper and their right-back. James Bloom also made the starting line-up, after the former Falkirk defender finally secured his international clearance from the Scottish FA...
CIty's defence, yet to concede a goal this season, were once again solid, with Matt Coupe and Tom Hamblin leading the line, along with Bloom and the two Mike Greens... Gloucester City: MJ Green, M Green (N Mustoe 90) , J Bloom (J Harris 75), M Coupe, T Hamblin, T Webb, T Weir (S Claridge 90), D Mulling, D Edwards, W Morford, A Mann. Subs: M Rose, S Rawlings"
The Halifax Courier says that "Boss Neil Aspin admitted to huge disappointment after watching his side denied a second successive away win by a late wonder goal at Worcester. Danny Carey-Bertram fired home from 20 yards with seven minutes remaining to cancel out Jamie Vardy’s ninth minute opener...
'When you concede late in a game there is always disappointment', he said. 'But I have to look at the two away games in a week and to get four points from them is not a bad return... It is a tough league and this week we have picked up points from two difficult matches... You get tested with balls in the box and you have to have players who are willing to throw themselves in the way of things. At times we have not done that. We are not going to have 80 per cent of the play like we did last season - you are going to be tested and we have to be up to it'.
Referee Ollie Yates hardly endeared himself to the Town players or travelling fans with a series of bizarre decisions throughout the 90 minutes. But Aspin picked his words carefully when asked whether teams in Blue Square Bet North were going to be on the wrong end of decisions on the road. 'I don’t think we get many decisions at home either', he said. 'I would like to think we are going to. It is just so frustrating, it is as if the officials are determined to spoil the game and I don’t know why'...
There was a first appearance since returning to the club for Ryan Toulson who had been a frustrated bystander in the opening two games... Said Aspin, 'Players have to be patient and when they get the chance they have to take it... There is no one person bigger that the team and if I feel I need to make changes to get a result that is what I will do'".
"After the highs of hitting six in their first outing at Steel Park, Corby Town were brought back to earth with a resounding thump in their second" reports the Northants Evening Telegraph. "True, Hyde are a far better outfit than Bishop’s Stortford – this result maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign while ending the Steelmen’s.
But, just like most people never saw Corby scoring six against Stortford, they also probably never envisiged them conceding four on Saturday. However, it is hardly time to reach for the panic button because if you had offered Corby two wins and a defeat from their first three games, they would have taken it... This result does still demand some analysis because you don’t lose 4-0 by accident...
Too often in this game, Corby were guilty of simply trying to hit long balls to Matt Rhead, a worrying lapse back to their ‘boot it long’ moments of last season when such a tactic was a sure sign that they were not on their game. What they needed was for wide men Andy Hall and Andy Burgess to influence as they had against Bishop’s Stortford. But they were unable to as they and Rhead were effectively shackled throughout by the well-organised Hyde defence who stuck to their tasks well.
At the other end of the pitch, Hyde had the game’s outstanding player in Scott Spencer who netted all four of his team’s goals. And just to add insult to defeat, Corby had to play the final half-hour with only 10 men after Delroy Gordon was sent off for a second bookable offence... With Nick Rogan on from the bench, they did look livelier in attack without ever really threatening the Hyde goal".
However, "Graham Drury denied there was complacency among the Corby Town players in the wake of their 4-0 defeat by Hyde... 'I’m very disappointed with the result but all credit to Hyde they passed the ball better, they were stronger and they were more creative', admitted Drury... 'I don’t think there was any complacency, or there certainly shouldn’t have [been], because I warned them that Hyde would be a lot harder than Bishop’s Stortford... We were out-fought, out-battled and maybe out-played as well... We’ve still taken a two-point average from the three games we’ve played so far and, if we can keep that going, we’ll be up among the higher reaches of the league', he said."
In the Nuneaton News, "Kevin Wilkin says Nuneaton Town must keep believing in themselves after they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Droylsden... Despite taking just one point from three games, Boro produced an improved if not stellar performance in the North West... Manager Wilkin said, 'I thought a point would have been fair. We worked a lot of chances in the first half albeit from the edge of the 18 yard box... There was no lack of effort but a lack of quality at times. Droylsden moved the ball well and they’ll be up there come the end of the season...
We are still inexperienced. The lads will learn from this and it’s important they learn fast. We showed that when we do the right things we aren’t a bad side but it’s about imposing yourself for 90 minutes and doing the job'... Boro played a new-look 4-2-3-1 formation and Wilkin was delighted to put Droylsden on the back foot in the first half.
'The system worked ideally in the first half. I think the only time they threatened was when they got dead balls in the box. They got the ball in with real purpose', he said".
Like both Harrogate Town and Histon, Vauxhall have something of a reputation as a "bogey" team for Altrincham as, away from home, Altrincham have won only once at Rivacre Park in six visits and have never won there in the league. The only Altrincham away win was on 1 February, 2005, when Alty won a Cheshire Senior Cup semi-final 3-2. The most recent league game at Rivacre Park was in November, 2004, when Alty went down 2-0, with Robbie leading the Motormen and Stuart Coburn the only remaining survivor of Alty's team that day.
However, Mike Garnett's statistics show that at Moss Lane, Alty have the upper hand.
Former Altrincham Youth captain, John Bennett, is now in Motors' first-team squad.
The Perfect Blend of Youth & Experience!!!
Today, I thought that I would introduce you to the Radio Robins team. We have six commentators and a technical support specialist. There are two commentators for each game, therefore you can expect to hear each of our individual dulcet tones once in every three games! Just like Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson, we are striving to get that fine balance of youthful exhuberance and seasoned experience and with two teenagers and a couple of ‘fifty somethings’, we think that we have probably achieved that!!!! So, let’s get on with the introductions:-
18 years old and has been following Alty, home and away, for the last 3 years. Jonny can normally be found in the main stand or popular side and has more hair than the rest of the team put together!! Fanatical about all things Alty and enjoys doing the commentary. On the fans forum he is NickyClee'sClickyKnee and Jonny’s favourite player is Nicky Clee.
Paul, our technical guru, has been an Alty fan since 1976 and was a season ticket holder and a regular away supporter too for many years. He lives in Warrington and work and family dictates that he doesn't get to many games these days, but still follows the Robins as keenly as ever! Paul played an instrumental role in launching Radio Robins and has to be wrapped in cotton wool on match days, as we currently have nobody on the ‘technical substitutes’ bench. Forum pseudonym: PaulClementsLaments.
Simon’s first Alty game was courtesy of free tickets from Altrincham Grammar School and he has followed the Robins for the last 27 years, spending most of it singing, shouting and moaning from the Golf Road End. He is proud to have watched the team play at some of the ex-league clubs over the past few years, however still prefers wet Tuesday night away games in the Unibond, such as Whitby, Spennymoor or Frickley. Having not lived in Altrincham for 20 years, Simon appreciates what Radio Robins can do for the relocated fan. Simon is ‘ToffApple’ on the forum.
Paul...(S)alty on the fans' forum, is the senior member of the Radio Robins commentary team at 53 years of age! A former season ticket holder at Old Trafford, he has taken a more active interest in watching Altrincham FC since his home town team Great Harwood ceased to exist in 2006. A keen 16 handicap golfer and current Vice Captain at Heyrose Golf Club, he lists his Radio Robins highlight as covering the ultimately unsuccessful second half comeback against Eastbourne in the final match of last season.
Anthony, generally known as Tony, is an avid sports follower and has played football, golf and cricket. He lives about a mile away from Moss Lane and has followed the club all his life. Tony covered a couple of games last season and made his away commentating debut at Harrogate last Saturday. Tony earns his living selling goods on ebay and is ‘altytony’ on the fans' forum.
Jack has followed Alty since the end of 2006 and, over the past two years, gone to all home and the majority of away games. Part of the next generation of young fans, he can be found in the Golf Road End, and at away games with a lot of flags, balloons and confetti! Known as ‘bumble’ and ‘cibum’ on the fans' forum, Worcester City at home is a big game in Jack’s diary as he will be able to, legally, have a pint in the Noel White Suite!!
Brian’s first experience of watching the Robins was a Cheshire League game against Ellesmere Port in 1967 and he has followed the team, home and away for almost forty years. Brian has run Altrincham ClubCall since 1989 and carries out the Press and Media Officer role with John Edwards. Believed to be ‘Brian Flynn’ on the fan' forum!
In BSB North:
He said, 'It’s brilliant news for me that there’s no break or any sign of anything else that’s going to worry me... I’m hoping I could be back for next Saturday (at home to Corby), but I don’t know if the physio is going to be a bit more conservative about it... I’ve taken the cast off it and although it is bruised and swollen, I’ve been able to put weight on it. I even rang the physio yesterday because I wanted to have a little jog on it, but that’s me probably rushing it a little bit. I just want to get back in the team, because you get in the rhythm when you’re playing and I don’t want to lose that'". Riza was lapping the pitch at Moss Lane before Saturday's game.
Our next opponents, Vauxhall Motors, like Alty, gained their first win of the season last Saturday. Boston United report that "United huffed and puffed during a frenetic second half — but were eventually beaten 2-1 by Vauxhall Motors... Goals at either end of the contest from Michael Jackson and Josh Wilson afforded Vauxhall a two-goal lead — with only Tom Hannigan’s bizarre own goal getting the Pilgrims on the scoresheet...
Jordan Fairclough was handed his full league debut at right-back in the place of the injured Lee Canoville, while Ryan Semple was preferred to Adam Millson... The Motormen gradually got a foothold in proceedings and played some excellent football during a first half they controlled"
Vauxhall Motors (4-4-2): Scott Tynan; Andrew Taylor (Kevin Grocott 90), Tom Hannigan, Michael Jackson, Lee Dames; Craig Mahon, Sean Highdale, David Mannix, Steve Beck (John Bennett 80); Leighton McGivern, Josh Wilson. Subs (not used): Sean Williams, Anthony Wright, Josh O’Connell (gk)."
The Boston Standard adds that "Lee Canoville has blasted his Boston United squad - branding their defeat against Vauxhall Motors as ‘unacceptable’... Despite Boston going close with a handful of chances, Canoville was not best-pleased.
He said, 'I’m very disappointed to lose the game and to really not be in the game in the first half. We’ve ended up losing and we told the lads what they did in the first half wasn’t acceptable. We were better in the second half, but they defended with their lives. Vauxhall came to our pitch and dominated us. That’s not acceptable. If I was on the pitch playing I’d be absolutely gutted that that team was doing that to me'.
United created more chances than their opponents, but they just couldn’t convert pressure into goals... The Motormen, themselves, were fired up for this encounter and forwards Leighton McGivern and Josh Wilson gave the home defence anxious moments throughout".
In fact, the real score was 3-0 and you can read this site's match report here.
After the game, John Edwards quoted Lee Sinnott (seen, right, during the game) in the NLP as saying, in comparison with the disappointing showing against Workington, "We were far more like the team we can be. We were more creative and I was pleased we didn't get agitated when the ball kept coming back off the bar or post, or one of their defenders. It's about ticking boxes and that's our first three points, first home win and first clean sheet. There are still improvements to be made but the players have every right to feel pleased with themselves. That's how you want to feel at 5 o'clock on a Saturday You can't beat it".
Histon boss David Livermore admitted "The score didn't flatter us one bit. Quite simply, we were not good enough but you have to bear in mind the average age of our side was only just over 19. We have to be realistic about the situation we are in".
You can reprise the goals here on YouTube.
"Tuesday night’s performance against Workington wasn’t at all what we had in mind for our first home game of the season, and there are all sorts of reasons why we can, and surely will, do a lot better.
The one uppermost in my mind is that I have no intention of going through another season of ‘same old Altrincham.’ You’ll know the script as well as I do .. bossing a game, only to concede a costly late goal, or playing well one week, then dipping below what we are capable of the next. I’m not having that, and for all the frustrations so far – battering Harrogate on Saturday, only to let the points slip away, then struggling to reach the same heights three days later – I’m hopeful none of us will have to.
This squad showed in pre-season that it has massive potential, but we need to start turning that into something more concrete. Potential is one thing, realising it is another, and I just wonder whether we fell into the trap of thinking that we played so well at Harrogate, repeating it against Workington would be easy. That was never going to be the case. You can’t afford to make that sort of mistake at any level, and I trust we won’t again.
One thing I would say in our defence is that losing the toss didn’t help matters, as it left us kicking towards a setting sun that made it really difficult to see the ball and pick out team-mates. For the first 10-15 minutes, we were guilty of banging it from back to front, but, speaking to some of our defenders and deeper midfielders, they just couldn’t see well enough to get it down and start knocking it around.
Above, left, we see what Robbie means as Paul Jones shields his eyes from the bright evening sun.
That led to some indecision creeping into our play, in contrast to the positive approach at Harrogate, and we ended up reflecting on an early points return I would never have envisaged after such an encouraging pre-season programme.
After the way we played in those friendlies, I would have predicted four points from our first two games, if not six. Instead, we’ve got just one, and today’s game with Histon is already being placed in the ‘must-win’ category in some quarters.
In the grand scheme of things, considering we haven’t seen the back of August yet, you can hardly describe it that way. It does have that feel about it, though. It’s like we are chasing points, rather than simply putting them on the board through our endeavours.
The reality is, there’s no need to panic but every need to correct what has gone wrong so far.
We have set our own bar, with the way we played last Saturday. That Harrogate performance is going to be the benchmark, after we did everything except stick seven goals in their net, and any performance that doesn’t come up to scratch is going to be compared to it.
We have to live up to that, and the best way we’ll do it is by recognising that no-one is going to hand us anything on a plate. In all my time at Alty, we have always had to work for anything we’ve got, and that is going to apply as much as ever in this division. Even more so, you could argue.
I have played at a lower level than this, and I have found that, as you go down the divisions, players graft even harder to get a foothold in a game. We’ve got to match their physical output, but when I look round our dressing room, that really shouldn’t be a problem.
We’ve got big characters everywhere you look, players like Lynchy, Jonah, Flynny, Dens and Anthony Danylyk, all lads with big hearts and bags of desire. We are not being asked to do anything we are not capable of, or that is alien to us, after all. I could hear a few murmurs of unrest on Tuesday night, but I would stress once more that it is a long season and we are all working hard to put things right as soon as possible. I can also assure all our supporters that expectations in the dressing room are that we are going to do something in this league, not just make up the numbers.
Right: Simon Richman, Anthony Danylyk and Shaun Densmore are still working hard to combat Histon in the late stages of the game on Saturday.
"During the season we will be providing regular updates on the progress within the Community and Junior Section of the Club. The close season has been as busy as with the Senior side, and here are a few highlights:
Of course, of interest to all of the Junior and Youth team players should be the inclusion of several players from George Heslop’s Youth team in the first-team squad for the pre-season training and friendly games. Hopefully this is something we will be able to emulate in years to come.
Above: Damian Reeves gets to the ball ahead of keeper Stadelmann before netting Altrincham's second goal against Histon.
Altrincham emerged deserved winners of this clash between two teams relegated last season fom the national division of the BSB league.
Right: Simon Richman receives the congratulations of his team-mates after scoring Alty's third goal.
If, for any reason, you cannot listen in, there will be text updates during the game on this website's Matchday Update page, starting with the confirmed line-ups before kick-off.
Altrincham FC joint Press Officer, Brian Flynn, writes:
"Major Coverage of Altrincham v Histon in this week's Non League Paper.
The Non-League Paper are going BIG on their coverage of our home game on Saturday against Histon. Sunday's paper will have plenty of match pictures and an extended match report. The Non-League Paper contains just about everything a fan of non-league football needs and is great value at £1.50!!"
And in his role as The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) chairman, Brian Flynn, announces that "TASC will be distributing a Newsletter to supporters tomorrow, which will be available after coming through the turnstiles. There will also be copies in the TASC section of the Club Shop".
Brian Flynn adds that "There will be a bottle-bar available during the half-time interval of Saturday's game against Histon. As you enter the Noel White Suite from the "mausoleum" area [outside the club shop], turn right and look for Geoff Morris, who will be providing service with a smile!!"
But Sinnott is confident things will soon begin to improve, although he admits Altrincham will have to perform much better than they did in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Workington if they’re to push for a quick return to non-League football’s top-flight. 'Everyone wants to get off to a flyer, but it’s a long season and I’d much rather have a strong finish than a strong start', he said".
On the eve of the game at Moss Lane, Histon FC "is pleased to announce the loan signing of striker Kaine Sheppard from Leyton Orient on a work experience deal. Some supporters may remember Kaine from his time in the Histon Academy and he will go straight into the squad for tomorrow's game at Altrincham.
There is also news regarding the injury to Club Captain Omer Riza. The original diagnosis of a fracture in the striker's foot was premature as, following consultation with a specialist yesterday, the damage does not seem to be anywhere near as bad as first feared. Speaking about both strikers manager David Livermore said, 'We had to act quickly after the injury to Omer as we were told that he would be out for 6-8 weeks and therefore we enquired about Kaine. Orient hold him in high regard and he is well known to the staff here at the Club. He's a target man type of forward and that gives us different options up front and a bit more depth in the squad. It's a good signing for us and I'm pleased he's joined. Omer's injury is not as bad as we first thought.
The X-ray on Wednesday told us it was a fracture but another specialist in London has assured us that there is no break but that there is bruising to the bone. This means that there's no reason why he can't be back sooner rather than later but we will obviously have to be careful with him so we will wait and see how things progress in the next few days".
They may have been relegated but our visitors on Saturday, Histon, are still effectively full-time, as the BBC reports. The Stutes' manager "David Livermore is not a man to be phased by the odd setback or two. With his playing days having been brought to a premature end, the 31-year-old former Millwall and Hull midfielder has opted to make a head-start[?] to a career in management. On paper, his first season with non-league Histon looks none too impressive. The Stutes finished bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier with just eight wins from 46 matches.
However, Livermore arrived at a club in serious difficulties both on and off the field and only now, 12 months later, is the real hard work able to begin.
'Despite the relegation, I think we've made tremendous progress', Livermore told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. 'We've tried to improve the structures at the club and make everything as professional as possible'. Histon came close to winning promotion to the Football League, reaching the play-off semi-finals under Steve Fallon in 2009. But with a modest average crowd and impact of the global recession, their financial situation quickly snowballed out of control.
Livermore has been handed a brief to stabilise in the Blue Square Bet North and has taken to the task with relish. In a major step forward for the club, he and his team have secured a permanent training facility thanks to a link-up with Eastern Counties Premier Division side Cambridge University Press.
Histon have agreed to allow the Press to play their home matches at Bridge Road in return for the use of their state-of-the-art, university funded, training facilities.
'It's a win-win situation for everyone involved and a great partnership for both teams', Livermore said...
Histon will be training for two hours each day at the Cambridge University Press facilities. Owing to the relative youth of their squad they can afford to operate virtually as a full-time side...
In a second significant link-up, Histon's players will now be regularly assessed by the sports science department at nearby Anglia Ruskin University. 'Funnily enough I just went online and saw that we had a university with sports science facilities right on our doorstep', Livermore said.
The Stutes squad are set to undergo testing with Anglia Ruskin at regular intervals throughout the season to assess the likes of body composition, body fat and sprint speeds. While Histon get the data they need, the university's students benefit from working with genuine sports professionals.
Chairman Russell Hands said, 'David has been a breath of fresh air. I believe we've uncovered a real gem. David has the potential to go right to the top'".
Meanwhile, the Cambridge News says that "Lewis Taaffe will start up front for Histon at Altrincham as David Livermore continues to count the cost of Omer Riza’s foot injury. The young forward will play alongside in-form striker Dan Holman, with Riza forced to watch from the sidelines with a suspected broken foot suffered during Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Boston United.
'We’re going to miss Omer’s leadership qualities, his creativity, experience and what he brings to the team', said Livermore, who expects to be without the club captain for some weeks. 'But Lewis Taaffe can play up there, and behind him we have Jack Sessions. We’ve done a lot of work over the last seven or eight weeks on 4-4-2, so we’ll see how we go. Lewis Taaffe is a bright young player. He can go in there and do the job, so it’s only right that we explore that first. If throughout the course of the game or the next few games it needs to be changed, we’ll change it. We’ve done a lot of work around the shape we have at the moment, so it would be foolish to start tampering with the formation'.
Altrincham was the place of Histon’s last league triumph, a 3-0 victory, in February. But while Livermore and some of his players may have happy memories of that midweek trip, the Stutes boss knows that this weekend’s encounter will be a very different affair.
'We can’t use last season’s results as a benchmark against Altrincham', he said. 'It’s a different prospect this season. They’re a different side, we’re a different side. It’s going to be a difficult game and we’re going to have to be at our best or near our best to get a good result'.
Livermore believes the key to getting a good result will be to use their possession of the ball wisely, especially when going forward. 'We need to learn when to slow the game down', he said. 'If the opportunity arises when we can catch the opposition out of position we need to exploit that but, if they filter back into shape, we have to have the patience to keep the ball and move them around a bit'.
Histon (possible): Stadelmann, Mills, Fitzsimons, Moore, Hawkins, Sparkes, Salt, Stevenson, Breeze, Taaffe, Holman".
Altrincham MAD says that "Altrincham prepare to entertain Histon at Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon, determined to stop the rot against their opponents, having lost out to their rivals on 3 of the previous 4 occasions... Altrincham have only collected 1 win and 3 draws from the last six home games played. The Robins's have scored 10 goals in these games, but conceded an alarming 11.
The away form of Histon is pretty dire, managing a paltry 2 draws from the last six matches. While the Stutes have hit 7 goals, 12 have hit the back of the wrong net. Altrincham find themselves struggling down in 17th position in the league having picked up 1 points from their 2 matches. Histon find themselves struggling down in 15th position in the league having picked up 2 points from their 2 matches... We see this as an opportunity for the Robins to get the show back on the road by taking all the three points available.
Sequences -Altrincham - Failed to win in previous 5 home matches. Not won in the 3 most recent games. Histon - Not won in previous 9 away matches. Drawn each of the last 3 games. No win in the 17 most recent games".
He then joined Oxford United on loan in November 2005. He returned to Oldham in January 2006 after playing thirteen matches during his two-month loan spell at the Kassam Stadium then joined Stockport... but was released after the club was promoted at the end of 2007/08 and joined Darlington. He rejoined Stockport in July 2009, but in May 2011 he was informed that he would not be offered a contract by the club for the start of their Conference Premier campaign, despite having made the most number of appearances (forty-eight) of any Stockport player in the 2010/11 season".
The Football Conference says that "Solihull Moors have signed experienced defender Craig Hinton after he had failed to net himself a deal with Moors` league rivals Nuneaton Town. Hinton, 33, had spent most of pre-season with Nuneaton following his release by Northampton Town at the end of the last campaign... He can play anywhere along the back four.
Solihull have also handed a deal to young midfielder Luke Bottomer, who was released by Coventry City at the end of last season. Bottomer, 18, also caught the eye of Halesowen Town, Cheltenham Town, who he trialled with in pre-season, and the University of North Western Ohio in the States before signing for Moors.
A third new recruit for Marcus Bignot is 21-year-old former Aston Villa, Cardiff City and Republic of Ireland under-19 international Ashley Buswell, who has recently been at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain".
Meanwhile, "Blyth Spartans have announced the signing of goalkeeper Kyle Barlow on dual registration with STL Northern League side Chester-le-Street. The 20-year-old produced a stunning display in the recent friendly between the two sides... [Manager] Steve Cuggy said, 'We’ve a bit of bad luck with ‘keepers over the pre-season and at one point or another they’ve all been unavailable. Hopefully we’ll have Matty Crook and Matty Hunter available for tomorrow’s game with Bishop’s Stortford, but we’ve signed Kyle on to give us some extra cover and will keep an eye on his progress at Chester-le-Street. Max Johnson trained with the first team last night, but he’s battered and bruised and looks like he’s been an accident with the injury that he picked up on Tuesday night, so we’ll have to see how he is for tomorrow'".
From Pitchero Non-League comes news that "Vauxhall Motors have signed former Chester FC midfielder Steven Beck. Beck moved to the Deva Stadium in October 2010 from Droylsden. He had joined Droylsden in September 2008 from The New Saints. He originally signed with the Saints in July 2003.
An England under-16 international and former member of the Everton youth academy, he played for the Toffees' under-18s in 2001/02 and was a member of the under-19 squad in 2002/03 before being released on a free in June that year. He trained with Wigan on the promise of a contract but, when the deal fell through, he considered giving up football. He was recommended to TNS by Andy Cale and joined the club and proved to be a key-man for the club. He played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup for TNS and made nearly 100 appearances in the Welsh Premier, scoring twenty-two goals".
The NW Counties Football League reports that "The FA has requested that all Leagues in the National League System publish the following statement...
The FA urges all Clubs to verify the credentials of Tier 4 students/migrants who may have International Clearance certificates granted but who may not be able to play in what is deemed to be professional football in a professional league where clubs have one or two contract professionals. Under these circumstances, they may be restricted to recreational football only...
Clubs should seek guidance from the UK Border Agency... Clubs found guilty of employing Tier 4 migrants illegally may be liable for a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker".
Welsh Premier reports that "Airbus UK Broughton have announced the signing of central defender Danny Grannon from Colwyn Bay. Grannon has been a key figure in manager Dave Challinor`s successful side of the past few seasons".
'. ” The club’s owner Jim Rushe told the Guardian that he has received confirmation from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League bosses that a game against Frickley Athletic could take place at the Victoria Stadium.
'It’s good news', he said. 'This week has been a long one, but the important thing was to make sure we could host the match. Now we can'. He added that finance experts at Deloitte Touche, appointed as de-facto landlords in 2009 following the demise of Beaconet Limited, have granted the team permission to play on their home pitch until the end of the season. The licence was sent to league bosses this morning. Rushe said approval was then given at 6pm...
Deloitte’s intervention in establishing a long-term arrangement for Vics to host visitors in Wincham appears to meet the security of tenure criteria cited by league chiefs in Tuesday’s statement as the reason for postponing a scheduled match against Kendal Town. Rushe expects his property firm, Northwich Victoria Developments Ltd, to be landowners shortly in any case, after agreeing a deal with Yorkshire Bank to buy the nine-acres site. Northwich Victoria Football Club (2007) Ltd, which pays the players’ wages, will be its tenants".
Above: ALTRINCHAM F.C. PLAYERS, 2011-12 - images courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography. L. to. Lawton, Danylyk, Flynn, Mulholland, Reid, Summerskill, Reeves, Coombs, Ollerenshaw, Fearon, Lees, Lynch, Twiss, Clee, Tolson, Jones, Brown, Coburn, Densmore and Richman.
You can listen to full match commentary on Altrincham v Histon on Saturday on Radio Robins".
With the introduction of this welcome new service, this website's "Matchday updates" have ceased this season - a move which was welcome to me as it allows me to concentrate more on the game without having to juggle a pen, notepad, camera and laptop at the same time! However, a number of requests have come to resurrect the service for the benefit of those who cannot follow the match "live" for the full 90 minutes, for whatever reason, or who otherwise want to catch up with the line-ups and the action in print, either at points during the game itself or immediately afterwards. So, by way of experiment, this Saturday the radio commentary will be backed up by the text matchday updates and the usage will be monitored to se if it is worthwhile.
There is worrying news for our next opponents as the Cambridge News reports that "Histon captain Omer Riza fears he has broken his foot and could face months on the sidelines... following a collision with veteran [Boston] goalkeeper Paul Bastock. An X-ray yesterday revealed a fracture, and Riza will visit a specialist today...
Said Riza... 'I beat the defender. The keeper came out and there was a mix-up between the two of them. The keeper didn’t get the ball and got me flush on the foot. I put ice on it after the game and had an X-ray yesterday, and it’s looking like a fracture, which I was hoping it wouldn’t be. The referee said afterwards that he was sorry if he’d missed it, which isn’t really any good to anyone'...
Lewis Taaffe could now get a run in David Livermore’s team up front with Dan Holman – who has scored two in two Blue Square Bet North games – starting with the trip to Altrincham on Saturday".
Right: Anthony Danylyk shows his customary determination in the Alty midfield as Nicky Clee awaits developments in the match against Workington last Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography from whom copies can be acquired.
According to the Nuneaton News "Kevin Wilkin insists Nuneaton Town will be a far better side when they get key players back from injury... Boro drew 0-0 with Gloucester City on Tuesday night to leave them with one point from two home games... The Nuneaton manager says results and performances will improve sharply when first choice full-backs Graham Ward and Simon Forsdick return from injury, along with striker Danny Glover.
Their absence, coupled with that of goalkeeper Danny Alcock, who is in China, and forward Justin Marsden’s struggle to reach full fitness after a groin injury mean Wilkin is desperate to get them back and firing on all cylinders...
He said, ' I’ve not once made an excuse of four key players being out of the side. Maybe I made a mistake playing Justin on Saturday. Maybe I have to hold my hands up. That’s another player. That’s five key fully fit players we could have in our armoury'".
The Ormskirk & Skelmersdale Advertiser states that "Skelmersdale United have fought off interest from the Blue Square Bet North to keep hold of Lewis Field. Manchester side Droylsden made an offer to the former Burscough defender this week, which would have seen him jump up two levels of the non-league ladder as well as tripling his wages. But Field, who joined Skem last season, rejected the advances of Dave Pace’s men and put pen to paper on a contract at with the Evo-Stik Division One North side.
Manager Tommy Lawson was delighted with Field’s decision to stay... and quickly moved to make him the fifth contracted player at the club".
From Pitchero Non-League, we learn that "Marc McGregor says he would like to move into coaching — but insists he still has plenty to offer as a player. The 33-year-old has agreed a dual role at Worcester City for the current campaign as a striker and a coach...
McGregor said, 'I was going to be totally honest with Carl... If I wasn’t right, I wasn’t going to cheat him and say I could do another year when I couldn’t. We had a good chat about it and it was a case of seeing how I was after pre-season. We’ve agreed that I will stay, try and play as much as I can and help the young forwards... If I can play every week that will be great. However, Mike Symons has done really well since he’s come into the club'...
McGregor sees similarities between himself and Symons, eight years his junior... 'For me, Mike has probably been the brightest spark of all the lads that have come in', the former Weston-super-Mare striker said... 'He could lay the ball off a bit quicker at times but we’ll get that out of him during the year and, alongside Carl and Matt Gardiner, I’m sure they’ll be able to make him a better player'".
"Lee Canoville believes his Boston United side can only get better" reports the Boston Standard...
'We’re very pleased with the performance', said Canoville after last night’s 1-1 draw with Histon. 'That performance was better than Saturday’s and we can only improve on that and look to get better as the players gel more, and we get a few back from injury'...
He added: “They [Histon] caught us out at the back. They were lively up front and hit us with a sucker punch early on'... Canoville was substituted in the 15th minute after a clash with Harri Hawkins left him suffering a medial ligament injury. He will now be out of action for at least two weeks. Although replacement Jordan Fairclough earned the manager’s praise, there seems to be a worryingly large queue for the treatment table at York Street.
Ben Wilkinson (knee), Julian Joachim (ankle), Mikel Suarez (hamstring) and Mickey Stones (hamstring) are among the walking wounded and may be doubts for Saturday’s visit of Vauxhall Motors... 'We have to move on, injuries happen', he said... 'We have outplayed Histon, who were a Conference team last season, despite a few injuries'...
Captain Gareth Jelleyman echoed his manager’s sentiments... 'Towards the end it was like the Alamo'", he claimed.
Across the county, This is Lincs says that "Brian Little admitted his Gainsborough Trinity side were well off the pace as they were defeated 3-0 by Hinckley United... a lacklustre performance in which the Blues were out-muscled...
'We were beaten up a little bit', said Little. 'They are a pretty physical side and they were stronger than us. For the first 25 minutes of the game, until Hinckley scored their first goal, I thought we were the better side but, after that, we were outbattled and I thought Hinckley deservedly won the game'.
Striker Darryn Stamp's calf strain meant a first Trinity start for on-loan striker Daryl Clare but the former Boston forward had few chances to make an impression – a fact readily accepted by Little.... He said, 'It certainly wasn't a game for the forwards and I'm not going to judge him on his performance against Hinckley... When you have two games in two days I always feel that if you are the home team it is a terrific advantage but, because we are part-time, as an away team it was always going to be tough for us and we have shown a tendency to struggle against the more direct teams in this division. But now we'll have an extra day's rest ahead of our next game against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday, who play a different type of football to Hinckley'".
In the North Wales Weekly News, we read that "Colwyn Bay manager Dave Challinor is preparing for Saturday’s home game against unbeaten Eastwood Town by warning his players that they are already under pressure... The Seagulls cruelly conceded a goal in the 90th minute to lose 1-0 at home to Hyde United... but Challinor had little sympathy for his players afterwards.
'It was so important this week to make a good start with two home games in five days. It was an opportunity against Hyde to throw down a marker to the rest of the league, but we didn’t play well enough to do it', he said. 'We weren’t clinical enough or show enough composure in the final third and then a howler 30 yards from our own goal has cost us the game when the ball should have been cleared. Everybody is under pressure because we’ve got quality on the bench now and if players don’t perform then they don’t play – it is as simple as that. We have to be more ruthless with our team selection because we need to perform every week in this league. If we don’t we will come unstuck'...
Meanwhile, centre-back Danny Grannon, who has missed much of pre-season due an extended break in the Far East and has a lot to do to get himself match fit and back in contention, was yesterday due to have talks with Airbus UK about a possible move there. The future of Joe McMahon is also in doubt. The manager wasn’t able to meet his initial demands to be first choice for one of the two centre-back places and the player has not attended training since".
According to the Wharfedale Observer, "Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick is calling for more creativity up front after his side fell to their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night... a 2-0 setback at Droylsden.
Kittrick said, 'We were fine defensively and in midfield but we just needed a bit more inventiveness up front... Droylsden are a good side and their goals came in the 71st and 76th minutes... We were caught out for the first by a ball over the top... Steve Drench only had three shots to save, and two of them went in'...
Drench did not have a shot to save against Hinckley.. and Kittrick added, 'If Allott gets ten goals during the season, Gavin Rothery gets ten and Joe O’Neill gets ten that will be great because last season we were relying on one person (James Walshaw). Also we’ll be able to get goals from elsewhere. Gavin Allott has got a lot to learn as he’s not played at this level before. He’s a rough, raw centre forward but you can see what he can do – it was a great header and he’s quite quick for a big lad'".
Still in Yorkshire, the Halifax Courier says that "Opposing fans will be separated for Halifax Town matches for the rest of the season following unpleasant scenes on Saturday. Several Corby Town fans were ejected from the east stand, which they shared with Halifax fans, during the season opener...
A Security Industry Authority steward was bitten by one of the fans as he tried to escort him from ground. There was also a clash between Town fans and Corby fans after the game. As a result, Ronnie Cowgill, ground safety officer at the Shay, said, 'From now on, whether it’s five, 55 or 105, away fans will definitely be put in the west stand and there will be no problems'.
He also rejected claims from some supporters that the SIA stewards caused more problems than they solved as tempers began to fray during Town’s 3-1 defeat. 'I beg to differ', he said. 'One of them was bitten on the arm but he didn’t retaliate or use physical violence, despite the abuse. From this season it is a legal requirement to have them at the ground to be on the bars where alcohol is served, that’s the primary reason they’re there. You can’t have a normal steward on the bar. The second is that they’re much cheaper than getting the police to cover matches. Using these stewards saves the club a lot of money', he said...
Gary Byrnes, sports services manager at Calderdale Council, said, 'The stewards who ejected the supporters are fully qualified security personnel and although not employed by the council they are supported by council officers. While ejecting the Corby spectator two of the stewards were assaulted while trying to deal with these incidents'".
The Halifax Courier adds that [ex-Alty reserve] "Tom Baker has warned Town fans not to expect the Shaymen to steamroller opposition sides like they have done in the past two seasons. Neil Aspin’s side stormed to the Evo Stik Premier title last term making it back to back titles following success in One North... It is going to be a lot tougher as they look to make it three promotions in a row.
'It is not going to happen',” he said. 'Obviously expectations are massive but we know in the changing room we have enough to do well in this league'... The skipper was in inspirational form in the north east and it was fitting that he set up what proved to be the winner for Jamie Vardy with 14 minutes remaining... 'The thing with Vardy is that he is so quick and it is difficult to time the pass so he is not offside', said the skipper".
"Solihull Moors will be in the pink this season regardless of their results – to raise awareness of a leading charity cancer" reports the Birmingham Mail. "The Moors’ away kit will feature pink shirts emblazoned with the Cancer Research UK logo. The charity has a particular resonance with the club since Bob Faulkner died of prostate cancer last February... having been boss at Moor Green and then Solihull for 26 years.
The new partnership is one of four new sponsorships deals arranged by chairman Nigel Collins at Damson Park and via the generosity of Molson Coors Ltd. The brewery giant have agreed a three-year deal worth £100,000 as club sponsor, but have allowed Moors to have different shirt sponsors for their home and away strips to raise extra money. Stechford firm Oak Property Development Services will sponsor the home shirts, while the away kit will carry the Cancer Research UK logo for free... Moors will also be showing their support for the Troop Aid charity by wearing their logos on club tracksuits".
Vauxhall Motors lost 2-0 away to Worcester, so "Motors are left still searching for their first point and first goal of the new campaign... Manager Anthony Wright made three changes following last Saturday’s defeat by Gloucester but Vauxhall still struggled to find any momentum in the game". Vauxhall, who entertain Alty next week lined up as follows: Tynan, Taylor (Grocott), Dames, Field, Jackson, Hannigan, Mahon, Mannix (Highdale), McGivern, Wilson, Williams (Nethercote)"
In the Barrow matchday programme, Phil Yelland has written am interesting article. He says, "The geography of the non-League game in England is definitely changing and arguably not for the better if you are a club based in the North.
Below Blue Square Bet Premier, every league in the Pyramid at a senior level is in effect regionalised and that is starting to produce some real challenges. For the first 47 years of our Football League existence we played in Division Three North and there is no doubt that in those days what we would now call the Midlands was where the North stopped and the South started".
Later, in our "early non-League days our longest journeys of the season were to Boston in Lincolnshire - a long way to come home after a defeat - and even worse, to the far end of North-west Wales to play at Bangor City... The furthest South we headed on League business was Stafford.
However, with the creation of what is now Blue Square Bet Premier (then the APL in 1979), the description of "North" began to change... There was a new "far eastern" trip to Grantham; we headed deeper into the Midlands to Burton and in Wales we had a trip to Rhyl...
The formation of Blue Square Bet North and South however in 2004, was the real catalyst for change. Whilst the UniBond (Northern Premier League) provided one third of the members for the new set up, the other two feeder Leagues were based in the Midlands or South of that - and thebalance began to skew. You could argue that the real challenge in some ways is that the old Northern League based in the north-east has never really embraced the non-League Pyramid on the grounds of cost. That may be understandable but it has left the North, and particularly the North-east under represented on the national stage.
Suddenly, in 2004, the North embraced teams like Redditch United and Worcester City both placed firmly south of the M6; Kettering Town from Northamptonshire; and Hinckley United from Leicestershire... In 2009, Gloucester City won promotion from what was then the Southern League and found themselves in Blue Square Bet North - despite the fact that Worcester City, lying 25 miles or so to the North, were in Blue Square Bet South. The reason for this anomaly was simply that having agreed to move to the South some twelve months earlier there was an agreement in place, as I recall it, that City would not be forced to change League again at that point. However they moved back North last summer...
Histon, from Cambridgeshire, have found themselves in the North Division..[and] the gap in Blue Square Bet North has been filled by Bishop's Stortford... The Hertfordshire town is a mere 29 miles north of central London... The challenge for Blue Square Bet South this season is that they have to go further West than ever before to League newcomers Truro City. The borders have changed because whilst the North has always been a strong football area, they fed one League into the Pyramid when it was formed and developed - not two.
For us this season, the reality is that Blue Square Bet Premier has more Northern teams than ever. But spare a thought for the fans of Bishop Stortford. Is it better on a January Saturday to be travelling to Blyth or Workington - or heading to Truro? I guess they will decide!".
Witton Albion chairman Mark Harris explained the decision. “There are three reasons we were keen to do this. First, our link up with 'Help for Heroes' has really helped emphasise the positive role the club wants to play in the local community. Having last season re-named our social club the Cheshire’s Suite, after the local regiment, the re-naming of the stadium is the next logical step. This is a cause that demands everyone’s support. With men and women laying down their lives on our behalf around the world, the very least we can do is to say thank-you. This is one way we can do so.”
In addition to the re-naming of the stadium, Albion are also granting free admission to all home league games to any serving member of the armed forces upon presentation of identification. The club also hopes to stage, as it did last season, a charity match between a 'Help for Heroes' and celebrity XIs. Last year’s game raised in excess of £1,000 for the charity.
Kane Gunter, local 'Help for Heroes' fundraiser, welcomed the move. "The H4H charity is very much needed for our Armed Forces. We normally only get to hear about fatalities but many more service personnel are injured and maimed in the war. These soldiers and their families need all our help. Witton Albion have already renamed their function room The Cheshire Suite in honour of 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), have run charity fundraising football matches for us and allow free entrance for home games for serving service personnel. By now naming their stadium this shows that Witton Albion have really taken H4H to heart and worked harder than most, with their fans, to raise funds and awareness for the charity".
In Thursday night's rain, Altrincham FC held their annual team photo shoot, which had been delayed by the late receipt of the official Conference kit for the backroom staff. The official team photo was taken by Gavin Rathbone and this will appear soon. In the meantime, the above website photo shows the squad with the winner of the raffle for a place in the team photo, long-standing supporter, Isabel Riley.
The line up, above, is as follows:
"Lee Sinnott called for his Altrincham team to play to their strengths after a disappointing start to their home campaign in the Blue Square North on Tuesday night.
The Alty manager saw plenty to encourage him at Harrogate, as his side dominated and could count themselves desperately unlucky to lose 3-2. There could be no complaints about the outcome three days later, though, as Workington held out comfortably for a 1-1 draw.
Sinnott pulled no punches, as he said: ‘The two performances were like chalk and cheese. We should not have lost on Saturday after creating so many chances, but we have to address why we didn’t have anything like as many against Workington.
‘You can’t allow performances to fluctuate to that extent, because it is going to be reflected in results. I don’t want us taking unnecessary risks at the back, but, equally, we can’t keep resorting to long balls, like we did on Tuesday.
‘That’s not playing to the strengths of our forwards, aerial balls flying over their heads and sailing through to the keeper. I had words at half-time, because I wanted us to get the ball down and play, like we did at Harrogate.
‘I can see comparisons in some of the goals we’ve conceded, as well, and there are things that need to be eradicated. We’ve got to be hard to break down.’
Sinnott brushed aside an unconvincing Alty record against Saturday’s visitors Histon and backed Michael Twiss to continue a lively start to the season.
‘Michael has put in a couple of good shifts and already has a goal to his name,’ he said. ‘He has started well, though I felt sorry for the strikers against Workington, because they just didn’t get the same service as last Saturday.
‘I’ve got a report on Histon, which I’ll chew over. If we start classing them as a bogey team, we may as well not bother turning up. I don’t go in for things like that. I’m far more concerned about seeing us playing to our strengths again'".
And in the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, referring to the Harrogate game, Lee Sinnott said, "It was a bizarre game. A bit of first-day madness – that’s the way I’ve termed it. I’ll be surprised if we come across another game like that all season because we really should have won it. I thought we dominated from start to finish. There was so much good in the game but little things cost us. We had at least a dozen, maybe 15 chances, so we need to be putting away a higher percentage. But (keeper) Stuart Coburn didn’t have a great deal to do so we have to defend better at the key moments"...
"Certain questions were answered but certain questions were asked as well", Sinnott said. "For example, they answered the question of whether they can come from behind. Their reaction after half-time was excellent. But for their second goal we should have dealt with the cross better. We had two men challenging one for the ball, subsequently it misses all three and drops to the centre-forward that was left open. That needs addressing. Then we lost some concentration in the final minute. We were pushing for the winner and left ourselves one-on-one at the back, which led to a disputed penalty... I’ll be a happy man if we keep playing like that box to box, and obviously improve in both boxes.
There are lessons to be learned. The players were annoyed and frustrated to let it slip and that’s something that can be put right in the two home games".
"Ian Unsworth, who videoed our games last season, has put a proposal to the Club for filming games at home this season. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, we were unable to accept these proposals. However, if we could get sufficient fans to sign up to agreeing to buy a copy of each home fixture this season we may be able to look again at this situation. If we were to charge £5 per copy we would need 20 people to agree to purchasing the DVDs for the 21 home games.
Ian kindly volunteered to video last onight's game free of charge but we will need to make a decision re Saturday's game with Histon a.s.a.p.. Therefore if any fans (or exiles) would like to sign up to this scheme please email me or phone the club (0161 928-1045)".
Right: Brian Summerskill has been a used substitute in both Alty games, so far, this season. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone on whose GR Photography website are more images of Alty in action.
Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that, before Saturday's match, Alty's games with Histon have finished as follows:
The last meeting of the clubs at Moss Lane was on Tuesday, 15 February, 2011, when Alty lost 0-3.
Alty's line-up then included seven starters who are no longer at Moss Lane. 30. Craig DOOTSON, 5. Robbie WILLIAMS, 4. Marc JOSEPH, 22. Greg YOUNG, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 28. Sam WEDGBURY, 20. Sam HEWSON, 17. Wes BAYNES, 8. Damian REEVES, 9. Michael TWISS, 11. Nicky CLEE Subs: 1. Stuart COBURN, 19. Mark BEESLEY, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 15. Ryan BROWN
"Radio Robins is an internet radio station that has been set up, primarily, to provide a live match commentary service for Altrincham supporters. BBC Radio coverage is very limited, because Radio Manchester cover ten clubs who play in a higher league, ranging from Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League to Stockport County in the Blue Square Bet Conference. There is a local radio station that is planning to take to the airwaves at some point in the future. North Cheshire Radio will be based in Altrincham when it launches and they are very keen to work with us to provide match coverage and up to date news on Altrincham F.C. as we will be the main football club in its broadcast area.
Until North Cheshire Radio launches, Radio Robins will be the vehicle that we will use to provide match coverage.
The first game that we covered was the 2-1 victory at Moss Lane against Forest Green Rovers in March and not surprisingly, we faced a few early technological challenges. We believe that these have now been ironed out, as we haven’t experienced any technical difficulties in the last four broadcasts, which were the pre-season games against Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County and Saturday’s opening league game at Harrogate Town.
We have an objective to bring a full match commentary from all matches this season, although we need either an internet or mobile signal to broadcast and that isn’t available at every ground we visit.
Whilst the prime objective is always going to be to provide a service for supporters, we also want to raise revenue for the club and now seems an appropriate time to introduce sponsorship and donation opportunities.
Initially there are three ways to contribute to the Radio Robins service and by doing so support Altrincham Football Club as all profits will be given to the club.
This is a really good opportunity for a business to get its name and business message across in a regular and consistent way throughout the season. The price for season 2011/12 to be the main Radio Robins sponsor is £350.00.
In Saturday’s programme article, I’ll introduce you to the Radio Robins’ Commentary Team!!".
Darren Edmondson’s side controlled large parts of the game without dominating yet were left to reflect on one mistake which probably cost them a first win of the season.
Lee Andrews’ under-hit back pass to Aaran Taylor in the forty second minute was intercepted by Shaun Densmore who rounded the stranded Reds’ ‘keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. It was an equaliser that had looked unlikely with Reds heading towards the interval with a deserved lead.
They had gone in front on the half hour mark with a well worked goal from David McNiven. Phil McLuckie’s cross from the right had been flicked on by Gareth Arnison into McNiven’s path and he confidently side-footed into the far corner of the net with experienced Altrincham ‘keeper, Stuart Coburn, helpless.
The ‘Robins’ had gone close earlier in the game when Taylor first denied Damian Reeves with a strong one-handed save then blocked Chris Lynch’s angled shot at the expense of a corner. Other than that, Taylor wasn’t seriously tested but, in fairness, neither was Coburn.
Anthony Wright narrowly missed the target following a short free-kick routine, Arnison had a header easily saved followed by a weak shot which didn’t trouble Coburn while Kyle May headed another opportunity over the bar after meeting Mark Boyd’s corner.
Most of the chances in the second half fell to Edmo’s ‘sky blues’ but Anthony Wright’s shot cleared the bar after a penetrating run had got him into a decent position, Boyd went close with a free-kick and McNiven shot over the bar after anticipating Jonny Wright’s flick-on.
Altrincham had been lifted by that gift of a goal and were getting forward at every opportunity but couldn’t get beyond defensive colossus May who won headers and tackles all night. Andrews, too, was solid and the blunder didn’t effect his game.
Reds introduced offensive players Simon Tucker, Jake Simpson (with large family support in the stand) and Mark Sloan late in the game but they were unable to create that missing spark which might have led to a winning goal.
So, two solid performances to date with one point scant reward for their efforts".
There is a post match interview with Reds manager Darren Edmondson, in which he says, "First half we were on top by a mile".
Meanwhile, the Times & Star reports that "Workington Reds' boss refuses to blame defender for Altrincham goal. An error from Lee Andrews cost Workington Reds their first victory of the season after a poor back-pass gifted Altrincham an equaliser. The centre-half misjudged his ball to keeper Aaran Taylor, which allowed Shaun Densmore to intercept and fire the hosts level four minutes before half-time.
Despite the mistake, boss Darren Edmondson praised his defender for the way he composed himself after the break... Edmondson said, 'Lee was down at halt-time but showed a lot of spirit to play really well in the second half. Lee’s attitude is fantastic and no one blames him for the goal. It was a mistake but we move on together as a team. Lee is an integral part of our team and will help us win more games than we lose'...
Summer signing David McNiven had fired Workington into the lead midway through the opening half. The stocky striker pulled away from his marker at the back post to open his Borough Park account... Edmondson said his side deserved more than a point for their efforts. He added, 'We would have taken a draw before the game but as the game panned out we ended up being disappointed. We played some really good stuff and dominated'".
The paper adds that "Two important facets of Workington’s play were on display at Moss Lane last night... Their ability to play tidy, constructive football saw them shade an entertaining first-half, even though the scoreline indicated it had been an even contest. Then, for the second-half, it was Workington’s battling qualities, their committed response to a scrappier and less absorbing game, that saw them through to a share of the spoils...
[Manager] Edmondson said, 'Although we have only a point to show for our efforts I don’t think there’s much doubt that we should have had more. We could have won both games'...
It was a shock when Altrincham levelled five minutes before the break. A long ball over the top saw Lee Andrews first there, chasing back to deal with it, but he had Shaun Densmore breathing down his neck. When Andrews’s pass back to Taylor fell short it was Densmore who came steaming past to go on around Taylor and slot home from a narrow angle... There were few alarms for Workington, despite more possession for Altrincham as they started to dominate the midfield, and on the one occasion Taylor dropped a cross, the loose ball was safely dealt with by his defence. Workington, in fact, looked the side most likely to grab a winner in the closing 15 minutes, a good spell largely sparked by the arrival of Jake Simpson".
Alty's next opponents are also looking for their first win since relegation. The Cambridge News reports that "David Livermore was delighted with his team’s defensive qualities after the Stutes secured a 1-1 draw at highly fancied Boston United. The visitors made the perfect start to a tough fixture when Dan Holman latched on to Omer Riza’s pass and coolly slotted the ball home in the fourth minute. The hosts equalised before the break when Marc Newsham took advantage of some hesitant defending and, despite some intense pressure, especially in the second half, Histon held on for a deserved point.
'I’m very pleased with that result', said Livermore. 'It’s a good point against a decent side. It’s not an easy place to go to, so a draw against them is a fantastic result. We did really well'... Jorg Stadelmann came to the Stutes’ rescue on more than one occasion with some fine saves, and in the second half some resolute Histon defending successfully kept the home side out...
'The whole team played extremely well', added a delighted Livermore. 'We defended well, and I’m not just talking about the back four and the keeper, but everyone.. We’ve got two draws on the spin now, which is good. It will be nice to get our first win, but I can’t complain at the moment'.
From the other side, Boston United say that "United had numerous chances to win the contest — with visiting keeper Jorg Stadelmann saving superbly to deny Newsham and Kevin Holsgrove in the first half — but the Stutes defended resolutely... The Pilgrims suffered another injury blow when Lee Canoville was forced off with medial knee ligament damage. Jordan Fairclough deputised from the bench...
Histon (4-4-2): Jorg Stadelmann; Zac Mills, Dallas Moore, Danny Fitzsimons, Harri Hawkins (Ollie Cleaver 76); Matthew Breeze (Lewis Taaffe 64), Grant Roberts, Jim Stevenson, Daniel Sparkes; Dan Holman, Omer Riza (Jay Dowie 83). Subs (not used): Charlie Day, Calum Kitscha (gk)"
Northwich have spent two periods in administration during the last seven years. The first, in 2004, saw them deducted ten points whilst playing in the Blue Square Premier and, while the team managed to haul itself just above the relegation places, it was subsequently relegated after FA deadlines over the transfer of their Conference membership to the club’s new owners were not met. The club managed to get back into the BSP but it was put up for sale in 2007 and was purchased by a consortium led by Jim Rushe. The Victoria Stadium, however, remained under the ownership of the club’s previous owner, Mike Connett – who had, somewhat unsettlingly, frequently referred to the ground as his 'pension fund' – and his company Beaconet Ltd. In 2009, the club was forced to temporarily leave The Victoria Stadium and play its home matches at Altrincham’s Moss Lane, after Connett removed safety equipment from the stadium following Beaconet falling into receivership.
The club’s latest difficulties concern its protracted efforts to take ownership of The Victoria Stadium. The Northern Premier League had (according to its own press statement, which was released this morning), requested 'documentation relating to the club’s security of tenure at the Victoria Stadium' on two seperate occasions, at the end of July and for the start of this week but, when this was not forthcoming, were left with little option but to issue charges against the club and force the cancellation of this evening’s match. The club currently has a lease in place with the liquidators of the Beaconet business but what the exact terms of the lease are is far from certain. It seems that the league had been pressing to see paperwork in accordance with its own rules on this and have, having not had this paperwork produced after several deadlines were set, taken the decision to force the arm of Jim Rushe.
More confusing still was the presence of bailiffs at The Victoria Stadium last Friday, which several Northwich supporters reported as they attempted to collect season tickets for the start of the new season. The representatives may have been there on behalf of Connett to oversee the valuation of the ground, though what right he has to do this - specifically, at least, to have any influence over it – is not clear, but that this should be the situation at the club only adds to the sense that, yet again, something is wrong at Northwich Victoria FC".
Above: The Alty bench (left) leapt to their feet as Shaun Densmore, extreme right, guided the ball into Workington's net on Tuesday night.
After their generally impressive play at Harrogate last Saturday, Altrincham put in a disjointed performance against Workington...
Tuesday, 16 August
Right: Ryan Brown, Anthony Danylyk, Stuart Coburn and Robbie Lawton, prepare to defend a Workington corner.
Pierpoint was suspended on Saturday, though the FA had initially indicated he was available until Moors double checked on the morning of the game. It meant that when centre-back Will Richards limped out of action with an ankle injury Moors had no central defender back-up to come on and they lost their shape, but Bignot hopes youngster Richards will also be fit".
The Football Conference says that "Eastwood Town have signed experienced defender Gavin Caines. Caines left Forest Green Rovers earlier this summer after his contract expired. The 27-year-old spent just one season at the New Lawn, making forty-three appearances".
A poster on the Vics' forum explains that "The ground had to be purchased in time for the first game... This is why [Jim Rushe] was speaking to Witton with regard to a ground share as a Plan B... On Friday... the heavies came in and changed all the locks [to ensure] that we would not be playing tonight... The good news... is that Jim has completed the purchase of the stadium. The bad news is the EvoStik law which we have broken by not having the correct paperwork in place to hold a home fixture has penalties which could be a points deduction or expulsion from the league".
Simpson showcased his direct style of play during an 18 minute cameo in the cruel defeat to Boston on Saturday. Green’s calf is still causing problems after taking a kick just 15 minutes into his competitive debut and he left the field 20 minutes later.
Boss Darren Edmondson said he’s still considering a number of players to take over from Green, who he rated 50/50 to start. 'Jake showed why we brought him here', the 39-year-old gaffer added. 'He’s very direct with the way he plays and can scare defenders with his pace and skill. Jake’s a good footballer and would fit the bill if Stuart isn’t ready. No final decision will be made until we’re at Altrincham because we have other options to consider. David (McNiven) also did well. His hold-up play, especially in the second half, proved we have made a shrewd signing'...
Edmondson lined his side up playing 4-4-2 against Boston but hinted at a change for the 280-mile trip. He said, 'We have some tricks up our sleeves. With our squad now, we have the chance to mix it up if we want'... Captain David Hewson is still a couple of weeks away from a return following a rib injury he picked up during pre-season."
Brian Flynn writes, "Radio Robins will be providing full match commentary of Tuesday night's game against Workington. The commentators are Jonny Keen & Brian Flynn. Commentary begins at 7.35pm and you can listen to Radio Robins here".
As a consequence, there will not be live text updates during the game, here on the website. However, the Matchday update page will carry the line-ups, a half-time summary and the final score, with a full report following later on the Home Page.
The last meeting of the clubs was in the UniBond League Challenge Cup 2nd Round, a match played on Tuesday, 18 November, 2003 which ended 0-0 but which Altrincham won 3-1 on penalties after extra-time.
That night, Alty's line-up was 1. Stuart COBURN, 2. Steve ASPINALL, 3. Chris ADAMS, 4. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT, 6. Stephen LUNT, 7. Dave GARDNER, 8. Ian CRANEY, 9. Gary SCOTT, 10. Rod THORNLEY (capt.), 11. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH. Subs: 12. Kelvin LUGSDEN, 14. Michael REYNOLDS, 15. Kieran LUGSDEN.
Before the match, the Times & Star report that "Midfielder Stuart Green faces a race against time to be fit for Workington Reds' trip to Altrincham.
The 30-year-old midfielder was forced to retire just 35 minutes into his debut. Green took a kick to his calf during the 2-1 defeat to title favourites Boston [and] spent the rest of the match applying ice to the injured area.
The disappointed ace said he felt the knock after just 15 minutes but tried to run it off. He added, 'I will rest today [Monday] and hope I’ll be fit enough to start against Altrincham. It’ll be touch and go but I’ll be doing all I can to make sure I am on the bus'...
Green said, 'It was a cruel way to lose [a last-minute deflected goal]. If anyone was going to win this match it was going to be us. We were all over them for large parts and deserved more than to lose in those circumstances'...
Four of Edmondson’s summer recruits were given the chance to shine. Green was joined in the starting line-up by Tony Hopper, Dan Dillon and Mark Boyd. Former Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson was at Borough Park to see his son Jake make an 18 minute cameo after replacing Hopper late on."
The paper adds that against Boston "The sickening finish had the entire Reds team stood aghast with heads in hands as Boston celebrated an undeserved 2-1 win... Four summer signings started the curtain-raiser with Tony Hopper, Mark Boyd, Dan Dillon and man Stuart Green all given a chance to shine. In the heart of midfield, Dillon and Boyd looked strong and fitted into Darren Edmondson’s system well. Green’s flair was on show for all to see but the attacker was forced off after 35 minutes with a calf problem... Other recruits David McNiven, Simon Tucker and Jake Simpson began life at Borough Park on the bench...
Boyd’s leadership on the pitch could prove key for Workington this year... Boyd’s range of passing was also impressive as he sprayed the ball around the park with ease... Hopper, at right back, was beaten for pace on 15 minutes as Boston launched their first attack. The 35-year-old should be excused as this was his first competitive game in 13 months... Despite lacking the pace to keep up with quick wingers, Hopper’s impeccable positioning more than made up for it...
McNiven’s hold-up play was superb and his quick feet caused havoc in the Boston box... Star man: Mark Boyd’s vision, passing and creativity was impressive. A battling central player who will provide goals in abundance this year".
According to Northwich Victoria, "Unfortunately we have just been informed that tomorrow's home fixture against Kendal Town has been cancelled. The fixture has been cancelled by the Evostik League and we await a written statement as to the reasons behind this decision before making any further comment so as not to jeopardize the Club's legal position. We sincerely apologize to all our loyal supporters for any inconvenience caused and will update the website with any further developments as soon as they become available to us.
Instead of the game on Tuesday evening Andy Preece will hold an open training session. All fans are welcome to attend for free from 7pm. I will be at the stadium for the training sesson and will be available to answer any questions and to alleviate any fears fans may have".
Meanwhile, Kendal Town say that "Tomorrow night's game at Northwich Victoria has been postponed due to ongoing issues between Vics and the Evo-Stik League".
Bulls' News says that "In a Q&A on their website, Wrexham's Supporters' Trust say that the club will lose £1 million over the next 12 months. The Trust currently have £400,000 in the bank, pledges of £250,000 more, and aim to raise an additional £300,000".
From the BBC comes confirmation that "Boston United have re-signed striker Lawrie Dudfield, 31, for a third spell with the club. Dudfield has been drafted in after forwards Julian Joachim and Mikel Suarez were both injured in Saturday's season-opening 2-1 win at Workington... Boston joint-boss Jason Lee told BBC Lincolnshire, 'It's on a game by game basis but we've got injuries so we're pleased to get him on board'. Dudfield played 36 times for Boston in the Football League, scoring five goals and made a further six appearances in Blue Square Bet North last season, scoring once.
Lee added, 'He's got a lot of work commitments which is why he couldn't commit to us at the end of last season but he's doing us a favour. We know what we'll get from him so I don't see it as a big risk'".
The Holker Street Newsletter reports that "In a somewhat surprising move, Barrow AFC are considering doing away with ballboys and girls for this season on health and safety grounds. Tony Keen told the Mail, 'We haven't formally said anything yet. At this point we're just reviewing it. There are some health and safety concerns around having the ballboys but we'll formally make a decision when we've assessed what's going on. Because of the way our ground is built, with a wall around the pitch, all the kids sit against the wall and it has always been a concern in case they get hit in the face with a flying ball and then crack their head on the wall, or similarly if a player collides with them. It's not just the club, people have been showing concern for a period of time".
According to Non-League Pitchero, "Hinckley United have signed young defender Louis Horne. Horne was handed his first professional contract with Bradford City in July 2009. The Bradford-born youngster has been with the Bantams since joining the club's centre of excellence back in 1999. Horne regularly travelled with the first-team squad during the 2008/09 season to gain vital experience and was handed the number 31 squad number in the same campaign.
Horne, who is comfortable at centre back or left-back, was finally handed his first action in professional football on 2nd January 2010, when he came off the bench to feature against Cheltenham Town at Valley Parade. He had loan spells with Barrow, Fleetwood Town and FC Halifax Town before being released at the end of the 2010/11 season".
Above, Alty Youth receive a half-time talk from manager George Heslop whilst, in the background, coach Josh Collins massages the back of the injured Declan Barry.
Altrincham FC Youth got their league season off to a very impressive start with a fine 3-0 win over Chester FC Youth at the Robins' new home on Clay Lane, Timperley. Oliver Riley's two goals complemented Jack Martiny-Schofield's headed opener in a 3-0 win against a team which had recently beaten Tranmere Rovers' youth team. A match report and picture is in the youth section.
All three have been involved with the first team throughout pre-season, though Adam Reid has yet to appear in a first-team game. All three were in the youth team squad last season and are still eligible for the under-18 NW Youth Alliance league this season. Matt and Joe were in the Alty team which contested the Cheshire Senior Cup Final last season at Nantwich whilst Joe was also on the bench for Clitheroe on Saturday as Alty seek to give him more match experience in a competitive senior league.
Right: Goalkeeper Adam Reid and youth team captain, Matt Fearon.
[Former Altrincham winger] Holsgrove emerged as a prominent figure having a direct involvement in all three goals. He opened the scoring from the penalty spot, conceded the penalty which produced Reds’ deserved equaliser then hit the shot which secured an unexpected three points.
Darren Edmondson’s new look side began well and finished the stronger and, although they lost the impetus for a while after the interval, were never outplayed by a workmanlike United outfit... Joachim’s goal-bound shot in the forty-second minute was blocked by Kyle May but assistant referee, Justin Hayes, signalled for a penalty although it was more a case of ball to hand than vice versa. Holsgrove converted to give the visitors an interval lead.
It seemed to knock the stuffing out of Reds and they struggled to get going on the restart...
Workington – Taylor, Hopper (Simpson), Wright A, May, Andrews, Boyd, Green (McNiven), Dillon (Main), Wright J, Arnison, McLuckie. Substitutes – Tucker, Blake (not used)".
Vauxhall Motors: S Tynan, K Grocott (T Hanningan 74), L Davies, S Highdale (T Field 55 YC) , M Jackson, A Taylor, S Wheeler (L Nethercote 64), D Mannix, L McGivern, J Wilson, C Mahon. Subs: T Hanningan, J Bennet, J O'Connell".
Vauxhall Motors add that "Gloucester ruined new Motors manager Anthony Wright’s first league game in charge... In a fairly evenly fought encounter, it was Gloucester however, who looked the more creative and direct in the final third of the pitch and deserved the victory over the 90 minutes".
FC Halifax Town "have confirmed that young winger Scott Hogan has signed for Mossley on dual registration forms. Scott, who is the brother of Town centre half Liam Hogan, will get some valuable match action under his belt but the deal means Neil Aspin can call him up for first team duties should he require his services. Meanwhile Town have confirmed that Jack Dorney will not be staying with the Club. The former Bury frontman, who was top scorer at Chorley last season, has joined Woodley Sports".
In their 2-2 draw at Histon, whom Alty face next Saturday, Blyth Spartans report that "Spartans staged a dramatic second-half comeback... as they came from two behind... and Spartans almost produced a classic smash and grab at the Glass World Stadium when Coulson connected with a header in the final minute which glided just inches wide of the target...
The trickery of Blyth’s Chris Emms was causing the home side problems... In the away dugout, manager Steve Cuggy and his assistant Gavin Fell were beginning to see their side dominate proceedings as Shaun Vipond came close... An uncharacteristic mistake from Dan Groves led to Histon’s opening goal on 39 minutes when the full back gifted the ball to Sparkes on the edge of the area who provided Holman with the chance to fire past Max Johnson from 16 yards...
Breeze doubled Histon’s advantage against the run of play, with an emphatic finish from 20 yards. On 62 minutes Blyth halved the deficit when a Hooks corner to the back post was powered home by the head of Coulson. There was little respite for the Histon defence thereafter as Steve Cuggy’s side produced wave after wave of attack... Histon: Stadelmann, Mills, Hawkins, Salt, Moore, Fitzsimmons, Breeze (Roberts), Stevenson, Holman, Riza, Sparkes (Taffe)"
Match report here.
Harrogate Town report that "Harrogate Town had a fantastic start to the season, taking 3 points from Saturday's thrilling match at the CNG Stadium against a good Altrincham team.
The visitors, prompted by the tricky Nicky Clee, dominated the early exchanges and it took excellent blocks by Matt Bloomer and Mark Cook to prevent Town falling behind. However, Town took the lead with their first meaningful attack. Paul Brayson scored from the spot after Laurie Wilson had been brought down by Adam Flynn.
This signalled a period of Town dominance with Brayson and Jake Picton going close with headers. Brayson doubled Town's lead after 34 minutes with a real poacher's goal, when he slid in Michael Tait's cross at the far post.
After the break Alty battered the Town defence in an attempt to get back into the game and it was no surprise when Michael Twiss scored via a post from a Clee's pass. Town suffered a severe blow after 65 minutes when Tait was red carded after a foul on Clee.
Alty turned the screw and equalised with a good individual goal by Damian Reeves who wrong footed the Town defence before shooting home.
The Harrogate goal had a charmed life and Cook, Bloomer and sub Paul Heckingbottom made vital blocks as Town hung on.
To the surprise of the large crowd, Town grabbed a late winner with their second penalty of the game.
As the match entered added time, loan signing Callum Hassan was pulled back in the box by Adam Flynn, who was promptly sent off by referee Gary Beswick. Laurie Wilson blasted home the resulting penalty to give Town a hard fought win".
Simon Weaver's BBC Radio York post match interview gives the Harrogate boss's views.
The BBC adds that "Harrogate Town got their season off to a winning start by beating Altrincham 3-2 at the CNG Stadium... Manager Simon Weaver told BBC Radio York, 'It was last-ditch defending but we showed character to keep going. What a dramatic game. For long periods it was one-way traffic against us. It was pretty hard work but we scored three goals at the end of the day'...
Weaver continued, 'I think it will give us confidence. I think we can play a lot better than today. We've been up against it against a good Altrincham side. We always knew they'd play some good football and we did. Two lads were struggling with knocks second half and we had a man sent off. It was always going to be difficult. I'm buzzing over three points'">
Right: Michael Twiss and Damian Reeves scored a goal apiece at Harrogate but their efforts were not enough to save Alty from defeat. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone on whose GR Photography website are more images of Alty in action.
Boston United report on how they "Kicked off the new Blue Square Bet North campaign with a last-gasp 2-1 win at Workington on Saturday afternoon. Winger Kevin Holsgrove was United’s hero — converting the winner deep into stoppage time having initially handed the Pilgrims an interval lead. Holsgrove had briefly been cast into the role of villain when he conceded the penalty which allowed Workington to level on 71 minutes.
However, the script was written for United’s new talisman to fire home a deflected winner three minutes into added time... United’s cause was not aided by a sixth minute hamstring injury for Mikel Suarez — and his replacement Julian Joachim limped off towards the end too with a similar injury...
Workington (4-4-2): Aaron Taylor; Tony Hopper (Jake Simpson 73), Kyle May, Lee Andrews, Anthony Wright; Stuart Green (David McNiven 34), Mark Boyd, Dan Dillon (Adam Main 90), Phil McLuckie; Jonny Wright, Gareth Arnison. Subs (not used): Simon Tucker, Jonny Blake.
The Football Conference reports that "Hinckley United snapped up 22-year-old midfielder Keenan Meakin-Richards ahead of the new campaign. Meakin-Richards, who can play anywhere across the midfield and even upfront, is an extremely versatile player who was on the books at Southern Premier Halesowen Town last season. His former clubs include Walsall, Stafford Rangers, Bromsgrove Rovers, Chasetown and Highgate United".
The Nuneaton News says that "Dean Thomas, manager of BHinckley United, is confident his side will be better than last season... With their financial worries seemingly behind them, the Knitters made sweeping changes to their squad over the summer as they look to avoid a repeat of the struggles of 2010/11. They start the season with a trip to beaten play-off finalists Guiseley before hosting... Gainsborough on Monday night.
Thomas said, 'They are two tough games to start. Guiseley are a really good footballing team and Gainsborough will be expected to do a lot better than they did last season... I’ve been pleased with pre-season, particularly five clean sheets'...
Thomas has signed more than 10 players over the summer. They include the returns to the club of goalkeeper Dan Haystead and defender Paul Lister. Right-back Rob Oddy has joined from Nuneaton Town along with experienced former Stafford Rangers defender Craig McAughtrie. Striker David Kolodynski paid his own transfer fee, believed to be £1,000, to sign from Cambridge City and former Atherstone Town forward Stuart Hendrie signed after he was released by Morecambe".
Match report here.
Right: Alty celebrate Damian Reeves's goal.
Harrogate Town report that "Ahead of Saturday's big Blue Square Bet North kick off, Town manager Simon Weaver has been talking to the local media. He told the Advertiser:
'Yes, Altrincham will be a good side but I don't want my lads to fear anyone this season. We have a lot of new players in our squad and they are confident. I've been encouraged by the way they've gelled. Now we need to go out there and let them know we mean business. Stephen Turnbull hit the nail on the head the other day when he said sometimes we've got to go out and grind a result out. That's bang right and I think we've got a different mentality in the dressing room this season. You look down the fixture list and think hard, hard, hard. But it's all about belief and that feel good factor and I think we've got that'.
Speaking to BBC Radio York he said: 'I think there's been a break through in terms of understanding and fitness of the lads in the last 10 days. It's been a bit of an ugly process at times, but that's because we've worked them hard in training. They've perhaps been heavy-legged in games, especially the games against Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Gateshead. They're full-time teams. Thrown in with a couple of toughy games against Spennymoor and local rivals Harrogate Railway, we've had a hard pre-season.
But, that's the best way to get fit really, especially against the full-time teams, where you compete well for an hour and, then, in the last half hour, you're really digging in. The last 10 days have seen the lads get closer together as a bunch. I think a night out helped them as well. I think there's a better understanding, there's banter flying around the changing room and they're up for it.
We want to improve on last season... it's a gradual process. I think we're capable of doing that. It's a tough first six fixtures on paper, as tough as you're going to get at this level. But, we think because we competed well against the likes of Darlington and Gateshead in pre-season that we're more than capable of doing that.
[Altrincham] will probably be stronger [than last season] because they've got eight new additions and they've got the experience of Lee Sinnott the manager there. He's got a good track level at this level, he took Farsley up. They've got some great quality players. I think it's a great match for us to start with. We're at home, we've got new signings wanting to make a great new impression and we're playing against one of the bookies' favourites. It's a challenge... if we can hit the ground running, it will be exciting for us.
It's of vital importance that we go for it in the first 20 minutes, we shut the door at the back, we make sure the security is right there and that it gives us a base to go play. Maybe it has to be territorial at first, don't mess about at the back and be quite direct in the early part'.
Talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post he added, 'I am pretty pleased with the way transfer business has been done over the summer and hopefully we will be a stronger team. You can see it is gelling in the changing room. We have a good mix, they all like to win and when they don't they are frustrated which is a good sign because it shows they care and I think that was missing on occasions last season away from home'".
As a consequence, there will be no live Matchday text updates here on the website.
The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that "Harrogate have been busy in the close-season, with boss Simon Weaver declaring himself happy with the activity. Town have signed former Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley defender Paul Heckingbottom and ex-York centre-half Danny Stimpson. Full-backs Craig Radcliffe and Greg Wright make the step up from the Evo-Stik League and goalkeeper Chris Elliott – on loan at the CNG Stadium last season – returns after being released by Bradford City.
Midfielders Michael Tait and Stephen Turnbull arrive from Blyth Spartans along with striker Paul Brayson. Ex-Northwhich and Halifax striker Jonny Allan joins from Gateshead and midfielder Laurie Wilson and Ian Ross switch from Alfreton Town.
But Harrogate have lost defender Dominic Roma, to league rivals Gainsborough, while Graeme Armstrong has joined Blyth.
Weaver said, 'I am pretty pleased with the way transfer business has been done over the summer and hopefully we will be a stronger team. You can see it is gelling in the changing room. We have a good mix, they all like to win and when they don’t they are frustrated which is a good sign because it shows they care and I think that was missing on occasions last season away from home... We have got to hit the ground running and we will take it from there'.
Town finished 12th last season after losing just three of their final 15 games. Weaver would settle for a similar start this time round – though they have a tough test first up. Relegated Altrincham – now managed by Lee Sinnott who got Farsley Celtic promoted to the Conference in 2007 before their subsequent demise – visit Wetherby Road.
'They are quite rightly joint-favourites with Halifax for the league', said Weaver. 'They have a fresh squad and Lee Sinnott has a lot of experience as a manager. Personally, I think it will be a cracking game to kick off with. We are playing the favourites so there is less pressure, we are in front of our own support on our own ground and we can go out all guns blazing'”.
MEET THE NEW RECRUITSGrahame Rowley advises that "Altrincham FC will be holding a "Meet the New Recruits" hot pot supper night on Saturday, 10th September, following the game against Worcester City. Paul Jones, Adam Flynn and Simon Richman have agreed to grace the Top Table along with manager Lee Sinnott. Tickets for the evening will cost £15. Please contact Karen Rowley in the office (0161 928-1045) or by e-mail to reserve your place.
From the Yorkshire Evening Post, we learn that "Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick admits he is still feeling the pain from the injury-time strike which ended his Conference dreams in May – and it will spur him on to go one step beyond this time round.
Guiseley looked set to join the non-league elite for the first time in their history when they led AFC Telford 2-1 in their own backyard in last season’s Blue Square Bet North play-off final, but two goals in the last 11 minutes, the second in stoppage-time, broke the Lions’ hearts...
'What happened in the play-off final is definitely going to spur me on', Kittrick told the Yorkshire Evening Post. 'Last Thursday I had to spend the day at Telford for the Conference annual meeting. If not one, five or six managers came up to me and said we just missed out – and it still sticks in the throat. We know we played really well, it keeps coming back and it was hard to swallow, having to go back there. Hopefully we won’t be in that position in May – we’ll have gone one step better and be promoted'.
Kittrick is confident the Lions will be better equipped for a tilt at promotion this season after a busy summer at Nethermoor. Warren Peyton (Droylsden), Darryn Stamp (Gainsborough), Ryan Toulson, Liam Needham (both Halifax) and Luke Sharry (Worksop) have all left the club along with striker James Walshaw, who has signed a two-year deal with Conference outfit Darlington. But boosting the attack are proven former Stalybridge Celtic and Harrogate Town striker Lee Ellington and promising recruits Gavin Allott (Goole) and Alex Davidson (North Ferriby).
Davidson’s brother Peter, a midfielder, also arrives from Ferriby, while James Bucker has been released by Leeds United and Ciaran Toner is another recruit from Harrogate. Other signings are back-up goalkeeper Jacob Giles, who spent last season at Leeds Carnegie, ex-Carlisle and Newport County man Michael Burns and Jamie Clarke (Gainsborough).
'We have got more strength in depth this season', said Kittrick. 'We are trying a couple of untried unknowns in the Davidsons and Gavin Allott, but Gavin was the top scorer at Goole for the last two years and Alex Davidson has got 30 plus goals in his last two seasons at Ferriby. They deserve a chance at this level, that’s how I picked Wally (James Walshaw) up – I gave him his chance and he obviously scored a lot of goals for us.
It’s also going to be a big season for Lee Ellington [another ex-Alty man]. By his own admission he had a poor year last year but I think he’s been his club’s top-scorer in seven out of 10 seasons at this level. He has a lot to prove to himself and other people who have written him off'.
The Times & Star reports that "Living in the shadows of a famous parent can be daunting, but Jake Simpson is determined to make his own way in the cut-throat world of football, starting with success at Workington Reds. The son of former Carlisle United player-manager Paul, who led the Cumbrians to back-to-back promotions between 2004 and 2006, knows he has big boots to fill but is confident in his ability.
He said, 'My dad has been a massive help. He’s taken me to Shrewsbury and Stockport, which shows his faith in me. I have never let him down and learning from him has taught me that football is not just the things to see and read. You have to work hard to make it and I know I can be a success'...
In fact, it was Simpson senior who manufactured the move to Workington after calling Darren Edmondson. The Borough Park boss had already inquired about the 20-year-old following his release from Stockport but a trial at Darlington had been arranged... Jake said, 'I went to Darlington to try my luck. I knew Workington were interested but I put that on the back-burner. Once Darlington had made up their minds I had to come here. I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve been made to feel very welcome by everyone at the club.
The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic. Of course I was disappointed to be let go by Stockport. I played 20 games up to Christmas in League Two but everything at the club changed. Now I’m excited about helping Workington. The squad is strong and competition for places is good'.
A direct player, Simpson’s creativity could be key for the Borough Park club this year. He said, 'I’ve always scored goals but that dried up until I came here. I’ve scored twice in pre-season and hope to continue that into the new season. My game is all about speed and making sure the strikers get the service they need to put away chances'".
Meanwhile, "Veteran striker David McNiven makes it seven of the best for Workington Reds as the pre-season spending spree comes to an end. The 33-year-old hitman agreed a deal last night... Journeyman McNiven has done the rounds during his career, playing for 17 sides, and is seen as the last piece of the jigsaw by boss Darren Edmondson... He joins Jonny Wright, Gareth Arnison, Simon Tucker and Andy Murray-Jones fighting for a starting place in attack".
"Fans could watch Workington Reds for free if the club received half of the cash offered to Premier League clubs, according to director Alec Graham. England’s top sides receive around £45million in TV revenue while the Football Conference handed the Borough Park side just £8,000. Graham described running a tier six club as a thankless task and said Workington’s travel bill makes up 10 per cent of the overall turnover.
He added, 'We are unfortunate to be playing at the most expensive level of the game. We are supposed to be in the top regional league but with trips to Corby, Boston and Bishop’s Stortford, we are playing in a national division. We get precious little in terms of sponsorship money. If we received even half the money the Premier League clubs receive I suspect people could watch the Reds for nothing'".
Nine new signings are reported by Hyde, two of them ex-Alty men. "Hyde FC are pleased to announce the second and final wave of new signings for the upcoming season which begins tomorrow. They are as follows:
And there are more signings, too, at Droylsden where "Two more signings took place last night; Sean Lake, goalkeeper and Danny Rowe. Danny has signed on a six month loan from Fleetwood".
From the Football Conference we learn that "Stamford have taken a second player on loan from Corby Town after agreeing to a deal to sign Tom Land on a temporary basis. The arrangement is on the same terms as the one Gregg Smith agreed earlier in the week and will see the young defender join initially on a month's loan, with the club having the option to recall him within 24 hours, if required.
Corby have also confirmed that goalkeeper Will Jones has signed for the Steelmen to strengthen Graham Drury's goalkeeping options. On explaining the two moves, Drury said, 'Will is a good prospect, he knows the division well from his time at Stalybridge Celtic and will compete for the number one jersey with Chris Mackenzie'".
"Dwight Gayle, the son of former Bishop's Stortford favourite Devon Gayle has signed on a season long loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge. The 21 year old 5'8" striker scored 57 goals for Stansted FC last season. Dwight was originally on the books at Arsenal early in his caree. Agile and strong, he is sure to bag some goals for the Blues".
Elsewhere, "Tyler Weir has returned to Gloucester City... The Gloucester-born 20-year-old was a massive hit with the Tigers faithful during a successful loan stint from Hereford United at the end of last season. On the fringes of the first-team picture at Edgar Street this term, Weir's hopes have been hit by the Football League's decision to cut the number of available substitutes to five...
With Jack Harris still tentatively making a return from his horrific broken leg, Weir is set to give boss Dave Mehew increased options across his back four... Mehew said, 'He gives me three options as he could slot in at left-back, centre midfield or on the right wing. I haven't decided where he will play yet, but the good thing is that he will keep a number of my players guessing about whether they're starting – and that's a good thing'", reports This is Glos.
The manager of Solihull Moors has been banned as the FA confirms that "Birmingham City Ladies' Football Consultant Marcus Bignot has been fined and given a two-match touchline ban. The charge relates to an incident during an FA WSL match against Lincoln Ladies on Sunday 31 July 2011. Having denied the charge, Bignot was fined £375 and given a two-match touchline ban with immediate effect".
Another face on the sidelines at the Moors is the subject of a Birmingham Mail report that "Dangerman Ryan Beswick will be forced to sit out the opening month of Solihull Moors’ new campaign. Beswick, who was Moors’ top scorer with 15 goals, has been told to rest after concerns about a stress fracture to his shin. Beswick is likely to be sidelined for a month, though manager Marcus Bignot says the front-runner, who is on crutches, will not be rushed back.
'It could have been worse because Ryan was complaining about shin splints and it could have become a stress fracture', said Bignot... Bignot, who replaced Micky Moore as boss in the summer, will make his managerial debut tomorrow when Moors visit Brian Little’s Gainsborough. Moors will also be without summer signing Danny Spencer, who is away, and Dominic Langdon, who is with Team GB at the World University Games".
The Solihull Moors "have secured a sponsorship deal worth more than £100,000 over three years. The borough’s biggest football club announced the three year deal with brewers Molson Coors on Wednesday, the brewing giant also allowing another company to take on shirt sponsorship.
Marston Green firm Oak Property Developments will feature on the front of the club’s home kit - a deal worth around £15,000. Cancer Research UK will be the main shirt sponsor on their new pink away shirt, in memory of former Moors' manager Bob Faulkner who passed away last season from prostate cancer. The Troop Aid charity will feature on the home shorts.
Moors commercial manager Tony Harris said, 'Because of Coors generosity we have been able to support two charities. In support of Troop Aid we can offer free tickets to returning soldiers. The sponsorship deals also bring much needed funds into the club... We look at ourselves as the biggest club in Solihull and the third biggest in Birmingham'".
EatSleepsSport reports that "Derby have allowed teenage goalkeeper James Severn to join Eastwood Town on loan until January. The 19-year-old signed professional terms at Pride Park last summer and has made only one senior appearance, replacing Stephen Bywater from the bench against Hull in February".
Alty travel to Vauxhall Motors in 10 days' time. The Motormen's squad for this Saturday is "Scott Tynan, Josh O’Connell, Andy Taylor, Lee Dames, Michael Jackson, Tom Hannigan, Alan Griffiths, Kevin Grocott, Craig Mahon, Paul Wheeler, Dave Mannix, Sean Highdale, John Bennett, Tom Grice, Tom Field, Liam Nethercote, Leighton McGivern, Josh Wilson, Anthony Wright"
Admission prices at Rivacre Park are as follows; "Adults-£9, Concessions-£6, Students-£3, Under-16s-£1".
The Football Trade Directory says that Kettering Town have doubled their season-ticket sales following a move to Rushden & Diamonds' Nene Park stadium. Despite initial opposition from fans, the club went ahead with plans to take over the ground from Rushden & Diamonds who went into administration at the end of last season. The club play their first home game of the season away from their old Rockingham Road stadium on Saturday when they face Newport County.
Chairman Imraan Ladak said, 'Last year we sold 500 season tickets and now we're at around 1,000. Initially our supporters were against the move - but that's changed because we've been really honest with them. 'We've explained the situation at Rockingham Road and they've realised there's no option. Once the decision to move had been made there were still fans who weren't happy. But now we're looking at way over 95% of them coming with us'".
As the new season starts the BBC is on the ball - on its Live Commentary page, as of Friday night, it lists the BSB Premier for this season as comprising... "AFC Wimbledon, Altrincham, Barrow, Bath City, Cambridge, Crawley, Darlington, Eastbourne, Fleetwood, Forest Green, Gateshead, Grimsby, Hayes & Yeading, Histon, Kettering, Kidderminster, Luton, Mansfield, Newport County, Rushden & D, Southport, Tamworth, Wrexham, York". That list includes six teams not actually in that division and, presumably, by "Cambridge" they mean United and not City.
Joining on a month’s loan is Hartlepool United striker Callum Hassan. Hassan, 18, is a big, powerful player who will add a lot of presence to the Town front line. Despite not making a competitive start for Hartlepool yet, Hassan has already found the net three times during pre-season matches".
Astley has featured throughout Alty's pre-season, in which his two-goal appearance at Trafford was a standout feature. He had previously encountered Alty boss Lee Sinnott at Leeds United's academy. He will be included in Alty's squad for tomorrow's match at Harrogate Town.
"Radio Robins is looking for an individual to help provide technical support for the service.
When we looked into ways in which we could improve matchday coverage for Altrincham supporters, it was a chap called Paul Burton who came up with the idea of setting up an internet radio station. Paul has been instrumental in launching Radio Robins and provides outstanding technical support during games that Radio Robins covers.
He is happy to continue to provide support but we have no back up, if he is not available, when we are broadcasting. We have six commentators in our team, so providing commentary for each match is relatively straightforward but, if Paul is not available, then we have to hope that everything works to produce a broadcast. It would be really helpful if we had one, or possibly two, more people to provide technical support and, then, we could be very confident that someone would always be monitoring the broadcast output at each game and solving technical issues when they occur.
We are looking for someone:-
This role would be ideal for an Alty exile as the role needs to be done remotely. If you are interested in helping us out and sharing the role of Radio Robins Techmeister with Paul, please contact Brian Flynn by E-mail or by mobile (07860 561011)".
Meanwhile, PItchero Non-League tells us that "Garry Flitcroft, manager of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division newcomers Chorley, has added goalkeeper Russ Saunders to his squad."
And Welsh Premier says that "Targeted by Newtown, experienced defender Dave Swanick (left) has instead signed for Aberystwyth Town. The 32-year-old made 10 appearances for the Robins last term and new manager Bernard McNally had been in talks with the defender, who was also considering a return to Connah's Quay. Swanick joined the Nomads during the summer of 2006 and made 26 Welsh Premier starts for the Deeside outfit, before spending nearly three years at Bangor City. He has previously played for Morecambe, Altrincham and the Stockport-based Woodley Sports".
The Football Conference broadcasters are pleased to announce that the fixture is Forest Green Rovers vs Stockport County and will played on Friday 12th August with the programme commencing at 7.15pm, and the kick-off at 7.45pm. Gary Brabin, the Luton Town manager, will be guest of presenters Steve Bower and Ian Snodin.
Premier Sports are scheduled to screen 30 matches live this coming season and the monthly subscription to the channel is £6.99 and can be booked by following the details on Channel 433 or via Premier Sports website".
Blue Square North says that "Bishop's Stortford manager Ian Walker is refusing to hit the panic button with his side’s first ever campaign in Blue Square Bet North just two days away. Bishop’s Stortford have endured a miserable pre-season programme, losing four matches and conceding 16 goals while scoring just four. The BSFC board say survival is the key but are hopeful the club can aim for mid-table and then start to look at the play-offs...
Walker said, 'It’s great to win in pre-season but I have had pre seasons where you win and then lose the first three or vice versa....
Operations and commercial director John Turner said, 'We want the club to finish mid-table and are looking to the play-offs. We are not looking for the bottom half otherwise we would have accepted relegation to Step three [in June]'. Meanwhile, Walker is praying fervently that Dwight Gayle might be the answer to his goalscoring headache... They cannot rely on the likes of midfielders Reece Prestedge and Scott Shulton to take up the slack.
Gayle, who has been training with npower League Two club Dagenham & Redbridge, is wanted by Walker after impressing with his performance in the Blues’ 4-1 home defeat to Cambridge United in the friendly five days ago'" reports the Herts & Essex Observer.
Meanwhile, Bishop's Stortford confirm that "The following players are all registered with the club for the coming season. There will probably be a few additions in time for our first game against Colwyn Bay. Phil Anderson, Michael Bakare, Blue Braithwaite, Craig Calver, Junior Dadson, Nicky Eyre, Mo Habu, Mitch Hah, Reece Prestedge, Max Lette Jallow, Ritchie Jones, Masoud Olafunmishe, Alex Read, Les Thompson".
According to the Football Conference "Bishop`s Stortford have signed Gillingham youngsters Dean Rance and Connor Essam on one month loans. Defender Essam and midfielder Rance are both graduates of the Gills' centre of excellence and the move will mark both players second spells with the Hertfordshire side.
Essam spent a hugely successful month at Woodside Park in January last season. That loan was sadly cut short by an ankle injury but he returned to end 2010/11 with another promising stint at then rival outfit Dover Athletic. By contrast the combative Rance spent much of last season on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his foot in pre-season. He returned to action in March and saw out the 2010/11 campaign on loan with Stortford...
Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler believes it is important they play first-team football. 'We've got no reserve team this season so I think it would be good for them to go and play football in a competitive environment'".
Meanwhile, "Barrow's Holker Street stadium is to be renamed Furness Building Society stadium under a sponsorship deal agreed for the start of the new season. It will be the first time Holker Street has been formally named since it became the home of Barrow AFC in 1909... Sponsorship of the stadium is the latest in a long relationship between the Furness and Barrow AFC which includes the Barrow AFC Affinity Account operated by the Society. Under the arrangements... the Society makes an annual payment to the club from its own funds based on a percentage of the average total balance in all of the Barrow AFC affinity accounts, while savers receive interest on their money in the instant access accounts".
Likewise, Blue Square North reports that "Colwyn Bay FC have unveiled a new five-figure sponsorship deal which will see their ground renamed and also benefit armed forces charities. Red Lion Foods, launched last October, donate all their post-tax profits to forces charities such as Help For Heroes, the British Legion, SSAFA (soldiers, seamen airman and families association), SOS (Support Our Soldiers), the Forces Select Foundation and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
By the end of March this year over £350,000 had been given to the charities, with £100,000 to Help For Heroes, and the company aims to eventually give away £30 million a year. As part of the two-year deal, Colwyn Bay's Llanelian Road ground will be renamed the 'Red Lion Foods Stadium at Llanelian Road", and all serving members of Her Majesty's armed forces will be allowed free admission to games on production of their warrant card.
Colwyn Bay have been chosen ahead of other Blue Square Bet Conference clubs to help promote the Red Lion Foods products, which are on sale at leading supermarkets. That is thanks mainly to non-executive chairman David Messom being a Bay supporter. 'I have followed the Bay for over six years and was previously with the Co-op group, helping in the deal that saw them become the club's main sponsors', said Rochdale-based Mr Messom. 'I am delighted to continue that association by getting my new company involved with an ambitious and progressive football club that has just won two successive promotions'".
The North Wales Weekly News confirms that "Colwyn Bay have completed the signing of 21-year-old central midfielder John McKenna ahead of Saturday's opening league game at Bishop's Stortford - but may have lost the services of defender Joe McMahon. McKenna, who played in Europe with The New Saints before moving to Newtown, has been training with Telford of the Blue Square Bet Premier during pre-season. He was only likely to be used as back-up, however, and has joined Colwyn Bay on a gentleman's agreement while Telford continue to monitor his progress.
'We will probably use him to strengthen central midfield, but he can also play at centre back if needed', commented manager Dave Challinor... 'Joe wanted a guaranteed place in the team every week and I can't do that for him or anyone else in the squad', explained the manager. 'I have been concerned about our lack of pace at the back now that we are in a higher level of football. I told Joe he would need to fight for his place like everybody else. He has not been in touch or attended training since, so it is up to him now'.
Danny Grannon flies into Heathrow from an extended break in the Far East on Saturday and is due to travel back with the team from Bishop's Stortford. 'Danny hasn't signed yet with being away so long and we'll see what the situation is when he joins up with us on Saturday', added the manager. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Chris Sanna has suffered a setback with his knee injury and may not be ready to play on Saturday. Simon Williams, also ex-TNS, has been signed as reserve keeper and is in line for his league debut at Bishop's Stortford".
The Football Conference's Board Director, Colin Peake, has announced that "It is with great regret that due to information received from West Mercia Police, the Football Conference and both AFC Telford United and Luton Town have had to accede to their request to postpone the fixture between the two clubs scheduled for Saturday 13th August @ 7.45pm. A re-arranged date for this fixture will be discussed and announced as soon as possible... We apologise for matters outside of our control and sincerely hope this is the only disruption to the competition programme, due to recent events of unrest which is causing a drain on police resources".
From Stalybridge Celtic comes news of "the signing of defender Chris Lynch and midfielder Grant Darley. Central defender Lynch (20) arrives at the Fold having been released by Burnley, and he has also played for Chester City. Midfielder Darley (21) joins Jim Harvey's squad after being released by Rotherham United. He has Blue Square North experience, having spent a loan spell with Boston United. Keeper Jan Budtz completes the squad, putting pen to paper to confirm his return to Bower Fold for season 2011-12".
Some news from Worcester City is that "Saint George's Lane was recently the subject of its annual inspection by the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). Representatives of the council, police, fire service and other bodies were in attendance to ensure that the ground fulfils various statutory requirements with regard to its safety.
Discussions were also held regarding structural reports from previous annual inspections. The ground was passed as fit for use although there were a few conditions attached. These conditions must either be satisfied for when a re-inspection is carried out in October or the club must provide evidence from a structural engineer that public safety is not compromised by any of them.
Some of the work has already been carried and a number of seats in the stand have also been repaired. City director Colin Layland also paid tribute to the work of Tony Beckley. Tony has recently been employed by the club as a part-time cleaner and has enthusiastically taken to his role with a result that much of the work for which volunteer working parties have previously been called upon has already been done.
Another job that does need doing is the re-setting of about eight layers of brickwork by the turnstiles".
From Blyth Spartans we learn that "they won’t be offering terms to Yanis Galas for the upcoming season. The 25-year-old has been training with the Spartans all pre-season and has been involved in the majority of the pre-season games so far. Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'I’ve spoken to Yanis and explained that I think he needs play some football at a lower level until he adapts to the English game... I’ll be ringing around to see if I can help to find him a good Northern League side for this season'".
The British football squad for the World University Games in Shenzhen, China, includes a few players from BSB North, who will miss the start of the English season:
Alty boss Sinnott insists his players are ready for the challenge after an encouraging pre-season programme that has included notable wins over Tranmere and Barrow. The same can be said of supporters, following estimates that up to 200 will converge on Harrogate Town’s Wetherby Road ground on Saturday, complete with a colourful array of banners and scarves.
Sinnott underlined his determination to hit the ground running, despite a disappointing first-half performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Stockport, saying: ‘I feel we are prepared for the new season, and we are certainly looking forward to it.
‘We weren’t at the races for the first 45 minutes against Stockport. We didn’t play as well as we can, but, overall, the pre-season has been very positive. I wouldn’t call the Stockport game a reality check, as much as a reminder that there is going to be a lot of hard work ahead of us.
‘There have been plenty of positives, in the way the players have knitted together, shown real adaptability and produced some genuine quality in their play. There are still aspects that can be improved, though, and we will work on those.
‘It showed against Stockport that we need to be a bit more decisive in the final third. I’m not saying we should have won, but we certainly should have scored. We could have been a bit more aggressive in that part of the pitch.
‘There can be no guarantees, but we are in a positive frame of mind and we are aiming to be successful. There’s no point making wild predictions, but I have told the players that if they perform to their potential and show the commitment required, they can achieve their aims. We are ready to give it our best shot.’
Sinnott is hoping Nicky Clee and recent signing Simon Richman are passed fit".
And the Alty boss has also spoken to the Sale & Altrincham Advertiser, where he spoke of the game against Stockport County.
"We didn’t make any serious tackle until 25 minutes, we were off the pace collectively and it took us too long to get a foothold in the game... It’s just a little reminder that there’s a lot of work for the players to do. It doesn’t set alarm bells ringing at all because of the way they’ve worked hard and performed previously in pre-season".
The Advertiser writes that "Sinnott chose to rest the likes of Stuart Coburn (groin), Chris Lynch (neck), Simon Richman (ankle) and Nicky Clee (ankle) against Stockport. All are expected to be fit for the trip to Harrogate, though, while Brian Summerskill is back after being unavailable. The Robins have little history with Harrogate, as with many of their opponents this season, so Sinnott has made sure they have been scouted in pre-season.
'We’ve got a report on them', he said. 'So we’ll know what they’ll be about'. Alty have been installed as second favourites for the Blue Square Bet North title behind Halifax...
He added, 'We’re up there with the so-called favourites but that doesn’t wash with me at all. But we want to be successful and I believe that if the players play to their potential and are strong mentally, they can achieve those goals'".
The most recent opening day home match was in 2008 when Town beat Vauxhall Motors... Town have previously played Altrincham on the opening day of a season, on 17 August 2002 we were 4-0 winner at Moss Lane. Robbie Whellans (2), Dave Merris and Dave Donaldson were the scorers".
Harrogate will also be looking to continue another sequence; they have never lost to Altrincham at Wetherby Road.
Stockport County also report that their "Principal sponsor GT Law is offering fans an exclusive 'no win, no fee' deal for the Ebbsfleet United fixture later this month. Any fan - home or away - who buys a ticket for the game in advance will get a refund, if Stockport County lose. The offer also applies to season ticket holders but they must attend the game which takes place on Saturday, 20 August.
It's the idea of County director Tony Evans who approached GT Law after the company signed a two-year sponsorship deal. GT Law director Gordon Tucker said, 'As one of the leading law firms in the UK specialising in personal injury, we already offer our clients a no win no fee service. This seems a good opportunity to extend that offer to all fans who come to the Ebbsfleet United game'.
Stockport County's manager Didi Hamann said, 'It's hoped people who don't normally come to the game will take GT Law up on its offer and we get a packed Edgeley Park to cheer on the team. Of course, the team will be doing everything it can to make sure there are no refunds'. Stockport County director Tony Evans said, 'This is our first Saturday home game of the season. Many fans feel they have been let down in the past. This is an opportunity for all fans to come and get behind the team. We have the utmost respect for Ebbsfleet United and what their fans have done for the Club. They just happen to be the first team this season we are playing on a Saturday and therefore qualify for the offer'.
GT Law opened its first retail outlet last month and is planning to open more than 20 across the UK with stores in Wigan, Birkenhead, Sheffield and Merseyside being launched in the next few months. To buy your tickets for the game call the ticket office on 0845 6885799... In the event that SCFC lose the fixture against Ebbsfleet on the 20th August 2011, refunds will be paid by cheque within 28 days by GT Law".
a href="http://www.gloucestercityafc.com/?p=1354">Gloucester City say that "We are delighted to announce that Adam Mann has signed 2 year contract today. This was reward for his excellent start to his career since his debut last season. Manager Dave Mehew said, 'Special praise needs to go to Ken Blackburn, Ben Symons and Warren Evans for nurturing him at the beginning of last season before his call up to first team squad so that when he got his chance he took his chance with both hands'".
According to the Football Conference "Four more players signed on the dotted line for Histon. Jay Dowie has signed his first contract after graduating through the scholarship programme. Dowie seized his first-team chance in March and made six appearances in total last season - including three starts - and is able to operate on the right side of defence or in midfield.
Matt Breeze has joined the club on a season-long youth loan from Peterborough United... Grant Roberts will be another name familiar to supporters as the central midfielder has been involved in a number of pre-season games. Roberts was on Leeds United and Sheffield United’s books in his earlier days and spent last season with new league rivals Guiseley.
The Stutes' fourth signing is Dallas Moore, an American centre-half, who played at Halesowen Town and St Neots Town last season having previously been a scholar with Grimsby Town.
Commenting on the signings, manager David Livermore said, 'I’m delighted to bring another four players to the squad and they will add some much needed depth. I’m particularly pleased for Jay as he has worked exceptionally hard for his contract. He could have lost heart last year when Jim, Lewis and Zak signed but he has shown great character and desire and has proved his worth to the team. It’s great to have yet another scholar sign a contract at the club. Matt is an exciting player with a lot of quality on the ball and I know Peterborough rate him highly. Dallas trained with us last season and I offered him the chance to come back for pre-season which I’m glad he accepted. He’s a no nonsense defender that does the basics well and will add competition for places in the starting eleven. Grant has been with us all pre-season and has a good background from his time at Leeds and Sheffield United. He is extremely fit and can get box to box as well as being happy out wide'".
Meanwhile, "Boston United have completed the signing of midfielder Adam Millson, while goalkeeper Ricky Drury, midfielder Harry Deane and winger Liam Ogden have also penned first-team forms".
A well-known name has arrived at the Northolme, where Gainsborough Trinity "announce that Daryl Clare has agreed to come to Gainsborough Trinity on an initial one-month loan deal from Cambridge United. Club Chairman Peter Swann said, 'with Leon Mettam out for a couple of weeks, we felt it was important we had to cover at the start of the season and he will also be a terrific addition to the squad'".
Out of Droylsden comes a long list of "New signings for the season:
They join a squad comprising the following names, which include some other summer arrivals, not least ex-Alty men Dale Johnson and Warren Peyton, as well as Carlos Logan who joined the Bloods last Spring.
Right: Warren Peyton in his Alty days.
The Nuneaton News tells us that "Nuneaton Town have finally agreed a new deal with Robbie Burns — but they will not be able to pursue their interest in veteran defender Craig Hinton. Attacking midfielder Burns will join left-back Aaron James in the Boro squad after he also shook hands on the terms offered to him. However, manager Kevin Wilkin admits his budget will not stretch to bringing in former Bristol Rovers and Kidderminster Harriers centre-half Hinton — especially as he already has Gaz Dean, Mark Albrighton and Guy Hadland in that department.
He said, 'We can’t keep Craig on board. You can never have too many good players and Craig is certainly that. You don’t spend 17 years as a professional without having something about you. However, we haven’t got the resources available to sign him though. We’ve got three good players in that position, as it stands, as well'.
Burns has spent most of the summer negotiating a new deal and now Wilkin says it is time for the former Leicester City academy man to knuckle down and grasp his chance after impressing in pre-season...'I’ve had a chat with him. He didn’t get many opportunities last season but I think we’ve given HIM a good crack at it in pre-season. He needs to make himself a fixture in the team now. To do that he needs to impose himself on games and not just flit in and out of games', he said".
In Cumbria, the News and Star reports on the first visitors to Moss Lane this season, saying that "Workington Reds have been dealt an injury blow on the cusp of the new season with captain David Hewson facing two weeks on the sidelines with a rib injury. Hewson went down clutching his ribs against Gateshead in Reds’ second pre-season friendly and further injured the area against Hartlepool.
Rest is the only treatment for the skipper, who is devastated he’ll not be fit and ready for Boston on Saturday. He said, 'I’m a lot better than I was but still weeks away from training fully. All I can do is rest. I’m still running but I cannot take part in the contact side of training. It’s annoying because this season I truly believe we have a great chance to challenge for the top spots'...
In a further blow, Workington will be without new recruit Dan Wordsworth for the first four matches of the season. The defender racked up the red cards while playing for Harraby Catholic [a Carlisle club] last season with the ban carrying over... Boss Darren Edmondson said, 'It’s a shame that Dan will miss out because he’s been playing well... It’s also a blow to lose someone like David because he’s one of the core members of the team. His ribs are sore and we must monitor him to make sure that no further damage is done'.
Striker Simon Tucker’s form in front of goal during pre-season has seen the 30-year-old land a deal to stay at Workington Reds... The move comes days after Jake Simpson, Dan Wordsworth and Jonny Blake agreed personal teams for the year... Tucker’s deal is likely to spell the end David McNiven’s stint at Borough Park... Edmondson said, 'We now have a strong team and I’m delighted that Simon, Jake, Dan and Jonny have decided to join us... The board of directors have gone all out to make sure we improved on last year and now it’s down to me and the team to make sure we repay them with performances and results'.
Whitehaven rugby coach David Seeds played during the second half and pulled off a couple of saves. Replacing Aaran Taylor in goal, Seeds also made a menace of himself inside the Keswick box, going up for a corner. Edmondson said, 'David did well. He was a safe pair of hands in goal'".
A report in the Worcester News tells us that "Squad rotation has never really been an issue at Worcester City. In recent years, the starting XI has been reasonably predictable and the substitute options limited... City often found themselves short on numbers and needing to call on emergency loans or youngsters...
It was the reality manager Carl Heeley was faced with. The money simply wasn’t there to continually fund replacements. Yet, although the finances haven’t changed, this season is different. City now have strength in depth and cover in every position. With 22 players currently signed up — and striker Marc McGregor still in talks — it is one of the largest squads City have assembled in recent memory...
Heeley appears to have made his budget go further for the better. There is no doubt City also have a stronger squad in terms of physicality. The addition of Mike Symons has bulked up the forward line, while in Emeka Nwadike they have the no-nonsense style of defensive midfielder that was lacking last season. Twenty-goal striker Danny Glover and Mark Danks may have gone but City now have a plethora of options, particularly in attack.
Against Tamworth last Saturday, Heeley was able to introduce former Telford forward Danny Carey-Bertram and ex-Stafford winger Danny Edwards from the bench, while Matt Birley didn’t even make the squad...
Heeley, and assistant Matt Gardiner, will also have the welcome headache of where to fit in Tom Thorley when the influential midfielder returns from China later this month. Defensively, City have Jared Wilson as a dedicated right-back now Graham Ward has departed but captain Ryan Clarke and Lee Ayres can also play there, as well as at centre-half. Asa Charlton is comfortable either on the left or in the middle, while Rob Elvins and Jacob Rowe are predominantly central defenders...
Acquiring two keepers, a rarity for Worcester squads in recent campaigns, has also been a shrewd move. With Jimmy Dormand and Matt Sargeant battling it out, there will be no need for the 11th-hour loans of last season following Tim Sandercombe’s injury".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Guiseley have handed goalkeeper Jacob Giles a deal until the end of the season. Giles, 25, last played for the now defunct Leeds Carnegie side, having joined the University in 2007/08, playing a number of BUSA games and in the Northern Counties East League team. A very confident and commanding keeper who has also been on the books at Huddersfield Town, Team Bath, Newport County, Bradford Park Avenue and Harrogate Railway".
From the BBC yesterday lunchtime, reports said "Football Conference chief executive Dennis Strudwick is hopeful Wrexham FC can complete this season's fixtures. Monday's 17:00 BST deadline for the club to meet a number of demands passed but that was extended as 'further clarification" was wanted. A club spokesman admitted they were £100,000 short for a £250,000 bond but had received £40,000 in donations...
Mr Strudwick said... 'Hopefully it will be sorted today, I am trying to remain positive', he said".
Corby Town confirm that their "striker, Gregg Smith, has joined Evo Stik League side Stamford AFC on loan until September. Smith, who joined the Steelmen from Shepshed Dynamo last term has impressed during pre-season... Manager Graham Drury told www.corbytownfc.co.uk, 'Gregg has joined Stamford on loan, initially for a month, to see how he gets on but we have a 24-hour recall option should we need it. Primarily this move is to give Gregg the opportunity to show what he can do, given a regular run in a side. It's a good move for him, for Stamford and, in the long run, for us... to get his match fitness up he needs to play games and right now the quality of options we have available to us means that his chances are going to be limited here'... Smith will link up with former Corby Town goalkeeper Lee Windrum, who has also signed for Stamford following his release from Steel Park."
Those clubs who remain in BSB North from last season had average home attendances in 2010-11 as follows:
According to the Boston Standard "Adam Millson has become the final piece of the Pilgrims’ puzzle. The midfielder signed a deal with Boston United this week, becoming the last summer signing for bosses Lee Canoville and Jason Lee...
Canoville said, 'He brings another dimension to the squad'. Millson was the club’s Player of the Year in 2009, but two broken legs sidelined him, before he was released by previous managers Rob Scott and Paul Hurst. United have also added keeper Ricky Drury plus midfielders Liam Ogden and Harry Deane to the squad, after they signed Blue Square Bet North forms. The trio are expected to play most of their football for the reserves, and may be joined by some first teamers.
Canoville added, 'We can’t expect anyone to go a month without football then be thrown into a game in front of 2,000 people with no match fitness. We want to strengthen the bridge between the two teams'”.
The Worcester News states that "Chairman Anthony Hampson has praised the efforts of Worcester City’s groundstaff in producing an ‘exceptional’ pitch at St George’s Lane... following heavy criticism of its condition. Grass with deeper roots has been used for durability and around £3,000 spent on sprinklers to keep it watered. The club are keen to avoid repeats of recent years which have seen the pitch deteriorate dramatically throughout the season...
The City chief said, 'The new irrigation system has made the quality of the grass and the playing surface quite exceptional at the moment'... City, who acted on advice from the Institute of Groundsmanship, also hope the amount of games on the pitch will reduce this season when Evesham United move into their new home".
From the Football Conference we learn that Solihull Moors "have signed experienced defender Karl Broadhurst after a successful trial spell at Damson Park. Broadhurst left AFC Telford at the end of August 2010 without making a competitive appearance for the club... He had been released by Crawley Town at the end of the 2009/10 season and returned to the West Midlands".
The Conference have now received the money, and Wrexham FC have stated on their website they have been given the okay to proceed with their preparations for next season and will able to host Cambridge United at the Racecourse on Saturday. A statement on the Conference website said there were still some issues outstanding, but they expected these to be resolved within 24 hours.
The statement read, 'It is confirmed that Wrexham FC has responded today to the list of undertakings made of them following their meeting with an independent panel from the Football Conference on Thursday 4th August. At 5pm matters had not been fully concluded to the satisfaction of the Football Conference and further clarification has been sought in respect of issues in relation to the bond, lease and final settlement of outstanding wages. In the main these relate to legal documents and proof thereof.
The Football Conference is hopeful that Wrexham FC will complete satisfactorily within the next 24hrs those matters which are still required, so demonstrating they are in a position to fully comply with their financial and legal obligations to the membership, allowing the competition to proceed without further delay or hindrance this coming weekend'.
Tuesday saw fans busy raising thousands of pounds to save the club after the Conference gave Wrexham FC an extended deadline of 5pm to pay a £250,000 bond - one of four conditions the club was asked to satifsy following recent financial problems. Current club owner Geoff Moss said he had £150,000 to put to the bond, but that was not accepted by the Conference, leaving fans desperately trying to make up the shortfall on Tuesday...
The club's website thanked fans, describing their efforts as 'tremendous' and 'overwhelming'. Co-owner Geoff Moss said £500,000 had now been pumped into the club, the players' wages have been paid, and the HMRC and VAT bills settled leaving the club 'virtually debt free'”.
The article quotes chairman Grahame Rowley, who says "Despite last season's setback, the Club has maintained a sound financial base amd, with Lee [Sinnott's] arrival, there is a great atmosphere within the place. Combined with the increasing involvement with the local community, particularly via junior and schools work, this hopefully should ensure that the only way is up for the club in the future".
"Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, I am Danny Fishwick the new physio of your great football club. I feel honoured and proud to be working at such a big, friendly club. I hope you have enjoyed your summer and raring for the season to start (I know I am).
I am just writing to let you know I'll be running the RunWinsford 10k on the 21st August. I will be running to raise money for the NeuroMuscular Centre, they offer a unique service to people with muscular dystrophy, which is not available on the National Health Service - ongoing physiotherapy, lead by clinical need. I believe this is a very worthy charity to be raising money for. Please check out my site and if your feeling generous please leave a donation. All donations are greatly appreciated. The site is here.
Thanks for your donations, Danny".
News of Saturday's opposition comes from the Football Conference to the effect that "With just five days to go before the new season kicks off Simon Weaver, manager of Harrogate Town, has bolstered his defensive options by announcing the signings of left-back Craig Radcliffe and right-back Greg Wright. Radcliffe, 22, who can also play as a left-sided midfielder, joins Town following a two-year spell at Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central side Biggleswade Town. He has also played for Durham City, Cambridge City and Bury Town. Wright joins Town from Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South side Goole AFC. He also lists Retford United and Sheffield FC as former teams. Both players have already taken part in several pre-season matches for Harrogate".
Harrogate Town's squad is currently unofficially reported to be as follows...
Altrincham FC's squad is detailed here. Some other clubs' unofficial squad lists are below which, in some cases, include unsigned trialists...
One of Alty's early-season opponents are Vauxhall Motors, whose squad last Saturday comprised O’Connell, Grocott, Dames, Mannix, Taylor, Jackson, Mahon, Highdale, McGivern, Wilson, Griffin, Bennett, Nethercote, Dolan.
And last Saturday's Solihull Moors squad was Singh, Kamlonji, Francis, Price (Fellows 71 mins), Broadhurst, RIchards (Pierpoint 71 mins), Agbor (Fellows 62 mins), Fitzpatrick, McPike, English and Adkins.
The first visitors to Moss Lane this season are Workington, who themselves "are targeting 1,000 fans through the gates at Borough Park for this weekend’s season opener against title favourites Boston... On average, just 400 fans were clocked through the turnstiles last term, a number Workington are looking to improve this time round. [Manager] Edmondson said key players like Stuart Green will be an attraction and, with results, could see the landmark figure reached.
He added:, 'It has to be a target for us. Why not? We are an improving team with ambition so I don’t see why we can’t try... If the players are performing on the pitch then there’s no reason why we can’t do it. Boston is a huge game. They comprehensively beat us twice last year so revenge is on the cards. They are one of the top sides in the league so to get a result against them early on would be great for morale. We have the players to hurt them. Stuart will be a big pull but we must look to branch out and get younger fans through the gates to ensure the future of the club'" he told the News & Star.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that "Boston United joint-boss Lee Canoville has ruled out the return of striker Spencer Weir-Daley to the club in the short-term. Weir-Daley, 25, is without a club after the Pilgrims withdrew a contract offer when he failed to meet their deadline.
And local rivals Gainsborough said last week they would not be signing him despite having talks. Canoville told BBC Lincolnshire, 'You never know in the future, but at the moment we can't offer him anything. He's a good player but unless he's going to play for free then there isn't a place for him here. We've got Marc Newsham who scored 29 goals in his first season, we're expecting Mikel Suarez to get into double figures and we've got two wingers in Kevin Holsgrove and Ryan Semple who we're going to give a lot more licence to and we want double figures from them', he said. 'We're not concerned that we haven't got an out-and-out goalscorer, we're very happy that we've got enough players to chip in with a lot of goals this year'".
The unofficial Hinckley United website says that there have been "last minute additions to the squad... DT [Dean Thomas] has signed another two players into the squad. Defender Mark Dudley has been here on loan previously when he was contracted to Derby County, but having played a few games on trial in pre season the club have signed the left back.
Jaylee Hodgson has also impressed in his trial games and has also been signed on. The young striker was playing for Loughborough Dynamo last season, but has played international football for Montseratt, scoring 3 goals in his two games in their recent World Cup qualifying matches...
The latest pre-season games for Hinckley United both ended with a victory. First Hinckley played Tamworth, with Craig McAughtrie scoring the only goal for Hinckley in the first half. Trialists Jay Hodgson and Ben Everton again having another run out. Then Peterborough United brought an XI to De Monfort Park with Hinckley winning 2-0 over a 'Posh' team featuring mainly reserve players".
More player activity is reported at Blyth Spartans with "the signing of Ashington forward Glen Taylor. The 21-year-old target man, who stands 6 foot 2, started his senior career at Ashington, during his time there he enjoyed a successful loan spell at North Shields. The majority of last season was spent with management duo Steve Cuggy and Gavin Fell at Whitley Bay and Glen moved back to Ashington over the summer...
Manager Steve Cuggy commented 'I [am] hoping that Glen will provide good competition for Graeme Armstrong as well as good cover for him'".
According to the Worcester News , "Worcester City manager Carl Heeley is hopeful new signings Mike Symons and Emeka Nwadike will be fit for the Blue Square Bet North season kick-off... There are doubts over the pair who picked up injuries in Saturday’s 1-1 warm-up draw with Tamworth...
Striker Symons suffered a foot problem early in the first-half, while defensive midfielder Nwadike tweaked his hamstring 15 minutes into the second period. There is also a question mark over fellow new recruit Jacob Rowe as the former Birmingham City centre-half awaits international clearance after a spell in the USA on a football scholarship.
Heeley said, 'We’ve had a good, solid pre-season and are pleased with it but we do need that little bit of fortune now with Mike and Emeka getting over their little knocks and hopefully Jacob’s clearance coming through in time as well'.
Worcester have added striker Michael Taylor, who scored against Tamworth, and right-back Jared Wilson to their squad. Taylor last played for Midland Combination Premier Division outfit Earlswood, while Wilson has been on the books at Birmingham and was loaned to Chesterfield. Midfield duo Kyonn Evans and Josh Emery have been registered by the St George’s Lane side and a decision on striker Marc McGregor is expected this week.
Heeley said:, 'Michael is a wildcard. He’s not played anywhere near this level and is very raw but has good strength and pace and we feel we can work to improve him. He could be quite a good impact player for us. Jared has a good pedigree and he’s played at as high a standard as anybody else in the squad'".
The Hinckley Times says that "Andy Gooding is set to miss the start of the new season after being ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury. The Hinckley United captain picked up the knock in the pre-season friendly against Tamworth and now his and Dean Thomas’s worst fears have been confirmed...
[Manager, Dean]Thomas said, 'Andy Gooding being out is a massive blow and we don’t have the money to bring in like-for-like players. The squad is about 17-strong and considering the tough games we have had against Coventry City, Notts County, Tamworth and Peterborough, it has been a big test for the players.... It has been a good pre-season and I am quite pleased with what we have got. With Gooding out we will have to try something different in midfield... The latest recruits to join the Knitters are left-back Mark Dudley - who had a spell on loan at Hinckley last season - and striker Jay Hodgson who has impressed while on trial".
At 5pm matters had not been fully concluded to the satisfaction of the Football Conference and further clarification has been sought in respect of issues in relation to the bond, lease and final settlement of outstanding wages. In the main these relate to legal documents and proof thereof.
The Football Conference is hopeful that Wrexham FC will complete satisfactorily within the next 24 hours those matters which are still required, so demonstrating they are in a position to fully comply with their financial and legal obligations to the membership, allowing the competition to proceed without further delay or hindrance this coming weekend".
When Alty last visited Harrogate Town, on Saturday, 11 December, 2004, the Yorkshiremen were top of the Conference North, but they faded before the end of the season and finished out of the play-offs in sixth place, a point behind Altrincham who went on to earn promotion through the play-offs. 619 fans watched as Alty, who had failed to score in their two previous visits to Wetherby Road, secured a 1-1 draw, with Town equalizing four minutes from time after Colin Potts's 25-yarder had fired Alty ahead. The previous year at Wetherby Road, Alty lost their goalkeeper (Richard Acton) under a robust challenge and left-back Chris Adams had to keep goal for 50 minutes, so Wetherby Road has not been a happy hunting ground for the Robins.
Mike Garnett's statistics tell us that in our six previous league matches with Harrogate Town, Alty have won just once, drawn three and lost twice.
Admission at Harrogate in 2011/12 is: Adults £10, Concessions (OAPs) £5, Students and unemployed (photo ID proof must be shown to qualify) £5, Under 16s £2.00.
As the visiting Stockport County stewards compare notes in the background, Alty line up a defensive wall comprising Matt Fearon, Shaun Densmore, Damian Reeves and Astley Mulholland. Also seen are Alty's Paul Jones (far left) and Adam Flynn. The County player in the foreground is former Alty loanee, Sam Sheridan.
The first visitors to Moss Lane in the league this season (Tuesday, August 16th) will be Workington who, on Saturday, drew 2-1 at the Giant Axe with Lancaster City. The Reds report that "Jake Simpson played himself into Darren Edmondson’s squad with a positive contribution to an entertaining game... Teenager Simpson made the best of his opportunity, via the bench, producing a cameo performance which included a stunning goal, an assist for Reds’ third and a thumping shot which brought the best out of City ‘keeper, Martin Fearon.
He signed for the club after the game along with Dan Wordsworth and Jonny Blake but there were no conclusive pointers to what the manager’s starting line-up will be for the season’s opener against Boston United. That may have contributed to a confusing report from the Altrincham representative [scout Bob McLellan] present who will, no doubt, have noted the individual talents of the seventeen players used.
A good contest in the first half saw both teams attempting to play an attractive brand of football. That was the case throughout the game but numerous second half substitutions disrupted the rhythm somewhat and Reds’ fringe players probably had more to offer than their City counterparts... Workington – Taylor, Hopper (captain), Wright A, Wordsworth, Andrews, Dillon (Main), McLuckie (Sloan), Boyd (Blake), Arnison (Murray-Jones), McNiven (Tucker), Green (Simpson)".
'Yes, definitely', he replies. 'We've been given a responsibility of looking after a group of players and trying to get the best out of them and we've been entrusted by the chairman and the supporters to lead a team, and there's no bigger accolade. It's a proud moment - whether you are captain, manager or whatever - to go and lead a squad and lead a group of young men. This is the biggest thing for me right now. What's happened in the past is gone. It's nice to have a career behind you, and you can always call on your experience, but whatever's the next challenge or the next chapter you have to throw yourself into and I always do'.
The former Nottingham Forest striker will not be alone in taking on the managerial reins. His friend and former Notts County team-mate Lee Canoville is joint boss with him, although Lee often takes a higher public profile simply because Canoville is still playing...
The duo took over from Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, who resigned to take up a job at Grimsby Town towards the end of last season... and guided Boston to the play-offs before losing on penalties to Guiseley in the semi-finals. Now, after beating off five other external candidates interviewed for the permanent job, they have been tasked with keeping the feelgood factor going at a club which was just days from going out of business when relegated from the Football League in 2007.
Key players, including defender Shaun Pearson and midfielder Anthony Church, have joined their former bosses at Grimsby, while Jamie Yates and Shane Clarke have joined arch county rivals Gainsborough Trinity. But to compensate for those departures, a number of new faces have been brought in including defender Jordan Fairclough, midfielders Chris Hall, Kevin Holsgrove, Ben Milnes and Ben Wilkinson. Some familiar faces have also returned to York Street, including former Leicester and Aston Villa striker Julian Joachim.
'We've lost a few players, but we've brought in some players who we think are more than capable of stepping up to the level that we want', Canoville said... 'It's all about us now and I don't really want to talk about last season'".
According to Blue Square North, "Histon striker Omer Riza says he has turned down a number of offers from Blue Square Bet Premier league clubs. However, the 31-year-old, who has aspirations to captain the Stutes this season has not yet signed a new deal with the Blue Square Bet North side. Riza insists he is not being unreasonable in his contract demands and says he just wants enough to be able to support his family.
He told Cambridge News, 'I'm not here trying to pinch a penny or anything like that, I'm just here to do my job like I was last season', said Riza. 'I'm an honest player and I don't think I'm bigger than the club. I'm not asking for the world. I'm a married man with two children and I need to support my family. Without being rude or disrespectful, that's all you really can do if you're playing at this level. I've had between eight and 10 calls from other clubs but I'm trying to stay as focused as I can on what we're trying to do here. I've been offered more money at other clubs and have turned down Conference Premier clubs. I think I've got a lot to offer the team with my experience, and I can also do a good job wherever I play. People can question if I'm good enough because that's their opinion, but I'm here to do a good job. When I put on the captain's armband I feel proud. We're all in this together, the fans included. We need them to support us'".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Blyth Spartans have announced the signing of forward Phil Bannister, subject to international clearance. The 22-year-old, who is from nearby Wallsend, started his career at the Monkseaton Academy, this enabled the forward the opportunity to move to America on a Scholarship at the Loyola University in Maryland and a hugely successful time in the Maryland, scoring ten times in nine games last season, before injury curtailed his season, [but] saw him come to the attention of MLS side the Colorado Rapids when he was chosen to play for them in the ‘Supplemental Draft’ in January this year.
Manager Steve Cuggy said, 'We know all about Phil, we were interested in getting him to Whitley Bay before he headed out to the States'".
First of all, it was confirmed that goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw had signed as a squad member for 2011-12, the former Oldham Athletic reserves' keeper played the full game against Stockport. Neil Tolson had been named on the bench for the game and it was explained that he, too, had signed playing forms. The former Football League striker is now 37 but he will be available for "10 or 15 minutes, maybe more" as a sub next season.
Lee was asked about the youth players who have been involved in Alty's pre-season games and, whilst obviously not wishing to discuss individuals' futures in a public meeting, he indicated that one of the main benefits of their involvement had been to assess whether they "can handle the step-up to first-team football".
Despite both being born in Walsall, the management duo confirmed that they had first come together in football in 1994 when they were players together at Bradford City.
Referring to the game against Stockport earlier on Saturday, Lee felt that Alty "had not turned up" in the first half but that he had taken some positive elements from the match. "An 'off' 45 minutes against Stockport doesn't matter", he said, stressing that it is the performance at Harrogate next Saturday which does matter. Overall, he felt the pre-season had been a positive experience and a below-par 45 minutes against County would make people and players realise that there was no way that we would find being in BSB North an easy season. The manager also underlined that the squad had been worked hard over the previous six weeks and had played some tough pre-season games against quality opposition.
He also pointed out that the squad now comprised a fairly even mix of players who were here last season and new arrivals. [Eight of the current 16-man squad are new arrivals]. But the new and existing players were all blending well.
On a personal note, Lee said that in his eight weeks at Moss Lane he had found it a "very friendly football club". He said that he expected to bring in “one or two “new players though these might not arrive until after the season had started and he did not rule out one or other, or both being loan players.
Club chairman Grahame Rowley then explained how this year's budget was something of a "guesstimate" which would be adapted according to circumstances - depending on attendances, which in turn depend to a large degree on performances on the field. However, Alty's budget was "competitive" at BSB North level. He also pointed out that every extra £1 at this level was more valuable than at BSB national level where the other clubs' budgets were often miles beyond what we could ever raise.
Right: Lee Sinnott, Grahame Rowley and Neil Tolson field questions from supporters.
Lee then clarified the position with injuries and absences:
Indeed, Lee concluded that "Hopefully, everyone should be available for Saturday's game". He also confirmed that Robbie Lawton would remain as team captain of Altrincham and, without saying that Robbie would always play there, he hinted that right-back might become his preferred position, though like everyone else, Lee expected players to be flexible. The manager agreed that we might need forward reinforcement and said that "We are checking the availability of certain players". He went on to elaborate on the decision for Neil to be registered as a player whilst Neil himself conveyed his continuing enthusiasm to keep playing.
In response to another question, Lee confirmed that Alty scout Bob McLennan had been watching our upcoming opponents; today he had been watching Workington, for example.
Brian Flynn then said a few words about The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) and invited fans to sign up for an e-mail newsletter which is being planned.
Grahame Rowley explained that Sky Sports would no longer be available in the bar; at a flat rate of £450 a month (regardless of a football club's size), it was not economical for us.
Asked who they thought might be in the top places in the BSB North next season, (omitting Altrincham!), Neil suggested based on last season, that Halifax Town, Eastwood Town, Guiseley and Nuneaton Town were all candidates, whilst Lee also included Boston United and said that newly promoted teams such as Colwyn Bay were always a danger as they tended to carry their success forward after one successful campaign. But, as the manager said, it needs eight games, or so, of the new season before you can see any pattern emerging in the league table. Neil was asked to elaborate on the style of play in BSB North which he did, with some feeling! He stressed that he always wanted his sides "to play football" rather than the long-ball game not least because, although the direct style might work in BSB North, it would not get clubs any further at national level.
Management was also asked about the use of long throws and corner kick procedures. Lee pronounced himself in favour of getting everyone back for corners to minimize the space available to the opposition and Neil, as a forward, admitted that it made things difficult when the box was crowded.
Lee confirmed that all Alty players would be required to sign up to a Code of Conduct this season. The Alty boss also confirmed that his role as manager was a part-time one. Following on from this, chairman Grahame Rowley paid tribute to Lee's "great commitment" in travelling three-times a week from his home in Hull to Altrincham. For his part, Lee expressed his gratitude to Altrincham for employing him as it is now almost two years since his last managerial appointment. Without naming names, he said that he felt this club was supportive of him, unlike at least one of his former employers! Neil, for his part, said that he, too, was delighted to be at Altrincham and that it was not money that motivated him but the desire to win trophies.
Talk then covered last week's national meeting of Conference clubs. Grahame Rowley said he was staggered to learn that, this season, Conference clubs overall were expected to make use of some four million pounds' worth of directors' loans. He said that two unnamed clubs (presumably both at National level) were actually budgetting to lose more than £1,000,000 pounds this coming season and six clubs expected to lose more than £500,000 but less than £1,000,000. He reiterated that Altrincham FC does not accept directors' loans for the simple reason that they breed instability as disgruntled directors are able to demand their money back when they feel like it.
Lee concluded the meeting by reiterating his words on appointment at Moss Lane. He wants to "put smiles on people's faces".
Supporters left the meeting impressed by the management's attitude and confident both that the team they are putting together will be competitive in a difficult league and that the board retains a sensible financial policy.
After Saturday's game, Stockport County said, "A goal in the second minute from County's trialist centre forward, after great work from Nick Chadwick, and a brilliant individual effort by John Miles gave the Hatters a two goal lead at half time, although the home side wasted several chances to be level before the whistle... The [second] half was comfortable for the Hatters as they played decent football without ever troubling the home keeper.
In the NL Paper, County boss Didi Hamann told Dave Stringer, "We had a chance to make this game easy but we did not take it". Apparently, seven of the starting eleven for Stockport were officially "trialists". Meanwhile, "Alty boss Lee Sinnott claimed that the first period of the game was probably his side's worst performance of pre-season. But he was quick to add, 'There was a big improvement as the game wore on. And you have to remember that I had a couple of key players missing today, who should be back [on Saturday]... There is flexibility in the players I have but supporters must realise that I have to cut my coat according to my cloth andf they should not expect a massive squad'".
Right: Demonstrating Alty players' flexibility, Shaun Densmore got stuck in in an unaccustomed position on the left of a three-man midfield against Stockport. Looking on is Alty's no.8, Mark Lees, another versatile man, who has appeared as left-back as well as in midfield, where he played yesterday.
Manager Simon Weaver told BBC Radio York,'We're trying to keep his spirits up. It's a shocking injury. He's only 21 now and the surgeon did say he'd come back stronger so I think he'll be stronger mentally for it'. Weaver added, 'All that early excitement about getting him in the team and bedded in and looking forward to him having a fantastic season has gone out of the window'.
The manager confirmed he is not looking at bringing anyone in to cover Stimpson and he will use his current squad. 'We've got Matt Bloomer, we've got Richard Pell and Adam Nowakowski who can all play centre-half', he said. 'We've got Paul Heckingbottom, who is also experienced at centre-half as well as well as left-back, so we've got a fair bit of cover back there.
We might still be looking in the forward area to get a little bit more power into the team but, other than that, people have to sieze the opportunities when they get them'".
On Saturday, Harrogate Town "entertained Darlington... Adam Nowakowski headed Harrogate Town ahead from Craig Radcliffe's corner kick on 15 minutes. It took until 10 minutes before the end of the match for Darlington to equalise, substitute Tommy Wright sliding in at the post. Final Score: Harrogate Town 1 - 1 Darlington. Harrogate Town: Mark Cook, Matt Bloomer, Craig Radcliffe, Ian Ross, Adam Nowakowski (Richard Pell), Jake Picton, Laurie Wilson, Michael Tait, Paul Brayson (Luis Audrade), Will Turl, Stephen Turnbull (Lee Elam). Subs unused: Paul Heckingbottom, Danny Wright, Jak Donaldson, Chris Elliott".
Before the game Darlington reported that "Harrogate Town have forever been climbing the football pyramid and currently find themselves in the Conference North. They should have been relegated after the 2009-10 season, but were given a reprieve after Northwich Victoria were demoted due to financial problems. Town made good work of their let off however, and finished last season in a respectable 12th position. Town play their home games at Wetherby Road, which has a 3,500 capacity. The Sulphurites wear black and yellow stripes as their home shirt.
Town have been very busy so far this summer and there are a few familiar faces who have joined the Sulphurites. Among the signings are ex-Darlington players Paul Heckingbottom and Michael Tait. Heckingbottom had a largely successful career at Darlington and the 34-year-old has joined Town after being released by Gateshead in May. The second ex-Quaker who has signed for Town is Michael Tait, the powerful midfielder made the move to Wetherby Road after leaving Blyth Spartans. Tait followed fellow ex-Blyth players Stephen Turnbull and Paul Brayson in joining Town, as they too have completed summer moves.
At 33, Simon Weaver is of a new breed of young managers currently plying their trade in all forms of English football. Weaver is still down as player-manager at Wetherby Road but he has made few appearances for Town since he took over as manager in 2009...
Harrogate Town have had a mixed pre-season so far. They have taken expected beatings from Hartlepool United, Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers XIs. However, they wouldn't have anticipated the 4-1 thumping they received from Spennymoor Town and would have also hoped to beat local rivals Harrogate Railway, with whom they drew 1-1. Town did beat Gateshead 3-1 though".
"With only around eight miles separating Moss Lane from Edgeley Park, there has been ample scope for various individuals to experience spells with both Altrincham FC and Stockport County FC during their careers.
This proximity has seen one man fulfil the manager’s role for both the Robins and County respectively in the shape of Matt Woods (Moss Lane: 26th February 1969 to 19th August 1969; Edgeley Park: 6th April 1970 until 12th December 1971). Two others have played for the Hatters before progressing to assume managerial responsibilities at Moss Lane: Jimmy Morris (County: 1939 to 1949; Alty: July 1955 to April 1961) and Tommy Spratt (a Stockport midfielder from August 1972 to December 1973 and subsequent Timperley newsagent, who became the joint caretaker manager at Alty, alongside Lennie Dickinson, from 3rd March 1976 until 3rd April 1976, whereupon Tony Sanders was appointed).
In contrast, one character played for the Robins and then went on to manage County a decade later, namely Andy Kilner, of whom more in due course.
One other prominent connection between the two clubs relates to the Robins’ colourful and revered manager of the 1960s, Freddie Pye, who occupied the post of Chairman at Edgeley Park from the advent of the 1975/76 season until February 1980 and was later anointed as the club‘s Honorary President.
What follows is a select XI comprising players who have registered first team appearances for both the Robins and the Hatters. Additional eligible personnel, who were under consideration for this line-up but eventually omitted, include the likes of Ken Finney; Bert Lister; Andy Dibble; Steve Fleet; Andy Gorton; Mark Sertori; Ian Morris; Paul Williams (though we do our utmost to forget him); John Vernon; Jimmy Fletcher; Wayne Entwistle and Matt McNeil, whilst not forgetting Greg Tansey and Paul Turnbull, both of whom enjoyed a loan period at Moss Lane towards the denouement of the 2007/08 Blue Square Premier campaign.
No. 12: ROBINS & HATTERS
In March 1992, the then Blackburn Rovers manager, Kenny Dalglish, paid Lincoln City a fee of £250,00 for the services of this 21-year-old, Sheffield-born goalkeeper. However, he would make just a single first team appearance for the Ewood Park club and soon found himself reduced to fourth choice behind the likes of Bobby Mimms; Tim Flowers and Shay Given. In February 1995, Danny Bergara brought him to Edgeley Park, where he proceeded to record 12 (+1 as sub) appearances for the Hatters over the next twelve months. Having arrived at Moss Lane in the Summer of 1996, he accumulated 106 (occasionally erratic) appearances for the Robins over the next two seasons. He was an ever-present during the 1996/97 GM Vauxhall Conference campaign (which culminated in the Robins being relegated to the Unibond League) and was a member of the Alty side which triumphed 2-1 over Gainsborough Trinity in the Unibond League Challenge Cup Final staged at Saltergate, Chesterfield, on Wednesday, 29th April 1998. After his departure from Moss Lane, he played for Boston United.
This full back/central defender began his career as a trainee at Manchester United, for whom he made a lone first team appearance whilst playing alongside the likes of Bill Foulkes; Eddie Colman and Dennis Viollet in a 3-0 defeat against Portsmouth at Old Trafford on 19th October 1957. He joined Wrexham in March 1960 and played in excess of 200 games for the North Wales club prior to relocating to Edgeley Park in the Summer of 1966. After a total of 55 (+3 as sub) appearances and a solitary goal during his two seasons with County, Freddie Pye enticed him to Moss Lane at the onset of the inaugural season of the Northern Premier League (NPL) in 1968/69. His two-year stint with the Robins saw him clock up 103 appearances, including both legs of that treasured 1970 NPL Challenge Cup victory over Macclesfield Town under the guidance of Alty’s player-manager, Laurie Brown. He did not feature on the club’s retained list at the conclusion of the 1969/70 season but was instead offered reduced terms at a reported rate of circa £400 pa, which he promptly declined.
This locally-based postman joined the Robins from Congleton Town in July 1997 and proceeded to muster a tally of 162 (+2 as sub) first team appearances (plus a couple of goals) as a combative left full back for Alty and also received the accolade of being named as the club’s Player Of The Year for the 1999/2000 season. On 4th September 2000, Sammy McIlroy forked out a transfer fee of £25,000 to take him to Macclesfield Town and, during his 13 months as County’s manager, it would be the erstwhile Northern Ireland International who would sign Danny again in March 2004. After 43 appearances and a single goal for the Hatters, he moved to Huddersfield Town in March 2005 before opting to embark upon yet another reunion with McIlroy, this time at Morecambe, in February 2007. Having been released by the Shrimps, he made a fleeting return to Moss Lane via a trio of pre-season friendly appearances during the Summer of 2010.
James played alongside a certain Wayne Rooney for the Liverpool Schools FA Under 11s team during the 1995/96 season and went on to sign his first professional contract with Liverpool in 2005 after graduating via the club's academy. His sole first team appearance transpired as a 73rd minute substitute in a 4-3 Carling Cup Third Round success over Reading at Anfield on 25th October 2006. Following a loan spell at Ross County in 2007, he originally joined County on a one month loan basis on the eve of the 2007/08 season, which led to him securing a permanent deal at Edgeley Park in December 2007. Amongst his 29 (+2 as sub) appearances for the Hatters was their 3-2 League Two Play-Off Final triumph against Rochdale at Wembley on 26th May 2008. However, that would prove to be his swan song at County, as he was released after reportedly rejecting the offer of an improved contract. He emerged at Moss Lane in November 2008 and proceeded to make a total of 104 (+1 as sub) appearances for the Robins, initially as a right full back but then in the role of a sweeper. There were overtures from Stockport for him to return to Edgeley Park in the Spring of 2011, but he remained at Moss Lane until the finale of that wretched season. However, this inscrutable taxi driver signed for Southport in July.
Having initially joined County on loan from Hyde United in September 1976, he registered just 6 (+2 as sub) appearances for the Hatters prior to returning to the Ewen Fields club two months later. He scored the opening goal on his Alty debut in a 4-1 home NPL win versus Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday, 4th December 1976 and his final appearance for the Robins occurred in a Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final Second Leg at Runcorn on Tuesday, 29th March 1988. A true Alty legend, this engineer amassed 489 (+16 as sub) appearances and scored 141 goals for the Robins, commencing as a striker; then switching to a left-sided midfield role and ultimately playing as a central defender. Amongst the many honours he gained were two Alliance Premier League titles; two FA Trophy Final winners’ medals; three Player Of The Year awards and 18 England Non League International caps. He acted as assistant manager to Tommy Docherty at Moss Lane from October 1987 to January 1988 and then ascended to a somewhat transient term as Alty’s manager between February 1988 and September 1988.
The talented but enigmatic Hardy was aged 21 when he joined the Robins from Northwich Victoria in August 1995. Over the ensuing four seasons, he accumulated 133 (+29 as sub) appearances, whilst notching 59 goals, and was the club’s leading goalscorer in both the 1996/97 and 1997/98 campaigns. Somewhat surprisingly released in the Summer of 1999, he enjoyed a season with Morecambe prior to signing for Radcliffe Borough in July 2000. County manager Andy Kilner paid £15,000 for the services of this labourer/van driver in June 2001 and he played 5 (+7 as sub) matches for the Hatters, scoring two goals in the process, before being released by the then Stockport boss, Carlton Palmer, in May 2002. He left Radcliffe Borough to return to Moss Lane in October 2003 and managed to rack up an additional 17 (+7 as sub) appearances and claim a further seven goals for Alty until his departure for Ashton United in December 2004. He subsequently played for Chorley and Curzon Ashton.
This mesmeric and ingenious winger’s acknowledged mentor was Eric Webster, a man who had a long association with County during the 1970s and 1980s, including a few periods as the Hatters’ caretaker manager. A former Oldham Athletic junior, Barry signed for Webster’s Hyde United side in the late 1960s and then followed his guru to Runcorn in August 1972. In February 1978, Runcorn repelled Alty‘s attempts to recruit Howard and opted instead to sell him to Stockport for a reputed sum of £3,000. During his brief tenure at Edgeley Park, Barry made 12 (+1 as sub) appearances and his solitary goal for the club came in a 2-1 defeat at Rochdale on 4th March 1978. In June 1978, Tony Sanders finally succeeded in bringing him to Moss Lane by means of a then club record transfer fee of £3,000. During his highly successful and frequently scintillating Alty career, this painter and decorator amassed 288 (+3 as sub) appearances and scored a total of 74 goals; was deservedly honoured as the club’s 1980/81 Player Of The Year and was awarded seven England Non League International caps. A 3-1 home reverse against Enfield on Saturday, 1st October 1983 constituted his valedictory appearance for the Robins and he subsequently had spells with Hyde United; Witton Albion and his hometown club, Ashton United.
In January 1994, the then Plymouth Argyle manager, Peter Shilton, paid Bedworth United £30,000 to sign this 6ft 3in striker, who scored 12 goals in 25 (+11 as sub) appearances for the Devon club before Neil Warnock sold him to County for a reputed fee of £50,000 in July 1995. In his two seasons at Edgeley Park, he recorded 7 (+7 as sub) appearances and scored four goals prior to his transfer to Macclesfield Town in August 1997. Two years later, Bernard Taylor enlisted him at Moss Lane and he proceeded to register 35 (+46 as sub) appearances for the Robins over the ensuing two seasons whilst finding the back of the opposition’s net on 24 separate occasions. The 1999/2000 Nationwide Conference season saw him finish as Alty’s joint leading goalscorer with 16 goals (alongside a future County player in the guise of Kevin Ellison) and gain a reputation as the master of the late equaliser. Indeed, he set a season’s record by scoring in five consecutive league matches between 27th December 1999 (a precious injury time leveller at Northwich Victoria) and 29th January 2000 (an 89th minute strike at Stevenage Borough), with all of those goals arriving in the final ten minutes of each match. He later played for Radcliffe Borough and in recent times he has been employed in the role of the kit man at Stockport County.
This prolific goalscorer began his career at Rotherham United in 1950 and was transferred to Newcastle United for a fee of £12,500 in February 1953. During his successful tenure with the Magpies, he played in their 1955 FA Cup Final winning team and scored 154 goals in 273 appearances, an impressive tally that still leaves him standing as the third highest goalscorer in the history of Newcastle United, behind Alan Shearer (206) and Jackie Milburn (202) respectively. In February 1962, he moved to Huddersfield Town, from whom he signed for County in January 1965 for a fee of £4,000. His Stockport career comprised 58 appearances and 25 goals, the most memorable of which was the 20th minute header which gave the Hatters a shock lead in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie versus the then reigning Division One Champions, Liverpool, at Anfield on 30th January 1965. Freddie Pye swooped to bring him to Moss Lane for the 1966/67 Cheshire County League season and he promptly scored nine goals in merely 13 appearances for the Robins. However, on 17th December 1966, he announced his retirement from football owing to the increasing night work commitments of his job at the David Brown Tractors Factory on the outskirts of Huddersfield. He died on 17th June 1994 at the age of 64.
After some short-lived Football League experience with Blackpool and Southport, he joined his hometown club, Bangor City, for the 1971/72 NPL campaign. Three seasons of consistent goalscoring for the North Wales club attracted the attention of several potential suitors but it was to be the Robins who would acquire the 23-year-old striker for a then club record fee of £2,000 in the Summer of 1974. A marvellous debut season saw him clock up 61 appearances and finish as Alty’s leading goalscorer with 37 goals, the most celebrated of which was the composed 36th minute shot that put the Robins 1-0 up in an FA Cup Third Round tie against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, 4th January 1975. Rumours of a £30,000 bid being lodged for him from Malcolm Allison’s Crystal Palace ensued and Alty Chairman, Noel White, was even quoted as saying that the Moss Lane club had placed a valuation of £90,000 on his head! His 1975/76 season was somewhat blighted by injuries but he did accrue an additional eight goals (including a hat-trick in his final game for the Robins) in 22 appearances before being sold to County for a reported fee of £3,000 in late January 1976. After just 11 (+1 as sub) appearances and three goals for the Hatters, the Summer of 1976 witnessed his return to Bangor City, for whom he continued to play until the early 1980s whilst also running the family business of a car dealership/garage based in Llangefni on the Isle of Anglesey.
This former England Schoolboy International had gained experience with Burnley and Swedish club IS Halmia prior to Tommy Docherty‘s decision to bring him to Moss Lane from Hyde United (in exchange for centre half, Carl Hodgert) in January 1988. His ensuing 30 (+10 as sub) appearances on the left wing for the Robins, during which he scored four goals, are chiefly remembered for his long throw and a delightful free kick in a 4-0 FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round Replay trouncing of Macclesfield Town at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 1st November 1988. After another spell in Sweden, Danny Bergara recruited him to Edgeley Park in December 1990 and he went on to record 38 (+11 as sub) appearances and score 15 goals for the Hatters before departing for Bury in 1992. Following the sacking of Gary Megson as County’s boss in June 1999, the Hatters’ Chairman, Brendan Elwood, surprisingly promoted Kilner from his role as a Football in the Community Officer in the club’s Centre of Excellence to the vacant post of first team manager. After 117 matches in charge, his contract was terminated “by mutual consent” on 29th October 2001 and he was duly succeeded by Carlton Palmer. Since then, he has acted as Sunderland‘s scout in the North West and been a founder/Director of Prodigy Sports Management Global, who act as agents that (in his own words), “represent a lot of high profile people in football.“ Nowadays, he can still be found playing for Worsley Cricket Club’s Second XI.
BARRY PIKESLEY (with thanks to Mike Garnett)",
The HSN continues, "After the problems we had with keepers during the Altrincham game, Darren Sheridan was relieved to be able to tell the Mail, 'We were taking a precaution with Danny (Hurst) because it's near the start of the league season. He'll be okay for Saturday' Danny was rested for the Alty game due to a hamstring problem, and Shaun Pearson took his place, only for him to stretchered off after an hour with concussion, but the good news is that Mike Pearson, Shaun's brother, told the Mail, 'Shaun's neck is a bit stiff today and he's feeling a little bit sick, which will be the concussion. It was a bit of a bad collision. There was a doctor at the game who saw Shaun and we obviously kept an eye on him last night'...
As for the 14-year-old lad who had his 31 minutes of fame, Dan Eccles (left, before coming on at Moss Lane), Darren Sheridan was full of praise, 'You wouldn't have thought he was 14, because he did very well. It was a good experience for him. It's all we could have done, we only had three players on the bench anyway because of all the niggles players in the squad have at the minute. He was very nervous, understandably. We just told him to go and enjoy yourself. He's young, but he's a big, strong lad and he did well. He made a little mistake on the free-kick for their third goal. He thought it was going wide but it hit the post and went in. But he did well and I think he has a bright future ahead of him'".
The cost for a return ticket will be £3, all passengers pay the same price... We will, in due course introduce pick up points throughout the route, however, to meet regulations we would be required to register the routes. Deviations from these routes would invite legal action especially from rival bus companies. Therefore, until we are sure of the requirements, we will start with buses leaving from Rockingham Rd".
According to the Football Conference, "New Vauxhall Motors manager Anthony Wright continued with the rebuilding of his squad by signing three new players in addition to captain Josh Wilson committing his future to the club. Fans' favourite Wilson was instrumental for the Motormen last season, playing thirty-nine games and scoring eleven goals, and his signing is a major boost for Wright in his debut season as manager.
Also signing up are former AFC Telford United, Droylsden and Chester FC midfielder Tom Field, who is no stranger to the Motors' faithful as he is now in his third spell at Rivacre Park. Ex-Cammell Laird midfielder Paul Wheeler has also been signed on, following a successful trial, and, finally, ex-Accrington Stanley goalkeeper, Josh O'Connell, has joined as back-up cover for first choice keeper Scott Tynan".
From NL Daily we learn that "Eastwood Town are keen to tie up deal with former Mansfield defender Kevin Sandwith. The 33-year-old was released at the end of the season... Sandwith has since moved on to Coronation Park where he has trained and played for the Badgers during pre-season. No agreement has yet been reached between the two parties, but joint manager Craig Armstrong has confirmed he would like to sign the former Chester and Oxford United player. Sandwith, who can play left-back or in the middle of defence, made 33 appearances at Field Mill last season, scoring once.
'Kev has been doing well for us and I'm hoping we can sort something out', said Armstrong. 'He has had the chance to look at us and us at him and I think he has enjoyed playing for us. We have been fortunate in that we have been able to attract players of experience such as Jake Sheridan, Stevie Istead and Lee Morris for footballing reasons... I think we need an experienced centre half to build around and he fits that bill'", he told This is Notingham.
Josh, (born 5 October, 1990), progressed through Oldham Athletic's centre of excellence and youth set-up before he received a professional contract at Boundary Park. He appeared for the Latics' reserves and was also on the first-team bench on a number of occasions. In October 2010 he had a loan spell at Mossley and, the previous season, he was on loan at Vodkat League club, Silsden. Josh has featured in Alty's pre-season this summer and he kept goal today against Stockport County.
Neil Tolson, like manager Lee Sinnott, hails from Walsall and his previous role to joining Altrincham this summer was as manager at Hyde (United). Neil had joined The Tigers as a player in 2003 before becoming assistant manager at Ewen Fields in 2007 and then player-manager in September, 2008. Now 37, Neil made some 200 Football League appearances at clubs which included Walsall, Oldham Athletic, Bradford City (where he met Lee Sinnott), York City and, finally, two years at Southend United.
As a player, Neil was a striker, who topped York City's goalscoring chart for 1996–97. In non-League, he has played for Leigh RMI, whom he left in January 2003 before signing for Kettering Town, but he moved on to Halifax Town shortly afterwards.
Don't forget that after the match, at 5.30pm, manager Lee Sinnott and assistant manager Neil Tolson will be the central figures at a Meet the Management session in the Noel White Suite at Moss Lane. Please come along and meet the club's new management team and get the answers to any questions that you may have for them.
Our opponents today (Saturday), Stockport County announce that "Following a meeting today with shareholders, Stockport County director Tony Evans said, 'I had a very positive meeting today and the majority of shareholders are behind the deal for my consortium to take a majority stake in the club. I'd like to reassure the fans that all the new players and backroom staff that have been brought in the last few weeks are all within the existing budget for this season.
There are more players to follow with Didi (Hamann) and Willie (McStay) proving an attractive coaching team for them to play under and learn from. Some have turned down bigger moves to come and play under our management team. This deal has taken longer to complete than I was hoping but both parties are confident that we will have the deal done before the end of the month. Let me be clear that I am in this for the long term and have a plan for the future. In fact, since being appointed a director, less than a month ago, I have already saved the club £200,000 and identified other areas where money can be saved.
I have also had a positive meeting with Stockport Council and can reveal that work will begin on a new training facility within the Borough in the coming months. Talks with the Council are continuing as the long term ambition is to build our own purpose built stadium in the borough. This club has been mismanaged over a long period of time and, as we move towards a new era, it's important that the fans know that my consortium is fully committed to delivering the success, both on and off the field, that this club deserves'.
"The Hatters will make the short trip to Moss Lane as they look to get back to winning ways and will lock horns with local rivals Altrincham on Saturday. The past two weekends have offered County manager Dietmar Hamann bags of confidence and belief in his side, as we confidently beat Buxton and displayed a well drilled performance proving too much for League Two outfit, Accrington Stanley.
Despite Tuesday night's set back losing 2-3 at Edgeley Park in a well battled thriller against top flight Bolton Wanderers, Didi Hamann can take plenty of positives from a game that saw County lead... The last pre-season game will be a fantastic chance to get back on track and get another win under the belt to boost the confidence amongst the squad before the tricky trip to Forest Green Rovers on Friday, 12th August.
Altrincham will go into the weekend's encounter off the back of three wins and will prove anything but a push over as they look to continue form that has seen them hit the back of the net 10 times and concede just once during their last three run outs at home. [Actually one of these three games was away, at Trafford]. Between the two sides there have been 31 goals during the course of pre-season, with neither side resulting in a goalless draw. As the two teams clash, and will both be keen to finish the summer on a high, it's certainly set up to be an exciting encounter".
In summer 1986, it was John Williams who had taken over as the new manager at Moss Lane, following John King's surprising departure in the wake of the club's FA Trophy victory over Runcorn at Wembley. Six players had been released over the close season and two more had moved onto other clubs. Despite these upheavals and a heavy injury list through the season, Williams was to steer Alty to a creditable fifth place in the Conference by the end of the season. Alty also reached the FA Cup Second Round, for the ninth successive season, going out at Telford, 0-1.
But whilst we look back on the Eighties as a successful era for the club, there were some surprising down-sides to the football club 25 years ago. Despite being Trophy holders and having finished fourth in the Gola League (Conference) in 1984-85, Alty started the 1986-87 league campaign with a gate of under 1,000 at Moss Lane, for the visit of Bath City. Also, surprisingly for a club which had just won a Wembley final, the Altrincham FC Supporters' Club was actually wound up in the early days of 1986-87 season, the prime reason being cited to be "apathy". It was also announced that there would be no organised travel for Alty supporters to away matches and it was decided not to re-open the Robins' Club which had been closed since February 1986, and that the matchday raffle would be abandoned.
So, in many respects, Alty are better off today; The Altrincham Supporters' Club (TASC) raises important funds for the club as well as organising away coach travel, a new radio service has been started, whilst home matchdays see Golden Goal, Guess the Crowd, Bucket Collections and sponsorship packages, all raising important funds for the club.
Fortunately, in 1986-87, a new supporters' organisation was soon started and away travel was reinstated though not for every away game.
But a major reason to be happy to be an Altrincham supporter is that The Robins are one of just a handful of clubs in the 22-club Gola League of 1986-87 who have not, since then, either become defunct, or been re-formed at a lower level, or who have never dropped below the second tier of non-League football. Indeed three of the four clubs to finish ahead of Alty 25 years ago no longer even exist in the same guise - Scarborough, Maidstone United and Enfield. Also defunct from that season's clubs are Runcorn and Wealdstone. The only 1986-87 Gola League clubs to have gone into the Football League and stayed there are Barnet, Cheltenham Town and Dagenham (albeit as Dagenham & Redbridge).
1986-87 was also notable as the first season in which clubs earned three points for a win both home and away; for the preceding three years the reward had been three for an away win and two for a home victory. Admission to Moss Lane was just £1.80 and the programme cost just forty pence. John Williams's fellow managers that season included some well-known names Neil Warnock (at Scarborough) and Barry Fry (at Barnet) - whilst Northwich Vics employed former Manchester United striker Stuart Pearson as their boss.
In case you are wondering how our visitors today, Stockport County, were faring in 1986-87, they went out of the FA Cup to Caernarfon Town, lost 0-7 to Sheffield Wednesday in the Littlewood's Cup and finished 19th in Division Four.
And if you want to relive one of the seasons that Altrincham won the top flight league of non-League football, in 1979-80, you will find instalments 45 and 46 of "When Alty Were Kings" by Barry Pikesley, here.
The statement read:
Wrexham appeared before an independent panel of the Football Conference on Thursday, 4th August 2011, to account for the serious financial situation at the football club. Besides discussing the current position, the club were requested to detail their projections for the coming season.
The reasoning for this was to satisfy the Football Conference Ltd, from budget information supplied, whether the club could meet its legal and financial obligations as a member and to determine their ability to fulfil their fixtures and meet creditors' demands. The panel was informed of a third party involvement in relation to the proposed sale of the clubs stadium together with other assets and received information on how the monies from the sale were intending to be used.
It was crucial, with the season due to commence, to establish, how best to protect not only the integrity of the competition but importantly to safeguard the interest of member clubs.
Wrexham Football Club shall by 5pm on Monday, 8th August undertake to the Football Conference Ltd:-
Meanwhile, Wrexham report that "Wrexham FC (2006) Ltd has completed the sale of the Racecourse and Colliers Park to Glyndwr University. It is our opinion that they will be excellent custodians of the facilities...
This deal is the key to purchase of the Football Club by the Wrexham Supporters' Trust... The Conference have requested that the Club clarifies the current financial position, along with other operational issues. Having liaised with the Conference today, we are happy to confirm that of the four issues raised in their statement, three have been actioned immediately as a result of the sale and the fourth will be concluded prior to the deadline set. The remainder of the player payroll is in the process of being paid".
A commentary on this come from Bulls News, which says "Wrexham have been told to deposit a £250,000 bond with the competition or face expulsion... Quite where the money will come from is open to debate. While the Supporters Trust have the funds, they are bound by their constitution to call a vote of members for such a move. That would take 14 days rather than the three available. The funds from the sale of the Racecourse Ground are also believed to be unavailable, with the money claimed to have gone to clear bank loans. The club would not only have to find the £250,000 bond, but the outstanding wage bill and any other football creditors. There is also a £70,000 tax debt outstanding that the taxman is likely to act on if he sees other creditors being paid off before him".
They may only have had an average home gate last season of 661 but This is Total Essex reports that "Braintree Town Football Club will be moving to an all-purpose 6,000 capacity stadium hopefully between 2016/18, which would be up to Football League standard. But the stadium and community complex, plus 600 new homes, will be on farmland off Panfield Lane and not the club's original proposed side off Pods Brook Road on the Rayne side of the town. Yesterday club chairman Lee Harding said, 'This is a big step in the right direction for the club and overcomes a major hurdle which could have halted the club's progress on the field'...
The Iron, who kick-off their Blue Square Bet Premier League on Saturday week away to Darlington, 'That work is in hand and has to be done this season for us to stay in our new league but as for the new stadium we, as a solvent club, will continue to work at self-funding the new stadium and without the need to go cap in hand to the council or anyone else to ask for money to build the ground'. The club already own the freehold of over four acres of their existing ground, plus the leasehold on another five acres where they have a training pitch and other facilities.
'Obviously the current ground will be used for housing and from that sale we can help put the finance to our new stadium', said Harding. 'The aim is for it to hold 6,000, with 2,000 seats, plus having at least two adjoining all weather pitches which can also be used for the community... The club has been at Cressing Road since 1923 and everyone accepts that we have out grown the site with access to the ground always a major problem".
He had a loan spell at Alty a couple of years ago but Blue Square Football now tells us that "Colwyn Bay skipper Damien Allen has turned down a possible move to Luton Town and is set to lead the Seagulls in their final pre-season game against Barrow on Saturday. The 25-year-old former Manchester United junior, who had his full-time career at Stockport and then Bury halted by a persistant groin injury, was due to have a week's trial with the Hatters and possibly play in this week's game against Parma, but in the end decided it was not the right move for him. Seagulls' boss Dave Challinor reported, 'It looks as though the Luton thing will not be going any further and Damo will be staying here - which is great news for us, because he is our most talented player'".
Blue Square North says that "Left-back Aaron James is set to sign for Nuneaton Town this week after a successful trial at Liberty Way. The 24-year-old has spent the last few years at Stirling University in Scotland and has now decided to try to get back in the game. Manager Kevin Wilkin will be happy to bolster his defence having already expressed his concern about his side's defensive frailties. The manager also says James' arrival will impact on current first choice Simon Forsdick, who will now have to fight for his place."
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that "Luton Town have said they believe they are entitled to compensation over the departure of three youth players. The Hatters had reported Peterborough and Brentford to the Football League for what they believed were illegal approaches for players. Under Football League rules, clubs like Luton lose their right to compensation for youngsters after two years out of the competition...
Luton academy members Charlie Smith, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe and Michael Richens have joined QPR, Brentford and Posh respectively this summer... In a statement on the club's website Luton youth development officer Gregg Broughton said, 'We have received assurances from... Ged Roddy, director of youth at the Premier League, that these [new compensation] plans include former Football League clubs that have a record for producing players".
Altrincham FC have created a "Wall of Memories" beside the main Carole Nash Stand at Moss Lane. Its purpose is to commemorate those who have had involvement with the club, in whatever capacity, be it player, member of staff or supporter. The first plaque to go on the wall commemorates Jean Heathcote, mother of former manager and player Graham and his brother Alan, who also turned out for The Robins.
Please contact Karen Rowley by e-mail or telephone (0161 928-1045) if you would like a loved one to be commemorated in this way. You will need to supply date of birth and death as well as the deceased's name; the cost of producing and fitting the plaque is £25.
Pictured above is the wall-sign and the inaugural plaque.
Details of Nuneaton's membership scheme are here.
Meanwhile, "Experienced defender Michael Jackson has joined Vauxhall Motors after quitting Welsh Premier side Newtown in pre-season. The 31-year-old centre-back started last season as captain at Newtown, but in October 2010 signed a long-term deal with Marine. However, he was persuaded to make a return to the Robins in the January 2011 transfer window. Jackson first arrived in the Welsh Premier with Rhyl in the summer of 2001 from Southport... before signing for Welshpool Town.
He moved to TNS in April 2005... After a season in the Icelandic league with Prottur, he returned to the UK and joined Caernarfon in January 2009, but left... and joined the Mariners, also playing for Droylsden. In season 2009/10, Jackson played 43 games for Marine, also captaining the side for 23 games. Motors have also signed striker Liam Nethercote from Liverpool County Premier League side, East Villa".
According to Blue Square North "Histon admit they need to offload goalkeeper David Knight in order to be able to afford to offer club captain Omer Riza a new contract. Knight, who joined the Stutes in February 2010, spent last season on loan at York City although he rarely played...
Boss David Livermore admits that with the keeper on such high wages, they are in negotiations with other clubs over his signature, although the process is slow-going. Livermore told Cambridge News, 'We've had enquiries from other clubs about David but, when you speak to them about the wages, they choke down the phone or hang up there and then. We can't sign Omer until we've moved Knight on. It's a difficult situation and the season is pretty much going to come down to whether we can move David or not.
Omer is an important player for us and if we can keep him and maybe get someone else in with a bit more experience with the money we'll save from David's wages, then we'll have a much better chance of doing well this season. You have to ask David what he wants', added Livermore. 'Does he want another season of not playing any football or does he want to get on with his career and get back to the level he was playing at a few years ago? David has come in with an offer and we've come in with something a lot lower. Hopefully we'll be able to meet somewhere in the middle and get this resolved as soon as possible'".
The Daily Post confirms that "Wrexham's Glyndwr University has bought the Racecourse Stadium in a historic £1.8m deal. Want-away club owner Geoff Moss yesterday said it was the major hurdle paving the way for Wrexham FC to be sold. The Wrexham Supporters' Trust are now in pole position to complete that deal which could be pushed through within the next couple of weeks.
Mr Moss said the ball was firmly in the WST’s court with £500,000 from the Glyndwr deal to be given to the Trust to kick start their tenure as owners when the take-over is complete... Wrexham Supporters' Trust chief executive Richard Green said, 'It paves the way forward for Mr Moss and the WST to finalise a deal. We have had some very positive meeting with Glyndwr University and there is a lot of common interest between the two parties for football and for the University with sports and event management and sports science'...
Yesterday Vice Principal Prof Mike Scott said... 'The first priority is to see Wrexham that continues playing at the stadium and the Crusaders in rugby league'... Prof Scott said they haven’t been able to enter into discussions about a rent agreement for Wrexham FC and the Crusaders to play at the Racecourse, because it was not under their control, but now those discussions can take place and in Wrexham FC's case that will be when an expected take-over of the Racecourse is completed.
He also gave a shot across the bows over a proposed higher education shake-up which could see Glyndwr coming under the wing of Bangor University. 'If Bangor had been in charge, this deal would not have been done', Prof Scott said. Yesterday Mr Moss, who was at the Racecourse to watch the players train, said, 'The university have been absolutely brilliant in the way they have handled this and I think they will be the perfect landlord. I really believe with Dean Saunders in charge and the squad assembled, Wrexham FC have got a great chance this season – it is the best team assembled since the Denis Smith promotion winning side'...
However unpaid Wrexham FC players’ wages is still an issue. Although the fans have bridged the immediate crisis after they weren’t paid this month, raising thousands to pay them in the short term, it is still not known when they will be paid next... It is also still not clear what is happening with an outstanding £45,000 bill owed to the HMRC. Asked what was happening over that bill Mr Moss replied, 'That is an internal matter'".
'I actually thought we were just as penetrative in the [goalless] first half against Trafford but we managed to finish things off in the second', said Sinnott. 'Damian took his chances well and I’m delighted to see him get some goals under his belt. You always want your top strikers to be scoring and he’ll be an important player for us again this season'.
Astley Mulholland is on trial after a fine season with Flixton and came off off the bench to grab the other two goals. Sinnott coached Mulholland while he was at the Leeds academy and the new Alty boss confirmed the two parties are still having a look at each other. Sinnott has added the likes of Adam Flynn, Chris Lynch and Simon Richman to the eight players retained from last season and has not ruled out more new signings before next week’s big kick-off.
'Sometimes it’s best to wait for what you want rather than go searching for anything', he said. 'The mantra with this is quality rather than quantity. We tried to keep as many players from last season as we could then we’ve added, knowing full well that our budget has changed and we have to cut our cloth accordingly. We’re not going to have a massive squad so we need players to be adaptable. Chris Lynch, for example, can play centre-midfield and right-back. Nicky Clee is midfielder/winger and we played him in that role behind the strikers against Tranmere and he got two goals'...
'I’ll know my starting XI for certain after the Stockport game' he said. 'We’re still trying little things out, putting people in different positions and different formations'".
Earlier this week in the Manchester Evening News , "Altrincham chairman Grahame Rowley spelled out the target for his new manager on his first day in the job, writes Rob Dawson. Lee Sinnott had barely lowered the Robins scarf from above his head after being named as Ken McKenna’s successor before Rowley was not so subtly hinting at what was expected this season.
'Lee has the rare combination of being an experienced manager who knows what is needed to gain promotion', said Rowley. Promotion it is then – but Sinnott insists that’s only to be expected at a club who have spent the last six seasons in non-League football’s top flight.
'Our supporters will probably be the most impatient in the Conference North for the simple reason that they were in the Conference last season', said Sinnott. 'But we have to be ambitious otherwise why are we in the game? Of course it brings pressure but that comes with the territory'. If anything, performances in pre-season have only raised hopes of an immediate return to the Blue Square Premier".
Left: Alty's assistant manager Neil Tolson carries off Nicky Clee following the injury he sustained from Darren Sheridan's foul challenge at Moss Lane on Tuesday night.
The NW Evening Mail says that "Barrow AFC goalkeeper Shaun Pearson was stretchered off as the Bluebirds lost 3-1 at Altrincham... His replacement was not named on the team-sheet but was understood to be 14-year-old Furness school pupil Danny Eccles, who joined Barrow on their recent pre-season training camp in the Lake District.
Eccles is part of the Furness Football Performance Centre, run by Neil Doherty... The co-bosses again named a depleted squad for last night’s game, with [goalkeeper Danny] Hurst joined in the treatment room by Paul Rutherford, Paul Smith, James Owen and Andy Nicholas... Bayliss later confirmed Pearson had suffered a concussion".
News of an Alty trialist from earlier this summer comes from Chester FC who report that ex-Wrexham forward Kevin Gall was one of their trialists this week, whilst Wes Baynes also played for the Deva outfit.
Professor Michael Scott, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndwr University said, 'This purchase has been made to secure the future of the stadium and the training ground for Wrexham and north east Wales as a sports venue. It is the University’s intention that by securing both facilities, Wrexham football club will be able to continue to use the facilities and that the same might also apply for the Crusaders Rugby League. In addition the University’s intention is that the two acquisitions will be used by the University’s students, for sports provision, and by the people of Wrexham and north east Wales. The purchase is made in the context of the University’s continued development of higher education programmes related to sport, for the benefit of students and the wider community'". Presumably, however, as a publicly-funded institution, the University will have to charge the football club a commercial rate for its facilities.
In BSB North, Hyde FC have "signed defensive midfielder David Birch from Curzon Ashton", manager Gary Lowe's former club.
On Tuesday night, at Shawe View, Droylsden drew 1-1 with Trafford. The Bloods' former Alty man, Dale Johnson was out, injured.
The Cambridge News says that "Inaki Calvo could line up against Histon in Saturday’s Cambridgeshire Professional Cup clash after being handed a trial by Cambridge City. The Spanish midfielder has been with the Stutes during pre-season but turned out for the Lilywhites in their 3-3 draw at Royston last night. City manager Gary Roberts looks set to hand the former RFC Liege playmaker another run out but admits his financial demands and the language barrier could make a permanent deal difficult.
'He did all right', said Roberts. 'He played at a pace that he was comfortable with and I might well play him against Histon. His agent phoned me, but I don’t know if we can get anywhere near his money. I think Histon offered him something and then withdrew it. The language thing is there as well, and I think he’s a player that probably needs full-time training'".
The Boston Standard reports that in the friendly which ended Gainsborough Trinity 1 Boston United 2, "Chris Hall believes Boston United’s Lincs Senior Shield victory over Gainsborough Trinity has shown the Pilgrims are still a force to be reckoned with. [Former Alty man] Kevin Holsgrove and Mikel Suárez bagged the all-important goals for the Pilgrims...
With Trinity spending big again this summer and Boston left filling the gaps left by the likes of Shaun Pearson, Anthony Church and Spencer Weir-Daley, onlookers were beginning to believe the Blue Square Bet North power was finally shifting in Lincolnshire... But as Brian Little’s boys ran out of puff, United fought to the death to snatch victory.
'It was a great result in a big game for us', said Hall, a former Gainsborough player. 'It wasn’t just a friendly, it was a Lincs Cup game against our biggest rivals, and a team who probably have a right to be up there at the end of the season'".
The North Wales Pioneer says that "Colwyn Bay FC has formally parted company with its former owners, and has been left in a healthy financial situation ahead of its Blue Square debut. The Bay Management Team Limited completed its termination agreement on Friday, offering to transfer its 30% shareholding back to the club for £1, paving the way for the opportunity for the club to raise funds.
TBMT claimed they inherited a significant debt owed to the Inland Revenue, which has been 'substantially reduced', together with an increase trading turnover of £160,000 from the earlier figure of £90,000. The statement reveals that TBMT has also written off additional monies provided to the club to the value of £20,000, verified by independent accountants. TBMT recognised its involvement had led to a lack of trust between themselves and members of the board, and also a section of shareholders.
The statement ended with 'CBFC is on a far stronger footing in 2011 than when we arrived in 2007. We hope the new management now makes the most of this opportunity, for the good of the club, its supporters, and the people of Colwyn Bay'".
The Ellesmere Port Pioneer reports that "The chairman of Vauxhall Motors... Alan Bartlam says Motors have been hit in the pocket at the worst possible time after crisis-hit Wrexham were forced to pull the plug on their trip to Rivacre Park on Saturday. The troubled Blue Square Premier outfit were left with no alternative after their players refused to play as a result of not being paid.
Bartlam said, 'We were not able to find an alternative and from our perspective it’s really quite devastating. We usually have at least three attractive home pre-season matches but this year the new ground’s contractor wanted a little more time to prepare the Rivacre Park pitch. Ultimately that left us with just two home games, so this has come as a massive blow'...
The Wrexham players were not prepared to risk injury in the match in case they are required to seek alternative employment, should the North Wales club fold... He added, 'We saw it as an excellent opportunity to see just how well we are doing against a decent side who made the Conference play-offs last season. But we’ve got to stay positive. Our new manager Anthony Wright has put together the strongest squad the club has ever had and we’re all looking forward to the new season'...
Vauxhall continued their preparations for their Blue Square North campaign... with a 2-1 loss at Prescot Cables on Monday... before completing their pre-season programme at home to Northwich Victoria next Tuesday. The latter clash has been hastily-arranged in order to boost the Rivacre Park coffers".
A final pointer for those members of the press who receive this release; with Evo-Stik now sponsoring the Southern Premier League as well as our league, the following naming conventions should apply. We appreciate this may take some time to get used to, but hopefully these steps are easy to follow...
Right: Alty congratulate Nicky Clee (far left) after his goal against Barrow.
The draw was also made for the raffle for a place in the team-photo shoot. This was won by Isabel Riley.
The ties take place in the week commencing 19th September.
Manager David Livermore was very pleased to capture the 19-year-old left-back on a permanent deal, stating, 'Danny is exactly the type of young, hungry player I want here at the club. He has had a good schooling with the likes of Millwall, QPR, Yeovil and the Irish under-18 side and has the desire to get back into the League, which is something I believe he can achieve. It’s a credit to him that he has turned down the opportunity at Yeovil to join us in order to play regular first team football'".
Corby Town confirm that "manager Graham Drury has admitted that it was not an easy decision to release defender Joe Wilcox or midfielder Karl Dimidh, just two weeks before the new Blue Square Bet North campaign... Wilcox joined the Steelmen from Buxton in March this year, finishing the season as the club's first choice right-back. Dimidh arrived at Steel Park at the start of pre-season from Borrowdash Victoria but has fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Nick Rogan from Fleetwood Town last week."
And "Nuneaton Town’s bid to tie Robbie Burns down to a new deal has been held up by a last minute hitch ahead of tonight’s visit of Banbury United... A late complication, which manager Kevin Wilkin would not disclose, means talks are ongoing. The Boro boss said he is still hopeful of signing the former Leicester City man... That is also the case with left-back Aaron James, while central defender Craig Hinton remains on the radar...
'Some places are still up for grabs but the skeleton of the team is pretty much there and those players will likely play against Banbury. There won’t be wholesale changes during the game either as we look to really tighten things down for next Saturday'", Wilkins told the Nuneaton News.
According to the Daily Post "Wrexham manager Dean Saunders has expressed fears that some of his players will jump ship if they don’t receive unpaid wages this week. The Dragons' boss yesterday revealed that one or two other clubs had been in touch with him to ascertain the state of play at the Racecourse and his claim was backed up by a senior player, who confirmed he had been contacted personally by three clubs interested in signing him.
Saunders said, 'There are a few unsettled players and there have been other clubs sniffing around like vultures but I want to make sure we stay together because we’ve got a good chance this season. But you have to help yourselves and we have not been doing that as a club. We have to try and put everything in place so that all the players have to do is run out and play. But we are a million miles from that at the moment'...
The Racecourse boss and his squad, whose July salaries were not paid last Friday, are as one in appreciation of supporters who have donated nearly £12,000 in 72 hours to try and help tide over the players... 'The amount of money they have raised can help some of the players get through this week and hopefully everything else will be sorted by then and we can get back on track', [said Saunders].
Such generosity, however, barely scratches the surface of a wage bill of around £50,000... The players voted not to play at Colwyn Bay and Vauxhall Motors last week, but returned to training yesterday and the Dragons boss said, 'It’s been one of the worst weekends since I have been here but the players came in for training this morning... We are in danger of losing everything we have built up over the last three years so we need to get it sorted quickly – hopefully by Thursday, I have been told – in that either the takeover goes through or the ground is sold to Glyndwr University. Then we will be able to pay the players. I’m having to try and motivate them this morning, giving them a rollicking when they are not in the right place or doing the right thing, but my grip on the situation has been lost...
We have lots of things to go over that we haven’t done yet. We are behind in our schedule at the moment. I had lined up players I was going to sign but they won’t come now, so that’s a blow. But the main thing to ensure is that we still have a club'".
Before kick off the NW Evening Mail reported that "Barrow AFC will travel to Altrincham tonight boosted by the permanent captures of triallists Jack Mackreth and Shaun Pejic. Teenage winger Mackreth, released by Tranmere Rovers at the end of last season, has penned a one-year contract with the Bluebirds, while 28-year-old centre-half Pejic, whose former clubs include Wrexham and York City, has agreed a short-term deal.
Both will feature in the pre-season friendly at Moss Lane when Barrow’s depleted squad – keeper Danny Hurst and the versatile Paul Smith are latest to suffer injuries – take on an Altrincham side likely to include former AFC captain Paul Jones.
Speaking about Mackreth and Pejic, Barrow joint-boss Dave Bayliss said, 'Jack has impressed us. His attitude is top-drawer. He reminds me a bit of Ruthers (winger Paul Rutherford) in that he wants to learn and get better. He also has something we haven’t really got elsewhere – blistering pace. Shaun, we’ve been looking at all along. He hasn’t played for a while, I think you can see that..
We want Shaun to be physical. He’s 6ft 2ins and built strong. If he wants to play week-in, week-out for us, he’s got to put that into his game'...
Barrow’s squad for the forthcoming 2011/12 Blue Square Bet Premier season now stands at 18, including joint-boss/player Darren Sheridan... Bayliss said, 'Ideally we’d like another four players before the start of the season, but realistically it will probably end up being two or three. We’re well in budget because we’ve not overpaid people, we’ve given them incentives. We’ve put lads on a decent wage but they are incentive-based, so, if you do well, you get rewarded. That’s the route we’ve gone down this season'.
Barrow still have two triallists to make decisions on, in the shape of experienced winger Andy Parkinson and versatile defender Kelvin Lomax. 'Parky’s done okay. We do need to strengthen that position, whether it’s Parky or someone else', ”added Bayliss. 'Kelvin is one we’re definitely interested in. He’s a good player who can play anywhere along the back line. Unfortunately, he picked up a dead leg last week which hasn’t gone away, which is frustrating because we want to see him in more games. He was with physio (Sean Riley) this morning and we’ll see how he is before the game against Altrincham'.
Skipper Phil Bolland should return tonight, though Rutherford (thigh) is unlikely to be risked before the final pre-season friendly at Colwyn Bay on Saturday. Andy Nicholas (foot), James Owen (double hernia) and Hurst (hamstring) will play no part against the Robins, with Smith (groin) a doubt. Bayliss, who has had to cancel Thursday’s friendly against the Furness Select XI due to the mounting injuries, said, 'It’s likely we might only have 12 players available to play against Altrincham. Paul Smith has a groin injury and Danny Hurst a hamstring strain. Add to those Andy Nicholas, James Owen and Paul Rutherford and we had no choice but to cancel'...
Shaun Pearson will take over from Hurst between the sticks tonight. Altrincham, relegated from non-league’s top division last season, are likely to field summer signing and Barrow legend Paul Jones... Bayliss said, 'It’s going to be a tough game, they have some good players and will be up there challenging for the Conference North title next season'".
For the cost of £50, your name will appear throughout the coming season in the matchday programme as a Patron of Altrincham Football Club. After Tuesday's game against Barrow, every member will be entered into a prize draw, with the winner being match sponsor for an appointed game along with nine guests. Second prize will be hospitality for five people and third prize will be hospitality for 3 people in the Sponsors' Lounge. The game in question is Alty's opening home match of the league season on Tuesday 16 August against Workington.
If you are interested in becoming a Patron for 2011-12 season, please bring your cheque (or cash) to the match against Barrow and speak to Grahame or Karen Rowley. If you need further information you can ring on 07720-606897 or e-mail. Thank you for your support.
For more on the scheme, click here.
Meanwhile, experienced central defender Shaun Pejic has agreed a short-term deal with the Bluebirds ahead of the new season. Pejic has just recently returned to England after a spell in North America, representing Crystal Palace Baltimore and Vancouver Whitecaps. The 28-year-old started his career as a trainee at Wrexham and went on to make 175 first-team appearances before signing for York City in 2009".
And the NW Evening Mail adds that "Former Barrow AFC winger Simon Wiles has retired from playing football, aged just 26. The Preston-based wideman, who helped the Bluebirds to FA Trophy glory 15 months ago, suffered the fifth serious knee injury of his career while training with Stockport County this summer.
Wiles, who missed most of last season following a knee injury suffered while playing for Barrow, said, 'The cartilage in my knee, not the one I injured at Barrow, is loose. I’ve been told that if I carry on playing it will be a matter of time before I do serious damage again. I just can’t go through it all again, so I’ve hung up my boots'.
Wiles had intended to train with Barrow this summer in a bid to win another contract, but was lured away by the opportunity of a trial at Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Stockport. 'Ray Mathias, who knew me from earlier in my career at Macclesfield, was in charge at Stockport then (before Didi Hamann became manager)', said Wiles. 'Barrow had been brilliant to me, but it was like a new chapter. Maybe, in hindsight, I should have eased my way back into things at Barrow, I don’t know'".
Mark is pictured, right, at his testimonial last week by Gavin Rathbone; visit his GR Photography site for more images including one of the former team-mates of Mark who joined him at Moss Lane after the Tranmere friendly.
As well as Russ Saunders and Chris Denham who are already on Chorley's books, another ex-Alty player, Matt Doughty, was a trialist for the Magpies last Saturday, against Squire's Gate
'Karl has got a wealth of experience, having been captain of Hereford when they won promotion and playing a couple of hundred games for AFC Bournemouth', said Bignot. 'He would add a lot of strength to the defence'. Moors have also snapped up highly-rated midfielder Jordan Fitzpatrick from Corby Town and Bignot says he is still looking to make another two or three signings".
AFter trialing at Moss Lane, "Nick Rogan has agreed terms to sign for Corby Town. The Blackpool-born striker has impressed while on trial during the close season... The former Fleetwood Town front man started out at Morecambe and has had spells with Southport and Barrow prior to spending the last eighteen months with Fleet. Manager Graham Drury has also revealed that it is with a 'heavy heart' that he has made the decision to release defender Joe Wilcox and attacker Karl Dimidh. The pair have been released as Drury continues to finalise his squad ahead of the new season."
"Inaki Calvo must show he can cope with the hurly burly of the Blue Square Bet North if he is to earn a deal at Histon" says the Cambridge News. "The trialist, who has arrived from RFC Liège in Belgium, showed some nice touches alongside Jim Stevenson in central midfield as the Stutes lost 3-0 to Cambridge United at the Glass World Stadium. But manager David Livermore, who has missed out on targets Sam Corcoran and Tyler Campbell, wants to be certain Calvo can get stuck in before offering him a contract.
'Calvo is a very capable footballer and it will be interesting to see if he can do the other side of the game', said Livermore. 'You need to do that in England, especially in the division we’re going into. I know he can play football, but can he do the ugly side of the game? There’s still a question mark. Sam Corcoran’s signed for Chelmsford for a little bit more money than we were offering, and it looks like Bradford are going to take Tyler Campbell. We’ll have to look at other options, but I still think there are some very, very good players out there that would improve our team'.
Histon improved as the match went on against United... 'I thought the second-half performance was a lot better in terms of our shape and setting little traps to win the ball back', said Livermore".
The Eastwood Advertiser states that "Eastwood Town’s squad continued to build this week... Joint managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong have been continuing to run the rule over several trialists... Striker Jervais Christie and defender Alex Troke were due to sign deals before last night’s (Thursday) game with Huddersfield Town...
'We’re getting to the stage now where we’re going to start working on things like set-pieces and setting out the style of play we’re going to employ, all of which is hard to do when you have a lot of players who may not be in the team at the start of the season'" they said.
Last Saturday saw a Derby County side including four first team regulars win 4-0 at Coronation Park, before a similar reverse occurred at Carlton Town... Brough said, 'I felt we did quite well against Derby. The main disappointment was that three of the four goals came from corners which is obviously something we’re yet to work on in great detail. The Carlton match was largely experimental but we still weren’t too happy with the way those that played applied themselves and we made our feelings clear about that after the game'".
With no pre-season game last Saturday, Altrincham FC's squad have enjoyed a team-building weekend based at the Cresta Court Hotel and also spent some time practising their football skills in advance of the new season. They have two games this week at Moss Lane:
Admission to each game is £7 (£2 for concessionaries), though Alty season ticket holders gain free admission on production of their season ticket book.
Right: Involvement of several youth team graduates has been a feature of pre-season for Altrincham; here, assistant manager Neil Tolson gives young defender Joe Coombs his instructions against a Manchester City XI.
"Altrincham Football Club took part in the Ashley Cricket Club Beer festival by taking on the hosts’ fourth team on Saturday evening, raising £200 for the testimonial fund for Mark Maddox in the process.
Altrincham batted first, in a 20 overs a side game, and put together a very respectable 111 for the fall of just 2 wickets.
Sam Heathcote and Ian Foden both scored over 20 runs each before retiring and that feat was repeated by George Aspden and Tom ‘Freddie Flintoff’ Jacobs. Grahame Rowley and Brian Flynn were the two men who lost their wickets, with the latter being run out as he somehow found himself at the same end as his son, Niall!!!
Ashley were always ahead of the run rate required and achieved the required total with over three overs to spare. They also lost just two wickets as Alty regular, Dan Eadie, was caught behind by wicketkeeper Jack Jolly off the bowling of Niall Flynn and Graham Heathcote produced a wonderful one handed catch off his own bowling!
Captain, Steve Foster, also made a very good catch, which was ruled out by an unfortunate ‘no ball’!
The Altrincham team was:- Leighton Wright, Anthony Wright, Grahame Rowley, Graham Heathcote, Jack Jolly, George Aspden, Niall Flynn, Tom Jacobs, Ian Foden, Sam Heathcote, Brian Flynn, Steve Foster, Declan Cavanagh and Martin Howe, both Alty fans, scored over 20 runs each before retiring for Ashley. Thanks to Ashley Cricket Club for inviting Altrincham F.C. to take part in this game and to everyone involved with both clubs for their generosity in supporting Mark Maddox’s testimonial fund".
A popular loan player from Peterborough at Moss Lane last season, Carl Piergianni played at the heart of Stockport County's defence on Saturday, having been at Tranmere on trial recently, too. An earlier centre-back loanee for Alty, Ryan Shotton, made his European debut for Stoke City as a late sub last week against Hajduk Split.
Some ex-Alty faces were in Chorley's squad for Saturday's game at Squire's Gate. The Magpies report that they "continued their pre-season preparations with a comfortable two-one victory". Chorley's side included Chris Denham and, starting on the bench, goalkeeper Russell Saunders (right).
According to Pitchero Non-League "Lee Moore has finally signed a new deal with Nuneaton Town and now manager Kevin Wilkin is hoping agree terms with two more players soon. Former AFC Telford United forward Moore, who has spent the last two seasons with Boro, has penned non-contract forms after extended summer talks.
Now Wilkin is hoping to complete deals for triallists Craig Hinton and Aaron James in time for the start of the new season... He said, 'It’s about seeing what we can piece together for them money wise. I’ve been open and honest with them. I don’t want to mess people around and if there is something that benefits both parties then it may move on again. Craig is an experienced player and out of all the trialists Aaron has shown the most to me to me that he is capable of stepping up to the level'...
Hinton, 33, is a former Kidderminster Harriers and Northampton Town defender. He ended last season as Bristol Rovers assistant-manager... Left-back James has returned from university in Scotland and is currently living in the Northampton area... Wilkin has decided not to sign triallist midfielders Tom Manship and Ben Whittaker, as well as right-back Dean Hopewell. He is yet to decide on goalkeeper Louis Connor. Meanwhile, Boro have signed 16-year-old striker Kurtis Mewies, who was with neighbours Bedworth United last season".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Eastwood Town’s squad continued to build this week... Joint-managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong have been continuing to run the rule over several trialists aiming to earn a contract. Striker Jervais Christie and defender Alex Troke have signed deals, while Brough says other irons are still in the fire.
'We had a look at five or six trialists against Carlton Town last Tuesday night and although we’ve released one or two players the squad is still building quite well', he said".